Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
..
. Earth Science News .




WATER WORLD
Too much of a good thing can be bad for corals
by Staff Writers
Miami FL (SPX) Oct 15, 2012


illustration only

A new study by scientists at the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science shows that corals may be more severely impacted by climate warming when they contain too many symbiotic algae.

The single-celled algae living inside corals are usually the key to coral success, providing the energy needed to build massive reef frameworks. However, when temperatures become too warm, these algae are expelled from corals during episodes of coral 'bleaching' that can lead to widespread death of corals.

Until now, it was thought that corals with more algal symbionts would be more tolerant of bleaching because they had 'more symbionts to lose.' The new study shows that the opposite is true.

"We discovered that the more symbiotic algae a coral has, the more severely it bleaches, showing that too much of a good thing can actually be bad," said Ross Cunning, Ph.D. student and lead author of the study. "We also learned that the number of algae in corals varies over time, which helps us better understand coral bleaching risk."

His research was conducted using cauliflower coral (Pocillopora damicornis) collected from the Pacific coast of Panama. The corals were monitored for six months at the UM's Experimental Hatchery, where they slowly warmed up and ultimately bleached.

The number of symbiotic algae in the corals was studied by analyzing DNA samples with new highly sensitive genetic techniques that determine the ratio of algal cells to coral cells. This improved technique made the discovery possible by showing that corals with more algae bleached more severely than those with fewer algae.

"Corals regulate their symbionts to match the environment in which they are found, and this study shows there is a real cost to having too many," said co-author Andrew Baker, associate professor at UM's Rosenstiel School. "There are real-world implications of this.

Corals will be more vulnerable to bleaching if they are found in environments which increase the number of symbionts, such as coastal reefs polluted by wastewater and runoff. If we can improve water quality, we might be able to buy some time to help these reefs avoid the worst effects of climate change.

"Other environmental changes, including ocean acidification as a result of increasing carbon dioxide emissions, might also influence bleaching vulnerability in ways we haven't thought of before," Baker added.

The article entitled "Excess algal symbionts increase the susceptibility of reef corals to bleaching" authored by Cunning and Baker appears in the Advance Online Publication of Nature Climate Change on October 14th. Support was provided by a Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation to Andrew Baker, and grants from the National Science Foundation (OCE-0527184 and OCE-0526361). Ross Cunning was supported by a University of Miami Fellowship and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.

.


Related Links
University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science
Water News - Science, Technology and Politics






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





WATER WORLD
Scientists Uncover Diversion of Gulf Stream Path in Late 2011
Cape Cod, MA (SPX) Oct 15, 2012
At a meeting with New England commercial fishermen last December, physical oceanographers Glen Gawarkiewicz and Al Plueddemann from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) were alerted by three fishermen about unusually high surface water temperatures and strong currents on the outer continental shelf south of New England. "I promised them I would look into why that was happening," ... read more


WATER WORLD
Planning can cut costs of disasters: World Bank

12 Chinese workers killed, 24 hurt in dormitory blaze

Far, far beyond wrist radios

World leaders meet on disaster management in Japan

WATER WORLD
Amazon offers refunds following e-book settlement

Shares in China's ZTE slump after profit warning

U.N.: 6 billion cellphone subscriptions

Swedish breakthrough in space on NASA satellite with electronics from AAC Microtec

WATER WORLD
Scientists Uncover Diversion of Gulf Stream Path in Late 2011

Documented decrease in frequency of Hawaii's northeast trade winds

Too much of a good thing can be bad for corals

Judge scraps Amazon dam hearing

WATER WORLD
NASA's Operation IceBridge Resumes Flights Over Antarctica

Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches New Maximum Extent

Polarstern returns with new findings from the Central Arctic during the 2012 ice minimum

DRI scientist co-authors study outlining vast differences in polar ocean microbial communities

WATER WORLD
Gene Suppression Can Reduce Cold-induced Sweetening in Potatoes

Nepal culls chickens amid bird flu outbreak

Strengthening a billion-dollar gene in soybeans

Nasdaq OMX, China's Dalian Commodity team up

WATER WORLD
Scientists identify trigger for explosive volcanic eruptions

New hurricane forms over Pacific

Japan's TEPCO admits downplaying tsunami risk

6.7 magnitude quake strikes off Indonesia's Papua

WATER WORLD
Critical bishop expelled from Chad back in Italy

Four dead after day of violence in restive Nigerian city

Thousands march in Mali to urge intervention against Islamists

Nigerian farmers sue Shell in Dutch case with global reach

WATER WORLD
Nasty noises: Why do we recoil at unpleasant sounds

UN report warns of possible rise in child marriages

Chimps said attacking humans in Africa

New human neurons from adult cells right there in the brain




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement