Coral reefs around the world are threatened by warming waters and larger, more intense storms due to climate change. However, a new study by Dr. Peter Mumby of the University of Queensland in Australi...
a, and published in this month’s Conservation Letters, shows that no-take marine reserves make coral more resilient to disturbance – and by quite a bit.
According to Dr. Mumby’s research, conducted over the last three years as part of a Pew Marine Fellowship, no-take marine reserves, where fishing for algae-grazing fish (parrotfish, for instance) is prohibited, may make coral reefs six times more resilient to coral bleaching and other disturbances likely to increase due to climate change. A reef system with abundant grazers is more likely to recover from disturbance rather than “tip” into an undesirable state in which algae dominate. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions also improves coral resilience in the long term.
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