Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Possible solution to stop coral reefs decline?

Coral reefs are experiencing dramatic decline of population worldwide because of many factors like for instance global warming, illegal fishing and marine debris. Coral reefs play important role in many marine ecosystems which makes conservation efforts much more important. The latest study carried out by National Undersea Research Center in Key Largo, Florida offered the solution that could mean the difference for coral reefs preservation - diversity of plant-eating fishes.

Corals and seaweeds are on opposing sides, competing, and once seaweeds overgrow they can kill corals. Because of this corals depend on different plant-eating fishes that consume different seaweeds, cleaning area for coral reefs to grow. Since there are many different types of seaweeds, scientists need to know exactly certain fish species that consume them and protect them in order to maintain health of coral reefs.

Fish species that consume seaweeds can help coral reef population increase

Scientists believe that answer lies in mixing the two or more species of herbivores, in order for fish to remove much more seaweeds and help coral reefs spreading. Knowing exact eating habits of certain fish species that consume seaweeds can really help coral reefs but only in corelation with fishermen that will have to change their fishing habits once researchers determine which fish must be protected to help the reefs.

Results of this study are giving hope that coral reef population can really show some signs of increase but it will take a lot of efforts and a bit of luck before coral reef population actually starts improving. Well at least this is the step in the right direction.

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