Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Millenium atoll: A pristine ecosystem

Date:
June 7, 2010
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
A series of surveys were carried out to characterize the physical and biological parameters of the Millennium Atoll lagoon during a recent research expedition.

A) Patch reef dominated by Acropora spp. Tumbling of colonies down the slope along the edge of the reef is evident. B) Example of Acropora spp. dominant throughout the lagoon. C) Fish assemblage along the top of a patch reef. D) Blacktip reef shark. E) Ascidians (green) growing in the crevices of Acropora spp. colonies. F) Tridacna maxima growing among Acropora spp. colonies.
Credit: Barott et al., doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0010950.g001

A series of surveys were carried out to characterize the physical and biological parameters of the Millennium Atoll lagoon during a research expedition in April of 2009. Millennium is a remote coral atoll in the Central Pacific belonging to the Republic of Kiribati, and a member of the Southern Line Islands chain. The atoll is among the few remaining coral reef ecosystems that are relatively pristine.

Related Articles


The lagoon is highly enclosed, and was characterized by reticulate patch and line reefs throughout the center of the lagoon as well as perimeter reefs around the rim of the atoll. The depth reached a maximum of 33.3 m in the central region of the lagoon, and averaged between 8.8 and 13.7 m in most of the pools.

The deepest areas were found to harbor large platforms of Favia matthaii, which presumably provided a base upon which the dominant corals (Acropora spp.) grew to form the reticulate reef structure. The benthic algal communities consisted mainly of crustose coralline algae (CCA), microfilamentous turf algae and isolated patches of Halimeda spp. and Caulerpa spp.

Fish species richness in the lagoon was half of that observed on the adjacent fore reef. The lagoon is likely an important nursery habitat for a number of important fisheries species including the blacktip reef shark and Napoleon wrasse, which are heavily exploited elsewhere around the world but were common in the lagoon at Millennium. The lagoon also supports an abundance of giant clams (Tridacna maxima). Millennium lagoon provides an excellent reference of a relatively undisturbed coral atoll. As with most coral reefs around the world, the lagoon communities of Millennium may be threatened by climate change and associated warming, acidification and sea level rise, as well as sporadic local resource exploitation which is difficult to monitor and enforce because of the atoll's remote location.

While the remote nature of Millennium has allowed it to remain one of the few nearly pristine coral reef ecosystems in the world, it is imperative that this ecosystem receives protection so that it may survive for future generations.

Funding: Funding for this work was provided by National Science Foundation Grant OCE-0927415 to FLR. KB was supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Katie L. Barott, Jennifer E. Caselle, Elizabeth A. Dinsdale, Alan M. Friedlander, James E. Maragos, David Obura, Forest L. Rohwer, Stuart A. Sandin, Jennifer E. Smith, Brian Zgliczynski, Stuart Humphries. The Lagoon at Caroline/Millennium Atoll, Republic of Kiribati: Natural History of a Nearly Pristine Ecosystem. PLoS ONE, 2010; 5 (6): e10950 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0010950

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Millenium atoll: A pristine ecosystem." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100607192731.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2010, June 7). Millenium atoll: A pristine ecosystem. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100607192731.htm
Public Library of Science. "Millenium atoll: A pristine ecosystem." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100607192731.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

EU Gets Climate Deal, UK PM Gets Knock

EU Gets Climate Deal, UK PM Gets Knock

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) EU leaders achieve a show of unity by striking a compromise deal on carbon emissions. But David Cameron's bid to push back EU budget contributions gets a slap in the face as the European Commission demands an extra 2bn euros. David Pollard reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Tornado Rips Roofs in Washington State

Raw: Tornado Rips Roofs in Washington State

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) A rare tornado ripped roofs off buildings, uprooted trees and shattered windows Thursday afternoon in the southwest Washington city of Longview, but there were no reports of injuries. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fast-Moving Lava Headed For Town On Hawaii's Big Island

Fast-Moving Lava Headed For Town On Hawaii's Big Island

Newsy (Oct. 24, 2014) Lava from the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island has accelerated as it travels toward a town called Pahoa. Video provided by Newsy
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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