Coral Reefs Suffer Not Only
From The Effects of Global Warming
Coral reefs, fragile marine ecosystems threatened by global warming. They have several threats, not just a man who immediately caused their extinction. You might not have thought of it, but they also suffer because of rats. A study by marine ecologists at Lancaster University found it. Due to human curiosity and seafaring, rats that sailed to many tropical islands on ships more than 200 years ago do not directly damage coral reefs but have triggered a string of damaging consequences for life on earth and in the sea.
University in England. He led a study comparing islands infested with rats with those where these rodents did not reach. By eating birds and their eggs, rats have ravaged seabird populations in 90 percent of the world's archipelago, says Nick Graham, a marine scientist at Lancaster "Where the rats are, the sky is empty and the islands themselves are very quiet. If you get to an island where there are no rats, you will find heaven full of seabirds that are very noisy - and smell the pungent guano, bird droppings everywhere, "Graham told Reuters.
And it is guano - or lack thereof - that harms corals. The large bird populations on the islands without rats produce guano from which nitrogen enters the soil, which then leaches out to the sea where it benefits both corals and other organisms, including fish. "They also biologically remove the dead coral substrate from the reef to create a solid surface on which new corals can grow. These two processes were up to four times larger around seabird islands compared to rats, "Graham added.
A study published by Nature magazine calls for the control of rat populations in tropical islands to protect coral reefs. "The extermination of rats is relatively simple. We know how to do this, it is not overly expensive, and once the rats are gone and seabirds return, we know that it will boost both the productivity and the functionality of these ecosystems, "Graham said.