HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Corals are being robbed of light

IT'S not just warmer water that's making life difficult for coral reefs. The oceans are getting murkier, and that's stunting reef growth.

Sunlight is essential for coral reefs. Symbiotic algae called zooxanthellae living in the corals photosynthesise to produce carbohydrates and oxygen that the corals use to make reef-building calcium carbonate. If waters become less transparent this process is harmed, says Charles Yentsch of the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in West Boothbay Harbor, Maine. He and his colleagues found that some reefs in the Florida Keys are getting barely enough sunlight to sustain themselves. The reefs are functioning close to the "compensation point"-where the coral and the zooxanthellae use up all the products of photosynthesis just to survive, leaving little or nothing to build onto the reef. Yentsch says that coral reefs in the Bahamas are similarly endangered. As the water gets murkier the corals are also forced to move towards shallower water, where waves can damage them. "They are kind of caught between the jaws of a vice," says Yentsch.

The development of coastal areas and the erosion of beaches are partly to blame for the increasingly murky waters. Loss of coastal mangroves and seagrass beds from lagoon floors and reef flats adds to the problem, as they would normally trap sediment before it reaches the coral reefs. In addition, an increase of fertiliser run-off into the ocean, from sugar-cane farms in Jamaica, for instance, is encouraging algal blooms.

"The transparency has changed significantly in the past 10 or 20 years, so that the amount of light reaching the reef corals in some areas is really too low to sustain dynamic growth," says Yentsch. "I think it's had a major effect."

However, the two biggest causes of coral death are still overfishing and climate change, says Gregor Hodgson, director of the Reef Check Foundation in Los Angeles. "It is safe to say that a significant proportion of the world
'"/>

Contact: Claire Bowles
claire.bowles@rbi.co.uk
44-207-331-2751
New Scientist
20-Feb-2002


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Corals can reestablish symbiosis with algae from their environments after bleaching
2. Corals defy species classification
3. Sensors at Watts Bar being evaluated by ORNL
4. Computer database being developed at Temple will allow for better inventory of chemicals
5. Nominations now being accepted for a major award in cancer prevention research
6. Honey bee genome being sequenced
7. Effects of global warming already being felt on plants and animals worldwide
8. Is being big clam on the block a factor in species success?
9. Darwins letters being sent to Galapagos Islands as part of Darwin Correspondence Project
10. New drug that enhances glutamate transmission in the brain being evaluated for fragile X
11. Mechanics of bacteriums toxin being unraveled

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/11/2019)... ... June 12, 2019 , ... With ... Abveris plans to leverage the Geneious Biologics platform as a premium hub for ... Officer at Abveris, says: “The Geneious team has done an excellent job accommodating ...
(Date:6/6/2019)... ... June 05, 2019 , ... Ziegler, a ... advisor to Pathologists Bio-Medical Laboratories (PBM) on its recent acquisition by PathGroup. ... that provides services to more than one dozen hospitals and surgery centers in ...
(Date:6/4/2019)... ... , ... Most preclinical EEG visualization platforms offer tools intended ... on variations of amplitude, frequency or spike train detection. In the clinic, however, ... complexity and variability of the signal, and automation tools are used only in ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/2/2019)... Calif. (PRWEB) , ... July 02, 2019 , ... Leading ... documentary entitled Animal Pharm: Where Beasts Meet Biotech. The film focuses on regenerative ... wild animals. Animal Pharm was recently included in the Brentwood and ...
(Date:6/18/2019)... (PRWEB) , ... June 18, 2019 , ... Personalized ... Investigational New Drug (IND) application to the FDA for use of a person’s own ... as a treatment of osteoarthritis in the knee. This IND is the first ...
(Date:6/11/2019)... ... 2019 , ... Advancements with Ted Danson will focus on ... 4Q/2019. Check your local listings for more information. , Advancements will explore Bio-ITech ... facilitates laboratories to improve efficiency and quality of research by providing comprehensive and ...
(Date:6/11/2019)... ... June 11, 2019 , ... Veterinary Regenerative ... Inc. (PSC) , has announced that their GMP facility for cell production is ... for manufacturing. This is an important milestone for VetStem as it expands ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: