Navigation Links
Study finds fisheries management makes coral reefs grow faster
Date:1/14/2011

An 18-year study of Kenya's coral reefs by the Wildlife Conservation Society and the University of California at Santa Cruz has found that overfished reef systems have more sea urchinsorganisms that in turn eat coral algae that build tropical reef systems.

By contrast, reef systems closed to fishing have fewer sea urchinsthe result of predatory fish keeping urchins under controland higher coral growth rates and more structure.

The paper appears in the December 2010 issue of the scientific journal Ecology. The authors include Jennifer O'Leary of the University of California at Santa Cruz and Tim McClanahan of the Wildlife Conservation Society.

The authors found that reefs with large numbers of grazing sea urchins reduced the abundance of crustose coralline algae, a species of algae that produce calcium carbonate. Coralline algae contribute to reef growth, specifically the kind of massive flat reefs that fringe most of the tropical reef systems of the world.

The study focused on two areasone a fishery closure near the coastal city of Mombasa and another site with fished reefs. The researchers found that sea urchins were the dominant grazer in the fished reefs, where the predators of sea urchinstriggerfish and wrasseswere largely absent. The absence of predators caused the sea urchins to proliferate and coralline algae to become rare.

"These under-appreciated coralline algae are known to bind and stabilize reef skeletons and sand as well as enhance the recruitment of small corals by providing a place for their larvae to settle," said Dr. Tim McClanahan, WCS Senior Conservationist and head of the society's coral reef research and conservation program. "This study illustrates the cascading effects of predator loss on a reef system and the importance of maintaining fish populations for coral health."

The study also focused on the effects of herbivorous fishsurgeonfish and parrotfishon coral reefs. While these 'grazing' fish did measurably impact the growth rates of coralline algae in reef systems, they also removed fleshy algae that compete with coralline algae. Overall, reefs with more sea urchins grew significantly slower than ones with more complete fish communities.

The authors also found that the grazing effect was stronger and more persistent than the strong El Nio that devastated coral reefs throughout the tropics in 1998 (the study extended from 1987 until 2005). The study shows that managing coral reef fisheries can affect coral reef growth and improving the management of tropical fisheries can help these reefs to grow and persist in a changing climate.

"The survival of coral reefs is critical for hundreds of millions of people who depend on these complex systems for coastal protection, food, and tourism revenue around the globe," said Dr. Caleb McClennen, Director of WCS's Marine Program. "This study demonstrates the importance of improving fisheries management on reefs so that corals can thrive, safeguarding some of the world's most fragile marine biodiversity and strengthening coastal economies."


'/>"/>

Contact: John Delaney
jdelaney@wcs.org
718-220-3275
Wildlife Conservation Society
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. UCSF study identifies chemicals in pregnant women
2. Texas A&M study finds courtship affects gene expression in flies
3. Study identifies new genetic signatures of breast cancer drug resistance
4. Study estimates land available for biofuel crops
5. Researchers brave icy waters to study Arctic food web
6. Lake Erie hypoxic zone doesnt affect all fish the same, study finds
7. College students lack scientific literacy, study finds
8. Study finds energy limits global economic growth
9. UF study of lice DNA shows humans first wore clothes 170,000 years ago
10. Catfish study reveals multiplicity of species
11. MIT researchers study the danger of toxoplasma parasites
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Study finds fisheries management makes coral reefs grow faster
(Date:5/12/2016)... WearablesResearch.com , a brand of Troubadour Research & ... Q1 wave of its quarterly wearables survey. A particular ... a program where they would receive discounts for sharing ... "We were surprised to see that so many ... CEO of Troubadour Research, "primarily because there are segments ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... India , April 28, 2016 ... Infosys (NYSE: INFY ), and Samsung SDS, a ... that will provide end customers with a more secure, ... services.      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130122/589162 ) , ... services, but it also plays a fundamental part in enabling ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... 2016 Research and Markets has ... Market 2016-2020"  report to their offering.  , ,     ... The analysts forecast the global multimodal biometrics market ... the period 2016-2020.  Multimodal biometrics is ... as the healthcare, BFSI, transportation, automotive, and government ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... HOUSTON , June 23, 2016 ... agreement with the Cy-Fair Sports Association to serve ... of the agreement, Houston Methodist Willowbrook will provide ... education and connectivity with association coaches, volunteers, athletes ... partner with the Cy-Fair Sports Association and to ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... NEW YORK , June, 23, 2016  The ... students to envision new ways to harness living systems ... of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York ... more than 130 participating students, showcased projects at MoMA,s ... included Paola Antonelli , MoMA,s senior curator of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... ... STACS DNA Inc., the sample tracking software company, today announced that Dr. ... STACS DNA as a Field Application Specialist. , “I am thrilled that Dr. ... STACS DNA. “In further expanding our capacity as a scientific integrator, Hays brings a ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Calif. , June 23, 2016  Blueprint Bio, ... biological discoveries to the medical community, has closed its ... Matthew Nunez . "We have received ... with the capital we need to meet our current ... essentially provide us the runway to complete validation on ...
Breaking Biology Technology: