Navigation Links
Fish species plays surprise role in aiding coral reef recovery

In a study that marks progress in understanding the basis of coral reef recovery, researchers have revealed the critical importance of a rare batfish, Platax pinnatus, in promoting the return to health of a disturbed coral reef overgrown with algae. The findings bring to light a previously unrecognized role for the batfish species, which had not been considered a significant player in reef recovery after overfishing. In doing so, the study provides insight into the poorly understood—and potentially complex—forces that influence the state of coral reefs under ecological stress. The work appears in the December 19th issue of the journal Current Biology, published by Cell Press, and is reported by David Bellwood, Terry Hughes, and Andrew Hoey of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University.

The world’s tropical coral reefs are under threat from overfishing, habitat modification, and global warming. One of the most visible signs of a decline in the condition of coral reefs is the widely documented shift from a healthy state in which corals dominate to a weedy state in which algae (so-called “macro algae") dominate. It has been repeatedly demonstrated that this phase shift can be triggered by a loss of algae-consuming herbivores, especially parrotfishes and surgeonfishes. However, the critical question has remained: How can this coral-algal phase shift be reversed"

By simulating overfishing in large experimental plots on the Great Barrier Reef, the researchers in the new study intentionally triggered a phase shift to algal dominance on a healthy reef. They then filmed the reef’s recovery with remote underwater digital videos cameras. Remarkably, only two of the 27 herbivorous fish species present on the reefs had any significant impact on its recovery from algal overgrowth. What was most surprising was that the dominant browser was a rare batfish, a species previously thought to be an invertebrate f eeder. Meanwhile, parrotfishes and surgeonfishes, which are the routine consumers of seaweed on coral reefs, were unable to reverse runaway algal blooms.

The study’s findings highlight the unexpected importance of a single rare species in the recovery of coral reefs, and potentially contribute to the identification and future protection of species groups that underlie the resilience and regenerative capacity of coral reef ecosystems.
'"/>

Source:Cell Press


Related biology news :

1. New species from old data
2. Same mutation aided evolution in many fish species, Stanford study finds
3. Fibril Shape Is The Basis Of Prion Strains And Cross-species Prion Infection
4. Reservoirs may accelerate the spread of invasive aquatic species, researchers say
5. Small species back-up giant marsupial climate change extinction claim
6. Aggressive aquatic species invading Great Lakes
7. Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld are now species of slime-mold beetles -- but strictly in homage
8. Internet viruses help ecologists control invasive species
9. An (ecological) origin of species for tropical reef fish
10. Ancient DNA helps clarify the origins of two extinct New World horse species
11. Invasive parasite destroying fish species

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


(Date:12/20/2016)... Dec. 20, 2016 The rising popularity ... and leasing is stoking significant interest in keyless ... technology, Bluetooth low energy (BLE), biometrics and near-field ... next wave of wireless technologies in the automotive ... to advanced access systems opens the market to ...
(Date:12/16/2016)... -- The global wearable medical device market, in terms of value, ... 5.31 billion in 2016, at a CAGR of 18.0% during the ... ... medical devices, launch of a growing number of smartphone-based healthcare apps ... providers, and increasing focus on physical fitness. Furthermore, ...
(Date:12/15/2016)... 2016  There is much more to innovative access ... engine. Continental will demonstrate the intelligence of today,s solutions ... . Through the combination of the keyless entry and ... elements, the international technology company is opening up new ... "The integration of biometric elements brings our ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/18/2017)... ... January 18, 2017 , ... Executive search firm ... its continued commitment to the advancement of the clinical trials segment. Hosted in ... to clinical trial planning and management. , As executive talent specialists in ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... ... January 18, 2017 , ... ... more E&L expertise. Within Albany Molecular Research, Inc. (AMRI), the scientific staff dedicated ... year and is planned for further growth in 2017. Extractable & Leachable evaluations ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... ... January 18, 2017 , ... ... announced that it has submitted a 510(k) to the FDA, requesting clearance of ... patent-pending functional electrical stimulation (FES) technology. , The submission marks a major ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... ... January 18, 2017 , ... DrugDev customers ... Clinical Ops Executives (Hyatt Regency Miami, January 24-26). DrugDev will join customers including ... issues such as trial performance metrics, patient enrollment diversity, protocol optimization, and global ...
Breaking Biology Technology: