Human impact on coral reefs

Hughes, T.P. (2008) Human impact on coral reefs. In: Hutchings, Pat, Kingsford, Mike, and Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove, (eds.) The Great Barrier Reef: biology, environment and management. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, VIC, Australia, pp. 85-94.

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Coral reefs provide important ecosystem goods and services, such as fisheries and tourism, and have great aesthetic and cultural value. Until recently, the direct and indirect effects of overfishing and pollution from agriculture and land development have been the most significant causes of the accelerating degradation of coral reefs in many places, particularly the Caribbean. These human impacts have caused ecological shifts away from the original dominance by corals to a preponderance of fleshy seaweed or other weedy non-coral species. Importantly, these changes to reefs are compounded by the more recently superimposed impacts of global climate change, including coral bleaching and the emergence of disease. Even otherwise lightly impacted reefs, such as the northern and outer Great Barrier Reef, are increasingly vulnerable to climate change. Coral reefs are in serious decline globally; an estimated 30% are already severely damaged, and close to 60% may be lost by 2030.

Item ID: 7466
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-0-643-09557-1
Keywords: coral reefs; impact
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Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2010 00:43
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9699 Other Environment > 969999 Environment not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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