(ORDO NEWS) — The rapid drop in sea temperature to 10 degrees was the main reason for the catastrophic extinction of corals off the coast of Costa Rica.
This was reported by representatives of an international group of scientists led by researchers from the University of Plymouth (Great Britain).
The scientific work was also attended by experts from organizations Raising Coral and ACG, which are involved in the conservation of coral reefs in Costa Rica.
They studied changes in the coral cover of six sites associated with temperature highs and lows. To do this, scientists used data from 25 years of sea surface temperature monitoring.
As experts have established, the death of corals was provoked by the so-called upwellings – this is a process in which the colder layers of the sea rise, displacing the warm ones.
The researchers were able to compile a detailed picture of the health status of corals in Costa Rica. They were also able to quantify the magnitude of the population decline and the consequences.
According to scientists, corals have been degraded over the past decade.
But with careful ecosystem management, reefs could be restored, they say. Dr. Robert Pushendorf, professor of conservation biology at the University of Plymouth, said the death of coral reefs is inextricably linked to global warming and marine heatwaves.
But there are conservation strategies that can help save the remaining reefs in the ocean.
Specifically, he proposes to reduce harmful algal blooms by engaging local communities and improving wastewater treatment.
Coral reefs thrive in areas with warm, stable water temperatures. Historically, coastal coral reefs are not tolerant of upwelling.
At temperatures below 18 degrees Celsius, they stop growing. But at the same time, algae and other plankton breed in the water, reports The Science Times.
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