Navigation Links
Catastrophic climatic events leave corals facing a decade-long fight for recovery
Date:6/1/2013

Marine conservationists from Plymouth University, and the Universidad Federal da Bahia in Brazil, have spent more than 17 years analysing the diversity and density of coral colonies off the coast of South America.

That coincided with the catastrophic El Nio event of 1997-98, creating an opportunity for the first detailed assessment of the long-term impact a major environmental incident of this nature can have on coral assemblages.

Professor Martin Attrill, Director of Plymouth University's Marine Institute, said: "Coral reefs are perhaps the most diverse marine ecosystem on Earth, potentially holding 25% of the known marine species. Yet they are under intense threat from a range of local human activities and, in particular, climate change. Any impact on the corals is going to have major knock on effects on the organisms that live on coral reefs, such as the fish, and if climatic events become more frequent, as is suggested, it is likely corals will never be able to fully recover."

The 1997-98 El Nio was the most extensive global event of its kind in history, with record global high seawater temperatures in an 18-month period before and subsequently.

It prompted flooding in some parts of the world and droughts in others, but also caused severe coral bleaching and mortality in parts of Central America, the Indian Ocean, Arabian Gulf, the tropical Pacific and Brazil.

For this study, the research team used their own observations of eight species of scleractinian corals, and data from the Brazilian Meteorological Office, to create a full picture of environmental conditions and species behaviour that resulted.

It showed a significant rise in air and seawater temperatures in 1998, with increased mortality across all species and, in one case, it disappearing completely from the reefs for more than seven years.

The density of the coral in the area also fell after 1998, but then increased continuously until 2007, with recent measurements showing it is now mostly back to pre-1998 levels.

Professor Attrill added: "El Nio events give us an indication of how changing climate affects ecosystems as major changes in the weather patterns within the Pacific impact the whole world. If the reefs can recover quickly, it is probable they can adapt and survive the likely changes in water temperature ahead of us. However, we found it took 13 years for the coral reef system in Brazil to recover, suggesting they may be very vulnerable to regular climate-related impacts. This has major consequences for how we consider climate change impacts on coral reefs."


'/>"/>

Contact: Alan Williams
alan.williams@plymouth.ac.uk
44-175-258-8004
University of Plymouth
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. UEA research reveals catastrophic loss of Cambodias tropical flooded grasslands
2. Ticks can adapt to the Spains climatic diversity
3. Climatic effects of a solar minimum
4. U of M to lead international virtual institute studying climatic and human effects on Earth
5. Research links extreme summer heat events to global warming
6. Unusual weather events identified during the Black Saturday bushfires
7. Stay-at-home transcription factor prevents neurodegeneration
8. Inhibition of enzyme NOX4 prevents liver fibrosis
9. How the tilt of a cell-surface receptor prevents cancer
10. Study pinpoints, prevents stress-induced drug relapse in rats
11. University of Montreal researchers discover how drug prevents aging and cancer progression
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/27/2017)... March 27, 2017  Catholic Health Services (CHS) ... Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics for achieving Stage 6 ... sm . In addition, CHS previously earned a ... using an electronic medical record (EMR). ... level of EMR usage in an outpatient setting.  ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... PUNE, India , March 23, 2017 The report ... Equipment, Touchless Biometric), Industry, and Geography - Global Forecast to 2022", published by ... growing at a CAGR of 29.63% between 2017 and 2022. ... ... Logo ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... 2017 Optimove , provider of ... such as 1-800-Flowers and AdoreMe, today announced two ... Replenishment. Using Optimove,s machine learning algorithms, these features ... replenishment recommendations to their customers based not just ... customer intent drawn from a complex web of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/19/2017)... , ... September 19, 2017 , ... ... largest group of funded early-stage tech companies. “Grit” author Angela Duckworth and her ... joining the ic@3401 community is Cooley, an international law firm with decades of ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The new and improved Oakton® pocket testers, from Cole-Parmer, stand ... with a new cap design that is versatile, functional and leakproof. They are ideal ... test water quality. , The Oakton pocket testers have many user-friendly and functional features. ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... , Sept. 19, 2017 ValGenesis Inc., ... (VLMS) is pleased to announce the strategic partnership with ... provide clients with validation services using the latest technology ... VTI will provide clients with efficient and cost-effective validation ... marketing partner for the ValGenesis VLMS system. ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Molecular Devices, LLC, a leader in protein ... the CloneSelect™ Single-Cell Printer™ in North America. This novel system utilizes sophisticated ... documentation of monoclonality for use in cell line development. , Clonal cell ...
Breaking Biology Technology: