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Sample records for barrier reef world

  1. 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

  2. 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

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

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    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.

  5. Catchment management and the Great Barrier Reef.

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    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

  6. 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 ...

  7. Flushing of Bowden Reef lagoon, Great Barrier Reef

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    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.

  8. 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

  9. Holocene development of the Belize Barrier Reef

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    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.

  10. 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 ...

  11. Framework of barrier reefs threatened by ocean acidification.

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    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

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

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

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    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

  15. 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

  16. 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...

  17. 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

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

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    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.

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

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    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

  20. Threatened reef corals of the world.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danwei Huang

    Full Text Available A substantial proportion of the world's living species, including one-third of the reef-building corals, are threatened with extinction and in pressing need of conservation action. In order to reduce biodiversity loss, it is important to consider species' contribution to evolutionary diversity along with their risk of extinction for the purpose of setting conservation priorities. Here I reconstruct the most comprehensive tree of life for the order Scleractinia (1,293 species that includes all 837 living reef species, and employ a composite measure of phylogenetic distinctiveness and extinction risk to identify the most endangered lineages that would not be given top priority on the basis of risk alone. The preservation of these lineages, not just the threatened species, is vital for safeguarding evolutionary diversity. Tests for phylogeny-associated patterns show that corals facing elevated extinction risk are not clustered on the tree, but species that are susceptible, resistant or resilient to impacts such as bleaching and disease tend to be close relatives. Intensification of these threats or extirpation of the endangered lineages could therefore result in disproportionate pruning of the coral tree of life.

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

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    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. Currents Along the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, Western Caribbean

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    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.

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

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    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.

  4. 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 ...

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

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    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.

  6. 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.

  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. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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)

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.)

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. A too acid world for coral reefs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    While briefly presenting how corals grow and exchange with their environment and after having recalled that temperature increase was already a threat for them, this article outlines that ocean acidification is now considered as another danger. This acidification is due to the dissolution in sea water of CO2 produced by human activities. This entails a slower calcification which is the process by which corals grow their skeleton. But, some researches showed that some corals manage to survive normally in such acid conditions, and even without skeleton for some other species. Anyhow, coral reefs will tend to disappear with environmental and socio-economical consequences

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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 ...

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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)

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Poorly cemented coral reefs of the eastern tropical Pacific: possible insights into reef development in a high-CO2 world.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manzello, Derek P; Kleypas, Joan A; Budd, David A; Eakin, C Mark; Glynn, Peter W; Langdon, Chris

    2008-07-29

    Ocean acidification describes the progressive, global reduction in seawater pH that is currently underway because of the accelerating oceanic uptake of atmospheric CO(2). Acidification is expected to reduce coral reef calcification and increase reef dissolution. Inorganic cementation in reefs describes the precipitation of CaCO(3) that acts to bind framework components and occlude porosity. Little is known about the effects of ocean acidification on reef cementation and whether changes in cementation rates will affect reef resistance to erosion. Coral reefs of the eastern tropical Pacific (ETP) are poorly developed and subject to rapid bioerosion. Upwelling processes mix cool, subthermocline waters with elevated pCO(2) (the partial pressure of CO(2)) and nutrients into the surface layers throughout the ETP. Concerns about ocean acidification have led to the suggestion that this region of naturally low pH waters may serve as a model of coral reef development in a high-CO(2) world. We analyzed seawater chemistry and reef framework samples from multiple reef sites in the ETP and found that a low carbonate saturation state (Omega) and trace abundances of cement are characteristic of these reefs. These low cement abundances may be a factor in the high bioerosion rates previously reported for ETP reefs, although elevated nutrients in upwelled waters may also be limiting cementation and/or stimulating bioerosion. ETP reefs represent a real-world example of coral reef growth in low-Omega waters that provide insights into how the biological-geological interface of coral reef ecosystems will change in a high-CO(2) world. PMID:18663220

  13. 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),

  14. 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 (

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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...

  20. Where in the world are Winslow Reef and Amelia Earhart?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobson, R. S.

    Uncharted or doubtful positions of shoals and reefs have played a large role in the history of maritime navigation and oceanography. Two of these shoals, Winslow Reef and Reef and Sand Bank in the central equatorial Pacific, were the subjects of a fruitless 2-day aerial search in 1937 for Amelia Earhart by planes from the battleship USS Colorado.Sightings before and after 1937 convinced the U.S. Hydrographic Office and later the Defense Mapping Agency to retain these shoals on navigational charts. Yet all of these sightings and positions were based on unreliable celestial and dead-reckoning navigation. Nevertheless, at the time, this aerial search by the Colorado planes was probably the most extensive survey for the poorly determined shoals.

  1. 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.

  2. Ecology: The Upside-Down World of Coral Reef Predators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simpfendorfer, Colin A; Heupel, Michelle R

    2016-08-01

    Examination of a large aggregation of sharks demonstrates that trophic pyramids with greater amounts of high-level predators than prey can occur on coral reefs. This is possible because the high-level predators obtain food from sources outside their home location. PMID:27505241

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. 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

  7. 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 ...

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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 ...

  3. 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....

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. High macroalgal cover and low coral recruitment undermines the potential resilience of the world's southernmost coral reef assemblages

    KAUST Repository

    Hoey, Andrew

    2011-10-03

    Coral reefs are under increasing pressure from anthropogenic and climate-induced stressors. The ability of reefs to reassemble and regenerate after disturbances (i.e., resilience) is largely dependent on the capacity of herbivores to prevent macroalgal expansion, and the replenishment of coral populations through larval recruitment. Currently there is a paucity of this information for higher latitude, subtropical reefs. To assess the potential resilience of the benthic reef assemblages of Lord Howe Island (31°32?S, 159°04?E), the worlds\\' southernmost coral reef, we quantified the benthic composition, densities of juvenile corals (as a proxy for coral recruitment), and herbivorous fish communities. Despite some variation among habitats and sites, benthic communities were dominated by live scleractinian corals (mean cover 37.4%) and fleshy macroalgae (20.9%). Live coral cover was higher than in most other subtropical reefs and directly comparable to lower latitude tropical reefs. Juvenile coral densities (0.8 ind.m -2), however, were 5-200 times lower than those reported for tropical reefs. Overall, macroalgal cover was negatively related to the cover of live coral and the density of juvenile corals, but displayed no relationship with herbivorous fish biomass. The biomass of herbivorous fishes was relatively low (204 kg.ha -1), and in marked contrast to tropical reefs was dominated by macroalgal browsing species (84.1%) with relatively few grazing species. Despite their extremely low biomass, grazing fishes were positively related to both the density of juvenile corals and the cover of bare substrata, suggesting that they may enhance the recruitment of corals through the provision of suitable settlement sites. Although Lord Howe Islands\\' reefs are currently coral-dominated, the high macroalgal cover, coupled with limited coral recruitment and low coral growth rates suggest these reefs may be extremely susceptible to future disturbances. © 2011 Hoey et al.

  11. High macroalgal cover and low coral recruitment undermines the potential resilience of the world's southernmost coral reef assemblages.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew S Hoey

    Full Text Available Coral reefs are under increasing pressure from anthropogenic and climate-induced stressors. The ability of reefs to reassemble and regenerate after disturbances (i.e., resilience is largely dependent on the capacity of herbivores to prevent macroalgal expansion, and the replenishment of coral populations through larval recruitment. Currently there is a paucity of this information for higher latitude, subtropical reefs. To assess the potential resilience of the benthic reef assemblages of Lord Howe Island (31°32'S, 159°04'E, the worlds' southernmost coral reef, we quantified the benthic composition, densities of juvenile corals (as a proxy for coral recruitment, and herbivorous fish communities. Despite some variation among habitats and sites, benthic communities were dominated by live scleractinian corals (mean cover 37.4% and fleshy macroalgae (20.9%. Live coral cover was higher than in most other subtropical reefs and directly comparable to lower latitude tropical reefs. Juvenile coral densities (0.8 ind.m(-2, however, were 5-200 times lower than those reported for tropical reefs. Overall, macroalgal cover was negatively related to the cover of live coral and the density of juvenile corals, but displayed no relationship with herbivorous fish biomass. The biomass of herbivorous fishes was relatively low (204 kg.ha(-1, and in marked contrast to tropical reefs was dominated by macroalgal browsing species (84.1% with relatively few grazing species. Despite their extremely low biomass, grazing fishes were positively related to both the density of juvenile corals and the cover of bare substrata, suggesting that they may enhance the recruitment of corals through the provision of suitable settlement sites. Although Lord Howe Islands' reefs are currently coral-dominated, the high macroalgal cover, coupled with limited coral recruitment and low coral growth rates suggest these reefs may be extremely susceptible to future disturbances.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Climate change, coral bleaching and the future of the world's coral reefs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hoegh-Guldberg, O. [University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW (Australia). School of Biological Sciences

    1999-07-01

    Sea temperatures in many tropical regions have increased by almost 1{degree}C over the past 100 years, and are currently increasing at about 1-2{degree}C per century. Mass coral bleaching has occurred in association with episodes of elevated sea temperatures over the past 20 years and involves the loss of the zooxanthellae following chronic photoinhibition. Mass bleaching has resulted in significant losses of live coral in many parts of the world. This paper considers the biochemical, physiological and ecological perspectives of coral bleaching. It also uses the outputs of four runs from three models of global climate change which simulate changes in sea temperature and hence how the frequency and intensity of bleaching events will change over the next 100 years. The results suggest that the thermal tolerances of reef-building corals are likely to be exceeded every year within the next few decades. Events as severe as the 1998 event, the worst on record, are likely to become commonplace within 20 years. Most information suggests that the capacity for acclimation by corals has already been exceeded, and that adaptation will be too slow to avert a decline in the quality of the world's reefs.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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...

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Poorly cemented coral reefs of the eastern tropical Pacific: Possible insights into reef development in a high-CO2 world

    OpenAIRE

    Manzello, Derek P.; Kleypas, Joan A.; Budd, David A.; Eakin, C. Mark; Glynn, Peter W.; Langdon, Chris

    2008-01-01

    Ocean acidification describes the progressive, global reduction in seawater pH that is currently underway because of the accelerating oceanic uptake of atmospheric CO2. Acidification is expected to reduce coral reef calcification and increase reef dissolution. Inorganic cementation in reefs describes the precipitation of CaCO3 that acts to bind framework components and occlude porosity. Little is known about the effects of ocean acidification on reef cementation and whether changes in cementa...

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Using high resolution multispectral imaging to map Pacific coral reefs in support of UNESCO's World Heritage Central Pacific project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siciliano, Daria; Olsen, Richard C.

    2007-10-01

    Concerns over worldwide declines in marine resources have prompted the search for innovative solutions for their conservation and management, particularly for coral reef ecosystems. Rapid advances in sensor resolution, coupled with image analysis techniques tailored to the unique optical problems of marine environments have enabled the derivation of detailed benthic habitat maps of coral reef habitats from multispectral satellite imagery. Such maps delineate coral reefs' main ecological communities, and are essential for management of these resources as baseline assessments. UNESCO's World Heritage Central Pacific Project plans to afford protection through World Heritage recognition to a number of islands and atolls in the central Pacific Ocean, including the Phoenix Archipelago in the Republic of Kiribati. Most of these islands however lack natural resource maps needed for the identification of priority areas for inclusion in a marine reserve system. Our project provides assistance to UNESCO's World Heritage Centre and the Kiribati Government by developing benthic and terrestrial habitat maps of the Phoenix Islands from high-resolution multispectral imagery. The approach involves: (i) the analysis of new Quickbird multispectral imagery; and (ii) the use of MARXAN, a simulated annealing algorithm that uses a GIS interface. Analysis of satellite imagery was performed with ENVI®, and includes removal of atmospheric effects using ATCOR (a MODTRAN4 radiative transfer model); de-glinting and water column correction algorithms; and a number of unsupervised and supervised classifiers. Previously collected ground-truth data was used to train classifications. The resulting habitat maps are then used as input to MARXAN. This algorithm ultimately identifies a proportion of each habitat to be set aside for protection, and prioritizes conservation areas. The outputs of this research are being delivered to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre office and the Kiribati Government as

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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)

  11. 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.

  12. The implications of recurrent disturbances within the world's hottest coral reef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bento, Rita; Hoey, Andrew S; Bauman, Andrew G; Feary, David A; Burt, John A

    2016-04-30

    Determining how coral ecosystems are structured within extreme environments may provide insights into how coral reefs are impacted by future climate change. Benthic community structure was examined within the Persian Gulf, and adjacent Musandam and northern Oman regions across a 3-year period (2008-2011) in which all regions were exposed to major disturbances. Although there was evidence of temporal switching in coral composition within regions, communities predominantly reflected local environmental conditions and the disturbance history of each region. Gulf reefs showed little change in coral composition, being dominated by stress-tolerant Faviidae and Poritidae across the 3years. In comparison, Musandam and Oman coral communities were comprised of stress-sensitive Acroporidae and Pocilloporidae; Oman communities showed substantial declines in such taxa and increased cover of stress-tolerant communities. Our results suggest that coral communities may persist within an increasingly disturbed future environment, albeit in a much more structurally simple configuration. PMID:26478453

  13. 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

  14. A too acid world for coral reefs; Un monde trop acide pour les recifs coralliens

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Allemand, D.; Reynaud, St. [Centre Scientifique de Monaco (Monaco); Universite de Nice-Sofia Antipolis, 06 (France); Salvat, B. [Universite de Perpignan, USR-3278 CNRS - EPHE, 66 (France)

    2010-09-15

    While briefly presenting how corals grow and exchange with their environment and after having recalled that temperature increase was already a threat for them, this article outlines that ocean acidification is now considered as another danger. This acidification is due to the dissolution in sea water of CO{sub 2} produced by human activities. This entails a slower calcification which is the process by which corals grow their skeleton. But, some researches showed that some corals manage to survive normally in such acid conditions, and even without skeleton for some other species. Anyhow, coral reefs will tend to disappear with environmental and socio-economical consequences

  15. Drawing a Roadmap: Barriers and Challenges to Designing the Ideal Virtual World for Higher Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Chris

    2008-01-01

    The goal of this article is to draw a roadmap for designing an "ideal" virtual world for higher education, pointing decision-makers in a general direction for implementing virtual worlds and noting various barriers along the way. When using a roadmap, one can take many different paths to reach a desired destination. Similarly, institutions can…

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Coral reproduction in the world's warmest reefs: southern Persian Gulf (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauman, A. G.; Baird, A. H.; Cavalcante, G. H.

    2011-06-01

    Despite extensive research on coral reproduction from numerous geographic locations, there remains limited knowledge within the Persian Gulf. Given that corals in the Persian Gulf exist in one of the most stressful environments for reef corals, with annual variations in sea surface temperature (SST) of 12°C and maximum summer mean SSTs of 36°C, understanding coral reproductive biology in the Gulf may provide clues as to how corals may cope with global warming. In this study, we examined six locally common coral species on two shallow reef sites in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), in 2008 and 2009 to investigate the patterns of reproduction, in particular the timing and synchrony of spawning. In total, 71% colonies in April 2008 and 63% colonies in April 2009 contained mature oocytes. However, the presence of mature gametes in May indicated that spawning was potentially split between April and May in all species. These results demonstrate that coral reproduction patterns within this region are highly seasonal and that multi-species spawning synchrony is highly probable. Acropora downingi, Cyphastrea microphthalma and Platygyra daedalea were all hermaphroditic broadcast spawners with a single annual gametogenic cycle. Furthermore, fecundity and mature oocyte sizes were comparable to those in other regions. We conclude that the reproductive biology of corals in the southern Persian Gulf is similar to other regions, indicating that these species have adapted to the extreme environmental conditions in the southern Persian Gulf.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Crossing the Virtual World Barrier with OpenAvatar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joy, Bruce; Kavle, Lori; Tan, Ian

    2012-01-01

    There are multiple standards and formats for 3D models in virtual environments. The problem is that there is no open source platform for generating models out of discrete parts; this results in the process of having to "reinvent the wheel" when new games, virtual worlds and simulations want to enable their users to create their own avatars or easily customize in-world objects. OpenAvatar is designed to provide a framework to allow artists and programmers to create reusable assets which can be used by end users to generate vast numbers of complete models that are unique and functional. OpenAvatar serves as a framework which facilitates the modularization of 3D models allowing parts to be interchanged within a set of logical constraints.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Barriers to Mental Health Treatment: Results from the WHO World Mental Health (WMH) Surveys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrade, L. H.; Alonso, J.; Mneimneh, Z.; Wells, J. E.; Al-Hamzawi, A.; Borges, G.; Bromet, E.; Bruffaerts, R.; de Girolamo, G.; de Graaf, R.; Florescu, S.; Gureje, O.; Hinkov, H. R.; Hu, C.; Huang, Y.; Hwang, I.; Jin, R.; Karam, E. G.; Kovess-Masfety, V.; Levinson, D.; Matschinger, H.; O’Neill, S.; Posada-Villa, J.; Sagar, R.; Sampson, N. A.; Sasu, C.; Stein, D.; Takeshima, T.; Viana, M. C.; Xavier, M.; Kessler, R. C.

    2014-01-01

    Background To examine barriers to initiation and continuation of mental health treatment among individuals with common mental disorders. Methods Data are from the WHO World Mental Health (WMH) Surveys. Representative household samples were interviewed face-to-face in 24 countries. Reasons to initiate and continue treatment were examined in a subsample (n= 63,678) and analyzed at different levels of clinical severity. Results Among those with a DSM-IV disorder in the past twelve months, low perceived need was the most common reason for not initiating treatment and more common among moderate and mild than severe cases. Women and younger people with disorders were more likely to recognize a need for treatment. Desire to handle the problem on one’s own was the most common barrier among respondents with a disorder who perceived a need for treatment (63.8%). Attitudinal barriers were much more important than structural barriers both to initiating and continuing treatment. However, attitudinal barriers dominated for mild-moderate cases and structural barriers for severe cases. Perceived ineffectiveness of treatment was the most commonly reported reason for treatment dropout (39.3%) followed by negative experiences with treatment providers (26.9% of respondents with severe disorders). Conclusions Low perceived need and attitudinal barriers are the major barriers to seeking and staying in treatment among individuals with common mental disorders worldwide. Apart from targeting structural barriers, mainly in countries with poor resources, increasing population mental health literacy is an important endeavor worldwide. PMID:23931656

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Lichen Monitoring Delineates Biodiversity on a Great Barrier Reef Coral Cay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul C. Rogers

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Coral islands around the world are threatened by changing climates. Rising seas, drought, and increased tropical storms are already impacting island ecosystems. We aim to better understand lichen community ecology of coral island forests. We used an epiphytic lichen community survey to gauge Pisonia (Pisonia grandis R.BR., which dominates forest conditions on Heron Island, Australia. Nine survey plots were sampled for lichen species presence and abundance, all tree diameters and species, GPS location, distance to forest-beach edge, and dominant forest type. Results found only six unique lichens and two lichen associates. A Multi-Response Permutation Procedures (MRPP test found statistically distinct lichen communities among forest types. The greatest group differences were between interior Pisonia and perimeter forest types. Ordinations were performed to further understand causes for distinctions in lichen communities. Significant explanatory gradients were distance to forest edge, tree density (shading, and Pisonia basal area. Each of these variables was negatively correlated with lichen diversity and abundance, suggesting that interior, successionally advanced, Pisonia forests support fewer lichens. Island edge and presumably younger forests—often those with greater tree diversity and sunlight penetration—supported the highest lichen diversity. Heron Island’s Pisonia-dominated forests support low lichen diversity which mirrors overall biodiversity patterns. Lichen biomonitoring may provide a valuable indicator for assessing island ecosystems for conservation purposes regionally.

  11. 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.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Is world trade law a barrier to saving our climate? Questions and answers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bernasconi-Osterwalder, N.; Norpoth, J.

    2009-09-15

    The present 'Questions and Answers' provide an overview of the various climate-related measures and policies that fall under the scope of the WTO (World Trade Organization) and offers an initial assessment of their WTO-compatibility. Is the WTO blocking progress in the fight against climate change? This was the question at the origin of this legal analysis. With this paper and its simple question and answer format, we hope to dispel some myths and shed some light on the reality of world trade rules in their relation with climate-friendly measures. In the end, we hope to encourage policy-makers in Europe and around the world not to see the WTO as an insurmountable barrier and not to use it as an excuse against strong action on climate change.

  2. Is world trade law a barrier to saving our climate? Questions and answers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The present 'Questions and Answers' provide an overview of the various climate-related measures and policies that fall under the scope of the WTO (World Trade Organization) and offers an initial assessment of their WTO-compatibility. Is the WTO blocking progress in the fight against climate change? This was the question at the origin of this legal analysis. With this paper and its simple question and answer format, we hope to dispel some myths and shed some light on the reality of world trade rules in their relation with climate-friendly measures. In the end, we hope to encourage policy-makers in Europe and around the world not to see the WTO as an insurmountable barrier and not to use it as an excuse against strong action on climate change.

  3. 210Pb-226Ra chronology reveals rapid growth rate of Madrepora oculata and Lophelia pertusa on world's largest cold-water coral reef

    OpenAIRE

    Tisnérat-Laborde, N.; L. Bordier; Frank, N.; Colin, C.; Hall-Spencer, J. M.; J.-L. Reyss; Sabatier, P.; Douville, E

    2012-01-01

    Here we show the use of the 210Pb-226Ra excess method to determine the growth rate of two corals from the world's largest known cold-water coral reef, Røst Reef, north of the Arctic circle off Norway. Colonies of each of the two species that build the reef, Lophelia pertusa and Madrepora oculata, were collected alive at 350 m depth using a submersible. Pb and Ra isotopes were measured along the major growth axis of both specimens using low level alpha and gamma spectrometry and trace element ...

  4. 210Pb-226Ra chronology reveals rapid growth rate of Madrepora oculata and Lophelia pertusa on world's largest cold-water coral reef

    OpenAIRE

    Tisnérat-Laborde, N.; L. Bordier; Frank, N.; Colin, C.; Hall-Spencer, J. M.; J.-L. Reyss; Sabatier, P.; Douville, E

    2011-01-01

    Here we show the use of the 210Pb-226Ra excess method to determine the growth rate of corals from one of the world's largest known cold-water coral reef, the Røst Reef off Norway. Two large branching framework-forming cold-water coral specimens, one Lophelia pertusa and one Madrepora oculata were collected alive at 350 m water depth from the Røst Reef at ~67° N and ~9° E. Pb and Ra isotopes were measured along the major growth axis of both specimens using low level alpha and g...

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Second Life in Higher Education: Assessing the Potential for and the Barriers to Deploying Virtual Worlds in Learning and Teaching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warburton, Steven

    2009-01-01

    "Second Life" (SL) is currently the most mature and popular multi-user virtual world platform being used in education. Through an in-depth examination of SL, this article explores its potential and the barriers that multi-user virtual environments present to educators wanting to use immersive 3-D spaces in their teaching. The context is set by…

  19. 210Pb-226Ra chronology reveals rapid growth rate of Madrepora oculata and Lophelia pertusa on world's largest cold-water coral reef

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Tisnérat-Laborde

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Here we show the use of the 210Pb-226Ra excess method to determine the growth rate of two corals from the world's largest known cold-water coral reef, Røst Reef, north of the Arctic circle off Norway. Colonies of each of the two species that build the reef, Lophelia pertusa and Madrepora oculata, were collected alive at 350 m depth using a submersible. Pb and Ra isotopes were measured along the major growth axis of both specimens using low level alpha and gamma spectrometry and trace element compositions were studied. 210Pb and 226Ra differ in the way they are incorporated into coral skeletons. Hence, to assess growth rates, we considered the exponential decrease of initially incorporated 210Pb, as well as the increase in 210Pb from the decay of 226Ra and contamination with 210Pb associated with Mn-Fe coatings that we were unable to remove completely from the oldest parts of the skeletons. 226Ra activity was similar in both coral species, so, assuming constant uptake of 210Pb through time, we used the 210Pb-226Ra chronology to calculate growth rates. The 45.5 cm long branch of M. oculata was 31 yr with an average linear growth rate of 14.4 ± 1.1 mm yr−1 (2.6 polyps per year. Despite cleaning, a correction for Mn-Fe oxide contamination was required for the oldest part of the colony; this correction corroborated our radiocarbon date of 40 yr and a mean growth rate of 2 polyps yr−1. This rate is similar to the one obtained in aquarium experiments under optimal growth conditions. For the 80 cm-long L. pertusa colony, metal-oxide contamination remained in both the middle and basal part of the coral skeleton despite cleaning, inhibiting similar age and growth rate estimates. The youngest part of the colony was free of metal oxides and this 15 cm section had an estimated a growth rate of 8 mm yr−1, with high uncertainty (~1 polyp every two to three years. We are less certain of this 210Pb growth rate estimate which is within the lowermost

  20. 210Pb-226Ra chronology reveals rapid growth rate of Madrepora oculata and Lophelia pertusa on world's largest cold-water coral reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabatier, P.; Reyss, J.-L.; Hall-Spencer, J. M.; Colin, C.; Frank, N.; Tisnérat-Laborde, N.; Bordier, L.; Douville, E.

    2012-03-01

    Here we show the use of the 210Pb-226Ra excess method to determine the growth rate of two corals from the world's largest known cold-water coral reef, Røst Reef, north of the Arctic circle off Norway. Colonies of each of the two species that build the reef, Lophelia pertusa and Madrepora oculata, were collected alive at 350 m depth using a submersible. Pb and Ra isotopes were measured along the major growth axis of both specimens using low level alpha and gamma spectrometry and trace element compositions were studied. 210Pb and 226Ra differ in the way they are incorporated into coral skeletons. Hence, to assess growth rates, we considered the exponential decrease of initially incorporated 210Pb, as well as the increase in 210Pb from the decay of 226Ra and contamination with 210Pb associated with Mn-Fe coatings that we were unable to remove completely from the oldest parts of the skeletons. 226Ra activity was similar in both coral species, so, assuming constant uptake of 210Pb through time, we used the 210Pb-226Ra chronology to calculate growth rates. The 45.5 cm long branch of M. oculata was 31 yr with an average linear growth rate of 14.4 ± 1.1 mm yr-1 (2.6 polyps per year). Despite cleaning, a correction for Mn-Fe oxide contamination was required for the oldest part of the colony; this correction corroborated our radiocarbon date of 40 yr and a mean growth rate of 2 polyps yr-1. This rate is similar to the one obtained in aquarium experiments under optimal growth conditions. For the 80 cm-long L. pertusa colony, metal-oxide contamination remained in both the middle and basal part of the coral skeleton despite cleaning, inhibiting similar age and growth rate estimates. The youngest part of the colony was free of metal oxides and this 15 cm section had an estimated a growth rate of 8 mm yr-1, with high uncertainty (~1 polyp every two to three years). We are less certain of this 210Pb growth rate estimate which is within the lowermost ranges of previous growth

  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. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Health system and societal barriers for gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) services - lessons from World Diabetes Foundation supported GDM projects

    OpenAIRE

    Nielsen Karoline Kragelund; de Courten Maximilian; Kapur Anil

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Background Maternal mortality and morbidity remains high in many low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) represents an underestimated and unrecognised impediment to optimal maternal health in LMIC; left untreated – it also has severe consequences for the offspring. A better understanding of the barriers hindering detection and treatment of GDM is needed. Based on experiences from World Diabetes Foundation (WDF) supported GDM projects this paper se...

  6. 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

  7. The status of coral reef ecology research in the Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Berumen, Michael L.

    2013-06-21

    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 (<2 % of the area of the Red Sea) in the far northern Red Sea. We summarize the general state of knowledge in these eight topics and highlight the areas of future research priorities for the Red Sea region. Notably, data that could inform science-based management approaches are badly lacking in most Red Sea countries. The Red Sea, as a geologically "young" sea located in one of the warmest regions of the world, has the potential to provide insight into pressing topics such as speciation processes as well as the capacity of reef systems and organisms to adapt to global climate change. As one of the world\\'s most biodiverse 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. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

  8. 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.

  9. 210Pb-226Ra chronology reveals rapid growth rate of Madrepora oculata and Lophelia pertusa on world's largest cold-water coral reef

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Tisnérat-Laborde

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Here we show the use of the 210Pb-226Ra excess method to determine the growth rate of corals from one of the world's largest known cold-water coral reef, the Røst Reef off Norway. Two large branching framework-forming cold-water coral specimens, one Lophelia pertusa and one Madrepora oculata were collected alive at 350 m water depth from the Røst Reef at ~67° N and ~9° E. Pb and Ra isotopes were measured along the major growth axis of both specimens using low level alpha and gamma spectrometry and the corals trace element compositions were studied using ICP-QMS. Due to the different chemical behaviors of Pb and Ra in the marine environment, 210Pb and 226Ra were not incorporated the same way into the aragonite skeleton of those two cold-water corals. Thus to assess of the growth rates of both specimens we have here taken in consideration the exponential decrease of initially incorporated 210Pb as well as the ingrowth of 210Pb from the decay of 226Ra. Moreover a~post-depositional 210Pb incorporation is found in relation to the Mn-Fe coatings that could not be entirely removed from the oldest parts of the skeletons. The 226Ra activities in both corals were fairly constant, then assuming constant uptake of 210Pb through time the 210Pb-226Ra chronology can be applied to calculate linear growth rate. The 45.5 cm long branch of M. oculata reveals an age of 31 yr and a~linear growth rate of 14.4 ± 1.1 mm yr−1, i.e. 2.6 polyps per year. However, a correction regarding a remaining post-depositional Mn-Fe oxide coating is needed for the base of the specimen. The corrected age tend to confirm the radiocarbon derived basal age of 40 yr (using 14C bomb peak with a mean growth rate of 2 polyps yr−1. This rate is similar to the one obtained in Aquaria experiments under optimal growth conditions. For the 80 cm-long specimen of L. pertusa a remaining contamination of metal-oxides is observed for the middle and basal part of the coral skeleton, inhibiting

  10. A Global Estimate of the Number of Coral Reef Fishers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Louise S L Teh

    Full Text Available Overfishing threatens coral reefs worldwide, yet there is no reliable estimate on the number of reef fishers globally. We address this data gap by quantifying the number of reef fishers on a global scale, using two approaches - the first estimates reef fishers as a proportion of the total number of marine fishers in a country, based on the ratio of reef-related to total marine fish landed values. The second estimates reef fishers as a function of coral reef area, rural coastal population, and fishing pressure. In total, we find that there are 6 million reef fishers in 99 reef countries and territories worldwide, of which at least 25% are reef gleaners. Our estimates are an improvement over most existing fisher population statistics, which tend to omit accounting for gleaners and reef fishers. Our results suggest that slightly over a quarter of the world's small-scale fishers fish on coral reefs, and half of all coral reef fishers are in Southeast Asia. Coral reefs evidently support the socio-economic well-being of numerous coastal communities. By quantifying the number of people who are employed as reef fishers, we provide decision-makers with an important input into planning for sustainable coral reef fisheries at the appropriate scale.

  11. {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}.

  12. 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...

  13. 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

  14. Health system and societal barriers for gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM services - lessons from World Diabetes Foundation supported GDM projects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nielsen Karoline Kragelund

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Maternal mortality and morbidity remains high in many low- and middle-income countries (LMIC. Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM represents an underestimated and unrecognised impediment to optimal maternal health in LMIC; left untreated – it also has severe consequences for the offspring. A better understanding of the barriers hindering detection and treatment of GDM is needed. Based on experiences from World Diabetes Foundation (WDF supported GDM projects this paper seeks to investigate societal and health system barriers to such efforts. Methods Questionnaires were filled out by 10 WDF supported GDM project partners implementing projects in eight different LMIC. In addition, interviews were conducted with the project partners. The interviews were analysed using content analysis. Results Barriers to improving maternal health related to GDM nominated by project implementers included lack of trained health care providers - especially female doctors; high staff turnover; lack of standard protocols, consumables and equipment; financing of health services and treatment; lack of or poor referral systems, feedback mechanisms and follow-up systems; distance to health facility; perceptions of female body size and weight gain/loss in relation to pregnancy; practices related to pregnant women’s diet; societal negligence of women’s health; lack of decision-making power among women regarding their own health; stigmatisation; role of women in society and expectations that the pregnant woman move to her maternal home for delivery. Conclusions A number of barriers within the health system and society exist. Programmes need to consider and address these barriers in order to improve GDM care and thereby maternal health in LMIC.

  15. 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

  16. 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...

  17. Painting the world REDD: addressing scientific barriers to monitoring emissions from tropical forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asner, Gregory P.

    2011-06-01

    project scale to program readiness is a big step for all involved, and many are finding that it is not easy. Current barriers to national monitoring of forest carbon stocks and emissions range from technical to scientific, and from institutional to operational. In fact, a recent analysis suggested that about 3% of tropical countries currently have the capacity to monitor and report on changes in forest cover and carbon stocks (Herold 2009). But until now, the scientific and policy-development communities have had little quantitative information on exactly which aspects of national-scale monitoring are most uncertain, and how that uncertainty will affect REDD+ performance reporting. A new and remarkable study by Pelletier, Ramankutty and Potvin (2011) uses an integrated, spatially-explicit modeling technique to explore and quantify sources of uncertainty in carbon emissions mapping throughout the Republic of Panama. Their findings are sobering: deforestation rates would need to be reduced by a full 50% in Panama in order to be detectable above the statistical uncertainty caused by several current major monitoring problems. The number one uncertainty, accounting for a sum total of about 77% of the error, rests in the spatial variation of aboveground carbon stocks in primary forests, secondary forests and on fallow land. The poor quality of and insufficient time interval between land-cover maps account for the remainder of the overall uncertainty. These findings are a show-stopper for REDD+ under prevailing science and technology conditions. The Pelletier et al study highlights the pressing need to improve the accuracy of forest carbon and land cover mapping assessments in order for REDD+ to become viable, but how can the uncertainties be overcome? First, with REDD+ nations required to report their emissions, and with verification organizations wanting to check on the reported numbers, there is a clear need for shared measurement and monitoring approaches. One of the major

  18. ReefBase - a global database of coral reef systems and their resources

    OpenAIRE

    McManus, J

    1994-01-01

    ReefBase a global database of coral reefs systems and their resources was initiated at International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management (ICLARM), Philippines in November 1993. The CEC has provided funding for the first two years and the database was developed in collaboration with the World Conservation Monitoring Centre in Cambridge, UK, as well as other national, regional, and international institutions. The ReefBase project activities and what ICLARM will do to accomplish the p...

  19. The Global Coral Reef Crisis: Trends and Solutions (Coral Reefs: Values, Threats, and the Marine Aquarium Trade)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shuman, Craig S. (Reef Check, UCLA)

    2003-02-05

    Second only to tropical rainforests, coral reefs support one of the world's most diverse natural habitats. Over 350 million individuals depend on coral reef resources for food and income. Unfortunately, the Earth is in the midst of a coral reef crisis. Anthropogenic impacts including overfishing, destructive fishing practices, sedimentation and pollution, as well as global climate change, have served to disrupt the natural processes that maintain the health of these ecosystems. Until recently, however, the global extent of the coral reef crisis was unknown. Reef Check was developed in 1996 as a volunteer, community-based monitoring protocol designed to measure the health of coral reefs on a global scale. With goals of education, monitoring, and management, Reef Check has activities in over 60 countries and territories. They have not only provided scientific evidence of the global extent of the coral reef crisis, but have provided the first community based steps to alleviate this urgent situation.

  20. Validation of Reef-Scale Thermal Stress Satellite Products for Coral Bleaching Monitoring

    OpenAIRE

    Heron, Scott F.; Lyza Johnston; Gang Liu; Erick F. Geiger; Maynard, Jeffrey A; Jacqueline L. De La Cour; Steven Johnson; Ryan Okano; David Benavente; Timothy F. R. Burgess; John Iguel; Denise I. Perez; Skirving, William J.; Alan E. Strong; Kyle Tirak

    2016-01-01

    Satellite monitoring of thermal stress on coral reefs has become an essential component of reef management practice around the world. A recent development by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Coral Reef Watch (NOAA CRW) program provides daily global monitoring at 5 km resolution—at or near the scale of most coral reefs. In this paper, we introduce two new monitoring products in the CRW Decision Support System for coral reef management: Regional Virtual Stations, a reg...

  1. 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...

  2. 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

  3. Painting the world REDD: addressing scientific barriers to monitoring emissions from tropical forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asner, Gregory P.

    2011-06-01

    project scale to program readiness is a big step for all involved, and many are finding that it is not easy. Current barriers to national monitoring of forest carbon stocks and emissions range from technical to scientific, and from institutional to operational. In fact, a recent analysis suggested that about 3% of tropical countries currently have the capacity to monitor and report on changes in forest cover and carbon stocks (Herold 2009). But until now, the scientific and policy-development communities have had little quantitative information on exactly which aspects of national-scale monitoring are most uncertain, and how that uncertainty will affect REDD+ performance reporting. A new and remarkable study by Pelletier, Ramankutty and Potvin (2011) uses an integrated, spatially-explicit modeling technique to explore and quantify sources of uncertainty in carbon emissions mapping throughout the Republic of Panama. Their findings are sobering: deforestation rates would need to be reduced by a full 50% in Panama in order to be detectable above the statistical uncertainty caused by several current major monitoring problems. The number one uncertainty, accounting for a sum total of about 77% of the error, rests in the spatial variation of aboveground carbon stocks in primary forests, secondary forests and on fallow land. The poor quality of and insufficient time interval between land-cover maps account for the remainder of the overall uncertainty. These findings are a show-stopper for REDD+ under prevailing science and technology conditions. The Pelletier et al study highlights the pressing need to improve the accuracy of forest carbon and land cover mapping assessments in order for REDD+ to become viable, but how can the uncertainties be overcome? First, with REDD+ nations required to report their emissions, and with verification organizations wanting to check on the reported numbers, there is a clear need for shared measurement and monitoring approaches. One of the major

  4. The impact of farmers’ participation in field trials in creating awareness and stimulating compliance with the World Health Organization’s farm-based multiple-barrier approach

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Amponsah, Owusu; Vigre, Håkan; Schou, Torben Wilde;

    2015-01-01

    The results of a study aimed as assessing the extent to which urban vegetable farmers’ participation in field trials can impact on their awareness and engender compliance with the World Health Organization’s farm-based multiple-barrier approach are presented in this paper. Both qualitative and qu...

  5. Impacts of Artificial Reefs and Diving Tourism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra Jakšić

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Coral reefs are currently endangered throughout the world. One of the main activities responsible for this is scuba-diving. Scuba-diving on coral reefs was not problematic in the begging, but due to popularization of the new sport, more and more tourists desired to participate in the activity. Mass tourism, direct contact of the tourists with the coral reefs and unprofessional behavior underwater has a negative effect on the coral reefs. The conflict between nature preservation and economy benefits related to scuba-diving tourism resulted in the creation of artificial reefs, used both to promote marine life and as tourists attractions, thereby taking the pressure off the natural coral reefs. Ships, vehicles and other large structures can be found on the coastal sea floor in North America, Australia, Japan and Europe. The concept of artificial reefs as a scuba-diving attraction was developed in Florida. The main goal was to promote aquaculture, with the popularization of scuba-diving attractions being a secondary effect. The aim of this paper is to determine the effects of artificial reefs on scuba-diving tourism, while taking into account the questionnaire carried out among 18 divers

  6. Ecological Processes and Contemporary Coral Reef Management

    OpenAIRE

    Angela Dikou

    2010-01-01

    Top-down controls of complex foodwebs maintain the balance among the critical groups of corals, algae, and herbivores, thus allowing the persistence of corals reefs as three-dimensional, biogenic structures with high biodiversity, heterogeneity, resistance, resilience and connectivity, and the delivery of essential goods and services to societies. On contemporary reefs world-wide, however, top-down controls have been weakened due to reduction in herbivory levels (overfishing or disease outbre...

  7. 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.

  8. Vaal Reefs: 1700 t/a uranium by 1982

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    South Africa's 16th uranium plant - the South Plant of Anglo American's Vaal Reefs mine in the Western Transvaal - has been officially opened by Dr A.J.A. Roux. Vaal Reefs is South Africa's principal producer of uranium, and responsible for a quarter of the output - a proportion which will increase with the new South Plant coming fully on stream. Vaal Reefs is also the largest gold mining operation in the world

  9. Management of Bleached and Severely Damaged Coral Reefs

    OpenAIRE

    Westmacott, Susie; Teleki, Kristian; Wells, Sue; West, Jordan

    2000-01-01

    Coral reefs are one of the most threatened ecosystems in the world. Rivalling terrestrial rainforests in their biological diversity, and providing major economic benefits from fisheries and tourism, coral reefs ecosystems are of global concern. In addition, reefs provide many vital functions in developing countries, especially in Small Island Developing States. Until recently, stresses caused by human activities – such as land-based sources of pollution and destructive...

  10. 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

  11. Vaal Reefs South uranium plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Vaal Reefs mining complex, part of the Anglo American Corporation, is the largest gold and uranium producing complex in the world, being South Africa's principal producer, accounting for about a quarter of the country's uranium production. Vaal Reefs South uranium plant in the Orkney district was recently officially opened by Dr AJA Roux, the retiring president of the Atomic Energy Board and chairman of the Uranium Enrichment Corporation and will increase the country's uranium production. In the field of technology, and particularly processing technology, South Africa has shown the world unprecedented technology achievement in the field of uranium extraction from low grade ores and the development of the unique uranium enrichment process. New technical innovations that have been incorporated in this new plant are discussed

  12. 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...

  13. Protection, Participation, and Public Awareness : Indonesia Coral Reef Rehabilitation and Management Project

    OpenAIRE

    Kuehnast, Kathleen

    2001-01-01

    The Indonesia Coral Reef Rehabilitation and Management Project (COREMAP) is the first operation supported by the World Bank to focus exclusively on coral reef ecosystems. COREMAP is being implemented in 10 provinces over 15 years, during which period the communities are given incentives, training, and resources to protect the coral reefs. Social Development best practice elements identifie...

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. The small genetic world of Seriatopora hystrix

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stuart Kininmonth

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available The exchange of genetic information among coral reefs, through the transport of larvae, is critical to the function of Australia's Great Barrier Reef because it influences recruitment rates and resilience to disturbance. For many species the genetic composition is not homogeneous and is determined, in part, by the character of the complex dispersal pathways that connect the populations situated on each coral reef. One method of measuring these genetic connections is to examine the microsatellite composition of individual corals and then statistically compare populations across the region. We use these connection strengths, derived from a population similarity measure, to create complex networks to describe and analyse the genetic exchange of the brooding coral, Seriatopora hystrix. The network, based on determining the putative parental origin of individual coral colonies, involved sampling 2163 colonies from 47 collection sites and examining 10 microsatellites. A dispersal network was created from the genetic distance DLR values that measure the genetic similarity of each population (defined by the local sampling effort to every other sampled population based on the microsatellite composition. Graph theory methods show that this network exhibited infrequent long distance links and population clustering which is commonly referred to as small world topology. Comparison with a hydrodynamic based network indicates that the genetic population network topology is similar. This approach shows the genetic structure of the S. hystrix coral follows a small world pattern which supports the results derived from previous hydrodynamic modelling.

  17. 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…

  18. Current status, crisis and conservation of coral reef ecosystems in China

    OpenAIRE

    ShaoHong Wu; WenJun Zhang

    2012-01-01

    Harboring rich marine species and playing important ecological functions, coral reef ecosystems have attracted widespread concern around the world. Ecosystem diversity, conservation and management of coral reefs are becoming a hot research area. Coral reefs in China are mainly distributed in the South China Sea and Hainan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Guangdong, and Guangxi coastal waters. In recent years, due to the global climate change and the growing impact of human activities, coral reef biodivers...

  19. 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.

  20. Re-creating missing population baselines for Pacific reef sharks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nadon, Marc O; Baum, Julia K; Williams, Ivor D; McPherson, Jana M; Zgliczynski, Brian J; Richards, Benjamin L; Schroeder, Robert E; Brainard, Russell E

    2012-06-01

    Sharks and other large predators are scarce on most coral reefs, but studies of their historical ecology provide qualitative evidence that predators were once numerous in these ecosystems. Quantifying density of sharks in the absence of humans (baseline) is, however, hindered by a paucity of pertinent time-series data. Recently researchers have used underwater visual surveys, primarily of limited spatial extent or nonstandard design, to infer negative associations between reef shark abundance and human populations. We analyzed data from 1607 towed-diver surveys (>1 ha transects surveyed by observers towed behind a boat) conducted at 46 reefs in the central-western Pacific Ocean, reefs that included some of the world's most pristine coral reefs. Estimates of shark density from towed-diver surveys were substantially lower (sharks observed in towed-diver surveys and human population in models that accounted for the influence of oceanic primary productivity, sea surface temperature, reef area, and reef physical complexity. We used these models to estimate the density of sharks in the absence of humans. Densities of gray reef sharks (Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos), whitetip reef sharks (Triaenodon obesus), and the group "all reef sharks" increased substantially as human population decreased and as primary productivity and minimum sea surface temperature (or reef area, which was highly correlated with temperature) increased. Simulated baseline densities of reef sharks under the absence of humans were 1.1-2.4/ha for the main Hawaiian Islands, 1.2-2.4/ha for inhabited islands of American Samoa, and 0.9-2.1/ha for inhabited islands in the Mariana Archipelago, which suggests that density of reef sharks has declined to 3-10% of baseline levels in these areas. PMID:22536842

  1. 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.

  2. NOAA's National Coral Reef Monitoring Program (NCRMP) Data Collection

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Coral reefs provide nearly $30 billion in net benefits in goods and services to world economies each year, including tourism, fisheries, and coastal protection, and...

  3. Barriers and Enablers to the Use of Virtual Worlds in Higher Education: An Exploration of Educator Perceptions, Attitudes and Experiences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gregory, Sue; Scutter, Sheila; Jacka, Lisa; McDonald, Marcus; Farley, Helen; Newman, Chris

    2015-01-01

    Three-dimensional (3D) virtual worlds have been used for more than a decade in higher education for teaching and learning. Since the 1980s, academics began using virtual worlds as an exciting and innovative new technology to provide their students with new learning experiences that were difficult to provide any other way. But since that time,…

  4. Understanding the World Wool Market: Trade, Productivity and Grower Incomes. Part 6: The Costs of Global Tariff Barriers on Wool Products; Conclusion

    OpenAIRE

    George Verikios

    2006-01-01

    This is Chapters 6 & 7 of my PhD thesis Understanding the World Wool Market: Trade, Productivity and Grower Incomes, UWA, 2006. The full thesis is available as Discussion Papers 06.19 to 06.24. The WOOLGEM model is applied to estimate the distortionary effects on prices, output, trade and regional welfare of wool tariff barriers. The estimates are simulated under long-run conditions where each region faces a trade balance constraint and capital is free to accumulate or depreciate within each ...

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  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 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...

  9. Zero entry barriers in an NP-complete world: Transaction streams and the complexity of electronic commerce

    OpenAIRE

    Subirana, Brian

    1999-01-01

    The adoption of electronic markets in an industry has a disintermediation potential because it can create a direct link between the producer and the consumer (without the need for the intermediation role of distributors). Electronic markets lower the search cost, allowing customers to choose among more providers (which ultimately reduces both the costs for the customer and the profits for the producer). Electronic markets on the Internet have the opposite effect: they lower some entry barrier...

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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. ...

  13. Biological impacts of oil pollution: coral reefs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coral reefs are the largest structures made by living things and exist as extremely productive ecosystems in tropical and sub-tropical areas of the world. Their location in nearshore waters means that there is a potential danger to corals from tanker accidents, refinery operations, oil exploration and production. There are now a number of published scientific papers concerning the effects of oils on corals. This report summarises and interprets the findings, and provides background information on the structure and ecology of coral reefs. Clean-up options and their implications are discussed in the light of the latest evidence from case histories and field experiments. (author)

  14. 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

  15. The changing dynamics of coral reef science in Arabia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaughan, Grace O; Burt, John A

    2016-04-30

    Six percent of the world's coral reefs occur around the Arabian Peninsula, providing a valuable ecological, economic and scientific resource for the nations bordering its shores. We provide the first region-wide assessment of the current status and historical trends in coral reef research, focusing on research in the Red Sea, Arabian Sea, and Arabian Gulf. In total, 633 regional reef publications have been produced since the 1930s, covering a wide variety of themes and taxa. Our results show a great deal of commonality in regional reef research, but also highlight important differences in research among the various seas as well as knowledge gaps that represent opportunities for future research. A regionally-integrated approach to future research is essential. There is a growing need for large-scale research to guide management of reefs and their stressors, as these operate at much larger scales than the national borders within which most research currently occurs. PMID:26621575

  16. Turning up the Heat: Increasing Temperature and Coral Bleaching at the High Latitude Coral Reefs of the Houtman Abrolhos Islands

    OpenAIRE

    David A Abdo; Bellchambers, Lynda M.; Scott N Evans

    2012-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Coral reefs face increasing pressures particularly when on the edge of their distributions. The Houtman Abrolhos Islands (Abrolhos) are the southernmost coral reef system in the Indian Ocean, and one of the highest latitude reefs in the world. These reefs have a unique mix of tropical and temperate marine fauna and flora and support 184 species of coral, dominated by Acropora species. A significant La Niña event during 2011 produced anomalous conditions of increased temperature al...

  17. Turning up the Heat: Increasing Temperature and Coral Bleaching at the High Latitude Coral Reefs of the Houtman Abrolhos Islands

    OpenAIRE

    Abdo, David A.; Bellchambers, Lynda M.; Evans, Scott N.

    2012-01-01

    Background Coral reefs face increasing pressures particularly when on the edge of their distributions. The Houtman Abrolhos Islands (Abrolhos) are the southernmost coral reef system in the Indian Ocean, and one of the highest latitude reefs in the world. These reefs have a unique mix of tropical and temperate marine fauna and flora and support 184 species of coral, dominated by Acropora species. A significant La Niña event during 2011 produced anomalous conditions of increased temperature alo...

  18. Ecological Processes and Contemporary Coral Reef Management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angela Dikou

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Top-down controls of complex foodwebs maintain the balance among the critical groups of corals, algae, and herbivores, thus allowing the persistence of corals reefs as three-dimensional, biogenic structures with high biodiversity, heterogeneity, resistance, resilience and connectivity, and the delivery of essential goods and services to societies. On contemporary reefs world-wide, however, top-down controls have been weakened due to reduction in herbivory levels (overfishing or disease outbreak while bottom-up controls have increased due to water quality degradation (increase in sediment and nutrient load and climate forcing (seawater warming and acidification leading to algal-dominated alternate benthic states of coral reefs, which are indicative of a trajectory towards ecological extinction. Management to reverse common trajectories of degradation for coral reefs necessitates a shift from optimization in marine resource use and conservation towards building socio-economic resilience into coral reef systems while attending to the most manageable human impacts (fishing and water quality and the global-scale causes (climate change.

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. Current status, crisis and conservation of coral reef ecosystems in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ShaoHong Wu

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Harboring rich marine species and playing important ecological functions, coral reef ecosystems have attracted widespread concern around the world. Ecosystem diversity, conservation and management of coral reefs are becoming a hot research area. Coral reefs in China are mainly distributed in the South China Sea and Hainan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Guangdong, and Guangxi coastal waters. In recent years, due to the global climate change and the growing impact of human activities, coral reef biodiversity in China have been reducing and the ecological functions of coral reef ecosystems are severely degenerating. In this paper we summarized the current status, crisis and conservation of coral reef ecosystems in China. Some progress in coral reef research was discussed.

  14. Helping people build a better world? Barriers to more environmentally friendly energy production in China: the case of Shell

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Buan, Inga Fritzen

    2008-03-15

    China's rapid industrialization and economic expansion are causing massive environmental damage, with consequences beyond the country's borders, especially due to the use of fossil fuels' effect on climate change. Shell China can contribute to making energy production, if not clean and sustainable, then cleaner and more sustainable by making existing energy production more environmentally friendly; by diversifying and developing alternative energy sources; and by creating precedence influencing others to follow in its footsteps. The first goal of this report is to identify and analyze changes that have happened in the Shell Group since the 1990s when energy companies started their 'greening' processes. These changed happened due to stricter environmental legislation, increased civil society pressure and media scrutiny. Changes on the global and headquarters level in a company do not, however, necessitate similar developments in its national and local level operations. The second goal is thus to analyze to which degree the changes in the Shell Group have had relevance for Shell China and whether barriers in the Chinese context influence its prospects to operate in a more environmentally friendly way. (author). 64 refs

  15. Uncovering and negotiating barriers to intercultural communication at Greenmarket Square, Cape Town’s ‘world in miniature’: An insider’s perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Foncha J Wankah

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Intercultural communication (ICC is one of the most relevant fields for investigation in post-colonial Africa and post-apartheid South Africa, given the freedom of movement between African countries and the wide range of attractions, both economic and social, that South Africa holds for people from other African countries. This article is based on research conducted at Greenmarket Square in the heart of Cape Town, well-known as a hub for informal traders (mainly from other parts of Africa, local people and tourists from all over the world. It discusses three of the major barriers to ICC in this space which emerged from our research. These three major ‘intercultural fault-lines’ (Olahan, 2000 are identified as non-verbal communication, ethnocentrism/xenophobia and the contrasting communication styles of people from High Context Cultures and Low Context Cultures (Katan, 2004. The paper concludes with some suggestions on how such barriers can be overcome if people in this space learn to become more ‘interculturally competent’ (Jandt, 2004.

  16. Spatial and Temporal Variability of Remotely Sensed Ocean Color Parameters in Coral Reef Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otis, Daniel Brooks

    The variability of water-column absorption due to colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM) and phytoplankton in coral reef regions is the focus of this study. Hydrographic and CDOM absorption measurements made on the Bahamas Banks and in Exuma Sound during the spring of 1999 and 2000 showed that values of salinity and CDOM absorption at 440nm were higher on the banks (37.18 psu, 0.06 m. -1), compared to Exuma Sound (37.04 psu, 0.03 m. -1). Spatial patternsof CDOM absorption in Exuma Sound revealed that plumes of CDOM-rich water flow into Exuma Sound from the surrounding banks. To examine absorption variability in reef regions throughout the world, a thirteen-year time series of satellite-derived estimates of water-column absorption due to CDOM and phytoplankton were created from Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data. Time series data extracted adjacent to coral reef regions showed that variability in absorption depends on oceanographic conditions such as circulation patterns and winds as well as proximity to sources of light-absorbing materials that enter the water column, such as from terrestrial runoff. Waters near reef regions are generally clear, exhibiting a lower "baseline" level of CDOM absorption of approximately 0.01 m. -1 at 443nm. The main differences between regions lie in the periodsduring the year when increased levels of absorption are observed, which can be triggered by inputs of terrestrially-derived material, as in the Great Barrier Reef lagoon, or wind-driven upwelling as in the Andaman Sea and eastern Pacific Ocean near Panama. The lowest CDOM absorption levels found were approximately 0.003 m. -1 at 443nm near the islands of Palau and Yap, which are removed fromsources of colored materials. The highest absorption levels near reefs were associated with wind-driven upwelling during the northeast monsoon on the Andaman coast of Thailand where values of CDOM absorption at 443nm

  17. 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

  18. 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 ...

  19. Dynamics of seagrasses and associated algae in coral reef lagoons

    OpenAIRE

    van Tussenbroek, Brigitta I.

    2011-01-01

    Seagrass communities in tropical reef systems are situated in a distinct environmental setting than other seagrass beds around the world: they are exposed to high light intensities and low nutrient concentrations in carbonate sediments. Little is known about the forces which determine the community dynamics in these systems. Here we review studies realized over the last two decades at Puerto Morelos reef lagoon, Mexican Caribbean (Latitude 20o52´N) which highlight the dynamics of seagrasses a...

  20. Coral Reefs: Their Functions, Threats and Economic Value

    OpenAIRE

    Cesar, H.S.J.

    2002-01-01

    Coral reef ecosystems provide many functions, services and goods to coastal populations, especially in the developing world. A variety of anthropogenic practices threatens reef health and therefore jeopardises the benefits flowing from these services and goods. These threats range from local pollution, sedimentation, destructive fishing practices and coral mining to global issues like coral bleaching. Economic valuation can help to shed light to the importance of the serv...

  1. 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

  2. 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...

  3. Summary of the presentations at the international workshop on reducing carbon dioxide emissions from the developing world: Assessment of benefits, costs and barriers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sathaye, J.; Goldman, N. [eds.

    1991-06-01

    The ``International Workshop on Reducing Carbon Dioxide Emissions from the Developing World: Assessment of Benefits, Costs and Barriers`` was the second workshop held as part of a project being conducted by the International Energy Studies Group of Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, in collaboration with experts from leading institutions across the developing world. The goal of the project is to analyze long-range energy consumption in developing countries and its potential contribution to global climate change. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is supporting this work, the results of which already have made a key contribution to the technical analysis being used as the basis for discussion by the Energy and Industry Sub-group of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The main purpose of this workshop was two-fold: (1) to discuss the feasibility of implementing the efficiency improvements and fuel switching measures incorporated into the long-term energy scenarios created for 17 developing countries and (2) to examine the costs and benefits of reducing energy-related carbon dioxide emissions generated by developing countries.

  4. Summary of the presentations at the international workshop on reducing carbon dioxide emissions from the developing world: Assessment of benefits, costs and barriers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sathaye, J.; Goldman, N. (eds.)

    1991-06-01

    The International Workshop on Reducing Carbon Dioxide Emissions from the Developing World: Assessment of Benefits, Costs and Barriers'' was the second workshop held as part of a project being conducted by the International Energy Studies Group of Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, in collaboration with experts from leading institutions across the developing world. The goal of the project is to analyze long-range energy consumption in developing countries and its potential contribution to global climate change. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is supporting this work, the results of which already have made a key contribution to the technical analysis being used as the basis for discussion by the Energy and Industry Sub-group of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The main purpose of this workshop was two-fold: (1) to discuss the feasibility of implementing the efficiency improvements and fuel switching measures incorporated into the long-term energy scenarios created for 17 developing countries and (2) to examine the costs and benefits of reducing energy-related carbon dioxide emissions generated by developing countries.

  5. Summary of the presentations at the international workshop on reducing carbon dioxide emissions from the developing world: Assessment of benefits, costs and barriers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The ''International Workshop on Reducing Carbon Dioxide Emissions from the Developing World: Assessment of Benefits, Costs and Barriers'' was the second workshop held as part of a project being conducted by the International Energy Studies Group of Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, in collaboration with experts from leading institutions across the developing world. The goal of the project is to analyze long-range energy consumption in developing countries and its potential contribution to global climate change. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is supporting this work, the results of which already have made a key contribution to the technical analysis being used as the basis for discussion by the Energy and Industry Sub-group of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The main purpose of this workshop was two-fold: (1) to discuss the feasibility of implementing the efficiency improvements and fuel switching measures incorporated into the long-term energy scenarios created for 17 developing countries and (2) to examine the costs and benefits of reducing energy-related carbon dioxide emissions generated by developing countries

  6. Carbonate Production by Benthic Communities on Shallow Coralgal Reefs of Abrolhos Bank, Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    dos Reis, Vanessa Moura; Karez, Cláudia Santiago; Mariath, Rodrigo; de Moraes, Fernando Coreixas; de Carvalho, Rodrigo Tomazetto; Brasileiro, Poliana Silva; Bahia, Ricardo da Gama; Lotufo, Tito Monteiro da Cruz; Ramalho, Laís Vieira; de Moura, Rodrigo Leão; Francini-Filho, Ronaldo Bastos; Pereira-Filho, Guilherme Henrique; Thompson, Fabiano Lopes; Bastos, Alex Cardoso; Salgado, Leonardo Tavares; Amado-Filho, Gilberto Menezes

    2016-01-01

    The abundance of reef builders, non-builders and the calcium carbonate produced by communities established in Calcification Accretion Units (CAUs) were determined in three Abrolhos Bank shallow reefs during the period from 2012 to 2014. In addition, the seawater temperature, the irradiance, and the amount and composition of the sediments were determined. The inner and outer reef arcs were compared. CAUs located on the inner reef shelf were under the influence of terrigenous sediments. On the outer reefs, the sediments were composed primarily of marine biogenic carbonates. The mean carbonate production in shallow reefs of Abrolhos was 579 ± 98 g m-2 y-1. The builder community was dominated by crustose coralline algae, while the non-builder community was dominated by turf. A marine heat wave was detected during the summer of 2013–2014, and the number of consecutive days with a temperature above or below the summer mean was positively correlated with the turf cover increase. The mean carbonate production of the shallow reefs of Abrolhos Bank was greater than the estimated carbonate production measured for artificial structures on several other shallow reefs of the world. The calcimass was higher than the non-calcareous mass, suggesting that the Abrolhos reefs are still in a positive carbonate production balance. Given that marine heat waves produce an increase of turf cover on the shallow reefs of the Abrolhos, a decrease in the cover represented by reef builders and shifting carbonate production are expected in the near future. PMID:27119151

  7. Carbonate Production by Benthic Communities on Shallow Coralgal Reefs of Abrolhos Bank, Brazil.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa Moura Dos Reis

    Full Text Available The abundance of reef builders, non-builders and the calcium carbonate produced by communities established in Calcification Accretion Units (CAUs were determined in three Abrolhos Bank shallow reefs during the period from 2012 to 2014. In addition, the seawater temperature, the irradiance, and the amount and composition of the sediments were determined. The inner and outer reef arcs were compared. CAUs located on the inner reef shelf were under the influence of terrigenous sediments. On the outer reefs, the sediments were composed primarily of marine biogenic carbonates. The mean carbonate production in shallow reefs of Abrolhos was 579 ± 98 g m-2 y-1. The builder community was dominated by crustose coralline algae, while the non-builder community was dominated by turf. A marine heat wave was detected during the summer of 2013-2014, and the number of consecutive days with a temperature above or below the summer mean was positively correlated with the turf cover increase. The mean carbonate production of the shallow reefs of Abrolhos Bank was greater than the estimated carbonate production measured for artificial structures on several other shallow reefs of the world. The calcimass was higher than the non-calcareous mass, suggesting that the Abrolhos reefs are still in a positive carbonate production balance. Given that marine heat waves produce an increase of turf cover on the shallow reefs of the Abrolhos, a decrease in the cover represented by reef builders and shifting carbonate production are expected in the near future.

  8. Carbonate Production by Benthic Communities on Shallow Coralgal Reefs of Abrolhos Bank, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reis, Vanessa Moura Dos; Karez, Cláudia Santiago; Mariath, Rodrigo; de Moraes, Fernando Coreixas; de Carvalho, Rodrigo Tomazetto; Brasileiro, Poliana Silva; Bahia, Ricardo da Gama; Lotufo, Tito Monteiro da Cruz; Ramalho, Laís Vieira; de Moura, Rodrigo Leão; Francini-Filho, Ronaldo Bastos; Pereira-Filho, Guilherme Henrique; Thompson, Fabiano Lopes; Bastos, Alex Cardoso; Salgado, Leonardo Tavares; Amado-Filho, Gilberto Menezes

    2016-01-01

    The abundance of reef builders, non-builders and the calcium carbonate produced by communities established in Calcification Accretion Units (CAUs) were determined in three Abrolhos Bank shallow reefs during the period from 2012 to 2014. In addition, the seawater temperature, the irradiance, and the amount and composition of the sediments were determined. The inner and outer reef arcs were compared. CAUs located on the inner reef shelf were under the influence of terrigenous sediments. On the outer reefs, the sediments were composed primarily of marine biogenic carbonates. The mean carbonate production in shallow reefs of Abrolhos was 579 ± 98 g m-2 y-1. The builder community was dominated by crustose coralline algae, while the non-builder community was dominated by turf. A marine heat wave was detected during the summer of 2013-2014, and the number of consecutive days with a temperature above or below the summer mean was positively correlated with the turf cover increase. The mean carbonate production of the shallow reefs of Abrolhos Bank was greater than the estimated carbonate production measured for artificial structures on several other shallow reefs of the world. The calcimass was higher than the non-calcareous mass, suggesting that the Abrolhos reefs are still in a positive carbonate production balance. Given that marine heat waves produce an increase of turf cover on the shallow reefs of the Abrolhos, a decrease in the cover represented by reef builders and shifting carbonate production are expected in the near future. PMID:27119151

  9. Spectrographic imaging: A bird's-eye view of the health of coral reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mumby, Peter J.; Chisholm, John R. M.; Clark, Chris D.; Hedley, John D.; Jaubert, Jean

    2001-09-01

    Almost three-quarters of the world's coral reefs are thought to be deteriorating as a consequence of environmental stress. Until now, it has been possible to evaluate reef health only by field survey, which is labour-intensive and time-consuming. Here we map live coral cover from the air by remote imaging, a technique that will enable the state of shallow reefs to be monitored swiftly and over large areas.

  10. Mangroves enhance the biomass of coral reef fish communities in the Caribbean

    OpenAIRE

    Mumby, P.J.; Edwards, A J; Arias-Gonzalez, J.E.; Lindeman, K.C.; Blackwell, P. G.; Gall, A; Gorczynska, M.I.; Harborne, A. R.; Pescod, C.L.; Renken, H.; Wabnitz, C.C.C.; Llewellyn, G

    2004-01-01

    Mangrove forests are one of the world's most threatened tropical ecosystems with global loss exceeding 35% (ref. 1). Juvenile coral reef fish often inhabit mangroves, but the importance of these nurseries to reef fish population dynamics has not been quantified. Indeed, mangroves might be expected to have negligible influence on reef fish communities: juvenile fish can inhabit alternative habitats and fish populations may be regulated by other limiting factors such as larval supply or fishing...

  11. 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...

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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...

  16. Particulate organic matter fluxes and hydrodynamics at the Tisler cold-water coral reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, Hannes; Purser, Autun; Thomsen, Laurenz; Jesus, Carlos César; Lundälv, Tomas

    2011-03-01

    Cold-water coral reefs occur in many regions of the world's oceans. Fundamental questions regarding their functioning remain unanswered. These include the biogeochemical influence of reefs on their environment ("reef effects") and the influence of hydrodynamic processes on reef nutrition. In a succession of field campaigns in 2007 and 2008, these questions were addressed at the Tisler cold-water coral reef, which is centered on a sill peak in the Norwegian Skagerrak. A variety of methodological approaches were used. These consisted of the collection of CTD and chlorophyll profiles, current measurements, sampling of particulate organic matter (POM) in the benthic boundary layer (BBL) across the reef with subsequent chemical analyses, and the chemical analysis of freshly released Lophelia pertusa mucus. CTD and chlorophyll profiles indicated that downstream of the sill crest, downwelling delivered warmer, fresher and chlorophyll richer water masses down to the BBL. Both sides of the reef received downwelling nutrition delivery, as flow direction over the reef reversed periodically. Several chemical composition indicators revealed that suspended POM was significantly fresher on the downstream side of the reef than on the upstream side. L. pertusa mucus from the Tisler Reef was labile in composition, as indicated by a low C/N ratio and a high amino acid degradation index (DI) value. Particulate organic carbon (POC) content in the BBL was significantly depleted across the reef. Lateral depositional fluxes were calculated to be 18-1485 mg POC m -2 d -1, with a mean of 459 mg POC m -2 d -1. We propose that the combination of fresh, downwelling POM with mucus released from the reef was the cause of the greater lability of the downstream POM. Our data on POC depletion across the reef suggest that cold-water coral reefs could play an important role in carbon cycling along continental margins.

  17. Population Genetics of an Ecosystem-Defining Reef Coral Pocillopora damicornis in the Tropical Eastern Pacific

    OpenAIRE

    Combosch, David J.; Vollmer, Steven V.

    2011-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Coral reefs in the Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) are amongst the most peripheral and geographically isolated in the world. This isolation has shaped the biology of TEP organisms and lead to the formation of numerous endemic species. For example, the coral Pocillopora damicornis is a minor reef-builder elsewhere in the Indo-West Pacific, but is the dominant reef-building coral in the TEP, where it forms large, mono-specific stands, covering many hectares of reef. Moreover, TEP P. ...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Abrolhos bank reef health evaluated by means of water quality, microbial diversity, benthic cover, and fish biomass data.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thiago Bruce

    Full Text Available The health of the coral reefs of the Abrolhos Bank (Southwestern Atlantic was characterized with a holistic approach using measurements of four ecosystem components: (i inorganic and organic nutrient concentrations, [1] fish biomass, [1] macroalgal and coral cover and (iv microbial community composition and abundance. The possible benefits of protection from fishing were particularly evaluated by comparing sites with varying levels of protection. Two reefs within the well-enforced no-take area of the National Marine Park of Abrolhos (Parcel dos Abrolhos and California were compared with two unprotected coastal reefs (Sebastião Gomes and Pedra de Leste and one legally protected but poorly enforced coastal reef (the "paper park" of Timbebas Reef. The fish biomass was lower and the fleshy macroalgal cover was higher in the unprotected reefs compared with the protected areas. The unprotected and protected reefs had similar seawater chemistry. Lower vibrio CFU counts were observed in the fully protected area of California Reef. Metagenome analysis showed that the unprotected reefs had a higher abundance of archaeal and viral sequences and more bacterial pathogens, while the protected reefs had a higher abundance of genes related to photosynthesis. Similar to other reef systems in the world, there was evidence that reductions in the biomass of herbivorous fishes and the consequent increase in macroalgal cover in the Abrolhos Bank may be affecting microbial diversity and abundance. Through the integration of different types of ecological data, the present study showed that protection from fishing may lead to greater reef health. The data presented herein suggest that protected coral reefs have higher microbial diversity, with the most degraded reef (Sebastião Gomes showing a marked reduction in microbial species richness. It is concluded that ecological conditions in unprotected reefs may promote the growth and rapid evolution of opportunistic

  6. Abrolhos bank reef health evaluated by means of water quality, microbial diversity, benthic cover, and fish biomass data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruce, Thiago; Meirelles, Pedro M; Garcia, Gizele; Paranhos, Rodolfo; Rezende, Carlos E; de Moura, Rodrigo L; Filho, Ronaldo-Francini; Coni, Ericka O C; Vasconcelos, Ana Tereza; Amado Filho, Gilberto; Hatay, Mark; Schmieder, Robert; Edwards, Robert; Dinsdale, Elizabeth; Thompson, Fabiano L

    2012-01-01

    The health of the coral reefs of the Abrolhos Bank (Southwestern Atlantic) was characterized with a holistic approach using measurements of four ecosystem components: (i) inorganic and organic nutrient concentrations, [1] fish biomass, [1] macroalgal and coral cover and (iv) microbial community composition and abundance. The possible benefits of protection from fishing were particularly evaluated by comparing sites with varying levels of protection. Two reefs within the well-enforced no-take area of the National Marine Park of Abrolhos (Parcel dos Abrolhos and California) were compared with two unprotected coastal reefs (Sebastião Gomes and Pedra de Leste) and one legally protected but poorly enforced coastal reef (the "paper park" of Timbebas Reef). The fish biomass was lower and the fleshy macroalgal cover was higher in the unprotected reefs compared with the protected areas. The unprotected and protected reefs had similar seawater chemistry. Lower vibrio CFU counts were observed in the fully protected area of California Reef. Metagenome analysis showed that the unprotected reefs had a higher abundance of archaeal and viral sequences and more bacterial pathogens, while the protected reefs had a higher abundance of genes related to photosynthesis. Similar to other reef systems in the world, there was evidence that reductions in the biomass of herbivorous fishes and the consequent increase in macroalgal cover in the Abrolhos Bank may be affecting microbial diversity and abundance. Through the integration of different types of ecological data, the present study showed that protection from fishing may lead to greater reef health. The data presented herein suggest that protected coral reefs have higher microbial diversity, with the most degraded reef (Sebastião Gomes) showing a marked reduction in microbial species richness. It is concluded that ecological conditions in unprotected reefs may promote the growth and rapid evolution of opportunistic microbial pathogens

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  11. EFFECTS OF GLOBAL CHANGE ON CORAL REEF ECOSYSTEMS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corals and coral reefs of the Caribbean and through the world are deteriorating at an accelerated rate. Several stressors are believed to contrbute to this decline, including global changes in atmospheric gases and land use patterns. In particular, warmer water temperatures and...

  12. Spatial and seasonal reef calcification in corals and calcareous crusts in the central Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Roik, Anna

    2015-12-14

    The existence of coral reef ecosystems critically relies on the reef carbonate framework produced by scleractinian corals and calcareous crusts (i.e., crustose coralline algae). While the Red Sea harbors one of the longest connected reef systems in the world, detailed calcification data are only available from the northernmost part. To fill this knowledge gap, we measured in situ calcification rates of primary and secondary reef builders in the central Red Sea. We collected data on the major habitat-forming coral genera Porites, Acropora, and Pocillopora and also on calcareous crusts (CC) in a spatio-seasonal framework. The scope of the study comprised sheltered and exposed sites of three reefs along a cross-shelf gradient and over four seasons of the year. Calcification of all coral genera was consistent across the shelf and highest in spring. In addition, Pocillopora showed increased calcification at exposed reef sites. In contrast, CC calcification increased from nearshore, sheltered to offshore, exposed reef sites, but also varied over seasons. Comparing our data to other reef locations, calcification in the Red Sea was in the range of data collected from reefs in the Caribbean and Indo-Pacific; however, Acropora calcification estimates were at the lower end of worldwide rates. Our study shows that the increasing coral cover from nearshore to offshore environments aligned with CC calcification but not coral calcification, highlighting the potentially important role of CC in structuring reef cover and habitats. While coral calcification maxima have been typically observed during summer in many reef locations worldwide, calcification maxima during spring in the central Red Sea indicate that summer temperatures exceed the optima of reef calcifiers in this region. This study provides a foundation for comparative efforts and sets a baseline to quantify impact of future environmental change in the central Red Sea.

  13. Spatial and seasonal reef calcification in corals and calcareous crusts in the central Red Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roik, Anna; Roder, Cornelia; Röthig, Till; Voolstra, Christian R.

    2016-06-01

    The existence of coral reef ecosystems critically relies on the reef carbonate framework produced by scleractinian corals and calcareous crusts (i.e., crustose coralline algae). While the Red Sea harbors one of the longest connected reef systems in the world, detailed calcification data are only available from the northernmost part. To fill this knowledge gap, we measured in situ calcification rates of primary and secondary reef builders in the central Red Sea. We collected data on the major habitat-forming coral genera Porites, Acropora, and Pocillopora and also on calcareous crusts (CC) in a spatio-seasonal framework. The scope of the study comprised sheltered and exposed sites of three reefs along a cross-shelf gradient and over four seasons of the year. Calcification of all coral genera was consistent across the shelf and highest in spring. In addition, Pocillopora showed increased calcification at exposed reef sites. In contrast, CC calcification increased from nearshore, sheltered to offshore, exposed reef sites, but also varied over seasons. Comparing our data to other reef locations, calcification in the Red Sea was in the range of data collected from reefs in the Caribbean and Indo-Pacific; however, Acropora calcification estimates were at the lower end of worldwide rates. Our study shows that the increasing coral cover from nearshore to offshore environments aligned with CC calcification but not coral calcification, highlighting the potentially important role of CC in structuring reef cover and habitats. While coral calcification maxima have been typically observed during summer in many reef locations worldwide, calcification maxima during spring in the central Red Sea indicate that summer temperatures exceed the optima of reef calcifiers in this region. This study provides a foundation for comparative efforts and sets a baseline to quantify impact of future environmental change in the central Red Sea.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

  18. Mapping the Rainforest of the Sea: Global Coral Reef Maps for Global Conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Julie A.

    2006-01-01

    Coral reefs are the center of marine biodiversity, yet are under threat with an estimated 60% of coral reef habitats considered at risk by the World Resources Institute. The location and extent of coral reefs in the world are the basic information required for resource management and as a baseline for monitoring change. A NASA sponsored partnership between remote sensing scientists, international agencies and NGOs, has developed a new generation of global reef maps based on data collected by satellites. The effort, dubbed the Millennium Coral Reef Map aims to develop new methods for wide distribution of voluminous satellite data of use to the conservation and management communities. We discuss the tradeoffs between remote sensing data sources, mapping objectives, and the needs for conservation and resource management. SeaWiFS data were used to produce a composite global shallow bathymetry map at 1 km resolution. Landsat 7/ETM+ data acquisition plans were modified to collect global reefs and new operational methods were designed to generate the firstever global coral reef geomorphology map. We discuss the challenges encountered to build these databases and in implementing the geospatial data distribution strategies. Conservation applications include a new assessment of the distribution of the world s marine protected areas (UNEPWCMC), improved spatial resolution in the Reefs at Risk analysis for the Caribbean (WRI), and a global basemap for the Census of Marine Life's OBIS database. The Millennium Coral Reef map and digital image archive will pay significant dividends for local and regional conservation projects around the globe. Complete details of the project are available at http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/reefs.

  19. 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

  20. Biological impacts of oil pollution: coral reefs. V. 3

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coral reefs are the largest structures made by living things and exist as extremely productive ecosystems in tropical and sub-tropical areas of the world. Their location in nearshore waters means that there is a potential danger to corals from tanker accidents, refinery operations, oil exploration and production. There are now a number of published scientific papers concerning the effects of oils on corals, but results are not entirely consistent. This report summarizes and interprets the findings, and provides background information on the structure and ecology of coral reefs. Clean-up options and their implications are discussed in the light of the latest evidence from case histories and field experiments. (UK)

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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...

  4. Coral diseases and their research in Colombian reefs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coral reefs are one of the most beautiful and important ecosystems in the planet. These ecosystems have existed for over 200 million years and have survived extreme episodes such as glaciation and mass extinctions during their history. Nonetheless, during the last three decades, these ecosystems have registered sudden and dramatic changes that, according to some researchers, endanger their survival and persistence. One of the major problems coral reefs are facing nowadays is the outbreak of diseases that affect corals, which constitute the basic unit of this ecosystem. There is no consensus regarding whether these disease outbreaks are recent episodes; but what seems to be true is that some of these diseases have favored unprecedented changes in coral reefs. Coral reefs in Colombia have also been affected by disease events, and since the 1980, several coral diseases have been observed and studied, and even one of them was first described in Colombian reefs. This work presents a compendium of the main coral diseases registered around the world and is meant to serve as a guide for new studies in this topic. Similarly, a summary of coral disease research carried out in Colombia is presented as well as a discussion on current perspectives for the study of this field in the country.

  5. 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

  6. The "real world" barriers and solutions to Candida vaccine patent prosecutions: an analysis of U.S. Patent and Trademark Office actions on related applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Shyh-Jen

    2012-10-01

    The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) adopts recent patent courts' opinions (such as KSR In re Fisher and Ariad v. Lilly) in patent examinations, which would certainly create barriers to biotech patent prosecution. To identify the barriers to Candida vaccine patent prosecution, we analyzed 99 US-granted patents from January 2001 to May 2012 related to Candida vaccines. The rejections were based on factors that included obviousness, novelty, indefiniteness, double patenting, enablement, written description and utility. Based on this investigation, we find that some of these rejections were actually avoidable, and then further provide workable solutions to avoid some of the barriers, especially those related to patentability. These principles recited in this study should also be applicable to other fields of vaccines and immunotherapeutics. PMID:22894949

  7. 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...

  8. A Decision Support System for Ecosystem-Based Management of Tropical Coral Reef Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muller-Karger, F. E.; Eakin, C.; Guild, L. S.; Nemani, R. R.; Hu, C.; Lynds, S. E.; Li, J.; Vega-Rodriguez, M.; Coral Reef Watch Decision Support System Team

    2010-12-01

    We review a new collaborative program established between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to augment the NOAA Coral Reef Watch decision-support system. NOAA has developed a Decision Support System (DSS) under the Coral Reef Watch (CRW) program to forecast environmental stress in coral reef ecosystems around the world. This DSS uses models and 50 km Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) to generate “HotSpot” and Degree Heating Week coral bleaching indices. These are used by scientists and resource managers around the world. These users, including National Marine Sanctuary managers, have expressed the need for higher spatial resolution tools to understand local issues. The project will develop a series of coral bleaching products at higher spatial resolution using Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and AVHRR data. We will generate and validate products at 1 km resolution for the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico, and test global assessments at 4 and 50 km. The project will also incorporate the Global Coral Reef Millennium Map, a 30-m resolution thematic classification of coral reefs developed by the NASA Landsat-7 Science Team, into the CRW. The Millennium Maps help understand the geomorphology of individual reefs around the world. The products will be available through the NOAA CRW and UNEP-WCMC web portals. The products will help users formulate policy options and management decisions. The augmented DSS has a global scope, yet it addresses the needs of local resource managers. The work complements efforts to map and monitor coral reef communities in the U.S. territories by NOAA, NASA, and the USGS, and is a contribution to international efforts in ecological forecasting of coral reefs under changing environments, coral reef research, resource management, and conservation. Acknowledgement: Funding is provided by the NASA Ecological Forecasting

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. Managing in the Contemporary World: Rape Victims' and Supporters' Experiences of Barriers within the Police and the Health Care System in Tanzania

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muganyizi, Projestine S.; Nystrom, Lennarth; Axemo, Pia; Emmelin, Maria

    2011-01-01

    Grounded theory guided the analysis of 30 in-depth interviews with raped women and community members who had supported raped women in their contact with the police and health care services in Tanzania. The aim of this study was to understand and conceptualize the experiences of the informants by creating a theoretical model focusing on barriers,…

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. The threatened status of restricted-range coral reef fish species

    OpenAIRE

    Hawkins, J P; Roberts, C. M.; Clark, V.

    2000-01-01

    Coral reefs are the most diverse ecosystem in the sea. Throughout the world they are being overfished, polluted and destroyed, placing biodiversity at risk. To date, much of the concern over biodiversity loss has centred on local losses and the possibility of global extinction has largely been discounted. However, recent research has shown that 24% of reef fish species have restricted ranges (< 800 000 km(2)), with 9% highly restricted (< 50 000 km(2)). Restricted-range species are thought to...

  20. Doom and Boom on a Resilient Reef: Climate Change, Algal Overgrowth and Coral Recovery

    OpenAIRE

    Diaz-Pulido, Guillermo; McCook, Laurence J.; Dove, Sophie; Berkelmans, Ray; Roff, George; Kline, David I.; Weeks, Scarla; Richard D. Evans; Williamson, David H.; Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove

    2009-01-01

    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 reple...

  1. Hyperspectral data for coral reef monitoring. A case study: Fordate, Tanimbar, Indonesia

    OpenAIRE

    Sterckx, S.; Debruyn, W.; Vanderstraete, T.; Goossens, R.; Heijden, P. van der

    2005-01-01

    Coral reefs are endangered world-wide by devastating fishing methods (overfishing, dynamite and cyanide fishery), pollution, tourism, environmental changes and bleaching. The aim of this project is to monitor coral reefs and associated ecosystems (mangroves, sea-grass beds) by integrating different remote sensing data with spectral libraries and field measurements. The study area is Fordate, a small island to the northeast of Tanimbar, Indonesia. The monitoring system under development will e...

  2. Changing carbonate chemistry in ocean waters surrounding coral reefs in the CMIP5 ensemble

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ricke, K.; Schneider, K.; Cao, L.; Caldeira, K.

    2012-12-01

    Coral reefs comprise some of the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world. Today they are threatened by a number of stressors, including pollution, bleaching from global warming and ocean acidification. In this study, we focus on the implications of ocean acidification for the open ocean chemistry surrounding coral reefs. We use results from 13 Earth System Models included in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 5 (CMIP5) to examine the changing aragonite saturations (Ωa) of open ocean waters surrounding approximately 6,000 coral reefs. These 13 Earth System Models participating in CMIP5 each have interactive ocean biogeochemistry models that output state variables including DIC, alkalinity, SST, and salinity. Variation in these values were combined with values from the GLODAP database to calculate aragonite, the form of calcium carbonate that corals use to make their skeletons. We used reef locations from ReefBase that were within one degree (in latitude or longitude) of water masses represented both in the GLODAP database and in the climate models. Carbonate chemistry calculations were performed by Dr. James C. Orr (IPSL) as part of a separate study. We find that in preindustrial times, 99.9 % of coral reefs were located in regions of the ocean with aragonite saturations of 3.5 or more. The saturation threshold for viable reef ecosystems in uncertain, but the pre-industrial distribution of water chemistry surrounding coral reefs may nevertheless provide some indication of viability. We examine the fate of coral reefs in the context of several potential aragonite saturation thresholds, i.e., when Ωa_crit equals 3, 3.25, or 3.5. We show that under a business-as-usual scenario Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 8.5, the specific value of Ωa_crit does not affect the long-term fate of coral reefs -- by the end of the 21st century, no coral reef considered is surrounded by water with Ωa> 3. However, under scenarios with significant CO2 emissions

  3. 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)

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. Ocean acidification refugia of the Florida Reef Tract.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Derek P Manzello

    Full Text Available Ocean acidification (OA is expected to reduce the calcification rates of marine organisms, yet we have little understanding of how OA will manifest within dynamic, real-world systems. Natural CO(2, alkalinity, and salinity gradients can significantly alter local carbonate chemistry, and thereby create a range of susceptibility for different ecosystems to OA. As such, there is a need to characterize this natural variability of seawater carbonate chemistry, especially within coastal ecosystems. Since 2009, carbonate chemistry data have been collected on the Florida Reef Tract (FRT. During periods of heightened productivity, there is a net uptake of total CO(2 (TCO(2 which increases aragonite saturation state (Ω(arag values on inshore patch reefs of the upper FRT. These waters can exhibit greater Ω(arag than what has been modeled for the tropical surface ocean during preindustrial times, with mean (± std. error Ω(arag-values in spring = 4.69 (±0.101. Conversely, Ω(arag-values on offshore reefs generally represent oceanic carbonate chemistries consistent with present day tropical surface ocean conditions. This gradient is opposite from what has been reported for other reef environments. We hypothesize this pattern is caused by the photosynthetic uptake of TCO(2 mainly by seagrasses and, to a lesser extent, macroalgae in the inshore waters of the FRT. These inshore reef habitats are therefore potential acidification refugia that are defined not only in a spatial sense, but also in time; coinciding with seasonal productivity dynamics. Coral reefs located within or immediately downstream of seagrass beds may find refuge from OA.

  8. 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.

  9. 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 ...

  10. Coping with commitment: projected thermal stress on coral reefs under different future scenarios.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon D Donner

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Periods of anomalously warm ocean temperatures can lead to mass coral bleaching. Past studies have concluded that anthropogenic climate change may rapidly increase the frequency of these thermal stress events, leading to declines in coral cover, shifts in the composition of corals and other reef-dwelling organisms, and stress on the human populations who depend on coral reef ecosystems for food, income and shoreline protection. The ability of greenhouse gas mitigation to alter the near-term forecast for coral reefs is limited by the time lag between greenhouse gas emissions and the physical climate response. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: This study uses observed sea surface temperatures and the results of global climate model forced with five different future emissions scenarios to evaluate the "committed warming" for coral reefs worldwide. The results show that the physical warming commitment from current accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere could cause over half of the world's coral reefs to experience harmfully frequent (p> or =0.2 year(-1 thermal stress by 2080. An additional "societal" warming commitment, caused by the time required to shift from a business-as-usual emissions trajectory to a 550 ppm CO(2 stabilization trajectory, may cause over 80% of the world's coral reefs to experience harmfully frequent events by 2030. Thermal adaptation of 1.5 degrees C would delay the thermal stress forecast by 50-80 years. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The results suggest that adaptation -- via biological mechanisms, coral community shifts and/or management interventions -- could provide time to change the trajectory of greenhouse gas emissions and possibly avoid the recurrence of harmfully frequent events at the majority (97% of the world's coral reefs this century. Without any thermal adaptation, atmospheric CO(2 concentrations may need to be stabilized below current levels to avoid the degradation of coral reef ecosystems

  11. 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.

  12. Risks to coral reefs from ocean carbonate chemistry changes in recent earth system model projections

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coral reefs are among the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world. Today they are threatened by numerous stressors, including warming ocean waters and coastal pollution. Here we focus on the implications of ocean acidification for the open ocean chemistry surrounding coral reefs, as estimated from earth system models participating in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project, Phase 5 (CMIP5). We project risks to reefs in the context of three potential aragonite saturation (Ωa) thresholds. We find that in preindustrial times, 99.9% of reefs adjacent to open ocean in the CMIP5 ensemble were located in regions with Ωa > 3.5. Under a business-as-usual scenario (RCP 8.5), every coral reef considered will be surrounded by water with Ωa 2 emissions abatement, the Ωa threshold for reefs is critical to projecting their fate. Our results indicate that to maintain a majority of reefs surrounded by waters with Ωa > 3.5 to the end of the century, very aggressive reductions in emissions are required. The spread of Ωa projections across models in the CMIP5 ensemble is narrow, justifying a high level of confidence in these results. (letter)

  13. Legal Regime towards Protecting Coral Reefs: An International Perspective and Indian scenario

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rajesh Sehgal

    2006-09-01

    Full Text Available Corals Reefs are an important link in the marine biodiversity and millions of people depend on coral reefs for their sustenance and livelihood, yet these vital resources are in great danger today. Today, 27% of the world's coral reefs have been lost and 14% are predicted to be destroyed in the next 10 to 20 years due to the threats caused by human activities like over fishing, pollution, sedimentation and climate change. On the other hand, the current legal regimes towards protection of coral reefs are often inadequate. Though, most countries have legislation for reef conservation and additional national laws and multilateral environmental agreements have been adopted by the countries with assistance of the international and inter-governmental organization. There exists a wide array of local, state, national, and international initiatives that attempt, in varying degrees, to protect and preserve these ecosystems, still the implementation of these laws is difficult and completely lacking. This article primarily focuses on the principal national (India and international legal instruments that may provide for coral reef protection and provides recommendations for their better conservation. The article also highlight the condition of coral reefs and the difficulty in understanding their perilous situation.

  14. The future of evolutionary diversity in reef corals

    OpenAIRE

    Huang, Danwei; Roy, Kaustuv

    2015-01-01

    One-third of the world's reef-building corals are facing heightened extinction risk from climate change and other anthropogenic impacts. Previous studies have shown that such threats are not distributed randomly across the coral tree of life, and future extinctions have the potential to disproportionately reduce the phylogenetic diversity of this group on a global scale. However, the impact of such losses on a regional scale remains poorly known. In this study, we use phylogenetic metrics in ...

  15. Through bleaching and tsunami : coral reef recovery in the Maldives

    OpenAIRE

    Morri, C.; M. MONTEFALCONE; Lasagna, R.; Gatti, G.; A. Rovere; Parravicini, Valeriano; Baldelli, G.; Colantoni, P.; C.N. BIANCHI

    2015-01-01

    Coral reefs are degrading worldwide, but little information exists on their previous conditions for most regions of the world. Since 1989, we have been studying the Maldives, collecting data before, during and after the bleaching and mass mortality event of 1998. As early as 1999, many newly settled colonies were recorded. Recruits shifted from a dominance of massive and encrusting corals in the early stages of recolonisation towards a dominance of Acropora and Pocillopora by 2009. Coral cove...

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Barriers to implementation of a computerized decision support system for depression: an observational report on lessons learned in "real world" clinical settings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sunderajan Prabha

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Despite wide promotion, clinical practice guidelines have had limited effect in changing physician behavior. Effective implementation strategies to date have included: multifaceted interventions involving audit and feedback, local consensus processes, marketing; reminder systems, either manual or computerized; and interactive educational meetings. In addition, there is now growing evidence that contextual factors affecting implementation must be addressed such as organizational support (leadership procedures and resources for the change and strategies to implement and maintain new systems. Methods To examine the feasibility and effectiveness of implementation of a computerized decision support system for depression (CDSS-D in routine public mental health care in Texas, fifteen study clinicians (thirteen physicians and two advanced nurse practitioners participated across five sites, accruing over 300 outpatient visits on 168 patients. Results Issues regarding computer literacy and hardware/software requirements were identified as initial barriers. Clinicians also reported concerns about negative impact on workflow and the potential need for duplication during the transition from paper to electronic systems of medical record keeping. Conclusion The following narrative report based on observations obtained during the initial testing and use of a CDSS-D in clinical settings further emphasizes the importance of taking into account organizational factors when planning implementation of evidence-based guidelines or decision support within a system.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Elevated Colonization of Microborers at a Volcanically Acidified Coral Reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enochs, Ian C.; Manzello, Derek P.; Tribollet, Aline; Valentino, Lauren; Kolodziej, Graham; Donham, Emily M.; Fitchett, Mark D.; Carlton, Renee; Price, Nichole N.

    2016-01-01

    Experiments have demonstrated that ocean acidification (OA) conditions projected to occur by the end of the century will slow the calcification of numerous coral species and accelerate the biological erosion of reef habitats (bioerosion). Microborers, which bore holes less than 100 μm diameter, are one of the most pervasive agents of bioerosion and are present throughout all calcium carbonate substrates within the reef environment. The response of diverse reef functional groups to OA is known from real-world ecosystems, but to date our understanding of the relationship between ocean pH and carbonate dissolution by microborers is limited to controlled laboratory experiments. Here we examine the settlement of microborers to pure mineral calcium carbonate substrates (calcite) along a natural pH gradient at a volcanically acidified reef at Maug, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). Colonization of pioneer microborers was higher in the lower pH waters near the vent field. Depth of microborer penetration was highly variable both among and within sites (4.2–195.5 μm) over the short duration of the study (3 mo.) and no clear relationship to increasing CO2 was observed. Calculated rates of biogenic dissolution, however, were highest at the two sites closer to the vent and were not significantly different from each other. These data represent the first evidence of OA-enhancement of microboring flora colonization in newly available substrates and provide further evidence that microborers, especially bioeroding chlorophytes, respond positively to low pH. The accelerated breakdown and dissolution of reef framework structures with OA will likely lead to declines in structural complexity and integrity, as well as possible loss of essential habitat. PMID:27467570

  16. Ocean acidification and calcifying reef organisms: A mesocosm investigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jokiel, P.L.; Rodgers, K.S.; Kuffner, I.B.; Andersson, A.J.; Cox, E.F.; MacKenzie, F.T.

    2008-01-01

    A long-term (10 months) controlled experiment was conducted to test the impact of increased partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO2) on common calcifying coral reef organisms. The experiment was conducted in replicate continuous flow coral reef mesocosms flushed with unfiltered sea water from Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, Hawaii. Mesocosms were located in full sunlight and experienced diurnal and seasonal fluctuations in temperature and sea water chemistry characteristic of the adjacent reef flat. Treatment mesocosms were manipulated to simulate an increase in pCO2 to levels expected in this century [midday pCO2 levels exceeding control mesocosms by 365 ?? 130 ??atm (mean ?? sd)]. Acidification had a profound impact on the development and growth of crustose coralline algae (CCA) populations. During the experiment, CCA developed 25% cover in the control mesocosms and only 4% in the acidified mesocosms, representing an 86% relative reduction. Free-living associations of CCA known as rhodoliths living in the control mesocosms grew at a rate of 0.6 g buoyant weight year-1 while those in the acidified experimental treatment decreased in weight at a rate of 0.9 g buoyant weight year-1, representing a 250% difference. CCA play an important role in the growth and stabilization of carbonate reefs, so future changes of this magnitude could greatly impact coral reefs throughout the world. Coral calcification decreased between 15% and 20% under acidified conditions. Linear extension decreased by 14% under acidified conditions in one experiment. Larvae of the coral Pocillopora damicornis were able to recruit under the acidified conditions. In addition, there was no significant difference in production of gametes by the coral Montipora capitata after 6 months of exposure to the treatments. ?? 2008 Springer-Verlag.

  17. A deep reef in deep trouble

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menza, Charles; Kendall, M.; Rogers, C.; Miller, J.

    2007-01-01

    The well-documented degradation of shallower reefs which are often closer to land and more vulnerable to pollution, sewage and other human-related stressors has led to the suggestion that deeper, more remote offshore reefs could possibly serve as sources of coral and fish larvae to replenish the shallower reefs. Yet, the distribution, status, and ecological roles of deep (>30 m) Caribbean reefs are not well known. In this report, an observation of a deep reef which has undergone a recent extensive loss of coral cover is presented. In stark contrast to the typical pattern of coral loss in shallow reefs, the deeper corals were most affected. This report is the first description of such a pattern of coral loss on a deep reef.

  18. Through bleaching and tsunami: Coral reef recovery in the Maldives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morri, Carla; Montefalcone, Monica; Lasagna, Roberta; Gatti, Giulia; Rovere, Alessio; Parravicini, Valeriano; Baldelli, Giuseppe; Colantoni, Paolo; Bianchi, Carlo Nike

    2015-09-15

    Coral reefs are degrading worldwide, but little information exists on their previous conditions for most regions of the world. Since 1989, we have been studying the Maldives, collecting data before, during and after the bleaching and mass mortality event of 1998. As early as 1999, many newly settled colonies were recorded. Recruits shifted from a dominance of massive and encrusting corals in the early stages of recolonisation towards a dominance of Acropora and Pocillopora by 2009. Coral cover, which dropped to less than 10% after the bleaching, returned to pre-bleaching values of around 50% by 2013. The 2004 tsunami had comparatively little effect. In 2014, the coral community was similar to that existing before the bleaching. According to descriptors and metrics adopted, recovery of Maldivian coral reefs took between 6 and 15years, or may even be considered unachieved, as there are species that had not come back yet. PMID:26228070

  19. Benthic buffers and boosters of ocean acidification on coral reefs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. R. N. Anthony

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Ocean acidification is a threat to marine ecosystems globally. In shallow-water systems, however, ocean acidification can be masked by benthic carbon fluxes, depending on community composition, seawater residence time, and the magnitude and balance of net community production (NCP and calcification (NCC. Here, we examine how six benthic groups from a coral reef environment on Heron Reef (Great Barrier Reef, Australia contribute to changes in the seawater aragonite saturation state (Ωa. Results of flume studies using intact reef habitats (1.2 m by 0.4 m, showed a hierarchy of responses across groups, depending on CO2 level, time of day and water flow. At low CO2 (350–450 μatm, macroalgae (Chnoospora implexa, turfs and sand elevated Ωa of the flume water by around 0.10 to 1.20 h−1 – normalised to contributions from 1 m2 of benthos to a 1 m deep water column. The rate of Ωa increase in these groups was doubled under acidification (560–700 μatm and high flow (35 compared to 8 cm s−1. In contrast, branching corals (Acropora aspera increased Ωa by 0.25 h−1 at ambient CO2 (350–450 μatm during the day, but reduced Ωa under acidification and high flow. Nighttime changes in Ωa by corals were highly negative (0.6–0.8 h−1 and exacerbated by acidification. Calcifying macroalgae (Halimeda spp. raised Ωa by day (by around 0.13 h−1, but lowered Ωa by a similar or higher amount at night. Analyses of carbon flux contributions from benthic communities with four different compositions to the reef water carbon chemistry across Heron Reef flat and lagoon indicated that the net lowering of Ωa by coral-dominated areas can to some extent be countered by long water-residence times in neighbouring areas dominated by turfs, macroalgae and carbonate sand.

  20. Status Of Coral Reefs In The South West Indian Ocean Island Node: Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Reunion And Seychelles

    OpenAIRE

    Bijoux, J.; Moyne-Picard, M.; Paupiah, N.; Ahamada, S.; Meunier, S; Maharavo, J.; Bigot, L.

    2002-01-01

    A regional monitoring network of the GCRMN was formed just after the major coral bleaching event in 1998. The goal was to assist the Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Reunion and Seychelles manage their reef resources within the Regional Environment Programme of the Indian Ocean Commission. The Node is now being financed for 3 years by the Global Environment Facility (GEF and World Bank) and the European Union to continue coral reef monitoring to strengthen the capacity of nation...

  1. Evaluating the human impact on groundwater quality discharging into a coastal reef lagoon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rebolledo-Vieyra, M.; Hernandez-Terrones, L.; Soto, M.; Lecossec, A.; Monroy-Rios, E.

    2008-12-01

    The Eastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula has the fastest growth rate in Mexico and groundwater is the only source of drinking water in the region. The consequences of the lack of proper infrastructure to collect and treat wastewater and the impact of human activities on the quality of groundwater are addressed. The groundwater in the coastal aquifer of Quintana Roo (SE Mexico) discharges directly into the ocean. In addition, the coral reef of the Eastern Yucatan Peninsula is part of the Mesoamerican Coral Reef System, one of the largest in the world. The interaction of the reef-lagoon hydraulics with the coastal aquifer of Puerto Morelos (NE Yucatan Peninsula), and a major input of NH4, SO4, SiO2, as a consequence of the use of septic tanks and the lack of modern wastewater treatment plants are presented. No seasonal parameters differences were observed, suggesting that groundwater composition reaching the reef lagoon is not changing seasonally. A conceptual model of the coastal aquifer was developed, in order to explain how the human activities are impacting directly on the groundwater quality that, potentially, will have a direct impact on the coral reef. The protection and conservation of coral reefs must be directly related with a policy of sound management of coastal aquifers and wastewater treatment.

  2. Algal resistance to herbivory on a Caribbean barrier reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Littler, Mark M.; Taylor, Phillip R.; Littler, Diane S.

    1983-06-01

    Field and laboratory research at Carrie Bow Cay, Belize showed that macroalgae, grouped in functional-form units resisted fish and urchin herbivory in the following order (from high to low resistance): Crustose-Group, Jointed Calcareous-Group, Thick Leathery-Group, Coarsely Branched-Group, Filamentous-Group and Sheet-Group; thereby supporting the hypothesis that crustose, calcareous and thick algae have evolved antipredator defenses and should show the greatest resistance to herbivory with a gradation of increasing palatability towards filaments and sheets. Of the 21 species examined, several (e.g., Dictyota cervicornis on grids, Laurencia obtusa and Stypopodium zonale) had exceptionally low losses to fish grazing, probably due to chemical defences. The sea urchin, Diadema antillarum, was more inclined to feed on algae with known toxic secondary metabolites than were herbivorous fishes; hypothetically related to the differences in mobility and concomitant modes of feeding. Tough leathery forms such as Sargassum polyceratium and Turbinaria turbinata resisted grazing by bottom feeding parrotfishes (Scaridae) and surgeonfishes (Acanthuridae) but were susceptible when suspended midway in the water column, possibly due to the presence of rudderfishes (Kyphosidae) which readily consume drift Sargassaceae. The overall tendencies support our predicted relationship between grazer-resistance and algal morphology. In conjunction with our previously reported findings concerning primary productivity, toughness and calorimetry for many of the same species, these results lend credence to generalizations relating form with function in marine macroalgae.

  3. Assessing coral reefs on a Pacific-wide scale using the microbialization score.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tracey McDole

    Full Text Available The majority of the world's coral reefs are in various stages of decline. While a suite of disturbances (overfishing, eutrophication, and global climate change have been identified, the mechanism(s of reef system decline remain elusive. Increased microbial and viral loading with higher percentages of opportunistic and specific microbial pathogens have been identified as potentially unifying features of coral reefs in decline. Due to their relative size and high per cell activity, a small change in microbial biomass may signal a large reallocation of available energy in an ecosystem; that is the microbialization of the coral reef. Our hypothesis was that human activities alter the energy budget of the reef system, specifically by altering the allocation of metabolic energy between microbes and macrobes. To determine if this is occurring on a regional scale, we calculated the basal metabolic rates for the fish and microbial communities at 99 sites on twenty-nine coral islands throughout the Pacific Ocean using previously established scaling relationships. From these metabolic rate predictions, we derived a new metric for assessing and comparing reef health called the microbialization score. The microbialization score represents the percentage of the combined fish and microbial predicted metabolic rate that is microbial. Our results demonstrate a strong positive correlation between reef microbialization scores and human impact. In contrast, microbialization scores did not significantly correlate with ocean net primary production, local chla concentrations, or the combined metabolic rate of the fish and microbial communities. These findings support the hypothesis that human activities are shifting energy to the microbes, at the expense of the macrobes. Regardless of oceanographic context, the microbialization score is a powerful metric for assessing the level of human impact a reef system is experiencing.

  4. Coral reefs: threats and conservation in an era of global change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riegl, Bernhard; Bruckner, Andy; Coles, Steve L; Renaud, Philip; Dodge, Richard E

    2009-04-01

    Coral reefs are iconic, threatened ecosystems that have been in existence for approximately 500 million years, yet their continued ecological persistence seems doubtful at present. Anthropogenic modification of chemical and physical atmospheric dynamics that cause coral death by bleaching and newly emergent diseases due to increased heat and irradiation, as well as decline in calcification caused by ocean acidification due to increased CO(2), are the most important large-scale threats. On more local scales, overfishing and destructive fisheries, coastal construction, nutrient enrichment, increased runoff and sedimentation, and the introduction of nonindigenous invasive species have caused phase shifts away from corals. Already approximately 20% of the world's reefs are lost and approximately 26% are under imminent threat. Conservation science of coral reefs is well advanced, but its practical application has often been lagging. Societal priorites, economic pressures, and legal/administrative systems of many countries are more prone to destroy rather than conserve coral-reef ecosystems. Nevertheless, many examples of successful conservation exist from the national level to community-enforced local action. When effectively managed, protected areas have contributed to regeneration of coral reefs and stocks of associated marine resources. Local communities often support coral-reef conservation in order to raise income potential associated with tourism and/or improved resource levels. Coral reefs create an annual income in S-Florida alone of over $4 billion. Thus, no conflict between development, societal welfare, and coral-reef conservation needs to exist. Despite growing threats, it is not too late for decisive action to protect and save these economically and ecologically high-value ecosystems. Conservation science plays a critical role in designing effective strategies. PMID:19432648

  5. Coral Reef and Hardbottom from Unified Florida Reef Tract Map (NODC Accession 0123059)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This dataset is a subset of the Unified Map representing Coral reef and Hardbottom areas. Version 1.1 - December 2013. The Unified Florida Reef Tract Map (Unified...

  6. CRED REA Reef Fish Assessment Survey at Kingman Reef, Pacific Remote Island Areas in 2008

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — To support a long-term NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) for sustainable management and conservation of coral reef ecosystems, from 21 March - 12 April...

  7. CRED REA Reef Fish Assessment Survey at Maro Reef, NW Hawaiian Islands in 2008

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — To support a long-term NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) for sustainable management and conservation of coral reef ecosystems, from 12 September - 12...

  8. 75 FR 48934 - Coral Reef Conservation Program Implementation Guidelines

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-08-12

    ... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-ZC19 Coral Reef Conservation Program... Implementation Guidelines for the Coral Reef Conservation Program. SUMMARY: This document provides NOAA's revised Grant Program Implementation Guidelines (Guidelines) for the Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP...

  9. Distribution of fish in seagrass, mangroves and coral reefs: life-stage dependent habitat use in Honduras.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaxion-Harm, Jessica; Saunders, James; Speight, Martin R

    2012-06-01

    Many coral reef fish exhibit habitat partitioning throughout their lifetimes. Such patterns are evident in the Caribbean where research has been predominantly conducted in the Eastern region. This work addressed the paucity of data regarding Honduran reef fish distribution in three habitat types (seagrass, mangroves, and coral reefs), by surveying fish on the islands of Utila and Cayos Cochinos off the coast of Honduras (part of the Mesoamerican barrier reef). During July 2nd - Aug 27th 2007 and June 22nd - Aug 17th, 2008, visual surveys (SCUBA and snorkel) were performed in belt transects in different areas: eleven coral reef, six seagrass beds, and six mangroves sites. Juvenile densities and total habitat surface area were used to calculate nursery value of seagrass and mangroves. A total of 113 fish species from 32 families were found during underwater surveys. Multi-dimensional analyses revealed distinct clusters of fish communities in each habitat type by separating fish associated with seagrass beds, mangroves, and coral reefs. Coral reefs showed the highest mean fish species richness and were dominated by adult fish, while juvenile fish characterized seagrass beds and mangrove sites. Habitat use differed widely at the fish species level. Scarus iseri (Striped Parrotfish), the most abundant fish in this study, were found in all three habitat types, while Lutjanus apodus (Schoolmaster Snapper) juveniles were located primarily in mangroves before migrating to coral reefs. Many species used seagrass beds and mangroves as nurseries; however, the nursery value could not be generalized at the family level. Furthermore, for some fish species, nursery value varied between islands and sites. Our results suggest that connectivity of seagrass, mangrove, and coral reef sites at a species and site levels, should be taken into consideration when implementing policy and conservation practices. PMID:23894938

  10. Incorporating benthic community changes into hydrochemical-based projections of coral reef calcium carbonate production under ocean acidification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaw, Emily C.; Hamylton, Sarah M.; Phinn, Stuart R.

    2016-06-01

    The existence of coral reefs is dependent on the production and maintenance of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) framework that is produced through calcification. The net production of CaCO3 will likely decline in the future, from both declining net calcification rates (decreasing calcification and increasing dissolution) and shifts in benthic community composition from calcifying organisms to non-calcifying organisms. Here, we present a framework for hydrochemical studies that allows both declining net calcification rates and changes in benthic community composition to be incorporated into projections of coral reef CaCO3 production. The framework involves upscaling net calcification rates for each benthic community type using mapped proportional cover of the benthic communities. This upscaling process was applied to the reef flats at One Tree and Lady Elliot reefs (Great Barrier Reef) and Shiraho Reef (Okinawa), and compared to existing data. Future CaCO3 budgets were projected for Lady Elliot Reef, predicting a decline of 53 % from the present value by end-century (800 ppm CO2) without any changes to benthic community composition. A further 5.7 % decline in net CaCO3 production is expected for each 10 % decline in calcifier cover, and net dissolution is predicted by end-century if calcifier cover drops below 18 % of the present extent. These results show the combined negative effect of both declining net calcification rates and changing benthic community composition on reefs and the importance of considering both processes for determining future reef CaCO3 production.

  11. Can the Marine Ecosystem of a Posidonia oceanica Back-reef React and Defend Itself against the Spread of Caulerpa racemosa var. cylindracea?

    OpenAIRE

    Mauro Lenzi; Francesca Birardi; Maria Grazia Finoia

    2013-01-01

    A back-reef of Posidonia oceanica (Santa Liberata, Orbetello, Italy) subject to degradation lost its typical mixed meadow of Cymodocea nodosa, Nanozostera noltii and Caulerpa prolifera and was colonised by the invasive chlorophycea Caulerpa racemosa var. cylindracea (C. racemosa) between 2003 and 2004. When the submerged flora behind the P. oceanica barrier reef was studied between 2005 and 2006, C. racemosa constituted 25% of the macroalgal biomass and showed high cover (>50%). Residual dead...

  12. Wave-induced extreme water levels in the Puerto Morelos fringing reef lagoon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Torres-Freyermuth

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Wave-induced extreme water levels in the Puerto Morelos fringing reef lagoon are investigated by means of a phase-resolving non-hydrostatic wave model (SWASH. This model solves the nonlinear shallow water equations including non-hydrostatic pressure. The one-dimensional version of the model is implemented in order to investigate wave transformation in fringing reefs. Firstly, the numerical model is validated with (i laboratory experiments conducted on a physical model (Demirbilek et al., 2007and (ii field observations (Coronado et al., 2007. Numerical results show good agreement with both experimental and field data. The comparison against the physical model results, for energetic wave conditions, indicates that high- and low-frequency wave transformation is well reproduced. Moreover, extreme water-level conditions measured during the passage of Hurricane Ivan in Puerto Morelos are also estimated by the numerical tool. Subsequently, the model is implemented at different along-reef locations in Puerto Morelos. Extreme water levels, wave-induced setup, and infragravity wave energy are estimated inside the reef lagoon for different storm wave conditions (Hs >2 m. The numerical results revealed a strong correlation between the offshore sea-swell wave energy and the setup. In contrast, infragravity waves are shown to be the result of a more complex pattern which heavily relies on the reef geometry. Indeed, the southern end of the reef lagoon provides evidence of resonance excitation, suggesting that the reef barrier may act as either a natural flood protection morphological feature, or as an inundation hazard enhancer depending on the incident wave conditions.

  13. Effects of alternate reef states on coral reef fish habitat associations

    OpenAIRE

    Lecchini, David; Carassou, Laure; Frederich, Bruno; Nakamura, Yohei; Mills, Suzanne C.; Galzin, René

    2012-01-01

    The present study describes ontogenetic shifts in habitat use for 15 species of coral reef fish at Rangiroa Atoll, French Polynesia. The distribution of fish in different habitats at three ontogenetic stages (new settler, juvenile, and adult) was investigated in coral- dominated and algal-dominated sites at two reefs (fringing reef and inner reef of motu). Three main ontogenetic patterns in habitat use were identified: (1) species that did not change habitats between new settler and juvenile ...

  14. Delineating optimal settlement areas of juvenile reef fish in Ngederrak Reef, Koror state, Republic of Palau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ticzon, Victor S; Foster, Greg; David, Laura T; Mumby, Peter J; Samaniego, Badi R; Madrid, Val Randolf

    2015-01-01

    Establishing the effectiveness of habitat features to act as surrogate measures of diversity and abundance of juvenile reef fish provides information that is critical to coral reef management. When accurately set on a broader spatial context, microhabitat information becomes more meaningful and its management application becomes more explicit. The goal of the study is to identify coral reef areas potentially important to juvenile fishes in Ngederrak Reef, Republic of Palau, across different spatial scales. To achieve this, the study requires the accomplishment of the following tasks: (1) structurally differentiate the general microhabitat types using acoustics; (2) quantify microhabitat association with juvenile reef fish community structure; and (3) conduct spatial analysis of the reef-wide data and locate areas optimal for juvenile reef fish settlement. The results strongly suggest the importance of branching structures in determining species count and abundance of juvenile reef fish at the outer reef slope of Ngederrak Reef. In the acoustic map, the accurate delineation of these features allowed us to identify reef areas with the highest potential to harbor a rich aggregation of juvenile reef fish. Using a developed spatial analysis tool that ranks pixel groups based on user-defined parameters, the reef area near the Western channel of Ngederrak is predicted to have the most robust aggregation of juvenile reef fish. The results have important implications not only in management, but also in modeling the impacts of habitat loss on reef fish community. At least for Ngederrak Reef, the results advanced the utility of acoustic systems in predicting spatial distribution of juvenile fish. PMID:25394769

  15. Genetic markers for antioxidant capacity in a reef-building coral.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Young K; Lundgren, Petra; Lutz, Adrian; Raina, Jean-Baptiste; Howells, Emily J; Paley, Allison S; Willis, Bette L; van Oppen, Madeleine J H

    2016-05-01

    The current lack of understanding of the genetic basis underlying environmental stress tolerance in reef-building corals impairs the development of new management approaches to confronting the global demise of coral reefs. On the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), an approximately 51% decline in coral cover occurred over the period 1985-2012. We conducted a gene-by-environment association analysis across 12° latitude on the GBR, as well as both in situ and laboratory genotype-by-phenotype association analyses. These analyses allowed us to identify alleles at two genetic loci that account for differences in environmental stress tolerance and antioxidant capacity in the common coral Acropora millepora. The effect size for antioxidant capacity was considerable and biologically relevant (32.5 and 14.6% for the two loci). Antioxidant capacity is a critical component of stress tolerance because a multitude of environmental stressors cause increased cellular levels of reactive oxygen species. Our findings provide the first step toward the development of novel coral reef management approaches, such as spatial mapping of stress tolerance for use in marine protected area design, identification of stress-tolerant colonies for assisted migration, and marker-assisted selective breeding to create more tolerant genotypes for restoration of denuded reefs. PMID:27386515

  16. The Microbial Signature Provides Insight into the Mechanistic Basis of Coral Success across Reef Habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leggat, William; Bongaerts, Pim

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT For ecosystems vulnerable to environmental change, understanding the spatiotemporal stability of functionally crucial symbioses is fundamental to determining the mechanisms by which these ecosystems may persist. The coral Pachyseris speciosa is a successful environmental generalist that succeeds in diverse reef habitats. The generalist nature of this coral suggests it may have the capacity to form functionally significant microbial partnerships to facilitate access to a range of nutritional sources within different habitats. Here, we propose that coral is a metaorganism hosting three functionally distinct microbial interactions: a ubiquitous core microbiome of very few symbiotic host-selected bacteria, a microbiome of spatially and/or regionally explicit core microbes filling functional niches (100,000 phylotypes). We find that this coral hosts upwards of 170,000 distinct phylotypes and provide evidence for the persistence of a select group of bacteria in corals across environmental habitats of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. We further show that a higher number of bacteria are consistently associated with corals on mesophotic reefs than on shallow reefs. An increase in microbial diversity with depth suggests reliance by this coral on bacteria for nutrient acquisition on reefs exposed to nutrient upwelling. Understanding the complex microbial communities of host organisms across broad biotic and abiotic environments as functionally distinct microbiomes can provide insight into those interactions that are ubiquitous niche symbioses and those that provide competitive advantage within the hosts’ environment. PMID:27460792

  17. Fifty million years of herbivory on coral reefs: fossils, fish and functional innovations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellwood, D R; Goatley, C H R; Brandl, S J; Bellwood, O

    2014-04-22

    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 long-snouted Eocene species were probably pair-forming, crevice-feeding forms like their Recent counterparts. Although Eocene surgeonfishes likely played a critical role as herbivores during the origins of modern coral reefs, they lacked the novel morphologies seen in modern Acanthurus and Siganus (including eyes positioned high above their low-set mouths). Today, these forms dominate coral reefs in both abundance and species richness and are associated with feeding on shallow, exposed algal turfs. The radiation of these new forms, and their expansion into new habitats in the Oligocene-Miocene, reflects the second phase in the development of fish herbivory on coral reefs that is closely associated with the exploitation of highly productive short algal turfs. PMID:24573852

  18. Modeling Reef Hydrodynamics to Predict Coral Bleaching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bird, James; Steinberg, Craig; Hardy, Tom

    2005-11-01

    The aim of this study is to use environmental physics to predict water temperatures around and within coral reefs. Anomalously warm water is the leading cause for mass coral bleaching; thus a clearer understanding of the oceanographic mechanisms that control reef water temperatures will enable better reef management. In March 1998 a major coral bleaching event occurred at Scott Reef, a 40 km-wide lagoon 300 km off the northwest coast of Australia. Meteorological and coral cover observations were collected before, during, and after the event. In this study, two hydrodynamic models are applied to Scott Reef and validated against oceanographic data collected between March and June 2003. The models are then used to hindcast the reef hydrodynamics that led up to the 1998 bleaching event. Results show a positive correlation between poorly mixed regions and bleaching severity.

  19. ReefLink Database: A decision support tool for Linking Coral Reefs and Society Through Systems Thinking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coral reefs provide the ecological foundation for productive and diverse fish and invertebrate communities that support multibillion dollar reef fishing and tourism industries. Yet reefs are threatened by growing coastal development, climate change, and over-exploitation. A key i...

  20. Coral reefs and their management in Tanzania

    OpenAIRE

    Wagner, G.M.

    2004-01-01

    Coral reefs are very important in Tanzania, both ecologically and socio-economically, as major fishing grounds and tourist attractions. Numerous fringing and patch reefs are located along about two-thirds of Tanzania’s coastline. These reefs have been partially to severely degraded by human (primarily destructive fishing practices) and natural (particularly coral bleaching) causes. These immediate human causes have been brought about by various socioeconomic root causes, particularly poverty ...

  1. Habitat heterogeneity reflected in mesophotic reef sediments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weinstein, D. K.; Klaus, J. S.; Smith, T. B.

    2015-11-01

    Modern reef sediments reflect the physical and chemical characteristics of the environment as well as the local reef fauna. Analysis of sedimentary reef facies can thus provide a powerful tool in interpreting ancient reef deposits. However, few studies have attempted to differentiate sedimentary facies in mesophotic coral ecosystems, low light habitats defined as residing 30-150 m below sea level. The low-angle shelf mesophotic coral ecosystem south of the northern U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) consists of reefs with different structural characteristics ideal for studying the relationship between habitat variability and sedimentary facies. Textural, compositional, and geochemical analyses of surface sediments were used to identify mesophotic reef subfacies associated with distinct benthic communities and structural habitats. Sediment grain composition and bulk geochemistry were found to broadly record the distribution and abundance of coral and macroalgae communities, foundational mesophotic reef benthic organisms. Overall, sediment composition was found to be a good indicator of specific reef environments in low-angle mesophotic reef habitats. Sedimentological analyses indicate that hydrodynamic forces do not transport a significant amount of allochthonous sediment or potentially harmful terrigenous material to USVI mesophotic reefs. Episodic, maximum current velocities prevented deposition of most silt-size grains and smaller, but biological processes were found to have a greater influence on subfacies partitioning than hydrodynamic processes. Results provide a new analog for studies of ancient mesophotic coral ecosystem geological history and document the relationship between mesophotic reef subfacies, structural complexity, and habitat heterogeneity. They also demonstrate how mesophotic reefs along the same shelf system do not always share similar sedimentary characteristics and thus record a diverse set of ecological and environmental conditions.

  2. Linking coral reef health and human welfare

    OpenAIRE

    Walsh, Sheila Marie

    2009-01-01

    Globally, 7̃00 million people depend on coral reef goods and services. However, over half of coral reefs are threatened due to global warming, fishing, and nutrient pollution. Using ecological and economic methods, I evaluated 1) the ecosystem-scale effects of fishing and nutrients, 2) the effects of fishing on condition and reproduction in a reef fish community, and 3) an integrated conservation and development program (ICDP). The Republic of Kiribati, Central Pacific, provided two natural e...

  3. Ocean acidification impairs vermetid reef recruitment

    OpenAIRE

    Milazzo, Marco; Rodolfo-Metalpa, Riccardo; Chan, Vera Bin San; Fine, Maoz; Alessi, Cinzia; Thiyagarajan, Vengatesen; Hall-Spencer, Jason M.; Chemello, Renato

    2014-01-01

    Vermetids form reefs in sub-tropical and warm-temperate waters that protect coasts from erosion, regulate sediment transport and accumulation, serve as carbon sinks and provide habitat for other species. The gastropods that form these reefs brood encapsulated larvae; they are threatened by rapid environmental changes since their ability to disperse is very limited. We used transplant experiments along a natural CO2 gradient to assess ocean acidification effects on the reef-building gastropod ...

  4. Impact of Global Warming on Coral Reefs

    OpenAIRE

    Sirilak CHUMKIEW; Mullica JAROENSUTASINEE; Krisanadej JAROENSUTASINEE

    2011-01-01

    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 s...

  5. 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.

  6. Climate-change refugia: shading reef corals by turbidity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cacciapaglia, Chris; van Woesik, Robert

    2016-03-01

    Coral reefs have recently experienced an unprecedented decline as the world's oceans continue to warm. Yet global climate models reveal a heterogeneously warming ocean, which has initiated a search for refuges, where corals may survive in the near future. We hypothesized that some turbid nearshore environments may act as climate-change refuges, shading corals from the harmful interaction between high sea-surface temperatures and high irradiance. We took a hierarchical Bayesian approach to determine the expected distribution of 12 coral species in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, between the latitudes 37°N and 37°S, under representative concentration pathway 8.5 (W m(-2) ) by 2100. The turbid nearshore refuges identified in this study were located between latitudes 20-30°N and 15-25°S, where there was a strong coupling between turbidity and tidal fluctuations. Our model predicts that turbidity will mitigate high temperature bleaching for 9% of shallow reef habitat (to 30 m depth) - habitat that was previously considered inhospitable under ocean warming. Our model also predicted that turbidity will protect some coral species more than others from climate-change-associated thermal stress. We also identified locations where consistently high turbidity will likely reduce irradiance to Japan), eastern Vietnam, western and eastern Australia, New Caledonia, the northern Red Sea, and the Arabian Gulf, should become part of a judicious global strategy for reef-coral persistence under climate change. PMID:26695523

  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. Kenya, Reef Status And Ecology

    OpenAIRE

    Mdodo, R.; Uku, J.N.; Obura, D.; Wawiye, P.; Mwachireya, S.

    2000-01-01

    Coral reefs along the entire coast of Kenya suffered widespread bleaching and mortality of corals during the first half of 1998 (Wilkinson, 1998; Obura, 1999; McClanahan et al., 1999). This status report summarises findings relating specifically to coral bleaching, mortality and effects on benthic community structure. In addition, preliminary results from a number of research projects investigating different aspects of the bleaching event are reported here. In shallow waters, on a per-area ba...

  9. Influence of reef geometry on wave attenuation on a Brazilian coral reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Mirella B. S. F.; Araújo, Moacyr; Araújo, Tereza C. M.; Siegle, Eduardo

    2016-01-01

    This study presents data from field experiments that focus on the influence of coral reef geometry on wave transformation in the Metropolitan Area of Recife (MAR) on the northeast coast of Brazil. First, a detailed bathymetric survey was conducted, revealing a submerged reef bank, measuring 18 km long by 1 km wide, parallel to the coastline with a quasi-horizontal top that varies from 0.5 m to 4 m in depth at low tide. Cluster similarity between 180 reef profiles indicates that in 75% of the area, the reef geometry has a configuration similar to a platform reef, whereas in 25% of the area it resembles a fringing reef. Measurements of wave pressure fluctuations were made at two stations (experiments E1 and E2) across the reef profile. The results indicate that wave height was tidally modulated at both experimental sites. Up to 67% (E1) and 99.9% (E2) of the incident wave height is attenuated by the reef top at low tide. This tidal modulation is most apparent at E2 due to reef geometry. At this location, the reef top is only approximately 0.5 m deep during mean low spring water, and almost all incident waves break on the outer reef edge. At E1, the reef top depth is 4 m, and waves with height ratios smaller than the critical breaking limit are free to pass onto the reef and are primarily attenuated by bottom friction. These results highlight the importance of reef geometry in controlling wave characteristics of the MAR beaches and demonstrate its effect on the morphology of the adjacent coast. Implications of differences in wave attenuation and the level of protection provided by the reefs to the adjacent shoreline are discussed.

  10. Satellite tracking of harbour seals on Horns Reef - Use of the Horns Reef wind farm area and the North Sea

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ten harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) caught on the Danish Wadden Sea island Roemoe were equipped with satellite linked time depth recorders. The animals were caught on three separate occasions (Jan. 4th, Feb. 18th and May 6th, 2002). The transmitters worked between 49 and 100 days, relaying positional and dive information back via the ARGOS satellite service until beginning of July. Background for the studies is the construction of the Worlds largest off shore wind farm on Horns Reef. Based on previous studies using VHF-transmitters, it was expected that the seals would spend considerable time on Horns Reef. The VHF-telemetry studies showed that the preferred direction for seals leaving the Danish Wadden Sea is NW from Graedyb tidal area outside Esbjerg, the direction directly towards the wind farm area. The previously used VHF-transmitters had a limited detection range and it was decided to equip a number of seals from the same area as before with satellite transmitters. This allows for positioning of the seals in the entire North Sea as well as providing dive summary information, as a transmitter with a depth transducer was chosen for the study. Positional information revealed that animals move about more extensively than previously believed. Substantial variation between animals was observed and each seal seemed to have adopted its own foraging strategy. Some animals travelled to the centre of the North Sea on foraging trips and spent considerable time close to the bottom at 30-70 meters depth. Other seals remained in the German Bight and yet others spent considerable time on and around Horns Reef. The area of Horns reef wind farm constitutes a negligible fraction of the total area visited by the tagged seals. The reef as a whole however, appears to be important to the seals both for foraging and as transit area to other feeding grounds further off shore. The resolution in positional information is not sufficiently high to allow for a detailed study of the effects

  11. Satellite tracking of harbour seals on Horns Reef - Use of the Horns Reef wind farm area and the North Sea

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tougaard, J.; Tougaard, S.; Jensen, Thyge [Fisheries and Maritime Museum Esbjerg (Denmark); Ebbesen, I. [Univ. of Sourthern Denmark, Inst. of Biology, Odense (Denmark); Teilmann, J. [NationL Environmental Res. Inst., Roskidle (Denmark)

    2003-03-15

    Ten harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) caught on the Danish Wadden Sea island Roemoe were equipped with satellite linked time depth recorders. The animals were caught on three separate occasions (Jan. 4th, Feb. 18th and May 6th, 2002). The transmitters worked between 49 and 100 days, relaying positional and dive information back via the ARGOS satellite service until beginning of July. Background for the studies is the construction of the Worlds largest off shore wind farm on Horns Reef. Based on previous studies using VHF-transmitters, it was expected that the seals would spend considerable time on Horns Reef. The VHF-telemetry studies showed that the preferred direction for seals leaving the Danish Wadden Sea is NW from Graedyb tidal area outside Esbjerg, the direction directly towards the wind farm area. The previously used VHF-transmitters had a limited detection range and it was decided to equip a number of seals from the same area as before with satellite transmitters. This allows for positioning of the seals in the entire North Sea as well as providing dive summary information, as a transmitter with a depth transducer was chosen for the study. Positional information revealed that animals move about more extensively than previously believed. Substantial variation between animals was observed and each seal seemed to have adopted its own foraging strategy. Some animals travelled to the centre of the North Sea on foraging trips and spent considerable time close to the bottom at 30-70 meters depth. Other seals remained in the German Bight and yet others spent considerable time on and around Horns Reef. The area of Horns reef wind farm constitutes a negligible fraction of the total area visited by the tagged seals. The reef as a whole however, appears to be important to the seals both for foraging and as transit area to other feeding grounds further off shore. The resolution in positional information is not sufficiently high to allow for a detailed study of the effects

  12. Status of Coral Reefs in the Western Indian Ocean and Evolving Coral Reef Programmes.

    OpenAIRE

    Salm, Rod; Muthiga, Nyawira; Muhando, Chris

    1998-01-01

    The region has all reef types from atolls to fringing reefs with many endemic species shared within the Western Indian Ocean (WIO), which suggests that the reefs are linked by currents to make this a discrete biogeographic region. This also means there is a need for regional collaboration among the ten WIO states to manage these reefs. Reef management is not well developed in the WIO, and is focused at the site rather than at national or regional levels. Poorly regulated fisheries and coastal...

  13. How accessible are coral reefs to people? A global assessment based on travel time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maire, Eva; Cinner, Joshua; Velez, Laure; Huchery, Cindy; Mora, Camilo; Dagata, Stephanie; Vigliola, Laurent; Wantiez, Laurent; Kulbicki, Michel; Mouillot, David

    2016-04-01

    The depletion of natural resources has become a major issue in many parts of the world, with the most accessible resources being most at risk. In the terrestrial realm, resource depletion has classically been related to accessibility through road networks. In contrast, in the marine realm, the impact on living resources is often framed into the Malthusian theory of human density around ecosystems. Here, we develop a new framework to estimate the accessibility of global coral reefs using potential travel time from the nearest human settlement or market. We show that 58% of coral reefs are located resources. PMID:26879898

  14. Benthic buffers and boosters of ocean acidification on coral reefs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. R. N. Anthony

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Ocean acidification is a threat to marine ecosystems globally. In shallow-water systems, however, ocean acidification can be masked by benthic carbon fluxes, depending on community composition, seawater residence time, and the magnitude and balance of net community production (pn and calcification (gn. Here, we examine how six benthic groups from a coral reef environment on Heron Reef (Great Barrier Reef, Australia contribute to changes in seawater aragonite saturation state (Ωa. Results of flume studies showed a hierarchy of responses across groups, depending on CO2 level, time of day and water flow. At low CO2 (350–450 μatm, macroalgae (Chnoospora implexa, turfs and sand elevated Ωa of the flume water by around 0.10 to 1.20 h−1 – normalised to contributions from 1 m2 of benthos to a 1 m deep water column. The rate of Ωa increase in these groups was doubled under acidification (560–700 μatm and high flow (35 compared to 8 cm s−1. In contrast, branching corals (Acropora aspera increased Ωa by 0.25 h−1 at ambient CO2 (350–450 μatm during the day, but reduced Ωa under acidification and high flow. Nighttime changes in Ωa by corals were highly negative (0.6–0.8 h−1 and exacerbated by acidification. Calcifying macroalgae (Halimeda spp. raised Ωa by day (by around 0.13 h−1, but lowered Ωa by a similar or higher amount at night. Analyses of carbon flux contributions from four different benthic compositions to the reef water carbon chemistry across Heron Reef flat and lagoon indicated that the net lowering of Ωa by coral-dominated areas can to some extent be countered by long water residence times in neighbouring areas dominated by turfs, macroalgae and potentially sand.

  15. NON-TARIFF TRADE BARRIERS IN AGRICULTURE

    OpenAIRE

    Mattson, Jeremy W.; Koo, Won W.; Taylor, Richard D.

    2004-01-01

    As trade agreements lower tariff rates throughout the world, other barriers to trade emerge. These non-tariff barriers can be just as troublesome for exporting companies. Non-tariff barriers include technical measures, customs rules and procedures, transport regulations or costs, lack of knowledge of regional markets, and import policies. The objective of this study is to identify non-tariff barriers faced by U.S., and more specifically North Dakota, exporting businesses, especially those inv...

  16. Coral reef evolution on rapidly subsiding margins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webster, J.M.; Braga, J.C.; Clague, D.A.; Gallup, C.; Hein, J.R.; Potts, D.C.; Renema, W.; Riding, R.; Riker-Coleman, K.; Silver, E.; Wallace, L.M.

    2009-01-01

    A series of well-developed submerged coral reefs are preserved in the Huon Gulf (Papua New Guinea) and around Hawaii. Despite different tectonics settings, both regions have experienced rapid subsidence (2-6??m/ka) over the last 500??ka. Rapid subsidence, combined with eustatic sea-level changes, is responsible for repeated drowning and backstepping of coral reefs over this period. Because we can place quantitative constraints on these systems (i.e., reef drowning age, eustatic sea-level changes, subsidence rates, accretion rates, basement substrates, and paleobathymetry), these areas represent unique natural laboratories for exploring the roles of tectonics, reef accretion, and eustatic sea-level changes in controlling the evolution of individual reefs, as well as backstepping of the entire system. A review of new and existing bathymetric, radiometric, sedimentary facies and numerical modeling data indicate that these reefs have had long, complex growth histories and that they are highly sensitive, recording drowning not only during major deglaciations, but also during high-frequency, small-amplitude interstadial and deglacial meltwater pulse events. Analysis of five generalized sedimentary facies shows that reef drowning is characterized by a distinct biological and sedimentary sequence. Observational and numerical modeling data indicate that on precessional (20??ka) and sub-orbital timescales, the rate and amplitude of eustatic sea-level changes are critical in controlling initiation, growth, drowning or sub-aerial exposure, subsequent re-initiation, and final drowning. However, over longer timescales (> 100-500??ka) continued tectonic subsidence and basement substrate morphology influence broad scale reef morphology and backstepping geometries. Drilling of these reefs will yield greatly expanded stratigraphic sections compared with similar reefs on slowly subsiding, stable and uplifting margins, and thus they represent a unique archive of sea-level and climate

  17. Coral reef ecosystem decline: changing dynamics of coral reef carbonate production and implications for reef growth potential

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, Chris

    2016-04-01

    Global-scale deteriorations in coral reef health have caused major shifts in species composition and are likely to be exacerbated by climate change. It has been suggested that one effect of these ecological changes will be to lower reef carbonate production rates, which will impair reef growth potential and, ultimately, may lead to states of net reef erosion. However, quantitative data to support such assertions are limited, and linkages between the ecological state of coral reefs and their past and present geomorphic performance (in other words their growth potential) are poorly resolved. Using recently collected data from sites in the Caribbean and Indian Ocean, and which have undergone very different post-disturbance ecological trajectories over the last ~20-30 years, the differential impacts of disturbance on contemporary carbonate production regimes and on reef growth potential can be explored. In the Caribbean, a region which has been severely impacted ecological over the last 30+ years, our datasets show that average carbonate production rates on reefs are now less than 50% of pre-disturbance rates, and that calculated accretion rates (mm yr-1) are an about order of magnitude lower within shallow water habitats compared to Holocene averages. Collectively, these data suggest that recent ecological declines are now propagating through the system to impact on the geomorphic performance of Caribbean reefs and will impair their future growth potential. In contrast, the carbonate budgets of most reefs across the Chagos archipelago (central Indian Ocean), which is geographically remote and largely isolated from direct human disturbances, have recovered rapidly from major past disturbances (specifically the 1998 coral bleaching event). The carbonate budgets on these remote reefs now average +3.7 G (G = kg CaCO3 m-2 yr-1). Most significantly the production rates on Acropora-dominated reefs, which were most severely impacted by the 1998 bleaching event, average +8.4 G

  18. Project O.R.B (Operation Reef Ball): Creating Artificial Reefs, Educating the Community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phipps, A.

    2012-04-01

    The Project O.R.B. (Operation Reef Ball) team at South Plantation High School's Everglades Restoration & Environmental Science Magnet Program is trying to help our ailing south Florida coral reefs by constructing, deploying, and monitoring designed artificial reefs. Students partnered with the Reef Ball Foundation, local concrete companies, state parks, Girl Scouts, Sea Scouts, local universities and environmental agencies to construct concrete reef balls, each weighing approximately 500 lbs (227 kg). Students then deployed two artificial reefs consisting of over 30 concrete reef balls in two sites previously permitted for artificial reef deployment. One artificial reef was placed approximately 1.5 miles (2.4 km) offshore of Golden Beach in Miami-Dade County with the assistance of Florida Atlantic University and their research vessel. A twin reef was deployed at the mouth of the river in Oleta River State Park in Miami. Monitoring and maintenance of the sites is ongoing with semi-annual reports due to the Reef Ball Foundation and DERM (Department of Environmental Resource Management) of Miami-Dade County. A second goal of Project O.R.B. is aligned with the Florida Local Action Strategy, the Southeast Florida Coral Reef Initiative, and the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force, all of which point out the importance of awareness and education as key components to the health of our coral reefs. Project O.R.B. team members developed and published an activity book targeting elementary school students. Outreach events incorporate cascade learning where high school students teach elementary and middle school students about various aspects of coral reefs through interactive "edu-tainment" modules. Attendees learn about water sampling, salinity, beach erosion, surface runoff, water cycle, ocean zones, anatomy of coral, human impact on corals, and characteristics of a well-designed artificial reef. Middle school students snorkel on the artificial reef to witness first-hand the success

  19. World Literature - World Culture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offering their own twenty-first-century perspectives - across generations, nationalities and disciplines -, the contributors to this anthology explore the idea of world literature for what it may add of new connections and itineraries to the study of literature and culture today. Covering a vast ...... historical material these essays, by a diverse group of scholars, examine the pioneers of world literature and the roles played by translation, migration and literary institutions in the circulation and reception of both national and cosmopolitan literatures....

  20. A cross-ocean comparison of responses to settlement cues in reef-building corals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah W. Davies

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Caribbean coral reefs have deteriorated substantially over the past 30 years, which is broadly attributable to the effects of global climate change. In the same time, Indo-Pacific reefs maintain higher coral cover and typically recover rapidly after disturbances. This difference in reef resilience is largely due to much higher coral recruitment rates in the Pacific. We hypothesized that the lack of Caribbean recruitment might be explained by diminishing quality of settlement cues and/or impaired sensitivity of Caribbean coral larvae to those cues, relative to the Pacific. To evaluate this hypothesis, we assembled a collection of bulk samples of reef encrusting communities, mostly consisting of crustose coralline algae (CCA, from various reefs around the world and tested them as settlement cues for several coral species originating from different ocean provinces. Cue samples were meta-barcoded to evaluate their taxonomic diversity. We observed no systematic differences either in cue potency or in strength of larval responses depending on the ocean province, and no preference of coral larvae towards cues from the same ocean. Instead, we detected significant differences in cue preferences among coral species, even for corals originating from the same reef. We conclude that the region-wide disruption of the settlement process is unlikely to be the major cause of Caribbean reef loss. However, due to their high sensitivity to the effects of climate change, shifts in the composition of CCA-associated communities, combined with pronounced differences in cue preferences among coral species, could substantially influence future coral community structure.

  1. Threshold Effects in Coral Reef Fisheries

    OpenAIRE

    Crépin, Anne Sophie

    2003-01-01

    Coral reefs may naturally flip between coral-dominated and algae-dominated states, when species' stocks trespass some threshold levels. This essay uses a stylized model of a coral reef to show how fishing may induce flips towards more algae-dominated states. Threshold effects have consequences for fisheries management, which are analyzed for open access fisheries and sole ownership.

  2. Dominion reef group, Western Transvaal, South Africa

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Dominion Reef Group, disconformably overlain by the Witwatersrand Supergroup, outcrops in four separate areas in the Western Transvaal, Republic of South Africa. It consists essentially of a basal sedimentary formation as much as 90 m thick, which contains two important uranium-bearing quartz-pebble conglomerates known as the Upper Reef and the Lower Reef; an intermediate formation of altered andesitic lava flows as much as 650 m thick with some intercalated beds of tuff; and an upper formation of altered cherty rhyolites and dacites with a thickness of at least 1500 m. The basal sedimentary formation of the Dominion Reef Group represents the earliest sedimentation in the region (>2800 million years) predating that of the Lower Witwatersrand Group (>2700 million years). This paper is devoted mainly to a description of the auriferous reefs, their depositional environment, pay streaks that are a feature of these reefs, their mineralogy, and the highly mineralized, pebbly, silicified sandstone known as the Pay Band present near the top of the Upper Reef. The relation of ore deposits to structures, and the possible source of the uranium, are discussed. Reasons are given why a hydrothermal origin for the presence of uranium in the reefs is thought to be untenable

  3. REEF MANAGER'S GUIDE TO CORAL BLEACHING

    Science.gov (United States)

    A Reef Manager's Guide to Coral Bleaching is the result of a collaborative effort by over 50 scientists and managers to: (1) engage in information-sharing in the areas of coral reef science and management for climate change and coral bleaching; and (2) compile a management tool ...

  4. A review of coral reef restoration techniques

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meesters, H.W.G.; Smith, S.R.; Becking, L.E.

    2015-01-01

    In this review the following three reef restoration techniques are discussed: 1. Coral gardening, 2. Larval seeding, and 3. Reef balls. In this report we provide a description of each method and review the pro/cons using the following criteria: 1. Survival of fragments and larvae before transplantat

  5. Disease of coral and coral reef fishes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panek, Frank

    2008-01-01

    The Department of the Interior protects sensitive habitats amounting to about 3,600,000 acres of coral reefs and other submerged lands. These reefs are important ecosystems in 13 National Wildlife Refuges, 10 National Parks and in certain territorial waters such as the Wake Atoll.

  6. 78 FR 67128 - Coral Reef Conservation Program; Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-11-08

    ... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Coral Reef Conservation Program; Meeting AGENCY: Coral Reef... of public comment. SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given of a public meeting of the U.S. Coral Reef Task... to do so. Established by Presidential Executive Order 13089 in 1998, the U.S. Coral Reef Task...

  7. Global Human Footprint on the Linkage between Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning in Reef Fishes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mora, Camilo; Aburto-Oropeza, Octavio; Ayala Bocos, Arturo; Ayotte, Paula M.; Banks, Stuart; Bauman, Andrew G.; Beger, Maria; Bessudo, Sandra; Booth, David J.; Brokovich, Eran; Brooks, Andrew; Chabanet, Pascale; Cinner, Joshua E.; Cortés, Jorge; Cruz-Motta, Juan J.; Cupul Magaña, Amilcar; DeMartini, Edward E.; Edgar, Graham J.; Feary, David A.; Ferse, Sebastian C. A.; Friedlander, Alan M.; Gaston, Kevin J.; Gough, Charlotte; Graham, Nicholas A. J.; Green, Alison; Guzman, Hector; Hardt, Marah; Kulbicki, Michel; Letourneur, Yves; López Pérez, Andres; Loreau, Michel; Loya, Yossi; Martinez, Camilo; Mascareñas-Osorio, Ismael; Morove, Tau; Nadon, Marc-Olivier; Nakamura, Yohei; Paredes, Gustavo; Polunin, Nicholas V. C.; Pratchett, Morgan S.; Reyes Bonilla, Héctor; Rivera, Fernando; Sala, Enric; Sandin, Stuart A.; Soler, German; Stuart-Smith, Rick; Tessier, Emmanuel; Tittensor, Derek P.; Tupper, Mark; Usseglio, Paolo; Vigliola, Laurent; Wantiez, Laurent; Williams, Ivor; Wilson, Shaun K.; Zapata, Fernando A.

    2011-01-01

    Difficulties in scaling up theoretical and experimental results have raised controversy over the consequences of biodiversity loss for the functioning of natural ecosystems. Using a global survey of reef fish assemblages, we show that in contrast to previous theoretical and experimental studies, ecosystem functioning (as measured by standing biomass) scales in a non-saturating manner with biodiversity (as measured by species and functional richness) in this ecosystem. Our field study also shows a significant and negative interaction between human population density and biodiversity on ecosystem functioning (i.e., for the same human density there were larger reductions in standing biomass at more diverse reefs). Human effects were found to be related to fishing, coastal development, and land use stressors, and currently affect over 75% of the world's coral reefs. Our results indicate that the consequences of biodiversity loss in coral reefs have been considerably underestimated based on existing knowledge and that reef fish assemblages, particularly the most diverse, are greatly vulnerable to the expansion and intensity of anthropogenic stressors in coastal areas. PMID:21483714

  8. Global human footprint on the linkage between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in reef fishes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Camilo Mora

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Difficulties in scaling up theoretical and experimental results have raised controversy over the consequences of biodiversity loss for the functioning of natural ecosystems. Using a global survey of reef fish assemblages, we show that in contrast to previous theoretical and experimental studies, ecosystem functioning (as measured by standing biomass scales in a non-saturating manner with biodiversity (as measured by species and functional richness in this ecosystem. Our field study also shows a significant and negative interaction between human population density and biodiversity on ecosystem functioning (i.e., for the same human density there were larger reductions in standing biomass at more diverse reefs. Human effects were found to be related to fishing, coastal development, and land use stressors, and currently affect over 75% of the world's coral reefs. Our results indicate that the consequences of biodiversity loss in coral reefs have been considerably underestimated based on existing knowledge and that reef fish assemblages, particularly the most diverse, are greatly vulnerable to the expansion and intensity of anthropogenic stressors in coastal areas.

  9. Modelling reef zonation in the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park, South Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schleyer, Michael H.; Celliers, Louis

    2005-05-01

    East Africa has a rich coral fauna that extends to Maputaland in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. At this latitude, considered high and marginal for coral distribution and development, they form a veneer on limited, late Pleistocene reefs rather than forming the accretive, aragonite structures known as coral reefs. It is thus more appropriate to refer to them in this region as coral communities, the environment being rendered marginal for their development by reduced temperatures, light and aragonite saturation state. Subsequent to their discovery, the reefs were afforded protection within two Marine Protected Areas (the St Lucia and Maputaland Marine Reserves). They are found primarily within three reef complexes, with only the central complex being readily accessible to the public for ecotourism at present. With the creation of the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park, a World Heritage Site, and the expectation of an accompanying increase in ecotourism, the status quo seems set to change. The reefs are thus the current focus of a modelling initiative to provide decision support in their management. This paper examines the unique nature of the South African communities, their vulnerability and importance in the regional and global context, and, using representative data from the model, how an anticipated increase in their use could affect their sustainability. The case for scientifically based zonation for their use is presented.

  10. Assessment of human activities impact on groundwater quality discharging into a reef lagoon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rebolledo-Vieyra, M.; Hernandez, L.; Paytan, A.; Merino-Ibarra, M.; Lecossec, A.; Soto, M.

    2010-03-01

    The Eastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula has the fastest growth rate in Mexico and groundwater is the only source of drinking water in the region. The consequences of the lack of proper infrastructure to collect and treat wastewater and the impact of human activities on the quality of groundwater are addressed. The groundwater in the coastal aquifer of Quintana Roo (SE Mexico) discharges directly into the ocean (Submarine Groundwater Discharges). In addition, the coral reef of the Eastern Yucatan Peninsula is part of the Mesoamerican Coral Reef System, one of the largest in the world. The interaction of the reef-lagoon hydraulics with the coastal aquifer of Puerto Morelos (NE Yucatan Peninsula), and a major input of NH4, SO4, SiO2, as a consequence of the use of septic tanks and the lack of modern wastewater treatment plants are presented. A conceptual model of the coastal aquifer was developed, in order to explain how the human activities are impacting directly on the groundwater quality that, potentially, will have a direct impact on the coral reef. The protection and conservation of coral reefs must be directly related with a policy of sound management of coastal aquifers and wastewater treatment.

  11. Diversity among macroalgae-consuming fishes on coral reefs: a transcontinental comparison.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adriana Vergés

    Full Text Available Despite high diversity and abundance of nominally herbivorous fishes on coral reefs, recent studies indicate that only a small subset of taxa are capable of removing dominant macroalgae once these become established. This limited functional redundancy highlights the potential vulnerability of coral reefs to disturbance and stresses the need to assess the functional role of individual species of herbivores. However, our knowledge of species-specific patterns in macroalgal consumption is limited geographically, and there is a need to determine the extent to which patterns observed in specific reefs can be generalised at larger spatial scales. In this study, video cameras were used to quantify rates of macroalgae consumption by fishes in two coral reefs located at a similar latitude in opposite sides of Australia: the Keppel Islands in the Great Barrier Reef (eastern coast and Ningaloo Reef (western coast. The community of nominally herbivorous fish was also characterised in both systems to determine whether potential differences in the species observed feeding on macroalgae were related to spatial dissimilarities in herbivore community composition. The total number of species observed biting on the dominant brown alga Sargassum myriocystum differed dramatically among the two systems, with 23 species feeding in Ningaloo, compared with just 8 in the Keppel Islands. Strong differences were also found in the species composition and total biomass of nominally herbivorous fish, which was an order of magnitude higher in Ningaloo. However, despite such marked differences in the diversity, biomass, and community composition of resident herbivorous fishes, Sargassum consumption was dominated by only four species in both systems, with Naso unicornis and Kyphosus vaigiensis consistently emerging as dominant feeders of macroalgae.

  12. Management under uncertainty: guide-lines for incorporating connectivity into the protection of coral reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCook, L. J.; Almany, G. R.; Berumen, M. L.; Day, J. C.; Green, A. L.; Jones, G. P.; Leis, J. M.; Planes, S.; Russ, G. R.; Sale, P. F.; Thorrold, S. R.

    2009-06-01

    The global decline in coral reefs demands urgent management strategies to protect resilience. Protecting ecological connectivity, within and among reefs, and between reefs and other ecosystems is critical to resilience. However, connectivity science is not yet able to clearly identify the specific measures for effective protection of connectivity. This article aims to provide a set of principles or practical guidelines that can be applied currently to protect connectivity. These ‘rules of thumb’ are based on current knowledge and expert opinion, and on the philosophy that, given the urgency, it is better to act with incomplete knowledge than to wait for detailed understanding that may come too late. The principles, many of which are not unique to connectivity, include: (1) allow margins of error in extent and nature of protection, as insurance against unforeseen or incompletely understood threats or critical processes; (2) spread risks among areas; (3) aim for networks of protected areas which are: (a) comprehensive and spread—protect all biotypes, habitats and processes, etc., to capture as many possible connections, known and unknown; (b) adequate—maximise extent of protection for each habitat type, and for the entire region; (c) representative—maximise likelihood of protecting the full range of processes and spatial requirements; (d) replicated—multiple examples of biotypes or processes enhances risk spreading; (4) protect entire biological units where possible (e.g. whole reefs), including buffers around core areas. Otherwise, choose bigger rather than smaller areas; (5) provide for connectivity at a wide range of dispersal distances (within and between patches), emphasising distances principles to coral reef management in the Bohol Sea (Philippines), the Great Barrier Reef (Australia) and Kimbe Bay (Papua New Guinea) are described.

  13. A Global Estimate of the Number of Coral Reef Fishers

    OpenAIRE

    Teh, Louise S. L.; Lydia C. L. Teh; Sumaila, U. Rashid

    2013-01-01

    Overfishing threatens coral reefs worldwide, yet there is no reliable estimate on the number of reef fishers globally. We address this data gap by quantifying the number of reef fishers on a global scale, using two approaches - the first estimates reef fishers as a proportion of the total number of marine fishers in a country, based on the ratio of reef-related to total marine fish landed values. The second estimates reef fishers as a function of coral reef area, rural coastal population, and...

  14. Coral reef research in India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Wafar, M.V.M.

    area of the coastline gets lost every year. Some of the remedial measures to control erosion have also been indicated. The second article on Deep Sea Mining is of great potential value for the future. The polymetallic nodules which cover a very large... in the country who has developed interest on corals and coral reefs is the author of the present article Dr. M.V.M. Wafar. His article is followed by an account on microbes which play a very important ecological role in the marine environment, including...

  15. Re-Creating Missing Population Baselines for Pacific Reef Sharks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nadon, Marc O; Baum, Julia K; Williams, Ivor D; Mcpherson, Jana M; Zgliczynski, Brian J; Richards, Benjamin L; Schroeder, Robert E; Brainard, Russell E

    2012-01-01

    Summary Abstract Sharks and other large predators are scarce on most coral reefs, but studies of their historical ecology provide qualitative evidence that predators were once numerous in these ecosystems. Quantifying density of sharks in the absence of humans (baseline) is, however, hindered by a paucity of pertinent time-series data. Recently researchers have used underwater visual surveys, primarily of limited spatial extent or nonstandard design, to infer negative associations between reef shark abundance and human populations. We analyzed data from 1607 towed-diver surveys (>1 ha transects surveyed by observers towed behind a boat) conducted at 46 reefs in the central-western Pacific Ocean, reefs that included some of the world's most pristine coral reefs. Estimates of shark density from towed-diver surveys were substantially lower (base) es obstaculizada por la falta de datos de series de tiempo pertinentes. Recientemente, los investigadores han utilizado muestreos visuales submarinos, de extensión espacial limitada o de diseño no estándar, para inferir asociaciones negativas entre la abundancia de tiburones de arrecife y las poblaciones humanas. Analizamos datos de 1607 muestreos por remolque de buzos (transectos >1ha muestreados por observadores remolcados por una lancha) realizados en 46 arrecifes en el Océano Pacífico centro-occidental, arrecifes que incluyeron algunos de los más prístinos del mundo. Las estimaciones de densidad de tiburones fue sustancialmente menor (<10%) que estimaciones publicadas a partir de muestreos a lo largo de transectos pequeños (<0.02 ha), lo cual no es consistente con las pirámides de biomasa invertidas (la biomasa de depredadores es mayor que la biomasa de presas) reportadas para arrecifes prístinos por otros autores. Examinamos la relación entre la densidad de tiburones de arrecife observados en los muestreos por remolque de buzos y la población humana en modelos y consideramos la influencia de la productividad

  16. Sediment suppresses herbivory across a coral reef depth gradient

    OpenAIRE

    Goatley, Christopher H. R.; Bellwood, David R.

    2012-01-01

    Sediments are a ubiquitous feature of all coral reefs, yet our understanding of how they affect complex ecological processes on coral reefs is limited. Sediment in algal turfs has been shown to suppress herbivory by coral reef fishes on high-sediment, low-herbivory reef flats. Here, we investigate the role of sediment in suppressing herbivory across a depth gradient (reef base, crest and flat) by observing fish feeding following benthic sediment reductions. We found that sediment suppresses h...

  17. Information barriers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    An information barrier (IB) consists of procedures and technology that prevent the release of sensitive information during a joint inspection of a sensitive nuclear item, and provides confidence that the measurement system into which it has been integrated functions exactly as designed and constructed. Work in the U.S. on radiation detection system information barriers dates back at least to 1990, even though the term is more recent. In January 1999, an Information Barrier Working Group (IBWG) was formed in the United States to help coordinate technical efforts related to information barrier research and development (R and D). This paper presents an overview of the efforts of this group, by its present and former Chairs, as well as recommendations for further information barrier R and D. Progress on the demonstration of monitoring systems containing IBs is also provided. From the U.S. IBWG perspective, the top-level functional requirements for the information barrier portion of an integrated radiation signature-information barrier inspection system are twofold: The host must be assured that its classified information is protected from disclosure to the inspecting party; and The inspecting party must be confident that the integrated inspection system measures, processes, and presents the radiation-signature-based measurement conclusion in an accurate and reproducible manner. It is the position in the United States that in the absence of any agreement to share classified nuclear weapons design information while implementing an inspection regime, the need to protect host country classified warhead design information is paramount and overrules the need to provide confidence to the inspecting party regarding the accuracy and reproducibility of the measurements. The U.S. IBWG has reached a consensus on several critical design elements that define a general standard for radiation signature information barrier design. Technical specialists from cooperating parties must be

  18. Estimating the willingness to pay to protect coral reefs from potential damage caused by climate change--The evidence from Taiwan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tseng, William Wei-Chun; Hsu, Shu-Han; Chen, Chi-Chung

    2015-12-30

    Coral reefs constitute the most biologically productive and diverse ecosystem, and provide various goods and services including those related to fisheries, marine tourism, coastal protection, and medicine. However, they are sensitive to climate change and rising temperatures. Taiwan is located in the central part of the world's distribution of coral reefs and has about one third of the coral species in the world. This study estimates the welfare losses associated with the potential damage to coral reefs in Taiwan caused by climate change. The contingent valuation method adopted includes a pre-survey, a face-to-face formal survey, and photo illustrations used to obtain reliable data. Average annual personal willingness to pay is found to be around US$35.75 resulting in a total annual willingness to pay of around US$0.43 billion. These high values demonstrate that coral reefs in Taiwan deserve to be well preserved, which would require a dedicated agency and ocean reserves. PMID:26522161

  19. Thermite Reaction to Produce Artificial Reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trevino, Alexandro; Martirosyan, Karen; Kline, Richard

    The degradation of coral reefs is an ecological issue that has prompted new collaboration by different scientific communities that would assist in the regeneration of the reefs. Unfortunately, these processes can be inefficient and extremely expensive prompting a new scientific approach by using solid-state combustion synthesis to regenerate the reefs. In this report we aimed to consolidate a multi-composite material to produce artificial reefs by initiating thermite reaction based on aluminum and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) with natural reefs. By Thermodynamic analysis and experimentation it was established that a range between .03-.07 number of moles of PTFE was sufficient to reach an adiabatic temperature of over 1900 K, a sustained reaction and a physically stable product was achieved. Reefs are primarily composed of carbonates but their exact chemical composition can vary. X-ray diffraction analysis was used to determine the chemical composition of the reef and revealed presence of oxides, carbonates, silicates. The dominant chemical compounds that were identified are, SiO2 -17%, MgSiO3-14.5%, CaCO3- 11.4%, Ca(Si3O4). Using our thermite reaction we aimed to achieve optimal physical, chemical, and biological properties and maintain cost efficiency of the multi-composite material.

  20. EAARL Submarine Topography - Northern Florida Keys Reef Tract

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brock, John C.; Wright, C. Wayne; Nayegandhi, Amar; Patterson, Matt; Travers, Laurinda J.; Wilson, Iris

    2007-01-01

    This Web site contains 32 Lidar-derived bare earth topography maps and GIS files for the Northern Florida Keys Reef Tract. These lidar-derived submarine topographic maps were produced as a collaborative effort between the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Coastal and Marine Geology Program, FISC St. Petersburg, Florida, the National Park Service (NPS) South Florida/Caribbean Network Inventory and Monitoring Program, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Wallops Flight Facility. One objective of this research is to create techniques to survey coral reefs and barrier islands for the purposes of geomorphic change studies, habitat mapping, ecological monitoring, change detection, and event assessment. As part of this project, data from an innovative instrument under development at the NASA Wallops Flight Facility, the NASA Experimental Airborne Advanced Research Lidar (EAARL) are being used. This sensor has the potential to make significant contributions in this realm for measuring subaerial and submarine topography wthin cross-environment surveys. High spectral resolution, water-column correction, and low costs were found to be key factors in providing accurate and affordable imagery to costal resource managers.

  1. The Solution to Green Barrier

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Cui Yan

    2009-01-01

    @@ The recovery process of world economy is rough and full of twists and turns.Especially the trade protectionism,having reemerged under the mask of"green barrier",is making a great impact on the slowly recovering world economy and trade.Then,what are the characteristics of trade barriers in the post-crisis era?Where is the outlet of Chinese manufacturing industry?With these questions,ourreporter interviewed Professor Zhou Shijian,Standing Director to China Association of International Trade and Senior Researcher to SINO-US Relationship Research Centre of Tsinghua University.

  2. Community structure and coral status across reef fishing intensity gradients in Palk Bay reef, southeast coast of India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manikandan, B; Ravindran, J; Shrinivaasu, S; Marimuthu, N; Paramasivam, K

    2014-10-01

    Coral reef fishes are exploited without the knowledge of their sustainability and their possible effect in altering the community structure of a coral reef ecosystem. Alteration of the community structure could cause a decline in the health of coral reefs and its services. We documented the coral community structure, status of live corals and reef fish assemblages in Palk Bay at the reef fishing hotspots and its nearby reef area with minimum fishing pressure and compared it with a control reef area where reef fishing was banned for more than two decades. The comparison was based on the percent cover of different forms of live corals, their diversity and the density and diversity of reef fishes. The reef fish stock in the reef fishing hotspots and its neighbouring reef was lower by 61 and 38%, respectively compared to the control reef. The herbivore fish Scarus ghobban and Siganus javus were exploited at a rate of 250 and 105 kg month(-1) fishermen(-1), respectively, relatively high comparing the small reef area. Live and dead corals colonized by turf algae were predominant in both the reef fishing hotspots and its nearby coral ecosystems. The percent cover of healthy live corals and live corals colonized by turf algae was 80%, respectively, in the intensively fished coral ecosystems. The corals were less diverse and the massive Porites and Favia colonies were abundant in the intensive reef fishing sites. Results of this study suggest that the impact of reef fish exploitation was not solely restricted to the intensively fished reefs, but also to the nearby reefs which play a critical role in the resilience of degraded reef ecosystems. PMID:24859909

  3. Mangrove habitats provide refuge from climate change for reef-building corals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. K. Yates

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Risk analyses indicate that more than 90% of the world's reefs will be threatened by climate change and local anthropogenic impacts by the year 2030 under "business as usual" climate scenarios. Increasing temperatures and solar radiation cause coral bleaching that has resulted in extensive coral mortality. Increasing carbon dioxide reduces seawater pH, slows coral growth, and may cause loss of reef structure. Management strategies include establishment of marine protected areas with environmental conditions that promote reef resiliency. However, few resilient reefs have been identified, and resiliency factors are poorly defined. Here we characterize the first natural, non-reef, coral refuge from thermal stress and ocean acidification and identify resiliency factors for mangrove–coral habitats. We measured diurnal and seasonal variations in temperature, salinity, photosynthetically active radiation (PAR, and seawater chemistry; characterized substrate parameters; and examined water circulation patterns in mangrove communities where scleractinian corals are growing attached to and under mangrove prop roots in Hurricane Hole, St. John, US Virgin Islands. Additionally, we inventoried the coral species and quantified incidences of coral bleaching, mortality and recovery for two major reef-building corals, Colpophyllia natans and Diploria labyrinthiformis, growing in mangrove shaded and exposed (unshaded areas. At least 33 species of scleractinian corals were growing in association with mangroves. Corals were thriving in low-light (more than 70% attenuation of incident PAR from mangrove shading and at higher temperatures than nearby reef tract corals. A higher percentage of C. natans colonies was living shaded by mangroves, and no shaded colonies bleached. Fewer D. labyrinthiformis colonies were shaded by mangroves, however more unshaded colonies bleached. A combination of substrate and habitat heterogeniety, proximity of different habitat types

  4. Mangrove habitats provide refuge from climate change for reef-building corals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yates, K. K.; Rogers, C. S.; Herlan, J. J.; Brooks, G. R.; Smiley, N. A.; Larson, R. A.

    2014-03-01

    Risk analyses indicate that more than 90% of the world's reefs will be threatened by climate change and local anthropogenic impacts by the year 2030 under "business as usual" climate scenarios. Increasing temperatures and solar radiation cause coral bleaching that has resulted in extensive coral mortality. Increasing carbon dioxide reduces seawater pH, slows coral growth, and may cause loss of reef structure. Management strategies include establishment of marine protected areas with environmental conditions that promote reef resiliency. However, few resilient reefs have been identified, and resiliency factors are poorly defined. Here we characterize the first natural, non-reef, coral refuge from thermal stress and ocean acidification and identify resiliency factors for mangrove-coral habitats. We measured diurnal and seasonal variations in temperature, salinity, photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), and seawater chemistry; characterized substrate parameters; and examined water circulation patterns in mangrove communities where scleractinian corals are growing attached to and under mangrove prop roots in Hurricane Hole, St. John, US Virgin Islands. Additionally, we inventoried the coral species and quantified incidences of coral bleaching, mortality and recovery for two major reef-building corals, Colpophyllia natans and Diploria labyrinthiformis, growing in mangrove shaded and exposed (unshaded) areas. At least 33 species of scleractinian corals were growing in association with mangroves. Corals were thriving in low-light (more than 70% attenuation of incident PAR) from mangrove shading and at higher temperatures than nearby reef tract corals. A higher percentage of C. natans colonies was living shaded by mangroves, and no shaded colonies bleached. Fewer D. labyrinthiformis colonies were shaded by mangroves, however more unshaded colonies bleached. A combination of substrate and habitat heterogeniety, proximity of different habitat types, hydrographic

  5. Economic value of coral reef and management effectiveness in Trao Reef locally managed marine reserve

    OpenAIRE

    Do, Hung Nguyen

    2009-01-01

    Trao Reef Locally Managed Marine Reserve was established in 2001 to protect coral reef being under threat because of human activities. However, the economic value of coral reef represents an important sight to help local people and resource managers in using and managing the resource effectively in the marine reserve has not been seen. By using financial analysis to calculate producer surplus of resource users, this study evaluated the direct use value consisting of fishery and aquaculture va...

  6. Coral Reef Color: Remote and In-Situ Imaging Spectroscopy of Reef Structure and Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hochberg, E. J.

    2015-12-01

    Coral reefs are threatened at local to global scales by a litany of anthropogenic impacts, including overfishing, coastal development, marine and watershed pollution, rising ocean temperatures, and ocean acidification. However, available data for the primary indicator of coral reef condition — proportional cover of living coral — are surprisingly sparse and show patterns that contradict the prevailing understanding of how environment impacts reef condition. Remote sensing is the only available tool for acquiring synoptic, uniform data on reef condition at regional to global scales. Discrimination between coral and other reef benthos relies on narrow wavebands afforded by imaging spectroscopy. The same spectral information allows non-invasive quantification of photosynthetic pigment composition, which shows unexpected phenological trends. There is also potential to link biodiversity with optical diversity, though there has been no effort in that direction. Imaging spectroscopy underlies the light-use efficiency model for reef primary production by quantifying light capture, which in turn indicates biochemical capacity for CO2 assimilation. Reef calcification is strongly correlated with primary production, suggesting the possibility for an optics-based model of that aspect of reef function, as well. By scaling these spectral models for use with remote sensing, we can vastly improve our understanding of reef structure, function, and overall condition across regional to global scales. By analyzing those remote sensing products against ancillary environmental data, we can construct secondary models to predict reef futures in the era of global change. This final point is the objective of CORAL (COral Reef Airborne Laboratory), a three-year project funded under NASA's Earth Venture Suborbital-2 program to investigate the relationship between coral reef condition at the ecosystem scale and various nominal biogeophysical forcing parameters.

  7. Monitoring an Alien Invasion: DNA Barcoding and the Identification of Lionfish and Their Prey on Coral Reefs of the Mexican Caribbean

    OpenAIRE

    Martha Valdez-Moreno; Carolina Quintal-Lizama; Ricardo Gómez-Lozano; María Del Carmen García-Rivas

    2012-01-01

    BACKGROUND: In the Mexican Caribbean, the exotic lionfish Pterois volitans has become a species of great concern because of their predatory habits and rapid expansion onto the Mesoamerican coral reef, the second largest continuous reef system in the world. This is the first report of DNA identification of stomach contents of lionfish using the barcode of life reference database (BOLD). METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We confirm with barcoding that only Pterois volitans is apparently present i...

  8. A robust operational model for predicting where tropical cyclone waves damage coral reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puotinen, Marji; Maynard, Jeffrey A.; Beeden, Roger; Radford, Ben; Williams, Gareth J.

    2016-05-01

    Tropical cyclone (TC) waves can severely damage coral reefs. Models that predict where to find such damage (the ‘damage zone’) enable reef managers to: 1) target management responses after major TCs in near-real time to promote recovery at severely damaged sites; and 2) identify spatial patterns in historic TC exposure to explain habitat condition trajectories. For damage models to meet these needs, they must be valid for TCs of varying intensity, circulation size and duration. Here, we map damage zones for 46 TCs that crossed Australia’s Great Barrier Reef from 1985–2015 using three models – including one we develop which extends the capability of the others. We ground truth model performance with field data of wave damage from seven TCs of varying characteristics. The model we develop (4MW) out-performed the other models at capturing all incidences of known damage. The next best performing model (AHF) both under-predicted and over-predicted damage for TCs of various types. 4MW and AHF produce strikingly different spatial and temporal patterns of damage potential when used to reconstruct past TCs from 1985–2015. The 4MW model greatly enhances both of the main capabilities TC damage models provide to managers, and is useful wherever TCs and coral reefs co-occur.

  9. A robust operational model for predicting where tropical cyclone waves damage coral reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puotinen, Marji; Maynard, Jeffrey A.; Beeden, Roger; Radford, Ben; Williams, Gareth J.

    2016-01-01

    Tropical cyclone (TC) waves can severely damage coral reefs. Models that predict where to find such damage (the ‘damage zone’) enable reef managers to: 1) target management responses after major TCs in near-real time to promote recovery at severely damaged sites; and 2) identify spatial patterns in historic TC exposure to explain habitat condition trajectories. For damage models to meet these needs, they must be valid for TCs of varying intensity, circulation size and duration. Here, we map damage zones for 46 TCs that crossed Australia’s Great Barrier Reef from 1985–2015 using three models – including one we develop which extends the capability of the others. We ground truth model performance with field data of wave damage from seven TCs of varying characteristics. The model we develop (4MW) out-performed the other models at capturing all incidences of known damage. The next best performing model (AHF) both under-predicted and over-predicted damage for TCs of various types. 4MW and AHF produce strikingly different spatial and temporal patterns of damage potential when used to reconstruct past TCs from 1985–2015. The 4MW model greatly enhances both of the main capabilities TC damage models provide to managers, and is useful wherever TCs and coral reefs co-occur. PMID:27184607

  10. A robust operational model for predicting where tropical cyclone waves damage coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puotinen, Marji; Maynard, Jeffrey A; Beeden, Roger; Radford, Ben; Williams, Gareth J

    2016-01-01

    Tropical cyclone (TC) waves can severely damage coral reefs. Models that predict where to find such damage (the 'damage zone') enable reef managers to: 1) target management responses after major TCs in near-real time to promote recovery at severely damaged sites; and 2) identify spatial patterns in historic TC exposure to explain habitat condition trajectories. For damage models to meet these needs, they must be valid for TCs of varying intensity, circulation size and duration. Here, we map damage zones for 46 TCs that crossed Australia's Great Barrier Reef from 1985-2015 using three models - including one we develop which extends the capability of the others. We ground truth model performance with field data of wave damage from seven TCs of varying characteristics. The model we develop (4MW) out-performed the other models at capturing all incidences of known damage. The next best performing model (AHF) both under-predicted and over-predicted damage for TCs of various types. 4MW and AHF produce strikingly different spatial and temporal patterns of damage potential when used to reconstruct past TCs from 1985-2015. The 4MW model greatly enhances both of the main capabilities TC damage models provide to managers, and is useful wherever TCs and coral reefs co-occur. PMID:27184607

  11. A modeling tool to evaluate regional coral reef responses to changes in climate and ocean chemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buddemeier, R.W.; Jokiel, P.L.; Zimmerman, K.M.; Lane, D.R.; Carey, J.M.; Bohling, G.C.; Martinich, J.A.

    2008-01-01

    We developed a spreadsheet-based model for the use of managers, conservationists, and biologists for projecting the effects of climate change on coral reefs at local-to-regional scales. The COMBO (Coral Mortality and Bleaching Output) model calculates the impacts to coral reefs from changes in average SST and CO2 concentrations, and from high temperature mortality (bleaching) events. The model uses a probabilistic assessment of the frequency of high temperature events under a future climate to address scientific uncertainties about potential adverse effects. COMBO offers data libraries and default factors for three selected regions (Hawai'i, Great Barrier Reef, and Caribbean), but it is structured with user-selectable parameter values and data input options, making possible modifications to reflect local conditions or to incorporate local expertise. Preliminary results from sensitivity analyses and simulation examples for Hawai'i demonstrate the relative importance of high temperature events, increased average temperature, and increased CO2 concentration on the future status of coral reefs; Illustrate significant interactions among variables; and allow comparisons of past environmental history with future predictions. ?? 2008, by the American Society of Limnology and Oceanugraphy, Inc.

  12. Potential impacts of polar fronts on sedimentation processes at Abrolhos coral reef (South-West Atlantic Ocean/Brazil)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Segal, Bárbara; Evangelista, Heitor; Kampel, Milton; Gonçalves, Aldrey Costa; Polito, Paulo Simionatto; dos Santos, Elaine Alves

    2008-03-01

    Several reefs of the world have undergone changes in community due to sedimentation processes. It has been suggested that Abrolhos reefs (Brazil/South-West Atlantic) are subjected to a steady coastal influence, although there is still little information regarding this assumption. In this work, we have analyzed a set of environmental parameters concerning sedimentation characteristics at the Abrolhos reefs, near 18°S-39°W. The analysis included remote sensing, model and in situ data to provide a three-dimensional quantitative description of the processes that influence sediment apportionment to the reefs. Mineralogy and natural radioactivity of sediment trapped at three reef sites in a transect perpendicular to the coastline were used in conjunction with numerical weather prediction model and remote sensing databases. We have observed an increase of around 100% of sediment flux during the summer compared to the winter season. A comparison of regional rainfall regime, sediment plume dynamics and a year-around monitoring of polar fronts trajectories and surface wind showed that the wind-driven resedimentation due to polar front activity is the major contributor to the intensification of sedimentation processes at the offshore area of Abrolhos reefs, despite river runoff from mainland.

  13. Effects of spearfishing on reef fish populations in a multi-use conservation area.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashley J Frisch

    Full Text Available Although spearfishing is a popular method of capturing fish, its ecological effects on fish populations are poorly understood, which makes it difficult to assess the legitimacy and desirability of spearfishing in multi-use marine reserves. Recent management changes within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMP fortuitously created a unique scenario by which to quantify the effects of spearfishing on fish populations. As such, we employed underwater visual surveys and a before-after-control-impact experimental design to investigate the effects of spearfishing on the density and size structure of target and non-target fishes in a multi-use conservation park zone (CPZ within the GBRMP. Three years after spearfishing was first allowed in the CPZ, there was a 54% reduction in density and a 27% reduction in mean size of coral trout (Plectropomus spp., the primary target species. These changes were attributed to spearfishing because benthic habitat characteristics and the density of non-target fishes were stable through time, and the density and mean size of coral trout in a nearby control zone (where spearfishing was prohibited remained unchanged. We conclude that spearfishing, like other forms of fishing, can have rapid and substantial negative effects on target fish populations. Careful management of spearfishing is therefore needed to ensure that conservation obligations are achieved and that fishery resources are harvested sustainably. This is particularly important both for the GBRMP, due to its extraordinarily high conservation value and world heritage status, and for tropical island nations where people depend on spearfishing for food and income. To minimize the effects of spearfishing on target species and to enhance protection of functionally important fishes (herbivores, we recommend that fishery managers adjust output controls such as size- and catch-limits, rather than prohibit spearfishing altogether. This will preserve the cultural

  14. Genomic signatures of geographic isolation and natural selection in coral reef fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaither, Michelle R; Bernal, Moisés A; Coleman, Richard R; Bowen, Brian W; Jones, Shelley A; Simison, W Brian; Rocha, Luiz A

    2015-04-01

    The drivers of speciation remain among the most controversial topics in evolutionary biology. Initially, Darwin emphasized natural selection as a primary mechanism of speciation, but the architects of the modern synthesis largely abandoned that view in favour of divergence by geographic isolation. The balance between selection and isolation is still at the forefront of the evolutionary debate, especially for the world's tropical oceans where biodiversity is high, but isolating barriers are few. Here, we identify the drivers of speciation in Pacific reef fishes of the genus Acanthurus by comparative genome scans of two peripheral populations that split from a large Central-West Pacific lineage at roughly the same time. Mitochondrial sequences indicate that populations in the Hawaiian Archipelago and the Marquesas Islands became isolated approximately 0.5 Ma. The Hawaiian lineage is morphologically indistinguishable from the widespread Pacific form, but the Marquesan form is recognized as a distinct species that occupies an unusual tropical ecosystem characterized by upwelling, turbidity, temperature fluctuations, algal blooms and little coral cover. An analysis of 3737 SNPs reveals a strong signal of selection at the Marquesas, with 59 loci under disruptive selection including an opsin Rh2 locus. While both the Hawaiian and Marquesan populations indicate signals of drift, the former shows a weak signal of selection that is comparable with populations in the Central-West Pacific. This contrast between closely related lineages reveals one population diverging due primarily to geographic isolation and genetic drift, and the other achieving taxonomic species status under the influence of selection. PMID:25753379

  15. Meta-population structure in a coral reef fish demonstrated by genetic data on patterns of migration, extinction and re-colonisation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bay Line K

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Management strategies for coral reefs are dependant on information about the spatial population structure and connectivity of reef organisms. Genetic tools can reveal important information about population structure, however, this information is lacking for many reef species. We used a mitochondrial molecular marker to examine the population genetic structure and the potential for meta-population dynamics in a direct developing coral reef fish using 283 individuals from 15 reefs on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. We employed a hierarchical sampling design to test genetic models of population structure at multiple geographical scales including among regions, among shelf position and reefs within regions. Predictions from island, isolation-by-distance and meta-population models, including the potential for asymmetric migration, local extinction and patterns of re-colonisation were examined. Results Acanthochromis polyacanthus displayed strong genetic structure among regions (ΦST = 0.81, P ST = 0.31, P ST values indicated overall strong but variable genetic structure (mean ΦST among reefs within regions = 0.28, 0.38, 0.41, and asymmetric migration rates among reefs with low genetic structure. Genetic differentiation among younger reefs was greater than among older reefs supporting a meta-population propagule-pool colonisation model. Variation in genetic diversities, demographic expansion and population growth estimates indicated more frequent genetic bottlenecks/founder effects and subsequent population expansion in the central and southern regions compared to the northern one. Conclusion Our findings provide genetic evidence for meta-population dynamics in a direct developing coral reef fish and we reject the equilibrium island and isolation-by distance models at local spatial scales. Instead, strong non-equilibrium genetic structure appears to be generated by genetic bottlenecks/founder effects associated with population

  16. REEF FISH BIODIVERSITY AND POPULATION IN SEMPU STRAIT WATERS SENDANG BIRU MALANG REGENCY EAST JAVA

    OpenAIRE

    Luthfi, Oktiyas Muzaky; Pujarahayu, Putri; S, Kirana Fajar; Wahyudiarto, Ahmad; Fakri, Saifur Rizal; Sofyan, Muhammad; Ramadhan, Faruk; A, M Abdul Ghofur; Murian, Syakanov; Tovani, Irham; Mahmud, M.; Adi, Danang; Abdi, Firdaus

    2016-01-01

    Reef fish is one of the conspicuous inhabitant in the reef ecosystem. Damage to coral reefs in many countries due to human factors (anthropogenic) and naturally has an impact on the abundance of different species of reef fish. Over fishing is one of the causes of death of reef fish are widely reported. The nature reserve of Sempu Island also became conservation areas for reef fish. Monitoring of reef fish actually can determine on condition of coral reefs, fisheries potential and suitability ...

  17. Oysters and Oyster Reef Communities in Florida.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knight, Jean; Bly, Joe

    1989-01-01

    The habitat, life history, feeding, classification, anatomy and pearl production of the American oyster (Crassostrea virginica) are presented. A list of other oyster reef inhabitants and predators is provided. Harvest and habitat loss are discussed. (CW)

  18. HARP NWHI- Pearl and Hermes Reef

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This HARP was first deployed off Pearl and Hermes Reef in 2009. It has been recovered and redeployed multiple times (see time frames for information).

  19. REEF: searching REgionally Enriched Features in genomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danieli Gian Antonio

    2006-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In Eukaryotic genomes, different features including genes are not uniformly distributed. The integration of annotation information and genomic position of functional DNA elements in the Eukaryotic genomes opened the way to test novel hypotheses of higher order genome organization and regulation of expression. Results REEF is a new tool, aimed at identifying genomic regions enriched in specific features, such as a class or group of genes homogeneous for expression and/or functional characteristics. The method for the calculation of local feature enrichment uses test statistic based on the Hypergeometric Distribution applied genome-wide by using a sliding window approach and adopting the False Discovery Rate for controlling multiplicity. REEF software, source code and documentation are freely available at http://telethon.bio.unipd.it/bioinfo/reef/. Conclusion REEF can aid to shed light on the role of organization of specific genomic regions in the determination of their functional role.

  20. Hawaii Abandoned Vessel Inventory, Maro Reef, NWHI

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — NOAA Abandoned Vessel Project Data for Maro Reef, NWHI. Abandoned vessels pose a significant threat to the NOAA Trust resources through physical destruction of...

  1. Reef Ecosystem Services and Decision Support Database

    Science.gov (United States)

    This scientific and management information database utilizes systems thinking to describe the linkages between decisions, human activities, and provisioning of reef ecosystem goods and services. This database provides: (1) Hierarchy of related topics - Click on topics to navigat...

  2. Coral Reef Watch, Temperature Anomaly, 50 km

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — NOAA Coral Reef Watch distributes SST anomaly data using a combination of the POES AVHRR Global Area Coverage data, and data from a climatological database. AVHRR...

  3. Oyster Reef Projects 1997-2001

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — We used a quantitative sampling device to compare nekton use among high-relief live oyster reef, vegetated marsh edge Spartina alterniflora, and nonvegetated bottom...

  4. Plate tectonics drive tropical reef biodiversity dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leprieur, Fabien; Descombes, Patrice; Gaboriau, Théo; Cowman, Peter F.; Parravicini, Valeriano; Kulbicki, Michel; Melián, Carlos J.; de Santana, Charles N.; Heine, Christian; Mouillot, David; Bellwood, David R.; Pellissier, Loïc

    2016-05-01

    The Cretaceous breakup of Gondwana strongly modified the global distribution of shallow tropical seas reshaping the geographic configuration of marine basins. However, the links between tropical reef availability, plate tectonic processes and marine biodiversity distribution patterns are still unknown. Here, we show that a spatial diversification model constrained by absolute plate motions for the past 140 million years predicts the emergence and movement of diversity hotspots on tropical reefs. The spatial dynamics of tropical reefs explains marine fauna diversification in the Tethyan Ocean during the Cretaceous and early Cenozoic, and identifies an eastward movement of ancestral marine lineages towards the Indo-Australian Archipelago in the Miocene. A mechanistic model based only on habitat-driven diversification and dispersal yields realistic predictions of current biodiversity patterns for both corals and fishes. As in terrestrial systems, we demonstrate that plate tectonics played a major role in driving tropical marine shallow reef biodiversity dynamics.

  5. Plate tectonics drive tropical reef biodiversity dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leprieur, Fabien; Descombes, Patrice; Gaboriau, Théo; Cowman, Peter F.; Parravicini, Valeriano; Kulbicki, Michel; Melián, Carlos J.; de Santana, Charles N.; Heine, Christian; Mouillot, David; Bellwood, David R.; Pellissier, Loïc

    2016-01-01

    The Cretaceous breakup of Gondwana strongly modified the global distribution of shallow tropical seas reshaping the geographic configuration of marine basins. However, the links between tropical reef availability, plate tectonic processes and marine biodiversity distribution patterns are still unknown. Here, we show that a spatial diversification model constrained by absolute plate motions for the past 140 million years predicts the emergence and movement of diversity hotspots on tropical reefs. The spatial dynamics of tropical reefs explains marine fauna diversification in the Tethyan Ocean during the Cretaceous and early Cenozoic, and identifies an eastward movement of ancestral marine lineages towards the Indo-Australian Archipelago in the Miocene. A mechanistic model based only on habitat-driven diversification and dispersal yields realistic predictions of current biodiversity patterns for both corals and fishes. As in terrestrial systems, we demonstrate that plate tectonics played a major role in driving tropical marine shallow reef biodiversity dynamics. PMID:27151103

  6. CRED REA Algal Assessments, Kingman Reef 2006

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Twelve quadrats were sampled along 2 consecutively-placed, 25m transect lines as part of Rapid Ecological Assessments conducted at 15 sites at Kingman Reef in the...

  7. MANGROVE-DERIVED NUTRIENTS AND CORAL REEFS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Understanding the consequences of the declining global cover of mangroves due to anthropogenic disturbance necessitates consideration of how mangrove-derived nutrients contribute to threatened coral reef systems. We sampled potential sources of organic matter and a suite of sessi...

  8. Coral Reef Watch, Nighttime Temperature, 50 km

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — NOAA Coral Reef Watch provides sea surface temperature (SST) products derived from NOAA's Polar Operational Environmental Satellites (POES). This data provides...

  9. Coral Reef Watch, Hotspots, 50 km

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — NOAA Coral Reef Watch provides Coral Bleaching hotspot maps derived from NOAA's Polar Operational Environmental Satellites (POES). This data provides global area...

  10. Mapping Health of Bonaire Coral Reefs Using a Lightweight Hyperspectral Mapping System - First Results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suomalainen, Juha; Mucher, Sander; Kooistra, Lammert; Meesters, Erik

    2014-05-01

    The Dutch Caribbean island of Bonaire is one of the world's top diving holiday destinations much due to its clear waters and healthy coral reefs. The coral reefs surround the western side of the island as an approximately 50-150m wide band. However, the general consensus is that the extent and biodiversity of the Bonarian coral reef is constantly decreasing due to anthropogenic pressures. The last extensive study of the health of the reef ecosystem was performed in 1985 by Van Duyl creating an underwater atlas. In order to update this atlas of Bonaire's coral reefs, in October 2013, a hyperspectral mapping campaign was performed using the WUR Hyperspectral Mapping System (HYMSY). A dive validation campaign has been planned for early 2014. The HYMSY consists of a custom pushbroom spectrometer (range 450-950nm, FWHM 9nm, ~20 lines/s, 328 pixels/line), a consumer camera (collecting 16MPix raw image every 2 seconds), a GPS-Inertia Navigation System (GPS-INS), and synchronization and data storage units. The weight of the system at take-off is 2.0kg allowing it to be mounted on varying platforms. In Bonaire the system was flown on two platforms. (1) on a Cessna airplane to provide a coverage for whole west side of the island with a hyperspectral map in 2-4m resolution and a RGB orthomosaic in 15cm resolution, and (2) on a kite pulled by boat and car to provide a subset coverage in higher resolution. In this presentation we will present our mapping technique and first results including a preliminary underwater atlas and conclusions on reef development.

  11. Revealing the regime of shallow coral reefs at patch scale by continuous spatial modeling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antoine eCollin

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Reliably translating real-world spatial patterns of ecosystems is critical for understanding processes susceptible to reinforce resilience. However the great majority of studies in spatial ecology use thematic maps to describe habitats and species in a binary scheme. By discretizing the transitional areas and neglecting the gradual replacement across a given space, the thematic approach may suffer from substantial limitations when interpreting patterns created by many continuous variables. Here, local and regional spectral proxies were used to design and spatially map at very fine scale a continuous index dedicated to one of the most complex seascapes, the coral reefscape. Through a groundbreaking merge of bottom-up and top-down approach, we demonstrate that three to seven-habitat continuous indices can be modeled by nine, six, four and three spectral proxies, respectively, at 0.5 m spatial resolution using hand- and spaceborne measurements. We map the seven-habitat continuous index, spanning major Indo-Pacific coral reef habitats through the far red-green normalized difference ratio over the entire lagoon of a low (Tetiaroa atoll and a high volcanic (Moorea island in French Polynesia with 84% and 82% accuracy, respectively. Further examinations of the two resulting spatial models using a customized histoscape (density function of model values distributed on a concentric strip across the reef crest-coastline distance show that Tetiaroa exhibits a greater variety of coral reef habitats than Moorea. By designing such easy-to-implement, transferrable spectral proxies of coral reef regime, this study initiates a framework for spatial ecologists tackling coral reef biodiversity, responses to stresses, perturbations and shifts. We discuss the limitations and contributions of our findings towards the study of worldwide coral reef resilience following stochastic environmental change.

  12. Validation of Reef-Scale Thermal Stress Satellite Products for Coral Bleaching Monitoring

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott F. Heron

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Satellite monitoring of thermal stress on coral reefs has become an essential component of reef management practice around the world. A recent development by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Coral Reef Watch (NOAA CRW program provides daily global monitoring at 5 km resolution—at or near the scale of most coral reefs. In this paper, we introduce two new monitoring products in the CRW Decision Support System for coral reef management: Regional Virtual Stations, a regional synthesis of thermal stress conditions, and Seven-day Sea Surface Temperature (SST Trend, describing recent changes in temperature at each location. We describe how these products provided information in support of management activities prior to, during and after the 2014 thermal stress event in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI. Using in situ survey data from this event, we undertake the first quantitative comparison between 5 km satellite monitoring products and coral bleaching observations. Analysis of coral community characteristics, historical temperature conditions and thermal stress revealed a strong influence of coral biodiversity in the patterns of observed bleaching. This resulted in a model based on thermal stress and generic richness that explained 97% of the variance in observed bleaching. These findings illustrate the importance of using local benthic characteristics to interpret the level of impact from thermal stress exposure. In an era of continuing climate change, accurate monitoring of thermal stress and prediction of coral bleaching are essential for stakeholders to direct resources to the most effective management actions to conserve coral reefs.

  13. Population genetics of an ecosystem-defining reef coral Pocillopora damicornis in the Tropical Eastern Pacific.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David J Combosch

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Coral reefs in the Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP are amongst the most peripheral and geographically isolated in the world. This isolation has shaped the biology of TEP organisms and lead to the formation of numerous endemic species. For example, the coral Pocillopora damicornis is a minor reef-builder elsewhere in the Indo-West Pacific, but is the dominant reef-building coral in the TEP, where it forms large, mono-specific stands, covering many hectares of reef. Moreover, TEP P. damicornis reproduces by broadcast spawning, while it broods mostly parthenogenetic larvae throughout the rest of the Indo-West Pacific. Population genetic surveys for P. damicornis from across its Indo-Pacific range indicate that gene flow (i.e. larval dispersal is generally limited over hundreds of kilometers or less. Little is known about the population genetic structure and the dispersal potential of P. damicornis in the TEP. METHODOLOGY: Using multilocus microsatellite data, we analyzed the population structure of TEP P. damicornis among and within nine reefs and test for significant genetic structure across three geographically and ecologically distinct regions in Panama. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS/CONCLUSIONS: We detected significant levels of population genetic structure (global R(ST = 0.162, indicating restricted gene flow (i.e. larvae dispersal, both among the three regions (R(RT = 0.081 as well as within regions (R(SR = 0.089. Limited gene flow across a distinct environmental cline, like the regional upwelling gradient in Panama, indicates a significant potential for differential adaptation and population differentiation. Individual reefs were characterized by unexpectedly high genet diversity (avg. 94%, relatively high inbreeding coefficients (global F(IS = 0.183, and localized spatial genetic structure among individuals (i.e. unique genets over 10 m intervals. These findings suggest that gene flow is limited in TEP P. damicornis

  14. Climate Change and Active Reef Restoration—Ways of Constructing the “Reefs of Tomorrow”

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Baruch Rinkevich

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The continuous degradation of coral reef ecosystems on a global level, the disheartening expectations of a gloomy future for reefs’ statuses, the failure of traditional conservation acts to revive most of the degrading reefs and the understanding that it is unlikely that future reefs will return to historic conditions, all call for novel management approaches. Among the most effective approaches is the “gardening” concept of active reef restoration, centered, as in silviculture, on a two-step restoration process (nursery and transplantation. In the almost two decades that passed from its first presentation, the “gardening” tenet was tested in a number of coral reefs worldwide, revealing that it may reshape coral reef communities (and associated biota in such a way that novel reef ecosystems with novel functionalities that did not exist before are developed. Using the “gardening” approach as a climate change mediator, four novel ecosystem engineering management approaches are raised and discussed in this article. These include the take-home lessons approach, which considers the critical evaluation of reef restoration outcomes; the genetics approach; the use of coral nurseries as repositories for coral and reef species; and an approach that uses novel environmental engineering tactics. Two of these approaches (take-home lessons and using coral nurseries as repositories for reef dwelling organisms already consider the uncertainty and the gaps in our knowledge, and they are further supported by the genetic approach and by the use of novel environmental engineering tactics as augmenting auxiliaries. Employing these approaches (combined with other novel tactics will enhance the ability of coral reef organisms to adaptably respond to climate change.

  15. Comparing the invasibility of experimental "reefs" with field observations of natural reefs and artificial structures.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katherine A Dafforn

    Full Text Available Natural systems are increasingly being modified by the addition of artificial habitats which may facilitate invasion. Where invaders are able to disperse from artificial habitats, their impact may spread to surrounding natural communities and therefore it is important to investigate potential factors that reduce or enhance invasibility. We surveyed the distribution of non-indigenous and native invertebrates and algae between artificial habitats and natural reefs in a marine subtidal system. We also deployed sandstone plates as experimental 'reefs' and manipulated the orientation, starting assemblage and degree of shading. Invertebrates (non-indigenous and native appeared to be responding to similar environmental factors (e.g. orientation and occupied most space on artificial structures and to a lesser extent reef walls. Non-indigenous invertebrates are less successful than native invertebrates on horizontal reefs despite functional similarities. Manipulative experiments revealed that even when non-indigenous invertebrates invade vertical "reefs", they are unlikely to gain a foothold and never exceed covers of native invertebrates (regardless of space availability. Community ecology suggests that invertebrates will dominate reef walls and algae horizontal reefs due to functional differences, however our surveys revealed that native algae dominate both vertical and horizontal reefs in shallow estuarine systems. Few non-indigenous algae were sampled in the study, however where invasive algal species are present in a system, they may present a threat to reef communities. Our findings suggest that non-indigenous species are less successful at occupying space on reef compared to artificial structures, and manipulations of biotic and abiotic conditions (primarily orientation and to a lesser extent biotic resistance on experimental "reefs" explained a large portion of this variation, however they could not fully explain the magnitude of differences.

  16. Dynamic fragility of oceanic coral reef ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    Graham, Nicholas A. J.; Wilson, Shaun K.; Jennings, Simon; Polunin, Nicholas V.C.; Bijoux, Jude P.; Robinson, Jan

    2006-01-01

    As one of the most diverse and productive ecosystems known, and one of the first ecosystems to exhibit major climate-warming impacts (coral bleaching), coral reefs have drawn much scientific attention to what may prove to be their Achilles heel, the thermal sensitivity of reef-building corals. Here we show that climate change-driven loss of live coral, and ultimately structural complexity, in the Seychelles results in local extinctions, substantial reductions in species richness, reduced taxo...

  17. Kenya – Coral Reef Resilience Studies.

    OpenAIRE

    Obura, David O.

    2005-01-01

    Activities supported by CORDIO in Kenya started in 1999, focusing on a long term coral reef monitoring programme in the Kiunga Marine Reserve to track recovery of reefs from the 1998 El Niño coral bleaching event (Obura, 1999). In addition, a range of biological studies were supported (Obura et al., 2000), including studies on temperature/UV interactions, benthic community structure, coral recruitment and bleaching, coral/zooxanthellae dynamics, macro- and micro-algal community structure and ...

  18. Macroalgae in the coral reefs of Eilat (Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea) as a possible indicator of reef degradation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The current state of health of the coral reefs in the northern Gulf of Aqaba (Red Sea), notably the Eilat reefs, is under debate regarding both their exact condition and the causes of degradation. A dearth of earlier data and unequivocal reliable indices are the major problems hinder a clear understanding of the reef state. Our research objective was to examine coral-algal dynamics as a potential cause and an indication of reef degradation. The community structure of stony corals and algae along the northern Gulf of Aqaba reveal non-seasonal turf algae dominancy in the shallow Eilat reefs (up to 72%), while the proximate Aqaba reefs present negligible turf cover (<6%). We believe that turf dominancy can indicate degradation in these reefs, based on the reduction in essential reef components followed by proliferation of perennial turf algae. Our findings provide further evidence for the severe state of the Eilat coral reefs.

  19. Effects of reduced water quality on coral reefs in and out of no-take marine reserves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wenger, Amelia S; Williamson, David H; da Silva, Eduardo T; Ceccarelli, Daniela M; Browne, Nicola K; Petus, Caroline; Devlin, Michelle J

    2016-02-01

    Near-shore marine environments are increasingly subjected to reduced water quality, and their ability to withstand it is critical to their persistence. The potential role marine reserves may play in mitigating the effects of reduced water quality has received little attention. We investigated the spatial and temporal variability in live coral and macro-algal cover and water quality during moderate and major flooding events of the Fitzroy River within the Keppel Bay region of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park from 2007 to 2013. We used 7 years of remote sensing data on water quality and data from long-term monitoring of coral reefs to quantify exposure of coral reefs to flood plumes. We used a distance linear model to partition the contribution of abiotic and biotic factors, including zoning, as drivers of the observed changes in coral and macro-algae cover. Moderate flood plumes from 2007 to 2009 did not affect coral cover on reefs in the Keppel Islands, suggesting the reef has intrinsic resistance against short-term exposure to reduced water quality. However, from 2009 to 2013, live coral cover declined by ∼ 50% following several weeks of exposure to turbid, low salinity water from major flood plume events in 2011 and subsequent moderate events in 2012 and 2013. Although the flooding events in 2012 and 2013 were smaller than the flooding events between 2007 to 2009, the ability of the reefs to withstand these moderate floods was lost, as evidenced by a ∼ 20% decline in coral cover between 2011 to 2013. Although zoning (no-take reserve or fished) was identified a significant driver of coral cover, we recorded consistently lower coral cover on reserve reefs than on fished reefs throughout the study period and significantly lower cover in 2011. Our findings suggest that even reefs with an inherent resistance to reduced water quality are not able to withstand repeated disturbance events. The limitations of reserves in mitigating the effects of reduced water

  20. World law

    OpenAIRE

    Harold J. Berman; Robert W. Woodruff; James Barr Ames

    1999-01-01

    In the third millennium of the Christian era, which is characterised by the emergence of a world economy and eventually a world society, the concept of world law is needed to embrace not only the traditional disciplines of public international law, and comparative law, but also the common underlying legal principles applicable in world trade, world finance, transnational transfer of technology and other fields of world economic law, as well as in such emerging fields as the protection of the ...