Their surveys counted the number of different fish species on reefs as a measure of biodiversity. … Because of the strong relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem function, such losses in biodiversity caused by warming oceans will result in coral ecosystems that are not able to function as well.
How does biodiversity affect coral reefs?
Coral reefs are believed by many to have the highest biodiversity of any ecosystem on the planet—even more than a tropical rainforest. … A highly biodiverse ecosystem, one with many different species, is often more resilient to changing conditions and can better withstand significant disturbances.
What causes the loss of coral reefs?
Pollution, overfishing, destructive fishing practices using dynamite or cyanide, collecting live corals for the aquarium market, mining coral for building materials, and a warming climate are some of the many ways that people damage reefs all around the world every day.
What are the 5 effects of coral reef degradation?
Damaging activities include coral mining, pollution (organic and non-organic), overfishing, blast fishing, the digging of canals and access into islands and bays. Other dangers include disease, destructive fishing practices and warming oceans.
How does habitat loss affect coral reefs?
Habitat degradation will compound effects of fishing on coral reefs as increased fishing reduces large-bodied target species, while habitat loss results in fewer small-bodied juveniles and prey that replenish stocks and provide dietary resources for predatory target species.
How much biodiversity has been lost in the Great Barrier Reef?
Scientists project a significant loss of biodiversity within a decade, and at worst a 95 percent decrease in the distribution of Great Barrier Reef species by late this century.
Why are coral reefs high in biodiversity?
Coral reefs have high levels of biodiversity because of their abundant microhabitats, high levels of nutrients, and high levels of sunlight and warm…
What happens when coral dies?
Developing countries and small island countries like Tuvalu will be most affected by such drastic shifts. Coral reefs provide protection against flooding and the erosion of coastlines. With them gone, there will be rapid erosion of coastlines and many small island countries might even vanish from the world map.
How is global warming affecting coral reefs?
Climate change leads to: A warming ocean: causes thermal stress that contributes to coral bleaching and infectious disease. Sea level rise: may lead to increases in sedimentation for reefs located near land-based sources of sediment. Sedimentation runoff can lead to the smothering of coral.
What are the leading causes of coral reef destruction and loss?
What are the Main Causes of Coral Reef Destruction?
- Reef Bleaching. Reef bleaching occurs when extreme water conditions cause corals to expel the internal microorganisms that give them their vibrant colors. …
- Poison or Dynamite Fishing. …
- Water Pollution. …
- Sedimentation. …
- Careless Tourism.
What is the cause and effect of coral reef degradation?
The most important causes for coral reef degradation are coastal development and excessive exploitation of its resources. … Ocean acidification (caused by increased amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere) have adverse effects on the growth rates of corals, by making it harder for them to build and maintain a stable skeleton.
What is the biggest thing destroying coral reefs?
Increased ocean temperatures and changing ocean chemistry are the greatest global threats to coral reef ecosystems. These threats are caused by warmer atmospheric temperatures and increasing levels of carbon dioxide in seawater.