A colleague of mine, Dr John Bruno forwarded me an excellent article that he wrote for The Encyclopedia of the Earth, titled “Coral Reefs and Climate Change”
“A healthy reef ecosystem literally buzzes with sounds, activity and colors and is populated by incredibly dense aggregations of fish and invertebrates. In this respect, tropical reefs are more reminiscent of the African Serengeti than of the tropical rainforest they are often compared to, where the resident birds and mammals can be secretive and difficult to see. A coral reef can contain tens of thousands of species and some of the world’s most dense and diverse communities of vertebrate animals. Unfortunately, very few remaining coral reefs resemble this pristine condition; on most, corals and fishes are much less abundant than they were only a few decades ago”
John’s expert write-up and summary of threats to coral reefs related to climate change (coral bleaching, disease, ocean acidification) provides an excellent background of the literature and current threats, and is a worthy read for scientists, managers and the general public alike.
|Healthy Great Barrier Reef reefscape||A recovering Jamaican coral reef||Bleached corals off Puerto Rico in 2005|