Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 1063–1082 | Cite as

Impacts of pollution on marine life in Southeast Asia

Original paper

Abstract

Pollutants, originating from both land and sea, are responsible for significant lethal and sub-lethal effects on marine life. Pollution impacts all trophic levels, from primary producers to apex predators, and thus interferes with the structure of marine communities and consequently ecosystem functioning. Here we review the effects of sediments, eutrophication, toxics and marine litter. All are presently major concerns in Southeast Asia (SE Asia) and there is little indication that the situation is improving. Approximately 70% of SE Asia’s human population lives in coastal areas and intensive farming and aquaculture, rapid urbanization and industrialisation, greater shipping traffic and fishing effort, as well as widespread deforestation and nearshore development, are contributing towards the pollution problem. As SE Asia encompasses approximately 34% of the world’s reefs and between a quarter and a third of the world’s mangroves, as well as the global biodiversity triangle formed by the Malay Peninsular, the Philippines, and New Guinea, the need to reduce the impacts of marine pollution in this region is all the more critical.

Keywords

Coral reef Eutrophication Mangrove Marine litter Seagrass Sediment Toxics 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Marine Biology Laboratory, Department of Biological SciencesNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore

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