What will be the implications if the coral reefs continue to decline? What will happen to the local ecosystem, to the chemistry of the water, to the food chain, to us??http://www.aims.gov.au/docs/research/cl ... rowth.html
AIMS has identified widespread and rapid decline in the growth rate of massive Porites coral colonies on the Great Barrier Reef, with rising sea surface temperatures and coral bleaching episodes causing a decline in coral calcification.
Coral calcification is the rate at which reef-building corals lay down their calcium carbonate skeleton. It is a measure of coral growth, which is important for healthy reef ecosystems.
AIMS’s recent study of the central Reef has demonstrated that mass bleaching events could suppress coral calcification rates for up to four years.
This research comes in the wake of our 2012 study, which revealed a loss of over 50 per cent of the coral cover since 1985 due to storm damage, crown-of-thorns starfish and coral bleaching.
AIMS has previously revealed a decline in coral calcification since 1990, with our first study showing a 14.2 per cent decline and a later calculation of 11.4 per cent.