Marine scientists discover nutrient pollution boosts fungi, bacteria killing Caribbean reefs

(Embargoed) CHAPEL HILL -- In the Caribbean Sea, coral reefs -- those gorgeous, eye-popping, fish-nourishing, ship-scraping biological wonders that are among the region's crown jewels -- continue to die rapidly, a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill biologist says. Their future looks bleak.

Dr. John Bruno, assistant professor of marine sciences at UNC, and colleagues at other U.S. universities, believe they have identified one reason why. Results of field experiments they conducted off Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula suggested that chemical nutrients washed and dumped into the sea can increase the severity of coral diseases.

A report on the findings appears in the December issue of the journal Ecology Letters, which is expected to be posted online Nov. 26. Besides Bruno, authors are Drs. Laura E. Petes of Oregon State University, C. Drew Harvell of Cornell University and Annaliese Hettinger of California State University in Northridge.

"Caribbean coral reefs have declined dramatically over the past 20 years or so as disease epidemics have swept through them," Bruno said. "In less than a year, the two most common species that covered 60 to 70 percent of the bottom were just wiped out, becoming functionally extinct and changing possibly forever the structure of those marine communities. It was analogous to losing all the pine trees in the Carolinas down into Georgia."

Since no one had gone into the field to test the nutrient hypothesis about what was happening, the UNC scientist and his colleagues did just that. They looked specifically at the fungi Aspergillus, which kills elegant gorgonian sea fans through a disease known as aspergillosis and two species of the reef-building corals Montastraea, which yellow band disease can kill.

The researchers placed various concentrations of time-release fertilizer rich in nitrogen and phosphorus in porous bags made from pantyhose and suspended them at sites on reefs some four to

Contact: David Williamson
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Hopkins Marine Station honored by the American Society for Microbiology
2. Marine disease on the rise?
3. Five Marine Conservation leaders receive worlds top award from Pew Institute for Ocean Science
4. Marine sponges provide model for nanoscale materials production
5. Marine pathogens spread much faster than their terrestrial counterparts
6. How many fish in the sea? Census of Marine Life launches first report
7. Marine biologists probe black box mysteries of the sea
8. Marine reserves cant do it all: Sea otters vs. red abalone
9. Marine biodiversity essential to preserving species
10. Marine researchers explore sediment highways
11. Marine methane consumed by consortia of bacteria

Post Your Comments:

(Date:4/11/2017)... 2017 Research and Markets has announced the ... to their offering. ... eye tracking market to grow at a CAGR of 30.37% during ... Market 2017-2021, has been prepared based on an in-depth market analysis ... and its growth prospects over the coming years. The report also ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ:   NXTD ) ... appointment of independent Directors Mr. Robin D. Richards ... Directors, furthering the company,s corporate governance and expertise. ... Gino Pereira , Chief Executive ... their guidance and benefiting from their considerable expertise as we ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... SEATTLE , April 5, 2017  The Allen ... the Allen Cell Explorer: a one-of-a-kind portal and dynamic ... large-scale 3D imaging data, the first application of deep ... edited human stem cell lines and a growing suite ... the platform for these and future publicly available resources ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... 09, 2017 , ... At its national board meeting in North Carolina, ... University’s Departments of Physics and Astronomy, has been selected for membership in ARCS ... for the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental physics for the discovery of the accelerating ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... October 09, 2017 , ... ... October 5, 2017, in the medical journal, Epilepsia, Brain Sentinel’s SPEAC® System ... standard, video EEG, in detecting generalized tonic-clonic seizures (GTCS) using surface electromyography ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... ... October 06, 2017 , ... Phase ... metagenome deconvolution product, featuring the first commercially available Hi-C kit. Researchers can ... Hi-C metagenome deconvolution using their own facilities, supplementing the company’s full-service ProxiMeta ...
(Date:10/6/2017)... ... October 06, 2017 , ... The ... and technology sector at their fourth annual Conference where founders, investors, innovative practitioners ... and the ELEVATE pitch competition showcasing early stage digital health and med tech ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: