National Parks Traveler – New Stressor To Coral Reefs Uncovered: Nitrogen

Dive beneath the surface in the lower Florida Keys, and swimmers once found themselves hovering above vibrant, coral communities. However, the past three decades have revealed a devastating loss of reef life around the globe. In the Looe Key Sanctuary Preservation Area alone, living coral cover plunged from 33 percent in 1984 to less than 6 percent 24 years later. But why?

For a long time, scientists have known that such rapid die-offs are a result of coral bleaching, a consequence of rapidly warming oceans. When temperatures rise beyond the limits of the coral – which are living organisms – they expel the symbiotic algae within their very bodies. The loss of the algae turns them bone-white, and can cause vast mortality events.

A fish swims in a coral reef.

Read the article here!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s