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Report: Oil spill culprit for heavy toll on coral
The researchers said the troubled spot consists of 54 coral colonies. The researchers were able to fully photograph and assess 43 of those colonies, and of those, 86 percent were damaged. They said 10 coral colonies showed signs of severe stress on 90 percent of the coral.
White, the lead researcher, said that this coral site was the only one found southwest of the Macondo well so far, but that others may exist. The researchers also wrote in the paper that it was too early to rule out serious damage at other coral sites that may have seemed healthy during previous examinations after the April 2010 spill.
Jerald Ault, a fish and coral reef specialist at the University of Miami who was not part of the study, said the findings were cause for concern because deep-sea corals are important habitat. He said there are many links between animals that live at the surface, such as tarpon and menhaden, and life at the bottom of the Gulf. Ecosystem problems can play out over many years, he said.
“It’s kind of a tangled web of impact,” he said.
By Matt Kibbe
The short-term deal will assure long-term overspending
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Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Chef Mary Moran discusses the food we eat, where it comes from and what it does for us.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow