by Tsing Mui on September 10, 2012 at 8:04 am
Scientists have discovered that Caribbean coral coverage has plummeted. In the 1970s, there was 50 to 60 percent coral cover present, but those numbers have now dropped to less than 10 percent. Much of the decline has to do with the massive die-off of sea urchins in the 1970s, possibly due to disease. These creatures keep vegetation in check; without them, algae and grass levels have increased, pushing corals aside. The overfishing of certain fish species that perform similar tasks, such as parrotfish, have also had an effect, in addition to global warming.
Source: National Geographic
Photo: Mazyar Jalayer