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Sample records for coral triangle14c time

  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. © 2016 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Regional decline of coral cover in the Indo-Pacific: timing, extent, and subregional comparisons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John F Bruno

    2007-08-01

    Full Text Available A number of factors have recently caused mass coral mortality events in all of the world's tropical oceans. However, little is known about the timing, rate or spatial variability of the loss of reef-building corals, especially in the Indo-Pacific, which contains 75% of the world's coral reefs.We compiled and analyzed a coral cover database of 6001 quantitative surveys of 2667 Indo-Pacific coral reefs performed between 1968 and 2004. Surveys conducted during 2003 indicated that coral cover averaged only 22.1% (95% CI: 20.7, 23.4 and just 7 of 390 reefs surveyed that year had coral cover >60%. Estimated yearly coral cover loss based on annually pooled survey data was approximately 1% over the last twenty years and 2% between 1997 and 2003 (or 3,168 km(2 per year. The annual loss based on repeated measures regression analysis of a subset of reefs that were monitored for multiple years from 1997 to 2004 was 0.72 % (n = 476 reefs, 95% CI: 0.36, 1.08.The rate and extent of coral loss in the Indo-Pacific are greater than expected. Coral cover was also surprisingly uniform among subregions and declined decades earlier than previously assumed, even on some of the Pacific's most intensely managed reefs. These results have significant implications for policy makers and resource managers as they search for successful models to reverse coral loss.

  3. Quantification of algal endosymbionts (Symbiodinium) in coral tissue using real-time PCR

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mieog, J. C.; Van Oppen, M. J. H.; Berkelmans, R.; Stam, W. T.; Olsen, J. L.

    Understanding the flexibility of the endosymbioses between scleractinian corals and single-cell algae of the genus Symbiodinium will provide valuable insights into the future of coral reefs. Here, a real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay is presented to accurately determine the cell

  4. 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.

  5. Reconstructing surface ocean circulation with129I time series records from corals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Ching-Chih; Burr, George S; Jull, A J Timothy; Russell, Joellen L; Biddulph, Dana; White, Lara; Prouty, Nancy G; Chen, Yue-Gau; Shen, Chuan-Chou; Zhou, Weijian; Lam, Doan Dinh

    2016-12-01

    The long-lived radionuclide 129 I (half-life: 15.7 × 10 6  yr) is well-known as a useful environmental tracer. At present, the global 129 I in surface water is about 1-2 orders of magnitude higher than pre-1960 levels. Since the 1990s, anthropogenic 129 I produced from industrial nuclear fuels reprocessing plants has been the primary source of 129 I in marine surface waters of the Atlantic and around the globe. Here we present four coral 129 I time series records from: 1) Con Dao and 2) Xisha Islands, the South China Sea, 3) Rabaul, Papua New Guinea and 4) Guam. The Con Dao coral 129 I record features a sudden increase in 129 I in 1959. The Xisha coral shows similar peak values for 129 I as the Con Dao coral, punctuated by distinct low values, likely due to the upwelling in the central South China Sea. The Rabaul coral features much more gradual 129 I increases in the 1970s, similar to a published record from the Solomon Islands. The Guam coral 129 I record contains the largest measured values for any site, with two large peaks, in 1955 and 1959. Nuclear weapons testing was the primary 129 I source in the Western Pacific in the latter part of the 20th Century, notably from testing in the Marshall Islands. The Guam 1955 peak and Con Dao 1959 increases are likely from the 1954 Castle Bravo test, and the Operation Hardtack I test is the most likely source of the 1959 peak observed at Guam. Radiogenic iodine found in coral was carried primarily through surface ocean currents. The coral 129 I time series data provide a broad picture of the surface distribution and depth penetration of 129 I in the Pacific Ocean over the past 60 years. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  6. Reconstructing surface ocean circulation with 129I time series records from corals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Ching-Chih; Burr, George S.; Jull, A. J. Timothy; Russell, Joellen L.; Biddulph, Dana; White, Lara; Prouty, Nancy G.; Chen, Yue-Gau; Chuan-Chou Shen,; Zhou, Weijian; Lam, Doan Dinh

    2016-01-01

    The long-lived radionuclide 129I (half-life: 15.7 × 106 yr) is well-known as a useful environmental tracer. At present, the global 129I in surface water is about 1–2 orders of magnitude higher than pre-1960 levels. Since the 1990s, anthropogenic 129I produced from industrial nuclear fuels reprocessing plants has been the primary source of 129I in marine surface waters of the Atlantic and around the globe. Here we present four coral 129I time series records from: 1) Con Dao and 2) Xisha Islands, the South China Sea, 3) Rabaul, Papua New Guinea and 4) Guam. The Con Dao coral 129I record features a sudden increase in 129I in 1959. The Xisha coral shows similar peak values for 129I as the Con Dao coral, punctuated by distinct low values, likely due to the upwelling in the central South China Sea. The Rabaul coral features much more gradual 129I increases in the 1970s, similar to a published record from the Solomon Islands. The Guam coral 129I record contains the largest measured values for any site, with two large peaks, in 1955 and 1959. Nuclear weapons testing was the primary 129I source in the Western Pacific in the latter part of the 20th Century, notably from testing in the Marshall Islands. The Guam 1955 peak and Con Dao 1959 increases are likely from the 1954 Castle Bravo test, and the Operation Hardtack I test is the most likely source of the 1959 peak observed at Guam. Radiogenic iodine found in coral was carried primarily through surface ocean currents. The coral 129I time series data provide a broad picture of the surface distribution and depth penetration of 129I in the Pacific Ocean over the past 60 years.

  7. NOAA Coral Reef Watch Operational Near-real-time Twice-weekly Global 50 km Satellite Coral Bleaching Thermal Stress Monitoring Product Suite

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — NOAA Coral Reef Watch program produces a suite of near-real-time global 50 km monitoring products, based on sea surface temperature (SST) observations from NOAA's...

  8. Variability of spawning time (lunar day) in Acropora versus merulinid corals: a 7-yr record of in situ coral spawning in Taiwan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Che-Hung; Nozawa, Yoko

    2017-12-01

    Despite the global accumulation of coral spawning records over the past three decades, information on inter-annual variation in spawning time is still insufficient, resulting in difficulty in predicting coral spawning time. Here, we present new information on in situ spawning times of scleractinian corals at Lyudao, Taiwan, covering their inter-annual variations over a 7-yr period (2010-2016). Spawning of 42 species from 16 genera in eight families was recorded. The majority were hermaphroditic spawners (38 of 42 species), and their spawning occurred 2-4 h after sunset on 1-11 d after the full moon (AFM), mostly in April and May. There were two distinct patterns in the two dominant taxa, the genus Acropora (14 species) and the family Merulinidae (18 species in eight genera). The annual spawning of Acropora corals mostly occurred on a single night in May with high inter-annual variation of spawning (lunar) days between 1 and 11 d AFM. In contrast, the annual spawning of merulinid corals commonly occurred over 2-3 consecutive nights in two consecutive months, April and May, with the specific range of spawning days around the last quarter moon (between 5 and 8 d AFM). The distinct spawning patterns of these taxa were also documented at Okinawa and Kochi, Japan, where similar long-term monitoring of in situ coral spawning has been conducted. This variability in spawning days implies different regulatory mechanisms of synchronous spawning where Acropora corals might be more sensitive to exogenous environmental factors (hourglass mechanism), compared to merulinid corals, which may rely more on endogenous biological rhythms (oscillator mechanism).

  9. Precise timing of the last interglacial period from mass spectrometric determination of thorium-230 in corals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, J. H.; Wasserburg, G. J.; Ku, T.-L.; Edwards, R. Lawrence

    1987-01-01

    The development of mass spectrometric techniques for determination of Th-230 abundance has made it possible to reduce analytical errors in (U-238)-(U-234)-(Th-230) dating of corals even with very small samples. Samples of 6 x 10 to the 8th atoms of Th-230 can be measured to an accuracy of + or - 3 percent (2sigma), and 3 x 10 to the 10th atoms of Th-230 can be measured to an accuracy of + or - 0.2 percent. The time range over which useful age data on corals can be obtained now ranges from about 50 to about 500,000 years. For young corals, this approach may be preferable to C-14 dating. The precision with which the age of a coral can now be determined should make it possible to critically test the Milankovitch hypothesis concerning Pleistocene climate fluctuations. Analyses of a number of corals that grew during the last interglacial period yield ages of 122,000 to 130,000 years. The ages coincide with, or slightly post-date, the summer solar insolation high at 65 deg N latitude which occurred 128,000 years ago. This supports the idea that changes in Pleistocene climate can be the result of variations in the distribution of solar insolation caused by changes in the geometry of the earth's orbit and rotation axis.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

    The depletion of natural resources has become a major issue in many parts of the world, with the most accessible resources being most at risk. In the terrestrial realm, resource depletion has classically been related to accessibility through road networks. In contrast, in the marine realm, the impact on living resources is often framed into the Malthusian theory of human density around ecosystems. Here, we develop a new framework to estimate the accessibility of global coral reefs using potential travel time from the nearest human settlement or market. We show that 58% of coral reefs are located travel time from the market is a strong predictor of fish biomass on coral reefs. We also highlight a relative deficit of protection on coral reef areas near people, with disproportional protection on reefs far from people. This suggests that conservation efforts are targeting low-conflict reefs or places that may already be receiving de facto protection due to their isolation. Our global assessment of accessibility in the marine realm is a critical step to better understand the interplay between humans and resources. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  12. ECOGIG: Oil spill effects on deep-sea corals through the lenses of natural hydrocarbon seeps and long time series

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cordes, Erik E.; Auscavitch, Steven; Baums, Iliana B.; Fisher, Charles R.; Girard, Fanny; Gomez, Carlos; McClain-Counts, Jennifer P.; Mendlovitz, Howard P.; Saunders, Miles; Smith, Styles; Vohsen, Samuel; Weinheimer, Alaina

    2016-01-01

    The 2015 Ecosystem Impacts of Oil and Gas Inputs to the Gulf (ECOGIG) expedition was a continuation of a three-year partnership between our Gulf of Mexico Research Institute-funded research consortium and the Ocean Exploration Trust to study the effects of oil and dispersant on corals and closely related communities affected by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill (White et al., 2012, 2014; Hsing et al., 2013; Fisher et al., 2014a,b; Figure 1A– C). As part of our analysis, we explored a new site to the west of the Macondo well in lease block Mississippi Canyon (MC) 462 where we examined 50 new corals for impact from the spill (Figure 1D). A total of over 250 corals were re-imaged in 2015 for this ongoing time-series study. Another goal was to initiate a study to determine how proximity to natural seeps affects corals and infauna in these communities.

  13. Study by X-ray diffraction of the crystalline structure versus time of a radioactive implanted coral and of a non radioactive implanted coral

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Irigaray, J.L.; Oudadesse, H.; Sauvage, T.; El Fadl, H. [Clermont-Ferrand-2 Univ., 63 - Aubiere (France). Lab. de Physique Corpusculaire; Lefevre, J.; Barlet, J.P. [Institut National de Recherches Agronomiques, 63 -Saint-Genes-Champanelle (France)

    1993-12-31

    The corals used as biomaterials in bone surgery consist of 98% calcium carbonate in the form of aragonite and have orthorhombic crystalline structure. This structure changes progressively into a bone structure in an hexagonal form when the coral is implanted in cortical or spongy surroundings. For this experiment, a radioactive and a non radioactive coral have been implanted in the metaphysics of the ovine femur. The transformation of the orthorhombic structure into the hexagonal bone structure has been studied for the two types of implant. This makes it possible to verify if radioactivity modifies the process of transformation of the implanted biocoral. (K.A.) 3 refs.; 7 figs.

  14. How Reliable Is Structure from Motion (SfM over Time and between Observers? A Case Study Using Coral Reef Bommies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vincent Raoult

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Recent efforts to monitor the health of coral reefs have highlighted the benefits of using structure from motion-based assessments, and despite increasing use of this technique in ecology and geomorphology, no study has attempted to quantify the precision of this technique over time and across different observers. This study determined whether 3D models of an ecologically relevant reef structure, the coral bommie, could be constructed using structure from motion and be reliably used to measure bommie volume and surface area between different observers and over time. We also determined whether the number of images used to construct a model had an impact on the final measurements. Three dimensional models were constructed of over twenty coral bommies from Heron Island, a coral cay at the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef. This study did not detect any significant observer effect, and there were no significant differences in measurements over four sampling days. The mean measurement error across all bommies and between observers was 15 ± 2% for volume measurements and 12 ± 1% for surface area measurements. There was no relationship between the number of pictures taken for a reconstruction and the measurements from that model, however, more photographs were necessary to be able to reconstruct complete coral bommies larger than 1 m3. These results suggest that structure from motion is a viable tool for ongoing monitoring of ecologically-significant coral reefs, especially to establish effects of disturbances, provided the measurement error is considered.

  15. Conservation of biodiversity: a critical time for the hermatypic corals of Japan

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    Veron, J. E. N.

    1992-04-01

    Results of a long-term study of the taxonomy, distribution and abundance of the hermatypic corals of the Ryukyu Is. and mainland Japan indicate that the present high diversity is threatened by a quantitative and qualitative decrease in available habitat caused by Acanthaster planci predation and human-induced environmental deterioration. Ninety-eight sites were studied, allowing detailed comparison between the three main groups of the Ryukyu Is. (Yaeyama, Okinawa and Amami Groups) and seven principal coral regions of mainland Japan (Tanegashima, Amakusa Is., the Tosashimizu and Kushimoto regions, and the Shirahama, Izu and Tateyama Peninsulas). Within this area, 400 species have been recorded and 9 additional species are recorded from the literature, from additional localities, or with doubt, from the Ryukyu Is. In non-mutually exclusive distribution and abundance categories for the Ryukyu Is. and mainland Japan: 129 species are common in at least some Japanese localities; 24 are widely dispersed within the Indo-Pacific, but occur in small, perhaps disjunct populations in Japan; 149 are uncommon throughout their Indo-west Pacific distribution ranges including Japan; 38 are restricted to the Yaeyama Group where all but three are uncommon or rare; 69 purely reefal (Ryukyu Is.) species are rare; 17 are rare in the Ryukyu Is. but are relatively common in mainaland locations; and 8 species appear to be endemic to mainland Japan and adjacent Asian countries. Some 37% of all Japanese hermatypic corals are uncommon throughout their range in Japan and are at some risk of regional extinction, 29% of others are rare and at substantial risk as they occur only in very limited areas of high diversity or in species-specific refuges. These sites are dientified. Of the 8 endemic species, 5 are primarily restricted to species-specific refuges. These data indicate an unstable situation. At least one third of all Japanese hermatypic species will eventually be at risk if the present

  16. Biology of corals and coral reefs

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Rajkumar, R.; Parulekar, A

    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...

  17. Nutrient supply from fishes facilitates macroalgae and suppresses corals in a Caribbean coral reef ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burkepile, Deron E; Allgeier, Jacob E; Shantz, Andrew A; Pritchard, Catharine E; Lemoine, Nathan P; Bhatti, Laura H; Layman, Craig A

    2013-01-01

    On coral reefs, fishes can facilitate coral growth via nutrient excretion; however, as coral abundance declines, these nutrients may help facilitate increases in macroalgae. By combining surveys of reef communities with bioenergetics modeling, we showed that fish excretion supplied 25 times more nitrogen to forereefs in the Florida Keys, USA, than all other biotic and abiotic sources combined. One apparent result was a positive relationship between fish excretion and macroalgal cover on these reefs. Herbivore biomass also showed a negative relationship with macroalgal cover, suggesting strong interactions of top-down and bottom-up forcing. Nutrient supply by fishes also showed a negative correlation with juvenile coral density, likely mediated by competition between macroalgae and corals, suggesting that fish excretion may hinder coral recovery following large-scale coral loss. Thus, the impact of nutrient supply by fishes may be context-dependent and reinforce either coral-dominant or coral-depauperate reef communities depending on initial community states.

  18. 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...

  19. Bacterial community dynamics are linked to patterns of coral heat tolerance

    KAUST Repository

    Ziegler, Maren

    2017-02-10

    Ocean warming threatens corals and the coral reef ecosystem. Nevertheless, corals can be adapted to their thermal environment and inherit heat tolerance across generations. In addition, the diverse microbes that associate with corals have the capacity for more rapid change, potentially aiding the adaptation of long-lived corals. Here, we show that the microbiome of reef corals is different across thermally variable habitats and changes over time when corals are reciprocally transplanted. Exposing these corals to thermal bleaching conditions changes the microbiome for heat-sensitive corals, but not for heat-tolerant corals growing in habitats with natural high heat extremes. Importantly, particular bacterial taxa predict the coral host response in a short-term heat stress experiment. Such associations could result from parallel responses of the coral and the microbial community to living at high natural temperatures. A competing hypothesis is that the microbial community and coral heat tolerance are causally linked.

  20. Coral reproduction in Western Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Speed, Conrad W.; Babcock, Russ

    2016-01-01

    Larval production and recruitment underpin the maintenance of coral populations, but these early life history stages are vulnerable to extreme variation in physical conditions. Environmental managers aim to minimise human impacts during significant periods of larval production and recruitment on reefs, but doing so requires knowledge of the modes and timing of coral reproduction. Most corals are hermaphroditic or gonochoric, with a brooding or broadcast spawning mode of reproduction. Brooding corals are a significant component of some reefs and produce larvae over consecutive months. Broadcast spawning corals are more common and display considerable variation in their patterns of spawning among reefs. Highly synchronous spawning can occur on reefs around Australia, particularly on the Great Barrier Reef. On Australia’s remote north-west coast there have been fewer studies of coral reproduction. The recent industrial expansion into these regions has facilitated research, but the associated data are often contained within confidential reports. Here we combine information in this grey-literature with that available publicly to update our knowledge of coral reproduction in WA, for tens of thousands of corals and hundreds of species from over a dozen reefs spanning 20° of latitude. We identified broad patterns in coral reproduction, but more detailed insights were hindered by biased sampling; most studies focused on species of Acropora sampled over a few months at several reefs. Within the existing data, there was a latitudinal gradient in spawning activity among seasons, with mass spawning during autumn occurring on all reefs (but the temperate south-west). Participation in a smaller, multi-specific spawning during spring decreased from approximately one quarter of corals on the Kimberley Oceanic reefs to little participation at Ningaloo. Within these seasons, spawning was concentrated in March and/or April, and October and/or November, depending on the timing of

  1. Coral monitoring with fluorescence imaging lidar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sasano, Masahiko; Kiriya, Nobuo; Yamanouchi, Hiroshi; Matsumoto, Akira; Hitomi, Kazuo; Tamura, Kenkichi

    2011-06-01

    It has been pointed out that globally hermatypic corals in coral reefs have been seriously damaged in recent years, and it is predicted that such damages will expand in area in the future. It is important to monitor corals globally, in detail, and over long-term periods, for preservation of the marine environment and biodiversity. The spot-check method, one of the major coral monitoring methods, is operated by snorkelers or divers, and therefore, its operation is limited by the seastate, and its monitoring areas are often for specific observation points. On the other hand, the satellite remote sensing, another major coral monitoring methods, can cover composite coral reef areas, but the image resolution is a few meters, and it is not possible to monitor small size coral colonies and deep sea areas. The boat-based fluorescence imaging lidar system has been developed to complement these coral monitoring methods. This system obtains linear coral observation data along the boat track, and makes it possible to build a cooperative coral monitoring network. Since most hermatypic corals have fluorescent proteins, living tissues can be monitored using the blue-to-green fluorescence from UV excitation. It is possible to observe the UV-excited fluorescence images from live coral even in the daytime, by the UV excited fluorescence imaging lidar. Additionally, laser bathymetry is also possible by time-of-flight measurement. We have succeeded in observing the pseudo-coral fluorescent images and depths down to 30 m depth at the testing basin. Secondly, we have succeeded in observing the live coral fluorescent images and their depths by the lidar system using a glass-bottom-boat at Taketomi island, Okinawa, Japan. The system summary and observed data are reported in this paper.

  2. Resource-Fish surveys using timed-swims at 14 coral reef ecosystem sites off West Hawaii and 39 sites off Maui in 2005 (NODC Accession 0002709)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Effective management of coral reef ecosystems depends on adequate data on the status and trends of key ecosystem components. In spite of which, previous coral reef...

  3. Resource-Fish surveys using timed-swims at 14 coral reef ecosystem sites of West Hawaii in 2005, (NODC Accession 0002627)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Effective management of coral reef ecosystems depends on adequate data on the status and trends of key ecosystem components. In spite of which, previous coral reef...

  4. Resource-fish surveys using timed-swims at fourteen coral reef ecosystem sites of West Hawaii in 2005 (NODC Accession 0002627)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Effective management of coral reef ecosystems depends on adequate data on the status and trends of key ecosystem components. In spite of which, previous coral reef...

  5. Resource-fish surveys using timed-swims at 14 coral reef ecosystem sites off West Hawaii and 39 sites off Maui in 2005 (NCEI Accession 0002709)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Effective management of coral reef ecosystems depends on adequate data on the status and trends of key ecosystem components. In spite of which, previous coral reef...

  6. The influence of micro-topography and external bioerosion on coral-reef-building organisms: recruitment, community composition and carbonate production over time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mallela, Jennie

    2018-03-01

    The continued health and function of tropical coral reefs is highly dependent on the ability of reef-building organisms to build large, complex, three-dimensional structures that continue to accrete and evolve over time. The recent deterioration of reef health globally, including loss of coral cover, has resulted in significant declines in architectural complexity at a large, reef-scape scale. Interestingly, the fine-scale role of micro-structure in initiating and facilitating future reef development and calcium carbonate production has largely been overlooked. In this study, experimental substrates with and without micro-ridges were deployed in the lagoon at One Tree Island for 34 months. This study assessed how the presence or absence of micro-ridges promoted recruitment by key reef-building sclerobionts (corals and encrusters) and their subsequent development at micro (mm) and macro (cm) scales. Experimental plates were examined after 11 and 34 months to assess whether long-term successional and calcification processes on different micro-topographies led to convergent or divergent communities over time. Sclerobionts were most prevalent in micro-grooves when they were available. Interestingly, in shallow lagoon reef sites characterised by shoals of small parrotfish and low urchin abundance, flat substrates were also successfully recruited to. Mean rates of carbonate production were 374 ± 154 (SD) g CaCO3 m-2 yr-1 within the lagoon. Substrates with micro-ridges were characterised by significantly greater rates of carbonate production than smooth substrates. The orientation of the substrate and period of immersion also significantly impacted rates of carbonate production, with CaCO3 on cryptic tiles increasing by 28% between 11 and 34 months. In contrast, rates on exposed tiles declined by 35% over the same time. In conclusion, even at sites characterised by small-sized parrotfish and low urchin density, micro-topography is an important settlement niche clearly

  7. Amorphous calcium carbonate particles form coral skeletons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mass, Tali; Giuffre, Anthony J.; Sun, Chang-Yu; Stifler, Cayla A.; Frazier, Matthew J.; Neder, Maayan; Tamura, Nobumichi; Stan, Camelia V.; Marcus, Matthew A.; Gilbert, Pupa U. P. A.

    2017-09-01

    Do corals form their skeletons by precipitation from solution or by attachment of amorphous precursor particles as observed in other minerals and biominerals? The classical model assumes precipitation in contrast with observed “vital effects,” that is, deviations from elemental and isotopic compositions at thermodynamic equilibrium. Here, we show direct spectromicroscopy evidence in Stylophora pistillata corals that two amorphous precursors exist, one hydrated and one anhydrous amorphous calcium carbonate (ACC); that these are formed in the tissue as 400-nm particles; and that they attach to the surface of coral skeletons, remain amorphous for hours, and finally, crystallize into aragonite (CaCO3). We show in both coral and synthetic aragonite spherulites that crystal growth by attachment of ACC particles is more than 100 times faster than ion-by-ion growth from solution. Fast growth provides a distinct physiological advantage to corals in the rigors of the reef, a crowded and fiercely competitive ecosystem. Corals are affected by warming-induced bleaching and postmortem dissolution, but the finding here that ACC particles are formed inside tissue may make coral skeleton formation less susceptible to ocean acidification than previously assumed. If this is how other corals form their skeletons, perhaps this is how a few corals survived past CO2 increases, such as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum that occurred 56 Mya.

  8. Delayed coral recovery in a warming ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osborne, Kate; Thompson, Angus A; Cheal, Alistair J; Emslie, Michael J; Johns, Kerryn A; Jonker, Michelle J; Logan, Murray; Miller, Ian R; Sweatman, Hugh P A

    2017-09-01

    Climate change threatens coral reefs across the world. Intense bleaching has caused dramatic coral mortality in many tropical regions in recent decades, but less obvious chronic effects of temperature and other stressors can be equally threatening to the long-term persistence of diverse coral-dominated reef systems. Coral reefs persist if coral recovery rates equal or exceed average rates of mortality. While mortality from acute destructive events is often obvious and easy to measure, estimating recovery rates and investigating the factors that influence them requires long-term commitment. Coastal development is increasing in many regions, and sea surface temperatures are also rising. The resulting chronic stresses have predictable, adverse effects on coral recovery, but the lack of consistent long-term data sets has prevented measurement of how much coral recovery rates are actually changing. Using long-term monitoring data from 47 reefs spread over 10 degrees of latitude on Australia's Great Barrier Reef (GBR), we used a modified Gompertz equation to estimate coral recovery rates following disturbance. We compared coral recovery rates in two periods: 7 years before and 7 years after an acute and widespread heat stress event on the GBR in 2002. From 2003 to 2009, there were few acute disturbances in the region, allowing us to attribute the observed shortfall in coral recovery rates to residual effects of acute heat stress plus other chronic stressors. Compared with the period before 2002, the recovery of fast-growing Acroporidae and of "Other" slower growing hard corals slowed after 2002, doubling the time taken for modest levels of recovery. If this persists, recovery times will be increasing at a time when acute disturbances are predicted to become more frequent and intense. Our study supports the need for management actions to protect reefs from locally generated stresses, as well as urgent global action to mitigate climate change. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons

  9. Coral calcification and ocean acidification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jokiel, Paul L.; Jury, Christopher P.; Kuffner, Ilsa B.

    2016-01-01

    calcification and increases in Gnet. These relationships result in a correlation between Gnet and Ωarag, with both parameters being variables dependent on Pnet. Consequently the correlation between Gnet and Ωarag varies widely between different locations and times depending on the relative metabolic contributions of various calcifying and photosynthesizing organisms and local rates of carbonate dissolution. High rates of H+ efflux continue for several hours following the mid-day Gnet peak suggesting that corals have difficulty in shedding waste protons as described by the Proton Flux Model. DIC flux (uptake) tracks Pnet and Gnet and drops off rapidly after the photosynthesis-calcification maxima, indicating that corals can cope more effectively with the problem of limited DIC supply compared to the problem of eliminating H+. Predictive models of future global changes in coral and coral reef growth based on oceanic Ωarag must include the influence of future changes in localized Pnet on Gnet as well as changes in rates of reef carbonate dissolution. The correlation between Ωarag and Gnet over the diel cycle is simply the result of increasing pH due to photosynthesis that shifts the CO2-carbonate system equilibria to increase [CO32] relative to the other DIC components of [HCO3] and [CO2]. Therefore Ωarag closely tracks pH as an effect of Pnet, which also drives changes in Gnet. Measurements of DIC flux and H+ flux are far more useful than concentrations in describing coral metabolism dynamics. Coral reefs are systems that exist in constant disequilibrium with the water column.

  10. Dynamic stability of coral reefs on the west Australian coast.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Conrad W Speed

    Full Text Available Monitoring changes in coral cover and composition through space and time can provide insights to reef health and assist the focus of management and conservation efforts. We used a meta-analytical approach to assess coral cover data across latitudes 10-35°S along the west Australian coast, including 25 years of data from the Ningaloo region. Current estimates of coral cover ranged between 3 and 44% in coral habitats. Coral communities in the northern regions were dominated by corals from the families Acroporidae and Poritidae, which became less common at higher latitudes. At Ningaloo Reef coral cover has remained relatively stable through time (∼28%, although north-eastern and southern areas have experienced significant declines in overall cover. These declines are likely related to periodic disturbances such as cyclones and thermal anomalies, which were particularly noticeable around 1998/1999 and 2010/2011. Linear mixed effects models (LME suggest latitude explains 10% of the deviance in coral cover through time at Ningaloo. Acroporidae has decreased in abundance relative to other common families at Ningaloo in the south, which might be related to persistence of more thermally and mechanically tolerant families. We identify regions where quantitative time-series data on coral cover and composition are lacking, particularly in north-western Australia. Standardising routine monitoring methods used by management and research agencies at these, and other locations, would allow a more robust assessment of coral condition and a better basis for conservation of coral reefs.

  11. Coral reproduction in Western Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James Gilmour

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Larval production and recruitment underpin the maintenance of coral populations, but these early life history stages are vulnerable to extreme variation in physical conditions. Environmental managers aim to minimise human impacts during significant periods of larval production and recruitment on reefs, but doing so requires knowledge of the modes and timing of coral reproduction. Most corals are hermaphroditic or gonochoric, with a brooding or broadcast spawning mode of reproduction. Brooding corals are a significant component of some reefs and produce larvae over consecutive months. Broadcast spawning corals are more common and display considerable variation in their patterns of spawning among reefs. Highly synchronous spawning can occur on reefs around Australia, particularly on the Great Barrier Reef. On Australia’s remote north-west coast there have been fewer studies of coral reproduction. The recent industrial expansion into these regions has facilitated research, but the associated data are often contained within confidential reports. Here we combine information in this grey-literature with that available publicly to update our knowledge of coral reproduction in WA, for tens of thousands of corals and hundreds of species from over a dozen reefs spanning 20° of latitude. We identified broad patterns in coral reproduction, but more detailed insights were hindered by biased sampling; most studies focused on species of Acropora sampled over a few months at several reefs. Within the existing data, there was a latitudinal gradient in spawning activity among seasons, with mass spawning during autumn occurring on all reefs (but the temperate south-west. Participation in a smaller, multi-specific spawning during spring decreased from approximately one quarter of corals on the Kimberley Oceanic reefs to little participation at Ningaloo. Within these seasons, spawning was concentrated in March and/or April, and October and/or November, depending

  12. 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

  13. Time-resolved record of236U and239,240Pu isotopes from a coral growing during the nuclear testing program at Enewetak Atoll (Marshall Islands).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Froehlich, M B; Chan, W Y; Tims, S G; Fallon, S J; Fifield, L K

    2016-12-01

    A comprehensive series of nuclear tests were carried out by the United States at Enewetak Atoll in the Marshall Islands, especially between 1952 and 1958. A Porites Lutea coral that was growing in the Enewetak lagoon within a few km of all of the high-yield tests contains a continuous record of isotopes, which are of interest (e.g. 14 C, 236 U, 239,240 Pu) through the testing period. Prior to the present work, 14 C measurements at ∼2-month resolution had shown pronounced peaks in the Δ 14 C data that coincided with the times at which tests were conducted. Here we report measurements of 236 U and 239,240 Pu on the same coral using accelerator mass spectrometry, and again find prominent peaks in the concentrations of these isotopes that closely follow those in 14 C. Consistent with the 14 C data, the magnitudes of these peaks do not, however, correlate well with the explosive yields of the corresponding tests, indicating that smaller tests probably contributed disproportionately to the debris that fell in the lagoon. Additional information about the different tests can also be obtained from the 236 U/ 239 Pu and 240 Pu/ 239 Pu ratios, which are found to vary dramatically over the testing period. In particular, the first thermonuclear test, Ivy-Mike, has characteristic 236 U/ 239 Pu and 240 Pu/ 239 Pu signatures which are diagnostic of the first arrival of nuclear test material in various archives. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Gene expression of corals in response to macroalgal competitors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tonya L Shearer

    Full Text Available As corals decline and macroalgae proliferate on coral reefs, coral-macroalgal competition becomes more frequent and ecologically important. Whether corals are damaged by these interactions depends on susceptibility of the coral and traits of macroalgal competitors. Investigating changes in gene expression of corals and their intracellular symbiotic algae, Symbiodinium, in response to contact with different macroalgae provides insight into the biological processes and cellular pathways affected by competition with macroalgae. We evaluated the gene expression profiles of coral and Symbiodinium genes from two confamilial corals, Acropora millepora and Montipora digitata, after 6 h and 48 h of contact with four common macroalgae that differ in their allelopathic potency to corals. Contacts with macroalgae affected different biological pathways in the more susceptible (A. millepora versus the more resistant (M. digitata coral. Genes of coral hosts and of their associated Symbiodinium also responded in species-specific and time-specific ways to each macroalga. Changes in number and expression intensity of affected genes were greater after 6 h compared to 48 h of contact and were greater following contact with Chlorodesmis fastigiata and Amphiroa crassa than following contact with Galaxaura filamentosa or Turbinaria conoides. We documented a divergence in transcriptional responses between two confamilial corals and their associated Symbiodinium, as well as a diversity of dynamic responses within each coral species with respect to the species of macroalgal competitor and the duration of exposure to that competitor. These responses included early initiation of immune processes by Montipora, which is more resistant to damage after long-term macroalgal contact. Activation of the immune response by corals that better resist algal competition is consistent with the hypothesis that some macroalgal effects on corals may be mediated by microbial pathogens.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew S Hoey

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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Hoey, Andrew

    2011-10-03

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

  20. Seawater transport during coral biomineralization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gagnon, Alexander C.; Adkins, Jess F.; Erez, Jonathan

    2012-05-01

    Cation transport during skeletal growth is a key process controlling metal/calcium (Me/Ca) paleoproxy behavior in coral. To characterize this transport, cultured corals were transferred into seawater enriched in the rare earth element Tb3 + as well as stable isotopes of calcium, strontium, and barium. Subsequent NanoSIMS ion images of each coral skeleton were used to follow uptake dynamics. These images show a continuous region corresponding to new growth that is homogeneously enriched in each tracer. Isotope ratio profiles across the new growth boundary transition rapidly from natural abundance ratios to a ratio matching the enriched culture solution. The location of this transition is the same for each element, within analytical resolution. The synchronous incorporation of all these cations, including the dissimilar ion terbium, which has no known biological function in coral, suggests that: (1) there is cation exchange between seawater and the calcifying fluid, and (2) these elements are influenced by similar transport mechanisms consistent with direct and rapid seawater transport to the site of calcification. Measured using isotope ratio profiles, seawater transport rates differ from place to place on the growing coral skeleton, with calcifying fluid turnover times from 30 min to 5.7 h. Despite these differences, all the elements measured in this study show the same transport dynamics at each location. Using an analytical geochemical model of biomineralization that includes direct seawater transport we constrain the role of active calcium pumping during calcification and we show that the balance between seawater transport and precipitation can explain observed Me/Ca variability in deep-sea coral.

  1. Acanthaster planci outbreak: decline in coral health, coral size structure modification and consequences for obligate decapod assemblages.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthieu Leray

    Full Text Available Although benthic motile invertebrate communities encompass the vast majority of coral reef diversity, their response to habitat modification has been poorly studied. A variety of benthic species, particularly decapods, provide benefits to their coral host enabling them to cope with environmental stressors, and as a result benefit the overall diversity of coral-associated species. However, little is known about how invertebrate assemblages associated with corals will be affected by global perturbations, (either directly or indirectly via their coral host or their consequences for ecosystem resilience. Analysis of a ten year dataset reveals that the greatest perturbation at Moorea over this time was an outbreak of the corallivorous sea star Acanthaster planci from 2006 to 2009 impacting habitat health, availability and size structure of Pocillopora spp. populations and highlights a positive relationship between coral head size and survival. We then present the results of a mensurative study in 2009 conducted at the end of the perturbation (A. planci outbreak describing how coral-decapod communities change with percent coral mortality for a selected coral species, Pocillopora eydouxi. The loss of coral tissue as a consequence of A. planci consumption led to an increase in rarefied total species diversity, but caused drastic modifications in community composition driven by a shift from coral obligate to non-obligate decapod species. Our study highlights that larger corals left with live tissue in 2009, formed a restricted habitat where coral obligate decapods, including mutualists, could subsist. We conclude that the size structure of Pocillopora populations at the time of an A. planci outbreak may greatly condition the magnitude of coral mortality as well as the persistence of local populations of obligate decapods.

  2. Coral settlement on a highly disturbed equatorial reef system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauman, Andrew G; Guest, James R; Dunshea, Glenn; Low, Jeffery; Todd, Peter A; Steinberg, Peter D

    2015-01-01

    Processes occurring early in the life stages of corals can greatly influence the demography of coral populations, and successful settlement of coral larvae that leads to recruitment is a critical life history stage for coral reef ecosystems. Although corals in Singapore persist in one the world's most anthropogenically impacted reef systems, our understanding of the role of coral settlement in the persistence of coral communities in Singapore remains limited. Spatial and temporal patterns of coral settlement were examined at 7 sites in the southern islands of Singapore, using settlement tiles deployed and collected every 3 months from 2011 to 2013. Settlement occurred year round, but varied significantly across time and space. Annual coral settlement was low (~54.72 spat m(-2) yr(-1)) relative to other equatorial regions, but there was evidence of temporal variation in settlement rates. Peak settlement occurred between March-May and September-November, coinciding with annual coral spawning periods (March-April and October), while the lowest settlement occurred from December-February during the northeast monsoon. A period of high settlement was also observed between June and August in the first year (2011/12), possibly due to some species spawning outside predicted spawning periods, larvae settling from other locations or extended larval settlement competency periods. Settlement rates varied significantly among sites, but spatial variation was relatively consistent between years, suggesting the strong effects of local coral assemblages or environmental conditions. Pocilloporidae were the most abundant coral spat (83.6%), while Poritidae comprised only 6% of the spat, and Acroporidae coral spat. These results indicate that current settlement patterns are reinforcing the local adult assemblage structure ('others'; i.e. sediment-tolerant coral taxa) in Singapore, but that the replenishment capacity of Singapore's reefs appears relatively constrained, which could lead

  3. Changes to coral health and metabolic activity under oxygen deprivation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James W.A. Murphy

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available On Hawaiian reefs, the fast-growing, invasive algae Gracilaria salicornia overgrows coral heads, restricting water flow and light, thereby smothering corals. Field data shows hypoxic conditions (dissolved oxygen (DO2 < 2 mg/L occurring underneath algal mats at night, and concurrent bleaching and partial tissue loss of shaded corals. To analyze the impact of nighttime oxygen-deprivation on coral health, this study evaluated changes in coral metabolism through the exposure of corals to chronic hypoxic conditions and subsequent analyses of lactate, octopine, alanopine, and strombine dehydrogenase activities, critical enzymes employed through anaerobic respiration. Following treatments, lactate and octopine dehydrogenase activities were found to have no significant response in activities with treatment and time. However, corals subjected to chronic nighttime hypoxia were found to exhibit significant increases in alanopine dehydrogenase activity after three days of exposure and strombine dehydrogenase activity starting after one overnight exposure cycle. These findings provide new insights into coral metabolic shifts in extremely low-oxygen environments and point to ADH and SDH assays as tools for quantifying the impact of hypoxia on coral health.

  4. 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.

  5. First records of illegal harvesting and trading of black corals ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Black corals (Cnidaria: Antipatharia) have been used all around the world for a long time, whether as money or for medicinal purposes and jewellery manufacturing. Except in Hawaii where these fisheries are well known, black coral harvests are usually made without any control or any management. This is the case in many ...

  6. Mass spawning of corals on a high latitude coral reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Babcock, R. C.; Wills, B. L.; Simpson, C. J.

    1994-07-01

    Evidence is presented that at least 60% of the 184 species of scleractinian corals found on reefs surrounding the Houtman Abrolhos Islands (Western Australia) participate in a late summer mass spawning. These populations are thus reproductively active, despite most species being at the extreme southern limit of their latitudinal range (28° 29°S). In the present study, coral mass spawning occurred in the same month on both temperate (Houtman-Abrolhos) and tropical (Ningaloo) reefs of Western Australia, despite more than two months difference in the timing of seasonal temperture minima between the two regions. This concurrence in the month of spawning suggests that temperature does not operate as a simple direct proximate cue for seasonal spawning synchrony in these populations. Seasonal variation in photoperiod may provide a similar and more reliable signal in the two regions, and thus might be more likely to synchronize the seasonal reproductive rhythms of these corals. Also there is overlap in the nights of mass spawning on the Houtman Abrolhos and tropical reefs of Western Australia, despite significant differences in tidal phase and amplitude between the two regions. This indicates that tidal cycle does not synchronize with the night(s) of spawning on these reefs. Spawning is more likely to be synchronised by lunar cycles. The co-occurrence of the mass spawning with spring tides in Houtman Abrolhos coral populations may be evidence of a genetic legacy inherited from northern, tropical ancestors. Micro-tidal regimes in the Houtman Abrolhos region may have exerted insufficient selective pressure to counteract this legacy.

  7. Nitrogen and photosynthetic function of hermatypic corals. Oxygen exchange of Stylophora pistillata coral under artificial feeding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leletkin, V A

    2005-01-01

    The change of Stylophora pistillata coral photosynthetic function (oxygen exchange and biomass of symbionts) under starvation and food enrichment was studied to understand the role of heterotrophy in nitrogen supplements of zooxanthellae. The starvation caused the decrease of frequency of zooxanthellae cells division in 7-10 times. The number of degraded algae cells increased in same proportion and, as a result, the density of zooxanthellae in corals decreased about two times during one-two weeks. Under starvation corals kept their photosynthetic capacity at the level of corals in situ by means of enhancing the zooxanthellae gross photosynthesis. The respiration rate of coral had tendency to increase and the dry mass of polyp tissue to decrease. Under artificial feeding which was following starvation the zooxanthellae density increased in 1.5-2 times, and particular food caused more intensive accumulation of zooxanthellae comparing to dissolved inorganic ammonium. The feeding regime did not affect dry mass of polyp tissue and chlorophyll content as well as respiration and gross productivity of the corals. The conclusion about high effectiveness of particular feeding for supplying symbiotic algae with nitrogen was made and trophic status of zooxanthellae in hospite was determined as unlimited by nitrogen.

  8. Coral Reefs: Damage Indicators

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pascal Saffache

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available IntroductionCovering approximately 1.2 million km2 or 0.25% of the world maritime domain, coral reefs represent the greatest structures formed on the earth’s surface by living creatures.  Although coral has existed for the past billion years, those which cover the seabed in the present day appeared in the Jurassic period (secondary era and develop in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans (SCORE, 1998. Coral reefs support a broad range of marine biodiversity (one quarter of all fish caught...

  9. Disease of coral and coral reef fishes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panek, Frank

    2008-01-01

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

  10. Local Stressors, Resilience, and Shifting Baselines on Coral Reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLean, Matthew; Cuetos-Bueno, Javier; Nedlic, Osamu; Luckymiss, Marston; Houk, Peter

    2016-01-01

    Understanding how and why coral reefs have changed over the last twenty to thirty years is crucial for sustaining coral-reef resilience. We used a historical baseline from Kosrae, a typical small island in Micronesia, to examine changes in fish and coral assemblages since 1986. We found that natural gradients in the spatial distribution of fish and coral assemblages have become amplified, as island geography is now a stronger determinant of species abundance patterns, and habitat forming Acropora corals and large-bodied fishes that were once common on the leeward side of the island have become scarce. A proxy for fishing access best predicted the relative change in fish assemblage condition over time, and in turn, declining fish condition was the only factor correlated with declining coral condition, suggesting overfishing may have reduced ecosystem resilience. Additionally, a proxy for watershed pollution predicted modern coral assemblage condition, suggesting pollution is also reducing resilience in densely populated areas. Altogether, it appears that unsustainable fishing reduced ecosystem resilience, as fish composition has shifted to smaller species in lower trophic levels, driven by losses of large predators and herbivores. While prior literature and anecdotal reports indicate that major disturbance events have been rare in Kosrae, small localized disturbances coupled with reduced resilience may have slowly degraded reef condition through time. Improving coral-reef resilience in the face of climate change will therefore require improved understanding and management of growing artisanal fishing pressure and watershed pollution.

  11. Local Stressors, Resilience, and Shifting Baselines on Coral Reefs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew McLean

    Full Text Available Understanding how and why coral reefs have changed over the last twenty to thirty years is crucial for sustaining coral-reef resilience. We used a historical baseline from Kosrae, a typical small island in Micronesia, to examine changes in fish and coral assemblages since 1986. We found that natural gradients in the spatial distribution of fish and coral assemblages have become amplified, as island geography is now a stronger determinant of species abundance patterns, and habitat forming Acropora corals and large-bodied fishes that were once common on the leeward side of the island have become scarce. A proxy for fishing access best predicted the relative change in fish assemblage condition over time, and in turn, declining fish condition was the only factor correlated with declining coral condition, suggesting overfishing may have reduced ecosystem resilience. Additionally, a proxy for watershed pollution predicted modern coral assemblage condition, suggesting pollution is also reducing resilience in densely populated areas. Altogether, it appears that unsustainable fishing reduced ecosystem resilience, as fish composition has shifted to smaller species in lower trophic levels, driven by losses of large predators and herbivores. While prior literature and anecdotal reports indicate that major disturbance events have been rare in Kosrae, small localized disturbances coupled with reduced resilience may have slowly degraded reef condition through time. Improving coral-reef resilience in the face of climate change will therefore require improved understanding and management of growing artisanal fishing pressure and watershed pollution.

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. Coral Reef Guidance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guidance prepared by EPA and Army Corps of Engineers concerning coral reef protection under the Clean Water Act, Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act, Rivers and Harbors Act, and Federal Project Authorities.

  15. 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...

  16. Signaling cascades and the importance of moonlight in coral broadcast mass spawning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaniewska, Paulina; Alon, Shahar; Karako-Lampert, Sarit; Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove; Levy, Oren

    2015-12-15

    Many reef-building corals participate in a mass-spawning event that occurs yearly on the Great Barrier Reef. This coral reproductive event is one of earth's most prominent examples of synchronised behavior, and coral reproductive success is vital to the persistence of coral reef ecosystems. Although several environmental cues have been implicated in the timing of mass spawning, the specific sensory cues that function together with endogenous clock mechanisms to ensure accurate timing of gamete release are largely unknown. Here, we show that moonlight is an important external stimulus for mass spawning synchrony and describe the potential mechanisms underlying the ability of corals to detect environmental triggers for the signaling cascades that ultimately result in gamete release. Our study increases the understanding of reproductive chronobiology in corals and strongly supports the hypothesis that coral gamete release is achieved by a complex array of potential neurohormones and light-sensing molecules.

  17. Symbiotic Dinoflagellate Functional Diversity Mediates Coral Survival under Ecological Crisis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suggett, David J; Warner, Mark E; Leggat, William

    2017-10-01

    Coral reefs have entered an era of 'ecological crisis' as climate change drives catastrophic reef loss worldwide. Coral growth and stress susceptibility are regulated by their endosymbiotic dinoflagellates (genus Symbiodinium). The phylogenetic diversity of Symbiodinium frequently corresponds to patterns of coral health and survival, but knowledge of functional diversity is ultimately necessary to reconcile broader ecological success over space and time. We explore here functional traits underpinning the complex biology of Symbiodinium that spans free-living algae to coral endosymbionts. In doing so we propose a mechanistic framework integrating the primary traits of resource acquisition and utilisation as a means to explain Symbiodinium functional diversity and to resolve the role of Symbiodinium in driving the stability of coral reefs under an uncertain future. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Coral skeletons defend against ultraviolet radiation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruth Reef

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Many coral reef organisms are photosynthetic or have evolved in tight symbiosis with photosynthetic symbionts. As such, the tissues of reef organisms are often exposed to intense solar radiation in clear tropical waters and have adapted to trap and harness photosynthetically active radiation (PAR. High levels of ultraviolet radiation (UVR associated with sunlight, however, represent a potential problem in terms of tissue damage. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: By measuring UVR and PAR reflectance from intact and ground bare coral skeletons we show that the property of calcium carbonate skeletons to absorb downwelling UVR to a significant extent, while reflecting PAR back to the overlying tissue, has biological advantages. We placed cnidarians on top of bare skeletons and a UVR reflective substrate and showed that under ambient UVR levels, UVR transmitted through the tissues of cnidarians placed on top of bare skeletons were four times lower compared to their counterparts placed on a UVR reflective white substrate. In accordance with the lower levels of UVR measured in cnidarians on top of coral skeletons, a similar drop in UVR damage to their DNA was detected. The skeletons emitted absorbed UVR as yellow fluorescence, which allows for safe dissipation of the otherwise harmful radiation. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our study presents a novel defensive role for coral skeletons and reveals that the strong UVR absorbance by the skeleton can contribute to the ability of corals, and potentially other calcifiers, to thrive under UVR levels that are detrimental to most marine life.

  19. Corneal Toxicity Associated With Aquarium Coral Palytoxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farooq, Asim V; Gibbons, Allister G; Council, Matthew D; Harocopos, George J; Holland, Simon; Judelson, Jeffrey; Shoss, Bradley L; Schmidt, Eric J; Md Noh, Umi Kalthum; D'Angelo, Alexander; Chundury, Rao V; Judelson, Richard; Perez, Victor L; Huang, Andrew J W

    2017-02-01

    To report a series of patients who developed corneal toxicity after exposure to aquarium coral palytoxin. Multicenter retrospective case series. Retrospective review. Seven patients presented with corneal findings ranging from superficial punctate epitheliopathy to bilateral corneal melt with subsequent perforation. Among those with mild corneal findings, resolution was achieved with topical steroids and lubrication, whereas some patients who developed progressive corneal melt required therapeutic penetrating keratoplasty. The history in all patients revealed exposure to aquarium zoanthid corals shortly before disease onset. A review of the literature revealed that there are few prior reports of coral-associated corneal toxicity and that some species of coral secrete a substance known as palytoxin, a potent vasoconstrictor that inhibits the membranous sodium-potassium ATPase pump across cell types and can cause rapid death if inhaled or ingested. This is the largest case series to date demonstrating patients with aquarium coral palytoxin-associated corneal toxicity, and is the first to provide details of related histopathologic findings. Similar to other forms of toxic keratoconjunctivitis, a detailed history and careful clinical assessment are required, as well as timely removal of the offending agent from the patients' ocular milieu and environment. Mild ocular surface and corneal disease may be treated effectively with aggressive topical steroid therapy and lubrication. Given the potential severity of ocular as well as systemic adverse effects, there should be increased awareness of this entity among eye care professionals, aquarium enthusiasts, and the general public. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. A time-calibrated molecular phylogeny of the precious corals: reconciling discrepancies in the taxonomic classification and insights into their evolutionary history.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ardila, Néstor E; Giribet, Gonzalo; Sánchez, Juan A

    2012-12-18

    Seamount-associated faunas are often considered highly endemic but isolation and diversification processes leading to such endemism have been poorly documented at those depths. Likewise, species delimitation and phylogenetic studies in deep-sea organisms remain scarce, due to the difficulty in obtaining samples, and sometimes controversial. The phylogenetic relationships within the precious coral family Coralliidae remain largely unexplored and the monophyly of its two constituent genera, Corallium Cuvier and Paracorallium Bayer & Cairns, has not been resolved. As traditionally recognized, the diversity of colonial forms among the various species correlates with the diversity in shape of their supporting axis, but the phylogenetic significance of these characters remains to be tested. We thus used mitochondrial sequence data to evaluate the monophyly of Corallium and Paracorallium and the species boundaries for nearly all named taxa in the family. Species from across the coralliid range, including material from Antarctica, Hawaii, Japan, New Zealand, Taiwan, Tasmania, the eastern Pacific and the western Atlantic were examined. The concatenated analysis of five mitochondrial regions (COI, 16S rRNA, ND2, and ND3-ND6) recovered two major coralliid clades. One clade is composed of two subgroups, the first including Corallium rubrum, the type species of the genus, together with a small group of Paracorallium species (P. japonicum and P. tortuosum) and C. medea (clade I-A); the other subgroup includes a poorly-resolved assemblage of six Corallium species (C. abyssale, C. ducale, C. imperiale, C. laauense, C. niobe, and C. sulcatum; clade I-B). The second major clade is well resolved and includes species of Corallium and Paracorallium (C. elatius, C. kishinouyei, C. konojoi, C. niveum, C. secundum, Corallium sp., Paracorallium nix, Paracorallium thrinax and Paracorallium spp.). A traditional taxonomic study of this clade delineated 11 morphospecies that were congruent

  1. A time-calibrated molecular phylogeny of the precious corals: reconciling discrepancies in the taxonomic classification and insights into their evolutionary history

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ardila Néstor E

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Seamount-associated faunas are often considered highly endemic but isolation and diversification processes leading to such endemism have been poorly documented at those depths. Likewise, species delimitation and phylogenetic studies in deep-sea organisms remain scarce, due to the difficulty in obtaining samples, and sometimes controversial. The phylogenetic relationships within the precious coral family Coralliidae remain largely unexplored and the monophyly of its two constituent genera, Corallium Cuvier and Paracorallium Bayer & Cairns, has not been resolved. As traditionally recognized, the diversity of colonial forms among the various species correlates with the diversity in shape of their supporting axis, but the phylogenetic significance of these characters remains to be tested. We thus used mitochondrial sequence data to evaluate the monophyly of Corallium and Paracorallium and the species boundaries for nearly all named taxa in the family. Species from across the coralliid range, including material from Antarctica, Hawaii, Japan, New Zealand, Taiwan, Tasmania, the eastern Pacific and the western Atlantic were examined. Results The concatenated analysis of five mitochondrial regions (COI, 16S rRNA, ND2, and ND3-ND6 recovered two major coralliid clades. One clade is composed of two subgroups, the first including Corallium rubrum, the type species of the genus, together with a small group of Paracorallium species (P. japonicum and P. tortuosum and C. medea (clade I-A; the other subgroup includes a poorly-resolved assemblage of six Corallium species (C. abyssale, C. ducale, C. imperiale, C. laauense, C. niobe, and C. sulcatum; clade I-B. The second major clade is well resolved and includes species of Corallium and Paracorallium (C. elatius, C. kishinouyei, C. konojoi, C. niveum, C. secundum, Corallium sp., Paracorallium nix, Paracorallium thrinax and Paracorallium spp.. A traditional taxonomic study of this clade

  2. In situ Analysis of Coral Recruits Using Fluorescence Imaging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adi Zweifler

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Recruitment is a fundamental process that influences coral population dynamics as well as reef community structure. To date, coral recruitment success rates are poorly quantified because survey methods are labor-intensive and require manual interpretation. Thus, they are prone to human errors and have low repeatability—a gap we aim to bridge in this research. Since both corals and their symbiotic algae contain fluorescent pigments (chlorophyll and fluorescent proteins, we used the non-invasive Fluorescence Imaging System (FluorIS and developed a methodology to acquire daytime fluorescent photographs and identify coral recruits in them. We tested our method by monitoring 20 random quadrats at two sites in the Gulf of Aqaba, Israel. The quadrats were surveyed once a month for 8 months in order to track the settlement, mortality and survival rates of new coral recruits. We demonstrate daytime imaging using our method and identification of coral recruits as small as 1 mm in diameter, in a 20 × 20 cm quadrat. Our results show that this photographic method reduces surveyor errors and improves precision. The surveys revealed that on average, there are ~2 new coral recruit settlements (<2 cm for a quadrat (40 cm2 per month and that 83% of them survive the first month. Our study suggests a relative stability in the Gulf of Aqaba coral population during the survey period. The ability to survey recruits during the day using low-cost, easy-to-use photographic equipment has the potential to contribute significantly to the standardization of coral reef monitoring and management tools, at a time when the world's coral reefs are declining due to local and global stressors.

  3. Vulnerability of Coral Reefs to Bioerosion From Land-Based Sources of Pollution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prouty, Nancy G.; Cohen, Anne; Yates, Kimberly K.; Storlazzi, Curt D.; Swarzenski, Peter W.; White, Darla

    2017-12-01

    Ocean acidification (OA), the gradual decline in ocean pH and [CO32-] caused by rising levels of atmospheric CO2, poses a significant threat to coral reef ecosystems, depressing rates of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) production, and enhancing rates of bioerosion and dissolution. As ocean pH and [CO32-] decline globally, there is increasing emphasis on managing local stressors that can exacerbate the vulnerability of coral reefs to the effects of OA. We show that sustained, nutrient rich, lower pH submarine groundwater discharging onto nearshore coral reefs off west Maui lowers the pH of seawater and exposes corals to nitrate concentrations 50 times higher than ambient. Rates of coral calcification are substantially decreased, and rates of bioerosion are orders of magnitude higher than those observed in coral cores collected in the Pacific under equivalent low pH conditions but living in oligotrophic waters. Heavier coral nitrogen isotope (δ15N) values pinpoint not only site-specific eutrophication, but also a sewage nitrogen source enriched in 15N. Our results show that eutrophication of reef seawater by land-based sources of pollution can magnify the effects of OA through nutrient driven-bioerosion. These conditions could contribute to the collapse of coastal coral reef ecosystems sooner than current projections predict based only on ocean acidification.Plain Language SummaryWe show that sustained, nutrient rich, lower pH submarine groundwater discharging onto nearshore coral reefs off west Maui lowers the pH of seawater and exposes corals to nitrate concentrations 50 times higher than ambient. Rates of coral calcification are substantially decreased, and rates of bioerosion are orders of magnitude higher than those observed in coral cores collected in the Pacific. With many of Maui's coral reefs in significant decline reducing any stressors at a local scale is important to sustaining future coral reef ecosystems and planning for resiliency.

  4. Microbial bioenergetics of coral-algal interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ty N.F. Roach

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Human impacts are causing ecosystem phase shifts from coral- to algal-dominated reef systems on a global scale. As these ecosystems undergo transition, there is an increased incidence of coral-macroalgal interactions. Mounting evidence indicates that the outcome of these interaction events is, in part, governed by microbially mediated dynamics. The allocation of available energy through different trophic levels, including the microbial food web, determines the outcome of these interactions and ultimately shapes the benthic community structure. However, little is known about the underlying thermodynamic mechanisms involved in these trophic energy transfers. This study utilizes a novel combination of methods including calorimetry, flow cytometry, and optical oxygen measurements, to provide a bioenergetic analysis of coral-macroalgal interactions in a controlled aquarium setting. We demonstrate that the energetic demands of microbial communities at the coral-algal interaction interface are higher than in the communities associated with either of the macroorganisms alone. This was evident through higher microbial power output (energy use per unit time and lower oxygen concentrations at interaction zones compared to areas distal from the interface. Increases in microbial power output and lower oxygen concentrations were significantly correlated with the ratio of heterotrophic to autotrophic microbes but not the total microbial abundance. These results suggest that coral-algal interfaces harbor higher proportions of heterotrophic microbes that are optimizing maximal power output, as opposed to yield. This yield to power shift offers a possible thermodynamic mechanism underlying the transition from coral- to algal-dominated reef ecosystems currently being observed worldwide. As changes in the power output of an ecosystem are a significant indicator of the current state of the system, this analysis provides a novel and insightful means to quantify

  5. Localised hydrodynamics influence vulnerability of coral communities to environmental disturbances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shedrawi, George; Falter, James L.; Friedman, Kim J.; Lowe, Ryan J.; Pratchett, Morgan S.; Simpson, Christopher J.; Speed, Conrad W.; Wilson, Shaun K.; Zhang, Zhenlin

    2017-09-01

    The movement of water can have a significant influence on the vulnerability of hermatypic corals to environmental disturbances such as cyclone damage, heat stress and anoxia. Here, we explore the relationship between small reef-scale water circulation patterns and measured differences in the abundance, composition and vulnerability of coral assemblages over decades. Changes in coral cover and community structure within Bill's Bay (Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia) over a 22-yr period, during which multiple disturbance events (including mass bleaching, anoxia, and tropical cyclones) have impacted the area, were compared with spatial variation in water residence times (WRT). We found that reef sites associated with longer water residence times (WRT >15 h) experienced higher rates of coral mortality during acute environmental disturbances compared to reef sites with shorter WRT. Shifts in coral community composition from acroporid to faviid-dominated assemblages were also more prominent at sites with long WRT compared to reef sites with shorter WRT, although shifts in community composition were also observed at sites close to shore. Interestingly, these same long-WRT sites also tended to have the fastest recovery rates so that coral cover was returned to original levels of approximately 20% over two decades. This study provides empirical evidence that spatial patterns in water circulation and flushing can influence the resilience of coral communities, thus identifying areas sensitive to emerging threats associated with global climate change.

  6. Coral reef fish predator maintains olfactory acuity in degraded coral habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Natt, Michael; Lönnstedt, Oona M; McCormick, Mark I

    2017-01-01

    Coral reefs around the world are rapidly degrading due to a range of environmental stressors. Habitat degradation modifies the sensory landscape within which predator-prey interactions occur, with implications for olfactory-mediated behaviours. Predator naïve settlement-stage damselfish rely on conspecific damage-released odours (i.e., alarm odours) to inform risk assessments. Yet, species such as the Ambon damselfish, Pomacentrus amboinensis, become unable to respond appropriately to these cues when living in dead-degraded coral habitats, leading to increased mortality through loss of vigilance. Reef fish predators also rely on odours from damaged prey to locate, assess prey quality and engage in prey-stealing, but it is unknown whether their responses are also modified by the change to dead-degraded coral habitats. Implications for prey clearly depend on how their predatory counterparts are affected, therefore the present study tested whether olfactory-mediated foraging responses in the dusky dottyback, Pseudochromis fuscus, a common predator of P. amboinensis, were similarly affected by coral degradation. A y-maze was used to measure the ability of Ps. fuscus to detect and move towards odours, against different background water sources. Ps. fuscus were exposed to damage-released odours from juvenile P. amboinensis, or a control cue of seawater, against a background of seawater treated with either healthy or dead-degraded hard coral. Predators exhibited an increased time allocation to the chambers of y-mazes injected with damage-released odours, with comparable levels of response in both healthy and dead-degraded coral treated waters. In control treatments, where damage-released odours were replaced with a control seawater cue, fish showed no increased preference for either chamber of the y-maze. Our results suggest that olfactory-mediated foraging behaviours may persist in Ps. fuscus within dead-degraded coral habitats. Ps. fuscus may consequently gain a

  7. Coral reef ecosystem

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

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

    3 Coral Reef Ecosystem M. V M. Wafar 1 and Sayeeda Wafar Among the various inland and coastal wetlands, it is probably the coral reef ecosystem that has generated the greatest sc-ientific and economic interest and received in the recent years a world... they play in global biogeochemical cycles as sinks for atmo spheric carbon dioxide. The economic potential includes c-aleium car bonate, food and ornamental fishes, bio-molecules, tourism, molluscan shells, macro-algae, a range of other minor products...

  8. Salinity information in coral δ18O records

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conroy, J. L.; Thompson, D. M.; Dassié, E. P.; Stevenson, S.; Konecky, B. L.; DeLong, K. L.; Sayani, H. R.; Emile-Geay, J.; Partin, J. W.; Abram, N. J.; Martrat, B.

    2017-12-01

    Coral oxygen isotopic ratios (δ18O) are typically utilized to reconstruct sea surface temperature (SST), or SST-based El Niño-Southern Oscillation metrics (e.g., NIÑO3.4), despite the influence of both SST and the oxygen isotopic composition of seawater (δ18Osw) on coral δ18O. The ideal way to isolate past δ18Osw variations is to develop independent and univariate SST and δ18Osw responders, for instance, via paired coral δ18O and Sr/Ca analyses. Nonetheless, many coral δ18O records without paired Sr/Ca records already exist in the paleoclimatic literature, and these may be able to provide some insight into past δ18Osw and salinity changes due to the nature of the significant positive relationship between instrumental salinity and δ18Osw. Here we use coral δ18O records from the new PAGES Iso2k database to assess the regions in which coral δ18O has the greatest potential to provide salinity information based on the strength of the relationship between instrumental salinity and coral δ18O values. We find from annual pseudocoral similations that corals in the western tropical Pacific share a substantial fraction of their variance with δ18Osw rather than SST. In contrast, in the Indian Ocean and eastern tropical Pacific it is SST that predominantly explains coral δ18O variance. In agreement with this variance decomposition, we find that coral δ18O time series from the western tropical Pacific are significantly correlated with mid to late 20th century salinity. However, variations in the strength of the δ18Osw-salinity relationship across the western tropical Pacific will likely have a significant influence on coral δ18O-based salinity reconstructions. Additionally, in some cases a strong, negative correlation between SST and δ18Osw might not allow their influences to be adequately separated in coral δ18O records without the use of coupled Sr/Ca estimates of the temperature contribution. Overall, we find a range of modern salinity and SST

  9. 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.

  10. Reef fish and coral assemblages at Maptaput, Rayong Province

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Voravit Cheevaporn

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available This study describes the structure of coral and fish assemblages of a group of small islands and pinnacles in the vicinity of Maptaput deep sea port, Rayong Province, Thailand during 2002. The coral and fish assemblages at Saket Island and nearby pinnacle, Hin-Yai, which are located less than 1 km from the deep sea port, had changed. Living coral cover in 2002 was 8% at Hin-Yai and 4% at Saket Island which decreased from 33% and 64%, respectively in the previous report in 1992. Numbers of coral species at Saket Island decreased from 41 species to 13 species. Acropora spp. that previously dominated the area had nearly disappeared. For fishes, a total of 40 species were found in 2002 the numbers decreased to only 6 species at Saket Island and 36 species at Hin-Yai. Fishes that dominated the area are small pomacentrids. After 1997, the conditions of coral and fish assemblages at Saket Island and Hin-Yai had markedly changed, whereas, the conditions found in the nearby area are much better. Sediment load from port construction was the primary cause of the degradation. This should indicate the adverse effect of sedimentation on coral and reef fish assemblages at Maptaput. Coral communities developed on rock pinnacles west of Maptaput deep-sea port are reported and described herein for the first time.

  11. 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.

  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. Season, but not symbiont state, drives microbiome structure in the temperate coral Astrangia poculata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharp, Koty H; Pratte, Zoe A; Kerwin, Allison H; Rotjan, Randi D; Stewart, Frank J

    2017-09-15

    Understanding the associations among corals, their photosynthetic zooxanthella symbionts (Symbiodinium), and coral-associated prokaryotic microbiomes is critical for predicting the fidelity and strength of coral symbioses in the face of growing environmental threats. Most coral-microbiome associations are beneficial, yet the mechanisms that determine the composition of the coral microbiome remain largely unknown. Here, we characterized microbiome diversity in the temperate, facultatively symbiotic coral Astrangia poculata at four seasonal time points near the northernmost limit of the species range. The facultative nature of this system allowed us to test seasonal influence and symbiotic state (Symbiodinium density in the coral) on microbiome community composition. Change in season had a strong effect on A. poculata microbiome composition. The seasonal shift was greatest upon the winter to spring transition, during which time A. poculata microbiome composition became more similar among host individuals. Within each of the four seasons, microbiome composition differed significantly from that of surrounding seawater but was surprisingly uniform between symbiotic and aposymbiotic corals, even in summer, when differences in Symbiodinium density between brown and white colonies are the highest, indicating that the observed seasonal shifts are not likely due to fluctuations in Symbiodinium density. Our results suggest that symbiotic state may not be a primary driver of coral microbial community organization in A. poculata, which is a surprise given the long-held assumption that excess photosynthate is of importance to coral-associated microbes. Rather, other environmental or host factors, in this case, seasonal changes in host physiology associated with winter quiescence, may drive microbiome diversity. Additional studies of A. poculata and other facultatively symbiotic corals will provide important comparisons to studies of reef-building tropical corals and therefore

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-10-30

    The world's coral reefs are being degraded, and the need to reduce local pressures to offset the effects of increasing global pressures is now widely recognized. This study investigates the spatial and temporal dynamics of coral cover, identifies the main drivers of coral mortality, and quantifies the rates of potential recovery of the Great Barrier Reef. Based on the world's most extensive time series data on reef condition (2,258 surveys of 214 reefs over 1985-2012), we show a major decline in coral cover from 28.0% to 13.8% (0.53% y(-1)), a loss of 50.7% of initial coral cover. Tropical cyclones, coral predation by crown-of-thorns starfish (COTS), and coral bleaching accounted for 48%, 42%, and 10% of the respective estimated losses, amounting to 3.38% y(-1) mortality rate. Importantly, the relatively pristine northern region showed no overall decline. The estimated rate of increase in coral cover in the absence of cyclones, COTS, and bleaching was 2.85% y(-1), demonstrating substantial capacity for recovery of reefs. In the absence of COTS, coral cover would increase at 0.89% y(-1), despite ongoing losses due to cyclones and bleaching. Thus, reducing COTS populations, by improving water quality and developing alternative control measures, could prevent further coral decline and improve the outlook for the Great Barrier Reef. Such strategies can, however, only be successful if climatic conditions are stabilized, as losses due to bleaching and cyclones will otherwise increase.

  15. Live Coral Cover Index Testing and Application with Hyperspectral Airborne Image Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karen E. Joyce

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Coral reefs are complex, heterogeneous environments where it is common for the features of interest to be smaller than the spatial dimensions of imaging sensors. While the coverage of live coral at any point in time is a critical environmental management issue, image pixels may represent mixed proportions of coverage. In order to address this, we describe the development, application, and testing of a spectral index for mapping live coral cover using CASI-2 airborne hyperspectral high spatial resolution imagery of Heron Reef, Australia. Field surveys were conducted in areas of varying depth to quantify live coral cover. Image statistics were extracted from co-registered imagery in the form of reflectance, derivatives, and band ratios. Each of the spectral transforms was assessed for their correlation with live coral cover, determining that the second derivative around 564 nm was the most sensitive to live coral cover variations(r2 = 0.63. Extensive field survey was used to transform relative to absolute coral cover, which was then applied to produce a live coral cover map of Heron Reef. We present the live coral cover index as a simple and viable means to estimate the amount of live coral over potentially thousands of km2 and in clear-water reefs.

  16. To understand coral disease, look at coral cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Work, Thierry M.; Meteyer, Carol U.

    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.

  17. The giant Mauritanian cold-water coral mound province: Oxygen control on coral mound formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wienberg, Claudia; Titschack, Jürgen; Freiwald, André; Frank, Norbert; Lundälv, Tomas; Taviani, Marco; Beuck, Lydia; Schröder-Ritzrau, Andrea; Krengel, Thomas; Hebbeln, Dierk

    2018-04-01

    The largest coherent cold-water coral (CWC) mound province in the Atlantic Ocean exists along the Mauritanian margin, where up to 100 m high mounds extend over a distance of ∼400 km, arranged in two slope-parallel chains in 400-550 m water depth. Additionally, CWCs are present in the numerous submarine canyons with isolated coral mounds being developed on some canyon flanks. Seventy-seven Uranium-series coral ages were assessed to elucidate the timing of CWC colonisation and coral mound development along the Mauritanian margin for the last ∼120,000 years. Our results show that CWCs were present on the mounds during the Last Interglacial, though in low numbers corresponding to coral mound aggradation rates of 16 cm kyr-1. Most prolific periods for CWC growth are identified for the last glacial and deglaciation, resulting in enhanced mound aggradation (>1000 cm kyr-1), before mound formation stagnated along the entire margin with the onset of the Holocene. Until today, the Mauritanian mounds are in a dormant state with only scarce CWC growth. In the canyons, live CWCs are abundant since the Late Holocene at least. Thus, the canyons may serve as a refuge to CWCs potentially enabling the observed modest re-colonisation pulse on the mounds along the open slope. The timing and rate of the pre-Holocene coral mound aggradation, and the cessation of mound formation varied between the individual mounds, which was likely the consequence of vertical/lateral changes in water mass structure that placed the mounds near or out of oxygen-depleted waters, respectively.

  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. Sex and symbionts : New discoveries in local and regional patterns of coral ecology and reproduction

    OpenAIRE

    Hellström, Micaela

    2011-01-01

    Coral reefs belong to the most diverse and the most threatened ecosystems on earth. Anthropogenic stressors and climate change have led to mortalities at levels unprecedented in modern times. The aims of this thesis are to investigate aspects of the corals’ ability to reproduce, disperse, adapt and survive. Papers I-III study reproduction in a common soft coral species, Sarcophyton elegans, with previously unknown reproductive modes. Paper IV investigates genetic distribution of coral-symbion...

  20. Effects of reduced dissolved oxygen concentrations on physiology and fluorescence of hermatypic corals and benthic algae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haas, Andreas F; Smith, Jennifer E; Thompson, Melissa; Deheyn, Dimitri D

    2014-01-01

    While shifts from coral to seaweed dominance have become increasingly common on coral reefs and factors triggering these shifts successively identified, the primary mechanisms involved in coral-algae interactions remain unclear. Amongst various potential mechanisms, algal exudates can mediate increases in microbial activity, leading to localized hypoxic conditions which may cause coral mortality in the direct vicinity. Most of the processes likely causing such algal exudate induced coral mortality have been quantified (e.g., labile organic matter release, increased microbial metabolism, decreased dissolved oxygen availability), yet little is known about how reduced dissolved oxygen concentrations affect competitive dynamics between seaweeds and corals. The goals of this study were to investigate the effects of different levels of oxygen including hypoxic conditions on a common hermatypic coral Acropora yongei and the common green alga Bryopsis pennata. Specifically, we examined how photosynthetic oxygen production, dark and daylight adapted quantum yield, intensity and anatomical distribution of the coral innate fluorescence, and visual estimates of health varied with differing background oxygen conditions. Our results showed that the algae were significantly more tolerant to extremely low oxygen concentrations (2-4 mg L(-1)) than corals. Furthermore corals could tolerate reduced oxygen concentrations, but only until a given threshold determined by a combination of exposure time and concentration. Exceeding this threshold led to rapid loss of coral tissue and mortality. This study concludes that hypoxia may indeed play a significant role, or in some cases may even be the main cause, for coral tissue loss during coral-algae interaction processes.

  1. Effects of reduced dissolved oxygen concentrations on physiology and fluorescence of hermatypic corals and benthic algae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas F. Haas

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available While shifts from coral to seaweed dominance have become increasingly common on coral reefs and factors triggering these shifts successively identified, the primary mechanisms involved in coral-algae interactions remain unclear. Amongst various potential mechanisms, algal exudates can mediate increases in microbial activity, leading to localized hypoxic conditions which may cause coral mortality in the direct vicinity. Most of the processes likely causing such algal exudate induced coral mortality have been quantified (e.g., labile organic matter release, increased microbial metabolism, decreased dissolved oxygen availability, yet little is known about how reduced dissolved oxygen concentrations affect competitive dynamics between seaweeds and corals. The goals of this study were to investigate the effects of different levels of oxygen including hypoxic conditions on a common hermatypic coral Acropora yongei and the common green alga Bryopsis pennata. Specifically, we examined how photosynthetic oxygen production, dark and daylight adapted quantum yield, intensity and anatomical distribution of the coral innate fluorescence, and visual estimates of health varied with differing background oxygen conditions. Our results showed that the algae were significantly more tolerant to extremely low oxygen concentrations (2–4 mg L−1 than corals. Furthermore corals could tolerate reduced oxygen concentrations, but only until a given threshold determined by a combination of exposure time and concentration. Exceeding this threshold led to rapid loss of coral tissue and mortality. This study concludes that hypoxia may indeed play a significant role, or in some cases may even be the main cause, for coral tissue loss during coral-algae interaction processes.

  2. African dust and the demise of Caribbean Coral Reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shinn, Eugene A.; Smith, Garriet W.; Prospero, Joseph M.; Betzer, Peter; Hayes, Marshall L.; Garrison, Virginia; Barber, Richard T.

    2000-10-01

    The vitality of Caribbean coral reefs has undergone a continual state of decline since the late 1970s, a period of time coincidental with large increases in transatlantic dust transport. It is proposed that the hundreds of millions of tons/year of soil dust that have been crossing the Atlantic during the last 25 years could be a significant contributor to coral reef decline and may be affecting other ecosystems. Benchmark events, such as near synchronous Caribbean-wide mortalities of acroporid corals and the urchin Diadema in 1983, and coral bleaching beginning in 1987, correlate with the years of maximum dust flux into the Caribbean. Besides crustal elements, in particular Fe, Si, and aluminosilicate clays, the dust can serve as a substrate for numerous species of viable spores, especially the soil fungus Aspergillus. Aspergillus sydowii, the cause of an ongoing Caribbean-wide seafan disease, has been cultured from Caribbean air samples and used to inoculate sea fans.

  3. Nitrification in reef corals

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Wafar, M.V.M.; Wafar, S.; David, J.J.

    . An estimate of the density of nitrifying bacteria on living corals can be made by comparing the nitrifying rates of bacterial cells and the rate of production of NO,-. Kaplan (1983) summarized the growth con- stants of marine nitrifying bacteria... Reef Con=. 3: 395-399. -, C. R. WILKINSON, V. p. VICENTE, J. M. MORELL, AND E. OTERO. 1988. Nitrate release by Carib- bean reef sponges. Limnol. Oceanogr. 33: 114- 120. CROSSLAND, C. J., AND D. J. BARNES. 1983. Dissolved nutrients and organic...

  4. CARBONIFEROUS CORALS AND CHAETETIDS FROM EXOTIC LIMESTONE BLOCK OF THE CRIMEA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    VICTOR OGAR

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available A chaetetid sponge and coral fauna from a Carboniferous exotic limestone block in the Lower Jurassic Esciorda olistostrome on the Bodrak River (Crimean Mountains are described for the first time. The Bodrak exotic block is composed of massive limestone. It contains the chaetetid Chaetetes (Boswellia sp., the tabulate coral Multithecopora sp., and poorly preserved rugose corals, including Dibunophyllum? sp., Cordibia? sp. and gen. et sp. indet. Only the fasciculate colonies of the rugose coral Lytvophyllum askynensis (Kossovaya, 2009 are confidently identified. The studied association of fossils is similar to that of the Donets Basin and the Urals and confirms the Lower Bashkirian age of the Bodrak limestone block. 

  5. Assessing Coral Community Recovery from Coral Bleaching by ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The densities of small colonies were lowest at the northern sites, and small colonies of genera of corals that suffered from high bleaching and mortality during the El Niño Southern Oscillation in 1998 were less abundant in the north. These northern reefs are relatively isolated from sources of coral larvae from reefs in the ...

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

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Raghukumar, C.; Ravindran, J.

    which are exclusive as endoliths (endemic) in corals or ubiquitous forms seem to play a role in coral reef system. Fungi associated with sponges and their role in production or induction of secondary metabolites in their host is of primary interest...

  7. Osmoadjustment in the Coral Holobiont

    KAUST Repository

    Röthig, Till

    2017-04-01

    Coral reefs are under considerable decline. The framework builders in coral reefs are scleractinian corals, which comprise so-called holobionts, consisting of cnidarian host, algal symbionts (genus Symbiodinium), and other associated microbes. Corals are commonly considered stenohaline osmoconformers, possessing limited capability to adjust to salinity changes. However, corals differ in their ability to cope with different salinities. The underlying mechanisms have not yet been addressed. To further understand putative mechanisms involved, I examined coral holobiont osmoregulation conducting a range of experiments on the coral Fungia granulosa. In my research F. granulosa from the Red Sea exhibited pronounced physiological reactions (decreased photosynthesis, cessation of calcification) upon short-term incubations (4 h) to high salinity (55). However, during a 29-day in situ salinity transect experiment, coral holobiont photosynthesis was unimpaired under high salinity (49) indicating acclimatization. F. granulosa microbiome changes after the 29-day high salinity exposure aligned with a bacterial community restructuring that putatively supports the coral salinity acclimatization (osmolyte synthesis, nutrient fixation/cycling). Long-term incubations (7 d) of cultured Symbiodinium exhibited cell growth even at ‘extreme’ salinity levels of 25 and 55. Metabolic profiles of four Symbiodinium strains exposed to increased (55) and decreased (25) salinities for 4 h indicated distinct carbohydrates and amino acids to be putatively involved in the osmoadjustment. Importantly, under high salinity the osmolyte floridoside was consistently increased. This could be corroborated in the coral model Aiptasia and in corals from the Persian/Arabian Gulf, where floridoside was also markedly increased upon short- (15 h) and long-term (>24 months) exposure to high salinity, confirming an important role of floridoside in the osmoadjustment of cnidarian holobionts. This thesis

  8. Climatological context for large-scale coral bleaching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barton, A. D.; Casey, K. S.

    2005-12-01

    Large-scale coral bleaching was first observed in 1979 and has occurred throughout virtually all of the tropics since that time. Severe bleaching may result in the loss of live coral and in a decline of the integrity of the impacted coral reef ecosystem. Despite the extensive scientific research and increased public awareness of coral bleaching, uncertainties remain about the past and future of large-scale coral bleaching. In order to reduce these uncertainties and place large-scale coral bleaching in the longer-term climatological context, specific criteria and methods for using historical sea surface temperature (SST) data to examine coral bleaching-related thermal conditions are proposed by analyzing three, 132 year SST reconstructions: ERSST, HadISST1, and GISST2.3b. These methodologies are applied to case studies at Discovery Bay, Jamaica (77.27°W, 18.45°N), Sombrero Reef, Florida, USA (81.11°W, 24.63°N), Academy Bay, Galápagos, Ecuador (90.31°W, 0.74°S), Pearl and Hermes Reef, Northwest Hawaiian Islands, USA (175.83°W, 27.83°N), Midway Island, Northwest Hawaiian Islands, USA (177.37°W, 28.25°N), Davies Reef, Australia (147.68°E, 18.83°S), and North Male Atoll, Maldives (73.35°E, 4.70°N). The results of this study show that (1) The historical SST data provide a useful long-term record of thermal conditions in reef ecosystems, giving important insight into the thermal history of coral reefs and (2) While coral bleaching and anomalously warm SSTs have occurred over much of the world in recent decades, case studies in the Caribbean, Northwest Hawaiian Islands, and parts of other regions such as the Great Barrier Reef exhibited SST conditions and cumulative thermal stress prior to 1979 that were comparable to those conditions observed during the strong, frequent coral bleaching events since 1979. This climatological context and knowledge of past environmental conditions in reef ecosystems may foster a better understanding of how coral reefs will

  9. Fluorescent bands in massive corals record centuries of coastal rainfall

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isdale, Peter

    1984-08-01

    Massive coral colonies on the Great Barrier Reef grow outwards at 5-25 mm yr-1 (ref. 1). Skeletal density varies seasonally in all massive corals from the Great Barrier Reef and an exact temporal record of growth can be obtained by X-radiography of appropriately cut sections of the colony2,3. Environmental influences on coral growth have been described from such analyses4-6. This is the first report from the skeletons of massive corals of yellow green fluorescent bands which appear under long-wave UV light. Such fluorescence is confined to corals growing within 20 km of the shore and is not present in massive corals from mid- and outer shelf reefs of the central Great Barrier Reef region. The timing, width and intensity of the fluorescent bands correlate strongly with summer, monsoonal rainfall and coastal runoff. Large colonies, several centuries old, can provide long records of the strength and periodicity of terrestrial runoff to the tropical nearshore environment. Such records are potentially important to climatology, meteorology, agriculture, civil engineering and management of the Great Barrier Reef.

  10. New interventions are needed to save coral reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anthony, Ken; Bay, Line K.; Costanza, Robert; Firn, Jennifer; Gunn, John; Harrison, Peter; Heyward, Andrew; Lundgren, Petra; Mead, David; Moore, Tom; Mumby, Peter J.; van Oppen, Madeleine J. H.; Robertson, John; Runge, Michael C.; Suggett, David J.; Schaffelke, Britta; Wachenfeld, David; Walshe, Terry

    2017-01-01

    Since 2014, coral reefs worldwide have been subjected to the most extensive, prolonged and damaging heat wave in recorded history1. Large sections of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef (GBR) bleached in response to heat stress in 2016 and 2017 — the first back-to-back event on record. Such severe coral bleaching results in widespread loss of reef habitat and biodiversity. Globally, we are facing catastrophic decline of these ecosystems, which sustain services valued at around $US 10 trillion per year2, are home to over a million species3, and feed and support the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people4. Model predictions indicate that mass coral bleaching could become the new norm by 2050 (ref. 5). Critically, even if global warming can be kept within 1.5⁰C above preindustrial levels, shallow tropical seas would warm at least 0.4°C in coming decades, triggering frequent bleaching of the most sensitive habitat-forming coral species6. This outlook poses a time-critical decision challenge for management and conservation. Existing conservation approaches, despite innovative governance arrangements7, could simply become insufficient to protect coral reefs under any expected climate future. Thus, for coral reefs to remain resilient and their services sustained, we argue that new and potentially riskier interventions must be implemented alongside conventional management efforts and strong action to curb global warming. We build the case for this strategy below.

  11. Fungal invasion of massive corals

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Raghukumar, C.; Raghukumar, S.

    Five species of corals from the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal (Indian Ocean) have been regularly found to have single or multiple necrotic patches. The occurrence of such corals with necrotic patches varied from 10-50% in the field. Sections...

  12. The Biology and Economics of Coral Growth

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Osinga, R.; Schutter, M.; Griffioen, B.; Wijffels, R.H.; Verreth, J.A.J.; Shafit, S.; Henard, S.; Taruffi, M.; Gili, C.; Lavorano, S.

    2011-01-01

    To protect natural coral reefs, it is of utmost importance to understand how the growth of the main reef-building organisms-the zooxanthellate scleractinian corals-is controlled. Understanding coral growth is also relevant for coral aquaculture, which is a rapidly developing business. This review

  13. Can resistant coral-Symbiodinium associations enable coral communities to survive climate change? A study of a site exposed to long-term hot water input

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shashank Keshavmurthy

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Climate change has led to a decline in the health of corals and coral reefs around the world. Studies have shown that, while some corals can cope with natural and anthropogenic stressors either through resistance mechanisms of coral hosts or through sustainable relationships with Symbiodinium clades or types, many coral species cannot. Here, we show that the corals present in a reef in southern Taiwan, and exposed to long-term elevated seawater temperatures due to the presence of a nuclear power plant outlet (NPP OL, are unique in terms of species and associated Symbiodinium types. At shallow depths (<3 m, eleven coral genera elsewhere in Kenting predominantly found with Symbiodinium types C1 and C3 (stress sensitive were instead hosting Symbiodinium type D1a (stress tolerant or a mixture of Symbiodinium type C1/C3/C21a/C15 and Symbiodinium type D1a. Of the 16 coral genera that dominate the local reefs, two that are apparently unable to associate with Symbiodinium type D1a are not present at NPP OL at depths of <3 m. Two other genera present at NPP OL and other locations host a specific type of Symbiodinium type C15. These data imply that coral assemblages may have the capacity to maintain their presence at the generic level against long-term disturbances such as elevated seawater temperatures by acclimatization through successful association with a stress-tolerant Symbiodinium over time. However, at the community level it comes at the cost of some coral genera being lost, suggesting that species unable to associate with a stress-tolerant Symbiodinium are likely to become extinct locally and unfavorable shifts in coral communities are likely to occur under the impact of climate change.

  14. Highly heterogeneous bacterial communities associated with the South China Sea reef corals Porites lutea, Galaxea fascicularis and Acropora millepora.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jie Li

    Full Text Available Coral harbor diverse and specific bacteria play significant roles in coral holobiont function. Bacteria associated with three of the common and phylogenetically divergent reef-building corals in the South China Sea, Porites lutea, Galaxea fascicularis and Acropora millepora, were investigated using 454 barcoded-pyrosequencing. Three colonies of each species were sampled, and 16S rRNA gene libraries were constructed individually. Analysis of pyrosequencing libraries showed that bacterial communities associated with the three coral species were more diverse than previous estimates based on corals from the Caribbean Sea, Indo-Pacific reefs and the Red Sea. Three candidate phyla, including BRC1, OD1 and SR1, were found for the first time in corals. Bacterial communities were separated into three groups: P. lutea and G. fascicular, A. millepora and seawater. P. lutea and G. fascicular displayed more similar bacterial communities, and bacterial communities associated with A. millepora differed from the other two coral species. The three coral species shared only 22 OTUs, which were distributed in Alphaproteobacteria, Deltaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, Chloroflexi, Actinobacteria, Acidobacteria and an unclassified bacterial group. The composition of bacterial communities within each colony of each coral species also showed variation. The relatively small common and large specific bacterial communities in these corals implies that bacterial associations may be structured by multiple factors at different scales and that corals may associate with microbes in terms of similar function, rather than identical species.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  16. Coral reef bleaching: ecological perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glynn, P. W.

    1993-03-01

    Coral reef bleaching, the whitening of diverse invertebrate taxa, results from the loss of symbiotic zooxanthellae and/or a reduction in photosynthetic pigment concentrations in zooxanthellae residing within the gastrodermal tissues of host animals. Of particular concern are the consequences of bleaching of large numbers of reef-building scleractinian corals and hydrocorals. Published records of coral reef bleaching events from 1870 to the present suggest that the frequency (60 major events from 1979 to 1990), scale (co-occurrence in many coral reef regions and often over the bathymetric depth range of corals) and severity (>95% mortality in some areas) of recent bleaching disturbances are unprecedented in the scientific literature. The causes of small scale, isolated bleaching events can often be explained by particular stressors (e.g., temperature, salinity, light, sedimentation, aerial exposure and pollutants), but attempts to explain large scale bleaching events in terms of possible global change (e.g., greenhouse warming, increased UV radiation flux, deteriorating ecosystem health, or some combination of the above) have not been convincing. Attempts to relate the severity and extent of large scale coral reef bleaching events to particular causes have been hampered by a lack of (a) standardized methods to assess bleaching and (b) continuous, long-term data bases of environmental conditions over the periods of interest. An effort must be made to understand the impact of bleaching on the remainder of the reef community and the long-term effects on competition, predation, symbioses, bioerosion and substrate condition, all factors that can influence coral recruitment and reef recovery. If projected rates of sea warming are realized by mid to late AD 2000, i.e. a 2°C increase in high latitude coral seas, the upper thermal tolerance limits of many reef-building corals could be exceeded. Present evidence suggests that many corals would be unable to adapt

  17. Spatial and temporal patterns of scleractinian coral, soft coral, and zoanthid disease on a remote, near-pristine coral reef (Palmyra Atoll, central Pacific).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Gareth J; Knapp, Ingrid S; Aeby, Greta S; Davy, Simon K

    2011-04-06

    There is an urgent need for accurate baselines of coral disease prevalence across our oceans in order for sudden or unnatural changes to be recognized. Palmyra Atoll allows us to study disease dynamics under near-pristine, functionally intact conditions. We examined disease prevalence among all known species of scleractinian coral, soft coral and zoanthid (Palythoa) at a variety of coral reef habitats at Palmyra over a 2 yr period. In 2008, overall disease prevalence across the atoll was low (0.33%), but higher on the shallower backreef (0.88%) and reef terrace (0.80%) than on the deeper forereef (0.09%). Scleractinian coral disease prevalence was higher (0.30%) than were soft coral and zoanthid disease (0.03% combined). Growth anomalies (GAs) were the most commonly encountered lesions, with scleractinian species in the genera Astreopora (2.12%), Acropora (1.30%), and Montipora (0.98%) showing the highest prevalence atoll-wide. Discoloration necrosis (DN) was most prevalent in the zoanthid Palythoa tuberculosa (1.18%), although the soft coral Sinulana and Montipora also had a prevalence of 0.44 and 0.01%, respectively. Overall disease prevalence within permanently marked transects increased from 0.65% in 2008 to 0.79% in 2009. Palythoa DN contributed most to this increased prevalence, which coincided with rising temperatures during the 2009 El Niño. GAs on the majority of susceptible genera at Palmyra increased in number over time, and led to tissue death. Host distribution and environmental factors (e.g., temperature) appear to be important for determining spatiotemporal patterns of disease at Palmyra. More sophisticated analyses are required to tease apart the likely inter-correlated proximate drivers of disease occurrence on remote, near-pristine reefs.

  18. Evaluation of Stony Coral Indicators for Coral Reef ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colonies of reef-building stony corals at 57 stations around St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands were characterized by species, size and percentage of living tissue. Taxonomic, biological and physical indicators of coral condition were derived from these measurements and assessed for their response to gradients of human disturbance. The purpose of the study was to identify indicators that could be used for regulatory assessments under authority of the Clean Water Act--this requires that indicators distinguish anthropogenic disturbances from natural variation. Stony coral indicators were tested for correlation with human disturbance across gradients located on three different sides of the island. At the most intensely disturbed location, five of eight primary indicators were highly correlated with distance from the source of disturbance: Coral taxa richness, average colony size, the coefficient of variation of colony size (an indicator of colony size heterogeneity), total topographic coral surface area, and live coral surface area. An additional set of exploratory indicators related to rarity, reproductive and spawning mode, and taxonomic identity were also screened for association with disturbance at the same location. For the other two locations, there were no significant changes in indicator values and therefore no discernible effects of human activity. Coral indicators demonstrated sufficient precision to detect levels of change that would be applicable in a regio

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon D Donner

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

  20. Ocean acidification effects on calcification in pCO2 acclimated Caribbean scleractinian coral

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ocean acidification (OA) is projected to increase the acidity of coral reef habitats 2-3 times that of present day pCO2 levels. Many studies have shown the adverse effects on scleractinian calcification when exposed to elevated pCO2 levels, however, in these studies, corals have ...

  1. Coral mass spawning predicted by rapid seasonal rise in ocean temperature

    KAUST Repository

    Keith, Sally A.

    2016-05-11

    Coral spawning times have been linked to multiple environmental factors; however, to what extent these factors act as generalized cues across multiple species and large spatial scales is unknown. We used a unique dataset of coral spawning from 34 reefs in the Indian and Pacific Oceans to test if month of spawning and peak spawning month in assemblages of Acropora spp. can be predicted by sea surface temperature (SST), photosynthetically available radiation, wind speed, current speed, rainfall or sunset time. Contrary to the classic view that high mean SST initiates coral spawning, we found rapid increases in SST to be the best predictor in both cases (month of spawning: R2 = 0.73, peak: R2 = 0.62). Our findings suggest that a rapid increase in SST provides the dominant proximate cue for coral mass spawning over large geographical scales. We hypothesize that coral spawning is ultimately timed to ensure optimal fertilization success.

  2. Short-term coral bleaching is not recorded by skeletal boron isotopes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoepf, Verena; McCulloch, Malcolm T; Warner, Mark E; Levas, Stephen J; Matsui, Yohei; Aschaffenburg, Matthew D; Grottoli, Andréa G

    2014-01-01

    Coral skeletal boron isotopes have been established as a proxy for seawater pH, yet it remains unclear if and how this proxy is affected by seawater temperature. Specifically, it has never been directly tested whether coral bleaching caused by high water temperatures influences coral boron isotopes. Here we report the results from a controlled bleaching experiment conducted on the Caribbean corals Porites divaricata, Porites astreoides, and Orbicella faveolata. Stable boron (δ11B), carbon (δ13C), oxygen (δ18O) isotopes, Sr/Ca, Mg/Ca, U/Ca, and Ba/Ca ratios, as well as chlorophyll a concentrations and calcification rates were measured on coral skeletal material corresponding to the period during and immediately after the elevated temperature treatment and again after 6 weeks of recovery on the reef. We show that under these conditions, coral bleaching did not affect the boron isotopic signature in any coral species tested, despite significant changes in coral physiology. This contradicts published findings from coral cores, where significant decreases in boron isotopes were interpreted as corresponding to times of known mass bleaching events. In contrast, δ13C and δ18O exhibited major enrichment corresponding to decreases in calcification rates associated with bleaching. Sr/Ca of bleached corals did not consistently record the 1.2°C difference in seawater temperature during the bleaching treatment, or alternatively show a consistent increase due to impaired photosynthesis and calcification. Mg/Ca, U/Ca, and Ba/Ca were affected by coral bleaching in some of the coral species, but the observed patterns could not be satisfactorily explained by temperature dependence or changes in coral physiology. This demonstrates that coral boron isotopes do not record short-term bleaching events, and therefore cannot be used as a proxy for past bleaching events. The robustness of coral boron isotopes to changes in coral physiology, however, suggests that reconstruction of

  3. Global patterns and impacts of El Niño events on coral reefs: A meta-analysis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danielle C Claar

    Full Text Available Impacts of global climate change on coral reefs are being amplified by pulse heat stress events, including El Niño, the warm phase of the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO. Despite reports of extensive coral bleaching and up to 97% coral mortality induced by El Niño events, a quantitative synthesis of the nature, intensity, and drivers of El Niño and La Niña impacts on corals is lacking. Herein, we first present a global meta-analysis of studies quantifying the effects of El Niño/La Niña-warming on corals, surveying studies from both the primary literature and International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS Proceedings. Overall, the strongest signal for El Niño/La Niña-associated coral bleaching was long-term mean temperature; bleaching decreased with decreasing long-term mean temperature (n = 20 studies. Additionally, coral cover losses during El Niño/La Niña were shaped by localized maximum heat stress and long-term mean temperature (n = 28 studies. Second, we present a method for quantifying coral heat stress which, for any coral reef location in the world, allows extraction of remotely-sensed degree heating weeks (DHW for any date (since 1982, quantification of the maximum DHW, and the time lag since the maximum DHW. Using this method, we show that the 2015/16 El Niño event instigated unprecedented global coral heat stress across the world's oceans. With El Niño events expected to increase in frequency and severity this century, it is imperative that we gain a clear understanding of how these thermal stress anomalies impact different coral species and coral reef regions. We therefore finish with recommendations for future coral bleaching studies that will foster improved syntheses, as well as predictive and adaptive capacity to extreme warming events.

  4. Global patterns and impacts of El Niño events on coral reefs: A meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Claar, Danielle C; Szostek, Lisa; McDevitt-Irwin, Jamie M; Schanze, Julian J; Baum, Julia K

    2018-01-01

    Impacts of global climate change on coral reefs are being amplified by pulse heat stress events, including El Niño, the warm phase of the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Despite reports of extensive coral bleaching and up to 97% coral mortality induced by El Niño events, a quantitative synthesis of the nature, intensity, and drivers of El Niño and La Niña impacts on corals is lacking. Herein, we first present a global meta-analysis of studies quantifying the effects of El Niño/La Niña-warming on corals, surveying studies from both the primary literature and International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS) Proceedings. Overall, the strongest signal for El Niño/La Niña-associated coral bleaching was long-term mean temperature; bleaching decreased with decreasing long-term mean temperature (n = 20 studies). Additionally, coral cover losses during El Niño/La Niña were shaped by localized maximum heat stress and long-term mean temperature (n = 28 studies). Second, we present a method for quantifying coral heat stress which, for any coral reef location in the world, allows extraction of remotely-sensed degree heating weeks (DHW) for any date (since 1982), quantification of the maximum DHW, and the time lag since the maximum DHW. Using this method, we show that the 2015/16 El Niño event instigated unprecedented global coral heat stress across the world's oceans. With El Niño events expected to increase in frequency and severity this century, it is imperative that we gain a clear understanding of how these thermal stress anomalies impact different coral species and coral reef regions. We therefore finish with recommendations for future coral bleaching studies that will foster improved syntheses, as well as predictive and adaptive capacity to extreme warming events.

  5. Human activities threaten coral reefs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tveitdal, Svein; Bjoerke, Aake

    2002-01-01

    Research indicates that 58 per cent of the coral reefs of the world are threatened by human activities. Pollution and global heating represent some of the threats. Coral reefs just beneath the surface of the sea are very sensitive to temperature changes. Since 1979, mass death of coral reefs has been reported increasingly often. More than 1000 marine species live in the coral reefs, among these are one fourth of all marine species of fish. It is imperative that the coral reefs be preserved, as coastal communities all over the world depend on them as sources of food and as they are the raw materials for important medicines. The article discusses the threats to the coral reefs in general and does not single out any particular energy-related activity as the principal threat. For instance, the El-Nino phenomenon of the Pacific Ocean is probably involved in mass death of coral reefs and in the North Sea large parts of deep-water reefs have been crushed by heavy beam trawlers fishing for bottom fish

  6. Testing animal-assisted cleaning prior to transplantation in coral reef restoration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah Frias-Torres

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Rearing coral fragments in nurseries and subsequent transplantation onto a degraded reef is a common approach for coral reef restoration. However, if barnacles and other biofouling organisms are not removed prior to transplantation, fish will dislodge newly cemented corals when feeding on biofouling organisms. This behavior can lead to an increase in diver time due to the need to reattach the corals. Thus, cleaning nurseries to remove biofouling organisms such as algae and invertebrates is necessary prior to transplantation, and this cleaning constitutes a significant time investment in a restoration project. We tested a novel biomimicry technique of animal-assisted cleaning on nursery corals prior to transplantation at a coral reef restoration site in Seychelles, Indian Ocean. To determine whether animal-assisted cleaning was possible, preliminary visual underwater surveys were performed to quantify the fish community at the study site. Then, cleaning stations consisting of nursery ropes carrying corals and biofouling organisms, set at 0.3 m, 2 m, 4 m, 6 m and 8 m from the seabed, were placed at both the transplantation (treatment site and the nursery (control site. Remote GoPro video cameras recorded fish feeding at the nursery ropes without human disturbance. A reef fish assemblage of 32 species from 4 trophic levels (18.8% herbivores, 18.8% omnivores, 59.3% secondary consumers and 3.1% carnivores consumed 95% of the barnacles on the coral nursery ropes placed 0.3 m above the seabed. Using this cleaning station, we reduced coral dislodgement from 16% to zero. This cleaning station technique could be included as a step prior to coral transplantation worldwide on the basis of location-specific fish assemblages and during the early nursery phase of sexually produced juvenile corals.

  7. Testing animal-assisted cleaning prior to transplantation in coral reef restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    van de Geer, Casper

    2015-01-01

    Rearing coral fragments in nurseries and subsequent transplantation onto a degraded reef is a common approach for coral reef restoration. However, if barnacles and other biofouling organisms are not removed prior to transplantation, fish will dislodge newly cemented corals when feeding on biofouling organisms. This behavior can lead to an increase in diver time due to the need to reattach the corals. Thus, cleaning nurseries to remove biofouling organisms such as algae and invertebrates is necessary prior to transplantation, and this cleaning constitutes a significant time investment in a restoration project. We tested a novel biomimicry technique of animal-assisted cleaning on nursery corals prior to transplantation at a coral reef restoration site in Seychelles, Indian Ocean. To determine whether animal-assisted cleaning was possible, preliminary visual underwater surveys were performed to quantify the fish community at the study site. Then, cleaning stations consisting of nursery ropes carrying corals and biofouling organisms, set at 0.3 m, 2 m, 4 m, 6 m and 8 m from the seabed, were placed at both the transplantation (treatment) site and the nursery (control) site. Remote GoPro video cameras recorded fish feeding at the nursery ropes without human disturbance. A reef fish assemblage of 32 species from 4 trophic levels (18.8% herbivores, 18.8% omnivores, 59.3% secondary consumers and 3.1% carnivores) consumed 95% of the barnacles on the coral nursery ropes placed 0.3 m above the seabed. Using this cleaning station, we reduced coral dislodgement from 16% to zero. This cleaning station technique could be included as a step prior to coral transplantation worldwide on the basis of location-specific fish assemblages and during the early nursery phase of sexually produced juvenile corals. PMID:26468440

  8. Testing animal-assisted cleaning prior to transplantation in coral reef restoration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frias-Torres, Sarah; van de Geer, Casper

    2015-01-01

    Rearing coral fragments in nurseries and subsequent transplantation onto a degraded reef is a common approach for coral reef restoration. However, if barnacles and other biofouling organisms are not removed prior to transplantation, fish will dislodge newly cemented corals when feeding on biofouling organisms. This behavior can lead to an increase in diver time due to the need to reattach the corals. Thus, cleaning nurseries to remove biofouling organisms such as algae and invertebrates is necessary prior to transplantation, and this cleaning constitutes a significant time investment in a restoration project. We tested a novel biomimicry technique of animal-assisted cleaning on nursery corals prior to transplantation at a coral reef restoration site in Seychelles, Indian Ocean. To determine whether animal-assisted cleaning was possible, preliminary visual underwater surveys were performed to quantify the fish community at the study site. Then, cleaning stations consisting of nursery ropes carrying corals and biofouling organisms, set at 0.3 m, 2 m, 4 m, 6 m and 8 m from the seabed, were placed at both the transplantation (treatment) site and the nursery (control) site. Remote GoPro video cameras recorded fish feeding at the nursery ropes without human disturbance. A reef fish assemblage of 32 species from 4 trophic levels (18.8% herbivores, 18.8% omnivores, 59.3% secondary consumers and 3.1% carnivores) consumed 95% of the barnacles on the coral nursery ropes placed 0.3 m above the seabed. Using this cleaning station, we reduced coral dislodgement from 16% to zero. This cleaning station technique could be included as a step prior to coral transplantation worldwide on the basis of location-specific fish assemblages and during the early nursery phase of sexually produced juvenile corals.

  9. Dark production of extracellular superoxide by the coral Porites astreoides and representative symbionts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tong Zhang

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The reactive oxygen species (ROS superoxide has been implicated in both beneficial and detrimental processes in coral biology, ranging from pathogenic disease resistance to coral bleaching. Despite the critical role of ROS in coral health, there is a distinct lack of ROS measurements and thus an incomplete understanding of underpinning ROS sources and production mechanisms within coral systems. Here, we quantified in situ extracellular superoxide concentrations at the surfaces of aquaria-hosted Porites astreoides during a diel cycle. High concentrations of superoxide (~10’s of nM were present at coral surfaces, and these levels did not change significantly as a function of time of day. These results indicate that the coral holobiont produces extracellular superoxide in the dark, independent of photosynthesis. As a short-lived anion at physiological pH, superoxide has a limited ability to cross intact biological membranes. Further, removing surface mucus layers from the P. astreoides colonies did not impact external superoxide concentrations. We therefore attribute external superoxide derived from the coral holobiont under these conditions to the activity of the coral host epithelium, rather than mucus-derived epibionts or internal sources such as endosymbionts (e.g., Symbiodinium. However, endosymbionts likely contribute to internal ROS levels via extracellular superoxide production. Indeed, common coral symbionts, including multiple strains of Symbiodinium (clades A to D and the bacterium Endozoicomonas montiporae LMG 24815, produced extracellular superoxide in the dark and at low light levels. Further, representative P. astreoides symbionts, Symbiodinium CCMP2456 (clade A and E. montiporae, produced similar concentrations of superoxide alone and in combination with each other, in the dark and low light, and regardless of time of day. Overall, these results indicate that healthy, non-stressed P. astreoides and representative symbionts produce

  10. Historical thermal regimes define limits to coral acclimatization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howells, Emily J; Berkelmans, Ray; van Oppen, Madeleine J H; Willis, Bette L; Bay, Line K

    2013-05-01

    Knowledge of the degree to which corals undergo physiological acclimatization or genetic adaptation in response to changes in their thermal environment is crucial to the success of coral reef conservation strategies. The potential of corals to acclimatize to temperatures exceeding historical thermal regimes was investigated by reciprocal transplantation of Acropora millepora colonies between the warm central and cool southern regions of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) for a duration of 14 months. Colony fragments retained at native sites remained healthy, whereas transplanted fragments, although healthy over initial months when temperatures remained within native thermal regimes, subsequently bleached and suffered mortality during seasonal temperature extremes. Corals hosting Symbiodinium D transplanted to the southern GBR bleached in winter and the majority suffered whole (40%; n=20 colonies) or partial (50%) mortality at temperatures 1.1 degrees C below their 15-year native minimum. In contrast, corals hosting Symbiodinium C2 transplanted to the central GBR bleached in summer and suffered whole (50%; n=10 colonies) or partial (42%) mortality at temperatures 2.5 degrees C above their 15-year native maximum. During summer bleaching, the dominant Symbiodinium type changed from C2 to D within corals transplanted to the central GBR. Corals transplanted to the cooler, southern GBR grew 74-80% slower than corals at their native site, and only 50% of surviving colonies reproduced, at least partially because of cold water bleaching of transplants. Despite the absence of any visual signs of stress, corals transplanted to the warmer, central GBR grew 52-59% more slowly than corals at their native site before the summer bleaching (i.e., from autumn to spring). Allocation of energy to initial acclimatization or reproduction may explain this pattern, as the majority (65%) of transplants reproduced one month earlier than portions of the same colonies retained at the southern

  11. Coral reef fish predator maintains olfactory acuity in degraded coral habitats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Natt

    Full Text Available Coral reefs around the world are rapidly degrading due to a range of environmental stressors. Habitat degradation modifies the sensory landscape within which predator-prey interactions occur, with implications for olfactory-mediated behaviours. Predator naïve settlement-stage damselfish rely on conspecific damage-released odours (i.e., alarm odours to inform risk assessments. Yet, species such as the Ambon damselfish, Pomacentrus amboinensis, become unable to respond appropriately to these cues when living in dead-degraded coral habitats, leading to increased mortality through loss of vigilance. Reef fish predators also rely on odours from damaged prey to locate, assess prey quality and engage in prey-stealing, but it is unknown whether their responses are also modified by the change to dead-degraded coral habitats. Implications for prey clearly depend on how their predatory counterparts are affected, therefore the present study tested whether olfactory-mediated foraging responses in the dusky dottyback, Pseudochromis fuscus, a common predator of P. amboinensis, were similarly affected by coral degradation. A y-maze was used to measure the ability of Ps. fuscus to detect and move towards odours, against different background water sources. Ps. fuscus were exposed to damage-released odours from juvenile P. amboinensis, or a control cue of seawater, against a background of seawater treated with either healthy or dead-degraded hard coral. Predators exhibited an increased time allocation to the chambers of y-mazes injected with damage-released odours, with comparable levels of response in both healthy and dead-degraded coral treated waters. In control treatments, where damage-released odours were replaced with a control seawater cue, fish showed no increased preference for either chamber of the y-maze. Our results suggest that olfactory-mediated foraging behaviours may persist in Ps. fuscus within dead-degraded coral habitats. Ps. fuscus may

  12. Building coral reef resilience through assisted evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Oppen, Madeleine J H; Oliver, James K; Putnam, Hollie M; Gates, Ruth D

    2015-02-24

    The genetic enhancement of wild animals and plants for characteristics that benefit human populations has been practiced for thousands of years, resulting in impressive improvements in commercially valuable species. Despite these benefits, genetic manipulations are rarely considered for noncommercial purposes, such as conservation and restoration initiatives. Over the last century, humans have driven global climate change through industrialization and the release of increasing amounts of CO2, resulting in shifts in ocean temperature, ocean chemistry, and sea level, as well as increasing frequency of storms, all of which can profoundly impact marine ecosystems. Coral reefs are highly diverse ecosystems that have suffered massive declines in health and abundance as a result of these and other direct anthropogenic disturbances. There is great concern that the high rates, magnitudes, and complexity of environmental change are overwhelming the intrinsic capacity of corals to adapt and survive. Although it is important to address the root causes of changing climate, it is also prudent to explore the potential to augment the capacity of reef organisms to tolerate stress and to facilitate recovery after disturbances. Here, we review the risks and benefits of the improvement of natural and commercial stocks in noncoral reef systems and advocate a series of experiments to determine the feasibility of developing coral stocks with enhanced stress tolerance through the acceleration of naturally occurring processes, an approach known as (human)-assisted evolution, while at the same time initiating a public dialogue on the risks and benefits of this approach.

  13. First record of multi-species synchronous coral spawning from Malaysia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chelliah, Alvin; Amar, Halimi Bin; Hyde, Julian; Yewdall, Katie; Steinberg, Peter D; Guest, James R

    2015-01-01

    Knowledge about the timing and synchrony of coral spawning has important implications for both the ecology and management of coral reef ecosystems. Data on the timing of spawning and extent of synchrony, however, are still lacking for many coral reefs, particularly from equatorial regions and from locations within the coral triangle. Here we present the first documentation of a multi-species coral spawning event from reefs around Pulau Tioman, Peninsular Malaysia, a popular diving and tourist destination located on the edge of the coral triangle. At least 8 coral species from 3 genera (Acropora, Montipora and Porites) participated in multi-species spawning over five nights in April 2014, between two nights before and two nights after the full moon. In addition, two Acropora species were witnessed spawning one night prior to the full moon in October 2014. While two of the Acropora species that reproduced in April (A. millepora and A. nasuta) exhibited highly synchronous spawning (100% of sampled colonies), two other common species (A. hyacinthus and A. digitifera) did not contain visible eggs in the majority of colonies sampled (i.e., Malaysia. These data provide further support for the contention that this phenomenon is a feature of all speciose coral assemblages, including equatorial reefs. More research is needed, however, to determine the seasonal cycles and extent of spawning synchrony on these reefs and elsewhere in Malaysia.

  14. Temporal Sampling of White Band Disease Infected Corals Reveals Complex and Dynamic Bacterial Communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gignoux-Wolfsohn, S.; Vollmer, S. V.; Aronson, F. M.

    2016-02-01

    White band disease (WBD) is a coral disease that is currently decimating populations of the endangered staghorn coral, Acropora cervicornis and elkhorn coral, A. palmata across the Caribbean. Since it was first reported in 1979, WBD has killed 95% of these critical reef-building Caribbean corals. WBD is infectious; it can be transmitted through the water column or by a corallivorous snail. While previous research shows that WBD is likely caused by bacteria, identification of a specific pathogen or pathogens has remained elusive. Much of the difficulty of understanding the etiology of the disease comes from a lack of information about how existing bacterial communities respond to disease and separating initial from secondary colonizers. In order to address this lack of information, we performed a fully-crossed tank infection experiment. We exposed healthy corals from two different sites to disease and healthy (control) homogenates from both sites, replicating genotype across tanks. We sampled every coral at three time points: before inoculation with the homogenate, after inoculation, and when the coral showed signs of disease. We then performed 16S rRNA gene sequencing on the Illumina HiSeq 2000. We saw significant differences between time points and disease state. Interestingly, at the first time point (time one) we observed differences between genotypes: every fragment from some genotypes was dominated by Endozoicomonas, while other genotypes were not dominated by one family. At time two we saw an increase in abundance of Alteromonadaceae and Flavobacteriaceae in all corals, and a larger increase in disease-exposed corals. At time three, we saw another increase in Flavobacteriaceae abundance in diseased corals, as well as an introduction of Francisella to diseased corals. While Flavobacteriaceae and Francisella were proposed as potential pathogens, their increase at time three suggests they may be secondary colonizers or opportunists. In genotypes that were

  15. Shared skeletal support in a coral-hydroid symbiosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olga Pantos

    Full Text Available Hydroids form symbiotic relationships with a range of invertebrate hosts. Where they live with colonial invertebrates such as corals or bryozoans the hydroids may benefit from the physical support and protection of their host's hard exoskeleton, but how they interact with them is unknown. Electron microscopy was used to investigate the physical interactions between the colonial hydroid Zanclea margaritae and its reef-building coral host Acropora muricata. The hydroid tissues extend below the coral tissue surface sitting in direct contact with the host's skeleton. Although this arrangement provides the hydroid with protective support, it also presents problems of potential interference with the coral's growth processes and exposes the hydroid to overgrowth and smothering. Desmocytes located within the epidermal layer of the hydroid's perisarc-free hydrorhizae fasten it to the coral skeleton. The large apical surface area of the desmocyte and high bifurcation of the distal end within the mesoglea, as well as the clustering of desmocytes suggests that a very strong attachment between the hydroid and the coral skeleton. This is the first study to provide a detailed description of how symbiotic hydroids attach to their host's skeleton, utilising it for physical support. Results suggest that the loss of perisarc, a characteristic commonly associated with symbiosis, allows the hydroid to utilise desmocytes for attachment. The use of these anchoring structures provides a dynamic method of attachment, facilitating detachment from the coral skeleton during extension, thereby avoiding overgrowth and smothering enabling the hydroid to remain within the host colony for prolonged periods of time.

  16. Thermal refugia against coral bleaching throughout the northern Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Osman, Eslam O.

    2017-10-17

    Tropical reefs have been impacted by thermal anomalies caused by global warming that induced coral bleaching and mortality events globally. However, there have only been very few recordings of bleaching within the Red Sea despite covering a latitudinal range of 15° and consequently it has been considered a region that is less sensitive to thermal anomalies. We therefore examined historical patterns of sea surface temperature (SST) and associated anomalies (1982–2012) and compared warming trends with a unique compilation of corresponding coral bleaching records from throughout the region. These data indicated that the northern Red Sea has not experienced mass bleaching despite intensive Degree Heating Weeks (DHW) of >15°C-weeks. Severe bleaching was restricted to the central and southern Red Sea where DHWs have been more frequent, but far less intense (DHWs <4°C-weeks). A similar pattern was observed during the 2015–2016 El Niño event during which time corals in the northern Red Sea did not bleach despite high thermal stress (i.e. DHWs >8°C-weeks), and bleaching was restricted to the central and southern Red Sea despite the lower thermal stress (DHWs < 8°C-weeks). Heat stress assays carried out in the northern (Hurghada) and central (Thuwal) Red Sea on four key reef-building species confirmed different regional thermal susceptibility, and that central Red Sea corals are more sensitive to thermal anomalies as compared to those from the north. Together, our data demonstrate that corals in the northern Red Sea have a much higher heat tolerance than their prevailing temperature regime would suggest. In contrast, corals from the central Red Sea are close to their thermal limits, which closely match the maximum annual water temperatures. The northern Red Sea harbours reef-building corals that live well below their bleaching thresholds and thus we propose that the region represents a thermal refuge of global importance.

  17. Abundance and physiology of dominant soft corals linked to water quality in Jakarta Bay, Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gunilla Baum

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Declining water quality is one of the main reasons of coral reef degradation in the Thousand Islands off the megacity Jakarta, Indonesia. Shifts in benthic community composition to higher soft coral abundances have been reported for many degraded reefs throughout the Indo-Pacific. However, it is not clear to what extent soft coral abundance and physiology are influenced by water quality. In this study, live benthic cover and water quality (i.e. dissolved inorganic nutrients (DIN, turbidity (NTU, and sedimentation were assessed at three sites (< 20 km north of Jakarta in Jakarta Bay (JB and five sites along the outer Thousand Islands (20–60 km north of Jakarta. This was supplemented by measurements of photosynthetic yield and, for the first time, respiratory electron transport system (ETS activity of two dominant soft coral genera, Sarcophyton spp. and Nephthea spp. Findings revealed highly eutrophic water conditions in JB compared to the outer Thousand Islands, with 44% higher DIN load (7.65 μM/L, 67% higher NTU (1.49 NTU and 47% higher sedimentation rate (30.4 g m−2 d−1. Soft corals were the dominant type of coral cover within the bay (2.4% hard and 12.8% soft coral cover compared to the outer Thousand Islands (28.3% hard and 6.9% soft coral cover. Soft coral abundances, photosynthetic yield, and ETS activity were highly correlated with key water quality parameters, particularly DIN and sedimentation rates. The findings suggest water quality controls the relative abundance and physiology of dominant soft corals in JB and may thus contribute to phase shifts from hard to soft coral dominance, highlighting the need to better manage water quality in order to prevent or reverse phase shifts.

  18. Habitat dynamics, marine reserve status, and the decline and recovery of coral reef fish communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williamson, David H; Ceccarelli, Daniela M; Evans, Richard D; Jones, Geoffrey P; Russ, Garry R

    2014-01-01

    Severe climatic disturbance events often have major impacts on coral reef communities, generating cycles of decline and recovery, and in some extreme cases, community-level phase shifts from coral-to algal-dominated states. Benthic habitat changes directly affect reef fish communities, with low coral cover usually associated with low fish diversity and abundance. No-take marine reserves (NTRs) are widely advocated for conserving biodiversity and enhancing the sustainability of exploited fish populations. Numerous studies have documented positive ecological and socio-economic benefits of NTRs; however, the ability of NTRs to ameliorate the effects of acute disturbances on coral reefs has seldom been investigated. Here, we test these factors by tracking the dynamics of benthic and fish communities, including the important fishery species, coral trout (Plectropomus spp.), over 8 years in both NTRs and fished areas in the Keppel Island group, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Two major disturbances impacted the reefs during the monitoring period, a coral bleaching event in 2006 and a freshwater flood plume in 2011. Both disturbances generated significant declines in coral cover and habitat complexity, with subsequent declines in fish abundance and diversity, and pronounced shifts in fish assemblage structure. Coral trout density also declined in response to the loss of live coral, however, the approximately 2:1 density ratio between NTRs and fished zones was maintained over time. The only post-disturbance refuges for coral trout spawning stocks were within the NTRs that escaped the worst effects of the disturbances. Although NTRs had little discernible effect on the temporal dynamics of benthic or fish communities, it was evident that the post-disturbance refuges for coral trout spawning stocks within some NTRs may be critically important to regional-scale population persistence and recovery. PMID:24634720

  19. Ocean acidification limits temperature-induced poleward expansion of coral habitats around Japan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. Yara

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Using results from four coupled global carbon cycle-climate models combined with in situ observations, we estimate the effects of future global warming and ocean acidification on potential habitats for tropical/subtropical and temperate coral communities in the seas around Japan. The suitability of coral habitats is classified on the basis of the currently observed regional ranges for temperature and saturation states with regard to aragonite (Ωarag. We find that, under the "business as usual" SRES A2 scenario, coral habitats are projected to expand northward by several hundred kilometers by the end of this century. At the same time, coral habitats are projected to become sandwiched between regions where the frequency of coral bleaching will increase, and regions where Ωarag will become too low to support sufficiently high calcification rates. As a result, the habitat suitable for tropical/subtropical corals around Japan may be reduced by half by the 2020s to 2030s, and is projected to disappear by the 2030s to 2040s. The habitat suitable for the temperate coral communities is also projected to decrease, although at a less pronounced rate, due to the higher tolerance of temperate corals for low Ωarag. Our study has two important caveats: first, it does not consider the potential adaptation of the coral communities, which would permit them to colonize habitats that are outside their current range. Second, it also does not consider whether or not coral communities can migrate quickly enough to actually occupy newly emerging habitats. As such, our results serve as a baseline for the assessment of the future evolution of coral habitats, but the consideration of important biological and ecological factors and feedbacks will be required to make more accurate projections.

  20. Ocean acidification limits temperature-induced poleward expansion of coral habitats around Japan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yara, Y.; Vogt, M.; Fujii, M.; Yamano, H.; Hauri, C.; Steinacher, M.; Gruber, N.; Yamanaka, Y.

    2012-12-01

    Using results from four coupled global carbon cycle-climate models combined with in situ observations, we estimate the effects of future global warming and ocean acidification on potential habitats for tropical/subtropical and temperate coral communities in the seas around Japan. The suitability of coral habitats is classified on the basis of the currently observed regional ranges for temperature and saturation states with regard to aragonite (Ωarag). We find that, under the "business as usual" SRES A2 scenario, coral habitats are projected to expand northward by several hundred kilometers by the end of this century. At the same time, coral habitats are projected to become sandwiched between regions where the frequency of coral bleaching will increase, and regions where Ωarag will become too low to support sufficiently high calcification rates. As a result, the habitat suitable for tropical/subtropical corals around Japan may be reduced by half by the 2020s to 2030s, and is projected to disappear by the 2030s to 2040s. The habitat suitable for the temperate coral communities is also projected to decrease, although at a less pronounced rate, due to the higher tolerance of temperate corals for low Ωarag. Our study has two important caveats: first, it does not consider the potential adaptation of the coral communities, which would permit them to colonize habitats that are outside their current range. Second, it also does not consider whether or not coral communities can migrate quickly enough to actually occupy newly emerging habitats. As such, our results serve as a baseline for the assessment of the future evolution of coral habitats, but the consideration of important biological and ecological factors and feedbacks will be required to make more accurate projections.

  1. Habitat dynamics, marine reserve status, and the decline and recovery of coral reef fish communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williamson, David H; Ceccarelli, Daniela M; Evans, Richard D; Jones, Geoffrey P; Russ, Garry R

    2014-02-01

    Severe climatic disturbance events often have major impacts on coral reef communities, generating cycles of decline and recovery, and in some extreme cases, community-level phase shifts from coral-to algal-dominated states. Benthic habitat changes directly affect reef fish communities, with low coral cover usually associated with low fish diversity and abundance. No-take marine reserves (NTRs) are widely advocated for conserving biodiversity and enhancing the sustainability of exploited fish populations. Numerous studies have documented positive ecological and socio-economic benefits of NTRs; however, the ability of NTRs to ameliorate the effects of acute disturbances on coral reefs has seldom been investigated. Here, we test these factors by tracking the dynamics of benthic and fish communities, including the important fishery species, coral trout (Plectropomus spp.), over 8 years in both NTRs and fished areas in the Keppel Island group, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Two major disturbances impacted the reefs during the monitoring period, a coral bleaching event in 2006 and a freshwater flood plume in 2011. Both disturbances generated significant declines in coral cover and habitat complexity, with subsequent declines in fish abundance and diversity, and pronounced shifts in fish assemblage structure. Coral trout density also declined in response to the loss of live coral, however, the approximately 2:1 density ratio between NTRs and fished zones was maintained over time. The only post-disturbance refuges for coral trout spawning stocks were within the NTRs that escaped the worst effects of the disturbances. Although NTRs had little discernible effect on the temporal dynamics of benthic or fish communities, it was evident that the post-disturbance refuges for coral trout spawning stocks within some NTRs may be critically important to regional-scale population persistence and recovery.

  2. Hysteresis in coral reefs under macroalgal toxicity and overfishing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhattacharyya, Joydeb; Pal, Samares

    2015-03-01

    Macroalgae and corals compete for the available space in coral reef ecosystems.While herbivorous reef fish play a beneficial role in decreasing the growth of macroalgae, macroalgal toxicity and overfishing of herbivores leads to proliferation of macroalgae. The abundance of macroalgae changes the community structure towards a macroalgae-dominated reef ecosystem. We investigate coral-macroalgal phase shifts by means of a continuous time model in a food chain. Conditions for local asymptotic stability of steady states are derived. It is observed that in the presence of macroalgal toxicity and overfishing, the system exhibits hysteresis through saddle-node bifurcation and transcritical bifurcation. We examine the effects of time lags in the liberation of toxins by macroalgae and the recovery of algal turf in response to grazing of herbivores on macroalgae by performing equilibrium and stability analyses of delay-differential forms of the ODE model. Computer simulations have been carried out to illustrate the different analytical results.

  3. Precious Coral Logbook Data Set

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This is a federally mandated logbook program for harvesting precious coral, and it is required to be mailed in to PIFSC after a fishing trip. Data is from 1999-2000....

  4. Coral Reef Protection Implementation Plan

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Lobel, Lisa

    2000-01-01

    This document identify policies and actions to implement the Department of Defense's responsibilities under Executive Order 13089 on Coral Reef Protection, and are a requirement of the interim Task...

  5. Coral Sr-U Thermometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeCarlo, T. M.; Gaetani, G. A.; Cohen, A. L.; Foster, G. L.; Alpert, A.; Stewart, J.

    2016-12-01

    Coral skeletons archive the past two millennia of climate variability in the oceans with unrivaled temporal resolution. However, extracting accurate temperature information from coral skeletons is confounded by "vital effects", which often override the temperature dependence of geochemical proxies. Here, we present a new approach to coral paleothermometry based on results of abiogenic precipitation experiments interpreted within a framework provided by a quantitative model of the coral biomineralization process. We conducted laboratory experiments to test the temperature and carbonate chemistry controls on abiogenic partitioning of Sr/Ca and U/Ca between aragonite and seawater, and we modeled the sensitivity of skeletal composition to processes occurring at the site of calcification. The model predicts that temperature can be accurately reconstructed from coral skeleton by combining Sr/Ca and U/Ca ratios into a new proxy, Sr-U. We tested the model predictions with measured Sr/Ca and U/Ca ratios of fourteen Porites sp. corals collected from the tropical Pacific Ocean and the Red Sea, with a subset also analyzed using the boron isotope (δ11B) pH proxy. Observed relationships among Sr/Ca, U/Ca, and δ11B agree with model predictions, indicating that the model accounts for the key features of the coral biomineralization process. We calibrated Sr-U to instrumental temperature records and found that it captures 93% of mean annual variability (26-30 °C) and predicts temperature within 0.5 °C (1 σ). Conversely, Sr/Ca alone has an error of prediction of 1 °C and often diverges from observed temperature by 3 °C or more. Many of the problems afflicting Sr/Ca - including offsets among neighboring corals and decouplings from temperature during coral stress events - are reconciled by Sr-U. By accounting for the influence of the coral biomineralization process, the Sr-U thermometer may offer significantly improved reliability for reconstructing ocean temperatures from coral

  6. Eicosanoid Diversity of Stony Corals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lõhelaid, Helike; Samel, Nigulas

    2018-01-03

    Oxylipins are well-established lipid mediators in plants and animals. In mammals, arachidonic acid (AA)-derived eicosanoids control inflammation, fever, blood coagulation, pain perception and labor, and, accordingly, are used as drugs, while lipoxygenases (LOX), as well as cyclooxygenases (COX) serve as therapeutic targets for drug development. In soft corals, eicosanoids are synthesized on demand from AA by LOX, COX, and catalase-related allene oxide synthase-lipoxygenase (cAOS-LOX) and hydroperoxide lyase-lipoxygenase (cHPL-LOX) fusion proteins. Reef-building stony corals are used as model organisms for the stress-related genomic studies of corals. Yet, the eicosanoid synthesis capability and AA-derived lipid mediator profiles of stony corals have not been determined. In the current study, the genomic and transcriptomic data about stony coral LOXs, AOS-LOXs, and COXs were analyzed and the eicosanoid profiles and AA metabolites of three stony corals, Acropora millepora , A. cervicornis , and Galaxea fascicularis , were determined by reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC) coupled with MS-MS and a radiometric detector. Our results confirm that the active LOX and AOS-LOX pathways are present in Acropora sp., which correspond to the genomic/sequence data reported earlier. In addition, LOX, AOS-LOX, and COX products were detected in the closely related species G. fascicularis . In conclusion, the functional 8 R -LOX and/or AOS-LOX pathways are abundant among corals, while COXs are restricted to certain soft and stony coral lineages.

  7. Coral bleaching is linked to the capacity of the animal host to supply essential metals to the symbionts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrier-Pagès, Christine; Sauzéat, Lucie; Balter, Vincent

    2018-03-23

    Massive coral bleaching events result in extensive coral loss throughout the world. These events are mainly caused by seawater warming, but are exacerbated by the subsequent decrease in nutrient availability in surface waters. It has therefore been shown that nitrogen, phosphorus, or iron limitation contribute to the underlying conditions by which thermal stress induces coral bleaching. Generally, information on the trophic ecology of metals in corals, and on how they modulate the coral response to thermal stress is lacking. Here, we demonstrate for the first time that heterotrophic feeding (i.e. the capture of zooplankton prey by the coral host) and thermal stress induce significant changes in the trace metal concentrations and isotopic signatures of the scleractinian coral Stylophora pistillata. The results obtained first reveal that coral symbionts are the major sink for the heterotrophically acquired metals and accumulate manganese, magnesium and iron from the food. These metals are involved in photosynthesis and anti-oxidant protection. In addition, we show that fed corals can maintain high metal concentrations in the host tissue during thermal stress and do not bleach, while unfed corals experience a significant decrease in copper, zinc, boron, calcium and magnesium in the host tissue and bleach. In addition, the significant increase in δ 65 Cu and δ 66 Zn signature of symbionts and host tissue at high temperature suggests that these isotopic compositions are good proxy for stress in corals. Overall, present findings highlight a new way in which coral heterotrophy and metal availability contribute to coral resistance to global warming and bleaching. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  8. Viruses: agents of coral disease?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davy, S K; Burchett, S G; Dale, A L; Davies, P; Davy, J E; Muncke, C; Hoegh-Guldberg, O; Wilson, W H

    2006-03-23

    The potential role of viruses in coral disease has only recently begun to receive attention. Here we describe our attempts to determine whether viruses are present in thermally stressed corals Pavona danai, Acropora formosa and Stylophora pistillata and zoanthids Zoanthus sp., and their zooxanthellae. Heat-shocked P. danai, A. formosa and Zoanthus sp. all produced numerous virus-like particles (VLPs) that were evident in the animal tissue, zooxanthellae and the surrounding seawater; VLPs were also seen around heat-shocked freshly isolated zooxanthellae (FIZ) from P. danai and S. pistillata. The most commonly seen VLPs were tail-less, hexagonal and about 40 to 50 nm in diameter, though a diverse range of other VLP morphotypes (e.g. rounded, rod-shaped, droplet-shaped, filamentous) were also present around corals. When VLPs around heat-shocked FIZ from S. pistillata were added to non-stressed FIZ from this coral, they resulted in cell lysis, suggesting that an infectious agent was present; however, analysis with transmission electron microscopy provided no clear evidence of viral infection. The release of diverse VLPs was again apparent when flow cytometry was used to enumerate release by heat-stressed A. formosa nubbins. Our data support the infection of reef corals by viruses, though we cannot yet determine the precise origin (i.e. coral, zooxanthellae and/or surface microbes) of the VLPs seen. Furthermore, genome sequence data are required to establish the presence of viruses unequivocally.

  9. Microbial regulation in gorgonian corals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, Laura R; Smith, Stephanie M; Downum, Kelsey R; Mydlarz, Laura D

    2012-06-01

    Gorgonian corals possess many novel natural products that could potentially mediate coral-bacterial interactions. Since many bacteria use quorum sensing (QS) signals to facilitate colonization of host organisms, regulation of prokaryotic cell-to-cell communication may represent an important bacterial control mechanism. In the present study, we examined extracts of twelve species of Caribbean gorgonian corals, for mechanisms that regulate microbial colonization, such as antibacterial activity and QS regulatory activity. Ethanol extracts of gorgonians collected from Puerto Rico and the Florida Keys showed a range of both antibacterial and QS activities using a specific Pseudomonas aeruginosa QS reporter, sensitive to long chain AHLs and a short chain N-acylhomoserine lactones (AHL) biosensor, Chromobacterium violaceium. Overall, the gorgonian corals had higher antimicrobial activity against non-marine strains when compared to marine strains. Pseudopterogorgia americana, Pseusopterogorgia acerosa, and Pseudoplexuara flexuosa had the highest QS inhibitory effect. Interestingly, Pseudoplexuara porosa extracts stimulated QS activity with a striking 17-fold increase in signal. The stimulation of QS by P. porosa or other elements of the holobiont may encourage colonization or recruitment of specific microbial species. Overall, these results suggest the presence of novel stimulatory QS, inhibitory QS and bactericidal compounds in gorgonian corals. A better understanding of these compounds may reveal insight into coral-microbial ecology and whether a therapeutic potential exists.

  10. Coral reef resilience through biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, Caroline S.

    2013-01-01

    Irrefutable evidence of coral reef degradation worldwide and increasing pressure from rising seawater temperatures and ocean acidification associated with climate change have led to a focus on reef resilience and a call to “manage” coral reefs for resilience. Ideally, global action to reduce emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases will be accompanied by local action. Effective management requires reduction of local stressors, identification of the characteristics of resilient reefs, and design of marine protected area networks that include potentially resilient reefs. Future research is needed on how stressors interact, on how climate change will affect corals, fish, and other reef organisms as well as overall biodiversity, and on basic ecological processes such as connectivity. Not all reef species and reefs will respond similarly to local and global stressors. Because reef-building corals and other organisms have some potential to adapt to environmental changes, coral reefs will likely persist in spite of the unprecedented combination of stressors currently affecting them. The biodiversity of coral reefs is the basis for their remarkable beauty and for the benefits they provide to society. The extraordinary complexity of these ecosystems makes it both more difficult to predict their future and more likely they will have a future.

  11. Coral reefs promote the evolution of morphological diversity and ecological novelty in labrid fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, S A; Holzman, R; Near, T J; Wainwright, P C

    2011-05-01

    Although coral reefs are renowned biodiversity hotspots it is not known whether they also promote the evolution of exceptional ecomorphological diversity. We investigated this question by analysing a large functional morphological dataset of trophic characters within Labridae, a highly diverse group of fishes. Using an analysis that accounts for species relationships, the time available for diversification and model uncertainty we show that coral reef species have evolved functional morphological diversity twice as fast as non-reef species. In addition, coral reef species occupy 68.6% more trophic morphospace than non-reef species. Our results suggest that coral reef habitats promote the evolution of both trophic novelty and morphological diversity within fishes. Thus, the preservation of coral reefs is necessary, not only to safeguard current biological diversity but also to conserve the underlying mechanisms that can produce functional diversity in future. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  12. Coral reef aerosol emissions in response to irradiance stress in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cropp, Roger; Gabric, Albert; van Tran, Dien; Jones, Graham; Swan, Hilton; Butler, Harry

    2018-02-03

    We investigate the correlation between stress-related compounds produced by corals of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) and local atmospheric properties-an issue that goes to the core of the coral ecosystem's ability to survive climate change. We relate the variability in a satellite decadal time series of fine-mode aerosol optical depth (AOD) to a coral stress metric, formulated as a function of irradiance, water clarity, and tide, at Heron Island in the southern GBR. We found that AOD was correlated with the coral stress metric, and the correlation increased at low wind speeds, when horizontal advection of air masses was low and the production of non-biogenic aerosols was minimal. We posit that coral reefs may be able to protect themselves from irradiance stress during calm weather by affecting the optical properties of the atmosphere and local incident solar radiation.

  13. 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.

  14. Assessing the potential of Southern Caribbean corals for reconstructions of Holocene temperature variability

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Giry, Cyril; Felis, Thomas [MARUM - Center for Marine Environmental Sciences, University of Bremen, 28359 Bremen (Germany); Scheffers, Sander [School of Environmental Science and Management, Southern Cross University, PO 147 Lismore (Australia); Fensterer, Claudia, E-mail: cgiry@marum.d [Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften, Forschungsstelle Radiometrie, Heidelberg (Germany)

    2010-03-15

    We present a 40-year long monthly resolved Sr/Ca record from a fossil Diploria strigosa coral from Bonaire (Southern Caribbean Sea) dated with U/Th at 2.35 ka before present (BP). Secondary modifiers of this sea surface temperature (SST) proxy in annually-banded corals such as diagenetic alteration of the skeleton and skeletal growth-rate are investigated. Extensive diagenetic investigations reveal that this fossil coral skeleton is pristine which is further supported by clear annual cycles in the coral Sr/Ca record. No significant correlation between annual growth rate and Sr/Ca is observed, suggesting that the Sr/Ca record is not affected by coral growth. Therefore, we conclude that the observed interannual Sr/Ca variability was influenced by ambient SST variability. Spectral analysis of the annual mean Sr/Ca record reveals a dominant frequency centred at 6-7 years that is not associated with changes of the annual growth rate. The first monthly resolved coral Sr/Ca record from the Southern Caribbean Sea for preindustrial time suggests that fossil corals from Bonaire are suitable tools for reconstructing past SST variability. Coastal deposits on Bonaire provide abundant fossil D. strigosa colonies of Holocene age that can be accurately dated and used to reconstruct climate variability. Comparisons of long monthly resolved Sr/Ca records from multiple fossil corals will provide a mean to estimate seasonality and interannual to interdecadal SST variability of the Southern Caribbean Sea during the Holocene.

  15. Assessing the potential of Southern Caribbean corals for reconstructions of Holocene temperature variability

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Giry, Cyril; Felis, Thomas; Scheffers, Sander; Fensterer, Claudia

    2010-01-01

    We present a 40-year long monthly resolved Sr/Ca record from a fossil Diploria strigosa coral from Bonaire (Southern Caribbean Sea) dated with U/Th at 2.35 ka before present (BP). Secondary modifiers of this sea surface temperature (SST) proxy in annually-banded corals such as diagenetic alteration of the skeleton and skeletal growth-rate are investigated. Extensive diagenetic investigations reveal that this fossil coral skeleton is pristine which is further supported by clear annual cycles in the coral Sr/Ca record. No significant correlation between annual growth rate and Sr/Ca is observed, suggesting that the Sr/Ca record is not affected by coral growth. Therefore, we conclude that the observed interannual Sr/Ca variability was influenced by ambient SST variability. Spectral analysis of the annual mean Sr/Ca record reveals a dominant frequency centred at 6-7 years that is not associated with changes of the annual growth rate. The first monthly resolved coral Sr/Ca record from the Southern Caribbean Sea for preindustrial time suggests that fossil corals from Bonaire are suitable tools for reconstructing past SST variability. Coastal deposits on Bonaire provide abundant fossil D. strigosa colonies of Holocene age that can be accurately dated and used to reconstruct climate variability. Comparisons of long monthly resolved Sr/Ca records from multiple fossil corals will provide a mean to estimate seasonality and interannual to interdecadal SST variability of the Southern Caribbean Sea during the Holocene.

  16. Structure and dynamics of turbulent boundary layer flow over healthy and algae-covered corals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stocking, Jonathan B.; Rippe, John P.; Reidenbach, Matthew A.

    2016-09-01

    Fine-scale velocity measurements over healthy and algae-covered corals were collected in situ to characterize combined wave-current boundary layer flow and the effects of algal canopies on turbulence hydrodynamics. Data were collected using acoustic Doppler velocimetry and particle image velocimetry. Flow over healthy corals is well described by traditional wall-bounded shear layers, distinguished by a logarithmic velocity profile, a local balance of turbulence production and dissipation, and high levels of bed shear stress. Healthy corals exhibit significant spatial heterogeneity in boundary layer flow structure resulting from variations in large-scale coral topography. By contrast, the turbulence structure of algae-covered corals is best represented by a plane mixing layer, with a sharp inflection point in mean velocity at the canopy top, a large imbalance of turbulence production and dissipation, and strongly damped flow and shear stresses within the canopy. The presence of an algal canopy increases turbulent kinetic energy within the roughness sublayer by ~2.5 times compared to healthy corals while simultaneously reducing bed shear stress by nearly an order of magnitude. Reduced bed shear at the coral surface and within-canopy turbulent stresses imply reduced mass transfer of necessary metabolites (e.g., oxygen, nutrients), leading to negative impacts on coral health.

  17. Expansion of corals on temperate reefs: direct and indirect effects of marine heatwaves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuckett, C. A.; de Bettignies, T.; Fromont, J.; Wernberg, T.

    2017-09-01

    Globally, many temperate marine communities have experienced significant temperature increases over recent decades in the form of gradual warming and heatwaves. As a result, these communities are shifting towards increasingly subtropical and tropical species compositions. Expanding coral populations have been reported from several temperate reef ecosystems along warming coastlines; these changes have been attributed to direct effects of gradual warming over decades. In contrast, increases in coral populations following shorter-term extreme warming events have rarely been documented. In this study, we compared coral populations on 17 temperate reefs in Western Australia before (2005/06) and after (2013) multiple marine heatwaves (2010-2012) affected the entire coastline. We hypothesised that coral communities would expand and change as a consequence of increasing local populations and recruitment of warm-affinity species. We found differences in coral community structure over time, driven primarily by a fourfold increase of one local species, Plesiastrea versipora, rather than recruitment of warm-affinity species. Coral populations became strongly dominated by small size classes, indicative of recent increased recruitment or recruit survival. These changes were likely facilitated by competitive release of corals from dominant temperate seaweeds, which perished during the heatwaves, rather than driven by direct temperature effects. Overall, as corals are inherently warm-water taxa not commonly associated with seaweed-dominated temperate reefs, these findings are consistent with a net tropicalisation. Our study draws attention to processes other than gradual warming that also influence the trajectory of temperate reefs in a changing ocean.

  18. 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.

  19. Coral thermal tolerance shaped by local adaptation of photosymbionts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howells, E. J.; Beltran, V. H.; Larsen, N. W.; Bay, L. K.; Willis, B. L.; van Oppen, M. J. H.

    2012-02-01

    Coral thermal tolerance is strongly influenced by the identity of obligate photosymbionts, which encompass numerous types belonging to the dinoflagellate genus Symbiodinium. Physiological advantages achieved by partnering with functionally diverse symbionts have been assumed to be available only to corals that can form associations with multiple Symbiodinium types. Functional variation among populations of the same type of Symbiodinium has been overlooked, despite local adaptation being feasible because of large population sizes, genetic isolation and short asexual generation times. Here we demonstrate divergent thermal tolerance in a generalist Symbiodinium type from two different thermal environments. Symbiodinium from the warmer reef maintained greater photo-chemical performance and survivorship when exposed to an elevated temperature of 32°C, both in symbiosis and in culture. Juvenile corals associated with Symbiodinium from the warmer reef grew rapidly when exposed to 32°C, yet underwent bleaching and tissue death when associated with Symbiodinium from the cooler reef. These results demonstrate that Symbiodinium types can adapt to local differences in thermal climate and that this adaptation shapes the fitness of coral hosts. If Symbiodinium populations are able to further adapt to increases in temperature at the pace at which ocean climates warm, they may assist corals to increase their thermal tolerance and persist into the future.

  20. Black reefs: iron-induced phase shifts on coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Linda Wegley; Barott, Katie L; Dinsdale, Elizabeth; Friedlander, Alan M; Nosrat, Bahador; Obura, David; Sala, Enric; Sandin, Stuart A; Smith, Jennifer E; Vermeij, Mark J A; Williams, Gareth J; Willner, Dana; Rohwer, Forest

    2012-03-01

    The Line Islands are calcium carbonate coral reef platforms located in iron-poor regions of the central Pacific. Natural terrestrial run-off of iron is non-existent and aerial deposition is extremely low. However, a number of ship groundings have occurred on these atolls. The reefs surrounding the shipwreck debris are characterized by high benthic cover of turf algae, macroalgae, cyanobacterial mats and corallimorphs, as well as particulate-laden, cloudy water. These sites also have very low coral and crustose coralline algal cover and are call black reefs because of the dark-colored benthic community and reduced clarity of the overlying water column. Here we use a combination of benthic surveys, chemistry, metagenomics and microcosms to investigate if and how shipwrecks initiate and maintain black reefs. Comparative surveys show that the live coral cover was reduced from 40 to 60% to 0.75 km(2)). The phase shift occurs rapidly; the Kingman black reef formed within 3 years of the ship grounding. Iron concentrations in algae tissue from the Millennium black reef site were six times higher than in algae collected from reference sites. Metagenomic sequencing of the Millennium Atoll black reef-associated microbial community was enriched in iron-associated virulence genes and known pathogens. Microcosm experiments showed that corals were killed by black reef rubble through microbial activity. Together these results demonstrate that shipwrecks and their associated iron pose significant threats to coral reefs in iron-limited regions.

  1. 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.

  2. Deep-Sea Stony Coral Habitat Suitability

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Deep-sea corals, also known as cold water corals, create complex communities that provide habitat for a variety of invertebrate and fish species, such as grouper,...

  3. Coral Reef Ecosystems Monitoring Feature Service

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Coral Reef Ecosystem Monitoring GIS data service provides access to data collected in the Mariana Archipelago by the Coral Reef Ecosystem Program of the Pacific...

  4. Deep-Sea Soft Coral Habitat Suitability

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Deep-sea corals, also known as cold water corals, create complex communities that provide habitat for a variety of invertebrate and fish species, such as grouper,...

  5. AFSC/ABL: Coldwater coral growth

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Colonies of the gorgonian coral Calcigorgia spiculifera were tagged at three sites in Southeast Alaska, Little Port Walter, Tenakee Inlet, and Kelp Bay. The corals...

  6. Status of coral reefs of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Muley, E.V.; Venkataraman, K.; Alfred, J.R.B.; Wafar, M.V.M.

    and economic significance of coral reefs and the threat perceptions, Government of India has initiated measures for their intensive conservation and management. Present paper deals with ecological status of coral reefs in the country and various national...

  7. Elkhorn and Staghorn Corals Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data represent the critical habitat for elkhorn coral (Acropora palmata) and staghorn coral (A. cervicornis) as designated by 73 FR 72210, November 26, 2008,...

  8. Coral Reef Watch, Hotspots, 50 km

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  9. Stochastic spatio-temporal model of coral cover as a function of herbivorous grazers, water quality, and coral demographics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neuhausler, R.; Robinson, M.; Bruna, M.

    2017-12-01

    Over the last 60 years we have seen an increased amount of ecological regime shifts in tropical coastal zones, from coral reefs to macroalgae dominated states, as a result of natural and anthropogenic stresses. However, these shifts are not always immediate- macroalgae are generally present in coral reefs, with their distribution regulated by herbivorous fish. This is especially true in Moorea, French Polynesia, where macroalgae are shown to flourish in spaces that provide refuge from roaming herbivores. While there are currently modeling efforts in projecting ecological regime shifts in Moorea, temporal deterministic models have been utilized, which fail to capture metastability between multiple steady states and can have issues when dealing with very small populations. To address these concerns, we build on these models to account for spatial variations and individual organisms, as well as stochasticity. Our model can project the percent cover of coral, macroalgae, and algae turf as a function of herbivorous grazers, water quality, and coral demographics. Grazers, included as individual fish (particles), evolve according to a kinetic model and interact with neighbouring benthic assemblages, represented as nodes. Water quality and coral demographics are input parameters that can vary over time, allowing our model to be run for temporally changing scenarios and to be adjusted for different reefs. We plan to engage with previous Moorea Reef Resilience Models through a comparative analysis of our models' outcomes and existing Moorea data. Coupling projective models with available data is useful for informing environmental policy and advancing the modeling field.

  10. Spawning of coral reef invertebrates and a second spawning season for scleractinian corals in the central Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Bouwmeester, Jessica

    2016-06-22

    Recent coral spawning observations in the central Red Sea show that most scleractinian species release their gametes in the spring, with a majority of species spawning in April. There is, however, a lack of reproductive data for several other coral species, as well as a general lack of data for other invertebrates. Here, we document the detailed timing of spawning for 13 scleractinian coral species, one sea anemone, and six echinoderms from an inshore reef off the coast of Thuwal, Saudi Arabia, in the spring between April and June 2014. Furthermore, inferred from the presence of mature gametes, we report the month of spawning for three additional coral species in the spring. Seven scleractinian coral species were inferred to release their gametes in a second reproductive season, in the autumn, between September and November. This is the first report of a second spawning season in the Arabian region. Biannual spawning has so far been reported on the Great Barrier Reef, in Western Australia, in Indonesia, in Malaysia, in Palau, in Thailand, in Taiwan, and in Western Samoa. © 2016, The American Microscopical Society, Inc.

  11. Marine protected areas increase resilience among coral reef communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mellin, Camille; Aaron MacNeil, M; Cheal, Alistair J; Emslie, Michael J; Julian Caley, M

    2016-06-01

    With marine biodiversity declining globally at accelerating rates, maximising the effectiveness of conservation has become a key goal for local, national and international regulators. Marine protected areas (MPAs) have been widely advocated for conserving and managing marine biodiversity yet, despite extensive research, their benefits for conserving non-target species and wider ecosystem functions remain unclear. Here, we demonstrate that MPAs can increase the resilience of coral reef communities to natural disturbances, including coral bleaching, coral diseases, Acanthaster planci outbreaks and storms. Using a 20-year time series from Australia's Great Barrier Reef, we show that within MPAs, (1) reef community composition was 21-38% more stable; (2) the magnitude of disturbance impacts was 30% lower and (3) subsequent recovery was 20% faster that in adjacent unprotected habitats. Our results demonstrate that MPAs can increase the resilience of marine communities to natural disturbance possibly through herbivory, trophic cascades and portfolio effects. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  12. Oxygen and carbon stable isotope systematics in Porites coral near its latitudinal limit: The coral response to low-thermal temperature stress

    Science.gov (United States)

    Omata, Tamano; Suzuki, Atsushi; Kawahata, Hodaka; Nojima, Satoshi; Minoshima, Kayo; Hata, Akiko

    2006-08-01

    We investigated oxygen and carbon isotopes ( δ18O and δ13C, respectively) along the growth axis of a Porites coral living near the northern limit of hermatypic corals, off Ushibuka, Japan, where winter temperatures fall below the minimum required by most hermatypic corals. The coral's seasonal δ18O cycle depended mainly on seawater temperature, and the slope of the regression line between δ18O and sea-surface temperature for this coral was within reported values. The coral's growth was inhibited in 1968, and at around this time the annual growth rate was reduced. This growth inhibition began in winter 1967/1968, a period of extraordinarily low seawater temperature. Moreover, the amplitude of the annual δ18O fluctuation was small from winter 1967/1968 to winter 1969/1970. Although δ18O and δ13C fluctuations were out of phase most years, they were in phase some years. The in-phase fluctuations of δ18O and δ13C indicate that kinetic isotope effects may have been more important than metabolic isotope effects during those years. Sclerochronologic records thus reveal the coral response to low-temperature stress.

  13. Changes in Biodiversity and Functioning of Reef Fish Assemblages following Coral Bleaching and Coral Loss

    OpenAIRE

    Nicholas A.J. Graham; Vanessa Messmer; Morgan S. Pratchett; Andrew S. Hoey; Shaun K. Wilson

    2011-01-01

    Coral reef ecosystems are increasingly subject to severe, large-scale disturbances caused by climate change (e.g., coral bleaching) and other more direct anthropogenic impacts. Many of these disturbances cause coral loss and corresponding changes in habitat structure, which has further important effects on abundance and diversity of coral reef fishes. Declines in the abundance and diversity of coral reef fishes are of considerable concern, given the potential loss of ecosystem function. This ...

  14. Impact of Global Warming on Coral Reefs

    OpenAIRE

    Sirilak CHUMKIEW; Mullica JAROENSUTASINEE; Krisanadej JAROENSUTASINEE

    2011-01-01

    In this paper, we review coral reef responses to climate variability and discuss the possible mechanisms by which climate impacts the coral reef ecosystem. Effects of oceanographic variables such as sea temperature, turbulence, salinity, and nutrients on the coral reef are discussed in terms of their influence on coral growth, reproduction, mortality, acclimation and adaptation. Organisms tend to be limited to specific thermal ranges with experimental findings showing that sufficient oxygen s...

  15. 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

  16. Complex interactions between potentially pathogenic, opportunistic, and resident bacteria emerge during infection on a reef-building coral.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gignoux-Wolfsohn, Sarah A; Aronson, Felicia M; Vollmer, Steven V

    2017-07-01

    Increased bacterial diversity on diseased corals can obscure disease etiology and complicate our understanding of pathogenesis. To untangle microbes that may cause white band disease signs from microbes responding to disease, we inoculated healthy Acropora cervicornis corals with an infectious dose from visibly diseased corals. We sampled these dosed corals and healthy controls over time for sequencing of the bacterial 16S region. Endozoicomonas were associated with healthy fragments from 4/10 colonies, dominating microbiomes before dosing and decreasing over time only in corals that displayed disease signs, suggesting a role in disease resistance. We grouped disease-associated bacteria by when they increased in abundance (primary vs secondary) and whether they originated in the dose (colonizers) or the previously healthy corals (responders). We found that all primary responders increased in all dosed corals regardless of final disease state and are therefore unlikely to cause disease signs. In contrast, primary colonizers in the families Pasteurellaceae and Francisellaceae increased solely in dosed corals that ultimately displayed disease signs, and may be infectious foreign bacteria involved in the development of disease signs. Moving away from a static comparison of diseased and healthy bacterial communities, we provide a framework to identify key players in other coral diseases. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  17. Skeletal isotope records of growth perturbations in Porites corals during the 1997-1998 mass bleaching event

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, A.; Gagan, M.; Fabricius, K.; Isdale, P.; Yukino, I.; Kawahata, H.

    2003-04-01

    Severe coral bleaching occurred throughout the tropics in 1997/98. We report skeletal UV fluorescence, oxygen isotope, and carbon isotope evidence for perturbations in coral skeletal growth due to bleaching at Ishigaki Island, Japan, and Pandora Reef, Great Barrier Reef. Bleached corals showed abrupt reductions in skeletal extension rate immediately after summer temperature maxima, indicating that bleaching inhibits coral calcification. A colony growing at the low tide line in Ishigaki exhibited clear blue UV fluorescent bands associated with recurrent growth interruptions. Based on the length of time-gaps observed in the annual isotopic cycle, the typical time required for a coral to recover from bleaching is estimated to be about 5--6 months. The effect of bleaching on the oxygen isotope ratio -- temperature relationship was negligible. However, the Ishigaki corals showed lower carbon isotope ratios during bleaching indicating depressed coral metabolism associated with a reduction in calcification. In contrast, skeletal carbon isotope ratios in the Pandora Reef corals exhibited little change in response to bleaching. This is because the records for Pandora Reef were derived from the shaded sides of coral colonies, where algal photosynthesis was particularly slow prior to bleaching, thus subduing the carbon isotope response to bleaching. Taken together, the isotopic and UV fluorescence signals can be used to reconstruct past bleaching events.

  18. 40 CFR 230.44 - Coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 24 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Coral reefs. 230.44 Section 230.44... Aquatic Sites § 230.44 Coral reefs. (a) Coral reefs consist of the skeletal deposit, usually of calcareous... organisms present in growing portions of the reef. (b) Possible loss of values: The discharge of dredged or...

  19. 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

  20. Present limits to heat-adaptability in corals and population-level responses to climate extremes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bernhard M Riegl

    Full Text Available Climate change scenarios suggest an increase in tropical ocean temperature by 1-3°C by 2099, potentially killing many coral reefs. But Arabian/Persian Gulf corals already exist in this future thermal environment predicted for most tropical reefs and survived severe bleaching in 2010, one of the hottest years on record. Exposure to 33-35°C was on average twice as long as in non-bleaching years. Gulf corals bleached after exposure to temperatures above 34°C for a total of 8 weeks of which 3 weeks were above 35°C. This is more heat than any other corals can survive, providing an insight into the present limits of holobiont adaptation. We show that average temperatures as well as heat-waves in the Gulf have been increasing, that coral population levels will fluctuate strongly, and reef-building capability will be compromised. This, in combination with ocean acidification and significant local threats posed by rampant coastal development puts even these most heat-adapted corals at risk. WWF considers the Gulf ecoregion as "critically endangered". We argue here that Gulf corals should be considered for assisted migration to the tropical Indo-Pacific. This would have the double benefit of avoiding local extinction of the world's most heat-adapted holobionts while at the same time introducing their genetic information to populations naïve to such extremes, potentially assisting their survival. Thus, the heat-adaptation acquired by Gulf corals over 6 k, could benefit tropical Indo-Pacific corals who have <100 y until they will experience a similarly harsh climate. Population models suggest that the heat-adapted corals could become dominant on tropical reefs within ∼20 years.

  1. A Southwest Pacific Coral Perspective on ENSO Variability: Precessional Forcing vs. Internal Variability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quinn, T. M.; Partin, J. W.; Thirumalai, K.; Maupin, C. R.; Vara, M. A.; Shen, C. C.; Taylor, F. W.

    2014-12-01

    ENSO variability is manifest in the western Pacific through heat and moisture exchanges associated with the Western Pacific Warm Pool (WPWP) and the South Pacific Convergence Zone (SPCZ). Forward modeling (pseudoproxy analysis) results and published coral proxy records from the tropical Pacific indicate that in addition to the central and eastern Pacific regions, corals from the WPWP and SPCZ regions skillfully record ENSO variability. Some studies suggest that precessional forcing directly reduces/enhances ENSO variability. Other studies suggest that internal variability is the primary control on Holocene ENSO changes. Herein, we use coral proxy records from the tropical Pacific and numerical simulations to better understand the response of ENSO to precessional forcing and internal variability. We extend the coral record of ENSO variability using a new modern coral record from the Solomon Islands (1716-2008 CE) and a select suite of Holocene fossil coral records from the WPWP. The new modern coral record captures large ENSO events with considerable skill, providing new evidence for potential large ENSO events during the early 18th and 19th centuries, events that are not represented in current coral and/or multi-proxy reconstructions. We also note that long periods of reduced ENSO activity can occur during intervals with near constant precessional forcing at modern values. The fossil coral records provide discrete time windows into ENSO variability over the Holocene. These records provide evidence of similar patterns of ENSO activity during intervals with different precessional configurations. The modern and fossil coral records imply a strong influence of internal variability in the modulation of ENSO, which may make it difficult to establish a direct control of precessional forcing on ENSO variability over the Holocene.

  2. Quantitative Detection of Active Vibrios Associated with White Plague Disease in Mussismilia braziliensis Corals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luciane A. Chimetto Tonon

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Over recent decades several coral diseases have been reported as a significant threat to coral reef ecosystems causing the decline of corals cover and diversity around the world. The development of techniques that improve the ability to detect and quantify microbial agents involved in coral disease will aid in the elucidation of disease cause, facilitating coral disease detection and diagnosis, identification and pathogen monitoring, pathogen sources, vectors, and reservoirs. The genus Vibrio is known to harbor pathogenic strains to marine organisms. One of the best-characterized coral pathogens is Vibrio coralliilyticus, an aetilogic agent of White Plague Disease (WPD. We used Mussismilia coral tissue (healthy and diseased specimens to develop a rapid reproducible detection system for vibrios based on RT-QPCR and SYBR chemistry. We were able to detect total vibrios in expressed RNA targeting the 16S rRNA gene at 5.23 × 106 copies/μg RNA and V. coralliilyticus targeting the pyrH gene at 5.10 × 103 copies/μg RNA in coral tissue. Detection of V. coralliilyticus in diseased and in healthy samples suggests that WPD in the Abrolhos Bank may be caused by a consortium of microorganism and not only a single pathogen. We developed a more practical and economic system compared with probe uses for the real-time detection and quantification of vibrios from coral tissues by using the 16S rRNA and pyrH gene. This qPCR assay is a reliable tool for the monitoring of coral pathogens, and can be useful to prevent, control, or reduce impacts in this ecosystem.

  3. Human impact on atolls leads to coral loss and community homogenisation: a modeling study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bernhard M Riegl

    Full Text Available We explore impacts on pristine atolls subjected to anthropogenic near-field (human habitation and far-field (climate and environmental change pressure. Using literature data of human impacts on reefs, we parameterize forecast models to evaluate trajectories in coral cover under impact scenarios that primarily act via recruitment and increased mortality of larger corals. From surveys across the Chagos, we investigate the regeneration dynamics of coral populations distant from human habitation after natural disturbances. Using a size-based mathematical model based on a time-series of coral community and population data from 1999-2006, we provide hind- and forecast data for coral population dynamics within lagoons and on ocean-facing reefs verified against monitoring from 1979-2009. Environmental data (currents, temperatures were used for calibration. The coral community was simplified into growth typologies: branching and encrusting, arboresent and massive corals. Community patterns observed in the field were influenced by bleaching-related mortality, most notably in 1998. Survival had been highest in deep lagoonal settings, which suggests a refuge. Recruitment levels were higher in lagoons than on ocean-facing reefs. When adding stress by direct human pressure, climate and environmental change as increased disturbance frequency and modified recruitment and mortality levels (due to eutrophication, overfishing, pollution, heat, acidification, etc, models suggest steep declines in coral populations and loss of community diversification among habitats. We found it likely that degradation of lagoonal coral populations would impact regeneration potential of all coral populations, also on ocean-facing reefs, thus decreasing reef resilience on the entire atoll.

  4. Human impact on atolls leads to coral loss and community homogenisation: a modeling study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riegl, Bernhard M; Sheppard, Charles R C; Purkis, Sam J

    2012-01-01

    We explore impacts on pristine atolls subjected to anthropogenic near-field (human habitation) and far-field (climate and environmental change) pressure. Using literature data of human impacts on reefs, we parameterize forecast models to evaluate trajectories in coral cover under impact scenarios that primarily act via recruitment and increased mortality of larger corals. From surveys across the Chagos, we investigate the regeneration dynamics of coral populations distant from human habitation after natural disturbances. Using a size-based mathematical model based on a time-series of coral community and population data from 1999-2006, we provide hind- and forecast data for coral population dynamics within lagoons and on ocean-facing reefs verified against monitoring from 1979-2009. Environmental data (currents, temperatures) were used for calibration. The coral community was simplified into growth typologies: branching and encrusting, arboresent and massive corals. Community patterns observed in the field were influenced by bleaching-related mortality, most notably in 1998. Survival had been highest in deep lagoonal settings, which suggests a refuge. Recruitment levels were higher in lagoons than on ocean-facing reefs. When adding stress by direct human pressure, climate and environmental change as increased disturbance frequency and modified recruitment and mortality levels (due to eutrophication, overfishing, pollution, heat, acidification, etc), models suggest steep declines in coral populations and loss of community diversification among habitats. We found it likely that degradation of lagoonal coral populations would impact regeneration potential of all coral populations, also on ocean-facing reefs, thus decreasing reef resilience on the entire atoll.

  5. Spatial and Species Variations in Bacterial Communities Associated with Corals from the Red Sea as Revealed by Pyrosequencing

    KAUST Repository

    Lee, O. O.

    2012-08-03

    Microbial associations with corals are common and are most likely symbiotic, although their diversity and relationships with environmental factors and host species remain unclear. In this study, we adopted a 16S rRNA gene tag-pyrosequencing technique to investigate the bacterial communities associated with three stony Scleractinea and two soft Octocorallia corals from three locations in the Red Sea. Our results revealed highly diverse bacterial communities in the Red Sea corals, with more than 600 ribotypes detected and up to 1,000 species estimated from a single coral species. Altogether, 21 bacterial phyla were recovered from the corals, of which Gammaproteobacteria was the most dominant group, and Chloroflexi, Chlamydiae, and the candidate phylum WS3 were reported in corals for the first time. The associated bacterial communities varied greatly with location, where environmental conditions differed significantly. Corals from disturbed areas appeared to share more similar bacterial communities, but larger variations in community structures were observed between different coral species from pristine waters. Ordination methods identified salinity and depth as the most influential parameters affecting the abundance of Vibrio, Pseudoalteromonas, Serratia, Stenotrophomonas, Pseudomonas, and Achromobacter in the corals. On the other hand, bacteria such as Chloracidobacterium and Endozoicomonas were more sensitive to the coral species, suggesting that the host species type may be influential in the associated bacterial community, as well. The combined influences of the coral host and environmental factors on the associated microbial communities are discussed. This study represents the first comparative study using tag-pyrosequencing technology to investigate the bacterial communities in Red Sea corals.

  6. Quantifying climatological ranges and anomalies for Pacific coral reef ecosystems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jamison M Gove

    Full Text Available Coral reef ecosystems are exposed to a range of environmental forcings that vary on daily to decadal time scales and across spatial scales spanning from reefs to archipelagos. Environmental variability is a major determinant of reef ecosystem structure and function, including coral reef extent and growth rates, and the abundance, diversity, and morphology of reef organisms. Proper characterization of environmental forcings on coral reef ecosystems is critical if we are to understand the dynamics and implications of abiotic-biotic interactions on reef ecosystems. This study combines high-resolution bathymetric information with remotely sensed sea surface temperature, chlorophyll-a and irradiance data, and modeled wave data to quantify environmental forcings on coral reefs. We present a methodological approach to develop spatially constrained, island- and atoll-scale metrics that quantify climatological range limits and anomalous environmental forcings across U.S. Pacific coral reef ecosystems. Our results indicate considerable spatial heterogeneity in climatological ranges and anomalies across 41 islands and atolls, with emergent spatial patterns specific to each environmental forcing. For example, wave energy was greatest at northern latitudes and generally decreased with latitude. In contrast, chlorophyll-a was greatest at reef ecosystems proximate to the equator and northern-most locations, showing little synchrony with latitude. In addition, we find that the reef ecosystems with the highest chlorophyll-a concentrations; Jarvis, Howland, Baker, Palmyra and Kingman are each uninhabited and are characterized by high hard coral cover and large numbers of predatory fishes. Finally, we find that scaling environmental data to the spatial footprint of individual islands and atolls is more likely to capture local environmental forcings, as chlorophyll-a concentrations decreased at relatively short distances (>7 km from 85% of our study locations

  7. Quantifying climatological ranges and anomalies for Pacific coral reef ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gove, Jamison M; Williams, Gareth J; McManus, Margaret A; Heron, Scott F; Sandin, Stuart A; Vetter, Oliver J; Foley, David G

    2013-01-01

    Coral reef ecosystems are exposed to a range of environmental forcings that vary on daily to decadal time scales and across spatial scales spanning from reefs to archipelagos. Environmental variability is a major determinant of reef ecosystem structure and function, including coral reef extent and growth rates, and the abundance, diversity, and morphology of reef organisms. Proper characterization of environmental forcings on coral reef ecosystems is critical if we are to understand the dynamics and implications of abiotic-biotic interactions on reef ecosystems. This study combines high-resolution bathymetric information with remotely sensed sea surface temperature, chlorophyll-a and irradiance data, and modeled wave data to quantify environmental forcings on coral reefs. We present a methodological approach to develop spatially constrained, island- and atoll-scale metrics that quantify climatological range limits and anomalous environmental forcings across U.S. Pacific coral reef ecosystems. Our results indicate considerable spatial heterogeneity in climatological ranges and anomalies across 41 islands and atolls, with emergent spatial patterns specific to each environmental forcing. For example, wave energy was greatest at northern latitudes and generally decreased with latitude. In contrast, chlorophyll-a was greatest at reef ecosystems proximate to the equator and northern-most locations, showing little synchrony with latitude. In addition, we find that the reef ecosystems with the highest chlorophyll-a concentrations; Jarvis, Howland, Baker, Palmyra and Kingman are each uninhabited and are characterized by high hard coral cover and large numbers of predatory fishes. Finally, we find that scaling environmental data to the spatial footprint of individual islands and atolls is more likely to capture local environmental forcings, as chlorophyll-a concentrations decreased at relatively short distances (>7 km) from 85% of our study locations. These metrics will help

  8. Digital reef rugosity estimates coral reef habitat complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dustan, Phillip; Doherty, Orla; Pardede, Shinta

    2013-01-01

    Ecological habitats with greater structural complexity contain more species due to increased niche diversity. This is especially apparent on coral reefs where individual coral colonies aggregate to give a reef its morphology, species zonation, and three dimensionality. Structural complexity is classically measured with a reef rugosity index, which is the ratio of a straight line transect to the distance a flexible chain of equal length travels when draped over the reef substrate; yet, other techniques from visual categories to remote sensing have been used to characterize structural complexity at scales from microhabitats to reefscapes. Reef-scale methods either lack quantitative precision or are too time consuming to be routinely practical, while remotely sensed indices are mismatched to the finer scale morphology of coral colonies and reef habitats. In this communication a new digital technique, Digital Reef Rugosity (DRR) is described which utilizes a self-contained water level gauge enabling a diver to quickly and accurately characterize rugosity with non-invasive millimeter scale measurements of coral reef surface height at decimeter intervals along meter scale transects. The precise measurements require very little post-processing and are easily imported into a spreadsheet for statistical analyses and modeling. To assess its applicability we investigated the relationship between DRR and fish community structure at four coral reef sites on Menjangan Island off the northwest corner of Bali, Indonesia and one on mainland Bali to the west of Menjangan Island; our findings show a positive relationship between DRR and fish diversity. Since structural complexity drives key ecological processes on coral reefs, we consider that DRR may become a useful quantitative community-level descriptor to characterize reef complexity.

  9. Petroleum hydrocarbon toxicity to corals: A review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, Nicholas R; Renegar, D Abigail

    2017-06-30

    The proximity of coral reefs to coastal urban areas and shipping lanes predisposes corals to petroleum pollution from multiple sources. Previous research has evaluated petroleum toxicity to coral using a variety of methodology, including monitoring effects of acute and chronic spills, in situ exposures, and ex situ exposures with both adult and larval stage corals. Variability in toxicant, bioassay conditions, species and other methodological disparities between studies prevents comprehensive conclusions regarding the toxicity of hydrocarbons to corals. Following standardized protocols and quantifying the concentration and composition of toxicant will aid in comparison of results between studies and extrapolation to actual spills. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Farming behaviour of reef fishes increases the prevalence of coral disease associated microbes and black band disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casey, Jordan M; Ainsworth, Tracy D; Choat, J Howard; Connolly, Sean R

    2014-08-07

    Microbial community structure on coral reefs is strongly influenced by coral-algae interactions; however, the extent to which this influence is mediated by fishes is unknown. By excluding fleshy macroalgae, cultivating palatable filamentous algae and engaging in frequent aggression to protect resources, territorial damselfish (f. Pomacentridae), such as Stegastes, mediate macro-benthic dynamics on coral reefs and may significantly influence microbial communities. To elucidate how Stegastes apicalis and Stegastes nigricans may alter benthic microbial assemblages and coral health, we determined the benthic community composition (epilithic algal matrix and prokaryotes) and coral disease prevalence inside and outside of damselfish territories in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. 16S rDNA sequencing revealed distinct bacterial communities associated with turf algae and a two to three times greater relative abundance of phylotypes with high sequence similarity to potential coral pathogens inside Stegastes's territories. These potentially pathogenic phylotypes (totalling 30.04% of the community) were found to have high sequence similarity to those amplified from black band disease (BBD) and disease affected corals worldwide. Disease surveys further revealed a significantly higher occurrence of BBD inside S. nigricans's territories. These findings demonstrate the first link between fish behaviour, reservoirs of potential coral disease pathogens and the prevalence of coral disease. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  11. Threatened Caribbean coral is able to mitigate the adverse effects of ocean acidification on calcification by increasing feeding rate.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erica K Towle

    Full Text Available Global climate change threatens coral growth and reef ecosystem health via ocean warming and ocean acidification (OA. Whereas the negative impacts of these stressors are increasingly well-documented, studies identifying pathways to resilience are still poorly understood. Heterotrophy has been shown to help corals experiencing decreases in growth due to either thermal or OA stress; however, the mechanism by which it mitigates these decreases remains unclear. This study tested the ability of coral heterotrophy to mitigate reductions in growth due to climate change stress in the critically endangered Caribbean coral Acropora cervicornis via changes in feeding rate and lipid content. Corals were either fed or unfed and exposed to elevated temperature (30°C, enriched pCO2 (800 ppm, or both (30°C/800 ppm as compared to a control (26°C/390 ppm for 8 weeks. Feeding rate and lipid content both increased in corals experiencing OA vs. present-day conditions, and were significantly correlated. Fed corals were able to maintain ambient growth rates at both elevated temperature and elevated CO2, while unfed corals experienced significant decreases in growth with respect to fed conspecifics. Our results show for the first time that a threatened coral species can buffer OA-reduced calcification by increasing feeding rates and lipid content.

  12. First record of multi-species synchronous coral spawning from Malaysia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alvin Chelliah

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Knowledge about the timing and synchrony of coral spawning has important implications for both the ecology and management of coral reef ecosystems. Data on the timing of spawning and extent of synchrony, however, are still lacking for many coral reefs, particularly from equatorial regions and from locations within the coral triangle. Here we present the first documentation of a multi-species coral spawning event from reefs around Pulau Tioman, Peninsular Malaysia, a popular diving and tourist destination located on the edge of the coral triangle. At least 8 coral species from 3 genera (Acropora, Montipora and Porites participated in multi-species spawning over five nights in April 2014, between two nights before and two nights after the full moon. In addition, two Acropora species were witnessed spawning one night prior to the full moon in October 2014. While two of the Acropora species that reproduced in April (A. millepora and A. nasuta exhibited highly synchronous spawning (100% of sampled colonies, two other common species (A. hyacinthus and A. digitifera did not contain visible eggs in the majority of colonies sampled (i.e., <15% of colonies in either April or October, suggesting that these species spawn at other times of the year. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first detailed documented observation of multi-species coral spawning from reefs in Malaysia. These data provide further support for the contention that this phenomenon is a feature of all speciose coral assemblages, including equatorial reefs. More research is needed, however, to determine the seasonal cycles and extent of spawning synchrony on these reefs and elsewhere in Malaysia.

  13. CORAL Server and CORAL Server Proxy: Scalable Access to Relational Databases from CORAL Applications

    CERN Document Server

    Valassi, A; Kalkhof, A; Salnikov, A; Wache, M

    2011-01-01

    The CORAL software is widely used at CERN for accessing the data stored by the LHC experiments using relational database technologies. CORAL provides a C++ abstraction layer that supports data persistency for several backends and deployment models, including local access to SQLite files, direct client access to Oracle and MySQL servers, and read-only access to Oracle through the FroNTier web server and cache. Two new components have recently been added to CORAL to implement a model involving a middle tier "CORAL server" deployed close to the database and a tree of "CORAL server proxy" instances, with data caching and multiplexing functionalities, deployed close to the client. The new components are meant to provide advantages for read-only and read-write data access, in both offline and online use cases, in the areas of scalability and performance (multiplexing for several incoming connections, optional data caching) and security (authentication via proxy certificates). A first implementation of the two new c...

  14. Microbial Regulation in Gorgonian Corals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura D. Mydlarz

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Gorgonian corals possess many novel natural products that could potentially mediate coral-bacterial interactions. Since many bacteria use quorum sensing (QS signals to facilitate colonization of host organisms, regulation of prokaryotic cell-to-cell communication may represent an important bacterial control mechanism. In the present study, we examined extracts of twelve species of Caribbean gorgonian corals, for mechanisms that regulate microbial colonization, such as antibacterial activity and QS regulatory activity. Ethanol extracts of gorgonians collected from Puerto Rico and the Florida Keys showed a range of both antibacterial and QS activities using a specific Pseudomonas aeruginosa QS reporter, sensitive to long chain AHLs and a short chain N-acylhomoserine lactones (AHL biosensor, Chromobacterium violaceium. Overall, the gorgonian corals had higher antimicrobial activity against non-marine strains when compared to marine strains. Pseudopterogorgia americana, Pseusopterogorgia acerosa, and Pseudoplexuara flexuosa had the highest QS inhibitory effect. Interestingly, Pseudoplexuara porosa extracts stimulated QS activity with a striking 17-fold increase in signal. The stimulation of QS by P. porosa or other elements of the holobiont may encourage colonization or recruitment of specific microbial species. Overall, these results suggest the presence of novel stimulatory QS, inhibitory QS and bactericidal compounds in gorgonian corals. A better understanding of these compounds may reveal insight into coral-microbial ecology and whether a therapeutic potential exists.

  15. A novel reef coral symbiosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pantos, O.; Bythell, J. C.

    2010-09-01

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

  16. 350 Year Cloud Reconstruction Deduced from Northeast Caribbean Coral Proxies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winter, A.; Sammarco, P. W.; Mikolajewicz, U.; Jury, M.; Zanchettin, D.

    2014-12-01

    reconstruct cloud cover conditions back to the year 1760 and thus determine historical cloud cover prior to the recent use of instrumental records. We will also discuss how our coral proxy record of cloud cover compares to paleo-climate model runs for the same time period.

  17. A relic coral fauna threatened by global changes and human activities, Eastern Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    Leão, Zelinda Margarida de Andrade Nery; Kikuchi, Ruy Kenji Papa de

    2005-01-01

    Trabalho completo: acesso restrito, p. 599–611 Coral species composition of drilled cores from emergent bank reefs, and coral cover of the surface of old and living reefs located along the coast of the state of Bahia, Eastern Brazil, revealed that there is a marked change in the occurrence of the major building coral species in different time intervals of the reef structure, as well as in the living surface of reefs located in two different geographical sites. Holocene core sections from t...

  18. A multi-trait systems approach reveals a response cascade to bleaching in corals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gardner, Stephanie G; Raina, Jean-Baptiste; Nitschke, Matthew R; Nielsen, Daniel A; Stat, Michael; Motti, Cherie A; Ralph, Peter J; Petrou, Katherina

    2017-12-07

    Climate change causes the breakdown of the symbiotic relationships between reef-building corals and their photosynthetic symbionts (genus Symbiodinium), with thermal anomalies in 2015-2016 triggering the most widespread mass coral bleaching on record and unprecedented mortality on the Great Barrier Reef. Targeted studies using specific coral stress indicators have highlighted the complexity of the physiological processes occurring during thermal stress, but have been unable to provide a clear mechanistic understanding of coral bleaching. Here, we present an extensive multi-trait-based study in which we compare the thermal stress responses of two phylogenetically distinct and widely distributed coral species, Acropora millepora and Stylophora pistillata, integrating 14 individual stress indicators over time across a simulated thermal anomaly. We found that key stress responses were conserved across both taxa, with the loss of symbionts and the activation of antioxidant mechanisms occurring well before collapse of the physiological parameters, including gross oxygen production and chlorophyll a. Our study also revealed species-specific traits, including differences in the timing of antioxidant regulation, as well as drastic differences in the production of the sulfur compound dimethylsulfoniopropionate during bleaching. Indeed, the concentration of this antioxidant increased two-fold in A. millepora after the corals started to bleach, while it decreased 70% in S. pistillata. We identify a well-defined cascading response to thermal stress, demarking clear pathophysiological reactions conserved across the two species, which might be central to fully understanding the mechanisms triggering thermally induced coral bleaching. These results highlight that bleaching is a conserved mechanism, but specific adaptations linked to the coral's antioxidant capacity drive differences in the sensitivity and thus tolerance of each coral species to thermal stress.

  19. Assessing Coral Community Recovery from Coral Bleaching by ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Abstract—In 2003 and 2005, studies were carried out on the density of small coral colonies (<10 cm) on three reefs in the Mombasa Marine National Park and Reserve on the southern fringing reef system of Kenya, and on three reefs in the Kiunga Marine National Reserve in the north of the country. All the study sites were ...

  20. Fish-derived nutrient hotspots shape coral reef benthic communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shantz, Andrew A; Ladd, Mark C; Schrack, Elizabeth; Burkepile, Deron E

    2015-12-01

    Animal-derived nutrients play an important role in structuring nutrient regimes within and between ecosystems. When animals undergo repetitive, aggregating behavior through time, they can create nutrient hotspots where rates of biogeochemical activity are higher than those found in the surrounding environment. In turn, these hotspots can influence ecosystem processes and community structure. We examined the potential for reef fishes from the family Haemulidae (grunts) to create nutrient hotspots and the potential impact of these hotspots on reef communities. To do so, we tracked the schooling locations of diurnally migrating grunts, which shelter at reef sites during the day but forage off reef each night, and measured the impact of these fish schools on benthic communities. We found that grunt schools showed a high degree of site fidelity, repeatedly returning to the same coral heads. These aggregations created nutrient hotspots around coral heads where nitrogen and phosphorus delivery was roughly 10 and 7 times the respective rates of delivery to structurally similar sites that lacked schools of these fishes. In turn, grazing rates of herbivorous fishes at grunt-derived hotspots were approximately 3 times those of sites where grunts were rare. These differences in nutrient delivery and grazing led to distinct benthic communities with higher cover of crustose coralline algae and less total algal abundance at grunt aggregation sites. Importantly, coral growth was roughly 1.5 times greater at grunt hotspots, likely due to the important nutrient subsidy. Our results suggest that schooling reef fish and their nutrient subsidies play an important role in mediating community structure on coral reefs and that overfishing may have important negative consequences on ecosystem functions. As such, management strategies must consider mesopredatory fishes in addition to current protection often offered to herbivores and top-tier predators. Furthermore, our results suggest that

  1. Diversity and stability of herbivorous fishes on coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thibaut, Loic M; Connolly, Sean R; Sweatman, Hugh P A

    2012-04-01

    Biodiversity may provide insurance against ecosystem collapse by stabilizing assemblages that perform particular ecological functions (the "portfolio effect"). However, the extent to which this occurs in nature and the importance of different mechanisms that generate portfolio effects remain controversial. On coral reefs, herbivory helps maintain coral dominated states, so volatility in levels of herbivory has important implications for reef ecosystems. Here, we used an extensive time series of abundances on 35 reefs of the Great Barrier Reef of Australia to quantify the strength of the portfolio effect for herbivorous fishes. Then, we disentangled the contributions of two mechanisms that underlie it (compensatory interactions and differential responses to environmental fluctuations ["response diversity"]) by fitting a community-dynamic model that explicitly includes terms for both mechanisms. We found that portfolio effects operate strongly in herbivorous fishes, as shown by nearly independent fluctuations in abundances over time. Moreover, we found strong evidence for high response diversity, with nearly independent responses to environmental fluctuations. In contrast, we found little evidence that the portfolio effect in this system was enhanced by compensatory ecological interactions. Our results show that portfolio effects are driven principally by response diversity for herbivorous fishes on coral reefs. We conclude that portfolio effects can be very strong in nature and that, for coral reefs in particular, response diversity may help maintain herbivory above the threshold levels that trigger regime shifts.

  2. 75 FR 39917 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Coral and Coral Reefs off the...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-13

    ..., and South Atlantic; Coral and Coral Reefs off the Southern Atlantic States; Exempted Fishing Permit... for Coral, Coral Reefs, and Live/Hardbottom Habitat of the South Atlantic Region. The applicant has... Coral Reef Research Foundation (CRRF, http://www.coralreefresearchfoundation.org/ ). Samples would be...

  3. Long-Term Survey Is Necessary to Reveal Various Shifts of Microbial Composition in Corals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shan-Hua Yang

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The coral holobiont is the assemblage of coral host and its microbial symbionts, which functions as a unit and is responsive to host species and environmental factors. Although monitoring surveys have been done to determine bacteria associated with coral, none have persisted for >1 year. Therefore, potential variations in minor or dominant community members that occur over extended intervals have not been characterized. In this study, 16S rRNA gene amplicon pyrosequencing was used to investigate the relationship between bacterial communities in healthy Stylophora pistillata in tropical and subtropical Taiwan over 2 years, apparently one of the longest surveys of coral-associated microbes. Dominant bacterial genera in S. pistillata had disparate changes in different geographical setups, whereas the constitution of minor bacteria fluctuated in abundance over time. We concluded that dominant bacteria (Acinetobacter, Propionibacterium, and Pseudomonas were stable in composition, regardless of seasonal and geographical variations, whereas Endozoicomonas had a geographical preference. In addition, by combining current data with previous studies, we concluded that a minor bacteria symbiont, Ralstonia, was a keystone species in coral. Finally, we concluded that long-term surveys for coral microbial communities were necessary to detect compositional shifts, especially for minor bacterial members in corals.

  4. Visualization of coral host-pathogen interactions using a stable GFP-labeled Vibrio coralliilyticus strain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollock, F. Joseph; Krediet, Cory J.; Garren, Melissa; Stocker, Roman; Winn, Karina; Wilson, Bryan; Huete-Stauffer, Carla; Willis, Bette L.; Bourne, David G.

    2015-06-01

    The bacterium Vibrio coralliilyticus has been implicated as the causative agent of coral tissue loss diseases (collectively known as white syndromes) at sites across the Indo-Pacific and represents an emerging model pathogen for understanding the mechanisms linking bacterial infection and coral disease. In this study, we used a mini-Tn7 transposon delivery system to chromosomally label a strain of V. coralliilyticus isolated from a white syndrome disease lesion with a green fluorescent protein gene (GFP). We then tested the utility of this modified strain as a research tool for studies of coral host-pathogen interactions. A suite of biochemical assays and experimental infection trials in a range of model organisms confirmed that insertion of the GFP gene did not interfere with the labeled strain's virulence. Using epifluorescence video microscopy, the GFP-labeled strain could be reliably distinguished from non-labeled bacteria present in the coral holobiont, and the pathogen's interactions with the coral host could be visualized in real time. This study demonstrates that chromosomal GFP labeling is a useful technique for visualization and tracking of coral pathogens and provides a novel tool to investigate the role of V. coralliilyticus in coral disease pathogenesis.

  5. Transcriptomic responses to heat stress and bleaching in the elkhorn coral Acropora palmata

    KAUST Repository

    DeSalvo, MK

    2010-03-08

    The emergence of genomic tools for reef-building corals and symbiotic anemones comes at a time when alarming losses in coral cover are being observed worldwide. These tools hold great promise in elucidating novel and unforeseen cellular processes underlying the successful mutualism between corals and their dinoflagellate endosymbionts Symbiodinium spp. Since thermal stress triggers a breakdown in the symbiosis (coral bleaching), measuring the transcriptomic response to thermal stress-induced bleaching offers an extraordinary view of cellular processes that are specific to coral–algal symbioses. In the present study, we utilized a cDNA microarray containing 2059 genes of the threatened Caribbean elkhorn coral Acropora palmata to identify genes that are differentially expressed upon thermal stress. Fragments from replicate colonies were exposed to elevated temperature for 2 d, and samples were frozen for microarray analysis after 24 and 48 h. Totals of 204 and 104 genes were differentially expressed in samples that were collected 1 and 2 d after thermal stress, respectively. Analysis of the differentially expressed genes indicates a cellular stress response in A. palmata involving (1) growth arrest, (2) chaperone activity, (3) nucleic acid stabilization and repair, and (4) removal of damaged macromolecules. Other differentially expressed processes include sensory perception, metabolite transfer between host and endosymbiont, nitric oxide signaling, and modifications to the actin cytoskeleton and extracellular matrix. The results are compared with those from a previous coral microarray study of thermal stress in Montastraea faveolata, and point to an overall evolutionary conserved bleaching response in scleractinian corals.

  6. Production of quorum-sensing signals by bacteria in the coral mucus layer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jie; Kuang, Weiqi; Long, Lijuan; Zhang, Si

    2017-12-01

    Quorum sensing is an integral part of bacterial communication and interaction, but has not been well characterized in coral mucus microbiota. In this study, of 61 coral mucus isolates, five alphaproteobacteria and one Vibrio species were found to produce N-acyl homoserine lactone (AHL), a quorum-sensing signal in bacteria. Eight gammaproteobacteria isolates were found to produce autoinducer-2 (AI-2) quorum-sensing signals along with two actinobacteria of the genus Rothia. Coral mucus is rich in the antioxidant dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP), the concentration of which has been found to increase under heat stress. Neither AHL nor AI-2 activity was induced by DMSP in those coral mucus isolates that did not initially produce quorum-sensing signals. However, the AI-2 activities of one Rothia isolate (SCSIO 13017) from coral mucus and of Vibrio shilonii (DSM 13774 isolated from a bleached coral) were found to increase in response to 5 μM DMSP but decreased in response to 50 μM DMSP for the first time. These findings suggest that the production of quorum-sensing signals in the coral mucus microbiota may play a role in structuring the surface microbial community as they respond to environmental stress.

  7. Heterotrophic compensation: a possible mechanism for resilience of coral reefs to global warming or a sign of prolonged stress?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam D Hughes

    Full Text Available Thermally induced bleaching has caused a global decline in corals and the frequency of such bleaching events will increase. Thermal bleaching severely disrupts the trophic behaviour of the coral holobiont, reducing the photosynthetically derived energy available to the coral host. In the short term this reduction in energy transfer from endosymbiotic algae results in an energy deficit for the coral host. If the bleaching event is short-lived then the coral may survive this energy deficit by depleting its lipid reserves, or by increasing heterotrophic energy acquisition. We show for the first time that the coral animal is capable of increasing the amount of heterotrophic carbon incorporated into its tissues for almost a year following bleaching. This prolonged heterotrophic compensation could be a sign of resilience or prolonged stress. If the heterotrophic compensation is in fact an acclimatization response, then this physiological response could act as a buffer from future bleaching by providing sufficient heterotrophic energy to compensate for photoautotrophic energy losses during bleaching, and potentially minimizing the effect of subsequent elevated temperature stresses. However, if the elevated incorporation of zooplankton is a sign that the effects of bleaching continue to be stressful on the holobiont, even after 11 months of recovery, then this physiological response would indicate that complete coral recovery requires more than 11 months to achieve. If coral bleaching becomes an annual global phenomenon by mid-century, then present temporal refugia will not be sufficient to allow coral colonies to recover between bleaching events and coral reefs will become increasingly less resilient to future climate change. If, however, increasing their sequestration of zooplankton-derived nutrition into their tissues over prolonged periods of time is a compensating mechanism, the impacts of annual bleaching may be reduced. Thus, some coral species

  8. Heterotrophic Compensation: A Possible Mechanism for Resilience of Coral Reefs to Global Warming or a Sign of Prolonged Stress?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Adam D.; Grottoli, Andréa G.

    2013-01-01

    Thermally induced bleaching has caused a global decline in corals and the frequency of such bleaching events will increase. Thermal bleaching severely disrupts the trophic behaviour of the coral holobiont, reducing the photosynthetically derived energy available to the coral host. In the short term this reduction in energy transfer from endosymbiotic algae results in an energy deficit for the coral host. If the bleaching event is short-lived then the coral may survive this energy deficit by depleting its lipid reserves, or by increasing heterotrophic energy acquisition. We show for the first time that the coral animal is capable of increasing the amount of heterotrophic carbon incorporated into its tissues for almost a year following bleaching. This prolonged heterotrophic compensation could be a sign of resilience or prolonged stress. If the heterotrophic compensation is in fact an acclimatization response, then this physiological response could act as a buffer from future bleaching by providing sufficient heterotrophic energy to compensate for photoautotrophic energy losses during bleaching, and potentially minimizing the effect of subsequent elevated temperature stresses. However, if the elevated incorporation of zooplankton is a sign that the effects of bleaching continue to be stressful on the holobiont, even after 11 months of recovery, then this physiological response would indicate that complete coral recovery requires more than 11 months to achieve. If coral bleaching becomes an annual global phenomenon by mid-century, then present temporal refugia will not be sufficient to allow coral colonies to recover between bleaching events and coral reefs will become increasingly less resilient to future climate change. If, however, increasing their sequestration of zooplankton-derived nutrition into their tissues over prolonged periods of time is a compensating mechanism, the impacts of annual bleaching may be reduced. Thus, some coral species may be better

  9. Coral reef research in India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Wafar, M.V.M.

    monitoring is done routinely (but not in all reefs), targeted research (and funding for that) is still weak. An example is the impacts of global change on coral reefs. Another is assisted recovery of reefs and their biodiversity. Yet another is in situ...

  10. Global warming and coral reefs

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Wafar, M.V.M.

    clear ocean waters nearly as well as visible light (Jerlov quoted in Jokiel, 1980). This is of critical importance in coral reef waters which are well known for their high transpa rency. In these ecosystems, therefore, UV-induced damages to producers...

  11. Functional diversity in coral-dinoflagellate symbiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stat, Michael; Morris, Emily; Gates, Ruth D

    2008-07-08

    Symbioses are widespread in nature and occur along a continuum from parasitism to mutualism. Coral-dinoflagellate symbioses are defined as mutualistic because both partners receive benefit from the association via the exchange of nutrients. This successful interaction underpins the growth and formation of coral reefs. The symbiotic dinoflagellate genus Symbiodinium is genetically diverse containing eight divergent lineages (clades A-H). Corals predominantly associate with clade C Symbiodinium and to a lesser extent with clades A, B, D, F, and G. Variation in the function and interactive physiology of different coral-dinoflagellate assemblages is virtually unexplored but is an important consideration when developing the contextual framework of factors that contribute to coral reef resilience. In this study, we present evidence that clade A Symbiodinium are functionally less beneficial to corals than the dominant clade C Symbiodinium and may represent parasitic rather than mutualistic symbionts. Our hypothesis is supported by (i) a significant correlation between the presence of Symbiodinium clade A and health-compromised coral; (ii) a phylogeny and genetic diversity within Symbiodinium that suggests a different evolutionary trajectory for clade A compared with the other dominant Symbiodinium lineages; and (iii) a significantly lower amount of carbon fixed and released by clade A in the presence of a coral synthetic host factor as compared with the dominant coral symbiont lineage, clade C. Collectively, these data suggest that along the symbiotic continuum the interaction between clade A Symbiodinium and corals may be closer to parasitism than mutualism.

  12. Diversity in skeletal architecture influences biological heterogeneity and Symbiodinium habitat in corals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yost, Denise M; Wang, Li-Hsueh; Fan, Tung-Yung; Chen, Chii-Shiarng; Lee, Raymond W; Sogin, Emilia; Gates, Ruth D

    2013-10-01

    Scleractinian corals vary in response to rapid shifts in the marine environment and changes in reef community structure post-disturbance reveal a clear relationship between coral performance and morphology. With exceptions, massive corals are thought to be more tolerant and branching corals more vulnerable to changing environmental conditions, notably thermal stress. The typical responses of massive and branching coral taxa, respectively, are well documented; however, the biological and functional characteristics that underpin this variation are not well understood. We address this gap by comparing multiple biological attributes that are correlated with skeletal architecture in two perforate (having porous skeletal matrices with intercalating tissues) and two imperforate coral species (Montipora aequituberculata, Porites lobata, Pocillopora damicornis, and Seriatopora hystrix) representing three morphotypes. Our results reveal inherent biological heterogeneity among corals and the potential for perforate skeletons to create complex, three-dimensional internal habitats that impact the dynamics of the symbiosis. Patterns of tissue thickness are correlated with the concentration of symbionts within narrow regions of tissue in imperforate corals versus broad distribution throughout the larger tissue area in perforate corals. Attributes of the perforate and environmentally tolerant P. lobata were notable, with tissues ∼5 times thicker than in the sensitive, imperforate species P. damicornis and S. hystrix. Additionally, P. lobata had the lowest baseline levels of superoxide and Symbiodinium that provisioned high levels of energy. Given our observations, we hypothesize that the complexity of the visually obscured internal environment has an impact on host-symbiont dynamics and ultimately on survival, warranting further scientific investigation. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  13. Bacterial Community Associated with the Reef Coral Mussismilia braziliensis's Momentum Boundary Layer over a Diel Cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silveira, Cynthia B.; Gregoracci, Gustavo B.; Coutinho, Felipe H.; Silva, Genivaldo G. Z.; Haggerty, John M.; de Oliveira, Louisi S.; Cabral, Anderson S.; Rezende, Carlos E.; Thompson, Cristiane C.; Francini-Filho, Ronaldo B.; Edwards, Robert A.; Dinsdale, Elizabeth A.; Thompson, Fabiano L.

    2017-01-01

    Corals display circadian physiological cycles, changing from autotrophy during the day to heterotrophy during the night. Such physiological transition offers distinct environments to the microbial community associated with corals: an oxygen-rich environment during daylight hours and an oxygen-depleted environment during the night. Most studies of coral reef microbes have been performed on samples taken during the day, representing a bias in the understanding of the composition and function of these communities. We hypothesized that coral circadian physiology alters the composition and function of microbial communities in reef boundary layers. Here, we analyzed microbial communities associated with the momentum boundary layer (MBL) of the Brazilian endemic reef coral Mussismilia braziliensis during a diurnal cycle, and compared them to the water column. We determined microbial abundance and nutrient concentration in samples taken within a few centimeters of the coral's surface every 6 h for 48 h, and sequenced microbial metagenomes from a subset of the samples. We found that dominant taxa and functions in the coral MBL community were stable over the time scale of our sampling, with no significant shifts between night and day samples. Interestingly, the two water column metagenomes sampled 1 m above the corals were also very similar to the MBL metagenomes. When all samples were analyzed together, nutrient concentration significantly explained 40% of the taxonomic dissimilarity among dominant genera in the community. Functional profiles were highly homogenous and not significantly predicted by any environmental variables measured. Our data indicated that water flow may overrule the effects of coral physiology in the MBL bacterial community, at the scale of centimeters, and suggested that sampling resolution at the scale of millimeters may be necessary to address diurnal variation in community composition. PMID:28588555

  14. Trehalose is a chemical attractant in the establishment of coral symbiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagedorn, Mary; Carter, Virginia; Zuchowicz, Nikolas; Phillips, Micaiah; Penfield, Chelsea; Shamenek, Brittany; Vallen, Elizabeth A; Kleinhans, Frederick W; Peterson, Kelly; White, Meghan; Yancey, Paul H

    2015-01-01

    Coral reefs have evolved with a crucial symbiosis between photosynthetic dinoflagellates (genus Symbiodinium) and their cnidarian hosts (Scleractinians). Most coral larvae take up Symbiodinium from their environment; however, the earliest steps in this process have been elusive. Here we demonstrate that the disaccharide trehalose may be an important signal from the symbiont to potential larval hosts. Symbiodinium freshly isolated from Fungia scutaria corals constantly released trehalose (but not sucrose, maltose or glucose) into seawater, and released glycerol only in the presence of coral tissue. Spawning Fungia adults increased symbiont number in their immediate area by excreting pellets of Symbiodinium, and when these naturally discharged Symbiodinium were cultured, they also released trehalose. In Y-maze experiments, coral larvae demonstrated chemoattractant and feeding behaviors only towards a chamber with trehalose or glycerol. Concomitantly, coral larvae and adult tissue, but not symbionts, had significant trehalase enzymatic activities, suggesting the capacity to utilize trehalose. Trehalase activity was developmentally regulated in F. scutaria larvae, rising as the time for symbiont uptake occurs. Consistent with the enzymatic assays, gene finding demonstrated the presence of a trehalase enzyme in the genome of a related coral, Acropora digitifera, and a likely trehalase in the transcriptome of F. scutaria. Taken together, these data suggest that adult F. scutaria seed the reef with Symbiodinium during spawning and the exuded Symbiodinium release trehalose into the environment, which acts as a chemoattractant for F. scutaria larvae and as an initiator of feeding behavior- the first stages toward establishing the coral-Symbiodinium relationship. Because trehalose is a fixed carbon compound, this cue would accurately demonstrate to the cnidarian larvae the photosynthetic ability of the potential symbiont in the ambient environment. To our knowledge, this is

  15. Trehalose is a chemical attractant in the establishment of coral symbiosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mary Hagedorn

    Full Text Available Coral reefs have evolved with a crucial symbiosis between photosynthetic dinoflagellates (genus Symbiodinium and their cnidarian hosts (Scleractinians. Most coral larvae take up Symbiodinium from their environment; however, the earliest steps in this process have been elusive. Here we demonstrate that the disaccharide trehalose may be an important signal from the symbiont to potential larval hosts. Symbiodinium freshly isolated from Fungia scutaria corals constantly released trehalose (but not sucrose, maltose or glucose into seawater, and released glycerol only in the presence of coral tissue. Spawning Fungia adults increased symbiont number in their immediate area by excreting pellets of Symbiodinium, and when these naturally discharged Symbiodinium were cultured, they also released trehalose. In Y-maze experiments, coral larvae demonstrated chemoattractant and feeding behaviors only towards a chamber with trehalose or glycerol. Concomitantly, coral larvae and adult tissue, but not symbionts, had significant trehalase enzymatic activities, suggesting the capacity to utilize trehalose. Trehalase activity was developmentally regulated in F. scutaria larvae, rising as the time for symbiont uptake occurs. Consistent with the enzymatic assays, gene finding demonstrated the presence of a trehalase enzyme in the genome of a related coral, Acropora digitifera, and a likely trehalase in the transcriptome of F. scutaria. Taken together, these data suggest that adult F. scutaria seed the reef with Symbiodinium during spawning and the exuded Symbiodinium release trehalose into the environment, which acts as a chemoattractant for F. scutaria larvae and as an initiator of feeding behavior- the first stages toward establishing the coral-Symbiodinium relationship. Because trehalose is a fixed carbon compound, this cue would accurately demonstrate to the cnidarian larvae the photosynthetic ability of the potential symbiont in the ambient environment. To our

  16. The implications of reduced metabolic rate in resource-limited corals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobson, Lianne M; Edmunds, Peter J; Muller, Erik B; Nisbet, Roger M

    2016-03-01

    Many organisms exhibit depressed metabolism when resources are limited, a change that makes it possible to balance an energy budget. For symbiotic reef corals, daily cycles of light and periods of intense cloud cover can be chronic causes of food limitation through reduced photosynthesis. Furthermore, coral bleaching is common in present-day reefs, creating a context in which metabolic depression could have beneficial value to corals. In the present study, corals (massive Porites spp.) were exposed to an extreme case of resource limitation by starving them of food and light for 20 days. When resources were limited, the corals depressed area-normalized respiration to 37% of initial rates, and coral biomass declined to 64% of initial amounts, yet the corals continued to produce skeletal mass. However, the declines in biomass cannot account for the declines in area-normalized respiration, as mass-specific respiration declined to 30% of the first recorded time point. Thus, these corals appear to be capable of metabolic depression. It is possible that some coral species are better able to depress metabolic rates than others; such variation could explain differential survival during conditions that limit resources (e.g. shading). Furthermore, we found that maintenance of existing biomass, in part, supports the production of skeletal mass. This association could be explained if maintenance supplies needed energy (e.g. ATP) or inorganic carbon (i.e. CO2) that otherwise limits the production of skeletal mass. Finally, the observed metabolic depression can be explained as a change in pool sizes, and does not require a change in metabolic rules. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  17. Changes in zooxanthellae density, morphology, and mitotic index in hermatypic corals and anemones exposed to cyanide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cervino, J M; Hayes, R L; Honovich, M; Goreau, T J; Jones, S; Rubec, P J

    2003-05-01

    Sodium cyanide (NaCN) is widely used for the capture of reef fish throughout Southeast Asia and causes extensive fish mortality, but the effect of NaCN on reef corals remains debated. To document the impact of cyanide exposure on corals, the species Acropora millepora, Goniopora sp., Favites abdita, Trachyphyllia geoffrio, Plerogyra sp., Heliofungia actinformis, Euphyllia divisa, and Scarophyton sp., and the sea anemone Aiptasia pallida were exposed to varying concentrations of cyanide for varying time periods. Corals were exposed to 50, 100, 300, and 600 mg/l of cyanide ion (CN(-)) for 1-2 min (in seawater, the CN(-) forms hydrocyanic acid). These concentrations are much lower than those reportedly used by fish collectors. Exposed corals and anemones immediately retracted their tentacles and mesenterial filaments, and discharged copious amounts of mucus containing zooxanthellae. Gel electrophoreses techniques found changes in protein expression in both zooxanthellae and host tissue. Corals and anemones exposed to cyanide showed an immediate increase in mitotic cell division of their zooxenthellae, and a decrease in zooxanthellae density. In contrast, zooxanthellae cell division and density remained constant in controls. Histopathological changes included gastrodermal disruption, mesogleal degradation, and increased mucus in coral tissues. Zooxanthellae showed pigment loss, swelling, and deformation. Mortality occurred at all exposure levels. Exposed specimens experienced an increase in the ratio of gram-negative to gram-positive bacteria on the coral surface. The results demonstrate that exposure cyanide causes mortality to corals and anemones, even when applied at lower levels than that used by fish collectors. Even brief exposure to cyanide caused slow-acting and long-term damage to corals and their zooxanthellae.

  18. A new conceptual model of coral biomineralisation: hypoxia as the physiological driver of skeletal extension

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Wooldridge

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available That corals skeletons are built of aragonite crystals with taxonomy-linked ultrastructure has been well understood since the 19th century. Yet, the way by which corals control this crystallization process remains an unsolved question. Here, I outline a new conceptual model of coral biomineralisation that endeavours to relate known skeletal features with homeostatic functions beyond traditional growth (structural determinants. In particular, I propose that the dominant physiological driver of skeletal extension is night-time hypoxia, which is exacerbated by the respiratory oxygen demands of the coral's algal symbionts (= zooxanthellae. The model thus provides a new narrative to explain the high growth rate of symbiotic corals, by equating skeletal deposition with the "work-rate" of the coral host needed to maintain a stable and beneficial symbiosis. In this way, coral skeletons are interpreted as a continuous (long-run recording unit of the stability and functioning of the coral–algae endosymbiosis. After providing supportive evidence for the model across multiple scales of observation, I use coral core data from the Great Barrier Reef (Australia to highlight the disturbed nature of the symbiosis in recent decades, but suggest that its onset is consistent with a trajectory that has been followed since at least the start of the 1900s. In concluding, I outline how the proposed capacity of cnidarians (which includes modern reef corals to overcome the metabolic limitation of hypoxia via skeletogenesis also provides a new hypothesis to explain the sudden appearance in the fossil record of calcified skeletons at the Precambrian–Cambrian transition – and the ensuing rapid appearance of most major animal phyla.

  19. Application of fatty acids for chemotaxonomy of reef-building corals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imbs, Andrey B; Demidkova, Darja A; Latypov, Yurii Y; Pham, Long Q

    2007-11-01

    Sixteen scleractinian species of six coral families (Acroporidae, Pocilloporidae, Poritidae, Faviidae, Pectiniidae, and Fungiidae) from Vietnam were analyzed for fatty acid (FA) composition. Except for the Poritidae species, total lipids of the corals had the same set of FAs, about 50% of them being unsaturated acids. Some coral families had high levels of characteristic FAs: 20:3(n-6), 20:4(n-3), and 22:6(n-3) in Pocilloporidae; 18:1(n-9) and 22:6(n-3) in Poritidae; and 18:3(n-6) and 22:5(n-3) in Faviidae. For the first time in hexacorals, unsaturated C(24) FAs (24:1(n-9), 24:2(n-6), 24:2(5,9), 24:3(5,9,17), and 24:4(n-3)) were discovered in the Poritidae species. The highest level of 18:1(n-7), odd-chain and branched FAs (7.5% in total) was detected in Sandalolitha robusta. The data obtained on the contents of ten principal C(18)-C(22) polyunsaturated FAs (PUFAs) for the 16 specimens were combined with data on the 19 reef-building coral specimens investigated previously and subjected to multidimensional scale analysis (MSA). The representative coral families (Acroporidae, Pocilloporidae, Poritidae, Faviidae, Dendrophylliidae, and Milleporidae) were separated by MSA according to the composition of their principal PUFAs. Therefore, PUFAs may serve as chemotaxonomic markers for reef-building corals at the family level. Family-specific compositions of coral zooxanthellae characterized by different PUFA profiles, which affect the PUFA content of whole coral colonies, were supposed to be the probable cause of the discovered chemotaxonomic distinctions between reef-building corals.

  20. Sharing the slope: depth partitioning of agariciid corals and associated

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bongaerts, P.; Frade, P.R.; Ogier, J.J.; Hay, K.B.; van Bleijswijk, J.; Englebert, N.; Vermeij, M.J.A.; Bak, R.P.M.; Visser, P.M.; Hoegh-Guldberg, O.

    2013-01-01

    Background: Scleractinian corals and their algal endosymbionts (genus Symbiodinium) exhibit distinct bathymetric distributions on coral reefs. Yet, few studies have assessed the evolutionary context of these ecological distributions by exploring the genetic diversity of closely related coral species

  1. A trait-based approach to advance coral reef science

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Madin, Joshua S.; Hoogenboom, Mia O.; Connolly, Sean R.

    2016-01-01

    Coral reefs are biologically diverse and ecologically complex ecosystems constructed by stony corals. Despite decades of research, basic coral population biology and community ecology questions remain. Quantifying trait variation among species can help resolve these questions, but progress has been...

  2. Extracting a climate signal from the skeletal geochemistry of the Caribbean coral Siderastrea siderea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maupin, Christopher R.; Quinn, Terrence M.; Halley, Robert B.

    2008-12-01

    The first bimonthly time series of paired δ18O and Sr/Ca from the slow-growing coral Siderastrea siderea, from the Dry Tortugas, Florida, has been generated that documents that robust proxy climate records of the tropical Atlantic and IntraAmerican Seas can be produced from this massive coral. The time series contain a 20-year-long calibration window (1973-1992) for both δ18O and Sr/Ca and a 73-year-long verification window (1900-1972) for Sr/Ca. These time series permit the quantification of the relationship between coral δ18O-SST and Sr/Ca-SST and the assessment of the stability of the proxy relationships over time. Both coral geochemical records are highly correlated with the augmented instrumental SST record through the calibration period, and Sr/Ca remains highly correlated through the verification period both at the bimonthly (r = -0.97) and annual average resolution (r = -0.72). Coral δ18O and Sr/Ca are highly reproducible within the same core, and Sr/Ca exhibits no extension-related vital effects. This study sets the stage for generating multicentury scale climate records from the tropical Atlantic Ocean using the skeletal geochemistry of this massive, but slow growing coral.

  3. EOP Settlement colonization and succession patterns of gold coral Kulamana haumeaae in Hawaiian deep coral assemblages

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Relational tabular data on corals relevant to the parasitic life history of gold coral. Surveys conducted throughout the Hawaiian Archipelago with attention on...

  4. NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program: 2016 projects to address coral reef conservation issues

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — In 2016 the following projects will take place to address aspects of coral reef conservation: Enhancing Management of Pacific ESA-listed Corals with Improved Utility...

  5. Genetic Diversity and Geographical Gene Flow Patterns of Spawning Broadcast Coral Lobophyllia corymbosa in The Sulawesi Waters as A Coral Triangle Area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Umar, Widyastuti; Jompa, Jamaluddin; Tassakka, Asmi Citra Malina A. R.

    2018-02-01

    The existence of hard coral is one of the keys to maintain the suistainability of ecosystem in the waters. Currently, the hard coral keeps declining over time due to various disturbances. In addition, hard coral where fish and other organisms live in will directly affect the ecosystem sustainability if the damage still happens. Molecular approach, such as knowing the genetic variation information of coral population can be an informative study to estimate the condition of waters, so that, conservation efforts can be easily done. In this study, we use Lobophyllia corymbosa as a spawning broadcast coral to be the sample which is collected from Sinjai and Luwuk Banggai. The study areas are selected based on geographical patterns which are in the South and East of Sulawesi waters. Since they have a considerable distance, it is likely for them to produce high genetic variations. Genome DNA uses mitochondrial genome that is extracted from coral tissue. The result shows that the genetic diversity is high. From the two major groups provided, there have been 8 haplotypes for all locations. In addition, the L.corymbosa distribution between Sinjai and Luwuk banggai has a high genetic connectivity with 0.6 fixation index.

  6. Factors Affecting Detection Probability of Acoustic Tags in Coral Reefs

    KAUST Repository

    Bermudez, Edgar F.

    2012-05-01

    Acoustic telemetry is an important tool for studying the movement patterns, behaviour, and site fidelity of marine organisms; however, its application is challenged in coral reef environments where complex topography and intense environmental noise interferes with acoustic signals, and there has been less study. Therefore, it is particularly critical in coral reef telemetry studies to first conduct a long-term range test, a tool that provides informa- tion on the variability and periodicity of the transmitter detection range and the detection probability. A one-month range test of a coded telemetric system was conducted prior to a large-scale tagging project investigating the movement of approximately 400 fishes from 30 species on offshore coral reefs in the central Red Sea. During this range test we determined the effect of the following factors on transmitter detection efficiency: distance from receiver, time of day, depth, wind, current, moon-phase and temperature. The experiment showed that biological noise is likely to be responsible for a diel pattern of -on average- twice as many detections during the day as during the night. Biological noise appears to be the most important noise source in coral reefs overwhelming the effect of wind-driven noise, which is important in other studies. Detection probability is also heavily influenced by the location of the acoustic sensor within the reef structure. Understanding the effect of environmental factors on transmitter detection probability allowed us to design a more effective receiver array for the large-scale tagging study.

  7. Habitat degradation disrupts neophobia in juvenile coral reef fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCormick, Mark I; Chivers, Douglas P; Allan, Bridie J M; Ferrari, Maud C O

    2017-02-01

    Habitat degradation not only disrupts habitat-forming species, but alters the sensory landscape within which most species must balance behavioural activities against predation risk. Rapidly developing a cautious behavioural phenotype, a condition known as neophobia, is advantageous when entering a novel risky habitat. Many aquatic organisms rely on damage-released conspecific cues (i.e. alarm cues) as an indicator of impending danger and use them to assess general risk and develop neophobia. This study tested whether settlement-stage damselfish associated with degraded coral reef habitats were able to use alarm cues as an indicator of risk and, in turn, develop a neophobic response at the end of their larval phase. Our results indicate that fish in live coral habitats that were exposed to alarm cues developed neophobia, and, in situ, were found to be more cautious, more closely associated with their coral shelters and survived four-times better than non-neophobic control fish. In contrast, fish that settled onto degraded coral habitats did not exhibit neophobia and consequently suffered much greater mortality on the reef, regardless of their history of exposure to alarm cues. Our results show that habitat degradation alters the efficacy of alarm cues with phenotypic and survival consequences for newly settled recruits. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. Comparison of methods used to estimate coral cover in the Hawaiian Islands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul L. Jokiel

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Nine coral survey methods were compared at ten sites in various reef habitats with different levels of coral cover in Kāne‘ohe Bay, O’ahu, Hawaiʻi. Mean estimated coverage at the different sites ranged from less than 10% cover to greater than 90% cover. The methods evaluated include line transects, various visual and photographic belt transects, video transects and visual estimates. At each site 25 m transect lines were laid out and secured. Observers skilled in each method measured coral cover at each site. The time required to run each transect, time required to process data and time to record the results were documented. Cost of hardware and software for each method was also tabulated. Results of this investigation indicate that all of the methods used provide a good first estimate of coral cover on a reef. However, there were differences between the methods in detecting the number of coral species. For example, the classic “quadrat” method allows close examination of small and cryptic coral species that are not detected by other methods such as the “towboard” surveys. The time, effort and cost involved with each method varied widely, and the suitability of each method for answering particular research questions in various environments was evaluated. Results of this study support the finding of three other comparison method studies conducted at various geographic locations throughout the world. Thus, coral cover measured by different methods can be legitimately combined or compared in many situations. The success of a recent modeling effort based on coral cover data consisting of observations taken in Hawai‘i using the different methods supports this conclusion.

  9. Comparison of methods used to estimate coral cover in the Hawaiian Islands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jokiel, Paul L; Rodgers, Kuʻulei S; Brown, Eric K; Kenyon, Jean C; Aeby, Greta; Smith, William R; Farrell, Fred

    2015-01-01

    Nine coral survey methods were compared at ten sites in various reef habitats with different levels of coral cover in Kāne'ohe Bay, O'ahu, Hawai'i. Mean estimated coverage at the different sites ranged from less than 10% cover to greater than 90% cover. The methods evaluated include line transects, various visual and photographic belt transects, video transects and visual estimates. At each site 25 m transect lines were laid out and secured. Observers skilled in each method measured coral cover at each site. The time required to run each transect, time required to process data and time to record the results were documented. Cost of hardware and software for each method was also tabulated. Results of this investigation indicate that all of the methods used provide a good first estimate of coral cover on a reef. However, there were differences between the methods in detecting the number of coral species. For example, the classic "quadrat" method allows close examination of small and cryptic coral species that are not detected by other methods such as the "towboard" surveys. The time, effort and cost involved with each method varied widely, and the suitability of each method for answering particular research questions in various environments was evaluated. Results of this study support the finding of three other comparison method studies conducted at various geographic locations throughout the world. Thus, coral cover measured by different methods can be legitimately combined or compared in many situations. The success of a recent modeling effort based on coral cover data consisting of observations taken in Hawai'i using the different methods supports this conclusion.

  10. National Coral Reef Monitoring Program: Dissolved inorganic carbon, total alkalinity, pH and other variables collected from surface discrete observations using infrared dissolved inorganic carbon analyzer, alkalinity titrator and other instruments from the North Atlantic Ocean near Key West, Florida (Class III climate monitoring sites) from 2012-03-23 to 2014-12-11 (NCEI Accession 0132022)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This archival package contains data collected to monitor changes to coral reef carbonate chemistry over time, at US affiliated coral reef sites, through quantifying...

  11. Acoustic and biological trends on coral reefs off Maui, Hawaii

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaplan, Maxwell B.; Lammers, Marc O.; Zang, Eden; Aran Mooney, T.

    2018-03-01

    Coral reefs are characterized by high biodiversity, and evidence suggests that reef soundscapes reflect local species assemblages. To investigate how sounds produced on a given reef relate to abiotic and biotic parameters and how that relationship may change over time, an observational study was conducted between September 2014 and January 2016 at seven Hawaiian reefs that varied in coral cover, rugosity, and fish assemblages. The reefs were equipped with temperature loggers and acoustic recording devices that recorded on a 10% duty cycle. Benthic and fish visual survey data were collected four times over the course of the study. On average, reefs ranged from 0 to 80% live coral cover, although changes between surveys were noted, in particular during the major El Niño-related bleaching event of October 2015. Acoustic analyses focused on two frequency bands (50-1200 and 1.8-20.5 kHz) that corresponded to the dominant spectral features of the major sound-producing taxa on these reefs, fish, and snapping shrimp, respectively. In the low-frequency band, the presence of humpback whales (December-May) was a major contributor to sound level, whereas in the high-frequency band sound level closely tracked water temperature. On shorter timescales, the magnitude of the diel trend in sound production was greater than that of the lunar trend, but both varied in strength among reefs, which may reflect differences in the species assemblages present. Results indicated that the magnitude of the diel trend was related to fish densities at low frequencies and coral cover at high frequencies; however, the strength of these relationships varied by season. Thus, long-term acoustic recordings capture the substantial acoustic variability present in coral-reef ecosystems and provide insight into the presence and relative abundance of sound-producing organisms.

  12. The reproductive season of scleractinian corals in Socotra, Yemen [v1; ref status: indexed, http://f1000r.es/36f

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew H. Baird

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Determining when corals reproduce has clear management and economic implications. Here we document the reproductive condition of corals in the genus Acropora on the island of Socotra in Yemen during February 2014. Twenty percent of colonies (n = 143 contained mature gametes and 28% had immature gametes indicating that spawning will occur in both February and March in 2014, confirming previous anecdotal reports of coral spawning at this time in Socotra. Acropora typically reproduce in synchrony with many other broadcast spawning scleractinian corals, and we therefore predict that many other species are reproductively active at this time of year.

  13. Predicting Heat Stress to Inform Reef Management: NOAA Coral Reef Watch's 4-Month Coral Bleaching Outlook

    OpenAIRE

    Gang Liu; Gang Liu; C. Mark Eakin; Mingyue Chen; Arun Kumar; Jacqueline L. De La Cour; Jacqueline L. De La Cour; Scott F. Heron; Scott F. Heron; Scott F. Heron; Erick F. Geiger; Erick F. Geiger; William J. Skirving; William J. Skirving; Kyle V. Tirak

    2018-01-01

    The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Coral Reef Watch (CRW) operates a global 4-Month Coral Bleaching Outlook system for shallow-water coral reefs in collaboration with NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP). The Outlooks are generated by applying the algorithm used in CRW's operational satellite coral bleaching heat stress monitoring, with slight modifications, to the sea surface temperature (SST) predictions from NCEP's operational Climate F...

  14. A coral-on-a-chip microfluidic platform enabling live-imaging microscopy of reef-building corals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shapiro, Orr H; Kramarsky-Winter, Esti; Gavish, Assaf R; Stocker, Roman; Vardi, Assaf

    2016-03-04

    Coral reefs, and the unique ecosystems they support, are facing severe threats by human activities and climate change. Our understanding of these threats is hampered by the lack of robust approaches for studying the micro-scale interactions between corals and their environment. Here we present an experimental platform, coral-on-a-chip, combining micropropagation and microfluidics to allow direct microscopic study of live coral polyps. The small and transparent coral micropropagates are ideally suited for live-imaging microscopy, while the microfluidic platform facilitates long-term visualization under controlled environmental conditions. We demonstrate the usefulness of this approach by imaging coral micropropagates at previously unattainable spatio-temporal resolutions, providing new insights into several micro-scale processes including coral calcification, coral-pathogen interaction and the loss of algal symbionts (coral bleaching). Coral-on-a-chip thus provides a powerful method for studying coral physiology in vivo at the micro-scale, opening new vistas in coral biology.

  15. Bottlenecks to coral recovery in the Seychelles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chong-Seng, K. M.; Graham, N. A. J.; Pratchett, M. S.

    2014-06-01

    Processes that affect recovery of coral assemblages require investigation because coral reefs are experiencing a diverse array of more frequent disturbances. Potential bottlenecks to coral recovery include limited larval supply, low rates of settlement, and high mortality of new recruits or juvenile corals. We investigated spatial variation in local abundance of scleractinian corals in the Seychelles at three distinct life history stages (recruits, juveniles, and adults) on reefs with differing benthic conditions. Following widespread coral loss due to the 1998 bleaching event, some reefs are recovering (i.e., relatively high scleractinian coral cover: `coral-dominated'), some reefs have low cover of living macrobenthos and unconsolidated rubble substrates (`rubble-dominated'), and some reefs have high cover of macroalgae (`macroalgal-dominated'). Rates of coral recruitment to artificial settlement tiles were similar across all reef conditions, suggesting that larval supply does not explain differential coral recovery across the three reef types. However, acroporid recruits were absent on macroalgal-dominated reefs (0.0 ± 0.0 recruits tile-1) in comparison to coral-dominated reefs (5.2 ± 1.6 recruits tile-1). Juvenile coral colony density was significantly lower on macroalgal-dominated reefs (2.4 ± 1.1 colonies m-2), compared to coral-dominated reefs (16.8 ± 2.4 m-2) and rubble-dominated reefs (33.1 ± 7.3 m-2), suggesting that macroalgal-dominated reefs have either a bottleneck to successful settlement on the natural substrates or a high post-settlement mortality bottleneck. Rubble-dominated reefs had very low cover of adult corals (10.0 ± 1.7 %) compared to coral-dominated reefs (33.4 ± 3.6 %) despite no statistical difference in their juvenile coral densities. A bottleneck caused by low juvenile colony survivorship on unconsolidated rubble-dominated reefs is possible, or alternatively, recruitment to rubble-dominated reefs has only recently begun. This

  16. Release of hydrogen peroxide and antioxidant by the coral Stylophora pistillata to its external milieu

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armoza-Zvuloni, R.; Shaked, Y.

    2014-01-01

    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 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 methodology for resolving the actual rates of H2O2 release by the corals. H2O2 and antioxidant activity linearly 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 2-3 h, and then gradually declined. Solving for H2O2 release, corals were found to release H2O2 at increasing rates over 2-4 h, and then slow down and stop by 5-7 h. Stirring was shown to induce the release of both H2O2 and antioxidant activity, possibly due to ventilation of the coral by the flow. Antioxidant activity was released at similar rates by bleached and non-bleached corals, suggesting that the antioxidant did not originate from the symbiotic algae. H2O2, however, was only minimally 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 possibly assist in preventing coral bleaching under conditions of elevated temperature and irradiance.

  17. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Additive diversity partitioning of fish in a Caribbean coral reef undergoing shift transition.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gilberto Acosta-González

    Full Text Available Shift transitions in dominance on coral reefs from hard coral cover to fleshy macroalgae are having negative effects on Caribbean coral reef communities. Data on spatiotemporal changes in biodiversity during these modifications are important for decision support for coral reef biodiversity protection. The main objective of this study is to detect the spatiotemporal patterns of coral reef fish diversity during this transition using additive diversity-partitioning analysis. We examined α, β and γ fish diversity from 2000 to 2010, during which time a shift transition occurred at Mahahual Reef, located in Quintana Roo, Mexico. Data on coral reef fish and benthic communities were obtained from 12 transects per geomorphological unit (GU in two GUs (reef slope and terrace over six years (2000, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010. Spatial analysis within and between the GUs indicated that the γ-diversity was primarily related to higher β-diversity. Throughout the six study years, there were losses of α, β and γ-diversity associated spatially with the shallow (reef slope and deeper (reef terrace GUs and temporally with the transition in cover from mound corals to fleshy macroalgae and boulder corals. Despite a drastic reduction in the number of species over time, β-diversity continues to be the highest component of γ-diversity. The shift transition had a negative effect on α, β and γ-diversity, primarily by impacting rare species, leading a group of small and less vulnerable fish species to become common and an important group of rare species to become locally extinct. The maintenance of fish heterogeneity (β-diversity over time may imply the abetment of vulnerability in the face of local and global changes.

  20. Additive diversity partitioning of fish in a Caribbean coral reef undergoing shift transition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acosta-González, Gilberto; Rodríguez-Zaragoza, Fabián A; Hernández-Landa, Roberto C; Arias-González, Jesús E

    2013-01-01

    Shift transitions in dominance on coral reefs from hard coral cover to fleshy macroalgae are having negative effects on Caribbean coral reef communities. Data on spatiotemporal changes in biodiversity during these modifications are important for decision support for coral reef biodiversity protection. The main objective of this study is to detect the spatiotemporal patterns of coral reef fish diversity during this transition using additive diversity-partitioning analysis. We examined α, β and γ fish diversity from 2000 to 2010, during which time a shift transition occurred at Mahahual Reef, located in Quintana Roo, Mexico. Data on coral reef fish and benthic communities were obtained from 12 transects per geomorphological unit (GU) in two GUs (reef slope and terrace) over six years (2000, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010). Spatial analysis within and between the GUs indicated that the γ-diversity was primarily related to higher β-diversity. Throughout the six study years, there were losses of α, β and γ-diversity associated spatially with the shallow (reef slope) and deeper (reef terrace) GUs and temporally with the transition in cover from mound corals to fleshy macroalgae and boulder corals. Despite a drastic reduction in the number of species over time, β-diversity continues to be the highest component of γ-diversity. The shift transition had a negative effect on α, β and γ-diversity, primarily by impacting rare species, leading a group of small and less vulnerable fish species to become common and an important group of rare species to become locally extinct. The maintenance of fish heterogeneity (β-diversity) over time may imply the abetment of vulnerability in the face of local and global changes.

  1. Can marine cloud brightening reduce coral bleaching?

    OpenAIRE

    Latham, J; Kleypas, J; Hauser, R; Parkes, B; Gadian, A

    2013-01-01

    Increases in coral bleaching events over the last few decades have been largely caused by rising sea surface temperatures (SST), and continued warming is expected to cause even greater increases through this century. We use a Global Climate Model to examine the potential of marine cloud brightening (MCB) to cool oceanic surface waters in three coral reef provinces. Our simulations indicate that under doubled CO conditions, the substantial increases in coral bleaching conditions from current v...

  2. International Workshop on Carbon Cycling and Coral Reef Metabolism; Sangosho no tanso junkan ni kansuru kokusai workshop hokokusho

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-10-16

    The paper described the International Workshop on Carbon Cycling and Coral Reef Metabolism which was held at Miyako-jima, Okinawa Pref. on October 17-24, 1995. In the workshop, researchers got together which are involved in marine chemistry, marine biology, coral ecology, and environmental science, and discussed the carbon cycling and metabolism of coral reef. Discussions were made on what the coral reef ecosystem is, and what the definition of a sink or a source for CO2 is. Also discussed were scales of how much time and space should be considered to make these issues clear. Further, it was proposed that it was necessary to investigate carbon balance of both the whole system and the components of the system and to keep track of mass transfer among neighboring components of the system. Seventeen presentations were given. The workshop obtained a definite consensus on carbon balance of the coral reef system. 123 refs., 39 figs., 9 tabs.

  3. Predicting drivers and distributions of deep-sea ecosystems: A cold-water coral case study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mohn, Christian; Rengstorf, Anna; Brown, Colin

    2015-01-01

    Little is yet known about species distribution patterns and physical drivers in deep-sea environments due the expensive and time consuming sampling effort. The increasing need to manage and protect vulnerable marine ecosystems, such as cold-water corals, has motivated the use of predictive...... and to provide decision support for marine spatial planning and conservation in the deep sea. Mohn et al., 2014.Linking benthic hydrodynamics and cold water coral occurrences: A high-resolution model study at three cold-water coral provinces in the NE Atlantic. Progress in Oceanography 122, 92-104. Rengstorf et......, facilitating species distribution modelling with high spatial detail. In this study, we used high resolution data (250 m grid size) from a newly developed hydrodynamic model to explore linkages between key physical drivers and occurrences of the cold-water coral Lophelia pertusa in selected areas of the NE...

  4. Post-bleaching coral community change on southern Maldivian reefs: is there potential for rapid recovery?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, C. T.; Morgan, K. M.

    2017-12-01

    Given the severity of the 2016 global bleaching event, there are major questions about how quickly reef communities will recover. Here, we explore the ecological and physical structural changes that occurred across five atoll interior reefs in the southern Maldives using data collected at 6 and 12 months post-bleaching. Following initial severe coral mortality, further minor coral mortality had occurred by 12 months post-bleaching, and coral cover is now low (<6%). In contrast, reef rugosity has continued to decline over time, and our observations suggest transitions to rubble-dominated states will occur in the near future. Juvenile coral densities in shallow fore-reef habitats are also exceptionally low (<6 individuals m-2), well below those measured 9-12 months following the 1998 bleaching event, and below recovery thresholds identified on other Indian Ocean reefs. Our findings suggest that the physical structure of these reefs will need to decline further before effective recruitment and recovery can begin.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spillman, C. M.; Alves, O.

    2009-05-01

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

  6. Rapid thermal adaptation in photosymbionts of reef-building corals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chakravarti, Leela J; Beltran, Victor H; van Oppen, Madeleine J H

    2017-11-01

    Climate warming is occurring at a rate not experienced by life on Earth for 10 s of millions of years, and it is unknown whether the coral-dinoflagellate (Symbiodinium spp.) symbiosis can evolve fast enough to ensure coral reef persistence. Coral thermal tolerance is partly dependent on the Symbiodinium hosted. Therefore, directed laboratory evolution in Symbiodinium has been proposed as a strategy to enhance coral holobiont thermal tolerance. Using a reciprocal transplant design, we show that the upper temperature tolerance and temperature tolerance range of Symbiodinium C1 increased after ~80 asexual generations (2.5 years) of laboratory thermal selection. Relative to wild-type cells, selected cells showed superior photophysiological performance and growth rate at 31°C in vitro, and performed no worse at 27°C; they also had lower levels of extracellular reactive oxygen species (exROS). In contrast, wild-type cells were unable to photosynthesise or grow at 31°C and produced up to 17 times more exROS. In symbiosis, the increased thermal tolerance acquired ex hospite was less apparent. In recruits of two of three species tested, those harbouring selected cells showed no difference in growth between the 27 and 31°C treatments, and a trend of positive growth at both temperatures. Recruits that were inoculated with wild-type cells, however, showed a significant difference in growth rates between the 27 and 31°C treatments, with a negative growth trend at 31°C. There were no significant differences in the rate and severity of bleaching in coral recruits harbouring wild-type or selected cells. Our findings highlight the need for additional Symbiodinium genotypes to be tested with this assisted evolution approach. Deciphering the genetic basis of enhanced thermal tolerance in Symbiodinium and the cause behind its limited transference to the coral holobiont in this genotype of Symbiodinium C1 are important next steps for developing methods that aim to increase

  7. Ecological Inferences from a deep screening of the Complex Bacterial Consortia associated with the coral, Porites astreoides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez-Lanetty, Mauricio; Granados-Cifuentes, Camila; Barberan, Albert; Bellantuono, Anthony J; Bastidas, Carolina

    2013-08-01

    The functional role of the bacterial organisms in the reef ecosystem and their contribution to the coral well-being remain largely unclear. The first step in addressing this gap of knowledge relies on in-depth characterization of the coral microbial community and its changes in diversity across coral species, space and time. In this study, we focused on the exploration of microbial community assemblages associated with an ecologically important Caribbean scleractinian coral, Porites astreoides, using Illumina high-throughput sequencing of the V5 fragment of 16S rRNA gene. We collected data from a large set of biological replicates, allowing us to detect patterns of geographical structure and resolve co-occurrence patterns using network analyses. The taxonomic analysis of the resolved diversity showed consistent and dominant presence of two OTUs affiliated with the order Oceanospirillales, which corroborates a specific pattern of bacterial association emerging for this coral species and for many other corals within the genus Porites. We argue that this specific association might indicate a symbiotic association with the adult coral partner. Furthermore, we identified a highly diverse rare bacterial 'biosphere' (725 OTUs) also living along with the dominant bacterial symbionts, but the assemblage of this biosphere is significantly structured along the geographical scale. We further discuss that some of these rare bacterial members show significant association with other members of the community reflecting the complexity of the networked consortia within the coral holobiont. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. Cyanobacteria in Coral Reef Ecosystems: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Charpy

    2012-01-01

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

  9. New tool to manage coral reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Showstack, Randy

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is making available a new tool for coral reef managers to monitor the cumulative thermal stress of several coral reefs around the world, including the Great Barrier Reef, and reefs by the Galapagos Islands, the agency announced on 25 February.The agency's "Degree Heating Weeks" product uses satellite-derived information to allow continuous monitoring of the extent and acuteness of thermal stress, which are key predictors of coral bleaching, and which contribute to coral reef degradation.

  10. Shelters and Their Use by Fishes on Fringing Coral Reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ménard, Alexandre; Turgeon, Katrine; Roche, Dominique G.; Binning, Sandra A.; Kramer, Donald L.

    2012-01-01

    Coral reef fish density and species richness are often higher at sites with more structural complexity. This association may be due to greater availability of shelters, but surprisingly little is known about the size and density of shelters and their use by coral reef fishes. We quantified shelter availability and use by fishes for the first time on a Caribbean coral reef by counting all holes and overhangs with a minimum entrance diameter ≥3 cm in 30 quadrats (25 m2) on two fringing reefs in Barbados. Shelter size was highly variable, ranging from 42 cm3 to over 4,000,000 cm3, with many more small than large shelters. On average, there were 3.8 shelters m−2, with a median volume of 1,200 cm3 and a total volume of 52,000 cm3m−2. The number of fish per occupied shelter ranged from 1 to 35 individual fishes belonging to 66 species, with a median of 1. The proportion of shelters occupied and the number of occupants increased strongly with shelter size. Shelter density and total volume increased with substrate complexity, and this relationship varied among reef zones. The density of shelter-using fish was much more strongly predicted by shelter density and median size than by substrate complexity and increased linearly with shelter density, indicating that shelter availability is a limiting resource for some coral reef fishes. The results demonstrate the importance of large shelters for fish density and support the hypothesis that structural complexity is associated with fish abundance, at least in part, due to its association with shelter availability. This information can help identify critical habitat for coral reef fishes, predict the effects of reductions in structural complexity of natural reefs and improve the design of artificial reefs. PMID:22745664

  11. Microphytoplankton variations during coral spawning at Los Roques, Southern Caribbean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francoise Cavada-Blanco

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Phytoplankton drives primary productivity in marine pelagic systems. This is also true for the oligotrophic waters in coral reefs, where natural and anthropogenic sources of nutrients can alter pelagic trophic webs. In this study, microphytoplankton assemblages were characterized for the first time in relation to expected coral spawning dates in the Caribbean. A hierarchical experimental design was used to examine these assemblages in Los Roques archipelago, Venezuela, at various temporal and spatial scales for spawning events in both 2007 and 2008. At four reefs, superficial water samples were taken daily for 9 days after the full moon of August, including days before, during and after the expected days of coral spawning. Microphytoplankton assemblages comprised 100 microalgae taxa at up to 50 cells per mL (mean ± 8 SD and showed temporal and spatial variations related to the coral spawning only in 2007. However, chlorophyll a concentrations increased during and after the spawning events in both years, and this was better matched with analyses of higher taxonomical groups (diatoms, cyanophytes and dinoflagellates, that also varied in relation to spawning times in 2007 and 2008, but asynchronously among reefs. Heterotrophic and mixotrophic dinoflagellates increased in abundance, correlating with a decrease of the diatom Cerataulina pelagica and an increase of the diatom Rhizosolenia imbricata. These variations occurred during and after the coral spawning event for some reefs in 2007. For the first time, a fresh-water cyanobacteria species of Anabaena was ephemerally found (only 3 days in the archipelago, at reefs closest to human settlements. Variability among reefs in relation to spawning times indicated that reef-specific processes such as water residence time, re-mineralization rates, and benthic-pelagic coupling can be relevant to the observed patterns. These results suggest an important role of microheterotrophic grazers in re

  12. U-Th dating reveals regional-scale decline of branching Acropora corals on the Great Barrier Reef over the past century

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

    Hard coral cover on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is on a trajectory of decline. However, little is known about past coral mortality before the advent of long-term monitoring (circa 1980s). Using paleoecological analysis and high-precision uranium-thorium (U-Th) dating, we reveal an extensive loss of branching Acropora corals and changes in coral community structure in the Palm Islands region of the central GBR over the past century. In 2008, dead coral assemblages were dominated by large, branching Acropora and living coral assemblages by genera typically found in turbid inshore environments. The timing of Acropora mortality was found to be occasionally synchronous among reefs and frequently linked to discrete disturbance events, occurring in the 1920s to 1960s and again in the 1980s to 1990s. Surveys conducted in 2014 revealed low Acropora cover (shifted baseline.

  13. Assessment of host-associated genetic differentiation among phenotypically divergent populations of a coral-eating gastropod across the Caribbean.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lyza Johnston

    Full Text Available Host-associated adaptation is emerging as a potential driver of population differentiation and speciation for marine organisms with major implications for ecosystem structure and function. Coralliophila abbreviata are corallivorous gastropods that live and feed on most of the reef-building corals in the tropical western Atlantic and Caribbean. Populations of C. abbreviata associated with the threatened acroporid corals, Acropora palmata and A. cervicornis, display different behavioral, morphological, demographic, and life-history characteristics than those that inhabit other coral host taxa, indicating that host-specific selective forces may be acting on C. abbreviata. Here, we used newly developed polymorphic microsatellite loci and mitochondrial cytochrome b sequence data to assess the population genetic structure, connectivity, and demographic history of C. abbreviata populations from three coral host taxa (A. palmata, Montastraea spp., Mycetophyllia spp. and six geographic locations across the Caribbean. Analysis of molecular variance provided some evidence of weak and possibly geographically variable host-associated differentiation but no evidence of differentiation among sampling locations or major oceanographic regions, suggesting high gene flow across the Caribbean. Phylogenetic network and bayesian clustering analyses supported a hypothesis of a single panmictic population as individuals failed to cluster by host or sampling location. Demographic analyses consistently supported a scenario of population expansion during the Pleistocene, a time of major carbonate reef development in the region. Although further study is needed to fully elucidate the interactive effects of host-associated selection and high gene flow in this system, our results have implications for local and regional community interactions and impact of predation on declining coral populations.

  14. Assessment of host-associated genetic differentiation among phenotypically divergent populations of a coral-eating gastropod across the Caribbean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnston, Lyza; Miller, Margaret W; Baums, Iliana B

    2012-01-01

    Host-associated adaptation is emerging as a potential driver of population differentiation and speciation for marine organisms with major implications for ecosystem structure and function. Coralliophila abbreviata are corallivorous gastropods that live and feed on most of the reef-building corals in the tropical western Atlantic and Caribbean. Populations of C. abbreviata associated with the threatened acroporid corals, Acropora palmata and A. cervicornis, display different behavioral, morphological, demographic, and life-history characteristics than those that inhabit other coral host taxa, indicating that host-specific selective forces may be acting on C. abbreviata. Here, we used newly developed polymorphic microsatellite loci and mitochondrial cytochrome b sequence data to assess the population genetic structure, connectivity, and demographic history of C. abbreviata populations from three coral host taxa (A. palmata, Montastraea spp., Mycetophyllia spp.) and six geographic locations across the Caribbean. Analysis of molecular variance provided some evidence of weak and possibly geographically variable host-associated differentiation but no evidence of differentiation among sampling locations or major oceanographic regions, suggesting high gene flow across the Caribbean. Phylogenetic network and bayesian clustering analyses supported a hypothesis of a single panmictic population as individuals failed to cluster by host or sampling location. Demographic analyses consistently supported a scenario of population expansion during the Pleistocene, a time of major carbonate reef development in the region. Although further study is needed to fully elucidate the interactive effects of host-associated selection and high gene flow in this system, our results have implications for local and regional community interactions and impact of predation on declining coral populations.

  15. Coral Reef Protection Implementation Plan

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-10-19

    reef herbivores, such as the long-spined sea urchin , con- ecosystems until about 10 years ago, when government sume algae that might otherwise smother...are able to photosynthesize, which greatly in- -0- Johnston Atoll creases a coral’s ability to secrete calcium ’ carbonate -,A Kwajelein Atoll and...JOHNSTON ATOLL fects is correlated with the level of environmental con- tamination. The method of examining fish embryos forA biomonitoring program

  16. Competitive interactions between corals and turf algae depend on coral colony form.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swierts, Thomas; Vermeij, Mark Ja

    2016-01-01

    Turf algae are becoming more abundant on coral reefs worldwide, but their effects on other benthic organisms remain poorly described. To describe the general characteristics of competitive interactions between corals and turf algae, we determined the occurrence and outcomes of coral-turf algal interactions among different coral growth forms (branching, upright, massive, encrusting, plating, and solitary) on a shallow reef in Vietnam. In total, the amount of turf algal interaction, i.e., the proportion of the coral boundary directly bordering turf algae, was quantified for 1,276 coral colonies belonging to 27 genera and the putative outcome of each interaction was noted. The amount of turf algal interaction and the outcome of these interactions differed predictably among the six growth forms. Encrusting corals interacted most often with turf algae, but also competed most successfully against turf algae. The opposite was observed for branching corals, which rarely interacted with turf algae and rarely won these competitive interactions. Including all other growth forms, a positive relationship was found between the amount of competitive interactions with neighboring turf algae and the percentage of such interaction won by the coral. This growth form dependent ability to outcompete turf algae was not only observed among coral species, but also among different growth forms in morphologically plastic coral genera (Acropora, Favia, Favites, Montastrea, Montipora, Porites) illustrating the general nature of this relationship.

  17. Spectral classifying base on color of live corals and dead corals covered with algae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nurdin, Nurjannah; Komatsu, Teruhisa; Barille, Laurent; Akbar, A. S. M.; Sawayama, Shuhei; Fitrah, Muh. Nur; Prasyad, Hermansyah

    2016-05-01

    Pigments in the host tissues of corals can make a significant contribution to their spectral signature and can affect their apparent color as perceived by a human observer. The aim of this study is classifying the spectral reflectance of corals base on different color. It is expected that they can be used as references in discriminating between live corals, dead coral covered with algae Spectral reflectance data was collected in three small islands, Spermonde Archipelago, Indonesia by using a hyperspectral radiometer underwater. First and second derivative analysis resolved the wavelength locations of dominant features contributing to reflectance in corals and support the distinct differences in spectra among colour existed. Spectral derivative analysis was used to determine the specific wavelength regions ideal for remote identification of substrate type. The analysis results shown that yellow, green, brown and violet live corals are spectrally separable from each other, but they are similar with dead coral covered with algae spectral.

  18. Diversity and evolution of coral fluorescent proteins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naila O Alieva

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available GFP-like fluorescent proteins (FPs are the key color determinants in reef-building corals (class Anthozoa, order Scleractinia and are of considerable interest as potential genetically encoded fluorescent labels. Here we report 40 additional members of the GFP family from corals. There are three major paralogous lineages of coral FPs. One of them is retained in all sampled coral families and is responsible for the non-fluorescent purple-blue color, while each of the other two evolved a full complement of typical coral fluorescent colors (cyan, green, and red and underwent sorting between coral groups. Among the newly cloned proteins are a "chromo-red" color type from Echinopora forskaliana (family Faviidae and pink chromoprotein from Stylophora pistillata (Pocilloporidae, both evolving independently from the rest of coral chromoproteins. There are several cyan FPs that possess a novel kind of excitation spectrum indicating a neutral chromophore ground state, for which the residue E167 is responsible (numeration according to GFP from A. victoria. The chromoprotein from Acropora millepora is an unusual blue instead of purple, which is due to two mutations: S64C and S183T. We applied a novel probabilistic sampling approach to recreate the common ancestor of all coral FPs as well as the more derived common ancestor of three main fluorescent colors of the Faviina suborder. Both proteins were green such as found elsewhere outside class Anthozoa. Interestingly, a substantial fraction of the all-coral ancestral protein had a chromohore apparently locked in a non-fluorescent neutral state, which may reflect the transitional stage that enabled rapid color diversification early in the history of coral FPs. Our results highlight the extent of convergent or parallel evolution of the color diversity in corals, provide the foundation for experimental studies of evolutionary processes that led to color diversification, and enable a comparative analysis of

  19. Habitat choice, recruitment and the response of coral reef fishes to coral degradation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feary, David A; Almany, Glenn R; McCormick, Mark I; Jones, Geoffrey P

    2007-09-01

    The global degradation of coral reefs is having profound effects on the structure and species richness of associated reef fish assemblages. Historically, variation in the composition of fish communities has largely been attributed to factors affecting settlement of reef fish larvae. However, the mechanisms that determine how fish settlers respond to different stages of coral stress and the extent of coral loss on fish settlement are poorly understood. Here, we examined the effects of habitat degradation on fish settlement using a two-stage experimental approach. First, we employed laboratory choice experiments to test how settlers responded to early and terminal stages of coral degradation. We then quantified the settlement response of the whole reef fish assemblage in a field perturbation experiment. The laboratory choice experiments tested how juveniles from nine common Indo-Pacific fishes chose among live colonies, partially degraded colonies, and dead colonies with recent algal growth. Many species did not distinguish between live and partially degraded colonies, suggesting settlement patterns are resilient to the early stages of declining coral health. Several species preferred live or degraded corals, and none preferred to associate with dead, algal-covered colonies. In the field experiment, fish recruitment to coral colonies was monitored before and after the introduction of a coral predator (the crown-of-thorns starfish) and compared with undisturbed control colonies. Starfish reduced live coral cover by 95-100%, causing persistent negative effects on the recruitment of coral-associated fishes. Rapid reductions in new recruit abundance, greater numbers of unoccupied colonies and a shift in the recruit community structure from one dominated by coral-associated fishes before degradation to one predominantly composed of algal-associated fish species were observed. Our results suggest that while resistant to coral stress, coral death alters the process of

  20. Antioxidant responses to heat and light stress differ with habitat in a common reef coral

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawkins, Thomas D.; Krueger, Thomas; Wilkinson, Shaun P.; Fisher, Paul L.; Davy, Simon K.

    2015-12-01

    Coral bleaching—the stress-induced collapse of the coral- Symbiodinium symbiosis—is a significant driver of worldwide coral reef degradation. Yet, not all corals are equally susceptible to bleaching, and we lack a clear understanding of the mechanisms underpinning their differential susceptibilities. Here, we focus on cellular redox regulation as a potential determinant of bleaching susceptibility in the reef coral Stylophora pistillata. Using slow heating (1 °C d-1) and altered irradiance, we induced bleaching in S. pistillata colonies sampled from two depths [5-8 m (shallow) and 15-18 m (deep)]. There was significant depth-dependent variability in the timing and extent of bleaching (loss of symbiont cells), as well as in host enzymatic antioxidant activity [specifically, superoxide dismutase and catalase (CAT)]. However, among the coral fragments that bleached, most did so without displaying any evidence of a host enzymatic antioxidant response. For example, both deep and shallow corals suffered significant symbiont loss at elevated temperature, but only deep colonies exposed to high temperature and high light displayed any up-regulation of host antioxidant enzyme activity (CAT). Surprisingly, this preceded the equivalent antioxidant responses of the symbiont, which raises questions about the source(s) of hydrogen peroxide in the symbiosis. Overall, changes in enzymatic antioxidant activity in the symbionts were driven primarily by irradiance rather than temperature, and responses were similar across depth groups. Taken together, our results suggest that in the absence of light stress, heating of 1 °C d-1 to 4 °C above ambient is not sufficient to induce a substantial oxidative challenge in S. pistillata. We provide some of the first evidence that regulation of coral enzymatic antioxidants can vary significantly depending on habitat, and, in terms of determining bleaching susceptibility, our results suggest a significant role for the host's differential

  1. Microbial ecology of four coral atolls in the Northern Line Islands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth A Dinsdale

    Full Text Available Microbes are key players in both healthy and degraded coral reefs. A combination of metagenomics, microscopy, culturing, and water chemistry were used to characterize microbial communities on four coral atolls in the Northern Line Islands, central Pacific. Kingman, a small uninhabited atoll which lies most northerly in the chain, had microbial and water chemistry characteristic of an open ocean ecosystem. On this atoll the microbial community was equally divided between autotrophs (mostly Prochlorococcus spp. and heterotrophs. In contrast, Kiritimati, a large and populated ( approximately 5500 people atoll, which is most southerly in the chain, had microbial and water chemistry characteristic of a near-shore environment. On Kiritimati, there were 10 times more microbial cells and virus-like particles in the water column and these microbes were dominated by heterotrophs, including a large percentage of potential pathogens. Culturable Vibrios were common only on Kiritimati. The benthic community on Kiritimati had the highest prevalence of coral disease and lowest coral cover. The middle atolls, Palmyra and Tabuaeran, had intermediate densities of microbes and viruses and higher percentages of autotrophic microbes than either Kingman or Kiritimati. The differences in microbial communities across atolls could reflect variation in 1 oceaonographic and/or hydrographic conditions or 2 human impacts associated with land-use and fishing. The fact that historically Kingman and Kiritimati did not differ strongly in their fish or benthic communities (both had large numbers of sharks and high coral cover suggest an anthropogenic component in the differences in the microbial communities. Kingman is one of the world's most pristine coral reefs, and this dataset should serve as a baseline for future studies of coral reef microbes. Obtaining the microbial data set, from atolls is particularly important given the association of microbes in the ongoing degradation

  2. Dongsha Atoll: A potential thermal refuge for reef-building corals in the South China Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tkachenko, Konstantin S; Soong, Keryea

    2017-06-01

    Dongsha Atoll (also known as the Pratas Islands), the northernmost atoll in the South China Sea, experiences two contrasting physical phenomena: repetitive anomalies of the sea surface temperature exceeding the coral bleaching threshold and regular effects of the world's strongest internal waves resulting in the rhythmic upwelling of cold deep waters at the outer reef slopes of the atoll. This unique combination may result in significant differences in coral species composition and structure between the lagoon and forereef. Surveys conducted in August-September 2016 at 12 study sites in the 2-15 m depth range at Dongsha Atoll revealed a clear spatial separation between 'thermally-susceptible' stony coral genera, including Acropora, Pocillopora and Montipora, which mainly inhabited the forereef, and 'thermally-resistant' genera, including massive Porites, foliaceous Echinopora, Pavona and Turbinaria, which mainly resided in the lagoon. The mean coral cover and species richness on the forereef were respectively 1.8 and 1.4 times higher than those in the lagoon (61.3% and 98 species on the forereef vs. 34.2% and 69 species in the lagoon). Coral mortality rates, expressed as the ratio of dead to live stony corals, showed the same pattern (0.4 in the lagoon vs. 0.009 on the forereef). Furthermore, in a laboratory experiment, 'thermally-susceptible' taxa from the lagoon, (e.g. Pocillopora verrucosa and P. damicornis), exhibited higher resistance to bleaching than did their counterparts from the forereef. The present findings indicate that Dongsha Atoll is a potential thermal refuge for reef-building corals in the northern South China Sea and reveal the development of resilience and resistance to bleaching in coral communities of the lagoon. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Niche acclimatization in Red Sea corals is dependent on flexibility of host-symbiont association

    KAUST Repository

    Ziegler, Maren

    2015-08-06

    Knowledge of host-symbiont specificity and acclimatization capacity of corals is crucial for understanding implications of environmental change. Whilst some corals have been shown to associate with a number of symbionts that may comprise different physiologies, most corals associate with only one dominant Symbiodinium species at a time. Coral communities in the Red Sea thrive under large fluctuations of environmental conditions, but the degree and mechanisms of coral acclimatization are largely unexplored. Here we investigated the potential for niche acclimatization in 2 dominant corals from the central Red Sea, Pocillopora verrucosa and Porites lutea, in relation to the fidelity of the underlying coral-symbiont association. Repeated sampling over 2 seasons along a cross-shelf and depth gradient revealed a stable symbiont association in P. verrucosa and flexible association in P. lutea. A statistical biological-environmental matching routine revealed that the high plasticity of photophysiology and photopigments in the stable Symbiodinium microadriaticum (type A1) community in P. verrucosa were correlated with environmental influences along spatio-temporal dimensions. In contrast, photophysiology and pigments were less variable within each symbiont type from P. lutea indicating that niche acclimatization was rather regulated by a flexible association with a variable Symbiodinium community. Based on these data, we advocate an extended concept of phenotypic plasticity of the coral holobiont, in which the scleractinian host either associates with a specific Symbiodinium type with a broad physiological tolerance, or the host-symbiont pairing is more flexible to accommodate for different symbiont associations, each adapted to specific environmental settings.

  4. Cellular responses in sea fan corals: granular amoebocytes react to pathogen and climate stressors.

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    Laura D Mydlarz

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Climate warming is causing environmental change making both marine and terrestrial organisms, and even humans, more susceptible to emerging diseases. Coral reefs are among the most impacted ecosystems by climate stress, and immunity of corals, the most ancient of metazoans, is poorly known. Although coral mortality due to infectious diseases and temperature-related stress is on the rise, the immune effector mechanisms that contribute to the resistance of corals to such events remain elusive. In the Caribbean sea fan corals (Anthozoa, Alcyonacea: Gorgoniidae, the cell-based immune defenses are granular acidophilic amoebocytes, which are known to be involved in wound repair and histocompatibility. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We demonstrate for the first time in corals that these cells are involved in the organismal response to pathogenic and temperature stress. In sea fans with both naturally occurring infections and experimental inoculations with the fungal pathogen Aspergillus sydowii, an inflammatory response, characterized by a massive increase of amoebocytes, was evident near infections. Melanosomes were detected in amoebocytes adjacent to protective melanin bands in infected sea fans; neither was present in uninfected fans. In naturally infected sea fans a concurrent increase in prophenoloxidase activity was detected in infected tissues with dense amoebocytes. Sea fans sampled in the field during the 2005 Caribbean Bleaching Event (a once-in-hundred-year climate event responded to heat stress with a systemic increase in amoebocytes and amoebocyte densities were also increased by elevated temperature stress in lab experiments. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The observed amoebocyte responses indicate that sea fan corals use cellular defenses to combat fungal infection and temperature stress. The ability to mount an inflammatory response may be a contributing factor that allowed the survival of even infected sea fan corals during a

  5. Upwelling, species, and depth effects on coral skeletal cadmium-to-calcium ratios (Cd/Ca)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthews, Kathryn A.; Grottoli, Andréa G.; McDonough, William F.; Palardy, James E.

    2008-09-01

    Skeletal cadmium-to-calcium (Cd/Ca) ratios in hermatypic stony corals have been used to reconstruct changes in upwelling over time, yet there has not been a systematic evaluation of this tracer's natural variability within and among coral species, between depths and across environmental conditions. Here, coral skeletal Cd/Ca ratios were measured in multiple colonies of Pavona clavus, Pavona gigantea and Porites lobata reared at two depths (1 and 7 m) during both upwelling and nonupwelling intervals in the Gulf of Panama (Pacific). Overall, skeletal Cd/Ca ratios were significantly higher during upwelling than during nonupwelling, in shallow than in deep corals, and in both species of Pavona than in P. lobata. P. lobata skeletal Cd/Ca ratios were uniformly low compared to those in the other species, with no significant differences between upwelling and nonupwelling values. Among colonies of the same species, skeletal Cd/Ca ratios were always higher in all shallow P. gigantea colonies during upwelling compared to nonupwelling, though the magnitude of the increase varied among colonies. For P. lobata, P. clavus and deep P. gigantea, changes in skeletal Cd/Ca ratios were not consistent among all colonies, with some colonies having lower ratios during upwelling than during nonupwelling. No statistically significant relationships were found between skeletal Cd/Ca ratios and maximum linear skeletal extension, δ 13C or δ 18O, suggesting that at seasonal resolution the Cd/Ca signal was decoupled from growth rate, coral metabolism, and ocean temperature and salinity, respectively. These results led to the following conclusions, (1) coral skeletal Cd/Ca ratios are independent of skeletal extension, coral metabolism and ambient temperature/salinity, (2) shallow P. gigantea is the most reliable species for paleoupwelling reconstruction and (3) the average Cd/Ca record of several colonies, rather than of a single coral, is needed to reliably reconstruct paleoupwelling events.

  6. Patterns of gene expression in a scleractinian coral undergoing natural bleaching.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seneca, Francois O; Forêt, Sylvain; Ball, Eldon E; Smith-Keune, Carolyn; Miller, David J; van Oppen, Madeleine J H

    2010-10-01

    Coral bleaching is a major threat to coral reefs worldwide and is predicted to intensify with increasing global temperature. This study represents the first investigation of gene expression in an Indo-Pacific coral species undergoing natural bleaching which involved the loss of algal symbionts. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction experiments were conducted to select and evaluate coral internal control genes (ICGs), and to investigate selected coral genes of interest (GOIs) for changes in gene expression in nine colonies of the scleractinian coral Acropora millepora undergoing bleaching at Magnetic Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Among the six ICGs tested, glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase and the ribosomal protein genes S7 and L9 exhibited the most constant expression levels between samples from healthy-looking colonies and samples from the same colonies when severely bleached a year later. These ICGs were therefore utilised for normalisation of expression data for seven selected GOIs. Of the seven GOIs, homologues of catalase, C-type lectin and chromoprotein genes were significantly up-regulated as a result of bleaching by factors of 1.81, 1.46 and 1.61 (linear mixed models analysis of variance, P bleaching response genes. In contrast, three genes, including one putative ICG, showed highly variable levels of expression between coral colonies. Potential variation in microhabitat, gene function unrelated to the stress response and individualised stress responses may influence such differences between colonies and need to be better understood when designing and interpreting future studies of gene expression in natural coral populations.

  7. Cold-water coral habitats of Rockall and Porcupine Bank, NE Atlantic Ocean: Sedimentary facies and benthic foraminiferal assemblages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smeulders, G. G. B.; Koho, K. A.; de Stigter, H. C.; Mienis, F.; de Haas, H.; van Weering, T. C. E.

    2014-01-01

    The extent of the cold-water coral mounds in the modern ocean basins has been recently revealed by new state-of-the-art equipment. However, not much is known about their geological extent or development through time. In the facies model presented here seven different types of seabed substrate are distinguished, which may be used for reconstruction of fossil coral habitats. The studied substrates include: off-mound settings, (foram) sands, hardgrounds, dead coral debris, and substrates characterized by a variable density of living coral framework. Whereas sediment characteristics only provide a basis for distinguishing on- and off-mound habitats and the loci of most prolific coral growth, benthic foraminiferal assemblages are the key to identifying different mound substrates in more detail. Specific foraminiferal assemblages are distinguished that are characteristic of these specific environments. Assemblages from off-mound settings are dominated by (attached) epifaunal species such as Cibicides refulgens and Cibicides variabilis. The attached epibenthic species Discanomalina coronata is also common in off-mound sediments, but it is most abundant where hardgrounds have formed. In contrast, the settings with coral debris or living corals attract shallow infaunal species that are associated with more fine-grained soft sediments. The typical ‘living coral assemblage' is composed of Cassidulina obtusa, Bulimina marginata, and Cassidulina laevigata. The abundance of these species shows an almost linear increase with the density of the living coral cover. The benthic foraminifera encountered from off-mound to top-mound settings appear to represent a gradient of decreasing current intensity and availability of suspended food particles, and increasing availability of organic matter associated with fine-grained sediment trapped in between coral framework.

  8. The evolution of fishes and corals on reefs: form, function and interdependence.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-01

    Coral reefs are renowned for their spectacular biodiversity and the close links between fishes and corals. Despite extensive fossil records and common biogeographic histories, the evolution of these two key groups has rarely been considered together. We therefore examine recent advances in molecular phylogenetics and palaeoecology, and place the evolution of fishes and corals in a functional context. In critically reviewing the available fossil and phylogenetic evidence, we reveal a marked congruence in the evolution of the two groups. Despite one group consisting of swimming vertebrates and the other colonial symbiotic invertebrates, fishes and corals have remarkably similar evolutionary histories. In the Paleocene and Eocene [66-34 million years ago (Ma)] most modern fish and coral families were present, and both were represented by a wide range of functional morphotypes. However, there is little evidence of diversification at this time. By contrast, in the Oligocene and Miocene (34-5.3 Ma), both groups exhibited rapid lineage diversification. There is also evidence of increasing reef area, occupation of new habitats, increasing coral cover, and potentially, increasing fish abundance. Functionally, the Oligocene-Miocene is marked by the appearance of new fish and coral taxa associated with high-turnover fast-growth ecosystems and the colonization of reef flats. It is in this period that the functional characteristics of modern coral reefs were established. Most species, however, only arose in the last 5.3 million years (Myr; Plio-Pleistocene), with the average age of fish species being 5.3 Myr, and corals just 1.9 Myr. While these species are genetically distinct, phenotypic differences are often limited to variation in colour or minor morphological features. This suggests that the rapid increase in biodiversity during the last 5.3 Myr was not matched by changes in ecosystem function. For reef fishes, colour appears to be central to recent

  9. 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.

  10. Community Change within a Caribbean Coral Reef Marine Protected Area following Two Decades of Local Management

    KAUST Repository

    Noble, Mae M.

    2013-01-14

    Structural change in both the habitat and reef-associated fish assemblages within spatially managed coral reefs can provide key insights into the benefits and limitations of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). While MPA zoning effects on particular target species are well reported, we are yet to fully resolve the various affects of spatial management on the structure of coral reef communities over decadal time scales. Here, we document mixed affects of MPA zoning on fish density, biomass and species richness over the 21 years since establishment of the Saba Marine Park (SMP). Although we found significantly greater biomass and species richness of reef-associated fishes within shallow habitats (5 meters depth) closed to fishing, this did not hold for deeper (15 m) habitats, and there was a widespread decline (38% decrease) in live hard coral cover and a 68% loss of carnivorous reef fishes across all zones of the SMP from the 1990s to 2008. Given the importance of live coral for the maintenance and replenishment of reef fishes, and the likely role of chronic disturbance in driving coral decline across the region, we explore how local spatial management can help protect coral reef ecosystems within the context of large-scale environmental pressures and disturbances outside the purview of local MPA management. © 2013 Noble et al.

  11. When environmental factors become stressors: interactive effects of vermetid gastropods and sedimentation on corals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zill, Julie A; Gil, Michael A; Osenberg, Craig W

    2017-03-01

    Environmental stressors often interact, but most studies of multiple stressors have focused on combinations of abiotic stressors. Here we examined the potential interaction between a biotic stressor, the vermetid snail Ceraesignum maximum , and an abiotic stressor, high sedimentation, on the growth of reef-building corals. In a field experiment, we subjected juvenile massive Porites corals to four treatments: (i) neither stressor, (ii) sedimentation, (iii) vermetids or (iv) both stressors. Unexpectedly, we found no effect of either stressor in isolation, but a significant decrease in coral growth in the presence of both stressors. Additionally, seven times more sediment remained on corals in the presence (versus absence) of vermetids, likely owing to adhesion of sediments to corals via vermetid mucus. Thus, vermetid snails and high sedimentation can interact to drive deleterious effects on reef-building corals. More generally, our study illustrates that environmental factors can combine to have negative interactive effects even when individual effects are not detectable. Such 'ecological surprises' may be easily overlooked, leading to environmental degradation that cannot be anticipated through the study of isolated factors. © 2017 The Author(s).

  12. Community change within a Caribbean coral reef Marine Protected Area following two decades of local management.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mae M Noble

    Full Text Available Structural change in both the habitat and reef-associated fish assemblages within spatially managed coral reefs can provide key insights into the benefits and limitations of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs. While MPA zoning effects on particular target species are well reported, we are yet to fully resolve the various affects of spatial management on the structure of coral reef communities over decadal time scales. Here, we document mixed affects of MPA zoning on fish density, biomass and species richness over the 21 years since establishment of the Saba Marine Park (SMP. Although we found significantly greater biomass and species richness of reef-associated fishes within shallow habitats (5 meters depth closed to fishing, this did not hold for deeper (15 m habitats, and there was a widespread decline (38% decrease in live hard coral cover and a 68% loss of carnivorous reef fishes across all zones of the SMP from the 1990s to 2008. Given the importance of live coral for the maintenance and replenishment of reef fishes, and the likely role of chronic disturbance in driving coral decline across the region, we explore how local spatial management can help protect coral reef ecosystems within the context of large-scale environmental pressures and disturbances outside the purview of local MPA management.

  13. Great Barrier Reef coral luminescence reveals rainfall variability over northeastern Australia since the 17th century

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lough, Janice M.

    2011-06-01

    Northeast tropical Queensland rainfall is concentrated in the summer half year and characterized by high interannual variability, partly related to El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events. This results in highly variable river flows affecting nearshore coral reefs of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Freshwater flood events are recorded in long-lived, annually banded massive coral skeletons as luminescent lines. Quantitative measurements of luminescence intensity were made for 20 Porites coral cores from nearshore reef sites between 11°S and 23°S. Seventeen of the coral luminescence series were significantly correlated with an instrumental record of northeast Queensland summer rainfall and were used to develop seven significantly calibrated and verified rainfall reconstructions based on between 17 (starting 1891) and 1 (starting 1639) coral series. The longest reconstruction, based on more than one coral, provides insights into northeast Queensland rainfall variability from the late 17th century. Comparisons with various independent climate proxies are equivocal: the magnitude and significance of relationships with, for example, a proxy ENSO index vary through time. An extended drier period reconstructed from approximately the 1760s to the 1850s is associated with lower interannual rainfall variability. Since the late 19th century average rainfall and its variability have significantly increased, with wet and dry extremes becoming more frequent than in earlier centuries. This suggests that a warming global climate maybe associated with more variable tropical Queensland rainfall.

  14. Mesophotic coral depth acclimatization is a function of host-specific symbiont physiology

    KAUST Repository

    Ziegler, Maren

    2015-02-06

    Mesophotic coral ecosystems receive increasing attention owing to their potential as deep coral refuges in times of global environmental change. Here, the mechanisms of coral holobiont photoacclimatization over a 60 m depth gradient in the central Red Sea were examined for the four coral genera Porites, Leptoseris, Pachyseris, and Podabacia. General acclimatization strategies were common to all host-symbiont combinations, e.g., Symbiodinium cell densities and photoprotective (PP) to light-harvesting pigment ratios both significantly decreased with water depth. Porites harbored Symbiodinium type C15 over the whole 60 m depth range, while Pachyseris and Podabacia had limited vertical distributions and hosted mainly Symbiodinium type C1. Symbiodinium type C15 had generally higher xanthophyll de-epoxidation rates and lower maximum quantum yields than C1, and also exhibited a strong photoacclimatory signal over depth that relates to the large distribution range of Porites. Interestingly, the coral host had an effect on Symbiodinium pigment composition. When comparing Symbiodinium type C1 in Podabacia and Pachyseris, the ß-carotene chl a−1, the peridinin chl a−1, and diadinoxanthin chl a−1 ratios were significantly different between host species. Our data support a view that depth acclimatization of corals in the mesophotics is facilitated by Symbiodinium physiology, which in turn is host-specific.

  15. Nitrogen enrichment and speciation in a coral reef lagoon driven by groundwater inputs of bird guano

    Science.gov (United States)

    McMahon, Ashly; Santos, Isaac R.

    2017-09-01

    While the influence of river inputs on coral reef biogeochemistry has been investigated, there is limited information on nutrient fluxes related to submarine groundwater discharge (SGD). Here, we investigate whether significant saline groundwater-derived nutrient inputs from bird guano drive coral reef photosynthesis and calcification off Heron Island (Great Barrier Reef, Australia). We used multiple experimental approaches including groundwater sampling, beach face transects, and detailed time series observations to assess the dynamics and speciation of groundwater nutrients as they travel across the island and discharge into the coral reef lagoon. Nitrogen speciation shifted from nitrate-dominated groundwater (>90% of total dissolved nitrogen) to a coral reef lagoon dominated by dissolved organic nitrogen (DON; ˜86%). There was a minimum input of nitrate of 2.1 mmol m-2 d-1 into the lagoon from tidally driven submarine groundwater discharge estimated from a radon mass balance model. An independent approach based on the enrichment of dissolved nutrients during isolation at low tide implied nitrate fluxes of 5.4 mmol m-2 d-1. A correlation was observed between nitrate and daytime net ecosystem production and calcification. We suggest that groundwater nutrients derived from bird guano may offer a significant addition to oligotrophic coral reef lagoons and fuel ecosystem productivity and the coastal carbon cycle near Heron Island. The large input of groundwater nutrients in Heron Island may serve as a natural ecological analogue to other coral reefs subject to large nutrient inputs from anthropogenic sources.

  16. Recent dynamics and condition of coral reefs in the Colombian Caribbean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Ramírez, Alberto; Reyes-Nivia, María Catalina; Zea, Sven; Navas-Camacho, Raúl; Garzón-Ferreira, Jaime; Bejarano, Sonia; Orozco, Carlos

    2010-05-01

    Long-term monitoring data provide a basis to recognize changes in coral reef communities and to implement appropriate management strategies. Unfortunately, coral reef dynamics have been poorly documented at any temporal scale in the Southern Caribbean. Through the "National Monitoring System of Coral Reefs in Colombia" (Spanish acronym: SIMAC), we assessed 32 permanent plots at different depth levels in six reefs areas of the Colombian Caribbean from 1998 to 2004. Temporal trends in coral and algal cover were evaluated by repeated measures ANOVA. The model included the effect of depth levels (a fixed effect), monitoring plots (a random effect) as a nested factor within depths, and time (repeated factor). We found high spatial variability in major benthic components. Overall means indicated that algae were the most abundant biotic component in nearly all areas, ranging from 30.3% at Rosario to 53.3% at San Andrés. Live coral cover varied considerably from 10.1% at Santa Marta up to 43.5% at Urabá. Coral and algae cover per se are not always accurate reef indicators and therefore they need supplementary information. Temporal analyses suggested relative stability of coral and algal cover along the study but the causes for the observed trends were rarely identified. A significant decrease (p = 0.042) in coral cover was only identified for some monitoring plots in Tayrona-time x plot (depth level) interaction, and importantly, few coral species explained this trend. Significant increase (p = 0.005) in algal cover was observed over time for most plots in Rosario. Temporal trajectories in algal cover were influenced by depth-significant time x depth interaction-in San Andrés (increase, p = 0.004) and Urabá (decrease, p = 0.027). Algae trends were mainly explained by changes in algal turfs. Monitoring programs must focus on the mechanisms mediating the changes, in particular those concerning coral recovery and reef resilience in the current context of climate change.

  17. Coral larvae move toward reef sounds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vermeij, M.J.A.; Marhaver, K.L.; Huijbers, C.M.; Nagelkerken, I.; Simpson, S.D.

    2010-01-01

    Free-swimming larvae of tropical corals go through a critical life-phase when they return from the open ocean to select a suitable settlement substrate. During the planktonic phase of their life cycle, the behaviours of small coral larvae (<1 mm) that influence settlement success are difficult to

  18. Mesopredator trophodynamics on thermally stressed coral reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hempson, Tessa N.; Graham, Nicholas A. J.; MacNeil, M. Aaron; Hoey, Andrew S.; Almany, Glenn R.

    2018-03-01

    Ecosystems are becoming vastly modified through disturbance. In coral reef ecosystems, the differential susceptibility of coral taxa to climate-driven bleaching is predicted to shift coral assemblages towards reefs with an increased relative abundance of taxa with high thermal tolerance. Many thermally tolerant coral species are characterised by low structural complexity, with reduced habitat niche space for the small-bodied coral reef fishes on which piscivorous mesopredators feed. This study used a patch reef array to investigate the potential impacts of climate-driven shifts in coral assemblages on the trophodynamics of reef mesopredators and their prey communities. The `tolerant' reef treatment consisted only of coral taxa of low susceptibility to bleaching, while `vulnerable' reefs included species of moderate to high thermal vulnerability. `Vulnerable' reefs had higher structural complexity, and the fish assemblages that established on these reefs over 18 months had higher species diversity, abundance and biomass than those on `tolerant' reefs. Fish assemblages on `tolerant' reefs were also more strongly influenced by the introduction of a mesopredator ( Cephalopholis boenak). Mesopredators on `tolerant' reefs had lower lipid content in their muscle tissue by the end of the 6-week experiment. Such sublethal energetic costs can compromise growth, fecundity, and survivorship, resulting in unexpected population declines in long-lived mesopredators. This study provides valuable insight into the altered trophodynamics of future coral reef ecosystems, highlighting the potentially increased vulnerability of reef fish assemblages to predation as reef structure declines, and the cost of changing prey availability on mesopredator condition.

  19. Microbial disease and the coral holobiont

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourne, David G.; Garren, Melissa; Work, Thierry M.; Rosenberg, Eugene; Smith, Garriet W.; Harvell, C. Drew

    2009-01-01

    Tropical coral reefs harbour a reservoir of enormous biodiversity that is increasingly threatened by direct human activities and indirect global climate shifts. Emerging coral diseases are one serious threat implicated in extensive reef deterioration through disruption of the integrity of the coral holobiont – a complex symbiosis between the coral animal, endobiotic alga and an array of microorganisms. In this article, we review our current understanding of the role of microorganisms in coral health and disease, and highlight the pressing interdisciplinary research priorities required to elucidate the mechanisms of disease. We advocate an approach that applies knowledge gained from experiences in human and veterinary medicine, integrated into multidisciplinary studies that investigate the interactions between host, agent and environment of a given coral disease. These approaches include robust and precise disease diagnosis, standardised ecological methods and application of rapidly developing DNA, RNA and protein technologies, alongside established histological, microbial ecology and ecological expertise. Such approaches will allow a better understanding of the causes of coral mortality and coral reef declines and help assess potential management options to mitigate their effects in the longer term.

  20. A Chemical Approach to Mitigate Coral Bleaching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marty-Rivera, M.; Yudowski, G.

    2016-02-01

    Changes in sea surface temperature and irradiance can induce bleaching and increase mortality in corals. Coral bleaching occurs when symbiotic algae living inside the coral is degraded or expelled, reducing the availability of energetic resources. Oxidative stress has been suggested as a possible molecular mechanism triggering bleaching. We hypothesized that reduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS) during stress could mitigate or prevent coral bleaching. We utilized the coral Porites Astreoides as our model to test the effects of two natural antioxidants, catechin and Resveratrol, on thermally induced bleaching. Coral fragments were exposed to four treatments: high temperature (32°C), high temperature plus antioxidants (1μM), ambient temperature (25°C), or ambient temperature (25°C) plus antioxidant for four days. A total of 8 corals were used per treatment. We measured several photobiological parameters, such as maximum quantum yield and light curves to assess the viability of symbiodinium spp. after thermal stress in the presence of antioxidants. Preliminary experiments on a model species, the sea anemone Aiptasia pallida and corals, showed that exposure to antioxidants reduced intracellular levels of ROS. Additionally, antioxidant-treated anemones showed higher photosynthetic efficiency (67%) than those exposed to high-temperature alone.

  1. The Stylasterine coral Allopora stellulata (Stewart)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boschma, H.

    1960-01-01

    The description of Stylaster stellulatus Stewart was based on a specimen obtained at Tahiti, the coral was stated to be extremely rare, and only found at one small island in the neighbourhood. The description contains all the peculiarities for a specific definition of the coral, the salient points

  2. 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

  3. The mushroom coral as a habitat

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoeksema, B.W.; Meij, van der S.E.T.; Fransen, C.H.J.M.

    2012-01-01

    The evolution of symbiotic relationships involving reef corals has had much impact on tropical marine biodiversity. Because of their endosymbiotic algae (zooxanthellae) corals can grow fast in tropical shallow seas where they form reefs that supply food, substrate and shelter for other organisms.

  4. Coral aquaculture: applying scientific knowledge to ex situ production

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leal, M.C.; Ferrier-Pagès, C.; Petersen, D.; Osinga, R.

    2016-01-01

    Coral aquaculture is an activity of growing interest due to the degradation of coral reefs worldwide and concomitant growing demand for corals by three industries: marine ornamental trade, pharmaceutical industry and reef restoration. Although captive breeding and propagation of corals is a

  5. National Coral Reef Monitoring Program: Dissolved inorganic carbon, total alkalinity, pH and other variables collected from surface discrete observations using infrared dissolved inorganic carbon analyzer, alkalinity titrator and other instruments from Caribbean Sea, Salt River Bay, St. Croix, St. Thomas Brewers Bay, U.S. Virgin Islands (Class II climate monitoring sites) from 2013-09-09 to 2014-07-02 (NCEI Accession 0132021)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This archival package contains data collected to monitor coral reef carbonate chemistry over time, at US affiliated coral reef sites, through quantifying key...

  6. Comparison of machine learning algorithms for detecting coral reef

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo Tusa

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available (Received: 2014/07/31 - Accepted: 2014/09/23This work focuses on developing a fast coral reef detector, which is used for an autonomous underwater vehicle, AUV. A fast detection secures the AUV stabilization respect to an area of reef as fast as possible, and prevents devastating collisions. We use the algorithm of Purser et al. (2009 because of its precision. This detector has two parts: feature extraction that uses Gabor Wavelet filters, and feature classification that uses machine learning based on Neural Networks. Due to the extensive time of the Neural Networks, we exchange for a classification algorithm based on Decision Trees. We use a database of 621 images of coral reef in Belize (110 images for training and 511 images for testing. We implement the bank of Gabor Wavelets filters using C++ and the OpenCV library. We compare the accuracy and running time of 9 machine learning algorithms, whose result was the selection of the Decision Trees algorithm. Our coral detector performs 70ms of running time in comparison to 22s executed by the algorithm of Purser et al. (2009.

  7. Effects of cold-water corals on fish diversity and density (European continental margin: Arctic, NE Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea): Data from three baited lander systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linley, T. D.; Lavaleye, M.; Maiorano, P.; Bergman, M.; Capezzuto, F.; Cousins, N. J.; D'Onghia, G.; Duineveld, G.; Shields, M. A.; Sion, L.; Tursi, A.; Priede, I. G.

    2017-11-01

    Autonomous photographic landers are a low-impact survey method for the assessment of mobile fauna in situations where methods such as trawling are not feasible or ethical. Three institutions collaborated through the CoralFISH project, each using differing lander systems, to assess the effects of cold-water corals on fish diversity and density. The Biogenic Reef Ichthyofauna Lander (BRIL, Oceanlab), Autonomous Lander for Biological Experiments (ALBEX, NIOZ) and the Marine Environment MOnitoring system (MEMO, CoNISMa) were deployed in four CoralFISH European study regions covering the Arctic, NE Atlantic and Mediterranean, namely Northern Norway (275-310 m depth), Belgica Mound Province (686-1025 m depth), the Bay of Biscay (623-936 m depth), and Santa Maria di Leuca (547-670 m depth). A total of 33 deployments were carried out in the different regions. Both the time of first arrival (Tarr) and the maximum observed number of fish (MaxN) were standardised between the different lander systems and compared between coral and reference stations as indicators of local fish density. Fish reached significantly higher MaxN at the coral stations than at the reference stations. Fish were also found to have significantly lower Tarr in the coral areas in data obtained from the BRIL and MEMO landers. All data indicated that fish abundance is higher within the coral areas. Fish species diversity was higher within the coral areas of Atlantic Ocean while in Northern Norway and Santa Maria di Leuca coral areas, diversity was similar at coral and reference stations but a single dominant species (Brosme brosme and Conger conger respectively) showed much higher density within the coral areas. Indicating that, while cold-water coral reefs have a positive effect on fish diversity and/or abundance, this effect varies across Europe's reefs.

  8. 76 FR 66273 - Snapper-Grouper Fishery Off the Southern Atlantic States and Coral and Coral Reefs Fishery in the...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-10-26

    ...-Grouper Fishery Off the Southern Atlantic States and Coral and Coral Reefs Fishery in the South Atlantic... Aquariums to collect, with certain conditions, various species of reef fish and live rock in Federal waters... the South Atlantic Region and the FMP for Coral, Coral Reefs, and Live/Hard Bottom Habitats of the...

  9. Bacterial Biofilm Communities and Coral Larvae Settlement at Different Levels of Anthropogenic Impact in the Spermonde Archipelago, Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pia Kegler

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Populations on small islands surrounded by coral reefs often heavily depend on the services provided by these reefs. The health and recovery of reefs are strongly influenced by recruitment of coral larvae. Their settlement relies on cues such as those emitted from bacterial communities forming biofilms on reef surfaces. Environmental conditions can change these bacterial community compositions (BCC and may in turn affect settlement of coral larvae. At three small inhabited islands in the Spermonde Archipelago, Indonesia, with different distance from the mainland, BCC and coral recruitment were investigated on artificial ceramic tiles after 2–8 weeks exposure time and on natural reef substrate. Water parameters showed a clear separation between inshore and near-shore/mid-shelf sites, with distinct benthic communities at all three sites. No coral recruitment was observed at the inshore site with highest natural and anthropogenic stressors. At the other two sites coral recruitment occurred on natural surfaces (recruits per 100 cm2: 0.73 ± 1.75 near-shore, 0.90 ± 1.97 mid-shelf, but there was no significant difference between the two sites. On artificial substrates coral recruitment differed between these two sites, with tile orientation and with exposure time of the tiles in the reef. The most abundant bacteria on both substrates were Gammaproteobacteria, Alphaproteobacteria, and Cyanobacteria. BCC was strongly correlated with water quality and significant differences in BCC between the inshore site and near-shore/mid-shelf were found. On artificial substrates there was a significant difference in BCC also with exposure time in the reef. Our study highlights the value of taking both BCC and coral recruitment into account, in addition to the environmental conditions, when considering the recovery potential of coral reefs.

  10. CORAL and COOL during the LHC long shutdown

    CERN Multimedia

    Valassi, A; Dykstra, D; Goyal, N; Salnikov, A; Trentadue, R; Wache, M

    2013-01-01

    CORAL and COOL are two software packages used by the LHC experiments for managing detector conditions and other types of data using relational database technologies. They have been developed and maintained within the LCG Persistency Framework, a common project of the CERN IT department with ATLAS, CMS and LHCb. This presentation reports on the status of CORAL and COOL at the time of CHEP2013, covering the new features and enhancements in both packages, as well as the changes and improvements in the software process infrastructure. It also reviews the usage of the software in the experiments and the outlook for ongoing and future activities during the LHC long shutdown (LS1) and beyond.

  11. Molecules and fossils reveal punctuated diversification in Caribbean "faviid" corals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartz, Sonja A; Budd, Ann F; Carlon, David B

    2012-07-25

    Even with well-known sampling biases, the fossil record is key to understanding macro-evolutionary patterns. During the Miocene to Pleistocene in the Caribbean Sea, the fossil record of scleractinian corals shows a remarkable period of rapid diversification followed by massive extinction. Here we combine a time-calibrated molecular phylogeny based on three nuclear introns with an updated fossil stratigraphy to examine patterns of radiation and extinction in Caribbean corals within the traditional family Faviidae. Concatenated phylogenetic analysis showed most species of Caribbean faviids were monophyletic, with the exception of two Manicina species. The time-calibrated tree revealed the stem group originated around the closure of the Tethys Sea (17.0 Ma), while the genus Manicina diversified during the Late Miocene (8.20 Ma), when increased sedimentation and productivity may have favored free-living, heterotrophic species. Reef and shallow water specialists, represented by Diploria and Favia, originate at the beginning of the Pliocene (5 - 6 Ma) as the Isthmus of Panama shoaled and regional productivity declined. Later origination of the stem group than predicted from the fossil record corroborates the hypothesis of morphological convergence in Diploria and Favia genera. Our data support the rapid evolution of morphological and life-history traits among faviid corals that can be linked to Mio-Pliocene environmental changes.

  12. Decadal coral community reassembly on an African fringing reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    McClanahan, T. R.

    2014-12-01

    Changes in the cover of the dominant hard coral taxa were studied on seven Kenyan back reefs over 20 yr. All factors of time, taxa, site, and their interactions were statistically significant and the 1998 temperature anomaly caused the greatest community changes. The 1998 disturbance changes reflected a classic coral succession, which included partial or little mortality and persistence of stress tolerant (massive and submassive growth forms) and early colonization by weedy taxa (pocilloporids). Nevertheless, competitive taxa had high and full mortality and the expected dominance of acroporids was inhibited even ~13 yr after the disturbance. So, while total hard coral cover displayed the expected logistic recovery where maximum cover was reached resistant and weedy taxa (poritids, agaricidae, faviids, and pocilloporids) are expected to dominate the composition of these reefs in the future. Nevertheless, three submassive faviids and branching Porites began to decline toward the end of the time series, indicating further stress after 1998. Increased algal cover and other unstudied factors, including milder warming, may explain these changes. The patterns of change on this continental fringing reef differ from recovery of more remote, offshore islands. This probably reflects low acroporid dominance and recruitment limitations associated with greater anthropogenic influences of high sea urchin grazing and terrestrial runoff.

  13. Cellular membrane accommodation of copper-induced oxidative conditions in the coral Seriatopora caliendrum

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tang, Chuan-Ho; Lin, Ching-Yu; Lee, Shu-Hui; Wang, Wei-Hsien

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • Coral cells alter membrane lipid to accommodate copper-induce oxidative conditions • Coral membrane repair occur due to lipid alterations • Zooxanthellae release results from membrane repair by symbiosome fusion • Copper-induced lipid alterations perturb membrane-related functions in coral cells • Copper chronic effect on coral fitness are related to long-term membrane perturbation - Abstract: Oxidative stress has been associated with copper-induced toxicity in scleractinian corals. To gain insight into the accommodation of the cellular membrane to oxidative conditions, a pocilloporid coral, Seriatopora caliendrum, was exposed to copper at distinct, environmentally relevant dose for various lengths of time. Glycerophosphocholine profiling of the response of the coral to copper exposure was characterized using a validated method. The results indicate that coral lipid metabolism is programmed to induce membrane alterations in response to the cellular deterioration that occurs during the copper exposure period. Decreasing lyso-phosphatidylcholines and exchanging polyunsaturated phosphatidylcholines for polyunsaturated plasmanylcholines were the initial actions taken to prevent membrane permeabilization. To relax/resist the resulting membrane strain caused by cell/organelle swelling, the coral cells inversely exchanged polyunsaturated plasmanylcholines for polyunsaturated phosphatidylcholines and further increased the levels of monounsaturated glycerophosphocholines. At the same time, the levels of saturated phosphatidylcholines were also increased to increase membrane rigidity and protect against oxidative attack. Interestingly, such alterations in lipid metabolism were also required for membrane fusion to repair the deteriorated membranes by repopulating them with proximal lipid reservoirs, similar to symbiosome membranes. Additionally, increasing saturated and monounsaturated plasmanylcholines and inhibiting the suppression of saturated lyso

  14. A relic coral fauna threatened by global changes and human activities, Eastern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leão, Zelinda M A N; Kikuchi, Ruy K P

    2005-01-01

    Coral species composition of drilled cores from emergent bank reefs, and coral cover of the surface of old and living reefs located along the coast of the state of Bahia, Eastern Brazil, revealed that there is a marked change in the occurrence of the major building coral species in different time intervals of the reef structure, as well as in the living surface of reefs located in two different geographical sites. Holocene core sections from two reef areas (12 degrees 40'S-38 degrees 00'W and 18 degrees 00'S-39 degrees 00'W) have as major reef builders, on its topmost core interval (3 to 4 ky old), the endemic coral Mussismilia braziliensis Verrill, 1868, which also dominate on the 2.5-3.5 ky old surfaces of truncated reef tops. At the base of the cores (the 2m lower interval, older than 4 ky BP), another endemic coral Mussismilia harttii Verrill, 1868 is the dominant reef component. The relative abundance of M. braziliensis on the living surfaces of shallow reefs from both areas, shows that in the southern area, it is up to 98% on reefs located 60 km off the coast, in depths between 3 and 4m, but do not exceed 1.3% on the surface of the northern reefs located 1-2 km off the coast in depths 4-5m. The Holocene falling sea level that occurred along the coast of Brazil since 5.1 ky BP, causes an increasing runoff into the area of coastal reefs. This phenomenon may have affected the nearshore reef building fauna, replacing a more susceptive coral fauna with one better adapted to low light levels and higher sediment influx. The high turbidity associated with early Holocene shelf flooding, should also be responsible for the absence of M. braziliensis during the initial stages of reef buildup in Brazil. At the present time, the rapidly increasing human pressure, due to changes in land uses of the coastal zone (increasing sedimentation rate, nutrification of coastal waters, industrial pollution) and underwater practices, such as overfishing and an intense tourism, is

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

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

  16. Biogeochemical alteration effects on U/Th geochronology of Pleistocene corals, Penguin Bank, Molokai, Hawai`i

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herries, K.; Rubin, K. H.; Hellebrand, E.

    2017-12-01

    Meltwater Pulse 1a (MWP-1a) is a large, relatively fast sea level rise event that occurred during the last deglaciation. Critical questions remain about the exact timing of MWP-1a and can be answered using high precision geochronology. Coral reefs are able to yield ideal records of sea level and ocean changes during and after deposition. Glacial far-field fossilized coral reefs, such as the well-preserved Penguin Bank reef near Molokai, Hawai'i, provide understandings to past sea level events that are relatively unaffected by local deglacial sea level effects. Using uranium-thorium dating of pristine corals, we are able date sea level events to an error of ±25-50 years. However, most Penguin Bank coral samples have been biogeochemically disturbed by other mesophotic organisms either during their lifetime or after their death. In these samples, the main disturbances observed in hand specimen are (1) overgrowth by coralline algae, (2) bioerosion from boring organisms, (3) living organisms, like sponges, inside coral skeletons, and (4) discoloration due to detrital materials. These disturbances are capable of disrupting the concentration of U in the coral and/or δ 234U measured. Seawater alteration-sensitive ratios, such as Sr/Ca and Mg/Ca, act as a proxy for potential diagenetic effects on U distribution in the corals. U and Th isotopic data acquired on both pristine and altered parts of the corals are being used to determine the impacts of alteration in the measured ages. With these new data, it may be possible to derive a more accurate timing of MWP-1a and provide a more general method of determining the suitability of coral specimens for dating of the last deglaciation and past climate change.

  17. Metagenomic and ecophysiological analysis of biofilms colonizing coral substrates: "Life after death of coral"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanchez, A., Sr.; Cerqueda-Garcia, D.; Falcón, L. I.; Iglesias-Prieto, R., Sr.

    2015-12-01

    Coral reefs are the most productive ecosystems on the planet and are the most important carbonated structures of biological origin. However, global warming is affecting the health and functionality of these ecosystems. Specifically, most of the Acropora sp. stony corals have declined their population all over the Mexican Caribbean in more than ~80% of their original coverage, resulting in vast extensions of dead coral rubble. When the coral dies, the skeleton begins to be colonized by algae, sponges, bacteria and others, forming a highly diverse biofilm. We analyzed the metagenomes of the dead A. palmata rubbles from Puerto Morelos, in the Mexican Caribbean. Also, we quantified the elemental composition of biomass and measured nitrogen fixation and emission of greenhouse gases over 24 hrs. This works provides information on how the community is composed and functions after the death of the coral, visualizing a possible picture for a world without coral reefs.

  18. 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

  19. Effects of temperature, nutrients, organic matter and coral mucus on the survival of the coral pathogen, Serratia marcescens PDL100.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Looney, Erin E; Sutherland, Kathryn P; Lipp, Erin K

    2010-09-01

    Serratia marcescens is an enteric bacterium that causes white pox disease in elkhorn coral, Acropora palmata; however, it remains unclear if the pathogenic strain has adapted to seawater or if it requires a host or reservoir for survival. To begin to address this fundamental issue, the persistence of strain PDL100 was compared among seawater and coral mucus microcosms. Median survival time across all conditions ranged from a low of 15 h in natural seawater [with a first-order decay constant (k) = -0.173] at 30°C to a maximum of 120 h in glucose-amended A. palmata mucus (k = -0.029) at 30°C. Among seawater and mucus microcosms, median survival time was significantly greater within Siderastrea siderea mucus compared with seawater or mucus of Montastraea faveolata or A. palmata (P palmata mucus (P < 0.0001). Increasing the temperature of seawater to 35°C resulted in a significantly slower decay than that observed at 30°C (P < 0.0001). The results of this study indicate that PDL100 is not well-adapted to marine water; however, survival can be improved by increasing temperature, the availability of coral mucus from S. siderea and most notably the presence of dissolved organic carbon. © 2010 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  20. Coral larvae move toward reef sounds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark J A Vermeij

    Full Text Available Free-swimming larvae of tropical corals go through a critical life-phase when they return from the open ocean to select a suitable settlement substrate. During the planktonic phase of their life cycle, the behaviours of small coral larvae (<1 mm that influence settlement success are difficult to observe in situ and are therefore largely unknown. Here, we show that coral larvae respond to acoustic cues that may facilitate detection of habitat from large distances and from upcurrent of preferred settlement locations. Using in situ choice chambers, we found that settling coral larvae were attracted to reef sounds, produced mainly by fish and crustaceans, which we broadcast underwater using loudspeakers. Our discovery that coral larvae can detect and respond to sound is the first description of an auditory response in the invertebrate phylum Cnidaria, which includes jellyfish, anemones, and hydroids as well as corals. If, like settlement-stage reef fish and crustaceans, coral larvae use reef noise as a cue for orientation, the alleviation of noise pollution in the marine environment may gain further urgency.

  1. Generating viral metagenomes from the coral holobiont

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karen Dawn Weynberg

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Reef-building corals comprise multipartite symbioses where the cnidarian animal is host to an array of eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms, and the viruses that infect them. These viruses are critical elements of the coral holobiont, serving not only as agents of mortality, but also as potential vectors for lateral gene flow, and as elements encoding a variety of auxiliary metabolic functions. Consequently, understanding the functioning and health of the coral holobiont requires detailed knowledge of the associated viral assemblage and its function. Currently, the most tractable way of uncovering viral diversity and function is through metagenomic approaches, which is inherently difficult in corals because of the complex holobiont community, an extracellular mucus layer that all corals secrete, and the variety of sizes and structures of nucleic acids found in viruses. Here we present the first protocol for isolating, purifying and amplifying viral nucleic acids from corals based on mechanical disruption of cells. This method produces at least 50% higher yields of viral nucleic acids, has very low levels of cellular sequence contamination and captures wider viral diversity than previously used chemical-based extraction methods. We demonstrate that our mechanical-based method profiles a greater diversity of DNA and RNA genomes, including virus groups such as Retro-transcribing and ssRNA viruses, which are absent from metagenomes generated via chemical-based methods. In addition, we briefly present (and make publically available the first paired DNA and RNA viral metagenomes from the coral Acropora tenuis.

  2. Small Marine Protected Areas in Fiji Provide Refuge for Reef Fish Assemblages, Feeding Groups, and Corals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonaldo, Roberta M; Pires, Mathias M; Guimarães, Paulo Roberto; Hoey, Andrew S; Hay, Mark E

    2017-01-01

    The establishment of no-take marine protected areas (MPAs) on coral reefs is a common management strategy for conserving the diversity, abundance, and biomass of reef organisms. Generally, well-managed and enforced MPAs can increase or maintain the diversity and function of the enclosed coral reef, with some of the benefits extending to adjacent non-protected reefs. A fundamental question in coral reef conservation is whether these benefits arise within small MPAs (reef organisms is largely decoupled from local adult reproduction. We examined the structure of fish assemblages, composition of fish feeding groups, benthic cover, and key ecosystem processes (grazing, macroalgal browsing, and coral replenishment) in three small (0.5-0.8 km2) no-take MPAs and adjacent areas where fisheries are allowed (non-MPAs) on coral reefs in Fiji. The MPAs exhibited greater species richness, density, and biomass of fishes than non-MPAs. Furthermore, MPAs contained a greater abundance and biomass of grazing herbivores and piscivores as well as a greater abundance of cleaners than fished areas. We also found differences in fish associations when foraging, with feeding groups being generally more diverse and having greater biomass within MPAs than adjacent non-MPAs. Grazing by parrotfishes was 3-6 times greater, and macroalgal browsing was 3-5 times greater in MPAs than in non-MPAs. On average, MPAs had 260-280% as much coral cover and only 5-25% as much macroalgal cover as their paired non-MPA sites. Finally, two of the three MPAs had three-fold more coral recruits than adjacent non-MPAs. The results of this study indicate that small MPAs benefit not only populations of reef fishes, but also enhance ecosystem processes that are critical to reef resilience within the MPAs.

  3. Small Marine Protected Areas in Fiji Provide Refuge for Reef Fish Assemblages, Feeding Groups, and Corals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pires, Mathias M.; Guimarães, Paulo Roberto; Hoey, Andrew S.; Hay, Mark E.

    2017-01-01

    The establishment of no-take marine protected areas (MPAs) on coral reefs is a common management strategy for conserving the diversity, abundance, and biomass of reef organisms. Generally, well-managed and enforced MPAs can increase or maintain the diversity and function of the enclosed coral reef, with some of the benefits extending to adjacent non-protected reefs. A fundamental question in coral reef conservation is whether these benefits arise within small MPAs (reef organisms is largely decoupled from local adult reproduction. We examined the structure of fish assemblages, composition of fish feeding groups, benthic cover, and key ecosystem processes (grazing, macroalgal browsing, and coral replenishment) in three small (0.5–0.8 km2) no-take MPAs and adjacent areas where fisheries are allowed (non-MPAs) on coral reefs in Fiji. The MPAs exhibited greater species richness, density, and biomass of fishes than non-MPAs. Furthermore, MPAs contained a greater abundance and biomass of grazing herbivores and piscivores as well as a greater abundance of cleaners than fished areas. We also found differences in fish associations when foraging, with feeding groups being generally more diverse and having greater biomass within MPAs than adjacent non-MPAs. Grazing by parrotfishes was 3–6 times greater, and macroalgal browsing was 3–5 times greater in MPAs than in non-MPAs. On average, MPAs had 260–280% as much coral cover and only 5–25% as much macroalgal cover as their paired non-MPA sites. Finally, two of the three MPAs had three-fold more coral recruits than adjacent non-MPAs. The results of this study indicate that small MPAs benefit not only populations of reef fishes, but also enhance ecosystem processes that are critical to reef resilience within the MPAs. PMID:28122006

  4. Contrasting effects of habitat loss and fragmentation on coral-associated reef fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonin, Mary C; Almany, Glenn R; Jones, Geoffrey P

    2011-07-01

    Disturbance can result in the fragmentation and/or loss of suitable habitat, both of which can have important consequences for survival, species interactions, and resulting patterns of local diversity. However, effects of habitat loss and fragmentation are typically confounded during disturbance events, and previous attempts to determine their relative significance have proved ineffective. Here we experimentally manipulated live coral habitats to examine the potential independent and interactive effects of habitat loss and fragmentation on survival, abundance, and species richness of recruitment-stage, coral-associated reef fishes. Loss of 75% of live coral from experimental reefs resulted in low survival of a coral-associated damselfish and low abundance and richness of other recruits 16 weeks after habitat manipulations. In contrast, fragmentation had positive effects on damselfish survival and resulted in greater abundance and species richness of other recruits. We hypothesize that spacing of habitat through fragmentation weakens competition within and among species. Comparison of effect sizes over the course of the study period revealed that, in the first six weeks following habitat manipulations, the positive effects of fragmentation were at least four times stronger than the effects of habitat loss. This initial positive effect of fragmentation attenuated considerably after 16 weeks, whereas the negative effects of habitat loss increased in strength over time. There was little indication that the amount of habitat influenced the magnitude of the habitat fragmentation effect. Numerous studies have reported dramatic declines in coral reef fish abundance and diversity in response to disturbances that cause the loss and fragmentation of coral habitats. Our results suggest that these declines occur as a result of habitat loss, not habitat fragmentation. Positive fragmentation effects may actually buffer against the negative effects of habitat loss and contribute

  5. Does seaweed-coral competition make seaweeds more palatable?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longo, G. O.; Hay, M. E.

    2015-03-01

    Seaweed-coral interactions are increasingly common on modern coral reefs, but the dynamics, processes, and mechanisms affecting these interactions are inadequately understood. We investigated the frequency and effect of seaweed-coral contacts for common seaweeds and corals in Belize. Effects on corals were evaluated by measuring the frequency and extent of bleaching when contacted by various seaweeds, and effects on a common seaweed were evaluated by assessing whether contact with coral made the seaweed more palatable to the sea urchin Diadema antillarum. Coral-seaweed contacts were particularly frequent between Agaricia corals and the seaweed Halimeda opuntia, with this interaction being associated with coral bleaching in 95 % of contacts. Pooling across all coral species, H. opuntia was the seaweed most commonly contacting corals and most frequently associated with localized bleaching at the point of contact. Articulated coralline algae, Halimeda tuna and Lobophora variegata also frequently contacted corals and were commonly associated with bleaching. The common corals Agaricia and Porites bleached with similar frequency when contacted by H. opuntia (95 and 90 %, respectively), but Agaricia experienced more damage than Porites when contacted by articulated coralline algae or H. tuna. When spatially paired individuals of H. opuntia that had been in contact with Agaricia and not in contact with any coral were collected from the reefs and offered to D. antillarum, urchins consumed about 150 % more of thalli that had been competing with Agaricia. Contact and non-contact thalli did not differ in nutritional traits (ash-free-dry-mass, C or N concentrations), suggesting that Halimeda chemical defenses may have been compromised by coral-algal contact. If competition with corals commonly enhances seaweed palatability, then the dynamics and nuances of small-scale seaweed-coral-herbivore interactions at coral edges are deserving of greater attention in that such

  6. Cryptic effects of habitat declines: coral-associated fishes avoid coral-seaweed interactions due to visual and chemical cues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooker, Rohan M; Brandl, Simon J; Dixson, Danielle L

    2016-01-04

    Seaweed-dominated coral reefs are becoming increasingly common as environmental conditions shift away from those required by corals and toward those ideal for rampant seaweed growth. How coral-associated organisms respond to seaweed will not only impact their fate following environmental change but potentially also the trajectories of the coral communities on which they rely. However, behavioral responses by coral-associated organisms to seaweeds are poorly understood. This study examined interactions between a guild of obligate and opportunistic coral-feeding butterflyfishes (Chaetodontidae) and scleractinian corals to determine whether fishes continue to interact with corals in contact with seaweed or if they are avoided. Under natural conditions, all species interacted almost exclusively with seaweed-free corals. In a controlled patch reef experiment, fishes avoided corals in physical contact with seaweed, irrespective of dietary preferences. When visual seaweed cues were removed, butterflyfish continued to avoid corals that had been in contact with the allelopathic Galaxaura filamentosa, suggesting that chemical cues produced by coral-seaweed interactions are repellent. These findings suggest that, due to deleterious visual and chemical cues produced by coral-seaweed interactions, coral-associated organisms may struggle to locate resources as seaweed-free corals decline in abundance.

  7. Novel Genetic Diversity Through Somatic Mutations: Fuel for Adaptation of Reef Corals?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily J. Howells

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Adaptation of reef corals to climate change is an issue of much debate, and often viewed as too slow a process to be of relevance over decadal time scales. This notion is based on the long sexual generation times typical for some coral species. However, the importance of somatic mutations during asexual reproduction and growth on evolution and adaptation (i.e., cell lineage selection is rarely considered. Here we review the existing literature on cell lineage selection and show that the scope for somatic mutations to arise in the coral animal and associated Symbiodinium is large. For example, we estimate that ~100 million somatic mutations can arise within a branching Acropora coral colony of average size. Similarly, the large population sizes and rapid turn-over times of in hospite Symbiodinium likely result in considerable numbers of somatic mutations. While the fate of new mutations depends on many factors, including ploidy level and force and direction of selection, we argue that they likely play a key role in the evolution of reef corals.

  8. Evolution of body size, vision, and biodiversity of coral-associated organisms: evidence from fossil crustaceans in cold-water coral and tropical coral ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klompmaker, Adiël A; Jakobsen, Sten L; Lauridsen, Bodil W

    2016-06-16

    Modern cold-water coral and tropical coral environments harbor a highly diverse and ecologically important macrofauna of crustaceans that face elevated extinction risks due to reef decline. The effect of environmental conditions acting on decapod crustaceans comparing these two habitats is poorly understood today and in deep time. Here, we compare the biodiversity, eye socket height as a proxy for eye size, and body size of decapods in fossil cold-water and tropical reefs that formed prior to human disturbance. We show that decapod biodiversity is higher in fossil tropical reefs from The Netherlands, Italy, and Spain compared to that of the exceptionally well-preserved Paleocene (Danian) cold-water reef/mound ecosystem from Faxe (Denmark), where decapod diversity is highest in a more heterogeneous, mixed bryozoan-coral habitat instead of in coral and bryozoan-dominated facies. The relatively low diversity at Faxe was not influenced substantially by the preceding Cretaceous/Paleogene extinction event that is not apparent in the standing diversity of decapods in our analyses, or by sampling, preservation, and/or a latitudinal diversity gradient. Instead, the lower availability of food and fewer hiding places for decapods may explain this low diversity. Furthermore, decapods from Faxe are larger than those from tropical waters for half of the comparisons, which may be caused by a lower number of predators, the delayed maturity, and the increased life span of crustaceans in deeper, colder waters. Finally, deep-water specimens of the benthic crab Caloxanthus from Faxe exhibit a larger eye socket size compared to congeneric specimens from tropical reefs, suggesting that dim light conditions favored the evolution of relatively large eyes. The results suggest a strong habitat control on the biodiversity of crustaceans in coral-associated environments and that the diversity difference between deep, cold-water reefs and tropical reefs evolved at least ~63 million years ago

  9. Linking Wave Forcing to Coral Cover and Structural Complexity Across Coral Reef Flats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, D. L.; Rovere, A.; Parravicini, V.; Casella, E.

    2015-12-01

    The hydrodynamic regime is a significant component in the geomorphic and ecological development of coral reefs. The energy gradients and flow conditions generated by the breaking and transformation of waves across coral reef crests and flats drive changes in geomorphic structure, and coral growth form and distribution. One of the key aspects in regulating the wave energy propagating across reef flats is the rugosity or roughness of the benthic substrate. Rugosity and structural complexity of coral reefs is also a key indicator of species diversity, ecological functioning, and reef health. However, the links between reef rugosity, coral species distribution and abundance, and hydrodynamic forcing are poorly understood. In this study we examine this relationship by using high resolution measurement of waves in the surf zone and coral reef benthic structure.Pressure transducers (logging at 4 Hz) were deployed in cross reef transects at two sites (Tiahura and Ha'apiti reef systems) in Moorea, French Polynesia with wave characteristics determined on a wave by wave basis. A one dimensional hydrodynamic model (XBeach) was calibrated from this data to determine wave processes on the reef flats under average conditions. Transects of the reef benthic structure were conducted using photographic analysis and the three dimensional reef surface was constructed using structure from motion procedures. From this analysis reef rugosity, changes in coral genus and growth form, and across reef shifts in benthic community were determined. The results show clear changes in benthic assemblages along wave energy gradients with some indication of threshold values of wave induced bed shear stress above which live coral cover was reduced. Reef rugosity was shown to be significantly along the cross-reef transect which has important implications for accurate assessment of wave dissipation across coral reef flats. Links between reef rugosity and coral genus were also observed and may indicate

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lewis, S.E.; Brodie, J.E.; McCulloch, M.T.; Mallela, J.; Jupiter, S.D.; Stuart Williams, H.; Lough, J.M.; Matson, E.G.

    2012-01-01

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

  11. Coral Patch seamount (NE Atlantic) - a sedimentological and megafaunal reconnaissance based on video and hydroacoustic surveys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wienberg, C.; Wintersteller, P.; Beuck, L.; Hebbeln, D.

    2013-05-01

    The present study provides new knowledge about the so far largely unexplored Coral Patch seamount which is located in the NE Atlantic Ocean half-way between the Iberian Peninsula and Madeira. For the first time a detailed hydroacoustic mapping (MBES) in conjunction with video surveys (ROV, camera sled) were performed to describe the sedimentological and biological characteristics of this sub-elliptical ENE-WSW elongated seamount. Video observations were restricted to the southwestern summit area of Coral Patch seamount (water depth: 560-760 m) and revealed that this part of the summit is dominated by exposed hard substrate, whereas soft sediment is just a minor substrate component. Although exposed hardgrounds are dominant for this summit area and, thus, offer suitable habitat for settlement by benthic organisms, the benthic megafauna shows rather scarce occurrence. In particular, scleractinian framework-building cold-water corals are apparently rare with very few isolated and small-sized live occurrences of the species Lophelia pertusa and Madrepora oculata. In contrast, dead coral framework and coral rubble are more frequent pointing to a higher abundance of cold-water corals on Coral Patch during the recent past. This is even supported by the observation of fishing lines that got entangled with rather fresh-looking coral frameworks. Overall, long lines and various species of commercially important fish were frequently observed emphasising the potential of Coral Patch as an important target for fisheries that may have impacted the entire benthic community. Hydroacoustic seabed classification covered the entire summit of Coral Patch and its northern and southern flanks (water depth: 560-2660 m) and revealed extended areas dominated by mixed and soft sediments at the northern flank and to a minor degree at its easternmost summit and southern flank. Nevertheless, these data also predict most of the summit area to be dominated by exposed bedrock which would offer

  12. Coral Patch seamount (NE Atlantic) - a sedimentological and macrofaunal reconnaissance based on video and hydroacoustic surveys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wienberg, C.; Wintersteller, P.; Beuck, L.; Hebbeln, D.

    2012-12-01

    The present study provides new knowledge about the so far largely unexplored Coral Patch seamount which is located in the NE Atlantic Ocean half-way between the Iberian Peninsula and Madeira. For the first time a detailed hydroacoustic mapping (MBES) in conjunction with video surveys (ROV, camera sled) were performed to describe the sedimentological and biological characteristics of this sub-elliptical ENE-WSW elongated seamount. Video observations were restricted to the south-western summit area of Coral Patch seamount (area: ~ 8 km2, water depth: 560-760 m) and revealed that this part of the summit is dominated by exposed hard substrate, whereas soft sediment is just a minor substrate component. Although exposed hardgrounds are dominant for this summit area, and thus, offer suitable habitat for settlement by benthic organisms, the macrofauna shows rather low abundance and diversity. In particular, scleractinian framework-building cold-water corals are apparently rare with very few isolated and small-sized live occurrences of the species Lophelia pertusa and Madrepora oculata. In contrast, dead coral framework and coral rubble are more frequent pointing to a higher abundance of cold-water corals on Coral Patch during the recent past. This is even supported by the observation of fishing lines that got entangled with rather fresh-looking coral frameworks. Overall, long lines and various species of commercially important fish were frequently observed emphasising the potential of Coral Patch as an important target for fisheries that may have impacted the entire benthic community. Hydroacoustic seabed classification covered the entire summit of Coral Patch and its northern and southern flanks (area: 560 km2; water depth: 560-2660 m) and revealed extended areas dominated by mixed and soft sediments at the northern flank and to a minor degree at its easternmost summit and southern flank. Nevertheless, also these data predict most of the summit area to be dominated by

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  14. Corals like it waxed: paraffin-based antifouling technology enhances coral spat survival.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Tebben

    Full Text Available The early post-settlement stage is the most sensitive during the life history of reef building corals. However, few studies have examined the factors that influence coral mortality during this period. Here, the impact of fouling on the survival of newly settled coral spat of Acropora millepora was investigated by manipulating the extent of fouling cover on settlement tiles using non-toxic, wax antifouling coatings. Survival of spat on coated tiles was double that on control tiles. Moreover, there was a significant negative correlation between percentage cover of fouling and spat survival across all tiles types, suggesting that fouling in direct proximity to settled corals has detrimental effects on early post-settlement survival. While previous studies have shown that increased fouling negatively affects coral larval settlement and health of juvenile and adult corals, to the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to show a direct relationship between fouling and early post-settlement survival for a broadcast spawning scleractinian coral. The negative effects of fouling on this sensitive life history stage may become more pronounced in the future as coastal eutrophication increases. Our results further suggest that targeted seeding of coral spat on artificial surfaces in combination with fouling control could prove useful to improve the efficiency of sexual reproduction-based coral propagation for reef rehabilitation.

  15. "The Coral Reef Micro-Canopy": A New Concept in Coral Ecophysiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wangpraseurt, D.; Kühl, M.

    2016-02-01

    Terrestrial plant canopies are highly optimised photosynthetic systems. The high photosynthetic efficiency is achieved on a systems level and is the result of two characteristic traits: 1) the incident irradiance is strongly diffused and redistributed by elements of the canopy and 2) the photosynthetic apparatus is photoacclimated to the local light environment. Our recent studies of coral tissue optics and in vivo photosynthesis have revealed that similar canopy characteristics occur on a microscale within the coral tissue. In the present talk we propose the "Coral Micro-Canopy" theory. We reveal new insight into the light handling strategies of coral tissues and then show how such light management can optimise photosynthesis, both on the algal cell level and on the tissue systems level. We propose that coral tissue optical properties and Symbiodinium photoadaptation in response to local light microgradients within the tissue work in concert to optimise energy acquisition of the coral tissue system. We argue that the evolution of flexible light scattering tissues is an important feature that enables highly efficient photosynthesis in symbiont-bearing corals. The coral micro-canopy theory is discussed with respect to our basic understanding of coral ecophysiology and stress physiology.

  16. Changes in Biodiversity and Functioning of Reef Fish Assemblages following Coral Bleaching and Coral Loss

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas A.J. Graham

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Coral reef ecosystems are increasingly subject to severe, large-scale disturbances caused by climate change (e.g., coral bleaching and other more direct anthropogenic impacts. Many of these disturbances cause coral loss and corresponding changes in habitat structure, which has further important effects on abundance and diversity of coral reef fishes. Declines in the abundance and diversity of coral reef fishes are of considerable concern, given the potential loss of ecosystem function. This study explored the effects of coral loss, recorded in studies conducted throughout the world, on the diversity of fishes and also on individual responses of fishes within different functional groups. Extensive (>60% coral loss almost invariably led to declines in fish diversity. Moreover, most fishes declined in abundance following acute disturbances that caused >10% declines in local coral cover. Response diversity, which is considered critical in maintaining ecosystem function and promoting resilience, was very low for corallivores, but was much higher for herbivores, omnivores and carnivores. Sustained and ongoing climate change thus poses a significant threat to coral reef ecosystems and diversity hotspots are no less susceptible to projected changes in diversity and function.

  17. Changes in biodiversity and functioning of reef fish assemblages following coral bleaching and coral loss

    KAUST Repository

    Pratchett, M.S.

    2011-08-12

    Coral reef ecosystems are increasingly subject to severe, large-scale disturbances caused by climate change (e.g., coral bleaching) and other more direct anthropogenic impacts. Many of these disturbances cause coral loss and corresponding changes in habitat structure, which has further important effects on abundance and diversity of coral reef fishes. Declines in the abundance and diversity of coral reef fishes are of considerable concern, given the potential loss of ecosystem function. This study explored the effects of coral loss, recorded in studies conducted throughout the world, on the diversity of fishes and also on individual responses of fishes within different functional groups. Extensive (>60%) coral loss almost invariably led to declines in fish diversity. Moreover, most fishes declined in abundance following acute disturbances that caused >10% declines in local coral cover. Response diversity, which is considered critical in maintaining ecosystem function and promoting resilience, was very low for corallivores, but was much higher for herbivores, omnivores and carnivores. Sustained and ongoing climate change thus poses a significant threat to coral reef ecosystems and diversity hotspots are no less susceptible to projected changes in diversity and function.

  18. Coral reef fish assemblages at Clipperton Atoll (Eastern Tropical Pacific and their relationship with coral cover

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aurora M. Ricart

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Clipperton Atoll, one of the most isolated coral reefs worldwide, is of great scientific interest due to its geomorphology and high levels of endemism. This study explored the reef fish assemblage structure of Clipperton Atoll and its relationship with live coral cover. Nine stations were sampled at three sites and three depths (6, 12 and 20 m around the reef, measuring fish species richness and biomass and hermatypic coral cover (at genus level. We evaluated variation in species richness, biomass and diversity of fish assemblages among sites and depths, as well as the relationship between the entire fish assemblage composition and live coral cover. The results showed that species richness and biomass were similar among sites, but differed across depths, increasing with depth. In contrast, diversity differed among sites but not among depths. Multivariate analyses indicated that fish assemblage composition differed among sites and depths in relation to changes in cover of coral of the genera Pocillopora, Porites, Pavona and Leptoseris, which dominate at different depths. The results showed that fish species richness and diversity were low at Clipperton Atoll and that, in isolated coral reefs with a low habitat heterogeneity and low human disturbance, live coral cover has a significant influence on the spatial variation of the reef fish assemblages. This study highlights the importance of coral habitat structure in shaping coral reef fish assemblages.

  19. The diversity of coral reefs: what are we missing?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laetitia Plaisance

    Full Text Available Tropical reefs shelter one quarter to one third of all marine species but one third of the coral species that construct reefs are now at risk of extinction. Because traditional methods for assessing reef diversity are extremely time consuming, taxonomic expertise for many groups is lacking, and marine organisms are thought to be less vulnerable to extinction, most discussions of reef conservation focus on maintenance of ecosystem services rather than biodiversity loss. In this study involving the three major oceans with reef growth, we provide new biodiversity estimates based on quantitative sampling and DNA barcoding. We focus on crustaceans, which are the second most diverse group of marine metazoans. We show exceptionally high numbers of crustacean species associated with coral reefs relative to sampling effort (525 species from a combined, globally distributed sample area of 6.3 m(2. The high prevalence of rare species (38% encountered only once, the low level of spatial overlap (81% found in only one locality and the biogeographic patterns of diversity detected (Indo-West Pacific>Central Pacific>Caribbean are consistent with results from traditional survey methods, making this approach a reliable and efficient method for assessing and monitoring biodiversity. The finding of such large numbers of species in a small total area suggests that coral reef diversity is seriously under-detected using traditional survey methods, and by implication, underestimated.

  20. Modern coral reefs of western Atlantic: new geological perspective

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    MacIntyre, I.G.

    1988-11-01

    Contrary to popular belief of the late 1960s, western Atlantic Holocene reefs have a long history and are not feeble novice nearshore veneers that barely survived postglacial temperatures. Rather, the growth of these reefs kept pace with the rising seas of the Holocene transgression and their development was, for the most part, controlled by offshore wave-energy conditions and the relationship between changing sea levels and local shelf topography. Thus, the outer shelves of the eastern Caribbean in areas of high energy have relict reefs consisting predominantly of Acropora palmata, a robust shallow-water coral. The flooding of adjacent shelves during the postglacial transgression introduced stress conditions that terminated the growth of these reefs. When, about 7000 yr ago, shelf-water conditions improved, scattered deeper water coral communities reestablished themselves on these stranded shelf-edge reefs, and fringing and bank-barrier reefs began to flourish in shallow coastal areas. At the same time, the fragile and rapidly growing Acropora cervicornis and other corals flourished at greater depths on the more protected shelves of the western Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. As a result, late Holocene buildups more than 30 m thick developed in those areas. 7 figures.

  1. Radiocarbon Based Ages and Growth Rates: Hawaiian Deep Sea Corals

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Roark, E B; Guilderson, T P; Dunbar, R B; Ingram, B L

    2006-01-13

    The radial growth rates and ages of three different groups of Hawaiian deep-sea 'corals' were determined using radiocarbon measurements. Specimens of Corallium secundum, Gerardia sp., and Leiopathes glaberrima, were collected from 450 {+-} 40 m at the Makapuu deep-sea coral bed using a submersible (PISCES V). Specimens of Antipathes dichotoma were collected at 50 m off Lahaina, Maui. The primary source of carbon to the calcitic C. secundum skeleton is in situ dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC). Using bomb {sup 14}C time markers we calculate radial growth rates of {approx} 170 {micro}m y{sup -1} and ages of 68-75 years on specimens as tall as 28 cm of C. secundum. Gerardia sp., A. dichotoma, and L. glaberrima have proteinaceous skeletons and labile particulate organic carbon (POC) is their primary source of architectural carbon. Using {sup 14}C we calculate a radial growth rate of 15 {micro}m y{sup -1} and an age of 807 {+-} 30 years for a live collected Gerardia sp., showing that these organisms are extremely long lived. Inner and outer {sup 14}C measurements on four sub-fossil Gerardia spp. samples produce similar growth rate estimates (range 14-45 {micro}m y{sup -1}) and ages (range 450-2742 years) as observed for the live collected sample. Similarly, with a growth rate of < 10 {micro}m y{sup -1} and an age of {approx}2377 years, L. glaberrima at the Makapuu coral bed, is also extremely long lived. In contrast, the shallow-collected A. dichotoma samples yield growth rates ranging from 130 to 1,140 {micro}m y{sup -1}. These results show that Hawaiian deep-sea corals grow more slowly and are older than previously thought.

  2. Empty Niches after Extinctions Increase Population Sizes of Modern Corals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prada, Carlos; Hanna, Bishoy; Budd, Ann F; Woodley, Cheryl M; Schmutz, Jeremy; Grimwood, Jane; Iglesias-Prieto, Roberto; Pandolfi, John M; Levitan, Don; Johnson, Kenneth G; Knowlton, Nancy; Kitano, Hiroaki; DeGiorgio, Michael; Medina, Mónica

    2016-12-05

    Large environmental fluctuations often cause mass extinctions, extirpating species and transforming communities [1, 2]. While the effects on community structure are evident in the fossil record, demographic consequences for populations of individual species are harder to evaluate because fossils reveal relative, but not absolute, abundances. However, genomic analyses of living species that have survived a mass extinction event offer the potential for understanding the demographic effects of such environmental fluctuations on extant species. Here, we show how environmental variation since the Pliocene has shaped demographic changes in extant corals of the genus Orbicella, major extant reef builders in the Caribbean that today are endangered. We use genomic approaches to estimate previously unknown current and past population sizes over the last 3 million years. Populations of all three Orbicella declined around 2-1 million years ago, coincident with the extinction of at least 50% of Caribbean coral species. The estimated changes in population size are consistent across the three species despite their ecological differences. Subsequently, two shallow-water specialists expanded their population sizes at least 2-fold, over a time that overlaps with the disappearance of their sister competitor species O. nancyi (the organ-pipe Orbicella). Our study suggests that populations of Orbicella species are capable of rebounding from reductions in population size under suitable conditions and that the effective population size of modern corals provides rich standing genetic variation for corals to adapt to climate change. For conservation genetics, our study suggests the need to evaluate genetic variation under appropriate demographic models. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Paleobiogeography of scleractinian reef corals: Changing patterns during the Oligocene-Miocene climatic transition in the Mediterranean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perrin, Christine; Bosellini, Francesca R.

    2012-02-01

    During the Oligocene-Miocene Greenhouse-to-Icehouse climatic transition, the biogeography of reef corals or zooxanthellate-like scleractinian corals was gradually changing from a pan-tropical Tethyan Province in the Eocene to three reef-coral Provinces of the Western Atlantic-Caribbean, Indo-Pacific and Mediterranean. Our REEFCORAL database encompasses updated and homogenized data on paleoenvironmental and systematics of scleractinian corals occurring in the Oligocene and Miocene outcrops from circum-Mediterranean regions, provided by most of relatively recently published data in the literature and by the study of published and unpublished collections of coral specimens from the same area, including the important collections housed at the MNHN (Paris) and our own collections. As there is no validated direct criterion for the identification of the coral-zooxanthellate symbiosis in the fossil record, and considering the difficulty to use the biogeochemical approaches in the context of this study, the subjectivity of the morphological criteria and the relative recent age of the fossil corals we are dealing with, a uniformitarian approach has been used for inferring the symbiotic status of scleractinian genera in REEFCORAL. Among the 158 genera included in our database, 93 can be considered as zooxanthellate and 10 have a doubtful zooxanthellate status. This relatively exhaustive database was used to reconstruct the temporal and spatial distribution of scleractinian corals in the Mediterranean during the Oligocene-Miocene time in order to discuss the interplaying effects of the global cooling at that time, the re-organization of the Tethyan realm resulting from the African, Arabian and Eurasian plate collision and the emergence of the Alpine chains, driving the gradual northward movement of the whole region outside the tropical/subtropical belt. It is shown that the structure of the Mediterranean z-coral Oligocene-Miocene paleobiodiversity was characterized by many

  4. Coping with commitment: Projecting future thermal stress on coral reefs worldwide and the potential importance of the Central Equatorial Pacific

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donner, S. D.

    2009-05-01

    Sea surface temperatures of only 1-2°C greater than the usual summer maximum can cause mass coral bleaching, a paling of the reef-building animals caused by a breakdown of the symbiosis with the colourful dinoflagellates Symbiodinium. A range of recent studies have concluded that anthropogenic climate change may rapidly increase the frequency of mass coral bleaching events, leading to declines in coral cover, shifts in the composition of corals and other reef-dwelling organisms, and stress on the human populations that depend on coral reef ecosystems for food, income and shoreline protection. Recent analysis with AVHRR observed sea surface temperatures and the results of two global climate models (GFDL CM2.0 and CM2.1) shows physical warming commitment from current accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will cause over half of the world's coral reefs to experience harmfully frequent (p > 0.2 year-1) severe thermal stress events (DHM > 2°C/month) by 2080. An additional "societal" warming commitment, caused by the time required to shift from a "business-as-usual" emissions trajectory to a 550 ppm CO2 stabilization trajectory, may cause over 80 percent of the world's coral reefs to experience harmfully frequent events by 2030. Thermal adaptation or acclimation of 1.5°C - whether accomplished via biological mechanisms, coral community shifts and/or management interventions - would postpone the forecast by 50-80 years, possibly providing time for the world to shift from the business-as-usual emissions trajectory to a stabilization trajectory which could protect the majority of reefs from harmfully frequent thermal stress events. Sensitivity analysis using historical sea surface temperatures, bleaching reports and coral cover observations indicates that coral reefs in regions which experience high year-to-year SST variability, in particular the atolls of the central equatorial Pacific, may possess higher thermal stress thresholds and greater resistance to

  5. A comparison between the 2010 and 2016 El-Ninō induced coral bleaching in the Indonesian waters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wouthuyzen, Sam; Abrar, M.; Lorwens, J.

    2018-02-01

    Severe coral bleaching events are always associated with El-Ninō phenomenon which caused a rise in ocean temperature between 1-2°C and that they potentially kill the corals worldwide. There were at least four severe coral bleaching events occurred in the Indonesian waters. This study aims to compare the coral bleaching events of the 2010 and 2016 and their impact on corals in Indonesian waters. Long-term (2002-2017) remotely sensed night time sea surface temperature (SST) data acquired from Aqua MODIS Satellite were used in the analysis. Here, we calculated the mean monthly maximum (MMM)of SST as SST in normal condition in which coral can adapt to temperature; the differences between high SST in each pixel during coral bleaching events of the 2010/2016 and MMM SST, called hot spot (HS); and how long has HS occupied a certain water body, called degree of heating weeks (DHW, °C-week) and then mapped it. Results show that the MMM SST for the Indonesian waters is 29.1°C. Both bleaching events of 2010 and 2016 started and finished in the same periods of Mar-Jun and they nearly have the same pattern, but bleaching magnitude of the 2016 was stronger than 2010 with the mean SST about 0.4°C higher in May-June. The percentage of impacted areas of strong thermal stress on corals of Alert-1 plus Alert-2 status was higher in 2016 (39.4%) compared to 2010 (31.3%). Coral bleaching events in the 2010 and 2016 spread in almost all Indonesian waters and relatively occurred in the same places but with small variation in the bleaching sites that was caused by the strength/weakness of El-Ninō and upwelling phenomenon as well as the role of Indonesian through flow (ITF).

  6. The distribution of reef-corals in the Indian Ocean with a historical review of its investigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheer, Georg

    The investigation of corals started with Forskål in the Red Sea in 1775. The knowledge of the corals of the Indian Ocean was acquired and enlarged during many expeditions. In 1954, Wells compiled a table showing the distribution of Indo-Pacific hermatypic coral genera, and presented the data on a map of the Indo-Pacific, including ten locations for the Indian Ocean. More recent expeditions have continued to enlarge our knowledge and in 1971 Rosen again compiled a similar table, but only for the Indian Ocean. Rosen plotted the numbers of genera found at 57 locations on a map. In the 12 years since Rosen's paper much more information has been published, and so the map has been updated. The plot of numbers of genera at 53 locations shows a belt of high diversity extending from South Mozambique to the Maldives including Madagascar, Mauritius, the Seychelles and the Chagos Archipelago. Further centres occur in the Red Sea, including the Gulf of Aqaba, and the area near Phuket Thailand. A comparison of the corals of the Indian and Pacific Oceans shows that a great number of coral genera is common to both oceans, so there is a uniform Indo-Pacific Reef Region which contrasts with the Atlantic Reef Region. The Indian Ocean has 11 endemic coral genera. Some of the ecological factors controlling the horizontal distribution of the corals are temperature, salinity, currents and sedimentation. But hostile animals and pollution are of influence. Finally, the time which has been spent investigating reefs and collecting corals can seriously limit our knowledge of the distribution of coral genera, and introduces an element of uncertainty into our interpretations of the data.

  7. The urgent need for robust coral disease diagnostics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F Joseph Pollock

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Coral disease has emerged over recent decades as a significant threat to coral reef ecosystems, with declines in coral cover and diversity of Caribbean reefs providing an example of the potential impacts of disease at regional scales. If similar trends are to be mitigated or avoided on reefs worldwide, a deeper understanding of the factors underlying the origin and spread of coral diseases and the steps that can be taken to prevent, control, or reduce their impacts is required. In recent years, an increased focus on coral microbiology and the application of classic culture techniques and emerging molecular technologies has revealed several coral pathogens that could serve as targets for novel coral disease diagnostic tools. The ability to detect and quantify microbial agents identified as indicators of coral disease will aid in the elucidation of disease causation and facilitate coral disease detection and diagnosis, pathogen monitoring in individuals and ecosystems, and identification of pathogen sources, vectors, and reservoirs. This information will advance the field of coral disease research and contribute knowledge necessary for effective coral reef management. This paper establishes the need for sensitive and specific molecular-based coral pathogen detection, outlines the emerging technologies that could serve as the basis of a new generation of coral disease diagnostic assays, and addresses the unique challenges inherent to the application of these techniques to environmentally derived coral samples.

  8. Facilitation in Caribbean coral reefs: high densities of staghorn coral foster greater coral condition and reef fish composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huntington, Brittany E; Miller, Margaret W; Pausch, Rachel; Richter, Lee

    2017-05-01

    Recovery of the threatened staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis) is posited to play a key role in Caribbean reef resilience. At four Caribbean locations (including one restored and three extant populations), we quantified characteristics of contemporary staghorn coral across increasing conspecific densities, and investigated a hypothesis of facilitation between staghorn coral and reef fishes. High staghorn densities in the Dry Tortugas exhibited significantly less partial mortality, higher branch growth, and supported greater fish abundances compared to lower densities within the same population. In contrast, partial mortality, branch growth, and fish community composition did not vary with staghorn density at the three other study locations where staghorn densities were lower overall. This suggests that density-dependent effects between the coral and fish community may only manifest at high staghorn densities. We then evaluated one facilitative mechanism for such density-dependence, whereby abundant fishes sheltering in dense staghorn aggregations deliver nutrients back to the coral, fueling faster coral growth, thereby creating more fish habitat. Indeed, dense staghorn aggregations within the Dry Tortugas exhibited significantly higher growth rates, tissue nitrogen, and zooxanthellae densities than sparse aggregations. Similarly, higher tissue nitrogen was induced in a macroalgae bioassay outplanted into the same dense and sparse aggregations, confirming greater bioavailability of nutrients at high staghorn densities. Our findings inform staghorn restoration efforts, suggesting that the most effective targets may be higher coral densities than previously thought. These coral-dense aggregations may reap the benefits of positive facilitation between the staghorn and fish community, favoring the growth and survivorship of this threatened species.

  9. Testing coral-based tropical cyclone reconstructions: An example from Puerto Rico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilbourne, K. Halimeda; Moyer, Ryan P.; Quinn, Terrence M.; Grottoli, Andrea G.

    2011-01-01

    Complimenting modern records of tropical cyclone activity with longer historical and paleoclimatological records would increase our understanding of natural tropical cyclone variability on decadal to centennial time scales. Tropical cyclones produce large amounts of precipitation with significantly lower δ18O values than normal precipitation, and hence may be geochemically identifiable as negative δ18O anomalies in marine carbonate δ18O records. This study investigates the usefulness of coral skeletal δ18O as a means of reconstructing past tropical cyclone events. Isotopic modeling of rainfall mixing with seawater shows that detecting an isotopic signal from a tropical cyclone in a coral requires a salinity of ~ 33 psu at the time of coral growth, but this threshold is dependent on the isotopic composition of both fresh and saline end-members. A comparison between coral δ18O and historical records of tropical cyclone activity, river discharge, and precipitation from multiple sites in Puerto Rico shows that tropical cyclones are not distinguishable in the coral record from normal rainfall using this approach at these sites.

  10. Temporal comparison and predictors of fish species abundance and richness on undisturbed coral reef patches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, Elena L E S; Roche, Dominique G; Binning, Sandra A; Wismer, Sharon; Bshary, Redouan

    2015-01-01

    Large disturbances can cause rapid degradation of coral reef communities, but what baseline changes in species assemblages occur on undisturbed reefs through time? We surveyed live coral cover, reef fish abundance and fish species richness in 1997 and again in 2007 on 47 fringing patch reefs of varying size and depth at Mersa Bareika, Ras Mohammed National Park, Egypt. No major human or natural disturbance event occurred between these two survey periods in this remote protected area. In the absence of large disturbances, we found that live coral cover, reef fish abundance and fish species richness did not differ in 1997 compared to 2007. Fish abundance and species richness on patches was largely related to the presence of shelters (caves and/or holes), live coral cover and patch size (volume). The presence of the ectoparasite-eating cleaner wrasse, Labroides dimidiatus, was also positively related to fish species richness. Our results underscore the importance of physical reef characteristics, such as patch size and shelter availability, in addition to biotic characteristics, such as live coral cover and cleaner wrasse abundance, in supporting reef fish species richness and abundance through time in a relatively undisturbed and understudied region.

  11. Temporal comparison and predictors of fish species abundance and richness on undisturbed coral reef patches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena L.E.S. Wagner

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Large disturbances can cause rapid degradation of coral reef communities, but what baseline changes in species assemblages occur on undisturbed reefs through time? We surveyed live coral cover, reef fish abundance and fish species richness in 1997 and again in 2007 on 47 fringing patch reefs of varying size and depth at Mersa Bareika, Ras Mohammed National Park, Egypt. No major human or natural disturbance event occurred between these two survey periods in this remote protected area. In the absence of large disturbances, we found that live coral cover, reef fish abundance and fish species richness did not differ in 1997 compared to 2007. Fish abundance and species richness on patches was largely related to the presence of shelters (caves and/or holes, live coral cover and patch size (volume. The presence of the ectoparasite-eating cleaner wrasse, Labroides dimidiatus, was also positively related to fish species richness. Our results underscore the importance of physical reef characteristics, such as patch size and shelter availability, in addition to biotic characteristics, such as live coral cover and cleaner wrasse abundance, in supporting reef fish species richness and abundance through time in a relatively undisturbed and understudied region.

  12. Linking coral river runoff proxies with climate variability, hydrology and land-use in Madagascar catchments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maina, Joseph; de Moel, Hans; Vermaat, Jan E; Bruggemann, J Henrich; Guillaume, Mireille M M; Grove, Craig A; Madin, Joshua S; Mertz-Kraus, Regina; Zinke, Jens

    2012-10-01

    Understanding the linkages between coastal watersheds and adjacent coral reefs is expected to lead to better coral reef conservation strategies. Our study aims to examine the main predictors of environmental proxies recorded in near shore corals and therefore how linked near shore reefs are to the catchment physical processes. To achieve these, we developed models to simulate hydrology of two watersheds in Madagascar. We examined relationships between environmental proxies derived from massive Porites spp. coral cores (spectral luminescence and barium/calcium ratios), and corresponding time-series (1950-2006) data of hydrology, climate, land use and human population growth. Results suggest regional differences in the main environmental drivers of reef sedimentation: on annual time-scales, precipitation, river flow and sediment load explained the variability in coral proxies of river discharge for the northeast region, while El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and temperature (air and sea surface) were the best predictors in the southwest region. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Evidence for rapid, tide-related shifts in the microbiome of the coral Coelastrea aspera

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sweet, M. J.; Brown, B. E.; Dunne, R. P.; Singleton, I.; Bulling, M.

    2017-09-01

    Shifts in the microbiome of the intertidal coral Coelastrea aspera (formally known as Goniastrea aspera) from Phuket, Thailand, were noted over the course of a 4-d period of spring tides. During this time, corals were naturally exposed to high temperatures, intense solar radiation, sub-aerial exposure and tidally induced water fluxes. Analysis of the 16S microbiome highlighted that the corals harbored both `core or stable' communities and those which appeared to be more `transient or sporadic.' Only relatively few microbial associates were classified as core microbes; the majority were transient or sporadic. Such transient associates were likely to have been governed by tidally induced variations in mucus thickness and water fluxes. Here we report strong shifts in the bacterial community of C. aspera over a short temporal scale. However, we also show significant differences in the timing of shifts between the two age groups of corals studied. More rapid changes (within 2 d of sub-aerial exposure) occurred within the 4-yr-old colonies, but a slightly delayed response was observed in the 10-yr-old colonies, whereby the microbial associates only changed after 4 d. We hypothesize that these shifts are age related and could be influenced by the observed baseline differences in the microbiome of the 4- and 10-yr-old corals, bacteria-bacteria interactions, and/or host energetics.

  14. Fossil corals and speleothems as markers of past sea levels: towards a consistent global repository

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hibbert, Fiona; Rohling, Eelco; Chutcharavan, Peter; Dutton, Andrea; Zhao, Cheng; Williams, Felicity

    2015-04-01

    Coral benchmarks and speleothem records are valuable markers of past sea level. They are however, heterogeneous in both their geographic location and occurrence in time. Additionally, methodological (e.g. open system behaviour within 230Th/238U-series dating), local tectonic (i.e. site specific subsidence/uplift), and isostatic influences complicate their interpretation as markers of past sea level. In the fossil record, additional processes can affect corals (taphonomy, diagenesis etc.), which in tandem with a limited 2-D (section) or 1-D (drill-core) perspective may not capture the heterogeneous reef structure evident in most modern coral reefs. In addition, the relationship between the elevation of the fossil coral and former sea levels often remains insufficiently constrained. Nonetheless, they remain a preeminent method for reconstructing and evaluating former sea levels during the Late Quaternary. Our compilation of U-series dated corals is unique as we use modern ecological depth habitat constraints to refine our reconstructions. To support the growing awareness within the palaeoclimate community of the importance of coral habitat, we provide both global and regional depth habitat ranges for each species in our reconstruction of past sea levels. As such we present an internally consistent global compilation of coral benchmarks (building on the compilations of Medina-Elizalde, 2012 and Dutton and Lambeck, 2012) containing >100 studies. We include a rigorous consideration of each error term associated with these records, such as: age, depth habitat, elevation measurement, and uplift correction. We apply commonly employed age screening methods (δ234Uinitial and detrital 230Th concentrations). This includes consideration of stratigraphic integrity, replication (and any concordant age determinations) and validation of assumptions (e.g. uplift rates), where possible. We also present a new compilation of speleothem sea level markers (both U-series and radiocarbon

  15. Analytical pyrolysis-based study on intra-skeletal organic matrices from Mediterranean corals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adamiano, Alessio; Goffredo, Stefano; Dubinsky, Zvy; Levy, Oren; Fermani, Simona; Fabbri, Daniele; Falini, Giuseppe

    2014-09-01

    Off-line analytical pyrolysis combined with gas chromatography–mass spectroscopy (GC–MS), directly or after trimethylsilylation, along with infrared spectroscopy and amino acid analysis was applied for the first time to the characterization of the intra-skeletal organic matrix (OM) extracted from four Mediterranean hard corals. They were diverse in growth form and trophic strategy namely Balanophyllia europaea and Leptopsammia pruvoti—solitary corals, only the first having zooxanthelle—and Cladocora caespitosa and Astroides calycularis—colonial corals, only the first with zooxanthelle. Pyrolysis products evolved from OM could be assigned to lipid (e.g. fatty acids, fatty alcohols, monoacylglicerols), protein (e.g. 2,5-diketopiperazines, DKPs) and polysaccharide (e.g. anhydrosugars) precursors. Their quantitative distribution showed for all the species a low protein content with respect to lipids and polysaccharides. A chemometric approach using principal component analysis (PCA) and clustering analysis was applied on OM mean amino acidic compositions. The small compositional diversity across coral species was tentatively related with coral growth form. The presence of N-acetyl glucosamine markers suggested a functional link with other calcified tissues containing chitin. The protein fraction was further investigated using novel DKP markers tentatively identified from analytical pyrolysis of model polar linear dipeptides. Again, no correlation was observed in relation to coral ecology. These analytical results revealed that the bulk structure and composition of OMs among studied corals are similar, as it is the textural organization of the skeleton mineralized units. Therefore, they suggest that coral’s biomineralization is governed by similar macromolecules, and probably mechanisms, independently from their ecology.

  16. Seawater 234U/238U recorded by modern and fossil corals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chutcharavan, Peter M.; Dutton, Andrea; Ellwood, Michael J.

    2018-03-01

    U-series dating of corals is a crucial tool for generating absolute chronologies of Late Quaternary sea-level change and calibrating the radiocarbon timescale. Unfortunately, coralline aragonite is susceptible to post-depositional alteration of its primary geochemistry. One screening technique used to identify unaltered corals relies on the back-calculation of initial 234U/238U activity (δ234Ui) at the time of coral growth and implicitly assumes that seawater δ234U has remained constant during the Late Quaternary. Here, we test this assumption using the most comprehensive compilation to date of coral U-series measurements. Unlike previous compilations, this study normalizes U-series measurements to the same decay constants and corrects for offsets in interlaboratory calibrations, thus reducing systematic biases between reported δ234U values. Using this approach, we reassess (a) the value of modern seawater δ234U, and (b) the evolution of seawater δ234U over the last deglaciation. Modern coral δ234U values (145.0 ± 1.5‰) agree with previous measurements of seawater and modern corals only once the data have been normalized. Additionally, fossil corals in the surface ocean display δ234Ui values that are ∼5-7‰ lower during the last glacial maximum regardless of site, taxon, or diagenetic setting. We conclude that physical weathering of U-bearing minerals exposed during ice sheet retreat drives the increase in δ234U observed in the oceans, a mechanism that is consistent with the interpretation of the seawater Pb-isotope signal over the same timescale.

  17. Massive hard coral loss after a severe bleaching event in 2010 at Los Roques, Venezuela

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolina Bastidas

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Thermal anomalies have become more severe, frequent and well-documented across the Caribbean for the past 30 years. This increase in temperature has caused coral bleaching resulting in reef decline. At Los Roques National Park, Venezuela, temperature has been monitored at four reef sites. In mid-September 2010, seawater temperature reached 30.85°C at 5 m depth in Los Roques, an archipelago only slightly affected by previous bleaching events. For example, bleaching in Los Roques in 2005 was mild compared to the rest of the Caribbean and to the results in this study. In 2010, seawater temperatures remained above 29.0°C from mid-August until the first week of November, resulting in +16 Degree Heating Weeks by that time. Our annual survey of four reef sites indicated that 72% of 563 scleractinian colonies were partial or totally bleached (white or pale (discolored in October 2010. In February 2011, there were still 46% of coral colonies affected; but most of them were pale and only 2% were bleached. By February, coral cover had declined 4 to 30% per transect, with a mean of 14.3%. Thus, mean coral cover dropped significantly from 45 to 31% cover (a 34% reduction. In addition to bleaching, corals showed a high prevalence (up to 16% of black band disease in October 2010 and of white plague (11% in February 2011. As a consequence, coral mortality is expected to be larger than reported here. Reef surveys since 2002 and personal observations for more than 20 years indicated that this bleaching event and its consequences in Los Roques have no precedent. Our results suggest that reef sites with no previous record of significant deterioration are more likely to become affected by thermal anomalies. However, this archipelago is relatively unaffected by local anthropogenic disturbance and has a high coral recruitment, which may contribute to its recovery

  18. Gene discovery in the threatened elkhorn coral: 454 sequencing of the Acropora palmata transcriptome.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas R Polato

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Cnidarians, including corals and anemones, offer unique insights into metazoan evolution because they harbor genetic similarities with vertebrates beyond that found in model invertebrates and retain genes known only from non-metazoans. Cataloging genes expressed in Acropora palmata, a foundation-species of reefs in the Caribbean and western Atlantic, will advance our understanding of the genetic basis of ecologically important traits in corals and comes at a time when sequencing efforts in other cnidarians allow for multi-species comparisons. RESULTS: A cDNA library from a sample enriched for symbiont free larval tissue was sequenced on the 454 GS-FLX platform. Over 960,000 reads were obtained and assembled into 42,630 contigs. Annotation data was acquired for 57% of the assembled sequences. Analysis of the assembled sequences indicated that 83-100% of all A. palmata transcripts were tagged, and provided a rough estimate of the total number genes expressed in our samples (~18,000-20,000. The coral annotation data contained many of the same molecular components as in the Bilateria, particularly in pathways associated with oxidative stress and DNA damage repair, and provided evidence that homologs of p53, a key player in DNA repair pathways, has experienced selection along the branch separating Cnidaria and Bilateria. Transcriptome wide screens of paralog groups and transition/transversion ratios highlighted genes including: green fluorescent proteins, carbonic anhydrase, and oxidative stress proteins; and functional groups involved in protein and nucleic acid metabolism, and the formation of structural molecules. These results provide a starting point for study of adaptive evolution in corals. CONCLUSIONS: Currently available transcriptome data now make comparative studies of the mechanisms underlying coral's evolutionary success possible. Here we identified candidate genes that enable corals to maintain genomic integrity despite

  19. Gene discovery in the threatened elkhorn coral: 454 sequencing of the Acropora palmata transcriptome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polato, Nicholas R; Vera, J Cristobal; Baums, Iliana B

    2011-01-01

    Cnidarians, including corals and anemones, offer unique insights into metazoan evolution because they harbor genetic similarities with vertebrates beyond that found in model invertebrates and retain genes known only from non-metazoans. Cataloging genes expressed in Acropora palmata, a foundation-species of reefs in the Caribbean and western Atlantic, will advance our understanding of the genetic basis of ecologically important traits in corals and comes at a time when sequencing efforts in other cnidarians allow for multi-species comparisons. A cDNA library from a sample enriched for symbiont free larval tissue was sequenced on the 454 GS-FLX platform. Over 960,000 reads were obtained and assembled into 42,630 contigs. Annotation data was acquired for 57% of the assembled sequences. Analysis of the assembled sequences indicated that 83-100% of all A. palmata transcripts were tagged, and provided a rough estimate of the total number genes expressed in our samples (~18,000-20,000). The coral annotation data contained many of the same molecular components as in the Bilateria, particularly in pathways associated with oxidative stress and DNA damage repair, and provided evidence that homologs of p53, a key player in DNA repair pathways, has experienced selection along the branch separating Cnidaria and Bilateria. Transcriptome wide screens of paralog groups and transition/transversion ratios highlighted genes including: green fluorescent proteins, carbonic anhydrase, and oxidative stress proteins; and functional groups involved in protein and nucleic acid metabolism, and the formation of structural molecules. These results provide a starting point for study of adaptive evolution in corals. Currently available transcriptome data now make comparative studies of the mechanisms underlying coral's evolutionary success possible. Here we identified candidate genes that enable corals to maintain genomic integrity despite considerable exposure to genotoxic stress over long life

  20. Behavioural thermoregulation in a temperature-sensitive coral reef fish, the five-lined cardinalfish (Cheilodipterus quinquelineatus)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nay, Tiffany J.; Johansen, Jacob L.; Habary, Adam

    2015-01-01

    provide a strategy to cope with changing conditions. A temperature-sensitive coral reef cardinalfish (Cheilodipterusquinquelineatus) was exposed to 28 °C (average at collection site) or 32 °C (predicted end-of-century) for 6 weeks. Tpref was determined using a shuttlebox system, which allowed fish...... than night-time movements. Understanding temperature-mediated movements is imperative for predicting how ocean warming will influence coral reef species and distribution patterns....

  1. MANGROVE-DERIVED NUTRIENTS AND CORAL REEFS

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  2. Precious Coral Sales Report Data Set

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This is a federally mandated sales log which collects information on sales of raw coral, including weight and revenue. Also includes seller and buyer information....

  3. 101 questions on corals: Towards awareness

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

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

    to nature and man-made changes, in every stakeholder, from local population through tourists to managers. This book serves such a purpose by answering most of the questions we ask everyday about corals and reefs....

  4. 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 ...

  5. Lithifying Microbes Associated to Coral Rubbles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beltran, Y.

    2015-12-01

    Microbial communities taking part in calcium carbonate lithification processes are particularly relevant to coral reef formation in as much as this lithification allows the stabilization of secondary reef structure. This second framework promotes long-term permanence of the reef, favoring the establishment of macro-reef builders, including corals. The reef-bacterial crusts formed by microbial communities are composed of magnesium calcite. Although prokaryotes are not proper calcifiers, carbonate precipitation can be induced by their metabolic activity and EPS production. Coral reefs are rapidly declining due to several variables associated to environmental change. Specifically in the Caribbean, stony coral Acropora palmata have suffered damage due to diseases, bleaching and storms. Some reports show that in highly disturbed areas wide ridges of reef rubbles are formed by biological and physical lithification. In this study we explore microbial diversity associated to lithified rubbles left after the great decline of reef-building A. palmata.

  6. Carbonate chemistry, water quality, coral measurements

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — Carbonate chemistry parameters (pH, total alkalinity, and pCO2), water quality parameters (Temperature, salinity, Ca, Mg, PO4, NH3 and NO3) as well as all coral...

  7. EOP Gold Coral (Gerardia sp.) Growth Measurements

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Gold coral (Gerardia sp.) trees that were inspected years earlier on Pisces submersible dives were revisited and their change in size measured. The fishery for...

  8. Radiogenic Isotopes As Paleoceanographic Tracers in Deep-Sea Corals: Advances in TIMS Measurements of Pb Isotopes and Application to Southern Ocean Corals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, D. J.; van de Flierdt, T.; Bridgestock, L. J.; Paul, M.; Rehkamper, M.; Robinson, L. F.; Adkins, J. F.

    2014-12-01

    Deep-sea corals have emerged as a valuable archive of deep ocean paleoceanographic change, with uranium-series dating providing absolute ages and the potential for centennial resolution. In combination with measurements of radiocarbon, neodymium isotopes and clumped isotopes, this archive has recently been exploited to reconstruct changes in ventilation, water mass sourcing and temperature in relation to millennial climate change. Lead (Pb) isotopes in both corals and seawater have also been used to track anthropogenic inputs through space and time and to trace transport pathways within the oceans. Better understanding of the oceanic Pb cycle is emerging from the GEOTRACES programme. However, while Pb isotopes have been widely used in environmental studies, their full potential as a (pre-anthropogenic) paleoceanographic tracer remains to be exploited. In deep-sea corals, challenges exist from low Pb concentrations in aragonite in comparison to secondary coatings, the potential for contamination, and the efficient elemental separation required for measurement by thermal ionisation mass spectrometry (TIMS). Here we discuss progress in measuring Pb isotopes in coral aragonite using a 207Pb-204Pb double spike on a ThermoFinnigan Triton TIMS. For a 2 ng NIST-981 Pb standard, the long term reproducibility (using 1011 Ω resistors) is ~1000 ppm (2 s.d.) on 206Pb/204Pb, 207Pb/204Pb and 208Pb/204Pb ratios. We now show that using a new 1012 Ω resistor to measure the small 204Pb beam improves the internal precision on these ratios from ~500 ppm (2 s.e.) to ~250 ppm (2 s.e.) and we envisage a potential improvement in the long term reproducibility as a consequence. We further assess the internal precision and external reproducibility of our method using a BCR-2 rock standard and an in-house coral standard. Preliminary evidence on the application of this method to natural samples is derived from cleaning experiments and replication tests on deep-sea corals from the Southern

  9. Linking coral reef health and human welfare

    OpenAIRE

    Walsh, Sheila Marie

    2009-01-01

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

  10. Metabolite Profiling of Red Sea Corals

    KAUST Repository

    Ortega, Jovhana Alejandra

    2016-12-01

    Looking at the metabolite profile of an organism provides insights into the metabolomic state of a cell and hence also into pathways employed. Little is known about the metabolites produced by corals and their algal symbionts. In particular, corals from the central Red Sea are understudied, but interesting study objects, as they live in one of the warmest and most saline environments and can provide clues as to the adjustment of corals to environmental change. In this study, we applied gas chromatography – mass spectrometry (GC–MS) metabolite profiling to analyze the metabolic profile of four coral species and their associated symbionts: Fungia granulosa, Acropora hemprichii, Porites lutea, and Pocillopora verrucosa. We identified and quantified 102 compounds among primary and secondary metabolites across all samples. F. granulosa and its symbiont showed a total of 59 metabolites which were similar to the 51 displayed by P. verrucosa. P. lutea and A. hemprichii both harbored 40 compounds in conjunction with their respective isolated algae. Comparing across species, 28 metabolites were exclusively present in algae, while 38 were exclusive to corals. A principal component and cluster analyses revealed that metabolite profiles clustered between corals and algae, but each species harbored a distinct catalog of metabolites. The major classes of compounds were carbohydrates and amino acids. Taken together, this study provides a first description of metabolites of Red Sea corals and their associated symbionts. As expected, the metabolites of coral hosts differ from their algal symbionts, but each host and algal species harbor a unique set of metabolites. This corroborates that host-symbiont species pairs display a fine-tuned complementary metabolism that provide insights into the specific nature of the symbiosis. Our analysis also revealed aquatic pollutants, which suggests that metabolite profiling might be used for monitoring pollution levels and assessing

  11. Inducing broadcast coral spawning ex situ: Closed system mesocosm design and husbandry protocol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Craggs, Jamie; Guest, James R; Davis, Michelle; Simmons, Jeremy; Dashti, Ehsan; Sweet, Michael

    2017-12-01

    For many corals, the timing of broadcast spawning correlates strongly with a number of environmental signals (seasonal temperature, lunar, and diel cycles). Robust experimental studies examining the role of these putative cues in triggering spawning have been lacking until recently because it has not been possible to predictably induce spawning in fully closed artificial mesocosms. Here, we present a closed system mesocosm aquarium design that utilizes microprocessor technology to accurately replicate environmental conditions, including photoperiod, seasonal insolation, lunar cycles, and seasonal temperature from Singapore and the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), Australia. Coupled with appropriate coral husbandry, these mesocosms were successful in inducing, for the first time, broadcast coral spawning in a fully closed artificial ex situ environment. Four Acropora species ( A. hyacinthus , A. tenuis , A. millepora , and A. microclados ) from two geographical locations, kept for over 1 year, completed full gametogenic cycles ex situ. The percentage of colonies developing oocytes varied from ~29% for A. hyacinthus to 100% for A. millepora and A. microclados . Within the Singapore mesocosm, A. hyacinthus exhibited the closest synchronization to wild spawning, with all four gravid colonies releasing gametes in the same lunar month as wild predicted dates. Spawning within the GBR mesocosm commenced at the predicted wild spawn date but extended over a period of 3 months. Gamete release in relation to the time postsunset for A. hyacinthus , A. millep ora, and A. tenuis was consistent with time windows previously described in the wild. Spawn date in relation to full moon, however, was delayed in all species, possibly as a result of external light pollution. The system described here could broaden the number of institutions on a global scale, that can access material for broadcast coral spawning research, providing opportunities for institutions distant from coral

  12. Chemically rich seaweeds poison corals when not controlled by herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasher, Douglas B; Hay, Mark E

    2010-05-25

    Coral reefs are in dramatic global decline, with seaweeds commonly replacing corals. It is unclear, however, whether seaweeds harm corals directly or colonize opportunistically following their decline and then suppress coral recruitment. In the Caribbean and tropical Pacific, we show that, when protected from herbivores, approximately 40 to 70% of common seaweeds cause bleaching and death of coral tissue when in direct contact. For seaweeds that harmed coral tissues, their lipid-soluble extracts also produced rapid bleaching. Coral bleaching and mortality was limited to areas of direct contact with seaweeds or their extracts. These patterns suggest that allelopathic seaweed-coral interactions can be important on reefs lacking herbivore control of seaweeds, and that these interactions involve lipid-soluble metabolites transferred via direct contact. Seaweeds were rapidly consumed when placed on a Pacific reef protected from fishing but were left intact or consumed at slower rates on an adjacent fished reef, indicating that herbivory will suppress seaweeds and lower frequency of allelopathic damage to corals if reefs retain intact food webs. With continued removal of herbivores from coral reefs, seaweeds are becoming more common. This occurrence will lead to increasing frequency of seaweed-coral contacts, increasing allelopathic suppression of remaining corals, and continuing decline of reef corals.

  13. 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.

  14. Competitive interactions between corals and turf algae depend on coral colony form

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Swierts, T.; Vermeij, M.J.A.

    2016-01-01

    Turf algae are becoming more abundant on coral reefs worldwide, but their effects on other benthic organisms remain poorly described. To describe the general characteristics of competitive interactions between corals and turf algae, we determined the occurrence and outcomes of coral–turf algal

  15. RESISTANCE AND RESILIENCE TO CORAL BLEACHING: IMPLICATIONS FOR CORAL REEF CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT

    Science.gov (United States)

    The massive scale of the 1997–1998 El Nino–associated coral bleaching event underscores the need for strategies to mitigate biodiversity losses resulting from temperature-induced coral mortality. As baseline sea surface temperatures continue to rise, climate change may represent ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-07

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

  17. 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.

  18. Study of the physical phenomena in the transformation of the in vivo implanted coral, using radioactivation techniques, by means of X-ray diffraction and infrared spectrometry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oudadesse, H.

    1989-01-01

    By radioactivation analysis, we measured quantitatively for the first time the elementary transformation of coral in vivo. Some natural coral was implanted after having been sterilized in ovine jaws. Every month, biopsies were extracted in order to get a portion of the external cortical part, the intermediary part (initially the coral) and the internal cortical part. We measured the kinetics of the concentration of major atomic elements which constitute the biological mould such as phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, fluorine, as well as strontium of which content was abundantly found in the coral. The results show intense disturbances until the fifth month, when the mineral structure of the implanted coral becomes akin to that of bone come to maturity. In addition, with measures by diffraction by X-ray, we have followed the structural modifications by relating them to the variation in concentration of atomic elements. The coral, in the form of aragonit and stabilized by strontium as shown by neutron radioactivation crystallises in an orthorombic system. Three months after having been implanted, its structure becomes hexagonal and reaches a degree of crystallization similar to that of a bone come to maturity about the fifth month. The infrared absorption spectroscopy allowed us to fine the structure by specifying the mineral of the bone and of the implanted coral. Three months after having been implanted, the coral has become an apatite with deposit of organic substances. Moreover, a calcination at high temperature revealed a supply of phosphorus ions from the first month until the fifth month [fr

  19. The origin and evolution of coral species richness in a marine biodiversity hotspot.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Danwei; Goldberg, Emma E; Chou, Loke Ming; Roy, Kaustuv

    2018-02-01

    The Coral Triangle (CT) region of the Indo-Pacific realm harbors an extraordinary number of species, with richness decreasing away from this biodiversity hotspot. Despite multiple competing hypotheses, the dynamics underlying this regional diversity pattern remain poorly understood. Here, we use a time-calibrated evolutionary tree of living reef coral species, their current geographic ranges, and model-based estimates of regional rates of speciation, extinction, and geographic range shifts to show that origination rates within the CT are lower than in surrounding regions, a result inconsistent with the long-standing center of origin hypothesis. Furthermore, endemism of coral species in the CT is low, and the CT endemics are older than relatives found outside this region. Overall, our model results suggest that the high diversity of reef corals in the CT is largely due to range expansions into this region of species that evolved elsewhere. These findings strongly support the notion that geographic range shifts play a critical role in generating species diversity gradients. They also show that preserving the processes that gave rise to the striking diversity of corals in the CT requires protecting not just reefs within the hotspot, but also those in the surrounding areas. © 2017 The Author(s). Evolution © 2017 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  20. Quantifying uncertainty and resilience on coral reefs using a Bayesian approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Woesik, R

    2013-01-01

    Coral reefs are rapidly deteriorating globally. The contemporary management option favors managing for resilience to provide reefs with the capacity to tolerate human-induced disturbances. Yet resilience is most commonly defined as the capacity of a system to absorb disturbances without changing fundamental processes or functionality. Quantifying no change, or the uncertainty of a null hypothesis, is nonsensical using frequentist statistics, but is achievable using a Bayesian approach. This study outlines a practical Bayesian framework that quantifies the resilience of coral reefs using two inter-related models. The first model examines the functionality of coral reefs in the context of their reef-building capacity, whereas the second model examines the recovery rates of coral cover after disturbances. Quantifying intrinsic rates of increase in coral cover and habitat-specific, steady-state equilibria are useful proxies of resilience. A reduction in the intrinsic rate of increase following a disturbance, or the slowing of recovery over time, can be useful indicators of stress; a change in the steady-state equilibrium suggests a phase shift. Quantifying the uncertainty of key reef-building processes and recovery parameters, and comparing these parameters against benchmarks, facilitates the detection of loss of resilience and provides signals of imminent change. (letter)

  1. Quantifying uncertainty and resilience on coral reefs using a Bayesian approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Woesik, R.

    2013-12-01

    Coral reefs are rapidly deteriorating globally. The contemporary management option favors managing for resilience to provide reefs with the capacity to tolerate human-induced disturbances. Yet resilience is most commonly defined as the capacity of a system to absorb disturbances without changing fundamental processes or functionality. Quantifying no change, or the uncertainty of a null hypothesis, is nonsensical using frequentist statistics, but is achievable using a Bayesian approach. This study outlines a practical Bayesian framework that quantifies the resilience of coral reefs using two inter-related models. The first model examines the functionality of coral reefs in the context of their reef-building capacity, whereas the second model examines the recovery rates of coral cover after disturbances. Quantifying intrinsic rates of increase in coral cover and habitat-specific, steady-state equilibria are useful proxies of resilience. A reduction in the intrinsic rate of increase following a disturbance, or the slowing of recovery over time, can be useful indicators of stress; a change in the steady-state equilibrium suggests a phase shift. Quantifying the uncertainty of key reef-building processes and recovery parameters, and comparing these parameters against benchmarks, facilitates the detection of loss of resilience and provides signals of imminent change.

  2. Coral Reef Coverage Percentage on Binor Paiton-Probolinggo Seashore

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dwi Budi Wiyanto

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The coral reef damage in Probolinggo region was expected to be caused by several factors. The first one comes from its society that exploits fishery by using cyanide toxin and bomb. The second one goes to the extraction of coral reef, which is used as decoration or construction materials. The other factor is likely caused by the existence of large industry on the seashore, such as Electric Steam Power Plant (PLTU Paiton and others alike. Related to the development of coral reef ecosystem, availability of an accurate data is crucially needed to support the manner of future policy, so the research of coral reef coverage percentage needs to be conducted continuously. The aim of this research is to collect biological data of coral reef and to identify coral reef coverage percentage in the effort of constructing coral reef condition basic data on Binor, Paiton, and Probolinggo regency seashore. The method used in this research is Line Intercept Transect (LIT method. LIT method is a method that used to decide benthic community on coral reef based on percentage growth, and to take note of benthic quantity along transect line. Percentage of living coral coverage in 3 meters depth on this Binor Paiton seashore that may be categorized in a good condition is 57,65%. While the rest are dead coral that is only 1,45%, other life form in 23,2%, and non-life form in 17,7%. A good condition of coral reef is caused by coral reef transplantation on the seashore, so this coral reef is dominated by Acropora Branching. On the other hand, Mortality Index (IM of coral reef resulted in 24,5%. The result from observation and calculation of coral reef is dominated by Hard Coral in Acropora Branching (ACB with coral reef coverage percentage of 39%, Coral Massive (CM with coral reef coverage percentage of 2,85%, Coral Foliose (CF with coral reef coverage percentage of 1,6%, and Coral Mushroom (CRM with coral reef coverage percentage of 8,5%. Observation in 10 meters depth

  3. Arrecifes de Coral: Una Coleccion de Actividades en Espanol para Estudiantes de Escuela Intermedia (Coral Reefs: A Spanish Compilation of Activities for Middle School Students).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Sharon H.; Newton, R. Amanda; Ortiz, Alida

    This activity book for middle school students on coral reefs is divided into 10 sections. Section 1 is the introduction. Section 2 describes what coral reefs are while section 3 describes how coral reefs reproduce and grow. Section 4 describes where coral reefs are found, and section 5 describes life on a coral reef. Section 6 describes the…

  4. Environmental controls on growth of the massive coral Porites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lough; Barnes

    2000-03-15

    Annual density banding provided growth characteristics for 245 similar-sized, massive colonies of Porites from similar locations on 29 reefs from across the length and breadth of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), Australia. Values obtained were density, extension rate, and calcification rate. Tissue thickness, the depth to which skeletons were occupied by tissue at the time of collection, was also measured. Extension rate, calcification rate, and tissue thickness were significantly greater at the top of colonies than at the sides. Extension rate and calcification rate decreased from north to south along the GBR (latitudinal range of approximately 9 degrees ) and were significantly and directly related to annual average sea surface temperature (SST; range approximately 25-27 degrees C). For each 1 degrees C rise in SST, average annual calcification increased by 0.39 g cm(-2) year(-1) and average annual extension increased by 3.1 mm year(-1) (c.f. average values of 1.63 g cm(-2) year(-1) and 12.9 mm year(-1), respectively). Density was inversely correlated with extension rate and increased with distance offshore. Data for massive Porites colonies from the GBR were extended though 20 degrees of latitude and an average annual SST range of 23-29 degrees C using published data for the Hawaiian Archipelago (Grigg, R.W., 1981. Coral reef development at high latitudes in Hawaii. Proc. 4th Int. Coral Reef Symp., Manila, Vol. 1, pp. 687-693; Grigg, R.W., 1997. Paleoceanography of coral reefs in the Hawaiian-Emperor Chain - revisited. Coral Reefs 16, S33-S38) and Phuket, Thailand (Scoffin. T.P., Tudhope. A.W., Brown. B.E., Chansang. H., Cheeney. R.F., 1992. Patterns and possible environmental controls of skeletogenesis of Porites lutea, South Thailand. Coral Reefs 11, 1-11). The response of calcification rate to temperature remained linear. Variation in annual average SST accounted for 84% of the variance. For each 1 degrees C rise in SST, average annual calcification increased by

  5. Tidal heat pulses on a reef trigger a fine-tuned transcriptional response in corals to maintain homeostasis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz-Jones, Lupita J; Palumbi, Stephen R

    2017-03-01

    For reef-building corals, extreme stress exposure can result in loss of endosymbionts, leaving colonies bleached. However, corals in some habitats are commonly exposed to natural cycles of sub-bleaching stress, often leading to higher stress tolerance. We monitored transcription in the tabletop coral Acropora hyacinthus daily for 17 days over a strong tidal cycle that included extreme temperature spikes, and show that increases in temperature above 30.5°C triggered a strong transcriptional response. The transcriptomic time series data allowed us to identify a set of genes with coordinated expression that were activated only on days with strong tides, high temperature, and large diel pH and oxygen changes. The responsive genes are enriched for gene products essential to the unfolded protein response, an ancient cellular response to endoplasmic reticulum stress. After the temporary heat pulses passed, expression of these genes immediately decreased, suggesting that homeostasis was restored to the endoplasmic reticulum. In a laboratory temperature stress experiment, we found that the expression of these environmentally responsive genes increased as corals bleached, showing that the unfolded protein response becomes more intense during more severe stress. Our results point to the unfolded protein response as a first line of defense that acroporid corals use when coping with environmental stress on the reef, thus enhancing our understanding of coral stress physiology during a time of major concern for reefs.

  6. Reconstructing medieval climate in the tropical North Atlantic with corals from Anegada, British Virgin Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilbourne, K. H.; Xu, Y. Y.

    2014-12-01

    variability found in central Pacific corals growing at the same time.

  7. Symbiont shuffling linked to differential photochemical dynamics of Symbiodinium in three Caribbean reef corals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunning, Ross; Silverstein, Rachel N.; Baker, Andrew C.

    2018-03-01

    Dynamic symbioses with functionally diverse dinoflagellate algae in the genus Symbiodinium may allow some reef corals to alter their phenotypes through `symbiont shuffling', or changes in symbiont community composition. In particular, corals may become more bleaching resistant by increasing the relative abundance of thermally tolerant Symbiodinium in clade D after bleaching. Despite the immediate relevance of this phenomenon to corals living in warming oceans—and to interventions aimed at boosting coral resilience—the mechanisms governing how, why, and when symbiont shuffling occurs are still poorly understood. Here, we performed controlled thermal bleaching and recovery experiments on three species of Caribbean corals hosting mixtures of D1a ( S. trenchii) and other symbionts in clades B or C. We show that the degree of symbiont shuffling is related to (1) the duration of stress exposure and (2) the difference in photochemical efficiency ( F v /F m) of co-occurring symbionts under stress (i.e., the `photochemical advantage' of one symbiont over the other). The advantage of D1a under stress was greatest in Montastraea cavernosa, intermediate in Siderastrea siderea, and lowest in Orbicella faveolata and correlated positively with the magnitude of shuffling toward D1a. In holobionts where D1a had less of an advantage over co-occurring symbionts (i.e., only slightly higher F v /F m under stress), a longer stress duration was required to elicit commensurate increases in D1a abundance. In fact, across these three coral species, 92.9% of variation in the degree of symbiont shuffling could be explained by the time-integrated photochemical advantage of D1a under heat stress. Although F v /F m is governed by numerous factors that this study is unable to resolve mechanistically, its strong empirical relationship with symbiont shuffling helps elucidate general features that govern this process in reef corals, which will help refine predictions of coral responses to

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-08-12

    ... institutions with demonstrated expertise in the conservation of coral reefs. Each category of funding under... of implementing cooperative coral reef conservation, protection, restoration, or education projects...; conflict resolution initiatives; community outreach and education; and that promote safe and ecologically...

  9. Can we measure beauty? Computational evaluation of coral reef aesthetics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Haas, A.F.; Guibert, M.; Foerschner, A.; Co, T.; Calhoun, S.; George, E.; Hatay, M.; Dinsdale, E.; Sandin, S.A.; Smith, J.E.; Vermeij, M.J.A.; Felts, B.; Dustan, P.; Salamon, P.; Rohwer, F.

    2015-01-01

    The natural beauty of coral reefs attracts millions of tourists worldwide resulting in substantial revenues for the adjoining economies. Although their visual appearance is a pivotal factor attracting humans to coral reefs current monitoring protocols exclusively target biogeochemical parameters,

  10. Zonation of uplifted pleistocene coral reefs on barbados, west indies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mesolella, K J

    1967-05-05

    The coral species composition of uplifted Pleistocene reefs on Barbados is very similar to Recent West Indian reefs. Acropora palmata, Acropora cervicornis, and Montastrea annularis are qtuantitatively the most important of the coral species.

  11. Large predatory coral trout species unlikely to meet increasing energetic demands in a warming ocean

    KAUST Repository

    Johansen, J.L.

    2015-09-08

    Increased ocean temperature due to climate change is raising metabolic demands and energy requirements of marine ectotherms. If productivity of marine systems and fisheries are to persist, individual species must compensate for this demand through increasing energy acquisition or decreasing energy expenditure. Here we reveal that the most important coral reef fishery species in the Indo-west Pacific, the large predatory coral trout Plectropomus leopardus (Serranidae), can behaviourally adjust food intake to maintain body-condition under elevated temperatures, and acclimate over time to consume larger meals. However, these increased energetic demands are unlikely to be met by adequate production at lower trophic levels, as smaller prey species are often the first to decline in response to climate-induced loss of live coral and structural complexity. Consequently, ubiquitous increases in energy consumption due to climate change will increase top-down competition for a dwindling biomass of prey, potentially distorting entire food webs and associated fisheries.

  12. Patterns of biophonic periodicity on coral reefs in the Great Barrier Reef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McWilliam, Jamie N; McCauley, Robert D; Erbe, Christine; Parsons, Miles J G

    2017-12-12

    The coral reefs surrounding Lizard Island in the Great Barrier Reef have a diverse soundscape that contains an array of bioacoustic phenomena, notably choruses produced by fishes. Six fish choruses identified around Lizard Island exhibited distinctive spatial and temporal patterns from 2014 to 2016. Several choruses displayed site fidelity, indicating that particular sites may represent important habitat for fish species, such as fish spawning aggregations sites. The choruses displayed a broad range of periodicities, from diel to annual, which provides new insights into the ecology of vocalising reef fish species and the surrounding ecosystem. All choruses were affected by one or more environmental variables including temperature and moonlight, the latter of which had a significant influence on the timing and received sound levels. These findings highlight the utility of passive acoustic tools for long-term monitoring and management of coral reefs, which is highly relevant in light of recent global disturbance events, particularly coral bleaching.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  14. A coral Sr/Ca calibration and replication study of two massive corals from the Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeLong, Kristine L.; Flannery, Jennifer A.; Maupin, Christopher R.; Poore, Richard Z.; Quinn, Terrence M.

    2011-01-01

    This study examined the variations in the ratio of strontium-to-calcium (Sr/Ca) for two Atlantic corals (Montastraea faveolata and Siderastrea siderea) from the Dry Tortugas National Park (centered on 24.7°N, 82.8°W) in the Gulf of Mexico. Cores from coral colonies in close proximity (10s of meters) and with the same environmental conditions (i.e., depth and water chemistry) were micro-sampled with approximately monthly resolution and the resulting Sr/Ca variations were calibrated with local sea surface temperature (SST) records. Replication tests for coral Sr/Ca variations found high agreement between intra-colony variations and between individual colonies of S. siderea (a single M. faveolata colony was sampled). Regression analysis of monthly variations in coral Sr/Ca and local SST revealed significant correlation on monthly and inter-annual timescales. Verification of the calibration on different timescales found coral Sr/Ca–SST reconstructions in S. siderea were more accurate than those from M. faveolata, especially on inter-annual timescales. Sr/Ca–SST calibration equations for the two species are significantly different (cf., Sr/Ca = -0.042 SST + 10.070, S. siderea; Sr/Ca = -0.027 SST + 9.893, M. faveolata). Mean linear extension for M. faveolata is approximately twice that of S. siderea (4.63, 4.31, and 8.31 mm year−1, A1, F1, and B3, respectively); however, seasonal Sr/Ca variability in M. faveolata is less than S. siderea (0.323, 0.353, and 0.254 mmol mol−1, A1, F1, and B3, respectively). The reduced slope for M. faveolata is attributed to physical sampling issues associated with complex time-skeletal structure of M. faveolata, i.e., a sampling effect, and not a growth effect since the faster growing M. faveolata has the reduced Sr/Ca variability.

  15. Oceanographic and behavioural assumptions in models of the fate of coral and coral reef fish larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolanski, Eric; Kingsford, Michael J

    2014-09-06

    A predictive model of the fate of coral reef fish larvae in a reef system is proposed that combines the oceanographic processes of advection and turbulent diffusion with the biological process of horizontal swimming controlled by olfactory and auditory cues within the timescales of larval development. In the model, auditory cues resulted in swimming towards the reefs when within hearing distance of the reef, whereas olfactory cues resulted in the larvae swimming towards the natal reef in open waters by swimming against the concentration gradients in the smell plume emanating from the natal reef. The model suggested that the self-seeding rate may be quite large, at least 20% for the larvae of rapidly developing reef fish species, which contrasted with a self-seeding rate less than 2% for non-swimming coral larvae. The predicted self-recruitment rate of reefs was sensitive to a number of parameters, such as the time at which the fish larvae reach post-flexion, the pelagic larval duration of the larvae, the horizontal turbulent diffusion coefficient in reefal waters and the horizontal swimming behaviour of the fish larvae in response to auditory and olfactory cues, for which better field data are needed. Thus, the model suggested that high self-seeding rates for reef fish are possible, even in areas where the 'sticky water' effect is minimal and in the absence of long-term trapping in oceanic fronts and/or large-scale oceanic eddies or filaments that are often argued to facilitate the return of the larvae after long periods of drifting at sea. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  16. Comparing deep-sea fish fauna between coral and non-coral "megahabitats" in the Santa Maria di Leuca cold-water coral province (Mediterranean Sea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gianfranco D'Onghia

    Full Text Available Two experimental longline surveys were carried out in the Santa Maria di Leuca (SML cold-water coral province (Mediterranean Sea during May-June and September-October 2010 to investigate the effect of corals on fish assemblages. Two types of "megahabitat" characterized by the virtual absence of fishing were explored. One was characterized by complex topography including mesohabitats with carbonate mounds and corals. The other type of megahabitat, although characterized by complex topographic features, lacks carbonate mounds and corals. The fishing vessel was equipped with a 3,000 m monofilament longline with 500 hooks and snoods of 2.5 m in length. A total of 9 hauls, using about 4,500 hooks, were carried out both in the coral megahabitat and in the non-coral megahabitat during each survey. The fish Leucoraja fullonica and Pteroplatytrygon violacea represent new records for the SML coral province. The coral by-catch was only obtained in the coral megahabitat in about 55% of the stations investigated in both surveys. The total catches and the abundance indices of several species were comparable between the two habitat typologies. The species contributing most to the dissimilarity between the two megahabitat fish assemblages were Pagellus bogaraveo, Galeus melastomus, Etmopterus spinax and Helicolenus dactylopterus for density and P. bogaraveo, Conger conger, Polyprion americanus and G. melastomus for biomass. P. bogaraveo was exclusively collected in the coral megahabitat, whereas C. conger, H. dactylopterus and P. americanus were found with greater abundance in the coral than in the non-coral megahabitat. Differences in the sizes between the two megahabitats were detected in E. spinax, G. melastomus, C. conger and H. dactylopterus. Although these differences most probably related to the presence-absence of corals, both megahabitats investigated play the role of attraction-refuge for deep-sea fish fauna, confirming the important role of the whole

  17. Relationships between structural complexity, coral traits, and reef fish assemblages

    OpenAIRE

    Darling, Emily S.; Graham, Nicholas A. J.; Januchowski-Hartley, Fraser A.; Nash, Kirsty L.; Pratchett, Morgan S.; Wilson, Shaun K.

    2017-01-01

    With the ongoing loss of coral cover and the associated flattening of reef architecture, understanding the links between coral habitat and reef fishes is of critical importance. Here, we investigate whether considering coral traits and functional diversity provides new insights into the relationship between structural complexity and reef fish communities, and whether coral traits and community composition can predict structural complexity. Across 157 sites in Seychelles, Maldives, the Chagos ...

  18. Fluctuations in coral health of four common inshore reef corals in response to seasonal and anthropogenic changes in water quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Browne, Nicola K; Tay, Jason K L; Low, Jeffrey; Larson, Ole; Todd, Peter A

    2015-04-01

    Environmental drivers of coral condition (maximum quantum yield, symbiont density, chlorophyll a content and coral skeletal growth rates) were assessed in the equatorial inshore coastal waters of Singapore, where the amplitude of seasonal variation is low, but anthropogenic influence is relatively high. Water quality variables (sediments, nutrients, trace metals, temperature, light) explained between 52 and 83% of the variation in coral condition, with sediments and light availability as key drivers of foliose corals (Merulina ampliata, Pachyseris speciosa), and temperature exerting a greater influence on a branching coral (Pocillopora damicornis). Seasonal reductions in water quality led to high chlorophyll a concentrations and maximum quantum yields in corals, but low growth rates. These marginal coral communities are potentially vulnerable to climate change, hence, we propose water quality thresholds for coral growth with the aim of mitigating both local and global environmental impacts. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. 77 FR 32572 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Coral and Coral Reefs Off the...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-06-01

    ..., and South Atlantic; Coral and Coral Reefs Off the Southern Atlantic States; Exempted Fishing Permit... South Carolina Aquarium to collect, with certain conditions, various species of reef fish, crabs, and...

  20. Multiple severe typhoons in recent history revealed by coral boulders of northwestern Luzon, Philippines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Shou-Yeh; Wu, Tso-Ren; Liu, Sze-Chieh; Shen, Chuan-Chou; Siringan, Fernando; Lin, Han-Wei

    2017-04-01

    Meter-sized coral boulders occurred on Holocene reef flat at Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte and Cabugao, Ilocos Sur, Philippines. Boulders larger than 3 meters were located and measured by field survey and UAV photogrammetry. Boulders now distributed 45-140 m away from edge of Holocene reef flat, and above highest high tide. The lithology of those boulders is the same as the underlying Holocene coral reef at the sites, hence believed to be broken from reef edge locally. Fossil corals in those boulders mostly appeal not in upward-growing attitude but overturned or tilted. Several tens of photos were taken around selected boulders from different angles, and 3D models were established from the photos. Dimension and volumes were calculated from 3D models. Boulder volumes can be estimated much more accurately this way than simply multiple X, Y, and Z as many previous studies did. The volumes of boulders larger than 3 m in length vary from 10-52.6 m3. Assuming 2.1 g/cm3 for wet density, weights of boulders are estimated to range from 21-110 metric tons. Boulders of such size and weight obviously can't be moved by normal waves, and likely dislodged by Extreme Wave Event (EWE). Small and well-preserved corals were found in depressions on boulder surface and interpreted to represent timing of final displacement. Corals found on seven boulders at Pasuquin were 230Th dated to be 1782, 1904, 1946, 1957, 1978 and 2003 AD respectively. No tsunami was reported in historical records in northern Luzon for those years, but several documented typhoons could be responsible for displacement of each of those boulders. Another Porites boulder at Cabugao was dated to be tilted five times from 673-838 AD, averaging one EWE every 33 years. Such frequent occurrence of EWE is unlikely resulted from tsunami. Therefore, those coral boulders at Pasuquin and Cabugao are interpreted to be displaced by severe typhoons.

  1. Optimized coral reconstructions of the Indian Ocean Dipole: An assessment of location and length considerations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abram, Nerilie J.; Dixon, Bronwyn C.; Rosevear, Madelaine G.; Plunkett, Benjamin; Gagan, Michael K.; Hantoro, Wahyoe S.; Phipps, Steven J.

    2015-10-01

    The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD; or Indian Ocean Zonal Mode) is a coupled ocean-atmosphere climate oscillation that has profound impacts on rainfall distribution across the Indian Ocean region. Instrumental records provide a reliable representation of IOD behavior since 1958, while coral reconstructions currently extend the IOD history back to 1846. Large fluctuations in the number and intensity of positive IOD events over time are evident in these records, but it is unclear to what extent this represents multidecadal modulation of the IOD or an anthropogenically forced change in IOD behavior. In this study we explore the suitability of coral records from single-site locations in the equatorial Indian Ocean for capturing information about the occurrence and magnitude of positive IOD (pIOD) events. We find that the optimum location for coral reconstructions of the IOD occurs in the southeastern equatorial Indian Ocean, along the coast of Java and Sumatra between ~3 and 7°S. Here the strong ocean cooling and atmospheric drying during pIOD events are unambiguously recorded in coral oxygen isotope records, which capture up to 50% of IOD variance. Unforced experiments with coupled climate models suggest that potential biases in coral estimates of pIOD frequency are skewed toward overestimating pIOD recurrence intervals and become larger with shorter reconstruction windows and longer pIOD recurrence times. Model output also supports the assumption of stationarity in sea surface temperature relationships in the optimum IOD location that is necessary for paleoclimate reconstructions. This study provides a targeted framework for the future generation of paleoclimate records, including optimized coral reconstructions of past IOD variability.

  2. Evolution of Coral Rubble Deposits on a Reef Platform as Detected by Remote Sensing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Vila-Concejo

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available An investigation into the evolution of coral rubble deposits on a coral reef platform is assessed using high-resolution remote sensing data and geospatial analysis. Digital change detection analysis techniques are applied to One Tree Reef in the southern Great Barrier Reef by analysing aerial photographs and satellite images captured between 1964 and 2009. Two main types of rubble deposits were identified: (1 rubble flats that are featureless mass accumulations of coral rubble; and, (2 rubble spits that are shore-normal linear features. While both deposits prograde in a lagoon-ward direction, rubble spits move faster (~2 m/yr than rubble flats (~0.5 m/yr. The volume of rubble, the underlying substrate, the energy regime, and storm frequency control the rate of progradation. Rubble flat occurrence is restricted to the high-energy (windward margin of the coral reef platform, while rubble spits are distributed reef wide, both in modal high energy and modal low energy regions of the reef. Rubble spit deposition is considered to be a result of enlarged spur and groove morphology of the forereef, whereby wave energy is focused through the enlarged groove formations causing the preferential deposition of coral rubble in particular zones of the adjacent reef flat. One last control is thought to be the elevation of the reef crest whereby lower areas are more prone to rubble flat development. A vertical and ocean-ward accumulation of rubble is occurring on the windward margin of the reef leading to a build-up and build-out of the reef, governing the expansion of the reef footprint. This study shows for the first time the evolution of a coral reef rubble flat and rubble spits over decadal time scales as detected through remotely sensed images spanning 45 years.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott F Heron

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

  4. Coral Bleaching Assessment Through Remote Sensing and Integrated Citizen Science (CoralBASICS): Engaging Dive Instructors on Reef Characterization in Southwest, Puerto Rico Coupled with the Analysis of Water Quality Using NASA Earth Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres-Perez, J. L.; Armstrong, R.; Detres, Y.; Aragones-Fred, C.; Melendez, J.

    2017-12-01

    As recurrences of extreme sea water thermal events increase with climate change, the need for continuous monitoring of coral reefs becomes even more evident. Enabling properly trained members from the local communities to actively participate in scientific programs/research projects, provides for such monitoring at little cost once the citizens are properly trained and committed. Further, the possibility of obtaining high temporal resolution data with citizen scientists can provide for new venues to answer questions that may not be answered with traditional research approaches. The CoralBASICS project engages members of the local diving industry in Puerto Rico on the assessment of coastal water quality and the status of Puerto Rico's coral reefs in an age of climate change and in particular, an increase in the frequency and magnitude of coral bleaching events. The project complements remote sensing data with community-based field assessments strictly supervised by the PI's. The study focuses on training citizen scientists (dive instructors) on the collection of benthic information related to the state of coral reefs using the Reef Check (fish and invertebrates ID and substrate composition) and video transects methodologies, monitoring of coral bleaching events, and collecting of water quality data using a smartphone ocean color application. The data collected by citizen scientists complements the validation of Landsat-8 (OLI) imagery for water quality assessment. At the same time, researchers from the University of Puerto Rico conduct field assessment of the bio-optical properties of waters surrounding the coral reef study areas. Dive instructors have been collecting benthic and water quality data for the past 4 months. Initial analysis using the Coral Point Count with excel extension (CPCe) software showed a dominance of gorgonians at most sites (up to 32.8%) with hard coral cover ranging between 5.5-13.2% of the hard substrates. No coral diseases or bleaching

  5. Food selectivity and processing by the cold-water coral

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Oevelen, D.; Mueller, C.E.; Lundälv, T.; Middelburg, J.J.

    2016-01-01

    Cold-water corals form prominent reef ecosystemsalong ocean margins that depend on suspended resourcesproduced in surface waters. In this study, we investigatedfood processing of 13C and 15N labelled bacteria and algaeby the cold-water coral Lophelia pertusa. Coral respiration,tissue incorporation

  6. Light gradients and optical microniches in coral tissues

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel eWangpraseurt

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Light quantity and quality are among the most important factors determining the physiology and stress response of zooxanthellate corals. Yet, almost nothing is known about the light field that Symbiodinium experiences within their coral host, and the basic optical properties of coral tissue are unknown. We used scalar irradiance microprobes to characterise vertical and lateral light gradients within and across tissues of several coral species. Our results revealed the presence of steep light gradients with PAR (photosynthetically available radiation decreasing by about one order of magnitude from the tissue surface to the coral skeleton. Surface scalar irradiance was consistently higher over polyp tissue than over coenosarc tissue in faviid corals. Coral bleaching increased surface scalar irradiance by ~150% (between 500-700 nm relative to a healthy coral. Photosynthesis peaked around 300 µm within the tissue, which corresponded to a zone exhibiting strongest depletion of scalar irradiance. Deeper coral tissue layers, e.g. ~1000 µm into aboral polyp tissues, harbor optical microniches, where only ~10% of the incident irradiance remains. We conclude that the optical microenvironment of corals exhibits strong lateral and vertical gradients of scalar irradiance, which are affected by both tissue and skeleton optical properties. Our results imply that zooxanthellae populations inhabit a strongly heterogeneous light environment and highlight the presence of different optical microniches in corals; an important finding for understanding the photobiology, stress response, as well as the phenotypic and genotypic plasticity of coral symbionts.

  7. Coral Reefs: A Gallery Program, Grades 7-12.

    Science.gov (United States)

    National Aquarium in Baltimore, MD. Dept. of Education.

    Gallery classes at the National Aquarium in Baltimore give the opportunity to study specific aquarium exhibits which demonstrate entire natural habitats. The coral reef gallery class features the gigantic western Atlantic coral reef (325,000 gallons) with over 1,000 fish. The exhibit simulates a typical Caribbean coral reef and nearby sandy…

  8. Bacteria associated with the coral Echinopora lamellosa (Esper ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Infectious diseases are now known to have major effects on the structure and function of coral reef ecosystems throughout the world. The number of recognized coral diseases has increased dramatically. The problem was first recognized in the Caribbean in the early 1970's but has now been reported to affect coral ...

  9. 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...

  10. Coral restoration Bonaire : an evaluation of growth, regeneration and survival

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meesters, H.W.G.; Boomstra, B.; Hurtado-Lopez, N.; Montbrun, A.; Virdis, F.

    2015-01-01

    The Coral restoration of Staghorn (Acropora cervicornis) and Elkhorn (A. palmata) as practiced by the Coral Restoration Foundation Bonaire (CRFB) is shown to be highly successful in terms of growth and survival of new colonies, in both nurseries and transplant locations. Coral restoration is

  11. Effects of river sediments on coral recruitment, algal abundance ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The effects of sediment concentration and season on coral recruitment algal abundance nd benthic community structure were studied in Kenyan coral reef lagoons to determine their potential influence on coral recovery. Nutrient levels and recruit numbers were higher during the southeast monsoon (SEM) than during the ...

  12. Maintenance of fish diversity on disturbed coral reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, S. K.; Dolman, A. M.; Cheal, A. J.; Emslie, M. J.; Pratchett, M. S.; Sweatman, H. P. A.

    2009-03-01

    Habitat perturbations play a major role in shaping community structure; however, the elements of disturbance-related habitat change that affect diversity are not always apparent. This study examined the effects of habitat disturbances on species richness of coral reef fish assemblages using annual surveys of habitat and 210 fish species from 10 reefs on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). Over a period of 11 years, major disturbances, including localised outbreaks of crown-of-thorns sea star ( Acanthaster planci), severe storms or coral bleaching, resulted in coral decline of 46-96% in all the 10 reefs. Despite declines in coral cover, structural complexity of the reef framework was retained on five and species richness of coral reef fishes maintained on nine of the disturbed reefs. Extensive loss of coral resulted in localised declines of highly specialised coral-dependent species, but this loss of diversity was more than compensated for by increases in the number of species that feed on the epilithic algal matrix (EAM). A unimodal relationship between areal coral cover and species richness indicated species richness was greatest at approximately 20% coral cover declining by 3-4 species (6-8% of average richness) at higher and lower coral cover. Results revealed that declines in coral cover on reefs may have limited short-term impact on the diversity of coral reef fishes, though there may be fundamental changes in the community structure of fishes.

  13. Spatial Homogeneity of Bacterial Communities Associated with the Surface Mucus Layer of the Reef-Building Coral Acropora palmata.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dustin W Kemp

    Full Text Available Coral surface mucus layer (SML microbiota are critical components of the coral holobiont and play important roles in nutrient cycling and defense against pathogens. We sequenced 16S rRNA amplicons to examine the structure of the SML microbiome within and between colonies of the threatened Caribbean reef-building coral Acropora palmata in the Florida Keys. Samples were taken from three spatially distinct colony regions--uppermost (high irradiance, underside (low irradiance, and the colony base--representing microhabitats that vary in irradiance and water flow. Phylogenetic diversity (PD values of coral SML bacteria communities were greater than surrounding seawater and lower than adjacent sediment. Bacterial diversity and community composition was consistent among the three microhabitats. Cyanobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Alphaproteobacteria, and Proteobacteria, respectively were the most abundant phyla represented in the samples. This is the first time spatial variability of the surface mucus layer of A. palmata has been studied. Homogeneity in the microbiome of A. palmata contrasts with SML heterogeneity found in other Caribbean corals. These findings suggest that, during non-stressful conditions, host regulation of SML microbiota may override diverse physiochemical influences induced by the topographical complexity of A. palmata. Documenting the spatial distribution of SML microbes is essential to understanding the functional roles these microorganisms play in coral health and adaptability to environmental perturbations.

  14. Spatial Homogeneity of Bacterial Communities Associated with the Surface Mucus Layer of the Reef-Building Coral Acropora palmata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kemp, Dustin W; Rivers, Adam R; Kemp, Keri M; Lipp, Erin K; Porter, James W; Wares, John P

    2015-01-01

    Coral surface mucus layer (SML) microbiota are critical components of the coral holobiont and play important roles in nutrient cycling and defense against pathogens. We sequenced 16S rRNA amplicons to examine the structure of the SML microbiome within and between colonies of the threatened Caribbean reef-building coral Acropora palmata in the Florida Keys. Samples were taken from three spatially distinct colony regions--uppermost (high irradiance), underside (low irradiance), and the colony base--representing microhabitats that vary in irradiance and water flow. Phylogenetic diversity (PD) values of coral SML bacteria communities were greater than surrounding seawater and lower than adjacent sediment. Bacterial diversity and community composition was consistent among the three microhabitats. Cyanobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Alphaproteobacteria, and Proteobacteria, respectively were the most abundant phyla represented in the samples. This is the first time spatial variability of the surface mucus layer of A. palmata has been studied. Homogeneity in the microbiome of A. palmata contrasts with SML heterogeneity found in other Caribbean corals. These findings suggest that, during non-stressful conditions, host regulation of SML microbiota may override diverse physiochemical influences induced by the topographical complexity of A. palmata. Documenting the spatial distribution of SML microbes is essential to understanding the functional roles these microorganisms play in coral health and adaptability to environmental perturbations.

  15. The relative abundance of dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) among other zwitterions in branching coral at Heron Island, southern Great Barrier Reef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swan, Hilton B; Deschaseaux, Elisabeth S M; Jones, Graham B; Eyre, Bradley D

    2017-07-01

    Dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) and eleven other target zwitterions were quantified in the branch tips of six Acropora species and Stylophora pistillata hard coral growing on the reef flat surrounding Heron Island in the southern Great Barrier Reef (GBR), Australia. Hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (HILIC-MS) was used for sample analysis with isotope dilution MS applied to quantify DMSP. The concentration of DMSP was ten times greater in A. aspera than A. valida, with this difference being maintained throughout the spring, summer and winter seasons. In contrast, glycine betaine was present in significantly higher concentrations in these species during the summer than the winter. Exposure of branch tips of A. aspera to air and hypo-saline seawater for up to 1 h did not alter the concentrations of DMSP present in the coral when compared with control samples. DMSP was the most abundant target zwitterion in the six Acropora species examined, ranging from 44-78% of all target zwitterions in A. millepora and A. aspera, respectively. In contrast, DMSP only accounted for 7% in S. pistillata, with glycine betaine and stachydrine collectively accounting for 88% of all target zwitterions in this species. The abundance of DMSP in the six Acropora species examined points to Acropora coral being an important source for the biogeochemical cycling of sulfur throughout the GBR, since this reef-building branching coral dominates the coral cover of the GBR. Graphical Abstract HILIC-MS extracted ion chromatogram showing zwitterionic metabolites from the branching coral Acropora isopora.

  16. Coral diseases are major contributors to coral mortality in Shingle Island, Gulf of Mannar, southeastern India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thinesh, T; Diraviya Raj, K; Mathews, G; Patterson Edward, J K

    2013-09-24

    The present study reports coral mortality, driven primarily by coral diseases, around Shingle Island, Gulf of Mannar (GOM), Indian Ocean. In total, 2910 colonies were permanently monitored to assess the incidence of coral diseases and consequent mortality for 2 yr. Four types of lesions consistent with white band disease (WBD), black disease (BD), white plaque disease (WPD), and pink spot disease (PSD) were recorded from 4 coral genera: Montipora, Pocillopora, Acropora, and Porites. Porites were affected by 2 disease types, while the other 3 genera were affected by only 1 disease type. Overall disease prevalence increased from 8% (n = 233 colonies) to 41.9% (n = 1219) over the 2 yr study period. BD caused an unprecedented 100% mortality in Pocillopora, followed by 20.4 and 13.1% mortality from WBD in Montipora and Acropora, respectively. Mean disease progression rates of 0.8 ± 1.0 and 0.6 ± 0.5 cm mo-1 over live coral colonies were observed for BD and WBD. Significant correlations between temperature and disease progression were observed for BD (r = 0.86, R2 = 0.75, p < 0.001) and WBD (R2 = 0.76, p < 0.001). This study revealed the increasing trend of disease prevalence and progression of disease over live coral in a relatively limited study area; further study should investigate the status of the entire coral reef in the GOM and the role of diseases in reef dynamics.

  17. 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.

  18. Low reservoir ages for the surface ocean from mid-Holocene Florida corals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Druffel, E.R.M.; Robinson, L.F.; Griffin, S.; Halley, R.B.; Southon, J.R.; Adkins, J.F.

    2008-01-01

    The 14C reservoir age of the surface ocean was determined for two Holocene periods (4908-4955 and 3008-3066 calendar (cal) B.P.) using U/Th-dated corals from Biscayne National Park, Florida, United States. We found that the average reservoir ages for these two time periods (294 ?? 33 and 291 ?? 27 years, respectively) were lower than the average value between A.D. 1600 and 1900 (390 ?? 60 years) from corals. It appears that the surface ocean was closer to isotopic equilibrium with CO2 in the atmosphere during these two time periods than it was during recent times. Seasonal ??18O measurements from the younger coral are similar to modern values, suggesting that mixing with open ocean waters was indeed occurring during this coral's lifetime. Likely explanations for the lower reservoir age include increased stratification of the surface ocean or increased ??14C values of subsurface waters that mix into the surface. Our results imply that a more correct reservoir age correction for radiocarbon measurements of marine samples in this location from the time periods ???3040 and ???4930 cal years B.P. is ???292 ?? 30 years, less than the canonical value of 404 ?? 20 years. Copyright 2008 by the American Geophysical Union.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Lower Mesophotic Coral Communities (60-125 m Depth of the Northern Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Norbert Englebert

    Full Text Available Mesophotic coral ecosystems in the Indo-Pacific remain relatively unexplored, particularly at lower mesophotic depths (≥60 m, despite their potentially large spatial extent. Here, we used a remotely operated vehicle to conduct a qualitative assessment of the zooxanthellate coral community at lower mesophotic depths (60-125 m at 10 different locations in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and the Coral Sea Commonwealth Marine Reserve. Lower mesophotic coral communities were present at all 10 locations, with zooxanthellate scleractinian corals extending down to ~100 metres on walls and ~125 m on steep slopes. Lower mesophotic coral communities were most diverse in the 60-80 m zone, while at depths of ≥100 m the coral community consisted almost exclusively of the genus Leptoseris. Collections of coral specimens (n = 213 between 60 and 125 m depth confirmed the presence of at least 29 different species belonging to 18 genera, including several potential new species and geographic/depth range extensions. Overall, this study highlights that lower mesophotic coral ecosystems are likely to be ubiquitous features on the outer reefs of the Great Barrier Reef and atolls of the Coral Sea, and harbour a generic and species richness of corals that is much higher than thus far reported. Further research efforts are urgently required to better understand and manage these ecosystems as part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and Coral Sea Commonwealth Marine Reserve.

  2. Lower Mesophotic Coral Communities (60-125 m Depth) of the Northern Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Englebert, Norbert; Bongaerts, Pim; Muir, Paul R; Hay, Kyra B; Pichon, Michel; Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove

    2017-01-01

    Mesophotic coral ecosystems in the Indo-Pacific remain relatively unexplored, particularly at lower mesophotic depths (≥60 m), despite their potentially large spatial extent. Here, we used a remotely operated vehicle to conduct a qualitative assessment of the zooxanthellate coral community at lower mesophotic depths (60-125 m) at 10 different locations in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and the Coral Sea Commonwealth Marine Reserve. Lower mesophotic coral communities were present at all 10 locations, with zooxanthellate scleractinian corals extending down to ~100 metres on walls and ~125 m on steep slopes. Lower mesophotic coral communities were most diverse in the 60-80 m zone, while at depths of ≥100 m the coral community consisted almost exclusively of the genus Leptoseris. Collections of coral specimens (n = 213) between 60 and 125 m depth confirmed the presence of at least 29 different species belonging to 18 genera, including several potential new species and geographic/depth range extensions. Overall, this study highlights that lower mesophotic coral ecosystems are likely to be ubiquitous features on the outer reefs of the Great Barrier Reef and atolls of the Coral Sea, and harbour a generic and species richness of corals that is much higher than thus far reported. Further research efforts are urgently required to better understand and manage these ecosystems as part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and Coral Sea Commonwealth Marine Reserve.

  3. The ecotoxicology of vegetable versus mineral based lubricating oils 3. Coral fertilization and adult corals

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mercurio, Philip; Negri, Andrew P.; Burns, Kathryn A.; Heyward, Andrew J.

    2004-01-01

    Biodegradable vegetable-derived lubricants (VDL) might be less toxic to marine organisms than mineral-derived oils (MDL) due to the absence of high molecular weight aromatics, but this remains largely untested. In this laboratory study, adult corals and coral gametes were exposed to various concentrations of a two-stroke VDL-1A and a corresponding MDL to determine which lubricant type was more toxic to each life stage. In the fertilization experiment, gametes from the scleractinian coral Acropora microphthalma were exposed to water-accommodated fractions (WAF) of VDL-1A and MDL for four hours. The MDL and VDL-1A WAFs inhibited normal fertilization of the corals at 200 μg l -1 total hydrocarbon content (THC) and 150 μg l -1 THC respectively. Disturbance of a stable coral-dinoflagellate symbiosis is regarded as a valid measure of sub-lethal stress in adult corals. The state of the symbiosis in branchlets of adult colonies of Acropora formosa was monitored using indicators such as dinoflagellate expulsion and dark-adapted photosystem II yields of dinoflagellate (using pulse amplitude modulation fluorescence). An effect on symbiosis was measurable following 48 h exposure to the lubricants at concentrations of 190 μg l -1 and 37 μg l -1 THC for the MDL and VDL-1A respectively. GC/MS revealed that the main constituent of the VDL-1A WAF was the compound coumarin, added by the manufacturer to improve odour. The fragrance containing coumarin was removed from the lubricant formulation and the toxicity towards adult corals re-examined. The coumarin-free VDL-2 exhibited significantly less toxicity towards the adult corals than all of the other oil types tested, with the only measurable effect being a slight but significant drop in photosynthetic efficiency at 280 μg l -1 . - Vegetable-derived lubricants were less toxic to adult corals than their mineral counterparts

  4. Mg isotope fractionation in biogenic carbonates of deep-sea coral, benthic foraminifera, and hermatypic coral.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshimura, Toshihiro; Tanimizu, Masaharu; Inoue, Mayuri; Suzuki, Atsushi; Iwasaki, Nozomu; Kawahata, Hodaka

    2011-11-01

    High-precision Mg isotope measurements by multiple collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry were applied for determinations of magnesium isotopic fractionation of biogenic calcium carbonates from seawater with a rapid Mg purification technique. The mean δ(26)Mg values of scleractinian corals, giant clam, benthic foraminifera, and calcite deep-sea corals were -0.87‰, -2.57‰, -2.34‰, and -2.43‰, suggesting preferential precipitation of light Mg isotopes to produce carbonate skeleton in biomineralization. Mg isotope fractionation in deep-sea coral, which has high Mg calcite skeleton, showed a clear temperature (T) dependence from 2.5 °C to 19.5 °C: 1,000 × ln(α) = -2.63 (±0.076) + 0.0138 (±0.0051) × T(R(2) = 0.82, p coral. Since the precipitation rates of deep-sea coral and benthic foraminifera are several orders of magnitude different, the results suggest that kinetic isotope fractionation may not be a major controlling factor for high-Mg calcite. The Mg isotope fractionation factors and the slope of temperature dependence from deep-sea corals and benthic foraminifera are similar to that for an inorganically precipitated calcite speleothem. Taking into account element partitioning and the calcification rate of biogenic CaCO(3), the similarity among inorganic minerals, deep-sea corals, and benthic foraminiferas may indicate a strong mineralogical control on Mg isotope fractionation for high-Mg calcite. On the other hand, δ(26)Mg in hermatypic corals composed of aragonite has been comparable with previous data on biogenic aragonite of coral, sclerosponges, and scaphopad, regardless of species differences of samples.

  5. Tropical cyclone cooling combats region-wide coral bleaching.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrigan, Adam D; Puotinen, Marji

    2014-05-01

    Coral bleaching has become more frequent and widespread as a result of rising sea surface temperature (SST). During a regional scale SST anomaly, reef exposure to thermal stress is patchy in part due to physical factors that reduce SST to provide thermal refuge. Tropical cyclones (TCs - hurricanes, typhoons) can induce temperature drops at spatial scales comparable to that of the SST anomaly itself. Such cyclone cooling can mitigate bleaching across broad areas when well-timed and appropriately located, yet the spatial and temporal prevalence of this phenomenon has not been quantified. Here, satellite SST and historical TC data are used to reconstruct cool wakes (n=46) across the Caribbean during two active TC seasons (2005 and 2010) where high thermal stress was widespread. Upon comparison of these datasets with thermal stress data from Coral Reef Watch and published accounts of bleaching, it is evident that TC cooling reduced thermal stress at a region-wide scale. The results show that during a mass bleaching event, TC cooling reduced thermal stress below critical levels to potentially mitigate bleaching at some reefs, and interrupted natural warming cycles to slow the build-up of thermal stress at others. Furthermore, reconstructed TC wave damage zones suggest that it was rare for more reef area to be damaged by waves than was cooled (only 12% of TCs). Extending the time series back to 1985 (n = 314), we estimate that for the recent period of enhanced TC activity (1995-2010), the annual probability that cooling and thermal stress co-occur is as high as 31% at some reefs. Quantifying such probabilities across the other tropical regions where both coral reefs and TCs exist is vital for improving our understanding of how reef exposure to rising SSTs may vary, and contributes to a basis for targeting reef conservation. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. Biogeochemical proxies in Scleractinian corals used to reconstruct ocean circulation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guilderson, T.P.; Kashgarian, M.; Schrag, D.P.

    2002-01-01

    We utilize monthly 14 C data derived from coral archives in conjunction with ocean circulation models to address two questions: 1) how does the shallow circulation of the tropical Pacific vary on seasonal to decadal time scales and 2) which dynamic processes determine the mean vertical structure of the equatorial Pacific thermocline. Our results directly impact the understanding of global climate events such as the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). To study changes in ocean circulation and water mass distribution involved in the genesis and evolution of ENSO and decadal climate variability, it is necessary to have records of climate variables several decades in length. Continuous instrumental records are limited because technology for continuous monitoring of ocean currents has only recently been available, and ships of opportunity archives such as COADS contain large spatial and temporal biases. In addition, temperature and salinity in surface waters are not conservative and thus can not be independently relied upon to trace water masses, reducing the utility of historical observations. Radiocarbon ( 14 C) in sea water is a quasi-conservative water mass tracer and is incorporated into coral skeletal material, thus coral 14 C records can be used to reconstruct changes in shallow circulation that would be difficult to characterize using instrumental data. High resolution Δ 14 C time-series such as these, provide a powerful constraint on the rate of surface ocean mixing and hold great promise to augment onetime surveys such as GEOSECS and WOCE. These data not only provide fundamental information about the shallow circulation of the Pacific, but can be used as a benchmark for the next generation of high resolution ocean models used in prognosticating climate change. (author)

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. R. N. Anthony

    2013-07-01

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

  8. Habitat degradation and fishing effects on the size structure of coral reef fish communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, S K; Fisher, R; Pratchett, M S; Graham, N A J; Dulvy, N K; Turner, R A; Cakacaka, A; Polunin, N V C

    2010-03-01

    Overfishing and habitat degradation through climate change pose the greatest threats to sustainability of marine resources on coral reefs. We examined how changes in fishing pressure and benthic habitat composition influenced the size spectra of island-scale reef fish communities in Lau, Fiji. Between 2000 and 2006 fishing pressure declined in the Lau Islands due to declining human populations and reduced demand for fresh fish. At the same time, coral cover declined and fine-scale architectural complexity eroded due to coral bleaching and outbreaks of crown-of-thorns starfish, Acanthaster planci. We examined the size distribution of reef fish communities using size spectra analysis, the linearized relationship between abundance and body size class. Spatial variation in fishing pressure accounted for 31% of the variation in the slope of the size spectra in 2000, higher fishing pressure being associated with a steeper slope, which is indicative of fewer large-bodied fish and/or more small-bodied fish. Conversely, in 2006 spatial variation in habitat explained 53% of the variation in the size spectra slopes, and the relationship with fishing pressure was much weaker (approximately 12% of variation) than in 2000. Reduced cover of corals and lower structural complexity was associated with less steep size spectra slopes, primarily due to reduced abundance of fish fishing on coral reefs as increased fishing reduces large-bodied target species, while habitat loss results in fewer small-bodied juveniles and prey that replenish stocks and provide dietary resources for predatory target species. Effective management of reef resources therefore depends on both reducing fishing pressure and maintaining processes that encourage rapid recovery of coral habitat.

  9. Deep-sea coral record of human impact on watershed quality in the Mississippi River Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prouty, N.; Roark, B.; Koenig, A.; Batista, F. C.; Kocar, B. D.; Selby, D. S.; Mccarthy, M. D.; Mienis, F.; Ross, S. W.; Demopoulos, A. W.

    2015-12-01

    One of the greatest drivers of historical nutrient and sediment transport into the Gulf of Mexico is the unprecedented scale and intensity of land use change in the Mississippi River Basin. These landscape changes are linked to enhanced fluxes of carbon and nitrogen pollution from the Mississippi River, and persistent eutrophication and hypoxia in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Increased terrestrial runoff is one hypothesis for recent enrichment in bulk nitrogen isotope (δ15N) values, a tracer for nutrient source, observed in a Gulf of Mexico deep-sea coral record. However, unambiguously linking anthropogenic land use change to whole scale shifts in downstream Gulf of Mexico biogeochemical cycles is difficult. Here we present a novel approach, coupling a new tracer of agro-industrialization to a multiproxy record of nutrient loading in long-lived deep-sea corals collected in the Gulf of Mexico. We found that coral bulk δ15N values are enriched over the last 150-200 years relative to the last millennia, and compound-specific amino acid δ15N data indicate a strong increase in baseline δ15N of nitrate as the primary cause. Coral rhenium (Re) values are also strongly elevated during this period, suggesting that 34% of Re is of anthropogenic origin, consistent with Re enrichment in major world rivers. However, there are no pre-anthropogenic measurements of Re to confirm this observation. For the first time, an unprecedented record of natural and anthropogenic Re variability is documented through coral Re records. Taken together, these novel proxies link upstream changes in water quality to impacts on the deep-sea coral ecosystem.

  10. Deep-sea coral record of human impact on watershed quality in the Mississippi River Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prouty, Nancy G.; Roark, E. Brendan; Koenig, Alan E.; Demopoulos, Amanda W. J.; Batista, Fabian C.; Kocar, Benjamin D.; Selby, David; McCarthy, Matthew D.; Mienis, Furu

    2014-01-01

    One of the greatest drivers of historical nutrient and sediment transport into the Gulf of Mexico is the unprecedented scale and intensity of land use change in the Mississippi River Basin. These landscape changes are linked to enhanced fluxes of carbon and nitrogen pollution from the Mississippi River, and persistent eutrophication and hypoxia in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Increased terrestrial runoff is one hypothesis for recent enrichment in bulk nitrogen isotope (δ15N) values, a tracer for nutrient source, observed in a Gulf of Mexico deep-sea coral record. However, unambiguously linking anthropogenic land use change to whole scale shifts in downstream Gulf of Mexico biogeochemical cycles is difficult. Here we present a novel approach, coupling a new tracer of agro-industrialization to a multiproxy record of nutrient loading in long-lived deep-sea corals collected in the Gulf of Mexico. We found that coral bulk δ15N values are enriched over the last 150–200 years relative to the last millennia, and compound-specific amino acid δ15N data indicate a strong increase in baseline δ15N of nitrate as the primary cause. Coral rhenium (Re) values are also strongly elevated during this period, suggesting that 34% of Re is of anthropogenic origin, consistent with Re enrichment in major world rivers. However, there are no pre-anthropogenic measurements of Re to confirm this observation. For the first time, an unprecedented record of natural and anthropogenic Re variability is documented through coral Re records. Taken together, these novel proxies link upstream changes in water quality to impacts on the deep-sea coral ecosystem.

  11. Coral based-ENSO/IOD related climate variability in Indonesia: a review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yudawati Cahyarini, Sri; Henrizan, Marfasran

    2018-02-01

    Indonesia is located in the prominent site to study climate variability as it lies between Pacific and Indian Ocean. It has consequences to the regional climate in Indonesia that its climate variability is influenced by the climate events in the Pacific oceans (e.g. ENSO) and in the Indian ocean (e.g. IOD), and monsoon as well as Indonesian Throughflow (ITF). Northwestern monsoon causes rainfall in the region of Indonesia, while reversely Southwestern monsoon causes dry season around Indonesia. The ENSO warm phase called El Nino causes several droughts in Indonesian region, reversely the La Nina causes flooding in some regions in Indonesia. However, the impact of ENSO in Indonesia is different from one place to the others. Having better understanding on the climate phenomenon and its impact to the region requires long time series climate data. Paleoclimate study which provides climate data back into hundreds to thousands even to million years overcome this requirement. Coral Sr/Ca can provide information on past sea surface temperature (SST) and paired Sr/Ca and δ18O may be used to reconstruct variations in the precipitation balance (salinity) at monthly to annual interannual resolution. Several climate studies based on coral geochemical records in Indonesia show that coral Sr/Ca and δ18O from Indonesian records SST and salinity respectively. Coral Sr/Ca from inshore Seribu islands complex shows more air temperature rather than SST. Modern coral from Timor shows the impact of ENSO and IOD to the saliniy and SST is different at Timor sea. This result should be taken into account when interpreting Paleoclimate records over Indonesia. Timor coral also shows more pronounced low frequency SST variability compared to the SST reanalysis (model). The longer data of low frequency variability will improve the understanding of warming trend in this climatically important region.

  12. Seaweed allelopathy to corals: are active compounds on, or in, seaweeds?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longo, G. O.; Hay, M. E.

    2017-03-01

    Numerous seaweeds produce secondary metabolites that are allelopathic to corals. To date, most of the compounds identified in this interaction are lipid-soluble instead of water-soluble. Thus, understanding whether these compounds are stored internally where they would not contact corals, or occur on external surfaces where they could be transferred to corals, is critical to understanding seaweed-coral interactions and to informing realistic experiments on chemically mediated interactions. We conducted field experiments assessing the effects of lipid-soluble extracts from macroalgal surfaces alone versus total lipid-soluble extracts from both internal and external tissues on the coral Pocillopora verrucosa. Extracts of the red algae Amansia rhodantha and Asparagopsis taxiformis, the green alga Chlorodesmis fastigiata, and the brown alga Dictyota bartayresiana suppressed coral photochemical efficiency; in these bioactive species, the total lipid-soluble extracts were not more potent than surface-only extracts despite the concentration of total extracts being many times greater than surface-only extracts. This suggests that previous assays with total extracts may be ecologically meaningful, but also that future assays should be conducted with the simpler, less concentrated, and more ecologically relevant surface extracts. Allelopathic effects of As. taxiformis and C. fastigiata were significantly greater than the effect of D. bartayresiana, with effects of Am. rhodantha intermediate between these groups. Neither surface-only nor total lipid-soluble extracts of the seaweed Turbinaria ornata were allelopathic, and its lack of potency differed significantly from all other species. Our results suggest that lipid-soluble, allelopathic compounds are usually deployed on seaweed surfaces where they can be effective in surface-mediated interactions against other species.

  13. Patterns of oil-sediment rejection in corals

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bak, R.P.M.; Elgershuizen, J.H.B.W.

    1976-01-01

    The patterns of oil-sediment rejection of 19 Caribbean hermatypic corals are identical to their patterns of rejection of clean sediments. The rejection pattern is typical for coral species, and displays maximum and minimum rates dependent on the size and density of the oil-sediment particles. A coral's efficiency of rejection of sediment depends on the size and amount of the sediment particles. Oil drops less than or equal to 0.06 mm are removed by the coral's tissues. Physical contact with oil-sediment particles appears to be less harmful to corals than the toxic effects of oils.

  14. Processes Driving Natural Acidification of Western Pacific Coral Reef Waters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shamberger, K. E.; Cohen, A. L.; Golbuu, Y.; McCorkle, D. C.; Lentz, S. J.; Barkley, H. C.

    2013-12-01

    Rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) are acidifying the oceans, reducing seawater pH, aragonite saturation state (Ωar) and the availability of carbonate ions (CO32-) that calcifying organisms use to build coral reefs. Today's most extensive reef ecosystems are located where open ocean CO32- concentration ([CO32-]) and Ωar exceed 200 μmol kg-1 and 3.3, respectively. However, high rates of biogeochemical cycling and long residence times of water can result in carbonate chemistry conditions within coral reef systems that differ greatly from those of nearby open ocean waters. In the Palauan archipelago, water moving across the reef platform is altered by both biological and hydrographic processes that combine to produce seawater pH, Ωar, [CO32-] significantly lower than that of open ocean source water. Just inshore of the barrier reefs, average Ωar values are 0.2 to 0.3 and pH values are 0.02 to 0.03 lower than they are offshore, declining further as water moves across the back reef, lagoon and into the meandering bays and inlets that characterize the Rock Islands. In the Rock Island bays, coral communities inhabit seawater with average Ωar values of 2.7 or less, and as low as 1.9. Levels of Ωar as low as these are not predicted to occur in the western tropical Pacific open ocean until near the end of the century. Calcification by coral reef organisms is the principal biological process responsible for lowering Ωar and pH, accounting for 68 - 99 % of the difference in Ωar between offshore source water and reef water at our sites. However, in the Rock Island bays where Ωar is lowest, CO2 production by net respiration contributes between 17 - 30 % of the difference in Ωar between offshore source water and reef water. Furthermore, the residence time of seawater in the Rock Island bays is much longer than at the well flushed exposed sites, enabling calcification and respiration to drive Ωar to very low levels despite lower net ecosystem

  15. Coral growth rings and the temporal history of nuclear 14C/C 90Sr/Sr in the surface ocean. Progress report, February 1, 1980-January 31, 1981

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Broecker, W.S.; Fairbanks, R.G.

    1980-09-01

    Research Progress is reported for the period February 1980 through January 1981. 129 coral samples have been collected from the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. Three Strontium 90 records, one each from Bermuda, Oahu and Tarawa, have been generated. Models have been constructed and tested which are used to reproduce the essential features of the coral 90 Sr and 14 C time histories

  16. Coral Reefs: An English Compilation of Activities for Middle School Students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Sharon H.; Newton, R. Amanda; Ortiz, Alida

    This activity book on coral reefs for middle school students is divided into 10 sections. Section 1 contains the introduction. Section 2 describes what coral reefs are while section 3 describes how coral reefs reproduce and grow. Section 4 discusses where coral reefs are found and section 5 describes life on a coral reef. Section 6 discusses the…

  17. Rapid declines in metabolism explain extended coral larval longevity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, E. M.; Baird, A. H.; Connolly, S. R.; Sewell, M. A.; Willis, B. L.

    2013-06-01

    Lecithotrophic, or non-feeding, marine invertebrate larvae generally have shorter pelagic larval durations (PLDs) than planktotrophic larvae. However, non-feeding larvae of scleractinian corals have PLDs far exceeding those of feeding larvae of other organisms and predictions of PLD based on energy reserves and metabolic rates, raising questions about how such longevity is achieved. Here, we measured temporal changes in metabolic rates and total lipid content of non-feeding larvae of four species of reef corals to determine whether changes in energy utilization through time contribute to extended larval durations. The temporal dynamics of both metabolic rates and lipid content were highly consistent among species. Prior to fertilization, metabolic rates were low (2.73-8.63 nmol O2 larva-1 h-1) before rapidly increasing to a peak during embryogenesis and early development 1-2 days after spawning. Metabolic rates remained high until shortly after larvae first became competent to metamorphose and then declined by up to two orders of magnitude to levels at or below rates seen in unfertilized eggs over the following week. Larvae remained in this state of low metabolic activity for up to 2 months. Consistent with temporal patterns in metabolic rates, depletion of lipids was extremely rapid during early development and then slowed dramatically from 1 week onward. Despite the very low metabolic rates in these species, larvae continued to swim and retained competence for at least 2 months. The capacity of non-feeding coral larvae to enter a state of low metabolism soon after becoming competent to metamorphose significantly extends dispersal potential, thereby accruing advantages typically associated with planktotrophy, notably enhanced population connectivity.

  18. Hyperspectral Distinction of Two Caribbean Shallow-Water Corals Based on Their Pigments and Corresponding Reflectance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan L. Torres-Pérez

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available The coloration of tropical reef corals is mainly due to their association with photosynthetic dinoflagellates commonly known as zooxanthellae. Combining High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC, spectroscopy and derivative analysis we provide a novel approach to discriminate between the Caribbean shallow-water corals Acropora cervicornis and Porites porites based on their associated pigments. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that the total array of pigments found within the coral holobiont is reported. A total of 20 different pigments were identified including chlorophylls, carotenes and xanthophylls. Of these, eleven pigments were common to both species, eight were present only in A. cervicornis, and three were present only in P. porites. Given that these corals are living in similar physical conditions, we hypothesize that this pigment composition difference is likely a consequence of harboring different zooxanthellae clades with a possible influence of endolithic green or brown algae. We tested the effect of this difference in pigments on the reflectance spectra of both species. An important outcome was the correlation of total pigment concentration with coral reflectance spectra up to a 97% confidence level. Derivative analysis of the reflectance curves showed particular differences between species at wavelengths where several chlorophylls, carotenes and xanthophylls absorb. Within species variability of spectral features was not significant while interspecies variability was highly significant. We recognize that the detection of such differences with actual airborne or satellite remote sensors is extremely difficult. Nonetheless, based on our results, the combination of these techniques (HPLC, spectroscopy and derivative analysis can be used as a robust approach for the development of a site specific spectral library for the identification of shallow-water coral species. Studies (Torres-Pérez, NASA Postdoctoral

  19. A 350 Year Cloud Cover Reconstruction Deduced from Caribbean Coral Proxies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winter, Amos; Sammarco, Paul; Mikolajewicz, Uwe; Jury, Mark; Zanchettin, Davide

    2015-04-01

    Clouds are a major factor contributing to climate change with respect to a variety of effects on the earth's climates, primarily radiative effects, amelioration of heating, and regional changes in precipitation patterns. There have been very few studies of decadal and longer term changes in cloud cover in the tropics and sub-tropics, both over land and the ocean. In the tropics, there is great uncertainty regarding how global warming will affect cloud cover. Observational satellite data is so short that it is difficult to discern any temporal trends. The skeletons of scleractinian corals are considered to contain among the best records of high-resolution (sub-annual) environmental variability in the tropical and sub-tropical oceans. Corals generally live in well-mixed coastal regions and can often record environmental conditions of large areas of the upper ocean. This is particularly the case at low latitudes. Scleractinian corals are sessile, epibenthic fauna, and the type of environmental information recorded at the location where the coral has been living is dependent upon the species of coral considered and proxy index of interest. Zooxanthellate hermatypic corals in tropical and sub-tropical seas precipitate CaCO3 skeletons as they grow. This growth is made possible through the manufacture of CaCO3 crystals, facilitated by the zooxanthellae. During the process of crystallization, the holobiont binds carbon of different isotopes into the crystals. Stable carbon isotope concentrations vary with a variety of environmental conditions. In the Caribbean, δ13C in corals of the species Montastraea faveolata can be used as a proxy for changes in cloud cover. In this contribution, we will demonstrate that the stable isotope 13C varies concomitantly with cloud cover and present a new reconstruction of cloud cover over the Caribbean Sea that extends back to the year 1760. We will show that there is good agreement between the main features of our coral proxy record of

  20. Guam Long-term Coral Reef Monitoring Program Coral Colony Size and Condition Surveys since 2010

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Government of Guam's Long-term Coral Reef Monitoring Program, coordinated by the Guam Coastal Management Program until October 2013 and now coordinated by the...

  1. NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program: Coral Reef Habitat Mapping Projects in 2016

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Maps are a critical cornerstone of coral reef management, research and planning, with direct links to management needs in a number of forms. To accurately...

  2. NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program: 2016 Projects Monitoring the Effects of Thermal Stress on Coral Bleaching

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Climate change impacts have been identified as one of the greatest global threats to coral reef ecosystems. As temperature rise, mass bleaching, and infectious...

  3. Predicting Heat Stress to Inform Reef Management: NOAA Coral Reef Watch's 4-Month Coral Bleaching Outlook

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gang Liu

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA Coral Reef Watch (CRW operates a global 4-Month Coral Bleaching Outlook system for shallow-water coral reefs in collaboration with NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP. The Outlooks are generated by applying the algorithm used in CRW's operational satellite coral bleaching heat stress monitoring, with slight modifications, to the sea surface temperature (SST predictions from NCEP's operational Climate Forecast System Version 2 (CFSv2. Once a week, the probability of heat stress capable of causing mass coral bleaching is predicted for 4-months in advance. Each day, CFSv2 generates an ensemble of 16 forecasts, with nine runs out to 45-days, three runs out to 3-months, and four runs out to 9-months. This results in 28–112 ensemble members produced each week. A composite for each predicted week is derived from daily predictions within each ensemble member. The probability of each of four heat stress ranges (Watch and higher, Warning and higher, Alert Level 1 and higher, and Alert Level 2 is determined from all the available ensemble members for the week to form the weekly probabilistic Outlook. The probabilistic 4-Month Outlook is the highest weekly probability predicted among all the weekly Outlooks during a 4-month period for each of the stress ranges. An initial qualitative skill analysis of the Outlooks for 2011–2015, compared with CRW's satellite-based coral bleaching heat stress products, indicated the Outlook has performed well with high hit rates and low miss rates for most coral reef areas. Regions identified with high false alarm rates will guide future improvements. This Outlook system, as the first and only freely available global coral bleaching prediction system, has been providing critical early warning to marine resource managers, scientists, and decision makers around the world to guide management, protection, and monitoring of coral reefs

  4. Utilization of mucus from the coral Acropora palmata by the pathogen Serratia marcescens and by environmental and coral commensal bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krediet, Cory J; Ritchie, Kim B; Cohen, Matthew; Lipp, Erin K; Sutherland, Kathryn Patterson; Teplitski, Max

    2009-06-01

    In recent years, diseases of corals caused by opportunistic pathogens have become widespread. How opportunistic pathogens establish on coral surfaces, interact with native microbiota, and cause disease is not yet clear. This study compared the utilization of coral mucus by coral-associated commensal bacteria ("Photobacterium mandapamensis" and Halomonas meridiana) and by opportunistic Serratia marcescens pathogens. S. marcescens PDL100 (a pathogen associated with white pox disease of Acroporid corals) grew to higher population densities on components of mucus from the host coral. In an in vitro coculture on mucus from Acropora palmata, S. marcescens PDL100 isolates outgrew coral isolates. The white pox pathogen did not differ from other bacteria in growth on mucus from a nonhost coral, Montastraea faveolata. The ability of S. marcescens to cause disease in acroporid corals may be due, at least in part, to the ability of strain PDL100 to build to higher population numbers within the mucus surface layer of its acroporid host. During growth on mucus from A. palmata, similar glycosidase activities were present in coral commensal bacteria, in S. marcescens PDL100, and in environmental and human isolates of S. marcescens. The temporal regulation of these activities during growth on mucus, however, was distinct in the isolates. During early stages of growth on mucus, enzymatic activities in S. marcescens PDL100 were most similar to those in coral commensals. After overnight incubation on mucus, enzymatic activities in a white pox pathogen were most similar to those in pathogenic Serratia strains isolated from human mucosal surfaces.

  5. CoralFISH Northeast Atlantic and Mediterranean Cold-Water Coral Habitats Catalogue

    OpenAIRE

    Guillaumont, Brigitte; Tempera, Fernando; Davies, Jaime; Vertino, Agostina; Beuck, Lydia; Ólafsdóttir, Steinunn Hilma; Smith, Chris; Fosså, Jan Helge; Van Den Beld, Inge; Savini, Alessandra; Rengstorf, Anna; Grehan, Anthony

    2016-01-01

    The catalogue is an inventory of cold-water coral (CWC) habitats found across the NE Atlantic and Mediterranean. It was developed within the EU FP7 project CoralFISH to capture the variability of CWC habitats identified using a wealth of seafloor imagery datasets from across the Northeast Atlantic and Mediterranean. Depending on the resolution of the imagery being interpreted, this hierarchical scheme allows data to be recorded from broad CWC biotope categories down to detailed taxonomy-based...

  6. Effects of light dynamics on coral spawning synchrony.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boch, Charles A; Ananthasubramaniam, Bharath; Sweeney, Alison M; Doyle, Francis J; Morse, Daniel E

    2011-06-01

    Synchrony of spawning in many hermatypic corals, typically a few nights after the full moon, is putatively dependent on solar and lunar light cycles in conjunction with other possible cues such as tides and temperature. We analyze here the contributions of separate components of light dynamics, because the effects of twilight and lunar skylight on coral spawning synchrony have previously been conflated and the alternative hypothesis that these components have differential contributions as proximate cues has not been tested. Moonlight-dependent changes in spectra during twilight, rates of decreasing twilight intensities, and changes in lunar photoperiod were experimentally decoupled using programmed light-emitting diodes and compared for their separate effects on spawning synchrony in Acropora humilis. Effects on synchrony under the control of synthetic lunar cues were greatest in response to changes in lunar photoperiod; changes in light intensities and spectra had lesser influence. No significant differences among treatment responses were found at the circa-diel time scale. We conclude that spawning synchrony on a particular lunar night and specific time of night is a threshold response to differential periods of darkness after twilight that is primarily influenced by lunar photoperiod and secondarily by discrete optical components of early nocturnal illumination.

  7. Weak prezygotic isolating mechanisms in threatened Caribbean Acropora corals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole D Fogarty

    Full Text Available The Caribbean corals, Acropora palmata and A. cervicornis, recently have undergone drastic declines primarily as a result of disease. Previous molecular studies have demonstrated that these species form a hybrid (A. prolifera that varies in abundance throughout the range of the parental distribution. There is variable unidirectional introgression across loci and sites of A. palmata genes flowing into A. cervicornis. Here we examine the efficacy of prezygotic reproductive isolating mechanisms within these corals including spawning times and choice and no-choice fertilization crosses. We show that these species have subtly different mean but overlapping spawning times, suggesting that temporal isolation is likely not an effective barrier to hybridization. We found species-specific differences in gametic incompatibilities. Acropora palmata eggs were relatively resistant to hybridization, especially when conspecific sperm are available to outcompete heterospecific sperm. Acropora cervicornis eggs demonstrated no evidence for gametic incompatibility and no evidence of reduced viability after aging four hours. This asymmetry in compatibility matches previous genetic data on unidirectional introgression.

  8. Weak prezygotic isolating mechanisms in threatened Caribbean Acropora corals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fogarty, Nicole D; Vollmer, Steven V; Levitan, Don R

    2012-01-01

    The Caribbean corals, Acropora palmata and A. cervicornis, recently have undergone drastic declines primarily as a result of disease. Previous molecular studies have demonstrated that these species form a hybrid (A. prolifera) that varies in abundance throughout the range of the parental distribution. There is variable unidirectional introgression across loci and sites of A. palmata genes flowing into A. cervicornis. Here we examine the efficacy of prezygotic reproductive isolating mechanisms within these corals including spawning times and choice and no-choice fertilization crosses. We show that these species have subtly different mean but overlapping spawning times, suggesting that temporal isolation is likely not an effective barrier to hybridization. We found species-specific differences in gametic incompatibilities. Acropora palmata eggs were relatively resistant to hybridization, especially when conspecific sperm are available to outcompete heterospecific sperm. Acropora cervicornis eggs demonstrated no evidence for gametic incompatibility and no evidence of reduced viability after aging four hours. This asymmetry in compatibility matches previous genetic data on unidirectional introgression.

  9. Effects of temperature on gene expression in embryos of the coral Montastraea faveolata

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    Randall Carly J

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Coral reefs are expected to be severely impacted by rising seawater temperatures associated with climate change. This study used cDNA microarrays to investigate transcriptional effects of thermal stress in embryos of the coral Montastraea faveolata. Embryos were exposed to 27.5°C, 29.0°C, and 31.5°C directly after fertilization. Differences in gene expression were measured after 12 and 48 hours. Results Analysis of differentially expressed genes indicated that increased temperatures may lead to oxidative stress, apoptosis, and a structural reconfiguration of the cytoskeletal network. Metabolic processes were downregulated, and the action of histones and zinc finger-containing proteins may have played a role in the long-term regulation upon heat stress. Conclusions Embryos responded differently depending on exposure time and temperature level. Embryos showed expression of stress-related genes already at a temperature of 29.0°C, but seemed to be able to counteract the initial response over time. By contrast, embryos at 31.5°C displayed continuous expression of stress genes. The genes that played a role in the response to elevated temperatures consisted of both highly conserved and coral-specific genes. These genes might serve as a basis for research into coral-specific adaptations to stress responses and global climate change.

  10. CORAL BRACHO: HACIA UNA POÉTICA DEL SER

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    GLORIA VERGARA

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available In this article we review the work of Coral Bracho1 as a poetics of being. Inserting into the Mexican tradition, the poet constructs the way of interiority. Everything happens at the moment: life and death. And in that full time, people are around and within the Being, they are part of the dynamism of the universe. Being dreams, hopes, struggles, convulses, and finally reaches the elasticity of time to join the other, the beloved one. But the Being is diffused in the sperm of time and has the mark of that “Beinggoing-to-die”. In this “oracle” the erotic and the divine join; the body is the temple, the night, the space of delirium. The body is also the seed and core, the humus, the edge and halo. It mixes the impulses of life and death, overlooking the archetypes of time.

  11. 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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-27

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

  13. Recovery from bleaching is mediated by threshold densities of background thermo-tolerant symbiont types in a reef-building coral.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bay, Line K; Doyle, Jason; Logan, Murray; Berkelmans, Ray

    2016-06-01

    Sensitive molecular analyses show that most corals host a complement of Symbiodinium genotypes that includes thermo-tolerant types in low abundance. While tolerant symbiont types are hypothesized to facilitate tolerance to temperature and recovery from bleaching, empirical data on their distribution and relative abundance in corals under ambient and stress conditions are still rare. We quantified visual bleaching and mortality of coral hosts, along with relative abundance of C- and D-type Symbiodinium cells in 82 Acropora millepora colonies from three locations on the Great Barrier Reef transplanted to a central inshore site over a 13 month period. Our analyses reveal dynamic change in symbiont associations within colonies and among populations over time. Coral bleaching and declines in C- but not D-type symbionts were observed in transplanted corals. Survival and recovery of 25% of corals from one population was associated with either initial D-dominance or an increase in D-type symbionts that could be predicted by a minimum pre-stress D : C ratio of 0.003. One-third of corals from this population became D dominated at the bleached stage despite no initial detection of this symbiont type, but failed to recover and died in mid to late summer. These results provide a predictive threshold minimum density of background D-type symbionts in A. millepora, above which survival following extreme thermal stress is increased.

  14. The role of taphonomy in the palaeoenvironmental reconstruction of turbid-water coral reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silvestri, Giulia; Bosellini, Francesca R.; Nebelsick, James H.

    2010-05-01

    Reconstructing the taphonomic history of a fossil assemblage can provide a wide range of information concerning environmental conditions and ecological relationships of the living community including causes of death, biological and physical processes on the sediment surface, rates of transport, surface residence times before burial and diagenesis. Taphonomic analysis can ultimately reveal processes and patterns not readily recognizable by other palaeoecological or sedimentological approaches. As far as coral reefs are concerned, there has been the tendency to consider them as examples of preserved life assemblages. As a consequence, taphonomic approaches to the study of corals and coral reefs are relatively rare. Nevertheless, the development and demise of coral reef frameworks and the preservation potential of both in situ and rubble coral assemblages are strictly related to taphonomic processes such as, for example, physical disturbance (storm events and terrestrial run-off) and bioinfestation on both living and dead corals. Taphonomic signatures are especially significant in reconstructing environmental conditions associated to scleractinian-dominated turbid-water bioconstructions (TWBs) thriving in episodically or permanently turbid waters, where marine environmental parameters often approach the threshold levels for tropical carbonate production with respect to present-day classic reef models. We present here a preliminary attempt of a taphonomic approach to nearshore-to deltaic turbid-water "reefs" (Eocene and Oligocene of Italy, Slovenia and Spain) using microfacies analysis, especially through identification of taphonomic signatures, as a tool to infer the incidence of controlling factors as hydrodynamic conditions, terrigenous input, light penetration and turbidity. Our analysis is particularly focused on primary processes occurring on coral remains before or during sedimentation, especially fragmentation and bioinfestation, including both bioerosion and

  15. Coral Recruit-Algae Interactions in Coral Reef Lagoons Are Mediated by Riverine Influences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. A. Mwachireya

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Coral recruit and algae abundance and diversity were studied in Kenyan reefs to determine the influence of terrestrial discharge (nutrients and sediments and the recovery potential of coral reefs after disturbances. Reefs affected by sediments and nutrients were found to have high total, turf, and macroalgae but reduced coralline algae abundance and coral recruit density. Interestingly, this response was found to be the greatest in reefs close to nutrient sources relative to “pristine” reefs and those affected simultaneously by sediments and nutrients. Further, enhanced levels of brown algae and pocilloporid recruits were observed in reefs affected by terrestrial run-off whereas acroporid recruit, coralline, and calcareous algae abundance was high in reefs under low terrestrial input. Our results show that whereas increased sediment levels negatively affect coral recruit density individually, their interaction with nutrients improves recruit density in reefs simultaneously affected by sediment and nutrients. These findings suggest that the assessment of local factors that enhance inhibitory and those that suppress promotional processes involved in coral settlement and recruitment is an important aspect to consider in the conservation and management of coral reefs in the face of local anthropogenic stress as well as future climate disturbance dynamics and their interaction.

  16. Hurricanes and coral bleaching linked to changes in coral recruitment in Tobago.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mallela, J; Crabbe, M J C

    2009-10-01

    Knowledge of coral recruitment patterns helps us understand how reefs react following major disturbances and provides us with an early warning system for predicting future reef health problems. We have reconstructed and interpreted historical and modern-day recruitment patterns, using a combination of growth modelling and in situ recruitment experiments, in order to understand how hurricanes, storms and bleaching events have influenced coral recruitment on the Caribbean coastline of Tobago. Whilst Tobago does not lie within the main hurricane belt results indicate that regional hurricane events negatively impact coral recruitment patterns in the Southern Caribbean. In years following hurricanes, tropical storms and bleaching events, coral recruitment was reduced when compared to normal years (p=0.016). Following Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and the 2005-2006 bleaching event, coral recruitment was markedly limited with only 2% (n=6) of colonies estimated to have recruited during 2006 and 2007. Our experimental results indicate that despite multiple large-scale disturbances corals are still recruiting on Tobago's marginal reef systems, albeit in low numbers.

  17. 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

    2013-03-22

    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.

  18. Seasonal variation modulates coral sensibility to heat-stress and explains annual changes in coral productivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheufen, Tim; Krämer, Wiebke E; Iglesias-Prieto, Roberto; Enríquez, Susana

    2017-07-10

    The potential effects of seasonal acclimatization on coral sensitivity to heat-stress, has received limited attention despite differing bleaching thresholds for summer and winter. In this study, we examined the response of two contrasting phenotypes, termed winter and summer, of four Caribbean reef corals to similar light and heat-stress levels. The four species investigated were categorized into two groups: species with the ability to harbour large number of symbionts, Orbicella annularis and O. faveolata, and species with reduced symbiont density (Montastraea cavernosa and Pseudodiploria strigosa). The first group showed higher capacity to enhance photosynthetic rates per area (P max ), while P max enhancement in the second group was more dependent on Symbiodinium performance (P sym ). In summer all four species presented higher productivity, but also higher sensitivity to lose coral photosynthesis under heat-stress. In contrast, corals in winter exhibit symbionts with higher capacity to photoacclimate to the increased levels of light-stress elicited by heat-stress. Overall, our study supports the importance of the acclimatory coral condition in addition to the previous thermal history, to determine the severity of the impact of heat-stress on coral physiology, but also the dependence of this response on the particular structural and functional traits of the species.

  19. 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, Thierry 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.

  20. Effect of shading by the table coral Acropora Hyacinthus on understory corals. [Acropora; Pocillopora

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stimson, J.

    1985-02-01

    Field surveys at Enewetak Atoll, Marshall Islands, show that coral density and diversity is much lower beneath Acropora table corals than in adjacent unshaded areas. Additionally, the understory community is predominantly composed of massive and encrusting species, while branching Acropora and Pocillopora predominate in unshaded areas. Results of experiments in which coral fragments were transferred to the shade of table Acropora and to adjacent unshaded areas show that shading slows the growth and leads to higher mortality of branching species, while massive and encrusting species are unaffected. Light measurements made beneath table Acropora show that illumination and irradiance values fall to levels at which most hermatypic corals do not occur. The fast-growing but fragile table Acropora are abundant in a wide variety of atoll habitats and grow rapidly to form a canopy approx. = 50 cm above the substrate. However, table Acropora also have high mortality rates, so that there is continuous production of unshaded areas. The growth and death of tables thus create local disturbances, and the resulting patchwork of recently shaded and unshaded areas may enhance coral diversity in areas of high coral cover.

  1. Coral calcifying fluid aragonite saturation states derived from Raman spectroscopy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. M. DeCarlo

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Quantifying the saturation state of aragonite (ΩAr within the calcifying fluid of corals is critical for understanding their biomineralization process and sensitivity to environmental changes including ocean acidification. Recent advances in microscopy, microprobes, and isotope geochemistry enable the determination of calcifying fluid pH and [CO32−], but direct quantification of ΩAr (where ΩAr =  [CO32−][Ca2+]∕Ksp has proved elusive. Here we test a new technique for deriving ΩAr based on Raman spectroscopy. First, we analysed abiogenic aragonite crystals precipitated under a range of ΩAr from 10 to 34, and we found a strong dependence of Raman peak width on ΩAr with no significant effects of other factors including pH, Mg∕Ca partitioning, and temperature. Validation of our Raman technique for corals is difficult because there are presently no direct measurements of calcifying fluid ΩAr available for comparison. However, Raman analysis of the international coral standard JCp-1 produced ΩAr of 12.3 ± 0.3, which we demonstrate is consistent with published skeletal Mg∕Ca, Sr∕Ca, B∕Ca, δ11B, and δ44Ca data. Raman measurements are rapid ( ≤  1 s, high-resolution ( ≤  1 µm, precise (derived ΩAr ± 1 to 2 per spectrum depending on instrument configuration, accurate ( ±2 if ΩAr < 20, and require minimal sample preparation, making the technique well suited for testing the sensitivity of coral calcifying fluid ΩAr to ocean acidification and warming using samples from natural and laboratory settings. To demonstrate this, we also show a high-resolution time series of ΩAr over multiple years of growth in a Porites skeleton from the Great Barrier Reef, and we evaluate the response of ΩAr in juvenile Acropora cultured under elevated CO2 and temperature.

  2. Coral Patch seamount (NE Atlantic – a sedimentological and megafaunal reconnaissance based on video and hydroacoustic surveys

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Wienberg

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available The present study provides new knowledge about the so far largely unexplored Coral Patch seamount which is located in the NE Atlantic Ocean half-way between the Iberian Peninsula and Madeira. For the first time a detailed hydroacoustic mapping (MBES in conjunction with video surveys (ROV, camera sled were performed to describe the sedimentological and biological characteristics of this sub-elliptical ENE-WSW elongated seamount. Video observations were restricted to the southwestern summit area of Coral Patch seamount (water depth: 560–760 m and revealed that this part of the summit is dominated by exposed hard substrate, whereas soft sediment is just a minor substrate component. Although exposed hardgrounds are dominant for this summit area and, thus, offer suitable habitat for settlement by benthic organisms, the benthic megafauna shows rather scarce occurrence. In particular, scleractinian framework-building cold-water corals are apparently rare with very few isolated and small-sized live occurrences of the species Lophelia pertusa and Madrepora oculata. In contrast, dead coral framework and coral rubble are more frequent pointing to a higher abundance of cold-water corals on Coral Patch during the recent past. This is even supported by the observation of fishing lines that got entangled with rather fresh-looking coral frameworks. Overall, long lines and various species of commercially important fish were frequently observed emphasising the potential of Coral Patch as an important target for fisheries that may have impacted the entire benthic community. Hydroacoustic seabed classification covered the entire summit of Coral Patch and its northern and southern flanks (water depth: 560–2660 m and revealed extended areas dominated by mixed and soft sediments at the northern flank and to a minor degree at its easternmost summit and southern flank. Nevertheless, these data also predict most of the summit area to be dominated by exposed bedrock

  3. Feedbacks and responses of coral calcification on the Bermuda reef system to seasonal changes in biological processes and ocean acidification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. R. Bates

    2010-08-01

    of zero net calcification within the next decade at [CO32-] and Ωaragonite thresholds of ~184 μmoles kg−1 and 2.65. However, net autotrophy of the reef during winter and spring (as part of the CREF hypothesis may delay the onset of zero NEC or decalcification going forward by enhancing [CO32-] and Ωaragonite. The Bermuda coral reef is one of the first responders to the negative impacts of ocean acidification, and we estimate that calcification rates for D. labyrinthiformis have declined by >50% compared to pre-industrial times.

  4. 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

  5. Photography of Coral Reefs from ISS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Julie A.

    2009-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation reviews the uses of photography from the International Space Station (ISS) in studying Earth's coral reefs. The photographs include reefs in various oceans . The photographs have uses for science in assisting NASA mapping initiatives, distribution worldwide through ReefBase, and by biologist in the field.

  6. Symbiosis increases coral tolerance to ocean acidification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohki, S.; Irie, T.; Inoue, M.; Shinmen, K.; Kawahata, H.; Nakamura, T.; Kato, A.; Nojiri, Y.; Suzuki, A.; Sakai, K.; van Woesik, R.

    2013-04-01

    Increasing the acidity of ocean waters will directly threaten calcifying marine organisms such as reef-building scleractinian corals, and the myriad of species that rely on corals for protection and sustenance. Ocean pH has already decreased by around 0.1 pH units since the beginning of the industrial revolution, and is expected to decrease by another 0.2-0.4 pH units by 2100. This study mimicked the pre-industrial, present, and near-future levels of pCO2 using a precise control system (±5% pCO2), to assess the impact of ocean acidification on the calcification of recently-settled primary polyps of Acropora digitifera, both with and without symbionts, and adult fragments with symbionts. The increase in pCO2 of 100 μatm between the pre-industrial period and the present had more effect on the calcification rate of adult A. digitifera than the anticipated future increases of several hundreds of micro-atmospheres of pCO2. The primary polyps with symbionts showed higher calcification rates than primary polyps without symbionts, suggesting that (i) primary polyps housing symbionts are more tolerant to near-future ocean acidification than organisms without symbionts, and (ii) corals acquiring symbionts from the environment (i.e. broadcasting species) will be more vulnerable to ocean acidification than corals that maternally acquire symbionts.

  7. Fishing down nutrients on coral reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allgeier, Jacob E.; Valdivia, Abel; Cox, Courtney; Layman, Craig A.

    2016-08-01

    Fishing is widely considered a leading cause of biodiversity loss in marine environments, but the potential effect on ecosystem processes, such as nutrient fluxes, is less explored. Here, we test how fishing on Caribbean coral reefs influences biodiversity and ecosystem functions provided by the fish community, that is, fish-mediated nutrient capacity. Specifically, we modelled five processes of nutrient storage (in biomass) and supply (via excretion) of nutrients, as well as a measure of their multifunctionality, onto 143 species of coral reef fishes across 110 coral reef fish communities. These communities span a gradient from extreme fishing pressure to protected areas with little to no fishing. We find that in fished sites fish-mediated nutrient capacity is reduced almost 50%, despite no substantial changes in the number of species. Instead, changes in community size and trophic structure were the primary cause of shifts in ecosystem function. These findings suggest that a broader perspective that incorporates predictable impacts of fishing pressure on ecosystem function is imperative for effective coral reef conservation and management.

  8. Coral Reefs and Their Management in Tanzania

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    extensive, mangrove stands (IUCN Conservation. Monitoring Center ... CORAL REEFS AND THEIR MANAGEMENT IN TANZANIA 229. 23. 06 00. N. A. Avinternational Boundary. /\\!/ River. /\\/Main Road of 00 A-Z Railway. Land. Mangrove. Ocean. G 20 40 60 80 .... centers, deforestation and poor agricultural practices lead to ...

  9. Towards better management of Coral Triangle tuna

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bailey, M.L.; Flores, J.; Pokajam, S.; Rashid Sumaila, U.

    2012-01-01

    Indonesia, the Philippines, and Papua New Guinea, all part of a regional sub-group known as the Coral Triangle, have sizeable skipjack, yellowfin and bigeye tuna fisheries. Recent figures suggest that as much as a third of tuna catch from the western and central Pacific Ocean can be attributed to

  10. Bathymetry (2011) for Coral Bay, St. John

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This image represents a LiDAR (Light Detection & Ranging) 0.3x0.3 meter resolution depth surface for Coral Bay, St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI). The...

  11. Deep Water Coral (HB1402, EK60)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The cruise will survey and collect samples of deep-sea corals and related marine life in the canyons in the northern Gulf of Maine in U.S. and Canadian waters. The...

  12. 50 CFR 223.208 - Corals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 9(a)(1) of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1538(a)(1)) relating to endangered species apply to elkhorn (Acropora palmata) and staghorn (A. cervicornis) corals listed as threatened in § 223.102(d), except as provided in...

  13. Vannisalong Coral pakub kvaliteeti soodsa hinna eest

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    2007-01-01

    Tallinnas A. H. Tammsaare tee 116 ja Tartus Teguri 45 asuvas vannisalongis Coral pakutakse põhiliselt vanne ja saunu, kuid müügil on ka dušikabiinid, segistid, valamud, vannitoamööbel, basseinid jm

  14. Development of hydroxyapatite from Setiu coral via hydrothermal method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adnen, Noor Asliza Ismail; Halim, Nur Aini Abd; Nor, Mohd Al Amin Muhamad

    2017-09-01

    Coral and converted coralline hydroxyapatites (CHAp) have been widely used in biomedical application as orbital implant and bone graft substitute. In this study, the effect of calcination temperature towards properties of hydroxyapatite were investigated. Three different species of corals which commonly found in Setiu, Terengganu was identified based on coral skeleton and its mean pore diameter was analysed using SEM image analyzer. Corals sample undergo hydrothermal process at calcination temperatures range from 200°C to 240°C with addition of di-ammonium hydrogen phosphate as mineralizer. Three species of corals was identified as Platygyra Lamellina sp., Leptoria Phrygia sp. and Pocillopora Damicornis sp. The mean pore diameter of Setiu corals are 0.751mm, 0.495mm and 0.313mm for Platygyra Lamellina sp., Leptoria Phrygia sp. and Pocillopora Damicornis sp., respectively. The XRD diffractograms showed that the raw corals was sucessfully converted to hydroxyapatite (HA) with presence of minor impurities for all type of corals. Calcination temperature of 240°C was found the best temperature to convert coral to coralline hydroxyapatite. Based on this finding, coral species found in Setiu, Terengganu has great potential to be used as bone graft substitutes.

  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. Coral colonisation of a shallow reef flat in response to rising sea level: quantification from 35 years of remote sensing data at Heron Island, Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scopélitis, J.; Andréfouët, S.; Phinn, S.; Done, T.; Chabanet, P.

    2011-12-01

    Observations made on Heron Island reef flat during the 1970s-1990s highlighted the importance of rapid change in hydrodynamics and accommodation space for coral development. Between the 1940s and the 1990s, the minimum reef-flat top water level varied by some tens of centimetres, successively down then up, in rapid response to local engineering works. Coral growth followed sea-level variations and was quantified here for several coral communities using horizontal two-dimensional above water remotely sensed observations. This required seven high spatial resolution aerial photographs and Quickbird satellite images spanning 35 years: 1972, 1979, 1990, 1992, 2002, 2006 and 2007. The coral growth dynamics followed four regimes corresponding to artificially induced changes in sea levels: 1972-1979 (lowest growth rate): no detectable coral development, due to high tidal currents and minimum mean low-tide water level; 1979-1991 (higher growth rate): horizontal coral development promoted by calmer hydrodynamic conditions; 1991-2001(lower growth rate): vertical coral development, induced by increased local sea level by ~12 cm due to construction of new bund walls; 2001-2007 (highest growth rate): horizontal coral development after that vertical growth had become limited by sea level. This unique time-series displays a succession of ecological stage comprising a `catch-up' dynamic in response to a rapid local sea-level rise in spite of the occurrences of the most severe bleaching events on record (1998, 2002) and the decreasing calcification rates reported in massive corals in the northern part of the Great Barrier Reef.

  17. Coral thermal tolerance: tuning gene expression to resist thermal stress.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anthony J Bellantuono

    Full Text Available The acclimatization capacity of corals is a critical consideration in the persistence of coral reefs under stresses imposed by global climate change. The stress history of corals plays a role in subsequent response to heat stress, but the transcriptomic changes associated with these plastic changes have not been previously explored. In order to identify host transcriptomic changes associated with acquired thermal tolerance in the scleractinian coral Acropora millepora, corals preconditioned to a sub-lethal temperature of 3°C below bleaching threshold temperature were compared to both non-preconditioned corals and untreated controls using a cDNA microarray platform. After eight days of hyperthermal challenge, conditions under which non-preconditioned corals bleached and preconditioned corals (thermal-tolerant maintained Symbiodinium density, a clear differentiation in the transcriptional profiles was revealed among the condition examined. Among these changes, nine differentially expressed genes separated preconditioned corals from non-preconditioned corals, with 42 genes differentially expressed between control and preconditioned treatments, and 70 genes between non-preconditioned corals and controls. Differentially expressed genes included components of an apoptotic signaling cascade, which suggest the inhibition of apoptosis in preconditioned corals. Additionally, lectins and genes involved in response to oxidative stress were also detected. One dominant pattern was the apparent tuning of gene expression observed between preconditioned and non-preconditioned treatments; that is, differences in expression magnitude were more apparent than differences in the identity of genes differentially expressed. Our work revealed a transcriptomic signature underlying the tolerance associated with coral thermal history, and suggests that understanding the molecular mechanisms behind physiological acclimatization would be critical for the modeling of reefs

  18. Chemotaxis by natural populations of coral reef bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tout, Jessica; Jeffries, Thomas C; Petrou, Katherina; Tyson, Gene W; Webster, Nicole S; Garren, Melissa; Stocker, Roman; Ralph, Peter J; Seymour, Justin R

    2015-08-01

    Corals experience intimate associations with distinct populations of marine microorganisms, but the microbial behaviours underpinning these relationships are poorly understood. There is evidence that chemotaxis is pivotal to the infection process of corals by pathogenic bacteria, but this evidence is limited to experiments using cultured isolates under laboratory conditions. We measured the chemotactic capabilities of natural populations of coral-associated bacteria towards chemicals released by corals and their symbionts, including amino acids, carbohydrates, ammonium and dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP). Laboratory experiments, using a modified capillary assay, and in situ measurements, using a novel microfabricated in situ chemotaxis assay, were employed to quantify the chemotactic responses of natural microbial assemblages on the Great Barrier Reef. Both approaches showed that bacteria associated with the surface of the coral species Pocillopora damicornis and Acropora aspera exhibited significant levels of chemotaxis, particularly towards DMSP and amino acids, and that these levels of chemotaxis were significantly higher than that of bacteria inhabiting nearby, non-coral-associated waters. This pattern was supported by a significantly higher abundance of chemotaxis and motility genes in metagenomes within coral-associated water types. The phylogenetic composition of the coral-associated chemotactic microorganisms, determined using 16S rRNA amplicon pyrosequencing, differed from the community in the seawater surrounding the coral and comprised known coral associates, including potentially pathogenic Vibrio species. These findings indicate that motility and chemotaxis are prevalent phenotypes among coral-associated bacteria, and we propose that chemotaxis has an important role in the establishment and maintenance of specific coral-microbe associations, which may ultimately influence the health and stability of the coral holobiont.

  19. 78 FR 12703 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Amendment to the Corals and Reef...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-02-25

    ..., Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Amendment to the Corals and Reef Associated Plants and...) has submitted Amendment 4 to the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for Corals and Reef Associated Plants... coral reef resources fishery management unit (FMU) of the Coral FMP. The Coral FMP defined the coral...

  20. Modelling coral reef futures to inform management: can reducing local-scale stressors conserve reefs under climate change?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gurney, Georgina G; Melbourne-Thomas, Jessica; Geronimo, Rollan C; Aliño, Perry M; Johnson, Craig R

    2013-01-01

    Climate change has emerged as a principal threat to coral reefs, and is expected to exacerbate coral reef degradation caused by more localised stressors. Management of local stressors is widely advocated to bolster coral reef resilience, but the extent to which management of local stressors might affect future trajectories of reef state remains unclear. This is in part because of limited understanding of the cumulative impact of multiple stressors. Models are ideal tools to aid understanding of future reef state under alternative management and climatic scenarios, but to date few have been sufficiently developed to be useful as decision support tools for local management of coral reefs subject to multiple stressors. We used a simulation model of coral reefs to investigate the extent to which the management of local stressors (namely poor water quality and fishing) might influence future reef state under varying climatic scenarios relating to coral bleaching. We parameterised the model for Bolinao, the Philippines, and explored how simulation modelling can be used to provide decision support for local management. We found that management of water quality, and to a lesser extent fishing, can have a significant impact on future reef state, including coral recovery following bleaching-induced mortality. The stressors we examined interacted antagonistically to affect reef state, highlighting the importance of considering the combined impact of multiple stressors rather than considering them individually. Further, by providing explicit guidance for management of Bolinao's reef system, such as which course of management action will most likely to be effective over what time scales and at which sites, we demonstrated the utility of simulation models for supporting management. Aside from providing explicit guidance for management of Bolinao's reef system, our study offers insights which could inform reef management more broadly, as well as general understanding of reef

  1. Measuring coral calcification under ocean acidification: methodological considerations for the 45Ca-uptake and total alkalinity anomaly technique

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie Cohen

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available As the oceans become less alkaline due to rising CO2 levels, deleterious consequences are expected for calcifying corals. Predicting how coral calcification will be affected by on-going ocean acidification (OA requires an accurate assessment of CaCO3 deposition and an understanding of the relative importance that decreasing calcification and/or increasing dissolution play for the overall calcification budget of individual corals. Here, we assessed the compatibility of the 45Ca-uptake and total alkalinity (TA anomaly techniques as measures of gross and net calcification (GC, NC, respectively, to determine coral calcification at pHT 8.1 and 7.5. Considering the differing buffering capacity of seawater at both pH values, we were also interested in how strongly coral calcification alters the seawater carbonate chemistry under prolonged incubation in sealed chambers, potentially interfering with physiological functioning. Our data indicate that NC estimates by TA are erroneously ∼5% and ∼21% higher than GC estimates from 45Ca for ambient and reduced pH, respectively. Considering also previous data, we show that the consistent discrepancy between both techniques across studies is not constant, but largely depends on the absolute value of CaCO3 deposition. Deriving rates of coral dissolution from the difference between NC and GC was not possible and we advocate a more direct approach for the future by simultaneously measuring skeletal calcium influx and efflux. Substantial changes in carbonate system parameters for incubation times beyond two hours in our experiment demonstrate the necessity to test and optimize experimental incubation setups when measuring coral calcification in closed systems, especially under OA conditions.

  2. In-situ effects of eutrophication and overfishing on physiology and bacterial diversity of the red sea coral Acropora hemprichii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jessen, Christian; Villa Lizcano, Javier Felipe; Bayer, Till; Roder, Cornelia; Aranda, Manuel; Wild, Christian; Voolstra, Christian R

    2013-01-01

    Coral reefs of the Central Red Sea display a high degree of endemism, and are increasingly threatened by anthropogenic effects due to intense local coastal development measures. Overfishing and eutrophication are among the most significant local pressures on these reefs, but there is no information available about their potential effects on the associated microbial community. Therefore, we compared holobiont physiology and 16S-based bacterial communities of tissue and mucus of the hard coral Acropora hemprichii after 1 and 16 weeks of in-situ inorganic nutrient enrichment (via fertilizer diffusion) and/or herbivore exclusion (via caging) in an offshore reef of the Central Red Sea. Simulated eutrophication and/or overfishing treatments did not affect coral physiology with respect to coral respiration rates, chlorophyll a content, zooxanthellae abundance, or δ (15)N isotopic signatures. The bacterial community of A. hemprichii was rich and uneven, and diversity increased over time in all treatments. While distinct bacterial species were identified as a consequence of eutrophication, overfishing, or both, two bacterial species that could be classified to the genus Endozoicomonas were consistently abundant and constituted two thirds of bacteria in the coral. Several nitrogen-fixing and denitrifying bacteria were found in the coral specimens that were exposed to experimentally increased nutrients. However, no particular bacterial species was consistently associated with the coral under a given treatment and the single effects of manipulated eutrophication and overfishing could not predict the combined effect. Our data underlines the importance of conducting field studies in a holobiont framework, taking both, physiological and molecular measures into account.

  3. In-situ effects of eutrophication and overfishing on physiology and bacterial diversity of the red sea coral Acropora hemprichii.

    KAUST Repository

    Jessen, Christian

    2013-04-22

    Coral reefs of the Central Red Sea display a high degree of endemism, and are increasingly threatened by anthropogenic effects due to intense local coastal development measures. Overfishing and eutrophication are among the most significant local pressures on these reefs, but there is no information available about their potential effects on the associated microbial community. Therefore, we compared holobiont physiology and 16S-based bacterial communities of tissue and mucus of the hard coral Acropora hemprichii after 1 and 16 weeks of in-situ inorganic nutrient enrichment (via fertilizer diffusion) and/or herbivore exclusion (via caging) in an offshore reef of the Central Red Sea. Simulated eutrophication and/or overfishing treatments did not affect coral physiology with respect to coral respiration rates, chlorophyll a content, zooxanthellae abundance, or δ (15)N isotopic signatures. The bacterial community of A. hemprichii was rich and uneven, and diversity increased over time in all treatments. While distinct bacterial species were identified as a consequence of eutrophication, overfishing, or both, two bacterial species that could be classified to the genus Endozoicomonas were consistently abundant and constituted two thirds of bacteria in the coral. Several nitrogen-fixing and denitrifying bacteria were found in the coral specimens that were exposed to experimentally increased nutrients. However, no particular bacterial species was consistently associated with the coral under a given treatment and the single effects of manipulated eutrophication and overfishing could not predict the combined effect. Our data underlines the importance of conducting field studies in a holobiont framework, taking both, physiological and molecular measures into account.

  4. Effectiveness of a coral-derived surfacing material for reducing sediment production on unpaved roads, Schoffield barracks, Oahu, Hawaii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziegler, Alan D; Sutherland, Ross A

    2006-01-01

    This study evaluated the effectiveness of two application rates of a coral-derived surfacing material for both traffic and nontraffic road conditions using simulated rainfall (110-120 mm h(-1) for 30-90 min) on 0.75-m (wide) x 5.0-m (long) plots of similar slope (roughly 0.1 m m(-1)). The coral is a locally available material that has been applied to unpaved roads surfaces on Schoffield Barracks, Oahu, Hawaii (USA), where this experiment was conducted. The simulations show that compared with a bare control plot, the coral-based surface application rates of 80 and 160 kg m(-2) (equivalent to only 10- and 20-mm thicknesses) reduced road sediment production by 75% and 95%, respectively, for nontraffic conditions. However, after two passes of the research vehicle during wet conditions, sediment production rates for the two coral treatments were not significantly different from those on the bare road plots. The overall effectiveness of the coral-derived surfacing material is unsatisfactory, primarily because the on-road surface thickness associated with the application rates tested was too small. These rates were selected to bracket those applied to training roads in the study area. Furthermore, the composition of the coral-based material does not facilitate the development of a sealed, erosion-resistant surface. When applied at the low rates tested, the coral material breaks down under normal traffic conditions, thereby losing its ability to counter shearing forces exerted by overland flow on long hillslopes where erosion measures are most needed. These simulations, combined with observations on roads in the study area, indicate that this material is not an appropriate road surfacing material for the site-at least for the low application rates examined. These results are preliminary; extended testing of higher applications rates at the hillslope scale under natural climate and traffic conditions is needed to better judge the effectiveness of this material over time.

  5. Abundance and Multilocus Sequence Analysis of Vibrio Bacteria Associated with Diseased Elkhorn Coral (Acropora palmata) of the Florida Keys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kemp, Keri M; Westrich, Jason R; Alabady, Magdy S; Edwards, Martinique L; Lipp, Erin K

    2018-01-15

    The critically endangered elkhorn coral ( Acropora palmata ) is affected by white pox disease (WPX) throughout the Florida Reef Tract and wider Caribbean. The bacterium Serratia marcescens was previously identified as one etiologic agent of WPX but is no longer consistently detected in contemporary outbreaks. It is now believed that multiple etiologic agents cause WPX; however, to date, no other potential pathogens have been thoroughly investigated. This study examined the association of Vibrio bacteria with WPX occurrence from August 2012 to 2014 at Looe Key Reef in the Florida Keys, USA. The concentration of cultivable Vibrio was consistently greater in WPX samples than in healthy samples. The abundance of Vibrio bacteria relative to total bacteria was four times higher in samples from WPX lesions than in adjacent apparently healthy regions of diseased corals based on quantitative PCR (qPCR). Multilocus sequence analysis (MLSA) was used to assess the diversity of 69 Vibrio isolates collected from diseased and apparently healthy A. palmata colonies and the surrounding seawater. Vibrio species with known pathogenicity to corals were detected in both apparently healthy and diseased samples. While the causative agent(s) of contemporary WPX outbreaks remains elusive, our results suggest that Vibrio spp. may be part of a nonspecific heterotrophic bacterial bloom rather than acting as primary pathogens. This study highlights the need for highly resolved temporal sampling in situ to further elucidate the role of Vibrio during WPX onset and progression. IMPORTANCE Coral diseases are increasing worldwide and are now considered a major contributor to coral reef decline. In particular, the Caribbean has been noted as a coral disease hot spot, owing to the dramatic loss of framework-building acroporid corals due to tissue loss diseases. The pathogenesis of contemporary white pox disease (WPX) outbreaks in Acropora palmata remains poorly understood. This study investigates the

  6. Phase shift from a coral to a corallimorph-dominated reef associated with a shipwreck on Palmyra atoll.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thierry M Work

    Full Text Available Coral reefs can undergo relatively rapid changes in the dominant biota, a phenomenon referred to as phase shift. Various reasons have been proposed to explain this phenomenon including increased human disturbance, pollution, or changes in coral reef biota that serve a major ecological function such as depletion of grazers. However, pinpointing the actual factors potentially responsible can be problematic. Here we show a phase shift from coral to the corallimorpharian Rhodactis howesii associated with a long line vessel that wrecked in 1991 on an isolated atoll (Palmyra in the central Pacific Ocean. We documented high densities of R. howesii near the ship that progressively decreased with distance from the ship whereas R. howesii were rare to absent in other parts of the atoll. We also confirmed high densities of R. howesii around several buoys recently installed on the atoll in 2001. This is the first time that a phase shift on a coral reef has been unambiguously associated with man-made structures. This association was made, in part, because of the remoteness of Palmyra and its recent history of minimal human habitation or impact. Phase shifts can have long-term negative ramification for coral reefs, and eradication of organisms responsible for phase shifts in marine ecosystems can be difficult, particularly if such organisms cover a large area. The extensive R. howesii invasion and subsequent loss of coral reef habitat at Palmyra also highlights the importance of rapid removal of shipwrecks on corals reefs to mitigate the potential of reef overgrowth by invasives.

  7. Tolerance of endolithic algae to elevated temperature and light in the coral Montipora monasteriata from the southern Great Barrier Reef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fine, Maoz; Meroz-Fine, Efrat; Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove

    2005-01-01

    Photosynthetic endolithic algae and cyanobacteria live within the skeletons of many scleractinians. Under normal conditions, less than 5% of the photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) reaches the green endolithic algae because of the absorbance of light by the endosymbiotic dinoflagellates and the carbonate skeleton. When corals bleach (loose dinoflagellate symbionts), however, the tissue of the corals become highly transparent and photosynthetic microendoliths may be exposed to high levels of both thermal and solar stress. This study explores the consequence of these combined stresses on the phototrophic endoliths inhabiting the skeleton of Montipora monasteriata, growing at Heron Island, on the southern Great Barrier Reef. Endoliths that were exposed to sun after tissue removal were by far more susceptible to thermal photoinhibition and photo-damage than endoliths under coral tissue that contained high concentrations of brown dinoflagellate symbionts. While temperature or light alone did not result in decreased photosynthetic efficiency of the endoliths, combined thermal and solar stress caused a major decrease and delayed recovery. Endoliths protected under intact tissue recovered rapidly and photoacclimated soon after exposure to elevated sea temperatures. Endoliths under naturally occurring bleached tissue of M. monasteriata colonies (bleaching event in March 2004 at Heron Island) acclimated to increased irradiance as the brown symbionts disappeared. We suggest that two major factors determine the outcome of thermal bleaching to the endolith community. The first is the microhabitat and light levels under which a coral grows, and the second is the susceptibility of the coral-dinoflagellates symbiosis to thermal stress. More resistant corals may take longer to bleach allowing endoliths time to acclimate to a new light environment. This in turn may have implications for coral survival.

  8. Influence of nursery microhabitats on the future abundance of a coral reef fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Shaun K; Depczynski, Martial; Fulton, Christopher J; Holmes, Thomas H; Radford, Ben T; Tinkler, Paul

    2016-08-17

    Species habitat associations are often complex, making it difficult to assess their influence on populations. Among coral reef fishes, habitat requirements vary among species and with ontogeny, but the relative importance of nursery and adult-preferred habitats on future abundances remain unclear. Moreover, adult populations may be influenced by recruitment of juveniles and assessments of habitat importance should consider relative effects of juvenile abundance. We conducted surveys across 16 sites and 200 km of reef to identify the microhabitat preferences of juveniles, sub-adults and adults of the damselfish Pomacentrus moluccensis Microhabitat preferences at different life-history stages were then combined with 6 years of juvenile abundance and microhabitat availability data to show that the availability of preferred juvenile microhabitat (corymbose corals) at the time of settlement was a strong predictor of future sub-adult and adult abundance. However, the influence of nursery microhabitats on future population size differed spatially and at some locations abundance of juveniles and adult microhabitat (branching corals) were better predictors of local populations. Our results demonstrate that while juvenile microhabitats are important nurseries, the abundance of coral-dependent fishes is not solely dependent on these microhabitats, especially when microhabitats are readily available or following large influxes of juveniles. © 2016 The Author(s).

  9. Effective multi-objective optimization with the coral reefs optimization algorithm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salcedo-Sanz, S.; Pastor-Sánchez, A.; Portilla-Figueras, J. A.; Prieto, L.

    2016-06-01

    In this article a new algorithm for multi-objective optimization is presented, the Multi-Objective Coral Reefs Optimization (MO-CRO) algorithm. The algorithm is based on the simulation of processes in coral reefs, such as corals' reproduction and fight for space in the reef. The adaptation to multi-objective problems is a process based on domination or non-domination during the process of fight for space in the reef. The final MO-CRO is an easily-implemented and fast algorithm, simple and robust, since it is able to keep diversity in the population of corals (solutions) in a natural way. The experimental evaluation of this new approach for multi-objective optimization problems is carried out on different multi-objective benchmark problems, where the MO-CRO has shown excellent performance in cases with limited computational resources, and in a real-world problem of wind speed prediction, where the MO-CRO algorithm is used to find the best set of features to predict the wind speed, taking into account two objective functions related to the performance of the prediction and the computation time of the regressor.

  10. Computing the carbonate chemistry of the coral calcifying medium and its response to ocean acidification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raybaud, Virginie; Tambutté, Sylvie; Ferrier-Pagès, Christine; Reynaud, Stéphanie; Venn, Alexander A; Tambutté, Éric; Nival, Paul; Allemand, Denis

    2017-07-07

    Critical to determining vulnerability or resilience of reef corals to Ocean Acidification (OA) is a clearer understanding of the extent to which corals can control carbonate chemistry in their Extracellular Calcifying Medium (ECM) where the CaCO 3 skeleton is produced. Here, we employ a mathematical framework to calculate ECM aragonite saturation state (Ω arag.(ECM) ) and carbonate system ion concentration using measurements of calcification rate, seawater characteristics (temperature, salinity and pH) and ECM pH (pH (ECM) ). Our calculations of ECM carbonate chemistry at current-day seawater pH, indicate that Ω arag.(ECM) ranges from ∼10 to 38 (mean 20.41), i.e. about 5 to 6-fold higher than seawater. Accordingly, Dissolved Inorganic Carbon (DIC) and Total Alkalinity (TA) were calculated to be around 3 times higher in the ECM than in seawater. We also assessed the effects of acidification on ECM chemical properties of the coral Stylophora pistillata. At reduced seawater pH our calculations indicate that Ω arag.(ECM) remains almost constant. DIC (ECM) and TA (ECM) gradually increase as seawater pH declines, reaching values about 5 to 6-fold higher than in seawater, respectively for DIC and TA. We propose that these ECM characteristics buffer the effect of acidification and explain why certain corals continue to produce CaCO 3 even when seawater chemistry is less favourable. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Arctic and Antarctic Oscillation signatures in tropical coral proxies over the South China Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D.-Y. Gong

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Arctic Oscillation (AO and Antarctic Oscillation (AAO are the leading modes of atmospheric circulation in mid-high latitudes. Previous studies have revealed that the climatic influences of the two modes are dominant in extra-tropical regions. This study finds that AO and AAO signals are also well recorded in coral proxies in the tropical South China Sea. There are significant interannual signals of AO and AAO in the strontium (Sr content, which represents the sea surface temperature (SST. Among all the seasons, the most significant correlation occurs during winter in both hemispheres: the strongest AO-Sr and AAO-Sr coral correlations occur in January and August, respectively. This study also determined that the Sr content lags behind AO and AAO by 1–3 months. Large-scale anomalies in sea level pressure and horizontal wind at 850 hPa level support the strength of AO/AAO-coral teleconnections. In addition, a comparison with oxygen isotope records from two coral sites in neighboring oceans yields significant AO and AAO signatures with similar time lags. These results help to better understand monsoon climates and their teleconnection to high-latitude climate changes.

  12. 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.

  13. Testing cosmic dose rate models for ESR: Dating corals and molluscs on San Salvador, Bahamas

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Deely, A.E. [RFK Science Research Institute, Glenwood Landing, NY, 11547-0866 (United States); Blackwell, B.A.B., E-mail: bonnie.a.b.blackwell@williams.edu [RFK Science Research Institute, Glenwood Landing, NY, 11547-0866 (United States); Dept. of Chemistry, Williams College, Williamstown MA, 01267-2692 (United States); Mylroie, J.E. [Dept. of Geosciences, Mississippi State University, MS, 39762-5448 (United States); Carew, J.L. [Dept. of Geology and Environmental Geosciences, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC 29424 (United States); Blickstein, J.I.B. [RFK Science Research Institute, Glenwood Landing, NY, 11547-0866 (United States); Skinner, A.R. [RFK Science Research Institute, Glenwood Landing, NY, 11547-0866 (United States); Dept. of Chemistry, Williams College, Williamstown MA, 01267-2692 (United States)

    2011-09-15

    Sealevel curves are best developed on tectonically stable coastlines, like San Salvador, where eolianites preserve transgressive and regressive phases associated with Quaternary high seastands, while reef facies mark the highstands. At 11 locations around San Salvador, terrestrial molluscs (Cerion) from the eolianites, lagoonal bivalves (Codakia), and corals from the highstand deposits were dated by ESR. Volumetrically averaged sedimentary dose rates were calculated from sedimentary geochemistry and time-averaged cosmic dose rates from each sample's current and past geologic contexts. Rice Bay Formation corals dated at 3.9 {+-} 0.3 to 7.1 {+-} 0.4 ka (OIS 1). Minimum ages for the Cockburn Town Member's regressive phase ranged from 49 {+-} 6 to 75 {+-} 8 ka, correlating with OIS 3-4. Codakia dates showed that an OIS 5a sealevel approached modern levels at 91-78 ka. In situ corals from the Cockburn Town Reef averaged from 127 {+-} 6 to 138 {+-} 10 ka, correlating well with OIS 5e. Ages from the Reef's rubble zones hint that some coral reefs grew as early as OIS 7, but were likely reworked during OIS 5. San Salvador preserves deposits from three mid to late Quaternary highstands above, and as many as three that closely approach, modern sealevel.

  14. Light-enhanced calcification in hermatypic corals: new insights from light spectral responses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Itay eCohen

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Light enhanced calcification (LEC is a well documented phenomenon in reef-building corals. The main mechanism proposed for LEC is that photosynthetic CO2 uptake by the algal symbionts elevates the pH and thus enhances calcification. We evaluated the role of light and of photosynthesis on calcification by assessing the response of the corals Porites lutea and Acropora variabilis to different components of the light spectrum. Calcification and photosynthesis of both species decreased under lagoon blue, green and red light (peaks at 500, 550 and 600nm respectively. However, blue light (peak at 455nm enhanced calcification rates of P. lutea and A. variabilis (up to 4.1 and 10.5 fold of dark values, respectively reaching levels comparable to those measured under full spectrum illumination. However, contrary to our expectations, photosynthetic oxygen production was considerably reduced under blue light, to the extent that it remained below the compensation point even under illumination as high as 400µmol photons m-2 s-1. It is the first time that a direct effect of light not mediated by the photosynthetic process has been demonstrated to trigger LEC in corals. We propose that blue light signaling, and animal receptors thereof may be involved in the enhancement of calcification by hermatypic corals.

  15. BICARBONATE STIMULATION OF CALCIFICATION AND PHOTOSYNTHESIS IN TWO HERMATYPIC CORALS(1).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herfort, Lydie; Thake, Brenda; Taubner, Isabelle

    2008-02-01

    A wide range of bicarbonate concentrations was used to monitor the kinetics of bicarbonate (HCO3 (-) ) use in both photosynthesis and calcification in two reef-building corals, Porites porites and Acropora sp. Experiments carried out close to the P. porites collection site in Barbados showed that additions of NaHCO3 to synthetic seawater proportionally increased the calcification rate of this coral until the concentration exceeded three times that of seawater (6 mM). Photosynthetic rates were also stimulated by HCO3 (-) addition, but these became saturated at a lower concentration (4 mM). Similar experiments on aquarium-acclimated colonies of Indo-Pacific Acropora sp. showed that calcification and photosynthesis in this coral were enhanced to an even greater extent than P. porites, with calcification continuing to increase above 8 mM HCO3 (-) , and photosynthesis saturating at 6 mM. Calcification rates of Acropora sp. were also monitored in the dark, and, although these were lower than in the light for a given HCO3 (-) concentration, they still increased dramatically with HCO3 (-) addition, showing that calcification in this coral is light stimulated but not light dependent. © 2008 Phycological Society of America.

  16. Degradation of mitochondrial DNA in cryoprotectant-treated hard coral (Echinopora spp.) oocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Sujune; Chen, Jiann-Chu; Spikings, Emma; Li, Jan-Jung; Lin, Chiahsin

    2015-06-01

    A critical step for successful cryopreservation is to determine the optimal cryoprotectant treatment that can provide protective effects against cryoinjury during freezing and with minimal toxicity. Most cryoprotectants have chemical and osmotic effects when used at high concentrations. Cryoprotectants can damage coral mitochondrial distributions and membrane potentials, which results in reduced ATP production. As mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) encodes for components of the electron transport chain (ETC) and plays a critical role in ATP synthesis capacity, we determined the effects of cryoprotectants on mtDNA in hard coral (Echinopora spp.) oocytes using quantitative real-time PCR. Our results showed that an insult from a cryoprotectant may be compensated for by the genetic defense mechanisms of these cells. Methanol was found to have the least effect on coral oocytes with regard to their energy status. A single oocyte without cryoprotectant treatment produced an average of 4,220,645 ± 169,990 mtDNA copies, which was greater than that in mammals. However, relatively lower mtDNA copy numbers (glycol (PG), ethylene glycol (EG), or glycerol at a concentration of 3 M for 20 min. These results provide direct evidence that hard coral (Echinopora spp.) oocytes are extremely susceptible to cryoprotectants and support the concerns with regard to the adverse effects of cryoprotectants.

  17. A northern Australian coral record of seasonal rainfall and terrestrial runoff (1775-1986)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patterson, E. W.; Cole, J. E.; Vetter, L.; Lough, J.

    2017-12-01

    Northern Australia is a climatically dynamic region influenced by both the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Australian monsoon. However, this region is largely devoid of long climate records with sub-annual resolution. Understanding long-term climate variations is essential to assess how the storm-prone coasts and rainfall-reliant rangelands of northern Australia have been impacted in the past and may be in the future. In this study, we present a continuous multicentury (1775-1986) coral reconstruction of rainfall and hydroclimate in northern Australia, developed from a Porites spp. coral core collected off the coast of Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia. We combined Ba/Ca measurements with luminescence data as tracers of terrestrial erosion and river discharge respectively. Our results show a strong seasonal cycle in Ba/Ca linked to wet austral summers driven by the Australian monsoon. The Ba/Ca record is corroborated by oxygen isotope data from the same coral and indices of regional river discharge and rainfall. Consistently high levels of Ba measured throughout the record further attest to the importance of river influence on this coral. Our record also shows changes in variability and the baseline level of Ba in coastal waters through time, which may be driven in part by historical land-use change, such as damming or agricultural practices. We will additionally use these records to examine decadal to centennial-scale variability in monsoonal precipitation and regional ENSO signals.

  18. Anti-Pathogenic Activity of Coral Bacteria Againts White Plaque Disease of Coral Dipsastraea from Tengah Island, Karimunjawa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imam Muchlissin, Sakti; Sabdono, Agus; Permata W, Diah

    2018-02-01

    Coral disease is main factor of degrading coral reefs, such as White Plaque (WP) disease that cause loss of epidermal tissue of corals. The purposes of this research were to identify the bacteria associated with White Plaque Disease of coral Dipsastraea and to investigate coral bacteria that have antipathogenic potency against White Plaque Disease by Coral Dipsastraea. Sampling was carried out by purposive method in Tengah Island, Karimunjawa on March 2015. Streak method was used to isolate and purify coral bacteria, while overlay and agar diffusion method were used to test antibacterial activity. Identification of selected bacteria was conducted by bio