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Figure 2. Most coral-reef decline,Click to Enlarge ImageFigure 1. Healthy coral reefsClick to Enlarge Image

Worldwide degradation of coral reefs is widely recognized, but the exact causes have proved elusive. The authors have studied reefs in Australia and Guam for 10 to 20 years, amassing data about threats to reef welfare and developing computer models from those data to predict the effectiveness of remedial actions. Their findings suggest that control of runoff from adjoining land areas, which affects reef health in several ways, may be key to reef recovery.

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