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Spawning Frequency Regulates Reef Diversity

Reachers from Miami’s University of Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science have been simulating and studying reproductive strategies of three reef species to better understand the relationship between larvae dispersal and diversity within reefs. The universities own Connectivity Modeling System was used to track larval movements in a simulated reef environment of the Caribbean sea plume (Anthiellogorgia elisebeathae), the bicolor damselfish (Stegastes partitus) and the Caribbean spiny lobster (Panulirus argus).   new_study_shows_425“We found that the rate at which a species spawn drives the relatedness between distant populations,” said Claire Paris, associate professor of ocean sciences at UM. “Therefore more frequent spawning is more likely to stabilize the connectivity network.” “There is tremendous variability in how often reef animals reproduce and release eggs and larvae, yet they all find their way to coral reefs,” said Andrew Kough, UM Rosenstiel School alumnus and lead author of the study. “Our study explored how changes in reproductive frequency shape an animal’s connectivity network.” Read more here!… More:

Light Pollution and the Effects on Marine Coastal Environments

A bit of a duality was discovered when researchers from the Universities of Exeter and Bangor in the UK studied light pollution around coastal settlements. What they found was that light pollution from human coastal settlements can effect change in the ecological flow of marine coastal environments by both inhibiting and inducing colonization of specific invertebrates. 150429090144_1_900x600Dr Tom Davies from the Environment and Sustainability Institute at the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus in Cornwall adds: “We know that artificial light at night alters the behavior of many marine animals but this is the first study to show that it can disrupt the development of ecological communities in the marine environment. Further research is urgently needed to assess what level of light can be considered ‘safe’ so that legislation can be put in place to minimize future light pollution from new and existing developments.” Read more here!… More:

Coral Larvae Remaining Closer to Home

A new study performed by partners of the ARC Center for Excellence Coral Reef Studies (Coral CoE) has found that with increases in ocean temperatures coral larvae are remaining closer to home. “We found that at higher temperatures more coral larvae will tend to stay on their birth reef,” said the lead author of the study Dr Joana Figueiredo from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University. With global warming affecting environments far and wide this is “good news in an otherwise cloudy picture for isolated reefs, because in the future they will be able to retain more of their own larvae and recover faster from severe storms or bleaching events,” added Figueiredo.

140429092727-largeWhile it is clear the more larvae that remains near a reef will colonize that reef, it is very apparent that the dispersal of larvae throughout the vast ocean currents is reduced as a result. “The loss of connectivity can make reef systems such as the Great Barrier Reef  more vulnerable, so interconnected reef systems that depend on the recruitment of coral larvae may take more time to recover after a disturbance, such as a cyclone, because fewer larvae will disperse from other reefs to the disturbed reef.” Photo Credit: Andrew H. Baird -Goniastrea aspera is shown releasing egg sperm bundles. Read more here!


DNA sequencing reveals two Genicanthus species almost raised at the Long Island Aquarium

mystery angel93sm Last summer I reported on that I had raised a number of marine angelfish (around a dozen in all) to more than one month of age using only cultured copepods obtained from Algagen. In each case, the late-stage larvae began to show a marked increase in pigmentation and changes in behavior that often coincide with settlement.… More:

Vossen’s larvae catchers put to the test with Lipogramma klayi

It’s been several months since I raised my first Lipogramma klayi at the Long Island Aquarium. Sadly, I’ve only had two more reach settlement since then.  One of the bottlenecks to the mass production of this beautiful deepwater basslet, as well as other grammatids, is that they are what we sometimes refer to as “trickle” spawners because although they spawn often, they lay only a few eggs at a time.… More:

Liopropoma Update

A 69-day-old larva

 It’s been more than two weeks since I posted news of the first settlement of a Liopropoma bass at the Long Island Aquarium.  I know at least a few of you are eager for an update, but there really hasn’t been anything new to report…until now.… More: is the world's leading destination for sustainable coral reef farming and the aquarium hobby. We offer a free open forum and reef related news and data to better educate aquarists and further our goals of sustainable reef management.