Some coral communities are becoming more heat tolerant as ocean temperatures rise, offering hope for corals in a changing climate.
Woods Hole, Mass. (August 19th, 2021) — A team led by Anne Cohen, a scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, received $1.75M in funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study how coral reefs survive extreme heat events caused by climate change. The multidisciplinary project taps into expertise across four WHOI departments to uncover the oceanographic and biological processes that enable corals to survive marine heatwaves.
The reefs at Palmyra Atoll, a small outlying atoll in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, have been undergoing a shift from stony corals to systems dominated by corallimorphs, marine invertebrates that share traits with both anemones and hard corals.
Woods Hole, Mass. (July 26, 2021) — In September of 2017, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution postdoctoral scholar Maggie Johnson was conducting an experiment with a colleague in Bocas del Toro off the Caribbean coast of Panama. After sitting on a quiet, warm open ocean, they snorkeled down to find a peculiar layer of murky, foul-smelling water about 10 feet below the surface, with brittle stars and sea urchins, which are usually in hiding, perching on the tops of coral.
A powerful, long-term study from WCS adds scientific backing for global calls for conserving 30 percent of the world’s ocean.
Embargoed press materials are now available for the virtual Experimental Biology (EB) 2021 meeting, featuring cutting-edge multidisciplinary research from across the life sciences. EB 2021, to be held April 27–30, is the annual meeting of five scientific societies bringing together thousands of scientists and 25 guest societies in one interdisciplinary community.
Charles Darwin, the British naturalist who championed the theory of evolution, noted that corals form far-reaching structures, largely made of limestone, that surround tropical islands. He didn’t know how they performed this feat. Now, Rutgers scientists have shown that coral structures consist of a biomineral containing a highly organized organic mix of proteins that resembles what is in our bones. Their study, published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, shows for the first time that several proteins are organized spatially – a process that’s critical to forming a rock-hard coral skeleton.
Climate change is bleaching and killing corals, but researchers from Michigan State University and the University of Hawaii are investigating how some can stand up to a warming world.
The Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University in collaboration with Chula Unisearch, the Plant Genetic Conservation Project under the Royal Initiative of Her Royal Highness (HRH) Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and the Naval Special Warfare Command, Royal Thai Navy, jointly publicized the discovery of the world’s rare and newly discovered species of soft coral. The discovery indicates the abundance and ecological diversity of the Thai seas and one of the new species has received HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’s gracious permission to be named “Sirindhornae“. The other was named “Cornigera“. The discovery and names of the two new soft coral species found in the Thai seas have been published in the international research journal, Zootaxa, in 2020.
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.
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.
In recent decades, the decline of living hard coral on reefs around the world has raised concerns among marine experts. For years, the presumption was that decline signaled that an entire reef’s future was threatened. A study by Florida State University researchers shows that might not always be the case. While a complement of healthy coral is still preferred, dead or dying coral might not be fatal for an entire reef.
Imagine a device that could swiftly analyze microbes in oceans and other aquatic environments, revealing the health of these organisms – too tiny to be seen by the naked eye – and their response to threats to their ecosystems. Rutgers researchers have created just such a tool, a portable device that could be used to assess microbes, screen for antibiotic-resistant bacteria and analyze algae that live in coral reefs. Their work is published in the journal Scientific Reports.
New Brunswick, N.J. (Jan. 6, 2020) – By combining a range of biological data with the first successful genome editing experiments in corals, scientists are poised for rapid advancements in understanding how coral genes function, according to a paper in…
Enough physical evidence spanning millennia has now come together to allow researchers to say definitively that: El Ninos, La Ninas, and the climate phenomenon that drives them have become more extreme in the times of human-induced climate change.