The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the International Institute for Geo-Information Science and Earth have developed a new scientific model that accurately maps where coral reefs are in the most trouble and identifies regions where reefs can be protected best. The model, which is being applied in areas throughout the Indian Ocean, is described in a recent issue of the UK-based journal Ecological Modelling.
The model synthesizes several ocean conditions, such as seawater temperatures, photosynthetic and ultraviolet light, winds and currents, and the concentration of microscopic plankton on the ocean’s surface. These data were factored into previous reports of coral stress or bleaching and were then used to map the distribution of these inhospitable conditions.
The researchers found that much of the northern Indian Ocean contains very stressful environments for corals and that half of its marine parks with the strictest regulations are found within these harsh areas. Areas of the Maldives and the Seychelles fall in the middle of the most severe conditions; these include some of the best coral reef parks and diving spots. In an area east and just north of Madagascar lie the least-stressed reefs, which include those off the islands of Mauritius, Rodriques, and Reunion. These are now among the reefs the model identifies as the highest priority for conservation.
Corals have been devastated in large areas across the world. Disappearing at rates up to 5.4 percent per year over the past 30 years, they are among the earliest victims of climate change. Bleaching, which climate change exacerbates, occurs when corals become so stressed that they eject the beneficial algae that give them their color. This eventually causes large sections of the reefs to lose much of their biodiversity.
“Despite the large areas in high and severe stress, the model suggests that there are some reefs with less stressful conditions and more reasons for hope,” said WCS researcher Dr. Timothy McClanahan, one of the study’s authors.
Stephen Sautner | EurekAlert!
Machine learning helps predict worldwide plant-conservation priorities
04.12.2018 | Ohio State University
From the Arctic to the tropics: researchers present a unique database on Earth’s vegetation
20.11.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...
A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.
The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...
A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.
Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...
Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...
What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.
Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...
12.12.2018 | Event News
10.12.2018 | Event News
06.12.2018 | Event News
13.12.2018 | Life Sciences
13.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
13.12.2018 | Earth Sciences