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Sample records for coral disease development

  1. How microbial community composition regulates coral disease development.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Justin Mao-Jones

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Reef coral cover is in rapid decline worldwide, in part due to bleaching (expulsion of photosynthetic symbionts and outbreaks of infectious disease. One important factor associated with bleaching and in disease transmission is a shift in the composition of the microbial community in the mucus layer surrounding the coral: the resident microbial community-which is critical to the healthy functioning of the coral holobiont-is replaced by pathogenic microbes, often species of Vibrio. In this paper we develop computational models for microbial community dynamics in the mucus layer in order to understand how the surface microbial community responds to changes in environmental conditions, and under what circumstances it becomes vulnerable to overgrowth by pathogens. Some of our model's assumptions and parameter values are based on Vibrio spp. as a model system for other established and emerging coral pathogens. We find that the pattern of interactions in the surface microbial community facilitates the existence of alternate stable states, one dominated by antibiotic-producing beneficial microbes and the other pathogen-dominated. A shift to pathogen dominance under transient stressful conditions, such as a brief warming spell, may persist long after environmental conditions have returned to normal. This prediction is consistent with experimental findings that antibiotic properties of Acropora palmata mucus did not return to normal long after temperatures had fallen. Long-term loss of antibiotic activity eliminates a critical component in coral defense against disease, giving pathogens an extended opportunity to infect and spread within the host, elevating the risk of coral bleaching, disease, and mortality.

  2. How microbial community composition regulates coral disease development

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Mao-Jones, Justin; Ritchie, Kim B; Jones, Laura E; Ellner, Stephen P

    2010-01-01

    ...) and outbreaks of infectious disease. One important factor associated with bleaching and in disease transmission is a shift in the composition of the microbial community in the mucus layer surrounding the coral...

  3. The role of microorganisms in coral health, disease and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenberg, Eugene; Koren, Omry; Reshef, Leah; Efrony, Rotem; Zilber-Rosenberg, Ilana

    2007-05-01

    Coral microbiology is an emerging field, driven largely by a desire to understand, and ultimately prevent, the worldwide destruction of coral reefs. The mucus layer, skeleton and tissues of healthy corals all contain large populations of eukaryotic algae, bacteria and archaea. These microorganisms confer benefits to their host by various mechanisms, including photosynthesis, nitrogen fixation, the provision of nutrients and infection prevention. Conversely, in conditions of environmental stress, certain microorganisms cause coral bleaching and other diseases. Recent research indicates that corals can develop resistance to specific pathogens and adapt to higher environmental temperatures. To explain these findings the coral probiotic hypothesis proposes the occurrence of a dynamic relationship between symbiotic microorganisms and corals that selects for the coral holobiont that is best suited for the prevailing environmental conditions. Generalization of the coral probiotic hypothesis has led us to propose the hologenome theory of evolution.

  4. To understand coral disease, look at coral cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Work, Thierry M.; Meteyer, Carol

    2014-01-01

    Diseases threaten corals globally, but 40 years on their causes remain mostly unknown. We hypothesize that inconsistent application of a complete diagnostic approach to coral disease has contributed to this slow progress. We quantified methods used to investigate coral disease in 492 papers published between 1965 and 2013. Field surveys were used in 65% of the papers, followed by biodetection (43%), laboratory trials (20%), microscopic pathology (21%), and field trials (9%). Of the microscopic pathology efforts, 57% involved standard histopathology at the light microscopic level (12% of the total investigations), with the remainder dedicated to electron or fluorescence microscopy. Most (74%) biodetection efforts focused on culture or molecular characterization of bacteria or fungi from corals. Molecular and immunological tools have been used to incriminate infectious agents (mainly bacteria) as the cause of coral diseases without relating the agent to specific changes in cell and tissue pathology. Of 19 papers that declared an infectious agent as a cause of disease in corals, only one (5%) used microscopic pathology, and none fulfilled all of the criteria required to satisfy Koch’s postulates as applied to animal diseases currently. Vertebrate diseases of skin and mucosal surfaces present challenges similar to corals when trying to identify a pathogen from a vast array of environmental microbes, and diagnostic approaches regularly used in these cases might provide a model for investigating coral diseases. We hope this review will encourage specialists of disease in domestic animals, wildlife, fish, shellfish, and humans to contribute to the emerging field of coral disease.

  5. Natural disease resistance in threatened staghorn corals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vollmer, Steven V; Kline, David I

    2008-01-01

    Disease epidemics have caused extensive damage to tropical coral reefs and to the reef-building corals themselves, yet nothing is known about the abilities of the coral host to resist disease infection. Understanding the potential for natural disease resistance in corals is critically important, especially in the Caribbean where the two ecologically dominant shallow-water corals, Acropora cervicornis and A. palmata, have suffered an unprecedented mass die-off due to White Band Disease (WBD), and are now listed as threatened under the US Threatened Species Act and as critically endangered under the IUCN Red List criteria. Here we examine the potential for natural resistance to WBD in the staghorn coral Acropora cervicornis by combining microsatellite genotype information with in situ transmission assays and field monitoring of WBD on tagged genotypes. We show that six percent of staghorn coral genotypes (3 out of 49) are resistant to WBD. This natural resistance to WBD in staghorn corals represents the first evidence of host disease resistance in scleractinian corals and demonstrates that staghorn corals have an innate ability to resist WBD infection. These resistant staghorn coral genotypes may explain why pockets of Acropora have been able to survive the WBD epidemic. Understanding disease resistance in these corals may be the critical link to restoring populations of these once dominant corals throughout their range.

  6. Natural disease resistance in threatened staghorn corals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven V Vollmer

    Full Text Available Disease epidemics have caused extensive damage to tropical coral reefs and to the reef-building corals themselves, yet nothing is known about the abilities of the coral host to resist disease infection. Understanding the potential for natural disease resistance in corals is critically important, especially in the Caribbean where the two ecologically dominant shallow-water corals, Acropora cervicornis and A. palmata, have suffered an unprecedented mass die-off due to White Band Disease (WBD, and are now listed as threatened under the US Threatened Species Act and as critically endangered under the IUCN Red List criteria. Here we examine the potential for natural resistance to WBD in the staghorn coral Acropora cervicornis by combining microsatellite genotype information with in situ transmission assays and field monitoring of WBD on tagged genotypes. We show that six percent of staghorn coral genotypes (3 out of 49 are resistant to WBD. This natural resistance to WBD in staghorn corals represents the first evidence of host disease resistance in scleractinian corals and demonstrates that staghorn corals have an innate ability to resist WBD infection. These resistant staghorn coral genotypes may explain why pockets of Acropora have been able to survive the WBD epidemic. Understanding disease resistance in these corals may be the critical link to restoring populations of these once dominant corals throughout their range.

  7. Coral diseases and bleaching on Colombian Caribbean coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navas-Camacho, Raúl; Gil-Agudelo, Diego Luis; Rodríguez-Ramírez, Alberto; Reyes-Nivia, María Catalina; Garzón-Ferreira, Jaime

    2010-05-01

    Since 1998 the National Monitoring System for the Coral Reefs of Colombia (SIMAC) has monitored the occurrence of coral bleaching and diseases in some Colombian coral reefs (permanent stations at San Andres Island, Rosario Islands, Tayrona, San Bernardo Islands and Urabá). The main purpose is to evaluate their health status and to understand the factors that have been contributing to their decline. To estimate these occurrences, annual surveys in 126 permanent belt transects (10 x 2m) with different depth intervals (3-6 meters, 9-12 meters and 15-18 meters) are performed at all reef sites. Data from the 1998-2004 period, revealed that San Andrés Island had many colonies with diseases (38.9 colonies/m2), and Urabá had high numbers with bleaching (54.4 colonies/m2). Of the seven reported coral diseases studied, Dark Spots Disease (DSD), and White Plague Disease (WPD) were noteworthy because they occurred in all Caribbean monitored sites, and because of their high interannual infection incidence. Thirty five species of scleractinian corals were affected by at least one disease and a high incidence of coral diseases on the main reef builders is documented. Bleaching was present in 34 species. During the whole monitoring period, Agaricia agaricites and Siderastrea siderea were the species most severely affected by DSD and bleaching, respectively. Diseases on species such as Agaricia fragilis, A. grahamae, A. humilis, Diploria clivosa, Eusmilia fastigiata, Millepora complanata, and Mycetophyllia aliciae are recorded for first time in Colombia. We present bleaching and disease incidences, kinds of diseases, coral species affected, reef localities studied, depth intervals of surveys, and temporal (years) variation for each geographic area. This variation makes difficult to clearly determine defined patterns or general trends for monitored reefs. This is the first long-term study of coral diseases and bleaching in the Southwestern Caribbean, and one of the few long

  8. Microbial diseases of corals and global warming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenberg, Eugene; Ben-Haim, Yael

    2002-06-01

    Coral bleaching and other diseases of corals have increased dramatically during the last few decades. As outbreaks of these diseases are highly correlated with increased sea-water temperature, one of the consequences of global warming will probably be mass destruction of coral reefs. The causative agent(s) of a few of these diseases have been reported: bleaching of Oculina patagonica by Vibrio shiloi; black band disease by a microbial consortium; sea-fan disease (aspergillosis) by Aspergillus sydowii; and coral white plague possibly by Sphingomonas sp. In addition, we have recently discovered that Vibrio coralyticus is the aetiological agent for bleaching the coral Pocillopora damicornis in the Red Sea. In the case of coral bleaching by V. shiloi, the major effect of increasing temperature is the expression of virulence genes by the pathogen. At high summer sea-water temperatures, V. shiloi produces an adhesin that allows it to adhere to a beta-galactoside-containing receptor in the coral mucus, penetrate into the coral epidermis, multiply intracellularly, differentiate into a viable-but-not-culturable (VBNC) state and produce toxins that inhibit photosynthesis and lyse the symbiotic zooxanthellae. In black band disease, sulphide is produced at the coral-microbial biofilm interface, which is probably responsible for tissue death. Reports of newly emerging coral diseases and the lack of epidemiological and biochemical information on the known diseases indicate that this will become a fertile area of research in the interface between microbial ecology and infectious disease.

  9. Coral diseases and bleaching on Colombian Caribbean coral reefs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raúl Navas-Camacho

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Since 1998 the National Monitoring System for the Coral Reefs of Colombia (SIMAC has monitored the occurrence of coral bleaching and diseases in some Colombian coral reefs (permanent stations at San Andres Island, Rosario Islands, Tayrona, San Bernardo Islands and Urabá. The main purpose is to evaluate their health status and to understand the factors that have been contributing to their decline. To estimate these occurrences, annual surveys in 126 permanent belt transects (10x2m with different depth intervals (3-6 meters, 9-12 meters and 15-18 meters are performed at all reef sites. Data from the 1998-2004 period, revealed that San Andrés Island had many colonies with diseases (38.9 colonies/m2, and Urabá had high numbers with bleaching (54.4 colonies/m2. Of the seven reported coral diseases studied, Dark Spots Disease (DSD, and White Plague Disease (WPD were noteworthy because they occurred in all Caribbean monitored sites, and because of their high interannual infection incidence. Thirty five species of scleractinian corals were affected by at least one disease and a high incidence of coral diseases on the main reef builders is documented. Bleaching was present in 34 species. During the whole monitoring period, Agaricia agaricites and Siderastrea siderea were the species most severely affected by DSD and bleaching, respectively. Diseases on species such as Agaricia fragilis, A.grahamae, A. humilis, Diploria clivosa, Eusmilia fastigiata, Millepora complanata, and Mycetophyllia aliciae are recorded for first time in Colombia. We present bleaching and disease incidences, kinds of diseases, coral species affected, reef localities studied, depth intervals of surveys, and temporal (years variation for each geographic area. This variation makes difficult to clearly determine defined patterns or general trends for monitored reefs. This is the first long-term study of coral diseases and bleaching in the Southwestern Caribbean, and one of the few

  10. Coral transplantation triggers shift in microbiome and promotion of coral disease associated potential pathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casey, Jordan M; Connolly, Sean R; Ainsworth, Tracy D

    2015-07-06

    By cultivating turf algae and aggressively defending their territories, territorial damselfishes in the genus Stegastes play a major role in shaping coral-algal dynamics on coral reefs. The epilithic algal matrix (EAM) inside Stegastes' territories is known to harbor high abundances of potential coral disease pathogens. To determine the impact of territorial grazers on coral microbial assemblages, we established a coral transplant inside and outside of Stegastes' territories. Over the course of one year, the percent mortality of transplanted corals was monitored and coral samples were collected for microbial analysis. As compared to outside damselfish territories, Stegastes were associated with a higher rate of mortality of transplanted corals. However, 16S rDNA sequencing revealed that territorial grazers do not differentially impact the microbial assemblage of corals exposed to the EAM. Regardless of Stegastes presence or absence, coral transplantation resulted in a shift in the coral-associated microbial community and an increase in coral disease associated potential pathogens. Further, transplanted corals that suffer low to high mortality undergo a microbial transition from a microbiome similar to that of healthy corals to that resembling the EAM. These findings demonstrate that coral transplantation significantly impacts coral microbial communities, and transplantation may increase susceptibility to coral disease.

  11. THE CONDITION OF CORAL REEFS IN SOUTH FLORIDA (2000) USING CORAL DISEASE AND BLEACHING AS INDICATORS

    Science.gov (United States)

    The destruction for coral reef habitats is occurring at unprecedented levels. Coral disease epizootics in the Southwestern Atlantic have lead to coral replacement by turf algae, prompting a call to classify some coral species as endangered. In addition, a massive bleaching event ...

  12. THE CONDITION OF CORAL REEFS IN SOUTH FLORIDA (2000) USING CORAL DISEASE AND BLEACHING AS INDICATORS

    Science.gov (United States)

    The destruction for coral reef habitats is occurring at unprecedented levels. Coral disease epizootics in the Southwestern Atlantic have lead to coral replacement by turf algae, prompting a call to classify some coral species as endangered. In addition, a massive bleaching event ...

  13. Marine biology: The coral disease triangle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruno, John F.

    2015-04-01

    The underlying causes of biodiversity loss can be numerous and difficult to identify. Now evidence suggests that disease outbreaks triggered by warming oceans are a primary cause of the disappearance of Caribbean coral reefs.

  14. Coral reef diseases in the Atlantic-Caribbean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, Caroline S.; Weil, Ernesto; Dubinsky, Zvy; Stambler, Noga

    2010-01-01

    Coral reefs are the jewels of the tropical oceans. They boast the highest diversity of all marine ecosystems, aid in the development and protection of other important, productive coastal marine communities, and have provided millions of people with food, building materials, protection from storms, recreation and social stability over thousands of years, and more recently, income, active pharmacological compounds and other benefits. These communities have been deteriorating rapidly in recent times. The continuous emergence of coral reef diseases and increase in bleaching events caused in part by high water temperatures among other factors underscore the need for intensive assessments of their ecological status and causes and their impact on coral reefs.

  15. Arnfried Antonius, coral diseases, and the AMLC

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laurie L. Richardson

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available The study of coral diseases, coral pathogens, and the effects of diseases on tropical and subtropical coral reefs are all current, high-profile research areas. This interest has grown steadily since the first report of a coral disease in 1973. The author of this report was Arnfried Antonius and the publication was an abstract in the proceedings of a scientific meeting of the Association of Marine Laboratories of the Caribbean, or AMLC (then known as the Association of Island Marine Laboratories of the Caribbean. Since Antonius’ pioneering communication he continued working on coral diseases on reefs throughout the world, often documenting the first observation of a novel pathology in a novel location. Each of the coral diseases Antonius first described, in particular black band disease, is the subject of current and ongoing investigations addressing pathogens, etiology, and their effects on coral reefs. Many of the points and observations he made in his early papers are highly relevant to research today. This paper reviews aspects of Antonius’ early work, highlighting contributions he made that include the first in situ experimental studies aimed at discerning coral epizootiology and the first quantitative assessments of the role of environmental factors in coral disease. Antonius’ early findings are discussed in terms of relevant current controversies in this research areaEl estudio de las enfermedades de los corales, los patogenos de los corales y los efectos de estas enfermedades sobre los arrecifes tropicales y subtropicales son actualmente areas importantes de investigacion. El interés en este tema ha crecido continuamente desde el primer informe sobre una enfermedad de coral que se publico en 1973. El autor de este informe fue Arnfried Antonius y la publicacion fue un resumen en el Libro de Programa y Resumenes de la Decima Reunion de la Asociacion de Laboratorios Marinos Islenos del Caribe (conocida ahora como la Asociacion de

  16. Coral diseases and bleaching on Colombian Caribbean coral reefs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raúl Navas-Camacho

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Since 1998 the National Monitoring System for the Coral Reefs of Colombia (SIMAC has monitored the occurrence of coral bleaching and diseases in some Colombian coral reefs (permanent stations at San Andres Island, Rosario Islands, Tayrona, San Bernardo Islands and Urabá. The main purpose is to evaluate their health status and to understand the factors that have been contributing to their decline. To estimate these occurrences, annual surveys in 126 permanent belt transects (10x2m with different depth intervals (3-6 meters, 9-12 meters and 15-18 meters are performed at all reef sites. Data from the 1998-2004 period, revealed that San Andrés Island had many colonies with diseases (38.9 colonies/m2, and Urabá had high numbers with bleaching (54.4 colonies/m2. Of the seven reported coral diseases studied, Dark Spots Disease (DSD, and White Plague Disease (WPD were noteworthy because they occurred in all Caribbean monitored sites, and because of their high interannual infection incidence. Thirty five species of scleractinian corals were affected by at least one disease and a high incidence of coral diseases on the main reef builders is documented. Bleaching was present in 34 species. During the whole monitoring period, Agaricia agaricites and Siderastrea siderea were the species most severely affected by DSD and bleaching, respectively. Diseases on species such as Agaricia fragilis, A.grahamae, A. humilis, Diploria clivosa, Eusmilia fastigiata, Millepora complanata, and Mycetophyllia aliciae are recorded for first time in Colombia. We present bleaching and disease incidences, kinds of diseases, coral species affected, reef localities studied, depth intervals of surveys, and temporal (years variation for each geographic area. This variation makes difficult to clearly determine defined patterns or general trends for monitored reefs. This is the first long-term study of coral diseases and bleaching in the Southwestern Caribbean, and one of the few

  17. Identification of Candidate Coral Pathogens on White Band Disease-Infected Staghorn Coral.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gignoux-Wolfsohn, Sarah A; Vollmer, Steven V

    2015-01-01

    Bacterial diseases affecting scleractinian corals pose an enormous threat to the health of coral reefs, yet we still have a limited understanding of the bacteria associated with coral diseases. White band disease is a bacterial disease that affects the two Caribbean acroporid corals, the staghorn coral Acropora cervicornis and the elkhorn coral A. palmate. Species of Vibrio and Rickettsia have both been identified as putative WBD pathogens. Here we used Illumina 16S rRNA gene sequencing to profile the bacterial communities associated with healthy and diseased A. cervicornis collected from four field sites during two different years. We also exposed corals in tanks to diseased and healthy (control) homogenates to reduce some of the natural variation of field-collected coral bacterial communities. Using a combination of multivariate analyses, we identified community-level changes between diseased and healthy corals in both the field-collected and tank-exposed datasets. We then identified changes in the abundances of individual operational taxonomic units (OTUs) between diseased and healthy corals. By comparing the diseased and healthy-associated bacteria in field-collected and tank-exposed corals, we were able to identify 16 healthy-associated OTUs and 106 consistently disease-associated OTUs, which are good candidates for putative WBD pathogens. A large percentage of these disease-associated OTUs belonged to the order Flavobacteriales. In addition, two of the putative pathogens identified here belong to orders previously suggested as WBD pathogens: Vibronales and Rickettsiales.

  18. Identification of Candidate Coral Pathogens on White Band Disease-Infected Staghorn Coral.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah A Gignoux-Wolfsohn

    Full Text Available Bacterial diseases affecting scleractinian corals pose an enormous threat to the health of coral reefs, yet we still have a limited understanding of the bacteria associated with coral diseases. White band disease is a bacterial disease that affects the two Caribbean acroporid corals, the staghorn coral Acropora cervicornis and the elkhorn coral A. palmate. Species of Vibrio and Rickettsia have both been identified as putative WBD pathogens. Here we used Illumina 16S rRNA gene sequencing to profile the bacterial communities associated with healthy and diseased A. cervicornis collected from four field sites during two different years. We also exposed corals in tanks to diseased and healthy (control homogenates to reduce some of the natural variation of field-collected coral bacterial communities. Using a combination of multivariate analyses, we identified community-level changes between diseased and healthy corals in both the field-collected and tank-exposed datasets. We then identified changes in the abundances of individual operational taxonomic units (OTUs between diseased and healthy corals. By comparing the diseased and healthy-associated bacteria in field-collected and tank-exposed corals, we were able to identify 16 healthy-associated OTUs and 106 consistently disease-associated OTUs, which are good candidates for putative WBD pathogens. A large percentage of these disease-associated OTUs belonged to the order Flavobacteriales. In addition, two of the putative pathogens identified here belong to orders previously suggested as WBD pathogens: Vibronales and Rickettsiales.

  19. Bacterial profiling of White Plague Disease across corals and oceans indicates a conserved and distinct disease microbiome

    KAUST Repository

    Roder, C.

    2014-01-29

    Coral diseases are characterized by microbial community shifts in coral mucus and tissue, but causes and consequences of these changes are vaguely understood due to the complexity and dynamics of coral-associated bacteria. We used 16S rRNA gene microarrays to assay differences in bacterial assemblages of healthy and diseased colonies displaying White Plague Disease (WPD) signs from two closely related Caribbean coral species, Orbicella faveolata and Orbicella franksi. Analysis of differentially abundant operational taxonomic units (OTUs) revealed strong differences between healthy and diseased specimens, but not between coral species. A subsequent comparison to data from two Indo-Pacific coral species (Pavona duerdeni and Porites lutea) revealed distinct microbial community patterns associated with ocean basin, coral species and health state. Coral species were clearly separated by site, but also, the relatedness of the underlying bacterial community structures resembled the phylogenetic relationship of the coral hosts. In diseased samples, bacterial richness increased and putatively opportunistic bacteria were consistently more abundant highlighting the role of opportunistic conditions in structuring microbial community patterns during disease. Our comparative analysis shows that it is possible to derive conserved bacterial footprints of diseased coral holobionts that might help in identifying key bacterial species related to the underlying etiopathology. Furthermore, our data demonstrate that similar-appearing disease phenotypes produce microbial community patterns that are consistent over coral species and oceans, irrespective of the putative underlying pathogen. Consequently, profiling coral diseases by microbial community structure over multiple coral species might allow the development of a comparative disease framework that can inform on cause and relatedness of coral diseases. 2013 The Authors Molecular Ecology John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. Ciliate communities consistently associated with coral diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sweet, M. J.; Séré, M. G.

    2016-07-01

    Incidences of coral disease are increasing. Most studies which focus on diseases in these organisms routinely assess variations in bacterial associates. However, other microorganism groups such as viruses, fungi and protozoa are only recently starting to receive attention. This study aimed at assessing the diversity of ciliates associated with coral diseases over a wide geographical range. Here we show that a wide variety of ciliates are associated with all nine coral diseases assessed. Many of these ciliates such as Trochilia petrani and Glauconema trihymene feed on the bacteria which are likely colonizing the bare skeleton exposed by the advancing disease lesion or the necrotic tissue itself. Others such as Pseudokeronopsis and Licnophora macfarlandi are common predators of other protozoans and will be attracted by the increase in other ciliate species to the lesion interface. However, a few ciliate species (namely Varistrombidium kielum, Philaster lucinda, Philaster guamense, a Euplotes sp., a Trachelotractus sp. and a Condylostoma sp.) appear to harbor symbiotic algae, potentially from the coral themselves, a result which may indicate that they play some role in the disease pathology at the very least. Although, from this study alone we are not able to discern what roles any of these ciliates play in disease causation, the consistent presence of such communities with disease lesion interfaces warrants further investigation.

  1. Diseases of corals with particular reference to Indian reefs

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Ravindran, J.; Raghukumar, C.

    valderianum, a cyanobacterium causes the PLS Histological observations showed that the tissue was destroyed in PLS The coral bleaching is the only abiotic disease known in the corals Bleaching is triggered by anomalous high water temperature during summer...

  2. Identification and prevalence of coral diseases on three Western Indian Ocean coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Séré, Mathieu G; Chabanet, Pascale; Turquet, Jean; Quod, Jean-Pascal; Schleyer, Michael H

    2015-06-03

    Coral diseases have caused a substantial decline in the biodiversity and abundance of reef-building corals. To date, more than 30 distinct diseases of scleractinian corals have been reported, which cause progressive tissue loss and/or affect coral growth, reproductive capacity, recruitment, species diversity and the abundance of reef-associated organisms. While coral disease research has increased over the last 4 decades, very little is known about coral diseases in the Western Indian Ocean. Surveys conducted at multiple sites in Reunion, South Africa and Mayotte between August 2010 and June 2012 revealed the presence of 6 main coral diseases: black band disease (BBD), white syndrome (WS), pink line syndrome (PLS), growth anomalies (GA), skeleton eroding band (SEB) and Porites white patch syndrome (PWPS). Overall, disease prevalence was higher in Reunion (7.5 ± 2.2%; mean ± SE) compared to South Africa (3.9 ± 0.8%) and Mayotte (2.7 ± 0.3%). Across locations, Acropora and Porites were the genera most susceptible to disease. Spatial variability was detected in both Reunion and South Africa, with BBD and WS more prevalent on shallow than deep reefs. There was also evidence of seasonality in 2 diseases: the prevalence of BBD and WS was higher in summer than winter. This was the first study to investigate the ecology of coral diseases, providing both qualitative and quantitative data, on Western Indian Ocean reefs, and surveys should be expanded to confirm these patterns.

  3. White Band Disease transmission in the threatened coral, Acropora cervicornis

    OpenAIRE

    Gignoux-Wolfsohn, S. A.; Marks, Christopher J.; Steven V Vollmer

    2012-01-01

    The global rise in coral diseases has severely impacted coral reef ecosystems, yet often little is known about these diseases, including how they are transmitted. White Band Disease (WBD), for example, has caused unparalleled declines in live Acropora cover, spreading rapidly throughout the Caribbean by unknown means. Here we test four putative modes of WBD transmission to the staghorn coral Acropora cervicornis: two animal vectors (Coralliophila abbreviata and C. caribaea) and waterborne tra...

  4. Sediment and turbidity associated with offshore dredging increase coral disease prevalence on nearby reefs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F Joseph Pollock

    Full Text Available In recent decades, coral reef ecosystems have declined to the extent that reefs are now threatened globally. While many water quality parameters have been proposed to contribute to reef declines, little evidence exists conclusively linking specific water quality parameters with increased disease prevalence in situ. Here we report evidence from in situ coral health surveys confirming that chronic exposure to dredging-associated sediment plumes significantly increase the prevalence of white syndromes, a devastating group of globally important coral diseases. Coral health surveys were conducted along a dredging-associated sediment plume gradient to assess the relationship between sedimentation, turbidity and coral health. Reefs exposed to the highest number of days under the sediment plume (296 to 347 days had two-fold higher levels of disease, largely driven by a 2.5-fold increase in white syndromes, and a six-fold increase in other signs of compromised coral health relative to reefs with little or no plume exposure (0 to 9 days. Multivariate modeling and ordination incorporating sediment exposure level, coral community composition and cover, predation and multiple thermal stress indices provided further confirmation that sediment plume exposure level was the main driver of elevated disease and other compromised coral health indicators. This study provides the first evidence linking dredging-associated sedimentation and turbidity with elevated coral disease prevalence in situ. Our results may help to explain observed increases in global coral disease prevalence in recent decades and suggest that minimizing sedimentation and turbidity associated with coastal development will provide an important management tool for controlling coral disease epizootics.

  5. Satellite SST-Based Coral Disease Outbreak Predictions for the Hawaiian Archipelago

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jamie M. Caldwell

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Predicting wildlife disease risk is essential for effective monitoring and management, especially for geographically expansive ecosystems such as coral reefs in the Hawaiian archipelago. Warming ocean temperature has increased coral disease outbreaks contributing to declines in coral cover worldwide. In this study we investigated seasonal effects of thermal stress on the prevalence of the three most widespread coral diseases in Hawai’i: Montipora white syndrome, Porites growth anomalies and Porites tissue loss syndrome. To predict outbreak likelihood we compared disease prevalence from surveys conducted between 2004 and 2015 from 18 Hawaiian Islands and atolls with biotic (e.g., coral density and abiotic (satellite-derived sea surface temperature metrics variables using boosted regression trees. To date, the only coral disease forecast models available were developed for Acropora white syndrome on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR. Given the complexities of disease etiology, differences in host demography and environmental conditions across reef regions, it is important to refine and adapt such models for different diseases and geographic regions of interest. Similar to the Acropora white syndrome models, anomalously warm conditions were important for predicting Montipora white syndrome, possibly due to a relationship between thermal stress and a compromised host immune system. However, coral density and winter conditions were the most important predictors of all three coral diseases in this study, enabling development of a forecasting system that can predict regions of elevated disease risk up to six months before an expected outbreak. Our research indicates satellite-derived systems for forecasting disease outbreaks can be appropriately adapted from the GBR tools and applied for a variety of diseases in a new region. These models can be used to enhance management capacity to prepare for and respond to emerging coral diseases throughout Hawai

  6. Metatranscriptome analysis of the reef-building coral Orbicella faveolata indicates holobiont response to coral disease

    KAUST Repository

    Daniels, Camille Arian

    2015-09-11

    White Plague Disease (WPD) is implicated in coral reef decline in the Caribbean and is characterized by microbial community shifts in coral mucus and tissue. Studies thus far have focused on assessing microbial communities or the identification of specific pathogens, yet few have addressed holobiont response across metaorganism compartments in coral disease. Here, we report on the first metatranscriptomic assessment of the coral host, algal symbiont, and microbial compartment in order to survey holobiont structure and function in healthy and diseased samples from Orbicella faveolata collected at reef sites off Puerto Rico. Our data indicate holobiont-wide as well as compartment-specific responses to WPD. Gene expression changes in the diseased coral host involved proteins playing a role in innate immunity, cytoskeletal integrity, cell adhesion, oxidative stress, chemical defense, and retroelements. In contrast, the algal symbiont showed comparatively few expression changes, but of large magnitude, of genes related to stress, photosynthesis, and metal transport. Concordant with the coral host response, the bacterial compartment showed increased abundance of heat shock proteins, genes related to oxidative stress, DNA repair, and potential retroelement activity. Importantly, analysis of the expressed bacterial gene functions establishes the participation of multiple bacterial families in WPD pathogenesis and also suggests a possible involvement of viruses and/or phages in structuring the bacterial assemblage. In this study, we implement an experimental approach to partition the coral holobiont and resolve compartment- and taxa-specific responses in order to understand metaorganism function in coral disease.

  7. Metatranscriptome analysis of the reef-buidling coral Orbicella faveolata indicates holobiont response to coral disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Camille eDaniels

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available White Plague Disease (WPD is implicated in coral reef decline in the Caribbean and is characterized by microbial community shifts in coral mucus and tissue. Studies thus far have focused on assessing microbial communities or the identification of specific pathogens, yet few have addressed holobiont response across metaorganism compartments in coral disease. Here, we report on the first metatranscriptomic assessment of the coral host, algal symbiont, and microbial compartment in order to survey holobiont structure and function in healthy and diseased samples from Orbicella faveolata collected at reef sites off Puerto Rico. Our data indicate metaorganism-wide as well as compartment-specific responses to WPD. Gene expression changes in the diseased coral host involved proteins playing a role in innate immunity, cytoskeletal integrity, cell adhesion, oxidative stress, chemical defense, and retroelements. In contrast, the algal symbiont showed comparatively few expression changes, but of large magnitude, of genes related to stress, photosynthesis, and metal transport. Concordant with the coral host response, the bacterial compartment showed increased abundance of heat shock proteins, genes related to oxidative stress, DNA repair, and potential retroelement activity. Importantly, analysis of the expressed bacterial gene functions establishes the participation of multiple bacterial families in WPD pathogenesis and also suggests a possible involvement of viruses and/or phages in structuring the bacterial assemblage. In this study, we implement an experimental approach to partition the coral holobiont and resolve compartment- and taxa-specific responses in order to understand metaorganism function in coral disease.

  8. RNA-Seq of the Caribbean reef-building coral Orbicella faveolata (Scleractinia-Merulinidae under bleaching and disease stress expands models of coral innate immunity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David A. Anderson

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Climate change-driven coral disease outbreaks have led to widespread declines in coral populations. Early work on coral genomics established that corals have a complex innate immune system, and whole-transcriptome gene expression studies have revealed mechanisms by which the coral immune system responds to stress and disease. The present investigation expands bioinformatic data available to study coral molecular physiology through the assembly and annotation of a reference transcriptome of the Caribbean reef-building coral, Orbicella faveolata. Samples were collected during a warm water thermal anomaly, coral bleaching event and Caribbean yellow band disease outbreak in 2010 in Puerto Rico. Multiplex sequencing of RNA on the Illumina GAIIx platform and de novo transcriptome assembly by Trinity produced 70,745,177 raw short-sequence reads and 32,463 O. faveolata transcripts, respectively. The reference transcriptome was annotated with gene ontologies, mapped to KEGG pathways, and a predicted proteome of 20,488 sequences was generated. Protein families and signaling pathways that are essential in the regulation of innate immunity across Phyla were investigated in-depth. Results were used to develop models of evolutionarily conserved Wnt, Notch, Rig-like receptor, Nod-like receptor, and Dicer signaling. O. faveolata is a coral species that has been studied widely under climate-driven stress and disease, and the present investigation provides new data on the genes that putatively regulate its immune system.

  9. RNA-Seq of the Caribbean reef-building coral Orbicella faveolata (Scleractinia-Merulinidae) under bleaching and disease stress expands models of coral innate immunity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, David A; Walz, Marcus E; Weil, Ernesto; Tonellato, Peter; Smith, Matthew C

    2016-01-01

    Climate change-driven coral disease outbreaks have led to widespread declines in coral populations. Early work on coral genomics established that corals have a complex innate immune system, and whole-transcriptome gene expression studies have revealed mechanisms by which the coral immune system responds to stress and disease. The present investigation expands bioinformatic data available to study coral molecular physiology through the assembly and annotation of a reference transcriptome of the Caribbean reef-building coral, Orbicella faveolata. Samples were collected during a warm water thermal anomaly, coral bleaching event and Caribbean yellow band disease outbreak in 2010 in Puerto Rico. Multiplex sequencing of RNA on the Illumina GAIIx platform and de novo transcriptome assembly by Trinity produced 70,745,177 raw short-sequence reads and 32,463 O. faveolata transcripts, respectively. The reference transcriptome was annotated with gene ontologies, mapped to KEGG pathways, and a predicted proteome of 20,488 sequences was generated. Protein families and signaling pathways that are essential in the regulation of innate immunity across Phyla were investigated in-depth. Results were used to develop models of evolutionarily conserved Wnt, Notch, Rig-like receptor, Nod-like receptor, and Dicer signaling. O. faveolata is a coral species that has been studied widely under climate-driven stress and disease, and the present investigation provides new data on the genes that putatively regulate its immune system.

  10. Thermal stress and coral cover as drivers of coral disease outbreaks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John F Bruno

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Very little is known about how environmental changes such as increasing temperature affect disease dynamics in the ocean, especially at large spatial scales. We asked whether the frequency of warm temperature anomalies is positively related to the frequency of coral disease across 1,500 km of Australia's Great Barrier Reef. We used a new high-resolution satellite dataset of ocean temperature and 6 y of coral disease and coral cover data from annual surveys of 48 reefs to answer this question. We found a highly significant relationship between the frequencies of warm temperature anomalies and of white syndrome, an emergent disease, or potentially, a group of diseases, of Pacific reef-building corals. The effect of temperature was highly dependent on coral cover because white syndrome outbreaks followed warm years, but only on high (>50% cover reefs, suggesting an important role of host density as a threshold for outbreaks. Our results indicate that the frequency of temperature anomalies, which is predicted to increase in most tropical oceans, can increase the susceptibility of corals to disease, leading to outbreaks where corals are abundant.

  11. Anthropogenic mortality on coral reefs in Caribbean Panama predates coral disease and bleaching.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cramer, Katie L; Jackson, Jeremy B C; Angioletti, Christopher V; Leonard-Pingel, Jill; Guilderson, Thomas P

    2012-06-01

    Caribbean reef corals have declined precipitously since the 1980s due to regional episodes of bleaching, disease and algal overgrowth, but the extent of earlier degradation due to localised historical disturbances such as land clearing and overfishing remains unresolved. We analysed coral and molluscan fossil assemblages from reefs near Bocas del Toro, Panama to construct a timeline of ecological change from the 19th century-present. We report large changes before 1960 in coastal lagoons coincident with extensive deforestation, and after 1960 on offshore reefs. Striking changes include the demise of previously dominant staghorn coral Acropora cervicornis and oyster Dendrostrea frons that lives attached to gorgonians and staghorn corals. Reductions in bivalve size and simplification of gastropod trophic structure further implicate increasing environmental stress on reefs. Our paleoecological data strongly support the hypothesis, from extensive qualitative data, that Caribbean reef degradation predates coral bleaching and disease outbreaks linked to anthropogenic climate change. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  12. Immunity through early development of coral larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palmer, C V; Graham, E; Baird, A H

    2012-10-01

    As a determinant of survival, immunity is likely to be significant in enabling coral larvae to disperse and successfully recruit, however, whether reef-building coral larvae have immune defenses is unknown. We investigated the potential presence and variation in immunity in the lecithotrophic larvae of Acropora tenuis through larval development. Enzymes indicative of tyrosinase and laccase-type melanin-synthesis were quantified, and the concentration of three coral fluorescent proteins was measured over six developmental stages; egg, embryo, motile planula, planula post-exposure to crustose coralline algae (CCA; settlement cue), settled, settled post-exposure to Symbiodinium (endosymbiont). Both types of melanin-synthesis pathways and the three fluorescent proteins were present in A. tenuis throughout development. Laccase-type activity and red fluorescence increased following exposure of planula to CCA, whereas tyrosinase-type activity and cyan fluorescence increased following settlement. No change was detected in the measured parameters following exposure to Symbiodinium. This study is the first to document coral larval immune responses and suggests the melanin-synthesis pathways have disparate roles-the laccase-type potentially non-immunological and the tyrosinase-type in cytotoxic defense. Our results indicate that corals have the potential to resist infection from the earliest life history phase. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Hyperspectral sensing of disease stress in the Caribbean reef-building coral, Orbicella faveolata - perspectives for the field of coral disease monitoring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, David A; Armstrong, Roy A; Weil, Ernesto

    2013-01-01

    The effectiveness of management plans developed for responding to coral disease outbreaks is limited due to the lack of rapid methods of disease diagnosis. In order to fulfill current management guidelines for responding to coral disease outbreaks, alternative methods that significantly reduce response time must be developed. Hyperspectral sensing has been used by various groups to characterize the spectral signatures unique to asymptomatic and bleached corals. The 2010 combined bleaching and Caribbean yellow band disease outbreak in Puerto Rico provided a unique opportunity to investigate the spectral signatures associated with bleached and Caribbean yellow band-diseased colonies of Orbicella faveolata for the first time. Using derivative and cluster analyses of hyperspectral reflectance data, the present study demonstrates the proof of concept that spectral signatures can be used to differentiate between coral disease states. This method enhanced predominant visual methods of diagnosis by distinguishing between different asymptomatic conditions that are identical in field observations and photographic records. The ability to identify disease-affected tissue before lesions become visible could greatly reduce response times to coral disease outbreaks in monitoring efforts. Finally, spectral signatures associated with the poorly understood Caribbean yellow band disease are presented to guide future research on the role of pigments in the etiology.

  14. Words matter: Recommendations for clarifying coral disease nomenclature and terminology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, Caroline S.

    2010-01-01

    Coral diseases have caused significant losses on Caribbean reefs and are becoming a greater concern in the Pacific. Progress in coral disease research requires collaboration and communication among experts from many different disciplines. The lack of consistency in the use of terms and names in the recent scientific literature reflects the absence of an authority for naming coral diseases, a lack of consensus on the meaning of even some of the most basic terms as they apply to corals, and imprecision in the use of descriptive words. The lack of consensus partly reflects the complexity of this newly emerging field of research. Establishment of a nomenclature committee under the Coral Disease and Health Consortium (CDHC) could lead to more standardized definitions and could promote use of appropriate medical terminology for describing and communicating disease conditions in corals. This committee could also help to define disease terminology unique to corals where existing medical terminology is not applicable. These efforts will help scientists communicate with one another and with the general public more effectively. Scientists can immediately begin to reduce some of the confusion simply by explicitly defining the words they are using. In addition, digital photographs can be posted on the CDHC website and included in publications to document the macroscopic (gross) signs of the conditions observed on coral colonies along with precisely written characterizations and descriptions.

  15. Symbiodinium associations with diseased and healthy scleractinian corals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Correa, A. M. S.; Brandt, M. E.; Smith, T. B.; Thornhill, D. J.; Baker, A. C.

    2009-06-01

    Despite recent advances in identifying the causative agents of disease in corals and understanding the impact of epizootics on reef communities, little is known regarding the interactions among diseases, corals, and their dinoflagellate endosymbionts ( Symbiodinium spp.). Since the genotypes of both corals and their resident Symbiodinium contribute to colony-level phenotypes, such as thermotolerance, symbiont genotypes might also contribute to the resistance or susceptibility of coral colonies to disease. To explore this, Symbiodinium were identified using the internal transcribed spacer-2 region of ribosomal DNA from diseased and healthy tissues within individual coral colonies infected with black band disease (BB), dark spot syndrome (DSS), white plague disease (WP), or yellow blotch disease (YB) in the Florida Keys (USA) and the US Virgin Islands. Most of the diseased colonies sampled contained B1, B5a, or C1 (depending on host species), while apparently healthy colonies of the same coral species frequently hosted these types and/or additional symbiont diversity. No potentially “parasitic” Symbiodinium types, uniquely associated with diseased coral tissue, were detected. Within most individual colonies, the same dominant Symbiodinium type was detected in diseased and visually healthy tissues. These data indicate that specific Symbiodinium types are not correlated with the infected tissues of diseased colonies and that DSS and WP onset do not trigger symbiont shuffling within infected tissues. However, few diseased colonies contained clade D symbionts suggesting a negative correlation between hosting Symbiodinium clade D and disease incidence in scleractinian corals. Understanding the influence of Symbiodinium diversity on colony phenotypes may play a critical role in predicting disease resistance and susceptibility in scleractinian corals.

  16. White Band Disease transmission in the threatened coral, Acropora cervicornis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gignoux-Wolfsohn, S A; Marks, Christopher J; Vollmer, Steven V

    2012-01-01

    The global rise in coral diseases has severely impacted coral reef ecosystems, yet often little is known about these diseases, including how they are transmitted. White Band Disease (WBD), for example, has caused unparalleled declines in live Acropora cover, spreading rapidly throughout the Caribbean by unknown means. Here we test four putative modes of WBD transmission to the staghorn coral Acropora cervicornis: two animal vectors (Coralliophila abbreviata and C. caribaea) and waterborne transmission to intact and injured coral tissues. Using aquarium-based infection experiments, we determine that C. abbreviata, but not C. caribaea, acts as both a vector and reservoir for transmission of the WBD pathogen. We also demonstrate waterborne transmission to injured, but not intact staghorn coral tissues. The combination of transmission by both animal vectors and through the water column helps explain how WBD is spread locally and across the Caribbean.

  17. Modeling the Impact of White-Plague Coral Disease in Climate Change Scenarios.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Assaf Zvuloni

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Coral reefs are in global decline, with coral diseases increasing both in prevalence and in space, a situation that is expected only to worsen as future thermal stressors increase. Through intense surveillance, we have collected a unique and highly resolved dataset from the coral reef of Eilat (Israel, Red Sea, that documents the spatiotemporal dynamics of a White Plague Disease (WPD outbreak over the course of a full season. Based on modern statistical methodologies, we develop a novel spatial epidemiological model that uses a maximum-likelihood procedure to fit the data and assess the transmission pattern of WPD. We link the model to sea surface temperature (SST and test the possible effect of increasing temperatures on disease dynamics. Our results reveal that the likelihood of a susceptible coral to become infected is governed both by SST and by its spatial location relative to nearby infected corals. The model shows that the magnitude of WPD epidemics strongly depends on demographic circumstances; under one extreme, when recruitment is free-space regulated and coral density remains relatively constant, even an increase of only 0.5°C in SST can cause epidemics to double in magnitude. In reality, however, the spatial nature of transmission can effectively protect the community, restricting the magnitude of annual epidemics. This is because the probability of susceptible corals to become infected is negatively associated with coral density. Based on our findings, we expect that infectious diseases having a significant spatial component, such as Red-Sea WPD, will never lead to a complete destruction of the coral community under increased thermal stress. However, this also implies that signs of recovery of local coral communities may be misleading; indicative more of spatial dynamics than true rehabilitation of these communities. In contrast to earlier generic models, our approach captures dynamics of WPD both in space and time, accounting for

  18. Modeling the Impact of White-Plague Coral Disease in Climate Change Scenarios.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zvuloni, Assaf; Artzy-Randrup, Yael; Katriel, Guy; Loya, Yossi; Stone, Lewi

    2015-06-01

    Coral reefs are in global decline, with coral diseases increasing both in prevalence and in space, a situation that is expected only to worsen as future thermal stressors increase. Through intense surveillance, we have collected a unique and highly resolved dataset from the coral reef of Eilat (Israel, Red Sea), that documents the spatiotemporal dynamics of a White Plague Disease (WPD) outbreak over the course of a full season. Based on modern statistical methodologies, we develop a novel spatial epidemiological model that uses a maximum-likelihood procedure to fit the data and assess the transmission pattern of WPD. We link the model to sea surface temperature (SST) and test the possible effect of increasing temperatures on disease dynamics. Our results reveal that the likelihood of a susceptible coral to become infected is governed both by SST and by its spatial location relative to nearby infected corals. The model shows that the magnitude of WPD epidemics strongly depends on demographic circumstances; under one extreme, when recruitment is free-space regulated and coral density remains relatively constant, even an increase of only 0.5°C in SST can cause epidemics to double in magnitude. In reality, however, the spatial nature of transmission can effectively protect the community, restricting the magnitude of annual epidemics. This is because the probability of susceptible corals to become infected is negatively associated with coral density. Based on our findings, we expect that infectious diseases having a significant spatial component, such as Red-Sea WPD, will never lead to a complete destruction of the coral community under increased thermal stress. However, this also implies that signs of recovery of local coral communities may be misleading; indicative more of spatial dynamics than true rehabilitation of these communities. In contrast to earlier generic models, our approach captures dynamics of WPD both in space and time, accounting for the highly

  19. Predictive modeling of coral disease distribution within a reef system.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gareth J Williams

    Full Text Available Diseases often display complex and distinct associations with their environment due to differences in etiology, modes of transmission between hosts, and the shifting balance between pathogen virulence and host resistance. Statistical modeling has been underutilized in coral disease research to explore the spatial patterns that result from this triad of interactions. We tested the hypotheses that: 1 coral diseases show distinct associations with multiple environmental factors, 2 incorporating interactions (synergistic collinearities among environmental variables is important when predicting coral disease spatial patterns, and 3 modeling overall coral disease prevalence (the prevalence of multiple diseases as a single proportion value will increase predictive error relative to modeling the same diseases independently. Four coral diseases: Porites growth anomalies (PorGA, Porites tissue loss (PorTL, Porites trematodiasis (PorTrem, and Montipora white syndrome (MWS, and their interactions with 17 predictor variables were modeled using boosted regression trees (BRT within a reef system in Hawaii. Each disease showed distinct associations with the predictors. Environmental predictors showing the strongest overall associations with the coral diseases were both biotic and abiotic. PorGA was optimally predicted by a negative association with turbidity, PorTL and MWS by declines in butterflyfish and juvenile parrotfish abundance respectively, and PorTrem by a modal relationship with Porites host cover. Incorporating interactions among predictor variables contributed to the predictive power of our models, particularly for PorTrem. Combining diseases (using overall disease prevalence as the model response, led to an average six-fold increase in cross-validation predictive deviance over modeling the diseases individually. We therefore recommend coral diseases to be modeled separately, unless known to have etiologies that respond in a similar manner to

  20. Coral disease and health workshop: Coral Histopathology II, July 12-14, 2005

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galloway, S.B.; Woodley, Cheryl M.; McLaughlin, S.M.; Work, T.M.; Bochsler, V.S.; Meteyer, Carol U.; Sileo, Louis; Peters, E.C.; Kramarsky-Winters, E.; Morado, J. Frank; Parnell, P.G.; Rotstein, D.S.; Harely, R.A.; Reynolds, T.L.

    2005-01-01

    The health and continued existence of coral reef ecosystems are threatened by an increasing array of environmental and anthropogenic impacts. Coral disease is one of the prominent causes of increased mortality among reefs globally, particularly in the Caribbean. Although over 40 different coral diseases and syndromes have been reported worldwide, only a few etiological agents have been confirmed; most pathogens remain unknown and the dynamics of disease transmission, pathogenicity and mortality are not understood. Causal relationships have been documented for only a few of the coral diseases, while new syndromes continue to emerge. Extensive field observations by coral biologists have provided substantial documentation of a plethora of new pathologies, but our understanding, however, has been limited to descriptions of gross lesions with names reflecting these observations (e.g., black band, white band, dark spot). To determine etiology, we must equip coral diseases scientists with basic biomedical knowledge and specialized training in areas such as histology, cell biology and pathology. Only through combining descriptive science with mechanistic science and employing the synthesis epizootiology provides will we be able to gain insight into causation and become equipped to handle the pending crisis.

  1. Developing a multi-stressor gradient for coral reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coral reefs are often found near coastal waters where multiple anthropogenic stressors co-occur at areas of human disturbance. Developing coral reef biocriteria under the U.S. Clean Water Act requires relationships between anthropogenic stressors and coral reef condition to be es...

  2. Developing a multi-stressor gradient for coral reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coral reefs are often found near coastal waters where multiple anthropogenic stressors co-occur at areas of human disturbance. Developing coral reef biocriteria under the U.S. Clean Water Act requires relationships between anthropogenic stressors and coral reef condition to be es...

  3. Human pathogen shown to cause disease in the threatened eklhorn coral Acropora palmata.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kathryn Patterson Sutherland

    Full Text Available Coral reefs are in severe decline. Infections by the human pathogen Serratia marcescens have contributed to precipitous losses in the common Caribbean elkhorn coral, Acropora palmata, culminating in its listing under the United States Endangered Species Act. During a 2003 outbreak of this coral disease, called acroporid serratiosis (APS, a unique strain of the pathogen, Serratia marcescens strain PDR60, was identified from diseased A. palmata, human wastewater, the non-host coral Siderastrea siderea and the corallivorous snail Coralliophila abbreviata. In order to examine humans as a source and other marine invertebrates as vectors and/or reservoirs of the APS pathogen, challenge experiments were conducted with A. palmata maintained in closed aquaria to determine infectivity of strain PDR60 from reef and wastewater sources. Strain PDR60 from wastewater and diseased A. palmata caused disease signs in elkhorn coral in as little as four and five days, respectively, demonstrating that wastewater is a definitive source of APS and identifying human strain PDR60 as a coral pathogen through fulfillment of Koch's postulates. A. palmata inoculated with strain PDR60 from C. abbreviata showed limited virulence, with one of three inoculated fragments developing APS signs within 13 days. Strain PDR60 from non-host coral S. siderea showed a delayed pathogenic effect, with disease signs developing within an average of 20 days. These results suggest that C. abbreviata and non-host corals may function as reservoirs or vectors of the APS pathogen. Our results provide the first example of a marine "reverse zoonosis" involving the transmission of a human pathogen (S. marcescens to a marine invertebrate (A. palmata. These findings underscore the interaction between public health practices and environmental health indices such as coral reef survival.

  4. Metaproteomics reveals metabolic transitions between healthy and diseased stony coral Mussismilia braziliensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, Gizele D; Santos, Eidy de O; Sousa, Gabriele V; Zingali, Russolina B; Thompson, Cristiane C; Thompson, Fabiano L

    2016-09-01

    Infectious diseases such as white plague syndrome (WPS) and black band disease (BBD) have caused massive coral loss worldwide. We performed a metaproteomic study on the Abrolhos coral Mussismilia braziliensis to define the types of proteins expressed in healthy corals compared to WPS- and BBD-affected corals. A total of 6363 MS/MS spectra were identified as 361 different proteins. Healthy corals had a set of proteins that may be considered markers of holobiont homoeostasis, including tubulin, histone, Rab family, ribosomal, peridinin-chlorophyll a-binding protein, F0F1-type ATP synthase, alpha-iG protein, calmodulin and ADP-ribosylation factor. Cnidaria proteins found in healthy M. braziliensis were associated with Cnidaria-Symbiodinium endosymbiosis and included chaperones (hsp70, hsp90 and calreticulin), structural and membrane modelling proteins (actin) and proteins with functions related to intracellular vesicular traffic (Rab7 and ADP-ribosylation factor 1) and signal transduction (14-3-3 protein and calmodulin). WPS resulted in a clear shift in the predominance of proteins, from those related to aerobic nitrogen-fixing bacteria (i.e. Rhizobiales, Sphingomonadales and Actinomycetales) in healthy corals to those produced by facultative/anaerobic sulphate-reducing bacteria (i.e. Enterobacteriales, Alteromonadales, Clostridiales and Bacteroidetes) in WPS corals. BBD corals developed a diverse community dominated by cyanobacteria and sulphur cycle bacteria. Hsp60, hsp90 and adenosylhomocysteinase proteins were produced mainly by cyanobacteria in BBD corals, which is consistent with elevated oxidative stress in hydrogen sulphide- and cyanotoxin-rich environments. This study demonstrates the usefulness of metaproteomics for gaining better comprehension of coral metabolic status in health and disease, especially in reef systems such as the Abrolhos that are suffering from the increase in global and local threatening events.

  5. Coral Reef Genomics: Developing tools for functional genomics ofcoral symbiosis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schwarz, Jodi; Brokstein, Peter; Manohar, Chitra; Coffroth, MaryAlice; Szmant, Alina; Medina, Monica

    2005-03-01

    Symbioses between cnidarians and dinoflagellates in the genus Symbiodinium are widespread in the marine environment. The importance of this symbiosis to reef-building corals and reef nutrient and carbon cycles is well documented, but little is known about the mechanisms by which the partners establish and regulate the symbiosis. Because the dinoflagellate symbionts live inside the cells of their host coral, the interactions between the partners occur on cellular and molecular levels, as each partner alters the expression of genes and proteins to facilitate the partnership. These interactions can examined using high-throughput techniques that allow thousands of genes to be examined simultaneously. We are developing the groundwork so that we can use DNA microarray profiling to identify genes involved in the Montastraea faveolata and Acropora palmata symbioses. Here we report results from the initial steps in this microarray initiative, that is, the construction of cDNA libraries from 4 of 16 target stages, sequencing of 3450 cDNA clones to generate Expressed Sequenced Tags (ESTs), and annotation of the ESTs to identify candidate genes to include in the microarrays. An understanding of how the coral-dinoflagellate symbiosis is regulated will have implications for atmospheric and ocean sciences, conservation biology, the study and diagnosis of coral bleaching and disease, and comparative studies of animal-protest interactions.

  6. Coral-associated micro-organisms and their roles in promoting coral health and thwarting diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krediet, Cory J.; Ritchie, Kim B.; Paul, Valerie J.; Teplitski, Max

    2013-01-01

    Over the last decade, significant advances have been made in characterization of the coral microbiota. Shifts in its composition often correlate with the appearance of signs of diseases and/or bleaching, thus suggesting a link between microbes, coral health and stability of reef ecosystems. The understanding of interactions in coral-associated microbiota is informed by the on-going characterization of other microbiomes, which suggest that metabolic pathways and functional capabilities define the ‘core’ microbiota more accurately than the taxonomic diversity of its members. Consistent with this hypothesis, there does not appear to be a consensus on the specificity in the interactions of corals with microbial commensals, even though recent studies report potentially beneficial functions of the coral-associated bacteria. They cycle sulphur, fix nitrogen, produce antimicrobial compounds, inhibit cell-to-cell signalling and disrupt virulence in opportunistic pathogens. While their beneficial functions have been documented, it is not certain whether or how these microbes are selected by the hosts. Therefore, understanding the role of innate immunity, signal and nutrient exchange in the establishment of coral microbiota and in controlling its functions will probably reveal ancient, evolutionarily conserved mechanisms that dictate the outcomes of host–microbial interactions, and impact the resilience of the host. PMID:23363627

  7. Field manual for investigating coral disease outbreaks

    OpenAIRE

    Woodley, C. M.; Bruckner, A. W.; McLenon, A.L.; Higgins, J.L.; Galloway, S.B.; Nicholson, J.H.

    2008-01-01

    Coral reefs throughout their circumtropical range are declining at an accelerating rate. Recent predictions indicate that 20% of the world’s reefs have been degraded, another 24% are under imminent risk of collapse, and if current estimates hold, by 2030, 26% of the world’s reefs will be lost (Wilkinson 2004). Recent changes to these ecosystems have included losses of apex predators, reductions of important herbivorous fishes and invertebrates, and precipitous declines in living coral cover, ...

  8. Selective feeding by coral reef fishes on coral lesions associated with brown band and black band disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chong-Seng, K. M.; Cole, A. J.; Pratchett, M. S.; Willis, B. L.

    2011-06-01

    Recent studies have suggested that corallivorous fishes may be vectors for coral disease, but the extent to which fishes actually feed on and thereby potentially transmit coral pathogens is largely unknown. For this study, in situ video observations were used to assess the level to which fishes fed on diseased coral tissues at Lizard Island, northern Great Barrier Reef. Surveys conducted at multiple locations around Lizard Island revealed that coral disease prevalence, especially of brown band disease (BrB), was higher in lagoon and backreef locations than in exposed reef crests. Accordingly, video cameras were deployed in lagoon and backreef habitats to record feeding by fishes during 1-h periods on diseased sections of each of 44 different coral colonies. Twenty-five species from five fish families (Blennidae, Chaetodontidae, Gobiidae, Labridae and Pomacentridae) were observed to feed on infected coral tissues of staghorn species of Acropora that were naturally infected with black band disease (BBD) or brown band disease (BrB). Collectively, these fishes took an average of 18.6 (±5.6 SE) and 14.3 (±6.1 SE) bites per hour from BBD and BrB lesions, respectively. More than 40% (408/948 bites) and nearly 25% (314/1319 bites) of bites were observed on lesions associated with BBD and BrB, respectively, despite these bands each representing only about 1% of the substratum available. Moreover, many corallivorous fishes ( Labrichthys unilineatus, Chaetodon aureofasciatus, C. baronessa, C. lunulatus, C. trifascialis, Cheiloprion labiatus) selectively targeted disease lesions over adjacent healthy coral tissues. These findings highlight the important role that reef fishes may play in the dynamics of coral diseases, either as vectors for the spread of coral disease or in reducing coral disease progression through intensive and selective consumption of diseased coral tissues.

  9. Bacterial profiling of White Plague Disease in a comparative coral species framework.

    KAUST Repository

    Roder, Cornelia

    2014-01-01

    Coral reefs are threatened throughout the world. A major factor contributing to their decline is outbreaks and propagation of coral diseases. Due to the complexity of coral-associated microbe communities, little is understood in terms of disease agents, hosts and vectors. It is known that compromised health in corals is correlated with shifts in bacterial assemblages colonizing coral mucus and tissue. However, general disease patterns remain, to a large extent, ambiguous as comparative studies over species, regions, or diseases are scarce. Here, we compare bacterial assemblages of samples from healthy (HH) colonies and such displaying signs of White Plague Disease (WPD) of two different coral species (Pavona duerdeni and Porites lutea) from the same reef in Koh Tao, Thailand, using 16S rRNA gene microarrays. In line with other studies, we found an increase of bacterial diversity in diseased (DD) corals, and a higher abundance of taxa from the families that include known coral pathogens (Alteromonadaceae, Rhodobacteraceae, Vibrionaceae). In our comparative framework analysis, we found differences in microbial assemblages between coral species and coral health states. Notably, patterns of bacterial community structures from HH and DD corals were maintained over species boundaries. Moreover, microbes that differentiated the two coral species did not overlap with microbes that were indicative of HH and DD corals. This suggests that while corals harbor distinct species-specific microbial assemblages, disease-specific bacterial abundance patterns exist that are maintained over coral species boundaries.

  10. Disease incidence is related to bleaching extent in reef-building corals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandt, Marilyn E; McManus, John W

    2009-10-01

    Recent outbreaks of coral bleaching and disease have contributed to substantial declines in the abundance of reef-building coral. Significant attention has been paid to both phenomena in order to determine their effect on reef trajectories. Although each is positively correlated with high temperatures, few studies have explored the potential links between bleaching and disease. A longitudinal study of corals in the Florida Keys was therefore conducted during the 2005 Caribbean bleaching event to quantify bleaching extent and disease incidence in corals, and to determine whether they were related or if they acted as discrete phenomena. These data indicated that overall, a positive correlation exists between bleaching extent and disease incidence. However, the specific interactions between these two phenomena varied among disease bleaching combinations. Montastraea faveolata colonies with greater bleaching intensities later developed white plague (WP) infections. Meanwhile, Siderastrea siderea colonies with dark spot disease (DS) bleached more extensively than apparently healthy colonies. Finally, bleaching and black band disease (BB) co-occurred on Colpophyllia natans throughout the bleaching event. WP, BB, and bleaching are each independently capable of changing the structure of coral populations through loss of living tissue, and DS is an important indicator of reef health. Understanding the dynamics of how these mortality sources interact is critical to understanding mortality patterns and predicting how reef communities will respond to future events.

  11. Chronic nutrient enrichment increases prevalence and severity of coral disease and bleaching.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vega Thurber, Rebecca L; Burkepile, Deron E; Fuchs, Corinne; Shantz, Andrew A; McMinds, Ryan; Zaneveld, Jesse R

    2014-02-01

    Nutrient loading is one of the strongest drivers of marine habitat degradation. Yet, the link between nutrients and disease epizootics in marine organisms is often tenuous and supported only by correlative data. Here, we present experimental evidence that chronic nutrient exposure leads to increases in both disease prevalence and severity and coral bleaching in scleractinian corals, the major habitat-forming organisms in tropical reefs. Over 3 years, from June 2009 to June 2012, we continuously exposed areas of a coral reef to elevated levels of nitrogen and phosphorus. At the termination of the enrichment, we surveyed over 1200 scleractinian corals for signs of disease or bleaching. Siderastrea siderea corals within enrichment plots had a twofold increase in both the prevalence and severity of disease compared with corals in unenriched control plots. In addition, elevated nutrient loading increased coral bleaching; Agaricia spp. of corals exposed to nutrients suffered a 3.5-fold increase in bleaching frequency relative to control corals, providing empirical support for a hypothesized link between nutrient loading and bleaching-induced coral declines. However, 1 year later, after nutrient enrichment had been terminated for 10 months, there were no differences in coral disease or coral bleaching prevalence between the previously enriched and control treatments. Given that our experimental enrichments were well within the ranges of ambient nutrient concentrations found on many degraded reefs worldwide, these data provide strong empirical support to the idea that coastal nutrient loading is one of the major factors contributing to the increasing levels of both coral disease and coral bleaching. Yet, these data also suggest that simple improvements to water quality may be an effective way to mitigate some coral disease epizootics and the corresponding loss of coral cover in the future. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. Unraveling the microbial processes of black band disease in corals through integrated genomics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sato, Yui; Ling, Edmund Y. S.; Turaev, Dmitrij; Laffy, Patrick; Weynberg, Karen D.; Rattei, Thomas; Willis, Bette L.; Bourne, David G.

    2017-01-01

    Coral disease outbreaks contribute to the ongoing degradation of reef ecosystems, however, microbial mechanisms underlying the onset and progression of most coral diseases are poorly understood. Black band disease (BBD) manifests as a cyanobacterial-dominated microbial mat that destroys coral tissues as it rapidly spreads over coral colonies. To elucidate BBD pathogenesis, we apply a comparative metagenomic and metatranscriptomic approach to identify taxonomic and functional changes within microbial lesions during in-situ development of BBD from a comparatively benign stage termed cyanobacterial patches. Results suggest that photosynthetic CO2-fixation in Cyanobacteria substantially enhances productivity of organic matter within the lesion during disease development. Photosynthates appear to subsequently promote sulfide-production by Deltaproteobacteria, facilitating the major virulence factor of BBD. Interestingly, our metagenome-enabled transcriptomic analysis reveals that BBD-associated cyanobacteria have a putative mechanism that enables them to adapt to higher levels of hydrogen sulfide within lesions, underpinning the pivotal roles of the dominant cyanobacterium within the polymicrobial lesions during the onset of BBD. The current study presents sequence-based evidence derived from whole microbial communities that unravel the mechanism of development and progression of BBD.

  13. Relationships between the history of thermal stress and the relative risk of diseases of Caribbean corals.

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    Randall, C J; Jordan-Garza, A G; Muller, E M; Van Woesik, R

    2014-07-01

    The putative increase in coral diseases in the Caribbean has led to extensive declines in coral populations. Coral diseases are a consequence of the complex interactions among the coral hosts, the pathogens, and the environment. Yet, the relative influence that each of these components has on the prevalence of coral diseases is unclear. Also unknown is the extent to which historical thermal-stress events have influenced the prevalence of contemporary coral diseases and the potential adjustment of coral populations to thermal stress. We used a Bayesian approach to test the hypothesis that in 2012 the relative risk of four signs of coral disease (white signs, dark spots, black bands, and yellow signs) differed at reef locations with different thermal histories. We undertook an extensive spatial study of coral diseases at four locations in the Caribbean region (10(3) km), two with and two without a history of frequent thermal anomalies (approximately 4-6 years) over the last 143 years (1870-2012). Locations that historically experienced frequent thermal anomalies had a significantly higher risk of corals displaying white signs, and had a lower risk of corals displaying dark spots, than locations that did not historically experience frequent thermal anomalies. By contrast, there was no relationship between the history of thermal stress and the relative risk of corals displaying black bands and yellow signs, at least at the spatial scale of our observations.

  14. Assessing the Effects of Disease and Bleaching on Florida Keys Corals by Fitting Population Models to Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coral diseases have increased in frequency over the past few decades and have important influences on the structure and composition of coral reef communities. However, there is limited information on the etiologies of many coral diseases, and pathways via which coral diseases ar...

  15. Assessing the Effects of Disease and Bleaching on Florida Keys Corals by Fitting Population Models to Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coral diseases have increased in frequency over the past few decades and have important influences on the structure and composition of coral reef communities. However, there is limited information on the etiologies of many coral diseases, and pathways via which coral diseases ar...

  16. Genetic Signature of Resistance to White Band Disease in the Caribbean Staghorn Coral Acropora cervicornis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Libro, Silvia; Vollmer, Steven V

    2016-01-01

    Coral reefs are declining worldwide due to multiple factors including rising sea surface temperature, ocean acidification, and disease outbreaks. Over the last 30 years, White Band Disease (WBD) alone has killed up to 95% of the Caribbean`s dominant shallow-water corals--the staghorn coral Acropora cervicornis and the elkhorn coral A. palmata. Both corals are now listed on the US Endangered Species Act, and while their recovery has been slow, recent transmission surveys indicate that more than 5% of staghorn corals are disease resistant. Here we compared transcriptome-wide gene expression between resistant and susceptible staghorn corals exposed to WBD using in situ transmission assays. We identified constitutive gene expression differences underlying disease resistance that are independent from the immune response associated with disease exposure. Genes involved in RNA interference-mediated gene silencing, including Argonaute were up-regulated in resistant corals, whereas heat shock proteins (HSPs) were down-regulated. Up-regulation of Argonaute proteins indicates that post-transcriptional gene silencing plays a key, but previously unsuspected role in coral immunity and disease resistance. Constitutive expression of HSPs has been linked to thermal resilience in other Acropora corals, suggesting that the down-regulation of HSPs in disease resistant staghorn corals may confer a dual benefit of thermal resilience.

  17. Genetic Signature of Resistance to White Band Disease in the Caribbean Staghorn Coral Acropora cervicornis.

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    Silvia Libro

    Full Text Available Coral reefs are declining worldwide due to multiple factors including rising sea surface temperature, ocean acidification, and disease outbreaks. Over the last 30 years, White Band Disease (WBD alone has killed up to 95% of the Caribbean`s dominant shallow-water corals--the staghorn coral Acropora cervicornis and the elkhorn coral A. palmata. Both corals are now listed on the US Endangered Species Act, and while their recovery has been slow, recent transmission surveys indicate that more than 5% of staghorn corals are disease resistant. Here we compared transcriptome-wide gene expression between resistant and susceptible staghorn corals exposed to WBD using in situ transmission assays. We identified constitutive gene expression differences underlying disease resistance that are independent from the immune response associated with disease exposure. Genes involved in RNA interference-mediated gene silencing, including Argonaute were up-regulated in resistant corals, whereas heat shock proteins (HSPs were down-regulated. Up-regulation of Argonaute proteins indicates that post-transcriptional gene silencing plays a key, but previously unsuspected role in coral immunity and disease resistance. Constitutive expression of HSPs has been linked to thermal resilience in other Acropora corals, suggesting that the down-regulation of HSPs in disease resistant staghorn corals may confer a dual benefit of thermal resilience.

  18. Coral microbiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenberg, Eugene; Kellogg, Christina A.; Rohwer, Forest

    2007-01-01

    In the last 30 years, there has been approximately a 30% loss of corals worldwide, largely due to emerging diseases (Harvell et al., 2002, 2007; Hughes et al., 2003). Coral microbiology is a new field, driven largely by a desire to understand the interactions between corals and their symbiotic microorganisms and to use this knowledge to eventually prevent the spread of coral diseases.

  19. Coralline algae disease reduces survival and settlement success of coral planulae in laboratory experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quéré, Gaëlle; Nugues, Maggy M.

    2015-09-01

    Disease outbreaks have been involved in the deterioration of coral reefs worldwide and have been particularly striking among crustose coralline algae (CCA). Although CCA represent important cues for coral settlement, the impact of CCA diseases on the survival and settlement of coral planulae is unknown. Exposing coral larvae to healthy, diseased, and recently dead crusts from three important CCA species, we show a negative effect of disease in the inductive CCA species Hydrolithon boergesenii on larval survivorship of Orbicella faveolata and settlement of O. faveolata and Diploria labyrinthiformis on the CCA surface. No effect was found with the less inductive CCA species Neogoniolithon mamillare and Paragoniolithon accretum. Additionally, a majority of planulae that settled on top of diseased H. boergesenii crusts were on healthy rather than diseased/dying tissue. Our experiments suggest that CCA diseases have the potential to reduce the survivorship and settlement of coral planulae on coral reefs.

  20. Hawaiʻi Coral Disease database (HICORDIS: species-specific coral health data from across the Hawaiian archipelago

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    Jamie M. Caldwell

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The Hawaiʻi Coral Disease database (HICORDIS houses data on colony-level coral health condition observed across the Hawaiian archipelago, providing information to conduct future analyses on coral reef health in an era of changing environmental conditions. Colonies were identified to the lowest taxonomic classification possible (species or genera, measured and assessed for visual signs of health condition. Data were recorded for 286,071 coral colonies surveyed on 1819 transects at 660 sites between 2005 and 2015. The database contains observations for 60 species from 22 genera with 21 different health conditions. The goals of the HICORDIS database are to: i provide open access, quality controlled and validated coral health data assembled from disparate surveys conducted across Hawaiʻi; ii facilitate appropriate crediting of data; and iii encourage future analyses of coral reef health. In this article, we describe and provide data from the HICORDIS database. The data presented in this paper were used in the research article “Satellite SST-based Coral Disease Outbreak Predictions for the Hawaiian Archipelago” (Caldwell et al., 2016 [1].

  1. Quorum sensing signal production and microbial interactions in a polymicrobial disease of corals and the coral surface mucopolysaccharide layer.

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    Beth L Zimmer

    Full Text Available Black band disease (BBD of corals is a complex polymicrobial disease considered to be a threat to coral reef health, as it can lead to mortality of massive reef-building corals. The BBD community is dominated by gliding, filamentous cyanobacteria with a highly diverse population of heterotrophic bacteria. Microbial interactions such as quorum sensing (QS and antimicrobial production may be involved in BBD disease pathogenesis. In this study, BBD (whole community samples, as well as 199 bacterial isolates from BBD, the surface mucopolysaccharide layer (SML of apparently healthy corals, and SML of apparently healthy areas of BBD-infected corals were screened for the production of acyl homoserine lactones (AHLs and for autoinducer-2 (AI-2 activity using three bacterial reporter strains. AHLs were detected in all BBD (intact community samples tested and in cultures of 5.5% of BBD bacterial isolates. Over half of a subset (153 of the isolates were positive for AI-2 activity. AHL-producing isolates were further analyzed using LC-MS/MS to determine AHL chemical structure and the concentration of (S-4,5-dihydroxy-2,3-pentanedione (DPD, the biosynthetic precursor of AI-2. C6-HSL was the most common AHL variant detected, followed by 3OC4-HSL. In addition to QS assays, 342 growth challenges were conducted among a subset of the isolates, with 27% of isolates eliciting growth inhibition and 2% growth stimulation. 24% of BBD isolates elicited growth inhibition as compared to 26% and 32% of the bacteria from the two SML sources. With one exception, only isolates that exhibited AI-2 activity or produced DPD inhibited growth of test strains. These findings demonstrate for the first time that AHLs are present in an active coral disease. It is possible that AI-2 production among BBD and coral SML bacteria may structure the microbial communities of both a polymicrobial infection and the healthy coral microbiome.

  2. Coral disease following massive bleaching in 2005 causes 60% decline in coral cover on reefs in the US Virgin Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, J.; Muller, E.; Rogers, C.; Waara, R.; Atkinson, A.; Whelan, K.R.T.; Patterson, M.; Witcher, B.

    2009-01-01

    In the northeast Caribbean, doldrum-like conditions combined with elevated water temperatures in the summer/fall 2005 created the most severe coral bleaching event ever documented within this region. Video monitoring of 100 randomly chosen, permanent transects at five study sites in the US Virgin Islands revealed over 90% of the scleractinian coral cover showed signs of thermal stress by paling or becoming completely white. Lower water temperatures in October allowed some re-coloring of corals; however, a subsequent unprecedented regional outbreak of coral disease affected all sites. Five known diseases or syndromes were recorded; however, most lesions showed signs similar to white plague. Nineteen scleractinian species were affected by disease, with >90% of the disease-induced lesions occurring on the genus Montastraea. The disease outbreak peaked several months after the onset of bleaching at all sites but did not occur at the same time. The mean number of disease-induced lesions increased 51-fold and the mean area of disease-associated mortality increased 13-fold when compared with pre-bleaching disease levels. In the 12 months following the onset of bleaching, coral cover declined at all sites (average loss: 51.5%, range: 42.4-61.8%) reducing the five-site average from 21.4% before bleaching to 10.3% with most mortality caused by white plague disease, not bleaching. Continued losses through October 2007 reduced the average coral cover of the five sites to 8.3% (average 2-year loss: 61.1%, range: 53.0-79.3%). Mean cover by M. annularis (complex) decreased 51%, Colpophyllia natans 78% and Agaricia agaricites 87%. Isolated disease outbreaks have been documented before in the Virgin Islands, but never as widespread or devastating as the one that occurred after the 2005 Caribbean coral-bleaching event. This study provides insight into the effects of continued seawater warming and subsequent coral bleaching events in the Caribbean and highlights the need to

  3. Coral diseases near Lee Stocking Island, Bahamas: patterns and potential drivers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voss, Joshua D; Richardson, Laurie L

    2006-03-23

    The number of coral diseases, coral species they infect, number of reported cases, and range over which these diseases are distributed have all increased dramatically in the past 3 decades, posing a serious threat to coral reef ecosystems worldwide. While some published studies provide data on the distribution of coral diseases at local and regional levels, few studies have addressed the factors that may drive these distributions. We recorded coral disease occurrence, prevalence, and severity along with temperature, sedimentation, and coral population data (species abundance and colony size) over 2 consecutive summers on reefs near Lee Stocking Island (LSI) in the Bahamas' Exuma Chain. In 2002 a total of 11092 coral colonies (all species present) were examined within a survey area of 9420 m2, and 13 973 colonies within 10 362 m2 in 2003. Similar to other reports, relatively large, framework species including Siderastrea siderea, Colpophyllia natans, and Montastraea annularis, along with the smaller Dichocoenia stokesi, were the species most susceptible to coral disease. Recurring infections were observed on individual colonies from 2002 to 2003, and were more likely for black band disease (BBD) than for either white plague (WP) or dark spots syndrome (DS). In 2002, WP and DS demonstrated clumped distributions, while BBD was randomly distributed. However, in 2003 BBD and WP were clumped. This is the first study, to our knowledge, that quantitatively documents coral disease dynamics on reefs surrounding LSI.

  4. Ten years of change to coral communities off Mona and Desecheo Islands, Puerto Rico, from disease and bleaching.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruckner, Andrew W; Hill, Ronald L

    2009-11-16

    Remote reefs off southwest Puerto Rico have experienced recent losses in live coral cover of 30 to 80%, primarily due to the decline of Montastraea annularis and M. faveolata from disease and bleaching. These species were formerly the largest, oldest, and most abundant corals on these reefs, constituting over 65% of the living coral cover and 40 to 80% of the total number of colonies. From 1998 to 2001, outbreaks of yellow band disease (YBD) and white plague (WP) affected 30 to 60% of the M. annularis (complex) colonies. Disease prevalence declined beginning in 2002, and then increased immediately following the 2005 mass bleaching event. Colonies of M. annularis (complex) have been reduced in abundance by 24 to 32%, and remaining colonies are missing more than half their tissue. Both M. annularis and M. faveolata have failed to recruit, resheeting has been minimal, and exposed skeletal surfaces are being colonized by macroalgae, bioeroding sponges, and hydrozoans. Other scleractinian corals were smaller in size (mean = 28 cm diameter) and exhibited lower levels of partial mortality; these taxa were affected to a lesser extent by coral diseases and bleaching-associated tissue loss over the last decade. The numbers of small colonies (1 to 9 cm) of these species identified since 2005 also exceeded numbers of larger colonies that died. These reefs appear to be exhibiting shifts in species assemblages, with replacement of M. annularis (complex) by shorter-lived brooding species and other massive and plating corals (Agaricia, Porites, Meandrina, Eusmilia, Diploria, and Siderastrea spp.). To avoid a catastrophic and permanent loss of the dominant, slow-growing reef-building corals, the causes and effects of diseases need to be better understood, and possible control mechanisms must be developed. In particular, steps must be taken to mitigate environmental and anthropogenic stressors that increase the spread and severity of disease.

  5. Seasonal changes in bacterial communities associated with healthy and diseased Porites coral in southern Taiwan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Chorng-Horng; Chuang, Chih-Hsiang; Twan, Wen-Hung; Chiou, Shu-Fen; Wong, Tit-Yee; Liu, Jong-Kang; Kao, Chyuan-Yao; Kuo, Jimmy

    2016-12-01

    We compared the bacterial communities associated with healthy scleractinian coral Porites sp. with those associated with coral infected with pink spot syndrome harvested during summer and winter from waters off the coast of southern Taiwan. Members of the bacterial community associated with the coral were characterized by means of denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of a short region of the 16S rRNA gene and clone library analysis. Of 5 different areas of the 16S rRNA gene, we demonstrated that the V3 hypervariable region is most suited to represent the coral-associated bacterial community. The DNA sequences of 26 distinct bands extracted from DGGE gels and 269 sequences of the 16S rRNA gene from clone libraries were determined. We found that the communities present in diseased coral were more heterogeneous than the bacterial communities of uninfected coral. In addition, bacterial communities associated with coral harvested in the summer were more diverse than those associated with coral collected in winter, regardless of the health status of the coral. Our study suggested that the compositions of coral-associated bacteria communities are complex, and the population of bacteria varies greatly between seasons and in coral of differing health status.

  6. Levels of immunity parameters underpin bleaching and disease susceptibility of reef corals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palmer, Caroline V; Bythell, John C; Willis, Bette L

    2010-06-01

    Immunity is a key life history trait that may explain hierarchies in the susceptibility of corals to disease and thermal bleaching, two of the greatest current threats to coral health and the persistence of tropical reefs. Despite their ongoing and rapid global decline, there have been few investigations into the immunity mechanisms of reef-building corals. Variables commonly associated with invertebrate immunity, including the presence of melanin, size of melanin-containing granular cells, and phenoloxidase (PO) activity, as well as concentrations of fluorescent proteins (FPs), were investigated in hard (Scleractinia) and soft (Alcyonacea) corals spanning 10 families from the Great Barrier Reef. Detectable levels of these indicators were present in all corals investigated, although relative investment differed among coral taxa. Overall levels of investment were inversely correlated to thermal bleaching and disease susceptibility. In addition, PO activity, melanin-containing granular cell size, and FP concentration were each found to be significant predictors of susceptibility and thus may play key roles in coral immunity. Correlative evidence that taxonomic (family-level) variation in the levels of these constituent immunity parameters underpins susceptibility to both thermal bleaching and disease indicates that baseline immunity underlies the vulnerability of corals to these two threats. This reinforces the necessity of a holistic approach to understanding bleaching and disease in order to accurately determine the resilience of coral reefs.

  7. Vibrio owensii induces the tissue loss disease Montipora white syndrome in the Hawaiian reef coral Montipora capitata.

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    Blake Ushijima

    Full Text Available Incidences of coral disease in the Indo-Pacific are increasing at an alarming rate. In particular, Montipora white syndrome, a tissue-loss disease found on corals throughout the Hawaiian archipelago, has the potential to degrade Hawaii's reefs. To identify the etiologic agent of Montipora white syndrome, bacteria were isolated from a diseased fragment of Montipora capitata and used in a screen for virulent strains. A single isolate, designated strain OCN002, recreated disease signs in 53% of coral fragments in laboratory infection trials when added to a final concentration of 10(7 cells/ml of seawater. In addition to displaying similar signs of disease, diseased coral fragments from the field and those from infection trials both had a dramatic increase in the abundance of associated culturable bacteria, with those of the genus Vibiro well represented. Bacteria isolated from diseased fragments used in infection trails were shown to be descendants of the original OCN002 inocula based on both the presence of a plasmid introduced to genetically tag the strain and the sequence of a region of the OCN002 genome. In contrast, OCN002 was not re-isolated from fragments that were exposed to the strain but did not develop tissue loss. Sequencing of the rrsH gene, metabolic characterization, as well as multilocus sequence analysis indicated that OCN002 is a strain of the recently described species Vibrio owensii. This investigation of Montipora white syndrome recognizes V. owensii OCN002 as the first bacterial coral pathogen identified from Hawaii's reefs and expands the range of bacteria known to cause disease in corals.

  8. Patterns of coral disease across the Hawaiian archipelago: relating disease to environment.

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    Greta S Aeby

    Full Text Available In Hawaii, coral reefs occur across a gradient of biological (host abundance, climatic (sea surface temperature anomalies and anthropogenic conditions from the human-impacted reefs of the main Hawaiian Islands (MHI to the pristine reefs of the northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI. Coral disease surveys were conducted at 142 sites from across the Archipelago and disease patterns examined. Twelve diseases were recorded from three coral genera (Porites, Montipora, Acropora with Porites having the highest prevalence. Porites growth anomalies (PorGAs were significantly more prevalent within and indicative of reefs in the MHI and Porites trematodiasis (PorTrm was significantly more prevalent within and indicative of reefs in the NWHI. Porites tissue loss syndrome (PorTLS was also important in driving regional differences but that relationship was less clear. These results highlight the importance of understanding disease ecology when interpreting patterns of disease occurrence. PorTrm is caused by a parasitic flatworm that utilizes multiple hosts during its life cycle (fish, mollusk and coral. All three hosts must be present for the disease to occur and higher host abundance leads to higher disease prevalence. Thus, a high prevalence of PorTrm on Hawaiian reefs would be an indicator of a healthy coral reef ecosystem. In contrast, the high occurrence of PorGAs within the MHI suggests that PorGAs are related, directly or indirectly, to some environmental co-factor associated with increased human population sizes. Focusing on the three indicator diseases (PorGAs, PorTrm, PorTLS we used statistical modeling to examine the underlying associations between disease prevalence and 14 different predictor variables (biotic and abiotic. All three diseases showed positive associations with host abundance and negative associations with thermal stress. The association with human population density differed among disease states with PorGAs showing a positive and Por

  9. What are the physiological and immunological responses of coral to climate warming and disease?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mydlarz, Laura D; McGinty, Elizabeth S; Harvell, C Drew

    2010-03-15

    Coral mortality due to climate-associated stress is likely to increase as the oceans get warmer and more acidic. Coral bleaching and an increase in infectious disease are linked to above average sea surface temperatures. Despite the uncertain future for corals, recent studies have revealed physiological mechanisms that improve coral resilience to the effects of climate change. Some taxa of bleached corals can increase heterotrophic food intake and exchange symbionts for more thermally tolerant clades; this plasticity can increase the probability of surviving lethal thermal stress. Corals can fight invading pathogens with a suite of innate immune responses that slow and even arrest pathogen growth and reduce further tissue damage. Several of these responses, such as the melanin cascade, circulating amoebocytes and antioxidants, are induced in coral hosts during pathogen invasion or disease. Some components of immunity show thermal resilience and are enhanced during temperature stress and even in bleached corals. These examples suggest some plasticity and resilience to cope with environmental change and even the potential for evolution of resistance to disease. However, there is huge variability in responses among coral species, and the rate of climate change is projected to be so rapid that only extremely hardy taxa are likely to survive the projected changes in climate stressors.

  10. Baseline coral disease surveys within three marine parks in Sabah, Borneo

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    Jennifer Miller

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Two of the most significant threats to coral reefs worldwide are bleaching and disease. However, there has been a scarcity of research on coral disease in South-East Asia, despite the high biodiversity and the strong dependence of local communities on the reefs in the region. This study provides baseline data on coral disease frequencies within three national parks in Sabah, Borneo, which exhibit different levels of human impacts and management histories. High mean coral cover (55% and variable disease frequency (mean 0.25 diseased colonies m−2 were found across the three sites. Highest disease frequency (0.44 diseased colonies per m2 was seen at the site closest to coastal population centres. Bleaching and pigmentation responses were actually higher at Sipadan, the more remote, offshore site, whereas none of the other coral diseases detected in the other two parks were detected in Sipadan. Results of this study offer a baseline dataset of disease in these parks and indicate the need for continued monitoring, and suggest that coral colonies in parks under higher anthropogenic stressors and with lower coral cover may be more susceptible to contracting disease.

  11. Distribution and prevalence of coral diseases in the Veracruz Reef System, Southern Gulf of Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carricart-Ganivet, J P; Beltrán-Torres, A U; Horta-Puga, G

    2011-07-12

    Ten reefs of the Veracruz Reef System (VRS) were surveyed to evaluate the distribution and prevalence of diseases that affect stony corals. Total disease prevalence on corals in the VRS was 4.8%. Seven diseases affecting 6 coral genera (4 of which are the most abundant) were observed in 85.2% of the evaluated sites. As observed in other reefs of the Caribbean, dark spots disease had the highest prevalence (2.9%) and widest distribution. The incidence of disease showed a patchy distribution, with prevalence being significantly higher on the reef flats than on the windward and leeward sides.

  12. Pyrosequencing of the bacteria associated with Platygyra carnosus corals with skeletal growth anomalies reveals differences in bacterial community composition in apparently healthy and diseased tissues

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    Jenny Chun-Yee Ng

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Corals are rapidly declining globally due to coral diseases. Skeletal growth anomalies (SGA or coral tumors are a group of coral diseases that affect coral reefs worldwide, including Hong Kong waters in the Indo-Pacific region. To better understand how bacterial communities may vary in corals with SGA, for the first time, we examined the bacterial composition associated with the apparently healthy and the diseased tissues of SGA-affected Platgyra carnosus using 16S ribosomal rRNA gene pyrosequencing. Taxonomic analysis revealed Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Cyanobacteria, and Actinobacteria as the main phyla in both the apparently healthy and the diseased tissues. A significant difference in the bacterial community composition was observed between the two conditions at the OTU level. Diseased tissues were associated with higher abundances of Acidobacteria and Gemmatimonadetes, and a lower abundance of Spirochaetes. Several OTUs belonging to Rhodobacteraceae, Rhizobiales, Gammaproteobacteria, and Cytophaga-Flavobacterium-Bacteroidetes (CFB were strongly associated with the diseased tissues. These groups of bacteria may contain potential pathogens involved with the development of SGA or opportunistic secondary or tertiary colonizers that proliferated upon the health-compromised coral host. We suggest that these bacterial groups to be further studied based on inoculation experiments and testing of Koch’s postulates in efforts to understand the etiology and progression of SGA.

  13. Spatial and temporal patterns of coral health and disease along leeward Hawai'i Island

    Science.gov (United States)

    Couch, C. S.; Garriques, J. D.; Barnett, C.; Preskitt, L.; Cotton, S.; Giddens, J.; Walsh, W.

    2014-09-01

    Ecological processes including disease, competition for space, and predation strongly influence coral reef health from the colony to reef level. The leeward/west coast of the island of Hawai'i consists of the largest expanse of intact reefs in the Main Hawaiian Islands (MHI), yet little is known about the health of its coral communities. We measured prevalence of coral diseases and non-disease conditions at nine regions across two depths in the summer and winter months between 2010 and 2011. We also assessed long-term changes in coral cover (2003-2011). Mean prevalence of chronic diseases was 5-21 times greater than previously reported for the MHI. Coral health varied minimally across survey months with mild seasonality only detected in algal overgrowth (ALOG). Coral health varied considerably by depth and site, and was primarily driven by the most prevalent and common conditions: Porites growth anomalies (13.7 ± 0.82 %), Porites trematodiasis (9.5 ± 0.90 %), discoloration (5.6 ± 0.33 %), ALOG (9.9 ± 0.54 %), and gastropod predation (2.4 ± 0.23). While several conditions were significantly elevated in shallow zones, unique site × depth interactions suggest that specific site-level factors are driving prevalence. At the coast-wide level, percentage of coral cover did not change significantly between 2003 and 2011, but decreased significantly at two sites and increased at one site. Based on coral cover decline and high prevalence of certain coral health conditions, we identified four regions of concern (Puakō, Mauna Lani, Ka'ūpūlehu, and Hōnaunau). The high spatial variation in coral health not only advances our understanding of coral disease ecology, but also supports reef resilience planning by identifying vulnerable areas that would benefit most from targeted conservation and management efforts.

  14. Virus-host interactions and their roles in coral reef health and disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thurber, Rebecca Vega; Payet, Jérôme P; Thurber, Andrew R; Correa, Adrienne M S

    2017-04-01

    Coral reefs occur in nutrient-poor shallow waters, constitute biodiversity and productivity hotspots, and are threatened by anthropogenic disturbance. This Review provides an introduction to coral reef virology and emphasizes the links between viruses, coral mortality and reef ecosystem decline. We describe the distinctive benthic-associated and water-column- associated viromes that are unique to coral reefs, which have received less attention than viruses in open-ocean systems. We hypothesize that viruses of bacteria and eukaryotes dynamically interact with their hosts in the water column and with scleractinian (stony) corals to influence microbial community dynamics, coral bleaching and disease, and reef biogeochemical cycling. Last, we outline how marine viruses are an integral part of the reef system and suggest that the influence of viruses on reef function is an essential component of these globally important environments.

  15. Assessing threats from coral and crustose coralline algae disease on the reefs of New Caledonia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aeby, Greta S.; Tribollet, Aline; Lasne, Gregory; Work, Thierry M.

    2015-01-01

    The present study reports the results of the first quantitative survey of lesions on coral and crustose coralline algae (CCA) on reefs in the lagoon of New Caledonia. Surveys on inshore and offshore reefs were conducted at 13 sites in 2010, with 12 sites resurveyed in 2013. Thirty coral diseases affecting 15 coral genera were found, with low overall disease prevalence (<1%). This study extends the known distribution of growth anomalies to the coral genera Platygyraand Hydnophora, endolithic hypermycosis to Platygyra, Leptoria and Goniastrea and extends the geographic range of three CCA diseases. We found the first trematode infection in Porites outside of Hawaii. Disease prevalence differed among coral genera, with Porites having more lesions, and Acropora and Montipora fewer lesions, than expected on the basis of field abundance. Inshore reefs had a lower coral-colony density, species diversity and reduced CCA cover than did the offshore reefs. Disease prevalence was significantly higher on inshore reefs in 2013 than in 2010, but did not change on offshore reefs. The potential ecological impact of individual coral diseases was assessed using an integrative-scoring and relative-ranking scheme based on average frequency of occurrence, prevalence and estimated degree of virulence. The top-five ranked diseases were all tissue-loss diseases.

  16. Biomedical and veterinary science can increase our understanding of coral disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Work, Thierry M.; Richardson, Laurie L.; Reynolds, T.L.; Willis, Bette L.

    2008-01-01

    A balanced approach to coral disease investigation is critical for understanding the global decline of corals. Such an approach should involve the proper use of biomedical concepts, tools, and terminology to address confusion and promote clarity in the coral disease literature. Investigating disease in corals should follow a logical series of steps including identification of disease, systematic morphologic descriptions of lesions at the gross and cellular levels, measurement of health indices, and experiments to understand disease pathogenesis and the complex interactions between host, pathogen, and the environment. This model for disease investigation is widely accepted in the medical, veterinary and invertebrate pathology disciplines. We present standard biomedical rationale behind the detection, description, and naming of diseases and offer examples of the application of Koch's postulates to elucidate the etiology of some infectious diseases. Basic epidemiologic concepts are introduced to help investigators think systematically about the cause(s) of complex diseases. A major goal of disease investigation in corals and other organisms is to gather data that will enable the establishment of standardized case definitions to distinguish among diseases. Concepts and facts amassed from empirical studies over the centuries by medical and veterinary pathologists have standardized disease investigation and are invaluable to coral researchers because of the robust comparisons they enable; examples of these are given throughout this paper. Arguments over whether coral diseases are caused by primary versus opportunistic pathogens reflect the lack of data available to prove or refute such hypotheses and emphasize the need for coral disease investigations that focus on: characterizing the normal microbiota and physiology of the healthy host; defining ecological interactions within the microbial community associated with the host; and investigating host immunity, host

  17. Antibacterial Activity of Marine and Black Band Disease Cyanobacteria against Coral-Associated Bacteria

    OpenAIRE

    Gantar, Miroslav; Longin T. Kaczmarsky; Stanić, Dina; Miller, Aaron W.; Richardson, Laurie L.

    2011-01-01

    Black band disease (BBD) of corals is a cyanobacteria-dominated polymicrobial disease that contains diverse populations of heterotrophic bacteria. It is one of the most destructive of coral diseases and is found globally on tropical and sub-tropical reefs. We assessed ten strains of BBD cyanobacteria, and ten strains of cyanobacteria isolated from other marine sources, for their antibacterial effect on growth of heterotrophic bacteria isolated from BBD, from the surface mucopolysaccharide lay...

  18. RNA-seq profiles of immune related genes in the staghorn coral Acropora cervicornis infected with white band disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Libro, Silvia; Kaluziak, Stefan T; Vollmer, Steven V

    2013-01-01

    Coral diseases are among the most serious threats to coral reefs worldwide, yet most coral diseases remain poorly understood. How the coral host responds to pathogen infection is an area where very little is known. Here we used next-generation RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) to produce a transcriptome-wide profile of the immune response of the Staghorn coral Acropora cervicornis to White Band Disease (WBD) by comparing infected versus healthy (asymptomatic) coral tissues. The transcriptome of A. cervicornis was assembled de novo from A-tail selected Illumina mRNA-seq data from whole coral tissues, and parsed bioinformatically into coral and non-coral transcripts using existing Acropora genomes in order to identify putative coral transcripts. Differentially expressed transcripts were identified in the coral and non-coral datasets to identify genes that were up- and down-regulated due to disease infection. RNA-seq analyses indicate that infected corals exhibited significant changes in gene expression across 4% (1,805 out of 47,748 transcripts) of the coral transcriptome. The primary response to infection included transcripts involved in macrophage-mediated pathogen recognition and ROS production, two hallmarks of phagocytosis, as well as key mediators of apoptosis and calcium homeostasis. The strong up-regulation of the enzyme allene oxide synthase-lipoxygenase suggests a key role of the allene oxide pathway in coral immunity. Interestingly, none of the three primary innate immune pathways--Toll-like receptors (TLR), Complement, and prophenoloxydase pathways, were strongly associated with the response of A. cervicornis to infection. Five-hundred and fifty differentially expressed non-coral transcripts were classified as metazoan (n = 84), algal or plant (n = 52), fungi (n = 24) and protozoans (n = 13). None of the 52 putative Symbiodinium or algal transcript had any clear immune functions indicating that the immune response is driven by the coral host, and not its algal

  19. RNA-seq profiles of immune related genes in the staghorn coral Acropora cervicornis infected with white band disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvia Libro

    Full Text Available Coral diseases are among the most serious threats to coral reefs worldwide, yet most coral diseases remain poorly understood. How the coral host responds to pathogen infection is an area where very little is known. Here we used next-generation RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq to produce a transcriptome-wide profile of the immune response of the Staghorn coral Acropora cervicornis to White Band Disease (WBD by comparing infected versus healthy (asymptomatic coral tissues. The transcriptome of A. cervicornis was assembled de novo from A-tail selected Illumina mRNA-seq data from whole coral tissues, and parsed bioinformatically into coral and non-coral transcripts using existing Acropora genomes in order to identify putative coral transcripts. Differentially expressed transcripts were identified in the coral and non-coral datasets to identify genes that were up- and down-regulated due to disease infection. RNA-seq analyses indicate that infected corals exhibited significant changes in gene expression across 4% (1,805 out of 47,748 transcripts of the coral transcriptome. The primary response to infection included transcripts involved in macrophage-mediated pathogen recognition and ROS production, two hallmarks of phagocytosis, as well as key mediators of apoptosis and calcium homeostasis. The strong up-regulation of the enzyme allene oxide synthase-lipoxygenase suggests a key role of the allene oxide pathway in coral immunity. Interestingly, none of the three primary innate immune pathways--Toll-like receptors (TLR, Complement, and prophenoloxydase pathways, were strongly associated with the response of A. cervicornis to infection. Five-hundred and fifty differentially expressed non-coral transcripts were classified as metazoan (n = 84, algal or plant (n = 52, fungi (n = 24 and protozoans (n = 13. None of the 52 putative Symbiodinium or algal transcript had any clear immune functions indicating that the immune response is driven by the coral host, and not

  20. Link between sewage-derived nitrogen pollution and coral disease severity in Guam.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Redding, Jamey E; Myers-Miller, Roxanna L; Baker, David M; Fogel, Marilyn; Raymundo, Laurie J; Kim, Kiho

    2013-08-15

    The goals of this study were to evaluate the contribution of sewage-derived N to reef flat communities in Guam and to assess the impact of N inputs on coral disease. We used stable isotope analysis of macroalgae and a soft coral, sampled bimonthly, as a proxy for N dynamics, and surveyed Porites spp., a dominant coral taxon on Guam's reefs, for white syndrome disease severity. Results showed a strong influence of sewage-derived N in nearshore waters, with δ(15)N values varying as a function of species sampled, site, and sampling date. Increases in sewage-derived N correlated significantly with increases in the severity of disease among Porites spp., with δ(15)N values accounting for more than 48% of the variation in changes in disease severity. The anticipated military realignment and related population increase in Guam are expected to lead to increased white syndrome infections and other coral diseases. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Multiple mechanisms of transmission of the Caribbean coral disease white plague

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clemens, E.; Brandt, M. E.

    2015-12-01

    White plague is one of the most devastating coral diseases in the Caribbean, and yet important aspects of its epidemiology, including how the disease transmits, remain unknown. This study tested potential mechanisms and rates of transmission of white plague in a laboratory setting. Transmission mechanisms including the transport of water, contact with macroalgae, and predation via corallivorous worms and snails were tested on the host species Orbicella annularis. Two of the tested mechanisms were shown to transmit disease: water transport and the corallivorous snail Coralliophila abbreviata. Between these transmission mechanisms, transport of water between a diseased coral and a healthy coral resulted in disease incidence significantly more frequently in exposed healthy corals. Transmission via water transport also occurred more quickly and was associated with higher rates of tissue loss (up to 3.5 cm d-1) than with the corallivorous snail treatment. In addition, water that was in contact with diseased corals but was filtered with a 0.22-μm filter prior to being introduced to apparently healthy corals also resulted in the transmission of disease signs, but at a much lower rate than when water was not filtered. This study has provided important information on the transmission potential of Caribbean white plague disease and highlights the need for a greater understanding of how these processes operate in the natural environment.

  2. Development of bacterial biofilms on artificial corals in comparison to surface-associated microbes of hard corals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael John Sweet

    Full Text Available Numerous studies have demonstrated the differences in bacterial communities associated with corals versus those in their surrounding environment. However, these environmental samples often represent vastly different microbial micro-environments with few studies having looked at the settlement and growth of bacteria on surfaces similar to corals. As a result, it is difficult to determine which bacteria are associated specifically with coral tissue surfaces. In this study, early stages of passive settlement from the water column to artificial coral surfaces (formation of a biofilm were assessed. Changes in bacterial diversity (16S rRNA gene, were studied on artificially created resin nubbins that were modelled from the skeleton of the reef building coral Acropora muricata. These models were dip-coated in sterile agar, mounted in situ on the reef and followed over time to monitor bacterial community succession. The bacterial community forming the biofilms remained significantly different (R = 0.864 p<0.05 from that of the water column and from the surface mucus layer (SML of the coral at all times from 30 min to 96 h. The water column was dominated by members of the α-proteobacteria, the developed community on the biofilms dominated by γ-proteobacteria, whereas that within the SML was composed of a more diverse array of groups. Bacterial communities present within the SML do not appear to arise from passive settlement from the water column, but instead appear to have become established through a selection process. This selection process was shown to be dependent on some aspects of the physico-chemical structure of the settlement surface, since agar-coated slides showed distinct communities to coral-shaped surfaces. However, no significant differences were found between different surface coatings, including plain agar and agar enhanced with coral mucus exudates. Therefore future work should consider physico-chemical surface properties as

  3. CRED REA Coral Health and Disease Assessment at Hawaii Island, Main Hawaiian Islands in 2006

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Coral health and disease assessments were conducted along 2 consecutively placed 25-m transects, as part of Rapid Ecological Assessments conducted at 17 sites at...

  4. CRED REA Coral Health and Disease Assessment at Saipan Island, Marianas Archipelago in 2007

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Coral health and disease assessments were conducted along 2 consecutively placed 25-m transects, as part of Rapid Ecological Assessments conducted at 8 sites at...

  5. CRED REA Coral Health and Disease Assessment at Pagan Island, Marianas Archipelago in 2007

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Coral health and disease assessments were conducted along 2 consecutively placed 25-m transects, as part of Rapid Ecological Assessments conducted at 9 sites at...

  6. CRED REA Coral Health and Disease Assessment at Midway Atoll, Northwestern Hawaiian Islands in 2006

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Coral health and disease assessments were conducted along 2 consecutively placed 25-m transects, as part of Rapid Ecological Assessments conducted at 9 sites at...

  7. CRED REA Coral Health and Disease Assessment at Jarvis Island, Pacific Remote Island Areas in 2008

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Coral health and disease assessments were conducted along 2 consecutively placed 25-m transects, as part of Rapid Ecological Assessments conducted at 9 sites at...

  8. CRED REA Coral Health and Disease Assessment at Maui Island, Main Hawaiian Islands in 2006

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Coral health and disease assessments were conducted along 2 consecutively placed 25-m transects, as part of Rapid Ecological Assessments conducted at 11 sites at...

  9. CRED REA Coral Health and Disease Assessment at Lisianski Island, Northwestern Hawaiian Islands in 2006

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Coral health and disease assessments were conducted along 2 consecutively placed 25-m transects, as part of Rapid Ecological Assessments conducted at 9 sites at...

  10. CRED REA Coral Health and Disease Assessment at Uracas Island, Marianas Archipelago in 2007

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Coral health and disease assessments were conducted along 2 consecutively placed 25-m transects, as part of Rapid Ecological Assessments conducted at 3 sites at...

  11. CRED REA Coral Health and Disease Assessment at Lanai Island, Main Hawaiian Islands in 2006

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Coral health and disease assessments were conducted along 2 consecutively placed 25-m transects, as part of Rapid Ecological Assessments conducted at 6 sites at...

  12. CRED REA Coral Health and Disease Assessment at Tinian Island, Marianas Archipelago in 2007

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Coral health and disease assessments were conducted along 2 consecutively placed 25-m transects, as part of Rapid Ecological Assessments conducted at 5 sites at...

  13. CRED REA Coral Health and Disease Assessment at Guam, Marianas Archipelago in 2007

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Coral health and disease assessments were conducted along 2 consecutively placed 25-m transects, as part of Rapid Ecological Assessments conducted at 10 sites at...

  14. CRED REA Coral Health and Disease Assessment at Rose Island, American Samoa in 2008

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Coral health and disease assessments were conducted along 2 consecutively placed 25-m transects, as part of Rapid Ecological Assessments conducted at 12 sites at...

  15. CRED REA Coral Health and Disease Assessment at Molokai Island, Main Hawaiian Islands in 2006

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Coral health and disease assessments were conducted along 2 consecutively placed 25-m transects, as part of Rapid Ecological Assessments conducted at 3 sites at...

  16. CRED REA Coral Health and Disease Assessment at Tutuila Island, American Samoa in 2008

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Coral health and disease assessments were conducted along 2 consecutively placed 25-m transects, as part of Rapid Ecological Assessments conducted at 23 sites at...

  17. CRED REA Coral Health and Disease Assessment at Lehua Rock, Main Hawaiian Islands in 2006

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Coral health and disease assessments were conducted along 2 consecutively placed 25-m transects, as part of Rapid Ecological Assessments conducted at 3 sites at...

  18. CRED REA Coral Health and Disease Assessment at French Frigate Shoals, Northwestern Hawaiian Islands in 2006

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Coral health and disease assessments were conducted along 2 consecutively placed 25-m transects, as part of Rapid Ecological Assessments conducted at 10 sites at...

  19. CRED REA Coral Health and Disease Assessment at Kaula Rock, Main Hawaiian Islands in 2006

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Coral health and disease assessments were conducted along 2 consecutively placed 25-m transects, as part of Rapid Ecological Assessments conducted at 2 sites at...

  20. CRED REA Coral Health and Disease Assessment at Ofu-Olosega Island, American Samoa in 2008

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Coral health and disease assessments were conducted along 2 consecutively placed 25-m transects, as part of Rapid Ecological Assessments conducted at 10 sites at...

  1. CRED REA Coral Health and Disease Assessment at Guguan Island, Marianas Archipelago in 2007

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Coral health and disease assessments were conducted along 2 consecutively placed 25-m transects, as part of Rapid Ecological Assessments conducted at 3 sites at...

  2. CRED REA Coral Health and Disease Assessment at Kauai Island, Main Hawaiian Islands in 2006

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Coral health and disease assessments were conducted along 2 consecutively placed 25-m transects, as part of Rapid Ecological Assessments conducted at 4 sites at...

  3. CRED REA Coral Health and Disease Assessment at Necker Island, Northwestern Hawaiian Islands in 2006

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Coral health and disease assessments were conducted along 2 consecutively placed 25-m transects, as part of Rapid Ecological Assessments conducted at 2 sites at...

  4. CRED REA Coral Health and Disease Assessment at Swains Atoll, American Samoa in 2008

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Coral health and disease assessments were conducted along 2 consecutively placed 25-m transects, as part of Rapid Ecological Assessments conducted at 8 sites at...

  5. CRED REA Coral Health and Disease Assessment at Kure Atoll, Northwestern Hawaiian Islands in 2006

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Coral health and disease assessments were conducted along 2 consecutively placed 25-m transects, as part of Rapid Ecological Assessments conducted at 9 sites at Kure...

  6. CRED REA Coral Health and Disease Assessment at Alamagan Island, Marianas Archipelago in 2007

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Coral health and disease assessments were conducted along 2 consecutively placed 25-m transects, as part of Rapid Ecological Assessments conducted at 3 sites at...

  7. CRED REA Coral Health and Disease Assessment at Sarigan Island, Marianas Archipelago in 2007

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Coral health and disease assessments were conducted along 2 consecutively placed 25-m transects, as part of Rapid Ecological Assessments conducted at 3 sites at...

  8. CRED REA Coral Health and Disease Assessment at Kingman Reef, Pacific Remote Island Areas in 2008

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Coral health and disease assessments were conducted along 2 consecutively placed 25-m transects, as part of Rapid Ecological Assessments conducted at 11 sites at...

  9. CRED REA Coral Health and Disease Assessment at Maro Reef, Northwestern Hawaiian Islands in 2006

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Coral health and disease assessments were conducted along 2 consecutively placed 25-m transects, as part of Rapid Ecological Assessments conducted at 9 sites at Maro...

  10. CRED REA Coral Health and Disease Assessment at Wake Atoll, Pacific Remote Island Areas in 2007

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Coral health and disease assessments were conducted along 2 consecutively placed 25-m transects, as part of Rapid Ecological Assessments conducted at 12 sites at...

  11. CRED REA Coral Health and Disease Assessment at Niihau Island, Main Hawaiian Islands in 2006

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Coral health and disease assessments were conducted along 2 consecutively placed 25-m transects, as part of Rapid Ecological Assessments conducted at 6 sites at...

  12. CRED REA Coral Health and Disease Assessment at Agrihan Island, Marianas Archipelago in 2007

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Coral health and disease assessments were conducted along 2 consecutively placed 25-m transects, as part of Rapid Ecological Assessments conducted at 3 sites at...

  13. CRED REA Coral Health and Disease Assessment at Maug Island, Marianas Archipelago in 2007

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Coral health and disease assessments were conducted along 2 consecutively placed 25-m transects, as part of Rapid Ecological Assessments conducted at 9 sites at Maug...

  14. CRED REA Coral Health and Disease Assessment at Johnston Atoll, Pacific Remote Island Areas in 2008

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Coral health and disease assessments were conducted along 2 consecutively placed 25-m transects, as part of Rapid Ecological Assessments conducted at 6 sites at...

  15. CRED REA Coral Health and Disease Assessment at Ta'u Island, American Samoa in 2008

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Coral health and disease assessments were conducted along 2 consecutively placed 25-m transects, as part of Rapid Ecological Assessments conducted at 9 sites at Ta'u...

  16. CRED REA Coral Health and Disease Assessment at Rota Island, Marianas Archipelago in 2007

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Coral health and disease assessments were conducted along 2 consecutively placed 25-m transects, as part of Rapid Ecological Assessments conducted at 6 sites at...

  17. The Presence of the Cyanobacterial Toxin Microcystin in Black Band Disease of Corals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Black band disease (BBD) of corals consists of a pathogenic consortium of microorganisms of four physiological functional groups: phototrophs, heterotrophs, sulfate reducers, and sulfide oxidizers. Together, using a combination of behavioral and physiological strategies, the members of the BBD con...

  18. CRED REA Coral Health and Disease Assessment at Aguijan Island, Marianas Archipelago in 2007

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Coral health and disease assessments were conducted along 2 consecutively placed 25-m transects, as part of Rapid Ecological Assessments conducted at 1 sites at...

  19. CRED REA Coral Health and Disease Assessment at Oahu, Main Hawaiian Islands in 2006

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Coral health and disease assessments were conducted along 2 consecutively placed 25-m transects, as part of Rapid Ecological Assessments conducted at 2 sites at Oahu...

  20. CRED REA Coral Health and Disease Assessment at Asuncion Island, Marianas Archipelago in 2007

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Coral health and disease assessments were conducted along 2 consecutively placed 25-m transects, as part of Rapid Ecological Assessments conducted at 3 sites at...

  1. CRED REA Coral Health and Disease Assessment at Laysan Island, Northwestern Hawaiian Islands in 2006

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Coral health and disease assessments were conducted along 2 consecutively placed 25-m transects, as part of Rapid Ecological Assessments conducted at 3 sites at...

  2. Predicting outbreaks of a climate-driven coral disease in the Great Barrier Reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maynard, J. A.; Anthony, K. R. N.; Harvell, C. D.; Burgman, M. A.; Beeden, R.; Sweatman, H.; Heron, S. F.; Lamb, J. B.; Willis, B. L.

    2011-06-01

    Links between anomalously high sea temperatures and outbreaks of coral diseases known as White Syndromes (WS) represent a threat to Indo-Pacific reefs that is expected to escalate in a changing climate. Further advances in understanding disease aetiologies, determining the relative importance of potential risk factors for outbreaks and in trialing management actions are hampered by not knowing where or when outbreaks will occur. Here, we develop a tool to target research and monitoring of WS outbreaks in the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). The tool is based on an empirical regression model and takes the form of user-friendly interactive ~1.5-km resolution maps. The maps denote locations where long-term monitoring suggests that coral cover exceeds 26% and summer temperature stress (measured by a temperature metric termed the mean positive summer anomaly) is equal to or exceeds that experienced at sites in 2002 where the only severe WS outbreaks documented on the GBR to date were observed. No WS outbreaks were subsequently documented at 45 routinely surveyed sites from 2003 to 2008, and model hindcasts for this period indicate that outbreak likelihood was never high. In 2009, the model indicated that outbreak likelihood was high at north-central GBR sites. The results of the regression model and targeted surveys in 2009 revealed that the threshold host density for an outbreak decreases as thermal stress increases, suggesting that bleaching could be a more important precursor to WS outbreaks than previously anticipated, given that bleaching was severe at outbreak sites in 2002 but not at any of the surveyed sites in 2009. The iterative approach used here has led to an improved understanding of disease causation, will facilitate management responses and can be applied to other coral diseases and/or other regions.

  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...... 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. Assessing coral health and disease from digital photographs and in situ surveys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Page, C A; Field, S N; Pollock, F J; Lamb, J B; Shedrawi, G; Wilson, S K

    2017-01-01

    Methods for monitoring the status of marine communities are increasingly adopting the use of images captured in the field. However, it is not always clear how data collected from photographic images relate to historic data collected using traditional underwater visual census methods. Here, we compare coral health and disease data collected in situ by scuba divers with photographic images collected simultaneously at 12 coral reef sites. Five globally relevant coral diseases were detected on 194 colonies from in situ surveys and 79 colonies from photos, whilst 698 colonies from in situ surveys and 535 colonies from photos exhibited signs of compromised health other than disease. Comparisons of in situ surveys with photographic analyses indicated that the number of disease cases occurring in the examined coral populations (prevalence) was six times higher (4.5 vs. 0.8% of colonies), whilst compromised health was three times higher (14 vs. 4% of colonies) from in situ surveys. Skeletal eroding band disease, sponge overgrowth and presence of Waminoa flatworms were not detected in photographs, though they were identified in situ. Estimates of black band disease and abnormally pigmented coral tissues were similar between the two methods. Estimates of the bleached and healthy colonies were also similar between methods and photographic analyses were a strong predictor of bleached (r (2) = 0.8) and healthy (r (2) = 0.5) colony prevalence from in situ surveys. Moreover, when data on disease and compromised health states resulting in white or pale coral colony appearance were pooled, the prevalence of 'white' colonies from in situ (14%) and photographic analyses (11%) were statistically similar. Our results indicate that information on coral disease and health collected by in situ surveys and photographic analyses are not directly comparable, with in situ surveys generally providing higher estimates of prevalence and greater ability to identify some diseases and

  5. White plague-like coral disease in remote reefs of the Western Caribbean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan A Sánchez

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available The health of coral reef communities has been decreasing over the last 50 years, due the negative effects of human activities combined with other natural processes. We present documentation of a White Plague Disease (WPD outbreak in the Serrana Bank, an isolated Western Caribbean atoll with presumably inexistent pollutant inputs from local human settlements. In addition, this study summarizes seven years of observations on diseased corals in the nearby island of San Andrés, which in contrast is one of the most populated islands of the Caribbean. There was a massive coral mortality in the atoll lagoon (14°27’53.24", 80°14’22.27" W, and 12m depth due to WPD on May 4 of 2003. Seventeen species were found dead or largely affected by the disease. The information resulting from GPS and manta-tow transects revealed that approximately 5.8ha of reticulate Montastraea spp. patch reefs were lethally affected by the disease in the atoll. On May 8 of the same year we observed and calculated a mean coral cover of 7.03% (SD± 2.44, a mean diseased coral tissue cover of 5.5% (SD± 1.1 and a 13.4% (SD± 8.05 of recently dead coral covered with a thin filamentous algae layer; approximately 73% of mortalities caused by the disease occurred before the end of the outbreak. A rough estimate of 18.9% in recent coral cover reduction can be attributed to WPD. This represents about 82% of the total coral cover decline since 1995. Semi-enclosed environments such as atoll lagoons and the reticulate patch-reefs of Montastraea spp. seem to be particularly vulnerable to this kind of coral disease, which constitute an alert to increase the monitoring of the same kind of atoll environments. The WPD has been present in the area of the nearby island of San Andrés at a low prevalence level, with sporadic increasing peaks of disease proliferation. The peaks observed during 1999 and 2004 comprised increases of 266% and 355% respectively, suggesting an alarming progression of

  6. 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 (30 m) mesophotic equivalents and may have similar potential as refugia from large-scale disturbances.

  7. Microbes in the coral holobiont: partners through evolution, development, and ecological interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Janelle R; Rivera, Hanny E; Closek, Collin J; Medina, Mónica

    2014-01-01

    In the last two decades, genetic and genomic studies have revealed the astonishing diversity and ubiquity of microorganisms. Emergence and expansion of the human microbiome project has reshaped our thinking about how microbes control host health-not only as pathogens, but also as symbionts. In coral reef environments, scientists have begun to examine the role that microorganisms play in coral life history. Herein, we review the current literature on coral-microbe interactions within the context of their role in evolution, development, and ecology. We ask the following questions, first posed by McFall-Ngai et al. (2013) in their review of animal evolution, with specific attention to how coral-microbial interactions may be affected under future environmental conditions: (1) How do corals and their microbiome affect each other's genomes? (2) How does coral development depend on microbial partners? (3) How is homeostasis maintained between corals and their microbial symbionts? (4) How can ecological approaches deepen our understanding of the multiple levels of coral-microbial interactions? Elucidating the role that microorganisms play in the structure and function of the holobiont is essential for understanding how corals maintain homeostasis and acclimate to changing environmental conditions.

  8. Microbes in the coral holobiont: partners through evolution, development, and ecological interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janelle Renee Thompson

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available In the last two decades, genetic and genomic studies have revealed the astonishing diversity and ubiquity of microorganisms. Emergence and expansion of the human microbiome project has reshaped our thinking about how microbes control host health – not only as pathogens, but also as symbionts. In coral reef environments, scientists have begun to examine the role that microorganisms play in coral life history. Herein we review the current literature on coral-microbe interactions within the context of their role in evolution, development, and ecology. We ask the following questions, first posed by McFall-Ngai et al., 2013 in their review of animal evolution, with specific attention to how coral-microbial interactions may be affected under future environmental conditions: 1 How do corals and their microbiome affect each other’s genomes? 2 How does coral development depend on microbial partners? 3 How is homeostasis maintained between corals and their microbial symbionts? 4 How can ecological approaches deepen our understanding of the multiple levels of coral-microbial interactions? Elucidating the role that microorganisms play in the structure and function of the holobiont is essential for understanding how corals maintain homeostasis and acclimate to changing environmental conditions.

  9. Microbes in the coral holobiont: partners through evolution, development, and ecological interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Janelle R.; Rivera, Hanny E.; Closek, Collin J.; Medina, Mónica

    2015-01-01

    In the last two decades, genetic and genomic studies have revealed the astonishing diversity and ubiquity of microorganisms. Emergence and expansion of the human microbiome project has reshaped our thinking about how microbes control host health—not only as pathogens, but also as symbionts. In coral reef environments, scientists have begun to examine the role that microorganisms play in coral life history. Herein, we review the current literature on coral-microbe interactions within the context of their role in evolution, development, and ecology. We ask the following questions, first posed by McFall-Ngai et al. (2013) in their review of animal evolution, with specific attention to how coral-microbial interactions may be affected under future environmental conditions: (1) How do corals and their microbiome affect each other's genomes? (2) How does coral development depend on microbial partners? (3) How is homeostasis maintained between corals and their microbial symbionts? (4) How can ecological approaches deepen our understanding of the multiple levels of coral-microbial interactions? Elucidating the role that microorganisms play in the structure and function of the holobiont is essential for understanding how corals maintain homeostasis and acclimate to changing environmental conditions. PMID:25621279

  10. Porpostoma guamensis n. sp., a philasterine scuticociliate associated with brown-band disease of corals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lobban, Christopher S; Raymundo, Laurie M; Montagnes, David J S

    2011-01-01

    Brown band disease of coral is caused by a ciliate that consumes the tissue of the corals in the genus Acropora. We describe the ciliate associated with this disease on Guam, based on: general morphology, division stages, and ciliature observed on live and protargol-stained specimens; modification of the oral structures between divisional stages, observed on protargol-stained specimens; and some aspects of behavior in field and laboratory studies. Porpostoma guamensis n. sp. is elongate and has ciliature typical for the genus; live cells are 70-500 × 20-75 μm; the macronucleus is sausage-like, elongate but often bent, positioned centrally along the main cell axis; the oral ciliature follows a basic pattern, being composed of three adoral polykinetidal regions, as described for other species in the genus, although there is variability in the organization, especially in large cells where the three regions are not easily distinguished. Ciliates fed on coral with their oral region adjacent to the tissue, which they engulfed, leaving the coral a bare skeleton. Both zooxanthellae and nematocysts from coral occurred in the ciliates. Zooxanthellae appeared to be ingested alive but deteriorated within 2-3 days. Ciliates formed thin-walled division cysts on the coral and divided up to 3 times. Cysts formed around daughter cells within cysts. We provide some observations on the complex division pattern of the ciliate (i.e. tomont-trophont-cyst) and propose a possible complete pattern that requires further validation.

  11. SIMAC: development and implementation of a coral reef monitoring network in Colombia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garzón-Ferreira, Jaime; Rodríguez-Ramírez, Alberto

    2010-05-01

    Significant coral reef decline has been observed in Colombia during the last three decades. However, due to the lack of monitoring activities, most of the information about health and changes was fragmentary or inadequate. To develop an expanded nation-wide reef-monitoring program, in 1998 INVEMAR (Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras: "Colombian Institute of Marine and Coastal Research") designed and implemented SIMAC (Sistema Nacional de Monitorco de Arrecifes Coralinos en Colombia: "National Monitoring System of Coral Reefs in Colombia") with the participation of other institutions. By the end of 2003 the SIMAC network reached more than twice its initial size, covering ten reef areas (seven in the Caribbean and three in the Pacific), 63 reef sites and 263 permanent transects. SIMAC monitoring continued without interruption until 2008 and should persist in the long-term. The SIMAC has a large database and consists basically of water quality measurements (temperature, salinity, turbidity) and a yearly estimation of benthic reef cover, coral disease prevalence, gorgonian density, abundance of important mobile invertebrates, fish diversity and abundance of important fish species. A methods manual is available in the Internet. Data and results of SIMAC have been widely circulated through a summary report published annually since 2000 for the Colombian environmental agencies and the general public, as well as numerous national and international scientific papers and presentations at meetings. SIMAC information has contributed to support regional and global reef monitoring networks and databases (i.e. CARICOMP, GCRMN, ReefBase).

  12. Using coral disease prevalence to assess the effects of concentrating tourism activities on offshore reefs in a tropical marine park.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamb, Joleah B; Willis, Bette L

    2011-10-01

    Concentrating tourism activities can be an effective way to closely manage high-use parks and minimize the extent of the effects of visitors on plants and animals, although considerable investment in permanent tourism facilities may be required. On coral reefs, a variety of human-related disturbances have been associated with elevated levels of coral disease, but the effects of reef-based tourist facilities (e.g., permanent offshore visitor platforms) on coral health have not been assessed. In partnership with reef managers and the tourism industry, we tested the effectiveness of concentrating tourism activities as a strategy for managing tourism on coral reefs. We compared prevalence of brown band disease, white syndromes, black band disease, skeletal eroding band, and growth anomalies among reefs with and without permanent tourism platforms within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Coral diseases were 15 times more prevalent at reefs with offshore tourism platforms than at nearby reefs without platforms. The maximum prevalence and maximum number of cases of each disease type were recorded at reefs with permanently moored tourism platforms. Diseases affected 10 coral genera from 7 families at reefs with platforms and 4 coral genera from 3 families at reefs without platforms. The greatest number of disease cases occurred within the spatially dominant acroporid corals, which exhibited 18-fold greater disease prevalence at reefs with platforms than at reefs without platforms. Neither the percent cover of acroporids nor overall coral cover differed significantly between reefs with and without platforms, which suggests that neither factor was responsible for the elevated levels of disease. Identifying how tourism activities and platforms facilitate coral disease in marine parks will help ensure ongoing conservation of coral assemblages and tourism.

  13. 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.

  14. Coral transcriptome and bacterial community profiles reveal distinct Yellow Band Disease states in Orbicella faveolata

    KAUST Repository

    Closek, Collin J.

    2014-06-20

    Coral diseases impact reefs globally. Although we continue to describe diseases, little is known about the etiology or progression of even the most common cases. To examine a spectrum of coral health and determine factors of disease progression we examined Orbicella faveolata exhibiting signs of Yellow Band Disease (YBD), a widespread condition in the Caribbean. We used a novel combined approach to assess three members of the coral holobiont: the coral-host, associated Symbiodinium algae, and bacteria. We profiled three conditions: (1) healthy-appearing colonies (HH), (2) healthy-appearing tissue on diseased colonies (HD), and (3) diseased lesion (DD). Restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis revealed health state-specific diversity in Symbiodinium clade associations. 16S ribosomal RNA gene microarrays (PhyloChips) and O. faveolata complimentary DNA microarrays revealed the bacterial community structure and host transcriptional response, respectively. A distinct bacterial community structure marked each health state. Diseased samples were associated with two to three times more bacterial diversity. HD samples had the highest bacterial richness, which included components associated with HH and DD, as well as additional unique families. The host transcriptome under YBD revealed a reduced cellular expression of defense- and metabolism-related processes, while the neighboring HD condition exhibited an intermediate expression profile. Although HD tissue appeared visibly healthy, the microbial communities and gene expression profiles were distinct. HD should be regarded as an additional (intermediate) state of disease, which is important for understanding the progression of YBD. © 2014 International Society for Microbial Ecology. All rights reserved.

  15. Sulfur-oxidizing bacterial populations within cyanobacterial dominated coral disease lesions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourne, David G; van der Zee, Marc J J; Botté, Emmanuelle S; Sato, Yui

    2013-08-01

    This study investigated the diversity and quantitative shifts of sulfur-oxidizing bacteria (SOB) during the onset of black band disease (BBD) in corals using quantitative PCR (qPCR) and cloning approaches targeting the soxB gene, involved in sulfur oxidation. Four Montipora sp. coral colonies identified with lesions previously termed cyanobacterial patches (CP) (comprising microbial communities different from those of BBD lesions), was monitored in situ as CP developed into BBD. The overall abundance of SOB in both CP and BBD lesions were very low and near the detection limit of the qPCR assay, although consistently indicated that SOB populations decreased as the lesions transitioned from CP to BBD. Phylogenetic assessment of retrieved soxB genes showed that SOB in both CP and BBD lesions were dominated by one sequence type, representing > 70% of all soxB gene sequences and affiliated with members of the Rhodobacteraceae within the α-Proteobacteria. This study represents the first assessment targeting SOB within BBD lesions and clearly shows that SOB are not highly diverse or abundant in this complex microbial mat. The lack of oxidation of reduced sulfur compounds by SOB likely aids the accumulation of high levels of sulfide at the base of the BBD mat, a compound contributing to the pathogenicity of BBD lesions. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Society for Applied Microbiology.

  16. Fungi in Porites lutea: Association with healthy and diseased corals

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Ravindran, J.; Raghukumar, C.; Raghukumar, S.

    It is found that fungi to occur regularly in healthy, partially dead, bleached and pink-line syndrome (PLS)-affected scleractinian coral, Porites lutea, in the reefs of Lakshadweep Islands in the Arabian Sea. Mostly terrestrial species of fungi were isolated...

  17. Contemporary white-band disease in Caribbean corals driven by climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randall, C. J.; van Woesik, R.

    2015-04-01

    Over the past 40 years, two of the dominant reef-building corals in the Caribbean, Acropora palmata and Acropora cervicornis, have experienced unprecedented declines. That loss has been largely attributed to a syndrome commonly referred to as white-band disease. Climate change-driven increases in sea surface temperature (SST) have been linked to several coral diseases, yet, despite decades of research, the attribution of white-band disease to climate change remains unknown. Here we hindcasted the potential relationship between recent ocean warming and outbreaks of white-band disease on acroporid corals. We quantified eight SST metrics, including rates of change in SST and contemporary thermal anomalies, and compared them with records of white-band disease on A. palmata and A. cervicornis from 473 sites across the Caribbean, surveyed from 1997 to 2004. The results of our models suggest that decades-long climate-driven changes in SST, increases in thermal minima, and the breach of thermal maxima have all played significant roles in the spread of white-band disease. We conclude that white-band disease has been strongly coupled with thermal stresses associated with climate change, which has contributed to the regional decline of these once-dominant reef-building corals.

  18. Akumal's reefs: stony coral communities along the developing Mexican Caribbean coastline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy, Roshan E

    2004-12-01

    Fringing coral reefs along coastlines experiencing rapid development and human population growth have declined worldwide because of human activity and of natural causes. The "Mayan Riviera" in Quintana Roo, México, attracts large numbers of tourists in part because it still retains some of the natural diversity and it is important to obtain baseline information to monitor changes over time in the area. In this paper, the condition of the stony corals in the developing coastline of the Akumal-area fore reefs is characterized at the start of the new millennium at two depths, and along an inferred sedimentation gradient. Transect surveys were conducted in five fringing reefs starting at haphazardly chosen points, with respect to species composition, live cover, colony density, relative exposure to TAS mats and, for one species (Diploria strigosa, Dana, 1848), tissue regression rates in the presence of TAS mats. Fish population density and herbivory rates are also assessed. Data from line intercept transects (n=74) show that live stony coral cover, density and relative peripheral exposure of colonies to turf algal/sediment (TAS) mats were inversely related to an inferred sediment stress gradient at 13m. In 2000, live stony coral cover had decreased by 40-50% at two sites studied in 1990 by Muñoz-Chagin and de la Cruz-Agüero (1993). About half of this loss apparently occurred between 1998 and 2000 during an outbreak of white plague disease that mostly affected Montastraea faveolata, and M. annularis. At a 13 m site, where inferred sedimentation rates are relatively high, time series photography of tagged Diploria strigosa, (n=38) showed an average loss of 70 cm2 of live tissue/coral/year to encroachment by TAS mats during the same period. Whereas densities of carnivorous fishes and herbivores (echinoids, scarids, acanthurids and Microspathodon chrysurus) in 2000 were low in belt transects at 10-19 m (n=106), turf-algal gardening pomacentrids were relatively common on

  19. From Citizen Science to Policy Development on the Coral Reefs of Jamaica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. James C. Crabbe

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper explores the application of citizen science to help generation of scientific data and capacity-building, and so underpin scientific ideas and policy development in the area of coral reef management, on the coral reefs of Jamaica. From 2000 to 2008, ninety Earthwatch volunteers were trained in coral reef data acquisition and analysis and made over 6,000 measurements on fringing reef sites along the north coast of Jamaica. Their work showed that while recruitment of small corals is returning after the major bleaching event of 2005, larger corals are not necessarily so resilient and so need careful management if the reefs are to survive such major extreme events. These findings were used in the development of an action plan for Jamaican coral reefs, presented to the Jamaican National Environmental Protection Agency. It was agreed that a number of themes and tactics need to be implemented in order to facilitate coral reef conservation in the Caribbean. The use of volunteers and citizen scientists from both developed and developing countries can help in forging links which can assist in data collection and analysis and, ultimately, in ecosystem management and policy development.

  20. Rayleigh-based, multi-element coral thermometry: A biomineralization approach to developing climate proxies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaetani, G.A.; Cohen, A.L.; Wang, Z.; Crusius, J.

    2011-01-01

    This study presents a new approach to coral thermometry that deconvolves the influence of water temperature on skeleton composition from that of “vital effects”, and has the potential to provide estimates of growth temperatures that are accurate to within a few tenths of a degree Celsius from both tropical and cold-water corals. Our results provide support for a physico-chemical model of coral biomineralization, and imply that Mg2+ substitutes directly for Ca2+ in biogenic aragonite. Recent studies have identified Rayleigh fractionation as an important influence on the elemental composition of coral skeletons. Daily, seasonal and interannual variations in the amount of aragonite precipitated by corals from each “batch” of calcifying fluid can explain why the temperature dependencies of elemental ratios in coral skeleton differ from those of abiogenic aragonites, and are highly variable among individual corals. On the basis of this new insight into the origin of “vital effects” in coral skeleton, we developed a Rayleigh-based, multi-element approach to coral thermometry. Temperature is resolved from the Rayleigh fractionation signal by combining information from multiple element ratios (e.g., Mg/Ca, Sr/Ca, Ba/Ca) to produce a mathematically over-constrained system of Rayleigh equations. Unlike conventional coral thermometers, this approach does not rely on an initial calibration of coral skeletal composition to an instrumental temperature record. Rather, considering coral skeletogenesis as a biologically mediated, physico-chemical process provides a means to extract temperature information from the skeleton composition using the Rayleigh equation and a set of experimentally determined partition coefficients. Because this approach is based on a quantitative understanding of the mechanism that produces the “vital effect” it should be possible to apply it both across scleractinian species and to corals growing in vastly different environments. Where

  1. Germ cell development in the scleractinian coral Euphyllia ancora (Cnidaria, Anthozoa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shinya Shikina

    Full Text Available Sexual reproduction of scleractinian coral is among the most important means of establishing coral populations. However, thus far, little is known about the mechanisms underlying coral gametogenesis. To better understand coral germ cell development, we performed a histological analysis of gametogenesis in Euphyllia ancora and characterized the coral homolog of the Drosophila germline marker gene vasa. The histological analysis revealed that E. ancora gametogenesis occurs in the mesenterial mesoglea between the mesenterial filaments and the retractor muscle bands. The development of germ cells takes approximately one year in females and half a year in males. Staining of tissue sections with an antibody against E. ancora Vasa (Eavas revealed anti-Eavas immunoreactivity in the oogonia, early oocyte, and developing oocyte, but only faint or undetectable reactivity in developing oocytes that were >150 µm in diameters. In males, Eavas could be detected in the spermatogonia and primary spermatocytes but was only faintly detectable in the secondary spermatocytes, spermatids, and sperms. Furthermore, a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analysis and Western blotting analysis of unfertilized mature eggs proved the presence of Eavas transcripts and proteins, suggesting that Eavas may be a maternal factor. Vasa may represent a germ cell marker for corals, and would allow us to distinguish germ cells from somatic cells in coral bodies that have no distinct organs.

  2. Natural variations in xenobiotic-metabolizing enzymes: developing tools for coral monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rougée, L. R. A.; Richmond, R. H.; Collier, A. C.

    2014-06-01

    The continued deterioration of coral reefs worldwide demonstrates the need to develop diagnostic tools for corals that go beyond general ecological monitoring and can identify specific stressors at sublethal levels. Cellular diagnostics present an approach to defining indicators (biomarkers) that have the potential to reflect the impact of stress at the cellular level, allowing for the detection of intracellular changes in corals prior to outright mortality. Detoxification enzymes, which may be readily induced or inhibited by environmental stressors, present such a set of indicators. However, in order to apply these diagnostic tools for the detection of stress, a detailed understanding of their normal, homeostatic levels within healthy corals must first be established. Herein, we present molecular and biochemical evidence for the expression and activity of major Phase I detoxification enzymes cytochrome P450 (CYP450), CYP2E1, and CYP450 reductase, as well as the Phase II enzymes UDP, glucuronosyltransferase (UGT), β-glucuronidase, glutathione- S-transferase (GST), and arylsulfatase C (ASC) in the coral Pocillopora damicornis. Additionally, we characterized enzyme expression and activity variations over a reproductive cycle within a coral's life history to determine natural endogenous changes devoid of stress exposure. Significant changes in enzyme activity over the coral's natural lunar reproductive cycle were observed for CYP2E1 and CYP450 reductase as well as UGT and GST, while β-glucuronidase and ASC did not fluctuate significantly. The data represent a baseline description of `health' for the expression and activity of these enzymes that can be used toward understanding the impact of environmental stressors on corals. Such knowledge can be applied to address causes of coral reef ecosystem decline and to monitor effectiveness of mitigation strategies. Achieving a better understanding of cause-and-effect relationships between putative stressors and biological

  3. Coral diseases on Philippine reefs: genus Porites is a dominant host.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raymundo, Laurie J; Rosell, Kathryn B; Reboton, Clarissa T; Kaczmarsky, Longin

    2005-05-20

    While it is generally assumed that Indo-Pacific reefs are not widely affected by diseases, limited data suggest a number of diseases and syndromes that appear to differ from those currently under study in the Caribbean. This report presents the results of a baseline survey of coral diseases in 2 regions in the Philippines: the Central Visayas and the Lingayen Gulf. Mean prevalence for all diseases observed was 8.3 +/- 1.2% (mean +/- SE; n = 8 reefs), with Central Visayas reefs showing higher disease prevalence (11.6 +/- 2.8%; n = 4 reefs) than those of Lingayen Gulf (5.1 +/- 1.4%; n = 4 reefs). Five diseases and syndromes were described; 3 of these-Porites ulcerative white spot disease (PUWS) (prevalence = 8.96 +/- 2.2%), tumors (prevalence = 1.0 +/- 0.5%) and pigmentation response (prevalence = 0.5 +/- 0.2%)--occurred frequently in both regions and targeted the genus Porites. Correlation between disease prevalence and number of Porites colonies was fairly strong (r2 = 43.4), though not significant, and no correlation was seen between prevalence and either the amount or diversity of hard coral. Porites is a major reef-builder in the Indo-Pacific comprising 30% of hard coral colonies on our surveyed reefs, and is generally thought to be a hardy, long-lived genus. Diseases targeting this robust group present an as yet unquantified risk to Philippine reefs and could result in major changes in reef structure.

  4. Fine-structural analysis of black band disease-infected coral reveals boring cyanobacteria and novel bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Aaron W; Blackwelder, Patricia; Al-Sayegh, Husain; Richardson, Laurie L

    2011-02-22

    Examination of coral fragments infected with black band disease (BBD) at the fine- and ultrastructural levels using scanning (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) revealed novel features of the disease. SEM images of the skeleton from the host coral investigated (Montastraea annularis species complex) revealed extensive boring underneath the BBD mat, with cyanobacterial filaments present within some of the bore holes. Cyanobacteria were observed to penetrate into the overlying coral tissue from within the skeleton and were present throughout the mesoglea between tissue layers (coral epidermis and gastrodermis). A population of novel, as yet unidentified, small filamentous bacteria was found at the leading edge of the migrating band. This population increased in number within the band and was present within degrading coral epithelium, suggesting a role in disease etiology. In coral tissue in front of the leading edge of the band, cyanobacterial filaments were observed to be emerging from bundles of sloughed-off epidermal tissue. Degraded gastrodermis that contained actively dividing zooxanthellae was observed using both TEM and SEM. The BBD mat contained cyanobacterial filaments that were twisted, characteristic of negative-tactic responses. Some evidence of boring was found in apparently healthy control coral fragments; however, unlike in BBD-infected fragments, there were no associated cyanobacteria. These results suggest the coral skeleton as a possible source of pathogenic BBD cyanobacteria. Additionally, SEM revealed the presence of a potentially important group of small, filamentous BBD-associated bacteria yet to be identified.

  5. Changes in Caribbean coral disease prevalence after the 2005 bleaching event.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cróquer, Aldo; Weil, Ernesto

    2009-11-16

    Bleaching events and disease epizootics have increased during the past decades, suggesting a positive link between these 2 causes in producing coral mortality. However, studies to test this hypothesis, integrating a broad range of hierarchical spatial scales from habitats to distant localities, have not been conducted in the Caribbean. In this study, we examined links between bleaching intensity and disease prevalence collected from 6 countries, 2 reef sites for each country, and 3 habitats within each reef site (N = 6 x 2 x 3 = 36 site-habitat combinations) during the peak of bleaching in 2005 and a year after, in 2006. Patterns of disease prevalence and bleaching were significantly correlated (Rho = 0.58, p = 0.04). Higher variability in disease prevalence after bleaching occurred among habitats at each particular reef site, with a significant increase in prevalence recorded in 4 of the 10 site-habitats where bleaching was intense and a non-significant increase in disease prevalence in 18 out of the 26 site-habitats where bleaching was low to moderate. A significant linear correlation was found (r = 0.89, p = 0.008) between bleaching and the prevalence of 2 virulent diseases (yellow band disease and white plague) affecting the Montastraea species complex. Results of this study suggest that if bleaching events become more intense and frequent, disease-related mortality of Caribbean coral reef builders could increase, with uncertain effects on coral reef resilience.

  6. Antibacterial Activity of Marine and Black Band Disease Cyanobacteria against Coral-Associated Bacteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gantar, Miroslav; Kaczmarsky, Longin T.; Stanić, Dina; Miller, Aaron W.; Richardson, Laurie L.

    2011-01-01

    Black band disease (BBD) of corals is a cyanobacteria-dominated polymicrobial disease that contains diverse populations of heterotrophic bacteria. It is one of the most destructive of coral diseases and is found globally on tropical and sub-tropical reefs. We assessed ten strains of BBD cyanobacteria, and ten strains of cyanobacteria isolated from other marine sources, for their antibacterial effect on growth of heterotrophic bacteria isolated from BBD, from the surface mucopolysaccharide layer (SML) of healthy corals, and three known bacterial coral pathogens. Assays were conducted using two methods: co-cultivation of cyanobacterial and bacterial isolates, and exposure of test bacteria to (hydrophilic and lipophilic) cyanobacterial cell extracts. During co-cultivation, 15 of the 20 cyanobacterial strains tested had antibacterial activity against at least one of the test bacterial strains. Inhibition was significantly higher for BBD cyanobacteria when compared to other marine cyanobacteria. Lipophilic extracts were more active than co-cultivation (extracts of 18 of the 20 strains were active) while hydrophilic extracts had very limited activity. In some cases co-cultivation resulted in stimulation of BBD and SML bacterial growth. Our results suggest that BBD cyanobacteria are involved in structuring the complex polymicrobial BBD microbial community by production of antimicrobial compounds. PMID:22073011

  7. Antibacterial activity of marine and black band disease cyanobacteria against coral-associated bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gantar, Miroslav; Kaczmarsky, Longin T; Stanić, Dina; Miller, Aaron W; Richardson, Laurie L

    2011-01-01

    Black band disease (BBD) of corals is a cyanobacteria-dominated polymicrobial disease that contains diverse populations of heterotrophic bacteria. It is one of the most destructive of coral diseases and is found globally on tropical and sub-tropical reefs. We assessed ten strains of BBD cyanobacteria, and ten strains of cyanobacteria isolated from other marine sources, for their antibacterial effect on growth of heterotrophic bacteria isolated from BBD, from the surface mucopolysaccharide layer (SML) of healthy corals, and three known bacterial coral pathogens. Assays were conducted using two methods: co-cultivation of cyanobacterial and bacterial isolates, and exposure of test bacteria to (hydrophilic and lipophilic) cyanobacterial cell extracts. During co-cultivation, 15 of the 20 cyanobacterial strains tested had antibacterial activity against at least one of the test bacterial strains. Inhibition was significantly higher for BBD cyanobacteria when compared to other marine cyanobacteria. Lipophilic extracts were more active than co-cultivation (extracts of 18 of the 20 strains were active) while hydrophilic extracts had very limited activity. In some cases co-cultivation resulted in stimulation of BBD and SML bacterial growth. Our results suggest that BBD cyanobacteria are involved in structuring the complex polymicrobial BBD microbial community by production of antimicrobial compounds.

  8. Coral growth on three reefs: development of recovery benchmarks using a space for time approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Done, T. J.; Devantier, L. M.; Turak, E.; Fisk, D. A.; Wakeford, M.; van Woesik, R.

    2010-12-01

    This 14-year study (1989-2003) develops recovery benchmarks based on a period of very strong coral recovery in Acropora-dominated assemblages on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) following major setbacks from the predatory sea-star Acanthaster planci in the early 1980s. A space for time approach was used in developing the benchmarks, made possible by the choice of three study reefs (Green Island, Feather Reef and Rib Reef), spread along 3 degrees of latitude (300 km) of the GBR. The sea-star outbreaks progressed north to south, causing death of corals that reached maximum levels in the years 1980 (Green), 1982 (Feather) and 1984 (Rib). The reefs were initially surveyed in 1989, 1990, 1993 and 1994, which represent recovery years 5-14 in the space for time protocol. Benchmark trajectories for coral abundance, colony sizes, coral cover and diversity were plotted against nominal recovery time (years 5-14) and defined as non-linear functions. A single survey of the same three reefs was conducted in 2003, when the reefs were nominally 1, 3 and 5 years into a second recovery period, following further Acanthaster impacts and coincident coral bleaching events around the turn of the century. The 2003 coral cover was marginally above the benchmark trajectory, but colony density (colonies.m-2) was an order of magnitude lower than the benchmark, and size structure was biased toward larger colonies that survived the turn of the century disturbances. The under-representation of small size classes in 2003 suggests that mass recruitment of corals had been suppressed, reflecting low regional coral abundance and depression of coral fecundity by recent bleaching events. The marginally higher cover and large colonies of 2003 were thus indicative of a depleted and aging assemblage not yet rejuvenated by a strong cohort of recruits.

  9. Phage therapy for Florida corals?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kellogg, Christina A.

    2007-01-01

    Coral disease is a major cause of reef decline in the Florida Keys. Bacterium has been defined as the most common pathogen (disease-causing organism). Although much is being done to catalog coral diseases, map their locations, determine the causes of disease, or measure the rates of coral demise, very little research has been directed toward actually preventing or eliminating the diseases affecting coral and coral reef decline.

  10. Beneficial Microorganisms for Corals (BMC): Proposed Mechanisms for Coral Health and Resilience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peixoto, Raquel S.; Rosado, Phillipe M.; Leite, Deborah Catharine de Assis; Rosado, Alexandre S.; Bourne, David G.

    2017-01-01

    The symbiotic association between the coral animal and its endosymbiotic dinoflagellate partner Symbiodinium is central to the success of corals. However, an array of other microorganisms associated with coral (i.e., Bacteria, Archaea, Fungi, and viruses) have a complex and intricate role in maintaining homeostasis between corals and Symbiodinium. Corals are sensitive to shifts in the surrounding environmental conditions. One of the most widely reported responses of coral to stressful environmental conditions is bleaching. During this event, corals expel Symbiodinium cells from their gastrodermal tissues upon experiencing extended seawater temperatures above their thermal threshold. An array of other environmental stressors can also destabilize the coral microbiome, resulting in compromised health of the host, which may include disease and mortality in the worst scenario. However, the exact mechanisms by which the coral microbiome supports coral health and increases resilience are poorly understood. Earlier studies of coral microbiology proposed a coral probiotic hypothesis, wherein a dynamic relationship exists between corals and their symbiotic microorganisms, selecting for the coral holobiont that is best suited for the prevailing environmental conditions. Here, we discuss the microbial-host relationships within the coral holobiont, along with their potential roles in maintaining coral health. We propose the term BMC (Beneficial Microorganisms for Corals) to define (specific) symbionts that promote coral health. This term and concept are analogous to the term Plant Growth Promoting Rhizosphere (PGPR), which has been widely explored and manipulated in the agricultural industry for microorganisms that inhabit the rhizosphere and directly or indirectly promote plant growth and development through the production of regulatory signals, antibiotics and nutrients. Additionally, we propose and discuss the potential mechanisms of the effects of BMC on corals, suggesting

  11. Development and implementation of coral reef biocriteria in U.S. jurisdictions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradley, Patricia; Fisher, William S; Bell, Heidi; Davis, Wayne; Chan, Valerie; LoBue, Charles; Wiltse, Wendy

    2009-03-01

    Coral reefs worldwide are declining at an alarming rate and are under continuous threat from both natural and anthropogenic environmental stressors. Warmer sea temperatures attributed to global climate change and numerous human activities at local scales place these valuable ecosystems at risk. Reefs provide numerous services, including shoreline protection, fishing, tourism and biological diversity, which are lost through physical damage, overfishing, and pollution. Pollution can be controlled under provisions of the Clean Water Act, but these options have not been fully employed to protect coral reefs. No U.S. jurisdiction has implemented coral reef biocriteria, which are narrative or quantitative water quality standards based on the condition of a biological resource or assemblage. The President's Ocean Action Plan directs the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop biological assessment methods and biological criteria for evaluating and maintaining the health of coral reef ecosystems. EPA has formed the Coral Reef Biocriteria Working Group (CRBWG) to foster development of coral reef biocriteria through focused research, evaluation and communication among Agency partners and U.S. jurisdictions. Ongoing CRBWG activities include development and evaluation of a rapid bioassessment protocol for application in biocriteria programs; development of a survey design and monitoring strategy for the U.S. Virgin Islands; comprehensive reviews of biocriteria approaches proposed by states and territories; and assembly of data from a variety of monitoring programs for additional metrics. Guidance documents are being prepared to assist U.S. jurisdictions in reaching protective and defensible biocriteria.

  12. Does coral disease affect symbiodinium? Investigating the impacts of growth anomaly on symbiont photophysiology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John Henrik Robert Burns

    Full Text Available Growth anomaly (GA is a commonly observed coral disease that impairs biological functions of the affected tissue. GA is prevalent at Wai 'ōpae tide pools, southeast Hawai 'i Island. Here two distinct forms of this disease, Type A and Type B, affect the coral, Montiporacapitata. While the effects of GA on biology and ecology of the coral host are beginning to be understood, the impact of this disease on the photophysiology of the dinoflagellate symbiont, Symbiodinium spp., has not been investigated. The GA clearly alters coral tissue structure and skeletal morphology and density. These tissue and skeletal changes are likely to modify not only the light micro-environment of the coral tissue, which has a direct impact on the photosynthetic potential of Symbiodinium spp., but also the physiological interactions within the symbiosis. This study utilized Pulse amplitude modulation fluorometry (PAM to characterize the photophysiology of healthy and GA-affected M. capitata tissue. Overall, endosymbionts within GA-affected tissue exhibit reduced photochemical efficiency. Values of both Fv/Fm and ΔF/ Fm' were significantly lower (p<0.01 in GA tissue compared to healthy and unaffected tissues. Tracking the photophysiology of symbionts over a diurnal time period enabled a comparison of symbiont responses to photosynthetically available radiation (PAR among tissue conditions. Symbionts within GA tissue exhibited the lowest values of ΔF/Fm' as well as the highest pressure over photosystem II (p<0.01. This study provides evidence that the symbionts within GA-affected tissue are photochemically compromised compared to those residing in healthy tissue.

  13. Development of Fluorescence Imaging Lidar for Boat-Based Coral Observation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sasano Masahiko

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available A fluorescence imaging lidar system installed in a boat-towable buoy has been developed for the observation of reef-building corals. Long-range fluorescent images of the sea bed can be recorded in the daytime with this system. The viability of corals is clear in these fluorescent images because of the innate fluorescent proteins. In this study, the specifications and performance of the system are shown.

  14. Extended geographic distribution of several Indo-Pacific coral reef diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weil, E; Irikawa, A; Casareto, B; Suzuki, Y

    2012-03-20

    Other than coral bleaching, few coral diseases or diseases of other reef organisms have been reported from Japan. This is the first report of lesions similar to Porites ulcerative white spots (PUWS), brown band disease (BrB), pigmentation response (PR), and crustose coralline white syndrome (CCWS) for this region. To assess the health status and disease prevalence, qualitative and quantitative surveys (3 belt transects of 100 m² each on each reef) were performed in March and September 2010 on 2 reefs of the Ginowan-Ooyama reef complex off Okinawa, and 2 protected reefs off Zamani Island, in the Kerama Islands 40 km west of Okinawa. Overall, mean (±SD) disease prevalence was higher in Ginowan-Ooyama (9.7 ± 7.9%) compared to Zamami (3.6 ± 4.6%). Porites lutea was most affected by PUWS at Ooyama (23.1 ± 10.4 vs. 4.5 ± 5.2%). White syndrome (WS) mostly affected Acropora cytherea (12. 5 ± 18.0%) in Zamami and Oxipora lacera (10.2 ± 10%) in Ooyama. Growth anomalies (GA) and BrB were only observed on A. cytherea (8.3 ± 6.2%) and A. nobilis (0.8%) at Zamami. Black band disease affected Pachyseris speciosa (6.0 ± 4.6%) in Ooyama only. Pigmentation responses (PR) were common in massive Porites in both localities (2.6 ± 1.9 and 5.6 ± 2.3% respectively). Crustose coralline white syndrome (CCWS) was observed in both localities. These results significantly expand the geographic distribution of PUWS, BrB, PR and CCWS in the Indo-Pacific, indicating that the northernmost coral reefs in the western Pacific are susceptible to a larger number of coral diseases than previously thought.

  15. Development of a Regional Coral Observation Method by a Fluorescence Imaging LIDAR Installed in a Towable Buoy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masahiko Sasano

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Coral bleaching and mortality is predicted to increase under global climate change. A new observation technique is required to monitor regional coral conditions. To this end, we developed a light detection and ranging (LIDAR system installed in a towable buoy for boat observations, which acquires continuous fluorescent images of the seabed during day-time. Most corals have innate fluorescent proteins in their tissue, and they emit fluorescence by ultraviolet excitation. This fluorescence distinguishes living coral from dead coral skeleton, crustose coralline algae, and sea algae. This paper provides a proof of concept for using the LIDAR system and fluorescence to map coral distribution within 1 km scale and coral cover within 100 m scale for a single reef in Japan.

  16. The Role of Shipyard Pollutants in Structuring Coral Reef Microbial Communities: Monitoring Environmental Change and the Potential Causes of Coral Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-06-01

    the Florida Osterhaus AD, Overstreet RM, Porter JW, Smith Keys: Plague Type 11. REVISTA DE BIOLOGIA GW, Vasta GR (1999) Emerging marine diseases...diseases in Dominica. West Indies: 15 distribution, infection patterns and contribution to coral tissue mortality. Revista De 16 Biologia Tropical 51:25...Biological Conservation 96:347-361, 25 18. Griffin, S. P. 1998. The effects of sunlight on the progression of Black Band Disease. 26 Revista De Biologia

  17. White Band Disease (type I) of endangered caribbean acroporid corals is caused by pathogenic bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kline, David I; Vollmer, Steven V

    2011-01-01

    Diseases affecting coral reefs have increased exponentially over the last three decades and contributed to their decline, particularly in the Caribbean. In most cases, the responsible pathogens have not been isolated, often due to the difficulty in isolating and culturing marine bacteria. White Band Disease (WBD) has caused unprecedented declines in the Caribbean acroporid corals, resulting in their listings as threatened on the US Threatened and Endangered Species List and critically endangered on the IUCN Red List. Yet, despite the importance of WBD, the probable pathogen(s) have not yet been determined. Here we present in situ transmission data from a series of filtrate and antibiotic treatments of disease tissue that indicate that WBD is contagious and caused by bacterial pathogen(s). Additionally our data suggest that Ampicillin could be considered as a treatment for WBD (type I).

  18. Quantifying bamboo coral growth rate nonlinearity with the radiocarbon bomb spike: A new model for paleoceanographic chronology development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frenkel, M. M.; LaVigne, M.; Miller, H. R.; Hill, T. M.; McNichol, A.; Gaylord, M. Lardie

    2017-07-01

    Bamboo corals, long-lived cold water gorgonin octocorals, offer unique paleoceanographic archives of the intermediate ocean. These Isididae corals are characterized by alternating gorgonin nodes and high Mg-calcite internodes, which synchronously extend radially. Bamboo coral calcite internodes have been utilized to obtain geochemical proxy data, however, growth rate uncertainty has made it difficult to construct precise chronologies for these corals. Previous studies have relied upon a single tie point from records of the anthropogenic Δ14C bomb spike preserved in the gorgonin nodes of live-collected corals to calculate a mean radial extension rate for the outer 50 years of skeletal growth. Bamboo coral chronologies are typically constructed by applying this mean extension rate to the entire coral record, assuming constant radial extension with coral age. In this study, we aim to test this underlying assumption by analyzing the organic nodes of six California margin bamboo corals at high enough resolution (coral collection date (2007.5) for four samples. Radial extension rates between tie points ranged from 10 to 204 μm/year, with a decrease in growth rate evident between the 1957-1970 and 1970-2007.5 periods for all four corals. A negative correlation between growth rate and coral radius (r =-0.7; p=0.04) was determined for multiple bamboo coral taxa and individuals from the California margin, demonstrating a decline in radial extension rate with specimen age and size. To provide a mechanistic basis for these observations, a simple mathematical model was developed based on the assumption of a constant increase in circular cross sectional area with time to quantify this decline in radial extension rate with coral size between chronological tie points. Applying the area-based model to our Δ14C bomb spike time series from individual corals improves chronology accuracy for all live-collected corals with complete Δ14C bomb spikes. Hence, this study provides

  19. CRED REA Coral Health and Disease Assessment at at Palmyra Atoll, Pacific Remote Island Areas in 2008

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Coral health and disease assessments were conducted along 2 consecutively placed 25-m transects, as part of Rapid Ecological Assessments conducted at 14 sites at...

  20. CRED REA Coral Health and Disease Assessment at Pearl and Hermes Atoll, Northwestern Hawaiian Islands in 2006

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Coral health and disease assessments were conducted along 2 consecutively placed 25-m transects, as part of Rapid Ecological Assessments conducted at 13 sites at...

  1. CRED REA Coral Health and Disease Assessment at Howland Island, Phoenix Islands, Pacific Remote Island Areas in 2008

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Coral health and disease assessments were conducted along 2 consecutively placed 25-m transects, as part of Rapid Ecological Assessments conducted at 5 sites around...

  2. CRED REA Coral Health and Disease Assessment at Baker Island, Phoenix Islands, Pacific Remote Island Areas in 2008

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Coral health and disease assessments were conducted along 2 consecutively placed 25-m transects, as part of Rapid Ecological Assessments conducted at 4 sites around...

  3. Metatranscriptome Sequencing of a Reef-building Coral Elucidates Holobiont Community Gene Functions in Health and Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Timberlake, S.; Helbig, T.; Fernando, S.; Penn, K.; Alm, E.; Thompson, F.; Thompson, J. R.

    2012-12-01

    The coral reefs of the Abrolhos Bank of Brazil play a vital ecological role in the health of the Southern Atlantic Ocean, but accelerating rates of disease, particularly white plague, threaten this ecosystem. Thus, an understanding of white plague disease and diagnostic tests for it are urgently needed. The coral animal is associated with a distinct microbiome, a diverse assemblage of eukaryotes, bacteria, and viruses. That these microbes have a great influence on the health of the coral has been long known, however, most of their functions are still mysterious. While recent studies have contrasted healthy and white-plague-associated communities, the causative agents and mechanisms of the disease remain unknown. We collected fragments of healthy and diseased corals, as well as post-disease skeleton, from 12 colonies of the genus Mussismilia, the major component of the reef structure in the Abrolhos bank, and increasingly, a victim of white-plague disease. Fragments were flash-frozen in situ, and prepped for culture-free high throughput sequencing of gene transcripts with the Illumina II-G. While the membership of the microbial communities associated with coral has been previously described, the a coral holobiont community's gene function has, to date, never been assayed by this powerful approach. We designed a bioinformatics pipeline to analyze the short-read data from this complex sample: identifying the functions of genes expressed in the holobiont, and describing the active community's taxonomic composition. We show that gene functions expressed by the coral's bacterial assemblage are distinct from those of the underlying skeleton, and we highlight differences in the disease samples. We find that gene markers for the dissimilatory sulfate reduction pathway more abundant in the disease state, and we further quantify this difference with qPCR. Finally, we report the abundant expression of highly repetitive transcripts in the diseased coral samples, and highlight

  4. Disease prevalence and snail predation associated with swell-generated damage on the threatened coral, Acropora palmata (Lamarck

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    Allan Joseph Bright

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Disturbances such as tropical storms cause coral mortality and reduce coral cover as a direct result of physical damage. Storms can be one of the most important disturbances in coral reef ecosystems, and it is crucial to understand their long-term impacts on coral populations. The primary objective of this study was to determine trends in disease prevalence and snail predation on damaged and undamaged colonies of the threatened coral species, Acropora palmata, following an episode of heavy ocean swells in the US Virgin Islands (USVI. At three sites on St. Thomas and St. John, colonies of A. palmata were surveyed monthly over one year following a series of large swells in March 2008 that fragmented 30 to 93% of colonies on monitored reefs. Post-disturbance surveys conducted from April 2008 through March 2009 showed that swell-generated damage to A. palmata caused negative indirect effects that compounded the initial direct effects of physical disturbance. During the 12 months after the swell event, white pox disease prevalence was 41% higher for colonies that sustained damage from the swells than for undamaged colonies (df = 207, p = 0.01 with greatest differences in disease prevalence occurring during warm water months. In addition, the corallivorous snail, Coralliophila abbreviata, was 46% more abundant on damaged corals than undamaged corals during the 12 months after the swell event (df = 207, p = 0.006.

  5. Disease prevalence and snail predation associated with swell-generated damage on the threatened coral, Acropora palmata (Lamarck)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bright, Allan J.; Rogers, Caroline S.; Brandt, Marilyn E.; Muller, Erinn; Smith, Tyler B.

    2016-01-01

    Disturbances such as tropical storms cause coral mortality and reduce coral cover as a direct result of physical damage. Storms can be one of the most important disturbances in coral reef ecosystems, and it is crucial to understand their long-term impacts on coral populations. The primary objective of this study was to determine trends in disease prevalence and snail predation on damaged and undamaged colonies of the threatened coral species, Acropora palmata, following an episode of heavy ocean swells in the US Virgin Islands (USVI). At three sites on St. Thomas and St. John, colonies of A. palmata were surveyed monthly over 1 year following a series of large swells in March 2008 that fragmented 30–93% of colonies on monitored reefs. Post-disturbance surveys conducted from April 2008 through March 2009 showed that swell-generated damage to A. palmata caused negative indirect effects that compounded the initial direct effects of physical disturbance. During the 12 months after the swell event, white pox disease prevalence was 41% higher for colonies that sustained damage from the swells than for undamaged colonies (df = 207, p = 0.01) with greatest differences in disease prevalence occurring during warm water months. In addition, the corallivorous snail, Coralliophila abbreviata, was 46% more abundant on damaged corals than undamaged corals during the 12 months after the swell event (df = 207, p = 0.006).

  6. Controls on coral-ground development along the northern Mesoamerican Reef tract.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosa E Rodríguez-Martínez

    Full Text Available Coral-grounds are reef communities that colonize rocky substratum but do not form framework or three-dimensional reef structures. To investigate why, we used video transects and underwater photography to determine the composition, structure and status of a coral-ground community located on the edge of a rocky terrace in front of a tourist park, Xcaret, in the northern Mesoamerican Reef tract, Mexico. The community has a relatively low coral, gorgonian and sponge cover (40%. We recorded 23 species of Scleractinia, 14 species of Gorgonacea and 30 species of Porifera. The coral community is diverse but lacks large coral colonies, being dominated instead by small, sediment-tolerant, and brooding species. In these small colonies, the abundance of potentially lethal interactions and partial mortality is high but decreases when colonies are larger than 40 cm. Such characteristics are consistent with an environment control whereby storm waves periodically remove larger colonies and elevate sediment flux. The community only survives these storm conditions due to its slope-break location, which ensures lack of burial and continued local recruitment. A comparison with similar coral-ground communities in adjacent areas suggests that the narrow width of the rock terrace hinders sediment stabilization, thereby ensuring that communities cannot escape bottom effects and develop into three-dimensional reef structures on geological time scales.

  7. Experimental antibiotic treatment identifies potential pathogens of white band disease in the endangered Caribbean coral Acropora cervicornis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sweet, M J; Croquer, A; Bythell, J C

    2014-08-07

    Coral diseases have been increasingly reported over the past few decades and are a major contributor to coral decline worldwide. The Caribbean, in particular, has been noted as a hotspot for coral disease, and the aptly named white syndromes have caused the decline of the dominant reef building corals throughout their range. White band disease (WBD) has been implicated in the dramatic loss of Acropora cervicornis and Acropora palmata since the 1970s, resulting in both species being listed as critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red list. The causal agent of WBD remains unknown, although recent studies based on challenge experiments with filtrate from infected hosts concluded that the disease is probably caused by bacteria. Here, we report an experiment using four different antibiotic treatments, targeting different members of the disease-associated microbial community. Two antibiotics, ampicillin and paromomycin, arrested the disease completely, and by comparing with community shifts brought about by treatments that did not arrest the disease, we have identified the likely candidate causal agent or agents of WBD. Our interpretation of the experimental treatments is that one or a combination of up to three specific bacterial types, detected consistently in diseased corals but not detectable in healthy corals, are likely causal agents of WBD. In addition, a histophagous ciliate (Philaster lucinda) identical to that found consistently in association with white syndrome in Indo-Pacific acroporas was also consistently detected in all WBD samples and absent in healthy coral. Treatment with metronidazole reduced it to below detection limits, but did not arrest the disease. However, the microscopic disease signs changed, suggesting a secondary role in disease causation for this ciliate. In future studies to identify a causal agent of WBD via tests of Henle-Koch's postulates, it will be vital to experimentally control for populations

  8. Coral community change on a turbid-zone reef complex: developing baseline records for the central Great Barrier Reef's nearshore coral reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Jamie; Perry, Chris; Smithers, Scott; Morgan, Kyle; Johnson, Kenneth

    2016-04-01

    Understanding past coral community development and reef growth is crucial for placing contemporary ecological and environmental change within appropriate reef-building timescales. Coral reefs located within coastal inner-shelf zones are widely perceived to be most susceptible to declining water quality due to their proximity to modified river catchments. On the inner-shelf of Australia's Great Barrier Reef (GBR) the impacts and magnitude of declining water quality since European settlement (c. 1850 A.D.) still remain unclear. This relates to ongoing debates concerning the significance of increased sediment yields against the naturally high background sedimentary regimes and the paucity of long-term (>decadal) ecological datasets. To provide baseline records for interpreting coral community change within the turbid inner-shelf waters of the GBR, 21 cores were recovered from five nearshore reefs spanning an evolutionary spectrum of reef development. Discrete intervals pre- and post-dating European settlement, but deposited at equivalent water depths, were identified by radiocarbon dating, enabling the discrimination of extrinsic and intrinsic driven shifts within the coral palaeo-record. We report no discernible evidence of anthropogenically-driven disturbance on the coral community records at these sites. Instead, significant transitions in coral community assemblages relating to water depth and vertical reef accretion were observed. We suggest that these records may be used to contextualise observed contemporary ecological change within similar environments on the GBR.

  9. Overfishing and nutrient pollution interact with temperature to disrupt coral reefs down to microbial scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaneveld, Jesse R; Burkepile, Deron E; Shantz, Andrew A; Pritchard, Catharine E; McMinds, Ryan; Payet, Jérôme P; Welsh, Rory; Correa, Adrienne M S; Lemoine, Nathan P; Rosales, Stephanie; Fuchs, Corinne; Maynard, Jeffrey A; Thurber, Rebecca Vega

    2016-06-07

    Losses of corals worldwide emphasize the need to understand what drives reef decline. Stressors such as overfishing and nutrient pollution may reduce resilience of coral reefs by increasing coral-algal competition and reducing coral recruitment, growth and survivorship. Such effects may themselves develop via several mechanisms, including disruption of coral microbiomes. Here we report the results of a 3-year field experiment simulating overfishing and nutrient pollution. These stressors increase turf and macroalgal cover, destabilizing microbiomes, elevating putative pathogen loads, increasing disease more than twofold and increasing mortality up to eightfold. Above-average temperatures exacerbate these effects, further disrupting microbiomes of unhealthy corals and concentrating 80% of mortality in the warmest seasons. Surprisingly, nutrients also increase bacterial opportunism and mortality in corals bitten by parrotfish, turning normal trophic interactions deadly for corals. Thus, overfishing and nutrient pollution impact reefs down to microbial scales, killing corals by sensitizing them to predation, above-average temperatures and bacterial opportunism.

  10. Tissue loss (white syndrome) in the coral Montipora capitata is a dynamic disease with multiple host responses and potential causes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Work, Thierry M.; Russell, Robin; Aeby, Greta S.

    2012-01-01

    Tissue loss diseases or white syndromes (WS) are some of the most important coral diseases because they result in significant colony mortality and morbidity, threatening dominant Acroporidae in the Caribbean and Pacific. The causes of WS remain elusive in part because few have examined affected corals at the cellular level. We studied the cellular changes associated with WS over time in a dominant Hawaiian coral, Montipora capitata, and showed that: (i) WS has rapidly progressing (acute) phases mainly associated with ciliates or slowly progressing (chronic) phases mainly associated with helminths or chimeric parasites; (ii) these phases interchanged and waxed and waned; (iii) WS could be a systemic disease associated with chimeric parasitism or a localized disease associated with helminths or ciliates; (iv) corals responded to ciliates mainly with necrosis and to helminths or chimeric parasites with wound repair; (v) mixed infections were uncommon; and (vi) other than cyanobacteria, prokaryotes associated with cell death were not seen. Recognizing potential agents associated with disease at the cellular level and the host response to those agents offers a logical deductive rationale to further explore the role of such agents in the pathogenesis of WS in M. capitata and helps explain manifestation of gross lesions. This approach has broad applicability to the study of the pathogenesis of coral diseases in the field and under experimental settings.

  11. Black band disease microbial community variation on corals in three regions of the wider Caribbean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voss, Joshua D; Mills, Deetta K; Myers, Jamie L; Remily, Elizabeth R; Richardson, Laurie L

    2007-11-01

    Black band disease (BBD) is a pathogenic consortium of microorganisms that primarily affects massive framework-building scleractinian corals on reefs worldwide. There has been considerable debate concerning the microbial community composition of BBD. The aim of this study was to utilize microbial profiling to assess overall patterns of variation in the BBD bacterial community with respect to geographic location, host coral species, time, and nutrient regime. Length heterogeneity polymerase chain reaction (LH-PCR) was employed to differentiate BBD communities based on the natural variation in the sequence lengths within hypervariable domains of the 16S rRNA gene. Analysis of LH-PCR profiles of 97 BBD samples using multivariate ordination methods and analysis of similarity revealed significant clustering with respect to geographic region when comparing BBD sampled from reefs near Lee Stocking Island in the Bahamas' Exuma Chain, the Northern Florida Keys (NFK), and St. John in the US Virgin Islands. There was much variability in BBD community composition on a regional basis, between sites in the NFK, and in terms of coral host species. The observed differences among BBD microbial community profiles were driven primarily by variation in relative abundance of 313-316-bp amplicons, which correspond to cyanobacteria and alpha-proteobacteria. The results obtained in this study support previous reports of intrinsic variability and complexity of the BBD microbial community but also suggest that this variability has biogeographic patterns.

  12. Development and validation of computational fluid dynamics models for prediction of heat transfer and thermal microenvironments of corals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert H Ong

    Full Text Available We present Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD models of the coupled dynamics of water flow, heat transfer and irradiance in and around corals to predict temperatures experienced by corals. These models were validated against controlled laboratory experiments, under constant and transient irradiance, for hemispherical and branching corals. Our CFD models agree very well with experimental studies. A linear relationship between irradiance and coral surface warming was evident in both the simulation and experimental result agreeing with heat transfer theory. However, CFD models for the steady state simulation produced a better fit to the linear relationship than the experimental data, likely due to experimental error in the empirical measurements. The consistency of our modelling results with experimental observations demonstrates the applicability of CFD simulations, such as the models developed here, to coral bleaching studies. A study of the influence of coral skeletal porosity and skeletal bulk density on surface warming was also undertaken, demonstrating boundary layer behaviour, and interstitial flow magnitude and temperature profiles in coral cross sections. Our models compliment recent studies showing systematic changes in these parameters in some coral colonies and have utility in the prediction of coral bleaching.

  13. The relationship between gorgonian coral (Cnidaria: Gorgonacea) diseases and African dust storms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weir-Brush, J. R.; Garrison, V.H.; Smith, G.W.; Shinn, E.A.

    2004-01-01

    The number of reports of coral diseases has increased throughout the world in the last 20 years. Aspergillosis, which primarily affects Gorgonia ventalina and G. flabellum, is one of the few diseases to be characterized. This disease is caused by Aspergillus sydowii, a terrestrial fungus with a worldwide distribution. Upon infection, colonies may lose tissue, and ultimately, mortality may occur if the infection is not sequestered. The spores of A. sydowii are <5 ??m, small enough to be easily picked up by winds and dispersed over great distances. Aspergillosis is prevalent in the Caribbean, and it appears that this primarily terrestrial fungus has adapted to a marine environment. It has been proposed that dust storms originating in Africa may be one way in which potential coral pathogens are distributed and deposited into the marine environments of the Caribbean. To test the hypothesis that African dust storms transport and deposit pathogens, we collected air samples from both dust storms and periods of nondust in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands. Because we focused on fungal pathogens and used A. sydowii as a model, we isolated and cultured fungi on various types of media. Fungi including Aspergillus spp. were isolated from air samples taken from dust events and non-dust events. Twenty-three separate cultures and seven genera were isolated from dust event samples whereas eight cultures from five genera were isolated from non-dust air samples. Three isolates from the Virgin Islands dust event samples morphologically identified as Aspergillus spp. produced signs of aspergillosis in seafans, and the original pathogens were re-isolated from those diseased seafans fulfilling Koch's Postulates. This research supports the hypothesis that African dust storms transport across the Atlantic Ocean and deposit potential coral pathogens in the Caribbean.

  14. DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION OF CORAL REEF BIOCRITERIA IN U.S. JURISDICTIONS

    Science.gov (United States)

    U.S. coral reef ecosystems are threatened by a variety of anthropogenic activities (e.g., pollution, over fishing, vessel groundings, excess nutrients, coastal development, etc.), natural stressors (e.g., tropical storms), and natural stressors that have been exacerbated by anth...

  15. Disease and stress-induced mortality of corals in Indian reefs and observations on bleaching of corals in the Andamans

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Ravindran, J.; Raghukumar, C.; Raghukumar, S.

    of the windward side of the island, the lagoon and the reef slope of the leeward sides of the island, in Kavaratti atoll and Kadamat atoll. Observation and collections of corals in the sub-tidal regions were made by skin and scuba diving. Presence of fungi...

  16. Tissue mortality by Caribbean ciliate infection and white band disease in three reef-building coral species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejandra Verde

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Caribbean ciliate infection (CCI and white band disease (WBD are diseases that affect a multitude of coral hosts and are associated with rapid rates of tissue losses, thus contributing to declining coral cover in Caribbean reefs. In this study we compared tissue mortality rates associated to CCI in three species of corals with different growth forms: Orbicella faveolata (massive-boulder, O. annularis (massive-columnar and Acropora cervicornis (branching. We also compared mortality rates in colonies of A. cervicornis bearing WBD and CCI. The study was conducted at two locations in Los Roques Archipelago National Park between April 2012 and March 2013. In A. cervicornis, the rate of tissue loss was similar between WBD (0.8 ± 1 mm/day, mean ± SD and CCI (0.7 ± 0.9 mm/day. However, mortality rate by CCI in A. cervicornis was faster than in the massive species O. faveolata (0.5 ± 0.6 mm/day and O. annularis (0.3 ± 0.3 mm/day. Tissue regeneration was at least fifteen times slower than the mortality rates for both diseases regardless of coral species. This is the first study providing coral tissue mortality and regeneration rates associated to CCI in colonies with massive morphologies, and it highlights the risks of further cover losses of the three most important reef-building species in the Caribbean.

  17. Tissue mortality by Caribbean ciliate infection and white band disease in three reef-building coral species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verde, Alejandra; Bastidas, Carolina; Croquer, Aldo

    2016-01-01

    Caribbean ciliate infection (CCI) and white band disease (WBD) are diseases that affect a multitude of coral hosts and are associated with rapid rates of tissue losses, thus contributing to declining coral cover in Caribbean reefs. In this study we compared tissue mortality rates associated to CCI in three species of corals with different growth forms: Orbicella faveolata (massive-boulder), O. annularis (massive-columnar) and Acropora cervicornis (branching). We also compared mortality rates in colonies of A. cervicornis bearing WBD and CCI. The study was conducted at two locations in Los Roques Archipelago National Park between April 2012 and March 2013. In A. cervicornis, the rate of tissue loss was similar between WBD (0.8 ± 1 mm/day, mean ± SD) and CCI (0.7 ± 0.9 mm/day). However, mortality rate by CCI in A. cervicornis was faster than in the massive species O. faveolata (0.5 ± 0.6 mm/day) and O. annularis (0.3 ± 0.3 mm/day). Tissue regeneration was at least fifteen times slower than the mortality rates for both diseases regardless of coral species. This is the first study providing coral tissue mortality and regeneration rates associated to CCI in colonies with massive morphologies, and it highlights the risks of further cover losses of the three most important reef-building species in the Caribbean.

  18. A simple model of growth form-dependent recovery from disease in coral reef sponges, and implications for monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wulff, Janie L.

    2006-08-01

    For clonal organisms that can suffer high levels of partial mortality and still recover, the conditions that influence infection and development of disease (e.g., abiotic stressors, population density) may be very different from the conditions that influence recovery. Recovery from infectious disease may increase if an individual can mount a defense before infection spreads throughout its body. If pathogens spread within an organism from an initial infection point, growth form—in conjunction with size—can influence the amount of time before all the tissue is diseased, and recovery precluded. A simple model of pathogen progression within individual sponges predicts that species with massive growth forms will be most susceptible to being overwhelmed by pathogen infection, and branching species will be most likely to recover. These predictions may help to explain the seemingly contradictory observations that branching species had the greatest prevalence of disease, and massive species the greatest rate of loss, in a monitored coral reef community. Disease may be observed disproportionately frequently in the organisms that are most likely to recover, resulting in underestimation, by standard monitoring procedures, of the effect of disease on losses from the community.

  19. Black disease (Terpios hoshinota): a probable cause for the rapid coral mortality at the northern reef of Yongxing Island in the South China Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-07-01

    The northern reef of Yongxing Island, the largest reef island of the Xisha Islands in the South China Sea, was in good condition with significant cover of scleractinian corals until 2002. Surveys in 2008 and 2010, however, found that coral coverage had declined rapidly and severely, implying that catastrophic coral mortality occurred during the past 8 years. A blackish mat was observed covering live and dead corals in both 2008 and 2010 that was identified as an encrusting sponge, Terpios hoshinota, by special surface morphology and spicule structure. In addition, spicule residues were found on the surface of long-dead corals, indicating a previous invasion of T. hosinota. T. hoshinota is referred to as the "black disease" because it rapidly overgrows and kills corals. Our evidence indicates that outbreaks of black disease are at least partially responsible for the massive coral mortality at the northern reef of Yongxing Island over the past 8 years, although human activities and heat-related coral bleaching cannot be discounted as minor causes for this coral decline.

  20. CRED and partners: Environmental Monitoring of Coral Bleaching and Disease in the Hawaiian Islands; belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessments at Hawaii, Hawaii in 2011

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The field data described herein are part of a joint NESDIS-NMFS project aimed at advancing the understanding of the occurrence, abundance, and outbreak of coral...

  1. CRED and partners: Environmental Monitoring of Coral Bleaching and Disease in the Hawaiian Islands; Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessments at Maui, Hawaii in 2010

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The field data described herein are part of a joint NESDIS-NMFS project aimed at advancing the understanding of the occurrence, abundance, and outbreak of coral...

  2. CRED and partners: Environmental Monitoring of Coral Bleaching and Disease in the Hawaiian Islands; Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessments at Oahu, Hawaii in 2011

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The field data described herein are part of a joint NESDIS-NMFS project aimed at advancing the understanding of the occurrence, abundance, and outbreak of coral...

  3. CRED and partners: Environmental Monitoring of Coral Bleaching and Disease in the Hawaiian Islands; Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessments at Oahu, Hawaii in 2010

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The field data described herein are part of a joint NESDIS-NMFS project aimed at advancing the understanding of the occurrence, abundance, and outbreak of coral...

  4. CRED and partners: Environmental Monitoring of Coral Bleaching and Disease in the Hawaiian Islands; Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessments at Maui, Hawaii in 2011

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The field data described herein are part of a joint NESDIS-NMFS project aimed at advancing the understanding of the occurrence, abundance, and outbreak of coral...

  5. CRED and partners: Environmental Monitoring of Coral Bleaching and Disease in the Hawaiian Islands; belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessments at Hawaii, Hawaii in 2010

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The field data described herein are part of a joint NESDIS-NMFS project aimed at advancing the understanding of the occurrence, abundance, and outbreak of coral...

  6. Disease dynamics and potential mitigation among restored and wild staghorn coral, Acropora cervicornis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Margaret W. Miller

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available The threatened status (both ecologically and legally of Caribbean staghorn coral, Acropora cervicornis, has prompted rapidly expanding efforts in culture and restocking, although tissue loss diseases continue to affect populations. In this study, disease surveillance and histopathological characterization were used to compare disease dynamics and conditions in both restored and extant wild populations. Disease had devastating effects on both wild and restored populations, but dynamics were highly variable and appeared to be site-specific with no significant differences in disease prevalence between wild versus restored sites. A subset of 20 haphazardly selected colonies at each site observed over a four-month period revealed widely varying disease incidence, although not between restored and wild sites, and a case fatality rate of 8%. A tropical storm was the only discernable environmental trigger associated with a consistent spike in incidence across all sites. Lastly, two field mitigation techniques, (1 excision of apparently healthy branch tips from a diseased colony, and (2 placement of a band of epoxy fully enclosing the diseased margin, gave equivocal results with no significant benefit detected for either treatment compared to controls. Tissue condition of associated samples was fair to very poor; unsuccessful mitigation treatment samples had severe degeneration of mesenterial filament cnidoglandular bands. Polyp mucocytes in all samples were infected with suspect rickettsia-like organisms; however, no bacterial aggregates were found. No histological differences were found between disease lesions with gross signs fitting literature descriptions of white-band disease (WBD and rapid tissue loss (RTL. Overall, our results do not support differing disease quality, quantity, dynamics, nor health management strategies between restored and wild colonies of A. cervicornis in the Florida Keys.

  7. Disease dynamics and potential mitigation among restored and wild staghorn coral, Acropora cervicornis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Margaret W; Lohr, Kathryn E; Cameron, Caitlin M; Williams, Dana E; Peters, Esther C

    2014-01-01

    The threatened status (both ecologically and legally) of Caribbean staghorn coral, Acropora cervicornis, has prompted rapidly expanding efforts in culture and restocking, although tissue loss diseases continue to affect populations. In this study, disease surveillance and histopathological characterization were used to compare disease dynamics and conditions in both restored and extant wild populations. Disease had devastating effects on both wild and restored populations, but dynamics were highly variable and appeared to be site-specific with no significant differences in disease prevalence between wild versus restored sites. A subset of 20 haphazardly selected colonies at each site observed over a four-month period revealed widely varying disease incidence, although not between restored and wild sites, and a case fatality rate of 8%. A tropical storm was the only discernable environmental trigger associated with a consistent spike in incidence across all sites. Lastly, two field mitigation techniques, (1) excision of apparently healthy branch tips from a diseased colony, and (2) placement of a band of epoxy fully enclosing the diseased margin, gave equivocal results with no significant benefit detected for either treatment compared to controls. Tissue condition of associated samples was fair to very poor; unsuccessful mitigation treatment samples had severe degeneration of mesenterial filament cnidoglandular bands. Polyp mucocytes in all samples were infected with suspect rickettsia-like organisms; however, no bacterial aggregates were found. No histological differences were found between disease lesions with gross signs fitting literature descriptions of white-band disease (WBD) and rapid tissue loss (RTL). Overall, our results do not support differing disease quality, quantity, dynamics, nor health management strategies between restored and wild colonies of A. cervicornis in the Florida Keys.

  8. Do the shuffle: Changes in Symbiodinium consortia throughout juvenile coral development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reich, Hannah G.; Robertson, Deborah L.; Goodbody-Gringley, Gretchen

    2017-01-01

    Previous studies of symbiotic associations between scleractinians corals and Symbiodinium have demonstrated that the consortium of symbionts can change in response to environmental conditions. However, less is known about symbiont shuffling during early coral development, particularly in brooding species. This study examined whether Symbiodinium consortia (1) varied in Porites astreoides on shallow (10m) and upper mesophotic (30m) reefs, (2) changed during coral development, and (3) influenced growth of juveniles in different environments. Symbiodinium ITS2 sequences were amplified using universal primers and analyzed using phylotype-specific primers designed for phylotypes A, B, and C. Adults from both depths were found to host only phylotype A, phylotypes A and B, or phylotypes A, B, and C and the frequency of the phylotype composition did not vary with depth. However, phylotype A was the dominant symbiont that was vertically transmitted to the planulae. The presence of phylotypes B and C was detected in the majority of juveniles when transplanted onto the shallow and upper mesophotic reefs whereas only phylotype A was detected in the majority of juveniles reared in outdoor aquaria. In addition, growth of juvenile P. astreoides harboring different combinations of Symbiodinium phylotypes did not vary when transplanted to different reef zones. However, juveniles reared in in situ reef environments grew faster than those reared in ex situ outdoor aquaria. These results show that Symbiodinium consortia change during development of P. astreoides and are influenced by environmental conditions. PMID:28182684

  9. Vibrio Zinc-Metalloprotease Causes Photoinactivation of Coral Endosymbionts and Coral Tissue Lesions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sussman, Meir; Mieog, Jos C.; Doyle, Jason; Victor, Steven; Willis, Bette L.; Bourne, David G.

    2009-01-01

    Background: Coral diseases are emerging as a serious threat to coral reefs worldwide. Of nine coral infectious diseases, whose pathogens have been characterized, six are caused by agents from the family Vibrionacae, raising questions as to their origin and role in coral disease aetiology.

  10. Vibrio Zinc-Metalloprotease Causes Photoinactivation of Coral Endosymbionts and Coral Tissue Lesions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sussman, Meir; Mieog, Jos C.; Doyle, Jason; Victor, Steven; Willis, Bette L.; Bourne, David G.

    2009-01-01

    Background: Coral diseases are emerging as a serious threat to coral reefs worldwide. Of nine coral infectious diseases, whose pathogens have been characterized, six are caused by agents from the family Vibrionacae, raising questions as to their origin and role in coral disease aetiology. Methodolog

  11. Dynamics of bacterial community development in the reef coral Acropora muricata following experimental antibiotic treatment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sweet, M. J.; Croquer, A.; Bythell, J. C.

    2011-12-01

    Development of the bacterial community associated with the coral Acropora muricata (= formosa) was monitored using 16S rRNA gene-based techniques and abundance counts over time following experimental modification of the existing microbial community using the antibiotic ciprofloxacin. Abundance of bacteria was reduced >99% by the treatment, resulting in significant changes in bacterial community structure. Following redeployment to their natural environment, some settlement and re-growth of bacteria took place within a few hours, including ribosomal types that were not present, or in low abundance, in the natural microbiota. However, complete recovery of the bacterial community required longer than 96 h, which indicates a relatively slow settlement and growth of bacteria from the water column and suggests that turnover of the natural community is similarly slow. The early developing community was dominated by antibiotic-resistant bacteria from the natural microbiota that survived the treatment and proliferated in the absence of natural competitors, but also included some non-resident ribotypes colonizing from the water column. Almost, all these opportunists were significantly reduced or eliminated within 96 h after treatment, demonstrating a high resilience in the natural bacterial community. Potential pathogens, including a Clostridium sp., inhabited the coral at low abundances, only becoming prevalent when the natural microbiota was disturbed by the treatment. The healthy coral-associated microbiota appears to be strongly controlled by microbial interactions.

  12. Palaeoecological records of coral community development on a turbid, nearshore reef complex: baselines for assessing ecological change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, J. A.; Perry, C. T.; Smithers, S. G.; Morgan, K. M.; Santodomingo, N.; Johnson, K. G.

    2017-09-01

    Understanding past coral community development and reef growth is crucial for placing contemporary ecological and environmental change within appropriate reef-building timescales. On Australia's Great Barrier Reef (GBR), coral reefs situated within coastal inner-shelf zones are a particular priority. This is due to their close proximity to river point sources, and therefore susceptibility to reduced water quality discharged from coastal catchments, many of which have been modified following European settlement (ca. 1850 AD). However, the extent of water-quality decline and its impacts on the GBR's inner-shelf reefs remain contentious. In this study, palaeoecological coral assemblage records were developed for five proximal coral reefs situated within a nearshore turbid-zone reef complex on the central GBR. A total of 29 genera of Scleractinia were identified from the palaeoecological inventory of the reef complex, with key contributions to reef-building made by Acropora, Montipora, and Turbinaria. Discrete intervals pre- and post-dating European settlement, but associated with equivalent water depths, were identified using Bayesian age-depth modelling, enabling investigation of competing ideas of the main drivers of nearshore coral assemblage change. Specifically, we tested the hypotheses that changes in the composition of nearshore coral assemblages are: (1) intrinsically driven and linked to vertical reef development towards sea level, and (2) the result of changes in water quality associated with coastal river catchment modification. Our records found no discernible evidence of change in the generic composition of coral assemblages relative to European settlement. Instead, two distinctive depth-stratified assemblages were identified. This study demonstrates the robust nature of nearshore coral communities under reported water-quality decline and provides a useful context for the monitoring and assessment of ecological change on reefs located within the most

  13. Comparative Profiling of coral symbiont communities from the Caribbean, Indo-Pacific, and Arabian Seas

    KAUST Repository

    Arif, Chatchanit

    2014-12-01

    Coral reef ecosystems are in rapid decline due to global and local anthropogenic factors. Being among the most diverse ecosystems on Earth, a loss will decrease species diversity, and remove food source for people along the coast. The coral together with its symbionts (i.e. Symbiodinium, bacteria, and other microorganisms) is called the ‘coral holobiont’. The coral host offers its associated symbionts suitable habitats and nutrients, while Symbiodinium and coral-associated bacteria provide the host with photosynthates and vital nutrients. Association of corals with certain types of Symbiodinium and bacteria confer coral stress tolerance, and lack or loss of these symbionts coincides with diseased or bleached corals. However, a detailed understanding of the coral holobiont diversity and structure in regard to diseases and health states or across global scales is missing. This dissertation addressed coral-associated symbiont diversity, specifically of Symbiodinium and bacteria, in various coral species from different geographic locations and different health states. The main aims were (1) to expand the scope of existing technologies, (2) to establish a standardized framework to facilitate comparison of symbiont assemblages over coral species and sites, (3) to assess Symbiodinium diversity in the Arabian Seas, and (4) to elucidate whether coral health states have conserved bacterial footprints. In summary, a next generation sequencing pipeline for Symbiodinium diversity typing of the ITS2 marker is developed and applied to describe Symbiodinium diversity in corals around the Arabian Peninsula. The data show that corals in the Arabian Seas are dominated by a single Symbiodinium type, but harbor a rich variety of types in low abundant. Further, association with different Symbiodinium types is structured according to geographic locations. In addition, the application of 16S rRNA gene microarrays to investigate how differences in microbiome structure relate to

  14. Temporal and spatial expression patterns of biomineralization proteins during early development in the stony coral Pocillopora damicornis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mass, Tali; Putnam, Hollie M; Drake, Jeana L; Zelzion, Ehud; Gates, Ruth D; Bhattacharya, Debashish; Falkowski, Paul G

    2016-04-27

    Reef-building corals begin as non-calcifying larvae that, upon settling, rapidly begin to accrete skeleton and a protein-rich skeletal organic matrix that attach them to the reef. Here, we characterized the temporal and spatial expression pattern of a suite of biomineralization genes during three stages of larval development in the reef-building coral Pocillopora damicornis: stage I, newly released; stage II, oral-aborally compressed and stage III, settled and calcifying spat. Transcriptome analysis revealed 3882 differentially expressed genes that clustered into four distinctly different patterns of expression change across the three developmental stages. Immunolocalization analysis further reveals the spatial arrangement of coral acid-rich proteins (CARPs) in the overall architecture of the emerging skeleton. These results provide the first analysis of the timing of the biomineralization 'toolkit' in the early life history of a stony coral. © 2016 The Author(s).

  15. Prevalence and Incidence of Black Band Disease of Scleractinian Corals in the Kepulauan Seribu Region of Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ofri Johan

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Black band disease (BBD is the oldest recognised disease associated with scleractinian corals. However, despite this, few BBD surveys have been conducted in the Indonesian archipelago, one of the world’s hot spots for coral diversity. In this study, we show that BBD was recorded in the reefs of Kepulauan Seribu, Indonesia, at the time of surveying. The disease was found to mainly infect corals of the genus Montipora. In some instances, upwards of 177 colonies (31.64% were found to be infected at specific sites. Prevalence of the disease ranged from 0.31% to 31.64% of Montipora sp. colonies throughout the archipelago. Although BBD was found at all sites, lower frequencies were associated with sites closest to the mainland (17.99 km, as well as those that were furthest away (63.65 km. Despite there being no linear relationship between distance from major population centers and BBD incidence, high incidences of this disease were associated with sites characterized by higher levels of light intensity. Furthermore, surveys revealed that outbreaks peaked during the transitional period between the dry and rainy seasons. Therefore, we suggest that future surveys for disease prevalence in this region of Indonesia should focus on these transitory periods.

  16. Yellow band disease compromises the reproductive output of the Caribbean reef-building coral Montastraea faveolata (Anthozoa, Scleractinia).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weil, Ernesto; Cróquer, Aldo; Urreiztieta, Isabel

    2009-11-16

    Sexual reproduction is critical to coral population dynamics and the long-term regeneration of coral reefs. Bleaching, disease, and/or anthropogenic-induced tissue/colony loss reduce reproductive output. This is the first attempt to explore the effect of a biotic disease on the reproduction of scleractinian corals. The study aimed to assess the effect of yellow band disease (YBD) on the reproduction of the important Caribbean reef-builder Montastraea faveolata. Tissue samples were collected from diseased, transition, and healthy-looking areas in each of 5 infected colonies and from 5 healthy controls in southwest Puerto Rico. The effect of disease-induced mortality was assessed by collecting samples from the edge and center of surviving small and large, healthy-looking tissue patches from large, previously infected tagged colonies. Fecundity was significantly lower in disease lesions compared to transition and healthy-looking tissues and the controls (99% fewer eggs). Fecundity in transition areas was significantly lower (50%) than in healthy-looking tissues in diseased colonies, which had 23% lower fecundity than control tissues. Although this fecundity drop was not statistically significant, it could indicate a systemic effect of YBD across the colony. Large and small patches had 64 and 84% fewer eggs than controls, respectively, and edge polyps had 97% fewer eggs than those in central control areas. Field observations of the spawning behavior of each tissue area corroborated the histological results. Our results indicate that YBD significantly compromises the reproductive output of M. faveolata, potentially reducing the fitness and consequently, the recovery of this important reef-building species on Caribbean coral reefs.

  17. Clues to Coral Reef Ecosystem Health: Spectral Analysis Coupled with Radiative Transfer Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guild, L.; Ganapol, B.; Kramer, P.; Armstrong, R.; Gleason, A.; Torres, J.; Johnson, L.; Garfield, N.

    2003-12-01

    Coral reefs are among the world's most productive and biologically rich ecosystems and are some of the oldest ecosystems on Earth. Coralline structures protect coastlines from storms, maintain high diversity of marine life, and provide nurseries for marine species. Coral reefs play a role in carbon cycling through high rates of organic carbon metabolism and calcification. Coral reefs provide fisheries habitat that are the sole protein source for humans on remote islands. Reefs respond immediately to environmental change and therefore are considered "canaries" of the oceans. However, the world's reefs are in peril: they have shrunk 10-50% from their historical extent due to climate change and anthropogenic activity. An important contribution to coral reef research is improved spectral distinction of reef species' health where anthropogenic activity and climate change impacts are high. Relatively little is known concerning the spectral properties of coral or how coral structures reflect and transmit light. New insights into optical processes of corals under stressed conditions can lead to improved interpretation of airborne and satellite data and forecasting of immediate or long-term impacts of events such as bleaching and disease in coral. We are investigating the spatial and spectral resolution required to detect remotely changes in reef health by coupling spectral analysis of in situ spectra and airborne spectral data with a new radiative transfer model called CorMOD2. Challenges include light attenuation by the water column, atmospheric scattering, and scattering caused by the coral themselves that confound the spectral signal. In CorMOD2, input coral reflectance measurements produce modeled absorption through an inversion at each visible wavelength. The first model development phase of CorMOD2 imposes a scattering baseline that is constant regardless of coral condition, and further specifies that coral is optically thick. Evolution of CorMOD2 is towards a coral

  18. Development of a coral cDNA array to examine gene expression profiles in Montastraea faveolata exposed to environmental stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edge, Sara E; Morgan, Michael B; Gleason, Daniel F; Snell, Terry W

    2005-01-01

    The development of a cDNA array of coral genes and its application to investigate changes in coral gene expression associated with stressful conditions is described. The array includes both well-characterized and previously unidentified coral genes from Acropora cervicornis and Montastraea faveolata. Corals were exposed to either natural or anthropogenic stressors to elicit the expression of stress genes for isolation and incorporation onto the array. A total of 32 genes involved in protein synthesis, apoptosis, cell signaling, metabolism, cellular defense and inflammation were included on the array. Labeled cDNA from coral (Montastraea faveolata) exposed to elevated seawater temperature, salinity and ultraviolet light was tested against the microarray to determine patterns of gene expression associated with each stressor. Carbonic anhydrase, thioredoxin, a urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR) and three ribosomal genes demonstrated differential expression across all replicates on the array and between replicate colonies. Specific gene expression patterns produced in response to different stressors demonstrate the potential for gene expression profiling in characterizing the coral stress response.

  19. Thérèse Mound: a case study of coral bank development in the Belgica Mound Province, Porcupine Seabight

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Mol, Ben; Kozachenko, Max; Wheeler, Andy; Alvares, Hugo; Henriet, Jean-Pierre; Olu-Le Roy, Karine

    2007-02-01

    High-resolution seismic profiles, swath bathymetry, side-scan sonar data and video imageries are analysed in this detailed study of five carbonate mounds from the Belgica mound province with special emphasis on the well-surveyed Thérèse Mound. The selected mounds are located in the deepest part of the Belgica mound province at water depths of 950 m. Seismic data illustrate that the underlying geology is characterised by drift sedimentation in a general northerly flowing current regime. Sigmoidal sediment bodies create local slope breaks on the most recent local erosional surface, which act as the mound base. No preferential mound substratum is observed, neither is there any indication for deep geological controls on coral bank development. Seismic evidence suggests that the start-up of the coral bank development was shortly after a major erosional event of Late Pliocene Quaternary age. The coral bank geometry has been clearly affected by the local topography of this erosional base and the prevailing current regime. The summits of the coral banks are relatively flat and the flanks are steepest on their upper slopes. Deposition of the encased drift sequence has been influenced by the coral bank topography. Sediment waves are formed besides the coral banks and are the most pronounced bedforms. These seabed structures are probably induced by bottom current up to 1 m/s. Large sediment waves are colonised by living corals and might represent the initial phase of coral bank development. The biological facies distribution of the coral banks illustrate a living coral cap on the summit and upper slope and a decline of living coral populations toward the lower flanks. The data suggest that the development of the coral banks in this area is clearly an interaction between biological growth processes and drift deposition both influenced by the local topography and current regime.

  20. Radiative Transfer Modeling, Spectral Analysis, and Remote Sensing of Coral Reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guild, L.; Ganapol, B.; Furfaro, R.; Kramer, P.; Armstrong, R.; Gleason, A.; Torres, J.

    2004-12-01

    The calcium carbonate structures of tropical coral reefs protect coastlines from storms, create habitats for the world's greatest marine biodiversity, provide nurseries for many marine species; play essential roles in carbon and CO2 cycles, are major protein sources for many local populations, and are vital for sustainable economies of many societies. The world's reefs are in peril due to climate change and anthropogenic activity caused by rapidly growing populations in coastal zones. An important contribution to coral reef research is improved spectral distinction of reef components indicative of reef condition, including physical and biological degradation. Unfortunately, relatively little is known concerning the spectral properties of coral or how coral architecture reflect/transmit light. New insights into optical processes of corals can lead to improved interpretation of remote sensing data and forecasting of immediate or long-term impacts such as bleaching and disease in coral and algal overgrowth. We are investigating the spatial/spectral properties required to remotely sense changes in reef biological and physical properties by coupling spectral analysis of in situ spectra with a new coral-specific radiative transfer model. The first model development phase (CorMOD) imposes a scattering baseline that is constant regardless of coral condition, and further specifies that coral is optically thick. Evolution of the model is towards a coral-specific radiative transfer model that includes coral biochemical concentrations, specific absorptivities of coral components, and transmission measurements from coral surfaces. We present our field collected in situ spectra and resultant output relative absorption profiles of coral from CorMOD. Further, we will present NASA AVIRIS data and in situ spectra collection of coral and seagrass to support the AVIRIS mission that was collected during August 2004 for Florida Keys and Puerto Rico.

  1. Bleaching, disease and recovery in the threatened scleractinian coral Acropora palmata in St. John, US Virgin Islands: 2003-2010

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, C.S.; Muller, E.M.

    2012-01-01

    A long-term study of the scleractinian coral Acropora palmata in the US Virgin Islands (USVI) showed that diseases, particularly white pox, are limiting the recovery of this threatened species. Colonies of A. palmata in Haulover Bay, within Virgin Islands National Park, St. John, were examined monthly in situ for signs of disease and other stressors from January 2003 through December 2009. During the study, 89.9 % of the colonies (n = 69) exhibited disease, including white pox (87 %), white band (13 %), and unknown (9 %). Monthly disease prevalence ranged from 0 to 57 %, and disease was the most significant cause of complete colony mortality (n = 17). A positive correlation was found between water temperature and disease prevalence, but not incidence. Annual average disease prevalence and incidence remained constant during the study. Colonies generally showed an increase in the estimated amount of total living tissue from growth, but 25 (36.2 %) of the colonies died. Acropora palmata bleached in the USVI for the first time during the 2005 Caribbean bleaching event. Only one of the 23 colonies that bleached appeared to die directly from bleaching. In 2005, corals that bleached had greater disease prevalence than those that did not bleach. Just over half (52 %) of the colonies incurred some physical damage. Monitoring of fragments (broken branches) that were generated by physical damage through June 2007 showed that 46.1 % died and 28.4 % remained alive; the fragments that attached to the substrate survived longer than those that did not. Recent surveys showed an increase in the total number of colonies within the reef area, formed from both asexual and sexual reproduction. Genotype analysis of 48 of the originally monitored corals indicated that 43 grew from sexual recruits supporting the conclusion that both asexual and sexual reproduction are contributing to an increase in colony density at this site.

  2. Bleaching, disease and recovery in the threatened scleractinian coral Acropora palmata in St. John, US Virgin Islands: 2003-2010

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, C. S.; Muller, E. M.

    2012-09-01

    A long-term study of the scleractinian coral Acropora palmata in the US Virgin Islands (USVI) showed that diseases, particularly white pox, are limiting the recovery of this threatened species. Colonies of A. palmata in Haulover Bay, within Virgin Islands National Park, St. John, were examined monthly in situ for signs of disease and other stressors from January 2003 through December 2009. During the study, 89.9 % of the colonies ( n = 69) exhibited disease, including white pox (87 %), white band (13 %), and unknown (9 %). Monthly disease prevalence ranged from 0 to 57 %, and disease was the most significant cause of complete colony mortality ( n = 17). A positive correlation was found between water temperature and disease prevalence, but not incidence. Annual average disease prevalence and incidence remained constant during the study. Colonies generally showed an increase in the estimated amount of total living tissue from growth, but 25 (36.2 %) of the colonies died. Acropora palmata bleached in the USVI for the first time during the 2005 Caribbean bleaching event. Only one of the 23 colonies that bleached appeared to die directly from bleaching. In 2005, corals that bleached had greater disease prevalence than those that did not bleach. Just over half (52 %) of the colonies incurred some physical damage. Monitoring of fragments (broken branches) that were generated by physical damage through June 2007 showed that 46.1 % died and 28.4 % remained alive; the fragments that attached to the substrate survived longer than those that did not. Recent surveys showed an increase in the total number of colonies within the reef area, formed from both asexual and sexual reproduction. Genotype analysis of 48 of the originally monitored corals indicated that 43 grew from sexual recruits supporting the conclusion that both asexual and sexual reproduction are contributing to an increase in colony density at this site.

  3. Reduced transcription of a LEAFY-like gene in Alstroemeria sp. cultivar Green Coral that cannot develop floral meristems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirai, Masayo; Yamagishi, Masumi; Kanno, Akira

    2012-04-01

    Alstroemeria sp. cv. Green Coral has numerous bracts instead of flowers, and its cyme structures are repeated eternally. Observations of the development and morphology of inflorescence in cv. Green Coral revealed that transition from inflorescence to floral meristem was restricted. We isolated and characterized floral meristem identity genes LEAFY-like (AlsLFY) and SQUAMOSA-like (AlsSQa and AlsSQb) genes from Alstroemeria ligtu. In situ hybridization results indicated that AlsSQa and AlsSQb were expressed in the dome-shaped floral meristems and all floral organ primordia in A. ligtu. Transcripts of AlsLFY accumulated early in the dome-shaped floral meristems; the signals were restricted later to the outer region of the floral meristem. These results indicate that AlsLFY, AlsSQa, and AlsSQb function as floral meristem identity genes. Expression profiles of AlsLFY, AlsSQa, AlsSQb, and other MADS-box genes were compared between A. ligtu and cv. Green Coral. AlsLFY, AlsDEFa, and AlsAGL6 transcripts were not detected at the shoot apices of cv. Green Coral but were detected in A. ligtu. The early induction and accumulation of AlsLFY transcripts in the inflorescence meristem of A. ligtu prior to development of the floral meristem suggest that downregulation of AlsLFY is likely to restrict the inflorescence-to-floral meristem transition in cv. Green Coral.

  4. Development and heat stress-induced transcriptomic changes during embryogenesis of the scleractinian coral Acropora palmata

    KAUST Repository

    Portune, Kevin J.

    2010-03-01

    Projected elevation of seawater temperatures poses a threat to the reproductive success of Caribbean reef-building corals that have planktonic development during the warmest months of the year. This study examined the transcriptomic changes that occurred during embryonic and larval development of the elkhorn coral, Acropora palmata, at a non-stressful temperature (28 °C) and further assessed the effects of two elevated temperatures (30 °C and 31.5 °C) on these expression patterns. Using cDNA microarrays, we compared expression levels of 2051 genes from early embryos and larvae at multiple developmental stages (including pre-blastula, blastula, gastrula, and planula stages) at each of the three temperatures. At 12 h post-fertilization in 28 °C treatments, genes involved in cell replication/cell division and transcription were up-regulated in A. palmata embryos, followed by a reduction in expression of these genes during later growth stages. From 24.5 to 131 h post-fertilization at 28 °C, A. palmata altered its transcriptome by up-regulating genes involved in protein synthesis and metabolism. Temperatures of 30 °C and 31.5 °C caused major changes to the A. palmata embryonic transcriptomes, particularly in the samples from 24.5 hpf post-fertilization, characterized by down-regulation of numerous genes involved in cell replication/cell division, metabolism, cytoskeleton, and transcription, while heat shock genes were up-regulated compared to 28 °C treatments. These results suggest that increased temperature may cause a breakdown in proper gene expression during development in A. palmata by down-regulation of genes involved in essential cellular processes, which may lead to the abnormal development and reduced survivorship documented in other studies. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Eye Disease and Development

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Thomas Barnebeck; Dalgaard, Carl-Johan Lars; Selaya, Pablo

    This research advances the hypothesis that cross-country variation in the historical incidence of eye disease has influenced the current global distribution of per capita income. The theory is that pervasive eye disease diminished the incentive to accumulate skills, thereby delaying the fertility...... transition and the take-off to sustained economic growth. In order to estimate the influence from eye disease incidence empirically, we draw on an important fact from the field of epidemiology: Exposure to solar ultraviolet B radiation (UVB-R) is an underlying determinant of several forms of eye disease...... are robust to the inclusion of an extensive set of climate and geography controls. Moreover, using a global data set on economic activity for all terrestrial grid cells we show that the link between UVB-R and economic development survives the inclusion of country fixed effect....

  6. Developing a Biological Condition Gradient for the Protection of Puerto Rico's Coral Reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    We introduce the application of the Biological Condition Gradient (BCG) to coral reefs: a conceptual model that describes how biological attributes of coral reef ecosystems might change along a gradient of increasing anthropogenic stress. Under authority of the Clean Water Act, t...

  7. Developing a Biological Condition Gradient for the Protection of Puerto Rico's Coral Reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    We introduce the application of the Biological Condition Gradient (BCG) to coral reefs: a conceptual model that describes how biological attributes of coral reef ecosystems might change along a gradient of increasing anthropogenic stress. Under authority of the Clean Water Act, t...

  8. [A review of the role and function of microbes in coral reef ecosystem].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Jin; Jin, Hui; Cai, Zhong-Hua

    2014-03-01

    Coral reef is consisted with several kinds of reef-associated organisms, including coral, fish, benthos, algae and microbes, which is an important marine ecosystem. Coral reef lives in the oligotrophic environment, has very highly primary productivity and net productivity, and is called "tropical rain forest in ocean". In corals, diverse microorganisms exert a significant influence on biogeochemical and ecological processes, including food webs, organism life cycles, and nutrient cycling. With the development of molecular biology, the role of microorganisms in a coral system is becoming more outstanding. In this article, we reviewed current understanding on 1) the onset of coral-bacterial associations; 2) the characteristics of microbes in coral (specificity, plasticity and co-evolution) ; 3) the role and signal regulation of microbes in the health and disease of coral; and 4) the response mechanism of microbes for global climatic change and consequent effects, such as temperature rise, ocean acidification and eutrophication. The aims of this article were to summarize the latest theories and achievements, clear the mechanism of microbial ecology in coral reefs and provide a theoretical reference for better protection and maintaining the coral's biodiversity.

  9. Structure and temporal dynamics of the bacterial communities associated to microhabitats of the coral Oculina patagonica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubio-Portillo, Esther; Santos, Fernando; Martínez-García, Manuel; de Los Ríos, Asunción; Ascaso, Carmen; Souza-Egipsy, Virginia; Ramos-Esplá, Alfonso A; Anton, Josefa

    2016-12-01

    Corals are known to contain a diverse microbiota that plays a paramount role in the physiology and health of holobiont. However, few studies have addressed the variability of bacterial communities within the coral host. In this study, bacterial community composition from the mucus, tissue and skeleton of the scleractinian coral Oculina patagonica were investigated seasonally at two locations in the Western Mediterranean Sea, to further understand how environmental conditions and the coral microbiome structure are related. We used denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis in combination with next-generation sequencing and electron microscopy to characterize the bacterial community. The bacterial communities were significantly different among coral compartments, and coral tissue displayed the greatest changes related to environmental conditions and coral health status. Species belonging to the Rhodobacteraceae and Vibrionaceae families form part of O. patagonica tissues core microbiome and may play significant roles in the nitrogen cycle. Furthermore, sequences related to the coral pathogens, Vibrio mediterranei and Vibrio coralliilyticus, were detected not only in bleached corals but also in healthy ones, even during cold months. This fact opens a new view onto unveiling the role of pathogens in the development of coral diseases in the future. © 2016 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. Climate change impacts on coral reefs: synergies with local effects, possibilities for acclimation, and management implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ateweberhan, Mebrahtu; Feary, David A; Keshavmurthy, Shashank; Chen, Allen; Schleyer, Michael H; Sheppard, Charles R C

    2013-09-30

    Most reviews concerning the impact of climate change on coral reefs discuss independent effects of warming or ocean acidification. However, the interactions between these, and between these and direct local stressors are less well addressed. This review underlines that coral bleaching, acidification, and diseases are expected to interact synergistically, and will negatively influence survival, growth, reproduction, larval development, settlement, and post-settlement development of corals. Interactions with local stress factors such as pollution, sedimentation, and overfishing are further expected to compound effects of climate change. Reduced coral cover and species composition following coral bleaching events affect coral reef fish community structure, with variable outcomes depending on their habitat dependence and trophic specialisation. Ocean acidification itself impacts fish mainly indirectly through disruption of predation- and habitat-associated behavior changes. Zooxanthellate octocorals on reefs are often overlooked but are substantial occupiers of space; these also are highly susceptible to bleaching but because they tend to be more heterotrophic, climate change impacts mainly manifest in terms of changes in species composition and population structure. Non-calcifying macroalgae are expected to respond positively to ocean acidification and promote microbe-induced coral mortality via the release of dissolved compounds, thus intensifying phase-shifts from coral to macroalgal domination. Adaptation of corals to these consequences of CO2 rise through increased tolerance of corals and successful mutualistic associations between corals and zooxanthellae is likely to be insufficient to match the rate and frequency of the projected changes. Impacts are interactive and magnified, and because there is a limited capacity for corals to adapt to climate change, global targets of carbon emission reductions are insufficient for coral reefs, so lower targets should be

  11. Seasonal prevalence of white plague like disease on the endemic Brazilian reef coral Mussismilia braziliensis Prevalencia estacional de la enfermedad de la plaga blanca en el coral endémico de Brasil Mussismilia braziliensis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronaldo Francini-Filho

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The reef coral Mussismilia braziliensis Verril, 1968 is endemic to the eastern Brazilian coast, representing a major reef-building species in the region. This coral is threatened by extinction due to the recent proliferation of a white-plague like (WPL disease. Despite its severe impacts, the environmental factors leading to outbreaks of WPL disease are still poorly understood. This study describes the seasonal prevalence of WPL disease on M. braziliensis in the Abrolhos Bank, on the southern coast of Bahia Brazil. In situ estimates showed that WPL disease was about 4.5 times more prevalent in summer (January 2007, mean sea surface temperature 27.4°C than in winter (July 2007, 25.0°C. This result suggests that the prevalence of WPL disease in M. braziliensis is temperature-dependent, supporting the hypothesis that warmer oceans are facilitating the proliferation of coral diseases worldwide.El coral Mussismilia braziliensis Verril, 1968 es endémico de la costa este de Brasil y representa una de las principales especies constructoras de arrecifes coralinos en dicha region. Este coral se encuentra bajo la amenaza de extincion debido la reciente propagacion de la enfermedad llamada la plaga blanca (PB. Pese los fuertes impactos, los factores ambientales responsables por epidemias de la PB aún son poco conocidos. En este estudio se describe la prevalencia estacional de la PB en M. braziliensis en el Banco de Abrolhos, ubicado en la costa sur de Bahia, Brasil. Estimaciones in situ comprueban que la prevalencia de esta molestia ha sido cerca de 4,5 veces mayor en verano (enero de 2007, temperatura media del agua superficial del mar 27,4°C, que en invierno (julio de 2007; 25,0°C. Este resultado sugiere que la prevalencia de la enfermedad PB en M. braziliensis es dependiente de la temperatura, reforzando la hipótesis de que los océanos mas cálidos estén facilitando la propagacion de enfermedades coralígenas en todo el mundo.

  12. Deficit of sand in a sediment transport model favors coral reef development in Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abílio C.S.P. Bittencourt

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available This paper shows that the location of the shoreface bank reefs along the northeastern and eastern coasts of Brazil, in a first order approximation, seem to be controlled by the deficit of sediment in the coastal system. The sediment transport pattern defined by a numerical modeling of wave refraction diagrams, representing circa 2000 km of the northeastern and eastern coasts of Brazil, permitted the regional-scale reproduction of several drift cells of net longshore sediment transport. Those drift cells can reasonably explain the coastal sections that present sediment surplus or sediment deficit, which correspond, respectively, to regions where there is deposition and erosion or little/no deposition of sand. The sediment deficit allows the exposure and maintenance of rocky substrates to be free of sediment, a favorable condition for the fixation and development of coral larvae.Este trabalho mostra que a localização dos recifes de coral ao longo dos litorais leste e nordeste do Brasil, em uma aproximação de primeira ordem, parece ser controlada pelo déficit de sedimentos no sistema costeiro. O padrão de transporte de sedimentos definido por modelagem numérica a partir de diagramas de refração de ondas, representando cerca de 2000 km dos litorais leste e nordeste do Brasil, permitiu a reprodução, em escala regional, de várias células de deriva litorânea efetiva de sedimentos. Essas células de deriva podem razoavelmente explicar os segmentos costeiros que representam superávit, ou deficit de sedimentos que correspondem, respectivamente, a regiões onde existe deposição e erosão ou pouca/nenhuma deposição de areia. O deficit de sedimentos propicia a exposição e manutenção de substratos rochosos livres de sedimento, uma condição favorável para a fixação e desenvolvimento das larvas de coral.

  13. Temporal dynamics of black band disease affecting pillar coral ( Dendrogyra cylindrus) following two consecutive hyperthermal events on the Florida Reef Tract

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Cynthia L.; Neely, Karen L.; Richardson, Laurie L.; Rodriguez-Lanetty, Mauricio

    2017-06-01

    Black band disease (BBD) affects many coral species worldwide and is considered a major contributor to the decline of reef-building coral. On the Florida Reef Tract BBD is most prevalent during summer and early fall when water temperatures exceed 29 °C. BBD is rarely reported in pillar coral ( Dendrogyra cylindrus) throughout the Caribbean, and here we document for the first time the appearance of the disease in this species on Florida reefs. The highest monthly BBD prevalence in the D. cylindrus population were 4.7% in 2014 and 6.8% in 2015. In each year, BBD appeared immediately following a hyperthermal bleaching event, which raises concern as hyperthermal seawater anomalies become more frequent.

  14. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessment at Agrihan, Marianas in 2011

    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 20110407 to 20110509,...

  15. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessment at Maui, Main Hawaiian Islands in 2010

    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 20101007 to 20101105,...

  16. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessment at Kure, Northwestern Hawaiian Islands in 2010

    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 20100904 to 20100929,...

  17. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessment at Lisianski, Northwestern Hawaiian Islands in 2010

    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 20100904 to 20100929,...

  18. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessment at Molokai, Main Hawaiian Islands in 2010

    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 20101007 to 20101105,...

  19. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessment at Lanai, Main Hawaiian Islands in 2010

    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 20101007 to 20101105,...

  20. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessment at Ofu & Olosega, American Samoa in 2012

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    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 20120401 to 20120426,...

  1. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessment at Asuncion, Marianas in 2011

    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 20110407 to 20110509,...

  2. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessment at Baker, Pacific Remote Island Areas in 2012

    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 20120227 to 20120325,...

  3. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessment at Howland, Pacific Remote Island Areas in 2012

    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 20120227 to 20120325,...

  4. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessment at Farallon de Pajaros, Marianas in 2011

    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 20110407 to 20110509,...

  5. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessment at Saipan, Marianas in 2011

    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 20110407 to 20110509,...

  6. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessment at Jarvis, Pacific Remote Island Areas in 2012

    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 20120427 to 20120524,...

  7. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessment at Guam, Marianas in 2011

    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 20110407 to 20110509,...

  8. CRED REA Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessments at Palmyra Atoll, Pacific Remote Island Areas in 2010

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    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 7-13 April 2010, belt...

  9. CRED REA Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessments at Rose Atoll, American Samoa in 2010

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    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 3-5 March 2010, belt...

  10. CRED REA Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessments at Asuncion Island, Marianas Archipelago in 2009

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    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 15 April - 7 May 2009,...

  11. CRED REA Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessments at Farallon De Pajaros Island, Marianas Archipelago in 2009

    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 15 April - 7 May 2009,...

  12. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessment at Rota, Marianas in 2011

    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 20110407 to 20110509,...

  13. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessment at Hawaii, Main Hawaiian Islands in 2010

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    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 20101007 to 20101105,...

  14. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessment at Pagan, Marianas in 2011

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    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 20110407 to 20110509,...

  15. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessment at Rose, American Samoa in 2012

    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 20120401 to 20120426,...

  16. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessment at Palmyra, Pacific Remote Island Areas in 2012

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    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 20120427 to 20120524,...

  17. CRED REA Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessments at Johnston Atoll, Pacific Remote Island Areas (PRIAs) in 2010

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    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 24-29 January 2010,...

  18. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessment at French Frigate, Northwestern Hawaiian Islands in 2010

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    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 20100904 to 20100929,...

  19. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessment at Guguan, Marianas in 2011

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    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 20110407 to 20110509,...

  20. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessment at Kingman, Pacific Remote Island Areas in 2012

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    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 20120427 to 20120524,...

  1. CRED REA Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessments at Kure Atoll, 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...

  2. CRED REA Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessments at Maui Island, Main 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 16 October - 14...

  3. CRED REA Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessments at Wake Island, Pacific Remote Island Areas in 2009

    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 March - 1 April...

  4. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessment at Tau, American Samoa in 2012

    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 20120401 to 20120426,...

  5. CRED REA Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessments at Aguijan Island, Marianas Archipelago in 2009

    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 5 April - 14 April...

  6. CRED REA Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessments at Hawaii Island, Main 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 16 October - 14...

  7. CRED REA Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessments at Swains Island, American Samoa in 2010

    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 16-18 March 2010, belt...

  8. CRED REA Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessments at Tutuila Island, American Samoa in 2010

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    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 17-28 February 2010,...

  9. CRED REA Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessments at Kauai Island, Main 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 16 October - 14...

  10. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessment at Johnston, Pacific Remote Island Areas in 2012

    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 20120227 to 20120325,...

  11. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessment at Kauai, Main Hawaiian Islands in 2010

    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 20101007 to 20101105,...

  12. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessment at Niihau, Main Hawaiian Islands in 2010

    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 20101007 to 20101105,...

  13. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessment at Pearl & Hermes, Northwestern Hawaiian Islands in 2010

    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 20100904 to 20100929,...

  14. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessment at Maug, Marianas in 2011

    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 20110407 to 20110509,...

  15. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessment at Wake, Pacific Remote Island Areas in 2011

    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 20110310 to 20110402,...

  16. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessment at Alamagan, Marianas in 2011

    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 20110407 to 20110509,...

  17. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessment at Aguijan, Marianas in 2011

    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 20110407 to 20110509,...

  18. CRED REA Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessments at Midway Atoll, 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...

  19. CRED REA Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessments at French Frigate Shoals, 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...

  20. CRED REA Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessments at Maug Islands, Marianas Archipelago in 2009

    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 15 April - 7 May 2009,...

  1. CRED REA Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessments at Laysan Island, 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...

  2. CRED REA Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessments at Pearl And Hermes Atoll, 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...

  3. CRED REA Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessments at Sarigan Island, Marianas Archipelago in 2009

    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 15 April - 7 May 2009,...

  4. CRED REA Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessments at Oahu Island, Main 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 16 October - 14...

  5. CRED REA Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessments at Agrihan Island, Marianas Archipelago in 2009

    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 15 April - 7 May 2009,...

  6. CRED REA Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessments at Ta'u Island, American Samoa in 2010

    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 12-13, 20 March 2010,...

  7. CRED REA Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessments at Jarvis Island, Pacific Remote Island Areas in 2010

    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 1-5 April 2010, belt...

  8. CRED REA Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessments at Rota Island, Marianas Archipelago in 2009

    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 5 April - 14 April...

  9. CRED REA Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessments at Lanai Island, Main 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 16 October - 14...

  10. CRED REA Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessments at Pagan Island, Marianas Archipelago in 2009

    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 15 April - 7 May 2009,...

  11. CRED REA Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessments at Guam Island, Marianas Archipelago in 2009

    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 5 April - 14 April...

  12. CRED REA Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessments at Tinian Island, Marianas Archipelago in 2009

    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 5 April - 14 April...

  13. CRED REA Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessments at Kingman Reef, Pacific Remote Island Areas in 2010

    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 14-19 April 2010, belt...

  14. CRED REA Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessments at Niihau Island, Main 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 16 October - 14...

  15. CRED REA Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessments at Alamagan Island, Marianas Archipelago in 2009

    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 15 April - 7 May 2009,...

  16. CRED REA Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessments at Lisianski Island, 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...

  17. CRED REA Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessments 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...

  18. CRED REA Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessments at Guguan Island, Marianas Archipelago in 2009

    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 15 April - 7 May 2009,...

  19. CRED REA Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessments at Ofu and Olosega Island, American Samoa in 2010

    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 10-11, 14, 19 March...

  20. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessment at Tutuila, American Samoa in 2012

    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 20120401 to 20120426,...

  1. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessment at Oahu, Main Hawaiian Islands in 2010

    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 20101007 to 20101105,...

  2. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessment at Sarigan, Marianas in 2011

    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 20110407 to 20110509,...

  3. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessment at Tinian, Marianas in 2011

    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 20110407 to 20110509,...

  4. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessment at Swains, American Samoa in 2012

    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 20120227 to 20120325,...

  5. CRED REA Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessments at Saipan Island, Marianas Archipelago in 2009

    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 5 April - 7 May 2009,...

  6. CRED REA Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessments at Molokai Island, Main 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 16 October - 14...

  7. Epimicrobiota associated with the decay and recovery of Orbicella corals exhibiting Dark Spot Syndrome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julie L Meyer

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Dark Spot Syndrome (DSS is one of the most common diseases of boulder corals in the Caribbean. It presents as sunken brown lesions in coral tissue, which can spread quickly over coral colonies. With this study, we tested the hypothesis that similar to other coral diseases, DSS is a dysbiosis characterized by global shifts in the coral microbiome. Because Black Band Disease (BBD was sometimes found following DSS lesions, we also tested the hypothesis that DSS is a precursor of BBD. To track disease initiation and progression 24 coral colonies were tagged. Of them five Orbicella annularis corals and three O. faveolata corals exhibited DSS lesions at tagging. Microbiota of lesions and apparently healthy tissues from DSS-affected corals over the course of 18 months were collected. Final visual assessment showed that five of eight corals incurred substantial tissue loss while two corals remained stable and one appeared to recover from DSS lesions. Illumina sequencing of the V6 region of bacterial 16S rRNA genes demonstrated no significant differences in bacterial community composition associated with healthy tissue or DSS lesions. The epimicrobiomes of both healthy tissue and DSS lesions contained high relative abundances of Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs assigned to Halomonas, an unclassified gammaproteobacterial genus, Moritella, an unclassified Rhodobacteraceae genus, Renibacterium, Pseudomonas, and Acinetobacter. The relative abundance of bacterial taxa was not significantly different between samples when grouped by tissue type (healthy tissue vs. DSS lesion, coral species, collection month, or the overall outcome of DSS-affected corals (substantial tissue loss vs. stable/recovered. Two of the tagged corals with substantial tissue loss also developed BBD during the 18-month sampling period. The bacterial community of the BBD layer was distinct from both healthy tissue and DSS lesions, with high relative abundances of the presumed BBD pathogen

  8. Caribbean yellow band disease compromises the activity of catalase and glutathione S-transferase in the reef-building coral Orbicella faveolata exposed to anthracene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montilla, Luis Miguel; Ramos, Ruth; García, Elia; Cróquer, Aldo

    2016-05-03

    Healthy and diseased corals are threatened by different anthropogenic sources, such as pollution, a problem expected to become more severe in the near future. Despite the fact that coastal pollution and coral diseases might represent a serious threat to coral reef health, there is a paucity of controlled experiments showing whether the response of diseased and healthy corals to xenobiotics differs. In this study, we exposed healthy and Caribbean yellow band disease (CYBD)-affected Orbicella faveolata colonies to 3 sublethal concentrations of anthracene to test if enzymatic responses to this hydrocarbon were compromised in CYBD-affected tissues. For this, a 2-factorial fully orthogonal design was used in a controlled laboratory bioassay, using tissue condition (2 levels: apparently healthy and diseased) and pollutant concentration (4 levels: experimental control, 10, 30 and 100 ppb concentration) as fixed factors. A permutation-based ANOVA (PERMANOVA) was used to test the effects of condition and concentration on the specific activity of 3 enzymatic biomarkers: catalase, glutathione S-transferase, and glutathione peroxidase. We found a significant interaction between the concentration of anthracene and the colony condition for catalase (Pseudo-F = 3.84, df = 3, p anthracene in CYBD-affected tissues was compromised, as the activity of these enzymes decreased 3- to 4-fold compared to healthy tissues. These results suggest that under a potential scenario of increasing hydrocarbon coastal pollution, colonies of O. faveolata affected with CYBD might become more vulnerable to the deleterious effects of chemical pollution.

  9. Biology of corals and coral reefs

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Rajkumar, R.; Parulekar, A.H.

    This chapter deals with biology of corals, coral reefs (in general) and coral reefs of the Indian Ocean. Biology of corals is lucidly dealt with, beginning from the clarification on hermatypic and ahermatypic forms. A complete account...

  10. Biomonitor of Environmental Stress: Coral Trace Metal Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grumet, N.; Hughen, K.

    2006-12-01

    Tropical reef corals are extremely sensitive to changes in environmental conditions and, as a result of environmental degradation and global climate change, coral reefs around the globe are severely threatened. Increased human population and development in tropical regions is leading to higher turbidity and silt loading from terrestrial runoff, increased pesticides and nutrients from agricultural land-use and sewage, and the release of toxic trace metals to coastal waters from industrial pollution. The uptake of these metals and nutrients within the coral skeletal aragonite is a sensitive biomonitor of environmental stresses on coral health. We analyzed 18 trace metals from the surface of coral skeletons collected in Bermuda, Indonesia and Belize to assess a range of threats to coral reef health - including climate change, agricultural runoff and pesticides, and coastal development and tourism. This surface sample network also includes samples representing 4 different coral species. Trace metal analysis was performed on an inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (ICP-MS) to a high degree of accuracy and precision at extremely low (ppb) concentrations using a protocol we developed for samples less than 2 mg. Proper cleaning techniques were employed to minimize blank level concentrations for ultra-trace metal ICP-MS solution analysis. However, Zn/Ca and Ni/Ca concentrations remain below analytical detection limits. Initial results indicate that sea surface temperature proxies (e.g., Sr/Ca, B/Ca and Mg/Ca) display similar ratios between the different sites, whereas those metals associated with anthropogenic activities, such as Co, Pb and Cu, are site-specific and are linked to individual environmental stressors. Results from this study will be applied to down core trace metal records in the future. In doing so, we aim to understand the impacts of compounding environmental stresses on coral health, and to identify regional threshold values beyond which corals

  11. ReefGrow v2.0: A classroom tool for visualizing the processes controlling coral reef development and demise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chase, A. C.; Clague, D.; Webster, J.; Berger, W.; Schramm, R.; Winterer, J.

    2004-12-01

    Understanding the complex interplay between coral reef growth, sea-level variations and tectonics is a major challenge in paleoclimate research. A continuing challenge for students is how to visualize the complex interplay of different geological processes through time. The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) has developed ReefGrow v2.0, a Java-based program that numerically models and displays coral reef growth in 2D. The program was developed initially as a research tool but has educational applications as well. Based on straightforward mathematical algorithms, ReefGrow v2.0, realistically "grows" reefs in response to different variables (including subsidence or uplift rate, coral growth rate, sedimentation rate, dissolution rate when the reef is subaerially exposed). The program can import a bathymetric profile to use as the substrate, can import different sea level curves, and can vary the subsidence, or uplift, rates as a function of distance from the shoreline. A major strength of ReefGrow v2.0 is its simple graphical interface, allowing variables to be changed and their impacts on reef development readily assessed. Students are able to view the models' output in the form of a dynamic 2D cross section that steps forward or back through time. To illustrate its use, we applied ReefGrow v2.0 to a "real world" situation using published data from drowned fossil coral reefs that grew on the subsiding flanks of Hawaii over the last 500 ka. ReefGrow v.2.0 was able to realistically model the number and morphology of the reef terraces. The models can be used to constrain the timing of coral reef drowning, the rate and shape of island subsidence, the timing of subaerial exposure of each reef, and the rate of coral growth required to mimic the morphology of the reef. The cross section shows the internal structure of the reef. The program can also be used to forward model reef growth in response to future climate change that causes sea-level rise, or

  12. Making a model meaningful to coral reef managers in a developing nation: a case study of overfishing and rock anchoring in Indonesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maynard, Jeffrey A; Anthony, Kenneth R N; Afatta, Siham; Dahl-Tacconi, Nancy; Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove

    2010-10-01

    Most of the world's coral reefs line the coasts of developing nations, where impacts from intense and destructive fishing practices form critical conservation issues for managers. Overfishing of herbivorous fishes can cause phase shifts to macroalgal dominance, and fishers' use of rocks as anchors lowers coral cover, giving further competitive advantage to macroalgae. Overfishing and anchoring have been studied extensively, but the role of their interaction in lowering coral reef resilience has not been quantified formally. We analyzed the combined effects of overfishing and rock anchoring on a range of reef habitat types--varying from high coral and low macroalgae cover to low coral and high macroalgae cover--in a marine park in Indonesia. We parameterized a model of coral and algal dynamics with three intensities of anchoring and fishing pressure. Results of the model indicated that damage caused by rock anchoring was equal to or possibly more devastating to coral reefs in the area than the impact of overfishing. This is an important outcome for local managers, who usually have the funds to distribute less-damaging anchors, but normally are unable to patrol regularly and effectively enough to reduce the impact of overfishing. We translated model results into an interactive visual tool that allows managers to explore the benefits of reducing anchoring frequency and fishing pressure. The potential consequences of inaction were made clear: the likelihood that any of the reef habitats will be dominated in the future by macroalgae rather than corals depends on reducing anchoring frequency, fishing pressure, or both. The tool provides a platform for strengthened relationships between managers and conservationists and can facilitate the uptake of recommendations regarding resource allocation and management actions. Conservation efforts for coral reefs in developing nations are likely to benefit from transforming model projections of habitat condition into tools local

  13. Differential impact of monsoon and large amplitude internal waves on coral reef development in the Andaman Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wall, Marlene; Schmidt, Gertraud Maria; Janjang, Pornpan; Khokiattiwong, Somkiat; Richter, Claudio

    2012-01-01

    The Andaman Sea and other macrotidal semi-enclosed tropical seas feature large amplitude internal waves (LAIW). Although LAIW induce strong fluctuations i.e. of temperature, pH, and nutrients, their influence on reef development is so far unknown. A better-known source of disturbance is the monsoon affecting corals due to turbulent mixing and sedimentation. Because in the Andaman Sea both, LAIW and monsoon, act from the same westerly direction their relative contribution to reef development is difficult to discern. Here, we explore the framework development in a number of offshore island locations subjected to differential LAIW- and SW-monsoon impact to address this open question. Cumulative negative temperature anomalies - a proxy for LAIW impact - explained a higher percentage of the variability in coral reef framework height, than sedimentation rates which resulted mainly from the monsoon. Temperature anomalies and sediment grain size provided the best correlation with framework height suggesting that so far neglected subsurface processes (LAIW) play a significant role in shaping coral reefs.

  14. Coral choreography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Showstack, Randy

    Viewers clicking onto the Waikiki Aquarium's “Coral Research Cam” any time during daylight hours in Hawaii can catch the latest action of three species of living corals (Acropora sp., Acropora elseyi,and Montipora digitata) and the yellow tang and blue tang fish swimming amongst them in an outdoor aquarium.Waikiki Aquarium Director Bruce Carlson says the camera is part of a new exhibit, “Corals Are Alive!,” which encourages people to view living corals close-up at the aquarium or via the Internet, in order to gain a better appreciation of the corals. “Hopefully through education and awareness, people will be more interested and willing to help with conservation efforts to preserve coral reefs,” says Carlson.

  15. The presence of biomarker enzymes of selected Scleractinian corals of Palk Bay, southeast coast of India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anithajothi, R; Duraikannu, K; Umagowsalya, G; Ramakritinan, C M

    2014-01-01

    The health and existence of coral reefs are in danger by an increasing range of environmental and anthropogenic impacts. The causes of coral reef decline include worldwide climate change, shoreline development, habitat destruction, pollution, sedimentation and overexploitation. These disasters have contributed to an estimated loss of 27% of the reefs. If the current pressure continues unabated, the estimated loss of coral reef will be about 60% by the year 2030. Therefore, the present study was aimed to analyze the enzymes involved in stress induced by coral pathogen and its resistance. We focused on the enzymes involved in melanin synthesis pathway (phenoloxidase (PO) and peroxidases (POD)) and free radical scavenging enzymes (super oxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT)) and glutathione peroxidase (Gpx) in selected scleractinian corals such as Acropora formosa, Echinopora lamellosa, Favia favus, Favites halicora, Porites sp., and Anacropora forbesi. Overall, PO activity of coral was significantly lower than that of zooxanthellae except for Favia favus. Coral colonies with lower PO and POD activities are prone to disease. Maximum antioxidant defensive enzymes were observed in Favia favus followed by Echinopora lamellose. It is concluded that assay of these enzymes can be used as biomarkers for identifying the susceptibility of corals towards coral bleaching induced by pathogen.

  16. The Presence of Biomarker Enzymes of Selected Scleractinian Corals of Palk Bay, Southeast Coast of India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Anithajothi

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The health and existence of coral reefs are in danger by an increasing range of environmental and anthropogenic impacts. The causes of coral reef decline include worldwide climate change, shoreline development, habitat destruction, pollution, sedimentation and overexploitation. These disasters have contributed to an estimated loss of 27% of the reefs. If the current pressure continues unabated, the estimated loss of coral reef will be about 60% by the year 2030. Therefore, the present study was aimed to analyze the enzymes involved in stress induced by coral pathogen and its resistance. We focused on the enzymes involved in melanin synthesis pathway (phenoloxidase (PO and peroxidases (POD and free radical scavenging enzymes (super oxide dismutase (SOD, catalase (CAT and glutathione peroxidase (Gpx in selected scleractinian corals such as Acropora formosa, Echinopora lamellosa, Favia favus, Favites halicora, Porites sp., and Anacropora forbesi. Overall, PO activity of coral was significantly lower than that of zooxanthellae except for Favia favus. Coral colonies with lower PO and POD activities are prone to disease. Maximum antioxidant defensive enzymes were observed in Favia favus followed by Echinopora lamellose. It is concluded that assay of these enzymes can be used as biomarkers for identifying the susceptibility of corals towards coral bleaching induced by pathogen.

  17. Emerging coral diseases in Kāne'ohe Bay, O'ahu, Hawai'i (USA): two major disease outbreaks of acute Montipora white syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aeby, Greta S.; Callahan, Sean; Cox, Evelyn F.; Runyon, Christina M.; Smith, Ashley; Stanton, Frank G.; Ushijima, Blake; Work, Thierry M.

    2016-01-01

    In March 2010 and January 2012, we documented 2 widespread and severe coral disease outbreaks on reefs throughout Kāne‘ohe Bay, Hawai‘i (USA). The disease, acute Montipora white syndrome (aMWS), manifested as acute and progressive tissue loss on the common reef coral M. capitata. Rapid visual surveys in 2010 revealed 338 aMWS-affected M. capitata colonies with a disease abundance of (mean ± SE) 0.02 ± 0.01 affected colonies per m of reef surveyed. In 2012, disease abundance was significantly higher (1232 aMWS-affected colonies) with 0.06 ± 0.02 affected colonies m-1. Prior surveys found few acute tissue loss lesions in M. capitata in Kāne‘ohe Bay; thus, the high number of infected colonies found during these outbreaks would classify this as an emerging disease. Disease abundance was highest in the semi-enclosed region of south Kāne‘ohe Bay, which has a history of nutrient and sediment impacts from terrestrial runoff and stream discharge. In 2010, tagged colonies showed an average tissue loss of 24% after 1 mo, and 92% of the colonies continued to lose tissue in the subsequent month but at a slower rate (chronic tissue loss). The host-specific nature of this disease (affecting only M. capitata) and the apparent spread of lesions between M. capitatacolonies in the field suggest a potential transmissible agent. The synchronous appearance of affected colonies on multiple reefs across Kāne‘ohe Bay suggests a common underlying factor. Both outbreaks occurred during the colder, rainy winter months, and thus it is likely that some parameter(s) associated with winter environmental conditions are linked to the emergence of disease outbreaks on these reefs.

  18. Coral community composition and reef development at the Similan Islands, Andaman Sea, in response to strong environmental variations

    KAUST Repository

    Schmidt, GM

    2012-06-07

    The Similan Islands, a Thai archipelago in the Andaman Sea located near the shelf break, are subjected to frequent (up to several events per hour) and abrupt changes in physico-chemical conditions, particularly during the dry season (NE monsoon, January through April) and to an intense monsoon season with strong surface wave action (May to October). The exposed west slopes of the islands feature more coral species, but lack a carbonate reef framework. By contrast, the sheltered east sides show a complex reef framework dominated by massive Porites. Our results suggest that the sudden changes in temperature, pH and nutrients (drops of up to 10°C and 0.6 U and increases of up to 9.4 µmol NOx l−1, respectively) due to pulsed upwelling events may rival the importance of surface waves and storms in shaping coral distribution and reef development.

  19. Strategic Science for Coral Ecosystems 2007-2011

    Science.gov (United States)

    ,

    2010-01-01

    Shallow and deep coral ecosystems are being imperiled by a combination of stressors. Climate change, unsustainable fishing practices, and disease are transforming coral communities at regional to global scales. At local levels, excessive amounts of sediments, nutrients, and contaminants are also impacting the many benefits that healthy coral ecosystems provide. This Plan, Strategic Science for Coral Ecosystems, describes the information needs of resource managers and summarizes current research being conducted by U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists and partners. It outlines important research actions that need to be undertaken over the next five years to achieve more accurate forecasting of future conditions and develop more effective decision-support tools to adaptively manage coral ecosystems. The overarching outcome of this Plan, if fully implemented, would be in transferring relevant knowledge to decision-makers, enabling them to better protect and sustain coral ecosystem services. These services include sources of food, essential habitat for fisheries and protected species, protection of coastlines from wave damage and erosion, recreation, and cultural values for indigenous communities. The USGS has a long history of research and monitoring experience in studying ancient and living coral communities and serving many stakeholders. The research actions in this Plan build on the USGS legacy of conducting integrated multidisciplinary science to address complex environmental issues. This Plan is responsive to Federal legislation and authorities and a variety of external and internal drivers that include the President's Ocean Action Plan, the recommendations of the Coral Reef Task Force, the information needs of Bureaus in the Department of Interior, the USGS Bureau Science Strategy (USGS 2007) and the formal plans of several USGS Programs. To achieve this Plan's desired outcomes will require increased funding and more effective coordination and collaboration

  20. Coral Tree Nursery©: An innovative approach to growing corals in an ocean-based field nursery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kenneth Nedimyer

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Successful mariculture of stony corals has been demonstrated extensively for the past ten to fifteenyears, mostly in the tropical Pacific Ocean for the global marine ornamental aquarium market. Many differentmethods have been used to asexually fragment and grow branching stony corals, but all utilize a two-dimensionalgrow out design, primarily horizontal and affixed on some sort of disk like structure. To maximize growingsurface and take advantage of the three dimensional water column space above the sea floor, the CoralRestoration Foundation has developed a novel new technique, the Coral Tree Nursery©, which has proven to bevery effective at both increasing growth over previous methods and reducing disease and damage risks fromwave forces.

  1. Florida Integrated Science Center (FISC) Coral Reef Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poore, D.Z.

    2008-01-01

    Coral reefs provide important ecosystem services such as shoreline protection and the support of lucrative industries including fisheries and tourism. Such ecosystem services are being compromised as reefs decline due to coral disease, climate change, overfishing, and pollution. There is a need for focused, integrated science to understand the complex ecological interactions and effects of these many stressors and to provide information that will effectively guide policies and best management practices to preserve and restore these important resources. The U.S. Geological Survey Florida Integrated Science Center (USGS-FISC) is conducting a coordinated Coral Reef Research Project beginning in 2009. Specific research topics are aimed at addressing priorities identified in the 'Strategic Science for Coral Ecosystems 2007-2011' document (U.S. Geological Survey, 2007). Planned research will include a blend of historical, monitoring, and process studies aimed at improving our understanding of the development, current status and function, and likely future changes in coral ecosystems. Topics such as habitat characterization and distribution, coral disease, and trends in biogenic calcification are major themes of understanding reef structure, ecological integrity, and responses to global change.

  2. Development of novel, cross-species microsatellite markers for Acropora corals using next-generation sequencing technology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chuya eShinzato

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The genus Acropora (Scleractinia, Acroporidae is one of the most widespread coral genera, comprising the largest number of extant species among scleractinian (reef-building corals. Molecular phylogenetic studies have suggested that A. tenuis belongs to the most basal clade (clade I while A. digitifera belongs to a derived clade (clade IV. In order to develop microsatellite markers that would be useful for most Acropora species, we sequenced the genomic DNA of A. tenuis, using a next generation sequencer (Illumina MiSeq, and designed primer sets that amplify microsatellite loci. Afterward we selected primer pairs with perfectly matched nucleotide sequences from which at least one primer was uniquely mapped to the A. digitifera genome. Fourteen microsatellite markers showed non-significant departure from Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium (HWE in both A. tenuis and A. digitifera. Thus these markers could be used for wide range of species and may provide powerful tools for population genetics studies and conservation of Acropora corals.

  3. The pattern of coral reef development at two sites in the Seychelles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collier, J. S.; Humber, S. R.

    2004-12-01

    Extensive drilling and dating of modern reef complexes worldwide have shown them to be just thin veneers of Holocene material deposited on older Pleistocene limestone. Where the Pleistocene substrate has been imaged seismically it is often characterised by rough karst topography that is thought to be the result of exposure to subaerial weathering during sea-level low stands. The importance of this antecedent karst topography relative to organic growth processes in controlling present day reef morphology has been much debated. We present high-resolution side-scan backscatter and 2D bathymetric survey results from two sites in the Seychelles (western Indian Ocean). These sites are relatively protected and reef morphology is not modified by tropical storms. The sonogram mosaics reveal areas of uniform backscatter intensity, together with regions of coarse image texture and isolated objects. Based on image texture and gross morphology, the mosaics have been classified into two categories of sediment (fine and coarse sand), seagrass beds, and four categories of reef (low relief reefs, patches, pinnacles, high relief continuous reef). The interpretation was ground truthed by independent diver observations and sediment grain size analysis. The pattern of reef development in these two leeward reefs is complex, with no shore-parallel zoning. The total spatial coverage of the reef classes is only 15% of the total surveyed area. Within these mapped reef areas, actual hard coral cover is estimated to be < 50%, so the actual hard-ground coverage is relatively small. Within the various reef types, no simple relationship between morphological parameters such as spatial area, perimeter water depth and height was found. We speculate that the dominant control on reef development is antecedent granite or karst limestone topography.

  4. The roles of temperature and light in black band disease (BBD) progression on corals of the genus Diploria in Bermuda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuehl, Kristin; Jones, Ross; Gibbs, David; Richardson, Laurie

    2011-03-01

    On Bermuda reefs the brain coral Diploria labyrinthiformis is rarely documented with black band disease (BBD), while BBD-affected colonies of Diploria strigosa are common. D. labyrinthiformis on these reefs may be more resistant to BBD or less affected by prevailing environmental conditions that potentially diminish host defenses. To determine whether light and/or temperature influence BBD differently on these two species, infection experiments were conducted under the following experimental treatments: (1) 26 °C, ambient light; (2) 30 °C, ambient light; (3) 30 °C, low light; and (4) 30 °C, high light. A digital photograph of the affected area of each coral was taken each day for 7 days and analyzed with ImageJ image processing software. The final affected area was not significantly different between species in any of the four treatments. BBD lesions were smaller on both species infected under ambient light at 26 °C versus 30 °C. Low light at 30 °C significantly reduced the lesion size on both species when compared to colonies infected at the same temperature under ambient light. Under high light at 30 °C, BBD lesions were larger on colonies of D. strigosa and smaller on colonies of D. labyrinthiformis when compared to colonies infected under ambient light at the same temperature. The responses of both species suggests that BBD progression on both D. strigosa and D. labyrinthiformis is similarly influenced by a combination of light and temperature and that other factors present before infections become established likely contribute to the difference in BBD prevalence in Bermuda. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Developing an Algorithm for Finding Deep-Sea Corals on Seamounts Using Bathymetry and Photographic Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandez, D. P.; Adkins, J. F.; Scheirer, D. P.

    2006-12-01

    Over the last three years we have conducted several cruises on seamounts in the North Atlantic to sample and characterize the distribution of deep-sea corals in space and time. Using the deep submergence vehicle Alvin and the ROV Hercules we have spent over 80 hours on the seafloor. With the autonomous vehicle ABE and a towed camera sled, we collected over 10,000 bottom photographs and over 60 hours of micro- bathymetry over 120 km of seafloor. While there are very few living scleractinia (Desmophyllum dianthus, Solenosmilia sp. and, Lophilia sp.), we recovered over 5,000 fossil D. dianthus and over 60 kg of fossil Solenosmilia sp. The large numbers of fossil corals mean that a perceived lack of material does not have to limit the use of this new archive of the deep ocean. However, we need a better strategy for finding and returning samples to the lab. Corals clearly prefer to grow on steep slopes and at the tops of scarps of all scales. They are preferentially found along ridges and on small knolls flanking a larger edifice. There is also a clear preference for D. dianthus to recruit onto carbonate substrate. Overall, our sample collection, bathymetry and bottom photographs allow us to create an algorithm for finding corals based only on knowledge of the seafloor topography. We can test this algorithm against known sampling locations and visual surveys of the seafloor. Similar to the way seismic data are used to locate ideal coring locations, we propose that high-resolution bathymetry can be used to predict the most likely locations for finding fossil deep-sea corals.

  6. Developing the Biological Condition Gradient (BCG), as a Tool for Describing the Condition of US Coral Reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Understanding effects of human activity on coral reefs requires knowing what characteristics constitute a high quality coral reef and identifying measurable criteria. The BCG is a conceptual model that describes how biological attributes of coral reefs change along a gradient of ...

  7. Developing the Biological Condition Gradient (BCG), as a Tool for Describing the Condition of US Coral Reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Understanding effects of human activity on coral reefs requires knowing what characteristics constitute a high quality coral reef and identifying measurable criteria. The BCG is a conceptual model that describes how biological attributes of coral reefs change along a gradient of ...

  8. Hydrodynamic Conditions Influencing Cold-Water Coral Carbonate Mound Development (Challenger Mound, Porcupine Seabight, NE Atlantic): a Contribution to IODP Exp307

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thierens, M.; Odonnell, R.; Stuut, J.; Titschack, J.; Dorschel, B.; Wheeler, A. J.

    2007-12-01

    Cold-water coral carbonate mounds are complex geo-biological systems, originating from the interplay of hydrodynamic, sedimentological and biological factors. As changes in hydrodynamic and sedimentary regime are assumed to be amongst the main controls on mound evolution, reconstruction of the hydrodynamic and palaeoclimatic microenvironment on-mound, compared to the background environmental conditions (as seen off- mound), contributes to the fundamental understanding of these intriguing features and the development of a cold- water coral carbonate mound development model. Challenger Mound, one of the large cold-water coral carbonate mounds along the eastern Porcupine Seabight continental margin (NE Atlantic, SW off Ireland), was successfully drilled during IODP Expedition 307, providing the first complete recovery of a continuous sedimentary sequence through a carbonate mound. High-resolution particle size analysis of the terrigenous sediment component is used as primary proxy for reconstructing the hydrodynamic conditions during mound development. First results indicate repeated shifts in hydrodynamic conditions during sediment deposition on Challenger Mound, from lower-energetic conditions to higher-energetic environments and visa versa, which might reflect environmental variation over interglacial-glacial timescales throughout the whole mound development period. In conjunction with other available data, this dataset provides insight in local current regimes and sediment dynamics, the specific role of cold-water corals in these complex geo-biological systems and the differentiation of different sediment contributors to the coral mound system and its surroundings.

  9. Non-Destructive Measurements of Reef Coral Respiration, Photosynthesis and Calcification Using A Newly Developed Diver-Deployed In Situ Respirometer: CISME

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitehead, R. F.; Szmant, A. M.; Farmer, J.; Weil, E.; Lucas, M. Q.

    2016-02-01

    CISME (Coral reef In Situ Metabolism; pronounced "KISS ME", to reflect the gentle interactions between coral and instrument) is a new tool we have developed to non-destructively measure coral and algal bioenergetics in situ. Such a tool will facilitate research and monitoring of corals and similar benthic organisms affected by ocean acidification, global warming, and other anthropogenic disturbances. CISME is deployed over the organism of interest, and held in place by locking retractors. A foam layer at the bottom of the sensor package seals CISME against the coral, and isolates a volume of ca. 88 ml of seawater for the incubation. Changes over time in dissolved oxygen (O2, measured with a Presens optode, and pH (measured with a Honeywell ISFET) in the incubation seawater are used to calculate rates of respiration (R) and photosynthesis (P). A sample port is used to withdraw water samples for discrete analyses such as total alkalinity used to calculate calcification rates, and can also be used to introduce experimental reagents (e.g. metabolic inhibitors, CO2 enriched seawater).The instrument can be deployed over coral species with fairly smooth surface structure, as well as benthic reef organisms such as algal turf, coralline algae and macroalgae. Field tests show that CISME can produce quick, consistent and non-destructive (to the coral) measurements of R (5 minutes), P (5-10 minutes), P vs I (irradiance) response curves (30-40 minutes), and calcification rates (15-20 minutes) on corals and reef algae in their natural environment. By calculating changes in CO2 (from the pH and total alkalinity data using 'co2sys') we also calculated R and P rates based on delta CO2 in order to calculate RQ and PQ ratios, which are indicative of the substrates used for R and produced by P, respectively. Our ability to calculate P/R ratios, RQ and PQs with just a few minutes of in situ measurement shows that CISME has the potential to greatly improve our ability to study coral

  10. Cyanotoxins are not implicated in the etiology of coral black band disease outbreaks on Pelorus Island, Great Barrier Reef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glas, Martin S; Motti, Cherie A; Negri, Andrew P; Sato, Yui; Froscio, Suzanne; Humpage, Andrew R; Krock, Bernd; Cembella, Allan; Bourne, David G

    2010-07-01

    Cyanobacterial toxins (i.e. microcystins) produced within the microbial mat of coral black band disease (BBD) have been implicated in disease pathogenicity. This study investigated the presence of toxins within BBD lesions and other cyanobacterial patch (CP) lesions, which, in some instances ( approximately 19%), facilitated the onset of BBD, from an outbreak site at Pelorus Island on the inshore, central Great Barrier Reef (GBR). Cyanobacterial species that dominated the biomass of CP and BBD lesions were cultivated and identified, based on morphology and 16S rRNA gene sequences, as Blennothrix- and Oscillatoria-affiliated species, respectively, and identical to cyanobacterial sequences retrieved from previous molecular studies from this site. The presence of the cyanotoxins microcystin, cylindrospermopsin, saxitoxin, nodularin and anatoxin and their respective gene operons in field samples of CP and BBD lesions and their respective culture isolations was tested using genetic (PCR-based screenings), chemical (HPLC-UV, FTICR-MS and LC/MS(n)) and biochemical (PP2A) methods. Cyanotoxins and cyanotoxin synthetase genes were not detected in any of the samples. Cyanobacterial species dominant within CP and BBD lesions were phylogenetically distinct from species previously shown to produce cyanotoxins and isolated from BBD lesions. The results from this study demonstrate that cyanobacterial toxins appear to play no role in the pathogenicity of CP and BBD at this site on the GBR.

  11. Crowning corals

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Raghukumar, C.

    and oil transport, thermal pollution and freshwater inflow are the major threats to corals growing along the urban and industrialised centres. Therefore, a concerted effort from academicians, governmental and non-governmental bodies to educate the public...

  12. The effect of filamentous turf algal removal on the development of gametes of the coral Orbicella annularis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neidy P Cetz-Navarro

    Full Text Available Macroalgae and filamentous turf algae (FTA are abundant on degraded coral reefs, and the reproductive responses of corals may indicate sub-lethal stress under these conditions. The percentage of gametogenic stages (PGS and the maximum diameter of eggs (MDE; or egg size of Orbicella annularis were used to evaluate the effect of long- (7-10 months and short-term (2.5 months FTA removal (treatments T1 and T2, respectively at both the beginning (May and the end (August of gametogenesis. Ramets (individual lobes of a colony surrounded by FTA (T3 or crustose coralline algae (CCA; T4 were used as controls. The removal of FTA enhanced the development of gametes (i.e., a larger and higher percentage of mature gametes (PMG of O. annularis for T1 vs. T3 ramets in May and T1 and T2 vs. T3 ramets in August. Similar values of PGS and MDE between gametes from T3 and T4 in both May and August were unexpected because a previous study had shown that the same ramets of T4 (with higher tissue thickness, chlorophyll a cm-2 and zooxanthellae density and lower mitotic index values were less stressed than ramets of T3. Evaluating coral stress through reproduction can reveal more sensitive responses than other biological parameters; within reproductive metrics, PGS can be a better stress indicator than egg size. The presence of turf algae strongly impacted the development of gametes and egg size (e.g., PMG in ramets with FTA removal increased almost twofold in comparison with ramets surrounded by FTA in August, most likely exerting negative chronic effects in the long run due to the ubiquity and permanence of turf algae in the Caribbean. These algae can be considered a stressor that affects coral sexual reproduction. Although the effects of turf algae on O. annularis are apparently less severe than those of other stressors, the future of this species is uncertain because of the combined impacts of these effects, the decline of O. annularis populations and the almost

  13. The effect of filamentous turf algal removal on the development of gametes of the coral Orbicella annularis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cetz-Navarro, Neidy P; Carpizo-Ituarte, Eugenio J; Espinoza-Avalos, Julio; Chee-Barragán, Guillermina

    2015-01-01

    Macroalgae and filamentous turf algae (FTA) are abundant on degraded coral reefs, and the reproductive responses of corals may indicate sub-lethal stress under these conditions. The percentage of gametogenic stages (PGS) and the maximum diameter of eggs (MDE; or egg size) of Orbicella annularis were used to evaluate the effect of long- (7-10 months) and short-term (2.5 months) FTA removal (treatments T1 and T2, respectively) at both the beginning (May) and the end (August) of gametogenesis. Ramets (individual lobes of a colony) surrounded by FTA (T3) or crustose coralline algae (CCA; T4) were used as controls. The removal of FTA enhanced the development of gametes (i.e., a larger and higher percentage of mature gametes (PMG)) of O. annularis for T1 vs. T3 ramets in May and T1 and T2 vs. T3 ramets in August. Similar values of PGS and MDE between gametes from T3 and T4 in both May and August were unexpected because a previous study had shown that the same ramets of T4 (with higher tissue thickness, chlorophyll a cm-2 and zooxanthellae density and lower mitotic index values) were less stressed than ramets of T3. Evaluating coral stress through reproduction can reveal more sensitive responses than other biological parameters; within reproductive metrics, PGS can be a better stress indicator than egg size. The presence of turf algae strongly impacted the development of gametes and egg size (e.g., PMG in ramets with FTA removal increased almost twofold in comparison with ramets surrounded by FTA in August), most likely exerting negative chronic effects in the long run due to the ubiquity and permanence of turf algae in the Caribbean. These algae can be considered a stressor that affects coral sexual reproduction. Although the effects of turf algae on O. annularis are apparently less severe than those of other stressors, the future of this species is uncertain because of the combined impacts of these effects, the decline of O. annularis populations and the almost complete

  14. Algae as reservoirs for coral pathogens.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J Sweet

    Full Text Available Benthic algae are associated with coral death in the form of stress and disease. It's been proposed that they release exudates, which facilitate invasion of potentially pathogenic microbes at the coral-algal interface, resulting in coral disease. However, the original source of these pathogens remains unknown. This study examined the ability of benthic algae to act as reservoirs of coral pathogens by characterizing surface associated microbes associated with major Caribbean and Indo-Pacific algal species/types and by comparing them to potential pathogens of two dominant coral diseases: White Syndrome (WS in the Indo-Pacific and Yellow Band Disease (YBD in the Caribbean. Coral and algal sampling was conducted simultaneously at the same sites to avoid spatial effects. Potential pathogens were defined as those absent or rare in healthy corals, increasing in abundance in healthy tissues adjacent to a disease lesion, and dominant in disease lesions. Potentially pathogenic bacteria were detected in both WS and YBD and were also present within the majority of algal species/types (54 and 100% for WS and YBD respectively. Pathogenic ciliates were associated only with WS and not YBD lesions and these were also present in 36% of the Indo-Pacific algal species. Although potential pathogens were associated with many algal species, their presence was inconsistent among replicate algal samples and detection rates were relatively low, suggestive of low density and occurrence. At the community level, coral-associated microbes irrespective of the health of their host differed from algal-associated microbes, supporting that algae and corals have distinctive microbial communities associated with their tissue. We conclude that benthic algae are common reservoirs for a variety of different potential coral pathogens. However, algal-associated microbes alone are unlikely to cause coral death. Initial damage or stress to the coral via other competitive mechanisms is

  15. Coral reefs in crisis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinrichsen, D

    1997-01-01

    This article reports on the crisis facing reefs throughout the world and the struggle to save them. Coral reefs, one of the biological wonders of the world, are among the largest and oldest living communities of plants and animals on earth, having been evolved between 200 and 450 million years ago. Located mostly in the Pacific region, most established coral reefs are now dead and only the upper layer is covered by a thin changeable skin of living coral. Reefs, over the years, have been the main source of animal protein for over 1 billion people in Asia. Countries near the coastlines, which relied on the seas, have resorted to dynamite fishing, poisoning and other illegal and dangerous techniques. Overpopulation and pollution has caused the deteriorating conditions of the 600,000 sq. km of coral reefs worldwide. Despite these conditions, the government has ignored this problem as they struggle to develop their economies at the expense of common resources. In addition, this article narrates the efforts that are exerted by governments in promoting coral reef protection and management of these coastal resources, setting the Apo Island in the Philippines as an example of good management and sustainability.

  16. Alveolar development and disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitsett, Jeffrey A; Weaver, Timothy E

    2015-07-01

    Gas exchange after birth is entirely dependent on the remarkable architecture of the alveolus, its formation and function being mediated by the interactions of numerous cell types whose precise positions and activities are controlled by a diversity of signaling and transcriptional networks. In the later stages of gestation, alveolar epithelial cells lining the peripheral lung saccules produce increasing amounts of surfactant lipids and proteins that are secreted into the airspaces at birth. The lack of lung maturation and the associated lack of pulmonary surfactant in preterm infants causes respiratory distress syndrome, a common cause of morbidity and mortality associated with premature birth. At the time of birth, surfactant homeostasis begins to be established by balanced processes involved in surfactant production, storage, secretion, recycling, and catabolism. Insights from physiology and engineering made in the 20th century enabled survival of newborn infants requiring mechanical ventilation for the first time. Thereafter, advances in biochemistry, biophysics, and molecular biology led to an understanding of the pulmonary surfactant system that made possible exogenous surfactant replacement for the treatment of preterm infants. Identification of surfactant proteins, cloning of the genes encoding them, and elucidation of their roles in the regulation of surfactant synthesis, structure, and function have provided increasing understanding of alveolar homeostasis in health and disease. This Perspective seeks to consider developmental aspects of the pulmonary surfactant system and its importance in the pathogenesis of acute and chronic lung diseases related to alveolar homeostasis.

  17. The Impact of Seawater Saturation State on Early Skeletal Development in Larval Corals: Insights into Scleractinian Biomineralization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, A. L.; McCorkle, D. C.; de Putron, S.

    2007-12-01

    contrast to the fine, closed, densely packed spherulitic bundles accreted in the control system, larvae in the lower Omega treatments produced a disorganized conglomerate of large, highly faceted crystals, consistent with slow growth under low saturation state conditions. Our results suggest that the coral calcification response to changes in seawater saturation state is linked to a physiological limitation on the organism's ability to elevate the saturation state of seawater within the calcifying space. Further, our data indicate that ocean acidification due to fossil fuel CO2 emissions will likely have a strong negative effect on the recruitment and early skeletal development of larval corals over the next several decades.

  18. The diversity of coral associated bacteria and the environmental factors affect their community variation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yan-Ying; Ling, Juan; Yang, Qing-Song; Wang, You-Shao; Sun, Cui-Ci; Sun, Hong-Yan; Feng, Jing-Bin; Jiang, Yu-Feng; Zhang, Yuan-Zhou; Wu, Mei-Lin; Dong, Jun-De

    2015-10-01

    Coral associated bacterial community potentially has functions relating to coral health, nutrition and disease. Culture-free, 16S rRNA based techniques were used to compare the bacterial community of coral tissue, mucus and seawater around coral, and to investigate the relationship between the coral-associated bacterial communities and environmental variables. The diversity of coral associated bacterial communities was very high, and their composition different from seawater. Coral tissue and mucus had a coral associated bacterial community with higher abundances of Gammaproteobacteria. However, bacterial community in seawater had a higher abundance of Cyanobacteria. Different populations were also found in mucus and tissue from the same coral fragment, and the abundant bacterial species associated with coral tissue was very different from those found in coral mucus. The microbial diversity and OTUs of coral tissue were much higher than those of coral mucus. Bacterial communities of corals from more human activities site have higher diversity and evenness; and the structure of bacterial communities were significantly different from the corals collected from other sites. The composition of bacterial communities associated with same coral species varied with season's changes, geographic differences, and coastal pollution. Unique bacterial groups found in the coral samples from more human activities location were significant positively correlated to chemical oxygen demand. These coral specific bacteria lead to coral disease or adjust to form new function structure for the adaption of different surrounding needs further research.

  19. The Maritime Continent and Coral Triangle: How to make informed measurements in the year of the MC to improve coral protection?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodkin, N.; Tanzil, J.; Murty, S. A.; Ramos, R.; Pullen, J. D.

    2016-12-01

    The Maritime Continent (MC) is a region of highly complex oceanography, encompassing a majority of the Coral Triangle, the most important region for coral biodiversity and cover. Intricate coastal processes including water body mixing, resulting from reversing monsoon winds and internal waves, expose corals to a wide variety of physical conditions. However, the pressures of climate change, overfishing, ocean acidification, and coastal development, to name a few, are significant in this region and threaten to challenge reefs over the next several decades. In order to predict and study how to facilitate reef recovery in the MC region, it is crucial to understand the environmental parameters for coral success. In this presentation, we will provide an overview of oceanographic processes on the maritime continent that drive seasonal variability in the waters of the MC, including changes to sea surface temperature, salinity, pH, turbidity, productivity and nutrients. Each of these parameters is known to have impacts on calcification rates and thus coral reef formation. Environmental conditions and currents can combine to facilitate larval dispersion or to exacerbate coral disease and predation, including crown of thorns outbreaks. Internal waves may protect against coral bleaching by lowering temperatures with the delivery of deeper water. Drawing on previously published and unpublished results, we will evaluate the parameters that may be impacting reef growth rates, biodiversity and resilience in a changing world in an effort to help plan for key measurements in the year of the MC.

  20. Development of Microsatellite Markers in the Deep-Sea Cup Coral Desmophyllum dianthus by 454 Sequencing and Cross-Species Amplifications in Scleractinia Order.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Addamo, Anna M; García-Jiménez, Ricardo; Taviani, Marco; Machordom, Annie

    2015-01-01

    Microsatellite loci were isolated for the first time for the deep-sea coral Desmophyllum dianthus, using 454 GS-FLX Titanium pyrosequencing. We developed conditions for amplifying 24 markers in 10 multiplex reactions. Three to 16 alleles per locus were detected across 25 samples analyzed from Santa Maria di Leuca coral province (Mediterranean Sea). For the 24 polymorphic loci, observed and expected heterozygosities ranged from 0.211 to 0.880 and 0.383 to 0.910, respectively; 3 loci deviated from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, after null allele and sequential Holm-Bonferroni corrections. These newly isolated microsatellites are very useful genetic markers that provide data for future conservation strategies. Cross-amplification of these microsatellites, tested in 46 coral species, representing 40 genera, and 10 families of the phylum Cnidaria, produced informative allelic profiles for 1 to 24 loci. The utility of extending analyses to cross-species amplifications is also discussed.

  1. Rapid assessment of stony coral richness and condition on Saba Bank, Netherlands Antilles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sheila A McKenna

    Full Text Available The benthic habitats of Saba Bank (17 degrees 25'N, 63 degrees 30'W are at risk from maritime traffic, especially oil tankers (e.g., anchoring. To mitigate this risk, information is needed on the biodiversity and location of habitats to develop a zone use plan. A rapid survey to document the biodiversity of macro-algae, sponges, corals and fishes was conducted. Here we report on the richness and condition of stony coral species at 18 select sites, and we test for the effects of bottom type, depth, and distance from platform edge. Species richness was visually assessed by roving scuba diver with voucher specimens of each species collected. Coral tissue was examined for bleaching and diseases. Thirty-three coral species were documented. There were no significant differences in coral composition among bottom types or depth classes (ANOSIM, P>0.05. There was a significant difference between sites (ANOSIM, P<0.05 near and far from the platform edge. The number of coral species observed ranged from zero and one in algal dominated habitats to 23 at a reef habitat on the southern edge of the Bank. Five reef sites had stands of Acropora cervicornis, a critically endangered species on the IUCN redlist. Bleaching was evident at 82% of the sites assessed with 43 colonies bleached. Only three coral colonies were observed to have disease. Combining our findings with that of other studies, a total of 43 species have been documented from Saba Bank. The coral assemblage on the bank is representative and typical of those found elsewhere in the Caribbean. Although our findings will help develop effective protection, more information is needed on Saba Bank to create a comprehensive zone use plan. Nevertheless, immediate action is warranted to protect the diverse coral reef habitats documented here, especially those containing A. cervicornis.

  2. Comparative immune responses of corals to stressors associated with offshore reef-based tourist platforms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van de Water, Jeroen A J M; Lamb, Joleah B; van Oppen, Madeleine J H; Willis, Bette L; Bourne, David G

    2015-01-01

    Unravelling the contributions of local anthropogenic and seasonal environmental factors in suppressing the coral immune system is important for prioritizing management actions at reefs exposed to high levels of human activities. Here, we monitor health of the model coral Acropora millepora adjacent to a high-use and an unused reef-based tourist platform, plus a nearby control site without a platform, over 7 months spanning a typical austral summer. Comparisons of temporal patterns in a range of biochemical and genetic immune parameters (Toll-like receptor signalling pathway, lectin-complement system, prophenoloxidase-activating system and green fluorescent protein-like proteins) among healthy, injured and diseased corals revealed that corals exhibit a diverse array of immune responses to environmental and anthropogenic stressors. In healthy corals at the control site, expression of genes involved in the Toll-like receptor signalling pathway (MAPK p38, MEKK1, cFos and ATF4/5) and complement system (C3 and Bf) was modulated by seasonal environmental factors in summer months. Corals at reef platform sites experienced additional stressors over the summer, as evidenced by increased expression of various immune genes, including MAPK p38 and MEKK1. Despite increased expression of immune genes, signs of white syndromes were detected in 31% of study corals near tourist platforms in the warmest summer month. Evidence that colonies developing disease showed reduced expression of genes involved in the complement pathway prior to disease onset suggests that their immune systems may have been compromised. Responses to disease and physical damage primarily involved the melanization cascade and GFP-like proteins, and appeared to be sufficient for recovery when summer heat stress subsided. Overall, seasonal and anthropogenic factors may have interacted synergistically to overwhelm the immune systems of corals near reef platforms, leading to increased disease prevalence in summer at

  3. Coral disease physiology: the impact of Acroporid white syndrome on Symbiodinium

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Roff, G.; Kvennefors, E. C. E.; Ulstrup, Karin Elizabeth

    2008-01-01

    Acroporid white syndrome, a disease-like syndrome from the Great Barrier Reef, results from degenerative host tissue at lesion borders. Tissue preceding lesion borders appears visually healthy, but it is currently unclear whether the endosymbiotic zooxanthellae (Symbiodinium) are physiologically...

  4. The role of microorganisms in coral bleaching.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenberg, Eugene; Kushmaro, Ariel; Kramarsky-Winter, Esti; Banin, Ehud; Yossi, Loya

    2009-02-01

    Coral bleaching is the disruption of the symbiosis between the coral host and its endosymbiotic algae. The prevalence and severity of the disease have been correlated with high seawater temperature. During the last decade, the major hypothesis to explain coral bleaching is that high water temperatures cause irreversible damage to the symbiotic algae resulting in loss of pigment and/or algae from the holobiont. Here, we discuss the evidence for an alternative but not mutually exclusive concept, the microbial hypothesis of coral bleaching.

  5. Coral Diseases Following Massive Bleaching in 2005 Cause 60 Percent Decline in Coral Cover and Mortality of the Threatened Species, Acropora Palmata, on Reefs in the U.S. Virgin Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, Caroline S.

    2008-01-01

    Record-high seawater temperatures and calm seas in the summer of 2005 led to the most severe coral bleaching (greater than 90 percent bleached coral cover) ever observed in the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) (figs. 1 and 2). All but a few coral species bleached, including the threatened species, Acropora palmata. Bleaching was seen from the surface to depths over 20 meters.

  6. Corals from Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patzert, William C.

    1999-01-01

    The goal of this research is to monitor the health and vigor of coral reef ecosystems, and their sensitivity to natural and anthropogenic climate changes. To achieve these lofty goals, this research is investigating the feasibility of using spaceborne high-resolution spectrometers (on the US Landsat, French Systeme Probatoire pour l'Observation de la Terre [SPOT] and/or the Indian Resources Satellite [IRS 1C & 1D] spacecraft) to first map the aerial extent of coral reef systems, and second separate the amount of particular corals. If this is successful, we could potentially provide a quantum leap in our understanding of coral reef systems, as well as provide much needed baseline data to measure future changes in global coral reef ecosystems. In collaboration with Tomas Tomascik, Yann Morel, and other colleagues, a series of experiments were planned to coordinate in situ coral observations, high-resolution spaceborne imagery (from Landsat, SPOT, and, possibly, IRS IC spacecraft), and NASA Space Shuttle photographs and digital images. Our eventual goal is to develop "coral health algorithms" that can be used to assess time series of imagery collected from satellite sensors (Landsat since 1972, SPOT since 1986) in concert with in situ observations. The bad news from last year was that from 1997 to mid- 1998, the extreme cloudiness over southeast Asia due to prolonged smoke from El Nino-related fires and the economic chaos in this region frustrated both our space and reef-based data collection activities. When this volatile situation stabilizes, we will restart these activities. The good news was that in collaboration with Al Strong at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) we had an exciting year operationally using the NOAA's Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer sensor derived sea surface temperature products to warn of coral "bleaching" at many locations throughout the tropics. Data from NOAA's satellites showed that during the El Nino of

  7. 珊瑚礁区碳循环研究进展%Recent development in the research of carbon cycle in coral reef ecosystem

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    严宏强; 余克服; 谭烨辉

    2009-01-01

    The carbon cycle in coral reefs, one of the most productive ecosystems in the ocean, includes the combination of organic carbon metabolism (photosynthesis/ respiration) and inorganic carbon metabolism (calcification / dissolution). The photosynthesis of plants in coral reefs converts CO_2 into organic carbon, making a useful supplement to organic carbon cycle. Because of the highly efficient organic carbon cycle facilitated by coral reef animals′ feeding activities and micro-biological degradation, there are no more than 7% of organic carbon being precipitated into sediment. While the horizontal flux of organic carbon transported into ocean is greatly controlled by hydrodynamic conditions and can vary widely. The carbonate precipitated during inorganic carbon metabolism on coral reefs is an important part of global carbonate reservoir, which contributes 23%-26% of global CaCO_3 accumulation and affects atmospheric CO_2 concentration. Net organic-to-inorganic carbon production ratio (ROI) is developed as a criterion in reflecting the sink/source behavior of CO_2 on coral reefs. When ROI is less than 0.6, the coral reef is the source of atmospheric CO_2, otherwise the coral reef acts as a sink of atmospheric CO_2. The recent work has established the preliminary understanding on the biogeochemical process of coral reef carbon cycle, thus the ongoing research will cover the mechanism of efficient organic carbon cycle of coral reefs, the function of coral reef organisms on carbon cycle, and the response of coral reef carbon cycle to climate change etc.%珊瑚礁是海洋中生产力水平最高的生态系统之一,其碳循环受到有机碳代谢(光合作用/呼吸作用)和无机碳代谢(钙化/溶解)两大代谢过程的共同作用,过程十分复杂.珊瑚礁植物的光合作用保证了有机碳的有效补充,动物摄食及微生物降解等生物过程驱动了珊瑚礁区有机碳高效循环,只有不超过7%的有机碳进入沉积物,而向大洋

  8. Coral Reef Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yap, Helen T.

    Coral reefs are geological structures of significant dimensions, constructed over millions of years by calcifying organisms. The present day reef-builders are hard corals belonging to the order Scleractinia, phylum Cnidaria. The greatest concentrations of coral reefs are in the tropics, with highest levels of biodiversity situated in reefs of the Indo-West Pacific region. These ecosystems have provided coastal protection and livelihood to human populations over the millennia. Human activities have caused destruction of these habitats, the intensity of which has increased alarmingly since the latter decades of the twentieth century. The severity of this impact is directly related to exponential growth rates of human populations especially in the coastal areas of the developing world. However, a more recently recognized phenomenon concerns disturbances brought about by the changing climate, manifested mainly as rising sea surface temperatures, and increasing acidification of ocean waters due to greater drawdown of higher concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Management efforts have so far not kept pace with the rates of degradation, so that the spatial extent of damaged reefs and the incidences of localized extinction of reef species are increasing year after year. The major management efforts to date consist of establishing marine protected areas and promoting the active restoration of coral habitats.

  9. Evidence of initial coral community recovery at Discovery Bay on Jamaica’s North Coast

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. James C. Crabbe

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Current challenges to coral reef sustainability include overfishing, destructive fishing practices, bleaching, acidification, sea-level rise, starfish, algae, agricultural run-off, coastal and resort development, pollution, diseases, invasive species and hurricanes. We used SCUBA belt transects to record coral cover and digital image analysis in the Dairy Bull Reef off the north coast of Jamaica and found that it is a positive example of how reefs can recover after major environmental disturbance. Live coral cover increased from 13±5% in 2006 to 31±7% in 2008, while live Acropora cervicornis increased from 2±2% in 2006 to 22±7% in 2008. Coral cover levels were maintained until 2012.

  10. 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.

  11. Development of gene expression markers of acute heat-light stress in reef-building corals of the genus Porites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carly D Kenkel

    Full Text Available Coral reefs are declining worldwide due to increased incidence of climate-induced coral bleaching, which will have widespread biodiversity and economic impacts. A simple method to measure the sub-bleaching level of heat-light stress experienced by corals would greatly inform reef management practices by making it possible to assess the distribution of bleaching risks among individual reef sites. Gene expression analysis based on quantitative PCR (qPCR can be used as a diagnostic tool to determine coral condition in situ. We evaluated the expression of 13 candidate genes during heat-light stress in a common Caribbean coral Porites astreoides, and observed strong and consistent changes in gene expression in two independent experiments. Furthermore, we found that the apparent return to baseline expression levels during a recovery phase was rapid, despite visible signs of colony bleaching. We show that the response to acute heat-light stress in P. astreoides can be monitored by measuring the difference in expression of only two genes: Hsp16 and actin. We demonstrate that this assay discriminates between corals sampled from two field sites experiencing different temperatures. We also show that the assay is applicable to an Indo-Pacific congener, P. lobata, and therefore could potentially be used to diagnose acute heat-light stress on coral reefs worldwide.

  12. Unseen players shape benthic competition on coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barott, Katie L; Rohwer, Forest L

    2012-12-01

    Recent work has shown that hydrophilic and hydrophobic organic matter (OM) from algae disrupts the function of the coral holobiont and promotes the invasion of opportunistic pathogens, leading to coral morbidity and mortality. Here we refer to these dynamics as the (3)DAM [dissolved organic matter (DOM), direct contact, disease, algae and microbes] model. There is considerable complexity in coral-algae interactions; turf algae and macroalgae promote heterotrophic microbial overgrowth of coral, macroalgae also directly harm the corals via hydrophobic OM, whereas crustose coralline algae generally encourage benign microbial communities. In addition, complex flow patterns transport OM and pathogens from algae to downstream corals, and direct algal contact enhances their delivery. These invisible players (microbes, viruses, and OM) are important drivers of coral reefs because they have non-linear responses to disturbances and are the first to change in response to perturbations, providing near real-time trajectories for a coral reef, a vital metric for conservation and restoration.

  13. 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.

  14. Impact of herbivore identity on algal succession and coral growth on a Caribbean reef.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deron E Burkepile

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Herbivory is an important top-down force on coral reefs that regulates macroalgal abundance, mediates competitive interactions between macroalgae and corals, and provides resilience following disturbances such as hurricanes and coral bleaching. However, reductions in herbivore diversity and abundance via disease or over-fishing may harm corals directly and may indirectly increase coral susceptibility to other disturbances. METHODOLOGY AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In two experiments over two years, we enclosed equivalent densities and masses of either single-species or mixed-species of herbivorous fishes in replicate, 4 m(2 cages at a depth of 17 m on a reef in the Florida Keys, USA to evaluate the effects of herbivore identity and species richness on colonization and development of macroalgal communities and the cascading effects of algae on coral growth. In Year 1, we used the redband parrotfish (Sparisoma aurofrenatum and the ocean surgeonfish (Acanthurus bahianus; in Year 2, we used the redband parrotfish and the princess parrotfish (Scarus taeniopterus. On new substrates, rapid grazing by ocean surgeonfish and princess parrotfish kept communities in an early successional stage dominated by short, filamentous algae and crustose coralline algae that did not suppress coral growth. In contrast, feeding by redband parrotfish allowed an accumulation of tall filaments and later successional macroalgae that suppressed coral growth. These patterns contrast with patterns from established communities not undergoing primary succession; on established substrates redband parrotfish significantly reduced upright macroalgal cover while ocean surgeonfish and princess parrotfish allowed significant increases in late successional macroalgae. SIGNIFICANCE: This study further highlights the importance of biodiversity in affecting ecosystem function in that different species of herbivorous fishes had very different impacts on reef communities depending on

  15. Impact of herbivore identity on algal succession and coral growth on a Caribbean reef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burkepile, Deron E; Hay, Mark E

    2010-01-29

    Herbivory is an important top-down force on coral reefs that regulates macroalgal abundance, mediates competitive interactions between macroalgae and corals, and provides resilience following disturbances such as hurricanes and coral bleaching. However, reductions in herbivore diversity and abundance via disease or over-fishing may harm corals directly and may indirectly increase coral susceptibility to other disturbances. In two experiments over two years, we enclosed equivalent densities and masses of either single-species or mixed-species of herbivorous fishes in replicate, 4 m(2) cages at a depth of 17 m on a reef in the Florida Keys, USA to evaluate the effects of herbivore identity and species richness on colonization and development of macroalgal communities and the cascading effects of algae on coral growth. In Year 1, we used the redband parrotfish (Sparisoma aurofrenatum) and the ocean surgeonfish (Acanthurus bahianus); in Year 2, we used the redband parrotfish and the princess parrotfish (Scarus taeniopterus). On new substrates, rapid grazing by ocean surgeonfish and princess parrotfish kept communities in an early successional stage dominated by short, filamentous algae and crustose coralline algae that did not suppress coral growth. In contrast, feeding by redband parrotfish allowed an accumulation of tall filaments and later successional macroalgae that suppressed coral growth. These patterns contrast with patterns from established communities not undergoing primary succession; on established substrates redband parrotfish significantly reduced upright macroalgal cover while ocean surgeonfish and princess parrotfish allowed significant increases in late successional macroalgae. This study further highlights the importance of biodiversity in affecting ecosystem function in that different species of herbivorous fishes had very different impacts on reef communities depending on the developmental stage of the community. The species-specific effects of

  16. The immune responses of the coral

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C Toledo-Hernández

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Corals are among the most ancient extant animals on earth. Currently, coral viability is threatened, due in part to the increased number of diseases affecting them in recent decades. Understanding how the innate immune systems of corals function is important if we want to predict the fate of corals and their response to the environmental and biological changes they face. In this review we discuss the latest findings regarding the innate immune systems of corals. The review is organized following the chronology of steps taken by corals from the initial encounter with a potential pathogen and recognition of threats to the orchestration of a response. We begin with the literature describing the repertory of immune-related receptors involved in the recognition of threats and the subsequent pathways leading to an immune response. We then review the effector responses that eliminate the threats described for corals. Finally, we acknowledge the literature of coral microbiology to access the potential role of microbes as an essential constituent of the coral immune system.

  17. Rapid Assessment of Stony Coral Richness and Condition on Saba Bank, Netherlands Antilles

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKenna, Sheila A.; Etnoyer, Peter

    2010-01-01

    The benthic habitats of Saba Bank (17°25′N, 63°30′W) are at risk from maritime traffic, especially oil tankers (e.g., anchoring). To mitigate this risk, information is needed on the biodiversity and location of habitats to develop a zone use plan. A rapid survey to document the biodiversity of macro-algae, sponges, corals and fishes was conducted. Here we report on the richness and condition of stony coral species at 18 select sites, and we test for the effects of bottom type, depth, and distance from platform edge. Species richness was visually assessed by roving scuba diver with voucher specimens of each species collected. Coral tissue was examined for bleaching and diseases. Thirty-three coral species were documented. There were no significant differences in coral composition among bottom types or depth classes (ANOSIM, P>0.05). There was a significant difference between sites (ANOSIM, Pcoral species observed ranged from zero and one in algal dominated habitats to 23 at a reef habitat on the southern edge of the Bank. Five reef sites had stands of Acropora cervicornis, a critically endangered species on the IUCN redlist. Bleaching was evident at 82% of the sites assessed with 43 colonies bleached. Only three coral colonies were observed to have disease. Combining our findings with that of other studies, a total of 43 species have been documented from Saba Bank. The coral assemblage on the bank is representative and typical of those found elsewhere in the Caribbean. Although our findings will help develop effective protection, more information is needed on Saba Bank to create a comprehensive zone use plan. Nevertheless, immediate action is warranted to protect the diverse coral reef habitats documented here, especially those containing A. cervicornis. PMID:20505771

  18. Rapid assessment of stony coral richness and condition on Saba Bank, Netherlands Antilles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKenna, Sheila A; Etnoyer, Peter

    2010-05-21

    The benthic habitats of Saba Bank (17 degrees 25'N, 63 degrees 30'W) are at risk from maritime traffic, especially oil tankers (e.g., anchoring). To mitigate this risk, information is needed on the biodiversity and location of habitats to develop a zone use plan. A rapid survey to document the biodiversity of macro-algae, sponges, corals and fishes was conducted. Here we report on the richness and condition of stony coral species at 18 select sites, and we test for the effects of bottom type, depth, and distance from platform edge. Species richness was visually assessed by roving scuba diver with voucher specimens of each species collected. Coral tissue was examined for bleaching and diseases. Thirty-three coral species were documented. There were no significant differences in coral composition among bottom types or depth classes (ANOSIM, P>0.05). There was a significant difference between sites (ANOSIM, PAcropora cervicornis, a critically endangered species on the IUCN redlist. Bleaching was evident at 82% of the sites assessed with 43 colonies bleached. Only three coral colonies were observed to have disease. Combining our findings with that of other studies, a total of 43 species have been documented from Saba Bank. The coral assemblage on the bank is representative and typical of those found elsewhere in the Caribbean. Although our findings will help develop effective protection, more information is needed on Saba Bank to create a comprehensive zone use plan. Nevertheless, immediate action is warranted to protect the diverse coral reef habitats documented here, especially those containing A. cervicornis.

  19. Development of Parkinson's disease biomarkers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prakash, Kumar M; Tan, Eng-King

    2010-12-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is the most common neurodegenerative movement disorder, affecting over 6 million people worldwide. It is anticipated that the number of affected individuals may increase significantly in the most populous nations by 2030. During the past 20 years, much progress has been made in identifying and assessing various potential clinical, biochemical, imaging and genetic biomarkers for PD. Despite the wealth of information, development of a validated biomarker for PD is still ongoing. It is hoped that reliable and well-validated biomarkers will provide critical clues to assist in the diagnosis and management of Parkinson's disease patients in the near future.

  20. CRED REA Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessments at Howland Island, Phoenix Islands, Pacific Remote Island Areas (PRIAs) in 2010.

    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 3-5 February 2010, belt...

  1. CRED REA Belt Surveys of Coral Population and Disease Assessments at Baker Island, Phoenix Islands, Pacific Remote Islands Areas (PRIAs) in 2010

    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 6-8 February 2010, belt...

  2. Coral reef degradation and metabolic performance of the scleractinian coral Porites lutea under anthropogenic impact along the NE coast of Hainan Island, South China Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Roder, Cornelia

    2013-04-01

    Hainan\\'s coast provides favorable climatic, geochemical and biogeographic conditions for the development of extensive coral reefs in China. Observations in five reefs along the NE coast of Hainan showed, however, that the overall density of mobile macrofauna is low and key functional groups such as browsing, scraping or excavating herbivore fish are missing altogether. Coral diseases, partial mortality or tissue degradation are abundant and growth of macroalgal space competitors extensive. Signs of eutrophication, siltation and destructive fishing practices are evident resulting in a strongly altered environment unfavorable for coral recruitment success and survival. Acclimation to the anthropogenically altered conditions in the massive coral Porites lutea occurs at the cost of a decreased photosynthesis: respiration ratio reducing the regenerative capacity of these key framebuilding organisms. Even though, on the organismal level, corals are able to cope with these stressful conditions, a shift is imminent on the ecosystem level from a coral reef to a macroalgae-dominated community if land-based disturbance prevails unabated. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

  3. Coral reef degradation and metabolic performance of the scleractinian coral Porites lutea under anthropogenic impact along the NE coast of Hainan Island, South China Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roder, Cornelia; Wu, Zhongjie; Richter, Claudio; Zhang, Jing

    2013-04-01

    Hainan's coast provides favorable climatic, geochemical and biogeographic conditions for the development of extensive coral reefs in China. Observations in five reefs along the NE coast of Hainan showed, however, that the overall density of mobile macrofauna is low and key functional groups such as browsing, scraping or excavating herbivore fish are missing altogether. Coral diseases, partial mortality or tissue degradation are abundant and growth of macroalgal space competitors extensive. Signs of eutrophication, siltation and destructive fishing practices are evident resulting in a strongly altered environment unfavorable for coral recruitment success and survival. Acclimation to the anthropogenically altered conditions in the massive coral Porites lutea occurs at the cost of a decreased photosynthesis: respiration ratio reducing the regenerative capacity of these key framebuilding organisms. Even though, on the organismal level, corals are able to cope with these stressful conditions, a shift is imminent on the ecosystem level from a coral reef to a macroalgae-dominated community if land-based disturbance prevails unabated.

  4. High levels of inorganic nutrients affect fertilization kinetics, early development and settlement of the scleractinian coral Platygyra acuta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lam, E. K. Y.; Chui, A. P. Y.; Kwok, C. K.; Ip, A. H. P.; Chan, S. W.; Leung, H. N.; Yeung, L. C.; Ang, P. O.

    2015-09-01

    Dose-response experiments were conducted to investigate the effects of ammonia nitrogen (NH3/NH4 +) and orthophosphate (PO4 3-) on four stages of larval development in Platygyra acuta, including fertilization, embryonic development and the survival, motility, and settlement of planula larvae. Fertilization success was reduced significantly under 200 μM NH3/NH4 + or PO4 3-. These high doses of NH3/NH4 + and PO4 - affected egg viability (or sperm viability and polyspermic block simultaneously) and polyspermic block, respectively. These results provide the first evidence to indicate the mechanisms of how inorganic nutrients might affect coral fertilization processes. For embryonic development, NH3/NH4 + at 25-200 μM caused delay in cell division after 2-h exposure and NH3/NH4 + at 100-200 μM resulted in larval death after 72 h. However, no significant differences were observed in the mobility and survivorship of either planula or competent larvae under different levels of NH3/NH4 + or PO4 3-. There was a significant (~30 %) drop in the settlement of competent larvae under the combined effect of 100 μM NH3/NH4 + and PO4 3-. The effects of elevated nutrients appeared to become more significant only on gametes or larvae undergoing active cellular activities at fertilization, early development, and settlement.

  5. 南海诸岛珊瑚礁可持续发展%Sustainable Development of the Coral Reefs in the South China Sea Islands

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    赵焕庭; 王丽荣; 袁家义

    2016-01-01

    Coral reefs are the most productive and diverse of all marine ecosystems. In recent years, coral reefs are in degradation under the threats of natural events and human activities, such as climate change, sea-level rising, ocean acidification, over-fishing, sedimentation, contamination and regional development. How to protect coral reefs so that they can produce ecosystem goods and services sustainably to meet the needs of today and future is focused on in recent years. Related concepts and approaches of sustainable development of coral reefs are introduced in this paper. The potential of sustainable development of and the pressure faced by the coral reefs in the South China Sea Islands are also analyzed. Finally, several sustainable development methods for the coral reefs in the South China Sea Islands are proposed, such as MPA, ICZM, and EBM.%珊瑚礁是具有极高生物生产力和生物多样性的海洋生态系统之一,由于受到自然因素(如气候变化、海平面上升和海洋酸化等)以及人类活动(如过度捕捞、沉积物、污染物和区域发展等)因素的影响,珊瑚礁生态系统近年来不断处于退化之中。如何保护珊瑚礁资源,以使其能持续为人类提供产品和服务,满足当代和未来人们发展的需要则成为关注的焦点。文章介绍了珊瑚礁可持续发展的概念和模式,分析了南海诸岛在珊瑚礁国土资源、渔业资源、旅游资源和油气资源等几方面的可持续发展潜力,及其所面临的自然、人为压力,据此给出了珊瑚礁可持续发展的途径。

  6. Coral contact dermatitis

    OpenAIRE

    Jefferson, Julie; Thompson, Curtis; Hinshaw, Molly; Rich, Phoebe

    2015-01-01

    Corals can elicit both toxic and allergic reactions upon contact with the skin. Clinical presentations vary depending on whether the reaction is acute, delayed, or chronic. Literature concerning cutaneous reactions to corals and other Cnidarians is scarce. Herein we report a case of delayed contact hypersensitivity reaction to coral and review the clinical and histopathological features of coral contact dermatitis.

  7. Coral contact dermatitis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jefferson, Julie; Thompson, Curtis; Hinshaw, Molly; Rich, Phoebe

    2015-04-16

    Corals can elicit both toxic and allergic reactions upon contact with the skin. Clinical presentations vary depending on whether the reaction is acute, delayed, or chronic. Literature concerning cutaneous reactions to corals and other Cnidarians is scarce. Herein we report a case of delayed contact hypersensitivity reaction to coral and review the clinical and histopathological features of coral contact dermatitis.

  8. A diverse assemblage of reef corals thriving in a dynamic intertidal reef setting (Bonaparte Archipelago, Kimberley, Australia).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richards, Zoe T; Garcia, Rodrigo A; Wallace, Carden C; Rosser, Natalie L; Muir, Paul R

    2015-01-01

    The susceptibility of reef-building corals to climatic anomalies is well documented and a cause of great concern for the future of coral reefs. Reef corals are normally considered to tolerate only a narrow range of climatic conditions with only a small number of species considered heat-tolerant. Occasionally however, corals can be seen thriving in unusually harsh reef settings and these are cause for some optimism about the future of coral reefs. Here we document for the first time a diverse assemblage of 225 species of hard corals occurring in the intertidal zone of the Bonaparte Archipelago, north western Australia. We compare the environmental conditions at our study site (tidal regime, SST and level of turbidity) with those experienced at four other more typical tropical reef locations with similar levels of diversity. Physical extremes in the Bonaparte Archipelago include tidal oscillations of up to 8 m, long subaerial exposure times (>3.5 hrs), prolonged exposure to high SST and fluctuating turbidity levels. We conclude the timing of low tide in the coolest parts of the day ameliorates the severity of subaerial exposure, and the combination of strong currents and a naturally high sediment regime helps to offset light and heat stress. The low level of anthropogenic impact and proximity to the Indo-west Pacific centre of diversity are likely to further promote resistance and resilience in this community. This assemblage provides an indication of what corals may have existed in other nearshore locations in the past prior to widespread coastal development, eutrophication, coral predator and disease outbreaks and coral bleaching events. Our results call for a re-evaluation of what conditions are optimal for coral survival, and the Bonaparte intertidal community presents an ideal model system for exploring how species resilience is conferred in the absence of confounding factors such as pollution.

  9. A diverse assemblage of reef corals thriving in a dynamic intertidal reef setting (Bonaparte Archipelago, Kimberley, Australia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zoe T Richards

    Full Text Available The susceptibility of reef-building corals to climatic anomalies is well documented and a cause of great concern for the future of coral reefs. Reef corals are normally considered to tolerate only a narrow range of climatic conditions with only a small number of species considered heat-tolerant. Occasionally however, corals can be seen thriving in unusually harsh reef settings and these are cause for some optimism about the future of coral reefs. Here we document for the first time a diverse assemblage of 225 species of hard corals occurring in the intertidal zone of the Bonaparte Archipelago, north western Australia. We compare the environmental conditions at our study site (tidal regime, SST and level of turbidity with those experienced at four other more typical tropical reef locations with similar levels of diversity. Physical extremes in the Bonaparte Archipelago include tidal oscillations of up to 8 m, long subaerial exposure times (>3.5 hrs, prolonged exposure to high SST and fluctuating turbidity levels. We conclude the timing of low tide in the coolest parts of the day ameliorates the severity of subaerial exposure, and the combination of strong currents and a naturally high sediment regime helps to offset light and heat stress. The low level of anthropogenic impact and proximity to the Indo-west Pacific centre of diversity are likely to further promote resistance and resilience in this community. This assemblage provides an indication of what corals may have existed in other nearshore locations in the past prior to widespread coastal development, eutrophication, coral predator and disease outbreaks and coral bleaching events. Our results call for a re-evaluation of what conditions are optimal for coral survival, and the Bonaparte intertidal community presents an ideal model system for exploring how species resilience is conferred in the absence of confounding factors such as pollution.

  10. Release of hydrogen peroxide and antioxidants by the coral Stylophora pistillata to its external milieu

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armoza-Zvuloni, R.; Shaked, Y.

    2014-09-01

    Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), a common reactive oxygen species, plays multiple roles in coral health and disease. Elevated H2O2 production by the symbiotic algae during stress may result in symbiosis breakdown and bleaching of the coral. We have recently reported that various Red Sea corals release H2O2 and antioxidants to their external milieu, and can influence the H2O2 dynamics in the reef. Here, we present a laboratory characterization of H2O2 and antioxidant activity release kinetics by intact, non-stressed Stylophora pistillata. Experimenting with bleached and non-bleached corals and different stirring speeds, we explored the sources and modes of H2O2 and antioxidant release. Since H2O2 is produced and degraded simultaneously, we developed a methodology for resolving the actual H2O2 concentrations released by the corals. H2O2 and antioxidant activity steadily increased in the water surrounding the coral over short periods of 1-2 h. Over longer periods of 5-7 h, the antioxidant activity kept increasing with time, while H2O2 concentrations were stabilized at ~ 1 μM by 1-3 h, and then gradually declined. Solving for H2O2 release, corals were found to release H2O2 at increasing rates over 2-4 h, and then to slow down and stop by 5-7 h. Stirring was shown to induce the release of H2O2, possibly since the flow reduces the thickness of the diffusive boundary layer of the coral, and thus increases H2O2 mass flux. Antioxidant activity was released at similar rates by bleached and non-bleached corals, suggesting that the antioxidants did not originate from the symbiotic algae. H2O2, however, was not released from bleached corals, implying that the symbiotic algae are the source of the released H2O2. The observed flow-induced H2O2 release may aid corals in removing some of the internal H2O2 produced by their symbiotic algae, and may possibly assist in preventing coral bleaching under conditions of elevated temperature and irradiance.

  11. Land-Sourced Pollution with an Emphasis on Domestic Sewage: Lessons from the Caribbean and Implications for Coastal Development on Indian Ocean and Pacific Coral Reefs

    OpenAIRE

    Andre DeGeorges; Brian Reilly; Goreau, Thomas J

    2010-01-01

    This paper discusses land-sourced pollution with an emphasis on domestic sewage in the Caribbean in relation to similar issues in the Indian Ocean and Pacific. Starting on a large-scale in the 1980s, tropical Atlantic coastlines of Florida and Caribbean islands were over-developed to the point that traditional sewage treatment and disposal were inadequate to protect fragile coral reefs from eutrophication by land-sourced nutrient pollution. This pollution caused both ecological and public hea...

  12. Development and Application of Genetic Markers for Population Structure Analysis of the Blue Coral Reef Starfish, Linckia laevigata (Linn.) (Echinodermata: Asteroidea)

    OpenAIRE

    Richard Magsino; Marie Antonette Juinio-Meñez; Rachel Ravago

    2000-01-01

    The tropical blue coral reef starfish, Linckia laevigata, is a good model species for examining genetic affinities among reef populations. Allozyme and mtDNA PCR-RFLP genetic markers were developed for this species. A total of nine (9) polymorphic and three (3) monomorphic allozyme marker loci were resolved out of 25 enzyme systems assessed for genetic activity in three electrophoretic buffers used. Polymorphic mitochondrial DNA gene segments of the control region with flanking sequences and ...

  13. Cenozoic Seawater Sr/Ca ratios: Implications for coral reef development through ocean de-acidification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sosdian, S. M.; Grossman, E. L.; Lear, C. H.; Tao, K.; Rosenthal, Y.

    2010-12-01

    Records of seawater chemistry help constrain the temporal variation in geochemical processes that impact the global carbon cycle and global climate across Earth’s history. To date, various attempts to reconstruct Cenozoic seawater Sr/Ca ratios have produced markedly different results, with estimated Paleogene seawater Sr/Ca ranging from ~50% higher than today to 70% lower. We reconstruct seawater Sr/Ca using Eocene to Pliocene fossil mollusks collected from US Gulf Coast (Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida). We use Conus spp. and Turritella, taxa for which the Sr/Ca distribution coefficients have been determined as a function of temperature in modern specimens [1, 2]. Specimens were serially sampled perpendicular to growth to produce seasonal records of Sr/Ca. Fossil Conus shells show pronounced seasonal Sr/Ca cycles with a strong inverse correlation between Sr/Ca and δ18O, similar to those observed in modern specimens [1]. The fossil Turritella also show similar Sr/Ca cyclicity as modern specimens [2]. We calculate seawater Sr/Ca ratios using our Sr/Ca record, modern Sr/Ca-temperature calibrations for Conus and Turritella [1, 2], and a paleotemperature record based on oxygen isotopes from the same samples [3]. Seawater Sr/Ca increased from ~11.5 to 13.9 mmol/mol between the mid-Eocene (42 Ma) and early Oligocene (33 Ma) and decreased substantially from the mid-Miocene (11 mmol/mol) to the Pliocene (9 mmol/mol) and modern (8.5 mmol/mol). A mass balance model of variations in seawater Sr concentrations suggests a long-term decrease through the Neogene, which we attribute to a significant increase in the proportion of aragonite versus calcite deposition in shallow waters. The largest change is coincident with the proliferation of coral reefs, which occurred after the calcite-aragonite sea transition, and was likely ultimately driven by ocean de-acidification. [1] Sosdian et al. (2006) Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems (G3) 7, Q11023, doi:10.1029/2005GC001233; [2

  14. 76 FR 38618 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Coral Reef Conservation Program Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-07-01

    ... United States (U.S.) jurisdictions containing coral reefs. Specifically, NOAA is seeking information on... collection of social and economic data related to the communities affected by coral reef conservation programs. The Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP), developed under the authority of the Coral Reef...

  15. Development of microsatellite markers as a molecular tool for conservation studies of the Mediterranean reef builder coral Cladocora caespitosa (Anthozoa, Scleractinia).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casado-Amezúa, Pilar; García-Jiménez, Ricardo; Kersting, Diego K; Templado, José; Coffroth, Mary Alice; Merino, Paula; Acevedo, Iván; Machordom, Annie

    2011-01-01

    Cladocora caespitosa is a reef-building zooxanthellate scleractinian coral in the Mediterranean Sea. Mortality events have recurrently affected this species during the last decade. Thus, knowledge of its genetic structure, population diversity, and connectivity is needed to accomplish suitable conservation plans. In order to obtain a better understanding of the population genetics of this species, 13 highly variable microsatellites markers were developed from a naturally bleached colony. The developed primers failed to amplify zooxanthella DNA, isolated from C. caespitosa, verifying that these markers were of the coral and not algal symbiont origin. The degree of polymorphism of these loci was tested on tissue samples from 28 colonies. The allele number for each loci ranged from 2 to 13 (mean N(a) = 5.4), with an average observed heterozygosity of 0.42 (H(e) = 0.43) and all loci were in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. These new markers should be useful in future conservation genetic studies and will help to improve the resolution of the individual identification within this coral species. Primers were also tested in Oculina patagonica, with successful amplifications of several loci.

  16. Corals form characteristic associations with symbiotic nitrogen-fixing bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lema, Kimberley A; Willis, Bette L; Bourne, David G

    2012-05-01

    The complex symbiotic relationship between corals and their dinoflagellate partner Symbiodinium is believed to be sustained through close associations with mutualistic bacterial communities, though little is known about coral associations with bacterial groups able to fix nitrogen (diazotrophs). In this study, we investigated the diversity of diazotrophic bacterial communities associated with three common coral species (Acropora millepora, Acropora muricata, and Pocillopora damicormis) from three midshelf locations of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) by profiling the conserved subunit of the nifH gene, which encodes the dinitrogenase iron protein. Comparisons of diazotrophic community diversity among coral tissue and mucus microenvironments and the surrounding seawater revealed that corals harbor diverse nifH phylotypes that differ between tissue and mucus microhabitats. Coral mucus nifH sequences displayed high heterogeneity, and many bacterial groups overlapped with those found in seawater. Moreover, coral mucus diazotrophs were specific neither to coral species nor to reef location, reflecting the ephemeral nature of coral mucus. In contrast, the dominant diazotrophic bacteria in tissue samples differed among coral species, with differences remaining consistent at all three reefs, indicating that coral-diazotroph associations are species specific. Notably, dominant diazotrophs for all coral species were closely related to the bacterial group rhizobia, which represented 71% of the total sequences retrieved from tissue samples. The species specificity of coral-diazotroph associations further supports the coral holobiont model that bacterial groups associated with corals are conserved. Our results suggest that, as in terrestrial plants, rhizobia have developed a mutualistic relationship with corals and may contribute fixed nitrogen to Symbiodinium.

  17. How do corals make rocks?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falkowski, P. G.; Mass, T.; Drake, J.; Schaller, M. F.; Rosenthal, Y.; Schofield, O.; Sherrell, R. M.

    2014-12-01

    We have developed a three pronged approach to understanding how corals precipitate aragonite crystals and contain proxy biogeochemical information. Using proteomic and genomic approaches, we have identified 35 proteins in coral skeletons. Among these are a series of coral acidic proteins (CARPs). Based on their gene sequences, we cloned a subset of these proteins and purified them. Each of the proteins precipitate aragonite in vitro in unamended seawater. Antibodies raised against these proteins react with individual crystals of the native coral, clearly revealing that they are part of a biomineral structure. Based on the primary structure of the proteins we have developed a model of the precipitation reaction that focuses on a Lewis acid displacement of protons from bicarbonate anions by calcium ligated to the carboxyl groups on the CARPs. The reactions are highly acidic and are not manifestly influenced by pH above ca. 6. These results suggest that corals will maintain the ability to calcify in the coming centuries, despite acidification of the oceans.

  18. Land-Sourced Pollution with an Emphasis on Domestic Sewage: Lessons from the Caribbean and Implications for Coastal Development on Indian Ocean and Pacific Coral Reefs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andre DeGeorges

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available This paper discusses land-sourced pollution with an emphasis on domestic sewage in the Caribbean in relation to similar issues in the Indian Ocean and Pacific. Starting on a large-scale in the 1980s, tropical Atlantic coastlines of Florida and Caribbean islands were over-developed to the point that traditional sewage treatment and disposal were inadequate to protect fragile coral reefs from eutrophication by land-sourced nutrient pollution. This pollution caused both ecological and public health problems. Coral reefs were smothered by macro-algae and died, becoming rapidly transformed into weedy algal lawns, which resulted in beach erosion, and loss of habitat that added to fisheries collapse previously caused by over-fishing. Barbados was one of the first countries to recognize this problem and to begin implementation of effective solutions. Eastern Africa, the Indian Ocean Islands, Pacific Islands, and South East Asia, are now starting to develop their coastlines for ecotourism, like the Caribbean was in the 1970s. Tourism is an important and increasing component of the economies of most tropical coastal areas. There are important lessons to be learned from this Caribbean experience for coastal zone planners, developers, engineers, coastal communities and decision makers in other parts of the world to assure that history does not repeat itself. Coral reef die-off from land-sourced pollution has been eclipsed as an issue since the ocean warming events of 1998, linked to global warming. Addressing ocean warming will take considerable international cooperation, but much of the land-sourced pollution issue, especially sewage, can be dealt with on a watershed by watershed basis by Indian Ocean and Pacific countries. Failure to solve this critical issue can adversely impact both coral reef and public health with dire economic consequences, and will prevent coral reef recovery from extreme high temperature events. Sewage treatment, disposal options

  19. Carbonate mound evolution and coral diagenesis viewed by U-series dating of deep water corals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank, N.; Ricard, E.; Blamart, D.; van der Land, C.; Colin, C.; Foubert, A.; van Rooij, D.; van Weering, T.

    2007-12-01

    U-series dating of constructional deep sea corals is a powerful tool to reconstruct the evolution of carbonate mound sediments driven by coral growth, sediment trapping and diagenesis. Here we have investigated in great detail the time framework of constructional corals such as L. pertusa and M. oculata on 5 different mounds of the eastern North Atlantic (on Rockall Bank and in Porcupine Seabight) taken at variable depth and location (610 to 880m water depth). Periods favorable for coral growth are the Holocene and prior interglacials such as marine isotope stage 5 and 7, while glacial coral growth seems inhibited or extremely reduced. Coral development is almost continuous throughout the Holocene since mound re-colonization about 10,500 years ago. Mound accumulation rates vary between 20 and 220 cm/kyr determined from the coral age - depth relationship in each core. Those changes are most likely driven by changes between horizontal and vertical mound accumulation, food supply and ocean circulation. In addition, coral dating allowed to identify an important erosional event recorded in core MD01-2455G from Rockall Bank. Here a 1m thick sediment layer containing ancient corals likely from the start of Holocene re-colonization was displaced (collapsed) from further upslope on top of younger corals of ~2500 to 3000 years age. Prior to the initiation of coral growth diagenesis occurred frequently resulting in (1) the construction of so called carbonate hardgrounds and/or (2) the dissolution of the pre-Holocene coral framework. Solely, the deepest selected core in Porcupine Seabight (MD01-2463G at 880m depth) reveals coral re-colonization on an undisturbed ancient reef structure that dates back to 250,000 years. Diagenesis of earlier coral reef generations leading to coral dissolution leads to a loss of magnetic susceptibility and open system behavior of the coral skeletons with respect to U-series dating. While the processes causing such diagenetic layers are barely

  20. CORAL REEF BIOLOGICAL CRITERIA: USING THE CLEAN ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coral reefs are declining at unprecedented rates worldwide due to multiple interactive stressors including climate change and land-based sources of pollution. The Clean Water Act (CWA) can be a powerful legal instrument for protecting water resources, including the biological inhabitants of coral reefs. The objective of the CWA is to restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of water resources. Coral reef protection and restoration under the Clean Water Act begins with water quality standards - provisions of state or Federal law that consist of a designated use(s) for the waters of the United States and water quality criteria sufficient to protect the uses. Aquatic life use is the designated use that is measured by biological criteria (biocriteria). Biocriteria are expectations set by a jurisdiction for the quality and quantity of living aquatic resources in a defined waterbody. Biocriteria are an important addition to existing management tools for coral reef ecosystems. The Technical Support Document “Coral Reef Biological Criteria: Using the Clean Water Act to Protect a National Treasure” will provide a framework to aid States and Territories in their development, adoption, and implementation of coral reef biocriteria in their respective water quality standards. The Technical Support Document “Coral Reef Biological Criteria: Using the Clean Water Act to Protect a National Treasure” will provide a framework for coral re

  1. EPA Field Manual for Coral Reef Assessments

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Water Quality Research Program (WQRP) supports development of coral reef biological criteria. Research is focused on developing methods and tools to support implementation of legally defensible biological standards for maintaining biological integrity, which is protected by ...

  2. EPA Field Manual for Coral Reef Assessments

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Water Quality Research Program (WQRP) supports development of coral reef biological criteria. Research is focused on developing methods and tools to support implementation of legally defensible biological standards for maintaining biological integrity, which is protected by ...

  3. Cold-water coral banks and submarine landslides: a review

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Mol, Ben; Huvenne, Veerle; Canals, Miquel

    2009-06-01

    This paper aims to review the relation between cold-water coral bank development and submarine landslides. Both are common features on continental margins, but so far it has not been reviewed which effect—if at all—they may have upon each other. Indirect and direct relations between coral banks and landslides are evaluated here, based on four case studies: the Magellan Mound Province in the Porcupine Seabight, where fossil coral banks appear partly on top of a buried slide deposit; the Sula Ridge Reef Complex and the Storegga landslide both off mid-Norway; and the Mauritania coral bank province, associated with the Mauritanian Slide Complex. For each of these locations, positive and negative relationships between both features are discussed, based on available datasets. Locally submarine landslides might directly favour coral bank development by creating substratum where corals can settle on, enhancing turbulence due to abrupt seabed morphological variations and, in some cases, causing fluid seepage. In turn, some of these processes may contribute to increased food availability and lower sedimentation rates. Landslides can also affect coral bank development by direct erosion of the coral banks, and by the instantaneous increase of turbidity, which may smother the corals. On the other hand, coral banks might have a stabilising function and delay or stop the headwall retrogradation of submarine landslides. Although local relationships can be deduced from these case studies, no general and direct relationship exists between submarine landslides and cold-water coral banks.

  4. Bacterial acquisition in juveniles of several broadcast spawning coral species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Koty H Sharp

    Full Text Available Coral animals harbor diverse microorganisms in their tissues, including archaea, bacteria, viruses, and zooxanthellae. The extent to which coral-bacterial associations are specific and the mechanisms for their maintenance across generations in the environment are unknown. The high diversity of bacteria in adult coral colonies has made it challenging to identify species-specific patterns. Localization of bacteria in gametes and larvae of corals presents an opportunity for determining when bacterial-coral associations are initiated and whether they are dynamic throughout early development. This study focuses on the early onset of bacterial associations in the mass spawning corals Montastraea annularis, M. franksi, M. faveolata, Acropora palmata, A. cervicornis, Diploria strigosa, and A. humilis. The presence of bacteria and timing of bacterial colonization was evaluated in gametes, swimming planulae, and newly settled polyps by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH using general eubacterial probes and laser-scanning confocal microscopy. The coral species investigated in this study do not appear to transmit bacteria via their gametes, and bacteria are not detectable in or on the corals until after settlement and metamorphosis. This study suggests that mass-spawning corals do not acquire, or are not colonized by, detectable numbers of bacteria until after larval settlement and development of the juvenile polyp. This timing lays the groundwork for developing and testing new hypotheses regarding general regulatory mechanisms that control bacterial colonization and infection of corals, and how interactions among bacteria and juvenile polyps influence the structure of bacterial assemblages in corals.

  5. Bacterial acquisition in juveniles of several broadcast spawning coral species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharp, Koty H; Ritchie, Kim B; Schupp, Peter J; Ritson-Williams, Raphael; Paul, Valerie J

    2010-05-28

    Coral animals harbor diverse microorganisms in their tissues, including archaea, bacteria, viruses, and zooxanthellae. The extent to which coral-bacterial associations are specific and the mechanisms for their maintenance across generations in the environment are unknown. The high diversity of bacteria in adult coral colonies has made it challenging to identify species-specific patterns. Localization of bacteria in gametes and larvae of corals presents an opportunity for determining when bacterial-coral associations are initiated and whether they are dynamic throughout early development. This study focuses on the early onset of bacterial associations in the mass spawning corals Montastraea annularis, M. franksi, M. faveolata, Acropora palmata, A. cervicornis, Diploria strigosa, and A. humilis. The presence of bacteria and timing of bacterial colonization was evaluated in gametes, swimming planulae, and newly settled polyps by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) using general eubacterial probes and laser-scanning confocal microscopy. The coral species investigated in this study do not appear to transmit bacteria via their gametes, and bacteria are not detectable in or on the corals until after settlement and metamorphosis. This study suggests that mass-spawning corals do not acquire, or are not colonized by, detectable numbers of bacteria until after larval settlement and development of the juvenile polyp. This timing lays the groundwork for developing and testing new hypotheses regarding general regulatory mechanisms that control bacterial colonization and infection of corals, and how interactions among bacteria and juvenile polyps influence the structure of bacterial assemblages in corals.

  6. Coral reefs - Specialized ecosystems

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Wafar, M.V.M.

    This paper discusses briefly some aspects that characterize and differentiate coral reef ecosystems from other tropical marine ecosystems. A brief account on the resources that are extractable from coral reefs, their susceptibility to natural...

  7. Development of a calibration for the B isotope paleo-pH proxy in the deep sea coral Desmophyllum dianthus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anagnostou, E.; Huang, K.; You, C.; Sherrell, R. M.

    2011-12-01

    The boron isotope ratio (δ11B) of foraminifera and coral carbonate has been proposed to record seawater pH. Here we test this pH proxy in the deep sea coral Desmophyllum dianthus (D. dianthus ). This coral species is cosmopolitan in geographic distribution and tolerates a wide temperature and depth range. Previous studies have shown that fossil D. dianthus skeletons can be dated precisely with U/Th measurements. Additionally, skeletal mass is sufficient for multiple elemental, isotopic, and radiocarbon measurements per sample making it a powerful candidate for paleoceanographic reconstructions. Ten modern corals from a depth range of 274-1470m in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Southern Oceans were analyzed using the sublimation method and multi-collector ICP-MS (Neptune), and the measured δ11B was regressed against ambient pH taken from hydrographic data sets (range pH 7.6 to 8.1). Replicate skeletal subsamples from a single coral agree within 0.35% (2SD). The array of δ11B values for these corals plots above the seawater borate δ11B vs. pH curve (Klochko et al., 2006) by an apparently constant value of 11.7 ± 1.2%, well above the range of values seen in foraminifera and surface corals. This offset is attributed to either partial incorporation of boric acid from seawater or, more likely, to physiological manipulation of the calcifying fluid to pH 8.7-9.0. The uncertainty in calculation of seawater pH from δ11B, dominated by the uncertainty in the offset value, currently limits the precision of absolute pH reconstructions to ±0.09pH units. However, the empirical calibration could be used to examine relative pH changes, thereby overcoming contributions to the uncertainty in the offset that result from the calculation of the empirical fractionation factor α and from sampling bias and variable vital effects among individuals, reducing the reconstruction error envelope. This study provides the first evidence that δ11B in D. dianthus has the potential to record

  8. Key functional role of the optical properties of coral skeletons in coral ecology and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enríquez, Susana; Méndez, Eugenio R; Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove; Iglesias-Prieto, Roberto

    2017-04-26

    Multiple scattering of light on coral skeleton enhances light absorption efficiency of coral symbionts and plays a key role in the regulation of their internal diffuse light field. To understand the dependence of this enhancement on skeleton meso- and macrostructure, we analysed the scattering abilities of naked coral skeletons for 74 Indo-Pacific species. Sensitive morphotypes to thermal and light stress, flat-extraplanate and branching corals, showed the most efficient structures, while massive-robust species were less efficient. The lowest light-enhancing scattering abilities were found for the most primitive colonial growth form: phaceloid. Accordingly, the development of highly efficient light-collecting structures versus the selection of less efficient but more robust holobionts to cope with light stress may constitute a trade-off in the evolution of modern symbiotic scleractinian corals, characterizing two successful adaptive solutions. The coincidence of the most important structural modifications with epitheca decline supports the importance of the enhancement of light transmission across coral skeleton in modern scleractinian diversification, and the central role of these symbioses in the design and optimization of coral skeleton. Furthermore, the same ability that lies at the heart of the success of symbiotic corals as coral-reef-builders can also explain the 'Achilles's heel' of these symbioses in a warming ocean. © 2017 The Author(s).

  9. Recent developments in biomarkers in Parkinson disease

    OpenAIRE

    Schapira, Anthony H.V.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose of review Parkinson disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer disease, and current demographic trends indicate a life-time risk approaching 4% and predict a doubling of prevalence by 2030. Strategies are being developed to apply recent advances in our understanding of the cause of Parkinson disease to the development of biomarkers that will enable the identification of at-risk individuals, enable early diagnosis and reflect the progression of disease....

  10. 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...

  11. Impact of anthropogenic disturbances on the diversity of shallow stony corals in the Veracruz Reef System National Park Impacto de perturbaciones antrópicas sobre la diversidad de corales pétreos superficiales en el Parque Nacional Sistema Arrecifal veracruzano

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carla V. Gutiérrez-Ruiz

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Anthropogenic disturbances may affect the development and maintenance of coral reefs by promoting diseases and other syndromes. In turn, this may cause local decreases in coral species diversity. In this study, we compared the prevalence of syndromes (including diseases and non-disease syndromes and the diversity of stony coral species between reefs located close (Sacrificios reef and far away (Santiaguillo reef of the port of Veracruz, Mexico. The prevalence of syndromes was higher at Sacrificios than at Santiaguillo, and it also increased with the abundance of coral colonies at the former reef. On the other hand, coral diversity was lower at Sacrificios than at Santiaguillo, suggesting that anthropogenic disturbances, besides promoting diseases and other syndromes, also lead to local decreases in species diversity.Las perturbaciones antropogénicas pueden afectar el desarrollo y mantenimiento de los arrecifes de coral mediante la promoción de las enfermedades y otros síndromes. A su vez, esto puede producir un descenso en la diversidad local de especies. En este estudio, se comparó la prevalencia de síndromes (tanto aquellos causados por enfermedades, como por otros factores y la diversidad de especies de corales pétreos entre arrecifes ubicados cerca (Sacrificios y lejos (Santiaguillo del puerto de Veracruz, México. La prevalencia de síndromes fue mayor en Sacrificios que en Santiaguillo, y también se incrementó con la abundancia de colonias de coral en Sacrificios. Por otra parte, la diversidad de corales fue menor en Sacrificios que en Santiaguillo, sugiriendo que las perturbaciones antropogénicas, además de promover las enfermedades y otros síndromes, también disminuyen localmente la diversidad de especies.

  12. Chronic Disease and Childhood Development: Kidney Disease and Transplantation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Susan D.; Simmons, Roberta G.

    As part of a larger study of transplantation and chronic disease and the family, 124 children (10-18 years old) who were chronically ill with kidney disease (n=72) or were a year or more post-transplant (n=52) were included in a study focusing on the effects of chronic kidney disease and transplantation on children's psychosocial development. Ss…

  13. Phage therapy treatment of the coral pathogen Vibrio coralliilyticus

    OpenAIRE

    Cohen, Yossi; F Joseph Pollock; Rosenberg, Eugene; Bourne, David G.

    2012-01-01

    Vibrio coralliilyticus is an important coral pathogen demonstrated to cause disease outbreaks worldwide. This study investigated the feasibility of applying bacteriophage therapy to treat the coral pathogen V. coralliilyticus. A specific bacteriophage for V. coralliilyticus strain P1 (LMG23696), referred to here as bacteriophage YC, was isolated from the seawater above corals at Nelly Bay, Magnetic Island, central Great Barrier Reef (GBR), the same location where the bacterium was first isola...

  14. Drug Development Against Viral Diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    1988-02-01

    examination revealed that infected mice in our LCMV model died from a severe, multisystemic disease, with necrotizing inflammation of lymphoid tissues, parotid ...had marked depletion of lymphocytes, with necrosis of most remaining lymphocytes, with early lymphoid regeneration in some foci. Parotid salivary...were suffering from severe, multisystemic disease, with necrotizing inflammation of lymphoid tissues, parotid salivary glands, pancreas, splenic red

  15. Bacteria associated with the bleached and cave coral Oculina patagonica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koren, Omry; Rosenberg, Eugene

    2008-04-01

    The relative abundance of bacteria in the mucus and tissues of Oculina patagonica taken from bleached and cave (azooxanthellae) corals was determined by analyses of the 16S rRNA genes from cloned libraries of extracted DNA and from isolated colonies. The results were compared to previously published data on healthy O. patagonica. The bacterial community of bleached, cave, and healthy corals were completely different from each other. A tight cluster (>99.5% identity) of bacteria, showing 100% identity to Acinetobacter species, dominated bleached corals, comprising 25% of the 316 clones sequenced. The dominant bacterial cluster found in cave corals, representing 29% of the 97 clones sequenced, showed 98% identity to an uncultured bacterium from the Great Barrier Reef. Vibrio splendidus was the most dominant species in healthy O. patagonica. The culturable bacteria represented 0.1-1.0% of the total bacteria (SYBR Gold staining) of the corals. The most abundant culturable bacteria in bleached, cave, and healthy corals were clusters that most closely matched Microbulbifer sp., an alpha-proteobacterium previously isolated from healthy corals and an alpha-protobacterium (AB026194), respectively. Three generalizations emerge from this study on O. patagonica: (1) More bacteria are associated with coral tissue than mucus; (2) tissue and mucus populations are different; (3) bacterial populations associated with corals change dramatically when corals lack their symbiotic zooxanthellae, either as a result of the bleaching disease or when growing in the absence of light.

  16. Development of polymorphic microsatellite loci for conservation genetic studies of the coral reef fish Centropyge bicolor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrera, M; Saenz-Agudelo, P; Nanninga, G B; Berumen, M L

    2015-09-01

    A total of 23 novel polymorphic microsatellite marker loci were developed for the angelfish Centropyge bicolor through 454 sequencing, and further tested on two spatially separated populations (90 individuals each) from Kimbe Bay in Papua New Guinea. The mean ± s.e. number of alleles per locus was 14·65 ± 1·05, and mean ± s.e. observed (HO ) and expected (HE ) heterozygosity frequencies were 0·676 ± 0·021 and 0·749 ± 0·018, respectively. The markers reported here constitute the first specific set for this genus and will be useful for future conservation genetic studies in the Indo-Pacific region.

  17. Doom and boom on a resilient reef: climate change, algal overgrowth and coral recovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

    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. 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. 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.

  18. Calcification by juvenile corals under heterotrophy and elevated CO2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drenkard, E. J.; Cohen, A. L.; McCorkle, D. C.; de Putron, S. J.; Starczak, V. R.; Zicht, A. E.

    2013-09-01

    Ocean acidification (OA) threatens the existence of coral reefs by slowing the rate of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) production of framework-building corals thus reducing the amount of CaCO3 the reef can produce to counteract natural dissolution. Some evidence exists to suggest that elevated levels of dissolved inorganic nutrients can reduce the impact of OA on coral calcification. Here, we investigated the potential for enhanced energetic status of juvenile corals, achieved via heterotrophic feeding, to modulate the negative impact of OA on calcification. Larvae of the common Atlantic golf ball coral, Favia fragum, were collected and reared for 3 weeks under ambient (421 μatm) or significantly elevated (1,311 μatm) CO2 conditions. The metamorphosed, zooxanthellate spat were either fed brine shrimp (i.e., received nutrition from photosynthesis plus heterotrophy) or not fed (i.e., primarily autotrophic). Regardless of CO2 condition, the skeletons of fed corals exhibited accelerated development of septal cycles and were larger than those of unfed corals. At each CO2 level, fed corals accreted more CaCO3 than unfed corals, and fed corals reared under 1,311 μatm CO2 accreted as much CaCO3 as unfed corals reared under ambient CO2. However, feeding did not alter the sensitivity of calcification to increased CO2; ∆ calcification/∆Ω was comparable for fed and unfed corals. Our results suggest that calcification rates of nutritionally replete juvenile corals will decline as OA intensifies over the course of this century. Critically, however, such corals could maintain higher rates of skeletal growth and CaCO3 production under OA than those in nutritionally limited environments.

  19. Development of polymorphic microsatellite loci for conservation genetic studies of the coral reef fish Centropyge bicolor

    KAUST Repository

    Herrera, M.

    2015-08-14

    A total of 23 novel polymorphic microsatellite marker loci were developed for the angelfish Centropyge bicolor through 454 sequencing, and further tested on two spatially separated populations (90 individuals each) from Kimbe Bay in Papua New Guinea. The mean ± s.e. number of alleles per locus was 14·65 ± 1·05, and mean ± s.e. observed (HO) and expected (HE) heterozygosity frequencies were 0·676 ± 0·021 and 0·749 ± 0·018, respectively. The markers reported here constitute the first specific set for this genus and will be useful for future conservation genetic studies in the Indo-Pacific region. © 2015 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  20. Coral Reef Remote Sensing: Helping Managers Protect Reefs in a Changing Climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eakin, C.; Liu, G.; Li, J.; Muller-Karger, F. E.; Heron, S. F.; Gledhill, D. K.; Christensen, T.; Rauenzahn, J.; Morgan, J.; Parker, B. A.; Skirving, W. J.; Nim, C.; Burgess, T.; Strong, A. E.

    2010-12-01

    Climate change and ocean acidification are already having severe impacts on coral reef ecosystems. Warming oceans have caused corals to bleach, or expel their symbiotic algae (zooxanthellae) with alarming frequency and severity and have contributed to a rise in coral infectious diseases. Ocean acidification is reducing the availability of carbonate ions needed by corals and many other marine organisms to build structural components like skeletons and shells and may already be slowing the coral growth. These two impacts are already killing corals and slowing reef growth, reducing biodiversity and the structure needed to provide crucial ecosystem services. NOAA’s Coral Reef Watch (CRW) uses a combination of satellite data, in situ observations, and models to provide coral reef managers, scientists, and others with information needed to monitor threats to coral reefs. The advance notice provided by remote sensing and models allows resource managers to protect corals, coral reefs, and the services they provide, although managers often encounter barriers to implementation of adaptation strategies. This talk will focus on application of NOAA’s satellite and model-based tools that monitor the risk of mass coral bleaching on a global scale, ocean acidification in the Caribbean, and coral disease outbreaks in selected regions, as well as CRW work to train managers in their use, and barriers to taking action to adapt to climate change. As both anthropogenic CO2 and temperatures will continue to rise, local actions to protect reefs are becoming even more important.

  1. Caribbean corals house shared and host-specific microbial symbionts over time and space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chu, Nathaniel D; Vollmer, Steven V

    2016-08-01

    The rise of coral diseases has triggered a surge of interest in coral microbial communities. But to fully understand how the coral microbiome may cause or respond to disease, we must first understand structure and variation in the healthy coral microbiome. We used 16S rRNA sequencing to characterize the microbiomes of 100 healthy coral colonies from six Caribbean coral species (Acropora cervicornis, A. palmata, Diploria labyrinthiformis, Diploria strigosa, Porites astreoides and P. furcata) across four reefs and three time points over 1 year. We found host species to be the strongest driver of coral microbiome structure across site and time. Analysis of the core microbiome revealed remarkable similarity in the bacterial taxa represented across coral hosts and many bacterial phylotypes shared across all corals sampled. Some of these widespread bacterial taxa have been identified in Pacific corals, indicating that a core coral microbiome may extend across oceans. Core bacterial phylotypes that were unique to each coral were taxonomically diverse, suggesting that different coral hosts provide persistent, divergent niches for bacteria.

  2. Development of Sr/Ca-d18O Temperature Calibrations of a Siderastrea siderea Coral from the Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, A. J.; DeLong, K. L.; Kilbourne, H.; Slowey, N. C.

    2016-12-01

    The Gulf of Mexico (GOM) is sensitive to oceanic and atmospheric variability in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans (i.e., Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), Pacific North American pattern (PNA), and Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO)). The major GOM current, the Loop Current, feeds the Gulf Stream as it transports oceanic heat to the northern Atlantic Ocean. The northern GOM is the northernmost summer extent of the western hemisphere warm pool (WHWP) that drives oceanic moisture flux and precipitation into the Americas. Decadally-resolved foraminifera reconstructions from the northern GOM indicates SST was 2 to 4ºC colder on average than today during the Little Ice Age (LIA, 1850), whereas a subannually-resolved coral reconstruction from the southeastern GOM find 1.5 to 2ºC colder intervals and reduced areal extent of the WHWP on interannual time scales during some intervals of the LIA. However, records capable of resolving annual and subannual SST variability from the northern GOM, necessary for investigating WHWP northern extent, are still lacking. Here we present a new temperature reconstruction for the northern GOM derived from strontium-to-calcium (Sr/Ca) ratios of approximately monthly samples milled from a Siderastrea siderea coral core collected from the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (FGBNMS; 27° 52.5'N, 93° 49'W) growing at a water depth of 20 m. Coral Sr/Ca and δ18O is calibrated to reef temperature data from FGBNMS Hobotemp data loggers near the reef cap in 22 m water depth (1986-2004) and to NOAA OISST (1981-2004). Coral Sr/Ca co-varies with the reef temperature (r=0.95, p<0.05, n=146) and consistently captures winter values in reef temperature with slightly warmer summers (0.9ºC on average). Pseudocoral analysis is used to assess the relationships between SST and SSS in coral δ18O.

  3. Mine waste disposal leads to lower coral cover, reduced species richness and a predominance of simple coral growth forms on a fringing coral reef in Papua New Guinea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haywood, M D E; Dennis, D; Thomson, D P; Pillans, R D

    2016-04-01

    A large gold mine has been operating at the Lihir Island Group, Papua New Guinea since 1997. The mine disposes of waste rock in nearshore waters, impacting nearby coral communities. During 2010, 2012 we conducted photographic surveys at 73 sites within 40 km of the mine to document impacts of mining operations on the hard coral communities. Coral communities close to the mine (∼2 km to the north and south of the mine) were depaurperate, but surprisingly, coral cover and community composition beyond this range appeared to be relatively similar, suggesting that the mine impacts were limited spatially. In particular, we found mining operations have resulted in a significant decrease in coral cover (4.4% 1.48 km from the disposal site c.f. 66.9% 10.36 km from the disposal site), decreased species richness and a predominance of less complex growth forms within ∼2 km to the north and south of the mine waste disposal site. In contrast to the two 'snapshot' surveys of corals performed in 2010 and 2012, long term data (1999-2012) based on visual estimates of coral cover suggested that impacts on coral communities may have been more extensive than this. With global pressures on the world's coral reefs increasing, it is vital that local, direct anthropogenic pressures are reduced, in order to help offset the impacts of climate change, disease and predation.

  4. Application of Landscape Mosaic Technology to Complement Coral Reef Resource Mapping and Monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    events on coral communities. In 2005, Caribbean reefs experienced a major bleaching event that resulted in significant coral mortality throughout the...region. The magnitude of the 2005 bleaching event has prompted a federal response by the US Coral Reef Task Force to initiate large scale...In the images above all coral colonies within a 10x10m permanent reef plot were surveyed and monitored during the 2009 bleaching and disease event

  5. Coral Transplantation and Restocking to Accelerate the Recovery of Coral Reef Habitats and Fisheries Resources Within No-Take Marine Protected Areas: Hands-On Approaches to Support Community-Based Coral Reef Management

    OpenAIRE

    Bowden-Kerby, A.

    2003-01-01

    Of the planet’s 600,000 km2 of coral reefs (Jameson et al., 1995), roughly 70-80% are located in developing countries. Many of these reefs are owned or controlled by indigenous fishing communities rather than national or state governments. These rural fishing communities are a primary force of destruction to coral reefs on a global scale (Wilkinson, 1998), therefore their involvement in the management and conservation of coral reefs will be an essential part of reversing coral ...

  6. Climate change, global warming and coral reefs: modelling the effects of temperature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crabbe, M James C

    2008-10-01

    Climate change and global warming have severe consequences for the survival of scleractinian (reef-building) corals and their associated ecosystems. This review summarizes recent literature on the influence of temperature on coral growth, coral bleaching, and modelling the effects of high temperature on corals. Satellite-based sea surface temperature (SST) and coral bleaching information available on the internet is an important tool in monitoring and modelling coral responses to temperature. Within the narrow temperature range for coral growth, corals can respond to rate of temperature change as well as to temperature per se. We need to continue to develop models of how non-steady-state processes such as global warming and climate change will affect coral reefs.

  7. Development of biomarkers for Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weir, David W; Sturrock, Aaron; Leavitt, Blair R

    2011-06-01

    Huntington's disease is an autosomal dominant, progressive neurodegenerative disorder, for which there is no disease-modifying treatment. By use of predictive genetic testing, it is possible to identify individuals who carry the gene defect before the onset of symptoms, providing a window of opportunity for intervention aimed at preventing or delaying disease onset. However, without robust and practical measures of disease progression (ie, biomarkers), the efficacy of therapeutic interventions in this premanifest Huntington's disease population cannot be readily assessed. Current progress in the development of biomarkers might enable evaluation of disease progression in individuals at the premanifest stage of the disease; these biomarkers could be useful in defining endpoints in clinical trials in this population. Clinical, cognitive, neuroimaging, and biochemical biomarkers are being investigated for their potential in clinical use and their value in the development of future treatments for patients with Huntington's disease.

  8. Coral diversity and the severity of disease outbreaks: a cross-regional comparison of Acropora white syndrome in a species-rich region (American Samoa) with a species-poor region (Northwestern Hawaiian Islands).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aeby, G.S.; Bourne, D.G.; Wilson, B.; Work, Thierry M.

    2011-01-01

    The dynamics of the coral disease, Acropora white syndrome (AWS), was directly compared on reefs in the species-poor region of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) and the species-rich region of American Samoa (AS) with results suggesting that biodiversity, which can affect the abundance of susceptible hosts, is important in influencing the impacts of coral disease outbreaks. The diversity-disease hypothesis predicts that decreased host species diversity should result in increased disease severity of specialist pathogens. We found that AWS was more prevalent and had a higher incidence within the NWHI as compared to AS. Individual Acropora colonies affected by AWS showed high mortality in both regions, but case fatality rate and disease severity was higher in the NWHI. The site within the NWHI had a monospecific stand of A. cytherea; a species that is highly susceptible to AWS. Once AWS entered the site, it spread easily amongst the abundant susceptible hosts. The site within AS contained numerous Acropora species, which differed in their apparent susceptibility to infection and disease severity, which in turn reduced disease spread. Manipulative studies showed AWS was transmissible through direct contact in three Acropora species. These results will help managers predict and respond to disease outbreaks.

  9. Persistence and change in community composition of reef corals through present, past, and future climates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edmunds, Peter J; Adjeroud, Mehdi; Baskett, Marissa L; Baums, Iliana B; Budd, Ann F; Carpenter, Robert C; Fabina, Nicholas S; Fan, Tung-Yung; Franklin, Erik C; Gross, Kevin; Han, Xueying; Jacobson, Lianne; Klaus, James S; McClanahan, Tim R; O'Leary, Jennifer K; van Oppen, Madeleine J H; Pochon, Xavier; Putnam, Hollie M; Smith, Tyler B; Stat, Michael; Sweatman, Hugh; van Woesik, Robert; Gates, Ruth D

    2014-01-01

    The reduction in coral cover on many contemporary tropical reefs suggests a different set of coral community assemblages will dominate future reefs. To evaluate the capacity of reef corals to persist over various time scales, we examined coral community dynamics in contemporary, fossil, and simulated future coral reef ecosystems. Based on studies between 1987 and 2012 at two locations in the Caribbean, and between 1981 and 2013 at five locations in the Indo-Pacific, we show that many coral genera declined in abundance, some showed no change in abundance, and a few coral genera increased in abundance. Whether the abundance of a genus declined, increased, or was conserved, was independent of coral family. An analysis of fossil-reef communities in the Caribbean revealed changes in numerical dominance and relative abundances of coral genera, and demonstrated that neither dominance nor taxon was associated with persistence. As coral family was a poor predictor of performance on contemporary reefs, a trait-based, dynamic, multi-patch model was developed to explore the phenotypic basis of ecological performance in a warmer future. Sensitivity analyses revealed that upon exposure to thermal stress, thermal tolerance, growth rate, and longevity were the most important predictors of coral persistence. Together, our results underscore the high variation in the rates and direction of change in coral abundances on contemporary and fossil reefs. Given this variation, it remains possible that coral reefs will be populated by a subset of the present coral fauna in a future that is warmer than the recent past.

  10. Modern temperate coral growth analysis in North-west Pacific

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sowa, K.; Watanabe, T.; Sakamoto, T.

    2011-12-01

    Massive coral skeletal growth parameters (skeletal density, extension and calcification rate) are one of the indexes of coral health and ecological response to the ambient environmental changes such as ocean acidification (OA) and global warming. To predict and evaluate the influence of the environment changes to the coral skeletal growth, the coral skeletal growth model (CGM) is one of the useful tools. The CGM is one of the equations consisted of the coral skeletal parameters as response variables and physical or chemical environmental factor such as sea surface temperature (SST), pH, insolation and so on as explanatory variables. The constructing of CGM is equal to the forming the equation and deciding its coefficients. However, there are no universal coral growth models. The aim of our study is to construct the GCM. It is important to analyze coral growth parameters in the past natural condition by using core of massive coral skeleton for our study. In the natural condition, high-latitude area is the best place to evaluate the influence of OA to coral skeletal growth because OA influence ocean organisms from high-latitude area where predicted to affected due to low SST and low carbonate saturation levels induced by dissolved atmospheric CO2 to the sea compared to tropical-subtropical area.This study shows recent temperate coral growth parameters collected from Kagoshima (c.a. 60years), Kochi (c.a. 25 years) and Wakayama (c.a. 30 years) in North-west Pacific, Japan and discusses the universal coral growth model. We quantified the coral growth parameters with uncertainty for the first time. The chronology was developed by δ 18O variant of coral skeletons making sure the forming time of high-low skeletal density area. To evaluate influence of annual SST, precipitation and insolation to coral calcification rate in the natural condition, we performed the regression tree and multiple regression models analysis. As the results, there were non-significances between

  11. Distinct Bacterial Communities Associated with Massive and Branching Scleractinian Corals and Potential Linkages to Coral Susceptibility to Thermal or Cold Stress

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiayuan Liang

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available It is well known that different coral species have different tolerances to thermal or cold stress, which is presumed to be related to the density of Symbiodinium. However, the intrinsic factors between stress-tolerant characteristics and coral-associated bacteria are rarely studied. In this study, 16 massive coral and 9 branching coral colonies from 6 families, 10 genera, and 18 species were collected at the same time and location (Xinyi Reef in the South China Sea to investigate the bacterial communities. The results of an alpha diversity analysis showed that bacterial diversities associated with massive corals were generally higher than those with branching corals at different taxonomic levels (phylum, class, order, and so on. In addition, hierarchical clustering tree and PCoA analyses showed that coral species were clustered into two large groups according to the similarity of bacterial communities. Group I consisted of massive Goniastrea, Plesiastrea, Leptastrea, Platygyra, Echinopora, Porites, and Leptoria, and group II consisted of branching Acropora and Pocillopora. These findings suggested that both massive corals and branching corals have their own preference for the choice of associated bacteria, which may be involved in observed differences in thermal/cold tolerances. Further analysis found that 55 bacterial phyla, including 43 formally described phyla and 12 candidate phyla, were detected in these coral species. Among them, 52 phyla were recovered from the massive coral group, and 46 phyla were recovered from the branching coral group. Formally described coral pathogens have not been detected in these coral species, suggesting that they are less likely to be threatened by disease in this geographic area. This study highlights a clear relationship between the high complexity of bacterial community associated with coral, skeletal morphology of coral and potentially tolerances to thermal or cold stress.

  12. In situ oxygen dynamics in coral-algal interactions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Wangpraseurt

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Coral reefs degrade globally at an alarming rate, with benthic algae often replacing corals. However, the extent to which benthic algae contribute to coral mortality, and the potential mechanisms involved, remain disputed. Recent laboratory studies suggested that algae kill corals by inducing hypoxia on the coral surface, through stimulated microbial respiration. METHODS/FINDINGS: We examined the main premise of this hypothesis by measuring in situ oxygen microenvironments at the contact interface between the massive coral Porites spp. and turf algae, and between Porites spp. and crustose coralline algae (CCA. Oxygen levels at the interface were similar to healthy coral tissue and ranged between 300-400 µM during the day. At night, the interface was hypoxic (~70 µM in coral-turf interactions and close to anoxic (~2 µM in coral-CCA interactions, but these values were not significantly different from healthy tissue. The diffusive boundary layer (DBL was about three times thicker at the interface than above healthy tissue, due to a depression in the local topography. A numerical model, developed to analyze the oxygen profiles above the irregular interface, revealed strongly reduced net photosynthesis and dark respiration rates at the coral-algal interface compared to unaffected tissue during the day and at night, respectively. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results showed that hypoxia was not a consistent feature in the microenvironment of the coral-algal interface under in situ conditions. Therefore, hypoxia alone is unlikely to be the cause of coral mortality. Due to the modified topography, the interaction zone is distinguished by a thicker diffusive boundary layer, which limits the local metabolic activity and likely promotes accumulation of potentially harmful metabolic products (e.g., allelochemicals and protons. Our study highlights the importance of mass transfer phenomena and the need for direct in situ measurements of

  13. In situ oxygen dynamics in coral-algal interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wangpraseurt, Daniel; Weber, Miriam; Røy, Hans; Polerecky, Lubos; de Beer, Dirk; Suharsono; Nugues, Maggy M

    2012-01-01

    Coral reefs degrade globally at an alarming rate, with benthic algae often replacing corals. However, the extent to which benthic algae contribute to coral mortality, and the potential mechanisms involved, remain disputed. Recent laboratory studies suggested that algae kill corals by inducing hypoxia on the coral surface, through stimulated microbial respiration. We examined the main premise of this hypothesis by measuring in situ oxygen microenvironments at the contact interface between the massive coral Porites spp. and turf algae, and between Porites spp. and crustose coralline algae (CCA). Oxygen levels at the interface were similar to healthy coral tissue and ranged between 300-400 µM during the day. At night, the interface was hypoxic (~70 µM) in coral-turf interactions and close to anoxic (~2 µM) in coral-CCA interactions, but these values were not significantly different from healthy tissue. The diffusive boundary layer (DBL) was about three times thicker at the interface than above healthy tissue, due to a depression in the local topography. A numerical model, developed to analyze the oxygen profiles above the irregular interface, revealed strongly reduced net photosynthesis and dark respiration rates at the coral-algal interface compared to unaffected tissue during the day and at night, respectively. Our results showed that hypoxia was not a consistent feature in the microenvironment of the coral-algal interface under in situ conditions. Therefore, hypoxia alone is unlikely to be the cause of coral mortality. Due to the modified topography, the interaction zone is distinguished by a thicker diffusive boundary layer, which limits the local metabolic activity and likely promotes accumulation of potentially harmful metabolic products (e.g., allelochemicals and protons). Our study highlights the importance of mass transfer phenomena and the need for direct in situ measurements of microenvironmental conditions in studies on coral stress.

  14. Atlantis Modeled Output Data for the Coral Reef Ecosystems of Guam

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — A proof-of-concept Guam Atlantis Coral Reef Ecosystem Model has been developed and an added coral module to the Atlantis framework has been validated. The model is...

  15. Baseline Assessment of Coral Reefs in Timor-Leste from 2012 to 2014

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the U.S Department of State, and NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program the PIFSC Coral Reef...

  16. Understanding the murky history of the Coral Triangle: Miocene corals and reef habitats in East Kalimantan (Indonesia)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santodomingo, Nadiezhda; Renema, Willem; Johnson, Kenneth G.

    2016-09-01

    Studies on ancient coral communities living in marginal conditions, including low light, high turbidity, extreme temperatures, or high nutrients, are important to understand the current structure of reefs and how they could potentially respond to global changes. The main goal of this study was to document the rich and well-preserved fossil coral fauna preserved in Miocene exposures of the Kutai Basin in East Kalimantan, Indonesia. Our collections include almost forty thousand specimens collected from 47 outcrops. Seventy-nine genera and 234 species have been identified. Three different coral assemblages were found corresponding to small patch reefs that developed under the influence of high siliciclastic inputs from the Mahakam Delta. Coral assemblages vary in richness, structure, and composition. Platy coral assemblages were common until the Serravallian (Middle Miocene), while branching coral assemblages became dominant in the Tortonian (Late Miocene). By the late Tortonian massive coral assemblages dominated, similar to modern-style coral framework. Our results suggest that challenging habitats, such as the Miocene turbid habitats of East Kalimantan, might have played an important role during the early diversification of the Coral Triangle by hosting a pool of resilient species more likely to survive the environmental changes that have affected this region since the Cenozoic. Further research that integrates fossil and recent turbid habitats may provide a glimpse into the dynamics and future of coral reefs as "typical" clear-water reefs continue to decline in most regions.

  17. Coral health on reefs near mining sites in New Caledonia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heintz, T; Haapkylä, J; Gilbert, A

    2015-07-23

    Coral health data are poorly documented in New Caledonia, particularly from reefs chronically subject to anthropogenic and natural runoff. We investigated patterns of coral disease and non-disease conditions on reefs situated downstream of mining sites off the coast of New Caledonia. Surveys were conducted in March 2013 at 2 locations along the west coast and 2 locations along the east coast of the main island. Only 2 coral diseases were detected: growth anomalies and white syndrome. The most prevalent signs of compromised health at each location were sediment damage and algal overgrowth. These results support earlier findings that sedimentation and turbidity are major threats to in-shore reefs in New Caledonia. The Poritidae-dominated west coast locations were more subject to sediment damage, algal overgrowth and growth anomalies compared to the Acroporidae-dominated east coast locations. If growth form and resistance of coral hosts influence these results, differences in environmental conditions including hydro-dynamism between locations may also contribute to these outputs. Our results highlight the importance of combining coral health surveys with measurements of coral cover when assessing the health status of a reef, as reefs with high coral cover may have a high prevalence of corals demonstrating signs of compromised health.

  18. Agents of coral mortality on reef formations of the Colombian Pacific

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raúl Navas-Camacho

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available The National Monitoring System for Coral Reefs of Colombia (SIMAC monitors the impact of some of the most important agents of coral tissue loss (bleaching and/or disease in the Colombian Pacific coral formations since 1998. Physiological bleaching is among the main results of stress in the area. Signs of coral diseases resembling bacterial bleaching such as White Plague and White Band, were observed in Malpelo and Gorgona islands. Damage to the Pacific gorgonian Pacifigorgia spp., similar to those produced by Aspergillosis in Caribbean corals, was detected in Utría Bay. The presence of tumors in colonies of massive corals was also recorded. Even though coral diseases are globally widespread, their occurrence in American Pacific reefs has been poorly documented to date. Rev. Biol. Trop. 58 (Suppl. 1: 133-138. Epub 2010 May 01.

  19. Recent developments in Alzheimer's disease therapeutics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aisen Paul S

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Alzheimer's disease is a devastating neurological disorder that affects more than 37 million people worldwide. The economic burden of Alzheimer's disease is massive; in the United States alone, the estimated direct and indirect annual cost of patient care is at least $100 billion. Current FDA-approved drugs for Alzheimer's disease do not prevent or reverse the disease, and provide only modest symptomatic benefits. Driven by the clear unmet medical need and a growing understanding of the molecular pathophysiology of Alzheimer's disease, the number of agents in development has increased dramatically in recent years. Truly *disease-modifying' therapies that target the underlying mechanisms of Alzheimer's disease have now reached late stages of human clinical trials. Primary targets include beta-amyloid, whose presence and accumulation in the brain is thought to contribute to the development of Alzheimer's disease, and tau protein which, when hyperphosphorylated, results in the self-assembly of tangles of paired helical filaments also believed to be involved in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. In this review, we briefly discuss the current status of Alzheimer's disease therapies under study, as well the scientific context in which they have been developed.

  20. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in developing countries

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Hossein Bahrami

    2005-01-01

    @@ TO THE EDITOR Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is an increasingly known medical entity with high prevalence, about 1 0 to 24 percent in general population and up to 74% in obese population[1]. The prevalence of the disease is expected to increase worldwide, as we are encountering the global obesity epidemic and the trend in developing countries toward the Western lifestyles. However, it looks that there are some differences between the demographic and epidemiologic features of NAFLD in developing and developed countries.

  1. 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.

  2. Whole transcriptome analysis reveals changes in expression of immune-related genes during and after bleaching in a reef-building coral.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinzón, Jorge H; Kamel, Bishoy; Burge, Colleen A; Harvell, C Drew; Medina, Mónica; Weil, Ernesto; Mydlarz, Laura D

    2015-04-01

    Climate change is negatively affecting the stability of natural ecosystems, especially coral reefs. The dissociation of the symbiosis between reef-building corals and their algal symbiont, or coral bleaching, has been linked to increased sea surface temperatures. Coral bleaching has significant impacts on corals, including an increase in disease outbreaks that can permanently change the entire reef ecosystem. Yet, little is known about the impacts of coral bleaching on the coral immune system. In this study, whole transcriptome analysis of the coral holobiont and each of the associate components (i.e. coral host, algal symbiont and other associated microorganisms) was used to determine changes in gene expression in corals affected by a natural bleaching event as well as during the recovery phase. The main findings include evidence that the coral holobiont and the coral host have different responses to bleaching, and the host immune system appears suppressed even a year after a bleaching event. These results support the hypothesis that coral bleaching changes the expression of innate immune genes of corals, and these effects can last even after recovery of symbiont populations. Research on the role of immunity on coral's resistance to stressors can help make informed predictions on the future of corals and coral reefs.

  3. U-series vs 14C ages of deep-sea corals from the southern Labrador Sea: Sporadic development of corals and geochemical processes hampering estimation of ambient water ventilation ages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hillaire-Marcel, Claude; Maccali, Jenny; Ménabréaz, Lucie; Ghaleb, Bassam; Blénet, Aurélien; Edinger, Evan

    2017-04-01

    Deep-sea scleractinian corals were collected with the remotely operated ROPOS vehicle off Newfounland. Fossil specimens of Desmophyllum dianthus were raised from coral graveyards at Orphan Knoll (˜1700m depth) and Flemish cap (˜2200 m depth), while live specimens were collected directly in overlying steep rock slopes. D. dianthus has an aragonitic skeleton and is thus particularly suited for U-Th dating. We obtained > 70 U-series ages along with > 20 14C measurements. Results display a discrete age distribution with two age clusters: a Bølling-Allerød and Holocene cluster with > 20 samples, and a Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 5c cluster with ˜50 samples. Only two samples lay outside these clusters, at ˜ 64 ka and at ˜181 ka. Contrary to the New England seamounts where coral presence seems to have been continue through the last 70 ka, Orphan Knoll and Flemish Cap graveyards are marked by the absence of preserved specimens from MIS 2 to MIS 4 and throughout MIS 6. For filter-feeding deep-sea corals, access to food-rich waters is essential. Hence the Holocene and MIS 5 clusters observed in the Labrador basin might represent intervals linked to high food availability, either through production in the overlying water column, more effectively in relation to particulate and dissolved organic carbon transport via an active Western Boundary Undercurrent. Comparison of 230Th-ages vs 14C-ages in order to document changes in ventilation ages of the ambient water masses is equivocal due to the presence of some diagenetic and/or initial 230Th-excess. In addition, discrete diagenetic U-fluxes can be documented from 234U/238U vs 230Th/238U data. They point to a recent winnowing of sediment overlying the fossil corals that we link to the Holocene intensification of the Western Boundary Undercurrent, which resulted in driving Fe-Mn coatings.

  4. Phage therapy of the white plague-like disease of Favia favus in the Red Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atad, I.; Zvuloni, A.; Loya, Y.; Rosenberg, E.

    2012-09-01

    Coral disease is a major factor in the global decline of coral reefs. At present, there are no known procedures for preventing or treating infectious diseases of corals. Immunization is not possible because corals have a restricted adaptive immune system and antibiotics are neither ecologically safe nor practical in an open system. Thus, we tested phage therapy as an alternative therapeutic method for treating diseased corals. Phage BA3, specific to the coral pathogen Thalassomonas loyana, inhibited the progression of the white plague-like disease and transmission to healthy corals in the Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea. Only one out of 19 (5 %) of the healthy corals became infected when placed near phage-treated diseased corals, whereas 11 out of 18 (61 %) healthy corals were infected in the no-phage control. This is the first successful treatment for a coral disease in the sea. We posit that phage therapy of certain coral diseases is achievable in situ.

  5. Coral Reef Protection Implementation Plan

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-11-02

    ecosystems. These reports Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico , and Pacific Ocean." For the will also serve as an awareness tool for agencies to purposes of this report...alternatives for proposed discharges of - 7 dredged or fill material into U.S or international waters, *o SECTION THi- zEE EXISTING FUNDING SOURCES FOR CORAL...facilities on several thousand acres within the Ko’olaupoko Region on O’ahu. Popu- NORTHERN GULF OF MEXICO lation growth and development throughout

  6. Effects of Hydrogen Peroxide on Coral Photosynthesis and Calcification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higuchi, T.; Fujimura, H.; Arakaki, T.; Oomori, T.

    2007-12-01

    The widely-observed decline of coral reefs is considered to be caused by changes in the environment by natural and anthropogenic activities. As one important factor, the run-off of various matters from human activities to the coastal seawater poses stresses to the corals by degrading the quality of the seawater. In Okinawa, Japan, red- soil running off from the developed land has been a major environmental issue since 1980s. Hydrogen peroxide (HOOH), a strong active oxygen species, is one of the photochemically formed chemicals in the red-soil-polluted seawater. Recent photochemical studies of seawater showed that HOOH photo-formation was faster in the red- soil-polluted seawater than clean seawater. We studied the effects of HOOH on corals by studying the changes in coral carbon metabolisms such as photosynthesis and calcification, which are indicators of the physiological state of a coral colony. The corals were exposed to various concentrations of HOOH (0, 0.3, 3 μM). Two massive coral species of Porites sp. and Goniastrea aspera and one branch coral of Galaxea facicularis were used for the exposure experiments. The control experiments showed that when no HOOH was added, metabolisms of each coral colony were relatively stable. On the other hand, when HOOH was added to the seawater, we observed obvious changes in the coral metabolisms in all the coral species. When 0.3 μM HOOH was added, photosynthesis decreased by 14% and calcification decreased by 17% within 3 days, compared with the control. When 3 μM HOOH was added, photosynthesis decreased by 21% and calcification decreased by 41% within 3 days, compared with the control. Our study showed that higher concentrations of HOOH posed more stress to the coral colonies.

  7. Antibacterial substance from mucus of a scleractinian coral,Symphyllia gigantea

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHEN Guohua; HUANG Liangmin; TAN Yehui; YIN Jianqiang; WANG Hankui; HUANG Hui; ZOU Kun; LI Ruiping

    2007-01-01

    Coral mucus covers the surface of coral and contains antibacterial substances as a first line of defense. Coral mucus not only enables the coral itself to resist disease, but also provides antibacterial agents for people. We collected mucus from a scleractinian coral (Symphyllia gigantea) at Sta. Sanya (China), then extracted the antibacterial substances using 10% glacial acetic acid with the help of antiprotease inhibitors, and tested the antibacterial activity by a terrestrial bacterium (Staphylococcus aurevs) and a marine bacterium (Vibrio anguillarum). The result showed that, there were antibacterial agents in the mucus, and their antibacterial activities were lost by treatment of the sample at 90 °C water for 10 min.

  8. Bacterial communities associated with healthy and Acropora white syndrome-affected corals from American Samoa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Bryan; Aeby, Greta S.; Work, Thierry M.; Bourne, David G.

    2012-01-01

    Acropora white syndrome (AWS) is characterized by rapid tissue loss revealing the white underlying skeleton and affects corals worldwide; however, reports of causal agents are conflicting. Samples were collected from healthy and diseased corals and seawater around American Samoa and bacteria associated with AWS characterized using both culture-dependent and culture-independent methods, from coral mucus and tissue slurries, respectively. Bacterial 16S rRNA gene clone libraries derived from coral tissue were dominated by the Gammaproteobacteria, and Jaccard's distances calculated between the clone libraries showed that those from diseased corals were more similar to each other than to those from healthy corals. 16S rRNA genes from 78 culturable coral mucus isolates also revealed a distinct partitioning of bacterial genera into healthy and diseased corals. Isolates identified as Vibrionaceae were further characterized by multilocus sequence typing, revealing that whilst several Vibrio spp. were found to be associated with AWS lesions, a recently described species, Vibrio owensii, was prevalent amongst cultured Vibrio isolates. Unaffected tissues from corals with AWS had a different microbiota than normal Acropora as found by others. Determining whether a microbial shift occurs prior to disease outbreaks will be a useful avenue of pursuit and could be helpful in detecting prodromal signs of coral disease prior to manifestation of lesions.

  9. Aura-biomes are present in the water layer above coral reef benthic macro-organisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin Walsh

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available As coral reef habitats decline worldwide, some reefs are transitioning from coral- to algal-dominated benthos with the exact cause for this shift remaining elusive. Increases in the abundance of microbes in the water column has been correlated with an increase in coral disease and reduction in coral cover. Here we investigated how multiple reef organisms influence microbial communities in the surrounding water column. Our study consisted of a field assessment of microbial communities above replicate patches dominated by a single macro-organism. Metagenomes were constructed from 20 L of water above distinct macro-organisms, including (1 the coral Mussismilia braziliensis, (2 fleshy macroalgae (Stypopodium, Dictota and Canistrocarpus, (3 turf algae, and (4 the zoanthid Palythoa caribaeorum and were compared to the water microbes collected 3 m above the reef. Microbial genera and functional potential were annotated using MG-RAST and showed that the dominant benthic macro-organisms influence the taxa and functions of microbes in the water column surrounding them, developing a specific “aura-biome”. The coral aura-biome reflected the open water column, and was associated with Synechococcus and functions suggesting oligotrophic growth, while the fleshy macroalgae aura-biome was associated with Ruegeria, Pseudomonas, and microbial functions suggesting low oxygen conditions. The turf algae aura-biome was associated with Vibrio, Flavobacterium, and functions suggesting pathogenic activity, while zoanthids were associated with Alteromonas and functions suggesting a stressful environment. Because each benthic organism has a distinct aura-biome, a change in benthic cover will change the microbial community of the water, which may lead to either the stimulation or suppression of the recruitment of benthic organisms.

  10. Aura-biomes are present in the water layer above coral reef benthic macro-organisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walsh, Kevin; Haggerty, J Matthew; Doane, Michael P; Hansen, John J; Morris, Megan M; Moreira, Ana Paula B; de Oliveira, Louisi; Leomil, Luciana; Garcia, Gizele D; Thompson, Fabiano; Dinsdale, Elizabeth A

    2017-01-01

    As coral reef habitats decline worldwide, some reefs are transitioning from coral- to algal-dominated benthos with the exact cause for this shift remaining elusive. Increases in the abundance of microbes in the water column has been correlated with an increase in coral disease and reduction in coral cover. Here we investigated how multiple reef organisms influence microbial communities in the surrounding water column. Our study consisted of a field assessment of microbial communities above replicate patches dominated by a single macro-organism. Metagenomes were constructed from 20 L of water above distinct macro-organisms, including (1) the coral Mussismilia braziliensis, (2) fleshy macroalgae (Stypopodium, Dictota and Canistrocarpus), (3) turf algae, and (4) the zoanthid Palythoa caribaeorum and were compared to the water microbes collected 3 m above the reef. Microbial genera and functional potential were annotated using MG-RAST and showed that the dominant benthic macro-organisms influence the taxa and functions of microbes in the water column surrounding them, developing a specific "aura-biome". The coral aura-biome reflected the open water column, and was associated with Synechococcus and functions suggesting oligotrophic growth, while the fleshy macroalgae aura-biome was associated with Ruegeria, Pseudomonas, and microbial functions suggesting low oxygen conditions. The turf algae aura-biome was associated with Vibrio, Flavobacterium, and functions suggesting pathogenic activity, while zoanthids were associated with Alteromonas and functions suggesting a stressful environment. Because each benthic organism has a distinct aura-biome, a change in benthic cover will change the microbial community of the water, which may lead to either the stimulation or suppression of the recruitment of benthic organisms.

  11. Temperature and Light Effects on Extracellular Superoxide Production by Algal and Bacterial Symbionts in Corals: Implications for Coral Bleaching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brighi, C.; Diaz, J. M.; Apprill, A.; Hansel, C. M.

    2014-12-01

    Increased surface seawater temperature due to global warming is one of the main causes of coral bleaching, a phenomenon in which corals lose their photosynthetic algae. Light and temperature induced production of superoxide and other reactive oxygen species (ROS) by these symbiotic algae has been implicated in the breakdown of their symbiotic association with the coral host and subsequent coral bleaching. Nevertheless, a direct link between Symbiodinium ROS production and coral bleaching has not been demonstrated. In fact, given the abundance and diversity of microorganisms within the coral holobiont, the concentration and fluxes of ROS within corals may involve several microbial sources and sinks. Here, we explore the role of increased light and temperature on superoxide production by coral-derived cultures of Symbiodinium algae and Oceanospirillales bacteria of the genus Endozoicomonas, which are globally common and abundant associates of corals. Using a high sensitivity chemiluminescent technique, we find that heat stress (exposure to 34°C vs. 23°C for 2hr or 24hr) has no significant effect on extracellular superoxide production by Symbiodinium isolates within clades B and C, regardless of the level of light exposure. Exposure to high light, however, increased superoxide production by these organisms at both 34°C and 23°C. On the other hand, extracellular superoxide production by Endozoicomonas bacteria tested under the same conditions was stimulated by the combined effects of thermal and light stress. The results of this research suggest that the sources and physical triggers for biological superoxide production within corals are more complex than currently assumed. Thus, further investigations into the biological processes controlling ROS dynamics within corals are required to improve our understanding of the mechanisms underpinning coral bleaching and to aid in the development of mitigation strategies.

  12. REGIONAL MONITORING OF CORAL CONDITION IN THE FLORIDA KEYS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tropical reef corals have experienced unprecedented levels of bleaching and disease during the last three decades. Declining health has been attributed to several stressors, including exposures to elevated water temperature, increased solar radiation, and degraded water quality. ...

  13. REGIONAL MONITORING OF CORAL CONDITION IN THE FLORIDA KEYS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tropical reef corals have experienced unprecedented levels of bleaching and disease during the last three decades. Declining health has been attributed to several stressors, including exposures to elevated water temperature, increased solar radiation, and degraded water quality. ...

  14. Nitrogen cycling in corals: the key to understanding holobiont functioning?

    KAUST Repository

    Rädecker, Nils

    2015-04-01

    Corals are animals that form close mutualistic associations with endosymbiotic photosynthetic algae of the genus Symbiodinium. Together they provide the calcium carbonate framework of coral reef ecosystems. The importance of the microbiome (i.e., bacteria, archaea, fungi, and viruses) to holobiont functioning has only recently been recognized. Given that growth and density of Symbiodinium within the coral host is highly dependent on nitrogen availability, nitrogen-cycling microbes may be of fundamental importance to the stability of the coral–algae symbiosis and holobiont functioning, in particular under nutrient-enriched and -depleted scenarios. We summarize what is known about nitrogen cycling in corals and conclude that disturbance of microbial nitrogen cycling may be tightly linked to coral bleaching and disease.

  15. Evolutionary insights into scleractinian corals using comparative genomic hybridizations.

    KAUST Repository

    Aranda, Manuel

    2012-09-21

    Coral reefs belong to the most ecologically and economically important ecosystems on our planet. Yet, they are under steady decline worldwide due to rising sea surface temperatures, disease, and pollution. Understanding the molecular impact of these stressors on different coral species is imperative in order to predict how coral populations will respond to this continued disturbance. The use of molecular tools such as microarrays has provided deep insight into the molecular stress response of corals. Here, we have performed comparative genomic hybridizations (CGH) with different coral species to an Acropora palmata microarray platform containing 13,546 cDNA clones in order to identify potentially rapidly evolving genes and to determine the suitability of existing microarray platforms for use in gene expression studies (via heterologous hybridization).

  16. Cryobiology of coral fragments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagedorn, Mary; Farrell, Ann; Carter, Virginia L

    2013-02-01

    Around the world, coral reefs are dying due to human influences, and saving habitat alone may not stop this destruction. This investigation focused on the biological processes that will provide the first steps in understanding the cryobiology of whole coral fragments. Coral fragments are a partnership of coral tissue and endosymbiotic algae, Symbiodinium sp., commonly called zooxanthellae. These data reflected their separate sensitivities to chilling and a cryoprotectant (dimethyl sulfoxide) for the coral Pocillopora damicornis, as measured by tissue loss and Pulse Amplitude Modulated fluorometry 3weeks post-treatment. Five cryoprotectant treatments maintained the viability of the coral tissue and zooxanthellae at control values (1M dimethyl sulfoxide at 1.0, 1.5 and 2.0h exposures, and 1.5M dimethyl sulfoxide at 1.0 and 1.5h exposures, P>0.05, ANOVA), whereas 2M concentrations did not (Pcoral tissue, but not in the zooxanthellae. During the winter when the fragments were chilled, the coral tissue remained relatively intact (∼25% loss) post-treatment, but the zooxanthellae numbers in the tissue declined after 5min of chilling (Pcoral tissue (∼75% loss) and zooxanthellae numbers declined in response to chilling alone (Pcoral against tissue loss after 45min of cryoprotectant exposure (P>0.05, ANOVA), but it did not protect against the loss of zooxanthellae (Pcoral fragment complex and future cryopreservation protocols must be guided by their greater sensitivity. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. From cholera to corals: Viruses as drivers of virulence in a major coral bacterial pathogen

    KAUST Repository

    Weynberg, Karen D.

    2015-12-08

    Disease is an increasing threat to reef-building corals. One of the few identified pathogens of coral disease is the bacterium Vibrio coralliilyticus. In Vibrio cholerae, infection by a bacterial virus (bacteriophage) results in the conversion of non-pathogenic strains to pathogenic strains and this can lead to cholera pandemics. Pathogenicity islands encoded in the V. cholerae genome play an important role in pathogenesis. Here we analyse five whole genome sequences of V. coralliilyticus to examine whether virulence is similarly driven by horizontally acquired elements. We demonstrate that bacteriophage genomes encoding toxin genes with homology to those found in pathogenic V. cholerae are integrated in V. coralliilyticus genomes. Virulence factors located on chromosomal pathogenicity islands also exist in some strains of V. coralliilyticus. The presence of these genetic signatures indicates virulence in V. coralliilyticus is driven by prophages and other horizontally acquired elements. Screening for pathogens of coral disease should target conserved regions in these elements.

  18. From cholera to corals: Viruses as drivers of virulence in a major coral bacterial pathogen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weynberg, Karen D.; Voolstra, Christian R.; Neave, Matthew J.; Buerger, Patrick; van Oppen, Madeleine J. H.

    2015-01-01

    Disease is an increasing threat to reef-building corals. One of the few identified pathogens of coral disease is the bacterium Vibrio coralliilyticus. In Vibrio cholerae, infection by a bacterial virus (bacteriophage) results in the conversion of non-pathogenic strains to pathogenic strains and this can lead to cholera pandemics. Pathogenicity islands encoded in the V. cholerae genome play an important role in pathogenesis. Here we analyse five whole genome sequences of V. coralliilyticus to examine whether virulence is similarly driven by horizontally acquired elements. We demonstrate that bacteriophage genomes encoding toxin genes with homology to those found in pathogenic V. cholerae are integrated in V. coralliilyticus genomes. Virulence factors located on chromosomal pathogenicity islands also exist in some strains of V. coralliilyticus. The presence of these genetic signatures indicates virulence in V. coralliilyticus is driven by prophages and other horizontally acquired elements. Screening for pathogens of coral disease should target conserved regions in these elements. PMID:26644037

  19. The influence of near-bed hydrodynamic conditions on cold-water corals in the Viosca Knoll area, Gulf of Mexico

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mienis, F.; Duineveld, G.C.A.; Davies, A.J.; Ross, S.W.; Seim, H.; Bane, J.; van Weering, T.C.E.

    2012-01-01

    Near-bed hydrodynamic conditions were recorded for almost one year in the Viosca Knoll area (lease block 826), one of the most well-developed cold-water coral habitats in the Gulf of Mexico. Here, a reef-like cold-water coral ecosystem, dominated by the coral Lophelia pertusa, resembles coral habita

  20. Research about monitoring the development status of coral reefs based on QuickBird Data%基于QuickBird影像上珊瑚礁发育状况监测实验研究

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    邹亚荣; 梁超; 朱海天

    2012-01-01

    Coral reefs are the high ecological system of biodiversity and have an important ecological function. After the 1980s large degradation of global scope of coral reefs caused people wide attention. Using high resolution images based on Quickbird data, coral reefs geometry parameters and development index the Nansha typical reef development is monitored through remote sensing In the waters against the wind, coral reefs bodies there are the texture characteristics, which shows that the sea surface roughness and underwater reef development characteristics. The results show that because Nansha reefs are inflnencdby ge-ologiy and climate, development degree is differ, half moon reef development is better, development index is 0. 38, the reef development index of 0. 27. Geometry parameters to are estabtished monitor the Nansha coral reef development status which can provide the scientific basis the protection of the coral reefs.%珊瑚礁生态系统具有很高的生物多样性和重要的生态功能.20世纪80年代以后全球范围内珊瑚礁的大面积退化引起了人们广泛的关注.利用高分辨多光谱QuickBird影像,基于珊瑚礁几何参数与发育指数对南沙典型岛礁发育进行遥感监测,在珊瑚礁体迎风面水域由破波形成的纹理特征表明了海面粗糙度与水下礁坪的发育特性.结果表明,南沙岛礁受地质与气候的影响发育程度不一,半月礁发育较好,发育指数为0.38,仙娥礁发育指数为0.27.建立几何参数等指标能够监测南沙珊瑚礁的发育状况,可对珊瑚礁的保护提供科学依据.

  1. 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.

  2. Heavy metal contents in growth bands of Porites corals: Record of anthropogenic and human developments from the Jordanian Gulf of Aqaba

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Al-Rousan, Saber A. [Marine Science Station, University of Jordan and Yarmouk University, P.O. Box 195, Aqaba 77110 (Jordan)], E-mail: s.rousan@ju.edu.jo; Al-Shloul, Rashid N. [Department of Earth and Environmental Science, Faculty of Science, Yarmouk University, Irbid 21163 (Jordan); Al-Horani, Fuad A. [Marine Science Station, University of Jordan and Yarmouk University, P.O. Box 195, Aqaba 77110 (Jordan); Abu-Hilal, Ahmad H. [Department of Earth and Environmental Science, Faculty of Science, Yarmouk University, Irbid 21163 (Jordan)

    2007-12-15

    In order to assess pollutants and impact of environmental changes in the coastal region of the Jordanian Gulf of Aqaba, concentrations of six metals were traced through variations in 5 years growth bands sections of recent Porties coral skeleton. X-radiography showed annual growth band patterns extending back to the year 1925. Baseline metal concentrations in Porites corals were established using 35 years-long metal record from late Holocene coral (deposited in pristine environment) and coral from reef that is least exposed to pollution in the marine reserve in the Gulf of Aqaba. The skeleton samples of the collected corals were acid digested and analyzed for their Cd, Cu, Fe, Mn, Pb and Zn content using Flame Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (FAAS). All metal profiles (except Fe and Zn) recorded the same metal signature from recent coral (1925-2005) in which low steady baseline levels were displayed in growth bands older than 1965, similar to those obtained from fossil and unpolluted corals. Most metals showed dramatic increase (ranging from 17% to 300%) in growth band sections younger than 1965 suggesting an extensive contamination of the coastal area since the mid sixties. This date represents the beginning of a period that witnessed increasing coastal activities, constructions and urbanization. This has produced a significant reduction in coral skeletal extension rates. Results from this study strongly suggest that Porites corals have a high tendency to accumulate heavy metals in their skeletons and therefore can serve as proxy tools to monitor and record environmental pollution (bioindicators) in the Gulf of Aqaba.

  3. Trend in coral-algal phase shift in the Mandapam group of islands, Gulf of Mannar Marine Biosphere Reserve, India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Machendiranathan, M.; Senthilnathan, L.; Ranith, R.; Saravanakumar, A.; Thangaradjou, T.; Choudhry, S. B.; Sasamal, S. K.

    2016-12-01

    The present study revealed proliferation of macro-algae modifying coral reef ecosystems in a different manner due to diseases and sedimentations in the Mandapam group of islands in the Gulf of Mannar. Benthic surveys were conducted with major attack of seven coral reefs diseases with high sedimentation rate, nine species of fleshy macro-algae ( Turbinaria ornata, Turbinaria conaides, Caulerpa scalpelliformis, Caulerpa racemosa, Kappaphycus alvarezii, Padina gymnosphora, Sargassum wightii, Ulva reticulata and Calurpa lentillifera) proliferation against major corals life forms (Acropora branching, Acropora digitate, Acropora tabulate, coral massive, coral submassive, coral foliose and coral encrusting). The results confirm that diseased corals most favor to macro-algae growth (15.27%) rather than the sedimentation covered corals (8.24 %). In the degradation of coral life forms, massive corals were more highly damaged (7.05%) than any other forms. Within a short period of time (May to September), coral coverage shrank to 17.4% from 21.9%, macro-algae increased 23.51% and the average sedimentation rate attained 77.52 mg cm-2d-1 with persisting coral reef diseases of 17.59%. The Pearson correlation showed that the coral cover decreased with increasing macro-algae growth, which was statistically significant ( r = -0.774, n = 100, P < 0.0005). The proliferation of the various macro-algae C. scalpellifrmis, T. ornata, C. racemosa, T. conaides, U. reticulata, S. wightii, K. alvarezii, P. gymnosphora and C. lentillifera increased with percentages of 6.0, 5.8, 5.7, 4.9, 4.2, 3.7, 2.7 and 1.9, respectively. If this trend continues, the next generation of new recruit corals will undoubtedly lead to a phase shift in Gulf of Mannar corals.

  4. Trend in Coral-Algal Phase Shift in the Mandapam Group of Islands, Gulf of Mannar Marine Biosphere Reserve, India

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    M Machendiranathan; L Senthilnathan; R Ranith; A Saravanakumar; T Thangaradjou; S B Choudhry; S K Sasamal

    2016-01-01

    The present study revealed proliferation of macro-algae modifying coral reef ecosystems in a different manner due to diseases and sedimentations in the Mandapam group of islands in the Gulf of Mannar. Benthic surveys were conducted with major attack of seven coral reefs diseases with high sedimentation rate, nine species of fleshy macro-algae (Turbinaria ornata, Turbinaria conaides, Caulerpa scalpelliformis, Caulerpa racemosa, Kappaphycus alvarezii, Padina gymnosphora, Sargassum wightii, Ulva reticulata andCalurpa lentillifera) proliferation against major corals life forms (Acropora branching, Acropora digitate, Acropora tabulate, coral massive, coral submassive, coral foliose and coral encrusting). The results confirm that diseased corals most favor to macro-algae growth (15.27%) rather than the sedimentation covered corals (8.24 %). In the degradation of coral life forms, massive corals were more highly damaged (7.05%) than any other forms. Within a short period of time (May to September), coral coverage shrank to 17.4% from 21.9%, macro-algae increased 23.51% and the average sedimentation rate attained 77.52mgcm−2d−1 with per-sisting coral reef diseases of 17.59%. The Pearson correlation showed that the coral cover decreased with increasing macro-algae growth, which was statistically significant (r=−0.774,n=100,P<0.0005). The proliferation of the various macro-algaeC. scalpel-lifrmis, T.ornata, C. racemosa,T. conaides,U. reticulata, S. wightii, K. alvarezii,P. gymnosphoraand C. lentillifera increased with percentages of 6.0, 5.8, 5.7, 4.9, 4.2, 3.7, 2.7 and 1.9, respectively. If this trend continues, the next generation of new recruit corals will undoubtedly lead to a phase shift in Gulf of Mannar corals.

  5. Assessing the expression of HsP60 in scleractinian corals subjected to biotic and abiotic stresses

    OpenAIRE

    2013-01-01

    The reef health worldwide is seriously threatened by a multitude of factors such as abnormally elevated and low ocean temperatures, high UV radiations, changes in salinity, pollution and increasing incidence of diseases. Under adverse circumstances the equilibrium between the partners of the coral holobiont may be compromised and can lead to coral bleaching events. Bleaching refers to the loss in the coloration of the coral colony induced by the dissociation of the symbiosis between corals an...

  6. Growth of Bone Marrow Derived Osteoblast-Like Cells into Coral Implant Scaffold: Preliminary Study on Malaysian Coral

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. A. AL-Salihi

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Problem statement: Biomaterial fabrication in Malaysia started as a consequence of the demand for cheaper implant materials. Various biomaterials have been developed utilizing local resources like Malaysian coral. Locally processed Malaysian coral need to be complemented with proper evaluation and testing including toxicology, biocompatibility, mechanical properties, physicochemical characterization and in vivo testing. The present study was carried out to assess natural coral of porites species as scaffold combined with in vitro expanded Bone Marrow Derived Osteoblast-Like cells (BM-DOL, in order to develop a tissue-engineered bone graft in a rat model. Approach: Coral was used in a block shape with a dimension of 10 mm length × 5 mm width × 5 mm thickness. BM-DOL cells were seeded into porous coral scaffold in a density of 5×106 mL-1. After 7 days of in vitro incubation in osteogenic medium, one block was processed for light (LM and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM observations while the other blocks were implanted subcutaneously in the back of 5 weeks-old Sprague-Dawely rats for 3 months. Coral blocks without cells were implanted as a control. The implants harvested and processed for gross inspection, histological and scanning electron microscopy observations. Results: Both LM and SEM showed attachment of well arrangement multilayer cells inside the pores of in vitro seeded coral scaffolds. Gross inspection of all in vivo coral-cell complexes implants revealed vascularized like bone tissue formation. Histological sections revealed mature bone formation occurred in the manner resemble intramembraneous bone formation. SEM observations revealed multi-layer cellular proliferation with abundant collagen covered the surface of coral implants. Control group showed resorbed coral block. Conclusion: This study demonstrated that Malaysian coral can be use as a suitable scaffold material for delivering bone marrow mesenchymal

  7. The engine of the reef: Photobiology of the coral-algal symbiosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melissa Susan Roth

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Coral reef ecosystems thrive in tropical oligotrophic oceans because of the relationship between corals and endosymbiotic dinoflagellate algae called Symbiodinium. Symbiodinium convert sunlight and carbon dioxide into organic carbon and oxygen to fuel coral growth and calcification, creating habitat for these diverse and productive ecosystems. Light is thus a key regulating factor shaping the productivity, physiology and ecology of the coral holobiont. Similar to all oxygenic photoautotrophs, Symbiodinium must safely harvest sunlight for photosynthesis and dissipate excess energy to prevent oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is caused by environmental stressors such as those associated with global climate change, and ultimately leads to breakdown of the coral-algal symbiosis known as coral bleaching. Recently, large-scale coral bleaching events have become pervasive and frequent threatening and endangering coral reefs. Because the coral-algal symbiosis is the biological engine producing the reef, the future of coral reef ecosystems depends on the ecophysiology of the symbiosis. This review examines the photobiology of the coral-algal symbiosis with particular focus on the photophysiological responses and timescales of corals and Symbiodinium. Additionally, this review summarizes the light environment and its dynamics, the vulnerability of the symbiosis to oxidative stress, the abiotic and biotic factors influencing photosynthesis, the diversity of the coral-algal symbiosis and recent advances in the field. Studies integrating physiology with the developing omics fields will provide new insights into the coral-algal symbiosis. Greater physiological and ecological understanding of the coral-algal symbiosis is needed for protection and conservation of coral reefs.

  8. Advances in Alzheimer's disease drug development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rafii, Michael S; Aisen, Paul S

    2015-03-25

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the foremost cause of dementia worldwide. Clinically, AD manifests as progressive memory impairment followed by a gradual decline in other cognitive abilities leading to complete functional dependency. Recent biomarker studies indicate that AD is characterized by a long asymptomatic phase, with the development of pathology occurring at least a decade prior to the onset of any symptoms. Current FDA-approved treatments target neurotransmitter abnormalities associated with the disease but do not affect what is believed to be the underlying etiology. In this review, we briefly discuss the most recent therapeutic strategies being employed in AD clinical trials, as well the scientific rationale with which they have been developed.

  9. Corals and Sclerosponges

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Records of past climate and ocean environment derived from stable isotope, trace metal, and other measurements made on corals and sclerosponges. Parameter keywords...

  10. All Framing Corals

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The data represent predicted habitat suitability for several taxa of deep-sea corals. Predictions were modeled using a statistical machine-learning algorithm called...

  11. Effects of temperature,hypoxia, ammonia and nitrate on the bleaching among three coral species

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHU Baohua; WANG Guangce; HUANG Bo; C. K. Tseng

    2004-01-01

    Coral bleaching, which is defined as the loss of colour in corals due to the loss of their symbiotic algae (commonly called zooxanthellae) or pigments or both, is occurring globally at increasing rates, and its harm becomes more and more serious during these two decades. The significance of these bleaching events to the health of coral reef ecosystems is extreme, as bleached corals exhibited high mortality, reduced fecundity and productivity and increased susceptibility to diseases. This decreased coral fitness is easily to lead to reef degradation and ultimately to the breakdown of the coral reef ecosystems. Recently, the reasons leading to coral bleaching are thought to be as follows: too high or too low temperature, excess ultraviolet exposure, heavy metal pollution, cyanide poison and seasonal cycle. To date there has been little knowledge of whether mariculture can result in coral bleaching and which substance has the worst effect on corals. And no research was conducted on the effect of hypoxia on corals. To address these questions, effects of temperature, hypoxia, ammonia and nitrate on bleaching of three coral species were studied through examination of morphology and the measurement of the number of symbiotic algae of three coral species Acropora nobilis, Palythoa sp.and Alveopora verrilliana. Results showed that increase in temperature and decrease in dissolved oxygen could lead to increasing number of symbiotic algae and more serious bleaching. In addition, the concentration of 0.001 mmol/L ammonia or nitrate could increase significantly the expulsion of the symbiotic algae of the three coral species. Except for Acropora nobilis, the numbers of symbiotic algae of other two corals did not significantly increase with the increasing concentration of ammonia and nitrate. Furthermore, different hosts have different stress susceptibilities on coral bleaching.

  12. Monitoring Land Based Sources of Pollution over Coral Reefs using VIIRS Ocean Color Products

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geiger, E.; Strong, A. E.; Eakin, C. M.; Wang, M.; Hernandez, W. J.; Cardona Maldonado, M. A.; De La Cour, J. L.; Liu, G.; Tirak, K.; Heron, S. F.; Skirving, W. J.; Armstrong, R.; Warner, R. A.

    2016-02-01

    NOAA's Coral Reef Watch (CRW) program and the NESDIS Ocean Color Team are developing new products to monitor land based sources of pollution (LBSP) over coral reef ecosystems using the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) onboard the S-NPP satellite. LBSP are a major threat to corals that can cause disease and mortality, disrupt critical ecological reef functions, and impede growth, reproduction, and larval settlement, among other impacts. From VIIRS, near-real-time satellite products of Chlorophyll-a, Kd(490), and sea surface temperature are being developed for three U.S. Coral Reef Task Force priority watershed sites - Ka'anapali (West Maui, Hawai'i), Faga'alu (American Samoa), and Guánica Bay (Puerto Rico). Background climatological levels of these parameters are being developed to construct anomaly products. Time-series data are being generated to monitor changes in water quality in near-real-time and provide information on historical variations, especially following significant rain events. A pilot calibration/validation field study of the VIIRS-based ocean color products is underway in Puerto Rico; we plan to expand this validation effort to the other two watersheds. Working with local resource managers, we have identified a focal area for product development and validation for each watershed and its associated local reefs. This poster will present preliminary results and identify a path forward to ensure marine resource managers understand and correctly use the new ocean color products, and to help NOAA CRW refine its satellite products to maximize their benefit to coral reef management. NOAA - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NESDIS - NOAA/National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service S-NPP - Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership

  13. Exploring individual- to population-level impacts of disease on coral reef sponges: using spatial analysis to assess the fate, dynamics, and transmission of Aplysina Red Band Syndrome (ARBS.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cole G Easson

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Marine diseases are of increasing concern for coral reef ecosystems, but often their causes, dynamics and impacts are unknown. The current study investigated the epidemiology of Aplysina Red Band Syndrome (ARBS, a disease affecting the Caribbean sponge Aplysina cauliformis, at both the individual and population levels. The fates of marked healthy and ARBS-infected sponges were examined over the course of a year. Population-level impacts and transmission mechanisms of ARBS were investigated by monitoring two populations of A. cauliformis over a three year period using digital photography and diver-collected data, and analyzing these data with GIS techniques of spatial analysis. In this study, three commonly used spatial statistics (Ripley's K, Getis-Ord General G, and Moran's Index were compared to each other and with direct measurements of individual interactions using join-counts, to determine the ideal method for investigating disease dynamics and transmission mechanisms in this system. During the study period, Hurricane Irene directly impacted these populations, providing an opportunity to assess potential storm effects on A. cauliformis and ARBS. RESULTS: Infection with ARBS caused increased loss of healthy sponge tissue over time and a higher likelihood of individual mortality. Hurricane Irene had a dramatic effect on A. cauliformis populations by greatly reducing sponge biomass on the reef, especially among diseased individuals. Spatial analysis showed that direct contact between A. cauliformis individuals was the likely transmission mechanism for ARBS within a population, evidenced by a significantly higher number of contact-joins between diseased sponges compared to random. Of the spatial statistics compared, the Moran's Index best represented true connections between diseased sponges in the survey area. This study showed that spatial analysis can be a powerful tool for investigating disease dynamics and transmission in a

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-03-10

    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.

  16. Occurrence of thraustochytrid fungi in corals and coral mucus

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Raghukumar, S.; Balasubramanian, R.

    Occurrence of thraustochytrid fungi in corals, fresh coral mucus and floating and attached mucus detritus from the Lakshadweep Islands in the Arabian Sea was studied. Corallochytrium limacisporum Raghukumar, Thraustochytrium motivum Goldstein...

  17. The Effect of Elevated CO2 and Increased Temperature on in Vitro Fertilization Success and Initial Embryonic Development of Single Male:Female Crosses of Broad-Cast Spawning Corals at Mid- and High-Latitude Locations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miriam Schutter

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The impact of global climate change on coral reefs is expected to be most profound at the sea surface, where fertilization and embryonic development of broadcast-spawning corals takes place. We examined the effect of increased temperature and elevated CO2 levels on the in vitro fertilization success and initial embryonic development of broadcast-spawning corals using a single male:female cross of three different species from mid- and high-latitude locations: Lyudao, Taiwan (22° N and Kochi, Japan (32° N. Eggs were fertilized under ambient conditions (27 °C and 500 μatm CO2 and under conditions predicted for 2100 (IPCC worst case scenario, 31 °C and 1000 μatm CO2. Fertilization success, abnormal development and early developmental success were determined for each sample. Increased temperature had a more profound influence than elevated CO2. In most cases, near-future warming caused a significant drop in early developmental success as a result of decreased fertilization success and/or increased abnormal development. The embryonic development of the male:female cross of A. hyacinthus from the high-latitude location was more sensitive to the increased temperature (+4 °C than the male:female cross of A. hyacinthus from the mid-latitude location. The response to the elevated CO2 level was small and highly variable, ranging from positive to negative responses. These results suggest that global warming is a more significant and universal stressor than ocean acidification on the early embryonic development of corals from mid- and high-latitude locations.

  18. Laminin isoforms in development and disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schéele, Susanne; Nyström, Alexander; Durbeej, Madeleine;

    2007-01-01

    blistering and kidney defects, respectively. This review summarizes recent progress concerning the molecular mechanisms of laminins in development and disease. The current knowledge may lead to clinical treatment of lamininopathies and may include stem-cell approaches as well as gene therapy....

  19. A unique coral community in the mangroves of Hurricane Hole, St. John, US Virgin Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, Caroline S.

    2017-01-01

    Corals do not typically thrive in mangrove environments. However, corals are growing on and near the prop roots of red mangrove trees in Hurricane Hole, an area within the Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument under the protection of the US National Park Service in St. John, US Virgin Islands. This review summarizes current knowledge of the remarkable biodiversity of this area. Over 30 scleractinian coral species, about the same number as documented to date from nearby coral reefs, grow here. No other mangrove ecosystems in the Caribbean are known to have so many coral species. This area may be a refuge from changing climate, as these corals weathered the severe thermal stress and subsequent disease outbreak that caused major coral loss on the island’s coral reefs in 2005 and 2006. Shading by the red mangrove trees reduces the stress that leads to coral bleaching. Seawater temperatures in these mangroves are more variable than those on the reefs, and some studies have shown that this variability results in corals with a greater resistance to higher temperatures. The diversity of sponges and fish is also high, and a new genus of serpulid worm was recently described. Continuing research may lead to the discovery of more new species.

  20. Alzheimer's disease drug development: translational neuroscience strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cummings, Jeffrey L; Banks, Sarah J; Gary, Ronald K; Kinney, Jefferson W; Lombardo, Joseph M; Walsh, Ryan R; Zhong, Kate

    2013-06-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is an urgent public health challenge that is rapidly approaching epidemic proportions. New therapies that defer or prevent the onset, delay the decline, or improve the symptoms are urgently needed. All phase 3 drug development programs for disease-modifying agents have failed thus far. New approaches to drug development are needed. Translational neuroscience focuses on the linkages between basic neuroscience and the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic products that will improve the lives of patients or prevent the occurrence of brain disorders. Translational neuroscience includes new preclinical models that may better predict human efficacy and safety, improved clinical trial designs and outcomes that will accelerate drug development, and the use of biomarkers to more rapidly provide information regarding the effects of drugs on the underlying disease biology. Early translational research is complemented by later stage translational approaches regarding how best to use evidence to impact clinical practice and to assess the influence of new treatments on the public health. Funding of translational research is evolving with an increased emphasis on academic and NIH involvement in drug development. Translational neuroscience provides a framework for advancing development of new therapies for AD patients.

  1. Coral identity underpins architectural complexity on Caribbean reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarez-Filip, Lorenzo; Dulvy, Nicholas K; Côte, Isabelle M; Watkinson, Andrew R; Gill, Jennifer A

    2011-09-01

    The architectural complexity of ecosystems can greatly influence their capacity to support biodiversity and deliver ecosystem services. Understanding the components underlying this complexity can aid the development of effective strategies for ecosystem conservation. Caribbean coral reefs support and protect millions of livelihoods, but recent anthropogenic change is shifting communities toward reefs dominated by stress-resistant coral species, which are often less architecturally complex. With the regionwide decline in reef fish abundance, it is becoming increasingly important to understand changes in coral reef community structure and function. We quantify the influence of coral composition, diversity, and morpho-functional traits on the architectural complexity of reefs across 91 sites at Cozumel, Mexico. Although reef architectural complexity increases with coral cover and species richness, it is highest on sites that are low in taxonomic evenness and dominated by morpho-functionally important, reef-building coral genera, particularly Montastraea. Sites with similar coral community composition also tend to occur on reefs with very similar architectural complexity, suggesting that reef structure tends to be determined by the same key species across sites. Our findings provide support for prioritizing and protecting particular reef types, especially those dominated by key reef-building corals, in order to enhance reef complexity.

  2. Physiological and biochemical performances of menthol-induced aposymbiotic corals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jih-Terng Wang

    Full Text Available The unique mutualism between corals and their photosynthetic zooxanthellae (Symbiodinium spp. is the driving force behind functional assemblages of coral reefs. However, the respective roles of hosts and Symbiodinium in this endosymbiotic association, particularly in response to environmental challenges (e.g., high sea surface temperatures, remain unsettled. One of the key obstacles is to produce and maintain aposymbiotic coral hosts for experimental purposes. In this study, a simple and gentle protocol to generate aposymbiotic coral hosts (Isopora palifera and Stylophora pistillata was developed using repeated incubation in menthol/artificial seawater (ASW medium under light and in ASW in darkness, which depleted more than 99% of Symbiodinium from the host within 4∼8 days. As indicated by the respiration rate, energy metabolism (by malate dehydrogenase activity, and nitrogen metabolism (by glutamate dehydrogenase activity and profiles of free amino acids, the physiological and biochemical performances of the menthol-induced aposymbiotic corals were comparable to their symbiotic counterparts without nutrient supplementation (e.g., for Stylophora or with a nutrient supplement containing glycerol, vitamins, and a host mimic of free amino acid mixture (e.g., for Isopora. Differences in biochemical responses to menthol-induced bleaching between Stylophora and Isopora were attributed to the former digesting Symbiodinium rather than expelling the algae live as found in the latter species. Our studies showed that menthol could successfully bleach corals and provided aposymbiotic corals for further exploration of coral-alga symbioses.

  3. A coral-eating barnacle, revisited (Cirripedia, Pyrgomatidae)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ross, Arnold; Newman, William A.

    1995-01-01

    The coral-eating barnacle Hoekia monticulariae (Gray, 1831), the only internal parasite among the Thoracica described to this day, is characterized by an irregularly-shaped shell nestled cryptically between the polyps of the hermatypic coral Hydnophora Fischer, 1807, which occurs throughout most of

  4. Rose Atoll Coral Monitoring Narrative

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Narrative report summarizes the results of coral monitoring at 11 georeferenced sites at Rose Atoll, American Samoa, undertaken by Dr. James Maragos, USFWS Coral...

  5. 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

  6. Exposure to elevated sea-surface temperatures below the bleaching threshold impairs coral recovery and regeneration following injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonesso, Joshua Louis; Leggat, William; Ainsworth, Tracy Danielle

    2017-01-01

    Elevated sea surface temperatures (SSTs) are linked to an increase in the frequency and severity of bleaching events due to temperatures exceeding corals' upper thermal limits. The temperatures at which a breakdown of the coral-Symbiodinium endosymbiosis (coral bleaching) occurs are referred to as the upper thermal limits for the coral species. This breakdown of the endosymbiosis results in a reduction of corals' nutritional uptake, growth, and tissue integrity. Periods of elevated sea surface temperature, thermal stress and coral bleaching are also linked to increased disease susceptibility and an increased frequency of storms which cause injury and physical damage to corals. Herein we aimed to determine the capacity of corals to regenerate and recover from injuries (removal of apical tips) sustained during periods of elevated sea surface temperatures which result in coral stress responses, but which do not result in coral bleaching (i.e., sub-bleaching thermal stress events). In this study, exposure of the species Acropora aspera to an elevated SST of 32 °C (2 °C below the bleaching threshold, 34 °C) was found to result in reduced fluorescence of green fluorescent protein (GFP), reduced skeletal calcification and a lack of branch regrowth at the site of injury, compared to corals maintained under ambient SST conditions (26 °C). Corals maintained under normal, ambient, sea surface temperatures expressed high GFP fluorescence at the injury site, underwent a rapid regeneration of the coral branch apical tip within 12 days of sustaining injury, and showed extensive regrowth of the coral skeleton. Taken together, our results have demonstrated that periods of sustained increased sea surface temperatures, below the corals' bleaching threshold but above long-term summertime averages, impair coral recovery from damage, regardless of the onset or occurrence of coral bleaching.

  7. Density dependence drives habitat production and survivorship of Acropora cervicornis used for restoration on a Caribbean coral reef

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark C Ladd

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available AbstractCoral restoration is gaining traction as a viable strategy to help restore degraded reefs. While the nascent field of coral restoration has rapidly progressed in the past decade, significant knowledge gaps remain regarding the drivers of restoration success that may impede our ability to effectively restore coral reef communities. Here, we conducted a field experiment to investigate the influence of coral density on the growth, habitat production, and survival of corals outplanted for restoration. We used nursery-raised colonies of Acropora cervicornis to experimentally establish populations of corals with either 3, 6, 12, or 24 corals within 4m2 plots, generating a gradient of coral densities ranging from 0.75 corals m-2 to 12 corals m-2. After 13 months we found that density had a significant effect on the growth, habitat production, and survivorship of restored corals. We found that coral survivorship increased as colony density decreased. Importantly, the signal of density dependent effects was context dependent. Our data suggest that positive density dependent effects influenced habitat production at densities of 3 corals m-2, but further increases in density resulted in negative density dependent effects with decreasing growth and survivorship of corals. These findings highlight the importance of density dependence for coral restoration planning and demonstrate the need to evaluate the influence of density for other coral species used for restoration. Further work focused on the mechanisms causing density dependence such as increased herbivory, rapid disease transmission, or altered predation rates are important next steps to advance our ability to effectively restore coral reefs.

  8. Investigating coral hyperspectral properties across coral species and coral state using hyperspectral imaging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehrubeoglu, Mehrube; Smith, Dustin K.; Smith, Shane W.; Strychar, Kevin B.; McLauchlan, Lifford

    2013-09-01

    Coral reefs are one of the most diverse and threatened ecosystems in the world. Corals worldwide are at risk, and in many instances, dying due to factors that affect their environment resulting in deteriorating environmental conditions. Because corals respond quickly to the quality of the environment that surrounds them, corals have been identified as bioindicators of water quality and marine environmental health. The hyperspectral imaging system is proposed as a noninvasive tool to monitor different species of corals as well as coral state over time. This in turn can be used as a quick and non-invasive method to monitor environmental health that can later be extended to climate conditions. In this project, a laboratory-based hyperspectral imaging system is used to collect spectral and spatial information of corals. In the work presented here, MATLAB and ENVI software tools are used to view and process spatial information and coral spectral signatures to identify differences among the coral data. The results support the hypothesis that hyperspectral properties of corals vary among different coral species, and coral state over time, and hyperspectral imaging can be a used as a tool to document changes in coral species and state.

  9. Effects of predation and nutrient enrichment on the success and microbiome of a foundational coral.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaver, Elizabeth C; Shantz, Andrew A; McMinds, Ryan; Burkepile, Deron E; Vega Thurber, Rebecca L; Silliman, Brian R

    2017-03-01

    By inflicting damage to prey tissues, consumer species may increase stress in prey hosts and reduce overall fitness (i.e., primary effects, such as growth or reproduction) or cause secondary effects by affecting prey interactions with other species such as microbes. However, little is known about how abiotic conditions affect the outcomes of these biotic interactions. In coral reef communities, both nutrient enrichment and predation have been linked to reduced fitness and disease facilitation in corals, yet no study to date has tested their combined effects on corals or their associated microbial communities (i.e., microbiomes). Here, we assess the effects of grazing by a prevalent coral predator (the short coral snail, Coralliophila abbreviata) and nutrient enrichment on staghorn coral, Acropora cervicornis, and its microbiomes using a factorial experiment and high-throughput DNA sequencing. We found that predation, but not nutrients, significantly reduced coral growth and increased mortality, tissue loss, and turf algae colonization. Partial predation and nutrient enrichment both independently altered coral microbiomes such that one bacterial genus came to dominate the microbial community. Nutrient-enriched corals were associated with significant increases in Rickettsia-like organisms, which are currently one of several microbial groups being investigated as a disease agent in this coral species. However, we found no effects of nutrient enrichment on coral health, disease, or their predators. This research suggests that in the several months following coral transplantation (i.e., restoration) or disturbance (i.e., recovery), Caribbean acroporid corals appear to be highly susceptible to negative effects caused by predators, but not or not yet susceptible to nutrient enrichment despite changes to their microbial communities.

  10. Bacterial communities of two ubiquitous Great Barrier Reef corals reveals both site- and species-specificity of common bacterial associates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E Charlotte E Kvennefors

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Coral-associated bacteria are increasingly considered to be important in coral health, and altered bacterial community structures have been linked to both coral disease and bleaching. Despite this, assessments of bacterial communities on corals rarely apply sufficient replication to adequately describe the natural variability. Replicated data such as these are crucial in determining potential roles of bacteria on coral. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE of the V3 region of the 16S ribosomal DNA was used in a highly replicated approach to analyse bacterial communities on both healthy and diseased corals. Although site-specific variations in the bacterial communities of healthy corals were present, host species-specific bacterial associates within a distinct cluster of gamma-proteobacteria could be identified, which are potentially linked to coral health. Corals affected by "White Syndrome" (WS underwent pronounced changes in their bacterial communities in comparison to healthy colonies. However, the community structure and bacterial ribotypes identified in diseased corals did not support the previously suggested theory of a bacterial pathogen as the causative agent of the syndrome. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This is the first study to employ large numbers of replicated samples to assess the bacterial communities of healthy and diseased corals, and the first culture-independent assessment of bacterial communities on WS affected Acroporid corals on the GBR. Results indicate that a minimum of 6 replicate samples are required in order to draw inferences on species, spatial or health-related changes in community composition, as a set of clearly distinct bacterial community profiles exist in healthy corals. Coral bacterial communities may be both site and species specific. Furthermore, a cluster of gamma-proteobacterial ribotypes may represent a group of specific common coral and marine

  11. Acute tissue death (white syndrome) affects the microenvironment of tabular Acropora corals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Sandra Breum; Vestergaard, Maj; Ainsworth, Tracy D.

    2010-01-01

    White syndrome (WS) is a collective term for coral diseases that cause acute tissue loss, resulting in apparently healthy tissue bordering on exposed skeleton. In this study, the microenvironmental condition and tissue structure of WS-affected tabular acroporid corals were assessed by O2 microele......White syndrome (WS) is a collective term for coral diseases that cause acute tissue loss, resulting in apparently healthy tissue bordering on exposed skeleton. In this study, the microenvironmental condition and tissue structure of WS-affected tabular acroporid corals were assessed by O2...

  12. Accelerated vaccine development against emerging infectious diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leblanc, Pierre R; Yuan, Jianping; Brauns, Tim; Gelfand, Jeffrey A; Poznansky, Mark C

    2012-07-01

    Emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases represent a major challenge to vaccine development since it involves two seemingly contradictory requirements. Rapid and flexible vaccine generation while using technologies and processes that can facilitate accelerated regulatory review. Development in the "-omics" in combination with advances in vaccinology offer novel opportunities to meet these requirements. Here we describe how a consortium of five different organizations from academia and industry is addressing these challenges. This novel approach has the potential to become the new standard in vaccine development allowing timely deployment to avert potential pandemics.

  13. A new, high-resolution global mass coral bleaching database.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donner, Simon D; Rickbeil, Gregory J M; Heron, Scott F

    2017-01-01

    Episodes of mass coral bleaching have been reported in recent decades and have raised concerns about the future of coral reefs on a warming planet. Despite the efforts to enhance and coordinate coral reef monitoring within and across countries, our knowledge of the geographic extent of mass coral bleaching over the past few decades is incomplete. Existing databases, like ReefBase, are limited by the voluntary nature of contributions, geographical biases in data collection, and the variations in the spatial scale of bleaching reports. In this study, we have developed the first-ever gridded, global-scale historical coral bleaching database. First, we conducted a targeted search for bleaching reports not included in ReefBase by personally contacting scientists and divers conducting monitoring in under-reported locations and by extracting data from the literature. This search increased the number of observed bleaching reports by 79%, from 4146 to 7429. Second, we employed spatial interpolation techniques to develop annual 0.04° × 0.04° latitude-longitude global maps of the probability that bleaching occurred for 1985 through 2010. Initial results indicate that the area of coral reefs with a more likely than not (>50%) or likely (>66%) probability of bleaching was eight times higher in the second half of the assessed time period, after the 1997/1998 El Niño. The results also indicate that annual maximum Degree Heating Weeks, a measure of thermal stress, for coral reefs with a high probability of bleaching increased over time. The database will help the scientific community more accurately assess the change in the frequency of mass coral bleaching events, validate methods of predicting mass coral bleaching, and test whether coral reefs are adjusting to rising ocean temperatures.

  14. Development and Application of Genetic Markers for Population Structure Analysis of the Blue Coral Reef Starfish, Linckia laevigata (Linn. (Echinodermata: Asteroidea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard Magsino

    2000-12-01

    Full Text Available The tropical blue coral reef starfish, Linckia laevigata, is a good model species for examining genetic affinities among reef populations. Allozyme and mtDNA PCR-RFLP genetic markers were developed for this species. A total of nine (9 polymorphic and three (3 monomorphic allozyme marker loci were resolved out of 25 enzyme systems assessed for genetic activity in three electrophoretic buffers used. Polymorphic mitochondrial DNA gene segments of the control region with flanking sequences and the cytochrome oxidase I (CO1 were amplified after examining several gene regions for PCR product amplifications. Restriction enzyme screening of the CO1 region revealed variation of restriction profiles in seven (7 out of twenty (20 enzymes initially tested. Preliminary comparison of the genetic structure of L. laevigata based on allozyme and mtDNA markers for selected reefs are presented. The development of these genetic markers will be useful in inferring gene flow and reef connectivity in the South China Sea, Palawan shelf, and Sulu Sea.

  15. Microbiota of healthy corals are active against fungi in a light-dependent manner.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moree, Wilna J; McConnell, Oliver J; Nguyen, Don D; Sanchez, Laura M; Yang, Yu-Liang; Zhao, Xiling; Liu, Wei-Ting; Boudreau, Paul D; Srinivasan, Jayashree; Atencio, Librada; Ballesteros, Javier; Gavilán, Ronnie G; Torres-Mendoza, Daniel; Guzmán, Héctor M; Gerwick, William H; Gutiérrez, Marcelino; Dorrestein, Pieter C

    2014-10-17

    Coral reefs are intricate ecosystems that harbor diverse organisms, including 25% of all marine fish. Healthy corals exhibit a complex symbiosis between coral polyps, endosymbiotic alga, and an array of microorganisms, called the coral holobiont. Secretion of specialized metabolites by coral microbiota is thought to contribute to the defense of this sessile organism against harmful biotic and abiotic factors. While few causative agents of coral diseases have been unequivocally identified, fungi have been implicated in the massive destruction of some soft corals worldwide. Because corals are nocturnal feeders, they may be more vulnerable to fungal infection at night, and we hypothesized that the coral microbiota would have the capability to enhance their defenses against fungi in the dark. A Pseudoalteromonas sp. isolated from a healthy octocoral displayed light-dependent antifungal properties when grown adjacent to Penicillium citrinum (P. citrinum) isolated from a diseased Gorgonian octocoral. Microbial MALDI-imaging mass spectrometry (IMS) coupled with molecular network analyses revealed that Pseudoalteromonas produced higher levels of antifungal polyketide alteramides in the dark than in the light. The alteramides were inactivated by light through a photoinduced intramolecular cyclization. Further NMR studies led to a revision of the stereochemical structure of the alteramides. Alteramide A exhibited antifungal properties and elicited changes in fungal metabolite distributions of mycotoxin citrinin and citrinadins. These data support the hypothesis that coral microbiota use abiotic factors such as light to regulate the production of metabolites with specialized functions to combat opportunistic pathogens at night.

  16. Bioindication in coral reef ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yap, H T

    1986-01-01

    The concept of bioindication in the sense of the use of organisms for detecting environmental stress has been employed in coral reef conservation and management for the past several years. Important tools are coral growth rates and various community parameters, notably hard coral cover. The present need is the optimal coordination of international efforts for the earliest possible institution of an effective monitoring system.

  17. More coral, more fish? Contrasting snapshots from a remote Pacific atoll.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beldade, Ricardo; Mills, Suzanne C; Claudet, Joachim; Côté, Isabelle M

    2015-01-01

    Coral reefs are in decline across the globe as a result of overexploitation, pollution, disease and, more recently, climate change. The impacts of changes in coral cover on associated fish communities can be difficult to predict because of the uneven dependence of reef fish species on corals for food, shelter or the three-dimensional structure they provide. We compared live coral cover, reef fish community metrics, and their associations in two surveys of the lagoon of the remote atoll of Mataiva (French Polynesia) carried out 31 years apart. In contrast to the general pattern of decreasing coral cover reported for many parts of the Indo-Pacific region, live coral cover increased 6-7 fold at Mataiva between 1981 and 2012, and fish density nearly doubled. The stable overall reef fish species richness belied a significant shift in community structure. There was little overlap in community composition across years, and fish assemblages in 2012 were more homogeneous in composition than they were in 1981. Changes in species abundance were not clearly related to species-specific reliance on corals. The strong positive relationships between live coral cover and fish diversity and abundance noted in 1981, when coral cover rarely exceeded 10%, were no longer present in 2012, when coral cover rarely fell below this value. The most parsimonious explanation for these contrasting relationships is that, over the combined range of coral cover observed in the 1981 and 2012 snapshots, there is a rapidly asymptotic relationship between coral and fish. Our results, and other data from the south and west Pacific, suggest that fish diversity and abundance might accumulate rapidly up to a threshold of approximately 10% live coral cover. Such a relationship would have implications for our expectations of resistance and recovery of reef fish communities facing an increasingly severe regime of coral reef disturbances.

  18. More coral, more fish? Contrasting snapshots from a remote Pacific atoll

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ricardo Beldade

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Coral reefs are in decline across the globe as a result of overexploitation, pollution, disease and, more recently, climate change. The impacts of changes in coral cover on associated fish communities can be difficult to predict because of the uneven dependence of reef fish species on corals for food, shelter or the three-dimensional structure they provide. We compared live coral cover, reef fish community metrics, and their associations in two surveys of the lagoon of the remote atoll of Mataiva (French Polynesia carried out 31 years apart. In contrast to the general pattern of decreasing coral cover reported for many parts of the Indo-Pacific region, live coral cover increased 6–7 fold at Mataiva between 1981 and 2012, and fish density nearly doubled. The stable overall reef fish species richness belied a significant shift in community structure. There was little overlap in community composition across years, and fish assemblages in 2012 were more homogeneous in composition than they were in 1981. Changes in species abundance were not clearly related to species-specific reliance on corals. The strong positive relationships between live coral cover and fish diversity and abundance noted in 1981, when coral cover rarely exceeded 10%, were no longer present in 2012, when coral cover rarely fell below this value. The most parsimonious explanation for these contrasting relationships is that, over the combined range of coral cover observed in the 1981 and 2012 snapshots, there is a rapidly asymptotic relationship between coral and fish. Our results, and other data from the south and west Pacific, suggest that fish diversity and abundance might accumulate rapidly up to a threshold of approximately 10% live coral cover. Such a relationship would have implications for our expectations of resistance and recovery of reef fish communities facing an increasingly severe regime of coral reef disturbances.

  19. 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.

  20. Species profiles: Life histories and environmental requirements of coastal fishes and invertebrates (south Florida): Reef-building corals. [Acropora cervicornis; Acropora palmata; Montastraea annularis; Montastraea cavernosa

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Porter, J.W.

    1987-08-01

    Four species of reef-building corals are considered: elkhorn coral, staghorn coral, common star coral, and large star coral. All four species spawn annually in the fall during hurricane season. Juvenile recruitment is low in all four species. Rapid growth rates of species in the genus Acropora (10 to 20 cm/yr) contrast with slower growth rates of species in the genus Montastraea (1.0 to 2.0 cm/yr), but both species of Montastraea are also important in reef development due to their form and great longevity. Shallow-water colonies of Montastraea survive hurricanes; shallow colonies of Acropora do not. Because of their dependence on photosynthesis for all of their carbon acquisition, the Acropora species reviewed here have a more restricted depth distribution (0 to 30 m) than do the Montastraea species considered (0 to 70 m). All four species are subject to intense predation by the snail predator, Coralliophila. Species of Montastraea are susceptible to infection from blue-green algae, which produce ''black band disease;'' species of Acropora are susceptible to a different, as yet unidentified pathogen, that produces ''white-band'' disease. Increased water turbidity and sedimentation cause reduced growth rates and partial or whole mortality in all four species.

  1. Vaccine development for emerging virulent infectious diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maslow, Joel N

    2017-02-16

    The recent outbreak of Zaire Ebola virus in West Africa altered the classical paradigm of vaccine development and that for emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) in general. In this paper, the precepts of vaccine discovery and advancement through pre-clinical and clinical assessment are discussed in the context of the recent Ebola virus, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), and Zika virus outbreaks. Clinical trial design for diseases with high mortality rates and/or high morbidity in the face of a global perception of immediate need and the factors that drive design in the face of a changing epidemiology are presented. Vaccines for EIDs thus present a unique paradigm to standard development precepts. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  2. Human Impacts on Coral Reefs in the Sultanate of Oman

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Jufaili, S.; Al-Jabri, M.; Al-Baluchi, A.; Baldwin, R. M.; Wilson, S. C.; West, F.; Matthews, A. D.

    1999-08-01

    A rapid assessment survey of the coral reefs of the Sultanate of Oman was conducted by the Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Environment during the first half of 1996. The survey revealed new information on the distribution pattern of corals in Oman and identified impacts, threats and potential threats to coral communities for the purpose of preparation of a National Coral Reef Management Plan (Phase One of the implementation of a National Coastal Zone Management Plan). Impacts on coral reefs in Oman were found to be attributable to both natural and human causes, resulting in significant and widespread degradation. Damage resulting from fisheries activities was the most commonly recorded human impact, with the most severe effects. Other human impacts resulted from coastal construction, recreational activities, oil pollution and eutrophication. Predation of corals by Acanthaster planci, damage caused by storms, coral diseases and temperature-related stress were the most commonly recorded natural impacts to coral reefs. Further minor natural impacts were attributable to siltation, rock falls and predation by a corallivorous gastropod (Drupella sp.). Significant differences between different areas of the country were found in terms of human impacts on coral reefs and these were related to coastal demography and human activity. Eighty per cent of sites studied were recorded to have been affected by human impacts to some degree. Impacts attributable to fisheries activities were found at 69% of the sites. Lost or abandoned gill nets were found to affect coral reefs at 49% of sites throughout Oman and accounted for 70% of all severe human impacts. Lost gill nets were also found to have a negative affect on fisheries resources and other marine wildlife. Observations of the behaviour of gill nets on coral reefs suggested a predictable pattern of damage over time and a significant increase in damage intensity during storms. Fishing nets were found to act selectively

  3. Satellite imaging coral reef resilience at regional scale. A case-study from Saudi Arabia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowlands, Gwilym; Purkis, Sam; Riegl, Bernhard; Metsamaa, Liisa; Bruckner, Andrew; Renaud, Philip

    2012-06-01

    We propose a framework for spatially estimating a proxy for coral reef resilience using remote sensing. Data spanning large areas of coral reef habitat were obtained using the commercial QuickBird satellite, and freely available imagery (NASA, Google Earth). Principles of coral reef ecology, field observation, and remote observations, were combined to devise mapped indices. These capture important and accessible components of coral reef resilience. Indices are divided between factors known to stress corals, and factors incorporating properties of the reef landscape that resist stress or promote coral growth. The first-basis for a remote sensed resilience index (RSRI), an estimate of expected reef resilience, is proposed. Developed for the Red Sea, the framework of our analysis is flexible and with minimal adaptation, could be extended to other reef regions. We aim to stimulate discussion as to use of remote sensing to do more than simply deliver habitat maps of coral reefs. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Histone Variants in Development and Diseases

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ping Chen; Jicheng Zhao; Guohong Li

    2013-01-01

    Eukaryotic genomic DNA is highly packaged into chromatin by histones to fit inside the nucleus.Other than the bulk packaging role of canonical histones with an expression peak at S phase and replication-coupled deposition,different histone variants have evolved distinct regulatory mechanisms for their expression,deposition and functional implications.The diversity of histone variants results in structural plasticity of chromatin and highlights functionally distinct chromosomal domain,which plays critical roles in development from a fertilized egg into a complex organism,as well as in aging and diseases.However,the mechanisms of this fundamental process are poorly understood so far.It is of particular interest to investigate how the variants are incorporated into chromatin and mark specific chromatin states to regulate gene expression,and how they are involved in development and diseases.In this review,we focus on recent progress in studies of epigenetic regulation of three extensively investigated variants including H2A.Z,macroH2A and H3.3,and their functional implications in development and diseases.

  5. A novel method for coral explant culture and micropropagation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vizel, Maya; Loya, Yossi; Downs, Craig A; Kramarsky-Winter, Esti

    2011-06-01

    We describe here a method for the micropropagation of coral that creates progeny from tissue explants derived from a single polyp or colonial corals. Coral tissue explants of various sizes (0.5-2.5 mm in diameter) were manually microdissected from the solitary coral Fungia granulosa. Explants could be maintained in an undeveloped state or induced to develop into polyps by manipulating environmental parameters such as light and temperature regimes, as well as substrate type. Fully developed polyps were able to be maintained for a long-term in a closed sea water system. Further, we demonstrate that mature explants are also amenable to this technique with the micropropagation of second-generation explants and their development into mature polyps. We thereby experimentally have established coral clonal lines that maintain their ability to differentiate without the need for chemical induction or genetic manipulation. The versatility of this method is also demonstrated through its application to two other coral species, the colonial corals Oculina patigonica and Favia favus.

  6. Wnt signaling in development and disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yang Yingzi

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Cell signaling mediated by morphogens is essential to coordinate growth and patterning, two key processes that govern the formation of a complex multi-cellular organism. During growth and patterning, cells are specified by both quantitative and directional information. While quantitative information regulates cell proliferation and differentiation, directional information is conveyed in the form of cell polarities instructed by local and global cues. Major morphogens like Wnts play critical roles in embryonic development and they are also important in maintaining tissue homeostasis. Abnormal regulation of these signaling events leads to a diverse array of devastating diseases including cancer. Wnts transduce their signals through several distinct pathways and they regulate vertebrate embryonic development by providing both quantitative and directional information. Here, taking the developing skeletal system as an example, we review our work on Wnt signaling pathways in various aspects of development. We focus particularly on our most recent findings that showed that in vertebrates, Wnt5a acts as a global cue to establishing planar cell polarity (PCP. Our work suggests that Wnt morphogens regulate development by integrating quantitative and directional information. Our work also provides important insights in disease like Robinow syndrome, brachydactyly type B1 (BDB1 and spina bifida, which can be caused by human mutations in the Wnt/PCP signaling pathway.

  7. The survey and preliminary research on main diseases of stony coral in Xisha Archipelago%西沙群岛造礁石珊瑚主要疾病调查与初步研究

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    朱志雄; 周永灿; 柯韶文; 王世锋; 谢珍玉

    2012-01-01

    记录了2010年5-10月及2011年4-8月在西沙群岛海域开展珊瑚疾病调查的结果,发现普哥滨珊瑚(Porites pukoensis)、扁枝滨珊瑚(Porites andrewsi)、蔷薇珊瑚(Montipora spp.)、杯形珊瑚(Pocillopora spp.)、鹿角珊瑚(Acropora spp.)、菊花珊瑚(Goniastrea spp.)、澄黄滨珊瑚(Porites lutea)和滨珊瑚(Porites spp.)等共14种珊瑚主要出现了白化、白斑病、黑化、黄色炎症样病症、粉红颗粒状综合症等9种不同症状的疾病,目前该海域为珊瑚疾病的频发区.其中,普哥滨珊瑚的黄色炎症样病症和扁枝滨珊瑚的白化最为常见.普哥滨珊瑚黄色炎症样病症主要出现在永兴岛附近海区,患病部位存在大量黄色脓样分泌物,患病部位水螅体生长正常、萎缩或缺失,有时骨骼部分缺失,患病部位面积一般为0.02~12.00 cm2;该疾病由机械损伤或其他原因引起,因机械损伤引起的伤口一般在2~3个月可以恢复,其中小面积伤口的黄色物质可在10~20d内消失、伤口基本恢复正常,而其他原因产生的黄色物质需1~3个月才能消失,有的甚至在观察期内无明显变化.扁枝滨珊瑚的白化出现在七连屿一带的扁枝滨珊瑚分布区,该病存在整枝完全白化、局部大面积白化、散布白色斑点3种情况,白化部位水螅体缺失.本文为我国西沙海域珊瑚疾病的首次报道,可为今后开展西沙珊瑚疾病研究提供参考.%The main stony coral diseases in Xisha Archipelago were surveyed from May to October, 2010 and from April to August, 2011. Nine diseases, including coral bleaching, white spot disease, coral black disease,yellow inflammatory like syndrome and pink syndrome, were found in 14 species of stony coral, such as Porites pukoensis , Porites andrewsi,Montipora spp. ,Pocillopora spp. ,Acropora spp. ,Goniastrea spp. ,Porites lutea ,Porites spp. . The yellow inflammatory-like disease of Porites pukoensis and bleaching in Porites andrewsi

  8. The use of cellular diagnostics for identifying sub-lethal stress in reef corals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Downs, Craig A; Ostrander, Gary K; Rougee, Luc; Rongo, Teina; Knutson, Sean; Williams, David E; Mendiola, Wendy; Holbrook, Jackalyn; Richmond, Robert H

    2012-04-01

    Coral reefs throughout the world are exhibiting documented declines in coral cover and species diversity, which have been linked to anthropogenic stressors including land-based sources of pollution. Reductions in coastal water and substratum quality are affecting coral survivorship, reproduction and recruitment, and hence, the persistence of coral reefs. One major obstacle in effectively addressing these declines is the lack of tools that can identify cause-and-effect relationships between stressors and specific coral reef losses, while a second problem is the inability to measure the efficacy of mitigation efforts in a timely fashion. We examined corals from six coral reefs on Guam, Mariana Islands, which were being affected by different environmental stressors (e.g. PAH's, pesticides, PCB's and sedimentation). Cellular diagnostic analysis differentiated the cellular-physiological condition of these corals. Examination of protein expression provided insight into their homeostatic responses to chemical and physical stressors in exposed corals prior to outright mortality, providing improved opportunities for developing locally-based management responses. This approach adds critically needed tools for addressing the effects of multiple stressors on corals and will allow researchers to move beyond present assessment and monitoring techniques that simply document the loss of coral abundance and diversity.

  9. A novel paleo-bleaching proxy using boron isotopes and high-resolution laser ablation to reconstruct coral bleaching events

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Dishon

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Coral reefs occupy only ~0.1% of the oceans habitat, but are the most biologically diverse marine ecosystem. In recent decades, coral reefs have experienced significant global declines due to a variety of causes, one of the major being widespread coral bleaching events. During bleaching the coral expels its symbiotic algae losing its main source of nutrition generally obtained through photosynthesis. While recent coral bleaching events have been extensively investigated, there is no scientific data on historical coral bleaching prior to 1979. In this study, we employ high-resolution femtosecond Laser Ablation Multiple Collector Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (LA-MC-ICP-MS to demonstrate a distinct biologically-induced decline of boron (B isotopic composition (δ11B as a result of coral bleaching. These findings and methodology offer a new use for a previously developed isotopic proxy to reconstruct paleo-coral bleaching events. Based on a literature review of published δ11B data and our recorded "vital effect" of coral bleaching on the δ11B signal, we also describe at least two possible coral bleaching events since the Last Glacial Maximum. The implementation of this bleaching proxy holds the potential of identifying occurrences of coral bleaching throughout the geological record. A deeper temporal view of coral bleaching will enable scientists to determine if it occurred in the past during times of environmental change and what outcome it may have had on coral population structure.

  10. Comparative embryology of eleven species of stony corals (Scleractinia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nami Okubo

    Full Text Available A comprehensive understanding of coral reproduction and development is needed because corals are threatened in many ways by human activity. Major threats include the loss of their photosynthetic symbionts (Symbiodinium caused by rising temperatures (bleaching, reduced ability to calcify caused by ocean acidification, increased storm severity associated with global climate change and an increase in predators caused by runoff from human agricultural activity. In spite of these threats, detailed descriptions of embryonic development are not available for many coral species. The current consensus is that there are two major groups of stony corals, the "complex" and the "robust". In this paper we describe the embryonic development of four "complex" species, Pseudosiderastrea tayamai, Galaxea fascicularis, Montipora hispida, and Pavona Decussata, and seven "robust" species, Oulastrea crispata, Platygyra contorta, Favites abdita, Echinophyllia aspera, Goniastrea favulus, Dipsastraea speciosa (previously Favia speciosa, and Phymastrea valenciennesi (previously Montastrea valenciennesi. Data from both histologically sectioned embryos and whole mounts are presented. One apparent difference between these two major groups is that before gastrulation the cells of the complex corals thus far described (mainly Acropora species spread and flatten to produce the so-called prawn chip, which lacks a blastocoel. Our present broad survey of robust and complex corals reveals that prawn chip formation is not a synapomorphy of complex corals, as Pavona Decussata does not form a prawn chip and has a well-developed blastocoel. Although prawn chip formation cannot be used to separate the two clades, none of the robust corals which we surveyed has such a stage. Many robust coral embryos pass through two periods of invagination, separated by a return to a spherical shape. However, only the second of these periods is associated with endoderm formation. We have therefore

  11. Evolutionary insights into scleractinian corals using comparative genomic hybridizations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aranda Manuel

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Coral reefs belong to the most ecologically and economically important ecosystems on our planet. Yet, they are under steady decline worldwide due to rising sea surface temperatures, disease, and pollution. Understanding the molecular impact of these stressors on different coral species is imperative in order to predict how coral populations will respond to this continued disturbance. The use of molecular tools such as microarrays has provided deep insight into the molecular stress response of corals. Here, we have performed comparative genomic hybridizations (CGH with different coral species to an Acropora palmata microarray platform containing 13,546 cDNA clones in order to identify potentially rapidly evolving genes and to determine the suitability of existing microarray platforms for use in gene expression studies (via heterologous hybridization. Results Our results showed that the current microarray platform for A. palmata is able to provide biological relevant information for a wide variety of coral species covering both the complex clade as well the robust clade. Analysis of the fraction of highly diverged genes showed a significantly higher amount of genes without annotation corroborating previous findings that point towards a higher rate of divergence for taxonomically restricted genes. Among the genes with annotation, we found many mitochondrial genes to be highly diverged in M. faveolata when compared to A. palmata, while the majority of nuclear encoded genes maintained an average divergence rate. Conclusions The use of present microarray platforms for transcriptional analyses in different coral species will greatly enhance the understanding of the molecular basis of stress and health and highlight evolutionary differences between scleractinian coral species. On a genomic basis, we show that cDNA arrays can be used to identify patterns of divergence. Mitochondrion-encoded genes seem to have diverged faster than

  12. How a bacterial pathogen swims in the storm stirred up by its coral host

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brumley, Douglas; Garren, Melissa; Fernandez, Vicente; Stocker, Roman

    2014-11-01

    One important cause of the worldwide demise of coral reefs is the infection of corals by pathogenic bacteria. These bacteria are always motile, yet how they land on the coral surface remains unclear. In particular, the recently discovered vortical flows produced by the coral with its epidermal cilia create a hostile hydrodynamic environment for motility and the pursuit of chemical cues. We used high-speed imaging coupled with dual-wavelength epifluorescent microscopy to track individual Vibrio coralliilyticus bacteria - known for causing coral disease - in the immediate vicinity of its host, the coral Pocillopora damicornis. By simultaneously determining the fluid velocity and bacterial trajectories, we quantified the ability of the bacteria to target the coral surface. We show that the cilia-driven flows considerably but not entirely disrupt bacterial navigation towards the coral, as a result of (i) the stirring of the chemical cues guiding the cells and (ii) the shear-induced alignment of bacteria within the flow. By enabling the direct visualization of microbial motility in ciliary flows, this system can not only provide insights into coral disease, but also serve as a model system for bacterial disease in other ciliated environments, including the human respiratory system.

  13. Coral reef ecosystem

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

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

    communication). Fossil reefs, drowned as a result of the Holocene sea level rise, occur at 92, 85, 75 and 55 m depth along .. ~ !! ":2 0. ~ Figure 3.1 Graphical Representation of the SO-Box Model of a Caribbean Coral Reef Key: 1. Benthic producers. 2. Detritus... explain the low species diversity and the absence of branching corals in the intertidal regions. H.aised fossil reefs, proba bly as a result of local upheavals, arc found in Minicoy island (Gardiner 1903), in Ramanalhapuram district in Tamil Nadu...

  14. Deep Sea Coral National Observation Database, Northeast Region

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The national database of deep sea coral observations. Northeast version 1.0. * This database was developed by the NOAA NOS NCCOS CCMA Biogeography office as part of...

  15. Chronic coral consumption by butterflyfishes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cole, A. J.; Lawton, R. J.; Pratchett, M. S.; Wilson, S. K.

    2011-03-01

    Interactions between predators and prey organisms are of fundamental importance to ecological communities. While the ecological impact that grazing predators can have in terrestrial and temperate marine systems are well established, the importance of coral grazers on tropical reefs has rarely been considered. In this study, we estimate the biomass of coral tissue consumed by four prominent species of corallivorous butterflyfishes. Sub-adult butterflyfishes (60-70 mm, 6-11 g) remove between 0.6 and 0.9 g of live coral tissue per day, while larger adults (>110 mm, ~40-50 g) remove between 1.5 and 3 g of coral tissue each day. These individual consumption rates correspond to the population of coral-feeding butterflyfishes at three exposed reef crest habitats at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, consuming between 14.6 g (±2.0) and 19.6 g (±3.9) .200 m-2 day-1 of coral tissue. When standardised to the biomass of butterflyfishes present, a combined reefwide removal rate of 4.2 g (±1.2) of coral tissue is consumed per 200 m-2 kg-1 of coral-feeding butterflyfishes. The quantity of coral tissue removed by these predators is considerably larger than previously expected and indicates that coral grazers are likely to play an important role in the transfer of energy fixed by corals to higher consumers. Chronic coral consumption by butterflyfishes is expected to exact a large energetic cost upon prey corals and contribute to an increased rate of coral loss on reefs already threatened by anthropogenic pressure and ongoing climate change.

  16. Stomach development, stem cells and disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Tae-Hee; Shivdasani, Ramesh A

    2016-02-15

    The stomach, an organ derived from foregut endoderm, secretes acid and enzymes and plays a key role in digestion. During development, mesenchymal-epithelial interactions drive stomach specification, patterning, differentiation and growth through selected signaling pathways and transcription factors. After birth, the gastric epithelium is maintained by the activity of stem cells. Developmental signals are aberrantly activated and stem cell functions are disrupted in gastric cancer and other disorders. Therefore, a better understanding of stomach development and stem cells can inform approaches to treating these conditions. This Review highlights the molecular mechanisms of stomach development and discusses recent findings regarding stomach stem cells and organoid cultures, and their roles in investigating disease mechanisms. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  17. A Heterologous Multiepitope DNA Prime/Recombinant Protein Boost Immunisation Strategy for the Development of an Antiserum against Micrurus corallinus (Coral Snake) Venom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramos, Henrique Roman; Junqueira-de-Azevedo, Inácio de Loiola M.; Novo, Juliana Branco; Castro, Karen; Duarte, Clara Guerra; Machado-de-Ávila, Ricardo A.; Chavez-Olortegui, Carlos; Ho, Paulo Lee

    2016-01-01

    Background Envenoming by coral snakes (Elapidae: Micrurus), although not abundant, represent a serious health threat in the Americas, especially because antivenoms are scarce. The development of adequate amounts of antielapidic serum for the treatment of accidents caused by snakes like Micrurus corallinus is a challenging task due to characteristics such as low venom yield, fossorial habit, relatively small sizes and ophiophagous diet. These features make it difficult to capture and keep these snakes in captivity for venom collection. Furthermore, there are reports of antivenom scarcity in USA, leading to an increase in morbidity and mortality, with patients needing to be intubated and ventilated while the toxin wears off. The development of an alternative method for the production of an antielapidic serum, with no need for snake collection and maintenance in captivity, would be a plausible solution for the antielapidic serum shortage. Methods and Findings In this work we describe the mapping, by the SPOT-synthesis technique, of potential B-cell epitopes from five putative toxins from M. corallinus, which were used to design two multiepitope DNA strings for the genetic immunisation of female BALB/c mice. Results demonstrate that sera obtained from animals that were genetically immunised with these multiepitope constructs, followed by booster doses of recombinant proteins lead to a 60% survival in a lethal dose neutralisation assay. Conclusion Here we describe that the genetic immunisation with a synthetic multiepitope gene followed by booster doses with recombinant protein is a promising approach to develop an alternative antielapidic serum against M. corallinus venom without the need of collection and the very challenging maintenance of these snakes in captivity. PMID:26938217

  18. A Heterologous Multiepitope DNA Prime/Recombinant Protein Boost Immunisation Strategy for the Development of an Antiserum against Micrurus corallinus (Coral Snake Venom.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henrique Roman Ramos

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Envenoming by coral snakes (Elapidae: Micrurus, although not abundant, represent a serious health threat in the Americas, especially because antivenoms are scarce. The development of adequate amounts of antielapidic serum for the treatment of accidents caused by snakes like Micrurus corallinus is a challenging task due to characteristics such as low venom yield, fossorial habit, relatively small sizes and ophiophagous diet. These features make it difficult to capture and keep these snakes in captivity for venom collection. Furthermore, there are reports of antivenom scarcity in USA, leading to an increase in morbidity and mortality, with patients needing to be intubated and ventilated while the toxin wears off. The development of an alternative method for the production of an antielapidic serum, with no need for snake collection and maintenance in captivity, would be a plausible solution for the antielapidic serum shortage.In this work we describe the mapping, by the SPOT-synthesis technique, of potential B-cell epitopes from five putative toxins from M. corallinus, which were used to design two multiepitope DNA strings for the genetic immunisation of female BALB/c mice. Results demonstrate that sera obtained from animals that were genetically immunised with these multiepitope constructs, followed by booster doses of recombinant proteins lead to a 60% survival in a lethal dose neutralisation assay.Here we describe that the genetic immunisation with a synthetic multiepitope gene followed by booster doses with recombinant protein is a promising approach to develop an alternative antielapidic serum against M. corallinus venom without the need of collection and the very challenging maintenance of these snakes in captivity.

  19. Persistence and change in community composition of reef corals through present, past, and future climates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter J Edmunds

    Full Text Available The reduction in coral cover on many contemporary tropical reefs suggests a different set of coral community assemblages will dominate future reefs. To evaluate the capacity of reef corals to persist over various time scales, we examined coral community dynamics in contemporary, fossil, and simulated future coral reef ecosystems. Based on studies between 1987 and 2012 at two locations in the Caribbean, and between 1981 and 2013 at five locations in the Indo-Pacific, we show that many coral genera declined in abundance, some showed no change in abundance, and a few coral genera increased in abundance. Whether the abundance of a genus declined, increased, or was conserved, was independent of coral family. An analysis of fossil-reef communities in the Caribbean revealed changes in numerical dominance and relative abundances of coral genera, and demonstrated that neither dominance nor taxon was associated with persistence. As coral family was a poor predictor of performance on contemporary reefs, a trait-based, dynamic, multi-patch model was developed to explore the phenotypic basis of ecological performance in a warmer future. Sensitivity analyses revealed that upon exposure to thermal stress, thermal tolerance, growth rate, and longevity were the most important predictors of coral persistence. Together, our results underscore the high variation in the rates and direction of change in coral abundances on contemporary and fossil reefs. Given this variation, it remains possible that coral reefs will be populated by a subset of the present coral fauna in a future that is warmer than the recent past.

  20. A coral-algal phase shift in Mesoamerica not driven by changes in herbivorous fish abundance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arias-González, Jesús Ernesto; Fung, Tak; Seymour, Robert M; Garza-Pérez, Joaquín Rodrigo; Acosta-González, Gilberto; Bozec, Yves-Marie; Johnson, Craig R

    2017-01-01

    Coral-algal phase shifts in which coral cover declines to low levels and is replaced by algae have often been documented on coral reefs worldwide. This has motivated coral reef management responses that include restriction and regulation of fishing, e.g. herbivorous fish species. However, there is evidence that eutrophication and sedimentation can be at least as important as a reduction in herbivory in causing phase shifts. These threats arise from coastal development leading to increased nutrient and sediment loads, which stimulate algal growth and negatively impact corals respectively. Here, we first present results of a dynamic process-based model demonstrating that in addition to overharvesting of herbivorous fish, bottom-up processes have the potential to precipitate coral-algal phase shifts on Mesoamerican reefs. We then provide an empirical example that exemplifies this on coral reefs off Mahahual in Mexico, where a shift from coral to algal dominance occurred over 14 years, during which there was little change in herbivore biomass but considerable development of tourist infrastructure. Our results indicate that coastal development can compromise the resilience of coral reefs and that watershed and coastal zone management together with the maintenance of functional levels of fish herbivory are critical for the persistence of coral reefs in Mesoamerica.

  1. National Coral Reef Monitoring Program: Assessment of coral reef communities in Puerto Rico using the Coral Demographics method

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Coral Demographic method is one of two benthic surveys conducted in Puerto Rico as part of the National Coral Reef Monitoring Program (NCRMP). The coral...

  2. Assessing coral reef health across onshore to offshore stress gradients in the US Virgin Islands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, T B; Nemeth, R S; Blondeau, J; Calnan, J M; Kadison, E; Herzlieb, S

    2008-12-01

    Managing the effects of anthropogenic disturbance on coral reefs is highly dependant on effective strategies to assess degradation and recovery. We used five years of field data in the US Virgin Islands to investigate coral reef response to a potential gradient of stress. We found that the prevalence of old partial mortality, bleaching, and all forms of coral health impairment (a novel category) increased with nearshore anthropogenic processes, such as a five-fold higher rate of clay and silt sedimentation. Other patterns of coral health, such as recent partial mortality, other diseases, and benthic cover, did not respond to this potential gradient of stress or their response could not be resolved at the frequency or scale of monitoring. We suggest that persistent signs of disturbance are more useful to short-term, non-intensive (annual) coral reef assessments, but more intensive (semi-annual) assessments are necessary to resolve patterns of transient signs of coral health impairment.

  3. Coral mortality in reefs: The cause and effect; A central concern for reef monitoring

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Raghukumar, C.

    are destructive and long-lasting. The coral reef monitoring programme therefore aims at identifying reefs in various localities inorder to monitor them for various diseases and hence evolve strategies to eliminate the causes of diseases...

  4. Monitored and modeled coral population dynamics and the refuge concept.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riegl, B; Purkis, S J; Keck, J; Rowlands, G P

    2009-01-01

    With large-scale impacts on coral reefs due to global climatic change projected to increase dramatically, and suitability of many areas for reef growth projected to decrease, the question arises whether particular settings might serve as refugia that can maintain higher coral populations than surrounding areas. We examine this hypothesis on a small, local scale in Honduras, western Caribbean. Dense coral thickets containing high numbers of the endangered coral Acropora cervicornis occur on offshore banks while being rare on the fringing reef on nearby Roatán. Geomorphological setting and community dynamics were evaluated and monitored from 1996 to 2005. A model of population dynamics was developed to test assumptions derived from monitoring. Coral cover on the fringing reef declined in 1998 from >30% to causes good flushing. Only four A. cervicornis recruits were recorded on the fringing reef over 6 years. Runoff associated with hurricanes caused greater mortality than did bleaching in 1998 and 2005 on the fringing reef, but not on the banks. Since 1870, our analysis suggests that corals on the banks may have been favored during 17 runoff events associated with tropical depressions and storms and potentially also during five bleaching events, but this is more uncertain. Our model suggests that under this disturbance regime, the banks will indeed maintain higher coral populations than the fringing reef and supports the assumption that offshore banks could serve as refugia with the capacity to subsidize depleted mainland populations.

  5. Coral reefs at risk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Showstack, Randy

    Eighty-eight percent of Southeast Asia's reefs are threatened by overfishing, destructive fishing, and sedimentation and pollution from inland activities, according to a new report by 35 regional scientists published by the World Resources Institute.Nearly 100,000 square kilometers of coral reefs—34% of the world's total—are located in Southeast Asia.

  6. Coral Reef Biological Criteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coral reefs worldwide are experiencing decline from a variety of stressors. Some important stressors are land-based sources of pollution and human activities in the coastal zone. However, few tools are available to offset the impact of these stressors. The Clean Water Act (CWA...

  7. Raiding the Coral Nurseries?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alison M. Jones

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available A recent shift in the pattern of commercial harvest in the Keppel Island region of the southern inshore Great Barrier Reef raises concern about the depletion of a number of relatively rare restricted range taxa. The shift appears to be driven by demand from the United States (US for corals for domestic aquaria. Data from the annual status reports from the Queensland Coral Fishery were compared with export trade data to the US from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES. Evidence was found of recent increases in the harvest of species from the Mussidae family (Acanthastrea spp. which appears to be largely driven by demand from the US. On present trends, the industry runs the risk of localized depletion of Blastomussa and Scolymia; evidenced by an increase in the harvest of small specimens and the trend of decreasing harvest despite a concurrent increase in demand. Considering their relatively high sediment tolerance compared to other reef-building species, and the current lack of information about their functional role in reef stability, the trend raises concerns about the impact of the harvest on local coral communities. The recent shift in harvest patterns could have impacts on slow-growing species by allowing harvest beyond the rate of population regeneration. In light of these factors, combined with the value of such species to local tourism, a commercial coral fishery based on uncommon but highly sought-after species may not be ecologically sustainable or economically viable in the Keppels.

  8. Lipid metabolism in Drosophila: development and disease

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhonghua Liu; Xun Huang

    2013-01-01

    Proteins,nucleic acids,and lipids are three major components of the cell.Despite a few basic metabolic pathways,we know very little about lipids,compared with the explosion of knowledge about proteins and nucleic acids.How many different forms of lipids are there? What are the in vivo functions of individual lipid? How does lipid metabolism contribute to normal development and human health? Many of these questions remain unanswered.For over a century,the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster has been used as a model organism to study basic biological questions.In recent years,increasing evidences proved that Drosophila models are highly valuable for lipid metabolism and energy homeostasis researches.Some recent progresses of lipid metabolic regulation during Drosophila development and in Drosophila models of human diseases will be discussed in this review.

  9. Major similarities in the bacterial communities associated with lesioned and healthy Fungiidae corals

    KAUST Repository

    Apprill, Amy

    2013-03-21

    Cultivation-based studies have demonstrated that yellow-band disease (YBD), a lesion-producing ailment affecting diverse species of coral, is caused by a consortium of Vibrio spp. This study takes the first cultivation-independent approach to examine the whole bacterial community associated with YBD-like lesioned corals. Two species of Fungiidae corals, Ctenactis crassa and Herpolitha limax, displaying YBD-like lesions were examined across diverse reefs throughout the Red Sea. Using a pyrosequencing approach targeting the V1-V3 regions of the SSU rRNA gene, no major differences in bacterial community composition or diversity were identified between healthy and lesioned corals of either species. Indicator species analysis did not find Vibrio significantly associated with the lesioned corals. However, operational taxonomic units belonging to the Ruegeria genus of Alphaproteobacteria and NS9 marine group of Flavobacteria were significantly associated with the lesioned corals. The most striking trend of this dataset was that reef location was found to be the most significant influence on the coral-bacterial community. It is possible that more pronounced lesion-specific bacterial signatures might have been concealed by the strong influence of environmental conditions on coral-bacteria. Overall, this study demonstrates inconsistencies between cultivation-independent and cultivation-based studies regarding the role of specific bacteria in coral diseases. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Society for Applied Microbiology.

  10. Drugs in development for Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnston, Tom H; Brotchie, Jonathan M

    2004-07-01

    Pharmacological treatment of Parkinson's disease (PD) is entering a new and exciting era. Real promise now exists for the clinical application of a large range of molecules in development that will combat different aspects and stages of the condition. These include methyl- and ethyl-esterified forms of L-dopa (etilevodopa and melevodopa), inhibitors of enzymes such as monoamine oxidase type-B (eg, rasagiline), catechol-O-methyl transferase (eg, BIA-3202) and the monoamine re-uptake mechanism (eg, brasofensine). In addition, a range of full and partial dopamine agonists (eg, sumanirole, piribedil and BP-897) and their new formulations, for example, patch delivery systems (eg, rotigotine) are being developed. We also highlight non-dopaminergic treatments that will have wide ranging applications in the treatment of PD and L-dopa-induced dyskinesia. These include alpha2 adrenergic receptor antagonists (eg, fipamezole), adenosine A2A receptor antagonists (eg, istradefylline), AMPA receptor antagonists (eg, talampanel), neuronal synchronization modulators (eg, levetiracetam) and agents that interact with serotonergic systems such as 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)1A agonists (eg, sarizotan) and 5-HT2A antagonists (eg, quetiapine). Lastly, we examine a growing number of neuroprotective agents that seek to halt or even reverse disease progression. These include anti-apoptotic kinase inhibitors (eg, CEP-1347), modulators of mitochondrial function (eg, creatine), growth factors (eg, leteprinim), neuroimmunophilins (eg, V-10367), estrogens (eg, MITO-4509), c-synuclein oligomerization inhibitors (eg, PAN-408) and sonic hedgehog ligands.

  11. The wicked problem of China's disappearing coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Terry P; Huang, Hui; Young, Matthew A L

    2013-04-01

    We examined the development of coral reef science and the policies, institutions, and governance frameworks for management of coral reefs in China in order to highlight the wicked problem of preserving reefs while simultaneously promoting human development and nation building. China and other sovereign states in the region are experiencing unprecedented economic expansion, rapid population growth, mass migration, widespread coastal development, and loss of habitat. We analyzed a large, fragmented literature on the condition of coral reefs in China and the disputed territories of the South China Sea. We found that coral abundance has declined by at least 80% over the past 30 years on coastal fringing reefs along the Chinese mainland and adjoining Hainan Island. On offshore atolls and archipelagos claimed by 6 countries in the South China Sea, coral cover has declined from an average of >60% to around 20% within the past 10-15 years. Climate change has affected these reefs far less than coastal development, pollution, overfishing, and destructive fishing practices. Ironically, these widespread declines in the condition of reefs are unfolding as China's research and reef-management capacity are rapidly expanding. Before the loss of corals becomes irreversible, governance of China's coastal reefs could be improved by increasing public awareness of declining ecosystem services, by providing financial support for training of reef scientists and managers, by improving monitoring of coral reef dynamics and condition to better inform policy development, and by enforcing existing regulations that could protect coral reefs. In the South China Sea, changes in policy and legal frameworks, refinement of governance structures, and cooperation among neighboring countries are urgently needed to develop cooperative management of contested offshore reefs.

  12. Reef-Scale Thermal Stress Monitoring of Coral Ecosystems: New 5-km Global Products from NOAA Coral Reef Watch

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gang Liu

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA Coral Reef Watch (CRW program has developed a daily global 5-km product suite based on satellite observations to monitor thermal stress on coral reefs. These products fulfill requests from coral reef managers and researchers for higher resolution products by taking advantage of new satellites, sensors and algorithms. Improvements of the 5-km products over CRW’s heritage global 50-km products are derived from: (1 the higher resolution and greater data density of NOAA’s next-generation operational daily global 5-km geo-polar blended sea surface temperature (SST analysis; and (2 implementation of a new SST climatology derived from the Pathfinder SST climate data record. The new products increase near-shore coverage and now allow direct monitoring of 95% of coral reefs and significantly reduce data gaps caused by cloud cover. The 5-km product suite includes SST Anomaly, Coral Bleaching HotSpots, Degree Heating Weeks and Bleaching Alert Area, matching existing CRW products. When compared with the 50-km products and in situ bleaching observations for 2013–2014, the 5-km products identified known thermal stress events and matched bleaching observations. These near reef-scale products significantly advance the ability of coral reef researchers and managers to monitor coral thermal stress in near-real-time.

  13. Resilience of Florida Keys Coral Communities Following Large-Scale Disturbances

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lauri MacLaughlin

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available The decline of coral reefs in the Caribbean over the last 40 years has been attributed to multiple chronic stressors and episodic large-scale disturbances. This study assessed the resilience of coral communities in two different regions of the Florida Keys reef system between 1998 and 2002 following hurricane impacts and coral bleaching in 1998. Resilience was assessed from changes in coral abundance, diversity, disease, and bleaching prevalence in reefs near the remote off-shore islands of the Dry Tortugas compared to reefs near Key West, a center of high population density and anthropogenic influences. During the first assessment in spring 1998, Key West and Dry Tortugas coral communities had similar abundance, species diversity, and disease prevalence. Bleaching and disease significantly increased in all reef areas during the summer 1998 El Niño event, with Key West reefs exhibiting higher bleaching and disease prevalence and severity compared to Dry Tortugas. Acroporids and total coral abundance significantly declined in both regions during 1998 following mass-coral bleaching and hurricane impact, but remained reduced only on Key West reefs during the 5-year assessment. These results provide additional evidence that coral reef systems distant from anthropogenic influences may have greater resilience to large-scale disturbances.

  14. First frozen repository for the Great Barrier Reef coral created.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagedorn, Mary; van Oppen, Madeleine J H; Carter, Virginia; Henley, Mike; Abrego, David; Puill-Stephan, Eneour; Negri, Andrew; Heyward, Andrew; MacFarlane, Doug; Spindler, Rebecca

    2012-10-01

    To build new tools for the continued protection and propagation of coral from the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), an international group of coral and cryopreservation scientists known as the Reef Recovery Initiative joined forces during the November 2011 mass-spawning event. The outcome was the creation of the first frozen bank for Australian coral from two important GBR reef-building species, Acropora tenuis and Acropora millepora. Approximately 190 frozen samples each with billions of cells were placed into long-term storage. Sperm cells were successfully cryopreserved, and after thawing, samples were used to fertilize eggs, resulting in functioning larvae. Additionally, developing larvae were dissociated, and these pluripotent cells were cryopreserved and viable after thawing. Now, we are in a unique position to move our work from the laboratory to the reefs to develop collaborative, practical conservation management tools to help secure Australia's coral biodiversity.

  15. The continuing decline of coral reefs in Bahrain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burt, John A; Al-Khalifa, Khalifa; Khalaf, Ebtesam; Alshuwaikh, Bassem; Abdulwahab, Ahmed

    2013-07-30

    Historically coral reefs of Bahrain were among the most extensive in the southern basin of the Arabian Gulf. However, Bahrain's reefs have undergone significant decline in the last four decades as a result of large-scale coastal development and elevated sea surface temperature events. Here we quantitatively surveyed six sites including most major coral reef habitats around Bahrain and a reef located 72 km offshore. Fleshy and turf algae now dominate Bahrain's reefs (mean: 72% cover), and live coral cover is low (mean: 5.1%). Formerly dominant Acropora were not observed at any site. The offshore Bulthama reef had the highest coral cover (16.3%) and species richness (22 of the 23 species observed, 13 of which were exclusive to this site). All reefs for which recent and historical data are available show continued degradation, and it is unlikely that they will recover under continuing coastal development and projected climate change impacts. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Life on the edge: corals in mangroves and climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, Caroline S.; Herlan, James J.

    2012-01-01

    Coral diseases have played a major role in the degradation of coral reefs in the Caribbean, including those in the US Virgin Islands (USVI). In 2005, bleaching affected reefs throughout the Caribbean, and was especially severe on USVI reefs. Some corals began to regain their color as water temperatures cooled, but an outbreak of disease (primarily white plague) led to losses of over 60% of the total live coral cover. Montastraea annularis, the most abundant coral, was disproportionately affected, and decreased in relative abundance. The threatened species Acropora palmata bleached for the first time on record in the USVI but suffered less bleaching and less mortality from disease than M. annularis. Acropora palmata and M. annularis are the two most significant species in the USVI because of their structural role in the architecture of the reefs, the large size of their colonies, and their complex morphology. The future of the USVI reefs depends largely on their fate. Acropora palmata is more likely to recover than M. annularis for many reasons, including its faster growth rate, and its lower vulnerability to bleaching and disease.

  17. Seaweed-coral interactions: variance in seaweed allelopathy, coral susceptibility, and potential effects on coral resilience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonaldo, Roberta M; Hay, Mark E

    2014-01-01

    Tropical reefs are in global decline with seaweeds commonly replacing corals. Negative associations between macroalgae and corals are well documented, but the mechanisms involved, the dynamics of the interactions, and variance in effects of different macroalgal-coral pairings are poorly investigated. We assessed the frequency, magnitude, and dynamics of macroalgal-coral competition involving allelopathic and non-allelopathic macroalgae on three, spatially grouped pairs of no-take Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and non-MPAs in Fiji. In non-MPAs, biomass of herbivorous fishes was 70-80% lower, macroalgal cover 4-9 fold higher, macroalgal-coral contacts 5-15 fold more frequent and 23-67 fold more extensive (measured as % of colony margin contacted by macroalgae), and coral cover 51-68% lower than in MPAs. Coral contacts with allelopathic macroalgae occurred less frequently than expected by chance across all sites, while contact with non-allelopathic macroalgae tended to occur more frequently than expected. Transplants of allelopathic macroalgae (Chlorodesmis fastigiata and Galaxaura filamentosa) against coral edges inflicted damage to Acropora aspera and Pocillopora damicornis more rapidly and extensively than to Porites cylindrica and Porites lobata, which appeared more resistant to these macroalgae. Montipora digitata experienced intermediate damage. Extent of damage from macroalgal contact was independent of coral colony size for each of the 10 macroalgal-coral pairings we established. When natural contacts with Galaxaura filamentosa were removed in the field, recovery was rapid for Porites lobata, but Pocillopora damicornis did not recover and damage continued to expand. As macroalgae increase on overfished tropical reefs, allelopathy could produce feedbacks that suppress coral resilience, prevent coral recovery, and promote the stability of algal beds in habitats previously available to corals.

  18. Seaweed-coral interactions: variance in seaweed allelopathy, coral susceptibility, and potential effects on coral resilience.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberta M Bonaldo

    Full Text Available Tropical reefs are in global decline with seaweeds commonly replacing corals. Negative associations between macroalgae and corals are well documented, but the mechanisms involved, the dynamics of the interactions, and variance in effects of different macroalgal-coral pairings are poorly investigated. We assessed the frequency, magnitude, and dynamics of macroalgal-coral competition involving allelopathic and non-allelopathic macroalgae on three, spatially grouped pairs of no-take Marine Protected Areas (MPAs and non-MPAs in Fiji. In non-MPAs, biomass of herbivorous fishes was 70-80% lower, macroalgal cover 4-9 fold higher, macroalgal-coral contacts 5-15 fold more frequent and 23-67 fold more extensive (measured as % of colony margin contacted by macroalgae, and coral cover 51-68% lower than in MPAs. Coral contacts with allelopathic macroalgae occurred less frequently than expected by chance across all sites, while contact with non-allelopathic macroalgae tended to occur more frequently than expected. Transplants of allelopathic macroalgae (Chlorodesmis fastigiata and Galaxaura filamentosa against coral edges inflicted damage to Acropora aspera and Pocillopora damicornis more rapidly and extensively than to Porites cylindrica and Porites lobata, which appeared more resistant to these macroalgae. Montipora digitata experienced intermediate damage. Extent of damage from macroalgal contact was independent of coral colony size for each of the 10 macroalgal-coral pairings we established. When natural contacts with Galaxaura filamentosa were removed in the field, recovery was rapid for Porites lobata, but Pocillopora damicornis did not recover and damage continued to expand. As macroalgae increase on overfished tropical reefs, allelopathy could produce feedbacks that suppress coral resilience, prevent coral recovery, and promote the stability of algal beds in habitats previously available to corals.

  19. Effectiveness of coral relocation as a mitigation strategy in Kāne'ohe Bay, Hawai'i.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodgers, Ku'ulei S; Lorance, Koi; Richards Donà, Angela; Stender, Yuko; Lager, Claire; Jokiel, Paul L

    2017-01-01

    Coral reef restoration and management techniques are in ever-increasing demand due to the global decline of coral reefs in the last several decades. Coral relocation has been established as an appropriate restoration technique in select cases, particularly where corals are scheduled for destruction. However, continued long-term monitoring of recovery of transplanted corals is seldom sustained. Removal of coral from a navigation channel and relocation to a similar nearby dredged site occurred in 2005. Coral recovery at the donor site and changes in fish populations at the receiving site were tracked periodically over the following decade. Coral regrowth at the donor site was rapid until a recent bleaching event reduced coral cover by more than half. The transplant of mature colonies increased spatial complexity at the receiving site, immediately increasing fish biomass, abundance, and species that was maintained throughout subsequent surveys. Our research indicates that unlike the majority of historical accounts of coral relocation in the Pacific, corals transplanted into wave-protected areas with similar conditions as the original site can have high survival rates. Data on long-term monitoring of coral transplants in diverse environments is central in developing management and mitigation strategies.

  20. Effectiveness of coral relocation as a mitigation strategy in Kāne‘ohe Bay, Hawai‘i

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ku’ulei S. Rodgers

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Coral reef restoration and management techniques are in ever-increasing demand due to the global decline of coral reefs in the last several decades. Coral relocation has been established as an appropriate restoration technique in select cases, particularly where corals are scheduled for destruction. However, continued long-term monitoring of recovery of transplanted corals is seldom sustained. Removal of coral from a navigation channel and relocation to a similar nearby dredged site occurred in 2005. Coral recovery at the donor site and changes in fish populations at the receiving site were tracked periodically over the following decade. Coral regrowth at the donor site was rapid until a recent bleaching event reduced coral cover by more than half. The transplant of mature colonies increased spatial complexity at the receiving site, immediately increasing fish biomass, abundance, and species that was maintained throughout subsequent surveys. Our research indicates that unlike the majority of historical accounts of coral relocation in the Pacific, corals transplanted into wave-protected areas with similar conditions as the original site can have high survival rates. Data on long-term monitoring of coral transplants in diverse environments is central in developing management and mitigation strategies.