The mutually beneficial relationship between algae and modern corals — which provides algae with shelter, gives coral reefs their colors and supplies both organisms with nutrients — began more than 210 million years ago, according to a new study by an international team of scientists including researchers from Princeton University. (more…)
Tag Archives: corals
New study shows healthy Red Sea corals carry bacterial communities within
Corals may let certain bacteria get under its skin, according to a new study by researchers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and soon to be published in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology. The study offers the first direct evidence that Stylophora pistillata, a species of reef-building coral found throughout the Indian and west Pacific Oceans, harbors bacterial denizens deep within its tissues.
“We have evidence that other species of coral also host these bacteria, and that they may play an important role in keeping a coral healthy,” says Amy Apprill, a WHOI assistant scientist who co-directed the study along with KAUST Assistant Professor Christian Voolstra. KAUST post-doctoral scholar Till Bayer was the lead author of the study. (more…)
A changing climate has implications on biodiversity without any doubt. Species in the past have been sensitive to changes in the climate; that has been proved time and again by the fossilized remains and pollen distribution studies. It has been seen or can be concluded safely that climate changes have led to extinction of species in one area and colonization in another.
It is improbable that all species can or will be able to adapt to changing conditions specially the sudden changes. This leads to impact in ecosystem dynamics and also on community composition. (more…)
Scientists are setting sail on August 25 to study ocean acidification in the Arctic and what this means for the future survival of marine and terrestrial organisms.
The Arctic Ocean is one of the most vulnerable places on the planet for acidification, yet it is the least-explored ocean. Acidification can disturb the balance of marine life in the world’s oceans, and consequently affect humans and animals that rely on those food resources.
Ocean acidification is particularly harmful to organisms such as corals, oysters, crabs, shrimp and plankton, as well as those up and down the food chain. Higher acidity decreases an organism’s calcification rate, meaning they lose their ability to build shells or skeletons. (more…)
*Damaged deep-sea corals discovered months after Deepwater Horizon spill*
Scientists are reporting new evidence that the Deepwater Horizon oil spill has affected marine life in the Gulf of Mexico, this time species that live in dark ocean depths–deepwater corals.
The research used a range of underwater vehicles, including the submarine Alvin, to investigate the corals. The findings are published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). (more…)
A team of researchers from UH Mānoa’s Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB) has developed an interactive global map of corals and zooxanthellae, commonly known as flagellate protozoa, as part of a hybrid web application titled GeoSymbio. This application provides global-scale biological and ecosystem information on symbiotic zooxanthellae called Symbiodinium, which are uni-cellular, photosynthetic dinoflagellates that live inside the cells of other marine organisms like anemones, jellyfish and corals.
The GeoSymbio application provides the genetic identification and taxonomic description of over 400 distinct Symbiodinium subclades or genetic lineages in invertebrate hosts that have been sampled from a variety of marine habitats, thereby providing a wealth of information for symbiosis researchers in a single online location. By utilizing Google Apps, the team was able to develop this web-based tool to discover, explore, visualize and share data in a rapid, cost-effective and engaging manner. (more…)
SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — For the first time, scientists have been able to validate the age of deep-sea black corals in the Gulf of Mexico. They found the Gulf is home to 2,000 year-old deep-sea black corals, many of which are only a few feet tall.
These slow-growing, long-living animals thrive in very deep waters—300 meters (984 feet) and deeper—yet scientists say they are sensitive to what is happening in the surface ocean as well as on the sea floor. (more…)
WASHINGTON — Researchers looking at corals in the western tropical Pacific Ocean have found signs of a profound shift in the depth where warm surface water and colder deeper water meet—a shift predicted by computer models of global warming.
The finding is the first physical evidence supporting what climate modelers have been predicting as the effects of global climate change on the subsurface ocean circulation. (more…)