Tracing the larvae of marine organisms from where they were born to their ultimate destination has been regarded as one of the greatest challenges in ocean science. Managers of marine reserves areas have eagerly sought this information to help determine the optimal size and spacing of marine reserves; well-planned reserves should help ensure that protected populations can sustain themselves as well as provide a source of larvae to maintain exploited populations in areas open to fishing. In a new study, researchers have managed to uncover the patterns of local dispersion for a small coral reef fish species by employing a combination of inventive tracking techniques. In addition to providing ecological information about one particular fish species, the work suggests ways that the ecology of other fish can be studied and applied to strategies for the maintenance of stable populations.
Most marine fishes start their lives as tiny larvae, smaller than a millimeter, and any thought of tagging them to track their movements was once considered impossible. However, researchers Geoff Jones from James Cook University (Australia), Serge Planes from the University of Perpignan (France), and Simon Thorrold from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute have overcome this problem with a novel application of DNA paternity analysis, in combination with a means of marking larvae with the antibiotic tetracycline. They show that for the panda clownfish (Amphiprion polymnus), a significant proportion of larvae ultimately move less than a few hundred meters away from their parents. In fact, the researchers found that one third of juveniles settled within a so-called "natal area" covering just two hectares (less than five acres). Although the other two-thirds of the fish have yet to be traced, they appear to have travelled in excess of 10 km (6.2 mi) away from their birth site. The study also shows that although no individuals returned to their parents, a few made their home less than 50 meters away. (Hence, the authors point out, Nemo the clownfish may not have been living with his dad, but he might have settled just down the street.)
Although clownfish spend a relatively short period of time as larvae (approximately 10 days), the results are significant because they document the smallest scale of dispersal known for a marine fish species. Clownfish are subject to a thriving aquarium-fish trade in many tropical countries, and their numbers have been seriously depleted. This study provides real hope that marine reserves can provide the right balance between conserving such species and exploiting them in a sustainable manner.
Heidi Hardman | EurekAlert!
Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide
Malaysia's unique freshwater mussels in danger
27.09.2016 | The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus
Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
27.10.2016 | Materials Sciences
27.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy
27.10.2016 | Life Sciences