Do fish graze the way for coral recovery?

Fish clear space for corals to grow in small scale experiments. But does fish grazing cause reefs to recover faster? A new study says no.

LTER Graduate Student Spotlight: Dana Cook

This spotlight is part of an ongoing series featuring many of our wonderful LTER Network graduate student representatives who contribute valuable research and leadership across the network. To learn more about graduate research in the LTER network, visit this page. Dana Cook has been a graduate student with the Moorea Coral Reef LTER for the… Read more »

LTER Road Trip: Fishing for Answers in Moorea’s Coral Reefs

Dana performing an algae assay to measure herbivory in the lagoon.

By Erin Winslow Every day, third-year Ph.D. student Dana Cook zips up her Patagonia shorty wetsuit and puts on her bucket hat for a full day out on the lagoon of Moorea’s southern tip. Boat necessities include a GPS, inner tube floaty, underwater slate and pencil, a watch, and a sleeve of Sao crackers. She… Read more »

Understanding Coral Bleaching: Research and Lessons from Mo’orea

by Jannine Chamorro, Moorea Coral Reef LTER Last September I had the opportunity to participate in a project studying coral bleaching in Mo’orea, French Polynesia. This was the first time I had ever worked in a remote field location. While initially the thought of flying to a place I could not see on a map… Read more »

Mentoring Undergraduate Students at Moorea Coral Reef LTER

LTER sites preset extraordinary opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to learn about the process of science — and to discover whether their strengths and interests fit the demands of field ecology. Russell Schmitt and Sally Holbrook discuss how the Moorea Coral Reef site mentors undergraduate students and the rewards of the experience.  

Can corals ride the tide of climate change?

Damselfish and their coral host (Pocillopora eydouxi).

Researchers at Mo’orea LTER did not observe evidence that corals acclimatize to ocean acidification, but they did observe that some are more sensitive to it than others.

Back from the dead: Moorea’s coral reefs make astounding recovery

Pocillopora grandis in Mo'orea, French Polynesia.

Coral reefs the world over have been hammered in recent years by everything from disease outbreaks and storm damage to severe heat stress and bleaching. The main culprits are warmer temperatures and more acidic water, thanks to the far-reaching impacts of excess CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels. Amidst this doom and gloom, however,… Read more »

2018 NSF LTER Symposium: Understanding Our Ocean Connections

colorful coral reef

The National Science Foundation Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network presents an overview of the rich and varied research taking place at its 28 sites. In 2018, the topic of this annual half-day symposium is ocean ecosystems and their connections to marine species and human well-being.

Grow with the flow: evaluating the interactive effects of seawater conditions on coral growth

Although coral reefs have been the subject of ecological studies for nearly a century, the role that environmental conditions play in coral development is still a partial mystery. LTER researchers at Mo’orea Coral Reef have been exploring coral-environmental interactions in an effort to better understand coral growth. The team recently investigated how two key abiotic… Read more »