Global Decline Of Coral Reef Abundance Are Closely Associated With Increasing Human Pressures

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Global declines in coral reef abundance are closely associated with increasing human pressures (Hughes et al., 2003 and Pandolfi et al., 2003). Projected trends of ocean warming and acidification will exacerbate coral reef degradation, creating adverse human and ecological consequences in locations such as the Hawaiian Islands where economic benefits of coral reefs are estimated to exceed $360 million yr−1 (Cesar and Van Beukering, 2004 and Nicholls et al., 2007). Corals face additional local stressors which may intensify climate change induced effects and act synergistically to alter benthic community structure (Ateweberhan et al., 2013 and Smith et al., 2001). The impact of local stressors such as water pollution on coral health will rise as anthropogenic disturbances persist in the coastal environment.

Nutrient pollution of coastal waters may arise from terrestrial non-point sources of N and P such as OSDS and fertilizer leachate. SGD is widely recognized as an important conduit for the transport of land-sourced N and P to coastal environments (Beusen et al., 2013, Moore, 1999, Paytan et al., 2006, Rodellas et al., 2015 and Slomp and Van Cappellen, 2004). SGD water and nutrient inputs are comparable to surface water contributions in many coastal areas (Corbett et al., 1999, Hwang et al., 2005, Johannes, 1980, Krest et al., 2000, Lapointe and Clark, 1992 and Taniguchi et al., 2008). Sustained nutrient loading of marine waters through SGD may promote critical ecological

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