Threats to Coral Reefs

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  • 1. http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/ mccarty_and_peters/coral/C-intro.htm Threats to Coral Reefs http://tools.coralreef.org/content/ objects/view.acs?object_id=545
  • 2. 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
  • 3. Importance of Coral Reefs
    • PROTECTION TO COASTLINES
    • ECONOMIC RESOURCES
    • BIODIVERSITY
    • NATURAL BEAUTY
  • 4. Importance of Coral Reefs
    • PROTECTION TO COASTLINES
      • absorb energy of ocean waves
      • reduce erosion of shoreline
      • storm damage
      • flooding
  • 5. Importance of Coral Reefs
    • ECONOMIC RESOURCES
      • Fisheries for food
      • Fisheries for jobs
      • Tourism
      • Building materials
      • Aquarium trade
  • 6. Importance of Coral Reefs
    • BIODIVERSITY
      • The rainforests of the sea
      • Genetic diversity
      • Pharmaceuticals
  • 7. Importance of Coral Reefs
    • NATURAL BEAUTY
    http://sustainableseas.noaa.gov/missions/ florida2/background/coralspawning.html
  • 8. $375 billion in environmental goods and services Reefs at Risk 1998 (http://www.wri.org/powerpoints/reefswww/sld011.htm
  • 9. 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
  • 10. 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
  • 11. 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
  • 12. Threats to coral and coral reefs:
    • 1) Natural
    • 2) Anthropogenic
      • of human origin
  • 13. Natural disturbances that affect corals and coral reefs?
    • Hurricanes
    • Tsunamis
    • Volcanoes
    • Earthquakes
    • Predators & competitors
    • Bleaching
    • Pathogens
  • 14. Hurricanes
    • Physical damage
    http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/ 1989hugo.html
    • Destruction of other ecosystems upon
    • which coral reefs depend
    • Freshwater poisoning
    • Smothering
  • 15. Tsunamis
    • Physical damage
    • Possible disruption of reproduction and recruitment
    • Erosion
  • 16. Volcanoes
    • Depends upon where volcano occurs
    http://volcano.und.nodak.edu/vwdocs/ current_volcs/montserrat/montserrat.html
    • smothering and sedimentation
    • Heat
  • 17. Earthquakes
    • Little direct impact
    • coastal landslides
    • Indirect impacts
    • triggers tsunamis
  • 18. 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
  • 19. Competitors
    • algae
    http://catbert.er.usgs.gov/african_dust/algae.html
  • 20.
    • Loss of zooxanthellae
    • causes
      • higher than usual ocean temperature
      • sharp changes in salinity
      • heavy UV light exposure
    Bleaching http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/ mccarty_and_peters/coral/Bleach.htm
  • 21. http://orbit-net.nesdis.noaa.gov/orad/coral_bleaching_index.html
  • 22. 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
  • 23. Threats to coral and coral reefs:
    • 1) Natural
    • 2) Anthropogenic
      • of human origin
  • 24. Anthropogenic threats to coral reefs:
    • Overfishing
    • Development
    • Mining and dredging
    • Recreation
  • 25. Overfishing
    • Ecological imbalance
    http://tools.coralreef.org/content/objects/view.acs?object_id=545 http://www.photolib.noaa.gov/reef/reef2570.htm
  • 26. Overfishing
    • Ecological imbalance
    http://catbert.er.usgs.gov/african_dust/events.html
  • 27. http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/students/coral/coral5.htm http://www.wri.org/indictrs/rrcyanid.htm Overfishing
    • Destructive fishing practices
  • 28. Development
    • Sediment  smothering
    • Freshwater input
    • Pollutants & nutrients (sewage, pesticides, fertilizer, heavy metals, pathogens)
  • 29. http://www.wcmc.org.uk/marine/data/coral_mangrove/coral.danger.html http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/mccarty_and_peters/coral/c-intro.htm Development
  • 30. Development http://www.sanctuaries.nos.noaa.gov/scied/science/habitat/influences.html
  • 31. Mining for construction materials and dredging
    • Destruction of reef structure
    • stirs up sediment
  • 32. Recreation
    • Anchors, boats, flippers, hands, feet
    • Kill animal tissue
    • Skeleton breakage
    http://www.sanctuaries.nos.noaa.gov/scied/science/habitat/influences.html
  • 33.
    • interaction of natural changes & human activity
    • multiple insults
    Synergistic effects
  • 34. Global climate change
    • Reduced reef building
    • Increase in frequency and intensity of hurricanes
    • Increases in bleaching
    • Increased in disease
  • 35. CORAL DOMINATED ALGAL DOMINATED Synergistic effects