University of Central Florida biologist John Fauth, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientists and non-governmental agencies are studying the threatened Elkhorn Coral in the Vega Baja area of Puerto Rico.
While most of the area appears healthy, some coral are suffering from algal overgrowth and disease – problems similar to those the oil spill could cause off the coast of Florida. Sediment from a nearby construction site and runoff from storm sewers are potential causes for the harm to coral off Puerto Rico's coast.
Fauth says that the same techniques the team used to study the health of the reefs in Vega Baja will be used to determine the impact of the oil spill in the Gulf.
Scientists collect multiple samples that provide information about the enzymes present and the chemical signature of contaminants found within the coral. Scientists then can determine if there is damage to the coral's cells and analyze sediment samples to learn what contaminants are present on the sea floor.
"Our site provides an ideal case study for an environmental assessment that pinpoints probable stressors for coral and determines their source," Fauth said.
The process is time consuming, and each dive includes a long regimen to ensure researchers don't add to the problem.
"Before sampling, our team showered with laboratory soap and did not use any personal care products -- for example, sunscreen -- that could show up in contaminant analyses," Fauth said. "We also cleaned all of our dive gear with lab soap."
It's a comprehensive approach that researchers in the Gulf will likely duplicate as they search for answers, Fauth said.
The cross-disciplinary team included researchers from NOAA, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the universities of Central Florida and Puerto Rico, Haereticus Environmental Lab, and Grupo V.I.D.A.S. (Vegabajeños Impulsando Desarrollo Ambiental Sustentable).
UCF Stands For Opportunity --The University of Central Florida is a metropolitan research university that ranks as the 3rd largest in the nation with 56,000 students. UCF's first classes were offered in 1968. The university offers impressive academic and research environments that power the region's economic development. UCF's culture of opportunity is driven by our diversity, Orlando environment, history of entrepreneurship and our youth, relevance and energy.
Zenaida Gonzalez Kotala | EurekAlert!
When corals eat plastics
24.05.2018 | Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen
Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?
19.02.2018 | Universität Basel
The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.
Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...
A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.
The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Life Sciences
25.05.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research
24.05.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation