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14
Identifying larval stages of marine fishes in the open ocean is difficult because the young fishes often bear little or no resemblance to the adults they will become. Confronted with a perplexing fish larva collected in the Florida Straits, scientists turned to DNA barcoding, which yielded an unexpected discovery -- a match between the mysterious fish larva and adults of a new species of sea bass discovered off the coast of Curacao.

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14
Stronger storms, rising seas, and flooding are placing hundreds of millions people at risk around the world, and big part of the solution to decrease those risks is just off shore. A new study finds that coral reefs reduce the wave energy that would otherwise impact coastlines by 97 percent.

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29
Increasing ocean temperatures due to climate change will soon see reefs retaining and nurturing more of their own coral larvae, leaving large reef systems less interconnected and potentially more vulnerable. "We found that at higher temperatures more coral larvae will tend to stay on their birth reef," says the lead author of the study.

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24
Scientists have revealed how some corals can quickly switch on or off certain genes in order to survive in warmer-than-average tidal waters. To most people, 86-degree Fahrenheit water is pleasant for bathing and swimming. To most sea creatures, however, it's deadly. As climate change heats up ocean temperatures, the future of species such as coral, which provides sustenance and livelihoods to a billion people, is threatened.

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24
Shark data collected by citizen scientists may be as reliable as data collected using automated tools. Shark populations are declining globally, and scientists lack data to estimate the conservation status of populations for many shark species. Citizen science may be a useful and cost-effective means to increase knowledge of shark populations on coral reefs, but scientists do not yet know enough about how data collected by untrained observers compares to results from traditional research methods. To better understand the reliability of datasets collected by citizen science initiatives, researchers in this study compared reef shark sightings counted by experienced dive guides (citizen scientists), with data collected from tagged reef sharks by an automated tracking tool (acoustic telemetry).

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14
Marine scientists working in the Western Indian Ocean have found that the corals of the Mozambique Channel should be a priority for protection as climate change continues to threaten these rainforests of the sea. The study -- generated from data gathered from nearly 300 marine sites over thousands of square miles of ocean -- is the latest attempt by scientists to improve efforts to first identify reefs that have survived the effects of higher temperatures and sometimes human pressures such as fishing, and then actions best suited to protecting less disturbed coral ecosystems.

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13
Research on the behavior of coral reef fish at naturally-occurring carbon dioxide seeps in Milne Bay in eastern Papua New Guinea has shown that continuous exposure to increased levels of carbon dioxide dramatically alters the way fish respond to predators. 

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11
A coral-eating flatworm has been identified as a potential threat for coral reefs. It is barely possible to see the parasitic worm Amakusaplana acroporae when it sits on its favorite hosts, the staghorn coral Acropora, thanks to its excellent camouflage. However, the researchers found that the small flatworm could cause significant damage to coral reefs.

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