Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New study of Glover's Reef challenges whether corals will benefit from Marine Reserves' protection

04.10.2011
The ability of marine reserves to replenish fish stocks has been studied extensively, but evidence of their ability to benefit shallow-water communities to thrive remains a mystery.

A team of scientists from the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science recently tested whether 10 years of reserve designation has translated into positive impacts on coral communities in Glover's Reef Marine Reserve, Belize.


A new study conducted by Brittany Huntington, Mandy Karnauskas and UM Professor Diego Lirman appears in the journal Coral Reefs. Its authors tested whether 10 years of reserve designation has translated into positive impacts on coral communities in Glover’s Reef Marine Reserve, Belize. Results from their surveys showed no clear indication of reserve implementation benefiting coral cover, colony size or the abundance of juvenile corals. Credit: Image courtesy of Brittany Huntington

Results from their surveys of 87 patch reefs both inside and outside the marine reserve showed no clear indication of reserve implementation benefiting coral cover, colony size or the abundance of juvenile corals. The study, conducted by Brittany Huntington, Mandy Karnauskas and UM Professor Diego Lirman appears in the journal Coral Reefs.

"We had hoped to find evidence of reserve protection benefiting the coral community as well as the fish community at Glover's Atoll. Unfortunately, the coral communities on protected reefs were in no better condition than the fished reefs," says Huntington.

Rather, the scientists documented declines in the coral community both inside and outside of the marine reserve. These patterns of coral decline at Glover's Reef, including a shift in dominance from massive reef-building broadcasting species to smaller brooding species, and low numbers of juvenile corals were documented and seem reflective of regional patterns of coral decline in the Caribbean.

The scientists detected no difference in herbivorous fish abundances or the abundance of macroalgae dominating the reef between reserve and fished sites. This provides a potential explanation for the lack of cascading effects on the coral community.

"The macroalgae is faster growing than corals, dominating the available free space on the reef and impeding coral growth and survival," said Huntington. "Without greater numbers of herbivorous fishes in the reserve to consume the macroalgae that is dominating these reefs, corals have little chance at recovery."

The UM team also found that massive broadcasting coral species exhibited greater losses over time than their smaller-sized counterparts, suggesting that local management actions have not alleviated the trend of high mortality for these species.

"Glover's Marine Reserve provides a unique opportunity to learn more about how marine reserves impact coral and fish populations," says Karnauskas. "Reserves that are not designed and implemented specifically for the protection of the coral community may fail to provide benefits to these species."

About the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School

The University of Miami is the largest private research institution in the southeastern United States. The University's mission is to provide quality education, attract and retain outstanding students, support the faculty and their research, and build an endowment for University initiatives. Founded in the 1940's, the Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science has grown into one of the world's premier marine and atmospheric research institutions. Offering dynamic interdisciplinary academics, the Rosenstiel School is dedicated to helping communities to better understand the planet, participating in the establishment of environmental policies, and aiding in the improvement of society and quality of life. For more information, please visit http://www.rsmas.miami.edu

Barbra Gonzalez | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.rsmas.miami.edu

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht How does the loss of species alter ecosystems?
18.05.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

nachricht Excess diesel emissions bring global health & environmental impacts
16.05.2017 | 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: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>