Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New tool to monitor coral reef 'vital signs'

Date:
March 17, 2011
Source:
University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science
Summary:
Scientists have created a new tool to monitor coral reef vital signs. By accurately measuring their biological pulse, scientists can better assess how climate change and other ecological threats impact coral reef health worldwide.

A team of scientists from the University of Miami, University of Puerto Rico, WHOI, Doherty Earth Observatory and the USGS developed and tested a new methods to monitor biological productivity at Cayo Enrique Reef in Puerto Rico. The invention measures dissolved oxygen production and consumption rates, allowing scientists to monitor the balance between the production of new organic matter by corals and algae, and the consumption of that organic matter by the reef's heterotrophs, which are essential to assessing the health of coral reef ecosystems.
Credit: C. Langdon

University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science scientist Chris Langdon and colleagues developed a new tool to monitor coral reef vital signs. By accurately measuring their biological pulse, scientists can better assess how climate change and other ecological threats impact coral reef health worldwide.

During a March 2009 experiment at Cayo Enrique Reef in Puerto Rico, the team tested two new methods to monitor biological productivity. They compared a technique that measures changes in dissolved oxygen within a chamber that encloses an area of water above the reef with one that measures the flux of dissolved oxygen across the turbulent boundary layer above an unconfined portion of the seafloor.

By measuring dissolved oxygen production and consumption rates, scientists were able to monitor the balance between the production of new organic matter by the corals and algae and the consumption of that organic matter by the reef's heterotrophs, which are essential to assessing the health of coral reef ecosystems.

A combination of these methods is a valuable tool for assessing and studying the effects of climate change on coral reef health, according to the authors.

According to a recent analysis by the World Resources Institute, nearly 75 percent of the world's coral reefs are currently threatened by human activities and ecological disturbances, such as rising ocean temperatures, increased pollution, overfishing and ocean acidification.

Measurements of biological productivity have typically been made by tracing changes in dissolved oxygen in seawater as it passes over a reef. However, this is a labor intensive and difficult method, requiring repeated measurements. The new method opens up the possibility of making long-term, unattended, high-temporal resolution measurements of photosynthesis and respiration of coral reefs and any other benthic ecosystems.

The study was published in the March issue of the journal Geophysical Research Letters. The paper's co-authors are Langdon, Wade R. McGillis of Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, Brice Loose of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Kim K. Yates of the U.S. Geological Survey, and Jorge Corredor of the University of Puerto Rico.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. W. R. McGillis, C. Langdon, B. Loose, K. K. Yates, Jorge Corredor. Productivity of a coral reef using boundary layer and enclosure methods. Geophysical Research Letters, 2011; 38 (3) DOI: 10.1029/2010GL046179

Cite This Page:

University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science. "New tool to monitor coral reef 'vital signs'." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110317102559.htm>.
University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science. (2011, March 17). New tool to monitor coral reef 'vital signs'. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110317102559.htm
University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science. "New tool to monitor coral reef 'vital signs'." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110317102559.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Federal researchers are exploring more than a dozen underwater sites where they believe ships sank in the treacherous waters west of San Francisco in the decades following the Gold Rush. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Isolated N. Korea Asks For International Help With Volcano

Isolated N. Korea Asks For International Help With Volcano

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) Mount Paektu volcano in North Korea is showing signs of life and there's not much known about it. 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:
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