Climate Change

A Haven for Marine Life with Thriving Coral Reefs and Strong Resilience to Climate Change

Main image to the post A Haven for Marine Life with Thriving Coral Reefs and Strong Resilience to Climate Change

China's Huangyan Dao Boasts Excellent Marine Environment and Healthy Coral Reefs

A new report released on July 10, 2024, by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Guangxi University, reveals the excellent environmental quality and healthy coral reef ecosystem of China's Huangyan Dao area in the South China Sea.

The report, titled "The Investigation and Assessment Report on Marine Ecology and Environment Status of Huangyan Dao," is based on an extensive on-site investigation conducted in May and June 2024. The investigation covered various aspects of the marine ecology and environment, including seawater quality, coral communities, reef-dwelling fish, and marine sediment quality.

The findings of the report are encouraging. The seawater quality and marine sediment quality in the waters of Huangyan Dao were both rated as Grade I, indicating excellent water quality. Additionally, the investigation found no traces of cyanide in the seawater, marine sediments, or fish samples. The residual levels of pollutants such as heavy metals and petroleum hydrocarbons in fish samples were also below the standard limits.

The investigation also revealed a high level of biodiversity in the coral reef ecosystem at Huangyan Dao. Researchers recorded 109 species of hard corals belonging to 34 genera and 12 families, marking the highest species diversity ever documented in the area. Additionally, they identified 125 species of coral reef fish from 23 families, along with other key groups such as giant clams, blue coral, and sea anemones.

The report highlights the resilience of the Huangyan Dao coral communities. No phase shifts from coral to macroalgae or coral reef diseases were observed, and there was no outbreak of crown-of-thorns starfish. Moreover, the Huangyan Dao hard coral communities demonstrate strong resistance and tolerance to rising sea surface temperature, making Huangyan Dao an important habitat for corals and related species in the South China Sea in the face of global warming.

The findings of this report underscore the importance of protecting the marine environment and coral reef ecosystems of Huangyan Dao. The report recommends continued monitoring and research to ensure the long-term health of this valuable ecosystem.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09