JAN 31, 2021 6:32 AM PST

Piecing together the largest database yet on coral spawning

Important new information on coral spawning can now be found all in one place, reports a recent study published in Nature’s Scientific Data. With data collected over the past forty-two years, the database is a goldmine for researchers tracking long-term trends of coral and coral reproduction.

The Coral Spawning Database (CSD) was developed by leading scientists from Newcastle University, UK, and James Cook University, Australia. The authors say that CSD was an ambitious international collaboration involving 90 authors from 60 institutions in 20 countries.

The CSD provides a point of reference from which we can monitor and measure future changes in coral spawning, changes which have been observed already as a result of climate change. The database keeps track of information such as temperature, daylight patterns, the lunar cycle, and other potential influences on spawning times. “The goal of the CSD,” write the authors, “is to provide open access to coral spawning data to accelerate our understanding of coral reproductive biology and to provide a baseline against which to evaluate any future changes in reproductive phenology.”

The team says information on spawning can shed light on other parts of marine ecology. Dr James Guest, from the School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, Newcastle University, explains: "Coral spawning times can be used to address many significant and fundamental questions in coral reef ecology. Knowing when corals spawn can assist coastal management - for example, if dredging operations cease during mass spawning events. It also has enormous potential for scientific outreach, education, and tourism if spawning events can be witnessed in person or remotely."

Made up of 6178 observations of the time or day of spawning for over 300 scleractinian species in 61 genera from 101 sites in the Indo-Pacific, the CSD is open for new additions of data and the researchers hope it will grow in time.

Photo: Pixabay

"Our vision is to help advance many aspects of coral reef science and conservation at a time of unprecedented environmental and societal change. It will accelerate our understanding of coral reproductive biology and provide a baseline against which to evaluate any future changes in the time of spawning," says Professor Andrew Baird from the Centre of Excellence for Coral Reefs Studies at James Cook University.

Sources: Scientific Data, Eureka Alert

About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
AUG 21, 2021
Earth & The Environment
Celebrate Honeybees and Beekeepers on National Honeybee Day!
AUG 21, 2021
Celebrate Honeybees and Beekeepers on National Honeybee Day!
The third Saturday in August, this year the 21st, is National Honeybee Day! The date celebrates honeybee keepers and all ...
AUG 31, 2021
Microbiology
How Cow Stomachs Might Help Us Reduce Plastic Waste
AUG 31, 2021
How Cow Stomachs Might Help Us Reduce Plastic Waste
Plastic is a long-lasting material that has many uses, which has led to a proliferation of plastic packaging that is pol ...
SEP 09, 2021
Chemistry & Physics
"Shape-Shifting" Birds: Climate Change's Newest Outcome
SEP 09, 2021
"Shape-Shifting" Birds: Climate Change's Newest Outcome
A new study released last Tuesday highlights a surprising response to climate change: physical changes in animal mo ...
SEP 27, 2021
Genetics & Genomics
DNA Gives Clues to the Mystery of 'Skeleton' Lake
SEP 27, 2021
DNA Gives Clues to the Mystery of 'Skeleton' Lake
While this research has provided some answers, it also raised many new questions. An image by Atish Waghwase/Harney et a ...
SEP 29, 2021
Space & Astronomy
When a Meteor Destroyed an Ancient City, It May Have Inspired Biblical Tales
SEP 29, 2021
When a Meteor Destroyed an Ancient City, It May Have Inspired Biblical Tales
This meteor may have caused a blast as large as the one in the Tunguska Event, and totally flattened a city.
OCT 14, 2021
Plants & Animals
The Physics of Insect Swarms
OCT 14, 2021
The Physics of Insect Swarms
Do you know those pesky bugs that happen swarm in front of your door right as you open it? Those swarms and the insects ...
Loading Comments...