Friday JohnKu – AKA – TGIF – Friyay/Good News

Millennium atoll, one of the Southern Line Islands – CC 2.0.

Today’s good news story is from the Good News Network; here is the story in its entirety. (some typos have been corrected)

Once Devastated Pacific Reefs See Amazing Rebirth, Recovering With ‘Shocking Speed’

As remote as they were beautiful, the coral reefs around the 5 volcano tips making up the Southern Line Islands dazzled National Geographic explorers in 2009 during a visit.

Remarking that they re-painted the image of what a pristine coral reef looks like—bursting with color and life—the team of the Pristine Seas Expedition had been crushed when a record-warming El Niño event in 2015 caused mass coral die-offs.

Then a return in 2021 revealed a remarkable scene—bright, healthy corals teeming with life as far down as 100 feet off the island slopes. After record numbers of coral deaths, a team member estimated their populations averaged around 43 million to 53 million coral colonies per square mile.

The Southern Line Islands belong to the Pacific island nation of Kiribati. Enric Sala, a marine biologist and member of Pristine Seas, detailed that it took longer to reach them by plane and boat than it took the astronauts of the Apollo missions to land on the Moon.

During the 2017 trip to Vostock, Flint, and Millennium islands, the vast swaths of cauliflower corals, pocillopora were all gone, while the species Acropora was also hard hit. Some other species were less damaged, however, giving the Sala, who was preoccupied at the time and didn’t get to join the 2017 trip, hope they could recover.

In fact, the expedition found promising signs the reef could do just that since rather than being covered with seaweed, the dead corals were covered in “crustose coralline algae,” a marine plant that coral larvae can latch onto to build new reefs in the same way that a brick latches onto mortar.

Sure enough, this foundation led to near-total regeneration of the reefs around the Southern Line Islands.

“The reef was covered by light-blue corals that looked like giant roses—a garden of Montipora aequituberculata stretching as far as I could see,” says Sala.

Since the Southern Line Islands are so remote, no one was keeping an eye on how the corals were able to regrow so significantly, but Sala has an idea. Since most of the montipora were the same size, it’s possible that one or two massive coral spawning events, where they reproduce and launch their eggs out into the sea before the larvae rain back down on the reef, are enough to repopulate large areas of dead corals.

Its resilience earned it the moniker of a “super reef” among the crew.

“The corals that were resistant to the phenomenal 2015-16 El Niño provided the reefs’ resilience,” wrote Sala. “The Southern Line Islands lie in one of the hottest hot spots of warming in the Pacific Ocean, so the corals apparently have adapted to heat.”

As for the flush of the mortar-like crustose coralline algae over the dead corals as opposed to seaweed, Sala chalks it up to the great numbers of grazing fish like zebrafish, parrotfish, surgeonfish, and others that would simply devour any seaweed before it could overgrow the coral.

Kiribati’s government has ensured that these seas, which have never seen large-scale commercial fishing, will never see it, and now make up the Southern Line Islands Marine Protected Area (SLIMPA)

The good news here is that natural healing of the coral has taken place. Today’s JohnKu talks about the power of nature. I hope you have a great weekend.

Nature by John W. Howell ©2022

Still under attack,

Yet finding a way to thrive . . .

Mother is her name.

80 comments

  1. Wow, the power of nature at its finest. It was not their time! I love how they have adapted to the climes. Beautiful story and wonderful JohnKu

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Dale.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for sharing, John.
        Happy Friday!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Happy Friday to you.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful story, John. Nature is so amazing! Have a great weekend. Hugs 💕🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope you have a good weekend as well, Harmony.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, great story, John. Could it be that nature has intelligence that we humans fail to understand fully? Your haiku is one of your best. Well don! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Gwen. I think nature has been around a long time and can adapt to changing conditions. People wasting less could help though. Have a great weekend.

      Like

  4. Maybe they can replicate this in other reef regions.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As long as the seaweed doesn’t cover the alge my understanding is this is how coral rebuilds itself.

      Like

  5. It is amazing what Mother Nature can do when left on her own. Thank you for telling us, John.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you too, GP. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  6. That’s pretty amazing. In many cases all nature requires to thrive is an absence of humans.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. COVID restrictions taught us that for sure. Thanks, Craig.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. That is good news, John! Happy Friday and have a great weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You as well, Joan. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  8. After reading the depressing news in our local paper, this sure gives me a boost. Thanks, John!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, Teri. Thanks. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’d heard about this, but had missed a good number of these details. It’s wonderful news.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is great news

      Like

  10. Mother Nature is amazing! This is wonderful. Thanks so much for sharing, John. Enjoy the weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You as well, Jill. Thanks.

      Like

  11. This story is so reassuring. Mother Nature at her best! But can it ever recover from the disastrous things humans are doing?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think we are seeing adaptive behavior like the coral getting used to the higher temperatures of the water.

      Like

  12. Mother Nature is so beautiful, and amazing. Thanks for sharing this good news story, John. Have a good weekend. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you , Tim

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Great story, John. Goes to show us if you give her a fighting chance, Mother Earth still has a chance to bounce back. Have a good weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She does. But does need a chance. Thanks, Bruce.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Love your haiku. Go Mother Nature!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. D.L. Finn, Author · · Reply

    This makes me happy that life adapts so well to change.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Me too. There is a point where we have to help though.

      Like

      1. D.L. Finn, Author · ·

        Yes, that is true. Like in Hawaii they ban certain sunscreen that was hurting their reefs.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. What a fascinating story! Amazing what nature can do when humankind is taken out of the equation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed. I wish there was somewhere humankind could go to give the place a breather. Sadly there is not.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. The powerful force of Mother Nature is astounding! This is such a wonderful feel-good story! Thanks for sharing, John. Maybe there’s hope for the planet after all!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think there might be hope if the joint can get a breather.

      Like

  18. Left alone, life will thrive.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I so agree. I think we all out to take a trip to Mars for a couple of years

      Liked by 1 person

  19. It’s always a very hopeful moment when government agencies take Mother Nature’s cue and let the good stuff happen all over again. Because we have seen time and time again how the earth comes back from the worst catastrophes. It’s resiliency should be our mission as well.

    Great piece Boss

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I so agree. Thanks, Marc.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Good news for sure, John! Given a chance nature will find a way back.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes it is, Jo.Have a super weekend.

      Like

  21. That IS GOOD NEWS. Thank you, John.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it is. Thanks, Luanne.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. petespringerauthor · · Reply

    I think it’s remarkable how often nature takes care of itself when let alone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Too bad we can’t all take off for a year or so and give the lady some rest.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. We should not worry. Nature knows best how to recover best. Mother earth has also done it before humans had entered her surface. 😉 Best wishes, Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wish we could all leave for a while and let the planet rest.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. A very good idea. But what do to with the politicans? 😉 Enjoy your weekend, John! xx Michael

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Send them to Jupiter.

        Like

  24. This is a wonderful bit of good news, John.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Love this!
    Your JohnKu s right on.
    Mother will take care of things, if we allow her.

    IE. Clear cutting forests, as opposed to selective cutting.
    So much more we need to consider and do!
    OX OX OX OX – kiss

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OX OX OX OX Kiss Kiss

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Kiss 😘 OX OX OX OX 😘 Kiss

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes indeed. Kiss 💋OX OX OX OX 💋kiss💋kiss.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Uh huh! That does it!
        💋💋💋💋💋💋💋💋💋💋💋💋💋💋
        ox is at #5!
        Huh? Go figure? Red wine is #2.
        Sponge, red heart then 🐂.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. We need OX to grow 🐂🐂🐂🐂🐂🐂🐂🐂🐂🌹

        Like

  26. That must have been such a glorious site to see!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll bet. Thanks, Betsy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for sharing that, John. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  27. Wonderful story, an an equally wonderful JohnKu. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jennie.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome, John.

        Liked by 1 person

  28. Wow! That is amazing John that the reefs can regenerate themselves. All the wonders of nature! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is so wonderful and that they can adapt to warmer water.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The wonder of nature! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  29. And only the men still believe that they know everything! Great tidings, dear John! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The coral knows a few things too. Thanks, Dear Maria.

      Like

  30. Beautiful ❤️

    Like

      1. It’s my pleasure. Hope to have more interactions with you

        Liked by 1 person

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