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Archive for October, 2014

Schutte 10.31

Manta ray movement and motivations

Everyone loves manta rays, but how much do we actually know about their basic ecology?

http://www.nsf.gov/mobile/news/news_images.jsp?cntn_id=124263&org=NSF

Sea Turtles, Sea Grasses, and Sharks

What began as an innocent initiative to save the sea turtles may be having a detrimental impact on sea grasses and the ecosystem.

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Zooplankton versus Phytoplankton: a trophic seesaw

NASA satellites reveal artistic swirls of phytoplankton dancing across the ocean surface. This new study explains the dynamic predator-prey imbalances that occur to create these spectacular space-worthy images.

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The Language of Fishes

Coral reefs are composed of hundreds of different species, who all use different acoustics to communicate, just like we use different languages around the world to communicate. Researchers set out to better understand and record the language of fishes in hopes of building a species-specific soundscape of the coral reef community.

Figure 4. Examples of PIV analyses which show the resultant flow caused by zooplankton swimming. Velocity fields (superimposed colored arrows) are determined by following silver-coated glass spheres (small dots in background) with high speed cameras, which show flow velocity and direction.

Herds of sea monkeys help scientists understand the role of diel vertical migration in ocean mixing

Article: Monica M. Wilhelmus and John O. Dabiri. Observations of large-scale fluid transport by laser-guided plankton aggregations. Physics of Fluids, September 30, 2014 DOI: 10.1063/1.4895655 Background Every day, as the sun sets, hundreds and thousands of individual zooplankton begin to swim up from deep waters to the surface. This daily migration is known as diel vertical migration and […]

The Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha). Source: U.S. Geological Survey - http://www.usgs.gov/features/lewisandclark/ChildrenWebSites.html

Same species, different genes: temperature tolerance and body size in the genes of the Chinook salmon

To understand how species may cope with climate change we must look into their genes. Do individuals have different levels of tolerance to high temperature? What can genes tell us about it?

T. flavopunctata is a large guard crab that helps defend its host coral from crown-of-thorns sea star. (Photo credit: Seabird McKeon)

Get crabby! A coral’s guide to self-defense

Crabs in the genus Trapezia are not only good housekeepers, clearing sediment off host corals, but they are also effective defenders. While just the presence of guard crabs can increase the chance of coral survival, are different species more effective than others? Read more to find out!

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Stressing out about water stress

It’s not just climate change that will affect global water stress! Model simulations predict that when both climate change and socioeconomic growth are considered, an additional ~1.8 billion people could be living in a region of moderate water stress by 2050.

TheReef-Cover

Deep Blue Reads: The Reef: A Passionate History, by Iain McCalman

It’s often easy to think of science outside of its social and historical contexts, as something pure, empirical, and incorruptible. But each drop of knowledge inevitably depends on what was uncovered and refined in the decades and centuries before it, as well as how it fits with the social and cultural opinions of its time. […]

Fig 4: An upside-down jellyfish, Cassiopea spp. (Source: Keys Field Guide)

The seagrass isn’t always greener: how jellyfish and nutrients are impacting seagrass ecosystems

Warming oceans and acidic oceans. Nutrient and pollution overload. Melting ice caps and rising sea levels. Jellyfish blooms. Yes, you can consider blooms of jellyfish as a source of oceanic stress, especially if you’re a seagrass bed!

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Parasitic crabs steal food and the possibility of offspring from unsuspecting snails.  

Crabs find a home inside sea snails leading to reproductive disaster.

photo courtsey of: www.beaudodson.com

A volcano, a tropical cyclone, and a computer model walked into a room…

Like with bad jokes, timing is everything. The punch line doesn’t make sense if you don’t know the back story, just like when mixing active volcanoes, tropical cyclones, and new volcanic smog dispersion models.

Breaching minke whale.

Whale Watching: Fun for Us, Stressful for Them

Whale watching is a popular activity around New England, especially in the summer, but this new study suggests we’re doing more than just watching – we’re actually stressing these whales out and making them swim faster and breathe more often.

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Reconstructing Regional Climate and Oceanographic Processes From Tree Rings

Researchers are using centuries of tree growth data to understand variability in upwelling, productivity and marine ecosystem health in the California Current.

Florida Museum of Natural History  (flmnh.ufl.edu)

Catfish sharks on catnip? Nope, just ocean acidification

Researchers from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden found that ocean acidification may cause hyperactivity in catfish sharks.

Tar balls accumulating on a Goa beach in India Source: Mayabhushan Nagvenkar, The Associated Press

Oil Spill Sleuths use Chemical Fingerprinting to Identify Sources of Tar Balls

Tar balls are small globules of thick, sticky oil that can be found on some shorelines. In order to mitigate tar ball deposition, we need to know where the oil is coming from: Is there a specific offshore oil field to blame? In this study, researchers from India and Singapore used hydrodynamic modeling and chemical fingerprinting to identify potential sources of tar balls to India’s Gujarat coast.

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