Coral Reefs in Indo-Pacific Ocean Tougher Than Caribbean Reefs
Source: Sail World
July 16, 2012
"Leading marine scientists have said that Coral reefs in the Indo-Pacific region, including the Great Barrier Reef, recover faster from major stresses than their Caribbean counterparts.
Dr George Roff and Professor Peter Mumby from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and The University of Queensland told the 12th International Coral Reef Symposium in Cairns that coral reefs in the Indo-Pacific Ocean are naturally tougher than the Caribbean reefs.
'The main reason that Indo-Pacific reefs are more resilient is they have less seaweed than the Caribbean Sea,' Dr Roff says. 'Seaweed and corals are age-old competitors in the battle for space. When seaweed growth rates are lower, such as the Indo-Pacific region, the reefs recover faster from setbacks. This provides coral with a competitive advantage over seaweed, and our study suggests that these reefs would have to be heavily degraded for seaweeds to take over.
'This doesn’t mean that we can be complacent – reefs around the world are still heavily threatened by climate change and human activities,' he says. 'What it indicates is Indo-Pacific reefs will respond better to protection, and steps we take to keep them healthy have a better chance of succeeding.'"
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