Increasingly intense storms threaten coral

May 01, 2008

A British scientist suggests hurricanes and other storms are increasing in intensity and are limiting the growth of some corals.

The Earthwatch Institute-supported study focused on the ability of corals in Belize to "recruit" new coral into their communities.

"Increasing evidence now shows that storms are becoming more intense due to climate change," said lead author and Earthwatch scientist James Crabbe from the University of Bedfordshire.

Coral reefs, which can expand for thousands of years, form when free-swimming coral larvae in the ocean attach to rocks or other hard surfaces and begin to develop.

"If the storms don't destroy corals outright, they render them more susceptible to disease," said Crabbe, "and that is certainly apparent on the Belize reefs."

He said his findings have implications for marine park managers. "They may need to assist coral recruitment and settlement (during hurricane years) by establishing coral nurseries and then placing the baby corals (larvae) in the reef at discrete locations" or by setting up artificial reef blocks to help the corals survive.

The research that included Edwin Martinez, Earthwatch field director in Belize, appears in the May issue of the journal Marine Environmental Research.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Explore further: Oil from Russian trawler wreck reaches Canaries' beaches

Related Stories

NASA satellite sees a rooster in Tropical Cyclone Solo

Apr 10, 2015

Tropical Cyclone Solo looks like a rooster in visible and infrared imagery taken from NASA's Aqua satellite on April 10. Solo formed in the Coral Sea and is giving several islands something to crow about, ...

Study provides detailed projections of coral bleaching

Apr 01, 2015

While research shows that nearly all coral reef locations in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico will experience bleaching by mid-century, a new study showing in detail when and where bleaching will occur shows ...

Recommended for you

Climate change: How Brits feel about 'smart' energy

12 hours ago

Reluctance to share data about personal energy use is likely to be a major obstacle when implementing 'smart' technologies designed to monitor use and support energy efficient behaviours, according to new ...

A novel pathway producing dimethylsulphide in bacteria

17 hours ago

A scientific team that includes researchers from the University of Barcelona (UB) has identified a novel pathway producing dimethylsulphide, a volatile organosulfur compound which plays a major role in climate regulation.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.