Author Archives: Matthew Stansbery

Matthew Stansbery

About Matthew Stansbery

With 12+ years of experience, from import to export and everything in between, I have the pleasure of calling this hobby my own.
Latest Posts

Cherry Corals LIVE SALE TONIGHT @ 6pm EST!!!

Tonight, Saturday the 7th, Reefs.com will be hosting its very first LIVE SALE courtesy of Cherry Corals!! Dont miss out on a new format and new CHERRIES from our Cherry Friends!! Also be sure to leave your feedback in the CHAT ROOM!! cherry corals live sale1 Cherry Corals LIVE SALE TONIGHT @ 6pm EST!!!Be there or be SQUARE!!!… More:

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Corals, Algae and Bleaching Events

A new study from the University of Georgia is helping us better understand the role symbiotic algae plays in bleaching events that occur on reefs throughout the world. Published in the journal Limnology and Oceanography the study created a minute-by-minute timeline which detailed a bleaching event in the Caribbean. Lead author Dustin Kemp took hundreds of coral samples of Orbicella, the Caribbean’s largest reef building species. From areas both bleached and not bleached Kemp’s samples showed three different types of algae within the coral skeleton, and with his samples he was able to construct a timeline of algae occupancy within the colony.”We were able to follow this coral at a very high precision and document how diverse assemblages of symbiotic algae are differently affected by the bleaching phenomenon,” Kemp said. “This was probably the first study ever to look at it under natural conditions this closely.”140603135827 large Corals, Algae and Bleaching Events  Finding that during, and after bleaching events, Orbicella would swap out its heat-sensitive algae in favor of a more heat-tolerant algae, Kemp had this to add: “In the Caribbean, we’ve lost 80 percent of the corals just in my lifetime. We know that increased ocean temperatures are one of the major threats to coral reefs worldwide. So understanding coral-algae dynamics, and how different algae can handle increased temperature, is important to see how the whole ecosystem will be affected by this environmental perturbation.” Kemp and his team are advancing their research through studying heat-tolerant algae and its affects on corals in reefs where corals have a known, and documented association. Read more here!More:
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Call to Ban Trade on Nautilus

Newly appointed Professor Peter Ward, of the University Adelaide’s Sprigg Geobiology Centre is calling for a global ban on trade of the Nautilus sea shell. His efforts are stemming from a recent trip the Phillipeans where he found that the Nautilus is close to extinction as a result of overfishing and the demand from industries all over the world  “Nautilus has survived every single mass extinction event that’s been thrown at it over half a billion years, now it’s being wiped out by humans to sit on a bathroom shelf or as a pretty button on someone’s shirt,” he says. “The Nautilus situation we found in the Philippines was mind-boggling. The Philippines have been at the centre of Nautilis fishing for decades. Now it is just about extinct there. And it is not just Nautilus. In the same environments we found almost no larger fish at all where there should be large schools of many different species.” 140528103036 large Call to Ban Trade on Nautilus For the past four years Professor Ward has compiled data from Nautilus populations all over the world ranging from the Great Barrier Reef, to Fiji, from American Samoa and the central Philippine Islands. “Nautilus is the ‘canary in the coalmine’ of the deep reef environment,” Ward says. “It tells us about the health of our deeper reefs where little ecological study is done. When Nautilus isn’t there, we know that the other fish at those depths are also at risk from overfishing or other environmental factors. We cannot rule out high acidity and warming of these formerly cool, deep waters caused by climate change, and from rising levels of silt caused by nearby deforestation.” Read more here!More:

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Neutral Theory of Biodiversity Challenged Through Reefs

Scientists from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (Coral CoE) at James Cook university have challenged a long standing theory of biodiversity through their latest Caribbean reef study. “The aim of neutral theory is to explain diversity and the relative abundances of species within ecosystems. So the theory implies that, if you lose a really abundant species, then another can simply increase in abundance to take its place. However, the theory has an important flaw: it fails to capture how important the highly abundant species that dominate marine communities are” explains professor Sean Connolly of JCU. The theory, which has been relied upon for conservation research, is challenged at its core through a mathematical approach looking at 14 marine ecosystems sampled at 1185 locations all across the globe. fish coral 1024x767 Neutral Theory of Biodiversity Challenged Through ReefsRanging from deep-sea to shallow waters, from polar to tropical ranges, the datasets were compiled of numbers from invertebrates, to fish, from plankton, to coral. To arrive at their conflicting conclusion scientists used a new mathematical approach that allowed them to identify predictions that would come from using the Neutral Theory, and then tested them against their datasets. With the assumptions of Neutral Theory this study showed that the chance occurrences that are a part of Neutral Theory do not account for the importance of those abundance species and their implications in the “common” vs “rare” debates. Read more here!… More:

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Reefs, Waves, and Coastal Defense

With the effects of global warming an ever-looming factor in storms worldwide, scientists from The Nature Conservancy have turned to reefs for a better understanding of the role reefs play in coastal defense. “Coral reefs are wonderful natural features that, when healthy, can provide comparable wave reduction benefits to many artificial coastal defenses and adapt to sea-level rise” “This research shows that coral reef restoration can be a cost-effective way to decrease the hazards coastal communities face due to the combination of storms and sea-level rise.” said Dr. Curt Storlazzi a co-author of the study from USGS.  140513142151 large Reefs, Waves, and Coastal Defense Communities that hug coastlines are of particular concern because they are vulnerable to the effects of global warming upon reefs: “While there are many concerns about the future of corals reefs in the face of climate change, there are still many reasons for optimism about the future of coral reefs particularly if we manage other local stressors such as pollution and development.” adds Dr. Fiorenza Micheli of Stanford University. Read more here!More:

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Neptune Aquatics in the California Bay Area is Moving!!

Neptune Aquatics of Milpitas California has signed the paperwork and begun construction on their new location. A fixture in the California reef hobby Neptune Aquatics has always been the place to be, offering high end reef creatures, as well as quality freshwater plants and fish. With their latest expansion they will continue being the quintessential store to visit in the Bay Area offering three times the square footage and twice the tanks! The exact location is yet to be released but my sources tell me it will be in the same general area of South San Jose about 10 minutes south of their current location. Robert and his wife Cerissa have been leaking progress shots of their hands on approach to expansion via their facebook page while everyone waits patiently for the new doors to swing open. Pictured below chipping concrete and lugging a huge counter off the ground, Robert and Cerissa are owners who put their heart and soul, as well as their sweat and tears, into their business. Stay tuned for the next installment of their local fish store adventure! 10255493 10204045425034840 7292252214677683932 n Neptune Aquatics in the California Bay Area is Moving!! 1377178 10203970213674603 6323303400605575113 n Neptune Aquatics in the California Bay Area is Moving!! 10290622 10204122040990191 6009035146618843665 n Neptune Aquatics in the California Bay Area is Moving!! 10259888 10204146525202281 8728906551272083732 n Neptune Aquatics in the California Bay Area is Moving!! 1797575 10203934939432769 1815984684 n Neptune Aquatics in the California Bay Area is Moving!! 10253947 10204260020439591 4855017859560643131 n Neptune Aquatics in the California Bay Area is Moving!!  1897962 10204260020119583 2242118526407189175 n Neptune Aquatics in the California Bay Area is Moving!! 1487411 10202079365758971 1239110510 n Neptune Aquatics in the California Bay Area is Moving!! More:

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DNA Reclassifies Anemones and Creates New Cnidaria Order

Led by the American Museum of Natural history a DNA-based study has created a new order of marine organisms under Cnidaria. Published in PLOSone the four year long study  set out to reorder Anemones into a more “natural” selection based on “evolutionary relationships.” “The discovery of this new order of Cnidaria—a phylum that includes jellyfish, corals, sea anemones, and their relatives—is the equivalent to finding the first member of a group like primates or rodents,” said Estefanía Rodríguez, the assistant curator in the Museum’s Division of Invertebrate Zoology and lead author of the new publication. 140507212257 large DNA Reclassifies Anemones and Creates New Cnidaria Order“The difference is that most people are far more familiar with animals like chimpanzees and rats than they are with life on the ocean floor. But this amazing finding tells us that we have so much more to learn and discover in the ocean.” She also added: “Anemones are very simple animals. Because of this, they are grouped together by their lack of characters—for example, the absence of a skeleton or thelack of colony-building, like you see in corals. So it wasn’t a huge surprise when we began to look at their molecular data and found that the traditional classifications of anemones were wrong.” Read more here!… More:

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Mozambique Channel Lends insight into Bleaching Events

In an ongoing effort to understand the effects of ocean warming scientists have made yet another breakthrough in determining which reefs are more susceptible to increases in temperature. Tracking patterns of decline and measuring recovery rates of reefs throughout 291 sites, and thousands of miles of ocean over a 7 year span, scientists found that the Mozambique Channel offered the most insight into future events as its treasure trove of diversity withstood the massive warming and bleaching events of El Nino. Doctor Caleb McClennen, Director of the WCS Marine Program said this to support their findings: “The remaining coral diversity of the Mozambique Channel presents us with an opportunity to safeguard these remaining ecosystems for posterity.”

71516 web Mozambique Channel Lends insight into Bleaching Events“Determining which reef systems possess a measure of resistance to climate change requires knowing how they have survived the many recent climatic disturbances. The Western Indian Ocean provides us with a variety of responses to disturbances that we can examine and distinguish environmental variation, resilience, adaptation, and other factors for a more informed view of management priorities and solutions to the climate crisis.” said Tim McClanahan, WCS’s Senior Conservation Scientist and lead author of the paper. Read more here!… More:

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