Corals Face Extinction

Hundreds of species under threat, critical reefs could be destroyed
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 11, 2008 2:16 AM CDT
Spectacular table corals that take decades to form are found throughout the shallow water coral reefs of the Phoenix Islands.   (AP Photo/New England Aquarium, David Obura, HO)
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(Newser) – Hundreds of species that make up the world's coral reefs are faced with extinction, which could result in the destruction of reefs that provide habitats for 25% of all marine life. Up to a third of all coral is immediately threatened, reports the Los Angeles Times. Global warming is one of the dangers to the corals, but others include over-fishing and pollution of the world's oceans, reports the Los Angeles Times.

"Corals make up the very framework of the coral reef ecosystem," said a coral disease expert at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology who collaborated on the study. "If they disappear, we can expect to lose the fish and crabs and other critters that depend on these corals."