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Tag: reefs

Even hefty shark pups struggle on degraded reefs

Even hefty shark pups struggle on degraded reefs

Science
Sept. 17 (UPI) -- It's better to be born small and grow up around healthy coral reefs than born big and be relegated to degraded reefs. According to a new study, bigger, heavier shark pups that live near struggling reefs fare worse than their smaller peers living near healthy reefs. In the battle of genes versus nature, the influence of nature wins out. For the study, researchers followed the growth patterns of two populations of newborn reef sharks: one living near St. Joseph atoll in the Seychelles and the other living near Moorea, a French Polynesian island northwest of Tahiti. "We found that although shark pups are born larger, heavier and better conditioned in Moorea, they soon lost their physical advantage over the pups in St. Joseph," Jodie Rummer, a scientist with the ARC Center ...
‘Extreme corals’ discovered in Great Barrier Reef’s mangrove lagoons

‘Extreme corals’ discovered in Great Barrier Reef’s mangrove lagoons

Science
Aug. 29 (UPI) -- Corals capable of withstanding extreme conditions have been found inside mangrove lagoons around Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Scientists found 34 coral species living in the "hot spots" of coral resilience. Inside the lagoons, the so-called "extreme corals" are exposed to high acidity, low oxygen and highly variable temperature conditions. By studying coral species that have adapted to rapidly shifting ocean conditions, scientists can gain insight into how coral will respond to climate change and other environmental stressors. "This highlights the need to study environments that would usually be considered unfavorable to corals in order to understand how stress tolerance in corals works," Emma Camp, research fellow at the University of Technology Sydney, said in a new...
Largest-of-its-kind coral study offers plan to save the planet’s reefs

Largest-of-its-kind coral study offers plan to save the planet’s reefs

Science
Aug. 12 (UPI) -- A new survey of coral communities -- the largest of its kind, according to the research team -- has offered a roadmap for protecting Earth's reefs. The international team of scientists, including researchers with conservation groups, government agencies, and universities, identified three main strategies that can be quickly enacted to save reefs from climate change and human impacts. To identify where and how to save reefs, researchers measured coral abundance on more than 2,500 reefs along the coasts of 44 countries in the Indian and Pacific oceans. Their analysis proved a majority of reefs host functioning coral communities with a diverse and architecturally complex cover of species. After the El Niño event that lasted from 2014 to 2017, which triggered the largest cor
Palau to ban sunscreen as it tries to save its coral reefs

Palau to ban sunscreen as it tries to save its coral reefs

Technology
In an attempt to protect the coral reefs that divers so admire they have dubbed them the underwater Serengeti, the Pacific nation of Palau will soon ban many types of sunscreen. President Tommy Remengesau Jr. last week signed legislation that bans "reef-toxic" sunscreen from 2020. Banned sunscreens will be confiscated from tourists who carry them into the country, and merchants selling the banned products will be fined up to $ 1,000. Remengesau said in a statement that the penalties find the right balance between "educating tourists and scaring them away." The law defines reef-toxic sunscreen as containing any one of 10 chemicals, including oxybenzone, and states that other chemicals may also be banned. The legislation also requires tour operators to start providing customers with reusab...
Coral reefs 'weathered dinosaur extinction'

Coral reefs 'weathered dinosaur extinction'

Science
Corals may have teamed up with the microscopic algae which live inside them as much as 160 million years ago, according to new research.The two organisms have a symbiotic relationship, meaning they need each other to survive.But this partnership was previously thought to have developed about 60 million years ago.The new findings suggest that reef algae may have weathered significant environmental changes over time.This includes the mass extinction that wiped out most of the dinosaurs.Algae's resilience to temperature changes has been of concern to scientists recently, as warming events on the Great Barrier Reef have seen the coral "bleached" of its algae. The study, conducted by an international ...