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Latest Reef Stories

Belize Protected Area Boosting Predatory Fish Populations
2011-12-23 05:27:43

Herbivorous fish needed for reef recovery still lagging A 14-year study by the Wildlife Conservation Society in an atoll reef lagoon in Glover's Reef, Belize has found that fishing closures there produce encouraging increases in populations of predatory fish species. However, such closures have resulted in only minimal increases in herbivorous fish, which feed on the algae that smother corals and inhibit reef recovery. The findings will help WCS researchers in their search for new...

Parrot Fish Are The Constant Gardeners Of The World's Reefs
2011-12-09 03:38:26

Australian scientists have urged greater consideration for the brilliantly-hued parrot fishes that tend and renew the world´s imperiled coral reefs. “Parrotfishes are the constant gardeners of the reef. They play a crucial role in keeping it healthy, suppressing weed, removing sediment and helping the corals to regrow after a setback,” explains Professor David Bellwood of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and James Cook University. In a major new study...

2011-11-28 23:07:50

Observations at submarine springs found along the coast of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula are giving scientists a preview of the possible fate of coral reef ecosystems in response to ocean acidification. The naturally low pH (a measure of acidity) in the water around the springs creates conditions similar to those that will result from the widespread acidification of surface waters that scientists expect to occur as the oceans absorb increasing amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere....

Corals Can Sense What's Coming
2011-11-19 04:42:31

Australian scientists have thrown new light on the mechanism behind the mass death of corals worldwide as the Earth´s climate warms. Coral bleaching, one of the most devastating events affecting coral reefs around the planet, is triggered by rising water temperatures. It occurs when the corals and their symbiotic algae become heat-stressed, and the algae which feed the corals either die or are expelled by the coral. There have been seven major bleaching events globally in the past...

Image 1 - 'Fishy Lawnmowers' Help Save Pacific Corals
2011-11-11 05:14:27

Can fish save coral reefs from dying? UC Santa Barbara researchers have found one case where fish have helped coral reefs to recover from cyclones and predators. Coral reefs worldwide are increasingly disturbed by environmental events that are causing their decline, yet some coral reefs recover. UCSB researchers have discovered that the health of coral reefs in the South Pacific island of Moorea, in French Polynesia, may be due to protection by parrotfish and surgeonfish that eat algae,...

Image 1 - Certain Species Of Seaweed Can Harm Corals
2011-10-18 08:46:40

Scientists studying coral reefs in and around the South Pacific have found that some seaweed can cause coral bleaching and suppress photosynthesis by emitting anti-coral chemicals. As part of their study, researchers have identified and mapped the chemical structure of molecules used by certain types of marine seaweed that kill or inhibit growth of reef-building coral. Chemicals found on the surfaces of several species of seaweed have been shown to harm coral, suggesting that competition...

2011-10-17 10:43:50

Coral reefs are among the most diverse ecosystems on the planet, second only to tropical rain forests. Bird's nest coral (Seriatopora hystrix) is common throughout the Indo-Pacific and is able to live across a range of depths. However, there is little gene flow between the coral populations at each depth and even the algal endosymbionts (Symbiodinium), which provide energy for the corals to survive, are genetically different across habitats. New research published in BioMed Central's open...

New Study Challenges Whether Corals Will Benefit From Marine Reserves' Protection
2011-10-04 10:58:18

The ability of marine reserves to replenish fish stocks has been studied extensively, but evidence of their ability to benefit shallow-water communities to thrive remains a mystery. A team of scientists from the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science recently tested whether 10 years of reserve designation has translated into positive impacts on coral communities in Glover's Reef Marine Reserve, Belize. Results from their surveys of 87 patch reefs both...


Latest Reef Reference Libraries

Coral Reef
2013-04-20 15:49:21

Coral reefs are submerged structures consisting of calcium carbonate secreted by corals. Coral reefs are colonies of small animals found in marine waters that enclose few nutrients. The majority of coral reefs are constructed from stony corals, which then consist of polyps that come together in groups. The polyps are like small sea anemones, to which they are very closely related. Unlike the sea anemones, coral polyps secrete hard carbonate exoskeletons which provide support and protections...

601px-Echinophilia
2012-04-03 19:33:28

Chalice Corals, are a family of stony corals in the Pectiniidae family. Members of this family are mostly colonial but at least one species, Echinomorpha nishihirai, is solitary. These corals are endemic to the Indian and Pacific oceans. Pectiniids have a number of different forms but are basically streamlined and smooth. Polyps are large and brightly colored and resemble those of members of the Mussidae family of corals. The polyps are only extended at night. Tentacles are translucent,...

800px-Massive_Starlet_Coral_(Siderastrea_siderea)
2012-04-03 19:03:15

Siderastreidae is a family of colonial, reef building stony corals. Members of this family include symbiotic algae in their tissues which help provide their energy requirements. The World Register of Marine Species lists 7 genera within this family: Anomastraea, Coscinaraea, Craterastrea, Horastrea, Psammocora, Pseudosiderastrea, and Siderastrea. Corals in this family vary in form and include massive, thickly encrusting, columnar, and irregular forms. Corallites are linked by flowing...

800px-Rugose3d
2012-04-03 18:06:52

Horn corals, known as Rugosa or Tetracoralla, are an extinct order of coral that were abundant during the Middle Ordovician to Late Permian stages. They were known as horn corals because of a unique horn-shaped chamber with a wrinkled (rugose) wall. These mostly solitary corals often reached lengths of nearly 40 inches. However, some species could form large colonies. Rugose corals have a skeleton made up of calcite that is often fossilized. Like modern corals, rugose corals were...

800px-Syringoporid
2012-04-03 17:00:56

Tabulata is a family of extinct tabulate corals. These corals lived entirely during the Paleozoic era, being found from the Ordovician to the Permian stages. There are about 300 known genera of tabulate corals, of which Aulopora, Favosites, Halysites, Heliolites, Pleurodictyum, Sarcinula and Syringopora are the most common in the fossil record. These corals were mostly found in the shallow waters of the Silurian and Devonian, after which, they became much less common. They became extinct...

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Word of the Day
ramage
  • Boughs or branches.
  • Warbling of birds in trees.
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