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Microbes Threaten Coral Reefs
By Matt J. Weiss, March 4, 2008 @ 02:00 AM (EST)
Source: Sdsuniverse.info
While fish populations have been decimated by overfishing worldwide, a research team led by San Diego State University biology professor Forest Rohwer have recently found how the practice can also endanger coral reefs.
According to the team's research in the Line Islands, located in the Central Pacific, overfishing leads to an excess of microbes that kill off coral.

As fish populations decline, algae, which is usually eaten by fish, flourishes and potentially leaches organic matter that feeds the excess microbes which decimate coral.

About the Study

The four islands studied had a range of no inhabitants to human populations of about 5,500. Researchers found that as human populations increased, so did overfishing and the presence of coral-decimating microbes and coral reef damage.



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