Impacts of Water Turbidity

The degradation of the water optical properties, or reduction in water clarity, due to anthropogenic pollution is a common phenomenon in coastal waters globally. This condition has significant effects on the light quantity and quality available for corals.

We have explored the effects of reductions in light penetration into the water column associated with anthropogenic pollution. Results from this project indicate that corals experience strong metabolic imbalances resulting from limited photosynthesis by the symbiotic algae. This metabolic imbalance seems to explain local patterns of coral mortality.

One of the most effective management actions to ensure the protection corals and reef services is the protection of the water clarity. We have published the findings of this project in several journals with the goal of contributing to redirect future conservation and restoration efforts in coral reefs.


  • Claudia T. Galindo-Martín (Penn State University)
  • Kelly Gómez-Campo (Penn State University)
  • Luis A. González-Guerrero (Penn State University)
  • Sofia Roitman (Penn State University)
  • F. Joseph Pollock (The Nature Conservancy)
  • Valeria Pizarro (The Nature Conservancy)
  • Mateo López-Victoria (Pontificia Universidad Javeriana)
  • Mónica Medina (Penn State University)
  • Roberto Iglesias-Prieto (Penn State University)