Event Title

Monitoring coral reefs in the Florida Keys - A story of loss and hope

Location

Guy Harvey Oceanographic Center Facility

Start

5-20-2016 11:00 AM

End

5-20-2016 11:15 AM

Description

Everyone reads the headlines and for coral reefs the news is not good. In Florida, all the stressors that affect coral reefs globally and regionally are magnified by their proximity to a large continental population and the northern geographic distribution of the reefs relative to the Caribbean. But how much decline has really occurred? What is the current status of the coral reef ecosystem? And where are things headed? Perhaps most important, is there any good news? Results from a coral reef monitoring program in the Florida Keys that started in 1998 are presented that answer these questions – and there is good reason for despair. Metrics related to community structure (cover and species richness), populations (abundance, size and condition), and iconic species are all down. But not all is lost. There are glimmers of hope found in special places that are in relatively better condition (patch reefs) and in coral restoration programs that are having modest success (transplants surviving on the reef). While the good news is important, it’s not sufficient in the long run. What we can do locally and what needs to be done globally defines the struggle for those who care about coral reefs.

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May 20th, 11:00 AM May 20th, 11:15 AM

Monitoring coral reefs in the Florida Keys - A story of loss and hope

Guy Harvey Oceanographic Center Facility

Everyone reads the headlines and for coral reefs the news is not good. In Florida, all the stressors that affect coral reefs globally and regionally are magnified by their proximity to a large continental population and the northern geographic distribution of the reefs relative to the Caribbean. But how much decline has really occurred? What is the current status of the coral reef ecosystem? And where are things headed? Perhaps most important, is there any good news? Results from a coral reef monitoring program in the Florida Keys that started in 1998 are presented that answer these questions – and there is good reason for despair. Metrics related to community structure (cover and species richness), populations (abundance, size and condition), and iconic species are all down. But not all is lost. There are glimmers of hope found in special places that are in relatively better condition (patch reefs) and in coral restoration programs that are having modest success (transplants surviving on the reef). While the good news is important, it’s not sufficient in the long run. What we can do locally and what needs to be done globally defines the struggle for those who care about coral reefs.