Coral trout in protected ‘green zones’ are not only bigger and more abundant than those in fished ‘blue zones’ of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, but they are also better able to cope with cyclone damage, according to a long-term study published today in Current Biology.
Coral trout biomass has more than doubled since the 1980s in the green zones with most of the growth occurring since the 2004 rezoning. These and other changes identified by the study show that the green zones are contributing to the health of the Great Barrier Reef and that similar approaches may be beneficial for coral reefs around the world.
The joint project between the Australian Institute of Marine Science and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University combined a vast amount of information from underwater surveys carried out from 1983-2012, on reefs spread across approximately 150,000 km2 (more than 40 per cent) of the Marine Park.
EMBARGO LIFTED: 4am AEDT, Thursday 24 October 2013
Nature paper reveals coral animals produce the ‘smell of the ocean’ – influencing cloud formation and protecting themselves against rising seawater temperatures.
Australian marine scientists have found the first evidence that coral itself may play an important role in regulating local climate.
They have discovered that the coral animal—not just its algal symbiont—makes an important sulphur-based molecule with properties to assist it in many ways, ranging from cellular protection in times of heat stress to local climate cooling by encouraging clouds to form.
These findings have been published in the prestigious weekly science journal Nature.
Media release from Senator the Hon Kim Carr and Senator the Hon Jan McLucas.
A new, $37 million experimental sea simulator will enable Australian scientists to recreate ocean conditions and study how both human activities and natural events will affect our marine environment in the future.
Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research Senator Kim Carr and Senator for Queensland Jan McLucas opened the National Sea Simulator (SeaSim), at the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) in Townsville today.
SeaSim is a research aquarium. It comprises a seawater processing plant, several controlled environment rooms, and open plan spaces for large tanks and long-term experiments.
In short, it brings together a reliable, consistent supply of high quality seawater with the technology to enable precise control over environmental factors, such as temperature, light, acidity, salinity, sedimentation and contaminants. Read the full article →
Luke Smith, Environment Manager from Woodside Energy, Russell Reichelt, Chairman of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, and scientists from CSIRO, the Australian Institute of Marine Science in Western Australian and James Cook University in Townsville tell what the new Sea Simulator facility means to them. More comments will be added during the day. Read the full article →