> Powerboat-World.com
 
 
News Home Video Gallery Newsletters FishingBoating Features Photo Gallery Sail-World Australia Australian Cruising
MarineBusiness-World
Sail-World.com : Pelorus Island once home of healthy populations of coral reefs
Pelorus Island once home of healthy populations of coral reefs

'Pelorus Island once served as a sanctuary of healthy populations of coral reefs'    ARC Centre of Excellence Coral Reef Studies ©    Click Here to view large photo

The ARC Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies discovered that Pelorus Island once served as a home of healthy populations of coral reefs before an adverse change in water quality in the area caused its collapse.

Australian marine scientists have unearthed evidence of an historic coral collapse in Queensland’s Palm Islands following development on the nearby mainland. Cores taken through the coral reef at Pelorus Island confirm a healthy community of branching Acropora corals flourished for centuries before European settlement of the area, despite frequent floods and cyclone events. Then, between 1920 and 1955, the branching Acropora failed to recover.

Scientists from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at the University of Queensland say the rapid collapse of the coral community is potential evidence of the link between man-made changes in water quality and the loss of corals on the Great Barrier Reef.

It adds weight to evidence that human activity is implicated in the recent loss of up to half of the corals on the Great Barrier Reef, says Professor John Pandolfi of CoECRS and UQ.

The destruction of branching corals coincided with wide-spread land clearing for grazing and agriculture which took place in the nearby Burdekin River catchment in the late 19th Century, causing an increase in the amount of mud and nutrients into the GBR lagoon, says the lead author of a new study on the collapse, Dr George Roff, of CoECRS and UQ.

'Corals have always died from natural events such as floods and cyclones, but historically have shown rapid recovery following disturbance. Our results suggest that the chronic influence of European settlement on the Queensland coastline may have reduced the corals ability to bounce back from these natural disturbances' he says.

The team took cores from dead coral beds on the western side of Pelorus Island and then analysed their coral species composition and their age, using high-precision uranium dating methods pioneered by a team lead by one of the study’s co-authors, Jian-xin Zhao at the University of Queensland’s Radio Isotope Facility. They then aligned this with records of cyclones, floods and sea surface temperatures over the same period.

'Our results imply … a previously undetected historical collapse in coral communities coinciding with increased sediment and nutrient loading following European settlement of the Queensland coastline,' the researchers report in their paper.

'Significantly, this collapse occurred before the onset of the large-scale coral bleaching episodes seen in recent decades, and also before detailed surveys of GBR coral began in the 1980s.

'And, even more significantly, we found no similar collapse occurring at any time in the previous 1700 years covered by our cores. Throughout this period the branching corals continued to flourish – despite all the cyclones and natural impacts they endured.'

At two sites the Acropora corals vanished completely while at a third there was a marked shift in coral species from Acropora to Pavona, which the researchers say parallels similar observations of human impacts in the Caribbean.

'On a global scale, our results are consistent with a recent report from the Caribbean region, where land use changes prior to 1960 were implicated in a significant decline in Acropora corals in near-shore reefs.'

The research has raised another realistic possibility – that current coral surveys may significantly underestimate the possibility of major ‘unseen’ shifts such as these having taken place in the period before effective coral records began, the researchers suggest. In other words, the GBR may be more degraded than it appears to today’s eyes.

'We know that at some sites in the region, branching Acropora was the dominant reef builder until recent times. This raises the question of why some inshore reefs appear resilient, while others failed to recover from disturbance' says Dr Roff.

'The research underlines that there is a very strong link between what we do on land – and what will happen to the Great Barrier Reef in future. It encourages us to take greater and more rapid steps to control runoff and other impacts on land,' says Prof. Pandolfi.

Their paper 'Palaeoecological evidence of a historical collapse of corals at Pelorus Island, inshore Great Barrier Reef, following European settlement' by George Roff, Tara R. Clark, Claire Reymond, Jian-xin Zhao, Yuexing Feng, Laurence J. McCook, Terence J. Done and John M. Pandolfi appears in the latest issue of Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

ARC Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies website


by ARC Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies

  

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

http://www.powerboat-world.com/index.cfm?nid=104015

6:13 AM Thu 22 Nov 2012GMT


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







Power Boat News

























Understanding the Ocean's role in Greenland Glacier melt by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI),


Dangerous conditions for boating on entire NSW Coast by Transport Roads and Maritme Services,


Revealing report on Search for American yacht Nina released *Feature by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team,












AYSS PacificNet/Tahiti voted a success! by Asia Pacific Superyachts,














Dangerous conditions forecast for NSW boaters by Roads and Maritime Services,


APSNZ appoints Duthie Lidgard as new MD by Asia Pacific Superyachts,


Whale freed from rope at Byron Bay by Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry,








Marine Auctions experiencing rising tide of interest *Feature
Tags reveal Chilean devil rays are among ocean's deepest divers
Auckland On Water Boat Show to hold world record attempt
Zodiac at Sydney International Boat Show 2014 – Australian
Gold Coast International Marine Expo - Exhibitor space filling fast
Ceramic coated exhaust manifolds reduce engine bay temps on superboat
Reminder of safe distance requirements for whales
Changes to Australian bass closed season
Fusion achieves industry-wide acceptance of FUSION-Link
BSE Brisbane Slipways open for business as normal
Honda’s everywhere at Sydney International Boat Show!
Fifth round of XCAT World Powerboat Series moves to China
Sly 43 - Making her Australian premier
Maritimo full of confidence following recent wins
Australia event cements its position as hosting 'the' marina party
Up close and personal with whales on the Gold Coast
SA Marina Day encourages South Australians to enjoy their marinas
Southport Yacht Club raffle: Dusit Thani, BRIG Falcon, Marriott stay
Enjoy the whale spectacle, just keep your distance
The Dinghy Nav Light Solution- a brilliantly dumb idea
Extension granted for salvage of a paddle steamer on the Murray River   
Sydney International Boat Show set to embrace new location   
Thermal imaging helping bulk carriers avoid collisions in port and in   
Third CYCA Solas Trusts grant to Australian Volunteer Coast Guard   
CruiseCraft adds Explorer 595 Hard Top   
Severe weather warnings prompt reminder to boat owners   
Be won over by the new Azimut 50   
Predictwind unlocks more features on free accounts   
Tammy Wolf and Mercury's Formula 2 Powerboat on to Divisional Champion   
Monaco Yacht Show 2014 - the biggest superyacht show ever   
Biggest Display ever and 18 launches at SIBS   
Gold Coast International Marine Expo helps Sailability grant FREEDOM   
Exhibitors heat up for Cannes Yachting Festival   
Benetti 108 tri-deck Tradition Supreme will launch in Cannes   
St Kitts open for superyacht business   
Marine World Sales: The latest in buying and selling marine online   
UIM XCAT - Massive fight from Fazza secures fourth consecutive title   
Peters & May launch Mediterranean and USA to East Coast Australia   
Lifejackets are imperative: don't rely on sheer luck   
XCAT World Series - Qatar Team claim second successive victory   


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
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT