Coral species in hot water

Posted by Laura Grant on July 11, 2008
Posted in Conservation

A third of the world’s reef-building coral species may be in danger of extinction, reports ScienceExpress. A new comprehensive study of reef-building species suggests that they are surprisingly fragile and sensitive to changes in their environment — such as nutrient overloads caused by agricultural runoff, invasive species, and ocean acidification — the report says.

Most affected are species growing in the Caribbean Sea and in the “Coral Triangle” of the western Pacific, which spans parts of Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines, says the report. It adds that the researchers estimate that as recently as a decade ago less than 5% of the affected species would have been considered threatened or near-threatened. Read the full report on ScienceExpress

Picture credit: NOAA

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