Tag: National Coral Reef Monitoring Program

Low Net Carbonate Accretion Characterizes Florida’s Coral Reef

John T. Morris, Ian C. Enochs, et al.

Coral reef habitat is created when calcium carbonate production by calcifiers exceeds removal by physical and biological erosion. Carbonate budget surveys provide a means of quantifying the framework-altering actions of diverse assemblages of marine species to determine net carbonate production, a single metric that encapsulates reef habitat persistence. In this study, carbonate budgets were calculated for 723 sites across the Florida Reef Tract (FRT) using benthic cover and parrot fish demographic data from NOAA’s National Coral Reef Monitoring Program, as well as high resolution LiDAR topobathymetry. Results highlight the erosional state of the majority of the study sites, with a trend towards more vulnerable habitat in the northern FRT, especially in the Southeast Florida region (− 0.51 kg CaCO3m−2 year−1), which is in close proximity to urban centers. Detailed comparison of reef types reveals that mid-channel reefs in the Florida Keys have the highest net carbonate production (0.84 kg CaCO3 m−2 year− 1) and indicates that these reefs may be hold-outs for reef development throughout the region. This study reports that Florida reefs, specifically their physical structure, are in a net erosional state. As these reefs lose structure, the ecosystem services they provide will be diminished, signifying the importance of increased protections and management efforts to offset these trends.

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New study establishes monitoring framework for evaluating reef persistence under climate change and ocean acidification

Coral scientists at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) and University of Miami Cooperative Institute of Marine and Atmospheric Science (CIMAS) developed a new modeling approach, for evaluating coral reef persistence under climate change scenarios. Aiming to improve coral restoration efforts, this new user-friendly framework has been created as a helpful tool for coral reef scientists and managers to address the increasing vulnerability of these vital ecosystems.

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Scientists at AOML Present Coral Research at the First Virtual International Coral Reef Symposium

Coral scientists at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) and the University of Miami Rosenstiel School’s Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies (CIMAS) will be presenting their research at the 14th International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS) from July 19-23, 2021, which will be held virtually for the first time in the history of the ICRS.

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Coral Growth in Flower Garden Banks Approaches Threshold As Sea Temperatures Rise

A recent study by researchers at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory shows that coral growth observed in symmetrical brain corals (Pseudodiploria strigosa) and mountainous star corals (Orbicella faveolata) in the Flower Garden Banks reefs, in the Gulf of Mexico, are linked to warming sea surface temperatures.

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Ocean Chemistry & Ecosystems Division

Ocean Chemistry & Ecosystems The Ocean Chemistry and Ecosystems Division supports NOAA's mission to understand our oceans and coasts, aid conservation and management of marine ecosystems, and predict changes to these valuable resources. We work on a variety of research topics including the global rise of carbon dioxide, the ability of our ecosystems to support [...]
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Volcanic Island of Maug Provides Natural Lab for Ocean Acidification

Maug is a unique natural laboratory that allows us to study how ocean acidification affects coral reef ecosystems. We know of no other area like this in U.S. waters. Increasing carbon dioxide in seawater is a global issue because it makes it harder for animals like corals to build skeletons.

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