Navigation Links
New mathematical model helps biologists understand how coral dies in warming waters
Date:3/29/2010

ITHACA - Cornell University researchers have found a new tool to help marine biologists better grasp the processes under the sea: They have created mathematical models to unveil the bacterial community dynamics behind afflictions that bleach and kill coral. (Public Library of Science Biology, March 30, 2010.)

Warming waters are triggering coral bleaching and disease in the Caribbean, Indian Ocean and Great Barrier Reef off the Australian coast. Now new mathematical models explain for the first time how beneficial bacteria on coral suddenly give way to pathogens when waters warm.

"Before this study, we just had observations but little understanding of the mechanism" for what causes coral disease and bleaching, said Laura Jones, Cornell senior research associate in ecology and evolutionary biology. Justin Mao-Jones '08, conducted the research as an undergraduate in the School of Operations Research and Information Engineering, is the paper's lead author.

The model reveals how a healthy normal microbial community in the coral surface mucus layer protects corals from disease by preventing invasion and overgrowth by pathogenic bacteria. But when corals are stressed, for example by elevated temperatures (a heat spell), the community of microbes suddenly switches. Species associated with a healthy coral organism "resident species" - decline as pathogens associated with coral disease take their place.

The researchers used models to simulate bacterial community dynamics within the surface coral mucus, under normal conditions, and under the warming conditions that lead to a sudden shift from beneficial bacteria to pathogens on the coral's surface.

"There's a critical threshold where the system jumps to a pathogen-dominated state," said Jones.

They also found that the models replicated a pattern others have observed: once the disease-causing microbes establish themselves, they persist even if the water cools down enough to favor the beneficial bacteria. The coral is then often too damaged to recover, and the reefs begin to die.

Preventing oceans from warming will require people to curb climate change, and may be unavoidable in the short term, said Jones. But reducing poor water quality, which stresses the coral and makes the oceans more hospitable to pathogens, could perhaps ward off the sudden shift to pathogens dominating the coral surface, she added.


'/>"/>

Contact: Blaine Friedlander
bpf2@cornell.edu
607-254-8093
Cornell University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Mathematical keys to a sixth sense -- the lateral-line system
2. Tumor growth and chemo response may be predicted by mathematical model
3. Image processing and mathematical morphology in new text by NJIT professor
4. Image processing and mathematical morphology in new text by NJIT prof
5. Researchers create mathematical model of fruit fly eyes
6. Computational mathematical sciences receives NSF grant for undergraduate research
7. GENETICS 2010: Model Organisms to Human Biology Meeting
8. Stem cells used to model infant birth defect
9. Caltech and UCSD scientists establish leech as model for study of reproductive behavior
10. Model may offer better understanding of embryonic development
11. Cool model for a hot planet
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/13/2017)... April 13, 2017 UBM,s Advanced Design and ... will feature emerging and evolving technology through its 3D ... will run alongside the expo portion of the event ... and demonstrations focused on trending topics within 3D printing ... and manufacturing event will take place June 13-15, 2017 at ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... , April 11, 2017 No two ... researchers at the New York University Tandon School ... Engineering have found that partial similarities between prints ... used in mobile phones and other electronic devices ... The vulnerability lies in the fact that ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... , April 5, 2017 Today ... announcing that the server component of the HYPR platform ... for providing the end-to-end security architecture that empowers biometric ... HYPR has already secured over 15 million users ... including manufacturers of connected home product suites and physical ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/15/2017)... ... June 15, 2017 , ... ... herbicides give farmers new options for managing Palmer amaranth and other broadleaf weeds ... say special precautions are necessary. Auxin herbicides are known to drift and to ...
(Date:6/15/2017)... ... June 15, 2017 , ... ... follows an artist’s journey through creative experimentation and interdisciplinary collaboration. Feature Creep, a ... July 22nd. An opening reception will be held at EKG, located at 3600 ...
(Date:6/15/2017)... ... June 15, 2017 , ... ... for DuPont Biofuels, will be speaking at Bloomberg’s 2017 Sustainable Business Summit: ... other leading environmental and sustainability officials on a panel titled “Developing a Corporate ...
(Date:6/14/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Slone Partners welcomed a panel of premier ... search firm, “Building Value in Precision Medicine: Can We Overcome the Obstacles?” , ... an open discussion with expert panelists Troy Cox, CEO of Foundation Medicine, Barbara ...
Breaking Biology Technology: