Terpios hoshinota is an encrusting cyanobacteriosponge which grows aggressively over live coral colonies and has been reported to undergo outbreaks which kill corals. In an underwater survey conducted on the reefs of Gulf of Mannar, an outbreak of this coral-invading sponge was witnessed for the first time.

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Ongoing ocean acidification is widely reported to reduce the ability of calcifying marine organisms to produce their shells and skeletons. Whereas increased dissolution due to acidification is a largely inorganic process, strong organismal control over biomineralization influences calcification and hence complicates predicting the response of marine calcifyers. Here we show that calcification is driven by rapid transformation of bicarbonate into carbonate inside the cytoplasm, achieved by active outward proton pumping.

Ocean surface warming is resulting in an expansion of stratified, low-nutrient environments, a process referred to as ocean desertification. A challenge for assessing the impact of these changes is the lack of robust baseline information on the biological communities that carry out marine photosynthesis.

Roughly 240 million years ago (Ma), scleractinian corals rapidly expanded and diversified across shallow marine environments. The main driver behind this evolution is uncertain, but the ecological success of modern reef-building corals is attributed to their nutritional symbiosis with photosynthesizing dinoflagellate algae. We show that a suite of exceptionally preserved Late Triassic (ca. 212 Ma) coral skeletons from Antalya (Turkey) have microstructures, carbonate 13C/12C and 18O/16O, and intracrystalline skeletal organic matter 15N/14N all indicating symbiosis.

Data from over 2,500 reefs worldwide is used to identify 15 bright spots—sites where reef biomass is significantly higher than expected—and surveys of local experts in these areas suggest that strong sociocultural institutions and high levels of local engagement are among the factors supporting higher fish biomass.

Human activities have substantially changed the world’s oceans in recent decades, altering marine food webs, habitats and biogeochemical processes. Cephalopods (squid, cuttlefish and octopuses) have a unique set of biological traits, including rapid growth, short lifespans and strong life-history plasticity, allowing them to adapt quickly to changing environmental conditions. There has been growing speculation that cephalopod populations are proliferating in response to a changing environment, a perception fuelled by increasing trends in cephalopod fisheries catch.

Local people say way of life is under threat from industrial vessels, and see plan as chance to protect environment and repair relations with mainland

Forty years after the ocean floor was first mapped by hand, a team of Australian researchers has created the first digital map of the entire sea floor. Made by the University of Sydney's School of Geosciences and National ICT Australia (NICTA), the map can be used to plot the planet's underwater carbon sinks and understand how oceans respond to climate change.

Knowing the patterns of distribution of sediments in the global ocean is critical for understanding biogeochemical cycles and how deep-sea deposits respond to environmental change at the sea surface. We present the first digital map of seafloor lithologies based on descriptions of nearly 14,500 samples from original cruise reports, interpolated using a support vector machine algorithm. We show that sediment distribution is more complex, with significant deviations from earlier hand-drawn maps, and that major lithologies occur in drastically different proportions globally.

Antarctic biodiversity is much more extensive, ecologically diverse and biogeographically structured than previously thought. Understanding of how this diversity is distributed in marine and terrestrial systems, the mechanisms underlying its spatial variation, and the significance of the microbiota is growing rapidly. Broadly recognizable