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Issue 14
June , 2009
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Now Coral Reefs Hit!

Source: ENN, Date: June , 2009

It took only 40 years for the Caribbean's spectacular branched corals to be flattened. Research reveals that the corals have been replaced by shorter rival species and points to climate change as at least partly to blame, as per reports on ENN.

The report goes on to show that most of the reefs have lost all the intricate, tree-like corals that until the 1970s provided sanctuary for unique reef fish and other creatures, as well as protecting coastlines by sapping the energy of waves.

Coral diversity is important for both the many species that swell on reefs and for coastal protection.Experts say that the flattening process took place in two main phases. Firstly, in the late 1970s, a condition called white-band disease swept through the reefs, killing 90 per cent of the most spectacular tree-like elkhorn and staghorn corals.The second phase, in 1998, saw many of the remaining tree-like corals being wiped out during a massive bleaching event, probably driven by global warming.The researchers found that flat reefs now cover 75 per cent of the Caribbean, compared to just 20 per cent in the 1970s





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