Calm before the spawn: Climate change and coral spawning

November 4, 2009

What's the point of setting up marine reserves to protect coral reefs from pollution, ship groundings and overfishing if climate change could cause far more damage? A study published this week in London in Proceedings of the Royal Society B provides the answer.

For decades researchers have known that corals synchronize their release of eggs and sperm into the water but were unsure of how and why. Robert van Woesik, a biologist at the Florida Institute of Technology, explains why corals spawn for just a few nights in some places but elsewhere string out their love life over many months.

The study shows that corals spawn when regional wind fields are light. When it is calm the eggs and sperm have the chance to unite before they are dispersed. Corals off the coast of Kenya have months of light winds so they can reproduce for much of the year. On the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, calm weather is short-lived and the coral reproductive season is brief.

The results of the study are critically important for effective reef conservation.

According to van Woesik: " reproduction is a very local event. This means local conservation efforts will maximize reproductive success and give systems a chance to adapt to global climate change."

Source: Florida Institute of Technology (news : web)

Explore further: Ocean sampling yields environmental sources of coral symbionts

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ArtflDgr
3 / 5 (2) Nov 04, 2009
anyone else notice that everything is damaging. even though warming is MUCH better than cooling, every thing that they can think of can only bring harm. they are destroying science and its regard and respect with the public by chasing ideological consensus as declared rather than empirical facts.

every end to every action cant be negative. so even if no noe can prove or disprove the idiot climate issues, there aint no way that 99% of everything that happens is negative unless the researchers are so nihilistic like their god marx that they can never see a good future!

[ever thought that warmer waters would translate to a movement of breeding grounds and such and that maybe the bleaching is normal and not 'caused'? that when you dont understand something, the answer isnt always bad. ever really think that maybe opened up niches that used to have anmials on them creates new species? ever think that they have you guys stuck in a time preference that is too short to see?]
GrayMouser
not rated yet Nov 06, 2009
According to the article on this site titled "Caribbean, Gulf spared widespread coral damage"
the bleaching is a natural event caused by warming waters. Since the ARGO buoy network has shown the oceans are cooling this shouldn't be a problem.

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