09 Nov '11, 2pm

A controversial report says maybe marine reserves don’t promote coral recovery, reports @mongabay

A controversial report says maybe marine reserves don’t promote coral recovery, reports @mongabay

Researchers challenge idea that marine reserves promote coral recovery Meghan D. Rosen, special to mongabay.com November 09, 2011 Fleshy whorls of thick brown algae blanket the once-vibrant corals in Glover’s Reef, Belize. According to a controversial study published August 14 in the journal Coral Reefs , a decade of marine reserve protection has failed to help these damaged Caribbean corals recover. Healthy reefs depend on herbivorous parrotfishes to gobble up vast algal blooms. When fishing pressures overwhelm these seaweed-grazing species, tough carpets of ropy algae choke new coral growth. Research has shown that marine reserves with strong ‘no-take’ enforcement—armed patrols, clear boundaries and daily surveillance—can protect herbivorous fish populations. However, it’s less clear whether these safeguards also help corals bounce back. Brain corals off the coast of Bel...

Full article: http://news.mongabay.com/2011/1109-ucsc_rosen_reefs.html

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