Current Corals News and Events

Current Corals News and Events, Corals News Articles.
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'Missing ice problem' finally solved
During glacial periods, the sea level falls, because vast quantities of water are stored in the massive inland glaciers. To date, however, computer models have been unable to reconcile sea-level height with the thickness of the glaciers. (2021-02-23)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

Crown-of-thorns eat themselves out of house and home
A world-first study on the Great Barrier Reef shows crown-of-thorns starfish have the ability to find their own way home -- a behavior previously undocumented--but only if their neighborhood is stocked with their favorite food: corals. The starfish will consume available Acropora and ultimately eat themselves out of house and home before dispersing in search of new feeding grounds. (2020-11-03)

Genomic data 'catches corals in the act' of speciation and adaptation
A new study led by the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa revealed that diversity in Hawaiian corals is likely driven by co-evolution between the coral host, the algal symbiont, and the microbial community. (2020-11-02)

Coral researchers find link between bacterial genus and disease susceptibility
Corals that appear healthy are more prone to getting sick when they're home to too many parasitic bacteria, new research at Oregon State University shows. (2020-10-28)

Cauliflower coral genome sequenced
A newly sequenced coral genome offers tools to understand environmental adaptation. (2020-10-27)

Elkhorn coral actively fighting off diseases on reef, study finds
MIAMI--As the world enters a next wave of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we are aware now more than ever of the importance of a healthy immune system to protect ourselves from disease. This is not only true for humans but corals too, which are in an ongoing battle to ward off deadly diseases spreading on a reef. (2020-10-23)

NYU Abu Dhabi study discovers how some single-cell organisms control microbiomes
Large swaths of single-celled eukaryotes, non-bacterial single-cell organisms like microalgae, fungi or mold, can control microbiomes (a collection of tiny microbes, mostly bacteria) by secreting unusual small molecules around their cells, maintaining host survival and ecological success, according to a new study by NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) Assistant Professor of Biology Shady Amin. (2020-10-19)

Deep-sea corals reveal secrets of rapid carbon dioxide increase as the last ice age ended
The Southern Ocean played a critical role in the rapid atmospheric carbon dioxide increase during the last deglaciation that took place 20,000 to 10,000 years ago, an international team of researchers report in Science Advances. The chemical signatures of nitrogen and carbon in the coral fossils revealed that ocean carbon sequestration decreased as phytoplankton failed to devour macronutrients supplied by upwelling currents in the Southern Ocean and trap carbon dioxide in the deep ocean. (2020-10-16)

Deep sea coral time machines reveal ancient CO2 burps
The fossilised remains of ancient deep-sea corals may act as time machines providing new insights into the effect the ocean has on rising CO2 levels, according to new research carried out by the Universities of Bristol, St Andrews and Nanjing and published today [16 October 2020] in Science Advances. (2020-10-16)

Was Hong Kong once a coral reef paradise?
Researchers from The University of Hong Kong's School of Biological Sciences and The Swire Institute of Marine Science, have for the first time investigated the historical presence of coral communities in the Greater Bay Area, revealing a catastrophic range collapse and loss of diversity that occurred in the last several decades. (2020-10-15)

Scientists shed new light on viruses' role in coral bleaching
Scientists at Oregon State University have shown that viral infection is involved in coral bleaching - the breakdown of the symbiotic relationship between corals and the algae they rely on for energy. (2020-10-14)

The Great Barrier Reef has lost half its corals
Populations of corals on the Great Barrier Reef have halved in the past three decades - in both shallow and deeper water, and across virtually all species - especially branching and table-shaped corals. These were the worst affected by record-breaking temperatures that triggered mass bleaching in 2016 and 2017. And the Great Barrier Reef was hit with mass bleaching again only a few months ago. (2020-10-13)

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