reefsounds 300x143 Coral Facing Imminent Threat From Toxic Algae

Healthy reef

Blooms of toxic algae could possibly wipe out coral reefs.

Researchers who have been studying the coral reefs in the Gulf of Oman have sounded the alarm after a big algae bloom laid waste to an entire coral reef in just three short weeks.

Some ninety-five percent of the hard coral directal under the algae died off, and seventy percent fewer fish were found in the vicinity.

The algae grows rapidly and hog all the sunlight and oxygen which the coral need to survive.

Add in climate change, development along the coasts, overfishing and pollution and you have a rather bleak outlook for the coral reefs of the world.

The biggest threat facing the coral reefs is climate change, which has caused many coral bleaching events around the globe.

However, this latest discovery, which was published in the journal Marine Pollution Bulletin postulates that algal blooms are just as much a threat to the coral reefs.

Scientists from the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health had taken it upon themselves to study the environment of two different coral reefs in the Gulf of Oman.

After they finished up their first study, an algae bloom which measured over 500 square kilometers happened in the area.

After the scientists made a return visit some three weeks after the fact, they discovered that the coral under the bloom had been almost completely destroyed.

So, it appears that the coral is facing yet another threat, algae. Scientists are now working on a way to help the reefs, but since this is a new phenomena it might take some time.