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Coral reefs need global fix, survey says March 30,2012   |  Source: Futurity

Saving coral reefs from rising temperatures will require more than fishing bans in protected areas, a new study shows.

Special conservation zones known as marine protected areas provide many direct benefits to fisheries and coral reefs. However, such zones appear to offer limited help to corals in their battle against global warming, the study shows.

Published online in the journal Global Change Biology, the research was conducted by scientists from Conservation International, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

To determine whether coral deaths caused by ocean warming were lower inside marine protected areas, researchers combined more than 8,000 coral reef surveys performed by divers with satellite measurements of ocean surface temperatures.

“Although marine protected areas could help coral populations recover from temperature-induced mortality in particular situations, this does not appear to be an effective general solution,” says study author John Bruno, associate professor of biology at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Elizabeth Selig, conservation scientist with Conservation International and the study’s lead author, says corals living in marine protected areas can be

 

© 2009-2011 Futurity.org.

Theme(s): Fisheries Resources.

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