Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Marine protected areas conserve Mediterranean red coral

12.05.2010
A team of Spanish and French researchers has undertaken a pioneer analysis of red coral populations in the oldest Marine Protected Areas (MPA) in the Mediterranean and the impact that fishing activity has had. Results show that MPAs are a guarantee for conserving this species.

Mediterranean red coral (Corallium rubrum) has been highly valued for jewellery since ancient times. But intensive fishing, particularly in shallow waters, has transformed populations and hindered the recovery of this species along the Mediterranean coastline, where the colonies of coral at depths of less than 50 metres are now very small. Fishing and now climate change threaten the persistence of this slowing growing species which also boasts slow population dynamics.

A team of scientists has analysed the three oldest Marine Protected Areas in the Mediterranean – Banyuls, Carry-le-Rouet and Scandola, off the island of Corsica – to quantify the impact of human activity and ascertain how efficient MPAs are in conserving red coral, as the latter are "a vital tool" when it comes to observing the evolution of populations in the absence of fishing.

"The problem with studying a species that grows so slowly is that populations need to be monitored over long periods of time to guarantee sufficient data are obtained to estimate how populations have evolved," Cristina Linares, the author of the article and a researcher from the Department of Ecology at the University of Barcelona told SINC.

The study, which was published recently in the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series, shows that MPAs are "a slow but effective tool for conserving Mediterranean red coral populations," Joaquim Garrabou, co-author of the article and a researcher at the Institute of Marine Sciences (CSIC) declared.

According to the scientists, Mediterranean red coral cannot be considered an endangered species. This opinion is justified by the extensive distribution of dense populations all over the Mediterranean Basin and the fact that some colonies with basal diameters of less than two millimetres are now sexually fertile.

Three Decades of Protection

The researchers chose these three Marine Protected Areas because they are 30 years old. They forecast the structure of red coral populations when they were created, and three decades later, they have returned to repeat the process.

According to Linares, "these MPAs are home to extraordinarily large colonies, at depths of less than 50 metres and also deep-dwelling populations, in comparison to the populations studied previously". This confirms that MPAs are effective as measures to conserve this species, "providing, as is the case in these three MPAs, that they are well managed and that constant surveillance guarantees the protection of this species," the authors state.

"But the forecast for the future of populations reveals that 30 years of protection are not enough to allow colonies to reach the size of those observed in the 1960s (with diameters of around 45 mm)", Garrabou underlines.

Linares warns that if the colonies continue to diminish, the resilience of this species (its ability to absorb disturbances without suffering changes) will be affected. "The lack of large colonies has significant implications for future of populations, because it is these colonies that contribute to reproduction and, therefore, the persistence of these populations," the researcher says.

SINC | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.plataformasinc.es

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht 100 % Organic Farming in Bhutan – a Realistic Target?
15.06.2018 | Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

nachricht What the size distribution of organisms tells us about the energetic efficiency of a lake
05.06.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)

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: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

Im Focus: Photoexcited graphene puzzle solved

A boost for graphene-based light detectors

Light detection and control lies at the heart of many modern device applications, such as smartphone cameras. Using graphene as a light-sensitive material for...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Carbon nanotube optics provide optical-based quantum cryptography and quantum computing

19.06.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

How to track and trace a protein: Nanosensors monitor intracellular deliveries

19.06.2018 | Life Sciences

New material for splitting water

19.06.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>