Poor water quality may be the biggest threat to coral reefs
Today’s Video of the Day from Florida Atlantic University shows 30 years of coral reef degradation in the lower Florida Keys from 1988 to 2019.
The researchers have produced the world’s longest record of reactive nutrients and algae concentrations for coral reefs.
The results of the study suggest that nutrient runoff, particularly nitrogen loading, from the Florida Keys has made the Looe Key Reef more susceptible to rising temperatures and less resilient to bleaching.
“Citing climate change as the exclusive cause of coral reef demise worldwide misses the critical point that water quality plays a role, too,” said study co-author James W. Porter. “While there is little that communities living near coral reefs can do to stop global warming, there is a lot they can do to reduce nitrogen runoff. Our study shows that the fight to preserve coral reefs requires local, not just global, action.”
Video Credit: Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute/Brian Lapointe, Ph.D.