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Sample records for barrier reef sponge

  1. Diversity of sponges (Porifera) from cryptic habitats on the Belize barrier reef near Carrie Bow Cay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rützler, Klaus; Piantoni, Carla; Van Soest, Rob W M; Díaz, M Cristina

    2014-01-01

    The Caribbean barrier reef near Carrie Bow Cay, Belize, has been a focus of Smithsonian Institution (Washington) reef and mangrove investigations since the early 1970s. Systematics and biology of sponges (Porifera) were addressed by several researchers but none of the studies dealt with cryptic habitats, such as the shaded undersides of coral rubble, reef crevices, and caves, although a high species diversity was recognized and samples were taken for future reference and study. This paper is the result of processing samples taken between 1972 and 2012. In all, 122 species were identified, 14 of them new (including one new genus). The new species are Tetralophophora (new genus) mesoamericana, Geodia cribrata, Placospongia caribica, Prosuberites carriebowensis, Timea diplasterina, Timea oxyasterina, Rhaphidhistia belizensis, Wigginsia curlewensis, Phorbas aurantiacus, Myrmekioderma laminatum, Niphates arenata, Siphonodictyon occultum, Xestospongia purpurea, and Aplysina sciophila. We determined that about 75 of the 122 cryptic sponge species studied (61%) are exclusive members of the sciophilic community, 47 (39 %) occur in both, light-exposed and shaded or dark habitats. Since we estimate the previously known sponge population of Carrie Bow reefs and mangroves at about 200 species, the cryptic fauna makes up 38 % of total diversity. PMID:24871152

  2. Reproductive biology of three sponge species of the genus Xestospongia (Porifera: Demospongiae: Petrosida) from the Great Barrier Reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fromont, J.; Bergquist, P. R.

    1994-05-01

    The reproductive development of three species of the Petrosida, Xestospongia bergquistia, X. exigua, and X. testudinaria, was monitored for four years on a fringing reef at Orpheus Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. All three species were oviparous and female reproductive activity began prior to males becoming active. X. bergquistia and X. testudinaria were gonochoric and broadcast eggs in spawning events that were synchronous within species. Egg development occurred over more than five months in X. bergquistia and X. testudinaria and two months in X. exigua. Spawning was during periods of warm temperature and occurred in October or November for X. bergquistia and X. testudinaria, and January or February for X. exigua. Lunar phase was implicated in timing of spawning of X. testudinaria. Diel timing of spawning in X. testudinaria and X. bergquistia was consistently a morning event.

  3. Sponge diversity and community composition in Irish bathyal coral reefs

    OpenAIRE

    Soest, van, A.J.; Cleary, D.F.R.; Kluijver, de, M.; Lavaleye, M.S.S.; Maier, C.; Duy, van, F.C.

    2007-01-01

    Sponge diversity and community composition in bathyal cold water coral reefs (CWRs) were examined at 500-900 m depth on the southeastern slopes of Rockall Bank and the northwestern slope of Porcupine Bank, to the west of Ireland in 2004 and 2005 with boxcores. A total of 104 boxcore samples, supplemented with 10 trawl/dredge attempts, were analyzed for the presence and abundance of sponges, using microscopical examination of (sub)samples of collected coral branches, and semi-quantitative macr...

  4. Indirect effects of overfishing on Caribbean reefs: sponges overgrow reef-building corals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tse-Lynn Loh

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Consumer-mediated indirect effects at the community level are difficult to demonstrate empirically. Here, we show an explicit indirect effect of overfishing on competition between sponges and reef-building corals from surveys of 69 sites across the Caribbean. Leveraging the large-scale, long-term removal of sponge predators, we selected overfished sites where intensive methods, primarily fish-trapping, have been employed for decades or more, and compared them to sites in remote or marine protected areas (MPAs with variable levels of enforcement. Sponge-eating fishes (angelfishes and parrotfishes were counted at each site, and the benthos surveyed, with coral colonies scored for interaction with sponges. Overfished sites had >3 fold more overgrowth of corals by sponges, and mean coral contact with sponges was 25.6%, compared with 12.0% at less-fished sites. Greater contact with corals by sponges at overfished sites was mostly by sponge species palatable to sponge predators. Palatable species have faster rates of growth or reproduction than defended sponge species, which instead make metabolically expensive chemical defenses. These results validate the top-down conceptual model of sponge community ecology for Caribbean reefs, as well as provide an unambiguous justification for MPAs to protect threatened reef-building corals. An unanticipated outcome of the benthic survey component of this study was that overfished sites had lower mean macroalgal cover (23.1% vs. 38.1% for less-fished sites, a result that is contrary to prevailing assumptions about seaweed control by herbivorous fishes. Because we did not quantify herbivores for this study, we interpret this result with caution, but suggest that additional large-scale studies comparing intensively overfished and MPA sites are warranted to examine the relative impacts of herbivorous fishes and urchins on Caribbean reefs.

  5. Indirect effects of overfishing on Caribbean reefs: sponges overgrow reef-building corals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loh, Tse-Lynn; McMurray, Steven E; Henkel, Timothy P; Vicente, Jan; Pawlik, Joseph R

    2015-01-01

    Consumer-mediated indirect effects at the community level are difficult to demonstrate empirically. Here, we show an explicit indirect effect of overfishing on competition between sponges and reef-building corals from surveys of 69 sites across the Caribbean. Leveraging the large-scale, long-term removal of sponge predators, we selected overfished sites where intensive methods, primarily fish-trapping, have been employed for decades or more, and compared them to sites in remote or marine protected areas (MPAs) with variable levels of enforcement. Sponge-eating fishes (angelfishes and parrotfishes) were counted at each site, and the benthos surveyed, with coral colonies scored for interaction with sponges. Overfished sites had >3 fold more overgrowth of corals by sponges, and mean coral contact with sponges was 25.6%, compared with 12.0% at less-fished sites. Greater contact with corals by sponges at overfished sites was mostly by sponge species palatable to sponge predators. Palatable species have faster rates of growth or reproduction than defended sponge species, which instead make metabolically expensive chemical defenses. These results validate the top-down conceptual model of sponge community ecology for Caribbean reefs, as well as provide an unambiguous justification for MPAs to protect threatened reef-building corals. An unanticipated outcome of the benthic survey component of this study was that overfished sites had lower mean macroalgal cover (23.1% vs. 38.1% for less-fished sites), a result that is contrary to prevailing assumptions about seaweed control by herbivorous fishes. Because we did not quantify herbivores for this study, we interpret this result with caution, but suggest that additional large-scale studies comparing intensively overfished and MPA sites are warranted to examine the relative impacts of herbivorous fishes and urchins on Caribbean reefs. PMID:25945305

  6. Sponge diversity and community composition in Irish bathyal coral reefs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Soest, van R.W.M; Cleary, D.F.R.; Kluijver, de M.J.; Lavaleye, M.S.S.; Maier, C.; Duy, van F.C.

    2007-01-01

    Sponge diversity and community composition in bathyal cold water coral reefs (CWRs) were examined at 500-900 m depth on the southeastern slopes of Rockall Bank and the northwestern slope of Porcupine Bank, to the west of Ireland in 2004 and 2005 with boxcores. A total of 104 boxcore samples, supplem

  7. Coral mucus fuels the sponge loop in warm- and cold-water coral reef ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rix, Laura; de Goeij, Jasper M; Mueller, Christina E; Struck, Ulrich; Middelburg, Jack J; van Duyl, Fleur C; Al-Horani, Fuad A; Wild, Christian; Naumann, Malik S; van Oevelen, Dick

    2016-01-01

    Shallow warm-water and deep-sea cold-water corals engineer the coral reef framework and fertilize reef communities by releasing coral mucus, a source of reef dissolved organic matter (DOM). By transforming DOM into particulate detritus, sponges play a key role in transferring the energy and nutrients in DOM to higher trophic levels on Caribbean reefs via the so-called sponge loop. Coral mucus may be a major DOM source for the sponge loop, but mucus uptake by sponges has not been demonstrated. Here we used laboratory stable isotope tracer experiments to show the transfer of coral mucus into the bulk tissue and phospholipid fatty acids of the warm-water sponge Mycale fistulifera and cold-water sponge Hymedesmia coriacea, demonstrating a direct trophic link between corals and reef sponges. Furthermore, 21-40% of the mucus carbon and 32-39% of the nitrogen assimilated by the sponges was subsequently released as detritus, confirming a sponge loop on Red Sea warm-water and north Atlantic cold-water coral reefs. The presence of a sponge loop in two vastly different reef environments suggests it is a ubiquitous feature of reef ecosystems contributing to the high biogeochemical cycling that may enable coral reefs to thrive in nutrient-limited (warm-water) and energy-limited (cold-water) environments. PMID:26740019

  8. Indirect effects of overfishing on Caribbean reefs: sponges overgrow reef-building corals

    OpenAIRE

    Tse-Lynn Loh; Steven E. McMurray; Henkel, Timothy P.; Jan Vicente; Joseph R Pawlik

    2015-01-01

    Consumer-mediated indirect effects at the community level are difficult to demonstrate empirically. Here, we show an explicit indirect effect of overfishing on competition between sponges and reef-building corals from surveys of 69 sites across the Caribbean. Leveraging the large-scale, long-term removal of sponge predators, we selected overfished sites where intensive methods, primarily fish-trapping, have been employed for decades or more, and compared them to sites in remote or marine prot...

  9. Coral mucus fuels the sponge loop in warm- and cold-water coral reef ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    Laura Rix; de Goeij, Jasper M.; Mueller, Christina E.; Ulrich Struck; Middelburg, Jack J.; van Duyl, Fleur C.; Al-Horani, Fuad A.; Christian Wild; Naumann, Malik S.; Dick van Oevelen

    2016-01-01

    Shallow warm-water and deep-sea cold-water corals engineer the coral reef framework and fertilize reef communities by releasing coral mucus, a source of reef dissolved organic matter (DOM). By transforming DOM into particulate detritus, sponges play a key role in transferring the energy and nutrients in DOM to higher trophic levels on Caribbean reefs via the so-called sponge loop. Coral mucus may be a major DOM source for the sponge loop, but mucus uptake by sponges has not been demonstrated....

  10. Recruitment Variability of Coral Reef Sessile Communities of the Far North Great Barrier Reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luter, Heidi M.; Duckworth, Alan R.; Wolff, Carsten W.; Evans-Illidge, Elizabeth; Whalan, Steve

    2016-01-01

    One of the key components in assessing marine sessile organism demography is determining recruitment patterns to benthic habitats. An analysis of serially deployed recruitment tiles across depth (6 and 12 m), seasons (summer and winter) and space (meters to kilometres) was used to quantify recruitment assemblage structure (abundance and percent cover) of corals, sponges, ascidians, algae and other sessile organisms from the northern sector of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). Polychaetes were most abundant on recruitment titles, reaching almost 50% of total recruitment, yet covered Coral recruitment was very low, with coral reefs. PMID:27049650

  11. Coral cavity sponges depend on reef-derived food resources: stable isotope and fatty acid constraints

    OpenAIRE

    van Duyl, F.C.; Moodley, L; Nieuwland, G.; IJzerloo, L. van; van Soest, R.W.M.; Houtekamer, M.; Meesters, E.H.; Middelburg, J. J.

    2011-01-01

    The diet of cavity sponges on the narrow fringing reefs of Cura double dagger ao, Caribbean was studied. The origin and resources of the bulk food of these sponges, i.e., dissolved organic matter (DOM), were identified using stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes and fatty acid biomarkers. We found that phytoplankton and its derived DOM from the adjacent open sea and from reef overlying water is not the main source of food for most of the sponges examined nor is bacterioplankton. Interestingly, ...

  12. Larval behaviours and their contribution to the distribution of the intertidal coral reef sponge Carteriospongia foliascens.

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    Muhammad Azmi Abdul Wahab

    Full Text Available Sponges (Phylum Porifera are an evolutionary and ecologically significant group; however information on processes influencing sponge population distributions is surprisingly limited. Carteriospongia foliascens is a common Indo-Pacific sponge, which has been reported from the intertidal to the mesophotic. Interestingly, the distribution of C. foliascens at inshore reefs of the Great Barrier Reef is restricted to the intertidal with no individuals evident in adjacent subtidal habitats. The abundance of C. foliascens and substrate availability was first quantified to investigate the influence of substrate limitation on adult distribution. Pre-settlement processes of larval spawning, swimming speeds, phototaxis, vertical migration, and settlement to intertidal and subtidal substrate cues were also quantified. Notably, suitable settlement substrate (coral rubble was not limiting in subtidal habitats. C. foliascens released up to 765 brooded larvae sponge(-1 day(-1 during the day, with larvae (80%±5.77 being negatively phototactic and migrating to the bottom within 40 minutes from release. Subsequently, larvae (up to 58.67%±2.91 migrated to the surface after the loss of the daylight cue (nightfall, and after 34 h post-release >98.67% (±0.67 of larvae had adopted a benthic habit regardless of light conditions. Intertidal and subtidal biofilms initiated similar settlement responses, inducing faster (as early 6 h post-release and more successful metamorphosis (>60% than unconditioned surfaces. C. foliascens has a high larval supply and larval behaviours that support recruitment to the subtidal. The absence of C. foliascens in subtidal habitats at inshore reefs is therefore proposed to be a potential consequence of post-settlement mortalities.

  13. Postglacial fringing-reef to barrier-reef conversion on Tahiti links Darwin's reef types

    OpenAIRE

    Blanchon, Paul; Granados-Corea, Marian; Abbey, Elizabeth; Braga, Juan C.; Braithwaite, Colin; Kennedy, David M.; Spencer, Tom; Webster, Jody M.; Woodroffe, Colin D.

    2014-01-01

    In 1842 Charles Darwin claimed that vertical growth on a subsiding foundation caused fringing reefs to transform into barrier reefs then atolls. Yet historically no transition between reef types has been discovered and they are widely considered to develop independently from antecedent foundations during glacio-eustatic sea-level rise. Here we reconstruct reef development from cores recovered by IODP Expedition 310 to Tahiti, and show that a fringing reef retreated upslope during postglacial ...

  14. Coral mucus fuels the sponge loop in warm- and cold-water coral reef ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rix, L.; de Goeij, J.M.; Mueller, C.E.; Struck, U.; Middelburg, J.J.; van Duyl, F.C.; Al-Horani, F.A.; Wild, C.; Naumann, M.S.; Van Oevelen, D.

    2016-01-01

    Shallow warm-water and deep-sea cold-water corals engineer the coral reef framework and fertilize reef communities by releasing coral mucus, a source of reef dissolved organic matter (DOM). By transforming DOM into particulate detritus, sponges play a key role in transferring the energy and nutrient

  15. Flushing of Bowden Reef lagoon, Great Barrier Reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolanski, Eric; King, Brian

    1990-12-01

    Field and numerical studies were undertaken in 1986 and 1987 of the water circulation around and over Bowden Reef, a 5-km long kidney-shaped coral reef lagoon system in the Great Barrier Reef. In windy conditions, the flushing of the lagoon was primarily due to the intrusion into the lagoon of topographically induced tidal eddies generated offshore. In calm weather, such eddies did not prevail and lagoon flushing was much slower. The observed currents at sites a few kilometres apart in inter-reefal waters, have a significant horizontal shear apparently due to the complex circulation in the reef matrix. Under such conditions, sensitivity tests demonstrate the importance of including this shear in the specification of open boundary conditions of numerical models of the hydrodynamics around reefs. Contrary to established practice, the water circulation around a coral reef should not be modelled by assuming reefs are hydrodynamically isolated from surrounding ones. Little improvement appears likely in the reliability of reef-scale numerical models until the inter-reefal shear can be reliably incorporated in such models.

  16. Postglacial Fringing-Reef to Barrier-Reef conversion on Tahiti links Darwin's reef types

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanchon, Paul; Granados-Corea, Marian; Abbey, Elizabeth; Braga, Juan C.; Braithwaite, Colin; Kennedy, David M.; Spencer, Tom; Webster, Jody M.; Woodroffe, Colin D.

    2014-01-01

    In 1842 Charles Darwin claimed that vertical growth on a subsiding foundation caused fringing reefs to transform into barrier reefs then atolls. Yet historically no transition between reef types has been discovered and they are widely considered to develop independently from antecedent foundations during glacio-eustatic sea-level rise. Here we reconstruct reef development from cores recovered by IODP Expedition 310 to Tahiti, and show that a fringing reef retreated upslope during postglacial sea-level rise and transformed into a barrier reef when it encountered a Pleistocene reef-flat platform. The reef became stranded on the platform edge, creating a lagoon that isolated it from coastal sediment and facilitated a switch to a faster-growing coral assemblage dominated by acroporids. The switch increased the reef's accretion rate, allowing it to keep pace with rising sea level, and transform into a barrier reef. This retreat mechanism not only links Darwin's reef types, but explains the re-occupation of reefs during Pleistocene glacio-eustacy. PMID:24845540

  17. Chemical defenses and resource trade-offs structure sponge communities on Caribbean coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loh, Tse-Lynn; Pawlik, Joseph R

    2014-03-18

    Ecological studies have rarely been performed at the community level across a large biogeographic region. Sponges are now the primary habitat-forming organisms on Caribbean coral reefs. Recent species-level investigations have demonstrated that predatory fishes (angelfishes and some parrotfishes) differentially graze sponges that lack chemical defenses, while co-occurring, palatable species heal, grow, reproduce, or recruit at faster rates than defended species. Our prediction, based on resource allocation theory, was that predator removal would result in a greater proportion of palatable species in the sponge community on overfished reefs. We tested this prediction by performing surveys of sponge and fish community composition on reefs having different levels of fishing intensity across the Caribbean. A total of 109 sponge species was recorded from 69 sites, with the 10 most common species comprising 51.0% of sponge cover (3.6-7.7% per species). Nonmetric multidimensional scaling indicated that the species composition of sponge communities depended more on the abundance of sponge-eating fishes than geographic location. Across all sites, multiple-regression analyses revealed that spongivore abundance explained 32.8% of the variation in the proportion of palatable sponges, but when data were limited to geographically adjacent locations with strongly contrasting levels of fishing pressure (Cayman Islands and Jamaica; Curaçao, Bonaire, and Martinique), the adjusted R(2) values were much higher (76.5% and 94.6%, respectively). Overfishing of Caribbean coral reefs, particularly by fish trapping, removes sponge predators and is likely to result in greater competition for space between faster-growing palatable sponges and endangered reef-building corals. PMID:24567392

  18. Coral cavity sponges depend on reef-derived food resources: stable isotope and fatty acid constraints

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Duyl, F.C.; Moodley, L.; Nieuwland, G.; Van IJzerloo, L.P.; Van Soest, R.W.M.; Houtekamer, M.J.; Meesters, E.H.W.G.; Middelburg, J.J.

    2011-01-01

    The diet of cavity sponges on the narrow fringing reefs of Curac¸ao, Caribbean was studied. The origin and resources of the bulk food of these sponges, i.e., dissolved organic matter (DOM), were identified using stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes and fatty acid biomarkers. We found that phytoplankt

  19. Coral cavity sponges depend on reef-derived food resources: stable isotope and fatty acid constraints

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Duyl, F.C.; Moodley, L.; Nieuwland, G.; van Ijzerloo, L.; van Soest, R.W.M.; Houtekamer, M.; Meesters, E.H.; Middelburg, J.J.

    2011-01-01

    The diet of cavity sponges on the narrow fringing reefs of Cura double dagger ao, Caribbean was studied. The origin and resources of the bulk food of these sponges, i.e., dissolved organic matter (DOM), were identified using stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes and fatty acid biomarkers. We found tha

  20. Coral cavity sponges depend on reef-derived food resources: stable isotope and fatty acid constraints

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    F.C. van Duyl; L. Moodley; G. Nieuwland; L. van IJzerloo; R.W.M. van Soest; M. Houtekamer; E.H. Meesters; J.J. Middelburg

    2011-01-01

    The diet of cavity sponges on the narrow fringing reefs of Curaçao, Caribbean was studied. The origin and resources of the bulk food of these sponges, i.e., dissolved organic matter (DOM), were identified using stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes and fatty acid biomarkers. We found that phytoplankto

  1. Cambrian Series 3 carbonate platform of Korea dominated by microbial-sponge reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong, Jongsun; Lee, Jeong-Hyun; Choh, Suk-Joo; Lee, Dong-Jin

    2016-07-01

    Metazoans have been considered as negligible components of Cambrian Series 3 and Furongian microbial-dominated reefs, in contrast to their presence in earlier Terreneuvian-Cambrian Series 2 microbial-archaeocyath reefs. However, recent discoveries of sponges in Cambrian Series 3-Furongian reefs of Australia, China, Iran, USA, and Korea have raised question regarding their contribution in terms of carbonate platform development, which have never been assessed. This study examines Cambrian Series 3 deposits of the Daegi Formation, Korea to elucidate this question. The 100-m-thick middle part of the Daegi Formation is dominated by boundstone facies, which occupies 45% of the study interval, as well as bioclastic wackestone to packstone, bioclastic grainstone, and ooid packstone to grainstone facies. The Daegi reefs are primarily thrombolitic in composition, with 90% (n = 26/29) of the reefs containing an average of 9% sponges in aerial percentage calculated from thin sections. Lithistid sponges composed of peloidal fabrics, some desma spicules, and spicule networks commonly occupy the interstitial space in microbial clusters, are encrusted by mesoclots and Epiphyton, and are surrounded by micrite. Subordinate non-lithistid demosponges occur within clusters of microbial elements. The middle Daegi Formation can be largely subdivided into shoal environment dominated by grainstone to packstone facies and shallow subtidal platform interior environment located behind shoal with wackestone to packstone facies. The microbial-sponge reefs mainly developed around platform interior as patch reefs. The current study indicates that metazoans in the form of lithistid and non-lithistid demosponges are nearly ubiquitously incorporated in Daegi reefs and contributed greatly to the formation of microbial-sponge reefs as well as carbonate platform during the time. Study of these microbial-sponge reefs and their distribution within the carbonate platform may help us to understand how

  2. CHAMBERED HEXACTINELLID SPONGES FROM UPPER TRIASSIC(NORIAN-RHAETIAN? REEFS OF NAYBAND FORMATION IN CENTRAL IRAN

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    B. SENOWBARI-DARYAN

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available This paper describes several chambered hexactinellid sponges, including Casearia iranica n.sp., C. vezvanensis n. sp., C. delijanensis n. sp., Esfahanella magna gen. n. n. sp., and E. parva gen. n. n. sp. from reefs of the Upper Triassic (Norian-Rhaetian Nayband Formation exposed south of the town of Delijan in central Iran. The relative abundance of chambered and non-chambered hexactinellid sponges at this locality - as compared to hypercalcified representatives - highlight the importance of this group of sponges in reef and reefal limestones in central and east Tethys (China, Caucasia, Iran. 

  3. Sponge communities on Caribbean coral reefs are structured by factors that are top-down, not bottom-up.

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    Joseph R Pawlik

    Full Text Available Caribbean coral reefs have been transformed in the past few decades with the demise of reef-building corals, and sponges are now the dominant habitat-forming organisms on most reefs. Competing hypotheses propose that sponge communities are controlled primarily by predatory fishes (top-down or by the availability of picoplankton to suspension-feeding sponges (bottom-up. We tested these hypotheses on Conch Reef, off Key Largo, Florida, by placing sponges inside and outside predator-excluding cages at sites with less and more planktonic food availability (15 m vs. 30 m depth. There was no evidence of a bottom-up effect on the growth of any of 5 sponge species, and 2 of 5 species grew more when caged at the shallow site with lower food abundance. There was, however, a strong effect of predation by fishes on sponge species that lacked chemical defenses. Sponges with chemical defenses grew slower than undefended species, demonstrating a resource trade-off between growth and the production of secondary metabolites. Surveys of the benthic community on Conch Reef similarly did not support a bottom-up effect, with higher sponge cover at the shallower depth. We conclude that the structure of sponge communities on Caribbean coral reefs is primarily top-down, and predict that removal of sponge predators by overfishing will shift communities toward faster-growing, undefended species that better compete for space with threatened reef-building corals.

  4. Holocene development of the Belize Barrier Reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gischler, Eberhard; Hudson, J. Harold

    2004-02-01

    Previously, knowledge of the Holocene development of the Belize Barrier Reef (BBR)—the largest reef system in the Atlantic Ocean—was limited to one location (Carrie Bow Cay). We present new data from 11 rotary drill cores taken at 9 locations and 36 radiometric ages that indicate that the BBR was established from >8.26 to 6.68 ky BP on Pleistocene reef limestones, presumably deposited during oxygen isotope stage 5. The nonsynchronous start of Holocene reef growth was a consequence of variation in elevation of antecedent topography, largely controlled by underlying NNE-trending structures. From north to south, Pleistocene elevation decreases along these structural trends, probably reflecting differential subsidence and variations in karst topography. Reef anatomy is characterized by three facies. In order of decreasing abundance, these facies are represented by corals (mainly Acropora palmata and members of the Montastraea annularis group), by unconsolidated sand and rubble, and by well-cemented coral grainstones-rudstones. Holocene reef accumulation rates average 3.25 m/ky. The degree of reef consolidation is negatively correlated with Holocene thicknesses, indicating that slowly growing reefs are better cemented than fast growing ones. We present a Holocene sea-level curve for Belize based on 36 dates from this study and 33 dates from our previous studies in the area.

  5. Relationships between host phylogeny, host type and bacterial community diversity in cold-water coral reef sponges.

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    Sandra Schöttner

    Full Text Available Cold-water coral reefs are known to locally enhance the diversity of deep-sea fauna as well as of microbes. Sponges are among the most diverse faunal groups in these ecosystems, and many of them host large abundances of microbes in their tissues. In this study, twelve sponge species from three cold-water coral reefs off Norway were investigated for the relationship between sponge phylogenetic classification (species and family level, as well as sponge type (high versus low microbial abundance, and the diversity of sponge-associated bacterial communities, taking also geographic location and water depth into account. Community analysis by Automated Ribosomal Intergenic Spacer Analysis (ARISA showed that as many as 345 (79% of the 437 different bacterial operational taxonomic units (OTUs detected in the dataset were shared between sponges and sediments, while only 70 (16% appeared purely sponge-associated. Furthermore, changes in bacterial community structure were significantly related to sponge species (63% of explained community variation, sponge family (52% or sponge type (30%, whereas mesoscale geographic distances and water depth showed comparatively small effects (<5% each. In addition, a highly significant, positive relationship between bacterial community dissimilarity and sponge phylogenetic distance was observed within the ancient family of the Geodiidae. Overall, the high diversity of sponges in cold-water coral reefs, combined with the observed sponge-related variation in bacterial community structure, support the idea that sponges represent heterogeneous, yet structured microbial habitats that contribute significantly to enhancing bacterial diversity in deep-sea ecosystems.

  6. Effects of Great Barrier Reef degradation on recreational reef-trip demand: a contingent behaviour approach

    OpenAIRE

    Kragt, Marit Ellen; Peter C. Roebeling; Ruijs, Arjan

    2009-01-01

    There is a growing concern that increased nutrient and sediment runoff from river catchments are a potential source of coral reef degradation. Degradation of reefs may affect the number of tourists visiting the reef and, consequently, the economic sectors that rely on healthy reefs for their income generation. This study uses a contingent behaviour approach to estimate the effect of reef degradation on demand for recreational dive and snorkel trips, for a case study of the Great Barrier Reef ...

  7. Barrier Methods of Birth Control: Spermicide, Condom, Sponge, Diaphragm, and Cervical Cap

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Management Education & Events Advocacy For Patients About ACOG Barrier Methods of Birth Control: Spermicide, Condom, Sponge, Diaphragm, ... and Cervical Cap FAQ022, May 2016 PDF Format Barrier Methods of Birth Control: Spermicide, Condom, Sponge, Diaphragm, ...

  8. Biological characterisation of Haliclona (?gellius) sp.: sponge and associated microorganisms.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sipkema, D.; Holmes, B.; Nichols, S.A.; Blanch, H.W.

    2009-01-01

    We have characterised the northern Pacific undescribed sponge Haliclona (?gellius) sp. based on rDNA of the sponge and its associated microorganisms. The sponge is closely related to Amphimedon queenslandica from the Great Barrier Reef as the near-complete 18S rDNA sequences of both sponges were ide

  9. Catchment management and the Great Barrier Reef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brodie, J; Christie, C; Devlin, M; Haynes, D; Morris, S; Ramsay, M; Waterhouse, J; Yorkston, H

    2001-01-01

    Pollution of coastal regions of the Great Barrier Reef is dominated by runoff from the adjacent catchment. Catchment land-use is dominated by beef grazing and cropping, largely sugarcane cultivation, with relatively minor urban development. Runoff of sediment, nutrients and pesticides is increasing and for nitrogen is now four times the natural amount discharged 150 years ago. Significant effects and potential threats are now evident on inshore reefs, seagrasses and marine animals. There is no effective legislation or processes in place to manage agricultural pollution. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act does not provide effective jurisdiction on the catchment. Queensland legislation relies on voluntary codes and there is no assessment of the effectiveness of the codes. Integrated catchment management strategies, also voluntary, provide some positive outcomes but are of limited success. Pollutant loads are predicted to continue to increase and it is unlikely that current management regimes will prevent this. New mechanisms to prevent continued degradation of inshore ecosystems of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area are urgently needed. PMID:11419129

  10. In four shallow and mesophotic tropical reef sponges from Guam the microbial community largely depends on host identity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinert, Georg; Taylor, Michael W; Deines, Peter; Simister, Rachel L; de Voogd, Nicole J; Hoggard, Michael; Schupp, Peter J

    2016-01-01

    Sponges (phylum Porifera) are important members of almost all aquatic ecosystems, and are renowned for hosting often dense and diverse microbial communities. While the specificity of the sponge microbiota seems to be closely related to host phylogeny, the environmental factors that could shape differences within local sponge-specific communities remain less understood. On tropical coral reefs, sponge habitats can span from shallow areas to deeper, mesophotic sites. These habitats differ in terms of environmental factors such as light, temperature, and food availability, as well as anthropogenic impact. In order to study the host specificity and potential influence of varying habitats on the sponge microbiota within a local area, four tropical reef sponges, Rhabdastrella globostellata, Callyspongia sp., Rhaphoxya sp., and Acanthella cavernosa, were collected from exposed shallow reef slopes and a deep reef drop-off. Based on 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing profiles, beta diversity analyses revealed that each sponge species possessed a specific microbiota that was significantly different to those of the other species and exhibited attributes that are characteristic of high- and/or low-microbial-abundance sponges. These findings emphasize the influence of host identity on the associated microbiota. Dominant sponge- and seawater-associated bacterial phyla were Chloroflexi, Cyanobacteria, and Proteobacteria. Comparison of individual sponge taxa and seawater samples between shallow and deep reef sites revealed no significant variation in alpha diversity estimates, while differences in microbial beta diversity (variation in community composition) were significant for Callyspongia sp. sponges and seawater samples. Overall, the sponge-associated microbiota is significantly shaped by host identity across all samples, while the effect of habitat differentiation seems to be less predominant in tropical reef sponges. PMID:27114882

  11. Boring sponges, an increasing threat for coral reefs affected by bleaching events

    OpenAIRE

    Carballo, José L; Bautista, Eric; Nava, Héctor; Cruz-Barraza, José A; Chávez, Jesus A

    2013-01-01

    Coral bleaching is a stress response of corals induced by a variety of factors, but these events have become more frequent and intense in response to recent climate-change-related temperature anomalies. We tested the hypothesis that coral reefs affected by bleaching events are currently heavily infested by boring sponges, which are playing a significant role in the destruction of their physical structure. Seventeen reefs that cover the entire distributional range of corals along the Mexican P...

  12. Thermal and sedimentation stress are unlikely causes of brown spot syndrome in the coral reef sponge, Ianthella basta.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heidi M Luter

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Marine diseases are being increasingly linked to anthropogenic factors including global and local stressors. On the Great Barrier Reef, up to 66% of the Ianthella basta population was recently found to be afflicted by a syndrome characterized by brown spot lesions and necrotic tissue. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Manipulative experiments were undertaken to ascertain the role of environmental stressors in this syndrome. Specifically, the effects of elevated temperature and sedimentation on sponge health and symbiont stability in I. basta were examined. Neither elevated temperature nor increased sedimentation were responsible for the brown spot lesions, but sponges exposed to 32°C developed substantial discoloration and deterioration of their tissues, resulting in death after eight days and a higher microbial diversity in those samples. No shifts in the microbial community of I. basta were observed across a latitudinal gradient or with increased sedimentation, with three previously described symbionts dominating the community of all sponges (Alphaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria and Thaumarchaea. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Results from this study highlight the stable microbial community of I. basta and indicate that thermal and sedimentation stress are not responsible for the brown spot lesions currently affecting this abundant and ecologically important sponge species.

  13. Exploring seascape genetics and kinship in the reef sponge Stylissa carteri in the Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Giles, Emily C.

    2015-06-01

    A main goal of population geneticists is to study patterns of gene flow to gain a better understanding of the population structure in a given organism. To date most efforts have been focused on studying gene flow at either broad scales to identify barriers to gene flow and isolation by distance or at fine spatial scales in order to gain inferences regarding reproduction and local dispersal. Few studies have measured connectivity at multiple spatial scales and have utilized novel tools to test the influence of both environment and geography on shaping gene flow in an organism. Here a seascape genetics approach was used to gain insight regarding geographic and ecological barriers to gene flow of a common reef sponge, Stylissa carteri in the Red Sea. Furthermore, a small-scale (<1 km) analysis was also conducted to infer reproductive potential in this organism. At the broad scale, we found that sponge connectivity is not structured by geography alone, but rather, genetic isolation in the southern Red Sea correlates strongly with environmental heterogeneity. At the scale of a 50-m transect, spatial autocorrelation analyses and estimates of full-siblings revealed that there is no deviation from random mating. However, at slightly larger scales (100–200 m) encompassing multiple transects at a given site, a greater proportion of full-siblings was found within sites versus among sites in a given location suggesting that mating and/or dispersal are constrained to some extent at this spatial scale. This study adds to the growing body of literature suggesting that environmental and ecological variables play a major role in the genetic structure of marine invertebrate populations.

  14. Novel polymorphic microsatellite markers developed for a common reef sponge, Stylissa carteri

    KAUST Repository

    Giles, E.C.

    2013-04-04

    Despite the ubiquitous role sponges play in reef ecosystem dynamics, little is known about population-level connectivity in these organisms. The general field of population genetics in sponges remains in its infancy. To date, microsatellite markers have only been developed for few sponge species and no sponge population genetics studies using microsatellites have been conducted in the Red Sea. Here, with the use of next-generation sequencing, we characterize 12 novel polymorphic loci for the common reef sponge, Stylissa carteri. The number of alleles per loci ranged between three and eight. Observed heterozygosity frequencies (Ho) ranged from 0.125 to 0.870, whereas expected (He) heterozygosity frequencies ranged from 0.119 to 0.812. Only one locus showed consistent deviations from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (HWE) in both populations and two loci consistently showed the possible presence of null alleles. No significant linkage disequilibrium was detected for any pairs of loci. These microsatellites will be of use for numerous ecological studies focused on this common and abundant sponge. 2013 The Author(s).

  15. Stochastic dynamics of a warmer Great Barrier Reef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, Jennifer K; Spencer, Matthew; Bruno, John F

    2015-07-01

    Pressure on natural communities from human activities continues to increase. Even unique ecosystems like the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), that until recently were considered near-pristine and well-protected, are showing signs of rapid degradation. We collated recent (1996-2006) spatiotemporal relationships between benthic community composition on the GBR and environmental variables (ocean temperature and local threats resulting from human activity). We built multivariate models of the effects of these variables on short-term dynamics, and developed an analytical approach to study their long-term consequences. We used this approach to study the effects of ocean warming under different levels of local threat. Observed short-term changes in benthic community structure (e.g., declining coral cover) were associated with ocean temperature (warming) and local threats. Our model projected that, in the long-term, coral cover of less than 10% was not implausible. With increasing temperature and/or local threats, corals were initially replaced by sponges, gorgonians, and other taxa, with an eventual moderately high probability of domination (> 50%) by macroalgae when temperature increase was greatest (e.g., 3.5 degrees C of warming). Our approach to modeling community dynamics, based on multivariate statistical models, enabled us to project how environmental change (and thus local and international policy decisions) will influence the future state of coral reefs. The same approach could be applied to other systems for which time series of ecological and environmental variables are available. PMID:26378303

  16. Framework of barrier reefs threatened by ocean acidification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Comeau, Steeve; Lantz, Coulson A; Edmunds, Peter J; Carpenter, Robert C

    2016-03-01

    To date, studies of ocean acidification (OA) on coral reefs have focused on organisms rather than communities, and the few community effects that have been addressed have focused on shallow back reef habitats. The effects of OA on outer barrier reefs, which are the most striking of coral reef habitats and are functionally and physically different from back reefs, are unknown. Using 5-m long outdoor flumes to create treatment conditions, we constructed coral reef communities comprised of calcified algae, corals, and reef pavement that were assembled to match the community structure at 17 m depth on the outer barrier reef of Moorea, French Polynesia. Communities were maintained under ambient and 1200 μatm pCO2 for 7 weeks, and net calcification rates were measured at different flow speeds. Community net calcification was significantly affected by OA, especially at night when net calcification was depressed ~78% compared to ambient pCO2 . Flow speed (2-14 cm s(-1) ) enhanced net calcification only at night under elevated pCO2 . Reef pavement also was affected by OA, with dissolution ~86% higher under elevated pCO2 compared to ambient pCO2 . These results suggest that net accretion of outer barrier reef communities will decline under OA conditions predicted within the next 100 years, largely because of increased dissolution of reef pavement. Such extensive dissolution poses a threat to the carbonate foundation of barrier reef communities. PMID:26154126

  17. Clionid sponge surveys on the Florida Reef Tract suggest land-based nutrient inputs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bioerosion by Cliona delitrix and Cliona lampa was assessed at 43 sites along the Florida Reef Tract, USA, in the summer of 2001. Sponge abundances were estimated using rapid visual assessment. Tissue samples of sponges were taken for analysis of δ 15N. Comparison samples were taken from Belize. Annual trends in sponge abundance were estimated from archived videos covering the period from 1996 to 2001. Sites with the greatest boring sponge size and cover were in the Backcountry and Lower Keys, where total nitrogen, ammonium, and δ 15N levels were highest. The sites with the largest relative increase of C. delitrix and C. lampa over the 5 year period were in the Upper Keys, where the greatest relative decline in stony coral cover has occurred. Florida sponge δ 15N values were 5.2(±0.1)%, suggesting the influence of human waste; in comparison, offshore Belize samples were 2.1(±0.1)%. These results suggest sewage contamination of the Florida Reef Tract, shifting the carbonate balance from construction to destruction

  18. Surface alkaline phosphatase activities of macroalgae on coral reefs of the central Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaffelke, B.

    2001-05-01

    Inshore reefs of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) are subject to episodic nutrient supply, mainly by flood events, whereas midshelf reefs have a more consistent low nutrient availability. Alkaline phosphatase activity (APA) enables macroalgae to increase their phosphorus (P) supply by using organic P. APA was high (~4.0 to 15.5 µmol PO4 3- g DW-1 h-1) in species colonising predominantly inshore reefs and low (human activity, which currently is a global problem.

  19. [Sponges (porifera) distribution along a depth gradient in a coral reef, Parque Nacional San Esteban, Carabobo, Venezuela].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Núñez Flores, Mónica; Rodríguez-Quintal, José Gregorio; Cristina Díaz, María

    2010-10-01

    Sponges constitute one of the most diverse and abundant animal groups in the marine tropical benthos especially in coral reefs, though poorly studied to species level. The aim of this study is to characterize the sponge community along a depth gradient at Isla Larga (Parque Nacional San Esteban, Venezuela) fringe reef. Net and total sedimentation, roughness index, sponge species richness, density and proportion of the bottom covered by sponges, were evaluated at seven depths (1, 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18 m), 17 species were identified grouped in 10 demosponges families. The highest densities and coverage corresponded to 6 m of depth (6.03ind/m2; 11%), that coincides with the lowest net sedimentation and highest substrate heterogeneity. Most abundant species were Desmapsamma anchorata, Amphimedon erina and Scopalina rueztleri. Principal component analysis divided this community in three zones according to depth. The shallow zone of the reef (1 and 3 m), where wave force and high irradiance exert a constant stress sponges, shows the lowest density and coverage by sponges. In contrast, medium depth (6, 9 y 12 m) and deep zone (15 y 18 m) with lower light and sedimentation levels seem to enhance sponge growth and survival that are reflected on the higher densities and coverage of sponges. PMID:21302530

  20. Perilous proximity: Does the Janzen-Connell hypothesis explain the distribution of giant barrel sponges on a Florida coral reef?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deignan, Lindsey K.; Pawlik, Joseph R.

    2015-06-01

    One popular concept used to explain the high biodiversity of some ecosystems is the Janzen-Connell hypothesis, which states that the distribution of conspecifics is controlled by species-specific pathogens or predators that are attracted to adults or to their reproductive output. The distribution of the affected species would then display a distinct pattern, with survivorship increasing at greater distance from the conspecific adult (negative density dependence), leaving a vacant area around the adult where other species can survive. The giant barrel sponge, Xestospongia muta, is an abundant and long-lived sponge on Caribbean coral reefs that is actively grazed by sponge-eating fishes and is susceptible to disease. We tested the Janzen-Connell hypothesis on barrel sponges on Conch Reef, Florida, by examining their distribution as a function of size using spatial point pattern analyses. Clark and Evans tests and a series of Ripley's K function analyses revealed no consistent distribution pattern, with most analyses resulting in a random pattern of sponge distribution. While predation by sponge-eating fishes has recently been discovered to structure sponge communities on reefs across the Caribbean, these top-down effects do not translate to spatial distributions of X. muta that support Janzen-Connell predictions.

  1. Coral reef community composition in the context of disturbance history on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, Nicholas A J; Chong-Seng, Karen M; Huchery, Cindy; Januchowski-Hartley, Fraser A; Nash, Kirsty L

    2014-01-01

    Much research on coral reefs has documented differential declines in coral and associated organisms. In order to contextualise this general degradation, research on community composition is necessary in the context of varied disturbance histories and the biological processes and physical features thought to retard or promote recovery. We conducted a spatial assessment of coral reef communities across five reefs of the central Great Barrier Reef, Australia, with known disturbance histories, and assessed patterns of coral cover and community composition related to a range of other variables thought to be important for reef dynamics. Two of the reefs had not been extensively disturbed for at least 15 years prior to the surveys. Three of the reefs had been severely impacted by crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks and coral bleaching approximately a decade before the surveys, from which only one of them was showing signs of recovery based on independent surveys. We incorporated wave exposure (sheltered and exposed) and reef zone (slope, crest and flat) into our design, providing a comprehensive assessment of the spatial patterns in community composition on these reefs. Categorising corals into life history groupings, we document major coral community differences in the unrecovered reefs, compared to the composition and covers found on the undisturbed reefs. The recovered reef, despite having similar coral cover, had a different community composition from the undisturbed reefs, which may indicate slow successional processes, or a different natural community dominance pattern due to hydrology and other oceanographic factors. The variables that best correlated with patterns in the coral community among sites included the density of juvenile corals, herbivore fish biomass, fish species richness and the cover of macroalgae. Given increasing impacts to the Great Barrier Reef, efforts to mitigate local stressors will be imperative to encouraging coral communities to persist into

  2. Coral reef community composition in the context of disturbance history on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas A J Graham

    Full Text Available Much research on coral reefs has documented differential declines in coral and associated organisms. In order to contextualise this general degradation, research on community composition is necessary in the context of varied disturbance histories and the biological processes and physical features thought to retard or promote recovery. We conducted a spatial assessment of coral reef communities across five reefs of the central Great Barrier Reef, Australia, with known disturbance histories, and assessed patterns of coral cover and community composition related to a range of other variables thought to be important for reef dynamics. Two of the reefs had not been extensively disturbed for at least 15 years prior to the surveys. Three of the reefs had been severely impacted by crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks and coral bleaching approximately a decade before the surveys, from which only one of them was showing signs of recovery based on independent surveys. We incorporated wave exposure (sheltered and exposed and reef zone (slope, crest and flat into our design, providing a comprehensive assessment of the spatial patterns in community composition on these reefs. Categorising corals into life history groupings, we document major coral community differences in the unrecovered reefs, compared to the composition and covers found on the undisturbed reefs. The recovered reef, despite having similar coral cover, had a different community composition from the undisturbed reefs, which may indicate slow successional processes, or a different natural community dominance pattern due to hydrology and other oceanographic factors. The variables that best correlated with patterns in the coral community among sites included the density of juvenile corals, herbivore fish biomass, fish species richness and the cover of macroalgae. Given increasing impacts to the Great Barrier Reef, efforts to mitigate local stressors will be imperative to encouraging coral

  3. Effects of Great Barrier Reef Degradation on Recreational Demand: A Contingent Behaviour Approach

    OpenAIRE

    Peter C. Roebeling; M.E. Kragt; Ruijs, A.

    2006-01-01

    Agricultural run-off from the Great Barrier Reef catchment area may cause degradation of coral reefs, affecting the tourism sector that relies on healthy reefs for its income generation. A Contingent Behaviour approach is used to determine the effect of reef degradation on demand for recreational dive and snorkel trips, for a case study of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) in Australia. We assessed how reef degradation affects GBR tourism and to what extent reef-trip demand depends on the visitors...

  4. Climate change and the Great Barrier Reef

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Full text: Full text: Climate change is now recognised as the greatest long-term threat to the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). Managers face a future in which the impacts of climate change on tropical marine ecosystems are becoming increasingly frequent and severe. Further degradation is inevitable as the climate continues to change but the extent of the decline will depend on the rate and magnitude of climate change and the resilience of the ecosystem. Changes to the ecosystem have implications for the industries and regional communities that depend on the GBR. Climate projections for the GBR region include increasing air and sea temperatures, ocean acidification, nutrient enrichment (via changes in rainfall), altered light levels, more extreme weather events, changes to ocean circulation and sea level rise. Impacts have already been observed, with severe coral bleaching events in 1998 and 2002, and mass mortalities of seabirds linked to anomalously warm summer conditions. Climate change also poses significant threats to the industries and communities that depend on the GBR ecosystem, both directly and indirectly through loss of natural resources; industries such as recreational and commercial fishing, and tourism, which contributes to a regional tourism industry worth $6.1 billion (Access Economics 2005). A vulnerability assessment undertaken by leading experts in climate and marine science identified climate sensitivities for GBR species, habitats, key processes, GBR industries and communities (Johnson and Marshall 2007). This information has been used to develop a Climate Change Action Plan for the GBR. The Action Plan is a five-year program aimed at facilitating targeted science, building a resilient ecosystem, assisting adaptation of industries and communities, and reducing climate footprints. The Action Plan identifies strategies to review current management arrangements and raise awareness of the issue in order to work towards a resilient ecosystem. Integral to

  5. Effects of a hurricane on survival and orientation of large erect coral reef sponges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wulff, J. L.

    1995-02-01

    In October 1988, Hurricane Joan struck reefs in the San Blas Island, Panama, where hurricanes had never been recorded. Effects on large erect sponges were dramatic. For several years before the hurricane, the three most common sponges had been studied, providing pre-storm data on population structure and dynamics. Nearly half the individuals and biomass of three species were lost in the storm. The species were not affected in the same way, even though they are all of erect branching growth forms. Iotrochota birotulata lost significantly more individuals chan Amphimedon rubens (57.6% vs 42.9%), which lost significantly more individuals than Aplysina fulva (31.6%). Patterns of biomass loss were very different, with both Iotrochota and Aplysina suffering losses of about 50%, but Amphimedon losing only 4.9%. Patterns of loss appear to be related to differences between species in the relative proportions of spicules (siliceous) and spongin (protein) in skeletal fibers and by differences in the speed and success rate of fragment reattachment. The incidence of toppling due to base failure varied among the six most common large erect sponge species, with significantly less toppling of the two species with skeletons composed solely of spongin. Clones of Iotrochota birotulata characterized by harrow branches suffered disproportionately greater losses than clones with more robust branches. The abundance of very small sponges, possibly developed from sexually produced larvae, was an order of magnitude higher after the storm than before.

  6. Bacterial Diversity Associated with Cinachyra cavernosa and Haliclona pigmentifera, Cohabiting Sponges in the Coral Reef Ecosystem of Gulf of Mannar, Southeast Coast of India.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C Jasmin

    Full Text Available Sponges are abundant, diverse and functionally important organisms of coral reef ecosystems. Sponge-associated microorganisms have been receiving greater attention because of their significant contribution to sponge biomass, biogeochemical cycles and biotechnological potentials. However, our understanding of the sponge microbiome is limited to a few species of sponges from restricted geographical locations. Here, we report for the first time the bacterial diversity of two cohabiting sponges, viz. Cinachyra cavernosa and Haliclona pigmentifera, as well as that in the ambient water from the coral reef ecosystems of the Gulf of Mannar, located along the southeast coast of India. Two hundred and fifty two clones in the 16S rRNA gene library of these sponges were grouped into eight distinct phyla, of which four belonged to the core group that are associated only with sponges. Phylogenetic analysis of the core bacteria showed close affinity to other sponge-associated bacteria from different geographical locations. γ-Proteobacteria, Chloroflexi, Planctomycetes and Deferribacter were the core groups in C. cavernosa while β and δ-Proteobacteria performed this role in H. pigmentifera. We observed greater OTU diversity for C. cavernosa (Hǀ 2.07 compared to H. pigmentifera (Hǀ 1.97. UniFrac analysis confirmed the difference in bacterial diversity of the two sponge species and also between the sponges and the reef water (p<0.001. The results of our study restate the existence of a host driven force in shaping the sponge microbiome.

  7. Currents Along the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, Western Caribbean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armstrong, B. N.

    2004-12-01

    To characterize currents and the extent to which they are influenced by winds, Interocean S4 electromagnetic current meter data were analyzed from three locations between Lighthouse Reef (17.4441º N) and Sapodilla Cays (16.1509º N). A better understanding of these currents is important to local fishing efforts, ecotourists and SCUBA divers through its value to conservation efforts with respect to connectivity and repopulation of the reef. The currents were related to regional COAMPS_CENTAM modeled wind data to determine the extent to which winds drive the near reef currents. Harmonic analysis of the currents was also conducted to determine the influence of tidal cycles. This study will test the extent to which:(i) currents seaward of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef extending from Lighthouse Reef to Sapodilla Cays are wind driven, (ii) tidally influenced and (iii) coherent.

  8. Distribution and covering percentage of sponge (Porifera in different coral reef condition and depth in Barranglompo Island, South Sulawesi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    SUHARYANTO

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available In 1996, four specieses of sponge namely Auletta sp., Callyspongia pseudoreticulata, Callyspongia sp., and Halichondria sp. have been potentially identified as bacteriside for fishery commodities. Nevertheless, information on sponge distribution, its covering percentage, and its habitate are still very little. Observation on distribution and abundance of sponge was conducted in the Southeastern and the Northwestern part of Barranglompo Island, South Sulawesi, using scuba diving set and under water writting tools. At first, coral reef condition in 3 and 10 m depths up to 100 m length of shore line were observed in both stations, using “lifeform method”. Then distribution and covering percentage of sponge, biotic and abiotic factor in 3, 6, 9, and 12 m depths in both stations were examined using “square transect method”. The result showed that different coral reef condition qualitatively causes different of sponge species distribution, but quantitatively not significantly different (P>0,05 on its covering percentage. It was also found that generally sponge grows better at the dead coral where no other biotic organism around.

  9. Biogeochemistry of modern Porifera and microbialites from Lizard Island (Great Barrier Reef, Australia) and fossil analogues

    OpenAIRE

    Thiel, Volker; Reitner, Joachim; Michaelis, Walter

    1996-01-01

    Organic geochemical techniques were applied to study the lipid conte nt of living reef organisms and rock sampies trom different carbonate facies. The characterization of individual organic compounds ("biomarkers") yields information on the biology and paleontology of microbially derived carbonate rocks, sponges and sponge-microbiota communities on a molecular level.

  10. Predicting the location and spatial extent of submerged coral reef habitat in the Great Barrier Reef world heritage area, Australia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tom Bridge

    Full Text Available AIM: Coral reef communities occurring in deeper waters have received little research effort compared to their shallow-water counterparts, and even such basic information as their location and extent are currently unknown throughout most of the world. Using the Great Barrier Reef as a case study, habitat suitability modelling is used to predict the distribution of deep-water coral reef communities on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. We test the effectiveness of a range of geophysical and environmental variables for predicting the location of deep-water coral reef communities on the Great Barrier Reef. LOCATION: Great Barrier Reef, Australia. METHODS: Maximum entropy modelling is used to identify the spatial extent of two broad communities of habitat-forming megabenthos phototrophs and heterotrophs. Models were generated using combinations of geophysical substrate properties derived from multibeam bathymetry and environmental data derived from Bio-ORACLE, combined with georeferenced occurrence records of mesophotic coral communities from autonomous underwater vehicle, remotely operated vehicle and SCUBA surveys. Model results are used to estimate the total amount of mesophotic coral reef habitat on the GBR. RESULTS: Our models predict extensive but previously undocumented coral communities occurring both along the continental shelf-edge of the Great Barrier Reef and also on submerged reefs inside the lagoon. Habitat suitability for phototrophs is highest on submerged reefs along the outer-shelf and the deeper flanks of emergent reefs inside the GBR lagoon, while suitability for heterotrophs is highest in the deep waters along the shelf-edge. Models using only geophysical variables consistently outperformed models incorporating environmental data for both phototrophs and heterotrophs. MAIN CONCLUSION: Extensive submerged coral reef communities that are currently undocumented are likely to occur throughout the Great Barrier Reef. High

  11. The large-scale influence of the Great Barrier Reef matrix on wave attenuation

    OpenAIRE

    Gallop, Shari L.; Young, Ian R.; Ranasinghe, Roshanka; Durrant, Tom H.; Haigh, Ivan D.

    2014-01-01

    Offshore reef systems consist of individual reefs, with spaces in between, which together constitute the reef matrix. This is the first comprehensive, large-scale study, of the influence of an offshore reef system on wave climate and wave transmission. The focus was on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), Australia, utilizing a 16-yr record of wave height from seven satellite altimeters. Within the GBR matrix, the wave climate is not strongly dependent on reef matrix submergence. This suggests that ...

  12. An observational heat budget analysis of a coral reef, Heron Reef, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacKellar, Mellissa C.; McGowan, Hamish A.; Phinn, Stuart R.

    2013-03-01

    Measurements of the surface energy balance, the structure and evolution of the convective atmospheric reef layer (CARL), and local meteorology and hydrodynamics were made during June 2009 and February 2010 at Heron Reef, Australia, to establish the relative partitioning of heating within the water and atmosphere. Horizontal advection was shown to moderate temperature in the CARL and the water, having a cooling influence on the atmosphere, and providing an additional source or sink of energy to the water overlying the reef, depending on tide. The key driver of atmospheric heating was surface sensible heat flux, while heating of the reef water was primarily due to solar radiation, and thermal conduction and convection from the reef substrate. Heating and cooling processes were more defined during winter due to higher sensible and latent heat fluxes and strong diurnal evolution of the CARL. Sudden increases in water temperature were associated with inundation of warmer oceanic water during the flood tide, particularly in winter due to enhanced nocturnal cooling of water overlying the reef. Similarly, cooling of the water over the reef occurred during the ebb tide as heat was transported off the reef to the surrounding ocean. While these results are the first to shed light on the heat budget of a coral reef and overlying CARL, longer-term, systematic measurements of reef thermal budgets are needed under a range of meteorological and hydrodynamic conditions, and across various reef types to elucidate the influence on larger-scale oceanic and atmospheric processes. This is essential for understanding the role of coral reefs in tropical and sub-tropical meteorology; the physical processes that take place during coral bleaching events, and coral and algal community dynamics on coral reefs.

  13. Herbicides: A new threat to the Great Barrier Reef

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The runoff of pesticides (insecticides, herbicides and fungicides) from agricultural lands is a key concern for the health of the iconic Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Relatively low levels of herbicide residues can reduce the productivity of marine plants and corals. However, the risk of these residues to Great Barrier Reef ecosystems has been poorly quantified due to a lack of large-scale datasets. Here we present results of a study tracing pesticide residues from rivers and creeks in three catchment regions to the adjacent marine environment. Several pesticides (mainly herbicides) were detected in both freshwater and coastal marine waters and were attributed to specific land uses in the catchment. Elevated herbicide concentrations were particularly associated with sugar cane cultivation in the adjacent catchment. We demonstrate that herbicides reach the Great Barrier Reef lagoon and may disturb sensitive marine ecosystems already affected by other pressures such as climate change. - Herbicide residues have been detected in Great Barrier Reef catchment waterways and river water plumes which may affect marine ecosystems.

  14. Photochemical activity in waters of the Great Barrier Reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szymczak, R.; Waite, T. D.

    1991-12-01

    Photochemical activity in waters of the Great Barrier Reef was investigated through studies on the vertical, horizontal and temporal distribution of hydrogen peroxide and factors influencing its generation and decay processes. Surface hydrogen peroxide concentrations varied from 15 to 110 nM and generally decreased with depth, though a number of anomalies were detected. Photochemical activity decreased with increasing distance from the coast reflecting the positive influence of terrestrial inputs to the hydrogen peroxide generation and decay processes. Increases in photochemical activity were observed in the proximity of coral reefs. Hydrogen peroxide concentrations in the region were influenced by wind-induced mixing processes, atmospheric inputs, anthropogenic activity and seasonal light regimes.

  15. Deep genetic divergences among Indo-Pacific populations of the coral reef sponge Leucetta chagosensis (Leucettidae: Founder effects, vicariance, or both?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Epp Laura S

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background An increasing number of studies demonstrate that genetic differentiation and speciation in the sea occur over much smaller spatial scales than previously appreciated given the wide distribution range of many morphologically defined coral reef invertebrate species and the presumed dispersal-enhancing qualities of ocean currents. However, knowledge about the processes that lead to population divergence and speciation is often lacking despite being essential for the understanding, conservation, and management of marine biodiversity. Sponges, a highly diverse, ecologically and economically important reef-invertebrate taxon, exhibit spatial trends in the Indo-West Pacific that are not universally reflected in other marine phyla. So far, however, processes generating those unexpected patterns are not understood. Results We unraveled the phylogeographic structure of the widespread Indo-Pacific coral reef sponge Leucetta chagosensis across its known geographic range using two nuclear markers: the rDNA internal transcribed spacers (ITS 1&2 and a fragment of the 28S gene, as well as the second intron of the ATP synthetase beta subunit-gene (ATPSb-iII. This enabled the detection of several deeply divergent clades congruent over both loci, one containing specimens from the Indian Ocean (Red Sea and Maldives, another one from the Philippines, and two other large and substructured NW Pacific and SW Pacific clades with an area of overlap in the Great Barrier Reef/Coral Sea. Reciprocally monophyletic populations were observed from the Philippines, Red Sea, Maldives, Japan, Samoa, and Polynesia, demonstrating long-standing isolation. Populations along the South Equatorial Current in the south-western Pacific showed isolation-by-distance effects. Overall, the results pointed towards stepping-stone dispersal with some putative long-distance exchange, consistent with expectations from low dispersal capabilities. Conclusion We argue that both

  16. Oil spill prevention and response initiatives in the Great Barrier Reef

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The national and international interest in the marine environment, in particular the Great Barrier Reef has escalated at an exponential rate in the last decade and this trend is expected to continue. Australians are extremely conscious of the amenity and economic value of the Great Barrier Reef. There is a real potential to inflict enormous damage to the Great Barrier Reef and to the shipping industry should a major Oil Spill occur on the reef. A major catastrophic incident within the Great Barrier Reef would have extreme environmental, social and economic consequences. (Author)

  17. Cryptofauna of the epilithic algal matrix on an inshore coral reef, Great Barrier Reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kramer, M. J.; Bellwood, D. R.; Bellwood, O.

    2012-12-01

    Composed of a collection of algae, detritus, sediment and invertebrates, the epilithic algal matrix (EAM) is an abundant and ubiquitous feature of coral reefs. Despite its prevalence, there is a paucity of information regarding its associated invertebrate fauna. The cryptofaunal invertebrate community of the EAM was quantitatively investigated in Pioneer Bay on Orpheus Island, Great Barrier Reef. Using a vacuum collection method, a diversity of organisms representing 10 different phyla were identified. Crustacea dominated the samples, with harpacticoid copepods being particularly abundant (2025 ± 132 100 cm-2; mean density ± SE). The volume of coarse particulate matter in the EAM was strongly correlated with the abundance of harpacticoid copepods. The estimated biomass of harpacticoid copepods (0.48 ± 0.05 g m-2; wet weight) suggests that this group is likely to be important for reef trophodynamics and nutrient cycling.

  18. Exploring the hidden shallows: extensive reef development and resilience within the turbid nearshore Great Barrier Reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, Kyle; Perry, Chris; Smithers, Scott; Johnson, Jamie; Daniell, James

    2016-04-01

    Mean coral cover on Australia's Great Barrier Reef (GBR) has reportedly declined by over 15% during the last 30 years. Climate change events and outbreaks of coral disease have been major drivers of degradation, often exacerbating the stresses caused by localised human activities (e.g. elevated sediment and nutrient inputs). Here, however, in the first assessment of nearshore reef occurrence and ecology across meaningful spatial scales (15.5 sq km), we show that areas of the GBR shelf have exhibited strong intra-regional variability in coral resilience to declining water quality. Specifically, within the highly-turbid "mesophotic" nearshore (scale disturbance as their deep-water (>30 m) "mesophotic" equivalents, and also provide a basis from which to model future trajectories of reef growth within nearshore areas.

  19. Exploring the hidden shallows: extensive reef development and resilience within the turbid nearshore Great Barrier Reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, Kyle; Perry, Chris; Smithers, Scott; Johnson, Jamie; Daniell, James

    2016-04-01

    Mean coral cover on Australia's Great Barrier Reef (GBR) has reportedly declined by over 15% during the last 30 years. Climate change events and outbreaks of coral disease have been major drivers of degradation, often exacerbating the stresses caused by localised human activities (e.g. elevated sediment and nutrient inputs). Here, however, in the first assessment of nearshore reef occurrence and ecology across meaningful spatial scales (15.5 sq km), we show that areas of the GBR shelf have exhibited strong intra-regional variability in coral resilience to declining water quality. Specifically, within the highly-turbid "mesophotic" nearshore (30 m) "mesophotic" equivalents, and also provide a basis from which to model future trajectories of reef growth within nearshore areas.

  20. Radiocarbon ages from the northern Great Barrier Reef

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Results are reported from the 1973 Great Barrier Reef Expedition's radiocarbon dating programme with respect to all ages determined to date. Field and laboratory methods used are described and the reliability of the ages in terms of (i) the actual materials dated and (ii) the geomorphic, ecological or stratigraphic units from which the samples were obtained are assessed. Seventy-nine determinations based on 74 samples are reported. No interpretation of the results is attempted. (U.K.)

  1. The exposure of the Great Barrier Reef to ocean acidification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mongin, Mathieu; Baird, Mark E; Tilbrook, Bronte; Matear, Richard J; Lenton, Andrew; Herzfeld, Mike; Wild-Allen, Karen; Skerratt, Jenny; Margvelashvili, Nugzar; Robson, Barbara J; Duarte, Carlos M; Gustafsson, Malin S M; Ralph, Peter J; Steven, Andrew D L

    2016-01-01

    The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is founded on reef-building corals. Corals build their exoskeleton with aragonite, but ocean acidification is lowering the aragonite saturation state of seawater (Ωa). The downscaling of ocean acidification projections from global to GBR scales requires the set of regional drivers controlling Ωa to be resolved. Here we use a regional coupled circulation-biogeochemical model and observations to estimate the Ωa experienced by the 3,581 reefs of the GBR, and to apportion the contributions of the hydrological cycle, regional hydrodynamics and metabolism on Ωa variability. We find more detail, and a greater range (1.43), than previously compiled coarse maps of Ωa of the region (0.4), or in observations (1.0). Most of the variability in Ωa is due to processes upstream of the reef in question. As a result, future decline in Ωa is likely to be steeper on the GBR than currently projected by the IPCC assessment report. PMID:26907171

  2. The exposure of the Great Barrier Reef to ocean acidification

    KAUST Repository

    Mongin, Mathieu

    2016-02-23

    The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is founded on reef-building corals. Corals build their exoskeleton with aragonite, but ocean acidification is lowering the aragonite saturation state of seawater (Ωa). The downscaling of ocean acidification projections from global to GBR scales requires the set of regional drivers controlling Ωa to be resolved. Here we use a regional coupled circulation–biogeochemical model and observations to estimate the Ωa experienced by the 3,581 reefs of the GBR, and to apportion the contributions of the hydrological cycle, regional hydrodynamics and metabolism on Ωa variability. We find more detail, and a greater range (1.43), than previously compiled coarse maps of Ωa of the region (0.4), or in observations (1.0). Most of the variability in Ωa is due to processes upstream of the reef in question. As a result, future decline in Ωa is likely to be steeper on the GBR than currently projected by the IPCC assessment report.

  3. Reef sponges of the genus Agelas (Porifera: Demospongiae) from the Greater Caribbean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parra-Velandia, Fernando J; Zea, Sven; Van Soest, Rob W M

    2014-01-01

    The genus Agelas comprises a group of tropical and subtropical reef sponges that contains large, long-lived, often brightly colored and conspicuous species, distributed throughout the tropica l western Atlantic, temperate northern Atlantic (Mediterranean Sea), and western and central Indo-Pacific Realms. Among tropical sponge genera, Agelas is one with similar species richness in the Greater Caribbean in comparison to the Indo Pacific. The presence of verticillated acanthostyle spicules and a fibroreticulate skeleton of spongin fibres cored and/or echinated by spicules characterize this group. Taxonomic identification relies on a combination of characters, where external morphology and color play a key role, owing to the paucity of microscopical characters. Thus, there is still a great deal of taxonomic confusion, even for the more common species. We carried out a detailed revision of Agelas species throughout the Greater Caribbean area using classic taxonomic tools. Samples and observations covered Colombia, Belize, Jamaica, the Bahamas, Barbados, Curaçao and Venezuela, and included type material from major museum collections. According to our results, the genus Agelas in the Caribbean has at least thirteen valid species, viz. Agelas sceptrum (Lamarck, 1815); A. dispar Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864;  A. dilatata Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864; A. clathrodes (Schmidt, 1870);  A. cervicornis (Schmidt, 1870); A. conifera (Schmidt, 1870); A. schmidti Wilson, 1902;   A. tubulata Lehnert & van Soest, 1996; A. wiedenmayeri Alcolado, 1984;  A. citrina Gotera & Alcolado, 1987; A. sventres Lehnert & van Soest, 1996; A. repens Lehnert & van Soest, 1998; and A. cerebrum Assmann et al., 2001. We found that variation of microscopic characteristics like skeleton arrangement, number of verticills and their spines, and spicule length and width, can be used as taxonomic tools, but only in a thorough comparison with other species in the same sub-regional context. Thus, a

  4. Coral bleaching: one disturbance too many for near-shore reefs of the Great Barrier Reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, A. A.; Dolman, A. M.

    2010-09-01

    The dynamic nature of coral communities can make it difficult to judge whether a reef system is resilient to the current disturbance regime. To address this question of resilience for near-shore coral communities of the Great Barrier Reef (Australia) a data set consisting of 350 annual observations of benthic community change was compiled from existing monitoring data. These data spanned the period 1985-2007 and were derived from coral reefs within 20 km of the coast. During years without major disturbance events, cover increase of the Acroporidae was much faster than it was for other coral families; a median of 11% per annum compared to medians of less than 4% for other coral families. Conversely, Acroporidae were more severely affected by cyclones and bleaching events than most other families. A simulation model parameterised with these observations indicated that while recovery rates of hard corals were sufficient to compensate for impacts associated with cyclones and crown-of-thorns starfish, the advent of mass bleaching has lead to a significant change in the composition of the community and a rapid decline in hard coral cover. Furthermore, if bleaching events continue to occur with the same frequency and severity as in the recent past, the model predicts that the cover of Acroporidae will continue to decline. Although significant cover of live coral remains on near-shore reefs, and recovery is observed during inter-disturbance periods, it appears that this system will not be resilient to the recent disturbance regime over the long term. Conservation strategies for coral reefs should focus on both mitigating local factors that act synergistically to increase the susceptibility of Acroporidae to climate change while promoting initiatives that maximise the recovery potential from inevitable disturbances.

  5. Disturbance and the Dynamics of Coral Cover on the Great Barrier Reef (1995–2009)

    OpenAIRE

    Kate Osborne; Dolman, Andrew M; Burgess, Scott C.; Johns, Kerryn A.

    2011-01-01

    Coral reef ecosystems worldwide are under pressure from chronic and acute stressors that threaten their continued existence. Most obvious among changes to reefs is loss of hard coral cover, but a precise multi-scale estimate of coral cover dynamics for the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is currently lacking. Monitoring data collected annually from fixed sites at 47 reefs across 1300 km of the GBR indicate that overall regional coral cover was stable (averaging 29% and ranging from 23% to 33% cover ...

  6. Nephtyidae (Annelida: Phyllodocida) of Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Anna; Wong, Eunice; Hutchings, Pat

    2015-01-01

    Seven species of the family Nephtyidae are recorded from Lizard Island, none previously reported from the Great Barrier Reef. Two species of Aglaophamus, four species of Micronephthys, one new and one previously unreported from Australia, and one species of Nephtys, were identified from samples collected during the Lizard Island Polychaete Workshop 2013, as well as from ecological studies undertaken during the 1970s and deposited in the Australian Museum marine invertebrate Collections. A dichotomous key to aid identification of these species newly reported from Lizard Island is provided. PMID:26624076

  7. Impact Of Coral Structures On Wave Directional Spreading Across A Shallow Reef Flat - Lizard Island, Northern Great Barrier Reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leon, J. X.; Baldock, T.; Callaghan, D. P.; Hoegh-guldberg, O.; Mumby, P.; Phinn, S. R.; Roelfsema, C. M.; Saunders, M. I.

    2013-12-01

    Coral reef hydrodynamics operate at several and overlapping spatial-temporal scales. Waves have the most important forcing function on shallow (stress, directly mixing water (temperature and nutrients) and transporting sediments, nutrients and plankton. Reef flats are very effective at dissipating wave energy and providing an important ecosystem service by protecting highly valued shorelines. The effectiveness of reef flats to dissipate wave energy is related to the extreme hydraulic roughness of the benthos and substrate composition. Hydraulic roughness is usually obtained empirically from frictional-dissipation calculations, as detailed field measurements of bottom roughness (e.g. chain-method or profile gauges) is a very labour and time-consuming task. In this study we measured the impact of coral structures on wave directional spreading. Field data was collected during October 2012 across a reef flat on Lizard Island, northern Great Barrier Reef. Wave surface levels were measured using an array of self-logging pressure sensors. A rapid in situ close-range photogrammetric method was used to create a high-resolution (0.5 cm) image mosaic and digital elevation model. Individual coral heads were extracted from these datasets using geo-morphometric and object-based image analysis techniques. Wave propagation was modelled using a modified version of the SWAN model which includes the measured coral structures in 2m by 1m cells across the reef. The approach followed a cylinder drag approach, neglecting skin friction and inertial components. Testing against field data included bed skin friction. Our results show, for the first time, how the variability of the reef benthos structures affects wave dissipation across a shallow reef flat. This has important implications globally for coral reefs, due to the large extent of their area occupied by reef flats, particularly, as global-scale degradation in coral reef health is causing a lowering of reef carbonate production that

  8. Sea level record obtained from submerged the Great Barrier Reef coral reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yokoyama, Y.; Esat, T. M.; Thompson, W. G.; Thomas, A. L.; Webster, J.; Miyairi, Y.; Matsuzaki, H.; Okuno, J.; Fallon, S.; Braga, J.; Humblet, M.; Iryu, Y.; Potts, D. C.

    2013-12-01

    The last glacial is an interesting time in climate history. The growth and decay of large northern hemisphere ice sheets acting in harmony with major changes in ocean circulation amplified climate variations and resulted in severe and rapid climate swings throughout this time. The variability is not limited to climate but includes rapid, large scale changes in sea level recorded by tropical corals (eg., Yokoyama and Esat, 2011 Oceanography). Research done in the last decade using corals provides a better picture of the climate system, though only a few samples older than 15 ka are available. The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 325 drilled 34 holes across 17 sites in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia to recover fossil coral reef deposits. We recovered reef materials from water depth to 126 m that ranged in age from 9,000 years to older than 30,000 years ago covering several paleoclimatologically important events, including the Last Glacial Maximum. Two transects separated more than 600 km apart show an identical sea-level history thereby verifying the reliability of the records. Radiometrically dated corals and coralline algae indicate periods of rapid sea-level fluctuation at this time, likely due to complex interactions between ocean currents and ice sheets of the North Atlantic.

  9. Barrier and Platform Reefs of the Vietnamese Coast of the South China Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuri Yakovlevich Latypov

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The composition and spatial distribution of the coral communities of the barrier reefs of Giang Bo, Ly Son island and the platform reef at Bach Long Vi Island were described in detail for the first time for Vietnamese waters. In common, more 260 species of corals and their accompanying species of macrobenthos were found. Acroporids, poritids, and mussids among the scleractinian corals dominated. Monospecific aggregations of Alcyonarian Sinularia and Lobophytum and the hydroid Millepora were rather numerous. Based on its geomorphological characteristics, coral species diversity and zonal distribution, the reefs of entire area are comparable with ribbon and platform reefs on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and to the barrier reefs of the Philippines and Indian Ocean.

  10. [Community structure of sponges (Porifera) in three reefs at Morrocoy National Park, Venezuela and its correspondence with some environmental variables].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romero, Marco A; Villamizar, Estrella; Malaver, Nora

    2013-09-01

    Sponges have an important ecological role in coral reef ecosystems. However, when compared to other benthic Phyla, it has been little researched. This research was focused in the variability of the community structure of sponges in three locations at Morrocoy National Park (Cayo Sombrero, Playa Mero and Punta Brava) exposed to different environmental conditions (transparency and currents intensity) and affected in different degree of severity by a mass mortality event in 1996. A total of 15 transects (10 m long and 1 m wide) were evaluated in three strata (between 3 and 15 m depth) in each site, where all the individuals were counted by species. Relative abundance by species, diversity and evenness were calculated. Locations showed differences respect turbidity, wave and current intensity. 27 species were found in Morrocoy; Cayo Sombrero (23), Playa Mero (18) and Punta Brava (15). Agelas sceptrum, Amphimedon erina and Niphates erecta were the most common in first location; Niphates erecta and Dysidea etheria in Playa Mero and Dysidea etheria, Niphates erecta and Amphimedon erina in Punta Brava. The species composition showed statistical differences between all three locations; Cayo Sombrero resulted the most diverse and even, followed by Playa Mero and Punta Brava. According to Sorensen Similarity Index results, Cayo Sombrero and Playa Mero were more similar, while Punta Brava resulted the most different. The variability in environmental conditions and the differential mass mortality effects of 1996 in all three reefs, were probably the main causes of the differences between their sponge communities. Nevertheless, we cannot conclude about the weight of these factors. PMID:24027920

  11. Prey Density Threshold and Tidal Influence on Reef Manta Ray Foraging at an Aggregation Site on the Great Barrier Reef.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Asia O Armstrong

    Full Text Available Large tropical and sub-tropical marine animals must meet their energetic requirements in a largely oligotrophic environment. Many planktivorous elasmobranchs, whose thermal ecologies prevent foraging in nutrient-rich polar waters, aggregate seasonally at predictable locations throughout tropical oceans where they are observed feeding. Here we investigate the foraging and oceanographic environment around Lady Elliot Island, a known aggregation site for reef manta rays Manta alfredi in the southern Great Barrier Reef. The foraging behaviour of reef manta rays was analysed in relation to zooplankton populations and local oceanography, and compared to long-term sighting records of reef manta rays from the dive operator on the island. Reef manta rays fed at Lady Elliot Island when zooplankton biomass and abundance were significantly higher than other times. The critical prey density threshold that triggered feeding was 11.2 mg m-3 while zooplankton size had no significant effect on feeding. The community composition and size structure of the zooplankton was similar when reef manta rays were feeding or not, with only the density of zooplankton changing. Higher zooplankton biomass was observed prior to low tide, and long-term (~5 years sighting data confirmed that more reef manta rays are also observed feeding during this tidal phase than other times. This is the first study to examine prey availability at an aggregation site for reef manta rays and it indicates that they feed in locations and at times of higher zooplankton biomass.

  12. Prey Density Threshold and Tidal Influence on Reef Manta Ray Foraging at an Aggregation Site on the Great Barrier Reef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armstrong, Asia O; Armstrong, Amelia J; Jaine, Fabrice R A; Couturier, Lydie I E; Fiora, Kym; Uribe-Palomino, Julian; Weeks, Scarla J; Townsend, Kathy A; Bennett, Mike B; Richardson, Anthony J

    2016-01-01

    Large tropical and sub-tropical marine animals must meet their energetic requirements in a largely oligotrophic environment. Many planktivorous elasmobranchs, whose thermal ecologies prevent foraging in nutrient-rich polar waters, aggregate seasonally at predictable locations throughout tropical oceans where they are observed feeding. Here we investigate the foraging and oceanographic environment around Lady Elliot Island, a known aggregation site for reef manta rays Manta alfredi in the southern Great Barrier Reef. The foraging behaviour of reef manta rays was analysed in relation to zooplankton populations and local oceanography, and compared to long-term sighting records of reef manta rays from the dive operator on the island. Reef manta rays fed at Lady Elliot Island when zooplankton biomass and abundance were significantly higher than other times. The critical prey density threshold that triggered feeding was 11.2 mg m-3 while zooplankton size had no significant effect on feeding. The community composition and size structure of the zooplankton was similar when reef manta rays were feeding or not, with only the density of zooplankton changing. Higher zooplankton biomass was observed prior to low tide, and long-term (~5 years) sighting data confirmed that more reef manta rays are also observed feeding during this tidal phase than other times. This is the first study to examine prey availability at an aggregation site for reef manta rays and it indicates that they feed in locations and at times of higher zooplankton biomass. PMID:27144343

  13. Prey Density Threshold and Tidal Influence on Reef Manta Ray Foraging at an Aggregation Site on the Great Barrier Reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armstrong, Asia O.; Armstrong, Amelia J.; Jaine, Fabrice R. A.; Couturier, Lydie I. E.; Fiora, Kym; Uribe-Palomino, Julian; Weeks, Scarla J.; Townsend, Kathy A.; Bennett, Mike B.; Richardson, Anthony J.

    2016-01-01

    Large tropical and sub-tropical marine animals must meet their energetic requirements in a largely oligotrophic environment. Many planktivorous elasmobranchs, whose thermal ecologies prevent foraging in nutrient-rich polar waters, aggregate seasonally at predictable locations throughout tropical oceans where they are observed feeding. Here we investigate the foraging and oceanographic environment around Lady Elliot Island, a known aggregation site for reef manta rays Manta alfredi in the southern Great Barrier Reef. The foraging behaviour of reef manta rays was analysed in relation to zooplankton populations and local oceanography, and compared to long-term sighting records of reef manta rays from the dive operator on the island. Reef manta rays fed at Lady Elliot Island when zooplankton biomass and abundance were significantly higher than other times. The critical prey density threshold that triggered feeding was 11.2 mg m-3 while zooplankton size had no significant effect on feeding. The community composition and size structure of the zooplankton was similar when reef manta rays were feeding or not, with only the density of zooplankton changing. Higher zooplankton biomass was observed prior to low tide, and long-term (~5 years) sighting data confirmed that more reef manta rays are also observed feeding during this tidal phase than other times. This is the first study to examine prey availability at an aggregation site for reef manta rays and it indicates that they feed in locations and at times of higher zooplankton biomass. PMID:27144343

  14. Low genetic structuring among Pericharax heteroraphis (Porifera: Calcarea) populations from the Great Barrier Reef (Australia), revealed by analysis of nrDNA and nuclear intron sequences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bentlage, B.; Wörheide, G.

    2007-12-01

    A new nuclear marker system for sponges, the second intron of the nuclear ATP synthetase beta subunit gene (ATPSbeta-iII), was analysed together with nuclear ribosomal DNA (nrDNA) internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequences aiming to uncover phylogeographic patterns of the coral reef sponge Pericharax heteroraphis in the south-west Pacific, focussing on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). Variation among ITS sequences was low (<1.1% p-distance), in contrast to ATPSbeta-iII (<8.3% p-distance). Single-Stranded Conformation Polymorphism (SSCP) analysis proved to be an effective tool for phasing ATPSbeta-iII alleles of 292 bp length. Although sample sizes were limited for most populations and these results await corroboration by an extended sampling regime, a past population subdivision with subsequent range expansion was indicated by a ‘dumb-bell’ shaped statistical parsimony network of GBR ATPSbeta-iII alleles. Although no clear phylogeographic break was discovered on the GBR, the northern GBR was genetically differentiated from the central/southern GBR and Queensland Plateau, based on significant pairwise F st values (0.137-0.275 and p ≤ 0.05) of pooled regional populations. The ATPSbeta-iII used in this study outperformed the frequently employed nrDNA ITS and might also turn out to be useful for phylogeographic studies of other coral reef taxa.

  15. Carbon budget of coral reef systems: an overview of observations in fringing reefs, barrier reefs and atolls in the Indo-Pacific regions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The seawater CO2 system and carbon budget were examined in coral reefs of wide variety with respect to topographic types and oceanographic settings in the Indo-Pacific oceans. A system-level net organic-to-inorganic carbon production ratio (ROI) is a master parameter for controlling the carbon cycle in coral reef systems, including their sink/source behavior for atmospheric CO2. A reef system with ROI less than approximately 0.6 has a potential for releasing CO2. The production ratio, however, is not easy to estimate on a particular reef. Instead, observations planned to detect the offshore-lagoon difference in partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) and a graphic approach based on a total alkalinity-dissolved inorganic carbon diagram can reveal system-level performance of the carbon cycle in coral reefs. Surface pCO2 values in the lagoons of atolls and barrier reefs were consistently higher than those in their offshore waters, showing differences between 6 and 46 atm, together with a depletion in total alkalinity up to 100 mol/kg, indicating predominant carbonate production relative to net organic carbon production. Reef topography, especially residence time of lagoon water, has a secondary effect on the magnitude of the offshore-lagoon pCO2 difference. Terrestrial influence was recognized in coastal reefs, including the GBR lagoon and a fringing reef of the Ryukyu Islands. High carbon input appears to enhance CO2 efflux to the atmosphere because of their high dissolved C:P ratios. Coral reefs, in general, act as an alkalinity sink and a potentially CO2-releasing site due to carbonate precipitation and land-derived carbon

  16. Rapid survey protocol that provides dynamic information on reef condition to managers of the Great Barrier Reef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beeden, R J; Turner, M A; Dryden, J; Merida, F; Goudkamp, K; Malone, C; Marshall, P A; Birtles, A; Maynard, J A

    2014-12-01

    Managing to support coral reef resilience as the climate changes requires strategic and responsive actions that reduce anthropogenic stress. Managers can only target and tailor these actions if they regularly receive information on system condition and impact severity. In large coral reef areas like the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMP), acquiring condition and impact data with good spatial and temporal coverage requires using a large network of observers. Here, we describe the result of ~10 years of evolving and refining participatory monitoring programs used in the GBR that have rangers, tourism operators and members of the public as observers. Participants complete Reef Health and Impact Surveys (RHIS) using a protocol that meets coral reef managers' needs for up-to-date information on the following: benthic community composition, reef condition and impacts including coral diseases, damage, predation and the presence of rubbish. Training programs ensure that the information gathered is sufficiently precise to inform management decisions. Participants regularly report because the demands of the survey methodology have been matched to their time availability. Undertaking the RHIS protocol we describe involves three ~20 min surveys at each site. Participants enter data into an online data management system that can create reports for managers and participants within minutes of data being submitted. Since 2009, 211 participants have completed a total of more than 10,415 surveys at more than 625 different reefs. The two-way exchange of information between managers and participants increases the capacity to manage reefs adaptively, meets education and outreach objectives and can increase stewardship. The general approach used and the survey methodology are both sufficiently adaptable to be used in all reef regions. PMID:25179944

  17. Seasonal Dynamical Prediction of Coral Bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spillman, C. M.; Alves, O.

    2009-05-01

    Sea surface temperature (SST) is now recognised as the primary cause of mass coral bleaching events. Coral bleaching occurs during times of stress, particularly when SSTs exceed the coral colony's tolerance level. Global warming is potentially a serious threat to the future of the world's reef systems with predictions by the international community that bleaching will increase in both frequency and severity. Advance warning of anomalous sea surface temperatures, and thus potential bleaching events, would allow for the implementation of management strategies to minimise reef damage. Seasonal SST forecasts from the coupled ocean-atmosphere model POAMA (Bureau of Meteorology) have skill in the Great Barrier Reef (Australia) several months into the future. We will present model forecasts and probabilistic products for use in reef management, and assess model skill in the region. These products will revolutionise the way in which coral bleaching events are monitored and assessed in the Great Barrier Reef and Australian region.

  18. Effects of ocean acidification and global warming on reef bioerosion—lessons from a clionaid sponge

    OpenAIRE

    Wisshak, M.; Schönberg, CH. L.; Form, Armin U.; Freiwald, A.

    2013-01-01

    Coral reefs are under threat, exerted by a number of interacting effects inherent to the present climate change, including ocean acidification and global warming. Bioerosion drives reef degradation by recycling carbonate skeletal material and is an important but understudied factor in this context. Twelve different combinations of pCO2 and temperature were applied to elucidate the consequences of ocean acidification and global warming on the physiological response and bioerosion rates of the ...

  19. Great Barrier Reef Project: St. Michael's Beyond Capricorn

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leather, Harry

    The School has an extensive computer network and has a notebook computer programme that involves students in Years 9 through to 12. Over the last few years there have been extensive reviews of curriculum with one of the aims being to deliver more curricula online. The challenge has been to integrate the use of computers into the curriculum so learning outcomes are enhanced. The Great Barrier Reef Project provided an opportunity to do something that was not achievable in the past. Year 10 students were to study VCE Unit 1 Biology while maintaining their study in other subjects. The first trip, in 2000 of what will be part of an expanding programme took place in August and September of that year. Twenty-two students and four staff left Melbourne for Townsville, Queensland. Over four weeks the group spent time at the James Cook University research station on Orpheus Island, Magnetic Island, rainforest at Paluma and James Cook University in Townsville studying the History and Politics of Far North Queensland. In 2001 the experience was repeated with success and a variety of modifications. In 2001 the group took advantage of the opportunity to spend time with an indigenous group from the Northern Queensland rainforests near Tully. This year planning is underway and students are beginning a training program to prepare for the trip.

  20. Coral records of reef-water pH across the central Great Barrier Reef, Australia: assessing the influence of river runoff on inshore reefs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. P. D'Olivo

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available The boron isotopic (δ11Bcarb compositions of long-lived Porites coral are used to reconstruct reef-water pH across the central Great Barrier Reef (GBR and assess the impact of river runoff on inshore reefs. For the period from 1940 to 2009, corals from both inner as well as mid-shelf sites exhibit the same overall decrease in δ11Bcarb of 0.086 ± 0.033‰ per decade, equivalent to a~decline in seawater pH (pHsw of ~ 0.017 ± 0.007 pH units per decade. This decline is consistent with the long-term effects of ocean acidification based on estimates of CO2 uptake by surface waters due to rising atmospheric levels. We also find that compared to the mid-shelf corals, the δ11Bcarb compositions for inner shelf corals subject to river discharge events, have higher and more variable values and hence higher inferred pHsw values. These higher δ11Bcarb values for inner-shelf corals are particularly evident during wet years, despite river waters having lower pH. The main effect of river discharge on reef-water carbonate chemistry thus appears to be from higher nutrients driving increased phytoplankton productivity, resulting in the drawdown of pCO2 and increase in pHsw. Increased primary production therefore has the potential to counter the more transient effects of low pH river water (pHrw discharged into near-shore environments. Importantly however, inshore reefs also show a consistent pattern of sharply declining coral growth that coincides with periods of high river discharge. This occurs despite these reefs having higher pHsw values and hence higher seawater aragonite saturation states, demonstrating the over-riding importance of local reef-water quality on coral reef health.

  1. Assessing the value of Earth Observation for managing coral reefs: an example from the Great Barrier Reef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouma, Jetske A; Kuik, Onno; Dekker, Arnold G

    2011-10-01

    The Integrated Global Observing Strategy (IGOS, 2003) argues that further investments in Earth Observation information are required to improve coral reef protection worldwide. The IGOS Strategy does not specify what levels of investments are needed nor does it quantify the benefits associated with better-protected reefs. Evaluating costs and benefits is important for determining optimal investment levels and for convincing policy-makers that investments are required indeed. Few studies have quantitatively assessed the economic benefits of Earth Observation information or evaluated the economic value of information for environmental management. This paper uses an expert elicitation approach based on Bayesian Decision Theory to estimate the possible contribution of global Earth Observation to the management of the Great Barrier Reef. The Great Barrier Reef including its lagoon is a World Heritage Area affected by anthropogenic changes in land-use as well as climate change resulting in increased flows of sediments, nutrients and carbon to the GBR lagoon. Since European settlement, nutrient and sediment loads having increased 5-10 times and the change in water quality is causing damages to the reef. Earth Observation information from ocean and coastal color satellite sensors can provide spatially and temporally dense information on sediment flows. We hypothesize that Earth Observation improves decision-making by enabling better-targeted run-off reduction measures and we assess the benefits (cost savings) of this improved targeting by optimizing run-off reductions under different states of the world. The analysis suggests that the benefits of Earth Observation can indeed be substantial, depending on the perceived accuracy of the information and on the prior beliefs of decision-makers. The results indicate that increasing informational accuracy is the most effective way for developers of Earth Observation information to increase the added value of Earth Observation for

  2. Congruent patterns of connectivity can inform management for broadcast spawning corals on the Great Barrier Reef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukoschek, Vimoksalehi; Riginos, Cynthia; van Oppen, Madeleine J H

    2016-07-01

    Connectivity underpins the persistence and recovery of marine ecosystems. The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is the world's largest coral reef ecosystem and managed by an extensive network of no-take zones; however, information about connectivity was not available to optimize the network's configuration. We use multivariate analyses, Bayesian clustering algorithms and assignment tests of the largest population genetic data set for any organism on the GBR to date (Acropora tenuis, >2500 colonies; >50 reefs, genotyped for ten microsatellite loci) to demonstrate highly congruent patterns of connectivity between this common broadcast spawning reef-building coral and its congener Acropora millepora (~950 colonies; 20 reefs, genotyped for 12 microsatellite loci). For both species, there is a genetic divide at around 19°S latitude, most probably reflecting allopatric differentiation during the Pleistocene. GBR reefs north of 19°S are essentially panmictic whereas southern reefs are genetically distinct with higher levels of genetic diversity and population structure, most notably genetic subdivision between inshore and offshore reefs south of 19°S. These broadly congruent patterns of higher genetic diversities found on southern GBR reefs most likely represent the accumulation of alleles via the southward flowing East Australia Current. In addition, signatures of genetic admixture between the Coral Sea and outer-shelf reefs in the northern, central and southern GBR provide evidence of recent gene flow. Our connectivity results are consistent with predictions from recently published larval dispersal models for broadcast spawning corals on the GBR, thereby providing robust connectivity information about the dominant reef-building genus Acropora for coral reef managers. PMID:27085309

  3. The importance of large benthic foraminifera to reef island sediment budget and dynamics at Raine Island, northern Great Barrier Reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawson, John L.; Smithers, Scott G.; Hua, Quan

    2014-10-01

    Low-lying reef islands are among the most vulnerable environments on earth to anthropogenic-induced climate change and sea-level rise over the next century because they are low, composed of unconsolidated sediment that is able to be mobilised by waves and currents, and depend on sediments supplied by reef organisms that are particularly sensitive to environmental changes (e.g. ocean temperatures and chemistry). Therefore, the spatial and temporal links between active carbonate production and island formation and dynamics are fundamental to predicting future island resilience, yet remain poorly quantified. In this paper we present results of a detailed geomorphological and sedimentological study of a reef and sand cay on the northern Great Barrier Reef. We provide an empirical investigation of the temporal linkages between sediment production and reef island development using a large collection of single grain AMS 14C dates. Large benthic foraminifera (LBF) are the single most important contributor to contemporary island sand mass (47%; ranging from 36% to 63%) at Raine Island, reflecting rapid rates of sediment production and delivery. Standing stock data reveal extremely high production rates on the reef (1.8 kg m- 2 yr- 1), while AMS 14C dates of single LBF tests indicate rapid rates of sediment transferral across the reef. We also demonstrate that age is statistically related to preservation and taphonomic grade (severely abraded tests > moderately abraded tests > pristine tests). We construct a contemporary reef and island sediment budget model for Raine Island that shows that LBF (Baculogypsina, Marginopora and Amphistegina) contribute 55% of the sediment produced on the reef annually, of which a large proportion (54%) contribute to the net annual accretion of the island. The tight temporal coupling between LBF growth and island sediment supply combined with the sensitivity of LBF to bleaching and ocean acidification suggests that islands dominated by LBF are

  4. Predictors of the distribution and abundance of a tube sponge and its resident goby

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Aloia, C. C.; Majoris, J. E.; Buston, P. M.

    2011-09-01

    Microhabitat specialists offer tractable systems for studying the role of habitat in determining species' distribution and abundance patterns. While factors underlying the distribution patterns of these specialists have been studied for decades, few papers have considered factors influencing both the microhabitat and the inhabitant. On the Belizean barrier reef, the obligate sponge-dwelling goby Elacatinus lori inhabits the yellow tube sponge Aplysina fistularis. We used field data and multivariate analyses to simultaneously consider factors influencing sponge and goby distributions. Sponges were non-randomly distributed across the reef with density peaking at a depth of 10-20 m. Sponge morphology also varied with depth: sponges tended to be larger and have fewer tubes with increasing depth. Knowing these patterns of sponge distribution and morphology, we considered how they influenced the distribution of two categories of gobies: residents (≥18 mm SL) and settlers (<18 mm SL). Maximum tube length, number of sponge tubes, and depth were significant predictors of resident distribution. Residents were most abundant in large sponges with multiple tubes, and were virtually absent from sponges shallower than 10 m. Similarly, maximum tube length and number of sponge tubes were significant predictors of settler distribution, with settlers most abundant in large sponges with multiple tubes. The presence or absence of residents in a sponge was not a significant predictor of settler distribution. These results provide us with a clear understanding of where sponges and gobies are found on the reef and support the hypothesis that microhabitat characteristics are good predictors of fish abundance for species that are tightly linked to microhabitat.

  5. Presence of Symbiodinium spp. in macroalgal microhabitats from the southern Great Barrier Reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venera-Ponton, D. E.; Diaz-Pulido, G.; Rodriguez-Lanetty, M.; Hoegh-Guldberg, O.

    2010-12-01

    Coral reefs are highly dependent on the mutualistic symbiosis between reef-building corals and dinoflagellates from the genus Symbiodinium. These dinoflagellates spend part of their life cycle outside the coral host and in the majority of the cases have to re-infect corals each generation. While considerable insight has been gained about Symbiodinium in corals, little is known about the ecology and biology of Symbiodinium in other reef microhabitats. This study documents Symbiodinium associating with benthic macroalgae on the southern Great Barrier Reef, including some Symbiodinium that are genetically close to the symbiotic strains from reef-building corals. It is possible that some of these Symbiodinium were in hospite, associated to soritid foraminifera or ciliates; nevertheless, the presence of Symbiodinium C3 and C15 in macroalgal microhabitats may also suggest a potential link between communities of Symbiodinium associating with both coral hosts and macroalgae.

  6. Dynamical seasonal prediction of summer sea surface temperatures in the Great Barrier Reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spillman, C. M.; Alves, O.

    2009-03-01

    Coral bleaching is a serious problem threatening the world coral reef systems, triggered by high sea surface temperatures (SST) which are becoming more prevalent as a result of global warming. Seasonal forecasts from coupled ocean-atmosphere models can be used to predict anomalous SST months in advance. In this study, we assess the ability of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology seasonal forecast model (POAMA) to forecast SST anomalies in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia, with particular focus on the major 1998 and 2002 bleaching events. Advance warning of potential bleaching events allows for the implementation of management strategies to minimise reef damage. This study represents the first attempt to apply a dynamical seasonal model to the problem of coral bleaching and predict SST over a reef system for up to 6 months lead-time, a potentially invaluable tool for reef managers.

  7. Sponge-associated bacteria of Lakshadweep coral reefs, India: resource for extracellular hydrolytic enzymes

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Feby, A.; Nair, S.

    'Amico, S., Feller, G. and Ger- day, C. (2007) Cold-adap arctic microorganisms. Marine Biotechnology, 9(3), 293-304. [17] Lee, Y.K., Lee, J.H. and Lee, H.K. (2001) Microbial symbiosis , ti 39(4), 254-264. [18] Reiswig, H.M. (1981) Partial Carbon... esterases from Bacillus sp associated with the marine sponge Aplysina aerophoba. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 67(1), 59-69. [22] Lee, O.O., Lau nikova, I., Dobretsov, S., Wu, M.C.S., Wong, P.K., Weinbauer, M. and Qian, P.Y. (2006) Shewanella...

  8. Effectiveness of benthic foraminiferal and coral assemblages as water quality indicators on inshore reefs of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uthicke, S.; Thompson, A.; Schaffelke, B.

    2010-03-01

    Although the debate about coral reef decline focuses on global disturbances (e.g., increasing temperatures and acidification), local stressors (nutrient runoff and overfishing) continue to affect reef health and resilience. The effectiveness of foraminiferal and hard-coral assemblages as indicators of changes in water quality was assessed on 27 inshore reefs along the Great Barrier Reef. Environmental variables (i.e., several water quality and sediment parameters) and the composition of both benthic foraminiferal and hard-coral assemblages differed significantly between four regions (Whitsunday, Burdekin, Fitzroy, and the Wet Tropics). Grain size and organic carbon and nitrogen content of sediments, and a composite water column parameter (based on turbidity and concentrations of particulate matter) explained a significant amount of variation in the data (tested by redundancy analyses) in both assemblages. Heterotrophic species of foraminifera were dominant in sediments with high organic content and in localities with low light availability, whereas symbiont-bearing mixotrophic species were dominant elsewhere. A similar suite of parameters explained 89% of the variation in the FORAM index (a Caribbean coral reef health indicator) and 61% in foraminiferal species richness. Coral richness was not related to environmental setting. Coral assemblages varied in response to environmental variables, but were strongly shaped by acute disturbances (e.g., cyclones, Acanthaster planci outbreaks, and bleaching), thus different coral assemblages may be found at sites with the same environmental conditions. Disturbances also affect foraminiferal assemblages, but they appeared to recover more rapidly than corals. Foraminiferal assemblages are effective bioindicators of turbidity/light regimes and organic enrichment of sediments on coral reefs.

  9. The mapping of the Posidonia oceanica (L.) Delile barrier reef meadow in the southeastern Gulf of Tunis (Tunisia)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hachani, Mohamed Amine; Ziadi, Boutheina; Langar, Habib; Sami, Djallouli Aslem; Turki, Souad; Aleya, Lotfi

    2016-09-01

    Barrier reefs are among the most important ecomorphosis for Posidonia oceanica meadows and have long been subjected to anthropic pressures. The authors mapped the entire Sidi Rais (northeastern Tunisia) Posidonia oceanica barrier reef by means of remote sensing based on processing a satellite image acquired via Google Earth © software, coupled with field observations obtained by snorkeling. The map thus produced represents the P. oceanica barrier reef in its current state, covering a total area of 156.77 ha, the reef being divided into three distinct sections separated by reverse flows with each section subject to varied anthropic factors and disturbances.

  10. A new species of Halacarsantia Wolff, 1989 (Crustacea, Isopoda, Asellota, Santiidae from Wistari Reef, southern Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michitaka Shimomura

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Halacarsantia acuta sp. n. is described from Wistari Reef, Capricorn Group, southern Great Barrier Reef, the first record of the genus from Australia. The new species differs from its congeners inantenna flagellum composed of 8 articles; epipod apically acute, without setae, broad maxilliped endite and pereopod 1 basis with a short projection. A key to species of the genus is provided.

  11. A new species of Halacarsantia Wolff, 1989 (Crustacea, Isopoda, Asellota, Santiidae) from Wistari Reef, southern Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    OpenAIRE

    Michitaka Shimomura; Niel Bruce

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Halacarsantia acuta sp. n. is described from Wistari Reef, Capricorn Group, southern Great Barrier Reef, the first record of the genus from Australia. The new species differs from its congeners in having antenna flagellum composed of 8 articles; epipod apically acute, without setae, broad maxilliped endite and pereopod 1 basis with a short projection. A key to species of the genus is provided.

  12. Same, same but different: symbiotic bacterial associations in GBR sponges

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    NicoleSWebster

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Symbioses in marine sponges involve diverse consortia of microorganisms that contribute to the health and ecology of their hosts. The microbial communities of 13 taxonomically diverse Great Barrier Reef (GBR sponge species were assessed by DGGE and 16S rRNA gene sequencing to determine intra and inter species variation in bacterial symbiont composition. Microbial profiling revealed communities that were largely conserved within different individuals of each species with intra species similarity ranging from 65-100%. 16S rRNA gene sequencing revealed that the communities were dominated by Proteobacteria, Chloroflexi, Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, Nitrospira and Cyanobacteria. Sponge-associated microbes were also highly host-specific with no operational taxonomic units (OTUs common to all species and the most ubiquitous OTU found in only 5 of the 13 sponge species. In total, 91% of the OTUs were restricted to a single sponge species. However, GBR sponge microbes were more closely related to other sponge-derived bacteria than they were to environmental communities with sequences falling within 50 of the 173 previously defined sponge-(or sponge-coral specific sequence clusters. These sequence clusters spanned the Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Chloroflexi, Cyanobacteria, Gemmatimonadetes, Nitrospira and the Planctomycetes-Verrucomicrobia-Chlamydiae superphylum. The number of sequences assigned to these sponge-specific clusters across all species ranged from 0% to 92%. No relationship between host phylogeny and symbiont communities were observed across the different sponge orders, although the highest level of similarity was detected in two closely related Xestospongia species. This study identifies the core microbial inhabitants in a range of GBR sponges thereby providing the basis for future studies on sponge symbiotic function and research aiming to predict how sponge holobionts will respond to environmental

  13. The Great Barrier Reef Ocean Observing System Mooring array: Monitoring the Western Boundary Currents of the Coral Sea and Impacts on the Great Barrier Reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinberg, C. R.; McAllister, F.; Brinkman, B. W.; Pitcher, C.; Luetchford, J.; Rigby, P.

    2009-05-01

    Since 1987 Great Barrier Reef weather and water temperature observations have been transmitted in near real time using HF radio from pontoons or towers on coral reefs by AIMS. In contrast oceanographic measurements have however been restricted to loggers serviced at quarterly to half yearly downloads. The Great Barrier Reef Ocean Observing System (GBROOS) is a regional node of the Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS). IMOS is an Australian Government initiative established under the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy and has been supported by Queensland Government since 2006. GBROOS comprises real time observations from weather stations, oceanographic moorings, underway ship observations, ocean surface radar, satellite image reception and reef based sensor networks. This paper focuses on an array of in-line moorings that have been deployed along the outer Great Barrier Reef in order to monitor the Western Boundary currents of the Coral Sea. The Westward flowing Southern Equatorial Current bifurcates into the poleward flowing East Australian Current and the equatorward North Queensland Current. The 4 mooring pairs consist of a continental slope mooring, nominally in 200m of water and one on the outer continental shelf within the GBR matrix in depths of 30 to 70m. The array is designed to detect any changes in circulation, temperature response, mixed layer depth and ocean-shelf interactions. A review of likely impacts of climate change on the physical oceanography of the GBR is providing a basis upon which to explore what processes may be affected by climate change. Sample data and results from the initial year of observations will be presented.

  14. Dynamics of seawater carbonate chemistry, production, and calcification of a coral reef flat, Central Great Barrier Reef

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Albright

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Ocean acidification is projected to shift coral reefs from a state of net accretion to one of net dissolution this century. Presently, our ability to predict global-scale changes to coral reef calcification is limited by insufficient data relating seawater carbonate chemistry parameters to in situ rates of reef calcification. Here, we investigate natural trends in carbonate chemistry of the Davies Reef flat in the central Great Barrier Reef on diel and seasonal timescales and relate these trends to benthic carbon fluxes by quantifying net ecosystem calcification (nec and net community production (ncp. Results show that seawater carbonate chemistry of the Davies Reef flat is highly variable over both diel and seasonal timescales. pH (total scale ranged from 7.92 to 8.17, pCO2 ranged from 272 to 542 μatm, and aragonite saturation state (Ωarag ranged from 2.9 to 4.1. Diel cycles in carbonate chemistry were primarily driven by ncp, and warming explained 35% and 47% of the seasonal shifts in pCO2 and pH, respectively. Daytime ncp averaged 36 ± 19 mmol C m−2 h−1 in summer and 33 ± 13 mmol C m−2 h−1 in winter; nighttime ncp averaged −22 ± 20 and −7 ± 6 mmol C m−2 h−1 in summer and winter, respectively. Daytime nec averaged 11 ± 4 mmol CaCO3 m−2 h−1 in summer and 8 ± 3 mmol CaCO3 m−2 h−1 in winter, whereas nighttime nec averaged 2 ± 4 mmol and −1 ± 3 mmol CaCO3 m−2 h−1 in summer and winter, respectively. Net ecosystem calcification was positively correlated with Ωarag for both seasons. Linear correlations of nec and Ωarag indicate that the Davies Reef flat may transition from a state of net calcification to net dissolution at Ωarag values of 3.4 in summer and 3.2 in winter. Diel trends in Ωarag indicate that the reef flat is currently below this calcification threshold 29.6% of the time in summer and 14.1% of the time in winter.

  15. Antifoulant (butyltin and copper) concentrations in sediments from the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, Australia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Antifoulant concentrations are generally low in the Great Barrier Reef, although ship grounding sites present a previously unidentified significant source of antifoulant pollutants in the Great Barrier Reef. - Antifoulant concentrations were determined in marine sediments collected from commercial harbours, marinas, mooring locations on mid-shelf continental islands, and outer reef sites in four regions within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area in 1999. Highest copper concentrations were present in sediments collected from commercial harbour sampling sites (28-233 μg Cu g-1 dry wt.). In contrast, copper concentrations in sediments collected from boat mooring sites on mid-shelf continental islands and outer reef sites were at background concentrations (i.e. -1 dry wt.). Butyltin was only detectable in four of the 42 sediments sampled for analysis, and was only present in sediments collected from commercial harbours (18-1275 ng Sn g-1 dry wt.) and from marinas (4-5 ng Sn g-1 dry wt.). The detection of tributyltin at marina sites implies that this antifoulant may continue to be used illegally on the hulls of smaller recreational vessels. Sediment samples were also collected opportunistically from the site of a 22,000 t cargo ship grounding in May 1999 at Heath Reef, in the far northern Great Barrier Reef. Butyltin concentrations were grossly elevated (660-340,000 ng Sn g-1 dry wt.) at the grounding site. The impact of residual antifoulants at large ship grounding sites should be recognised as a significant, long-term environmental problem unless antfoulant clean-up strategies are undertaken

  16. Assessment of the Water Quality and Ecosystem Health of the Great Barrier Reef (Australia): Conceptual Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haynes, David; Brodie, Jon; Waterhouse, Jane; Bainbridge, Zoe; Bass, Deb; Hart, Barry

    2007-12-01

    Run-off containing increased concentrations of sediment, nutrients, and pesticides from land-based anthropogenic activities is a significant influence on water quality and the ecologic conditions of nearshore areas of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, Australia. The potential and actual impacts of increased pollutant concentrations range from bioaccumulation of contaminants and decreased photosynthetic capacity to major shifts in community structure and health of mangrove, coral reef, and seagrass ecosystems. A detailed conceptual model underpins and illustrates the links between the main anthropogenic pressures or threats (dry-land cattle grazing and intensive sugar cane cropping) and the production of key contaminants or stressors of Great Barrier Reef water quality. The conceptual model also includes longer-term threats to Great Barrier Reef water quality and ecosystem health, such as global climate change, that will potentially confound direct model interrelationships. The model recognises that system-specific attributes, such as monsoonal wind direction, rainfall intensity, and flood plume residence times, will act as system filters to modify the effects of any water-quality system stressor. The model also summarises key ecosystem responses in ecosystem health that can be monitored through indicators at catchment, riverine, and marine scales. Selected indicators include riverine and marine water quality, inshore coral reef and seagrass status, and biota pollutant burdens. These indicators have been adopted as components of a long-term monitoring program to enable assessment of the effectiveness of change in catchment-management practices in improving Great Barrier Reef (and adjacent catchment) water quality under the Queensland and Australian Governments’ Reef Water Quality Protection Plan.

  17. Keeping the ‘Great’ in the Great Barrier Reef: large-scale governance of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

    OpenAIRE

    Louisa S. Evans; Natalie C. Ban; Michael Schoon; Mateja Nenadovic

    2014-01-01

    As part of an international collaboration to compare large-scale commons, we used the Social-Ecological Systems Meta-Analysis Database (SESMAD) to systematically map out attributes of and changes in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMP) in Australia. We focus on eight design principles from common-pool resource (CPR) theory and other key social-ecological systems governance variables, and explore to what extent they help explain the social and ecological outcomes of park management throu...

  18. Effects of different disturbance types on butterflyfish communities of Australia's Great Barrier Reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emslie, M. J.; Pratchett, M. S.; Cheal, A. J.

    2011-06-01

    The effects of disturbances on coral reef fishes have been extensively documented but most studies have relied on opportunistic sampling following single events. Few studies have the spatial and temporal extent to directly compare the effects of multiple disturbances over a large geographic scale. Here, benthic communities and butterflyfishes on 47 reefs of the Great Barrier Reef were surveyed annually to examine their responses to physical disturbances (cyclones and storms) and/or biological disturbances (bleaching, outbreaks of crown-of-thorns starfish and white syndrome disease). The effects on benthic and butterflyfish communities varied among reefs depending on the structure and geographical setting of each community, on the size and type of disturbance, and on the disturbance history of that reef. There was considerable variability in the response of butterflyfishes to different disturbances: physical disturbances (occurring with or without biological disturbances) produced substantial declines in abundance, whilst biological disturbances occurring on their own did not. Butterflyfishes with the narrowest feeding preferences, such as obligate corallivores, were always the species most affected. The response of generalist feeders varied with the extent of damage. Wholesale changes to the butterflyfish community were only recorded where structural complexity of reefs was drastically reduced. The observed effects of disturbances on butterflyfishes coupled with predictions of increased frequency and intensity of disturbances sound a dire warning for the future of butterflyfish communities in particular and reef fish communities in general.

  19. Differential responses of emergent intertidal coral reef fauna to a large-scale El-Niño southern oscillation event: sponge and coral resilience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelmo, Francisco; Bell, James J; Moraes, Simone Souza; Gomes, Rilza da Costa Tourinho; Mariano-Neto, Eduardo; Attrill, Martin J

    2014-01-01

    There is a paucity of information on the impacts of the 1997-8 El Niño event and subsequent climatic episodes on emergent intertidal coral reef assemblages. Given the environmental variability intertidal reefs experience, such reefs may potentially be more resilient to climatic events and provide important insights into the adaptation of reef fauna to future ocean warming. Here we report the results of a 17-year (1995-2011) biodiversity survey of four emergent coral reef ecosystems in Bahia, Brazil, to assess the impact of a major El Niño event on the reef fauna, and determine any subsequent recovery. The densities of two species of coral, Favia gravida and Siderastrea stellata, did not vary significantly across the survey period, indicating a high degree of tolerance to the El Niño associated stress. However, there were marked decreases in the diversity of other taxa. Molluscs, bryozoans and ascidians suffered severe declines in diversity and abundance and had not recovered to pre-El Niño levels by the end of the study. Echinoderms were reduced to a single species in 1999, Echinometra lucunter, although diversity levels had recovered by 2002. Sponge assemblages were not impacted by the 1997-8 event and their densities had increased by the study end. Multivariate analysis indicated that a stable invertebrate community had re-established on the reefs after the El Niño event, but it has a different overall composition to the pre-El Niño community. It is unclear if community recovery will continue given more time, but our study highlights that any increase in the frequency of large-scale climatic events to more than one a decade is likely to result in a persistent lower-diversity state. Our results also suggest some coral and sponge species are particularly resilient to the El Niño-associated stress and therefore represent suitable models to investigate temperature adaptation in reef organisms. PMID:24675785

  20. Disease outbreaks, bleaching and a cyclone drive changes in coral assemblages on an inshore reef of the Great Barrier Reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haapkylä, J.; Melbourne-Thomas, J.; Flavell, M.; Willis, B. L.

    2013-09-01

    Coral disease is a major threat to the resilience of coral reefs; thus, understanding linkages between disease outbreaks and disturbances predicted to increase with climate change is becoming increasingly important. Coral disease surveys conducted twice yearly between 2008 and 2011 at a turbid inshore reef in the central Great Barrier Reef spanned two disturbance events, a coral bleaching event in 2009 and a severe cyclone (cyclone `Yasi') in 2011. Surveys of coral cover, community structure and disease prevalence throughout this 4-yr study provide a unique opportunity to explore cumulative impacts of disturbance events and disease for inshore coral assemblages. The principal coral disease at the study site was atramentous necrosis (AtN), and it primarily affected the key inshore, reef-building coral Montipora aequituberculata. Other diseases detected were growth anomalies, white syndrome and brown band syndrome. Diseases affected eight coral genera, although Montipora was, by far, the genus mostly affected. The prevalence of AtN followed a clear seasonal pattern, with disease outbreaks occurring only in wet seasons. Mean prevalence of AtN on Montipora spp. (63.8 % ± 3.03) was three- to tenfold greater in the wet season of 2009, which coincided with the 2009 bleaching event, than in other years. Persistent wet season outbreaks of AtN combined with the impacts of bleaching and cyclone events resulted in a 50-80 % proportional decline in total coral cover. The greatest losses of branching and tabular acroporids occurred following the low-salinity-induced bleaching event of 2009, and the greatest losses of laminar montiporids occurred following AtN outbreaks in 2009 and in 2011 following cyclone Yasi. The shift to a less diverse coral assemblage and the concomitant loss of structural complexity are likely to have long-term consequences for associated vertebrate and invertebrate communities on Magnetic Island reefs.

  1. Exploring Individual- to Population-Level Impacts of Disease on Coral Reef Sponges: Using Spatial Analysis to Assess the Fate, Dynamics, and Transmission of Aplysina Red Band Syndrome (ARBS)

    OpenAIRE

    Easson, Cole G.; Slattery, Marc; Momm, Henrique G.; Olson, Julie B.; Thacker, Robert W.; Gochfeld, Deborah J.

    2013-01-01

    Background Marine diseases are of increasing concern for coral reef ecosystems, but often their causes, dynamics and impacts are unknown. The current study investigated the epidemiology of Aplysina Red Band Syndrome (ARBS), a disease affecting the Caribbean sponge Aplysina cauliformis, at both the individual and population levels. The fates of marked healthy and ARBS-infected sponges were examined over the course of a year. Population-level impacts and transmission mechanisms of ARBS were inv...

  2. Wave transformations across a Caribbean fringing-barrier Coral Reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lugo-Fernández, Alexis; Roberts, Harry H.; Suhayda, Joseph N.

    1998-08-01

    Wave measurements during three experiments at Tague Reef, St. Croix (U.S.V.I.) in April 1987 showed a net energy decrease across the reef profile of 65-71% between the forereef and crest, wave propagation to the backreef increased energy reduction to 78-88%. Tidally induced water depth changes (range of 0.3 m) increased wave energy dissipation by 15% between forereef and crest and 20% between forereef and backreef. Significant wave heights throughout the experiment were low (reef averaged 0.46 and modulated by the tide (0.32 at low tide vs 0.62 at high tide). The spectral time-delay model applied to analyzed wave transformations across the reef produced attenuation coefficients that averaged 0.62 between 0.05 and 0.1 cps (20-10 s) and afterwards oscillate between 0.22 and 0.35. For waves between the forereef and backreef, the attenuation coefficients from the time-delay model decay exponentially between 0.05 and 0.1 cps, afterwards they oscillate between 0.13 and 0.2. The steady wave-energy model with bottom friction, essentially form drag, and wave breaking dissipation yield wave heights modulated by the tides and errors of 20% at the backreef. The model revealed that while frictional and wave-breaking dissipation are equally important, frictional dissipation is greater.

  3. Dynamics of seawater carbonate chemistry, production, and calcification of a coral reef flat, central Great Barrier Reef

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Albright

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Ocean acidification is projected to shift coral reefs from a state of net accretion to one of net dissolution this century. Presently, our ability to predict global-scale changes to coral reef calcification is limited by insufficient data relating seawater carbonate chemistry parameters to in situ rates of reef calcification. Here, we investigate diel and seasonal trends in carbonate chemistry of the Davies Reef flat in the central Great Barrier Reef and relate these trends to benthic carbon fluxes by quantifying net ecosystem calcification (nec and net community production (ncp. Results show that seawater carbonate chemistry of the Davies Reef flat is highly variable over both diel and seasonal cycles. pH (total scale ranged from 7.92 to 8.17, pCO2 ranged from 272 to 542 μatm, and aragonite saturation state (Ωarag ranged from 2.9 to 4.1. Diel cycles in carbonate chemistry were primarily driven by ncp, and warming explained 35% and 47% of the seasonal shifts in pCO2 and pH, respectively. Daytime ncp averaged 37 ± 19 mmol C m−2 h−1 in summer and 33 ± 13 mmol C m−2 h−1 in winter; nighttime ncp averaged −30 ± 25 and −7 ± 6 mmol C m−2 h−1 in summer and winter, respectively. Daytime nec averaged 11 ± 4 mmol CaCO3 m−2 h−1 in summer and 8 ± 3 mmol CaCO3 m−2 h−1 in winter, whereas nighttime nec averaged 2 ± 4 mmol and −1 ± 3 mmol CaCO3 m−2 h−1 in summer and winter, respectively. Net ecosystem calcification was highly sensitive to changes in Ωarag for both seasons, indicating that relatively small shifts in Ωarag may drive measurable shifts in calcification rates, and hence carbon budgets, of coral reefs throughout the year.

  4. Remote sensing of sea surface temperatures during 2002 Barrier Reef coral bleaching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Gang; Strong, Alan E.; Skirving, William

    Early in 2002, satellites of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) detected anomalously high sea surface temperatures (SST) developing in the western Coral Sea, midway along Australia's Great Barrier Reef (GBR). This was the beginning of what was to become the most significant GBR coral bleaching event on record [Wilkinson, 2002]. During this time, NOAA's National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) provided satellite data as part of ongoing collaborative work on coral reef health with the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA). These data proved invaluable to AIMS and GBRMPA as they monitored and assessed the development and evolution of SSTs throughout the austral summer, enabling them to keep stakeholders, government, and the general public informed and up to date.

  5. Mid-Holocene sea surface conditions and riverine influence on the inshore Great Barrier Reef

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roche, R.C.; Perry, C.T.; Smithers, S.G.; Leng, M.J.; Grove, C.A.; Sloane, H.J.; Unsworth, C.E.

    2014-01-01

    We present measurements of Sr/Ca, d18O, and spectral luminescence ratios (G/B) from a mid-Holocene Porites sp. microatoll recovered from the nearshore Great Barrier Reef (GBR). These records were used as proxies to reconstruct sea surface temperature (SST), the d18O of surrounding seawater (d18Osw),

  6. Surviving Coral Bleaching Events: Porites Growth Anomalies on the Great Barrier Reef

    OpenAIRE

    Cantin, Neal E.; Lough, Janice M.

    2014-01-01

    Mass coral bleaching affected large parts of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) in 1998 and 2002. In this study, we assessed if signatures of these major thermal stress events were recorded in the growth characteristics of massive Porites colonies. In 2005 a suite of short (

  7. Ocean acidification: Linking science to management solutions using the Great Barrier Reef as a case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albright, Rebecca; Anthony, Kenneth R N; Baird, Mark; Beeden, Roger; Byrne, Maria; Collier, Catherine; Dove, Sophie; Fabricius, Katharina; Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove; Kelly, Ryan P; Lough, Janice; Mongin, Mathieu; Munday, Philip L; Pears, Rachel J; Russell, Bayden D; Tilbrook, Bronte; Abal, Eva

    2016-11-01

    Coral reefs are one of the most vulnerable ecosystems to ocean acidification. While our understanding of the potential impacts of ocean acidification on coral reef ecosystems is growing, gaps remain that limit our ability to translate scientific knowledge into management action. To guide solution-based research, we review the current knowledge of ocean acidification impacts on coral reefs alongside management needs and priorities. We use the world's largest continuous reef system, Australia's Great Barrier Reef (GBR), as a case study. We integrate scientific knowledge gained from a variety of approaches (e.g., laboratory studies, field observations, and ecosystem modelling) and scales (e.g., cell, organism, ecosystem) that underpin a systems-level understanding of how ocean acidification is likely to impact the GBR and associated goods and services. We then discuss local and regional management options that may be effective to help mitigate the effects of ocean acidification on the GBR, with likely application to other coral reef systems. We develop a research framework for linking solution-based ocean acidification research to practical management options. The framework assists in identifying effective and cost-efficient options for supporting ecosystem resilience. The framework enables on-the-ground OA management to be the focus, while not losing sight of CO2 mitigation as the ultimate solution. PMID:27564868

  8. Environmental Records from Great Barrier Reef Corals: inshore versus offshore drivers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin D Walther

    Full Text Available The biogenic structures of stationary organisms can be effective recorders of environmental fluctuations. These proxy records of environmental change are preserved as geochemical signals in the carbonate skeletons of scleractinian corals and are useful for reconstructions of temporal and spatial fluctuations in the physical and chemical environments of coral reef ecosystems, including The Great Barrier Reef (GBR. We compared multi-year monitoring of water temperature and dissolved elements with analyses of chemical proxies recorded in Porites coral skeletons to identify the divergent mechanisms driving environmental variation at inshore versus offshore reefs. At inshore reefs, water Ba/Ca increased with the onset of monsoonal rains each year, indicating a dominant control of flooding on inshore ambient chemistry. Inshore multi-decadal records of coral Ba/Ca were also highly periodic in response to flood-driven pulses of terrigenous material. In contrast, an offshore reef at the edge of the continental shelf was subject to annual upwelling of waters that were presumed to be richer in Ba during summer months. Regular pulses of deep cold water were delivered to the reef as indicated by in situ temperature loggers and coral Ba/Ca. Our results indicate that although much of the GBR is subject to periodic environmental fluctuations, the mechanisms driving variation depend on proximity to the coast. Inshore reefs are primarily influenced by variable freshwater delivery and terrigenous erosion of catchments, while offshore reefs are dominated by seasonal and inter-annual variations in oceanographic conditions that influence the propensity for upwelling. The careful choice of sites can help distinguish between the various factors that promote Ba uptake in corals and therefore increase the utility of corals as monitors of spatial and temporal variation in environmental conditions.

  9. Temporal clustering of tropical cyclones on the Great Barrier Reef and its ecological importance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolff, Nicholas H.; Wong, Aaron; Vitolo, Renato; Stolberg, Kristin; Anthony, Kenneth R. N.; Mumby, Peter J.

    2016-06-01

    Tropical cyclones have been a major cause of reef coral decline during recent decades, including on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). While cyclones are a natural element of the disturbance regime of coral reefs, the role of temporal clustering has previously been overlooked. Here, we examine the consequences of different types of cyclone temporal distributions (clustered, stochastic or regular) on reef ecosystems. We subdivided the GBR into 14 adjoining regions, each spanning roughly 300 km, and quantified both the rate and clustering of cyclones using dispersion statistics. To interpret the consequences of such cyclone variability for coral reef health, we used a model of observed coral population dynamics. Results showed that clustering occurs on the margins of the cyclone belt, being strongest in the southern reefs and the far northern GBR, which also has the lowest cyclone rate. In the central GBR, where rates were greatest, cyclones had a relatively regular temporal pattern. Modelled dynamics of the dominant coral genus, Acropora, suggest that the long-term average cover might be more than 13 % greater (in absolute cover units) under a clustered cyclone regime compared to stochastic or regular regimes. Thus, not only does cyclone clustering vary significantly along the GBR but such clustering is predicted to have a marked, and management-relevant, impact on the status of coral populations. Additionally, we use our regional clustering and rate results to sample from a library of over 7000 synthetic cyclone tracks for the GBR. This allowed us to provide robust reef-scale maps of annual cyclone frequency and cyclone impacts on Acropora. We conclude that assessments of coral reef vulnerability need to account for both spatial and temporal cyclone distributions.

  10. Population growth rates of reef sharks with and without fishing on the great barrier reef: robust estimation with multiple models.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mizue Hisano

    Full Text Available Overfishing of sharks is a global concern, with increasing numbers of species threatened by overfishing. For many sharks, both catch rates and underwater visual surveys have been criticized as indices of abundance. In this context, estimation of population trends using individual demographic rates provides an important alternative means of assessing population status. However, such estimates involve uncertainties that must be appropriately characterized to credibly and effectively inform conservation efforts and management. Incorporating uncertainties into population assessment is especially important when key demographic rates are obtained via indirect methods, as is often the case for mortality rates of marine organisms subject to fishing. Here, focusing on two reef shark species on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia, we estimated natural and total mortality rates using several indirect methods, and determined the population growth rates resulting from each. We used bootstrapping to quantify the uncertainty associated with each estimate, and to evaluate the extent of agreement between estimates. Multiple models produced highly concordant natural and total mortality rates, and associated population growth rates, once the uncertainties associated with the individual estimates were taken into account. Consensus estimates of natural and total population growth across multiple models support the hypothesis that these species are declining rapidly due to fishing, in contrast to conclusions previously drawn from catch rate trends. Moreover, quantitative projections of abundance differences on fished versus unfished reefs, based on the population growth rate estimates, are comparable to those found in previous studies using underwater visual surveys. These findings appear to justify management actions to substantially reduce the fishing mortality of reef sharks. They also highlight the potential utility of rigorously characterizing uncertainty, and

  11. Navigating the transition to ecosystem-based management of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olsson, Per; Folke, Carl; Hughes, Terry P

    2008-07-15

    We analyze the strategies and actions that enable transitions toward ecosystem-based management using the recent governance changes of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park as a case study. The interplay among individual actors, organizations, and institutions at multiple levels is central in such transitions. A flexible organization, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, was crucial in initiating the transition to ecosystem-based management. This agency was also instrumental in the subsequent transformation of the governance regime and provided leadership throughout the process. Strategies involved internal reorganization and management innovation, leading to an ability to coordinate the scientific community, to increase public awareness of environmental issues and problems, to involve a broader set of stakeholders, and to maneuver the political system for support at critical times. The transformation process was induced by increased pressure on the Great Barrier Reef (from terrestrial runoff, overharvesting, and global warming) that triggered a new sense of urgency to address these challenges. The focus of governance shifted from protection of selected individual reefs to stewardship of the larger-scale seascape. The study emphasizes the significance of stewardship that can change patterns of interactions among key actors and allow for new forms of management and governance to emerge in response to environmental change. This example illustrates that enabling legislations or other social bounds are essential, but not sufficient for shifting governance toward adaptive comanagement of complex marine ecosystems. PMID:18621698

  12. Diel coral reef acidification driven by porewater advection in permeable sands, Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Santos, Isaac R.; Glud, Ronnie N.; Maher, Damien;

    2011-01-01

    Little is known about how biogeochemical processes in permeable sediments affect the pH of coastal waters. We demonstrate that seawater recirculation in permeable sands can play a major role in proton (H+) cycling in a coral reef lagoon. The diel pH range (up to 0.75 units) in the Heron Island...... lagoon was the broadest ever reported for reef waters, and the night‐time pH (7.69) was comparable to worst‐case scenario predictions for seawater pH in 2100. The net contribution of coarse carbonate sands to the whole system H+ fluxes was only 9% during the day, but approached 100% at night when small...... scale (i.e., flow and topography‐induced pressure gradients) and large scale (i.e., tidal pumping as traced by radon) seawater recirculation processes were synergistic. Reef lagoon sands were a net sink for H+, and the sink strength was a function of porewater flushing rate. Our observations suggest...

  13. In four shallow and mesophotic tropical reef sponges from Guam the microbial community largely depends on host identity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Steinert, Georg; Taylor, Michael W.; Deines, Peter; Simister, Rachel L.; Voogd, De Nicole J.; Hoggard, Michael; Schupp, Peter J.

    2016-01-01

    Sponges (phylum Porifera) are important members of almost all aquatic ecosystems, and are renowned for hosting often dense and diverse microbial communities. While the specificity of the sponge microbiota seems to be closely related to host phylogeny, the environmental factors that could shape di

  14. Freshwater impacts in the central Great Barrier Reef: 1648-2011

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lough, J. M.; Lewis, S. E.; Cantin, N. E.

    2015-09-01

    The Australian summer monsoon is highly variable from year to year resulting in high variability in the magnitude and extent of freshwater river flood plumes affecting the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). These flood plumes transport terrestrial materials and contaminants to the reef and can have significant impacts on both water quality and ecosystem health. The occurrence and intensity of these freshwater flood plumes are reliably recorded as annual luminescent lines in inshore massive corals and occasional luminescent lines in mid-shelf corals. We use measured luminescence in a long Porites core and four recently collected short cores from Havannah Island (a nearshore reef in the central GBR) to reconstruct Burdekin River flow, 1648-2011, and five recent short cores from Britomart Reef (a mid-shelf reef, 65 km northeast of Havannah Island) to assess the frequency of flood plume events extending beyond the inshore to mid-shelf reefs. The reconstruction highlights that the frequency of high flow events has increased in the GBR from 1 in every 20 yr prior to European settlement (1748-1847) to 1 in every 6 yr reoccurrence (1948-2011). Three of the most extreme events in the past 364 yr have occurred since 1974, including 2011. The reconstruction also shows a shift to higher flows, increased variability from the latter half of the nineteenth century, and likely more frequent freshwater impacts on mid-shelf reefs. This change coincided with European settlement of northern Queensland and substantial changes in land use, which resulted in increased sediment loads exported to the GBR. The consequences of increased sediment loads to the GBR were, therefore, likely exacerbated by this climate shift. This change in Burdekin River flow characteristics appears to be associated with a shift towards greater El Niño-Southern Oscillation variability and rapid warming in the southwest Pacific, evident in independent palaeoclimatic records.

  15. Benthic Foraminifera as ecological indicators for water quality on the Great Barrier Reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uthicke, Sven; Nobes, Kristie

    2008-07-01

    Benthic foraminifera are established indicators for Water Quality (WQ) in Florida and the Caribbean. However, nearshore coral reefs of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) and other Pacific regions are also subjected to increased nutrient and sediment loads. Here, we investigate the use of benthic foraminifera as indicators to assess status and trends of WQ on GBR reefs. We quantified several sediment parameters and the foraminiferan assemblage composition on 20 reefs in four geographic regions of the GBR, and along a water column nutrient and turbidity gradient. Twenty-seven easily recognisable benthic foraminiferan taxa (>63 μm) were distinguished. All four geographic regions differed significantly ( p plastids ( Elphidium sp.) where highly characteristic for low light, higher nutrient conditions. Application of the FORAM index to GBR assemblage composition showed a significant increase in the value of this index with increased distance from the mainland in the Whitsunday region ( r2 = 0.75, p < 0.001), and therefore with increasing light and decreased nutrient availability. We conclude that it will be possible to apply this index to GBR and possibly other Pacific reefs after some adaptations and additional experimental work on species-specific limiting factors.

  16. The 27–year decline of coral cover on the Great Barrier Reef and its causes

    OpenAIRE

    De’ath, Glenn; Fabricius, Katharina E.; Sweatman, Hugh; Puotinen, Marji

    2012-01-01

    The world’s coral reefs are being degraded, and the need to reduce local pressures to offset the effects of increasing global pressures is now widely recognized. This study investigates the spatial and temporal dynamics of coral cover, identifies the main drivers of coral mortality, and quantifies the rates of potential recovery of the Great Barrier Reef. Based on the world’s most extensive time series data on reef condition (2,258 surveys of 214 reefs over 1985–2012), we show a major decline...

  17. Lista de esponjas marinas asociadas al arrecife Tuxpan, Veracruz, México Checklist of marine sponges from Tuxpan Reef, Veracruz, Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos González-Gándara

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Se presenta la lista de esponjas marinas (Porifera: Demospongiae del arrecife Tuxpan, Veracruz, México, colectadas en 2004, 2005 y 2006 mediante buceo libre y con equipo autónomo SCUBA. Los resultados muestran la presencia de 18 especies pertenecientes a 13 géneros y 13 familias, 17 de estas especies son nuevos registros para los arrecifes coralinos del norte de Veracruz y una (Aplysina cauliformis Carter, 1882 para el estado. La información puede auxiliar para definir las estrategias de manejo, monitoreo y protección de estas formaciones arrecifales que recientemente han sido propuestas como área de protección de flora y fauna.A checklist of marine sponge species (Porifera: Demospongiae from Tuxpan reef, Veracruz, Mexico, collected during 2004, 2005 and 2006 by free and SCUBA diving equipment, is presented. The results show the presence of 18 species belonging to 13 genera and 13 families. 17 speices represent new records for the northern coral reefs of Veracruz, and the 18th species (Aplysina cauliformis Carter, 1882 is a new record for the state. This information may help to define appropriate management, monitoring and protection strategies for the coral reefs of the north of Veracruz, which have been proposed as a natural preserve area recently.

  18. Diurnal warming in shallow coastal seas: Observations from the Caribbean and Great Barrier Reef regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, X.; Minnett, P. J.; Berkelmans, R.; Hendee, J.; Manfrino, C.

    2014-07-01

    A good understanding of diurnal warming in the upper ocean is important for the validation of satellite-derived sea surface temperature (SST) against in-situ buoy data and for merging satellite SSTs taken at different times of the same day. For shallow coastal regions, better understanding of diurnal heating could also help improve monitoring and prediction of ecosystem health, such as coral reef bleaching. Compared to its open ocean counterpart which has been studied extensively and modeled with good success, coastal diurnal warming has complicating localized characteristics, including coastline geometry, bathymetry, water types, tidal and wave mixing. Our goal is to characterize coastal diurnal warming using two extensive in-situ temperature and weather datasets from the Caribbean and Great Barrier Reef (GBR), Australia. Results showed clear daily warming patterns in most stations from both datasets. For the three Caribbean stations where solar radiation is the main cause of daily warming, the mean diurnal warming amplitudes were about 0.4 K at depths of 4-7 m and 0.6-0.7 K at shallower depths of 1-2 m; the largest warming value was 2.1 K. For coral top temperatures of the GBR, 20% of days had warming amplitudes >1 K, with the largest >4 K. The bottom warming at shallower sites has higher daily maximum temperatures and lower daily minimum temperatures than deeper sites nearby. The averaged daily warming amplitudes were shown to be closely related to daily average wind speed and maximum insolation, as found in the open ocean. Diurnal heating also depends on local features including water depth, location on different sections of the reef (reef flat vs. reef slope), the relative distance from the barrier reef chain (coast vs. lagoon stations vs. inner barrier reef sites vs. outer rim sites); and the proximity to the tidal inlets. In addition, the influence of tides on daily temperature changes and its relative importance compared to solar radiation was quantified by

  19. Rent seeking, interest groups and environmental lobbying: Cane Farmers versus Great Barrier Reef Protectionists

    OpenAIRE

    Beard, Rodney

    2007-01-01

    In this paper an interest group model of rent seeking behaviour between sugarcane farmers and environmental protectionists is developed. The motivation for this scenario comes from the debate over fertilizer run-off and its possible impact on Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef. The paper takes Gordon Tullock’s rent-seeking model and applies it to the bargaining process over controls on fertilizer application in an effort to learn something about the likely political outcomes of this ...

  20. Modeling environmental risk and land management trade-offs in the Great Barrier Reef catchment

    OpenAIRE

    Mallawaarachchi, Thilak; Mazur, Kasia; Lawson, Kenton

    2007-01-01

    We develop a catchment scale modeling framework to identify cost-effective strategies for joint onsite abatement and offsite mitigation of land-based pollution from agricultural activities that pose a risk to water quality in the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). An illustrative example of the Barron catchment in north Queensland is used to demonstrate an approach to specify social planner's problem for non-point source pollution management as a cost minimisation model to meet a specified reduction i...

  1. Social Resilience and Commercial Fishers’ Responses to Management Changes in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

    OpenAIRE

    Renae C. Tobin; Stephen G. Sutton

    2012-01-01

    Understanding how social resilience influences resource users’ responses to policy change is important for ensuring the sustainability of social–ecological systems and resource-dependent communities. We use the conceptualization and operationalization of social resilience proposed by Marshall and Marshall (2007) to investigate how resilience level influenced commercial fishers’ perceptions about and adaptation to the 2004 rezoning of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. We co...

  2. Surviving coral bleaching events: porites growth anomalies on the Great Barrier Reef.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neal E Cantin

    Full Text Available Mass coral bleaching affected large parts of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR in 1998 and 2002. In this study, we assessed if signatures of these major thermal stress events were recorded in the growth characteristics of massive Porites colonies. In 2005 a suite of short (<50 cm cores were collected from apparently healthy, surviving Porites colonies, from reefs in the central GBR (18-19°S that have documented observations of widespread bleaching. Sites included inshore (Nelly Bay, Pandora Reef, annually affected by freshwater flood events, midshelf (Rib Reef, only occasionally affected by freshwater floods and offshore (Myrmidon Reef locations primarily exposed to open ocean conditions. Annual growth characteristics (extension, density and calcification were measured in 144 cores from 79 coral colonies and analysed over the common 24-year period, 1980-2003. Visual examination of the annual density bands revealed growth hiatuses associated with the bleaching years in the form of abrupt decreases in annual linear extension rates, high density stress bands and partial mortality. The 1998 mass-bleaching event reduced Porites calcification by 13 and 18% on the two inshore locations for 4 years, followed by recovery to baseline calcification rates in 2002. Evidence of partial mortality was apparent in 10% of the offshore colonies in 2002; however no significant effects of the bleaching events were evident in the calcification rates at the mid shelf and offshore sites. These results highlight the spatial variation of mass bleaching events and that all reef locations within the GBR were not equally stressed by the 1998 and 2002 mass bleaching events, as some models tend to suggest, which enabled recovery of calcification on the GBR within 4 years. The dynamics in annual calcification rates and recovery displayed here should be used to improve model outputs that project how coral calcification will respond to ongoing warming of the tropical oceans.

  3. Deepwater Chondrichthyan Bycatch of the Eastern King Prawn Fishery in the Southern Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rigby, Cassandra L.; White, William T.; Simpfendorfer, Colin A.

    2016-01-01

    The deepwater chondrichthyan fauna of the Great Barrier Reef is poorly known and life history information is required to enable their effective management as they are inherently vulnerable to exploitation. The chondrichthyan bycatch from the deepwater eastern king prawn fishery at the Swain Reefs in the southern Great Barrier Reef was examined to determine the species present and provide information on their life histories. In all, 1533 individuals were collected from 11 deepwater chondrichthyan species, with the Argus skate Dipturus polyommata, piked spurdog Squalus megalops and pale spotted catshark Asymbolus pallidus the most commonly caught. All but one species is endemic to Australia with five species restricted to waters offshore from Queensland. The extent of life history information available for each species varied but the life history traits across all species were characteristic of deep water chondrichthyans with relatively large length at maturity, small litters and low ovarian fecundity; all indicative of low biological productivity. However, variability among these traits and spatial and bathymetric distributions of the species suggests differing degrees of resilience to fishing pressure. To ensure the sustainability of these bycatch species, monitoring of their catches in the deepwater eastern king prawn fishery is recommended. PMID:27218654

  4. Spatial variation in background mortality among dominant coral taxa on Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pisapia, Chiara; Pratchett, Morgan S

    2014-01-01

    Even in the absence of major disturbances (e.g., cyclones, bleaching), corals are consistently subject to high levels of background mortality, which undermines individual fitness and resilience of coral colonies. Partial mortality may impact coral response to climate change by reducing colony ability to recover between major acute stressors. This study quantified proportion of injured versus uninjured colonies (the prevalence of injuries) and instantaneous measures of areal extent of injuries across individual colonies (the severity of injuries), in four common coral species along the Great Barrier Reef in Australia: massive Porites, encrusting Montipora, Acropora hyacinthus and Pocillopora damicornis. A total of 2,276 adult colonies were surveyed three latitudinal sectors, nine reefs and 27 sites along 1000 km2 on the Great Barrier Reef. The prevalence of injuries was very high, especially for Porites spp (91%) and Montipora encrusting (85%) and varied significantly, but most lay at small spatial scales (e.g., among colonies positioned coral capacity to cope with increasing acute disturbances, such as climate-induced coral bleaching. These data are important for understanding coral responses to increasing stressors, and in particular for predicting their capacity to recover between subsequent disturbances. PMID:24959921

  5. Keeping the ‘Great’ in the Great Barrier Reef: large-scale governance of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Louisa S. Evans

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available As part of an international collaboration to compare large-scale commons, we used the Social-Ecological Systems Meta-Analysis Database (SESMAD to systematically map out attributes of and changes in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMP in Australia. We focus on eight design principles from common-pool resource (CPR theory and other key social-ecological systems governance variables, and explore to what extent they help explain the social and ecological outcomes of park management through time. Our analysis showed that commercial fisheries management and the re-zoning of the GBRMP in 2004 led to improvements in ecological condition of the reef, particularly fisheries. These boundary and rights changes were supported by effective monitoring, sanctioning and conflict resolution. Moderate biophysical connectivity was also important for improved outcomes. However, our analysis also highlighted that continued challenges to improved ecological health in terms of coral cover and biodiversity can be explained by fuzzy boundaries between land and sea, and the significance of external drivers to even large-scale social-ecological systems (SES. While ecological and institutional fit in the marine SES was high, this was not the case when considering the coastal SES. Nested governance arrangements become even more important at this larger scale. To our knowledge, our paper provides the first analysis linking the re-zoning of the GBRMP to CPR and SES theory. We discuss important challenges to coding large-scale systems for meta-analysis.

  6. Climate change disables coral bleaching protection on the Great Barrier Reef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ainsworth, Tracy D; Heron, Scott F; Ortiz, Juan Carlos; Mumby, Peter J; Grech, Alana; Ogawa, Daisie; Eakin, C Mark; Leggat, William

    2016-04-15

    Coral bleaching events threaten the sustainability of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). Here we show that bleaching events of the past three decades have been mitigated by induced thermal tolerance of reef-building corals, and this protective mechanism is likely to be lost under near-future climate change scenarios. We show that 75% of past thermal stress events have been characterized by a temperature trajectory that subjects corals to a protective, sub-bleaching stress, before reaching temperatures that cause bleaching. Such conditions confer thermal tolerance, decreasing coral cell mortality and symbiont loss during bleaching by over 50%. We find that near-future increases in local temperature of as little as 0.5°C result in this protective mechanism being lost, which may increase the rate of degradation of the GBR. PMID:27081069

  7. Patterns of the benthic community structure in coral reefs of the north western Caribbean

    OpenAIRE

    Borges-Souza, J.M.; Chávez, E.A.

    2007-01-01

    Data on the benthic community structure of six coral reefs of the Mexican portion of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System using the photographic-transect method, aimed to describe the structural patterns in each reef, and comparing differences between shallow and deep reefs. In the shallow stratum (Colombia 6-7m, Chankanaab 6m, Majahual 1-6m and Akumal 8m) hexacorals, sponges and algae dominated, with 38%, 34.6% and 14.5% of abundance, respectively. The species most commonly found were: Monta...

  8. Spatial variation in background mortality among dominant coral taxa on Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chiara Pisapia

    Full Text Available Even in the absence of major disturbances (e.g., cyclones, bleaching, corals are consistently subject to high levels of background mortality, which undermines individual fitness and resilience of coral colonies. Partial mortality may impact coral response to climate change by reducing colony ability to recover between major acute stressors. This study quantified proportion of injured versus uninjured colonies (the prevalence of injuries and instantaneous measures of areal extent of injuries across individual colonies (the severity of injuries, in four common coral species along the Great Barrier Reef in Australia: massive Porites, encrusting Montipora, Acropora hyacinthus and Pocillopora damicornis. A total of 2,276 adult colonies were surveyed three latitudinal sectors, nine reefs and 27 sites along 1000 km2 on the Great Barrier Reef. The prevalence of injuries was very high, especially for Porites spp (91% and Montipora encrusting (85% and varied significantly, but most lay at small spatial scales (e.g., among colonies positioned <10-m apart. Similarly, severity of background partial mortality was surprisingly high (between 5% and 21% but varied greatly among colonies within the same site and habitat. This study suggests that intraspecific variation in partial mortality between adjacent colonies may be more important than variation between colonies in different latitudinal sectors or reefs. Differences in the prevalence and severity of background partial mortality have significant ramifications for coral capacity to cope with increasing acute disturbances, such as climate-induced coral bleaching. These data are important for understanding coral responses to increasing stressors, and in particular for predicting their capacity to recover between subsequent disturbances.

  9. Summer hot snaps and winter conditions: modelling white syndrome outbreaks on Great Barrier Reef corals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott F Heron

    Full Text Available Coral reefs are under increasing pressure in a changing climate, one such threat being more frequent and destructive outbreaks of coral diseases. Thermal stress from rising temperatures has been implicated as a causal factor in disease outbreaks observed on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia, and elsewhere in the world. Here, we examine seasonal effects of satellite-derived temperature on the abundance of coral diseases known as white syndromes on the Great Barrier Reef, considering both warm stress during summer and deviations from mean temperatures during the preceding winter. We found a high correlation (r(2 = 0.953 between summer warm thermal anomalies (Hot Snap and disease abundance during outbreak events. Inclusion of thermal conditions during the preceding winter revealed that a significant reduction in disease outbreaks occurred following especially cold winters (Cold Snap, potentially related to a reduction in pathogen loading. Furthermore, mild winters (i.e., neither excessively cool nor warm frequently preceded disease outbreaks. In contrast, disease outbreaks did not typically occur following warm winters, potentially because of increased disease resistance of the coral host. Understanding the balance between the effects of warm and cold winters on disease outbreak will be important in a warming climate. Combining the influence of winter and summer thermal effects resulted in an algorithm that yields both a Seasonal Outlook of disease risk at the conclusion of winter and near real-time monitoring of Outbreak Risk during summer. This satellite-derived system can provide coral reef managers with an assessment of risk three-to-six months in advance of the summer season that can then be refined using near-real-time summer observations. This system can enhance the capacity of managers to prepare for and respond to possible disease outbreaks and focus research efforts to increase understanding of environmental impacts on coral disease in

  10. Bacterial diversity associated with Cinachyra cavernosa and Haliclona pigmentifera, cohabiting sponges in the coral reef ecosystem of Gulf of Mannar, southeast coast of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Jasmin, C.; Anas, A; Nair, S.

    and biotechnological potentials. However, our understanding of the sponge microbiome is limited to a few species of sponges from restricted geographical locations. Here, we report for the first time the bacterial diversity of two cohabiting sponges, viz. Cinachyra...

  11. Journey to the Reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryson, Linda

    2010-01-01

    Despite their experiences with a cartoon sponge, most elementary students know little about the diverse inhabitants of coral reefs. Therefore, with vivid photography and video, diverse coral reef inhabitants were brought to life for the author's fifth-grade students. Students shared their knowledge in language arts and even explored coral reefs in…

  12. Coral-macroalgal phase shifts or reef resilience: links with diversity and functional roles of herbivorous fishes on the Great Barrier Reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheal, A. J.; MacNeil, M. Aaron; Cripps, E.; Emslie, M. J.; Jonker, M.; Schaffelke, B.; Sweatman, H.

    2010-12-01

    Changes from coral to macroalgal dominance following disturbances to corals symbolize the global degradation of coral reefs. The development of effective conservation measures depends on understanding the causes of such phase shifts. The prevailing view that coral-macroalgal phase shifts commonly occur due to insufficient grazing by fishes is based on correlation with overfishing and inferences from models and small-scale experiments rather than on long-term quantitative field studies of fish communities at affected and resilient sites. Consequently, the specific characteristics of herbivorous fish communities that most promote reef resilience under natural conditions are not known, though this information is critical for identifying vulnerable ecosystems. In this study, 11 years of field surveys recorded the development of the most persistent coral-macroalgal phase shift (>7 years) yet observed on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef (GBR). This shift followed extensive coral mortality caused by thermal stress (coral bleaching) and damaging storms. Comparisons with two similar reefs that suffered similar disturbances but recovered relatively rapidly demonstrated that the phase shift occurred despite high abundances of one herbivore functional group (scraping/excavating parrotfishes: Labridae). However, the shift was strongly associated with low fish herbivore diversity and low abundances of algal browsers (predominantly Siganidae) and grazers/detritivores (Acanthuridae), suggesting that one or more of these factors underpin reef resilience and so deserve particular protection. Herbivorous fishes are not harvested on the GBR, and the phase shift was not enhanced by unusually high nutrient levels. This shows that unexploited populations of herbivorous fishes cannot ensure reef resilience even under benign conditions and suggests that reefs could lose resilience under relatively low fishing pressure. Predictions of more severe and widespread coral mortality due to global

  13. Assessing community values for reducing agricultural emissions to improve water quality and protect coral health in the Great Barrier Reef

    OpenAIRE

    Windle, Jill; Rolfe, John

    2010-01-01

    Key policy issues relating to protection of the Great Barrier Reef from pollutants generated by agriculture are to identify when measures to improve water quality generate benefits to society that outweigh the costs of reducing pollutants. The research reported in this paper makes a key contribution in several key ways. First, it uses the improved science understanding about the links between management changes and reef health to bring together the analysis of costs and benefits of marginal c...

  14. The Effect of the Great Barrier Reef on the Propagation of the 2007 Solomon Islands Tsunami Recorded in Northeastern Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baba, Toshitaka; Mleczko, Richard; Burbidge, David; Cummins, Phil R.; Thio, Hong Kie

    2008-12-01

    The effect of offshore coral reefs on the impact from a tsunami remains controversial. For example, field surveys after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami indicate that the energy of the tsunami was reduced by natural coral reef barriers in Sri Lanka, but there was no indication that coral reefs off Banda Aceh, Indonesia had any effect on the tsunami. In this paper, we investigate whether the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) offshore Queensland, Australia, may have weakened the tsunami impact from the 2007 Solomon Islands earthquake. The fault slip distribution of the 2007 Solomon Islands earthquake was firstly obtained by teleseismic inversion. The tsunami was then propagated to shallow water just offshore the coast by solving the linear shallow water equations using a staggered grid finite-difference method. We used a relatively high resolution (approximately 250 m) bathymetric grid for the region just off the coast containing the reef. The tsunami waveforms recorded at tide gauge stations along the Australian coast were then compared to the results from the tsunami simulation when using both the realistic 250 m resolution bathymetry and with two grids having fictitious bathymetry: One in which the the GBR has been replaced by a smooth interpolation from depths outside the GBR to the coast (the “No GBR” grid), and one in which the GBR has been replaced by a flat plane at a depth equal to the mean water depth of the GBR (the “Average GBR” grid). From the comparison between the synthetic waveforms both with and without the Great Barrier Reef, we found that the Great Barrier Reef significantly weakened the tsunami impact. According to our model, the coral reefs delayed the tsunami arrival time by 5-10 minutes, decreased the amplitude of the first tsunami pulse to half or less, and lengthened the period of the tsunami.

  15. Coral-mucus-associated Vibrio integrons in the Great Barrier Reef: genomic hotspots for environmental adaptation

    OpenAIRE

    Koenig, Jeremy E.; Bourne, David G; Curtis, Bruce; Dlutek, Marlena; Stokes, H. W.; Doolittle, W Ford; Boucher, Yan

    2011-01-01

    Integron cassette arrays in a dozen cultivars of the most prevalent group of Vibrio isolates obtained from mucus expelled by a scleractinian coral (Pocillopora damicornis) colony living on the Great Barrier Reef were sequenced and compared. Although all cultivars showed >99% identity across recA, pyrH and rpoB genes, no two had more than 10% of their integron-associated gene cassettes in common, and some individuals shared cassettes exclusively with distantly-related members of the genus. Of ...

  16. SPATIAL HETEROGENEITY OF PHOTOSYNTHETIC ACTIVITY WITHIN DISEASED CORALS FROM THE GREAT BARRIER REEF

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Roff, George; Ulstrup, Karin Elizabeth; Fine, Maoz;

    2008-01-01

    Morphological diagnosis and descriptions of seven disease-like syndromes affecting scleractinian corals were characterized from the southern Great Barrier Reef (GBR). Chl a fluorescence of PSII was measured using an Imaging-PAM (pulse amplitude modulated) fluorometer, enabling visualization of the...... associated with white patch syndrome appeared to impact primarily on the symbiotic dinoflagellates, as evidenced by declines in minimum fluorescence (F0) and maximum quantum yield (Fv/Fm), with no indication of degeneration in the host tissues. Our results suggest that for the majority of coral syndromes...... from the GBR, pathogenesis occurs in the host tissue, while the impact on the zooxanthellae populations residing in affected corals is minimal....

  17. Biogeochemical responses following coral mass spawning on the Great Barrier Reef: pelagic-benthic coupling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wild, C.; Jantzen, C.; Struck, U.; Hoegh-Guldberg, O.; Huettel, M.

    2008-03-01

    This study quantified how the pulse of organic matter from the release of coral gametes triggered a chain of pelagic and benthic processes during an annual mass spawning event on the Australian Great Barrier Reef. Particulate organic matter (POM) concentrations in reef waters increased by threefold to 11-fold the day after spawning and resulted in a stimulation of pelagic oxygen consumption rates that lasted for at least 1 week. Water column microbial communities degraded the organic carbon of gametes of the broadcast-spawning coral Acropora millepora at a rate of >15% h-1, which is about three times faster than the degradation rate measured for larvae of the brooding coral Stylophora pistillata. Stable isotope signatures of POM in the water column reflected the fast transfer of organic matter from coral gametes into higher levels of the food chain, and the amount of POM reaching the seafloor immediately increased after coral spawning and then tailed-off in the next 2 weeks. Short-lasting phytoplankton blooms developed within a few days after the spawning event, indicating a prompt recycling of nutrients released through the degradation of spawning products. These data show the profound effects of coral mass spawning on the reef community and demonstrate the tight recycling of nutrients in this oligotrophic ecosystem.

  18. Reef sharks exhibit site-fidelity and higher relative abundance in marine reserves on the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark E Bond

    Full Text Available Carcharhinid sharks can make up a large fraction of the top predators inhabiting tropical marine ecosystems and have declined in many regions due to intense fishing pressure. There is some support for the hypothesis that carcharhinid species that complete their life-cycle within coral reef ecosystems, hereafter referred to as "reef sharks", are more abundant inside no-take marine reserves due to a reduction in fishing pressure (i.e., they benefit from marine reserves. Key predictions of this hypothesis are that (a individual reef sharks exhibit high site-fidelity to these protected areas and (b their relative abundance will generally be higher in these areas compared to fished reefs. To test this hypothesis for the first time in Caribbean coral reef ecosystems we combined acoustic monitoring and baited remote underwater video (BRUV surveys to measure reef shark site-fidelity and relative abundance, respectively. We focused on the Caribbean reef shark (Carcharhinus perezi, the most common reef shark in the Western Atlantic, at Glover's Reef Marine Reserve (GRMR, Belize. Acoustically tagged sharks (N = 34 were detected throughout the year at this location and exhibited strong site-fidelity. Shark presence or absence on 200 BRUVs deployed at GRMR and three other sites (another reserve site and two fished reefs showed that the factor "marine reserve" had a significant positive effect on reef shark presence. We rejected environmental factors or site-environment interactions as predominant drivers of this pattern. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that marine reserves can benefit reef shark populations and we suggest new hypotheses to determine the underlying mechanism(s involved: reduced fishing mortality or enhanced prey availability.

  19. Disturbance and the dynamics of coral cover on the Great Barrier Reef (1995-2009.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kate Osborne

    Full Text Available Coral reef ecosystems worldwide are under pressure from chronic and acute stressors that threaten their continued existence. Most obvious among changes to reefs is loss of hard coral cover, but a precise multi-scale estimate of coral cover dynamics for the Great Barrier Reef (GBR is currently lacking. Monitoring data collected annually from fixed sites at 47 reefs across 1300 km of the GBR indicate that overall regional coral cover was stable (averaging 29% and ranging from 23% to 33% cover across years with no net decline between 1995 and 2009. Subregional trends (10-100 km in hard coral were diverse with some being very dynamic and others changing little. Coral cover increased in six subregions and decreased in seven subregions. Persistent decline of corals occurred in one subregion for hard coral and Acroporidae and in four subregions in non-Acroporidae families. Change in Acroporidae accounted for 68% of change in hard coral. Crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci outbreaks and storm damage were responsible for more coral loss during this period than either bleaching or disease despite two mass bleaching events and an increase in the incidence of coral disease. While the limited data for the GBR prior to the 1980's suggests that coral cover was higher than in our survey, we found no evidence of consistent, system-wide decline in coral cover since 1995. Instead, fluctuations in coral cover at subregional scales (10-100 km, driven mostly by changes in fast-growing Acroporidae, occurred as a result of localized disturbance events and subsequent recovery.

  20. The ecology of 'Acroporid white syndrome', a coral disease from the southern Great Barrier Reef.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George Roff

    Full Text Available Outbreaks of coral disease have increased worldwide over the last few decades. Despite this, remarkably little is known about the ecology of disease in the Indo-Pacific Region. Here we report the spatiotemporal dynamics of a coral disease termed 'Acroporid white syndrome' observed to affect tabular corals of the genus Acropora on the southern Great Barrier Reef. The syndrome is characterised by rapid tissue loss initiating in the basal margins of colonies, and manifests as a distinct lesion boundary between apparently healthy tissue and exposed white skeleton. Surveys of eight sites around Heron Reef in 2004 revealed a mean prevalence of 8.1±0.9%, affecting the three common species (Acropora cytherea, A. hyacinthus, A. clathrata and nine other tabular Acropora spp. While all sizes of colonies were affected, white syndrome disproportionately affected larger colonies of tabular Acroporids (>80 cm. The prevalence of white syndrome was strongly related to the abundance of tabular Acroporids within transects, yet the incidence of the syndrome appears unaffected by proximity to other colonies, suggesting that while white syndrome is density dependant, it does not exhibit a strongly aggregated spatial pattern consistent with previous coral disease outbreaks. Acroporid white syndrome was not transmitted by either direct contact in the field or by mucus in aquaria experiments. Monitoring of affected colonies revealed highly variable rates of tissue loss ranging from 0 to 1146 cm(-2 week(-1, amongst the highest documented for a coral disease. Contrary to previous links between temperature and coral disease, rates of tissue loss in affected colonies increased threefold during the winter months. Given the lack of spatial pattern and non-infectious nature of Acroporid white syndrome, further studies are needed to determine causal factors and longer-term implications of disease outbreaks on the Great Barrier Reef.

  1. New sciophilous sponges from the Caribbean (Porifera: Demospongiae)

    OpenAIRE

    Van, Soest

    2009-01-01

    Thirteen new species of sponges are described from coral reefs of the Netherlands Antilles and the Colombian Caribbean. Species were collected during quantitative investigations of reef sponges performed by students of the University of Amsterdam in the period between 1984 and 1991. Most of the reported specimens were taken from undersides of coral rubble, crevices or reef caves (sciophilous habitats) and without exception are small encrusting or fistular sponges. The material reported in thi...

  2. Impacts of Cyclone Yasi on nearshore, terrigenous sediment-dominated reefs of the central Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, C. T.; Smithers, S. G.; Kench, P. S.; Pears, B.

    2014-10-01

    Tropical Cyclone (TC) Yasi (Category 5) was a large (~ 700 km across) cyclone that crossed Australia's Queensland coast on the 3rd of February 2011. TC Yasi was one of the region's most powerful recorded cyclones, with winds gusting to 290 km/h and wave heights exceeding 7 m. Here we describe the impacts of TC Yasi on a number of nearshore, turbid-zone coral reefs, that include several in the immediate vicinity of the cyclone's landfall path (King Reef, Lugger Shoal and Dunk Island), as well as a more distally located reef (Paluma Shoals) ~ 150 km to the south in Halifax Bay. These reefs were the focus of recent (between 2006 and 2009) pre-Yasi studies into their geomorphology, sedimentology and community structure, and here we discuss data from a recent (August 2011) post-Yasi re-assessment. This provided a unique opportunity to identify and describe the impacts of an intense tropical cyclone on nearshore reefs, which are often assumed to be vulnerable to physical disturbance and reworking due to their poorly lithified framework. Observed impacts of TC Yasi were site specific and spatially highly heterogeneous, but appear to have been strongly influenced by the contemporary evolutionary stage and ecological make-up of the individual reefs, with site setting (i.e. exposure to prevailing wave action) apparently more important than proximity to the landfall path. The most significant ecological impacts occurred at King Reef (probably a result of freshwater bleaching) and at Paluma Shoals, where widespread physical destruction of branched Acropora occurred. New coral recruits are, however, common at all sites and colony re-growth clearly evident at King Reef. Only localised geomorphic change was evident, mainly in the form of coral fracturing, rubble deposition, and sediment movement, but again these impacts were highly site specific. The dominant impact at Paluma Shoals was localised storm ridge/shingle sheet deposition, at Lugger Shoal major offshore fine sediment

  3. New evidence of an early Pridoli barrier reef in the southern part of the Baltic Silurian basin based on three-dimensional seismic survey, Lithuania

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donatas Kaminskas

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Reefs and a barrier reef have been newly identified and mapped by three-dimensional (3D seismic survey in Lithuania. Seismic data analysis has allowed the size and geometry of these reefs to be determined. The largest reefs occur at Pavasaris and South Bliudziai. They have a similar shape and are about 1.5 km long and 1 km wide. A circle-shaped smaller patch reef at North Bliudziai is 1 km in diameter. The overall heights of the studied structures do not exceed 30–40 m. The reefs consist of coarse-grained bioclastic stromatoporoid limestone. A barrier reef rising structurally from SW to NE was established in the west of the mapped area. The stratigraphic position (early Minija Regional Stage and lateral distribution of the barrier reef suggest it started to form earlier than the group of patch reefs. The development of patch reefs was related to the transgression of the Silurian Baltic basin.

  4. Unique Sequence of Events Triggers Manta Ray Feeding Frenzy in the Southern Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scarla J. Weeks

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Manta rays are classified as Vulnerable to Extinction on the IUCN Red List for Threatened Species. In Australia, a key aggregation site for reef manta rays is Lady Elliot Island (LEI on the Great Barrier Reef, ~7 km from the shelf edge. Here, we investigate the environmental processes that triggered the largest manta ray feeding aggregation yet observed in Australia, in early 2013. We use MODIS sea surface temperature (SST, chlorophyll-a concentration and photic depth data, together with in situ data, to show that anomalous river discharges led to high chlorophyll (anomalies: 10–15 mg∙m−3 and turbid (photic depth anomalies: −15 m river plumes extending out to LEI, and that these became entrained offshore around the periphery of an active cyclonic eddy. Eddy dynamics led to cold bottom intrusions along the shelf edge (6 °C temperature decrease, and at LEI (5 °C temperature decrease. Strongest SST gradients (>1 °C∙km−1 were at the convergent frontal zone between the shelf and eddy-influenced waters, directly overlying LEI. Here, the front intensified on the spring ebb tide to attract and shape the aggregation pattern of foraging manta rays. Future research could focus on mapping the probability and persistence of these ecologically significant frontal zones via remote sensing to aid the management and conservation of marine species.

  5. A method for risk analysis across governance systems: a Great Barrier Reef case study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Healthy governance systems are key to delivering sound environmental management outcomes from global to local scales. There are, however, surprisingly few risk assessment methods that can pinpoint those domains and sub-domains within governance systems that are most likely to influence good environmental outcomes at any particular scale, or those if absent or dysfunctional, most likely to prevent effective environmental management. This paper proposes a new risk assessment method for analysing governance systems. This method is then tested through its preliminary application to a significant real-world context: governance as it relates to the health of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef (GBR). The GBR exists at a supra-regional scale along most of the north eastern coast of Australia. Brodie et al (2012 Mar. Pollut. Bull. 65 81–100) have recently reviewed the state and trend of the health of the GBR, finding that overall trends remain of significant concern. At the same time, official international concern over the governance of the reef has recently been signalled globally by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). These environmental and political contexts make the GBR an ideal candidate for use in testing and reviewing the application of improved tools for governance risk assessment. (letter)

  6. Relationships between temperature, bleaching and white syndrome on the Great Barrier Reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ban, S. S.; Graham, N. A. J.; Connolly, S. R.

    2013-03-01

    Coral bleaching and disease have often been hypothesized to be mutually reinforcing or co-occurring, but much of the research supporting this has only drawn an implicit connection through common environmental predictors. In this study, we examine whether an explicit relationship between white syndrome and bleaching exists using assemblage-level monitoring data from up to 112 sites on reef slopes spread throughout the Great Barrier Reef over 11 years of monitoring. None of the temperature metrics commonly used to predict mass bleaching performed strongly when applied to these data. Furthermore, the inclusion of bleaching as a predictor did not improve model skill over baseline models for predicting white syndrome. Similarly, the inclusion of white syndrome as a predictor did not improve models of bleaching. Evidence for spatial co-occurrence of bleaching and white syndrome at the assemblage level in this data set was also very weak. These results suggest the hypothesized relationship between bleaching and disease events may be weaker than previously thought, and more likely to be driven by common responses to environmental stressors, rather than directly facilitating one another.

  7. Towards protecting the Great Barrier Reef from land-based pollution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kroon, Frederieke J; Thorburn, Peter; Schaffelke, Britta; Whitten, Stuart

    2016-06-01

    The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is an iconic coral reef system extending over 2000 km along the north-east coast of Australia. Global recognition of its Outstanding Universal Value resulted in the listing of the 348 000 km(2) GBR World Heritage Area (WHA) by UNESCO in 1981. Despite various levels of national and international protection, the condition of GBR ecosystems has deteriorated over the past decades, with land-based pollution from the adjacent catchments being a major and ongoing cause for this decline. To reduce land-based pollution, the Australian and Queensland Governments have implemented a range of policy initiatives since 2003. Here, we evaluate the effectiveness of existing initiatives to reduce discharge of land-based pollutants into the waters of the GBR. We conclude that recent efforts in the GBR catchments to reduce land-based pollution are unlikely to be sufficient to protect the GBR ecosystems from declining water quality within the aspired time frames. To support management decisions for desired ecological outcomes for the GBR WHA, we identify potential improvements to current policies and incentives, as well as potential changes to current agricultural land use, based on overseas experiences and Australia's unique potential. The experience in the GBR may provide useful guidance for the management of other marine ecosystems, as reducing land-based pollution by better managing agricultural sources is a challenge for coastal communities around the world. PMID:26922913

  8. Understanding Biophysical Interactions In The Great Barrier Reef Catchments: Better Landscape Management For Water Quality Outcomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bui, E. N.; Wilkinson, S. N.; Bartley, R.

    2014-12-01

    Sediment input to the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) lagoon has had deleterious impacts on seagrass and coral ecosystems. The response of the Australian government has been to develop policies to: (i) reverse the impact of threats from sediments and nutrients, and improve water quality and aquatic health of the GBR lagoon; and (ii) to facilitate the uptake of sustainable farming and land management practices that deliver improved ecosystem services, by at least 30 per cent of farmers. The Reef2050 Long term sustainability plan aims to identify priority locations for on-ground investment of remediation options that will result in a reduction of constituent loads to the GBR. Recent sediment tracing studies indicate that subsoil from erosion features such as gullies and channel banks are the dominant contributors of sediment in the GBR catchments. Better control of gully and streambank erosion and restoration of riparian habitats are therefore necessary. Here we review the evidence for bank erosion in the GBR catchments and how scientific evidence on feedback relationships between climate- geochemistry-vegetation-landforms can be used to develop better guidelines for streambank and gully re-vegetation.

  9. Spatial patterns in benthic communities and the dynamics of a mosaic ecosystem on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ninio, R.; Meekan, M.

    2002-04-01

    The benthic communities of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) have been characterized as a mosaic with patches at scales of tens to hundreds of kilometres formed by clusters of reefs with comparable environmental settings and histories of disturbance. We use data sets of changes in cover of abundant benthic organisms to examine the relationship between community composition and the dynamics of this mosaic. Our data were compiled from seven annual video surveys of permanent transects on the north-east flanks of up to 52 reefs at different shelf positions throughout most of the GBR. Classification analysis of these data sets identified three distinct groups of reefs, the first dominated by poritid hard corals and alcyoniid soft corals, the second by hard corals of the genus Acropora, and the third by xeniid soft corals. These groups underwent different amounts of change in cover during the period of our study. As acroporan corals are fast growing but susceptible to mortality due to predators and wave action, the group of reefs dominated by this genus displayed rapid rates of growth and loss of cover. In contrast, cover in the remaining groups changed very slowly or remained stable. Some evidence suggests that competition for space may limit growth of acroporan corals and thus rates of change in the group dominated by xeniid soft corals. These contrasting patterns imply that susceptibility to, and recovery from, disturbances such as cyclones, predators, and bleaching events will differ among these groups of reefs.

  10. An assessment of an environmental gradient using coral geochemical records, Whitsunday Islands, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coral cores were collected along an environmental and water quality gradient through the Whitsunday Island group, Great Barrier Reef (Australia), for trace element and stable isotope analysis. The primary aim of the study was to examine if this gradient could be detected in coral records and, if so, whether the gradient has changed over time with changing land use in the adjacent river catchments. Y/Ca was the trace element ratio which varied spatially across the gradient, with concentrations progressively decreasing away from the river mouths. The Ba/Ca and Y/Ca ratios were the only indicators of change in the gradient through time, increasing shortly after European settlement. The Mn/Ca ratio responded to local disturbance related to the construction of tourism infrastructure. Nitrogen isotope ratios showed no apparent trend over time. This study highlights the importance of site selection when using coral records to record regional environmental signals.

  11. Submarine groundwater discharge into the near-shore zone of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Along the tropical coastline of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) region, little is known to date about submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) into the near-shore ocean. In an oceanographic sense, SGD consists of freshwater flow from land as well as seawater circulated through sediments. Recent radiochemical and geophysical studies, using the tracer 222Rn and apparent ground conductivity respectively, provide evidence for SGD to occur in a variety of hydrogeological settings. In this paper, a non-quantitative overview of different settings of SGD in the region is presented: (1) recirculation of seawater through animal burrows in mangrove forests, (2) freshwater SGD from unconfined aquifers as a narrow coastal fringe of freshwater along Wet Tropics beaches, (3) SGD from coastal dune systems in form of localised freshwater springs in the intertidal zone, (4) inner-shelf SGD from confined submarine aquifer systems comprised of riverine paleochannels incised into the shelf

  12. Impact of sea-level rise on cross-shore sediment transport on fetch-limited barrier reef island beaches under modal and cyclonic conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldock, T E; Golshani, A; Atkinson, A; Shimamoto, T; Wu, S; Callaghan, D P; Mumby, P J

    2015-08-15

    A one-dimensional wave model is combined with an analytical sediment transport model to investigate the likely influence of sea-level rise on net cross-shore sediment transport on fetch-limited barrier reef and lagoon island beaches. The modelling considers if changes in the nearshore wave height and wave period in the lagoon induced by different water levels over the reef flat are likely to lead to net offshore or onshore movement of sediment. The results indicate that the effects of SLR on net sediment movement are highly variable and controlled by the bathymetry of the reef and lagoon. A significant range of reef-lagoon bathymetry, and notably shallow and narrow reefs, appears to lead hydrodynamic conditions and beaches that are likely to be stable or even accrete under SLR. Loss of reef structural complexity, particularly on the reef flat, increases the chance of sediment transport away from beaches and offshore. PMID:26093817

  13. Lessons from the Field—Two Years of Deploying Operational Wireless Sensor Networks on the Great Barrier Reef

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Geoff Page

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Wireless Sensor Networks promised to do for observation systems what consumer electronics have done for areas like photography—drive down the price per observation (photograph, introduce new functionality and capabilities, and make, what had been a relatively exclusive set of technologies and capabilities, ubiquitous. While this may have been true for some terrestrial sensor networks there are issues in the marine environment that have limited the realization of ubiquitous cheap sensing. This paper reports on the lessons learned from two years of operation of wireless sensor networks deployed at seven coral reefs along the Great Barrier Reef in north-eastern Australia.

  14. 1300 km long late Pleistocene-Holocene shelf edge barrier reef system along the western continental shelf of India: Occurrence and significance

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Vora, K.H.; Wagle, B.G.; Veerayya, M.; Almeida, F.; Karisiddaiah, S.M.

    Guinea and Fiji islands (Guilcher, 1988). Veeh and Veevers (1970) and Harris and Davies (1989) have discussed submerged reefs from shelf edge of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia and described their morphology with implications on reef evolution...) and Siddiquie and Rajamanickam (1974) studied submarine geomor- phic features such as terraces and pinnacles and correlated them with Holocene sea level changes, based mainly on bathymetric data collected during the IIOE and INS Darshak cruises...

  15. Sponge-microbe associations survive high nutrients and temperatures.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel Simister

    Full Text Available Coral reefs are under considerable pressure from global stressors such as elevated sea surface temperature and ocean acidification, as well as local factors including eutrophication and poor water quality. Marine sponges are diverse, abundant and ecologically important components of coral reefs in both coastal and offshore environments. Due to their exceptionally high filtration rates, sponges also form a crucial coupling point between benthic and pelagic habitats. Sponges harbor extensive microbial communities, with many microbial phylotypes found exclusively in sponges and thought to contribute to the health and survival of their hosts. Manipulative experiments were undertaken to ascertain the impact of elevated nutrients and seawater temperature on health and microbial community dynamics in the Great Barrier Reef sponge Rhopaloeides odorabile. R. odorabile exposed to elevated nutrient levels including 10 µmol/L total nitrogen at 31°C appeared visually similar to those maintained under ambient seawater conditions after 7 days. The symbiotic microbial community, analyzed by 16S rRNA gene pyrotag sequencing, was highly conserved for the duration of the experiment at both phylum and operational taxonomic unit (OTU (97% sequence similarity levels with 19 bacterial phyla and 1743 OTUs identified across all samples. Additionally, elevated nutrients and temperatures did not alter the archaeal associations in R. odorabile, with sequencing of 16S rRNA gene libraries revealing similar Thaumarchaeota diversity and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE revealing consistent amoA gene patterns, across all experimental treatments. A conserved eukaryotic community was also identified across all nutrient and temperature treatments by DGGE. The highly stable microbial associations indicate that R. odorabile symbionts are capable of withstanding short-term exposure to elevated nutrient concentrations and sub-lethal temperatures.

  16. Adaptive management of the Great Barrier Reef: a globally significant demonstration of the benefits of networks of marine reserves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCook, Laurence J; Ayling, Tony; Cappo, Mike; Choat, J Howard; Evans, Richard D; De Freitas, Debora M; Heupel, Michelle; Hughes, Terry P; Jones, Geoffrey P; Mapstone, Bruce; Marsh, Helene; Mills, Morena; Molloy, Fergus J; Pitcher, C Roland; Pressey, Robert L; Russ, Garry R; Sutton, Stephen; Sweatman, Hugh; Tobin, Renae; Wachenfeld, David R; Williamson, David H

    2010-10-26

    The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) provides a globally significant demonstration of the effectiveness of large-scale networks of marine reserves in contributing to integrated, adaptive management. Comprehensive review of available evidence shows major, rapid benefits of no-take areas for targeted fish and sharks, in both reef and nonreef habitats, with potential benefits for fisheries as well as biodiversity conservation. Large, mobile species like sharks benefit less than smaller, site-attached fish. Critically, reserves also appear to benefit overall ecosystem health and resilience: outbreaks of coral-eating, crown-of-thorns starfish appear less frequent on no-take reefs, which consequently have higher abundance of coral, the very foundation of reef ecosystems. Effective marine reserves require regular review of compliance: fish abundances in no-entry zones suggest that even no-take zones may be significantly depleted due to poaching. Spatial analyses comparing zoning with seabed biodiversity or dugong distributions illustrate significant benefits from application of best-practice conservation principles in data-poor situations. Increases in the marine reserve network in 2004 affected fishers, but preliminary economic analysis suggests considerable net benefits, in terms of protecting environmental and tourism values. Relative to the revenue generated by reef tourism, current expenditure on protection is minor. Recent implementation of an Outlook Report provides regular, formal review of environmental condition and management and links to policy responses, key aspects of adaptive management. Given the major threat posed by climate change, the expanded network of marine reserves provides a critical and cost-effective contribution to enhancing the resilience of the Great Barrier Reef. PMID:20176947

  17. Anthropogenic contaminants in Indo-Pacific humpback and Australian snubfin dolphins from the central and southern Great Barrier Reef

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    We present the first evidence of accumulation of organochlorine compounds (DDTs, PCBs, HCB) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Indo-Pacific humpback and Australian snubfin dolphins from the central and southern Great Barrier Reef. These dolphins are considered by the Great Barrier Marine Park Authority to be high priority species for management. Analyses of biopsy samples, collected from free ranging individuals, showed PAHs levels comparable to those reported from highly industrialized countries. DDTs and HCB were found at low levels, while in some individuals, PCBs were above thresholds over which immunosuppression and reproductive anomalies occur. These results highlight the need for ongoing monitoring of these and other contaminants, and their potential adverse effects on dolphins and other marine fauna. This is particularly important given the current strategic assessment of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area being undertaken by the Australian Government and the Queensland Government. -- Potentially hazardous levels of some coastal contaminants were found in two species of dolphins inhabiting the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park coastal region

  18. Assessing loss of coral cover on Australia's Great Barrier Reef over two decades, with implications for longer-term trends

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sweatman, H.; Delean, S.; Syms, C.

    2011-06-01

    While coral reefs in many parts of the world are in decline as a direct consequence of human pressures, Australia's Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is unusual in that direct human pressures are low and the entire system of ~2,900 reefs has been managed as a marine park since the 1980s. In spite of these advantages, standard annual surveys of a large number of reefs showed that from 1986 to 2004, average live coral cover across the GBR declined from 28 to 22%. This overall decline was mainly due to large losses in six (21%) of 29 subregions. Declines in live coral cover on reefs in two inshore subregions coincided with thermal bleaching in 1998, while declines in four mid-self subregions were due to outbreaks of predatory starfish. Otherwise, living coral cover increased in one subregion (3%) and 22 subregions (76%) showed no substantial change. Reefs in the great majority of subregions showed cycles of decline and recovery over the survey period, but with little synchrony among subregions. Two previous studies examined long-term changes in live coral cover on GBR reefs using meta-analyses including historical data from before the mid-1980s. Both found greater rates of loss of coral and recorded a marked decrease in living coral cover on the GBR in 1986, coinciding exactly with the start of large-scale monitoring. We argue that much of the apparent long-term decrease results from combining data from selective, sparse, small-scale studies before 1986 with data from both small-scale studies and large-scale monitoring surveys after that date. The GBR has clearly been changed by human activities and live coral cover has declined overall, but losses of coral in the past 40-50 years have probably been overestimated.

  19. Diuron tolerance and potential degradation by pelagic microbiomes in the Great Barrier Reef lagoon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pantos, Olga; Morgan, Thomas C.; Rich, Virginia; Tonin, Hemerson; Bourne, David G.; Mercurio, Philip; Negri, Andrew P.; Tyson, Gene W.

    2016-01-01

    Diuron is a herbicide commonly used in agricultural areas where excess application causes it to leach into rivers, reach sensitive marine environments like the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) lagoon and pose risks to marine life. To investigate the impact of diuron on whole prokaryotic communities that underpin the marine food web and are integral to coral reef health, GBR lagoon water was incubated with diuron at environmentally-relevant concentration (8 µg/L), and sequenced at specific time points over the following year. 16S rRNA gene amplicon profiling revealed no significant short- or long-term effect of diuron on microbiome structure. The relative abundance of prokaryotic phototrophs was not significantly altered by diuron, which suggests that they were largely tolerant at this concentration. Assembly of a metagenome derived from waters sampled at a similar location in the GBR lagoon did not reveal the presence of mutations in the cyanobacterial photosystem that could explain diuron tolerance. However, resident phages displayed several variants of this gene and could potentially play a role in tolerance acquisition. Slow biodegradation of diuron was reported in the incubation flasks, but no correlation with the relative abundance of heterotrophs was evident. Analysis of metagenomic reads supports the hypothesis that previously uncharacterized hydrolases carried by low-abundance species may mediate herbicide degradation in the GBR lagoon. Overall, this study offers evidence that pelagic phototrophs of the GBR lagoon may be more tolerant of diuron than other tropical organisms, and that heterotrophs in the microbial seed bank may have the potential to degrade diuron and alleviate local anthropogenic stresses to inshore GBR ecosystems. PMID:26989611

  20. In the other 90%: phytoplankton responses to enhanced nutrient availability in the Great Barrier Reef Lagoon

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Our view of how water quality effects ecosystems of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is largely framed by observed or expected responses of large benthic organisms (corals, algae, seagrasses) to enhanced levels of dissolved nutrients, sediments and other pollutants in reef waters. In the case of nutrients, however, benthic organisms and communities are largely responding to materials which have cycled through and been transformed by pelagic communities dominated by micro-algae (phytoplankton), protozoa, flagellates and bacteria. Because GBR waters are characterised by high ambient light intensities and water temperatures, inputs of nutrients from both internal and external sources are rapidly taken up and converted to organic matter in inter-reefal waters. Phytoplankton growth, pelagic grazing and remineralisation rates are very rapid. Dominant phytoplankton species in GBR waters have in situ growth rates which range from ∼1 to several doublings per day. To a first approximation, phytoplankton communities and their constituent nutrient content turn over on a daily basis. Relative abundances of dissolved nutrient species strongly indicate N limitation of new biomass formation. Direct (15N) and indirect (14C) estimates of N demand by phytoplankton indicate dissolved inorganic N pools have turnover times on the order of hours to days. Turnover times for inorganic phosphorus in the water column range from hours to weeks. Because of the rapid assimilation of nutrients by plankton communities, biological responses in benthic communities to changed water quality are more likely driven (at several ecological levels) by organic matter derived from pelagic primary production than by dissolved nutrient stocks alone

  1. Diuron tolerance and potential degradation by pelagic microbiomes in the Great Barrier Reef lagoon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angly, Florent E; Pantos, Olga; Morgan, Thomas C; Rich, Virginia; Tonin, Hemerson; Bourne, David G; Mercurio, Philip; Negri, Andrew P; Tyson, Gene W

    2016-01-01

    Diuron is a herbicide commonly used in agricultural areas where excess application causes it to leach into rivers, reach sensitive marine environments like the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) lagoon and pose risks to marine life. To investigate the impact of diuron on whole prokaryotic communities that underpin the marine food web and are integral to coral reef health, GBR lagoon water was incubated with diuron at environmentally-relevant concentration (8 µg/L), and sequenced at specific time points over the following year. 16S rRNA gene amplicon profiling revealed no significant short- or long-term effect of diuron on microbiome structure. The relative abundance of prokaryotic phototrophs was not significantly altered by diuron, which suggests that they were largely tolerant at this concentration. Assembly of a metagenome derived from waters sampled at a similar location in the GBR lagoon did not reveal the presence of mutations in the cyanobacterial photosystem that could explain diuron tolerance. However, resident phages displayed several variants of this gene and could potentially play a role in tolerance acquisition. Slow biodegradation of diuron was reported in the incubation flasks, but no correlation with the relative abundance of heterotrophs was evident. Analysis of metagenomic reads supports the hypothesis that previously uncharacterized hydrolases carried by low-abundance species may mediate herbicide degradation in the GBR lagoon. Overall, this study offers evidence that pelagic phototrophs of the GBR lagoon may be more tolerant of diuron than other tropical organisms, and that heterotrophs in the microbial seed bank may have the potential to degrade diuron and alleviate local anthropogenic stresses to inshore GBR ecosystems. PMID:26989611

  2. In the other 90%: phytoplankton responses to enhanced nutrient availability in the Great Barrier Reef Lagoon

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Furnas, Miles [Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville 4810 (Australia)]. E-mail: m.furnas@aims.gov.au; Mitchell, Alan [Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville 4810 (Australia); Skuza, Michele [Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville 4810 (Australia); Brodie, Jon [Australian Centre for Tropical Freshwater Research, James Cook University, Townsville 4814 (Australia)

    2005-07-01

    Our view of how water quality effects ecosystems of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is largely framed by observed or expected responses of large benthic organisms (corals, algae, seagrasses) to enhanced levels of dissolved nutrients, sediments and other pollutants in reef waters. In the case of nutrients, however, benthic organisms and communities are largely responding to materials which have cycled through and been transformed by pelagic communities dominated by micro-algae (phytoplankton), protozoa, flagellates and bacteria. Because GBR waters are characterised by high ambient light intensities and water temperatures, inputs of nutrients from both internal and external sources are rapidly taken up and converted to organic matter in inter-reefal waters. Phytoplankton growth, pelagic grazing and remineralisation rates are very rapid. Dominant phytoplankton species in GBR waters have in situ growth rates which range from {approx}1 to several doublings per day. To a first approximation, phytoplankton communities and their constituent nutrient content turn over on a daily basis. Relative abundances of dissolved nutrient species strongly indicate N limitation of new biomass formation. Direct ({sup 15}N) and indirect ({sup 14}C) estimates of N demand by phytoplankton indicate dissolved inorganic N pools have turnover times on the order of hours to days. Turnover times for inorganic phosphorus in the water column range from hours to weeks. Because of the rapid assimilation of nutrients by plankton communities, biological responses in benthic communities to changed water quality are more likely driven (at several ecological levels) by organic matter derived from pelagic primary production than by dissolved nutrient stocks alone.

  3. Pathways and Hydrography in the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System Part 1: Circulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrillo, L.; Johns, E. M.; Smith, R. H.; Lamkin, J. T.; Largier, J. L.

    2015-10-01

    Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) measurements and surface drifters released from two oceanographic cruises conducted during March 2006 and January/February 2007 are used to investigate the circulation off the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System (MBRS). We show that the MBRS circulation can be divided into two distinct regimes, a northern region dominated by the strong, northward-flowing Yucatan Current, and a southern region with weaker southward coastal currents and the presence of the Honduras Gyre. The latitude of impingement of the Cayman Current onto the coastline varies with time, and creates a third region, which acts as a boundary between the northern and southern circulation regimes. This circulation pattern yields two zones in terms of dispersal, with planktonic propagules in the northern region being rapidly exported to the north, whereas plankton in the southern and impingement regions may be retained locally or regionally. The latitude of the impingement region shifts interannually and intra-annually up to 3° in latitude. Sub-mesoscale features are observed in association with topography, e.g., flow bifurcation around Cozumel Island, flow wake north of Chinchorro Bank and separation of flow from the coast just north of Bahia de la Ascencion. This third feature is evident as cyclonic recirculation in coastal waters, which we call the Ascencion-Cozumel Coastal Eddy. An understanding of the implications of these different circulation regimes on water mass distributions, population connectivity, and the fate of land-based pollutants in the MBRS is critically important to better inform science-based resource management and conservation plans for the MBRS coral reefs.

  4. CaCO3 dissolution by holothurians (sea cucumber): a case study from One Tree Reef, Great Barrier Reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, K.; Silverman, J.; Kravitz, B.; Woolsey, E.; Eriksson, H.; Schneider-Mor, A.; Barbosa, S.; Rivlin, T.; Byrne, M.; Caldeira, K.

    2012-12-01

    Holothurians (sea cucumbers) are among the largest and most important deposit feeder in coral reefs. They play a role in nutrient and CaCO3 cycling within the reef structure. As a result of their digestive process they secrete alkalinity due to CaCO3 dissolution and organic matter degradation forming CO2 and ammonium. In a survey at station DK13 on One Three Reef we found that the population density of holothurians was > 1 individual m-2. The dominant sea cucumber species Holothuria leucospilota was collected from DK13. The increase in alkalinity due to CaCO3 dissolution in aquaria incubations was measured to be 47±7 μmol kg-1 in average per individual. Combining this dissolution rate with the sea cucumbers concentrations at DK13 suggest that they may account for a dissolution rate of 34.9±17.8 mmol m-2 day-1, which is equivalent to about half of night time community dissolution measured in DK13. This indicates that in reefs where the sea cucumber population is healthy and protected from fishing they can be locally important in the CaCO3 cycle. Preliminary result suggests that the CaCO3 dissolution rates are not affected by the chemistry of the sea water they are incubated in. Measurements of the empty digestive track volume of two sea cucumbers H. atra and Stichopus herrmanni were 36 ± 4 ml and 151 ± 14 ml, respectively. Based on these measurements it is estimated that these species process 19 ± 2kg and 80 ± 7kg CaCO3 sand yr-1 per individual, respectively. The annual dissolution rates of H. atra and S. herrmanni are 6.5±1.9g and 9.6±1.4g, respectively, suggest that 0.05±0.02% and 0.1±0.02% of the CaCO3 processed through their gut annually is dissolved. During the incubations the CaCO3 dissolution was 0.07±0.01%, 0.04±0.01% and 0.21±0.05% of the fecal casts for H. atra, H. leucospilota and S. herrmanni, respectively. Our result that the primary parameter determining the CaCO3 dissolution by sea cucumber is the amount of carbonate send in their gut

  5. Minke whale song, spacing, and acoustic communication on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gedamke, Jason

    An inquisitive population of minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata ) that concentrates on the Great Barrier Reef during its suspected breeding season offered a unique opportunity to conduct a multi-faceted study of a little-known Balaenopteran species' acoustic behavior. Chapter one investigates whether the minke whale is the source of an unusual, complex, and stereotyped sound recorded, the "star-wars" vocalization. A hydrophone array was towed from a vessel to record sounds from circling whales for subsequent localization of sound sources. These acoustic locations were matched with shipboard and in-water observations of the minke whale, demonstrating the minke whale was the source of this unusual sound. Spectral and temporal features of this sound and the source levels at which it is produced are described. The repetitive "star-wars" vocalization appears similar to the songs of other whale species and has characteristics consistent with reproductive advertisement displays. Chapter two investigates whether song (i.e. the "star-wars" vocalization) has a spacing function through passive monitoring of singer spatial patterns with a moored five-sonobuoy array. Active song playback experiments to singers were also conducted to further test song function. This study demonstrated that singers naturally maintain spatial separations between them through a nearest-neighbor analysis and animated tracks of singer movements. In response to active song playbacks, singers generally moved away and repeated song more quickly suggesting that song repetition interval may help regulate spatial interaction and singer separation. These results further indicate the Great Barrier Reef may be an important reproductive habitat for this species. Chapter three investigates whether song is part of a potentially graded repertoire of acoustic signals. Utilizing both vessel-based recordings and remote recordings from the sonobuoy array, temporal and spectral features, source levels, and

  6. Joeropsididae Nordenstam, 1933 (Crustacea, Isopoda, Asellota from the Lizard Island region of the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Niel L. Bruce

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The marine isopod family Joeropsididae (Asellota is documented for the Lizard Island region of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Fifteen species of Joeropsis are recorded, including ten new species; descriptive notes are provided for five species that lacked adequate material for description. A revised family and genus diagnosis is presented together with comments on the most useful characters for species identification and a key to Joeropsis of the Lizard Island region.

  7. The Ecology of ‘Acroporid White Syndrome', a Coral Disease from the Southern Great Barrier Reef

    OpenAIRE

    George Roff; Kvennefors, E. Charlotte E.; Maoz Fine; Juan Ortiz; Davy, Joanne E.; Ove Hoegh-Guldberg

    2011-01-01

    Outbreaks of coral disease have increased worldwide over the last few decades. Despite this, remarkably little is known about the ecology of disease in the Indo-Pacific Region. Here we report the spatiotemporal dynamics of a coral disease termed 'Acroporid white syndrome' observed to affect tabular corals of the genus Acropora on the southern Great Barrier Reef. The syndrome is characterised by rapid tissue loss initiating in the basal margins of colonies, and manifests as a distinct lesion b...

  8. Origins and Implications of a Primary Crown-of-Thorns Starfish Outbreak in the Southern Great Barrier Reef

    OpenAIRE

    Ian Miller; Hugh Sweatman; Alistair Cheal; Mike Emslie; Kerryn Johns; Michelle Jonker; Kate Osborne

    2015-01-01

    The crown-of-thorns starfish (COTS) is a major predator of hard corals. Repeated COTS outbreaks in the Cairns and Central sections of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) have been responsible for greater declines in coral cover than any other type of disturbance, including cyclones, disease, and coral bleaching. Knowledge of the precise timing and location of primary outbreaks could reveal the initial drivers of outbreaks and so could indicate possible management measures. In the central GBR, COTS o...

  9. Influence of Trichodesmium red tides on trace metal cycling at a coastal station in the Great Barrier Reef Lagoon

    OpenAIRE

    Jones, G.; Burdon-jones, C; Thomas, F.

    1982-01-01

    Investigations carried out at a coastal station in the Great Barrier Reef lagoon (GBRL) at Townsville, Australia have shown that the cycling of several trace metals (Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, Ni, Cd, and Pb) was significantly influenced by the presence of Trichodesmium , a blue-green alga, which throughout the year, frequently forms red tide densities along much of the Queensland coral coast. Whilst decomposition of large masses of Trichodesmium significantly affected metal concentrations, metal specia...

  10. Extracting growth rates from the non-laminated coralline sponge Astrosclera willeyana using "bomb" radiocarbon

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fallon, S; Guilderson, T

    2004-06-30

    Coralline sponges have the potential to fill in gaps in our understanding of subsurface oceanographic variability. However, one disadvantage they have compared to hermatypic reef building coral proxies is that they do not have annual density bands and need to be radiometrically dated for an age determination. To elucidate growth rate variability we have measured radiocarbon in 1 mm increments from Astrosclera willeyana sponges collected off the Central and Northern Great Barrier Reef (GBR) and from Truk in the Caroline Islands and compared these radiocarbon profiles to independently dated coral radiocarbon records. Growth rates of the GBR sponges average 1.2 {+-} 0.3 and 1.0 {+-} 0.3 mm yr{sup -1}, north and central respectively but can vary by a factor of two. The growth rate of the Truk sponge averages 1.2 {+-} 0.1 mm yr{sup -1}. These growth rates are significantly faster to those measured for other GBR Astrosclera willeyana sponges (0.2 mm yr{sup -1}) by Calcein staining (Woerheide 1988).

  11. Dispersal of adult black marlin (Istiompax indica from a Great Barrier Reef spawning aggregation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael L Domeier

    Full Text Available The black marlin (Istiompax indica is one of the largest bony fishes in the world with females capable of reaching a mass of over 700 kg. This highly migratory predator occurs in the tropical regions of the Pacific and Indian Oceans, and is the target of regional recreational and commercial fisheries. Through the sampling of ichthyoplankton and ovaries we provide evidence that the relatively high seasonal abundance of black marlin off the Great Barrier Reef is, in fact, a spawning aggregation. Furthermore, through the tracking of individual black marlin via satellite popup tags, we document the dispersal of adult black marlin away from the spawning aggregation, thereby identifying the catchment area for this spawning stock. Although tag shedding is an issue when studying billfish, we tentatively identify the catchment area for this stock of black marlin to extend throughout the Coral Sea, including the waters of Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Micronesia, New Caledonia, Kiribati, Vanuatu, Fiji, Tuvalu and Nauru.

  12. Coral community responses to declining water quality: Whitsunday Islands, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Angus; Schroeder, Thomas; Brando, Vittorio E.; Schaffelke, Britta

    2014-12-01

    A five-year period (2002-2006) of below-median rainfall followed by a six-year period (2007-2012) of above-median rainfall and seasonal flooding allowed a natural experiment into the effects of runoff on the water quality and subsequent coral community responses in the Whitsunday Islands, Great Barrier Reef (Australia). Satellite-derived water quality estimates of total suspended solids (TSS) and chlorophyll- a (Chl) concentration showed marked seasonal variability that was exaggerated during years with high river discharge. During above-median rainfall years, Chl was aseasonally high for a period of 3 months during the wet season (February-April), while TSS was elevated for four months, extending into the dry season (March-June). Coinciding with these extremes in water quality was a reduction in the abundance and shift in the community composition, of juvenile corals. The incidence of coral disease was at a maximum during the transition from years of below-median to years of above-median river discharge. In contrast to juvenile corals, the cover of larger corals remained stable, although the composition of communities varied along environmental gradients. In combination, these results suggest opportunistic recruitment of corals during periods of relatively low environmental stress with selection for more tolerant species occurring during periods of environmental extremes.

  13. Structural and Psycho-Social Limits to Climate Change Adaptation in the Great Barrier Reef Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Louisa S.; Hicks, Christina C.; Adger, W. Neil; Barnett, Jon; Perry, Allison L.; Fidelman, Pedro; Tobin, Renae

    2016-01-01

    Adaptation, as a strategy to respond to climate change, has limits: there are conditions under which adaptation strategies fail to alleviate impacts from climate change. Research has primarily focused on identifying absolute bio-physical limits. This paper contributes empirical insight to an emerging literature on the social limits to adaptation. Such limits arise from the ways in which societies perceive, experience and respond to climate change. Using qualitative data from multi-stakeholder workshops and key-informant interviews with representatives of the fisheries and tourism sectors of the Great Barrier Reef region, we identify psycho-social and structural limits associated with key adaptation strategies, and examine how these are perceived as more or less absolute across levels of organisation. We find that actors experience social limits to adaptation when: i) the effort of pursuing a strategy exceeds the benefits of desired adaptation outcomes; ii) the particular strategy does not address the actual source of vulnerability, and; iii) the benefits derived from adaptation are undermined by external factors. We also find that social limits are not necessarily more absolute at higher levels of organisation: respondents perceived considerable opportunities to address some psycho-social limits at the national-international interface, while they considered some social limits at the local and regional levels to be effectively absolute. PMID:26960200

  14. Structural and Psycho-Social Limits to Climate Change Adaptation in the Great Barrier Reef Region.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Louisa S Evans

    Full Text Available Adaptation, as a strategy to respond to climate change, has limits: there are conditions under which adaptation strategies fail to alleviate impacts from climate change. Research has primarily focused on identifying absolute bio-physical limits. This paper contributes empirical insight to an emerging literature on the social limits to adaptation. Such limits arise from the ways in which societies perceive, experience and respond to climate change. Using qualitative data from multi-stakeholder workshops and key-informant interviews with representatives of the fisheries and tourism sectors of the Great Barrier Reef region, we identify psycho-social and structural limits associated with key adaptation strategies, and examine how these are perceived as more or less absolute across levels of organisation. We find that actors experience social limits to adaptation when: i the effort of pursuing a strategy exceeds the benefits of desired adaptation outcomes; ii the particular strategy does not address the actual source of vulnerability, and; iii the benefits derived from adaptation are undermined by external factors. We also find that social limits are not necessarily more absolute at higher levels of organisation: respondents perceived considerable opportunities to address some psycho-social limits at the national-international interface, while they considered some social limits at the local and regional levels to be effectively absolute.

  15. Coral-mucus-associated Vibrio integrons in the Great Barrier Reef: genomic hotspots for environmental adaptation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koenig, Jeremy E; Bourne, David G; Curtis, Bruce; Dlutek, Marlena; Stokes, H W; Doolittle, W Ford; Boucher, Yan

    2011-06-01

    Integron cassette arrays in a dozen cultivars of the most prevalent group of Vibrio isolates obtained from mucus expelled by a scleractinian coral (Pocillopora damicornis) colony living on the Great Barrier Reef were sequenced and compared. Although all cultivars showed >99% identity across recA, pyrH and rpoB genes, no two had more than 10% of their integron-associated gene cassettes in common, and some individuals shared cassettes exclusively with distantly-related members of the genus. Of cassettes shared within the population, a number appear to have been transferred between Vibrio isolates, as assessed by phylogenetic analysis. Prominent among the mucus Vibrio cassettes with potentially inferable functions are acetyltransferases, some with close similarity to known antibiotic-resistance determinants. A subset of these potential resistance cassettes were shared exclusively between the mucus Vibrio cultivars, Vibrio coral pathogens and human pathogens, thus illustrating a direct link between these microbial niches through exchange of integron-associated gene cassettes. PMID:21270840

  16. Pathways and hydrography in the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System Part 2: Water masses and thermohaline structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrillo, L.; Johns, E. M.; Smith, R. H.; Lamkin, J. T.; Largier, J. L.

    2016-06-01

    Hydrographic data from two oceanographic cruises conducted during March 2006 and January/February 2007 are used to investigate the thermohaline structure related to the observed circulation along the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System (MBRS). From our observations we identify three water masses in the MBRS: the Caribbean Surface Water (CSW), North Atlantic Subtropical Underwater (SUW), and Tropical Atlantic Central Water (TACW). Little vertical structure in temperature is observed in the upper 100 m of the water column, but important differences are observed in the salinity distribution both horizontally and with depth. Freshwater inputs to the system from the mainland can be traced in the surface layer, with two possible sources: one from surface rivers located along the southern portion of the MBRS, and the other originating from an underground river system located along the northern portion of the MBRS. The thermohaline structure in the MBRS reflects the dynamics of the observed circulation. Uplifted isopycnals along most of the central and northern coastline of the MBRS reflect the effects of the strong geostrophic circulation flowing northward, i.e. the Yucatan Current. To the south along the MBRS, much weaker velocities are observed, with the Honduras Gyre dominating the flow in this region as presented during January/February 2007. These two regions are separated by onshore and divergent alongshore flow associated with the impingement of the Cayman Current on the shore and the MBRS.

  17. Metagenomic analysis of the coral holobiont during a natural bleaching event on the Great Barrier Reef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Littman, Raechel; Willis, Bette L; Bourne, David G

    2011-12-01

    Understanding the effects of elevated seawater temperatures on each member of the coral holobiont (the complex comprised of coral polyps and associated symbiotic microorganisms, including Bacteria, viruses, Fungi, Archaea and endolithic algae) is becoming increasingly important as evidence accumulates that microbial members contribute to overall coral health, particularly during thermal stress. Here we use a metagenomic approach to identify metabolic and taxonomic shifts in microbial communities associated with the hard coral Acropora millepora throughout a natural thermal bleaching event at Magnetic Island (Great Barrier Reef). A direct comparison of metagenomic data sets from healthy versus bleached corals indicated major shifts in microbial associates during heat stress, including Bacteria, Archaea, viruses, Fungi and micro-algae. Overall, metabolism of the microbial community shifted from autotrophy to heterotrophy, including increases in genes associated with the metabolism of fatty acids, proteins, simple carbohydrates, phosphorus and sulfur. In addition, the proportion of virulence genes was higher in the bleached library, indicating an increase in microorganisms capable of pathogenesis following bleaching. These results demonstrate that thermal stress results in shifts in coral-associated microbial communities that may lead to deteriorating coral health. PMID:23761353

  18. Understanding Recreational Fishers' Compliance with No-take Zones in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adrian Arias

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Understanding fishers' compliance is essential for the successful management of marine protected areas. We used the random response technique (RRT to assess recreational fishers' compliance with no-take zones in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMP. The RRT allowed the asking of a sensitive question, i.e., "Did you, knowingly, fish within in a Green Zone during the last 12 months?" while protecting respondents' confidentiality. Application of the RRT through a survey of recreational fishers indicated that the majority of recreational fishers, 90%, comply with no-take zones. Likewise, most fishers, 92%, reported not personally knowing anyone who had intentionally fished in a no-take zone, indicating that fishers' perceive high levels of compliance among their peers. Fishers were motivated to comply with no-take zones primarily by their beliefs about penalties for noncompliance, followed by beliefs about the fishery benefits of no-take zones. Results suggest that compliance-related communication efforts by the managing authority have partially succeeded in maintaining appropriate compliance levels and that future efforts should accentuate normative compliance drivers that will encourage voluntary compliance. We conclude that compliance monitoring should be integrated into the adaptive management of the GBRMP and other protected areas; in this case social surveys using the RRT are effective tools.

  19. What's Behind the Spread of White Syndrome in Great Barrier Reef Corals?

    OpenAIRE

    John F. Bruno; Elizabeth R Selig; Casey, Kenneth S.; Cathie A Page; Willis, Bette L.; C Drew Harvell; Hugh Sweatman; Amy M Melendy

    2007-01-01

    Author Summary Coral reefs have been decimated over the last several decades. The global decline of reef-building corals is of particular concern. Infectious diseases are thought to be key to this mass coral mortality, and many reef ecologists suspect that anomalously high ocean temperatures contribute to the increased incidence and severity of disease outbreaks. This hypothesis is supported by local observations—for example, that some coral diseases become more prevalent in the summertime—bu...

  20. Substrate as driver of sponge distributions in mangrove ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    E.R. Hunting; O. Franken; F. Knopperts; M.H.S. Kraak; R. Vargas; W.F.M. Rölling; H.G. van der Geest

    2013-01-01

    Caribbean mangrove-associated sponge communities are very distinct from sponge communities living on nearby reefs, but the mechanisms that underlie this distinction remain uncertain. This study aimed to elucidate the relative importance of substrate and habitat in determining the ability of sponges

  1. Dactylogyrids (Monogenoidea) parasitizing the gills of spinefoots (Teleostei: Siganidae): proposal of Glyphidohaptor n. gen., with two new species from the Great Barrier Reef, Australia, and G. plectocirra n. comb. from Ras Mohammed National Park, Egypt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kritsky, Delane C; Galli, Paolo; Yang, Tingbao

    2007-02-01

    Nine species of Siganus (Perciformes: Siganidae) were examined for dactylogyrids (Monogenoidea) from the Red Sea, Egypt; the Great Barrier Reef, Australia; and the South China Sea, China. Species of Tetrancistrum were found on siganids from all 3 localities; Pseudohaliotrema spp. were restricted to siganids from the Great Barrier Reef; and species representing Glyphidohaptor n. gen. were found on siganids from the Red Sea and Great Barrier Reef. Siganus argenteus from the Red Sea and Siganus vulpinus from the Great Barrier Reef were negative for dactylogyrid parasites. Glyphidohaptor n. gen. is proposed for 3 species (2 species new to science) and the new species are described: Glyphidohaptor phractophallus n. sp. from Siganus fuscescens from the Great Barrier Reef; Glyphidohaptor sigani n. sp. from Siganus doliatus (type host), Siganus punctatus, Siganus corallinus, and Siganus lineatus from the Great Barrier Reef; and Glyphidohaptor plectocirra (Paperna, 1972) n. comb. (= Pseudohaliotrema plectocirra Paperna, 1972) from Siganus luridus and Siganus rivulatus from the Red Sea. PMID:17436940

  2. Assessing community values for reducing agricultural emissions to improve water quality and protect coral health in the Great Barrier Reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rolfe, John; Windle, Jill

    2011-12-01

    Policymakers wanting to increase protection of the Great Barrier Reef from pollutants generated by agriculture need to identify when measures to improve water quality generate benefits to society that outweigh the costs involved. The research reported in this paper makes a contribution in several ways. First, it uses the improved science understanding about the links between management changes and reef health to bring together the analysis of costs and benefits of marginal changes, helping to demonstrate the appropriate way of addressing policy questions relating to reef protection. Second, it uses the scientific relationships to frame a choice experiment to value the benefits of improved reef health, with the results of mixed logit (random parameter) models linking improvements explicitly to changes in "water quality units." Third, the research demonstrates how protection values are consistent across a broader population, with some limited evidence of distance effects. Fourth, the information on marginal costs and benefits that are reported provide policymakers with information to help improve management decisions. The results indicate that while there is potential for water quality improvements to generate net benefits, high cost water quality improvements are generally uneconomic. A major policy implication is that cost thresholds for key pollutants should be set to avoid more expensive water quality proposals being selected.

  3. RESEARCH: Influence of Social, Biophysical, and Managerial Conditions on Tourism Experiences Within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shafer; Inglis

    2000-07-01

    / Managing protected areas involves balancing the enjoyment of visitors with the protection of a variety of cultural and biophysical resources. Tourism pressures in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area (GBRWHA) are creating concerns about how to strike this balance in a marine environment. Terrestrial-based research has led to conceptual planning and management frameworks that address issues of human use and resource protection. The limits of acceptable change (LAC) framework was used as a conceptual basis for a study of snorkeling at reef sites in the GBRWHA. The intent was to determine if different settings existed among tourism operators traveling to the reef and, if so, to identify specific conditions relating to those settings. Snorkelers (N = 1475) traveling with tourism operations of different sizes who traveled to different sites completed surveys. Results indicated that snorkelers who traveled with larger operations (more people and infrastructure) differed from those traveling with smaller operations (few people and little on-site infrastructure) on benefits received and in the way that specific conditions influenced their enjoyment. Benefits related to nature, escape, and family helped to define reef experiences. Conditions related to coral, fish, and operator staff had a positive influence on the enjoyment of most visitors but, number of people on the trip and site infrastructure may have the greatest potential as setting indicators. Data support the potential usefulness of visitor input in applying the LAC concept to a marine environment where tourism and recreational uses are rapidly changing. PMID:10799642

  4. Do clouds save the great barrier reef? satellite imagery elucidates the cloud-SST relationship at the local scale.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susannah M Leahy

    Full Text Available Evidence of global climate change and rising sea surface temperatures (SSTs is now well documented in the scientific literature. With corals already living close to their thermal maxima, increases in SSTs are of great concern for the survival of coral reefs. Cloud feedback processes may have the potential to constrain SSTs, serving to enforce an "ocean thermostat" and promoting the survival of coral reefs. In this study, it was hypothesized that cloud cover can affect summer SSTs in the tropics. Detailed direct and lagged relationships between cloud cover and SST across the central Great Barrier Reef (GBR shelf were investigated using data from satellite imagery and in situ temperature and light loggers during two relatively hot summers (2005 and 2006 and two relatively cool summers (2007 and 2008. Across all study summers and shelf positions, SSTs exhibited distinct drops during periods of high cloud cover, and conversely, SST increases during periods of low cloud cover, with a three-day temporal lag between a change in cloud cover and a subsequent change in SST. Cloud cover alone was responsible for up to 32.1% of the variation in SSTs three days later. The relationship was strongest in both El Niño (2005 and La Niña (2008 study summers and at the inner-shelf position in those summers. SST effects on subsequent cloud cover were weaker and more variable among study summers, with rising SSTs explaining up to 21.6% of the increase in cloud cover three days later. This work quantifies the often observed cloud cooling effect on coral reefs. It highlights the importance of incorporating local-scale processes into bleaching forecasting models, and encourages the use of remote sensing imagery to value-add to coral bleaching field studies and to more accurately predict risks to coral reefs.

  5. Evidence for ocean acidification in the Great Barrier Reef of Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Gangjian; McCulloch, Malcolm T.; Mortimer, Graham; Deng, Wengfeng; Xie, Luhua

    2009-04-01

    Geochemical records preserved in the long-lived carbonate skeleton of corals provide one of the few means to reconstruct changes in seawater pH since the commencement of the industrial era. This information is important in not only determining the response of the surface oceans to ocean acidification from enhanced uptake of CO 2, but also to better understand the effects of ocean acidification on carbonate secreting organisms such as corals, whose ability to calcify is highly pH dependent. Here we report an ˜200 year δ 11B isotopic record, extracted from a long-lived Porites coral from the central Great Barrier Reef of Australia. This record covering the period from 1800 to 2004 was sampled at yearly increments from 1940 to the present and 5-year increments prior to 1940. The δ 11B isotopic compositions reflect variations in seawater pH, and the δ 13C changes in the carbon composition of surface water due to fossil fuel burning over this period. In addition complementary Ba/Ca, δ 18O and Mg/Ca data was obtained providing proxies for terrestrial runoff, salinity and temperature changes over the past 200 years in this region. Positive thermal ionization mass spectrometry (PTIMS) method was utilized in order to enable the highest precision and most accurate measurements of δ 11B values. The internal precision and reproducibility for δ 11B of our measurements are better than ±0.2‰ (2 σ), which translates to a precision of better than ±0.02 pH units. Our results indicate that the long-term pre-industrial variation of seawater pH in this region is partially related to the decadal-interdecadal variability of atmospheric and oceanic anomalies in the Pacific. In the periods around 1940 and 1998 there are also rapid oscillations in δ 11B compositions equivalent changes in pH of almost 0.5 U. The 1998 oscillation is co-incident with a major coral bleaching event indicating the sensitivity of skeletal δ 11B compositions to loss of zooxanthellate symbionts

  6. Modelling the fate of marine debris along a complex shoreline: Lessons from the Great Barrier Reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Critchell, K.; Grech, A.; Schlaefer, J.; Andutta, F. P.; Lambrechts, J.; Wolanski, E.; Hamann, M.

    2015-12-01

    The accumulation of floating anthropogenic debris in marine and coastal areas has environmental, economic, aesthetic, and human health impacts. Until now, modelling the transport of such debris has largely been restricted to the large-scales of open seas. We used oceanographic modelling to identify potential sites of debris accumulation along a rugged coastline with headlands, islands, rocky coasts and beaches. Our study site was the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area that has an emerging problem with debris accumulation. We found that the classical techniques of modelling the transport of floating debris models are only moderately successful due to a number of unknowns or assumptions, such as the value of the wind drift coefficient, the variability of the oceanic forcing and of the wind, the resuspension of some floating debris by waves, and the poorly known relative contribution of floating debris from urban rivers and commercial and recreational shipping. Nevertheless the model was successful in reproducing a number of observations such as the existence of hot spots of accumulation. The orientation of beaches to the prevailing wind direction affected the accumulation rate of debris. The wind drift coefficient and the exact timing of the release of the debris at sea affected little the movement of debris originating from rivers but it affected measurably that of debris originating from ships. It was thus possible to produce local hotspot maps for floating debris, especially those originating from rivers. Such modelling can be used to inform local management decisions, and it also identifies likely priority research areas to more reliably predict the trajectory and landing points of floating debris.

  7. Shoreline and beach volume change between 1967 and 2007 at Raine Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawson, John L.; Smithers, Scott G.

    2010-06-01

    Raine Island is a vegetated coral cay located on the far northern outer Great Barrier Reef (GBR), recognised as a globally significant turtle rookery. Cay geomorphology, specifically the morphology of the beach and swale, dictate the availability of nesting sites and influence nesting success. Understanding short and long-term shoreline change is critical for managers charged with protecting the nesting habitat, particularly as climate change progresses. Historical topographic surveys, a simple numerical model and geographic information system (GIS) techniques were used to reconstruct a 40-year (1967-2007) shoreline history of Raine Island. Results show that significant shoreline change has occurred on 78% of the island's shoreline between 1967 and 2007; 34% experienced net retreat and 44% net progradation during the study interval. Shoreline retreat is mainly concentrated on the east-southeast section of the shoreline (average annual rate of - 0.3 ± 0.3 m/yr), while the shore on the western side of the island prograded at a similar rate (0.4 ± 0.2 m/yr). A seasonal signal was detected relating to oscillations in wind direction and intensity, with the southeast and west-southwest shorelines migrating an average of ˜ 17 m from season to season. The volume of sediment deposited on Raine Island between 1967 and 2007 increased by ˜ 68,000 m 3 net, but accretion rates varied significantly seasonally and from year to year. The largest volumetric changes have typically occurred over the last 23 years (1984-2007). Despite the recent concern that Raine Island is rapidly eroding, our data demonstrate net island growth (6% area, 4% volume) between 1967 and 2007. Perceptions of erosion probably reflect large morphological changes arising from seasonal, inter-annual and inter-decadal patterns of sediment redistribution rather than net loss from the island's sediment budget.

  8. Social Resilience and Commercial Fishers’ Responses to Management Changes in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renae C. Tobin

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Understanding how social resilience influences resource users’ responses to policy change is important for ensuring the sustainability of social–ecological systems and resource-dependent communities. We use the conceptualization and operationalization of social resilience proposed by Marshall and Marshall (2007 to investigate how resilience level influenced commercial fishers’ perceptions about and adaptation to the 2004 rezoning of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. We conducted face-to-face interviews with 114 commercial and charter fishers to measure their social resilience level and their responses and adaptation strategies to the 2004 zoning plan. Fishers with higher resilience were more likely to believe that the zoning plan was necessary, more likely to be supportive of the plan, and more likely to have adapted their fishing business and fishing activity to the plan than were fishers with lower social resilience. High-resilience fishers were also less likely to perceive negative impacts of the plan on their fishing business, less likely to have negative attitudes toward the consultation process used to develop and implement the plan, and less likely to have applied for financial compensation under the structural adjustment program. Results confirm the utility of the social resilience construct for identifying fishers who are likely to be vulnerable to changes, and those who are struggling to cope with change events. We conclude that managing for social resilience in the GBR would aid in the design and implementation of policies that minimize the impacts on resource users and lead to more inclusive and sustainable management, but that further research is necessary to better understand social resilience, how it can be fostered and sustained, and how it can be effectively incorporated into management.

  9. A species pair of Bivesicula Yamaguti, 1934 (Trematoda: Bivesiculidae) in unrelated Great Barrier Reef fishes: implications for the basis of speciation in coral reef fish trematodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trieu, Nancy; Cutmore, Scott C; Miller, Terrence L; Cribb, Thomas H

    2015-07-01

    Combined morphological and molecular analysis shows that a species of Bivesicula Yamaguti, 1934 from four species of Apogonidae Günther [Nectamia fusca (Quoy & Gaimard), Ostorhinchus angustatus (Smith & Radcliffe), O. cookii (Macleay) and Taeniamia fucata (Cantor)] on the Great Barrier Reef is morphologically similar to, but clearly distinct from B. unexpecta Cribb, Bray & Barker, 1994 which infects a sympatric pomacentrid, Acanthochromis polyacanthus (Bleeker). Bivesicula neglecta n. sp. is proposed for the form from apogonids. Novel ITS2 rDNA sequences generated for the two species differ at just one consistent base position, implying that the two species are closely related. The combination of their close relationship, high but distinct specificity and co-occurrence suggests that speciation was driven by a recent host switching event enabled by similar dietary ecomorphology. PMID:26063300

  10. A new gnathiid (Crustacea: Isopoda) parasitizing two species of requiem sharks from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coetzee, Maryke L; Smit, Nico J; Grutter, Alexandra S; Davies, Angela J

    2008-06-01

    Third-stage juveniles (praniza 3) of Gnathia grandilaris n. sp. were collected from the gill filaments and septa of 5 requiem sharks, including a white tip reef shark, Triaenodon obesus, and 4 grey reef sharks, Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos, at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia, in March 2002. Some juvenile gnathiids were then maintained in fresh sea water until they molted to adults. Adult males appeared 19 days following detachment of juveniles from host fishes, but no juveniles molted successfully into females. The current description is based, therefore, on bright field and scanning electron microscopy observations of adult males and third-stage juveniles. Unique features of the male include the triangular-shaped inferior medio-frontal process, 2 areolae on the dorsal surface of the pylopod, and a slender pleotelson (twice as long as wide) with lateral concavities. The third-stage juvenile has distinctive white pigmentation on the black pereon when alive, while the mandible has 9 triangular backwardly directed teeth. This species has the largest male and third-stage juvenile of any Gnathia spp. from Australia and of any gnathiid isopods associated with elasmobranchs. PMID:18605791

  11. Flood impacts in Keppel Bay, southern great barrier reef in the aftermath of cyclonic rainfall.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Alison M; Berkelmans, Ray

    2014-01-01

    In December 2010, the highest recorded Queensland rainfall associated with Tropical Cyclone 'Tasha' caused flooding of the Fitzroy River in Queensland, Australia. A massive flood plume inundated coral reefs lying 12 km offshore of the Central Queensland coast near Yeppoon and caused 40-100% mortality to coral fringing many of the islands of Keppel Bay down to a depth of ∼8 m. The severity of coral mortality was influenced by the level of exposure to low salinity seawater as a result of the reef's distance from the flood plume and to a lesser extent, water depth and whether or not the reef faced the plume source. There was no evidence in this study of mortality resulting from pollutants derived from the nearby Fitzroy Catchment, at least in the short term, suggesting that during a major flood, the impact of low salinity on corals outweighs that of pollutants. Recovery of the reefs in Keppel Bay from the 2010/2011 Fitzroy River flood is likely to take 10-15 years based on historical recovery periods from a similar event in 1991; potentially impacting visitor numbers for tourism and recreational usage. In the meantime, activities like snorkeling, diving and coral viewing will be focused on the few shallow reefs that survived the flood, placing even further pressure on their recovery. Reef regeneration, restoration and rehabilitation are measures that may be needed to support tourism in the short term. However, predictions of a warming climate, lower rainfall and higher intensity summer rain events in the Central and Coastal regions of Australia over the next decade, combined with the current anthropogenic influences on water quality, are likely to slow regeneration with consequent impact on long-term reef resilience. PMID:24427294

  12. Flood impacts in Keppel Bay, southern great barrier reef in the aftermath of cyclonic rainfall.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alison M Jones

    Full Text Available In December 2010, the highest recorded Queensland rainfall associated with Tropical Cyclone 'Tasha' caused flooding of the Fitzroy River in Queensland, Australia. A massive flood plume inundated coral reefs lying 12 km offshore of the Central Queensland coast near Yeppoon and caused 40-100% mortality to coral fringing many of the islands of Keppel Bay down to a depth of ∼8 m. The severity of coral mortality was influenced by the level of exposure to low salinity seawater as a result of the reef's distance from the flood plume and to a lesser extent, water depth and whether or not the reef faced the plume source. There was no evidence in this study of mortality resulting from pollutants derived from the nearby Fitzroy Catchment, at least in the short term, suggesting that during a major flood, the impact of low salinity on corals outweighs that of pollutants. Recovery of the reefs in Keppel Bay from the 2010/2011 Fitzroy River flood is likely to take 10-15 years based on historical recovery periods from a similar event in 1991; potentially impacting visitor numbers for tourism and recreational usage. In the meantime, activities like snorkeling, diving and coral viewing will be focused on the few shallow reefs that survived the flood, placing even further pressure on their recovery. Reef regeneration, restoration and rehabilitation are measures that may be needed to support tourism in the short term. However, predictions of a warming climate, lower rainfall and higher intensity summer rain events in the Central and Coastal regions of Australia over the next decade, combined with the current anthropogenic influences on water quality, are likely to slow regeneration with consequent impact on long-term reef resilience.

  13. Environmental factors controlling the distribution of symbiodinium harboured by the coral Acropora millepora on the Great Barrier Reef.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy F Cooper

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The Symbiodinium community associated with scleractinian corals is widely considered to be shaped by seawater temperature, as the coral's upper temperature tolerance is largely contingent on the Symbiodinium types harboured. Few studies have challenged this paradigm as knowledge of other environmental drivers on the distribution of Symbiodinium is limited. Here, we examine the influence of a range of environmental variables on the distribution of Symbiodinium associated with Acropora millepora collected from 47 coral reefs spanning 1,400 km on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR, Australia. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The environmental data included Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS satellite data at 1 km spatial resolution from which a number of sea surface temperature (SST and water quality metrics were derived. In addition, the carbonate and mud composition of sediments were incorporated into the analysis along with in situ water quality samples for a subset of locations. Analyses were conducted at three spatio-temporal scales [GBR (regional-scale, Whitsunday Islands (local-scale and Keppel Islands/Trunk Reef (temporal] to examine the effects of scale on the distribution patterns. While SST metrics were important drivers of the distribution of Symbiodinium types at regional and temporal scales, our results demonstrate that spatial variability in water quality correlates significantly with Symbiodinium distribution at local scales. Background levels of Symbiodinium types were greatest at turbid inshore locations of the Whitsunday Islands where SST predictors were not as important. This was not the case at regional scales where combinations of mud and carbonate sediment content coupled with SST anomalies and mean summer SST explained 51.3% of the variation in dominant Symbiodinium communities. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Reef corals may respond to global-scale stressors such as climate change through changes in their

  14. IODP Expedition 325: Great Barrier Reefs Reveals Past Sea-Level, Climate and Environmental Changes Since the Last Ice Age

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sally Morgan

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available The timing and courses of deglaciations are key components in understanding the global climate system. Cyclic changes in global climate have occurred, with growth and decay of high latitude ice sheets, for the last two million years. It is believed that these fluctuations are mainly controlled by periodic changes to incoming solar radiation due to the changes in Earth’s orbit around the sun. However, not all climate variations can be explained by this process, and there is the growing awareness of the important role of internalclimate feedback mechanisms. Understanding the nature of these feedbacks with regard to the timing of abrupt global sea-level and climate changes is of prime importance. The tropical ocean is one of the major components of the feedback system, and hence reconstructions of temporal variations in sea-surface conditions will greatly improve our understanding of the climate system. The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP Expedition 325 drilled 34 holes across 17 sites in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia to recoverfossil coral reef deposits. The main aim of the expedition was to understand the environmental changes that occurred during the last ice age and subsequent deglaciation, and more specifically (1 establish the course of sea-level change, (2 reconstruct the oceanographic conditions, and (3 determine the response of the reef to these changes. We recovered coral reef deposits from water depths down to 126 m that ranged in age from 9,000 years to older than 30,000 years ago. Given that the interval of the dated materials covers several paleoclimatologically important events, includingthe Last Glacial Maximum, we expect that ongoing scientific analyses will fulfill the objectives of the expedition.

  15. IODP Expedition 325: Great Barrier Reefs Reveals Past Sea-Level, Climate and Environmental Changes Since the Last Ice Age

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yokoyama, Y.; Webster, J. M.; Cotterill, C.; Braga, J. C.; Jovane, L.; Mills, H.; Morgan, S.; Suzuki, A.; IODP Expedition 325 Scientists, the

    2011-09-01

    The timing and courses of deglaciations are key components in understanding the global climate system. Cyclic changes in global climate have occurred, with growth and decay of high latitude ice sheets, for the last two million years. It is believed that these fluctuations are mainly controlled by periodic changes to incoming solar radiation due to the changes in Earth's orbit around the sun. However, not all climate variations can be explained by this process, and there is the growing awareness of the important role of internal climate feedback mechanisms. Understanding the nature of these feedbacks with regard to the timing of abrupt global sea-level and climate changes is of prime importance. The tropical ocean is one of the major components of the feedback system, and hence reconstructions of temporal variations in sea-surface conditions will greatly improve our understanding of the climate system. The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 325 drilled 34 holes across 17 sites in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia to recover fossil coral reef deposits. The main aim of the expedition was to understand the environmental changes that occurred during the last ice age and subsequent deglaciation, and more specifically (1) establish the course of sea-level change, (2) reconstruct the oceanographic conditions, and (3) determine the response of the reef to these changes. We recovered coral reef deposits from water depths down to 126 m that ranged in age from 9,000 years to older than 30,000 years ago. Given that the interval of the dated materials covers several paleoclimatologically important events, including the Last Glacial Maximum, we expect that ongoing scientific analyses will fulfill the objectives of the expedition. doi:10.2204/iodp.sd.12.04.2011

  16. Exploring How to Characterize the Subsurface Biosphere by Drilling Beneath the Great Barrier Reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mills, H. J.; Reese, B. K.; St. Peter, C.; Shepard, A.; IODP Expedition 325 Science Party

    2011-12-01

    This study expands on one of the fundamental research objectives central to the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program by changing the question from what is the microbial composition of the subseafloor biosphere to how the composition is determined. Two aspects of biosphere analysis are examined. First, this study provides the first detailed analysis of high throughput sequencing as an analytic tool to characterize the metabolically active microbial community. Second, this study determines shifts in the microbial community structure during standard core storage at 4oC and the non-biological implications of a metabolically active biosphere. Sediment samples used to meet these dual objectives were collected during IODP Expedition 325 Great Barrier Reef from Noggin Pass at depths 2, 20, and 40 m below seafloor and immediately placed at -80oC. The remaining non-sampled sediment core was stored intact at 4oC during transport and remained at 4oC during storage at the Bremen Core Repository. Three months post-drilling, sister samples were collected from the stored core material immediately adjacent to sections sub-sampled during ship-board operations. Both shipboard and repository sampled sediments were shipped to the Mills Lab on dry ice and stored at -80oC upon arrival. RNA was initially extracted from the shipboard and repository sediment samples, reverse transcribed to cDNA and then pyrosequenced, yielding over 14,800 sequences. Interestingly, only 3% of the sequences obtained were detected at similar frequency between the samples stored immediately at -80oC shipboard to the samples stored at 4oC for 3 months prior to secondary sampling. Key biogeochemically important lineages were identified to increase in detection frequency following storage at 4oC. These lineages have the potential to permanently alter the physical and chemical characteristics of the sediment thereby possibly promoting misleading conclusions about the sediment record. The reproducibility of the 454

  17. Diversity and abundance of photosynthetic sponges in temperate Western Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brümmer Franz

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Photosynthetic sponges are important components of reef ecosystems around the world, but are poorly understood. It is often assumed that temperate regions have low diversity and abundance of photosynthetic sponges, but to date no studies have investigated this question. The aim of this study was to compare the percentages of photosynthetic sponges in temperate Western Australia (WA with previously published data on tropical regions, and to determine the abundance and diversity of these associations in a range of temperate environments. Results We sampled sponges on 5 m belt transects to determine the percentage of photosynthetic sponges and identified at least one representative of each group of symbionts using 16S rDNA sequencing together with microscopy techniques. Our results demonstrate that photosynthetic sponges are abundant in temperate WA, with an average of 63% of sponge individuals hosting high levels of photosynthetic symbionts and 11% with low to medium levels. These percentages of photosynthetic sponges are comparable to those found on tropical reefs and may have important implications for ecosystem function on temperate reefs in other areas of the world. A diverse range of symbionts sometimes occurred within a small geographic area, including the three "big" cyanobacterial clades, Oscillatoria spongeliae, "Candidatus Synechococcus spongiarum" and Synechocystis species, and it appears that these clades all occur in a wide range of sponges. Additionally, spongin-permeating red algae occurred in at least 7 sponge species. This study provides the first investigation of the molecular phylogeny of rhodophyte symbionts in sponges. Conclusion Photosynthetic sponges are abundant and diverse in temperate WA, with comparable percentages of photosynthetic to non-photosynthetic sponges to tropical zones. It appears that there are three common generalist clades of cyanobacterial symbionts of sponges which occur in a wide

  18. Differences in demographic traits of four butterflyfish species between two reefs of the Great Barrier Reef separated by 1,200 km

    KAUST Repository

    Berumen, Michael L.

    2011-11-16

    Many species demonstrate variation in life history attributes in response to gradients in environmental conditions. For fishes, major drivers of life history variation are changes in temperature and food availability. This study examined large-scale variation in the demography of four species of butterflyfishes (Chaetodon citrinellus, Chaetodon lunulatus, Chaetodon melannotus, and Chaetodon trifascialis) between two locations on Australia\\'s Great Barrier Reef (Lizard Island and One Tree Island, separated by approximately 1,200 km). Variation in age-based demographic parameters was assessed using the re-parameterised von Bertalanffy growth function. All species displayed measurable differences in body size between locations, with individuals achieving a larger adult size at the higher latitude site (One Tree Island) for three of the four species examined. Resources and abundances of the study species were also measured, revealing some significant differences between locations. For example, for C. trifascialis, there was no difference in its preferred resource or in abundance between locations, yet it achieved a larger body size at the higher latitude location, suggesting a response to temperature. For some species, resources and abundances did vary between locations, limiting the ability to distinguish between a demographic response to temperature as opposed to a response to food or competition. Future studies of life histories and demographics at large spatial scales will need to consider the potentially confounding roles of temperature, resource usage and availability, and abundance/competition to disentangle the effects of these environmental variables. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.

  19. Effect of colony size and surrounding substrate on corals experiencing a mild bleaching event on Heron Island reef flat (southern Great Barrier Reef, Australia)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortiz, J. C.; Gomez-Cabrera, M. Del C.; Hoegh-Guldberg, O.

    2009-12-01

    In January-May 2006, Heron Island in the Great Barrier Reef experienced a mild bleaching event. The effect of colony size, morphology and surrounding substrate on the extent of bleaching was explored. In contrast with previous studies, colony size did not influence bleaching sensitivity, suggesting that there may be a threshold of light and temperature stress beyond which size plays a role. Also contrasting with previous studies, massive corals were more affected by bleaching than branching corals. Massive corals surrounded by sand were more affected than the ones surrounded by rubble or dead coral. It is hypothesized that light reflectance from sand increases stress levels experienced by the colonies. This effect is maximized in massive corals as opposed to branching corals that form dense thickets on Heron Island. These results emphasize the importance of the ecological dynamics of coral communities experiencing low, moderate and high levels of bleaching for the understanding of how coral communities may change under the stress of climate change.

  20. Origins and Implications of a Primary Crown-of-Thorns Starfish Outbreak in the Southern Great Barrier Reef

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ian Miller

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The crown-of-thorns starfish (COTS is a major predator of hard corals. Repeated COTS outbreaks in the Cairns and Central sections of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR have been responsible for greater declines in coral cover than any other type of disturbance, including cyclones, disease, and coral bleaching. Knowledge of the precise timing and location of primary outbreaks could reveal the initial drivers of outbreaks and so could indicate possible management measures. In the central GBR, COTS outbreaks appear to follow major flooding events, but despite many years of observations, no primary outbreak has ever been unequivocally identified in the central and northern GBR. Here we locate a primary outbreak of COTS on the southern GBR which is not correlated with flooding. Instead it appears to have been the result of a combination of life history traits of COTS and prevailing oceanographic conditions. The hydrodynamic setting implies that the outbreak could disperse larvae to other reefs in the region.

  1. Regional-scale variation in the distribution and abundance of farming damselfishes on Australia's Great Barrier Reef

    KAUST Repository

    Emslie, Michael J.

    2012-03-15

    Territorial damselfishes that manipulate ("farm") the algae in their territories can have a marked effect on benthic community structure and may influence coral recovery following disturbances. Despite the numerical dominance of farming species on many reefs, the importance of their grazing activities is often overlooked, with most studies only examining their roles over restricted spatial and temporal scales. We used the results of field surveys covering 9.5° of latitude of the Great Barrier Reef to describe the distribution, abundance and temporal dynamics of farmer communities. Redundancy analysis revealed unique subregional assemblages of farming species that were shaped by the combined effects of shelf position and, to a lesser extent, by latitude. These spatial patterns were largely stable through time, except when major disturbances altered the benthic community. Such disturbances affected the functional guilds of farmers in different ways. Since different guilds of farmers modify benthic community structure and affect survival of juvenile corals in different ways, these results have important implications for coral recovery following disturbances. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.

  2. Historical photographs revisited: A case study for dating and characterizing recent loss of coral cover on the inshore Great Barrier Reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Tara R.; Leonard, Nicole D.; Zhao, Jian-Xin; Brodie, Jon; McCook, Laurence J.; Wachenfeld, David R.; Duc Nguyen, Ai; Markham, Hannah L.; Pandolfi, John M.

    2016-01-01

    Long-term data with high-precision chronology are essential to elucidate past ecological changes on coral reefs beyond the period of modern-day monitoring programs. In 2012 we revisited two inshore reefs within the central Great Barrier Reef, where a series of historical photographs document a loss of hard coral cover between c.1890-1994 AD. Here we use an integrated approach that includes high-precision U-Th dating specifically tailored for determining the age of extremely young corals to provide a robust, objective characterisation of ecological transition. The timing of mortality for most of the dead in situ corals sampled from the historical photograph locations was found to coincide with major flood events in 1990-1991 at Bramston Reef and 1970 and 2008 at Stone Island. Evidence of some recovery was found at Bramston Reef with living coral genera similar to what was described in c.1890 present in 2012. In contrast, very little sign of coral re-establishment was found at Stone Island suggesting delayed recovery. These results provide a valuable reference point for managers to continue monitoring the recovery (or lack thereof) of coral communities at these reefs.

  3. The importance of coastal altimetry retracking and detiding: A case study around the Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Idris, Nurul H.; Deng, Xiaoli; Andersen, Ole Baltazar

    2014-01-01

    A new approach for improving the accuracy of altimetry-derived sea level anomalies (SLAs) near the coast is presented. Estimation of SLAs is optimized using optimal waveform retracking through a fuzzy multiple retracking system and the most appropriate detiding method. With the retracking system......, fuzzy-retracked SLAs become available within 5 km of the coast; meanwhile it becomes more important to use pointwise tide modelling rather than state-of-the-art global tidal models, as the latter leave residual ocean tide signals in retracked SLAs. These improvements are demonstrated for Jason-2...... waveforms in the area of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Comparing the retrieved SLAs with in situ tide gauge data from Townsville and Bundaberg stations showed that the SLAs from this study generally outperform those from conventional methods, demonstrating that adequate waveform retracking and detiding...

  4. Discerning the timing and cause of historical mortality events in modern Porites from the Great Barrier Reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Tara R.; Zhao, Jian-xin; Roff, George; Feng, Yue-xing; Done, Terence J.; Nothdurft, Luke D.; Pandolfi, John M.

    2014-08-01

    The life history strategies of massive Porites corals make them a valuable resource not only as key providers of reef structure, but also as recorders of past environmental change. Yet recent documented evidence of an unprecedented increase in the frequency of mortality in Porites warrants investigation into the history of mortality and associated drivers. To achieve this, both an accurate chronology and an understanding of the life history strategies of Porites are necessary. Sixty-two individual Uranium-Thorium (U-Th) dates from 50 dead massive Porites colonies from the central inshore region of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) revealed the timing of mortality to have occurred predominantly over two main periods from 1989.2 ± 4.1 to 2001.4 ± 4.1, and from 2006.4 ± 1.8 to 2008.4 ± 2.2 A.D., with a small number of colonies dating earlier. Overall, the peak ages of mortality are significantly correlated with maximum sea-surface temperature anomalies. Despite potential sampling bias, the frequency of mortality increased dramatically post-1980. These observations are similar to the results reported for the Southern South China Sea. High resolution measurements of Sr/Ca and Mg/Ca obtained from a well preserved sample that died in 1994.6 ± 2.3 revealed that the time of death occurred at the peak of sea surface temperatures (SST) during the austral summer. In contrast, Sr/Ca and Mg/Ca analysis in two colonies dated to 2006.9 ± 3.0 and 2008.3 ± 2.0, suggest that both died after the austral winter. An increase in Sr/Ca ratios and the presence of low Mg-calcite cements (as determined by SEM and elemental ratio analysis) in one of the colonies was attributed to stressful conditions that may have persisted for some time prior to mortality. For both colonies, however, the timing of mortality coincides with the 4th and 6th largest flood events reported for the Burdekin River in the past 60 years, implying that factors associated with terrestrial runoff may have been

  5. A new species of Numbakullidae Guţu & Heard, 2002 (Tanaidacea, Peracarida, Crustacea from the Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Stępień

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available A new species of Numbakulla Guţu & Heard, 2002 (Tanaidacea is described from Heron Island (southern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland collected during the Census of Coral Reefs Ecosystem (CReefs program. The new species is the third member of the family and can be recognized by the combination of characters as: length/width ratio of the body, which is 6:7, pereonite 4 longer than the rest, the presence of eyes, a blunt rostrum, antenna article 2 elongated, cheliped carpus with row of inner setae, pereopod 6 carpus with spines, pleopod endopod with denticles.

  6. ESI FTICR-MS Analysis of Larvae from the Marine Sponge Luffariella variabilis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dianne M. Tapiolas

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The viviparous Great Barrier Reef sponge Luffariella variabilis (Poléjaeff 1884 contains a range of secondary metabolites, including manoalide (1 and manoalide monoacetate (3. ESI (+ FTICR-MS accurate mass determination has, for the first time, been used to detected the presence of 3 only in an organic extract of a single L. variabilis larva showing that the parentally produced 3 is sequestered in the larva. As 3 has previously been shown to have antibacterial and quorum sensing inhibition activity, and readily converts to 1, which also exhibits similar activity, it may provide a chemical defence against predation and microbial attack.

  7. A novel reef coral symbiosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pantos, O.; Bythell, J. C.

    2010-09-01

    Reef building corals form close associations with unicellular microalgae, fungi, bacteria and archaea, some of which are symbiotic and which together form the coral holobiont. Associations with multicellular eukaryotes such as polychaete worms, bivalves and sponges are not generally considered to be symbiotic as the host responds to their presence by forming physical barriers with an active growth edge in the exoskeleton isolating the invader and, at a subcellular level, activating innate immune responses such as melanin deposition. This study describes a novel symbiosis between a newly described hydrozoan ( Zanclea margaritae sp. nov.) and the reef building coral Acropora muricata (= A. formosa), with the hydrozoan hydrorhiza ramifying throughout the coral tissues with no evidence of isolation or activation of the immune systems of the host. The hydrorhiza lacks a perisarc, which is typical of symbiotic species of this and related genera, including species that associate with other cnidarians such as octocorals. The symbiosis was observed at all sites investigated from two distant locations on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia, and appears to be host species specific, being found only in A. muricata and in none of 30 other species investigated at these sites. Not all colonies of A. muricata host the hydrozoans and both the prevalence within the coral population (mean = 66%) and density of emergent hydrozoan hydranths on the surface of the coral (mean = 4.3 cm-2, but up to 52 cm-2) vary between sites. The form of the symbiosis in terms of the mutualism-parasitism continuum is not known, although the hydrozoan possesses large stenotele nematocysts, which may be important for defence from predators and protozoan pathogens. This finding expands the known A. muricata holobiont and the association must be taken into account in future when determining the corals’ abilities to defend against predators and withstand stress.

  8. Coral reef remote sensing applications

    OpenAIRE

    Kuchler, D.A.; Jupp, D.L.B.; Claasen, D.B.; Bour, William

    1986-01-01

    Great Barrier Reef work is the major example used to describe how remote sensing technology is being applied in coral reef studies. Such studies include reef geography, reef form, surface cover, vegetation, micro aspects and oceanography. New generation sensors optimized for oceanographic applications, means that coral reef and oceanic studies will adopt more precise and more extensive uses of remote sensing technology. (Résumé d'auteur)

  9. Does size matter? An assessment of quota market evolution and performance in the Great Barrier Reef fin-fish fishery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James Innes

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available In fisheries managed using individual transferable quotas (ITQs it is generally assumed that quota markets are well-functioning, allowing quota to flow on either a temporary or permanent basis to those able to make best use of it. However, despite an increasing number of fisheries being managed under ITQs, empirical assessments of the quota markets that have actually evolved in these fisheries remain scarce. The Queensland Coral Reef Fin-Fish Fishery (CRFFF on the Great Barrier Reef has been managed under a system of ITQs since 2004. Data on individual quota holdings and trades for the period 2004-2012 were used to assess the CRFFF quota market and its evolution through time. Network analysis was applied to assess market structure and the nature of lease-trading relationships. An assessment of market participants’ abilities to balance their quota accounts, i.e., gap analysis, provided insights into market functionality and how this may have changed in the period observed. Trends in ownership and trade were determined, and market participants were identified as belonging to one out of a set of seven generalized types. The emergence of groups such as investors and lease-dependent fishers is clear. In 2011-2012, 41% of coral trout quota was owned by participants that did not fish it, and 64% of total coral trout landings were made by fishers that owned only 10% of the quota. Quota brokers emerged whose influence on the market varied with the bioeconomic conditions of the fishery. Throughout the study period some quota was found to remain inactive, implying potential market inefficiencies. Contribution to this inactivity appeared asymmetrical, with most residing in the hands of smaller quota holders. The importance of transaction costs in the operation of the quota market and the inequalities that may result are discussed in light of these findings.

  10. Long-term records of coral calcification across the central Great Barrier Reef: assessing the impacts of river runoff and climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Olivo, J. P.; McCulloch, M. T.; Judd, K.

    2013-12-01

    Calcification rates are reported for 41 long-lived Porites corals from 7 reefs, in an inshore to offshore transect across the central Great Barrier Reef (GBR). Over multi-decadal timescales, corals in the mid-shelf (1947-2008) and outer reef (1952-2004) regions of the GBR exhibit a significant increase in calcification of 10.9 ± 1.1 % (1.4 ± 0.2 % per decade; ±1 SE) and 11.1 ± 3.9 % (2.1 ± 0.8 % per decade), respectively, while inner-shelf (1930-2008), reefs show a decline of 4.6 ± 1.3 % (0.6 ± 0.2 % per decade). This long-term decline in calcification for the inner GBR is attributed to the persistent ongoing effects of high sediment/nutrients loads from wet season river discharges, compounded by the effects of thermal stress, especially during the 1998 bleaching event. For the recent period (1990-2008), our data show recovery from the 1998 bleaching event, with no significant trend in the rates of calcification (1.1 ± 2.0 %) for the inner reefs, while corals from the mid-shelf central GBR show a decline of 3.3 ± 0.9 %. These results are in marked contrast to the extreme reef-wide declines of 14.2 % reported by De'ath et al. (2009) for the period of 1990-2005. The De'ath et al. (2009) results are, however, found to be compromised by the inclusion of incomplete final years, duplicated records, together with a bias toward inshore reefs strongly affected by the 1998 bleaching. Our new findings nevertheless continue to raise concerns, with the inner-shelf reefs continuing to show long-term declines in calcification consistent with increased disturbance from land-based effects. In contrast, the more `pristine' mid- and outer-shelf reefs appear to be undergoing a transition from increasing to decreasing rates of calcification, possibly reflecting the effects of CO2-driven climate change. Our study highlights the importance of properly undertaken, regular assessments of coral calcification that are representative of the distinctive cross-shelf environments and

  11. Effects of High Dissolved Inorganic and Organic Carbon Availability on the Physiology of the Hard Coral Acropora millepora from the Great Barrier Reef.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Friedrich W Meyer

    Full Text Available Coral reefs are facing major global and local threats due to climate change-induced increases in dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC and because of land-derived increases in organic and inorganic nutrients. Recent research revealed that high availability of labile dissolved organic carbon (DOC negatively affects scleractinian corals. Studies on the interplay of these factors, however, are lacking, but urgently needed to understand coral reef functioning under present and near future conditions. This experimental study investigated the individual and combined effects of ambient and high DIC (pCO2 403 μatm/ pHTotal 8.2 and 996 μatm/pHTotal 7.8 and DOC (added as Glucose 0 and 294 μmol L-1, background DOC concentration of 83 μmol L-1 availability on the physiology (net and gross photosynthesis, respiration, dark and light calcification, and growth of the scleractinian coral Acropora millepora (Ehrenberg, 1834 from the Great Barrier Reef over a 16 day interval. High DIC availability did not affect photosynthesis, respiration and light calcification, but significantly reduced dark calcification and growth by 50 and 23%, respectively. High DOC availability reduced net and gross photosynthesis by 51% and 39%, respectively, but did not affect respiration. DOC addition did not influence calcification, but significantly increased growth by 42%. Combination of high DIC and high DOC availability did not affect photosynthesis, light calcification, respiration or growth, but significantly decreased dark calcification when compared to both controls and DIC treatments. On the ecosystem level, high DIC concentrations may lead to reduced accretion and growth of reefs dominated by Acropora that under elevated DOC concentrations will likely exhibit reduced primary production rates, ultimately leading to loss of hard substrate and reef erosion. It is therefore important to consider the potential impacts of elevated DOC and DIC simultaneously to assess real world

  12. Early-Middle Permian Reef Frameworks and Reef-building Models in the Eastern Kunlun Mountains

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    田树刚; 范嘉松

    2001-01-01

    Reef frameworks and building models of the Early-Middle Permian in the eastern Kunlun Mountains have been verified through studies of reef-building communities, palaeoecology and carbonate facies. The eastern Kunlun reefs are built mainly by 6 reef-building communities, which include 11 major categories of frame-building organisms and 6 categories of reef-associated organisms. Eight types of reef-frames have been distinguished and eleven kinds of rocks identified to belong to 6 reef facies. Three sorts of reefs classified by previous researchers, namely mudmounds, knoll reefs and walled reefs, are well developed in the study area. Such reef-facies association and reef distribution show that there are 4 models of reef growth and development, i.e. the tidal-bank knoll-reef model, the plateau-margin wall-reef model, the composite wall-reef model and the deep-water mudmound model. The reefs are mainly constructed by calcareous sponge and calcareous algae, which are similar to all Permian reefs in other areas of South China and the world. Their great scales indicate a secular stable platform-marginal environment.

  13. Circulation in the southern Great Barrier Reef studied through an integration of multiple remote sensing and in situ measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mao, Yadan; Luick, John L.

    2014-03-01

    New mechanisms for stratification and upwelling in the southern Great Barrier Reef (GBR) are identified, and dynamic details of Capricorn Eddy, a transient feature located off the shelf at the southern extremity of the GBR, are revealed using the newly available surface current from High Frequency (HF) radar combined with other remote sensing and mooring data. The HF radar surface currents were used for tidal harmonic analysis and current-wind correlation analysis. These analyses, combined with Sea Surface Temperature (SST) data, mooring data, and altimetry-based geostrophic currents, enabled the effects of forcing from the large-scale oceanic currents (including the East Australian Current (EAC)), wind, and tides in a topographically complex flow regime to be separately identified. Within the indentation region where the width of the shelf abruptly narrows, current is strongly coupled with the EAC. Here strong residual flows, identified on current maps and SST images, fall into three patterns: southward flow, northwestward flow, and an eddy. Multiple data sets shed light on the prerequisite for the formation of the eddy, the reasons for its geometric variation, and its evolution with time. Intrusions of the eddy onto the shelf result in stratification characterized by a significant increase of surface temperature. Upwelling driven by wind or oceanic inflow is shown to cause stratification of previously well-mixed shelf water. The upwelling appears to be associated with equatorward-traveling coastal-trapped waves. The integrative method of analysis embodied here is applicable to other coastal regions with complex circulation.

  14. The Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area seagrasses: Managing this iconic Australian ecosystem resource for the future

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coles, Robert G.; Rasheed, Michael A.; McKenzie, Len J.; Grech, Alana; York, Paul H.; Sheaves, Marcus; McKenna, Skye; Bryant, Catherine

    2015-02-01

    The Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area (GBRWHA) includes one of the world's largest areas of seagrass (35,000 km2) encompassing approximately 20% of the world's species. Mapping and monitoring programs sponsored by the Australian and Queensland Governments and Queensland Port Authorities have tracked a worrying decrease in abundance and area since 2007. This decline has almost certainly been the result of a series of severe tropical storms and associated floods exacerbating existing human induced stressors. A complex variety of marine and terrestrial management actions and plans have been implemented to protect seagrass and other habitats in the GBRWHA. For seagrasses, these actions are inadequate. They provide an impression of effective protection of seagrasses; reduce the sense of urgency needed to trigger action; and waste the valuable and limited supply of "conservation capital". There is a management focus on ports, driven by public concerns about high profile development projects, which exaggerates the importance of these relatively concentrated impacts in comparison to the total range of threats and stressors. For effective management of seagrass at the scale of the GBRWHA, more emphasis needs to be placed on the connectivity between seagrass meadow health, watersheds, and all terrestrial urban and agricultural development associated with human populations. The cumulative impacts to seagrass from coastal and marine processes in the GBRWHA are not evenly distributed, with a mosaic of high and low vulnerability areas. This provides an opportunity to make choices for future coastal development plans that minimise stress on seagrass meadows.

  15. Climate change in the Cairns and Great Barrier Reef region. Scope and Focus for an Integrated Assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This study was undertaken to determine the scope and focus for an integrated assessment of climate change impacts on, and adaptation options for, the Cairns Great Barrier Reef (CGBR) region. To achieve this, the authors employed both technical expertise and regional stakeholder input. This document describes the study objectives and the process used to meet these objectives, and provides an overview of the CGBR region, the views of technical experts on potential climate change impacts, stakeholder prioritisation of impacts and adaptation options, a list of perceived knowledge gaps, and a recommended structure for a future integrated assessment in the region. The aim of the study was to determine the scope and focus for an integrated regional assessment of climate change impacts on, and adaptation options for, the CGBR region. The key objectives of the study were: Define and describe the study region; Develop a process for the study, which includes key stakeholders in the region; Prepare a comprehensive list of the regional stakeholders; Brief regional stakeholders about potential climate changes in the region; Gain insight from stakeholders into the climatic dependencies of key sectors and issues in the region (agriculture, fishing, forestry, tourism, natural ecosystems, infrastructure, pests, diseases and human health); Identify possible adaptation and/or amelioration strategies for each sector; Identify synergies with other sectors, and possible barriers to undertaking climate change adaptation strategies; Identify knowledge gaps, research priorities and current activities that may need alteration or enhancement; Define the scope of a possible integrated assessment of climate change impacts on, and adaptation options for, the region

  16. Air-sea energy exchanges measured by eddy covariance during a localised coral bleaching event, Heron Reef, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacKellar, Mellissa C.; McGowan, Hamish A.

    2010-12-01

    Despite the widely claimed association between climate change and coral bleaching, a paucity of data exists relating to exchanges of heat, moisture and momentum between the atmosphere and the reef-water surface. We present in situ measurements of reef-water-air energy exchanges made using the eddy covariance method during a summer coral bleaching event at Heron Reef, Australia. Under settled, cloud-free conditions and light winds, daily net radiation exceeded 800 W m-2, with up to 95% of the net radiation during the morning partitioned into heating the water column, substrate and benthic cover including corals. Heating was exacerbated by a mid-afternoon low tide when shallow reef flat water reached 34°C and near-bottom temperatures 33°C, exceeding the thermal tolerance of corals, causing bleaching. Results suggest that local to synoptic scale meteorology, particularly clear skies, solar heating, light winds and the timing of low tide were the primary controls on coral bleaching.

  17. Holocene sea level instability in the southern Great Barrier Reef, Australia: high-precision U-Th dating of fossil microatolls

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leonard, Nicole D.; Zhao, J.-x.; Welsh, K. J.; Feng, Y.-x.; Smithers, S. G.; Pandolfi, J. M.; Clark, T. R.

    2016-06-01

    Three emergent subfossil reef flats from the inshore Keppel Islands, Great Barrier Reef (GBR), Australia, were used to reconstruct relative sea level (RSL). Forty-two high-precision uranium-thorium (U-Th) dates obtained from coral microatolls and coral colonies (2σ age errors from ±8 to 37 yr) in conjunction with elevation surveys provide evidence in support of a nonlinear RSL regression throughout the Holocene. RSL was as least 0.75 m above present from ~6500 to 5500 yr before present (yr BP; where "present" is 1950). Following this highstand, two sites indicated a coeval lowering of RSL of at least 0.4 m from 5500 to 5300 yr BP which was maintained for ~200 yr. After the lowstand, RSL returned to higher levels before a 2000-yr hiatus in reef flat corals after 4600 yr BP at all three sites. A second possible RSL lowering event of ~0.3 m from ~2800 to 1600 yr BP was detected before RSL stabilised ~0.2 m above present levels by 900 yr BP. While the mechanism of the RSL instability is still uncertain, the alignment with previously reported RSL oscillations, rapid global climate changes and mid-Holocene reef "turn-off" on the GBR are discussed.

  18. Epizoic zoanthids reduce pumping in two Caribbean vase sponges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, T. B.; Finelli, C. M.

    2015-03-01

    Sponges are common sessile benthic suspension feeders that play a critical role in carbon and nitrogen cycling within reef ecosystems via their filtration capabilities. Due to the contribution of sponges in benthic-pelagic coupling, it is critical to assess factors that may affect their role in the healthy function of coral reefs. Several factors can influence the rate at which an individual sponge pumps water, including body size, environmental conditions, mechanical blockage, and reduction of inhalant pores (ostia). Symbiotic zoanthid colonization is a common occurrence on Caribbean sponges, and the presence of zoanthids on the surface of a sponge may occlude or displace the inhalant ostia. We quantified pumping rates of the giant barrel sponge, Xestospongia muta ( N = 22 uncolonized, 37 colonized) and the common vase sponge, Niphates digitalis ( N = 21 uncolonized, 17 colonized), with and without zoanthid symbionts, Parazoanthus catenularis and Parazoanthus parasiticus, respectively. For X. muta, biovolume-normalized pumping rates of individuals colonized by zoanthids were approximately 75 % lower than those of uncolonized sponges. Moreover, colonization with zoanthids was related to a difference in morphology relative to uncolonized individuals: Colonized sponges exhibited an osculum area to biovolume ratio that was nearly 65 % less than uncolonized sponges. In contrast, the presence of zoanthids on N. digitalis resulted in only a marginal decrease in pumping rates and no detectable difference in morphology. The difference in zoanthid effects between X. muta and N. digitalis is likely due to the differences in wall thickness and architecture between the two species. The probable cause of reduced pumping in affected sponges is occupation of the sponge surface that leads to blockage or displacement of inhalant ostia. To partially test this hypothesis, zoanthid colonization on specimens of X. muta was simulated by wrapping sponges with plastic mesh of varying

  19. A Great Barrier Reef Sinularia sp. Yields Two New Cytotoxic Diterpenes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cherie A. Motti

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available The methanol extract of a Sinularia sp., collected from Bowden Reef, Queensland, Australia, yielded ten natural products. These included the new nitrogenous diterpene (4R*,5R*,9S*,10R*,11Z-4-methoxy-9-((dimethylamino-methyl-12,15-epoxy-11(13-en-decahydronaphthalen-16-ol (1, and the new lobane, (1R*,2R*,4S*,15E-loba-8,10,13(14,15(16-tetraen-17,18-diol-17-acetate (2. Also isolated were two known cembranes, sarcophytol-B and (1E,3E,7E-11,12-epoxycembratrien-15-ol, and six known lobanes, loba-8,10,13(15-triene-16,17,18-triol, 14,18-epoxyloba-8,10,13(15-trien-17-ol, lobatrientriol, lobatrienolide, 14,17-epoxyloba-8,10,13(15-trien-18-ol-18-acetate and (17R-loba-8,10,13(15-trien-17,18-diol. Structures of the new compounds were elucidated through interpretation of spectra obtained after extensive NMR and MS investigations and comparison with literature values. The tumour cell growth inhibition potential of 1 and 2 along with loba-8,10,13(15-triene-16,17,18-triol, 14,17-epoxyloba-8,10,13(15-trien-18-ol-18-acetate, lobatrienolide, (1E,3E,7E-11,12-epoxycembratrien-15-ol and sarcophytol-B were assessed against three human tumour cell lines (SF-268, MCF-7 and H460. The lobanes and cembranes tested demonstrated 50% growth inhibition in the range 6.8–18.5 µM, with no selectivity, whilst 1 was less active (GI50 70–175 µM.

  20. Two distinct microbial communities revealed in the sponge Cinachyrella

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marie Laure Cuvelier

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Marine sponges are vital components of benthic and coral reef ecosystems, providing shelter and nutrition for many organisms. In addition, sponges act as an essential carbon and nutrient link between the pelagic and benthic environment by filtering large quantities of seawater. Many sponge species harbor a diverse microbial community (including Archaea, Bacteria and Eukaryotes, which can constitute up to 50% of the sponge biomass. Sponges of the genus Cinachyrella are common in Caribbean and Floridian reefs and their archaeal and bacterial microbiomes were explored here using 16S rDNA tag pyrosequencing. Cinachyrella specimens and seawater samples were collected from the same South Florida reef at two different times of year. In total, 639 OTUs (12 archaeal and 627 bacterial belonging to 2 archaeal and 21 bacterial phyla were detected in the sponges. Based on their microbiomes, the six sponge samples formed two distinct groups, namely sponge group 1 (SG1 with low diversity (Shannon-Weiner index: 3.73 ± 0.22 and SG2 with higher diversity (Shannon-Weiner index: 5.95 ± 0.25. Hosts’ 28S rDNA sequences further confirmed that the sponge specimens were composed of two taxa closely related to Cinachyrella kuekenthalli. Both sponge groups were dominated by Proteobacteria, but Alphaproteobacteria were significantly more abundant in SG1. SG2 harbored many bacterial phyla (>1% of sequences present in low abundance or below detection limits (<0.07% in SG1 including: Acidobacteria, Chloroflexi, Gemmatimonadetes, Nitrospirae, PAUC34f, Poribacteria and Verrucomicrobia. Furthermore, SG1 and SG2 only had 95 OTUs in common, representing 30.5% and 22.4% of SG1 and SG2’s total OTUs, respectively. These results suggest that the sponge host may exert a pivotal influence on the nature and structure of the microbial community and may only be marginally affected by external environment parameters.

  1. Aplysina red band syndrome: a new threat to Caribbean sponges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, J B; Gochfeld, D J; Slattery, M

    2006-07-25

    A substantial and increasing number of reports have documented dramatic changes and continuing declines in Caribbean coral reef communities over the past 2 decades. To date, the majority of disease reports have focused on scleractinian corals, whereas sponge diseases have been less frequently documented. In this study, we describe Aplysina red band syndrome (ARBS) affecting Caribbean rope sponges of the genus Aplysina observed on shallow reefs in the Bahamas. Visible signs of disease presence included 1 or more rust-colored leading edges, with or without a trailing area of necrotic tissue, such that the lesion forms a contiguous band around part or all of the sponge branch. Microscopic examination of the leading edge of the disease margin indicated that a cyanobacterium was consistently responsible for the coloration. Although the presence of this distinctive coloration was used to characterize the diseased state, it is not yet known whether this cyanobacterium is directly responsible for disease causation. The prevalence of ARBS declined significantly from July to October 2004 before increasing above July levels in January 2005. Transmission studies in the laboratory demonstrated that contact with the leading edge of an active lesion was sufficient to spread ARBS to a previously healthy sponge, suggesting that the etiologic agent, currently undescribed, is contagious. Studies to elucidate the etiologic agent of ARBS are ongoing. Sponges are an essential component of coral reef communities and emerging sponge diseases clearly have the potential to impact benthic community structure on coral reefs. PMID:16956064

  2. Using MODIS data for understanding changes in seagrass meadow health: a case study in the Great Barrier Reef (Australia).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petus, Caroline; Collier, Catherine; Devlin, Michelle; Rasheed, Michael; McKenna, Skye

    2014-07-01

    Stretching more than 2000 km along the Queensland coast, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBR) shelters over 43,000 square km of seagrass meadows. Despite the status of marine protected area and World Heritage listing of the GBR, local seagrass meadows are under stress from reduced water quality levels; with reduction in the amount of light available for seagrass photosynthesis defined as the primary cause of seagrass loss throughout the GBR. Methods have been developed to map GBR plume water types by using MODIS quasi-true colour (hereafter true colour) images reclassified in function of their dominant colour. These data can be used as an interpretative tool for understanding changes in seagrass meadow health (as defined in this study by the seagrass area and abundance) at different spatial and temporal scales. We tested this method in Cleveland Bay, in the northern GBR, where substantial loss in seagrass area and biomass was detected by annual monitoring from 2007 to 2011. A strong correlation was found between bay-wide seagrass meadow area and biomass and exposure to turbid Primary (sediment-dominated) water type. There was also a strong correlation between the changes of biomass and area of individual meadows and exposure of seagrass ecosystems to Primary water type over the 5-year period. Seagrass meadows were also grouped according to the dominant species within each meadow, irrespective of location within Cleveland Bay. These consolidated community types did not correlate well with the exposure to Primary water type, and this is likely to be due to local environmental conditions with the individual meadows that comprise these groupings. This study proved that remote sensing data provide the synoptic window and repetitivity required to investigate changes in water quality conditions over time. Remote sensing data provide an opportunity to investigate the risk of marine-coastal ecosystems to light limitation due to increased water turbidity when in situ

  3. Changes in water clarity in response to river discharges on the Great Barrier Reef continental shelf: 2002-2013

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fabricius, K. E.; Logan, M.; Weeks, S. J.; Lewis, S. E.; Brodie, J.

    2016-05-01

    Water clarity is a key factor for the health of marine ecosystems. The Australian Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is located on a continental shelf, with >35 major seasonal rivers discharging into this 344,000 km2 tropical to subtropical ecosystem. This work investigates how river discharges affect water clarity in different zones along and across the GBR. For each day over 11 years (2002-2013) we calculated 'photic depth' as a proxy measure of water clarity (calibrated to be equivalent to Secchi depth), for each 1 km2 pixel from MODIS-Aqua remote sensing data. Long-term and seasonal changes in photic depth were related to the daily discharge volumes of the nearest rivers, after statistically removing the effects of waves and tides on photic depth. The relationships between photic depths and rivers differed across and along the GBR. They typically declined from the coastal to offshore zones, and were strongest in proximity to rivers in agriculturally modified catchments. In most southern inner zones, photic depth declined consistently throughout the 11-year observation period; such long-term trend was not observed offshore nor in the northern regions. Averaged across the GBR, photic depths declined to 47% of local maximum values soon after the onset of river floods, and recovery to 95% of maximum values took on average 6 months (range: 150-260 days). The river effects were strongest at latitude 14.5°-19.0°S, where river loads are high and the continental shelf is narrow. Here, even offshore zones showed a >40% seasonal decline in photic depth, and 17-24% reductions in annual mean photic depth in years with large river nutrients and sediment loads. Our methodology is based on freely available data and tools and may be applied to other shelf systems, providing valuable insights in support of ecosystem management.

  4. Contrasting responses of coral reef fauna and foraminiferal assemblages to human influence in La Parguera, Puerto Rico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coral reef biota including stony corals, sponges, gorgonians, fish, benthic macroinvertebrates and foraminifera were surveyed in coastal waters near La Parguera, in southwestern Puerto Rico. The goal was to evaluate sensitivity of coral reef biological indicators to human distur...

  5. Preliminary Assessment of Sponge Biodiversity on Saba Bank, Netherlands Antilles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thacker, Robert W.; Díaz, M. Cristina; de Voogd, Nicole J.; van Soest, Rob W. M.; Freeman, Christopher J.; Mobley, Andrew S.; LaPietra, Jessica; Cope, Kevin; McKenna, Sheila

    2010-01-01

    Background Saba Bank Atoll, Netherlands Antilles, is one of the three largest atolls on Earth and provides habitat for an extensive coral reef community. To improve our knowledge of this vast marine resource, a survey of biodiversity at Saba Bank included a multi-disciplinary team that sampled fishes, mollusks, crustaceans, macroalgae, and sponges. Methodology/Principal Findings A single member of the dive team conducted surveys of sponge biodiversity during eight dives at six locations, at depths ranging from 15 to 30 m. This preliminary assessment documented the presence of 45 species pooled across multiple locations. Rarefaction analysis estimated that only 48 to 84% of species diversity was sampled by this limited effort, clearly indicating a need for additional surveys. An analysis of historical collections from Saba and Saba Bank revealed an additional 36 species, yielding a total of 81 sponge species recorded from this area. Conclusions/Significance This observed species composition is similar to that found on widespread Caribbean reefs, indicating that the sponge fauna of Saba Bank is broadly representative of the Caribbean as a whole. A robust population of the giant barrel sponge, Xestospongia muta, appeared healthy with none of the signs of disease or bleaching reported from other Caribbean reefs; however, more recent reports of anchor chain damage to these sponges suggests that human activities can have dramatic impacts on these communities. Opportunities to protect this extremely large habitat should be pursued, as Saba Bank may serve as a significant reservoir of sponge species diversity. PMID:20502643

  6. Preliminary assessment of sponge biodiversity on Saba Bank, Netherlands Antilles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert W Thacker

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Saba Bank Atoll, Netherlands Antilles, is one of the three largest atolls on Earth and provides habitat for an extensive coral reef community. To improve our knowledge of this vast marine resource, a survey of biodiversity at Saba Bank included a multi-disciplinary team that sampled fishes, mollusks, crustaceans, macroalgae, and sponges. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: A single member of the dive team conducted surveys of sponge biodiversity during eight dives at six locations, at depths ranging from 15 to 30 m. This preliminary assessment documented the presence of 45 species pooled across multiple locations. Rarefaction analysis estimated that only 48 to 84% of species diversity was sampled by this limited effort, clearly indicating a need for additional surveys. An analysis of historical collections from Saba and Saba Bank revealed an additional 36 species, yielding a total of 81 sponge species recorded from this area. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This observed species composition is similar to that found on widespread Caribbean reefs, indicating that the sponge fauna of Saba Bank is broadly representative of the Caribbean as a whole. A robust population of the giant barrel sponge, Xestospongia muta, appeared healthy with none of the signs of disease or bleaching reported from other Caribbean reefs; however, more recent reports of anchor chain damage to these sponges suggests that human activities can have dramatic impacts on these communities. Opportunities to protect this extremely large habitat should be pursued, as Saba Bank may serve as a significant reservoir of sponge species diversity.

  7. Tolerance of sponge assemblages to temperature anomalies: resilience and proliferation of sponges following the 1997-8 El-Nino southern oscillation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco Kelmo

    Full Text Available Coral reefs across the world are under threat from a range of stressors, and while there has been considerable focus on the impacts of these stressors on corals, far less is known about their effect on other reef organisms. The 1997-8 El-Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO had notable and severe impacts on coral reefs worldwide, but not all reef organisms were negatively impacted by this large-scale event. Here we describe how the sponge fauna at Bahia, Brazil was influenced by the 1997-8 ENSO event. Sponge assemblages from three contrasting reef habitats (reef tops, walls and shallow banks at four sites were assessed annually from 1995 to 2011. The within-habitat sponge diversity did not vary significantly across the study period; however, there was a significant increase in density in all habitats. Multivariate analyses revealed no significant difference in sponge assemblage composition (ANOSIM between pre- and post-ENSO years for any of the habitats, suggesting that neither the 1997-8 nor any subsequent smaller ENSO events have had any measurable impact on the reef sponge assemblage. Importantly, this is in marked contrast to the results previously reported for a suite of other taxa (including corals, echinoderms, bryozoans, and ascidians, which all suffered mass mortalities as a result of the ENSO event. Our results suggest that of all reef taxa, sponges have the potential to be resilient to large-scale thermal stress events and we hypothesize that sponges might be less affected by projected increases in sea surface temperature compared to other major groups of reef organisms.

  8. Quantifying water flow within aquatic ecosystems using load cell sensors: a profile of currents experienced by coral reef organisms around Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

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    Jacob L Johansen

    Full Text Available Current velocity in aquatic environments has major implications for the diversity, abundance and ecology of aquatic organisms, but quantifying these currents has proven difficult. This study utilises a simple and inexpensive instrument (500 cms⁻¹ and wave frequency to >100 Hz over several weeks. Sensor data are registered and processed at 16 MHz and 10 bit resolution, with a measuring precision of 0.06±0.04%, and accuracy of 0.51±0.65% (mean ±S.D.. Each instrument is also pressure rated to 120 m and shear stresses ≤20 kNm⁻² allowing deployment in harsh environments. The instrument was deployed across 27 coral reef sites covering the crest (3 m, mid-slope (6 m and deep-slope (9 m depth of habitats directly exposed, oblique or sheltered from prevailing winds. Measurements demonstrate that currents over the reef slope and crest varies immensely depending on depth and exposure: currents differ up to 9-fold within habitats only separated by 3 m depth and 15-fold between exposed, oblique and sheltered habitats. Comparisons to ambient weather conditions reveal that currents around Lizard Island are largely wind driven. Zero to 22.5 knot winds correspond directly to currents of 0 to >82 cms⁻¹, while tidal currents rarely exceed 5.5 cms⁻¹. Rather, current velocity increases exponentially as a function of wave height (0 to 1.6 m and frequency (0.54 to 0.20 Hz, emphasizing the enormous effect of wind and waves on organisms in these shallow coral reef habitats.

  9. Spatial variability of initial 230Th/ 232Th in modern Porites from the inshore region of the Great Barrier Reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Tara R.; Zhao, Jian-xin; Feng, Yue-xing; Done, Terry J.; Jupiter, Stacy; Lough, Janice; Pandolfi, John M.

    2012-02-01

    The main limiting factor in obtaining precise and accurate uranium-series (U-series) ages of corals that lived during the last few hundred years is the ability to constrain and correct for initial thorium-230 ( 230Th 0), which is proportionally much higher in younger samples. This is becoming particularly important in palaeoecological research where accurate chronologies, based on the 230Th chronometer, are required to pinpoint changes in coral community structure and the timing of mortality events in recent time (e.g. since European settlement of northern Australia in the 1850s). In this study, thermal ionisation mass spectrometry (TIMS) U-series dating of 43 samples of known ages collected from living Porites spp. from the far northern, central and southern inshore regions of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) was performed to spatially constrain initial 230Th/ 232Th ( 230Th/ 232Th 0) variability. In these living Porites corals, the majority of 230Th/ 232Th 0 values fell within error of the conservative bulk Earth 230Th/ 232Th atomic value of 4.3 ± 4.3 × 10 -6 (2 σ) generally assumed for 230Th 0 corrections where the primary source is terrestrially derived. However, the results of this study demonstrate that the accuracy of 230Th ages can be further improved by using locally determined 230Th/ 232Th 0 values for correction, supporting the conclusion made by Shen et al. (2008) for the Western Pacific. Despite samples being taken from regions adjacent to contrasting levels of land modification, no significant differences were found in 230Th/ 232Th 0 between regions exposed to varying levels of sediment during river runoff events. Overall, 39 of the total 43 230Th/ 232Th 0 atomic values measured in samples from inshore reefs across the entire region show a normal distribution ranging from 3.5 ± 1.1 to 8.1 ± 1.1 × 10 -6, with a weighted mean of 5.76 ± 0.34 × 10 -6 (2 σ, MSWD = 8.1). Considering the scatter of the data, the weighted mean value with a more

  10. Water Quality and River Plume Monitoring in the Great Barrier Reef: An Overview of Methods Based on Ocean Colour Satellite Data

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    Michelle J. Devlin

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available A strong driver of water quality change in the Great Barrier Reef (GBR is the pulsed or intermittent nature of terrestrial inputs into the GBR lagoon, including delivery of increased loads of sediments, nutrients, and toxicants via flood river plumes (hereafter river plumes during the wet season. Cumulative pressures from extreme weather with a high frequency of large scale flooding in recent years has been linked to the large scale reported decline in the health of inshore seagrass systems and coral reefs in the central areas of the GBR, with concerns for the recovery potential of these impacted ecosystems. Management authorities currently rely on remotely-sensed (RS and in situ data for water quality monitoring to guide their assessment of water quality conditions in the GBR. The use of remotely-sensed satellite products provides a quantitative and accessible tool for scientists and managers. These products, coupled with in situ data, and more recently modelled data, are valuable for quantifying the influence of river plumes on seagrass and coral reef habitat in the GBR. This article reviews recent remote sensing techniques developed to monitor river plumes and water quality in the GBR. We also discuss emerging research that integrates hydrodynamic models with remote sensing and in situ data, enabling us to explore impacts of different catchment management strategies on GBR water quality.

  11. Satellite-Derived Photic Depth on the Great Barrier Reef: Spatio-Temporal Patterns of Water Clarity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scarla Weeks

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Detecting changes to the transparency of the water column is critical for understanding the responses of marine organisms, such as corals, to light availability. Long-term patterns in water transparency determine geographical and depth distributions, while acute reductions cause short-term stress, potentially mortality and may increase the organisms’ vulnerability to other environmental stressors. Here, we investigated the optimal, operational algorithm for light attenuation through the water column across the scale of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR, Australia. We implemented and tested a quasi-analytical algorithm to determine the photic depth in GBR waters and matched regional Secchi depth (ZSD data to MODIS-Aqua (2002–2010 and SeaWiFS (1997–2010 satellite data. The results of the in situ ZSD/satellite data matchup showed a simple bias offset between the in situ and satellite retrievals. Using a Type II linear regression of log-transformed satellite and in situ data, we estimated ZSD and implemented the validated ZSD algorithm to generate a decadal satellite time series (2002–2012 for the GBR. Water clarity varied significantly in space and time. Seasonal effects were distinct, with lower values during the austral summer, most likely due to river runoff and increased vertical mixing, and a decline in water clarity between 2008–2012, reflecting a prevailing La Niña weather pattern. The decline in water clarity was most pronounced in the inshore area, where a significant decrease in mean inner shelf ZSD of 2.1 m (from 8.3 m to 6.2 m occurred over the decade. Empirical Orthogonal Function Analysis determined the dominance of Mode 1 (51.3%, with the greatest variation in water clarity along the mid-shelf, reflecting the strong influence of oceanic intrusions on the spatio-temporal patterns of water clarity. The newly developed photic depth product has many potential applications for the GBR from water quality monitoring to analyses of

  12. Combining multiple measurement and isotope techniques to help target erosion hot-spots in the Great Barrier Reef catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartley, Rebecca; Croke, Jacky; Bainbridge, Zoe; Wilkinson, Scott; Hancock, Gary; Austin, Jen; Kuhnert, Petra

    2016-04-01

    There is considerable evidence that the amount of sediment reaching the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), Australia, has increased since agricultural development commenced in the 1870's. This is having deleterious effects on freshwater and marine ecosystems. However, understanding the primary source and processes driving the increased sediment delivery has been challenging due to the large size and hydrogeomorphic diversity of adjacent catchments. This paper presents the results from several projects that employed a diverse range of measurement techniques all aimed at understanding the spatial and temporal changes in sediment yield from the 130,000 km2 Burdekin catchment, Australia. Cosmogenic nuclides (10Be) were combined with contemporary sediment flux monitoring to help identify high risk sub-catchments that have anthropogenically accelerated erosion. Within the sub-catchments, fallout radionuclides (137Cs, 7Pb and 7Be) were uses to determine the dominant erosion process (surface vs sub-surface erosion). Long term monitoring of improved grazing land management (using nested flumes and gauges), were used to evaluate the effectiveness of land management changes on sediment yields at paddock and catchment scales over 10 years. The results suggest that the Bowen and Upper Burdekin sub-catchments are the dominant anthropogenic source of sediment to the GBR having an accelerated erosion factor of 7.47 (± 3.71) and 3.64 (± 0.5), respectively. Within these sub-catchments, most of the fine sediment is coming from vertical channel walls (50%) or horizontal sub-surface soils (~42%). Remediating these catchments and reducing sediment delivery is likely to take greater than 10 years, and will require a range of approaches including pasture and rangeland management, as well as targeted erosion control in highly gullied landscapes. Together, these data sets help elucidate the often complex sediment delivery processes to the GBR. This helps policy and management determine where to

  13. Metabolite variability in Caribbean sponges of the genus Aplysina

    OpenAIRE

    Monica Puyana; Joseph Pawlik; James Blum; William Fenical

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Sponges of the genus Aplysina are among the most common benthic animals on reefs of the Caribbean, and display a wide diversity of morphologies and colors. Tissues of these sponges lack mineralized skeletal elements, but contain a dense spongin skeleton and an elaborate series of tyrosine-derived brominated alkaloid metabolites that function as chemical defenses against predatory fishes, but do not deter some molluscs. Among the earliest marine natural products to be isolated and ide...

  14. Water use benefit index as a tool for community-based monitoring of water related trends in the Great Barrier Reef region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smajgl, A.; Larson, S.; Hug, B.; De Freitas, D. M.

    2010-12-01

    SummaryThis paper presents a tool for documenting and monitoring water use benefits in the Great Barrier Reef catchments that allows temporal and spatial comparison along the region. Water, water use benefits and water allocations are currently receiving much attention from Australian policy makers and conservation practitioners. Because of the inherent complexity and variability in water quality, it is essential that scientific information is presented in a meaningful way to policy makers, managers and ultimately, to the general public who have to live with the consequences of the decisions. We developed an inexpensively populated and easily understandable water use benefit index as a tool for community-based monitoring of water related trends in the Great Barrier Reef region. The index is developed based on a comparative list of selected water-related indices integrating attributes across physico-chemical, economic, social, and ecological domains currently used in the assessment of water quality, water quantity and water use benefits in Australia. Our findings indicate that the proposed index allows the identification of water performance indicators by temporal and spatial comparisons. Benefits for decision makers and conservation practitioners include a flexible way of prioritization towards the domain with highest concern. The broader community benefits from a comprehensive and user-friendly tool, communicating changes in water quality trends more effectively.

  15. Using MODIS data for mapping of water types within river plumes in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia: towards the production of river plume risk maps for reef and seagrass ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petus, Caroline; da Silva, Eduardo Teixeira; Devlin, Michelle; Wenger, Amelia S; Alvarez-Romero, Jorge G

    2014-05-01

    River plumes are the major transport mechanism for nutrients, sediments and other land-based pollutants into the Great Barrier Reef (GBR, Australia) and are a major threat to coastal and marine ecosystems such as coral reefs and seagrass beds. Understanding the spatial extent, frequency of occurrence, loads and ecological impacts of land-based pollutants discharged through river plumes is essential to drive catchment management actions. In this study, a framework to produce river plume risk maps for seagrass and coral ecosystems, using supervised classification of MODIS Level 2 (L2) satellite products, is presented. Based on relevant L2 thresholds, river plumes are classified into Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary water types, which represent distinct water quality (WQ) parameters concentrations and combinations. Annual water type maps are produced over three wet seasons (2010-2013) as a case of study. These maps provide a synoptic basis to assess the likelihood and magnitude of the risk of reduced coastal WQ associated with the river discharge (river plume risk) and in combination with sound knowledge of the regional ecosystems can serve as the basis to assess potential ecological impacts for coastal and marine GBR ecosystems. The methods described herein provide relevant and easily reproducible large-scale information for river plume risk assessment and management. PMID:24632405

  16. Cultivation of marine sponges

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    QU Yi; ZHANG Wei; LI Hua; YU Xingju; JIN Meifang

    2005-01-01

    Sponges are the most primitive of multicellular animals, and are major pharmaceutical sources of marine secondary metabolites. A wide variety of new compounds have been isolated from sponges. In order to produce sufficient amounts of the compounds of the needed, it is necessary to obtain large amount of sponges.The production of sponge biomass has become a focus of marine biotechnology.

  17. Diversity and spatial heterogeneity of mangrove associated sponges of Curaçao and Aruba

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hunting, E.R.; Soest, van R.W.M.; Geest, van der H.G.; Vos, A.; Debrot, A.O.

    2008-01-01

    Sponges are major epibionts of mangrove roots in the Caribbean. Mangrove sponge communities in the Caribbean mainly consist of species that are typical to this habitat and community compositions often differ from those found on coral reefs nearby. Heterogeneity in species distributions between locat

  18. Allocation of chemical and structural defenses in the sponge Melophlus sarasinorum

    OpenAIRE

    Rohde, Sven; Schupp, Peter J

    2011-01-01

    Sponges have evolved a variety of chemical and structural defense mechanisms to avoid predation. While chemical defense is well established in sponges, studies on structural defense are rare and with ambiguous results. We used field and laboratory experiments to investigate predation patterns and the anti-predatory defense mechanisms of the sponge Melophlus sarasinorum, a common inhabitant of Indo-pacific coral reefs. Specifically, we aimed to investigate whether M. sarasinorum is chemically ...

  19. Diversity and spatial heterogeneity of mangrove associated sponges of Curaçao and Aruba

    OpenAIRE

    Hunting, E.R.; Van, Soest; Geest, van der, A.H.M.; A. DE VOS; Debrot, A.O.

    2008-01-01

    Sponges are major epibionts of mangrove roots in the Caribbean. Mangrove sponge communities in the Caribbean mainly consist of species that are typical to this habitat and community compositions often differ from those found on coral reefs nearby. Heterogeneity in species distributions between locations and within locations between roots is often reported. This study quantifi es the diversity and abundance of mangrove associated sponges in the inner bays of Curaçao and Aruba and correlates va...

  20. Degradation of mangrove-derived organic matter in mangrove associated sponges

    OpenAIRE

    Hunting, E.R.; Goeij, de, J.M.; Asselman, M.; Soest, van, A.J.; Geest, van der, H.G.

    2010-01-01

    Sponge communities found in Caribbean mangroves are typical to this habitat: partly endemic and very distinct from sponge communities on nearby reefs. A trade-off between resistance to competitors and predators appears to influence success of individual sponge species in mangrove habitats. We speculate that differences in the symbiotic microbial communities may partly be responsible for these differences, as partial degradation of recalcitrant compounds by tannin-degrading microorganisms may ...

  1. Root-derived organic matter confines sponge community composition in mangrove ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    Hunting, E.R.; Ubels, S.M.; Kraak, M.H.S.; Geest, van der, H.G.

    2013-01-01

    Introduction Caribbean mangrove-associated sponge communities are very distinct from sponge communities living on nearby reefs, but the mechanisms that underlie this distinction remain uncertain. It has been hypothesized that dissolved organic matter (DOM) leaching from mangrove roots and the ability of mangrove-associated sponge-bacterial consortia to degrade mangrove DOM may cause this distinction. Methods This study tested whether mangrove DOM, leaching from mimicry substrates or directly ...

  2. ABOUT SPONGE FARMING

    OpenAIRE

    Marijana Pećarević; Ana Bratoš Cetinić

    2005-01-01

    Sponges are the simplest multicellular animals. Farming of sponges is facilitated by their asexual reproduction and great ability of regeneration. Farming of filter-feeding sponges is environment friendly, and it can positively influence on environmental impact of other aquaculture activities. Natural populations of sponges in Mediterranean Sea are endangered by inappropriate overfishing. Farming of sponges is possible solution for regeneration and protection of natural populations.

  3. ABOUT SPONGE FARMING

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marijana Pećarević

    2005-04-01

    Full Text Available Sponges are the simplest multicellular animals. Farming of sponges is facilitated by their asexual reproduction and great ability of regeneration. Farming of filter-feeding sponges is environment friendly, and it can positively influence on environmental impact of other aquaculture activities. Natural populations of sponges in Mediterranean Sea are endangered by inappropriate overfishing. Farming of sponges is possible solution for regeneration and protection of natural populations.

  4. Assessment of Invasiveness of the Orange Keyhole Sponge Mycale Armata in Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, Hawaii Based on Surveys 2005-2006, Year 2 of Hawaii Coral Reef Initiative (NODC Accession 0033380)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Orange Keyhole Sponge, Mycale armata Thiele, was unknown in Hawaii prior to 1996. It was first reported in Pearl Harbor and has been reported in low abundance...

  5. Nitrogen isotopic composition of organic matter from a 168 year-old coral skeleton: Implications for coastal nutrient cycling in the Great Barrier Reef Lagoon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erler, Dirk V.; Wang, Xingchen T.; Sigman, Daniel M.; Scheffers, Sander R.; Martínez-García, Alfredo; Haug, Gerald H.

    2016-01-01

    Ongoing human activities are known to affect nitrogen cycling on coral reefs, but the full history of anthropogenic impact is unclear due to a lack of continuous records. We have used the nitrogen isotopic composition of skeleton-bound organic matter (CS-δ15N) in a coastal Porites coral from Magnetic Island in the Great Barrier Reef as a proxy for N cycle changes over a 168 yr period (1820-1987 AD). The Magnetic Island inshore reef environment is considered to be relatively degraded by terrestrial runoff; given prior CS-δ15N studies from other regions, there was an expectation of both secular change and oscillations in CS-δ15N since European settlement of the mainland in the mid 1800s. Surprisingly, CS-δ15N varied by less than 1.5‰ despite significant land use change on the adjacent mainland over the 168-yr measurement period. After 1930, CS-δ15N may have responded to changes in local river runoff, but the effect was weak. We propose that natural buffering against riverine nitrogen load in this region between 1820 and 1987 is responsible for the observed stability in CS-δ15N. In addition to coral derived skeletal δ15N, we also report, for the first time, δ15N measurements of non-coral derived organic N occluded within the coral skeleton, which appear to record significant changes in the nature of terrestrial N inputs. In the context of previous CS-δ15N records, most of which yield CS-δ15N changes of at least 5‰, the Magnetic Island coral suggests that the inherent down-core variability of the CS-δ15N proxy is less than 2‰ for Porites.

  6. Estimating the Exposure of Coral Reefs and Seagrass Meadows to Land-Sourced Contaminants in River Flood Plumes of the Great Barrier Reef: Validating a Simple Satellite Risk Framework with Environmental Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caroline Petus

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available River runoff and associated flood plumes (hereafter river plumes are a major source of land-sourced contaminants to the marine environment, and are a significant threat to coastal and marine ecosystems worldwide. Remote sensing monitoring products have been developed to map the spatial extent, composition and frequency of occurrence of river plumes in the Great Barrier Reef (GBR, Australia. There is, however, a need to incorporate these monitoring products into Risk Assessment Frameworks as management decision tools. A simple Satellite Risk Framework has been recently proposed to generate maps of potential risk to seagrass and coral reef ecosystems in the GBR focusing on the Austral tropical wet season. This framework was based on a “magnitude × likelihood” risk management approach and GBR plume water types mapped from satellite imagery. The GBR plume water types (so called “Primary” for the inshore plume waters, “Secondary” for the midshelf-plume waters and “Tertiary” for the offshore plume waters represent distinct concentrations and combinations of land-sourced and marine contaminants. The current study aimed to test and refine the methods of the Satellite Risk Framework. It compared predicted pollutant concentrations in plume water types (multi-annual average from 2005–2014 to published ecological thresholds, and combined this information with similarly long-term measures of seagrass and coral ecosystem health. The Satellite Risk Framework and newly-introduced multi-annual risk scores were successful in demonstrating where water conditions were, on average, correlated to adverse biological responses. Seagrass meadow abundance (multi-annual change in % cover was negatively correlated to the multi-annual risk score at the site level (R2 = 0.47, p < 0.05. Relationships between multi-annual risk scores and multi-annual changes in proportional macroalgae cover (as an index for coral reef health were more complex (R2 = 0.04, p

  7. Ecology of the ciguatera causing dinoflagellates from the Northern Great Barrier Reef: changes in community distribution and coastal eutrophication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skinner, Mark P; Lewis, Richard J; Morton, Steve

    2013-12-15

    Ciguatera fish poisoning (CFP) is known to be caused by the ciguatoxins from the dinoflagellate genus Gambierdiscus, however, there is the potential for other toxins such as okadaic acid and dinophysistoxins from the genus Prorocentrum, and palytoxin from the genus Ostreopsis, to contaminate seafood. These genera may also be indicators of ecosystem health and potentially impact on coral reef ecosystems and the role they may play in the succession of coral to macroalgae dominated reefs has not been researched. Sixteen GBR field sites spanning inshore, mid-lagoon and outer lagoon (offshore) regions were studied. Samples were collected from September 2006 to December 2007 and abundance of benthic dinoflagellates on different host macroalgae and concentration of nutrients present in the water column were determined. The maximum abundance of Prorocentrum, Ostreopsis and Gambierdiscus found was 112, 793 and 50 cells per gram wet weight of host macroalgae, respectively. The average level of Dissolved Inorganic Nitrogen (DIN) in the water column across all sites (0.03 mg/L) was found to be more than double the threshold critical value (0.013 mg/L) for healthy coral reefs. Compared to a previous study 1984, there is evidence of a major shift in the distribution and abundance of these dinoflagellates. Inshore reefs have either of Prorocentrum (as at Green Island) or Ostreopsis (as at Magnetic Island) dominating the macroalgal surface niche which was once dominated by Gambierdiscus, whilst at offshore regions Gambierdiscus is still dominant. This succession may be linked to the ongoing eutrophication of the GBR lagoon and have consequences for the sources of toxins for ongoing cases of ciguatera. PMID:24210944

  8. Inferring coastal processes from regional-scale mapping of {sup 222}Radon and salinity: examples from the Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stieglitz, Thomas C., E-mail: thomas.stieglitz@jcu.edu.a [AIMS-JCU, Townsville (Australia); Australian Institute of Marine Science, PMB NO 3, Townsville QLD 4810 (Australia); School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville QLD 4811 (Australia); Cook, Peter G., E-mail: peter.g.cook@csiro.a [CSIRO Land and Water, Private Bag 2, Glen Osmond SA 5064 (Australia); Burnett, William C., E-mail: wburnett@mailer.fsu.ed [Department of Oceanography, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306 (United States)

    2010-07-15

    The radon isotope {sup 222}Rn and salinity in coastal surface water were mapped on regional scales, to improve the understanding of coastal processes and their spatial variability. Radon was measured with a surface-towed, continuously recording multi-detector setup on a moving vessel. Numerous processes and locations of land-ocean interaction along the Central Great Barrier Reef coastline were identified and interpreted based on the data collected. These included riverine fluxes, terrestrially-derived fresh submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) and the tidal pumping of seawater through mangrove forests. Based on variations in the relationship of the tracers radon and salinity, some aspects of regional freshwater inputs to the coastal zone and to estuaries could be assessed. Concurrent mapping of radon and salinity allowed an efficient qualitative assessment of land-ocean interaction on various spatial and temporal scales, indicating that such surveys on coastal scales can be a useful tool to obtain an overview of SGD locations and processes.

  9. Metabolic diversity and niche structure in sponges from the Miskito Cays, Honduras

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher J. Freeman

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Hosting symbionts provides many eukaryotes with access to the products of microbial metabolism that are crucial for host performance. On tropical coral reefs, many (High Microbial Abundance [HMA] but not all (Low Microbial Abundance [LMA] marine sponges host abundant symbiont communities. Although recent research has revealed substantial variation in these sponge-microbe associations (termed holobionts, little is known about the ecological implications of this diversity. We investigated the expansion of diverse sponge species across isotopic niche space by calculating niche size (as standard ellipse area [SEAc] and assessing the relative placement of common sponge species in bivariate (δ13C and δ15N plots. Sponges for this study were collected from the relatively isolated reefs within the Miskito Cays of Honduras. These reefs support diverse communities of HMA and LMA species that together span a gradient of photosymbiont abundance, as revealed by chlorophyll a analysis. HMA sponges occupied unique niche space compared to LMA species, but the placement of some HMA sponges was driven by photosymbiont abundance. In addition, photosymbiont abundance explained a significant portion of the variation in isotope values, suggesting that access to autotrophic metabolism provided by photosymbionts is an important predictor in the location of species within isotopic space. Host identity accounted for over 70% of the variation in isotope values within the Miskito Cays and there was substantial variation in the placement of individual species within isotopic niche space, suggesting that holobiont metabolic diversity may allow taxonomically diverse sponge species to utilize unique sources of nutrients within a reef system. This study provides initial evidence that microbial symbionts allow sponges to expand into novel physiochemical niche space. This expansion may reduce competitive interactions within coral reefs and promote diversification of these

  10. Trade-offs in defensive metabolite production but not ecological function in healthy and diseased sponges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gochfeld, Deborah J; Kamel, Haidy N; Olson, Julie B; Thacker, Robert W

    2012-05-01

    Diseases of marine organisms, and sponges in particular, are increasingly reported worldwide. Prior research indicates that the survival of sponges on reefs is due largely to their production of biologically active secondary metabolites that provide protection from a diversity of stressors. Aplysina Red Band Syndrome (ARBS) is an emerging disease affecting Caribbean rope sponges (Aplysina spp.), but it is not known whether secondary metabolites play a role in disease susceptibility and resistance. To investigate whether differences in secondary metabolites may explain variability in susceptibility to ARBS in Aplysina cauliformis, we used high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) to generate chemical profiles from healthy tissue in both healthy and diseased sponges, and quantified peak areas for 15 metabolites. Analyses of healthy and diseased sponges revealed qualitative and quantitative differences in their chemical profiles. Aplysamine-1 and fistularin-3 were produced in significantly higher concentrations by healthy sponges, whereas aerothionin and 11-oxoaerothionin were found only in diseased sponges. At natural concentrations, extracts from both healthy and diseased sponges deterred feeding by an omnivorous reef fish. Fistularin-3 deterred feeding at concentrations found in healthy sponges, but not at concentrations found in diseased sponges. Aerothionin deterred feeding at concentrations found in diseased sponges, and may at least partially replace the loss of fistularin-3 as a feeding deterrent compound following pathogenesis, suggesting a trade-off in the production of feeding deterrent compounds. Extracts from healthy and diseased sponges inhibited bacterial growth, and both aplysamine-1 and fistularin-3 displayed selective antibacterial activity. Despite differences in secondary metabolite production between healthy and diseased sponges, the stress associated with ARBS does not appear to compromise the ability of A. cauliformis to maintain defenses

  11. The role of marine reserves in the replenishment of a locally-impacted population of anemonefish on the Great Barrier Reef

    KAUST Repository

    Bonin, Mary C.

    2015-11-21

    The development of parentage analysis to track the dispersal of juvenile offspring has given us unprecedented insight into the population dynamics of coral reef fishes. These tools now have the potential to inform fisheries management and species conservation, particularly for small fragmented populations under threat from exploitation and disturbance. In this study we resolve patterns of larval dispersal for a population of the anemonefish Amphiprion melanopus in the Keppel Islands (southern Great Barrier Reef). Habitat loss and fishing appear to have impacted this population and a network of no-take marine reserves currently protects 75% of the potential breeders. Using parentage analysis, we estimate that 21% of recruitment in the island group was generated locally, and that breeding adults living in reserves were responsible for 79% (31 out of 39) of these of locally-produced juveniles. Overall, the network of reserves was fully connected via larval dispersal; however one reserve was identified as a critical source of larvae for the island group. The population in the Keppel Islands also appears to be well-connected to other source populations at least 60 km away, given that 79% (145 out of 184) of the juveniles sampled remained unassigned in the parentage analysis. We estimated the effective size of the A. melanopus metapopulation to be 745 (582-993 95% CI) and recommend continued monitoring of its genetic status. Maintaining connectivity with populations beyond the Keppel Islands and recovery of local recruitment habitat, potentially through active restoration of host anemone populations, will be important for its long-term persistence.

  12. Asexual reproduction does not produce clonal populations of the brooding coral Pocillopora damicornis on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherman, C. D. H.; Ayre, D. J.; Miller, K. J.

    2006-03-01

    We have investigated the relationship between genotypic diversity, the mode of production of brooded larvae and disturbance in a range of reef habitats, in order to resolve the disparity between the reproductive mode and population structure reported for the brooding coral Pocillopora damicornis. Within 14 sites across six habitats, the ratio of the observed ( G o) to the expected ( G e) genotypic diversity ranged from 69 to 100% of that expected for random mating. At three other sites in two habitats the G o /G e ranged from 35 to 53%. Two of these sites were recently bleached, suggesting that asexual recruitment may be favoured after disturbance. Nevertheless, our data suggest that brooded larvae, from each of five habitats surveyed, were asexually produced. While clonal recruitment may be important in disturbed habitats, the lack of clonality detected, both in this and earlier surveys of 40 other sites, implies that a disturbance is normally insufficient to explain this species’ continued investment in clonal reproduction.

  13. Intensification of the meridional temperature gradient in the Great Barrier Reef following the Last Glacial Maximum - Results from IODP Expedition 325

    Science.gov (United States)

    Felis, Thomas; McGregor, Helen V.; Linsley, Braddock K.; Tudhope, Alexander W.; Gagan, Michael K.; Suzuki, Atsushi; Inoue, Mayuri; Thomas, Alexander L.; Esat, Tezer M.; Thompson, William G.; Tiwari, Manish; Potts, Donald C.; Mudelsee, Manfred; Yokoyama, Yusuke; Webster, Jody M.

    2015-04-01

    Tropical south-western Pacific temperatures are of vital importance to the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), but the role of sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the growth of the GBR since the Last Glacial Maximum remains largely unknown. Here we present records of Sr/Ca and δ18O for Last Glacial Maximum and deglacial corals that were drilled by Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 325 along the shelf edge seaward of the modern GBR. The Sr/Ca and δ18O records of the precisely U-Th dated fossil shallow-water corals show a considerably steeper meridional SST gradient than the present day in the central GBR. We find a 1-2 ° C larger temperature decrease between 17° S and 20° S about 20,000 to 13,000 years ago. The result is best explained by the northward expansion of cooler subtropical waters due to a weakening of the South Pacific gyre and East Australian Current. Our findings indicate that the GBR experienced substantial and regionally differing temperature change during the last deglaciation, much larger temperature changes than previously recognized. Furthermore, our findings suggest a northward contraction of the Western Pacific Warm Pool during the LGM and last deglaciation, and serve to explain anomalous drying of northeastern Australia at that time. Overall, the GBR developed through significant SST change and, considering temperature alone, may be more resilient than previously thought. Webster, J. M., Yokoyama, Y. & Cotteril, C. & the Expedition 325 Scientists. Proceedings of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Vol. 325 (Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Management International Inc., 2011). Felis, T., McGregor, H. V., Linsley, B. K., Tudhope, A. W., Gagan, M. K., Suzuki, A., Inoue, M., Thomas, A. L., Esat, T. M., Thompson, W. G., Tiwari, M., Potts, D. C., Mudelsee, M., Yokoyama, Y., Webster, J. M. Intensification of the meridional temperature gradient in the Great Barrier Reef following the Last Glacial Maximum. Nature Communications 5, 4102

  14. Cyanobacteria in Coral Reef Ecosystems: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Charpy

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Cyanobacteria have dominated marine environments and have been reef builders on Earth for more than three million years (myr. Cyanobacteria still play an essential role in modern coral reef ecosystems by forming a major component of epiphytic, epilithic, and endolithic communities as well as of microbial mats. Cyanobacteria are grazed by reef organisms and also provide nitrogen to the coral reef ecosystems through nitrogen fixation. Recently, new unicellular cyanobacteria that express nitrogenase were found in the open ocean and in coral reef lagoons. Furthermore, cyanobacteria are important in calcification and decalcification. All limestone surfaces have a layer of boring algae in which cyanobacteria often play a dominant role. Cyanobacterial symbioses are abundant in coral reefs; the most common hosts are sponges and ascidians. Cyanobacteria use tactics beyond space occupation to inhibit coral recruitment. Cyanobacteria can also form pathogenic microbial consortia in association with other microbes on living coral tissues, causing coral tissue lysis and death, and considerable declines in coral reefs. In deep lagoons, coccoid cyanobacteria are abundant and are grazed by ciliates, heteroflagellates, and the benthic coral reef community. Cyanobacteria produce metabolites that act as attractants for some species and deterrents for some grazers of the reef communities.

  15. Biological Activities of Aqueous and Organic Extracts from Tropical Marine Sponges

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tom Turk

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available We report on screening tests of 66 extracts obtained from 35 marine sponge species from the Caribbean Sea (Curaçao and from eight species from the Great Barrier Reef (Lizard Island. Extracts were prepared in aqueous and organic solvents and were tested for hemolytic, hemagglutinating, antibacterial and anti-acetylcholinesterase (AChE activities, as well as their ability to inhibit or activate cell protein phosphatase 1 (PP1. The most interesting activities were obtained from extracts of Ircinia felix, Pandaros acanthifolium, Topsentia ophiraphidites, Verongula rigida and Neofibularia nolitangere. Aqueous and organic extracts of I. felix and V. rigida showed strong antibacterial activity. Topsentia aqueous and some organic extracts were strongly hemolytic, as were all organic extracts from I. felix. The strongest hemolytic activity was observed in aqueous extracts from P. acanthifolium. Organic extracts of N. nolitangere and I. felix inhibited PP1. The aqueous extract from Myrmekioderma styx possessed the strongest hemagglutinating activity, whilst AChE inhibiting activity was found only in a few sponges and was generally weak, except in the methanolic extract of T. ophiraphidites.

  16. Regional-scale nitrogen and phosphorus budgets for the northern (14°S) and central (17°S) Great Barrier Reef shelf ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furnas, M.; Alongi, D.; McKinnon, D.; Trott, L.; Skuza, M.

    2011-12-01

    Seasonally averaged N and P box model budgets were constructed for two regional-scale sections of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) shelf, one in the near-pristine far-northern GBR (13.5-14.5°S) and the other in the central GBR (17-18°S) adjacent to more intensively farmed wet tropics watersheds. We were unable to simultaneously balance shelf-scale N and P budgets within seasonal or annual time frames, indicating that magnitudes of a number of key input and, especially, loss processes are still poorly constrained. In most cases, current estimates of system-level N and P sources (rainfall, runoff, upwelling, N-fixation) are less than estimated loss processes (denitrification, cross-shelfbreak mixing and burial). Nutrient dynamics in both shelf sections are dominated by the tightly coupled uptake and mineralization of soluble N and P in the water column and the sedimentation-resuspension of particulate detritus. On an area-averaged basis, internal cycling fluxes are an order of magnitude greater than input-output fluxes. Denitrification in shelf sediments is a significant sink for N while lateral mixing is both a source and sink for P.

  17. The Australian REEFREP System: A Coastal Vessel Traffic Information Service and Ship Reporting System for the Torres Strait Region and the Inner Route of the Great Barrier Reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacDonald, John C.

    The new Australian ship reporting system, identifier , will be the core component of a Vessel Traffic Information Service (VTIS) covering the Torres Strait region and the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). It is the first such system to be considered by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) under the terms of the new SOLAS 74 regulation v/8-1, which entered into force on 1 January 1996 and allows for ship reporting systems adopted by the Organization to be made mandatory for all, or certain categories of vessels.The REEFREP system, planned for implementation on 1 January 1997, extends for some 900 n.m. or about 1500 km along the Queensland coastline. It will be a VHF radio-based system with radars covering three selected focal points in the Torres Strait, off Cairns and in the southern approaches to the inner route. The system will provide a capability for a single Ship Reporting Centre to interact with shipping, enabling the provision of improved information on the presence, movements and patterns of shipping in the area and the ability to respond more quickly to an incident or pollution should this occur.An interesting feature and a major factor in the system design is the remoteness of most equipment sites and the limited infrastructure available to support communications and data transmission requiring the application of advanced technology and video transmission, solar power generation and software engineering skills of a high order.

  18. Streambank-Derived Sediment Delivery to the Great Barrier Reef from the Burnett River over Multiple Time Scales: Implications for Sediment Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, A.; Bankhead, N.; Wilson, P.

    2014-12-01

    Degradation of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is in part, the result of the delivery of fine-grained, terrestrial sediment from catchments draining to the Coral Sea. The Burnett River, draining the GBR experienced severe flooding in 2011 and 2013 with the latter flood breaking all historical records. Huge quantities of sediment were transported to the Coral Sea. The purpose of this study was to quantify the magnitude of sediment eroded from the channel banks during the floods, long term bank-erosion rates, and cost-effective protection measures. System-wide analysis combined with numerical modeling using the Bank-Stability and Toe-Erosion Model (BSTEM) was used to determine annual bank-erosion rates over periods ranging from 4.5 to 100 years. Analysis of 2009 and 2013 aerial imagery revealed that 47.3 Mt (10.4 MT/y) of sediment was eroded from the banks of the lower 300 km of the Burnett River. Erosion of these bank materials does not equate to an equal volume exported to the Coral Sea, as an unknown proportion is deposited. It can be assumed, however, that the majority of the fine-grained materials (54%) were transported out to sea. Long-term simulations (42 years) were conducted using BSTEM, to compare longer term averages with those determined by the catchment model SedNet. Over this longer time period, annual bank-erosion rates were about 3.1 Mt/y, about 18 times greater than the value predicted by SedNet. Assuming 100 years of simulation and using an empirical relation between the length of BSTEM simulations and calculated erosion rates, a conservative value for the annual rate of bank erosion is 2.0 Mt/y. The BSTEM results and analysis of aerial imagery are within 10%. Bank erosion, instead of being a minor source of sediment representing 8% of the total, was found to be the single largest contributor, representing between 44 and 73% of the total annual sediment budget. In absolute terms, this is an increase in the reported average, annual rate of bank erosion

  19. Biodiversity of Macrofauna Associated with Sponges across Ecological Gradients in the Central Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Kandler, Nora

    2015-12-01

    Between 33 and 91 percent of marine species are currently undescribed, with the majority occurring in tropical and offshore environments. Sponges act as important microhabitats and promote biodiversity by harboring a wide variety of macrofauna and microbiota, but little is known about the relationships between the sponges and their symbionts. This study uses DNA barcoding to examine the macrofaunal communities associated with sponges of the central Saudi Arabian Red Sea, a drastically understudied ecosystem with high biodiversity and endemism. In total, 185 epifaunal and infaunal operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were distinguished from the 1399 successfully-sequenced macrofauna individuals from 129 sponges representing seven sponge species, one of which (Stylissa carteri) was intensively studied. A significant difference was found in the macrofaunal community composition of Stylissa carteri along a cross-shelf gradient using relative OTU abundance (Bray-Curtis diversity index). The abundance of S. carteri also follows a cross-shelf gradient, increasing with proximity to shore. The difference in macrofaunal communities of several species of sponges at one location was found to be significant as well, using OTU presence (binary Jaccard diversity index). Four of the seven sponge species collected were dominated by a single annelid OTU, each unique to one sponge species. A fifth was dominated by four arthropod OTUs, all species-specific as well. Region-based diversity differences may be attributed to environmental factors such as reef morphology, water flow, and sedimentation, whereas species-based differences may be caused by sponge morphology, microbial abundances, and chemical defenses. As climate change and ocean acidification continue to modify coral reef ecosystems, understanding the ecology of sponges and their role as microhabitats may become more important. This thesis also includes a supplemental document in the form of a spreadsheet showing the number of

  20. Will the Increasing of Anthropogenic Pressures Reduce the Biopotential Value of Sponges?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hedi Indra Januar

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Production of bioactive compounds from marine benthic organisms is suggested to relate ecologically with environment. However, anthropogenic pressures cause a considerable damage to coral reefs environment. This research aimed to define the pattern sponges biopotential values at the increasing of anthropogenic pressures to coral reef environment. Three representative sponges were selected (Theonella sp., Hyrtios sp., and Niphates sp. and study had been conducted in Hoga Island, Indonesia, to define the relationship between seawater variables (DO, pH, phosphate, and ammonia ions, sponges spatial competition, and their bioactivity level (Brine Shrimp Lethality Test. The study showed anthropogenic pressures affect the reef environment, as abiotic cover was increased and eutrophication was detected at the site closer to the run-off domesticated area. Statistical multivariate analyses revealed sponges spatial competition was significantly different (P<0.05 between groups of high, moderate, and low bioactivity level. Abiotic cover was detected as the major factor (36.19% contributed to the differences and also the most discriminant factor distinguishing sponges spatial competition in the groups of bioactivity level (93.91%. These results showed the increasing anthropogenic pressures may result in a higher abiotic area and may directly be a consequence to the lower production of bioactive compounds in sponges.

  1. A review of acid sulfate soil impacts, actions and policies that impact on water quality in Great Barrier Reef catchments, including a case study on remediation at East Trinity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, B; Martens, M

    2005-01-01

    An estimated 666,000 ha of acid sulfate soils (ASS) occur within the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) catchments of Queensland, Australia. Extensive areas have been drained causing acidification, metal contamination, deoxygenation and iron precipitation in reef receiving waters. The close proximity of ASS to reef waters makes them a substantial threat to water quality. Another important issue linked with ASS is their release of soluble iron, which is known to stimulate nuisance marine algal blooms, in particular Lyngbya majuscula. Known blooms of the cyanobacteria in reef waters have been confirmed at Shoalwater Bay, Corio Bay, the Whitsunday area and Hinchinbrook Channel. Acid sulfate soils are intimately related to coastal wetland landscapes. Where landscapes containing ASS have been disturbed (such as for agriculture, aquaculture, marinas, etc.) the biodiversity of adjacent wetlands can be adversely affected. However, there is no clear knowledge of the real extent of the so-called "hotspot" ASS areas that occur within the GBR catchments. Management of ASS in reef catchments has benefited from the implementation of the Queensland Acid Sulfate Soils Management Strategy through policy development, mapping, training programs, an advisory service, research and community participation. However, major gaps remain in mapping the extent and nature of ASS. Areas of significant acidification (i.e. hotspots) need to be identified and policies developed for their remediation. Research has a critical role to play in understanding ASS risk and finding solutions, to prevent the adverse impacts that may be caused by ASS disturbance. A case study is presented of the East Trinity site near Cairns, a failed sugar cane development that episodically discharges large amounts of acid into Trinity Inlet, resulting in periodic fish kills. Details are presented of scientific investigations, and a lime-assisted tidal exchange strategy that are being undertaken to remediate a serious ASS problem

  2. Fungi and their role in corals and coral reef ecosystems

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Raghukumar, C.; Ravindran, J.

    , nutraceutical, enzymes, cosmetics, pesticides and other novel commercial products. Coral reefs contain diversity of sessile animals, such as corals, sponges, tunicates, molluscs, bryozoan and echinoderms. These sessile animals have developed unique chemical... Ainsworth TD, Thurber RV, Gates RD (2010) The future of coral reefs: a microbial perspective. Trends Ecol Evol 25:233-240 Alker AP, Smith GW, Kim K (2001) Characterization of Aspergillus sydowii (Thom et Church), a fungal pathogen of Caribbean sea fan...

  3. Integrating Multiple Measurement Techniques to Understand how the Delivery of Sediments to the Great Barrier Reef has Changed Over Space and Time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartley, R.; Bainbridge, Z. T.; Lewis, S.; Wilkinson, S. N.; Croke, J.; Bastin, G.; Brodie, J. E.

    2014-12-01

    Based on the ratio of various trace-elements from coral cores, there is considerable evidence that the amount of sediment reaching the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), Australia, has increased since agricultural development commenced in the 1870's. However, understanding the primary source and processes driving the increase in sediment delivery has been challenging due to the variable geology and episodic hydrology of adjacent catchments. This paper presents the results from several projects that use a range of measurement techniques all aimed at understanding the spatial and temporal changes in sediment yield from the Burdekin watershed, Australia. Cosmogenic nuclide analysis (10Be) was combined with contemporary sediment flux monitoring to help identify the high risk sub-watersheds. Particle size analysis of the sediment loads from the sub-watersheds has determined the primary source areas for the fine (clay) sediment fractions. Within the sub-watersheds, fallout radionuclides (137Cs, 7Pb and 7Be) showed that most of the fine sediment is coming from vertical channel walls (50%) or horizontal sub-surface soils (~42%). Changes to in-stream sedimentation rates, derived from OSL dating, suggest that sediment delivery to channels lags behind reductions to vegetative ground cover. Historical archives of remotely sensed ground cover data were then linked to animal stocking rates in the area. Together, these data sets help elucidate the often complex sediment delivery processes and provide a stronger link between grazing land management and sediment flux to the GBR. This study highlights the benefit of using a range of techniques and data sets to identify the major sediment sources in these highly variable systems. The implications for land management restoration, policy and investment are discussed.

  4. Transport of Australian Continental Dust to Australia's Great Barrier Reef Region: First Results From Sampling, Remote Sensing, Synoptic and Trajectory Analyses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tapper, N.; O'Loingsigh, T.; de Deckker, P.; Cohen, D.

    2009-04-01

    As part of a large multi-disciplinary project funded by the Australian Research Council and in collaboration with the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, we established in mid-2008 three PM 2.5 samplers in eastern Australia to determine possible transport of continental dust from the major dust source region of the Lake Eyre Basin (LEB). These samplers were located at Fowlers Gap, New South Wales [NSW] (31.09S, 141.70E), Mount Stromlo, NSW (35.30S, 149.00E) and Heron Island, Queensland (23.44S, 151.83E). The latter location is of particular significance because of its proximity to the World Heritage Great Barrier Reef (GBR) and to the tropical rainforest of coastal North Queensland. In previous studies, dust and associated organic material of African origin has been associated with rainforest fertilisation in Amazonia and coral bleaching in the Carribean. In this presentation three case studies of continental dust transport to Heron Island that occurred in the first four months of sampling are examined. In each case transport of soil material from the LEB region and/or western NSW is confirmed by the nature of material sampled, by remote sensing of the dust, by forward and backward air parcel trajectory analysis and by synoptic analysis. In each case the dust arrived over Heron Island 3-7 days after passing over the southern samplers, generally having followed an anti-clockwise curved path to approach Heron Island from the southeast. The potential significance of this finding for the GBR is briefly discussed.

  5. Environmental impacts of air-gun surveys on glass sponges : final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tunnicliffe, V.; Yahel, G. [Victoria Univ., Victoria, BC (Canada). Dept. of Biology; Chapman, R.; Wilmut, M. [Victoria Univ., Victoria, BC (Canada). School of Earth and Ocean Sciences

    2008-09-15

    Air-gun surveys associated with the oil and gas exploration in the Queen Charlotte Basin will insonify the seafloor with broadband, high intensity noise, exposing the glass sponge reef systems of that area to acoustic impacts. Tissue integrity and behaviour of marine animals can be affected by the acoustic harassment of water propagated vibration. This paper examined the effects of acoustic noise on the behaviour of glass sponges. The purpose of the study was to test the hypothesis that the acoustic vibration produced by a small, surface operated air gun would not alter the normal pattern of sponge feeding activities. The paper described the methods, with particular reference to the study site; sponge pumping rate; and acoustic effects on sponge pumping. Results were presented for ambient conditions; air gun shots; sponge pumping responses to air gun shots; and correlation of sponge response and ambient current. The question of whether the sponge's excurrent flow responds to the pressure from a series of air-gun shots was addressed by a statistical analysis over all the excurrent data from the experiment. It was concluded that there is little or no evidence that the acoustic pressure from the shots influences the physiological functions of the sponge. 22 refs., 2 tabs., 11 figs.

  6. Analysis of a blatant reef flat degradation in la Reunion Island (l'Etang-Salé fringing reef)

    OpenAIRE

    Cuet, Pascale; Naim, Odile

    1992-01-01

    Using a synthetised map of biobuilders' vitality, the incoming nutrient-enriched freshwater impact on benthic communities was assessed. A coral community survey was achieved in one rainy season. Reef water salinity and dissolved inorganic nutrient content were analysed during a rainy and a dry season. A high degree of coral mortality (90- 100%) was found on the outer reef flat, where the dead substrate was covered up to 80°h by boring sponges. According to hydrology and biological in- dicator...

  7. Controls on Coral-Ground Development along the Northern Mesoamerican Reef Tract

    OpenAIRE

    Rodríguez-Martínez, Rosa E.; Jordán-Garza, Adán G.; Maldonado, Miguel A.; Blanchon, Paul

    2011-01-01

    Coral-grounds are reef communities that colonize rocky substratum but do not form framework or three-dimensional reef structures. To investigate why, we used video transects and underwater photography to determine the composition, structure and status of a coral-ground community located on the edge of a rocky terrace in front of a tourist park, Xcaret, in the northern Mesoamerican Reef tract, Mexico. The community has a relatively low coral, gorgonian and sponge cover (40%). We recorded 23 sp...

  8. The retained surgical sponge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaiser, C W; Friedman, S; Spurling, K P; Slowick, T; Kaiser, H A

    1996-01-01

    OBJECTIVE. A review was performed to investigate the frequency of occurrence and outcome of patients who have retained surgical sponges. METHODS. Closed case records from the files of the Medical Professional Mutual Insurance Company (ProMutual, Boston, MA) involving a claim of retained surgical sponges were reviewed for a 7-year period. RESULTS. Retained sponges occurred in 40 patients, comprising 48% of all closed claims for retained foreign bodies. A falsely correct sponge count after an abdominal procedure was documented in 76% of these claims. Ten percent of claims involved vaginal deliveries and minor non-body cavity procedures, for which no sponge count was performed. Total indemnity payments were $2,072,319, and defense costs were $572,079. In three cases, the surgeon was deemed responsible by the court despite the nursing staff's admitting liability and evidence presented that the surgeon complied completely with the standard of care. A wide range of indemnity payments was made despite a remarkable similarity of outcome in the patients studied. CONCLUSIONS. Despite the rarity of the reporting of a retained surgical sponge, this occurrence appears to be encountered more commonly than generally is appreciated. Operating teams should ensure that sponges be counted for all vaginal and any incisional procedures at risk for retaining a sponge. In addition, the surgeon should not unquestioningly accept correct count reports, but should develop the habit of performing a brief but thorough routine postprocedure wound/body cavity exploration before wound closure. The strikingly similar outcome for most patients would argue for a standardized indemnity payment being made without the need for adversarial legal procedures. PMID:8678622

  9. U-Th age distribution of coral fragments from multiple rubble ridges within the Frankland Islands, Great Barrier Reef: Implications for past storminess history

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Entao; Zhao, Jian-xin; Feng, Yue-xing; Leonard, Nicole D.; Clark, Tara R.; Roff, George

    2016-07-01

    Prograded coral rubble ridges have been widely used as archives for reconstructing long-term storm or storminess history. Chronologies of ridge systems in previous studies are often based on a limited number of low-resolution radiocarbon or optically-stimulated luminescence (OSL) ages per ridge (usually only one age per ridge), which carry intrinsic age uncertainties and make interpretation of storm histories problematic. To test the fidelity of storm ridges as palaeo-storm archives, we used high-precision U-Th dating to examine whether different samples from a single ridge are temporally constrained. We surveyed three transects of ridge systems from two continental islands (Normanby Island and High Island) within the Frankland Islands, Great Barrier Reef (GBR), and obtained 96 U-Th dates from coral rubble samples collected from within and between different ridges. Our results revealed significant differences in age ranges between the two islands. The steeper and more defined rubble ridges present on Normanby Island revealed that the majority of U-Th ages (over 60%) from a single ridge clustered within a narrow age range (∼100 years). By contrast, the lower and less defined ridges on High Island, which were more likely formed during both storm and non-storm high-energy events, revealed significant scatter in age distribution (>>200 years) with no notable clustering. The narrower age ranges obtained from the steeper and more defined rubble ridges suggest that previous approaches of using either limited samples from a single ridge or low-precision dating methods to establish chronologies are generally valid at centennial to millennial timescales, although caution must be taken to use such approaches for storm history reconstruction on shorter timescales (e.g. decadal). The correlation between U-Th mortality ages of coral rubble and historical stormy periods highlights the possibility of using coral rubble age distribution from rubble ridges to reconstruct the long

  10. Adaptive avoidance of reef noise.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen D Simpson

    Full Text Available Auditory information is widely used throughout the animal kingdom in both terrestrial and aquatic environments. Some marine species are dependent on reefs for adult survival and reproduction, and are known to use reef noise to guide orientation towards suitable habitat. Many others that forage in food-rich inshore waters would, however, benefit from avoiding the high density of predators resident on reefs, but nothing is known about whether acoustic cues are used in this context. By analysing a sample of nearly 700,000 crustaceans, caught during experimental playbacks in light traps in the Great Barrier Reef lagoon, we demonstrate an auditory capability in a broad suite of previously neglected taxa, and provide the first evidence in any marine organisms that reef noise can act as a deterrent. In contrast to the larvae of species that require reef habitat for future success, which showed an attraction to broadcasted reef noise, taxa with a pelagic or nocturnally emergent lifestyle actively avoided it. Our results suggest that a far greater range of invertebrate taxa than previously thought can respond to acoustic cues, emphasising yet further the potential negative impact of globally increasing levels of underwater anthropogenic noise.

  11. Sponge Farming Trials: Survival, Attachment, and Growth of Two Indo-Pacific Sponges, Neopetrosia sp. and Stylissa massa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karin Schiefenhövel

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Sponges, an important part of the reef ecosystem, are of commercial value for public aquaria, pharmacology and chemistry. With the growing demand for sponges, natural resources are at risk of being overexploited. Growing of sponges in artificial or semi natural farms is an alternative. In this study different farming methods were tested on two Indo-Pacific sponge species, Neopetrosia sp. and Stylissa massa. Survival, growth and attachment ability were observed with different substrates (suspended ropes, coral boulders and artificial substrate, two types of aquaria with different water volume and two different field sites in Indonesia. The two species responded differently to their individual locations and environmental stresses. Survival, growth and attachment rates of Neopetrosia sp. at the field site are depending on the cultivation method, we found highest volume increment (27–35% for a horizontal line in the field. Whereas the volume increase for S. massa did not show any differences for the different transplantation methods, Neopetrosia sp. generally showed higher rates than S. massa. Further aquaria experiments, for example, on nutrient supply, should be tested to receive more detailed data about sponges, particularly because almost all fragments of both species showed a decline or steady state in mean length.

  12. {sup 137}Cs and excess {sup 210}Pb deposition patterns in estuarine and marine sediment in the central region of the Great Barrier Reef Lagoon, north-eastern Australia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pfitzner, John E-mail: j.pfitzner@aims.gov.au; Brunskill, Gregg E-mail: g.brunskill@aims.gov.au; Zagorskis, Irena E-mail: i.zagorskis@aims.gov.au

    2004-07-01

    This paper focuses on the distribution of {sup 137}Cs and {sup 210}Pb{sub xs} in 51 estuarine and marine sediment cores collected between the Upstart Bay and Rockingham Bay in the Great Barrier Reef Lagoon, north-eastern Australia. Historical records of {sup 210}Pb{sub xs} and {sup 137}Cs atmospheric deposition and present day terrestrial inventories in north-eastern Australia are presented. {sup 210}Pb{sub xs} and {sup 137}Cs fluxes measured on suspended sediments in the Burdekin River are considered to be a source of recent inputs of these nuclides to the nearshore region of this part of the Great Barrier Reef. Direct correlations between sediment nuclide inventories, maximum detectable depths, and sediment mass accumulation rates (MARs), calculated using both {sup 137}Cs and {sup 210}Pb{sub xs}, are explored. In relation to inventories of {sup 210}Pb{sub xs}, 60% of atmospheric fallout {sup 137}Cs appears to be missing from the sediments. The reasons for these differences in two tracers, primarily of atmospheric origin, are discussed in terms of the geochemical properties of these two nuclides. Evidence is presented to support the hypothesis that the {sup 137}Cs distribution in these cores can be a useful independent tracer which provides confirmation of MARs calculated from the decay of {sup 210}Pb{sub xs}.

  13. Comparison between the sponge fauna living outside and inside the coralligenous bioconstruction. A quantitative approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. CALCINAI

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Coralligenous habitat results from a multi-stratified accumulation of crustose coralline algae and animal builders in a dynamic equilibrium with disruptive agents. The result is a complex architecture crossed by crevices and holes. Due to this three-dimensional structure, coralligenous may host a rich and diversified fauna, more abundant than any other Mediterranean habitat. Unfortunately, very few data are available about the cryptic fauna that lives inside the conglomerate. As already reported for coral reefs, the cryptic fauna plays an important role in the exchange of material and energy between water column and benthic assemblages. Here we compare the sponge community present inside and outside the coralligenous framework of Portofino Promontory (Ligurian Sea at different depths (15 and 30 meters not only in terms of taxonomic diversity but for the first time also in term of biomass. Sponges present on the surface of each block were collected, weighed and identified; after blocks dissolution in HCl, target cryptic sponges were separated from other organisms, weighed, and identified. We recorded a total of 62 sponge species. The average number of sponge taxa occurring outside the coralligenous accretions is lower than the number of taxa identified inside. This pattern is confirmed also regarding sponge biomass. These results underlines that studies focused on coralligenous functioning should take in account the important contribution of cryptic fauna, as recently evidenced also for tropical reef habitats.

  14. Microbial diversity of marine sponges

    OpenAIRE

    Hentschel, Ute

    2004-01-01

    16S rDNA library construction revealed a uniform microbial community in sponges that were collected from different oceans. Altogether 14 monophyletic, sponge-specific sequence clusters were identified that belong to at least seven different bacterial divisions. By definition, the sequences of each cluster are more closely related to each other than to a sequence from non-sponge sources. These monophyletic clusters comprise 70 % of all publicly available, sponge-derived 16S rDNA sequences refl...

  15. Isolasi Dan Identifikasi Steroid/Triterpenoid Pada Sponge (Xestospongia Sp De Laubenfels)Dari Pantai Lhoknga Aceh Besar

    OpenAIRE

    Sonie, Hendra

    2015-01-01

    Sponge is one of ocean invertebrate which lives on coral reef and it has Bioactive potential that has not been widely used in various occasion, especially in drugs. Secondary metabolite compound that can be isolated from sponge is Alkaloida from Xestospongia sp., Diterpenoida from Oceanapia sp., sesquiterpenoida from Dysidea herbaceae, isonitril and terpenoid from Halicandria sp., and sesterterpenoid from Hyrtios erecta. Triterpenoid compound can be used in various needs such as to treat diab...

  16. Artificial Reefs

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — An artificial reef is a human-made underwater structure, typically built to promote marine life in areas with a generally featureless bottom, control erosion, block...

  17. Sponge bioerosion accelerated by ocean acidification across species and latitudes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wisshak, M.; Schönberg, C. H. L.; Form, A.; Freiwald, A.

    2014-06-01

    In many marine biogeographic realms, bioeroding sponges dominate the internal bioerosion of calcareous substrates such as mollusc beds and coral reef framework. They biochemically dissolve part of the carbonate and liberate so-called sponge chips, a process that is expected to be facilitated and accelerated in a more acidic environment inherent to the present global change. The bioerosion capacity of the demosponge Cliona celata Grant, 1826 in subfossil oyster shells was assessed via alkalinity anomaly technique based on 4 days of experimental exposure to three different levels of carbon dioxide partial pressure ( pCO2) at ambient temperature in the cold-temperate waters of Helgoland Island, North Sea. The rate of chemical bioerosion at present-day pCO2 was quantified with 0.08-0.1 kg m-2 year-1. Chemical bioerosion was positively correlated with increasing pCO2, with rates more than doubling at carbon dioxide levels predicted for the end of the twenty-first century, clearly confirming that C. celata bioerosion can be expected to be enhanced with progressing ocean acidification (OA). Together with previously published experimental evidence, the present results suggest that OA accelerates sponge bioerosion (1) across latitudes and biogeographic areas, (2) independent of sponge growth form, and (3) for species with or without photosymbionts alike. A general increase in sponge bioerosion with advancing OA can be expected to have a significant impact on global carbonate (re)cycling and may result in widespread negative effects, e.g. on the stability of wild and farmed shellfish populations, as well as calcareous framework builders in tropical and cold-water coral reef ecosystems.

  18. Real-time PCR reveals a high incidence of Symbiodinium clade D at low levels in four scleractinian corals across the Great Barrier Reef : implications for symbiont shuffling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mieog, J. C.; van Oppen, M. J. H.; Cantin, N. E.; Stam, W. T.; Olsen, J. L.

    2007-01-01

    Reef corals form associations with an array of genetically and physiologically distinct endosymbionts from the genus Symbiodinium. Some corals harbor different clades of symbionts simultaneously, and over time the relative abundances of these clades may change through a process called symbiont shuff

  19. Anticancer agents from marine sponges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Jianjun; Zhou, Feng; Al-Kareef, Ammar M Q; Wang, Hong

    2015-01-01

    Marine sponges are currently one of the richest sources of anticancer active compounds found in the marine ecosystems. More than 5300 different known metabolites are from sponges and their associated microorganisms. To survive in the complicated marine environment, most of the sponge species have evolved chemical means to defend against predation. Such chemical adaptation produces many biologically active secondary metabolites including anticancer agents. This review highlights novel secondary metabolites in sponges which inhibited diverse cancer species in the recent 5 years. These natural products of marine sponges are categorized based on various chemical characteristics. PMID:25402340

  20. Land-use effects on fluxes of suspended sediment, nitrogen and phosphorus from a river catchment of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunter, Heather M.; Walton, Richard S.

    2008-07-01

    SummaryA 6-year study was conducted in the Johnstone River system in the wet tropics of north-eastern Australia, to address concerns that the Great Barrier Reef is at risk from elevated levels of suspended sediment (SS) and nutrients discharged from its river catchments. Aims were to quantify: (i) fluxes of SS, phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N) exported annually from the catchment and (ii) the influence of rural land uses on these fluxes. Around 55% of the 1602 km2 catchment was native rainforest, with the reminder developed mainly for livestock and crop production. Water quality and stream flow were monitored at 16 sites, with the emphasis on sampling major runoff events. Monitoring data were used to calibrate a water quality model for the catchment (HSPF), which was run with 39 years of historical precipitation and evaporation data. Modelled specific fluxes from the catchment of 1.2 ± 1.1 t SS ha-1 y-1, 2.2 ± 1.8 kg P ha-1 y-1 and 11.4 ± 7.3 kg N ha-1y-1 were highly variable between and within years. Fluxes of SS and P were strongly dominated by major events, with 91% of SS and 84% of P exported during the highest 10% of daily flows. On average, sediment P comprised 81% of the total P flux. The N flux was less strongly dominated by major events and sediment N comprised 46% of total N exports. Specific fluxes of SS, N and P from areas receiving precipitation of 3545 mm y-1 were around 3-4 times those from areas receiving 1673 mm y-1. For a given mean annual precipitation, specific fluxes of SS and P from beef pastures, dairy pastures and unsewered residential areas were similar to those from rainforest, while fluxes from areas of sugar cane and bananas were 3-4 times higher. Specific fluxes of N from areas with an annual precipitation of 3545 mm ranged from 8.9 ± 6.5 kg N ha-1 y-1 (rainforest) to 72 ± 50 kg N ha-1 y-1 (unsewered residential). Aggregated across the entire catchment, disproportionately large fluxes of SS, total P and total N were derived from

  1. Connectivity in grey reef sharks (Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos) determined using empirical and simulated genetic data

    OpenAIRE

    Paolo Momigliano; Robert Harcourt; Robbins, William D.; Adam Stow

    2015-01-01

    Grey reef sharks (Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos) can be one of the numerically dominant high order predators on pristine coral reefs, yet their numbers have declined even in the highly regulated Australian Great Barrier Reef (GBR) Marine Park. Knowledge of both large scale and fine scale genetic connectivity of grey reef sharks is essential for their effective management, but no genetic data are yet available. We investigated grey reef shark genetic structure in the GBR across a 1200 km latitudi...

  2. Medullary Sponge Kidney

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... see bones, tissues, and organs inside the body. Health care providers commonly choose one or more of three imaging techniques to diagnose medullary sponge kidney: intravenous pyelogram computerized tomography (CT) scan ultrasound A radiologist—a doctor who specializes in medical imaging—interprets ...

  3. Vaal Reefs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vaal Reefs Mine, the world's top gold producer with an output last quarter of 19,6 tons of gold, is to expand further with the building of an 120 000t/month run-of-mine mill at the new No 9 Shaft in the south area, linked with a carbon-in-pulp plant

  4. Reef grief

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-10-01

    As the first of the world's ecosystems faces extermination at our hands, coral reef ecologist Peter Sale -- Assistant Director of the Institute of Water, Environment and Health at the United Nations University in Ontario, Canada, and author of Our Dying Planet (published this autumn) -- talks to Nature Climate Change.

  5. Transcriptional activity of the giant barrel sponge, Xestospongia muta Holobiont: molecular evidence for metabolic interchange

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiore, Cara L.; Labrie, Micheline; Jarett, Jessica K.; Lesser, Michael P.

    2015-01-01

    Compared to our understanding of the taxonomic composition of the symbiotic microbes in marine sponges, the functional diversity of these symbionts is largely unknown. Furthermore, the application of genomic, transcriptomic, and proteomic techniques to functional questions on sponge host-symbiont interactions is in its infancy. In this study, we generated a transcriptome for the host and a metatranscriptome of its microbial symbionts for the giant barrel sponge, Xestospongia muta, from the Caribbean. In combination with a gene-specific approach, our goals were to (1) characterize genetic evidence for nitrogen cycling in X. muta, an important limiting nutrient on coral reefs (2) identify which prokaryotic symbiont lineages are metabolically active and, (3) characterize the metabolic potential of the prokaryotic community. Xestospongia muta expresses genes from multiple nitrogen transformation pathways that when combined with the abundance of this sponge, and previous data on dissolved inorganic nitrogen fluxes, shows that this sponge is an important contributor to nitrogen cycling biogeochemistry on coral reefs. Additionally, we observed significant differences in gene expression of the archaeal amoA gene, which is involved in ammonia oxidation, between coral reef locations consistent with differences in the fluxes of dissolved inorganic nitrogen previously reported. In regards to symbiont metabolic potential, the genes in the biosynthetic pathways of several amino acids were present in the prokaryotic metatranscriptome dataset but in the host-derived transcripts only the catabolic reactions for these amino acids were present. A similar pattern was observed for the B vitamins (riboflavin, biotin, thiamin, cobalamin). These results expand our understanding of biogeochemical cycling in sponges, and the metabolic interchange highlighted here advances the field of symbiont physiology by elucidating specific metabolic pathways where there is high potential for host

  6. Transcriptional activity of the giant barrel sponge, Xestospongia muta Holobiont: Molecular Evidence for Metabolic Interchange

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cara L Fiore

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Compared to our understanding of the taxonomic composition of the symbiotic microbes in marine sponges, the functional diversity of these symbionts is largely unknown. Furthermore, the application of genomic, transcriptomic, and proteomic techniques to functional questions on sponge host-symbiont interactions is in its infancy. In this study, we generated a transcriptome for the host and a metatranscriptome of its microbial symbionts for the giant barrel sponge, Xestospongia muta, from the Caribbean. In combination with a gene-specific approach, our goals were to 1 characterize genetic evidence for nitrogen cycling in X. muta, an important limiting nutrient on coral reefs 2 identify which prokaryotic symbiont lineages are metabolically active and, 3 characterize the metabolic potential of the prokaryotic community. Xestospongia muta expresses genes from multiple nitrogen transformation pathways that when combined with the abundance of this sponge, and previous data on dissolved inorganic nitrogen fluxes, shows that this sponge is an important contributor to nitrogen cycling on coral reefs. Additionally, we observed significant differences in gene expression of the archaeal amoA gene, which is involved in ammonia oxidation, between coral reef locations consistent with differences in the fluxes of dissolved inorganic nitrogen previously reported. In regards to symbiont metabolic potential, the genes in the biosynthetic pathways of several amino acids were present in the prokaryotic metatranscriptome dataset but in the host-derived transcripts only the catabolic reactions for these amino acids were present. A similar pattern was observed for the B vitamins (riboflavin, biotin, thiamin, cobalamin. These results expand our understanding of biogeochemical cycling in sponges, and the metabolic interchange highlighted here advances the field of symbiont physiology by elucidating specific metabolic pathways where there is high potential for host

  7. Growth and metabolism of sponges

    OpenAIRE

    Koopmans, M

    2009-01-01

    Sponges (phylum Porifera) are multi cellular filter-feeding invertebrate animals living attached to a substratum in mostly marine but also in freshwater habitats. The interest in sponges has increased rapidly since the discovery of potential new pharmaceutical compounds produced by many sponges. An enormous amount of different chemical structures have been found. Thus far no sustainable production technique has been developed for these marine natural products, because not sufficient knowledge...

  8. Hypoxia in paradise: widespread hypoxia tolerance in coral reef fishes.

    OpenAIRE

    Nilsson, Göran E.; Ostlund-Nilsson, Sara

    2004-01-01

    Using respirometry, we examined the hypoxia tolerance of 31 teleost fish species (seven families) inhabiting coral reefs at a 2-5 m depth in the lagoon at Lizard Island (Great Barrier Reef, Australia). All fishes studied maintained their rate of oxygen consumption down to relatively severe hypoxia (20-30% air saturation). Indeed, most fishes appeared unaffected by hypoxia until the oxygen level fell below 10% of air saturation. This, hitherto unrecognized, hypoxia tolerance among coral reef f...

  9. Abundance of the excavating sponge Cliona delitrix in relation to sewage discharge at San Andrés Island, SW Caribbean, Colombia

    OpenAIRE

    Chaves-Fonnegra, A.; Zea, S.; Gómez, M. L.

    2007-01-01

    It is known that the encrusting and excavating Caribbean sponge Cliona delitrix may increase its abundance near sources of sewage. To ascertain whether its current conspicuousness in leeward reefs of San Andrés Island (SW Caribbean, Colombia) is related to organic pollution from local raw sewage discharges, quantitative data on density and cover of this sponge and other benthic components was obtained from belt and line transects at seven stations along the shallow (5-10 m deep) terrace. Cora...

  10. Refuge-seeking impairments mirror metabolic recovery following fisheries-related stressors in the Spanish flag snapper (Lutjanus carponotatus) on the Great Barrier Reef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooke, Steven J; Messmer, Vanessa; Tobin, Andrew J; Pratchett, Morgan S; Clark, Timothy D

    2014-01-01

    Fisheries and marine park management strategies for large predatory reef fish can mean that a large proportion of captured fish are released. Despite being released, these fish may experience high mortality while they traverse the water column to locate suitable refuge to avoid predators, all the while recovering from the stress of capture. The predatory reef fish Spanish flag snapper (Lutjanus carponotatus) is frequently released because of a minimum-size or bag limit or by fishers targeting more desirable species. Using L. carponotatus as a model, we tested whether simulated fishing stress (exercise and air exposure) resulted in impairments in reflexes (e.g., response to stimuli) and the ability to identify and use refuge in a laboratory arena and whether any impairments were associated with blood physiology or metabolic recovery. Control fish were consistently responsive to reflex tests and rapidly located and entered refugia in the arena within seconds. Conversely, treatment fish (exhausted and air exposed) were unresponsive to stimuli, took longer to search for refugia, and were more apprehensive to enter the refuge once it was located. Consequently, treatment fish took more than 70 times longer than control fish to enter the coral refuge (26.12 vs. 0.36 min, respectively). The finding that fish exposed to stress were hesitant to use refugia suggests that there was likely cognitive, visual, and/or physiological impairment. Blood lactate, glucose, and hematocrit measures were perturbed at 15 and 30 min after the stressor, relative to controls. However, measurements of oxygen consumption rate revealed that about 50% of metabolic recovery occurred within 30 min after the stressor, coinciding with apparent cognitive/visual/physiological recovery. Recovering the treatment fish in aerated, flow-through chambers for 30 min before introduction to the behavioral arena restored reflexes, and "recovered" fish behaved more similarly to controls. Therefore, we suggest that

  11. Discovery of the corallivorous polyclad flatworm, Amakusaplana acroporae, on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia--the first report from the wild.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kate A Rawlinson

    Full Text Available The role of corallivory is becoming increasingly recognised as an important factor in coral health at a time when coral reefs around the world face a number of other stressors. The polyclad flatworm, Amakusaplana acroporae, is a voracious predator of Indo-Pacific acroporid corals in captivity, and its inadvertent introduction into aquaria has lead to the death of entire coral colonies. While this flatworm has been a pest to the coral aquaculture community for over a decade, it has only been found in aquaria and has never been described from the wild. Understanding its biology and ecology in its natural environment is crucial for identifying viable biological controls for more successful rearing of Acropora colonies in aquaria, and for our understanding of what biotic interactions are important to coral growth and fitness on reefs. Using morphological, histological and molecular techniques we determine that a polyclad found on Acropora valida from Lizard Island, Australia is A. acroporae. The presence of extracellular Symbiodinium in the gut and parenchyma and spirocysts in the gut indicates that it is a corallivore in the wild. The examination of a size-range of individuals shows maturation of the sexual apparatus and increases in the number of eyes with increased body length. Conservative estimates of abundance show that A. acroporae occurred on 7 of the 10 coral colonies collected, with an average of 2.6±0.65 (mean ±SE animals per colony. This represents the first report of A. acroporae in the wild, and sets the stage for future studies of A. acroporae ecology and life history in its natural habitat.

  12. COLLABORATIVE GUIDE: A REEF MANAGER'S GUIDE TO CORAL BLEACHING

    Science.gov (United States)

    Innovative strategies to conserve the world's coral reefs are included in a new guide released today by NOAA, and the Australian Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, with author contributions from a variety of international partners from government agencies, non-governmental...

  13. 21 CFR 886.4790 - Ophthalmic sponge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Ophthalmic sponge. 886.4790 Section 886.4790 Food... DEVICES OPHTHALMIC DEVICES Surgical Devices § 886.4790 Ophthalmic sponge. (a) Identification. An ophthalmic sponge is a device that is an absorbant sponge, pad, or spear made of folded gauze,...

  14. Asymmetric competition prevents the outbreak of an opportunistic species after coral reef degradation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Rivero, Manuel; Bozec, Yves-Marie; Chollett, Iliana; Ferrari, Renata; Schönberg, Christine H L; Mumby, Peter J

    2016-05-01

    Disturbance releases space and allows the growth of opportunistic species, excluded by the old stands, with a potential to alter community dynamics. In coral reefs, abundances of fast-growing, and disturbance-tolerant sponges are expected to increase and dominate as space becomes available following acute coral mortality events. Yet, an increase in abundance of these opportunistic species has been reported in only a few studies, suggesting certain mechanisms may be acting to regulate sponge populations. To gain insights into mechanisms of population control, we simulated the dynamics of the common reef-excavating sponge Cliona tenuis in the Caribbean using an individual-based model. An orthogonal hypothesis testing approach was used, where four candidate mechanisms-algal competition, stock-recruitment limitation, whole and partial mortality-were incorporated sequentially into the model and the results were tested against independent field observations taken over a decade in Belize, Central America. We found that releasing space after coral mortality can promote C. tenuis outbreaks, but such outbreaks can be curtailed by macroalgal competition. The asymmetrical competitive superiority of macroalgae, given by their capacity to pre-empt space and outcompete with the sponge in a size-dependant fashion, supports their capacity to steal the opportunity from other opportunists. While multiple system stages can be expected in coral reefs following intense perturbation macroalgae may prevent the growth of other space-occupiers, such as bioeroding sponges, under low grazing pressure. PMID:26753672

  15. Ecological interactions of sea sponges (Animalia, Porifera according to artisanal fishermen from Camamu Bay, Bahia, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Loyana Docio

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available This article represents the first ethnospongiological study in Brazil, and it aimed at recording artisanal fishermen’s knowledge about sea sponges and their ecological interactions. The study was carried out in the Ilha do Contrato community at Camamu Bay, Bahia State, Brazil. The data were obtained by means of open-ended interviews and projective tests, and followed the usual techniques of ethnographic surveys. The interviewees had knowledge regarding ecological interactions among fish, sea sponges and sponge endofaunal composition. According to the results, there is some congruence between folk wisdom and scientific knowledge. The importance of integrating local knowledge into management and conservation plans designed for the Camamu Bay region, as well as the set of data on ecology of reef communities, should be considered.

  16. Actinomycetes from Red Sea Sponges: Sources for Chemical and Phylogenetic Diversity

    OpenAIRE

    Usama Ramadan Abdelmohsen; Chen Yang; Hannes Horn; Dina Hajjar; Timothy Ravasi; Ute Hentschel

    2014-01-01

    The diversity of actinomycetes associated with marine sponges collected off Fsar Reef (Saudi Arabia) was investigated in the present study. Forty-seven actinomycetes were cultivated and phylogenetically identified based on 16S rRNA gene sequencing and were assigned to 10 different actinomycete genera. Eight putatively novel species belonging to genera Kocuria, Mycobacterium, Nocardia, and Rhodococcus were identified based on sequence similarity values below 98.2% to other 16S rRNA gene sequen...

  17. Microbial diversity of marine sponges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hentschel, U; Fieseler, L; Wehrl, M; Gernert, C; Steinert, M; Hacker, J; Horn, M

    2003-01-01

    The recent application of molecular microbial ecology tools to sponge-microbe associations has revealed a glimpse into the biodiversity of these microbial communities, that is considered just 'the tip of the iceberg'. This chapter provides an overview over these new findings with regard to identity, diversity and distribution patterns of sponge-associated microbial consortia. The sponges Aplysina aerophoba (Verongida), Rhopaloeides odorabile (Dicytoceratida) and Theonella swinhoei (Lithistida) were chosen as model systems for this review because they have been subject to both, cultivation-dependent and cultivation-independent approaches. A discussion of the microbial assemblages of Halichondriapanicea is presented in the accompanying chapter by Imhoff and Stöhr. Considering that a large fraction of sponge-associated microbes is not yet amenable to cultivation, an emphasis has been placed on the techniques centering around the 16S rRNA gene. A section has been included that covers the potential of sponge microbial communities for drug discovery. Finally, a 'sponge-microbe interaction model' is presented that summarizes our current understanding of the processes that might have shaped the community structure of the microbial assemblages within sponges. PMID:15825640

  18. Changing dynamics of Caribbean reef carbonate budgets: emergence of reef bioeroders as critical controls on present and future reef growth potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, Chris T; Murphy, Gary N; Kench, Paul S; Edinger, Evan N; Smithers, Scott G; Steneck, Robert S; Mumby, Peter J

    2014-12-01

    Coral cover has declined rapidly on Caribbean reefs since the early 1980s, reducing carbonate production and reef growth. Using a cross-regional dataset, we show that widespread reductions in bioerosion rates-a key carbonate cycling process-have accompanied carbonate production declines. Bioerosion by parrotfish, urchins, endolithic sponges and microendoliths collectively averages 2 G (where G = kg CaCO3 m(-2) yr(-1)) (range 0.96-3.67 G). This rate is at least 75% lower than that reported from Caribbean reefs prior to their shift towards their present degraded state. Despite chronic overfishing, parrotfish are the dominant bioeroders, but erosion rates are reduced from averages of approximately 4 to 1.6 G. Urchin erosion rates have declined further and are functionally irrelevant to bioerosion on most reefs. These changes demonstrate a fundamental shift in Caribbean reef carbonate budget dynamics. To-date, reduced bioerosion rates have partially offset carbonate production declines, limiting the extent to which more widespread transitions to negative budget states have occurred. However, given the poor prognosis for coral recovery in the Caribbean and reported shifts to coral community states dominated by slower calcifying taxa, a continued transition from production to bioerosion-controlled budget states, which will increasingly threaten reef growth, is predicted. PMID:25320166

  19. Deep-water sponges (Porifera) from Bonaire and Klein Curaçao, Southern Caribbean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soest, Rob W M Van; Meesters, Erik H W G; Becking, Leontine E

    2014-01-01

    Four submersible dives off the coast of Bonaire (Caribbean Netherlands) and Klein Curaçao (Curaçao) to depths of 99.5-242 m, covering lower mesophotic and upper dysphotic zones, yielded 52 sponge specimens belonging to 31 species. Among these we identified 13 species as new to science. These are Plakinastrella stinapa n. sp., Pachastrella pacoi n. sp., Characella pachastrelloides n. sp., Geodia curacaoensis n. sp., Caminus carmabi n. sp., Discodermia adhaerens n. sp., Clathria (Microciona) acarnoides n. sp., Antho (Acarnia) pellita n. sp., Parahigginsia strongylifera n. sp., Calyx magnoculata n. sp., Neopetrosia dutchi n. sp., Neopetrosia ovata n. sp. and Neopetrosia eurystomata n. sp. We also report an euretid hexactinellid, which belongs to the rare genus Verrucocoeloidea, recently described (2014) as V. liberatorii Reiswig & Dohrmann. The remaining 18 already known species are all illustrated by photos of the habit, either in situ or 'on deck', but only briefly characterized in an annotated table to confirm their occurrence in the Southern Caribbean. The habitat investigated-steep limestone rocks, likely representing Pleistocene fossil reefs-is similar to deep-water fossil reefs at Barbados of which the sponges were sampled and studied by Van Soest and Stentoft (1988). A comparison is made between the two localities, showing a high degree of similarity in sponge composition: 53% of the present Bonaire-Klein Curaçao species were also retrieved at Barbados. At the level of higher taxa (genera, families) Bonaire-Klein Curaçao shared approximately 80% of its lower mesophotic and upper dysphotic sponge fauna with Barbados, despite a distance between them of 1000 km, indicating high faunal homogeneity. We also preliminarily compared the shallow-water (euphotic) sponge fauna of Curaçao with the combined data available for the Barbados, Bonaire and Klein Curaçao mesophotic and upper dysphotic sponges, which resulted in the conclusion that the two faunas show only

  20. Marine sponges (Porifera: Demospongiae) from the Gulf of México, new records and redescription of Erylus trisphaerus (de Laubenfels, 1953).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ugalde, Diana; Gómez, Patricia; Simões, Nuno

    2015-01-01

    Marine sponges usually constitute the most diverse group of the benthic community in coral reefs. Although they are reasonably well studied at the northern Gulf of Mexico (GMx), the southern GMx is poorly known and lacks records from many major reef systems that lie off the Mexican coast. The present taxonomic study is the first sponge account from Alacranes reef, the largest coral reef system in the GMx, and from the shallow reef banks of Sisal, both in the northwest Yucatan Peninsula. The 19 species herein described represent the first sponge fauna records from these reefs. Among these, seven species represent new record for GMx: Erylus formosus, Cliona flavifodina, Spirastrella aff. mollis, Strongylacidon bermuda, Topsentia bahamensis, Agelas tubulata and Chelonaplysilla aff. erecta. Twelve species are new records for the Southern GMx: Erylus trisphaerus, Cliona amplicavata, Chondrilla caribensis, Halichondria lutea, Hymeniacidon caerulea, Axinella corrugata, Dragmacidon reticulatum, Chalinula molitba, Amphimedon caribica, A. complanata, Hyatella cavernosa and Dysidea variabilis. Additionally, a redescription of Erylus trisphaerus is presented which had not been reviewed since its original description in 1953 off Western Florida, except that it was listed for north La Habana, Cuba.  PMID:25661604

  1. Annual recapture and survival rates of two non-breeding adult populations of Roseate Terns Stema dougallii captured on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia, and estimates of their population sizes

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Neill, P.; Minton, C.D.T.; Nisbet, I.C.T.; Hines, J.E.

    2008-01-01

    Capture-recapture data from two disparate breeding populations of Roseate Terns (Sterna dougallii) captured together as non-breeding individuals from 2002 to 2007 in the southern Great Barrier Reef. Australia were analyzed for both survival rate and recapture rate. The average annual survival rate for the birds from the Asian population (S. d. bangsi) (0.901) is higher than that of the other population of unknown breeding origin (0.819). There was large variability in survival in both populations among years, but the average survival rate of 0.85 is similar to estimates for the same species in North America. The Cormack-Jolly-Seber models used in program MARK to estimate survival rates also produced estimated of recapture probabilities and population sizes. These estimates of population size were 29,000 for S. D. bangsi and 8,300 for the study area and much larger than the documented numbers in the likely breeding areas, suggesting that many breeding sites are currently unknown.

  2. A Study of Devonian Reefs from Southern China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2000-01-01

    Three Devonian reefs (bioherms) from Yunnan and Guangxi, southern China, are studied in detail.Six microfacies types are differentiated. Colonial rugose corals (Columnaria, Disphyllum and Hexagonaria) at Qujing, tabulate corals (Alveolites) with massive stromatoporoids (Actinostroma and Stromatoporella) and sponges at Panxi, and massive stromatoporoids (Actinostroma, Trupetostroma and Stromatoporella) at Yangshuo belong to the most important reef builders. All the three reefs studied clearly reveal a successive evolution history. They developed on the carbonate banks, shallow carbonate platforms and platform margins in the Late Givetian and terminated in the Frasnian due to sea-level falls related to local uplifts of platforms. This coincides with a eustatic fall of relative sea level at the Frasnian/Famennian transition.

  3. The sum is more than its parts: Key species in the functioning of cold-water coral reef communities

    OpenAIRE

    C. E. Mueller

    2014-01-01

    Cold-water coral reefs are hotspots of biodiversity and biogeochemistry in the deep-sea, solely fuelled by external energy sources. Hence, food input, processing and recycling play a major role in the functioning of these ecosystems. In this thesis we aimed to study energy flow and metabolism of cold-water coral reef ecosystems by assessing the uptake and processing of different food sources by key species of the community (corals, worms and sponges) while including their (non-) trophic inter...

  4. Variability in reef connectivity in the Coral Triangle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, D. M.; Kleypas, J. A.; Castruccio, F. S.; Watson, J. R.; Curchitser, E. N.

    2015-12-01

    The Coral Triangle (CT) is not only the global center of marine biodiversity, it also supports the livelihoods of millions of people. Unfortunately, it is also considered the most threatened of all reef regions, with rising temperature and coral bleaching already taking a toll. Reproductive connectivity between reefs plays a critical role in the reef's capacity to recover after such disturbances. Thus, oceanographic modeling efforts to understand patterns of reef connectivity are essential to the effective design of a network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) to conserve marine ecosystems in the Coral Triangle. Here, we combine a Regional Ocean Modeling System developed for the Coral Triangle (CT-ROMS) with a Lagrangian particle tracking tool (TRACMASS) to investigate the probability of coral larval transport between reefs. A 47-year hindcast simulation (1960-2006) was used to investigate the variability in larval transport of a broadcasting coral following mass spawning events in April and September. Potential connectivity between reefs was highly variable and stochastic from year to year, emphasizing the importance of decadal or longer simulations in identifying connectivity patterns, key source and sink regions, and thus marine management targets for MPAs. The influence of temperature on realized connectivity (future work) may add further uncertainty to year-to-year patterns of connectivity between reefs. Nonetheless, the potential connectivity results we present here suggest that although reefs in this region are primarily self-seeded, rare long-distance dispersal may promote recovery and genetic exchange between reefs in the region. The spatial pattern of "subpopulations" based solely on the physical drivers of connectivity between reefs closely match regional patterns of biodiversity, suggesting that physical barriers to larval dispersal may be a key driver of reef biodiversity. Finally, 21st Century simulations driven by the Community Earth System Model (CESM

  5. Biodiversity of Spongosorites coralliophaga (Stephens, 1915) on coral rubble at two contrasting cold-water coral reef settings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kazanidis, Georgios; Henry, Lea-Anne; Roberts, J. Murray; Witte, Ursula F. M.

    2016-03-01

    Cold-water coral reefs (CWRs) in the northeast Atlantic harbor diverse sponge communities. Knowledge of deep-sea sponge ecology is limited and this leaves us with a fragmented understanding of the ecological roles that sponges play in CWR ecosystems. We present the first study of faunal biodiversity associated with the massive demosponge Spongosorites coralliophaga (Stephens, 1915) that typically colonizes coral debris fields of CWRs. Our study focused on the sessile fauna inhabiting sponges mixed with coral rubble at two contrasting settings in the northeast Atlantic: the shallow inshore (120-190 m water depth) Mingulay Reef Complex (MRC) and the deep offshore (500-1200 m) Logachev Mound (LM) coral province. MRC is dominated by the scleractinian Lophelia pertusa, while LM is dominated by L. pertusa and Madrepora oculata. Nine sponge-coral rubble associations were collected from MRC and four from LM. Measurements of abundance, species richness, diversity, evenness, dry biomass, and composition of sessile fauna on sponge and coral rubble microhabitats were undertaken. Differences in community composition between the two regions were mainly a response to changes in fauna with depth. Fauna composition was also different between sponge and coral rubble within each region. Infauna constituted a minor component of the sponge-associated fauna in MRC but had a higher contribution in LM. Sponge and coral rubble sessile fauna in both regions was mainly composed of cnidarians and molluscs, similarly to some previous studies. Sponges' outer surfaces at MRC were colonized by a species-rich community with high abundance and biomass suggesting that S. coralliophaga at MRC acts as a settlement surface for various organisms but such a role is not the case at LM. This difference in the role of S. coralliophaga as a biological structure is probably related to differences in fauna composition with depth, bottom current speed, and the quantity/quality of food supplied to the benthos.

  6. REEFS AND BIOACCUMULATIONS IN THE MIOCENE DEPOSITS OF THE NORTH CROATIAN BASIN – AMAZING DIVERSITY YET TO BE DESCRIBED

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jasenka Sremac

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available During the early stages of the Middle Miocene transgression marine biota invaded the newly formed Paratethys Sea. Reefs and reef-like structures particularly flourished with life, supported by the favourable climate conditions. Miocene biogene buildups show a variety of fossil assemblages and lithologic features. The main reef-builders were bryozoans, coralline algae, corals, oysters, vermetids, sponges and serpulids. Water turbidity and depth were major ecological factors controlling the reef biota. Lithofacies types at the studied localities in Northern Croatia show significant similarity with the Upper Langhian (Middle Badenian of the Leitha Mountains in Austria, but can also be well compared with Miocene to recent reef structures in the Mediterranean. The Miocene reef-like buildups exhibit different porosity rates and other lithological characteristics.

  7. Early Silurian (Aeronian East Point Coral Patch Reefs of Anticosti Island, Eastern Canada: First Reef Recovery from the Ordovician/Silurian Mass Extinction in Eastern Laurentia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jisuo Jin

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available An extensive late Aeronian patch reef swarm outcrops for 60–70 km on Anticosti Island, eastern Canada, located in the inner to mid-shelf area of a prominent tropical carbonate platform of southeastern Laurentia, at 20°–25° S paleolatitude of the southern typhoon belt. This complex, described here for the first time, includes more than 100 patch reefs, up to 60–80 m in diameter and 10 m high. Reefs are exposed three-dimensionally on present-day tidal flats, as well as inland along roads and rivers. Down the gentle 1°–2° paleoslope, the reefs grade into coral-sponge biostromes, and westerly they grade into inter-reef or deeper ‘crinoidal meadow’ facies. The reef builders were dominantly tabulate and rugose corals, with lesser stromatoporoids. Other components include crinoids, brachiopods, green algae (especially paleoporellids, and encrusting cyanobacteria: reefs display some of the earliest known symbiotic intergrowths of corals and stromatoporoids. Reefs were variably built on a base of crinoidal grainstones, meadows of baffling tabulate corals, brachiopod shells, or chlorophytes. These reefs mark an early phase of reef recovery after a prominent reef gap of 5–6 million years following the Ordovician/Silurian mass extinction events. The reefs feature a maximal diversity of calcifying cyanobacteria, corals and stromatoporoids, but low diversity of brachiopods, nautiloids and crinoids. Following the North American Stratigraphic Code, we define herein the Menier Formation, encompassing the lower two members of the existing Jupiter Formation.

  8. Can artificial reefs mimic natural reef communities? The roles of structural features and age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perkol-Finkel, S; Shashar, N; Benayahu, Y

    2006-03-01

    In light of the deteriorating state of coral reefs worldwide, the need to rehabilitate marine environments has greatly increased. Artificial reefs (ARs) have been suggested as a tool for reef conservation and rehabilitation. Although successions of AR communities have been thoroughly studied, current understanding of the interactions between artificial and natural reefs (NRs) is poor and a fundamental question still to be answered is that of whether AR communities can mimic adjacent NR communities. We suggest three alternative hypotheses: Neighboring ARs and NRs will (1) achieve a similar community structure given sufficient time; (2) be similar only if they possess similar structural features; (3) always differ, regardless of age or structural features. We examined these hypotheses by comparing the community structure on a 119-year old shipwreck to a neighboring NR. Fouling organisms, including stony and soft corals, sponges, tunicates, sea anemones and hydrozoans were recorded and measured along belt transects. The ahermatypic stony coral Tubastrea micrantha dominated vertical AR regions while the soft corals Nephthea sp. and Xenia sp. dominated both artificial and natural horizontal surfaces. Our results support the second hypothesis, indicating that even after a century an AR will mimic its adjacent NR communities only if it possesses structural features similar to those of the natural surroundings. However, if the two differ structurally, their communities will remain distinct. PMID:16198411

  9. NMFS Reef Survey Forms

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Reef Environmental Survey Project (REEF) mission to educate and enlist divers in the conservation of marine habitats is accomplished primarily through its Fish...

  10. Large-scale movement and reef fidelity of grey reef sharks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michelle R Heupel

    Full Text Available Despite an Indo-Pacific wide distribution, the movement patterns of grey reef sharks (Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos and fidelity to individual reef platforms has gone largely unstudied. Their wide distribution implies that some individuals have dispersed throughout tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific, but data on large-scale movements do not exist. We present data from nine C. amblyrhynchos monitored within the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea off the coast of Australia. Shark presence and movements were monitored via an array of acoustic receivers for a period of six months in 2008. During the course of this monitoring few individuals showed fidelity to an individual reef suggesting that current protective areas have limited utility for this species. One individual undertook a large-scale movement (134 km between the Coral Sea and Great Barrier Reef, providing the first evidence of direct linkage of C. amblyrhynchos populations between these two regions. Results indicate limited reef fidelity and evidence of large-scale movements within northern Australian waters.

  11. ReefSAM - Reef Sedimentary Accretion Model: A new 3D coral reef evolution model/simulator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrett, Samuel; Webster, Jody

    2013-04-01

    Coral reefs show characteristic morphological patterns (e.g. coral dominated margins with detrital carbonate dominated lagoons/back-reef) and temporal development (e.g. Hopley et al. 2007). While the processes which lead to predictable patterns on a range of scales have been discussed qualitatively, a full quantitative understanding of the range of processes and parameters involved requires modelling. Previous attempts to model complex Holocene reef systems (i.e. One Tree Reef, GBR - Barrett and Webster 2012) using a carbonate stratigraphic forward model (Carbonate3D - Warrlich et al. 2002) identified a number of important but unsimulated processes and potential model improvements. ReefSAM has been written from scratch in Matlab using these findings and experiences from using Carbonate3D. It simulates coralgal accretion and carbonate sand production and transport. Specific improvements include: 1. a more complex hydrodynamic model based on wave refraction and incorporating vertical (depth) and lateral (substrate dependent) variations in transport energy and erosion. 2. a complex reef growth model incorporating depth, wave energy/turbidity and substrate composition. 3. Paleo-water depth, paleo-wave energy and bio-zone (combination of paleo-water depth and wave energy) model outputs allowing coralgal habitat changes through time and space to be simulated and compared to observational data. The model is compared to the well studied One Tree Reef - tests similar to those undertaken in Barrett and Webster 2012 with Carbonate3D are presented. Model development coincides with plans for further intensive drilling at One Tree Reef (mid 2013) providing an opportunity to test the model predictively. The model is still in active development. References: Barrett, S.J., Webster, J.M.,2012. Holocene evolution of the Great Barrier Reef: Insights from 3D numerical modelling. Sedimentary Geology 265-266, 56-71. Warrlich, G.M.D., Waltham, D.A., Bosence D.W.J., 2002. Quantifying the

  12. Evolution and ecology of antarctic sponges

    OpenAIRE

    Vargas Ramirez, Sergio

    2012-01-01

    Sponges are abundant and species-rich in Antarctic waters, and play important roles in the benthic ecosystems of the continent. The taxonomy of Antarctic sponges is, to some extent, well established, yet the phylogenetic relationships of this fauna remain unknown. Here, the first contributions to the knowledge of the evolution of Antarctic sponges are presented. A molecular phylogeny for the common Antarctic shelf glass sponge genus Rossella is provided. Based on nuclear and mitochondrial mar...

  13. Impact of Global Warming on Coral Reefs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sirilak CHUMKIEW

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we review coral reef responses to climate variability and discuss the possible mechanisms by which climate impacts the coral reef ecosystem. Effects of oceanographic variables such as sea temperature, turbulence, salinity, and nutrients on the coral reef are discussed in terms of their influence on coral growth, reproduction, mortality, acclimation and adaptation. Organisms tend to be limited to specific thermal ranges with experimental findings showing that sufficient oxygen supply by ventilation and circulation only occurs within these ranges. Indirect effects of climate change on the food web are also discussed. Further integrative studies are required to improve our knowledge of the processes linking coral reef responses to future climate change scenarios.Graphical abstract► Incidence of coral reef bleaching on a worldwide scale: location of bleaching reports during 1979 - 2010. Maps are from ReefBase, www.reefbase.org: 1, Arabian Gulf (United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Iran; 2, Red Sea; 3, east Africa; 4, southern Africa (Mozambique, South Africa; 5, Madagascar; 6, Mauritius, Reunion; 7, Seychelles; 8, Chagos; 9, Maldives; 10, Sri Lanka/southern India; 11, Andaman Sea (Andamans, Thailand, Malaysia; 12, South China Sea (Vietnam, Paracel Islands; 13, Philippines; 14, Indonesia; 15, western Australia; 16, Great Barrier Reef; 17, Ryukyu Islands; 18, Mariana Islands; 19, Palau; 20, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu; 21, Fiji; 22, Samoa; 23, French Polynesia (including Moorea; 24, Hawaiian Islands; 25, Easter Island; 26, Galapagos Islands; 27, equatorial eastern Pacific (Costa Rica, Cocos Island, Panama´, Colombia, Ecuador; 28, subtropical eastern Pacific (Mexico; 29, Mesoamerican reef system (Mexico, Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua; 30, Greater Antilles (Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands; 31, Bahamas, Florida; 32, Bermuda; 33, Lesser Antilles; 34, Curaçao, Aruba, Bonaire, Los Roques; 35, Brazil.

  14. Effective disinfection methods of kitchen sponges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pathogenic foodborne bacteria can be disseminated in households through the use of contaminated sponges. Several household disinfecting treatments to kill bacteria, yeasts and molds on sponges were evaluated. Sponges were incubated in a suspension of ground beef and tryptic soy broth to develop bact...

  15. Bioactive brominated metabolites from the natural habitat and tank-maintained cuttings of the Jamaican sponge Aplysina fistularis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallimore, Winklet A

    2013-06-01

    Cut specimens of the common reef sponge of the Verongid family, Aplysina fistularis, were retained in flow-through seawater tanks over a six-week period to assess the metabolite profile of the sponge when subjected to stress, compare the profile with the source material, and assess the preliminary feasibility of the protocol for sponge culture. The living specimens were harvested, extracted with MeOH/CH₂Cl₂ 1:1, and subjected to column chromatography to identify metabolites. The brominated isoxazoline compounds, aerothionin (1) and 11-oxoaerothionin (2), along with aeroplysinin 2 (3) and 2-(3,5-dibromo-4-hydroxyphenol)acetamide (4), were detected in the cuttings from the tank-maintained sponge. An examination of the metabolite profile of the sponge from the natural habitat showed that the compounds 1 and 2 were present. The identities of all the compounds were ascertained by analysis of the mass-spectral data and NMR spectra (¹H, ¹³C, HMBC, and HSQC) of the compounds, which were compared with reported data. The survival rate was 44% with limited necrosis or exposed skeletal tissue being observed in eight of the 18 cuttings, suggesting that protocol modifications would be required for culturing the sponge. PMID:23776020

  16. Advances in the production of sponge biomass Aplysina aerophoba--a model sponge for ex situ sponge biomass production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hausmann, Rudolf; Vitello, Marco P; Leitermann, Frank; Syldatk, Christoph

    2006-06-25

    Sponges are a promising source of organic compounds of potential interest regarding industrial and medical applications. For detailed studies on such compounds, large amounts of sponge biomass are required. Obtaining that is at present extremely difficult because most sponges are relatively rare in nature and their mass cultivation in the laboratory has not yet been accomplished. In this study the possibility of culturing Aplysina aerophoba fragments in laboratory was examined. While a substantial biomass increase was not yet observed, we achieved fragmented sponge tissue to develop into a functional sponge as a first success. PMID:16697067

  17. Precambrian sponges with cellular structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li; Chen; Hua

    1998-02-01

    Sponge remains have been identified in the Early Vendian Doushantuo phosphate deposit in central Guizhou (South China), which has an age of approximately 580 million years ago. Their skeletons consist of siliceous, monaxonal spicules. All are referred to as the Porifera, class Demospongiae. Preserved soft tissues include the epidermis, porocytes, amoebocytes, sclerocytes, and spongocoel. Among thousands of metazoan embryos is a parenchymella-type of sponge larvae having a shoe-shaped morphology and dense peripheral flagella. The presence of possible amphiblastula larva suggests that the calcareous sponges may have an extended history in the Late Precambrian. The fauna indicates that animals lived 40 to 50 million years before the Cambrian Explosion. PMID:9452391

  18. The systematics of carnivorous sponges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hestetun, Jon Thomassen; Vacelet, Jean; Boury-Esnault, Nicole; Borchiellini, Carole; Kelly, Michelle; Ríos, Pilar; Cristobo, Javier; Rapp, Hans Tore

    2016-01-01

    Carnivorous sponges are characterized by their unique method of capturing mesoplanktonic prey coupled with the complete or partial reduction of the aquiferous system characteristic of the phylum Porifera. Current systematics place the vast majority of carnivorous sponges within Cladorhizidae, with certain species assigned to Guitarridae and Esperiopsidae. Morphological characters have not been able to show whether this classification is evolutionary accurate, and whether carnivory has evolved once or in several lineages. In the present paper we present the first comprehensive molecular phylogeny of the carnivorous sponges, interpret these results in conjunction with morphological characters, and propose a revised classification of the group. Molecular phylogenies were inferred using 18S rDNA and a combined dataset of partial 28S rDNA, COI and ALG11 sequences. The results recovered carnivorous sponges as a clade closely related to the families Mycalidae and Guitarridae, showing family Cladorhizidae to be monophyletic and also including carnivorous species currently placed in other families. The genus Lycopodina is resurrected for species currently placed in the paraphyletic subgenus Asbestopluma (Asbestopluma) featuring forceps spicules and lacking sigmas or sigmancistras. The genera Chondrocladia and Cladorhiza are found to be monophyletic. However, results indicate that the subgenus Chondrocladia is polyphyletic with respect to the subgenera Meliiderma and Symmetrocladia. Euchelipluma, formerly Guitarridae, is retained, but transferred to Cladorhizidae. The four known carnivorous species currently in Esperiopsis are transferred to Abyssocladia. Neocladia is a junior homonym and is here renamed Koltunicladia. Our results provide strong evidence in support of the hypothesis that carnivory in sponges has evolved only once. While spicule characters mostly reflect monophyletic groups at the generic level, differences between genera represent evolution within family

  19. Reassessing the trophic role of reef sharks as apex predators on coral reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frisch, Ashley J.; Ireland, Matthew; Rizzari, Justin R.; Lönnstedt, Oona M.; Magnenat, Katalin A.; Mirbach, Christopher E.; Hobbs, Jean-Paul A.

    2016-06-01

    Apex predators often have strong top-down effects on ecosystem components and are therefore a priority for conservation and management. Due to their large size and conspicuous predatory behaviour, reef sharks are typically assumed to be apex predators, but their functional role is yet to be confirmed. In this study, we used stomach contents and stable isotopes to estimate diet, trophic position and carbon sources for three common species of reef shark ( Triaenodon obesus, Carcharhinus melanopterus and C. amblyrhynchos) from the Great Barrier Reef (Australia) and evaluated their assumed functional role as apex predators by qualitative and quantitative comparisons with other sharks and large predatory fishes. We found that reef sharks do not occupy the apex of coral reef food chains, but instead have functional roles similar to those of large predatory fishes such as snappers, emperors and groupers, which are typically regarded as high-level mesopredators. We hypothesise that a degree of functional redundancy exists within this guild of predators, potentially explaining why shark-induced trophic cascades are rare or subtle in coral reef ecosystems. We also found that reef sharks participate in multiple food webs (pelagic and benthic) and are sustained by multiple sources of primary production. We conclude that large conspicuous predators, be they elasmobranchs or any other taxon, should not axiomatically be regarded as apex predators without thorough analysis of their diet. In the case of reef sharks, our dietary analyses suggest they should be reassigned to an alternative trophic group such as high-level mesopredators. This change will facilitate improved understanding of how reef communities function and how removal of predators (e.g., via fishing) might affect ecosystem properties.

  20. Invasive lionfish preying on critically endangered reef fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocha, Luiz A.; Rocha, Claudia R.; Baldwin, Carole C.; Weigt, Lee A.; McField, Melanie

    2015-09-01

    Caribbean coral reef ecosystems are at the forefront of a global decline and are now facing a new threat: elimination of vulnerable species by the invasive lionfish ( Pterois spp.). In addition to being threatened by habitat destruction and pollution, the critically endangered social wrasse ( Halichoeres socialis), endemic to Belize's inner barrier reef, has a combination of biological traits (small size, schooling, and hovering behavior) that makes it a target for the invasive lionfish. Based on stomach content analyses, this small fish comprises almost half of the lionfish diet at the inner barrier reef in Belize. The combination of lionfish predation, limited range, and ongoing habitat destruction makes the social wrasse the most threatened coral reef fish in the world. Other species with small range and similar traits occur elsewhere in the Caribbean and face similar risks.

  1. Why do dolphins carry sponges?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mann, Janet; Sargeant, Brooke L; Watson-Capps, Jana J; Gibson, Quincy A; Heithaus, Michael R; Connor, Richard C; Patterson, Eric

    2008-01-01

    Tool use is rare in wild animals, but of widespread interest because of its relationship to animal cognition, social learning and culture. Despite such attention, quantifying the costs and benefits of tool use has been difficult, largely because if tool use occurs, all population members typically exhibit the behavior. In Shark Bay, Australia, only a subset of the bottlenose dolphin population uses marine sponges as tools, providing an opportunity to assess both proximate and ultimate costs and benefits and document patterns of transmission. We compared sponge-carrying (sponger) females to non-sponge-carrying (non-sponger) females and show that spongers were more solitary, spent more time in deep water channel habitats, dived for longer durations, and devoted more time to foraging than non-spongers; and, even with these potential proximate costs, calving success of sponger females was not significantly different from non-spongers. We also show a clear female-bias in the ontogeny of sponging. With a solitary lifestyle, specialization, and high foraging demands, spongers used tools more than any non-human animal. We suggest that the ecological, social, and developmental mechanisms involved likely (1) help explain the high intrapopulation variation in female behaviour, (2) indicate tradeoffs (e.g., time allocation) between ecological and social factors and, (3) constrain the spread of this innovation to primarily vertical transmission. PMID:19066625

  2. Why do dolphins carry sponges?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janet Mann

    Full Text Available Tool use is rare in wild animals, but of widespread interest because of its relationship to animal cognition, social learning and culture. Despite such attention, quantifying the costs and benefits of tool use has been difficult, largely because if tool use occurs, all population members typically exhibit the behavior. In Shark Bay, Australia, only a subset of the bottlenose dolphin population uses marine sponges as tools, providing an opportunity to assess both proximate and ultimate costs and benefits and document patterns of transmission. We compared sponge-carrying (sponger females to non-sponge-carrying (non-sponger females and show that spongers were more solitary, spent more time in deep water channel habitats, dived for longer durations, and devoted more time to foraging than non-spongers; and, even with these potential proximate costs, calving success of sponger females was not significantly different from non-spongers. We also show a clear female-bias in the ontogeny of sponging. With a solitary lifestyle, specialization, and high foraging demands, spongers used tools more than any non-human animal. We suggest that the ecological, social, and developmental mechanisms involved likely (1 help explain the high intrapopulation variation in female behaviour, (2 indicate tradeoffs (e.g., time allocation between ecological and social factors and, (3 constrain the spread of this innovation to primarily vertical transmission.

  3. Insight into the microbial community structure of a Norwegian deep-water coral reef environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, Sigmund; Neufeld, Josh D.; Birkeland, Nils-Kåre; Hovland, Martin; Murrell, J. Colin

    2008-11-01

    Deep-water coral reefs support rich biological communities below the photic zone of fjords and continental shelves around the world. In this environment, life is enclosed within cold permanent darkness, in stark contrast to life in tropical coral reefs. We collected samples of water, sediment and a Desmacidon sp. sponge from a deep-water coral reef off the coast of Norway, and characterised bacterial communities with focus on primary producers in the dark. Following DNA extraction, PCR amplification and 16S rRNA gene library sequencing, bioinformatic analyses demonstrated significant differences between bacterial communities associated with the three samples. The finding that 50% of the clones showed chemosynthesis to be involved with maintenance of the deep-water coral reef ecosystem.

  4. Coral reef invertebrate microbiomes correlate with the presence of photosymbionts

    OpenAIRE

    Bourne, David G.; Dennis, Paul G.; Uthicke, Sven; Soo, Rochelle M; Tyson, Gene W; Nicole WEBSTER

    2013-01-01

    Coral reefs provide habitat for an array of marine invertebrates that host symbiotic microbiomes. Photosynthetic symbionts including Symbiodinium dinoflagellates and diatoms potentially influence the diversity of their host-associated microbiomes by releasing carbon-containing photosynthates and other organic compounds that fuel microbial metabolism. Here we used 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene amplicon pyrosequencing to characterise the microbiomes of 11 common Great Barrier Reef marine invert...

  5. Reefscape proxies for the conservation of Caribbean coral reef biodiversity

    OpenAIRE

    JE Arias-González; E Núñez-Lara; FA Rodríguez-Zaragoza; Legendre, P.

    2011-01-01

    The explanatory value of four hypotheses for geographic variation in total species richness and species richness was evaluated per family in coral and fish communities in the North Sector of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System (NS-MBRS). The four hypotheses emphasize different reefscape attributes that are important for coral and fish: reef area (RA), live coral cover (LCC), habitat complexity (HC), and coral richness itself and for fish. For both coral and fish communities, we estimated the...

  6. The crystalline sponge method updated

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manabu Hoshino

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Crystalline sponges are porous metal complexes that can absorb and orient common organic molecules in their pores and make them observable by conventional X-ray structure analysis (crystalline sponge method. In this study, all of the steps in the crystalline sponge method, including sponge crystal preparation, pore–solvent exchange, guest soaking, data collection and crystallographic analysis, are carefully examined and thoroughly optimized to provide reliable and meaningful chemical information as chemical crystallography. Major improvements in the method have been made in the guest-soaking and data-collection steps. In the soaking step, obtaining a high site occupancy of the guest is particularly important, and dominant parameters for guest soaking (e.g. temperature, time, concentration, solvents therefore have to be optimized for every sample compound. When standard conditions do not work, a high-throughput method is useful for efficiently optimizing the soaking conditions. The X-ray experiments are also carefully re-examined. Significant improvement of the guest data quality is achieved by complete data collection at high angle regions. The appropriate disorder treatment of the most flexible ZnI2 portions of the host framework and refinement of the solvents filling the remaining void are also particularly important for obtaining better data quality. A benchmark test for the crystalline sponge method toward an achiral molecule is proposed with a guaiazulene guest, in which the guest structure (with ∼ 100% site occupancy is refined without applying any restraints or constraints. The obtained data quality with Rint = 0.0279 and R1 = 0.0379 is comparable with that of current conventional crystallographic analysis for small molecules. Another benchmark test for this method toward a chiral molecule is also proposed with a santonin guest. The crystallographic data obtained [Rint = 0.0421, R1 = 0.0312, Flack (Parsons = −0.0071 (11

  7. The crystalline sponge method updated.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoshino, Manabu; Khutia, Anupam; Xing, Hongzhu; Inokuma, Yasuhide; Fujita, Makoto

    2016-03-01

    Crystalline sponges are porous metal complexes that can absorb and orient common organic molecules in their pores and make them observable by conventional X-ray structure analysis (crystalline sponge method). In this study, all of the steps in the crystalline sponge method, including sponge crystal preparation, pore-solvent exchange, guest soaking, data collection and crystallographic analysis, are carefully examined and thoroughly optimized to provide reliable and meaningful chemical information as chemical crystallography. Major improvements in the method have been made in the guest-soaking and data-collection steps. In the soaking step, obtaining a high site occupancy of the guest is particularly important, and dominant parameters for guest soaking (e.g. temperature, time, concentration, solvents) therefore have to be optimized for every sample compound. When standard conditions do not work, a high-throughput method is useful for efficiently optimizing the soaking conditions. The X-ray experiments are also carefully re-examined. Significant improvement of the guest data quality is achieved by complete data collection at high angle regions. The appropriate disorder treatment of the most flexible ZnI2 portions of the host framework and refinement of the solvents filling the remaining void are also particularly important for obtaining better data quality. A benchmark test for the crystalline sponge method toward an achiral molecule is proposed with a guaiazulene guest, in which the guest structure (with ∼ 100% site occupancy) is refined without applying any restraints or constraints. The obtained data quality with R int = 0.0279 and R 1 = 0.0379 is comparable with that of current conventional crystallographic analysis for small molecules. Another benchmark test for this method toward a chiral molecule is also proposed with a santonin guest. The crystallographic data obtained [R int = 0.0421, R 1 = 0.0312, Flack (Parsons) = -0.0071 (11)] represents the

  8. Global diversity of sponges (Porifera.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rob W M Van Soest

    Full Text Available With the completion of a single unified classification, the Systema Porifera (SP and subsequent development of an online species database, the World Porifera Database (WPD, we are now equipped to provide a first comprehensive picture of the global biodiversity of the Porifera. An introductory overview of the four classes of the Porifera is followed by a description of the structure of our main source of data for this paper, the WPD. From this we extracted numbers of all 'known' sponges to date: the number of valid Recent sponges is established at 8,553, with the vast majority, 83%, belonging to the class Demospongiae. We also mapped for the first time the species richness of a comprehensive set of marine ecoregions of the world, data also extracted from the WPD. Perhaps not surprisingly, these distributions appear to show a strong bias towards collection and taxonomy efforts. Only when species richness is accumulated into large marine realms does a pattern emerge that is also recognized in many other marine animal groups: high numbers in tropical regions, lesser numbers in the colder parts of the world oceans. Preliminary similarity analysis of a matrix of species and marine ecoregions extracted from the WPD failed to yield a consistent hierarchical pattern of ecoregions into marine provinces. Global sponge diversity information is mostly generated in regional projects and resources: results obtained demonstrate that regional approaches to analytical biogeography are at present more likely to achieve insights into the biogeographic history of sponges than a global perspective, which appears currently too ambitious. We also review information on invasive sponges that might well have some influence on distribution patterns of the future.

  9. The crystalline sponge method updated

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoshino, Manabu; Khutia, Anupam; Xing, Hongzhu; Inokuma, Yasuhide; Fujita, Makoto

    2016-01-01

    Crystalline sponges are porous metal complexes that can absorb and orient common organic molecules in their pores and make them observable by conventional X-ray structure analysis (crystalline sponge method). In this study, all of the steps in the crystalline sponge method, including sponge crystal preparation, pore–solvent exchange, guest soaking, data collection and crystallographic analysis, are carefully examined and thoroughly optimized to provide reliable and meaningful chemical information as chemical crystallography. Major improvements in the method have been made in the guest-soaking and data-collection steps. In the soaking step, obtaining a high site occupancy of the guest is particularly important, and dominant parameters for guest soaking (e.g. temperature, time, concentration, solvents) therefore have to be optimized for every sample compound. When standard conditions do not work, a high-throughput method is useful for efficiently optimizing the soaking conditions. The X-ray experiments are also carefully re-examined. Significant improvement of the guest data quality is achieved by complete data collection at high angle regions. The appropriate disorder treatment of the most flexible ZnI2 portions of the host framework and refinement of the solvents filling the remaining void are also particularly important for obtaining better data quality. A benchmark test for the crystalline sponge method toward an achiral molecule is proposed with a guaiazulene guest, in which the guest structure (with ∼ 100% site occupancy) is refined without applying any restraints or constraints. The obtained data quality with R int = 0.0279 and R 1 = 0.0379 is comparable with that of current conventional crystallographic analysis for small molecules. Another benchmark test for this method toward a chiral molecule is also proposed with a santonin guest. The crystallographic data obtained [R int = 0.0421, R 1 = 0.0312, Flack (Parsons) = −0.0071 (11)] represents the

  10. Global diversity of sponges (Porifera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Soest, Rob W M; Boury-Esnault, Nicole; Vacelet, Jean; Dohrmann, Martin; Erpenbeck, Dirk; De Voogd, Nicole J; Santodomingo, Nadiezhda; Vanhoorne, Bart; Kelly, Michelle; Hooper, John N A

    2012-01-01

    With the completion of a single unified classification, the Systema Porifera (SP) and subsequent development of an online species database, the World Porifera Database (WPD), we are now equipped to provide a first comprehensive picture of the global biodiversity of the Porifera. An introductory overview of the four classes of the Porifera is followed by a description of the structure of our main source of data for this paper, the WPD. From this we extracted numbers of all 'known' sponges to date: the number of valid Recent sponges is established at 8,553, with the vast majority, 83%, belonging to the class Demospongiae. We also mapped for the first time the species richness of a comprehensive set of marine ecoregions of the world, data also extracted from the WPD. Perhaps not surprisingly, these distributions appear to show a strong bias towards collection and taxonomy efforts. Only when species richness is accumulated into large marine realms does a pattern emerge that is also recognized in many other marine animal groups: high numbers in tropical regions, lesser numbers in the colder parts of the world oceans. Preliminary similarity analysis of a matrix of species and marine ecoregions extracted from the WPD failed to yield a consistent hierarchical pattern of ecoregions into marine provinces. Global sponge diversity information is mostly generated in regional projects and resources: results obtained demonstrate that regional approaches to analytical biogeography are at present more likely to achieve insights into the biogeographic history of sponges than a global perspective, which appears currently too ambitious. We also review information on invasive sponges that might well have some influence on distribution patterns of the future. PMID:22558119

  11. Black Disease (Terpios hoshinota): A Probable Cause for the Rapid Coral Mortality at the Northern Reef of Yongxing Island in the South China Sea

    OpenAIRE

    Shi, Qi; Liu, Guo Hui; Yan, Hong Qiang; Zhang, Hui Ling

    2012-01-01

    The northern reef of Yongxing Island, the largest reef island of the Xisha Islands in the South China Sea, was in good condition with significant cover of scleractinian corals until 2002. Surveys in 2008 and 2010, however, found that coral coverage had declined rapidly and severely, implying that catastrophic coral mortality occurred during the past 8 years. A blackish mat was observed covering live and dead corals in both 2008 and 2010 that was identified as an encrusting sponge, Terpios hos...

  12. Coral reef ecosystem

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Wafar, M.V.M.; Wafar, S.

    -determined intervals, (l) involvement of end-users and NCOs, (m) prevention of poaching, and (n) crisis management. Options for management of reefs and their resources are several. With extractive uses, they can vary from restrictions on the type of resource exploited... Committee on Mangroves and Coral Reefs of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) is responsible for developing strategies for conservation and management of coral reefs and financially supporting their implementation. Besides the support to regional...

  13. Marine Sponge Dysidea herbacea revisited: Another Brominated Diphenyl Ether

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruce F. Bowden

    2005-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract: A pentabrominated phenolic diphenyl ether (1 that has not previously been reported from marine sources has been isolated from Dysidea herbacea collected at Pelorus Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. The structure was determined by comparison of NMR data with those of known structurally-related metabolites. NMR spectral assignments for (1 are discussed in context with those of three previously reported isomeric pentabrominated phenolic diphenyl ethers.

  14. Sediments and herbivory as sensitive indicators of coral reef degradation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher H. R. Goatley

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Around the world, the decreasing health of coral reef ecosystems has highlighted the need to better understand the processes of reef degradation. The development of more sensitive tools, which complement traditional methods of monitoring coral reefs, may reveal earlier signs of degradation and provide an opportunity for pre-emptive responses. We identify new, sensitive metrics of ecosystem processes and benthic composition that allow us to quantify subtle, yet destabilizing, changes in the ecosystem state of an inshore coral reef on the Great Barrier Reef. Following severe climatic disturbances over the period 2011-2012, the herbivorous reef fish community of the reef did not change in terms of biomass or functional groups present. However, fish-based ecosystem processes showed marked changes, with grazing by herbivorous fishes declining by over 90%. On the benthos, algal turf lengths in the epilithic algal matrix increased more than 50% while benthic sediment loads increased 37-fold. The profound changes in processes, despite no visible change in ecosystem state, i.e., no shift to macroalgal dominance, suggest that although the reef has not undergone a visible regime-shift, the ecosystem is highly unstable, and may sit on an ecological knife-edge. Sensitive, process-based metrics of ecosystem state, such as grazing or browsing rates thus appear to be effective in detecting subtle signs of degradation and may be critical in identifying ecosystems at risk for the future.

  15. Late Holocene sea-level change and reef-island evolution in New Caledonia

    OpenAIRE

    Yamano, H.; Cabioch, Guy; Chevillon, Christophe; Join, J. L.

    2014-01-01

    In New Caledonia, numerous rays are distributed on platform reefs in the southwest lagoon behind the barrier reef. At Mba Island, a vegetated sand cay in this area, we examined Holocene sea-level change, and reef development and evolution. The late Holocene sea-level curve for the area was updated using newly found fossil microatolls. Component-specific dating of foraminifera tests in the island sediment provided reliable ages of island formation. Mba Island initially formed around similar to...

  16. Species Richness and Community Structure on a High Latitude Reef: Implications for Conservation and Management

    OpenAIRE

    Wayne Houston; Jones, Alison M.; Ray Berkelmans

    2011-01-01

    In spite of the wealth of research on the Great Barrier Reef, few detailed biodiversity assessments of its inshore coral communities have been conducted. Effective conservation and management of marine ecosystems begins with fine-scale biophysical assessments focused on diversity and the architectural species that build the structural framework of the reef. In this study, we investigate key coral diversity and environmental attributes of an inshore reef system surrounding the Keppel Bay Islan...

  17. Environmental Economics and Coral Reef Management: Needs and Opportunities for Research in SE Asia

    OpenAIRE

    H. Jack Ruitenbeek

    1999-01-01

    From 1994 to 1998, EEPSEA approved some 65 research projects in environmental economic analysis. Of these, 38 related to "brown" environmental issues, 23 to "green" issues, and four to other issues. None pertained to coral reefs. This relative dearth of coral reef analysis is mirrored in the broader literature; only seven separate environmental economic studies have been undertaken that address policy concerns in SE Asia or nearby areas on Papua New Guineas and Australias Great Barrier Reef. ...

  18. Connectivity in a Red Sea Sponge across an Environmental Gradient

    KAUST Repository

    Giles, Emily C.

    2014-08-01

    While geographic distance is a variable often used to explain population genetic differentiation, dynamic processes leading to stochastic population structure are more likely driving factors. The following thesis presents the population structure of a common reef sponge, Stylissa carteri, and yields hypotheses on the influence of environmental heterogeneity as a predictor of the observed population structure. This project represents the largest population genetics study thus conducted in the Red Sea and also includes the first population genetics data gathered for sites off the coast of Sudan and Soccotra. The study herein presented includes both a large scale (36 reef sites covering over 1000km of coastline) and small-scale (16 transects of 50m each) analysis of gene flow in a benthic dwelling organism. The variable effect of geography and environmental conditions on S. carteri population structure is assessed using a seascape genetics approach. Environmental factors from a nine-year dataset accessed from the NASA Giovanni website including chlorophyll a, sea surface temperature, dissolved and particulate organic matter for both the annual and winter temporal scale were considered.

  19. Steroids from marine sponges Suberites vestigium and Chrotella australiensis

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Mishra, P.D; Wahidullah, S.; DeSouza, L.; Kamat, S.Y.

    The sponges Suberites vestigium and Chrotella australiensis have been examined for steriods. Both the sponges contain C sub(27-29) mono and diunsaturated sterols, in addition sponge C. australiensis contains cholest-4-ene-3-one and 24-ethyl cholest...

  20. Bacterial Communities of different Mediterranean Sponge Species - Basic investigations for biotechnological sponge cultivation

    OpenAIRE

    Gerce, Berna

    2011-01-01

    The aim to use sponges and their associated microorganisms for the supply of natural compounds for their investigation in clinical trials for subsequent development of drugs was the motivation for the investigation of bacterial communities of sponges. The investigation revealed surface- and tissue-associated bacterial communities of free-living sponges were different from each other and microbial communities and secondary metabolites of sponges remain stable during biotechnological cultivation.

  1. Octocoral Species Assembly and Coexistence in Caribbean Coral Reefs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johanna Velásquez

    Full Text Available What are the determinant factors of community assemblies in the most diverse ecosystem in the ocean? Coral reefs can be divided in continental (i.e., reefs that develop on the continental shelf, including siliciclastic reefs and oceanic (i.e., far off the continental shelf, usually on volcanic substratum; whether or not these habitat differences impose community-wide ecological divergence or species exclusion/coexistence with evolutionary consequences, is unknown.Studying Caribbean octocorals as model system, we determined the phylogenetic community structure in a coral reef community, making emphasis on species coexistence evidenced on trait evolution and environmental feedbacks. Forty-nine species represented in five families constituted the species pool from which a phylogenetic tree was reconstructed using mtDNA. We included data from 11 localities in the Western Caribbean (Colombia including most reef types. To test diversity-environment and phenotype-environment relationships, phylogenetic community structure and trait evolution we carried out comparative analyses implementing ecological and evolutionary approaches.Phylogenetic inferences suggest clustering of oceanic reefs (e.g., atolls contrasting with phylogenetic overdispersion of continental reefs (e.g., reefs banks. Additionally, atolls and barrier reefs had the highest species diversity (Shannon index whereas phylogenetic diversity was higher in reef banks. The discriminant component analysis supported this differentiation between oceanic and continental reefs, where continental octocoral species tend to have greater calyx apertures, thicker branches, prominent calyces and azooxanthellate species. This analysis also indicated a clear separation between the slope and the remaining habitats, caused by the presence or absence of Symbiodinium. K statistic analysis showed that this trait is conserved as well as the branch shape.There was strong octocoral community structure with opposite

  2. Antiviral Lead Compounds from Marine Sponges

    OpenAIRE

    Kenneth P. Minneman; Mandeep Kaur; Sunil Sagar

    2010-01-01

    Marine sponges are currently one of the richest sources of pharmacologically active compounds found in the marine environment. These bioactive molecules are often secondary metabolites, whose main function is to enable and/or modulate cellular communication and defense. They are usually produced by functional enzyme clusters in sponges and/or their associated symbiotic microorganisms. Natural product lead compounds from sponges have often been found to be promising pharmaceutical agents. Seve...

  3. Biosynthesis of Silver Nanoparticles Using Marine Sponge

    OpenAIRE

    Mahta Rezazaeh Hamed; Mohammad Hadi Givianrad; Ali Mashinchian Moradi

    2015-01-01

    Biosynthesis of silver nanoparticles using marine sponge extract Haliclona was carried out. Marine sponges' extracts are responsible for the reduction of silver nitrate solution. Silver nanoparticles synthesized using fresh and dry marine sponge. Experimental factors including, time duration, pH, temperature were optimized. Silver nanoparticles were characterized by UV-Visible spectrophotometry. The sizes of synthesis silver nanoparticles were 27-46 nm and confirmed by scanning electron micro...

  4. Reef flattening effects on total richness and species responses in the Caribbean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newman, Steven P; Meesters, Erik H; Dryden, Charlie S; Williams, Stacey M; Sanchez, Cristina; Mumby, Peter J; Polunin, Nicholas V C

    2015-11-01

    There has been ongoing flattening of Caribbean coral reefs with the loss of habitat having severe implications for these systems. Complexity and its structural components are important to fish species richness and community composition, but little is known about its role for other taxa or species-specific responses. This study reveals the importance of reef habitat complexity and structural components to different taxa of macrofauna, total species richness, and individual coral and fish species in the Caribbean. Species presence and richness of different taxa were visually quantified in one hundred 25-m(2) plots in three marine reserves in the Caribbean. Sampling was evenly distributed across five levels of visually estimated reef complexity, with five structural components also recorded: the number of corals, number of large corals, slope angle, maximum sponge and maximum octocoral height. Taking advantage of natural heterogeneity in structural complexity within a particular coral reef habitat (Orbicella reefs) and discrete environmental envelope, thus minimizing other sources of variability, the relative importance of reef complexity and structural components was quantified for different taxa and individual fish and coral species on Caribbean coral reefs using boosted regression trees (BRTs). Boosted regression tree models performed very well when explaining variability in total (82·3%), coral (80·6%) and fish species richness (77·3%), for which the greatest declines in richness occurred below intermediate reef complexity levels. Complexity accounted for very little of the variability in octocorals, sponges, arthropods, annelids or anemones. BRTs revealed species-specific variability and importance for reef complexity and structural components. Coral and fish species occupancy generally declined at low complexity levels, with the exception of two coral species (Pseudodiploria strigosa and Porites divaricata) and four fish species (Halichoeres bivittatus, H

  5. Metabolite variability in Caribbean sponges of the genus Aplysina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monica Puyana

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Sponges of the genus Aplysina are among the most common benthic animals on reefs of the Caribbean, and display a wide diversity of morphologies and colors. Tissues of these sponges lack mineralized skeletal elements, but contain a dense spongin skeleton and an elaborate series of tyrosine-derived brominated alkaloid metabolites that function as chemical defenses against predatory fishes, but do not deter some molluscs. Among the earliest marine natural products to be isolated and identified, these metabolites remain the subject of intense interest for commercial applications because of their activities in various bioassays. In this study, crude organic extracts from 253 sponges from ten morphotypes among the species Aplysina archeri,Aplysina bathyphila,Aplysina cauliformis,Aplysina fistularis,Aplysina fulva,A. insularis, and Aplysina lacunosa were analyzed by liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC–MS to characterize the pattern of intra- and interspecific variabilities of the twelve major secondary metabolites present therein. Patterns across Aplysina species ranged from the presence of mostly a single compound, fistularin-3, in A. cauliformis, to a mixture of metabolites present in the other species. These patterns did not support the biotransformation hypothesis for conversion of large molecular weight molecules to smaller ones for the purpose of enhanced defense. Discriminant analyses of the metabolite data revealed strong taxonomic patterns that support a close relationship between A. fistularis,A. fulva and A. insularis, while two morphotypes of A. cauliformis (lilac creeping vs. brown erect were very distinct. Two morphotypes of A. lacunosa, one with hard tissue consistency, the other soft and thought to belong to a separate genus (Suberea, had very similar chemical profiles. Of the twelve metabolites found among samples, variation in fistularin-3, dideoxyfistularin-3 and hydroxyaerothionin provided the most predictive

  6. Kinase Inhibitors from Marine Sponges

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Zivanovic

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Protein kinases play a critical role in cell regulation and their deregulation is a contributing factor in an increasing list of diseases including cancer. Marine sponges have yielded over 70 novel compounds to date that exhibit significant inhibitory activity towards a range of protein kinases. These compounds, which belong to diverse structural classes, are reviewed herein, and ordered based upon the kinase that they inhibit. Relevant synthetic studies on the marine natural product kinase inhibitors have also been included.

  7. Cell kinetics during regeneration in the sponge Halisarca caerulea: how local is the response to tissue damage?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brittany E. Alexander

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Sponges have a remarkable capacity to rapidly regenerate in response to wound infliction. In addition, sponges rapidly renew their filter systems (choanocytes to maintain a healthy population of cells. This study describes the cell kinetics of choanocytes in the encrusting reef sponge Halisarca caerulea during early regeneration (0–8 h following experimental wound infliction. Subsequently, we investigated the spatial relationship between regeneration and cell proliferation over a six-day period directly adjacent to the wound, 1 cm, and 3 cm from the wound. Cell proliferation was determined by the incorporation of 5-bromo-2′-deoxyuridine (BrdU. We demonstrate that during early regeneration, the growth fraction of the choanocytes (i.e., the percentage of proliferative cells adjacent to the wound is reduced (7.0 ± 2.5% compared to steady-state, undamaged tissue (46.6 ± 2.6%, while the length of the cell cycle remained short (5.6 ± 3.4 h. The percentage of proliferative choanocytes increased over time in all areas and after six days of regeneration choanocyte proliferation rates were comparable to steady-state tissue. Tissue areas farther from the wound had higher rates of choanocyte proliferation than areas closer to the wound, indicating that more resources are demanded from tissue in the immediate vicinity of the wound. There was no difference in the number of proliferative mesohyl cells in regenerative sponges compared to steady-state sponges. Our data suggest that the production of collagen-rich wound tissue is a key process in tissue regeneration for H. caerulea, and helps to rapidly occupy the bare substratum exposed by the wound. Regeneration and choanocyte renewal are competing and negatively correlated life-history traits, both essential to the survival of sponges. The efficient allocation of limited resources to these life-history traits has enabled the ecological success and diversification of sponges.

  8. Cell kinetics during regeneration in the sponge Halisarca caerulea: how local is the response to tissue damage?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, Brittany E; Achlatis, Michelle; Osinga, Ronald; van der Geest, Harm G; Cleutjens, Jack P M; Schutte, Bert; de Goeij, Jasper M

    2015-01-01

    Sponges have a remarkable capacity to rapidly regenerate in response to wound infliction. In addition, sponges rapidly renew their filter systems (choanocytes) to maintain a healthy population of cells. This study describes the cell kinetics of choanocytes in the encrusting reef sponge Halisarca caerulea during early regeneration (0-8 h) following experimental wound infliction. Subsequently, we investigated the spatial relationship between regeneration and cell proliferation over a six-day period directly adjacent to the wound, 1 cm, and 3 cm from the wound. Cell proliferation was determined by the incorporation of 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU). We demonstrate that during early regeneration, the growth fraction of the choanocytes (i.e., the percentage of proliferative cells) adjacent to the wound is reduced (7.0 ± 2.5%) compared to steady-state, undamaged tissue (46.6 ± 2.6%), while the length of the cell cycle remained short (5.6 ± 3.4 h). The percentage of proliferative choanocytes increased over time in all areas and after six days of regeneration choanocyte proliferation rates were comparable to steady-state tissue. Tissue areas farther from the wound had higher rates of choanocyte proliferation than areas closer to the wound, indicating that more resources are demanded from tissue in the immediate vicinity of the wound. There was no difference in the number of proliferative mesohyl cells in regenerative sponges compared to steady-state sponges. Our data suggest that the production of collagen-rich wound tissue is a key process in tissue regeneration for H. caerulea, and helps to rapidly occupy the bare substratum exposed by the wound. Regeneration and choanocyte renewal are competing and negatively correlated life-history traits, both essential to the survival of sponges. The efficient allocation of limited resources to these life-history traits has enabled the ecological success and diversification of sponges. PMID:25780772

  9. Residence times of neutrally-buoyant matter such as larvae, sewage or nutrients on coral reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Black, Kerry P.; Gay, Stephen L.; Andrews, John C.

    1990-12-01

    Coral reef flushing times at an individual reef scale are specified and a general formula to determine these times is developed. The formula is confirmed by comparison with residence times predicted by numerical small-scale reef models, including those from a 4 month unsteady current simulation of John Brewer Reef on Australia's Great Barrier Reef. The method proves to be a satisfactory alternative to the numerical modelling. When neutrally-buoyant material around a reef is removed by the currents, the concentrations decay exponentially. The decay rate depends primarily on free stream current and reef dimensions. Secondary factors are the tidal excursion, shelf depth, lagoon size and residual current in the lee of the reef. These factors, when combined into a decay coefficient, specify the rate of loss of neutrally-buoyant material (e.g. some larvae, pollutants and sewage) from a coral reef and its surrounds. The analytical formula can be used to predict the flushing rates or the percentage of material still remaining on a reef after a selected time interval. We demonstrate that material can remain on or near typical reefs in common weather conditions for several weeks.

  10. Simulating reef response to sea-level rise at Lizard Island: A geospatial approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamylton, S. M.; Leon, J. X.; Saunders, M. I.; Woodroffe, C. D.

    2014-10-01

    Sea-level rise will result in changes in water depth over coral reefs, which will influence reef platform growth as a result of carbonate production and accretion. This study simulates the pattern of reef response on the reefs around Lizard Island in the northern Great Barrier Reef. Two sea-level rise scenarios are considered to capture the range of likely projections: 0.5 m and 1.2 m above 1990 levels by 2100. Reef topography has been established through extensive bathymetric profiling, together with available data, including LiDAR, single beam bathymetry, multibeam swath bathymetry, LADS and digitised chart data. The reef benthic cover around Lizard Island has been classified using a high resolution WorldView-2 satellite image, which is calibrated and validated against a ground referencing dataset of 364 underwater video records of the reef benthic character. Accretion rates are parameterised using published hydrochemical measurements taken in-situ and rules are applied using Boolean logic to incorporate geomorphological transitions associated with different depth ranges, such as recolonisation of the reef flat when it becomes inundated as sea level rises. Simulations indicate a variable platform response to the different sea-level rise scenarios. For the 0.5 m rise, the shallower reef flats are gradually colonised by corals, enabling this active geomorphological zone to keep up with the lower rate of rise while the other sand dominated areas get progressively deeper. In the 1.2 m scenario, a similar pattern is evident for the first 30 years of rise, beyond which the whole reef platform begins to slowly drown. To provide insight on reef response to sea-level rise in other areas, simulation results of four different reef settings are discussed and compared at the southeast reef flat (barrier reef), Coconut Beach (fringing reef), Watson's Bay (leeward bay with coral patches) and Mangrove Beach (sheltered lagoonal embayment). The reef sites appear to accrete upwards

  11. An extensive reef system at the Amazon River mouth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moura, Rodrigo L.; Amado-Filho, Gilberto M.; Moraes, Fernando C.; Brasileiro, Poliana S.; Salomon, Paulo S.; Mahiques, Michel M.; Bastos, Alex C.; Almeida, Marcelo G.; Silva, Jomar M.; Araujo, Beatriz F.; Brito, Frederico P.; Rangel, Thiago P.; Oliveira, Braulio C. V.; Bahia, Ricardo G.; Paranhos, Rodolfo P.; Dias, Rodolfo J. S.; Siegle, Eduardo; Figueiredo, Alberto G.; Pereira, Renato C.; Leal, Camille V.; Hajdu, Eduardo; Asp, Nils E.; Gregoracci, Gustavo B.; Neumann-Leitão, Sigrid; Yager, Patricia L.; Francini-Filho, Ronaldo B.; Fróes, Adriana; Campeão, Mariana; Silva, Bruno S.; Moreira, Ana P. B.; Oliveira, Louisi; Soares, Ana C.; Araujo, Lais; Oliveira, Nara L.; Teixeira, João B.; Valle, Rogerio A. B.; Thompson, Cristiane C.; Rezende, Carlos E.; Thompson, Fabiano L.

    2016-01-01

    Large rivers create major gaps in reef distribution along tropical shelves. The Amazon River represents 20% of the global riverine discharge to the ocean, generating up to a 1.3 × 106–km2 plume, and extensive muddy bottoms in the equatorial margin of South America. As a result, a wide area of the tropical North Atlantic is heavily affected in terms of salinity, pH, light penetration, and sedimentation. Such unfavorable conditions were thought to imprint a major gap in Western Atlantic reefs. We present an extensive carbonate system off the Amazon mouth, underneath the river plume. Significant carbonate sedimentation occurred during lowstand sea level, and still occurs in the outer shelf, resulting in complex hard-bottom topography. A permanent near-bottom wedge of ocean water, together with the seasonal nature of the plume’s eastward retroflection, conditions the existence of this extensive (~9500 km2) hard-bottom mosaic. The Amazon reefs transition from accretive to erosional structures and encompass extensive rhodolith beds. Carbonate structures function as a connectivity corridor for wide depth–ranging reef-associated species, being heavily colonized by large sponges and other structure-forming filter feeders that dwell under low light and high levels of particulates. The oxycline between the plume and subplume is associated with chemoautotrophic and anaerobic microbial metabolisms. The system described here provides several insights about the responses of tropical reefs to suboptimal and marginal reef-building conditions, which are accelerating worldwide due to global changes. PMID:27152336

  12. Phylogenetic position of sponges in early metazoan evolution and bionic applications of siliceous sponge spicules

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    Sponges are the oldest and the simplest but not primitive multicellular animals. They represent the earliest evolutionary metazoan phylum still extant. It was a long and painful scientific process to position the most enigmatic and mysterious metazoan, the Porifera, into their correct phylogenetic place among the eukaryotes in general and multicellular animals in particular. As living fossils, sponges provide the best evidence for the early evolution of Metazoa. More recently, interest has been focused on the bionic applications of sponges' siliceous spicules, after the discovery of their unique structure and high fiber performance. In this review, the emergence of sponges, evolutionary novelties found in sponges, and the phylogenetic position of sponges in early metazoan evolution are highlighted. In addition, the pre-sent state of knowledge on silicatein-mediated "biosilica" formation in marine sponges, including the involvement of other molecules in silica metabolism and their potential application in nanobiotechnol-ogy and medicine, is given.

  13. Agincourt Reef Extension, Density, and Calcification Data for 1779 to 1988

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Extension, Density, and Calcification data from 35 Porites coral cores covering the entire length of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Data set contains 35...

  14. Flinders Reef Extension, Density, and Calcification Data for 1718 to 1991

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Extension, Density, and Calcification data from 35 Porites coral cores covering the entire length of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Data set contains 35...

  15. Rib Reef Extension, Density, and Calcification Data for 1853 to 1983

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Extension, Density, and Calcification data from 35 Porites coral cores covering the entire length of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Data set contains 35...

  16. Wheeler Reef Extension, Density, and Calcification Data for 1744 to 1984

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Extension, Density, and Calcification data from 35 Porites coral cores covering the entire length of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Data set contains 35...

  17. Yankee Reef Extension, Density, and Calcification Data for 1888 to 1984

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Extension, Density, and Calcification data from 35 Porites coral cores covering the entire length of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Data set contains 35...

  18. Sanctuary Reef Extension, Density, and Calcification Data for 1501 to 1984

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Extension, Density, and Calcification data from 35 Porites coral cores covering the entire length of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Data set contains 35...

  19. Lodestone Reef Extension, Density, and Calcification Data for 1615 to 1983

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Extension, Density, and Calcification data from 35 Porites coral cores covering the entire length of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Data set contains 35...

  20. Abraham Reef Extension, Density, and Calcification Data for 1479 to 1985

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Extension, Density, and Calcification data from 35 Porites coral cores covering the entire length of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Data set contains 35...

  1. Pandora Reef Extension, Density, and Calcification Data for 1875 to 1982

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Extension, Density, and Calcification data from 35 Porites coral cores covering the entire length of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Data set contains 35...

  2. Britomart Reef Extension, Density, and Calcification Data for 1574 to 1986

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Extension, Density, and Calcification data from 35 Porites coral cores covering the entire length of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Data set contains 35...

  3. Stanley Reef Extension, Density, and Calcification Data for 1912 to 1985

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Extension, Density, and Calcification data from 35 Porites coral cores covering the entire length of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Data set contains 35...

  4. Otter Reef Extension, Density, and Calcification Data for 1792 to 1987

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Extension, Density, and Calcification data from 35 Porites coral cores covering the entire length of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Data set contains 35...

  5. Cell culture from sponges: pluripotency and immortality

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Caralt Bosch, de S.; Uriz, M.J.; Wijffels, R.H.

    2007-01-01

    Sponges are a source of compounds with potential pharmaceutical applications. In this article, methods of sponge cell culture for production of these bioactive compounds are reviewed, and new approaches for overcoming the problem of metabolite supply are examined. The use of embryos is proposed as a

  6. Renal acidification defects in medullary sponge kidney

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Osther, P J; Hansen, A B; Røhl, H F

    1988-01-01

    Thirteen patients with medullary sponge kidney underwent a short ammonium chloride loading test to investigate their renal acidification capacity. All but 1 presented with a history of recurrent renal calculi and showed bilateral widespread renal medullary calcification on X-ray examination. Nine...... renal calculi in medullary sponge kidney, have considerable therapeutic implications....

  7. Coral reefs and eutrophication

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coral reefs are found in oligotrophic waters, which are poor in nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphate, and possibly iron. In spite of this, coral reefs exhibit high gross primary productivity rates. They thrive in oligotrophic conditions because of the symbiotic relationship between corals and dinoflagellate algae (zooxanthellae) embedded in the coral tissue. In their mutualistic symbiosis, the zooxanthellae contribute their photosynthetic capability as the basis for the metabolic energy of the whole association, and eventually of a great part of the entire reef ecosystem

  8. The Reefs of Mauritius

    OpenAIRE

    Daby, D.; Hardman, E.; Turner, J.; Persands, S.; Klaus, R; Fagoonee, I.; Baghooli, R.

    2000-01-01

    The study investigated whether the coral reefs of Mauritius had suffered a mass bleaching event during 1998 as had been reported for other Indian Ocean reefs. Sea-surface temperature (SST) anomaly charts produced by NOAA show that SST was raised 1o C - 1.25o C above the climatological maximum for this region during February 1998, but the extent of bleaching around Mauritius was thought not to be severe, but was not recorded. A rapid assessment of the degree of coral bleaching on reefs around ...

  9. Contamination analysis in bacterial cleaning sponges maid

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. C. M. Berber

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Bacteria have an ability to proliferate in diverse environments. This work aims to find bacterial groups that can inhabit kitchen sponge, a very suitable tool for their development. The methodology was applied from the microbiological analysis of thirty sponges, together with a questionnaire containing objective questions for respondents to information on how to handle the sponges. It was observed that there is inadequate cleaning of the sponges, which consequently leads to the development of pathogens which in cross contamination of food can bring disease because the bacteria Enterobacter sucrose have been identified, E. coli sucrose, Edwarsiella sp, Proteus mirabilis, Proteus vulgaris , Salmonella, Citrobacter sp and Pseudomonas sp. From the results of the tests can be seen the need for improvement in hygiene of the sponge used in domestic kitchens and the exchange of the same with new ones more frequently

  10. Near-reef elemental signals in the otoliths of settling Pomacentrus amboinensis (Pomacentridae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sih, Tiffany L.; Kingsford, Michael J.

    2016-03-01

    Settlement is a key life history transition for coral reef fishes, and how long a fish spends close to a reef prior to settlement is poorly understood. We used laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) and otolith microstructure analysis (daily increments and settlement marks) to determine the length of time larval fish spend near a reef prior to settlement. The otoliths of Pomacentrus amboinensis collected from four neighbouring reefs in the southern Great Barrier Reef showed clear and consistent differences in their elemental signatures prior to and following settlement. Elevated Ba:Ca near settlement and post-settlement was found in fish from all four reefs. However, there was individual variation in elemental profiles, with an increased otolith Ba-to-Ca ratio (near-reef signature) at settlement in 33 % of fish, and up to 8 d prior to settlement in others. Increment widths, often used as a proxy for growth, decreased approaching the settlement mark for all fish, providing further evidence for a "search phase" in larvae. We demonstrated experimentally that otoliths of fish kept in reefal or inter-reefal waters had different elemental chemistry. There were differences in the elemental composition of water samples within the study area, but no consistent trends with distance from reefs. There was poor discrimination of multi-element signatures among fish from different reefs during their pre-settlement phases. However, discrimination improved in the settlement and post-settlement phases of otoliths, indicating that reef waters and perhaps stage of ontogeny affected otolith chemistry. This study demonstrated clear near-reef elemental signatures in fish around settlement. We suggest these differences are due to a combination of water chemistry and physiological influences (e.g., growth). Combining LA-ICP-MS with otolith microstructure analysis can provide high-resolution information on the early life history of reef fishes. Further, a

  11. Bacterial community profiles in low microbial abundance sponges

    KAUST Repository

    Giles, Emily

    2012-09-04

    It has long been recognized that sponges differ in the abundance of associated microorganisms, and they are therefore termed either \\'low microbial abundance\\' (LMA) or \\'high microbial abundance\\' (HMA) sponges. Many previous studies concentrated on the dense microbial communities in HMA sponges, whereas little is known about microorganisms in LMA sponges. Here, two LMA sponges from the Red Sea, two from the Caribbean and one from the South Pacific were investigated. With up to only five bacterial phyla per sponge, all LMA sponges showed lower phylum-level diversity than typical HMA sponges. Interestingly, each LMA sponge was dominated by a large clade within either Cyanobacteria or different classes of Proteobacteria. The overall similarity of bacterial communities among LMA sponges determined by operational taxonomic unit and UniFrac analysis was low. Also the number of sponge-specific clusters, which indicate bacteria specifically associated with sponges and which are numerous in HMA sponges, was low. A biogeographical or host-dependent distribution pattern was not observed. In conclusion, bacterial community profiles of LMA sponges are clearly different from profiles of HMA sponges and, remarkably, each LMA sponge seems to harbour its own unique bacterial community. © 2012 Federation of European Microbiological Societies.

  12. Global diversity of sponges (Porifera).

    OpenAIRE

    Van Soest, Rob W.M.; Nicole Boury-Esnault; Jean Vacelet; Martin Dohrmann; Dirk Erpenbeck; de Voogd, Nicole J.; Nadiezhda Santodomingo; Bart Vanhoorne; Michelle Kelly; John N. A. Hooper

    2012-01-01

    With the completion of a single unified classification, the Systema Porifera (SP) and subsequent development of an online species database, the World Porifera Database (WPD), we are now equipped to provide a first comprehensive picture of the global biodiversity of the Porifera. An introductory overview of the four classes of the Porifera is followed by a description of the structure of our main source of data for this paper, the WPD. From this we extracted numbers of all ‘known’ sponges to d...

  13. Coral mucus functions as an energy carrier and particle trap in the reef ecosystem

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wild, C.; Huettel, M.; Klueter, A.;

    2004-01-01

    Zooxanthellae, endosymbiotic algae of reef-building corals, substantially contribute to the high gross primary production of coral reefs(1), but corals exude up to half of the carbon assimilated by their zooxanthellae as mucus(2,3). Here we show that released coral mucus efficiently traps organic...... matter from the water column and rapidly carries energy and nutrients to the reef lagoon sediment, which acts as a biocatalytic mineralizing filter. In the Great Barrier Reef, the dominant genus of hard corals, Acropora, exudes up to 4.8 litres of mucus per square metre of reef area per day. Between 56......% and 80% of this mucus dissolves in the reef water, which is filtered through the lagoon sands. Here, coral mucus is degraded at a turnover rate of at least 7% per hour. Detached undissolved mucus traps suspended particles, increasing its initial organic carbon and nitrogen content by three orders of...

  14. SARSTEINIA BABAI N. GEN., N. SP., A NEW PROBLEMATIC SPONGE (INOZOA? FROM THE LATE JURASSIC OF THE NORTHERN CALCAREOUS ALPS, AUSTRIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    FELIX SCHLAGINTWEIT

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available The new problematic sponge Sarsteinia babai n. gen., n. sp. is described from the Kimmeridgian to Tithonian Plassen and Lärchberg Formations of the Northern Calcareous Alps of Austria. The type-locality is the Sarsteinalm north of Mount Hoher Sarstein in the Austrian Salzkammergut, other findings come from Mount Sandling, Mount Jainzen, Mount Trisselwand and the Litzlkogel-Gerhardstein-complex west of Lofer. Most findings can be attributed to a fore-reef to upper slope facies or slope-of-toe breccias, small fragments can occasionally also be found in the back-reef facies. The suprageneric systematic position of the new sponge is unknown so far since it shows morphological characteristics known from Inozoa but also from "stromatoporoids".

  15. Policy for Prevention of a Retained Sponge after Vaginal Delivery

    OpenAIRE

    Garry, David J.; Sandra Asanjarani; Geiss, Donna M.

    2012-01-01

    Background. Policies for sponge count are not routine practice in most labor and delivery rooms. Ignored or hidden retained vaginal foreign bodies has potentially significant health care morbidity. Case. This was a case of a retained vaginal sponge following an uncomplicated spontaneous vaginal delivery. Delivery room policy resulted in the discovery of the sponge on X-ray when an incorrect sponge count occurred and physical exam did not find the sponge. Conclusion. This emphasizes the use of...

  16. Activated chemical defense in aplysina sponges revisited.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thoms, Carsten; Ebel, Rainer; Proksch, Peter

    2006-01-01

    Sponges of the genus Aplysina accumulate brominated isoxazoline alkaloids in concentrations that sometimes exceed 10% of their dry weight. We previously reported a decrease in concentrations of these compounds and a concomitant increase in concentrations of the monocyclic nitrogenous compounds aeroplysinin-1 and dienone in Aplysina aerophoba following injury of the sponge tissue. Further investigations indicated a wound-induced enzymatic cleavage of the former compounds into the latter, and demonstrated that these reactions also occur in other Aplysina sponges. A recent study on Caribbean Aplysina species, however, introduced doubt regarding the presence of a wound-induced bioconversion in sponges of this genus. This discrepancy motivated us to reinvestigate carefully the fate of brominated alkaloids in A. aerophoba and in other Aplysina sponges following mechanical injury. As a result of this study we conclude that (1) tissue damage induces a bioconversion of isoxazoline alkaloids into aeroplysinin-1 and dienone in Aplysina sponges, (2) this reaction is likely catalyzed by enzymes, and (3) it may be ecologically relevant as the bioconversion products possibly protect the wounded sponge tissue from invasion of bacterial pathogens. PMID:16525873

  17. Evidence for Vertical Transmission of Bacterial Symbionts from Adult to Embryo in the Caribbean Sponge Svenzea zeai

    KAUST Repository

    Lee, O. O.

    2009-07-31

    The Caribbean reef sponge Svenzea zeai was previously found to contain substantial quantities of unicellular photosynthetic and autotrophic microbes in its tissues, but the identities of these symbionts and their method of transfer from adult to progeny are largely unknown. In this study, both a 16S rRNA gene-based fingerprinting technique (denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis [DGGE]) and clone library analysis were applied to compare the bacterial communities associated with adults and embryos of S. zeai to test the hypothesis of vertical transfer across generations. In addition, the same techniques were applied to the bacterial community from the seawater adjacent to adult sponges to test the hypothesis that water column bacteria could be transferred horizontally as sponge symbionts. Results of both DGGE and clone library analysis support the vertical transfer hypothesis in that the bacterial communities associated with sponge adults and embryos were highly similar to each other but completely different from those in the surrounding seawater. Sequencing of prominent DGGE bands and of clones from the libraries revealed that the bacterial communities associated with the sponge, whether adult or embryo, consisted of a large proportion of bacteria in the phyla Chloroflexi and Acidobacteria, while most of the sequences recovered from the community in the adjacent water column belonged to the class Alphaproteobacteria. Altogether, 21 monophyletic sequence clusters, comprising sequences from both sponge adults and embryos but not from the seawater, were identified. More than half of the sponge-derived sequences fell into these clusters. Comparison of sequences recovered in this study with those deposited in GenBank revealed that more than 75% of S. zeai-derived sequences were closely related to sequences derived from other sponge species, but none of the sequences recovered from the seawater column overlapped with those from adults or embryos of S. zeai. In

  18. Digital Reef Rugosity Estimates Coral Reef Habitat Complexity

    OpenAIRE

    Phillip Dustan; Orla Doherty; Shinta Pardede

    2013-01-01

    Ecological habitats with greater structural complexity contain more species due to increased niche diversity. This is especially apparent on coral reefs where individual coral colonies aggregate to give a reef its morphology, species zonation, and three dimensionality. Structural complexity is classically measured with a reef rugosity index, which is the ratio of a straight line transect to the distance a flexible chain of equal length travels when draped over the reef substrate; yet, other t...

  19. Residency and spatial use by reef sharks of an isolated seamount and its implications for conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnett, Adam; Abrantes, Kátya G; Seymour, Jamie; Fitzpatrick, Richard

    2012-01-01

    Although marine protected areas (MPAs) are a common conservation strategy, these areas are often designed with little prior knowledge of the spatial behaviour of the species they are designed to protect. Currently, the Coral Sea area and its seamounts (north-east Australia) are under review to determine if MPAs are warranted. The protection of sharks at these seamounts should be an integral component of conservation plans. Therefore, knowledge on the spatial ecology of sharks at the Coral Sea seamounts is essential for the appropriate implementation of management and conservation plans. Acoustic telemetry was used to determine residency, site fidelity and spatial use of three shark species at Osprey Reef: whitetip reef sharks Triaenodon obesus, grey reef sharks Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos and silvertip sharks Carcharhinus albimarginatus. Most individuals showed year round residency at Osprey Reef, although five of the 49 individuals tagged moved to the neighbouring Shark Reef (~14 km away) and one grey reef shark completed a round trip of ~250 km to the Great Barrier Reef. Additionally, individuals of white tip and grey reef sharks showed strong site fidelity to the areas they were tagged, and there was low spatial overlap between groups of sharks tagged at different locations. Spatial use at Osprey Reef by adult sharks is generally restricted to the north-west corner. The high residency and limited spatial use of Osprey Reef suggests that reef sharks would be highly vulnerable to targeted fishing pressure and that MPAs incorporating no-take of sharks would be effective in protecting reef shark populations at Osprey and Shark Reef. PMID:22615782

  20. Residency and spatial use by reef sharks of an isolated seamount and its implications for conservation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam Barnett

    Full Text Available Although marine protected areas (MPAs are a common conservation strategy, these areas are often designed with little prior knowledge of the spatial behaviour of the species they are designed to protect. Currently, the Coral Sea area and its seamounts (north-east Australia are under review to determine if MPAs are warranted. The protection of sharks at these seamounts should be an integral component of conservation plans. Therefore, knowledge on the spatial ecology of sharks at the Coral Sea seamounts is essential for the appropriate implementation of management and conservation plans. Acoustic telemetry was used to determine residency, site fidelity and spatial use of three shark species at Osprey Reef: whitetip reef sharks Triaenodon obesus, grey reef sharks Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos and silvertip sharks Carcharhinus albimarginatus. Most individuals showed year round residency at Osprey Reef, although five of the 49 individuals tagged moved to the neighbouring Shark Reef (~14 km away and one grey reef shark completed a round trip of ~250 km to the Great Barrier Reef. Additionally, individuals of white tip and grey reef sharks showed strong site fidelity to the areas they were tagged, and there was low spatial overlap between groups of sharks tagged at different locations. Spatial use at Osprey Reef by adult sharks is generally restricted to the north-west corner. The high residency and limited spatial use of Osprey Reef suggests that reef sharks would be highly vulnerable to targeted fishing pressure and that MPAs incorporating no-take of sharks would be effective in protecting reef shark populations at Osprey and Shark Reef.

  1. Coral reefs: Turning back time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lough, Janice M.

    2016-03-01

    An in situ experiment finds that reducing the acidity of the seawater surrounding a natural coral reef significantly increases reef calcification, suggesting that ocean acidification may already be slowing coral growth. See Letter p.362

  2. CRCP-Navassa reef assessment

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Episodic cruises ( every 2 years) were conducted to perform assessments of Navassa Island coral reef resources including reeffish visual census, benthic reef...

  3. Some aspects of chemical ecology of the sponges of the Caribbean, Axinyssa ambrosia and Aplysina insularis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Axinyssamine hydrochloride (compound 1) was recently found in the marine sponge Axinyssa ambrosia at concentrations in the order of 10 mg/ml. Lethality assays using compound 1 against the coral Madracis mirabilis allowed determining that the mentioned compound is lethal to coral polyps at the natural concentration present in the sponge. Additionally, by performing exudation experiments in aquaria and chemical detection by HRGC-MS (scan and sim modes) it was found that the compounds ll-formamide-7β-H-eudesm-5-ene (2) and 4 α-formamidogorgon-ll-ene (3) are continually exuded by Axinyssa ambrosia creating a protective chemical barrier around the sponge. Exudation rates increase 3.80 and 2.47 fold respectively for each compound, under stress conditions or aggression. These results suggest that the sponge Axinyssa ambrosia may use the above-mentioned three metabolites as chemical defenses. Other experiments were carried out with the sponge Aplysina insularis in situ, under ecologically relevant conditions, with the purpose of determining if the chemical composition (Brominated metabolites) changes over variable time periods after inflicting wounds on the sponge surface. Metabolites were detected and identified by LC-MS. No evidence of chemical transformation of high molecular weight compounds into the compounds Aeroplysinin-l (4) and/or the dibromo cyclohexadienone (5) was obtained as a consequence of tissue damage, both in short (2,5 minutes) and long duration experiments (120 minutes). These results suggest that the conversion of high molecular weight compounds into small, active forms does not take place in Aplysina insularis as a chemical defense mechanism

  4. AFSC/ABL: Salisbury Sound sponge recovery

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — In 1995, an area of the seafloor near Salisbury Sound was trawled to identify immediate effects on large, erect sponges and sea whips. Video transects were made in...

  5. A benthic survey of Aliwal Shoal and assessment of the effects of a wood pulp effluent on the reef

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aliwal Shoal lies south of Durban in South Africa and has been the subject of recent bathymetric, seafloor and benthic surveys. ANOVA of the biological data revealed that the biota were uniformly distributed on the reef with the exception of encrusting sponges and algae on rock. The variations in distribution of these biota were significant and, in the case of the encrusting sponges, appeared to be related to the discharge of a wood pulp effluent. Further evidence of this was suggested by stable isotope analyses of representative organisms. The encrusting sponges were recommended as good candidates for further monitoring of the effects of the wood pulp effluent on Aliwal Shoal as the effluent pipeline has been extended

  6. Phylogenetic relationships among NE Atlantic Plocamionida Topsent (1927) (Porifera, Poecilosclerida): under-estimated diversity in reef ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    Julie Reveillaud; Rob van Soest; Sofie Derycke; Bernard Picton; Annelien Rigaux; Ann Vanreusel

    2011-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Small and cryptic sponges associated with cold-water coral reefs are particularly numerous and challenging to identify, but their ecological and biochemical importance is likely to compete with megabenthic specimens. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we use a combination of the standard M1M6 and I3M11 partitions of the COI fragment, partial rDNA 28S sequences and morphology to delineate small encrusting Plocamionida species. In total, 46 specimens were retrieved from seven shal...

  7. Fungi and their role in corals and coral reef ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raghukumar, Chandralata; Ravindran, J

    2012-01-01

    Fungi in coral reefs exist as endoliths, endobionts, saprotrophs and as pathogens. Although algal and fungal endoliths in corals were described way back in 1973, their role in microboring, carbonate alteration, discoloration, density banding, symbiotic or parasitic association was postulated almost 25 years later. Fungi, as pathogens in corals, have become a much discussed topic in the last 10 years. It is either due to the availability of better tools for investigations or greater awareness among the research communities. Fungi which are exclusive as endoliths (endemic) in corals or ubiquitous forms seem to play a role in coral reef system. Fungi associated with sponges and their role in production or induction of secondary metabolites in their host is of primary interest to various pharmaceutical industries and funding agencies. Fungal enzymes in degradation of coral mucus, and plant detritus hold great promise in biotechnological applications. Unravelling fungal diversity in corals and associated reef organisms using culture and culture-independent approaches is a subject gaining attention from research community world over. PMID:22222828

  8. Isolation of planctomycetes from Aplysina sponges

    OpenAIRE

    Pimentel-Elardo, S.; Wehrl, M.; Friedrich, A. B.; Jensen, P R; Hentschel, Ute

    2003-01-01

    There is mounting molecular evidence that bacteria belonging to the phylum Planctomycetes are abundant in marine sponges including members of the genus Aplysina. In an attempt to culture planctomycete bacteria from Aplysina sponges, 116 bacterial strains were isolated on selective oligotrophic media. Screening of the strain collection by fluorescence in situ hybridization with the planctomycete-specific probe Pla46 yielded 3 positive candidates. Nearly complete sequencing of the respective 16...

  9. Movement patterns of silvertip sharks ( Carcharhinus albimarginatus) on coral reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Espinoza, Mario; Heupel, Michelle. R.; Tobin, Andrew J.; Simpfendorfer, Colin A.

    2015-09-01

    Understanding how sharks use coral reefs is essential for assessing risk of exposure to fisheries, habitat loss, and climate change. Despite a wide Indo-Pacific distribution, little is known about the spatial ecology of silvertip sharks ( Carcharhinus albimarginatus), compromising the ability to effectively manage their populations. We examined the residency and movements of silvertip sharks in the central Great Barrier Reef (GBR). An array of 56 VR2W acoustic receivers was used to monitor shark movements on 17 semi-isolated reefs. Twenty-seven individuals tagged with acoustic transmitters were monitored from 70 to 731 d. Residency index to the study site ranged from 0.05 to 0.97, with a mean residency (±SD) of 0.57 ± 0.26, but most individuals were detected at or near their tagging reef. Clear seasonal patterns were apparent, with fewer individuals detected between September and February. A large proportion of the tagged population (>71 %) moved regularly between reefs. Silvertip sharks were detected less during daytime and exhibited a strong diel pattern in depth use, which may be a strategy for optimizing energetic budgets and foraging opportunities. This study provides the first detailed examination of the spatial ecology and behavior of silvertip sharks on coral reefs. Silvertip sharks remained resident at coral reef habitats over long periods, but our results also suggest this species may have more complex movement patterns and use larger areas of the GBR than common reef shark species. Our findings highlight the need to further understand the movement ecology of silvertip sharks at different spatial and temporal scales, which is critical for developing effective management approaches.

  10. The Carboniferous reefs in China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2012-01-01

    The Carboniferous period was a unique period for reef developments during the Late Paleozoic;however,in past years,studies dealing with the Carboniferous reefs in China were very rare.In recent years,the Carboniferous reefs were studied in detail and diverse types of reefs have been discovered in different areas of China.In these areas,the Mississippian reefs were primarily built of bryozoans and rugose corals,which were associated with various kinds of calcareous algae.During the Pennsylvanian,in South China,the reef builders were composed of the rugose coral Fomichevella and phylloid algae,whereas in North China,the reef builders were composed of Chaetetes,bryozoans and corals.There are two main reef-building communities within Carboniferous reefs in China;an algal reef-building community and a reef-building community dominated by colonial coral.No evolutionary relationships between these two types of communities can be detected,thus indicating that two different linerages of reef-building communities evolved during the Carboniferous;the former community consists of cyanobacteria,bacteria and calcareous algae,while the latter one consists of various skeletal metazoan organisms.Through careful study of the developments of Chinese Carboniferous reefs,the evidence indicates that various communities of organisms played important reef-building functions during this period.The occurrence of these metazoan framework reefs also indicates that,during the Carboniferous,most areas in China would have been dominated by the environments with a tropical or subtropical climate.

  11. Understanding Resilience in a Vulnerable Industry: the Case of Reef Tourism in Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Duan Biggs

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the resilience of vulnerable sectors of social-ecological systems is critical in an era of escalating global change. The coral reef tourism sector is highly vulnerable not only to ecological effects of climate change and other anthropogenic disturbances on reefs, but also to shocks such as economic recession and energy price escalation. Commercial tourism enterprises are key players in reef tourism in Australia and elsewhere. However, the factors that confer resilience to reef-based tourism enterprises, or the reef tourism sector more broadly, in the face of large disturbances have not been investigated to date. This paper empirically examines the perceived resilience of reef tourism enterprises on Australia's Great Barrier Reef to large disturbances or shocks. Binary logistic regression analysis of two measures of enterprise resilience demonstrates the importance of human capital in strengthening enterprise resilience. Lifestyle identity, measured as the extent to which owners and senior managers are active in reef tourism as a lifestyle choice, is positively related to enterprise resilience. Finally, reef tourism enterprises indicate that financial and marketing support are the most important actions that government can take to support enterprises in the face of a large shock.

  12. Coral reef resilience through biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, Caroline S.

    2013-01-01

    Irrefutable evidence of coral reef degradation worldwide and increasing pressure from rising seawater temperatures and ocean acidification associated with climate change have led to a focus on reef resilience and a call to “manage” coral reefs for resilience. Ideally, global action to reduce emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases will be accompanied by local action. Effective management requires reduction of local stressors, identification of the characteristics of resilient reefs, and design of marine protected area networks that include potentially resilient reefs. Future research is needed on how stressors interact, on how climate change will affect corals, fish, and other reef organisms as well as overall biodiversity, and on basic ecological processes such as connectivity. Not all reef species and reefs will respond similarly to local and global stressors. Because reef-building corals and other organisms have some potential to adapt to environmental changes, coral reefs will likely persist in spite of the unprecedented combination of stressors currently affecting them. The biodiversity of coral reefs is the basis for their remarkable beauty and for the benefits they provide to society. The extraordinary complexity of these ecosystems makes it both more difficult to predict their future and more likely they will have a future.

  13. Thrombospondin 2-null mice display an altered brain foreign body response to polyvinyl alcohol sponge implants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tian Weiming; Kyriakides, Themis R, E-mail: themis.kyriakides@yale.ed [Vascular Biology and Therapeutics Program, Departments of Pathology and Biomedical Engineering, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06519 (United States)

    2009-02-15

    Thrombospondin (TSP)-2 is a matricellular protein that participates in the processes of tissue repair and the foreign body response. In addition, TSP2 has been shown to influence synaptogenesis and recovery of the brain following stroke. In the present study we investigated the response following the implantation of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) sponges in the brain. PVA sponges were implanted into the brain cortex of wild type and TSP2-null mice for a period of 4 and 8 weeks and the response was analyzed by histochemistry and quantitative immunohistochemistry. TSP2 expression was detected in the interstices of the sponge and co-localized with the extracellular matrix and astrocytes. PVA sponge invasion in TSP2-null mice was characterized by dense deposition of extracellular matrix and increased invasion of reactive astrocytes and macrophages/microglia. Furthermore, the angiogenic response was elevated and the detection of mouse serum albumin (MSA) in the brain cortex indicated excessive vessel leakage, suggesting that TSP2 plays a role in the repair/maintenance of the blood brain barrier. Finally, immunostaining demonstrated an increase in the levels of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and MMP-9. Taken together, our observations support a role for TSP2 as critical determinant of the brain response to biomaterials.

  14. Evolution of Coral Rubble Deposits on a Reef Platform as Detected by Remote Sensing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Vila-Concejo

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available An investigation into the evolution of coral rubble deposits on a coral reef platform is assessed using high-resolution remote sensing data and geospatial analysis. Digital change detection analysis techniques are applied to One Tree Reef in the southern Great Barrier Reef by analysing aerial photographs and satellite images captured between 1964 and 2009. Two main types of rubble deposits were identified: (1 rubble flats that are featureless mass accumulations of coral rubble; and, (2 rubble spits that are shore-normal linear features. While both deposits prograde in a lagoon-ward direction, rubble spits move faster (~2 m/yr than rubble flats (~0.5 m/yr. The volume of rubble, the underlying substrate, the energy regime, and storm frequency control the rate of progradation. Rubble flat occurrence is restricted to the high-energy (windward margin of the coral reef platform, while rubble spits are distributed reef wide, both in modal high energy and modal low energy regions of the reef. Rubble spit deposition is considered to be a result of enlarged spur and groove morphology of the forereef, whereby wave energy is focused through the enlarged groove formations causing the preferential deposition of coral rubble in particular zones of the adjacent reef flat. One last control is thought to be the elevation of the reef crest whereby lower areas are more prone to rubble flat development. A vertical and ocean-ward accumulation of rubble is occurring on the windward margin of the reef leading to a build-up and build-out of the reef, governing the expansion of the reef footprint. This study shows for the first time the evolution of a coral reef rubble flat and rubble spits over decadal time scales as detected through remotely sensed images spanning 45 years.

  15. Stephanostomum spp. (Digenea: Acanthocolpidae from scombrids and carangids (Perciformes from the Great Barrier Reef, with the description of two new species Stephanostomum spp. (Digenea: Acanthocolpidae de escómbridos y carángidos (Perciformes del arrecife de la Gran Barrera, con descripción de dos especies nuevas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodney A. Bray

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available Two new species and 4 Stephanostomum spp. as new host and/or locality records from Percifomes from the Great Barrier Reef are described: Stephanostomum lamothei n. sp. from Grammatorcynus bilineatus (type-host and G. bicarinatus, Lizard Island and Swain Reefs, is characterised by its 50-55 circum-oral spines and >than 20% of the hindbody length lacking vitelline follicles; Stephanostomum Tupatupa n. sp. from Caranx papuensis, Lizard Island, is characterised by its 34-36 circum-oral spines and Se describen 2 especies nuevas del género Stephanostomum y se redescriben 4 más parásitas de perciformes del arrecife de la Gran Barrera australiana. Stephanostomum lamothei n. sp., parásito de Grammatorcynus bilineatus (hospedero-tipo y de G. bicarinatus, de la isla Lizard y de los arrecifes Swain, se caracteriza por sus 50-55 espinas circumorales y por carecer de folículos vitelinos en más del 20% de la longitud del cuerpo; Stephanostomum Tupatupa n. sp. de Caranx papuensis de la isla Lizard, exhibe como rasgos diagnósticos 34-36 espinas circumorales y folículos vitelinos en menos del 8% de la longitud del cuerpo; Stephanostomum ditrematis (Yamaguti, 1939 se registra en Gnathanodon speciosus de las islas Heron y Lizard; Stephanostomum hawaiiense Yamaguti, 1970 y Stephanostomum carangi Liu, 1998 se recolectaron en Carangoides fulvoguttatus y finalmente, Stephanostomum nyoomwa Bray and Cribb, 2003 se encontró parasitando a Caranx sexfasciatus, ambos peces de la isla Lizard.

  16. Antagonistic activity of marine sponges associated Actinobacteria

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Selvakumar Dharmaraj; Dhevendaran Kandasamy

    2016-01-01

    Objective: To focus on the isolation and preliminary characterization of marine sponges associated Actinobacteria particularly Streptomyces species and also their antagonistic activities against bacterial and fungal pathogens. Methods: The sponges were collected from Kovalam and Vizhinjam port of south-west coast of Kerala, India. Isolation of strains was carried out from sponge extracts using international Streptomyces project media. For preliminary identification of the strains, morphological (mycelial colouration, soluble pigments, melanoid pigmentation, spore morphology), nutritional uptake (carbon utilisation, amonoacids influence, sodium chloride tolerance), physiological (pH, temperature) and chemotaxonomical characterization were done. Antimicrobial studies were also carried out for the selected strains. Results: With the help of the spicule structures, the collected marine sponges were identified as Callyspongia diffusa, Mycale mytilorum, Tedania anhelans and Dysidea fragilis. Nearly 94 strains were primarily isolated from these sponges and further they were sub-cultured using international Streptomyces project media. The strains exhibited different mycelial colouration (aerial and substrate), soluble and melanoid pigmentations. The strains possessed three types of sporophore morphology namely rectus flexibilis, spiral and retinaculiaperti. Among the 94 isolates, seven exhibited antibacterial and antifungal activities with maximal zone of inhibition of 30 mm. The nutritional, physiological and chemotaxonomical characteristic study helped in the conventional identification of the seven strains and they all suggest that the strains to be grouped under the genus Streptomyces. Conclusions: The present study clearly helps in the preliminary identification of the isolates associated with marine sponges. Antagonistic activities prove the production of antimicrobial metabolites against the pathogens. Marine sponges associated Streptomyces are universally well

  17. Environmental shaping of sponge associated archaeal communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aline S Turque

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Archaea are ubiquitous symbionts of marine sponges but their ecological roles and the influence of environmental factors on these associations are still poorly understood. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We compared the diversity and composition of archaea associated with seawater and with the sponges Hymeniacidon heliophila, Paraleucilla magna and Petromica citrina in two distinct environments: Guanabara Bay, a highly impacted estuary in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and the nearby Cagarras Archipelago. For this we used metagenomic analyses of 16S rRNA and ammonia monooxygenase (amoA gene libraries. Hymeniacidon heliophila was more abundant inside the bay, while P. magna was more abundant outside and P. citrina was only recorded at the Cagarras Archipelago. Principal Component Analysis plots (PCA generated using pairwise unweighted UniFrac distances showed that the archaeal community structure of inner bay seawater and sponges was different from that of coastal Cagarras Archipelago. Rarefaction analyses showed that inner bay archaeaoplankton were more diverse than those from the Cagarras Archipelago. Only members of Crenarchaeota were found in sponge libraries, while in seawater both Crenarchaeota and Euryarchaeota were observed. Although most amoA archaeal genes detected in this study seem to be novel, some clones were affiliated to known ammonia oxidizers such as Nitrosopumilus maritimus and Cenarchaeum symbiosum. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: The composition and diversity of archaeal communities associated with pollution-tolerant sponge species can change in a range of few kilometers, probably influenced by eutrophication. The presence of archaeal amoA genes in Porifera suggests that Archaea are involved in the nitrogen cycle within the sponge holobiont, possibly increasing its resistance to anthropogenic impacts. The higher diversity of Crenarchaeota in the polluted area suggests that some marine sponges are able to change the composition

  18. Seasonal variation of Fatty acids and stable carbon isotopes in sponges as indicators for nutrition: biomarkers in sponges identified.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koopmans, Marieke; van Rijswijk, Pieter; Boschker, Henricus T S; Marco, Houtekamer; Martens, Dirk; Wijffels, Rene H

    2015-02-01

    To get a better understanding of sponge feeding biology and efficiencies, the fatty acid (FA) composition and (13)C natural abundance of sponges and of suspended particulate matter (SPM) from surrounding seawater was studied in different seasons at three locations. Haliclona oculata and Haliclona xena from the Oosterschelde, the Netherlands, Halichondria panicea and H. xena from Lake Veere, the Netherlands, and Aplysina aerophoba and Dysidea avara from the Mediterranean, Spain, were studied. Several FA biomarkers for different algal groups, bacteria and sponge biomass were identified in all sponges. The FA concentration variation in sponges was related to changes in fatty acid concentration in SPM. Stable carbon isotopic ratios (δ(13)C) in sponge specific FAs showed very limited seasonal variation at all sites. Algal FAs in sponges were mainly acquired from the SPM through active filtration in all seasons. At the two sites in the Netherlands only in May (spring), the sponge specific FAs had similar δ(13)C ratios as algal FAs, suggesting that sponges were mainly growing during spring and probably summer. During autumn and winter, they were still actively filtering, but the food collected during this period had little effect on sponge δ(13)C values suggesting limited incorporation of filtered material into the sponge body. The sponge A. aerophoba relied mostly on the symbiotic bacteria. In conclusion, fatty acid composition in combination with stable carbon isotope analysis can be used to analyze the food source of sponges. PMID:25107690

  19. A heteroaromatic acid from marine sponge Suberites vestigium

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Mishra, P.D.; Wahidullah, S.; Kamat, S.Y.

    The 4-Methyl- pyrazole-3(5)-carboxylic acid has been isolated from the buttanol fraction of marine sponge, Sunerites vestigium for the first time. The methanol extract of the sponge exhibits in vitro antihistaminic activity. Pyrazole derivatives...

  20. Marine protected areas increase resilience among coral reef communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mellin, Camille; Aaron MacNeil, M; Cheal, Alistair J; Emslie, Michael J; Julian Caley, M

    2016-06-01

    With marine biodiversity declining globally at accelerating rates, maximising the effectiveness of conservation has become a key goal for local, national and international regulators. Marine protected areas (MPAs) have been widely advocated for conserving and managing marine biodiversity yet, despite extensive research, their benefits for conserving non-target species and wider ecosystem functions remain unclear. Here, we demonstrate that MPAs can increase the resilience of coral reef communities to natural disturbances, including coral bleaching, coral diseases, Acanthaster planci outbreaks and storms. Using a 20-year time series from Australia's Great Barrier Reef, we show that within MPAs, (1) reef community composition was 21-38% more stable; (2) the magnitude of disturbance impacts was 30% lower and (3) subsequent recovery was 20% faster that in adjacent unprotected habitats. Our results demonstrate that MPAs can increase the resilience of marine communities to natural disturbance possibly through herbivory, trophic cascades and portfolio effects. PMID:27038889

  1. Mangrove-sponge associations: a possible role for tannins

    OpenAIRE

    Hunting, E.R.; Geest, van der, S.; Krieg, A.J.; Mierlo, van, B.C.; Soest, van, R.W.M.

    2010-01-01

    A positive correlation between sponge coverage and tannin concentrations in prop roots of Rhizophora mangle L. has previously been reported. However, the ecological role of tannins within the mangrove sponge association remains speculative. This study investigated whether tannins play a role in sponge recruitment and assessed tannin and polyphenol production in R. mangle roots in response to sponge colonization. We demonstrated in a field experiment using artificial substrates with different ...

  2. Carbon conversion and metabolic rate in two marine sponges

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koopmans, M.; Van Rijswijk, P.; Martens, D.; Egorova-Zachernyuk, T.A.; Middelburg, J.J.; Wijffels, R.H.

    2011-01-01

    The carbon metabolism of two marine sponges, Haliclona oculata and Dysidea avara, has been studied using a 13C isotope pulse-chase approach. The sponges were fed 13C-labeled diatoms (Skeletonema costatum) for 8 h and they took up between 75 and 85%. At different times, sponges were sampled for total

  3. 16 CFR 501.6 - Cellulose sponges, irregular dimensions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 16 Commercial Practices 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Cellulose sponges, irregular dimensions. 501... REQUIREMENTS AND PROHIBITIONS UNDER PART 500 § 501.6 Cellulose sponges, irregular dimensions. Variety packages of cellulose sponges of irregular dimensions, are exempted from the requirements of § 500.25 of...

  4. A saccharide-based crystalline sponge for hydrophilic guests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ning, Guo-Hong; Matsumura, Kazuki; Inokuma, Yasuhide; Fujita, Makoto

    2016-05-19

    A coordination network composed of a mannose-based organic ligand and a sodium ion, 'sugar sponge', was synthesized for the crystalline sponge analysis of hydrophilic compounds. Owing to multiple hydrogen-bonding interactions, hydrophilic guests are firmly trapped in the 1-dimensional channel. The sugar sponge was utilized to analyze the structures of flexible alcohol and absolute configurations of chiral epoxides. PMID:27157794

  5. Atlantic reef fish biogeography and evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Floeter, S.R.; Rocha, L.A.; Robertson, D.R.; Joyeux, J.C.; Smith-Vaniz, W.F.; Wirtz, P.; Edwards, A.J.; Barreiros, J.P.; Ferreira, C.E.L.; Gasparini, J.L.; Brito, A.; Falcon, J.M.; Bowen, B.W.; Bernardi, G.

    2008-01-01

    Aim: To understand why and when areas of endemism (provinces) of the tropical Atlantic Ocean were formed, how they relate to each other, and what processes have contributed to faunal enrichment. Location: Atlantic Ocean. Methods: The distributions of 2605 species of reef fishes were compiled for 25 areas of the Atlantic and southern Africa. Maximum-parsimony and distance analyses were employed to investigate biogeographical relationships among those areas. A collection of 26 phylogenies of various Atlantic reef fish taxa was used to assess patterns of origin and diversification relative to evolutionary scenarios based on spatio-temporal sequences of species splitting produced by geological and palaeoceanographic events. We present data on faunal (species and genera) richness, endemism patterns, diversity buildup (i.e. speciation processes), and evaluate the operation of the main biogeographical barriers and/or filters. Results: Phylogenetic (proportion of sister species) and distributional (number of shared species) patterns are generally concordant with recognized biogeographical provinces in the Atlantic. The highly uneven distribution of species in certain genera appears to be related to their origin, with highest species richness in areas with the greatest phylogenetic depth. Diversity buildup in Atlantic reef fishes involved (1) diversification within each province, (2) isolation as a result of biogeographical barriers, and (3) stochastic accretion by means of dispersal between provinces. The timing of divergence events is not concordant among taxonomic groups. The three soft (non-terrestrial) inter-regional barriers (mid-Atlantic, Amazon, and Benguela) clearly act as 'filters' by restricting dispersal but at the same time allowing occasional crossings that apparently lead to the establishment of new populations and species. Fluctuations in the effectiveness of the filters, combined with ecological differences among provinces, apparently provide a mechanism

  6. Rapid Smothering of Coral Reef Organisms by Muddy Marine Snow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fabricius, K. E.; Wolanski, E.

    2000-01-01

    Estuarine mud, when resuspended in nutrient-rich near-shore water, aggregates to marine snow, and within minutes to hours can exert detrimental or even lethal effects on small coral reef organisms. In a pilot study, estuarine mud was suspended in near-shore and off-shore waters of the Great Barrier Reef to a final concentration of 170 mg l -1. The short-term responses of a coral ( Acropora sp.) and coral-inhabiting barnacles (subfamily Pyrgomatidae), exposed to either near-shore or off-shore water, were microscopically observed and video recorded. In the off-shore water treatment, flocculation was minor, and aggregate sizes were c. 50 μm. The organisms were able to clean themselves from these small settling aggregates at low siltation (mucus only at high siltation (4-5 mg cm -2). In contrast, in near-shore, nutrient-enriched waters, the suspended mud aggregated into large sticky flocs of marine snow (200-2000 μm diameter). The organisms responded to a thin coat of deposited flocs with vigorous cleaning by cirri and tentacle beating. After 5 min struggle, the barnacle stopped moving, calanoid copepods were entangled in the aggregates, and thick layers of mucus were exuded by the coral polyps. Both barnacle and copepods died after coral reefs. Enhanced nutrient concentrations are known to contribute to enhance biologically mediated flocculation. This pilot study suggests that the concentration of suspended mud, and extent of stickiness and flocculation, can synergistically affect reef benthos organisms after short exposure. The enclosed macro video recordings clearly visualize these effects, and help convey the important implications for managers: that inshore reefs of the Great Barrier Reef cannot be sustainably managed without managing the adjacent land.

  7. Fifty million years of herbivory on coral reefs: fossils, fish and functional innovations

    OpenAIRE

    Bellwood, D. R.; Goatley, C. H. R.; Brandl, S. J.; Bellwood, O.

    2014-01-01

    The evolution of ecological processes on coral reefs was examined based on Eocene fossil fishes from Monte Bolca, Italy and extant species from the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Using ecologically relevant morphological metrics, we investigated the evolution of herbivory in surgeonfishes (Acanthuridae) and rabbitfishes (Siganidae). Eocene and Recent surgeonfishes showed remarkable similarities, with grazers, browsers and even specialized, long-snouted forms having Eocene analogues. These lon...

  8. Long-term movement patterns of a coral reef predator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heupel, M. R.; Simpfendorfer, C. A.

    2015-06-01

    Long-term monitoring is required to fully define periodicity and patterns in animal movement. This is particularly relevant for defining what factors are driving the presence, location, and movements of individuals. The long-term movement and space use patterns of grey reef sharks, Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos, were examined on a whole of reef scale in the southern Great Barrier Reef to define whether movement and activity space varied through time. Twenty-nine C. amblyrhynchos were tracked for over 2 years to define movement patterns. All individuals showed high residency within the study site, but also had high roaming indices. This indicated that individuals remained in the region and used all of the monitored habitat (i.e., the entire reef perimeter). Use of space was consistent through time with high reuse of areas most of the year. Therefore, individuals maintained discrete home ranges, but undertook broader movements around the reef at times. Mature males showed greatest variation in movement with larger activity spaces and movement into new regions during the mating season (August-September). Depth use patterns also differed, suggesting behaviour or resource requirements varied between sexes. Examination of the long-term, reef-scale movements of C. amblyrhynchos has revealed that reproductive activity may play a key role in space use and activity patterns. It was unclear whether mating behaviour or an increased need for food to sustain reproductive activity and development played a greater role in these patterns. Reef shark movement patterns are becoming more clearly defined, but research is still required to fully understand the biological drivers for the observed patterns.

  9. Temporary refugia for coral reefs in a warming world

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Hooidonk, R.; Maynard, J. A.; Planes, S.

    2013-05-01

    Climate-change impacts on coral reefs are expected to include temperature-induced spatially extensive bleaching events. Bleaching causes mortality when temperature stress persists but exposure to bleaching conditions is not expected to be spatially uniform at the regional or global scale. Here we show the first maps of global projections of bleaching conditions based on ensembles of IPCC AR5 (ref. ) models forced with the new Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs). For the three RCPs with larger CO2 emissions (RCP 4.5, 6.0 and 8.5) the onset of annual bleaching conditions is associated with ~ 510ppm CO2 equivalent; the median year of all locations is 2040 for the fossil-fuel aggressive RCP 8.5. Spatial patterns in the onset of annual bleaching conditions are similar for each of the RCPs. For RCP 8.5, 26% of reef cells are projected to experience annual bleaching conditions more than 5 years later than the median. Some of these temporary refugia include the western Indian Ocean, Thailand, the southern Great Barrier Reef and central French Polynesia. A reduction in the growth of greenhouse-gas emissions corresponding to the difference between RCP 8.5 and 6.0 delays annual bleaching in ~ 23% of reef cells more than two decades, which might conceivably increase the potential for these reefs to cope with these changes.

  10. The reality, use and potential for cryopreservation of coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagedorn, Mary; Spindler, Rebecca

    2014-01-01

    Throughout the world coral reefs are being degraded at unprecedented rates. Locally, reefs are damaged by pollution, nutrient overload and sedimentation from out-dated land-use, fishing and mining practices. Globally, increased greenhouse gases are warming and acidifying oceans, making corals more susceptible to stress, bleaching and newly emerging diseases. The coupling of climate change impacts and local anthropogenic stressors has caused a widespread and well-recognized reef crisis. Although in situ conservation practices, such as the establishment and enforcement of marine protected areas, reduce these stressors and may help slow the loss of genetic diversity on reefs, the global effects of climate change will continue to cause population declines. Gamete cryopreservation has already acted as an effective insurance policy to maintain the genetic diversity of many wildlife species, but has only just begun to be explored for coral. Already we have had a great deal of success with cryopreserving sperm and larval cells from a variety of coral species. Building on this success, we have now begun to establish genetic banks using frozen samples, to help offset these threats to the Great Barrier Reef and other areas. PMID:25091915

  11. Oxygen dynamics and transport in the Mediterranean sponge Aplysina aerophoba.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffmann, Friederike; Røy, Hans; Bayer, Kristina; Hentschel, Ute; Pfannkuchen, Martin; Brümmer, Franz; de Beer, Dirk

    2008-01-01

    The Mediterranean sponge Aplysina aerophoba kept in aquaria or cultivation tanks can stop pumping for several hours or even days. To investigate changes in the chemical microenvironments, we measured oxygen profiles over the surface and into the tissue of pumping and non-pumping A. aerophoba specimens with Clark-type oxygen microelectrodes (tip diameters 18-30 μm). Total oxygen consumption rates of whole sponges were measured in closed chambers. These rates were used to back-calculate the oxygen distribution in a finite-element model. Combining direct measurements with calculations of diffusive flux and modeling revealed that the tissue of non-pumping sponges turns anoxic within 15 min, with the exception of a 1 mm surface layer where oxygen intrudes due to molecular diffusion over the sponge surface. Molecular diffusion is the only transport mechanism for oxygen into non-pumping sponges, which allows total oxygen consumption rates of 6-12 μmol cm(-3) sponge day(-1). Sponges of different sizes had similar diffusional uptake rates, which is explained by their similar surface/volume ratios. In pumping sponges, oxygen consumption rates were between 22 and 37 μmol cm(-3) sponge day(-1), and the entire tissue was oxygenated. Combining different approaches of direct oxygen measurement in living sponges with a dynamic model, we can show that tissue anoxia is a direct function of the pumping behavior. The sponge-microbe system of A. aerophoba thus has the possibility to switch actively between aerobic and anaerobic metabolism by stopping the water flow for more than 15 min. These periods of anoxia will greatly influence physiological variety and activity of the sponge microbes. Detailed knowledge about the varying chemical microenvironments in sponges will help to develop protocols to cultivate sponge-associated microbial lineages and improve our understanding of the sponge-microbe-system. PMID:24391232

  12. Connectivity in grey reef sharks (Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos) determined using empirical and simulated genetic data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Momigliano, Paolo; Harcourt, Robert; Robbins, William D; Stow, Adam

    2015-01-01

    Grey reef sharks (Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos) can be one of the numerically dominant high order predators on pristine coral reefs, yet their numbers have declined even in the highly regulated Australian Great Barrier Reef (GBR) Marine Park. Knowledge of both large scale and fine scale genetic connectivity of grey reef sharks is essential for their effective management, but no genetic data are yet available. We investigated grey reef shark genetic structure in the GBR across a 1200 km latitudinal gradient, comparing empirical data with models simulating different levels of migration. The empirical data did not reveal any genetic structuring along the entire latitudinal gradient sampled, suggesting regular widespread dispersal and gene flow of the species throughout most of the GBR. Our simulated datasets indicate that even with substantial migrations (up to 25% of individuals migrating between neighboring reefs) both large scale genetic structure and genotypic spatial autocorrelation at the reef scale were maintained. We suggest that present migration rates therefore exceed this level. These findings have important implications regarding the effectiveness of networks of spatially discontinuous Marine Protected Areas to protect reef sharks. PMID:26314287

  13. Field observations of wave-driven water-level gradients across a coral reef flat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jago, O. K.; Kench, P. S.; Brander, R. W.

    2007-06-01

    Field measurements of still water surface elevations were obtained across a narrow leeward reef flat on Lady Elliot Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia in June 2003. Stilling wells were deployed from the reef crest landward to the island beach, and waves and mean water levels were monitored over both rising and falling tides during low to moderate wave energy conditions. Wave setup of up to 13.8 cm above still water level occurred in the presence of incident waves of 0.4 m yielding maximum water surface slopes greater than 6°. Results show that the magnitude of wave setup varies both temporally and spatially across the reef with changing water depth. Setup is dominant on the reef edge at low tide, evolving into a dual setup system at both the reef edge and shoreline at midtide and finally a dominant shoreline setup at high tide. On Lady Elliot Island the dual setup system is considered to result from spatial differences in transformation and breaking of swell and wind waves at midtide stages. The presence of a dual setup system across a reef flat has not been previously identified in field or modeling studies and has potentially significant implications for reefal current development, sediment transport, and the stability of reef island shorelines.

  14. Phagocytosis of sperm by follicle cells of the carnivorous sponge Asbestopluma occidentalis (Porifera, Demospongiae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riesgo, Ana

    2010-06-01

    During spermatogenesis of the carnivorous sponge Asbestopluma occidentalis, follicle cells that lined the spermatocysts phagocytosed unreleased mature sperm. Such follicle cells are part of the complex envelope that limits spermatocysts of A. occidentalis, which is also comprised of a collagen layer, a thick layer of intertwined cells, and spicules. Follicle cells showed vesicles containing single phagocytosed spermatozoa within their cytoplasm. Additionally, lipids and other inclusions were observed within the cytoplasm of follicle cells. It is likely that follicle cells recapture nutrients by phagocytosing spermatozoa and use them to form lipids and other inclusions. Such sperm phagocytosis is usually performed in higher invertebrates and vertebrates by Sertoli cells that are located in the testis wall. While Sertoli cells develop a wide range of functions such as creating a blood-testis barrier, providing crucial factors to ensure correct progression of spermatogenesis, and phagocytosis of aberrant, degenerating, and unreleased sperm cells, sponge follicle cells may only display phagocytotic activity on spermatogenic cells. PMID:20409567

  15. Bonaire Deep Reef Expedition I

    OpenAIRE

    Becking, L.E.; Meesters, H.W.G.

    2014-01-01

    From 30 May – 1 June 2013 the deep reef of Bonaire, Caribbean Netherlands, was explored with the aid of the “Curasub” submarine of Substation Curaçao. The shallow reefs of the Caribbean are considered a biodiversity-hotspot, an area with exceptional diversity of plants, animals and ecosystems yet surprisingly little is known about the flora and fauna of the deeper reefs. Particularly the deep reefs of Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba have hardly been explored. This represents a critical knowle...

  16. Wave transformation over coral reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Ian R.

    1989-07-01

    Ocean wave attenuation on coral reefs is discussed using data obtained from a preliminary field experiment and from the Seasat altimeter. Marked attenuation of the waves is observed, the rate being consistent with existing theories of bottom friction and wave breaking decay. In addition, there is a significant broadening of the spectrum during propagation across reefs. Three-dimensional effects, such as refraction and defraction, can also lead to substantial wave height reduction for significant distances adjacent to coral reefs. As a result, a matrix of such reefs provides significantly more wave attenuation than may initially be expected.

  17. Allelopathy in the tropical alga Lobophora variegata (Phaeophyceae): mechanistic basis for a phase shift on mesophotic coral reefs?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slattery, Marc; Lesser, Michael P

    2014-06-01

    Macroalgal phase shifts on Caribbean reefs have been reported with increasing frequency, and recent reports of these changes on mesophotic coral reefs have raised questions regarding the mechanistic processes behind algal population expansions to deeper depths. The brown alga Lobophora variegata is a dominant species on many shallow and deep coral reefs of the Caribbean and Pacific, and it increased in percent cover (>50%) up to 61 m on Bahamian reefs following the invasion of the lionfish Pterois volitans. We examined the physiological and ecological constraints contributing to the spread of Lobophora on Bahamian reefs across a mesophotic depth gradient from 30 to 61 m, pre- and post-lionfish invasion. Results indicate that there were no physiological limitations to the depth distribution of Lobophora within this range prior to the lionfish invasion. Herbivory by acanthurids and scarids in algal recruitment plots at mesophotic depths was higher prior to the lionfish invasion, and Lobophora chemical defenses were ineffective against an omnivorous fish species. In contrast, Lobophora exhibited significant allelopathic activity against the coral Montastraea cavernosa and the sponge Agelas clathrodes in laboratory assays. These data indicate that when lionfish predation on herbivorous fish released Lobophora from grazing pressure at depth, Lobophora expanded its benthic cover to a depth of 61 m, where it replaced the dominant coral and sponge species. Our results suggest that this chemically defended alga may out-compete these species in situ, and that mesophotic reefs may be further impacted in the near future as Lobophora continues to expand to its compensation point. PMID:26988322

  18. The physiology and molecular biology of sponge tissues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leys, Sally P; Hill, April

    2012-01-01

    Sponges have become the focus of studies on molecular evolution and the evolution of animal body plans due to their ancient branching point in the metazoan lineage. Whereas our former understanding of sponge function was largely based on a morphological perspective, the recent availability of the first full genome of a sponge (Amphimedon queenslandica), and of the transcriptomes of other sponges, provides a new way of understanding sponges by their molecular components. This wealth of genetic information not only confirms some long-held ideas about sponge form and function but also poses new puzzles. For example, the Amphimedon sponge genome tells us that sponges possess a repertoire of genes involved in control of cell proliferation and in regulation of development. In vitro expression studies with genes involved in stem cell maintenance confirm that archaeocytes are the main stem cell population and are able to differentiate into many cell types in the sponge including pinacocytes and choanocytes. Therefore, the diverse roles of archaeocytes imply differential gene expression within a single cell ontogenetically, and gene expression is likely also different in different species; but what triggers cells to enter one pathway and not another and how each archaeocyte cell type can be identified based on this gene knowledge are new challenges. Whereas molecular data provide a powerful new tool for interpreting sponge form and function, because sponges are suspension feeders, their body plan and physiology are very much dependent on their physical environment, and in particular on flow. Therefore, in order to integrate new knowledge of molecular data into a better understanding the sponge body plan, it is important to use an organismal approach. In this chapter, we give an account of sponge body organization as it relates to the physiology of the sponge in light of new molecular data. We focus, in particular, on the structure of sponge tissues and review descriptive as

  19. Policy for Prevention of a Retained Sponge after Vaginal Delivery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David J. Garry

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Background. Policies for sponge count are not routine practice in most labor and delivery rooms. Ignored or hidden retained vaginal foreign bodies has potentially significant health care morbidity. Case. This was a case of a retained vaginal sponge following an uncomplicated spontaneous vaginal delivery. Delivery room policy resulted in the discovery of the sponge on X-ray when an incorrect sponge count occurred and physical exam did not find the sponge. Conclusion. This emphasizes the use of protocols to enhance patient safety and prevent medical error.

  20. Policy for prevention of a retained sponge after vaginal delivery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garry, David J; Asanjarani, Sandra; Geiss, Donna M

    2012-01-01

    Background. Policies for sponge count are not routine practice in most labor and delivery rooms. Ignored or hidden retained vaginal foreign bodies has potentially significant health care morbidity. Case. This was a case of a retained vaginal sponge following an uncomplicated spontaneous vaginal delivery. Delivery room policy resulted in the discovery of the sponge on X-ray when an incorrect sponge count occurred and physical exam did not find the sponge. Conclusion. This emphasizes the use of protocols to enhance patient safety and prevent medical error. PMID:22312370

  1. The role of coral reef rugosity in dissipating wave energy and coastal protection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Daniel; Rovere, Alessio; Parravicini, Valeriano; Casella, Elisa

    2016-04-01

    Coral reefs are the most effective natural barrier in dissipating wave energy through breaking and bed friction. The attenuation of wave energy by coral reef flats is essential in the protection and stability of coral reef aligned coasts and reef islands. However, the effectiveness of wave energy dissipation by coral reefs may be diminished under future climate change scenarios with a potential reduction of coral reef rugosity due to increased stress environmental stress on corals. The physical roughness or rugosity of coral reefs is directly related to ecological diversity, reef health, and hydrodynamic roughness. However, the relationship between physical roughness and hydrodynamic roughness is not well understood despite the crucial role of bed friction in dissipating wave energy in coral reef aligned coasts. We examine the relationship between wave energy dissipation across a fringing reef in relation to the cross-reef ecological zonation and the benthic hydrodynamic roughness. Waves were measured by pressure transducers in a cross-reef transect on the reefs flats and post processed on a wave by wave basis to determine wave statistics such as significant wave height and wave period. Results from direct wave measurement were then used to calibrate a 1D wave dissipation model that incorporates dissipation functions due to bed friction and wave breaking. This model was used to assess the bed roughness required to produce the observed wave height dissipation during propagation from deep water and across the coral reef flats. Changes in wave dissipation was also examined under future scenarios of sea level rise and reduced bed roughness. Three dimensional models of the benthic reef structure were produced through structure-from-motion photogrammetry surveys. Reef rugosity was then determined from these surveys and related to the roughness results from the calibrated model. The results indicate that applying varying roughness coefficients as the benthic ecological

  2. Investigations of Natural Products from Sponges and Sponge Associated Marine Fungi

    OpenAIRE

    Varoglu, Mustafa

    1996-01-01

    Two areas of marine natural products were explored in this work. The young but established area of sponge natural products was investigated as a source of anticancer secondary metabolites. In addition, the newly emerging field of marine fungal natural products was studied to provide insight on the capacity of marine fungi to produce novel natural products. The possibility that marine fungi are a microbial source of sponge derived natural products was examined through chemical investigations ...

  3. A new cyclostellettamine from sponge Amphimedon compressa

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    A new compound, 8,8'-dienecyclostellettamine, was isolated from the marine sponge Amphimedon compressa. Its structure was elucidated by spectroscopic methods including 1D and 2D NMR, UV, IR, ESI-MS, MALDI-MS techniques. It is probably an important precursor of the manzamine alkoids, and also showed vigorous antibacterial activities.

  4. Electron beam melting of sponge titanium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fundamental investigations were done on electron beam (EB) melting of sponge titanium by using 80 kW EB melting furnace. Results obtained are as follows: (1) To increase the melting yield of titanium in EB melting of sponge titanium, it is important to recover splashed metal by installation of water-cooled copper wall around the hearth and to decrease evaporation loss of titanium by keeping the surface temperature of molten metal just above the melting temperature of titanium without local heating. (2) Specific power consumption of drip melting of pressed sponge titanium bar and hearth melting of sponge titanium are approximately 0.9 kWh/kg-Ti and 0.5-0.7 kWh/kg-Ti, respectively. (3) Ratios of the heat conducted to water-cooled mould in the drip melting and to water-cooled hearth in the hearth melting to the electron beam input power are 50-65% and 60-65%, respectively. (4) Surface defects of EB-melted ingots include rap which occurs when the EB output is excessively great, and transverse cracks when the EB output is excessively small. To prevent surface defects, the up-down withdrawal method is effective. (author)

  5. Actinomycetes from red sea sponges: Sources for chemical and phylogenetic diversity

    KAUST Repository

    Abdelmohsen, Usama Ramadan

    2014-05-12

    The diversity of actinomycetes associated with marine sponges collected off Fsar Reef (Saudi Arabia) was investigated in the present study. Forty-seven actinomycetes were cultivated and phylogenetically identified based on 16S rRNA gene sequencing and were assigned to 10 different actinomycete genera. Eight putatively novel species belonging to genera Kocuria, Mycobacterium, Nocardia, and Rhodococcus were identified based on sequence similarity values below 98.2% to other 16S rRNA gene sequences available in the NCBI database. PCR-based screening for biosynthetic genes including type I and type II polyketide synthases (PKS-I, PKS-II) as well as nonribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPS) showed that 20 actinomycete isolates encoded each at least one type of biosynthetic gene. The organic extracts of nine isolates displayed bioactivity against at least one of the test pathogens, which were Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, fungi, human parasites, as well as in a West Nile Virus protease enzymatic assay. These results emphasize that marine sponges are a prolific resource for novel bioactive actinomycetes with potential for drug discovery. 2014 by the authors; licensee MDPI.

  6. Actinomycetes from Red Sea Sponges: Sources for Chemical and Phylogenetic Diversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Usama Ramadan Abdelmohsen

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The diversity of actinomycetes associated with marine sponges collected off Fsar Reef (Saudi Arabia was investigated in the present study. Forty-seven actinomycetes were cultivated and phylogenetically identified based on 16S rRNA gene sequencing and were assigned to 10 different actinomycete genera. Eight putatively novel species belonging to genera Kocuria, Mycobacterium, Nocardia, and Rhodococcus were identified based on sequence similarity values below 98.2% to other 16S rRNA gene sequences available in the NCBI database. PCR-based screening for biosynthetic genes including type I and type II polyketide synthases (PKS-I, PKS-II as well as nonribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPS showed that 20 actinomycete isolates encoded each at least one type of biosynthetic gene. The organic extracts of nine isolates displayed bioactivity against at least one of the test pathogens, which were Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, fungi, human parasites, as well as in a West Nile Virus protease enzymatic assay. These results emphasize that marine sponges are a prolific resource for novel bioactive actinomycetes with potential for drug discovery.

  7. Climatic and tectonic controls on late Quaternary reef growth in New Caledonia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sedimentological and stratigraphic analysis of about 40 sub-surface cores drilled through the reefs of New Caledonia provides valuable data on the processes of reef recolonization following the past post glacial sea-level rise, and on the vertical tectonic behaviour of the island over the past 125,000 years. Holocene reefs in New Caledonia are not older than 8.5 ky. The fringing reef which developed during the last interglacial high sea-level 125 ky ago, is today uplifted and lies along some 30 km of coast in the area of 10 m, while the present-day barrier reef is deeply submerged (around - 15 to - 20 m). Near Hienghene (east coast), a double system of two notches is markedly deformed by a bulge, but is much more localized (3 km long) than in the Yate area, with a maximum uplift of 13 m of the upper double notch system (interpreted as having formed during the last interglacial event). Relics of the 125 ky fringing reef are emergent at various locations in the Bourail region (west coast). However, their altitudes are lower than that generally admitted (+ 6 m) for their construction at 125 ky, thus most probably reflecting a slight subsidence of the area. Elsewhere, the 125 ky fringing reef underlies the Holocene reef: in the SW of the island, in particular, the Holocene - Pleistocene unconformity is observed at - 6 m. In areas of higher subsidence rates, such as the NW or NE of the island, the 125 ky fringing reef may be more deeply buried. In that case, the Holocene reef rests directly on a metamorphic or sedimentary substratum. Within the barrier reef build-up itself, the 125 ky reef flat is overlain by a Holocene sequence, whose thickness depends on local subsidence rates. The observation of notches, raised becah-rocks or coral reefs (dated ar around 5,500 yr) uplifted up to 1 to 1,5 m above MLWS reflects the existence of a hydro-isostatic rebound. Traces of this rebound disappear in areas of high subsidence rate, illustrating the action of local tectonics

  8. State of the coralline reefs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A diagnosis is made based primarily on the data obtained inside the national system of monitoring of coralline reefs in Colombia, under the coordination of the INVEMAR and with the support of several institutions. The paper does a diagnostic of the covering of the reef substrate, bleaching and coralline illnesses, wealth and abundance of fishes among other topics

  9. Human activities threaten coral reefs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Research indicates that 58 per cent of the coral reefs of the world are threatened by human activities. Pollution and global heating represent some of the threats. Coral reefs just beneath the surface of the sea are very sensitive to temperature changes. Since 1979, mass death of coral reefs has been reported increasingly often. More than 1000 marine species live in the coral reefs, among these are one fourth of all marine species of fish. It is imperative that the coral reefs be preserved, as coastal communities all over the world depend on them as sources of food and as they are the raw materials for important medicines. The article discusses the threats to the coral reefs in general and does not single out any particular energy-related activity as the principal threat. For instance, the El-Nino phenomenon of the Pacific Ocean is probably involved in mass death of coral reefs and in the North Sea large parts of deep-water reefs have been crushed by heavy beam trawlers fishing for bottom fish

  10. Coral reef surveys in India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Wafar, M.V.M.

    This paper briefly describes the history of coral reef surveys in India. All the surveys done so far have used simple techniques, but they have been quite effective in highlighting the damages to reefs in the short-term due to human interferences...

  11. Antiviral lead compounds from marine sponges

    KAUST Repository

    Sagar, Sunil

    2010-10-11

    Marine sponges are currently one of the richest sources of pharmacologically active compounds found in the marine environment. These bioactive molecules are often secondary metabolites, whose main function is to enable and/or modulate cellular communication and defense. They are usually produced by functional enzyme clusters in sponges and/or their associated symbiotic microorganisms. Natural product lead compounds from sponges have often been found to be promising pharmaceutical agents. Several of them have successfully been approved as antiviral agents for clinical use or have been advanced to the late stages of clinical trials. Most of these drugs are used for the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and herpes simplex virus (HSV). The most important antiviral lead of marine origin reported thus far is nucleoside Ara-A (vidarabine) isolated from sponge Tethya crypta. It inhibits viral DNA polymerase and DNA synthesis of herpes, vaccinica and varicella zoster viruses. However due to the discovery of new types of viruses and emergence of drug resistant strains, it is necessary to develop new antiviral lead compounds continuously. Several sponge derived antiviral lead compounds which are hopedto be developed as future drugs are discussed in this review. Supply problems are usually the major bottleneck to the development of these compounds as drugs during clinical trials. However advances in the field of metagenomics and high throughput microbial cultivation has raised the possibility that these techniques could lead to the cost-effective large scale production of such compounds. Perspectives on biotechnological methods with respect to marine drug development are also discussed. 2010 by the authors; licensee MDPI.

  12. Antiviral Lead Compounds from Marine Sponges

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kenneth P. Minneman

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Marine sponges are currently one of the richest sources of pharmacologically active compounds found in the marine environment. These bioactive molecules are often secondary metabolites, whose main function is to enable and/or modulate cellular communication and defense. They are usually produced by functional enzyme clusters in sponges and/or their associated symbiotic microorganisms. Natural product lead compounds from sponges have often been found to be promising pharmaceutical agents. Several of them have successfully been approved as antiviral agents for clinical use or have been advanced to the late stages of clinical trials. Most of these drugs are used for the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV and herpes simplex virus (HSV. The most important antiviral lead of marine origin reported thus far is nucleoside Ara-A (vidarabine isolated from sponge Tethya crypta. It inhibits viral DNA polymerase and DNA synthesis of herpes, vaccinica and varicella zoster viruses. However due to the discovery of new types of viruses and emergence of drug resistant strains, it is necessary to develop new antiviral lead compounds continuously. Several sponge derived antiviral lead compounds which are hopedto be developed as future drugs are discussed in this review. Supply problems are usually the major bottleneck to the development of these compounds as drugs during clinical trials. However advances in the field of metagenomics and high throughput microbial cultivation has raised the possibility that these techniques could lead to the cost-effective large scale production of such compounds. Perspectives on biotechnological methods with respect to marine drug development are also discussed.

  13. Coal ash artificial reef demonstration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This experimental project evaluated the use of coal ash to construct artificial reefs. An artificial reef consisting of approximately 33 tons of cement-stabilized coal ash blocks was constructed in approximately 20 feet of water in the Gulf of Mexico approximately 9.3 miles west of Cedar Key, Florida. The project objectives were: (1) demonstrate that a durable coal ash/cement block can be manufactured by commercial block-making machines for use in artificial reefs, and (2) evaluate the possibility that a physically stable and environmentally acceptable coal ash/cement block reef can be constructed as a means of expanding recreational and commercial fisheries. The reef was constructed in February 1988 and biological surveys were made at monthly intervals from May 1988 to April 1989. The project provided information regarding: Development of an optimum design mix, block production and reef construction, chemical composition of block leachate, biological colonization of the reef, potential concentration of metals in the food web associated with the reef, acute bioassays (96-hour LC50). The Cedar Key reef was found to be a habitat that was associated with a relatively rich assemblage of plants and animals. The reef did not appear to be a major source of heavy metals to species at various levels of biological organization. GAI Consultants, Inc (GAI) of Monroeville, Pennsylvania was the prime consultant for the project. The biological monitoring surveys and evaluations were performed by Environmental Planning and Analysis, Inc. of Tallahassee, Florida. The chemical analyses of biological organisms and bioassay elutriates were performed by Savannah Laboratories of Tallahassee, Florida. Florida Power Corporation of St. Petersburg, Florida sponsored the project and supplied ash from their Crystal River Energy Complex

  14. Controls on coral-ground development along the northern Mesoamerican Reef tract.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosa E Rodríguez-Martínez

    Full Text Available Coral-grounds are reef communities that colonize rocky substratum but do not form framework or three-dimensional reef structures. To investigate why, we used video transects and underwater photography to determine the composition, structure and status of a coral-ground community located on the edge of a rocky terrace in front of a tourist park, Xcaret, in the northern Mesoamerican Reef tract, Mexico. The community has a relatively low coral, gorgonian and sponge cover (40%. We recorded 23 species of Scleractinia, 14 species of Gorgonacea and 30 species of Porifera. The coral community is diverse but lacks large coral colonies, being dominated instead by small, sediment-tolerant, and brooding species. In these small colonies, the abundance of potentially lethal interactions and partial mortality is high but decreases when colonies are larger than 40 cm. Such characteristics are consistent with an environment control whereby storm waves periodically remove larger colonies and elevate sediment flux. The community only survives these storm conditions due to its slope-break location, which ensures lack of burial and continued local recruitment. A comparison with similar coral-ground communities in adjacent areas suggests that the narrow width of the rock terrace hinders sediment stabilization, thereby ensuring that communities cannot escape bottom effects and develop into three-dimensional reef structures on geological time scales.

  15. Geology and paleontology of the reef facies of the Pirabas Formation (Early Miocene

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vladimir de Araújo Távora

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available This work concerns with the detailed geological and paleontological study of the reef facies of the Pirabas Formation, that outcrop at the Maçarico beach, of Salinópolis district, Pará State, as a small, isolated and lenticular sedimentary bodie developed in the inner platform inner ramp of the Pirabas Sea. The biotic constituents are diverse and composed by three groups of coralline algae, sponges, corals, bryozoans, echinoids, foraminifera, ostracodes and molluscs. Three stages of the ecologic sucession were recognized in this patch reef: stabilization, colonization and diversification. Thin micritic crusts, recognized at top of the beds in diversification stage suggest the degradation of the environmental conditions favorable to reef accretion probably due to continentalization of the depositional site. The petrographic investigation reveals only one, homogeneous depositional microfacies, named biomicrite, without compositional and textural changes. The marine cementation is represented by microcrystalline agglomerates and micritic cement, locally neomorphosed to biosparite and detrital carbonatic components of the unconsolidated biogenic debris, resulted from the disintegration of the aragonite from the algalic remains accumulated as micritic mud. In the construction of the reef framework the red macroalgae were fundamental to the lithification and building of the framework, and very important to the protection and cementation of the others constituents.

  16. Controls on coral-ground development along the northern Mesoamerican Reef tract.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Martínez, Rosa E; Jordán-Garza, Adán G; Maldonado, Miguel A; Blanchon, Paul

    2011-01-01

    Coral-grounds are reef communities that colonize rocky substratum but do not form framework or three-dimensional reef structures. To investigate why, we used video transects and underwater photography to determine the composition, structure and status of a coral-ground community located on the edge of a rocky terrace in front of a tourist park, Xcaret, in the northern Mesoamerican Reef tract, Mexico. The community has a relatively low coral, gorgonian and sponge cover (40%). We recorded 23 species of Scleractinia, 14 species of Gorgonacea and 30 species of Porifera. The coral community is diverse but lacks large coral colonies, being dominated instead by small, sediment-tolerant, and brooding species. In these small colonies, the abundance of potentially lethal interactions and partial mortality is high but decreases when colonies are larger than 40 cm. Such characteristics are consistent with an environment control whereby storm waves periodically remove larger colonies and elevate sediment flux. The community only survives these storm conditions due to its slope-break location, which ensures lack of burial and continued local recruitment. A comparison with similar coral-ground communities in adjacent areas suggests that the narrow width of the rock terrace hinders sediment stabilization, thereby ensuring that communities cannot escape bottom effects and develop into three-dimensional reef structures on geological time scales. PMID:22194839

  17. How complementary are epibenthic assemblages in artificial and nearby natural rocky reefs?

    KAUST Repository

    Carvalho, Susana

    2013-12-01

    The present study analyses the composition, structure and trophic function of epibenthic assemblages in two artificial reefs (ARs) 16 years after deployment and in nearby natural reefs (NRs), aiming at providing insights on the complementarity between both habitats. Current findings suggest that after 16 years the ARs (concrete blocks), located in southern Portugal, do not act as surrogates for NRs, as epibenthic assemblages differed between reef types in composition, structure and trophic function. NRs showed higher diversity and complementarity (i.e. beta-diversity) than ARs, evidencing higher redundancy. Higher heterogeneity within NRs was also evidenced by the multi-dimensional scaling analysis based on abundance, biomass and trophic composition. NRs presented higher abundance of molluscs and biomass of sponges, resulting in differences in the trophic function: suspension-feeding dominated the NRs, while within ARs there was an ascendency of carnivory. Although not acting as surrogates for NRs and provided that no adverse effects (e.g. establishment of non-native species) were detected, ARs may have a significant contribution for the increase of regional diversity, as evidenced by the highest complementarity levels observed between assemblages in both reefs. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

  18. Controls on Coral-Ground Development along the Northern Mesoamerican Reef Tract

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Martínez, Rosa E.; Jordán-Garza, Adán G.; Maldonado, Miguel A.; Blanchon, Paul

    2011-01-01

    Coral-grounds are reef communities that colonize rocky substratum but do not form framework or three-dimensional reef structures. To investigate why, we used video transects and underwater photography to determine the composition, structure and status of a coral-ground community located on the edge of a rocky terrace in front of a tourist park, Xcaret, in the northern Mesoamerican Reef tract, Mexico. The community has a relatively low coral, gorgonian and sponge cover (40%). We recorded 23 species of Scleractinia, 14 species of Gorgonacea and 30 species of Porifera. The coral community is diverse but lacks large coral colonies, being dominated instead by small, sediment-tolerant, and brooding species. In these small colonies, the abundance of potentially lethal interactions and partial mortality is high but decreases when colonies are larger than 40 cm. Such characteristics are consistent with an environment control whereby storm waves periodically remove larger colonies and elevate sediment flux. The community only survives these storm conditions due to its slope-break location, which ensures lack of burial and continued local recruitment. A comparison with similar coral-ground communities in adjacent areas suggests that the narrow width of the rock terrace hinders sediment stabilization, thereby ensuring that communities cannot escape bottom effects and develop into three-dimensional reef structures on geological time scales. PMID:22194839

  19. Nitrification in reef corals

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Wafar, M.V.M.; Wafar, S.; David, J.J.

    : 1004-1008. SCHILLER, C., AND G. J. HERNDL. 1988. Nutritive status and mineralization capacity in interstitial waters of narrow branched hermatypic corals. [Abstract 364.1 Proc. 6th Int. Coral Reef Svmu. SIEB~RTH, J. McN.* 1975. Microbial seascapes....-U&v. Park. STRICKLAND, J. D. H., AND T. R. PARSONS. 1972. A practical handbook of seawater analysis, 2nd ed. Bull. Fish. Res. Bd. Can. 167. TRENCH, R. K. 1974. Nutritional potentials in Zoan- thus sociatus. Helgol. Wiss. Meeresunters. 26: 174- 216...

  20. Self-generated morphology in lagoon reefs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Blakeway

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The three-dimensional form of a coral reef develops through interactions and feedbacks between its constituent organisms and their environment. Reef morphology therefore contains a potential wealth of ecological information, accessible if the relationships between morphology and ecology can be decoded. Traditionally, reef morphology has been attributed to external controls such as substrate topography or hydrodynamic influences. Little is known about inherent reef morphology in the absence of external control. Here we use reef growth simulations, based on observations in the cellular reefs of Western Australia’s Houtman Abrolhos Islands, to show that reef morphology is fundamentally determined by the mechanical behaviour of the reef-building organisms themselves—specifically their tendency to either remain in place or to collapse. Reef-building organisms that tend to remain in place, such as massive and encrusting corals or coralline algae, produce nodular reefs, whereas those that tend to collapse, such as branching Acropora, produce cellular reefs. The purest reef growth forms arise in sheltered lagoons dominated by a single type of reef builder, as in the branching Acropora-dominated lagoons of the Abrolhos. In these situations reef morphology can be considered a phenotype of the predominant reef building organism. The capacity to infer coral type from reef morphology can potentially be used to identify and map specific coral habitat in remotely sensed images. More generally, identifying ecological mechanisms underlying other examples of self-generated reef morphology can potentially improve our understanding of present-day reef ecology, because any ecological process capable of shaping a reef will almost invariably be an important process in real time on the living reef.

  1. Reefs for the future: Resilience of coral reefs in the main Hawaiian Islands

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Declining health of coral reef ecosystems led scientists to search for factors that support reef resilience: the ability of reefs to resist and recover from...

  2. Direct measurements of air-sea CO2 exchange over a coral reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGowan, Hamish A.; MacKellar, Mellissa C.; Gray, Michael A.

    2016-05-01

    Quantification of CO2 exchange with the atmosphere over coral reefs has relied on microscale measurements of pCO2 gradients across the air-sea interfacial boundary; shipboard measurements of air-sea CO2 exchange over adjacent ocean inferred to represent over reef processes or ecosystem productivity modeling. Here we present by way of case study the first direct measurements of air-sea CO2 exchange over a coral reef made using the eddy covariance method. Research was conducted during the summer monsoon over a lagoonal platform reef in the southern Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Results show the reef flat to be a net source of CO2 to the atmosphere of similar magnitude as coastal lakes, while adjacent shallow and deep lagoons were net sinks as was the surrounding ocean. This heterogeneity in CO2 exchange with the atmosphere confirms need for spatially representative direct measurements of CO2 over coral reefs to accurately quantify their role in atmospheric carbon budgets.

  3. Turf algae-mediated coral damage in coastal reefs of Belize, Central America

    KAUST Repository

    Wild, Christian

    2014-09-16

    Many coral reefs in the Caribbean experienced substantial changes in their benthic community composition during the last decades. This often resulted in phase shifts from scleractinian coral dominance to that by other benthic invertebrate or algae. However, knowledge about how the related role of coral-algae contacts may negatively affect corals is scarce. Therefore, benthic community composition, abundance of algae grazers, and the abundance and character of coral-algae contacts were assessed in situ at 13 Belizean reef sites distributed along a distance gradient to the Belizean mainland (12–70 km): Mesoamerican Barrier Reef (inshore), Turneffe Atoll (inner and outer midshore), and Lighthouse Reef (offshore). In situ surveys revealed significantly higher benthic cover by scleractinian corals at the remote Lighthouse Reef (26–29%) when compared to the other sites (4–19%). The abundance of herbivorous fish and the sea urchin Diadema antillarum significantly increased towards the offshore reef sites, while the occurrence of direct coral-algae contacts consequently increased significantly with decreasing distance to shore. About 60% of these algae contacts were harmful (exhibiting coral tissue damage, pigmentation change, or overgrowth) for corals (mainly genera Orbicella and Agaricia), particularly when filamentous turf algae were involved. These findings provide support to the hypothesis that (turf) algae-mediated coral damage occurs in Belizean coastal, near-shore coral reefs.

  4. The impacts of tourism on coral reef conservation awareness and support in coastal communities in Belize

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diedrich, A.

    2007-12-01

    Marine recreational tourism is one of a number of threats to the Belize Barrier Reef but, conversely, represents both a motivation and source of resources for its conservation. The growth of tourism in Belize has resulted in the fact that many coastal communities are in varying stages of a socio-economic shift from dependence on fishing to dependence on tourism. In a nation becoming increasingly dependent on the health of its coral reef ecosystems for economic prosperity, a shift from extractive uses to their preservation is both necessary and logical. Through examining local perception data in five coastal communities in Belize, each attracting different levels of coral reef related tourism, this analysis is intended to explore the relationship between tourism development and local coral reef conservation awareness and support. The results of the analysis show a positive correlation between tourism development and coral reef conservation awareness and support in the study communities. The results also show a positive correlation between tourism development and local perceptions of quality of life, a trend that is most likely the source of the observed relationship between tourism and conservation. The study concludes that, because the observed relationship may be dependent on continued benefits from tourism as opposed to a perceived crisis in coral reef health, Belize must pay close attention to tourism impacts in the future. Failure to do this could result in a destructive feedback loop that would contribute to the degradation of the reef and, ultimately, Belize’s diminished competitiveness in the ecotourism market.

  5. Turf algae-mediated coral damage in coastal reefs of Belize, Central America

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Wild

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Many coral reefs in the Caribbean experienced substantial changes in their benthic community composition during the last decades. This often resulted in phase shifts from scleractinian coral dominance to that by other benthic invertebrate or algae. However, knowledge about how the related role of coral-algae contacts may negatively affect corals is scarce. Therefore, benthic community composition, abundance of algae grazers, and the abundance and character of coral-algae contacts were assessed in situ at 13 Belizean reef sites distributed along a distance gradient to the Belizean mainland (12–70 km: Mesoamerican Barrier Reef (inshore, Turneffe Atoll (inner and outer midshore, and Lighthouse Reef (offshore. In situ surveys revealed significantly higher benthic cover by scleractinian corals at the remote Lighthouse Reef (26–29% when compared to the other sites (4–19%. The abundance of herbivorous fish and the sea urchin Diadema antillarum significantly increased towards the offshore reef sites, while the occurrence of direct coral-algae contacts consequently increased significantly with decreasing distance to shore. About 60% of these algae contacts were harmful (exhibiting coral tissue damage, pigmentation change, or overgrowth for corals (mainly genera Orbicella and Agaricia, particularly when filamentous turf algae were involved. These findings provide support to the hypothesis that (turf algae-mediated coral damage occurs in Belizean coastal, near-shore coral reefs.

  6. Global microbialization of coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haas, Andreas F; Fairoz, Mohamed F M; Kelly, Linda W; Nelson, Craig E; Dinsdale, Elizabeth A; Edwards, Robert A; Giles, Steve; Hatay, Mark; Hisakawa, Nao; Knowles, Ben; Lim, Yan Wei; Maughan, Heather; Pantos, Olga; Roach, Ty N F; Sanchez, Savannah E; Silveira, Cynthia B; Sandin, Stuart; Smith, Jennifer E; Rohwer, Forest

    2016-01-01

    Microbialization refers to the observed shift in ecosystem trophic structure towards higher microbial biomass and energy use. On coral reefs, the proximal causes of microbialization are overfishing and eutrophication, both of which facilitate enhanced growth of fleshy algae, conferring a competitive advantage over calcifying corals and coralline algae. The proposed mechanism for this competitive advantage is the DDAM positive feedback loop (dissolved organic carbon (DOC), disease, algae, microorganism), where DOC released by ungrazed fleshy algae supports copiotrophic, potentially pathogenic bacterial communities, ultimately harming corals and maintaining algal competitive dominance. Using an unprecedented data set of >400 samples from 60 coral reef sites, we show that the central DDAM predictions are consistent across three ocean basins. Reef algal cover is positively correlated with lower concentrations of DOC and higher microbial abundances. On turf and fleshy macroalgal-rich reefs, higher relative abundances of copiotrophic microbial taxa were identified. These microbial communities shift their metabolic potential for carbohydrate degradation from the more energy efficient Embden-Meyerhof-Parnas pathway on coral-dominated reefs to the less efficient Entner-Doudoroff and pentose phosphate pathways on algal-dominated reefs. This 'yield-to-power' switch by microorganism directly threatens reefs via increased hypoxia and greater CO2 release from the microbial respiration of DOC. PMID:27572833

  7. Exploration of microbial diversity and function in Red Sea sponges by deep sequencing

    OpenAIRE

    Moitinho e Silva, Lucas

    2014-01-01

    Marine sponges (phylum Porifera) are simple, sessile, filter-feeder animals. Microbial symbionts are commonly found in the sponge internal tissue, termed the mesohyl. With respect to the microbial content, sponges are classified as either low-microbial abundance sponges (LMA), or high-microbial abundance sponges (HMA). The HMA/LMA dichotomy was explored in this Thesis using the Red Sea sponges as experimental models. A range of methods encompassing transmission electron microscopy, 16S rRNA g...

  8. Bacterial uptake by the marine sponge Aplysina aerophoba.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wehrl, Markus; Steinert, Michael; Hentschel, Ute

    2007-02-01

    Sponges (Porifera) are filter feeders that take up microorganisms from seawater and digest them by phagocytosis. At the same time, many sponges are known to harbor massive consortia of symbiotic microorganisms, which are phylogenetically distinct from those in seawater, within the mesohyl matrix. In the present study, feeding experiments were performed to investigate whether phylogenetically different bacterial isolates, hereafter termed "food bacteria," microbial seawater consortia, and sponge symbiont consortia are taken up and processed differently by the host sponge. Aplysina aerophoba retained high numbers of bacterial isolates and microbial seawater consortia with rates of up to 2.76 x 10(6) bacteria (g sponge wet weight)(-1) h(-1), whereas the retention of sponge symbionts was lower by nearly two orders of magnitude [5.37 x 10(4) bacteria (g sponge wet weight)(-1) h(-1)]. In order to visualize the processing of a food bacterium within sponge tissues, the green fluorescent protein-labeled Vibrio strain MMW1, which had originally been isolated from A. aerophoba, was constructed. Incubation of this strain with A. aerophoba and subsequent visualization in tissue cryosections showed its presence in the choanocytes and/or endopinacocytes lining the canals but, unlike latex beads, not in deeper regions of the mesohyl, which suggests digestion of the bacteria upon contact with the host. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) was performed on the incubation seawater to monitor the changes in phylogenetic composition after incubation of the sponge with either seawater or sponge symbiont consortia. However, the DGGE experiment provided no evidence for selective processing of individual lineages by the host sponge. In conclusion, this study extends early studies by Wilkinson et al. (Proc R Soc London B 220:519-528, 1984) that sponges, here A. aerophoba, are able to differentiate between food bacteria and their own bacterial symbionts. PMID:17265004

  9. Depth-related alkaloid variation in Mediterranean Aplysina sponges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putz, Annika; Kloeppel, Anne; Pfannkuchen, Martin; Brümmer, Franz; Proksch, Peter

    2009-01-01

    Total amounts and patterns of bromoisoxazoline alkaloids of Aplysina sponges from Croatia (Mediterranean Sea) were analyzed along an underwater slope ranging from 1.8 to 38.5 m. Total amounts of alkaloids varied from sample to sample and showed no correlation with depth. In contrast, striking differences of alkaloid patterns were found between sponges from shallow sites (1.8-11.8 m) and those collected from deeper sites (11.8-38.5 m). Sponges from shallow depths consistently exhibited alkaloid patterns typical for Aplysina aerophoba with aerophobin-2 (2) and isofistularin-3 (3) as main constituents. Sponges from deeper sites (below 11.8 m) resembled Aplysina cavernicola with aerothionin (4) and aplysinamisin-1 (1) as major compounds. The typical A. cavernicola pigment 3,4-dihydroxyquinoline-2-carboxylic acid (6), however, could not be detected in A. aerophoba sponges but was replaced by the A. aerophoba pigment uranidine (5) which appeared to be present in all sponge samples analyzed. During transplantation experiments sponges from sites below 30 m featuring the A. cavernicola chemotype of bromoisoxazoline alkaloids were translocated to shallower habitats (10 m). The alkaloid patterns in transplanted sponges were found to be stable over a period of 12 months and unaffected by this change in depth. In a further experiment, clones of Aplysina sponges from shallow depths of 5-6 m resembling the A. aerophoba chemotype were either kept in situ under natural light conditions or artificially shaded by excluding photosynthetically active radiation (PAR). Neither 4 nor 1 were detected in artificially shaded sponges over an observation period of 12 months. In summary, two chemically distinct types of Aplysina sponges were discovered in this study that proved to be remarkably stable with regard to the bromoisoxazoline patterns and unaffected either by changing the light conditions or depth. It is not clear presently whether the Aplysina sponges collected from depths Aplysina

  10. Trophic transfer of radioisotopes in Mediterranean sponges through bacteria consumption

    OpenAIRE

    Lacoue-Labarthe, Thomas; Warnau, Michel; Beaugeard, Laureen; Pascal, Pierre-Yves

    2016-01-01

    Numerous field studies highlighted the capacities of marine sponges to bioaccumulate trace elements and assessed their potential as biomonitors of the marine environment. Experimental works demonstrated that dissolved metals and radionuclides can be taken up directly by sponge tissues but, to the best of our knowledge, little is known on the contribution of the dietary pathway through the consumption of contaminated bacteria considered as one of the trophic source in sponge diet. Objectives o...

  11. Deep phylogeny and evolution of sponges (phylum Porifera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wörheide, G; Dohrmann, M; Erpenbeck, D; Larroux, C; Maldonado, M; Voigt, O; Borchiellini, C; Lavrov, D V

    2012-01-01

    Sponges (phylum Porifera) are a diverse taxon of benthic aquatic animals of great ecological, commercial, and biopharmaceutical importance. They are arguably the earliest-branching metazoan taxon, and therefore, they have great significance in the reconstruction of early metazoan evolution. Yet, the phylogeny and systematics of sponges are to some extent still unresolved, and there is an on-going debate about the exact branching pattern of their main clades and their relationships to the other non-bilaterian animals. Here, we review the current state of the deep phylogeny of sponges. Several studies have suggested that sponges are paraphyletic. However, based on recent phylogenomic analyses, we suggest that the phylum Porifera could well be monophyletic, in accordance with cladistic analyses based on morphology. This finding has many implications for the evolutionary interpretation of early animal traits and sponge development. We further review the contribution that mitochondrial genes and genomes have made to sponge phylogenetics and explore the current state of the molecular phylogenies of the four main sponge lineages (Classes), that is, Demospongiae, Hexactinellida, Calcarea, and Homoscleromorpha, in detail. While classical systematic systems are largely congruent with molecular phylogenies in the class Hexactinellida and in certain parts of Demospongiae and Homoscleromorpha, the high degree of incongruence in the class Calcarea still represents a challenge. We highlight future areas of research to fill existing gaps in our knowledge. By reviewing sponge development in an evolutionary and phylogenetic context, we support previous suggestions that sponge larvae share traits and complexity with eumetazoans and that the simple sedentary adult lifestyle of sponges probably reflects some degree of secondary simplification. In summary, while deep sponge phylogenetics has made many advances in the past years, considerable efforts are still required to achieve a

  12. The Power of Three: Coral Reefs, Seagrasses and Mangroves Protect Coastal Regions and Increase Their Resilience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guannel, Greg; Arkema, Katie; Ruggiero, Peter; Verutes, Gregory

    2016-01-01

    Natural habitats have the ability to protect coastal communities against the impacts of waves and storms, yet it is unclear how different habitats complement each other to reduce those impacts. Here, we investigate the individual and combined coastal protection services supplied by live corals on reefs, seagrass meadows, and mangrove forests during both non-storm and storm conditions, and under present and future sea-level conditions. Using idealized profiles of fringing and barrier reefs, we quantify the services supplied by these habitats using various metrics of inundation and erosion. We find that, together, live corals, seagrasses, and mangroves supply more protection services than any individual habitat or any combination of two habitats. Specifically, we find that, while mangroves are the most effective at protecting the coast under non-storm and storm conditions, live corals and seagrasses also moderate the impact of waves and storms, thereby further reducing the vulnerability of coastal regions. Also, in addition to structural differences, the amount of service supplied by habitats in our analysis is highly dependent on the geomorphic setting, habitat location and forcing conditions: live corals in the fringing reef profile supply more protection services than seagrasses; seagrasses in the barrier reef profile supply more protection services than live corals; and seagrasses, in our simulations, can even compensate for the long-term degradation of the barrier reef. Results of this study demonstrate the importance of taking integrated and place-based approaches when quantifying and managing for the coastal protection services supplied by ecosystems. PMID:27409584

  13. The Power of Three: Coral Reefs, Seagrasses and Mangroves Protect Coastal Regions and Increase Their Resilience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guannel, Greg; Arkema, Katie; Ruggiero, Peter; Verutes, Gregory

    2016-01-01

    Natural habitats have the ability to protect coastal communities against the impacts of waves and storms, yet it is unclear how different habitats complement each other to reduce those impacts. Here, we investigate the individual and combined coastal protection services supplied by live corals on reefs, seagrass meadows, and mangrove forests during both non-storm and storm conditions, and under present and future sea-level conditions. Using idealized profiles of fringing and barrier reefs, we quantify the services supplied by these habitats using various metrics of inundation and erosion. We find that, together, live corals, seagrasses, and mangroves supply more protection services than any individual habitat or any combination of two habitats. Specifically, we find that, while mangroves are the most effective at protecting the coast under non-storm and storm conditions, live corals and seagrasses also moderate the impact of waves and storms, thereby further reducing the vulnerability of coastal regions. Also, in addition to structural differences, the amount of service supplied by habitats in our analysis is highly dependent on the geomorphic setting, habitat location and forcing conditions: live corals in the fringing reef profile supply more protection services than seagrasses; seagrasses in the barrier reef profile supply more protection services than live corals; and seagrasses, in our simulations, can even compensate for the long-term degradation of the barrier reef. Results of this study demonstrate the importance of taking integrated and place-based approaches when quantifying and managing for the coastal protection services supplied by ecosystems. PMID:27409584

  14. The Effectiveness of Vaginal Contraceptive Sponge

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    金毓翠; 丁家佩; 董吟秋; 董炳麟; 许雪芬

    1994-01-01

    The vaginal contraceptive sponge is made of polyurethane containing 1 g of nonoxynot-9, The gross cumulative twelve month life table pregnancy rate of 352 cases using vaginal contraceptive sponge was 5.7/ 100 women and the method pregnancy rate was 2. 3/ 100 women. The gross cumulative continuation rate per 100 women was 74. Only 2 patients (1,0/ 100 women) suffering from vaginitis and itching of vulva no longer wished to continue in the stud). Over the course of the study no significant changes were observed in any of the laboratory parameters such as vagina & cervix smear etc. that had been monitored. This modality associated with few side effects and its effectiveness rate and also indicated a protection from the risk of acquring of sex-transmitted diseases.

  15. Polyketides from the marine sponge Plakortis angulospiculatus

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Organic extracts of the marine sponge Plakortis angulospiculatus were studied from two different collections from Pernambuco State, Brazil. Bioautography with opportunistic marine pathogens, with results from the brine shrimp lethality assay, were used to guide the purification of the known furanylidenic methyl ester 1 and two new derivatives 2 and 3. The structures were elucidated by spectroscopic methods and by selective reduction of 3 into 2. (author)

  16. Pilote oven instrumentation for sponge cake baking

    OpenAIRE

    Douiri, Imen

    2007-01-01

    Baking of cereal products create physicochemical reactions in the dough creating the structure, the texture, the shape, the coulour and taste of the final product. An air convective electrical pilot oven was instrumented to control on-line the baking of a sponge cake product (700g) in a special mould: weight loss, internal temperature profile and surface temperature, internal pressure; Through a glass window in the isolated lateral side of the mould, images were taken to follow the product he...

  17. Polyketides from the marine sponge Plakortis angulospiculatus

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Epifanio, Rosangela de A.; Pinheiro, Leandro S.; Alves, Natalia C. [Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF), Niteroi, RJ (Brazil). Inst. de Quimica. Dept. de Quimica Organica]. E-mail: rosangela@rmn.uff.br

    2005-11-15

    Organic extracts of the marine sponge Plakortis angulospiculatus were studied from two different collections from Pernambuco State, Brazil. Bioautography with opportunistic marine pathogens, with results from the brine shrimp lethality assay, were used to guide the purification of the known furanylidenic methyl ester 1 and two new derivatives 2 and 3. The structures were elucidated by spectroscopic methods and by selective reduction of 3 into 2. (author)

  18. Teflon sponge shunt for recurrent arachnoid cyst

    OpenAIRE

    Goel Atul; Shah Abhidha; Pareikh Samir

    2007-01-01

    A 50-year-old female presented with complaints of progressive ataxia. Investigations showed a large intradural arachnoid cyst located anterior to the brainstem. Following marsupialization of the cyst she improved remarkably in her symptoms. The symptoms recurred nine months later and investigations revealed recurrence of the cyst. The cyst was evacuated again and two Teflon sponge sheets were placed such that they traversed the length of the cyst cavity and extended into the cisterna magna. A...

  19. Cytotoxic Terpene Quinones from Marine Sponges

    OpenAIRE

    Marina Gordaliza

    2010-01-01

    The 1,4-benzoquinone moiety is a common structural feature in a large number of compounds that have received considerable attention owing to their broad spectrum of biological activities. The cytotoxic and antiproliferative properties of many natural sesquiterpene quinones and hydroquinones from sponges of the order Dictyoceratida, such as avarol, avarone, illimaquinone, nakijiquinone and bolinaquinone, offer promising opportunities for the development of new antitumor agents. The present rev...

  20. Marine Sponges as a Drug Treasure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anjum, Komal; Abbas, Syed Qamar; Shah, Sayed Asmat Ali; Akhter, Najeeb; Batool, Sundas; Hassan, Syed Shams Ul

    2016-07-01

    Marine sponges have been considered as a drug treasure house with respect to great potential regarding their secondary metabolites. Most of the studies have been conducted on sponge's derived compounds to examine its pharmacological properties. Such compounds proved to have antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antimalarial, antitumor, immunosuppressive, and cardiovascular activity. Although, the mode of action of many compounds by which they interfere with human pathogenesis have not been clear till now, in this review not only the capability of the medicinal substances have been examined in vitro and in vivo against serious pathogenic microbes but, the mode of actions of medicinal compounds were explained with diagrammatic illustrations. This knowledge is one of the basic components to be known especially for transforming medicinal molecules to medicines. Sponges produce a different kind of chemical substances with numerous carbon skeletons, which have been found to be the main component interfering with human pathogenesis at different sites. The fact that different diseases have the capability to fight at different sites inside the body can increase the chances to produce targeted medicines. PMID:27350338

  1. Optimization of biodegradable sponges as controlled release drug matrices. I. Effect of moisture level on chitosan sponge mechanical properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foda, Nagwa H; El-laithy, Hanan M; Tadros, Mina I

    2004-04-01

    Cross-linked chitosan sponges as controlled release drug carrier systems were developed. Tramadol hydrochloride, a centrally acting analgesic, was used as a model drug. The sponges were prepared by freeze-drying 1.25% and 2.5% (w/w) high and low M.wt. chitosan solutions, respectively, using glutaraldehyde as a cross-linking agent. The hardness of the prepared sponges was a function of glutaraldehyde concentration and volume where the optimum concentration that offered accepted sponge consistency was 5%. Below or above 5%, very soft or very hard and brittle sponges were obtained, respectively. The determined drug content in the prepared sponges was uniform and did not deviate markedly from the calculated amount. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was used to characterize the internal structures of the sponges. The SEM photos revealed that cross-linked high M.wt. chitosan sponges have larger size surface pores that form connections (channels) with the interior of the sponge than cross-linked low M.wt. ones. Moreover, crystals of the incorporated Tramadol hydrochloride were detected on the lamellae and within pores in both chitosan sponges. Differences in pore size and dissolution medium uptake capacity were crucial factors for the more delayed drug release from cross-linked low M.wt. chitosan sponges over high M.wt. ones at pH 7.4. Kinetic analysis of the release data using linear regression followed the Higuchi diffusion model over 12 hours. Setting storage conditions at room temperature under 80-92% relative humidity resulted in soft, elastic, and compressible sponges. PMID:15132179

  2. Artificial Reefs and Ocean Dumping.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glueck, Richard D.

    1983-01-01

    Activities and instructional strategies for two multigrade lessons are provided. Activity objectives include describing an artificial reef (such as a sunken ocean liner) as an ecosystem, knowing animal types in the ecosystem, and describing a food web. (JN)

  3. Tortugas Reef Fish Census (CRCP)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This is a long term data set collecting visual census transect data on reef fishes at staions located at Rileys Hump, Tortugas South Ecological Reservee.

  4. Carrying capacity of coral reefs

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Wafar, M.V.M.

    The sustainable yield of a commercially exploited fishery is assessed by the biological and environmental factors (including fishing effort). These parameters with a reef are vastly diverse-size, location, species diversity, productivity type...

  5. Distribution of Georgia Oyster Reefs

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The feature class in this ESRI Geodatabase contains polygons representing oyster reefs along the Georgia coastal waterways from Chatham County south to Glynn...

  6. Doom and boom on a resilient reef: climate change, algal overgrowth and coral recovery.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guillermo Diaz-Pulido

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Coral reefs around the world are experiencing large-scale degradation, largely due to global climate change, overfishing, diseases and eutrophication. Climate change models suggest increasing frequency and severity of warming-induced coral bleaching events, with consequent increases in coral mortality and algal overgrowth. Critically, the recovery of damaged reefs will depend on the reversibility of seaweed blooms, generally considered to depend on grazing of the seaweed, and replenishment of corals by larvae that successfully recruit to damaged reefs. These processes usually take years to decades to bring a reef back to coral dominance. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In 2006, mass bleaching of corals on inshore reefs of the Great Barrier Reef caused high coral mortality. Here we show that this coral mortality was followed by an unprecedented bloom of a single species of unpalatable seaweed (Lobophora variegata, colonizing dead coral skeletons, but that corals on these reefs recovered dramatically, in less than a year. Unexpectedly, this rapid reversal did not involve reestablishment of corals by recruitment of coral larvae, as often assumed, but depended on several ecological mechanisms previously underestimated. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These mechanisms of ecological recovery included rapid regeneration rates of remnant coral tissue, very high competitive ability of the corals allowing them to out-compete the seaweed, a natural seasonal decline in the particular species of dominant seaweed, and an effective marine protected area system. Our study provides a key example of the doom and boom of a highly resilient reef, and new insights into the variability and mechanisms of reef resilience under rapid climate change.

  7. Complementarity of rotating video and underwater visual census for assessing species richness, frequency and density of reef fish on coral reef slopes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Delphine Mallet

    Full Text Available Estimating diversity and abundance of fish species is fundamental for understanding community structure and dynamics of coral reefs. When designing a sampling protocol, one crucial step is the choice of the most suitable sampling technique which is a compromise between the questions addressed, the available means and the precision required. The objective of this study is to compare the ability to sample reef fish communities at the same locations using two techniques based on the same stationary point count method: one using Underwater Visual Census (UVC and the other rotating video (STAVIRO. UVC and STAVIRO observations were carried out on the exact same 26 points on the reef slope of an intermediate reef and the associated inner barrier reefs. STAVIRO systems were always deployed 30 min to 1 hour after UVC and set exactly at the same place. Our study shows that; (i fish community observations by UVC and STAVIRO differed significantly; (ii species richness and density of large species were not significantly different between techniques; (iii species richness and density of small species were higher for UVC; (iv density of fished species was higher for STAVIRO and (v only UVC detected significant differences in fish assemblage structure across reef type at the spatial scale studied. We recommend that the two techniques should be used in a complementary way to survey a large area within a short period of time. UVC may census reef fish within complex habitats or in very shallow areas such as reef flat whereas STAVIRO would enable carrying out a large number of stations focused on large and diver-averse species, particularly in the areas not covered by UVC due to time and depth constraints. This methodology would considerably increase the spatial coverage and replication level of fish monitoring surveys.

  8. An exceptionally preserved Eocene shark and the rise of modern predator–prey interactions in the coral reef food web

    OpenAIRE

    Fanti, Federico; Minelli, Daniela; Conte, Gabriele Larocca; Miyashita, Tetsuto

    2016-01-01

    Background Following extreme climatic warming events, Eocene Lagerstätten document aquatic and terrestrial vertebrate faunas surprisingly similar to modern counterparts. This transition in marine systems is best documented in the earliest teleost-dominated coral reef assemblage of Pesciara di Bolca, northern Italy, from near the end of the Eocene Climatic Optimum. Its rich fauna shows similarities with that of the modern Great Barrier Reef in niche exploitation by and morphological disparity ...

  9. Biodiversity, zoogeography and affinity of Orissa sponges

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Thomas, P.A.; Sree, A.; Bapuji, M.; Rao, K.M.; Murthy, K.S.R.

    of modern techniques viz., marine geophysical scanning of the sea bottom with echosounder, side scan sonar and seismic profiler for locating rocky outcrops and SCUBA diving a new submerged NE-SW trending ridge reef (a paleo shore line) off Gopalpur coast...

  10. Evidence of extensive reef development and high coral cover in nearshore environments: implications for understanding coral adaptation in turbid settings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, Kyle M.; Perry, Chris T.; Smithers, Scott G.; Johnson, Jamie A.; Daniell, James J.

    2016-07-01

    Mean coral cover has reportedly declined by over 15% during the last 30 years across the central Great Barrier Reef (GBR). Here, we present new data that documents widespread reef development within the more poorly studied turbid nearshore areas (coral cover on these reefs averages 38% (twice that reported on mid- and outer-shelf reefs). Of the surveyed seafloor area, 11% had distinct reef or coral community cover. Although the survey area represents a small subset of the nearshore zone (15.5 km2), this reef density is comparable to that measured across the wider GBR shelf (9%). We also show that cross-shelf coral cover declines with distance from the coast (R2 = 0.596). Identified coral taxa (21 genera) exhibited clear depth-stratification, corresponding closely to light attenuation and seafloor topography, with reefal development restricted to submarine antecedent bedforms. Data from this first assessment of nearshore reef occurrence and ecology measured across meaningful spatial scales suggests that these coral communities may exhibit an unexpected capacity to tolerate documented declines in water quality. Indeed, these shallow-water nearshore reefs may share many characteristics with their deep-water (>30 m) mesophotic equivalents and may have similar potential as refugia from large-scale disturbances.

  11. Sponge interactions with spatial competitors in the Spermonde Archipelago

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Voogd, de N.J.; Becking, L.E.; Hoeksema, B.W.; Noor, A.; Soest, van R.W.M.

    2003-01-01

    This study describes the in situ effects of four bioactive sponges on their neighbours at three different locations and two depths in the Spermonde Archipelago, SW Sulawesi, Indonesia. The natural rates of interaction between the sponge species and eight possible competitive invertebrate groups were

  12. Secondary Metabolites from Three Florida Sponges with Antidepressant Activity

    OpenAIRE

    Kochanowska, Anna J.; Rao, Karumanchi V.; Childress, Suzanne; El-Alfy, Abir; Matsumoto, Rae R.; Kelly, Michelle; Stewart, Gina S.; Sufka, Kenneth J.; Mark T. Hamann

    2008-01-01

    Brominated indole alkaloids are a common class of metabolites reported from sponges of the order Verongida. Herein we report the isolation, structure determination, and activity of metabolites from three Florida sponges, namely, Verongula rigida (order Verongida, family Aplysinidae), Smenospongia aurea, and S. cerebriformis (order Dictyoceratida, family Thorectidae). All three species were investigated chemically, revealing similarities in secondary metabolites. Brominated compounds, as well ...

  13. Bioprospecting sponge-associated microbes for antimicrobial compounds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Indraningrat, Anak Agung Gede; Smidt, Hauke; Sipkema, Detmer

    2016-01-01

    Sponges are the most prolific marine organisms with respect to their arsenal of bioactive compounds including antimicrobials. However, the majority of these substances are probably not produced by the sponge itself, but rather by bacteria or fungi that are associated with their host. This review

  14. Chemistry of verongida sponges. 9.1 secondary metabolite composition of the caribbean sponge aplysina cauliformis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciminiello; Dell'Aversano; Fattorusso; Magno; Pansini

    1999-04-01

    A detailed analysis of the secondary metabolites of the sponge Aplysina cauliformis has been performed. Eight compounds were identified, two of which (13 and 14) are new bromotyrosine derivatives whose structures were determinated from spectroscopic evidence, including 2D NMR. The new compounds were analyzed for cytotoxic activity, and compound 14 was shown to inhibit mammalian protein synthesis and cell proliferation. PMID:10217716

  15. Desmacella austini sp. nov. from sponge reefs off the Pacific coast of Canada

    OpenAIRE

    Lehnert, H.; Conway, K.W.; Barrie, J. Vaughn; Krautter, M.

    2005-01-01

    A new species of a very thinly encrusting Desmacella (Porifera, Demospongiae, Poecilosclerida, Desmacellidae) is described from Queen Charlotte Basin and Georgia Basin, off the Canadian Pacific coast. It is compared with all known species of the genus, differing in the geometry and size of spicules, and the persistent epizoic growth.

  16. Direct Oil Recovery from Saturated Carbon Nanotube Sponges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xiying; Xue, Yahui; Zou, Mingchu; Zhang, Dongxiao; Cao, Anyuan; Duan, Huiling

    2016-05-18

    Oil adsorption by porous materials is a major strategy for water purification and industrial spill cleanup; it is of great interest if the adsorbed oil can be safely recovered from those porous media. Here, direct oil recovery from fully saturated bulk carbon nanotube (CNT) sponges by displacing oil with water in controlled manner is shown. Surfactant-assisted electrocapillary imbibition is adopted to drive aqueous electrolyte into the sponge and extrude organic oil out continuously at low potentials (up to -1.2 V). More than 95 wt % of oil adsorbed within the sponge can be recovered, via a single electrocapillary process. Recovery of different oils with a wide range of viscosities is demonstrated, and the remaining CNT sponge can be reused with similar recovery capacity. A direct and efficient method is provided to recover oil from CNT sponges by water imbibition, which has many potential environmental and energy applications. PMID:27120687

  17. Fisheries management: what chance on coral reefs?

    OpenAIRE

    Russ, G R

    1996-01-01

    Failures of fishery management to control fishing effort globally and how this affects the coral reef fisheries are discussed. The use of marine reserves in coral reef fisheries management is also emphasized.

  18. Biology of corals and coral reefs

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Rajkumar, R.; Parulekar, A.H.

    on the systematic position is presented. The general structure is depicted with illustrations. Physiology part is updated to current knowledge on reproduction, nutrition and excretion of corals. The coral reefs section begins with status of world reefs...

  19. Status of coral reefs of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Muley, E.V.; Venkataraman, K.; Alfred, J.R.B.; Wafar, M.V.M.

    and economic significance of coral reefs and the threat perceptions, Government of India has initiated measures for their intensive conservation and management. Present paper deals with ecological status of coral reefs in the country and various national...

  20. Ocean acidification worse in coral reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Betz, Eric O.

    2014-12-01

    The rate of ocean acidification in coral reefs outpaces the rise in carbon dioxide (CO2) in Earth's atmosphere, indicating that anthropogenic carbon emissions alone are not to blame for the threat to coral reefs, a new study shows.

  1. Contrasting movements and connectivity of reef-associated sharks using acoustic telemetry: implications for management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Espinoza, Mario; Lédée, Elodie J I; Simpfendorfer, Colin A; Tobin, Andrew J; Heupel, Michelle R

    2015-12-01

    Understanding the efficacy of marine protected areas (MPAs) for wide-ranging predators is essential to designing effective management and conservation approaches. The use of acoustic monitoring and network analysis can improve our understanding of the spatial ecology and functional connectivity of reef-associated species, providing a useful approach for reef-based conservation planning. This study compared and contrasted the movement and connectivity of sharks with different degrees of reef association. We examined the residency, dispersal, degree of reef connectivity, and MPA use of grey reef (Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos), silvertip (C. albimarginatus), and bull (C. leucas) sharks monitored in the central Great Barrier Reef (GBR). An array of 56 acoustic receivers was used to monitor shark movements on 17 semi-isolated reefs. Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos and C. albimarginatus were detected most days at or near their tagging reef. However, while C. amblyrhynchos spent 80% of monitoring days in the array, C. albimarginatus was only detected 50% of the time. Despite both species moving similar distances (Carcharhinus leucas was detected less than 20% of the time within the tagging array, and 42% of the population undertook long-range migrations to other arrays in the GBR. Networks derived for C. leucas were larger and more complex than those for C. amblyrhynchos and C. albimarginatus. Our findings suggest that protecting specific reefs based on prior knowledge (e.g., healthier reefs with high fish biomass) and increasing the level of protection to include nearby, closely spaced reef habitats (< 20 km) may perform better for species like C. albimarginatus than having either a single or a network of isolated MPAs. This design would also provide protection for larger male C. amblyrhynchos, which tend to disperse more and use larger areas than females. For wide-ranging sharks like C. leucas, a combination of spatial planning and other alternative measures is critical. Our

  2. Carbon conversion and metabolic rate in two marine sponges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koopmans, M; van Rijswijk, P; Martens, D; Egorova-Zachernyuk, T A; Middelburg, J J; Wijffels, R H

    2011-01-01

    The carbon metabolism of two marine sponges, Haliclona oculata and Dysidea avara, has been studied using a (13)C isotope pulse-chase approach. The sponges were fed (13)C-labeled diatoms (Skeletonema costatum) for 8 h and they took up between 75 and 85%. At different times, sponges were sampled for total (13)C enrichment, and fatty acid (FA) composition and (13)C enrichment. Algal biomarkers present in the sponges were highly labeled after feeding but their labeling levels decreased until none was left 10 days after enrichment. The sponge-specific FAs incorporated (13)C label already during the first day and the amount of (13)C label inside these FAs kept increasing until 3 weeks after labeling. The algal-derived carbon captured by the sponges during the 8-h feeding period was thus partly respired and partly metabolized during the weeks following. Apparently, sponges are able to capture enough food during short periods to sustain longer-term metabolism. The change of carbon metabolic rate of fatty acid synthesis due to mechanical damage of sponge tissue was studied by feeding sponges with (13)C isotope-labeled diatom (Pheaodactylum tricornutum) either after or before damaging and tracing back the (13)C content in the damaged and healthy tissue. The filtration and respiration in both sponges responded quickly to damage. The rate of respiration in H. oculata reduced immediately after damage, but returned to its initial level after 6 h. The (13)C data revealed that H. oculata has a higher metabolic rate in the tips where growth occurs compared to the rest of the tissue and that the metabolic rate is increased after damage of the tissue. For D. avara, no differences were found between damaged and non-damaged tissue. However, the filtration rate decreased directly after damage. PMID:24489407

  3. Recovery of the commercial sponges in the central and southeastern Aegean Sea (NE Mediterranean after an outbreak of sponge disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. CASTRITSI-CATHARIOS

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The distribution and biometry of commercial sponges (Porifera in coastal areas of the central and southeastern Aegean Sea was investigated to estimate the recovery progress of the populations eight years after the first appearance of sponge disease. Signs of the disease were detected only in 1.6% of the harvested sponges. Multivariate analysis on the percentage abundance of sponges showed two distinct groups among the sixteen fishing grounds studied: the eight deep (50-110 m and the eight shallow ones (<40 m. The group from the deep depths consisted of Spongia officinalis adriatica, S. agaricina and S. zimocca. The infralittoral zone was characterized by the presence of Hippospongia communis, S. officinalis adriatica and S. officinalis mollissima. These bath sponges showed an enhanced abundance in the eastern Cretan Sea (S. Aegean Sea. In addition, their dimensions, particularly height, increased with increasing depth. It is indicated that the hydrographic conditions prevailing in the eastern Cretan Sea affected the repopulating processes of sponge banks. In each species, the biometric characteristics of the experimental specimens were similar to those of the sponges found in the market and harvested at respective depths prior to the appearance of sponge disease.

  4. Self-generated morphology in lagoon reefs

    OpenAIRE

    David Blakeway; Michael G. Hamblin

    2015-01-01

    The three-dimensional form of a coral reef develops through interactions and feedbacks between its constituent organisms and their environment. Reef morphology therefore contains a potential wealth of ecological information, accessible if the relationships between morphology and ecology can be decoded. Traditionally, reef morphology has been attributed to external controls such as substrate topography or hydrodynamic influences. Little is known about inherent reef morphology in the absence of...

  5. Fish Assemblages on Estuarine Artificial Reefs: Natural Rocky-Reef Mimics or Discrete Assemblages?

    OpenAIRE

    Folpp, Heath; Lowry, Michael; Gregson, Marcus; Suthers, Iain M.

    2013-01-01

    If the primary goal of artificial reef construction is the creation of additional reef habitat that is comparable to adjacent natural rocky-reef, then performance should be evaluated using simultaneous comparisons with adjacent natural habitats. Using baited remote underwater video (BRUV) fish assemblages on purpose-built estuarine artificial reefs and adjacent natural rocky-reef and sand-flat were assessed 18 months post-deployment in three south-east Australian estuaries. Fish abundance, sp...

  6. The status of coral reef ecology research in the Red Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berumen, M. L.; Hoey, A. S.; Bass, W. H.; Bouwmeester, J.; Catania, D.; Cochran, J. E. M.; Khalil, M. T.; Miyake, S.; Mughal, M. R.; Spaet, J. L. Y.; Saenz-Agudelo, P.

    2013-09-01

    The Red Sea has long been recognized as a region of high biodiversity and endemism. Despite this diversity and early history of scientific work, our understanding of the ecology of coral reefs in the Red Sea has lagged behind that of other large coral reef systems. We carried out a quantitative assessment of ISI-listed research published from the Red Sea in eight specific topics (apex predators, connectivity, coral bleaching, coral reproductive biology, herbivory, marine protected areas, non-coral invertebrates and reef-associated bacteria) and compared the amount of research conducted in the Red Sea to that from Australia's Great Barrier Reef (GBR) and the Caribbean. On average, for these eight topics, the Red Sea had 1/6th the amount of research compared to the GBR and about 1/8th the amount of the Caribbean. Further, more than 50 % of the published research from the Red Sea originated from the Gulf of Aqaba, a small area (coral reef regions, the Red Sea may yet have a significant role to play in our understanding of coral reef ecology at a global scale.

  7. Cytotoxic Terpene Quinones from Marine Sponges

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marina Gordaliza

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available The 1,4-benzoquinone moiety is a common structural feature in a large number of compounds that have received considerable attention owing to their broad spectrum of biological activities. The cytotoxic and antiproliferative properties of many natural sesquiterpene quinones and hydroquinones from sponges of the order Dictyoceratida, such as avarol, avarone, illimaquinone, nakijiquinone and bolinaquinone, offer promising opportunities for the development of new antitumor agents. The present review summarizes the structure and cytotoxicity of natural terpenequinones/hydroquinones and their bioactive analogues and derivatives.

  8. Species Richness and Community Structure on a High Latitude Reef: Implications for Conservation and Management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wayne Houston

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available In spite of the wealth of research on the Great Barrier Reef, few detailed biodiversity assessments of its inshore coral communities have been conducted. Effective conservation and management of marine ecosystems begins with fine-scale biophysical assessments focused on diversity and the architectural species that build the structural framework of the reef. In this study, we investigate key coral diversity and environmental attributes of an inshore reef system surrounding the Keppel Bay Islands near Rockhampton in Central Queensland, Australia, and assess their implications for conservation and management. The Keppels has much higher coral diversity than previously found. The average species richness for the 19 study sites was ~40 with representatives from 68% of the ~244 species previously described for the southern Great Barrier Reef. Using scleractinian coral species richness, taxonomic distinctiveness and coral cover as the main criteria, we found that five out of 19 sites had particularly high conservation value. A further site was also considered to be of relatively high value. Corals at this site were taxonomically distinct from the others (representatives of two families were found here but not at other sites and a wide range of functionally diverse taxa were present. This site was associated with more stressful conditions such as high temperatures and turbidity. Highly diverse coral communities or biodiversity ‘hotspots’ and taxonomically distinct reefs may act as insurance policies for climatic disturbance, much like Noah’s Arks for reefs. While improving water quality and limiting anthropogenic impacts are clearly important management initiatives to improve the long-term outlook for inshore reefs, identifying, mapping and protecting these coastal ‘refugia’ may be the key for ensuring their regeneration against catastrophic climatic disturbance in the meantime.

  9. 40 CFR 230.44 - Coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 24 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Coral reefs. 230.44 Section 230.44... Aquatic Sites § 230.44 Coral reefs. (a) Coral reefs consist of the skeletal deposit, usually of calcareous... by increasing the level of suspended particulates. Coral organisms are extremely sensitive to...

  10. Reef-fidelity and migration of tiger sharks, Galeocerdo cuvier, across the Coral Sea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan M Werry

    Full Text Available Knowledge of the habitat use and migration patterns of large sharks is important for assessing the effectiveness of large predator Marine Protected Areas (MPAs, vulnerability to fisheries and environmental influences, and management of shark-human interactions. Here we compare movement, reef-fidelity, and ocean migration for tiger sharks, Galeocerdo cuvier, across the Coral Sea, with an emphasis on New Caledonia. Thirty-three tiger sharks (1.54 to 3.9 m total length were tagged with passive acoustic transmitters and their localised movements monitored on receiver arrays in New Caledonia, the Chesterfield and Lord Howe Islands in the Coral Sea, and the east coast of Queensland, Australia. Satellite tags were also used to determine habitat use and movements among habitats across the Coral Sea. Sub-adults and one male adult tiger shark displayed year-round residency in the Chesterfields with two females tagged in the Chesterfields and detected on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia, after 591 and 842 days respectively. In coastal barrier reefs, tiger sharks were transient at acoustic arrays and each individual demonstrated a unique pattern of occurrence. From 2009 to 2013, fourteen sharks with satellite and acoustic tags undertook wide-ranging movements up to 1114 km across the Coral Sea with eight detected back on acoustic arrays up to 405 days after being tagged. Tiger sharks dove 1136 m and utilised three-dimensional activity spaces averaged at 2360 km³. The Chesterfield Islands appear to be important habitat for sub-adults and adult male tiger sharks. Management strategies need to consider the wide-ranging movements of large (sub-adult and adult male and female tiger sharks at the individual level, whereas fidelity to specific coastal reefs may be consistent across groups of individuals. Coastal barrier reef MPAs, however, only afford brief protection for large tiger sharks, therefore determining the importance of other oceanic Coral Sea reefs

  11. Reef-fidelity and migration of tiger sharks, Galeocerdo cuvier, across the Coral Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Werry, Jonathan M; Planes, Serge; Berumen, Michael L; Lee, Kate A; Braun, Camrin D; Clua, Eric

    2014-01-01

    Knowledge of the habitat use and migration patterns of large sharks is important for assessing the effectiveness of large predator Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), vulnerability to fisheries and environmental influences, and management of shark-human interactions. Here we compare movement, reef-fidelity, and ocean migration for tiger sharks, Galeocerdo cuvier, across the Coral Sea, with an emphasis on New Caledonia. Thirty-three tiger sharks (1.54 to 3.9 m total length) were tagged with passive acoustic transmitters and their localised movements monitored on receiver arrays in New Caledonia, the Chesterfield and Lord Howe Islands in the Coral Sea, and the east coast of Queensland, Australia. Satellite tags were also used to determine habitat use and movements among habitats across the Coral Sea. Sub-adults and one male adult tiger shark displayed year-round residency in the Chesterfields with two females tagged in the Chesterfields and detected on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia, after 591 and 842 days respectively. In coastal barrier reefs, tiger sharks were transient at acoustic arrays and each individual demonstrated a unique pattern of occurrence. From 2009 to 2013, fourteen sharks with satellite and acoustic tags undertook wide-ranging movements up to 1114 km across the Coral Sea with eight detected back on acoustic arrays up to 405 days after being tagged. Tiger sharks dove 1136 m and utilised three-dimensional activity spaces averaged at 2360 km³. The Chesterfield Islands appear to be important habitat for sub-adults and adult male tiger sharks. Management strategies need to consider the wide-ranging movements of large (sub-adult and adult) male and female tiger sharks at the individual level, whereas fidelity to specific coastal reefs may be consistent across groups of individuals. Coastal barrier reef MPAs, however, only afford brief protection for large tiger sharks, therefore determining the importance of other oceanic Coral Sea reefs should be a

  12. Reef-fidelity and migration of tiger sharks, Galeocerdo cuvier, across the coral sea

    KAUST Repository

    Werry, Jonathan M.

    2014-01-08

    Knowledge of the habitat use and migration patterns of large sharks is important for assessing the effectiveness of large predator Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), vulnerability to fisheries and environmental influences, and management of shark-human interactions. Here we compare movement, reef-fidelity, and ocean migration for tiger sharks, Galeocerdo cuvier, across the Coral Sea, with an emphasis on New Caledonia. Thirty-three tiger sharks (1.54 to 3.9 m total length) were tagged with passive acoustic transmitters and their localised movements monitored on receiver arrays in New Caledonia, the Chesterfield and Lord Howe Islands in the Coral Sea, and the east coast of Queensland, Australia. Satellite tags were also used to determine habitat use and movements among habitats across the Coral Sea. Sub-adults and one male adult tiger shark displayed year-round residency in the Chesterfields with two females tagged in the Chesterfields and detected on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia, after 591 and 842 days respectively. In coastal barrier reefs, tiger sharks were transient at acoustic arrays and each individual demonstrated a unique pattern of occurrence. From 2009 to 2013, fourteen sharks with satellite and acoustic tags undertook wide-ranging movements up to 1114 km across the Coral Sea with eight detected back on acoustic arrays up to 405 days after being tagged. Tiger sharks dove 1136 m and utilised three-dimensional activity spaces averaged at 2360 km3. The Chesterfield Islands appear to be important habitat for sub-adults and adult male tiger sharks. Management strategies need to consider the wide-ranging movements of large (sub-adult and adult) male and female tiger sharks at the individual level, whereas fidelity to specific coastal reefs may be consistent across groups of individuals. Coastal barrier reef MPAs, however, only afford brief protection for large tiger sharks, therefore determining the importance of other oceanic Coral Sea reefs should be a

  13. A morphometric assessment and classification of coral reef spur and groove morphology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duce, S.; Vila-Concejo, A.; Hamylton, S. M.; Webster, J. M.; Bruce, E.; Beaman, R. J.

    2016-07-01

    Spurs and grooves (SaGs) are a common and important feature of coral reef fore slopes worldwide. However, they are difficult to access and hence their morphodynamics and formation are poorly understood. We use remote sensing, with extensive ground truthing, to measure SaG morphometrics and environmental factors at 11,430 grooves across 17 reefs in the southern Great Barrier Reef, Australia. We revealed strong positive correlations between groove length, orientation and wave exposure with longer, more closely-spaced grooves oriented easterly reflecting the dominant swell regime. Wave exposure was found to be the most important factor controlling SaG distribution and morphology. Gradient of the upper reef slope was also an important limiting factor, with SaGs less likely to develop in steeply sloping (> 5°) areas. We used a subset of the morphometric data (11 reefs) to statistically define four classes of SaG. This classification scheme was tested on the remaining six reefs. SaGs in the four classes differ in morphology, groove substrate and coral cover. These differences provide insights into SaG formation mechanisms with implications to reef platform growth and evolution. We hypothesize SaG formation is dominated by coral growth processes at two classes and erosion processes at one class. A fourth class may represent relic features formed earlier in the Holocene transgression. The classes are comparable with SaGs elsewhere, suggesting the classification could be applied globally with the addition of new classes if necessary. While further research is required, we show remotely sensed SaG morphometrics can provide useful insights into reef platform evolution.

  14. Optimising reef-scale CO2 removal by seaweed to buffer ocean acidification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mongin, Mathieu; Baird, Mark E.; Hadley, Scott; Lenton, Andrew

    2016-03-01

    The equilibration of rising atmospheric {{CO}}2 with the ocean is lowering {pH} in tropical waters by about 0.01 every decade. Coral reefs and the ecosystems they support are regarded as one of the most vulnerable ecosystems to ocean acidification, threatening their long-term viability. In response to this threat, different strategies for buffering the impact of ocean acidification have been proposed. As the {pH} experienced by individual corals on a natural reef system depends on many processes over different time scales, the efficacy of these buffering strategies remains largely unknown. Here we assess the feasibility and potential efficacy of a reef-scale (a few kilometers) carbon removal strategy, through the addition of seaweed (fleshy multicellular algae) farms within the Great Barrier Reef at the Heron Island reef. First, using diagnostic time-dependent age tracers in a hydrodynamic model, we determine the optimal location and size of the seaweed farm. Secondly, we analytically calculate the optimal density of the seaweed and harvesting strategy, finding, for the seaweed growth parameters used, a biomass of 42 g N m-2 with a harvesting rate of up 3.2 g N m-2 d-1 maximises the carbon sequestration and removal. Numerical experiments show that an optimally located 1.9 km2 farm and optimally harvested seaweed (removing biomass above 42 g N m-2 every 7 d) increased aragonite saturation by 0.1 over 24 km2 of the Heron Island reef. Thus, the most effective seaweed farm can only delay the impacts of global ocean acidification at the reef scale by 7-21 years, depending on future global carbon emissions. Our results highlight that only a kilometer-scale farm can partially mitigate global ocean acidification for a particular reef.

  15. 早-中奥陶世瓶筐石礁丘:历史和古生态学%EARLY-MIDDLE ORDOVICIAN CALATHIUM REEF MOUNDS: HISTORY AND PALAEOECOLOGY

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王建坡; 李越; 张园园; 李启剑; 邓小杰

    2011-01-01

    The receptaculitid genus Calathium is an extinct genus of sessile organisms of uncertain systematic position but which has most often been attributed to sponge or calcareous Green algae, having a somewhat similar appearance to dasycladswhich still survive at the present day. Calathium ranges in stratigraphic age from Ordovician to Silurian and is particularly notable because it played a major role in reef building during the Early and Middle Ordovician. The base of the Early Ordovician saw the initiation of a major new phase in composition of reefs within shallow marine carbonate settings-in which the mud mounds previously dominantly constructed by microbes became joined in varying proportions by Calathium and by a limited diversity of metazoans, mainly sponges-particularly siliceous lithistid sponges. The ‘microbes+Calathium+sponges' assemblage was particularly common in shallow marine carbonate environments of the Tremadocian to Floian (Early Ordovician).However in the succeeding Dalpingian Stage (early Middle Ordovician) the sponge component declined in relative abundance so that reef mounds then became dominated by ‘ microbes + Calathium ’ only.In the Darriwilian Stage (late Middle Ordovician),this kind of reef was very limited in temporal and spatial distribution, and only occurred in the Tarim Block. Finally, reefs with Calathium-dominated eventually vanished in the Late Ordovician, at the same time as the innovation occurred of significantly more diverse metazoan reef communities including corals and stromatoporoid sponges-leading to still more developed and complex reef systems. The habit, or ‘framework profile', of Calathium was favourable for entrapment of bioclastic and clastic debris, which enhanced the positive profile of reef mounds. Generally speaking, Calathium reef mounds formed patch reefs. The reef base was formed at the stabilization stage, followed by the reef core at the early stages of colonization and diversification

  16. Biodiscovery of natural products from microbes associated with Irish coastal sponges

    OpenAIRE

    Margassery, Lekha Menon

    2013-01-01

    Marine sponges have been an abundant source of new metabolites in recent years. The symbiotic association between the bacteria and the sponge has enabled scientists to access the bacterial diversity present within the bacterial/sponge ecosystem. This study has focussed on accessing the bacterial diversity in two Irish coastal marine sponges, namely Amphilectus fucorum and Eurypon major. A novel species from the genus Aquimarina has been isolated from the sponge Amphilectus fucorum. The study ...

  17. Major Sources of Organic Matter in a Complex Coral Reef Lagoon: Identification from Isotopic Signatures (δ13C and δ15N.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marine J Briand

    Full Text Available A wide investigation was conducted into the main organic matter (OM sources supporting coral reef trophic networks in the lagoon of New Caledonia. Sampling included different reef locations (fringing, intermediate and barrier reef, different associated ecosystems (mangroves and seagrass beds and rivers. In total, 30 taxa of macrophytes, plus pools of particulate and sedimentary OM (POM and SOM were sampled. Isotopic signatures (C and N of each OM sources was characterized and the composition of OM pools assessed. In addition, spatial and seasonal variations of reef OM sources were examined. Mangroves isotopic signatures were the most C-depleted (-30.17 ± 0.41 ‰ and seagrass signatures were the most C-enriched (-4.36 ± 0.72 ‰. Trichodesmium spp. had the most N-depleted signatures (-0.14 ± 0.03 ‰ whereas mangroves had the most N-enriched signatures (6.47 ± 0.41 ‰. The composition of POM and SOM varied along a coast-to-barrier reef gradient. River POM and marine POM contributed equally to coastal POM, whereas marine POM represented 90% of the POM on barrier reefs, compared to 10% river POM. The relative importance of river POM, marine POM and mangroves to the SOM pool decreased from fringing to barrier reefs. Conversely, the relative importance of seagrass, Trichodesmium spp. and macroalgae increased along this gradient. Overall, spatial fluctuations in POM and SOM were much greater than in primary producers. Seasonal fluctuations were low for all OM sources. Our results demonstrated that a large variety of OM sources sustain coral reefs, varying in their origin, composition and role and suggest that δ13C was a more useful fingerprint than δ15N in this endeavour. This study also suggested substantial OM exchanges and trophic connections between coral reefs and surrounding ecosystems. Finally, the importance of accounting for environmental characteristics at small temporal and spatial scales before drawing general patterns is

  18. Spatial variation in recruitment of native and invasive sessile species onto oyster reefs in a temperate soft-bottom lagoon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomsen, M. S.; Silliman, B. R.; McGlathery, K. J.

    2007-03-01

    Although spatial variability in recruitment is a strong force structuring many marine communities, relatively few data exist on recruitment variability in sessile oyster reef communities. In a soft-bottom lagoon in Virginia, we tested if recruitment differed among three reefs situated across a mainland-lagoon-barrier-island transect and among elevations (>90-80, >80-70, >70-55 and >55-20 cm below MSL) on the lagoon reef. The most abundant taxa (the invasive algae Gracilaria vermiculophylla and Codium fragile and the indigenous oyster Crassostrea virginica and algae Ulva curvata) had highest recruitment at the lagoon reef, where propagule supply was likely highest. The mainland reef had lowest algal richness (1.4-3.1 panel -1) and abundances (animals. Overall, animals and algae were equally dominant at the mainland reef, whereas algae dominated at lagoon and island reefs. High water turbidity and suspended solids are typical algal stressors at mainland reefs, and these may account for the low algal abundance in that region. For many species (at least 9 out of 14) differences in recruitment success were observed over elevation differences as small as 10-30 cm, e.g. G. vermiculophylla and C. fragile mainly recruited up to >70-55 and >80-70 cm respectively (probably limited upward by desiccation), U. curvata down to >70-55 cm (probably limited downward by grazing or competition), whereas C. virginica recruited at all elevations. Animal richness was highest at the two lowest elevations (2.0-2.5 vs. 1.1-1.8 panel -1), but there was no effect of elevation on algae (3-6 panel -1) because of species substitutions between elevation levels. Thus, as in rocky intertidal systems, spatial variability in recruitment is important for community structure on oyster reefs, and if biodiversity is considered an important reef conservation goal, managers should focus conservation and restoration on locations and elevations that support successful recruitment and survival of many

  19. Architecture and morphology of coral reef sequences. Modeling and observations from uplifting islands of SE Sulawesi, Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pastier, Anne-Morwenn; Husson, Laurent; Bezos, Antoine; Pedoja, Kevin; Elliot, Mary; Hafidz, Abdul; Imran, Muhammad; Lacroix, Pascal; Robert, Xavier

    2016-04-01

    During the Late Neogene, sea level oscillations have profoundly shaped the morphology of the coastlines of intertropical zones, wherein relative sea level simultaneously controlled reef expansion and erosion of earlier reef bodies. In uplifted domains like SE Sulawesi, the sequences of fossil reefs display a variety of fossil morphologies. Similarly, the morphologies of the modern reefs are highly variable, including cliff notches, narrow fringing reefs, wide flat terraces, and barriers reefs. In this region, where uplift rates vary rapidly laterally, the entire set of morphologies is displayed within short distances. We developed a numerical model that predicts the architecture of fossil reefs sequences and apply it to observations from SE Sulawesi, accounting -amongst other parameters- for reef growth, coastal erosion, and uplift rates. The observations that we use to calibrate our models are mostly the morphology of both the onshore (dGPS and high-resolution Pleiades DEM) and offshore (sonar) coast, as well as U-Th radiometrically dated coral samples. Our method allows unravelling the spatial and temporal evolution of large domains on map view. Our analysis indicates that the architecture and morphology of uplifting coastlines is almost systematically polyphased (as attested by samples of different ages within a unique terrace), which assigns a primordial role to erosion, comparable to reef growth. Our models also reproduce the variety of modern morphologies, which are chiefly dictated by the uplift rates of the pre-existing morphology of the substratum, itself responding to the joint effects of reef building and subsequent erosion. In turn, we find that fossil and modern morphologies can be returned to uplift rates rather precisely, as the parametric window of each specific morphology is often narrow.

  20. Mesoscale elastic properties of marine sponge spicules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yaqi; Reed, Bryan W; Chung, Frank R; Koski, Kristie J

    2016-01-01

    Marine sponge spicules are silicate fibers with an unusual combination of fracture toughness and optical light propagation properties due to their micro- and nano-scale hierarchical structure. We present optical measurements of the elastic properties of Tethya aurantia and Euplectella aspergillum marine sponge spicules using non-invasive Brillouin and Raman laser light scattering, thus probing the hierarchical structure on two very different scales. On the scale of single bonds, as probed by Raman scattering, the spicules resemble a combination of pure silica and mixed organic content. On the mesoscopic scale probed by Brillouin scattering, we show that while some properties (Young's moduli, shear moduli, one of the anisotropic Poisson ratios and refractive index) are nearly the same as those of artificial optical fiber, other properties (uniaxial moduli, bulk modulus and a distinctive anisotropic Poisson ratio) are significantly smaller. Thus this natural composite of largely isotropic materials yields anisotropic elastic properties on the mesoscale. We show that the spicules' optical waveguide properties lead to pronounced spontaneous Brillouin backscattering, a process related to the stimulated Brillouin backscattering process well known in artificial glass fibers. These measurements provide a clearer picture of the interplay of flexibility, strength, and material microstructure for future functional biomimicry. PMID:26672719