Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Irukandji threat to southern waters

28.10.2013
A Griffith University led study has made the surprising discovery that ocean acidification may provide some protection for South East Queenslanders from the Irukandji jellyfish.

Researchers from Griffith University's Australian Rivers Institute have conducted a series of climate change simulation experiments to investigate whether the dangerous tropical jellyfish, the Irukandji, is likely to establish breeding populations in the South East.

It was found that while higher sea temperatures could provide an opportunity for adult Irukandji to expand their range south, increasing ocean acidification may inhibit the development of juveniles.

The research is the first step towards assessing if Irukandji pose a significant threat to tourism and human health in the South East. The findings have been published in the journal Global Change Biology.

Lead author, Griffith PhD student Shannon Klein said concerns have arisen from evidence world-wide that tropical marine species are moving towards the poles as oceans warm.

"Increasing ocean temperatures and strengthening boundary currents have caused the poleward migration of many marine species," Shannon Klein said.

"These effects of climate change are particularly apparent on the eastern coast of Australia. Over the past 60 years the East Australian Current (EAC) has strengthened and now delivers warmer tropical waters further south by as much as 350km."

As a consequence at least five species of tropical fish that occur on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) are predicted to be able of survive winter temperatures in waters off Sydney by 2080. Among all species that could potentially expand their range south, the Irukandji would arguably have one of the greatest socio-economic impacts.

Irukandji have historically been limited to waters north of Gladstone, however in 2007 an adult specimen was recorded for the first time as far south as Hervey Bay.

"What we needed to find out was if the Irukandji would be able to establish their entire lifecycle south of their historical range in these expanded reaches of warm water or if adults only are able to drift south on the strengthened current," Shannon said.

As it turns out the role of ocean acidification in limiting reproduction may hold the key to protecting the SE Queensland coastline. But we may not be out of hot water just yet.

"This response may reduce the likelihood of Irukandji jellyfish establishing permanent populations in South East Queensland in the long term, however, it is possible that they could migrate farther south in the short term if acidification proceeds slowly and appropriate reproduction habitats are available.

"But even if juvenile populations remain confined to more northerly waters there is still the strengthening EAC which could carry adults south."

Irukandji jellyfish are represented by at least six species of cubozoan jellyfish which occur throughout the world's tropical zones, so the implications of this study are far reaching.

"Our results suggest that, if other Irukandji species behave similarly, range expansions could be occurring in other regions around the globe," Shannon said.

Helen Wright | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.griffith.edu.au

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Upcycling 'fast fashion' to reduce waste and pollution
03.04.2017 | American Chemical Society

nachricht Litter is present throughout the world’s oceans: 1,220 species affected
27.03.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>