PRESS-NEWS.org - Press Release Distribution
PRESS RELEASES DISTRIBUTION

Climate change effects hit marine ecosystems in multiple waves, according to marine ecologists

A Brown professor and two Brown-trained scientists co-authored a research review proposing a ‘more realistic’ conceptual model for understanding current and future changes to marine ecosystems in the wake of climate change.

Climate change effects hit marine ecosystems in multiple waves, according to marine ecologists
2023-11-15
(Press-News.org) PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — A new approach to examining the effects of climate change on marine ecosystems may provide a more accurate understanding of climate change responses — and predictions for future consequences — according to a new paper co-authored by a Brown University biologist.

The paper, published in the Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics, highlights the interplay between the trend of climate warming and the fluctuations in local temperature. These two properties cause atypically warm events such as marine heatwaves to occur with increasing frequency and magnitude.

However, the interaction between the steadily warming climate and the spikes in local temperatures tends to be underappreciated, according to study co-author Jon Witman, a professor of biology at Brown University.

“Climate change studies often focus on the trend of global warming,” Witman said. “But organisms in the ocean are also experiencing temperature fluctuations, and that’s less studied and therefore less understood. What we’re trying to do is to add more reality into ocean climate change studies by considering both the smooth, upward trend of climate warming as well as the variability on top of that trend.”

The paper proposes a new approach for understanding and modeling the effects of marine climate change, with suggestions for future research.

Witman offered coral as an example that illustrates the need for a new approach. While an organism like coral is already trying to adapt to the trend of rising temperatures, he noted, it then endures a heat wave, which causes a large and sudden spike in temperature.

Temperature spikes tend to lead to coral bleaching, which is when metabolically stressed corals expel the beneficial microscopic algae living within them and turn white. If the temperature stays high and algae are unable to return to their host coral, the bleached coral will die.

Witman pointed to heat waves in the Mediterranean that have led to an increase in coral bleaching and death of corals and sea fans.

Extreme events such as heat waves may alter or damage marine ecosystems in ways that leave them more vulnerable to both progressive climate change as well as the next temperature fluctuation, Witman added. A more realistic model may help scientists better identify areas where coral is more likely to die off in an extreme event leaving coral-dependent organisms at risk over time, he said.

In other cases, temperature variability can lead to an opposite response in the affected organism: an ability to acclimatize or adapt to temperature extremes, depending on their frequency and intensity.

These responses to variable events like heat waves compound and are compounded by the effects caused by rapidly and steadily increasing ocean temperatures, Witman said.

Witman collaborated with Andrew Pershing of the nonprofit Climate Central, who studied biology as an undergraduate at Brown, and John Bruno, a professor of biology in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who earned a Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology from Brown.

In their paper, Bruno, Pershing and Witman considered how organisms and communities adapt or adjust to both smooth trends and variable changes, and then reviewed processes that influence the rate at which marine communities adjust to changes in their physical environment — as well as those processes that might hamper adaption or acclimatization.  The researchers stressed that all of these factors illustrate why it’s key to consider both types of change when studying marine climates.

“If we just study how organisms respond to the smooth trend, we miss all the variability, which is driving ecological change,” Witman said. “It’s not just a matter of worsening physiological stress over time; there are also variable events that have their own ripple effects.”

In the paper, the researchers created a global model that shows the variability in temperature relative to trend, highlighting regions where extreme temperatures are likely to have particularly deleterious effects. In the areas of the Gulf of Maine, the Caribbean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, they write, there are high probabilities of exceptional warming events and “ecological surprises.” Research shows that key foundation species in these regions, such kelp and corals, have already experienced substantial climate-related changes.

“These areas, especially, warrant investigation to improve our understanding of what's going to happen in the future — as well as our conception of what we’re calling, ‘the new ocean,’” Witman said.

This work was supported by the National Science Foundation, Biological Oceanography Program (OCE-2035354, OCE-1851866, OCE-2128592).

END

[Attachments] See images for this press release:
Climate change effects hit marine ecosystems in multiple waves, according to marine ecologists

ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:

Transplant researchers develop vaccine in preclinical models to regulate immune responses to prevent kidney and heart transplant rejection

2023-11-15
A subtype of CD8 T cells, which are classically known to promote immune system responses, may be in fact regulating the immune system by suppressing immune cells causing self-destructive responses leading to autoimmune disorders and organ graft rejection. A team led by researchers from the Department of Medicine and the Transplant Research Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a founding member of the Mass General Brigham healthcare system, in collaboration with researchers from the Dana-Farber ...

More than meows: How bacteria help cats communicate

2023-11-15
any mammals, from domestic cats and dogs to giant pandas, use scent to communicate with each other. A new study from the University of California, Davis shows how domestic cats send signals to each other using odors derived from families of bacteria living in their anal glands. The work was published Nov. 8 in Scientific Reports. The study adds to a growing body of research on the relationship between microbes and odor in mammals, including domestic dogs, wild animals such as foxes, pandas and hyenas, and humans. Cats’ scent comes ...

Genetics study shines light on health disparities for IBD

Genetics study shines light on health disparities for IBD
2023-11-15
The advent of whole genome sequencing technology has prompted an explosion in research into how genetics are associated with disease risk. But the vast majority of genetics research has been done on people of European ancestry, and genetics researchers have realized that in order to address health disparities, more needs to be done. In a new study, Georgia Tech researchers investigated whether 25 rare gene variants known to be associated with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) play a role in risk for African Americans. While the rare variant associations were recently discovered in individuals of European ancestry, ...

Physician burnout reduced with peer support, study finds

2023-11-15
A new Kaiser Permanente physician peer support program designed to reduce burnout helped improve doctors’ well-being and had a positive impact on the culture of the medical departments that took part in the program, Kaiser Permanente researchers found.   The study, published November 1 in PLOS ONE, analyzed the impact of the Kaiser Permanente Northern California (KPNC) Peer Outreach Support Team (POST) program in 2 KPNC hospitals. POST is now active in 10 KPNC hospitals, and 3 more hospitals intend to launch POST programs over the next few months. Uniquely, the POST program allows for third-party referrals — ...

WhaleVis turns more than a century of whaling data into an interactive map

WhaleVis turns more than a century of whaling data into an interactive map
2023-11-15
Even though they’re the largest animals on earth, whales remain difficult to track. So experts often turn to historical whaling data to inform current research. A dataset maintained by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) contains detailed information on commercial whale catches — more than 2.1 million records, predominantly from 1880 until the IWC banned whaling in 1986. Yet for researchers, distilling that data can prove its own challenge. A team at the University of Washington has created an online interactive map called WhaleVis, which lets whale researchers visualize ...

Forget social distancing: House finches become more social when sick

Forget social distancing: House finches become more social when sick
2023-11-15
Social distancing when sick has become second nature to many of us in the past few years, but some sick animals appear to take a different approach. A new study of house finches led by Marissa Langager, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Biological Sciences in the College of Science, uncovered a surprising result. Unlike other social animals who passively or actively isolate themselves when sick, this gregarious backyard bird species gravitates toward healthy flock mates when they are sick, even ...

Microorganisms living in gastrointestinal tracts may foretell diagnoses of debilitating diseases including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s

Microorganisms living in gastrointestinal tracts may foretell diagnoses of debilitating diseases including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
2023-11-15
Nov. 15, 2023 Media Contacts: Emily Gowdey-Backus, director of media relations Nancy Cicco, assistant media relations   The trillions of microorganisms living in gastrointestinal tracts may foretell diagnoses of debilitating diseases including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s   Microbiome may hold clues that could revolutionize diagnosis and treatment   Researchers at UMass Lowell’s Zuckerberg College of Health Sciences are exploring how the gut microbiome contributes to the risk of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. This research could lead to earlier detection and new treatments for people with those diseases, which ...

Longitudinal characterization of behavioral, morphological and transcriptomic changes in a tauopathy mouse model

Longitudinal characterization of behavioral, morphological and transcriptomic changes in a tauopathy mouse model
2023-11-15
“Here we used the PS19 (P301S) mouse model of tauopathies to characterize longitudinal changes in behavioral, morphological, and transcriptomic levels.” BUFFALO, NY- November 15, 2023 – A new research paper was published on the cover of Aging (listed by MEDLINE/PubMed as "Aging (Albany NY)" and "Aging-US" by Web of Science) Volume 15, Issue 21, entitled, “Longitudinal characterization of behavioral, morphological and transcriptomic changes in a tauopathy mouse model.” Neurodegenerative ...

Two Sandia National Labs researchers elected associate fellows for aerospace contributions

Two Sandia National Labs researchers elected associate fellows for aerospace contributions
2023-11-15
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Two Sandia National Laboratories employees will soon join the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics class of 2024 as associate fellows. “This distinguished group of professionals has made significant and lasting contributions to the aerospace profession,” said AIAA President and Sandia Deputy Laboratories Director Laura McGill. “They exemplify expertise and dedication to excellence in advancing their specific technical disciplines. They are truly shaping the future of aerospace, and we are proud of their achievements.” Michael Ross Michael Ross was recognized for his work in ...

UTHealth Houston researcher receives NIH subcontract to study effects of integrated palliative care on Parkinson’s, related dementia

UTHealth Houston researcher receives NIH subcontract to study effects of integrated palliative care on Parkinson’s, related dementia
2023-11-15
A five-year, $3.9 million grant to study the effects of integrated palliative care on health service outcomes and disparities in Parkinson’s disease and Parkinson’s disease dementia has been awarded to UTHealth Houston and other institutions by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, part of the National Institutes of Health. As part of the grant, Adriana Pérez, PhD, professor in the Department of Biostatistics and Data Science with UTHealth Houston School of Public Health ...

LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES:

4D Medicine raises £3.4 million for unique biomaterial platform

Ancient marine animal had inventive past despite being represented by few species, new study finds

Quantum sensor for the atomic world developed through international scientific collaboration

The research was wrong: study shows moderate drinking won’t lengthen your life

Save your data on printable magnetic devices? New laser technique’s twist might make this reality

Early onset dementia more common than previously reported – the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease seems to be on the rise

Pesticides potentially as bad as smoking for increased risk in certain cancers

NUS researchers develop new battery-free technology to power electronic devices using ambient radiofrequency signals

New protein discovery may influence future cancer treatment

Timing matters: Scripps Research study shows ways to improve health alerts

New gene therapy approach shows promise for Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Chemical analyses find hidden elements from renaissance astronomer Tycho Brahe’s alchemy laboratory

Pacific Northwest launches clean hydrogen energy hub

Tiny deletion in heart muscle protein briefly affects embryonic ventricles but has long-term effects on adult atrial fibrillation

Harms of prescribing NSAIDs to high risk groups estimated to cost NHS £31m over 10 years

Wearing a face mask in public spaces cuts risk of common respiratory symptoms, suggests Norway study

Some private biobanks overinflating the value of umbilical cord blood banking in marketing to expectant parents

New research in fatty liver disease aims to help with early intervention

Genetics reveal ancient trade routes and path to domestication of the Four Corners potato

SNIS 2024: New study shows critical improvements in treating rare eye cancer in children

Wearable devices can increase health anxiety. Could they adversely affect health?

Addressing wounds of war

Rice researchers develop innovative battery recycling method

It’s got praying mantis eyes

Stroke recovery: It’s in the genes

Foam fluidics showcase Rice lab’s creative approach to circuit design

Montana State scientists publish evidence for new groups of methane-producing organisms

Daily rhythms depend on receptor density in biological clock

New England Journal of Medicine publishes outcomes from practice-changing E1910 trial for patients with BCR::ABL1-negative B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Older adults want to cut back on medication, but study shows need for caution

[Press-News.org] Climate change effects hit marine ecosystems in multiple waves, according to marine ecologists
A Brown professor and two Brown-trained scientists co-authored a research review proposing a ‘more realistic’ conceptual model for understanding current and future changes to marine ecosystems in the wake of climate change.