Navigation Links
Semporna may have richest marine biodiversity in the world

The preliminary results of the Semporna Marine Ecological Expedition (December 2010) indicate that Semporna may have the world's highest marine biodiversity. The expedition yielded a record number of 43 species of mushroom corals. Furthermore, some new species were discovered, among which at least two shrimps and possibly a number of gall crabs. The health of the reefs was judged to be relatively poor: 36% of the transects had fair, another 36% had poor live coral cover. Eighteen scientists from Malaysia, the Netherlands and the USA spent three weeks examining the reefs of Semporna, Sabah, Malaysia, situated at the apex of the Coral Triangle. A biodiversity team documented the species richness for mushroom corals, reef fish, shrimps, gall crabs, ovulid snails, and algae. A reef status team documented the health of the coral reefs.

Mushroom corals are a family of corals of which most species live freely on the sea bed, from the shallow reef flat down to the sandy reef base. The expedition documented a record number of 43 species of mushroom corals in Semporna. The previous highest recorded richness of this family was 40 species at several sites in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. "Mushroom corals can be used as a proxy for other coral richness. Where we find high richness of mushroom corals, we usually find extremely high richness of other corals," says Dr Bert Hoeksema, Head of Department of Marine Zoology, NCB Naturalis. Hoeksema was leader of the biodiversity team. Team member Dr Charles Fransen discovered two new shrimp species and PhD student Sancia van der Meij found at least one gall crab species new to science.

The count of fish species clearly demonstrates that Semporna is one of the richest areas within the Coral Triangle. Dr Kent Carpenter, Professor at Department of Biological Sciences, Old Dominion University states, "At some of the more diverse reefs, fish species counts rivalled the highest counts that the fish team found in the Philippines and were greater than what they have encountered in Indonesia." The fish team encountered 844 species of fish in Semporna.

The coral reef status team used a modified ReefCheck methodology to assess the health of the reefs. 12 kilometres of transects were laid in the course of 60 dives. The preliminary results show that the reef status ranged from poor to excellent condition. 5% of the transects had "excellent" live coral cover, 23% had "good", 36% had "fair", and another 36% had "poor" live coral cover. Signs of coral bleaching and suspected coral disease were observed at various sites. While Semporna has several sites with good coral cover, nearly all sites showed significant human impacts including fish bombs, discarded fishing gear, and solid waste.

With the expedition's conclusions that the coral reef diversity is extremely high, while the health of the reefs is relatively poor, a good basis can be provided for sustainable management of the reefs of Semporna. Not only is Semporna a world class diving destination, it may well be one of the Coral Triangle's top hotspots for marine biodiversity, and hence, the world's. Many thousands of local people also rely on these rich reefs for their livelihoods and income.


Contact: Astrid Kromhout
NCB Naturalis

Related biology news :

1. Study finds most wars occur in Earths richest biological regions
2. Effects of anthropogenic sound on marine mammals -- a research strategy
3. The Marine Mammal Center begins new leptospirosis study in California
4. Scientists announce major progress towards historic Census of Marine Life in 2010
5. Marine invasive species advance 50km per decade, World Conference on Marine Biodiversity told
6. Marine invasive species advance 50 km per decade, World Conference on Marine Biodiversity told
7. Snowy owl -- a marine species?
8. Ocean acidification could have broad effects on marine ecosystems
9. Fish guts explain marine carbon cycle mystery
10. TXOTX, coordinated international project to contribute to sustainability of the marine resources
11. Census of Marine Life and ocean in Google Earth bring ocean information to life
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/15/2016)... 15, 2016 Transparency Market ... Recognition Market by Application Market - Global Industry Analysis Size ... to the report, the  global gesture recognition market ... and is estimated to grow at a CAGR ... 2024.  Increasing application of gesture recognition ...
(Date:6/3/2016)... LONDON , June 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... Transport Management) von Nepal ... ,Angebot und Lieferung hochsicherer geprägter Kennzeichen, einschließlich ... weltweit führend in der Produktion und Implementierung ... an der Ausschreibung im Januar teilgenommen, aber ...
(Date:6/1/2016)... Favorable Government Initiatives Coupled With ... Identification to Boost Global Biometrics System Market Through 2021  ... report, " Global Biometrics Market By Type, By ... 2011 - 2021", the global biometrics market is projected ... of growing security concerns across various end use sectors ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... Epic Sciences unveiled a liquid biopsy ... PARP inhibitors by targeting homologous recombination deficiency (HRD) ... test has already been incorporated into numerous clinical ... Over 230 clinical trials are investigating ... PARP, ATM, ATR, DNA-PK and WEE-1. Drugs targeting ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... of its second eBook, “Clinical Trials Patient Recruitment and Retention Tips.” Partnering with ... in this eBook by providing practical tips, tools, and strategies for clinical researchers. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - FACIT ... Ontario biotechnology company, Propellon Therapeutics ... development and commercialization of a portfolio of first-in-class ... Epigenetic targets such as WDR5 represent an exciting ... significantly in precision medicine for cancer patients. Substantial ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... and Mold) microbial test has received AOAC Research Institute approval 061601. , “This ... introduced last year,” stated Bob Salter, Vice President of Regulatory and Industrial Affairs. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: