Time Is Running Out For Our Coral Reefs
Coral reefs are one of the most spectacular and diverse environments on the Earth, where thousands of marine species live and reproduce (HOEGH-GULDBERG, 1999). Although coral reefs comprise less than 0.1% of marine habitats (COPPER, 1994), they are a shelter for more than 165,000 reef-dwelling invertebrate (STELLA et al., 2011), 5,000 fish (BELWOOD et al., 2012) and 1,400 coral (BAIRD et al., 2009) species. The global economic value of the world’s coral reefs was estimated as $29.8 billion per year by Cesar et al.in 2003. Tourism and recreation account for $9.6 billion of this amount, coastal protection for $9.0 billion, fisheries for $5.7 billion and biodiversity for $5.5 billion (CESAR et al., 2003).
Because of human activities, coral reefs are exposed to extensive destruction and extinction (HOEGH-GULDBERG et al., 2007). Global warming is known as a main threat to all ecosystems in the world (HUGHES et al., 2018). It is estimated that a substantial proportion of the world’s coral reefs will have disappeared in the next few decades because of such phenomena as acidification in marine environments (Ridd, 2007).
ENVIRONMENTAL PARAMETERS AFFECT THE FORMATION OF SKELETAL STRUCTURES
Environmental parameters affect the formation and growth of calcium carbonate structure in the scleractinian corals (HENNIGE et al., 2010). Light, water motion (TODD, 2008), nutrients (ATKINSON; BILGER, 1992) and such factors as ocean acidification and increase in seawater temperature influence carbonate structures in the coral polyps and the morphological forms of their colonies (FOSTER et al., 2016).
One of the most determinative parameters in coral calcification is temperature (HOWE; MARSHAL, 2002). The increase in sea surface temperatures, as a result of global warming, is a major concern, threatening marine ecosystems, mainly coral reefs (SOLOMON et al., 2007).
With the predictable extreme inconsistency in environmental parameters in the future, we need to understand about corals skeletal structure responses to the changing environmental parameters.
I I have studied the effect of bacterial stress and consortium of beneficial microorganisms on corals calcification and skeletal structures under global warming scenario for my PhD.
Our results led to alarming increases porosity and disturbing coral fibers and leading to abnormal crystalline forms by high temperature.
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