Over 30 percent corals face 'catastrophic die-off' in 2016 heatwave at Great Barrier Reef
New Delhi : An extended heatwave in 2016 killed over 30 percent of corals at the Great Barrier Reef, a report revealed on Thursday.
Most deaths have been reported in during the extended heatwave from March to November 2016.
A research, published in the journal Nature, found that most corals were found dead because of rising sea temperature, highly because of global warming.
Terry Hughes, a report co-author and head of the Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at Australia’s James Cook University, told AFP the most susceptible to heat exposure were branching corals - table-shaped creatures that provide nooks and crannies for fish nurseries and fisheries.
Those who survived a rise in temperature were mostly melon shape, but they happen to be "not very useful as habitable providers."
“So there is a shift in the mix of species and the overall loss of corals has a broader impact on all the creatures that depend on the corals for food and habitats,” Hughes said.
According to the study, corals on the northern Great Barrier Reef “experienced a catastrophic die-off” following the 2016 heatwave.
“The coral die-off has caused radical changes in the mix of coral species on hundreds of individual reefs, where mature and diverse reef communities are being transformed into more degraded systems, with just a few tough species remaining,” said Andrew Baird, another of the report’s authors.
There is an urgent need of balancing the climate change and stop the rise in ocean temperatures to keep the corals alive for a longer time.