Marine Biology News

Courtesy of Science Daily

Welcome to Sea and Sky's Marine Biology News. Here you can find links to the latest ocean news headlines in the topic of marine biology. Click on any yellow title below to view the full news article. The news article will open in a new browser window. Simply close the browser window when you are finished reading the article to return to the news article listing. You can use the "Click for More" link to go to a page with more news headlines.


Parrotfish are critical to coral reef island building
As well as being a beautiful species capable of changing its colour, shape and even gender, new research shows that parrotfish, commonly found on healthy coral reefs, can also play a pivotal role in providing the sands necessary to build and maintain coral reef islands.
Publ.Date : Tue, 28 Apr 2015 10:59:09 EDT

Students break new ground in understanding genetic diversity of bacteriophages
Over the last seven years, thousands of undergraduate students have sequenced and analyzed the genomes of bacteria-infecting viruses, known as bacteriophages. Those genomes are now the focal point of a new study that examined the genetic diversity of 627 phages isolated from a single species of bacteria. The study shows a continuum of genetic diversity rather than discrete groups within the population of bacteriophages studied.
Publ.Date : Tue, 28 Apr 2015 10:56:35 EDT

Aquatic ecologist says dams are boxing in fish, causing them to disappear from Kansas
Several species of fish — including the peppered chub and the plains minnow — were found to be severely declining in the Great Plains. A new article documents a reduction in water flow in Great Plains streams and rivers because of drought, damming and groundwater withdrawals. This is causing a decrease in aquatic diversity in Kansas from stream fragmentation -- or stretches of disconnected streams -- authors say.
Publ.Date : Tue, 28 Apr 2015 10:56:33 EDT

Endangered corals smothered by sponges on overfished Caribbean reefs
For reef-building corals, sponges do not make good neighbors. Aggressive competitors for space, sponges use toxins, mucus, shading, and smothering to kill adjacent coral colonies and then grow on their skeletons. A recent survey of coral reefs across the Caribbean shows that overfishing removes the predators of sponges, greatly increasing the threat of fast-growing sponges to an already diminished population of corals.
Publ.Date : Tue, 28 Apr 2015 08:22:03 EDT

A new future for corals: Persistence and change in coral reef communities
Coral reefs, true reservoirs of biodiversity, are seriously threatened by human activities and climate change. Consequently, their extinction has often been heralded. Now, researchers are painting a less gloomy picture: the planet’s reefs are not doomed to disappear. But they will be very different from the ones we presently know. A new coral fauna will emerge, coming from the species that are most resistant to temperature increases.
Publ.Date : Mon, 27 Apr 2015 12:44:42 EDT

Biodiversity promotes multitasking in ecosystems
A worldwide study of the interplay between organisms and their environment bolsters the idea that greater biodiversity helps maintain more stable and productive ecosystems.
Publ.Date : Fri, 24 Apr 2015 08:56:39 EDT

Second possible specimen of 'pocket shark' ever found
An extraordinarily rare ocean discovery of an inches-long 'pocket shark' has been made. Sharks come in all shapes and sizes and are best known as a dominant predator in the marine food web. Understanding their movements, behaviors and anatomies gives fishery managers a better idea of their diets and relationships with other species.
Publ.Date : Thu, 23 Apr 2015 18:27:31 EDT

Many Dry Tortugas loggerheads actually Bahamas residents
Many loggerhead sea turtles that nest in Dry Tortugas National Park head to rich feeding sites in the Bahamas after nesting, a discovery that may help those working to protect this threatened species.
Publ.Date : Thu, 23 Apr 2015 15:46:33 EDT

Genetics provides new clues about lionfish invasion
New genetic data suggest the red lionfish invasion in the Caribbean Basin and Western Atlantic started in multiple locations, not just one as previously believed, according to a new study.
Publ.Date : Thu, 23 Apr 2015 15:46:31 EDT

Photosynthesis has unique isotopic signature: 'Clumped' isotopes used to trace biogeochemical processes
Photosynthesis leaves behind a unique calling card, a chemical signature that is spelled out with stable oxygen isotopes, according to a new study. The findings suggest isotopic signatures could exist for many biological and geological processes, including some that are difficult to observe with current tools.
Publ.Date : Thu, 23 Apr 2015 14:28:18 EDT

Dolphins use extra energy to communicate in noisy waters
Dolphins that raise their voices to be heard in noisy environments expend extra energy in doing so, according to new research that for the first time measures the biological costs to marine mammals of trying to communicate over the sounds of ship traffic or other sources.
Publ.Date : Thu, 23 Apr 2015 13:04:36 EDT

First invasive lionfish in Brazil: Urgent control measures needed to protect coral reefs
A single fish caught with a hand spear off the Brazilian coast is making big waves across the entire southwestern Atlantic. In May 2014, a group of recreational divers spotted an adult lionfish -- the voracious invader Pterois volitans -- in the rocky reefs of southeastern Brazil.
Publ.Date : Wed, 22 Apr 2015 14:24:57 EDT

Fishing impacts on the Great Barrier Reef
Fishing is having a significant impact on the make-up of fish populations of the Great Barrier Reef, new research shows. Removing predatory fish such as coral trout and snapper, through fishing, causes significant changes to the make-up of the reef's fish populations, they say.
Publ.Date : Tue, 21 Apr 2015 10:53:52 EDT

Phytoplankton, reducing greenhouse gases or amplifying Arctic warming?
Scientists have presented the geophysical impact of phytoplankton that triggers positive feedback in the Arctic warming when the warming-induced melting of sea ice stimulates phytoplankton growth.
Publ.Date : Tue, 21 Apr 2015 10:53:46 EDT

Vampire squid discovery shows how little we know of the deep sea
Among soft-bodied cephalopods, vampire squid live life at a slower pace. At ocean depths from 500 to 3,000 meters, they don't swim so much as float, and they get by with little oxygen while consuming a low-calorie diet of zooplankton and detritus. Now, researchers have found that vampire squid differ from all other living coleoid cephalopods in their reproductive strategy as well.
Publ.Date : Mon, 20 Apr 2015 12:28:28 EDT

Impacts of Gulf oil spill on marine organisms on Gulf coast
Researchers have determined the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on marine organisms such as oysters, conch, shrimp, corals as well as marine plankton (microalgae or phytoplankton, rotifers or zooplankton), which provide the basis of coastal and oceanic food webs.
Publ.Date : Fri, 17 Apr 2015 14:50:27 EDT

Model offers more ease, precision for managing invasive Asian carp
The likelihood of Asian carp eggs being kept in suspension and hatching in the St. Joseph River in Michigan has been further evaluated using a model that examines a range of multiple flow and water temperature scenarios. Results illustrate the highest percentage of Asian carp eggs at risk of hatching occurs when the streamflow is low and when the water temperature is high.
Publ.Date : Thu, 16 Apr 2015 15:53:32 EDT

Repeated marine predator evolution tracks changes in ancient and Anthropocene oceans
Scientists synthesized decades of scientific discoveries to illuminate the common and unique patterns driving the extraordinary transitions that whales, dolphins, seals and other species underwent as they moved from land to sea. Drawing on recent breakthroughs in diverse fields such as paleontology, molecular biology and conservation ecology, their findings offer a comprehensive look at how life in the ocean has responded to environmental change from the Triassic to the Anthropocene.
Publ.Date : Thu, 16 Apr 2015 14:55:47 EDT

Fish type, body size can help predict nutrient recycling rates
The nutrients excreted by fish in their 'pee' may be critical to the health of coastal ecosystems. But knowing whether generalizations can be made about how to predict these nutrient levels in various ecosystems has vexed researchers -- until now.
Publ.Date : Thu, 16 Apr 2015 13:26:34 EDT

Longest mammal migration raises questions about distinct species of whales
A team of scientists has documented the longest migration of a mammal ever recorded -- a round-trip trek of nearly 14,000 miles by a whale identified as a critically endangered species that raises questions about its status as a distinct species.
Publ.Date : Wed, 15 Apr 2015 12:58:54 EDT