New study looks at how coral absorbs light
Researchers in Bermuda have released a new study on how corals absorb light in different conditions.
The paper, by postdoctoral researcher Yvonne Sawall and her adviser, associate scientist Eric Hochberg, examined how reefs optimise their photosynthetic abilities.
Dr Hochberg said: “This work is important because we have only a general understanding of how a coral reef works as an interconnected system, but we know that any system — for example your car — needs energy to run.
“This work is helping us understand how coral reefs get and use their fuel. We can explore how environmental conditions influence these processes, which in the long run is crucial to understanding the impacts of global change.”
Most studies into coral photosynthesis have used data gathered over a short period, but the researchers, based at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences, wanted to use a longer time frame.
They also used data from the Bermuda Weather Service to factor in the effect of cloud cover, which limits sunlight on reefs.
Their results suggested that reefs — much like plants — regulate how much energy they collect from sunlight so they do not absorb more than they can use.
Dr Sawall told Science Daily, the American science website: “These results indicate that reef organisms, including both corals and algae, most likely optimise photosynthesis to the same degree as terrestrial plants, at the scale of a day or longer.”
The researchers are still studying photosynthesis in reef life, and are now looking at the relationship between the colour of an organism and its daily photosynthesis.
Bermuda records third Covid-19 death
Police warning: no visitors for quarantined
Morale boost with festive favourite eggnog
Online tool to tackle price gouging
Bake your hot cross buns online
Young mask maker inundated with orders
Veteran sailor lost at sea
Daytime ban at homeless shelter sparks row
Virus claims first two lives
More troops called in to enforce lockdown
Burt dismisses Buzz attempt to act as grocer
Flight delivers 1,800 kits and 129 residents
Has the penny dropped?
Doorstep photographs capture an unusual time
Warning over false information
Ship passengers hopeful of quick return
Take Our Poll