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A thriving, healthy Caribbean coral reef today: its evolution is an important factor in its future.
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Image courtesy of NOAA

Caribbean Coral Reef Protection Efforts Miss the Mark

Conservation efforts to protect endangered corals in the Caribbean focus on the areas that have the largest variety of species. Ann Budd of the University of Iowa and John Pandolfi of the University of Queensland, Australia, two scientists who have been studying these corals, say that it's important to also protect the corals in the edges of the reefs where there is less biodiversity.

Reef-building corals are very diverse and are very threatened by global warming and other problems that come with climate change.

The scientists conclude that if coral reef conservation strategies protect only the centers of high species richness, they will miss important coral species that can respond better to global climate change. Budd and Pandolfi say that the best way to conserve coral reefs is to focus on both the centers of biodiversity and the edge zones.

Last modified August 10, 2010 by Becca Hatheway.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA