Over the past 27 years the Great Barrier reef has lost half of its Coral population. Intense tropical cyclones have caused massive damage to the reeds in the central and southern parts of the Reef. The populations of coral-consuming crown-of-thorns starfish have been increasing in the last few years and therefore have affected the Reef along it’s length. Two sever bleaching events have also had a major impact in northern and central parts of the Great Barrier Reef.
The study demonstrates that without crown of thorns starfish, coral cover would increase at 0.89%/year. This would happen inspite of bleaching events and major cyclones.