Great Barrier Reef show highest coral cover in 36 years

Great Barrier Reef show highest coral cover in 36 years

The recently released ‘Great Barrier Reef’ (GBR) Improvement and Vulnerability to Climate Threats report states that the Great Barrier Reef’s cover has expanded the most within the last 36 years.

Great Barrier Reef show highest coral cover in 36 years

The fast-growing Acropora coral (coral) has played a big role in the recovery of the Great Barrier Reef. Incidentally, these fast growing corals are also susceptible to environmental pressures such as rising temperatures, cyclones, pollution etc.

Coral reefs are a large habitat of invertebrates and small soft bodied organisms. These are called coral polyps. They live in a symbiotic relationship with small algae-like organisms called Zooxanthellae.

Coral polyps provide protection to the zooxanthellae in exchange for nutrients. The zoogenthale also provides them with different colors.

There are two types of corals:

  • Hard Corals: These corals act as the formation base of the reef. They obtain calcium carbonate from seawater to form the hard, white coral outer skeleton.
  • Soft Corals: These are flexible, as they lack a solid skeleton.

Coral reefs are one of the most bio-diverse and productive ecosystems. They also act as natural barriers to shorelines. It also provides food sources to more than 500 million people and provides livelihood to people by promoting the tourism industry.

The Great Barrier Reef is so vast that it is visible from space. It is made up of about 3,000 different coral reefs and was declared a World Heritage Area in 1981 due to its most outstanding universal value.

Coral Reefs in India:

  • Gulf of Kutch,
  • Bay of Mannar,
  • Andaman and Nicobar,
  • Lakshadweep and Malvan (Maharashtra).

Source – The Hindu

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