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Coral Reefs. http://tools.coralreef.org/content/ objects/view.acs?object_id=545. http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/ mccarty_and_peters/coral/C-intro.htm. Importance of Coral Reefs. 0.2% of world’s oceans Habitat for 1/3 of marine fishes Habitat for tens of thousands of other animals

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slide1

Coral Reefs

http://tools.coralreef.org/content/

objects/view.acs?object_id=545

http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/

mccarty_and_peters/coral/C-intro.htm

importance of coral reefs
Importance of Coral Reefs
  • 0.2% of world’s oceans
  • Habitat for 1/3 of marine fishes
  • Habitat for tens of thousands of other animals
  • The rainforests of the oceans
importance of coral reefs1
Importance of Coral Reefs
  • PROTECTION TO COASTLINES
  • ECONOMIC RESOURCES
  • BIODIVERSITY
  • NATURAL BEAUTY
importance of coral reefs2
Importance of Coral Reefs
  • PROTECTION TO COASTLINES
    • absorb energy of ocean waves
    • reduce erosion of shoreline
    • storm damage
    • flooding
importance of coral reefs3
Importance of Coral Reefs
  • ECONOMIC RESOURCES
    • Fisheries for food
    • Fisheries for jobs
    • Tourism
    • Building materials
    • Aquarium trade
importance of coral reefs4
Importance of Coral Reefs
  • BIODIVERSITY
    • The rainforests of the sea
    • Genetic diversity
    • Pharmaceuticals
importance of coral reefs5
Importance of Coral Reefs
  • NATURAL BEAUTY

http://sustainableseas.noaa.gov/missions/

florida2/background/coralspawning.html

slide8

$375 billion in environmental goods and services

Reefs at Risk 1998 (http://www.wri.org/powerpoints/reefswww/sld011.htm

caribbean reef values annual net benefits in 2000
Caribbean reef values(annual net benefits in 2000)
  • Fisheries: $310 million
  • Dive tourism: $2.1 billion
  • Shoreline protection: $0.7-2.2 billion

Total: $4.1-4.6 billion

reefs worldwide are threatened

REEFS WORLDWIDE ARE THREATENED

11% of reefs have been lost

16% of reefs severely damaged

~60% of studied reefs threatened by human activities

No pristine reefs left

caribbean reefs declining

CARIBBEAN REEFS DECLINING

1970s: ~50% coral cover

Present: ~10% coral cover

=80% reduction in coral cover over last 30 years

Gardner et al. 2003 Science 301: 958-960

threats to coral and coral reefs

Threats to coral and coral reefs:

1) Natural

2) Anthropogenic

of human origin

natural disturbances that affect corals and coral reefs

Natural disturbances that affect corals and coral reefs?

Hurricanes

Tsunamis

Volcanoes

Earthquakes

Predators & competitors

Bleaching

Pathogens

hurricanes
Hurricanes
  • Physical damage
  • Smothering
  • Freshwater poisoning

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

1989hugo.html

  • Destruction of other ecosystems upon
  • which coral reefs depend
tsunamis
Tsunamis
  • Physical damage
  • Erosion
  • Possible disruption of reproduction and recruitment
volcanoes
Volcanoes
  • Depends upon where volcano occurs
  • Heat
  • smothering and sedimentation

http://volcano.und.nodak.edu/vwdocs/

current_volcs/montserrat/montserrat.html

earthquakes
Earthquakes
  • Little direct impact
  • Indirect impacts
  • triggers tsunamis
  • coastal landslides
predators
Predators
  • crown of thorns starfish
  • snails
  • parrotfish
  • butterflyfish

http://www.aims.gov.au/pages/reflib/

cot-starfish/pages/cot-q07.html

http://www.sanctuaries.nos.noaa.gov/pgallery/pgflower/living/fg_living.html

competitors
Competitors
  • algae

http://catbert.er.usgs.gov/african_dust/algae.html

slide20

Bleaching

  • Loss of zooxanthellae
  • causes
    • higher than usual ocean temperature
    • sharp changes in salinity
    • heavy UV light exposure

http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/

mccarty_and_peters/coral/Bleach.htm

slide21

http://orbit-net.nesdis.noaa.gov/orad/coral_bleaching_index.htmlhttp://orbit-net.nesdis.noaa.gov/orad/coral_bleaching_index.html

pathogens
Pathogens
  • Diseases on the rise
    • new pathogens (8+)
    • land pathogens (Aspergillus)
    • occurring at all depths
    • More susceptible when stressed

http://ourworld.compuserve.com/

homepages/mccarty_and_peters/

coral/Bbd.htm

threats to coral and coral reefs1

Threats to coral and coral reefs:

1) Natural

2) Anthropogenic

of human origin

anthropogenic threats to coral reefs

Anthropogenic threats to coral reefs:

Overfishing

Development

Mining and dredging

Recreation

overfishing
Overfishing
  • Ecological imbalance

http://www.photolib.noaa.gov/reef/reef2570.htm

http://tools.coralreef.org/content/objects/view.acs?object_id=545

overfishing1
Overfishing
  • Ecological imbalance

http://catbert.er.usgs.gov/african_dust/events.html

slide27

Overfishing

  • Destructive fishing practices

http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/students/coral/coral5.htm

http://www.wri.org/indictrs/rrcyanid.htm

development
Development
  • Sediment  smothering
  • Freshwater input
  • Pollutants & nutrients (sewage, pesticides, fertilizer, heavy metals, pathogens)
slide29

Development

http://www.wcmc.org.uk/marine/data/coral_mangrove/coral.danger.html

http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/mccarty_and_peters/coral/c-intro.htm

slide30

Development

http://www.sanctuaries.nos.noaa.gov/scied/science/habitat/influences.html

mining for construction materials and dredging
Mining for construction materials and dredging
  • Destruction of reef structure
  • stirs up sediment
slide32

Recreation

  • Anchors, boats, flippers, hands, feet
  • Kill animal tissue
  • Skeleton breakage

http://www.sanctuaries.nos.noaa.gov/scied/science/habitat/influences.html

slide33

Synergistic effects

  • interaction of natural changes & human activity
  • multiple insults
global climate change
Global climate change
  • Reduced reef building
  • Increase in frequency and intensity of hurricanes
  • Increases in bleaching
  • Increased in disease
slide35

Synergistic effects

CORAL DOMINATED

ALGAL DOMINATED

slide36

JAMAICA

OVERFISHING

HURRICANE ALLEN 1980

ACROPORA DIE-OFF 1980S

DIADEMA DIE-OFF 1983

slide37

JAMAICA

MORE ALGAE

NO GRAZERS

LESS CORAL

PHYSICAL DAMAGE

ALGAL DOMINATED

SYNERGISTIC

EFFECTS

slide38

BUCK ISLAND, ST. CROIX

PROTECTION SINCE 1961

ACROPORA DIE-OFF 1980S

DIADEMA DIE-OFF 1983

HURRICANE HUGO 1989

HURRICANES MARILYN/LUIS 1995

slide39

BUCK ISLAND, ST. CROIX

PROTECTION

LITTLE OVERFISHING

DISEASE

PHYSICAL DAMAGE

CORAL DOMINATED