Navigation Links
How marine reserves are giving coral reefs a helping hand

It may be no surprise that marine reserves protect the fish that live in them, but now scientists from the University of Exeter have shown for the first time that they could also help improve the health of coral reefs.

In a paper in the prestigious journal Science, Dr Peter Mumby and colleagues looked at how a marine park in the Bahamas was affected by the return of the reef's top predator, the Nassau Grouper. Researchers were concerned that an increase in groupers could have an adverse effect, because they feed on parrotfish which play a vital role in maintaining the reef ecosystem.

Dr Peter Mumby, from the School of Biosciences at the University of Exeter,said: "While an increasing number of larger predators is essentially good news we had concerns that this might result in a decrease in the numbers of parrotfish, which could ultimately damage the health of the reef. More than 20 years ago sea urchins in the Caribbean were wiped out by disease, leaving parrotfish as the main grazer of reef surfaces. The fish use their teeth to remove seaweed from the reef which allows new corals to settle and grow.This grazing process is essential to the health of the system."

"Caribbean reefs are still trying to recover from the devastating effects of an El Nino bleaching event in 1998 which caused widespread damage to coral around the world.

What we have found is that marine reserves might provide exactly the right conditions to allow this to happen. Interestingly, once parrotfish reach a length of around 28 cm, they become too big for even the largest grouper to swallow. This 'escape' from a risk of predation means that most reserves are unlikely to reduce the amount of grazing even afterthe number of predators rises."

Peter added, "Diving in the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park was fun because a large number of sharks turned up to watch us work. Sharks have been heavily fished on most coral reefs so it's always a thrill to visit one of their sanctuaries."


Source:University of Exeter

Related biology news :

1. Sequencing of marine bacterium will help study of cell communication
2. Solutions that reduce death of marine life reeled in by International Smart Gear Competition
3. UN environmental agency steps up battle against marine pollution
4. Evidence of 600-million-year old fungi-algae symbiosis discovered in marine fossils
5. Deep thinking: Scientists sequence a cold-loving marine microbe
6. UNC computer, marine scientists collaborate to predict flow of toxic waters from Katrina
7. Structures of marine toxins provide insight into their effectiveness as cancer drugs
8. UF study first to quantify validity of DNA I.D. tool using marine snails
9. Prenatal exposure to marine toxin causes lasting damage
10. Restaurant seafood prices since 1850s help plot marine harvests through history
11. Compound from marine bacteria shows potential as multiple myeloma therapy
Post Your Comments:

(Date:11/18/2015)... , November 18, 2015 ... has published a new market report titled  Gesture Recognition ... and Forecast, 2015 - 2021. According to the report, the global ... and is anticipated to reach US$29.1 bn by 2021, ... North America dominated the ...
(Date:11/16/2015)... 2015  Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ: SYNA ), ... announced expansion of its TDDI product portfolio with ... and display driver integration (TDDI) solutions designed to ... TDDI products add to the previously-announced TD4300 ... resolution), and TD4322 (FHD resolution) solutions. All four ...
(Date:11/10/2015)... 2015  In this report, the biomarkers ... product, type, application, disease indication, and geography. ... are consumables, services, software. The type segments ... efficacy biomarkers, and validation biomarkers. The applications ... development, drug discovery and development, personalized medicine, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... LUMPUR, Malaysia , Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... global contract research organisation (CRO) market. The trend ... result in lower margins but higher volume share ... increased capacity and scale, however, margins in the ... Research Organisation (CRO) Market ( ), ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015 /CNW/ - iCo Therapeutics ("iCo" or "the Company") ... for the quarter ended September 30, 2015. Amounts, ... and presented under International Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS"). ... said Andrew Rae , President & CEO ... not only value enriching for this clinical program, ...
(Date:11/24/2015)...  Clintrax Global, Inc., a worldwide provider of clinical research services ... that the company has set a new quarterly earnings record in ... growth posted for Q3 of 2014 to Q3 of 2015.   ... , with the establishment of an Asia-Pacific ... United Kingdom and Mexico , ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... -- SHPG ) announced today that Jeff Poulton ... th Annual Healthcare Conference in New York City ... EST (1:30 p.m. GMT). --> SHPG ) announced today ... the Piper Jaffray 27 th Annual Healthcare Conference in ... 2015, at 8:30 a.m. EST (1:30 p.m. GMT). --> ...
Breaking Biology Technology: