Author: Lawrence LeBlond
Source: redOrbit 
November 7, 2012
"Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, the largest coral system in the world, so big that it can be seen from space, is one of the planet’s most remarkable natural wonders. But researchers from University of Queensland have now revealed this precious ecosystem is not faring so well. The problem: European settlement and extensive degradation on mainland Australia.
The expansion of European settlement in Australia has been contributing to the historic collapse of coral in the Great Barrier Reef for more than 60 years, the researchers explained. This expansion caused coral collapse between the 1920s and the 1950s as settlers incorporated farming as a source of living, noted lead researcher John Pandolfi and his colleagues.
According to MSNBC, Pandolfi, a marine biologist at UQ, said a “very significant shift in the coral community composition” in the Great Barrier Reef was linked to “colonization of Queensland.”"
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