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Underwater audio recordings could bring damaged reefs back to life, scientists say

Researchers have found that underwater speakers that broadcast the noise of thriving coral could bring life back to more damaged and degraded reefs that are in danger of becoming ocean graveyards.

Scientists working off the US Virgin Islands in the Caribbean discovered that coral larvae were up to seven times more likely to settle at a struggling reef where they played recordings of the snaps, groans, grunts and scratches that form the symphony of a healthy ecosystem.

According to experts, the world has lost half its coral reefs since the 1950s through the devastating impact of global heating, overfishing, pollution, habitat loss and outbreaks of disease.

The dramatic declines have prompted efforts to protect remaining reefs through approaches that range from replanting with nursery-raised corals to developing resilient strains that can withstand warming waters.

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