Save the Trees to Save the Reefs
Please see the link to the study: “Human deforestation outweighs future climate change impacts of sedimentation on coral reefs” published today in the journal Nature Communications: http://dx.doi.org/ . To download the paper, use DOI code 10.1038/ncomms2986.
The work suggests that regional land-use management is more important than mediating climate change for reducing coral reef sedimentation on Madagascar.
Forest cover upriver is known to affects the sediments that are washed down to the coast. Near-shore coral reef systems, such as those on Madagascar, are experiencing increased sediment supply due to the conversion of forests to other land uses. Joseph Maina of the Wildlife Conservation Society and Macquarie University and colleagues simulated river flow and sediment supply in four watersheds that are linked to Madagascar’s major coral reef ecosystems for a range of future climate change projections and land-use change scenarios. They find that the adverse effects of climate change, such as increased temperatures, are outweighed by the impact of deforestation up river. They suggest that resources spent tackling the environmental issue of deforestation may therefore also aid in preserving the coral reef ecosystems at the coast.
The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth.