Researchers in Israel have found that coastal urbanization is destroying coral reef biorhythms.
Conducting their research in the Gulf of Aqaba/Eilat, scientists found that even though the corals look healthy and have proven resilient to other environmental factors, their natural biorhythms (coral metabolism, coral growth, and reproduction cycles) are being destroyed by the huge coastal urban development on the southern coast of Israel.
The research team was led by Oren Levy, Director of the Marine Lab at Bar-Ilan University’s Mina and Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences, and Yaeli Rosenberg. The research and findings were published in the journal Global Change Biology.
Commenting on the work, Rosenberg stated:
“On the surface the corals seem healthy, but when looking deeper than the naked eye, we saw the strong effect of urbanization very conclusively. The disruption of the daily and monthly cycles resulted in lower physiological performances and reproduction cycles that disappeared in the urban corals.”
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