Coal Dust from Shipping Threatens Great Barrier Reef: Australian Study

Simulated Coal Spill Causes Mortality and Growth Inhibition in Tropical Marine Organisms
Scientific American (2016, Article number: 25894; doi:10.1038/srep25894) / by Kathryn L. E. Berry, et al.
http://www.nature.com/articles/srep25894

[Science Daily]  Australian researchers have raised fresh concerns that a major shipping disaster could harm the Great Barrier Reef, with new research revealing coal dust in seawater can kill corals and slow down the growth rate of seagrasses and fish.

“Corals exposed to the highest concentrations of coal dust died within two weeks,” says author Kathryn Berry, who led the experimental research.

“Corals exposed to lower concentrations of coal lasted longer, but most of them also died after 4 weeks of exposure.

“While some fish and seagrass died from coal dust exposure, it mostly stunted their growth by half compared to clean water…”

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