February 26, 2024

70% of Florida’s Coral Reefs Are Eroding

By University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine, Atmospheric, and Earth Science
January 8, 2023

The information, from NOAAs National Coral Reef Monitoring Program and National Geodetic Surveys, was utilized to calculate carbonate production and carbonate erosion throughout South Florida. The main drivers of carbonate budgets along the Florida reef system are the amount of coral cover and parrotfish biomass. They discovered that 506 of the websites were losing reef habitat on a yearly basis.
” These findings underscore the need for improved management methods like outplanting corals to assist bring back coral structure that has been lost,” said research study co-author Erica Towle, coordinator of NOAAs National Coral Reef Monitoring Program and alumna of the UM Rosenstiel School. “Moving forward, we can use this as a baseline to execute and track the success of management techniques.”
The Florida Reef Tract is the only living coral barrier reef in the continental United States and the third largest coral barrier reef system in the world.
The largest drivers of coral loss in Florida over the last decade consist of whitening events, ship groundings, and disease, such as the stony coral tissue loss illness found in 2014 which continues to annihilate Florida and Caribbean reefs.
According to NOAA, Floridas coral reefs support 70,000 tasks and create about $8.5 billion in sales and income yearly. Healthy reefs also safeguard shorelines from flooding and storm surges.
” Unless management methods are implemented, Floridas deteriorating reefs will likely minimize the extent to which coral reefs can sustain these essential economic and ecosystem services,” said Morris.
Recommendation: “Low web carbonate accretion characterizes Floridas coral reef” by John T. Morris, Ian C. Enochs, Nicole Besemer, T. Shay Viehman, Sarah H. Groves, Jeremiah Blondeau, Cory Ames, Erica K. Towle, Laura Jay W. Grove and Derek P. Manzello, 15 November 2022, Scientific Reports.DOI: 10.1038/ s41598-022-23394-4.
The research study was moneyed by the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program..

The Florida Reef Tract is the just living coral barrier reef in the continental United States and the 3rd biggest coral barrier reef system worldwide. Credit: NASA
The biggest spatial evaluation to date highlights the requirement for improved management practices and coral restoration efforts in Florida.
According to recent research, 70% of Floridas reefs are eroding and suffering a bottom line of reef environment. The study, performed by an interdisciplinary team of researchers through the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences NOAA Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies, supplies brand-new details on the condition of Floridas popular reef.
” This research study assists us to better comprehend which reefs along Floridas reef tract are vulnerable to habitat loss and need management and remediation efforts to prevent more habitat loss,” said the research studys lead author John Morris, a scientist at NOAAs Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory. “On the contrary, we also determined reefs that might be possible hold-outs to reef development and are more most likely to continue the future.”
The researchers evaluated the benthic ecology, which is the assemblage of all living organisms inhabiting the sea floor, and parrotfish information from 723 reef websites in 3 biogeographic regions throughout the states reef system to compute each sites carbonate spending plan. The reef tract extends 350 miles from the Dry Tortugas to the St. Lucie Inlet. A favorable carbonate budget plan shows a reef is growing with time, whereas a negative carbonate budget recommends the reef is losing structure.

The data, from NOAAs National Coral Reef Monitoring Program and National Geodetic Surveys, was utilized to determine carbonate production and carbonate erosion throughout South Florida. The main drivers of carbonate budgets along the Florida reef tract are the amount of coral cover and parrotfish biomass.

The researchers analyzed the benthic ecology, which is the assemblage of all living organisms occupying the sea flooring, and parrotfish information from 723 reef sites in three biogeographic areas throughout the states reef tract to compute each websites carbonate budget plan. A favorable carbonate spending plan shows a reef is growing over time, whereas a negative carbonate spending plan recommends the reef is losing structure.