Scientists have identified 200+ non-military ocean hydrophones worldwide and hope to pool their recorded data into a "2020 quiet ocean assessment" and to monitor future ocean soundscapes -- capturing the signals of whales and other marine life while assessing the noise levels of human activity. Combined with other sea life monitoring tools and methods such as animal tagging the work will help reveal the extent to which noise in "the Anthropocene seas" impacts ocean species.
Researchers have created 3D molecular maps of bacteria, viruses, and biochemicals across coral colonies along with their interacting organisms such as algae and other competing corals. This allowed the team to discover specific microbial and viral functions that appear to be key components of the coral microbiome.
You might not think an animal made out of stone would have much to worry about in the way of predators, and that's largely what scientists had thought about coral. Although corallivores like parrotfish and pufferfish are well known to biologists, their impact on coral growth and survival was believed to be small compared to factors like heatwaves, ocean acidification and competition from algae.
Methane emissions from aquatic ecosystems are potentially a larger source of methane than direct anthropogenic methane sources, such as agriculture or fossil fuel combustion. Aquatic ecosystems and wetlands contribute at least as much as half of the total methane emissions budget.
Sea urchins receive a lot of attention in California. Red urchins support a thriving fishery, while their purple cousins are often blamed for mowing down kelp forests to create urchin barrens. Yet for all the notice we pay them, we know surprisingly little about the microbiomes that support these spiny species.
Extreme storm flooding in Houston washed human waste onto coral reefs more than 100 miles offshore. Rice University marine biologists found fecal bacteria on sponges in the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary following 2016's Tax Day flood and 2017's Hurricane Harvey.
When plants or animals establish in ecosystems outside their natural range due to human activity, they can cause considerable economic damage. An international research team, led by GEOMAR, Kiel, Germany has now published the worldwide costs of aquatic invasive alien species for the first time. According to the study these costs will amount to more than 20 billion US dollars in 2020 alone.
For the sake of marine life, international collaboration is required to reduce undersea sounds.
University of Tsukuba researchers have found that light modulates digestive system function in sea urchin larvae, even in the absence of food stimuli. Opsin cells, which are involved in light-dependent systems, mediated the effect of light in the sea urchin digestive system. These results shed light on the role of Opsins in animals from different taxonomic groups, and indicate that primitive brain neurons may have initially evolved to regulate light-mediated activity in the digestive tract.
Overfishing likely did not cause the Atlantic cod, an iconic species, to evolve genetically and mature earlier, according to a study led by Rutgers University and the University of Oslo - the first of its kind - with major implications for ocean conservation.