University of Hawai’i Researchers Map Impact on Coral Reefs

In *All by Ag is America

An interdisciplinary group of researchers with The University of Hawai’i has produced the first-ever map that comprehensively documents the relative impact of human activities and natural events on reef recovery. Recovery is the stage following extreme coral bleaching, which is caused by rising water temperatures in Hawai‘i. A decade of data reveals variations in what was inhibiting reef recovery and health across the main Hawaiian Islands.

According to the team on the project, this research has been a long-term need for coral reef conservation and management. The findings will allow researchers to better understand how corals are impacted by both human activities and environmental stressors. The team found that human activities, such as fishing and loss of natural habitat due to coastal development, as well as sedimentation and nutrient run-off on less populated islands, were main factors on the reefs.

This collaborative project led to the first big-picture perspective on reef health and the regional impacts on it. The team is confident that their work provides a foundation for further research which can lead to effective responses for recovery, such as policies to protect coral reefs.

To learn more about this project and the University of Hawai’i, read more here.

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