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Fish key to reef climate survival

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posted on Mar, 25 2008 @ 09:01 PM
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Fish key to reef climate survival


news.bbc.co.uk

The assembled experts told parliamentarians that fish able to graze on invading plants played a vital role in the health of reef ecosystems.

Because sea temperatures are now a lot higher, they are now reaching the thresholds at which coral get into distress

Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg
University of Queensland
"The Great Barrier Reef is still a resilient system... and herbivorous fish play a critical role in that regenerative capacity, by keeping the dead coral space free of algae, so that new juvenile coral can re-establish themselves," said Professor Terry Hughes from James Cook University in Townsville.

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posted on Mar, 25 2008 @ 09:01 PM
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Australians built cages around coral areas and found that reefs exposed to fish scavengers fared better than areas with no fish. The fish act as caretakers to keep coral free of vegetation and debris. Certain species of fish were better.

The implication is that preventing overharvestion of benificial fish and encouraging fish reproduction by providing breeding areas may help save reefs.

news.bbc.co.uk
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Mar, 26 2008 @ 10:20 PM
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coral bleaching is the biggest problem coral faces.

its caused by various stress indicators, such as salinity, water temp and polution are some of the worst offenders.

it also depends on the type of coral, some can handle wider temps more than others can, some are more brittle than others, etc.

fish do help, but the single biggest factor is the rise in water temps which itself is caused in part by polution



posted on Mar, 31 2008 @ 02:44 AM
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reply to post by Obliv_au
 

Hi Obliv,

I think what they are saying in the study is that the coral will be healthier and less bleached if the "cleanup fish" do their thing. Coral bleaching equals coral death or degradation does it not?



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