News – Coral Reefs face danger from Algae
Coral reefs face danger from algae. That is the finding of Ms Catalina Reyes of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (CoECRS) and The University of Queensland (UQ) as reported by Practical Fish Keeping recently.
Already the reefs of the world are facing problems from increasing acidifaction and temperature. Global warming heats the oceans and the carbon dioxide emissions of modern society enter the seas and acidify the ocean water. This combination makes the various corals less likely to be able to calcium carbonate. The acidification reduces the amount available to them form the water surrounding the reefs.
Coral Reefs face danger from Algae
In addition to less growth because of reduces structural components, the coral reefs face danger from algae – of the blue-green types. This is because these strains will bore into the corals.
In this latest study, CoECRS researchers found that the lack of carbonate to build coral reefs isn’t the only challenge that these ecosystems face.
“Our research shows that when seawater is both acidic and warm – which is predicted to happen under future climate scenarios – coral reefs could be made more fragile by microborers, such as algae, blue-green algae and fungi that inhabit reefs and bore tiny holes in it that undermine the strength of the coral skeleton.”
Coral reefs sustain an amazing amount of life and any factors that tend to reduce their size and robustness are quite worrisome. Reefs protect many areas from the full impact of the sea as it strikes the shoreline. When the coral reefs face danger such as a large storm or heavy winds, serious damage could occur if the reef has been previously weakened by attacks from the micro borers mentioned in the quote above.
The loss of reef structure is not just a disaster fro the fish and invertebrates that have made them their home for millenia. The damage that is possible when a reef is destroyed from the inside out is incalculable. When coral reefs face danger, the whole environment around them, wet or dry, will be seriously impacted as well.