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Specialist Species Targeted for Their Importance

Professor David Bellwood from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (Coral CoE) in Australia has published an international study aimed at protecting the most important species within a reef ecosystem. “What we often assume is that if we lose one species on a reef, there are many others that can step in and take over their job,” explains Professor Bellwood. However, he and his colleagues believe a different theory that involves stressing the importance of “specialist” species that play very important and specific roles in maintaining the equilibrium of a reef. 140915153832 large Specialist Species Targeted for Their Importance“It’s not about numbers of species,” adds Professor David Mouillot from the University of Montpellier who led the team. “Biodiversity is important and desirable in an ecosystem, but it is not necessarily the key to being safe and secure.” Using a parrotfish for analogy Professor Bellwood adds: “The parrotfish is a particularly valuable species. To protect ecosystems, we need to ensure that specific jobs are maintained, and that means we must protect the fish that do them.” Read more here!  

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Warming Waters Could Increase Dispersal of Invasive Species

Researchers from NOAA and the University of North Carolina-Wilmington have found that the increasing temperatures of our ocean waters may increase the range and dispersal of invasive species like the Lion Fish. “The results [of their study] will allow us to better understand how the fish communities might shift under different climate change scenarios and provide the type of environmental data to inform future decisions relating to the management and siting of protected areas,” says Paula Whitfield, a research ecologist at NOAA. Researchers used surface and sub-surface temperature readings while observing 40 different species of fish. They found the range of fish is directly correlated to the shifts in temperature shown throughout the differing zones. diver fish smaller 225x300 Warming Waters Could Increase Dispersal of Invasive Species“Globally, fish communities are becoming more tropical as a result of warming temperatures,  as fish move to follow their optimal temperature range.,” said Whitfield. “Along the North Carolina coast, warming water temperatures may allow the expansion of tropical fish species, such as lionfish, into areas that were previously uninhabitable due to cold winter temperatures. The temperature thresholds collected in this study will allow us to detect and to estimate fish community changes related to water temperature.” Read more here!

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A full dose…

dosing.feature.image  300x247 A full dose...Dosing is a bit intimidating, isn’t it? Dosing pumps often look like they would be powering the terminator, not adding much needed elements to our reef tanks. When it comes to outward appearance of aquarium equipment, I would assume looks alone turn a lot of reefers in the opposite way of dosing. Most serious reefers dose their aquariums. If you keep corals, then it becomes mandatory, as corals utilize elements from marine water, quicker than we can replace them, with water changes alone. Two part dosing, I would fathom a guess, is still the most popular weapon of choice, when reef aquarists decide that dosing is required. It’s quick and easy, and you don’t have to fly to Vegas, to utilize it legally. The issue comes to mind, when dosing a two-part supplement, if we are hurting our reef dwellers by suddenly altering water chemistry. If you’ve done your calculations correct, dosing a two-part supplement shouldn’t cause any major shifts in water chemistry, although it does cause an abrupt temporary change. Let’s look at Mother Nature, and MORE

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Let Your Fish Roam Free

use this Let Your Fish Roam FreeThe ‘Abovemarine’ is a vehicle that allows your fish to roam free. Developed by South African Adam Ben-Dror, it is powered by ‘Omniwheels’ and uses camera technology, which allows the fish freedom to be able to navigate surroundings outside his or her fish tank. Once the fish is inside the device, the vehicle moves with the fish. If it appears your beloved beta fish is going to collide, say for example with your rumba, all that your fish needs to do is to swim backwards, and the vehicle will stop. MORE

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Search For Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Brings Ocean Secrets to Light

search for missing jet reveals secrets 6701 Search For Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Brings Ocean Secrets to Light
This is timely considering I was just complaining about how little we know about our oceans. It’s been six months since Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 unceremoniously disappeared, and while investigation hasn’t lead to any trace of the Boeing, scientists have been able to delve into uncharted territory of the Indian Ocean as far as four miles deep. Turns out there’s all sorts of fun stuff down there like seamounts and volcanoes. These findings could help shed light to how the continents actually formed, as well as predicting tsunamis and forecasting ocean currents. These studies will provide scientists with a completely unique data set relating to the Australian coast. All data from the mission will be available for public consumption (looks like I’ll have some new reading material – I’ll give you the cliffnotes) for further analysis and research once the search for the missing jet has ceased, which is estimated to be at least a year. The search for the Flight 370 shall recommence on September 22, 2014. Read more about the interesting finds at Discovery News.

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As If There Wasn’t Enough We Didn’t Know About The Earth’s Oceans…

ringwoodite sample 300x199 As If There Wasnt Enough We Didnt Know About The Earths Oceans...Always keeping us out of a deep sea of inside jokes, earth strikes again with a giant secret ocean towards its core. This study is a bit dated, but it’s still pretty noteworthy in my opinion. Geophysicist Steve Jacobsen of Northwestern University and seismologist Brandon Schmandt from the University of New Mexico have unearthed evidence that somewhere around 400 miles below us lurks a massive body of water – but not quite the water that we know and love. Pressure and boiling temperatures cause the water to split into a hydroxal radical and join forces with minerals on a molecular level. In short, you don’t want to swim in this ocean. Another astounding hypothesis is that this “ocean” is larger than any other body of water on the planet – I’m talking three times the size of all of our oceans combined! Doubtful there’s any actual life within this deep deep sea given the conditions (though I wouldn’t write it off completely), so I can breathe a bit easier not having to imagine up what kind of cephalopods would be flopping around below us, but the whole study is pretty damn cool. Who am I kidding? I’m still going to imagine them up anyway. Further information published in Science Magazine and a press release is featured in Science Daily.

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Ways to revert threatened status for staghorns and elkhorns drafted

Staghorn coral by Adona9 300x208 Ways to revert threatened status for staghorns and elkhorns drafted

(Staghorn Coral Photo: Adona9)

 Bad news: According to the Endangered Species Act (2006), elkhorn and staghorn corals are listed as threatened. BUT: A new draft recovery plan released by NOAA Fisheries at the beginning of the month identifies criteria that would allow the coral species to be removed from the ESA endangered and threatened species list.  (It’s so nice when someone finds a way to “reverse” damage that humans have done). Elkhorn and staghorn corals have declined by up to 97% since the 1970’s with the main causes of decline being disease, temperature-induced bleaching and storms.  This new plan lists ways to reduce threats (global threats related to climate change and local threats to the species such as habitat loss and pollution) and steps to enhance the population by putting nursery-grown corals back on the reef, as well as addressing research and monitoring. Good news!! For more information see:

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Seems a Tad Extreme – Woman Pays For Lifesaving Surgery For Goldfish

10628467 10152742259853812 1963143865872121174 n 2 300x205 Seems a Tad Extreme   Woman Pays For Lifesaving Surgery For GoldfishI mean, if it was one of the Personatus angels I could understand, but to each their own. George is a 10-year-old goldfish residing in Australia. His owner had grown so attached to him over the years that she was more than willing to fork over $200 for a 45-minute surgery to remove a life-threatening tumor. Honestly, that doesn’t sound all that expensive, but I’m not well versed in goldfish tumor removal. ABC News reports he’s recovered and “as good as gold”. He should live happily ever after for the remainder of his life (which let’s be honest, is probably another year or two). This reminds me of a hamster I had as a kid that was coming towards the end of her time here when my parents took her to the vet. They came home and told me the vet was doing everything they could for her, that she was on IV getting fluids. In hindsight I realize that probably wasn’t true… RIP Cookie. Glad to hear George is doing well!

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