29 Nov '15, 4am

Coral reefs are in trouble. Meet the people trying to rebuild them

Zooming out to the reefs themselves reveals geological structures reaching up from the seafloor, growing from millions of tiny mouths and built on the compiled skeletons of previous generations. These house fish and sea urchins that graze on the algae that might otherwise overgrow the corals, larger fish that eat them , and species like sharks, whose existence marks a well-balanced ecosystem and whose absence indicates disorder. Other organisms prey on the coral itself: The crown-of-thorns starfish is so fecund and insatiable that a single individual can populate whole square miles of reef, stripping the coral of its polyps and leaving dead, white skeletons behind.

Full article: http://grist.org/science/coral-reefs-are-in-trouble-meet-...

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