Anonymous asked:

Are there invasive species in the ocean? Like a coral that is native to Australia but somehow (probably man) ends up in South Africa. I know there can be invasive species in fresh water lakes, but I've never heard about them in the ocean.

Yes, unfortunately there are loads. One of the biggest problems is animals being transported through ship ballast water. A famous example is that of the comb jelly upsetting annihilating the food web in the Black Sea. 

There was also the devastating effects of an algae in the Meditteranean.

And perhaps the most recent and ongoing problem is the proliferation of Lionfish in the Meso-American Barrier Reef. My bestie Jen is in Belize and one of her projects is developing a supply chain to harvest these invasive lionfish to sell internationally - protecting the reefs and providing alternative incomes for local communities! 

No-take marine reserves make coral reefs more resilient. 
"A new study finds no-take marine reserves, where fishing for parrotfish is prohibited, may make coral reefs six times more resilient to coral bleaching and other disturbances. Parrotfish eat algae, so a reef system with abundant parrotfish is more likely to recover from disturbance rather than “tip” into an undesirable state in which algae dominate. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions also improves coral resilience, but only in the long term.

The research is the result of Dr. Peter Mumby's three-year Pew Marine Fellowship project to better understand the health of coral reefs.

"This added resilience is important because it shows that protecting parrotfish, through such measures as marine reserves and fisheries policies, increases the ability of corals to adapt to warming oceans," said Dr. Mumby, lead author of the study and a professor at University of Queensland in Australia. "In addition, it should reduce the loss of ecosystem services that reefs provide, such as support for fisheries and coastal protection from storms."

Jul 30, 2013
Pew Marine Fellows, Ocean Science Division
Contact: Rachel Brittin,
- See more at: http://www.pewenvironment.org/news-room/fact-sheets/no-take-marine-reserves-make-coral-reefs-more-resilient-85899493008#sthash.U3FUOAx4.dpuf
- See more at: http://www.pewenvironment.org/news-room/fact-sheets/no-take-marine-reserves-make-coral-reefs-more-resilient-85899493008#sthash.U3FUOAx4.dpuf
- Get the fact sheet

No-take marine reserves make coral reefs more resilient. 

"A new study finds no-take marine reserves, where fishing for parrotfish is prohibited, may make coral reefs six times more resilient to coral bleaching and other disturbances. Parrotfish eat algae, so a reef system with abundant parrotfish is more likely to recover from disturbance rather than “tip” into an undesirable state in which algae dominate. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions also improves coral resilience, but only in the long term.

The research is the result of Dr. Peter Mumby's three-year Pew Marine Fellowship project to better understand the health of coral reefs.

"This added resilience is important because it shows that protecting parrotfish, through such measures as marine reserves and fisheries policies, increases the ability of corals to adapt to warming oceans," said Dr. Mumby, lead author of the study and a professor at University of Queensland in Australia. "In addition, it should reduce the loss of ecosystem services that reefs provide, such as support for fisheries and coastal protection from storms."

- See more at: http://www.pewenvironment.org/news-room/fact-sheets/no-take-marine-reserves-make-coral-reefs-more-resilient-85899493008#sthash.U3FUOAx4.dpuf

- See more at: http://www.pewenvironment.org/news-room/fact-sheets/no-take-marine-reserves-make-coral-reefs-more-resilient-85899493008#sthash.U3FUOAx4.dpuf

- Get the fact sheet

underthevastblueseas
underthevastblueseas:


Here’s a picture of a healthy sample of the Great Barrier Reef. Next to it is a sample that was exposed to CO2 levels we can expect if we do nothing about climate change.
via: 350.org

Algal growth over dead coral prevents coral recruits from settling and re-establishing the coral reef. Algae ecosystems support less diversity of life. This year is predicted to be a bad year in the Asia-Pacific for Coral Bleaching so keep an eye out! 

underthevastblueseas:

Here’s a picture of a healthy sample of the Great Barrier Reef. Next to it is a sample that was exposed to CO2 levels we can expect if we do nothing about climate change.
via: 350.org

Algal growth over dead coral prevents coral recruits from settling and re-establishing the coral reef. Algae ecosystems support less diversity of life. This year is predicted to be a bad year in the Asia-Pacific for Coral Bleaching so keep an eye out! 

alchymista
alchymista:

Phytoplankton never looked so sparkly. These diatoms, or single-celled algae species, glitter under the microscope like tiny jewels. Diatoms form the basis of many a marine food chain, and they’re protected by cell walls made of silica, seen here. When diatoms die, their cell walls form diatomaceous earth, a sediment used in pool filters and some kitty litter. Researchers use diatom deposits as one way to understand the conditions of ancient lakes and bogs.

alchymista:

Phytoplankton never looked so sparkly. These diatoms, or single-celled algae species, glitter under the microscope like tiny jewels. Diatoms form the basis of many a marine food chain, and they’re protected by cell walls made of silica, seen here. When diatoms die, their cell walls form diatomaceous earth, a sediment used in pool filters and some kitty litter. Researchers use diatom deposits as one way to understand the conditions of ancient lakes and bogs.

Parrotfish Teeth
Parrotfish are named for their dentition, which also is distinct from that of other labrids. Their numerous teeth are arranged in a tightly-packed mosaic on the external surface of the jaw bones, forming a parrot-like beak with which they rasp algae from coral and other rocky substrates (which contributes to the process of bioerosion).
Although they are considered to be herbivores, parrotfish eat a wide variety of reef organisms, and they are not necessarily vegetarian. Species such as the green humphead parrotfish (Bolbometopon muricatum) include coral (polyps) in their diet.
Their feeding activity is important for the production and distribution of coral sands in the reef biome, and can prevent algae from choking coral. The teeth grow continuously, replacing material worn away by feeding.
One parrotfish can produce 90 kg of sand each year!!!
© Ivan Choong 

Parrotfish Teeth

Parrotfish are named for their dentition, which also is distinct from that of other labrids. Their numerous teeth are arranged in a tightly-packed mosaic on the external surface of the jaw bones, forming a parrot-like beak with which they rasp algae from coral and other rocky substrates (which contributes to the process of bioerosion).

Although they are considered to be herbivores, parrotfish eat a wide variety of reef organisms, and they are not necessarily vegetarian. Species such as the green humphead parrotfish (Bolbometopon muricatum) include coral (polyps) in their diet.

Their feeding activity is important for the production and distribution of coral sands in the reef biome, and can prevent algae from choking coral. The teeth grow continuously, replacing material worn away by feeding.

One parrotfish can produce 90 kg of sand each year!!!

© Ivan Choong 

Toxic Seaweed Poisons Coral Reefs on Contact - By Daniel Strain, ScienceNOW
“Attack of the killer seaweed” may sound like a cheesy horror flick, but for many coral species, murderous multicellular algae have become real-life villains. A new study of reefs in the South Pacific suggests that some algae can poison coral on contact. This chemical warfare may be increasing the pressure on struggling reef communities worldwide, researchers say.
Along the reefs dotting Fiji, overfishing has pitted corals against algae in a battle royale. On swaths of coastline where fishing is restricted, corals such as the tall and branching Acropora millepora rule, says study co-author Mark Hay, a marine ecologist at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.
But where Fijians spear lots of herbivores such as bird-beaked parrotfish, few fish remain to prune back the region’s seaweeds, a blanket term for many types of big algae. These algae then creep in, extending their tendrils over close to 60 percent of the ocean bottom, Hay estimates, and turning waters a sludgy green. Such “seaweed-covered parking lots” aren’t unique to Fiji, either, he says.
Read more…

Toxic Seaweed Poisons Coral Reefs on Contact - By Daniel Strain, ScienceNOW

“Attack of the killer seaweed” may sound like a cheesy horror flick, but for many coral species, murderous multicellular algae have become real-life villains. A new study of reefs in the South Pacific suggests that some algae can poison coral on contact. This chemical warfare may be increasing the pressure on struggling reef communities worldwide, researchers say.

Along the reefs dotting Fiji, overfishing has pitted corals against algae in a battle royale. On swaths of coastline where fishing is restricted, corals such as the tall and branching Acropora millepora rule, says study co-author Mark Hay, a marine ecologist at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.

But where Fijians spear lots of herbivores such as bird-beaked parrotfish, few fish remain to prune back the region’s seaweeds, a blanket term for many types of big algae. These algae then creep in, extending their tendrils over close to 60 percent of the ocean bottom, Hay estimates, and turning waters a sludgy green. Such “seaweed-covered parking lots” aren’t unique to Fiji, either, he says.

Read more…