A new study reveals why some reefs appear to be more resistant to coral bleaching during ocean warming events and calls for higher-resolution data to be collected
As scientists and conservationists race to work out the best way to conserve the world's coral reefs, a new study reveals why some reefs appear to be more resistant to coral bleaching during ocean warming events and calls for higher-resolution data to be collected.
The authors, from a number of American Universities and Bangor University in the UK, writing in Nature Communications (doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-04074-2) utilise data collected from 118 coral reef locations globally. They illustrate how reefs over very small distances - as little as tens or hundreds of meters of each other, can be subject to different daily sea temperature changes - based on their depth and their position on the reef.
These reefs end up having different fates during ocean warming events. Reefs subjected to high sea temperature fluctuations on daily or tidal timescales leading up to the ocean warming event are better able to resist coral bleaching, such that a 1oC increase in daily temperature range reduces the odds of more severe bleaching by a factor of 33.
In the short term, this information helps to explain the patchy distribution of coral bleaching across reefs during thermal stress events. In the long term, the information helps to identify reefs that may have a greater potential for resisting thermal stress, information that can help guide marine spatial planning and conservation targets and priorities.
"Rising ocean temperatures and ocean warming events driven by global climate change represent the greatest current threat to the integrity of coral reef ecosystems worldwide" says co-author Gareth Williams of Bangor University's School of Ocean Sciences.
"These warming events have become more frequent and are projected to keep increasing in frequency in the coming decades" says Williams.
Coral reefs represent one of the most diverse ecosystems on our planet, providing essential ecosystem services, like fisheries and shoreline protection, to millions of people.
"It is vital we identify the mechanisms behind the apparent resistance to bleaching on some reefs" says Williams.
"Importantly, our results show that the resistance of corals to bleaching in areas of high-frequency temperature variability occurs in reef regions throughout the world. This positive news should not distract from the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to protect coral reefs globally, but instead help guide strategic management actions in the inevitable interim."
High frequency temperature variability reduces the risk of coral bleaching
Authors: Aryan Safaie & Kristen A. Davis, University of California, Irvine; Nyssa J. Silbiger, California State University; Timothy R. McClanahan, University of California, Irvine, & Wildlife Conservation Society; Geno Pawlak, University of California San Diego; Daniel J. Barshis, Old Dominion University; James L. Hench, Duke University; Justin S. Rogers, Stanford University, Gareth J. Williams, Bangor University, UK.
Dr. Gareth Williams | EurekAlert!
Microscope measures muscle weakness
16.11.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
Good preparation is half the digestion
16.11.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Stoffwechselforschung
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.
Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
23.10.2018 | Event News
16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine
16.11.2018 | Life Sciences
16.11.2018 | Life Sciences