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Preview: Brightsurf Science News :: Coral Reefs News

Coral Reefs Current Events and Coral Reefs News from Brightsurf

Coral Reefs Current Events and Coral Reefs News Events, Discoveries and Articles from Brightsurf

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How climate change weakens coral 'immune systems'

Mon, 22 Jan 18 00:15:20 -0800

Researchers at The Ohio State University and their colleagues have demonstrated how two separate effects of climate change combine to destabilize different populations of coral microbes -- that is, unbalance the natural coral 'microbiome.'

Kicking an old can of worms -- the origin of the head in annelids

Mon, 22 Jan 18 00:05:10 -0800

Researchers at the Royal Ontario Museum and the University of Toronto have described an exceptionally well-preserved new fossil species of bristle worm called Kootenayscolex barbarensis. Discovered from the 508-million-year-old Marble Canyon fossil site in the Burgess Shale in Kootenay National Park, the new species helps rewrite our understanding of the origin of the head in annelids, a highly diverse group of animals which includes today's leeches and earthworms.

2017 was the warmest year on record for the global ocean

Thu, 18 Jan 18 00:12:50 -0800

2017 was the warmest year on record for the global ocean according to an updated ocean analysis from Institute of Atmospheric Physics/Chinese Academy of Science.

Recent advances in understanding coral resilience are essential to safeguard coral reefs

Thu, 18 Jan 18 00:04:50 -0800

The most urgent course of action to safeguard coral reefs is to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, but concurrently there is also a need to consider novel management techniques and previously over-looked reef areas for protective actions under predicted climate change impacts. The conclusions were reached following a comprehensive review of the literature on the mechanisms of potential coral resistance and recovery across scales from global reef areas to the microbial level within individual corals.

Aid for oceans and fisheries in developing world drops by 30 percent

Wed, 17 Jan 18 00:06:50 -0800

Financial aid to fisheries in developing countries has declined by 30 percent, finds a new study from UBC and Stockholm Resilience Centre researchers, published in Marine Policy. Projects focusing on climate issues in fisheries had a 77 percent decline over the five years studied.

New study suggests shark declines can lead to changes in reef fish body shapes

Tue, 16 Jan 18 00:05:10 -0800

Scientists studying nearly identical coral reef systems off Australia discovered something unusual on the reefs subjected to nearly exclusive fishing of sharks--fish with significantly smaller eyes and tails. The study is the first field evidence of body shape changes in fish due to human-driven shark declines from overfishing. These findings shed new light on the cascading effects the loss of the ocean's top predators is having on marine ecosystems.

New application for acoustics helps estimate marine life populations

Mon, 15 Jan 18 00:13:40 -0800

Researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego were part of an international team that for the first time used hydroacoustics as a method for comparing the abundance of fishes within and outside marine protected areas (MPAs).

Rising temperatures turning major sea turtle population female

Thu, 11 Jan 18 00:02:10 -0800

Scientists have used a new research approach to show that warming temperatures are turning one of the world's largest sea turtle colonies almost entirely female, running the risk that the colony cannot sustain itself in coming decades, newly published research concludes.

Study finds source of toxic green algal blooms and the results stink

Tue, 09 Jan 18 00:13:50 -0800

Florida's St. Lucie Estuary received national attention in 2016 as toxic green algal blooms wreaked havoc on this vital ecosystem. A new study contradicts the widespread misconception that periodic discharges from Lake Okeechobee were responsible. Water samples gathered and tested in the year-long study provide multiple lines of evidence that human wastewater nitrogen from septic systems was a major contributor to the high nitrogen concentrations in the estuary and downstream coastal reefs.

Trawl of Red Sea surface waters finds little plastic

Mon, 08 Jan 18 00:03:30 -0800

The Red Sea has relatively low amounts of floating plastic debris in its surface waters due to fewer sources or faster removal.

Three new species of zoantharians described from coral reefs across the Indo-Pacific

Thu, 04 Jan 18 00:14:10 -0800

Three new species of zoantharians -- relatives of the better-known hard corals and sea anemones - were discovered by researchers based in southern Japan. One of them, Antipathozoanthus remengesaui, was named after the current president of Palau, Tommy Remengesau, in honour of his and the nation's support to the authors and marine conservation as a whole. The species, which can be found widely across the Indo-Pacific, are described in a study published in the open-access journal ZooKeys.

The window for saving the world's coral reefs is rapidly closing

Thu, 04 Jan 18 00:05:10 -0800

For the first time, an international team of researchers has measured the escalating rate of coral bleaching at locations throughout the tropics over the past four decades. The study documents a dramatic shortening of the gap between pairs of bleaching events, threatening the future existence of these iconic ecosystems and the livelihoods of many millions of people.

The ocean is losing its breath -- here's the global scope

Thu, 04 Jan 18 00:05:00 -0800

In the past 50 years, the amount of water in the open ocean with zero oxygen has gone up more than fourfold. In coastal water bodies, including estuaries and seas, low-oxygen sites have increased more than tenfold since 1950. Scientists expect oxygen to continue dropping even outside these zones as Earth warms.

Frequency of coral bleaching has increased nearly fivefold since the 1980s

Thu, 04 Jan 18 00:04:20 -0800

Globally, the frequency of severe coral bleaching events has increased nearly fivefold in the past four decades, from once every 25 to 30 years in the early 1980s to once every 5.9 years in 2016, a new study reports.

The ocean is losing its breath. Here's the global scope

Thu, 04 Jan 18 00:15:00 -0800

In the past 50 years, the amount of water in the open ocean with zero oxygen has risen more than fourfold. In coastal water bodies, low-oxygen sites have increased more than 10-fold since 1950. Scientists expect oxygen to continue dropping even outside these zones as Earth warms. To halt the decline, the world needs to rein in both climate change and nutrient pollution, an international team of scientists asserted in a new paper published Jan. 4 in Science.

Sowing corals: A new approach paves the way for large-scale coral reef restoration

Wed, 03 Jan 18 00:14:00 -0800

Scientists pioneer in developing a novel approach to simply sow coral recruits onto degraded reefs like farmers scatter seedlings on a field. With this innovation, formerly costly and time-consuming handling can be minimized, and may allow for effective large-scale reef restoration. The study led by SECORE International was recently published in Scientific Reports.

The Caribbean is stressed out

Thu, 28 Dec 17 00:00:00 -0800

Forty percent of the world's 2.5 billion people live in coastal cities and towns. A team including Smithsonian marine biologists just released 25 years of data about the health of Caribbean coasts from the Caribbean Coastal Marine Productivity Program (CARICOMP).

Conserving coral communities

Wed, 27 Dec 17 00:09:30 -0800

For years, people have sought to stop the loss of coral reefs by transplanting corals grown in underwater 'nurseries' to damaged reefs, but little work had been done to evaluate how effective such efforts were. A new Harvard study, however, suggests those projects have a positive impact on local fish populations, both in the short term and over time.

Tiny polyps save corals from predators and disease

Fri, 22 Dec 17 00:14:50 -0800

Corals may have unexpected allies in improving their health and resilience.

New species of marine spider emerges at low tide to remind scientists of Bob Marley

Fri, 22 Dec 17 00:16:00 -0800

It was 02:00h on 11 January 2009 when the sea along the coastline of Australia's 'Sunshine State' of Queensland receded to such an extent that it exposed a population of water-adapted spiders. The observant researchers, who would later describe this population as a species new to science, were quick to associate their emergence with Bob Marley's song 'High Tide or Low Tide'. Their study is published in the open access journal Evolutionary Systematics.

Taking stock of a thorny issue

Thu, 21 Dec 17 00:12:10 -0800

A new book exploring the best scientific research on preventing coral-eating Crown-Of-Thorns Starfish (COTS) outbreaks, is expected to become a critical resource for informing management of these outbreaks across the Indo-Pacific.

Making larvae count

Mon, 18 Dec 17 00:12:10 -0800

Genetic barcodes are used to quantify crucial populations in a coral reef ecosystem.

Born under an inauspicious moon, baby fish delay settlement on coral reefs

Mon, 18 Dec 17 00:16:10 -0800

Parents' choices about when to breed have lifelong consequences for offspring. For the sixbar wrasse, the flexibility of babies to delay their critical swim towards adulthood frees adults to spawn more often, ecologists report in ESA's journal Ecology. A delay of a few days could have life long consequences. In a species that can choose its sex, consequences could include which fish grows large enough to compete as a male and produce the most offspring.

85 new species described by the California Academy of Sciences in 2017

Mon, 18 Dec 17 00:00:30 -0800

In 2017, researchers at the California Academy of Sciences added 85 new plant and animal species to the family tree, enriching our understanding of Earth's complex web of life and strengthening our ability to make informed conservation decisions. The new species include 16 flowering plants, one elephant-shrew, 10 sharks, 22 fish, three scorpions, seven ants, 13 nudibranchs, seven spiders, three wasps, one fossil sand dollar, one deepwater coral, and one lizard.

Habitat counts when predators lurk

Wed, 13 Dec 17 00:12:50 -0800

Something in the way it moves -- or not -- can save a creature's life in the wild, depending on whether it's exposed in the open or hiding in a complex habitat. A Rice University researcher studied patterns among a set of predator-prey pairings to see how the latter behaved when hunted.

NUS marine scientists lead comprehensive review of giant clams species worldwide

Sun, 10 Dec 17 00:12:00 -0800

An international team of marine researchers, led by Dr Neo Mei Lin and Associate Professor Peter Todd from the National University of Singapore, has recently published a comprehensive study on the status of giant clams worldwide.

Brittle starfish shows how to make tough ceramics

Thu, 07 Dec 17 00:04:10 -0800

Nature inspires innovation. An international team lead by researchers at Technion -- Israel Institute of Technology, together with ESRF -- the European Synchrotron, Grenoble, France -- scientists, have discovered how a brittle star can create material like tempered glass underwater. The findings are published in Science and may open new bio-inspired routes for toughening brittle ceramics in various applications that span from optical lenses to automotive turbochargers and even biomaterial implants.

Disappearing sea snakes surprise researchers with hidden genetic diversity

Thu, 07 Dec 17 00:11:50 -0800

New research suggests an urgent need to find out why sea snakes are disappearing from known habitats, after it was discovered some seemingly identical sea snake populations are actually genetically distinct.

Early avian evolution: The Archaeopteryx that wasn't

Tue, 05 Dec 17 00:01:30 -0800

Paleontologists at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich correct a case of misinterpretation: The first fossil

Seaweed could hold key to environmentally friendly sunscreen

Tue, 05 Dec 17 00:10:00 -0800

A compound found in seaweed could protect human skin from the damaging impact of the sun without causing harm to marine ecosystems.

Why are there no sea snakes in the Atlantic?

Wed, 29 Nov 17 00:05:50 -0800

There is a glaring gap in sea snakes' near-global distribution: the Atlantic Ocean. In a new paper in BioScience, biologists chalk up the absence of sea snakes in the Atlantic to geography, climate and timing.

Resilience of Great Barrier Reef offers opportunities for regeneration

Tue, 28 Nov 17 00:04:20 -0800

New research has found that, despite the extensive damage to coral in recent events, there are still 100 reefs on the Great Barrier Reef that are well suited to promoting the regional recovery of the ecosystem after major disturbances.

Fear of sharks influences seaweed growth on Fijian coral reefs

Mon, 27 Nov 17 00:14:30 -0800

Fishes' fear of sharks helps shape shallow reef habitats in the Pacific, according to new research by a scientist at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences. The study is the first clear case of sharks altering a coral reef ecosystem through an indirect effect - creating an atmosphere of fear that shifts where herbivores feed and seaweeds grow.

Bridging the 'practice science gap' to optimize restoration projects

Mon, 27 Nov 17 00:02:10 -0800

As restoration projects throughout Massachusetts and the country focus on restoring natural ecosystems, researchers are looking for ways to better bridge the 'practice science gap' between practitioners and biodiversity research in an effort optimize these types of projects. The findings were recently published in the journal Conservation Letters.

This week from AGU: Scientists counter threat of flooding on coral reef coasts

Wed, 22 Nov 17 00:00:40 -0800

This week from AGU: Scientists counter threat of flooding on coral reef coasts, and more.

Another danger sign for coral reefs: Substitute symbiont falls short

Mon, 20 Nov 17 00:00:10 -0800

For reef-building corals, not just any symbiotic algae will do, new research shows. The findings are important because they amount to another danger sign for the world's coral reefs.

X-rays reveal the biting truth about parrotfish teeth

Wed, 15 Nov 17 00:16:30 -0800

A new study has revealed a chain mail-like woven microstructure that gives parrotfish teeth their remarkable ability to chomp on coral all day long - the structure could serve as a blueprint for designing ultra-durable synthetic materials.

Scripps scientists use photomosaic technology to find order in the chaos of coral reefs

Wed, 15 Nov 17 00:01:00 -0800

In a study published recently in Coral Reefs, scientists from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego created and analyzed detailed photomosaics of the coral reef at Palmyra Atoll using advanced imaging and digitization technology.

Pacific Island countries could lose 50 -- 80% of fish in local waters under climate change

Wed, 15 Nov 17 00:09:10 -0800

Many Pacific Island nations will lose 50 to 80 percent of marine species in their waters by the end of the 21st century if climate change continues unchecked, finds a new Nippon Foundation-Nereus Program study published in Marine Policy. This area of the ocean is projected to be the most severely impacted by aspects of climate change.

Study urges global-change researchers to embrace variability

Wed, 15 Nov 17 00:12:50 -0800

A new review article presents evidence that argues for a more nuanced approach to the design of global-change experiments -- one that acknowledges and purposefully incorporates the variability inherent in nature.

VIMS study identifies tipping point for oyster restoration

Mon, 13 Nov 17 00:04:50 -0800

Study shows that reefs built to reach a foot or more above the bottom develop into healthy, self-sustaining ecosystems, while those rebuilt at lower heights are quickly buried by sediment.

Research examines impact of coral bleaching on Western Australia's coastline

Wed, 08 Nov 17 00:11:00 -0800

The 2016 mass bleaching event is the most severe global bleaching event to ever be recorded. New research records the impact of this event to the rugged reefs of Western Australia.

Seagrass biodiversity is both a goal and a means for restoration

Wed, 08 Nov 17 00:00:20 -0800

Planting multiple seagrass species, rather than a single species, could be better for restoring damaged coastal ecosystems in Indonesia's Coral Triangle.

Saving seagrasses from dredging as new research finds solutions

Sun, 05 Nov 17 00:03:50 -0700

Timing of dredging and finding an 'ecological window' is the key to helping preserve one of the world's most productive and important ecosystems -- seagrass meadows, a new study led by QUT researchers has found.

Penn researchers working to mimic giant clams to enhance the production of biofuel

Thu, 02 Nov 17 00:04:30 -0700

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania are working together to create an artificial system that mimics the process by which giant clams convert sunlight into energy. The research may allow them to enhance the efficiency of biofuel production.

Can corals adapt to climate change?

Wed, 01 Nov 17 00:06:30 -0700

Cool-water corals can adapt to a slightly warmer ocean, but only if global greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, a study in Science Advances found. Some corals in the normally cool waters of the Cook Islands carry genetic variants that predispose them to heat tolerance. This could help the population adapt more quickly to rising temperatures. But they may not adapt quickly enough to outpace climate change.

Red Sea is warming faster than global average

Mon, 30 Oct 17 00:13:30 -0700

The world's warmest sea is heating up faster than the global average, which could challenge the ability of the Red Sea's organisms to cope.

Habitat restoration can maximize the benefits of marine protected areas

Fri, 27 Oct 17 00:16:30 -0700

US researchers find that Marine Protected Areas can potentially subsidize harvested oyster populations via larval spillover -- however, these benefits can only be realized if harvested areas contain suitable habitat for larval settlement and survival. The study is one of the first to document the contribution of different habitat restoration strategies to an overall marine population.

NASA sees Tropical Storm Saola near Guam

Tue, 24 Oct 17 00:01:20 -0700

Infrared data from NASA satellites helped confirm that former Tropical Depression 27W has strengthened into a tropical storm near Guam. The storm has been renamed Tropical Storm Saola and NASA's Aqua satellite analyzed the system in infrared light to determine the location of its strongest storms.

Taste, not appearance, drives corals to eat plastics

Tue, 24 Oct 17 00:04:30 -0700

Scientists have long known that marine animals mistakenly eat plastic debris because tiny bits of floating plastic look like prey. But a new Duke study of plastic ingestion by corals suggests there may be an additional reason for the potentially harmful behavior: The plastic simply tastes good. Chemical additives in the plastic may be acting as a feeding stimulant.