KAUST global research team first to observe inherited DNA expressions

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, a graduate research university of science and technology in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, today announced new research demonstrating that corals pass patterns of DNA to their offspring. This ground-breaking research marks the first-time this process has been observed in animals within the field of biology. The research … Read more

Ocean acidification a big problem – but not for coral reef fish behavior

A three-year, comprehensive study of the effects of ocean acidification challenges previous reports that a more acidic ocean will negatively affect coral reef fish behaviour. The study, conducted by an international coalition led by scientists from Australia and Norway, showed that coral reef fish exposed to CO2 at levels expected by the end of the century … Read more

Starry eyes on the reef: Color-changing brittle stars can see

Scientists have shown for the first time that brittle stars use vision to guide them through vibrant coral reefs, thanks to a neat colour-changing trick. The international team, led by researchers at Oxford University Museum of Natural History, described a new mechanism for vision in the red brittle star Ophiocoma wendtii, a relative to sea stars … Read more

A million reasons to visit the world’s coral reefs

More than one million high-resolution images from 860 of the world’s coral reefs have been made available to scientists by The University of Queensland and ocean conservation non-profit, Underwater Earth. Project leader UQ’s Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg said the research and images were integral to better protecting the world’s reefs. “Coral reefs provide food and livelihoods … Read more

When reefs die, parrotfish thrive

In contrast to most other species, reef-dwelling parrotfish populations boom in the wake of severe coral bleaching. The surprise finding came when researchers led by Perth-based Dr Brett Taylor of the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) looked at fish populations in severely bleached areas of two reefs – the Great Barrier Reef in the … Read more

Sounds of the past give new hope for coral reef restoration

Young fish can be drawn to degraded coral reefs by loudspeakers playing the sounds of healthy reefs, according to new research published today in Nature Communications. An international team of scientists from the UK’s University of Exeter and University of Bristol, and Australia’s James Cook University and Australian Institute of Marine Science, say this “acoustic enrichment” … Read more

New disease hits corals

The emergence of a new coral disease in Micronesian reefs, termed grey-patch disease, is reported in the open access journal Microbiome. The disease alters the community of microbes found on the host coral and measuring these changes may be a useful tool for monitoring coral health across reefs. Coral reef communities are sensitive to the environmental … Read more

Healthy mangroves help coral reef fisheries under climate stress

Healthy mangroves can help fight the consequences of climate change on coral reef fisheries, according to a University of Queensland-led study. UQ’s Professor Peter Mumby said corals have been bleached and reefs have lost their structural complexity as a major consequence of warming seas. “Many people are worried that – due to climate change – … Read more

Classic energy theory fails to explain coral distribution across depth

Coral species richness at different depths is unrelated to energy availability, according to a new study analysing diversity across an Australasian reef. Research from James Cook University, Lancaster University, the University of Copenhagen and Queensland University of Technology, published in Biology Letters, reveals neither energy availability alone, nor in combination with other local factors, accounts for … Read more