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Coral


Some coral reefs are keeping pace with ocean warming

Some coral communities are becoming more heat tolerant as ocean temperatures rise, offering hope for corals in a changing climate. After a series of marine heatwaves hit the Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA) in the central Pacific Ocean, a new study finds the impact of heat stress on the coral communities lessened over time.

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Surviving extreme heat

A team led by Anne Cohen, a scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, received $1.75M in funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study how coral reefs survive extreme heat events caused by climate change. The multidisciplinary project taps into expertise across four WHOI departments to uncover the oceanographic and biological processes that enable corals to survive marine heatwaves.

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What Happens to Marine Life When There Isn’t Enough Oxygen?

SciTech Daily

In September of 2017, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution postdoctoral scholar Maggie Johnson was conducting an experiment with a colleague in Bocas del Toro off the Caribbean coast of Panama. After sitting on a quiet, warm open ocean, they snorkeled down to find a peculiar layer of murky, foul-smelling water about 10 feet below the surface, with brittle stars and sea urchins, which are usually in hiding, perching on the tops of coral. This unique observation prompted a collaborative study explained in a new paper published on July 26, 2021, in Nature Communications analyzing what this foggy water layer is caused by, and the impact it has on life at the bottom of the seafloor.

Impact of Hypoxic Ocean Waters on Marine Life

Technology Networks

Investigators suggest that loss of oxygen in the global ocean is accelerating due to climate change and excess nutrients, but how sudden deoxygenation events affect tropical marine ecosystems is poorly understood.

What happens to marine life when oxygen is scarce?

A new study co-led by WHOI postdoctoral scholar Maggie Johnson looks closely at the changes occurring in both coral reef and microbial communities near Bocas del Toro during sudden hypoxic events, which occur when there is little to no oxygen in a given area of water.

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Biology Department Virtual Seminars

Eukrhythmic: Leveraging the Metatranscriptomic Landscape to Reproducibly Detect and Describe Marine Protistan Communities Arianna Krinos, WHOI Comparing Estimates of Larval…

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A Rusting Oil Tanker Off the Coast of Yemen Is an Environmental Catastrophe Waiting to Happen. Can Anyone Prevent It?

TIME

Viviane Menezes, a marine scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Massachusetts, has described the Red Sea as being like a “big lagoon” with “everything connected.” An oil spill at any time of year would be disastrous, she says, but seasonally variable weather and tidal patterns make contingency planning difficult. In the summer, Red Sea currents would drag an oil slick south, threatening Eritrea and Djibouti, and potentially entering the Gulf of Aden. In winter, circular currents would swirl more of the oil north.

Northern Star Coral Study Could Help Protect Tropical Corals

Worldwide, coral reefs are in crisis. Researchers at WHOI and Roger Williams University are finding that studying the recovery of this local New England species from a laboratory induced stressor could help better understand how to protect endangered tropical corals around the world.

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Why Are Scientists Studying Coral’s Smell?

Smithsonian Magazine

All living things release volatile chemicals, and many species have adopted specific volatiles as communicative signals. Scientists have long studied their function in terrestrial organisms.