Overgrown Algae Smothering Coral Reef
September 21, 2012
"Washington: Overfishing and nitrate pollution can destroy coral reefs by allowing an overgrowth of algae that can choke off oxygen and disrupt helpful bacteria.
These "macroalgae," or large algal species, can get out of control when sewage increases nitrate levels, feeds the algae, and some of the large fish that are most effective at reducing the algal buildup are removed by fishing.
Researchers from Oregon State University found that macroalgal competition decreased coral growth rates by about 37 percent and had other detrimental effects. Other research has documented some persistent states of hypoxia (oxygen deficiency), the journal Public Library of Science One reports."
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