sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery

 

Sail-World.com : Acid oceans demand greater reef care

Acid oceans demand greater reef care

'Tropical coral reefs are under pressure from a suite of global and local stressors. Photo courtesy of Jeff Maynard'    ARC Centre of Excellence Coral Reef Studies ©    Click Here to view large photo

The more humanity acidifies and warms the world’s oceans with carbon emissions, the harder we will have to work to save our coral reefs.

That’s the blunt message from a major new study by an international scientific team, which finds that ocean acidification and global warming will combine with local impacts like overfishing and nutrient runoff to weaken the world’s coral reefs right when they are struggling to survive.


Modelling by a team led by Dr Ken Anthony of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and The University of Queensland’s Global Change Institute has found that reefs already overfished and affected by land runoff are likely to be more vulnerable to increasing CO2 in the atmosphere caused by the burning of fossil fuels.

Their study is the first to integrate global scale processes, such as warming and acidification, with the local factors overfishing and runoff, to predict the combined impact on coral reefs.

'As CO2 levels climb to 450-500 parts per million – as they are now expected to do by 2050 – how well we manage local impacts on reefs like fishing and runoff will become absolutely critical as to whether they survive as coral reefs, or are overtaken by algae that compete with corals for space on reefs,' Dr Anthony says.

Warmer conditions cause periodic mass coral deaths by bleaching, while acidifying sea water – due to CO2 dissolving out of the atmosphere – weakens the corals by interfering with their ability to form their skeletons, making them more vulnerable to impact by storms. If the corals are also affected by heavy nutrient runoff from the land – which fertilizes the algae – and overfishing of parrot fishes and others that keep the reefs clear of weed, then corals can struggle to re-establish after a setback, he explains. 'In those situations, the reef can become completely overgrown by algae.'

Photo courtesy of Guillermo Diaz-Pulido -  ARC Centre of?nid=80476 Excellence Coral Reef Studies ©   Click Here to view large photo

The team’s modelling, which they say is on the conservative side, has far-reaching implications for the preservation even of well-managed reefs such as Australia’s Great Barrier Reef – and extremely serious implications for reefs in developing countries, where most reefs are located and where reefs face high levels of stress from human activities.

'Put simply, our model indicates that the more CO2 we humans liberate, the harder it will become for coral reefs, as we know them, to survive. This means they will need all the help they can get in the way of good management to prevent their being overgrown by sea weeds,' he adds.

'Coral reefs in developing nations, where most of the world’s reefs occur and overfishing and nutrification remain key concerns, are particularly vulnerable, highlighting the need to continue to build capacity amongst reef managers and governments in areas like SE Asia,' the team warns in their report, which was recently published in the journal Global Change Biology.

'A failure to rapidly stabilize and reduce the concentration of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere is likely to lead to significant loss of key (coral) framework builders such as Acropora, irrespective of the effectiveness of local management,' the scientists conclude.

'However local reef management efforts to maintain high grazing fish populations and prevent runoff of silt, fertilisers and sewage from the land will play a critical role in maintaining coral resilience while CO2 concentrations are stabilized', they add.

The study, which is the first to quantify the relative importance of carbon emissions and local disturbances in compromising reef health, can be used to optimise future management practises of coral reefs. It makes clear that both policy changes on emissions and local management measures are required to secure a future for coral reefs.

Their paper, 'Ocean acidification and warming will lower coral reef resilience' by Kenneth R Anthony, Jeffery A Maynard, Guillermo Diaz-Pulido, Peter J Mumby, Paul A Marshall, Long Cao and Ove Hoegh-Guldberg appears in Global Change Biology (2011).

Photo courtesy of Guillermo Diaz-Pulido -  ARC Centre of?nid=80476 Excellence Coral Reef Studies ©   Click Here to view large photo

Grazing Herbivores. Photo courtesy of GBRMPA image library -  ARC Centre of?nid=80476 Excellence Coral Reef Studies ©   Click Here to view large photo

Healthy reef, Lady Elliot Island. Photo courtesy of Paul Marshall -  ARC Centre of?nid=80476 Excellence Coral Reef Studies ©   Click Here to view large photo

Impacts from increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide and pressures from other man-made stressors like overfishing and reduced water quality can in combination push coral reefs from spectacular places of biodiversity to species-poor areas covered in seaweeds.
The recent modeling study by Anthony and colleagues show that vigilant protection of coral reefs from overfishing and pollution can buy reefs some time until carbon emissions are reduced.
Elimination of local stressors can not compensate for the increasing stress on reefs from CO2 driven warming and acidification, however.
Reduced global carbon emissions as well as vigilant management of local-scale stressors is the only recipe for healthy coral reefs in the 21st century.

Photos courtesy of Paul Marshall and Ken Anthony -  ARC Centre of?nid=80476 Excellence Coral Reef Studies ©   Click Here to view large photo


http://www.coralcoe.org.au




by ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=80476

5:58 AM Sun 20 Feb 2011 GMT






Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.


News - USA and the World









Audi Melges 20 World Championship - Final race to decide champion by International Audi Melges 20 Class Association,










Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show - 13 things to See and do by Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show,




Volvo Ocean Race: Update from Team Vestas Wind in images by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,








Audi Melges 20 World Championship - Classic Garda conditions on day 2 by International Audi Melges 20 Class Association,
























Audi Melges 20 World Championship - Alessandro Rombelli's 'STIG' leads by International Audi Melges 20 Class Association,












Audi Melges 20 World Championship - Day 1 images by Max Ranchi
Clagett Regatta names first Executive Director
Transatlantic Race - Fleet expanded for 2015 edition
IFDS World Championship overall
Anna Tunnicliffe: Alinghi finishes second - Extreme Sailing Series
2014 18' Skiff International Regatta - Day 2
2014 Audi Melges 20 World Championship - It's go time in Garda
2nd Annual Keith Dinsmoor Regatta September 13-14
Aldo Alessio Regatta - Three days of tight racing
PWA Alacati World Cup - First blood to Van Der Steen and Offringa
Oakcliff Sailing hosts the Nacra 17, 49er and 49erFX Nationals + Video
International 18ft Skiff Regatta underway on San Francisco Bay
Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2014 - Quality fleet for Maxi Classic
Sailing Champions League - which is Europe's best sailing club?
Weta fun at the Wine & Roses Regatta
Extreme Sailing Series: The Wave, Muscat claims victory on Cardiff Bay
International 14 World Championships 2015: Not just for boys
Rio de Janeiro achieves 50% treatment of sewage outflow *Feature
2014 AWT Quatro Desert Showdown - Event memorable videos
2014 18' Skiff Int Regatta: Day 1 at San Francisco - Reversal on beach
Emirates Team NZ: Last race boost cannot save team from table bottom   
PWA Alacati World Cup - Furious slalom is upon us   
J/111 World Championships - The Winner is Shmokin Joe!   
J/24 US National Championship - Victory for Will Welles’ Cougar   
Extreme Sailing Series: View the Final Day's action - Replay   
NYYC Grandmasters Team Race - Reign continues for Noroton Yacht Club   
WSSR announces new World Record Around Britain and Ireland   
IFDS Worlds 2014 - Final day photos by Tim Wilkes   
2014 Detroit Cup - Morvan wins   
Newport Bucket Regatta 2014 -Images by George Bekris   
IFDS Worlds 2014 - Final report: USA qualifies for Rio 2016   
Extreme Sailing Series: Absent With-Out Leave – Ben Ainslie Racing   
2014 IFDS World Championship - New champions claim medals   
2014 IFDS World Championships - Sunday’s race images by Tim Wilkes   
Shark World Championships underway in Toronto   
Anna Tunnicliffe: Alinghi second o'all - Extreme Sailing Series, Day 3   
Formula Kite World Championships - Nocher and Bridge crowned Champions   
Emirates Team NZ: Frustrating Day 3 in Extreme Sailing Series, Cardiff   
Extreme Sailing Series: Light winds help The Wave Muscat - Day 3   
Extreme Sailing Series 2014 Act five - Absent without leave – the wind   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT