News

Lord Howe coral recovery studied

A coral reef community in the Lord Howe Island Marine Park.
A coral reef community in the Lord Howe Island Marine Park. SCU

THE ability of coral to recover from a significant bleaching event is the subject of an ongoing research project at the world's most southerly coral reef at Lord Howe Island.

With support from the Northern Rivers Catchment Management Authority and the Lord Howe Island (LHI) Marine Park Authority, a team of coral experts from Southern Cross University, Geoscience Australia and University of Western Sydney will return to the island this September to document coral recovery following a significant bleaching event in the summer of 2010.

The coral-bleaching resulted in a decline in hard coral cover of many dominant corals species at the world's most southerly coral reef.

These corals were further exposed to higher than normal ocean temperatures in 2011, which caused further coral stress, but normal seawater temperatures this summer provided the opportunity for stressed coral to recover.

According the Ian Kerr, manager of the LHI Marine Park, normal colouration has returned to most corals following these successive bleaching events.

"With normal ocean temperature, good cloud cover and adequate water mixing throughout the LHI lagoon this summer, little to no corals showed any signs of bleaching stress this year and there appears to be higher than normal coral growth and recovery," Mr Kerr said.

Dr Steve Dalton, from Southern Cross University's National Marine Science Centre, said information collected during the trip would help to predict the level of reef stability and the level of resilience and resistance in marginal coral reefs to combat future predicted more frequent thermal stress.

"This funding and field support from the authorities will enable us to determine the ability of bleached coral species to shift to microalgae that are tolerant to higher ocean temperatures," he said.

Genetic information from coral samples collected during and following the two successive bleaching events will be studied in Dr Madeleine van Oppen's laboratory at the Australian Institute of Marine Science to understand coral mechanisms to combat ocean warming in the future.

The team will also assess the influence freshwater discharge has on coral recovery following bleaching and make recommendations to reduce local stressors.

Photo:

Media contact: Brigid Veale, Southern Cross University, head of Communications and Publications, 02 66593006 or 0439 680 748.

Topics:  geoscience australia, lord howe island, northern rivers catchment management authority, southern cross university




Forget fast food and pub grub - try Casino's new restaurant

Brian Conderan is opening a new restaurant at the Oxford Hotel in Casino called Top Deck.

"This town has never done this kind of menu before."

Body of missing man recovered by police divers

The man went missing on Wednesday after his car was swept off a bridge on Martins Road into floodwaters at Larnook.

Days of searching after car swept into floodwaters

Ballina sports space sold to developer for hefty sum

FOR SALE: The State Government is selling a large block of land at Quays Dr, West Ballina.Photo Graham Broadhead / Ballina Shire Advocate

Rare open green space sold to property developer

Latest deals and offers

GANGgajang brings new and old hits

STREETWISE: The band at the opening of GANGgajang Way in Bundaberg, Queensland, last year.

Iconic Aussie band returns to Lismore

What's on the small screen this week

Bella Frizza in a scene from the TV series Married At First Sight.

THE Block's $65,000 bathroom is revealed and strangers marry.

MOVIE REVIEW: Life on the Road

Ricky Gervais, Ben Bailey Smith and Foregone Conclusion (Steve Clarke, Andy Burrows, Stuart Baxter Wilkinson, Michael Clarke) in a scene from David Brent: Life on the Road.

Ricky Gervais has brought David Brent back to life on the big screen

Jessica Alba wants tequila shots served at her funeral

Businesswoman and actor Jessica Alba

There won't be mourning at this funeral

Tom Hiddleston's Instagram account hacked

Actor Tom Hiddleston

Thor star the latest celebrity targetted by hackers

Charlize Theron's son dresses up as Frozen character

Actor Charlize Theron

Star's son spotted dressed a beloved Frozen character

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m