Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Coral survival's past is key to its future

Date:
February 14, 2012
Source:
Florida Institute of Technology
Summary:
To predict the extinction risk of reef-building corals, researchers are examining past events to gain insight into how these corals today may fare through climate change.

Dr. Robert van Woesik.
Credit: Image courtesy of Florida Institute of Technology

Florida Institute of Technology researchers are taking an historical approach to predict the extinction risk of reef-building corals. Led by Robert van Woesik, professor of biological sciences, the scientists are examining past events to gain insight into how these corals today may fare through climate change.

"We found strong relationships between past regional extinction events and modern coral vulnerability, suggesting that extinction events are not merely chance events but depend on the biological characteristics of the coral species. Our historical approach improves the accuracy of extinction-risk assessment," said van Woesik.

Corals are highly sensitive to climate change. Their risk of extinction is increasing at an unprecedented rate as the oceans continue to warm. Assessing this danger, however, is difficult because of limited data.

Van Woesik's team looked at Caribbean extinction during the Plio-Pleistocene era and extinction risk as determined by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Through the Plio-Pleistocene era, the Caribbean supported more diverse coral reefs than today and shared considerable overlap with contemporary Indo-Pacific reefs. Regional extinction in the past and vulnerability in the presentsuggest that Pocillopora, Stylophora, and foliose Pavona are among the most susceptible to local and regional isolation. These were among the most abundant corals in the Caribbean Pliocene. Therefore, a widespread distribution did not equate with immunity to regional extinction. The strong relationship between past and present vulnerability suggests that regional extinction events are trait-based and not merely random episodes.

"We found several inconsistencies between our data and the IUCN scores, which suggest a need to critically re-examine what constitutes coral vulnerability," said van Woesik.

The research was just published in Biology Letters, a journal of the Royal Society.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Florida Institute of Technology. "Coral survival's past is key to its future." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 February 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120214215507.htm>.
Florida Institute of Technology. (2012, February 14). Coral survival's past is key to its future. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120214215507.htm
Florida Institute of Technology. "Coral survival's past is key to its future." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120214215507.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Where's a body buried? Buster's nose can often tell you. He's a cadaver dog, specially trained to find human remains and increasingly being used by law enforcement and accepted in courts. These dogs are helping solve even decades-old mysteries. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) Two white lion cubs, an extremely rare subspecies of the African lion, were recently born at Belgrade Zoo. They are being bottle fed by zoo keepers after they were rejected by their mother after birth. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Buzz60 (Oct. 20, 2014) An entomologist stumbled upon a South American Goliath Birdeater. With a name like that, you know it's a terrifying creepy crawler. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
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