Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Protection zones in the wrong place to prevent coral reef collapse

01.09.2008
Conservation zones are in the wrong place to protect vulnerable coral reefs from the effects of global warming, an international team of scientists warned today.

Now the team – led jointly by Newcastle University and the Wildlife Conservation Society, New York – say that urgent action is needed to prevent the collapse of this important marine ecosystem.

The research, published today in the journal PLoS ONE, is the largest study of its kind to have been carried out, covering 66 sites across seven countries and spanning over a decade in the Indian Ocean.

Current protection zones – or ‘No-take areas’ (NTAs) – were set up to protect fish in the late 1960s and early 1970s, before climate change was a major issue.

The team – which comprises of experts from the UK, Australia, the US, Sweden and France – found the small-scale zones were not working to protect coral reefs against the effects of climate change.

They conclude that while the existing zones should not be removed, new areas are needed in the right place to protect corals against the effects of rising temperatures.

And they say that managing the system as a whole is crucial if coral reef communities are to have any hope of surviving the effects of global warming.

Lead researcher Nick Graham, of Newcastle University’s School of Marine Science and Technology, said: “We need a whole new approach – and we need to act now.

“Our research shows that many of the world’s existing no-take areas are in the wrong place.

“New protected zones are needed that focus on areas identified as escaping or recovering well from climate change impacts. But a major focus needs to be shifted towards increasing the resilience of the system as a whole – that means reducing as many other locally derived threats as possible.

“Coral dies when it is put under stress so what we need to be doing is reducing the direct human impact – such as over-fishing, pollution and sedimentation – across the whole area.

“By removing all these other stresses we are giving the coral the best chance of surviving and recovering from any changes in temperature that may occur as a result of global warming.”

Previous work by the team focused on the long-term impact of the 1998 event where global warming caused Indian Ocean surface temperatures to increase to unprecedented and sustained levels, killing off (or ‘bleaching’) more than 90 per cent of the inner Seychelles coral.

Although many areas are showing signs of long-term degradation, Mr Graham said it was positive to see that some locations either escaped the impact or have recovered.

“This provides the key to conserving coral reefs in the face of climate change,” he says. “We are not suggesting that we scrap the existing NTAs – in terms of protecting fish stocks they have been quite successful.

“But they are not effective against global warming and in order to ensure the long-term survival of this rich marine community that is what we need to address.”

Nicholas Graham | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.newcastle.ac.uk

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Listening in: Acoustic monitoring devices detect illegal hunting and logging
14.12.2017 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.

nachricht How fires are changing the tundra’s face
12.12.2017 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.

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: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New type of smart windows use liquid to switch from clear to reflective

14.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

BigH1 -- The key histone for male fertility

14.12.2017 | Life Sciences

Guardians of the Gate

14.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>