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.


Changes in coastal upwelling linked to temporary declines in marine ecosystem
In findings of relevance to both conservationists and the fishing industry, new research links short-term reductions in growth and reproduction of marine animals off the California Coast to increasing variability in the strength of coastal upwelling currents -- currents which historically supply nutrients to the region's diverse ecosystem.
Publ.Date : Thu, 18 Sep 2014 14:14:44 EDT

Tropical rabbitfish a threat to Mediterranean Sea ecosystems
The tropical rabbitfish, which have devastated algal forests in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, pose a major threat to the entire Mediterranean basin if their distribution continues to expand as the climate warms, a new study warns. Researchers surveyed more than 1000 kilometers of coastline in Turkey and Greece, where two species of plant-eating rabbitfish have become dominant, and found regions with abundant rabbitfish had become rocky barrens.
Publ.Date : Thu, 18 Sep 2014 10:16:35 EDT

Nemo can travel great distances to connect populations: Baby clownfish travel hundreds of kilometers across open ocean
Clownfish spend their entire lives nestling in the protective tentacles of host anemones, but new research shows that as babies they sometimes travel hundreds of kilometres across the open ocean. Although the process of long-distance dispersal by reef fish has been predicted, this is the first time that the high level exchange of offspring between distant populations has been observed.
Publ.Date : Wed, 17 Sep 2014 14:14:25 EDT

Counting fish teeth reveals regulatory DNA changes behind rapid evolution, adaptation
Threespine sticklebacks, small fish found around the globe, undergo rapid evolutionary change when they move from the ocean to freshwater lakes, losing their armor and gaining more teeth in as little as 10 years. A biologist shows that this rapid change results not from mutations in functional genes, but changes in regulatory DNA. He pinpoints a gene that could be responsible for teeth, bone or jaw deformities in humans, including cleft palate.
Publ.Date : Wed, 17 Sep 2014 12:12:31 EDT

Effect of ocean acidification: Coral growth rate on Great Barrier Reef plummets in 30-year comparison
Researchers working in Australia's Great Barrier Reef have documented that coral growth rates have plummeted 40 percent since the mid-1970s. The scientists suggest that ocean acidification may be playing an important role in this perilous slowdown.
Publ.Date : Wed, 17 Sep 2014 12:12:25 EDT

Great Barrier Reef is an effective wave absorber
The Great Barrier Reef is a remarkably effective wave absorber, despite large gaps between the reefs, a study concludes. The Great Barrier Reef in Australia is the largest coral reef system in the world, extending 2,300 km alongshore. The reef matrix is a porous structure consisting of thousands of individual reefs.
Publ.Date : Wed, 17 Sep 2014 07:31:08 EDT

Camera sheds light on mate choice of swordtail fish
We have all seen a peacock show its extravagant, colorful tail feathers in courtship of a peahen. Now, a group of researchers has used a special camera to discover that female northern swordtail fish choose their mates based on a similar display.
Publ.Date : Tue, 16 Sep 2014 12:36:38 EDT

New producer of crucial vitamin B12 discovered
A single group of microorganisms may be responsible for much of the world's vitamin B12 production in the oceans, with implications for the global carbon cycle and climate change, researchers have discovered. Thaumarchaeota, they say, are likely dominant vitamin B12 producers.
Publ.Date : Mon, 15 Sep 2014 16:52:21 EDT

Specialized species critical for reefs
Coral reef ecologists fear that reef biodiversity may not provide the level of insurance for ecosystem survival that we once thought. This study found that even in high-diversity systems, such as tropical reefs, functional biodiversity remains highly vulnerable to species loss.
Publ.Date : Mon, 15 Sep 2014 15:38:32 EDT

Decoding virus-host interactions in the oxygen-starved ocean
In certain coastal areas, severe reductions in oxygen levels in the water destroy food web structure. Over the past 50 years, such oxygen minimum zones have expanded due to climate change and increased waste run-off. Researchers studied how viral infection influences a microbial community in one such OMZ.
Publ.Date : Mon, 15 Sep 2014 14:09:40 EDT

Small algae with great potential
The single most important calcifying algae of the world's oceans is able to simultaneously adapt to rising water temperatures and ocean acidification through evolution. A unique long-term experiment with the species Emiliania huxleyi shows that the evolutionary potential of the algae is much greater than previously thought. In their laboratory evolution experiment, the scientists have shown for the first time that evolutionary adaptations to multiple stress factors do not necessarily interfere with each other.
Publ.Date : Mon, 15 Sep 2014 13:29:41 EDT

Warming Atlantic temperatures could increase range of invasive species
Warming water temperatures due to climate change could expand the range of many native species of tropical fish, including the invasive and poisonous lionfish, according to a study of 40 species along rocky and artificial reefs off North Carolina.
Publ.Date : Mon, 15 Sep 2014 11:44:24 EDT

From worm muscle to spinal discs: An evolutionary surprise
Thoughts of the family tree may not be uppermost in the mind of a person suffering from a slipped disc, but those spinal discs provide a window into our evolutionary past. They are remnants of the first vertebrate skeleton, whose origins now appear to be older than had been assumed. Scientists have found that, unexpectedly, this skeleton most likely evolved from a muscle.
Publ.Date : Fri, 12 Sep 2014 08:53:12 EDT

Microbes evolve faster than ocean can disperse them
Scientists have created an advanced model aimed at exploring the role of neutral evolution in the biogeographic distribution of ocean microbes. Over the past sev­eral decades, ecol­o­gists have come to under­stand that both natural selec­tion and neu­tral evolution -- that vari­a­tion within and between species is caused by genetic drift and random mutations -- play a role in the bio­geo­graphic pat­terns of ocean microbes. New results flew in the face of the long held notion that microbes are infi­nitely mobile.
Publ.Date : Thu, 11 Sep 2014 18:07:31 EDT

Two new species of carabid beetles found in Ethiopia
Scientists have found two new beetles in the genus Calathus -- Calathus juan and Calathus carballalae -- in Ehtiopia. There are more than 150 species of beetles in the genus Calathus, 17 of which have only been found in the mountains of the Ethiopian Highlands.
Publ.Date : Thu, 11 Sep 2014 12:59:14 EDT

Gulf killifishes' biological responses to oil spills similar in field, laboratory studies
Gulf killifish biological responses to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill detected by researchers in the field are similar to those in controlled laboratory studies.
Publ.Date : Wed, 10 Sep 2014 15:25:10 EDT

Sharks more abundant on healthy coral reefs
Sharks in no-fishing zones in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park are more abundant when the coral is healthy.
Publ.Date : Wed, 10 Sep 2014 15:25:08 EDT

Ocean warming affecting Florida reefs
Late-summer water temperatures near the Florida Keys were warmer by nearly 2 degrees Fahrenheit in the last several decades compared to a century earlier, according to a new study by the US Geological Survey.
Publ.Date : Wed, 10 Sep 2014 12:05:41 EDT

New species of extinct dolphin sheds light on river dolphin history
Researchers described a new fossil dolphin species from the Miocene -- dating to more than 16 million years ago -- of the Pisco Basin, a desert on the coast of Peru. It belongs to a rare extinct family of marine dolphins, the squalodelphinids, which are related to the endangered Ganges and Indus river dolphins living today.
Publ.Date : Tue, 09 Sep 2014 19:20:36 EDT

Shift in Arabia sea plankton may threaten fisheries
The rapid rise of an unusual plankton in the Arabian Sea has been documented by researchers who say that it could be disastrous for the predator fish that sustain 120 million people living on the sea's edge. "These blooms are massive, appear year after year, and could be devastating to the Arabian Sea ecosystem over the long-term," said the study's lead author.
Publ.Date : Tue, 09 Sep 2014 09:38:33 EDT