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 : New ways to help coral reefs survive

New ways to help coral reefs survive

'Butterflyfish'    © João Paulo Krajewski / ARC    Click Here to view large photo

Lessons from tens of millions of years ago are leading to new ways to help protect and save today's coral reefs and the myriad of stunning and vibrantly colored fishes at a time of significant change in the earth's systems.

The complex relationship we see today  between fishes and corals developed relatively recently in geological terms – and is a major factor in shielding reef species from extinction, says Professor David Bellwood of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and James Cook University.

'Our latest research provides strong evidence for a view that today’s coral hotspots are both a refuge for old species and a cradle for new ones,' said Peter Cowman, lead author of a recent report.  'This is the first real inkling we’ve had that just protecting a large area of reef may not be enough – you have to protect the right sorts of reef.'

Early coral reefs, 300-400 million years ago were much simpler affairs than today’s colourful and complex systems, Prof. Bellwood says. The fish were not specialised to live on or among corals – either lacking jaws altogether, or else feeding on detritus on the seabed or preying on one another.

'By 200 million years ago we are starting to see fish with jaws capable of feeding on corals, but the real explosion in reef diversity doesn’t occur till about 50 million years ago when we see fishes very like today’s specialist coral feeders emerging.'

It is the ever-increasing complexity of this relationship between corals and fishes over the last 20 or 30 million years that produces the wondrous diversity of today’s reefs, he says. Each has become more critical to the survival of the other as their lives have become more interwoven.

A butterflyfish, Chaetodon rainfordi, feeding on coral polyps. Coral reefs are both a museum and a cradle for reef fishes. Association with coral reefs has provided fishes with both a stimulus for diversification, and a potential refuge in a time of high extinction. -  © João Paulo Krajewski - ARC?nid=93348   Click Here to view large photo

'When people think of coral reefs, they usually think of the beautiful branching corals like staghorn (Acropora) – well the evidence is now fairly clear that Acropora needs certain fish for it to flourish. But, it now appears that this may be a reciprocal relationship with Acropora being important for the evolution and survival of fishes on coral reefs. '

Unfortunately Acropora corals are highly vulnerable to external impacts like Crown-of-Thorns starfish, coral bleaching, climate change and ocean acidification. Their demise will have far reaching effects on the fishes which interact with them, such as damsels, butterfly fish, cardinals and wrasses.

'The study of the past tells us that reefs are all about relationships and, like a family, for them to survive those relationships need to remain strong,' Peter Cowman said.

'In coming years it is probable reefs will be subject to relentless presses that may cause them to change fundamentally. Those with the best long-term prospects of survival will be the ones where the relationships between fish and corals are healthiest.

Both fish and corals managed somehow to survive the five great mass extinction events of the past, though they sustained massive loss of species. Over time these have left us with a world focus of reef biodiversity centered on the Coral Triangle region to Australia’s north, which in turn helps recharge Australian coral reefs, especially in the west.

The red-breasted Maori-wrasse, Cheilinus fasciatus. Like the butterflyfishes and damselfishes, wrasses have evolved in the presence of coral reefs. The close relationship between corals and fishes has stimulated the speciation of reef fishes and provided them with a sanctuary in difficult times. -  © João Paulo Krajewski - ARC?nid=93348   Click Here to view large photo

'The Coral Triangle is currently subject to intensifying human and ecosystem pressure. The latest work by Peter Cowman and Prof Bellwood suggests it is both a cradle for new species and a refuge in troubled times – so it is vital that it remain intact.

'This isn’t about saving individual species or particular reefs, it’s about maintaining the basic relationships which ensure the survival of the whole,' says Prof Bellwood.

'We’ve had a ‘heads up’ from the past that is giving us fresh insights into what is most important on reefs and why we must protect our precious reefs and fishes into the future.'

Their paper 'Coral reefs as drivers of cladogenesis: expanding coral reefs, cryptic extinction events, and the development of biodiversity hotspots' by Peter F. Cowman and David R. Bellwood was published in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology 24: 2543-2562. DOI 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2011.02391.x  

ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies website




by ARC Centre 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=93348

11:22 PM Sat 28 Jan 2012 GMT






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
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   


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