Navigation Links
Scripps-led study shows ocean health plays vital role in coral reef recovery
Date:7/21/2009

The new research study led by scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego suggests that by improving overall ocean health, corals are better able to recover from bleaching events, which occur when rising sea temperatures force corals to expel their symbiotic algae, known as zooxanthellae. Coral bleaching is a phenomenon that is expected to increase in frequency as global climate change increases ocean temperatures worldwide.

The new findings, published in the July 22 issue of the journal PLoS ONE, show that following a major bleaching event Mountainous star coral (Montastraea faveolata) on various reefs in Honduras and Belize was able to recover and grow normally within two to three years when the surrounding waters and reef were relatively healthy. In comparison, those corals living with excessive local impacts, such as pollution, were not able to fully recover after eight years.

"You can imagine that when you are recovering from a sickness, it will take a lot longer if you don't eat well or get enough rest," said Jessica Carilli, Scripps graduate student and lead author on the study. "Similarly, a coral organism that must be constantly trying to clean itself from excess sediment particles will have a more difficult time recovering after a stressful condition like bleaching."

Carilli and colleagues analyzed 92 coral cores collected from four reef sites off the coast of Honduras and Belize. The cores were collected from reefs with different degrees of local stress from pollution, overfishing and sediment and nutrient run off from land. By using x-rays, the researchers were able to examine the coral's annual growth rate records since 1950, including the time before and after a major bleaching event in 1998.

"It is clear that Mesoamerican corals really fell off a cliff in 1998 -- nearly everybody suffered mass bleaching," said Dick Norris, Scripps professor of paleooceanography and co-author of the study. "There are no pristine reefs in the region, but the ones in the best shape clearly are more resilient than those that are long-suffering. It shows that a little improvement in growing conditions goes a long way in recovering coral health."

Corals are widely considered to be barometers for global warming and are important for biodiversity in the world's oceans. Coral reefs thrive in warm tropical oceans under just the right conditions that include moderate temperatures and low nutrient and sediment input from land-based sources. Protecting reef health from local sources of stress, such as runoff, can improve resilience to global warming stress.

Coral bleaching occurs when the tiny zooxanthellae, living with the tissues of coral polyps, which are responsible for their vibrant colors, are lost and the coral turns white in color.

The fast-recovering were corals collected from Turneffe Atoll, which is farther offshore than the main Belize Barrier Reef and Cayos Cochinos, a marine biological reserve off the northern coast of Honduras. Those that took longer to recover to pre-1998 conditions were from the Sapodilla Cayes in southern Belize and Utila in Honduras. The Sapodilla Cayes are a marine protected area, but experience significant runoff impacts; meanwhile Utila is quite heavily populated and local impacts probably result from development, sewage and other sources.


'/>"/>

Contact: Annie Reisewitz or Robert Monroe
scrippsnews@ucsd.edu
858-534-3624
University of California - San Diego
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. $2 million grant aids study of lung cancer in people who never smoked
2. University of Miami receives stimulus funds for study of hurricane impacts on structures, ecosystems
3. Study explains potential failure of oral contraceptives with obese women
4. Study by NTU professors provides important insight into apoptosis or programmed cell death
5. Probiotics help gastric-bypass patients lose weight more quickly, Stanford study shows
6. New study ranks hotspots of human impact on coastal areas
7. Work in mice will contribute to the study of hereditary diseases that lead to blindness
8. UAB study reveals bone coupling factor key to skeletal health
9. Army study improves ability to predict drinking water needs
10. Plant protein doorkeepers block invading microbes, study finds
11. Study finds role for parasites in evolution of sex
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Scripps-led study shows ocean health  plays vital role in coral reef recovery
(Date:1/12/2017)... 12, 2017 A new report by Allied Market Research, titled, ... biometric technology market is expected to generate revenue of $10.72 billion by 2022, with ... Continue Reading ... Allied Market Research Logo ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140911/647229) In the ...
(Date:1/6/2017)...  SomaLogic announced today that it has agreed ... iCarbonX, the China -based company ... Health Ecosystem that can define each person,s ,digital ... behavioral and psychological data, the Internet and artificial ... will provide proteomics data and applications expertise to ...
(Date:1/3/2017)... 2017 Onitor, provider of digital health technology ... an innovative biometric data-driven program designed to aid weight ... the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in ... U.S., the World Health Organization (WHO), have identified lifestyle ... who are overweight or obese. WHO also states that ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/11/2017)... USA (PRWEB) , ... January 11, 2017 , ... ... the international society for optics and photonics , are commending the U.S. Congress ... following the signing Friday by the President of the American Innovation and Competitiveness ...
(Date:1/11/2017)... CA (PRWEB) , ... January 11, 2017 , ... ... of in-kind scientific grants to ground-breaking microbiome studies. Its most recent microbiome impact ... of Medicine, who will study the effect of long-term use of oral antibiotics, ...
(Date:1/11/2017)... ... ... Back pain relief technology is now available without a prescription at What A ... for WAR members. , This spinal restoration platform boasts utilization of technology that has ... from chronic back pain. , What A Relief Back Pain Centers ( ...
(Date:1/11/2017)... Md. , Jan. 11, 2017  GenVec, ... gene delivery company, announced today that its chief ... present a talk entitled  "AdenoVerseā„¢ platform for translational ... the Biotech Showcase at the upcoming Phacilitate Cell ... Miami , Florida.  Dr. Brough,s presentation ...
Breaking Biology Technology: