Current Coral Reef News and Events

Current Coral Reef News and Events, Coral Reef News Articles.
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How did Florida fail to respond to a coral disease epizootic and what's to follow?
By 2020, losses of corals have been observed throughout Florida and into the greater Caribbean basin in what turned out to be likely the most lethal recorded case of Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease. A Perspectives paper, published in the open-access peer-reviewed journal Rethinking Ecology, provides an overview of how Florida ended up in a situation, where the best that could be done is rescuing genetic material from coral species at risk of regional extinction. (2021-01-26)

Reef fish futures foretold
There are markedly different outcomes for different species of coral reef fishes under climate change - scientists are now another step closer to uncovering the 'winners and losers'. (2021-01-26)

Mangroves threatened by plastic pollution from rivers, new study finds
Mangrove ecosystems are at particular risk of being polluted by plastic carried from rivers to the sea. Fifty-four per cent of mangrove habitat is within 20 km of a river that discharges more than a tonne of plastic waste a year into the ocean, according to a new paper published in the journal Science of the Total Environment. Mangroves in southeast Asia are especially threatened by river-borne plastic pollution, the researchers found. (2021-01-26)

NSU researcher part of team studying impact of rising sea temperatures on marine life
Global warming or climate change. It doesn't matter what you call it. What matters is that right now it is having a direct and dramatic effect on marine environments across our planet. (2021-01-26)

Southern Africa's most endangered shark just extended its range by 2,000 kilometers
A team of marine scientists led by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has confirmed that southern Africa's most threatened endemic shark - the Critically Endangered shorttail nurse shark (Pseudoginglymostoma brevicaudatum) - has been found to occur in Mozambique; a finding that represents a range extension of more than 2,000 kilometers (1,242 miles). (2021-01-26)

Major discovery helps explain coral bleaching
An EPFL scientist has made a major breakthrough in the understanding of coral bleaching -- a process that causes corals to lose their color and eventually leads to their death. The process is triggered by warmer ocean temperatures, and, according to the study, it begins much earlier than previously thought. The bleaching apparently results from a disturbance in the metabolic equilibrium between corals and their symbiotic algae, which feed them and give them their color. (2021-01-25)

Scientists discover how the potentially oldest coral reefs in the Mediterranean developed
A new study from the Institut de Ciències del Mar (ICM-CSIC, Spain) and the National Oceanography Centre brings unprecedented insights into the environmental constraints and climatic events that controlled the formation of the potentially oldest coral reefs in the Mediterranean. (2021-01-21)

Squid-inspired robot swims with nature's most efficient marine animals
Scientists at the University of Southampton and University of Edinburgh have developed a flexible underwater robot that can propel itself through water in the same style as nature's most efficient swimmer - the Aurelia aurita jellyfish. (2021-01-20)

Are partially protected areas the 'red herrings' of marine conservation?
Partially protected marine areas create confusion and don't meet their broad conservation objectives, UNSW researchers have found. (2021-01-15)

Future too warm for baby sharks
As climate change causes the world's oceans to warm, baby sharks are born smaller, exhausted, undernourished and into environments that are already difficult for them to survive in. (2021-01-12)

Study finds future too warm for baby sharks
A new study conducted at the New England Aquarium finds that as climate change causes the ocean to warm, baby sharks are born smaller, exhausted, undernourished, and into environments that are already difficult for them to survive in. (2021-01-12)

Big differences in how coral reef fish larvae are dispersed
How the larvae of colorful clownfish that live among coral reefs in the Philippines are dispersed varies widely, depending on the year and seasons - a Rutgers-led finding that could help scientists improve conservation of species. Right after most coral reef fish hatch, they join a swirling sea of plankton as tiny, transparent larvae. Then currents, winds and waves disperse them, frequently to different reefs. (2021-01-11)

NYUAD scientists uncover the genomic differences of marine and freshwater microalgae
NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) Associate Professor of Biology Kourosh Salehi-Ashtiani and NYUAD Senior Research Scientist David Nelson report in a new study that they have successfully cultured and sequenced 107 microalgae species from 11 different phyla indigenous to varied locations and climates to gain insights on genomic differences in saltwater and freshwater microalgae. (2021-01-11)

Scientists discover slimy microbes that may help keep coral reefs healthy
Microbes living within the slimy biofilms of some coral species may help protect the coral against excess nitrogen levels, according to research from MIT and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), in collaboration with colleagues in Cuba. (2021-01-08)

UCF engineering and biology researchers collaborate to aid coral reef restoration
Florida's threatened coral reefs have a more than $4 billion annual economic impact on the state's economy, and University of Central Florida researchers are zeroing in on one factor that could be limiting their survival - coral skeleton strength. In a new study published in the journal Coral Reefs, UCF engineering researchers tested how well staghorn coral skeletons withstand the forces of nature and humans, such as impacts from hurricanes and divers. (2021-01-08)

How to identify heat-stressed corals
Researchers have found a novel way to identify heat-stressed corals, which could help scientists pinpoint the coral species that need protection from warming ocean waters linked to climate change, according to a Rutgers-led study. (2021-01-04)

New research makes strong case for restoring Hong Kong's lost oyster reefs
New research produced jointly by The Swire Institute of Marine Science (SWIMS), Faculty of Science, The University of Hong Kong (HKU), and The Nature Conservancy (TNC), published recently in the scientific journal Restoration Ecology, shows the enormous potential of restoring lost oyster reefs, bringing significant environmental benefits. (2020-12-28)

Coastal ecosystems 'bright spots'
CSIRO, Australia's national science agency, has identified coastal 'bright spots' to repair marine ecosystems globally, paving the way to boost biodiversity, local economies and human wellbeing. (2020-12-21)

CRISPR helps researchers uncover how corals adjust to warming oceans
The CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing system can help scientists understand, and possibly improve, how corals respond to the environmental stresses of climate change. Work led by Phillip Cleves--who joined Carnegie's Department of Embryology this fall--details how the revolutionary, Nobel Prize-winning technology can be deployed to guide conservation efforts for fragile reef ecosystems. (2020-12-21)

Scientists warn of likely massive oil spill endangering the Red Sea, region's health
A paper to be published in Frontiers in Marine Science on December 15 is calling for action to remove the oil from a decaying and inactive tanker in the Red Sea that holds approximately one million barrels of oil - four times the amount of oil contained in the Exxon Valdez, the tanker that had a disastrous environmental oil spill in 1989 - before its current seepage turns into a massive oil spill into the sea. (2020-12-15)

Mapping corals from the sky guides reef conservation
Using a new airborne mapping approach developed by researchers at Arizona State University's Center for Global Discovery and Conservation Science (GDCS), the geographic distribution of live corals was, for the first time, quantified to 16 meters (51 feet) of water depth across the main Hawaiian islands. (2020-12-14)

Recovery of an endangered Caribbean coral from parrotfish predation
Orbicella annularis is an important Caribbean coral and an endangered species, yet it is also frequently predated by parrotfishes. In a recent study published in Coral Reefs, researchers from California Polytechnic State University tracked the recovery of this coral species from parrotfish predation. They found that O. annularis coral tissue loss appears to be driven primarily by a few exceptionally large parrotfish predation scars. Fortunately, 87% of scars were small and likely to fully heal. (2020-12-14)

How seaweed-munching crabs could help save coral reefs
Coral reefs are facing a steep decline today for many reasons, including climate change, overfishing, pollution, disease, and more. What's taking their place is lots and lots of seaweed. But researchers reporting in the journal Current Biology on December 10 now have some encouraging news: native crabs can help to combat the seaweed and restore the reef. (2020-12-10)

One-two punch: sea urchins stuck belly-up in low-oxygen hot water
Low oxygen seawater (hypoxia) may be more stressful to reef organisms than high water temperatures and ocean acidity, which are usually considered the most serious stressors associated with global change. Researchers at the Smithsonian in Panama test all three by flipping sea urchins. (2020-12-09)

Coral recovery during a prolonged heatwave offers new hope
University of Victoria biologists have discovered how some corals managed to survive a globally unprecedented heatwave, in a first-ever study that provides new hope for the long-term survival of coral reefs in the face of climate change. (2020-12-08)

Gasdermin offers insight into coral necrotic death
A research team led by Professor SUN Li from the Institute of Oceanology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (IOCAS), in collaboration with Professor ZHOU Zhi from Hainan University, has identified gasdermin E (GSDME) from the reef-building coral Orbicella faveolata and demonstrated that coral GSDME triggers pyroptosis and is involved in pathogen-induced coral death. (2020-12-04)

Coasts drown as coral reefs collapse under warming and acidification
The coastal protection coral reefs currently provide will start eroding by the end of the century, as the world continues to warm and the oceans acidify. The rate of erosion of calcium carbonate on coral reefs will overtake the rate of accretion on the majority of present-day reefs by the end of the century. (2020-12-03)

Octogenarian snapper found in WA becomes oldest tropical reef fish by two decades
An 81-year-old midnight snapper caught off the coast of Western Australia has taken the title of the oldest tropical reef fish recorded anywhere in the world. The octogenarian fish was found at the Rowley Shoals -- about 300km west of Broome -- and was part of a study that has revised what we know about the longevity of tropical fish. (2020-12-01)

Study reveals unintended impact of conversation policies
New research involving the University of East Anglia (UEA) shows how conservation polices can avoid having unintended consequences for local ecosystems and people. The research, conducted by scientists at the Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions (COS) and University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, with partners in Palau and economists in Italy and the UK, shows that the PNMS policies which restrict industrial offshore fishing could drive up offshore fish prices and, in turn, increase tourists' consumption of reef fish. (2020-11-30)

Caribbean coral reefs under siege from aggressive algae
Human activity endangers coral health around the world. A new algal threat is taking advantage of coral's already precarious situation in the Caribbean and making it even harder for reef ecosystems to grow. Just-published research details how an aggressive, golden-brown, crust-like alga is rapidly overgrowing shallow reefs, taking the place of coral that was damaged by extreme storms and exacerbating the damage caused by ocean acidification, disease, pollution, and bleaching. (2020-11-30)

The 'smell' of coral as an indicator of reef health
A study conducted in the southern Great Barrier Reef reveals the chemical diversity of emissions from healthy corals. The researchers found that across the reef-building coral species studied on Heron Island, the abundance and chemical diversity of their gas emissions fell significantly during heat stress experiments. With the increasing frequency of heat stress events, understanding coral emissions may prove to be a key reef conservation tool. (2020-11-30)

Genes unlock clues to the evolution and survival of the Great Barrier Reef
Innovative molecular techniques explain how corals on the east coast of Australia survived previous tough conditions--enabling the Great Barrier Reef to become the vast reef it is today. Scientists mapped the rise and fall of two coral populations on the reef, tracking which genes rapidly evolved to endure changing conditions, while measuring the flow of genes between locations. (2020-11-27)

Scientists organize to tackle crisis of coral bleaching
An international consortium of scientists has created the first-ever common framework for increasing comparability of research findings on coral bleaching. (2020-11-23)

WSU scientists discover new, simple way to classify marine biomes
Washington State University scientists have developed a new way to classify the ocean's diverse environments, shedding new light on how marine biomes are defined and changed by nature and humans. (2020-11-20)

New report projects severe coral bleaching globally in this century
MIAMI--The United Nations recently released a new report projecting future coral reef bleaching globally. The lead author of the report, Ruben van Hooidonk, is a scientist with NOAA's Cooperative Institute of Marine and Atmospheric Studies based at the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. (2020-11-20)

Applying environmental genomics to coral conservation
Coral reefs are extremely sensitive to temperature, making them particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. But some corals seem able to adapt. Researchers from EPFL and the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD) studied a reef in New Caledonia, combining approaches from environmental science and genomics to characterize their adaptive potential and develop targeted conservation strategies. (2020-11-12)

A better understanding of coral skeleton growth suggests ways to restore reefs
In a new study, University of Wisconsin-Madison physicists observed reef-forming corals at the nanoscale and identified how they create their skeletons. The results provide an explanation for how corals are resistant to acidifying oceans and suggest that controlling water temperature, not acidity, is crucial to mitigating loss and restoring reefs. (2020-11-09)

New study uses satellites and field studies to improve coral reef restoration
A recent study published in Restoration Ecology by researchers from Arizona State University's Center for Global Discovery and Conservation Science (GDCS) found evidence that particulate organic carbon levels are one of the most important factors in determining coral outplant survival. (2020-11-09)

Light pollution at night severely disrupts the reproductive cycle of corals
Studying the reproductive cycle of two coral species from the Indo-Pacific Ocean over the course of three months, researchers found that light pollution caused delayed gametogenesis and unsynchronized gamete release. To shed light on the findings, they created a first-of-its-kind global map that highlights areas in the world most threatened by nighttime artificial light. This light pollution impact assessment can help incorporate an important variable in coral reef conservation planning near areas of human activity. (2020-11-05)

Coral larvae movement is paused in reaction to darkness
A new study published in Scientific Reports shows that coral larvae swimming in seawater behave in such a manner so as to temporarily stop swimming due to reduced light, especially blue light. Researchers think that this behavior may play a role in determining where corals settle. (2020-11-04)

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