Navigation Links
Heat and cold damage corals in their own ways, Scripps study shows
Date:2/2/2012

Around the world coral reefs are facing threats brought by climate change and dramatic shifts in sea temperatures. While ocean warming has been the primary focus for scientists and ocean policy managers, cold events can also cause large-scale coral bleaching events. A new study by scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego compared damage to corals exposed to heat as well as cold stress. The results reveal that cool temperatures can inflict more damage in the short term, but heat is more destructive in the long run.

The study is published in the Feb. 2 issue of Scientific Reports, a publication of the Nature Publishing Group.

Climate change is widely known to produce warming conditions in the oceans, but extreme cold-water events have become more frequent and intense as well. In 2010, for example, coral reefs around the world faced one of the coldest winters and one of the hottest summers on record.

During a unique experiment conducted by former Scripps Oceanography student Melissa Roth and current Scripps scientist Dimitri Deheyn, corals subjected to cold temperatures suffered greater growth impairment and other measurable damage in just days compared with heat treated corals. Yet the researchers found that corals were eventually able to adjust to the chilly conditions, stabilize their health and continue to grow. However, over the long term corals subjected to heat suffered more greatly than those in cold, with evidence of severe bleaching and growth stoppage, a trajectory that leads to death.

"These results show distinct responses between cold and heat-treated corals on different time scales," said Roth, now based at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. "On a short time scale, the cold event was actually more harmful to the corals than an equivalent warming event, but over time, these corals were able to acclimate to the cold. Therefore, these corals showed more resilience to seawater cooling than seawater warming."

The coral's ability to adjust to cool temperatures surprised the researchers, who say the study's results highlight the complexities of monitoring coral health in response to varying environmental factors.

During the investigationsconducted inside Scripps' Experimental Aquariumthe researchers tracked the overall coral health and the stress of their symbiotic algae, sometimes called "zooxanthellae." The symbiosis is an essential component for reef-building corals because the symbionts provide corals with most of their energy. Accordingly, the researchers found that the cold both disrupted the photosynthetic system of the symbionts and greatly reduced coral growth.

"Global warming is associated with increases but also decreases of temperatures," said Deheyn, a project scientist in Scripps' Marine Biology Research Division. "Not much has been known about the comparative effects of temperature decrease on corals. These results are important because they show that corals react differently to temperature differences, which is critical for future management of coral reefs in the realm of climate change."


'/>"/>

Contact: Mario Aguilera
scrippsnews@ucsd.edu
858-534-3624
University of California - San Diego
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. European Research Council supports search for regulators of tissue damage
2. Oxidative DNA damage repair
3. New international Ph.D. program on Dynamics of Gene Regulation, Epigenetics and DNA Damage Response
4. Adult stem cells use special pathways to repair damaged muscle, MU researchers find
5. Brain, repair thyself: Studies highlight brains resiliency to damage
6. Scarring a necessary evil to prevent further damage after heart attack
7. New report offers broad approach to assessing impacts of ecological damage
8. Rutgers neuroscientist says protein could prevent secondary damage after stroke
9. Noninvasive current stimulation improves sight in patients with optic nerve damage
10. The body rids itself of damage when it really matters
11. Glucocorticoid treatment may prevent long-term damage to joints
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/22/2017)... NEW YORK , March 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... Customer Marketing Cloud used by retailers such as ... in its platform — Product Recommendations and Replenishment. Using ... to give more personalized product and replenishment recommendations ... purchases, but also on predictions of customer intent ...
(Date:3/16/2017)... , March 16, 2017 CeBIT 2017 - Against identity fraud with ... Reading ... Used combined in one project, multi-biometric solutions provide a crucial ... Used combined in ... ...
(Date:3/7/2017)... Brandwatch , the leading social intelligence company, today ... to uncover insights to support its reporting, help direct future ... UK,s leading youth charity will be using Brandwatch Analytics social listening ... better understanding of the topics and issues that are a priority ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/26/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Baltimore bio tech firm, PathSensors, Inc., announced ... at the National Postal Forum 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland, May 21st through May ... to use and low cost threat detection solution for government and commercial mail ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... April 25, 2017 , ... Franz ... Lisp (CL) development tools, and market leader for Semantic Graph Database ... now available within the most effective system for developing and deploying applications to ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Leaders of Quorum Review IRB and Kinetiq ... at this week’s Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) 2017 Meeting & Expo ... , "We are excited to present subject matter expertise on topics that impact the ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... Storrs, Conn. (PRWEB) , ... April 21, 2017 ... ... Innovations (CI) and Webster Bank, today announced first round funding to three startups ... to provide early-stage financial support to new business startups affiliated with UConn. , ...
Breaking Biology Technology: