Extinction Risks for Coral Reefs Essay

Extinction Risks for Coral Reefs Essay

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Coral reef ecosystems around the globe are threatened by human interferences and climate change. This has led to many scientists conducting studies on global coral reef ecosystems to gain a better understanding of the cause and effects of coral reef damage. In both Hodgson’s (1999) and Carpenter et al.’s (2008) studies, they are aware of the continuous degradation of global coral reef ecosystems. Hodgson's study involved conducting a survey on global coral reef ecosystems to see whether human actions were affecting the health of supposed pristine Coral reefs. Carpenter et al. incorporated Hodgson’s study into a compiled study about the possible extinction of reef building corals due to climate change and anthropogenic effects. Carpenter’s et al. uses Hodgson’s study to show how human effects are assisting the demise of reef-building corals in conjunction with global climate change. The incorporation of Hodgson’s work into Carpenter et al's. compiled paper has been in part misrepresented. Hodgson’s study does identify that there are a low abundance of reef building coral and other indicator species in coral reef ecosystems and that these effects may be attributed to human interference. However, his study does not attribute any depletion of reef building coral to climate change or how human activities have reduced coral resilience to climate change.
Hodgson’s study involved surveying over 300 reefs across the globe. The survey was performed over two and a half months by experienced coral reef surveyors at each coral reef site. The purpose of the survey was to identify eight indicator organisms that are associated with human interference and are commonly found in global coral reef ecosystems, including lobster, grouper, Haemulidae,...


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...ction from human interferences if the reefs are not to be damaged beyond repair. In the coming years more research will be carried out on global coral reef ecosystems to try to identify solutions to the dual crisis of anthropogenic activities and global warming effects upon coral reef communities. It is imperative then that researchers approach future studies with a more conservative use of past studies than Carpenter et al. has done with Hodgson’s results from his study.



Works Cited

Carpenter, K. E., M. Abrar, G. Aeby, R. B. Aronson, S. Banks, A. Brukner, A. Chiriboga, J. Cortés, J. C. Delbeek, L. DeVantier, and others. 2008. One-third of reef-building corals face elevated extinction risk from climate change and local impacts. Science 321: 560-563.

Hodgson, G. 1999. A global assessment of human effects on coral reefs. Marine Pollution Bulletin 38: 345-355.

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