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Plant growth enhanced by increased carbon dioxide, but food webs give rise to significant variations

For years, many scientists thought we had a secret weapon to protect coral reefs from nutrients flushed into the seas by human activity. Experiments suggested that herbivores such as fish, urchins and sea turtles could keep corals and their ecosystems healthy by eating up extra algae that grew in the presence of these nutrients. But a new study sheds doubt on that idea, underscoring the importance of sustainable growth in coastal areas.

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