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Posts tagged "coral reef"

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Discussions Discussion Life on the Reef: Amazing World of Coral Fish…
Jessie Rhodes, April 13, 2012

Great Barrier Reef ‘not so great’:

“So the question is: why has coral cover continued to decline when the Great Barrier Reaf is being managed with a management regime often recognised as ‘the best managed coral reef system in the world’, based on a strong science-for-management ethic?”

In a nut shell, the stressors which are known to be most responsible for the loss of coral cover and general ‘reef health’ were terrestrial pollution including the link to outbreaks of crown of thorns starfish, fishing impacts and climate change.

And effective action on climate change has yet to begin either nationally or globally.
http://sciencealert.com.au/news/20121204-23307.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKikZ1CTi84
Jessie Rhodes
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Discussions Discussion Life on the Reef: Amazing World of Coral Fish…
Samantha Rowling, April 3, 2012

BP Oil Spill Devastated Seafloor Coral:

Since sea bed coral lies some 4,000 feet (1,200 meters) below the surface, it is not usually harmed by spills from oil tankers, according to lead study author Helen White, an assistant professor of chemistry at Haverford College in Pennsylvania.

We would not expect deep-water corals to be impacted by a typical oil spill, but the sheer magnitude of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and its release at depth make it very different from a tanker running aground and spilling its contents,” she said.

Because of the unprecedented nature of the spill, we have learned that its impacts are more far reaching than those arising from smaller spills that occur on the surface.”

http://news.discovery.com/earth/bp-oil-spill-damage-to-corals-120328.html
Samantha Rowling
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Discussions Discussion Life on the Reef: Amazing World of Coral Fish…
Wendy Bachman, March 13, 2012

Coral Reefs May Be Adapting To Global Warming:

As global warming heats up the Earth’s oceans, one ecosystem stands to be severely threatened: Coral reefs. However, new research has given scientists hope about the fate of these coral reefs.

An international team of researchers has studied a coral population in South-East Asian waters that had survived a bleaching event. What was significant about this reef was that it had also survived another bleaching event 12 years earlier in 1998. But some reefs will not be able to adapt to the changing climates as well as others.

http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/1112491613/coral-reefs-may-be-adapting-to-global-warming/

http://youtube.com/watch?v=LlH9tnPCcu8
Wendy Bachman
Comments (3)
  • Jason Hodin Jason Hodin March 13, 2012
    Thanks for the links, Wendy.

    Let's hope that these critters can adapt, but even if so, they can only adapt so fast (and some critters with long lives will adapt slower)— so we need to give them all the 'help' adapting as we can. i.e.: reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

    Coincidentally, I just received the following on email today:

    “Join Steve Palumbi and his team as they search for the world’s strongest corals!

    Steve and his team will be traveling to American Samoa and the Cook Islands from March 18 – April 7, 2012 to find the world’s strongest corals. We invite you to follow them at…

    http://www.stanford.edu/group/microdocs/blogs.html

    …where they will be posting daily blog updates, photos, and videos from the field.

    On Ofu Island in American Samoa, the team will follow up on previous research testing corals for resistance to high temperatures using portable coral stress tanks. Then, for the first time, they will take these stress tanks to Rarotonga in the Cook Islands to search for the strongest corals there too.”
  • Wendy Bachman Wendy Bachman March 15, 2012
    I'll be following Steve's blog…such an interesting expedition! I've never heard of these super corals from Ofu. Is the goal to transplant fragments of these resistant corals to other waters hit by rising temperatures? If so, sounds like a delicate operation…and expensive. Thanks for the link!
  • Jason Hodin Jason Hodin March 15, 2012
    Yes, I think transplanting is part of the idea. This is happening elsewhere (e.g. the Caribbean) and is indeed painstaking work.

    But identifying strains of coral species (“genotypes” in bio lingo) that may be resistant to higher temperatures is also important for two reasons:

    1) in identifying areas to declare as marine protected areas, so that the coral in those habitats can be best protected;

    2) in being able to predict future scenarios under warming and acidification where certain “seed” populations might be sources for repopulating areas that might die off.

    In other words, this is basic research to envision appropriate management strategies.

    By the way, I believe that Pam Miller is going to start an entirely separate Einztein discussion following the blog posts of Steve and his team. We'll post a message in this discussion forum with the link once that is up.

    best
    Jason

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Discussions Discussion Life on the Reef: Amazing World of Coral Fish…
Samantha Rowling, Feb. 8, 2012

Corals inflate to escape being buried alive in sand:

Fascinating new video footage, shot over 20 hours, of a mushroom coral inflating itself to escape a sandy burial has brought the organism to life.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/16843053
Samantha Rowling
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Discussions Discussion Life on the Reef: Amazing World of Coral Fish…
Jill Davies, Dec. 23, 2011

Team Gallagher Rowing Team to Build World’s Biggest Coral Reef

Coral Reefs cover 1% of the ocean yet provide a home for 25% of all marine species. Unfortunately, half of the coral reefs globally have vanished or are in a state of serious decline.

http://http://row2k.com/news/news.cfm?ID=67467

Team Gallagher are generating funds to build an artificial reef off the northern coast of Borneo, just east of Semporna. The reef, while providing a home and hunting ground for a vast diversity of marine species, will also function as an educational tool

http://youtube.com/watch?v=-gl_ex_klQ8
Jill Davies
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Discussions Discussion Life on the Reef: Amazing World of Coral Fish…
Jessie Rhodes, Nov. 23, 2011

Corals commit suicide…Australian scientists claim to have unravelled the mystery behind the mass death of corals worldwide as the Earth’s climate warms, upon sea water warming, corals send a signal to their infected cells to commit “suicide”, allowing the safe cells to recover quickly.

Dr.Tracy Ainsworth and a team from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies says that coral bleaching, one of the most devastating events affecting coral reefs around the planet, is triggered by rising water temperatures.

http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2011-11-21/news/30424950_1_corals-symbiotic-algae-acropora

Dr. Ainsworth discusses her reasearch on corals below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCC8BNckXug
Jessie Rhodes
Comments (2)
  • clara costa clara costa Nov. 23, 2011
    I watched this video because I am very attracted by the coral reef. This video is about a young woman, who was fascinated with corals and she started doing research on them. She thinks that corals are amazing, she studies the interactions between corals and algae which builds the reef structure. The world climate is changing and it’s very important to understand how this impacts on the corals. There is a large community of bacteria associated with corals but we don’t know exactly what they do for them. This young woman is trying to discover how important this interaction is for coral function. She studies only the corals that live in the shallow waters down to 200 meters. In the next decades corals will face with many threats like pollution and climate change. She is trying to understand better how to preserve the corals from this potentially dangerous future.
    I think that this research is very interesting: it explains one of the risk of the change of the climate because if the world climate is changing, there will be problems for the amazing world of the corals and the coral reef will be transformed or worst it will disappear.
  • Bert Breton Bert Breton Nov. 24, 2011
    Excellent summary and analysis, Clara. From what I understand, the danger to coral reefs around the world is very real. It's important that the destruction of this marine ecosystem becomes part of evryone's daily discourse…so that we can participate in reversing the damage being done.

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Discussions Discussion Life on the Reef: Amazing World of Coral Fish…
Kim Hsu, Oct. 3, 2011

Coral Reefs likely to disappear by the end of the century, according to a top UN Scientist. In the recently published book Our Dying Planet, Professor Peter Sale writes that coral reef ecosystems are very likely to disappear by the end of this century, in what would be “a new first for mankind — the ‘extinction’ of an entire ecosystem.” He reports that the decline in coral reefs is mainly due to climate change and ocean acidification. This scientist may or may not be correct. But the tragedy is that we’ve come to the point where someone can actually say that they believe the statement can be supported scientifically. The time for action is now. http://thenelsondaily.com/news/coral-reefs-likely-disappear-end-century-13907

http://www.flickr.com/photos/45313042@N08/4192442059/
Kim Hsu
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Discussions Discussion Life on the Reef: Amazing World of Coral Fish…
Kim Hsu, Sept. 29, 2011

Another Coral Reef Fish Uses Tool To Help It Eat:
A couple months ago it was revealed that the blackspot tuskfish exhibits basic tool use to help it eat—picking up a clam and using a rock to help open it. Now we have video of another species of wrasse, the orange-dotted tuskfish doing something similar. What the movie shows is very interesting. The animal excavates sand to get the shell out, then swims for a long time to find an appropriate area where it can crack the shell. It requires a lot of forward thinking, because there are a number of steps involved. For a fish, it’s a pretty big deal. (Science Daily)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_MYQy_eeTQ&feature=player_embedded
Kim Hsu
Comments (3)
  • Jason Hodin Jason Hodin Oct. 1, 2011
    That's pretty awesome. It seemed like the fish was being followed around by other fish, so part of the long swim with the bivalve in it's mouth might have been to try to get away from potential food thieves. It ends up choosing a secluded rocky overhang to do the shell crushing behavior. I looked at the original article (by Giaccomo Bernardi at UCSC), and similar behavior has now been observed in 4 different wrasse species that are widely separated on the wrasse family tree. This means that the behavior is either very ancient (shared by virtually all wrasses, which is a huge and diverse fish family - 600+ species known), or it evolved independently in the different wrasses in question. Either explanation would be pretty cool in its own way.
  • Kim Hsu Kim Hsu Oct. 1, 2011
    Indeed. Very neat behavior. It's surprising to me this is the very first time this behavior has ever been recorded on video. If this is in fact true, then this field of study deserves much more attention. We need to understand our oceans better including behavioral study of fish.
  • Jason Hodin Jason Hodin Oct. 1, 2011
    we definitely need to understand our oceans better!!

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