From: Griffith University
Published February 3, 2017 09:45 AM

Great Barrier Reef building coral under threat from poisonous seaweed

World-first research on the Great Barrier Reef has shown how ‘weed-like’ algae will kill vital coral because of increased carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere.

The Griffith University study, conducted in collaboration with national and international experts in reef and chemical ecology, showed that if the world continues with ‘business as usual’ CO2emissions important reef building corals will suffer significantly by 2050 and die off by 2100.

Associate Professor Guillermo Diaz-Pulido, of Griffith’s School of Environment, says that is because algae will compete for space with corals in the reef, much like a weed, and eventually take over.

Researchers knew increased CO2 had an effect on seaweed behaviour but have now been able to demonstrate just how this happens. They discovered this is due to an increase in the potency of chemical compounds that poison corals.

Read more at Griffith University

Photo credit: Griffith University

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