Mar 20, 2017

Tropical dead zones and mass mortalities on coral reefs

by
Andrew H. Altieri, Seamus B. Harrison, Janina Seemann, Rachel Collin, Robert J. Diaz, Nancy Knowlton
,
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
  • States that little is known about the potential threat of hypoxia in the tropics, even though known risk factors like eutrophication and elevated temperatures are common
  • Documents an unprecedented hypoxic event on the Caribbean coast of Panama
  • Observes shifts in community structure and conducts laboratory experiments on the event, finding that not all coral species are equally sensitive to hypoxia
  • Through analysis of global databases, finds that coral reefs are associated with more than half of the known tropical dead zones worldwide
  • Finds that >10% of all coral reefs at elevated risk for hypoxia based on local and global risk factors