How does agriculture affect the caribbean coral


Pesticides and fertilizers from crops run off the land and into bodies of water when it rains. When these chemicals enter the water, they destroy coral reef ecosystems by harming creatures such as zooplankton, a vital organism for various species.Mar 30, 2022


How will coral reef degradation affect the Caribbean’s economy?

The coastal communities and national economies of the Caribbean region are poised to sustain substantial economic losses if current trends in coral reef degradation continue.

What threats are threatening Caribbean coral reefs?

Sediment and pollution from inland sources threaten about one-third of Caribbean coral reefs. Analysis of more than 3,000 watersheds across the region identified 20 percent of coral reefs at high threat and about 15 percent at medium threat from damage caused by increased sediment and pollution from agricultural lands and other land modification.

What is the economic value of the Caribbean coral reefs?

Analyses carried out by the Reefs at Risk project indicate that Caribbean coral reefs provide goods and services with an annual net economic value in 2000 estimated at between US$3.1 billion and US$4.6 billion from fisheries, dive tourism, and shoreline protection services.

Why is the Caribbean so proud of its food crops?

“The Caribbean is proud of the fact that many food crops produced here cannot be produced in more temperate regions. This situation may alter as summers warm up and frost-free winters become more widespread,” he points out.


What is the effects of agriculture on Caribbean reefs?

Impacts from land-based sources of pollution—including coastal development, deforestation, agricultural runoff, and oil and chemical spills—can impede coral growth and reproduction, disrupt overall ecological function, and cause disease and mortality in sensitive species.

What affects coral reefs in the Caribbean?

Local activities and pollution threaten over 75% of reefs in the Caribbean, with overfishing being the most pervasive threat. Coastal development, land-based sources of pollution, and marine pollution are also important threats in many locations.

What is agriculture in coral reefs?

Coral reef farming involves extracting a part of a coral colony or free-floating larvae from a reef, and growing them in a nursery until outplanting would be successful. It is commonly referred to as the “gardening method” and has been compared to silviculture as a management practice that mimics natural ecosystems.

How is agriculture affecting the Great Barrier reef?

Drainage through agricultural soils can cause leaching of soluble nutrients and pesticides, which infiltrate groundwater and then reach downstream waters. While nitrogen occurs naturally, an increased amount of nitrogen through fertiliser loss is harming the Reef.

Why are the coral reefs dying in the Caribbean?

In some coral species, the mortality rate reaches as high as 100 percent. While other more well-known factors such as pollution and climate change have caused the loss of an estimated 60 percent of coral coverage in the Caribbean over the past three decades, the new disease is killing it at a much faster rate.

What are the greatest threats to the Caribbean coral reefs?

Increased ocean temperatures and changing ocean chemistry are the greatest global threats to coral reef ecosystems. These threats are caused by warmer atmospheric temperatures and increasing levels of carbon dioxide in seawater. As atmospheric temperatures rise, so do seawater temperatures.

Why does agriculture affect coral reefs?

It is estimated that 25% of coral reefs are threatened by pollutants from agriculture. Unsustainable and intensive agriculture transmits sediment, inorganic and organic nutrients and chemical contaminants to waterways, aquifers and the ocean.

Why is coral farming important?

Coral reefs protect coastlines from storms and erosion, provide jobs for local communities, and offer opportunities for recreation. They are also a source of food and new medicines. Over half a billion people depend on reefs for food, income, and protection.

How does aquaculture affect coral reefs?

Impacts on Coral As aquaculture contributes to algae blooms, this is due to the resulting waste, which provides more nutrients for algae. Fish waste and the additional nutrients used in aquaculture drastically increase algae bools.

How does agricultural runoff affect the Great Barrier Reef?

Increased sediment runoff ultimately increases sedimentation on coastal reefs, reduces the clarity of coastal waters and restricts the growth of light-dependent plants and animals.

How do fertilizers affect the Great Barrier Reef?

Chemical pollution When inefficient fertiliser is applied to crops, like sugar cane, excess fertiliser washes into rivers and waterways, where it is carried out to the Great Barrier Reef. Nitrogen from these fertilisers are linked to harmful algal blooms, which is a food source for juvenile crown-of-thorns starfish.

What are the four ways that agriculture can affect habitats?

Agriculture contributes to a number larger of environmental issues that cause environmental degradation including: climate change, deforestation, biodiversity loss, dead zones, genetic engineering, irrigation problems, pollutants, soil degradation, and waste.

How can fertilizer affect coral reefs?

For example, excess nitrogen from wastewater or fertilizer enables the overgrowth of algae which can kill corals by smothering them, blocking their access to sunlight and promoting the growth of harmful bacteria.

What are the major threats to coral reefs?

Coral reefs face many threats from local sources, including: Physical damage or destruction from coastal development, dredging, quarrying, destructive fishing practices and gear, boat anchors and groundings, and recreational misuse (touching or removing corals ).

What environmental factors affect coral reefs?

Factors that affect coral reefs include the ocean’s role as a carbon dioxide sink, atmospheric changes, ultraviolet light, ocean acidification, viruses, impacts of dust storms carrying agents to far-flung reefs, pollutants, algal blooms and others. Reefs are threatened well beyond coastal areas.

How does agriculture affect the GBR?

It is well recognised that pollutant runoff (particularly sediment, nutrients and pesticides) from agriculture to the GBR is causing serious widespread damage to the reef’s ecosystems, including coral reefs and seagrass meadows. The degradation is compounded by climate change impacts.

Do coral reefs filter water?

As sessile organisms, corals filter the surrounding water with their tentacles subsisting on plankton and organic matter. Coral reefs are highly productive ecosystems hosting a high diversity of species, but apparently thrive in a nutrient poor environment.

Does coral reef clean water?

Coral reefs are nature’s water filtration system In turn, this enhances the clarity and quality of the ocean’s waters. Clean and clear water makes our beaches more beautiful and also allows coral reefs to continue to thrive.

What are 4 reasons coral reefs are disappearing?

Despite their importance, warming waters, pollution, ocean acidification, overfishing, and physical destruction are killing coral reefs around the world.

How many farms in Puerto Rico have crop insurance?

Only 16% of farms have crop insurance coverage and 68% of farms have a net household income of less than $20,000 making the vulnerability to climate change among Puerto Rico’s farmers very high.

What causes water scarcity?

Scarcity of water for irrigation. Drought decreases the environmental carrying capacity and productivity of the soil. Sea level rise can cause the salinization of aquifers and loss of agricultural lands on the coast. Increased incidence of pests.

What are the causes of low livestock productivity?

Low livestock productivity. Drought, heat stress, and dry pastures reduce the availability of feed, which increases animal mortality and increases the cost of production by increased use of concentrate feed. Social vulnerability. Populations and prime agricultural lands are located in coastal areas, vulnerable to sea level rise.

How does agriculture affect coral reefs?

Agriculture negatively impacts coral reefs. Chemicals used by farmers, such as pesticides and fertilizers, runs off the land when it rains.

What are the effects of agriculture on Caribbean reefs?

On U.S. islands in the Pacific and Caribbean, significant changes in the drainage basins due to agriculture, deforestation, grazing of feral animals, fires, road building, and urbanization have increased the volume of land-based pollution released to adjacent coral reef ecosystems.

Does Cuba have coral reefs?

To protect this vital diversity, Cuba has created the largest marine reserve in the Caribbean. Coral reefs are some of the richest ecosystems on Earth, and on many Caribbean coastlines, they are in danger of disappearing. But in this protected area in Cuba, the reef is wonderfully alive.

How is coral affected by pollution?

Pollution can smother coral reefs, lower water quality, and make corals more susceptible to disease. When sediment and other pollutants enter the water, they smother coral reefs, speed the growth of damaging algae, and lower water quality.

What are the benefits of coral reefs?

Benefits of coral reef ecosystems Coral reefs protect coastlines from storms and erosion, provide jobs for local communities, and offer opportunities for recreation. They are also are a source of food and new medicines. Over half a billion people depend on reefs for food, income, and protection.

Why are coral reefs disappearing at an alarming rate?

Without corals, reefs will degrade and vanish within years. At present, coral reefs are facing multiple stresses such as pollution, overfishing, and, overall, the ongoing climate change―consequently raising sea water temperatures and causing coral bleaching worldwide.

Are coral plants or animals?

Corals are animals, though, because they do not make their own food, as plants do. Corals have tiny, tentacle-like arms that they use to capture their food from the water and sweep into their inscrutable mouths.

How does coral reef damage the economy?

Coral reefs provide valuable goods and services to support local and national economies, and degradation of coral reefs can lead to significant economic losses, particularly in the coastal areas of developing countries, through loss of fishing livelihoods, malnutrition due to lack of protein, loss of tourism revenues, and increased coastal erosion.

What are the threats to coral reefs in the Caribbean?

This includes sewage discharge, urban runoff, construction, and tourist development. Sediment and pollution from inland sources threaten about one-third of Caribbean coral reefs.

How many coral reefs are threatened by human activity?

Nearly two-thirds of coral reefs in the Caribbean are threatened by human activities. Integrating threat levels from all sources considered in this analysis (coastal development, watershed-based sediment and pollution, marine based threats, and overfishing), the Reefs at Risk Threat Index identified about one-tenth of Caribbean coral reefs …

What is the effect of the removal of herbivorous fish on coral reefs?

The removal of herbivorous fish, which consume algae, facilitates algal overgrowth of corals. Declines in coral cover and increases in algal cover have been observed across the region. This analysis identified about one-third of Caribbean reefs at high threat from overfishing pressure and about 30 percent at medium threat.

Why are reefs important to the Caribbean?

Ensuring proper management of the reefs is vital for the economic and environmental health of the region, but there is a lack of quality information about the relationship between human activities …

How many MPAs are there in the Caribbean?

At present, over 285 MPAs have been declared across the Caribbean, but the level of protection afforded by MPAs varies considerably. The Reefs at Risk Project found only 6 percent …

What are the effects of warmer temperatures on the Caribbean?

Dr. Parham further notes, that the effects of warmer temperatures result in loss of species diversity as those which cannot adapt die out, and a the loss of advantage for growing warm weather crops . “The Caribbean is proud of the fact that many food crops produced here cannot be produced in more temperate regions.

What is the Caribbean’s response to natural disasters?

Given the region’s increased vulnerability to natural disasters due to the effects of climate change , and the threat this places on agricultural production and food security, Executive Director of the Caribbean Agriculture and Research Development Institute (CARDI), Dr. Wendel Parham, is calling for an action plan to protect Caribbean food systems, with research targeted at the areas under threat.

How much damage did Dennis and Emily cause to Jamaica?

With three months left till the end of the hurricane season, the region has already been impacted by Dennis and Emily, which caused an estimated $200 million in agricultural loss and damage in Jamaica alone. Coffee and bananas were among the industries that suffered the most damage.


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