Dirty Story: Farming has increased flow of soil onto reef | Science News


Help us keep you informed.

Real Science. Real News.


Dirty Story: Farming has increased flow of soil onto reef

10:12am, February 12, 2003

Ever since European settlers brought agriculture to Australia, soil has been deposited on the Great Barrier Reef at an accelerated pace, according to new research. The study suggests that the introduction of farming near coastlines can have rapid and continuing consequences offshore.

Eroded sediments that wash down rivers and out to sea can block out sunlight, interfere with corals' feeding, and introduce pathogens to reef communities (SN: 1/30/99, p. 72: http://www.sciencenews.org/sn_arc99/1_30_99/bob1.htm).

To understand how such processes have affected the Great Barrier Reef, Malcolm McCulloch of Australian National University in Canberra and his colleagues drilled cores of coral about 150 kilometers from the mouth of the Burdekin River in Queensland, Australia. Today

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now. Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from this issue of Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content