Oceans: The Great Barrier Reef has lost half of the reef

In the past 30 years, the Australian Great Barrier Reef has lost about half of its coral reefs. And with it the ability of coral reefs to recover from disasters like coral bleaching, Andy Dietzel of ARC’s Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and his team has written in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.. Damage affects a wide range of species in all size classes. “The number of small, medium and large corals has decreased by more than 50 percent since the 1990s,” says reef researcher Terry Hughes of Coral Coe, who was involved in the study: “The declines have occurred in shallower, deeper waters and throughout the species inventory. It is particularly influenced by the branched representatives and table figures.

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