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Threats to coral reefs of Bermuda

Threats to coral reefs of Bermuda
Threats to coral reefs of Bermuda


Bermuda’s reefs have endured the impact of 400 years of human settlement and resource extraction. Although the reef system has benefited from pro-active regulation and control of fishing and pollution since the twentieth century, the nearshore environment and lagoon reefs are threatened by ongoing and planned activities. Coastal development, including cruise ship ports, marinas and shipping channel expansion are significant potential threats through reef removal and sedimentation. The dense human population on Bermuda has produced chronic chemical and nutrient pollution in nearshore bays and harbours. Sewage has reduced water quality in some enclosed bays but is generally not a major threat. Coral bleaching has occurred repeatedly since the 1980s, in response to elevated seawater temperatures, but these events have not resulted in significant mortality. Corals diseases are prevalent at low levels of infection in a large number of species but do not appear to have caused significant mortality. The invasive lionfish (Pterios volitans) is present and the population is growing but culling and harvesting efforts are conducted. There is great concern for the potential impacts of climate-related changes, in particular ocean acidification. Bermuda’s corals grow at reduced rates compared with Caribbean conspecifics and there is evidence that some corals are already growing slower, under the current condition of declining aragonite saturation state in reef waters. The potential for reduced coral and reef growth, in combination with rising sea level, may compromise the effectiveness of the reef as a natural barrier to storm waves, resulting in greater coastal erosion.
978-94-007-5964-0
2213-719X
173-188
Springer
Smith, Struan R.
37ccb4ee-f373-43da-a3fa-dad076a66520
Sarkis, Samia
3a40efbd-794a-4fbb-ade3-b25b0a57d657
Murdoch, Thad J.T.
b07d5abb-7b47-4e39-bc8c-1493ae7e9423
Weil, Ernesto
77559fe2-7849-41f5-b7fb-f0c22c1a0675
Croquer, Aldo
8b776507-16a4-456d-88ba-5722846ddc49
Bates, Nicholas R.
954a83d6-8424-49e9-8acd-e606221c9c57
Johnson, Rodney J.
c6722f9c-3c6a-4d29-b025-1d9059526f78
de Putron, Samantha
d2b9ac97-66f1-44be-9810-e961454060c2
Andersson, Andreas J.
b07d71e9-2654-40ba-9c69-0775557bf7de
Sheppard, Charles R.C.
Smith, Struan R.
37ccb4ee-f373-43da-a3fa-dad076a66520
Sarkis, Samia
3a40efbd-794a-4fbb-ade3-b25b0a57d657
Murdoch, Thad J.T.
b07d5abb-7b47-4e39-bc8c-1493ae7e9423
Weil, Ernesto
77559fe2-7849-41f5-b7fb-f0c22c1a0675
Croquer, Aldo
8b776507-16a4-456d-88ba-5722846ddc49
Bates, Nicholas R.
954a83d6-8424-49e9-8acd-e606221c9c57
Johnson, Rodney J.
c6722f9c-3c6a-4d29-b025-1d9059526f78
de Putron, Samantha
d2b9ac97-66f1-44be-9810-e961454060c2
Andersson, Andreas J.
b07d71e9-2654-40ba-9c69-0775557bf7de
Sheppard, Charles R.C.

Smith, Struan R., Sarkis, Samia, Murdoch, Thad J.T., Weil, Ernesto, Croquer, Aldo, Bates, Nicholas R., Johnson, Rodney J., de Putron, Samantha and Andersson, Andreas J. (2013) Threats to coral reefs of Bermuda. In, Sheppard, Charles R.C. (ed.) Coral Reefs of the United Kingdom Overseas Territories. (Coral Reefs of the World, 4) Dordrecht, NL. Springer, pp. 173-188. (doi:10.1007/978-94-007-5965-7_13).

Record type: Book Section

Abstract



Bermuda’s reefs have endured the impact of 400 years of human settlement and resource extraction. Although the reef system has benefited from pro-active regulation and control of fishing and pollution since the twentieth century, the nearshore environment and lagoon reefs are threatened by ongoing and planned activities. Coastal development, including cruise ship ports, marinas and shipping channel expansion are significant potential threats through reef removal and sedimentation. The dense human population on Bermuda has produced chronic chemical and nutrient pollution in nearshore bays and harbours. Sewage has reduced water quality in some enclosed bays but is generally not a major threat. Coral bleaching has occurred repeatedly since the 1980s, in response to elevated seawater temperatures, but these events have not resulted in significant mortality. Corals diseases are prevalent at low levels of infection in a large number of species but do not appear to have caused significant mortality. The invasive lionfish (Pterios volitans) is present and the population is growing but culling and harvesting efforts are conducted. There is great concern for the potential impacts of climate-related changes, in particular ocean acidification. Bermuda’s corals grow at reduced rates compared with Caribbean conspecifics and there is evidence that some corals are already growing slower, under the current condition of declining aragonite saturation state in reef waters. The potential for reduced coral and reef growth, in combination with rising sea level, may compromise the effectiveness of the reef as a natural barrier to storm waves, resulting in greater coastal erosion.

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Published date: 2013
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 374124
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/374124
ISBN: 978-94-007-5964-0
ISSN: 2213-719X
PURE UUID: 1c1e9324-d048-45a4-95c1-e48d36119465

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Date deposited: 04 Feb 2015 14:41
Last modified: 11 Dec 2021 05:58

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Contributors

Author: Struan R. Smith
Author: Samia Sarkis
Author: Thad J.T. Murdoch
Author: Ernesto Weil
Author: Aldo Croquer
Author: Rodney J. Johnson
Author: Samantha de Putron
Author: Andreas J. Andersson
Editor: Charles R.C. Sheppard

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