HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
New evidence points to pollution as main cause of much coral reef destruction

Scientists agree that coral reefs are in an alarming global state of decline. However, determining the main cause or causes of this decline has proven a much more contentious issue. In the current edition of the Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology (JEMBE), Harbor Branch marine scientist Dr.Brian Lapointe and colleagues present new evidence they hope will help settle one major debate: whether pollution or overfishing is the main cause of the coral-smothering spread of seaweed on many reefs. The research suggests that pollution from such sources as sewage and agricultural runoff is the main culprit, a conclusion that has major repercussions for managers working to end the decline of reefs in South Florida and around the world.

When seaweed, or macroalgae, spreads over coral reefs, a problem becoming increasingly common, it can smother coral and prevent important reef inhabitants such as fish and lobster from finding the food and shelter they require. The reef that remains is transformed into a dull mound with little of its original vibrant life and color. The two main explanations for such overgrowth are that nutrients in pollution fuel rapid, explosive seaweed growth, or that overfishing and other problems remove key grazers such as fish or sea urchins that would normally feed on the seaweed, keeping its growth and spread in check.

"The reason this issue is so important is that we're losing our coral reefs at a very accelerated rate," says Lapointe. "These systems are basically in catastrophic decline in many parts of the globe, and South Florida is probably losing coral even faster than other parts of the world. This research, I believe, makes it clear that one of the key problems is pollution from land-based sources."

Lapointe has been studying this problem for decades and has found much evidence to support the theory that nutrients, mainly nitrogen, are the key controlling factor in seaweed spread. But the m
'"/>

Contact: Mark Schrope
schrope@hboi.edu
772-216-0390
Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution
9-Feb-2004


Page: 1 2 3 4 5

Related biology news :

1. New evidence of radiation risk in childhood leukaemia
2. Oldest evidence for processing of wild cereals: starch grains from barley, wheat, on grinding stone
3. Earliest evidence of hereditary genetic disorder discovered by Hebrew University researchers
4. Study finds first evidence COX-2 enzymes can regulate DNA damage
5. Researchers find evidence that sea turtles navigate with magnetic maps
6. Researchers report definitive evidence that HIV-AIDS is not from oral polio vaccine
7. Oldest known evidence of cat taming found in Cyprus, researchers report in Science
8. More evidence of major global extinctions
9. New evidence suggests that monkey thought extinct still exists
10. Earliest evidence of humans affecting aquatic ecology in Canada, United States
11. Study finds evidence for global methane release about 600 million years ago

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:10/8/2019)... ... October 08, 2019 , ... ... that make it easier than ever for businesses and organizations to use their ... App enables organizations to count down to or count up from date-related milestones, ...
(Date:10/3/2019)... ... October 01, 2019 , ... ... dispensing of chemicals, reagents, and medias and to be a more environmentally sustainable ... the culmination of years of experience and feedback from the original version we ...
(Date:9/30/2019)... ... 30, 2019 , ... As human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) move closer ... and diseases of the human heart, there is an increasing need for stable stem ... to be clearly and easily recorded. A study released today in STEM CELLS details ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/17/2019)... STATION, N.J. (PRWEB) , ... September 16, 2019 , ... ... clearing reagents and kits that allow for the complete 3D characterization of tissues through ... Visikol has transitioned into an imaging, image analysis and advanced cell culture focused contract ...
(Date:9/11/2019)... Pa. (PRWEB) , ... September 09, 2019 , ... ... for life sciences companies and government agencies, announced that its president and CEO ... group of successful business leaders. , The Forbes Council accepted Gallivan based on ...
(Date:9/11/2019)... SOMERSET, N.J. (PRWEB) , ... September 10, 2019 ... ... technologies, development, and manufacturing solutions for drugs, biologics, gene therapies, and consumer health ... Pharma Forum, to be held at the Bausparkasse Schwäbisch Hall AG, Schwabisch Hall, ...
(Date:9/8/2019)... ... September 05, 2019 , ... ... Fitzgerald, former Vice President of Finance for Shopify, has been named Chief Financial ... healthcare venture capitalist Joel Finlayson as strategic advisors. Additionally, Spartan has hired Steve ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: