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The resilience of coral reefs

By Leonard Ho - Posted Feb 25, 2014 09:00 AM
Dr. Bruce Carlson produced a wonderful video demonstrating the resilient capacity of coral reefs if humans would simply stop interfering with nature. It seems like common sense, but it's a lesson many people and governments have not taken to heart.
The resilience of coral reefs

Amazing rebirth of a reef wiped out by a bleaching event.

Dr. Carlson's video tells the story of two reef sites with drastically different histories and present-day conditions.  At a once vibrant shallow coral reef site close to Fiji's capital city, local fisherman increasingly harvested herbivores over three decades hypothetically to a tipping point.  Algae has overgrown and killed all the stony corals, and all that remains there is a Sargassum algae reef.

However, at another relatively protected/secluded Fijian reef, corals showed remarkable resiliency.  Less than a decade after a catastrophic bleaching event completely wiped out stony corals, this reef site has nearly rebounded back to its former glory.

As a sidebar, Dr. Carlson also noted how quiet unhealthy reefs are and postulated if sound recordings via hydrophones may serve as an effective additional metric to monitor reef health after a bleaching event.

Author: Leonard Ho
Location: Southern California

I'm a passionate aquarist of over 30 years, a coral reef lover, and the blog editor for Advanced Aquarist. While aquarium gadgets interest me, it's really livestock (especially fish), artistry of aquariums, and "method behind the madness" processes that captivate my attention.


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