When government gains the power to control the use of private property, it becomes possible for the politically dominant to profit by high commodity prices using government regulation to constrain supply. One merely drives competitors out of business by manipulating the perception of risk to a land use preferred by a democratic majority.
- Mark Edward Vande Pol
Corals play a key role in ocean ecosystems and carbonate balance but their molecular response to ocean acidification remains unclear. The only previous whole transcriptome study (Moya et al. 2012) documented extensive disruption of gene expression, particularly of genes encoding skeletal organic matrix proteins, in juvenile corals (A. millepora) after short-term (3 d) exposure to elevated pCO2. In the present study, whole transcriptome analysis was used to compare the effects of such “acute” (3 d) exposure to elevated pCO2 with a longer (“prolonged”; 9 d) period of exposure beginning immediately post-fertilisation. Far fewer genes were differentially expressed under the 9 d treatment and, although the transcriptome data implied wholesale disruption of metabolism and calcification genes in the acute treatment experiment, expression of most genes was at control levels after prolonged treatment. There was little overlap between the genes responding to the acute and prolonged treatments, but HSPs and HSFs were over-represented amongst the genes responding to both treatments. Amongst these was an HSP70 gene previously shown to be involved in acclimation to thermal stress in a field population of another acroporid coral. The most obvious feature of the molecular response in the 9 d treatment experiment was the up-regulation of five distinct Bcl-2 family members, the majority predicted to be anti-apoptotic. This suggests that an important component of the longer-term response to elevated CO2 is suppression of apoptosis. It therefore appears that juvenile A. millepora have the capacity to rapidly acclimate to elevated pCO2, a process mediated by up-regulation of specific HSPs and a suite of Bcl-2 family members.
AMAZING DISPLAY: The Great Barrier Reef appears to have recovered from bleaching events. Pictures: Stephen Frink
NEW images show the stunning recovery of coral affected by mass bleaching events on the Great Barrier Reef. World-renowned underwater photographer Stephen Frink captured the shots on the latest dive expedition to remote reefs off Cape York.
“It was one of the healthiest reef systems I’ve seen in the last five years of diving,’’ the industry veteran said. He also captured images of a sea anemone spawning in synchronicity with the annual coral spawning on the 2300km-long wonder.
In March, scientists reported two-thirds of coral coverage had been wiped out in mass bleaching events along the 700km stretch of reef north of Port Douglas in far north Queensland.
“We’d been led to believe you’ve got a great big dead coral reef,” said the Floridabased publisher of Alert Diver magazine, which is read by 240,000 active divers in the US. But Frink said there was very little sign of coral bleaching or mortality.
“Everywhere we went it was some of the healthiest, most abundant and colourful coral cover you could hope to see,’’ he said.
The Spirit of Freedom expedition last week dived 38 outer reef sites from the Cod Hole, near Lizard Island, to the turtle rookery of Raine Island off the tip of Cape York.
Meanwhile, a new report has found the number of natural World Heritage sites at risk from climate change has doubled in three years.
The report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature was launched at the UN climate summit in Bonn, Germany, which is working towards the Paris Climate Change Agreement.
“Climate change acts fast and is not sparing the finest treasures of our planet,” said Inger Andersen, the union’s director-general.
The report highlights the growth threat of warmer, more acidic seas, which scientists blame for bleaching.
Australia is just regular stralia that's been gold-plated.