Effects of Anthropogenic Impacts

As mentioned before, coral reefs have many uses. However, several of these uses are unsustainable and are causing a decline in coral reef abundance (Weber, 1993). It has been estimated that 60% of all corals may be lost by 2030 (Hughes et al. 2003).

Anthropogenic activities affecting reefs include coral mining, overfishing, pollution, eutrophication and scuba affects. Although corals are very diverse, they may not be able to withstand the stressors being inflicted by human activities as they are causing extremely varying conditions in which the corals have to live in (Hughes et al. 2003).

Due to human activities, reefs may not be able to recover from natural disturbances such as ocean acidification and sea level rise as well as they would under unaffected conditions (Brown, 1997).

Figure, 10. Image of dead Elkhorn coral. Courtesy of johnmartindavies.

Figure, 10. Image of dead Elkhorn coral. Courtesy of johnmartindavies.

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