Scientists Stress That There’s ‘No Silver Bullet’ To Address Threats Facing The Great Barrier Reef

Source: Phys.org/Lancaster University

Photo: Camille Gerstenhaber/Wikimedia Commons 

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Recent flooding and the mass outflows of dirty water onto the Great Barrier Reef are raising concerns about their impact on reef health. Across much of coastal Queensland, coastal rivers dump millions of litres of brown, polluted water out onto the Great Barrier Reef, but until now the relative effects of these annual inputs on reef corals and associated organisms have been difficult to understand.

Using a combination of advanced satellite imaging and over 20 years of coral monitoring across the Reef, a team of researchers from Dalhousie University, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University (Coral CoE), the University of Adelaide and Lancaster University in the UK has found that chronic exposure to  is limiting the recovery rates of corals across wide swaths of the Great Barrier Reef.

“What we have found is that the Great Barrier Reef is an ecosystem dominated by runoff pollution, which has greatly reduced the resilience of corals to multiple disturbances, particularly among inshore areas,” said lead author Dr. Aaron MacNeil of Dalhousie University.

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Photo: Camille Gerstenhaber/Wikimedia Commons

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