Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

International Marine Project Helps Protect Some Of The World's Rarest And Most Fragile Coral Reefs

Date:
August 5, 2009
Source:
University of Southampton
Summary:
Some of the world's rarest and most fragile coral reefs and the economies that depend on them will be better protected thanks to a major international marine project led by the University of Southampton.

School of Pacific Creole fish, Paranthias colonus, a member of the anthia family near the Galapapgos Islands.
Credit: iStockphoto/Dennis Sabo

Some of the world's rarest and most fragile coral reefs and the economies that depend on them will be better protected thanks to a major international marine project led by the University of Southampton.

The three-year, Government-funded, Darwin Initiative project Galapagos Coral Conservation: Impact Mitigation, Mapping and Monitoring was led by Professor Terry Dawson, from the University of Southampton's School of Geography. The research is published in a special edition of the peer-reviewed journal Galapagos Research.

The aim was to assist the Ecuadorian Government in protecting the last remaining extensive Galapagos coral reefs of the northern Wolf and Darwin Islands and how they can be managed in a way that still supports the economic activities that are so important to the Galapagos Islands.

The coral reefs of the Galapagos Islands contribute significantly to species richness and diversity in the Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR). They support thousands of species, including many rare and endemic corals. In addition, these reef ecosystems are major hotspots with remarkable numbers of sharks, tuna, turtles, and dolphins all ecologically linked to the area's reef complexes.

However, their distribution has been strongly affected by extreme climatic events over the last 30 years, especially El Niño events where extensive coral reefs were reduced by 95 per cent in 1982-3, with further mortality in 1997-8 due to increased sea surface temperatures as a result of ocean warming.

The project also engaged the fishing and tourism industries for improved management of the marine environment through capacity-building of tourism, dive guides and fishers, and established permanent mooring buoys to avoid boat anchor damage.

Professor Dawson comments: "These significant findings greatly improve our knowledge and appreciation of the value and current condition of the Galapagos's northerly coral communities and establish conservation measures and stakeholder commitments to protect these valuable habitats.

"This step forward demonstrates how relatively modest external aid can empower applied marine research and lead to management policy. Such steps are critical if natural ecosystem function is to be conserved to maintain Galapagos's intrinsic value and contribution to the wellbeing of future generations."

The project also discovered new species both to science and to Galapagos, including zooanthid species from the genera Hydrozoanthus, Parazoanthus, Antipathozoanthus and possibly Epizoanthus, although the latter may be an entirely new species as yet undescribed.

Other reef-building corals have been identified, which are new to Galapagos, including Pocillopora effusus, P. inflata, and Pavona chiriquiensis. In addition, a possible new gorgonian of the genus Pacifigorgia (Octocorallia: Gorgoniidae) species has been collected, together with a new reef-building coral, Leptoseris sp. The coral species Gardineroseris planulata was thought to have gone extinct during the 1997-98 El Niño event, but the project (re)discovered several separate, but small colonies at the Wolf and Darwin island sites

The three-year project is the most comprehensive study using innovative mapping and rapid assessment techniques undertaken to date in the remote northern Galapagos Islands.

The project brought input from a large number of international and local marine and coral scientists, including the Charles Darwin Research Station, Conservation International, Galapagos National Park Service and WildAid, to address the particular conservation challenge faced by Wolf and Darwin Islands.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Southampton. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Southampton. "International Marine Project Helps Protect Some Of The World's Rarest And Most Fragile Coral Reefs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090804071820.htm>.
University of Southampton. (2009, August 5). International Marine Project Helps Protect Some Of The World's Rarest And Most Fragile Coral Reefs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090804071820.htm
University of Southampton. "International Marine Project Helps Protect Some Of The World's Rarest And Most Fragile Coral Reefs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090804071820.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) — Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) — Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) — At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) — Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins