Navigation Links
How marine reserves are giving coral reefs a helping hand

It may be no surprise that marine reserves protect the fish that live in them, but now scientists from the University of Exeter have shown for the first time that they could also help improve the health of coral reefs.

In a paper in the prestigious journal Science, Dr Peter Mumby and colleagues looked at how a marine park in the Bahamas was affected by the return of the reef's top predator, the Nassau Grouper. Researchers were concerned that an increase in groupers could have an adverse effect, because they feed on parrotfish which play a vital role in maintaining the reef ecosystem.

Dr Peter Mumby, from the School of Biosciences at the University of Exeter,said: "While an increasing number of larger predators is essentially good news we had concerns that this might result in a decrease in the numbers of parrotfish, which could ultimately damage the health of the reef. More than 20 years ago sea urchins in the Caribbean were wiped out by disease, leaving parrotfish as the main grazer of reef surfaces. The fish use their teeth to remove seaweed from the reef which allows new corals to settle and grow.This grazing process is essential to the health of the system."

"Caribbean reefs are still trying to recover from the devastating effects of an El Nino bleaching event in 1998 which caused widespread damage to coral around the world.

What we have found is that marine reserves might provide exactly the right conditions to allow this to happen. Interestingly, once parrotfish reach a length of around 28 cm, they become too big for even the largest grouper to swallow. This 'escape' from a risk of predation means that most reserves are unlikely to reduce the amount of grazing even afterthe number of predators rises."

Peter added, "Diving in the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park was fun because a large number of sharks turned up to watch us work. Sharks have been heavily fished on most coral reefs so it's always a thrill to visit one of their sanctuaries."


'"/>

Source:University of Exeter


Related biology news :

1. Sequencing of marine bacterium will help study of cell communication
2. Solutions that reduce death of marine life reeled in by International Smart Gear Competition
3. UN environmental agency steps up battle against marine pollution
4. Evidence of 600-million-year old fungi-algae symbiosis discovered in marine fossils
5. Deep thinking: Scientists sequence a cold-loving marine microbe
6. UNC computer, marine scientists collaborate to predict flow of toxic waters from Katrina
7. Structures of marine toxins provide insight into their effectiveness as cancer drugs
8. UF study first to quantify validity of DNA I.D. tool using marine snails
9. Prenatal exposure to marine toxin causes lasting damage
10. Restaurant seafood prices since 1850s help plot marine harvests through history
11. Compound from marine bacteria shows potential as multiple myeloma therapy
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:11/15/2016)... 15, 2016  Synthetic Biologics, Inc. (NYSE MKT: ... on the gut microbiome, today announced the pricing ... of its common stock and warrants to purchase ... price to the public of $1.00 per share ... from the offering, excluding the proceeds, if any ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... 2016 Research and Markets has announced the ... report to their offering. The ... to grow at a CAGR of 12.28% during the period ... an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry experts. The report ... years. The report also includes a discussion of the key vendors ...
(Date:6/21/2016)... Columbia , June 21, 2016 ... to the new role of principal product architect ... named the director of customer development. Both will ... chief technical officer. The moves reflect NuData,s strategic ... in response to high customer demand and customer ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2016)... Mass. , Nov. 30, 2016   Merck ... that it has entered into a set of agreements ... services for Merck,s collection of genetic reagents such as ... with Evotec,s screening expertise offers an accelerated pathway to ... discovery starts with the identification of new targets, a ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... ... November 30, 2016 , ... Energetiq Technology, a world leader ... generation, ultra-bright, Laser-Driven Light Source, the EQ-77, at the MRS Fall Exhibit 2016. ... offers higher radiance and irradiance from a truly broadband white light source. The ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... ... November 30, 2016 , ... On 28 November 2016, the International Union ... nihonium (Nh), moscovium (Mc), tennessine (Ts), and oganesson (Og), respectively for element 113, ... earlier proposed by the discoverers have been approved by the IUPAC Bureau. The IUPAC ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... ... November 30, 2016 , ... ... of precision treatments for neurodegenerative diseases, today announced that all five of its ... 3, 2016) blocked propagation of toxic, prion-like forms of Amyloid beta (Aß) in ...
Breaking Biology Technology: