Articles on Coral reefs

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Kelp covered landscape in Western Australia. Dan Smale

Marine heatwaves threaten the future of underwater forests

Western Australia’s marine environment is unique. Two world heritage areas, the largest fringing coral reef in Australia, and more than a thousand kilometres of underwater forests, supporting incredible…
During an outbreak, crown-of-thorns starfish can number in the millions and decimate coral reefs. Australian Institute of Marine Science/AAP

How scaring starfish could help to save the Great Barrier Reef

Crown-of-thorns starfish are one of the biggest threats to the Great Barrier Reef. Since 1985, the Great Barrier Reef has lost half its coral cover, with almost half of this coral loss due to the crown-of-thorns…
After mass bleaching in 1998, more than half of coral reefs in the Seychelles have slowly recovered. Nick Graham

Obituaries for coral reefs may be premature, study finds

Coral reefs are the poster child for the damage people are doing to the world’s oceans. Overfishing, pollution and declining water quality have all taken their toll on reefs around the world. Perhaps the…
Coral reefs are like an underwater metropolis – and function in similar ways. Simon Gingins

It’s survival of the most useful when protecting species

Consensus is growing that we are steering towards a sixth mass extinction event. There are calls for increased efforts to stop the accelerating loss of plants and animals. But do we really need to protect…
Flying over Green Island on the Great Barrier Reef. Kiyo/Flickr

The plan to save the Great Barrier Reef is destined to fail unless …

The Great Barrier Reef is in trouble, and a draft government plan to ensure its survival does not go far enough. A number of submissions including those from the Australian Academy of Science and Environmental…
Diseases can devastate coral reefs. Jorge H. Pinzón C.

Older coral species are hardier than newer ones

The incredible diversity of coral reef ecosystems is being threatened by factors associated with global climate change and local pollution. Today diseases have increased and are killing more corals. Seeing…
The latest report on the health of the Great Barrier Reef shows the reef condition is “poor” Scientific Editor/Flickr

Reef condition is ‘poor’, and probably worse than healthcheck suggests

The latest healthcheck of the Great Barrier Reef shows the overall outlook is “poor”, and getting worse. According to the Outlook Report produced by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, climate…
Healthy coral on the Great Barrier Reef. New research shows that corals exposed to dredging have increased risk of disease. dion gillard/Flickr

Dredge spoil linked to coral disease, WA study shows

Dredging has a direct impact on coral health, according to a study published today in PLoS ONE that shows for the first time…
Floodwater plumes, like this one in Moreton Bay, do less damage to reefs that are in marine reserves. Healthy Waterways/supplied

Marine reserves saved coral reefs from Queensland floods

Marine reserves are a hot topic in Australia, with federal and state governments debating whether to allow recreational fishers to take fish from within their boundaries. But new research demonstrates…

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