Reef Fish Hit By Climate Change Get Some Help From Ocean Currents·
Researchers have discovered some good news for fish populations living on coral reefs hit by climate change.
Renato Morais is a Ph.D. candidate from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (Coral CoE) at James Cook University (JCU). He led a study that looked at how fish on a bleached coral reef get their food.
“We already knew that coral reef fish rely on food drifting in from the sea, such as plankton,” Mr Morais said.
“But, we didn’t know exactly how important this was,” he said.
Mr Morais and Professor David Bellwood, also from Coral CoE at JCU, combined high-resolution surveys and individual biomass production estimates to generate the first map of where the energy comes from for all fish on a coral reef.
“We looked at everything from gobies to coral trout and large jacks, assessing more than 18,000 fish from over 300 species,” said Mr Morais.
“We found that various transport mechanisms, such as currents and tides, interact with the reef and bring in vast amounts of plankton.”
Photo: Juanma Clemente-Alloza/Unsplash
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