Archive for the 'General Reef News' Category

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Rare Coral Discovery!

For the first time in over 100 years, a colony of Pacific elkhorn coral (Acropora rotumana) has been spotted in the remote North Pacific Ocean. Researchers from Australia’s Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (CoECRS) found the coral during an underwater survey of the Arno atoll in the Marshall Islands.

Read the Full Article at care2.com.

Bleaching threatens coral triangle

MANILA, Philippines – Environmentalists reported that mass coral bleaching caused by global warming is threatening the health of the Coral Triangle, a vast marine region that is home to 76 percent of all known corals in the world, including those found in the country.

Richard Leck, leader of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Coral Triangle Program Climate Change Strategy, said widespread bleaching has been reported in Anilao and Nasugbu towns in Batangas, and Taytay town in Palawan.

In Taytay town, corals – which previously exhibited hues of deep green – are now in temporary shades of pink, orange and yellow – a precursor to complete bleaching. Numerous other Philippine reefs are likely affected as well, aggravated by localized outbreaks of crown-of-thorns seastars. The Malaysian government, according to the WWF, has closed portions of world-renowned dive sites off the tropical islands of Tioman and Redang until October to give the fragile coral reef ecosystems time to heal. Widespread bleaching has also been reported in Indonesia, particularly in Sabang, Aceh, Padang, Thousand Island, Jakarta, and Bali, among other places.

Read the Full Article in the Philippine Star.

Coral reefs doomed?

The world’s coral reefs are in great danger from dual threats of rising temperatures and ocean acidification, Charlie Veron, Former Chief Scientist of the Australian Institute of Marine Science, told scientists attending the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation meeting in Sanur, Bali.

Read Full Article at Mongabay.com – 22 July 2010

Malaysia closes reefs

Malaysia has closed several of it’s world-famous diving sites including those surrounding the tropical islands of Tioman and Redang because authorities claim the coral is being killed off by global warming. Water temperatures have rocketed recently leading to extensive coral bleaching. The dive sites have been closed to give the reefs time to recover.

See the Full Article in the Daily Telegraph – 22 July 2010.

Reef Fish Confused

The ocean’s rising carbon dioxide levels may cause many coral reef fish to swim toward the smell of predators rather than away from them — and thus toward likely death, marine ecologists said Tuesday

See Full article in Los Angeles Times

Corals & Ocean Acidification

Little is known about the impacts of acidification on the photophysiology of corals or, indeed, other invertebrate-algal symbioses. This gap in our knowledge was addressed by measuring the impacts of acidification (pH 7.6 versus pH 8.1) on the photophysiology and health of the tropical coral Stylophora pistillata and its isolated dinoflagellate symbionts (‘zooxanthellae’), and the temperate sea anemone Anthopleura aureoradiata. This research showed that it is likely that increased CO2 will add some benefit to the usually carbon-limited symbiotic zooxanthellae. It also suggests that ocean acidification is not likely to benefit corals however, with compromised calcification rates likely to undermine the viability of the coral.

Michael, D., 2009. Ocean acidification: comparative impacts on the photophysiology of a temperate symbiotic sea anemone and a tropical coral. Victoria University of Wellington, Master’s thesis.