2012-10-01. Worrisome Measure of Decline at Great Barrier Reef

posted Oct 12, 2012, 3:34 PM by Lisa Ou
| by Emma Bryce, The NY Times. An article relevant to GSS Losing Biodiversity chapter 7. Excerpt:  A study released today by the Australian Institute of Marine Science shows that the Great Barrier Reef — a Heritage Site frequently held up as one of the world’s most striking coral conservation successes — has experienced considerable decline since 1985, and without intervention, live coral cover is projected to decrease another 5 to 10 percent over the next 10 years. Over the last 27 years, the study found, coral cover across the 133,000-square mile stretch of the Great Barrier Reef has fallen to 13.8 percent over all, from 28 percent. The study broke down the causes of the decline, attributing 48 percent of coral loss to cyclones, 10 percent to coral bleaching and the remainder — 42 percent — to excessive spawning of destructive crown of thorns starfish. The starfish, believed by researchers to prosper when artificial nutrients increase in oceans, consume and destroy more than their fair share of live coral cover.... Read the full article: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/01/worrisome-measure-of-decline-at-great-barrier-reef/?ref=science