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Geographica Helvetica
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  • CiteScore value: 0.74 CiteScore
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Volume 54, issue 3
Geogr. Helv., 54, 125-131, 1999
https://doi.org/10.5194/gh-54-125-1999
© Author(s) 1999. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Geogr. Helv., 54, 125-131, 1999
https://doi.org/10.5194/gh-54-125-1999
© Author(s) 1999. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  30 Sep 1999

30 Sep 1999

Global change and the decline of coral reefs

A. Strasser A. Strasser
  • Institut de Géologie, Université de Fribourg, Pérolles, 1700 Fribourg, Switzerland

Abstract. Ever since coral reefs exist, changing environmental conditions have periodically led to their decline. However, within the perspective of geological time-spans, corals have always managed to re-install themselves. Today, human activity has enhanced stress factors and added new ones that cause a rapid and (on the human time-scale) irreversible decline of many reef ecosystems. The reasons for the disturbance of these complex communities are multiple, but global warming is a key factor. As a result, coral reefs lose their vital role of protecting coastal areas from flooding and storm impact and of creating habitats for numerous marine organisms. In this short article, natural and anthropogenically induced stress factors are discussed, and measures for mitigating or stopping coral-reef decline are proposed.

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