Sunday, 1 June 2014

Great Barrier Reef's health depends on better land management

Better land management is needed to improve and maintain the health of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and prevent unnecessary sediment run-off say scientists.

Scientists analysed 10 years of satellite data of the water clarity in the reef waters off the Burdekin coast and what particular influence river run-off has on the reef.

Sea grasses (important food for mammals and fish) and photosynthetic algae, which gives coral reefs their vibrant colours, are reliant on the sun to survive, and a high level of sediment in the water can damage them or kill them by blocking the sun's rays. Sedimentation can also physically block other marine organism's ability to breathe.

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