Navigation Links
Reef boom beats doom
Date:4/23/2009

Marine scientists say they are astonished at the spectacular recovery of certain coral reefs in Australia's Great Barrier Reef Marine Park from a devastating coral bleaching event in 2006.

That year high sea temperatures caused massive and severe coral bleaching in the Keppel Islands, in the southern part of the GBR. The damaged reefs were quickly smothered by a single species of seaweed an event that can spell the total loss of the corals.

However, a lucky combination of rare circumstances meant the reefs were able to achieve a spectacular recovery, with abundant corals re-established in a single year, says Dr Guillermo Diaz-Pulido, from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (CoECRS) and the Centre for Marine Studies at The University of Queensland.

Dr Diaz-Pulido explains that the rapid recovery is due to an exceptional combination of previously-underestimated ecological mechanisms.

"Three factors were critical. The first was exceptionally high re-growth of fragments of surviving coral tissue. The second was an unusual seasonal dieback in the seaweeds, and the third was the presence of a highly competitive coral species, which was able to outgrow the seaweed.

"But this also all happened in the context of a well-protected marine area and moderately good water quality", said Dr Diaz-Pulido.

"It is rare to see reports of reefs that bounce back from mass coral bleaching or other human impacts in less than a decade or two," he adds

"The exceptional aspect was that corals recovered by rapidly regrowing from surviving tissue. Recovery of corals is usually thought to depend on sexual reproduction and the settlement and growth of new corals arriving from other reefs. This study demonstrates that for fast-growing coral species asexual reproduction is a vital component of reef resilience" says Dr Sophie Dove, also from CoECRS and The University of Queensland.

"Coral reefs globally are increasingly being damaged by mass bleaching and climate change, and their capacity to recovery from that damage is critical to their future," explains Prof. Ove Hoegh-Guldberg of CoECRS and The University of Queensland. "Our study suggests that managing local stresses that affect reefs such as overfishing and declining water quality can have a big influence on the trajectory of reefs under rapid global change."

"Clearly, we need to urgently deal with the problem of rising carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, but managing reefs to reduce the impact of local factors can buy important time while we do this," he says.

Understanding the different mechanisms of resilience is critical for reef management under climate change. "Diversity in processes may well be critical to the overall resilience and persistence of coral reef ecosystems globally," Dr Laurence McCook, from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, says.

The research was partially funded by a Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation awarded to Dr McCook, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority as well as the ARC Centre of Excellence program.

"This combination of circumstances provided a lucky escape for the coral reefs in Keppel Islands, but is also a clear warning for the Great Barrier Reef. As climate change and other human impacts intensify, we need to do everything we possibly can to protect the resilience of coral reefs," he adds.


'/>"/>

Contact: Guillermo Diaz-Pulido
g.diazpulido@uq.edu.au
61-733-653-378
ARC Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef Studies
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. New antibiotic beats superbugs at their own game
2. New, noninvasive prostate cancer test beats PSA in detecting prostate cancer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/9/2016)... Aware, Inc. (NASDAQ: AWRE ), a leading supplier ... fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2015.  ... of 2015 was $6.9 million, an increase of 61% compared to ... the fourth quarter of 2015 was $2.6 million compared to $0.2 ... --> --> Higher revenue and operating income in ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... Czech Republic , February 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... EU-regulated global payment platform which presents innovation for ... Biometrics Authentication feature called VoiceKey. --> ... platform which presents innovation for clients, comfort and ... called VoiceKey. --> Worldcore ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... 4, 2016 The field of Human ... the most popular hubs of the biotechnology industry. ... huge studies of human microbiota, have garnered a ... the microbiome space has literally exploded in terms ... This report focuses on biomedical aspects of research, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/11/2016)... , Feb. 11, 2016  Spectra BioPharma Selling Solutions ... that provides biopharma companies the experience, expertise, operational ... deploy outsourced sales teams. Created in concert with ... both the strategic and tactical needs of its ... solutions through both personal and non-personal promotion. ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... BEACH, Florida , February 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... PositiveID Corporation ("PositiveID" or "Company") (OTCQB: PSID), ... diagnostics, announced today that its Thermomedics subsidiary, which ... progress on its growth plan in January 2016, ... products distributors, increasing sequential monthly sales growth, and ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... ... February 11, 2016 , ... ... new stem cell treatment clinic in Quito, Ecuador. The new facility will provide ... applications to patients from around the world. , The new GSCG clinic ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... LOUISVILLE, Ky. , Feb. 10, 2016 ... company utilizing its proprietary NeXosome® technology for early ... presentation of its most recent study by Dr. ... Hospital at the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine,s (SMFM) ... , GA, February 1-6 th , 2016.  The presentation ...
Breaking Biology Technology: