Powerboat-World.com
 
 
News Home Video Gallery Newsletters FishingBoating Features Photo Gallery Sail-World Australia Australian Cruising
Sail-World Australia Australian Cruising MarineBusiness-World
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



























Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show - 13 things to See and do by Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show,






























Yamaha inspires students to succeed by Yamaha Motor Australia,








Swan celebrates sales success *Feature by Jeni Bone,


4x4 Outdoors Show and Fishing and Boating Expo on the horizon
Polar research: Six priorities for Antarctic science
Stealth i14 out of China
Bivalves' ability to clean chemicals from waterways
Brisbane Boat Show 2014 - New boat engines set to rev up interest
Two rescued in tow from 13km offshore
Enhancing boating safety in the Mallacoota region
National 4x4 Outdoors Show and Fishing and Boating Expo - 4WD heaven
Yanmar selected for big torque at low revs
Sydney Boat Show display winners recognised *Feature
China Yachting Conference lines up the speakers
2014 National 4x4 Outdoors Show: Popularity of caravanning and camping
2015 Sydney Inte'l Boat Show - Boating Industry commences planning
Last chance to join 2014 Multihull Solutions Whitsunday Rendezvous
Dangerous conditions for boaters from this evening
Pacific Boating membership offers hassle-free boating *Feature
Marine15 expands trade, networking and B2B opportunities *Feature
2014 Auckland on the Water Boatshow - Huge prize packs up for grabs
4X4 Outdoors Show and Fishing and Boating Expo wows water lovers
John Wilson has sights set on second P1 SuperStock title
Torquay Grand Prix - Pertemps tops table on penultimate day   
Plain sailing for yachts with river cargo ship ban in Shanghai   
Dangerous conditions for boaters from this afternoon   
Sydney Int'l Boat Show - Stellar results for Multihull Solutions   
NSW Environment Minister awards 'Fish Friendly' Marina Accreditations   
Refurbished Protector project 'better than buying new'   
Gold Coast International Marine Expo - High-Diver Steve Black is back   
4x4 Outdoors Show, Fishing and Boating Expo - Campfire cooking corner   
See the heat with FLIR ONE *Feature   
John Temple to retire, Will Sangster appointed General Manager   
Multihull Central launches Aquila range at SIBS *Feature   
If all else fails read the instructions!!   
If all else fails read the instructions!!   
Sun shines on recreational boating at Sydney International Boat Show   
Phuket Yacht Show: new kid on the block taking on PIMEX? *Feature   
2014 Offshore Superboat Championships - The boats are back!   
Sydney International Boat Show - Days 3 & 4 *Feature   
Kirby Marine launch 13metre Naiad Tender   
Shellfish reefs in Port Phillip Bay to be rejuvenated   
2014 Brisbane Boat Show - What's your trailer boat worth?   


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 WAS PBW
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT