|Impacts of Physical Alterations|
|Any physical alteration of the ocean bed and coastline will have some short term effects for the wildlife present. It is the time taken for full recovery that many see as an indicator to the severity of the damage. Loosing an area of mud flat that will be covered with mud again within a couple of months will not capture the support or stir emotion as much as a ship grounding that destroys sections of 400 year old coral reef that will probably take much longer to regenerate, and will never be the same again.|
|Some activities result in total loss of habitats; Coral mining is one such practise. Other physical alterations cause habitat to be temporarily lost or partially lost. Sedimentation and eutrophication caused by, for example, land run off and construction by the coast, put pressure and stress on ecosystems causing them to exist below their potential size, productivity, or growth rates.|
|The full value of marine habitats, in terms of food production and economics, is just becoming understood. So are the impacts of habitat losses. Mitigation and restoration are ways of ensuring habitats are not lost completely. |
A study from the World Resources Institute in 2001 evaluated how much terrestrial coastal area remains in natural vegetation versus modified habitats, such as urban and agricultural lands. Excluding Antarctica, 19 percent of all lands within 100 km of the coast are classified as altered, meaning they are in agricultural or urban use; 10 percent are classified as semi altered, involving a mosaic of natural and altered vegetation; and 71 percent fall within the ?natural? or least modified category, meaning that the natural habitat remains. This 71 percent includes large uninhabited areas of the world, mostly in northern latitudes.
printed on 2013/05/25 03:58:23