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  • richardmitnick 7:47 pm on October 26, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Study concludes: not enough - Protecting algae-eating fish insufficient to save imperiled coral reefs", A new study that analyzed long-term data from 57 coral reefs around the French Polynesian island of Mo’orea challenges this canon of coral reef ecology., , How can we boost the resilience of the world’s coral reefs which are imperiled by multiple stresses including mass bleaching events linked to climate warming?, It makes more sense to support strategies that promote the conservation of diverse habitats and coral reef types at various stages of degradation., , Marine Conservation, , Millions of people depend on coral-reef fisheries for food and income., One strategy advocated by some researchers resource managers and conservationists is to restore populations of algae-eating reef fish such as parrotfish., Protecting the fish that keep algae in check leads to healthier corals and can promote the recovery of distressed reefs according to this idea which is known as fish-mediated resilience., , We should consider management efforts that promote sustainable harvest throughout the food web to disperse the impacts of fishing.   

    From The University of Michigan: “Study concludes: not enough – Protecting algae-eating fish insufficient to save imperiled coral reefs” 

    U Michigan bloc

    From The University of Michigan

    10.3.22 [Just today in social media]
    Jim Erickson
    734-647-1842
    ericksn@umich.edu

    1
    Bright blue Chromis fish on acropora coral at a back reef on the French Polynesian island of Mo’orea. Image credit: Kelly Speare.

    How can we boost the resilience of the world’s coral reefs, which are imperiled by multiple stresses including mass bleaching events linked to climate warming?

    One strategy advocated by some researchers, resource managers and conservationists is to restore populations of algae-eating reef fish, such as parrotfish. Protecting the fish that keep algae in check leads to healthier corals and can promote the recovery of distressed reefs, according to this idea, which is known as fish-mediated resilience.

    But a new study that analyzed long-term data from 57 coral reefs around the French Polynesian island of Mo’orea challenges this canon of coral reef ecology.

    The study, published online Oct. 3 in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution [below], provides compelling new evidence that fish don’t regulate coral over time, according to University of Michigan marine ecologist and study co-senior author Jacob Allgeier.

    2
    Jacob Allgeier

    The other author is former U-M postdoctoral researcher Timothy Cline.

    “This paper very well might radically change how we think about the conservation of coral reefs,” said Allgeier, assistant professor in the U-M Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

    “People have been saying for years that we can protect coral through fisheries management, and our work on Mo’orea reefs shows that this is unlikely to work—there are too many other things going on. There is functionally no measurable effect of fishes on coral cover over time.”

    Support for the idea of fish-mediated coral reef resilience has led to calls for moratoriums on fishing for algae-eating reef fish to prevent algae overgrowth and reef degradation. Such well-intentioned but misguided management strategies could have huge implications for the millions of people who depend on coral-reef fisheries for food and income, according to the authors of the new study.

    Instead, it makes more sense to support strategies that promote the conservation of diverse habitats and coral reef types at various stages of degradation, the researchers said.

    “We do need to manage fisheries in these ecosystems, but instead of things like wholesale restrictions on parrotfish, we should consider management efforts that promote sustainable harvest throughout the food web to disperse the impacts of fishing,” Allgeier said.

    3
    Shallow forereef locations off the northern shore of Mo’orea. Image credit: Kelly Speare.

    4
    Forereef locations off the northern shore of the French Polynesian island of Mo’orea. Image credit: Kelly Speare.

    5
    Turbinaria algae coat the corals, foreground, at a north shore reef on the French Polynesian island of Mo’orea. Turbinaria is a genus of brown algae found primarily in tropical marine waters. Yellow-and-black convict tangs, an algae-eating fish, are in the background. Image credit: Kelly Speare.

    6
    A relatively healthy backreef location locally on the French Polynesian island of Mo’orea. Image credit: Kelly Speare.

    Coral reefs are among the most biodiverse and productive ecosystems on the planet, but they are also among the most imperiled and rapidly changing.

    Threats to coral reefs include predatory species, nutrient pollution, ocean acidification, overfishing, sedimentation and coral bleaching, which is caused by sustained, warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures. As the climate warms, mass bleaching events are lasting longer, becoming more frequent, and are affecting reefs that are completely protected from all human impacts other than climate change, Allgeier said.

    The new study involves a series of statistical analyses of coral reef data collected between 2006 and 2017 by two long-term monitoring projects: the Mo’orea Coral Reef Ecosystem LTER (funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation) and the Centre de Recherches Insulaires et Observatoire de l’Environnement (funded by the French government).

    The Mo’orea coral reef datasets contain some of the longest continuous observations of fish populations and algae growth on coral reefs.

    7
    School of striped convict tangs on a relatively healthy backreef on the French Polynesian island of Mo’orea. Image credit: Kelly Speare.

    Macroalgae, commonly known as seaweed, compete with corals for seafloor space and can smother them if they grow too dense. If corals are weakened by a bleaching event or some other disturbance, macroalgae often move in and displace them.

    During the 2006-17 data-collection period analyzed in the study, Mo’orea coral reefs were significantly impacted by two major disturbances: an outbreak of the coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish and a direct hit from Cyclone Oli in winter 2010.

    The two events allowed Allgeier and Cline to study the degradation and subsequent recovery of the Mo’orea reefs and to assess the factors that contributed to the recovery. They used mathematical models to test the hypothesis that the rate at which corals recovered correlated with various attributes of the fish community, including species diversity, biomass and richness.

    “We found no evidence that the substantial variation in fish community biomass and diversity had any influence on how sites recovered from disturbances,” Cline said. “Instead, we suggest additional location-specific attributes are critical in recovery, and the fish community is just one component of a suite of variables that must be considered.”

    Support for the study was provided by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the National Science Foundation.

    Science paper:
    Nature Ecology & Evolution

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please support STEM education in your local school system

    Stem Education Coalition

    U MIchigan Campus

    The University of Michigan is a public research university located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States. Originally, founded in 1817 in Detroit as the Catholepistemiad, or University of Michigania, 20 years before the Michigan Territory officially became a state, the University of Michigan is the state’s oldest university. The university moved to Ann Arbor in 1837 onto 40 acres (16 ha) of what is now known as Central Campus. Since its establishment in Ann Arbor, the university campus has expanded to include more than 584 major buildings with a combined area of more than 34 million gross square feet (781 acres or 3.16 km²), and has two satellite campuses located in Flint and Dearborn. The University was one of the founding members of the Association of American Universities.

    Considered one of the foremost research universities in the United States, the university has very high research activity and its comprehensive graduate program offers doctoral degrees in the humanities, social sciences, and STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) as well as professional degrees in business, medicine, law, pharmacy, nursing, social work and dentistry. Michigan’s body of living alumni (as of 2012) comprises more than 500,000. Besides academic life, Michigan’s athletic teams compete in Division I of the NCAA and are collectively known as the Wolverines. They are members of the Big Ten Conference.

    At over $12.4 billion in 2019, Michigan’s endowment is among the largest of any university. As of October 2019, 53 MacArthur “genius award” winners (29 alumni winners and 24 faculty winners), 26 Nobel Prize winners, six Turing Award winners, one Fields Medalist and one Mitchell Scholar have been affiliated with the university. Its alumni include eight heads of state or government, including President of the United States Gerald Ford; 38 cabinet-level officials; and 26 living billionaires. It also has many alumni who are Fulbright Scholars and MacArthur Fellows.

    Research

    Michigan is one of the founding members (in the year 1900) of the Association of American Universities. With over 6,200 faculty members, 73 of whom are members of the National Academy and 471 of whom hold an endowed chair in their discipline, the university manages one of the largest annual collegiate research budgets of any university in the United States. According to the National Science Foundation, Michigan spent $1.6 billion on research and development in 2018, ranking it 2nd in the nation. This figure totaled over $1 billion in 2009. The Medical School spent the most at over $445 million, while the College of Engineering was second at more than $160 million. U-M also has a technology transfer office, which is the university conduit between laboratory research and corporate commercialization interests.

    In 2009, the university signed an agreement to purchase a facility formerly owned by Pfizer. The acquisition includes over 170 acres (0.69 km^2) of property, and 30 major buildings comprising roughly 1,600,000 square feet (150,000 m^2) of wet laboratory space, and 400,000 square feet (37,000 m^2) of administrative space. At the time of the agreement, the university’s intentions for the space were not set, but the expectation was that the new space would allow the university to ramp up its research and ultimately employ in excess of 2,000 people.

    The university is also a major contributor to the medical field with the EKG and the gastroscope. The university’s 13,000-acre (53 km^2) biological station in the Northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan is one of only 47 Biosphere Reserves in the United States.

    In the mid-1960s U-M researchers worked with IBM to develop a new virtual memory architectural model that became part of IBM’s Model 360/67 mainframe computer (the 360/67 was initially dubbed the 360/65M where the “M” stood for Michigan). The Michigan Terminal System (MTS), an early time-sharing computer operating system developed at U-M, was the first system outside of IBM to use the 360/67’s virtual memory features.

    U-M is home to the National Election Studies and the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index. The Correlates of War project, also located at U-M, is an accumulation of scientific knowledge about war. The university is also home to major research centers in optics, reconfigurable manufacturing systems, wireless integrated microsystems, and social sciences. The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute and the Life Sciences Institute are located at the university. The Institute for Social Research (ISR), the nation’s longest-standing laboratory for interdisciplinary research in the social sciences, is home to the Survey Research Center, Research Center for Group Dynamics, Center for Political Studies, Population Studies Center, and Inter-Consortium for Political and Social Research. Undergraduate students are able to participate in various research projects through the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) as well as the UROP/Creative-Programs.

    The U-M library system comprises nineteen individual libraries with twenty-four separate collections—roughly 13.3 million volumes. U-M was the original home of the JSTOR database, which contains about 750,000 digitized pages from the entire pre-1990 backfile of ten journals of history and economics, and has initiated a book digitization program in collaboration with Google. The University of Michigan Press is also a part of the U-M library system.

    In the late 1960s U-M, together with Michigan State University and Wayne State University, founded the Merit Network, one of the first university computer networks. The Merit Network was then and remains today administratively hosted by U-M. Another major contribution took place in 1987 when a proposal submitted by the Merit Network together with its partners IBM, MCI, and the State of Michigan won a national competition to upgrade and expand the National Science Foundation Network (NSFNET) backbone from 56,000 to 1.5 million, and later to 45 million bits per second. In 2006, U-M joined with Michigan State University and Wayne State University to create the the University Research Corridor. This effort was undertaken to highlight the capabilities of the state’s three leading research institutions and drive the transformation of Michigan’s economy. The three universities are electronically interconnected via the Michigan LambdaRail (MiLR, pronounced ‘MY-lar’), a high-speed data network providing 10 Gbit/s connections between the three university campuses and other national and international network connection points in Chicago.

     
  • richardmitnick 8:20 pm on July 25, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Oregon State research finds marine conservation effort in U.S. Virgin Islands aids key fish species", "Red hind" - a species of grouper in the Caribbean, Fishing restrictions at the location they studied helped lead to a more than 35% increase in average fish size and the recovery of the population., Locations of many fish spawning aggregations in the Caribbean have been known and fished for decades., Marine Conservation, Marine conservation districts are a conservation success due to the participation of people from many different sectors., Mass fish species spawning events make the aggregations susceptible to intense fishing pressure., , The University of the Virgin Islands, This is a management and conservation success, To protect species fisheries managers seasonally close spawning sites during the months of peak spawning activity.   

    From The Oregon State University : “Oregon State research finds marine conservation effort in U.S. Virgin Islands aids key fish species” 

    From The Oregon State University

    July 25, 2022
    Story By:
    Sean Nealon
    541-737-0787
    sean.nealon@oregonstate.edu

    Sources:
    Claire Rosemond,
    Claire.rosemond@oregonstate.edu

    Scott Heppell
    scott.heppell@oregonstate.edu

    1
    Red hind in Cuba. Photo: Scott Heppell.

    2
    Claire Rosemond, a doctoral student at Oregon State University, measuring a red hind at the spawning aggregation site south of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Photo: Scott Heppell.

    A more than 30-year marine conservation effort in the U.S. Virgin Islands helped aid the recovery of a fish species important in commercial, recreational and subsistence fisheries, a new Oregon State University study found.

    Red hind, a species of grouper in the Caribbean, historically experienced intense fishing pressure, which led managers to implement progressively restrictive fishing closures in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

    In a study just published in Frontiers in Marine Science [below], researchers at Oregon State and The University of the Virgin Islands found that the fishing restrictions at the location they studied helped lead to a more than 35% increase in average fish size and the recovery of the population to a benchmark considered sustainable for many fish species.

    “This is a management and conservation success,” said Claire Rosemond, an Oregon State doctoral student and lead author of the study. “The recovery of the red hind population at the spawning aggregation tracks management decisions, so it appears that fishing restrictions are helping to accomplish the intended goal of recovering the red hind population and fishery.”

    Globally, more than 200 species of marine fishes, including red hind, reproduce by forming spawning aggregations at specific times and locations. The predictability of these mass spawning events makes the aggregations susceptible to intense fishing pressure.

    Locations of many fish spawning aggregations in the Caribbean have been known and fished for decades. This has led to population collapse of several important species, including red hind, which are an important source of income and food for local people.

    By the late 1980s, the red hind population at a spawning site near St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands showed signs of decline with a decrease in average fish length and an extremely skewed ratio of females to males because fishing disproportionately removed the larger males.

    This led fisheries managers in 1990 to establish the Red Hind Bank Marine Conservation District to protect the fish spawning site by seasonally closing the area to fishing during the months of peak spawning activity (December through February). In 1999, the district was permanently closed to fishing.

    The just-published research focused on that spawning site. The scientists used historical data collected by other researchers between 1988 and 2009 and gathered their own data during several trips to the U.S. Virgin Islands between 2018 and 2020.

    During those trips the researchers caught, measured, and released 1,203 red hind. The mean size of the fish they caught was almost 16 inches, more than four inches longer than the mean size reported from data from 1988-89. Meanwhile, the female to male ratio at the spawning aggregation became less skewed over time.

    By a measure known as spawning potential ratio, the red hind are now at a benchmark considered sustainable for many fisheries, the researchers note, but that does not mean that continued recovery is guaranteed.

    “To me the take home message is this management measure worked, but it also means this management measure is currently working, so at this point in time let’s keep it the way it is,” said Scott Heppell, a co-author of the paper who is a professor in the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Sciences at Oregon State in Oregon State’s College of Agricultural Sciences.

    The recovery of the red hind population at the spawning aggregation site is due in part to management decisions, fishers adhering to closures and long-term monitoring.

    “The Marine Conservation District is a conservation success due to the participation of people from many different sectors,” Rosemond said. “I think management agencies and fishers would be excited to know that their work and potential sacrifices, like not fishing in closed areas, have paid off.”

    Richard Nemeth of the University of the Virgin Islands is also a co-author of this paper.

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Puerto Rico Sea Grant College Program, and the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Sciences funded this research.

    Science paper:
    Frontiers in Marine Science

    See the full article here.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The Oregon State University is a public land-grant research university in Corvallis, Oregon. The university currently offers more than 200 undergraduate-degree programs along with a variety of graduate and doctoral degrees. Student enrollment averages near 32,000, making it the state’s largest university. Since its founding over 230,000 students have graduated from OSU. It is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity” with an additional, optional designation as a “Community Engagement” university.

    The Oregon State University a land-grant university and it also participates in the sea-grant, space-grant and sun-grant research consortia; it is one of only four such universities in the country (The University of Hawai’i-Manoa, Cornell University and The Pennsylvania State University are the only others with similar designations). Oregon State University consistently ranks as the state’s top earner in research funding.

    Research

    Research has played a central role in the university’s overall operations for much of its history. Most of The Oregon State University’s research continues at the Corvallis campus, but an increasing number of endeavors are underway at various locations throughout the state and abroad. Research facilities beyond the campus include the John L. Fryer Aquatic Animal Health Laboratory in Corvallis, the Seafood Laboratory in Astoria and the Food Innovation Laboratory in Portland.

    The university’s College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences (CEOAS) operates several laboratories, including the Hatfield Marine Science Center and multiple oceanographic research vessels based in Newport. CEOAS is now co-leading the largest ocean science project in U.S. history, the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI). The OOI features a fleet of undersea gliders at six sites in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans with multiple observation platforms. CEOAS is also leading the design and construction of the next class of ocean-faring research vessels for The National Science Foundation, which will be the largest grant or contract ever received by any Oregon university. The Oregon State University also manages nearly 11,250 acres (4,550 ha) of forest land, including the McDonald-Dunn Research Forest.

    The 2005 Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education recognized The Oregon State University as a “comprehensive doctoral with medical/veterinary” university. It is one of three such universities in the Pacific Northwest to be classified in this category. In 2006, Carnegie also recognized The Oregon State University as having “very high research activity,” making it the only university in Oregon to attain these combined classifications.

    The National Sea Grant College Program was founded in the 1960s. The Oregon State University is one of the original four Sea Grant Colleges selected in 1971.

    In 1967 the Radiation Center was constructed at the edge of campus, housing a 1.1 MW TRIGA Mark II Research Reactor. The reactor is equipped to utilize Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) for fuel. U.S. News & World Report’s 2008 rankings placed The Oregon State University eighth in the nation in graduate nuclear engineering.

    The Oregon State University was one of the early members of the federal Space Grant program. Designated in 1991, the additional grant program made The Oregon State University one of only 13 schools in the United States to serve as a combined Land Grant, Sea Grant and Space Grant university. Most recently, The Oregon State University was designated as a federal Sun Grant institution. The designation, made in 2003, makes The Oregon State University one of only three such universities (the others being Cornell University and The Pennsylvania State University) and the first of two public institutions with all four designations (the other being Penn State).

    In 2001, The Oregon State University’s Wave Research Laboratory was designated by The National Science Foundation as a site for tsunami research under the Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation. The O. H. Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory is on the edge of the campus and is one of the world’s largest and most sophisticated laboratories for education, research and testing in coastal, ocean and related areas.

    The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences funds two research centers at The Oregon State University. The Environmental Health Sciences Center has been funded since 1969 and the Superfund Research Center has been funded since 2009.

    The Oregon State University administers the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest, a United States Forest Service facility dedicated to forestry and ecology research. The Andrews Forest is a UNESCO International Biosphere Reserve.

    The Oregon State University’s Open Source Lab is a nonprofit founded in 2003 and funded in part by corporate sponsors that include Facebook, Google, and IBM. The organization’s goal is to advance open source technology, and it hires and trains The Oregon State University students in software development and operations for large-scale IT projects. The lab hosts a number of projects, including a contract with the Linux Foundation.

     
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