Coral Reef Ecosystems: Valuable and Critically Threatened

16 Pages Posted: 30 May 2017

See all articles by Andrea Larson

Andrea Larson

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Tyler Teisberg

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Abstract

Coral reef ecosystems are beautiful and vibrant underwater communities inhabited by a spectacularly diverse and abundant array of organisms essential to human needs. Reefs are severely threatened worldwide—estimates are that one-fifth of coral reefs have already been lost or severely damaged, and the rest are expected to disappear before the end of this century. The intrinsic value of coral reefs is incalculable and immense, and this technical note seeks to educate students about that value, as well as the threats—global and local—to coral reefs.

Excerpt

UVA-ENT-0201

Mar. 12, 2014

CORAL REEF ECOSYSTEMS: VALUABLE AND CRITICALLY THREATENED

The Value of Coral Reefs

Coral reef ecosystems are beautiful and vibrant underwater communities inhabited by a spectacularly diverse and abundant array of organisms essential to human needs. Reefs are severely threatened worldwide—estimates are that one-fifth of coral reefs have already been lost or severely damaged, and the rest are expected to disappear before the end of this century. The intrinsic value of coral reefs is incalculable and immense.

Figure 1 shows the distribution of coral reefs worldwide. Each red dot represents an image taken by the Landsat 7 spacecraft for the Millennium Coral Reef Mapping Project. Red dots located over smaller reefs may over-represent the area covered by those reefs.

Figure 1. Worldwide coral reef distribution.

Source: “NASA Coral Reef Images Key to New Global Survey,” http://www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/lookingatearth/coral_assessment.html (accessed March 29, 2013).

. . .

Keywords: environment, sustainability, ecosystem, habitat loss, degradation, water, ocean

Suggested Citation

Larson, Andrea and Teisberg, Tyler, Coral Reef Ecosystems: Valuable and Critically Threatened. Darden Case No. UVA-ENT-0201. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2974323

Andrea Larson (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.darden.virginia.edu/faculty/larson.htm

Tyler Teisberg

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States

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