Navigation Links
Coral stress 'like never in history'

Large scale coral die-offs are now occurring more frequently than at any time in the last 11 000 years, according to a new study by Australian-based scientists.

Investigations by Associate Professor John Pandolfi, of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef Studies and The University of Queensland, of fossilized reefs in Papua New Guinea show how often the reefs were ‘wiped out?by disastrous events in past times.

"What we found was in stark contrast to what we see in the modern day," says Ass. Prof. Pandolfi. "The frequency of reef [die-off] events in the fossils is at least an order of magnitude less than it is today," he says.

Studying the fossil reefs of the Huon Peninsula, which are now cliff faces rising up to 25 metres above the beach, A/Prof. Pandolfi and his team were able to see where large scale disturbances had occurred in the history of these reefs which dated back as far as 11 000 years ago.

"The sequence of fossils is like a three dimensional movie of what happened in the reefs?past," says Pandolfi.

Over the 6000 years recorded in the fossil strata the team found 4 devastating events which resulted in the death of most of the reef ?indicating such events had occurred about once every 1500 years.

"The cause of some of these events was volcanic, but others may have been due to bleaching, disease, or something else - we just don’t know. Regardless, what is clear is that the frequency of die-off was so much lower than it is today," says Pandolfi of his findings.

The results, published in the scientific journal ‘Geology? sound a warning bell to modern day reef management practices as today’s reefs face more stress than ever.

But while the ancient reefs warn that we are seeing abnormal die-off rates, they also show that the reefs of the past recovered rapidly after these events, taking as little as 100 years to be repopulated by the corals that normally occurred there.

< p>Although they are struck by more high impact events, some of today’s reefs are still proving to be able to ‘bounce back?to good health ?with a little help.

"The recovery of the Great Barrier Reef from the devastating impact of the crown of thorns starfish took less than a few decades, at least in part due to comprehensive reef management," says Pandolfi,"…but this rate of recovery isn’t seen in other parts of the world?some reefs still haven’t recovered from [events in the last century]," he says.

With the help of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef Studies, A/Prof. Pandolfi plans to continue studying fossil coral reefs around the world in order to help build a bigger picture of how the world’s reefs have survived devastation in the past ?so that managers can help them continue to survive into the future.
'"/>

Source:James Cook University


Related biology news :

1. New Species of Coral Discovered Off Southern California
2. Corals switch skeleton material as seawater changes
3. Coral reefs are increasingly vulnerable to angry oceans
4. Corals that can fight global warming may one day help fragile reefs
5. Corals -- More complex than you?
6. A little stress gives beneficial oomph! to immune system
7. Immune systems distress signal tells bacteria when to strike back
8. Scientists discover the bodys marijuana-like compounds are crucial for stress-induced pain relief
9. Endocannabinoids ?the brains cannabis ?demonstrate novel modes of action to stress
10. Penguin chicks exposed to human visitors experience spike in stress hormone
11. Researchers unravel DNA tangles and enzyme seamstresses

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/11/2017)... , Apr. 11, 2017 Research and Markets ... 2017-2021" report to their offering. ... The global eye tracking market to grow at a CAGR ... Global Eye Tracking Market 2017-2021, has been prepared based on an ... the market landscape and its growth prospects over the coming years. ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... April 5, 2017  The Allen Institute for Cell ... Explorer: a one-of-a-kind portal and dynamic digital window into ... data, the first application of deep learning to create ... cell lines and a growing suite of powerful tools. ... these and future publicly available resources created and shared ...
(Date:4/3/2017)... 3, 2017  Data captured by IsoCode, ... detected a statistically significant association between the ... treatment and objective response of cancer patients ... predict whether cancer patients will respond to ... well as to improve both pre-infusion potency testing ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... 2017 , ... As part of the Stago EdVantage Virtual University ... DIC in order to illuminate this clinical problem for people unfamiliar with the topic. ... in a high degree of morbidity and mortality. DIC is a confusing disorder from ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... Providence -based biotechnology ... technology to an undisclosed global pharmaceutical company, for ... Tregitopes, pronounced T·rej·itopes, are a set of peptides ... Annie De Groot and EpiVax CIO ... autoimmune disease therapy, Tregitopes are capable of engaging regulatory ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... ... Leaders of Quorum Review IRB and Kinetiq , the ... week’s Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) 2017 Meeting & Expo with ... are excited to present subject matter expertise on topics that impact the global clinical ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... COLORADO (PRWEB) , ... April 21, 2017 , ... ... Awards recognized outstanding manufactures in 10 categories with over 30 nominees and well ... in Manufacturing presented the new award and the event was hosted by CompanyWeek ...
Breaking Biology Technology: