Dec 21, 2018
“Review: Sediment-Related Controls on the Health of the Great Barrier Reef” with Dr. Peter Hairsine.
In 2016, a catastrophic bleaching event killed off around 30% of the Great Barrier Reef’s coral. The reef has been in a precarious spot for decades, but climate change and human-caused pollution have amplified the threats to its existence. Dr. Peter Hairsine is a scientist with The Fenner School of Environment and Society, The Australian National Univ., Canberra, Australia, working on the front lines of monitoring and researching the reef’s responses to these changes, with an ultimate goal of preserving it as one of the world’s richest and most unique ecosystems.
Join us as Dr. Hairsine and I discuss the stresses that the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) currently experiences. Warming ocean temperatures, deteriorating river water quality, and tropical storms all threaten the fragile coral that houses thousands upon thousands of native species. You’ll learn the three ecosystems of reef within the GBR, as well as the sources of sediment and attached pollutants that currently feed into it.
Also in the episode:
If you would like more information about this topic, today’s paper is available here: https://doi.org/10.2136/vzj2017.05.0115
This paper is always freely available.
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Mentioned around 6:30 in the interview: De’ath, G., Fabricius, K.E., Sweatman, H. and Puotinen, M., 2012. The 27–year decline of coral cover on the Great Barrier Reef and its causes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, p.201208909. https://www.pnas.org/content/109/44/17995
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority http://www.gbrmpa.gov.au/about-the-reef/reef-health
Australian Institute of Marine Science: https://www.aims.gov.au/
The Australian Government’s Reef Trust: http://www.environment.gov.au/marine/gbr/reef-trust
Queensland Government Reef Water Quality Improvement Plan: https://www.qld.gov.au/environment/coasts-waterways/reef-program
Fighting the crown-of-thorns foe video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGN0z29e3fM
Crown of Thorns Starfish video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBkv_SSvm5U
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