Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


An online global map of coral and zooxanthellae data for climate change study is released

A team of researchers from the Hawai'i Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB) have developed an interactive global map of corals and zooxanthellae as part of a hybrid web application titled GeoSymbio.

This application provides global-scale biological and ecosystem information on symbiotic zooxanthellae called Symbiodinium which are uni-cellular, photosynthetic dinoflagellates that live inside the cells of other marine organisms like anemones, jellyfish, and corals.

Symbiodinium are responsible for providing energy to their coral hosts which drives the deposition of calcium carbonate and results in the creation of coral reefs. The differential responses of corals and Symbiodinium types to environmental stressors have important implications for the resiliency of coral reef ecosystems to climate change. Dr. Tim McClanahan, Senior Conservation Zoologist for the Wildlife Conservation Society, stated that, "Given the pace of climate change and scientific developments around

Symbiodinium, GeoSymbio will catalyze the use of this knowledge towards increasing reef resilience and improved management decisions".

The genus Symbiodinium encompasses nine distinct genetic lineages or clades, with many sub-cladal types within each clade. The GeoSymbio application provides the genetic identification and taxonomic description of over 400 distinct Symbiodinium subclades in invertebrate hosts that have been sampled from a variety of marine habitats, thereby providing a wealth of information for symbiosis researchers in a single online location. By utilizing Google Apps, the team was able to develop this web-based tool to discover, explore, visualize, and share data in a rapid, cost-effective, and engaging manner.

GeoSymbio is the first comprehensive effort to collate and visualize Symbiodinium ecology, diversity, and geography in an online web application that is freely accessible and searchable by the public. To provide access to this information, GeoSymbio was designed to serve four basic functions: (1) geospatial visualization, (2) text-based queries, (3) knowledge summaries, and (4) downloadable data products for further analyses. The application structure draws information from a variety of digital sources and uses a suite of query and visualization tools, with the core of the application hosted remotely or "in the cloud" using Google Sites.

The application's development began in early 2011, when the HIMB researchers were tasked with compiling global data on coral-based Symbiodinium for analysis, as part of the "Tropical Coral Reefs of the Future" working group at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS). In previous years, the team had created a database with approximately 2500 records of these Symbiodinium data from sources such as GenBank (the primary repository for Symbiodinium and all other organisms' genetic sequence information) and journal articles, however, the information was only accessible within the research group. This changed in 2011 when the research team decided to create and share a low-cost, integrative web application based on the symbiont database.

Erik Franklin, one of the lead developers of the project is excited about the product that he recently presented at the Environmental Information Management 2011 Conference. He stated that: "building the capacity to examine the diversity of Symbiodinium on coral reefs has global and societal implications for tropical nations and thus, the dissemination of this information is essential. One of the major barriers to progress was that the geographic details of the Symbiodinium records were not documented well in existing databases, and our GeoSymbio app now resolves this problem and provides open data sharing". GeoSymbio provides the first and only web-based application for data discovery, visualization, and sharing of global-scale Symbiodinium research. This tool should expedite new insights into their ecology, biogeography, and evolution in the face of a changing global climate.

Carlie Wiener | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?
19.02.2018 | Universität Basel

nachricht Removing fossil fuel subsidies will not reduce CO2 emissions as much as hoped
08.02.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

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: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Modular safety concept increases flexibility in plant conversion

22.03.2018 | Trade Fair News

New interactive map shows climate change everywhere in world

22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

New technologies and computing power to help strengthen population data

22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>