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Old 04-09-2010, 05:11 PM   #1
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Default Coral loss slowed, reversed by marine protected areas

Coral loss slowed, reversed by marine protected areas
Posted on February 22, 2010

http://www.hawaii247.org/2010/02/22/...otected-areas/
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A new worldwide study shows marine protected areas (MPAs), underwater parks where fishing and other potentially harmful activities are regulated, provide an added bonus – helping coral reef ecosystems ward off and recover from threats to their health.

Researchers also found the protective effects of MPAs generally strengthen over time.

The findings, published in the Feb. 17, 2010, issue of the journal PLoS One, are the first comprehensive global study to gauge the impact of marine protected areas on the health of corals.

Such havens have proved successful in protecting fish, leading to optimism among researchers that they may also indirectly help corals by restoring reef-based food webs...
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Old 04-09-2010, 05:13 PM   #2
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Default UNC Study: Coral Loss Slowed, Reversed by Marine Protected Areas

UNC Study: Coral Loss Slowed, Reversed by Marine Protected Areas
February 17, 2010 UNC News Services

UNC Global
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Bruno, associate professor of marine sciences in the UNC College of Arts and Sciences, said the results also suggest the protective benefits of such areas increase with time. Initially, coral cover continued to decrease after protections were put in place. However, several years later, rates of decline slowed and then stopped.
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From 2004 to 2005, the most recent complete year in the database, coral cover within protected areas increased by 0.05 percent in the Caribbean and 0.08 percent in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. In contrast, coral cover on unprotected reefs declined by an average of 0.27 percent in the Caribbean, and 0.41 percent and 0.43 percent in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, respectively.

The paper noted that the results may even be a conservative estimate of the benefits because regulations aimed at controlling fishing, poaching and other activities in many MPAs in the tropics are poorly enforced. In addition, most areas have only recently been established (almost 60 percent of the surveys in the analysis were from areas less than 15 years old).

“Although the year-to-year changes in coral cover may seem trivial over the short term, the cumulative effects could be substantial over several decades,” Selig said.
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Old 04-09-2010, 05:15 PM   #3
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Default The Study

The Study
“A Global Analysis of the Effectiveness of Marine Protected Areas in Preventing Coral Loss,”

PLoS ONE: A Global Analysis of the Effectiveness of Marine Protected Areas in Preventing Coral Loss
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Abstract
Background
A variety of human activities have led to the recent global decline of reef-building corals [1], [2]. The ecological, social, and economic value of coral reefs has made them an international conservation priority [2], [3]. The success of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in restoring fish populations [4] has led to optimism that they could also benefit corals by indirectly reducing threats like overfishing, which cause coral degradation and mortality [2], [5]. However, the general efficacy of MPAs in increasing coral reef resilience has never been tested.

Methodology/Principal Findings
We compiled a global database of 8534 live coral cover surveys from 1969–2006 to compare annual changes in coral cover inside 310 MPAs to unprotected areas. We found that on average, coral cover within MPAs remained constant, while coral cover on unprotected reefs declined. Although the short-term differences between unprotected and protected reefs are modest, they could be significant over the long-term if the effects are temporally consistent. Our results also suggest that older MPAs were generally more effective in preventing coral loss. Initially, coral cover continued to decrease after MPA establishment. Several years later, however, rates of coral cover decline slowed and then stabilized so that further losses stopped.

Conclusions/Significance
These findings suggest that MPAs can be a useful tool not only for fisheries management, but also for maintaining coral cover. Furthermore, the benefits of MPAs appear to increase with the number of years since MPA establishment. Given the time needed to maximize MPA benefits, there should be increased emphasis on implementing new MPAs and strengthening the enforcement of existing MPAs.
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Old 04-09-2010, 05:16 PM   #4
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Default Photo gallery – coral reef survey

Photo gallery – coral reef survey
Thursday, February 11, 2010

Photos of student researchers from UNC and Duke University surveying a coral reef in Belize, May 2009. All photos courtesy John Bruno, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

UNC News - Photo gallery – coral reef survey
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Old 04-11-2010, 07:40 PM   #5
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How fascinating.

Thank you for sharing this research.
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Old 02-22-2015, 02:37 PM   #6
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Since we were talking about corals the other day I thought I'd give this one a
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