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Coral reefs are in crisis – but scientists are finding effective…

first_img TAGSCoral Reefstheconversation.com Previous articleFirst Major GOP Candidate Forum For Governor To Be Held In OrlandoNext articleAnuvia partnering with international food company Denise Connell RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR By Deron Burkepile, Associate Professor of Ecology, University of California, Santa Barbara and Mark C. Ladd, Ph.D. candidate studying the ecology of coral restoration, University of California, Santa Barbara.Note: This article first published on theconversation.comThese are bleak times for coral reefs. Warming ocean waters, disease outbreaks, pollution, sedimentation, careless scuba divers, destructive fishing practices, and a host of other global and local stressors are decimating coral populations at unprecedented rates.If there is any silver lining to these events, it may be that many of the disturbances killing corals are acute: They occur just for a short period of time and then disappear, potentially allowing corals to recover before the next disturbance. But as stressors become more and more frequent, humans may have to help foster corals’ recovery.Many organizations are working to combat coral loss by restoring corals to damaged reefs. But some approaches are more likely to be successful in restoring coral populations than others.Making reef restoration faster and more efficient will require creative approaches. In a new study, we describe how to harness the power of key ecological processes, including predation, competition and nutrient cycling, to make coral restoration more successful.Coral reef restoration in the Florida Keys.Underwater nurseriesCoral restoration has seen a meteoric rise in popularity in the past 15 years. By our count, more than 150 operations are growing nursery-raised corals and transplanting them to degraded reefs just in the Caribbean. They include nongovernmental organizations like the Coral Restoration Foundation and The Nature Conservancy; federal, state and local government agencies, such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; universities; and private companies, such as the Iberostar hotel chain.Jointly, these organizations restore tens of thousands of corals to reefs every year. Early results are promising. Across the Caribbean large fractions of restored corals are typically surviving past the first 1-2 years of transplantation.The process starts by collecting a few finger-sized fragments from wild corals and transferring them to coral “nurseries” located in clear water with ideal growing conditions. Some groups grow corals on giant PVC structures that look like coral Christmas trees. Others use cinder blocks, old reef rocks or wire stands.Within a year the new corals are more than 10 times larger – about the size of a volleyball, at least for the fastest-growing species. At this point they can either be fragmented again to create more nursery broodstock or transplanted to a degraded reef site.Selecting corals to be outplanted for restoration from the Coral Restoration Foundation nursery in the Florida Keys. Mark Ladd, CC BY-NDIt takes a village to restore a reefA major goal of coral restoration is to revive populations of stony corals that provide structure and habitat for the rest of the coral reef community, including soft corals, urchins, lobsters and fish. However, as restoration efforts expand around the globe, it is becoming increasingly clear it is not enough just to outplant corals. Healthy coral reefs are diverse communities with many intricate relationships between species that live on and around them.To begin filling this knowledge gap, we dug through the literature on coral restoration to get an idea of how others are restoring corals to degraded reefs. We found that most experiments have focused on the best ways to grow corals in nurseries or the number of transplanted corals that survive.But just as it takes more than replanting trees to bring back a thriving forest, restoring coral reefs will require more than putting corals back onto reefs. Surprisingly, few studies to date have measured how coral restoration affects important members of coral reef communities, like fishes, urchins, and diverse types of coral.Healthy coral reefs are diverse, complex ecosystems. NOAAGrazers and guardiansIt is well-known that herbivorous species – the grazers of the sea – are critical to healthy coral reefs. Fishes and urchins eat seaweeds that otherwise compete with corals for key resources like space and light. Seaweeds can also transmit diseases to corals and can quickly overtake a reef after some of its corals die off if herbivores are not present.In our study, we propose that coral restoration efforts can benefit from concentrating coral outplants in areas where many grazers are present, such as near existing urchin populations or reefs where herbivorous fish are abundant. By doing so, corals are more likely to survive and grow quickly, and can begin to attract fish, which in turn will result in more grazing.Fish also help corals grow by excreting nitrogen, an important nutrient for the symbiotic algae that live inside corals. This allows the algae to give more energy back to corals and make them grow faster. Planting coral at restoration sites in dense aggregations may help attract more fishes, which will fertilize the corals, help them grow and attract more fish.Mark Ladd outplanting an experimental colony of staghorn coral. Mark Ladd, CC BY-NDHowever, planting corals too densely can hasten disease transmission and competition between them – factors that can drastically impede the success of restoration. Finding the sweet spot, where corals are grouped densely enough to promote growth and attract fish but not so densely that they spread diseases and complete with each other, should be incorporated into restoration design.Some members of coral reef communities have outsized influence on reef dynamics. Damselfishes are especially important. These small fishes have big attitudes: They fiercely protect their territories, where they garden algae to eat, from all other fishes, no matter how large. But these “Chihuahuas of the sea” can either help or hinder coral restoration.In the Caribbean Sea, damselfishes often create their algal gardens by killing coral tissue. One of their favorite targets is staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis), which is the most commonly used coral in restoration. This means that reefs with lots of damselfishes may be poor sites for restoration. Other reefs with many fish species that prey on damselfishes, such as small groupers, may be better choices.Small but fierce: Damselfish aggressively protect their reef territories. zsispeo, CC BY-NC-SABut on Pacific coral reefs, damselfish protect the corals in their gardens from large coral-eating fishes, such as pufferfishes and parrotfishes. So in the Pacific, damselfish gardens could function as restoration hotpots where outplanted corals can thrive and become established, thanks to their fierce fishy bodyguards.Repopulating reefsThere are many more processes that restoration practitioners can harness to help facilitate repopulating reefs with corals. The future of coral restoration lies in combining experience in growing corals for transplantation with accumulated ecological knowledge about how reefs function. Until now, those two camps generally have operated in separate spaces. With corals in crisis worldwide, it is time to bring them together. 4 COMMENTS Gov. DeSantis says new moment-of-silence law in public schools protects religious freedom Reply Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Grey Sharks’ Unusual Contribution to Reef Environments – Michael Jackson Grey Sharks’ Unusual Contribution to Reef Environments – The News Is Under Review You have entered an incorrect email address! Please enter your email address here Please enter your name here […] Coral reefs are in crisis – but scientists are finding effective ways to restore them  The Apopka Voice […] […] Coral reefs are in crisis – but scientists are finding effective ways to restore them  The Apopka Voice […] UF/IFAS in Apopka will temporarily house District staff; saves almost $400,000 Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter Reply center_img April 7, 2018 at 1:16 am April 6, 2018 at 10:40 pm Reply Mama Mia LEAVE A REPLY Cancel reply April 8, 2018 at 10:34 pm When I was on the Big Island of Hawaii 30+ years ago, my mother and I, we bought some things to bring back to keep, to remember our trip. One of the items I picked out, bought, and brought back home, that I really liked, was a sculpture of two beluga whales swimming through a ring formation of rocks, and it was made of real coral and was pure white. I didn’t know it at the time, that was a bad thing to do to the environment, to buy items made of real coral. I felt badly about it, when I learned that fact, later on by reading environment info. Please enter your comment! Florida gas prices jump 12 cents; most expensive since 2014 […] Coral reefs are in crisis – but scientists are finding effective ways to restore them  The Apopka Voice […] April 6, 2018 at 10:45 pm Reply Grey Sharks’ Unusual Contribution to Reef Environments – EuropeUnion Breaking News last_img read more

KLP returns 2.7% in first half despite 1.9% loss on equities

first_imgNorway’s KLP reported a 2.7% return on its investments in the six months to the end of June, despite having made a 1.9% loss on its equity holdings in the period.Sverre Thornes, the pension provider’s chief executive, said: “KLP is delivering a good return despite unsettled equity markets and low interest rates.”He said KLP had prepared itself for these challenging markets by building up solvency during good years, and that in the first half this strategy had proved itself to be right.The 2.7% first half return is up on the 2.3% return produced in the first half of 2015. Equities suffered a loss of 1.6% in KLP’s collective portfolio between January and June, down from a 4.7% profit in the same period last year, while bonds made a profit of 4.9%, up from zero return in the comparable year-earlier period.Property, which makes up 12.3% of KLP’s NOK444bn (€47.9bn) collective portfolio, returned 5.1%, only slightly below the 5.2% return the asset class produced in the first half 2015.Premium income, excluding premium reserves that were transferred into the scheme, rose to NOK17.9bn in the second half from NOK15.9bn in the same period last year.The local authority pension provider saw assets increase to NOK577bn by the end of June, from NOK543.2bn at the end of December, and from NOK526bn at the end of June last year.KLP said it had experienced considerable growth in the number of new public sector occupational pension customers in recent years.“The market situation for public sector occupational pension is now expected to be more stable,” KLP said.The heavy influx of new customers in the last few years happened largely as a result of decisions by Storebrand and DnB Livsforsikring to exit the public sector occupational pensions market.KLP said in its interim report that the ongoing municipal reform in Norway may affect its customer base, and added that the company was following this situation closely.Solvency coverage increased to 189% at the end of June, up from 187% at the end of December, before using the transition rules for the period in which the new Solvency II regime beds in, KLP said.Under the transition rules, its solvency coverage increased to 343% from 274%, it said.last_img read more

Campbell’s Chris Clemons scores 48, moves past huge names on D-I scoring list

first_imgCampbell’s star scorer, the 5-9 guard from Raleigh had a season-high 48 points Wednesday to give him 2,978 for his career, moving him past Kansas star Danny Manning (2,951) and Cincinnati Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson (2,973) into ninth place in men’s Division I career scoring.The Camels defeated visiting Hampton, 87-84, in Buies Creek.”It’s an amazing honor to pass some of these guys and do what I do and do it at a high level,” Clemons said afterward. “I’m very blessed to be a part of that.”REACTION | Chris Clemons on the big win, his 48 points and moving to 9th place on the all-time NCAA scoring list. #RollHumps pic.twitter.com/z2skzvxwVS— Campbell Basketball (@GoCamelsMBB) February 14, 2019Next on the career scoring list ahead of Clemons is Bradley’s Hersey Hawkins with 3,008. LSU’s Pete Maravich holds the all-time mark with 3,667 points. It’s easy to labor in obscurity in Buies Creek, North Carolina — until your game starts being connected to college hoops icons.Folks, meet Chris Clemons. You thought his 48 points wowed the fans? Chris Clemons keeps amazing ‘em after the game ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/W0QeP5BwVE— Campbell Basketball (@GoCamelsMBB) February 14, 2019Clemons — who leads Division I scorers this season at 29.8 points per game — scored 22 of his 48 points from the free-throw line, missing only 2 of 24 attempts as he ran his streak of scoring in double figures to 107 games.The Camels (15-10, 8-3 Big South) have five games remaining on their regular-season schedule plus the Big South Tournament, meaning Clemons, if he continues to score at his current clip, could crack the top five in career scoring.The NCAA Division I career scoring list:Rank, PlayerSchoolPointsYears1. Pete MaravichLSU3,6671967-702. Freeman WilliamsPortland State3,2491974-783. Lionel SimmonsLa Salle3,2171986-904. Alphonso FordMiss. Valley State3,1651989-935. Doug McDermottCreighton3,1502010-146. Harry KellyTexas Southern3,0661979-837. Keydren ClarkSaint Peter’s3,0582002-068. Hersey HawkinsBradley3,0081984-889. Chris ClemonsCampbell2,978*2015-present10. Oscar RobertsonCincinnati2,9731957-60*Through Feb. 13, 2019last_img read more