Sunday, December 16, 2018

Understanding the growth of coral reefs

Determining the growth dynamics of Red Sea coral reefs has enabled researchers to establish a baseline to assess the effects of environmental change.


​Researchers have measured the dynamics of coral reef growth in the central Red Sea, establishing a baseline that can be used to evaluate how the reefs are affected by climate change or events, such as the global bleaching event of 2015-2016.

To get a complete picture of reef growth, the team measured the accretion and erosion of carbonates and estimated the ecosystem carbonate budget at various distances from the shore. The analysis showed net erosion at the nearshore site, a balance between erosion and accretion at the midshore site, and significant reef accretion offshore.

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Image: Calcification along the reef framework is very high at offshore sites such as this one, which is dominated by hard corals.
© 2018 Anna Roik

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