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Great Barrier Reef

APES 2012
by

David Davalos

on 24 January 2013

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Transcript of Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef The Great Barrier Reef has 2,900 reefs and 900 islands found East of Australia.
The Great Barrier Reef has the most biodiversity, in terms of cubic meters, than any other place.
It is made up of 70 bioregions compromising of 30 reef bioregions and 40 non-reefal bioregions.
It contains: 1500 species of fish, 411 types of hard coral, 1/3 of the world's soft coral coral, 134 species of sharks and rays, 6 of the world's seven species of threatened marine turtles, and more than 30 species of marine animals.
The future of the G.B.R. depends on how much the planet's climate changes. The Great Barrier Reef is estimated to be about 18 million years old.
This has been proved via coral fossils. Australian aboriginals used to navigate and fish in the Great Barrier Reef about 40,000 years ago. In addition, Sailors, Traders, Map-makers, all discovered the Great Barrier Reef during and 17th and 18th century.
Over the years, it's growth has been stopped by natural disasters such as ice ages. Threats to the Great Barrier Reef Crown-of-thorns Star Fish
Oil Pollution
Overfishing
Fertilizer run-off
Agri-chemicals
Anchor damage
People Walking on the reef
Ship groundings
Sewerage
Tropical Storms Tropical Storms Tropical Storms cause fragmentation, sediment plumes, and decreasing salinity with heavy rains
1910-1999 - 170 storms passed by the G.B.R.
Most storms pass the G.B.R. within a day
The corals can take up to a decade to recover after being hit by a storm Crown-of-thorns Starfish It is a Coral Reef predator that preys on coral polyps by climbing onto the reefs and releasing digestive enzymes
An adult can eat 6 sq meters/year
It has been a part of the G.B.R. for several thousand years
Outbreaks can devastate the reefs
Poor water quality can cause these starfish larvae to survive thrive
Overfishing of its predators also contributes to the increase of these starfish
They play a role in maintaining coral reef diversity Climate Change Most scientists agree that climate change poses a massive threat to the future of the G.B.R.
Corals are living at the upper edge of their temperature tolerance.
Corals release their photosynthesizing zooxanthellae and turn colorless under the stress of warm waters
If the water cools, they regain their zooxanthellae but if the water doesnt cool within a month, the coral dies of starvation
Increasing global temperatures bring more tropical storms which destroy the G.B.R.
The mass bleaching rate is higher than the reef's recovery rate.
Ocean acidification causes the pH to decrease. Corals become less efficient at secreting calcium carbonate.
A temperature rise by 2 or 3 degrees celsius can cause 97% of the G.B.R. to become bleached every year. Overfishing Oil Pollution Background History WWF World's largest and independent conservation organization.
The WWF and the Coca-Cola Foundation are current working on project Catalyst
The project has:
> Introduced more efficient methods of pesticide use
> Reduced the amount of nutrient pollution by 60%
> Reduced Herbicide pollution by 95%
> Reduced run-off from heavy clay soils by 20% The WWF is planning to improve water quality inside the G.B.R by taking action to reduce nutrient and pesticide pollution
It is also including potential future impacts of global warming inside government plans
They are planning to minimize the problem of overfishing by working with the australian government, fishing industries and businesses.
Building a network of marine sanctuaries that will monitor the reef What can we do? Although we may be several thousand miles away from the G.B.R., we can still impact it.
Since it is theorized that the global climate is affecting the coral reefs, we can play a critical role in reducing our part in global warming by:
> Educating yourself and others about marine life
> Lobbying for climate change legislation
> Reducing energy consumption
> Limiting your use of pesticides and fertilizers
> Make safe sustainable seafood choices Importance of the G.B.R. Supports the greatest amount of marine life and provides a habitat for many species.
It provides breeding areas for many species
Provides a safe shipping route; 11 Australian ports adjacent to the reef.
Prevents strong waves and currents from reaching the shores at full strength.
Popular tourist attraction, aiding the australian economy by providing jobs for many people.
The G.B.R. brings in $5 billion to the australian economy. Sources 1. http://news.yahoo.com/great-barrier-reef-disappearing-eyes-140008823.html
2. http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/science/121002/half-the-great-barrier-reef-has-disappeared-study
3. http://scienceray.com/biology/ecology/disappearing-corals/
4. http://www.livescience.com/1750-coral-reefs-disappearing-faster-thought.html
5.http://www.wwf.org.au/our_work/saving_the_natural_world/oceans_and_marine/priority_ocean_places/great_barrier_reef/solutions/
6.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_threats_to_the_Great_Barrier_Reef
7. http://www.goldendolphin.com/WSarticles/IPABackgrounder17-1.pdf
8. http://youtube.com
9. http://www.google.com/imghp?hl=en&tab=wi Overfishing of keystone species such as the Great Triton and sharks causes disruption to the food chain that is vital to life on reef
Fishing impacts the reef due to the increase in the amount of pollution by the boats and by habitat destruction caused by anchors and fishing nets
Algal growth on reefs can also be caused by overfishing of herbivores.
The Batfish Platax pinnatus reduces the amount of algal growth on reefs
1/3 of the park is protected from any kind of specie removal.
The biodiversity of the reef supports the biomedical industry and the commercial industries. It was suspected that the G.B.R. was a cap to an oil trap in 1923.
It supported the rock formation to support oilfields.
There were holes that were drilled but no oil was found.
2010 - Great Barrier Reef oil spill caused by a chinese coal carrier.
The ship ran aground leaving a scar in the particular area of the reef.
Patches of oil were seen near the area after the incident.
Oil spills in the G.B.R. can cause environment damage of over
Can cost $1 billion each year to the Australian economy.
202 oil spills between 1987-2002.
Oil is mainly a threat to the sea birds, marine animals, and intertidal life WWF
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