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Old 08-06-2009, 07:09 PM   #1
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Default Shipwrecks Wrecking Coral Reefs?

Shipwrecks Wrecking Coral Reefs? A Case Study At Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge
ScienceDaily (Aug. 3, 2009) For the first time, researchers have definitively shown that shipwrecks and other man-made structures increase the potential for large invasions of unwanted species into coral reefs, even comparatively pristine ones. These unwanted species can completely overtake a reef and eliminate native corals, dramatically decreasing the diversity of marine organisms on the reef. Coral reefs can undergo fast changes in their dominant life forms, a phenomenon referred to as phase shift.

Shipwrecks Wrecking Coral Reefs? A Case Study At Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge
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Scientists have speculated on many possible causes of phase shift, but this study is the first one to clearly show that a rapid change in the dominant life forms on a coral reef is associated with man-made structures.
Even though phase shifts can have long-term negative effects for coral reefs, eliminating organisms responsible for phase shifts can be difficult, particularly if they cover a large area. The extensive R. howesii invasion and subsequent loss of coral reef habitat at Palmyra highlights the importance of rapid removal of shipwrecks on corals reefs to help prevent reefs from being overgrown by invasive species.
The tendency of man's nature to good is like the tendency of water to flow downwards.
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