Mangroves: The Skin of Our Coasts

June 12: 7–8 p.m., Doors open 6:30

Octavio Abruto, Scripps Oceanography

Mangroves, trees that form forests in the transition between land and sea, provide an essential habitat for a great diversity of plants and animals and are critical habitat worldwide.

Jeffrey B. Graham Perspectives on Ocean Science Lecture Series
Birch Aquarium at Scripps
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Video: Loss of Reef Urchins

New from the Norris Lab

CMBC researchers documented in the May issue of the journal Ecography the poor recovery of a certain sea urchin after a catastrophic event. Long-spined sea urchins, known as Diadema antillarum, were once found everywhere on Caribbean reefs, until 1983, when an unknown pathogen rapidly spread throughout the region, killing 90 percent of the species within a year. These urchins are an important part of reef ecosystems since they eat algae that accumulate on corals. Many Caribbean reefs have become overgrown with algae since the die-off.

Scripps scientists Katie Cramer and Richard Norris describe in a new video how overfishing of predatory fishes such as grouper and snapper in the Caribbean set off a chain reaction which has caused the health of coral reefs to deteriorate.

CMBC Researchers take part in international event

Scientists from the Jennifer Smith and Stuart Sandin labs, both part of the Scripps Marine Biology Research Division, were out in the field on the day of the march. They were collecting data from coral reefs in Maui’s Kahekili Herbivore Fisheries Management Area— a conservation zone with special protections for herbivores like parrotfish and urchins—and from reefs on adjacent islands. But the researchers didn’t let their fieldwork stop them from participating: they, along with fisheries managers and community groups, decided to host a “Swim for Science” in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution’s Earth Optimism Summit.

Researchers take part in the EarthOptimism and March for Science underwater off Maui, April 22

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