Reefs actually need to be eaten to thrive

From the Norris lab:

I and a team form the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institution have been coring reefs in Panama and Belize to see how human activity has changed the reef.  One of our findings is that parrot fish have dramatically declined on Panama reefs over the past century.  It turns out that removal of the parrot fish (which we can see by looking at the abundance of well preserved parrot fish teeth in reef sediment) is closely tied to the health of a reef.  the more parrot fish, the faster the reef grows!  To find out why tis is so, check out our video and new research paper…..