> Powerboat-World.com
 
 
News Home Video Gallery Newsletters Features FishingBoating MarineBusiness-World Sail-World Australia Australian Cruising
Photo Gallery
Sail-World.com : Evidence reveals Caribbean corals cease growth or face erosion threat
Evidence reveals Caribbean corals cease growth or face erosion threat


'Caribbean coral reef'    James Cook University
Many Caribbean coral reefs have either ceased growth or are on the brink of starting to erode, which new evidence has revealed. Associate Professor Scott Smithers, from James Cook University was a part of a seven-member team of international scientists that carried out work at reefs across the Caribbean over a two-year period.

Coral reefs build their structures by both producing and accumulating calcium carbonate, which is essential for the maintenance and continued growth of coral reefs.

The research team discovered that the amount of new carbonate being added by Caribbean coral reefs is now significantly below rates measured over recent geological timescales, and in some habitats is as much as 70 per cent lower.

Associate Professor Smithers said coral reefs formed some of the planet’s most biologically diverse ecosystems, and provided valuable contributions to humans and wildlife.

However, their ability to maintain their structures and continue to grow depended on the balance between the addition of new carbonate, which is mostly produced by corals themselves, set against the loss of carbonate through various erosional processes, he said.

Associate Professor Smithers said traditionally there had been a focus on how coral reef organisms coped under present environmental conditions, but little on how coral reefs as physical structures were faring.

'We decided to give it a go by quantifying the amount of skeleton laid down by reef organisms each year to build the reef framework and comparing that to the amount of physical and biological erosion,' he said.

'We found that many reefs in the Caribbean are now in a precarious balance with very slow growth rates or erosion common.'

Associate Professor Smithers said he was invited to collaborate on the project in his role as a geomorphologist.

'I look at how reef structures grow, and the landforms and features formed by reef growth processes,' he said.

'I was working with an international team made up of scientists with particular skills required to work out the reef growth - and destruction - budgets.'

Associate Professor Smithers said 'budgets' was a term geomorphologists used when talking about sediment or calcium carbonate.

The sediment that is produced or deposited is compared to what is eroded or withdrawn, and there is a net amount. If it is positive, growth is occurring, if it is negative, the structure is breaking down.

The field sites were in located in the Bahamas, Bonaire, Belize and Grand Cayman Island.

'I was able to participate in the field work at the first three sites, but was teaching at the time of the Grand Cayman visit.

'All members of the team were involved in refining the methodology for calculating the budget, and then making the budget calculations based on field data.'

The study could have implications for the Great Barrier Reef and other reefs around the world, despite the fact that different reefs behaved in different ways, he said.

'We hope to perform the same calculations for a variety of sites within the Indo-Pacific in the next few years.

'The reason we focused on the Caribbean reefs first is because we wanted to get the methodology developed and refined - and that is easier to achieve on Caribbean reefs because they are taxonomically and structurally less complex than reefs in the Indo-Pacific.

'This relative simplicity made the measurements and calculations necessary to derive the budgets more easy than if we had begun by focussing on reefs outside the Caribbean.'

Associate Professor Smithers said while this project was his first opportunity to see a lot of reefs in the Caribbean, he was 'shocked' by what he saw.

'Although there were some areas where the reefs seemed OK, they were generally very poor in terms of coral cover and fish compared to most reefs on the GBR,' he said.

'There are clearly parts of the GBR that are not in great shape, and there is evidence from some reefs that changes have occurred over historical timescales, but I doubt that many have reached the point we established for the Caribbean reefs where they are no longer actively building - but we need to confirm this by applying the technique here.'

The research was recently published in Nature Communications, an online multidisciplinary journal dedicated to publishing high-quality research in all areas of the biological, physical and chemical sciences.

A Leverhulme Trust (UK) International Research Network Grant funded the research. The scheme specifically supports international collaboration.

James Cook Univ website


by Caroline Kaurila

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.powerboat-world.com/index.cfm?nid=106965

4:44 PM Tue 26 Feb 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.







Power Boat News





Pontoon Boats are a hit with families and entertainers by Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show,










Glacier Bay returns to Australia, re-launching at SCIBS by Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show,








Singapore Yacht Show 2014. Boats to make your eyes pop. by Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia, Singapore










Power to the people at Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show by Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show,


SCIBS VIP lounge back bigger and better in 2014 by Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show,




Singapore Yacht Show 2014. And another thing… by Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia, Singapore




























Humpback Whales - Non Lethal research
RYA Competent Crew Skills – Second edition now available
Mondo Marine invests in Chinese shipyard
Aqualuma partners with ASMEX 2014 for Welcome function
Kaohsiung to welcome the world for 1st Taiwan International Boat Show *Feature
Changed boating conditions for ski race on Clarence River
Royal Victoria Cup - Cable, Hockney and Shipley victorious
Channel 7 stage returns to Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show
Hainan Rendezvous: suffering from a hangover?
Palm Beach International Boat Show shows healthy attendance
Brisbane Tinnie & Tackle Show - this weekend!
Coastal infrastructure and species loss - Climate Change consequences *Feature
rescueME PLB1 – safety assured in one compact, light package *Feature
Japan's Antarctic whaling program harpooned
All Marine Spares hits the boat show trail in a trailer *Feature
Royal Victoria Cup to take place this weekend
Rowers and ferry masters encouraged to share waterways safely
Go crazy about whales in a special family fun day at the museum
New generation trawler boats - tradition with a twist
Arvor releases new Sportsfish range
AIMEX focuses on commercial show in Asia   
Further Australian growth for Stabicraft   
Southport Yacht Club will host a free 'Discover Sailing Day'   
Melbourne Boat Show earlier this year - 12 to 16 June   
FinScan digital switching fitted to new rescue vessels   
Kids' Zone a drawcard at Brisbane Tinnie & Tackle Show   
Brisbane Tinnie & Tackle welcomes Engel as stage sponsor   
BIAV appoints new GM   
Trash to Treasure - A seafood story   
Amazing Whales – Evolution and survival opens tomorrow   
Maritime Alert - Dangerous conditions forecast for NSW boaters   
PWC riders brave South Island waters raise $93,000 for melanoma fight   
Solar1 Monte Carlo Cup to take place this July   
12 weeks til Melbourne Boat Show   
First deadline for SCIBS exhibitors looms March 24   
Paul Burt, boating guru, is the face of Sanctuary Cove Boat Show   
Marine Industry loses a loyal servant: Vale Gunter Bruckner   
Positive pass mark for new venue   
Couran Cove signs lease deal with Hope Island Marina   
Phones outpace PCs and TV as preferred device   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png   http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW PBW