We know of many things that protect animals against disease – immune systems and gut bacteria are just the two most common examples. It turns out fish have antimicrobial properties that come from bacteria that live in the slime that covers their bodies, and it just might make lionfish specifically more resistant to disease.
Seagrass habitats worldwide are in decline due to a number of factors. What happens when an invasive species comes on the scene to add to the stressors affecting seagrasses?
Invasive species can wreak havoc on an ecosystem. Learn about the fishy invasion currently underway in the Mediterranean Sea and what impacts these invaders may be having on the region.
While the blue flag iris is native to United States wetlands, the yellow variety is invasive and just starting to pop up on the radar of concern for land managers. This study found that seed dispersal was the main reproduction tactic, which was unique since asexual reproduction from rhizome pieces breaking off is the common method in its native European range .
Species invasions have become serious issues in the marine environment, mostly as a result of increased ship traffic. Once a new species invades an area, it is next to impossible to draw it out. What if there was a way to predict the arrival of alien species to new locations in the ocean? Would this predictive power help minimize future invasions?
Most studies that look at how animals respond to climate change look at species we like – oysters, corals, and whales are just a few examples. The authors of this review looked at something else – how are the species we hate going to respond to climate change, specifically ocean acidification? Read on to find out!
Paper: Black, A.N., S.R. Weimann, V.E. Imhoff, M.L. Richter, and M. Itzkowitz. 2014. A differential prey response to invasive lionfish, Pterois volitans: Prey naiveté and risk-sensitive courtship. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 460: 1-7. DOI:10.1016/j.jembe.2014.06.002 This story sounds a lot like a bad high school romance. You see your crush across the hall! […]
Tiny mud crabs try to escape big blue crab predators but without the help of evolution to guide shelter choices what will they do?
It’s dark. It’s silent. A small ripple appears in a glass of water. The ripple starts to grow, becoming more frequent. Next to you is a small, helpless goat tethered to a pole. You look away for a brief second and suddenly the goat has disappeared. All that’s left is one half eaten leg. This is a classic scene from Jurassic Park. Ok, so this paper isn’t about cloning dinosaurs and creating a theme park, but the tethered goat being eaten by a t-rex provides a visual for what some researchers are doing with invasive lionfish. Researchers have found that native predators can be conditioned to eat invasive species, helping create biological controls.
The poster child for human pollution of the ocean has to be floating plastic bottles and soda rings, right? Once in the ocean, these plastics can aggregate. They create large floating masses, or garbage patches and some species find refuge in our refuse. Recent research has shown that diverse communities utilize these open ocean rafts, finding similarities to traditional ecological theory.
Invasive species are known to be harmful to native species, biodiversity, and ecosystem function. But recent research has shown that certain invasive species may be affecting the nutritional quality of your food!
The black sun coral is “invading” the Gulf! Once settled, it could out-compete other benthic epifauna and change the dynamic of the region’s community structure.
Ballast water transfers occur in or near major ports all the time to keep up with the demands of global shipping. Read about some of the potentially harmful organisms catching a free ride.
While calcifying organisms like corals and bivalves are projected to struggle under future levels of carbon dioxide (CO2), non-calcifying seaweeds that use CO2 for photosynthesis are going to exhibit normal, or increased, growth and productivity. Here, researchers show that increases in CO2 result in faster growth rates and increased photosynthetic activity in the invasive red alga, Neosiphonia harveyi. Researchers also tested temperature as an environmental factor and found a greater increase in growth and productivity in algae treated with colder water relative to warmer water. This finding is significant as low temperatures typically limit the growth of an individual alga and limit the range of algal species. Could CO2 increase the geographic range and success of seaweed invasions?