Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
..
. 24/7 Space News .




WATER WORLD
Coral reefs of the Mozambique Channel a leading candidate for saving marine diversity
by Staff Writers
Warwick UK (SPX) Apr 11, 2014


A coral reef system along the coast of northern Mozambique. The authors of the newly published study found that the unique conditions of the northern Mozambique Channel -- a confluence of tides, currents, eddies, along with less exposure to waves and storms -- seems to protect the channel's high coral richness. The research team asserts the corals of the Mozambique Channel should be a priority for conservation action. Image courtesy Emily Darling.

Marine scientists keen on finding patterns of coral decline and persistence in gradually warming oceans have a complex challenge: how to save reefs containing the most diversity with limited resources. In the Western Indian Ocean, researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society, the University of Warwick, the ARC Centre for Excellence of Coral Reef Studies, Simon Fraser University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and other groups have found that the corals of the Mozambique Channel should be a priority for protection as climate change continues to threaten these rainforests of the sea.

The study-generated from data gathered from nearly 300 marine sites over thousands of square miles of ocean-is the latest attempt by scientists to improve efforts to first identify reefs that have survived the effects of higher temperatures and sometimes human pressures such as fishing, and then actions best suited to protecting less disturbed coral ecosystems.

The study appears today in the online journal PLOS ONE. The authors are: Tim McClanahan and Nyawira Muthiga of the Wildlife Conservation Society; Mebrahtu Ateweberhan of the Wildlife Conservation Society and the University of Warwick, United Kingdom; Emily Darling of the Earth to Ocean Research Group at Simon Fraser University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and Nicholas Graham of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University, Australia.

"Determining which reef systems possess a measure of resistance to climate change requires knowing how they have survived the many recent climatic disturbances" said Tim McClanahan, WCS's Senior Conservation Scientist and lead author of the paper.

"The Western Indian Ocean provides us with a variety of responses to disturbances that we can examine and distinguish environmental variation, resilience, adaptation, and other factors for a more informed view of management priorities and solutions to the climate crisis."

Working in 11 countries over a 7-year period, the research team surveyed a total of 291 coral reef sites to evaluate the variations in coral communities. Part of the study was to gauge the recovery of corals since 1998, the year of a massive warming event fuelled by the El Nino Southern Oscillation that caused massive bleaching in the region but also a series of lesser warming events that have disturbed the region since 1998.

The researchers worked in many sites along the African coastline as well islands such as the Maldives, the Seychelles, Comoros, Mauritius, Reunion, and others. The data collection efforts used two research methods for the study, the first being randomly placed 10-meter lines (known as line transects), where scientists identified the kinds of coral down to genus.

The other method-known as a roving observer survey-involved the researcher identifying every coral within a randomly located 2-square-meter polygon. The scientists also recorded levels of observed bleaching during the surveys.

The main finding of the study, the authors note, is the unique conditions of the northern Mozambique Channel-a confluence of tides, currents, eddies, along with less exposure to waves and storms-that seem to protect the channel's high coral richness. High coral diversity and sensitive species have disappeared from many other sites sampled during the project.

Aside from the discovery of the Mozambique Channel as a conservation priority, the scientists found that the latitude where the reef systems are located determined the types of corals found. Northern coral reefs (closer to the equator) in coastal Kenya, Seychelles, and the Maldives-sites greatly impacted by the 1998 bleaching event-contained fewer temperature sensitive species (Acropora and Montipora) and more corals resistant to warm water disturbances.

The scientists examined fishing closures or marine protected areas and found that these no-take areas may promote higher percentages of coral cover prior to a bleaching event, but seem to have no measurable effect on reef recovery after such an occurrence.

This suggests the location of the protected areas is critical and they should be placed in areas where corals are surviving, such as Tanzania, Mozambique, and northern Madagascar.

"The remaining coral diversity of the Mozambique Channel presents us with an opportunity to safeguard these remaining ecosystems for posterity," said Dr. Caleb McClennen, Director of the WCS Marine Program.

.


Related Links
Wildlife Conservation Society
Water News - Science, Technology and Politics






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





WATER WORLD
Longer catch-and-release time leaves largemouth bass nests more vulnerable to predators
Urbana IL (SPX) Apr 10, 2014
During spawning season, a largemouth bass male attentively guards its nest. Recent research at the University of Illinois found that catch-and-release angling could give bass predators the perfect opportunity to consume the young. In fact, the time spent away from the nest during a catch-and-release event and the subsequent exhaustion it creates for the male are critical to the survival of the e ... read more


WATER WORLD
Science, Discovery Channels to broadcast private race to the moon

Take the Plunge: LADEE Impact Challenge

Land a Lunar Laser Reflector Now!

New research finds 'geologic clock' that helps determine moon's age

WATER WORLD
NASA's rover Curiosity discovers Australia on Mars, sort of

Opportunity Moves Further Southwest On Murray Ridge

What's so hard about counting craters?

Curiosity Scoping Out Next Study Area

WATER WORLD
Orion Avionics System Ready for First Test Flight

New Catalog Brings NASA Software Down to Earth

Using ethic frameworks for decisions about health standards on long duration spaceflights

China, Asia-Pacific, will power world tourism: survey

WATER WORLD
China launches experimental satellite

Tiangong's New Mission

"Space Odyssey": China's aspiration in future space exploration

China to launch first "space shuttle bus" this year

WATER WORLD
Progress Departs, New Cargo Ships Awaiting Launch

Progress M-22M to be undocked from ISS and sent on science mission

Is "divorce" between Russian and US space agencies possible?

ISS conducts debris avoidance maneuver

WATER WORLD
On-board camera provides a unique perspective on Arianespace Flight VS07

The DZZ-HR satellite is fueled for Arianespace's upcoming Vega launch

EUTELSAT 3B Mission Status Update

Soyuz ready for Sentinel-1A satellite launch

WATER WORLD
The Importance of Planetary Plumes

Orbital physics is child's play with 'Super Planet Crash'

Lick's Automated Planet Finder: First robotic telescope for planet hunters

Space Sunflower May Help Snap Pictures of Planets

WATER WORLD
Dropbox out to be a home in the Internet 'cloud'

Overcoming structural uncertainty in computer models

World's most powerful VHF radar to be overhauled in Russia

NASA Awards Digital Processor Assembly Contract for LCRD Flight Payload




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.