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Climate Disturbance Affects Coastal Ecosystems

A Biologist, Jennifer O'Leary, from Polytechnic State University is doing a survey on climate disturbance and its impact on coastal ecosystem. For the survey the lead author surveyed 97 marine experts about their observations of climate-induced perturbations, such as extreme storms, temperature changes, and ocean acidification.

80% of experts who had witnessed climate extremes also identified facts of habitat resistance or rapid recovery. As per survey’s results, bright spots of ecosystem resilience are surprisingly ordinary across six main coastal marine ecosystems. However, in some cases, resilience was noticeable by striking recoveries.

During one bleaching occurrence in Western Australia over, 90% of existing corals was disappeared. Additionally, despite reaching a low of 9% unbleached area, the healthy reef surface recovered to 44% within 12 years, said the experts.

According to the survey of experts, the factors enabling resiliency were varied. However, areas of remnant tridimensional habitat and high connectivity were the most frequently cited contributors.

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