Current Coral News and Events

Current Coral News and Events, Coral News Articles.
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Microbiome boost may help corals resist bleaching
Providing corals with cocktails of natural probiotics could enhance their tolerance to stress and reduce mortality in coral bleaching events. (2021-02-23)

Study quantifying parachute science in coral reef research shows it's 'still widespread'
Researchers reporting in Current Biology on February 22 have quantified the practice of 'parachute science,' when international scientists conduct research without engaging local researchers. They found that institutions from several lower-middle and upper-middle-income countries with abundant coral reefs produced less research than institutions based in high-income countries with fewer reefs. They also found that host-nation scientists were excluded from authorship on studies almost twice as often when those studies were conducted in lower-income countries. (2021-02-22)

Colorful connection found in coral's ability to survive higher temperatures
A coral's color can tell of its resilience to climate change, and a new study from the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University has shed light on the underlying genetic factors that may be at work behind this. (2021-02-21)

Study reveals energy sources supporting coral reef predators
Since Charles Darwin's day, the abundance of life on coral reefs has been puzzling, given that most oceanic surface waters in the tropics are low in nutrients and unproductive. But now research, led by Newcastle University and published in in the journal Science Advances, has confirmed that the food web of a coral reef in the Maldives relies heavily on what comes in from the open ocean. (2021-02-19)

Fish diet heats up marine biodiversity hotspot
A never-before-seen biodiversity pattern of coral reef fishes suggests some fishes might be exceptionally vulnerable to environmental change. It highlights, for the first time, a unique link between the diet and distribution of species across the marine realm. (2021-02-17)

Observations at a shed light on how hard coral survives without light
French researchers have studied for the first time the distribution of hard corals in the French Polynesian archipelago, from the surface to 120 metres deep. As the amount of light decreases, this coral associates with other filamentous algae, in addition to zooxanthellae, which become inserted into its skeleton. These algae, the only ones found at this depth, could therefore play an important role in the coral's adaptation to life at depth. (2021-02-16)

Turf wars: Ocean acidification and feedback loops lock in turf algal systems
Researchers from the University of Tsukuba have found that seawater acidification locked marine communities of turf algae in a stable state, preventing the growth of kelp and coral species. The degraded turf algal systems were stabilized by feedback loops (control mechanisms in a system). This study will contribute to efforts to manage shifts from complex and diverse marine ecosystems to degraded ones, and better conserve coastal ecosystems and their contributions to human wellbeing. (2021-02-16)

Quantum leaps in understanding how living corals survive
A new imaging technique has been developed to improve our ability to visualize and track the symbiotic interactions between coral and algae in response to globally warming sea surface temperatures and deepening seawaters. (2021-02-15)

Family ties explain mysterious social life of coral gobies
The strange social structure of tiny fish called emerald coral gobies may be explained by family loyalty, new research shows. (2021-02-11)

New tool helps clinicians assess patients who develop COVID-19 symptoms
The newly developed COvid Risk cALculator (CORAL) standardizes the assessment of emergency department and hospitalized patients who develop symptoms of COVID-19. The tool minimizes the chance that a patient with a false-negative test escapes detection and indicates when a patient's probability of having COVID-19 is low enough that isolation can be discontinued. (2021-02-10)

Uncovering how some corals resist bleaching
Colorful coral reefs have suffered from ''bleaching'' due to climate change, but researchers from University of Hawaii and Michigan State University joined forces to uncover why some were resistant to this effect in the hopes to preserve these oceanic wonders. (2021-02-08)

High CO2 to slow tropical fish move to cooler waters
A new study from the University of Adelaide, published in Nature Climate Change, shows that the ocean acidification predicted under continuing high CO2 emissions may make cooler, temperate waters less welcoming. (2021-02-08)

Scientists discover ocean 'surface slicks' are nurseries for diverse fishes
Ocean features called surface slicks are an interconnected superhighway of nursery habitat for more than 100 species of fishes from diverse ocean habitats. (2021-02-04)

Hidden world just below the surface
A team of scientists from NOAA's Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, Arizona State University and elsewhere have discovered that a diverse array of marine animals find refuge in so-called 'surface slicks' in Hawai'i. These ocean features create a superhighway of nursery habitat for more than 100 species of commercially and ecologically important fishes, such as mahi-mahi, jacks, and billfish. Their findings were published today in the journal Scientific Reports. (2021-02-04)

Human-generated noise pollution dominates the ocean's soundscape
The soundscapes of the Anthropocene ocean are fundamentally different from those of pre-industrial times, becoming more and more a raucous cacophony as the noise from human activity has grown louder and more prevalent. (2021-02-04)

Coral decline -- is sunscreen a scapegoat?
A recent paper in the journal of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (ET&C) summarizes the scientific literature assessing the impact of organic UV filters on coral ecosystems. The researchers concluded that while organic UV filters do occur in the environment, there is limited evidence to suggest their presence is causing significant harm to coral reefs. (2021-02-02)

Much to glean when times are rough
Stable seafood consumption amongst the world's poorer coastal communities depends on their local habitat characteristics, which influences how they fish at different times of the year. (2021-02-01)

Forty years of coral spawning captured in one place for the first time
Efforts to understand when corals reproduce have been given a boost thanks to a new resource that gives scientists open access to more than forty years' worth of information about coral spawning. Led by researchers at Newcastle University, UK, and James Cook University, Australia, the Coral Spawning Database (CSD) for the first time collates vital information about the timing and geographical variation of coral spawning. (2021-01-29)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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