Infectious disease epidemics are causing widespread and alarming declines in reef-building coral species, the foundation blocks of coral reef ecosystems. The emergence of these diseases has occurred simultaneously with large increases in the abundance of seaweeds, called macroalgae.
Macroalgae frequently interact with corals, usually by overgrowing them from their edges. In the October issue of Ecology Letters, Nugues, Smith, van Hooidonk, Seabra and Bak demonstrate a sinister aspect of this competition. One of the most common macroalgae, Halimeda opuntia, is shown to trigger a particularly virulent disease known as white plague type II.
In the Caribbean, a large number of coral colonies on which this alga was transplanted developed white plague whereas unexposed colonies did not. In addition, the plant was found to be a reservoir for the marine bacterium Aurantimonas coralicida, causative agent of the disease. The spread of macroalgae on coral reefs may account for the elevated incidence of coral diseases over past decades. Moreover, measures to reduce seaweed abundance may be essential if significant coral populations are to survive on coral reefs.
Kate Stinchcombe | EurekAlert!
Successful calculation of human and natural influence on cloud formation
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Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
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The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
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Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
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