Miami, Dec 6: 70% of coral reefs in Florida, the third largest barrier reef in the world, are being destroyed, according to a new scientific study.
“The largest spatial assessment ever conducted underscores the need for improved management practices and coral reef restoration efforts in Florida,” said the University of Miami (UM) Rosentiel School of Earth, Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. This is a statement.
The research at that academic center was conducted by an interdisciplinary group of scientists through the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies.
The study’s lead author, John Morris, a researcher at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, stressed that their results will help better understand which parts of Florida’s coral reefs are most vulnerable to habitat loss. and requires management and restoration.
The barrier extends 350 miles (563 km) from Saint Lucie on Florida’s east coast, to the Dry Tortugas in the Florida Keys (near Cuba).
The researchers analyzed all bottom-living organisms and parrotfish data from 723 reef sites in three regions of the Florida Barrier Reef.
It was about calculating the carbonate level in each of those sites. A high carbonate level indicates growth, while a low carbonate level means the rock is losing structure.
The scientists found that at 506 sites they studied, the reef is losing its habitat.
“These findings underscore the need for better management strategies, such as those to help restore lost coral structure,” said co-author Erica Towell, coordinator of the National Reef Monitoring Program at the NOAA Choir and UM Rosensteel School alumna. Planting coral.”
“In the future, we can use this as a benchmark to implement and track the success of management strategies,” he said.
In the past decade, coral reefs in Florida have suffered, in addition to damage from boats, bleaching and diseases, such as those discovered in 2014 in the waters of the Bay of Biscay in Miami, which destroy the tissues of certain organisms. Makes it types of coral and it has spread throughout the Caribbean.
According to NOAA, Florida’s coral reefs support 70,000 jobs and generate approximately $8.5 billion in sales and revenue annually.
Healthy reefs protect shorelines from floods and storms.
“Unless management strategies are implemented, erosion of Florida’s reefs will reduce the extent to which coral reefs can support these important economic and ecosystem services,” Morris said.
The study, titled “Low net carbonate accumulation characteristic of Florida’s coral reefs,” was published in the journal Scientific Reports.