Climate change affects ecosystems worldwide, but how do conservationists decide which of planet earth’s ecosystems are most in need?
Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are a popular conservation tool and are in many situations very effective. Unfortunately, as with many plans, there may be some unintended consequences, as seen in the case of small MPAs in Fiji, where they appear to have attracted corallivorous crown-of-thorns sea stars (Acanthaster spp.). Find out more in today’s oceanbites!
Fish have provided sustenance for millions of people, but in a world where stocks are rapidly depleting, what are the consequences of trying to save and rehabilitate their populations?
The coast is very dynamic and at the constant mercy of wind and water energy. Often times, humans will try to control the coast by constructing seawalls and groins. Such projects have major impacts on sediment transport that can affect natural ecosystems and recreational beaches. Read here about a group of scientists who sought to quantify just how much of an impact seawall and groin development had on a section of coast in southeast India.
Most of the time coral reef communities are discussed, it seems the focus is whether they’re dominated by hard coral or algae. It turns out there may be other possible outcomes for reefs in the future. Find out more in today’s oceanbites!
Humans are drawn to beautiful beaches and warm water, and with us come the conveniences of modern day civilization. While life may be flourishing in the shops, restaurants and luxury hotels, this development is taking its toll on the fragile reef community just off shore. Although reefs may appear healthy to the naked eye, researchers have discovered coastal development impacts their biological diversity, and this may be an indication of more serious, long-term damage.
Mangroves are encroaching on salt marsh habitats worldwide, but what does this change in plant community mean for the plants, ecosystem processes, and other inhabitants of these areas? Find out a bit of the answer to that question in today’s oceanbites!
Sperm whales are very large, but they can still be tricky to find in the ocean! These researchers combined several data sets, from centuries old whaling records to modern automated location recording, to determine the locations off the southwest Australia most suitable for sperm whales, so policy makers can plan to protect these animals and other scientists can save time searching for them.
A glimpse of the thousands’ mile migration of the European eel shows it’s anything but straightforward.
Pollution of metals could be getting into the tissue of seahorses–the very tissues that are used to make a special Chinese medicine. Now scientists fear that the metal pollutants could harm the patients who take the medicine. Read more to find out what they learned about the accumulation of metals in seahorse tissues.
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?
Some coastlines are more resilient to sea level rise, whereas others just plain drown. A new study by geologists at the United States Geological Survey evaluate how coastlines along the northeast United States will respond to sea level rise.
The hybrid shoreline stabilization method called rip rap sill combines rock structures with native vegetation. This study found that fish biodiversity and abundance in rip rap sills was more similar to a native marsh than a built rip rap.
I spent a morning learning about the Marine Mammal Center at Moss Landing in California, helped with the intake of a sea lion, and went out on a call with the team.
Scientists may have a new option for figuring out how much debris litters our beaches and what it all is! Find out more in today’s World Oceans Day post on marine debris!
When natural ecosystems are destroyed from anthropogenic development there exists a common notion that a replacement can be replanted somewhere else. One has to wonder though; what if the ecosystem destroyed cannot be replaced into the same role it once had. Scientists investigate if planted mangroves in the Philippines change the natural mangrove areas surrounding the restoration area, and to determine if there are differences in species diversity between planted and natural systems.
Coastal areas could fall silent in the next century as ocean acidification alters and affects the natural soundscapes of the oceans. Intrigued? Click here to read more!
It’s no secret we want to protect our shorelines from erosion and coastal storms. One best management practice catching steam is a living shoreline, which uses native vegetation instead of concrete. Living shorelines not only have the potential to protect coastal communities, but may also be a carbon sink.
Hurricane prediction models are constantly improving as we create more innovative ways to study the growth and development of storms. In 2011, a team from Rutgers University sent an autonomous underwater vehicle into the projected path of Hurricane Irene to measure ocean conditions before, during, and after it passed.
While sardine stocks are seeing disturbingly low numbers along the US west coast, affecting fishermen and marine mammals that depend on them, scientists are working hard to provide forecast modeling and data than can better assist fishery managers to avoid this situation in the future.