THREATS TO THE CORAL OF THE MESOAMERICAN REEF
Embed Size (px)
Transcript of THREATS TO THE CORAL OF THE MESOAMERICAN REEF
THREATS TO THE CORAL OF THE MESOAMERICAN REEF
THREATS TO THE CORAL OF THE MESOAMERICAN REEF NICOLE GRAINGERSThe threats to the coral of the Mesoamerican reef. 1The Mesoamerican Reef 225 million years 1 000 kilometers 65 species of stony coral 500 species of fish
The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef is a 225 million year old natural system stretching across 1000 km of water. This coral reef begins in Yucatn Peninsula in Mexico, through the barrier reefs of Belize and Guatemala and then down to the Bay Islands of Honduras. This massive reef not only inhabits 65 different species of coral, 500 different species of fish and 4 different species of sea turtles, but also provides protection. The Mesoamerican Reef protects the coast from things such as erosion and storms. 2Coral ThreatsGlobal WarmingSevere stormsHigh temperaturesCoral bleaching FishingOverfishing Cyanide Fishing Two threats of the survival of the coral reefs of the Mesoamerican reef are global warming and fishing. 3Global Warming
The first threat to the survival of the Mesoamerican coral reefs is global warming and the affects it has on storms, ocean temperature and coral bleaching. 4Global Warming: StormsIncreased intensity Run-off
Based on a study in the journal, Nature, In the last 30 years, hurricanes have become stronger and longer-lasting. The duration of the hurricanes has increased by 50 percent due to global warming. This increase of wave intensity is a threat to the coral in the Mesoamerican Reef due to the fact that it can physically damage the coral. Another component to the increase of storms is the run-off that cover the coast in mud. 5Global Warming: Coral BleachingSudden drops or elevations in temperatureStress-induced
Coral bleaching occurs when the conditions are changed suddenly so that the coral's zooxanthellae cannot be maintained. Once the coral's zooxanthellae dies, the coral loses its pigmentation, resulting in the bleaching. The change in temperature is the most common cause of coral bleaching, and with the increase in ocean temperatures due to global warming, this is a significant threat. 6Fishing
The second threat to the survival of the coral reefs of the Mesoamerican reef is fishing.
7Over FishingCaused by industry expansions Biodiversity support Domino effect
Overfishing occurs when fish and other marine species are caught at a rate faster than they can reproduce. With aquaculture and commercial industries expanding, overfishing is occurring daily. The biodiversity in the coral reefs is extremely important. The habitants help support many other organisms in the coral reef, for example, the sea grass uses the coral to reproduce and for protection. The depletion of certain species due to overfishing starts off a domino effect that can have impacts even centuries later. 8Cyanide-FishingSpraying sodium cyanide75% mortality of organisms in 48 hours Slows photosynthesis in zooxanthellae
The cyanide-fishing method is performed through spraying sodium cyanide on different levels of the coral reef in order to stun the fish, then transports them to places such as aquariums. The method not only hurts the organisms living in the habitat, but the coral ref as well. A study done on this method of fishing has demonstrated a 75% mortality rate of the fish and other organisms during the actual transport. This is due to the stress and effects of the cyanide. The socium cyanide also slows down the rate of photosynthesis in the coral, which affects the pigmentation of the coral, leading to coral bleaching. 9SolutionsProtected areas managementAddressing climate changeSafeguarding watersheds
WWF is making an effort to help protect the Mesoamerican reef by working with the Mexican, Belizean, Honduran, and Guatemalan governments. They created an action plan to manage fisheries, protect areas of the reef and conserve species. This action plan lead to an 11 million dollar grant from the Global Environment Facility. They continue to research the effects of climate change on the Mesoamerican reef and methods to conserve the reef. WWF is working with different industries to help maintain a healthy ecosystem and reduce the watershed going into the Mesoamerican coral reef by reducing the use of fungicides, pesticides and herbicide.
10BibliographyHurricanes and global warming devastate Caribbean coral reefs. (n.d.). the Guardian. Retrieved June 28, 2011, from http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/jan/24/climatechange Is Global Warming Making Hurricanes Worse?. (n.d.). Daily Nature and Science News. Retrieved June 28, 2011, from http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/08/0804_050804_hurricanewarming.html Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. (n.d.). Playa del Carmen Travel Guide. Retrieved June 28, 2011, from http://www.aboutplayadelcarmen.com/playadelcarmen/mesoamerican-barrier-reef.asp Overfishing. (n.d.). See The Sea. Retrieved June 28, 2011, from http://see-the-sea.org/topics/commerce/overfishing.htm WWF - Mesoamerican Reef. (n.d.). World Wildlife Fund - Wildlife Conservation, Endangered Species Conservation. Retrieved June 28, 2011, from http://www.worldwildlife.org/what/wherewework/mesoamericanreef/index.html