WorldWideScience

Sample records for deep sea corals

  1. Deep-sea coral research and technology program: Alaska deep-sea coral and sponge initiative final report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rooper, Chris; Stone, Robert P.; Etnoyer, Peter; Conrath, Christina; Reynolds, Jennifer; Greene, H. Gary; Williams, Branwen; Salgado, Enrique; Morrison, Cheryl L.; Waller, Rhian G.; Demopoulos, Amanda W.J.

    2017-01-01

    Deep-sea coral and sponge ecosystems are widespread throughout most of Alaska’s marine waters. In some places, such as the central and western Aleutian Islands, deep-sea coral and sponge resources can be extremely diverse and may rank among the most abundant deep-sea coral and sponge communities in the world. Many different species of fishes and invertebrates are associated with deep-sea coral and sponge communities in Alaska. Because of their biology, these benthic invertebrates are potentially impacted by climate change and ocean acidification. Deepsea coral and sponge ecosystems are also vulnerable to the effects of commercial fishing activities. Because of the size and scope of Alaska’s continental shelf and slope, the vast majority of the area has not been visually surveyed for deep-sea corals and sponges. NOAA’s Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program (DSCRTP) sponsored a field research program in the Alaska region between 2012–2015, referred to hereafter as the Alaska Initiative. The priorities for Alaska were derived from ongoing data needs and objectives identified by the DSCRTP, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC), and Essential Fish Habitat-Environmental Impact Statement (EFH-EIS) process.This report presents the results of 15 projects conducted using DSCRTP funds from 2012-2015. Three of the projects conducted as part of the Alaska deep-sea coral and sponge initiative included dedicated at-sea cruises and fieldwork spread across multiple years. These projects were the eastern Gulf of Alaska Primnoa pacifica study, the Aleutian Islands mapping study, and the Gulf of Alaska fish productivity study. In all, there were nine separate research cruises carried out with a total of 109 at-sea days conducting research. The remaining projects either used data and samples collected by the three major fieldwork projects or were piggy-backed onto existing research programs at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC).

  2. Extreme Longevity in Proteinaceous Deep-Sea Corals

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Roark, E B; Guilderson, T P; Dunbar, R B; Fallon, S J; Mucciarone, D A

    2009-02-09

    Deep-sea corals are found on hard substrates on seamounts and continental margins world-wide at depths of 300 to {approx}3000 meters. Deep-sea coral communities are hotspots of deep ocean biomass and biodiversity, providing critical habitat for fish and invertebrates. Newly applied radiocarbon age date from the deep water proteinaceous corals Gerardia sp. and Leiopathes glaberrima show that radial growth rates are as low as 4 to 35 {micro}m yr{sup -1} and that individual colony longevities are on the order of thousands of years. The management and conservation of deep sea coral communities is challenged by their commercial harvest for the jewelry trade and damage caused by deep water fishing practices. In light of their unusual longevity, a better understanding of deep sea coral ecology and their interrelationships with associated benthic communities is needed to inform coherent international conservation strategies for these important deep-sea ecosystems.

  3. First biological measurements of deep-sea corals from the Red Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roder, C; Berumen, M L; Bouwmeester, J; Papathanassiou, E; Al-Suwailem, A; Voolstra, C R

    2013-10-03

    It is usually assumed that metabolic constraints restrict deep-sea corals to cold-water habitats, with 'deep-sea' and 'cold-water' corals often used as synonymous. Here we report on the first measurements of biological characters of deep-sea corals from the central Red Sea, where they occur at temperatures exceeding 20°C in highly oligotrophic and oxygen-limited waters. Low respiration rates, low calcification rates, and minimized tissue cover indicate that a reduced metabolism is one of the key adaptations to prevailing environmental conditions. We investigated four sites and encountered six species of which at least two appear to be undescribed. One species is previously reported from the Red Sea but occurs in deep cold waters outside the Red Sea raising interesting questions about presumed environmental constraints for other deep-sea corals. Our findings suggest that the present understanding of deep-sea coral persistence and resilience needs to be revisited.

  4. First biological measurements of deep-sea corals from the Red Sea.

    KAUST Repository

    Roder, Cornelia

    2013-10-03

    It is usually assumed that metabolic constraints restrict deep-sea corals to cold-water habitats, with \\'deep-sea\\' and \\'cold-water\\' corals often used as synonymous. Here we report on the first measurements of biological characters of deep-sea corals from the central Red Sea, where they occur at temperatures exceeding 20°C in highly oligotrophic and oxygen-limited waters. Low respiration rates, low calcification rates, and minimized tissue cover indicate that a reduced metabolism is one of the key adaptations to prevailing environmental conditions. We investigated four sites and encountered six species of which at least two appear to be undescribed. One species is previously reported from the Red Sea but occurs in deep cold waters outside the Red Sea raising interesting questions about presumed environmental constraints for other deep-sea corals. Our findings suggest that the present understanding of deep-sea coral persistence and resilience needs to be revisited.

  5. Revealing Holobiont Structure and Function of Three Red Sea Deep-Sea Corals

    KAUST Repository

    Yum, Lauren

    2014-12-01

    Deep-sea corals have long been regarded as cold-water coral; however a reevaluation of their habitat limitations has been suggested after the discovery of deep-sea coral in the Red Sea where temperatures exceed 20˚C. To gain further insight into the biology of deep-sea corals at these temperatures, the work in this PhD employed a holotranscriptomic approach, looking at coral animal host and bacterial symbiont gene expression in Dendrophyllia sp., Eguchipsammia fistula, and Rhizotrochus sp. sampled from the deep Red Sea. Bacterial community composition was analyzed via amplicon-based 16S surveys and cultured bacterial strains were subjected to bioprospecting in order to gauge the pharmaceutical potential of coralassociated microbes. Coral host transcriptome data suggest that coral can employ mitochondrial hypometabolism, anaerobic glycolysis, and surface cilia to enhance mass transport rates to manage the low oxygen and highly oligotrophic Red Sea waters. In the microbial community associated with these corals, ribokinases and retron-type reverse transcriptases are abundantly expressed. In its first application to deep-sea coral associated microbial communities, 16S-based next-generation sequencing found that a single operational taxonomic unit can comprise the majority of sequence reads and that a large number of low abundance populations are present, which cannot be visualized with first generation sequencing. Bioactivity testing of selected bacterial isolates was surveyed over 100 cytological parameters with high content screening, covering several major organelles and key proteins involved in a variety of signaling cascades. Some of these cytological profiles were similar to those of several reference pharmacologically active compounds, which suggest that the bacteria isolates produce compounds with similar mechanisms of action as the reference compounds. The sum of this work offers several mechanisms by which Red Sea deep-sea corals cope with environmental

  6. Transcriptomes and expression profiling of deep-sea corals from the Red Sea provide insight into the biology of azooxanthellate corals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yum, Lauren K; Baumgarten, Sebastian; Röthig, Till; Roder, Cornelia; Roik, Anna; Michell, Craig; Voolstra, Christian R

    2017-07-25

    Despite the importance of deep-sea corals, our current understanding of their ecology and evolution is limited due to difficulties in sampling and studying deep-sea environments. Moreover, a recent re-evaluation of habitat limitations has been suggested after characterization of deep-sea corals in the Red Sea, where they live at temperatures of above 20 °C at low oxygen concentrations. To gain further insight into the biology of deep-sea corals, we produced reference transcriptomes and studied gene expression of three deep-sea coral species from the Red Sea, i.e. Dendrophyllia sp., Eguchipsammia fistula, and Rhizotrochus typus. Our analyses suggest that deep-sea coral employ mitochondrial hypometabolism and anaerobic glycolysis to manage low oxygen conditions present in the Red Sea. Notably, we found expression of genes related to surface cilia motion that presumably enhance small particle transport rates in the oligotrophic deep-sea environment. This is the first study to characterize transcriptomes and in situ gene expression for deep-sea corals. Our work offers several mechanisms by which deep-sea corals might cope with the distinct environmental conditions present in the Red Sea As such, our data provide direction for future research and further insight to organismal response of deep-sea coral to environmental change and ocean warming.

  7. Transcriptomes and expression profiling of deep-sea corals from the Red Sea provide insight into the biology of azooxanthellate corals

    KAUST Repository

    Yum, Lauren

    2017-07-19

    Despite the importance of deep-sea corals, our current understanding of their ecology and evolution is limited due to difficulties in sampling and studying deep-sea environments. Moreover, a recent re-evaluation of habitat limitations has been suggested after characterization of deep-sea corals in the Red Sea, where they live at temperatures of above 20 °C at low oxygen concentrations. To gain further insight into the biology of deep-sea corals, we produced reference transcriptomes and studied gene expression of three deep-sea coral species from the Red Sea, i.e. Dendrophyllia sp., Eguchipsammia fistula, and Rhizotrochus typus. Our analyses suggest that deep-sea coral employ mitochondrial hypometabolism and anaerobic glycolysis to manage low oxygen conditions present in the Red Sea. Notably, we found expression of genes related to surface cilia motion that presumably enhance small particle transport rates in the oligotrophic deep-sea environment. This is the first study to characterize transcriptomes and in situ gene expression for deep-sea corals. Our work offers several mechanisms by which deep-sea corals might cope with the distinct environmental conditions present in the Red Sea As such, our data provide direction for future research and further insight to organismal response of deep-sea coral to environmental change and ocean warming.

  8. Transcriptomes and expression profiling of deep-sea corals from the Red Sea provide insight into the biology of azooxanthellate corals

    KAUST Repository

    Yum, Lauren; Baumgarten, Sebastian; Rö thig, Till; Roder, Cornelia; Roik, Anna Krystyna; Michell, Craig; Voolstra, Christian R.

    2017-01-01

    Despite the importance of deep-sea corals, our current understanding of their ecology and evolution is limited due to difficulties in sampling and studying deep-sea environments. Moreover, a recent re-evaluation of habitat limitations has been suggested after characterization of deep-sea corals in the Red Sea, where they live at temperatures of above 20 °C at low oxygen concentrations. To gain further insight into the biology of deep-sea corals, we produced reference transcriptomes and studied gene expression of three deep-sea coral species from the Red Sea, i.e. Dendrophyllia sp., Eguchipsammia fistula, and Rhizotrochus typus. Our analyses suggest that deep-sea coral employ mitochondrial hypometabolism and anaerobic glycolysis to manage low oxygen conditions present in the Red Sea. Notably, we found expression of genes related to surface cilia motion that presumably enhance small particle transport rates in the oligotrophic deep-sea environment. This is the first study to characterize transcriptomes and in situ gene expression for deep-sea corals. Our work offers several mechanisms by which deep-sea corals might cope with the distinct environmental conditions present in the Red Sea As such, our data provide direction for future research and further insight to organismal response of deep-sea coral to environmental change and ocean warming.

  9. First biological measurements of deep-sea corals from the Red Sea

    OpenAIRE

    C. Roder; M. L. Berumen; J. Bouwmeester; E. Papathanassiou; A. Al-Suwailem; C. R. Voolstra

    2013-01-01

    It is usually assumed that metabolic constraints restrict deep-sea corals to cold-water habitats, with ?deep-sea? and ?cold-water? corals often used as synonymous. Here we report on the first measurements of biological characters of deep-sea corals from the central Red Sea, where they occur at temperatures exceeding 20?C in highly oligotrophic and oxygen-limited waters. Low respiration rates, low calcification rates, and minimized tissue cover indicate that a reduced metabolism is one of the ...

  10. Deep-Sea Corals: A New Oceanic Archive

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Adkins, Jess

    1998-01-01

    Deep-sea corals are an extraordinary new archive of deep ocean behavior. The species Desmophyllum cristagalli is a solitary coral composed of uranium rich, density banded aragonite that I have calibrated for several paleoclimate tracers...

  11. Transcriptomes and expression profiling of deep-sea corals from the Red Sea provide insight into the biology of azooxanthellate corals

    OpenAIRE

    Yum, L. K.; Baumgarten, S.; Röthig, T.; Roder, C.; Roik, Anna; Michell, C.; Voolstra, C. R.

    2017-01-01

    Despite the importance of deep-sea corals, our current understanding of their ecology and evolution is limited due to difficulties in sampling and studying deep-sea environments. Moreover, a recent re-evaluation of habitat limitations has been suggested after characterization of deep-sea corals in the Red Sea, where they live at temperatures of above 20??C at low oxygen concentrations. To gain further insight into the biology of deep-sea corals, we produced reference transcriptomes and studie...

  12. 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,...

  13. 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,...

  14. Observations of Deep-Sea Coral and Sponge Occurrences from the NOAA National Deep-Sea Coral and Sponge Database, 1842-Present (NCEI Accession 0145037)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — NOAA’s Deep-Sea Coral Research and Technology Program (DSC-RTP) compiles a national database of the known locations of deep-sea corals and sponges in U.S....

  15. Uptake and distribution of organo-iodine in deep-sea corals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prouty, Nancy G; Roark, E Brendan; Mohon, Leslye M; Chang, Ching-Chih

    2018-07-01

    Understanding iodine concentration, transport, and bioavailability is essential in evaluating iodine's impact to the environment and its effectiveness as an environmental biogeotracer. While iodine and its radionuclides have proven to be important tracers in geologic and biologic studies, little is known about transport of this element to the deep sea and subsequent uptake in deep-sea coral habitats. Results presented here on deep-sea black coral iodine speciation and iodine isotope variability provides key information on iodine behavior in natural and anthropogenic environments, and its geochemical pathway in the Gulf of Mexico. Organo-iodine is the dominant iodine species in the black corals, demonstrating that binding of iodine to organic matter plays an important role in the transport and transfer of iodine to the deep-sea corals. The identification of growth bands captured in high-resolution scanning electron images (SEM) with synchronous peaks in iodine variability suggest that riverine delivery of terrestrial-derived organo-iodine is the most plausible explanation to account for annual periodicity in the deep-sea coral geochemistry. Whereas previous studies have suggested the presence of annual growth rings in deep-sea corals, this present study provides a mechanism to explain the formation of annual growth bands. Furthermore, deep-sea coral ages based on iodine peak counts agree well with those ages derived from radiocarbon ( 14 C) measurements. These results hold promise for developing chronologies independent of 14 C dating, which is an essential component in constraining reservoir ages and using radiocarbon as a tracer of ocean circulation. Furthermore, the presence of enriched 129 I/ 127 I ratios during the most recent period of skeleton growth is linked to nuclear weapons testing during the 1960s. The sensitivity of the coral skeleton to record changes in surface water 129 I composition provides further evidence that iodine composition and isotope

  16. Uptake and distribution of organo-iodine in deep-sea corals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prouty, Nancy G.; Roark, E. Brendan; Mohon, Leslye M.; Chang, Ching-Chih

    2018-01-01

    Understanding iodine concentration, transport, and bioavailability is essential in evaluating iodine's impact to the environment and its effectiveness as an environmental biogeotracer. While iodine and its radionuclides have proven to be important tracers in geologic and biologic studies, little is known about transport of this element to the deep sea and subsequent uptake in deep-sea coral habitats. Results presented here on deep-sea black coral iodine speciation and iodine isotope variability provides key information on iodine behavior in natural and anthropogenic environments, and its geochemical pathway in the Gulf of Mexico. Organo-iodine is the dominant iodine species in the black corals, demonstrating that binding of iodine to organic matter plays an important role in the transport and transfer of iodine to the deep-sea corals. The identification of growth bands captured in high-resolution scanning electron images (SEM) with synchronous peaks in iodine variability suggest that riverine delivery of terrestrial-derived organo-iodine is the most plausible explanation to account for annual periodicity in the deep-sea coral geochemistry. Whereas previous studies have suggested the presence of annual growth rings in deep-sea corals, this present study provides a mechanism to explain the formation of annual growth bands. Furthermore, deep-sea coral ages based on iodine peak counts agree well with those ages derived from radiocarbon (14C) measurements. These results hold promise for developing chronologies independent of 14C dating, which is an essential component in constraining reservoir ages and using radiocarbon as a tracer of ocean circulation. Furthermore, the presence of enriched 129I/127I ratios during the most recent period of skeleton growth is linked to nuclear weapons testing during the 1960s. The sensitivity of the coral skeleton to record changes in surface water 129I composition provides further evidence that iodine composition and isotope

  17. NOAA National Deep-Sea Coral and Sponge Database 1842-Present

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — NOAA's Deep-Sea Coral Research and Technology Program (DSC-RTP) is compiling a national geodatabase of the known locations of deep-sea corals and sponges in U.S....

  18. Gulf of Mexico Deep-Sea Coral Ecosystem Studies, 2008-2011

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kellogg, Christina A.

    2009-01-01

    Most people are familiar with tropical coral reefs, located in warm, well-illuminated, shallow waters. However, corals also exist hundreds and even thousands of meters below the ocean surface, where it is cold and completely dark. These deep-sea corals, also known as cold-water corals, have become a topic of interest due to conservation concerns over the impacts of trawling, exploration for oil and gas, and climate change. Although the existence of these corals has been known since the 1800s, our understanding of their distribution, ecology, and biology is limited due to the technical difficulties of conducting deep-sea research. DISCOVRE (DIversity, Systematics, and COnnectivity of Vulnerable Reef Ecosystems) is a new U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) program focused on deep-water coral ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico. This integrated, multidisciplinary, international effort investigates a variety of topics related to unique and fragile deep-sea coral ecosystems from the microscopic level to the ecosystem level, including components of microbiology, population genetics, paleoecology, food webs, taxonomy, community ecology, physical oceanography, and mapping.

  19. Predicted deep-sea coral habitat suitability for the U.S. West coast.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John M Guinotte

    Full Text Available Regional scale habitat suitability models provide finer scale resolution and more focused predictions of where organisms may occur. Previous modelling approaches have focused primarily on local and/or global scales, while regional scale models have been relatively few. In this study, regional scale predictive habitat models are presented for deep-sea corals for the U.S. West Coast (California, Oregon and Washington. Model results are intended to aid in future research or mapping efforts and to assess potential coral habitat suitability both within and outside existing bottom trawl closures (i.e. Essential Fish Habitat (EFH and identify suitable habitat within U.S. National Marine Sanctuaries (NMS. Deep-sea coral habitat suitability was modelled at 500 m×500 m spatial resolution using a range of physical, chemical and environmental variables known or thought to influence the distribution of deep-sea corals. Using a spatial partitioning cross-validation approach, maximum entropy models identified slope, temperature, salinity and depth as important predictors for most deep-sea coral taxa. Large areas of highly suitable deep-sea coral habitat were predicted both within and outside of existing bottom trawl closures and NMS boundaries. Predicted habitat suitability over regional scales are not currently able to identify coral areas with pin point accuracy and probably overpredict actual coral distribution due to model limitations and unincorporated variables (i.e. data on distribution of hard substrate that are known to limit their distribution. Predicted habitat results should be used in conjunction with multibeam bathymetry, geological mapping and other tools to guide future research efforts to areas with the highest probability of harboring deep-sea corals. Field validation of predicted habitat is needed to quantify model accuracy, particularly in areas that have not been sampled.

  20. Seawater Carbonate Chemistry of Deep-sea Coral Beds off the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, J.; Shamberger, K.; Roark, E. B.; Miller, K.; Baco-Taylor, A.

    2016-02-01

    Many species of deep-sea octocorals produce calcium carbonate (CaCO3) skeletons and form coral beds that support diverse ecosystems crucial to fisheries. The geochemistry of deep-sea coral skeletons can provide valuable paleoceanographic information on ocean circulation and nutrient cycling. Deep-sea corals in the older bottom waters of the Pacific are naturally exposed to higher carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations and lower pH than in the Atlantic where much of the previous deep-sea coral work has occurred. Therefore, some Pacific deep-sea corals may live and calcify in waters that are corrosive to their skeletons, but there have been few current seawater carbonate chemistry measurements of the waters surrounding deep-sea coral beds to assess this. The input of anthropogenic atmospheric CO2 known as ocean acidification (OA) lowers ocean pH and causes an expansion of these corrosive waters. Seawater carbonate chemistry must be characterized before accurate predictions can be made for the effects of OA on these important ecosystems. Total Alkalinity (TA) and Dissolved Inorganic Carbon (DIC) samples were collected in the fall of 2014 and 2015 from the surface to 1450 m depth off the Northwestern Hawaiian Island chain where deep-sea octocorals are found. The partial pressure of CO2 increased and pH, calcite saturation state (Ωca) and aragonite saturation state (Ωar) decreased with increasing latitude and depth. Notably, waters were undersaturated with respect to calcite and aragonite (Ωca and Ωar less than 1) below 800 m and 500 m, respectively. Therefore, deep-sea corals below these depths must calcify in waters that are thermodynamically favorable for CaCO3 dissolution. How deep-sea octocorals cope with such adverse seawater chemistry is critical to understanding future effects of OA. It is not known whether OA is currently negatively impacting deep-sea octocorals, but their naturally acidified environments could make them particularly susceptible to OA.

  1. Age, growth rates, and paleoclimate studies of deep sea corals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prouty, Nancy G; Roark, E. Brendan; Andrews, Allen; Robinson, Laura; Hill, Tessa; Sherwood, Owen; Williams, Branwen; Guilderson, Thomas P.; Fallon, Stewart

    2015-01-01

    Deep-water corals are some of the slowest growing, longest-lived skeletal accreting marine organisms. These habitat-forming species support diverse faunal assemblages that include commercially and ecologically important organisms. Therefore, effective management and conservation strategies for deep-sea corals can be informed by precise and accurate age, growth rate, and lifespan characteristics for proper assessment of vulnerability and recovery from perturbations. This is especially true for the small number of commercially valuable, and potentially endangered, species that are part of the black and precious coral fisheries (Tsounis et al. 2010). In addition to evaluating time scales of recovery from disturbance or exploitation, accurate age and growth estimates are essential for understanding the life history and ecology of these habitat-forming corals. Given that longevity is a key factor for population maintenance and fishery sustainability, partly due to limited and complex genetic flow among coral populations separated by great distances, accurate age structure for these deep-sea coral communities is essential for proper, long-term resource management.

  2. The National Deep-Sea Coral and Sponge Database: A Comprehensive Resource for United States Deep-Sea Coral and Sponge Records

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dornback, M.; Hourigan, T.; Etnoyer, P.; McGuinn, R.; Cross, S. L.

    2014-12-01

    Research on deep-sea corals has expanded rapidly over the last two decades, as scientists began to realize their value as long-lived structural components of high biodiversity habitats and archives of environmental information. The NOAA Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program's National Database for Deep-Sea Corals and Sponges is a comprehensive resource for georeferenced data on these organisms in U.S. waters. The National Database currently includes more than 220,000 deep-sea coral records representing approximately 880 unique species. Database records from museum archives, commercial and scientific bycatch, and from journal publications provide baseline information with relatively coarse spatial resolution dating back as far as 1842. These data are complemented by modern, in-situ submersible observations with high spatial resolution, from surveys conducted by NOAA and NOAA partners. Management of high volumes of modern high-resolution observational data can be challenging. NOAA is working with our data partners to incorporate this occurrence data into the National Database, along with images and associated information related to geoposition, time, biology, taxonomy, environment, provenance, and accuracy. NOAA is also working to link associated datasets collected by our program's research, to properly archive them to the NOAA National Data Centers, to build a robust metadata record, and to establish a standard protocol to simplify the process. Access to the National Database is provided through an online mapping portal. The map displays point based records from the database. Records can be refined by taxon, region, time, and depth. The queries and extent used to view the map can also be used to download subsets of the database. The database, map, and website is already in use by NOAA, regional fishery management councils, and regional ocean planning bodies, but we envision it as a model that can expand to accommodate data on a global scale.

  3. Chronicles of the deep : ageing deep-sea corals in New Zealand waters

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tracey, D.; Neil, H.; Gordon, D.; O'Shea, S.

    2003-01-01

    How old is a coral? Finding the answer requires some rather complex steps. We need to understand: the source of carbonate; the effects of climatic events; how to interpret growth zones; the effect of 14 C and biological processes such as feeding and reproduction; and how to overcome the lack of deep-sea environmental data records. We also need to find out where on the coral we should be sampling to get the best estimates of age. At the moment we know little about how deep-sea corals deposit their calcite, but we will be exploring this further so that we can have greater confidence in our age estimates. To confirm and validate age and growth, it will be necessary to use a combination of some of the the possible methods for ageing coral. In addition to ageing the corals, this work should yield a high-resolution record of ocean temperature during the past 100 years by using stable-isotope signatures preserved in the corals' carbonate skeletons. (author). 4 figs

  4. Deep Sea Coral National Observation Database, Northeast Region

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The national database of deep sea coral observations. Northeast version 1.0. * This database was developed by the NOAA NOS NCCOS CCMA Biogeography office as part of...

  5. Call to protect deep-sea coral, sponge ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Showstack, Randy

    2004-03-01

    More than 1100 scientists are signatories to a 15 February consensus statement calling for the protection of deep sea coral and sponge ecosystems. The statement indicates that ``the greatest human threat'' to these ecosystems ``is commercial fishing, especially bottom trawling.''

  6. Deep Sea Coral voucher sequence dataset - Identification of deep-sea corals collected during the 2009 - 2014 West Coast Groundfish Bottom Trawl Survey

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Data for this project resides in the West Coast Groundfish Bottom Trawl Survey Database. Deep-sea corals are often components of trawling bycatch, though their...

  7. Isotope analysis of water trapped in fluid inclusions in deep sea corals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vonhof, Hubert; Reijmer, John; Feenstra, Eline; Mienis, Furu

    2015-04-01

    Extant Lophelia pertusa deep sea coral specimens from the Loachev mound region in the North Atlantic Ocean contain water filled fluid inclusions in their skeleton. This fluid inclusion water was extracted with a crushing device, and its hydrogen and oxygen isotope ratios analysed. The resulting data span a wide range of isotope values which are remarkably different from the seawater isotope composition of the sites studied. Comparison with food source isotope signatures suggests that coral inclusion water contains a high, but variable proportion of metabolic water. The isotope composition of the inclusion water appears to vary with the position on the deep see coral reef, and shows a correlation with the stable isotope composition of the coral aragonite. This correlation seems to suggest that growth rate and other ecological factors play an important role in determining the isotope composition of fluids trapped in the coral skeleton, which can potentially be developed as a proxy for non-equilibrium isotope fractionation observed in the aragonite skeleton of many of the common deep sea coral species.

  8. Deepwater Program: Lophelia II, continuing ecological research on deep-sea corals and deep-reef habitats in the Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demopoulos, Amanda W.J.; Ross, Steve W.; Kellogg, Christina A.; Morrison, Cheryl L.; Nizinski, Martha S.; Prouty, Nancy G.; Bourque, Jill R.; Galkiewicz, Julie P.; Gray, Michael A.; Springmann, Marcus J.; Coykendall, D. Katharine; Miller, Andrew; Rhode, Mike; Quattrini, Andrea; Ames, Cheryl L.; Brooke, Sandra D.; McClain Counts, Jennifer; Roark, E. Brendan; Buster, Noreen A.; Phillips, Ryan M.; Frometa, Janessy

    2017-12-11

    The deep sea is a rich environment composed of diverse habitat types. While deep-sea coral habitats have been discovered within each ocean basin, knowledge about the ecology of these habitats and associated inhabitants continues to grow. This report presents information and results from the Lophelia II project that examined deep-sea coral habitats in the Gulf of Mexico. The Lophelia II project focused on Lophelia pertusa habitats along the continental slope, at depths ranging from 300 to 1,000 meters. The chapters are authored by several scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, University of North Carolina Wilmington, and Florida State University who examined the community ecology (from microbes to fishes), deep-sea coral age, growth, and reproduction, and population connectivity of deep-sea corals and inhabitants. Data from these studies are presented in the chapters and appendixes of the report as well as in journal publications. This study was conducted by the Ecosystems Mission Area of the U.S. Geological Survey to meet information needs identified by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

  9. Microbial community composition of deep-sea corals from the Red Sea provides insight into functional adaption to a unique environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Röthig, Till; Yum, Lauren K; Kremb, Stephan G; Roik, Anna; Voolstra, Christian R

    2017-03-17

    Microbes associated with deep-sea corals remain poorly studied. The lack of symbiotic algae suggests that associated microbes may play a fundamental role in maintaining a viable coral host via acquisition and recycling of nutrients. Here we employed 16 S rRNA gene sequencing to study bacterial communities of three deep-sea scleractinian corals from the Red Sea, Dendrophyllia sp., Eguchipsammia fistula, and Rhizotrochus typus. We found diverse, species-specific microbiomes, distinct from the surrounding seawater. Microbiomes were comprised of few abundant bacteria, which constituted the majority of sequences (up to 58% depending on the coral species). In addition, we found a high diversity of rare bacteria (taxa at 90% of all bacteria). Interestingly, we identified anaerobic bacteria, potentially providing metabolic functions at low oxygen conditions, as well as bacteria harboring the potential to degrade crude oil components. Considering the presence of oil and gas fields in the Red Sea, these bacteria may unlock this carbon source for the coral host. In conclusion, the prevailing environmental conditions of the deep Red Sea (>20 °C, <2 mg oxygen L -1 ) may require distinct functional adaptations, and our data suggest that bacterial communities may contribute to coral functioning in this challenging environment.

  10. Microbial community composition of deep-sea corals from the Red Sea provides insight into functional adaption to a unique environment

    KAUST Repository

    Röthig, Till

    2017-03-17

    Microbes associated with deep-sea corals remain poorly studied. The lack of symbiotic algae suggests that associated microbes may play a fundamental role in maintaining a viable coral host via acquisition and recycling of nutrients. Here we employed 16 S rRNA gene sequencing to study bacterial communities of three deep-sea scleractinian corals from the Red Sea, Dendrophyllia sp., Eguchipsammia fistula, and Rhizotrochus typus. We found diverse, species-specific microbiomes, distinct from the surrounding seawater. Microbiomes were comprised of few abundant bacteria, which constituted the majority of sequences (up to 58% depending on the coral species). In addition, we found a high diversity of rare bacteria (taxa at <1% abundance comprised >90% of all bacteria). Interestingly, we identified anaerobic bacteria, potentially providing metabolic functions at low oxygen conditions, as well as bacteria harboring the potential to degrade crude oil components. Considering the presence of oil and gas fields in the Red Sea, these bacteria may unlock this carbon source for the coral host. In conclusion, the prevailing environmental conditions of the deep Red Sea (>20 °C, <2 mg oxygen L−1) may require distinct functional adaptations, and our data suggest that bacterial communities may contribute to coral functioning in this challenging environment.

  11. AFSC/RACE/GAP/Rooper: Deep sea coral and sponge distribution

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — As part of a series of ongoing research projects, the AFSC has been mapping and modeling the distribution of deep-sea coral and sponge communities throughout Alaska....

  12. Proliferation and demise of deep-sea corals in the Mediterranean during the Younger Dryas

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McCulloch, Malcolm; Taviani, Marco; Lopez Correa, Matthias; Remia, Alessandro; Montagna, Paolo; Mortimer, Graham

    2010-01-01

    Uranium-series and radiocarbon ages are reported for deep-sea corals Madrepora oculata, Desmophyllum dianthus, Lophelia pertusa and Caryophyllia smithii from the Mediterranean Sea. U-series dating indicates that deep-sea corals have persisted in the Mediterranean for over 480, 000 years, especially during cool inter-stadial periods. The most prolific period of growth however appears to have occurred within the Younger Dryas (YD) period from 12, 900 to 11, 700 years BP followed by a short (∼ 330 years) phase of post-YD coral growth from 11, 230 to 10, 900 years BP. This indicates that deep-sea corals were prolific in the Mediterranean not only during the return to the more glacial-like conditions of the YD, but also following the rapid deglaciation and transition to warmer conditions that followed the end of the YD. Surprisingly, there is a paucity Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) coral ages, implying they were largely absent during this period when cold-water conditions were more prevalent. Radiocarbon ages show that the intermediate depth waters of the Mediterranean generally had Δ 14 C compositions similar to surface waters, indicating that these waters were extremely well ventilated. The only exception is a narrow period in the YD (12, 500 ± 100 years BP) when several samples of Lophelia pertusa from the Ionian Sea had Δ 14 C values falling significantly below the marine curve. Using a refined approach, isolation ages (T isol ) of 300 years to 500 years are estimated for these intermediate (800-1000 m) depth waters relative to surface marine waters, indicating a reduction or absence of deep-water formation in the Ionian and adjacent Adriatic Seas during the YD. Contrary to previous findings, we find no evidence for widespread intrusion of low Δ 14 C Atlantic waters into the Mediterranean. Prolific growth of deep-sea corals in the Mediterranean ended abruptly at ∼ 10, 900 years BP, with many of the coral-bearing mounds on the continental slopes being draped in

  13. Proliferation and demise of deep-sea corals in the Mediterranean during the Younger Dryas

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McCulloch, Malcolm [ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, School of Earth and Environment, The University of Western Australian, Crawley, 6009, Western Australia (Australia); Research School of Earth Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra, 0200 (Australia); Taviani, Marco; Lopez Correa, Matthias; Remia, Alessandro [ISMAR-CNR, via Gobetti 101, I-40129 Bologna (Italy); Montagna, Paolo [LSCE, Av. de la Terrasse, 91198 Gif-sur-Yvette, France, ISMAR-CNR, via Gobetti 101, I-40129 Bologna (Italy); Mortimer, Graham [Research School of Earth Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra, 0200 (Australia)

    2010-07-01

    Uranium-series and radiocarbon ages are reported for deep-sea corals Madrepora oculata, Desmophyllum dianthus, Lophelia pertusa and Caryophyllia smithii from the Mediterranean Sea. U-series dating indicates that deep-sea corals have persisted in the Mediterranean for over 480, 000 years, especially during cool inter-stadial periods. The most prolific period of growth however appears to have occurred within the Younger Dryas (YD) period from 12, 900 to 11, 700 years BP followed by a short ({approx} 330 years) phase of post-YD coral growth from 11, 230 to 10, 900 years BP. This indicates that deep-sea corals were prolific in the Mediterranean not only during the return to the more glacial-like conditions of the YD, but also following the rapid deglaciation and transition to warmer conditions that followed the end of the YD. Surprisingly, there is a paucity Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) coral ages, implying they were largely absent during this period when cold-water conditions were more prevalent. Radiocarbon ages show that the intermediate depth waters of the Mediterranean generally had {Delta}{sup 14}C compositions similar to surface waters, indicating that these waters were extremely well ventilated. The only exception is a narrow period in the YD (12, 500 {+-} 100 years BP) when several samples of Lophelia pertusa from the Ionian Sea had {Delta}{sup 14}C values falling significantly below the marine curve. Using a refined approach, isolation ages (T{sub isol}) of 300 years to 500 years are estimated for these intermediate (800-1000 m) depth waters relative to surface marine waters, indicating a reduction or absence of deep-water formation in the Ionian and adjacent Adriatic Seas during the YD. Contrary to previous findings, we find no evidence for widespread intrusion of low {Delta}{sup 14}C Atlantic waters into the Mediterranean. Prolific growth of deep-sea corals in the Mediterranean ended abruptly at {approx} 10, 900 years BP, with many of the coral-bearing mounds

  14. The geochemistry of deep-sea coral skeletons: A review of vital effects and applications for palaeoceanography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Laura F.; Adkins, Jess F.; Frank, Norbert; Gagnon, Alexander C.; Prouty, Nancy G.; Brendan Roark, E.; de Flierdt, Tina van

    2014-01-01

    Deep-sea corals were discovered over a century ago, but it is only over recent years that focused efforts have been made to explore the history of the oceans using the geochemistry of their skeletal remains. They offer a promising archive of past oceanic environments given their global distribution, layered growth patterns, longevity and preservation as well as our ability to date them using radiometric techniques. This paper provides an overview of the current state-of-the-art in terms of geochemical approaches to using deep-sea coral skeletons to explore the history of the ocean. Deep-sea coral skeletons have a wide array of morphologies (e.g. solitary cup corals, branching colonial corals) and materials (calcite, aragonite and proteins). As such their biomineralization strategies are diverse, leading to complex geochemistry within coral skeletons. Notwithstanding these complications, progress has been made on developing methods for reconstructing the oceanographic environment in the past using trace elements and isotopic methods. Promising approaches within certain coral groups include clumped isotopes and Mg/Li for temperature reconstructions, boron isotopes and radiocarbon for carbon cycling, εNd, and radiocarbon for circulation studies and δ15N, P/Ca and Ba/Ca for nutrient tracer studies. Likewise there is now a range of techniques for dating deep-sea corals skeletons (e.g. U-series, radiocarbon), and determining their growth rates (e.g. radiocarbon and 210Pb). Dating studies on historic coral populations in the Atlantic, Southern Ocean and Pacific point to climate and environmental changes being dominant controls on coral populations over millennial and orbital timescales. This paper provides a review of a range of successes and promising approaches. It also highlights areas in which further research would likely provide new insights into biomineralization, palaeoceanography and distribution of past coral populations.

  15. 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.

  16. Precise Th/U-dating of small and heavily coated samples of deep sea corals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lomitschka, Michael; Mangini, Augusto

    1999-07-01

    Marine carbonate skeletons like deep-sea corals are frequently coated with iron and manganese oxides/hydroxides which adsorb additional thorium and uranium out of the sea water. A new cleaning procedure has been developed to reduce this contamination. In this further cleaning step a solution of Na 2EDTA (Na 2H 2T B) and ascorbic acid is used which composition is optimised especially for samples of 20 mg of weight. It was first tested on aliquots of a reef-building coral which had been artificially contaminated with powdered ferromanganese nodule. Applied on heavily contaminated deep-sea corals (scleractinia), it reduced excess 230Th by another order of magnitude in addition to usual cleaning procedures. The measurement of at least three fractions of different contamination, together with an additional standard correction for contaminated carbonates results in Th/U-ages corrected for the authigenic component. A good agreement between Th/U- and 14C-ages can be achieved even for extremely coated corals.

  17. The circulation of deep water in the Tasman and Coral seas

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Harries, J.R.

    1976-07-01

    The physical oceanography of the Tasman and Coral Seas is reviewed with an emphasis on the deep currents. There are many uncertainties in the deep circulation pattern. The available data are used to develop an idealised circulation to estimate the likely path taken by water flowing from a depth of 5000 m in the Tasman Sea. The model suggests that the water would finally reach the surface layers south of the Antarctic Convergence with a median delay of 600 years. (author)

  18. Captive rearing of the deep-sea coral Eguchipsammia fistula from the Red Sea demonstrates remarkable physiological plasticity

    KAUST Repository

    Roik, Anna Krystyna

    2015-01-20

    The presence of the cosmopolitan deep-sea coral Eguchipsammia fistula has recently been documented in the Red Sea, occurring in warm (>20 °C), oxygen- and nutrient-limited habitats. We collected colonies of this species from the central Red Sea that successfully resided in aquaria for more than one year. During this period the corals were exposed to increased oxygen levels and nutrition ad libitum unlike in their natural habitat. Specimens of long-term reared E. fistula colonies were incubated for 24 h and calcification (G) as well as respiration rates (R) were measured. In comparison to on-board measurements of G and R rates on freshly collected specimens, we found that G was increased while R was decreased. E. fistula shows extensive tissue growth and polyp proliferation in aquaculture and can be kept at conditions that notably differ from its natural habitat. Its ability to cope with rapid and prolonged changes in regard to prevailing environmental conditions indicates a wide physiological plasticity. This may explain in part the cosmopolitan distribution of this species and emphasizes its value as a deep-sea coral model to study mechanisms of acclimation and adaptation.

  19. Captive rearing of the deep-sea coral Eguchipsammia fistula from the Red Sea demonstrates remarkable physiological plasticity

    KAUST Repository

    Roik, Anna Krystyna; Rö thig, Till; Roder, Cornelia; Muller, Paul Joachim; Voolstra, Christian R.

    2015-01-01

    The presence of the cosmopolitan deep-sea coral Eguchipsammia fistula has recently been documented in the Red Sea, occurring in warm (>20 °C), oxygen- and nutrient-limited habitats. We collected colonies of this species from the central Red Sea that successfully resided in aquaria for more than one year. During this period the corals were exposed to increased oxygen levels and nutrition ad libitum unlike in their natural habitat. Specimens of long-term reared E. fistula colonies were incubated for 24 h and calcification (G) as well as respiration rates (R) were measured. In comparison to on-board measurements of G and R rates on freshly collected specimens, we found that G was increased while R was decreased. E. fistula shows extensive tissue growth and polyp proliferation in aquaculture and can be kept at conditions that notably differ from its natural habitat. Its ability to cope with rapid and prolonged changes in regard to prevailing environmental conditions indicates a wide physiological plasticity. This may explain in part the cosmopolitan distribution of this species and emphasizes its value as a deep-sea coral model to study mechanisms of acclimation and adaptation.

  20. Captive rearing of the deep-sea coral Eguchipsammia fistula from the Red Sea demonstrates remarkable physiological plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roik, Anna; Röthig, Till; Roder, Cornelia; Müller, Paul J; Voolstra, Christian R

    2015-01-01

    The presence of the cosmopolitan deep-sea coral Eguchipsammia fistula has recently been documented in the Red Sea, occurring in warm (>20 °C), oxygen- and nutrient-limited habitats. We collected colonies of this species from the central Red Sea that successfully resided in aquaria for more than one year. During this period the corals were exposed to increased oxygen levels and nutrition ad libitum unlike in their natural habitat. Specimens of long-term reared E. fistula colonies were incubated for 24 h and calcification (G) as well as respiration rates (R) were measured. In comparison to on-board measurements of G and R rates on freshly collected specimens, we found that G was increased while R was decreased. E. fistula shows extensive tissue growth and polyp proliferation in aquaculture and can be kept at conditions that notably differ from its natural habitat. Its ability to cope with rapid and prolonged changes in regard to prevailing environmental conditions indicates a wide physiological plasticity. This may explain in part the cosmopolitan distribution of this species and emphasizes its value as a deep-sea coral model to study mechanisms of acclimation and adaptation.

  1. Captive rearing of the deep-sea coral Eguchipsammia fistula from the Red Sea demonstrates remarkable physiological plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Roik

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The presence of the cosmopolitan deep-sea coral Eguchipsammia fistula has recently been documented in the Red Sea, occurring in warm (>20 °C, oxygen- and nutrient-limited habitats. We collected colonies of this species from the central Red Sea that successfully resided in aquaria for more than one year. During this period the corals were exposed to increased oxygen levels and nutrition ad libitum unlike in their natural habitat. Specimens of long-term reared E. fistula colonies were incubated for 24 h and calcification (G as well as respiration rates (R were measured. In comparison to on-board measurements of G and R rates on freshly collected specimens, we found that G was increased while R was decreased. E. fistula shows extensive tissue growth and polyp proliferation in aquaculture and can be kept at conditions that notably differ from its natural habitat. Its ability to cope with rapid and prolonged changes in regard to prevailing environmental conditions indicates a wide physiological plasticity. This may explain in part the cosmopolitan distribution of this species and emphasizes its value as a deep-sea coral model to study mechanisms of acclimation and adaptation.

  2. Model output for deep-sea coral habitat suitability in the U.S. North and Mid-Atlantic from 2013 (NCEI Accession 0145923)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This dataset was created for potential use as an environmental predictor in spatial predictive models of deep-sea coral habitat suitability. Deep-sea corals are of...

  3. Microbial community composition of deep-sea corals from the Red Sea provides insight into functional adaption to a unique environment

    KAUST Repository

    Rö thig, Till; Yum, Lauren; Kremb, Stephan Georg; Roik, Anna Krystyna; Voolstra, Christian R.

    2017-01-01

    Microbes associated with deep-sea corals remain poorly studied. The lack of symbiotic algae suggests that associated microbes may play a fundamental role in maintaining a viable coral host via acquisition and recycling of nutrients. Here we employed

  4. Distinct Bacterial Microbiomes Associate with the Deep-Sea Coral Eguchipsammia fistula from the Red Sea and from Aquaria Settings

    KAUST Repository

    Röthig, Till

    2017-08-10

    Microbial communities associated with deep-sea corals are beginning to be studied in earnest and the contribution of the microbiome to host organismal function remains to be investigated. In this regard, the ability of the microbiome to adjust to prevailing environmental conditions might provide clues to its functional importance. In this study, we characterized bacterial community composition associated with the deep-sea coral Eguchipsammia fistula under natural (in situ) and aquaria (ex situ) settings using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. We compared freshly collected Red Sea coral specimens with those reared for >1 year at conditions that partially differed from the natural environment, in particular regarding increased oxygen and food availability under ex situ conditions. We found substantial differences between the microbiomes associated with corals under both environmental settings. The core microbiome comprised only six bacterial taxa consistently present in all corals, whereas the majority of bacteria were exclusively associated either with freshly collected corals or corals under long-term reared aquaria settings. Putative functional profiling of microbial communities showed that corals in their natural habitat were enriched for processes indicative of a carbon- and nitrogen-limited environment, which might be reflective of differences in diet under in situ and ex situ conditions. The ability of E. fistula to harbor distinct microbiomes under different environmental settings might contribute to the flexibility and phenotypic plasticity of this cosmopolitan coral. Future efforts should further assess the role of these different bacteria in holobiont function, in particular since E. fistula is naturally present in markedly different environments.

  5. Distinct Bacterial Microbiomes Associate with the Deep-Sea Coral Eguchipsammia fistula from the Red Sea and from Aquaria Settings

    KAUST Repository

    Rö thig, Till; Roik, Anna Krystyna; Yum, Lauren; Voolstra, Christian R.

    2017-01-01

    Microbial communities associated with deep-sea corals are beginning to be studied in earnest and the contribution of the microbiome to host organismal function remains to be investigated. In this regard, the ability of the microbiome to adjust to prevailing environmental conditions might provide clues to its functional importance. In this study, we characterized bacterial community composition associated with the deep-sea coral Eguchipsammia fistula under natural (in situ) and aquaria (ex situ) settings using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. We compared freshly collected Red Sea coral specimens with those reared for >1 year at conditions that partially differed from the natural environment, in particular regarding increased oxygen and food availability under ex situ conditions. We found substantial differences between the microbiomes associated with corals under both environmental settings. The core microbiome comprised only six bacterial taxa consistently present in all corals, whereas the majority of bacteria were exclusively associated either with freshly collected corals or corals under long-term reared aquaria settings. Putative functional profiling of microbial communities showed that corals in their natural habitat were enriched for processes indicative of a carbon- and nitrogen-limited environment, which might be reflective of differences in diet under in situ and ex situ conditions. The ability of E. fistula to harbor distinct microbiomes under different environmental settings might contribute to the flexibility and phenotypic plasticity of this cosmopolitan coral. Future efforts should further assess the role of these different bacteria in holobiont function, in particular since E. fistula is naturally present in markedly different environments.

  6. 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

    pertusa as a case study (Rengstorf et al., 2014). The study shows that predictive models incorporating hydrodynamic variables perform significantly better than models based on terrain parameters only. They are a potentially powerful tool to improve our understanding of deep-sea ecosystem functioning......, 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...... 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...

  7. High Acidification Rate of Norwegian Sea Revealed by Boron Isotopes in the Deep-Sea Coral Madrepora Oculata

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez, C.; Douville, E.; Hall-Spencer, J.; Montagna, P.; Louvat, P.; Gaillardet, J.; Frank, N.; Bordier, L.; Juillet-Leclerc, A.

    2012-12-01

    Ocean acidification and global warming due to the increase of anthropogenic CO2 are major threats for marine calcifying organisms, such as deep-sea corals, particularly in high-latitude regions. In order to evaluate the current anthropogenic perturbation and to properly assess the impacts and responses of calcifiers to previous changes in pH it is critical to investigate past changes of the seawater carbonate system. Unfortunately, current instrumental records of oceanic pH are limited, covering only a few decades. Scleractinian coral skeletons record chemical parameters of the seawater in which they grow. However, pH variability over multidecadal timescales remains largely unknown in intermediate and deep seawater masses. Here we present a study that highlights the potential of deep-sea-corals to overcome the lack of long-term pH records and that emphasizes a rapid acidification of high latitude subsurface waters of Norwegian Sea during the past decades. We have reconstructed seawater pH and temperature from a well dated deep-sea coral specimen Madrepora oculata collected alive from Røst reef in Norwegian Sea (67°N, 9°E, 340 m depth). This large branching framework forming coral species grew its skeleton over more than four decades determined using AMS 14C and 210Pb dating (Sabatier et al. 2012). B-isotopes and Li/Mg ratios yield an acidification rate of about -0.0030±0.0008 pH-unit.year-1 and a warming of 0.3°C during the past four decades (1967-2007). Overall our reconstruction technique agrees well with previous pH calculations (Hönisch et al., 2007 vs. Trotter et al., 2011 and McCulloch et al., 2012, i.e. the iterative method), but additional corrections are here applied using stable isotope correlations (O, C, B) to properly address kinetic fractionation of boron isotopes used for pH reconstruction. The resulting pH curve strongly anti-correlates with the annual NAO index, which further strengthens our evidence for the ocean acidification rate

  8. The carbonate mineralogy and distribution of habitat-forming deep-sea corals in the southwest pacific region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bostock, Helen C.; Tracey, Dianne M.; Currie, Kim I.; Dunbar, Gavin B.; Handler, Monica R.; Mikaloff Fletcher, Sara E.; Smith, Abigail M.; Williams, Michael J. M.

    2015-06-01

    Habitat-forming deep-sea scleractinian and alcyonacean corals from around the southwest Pacific were analysed for their calcium carbonate mineralogy. Scleractinian coral species Solenosmilia variabilis, Enallopsammia rostrata, Goniocorella dumosa, Madrepora oculata and Oculina virgosa were all found to be 100% aragonitic, while some members of the alcyonacean taxa Keratoisis spp., Lepidisis spp., and Paragorgia spp. were determined to be high magnesium (Mg) calcite (with 8-11 mol% MgCO3) and Primnoa sp. is bimineralic with both aragonite and Mg calcite. The majority of these habitat-forming deep-sea corals are found at intermediate depths (800-1200 m) in the Antarctic Intermediate Waters (AAIW) with low salinities (~34.5), temperatures of 4-8 °C and high oxygen concentrations (>180 μmol/kg) and currently sitting above the aragonite saturation horizon (ASH). However, habitat-forming corals have been recorded from greater depths, in cooler waters (2-4 °C) that are undersaturated with respect to aragonite (Ωaragonite160 μmol/kg. To address the sampling depth bias the coral records were normalised by the number of benthic stations (sampling effort) in the same depth range. This shows that the highest number of corals per sampling effort is between 1000 and 1400 m with corals present in over 5% of the stations at these depths. The normalised records and Boot Strap analyses suggests that scleractinian corals, especially S. variabilis should be present in >1% of stations down to 1800 m water depth, with E. rostrata, M. oculata and G. dumosa slightly shallower. While alcyonacean corals are found in >1% down to 2600 m, with Keratoisis spp. the deepest down to 2600 m, while Lepidisis spp. and Paragorgia spp. found down to 1800 m. This suggests that most species can probably tolerate some undersaturation of aragonite (Ωaragonite=0.8-0.9), with several species/genera (S. variabilis; Keratoisis spp.) even more tolerant of lower carbonate concentrations ([CO3 2 -]), down

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Southern Ocean Circulation: a High Resolution Examination of the Last Deglaciation from Deep-Sea Corals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, L. F.; Li, T.; Chen, T.; Burke, A.; Pegrum Haram, A.; Stewart, J.; Rae, J. W. B.; van de Flierdt, T.; Struve, T.; Wilson, D. J.

    2017-12-01

    Two decades ago it was first noted that the skeletal remains of deep-sea corals had the potential to provide absolutely dated archives of past ocean conditions. In the intervening twenty years this field has developed to the point where strategic collections and high throughput dating techniques now allow high resolution, well dated records of past deep sea behaviour to be produced. Likewise, efforts to improve understanding of biomineralisation and growth rates are leading to refinements in proxy tools useful for examining circulation, nutrient and carbon cycling, temperature and weathering processes. Deep-sea corals are particularly valuable archives in high latitude regions where radiocarbon-based age models are susceptible to large changes in surface reservoir ages. In this presentation we show new high resolution multiproxy records of the Southern Ocean (Drake Passage) made on U-Th dated corals spanning the last glacial cycle. With more than seventeen hundred reconnaissance ages, and around 200 precise isotope dilution U-Th ages, subtle changes in ocean behaviour can be identified during times of abrupt climate change. The geochemical signature of corals from the deepest sites, closest to modern day Lower Circumpolar Deep Waters, typically show a gradual shift from glacial to Holocene values during deglaciation, likely related to ventilation of the deep ocean. By contrast for the samples collected shallower in the water column (within sites currently bathed by Upper Circumpolar Deep Waters and Antarctic Intermediate and Mode Waters) the evidence points to a more complicated picture. Vertical zonation in the geochemical data suggests that periods of stratification are interspersed with mixing events within the upper 1500m of the water column. At the same time comparison to U-Th dated records from the low latitude Pacific and Atlantic points to an important role for the Southern Ocean in feeding the intermediate waters of both ocean basins throughout the

  13. Impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on deep-sea coral-associated sediment communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demopoulos, Amanda W.J.; Bourque, Jill R.; Cordes, Erik E.; Stamler, Katherine

    2016-01-01

    Cold-water corals support distinct populations of infauna within surrounding sediments that provide vital ecosystem functions and services in the deep sea. Yet due to their sedentary existence, infauna are vulnerable to perturbation and contaminant exposure because they are unable to escape disturbance events. While multiple deep-sea coral habitats were injured by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill, the extent of adverse effects on coral-associated sediment communities is unknown. In 2011, sediments were collected adjacent to several coral habitats located 6 to 183 km from the wellhead in order to quantify the extent of impact of the DWH spill on infaunal communities. Higher variance in macrofaunal abundance and diversity, and different community structure (higher multivariate dispersion) were associated with elevated hydrocarbon concentrations and contaminants at sites closest to the wellhead (MC294, MC297, and MC344), consistent with impacts from the spill. In contrast, variance in meiofaunal diversity was not significantly related to distance from the wellhead and no other community metric (e.g. density or multivariate dispersion) was correlated with contaminants or hydrocarbon concentrations. Concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) provided the best statistical explanation for observed macrofaunal community structure, while depth and presence of fine-grained mud best explained meiofaunal community patterns. Impacts associated with contaminants from the DWH spill resulted in a patchwork pattern of infaunal community composition, diversity, and abundance, highlighting the role of variability as an indicator of disturbance. These data represent a useful baseline for tracking post-spill recovery of these deep-sea communities.

  14. Self-recognition in corals facilitates deep-sea habitat engineering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hennige, Sebastian J; Morrison, Cheryl L.; Form, Armin U.; Buscher, Janina; Kamenos, Nicholas A.; Roberts, J. Murray

    2014-01-01

    The ability of coral reefs to engineer complex three-dimensional habitats is central to their success and the rich biodiversity they support. In tropical reefs, encrusting coralline algae bind together substrates and dead coral framework to make continuous reef structures, but beyond the photic zone, the cold-water coral Lophelia pertusa also forms large biogenic reefs, facilitated by skeletal fusion. Skeletal fusion in tropical corals can occur in closely related or juvenile individuals as a result of non-aggressive skeletal overgrowth or allogeneic tissue fusion, but contact reactions in many species result in mortality if there is no ‘self-recognition’ on a broad species level. This study reveals areas of ‘flawless’ skeletal fusion in Lophelia pertusa, potentially facilitated by allogeneic tissue fusion, are identified as having small aragonitic crystals or low levels of crystal organisation, and strong molecular bonding. Regardless of the mechanism, the recognition of ‘self’ between adjacent L. pertusa colonies leads to no observable mortality, facilitates ecosystem engineering and reduces aggression-related energetic expenditure in an environment where energy conservation is crucial. The potential for self-recognition at a species level, and subsequent skeletal fusion in framework-forming cold-water corals is an important first step in understanding their significance as ecological engineers in deep-seas worldwide.

  15. Discoveries and Conservation Efforts of Extensive Deep-Sea Coral Habitat off the Southeastern U.S.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reed, J. K.; Messing, C. G.; Walker, B. K.; Farrington, S.; Brooke, S.; Correa, T.; Brouwer, M.

    2012-12-01

    The deep-sea floor of the Western Atlantic off the southeastern U.S. supports a variety of deep-sea coral ecosystem (DSCE) habitats, including: coral mounds, rock terraces (Miami and Pourtalès Terraces), canyons (Agassiz and Tortugas Valleys), and island slopes (western Bahamas and northern Cuba). We used NOAA bathymetric contour maps and digital elevation models to identify and delineate the areal extent of potential DSCE habitat (50-1000 m) from northeastern Florida through the Straits of Florida. Recently, shipboard and AUV side-scan and multibeam sonar have further documented portions of the region. The resulting maps have been ground-truthed with over 250 submersible and remotely operated vehicle (ROV) dives, revealing that high-relief topographic features, including steep escarpments and rocky terraces, are good predictors of DSCE habitat in this region. The benthic biota is diverse but locally variable; for example, Lophelia and Enallopsammia stony corals dominate the deep-water mounds, whereas stylasterid corals dominate the rocky terraces where Lophelia is sporadic. Octocorals, black corals, and sponges are common at most sites but different species exhibit site-specific distributional variability. In 2011, the first of two NOAA-sponsored cruises using sonar mapping and an ROV discovered the southernmost Lophelia coral mound in the continental United States, south of the Florida Keys, offering the possibility that more Lophelia mounds may exist in this region where they were previously thought to be absent. The second cruise discovered that deep-water Oculina varicosa coral reefs extend over 70 nmi north of the current boundaries of the Oculina Habitat Area of Particular Concern (OHAPC), which was first designated as a marine protected area in 1984. These studies indicate that cold-water coral mounds are significantly more diverse and abundant in this region than previously thought. These research results were presented to NOAA and the South Atlantic

  16. 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

  17. Growth rate and age distribution of deep-sea black corals in the Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prouty, N.G.; Roark, E.B.; Buster, N.A.; Ross, Steve W.

    2011-01-01

    Black corals (order Antipatharia) are important long-lived, habitat-forming, sessile, benthic suspension feeders that are found in all oceans and are usually found in water depths greater than 30 m. Deep-water black corals are some of the slowest-growing, longest-lived deep-sea corals known. Previous age dating of a limited number of black coral samples in the Gulf of Mexico focused on extrapolated ages and growth rates based on skeletal 210Pb dating. Our results greatly expand the age and growth rate data of black corals from the Gulf of Mexico. Radiocarbon analysis of the oldest Leiopathes sp. specimen from the upper De Soto Slope at 300 m water depth indicates that these animals have been growing continuously for at least the last 2 millennia, with growth rates ranging from 8 to 22 µm yr–1. Visual growth ring counts based on scanning electron microscopy images were in good agreement with the 14C-derived ages, suggestive of annual ring formation. The presence of bomb-derived 14C in the outermost samples confirms sinking particulate organic matter as the dominant carbon source and suggests a link between the deep-sea and surface ocean. There was a high degree of reproducibility found between multiple discs cut from the base of each specimen, as well as within duplicate subsamples. Robust 14C-derived chronologies and known surface ocean 14C reservoir age constraints in the Gulf of Mexico provided reliable calendar ages with future application to the development of proxy records.

  18. Mine Waste and Acute Warming Induce Energetic Stress in the Deep-Sea Sponge Geodia atlantica and Coral Primnoa resedeaformis; Results From a Mesocosm Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elliot Scanes

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available There is the potential for climate change to interact with pollution in all of the Earth's oceans. In the fjords of Norway, mine tailings are released into fjords generating suspended sediment plumes that impact deep-sea ecosystems. These same deep-sea ecosystems are expected to undergo periodic warming as climate change increases the frequency of down-welling events in fjords. It remains unknown how a polluted deep-sea ecosystem would respond to down-welling because multiple stressors will often interact in unpredictable ways. Here, we exposed two deep-sea foundation species; the gorgonian coral Primnoa resedaeformis and the demosponge Geodia atlantica to suspended sediment (10 mg L−1 and acute warming (+5°C in a factorial mesocosm experiment for 40 days. Physiology (respiration, nutrient flux and cellular responses (lysosomal cell stability were measured for both the coral and sponge. Exposure to elevated suspended sediment reduced metabolism, supressed silicate uptake and induced cellular instability of the sponge G. atlantica. However, combining sediment with warming caused G. atlantica to respire and excrete nitrogen at a greater rate. For the coral P. resedaeformis, suspended sediments reduced O:N ratios after 40 days, however, warming had a greater effect on P. resedaeformis physiology compared to sediment. Warming increased respiration, nitrogen excretion, and cellular instability which resulted in lower O:N ratios. We argue that suspended sediment and warming can act alone and also interact to cause significant harm to deep-sea biota, however responses are likely to be species-specific. Warming and pollution could interact in the deep-sea to cause mortality to the coral P. resedaeformis and to a lesser extent, the sponge G. atlantica. As foundation species, reducing the abundance of deep sea corals and sponges would likely impact the ecosystems they support.

  19. Investigation of trophic ecology in Newfoundland cold-water deep-sea corals using lipid class and fatty acid analyses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salvo, Flora; Hamoutene, Dounia; Hayes, Vonda E. Wareham; Edinger, Evan N.; Parrish, Christopher C.

    2018-03-01

    The trophic behavior of some deep-sea Newfoundland cold-water corals was explored using fatty acid (FA) and lipid profiles. No significant effect of geographic location and/or depth was identified in lipid or FA composition. However, differences were detected between and within taxon groups in hexa- or octocoral subclasses. Phospholipids constituted the main lipid class in all groups except black-thorny corals which had less structural lipids likely due to their morphology (stiff axes) and slower growth rates. Within each subclass, major differences in the identity of dominant FAs were detected at the order level, whereas differences between species and taxon groups of the same order were mainly driven by a variation in proportions of the dominant FA. Soft corals and gorgonians (Order Alcyonacea) were close in composition and are likely relying on phytodetritus resulting from algae, macrophytes and/or foraminifera, while sea pens (Order Pennatulacea) seem to consume more diatoms and/or herbivorous zooplankton with the exception of Pennatula sp. In the hexacoral subclass, black-thorny corals ( Stauropathes arctica) differed significantly from the stony-cup corals ( Flabellum alabastrum); S. arctica was seemingly more carnivorous (zooplankton markers) than F. alabastrum, which appears omnivorous (phyto- and zooplankton markers). Our results suggest that deep-sea corals are not as opportunistic as expected but have some selective feeding associated with taxonomy.

  20. Corals, Canyons, and Conservation: Science Based Fisheries Management Decisions in the Eastern Bering Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steve A. MacLean

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available When making science matter for conservation, marine conservation practitioners, and managers must be prepared to make the appropriate decision based on the results of the best available science used to inform it. For nearly a decade, many stakeholders encouraged the North Pacific Fishery Management Council to enact protections for deep-sea corals in several canyons in the Eastern Bering Sea slope. In 2014, at the request of the Council, the National Marine Fisheries Service, Alaska Fisheries Science Center conducted a strip-transect survey along the Eastern Bering Sea slope to validate the results of a model predicting the occurrence of deep-sea coral habitat. More than 250,000 photos were analyzed to estimate coral, sponge, and sea whip abundance, distribution, height, and vulnerability to anthropogenic damage. The results of the survey confirmed that coral habitat and occurrence was concentrated around Pribilof Canyon and the adjacent slope. The results also confirmed that the densities of corals in the Eastern Bering Sea were low, even where they occurred. After reviewing the best available scientific information, the Council concluded that there is no scientific evidence to suggest that deep-sea corals in the Eastern Bering Sea slope or canyons are at risk from commercial fisheries under the current management structure, and that special protections for deep-sea corals were not warranted.

  1. Evidence for the bioerosion of deep-water corals by echinoids in the Northeast Atlantic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevenson, Angela; Rocha, Carlos

    2013-01-01

    In situ video observations of echinoids interacting with deep-sea coral are common in the deep-sea, but paradoxically the deep-sea literature is devoid of reports of bioerosion by extant echinoids. Here we present evidence of contemporary bioerosion of cold-water coral by four species of deep-sea echinoids, Gracilechinus elegans, Gracilechinus alexandri, Cidaris cidaris, and Araeosoma fenestratum, showing that they actively predate on the living framework of reef building corals, Lophelia pertusa and Madrepora oculata, in the NE Atlantic. Echinoid specimens were collected in six canyons located in the Bay of Biscay, France and two canyons on the north side of the Porcupine Bank and Goban Spur, Ireland. A total of 44 live specimens from the four taxa (9 of G. elegans, 4 of G. alexandri, 21 of C. cidaris and 10 of A. fenestratum) showed recent ingestion of the coral infrastructure. Upon dissection, live coral skeleton was observed encased in a thick mucus layer within the gastrointestinal tract of G. elegans and G. alexandri while both live and dead coral fragments were found in C. cidaris and A. fenestratum. Echinoid bioerosion limits the growth of shallow-water reefs. Our observations suggest that echinoids may also play an important role in the ecology of deep-water coral reefs.

  2. Calibrating amino acid δ13C and δ15N offsets between polyp and protein skeleton to develop proteinaceous deep-sea corals as paleoceanographic archives

    Science.gov (United States)

    McMahon, Kelton W.; Williams, Branwen; Guilderson, Thomas P.; Glynn, Danielle S.; McCarthy, Matthew D.

    2018-01-01

    Compound-specific stable isotopes of amino acids (CSI-AA) from proteinaceous deep-sea coral skeletons have the potential to improve paleoreconstructions of plankton community composition, and our understanding of the trophic dynamics and biogeochemical cycling of sinking organic matter in the Ocean. However, the assumption that the molecular isotopic values preserved in protein skeletal material reflect those of the living coral polyps has never been directly investigated in proteinaceous deep-sea corals. We examined CSI-AA from three genera of proteinaceous deep-sea corals from three oceanographically distinct regions of the North Pacific: Primnoa from the Gulf of Alaska, Isidella from the Central California Margin, and Kulamanamana from the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre. We found minimal offsets in the δ13C values of both essential and non-essential AAs, and in the δ15N values of source AAs, between paired samples of polyp tissue and protein skeleton. Using an essential AA δ13C fingerprinting approach, we show that estimates of the relative contribution of eukaryotic microalgae and prokaryotic cyanobacteria to the sinking organic matter supporting deep-sea corals are the same when calculated from polyp tissue or recently deposited skeletal tissue. The δ15N values of trophic AAs in skeletal tissue, on the other hand, were consistently 3-4‰ lower than polyp tissue for all three genera. We hypothesize that this offset reflects a partitioning of nitrogen flux through isotopic branch points in the synthesis of polyp (fast turnover tissue) and skeleton (slow, unidirectional incorporation). This offset indicates an underestimation, albeit correctable, of approximately half a trophic position from gorgonin protein-based deep-sea coral skeleton. Together, our observations open the door for applying many of the rapidly evolving CSI-AA based tools developed for metabolically active tissues in modern systems to archival coral tissues in a paleoceanographic context.

  3. Colonial life under the Humboldt Current System: deep-sea corals from O'Higgins I seamount

    OpenAIRE

    Cañete,Juan I; Haussermann,Verena

    2012-01-01

    A benthic community constituted by an assemblage of at least four species of deep-sea corals collected in only one trawl carried-out on the summit of the O'Higgins I seamount, central Chile. The corals were collected in only one trawl carried-out during a Chilean-Japanese cruise onboard the R/V" Koyo Maru" in December 29, 2004. Presence of oxygenated and cold Antarctic Intermediate Water (>400 m depth) on the plateau was recorded under of the Equatorial Subsurface Water associated to the o...

  4. Colonial life under the Humboldt Current System: deep-sea corals from O'Higgins I seamount

    OpenAIRE

    Cañete, Juan I; Haussermann, Verena

    2012-01-01

    A benthic community constituted by an assemblage of at least four species of deep-sea corals collected in only one trawl carried-out on the summit of the O'Higgins I seamount, central Chile. The corals were collected in only one trawl carried-out during a Chilean-Japanese cruise onboard the R/V" Koyo Maru" in December 29, 2004. Presence of oxygenated and cold Antarctic Intermediate Water (>400 m depth) on the plateau was recorded under of the Equatorial Subsurface Water associated to the oxyg...

  5. Measuring Habitat Quality for Deep-Sea Corals and Sponges to Add Conservation Value to Telepresence-Enabled Science and Technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Etnoyer, P. J.; Hourigan, T. F.; Reser, B.; Monaco, M.

    2016-02-01

    The growing fleet of telepresence-enabled research vessels equipped with deep-sea imaging technology provides a new opportunity to catalyze and coordinate research efforts among ships. This development is particularly useful for studying the distribution and diversity of deep-sea corals, which occur worldwide from 50 to 8600 m depth. Marine managers around the world seek to conserve these habitats, but require a clear consensus on what types of information are most important and most relevant for marine conservation. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) seeks to develop a reproducible, non-invasive set of ROV methods designed to measure conservation value, or habitat quality, for deep-sea corals and sponges. New tools and methods will be proposed to inform ocean resource management, as well as facilitate research, outreach, and education. A new database schema will be presented, building upon the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS) and efforts of submersible and ROV teams over the years. Visual information about corals and sponges has proven paramount, particularly high-quality images with standard attributes for marine geology and marine biology, including scientific names, colony size, health, abundance, and density. Improved habitat suitability models can be developed from these data if presence and absence are measured. Recent efforts to incorporate physical sampling into telepresence protocols further increase the value of such information. It is possible for systematic observations with small file sizes to be distributed as geo-referenced, time-stamped still images with environmental variables for water chemistry and a standardized habitat classification. The technique is common among researchers, but a distributed network for this information is still in its infancy. One goal of this presentation is to make progress towards a more integrated network of these measured observations of habitat quality to better facilitate

  6. Reprint of - Deep-sea coral and hardbottom habitats on the west Florida slope, eastern Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, Steve W.; Rhode, Mike; Brooke, Sandra

    2017-09-01

    Until recently, benthic habitats dominated by deep-sea corals (DSC) appeared to be less extensive on the slope of the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) than in the northeast Atlantic Ocean or off the southeastern US. There are relatively few bioherms (i.e., coral-built mounds) in the northern GOM, and most DSCs are attached to existing hard substrata (e.g., authigenically formed carbonate). The primary structure-forming, DSC in the GOM is Lophelia pertusa, but structure is also provided by other living and dead scleractinians, antipatharians (black corals), octocorals (gorgonians, soft corals), hydrocorals and sponges, as well as abundant rocky substrata. The best development of DSCs in the GOM was previously documented within Viosca Knoll oil and gas lease blocks 826 and 862/906 (north-central GOM) and on the Campeche Bank (southern GOM in Mexican waters). This paper documents extensive deep reef ecosystems composed of DSC and rocky hard-bottom recently surveyed on the West Florida Slope (WFS, eastern GOM) during six research cruises (2008-2012). Using multibeam sonar, CTD casts, and video from underwater vehicles, we describe the physical and oceanographic characteristics of these deep reefs and provide size or area estimates of deep coral and hardground habitats. The multibeam sonar analyses revealed hundreds of mounds and ridges, some of which were subsequently surveyed using underwater vehicles. Mounds and ridges in <525 m depths were usually capped with living coral colonies, dominated by L. pertusa. An extensive rocky scarp, running roughly north-south for at least 229 km, supported lower abundances of scleractinian corals than the mounds and ridges, despite an abundance of settlement substrata. Areal comparisons suggested that the WFS may exceed other parts of the GOM slope in extent of living deep coral coverage and other deep-reef habitat (dead coral and rock). The complex WFS region warrants additional studies to better understand the influences of oceanography and

  7. Rapid change with depth in megabenthic structure-forming communities of the Makapu'u deep-sea coral bed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, Dustin J.; Baco, Amy R.

    2014-01-01

    Seamounts are largely unexplored undersea mountains rising abruptly from the ocean floor, which can support an increased abundance and diversity of organisms. Deep-sea corals are important benthic structure-formers on current-swept hard substrates in these habitats. While depth is emerging as a factor structuring the fauna of seamounts on a large spatial scale, most work addressing deep-sea coral and seamount community structure has not considered the role of small-scale variation in species distributions. Video from six ROV dives over a depth range of ~320-530 m were analyzed to assess the diversity and density of benthic megafaunal invertebrates across the Makapu'u deep-sea coral bed, offshore of Oahu, Hawaii. At the same time, the physical environment along the dive track was surveyed to relate biotic patterns with abiotic variables including depth, aspect, rugosity, substrate, slope and relief to test the factors structuring community assemblages. Despite the narrow range examined, depth was found to be the strongest structuring gradient, and six unique macrobenthic communities were found, with a 93% faunal dissimilarity over the depth surveyed. Relief, rugosity and slope were also factors in the final model. Alcyonacean octocorals were the dominant macrofaunal invertebrates at all but the deepest depth zone. The commercially harvested precious coral C. secundum was the dominant species at depths 370-470 m, with a distribution that is on average deeper than similar areas. This may be artificial due to the past harvesting of this species on the shallower portion of its range. Primnoid octocorals were the most abundant octocoral family overall. This work yields new insight on the spatial ecology of seamounts, pointing out that community changes can occur over narrow depth ranges and that communities can be structured by small-scale physiography.

  8. Vertical water mass structure in the North Atlantic influences the bathymetric distribution of species in the deep-sea coral genus Paramuricea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radice, Veronica Z.; Quattrini, Andrea M.; Wareham, Vonda E.; Edinger, Evan N.; Cordes, Erik E.

    2016-10-01

    Deep-sea corals are the structural foundation of their ecosystems along continental margins worldwide, yet the factors driving their broad distribution are poorly understood. Environmental factors, especially depth-related variables including water mass properties, are thought to considerably affect the realized distribution of deep-sea corals. These factors are governed by local and regional oceanographic conditions that directly influence the dispersal of larvae, and therefore affect the ultimate distribution of adult corals. We used molecular barcoding of mitochondrial and nuclear sequences to identify species of octocorals in the genus Paramuricea collected from the Labrador Sea to the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, Canada at depths of 150-1500 m. The results of this study revealed overlapping bathymetric distributions of the Paramuricea species present off the eastern Canadian coast, including the presence of a few cryptic species previously designated as Paramuricea placomus. The distribution of Paramuricea species in the western North Atlantic differs from the Gulf of Mexico, where five Paramuricea species exhibit strong segregation by depth. The different patterns of Paramuricea species in these contrasting biogeographic regions provide insight into how water mass structure may shape species distribution. Investigating Paramuricea prevalence and distribution in conjunction with oceanographic conditions can help demonstrate the factors that generate and maintain deep-sea biodiversity.

  9. Amino acid stable isotope applications to deep-sea corals: A molecular geochemistry approach to reconstructing past ocean conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    McMahon, K.; McCarthy, M. D.; Guilderson, T. P.; Sherwood, O.; Williams, B.; Larsen, T.; Glynn, D. S.

    2017-12-01

    Future climate change is predicted to alter ocean productivity, food web dynamics, biogeochemical cycling, and the efficacy of the biological pump. Proteinaceous deep-sea corals act as "living sediment traps," providing long-term, high-resolution records of exported surface ocean production and a window into past changes in ocean condition as a historical context for potential future changes. Here, we present recent work developing the application of compound-specific stable isotope analysis of individual amino acids to proteinaceous deep-sea corals to reconstruct past changes in phytoplankton community composition and biogeochemical cycling. We present new calibrations for molecular isotope comparisons between metabolically active coral polyp tissue and bioarchival proteinaceous skeleton. We then applied these techniques to deep-sea corals from the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre (NPSG) to reconstruct centennial to millennial time scale changes in phytoplankton community composition and biogeochemical cycling as a function of regional climate change. This work suggests that the NPSG has undergone multiple major phytoplankton regime shifts over the last millennium between prokaryotic and eukaryotic phytoplankton communities and associated sources of nitrogen fueling production. The most recent regime, which started around the end of the Little Ice Age and the onset of the Industrial era, is unprecedented in the last 1000 years and resulted in a 30-50% increase in diazotrophic cyanobacteria contribution to export production and an associated 17-27% increase in N2-fixation in the NPSG over last century. By offering the first direct phylogenetic context for long-term shifts in isotopic records of exported particulate organic matter, our data represent a major step forward in understanding the evolution of marine plankton community dynamics, food web architecture, biogeochemical cycling, and the climate feedback loops through the biological pump.

  10. 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...

  11. Deep-sea scleractinian coral age and depth distributions in the northwest Atlantic for the last 225,000 years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, L.F.; Adkins, J.F.; Scheirer, D.S.; Fernandez, D.P.; Gagnon, A.; Waller, R.G.

    2007-01-01

    Deep-sea corals have grown for over 200,000 yrs on the New England Seamounts in the northwest Atlantic, and this paper describes their distribution both with respect to depth and time. Many thousands of fossil scleractinian corals were collected on a series of cruises from 2003-2005; by contrast, live ones were scarce. On these seamounts, the depth distribution of fossil Desmophyllum dianthus (Esper, 1794) is markedly different to that of the colonial scleractinian corals, extending 750 m deeper in the water column to a distinct cut-off at 2500 m. This cut-off is likely to be controlled by the maximum depth of a notch-shaped feature in the seamount morphology. The ages of D. dianthus corals as determined by U-series measurements range from modern to older than 200,000 yrs. The age distribution is not constant over time, and most corals have ages from the last glacial period. Within the glacial period, increases in coral population density at Muir and Manning Seamounts coincided with times at which large-scale ocean circulation changes have been documented in the deep North Atlantic. Ocean circulation changes have an effect on coral distributions, but the cause of the link is not known. ?? 2007 Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science of the University of Miami.

  12. Distributions and habitat associations of deep-water corals in Norfolk and Baltimore Canyons, Mid-Atlantic Bight, USA

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brooke, S.D.; Watts, M.W.; Heil, A.D.; Rhode, M.; Mienis, F.; Duineveld, G.C.A.; Davies, A.J.; Ross, S.W.

    2017-01-01

    A multi-disciplinary study of two major submarine canyons, Baltimore Canyon and Norfolk Canyon, off the US mid-Atlantic coast focused on the ecology and biology of canyon habitats, particularly those supporting deep-sea corals. Historical data on deep-sea corals from these canyons were sparse with

  13. Cold-water coral reefs and adjacent sponge grounds: Hotspots of benthic respiration and organic carbon cycling in the deep sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cecile eCathalot

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Cold-water coral reefs and adjacent sponge grounds are distributed widely in the deep ocean, where only a small fraction of the surface productivity reaches the seafloor as detritus. It remains elusive how these hotspots of biodiversity can thrive in such a food-limited environment, as data on energy flow and organic carbon utilization are critically lacking. Here we report in situ community respiration rates for cold-water coral and sponge ecosystems obtained by the non-invasive aquatic Eddy Correlation technique. Oxygen uptake rates over coral reefs and adjacent sponge grounds in the Træna Coral Field (Norway were 9-20 times higher than those of the surrounding soft sediments. These high respiration rates indicate strong organic matter consumption, and hence suggest a local focusing onto these ecosystems of the downward flux of organic matter that is exported from the surface ocean. Overall, our results show that coral reefs and adjacent sponge grounds are hotspots of carbon processing in the food-limited deep ocean, and that these deep-sea ecosystems play a more prominent role in marine biogeochemical cycles than previously recognized.

  14. A unique skeletal microstructure of the deep-sea micrabaciid scleractinian corals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janiszewska, Katarzyna; Stolarski, Jaroslaw; Benzerara, Karim; Meibom, Anders; Mazur, Maciej; Kitahara, Marcelo; Cairns, Stephen D.

    2010-05-01

    Structural and biogeochemical properties of the skeleton of many invertebrates rely on organic matrix-mediated biomineralization processes. Organic matrices, composed of complex assemblages of macromolecules (proteins, polysaccharides), may control nucleation, spatial delineation and organization of basic microstructural units. Biologically controlled mineralization is also suggested for the scleractinian corals whose different, molecularly recognized clades are supported by distinct types of skeletal microstructures. Main differences in scleractinian coral skeletal microstructures suggested so far consist in (1) varying spatial relationships between Rapid Accretion Deposits (RAD, 'centers of calcification') and thickening deposits (TD, 'fibers'), and (2) varying arrangements of biomineral fibers into higher order structures (e.g., bundles of fibers perpendicular to skeletal surfaces in some 'caryophylliid' corals vs. scale-like units with fibers parallel to the surface in acroporiids). However, a common feature of biomineral fibers in corals described thus far was their similar crystallographic arrangement within larger meso-scale structures (bundles of fibers) and continuity between successive growth layers. Herein we show that representatives of the deep-sea scleractinian family Micrabaciidae (genera: Letepsammia, Rhombopsammia, Stephanophyllia, Leptopenus) have thickening deposits composed of irregular meshwork of short (1-2 μm) and extremely thin (ca. 100-300 nm) fibers organized into small bundles (ca. 1-2 μm thick). Longer axes of fibers are aligned within individual bundles that, in turn, show rather irregular arrangement on the growing surfaces and within the skeleton (irregular criss-cross pattern). In contrast to other scleractinians (including deep-water 'caryophylliids', fungiacyathids, and anthemiphyllids sympatric with micrabaciids), growth layers are not distinct. Also the regions of rapid accretion and thickening deposits are not clearly

  15. HB1204: Deep-Sea Corals and Benthic Habitats in Northeast Deepwater Canyons on NOAA Ship Henry Bigelow between 20120703 and 20120718

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — A multi-disciplinary team of scientists on the Henry Bigelow HB1204 mission surveyed and ground-truthed known or suspected deep-sea coral habitats associated with...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

    Deep-sea scleractinian corals were collected with the remotely operated ROPOS vehicle off Newfounland. Fossil specimens of Desmophyllum dianthus were raised from coral graveyards at Orphan Knoll (˜1700m depth) and Flemish cap (˜2200 m depth), while live specimens were collected directly in overlying steep rock slopes. D. dianthus has an aragonitic skeleton and is thus particularly suited for U-Th dating. We obtained > 70 U-series ages along with > 20 14C measurements. Results display a discrete age distribution with two age clusters: a Bølling-Allerød and Holocene cluster with > 20 samples, and a Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 5c cluster with ˜50 samples. Only two samples lay outside these clusters, at ˜ 64 ka and at ˜181 ka. Contrary to the New England seamounts where coral presence seems to have been continue through the last 70 ka, Orphan Knoll and Flemish Cap graveyards are marked by the absence of preserved specimens from MIS 2 to MIS 4 and throughout MIS 6. For filter-feeding deep-sea corals, access to food-rich waters is essential. Hence the Holocene and MIS 5 clusters observed in the Labrador basin might represent intervals linked to high food availability, either through production in the overlying water column, more effectively in relation to particulate and dissolved organic carbon transport via an active Western Boundary Undercurrent. Comparison of 230Th-ages vs 14C-ages in order to document changes in ventilation ages of the ambient water masses is equivocal due to the presence of some diagenetic and/or initial 230Th-excess. In addition, discrete diagenetic U-fluxes can be documented from 234U/238U vs 230Th/238U data. They point to a recent winnowing of sediment overlying the fossil corals that we link to the Holocene intensification of the Western Boundary Undercurrent, which resulted in driving Fe-Mn coatings.

  17. Bacterial community diversity of the deep-sea octocoral Paramuricea placomus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christina A. Kellogg

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Compared to tropical corals, much less is known about deep-sea coral biology and ecology. Although the microbial communities of some deep-sea corals have been described, this is the first study to characterize the bacterial community associated with the deep-sea octocoral, Paramuricea placomus. Samples from five colonies of P. placomus were collected from Baltimore Canyon (379–382 m depth in the Atlantic Ocean off the east coast of the United States of America. DNA was extracted from the coral samples and 16S rRNA gene amplicons were pyrosequenced using V4-V5 primers. Three samples sequenced deeply (>4,000 sequences each and were further analyzed. The dominant microbial phylum was Proteobacteria, but other major phyla included Firmicutes and Planctomycetes. A conserved community of bacterial taxa held in common across the three P. placomus colonies was identified, comprising 68–90% of the total bacterial community depending on the coral individual. The bacterial community of P. placomus does not appear to include the genus Endozoicomonas, which has been found previously to be the dominant bacterial associate in several temperate and tropical gorgonians. Inferred functionality suggests the possibility of nitrogen cycling by the core bacterial community.

  18. Out of their depth? Isolated deep populations of the cosmopolitan coral Desmophyllum dianthus may be highly vulnerable to environmental change.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karen J Miller

    Full Text Available Deep sea scleractinian corals will be particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, facing loss of up to 70% of their habitat as the Aragonite Saturation Horizon (below which corals are unable to form calcium carbonate skeletons rises. Persistence of deep sea scleractinian corals will therefore rely on the ability of larvae to disperse to, and colonise, suitable shallow-water habitat. We used DNA sequence data of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS, the mitochondrial ribosomal subunit (16S and mitochondrial control region (MtC to determine levels of gene flow both within and among populations of the deep sea coral Desmophyllum dianthus in SE Australia, New Zealand and Chile to assess the ability of corals to disperse into different regions and habitats. We found significant genetic subdivision among the three widely separated geographic regions consistent with isolation and limited contemporary gene flow. Furthermore, corals from different depth strata (shallow 1500 m even on the same or nearby seamounts were strongly differentiated, indicating limited vertical larval dispersal. Genetic differentiation with depth is consistent with the stratification of the Subantarctic Mode Water, Antarctic Intermediate Water, the Circumpolar Deep and North Pacific Deep Waters in the Southern Ocean, and we propose that coral larvae will be retained within, and rarely migrate among, these water masses. The apparent absence of vertical larval dispersal suggests deep populations of D. dianthus are unlikely to colonise shallow water as the aragonite saturation horizon rises and deep waters become uninhabitable. Similarly, assumptions that deep populations will act as refuges for shallow populations that are impacted by activities such as fishing or mining are also unlikely to hold true. Clearly future environmental management strategies must consider both regional and depth-related isolation of deep-sea coral populations.

  19. Out of their depth? Isolated deep populations of the cosmopolitan coral Desmophyllum dianthus may be highly vulnerable to environmental change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Karen J; Rowden, Ashley A; Williams, Alan; Häussermann, Vreni

    2011-01-01

    Deep sea scleractinian corals will be particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, facing loss of up to 70% of their habitat as the Aragonite Saturation Horizon (below which corals are unable to form calcium carbonate skeletons) rises. Persistence of deep sea scleractinian corals will therefore rely on the ability of larvae to disperse to, and colonise, suitable shallow-water habitat. We used DNA sequence data of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS), the mitochondrial ribosomal subunit (16S) and mitochondrial control region (MtC) to determine levels of gene flow both within and among populations of the deep sea coral Desmophyllum dianthus in SE Australia, New Zealand and Chile to assess the ability of corals to disperse into different regions and habitats. We found significant genetic subdivision among the three widely separated geographic regions consistent with isolation and limited contemporary gene flow. Furthermore, corals from different depth strata (shallow 1500 m) even on the same or nearby seamounts were strongly differentiated, indicating limited vertical larval dispersal. Genetic differentiation with depth is consistent with the stratification of the Subantarctic Mode Water, Antarctic Intermediate Water, the Circumpolar Deep and North Pacific Deep Waters in the Southern Ocean, and we propose that coral larvae will be retained within, and rarely migrate among, these water masses. The apparent absence of vertical larval dispersal suggests deep populations of D. dianthus are unlikely to colonise shallow water as the aragonite saturation horizon rises and deep waters become uninhabitable. Similarly, assumptions that deep populations will act as refuges for shallow populations that are impacted by activities such as fishing or mining are also unlikely to hold true. Clearly future environmental management strategies must consider both regional and depth-related isolation of deep-sea coral populations.

  20. Lead isotopes in deep-sea coral skeletons: Ground-truthing and a first deglacial Southern Ocean record

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, David J.; van de Flierdt, Tina; Adkins, Jess F.

    2017-05-01

    Past changes in seawater lead (Pb) isotopes record the temporal evolution of anthropogenic pollution, continental weathering inputs, and ocean current transport. To advance our ability to reconstruct this signature, we present methodological developments that allow us to make precise and accurate Pb isotope measurements on deep-sea coral aragonite, and apply our approach to generate the first Pb isotope record for the glacial to deglacial mid-depth Southern Ocean. Our refined methodology includes a two-step anion exchange chemistry procedure and measurement using a 207Pb-204Pb double spike on a Thermo Finnigan Triton TIMS instrument. By employing a 1012 Ω resistor (in place of a 1011 Ω resistor) to measure the low-abundance 204Pb ion beam, we improve the internal precision on 206,207,208Pb/204Pb for a 2 ng load of NIST-SRM-981 Pb from typically ∼420 ppm to ∼230 ppm (2 s.e.), and the long term external reproducibility from ∼950 ppm to ∼550 ppm (2 s.d.). Furthermore, for a typical 500 mg coral sample with low Pb concentrations (∼6-10 ppb yielding ∼3-5 ng Pb for analysis), we obtain a comparable internal precision of ∼150-250 ppm for 206,207,208Pb/204Pb, indicating a good sensitivity for tracing natural Pb sources to the oceans. Successful extraction of a seawater signal from deep-sea coral aragonite further relies on careful physical and chemical cleaning steps, which are necessary to remove anthropogenic Pb contaminants and obtain results that are consistent with ferromanganese crusts. Applying our approach to a collection of late glacial and deglacial corals (∼12-40 ka BP) from south of Tasmania at ∼1.4-1.7 km water depth, we generated the first intermediate water Pb isotope record from the Southern Ocean. That record reveals millennial timescale variability, controlled by binary mixing between two Pb sources, but no distinct glacial-interglacial Pb isotope shift. Mixing between natural endmembers is fully consistent with our data and points to

  1. Reconnaissance dating: a new radiocarbon method applied to assessing the temporal distribution of Southern Ocean deep-sea corals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burke, Andrea; Robinson, Laura F.; McNichol, Ann P.; Jenkins, William J.; Scanlon, Kathryn M.; Gerlach, Dana S.

    2010-01-01

    We have developed a rapid 'reconnaissance' method of preparing graphite for 14C/12C analysis. Carbonate (~15 mg) is combusted using an elemental analyzer and the resulting CO2 is converted to graphite using a sealed tube zinc reduction method. Over 85% (n=45 replicates on twenty-one individual corals) of reconnaissance ages measured on corals ranging in age from 500 to 33,000 radiocarbon years (Ryr) are within two standard deviations of ages generated using standard hydrolysis methods on the same corals, and all reconnaissance ages are within 300 Ryr of the standard hydrolysis ages. Replicate measurements on three individual aragonitic corals yielded ages of 1076±35 Ryr (standard deviation; n=5), 10,739±47 Ryr (n=8), and 40,146±3500 Ryr (n=9). No systematic biases were found using different cleaning methods or variable sample sizes. Analysis of 13C/12C was made concurrently with the 14C/12C measurement to correct for natural fractionation and for fractionation during sample processing and analysis. This technique provides a new, rapid method for making accurate, percent-level 14C/12C analyses that may be used to establish the rates and chronology of earth system processes where survey-type modes of age estimation are desirable. For example, applications may include creation of sediment core-top maps, preliminary age models for sediment cores, and growth rate studies of marine organisms such as corals or mollusks. We applied the reconnaissance method to more than 100 solitary deep-sea corals collected in the Drake Passage in the Southern Ocean to investigate their temporal and spatial distribution. The corals used in this study are part of a larger sample set, and the subset that was dated was chosen based on species as opposed to preservation state, so as to exclude obvious temporal biases. Similar to studies in other regions, the distribution of deep-sea corals is not constant through time across the Drake Passage. Most of the corals from the Burdwood Bank

  2. A comparison of genetic connectivity in two deep sea corals to examine whether seamounts are isolated islands or stepping stones for dispersal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Karen J.; Gunasekera, Rasanthi M.

    2017-04-01

    Ecological processes in the deep sea are poorly understood due to the logistical constraints of sampling thousands of metres below the ocean’s surface and remote from most land masses. Under such circumstances, genetic data provides unparalleled insight into biological and ecological relationships. We use microsatellite DNA to compare the population structure, reproductive mode and dispersal capacity in two deep sea corals from seamounts in the Southern Ocean. The solitary coral Desmophyllum dianthus has widespread dispersal consistent with its global distribution and resilience to disturbance. In contrast, for the matrix-forming colonial coral Solenosmilia variabilis asexual reproduction is important and the dispersal of sexually produced larvae is negligible, resulting in isolated populations. Interestingly, despite the recognised impacts of fishing on seamount communities, genetic diversity on fished and unfished seamounts was similar for both species, suggesting that evolutionary resilience remains despite reductions in biomass. Our results provide empirical evidence that a group of seamounts can function either as isolated islands or stepping stones for dispersal for different taxa. Furthermore different strategies will be required to protect the two sympatric corals and consequently the recently declared marine reserves in this region may function as a network for D. dianthus, but not for S. variabilis.

  3. NOAA's efforts to map extent, health and condition of deep sea corals and sponges and their habitat on the banks and island slopes of Southern California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Etnoyer, P. J.; Salgado, E.; Stierhoff, K.; Wickes, L.; Nehasil, S.; Kracker, L.; Lauermann, A.; Rosen, D.; Caldow, C.

    2015-12-01

    Southern California's deep-sea corals are diverse and abundant, but subject to multiple stressors, including corallivory, ocean acidification, and commercial bottom fishing. NOAA has surveyed these habitats using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) since 2003. The ROV was equipped with high-resolution cameras to document deep-water groundfish and their habitat in a series of research expeditions from 2003 - 2011. Recent surveys 2011-2015 focused on in-situ measures of aragonite saturation and habitat mapping in notable habitats identified in previous years. Surveys mapped abundance and diversity of fishes and corals, as well as commercial fisheries landings and frequency of fishing gear. A novel priority setting algorithm was developed to identify hotspots of diversity and fishing intensity, and to determine where future conservation efforts may be warranted. High density coral aggregations identified in these analyses were also used to guide recent multibeam mapping efforts. The maps suggest a large extent of unexplored and unprotected hard-bottom habitat in the mesophotic zone and deep-sea reaches of Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.

  4. Deep-sea biodiversity in the Mediterranean Sea: the known, the unknown, and the unknowable.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberto Danovaro

    Full Text Available Deep-sea ecosystems represent the largest biome of the global biosphere, but knowledge of their biodiversity is still scant. The Mediterranean basin has been proposed as a hot spot of terrestrial and coastal marine biodiversity but has been supposed to be impoverished of deep-sea species richness. We summarized all available information on benthic biodiversity (Prokaryotes, Foraminifera, Meiofauna, Macrofauna, and Megafauna in different deep-sea ecosystems of the Mediterranean Sea (200 to more than 4,000 m depth, including open slopes, deep basins, canyons, cold seeps, seamounts, deep-water corals and deep-hypersaline anoxic basins and analyzed overall longitudinal and bathymetric patterns. We show that in contrast to what was expected from the sharp decrease in organic carbon fluxes and reduced faunal abundance, the deep-sea biodiversity of both the eastern and the western basins of the Mediterranean Sea is similarly high. All of the biodiversity components, except Bacteria and Archaea, displayed a decreasing pattern with increasing water depth, but to a different extent for each component. Unlike patterns observed for faunal abundance, highest negative values of the slopes of the biodiversity patterns were observed for Meiofauna, followed by Macrofauna and Megafauna. Comparison of the biodiversity associated with open slopes, deep basins, canyons, and deep-water corals showed that the deep basins were the least diverse. Rarefaction curves allowed us to estimate the expected number of species for each benthic component in different bathymetric ranges. A large fraction of exclusive species was associated with each specific habitat or ecosystem. Thus, each deep-sea ecosystem contributes significantly to overall biodiversity. From theoretical extrapolations we estimate that the overall deep-sea Mediterranean biodiversity (excluding prokaryotes reaches approximately 2805 species of which about 66% is still undiscovered. Among the biotic components

  5. Defying Dissolution: Discovery of Deep-Sea Scleractinian Coral Reefs in the North Pacific.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baco, Amy R; Morgan, Nicole; Roark, E Brendan; Silva, Mauricio; Shamberger, Kathryn E F; Miller, Kelci

    2017-07-14

    Deep-sea scleractinian coral reefs are protected ecologically and biologically significant areas that support global fisheries. The absence of observations of deep-sea scleractinian reefs in the Central and Northeast Pacific, combined with the shallow aragonite saturation horizon (ASH) and high carbonate dissolution rates there, fueled the hypothesis that reef formation in the North Pacific was improbable. Despite this, we report the discovery of live scleractinian reefs on six seamounts of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and Emperor Seamount Chain at depths of 535-732 m and aragonite saturation state (Ω arag ) values of 0.71-1.33. Although the ASH becomes deeper moving northwest along the chains, the depth distribution of the reefs becomes shallower, suggesting the ASH is having little influence on their distribution. Higher chlorophyll moving to the northwest may partially explain the geographic distribution of the reefs. Principle Components Analysis suggests that currents are also an important factor in their distribution, but neither chlorophyll nor the available current data can explain the unexpected depth distribution. Further environmental data is needed to elucidate the reason for the distribution of these reefs. The discovery of reef-forming scleractinians in this region is of concern because a number of the sites occur on seamounts with active trawl fisheries.

  6. Trophic ecology of deep-sea Asteroidea (Echinodermata) from eastern Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gale, Katie S. P.; Hamel, Jean-François; Mercier, Annie

    2013-10-01

    Asteroids (sea stars) can be important predators in benthic communities and are often present in ecologically important and vulnerable deep-sea coral and sponge habitats. However, explicit studies on the trophic ecology of deep-sea asteroids are rare. We investigated the diets of seven species of deep-sea asteroid from the bathyal zone of Newfoundland and Labrador, eastern Canada. A multifaceted approach including live animal observations, stomach content analysis, and stable isotope analysis revealed the asteroids to be either top predators of megafauna or secondary consumers (mud ingesters, infaunal predators, and suspension feeders). The stable isotope signatures of Ceramaster granularis, Hippasteria phrygiana, and Mediaster bairdi are characteristic of high-level predators, having δ15N values 4.4‰ (more than one trophic level) above Ctenodiscus crispatus, Leptychaster arcticus, Novodinia americana, and Zoroaster fulgens. We present strong evidence that corals and sponges are common food items for two of the predatory species, C. granularis and H. phrygiana. During laboratory feeding trials, live H. phrygiana fed on several species of soft coral and C. granularis fed on sponges. Stomach content analysis of wild-caught individuals revealed sclerites from sea pens (e.g. Pennatula sp.) in the stomachs of both asteroid species; H. phrygiana also contained sclerites from at least two other species of octocoral and siliceous sponge spicules were present in the stomachs of C. granularis. The stomach contents of the secondary consumers contained a range of invertebrate material. Leptychaster arcticus and Ctenodiscus crispatus feed infaunally on bulk sediment and molluscs, Zoroaster fulgens is a generalist infaunal predator, and the brisingid Novodinia americana is a specialist suspension feeder on benthopelagic crustaceans. This study provides a foundation for understanding the ecological roles of bathyal asteroids, and suggests that some species may have the

  7. Low incidence of clonality in cold water corals revealed through the novel use of a standardized protocol adapted to deep sea sampling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becheler, Ronan; Cassone, Anne-Laure; Noël, Philippe; Mouchel, Olivier; Morrison, Cheryl L.; Arnaud-Haond, Sophie

    2017-11-01

    Sampling in the deep sea is a technical challenge, which has hindered the acquisition of robust datasets that are necessary to determine the fine-grained biological patterns and processes that may shape genetic diversity. Estimates of the extent of clonality in deep-sea species, despite the importance of clonality in shaping the local dynamics and evolutionary trajectories, have been largely obscured by such limitations. Cold-water coral reefs along European margins are formed mainly by two reef-building species, Lophelia pertusa and Madrepora oculata. Here we present a fine-grained analysis of the genotypic and genetic composition of reefs occurring in the Bay of Biscay, based on an innovative deep-sea sampling protocol. This strategy was designed to be standardized, random, and allowed the georeferencing of all sampled colonies. Clonal lineages discriminated through their Multi-Locus Genotypes (MLG) at 6-7 microsatellite markers could thus be mapped to assess the level of clonality and the spatial spread of clonal lineages. High values of clonal richness were observed for both species across all sites suggesting a limited occurrence of clonality, which likely originated through fragmentation. Additionally, spatial autocorrelation analysis underlined the possible occurrence of fine-grained genetic structure in several populations of both L. pertusa and M. oculata. The two cold-water coral species examined had contrasting patterns of connectivity among canyons, with among-canyon genetic structuring detected in M. oculata, whereas L. pertusa was panmictic at the canyon scale. This study exemplifies that a standardized, random and georeferenced sampling strategy, while challenging, can be applied in the deep sea, and associated benefits outlined here include improved estimates of fine grained patterns of clonality and dispersal that are comparable across sites and among species.

  8. Pharmacological Potential of Phylogenetically Diverse Actinobacteria Isolated from Deep-Sea Coral Ecosystems of the Submarine Avilés Canyon in the Cantabrian Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarmiento-Vizcaíno, Aida; González, Verónica; Braña, Alfredo F; Palacios, Juan J; Otero, Luis; Fernández, Jonathan; Molina, Axayacatl; Kulik, Andreas; Vázquez, Fernando; Acuña, José L; García, Luis A; Blanco, Gloria

    2017-02-01

    Marine Actinobacteria are emerging as an unexplored source for natural product discovery. Eighty-seven deep-sea coral reef invertebrates were collected during an oceanographic expedition at the submarine Avilés Canyon (Asturias, Spain) in a range of 1500 to 4700 m depth. From these, 18 cultivable bioactive Actinobacteria were isolated, mainly from corals, phylum Cnidaria, and some specimens of phyla Echinodermata, Porifera, Annelida, Arthropoda, Mollusca and Sipuncula. As determined by 16S rRNA sequencing and phylogenetic analyses, all isolates belong to the phylum Actinobacteria, mainly to the Streptomyces genus and also to Micromonospora, Pseudonocardia and Myceligenerans. Production of bioactive compounds of pharmacological interest was investigated by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) techniques and subsequent database comparison. Results reveal that deep-sea isolated Actinobacteria display a wide repertoire of secondary metabolite production with a high chemical diversity. Most identified products (both diffusible and volatiles) are known by their contrasted antibiotic or antitumor activities. Bioassays with ethyl acetate extracts from isolates displayed strong antibiotic activities against a panel of important resistant clinical pathogens, including Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, as well as fungi, all of them isolated at two main hospitals (HUCA and Cabueñes) from the same geographical region. The identity of the active extracts components of these producing Actinobacteria is currently being investigated, given its potential for the discovery of pharmaceuticals and other products of biotechnological interest.

  9. Assessing Oil Spill Impacts to Cold-Water Corals of the Deep Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeLeo, D. M.; Lengyel, S. D.; Cordes, E. E.

    2016-02-01

    The Deepwater Horizon (DWH) disaster and subsequent cleanup efforts resulted in the release of an unprecedented amount of oil and chemical dispersants in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico (GoM). Over the years, numerous detrimental effects have been documented including impacts to cold-water coral ecosystems. Assessing and quantifying these effects is crucial to understanding the long-term consequences to affected coral populations as well as their resilience. We conducted live exposure experiments to investigate the toxicity of oil and dispersants on two deep-sea corals, Callogorgia delta and Paramuricea type B3. For both species, the treatments containing dispersants had a more pronounced effect than oil treatments alone. In addition, RNA from unexposed and DWH spill-impacted Paramuricea biscaya was extracted and sequenced using Illumina technology. A de novo reference transcriptome was produced and used to explore stress-induced variations in gene expression. Current findings show overexpression of genes coding for Cytochrome p450 (CYP1A1), Tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factors (TRAFs), Peroxidasin and additional genes involved in innate immunity and apoptotic pathways. CYP1A1 is involved in the metabolism of xenobiotics and has been previously used as a diagnostic tool for aquatic pollution. TRAFs are responsible for regulating pathways involved in immune and inflammatory responses and were likewise overexpressed in thermally stressed shallow-water corals. Ribosomal proteins were also significantly underexpressed. These genes among others found in our expression data serve as useful biomarker candidates for assessing and monitoring future spill impacts as resource extraction continues in the deep waters of the GoM. Our results also provide insights into the responses of deep-sea corals to toxin exposure, implications of applying dispersants to oil spills and a novel reference assembly for a relatively under-studied group of cold-water corals.

  10. Species distribution models of two critically endangered deep-sea octocorals reveal fishing impacts on vulnerable marine ecosystems in central Mediterranean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lauria, V; Garofalo, G; Fiorentino, F; Massi, D; Milisenda, G; Piraino, S; Russo, T; Gristina, M

    2017-08-14

    Deep-sea coral assemblages are key components of marine ecosystems that generate habitats for fish and invertebrate communities and act as marine biodiversity hot spots. Because of their life history traits, deep-sea corals are highly vulnerable to human impacts such as fishing. They are an indicator of vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs), therefore their conservation is essential to preserve marine biodiversity. In the Mediterranean Sea deep-sea coral habitats are associated with commercially important crustaceans, consequently their abundance has dramatically declined due to the effects of trawling. Marine spatial planning is required to ensure that the conservation of these habitats is achieved. Species distribution models were used to investigate the distribution of two critically endangered octocorals (Funiculina quadrangularis and Isidella elongata) in the central Mediterranean as a function of environmental and fisheries variables. Results show that both species exhibit species-specific habitat preferences and spatial patterns in response to environmental variables, but the impact of trawling on their distribution differed. In particular F. quadrangularis can overlap with fishing activities, whereas I. elongata occurs exclusively where fishing is low or absent. This study represents the first attempt to identify key areas for the protection of soft and compact mud VMEs in the central Mediterranean Sea.

  11. Assessing Deep Sea Communities Through Seabed Imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matkin, A. G.; Cross, K.; Milititsky, M.

    2016-02-01

    The deep sea still remains virtually unexplored. Human activity, such as oil and gas exploration and deep sea mining, is expanding further into the deep sea, increasing the need to survey and map extensive areas of this habitat in order to assess ecosystem health and value. The technology needed to explore this remote environment has been advancing. Seabed imagery can cover extensive areas of the seafloor and investigate areas where sampling with traditional coring methodologies is just not possible (e.g. cold water coral reefs). Remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) are an expensive option, so drop or towed camera systems can provide a more viable and affordable alternative, while still allowing for real-time control. Assessment of seabed imagery in terms of presence, abundance and density of particular species can be conducted by bringing together a variety of analytical tools for a holistic approach. Sixteen deep sea transects located offshore West Africa were investigated with a towed digital video telemetry system (DTS). Both digital stills and video footage were acquired. An extensive data set was obtained from over 13,000 usable photographs, allowing for characterisation of the different habitats present in terms of community composition and abundance. All observed fauna were identified to the lowest taxonomic level and enumerated when possible, with densities derived after the seabed area was calculated for each suitable photograph. This methodology allowed for consistent assessment of the different habitat types present, overcoming constraints, such as specific taxa that cannot be enumerated, such as sponges, corals or bryozoans, the presence of mobile and sessile species, or the level of taxonomic detail. Although this methodology will not enable a full characterisation of a deep sea community, in terms of species composition for instance, itt will allow a robust assessment of large areas of the deep sea in terms of sensitive habitats present and community

  12. Echinoid associations with coral habitats differ with taxon in the deep sea and the influence of other echinoids, depth, and fishing history on their distribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevenson, Angela; Davies, Jaime S.; Williams, Alan; Althaus, Franziska; Rowden, Ashley A.; Bowden, David A.; Clark, Malcolm R.; Mitchell, Fraser J. G.

    2018-03-01

    Patterns of habitat use by animals and knowledge of the environmental factors affecting these spatial patterns are important for understanding the structure and dynamics of ecological communities. Both aspects are poorly known for deep-sea habitats. The present study investigates echinoid distributions within cold water coral (CWC) habitats on continental margins off France, Australia, and New Zealand. It further examines the influence of habitat-related variables that might help explain the observed distribution of echinoid taxa. Six echinoid taxa were examined from video and photographic transects to reveal taxon-specific distribution patterns and habitat-related influences. The Echinoidea were found in all habitats studied, but tended to aggregate in architecturally complex habitats associated with living cold-water corals. However, a taxon-specific investigation found that such associations were largely an artefact of the dominant taxa observed in a specific region. Despite the food and shelter resources offered to echinoids by matrix-forming coral habitats, not all taxa were associated with these habitats, and some had a random association with the habitats examined, while others displayed non-random associations. Echinoid distribution was correlated with several variables; the presence of other echinoids, depth, and fishing history were the most influential factors. This study indicates that image data can be a useful tool to detect trends in echinoid habitat associations. It also suggests that refinement of the methods, in particular with studies conducted at a more precise taxon and habitat scale, would facilitate better quantitative analyses of habitat associations and paint a more realistic picture of a population's ecology. Most deep-sea ecological studies to date have been conducted at a relatively coarse taxonomic and habitat resolution, and lack sufficient resolution to provide useful information for the conservation of vulnerable deep-sea habitats.

  13. A new classification scheme of European cold-water coral habitats: Implications for ecosystem-based management of the deep sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, J. S.; Guillaumont, B.; Tempera, F.; Vertino, A.; Beuck, L.; Ólafsdóttir, S. H.; Smith, C. J.; Fosså, J. H.; van den Beld, I. M. J.; Savini, A.; Rengstorf, A.; Bayle, C.; Bourillet, J.-F.; Arnaud-Haond, S.; Grehan, A.

    2017-11-01

    Cold-water corals (CWC) can form complex structures which provide refuge, nursery grounds and physical support for a diversity of other living organisms. However, irrespectively from such ecological significance, CWCs are still vulnerable to human pressures such as fishing, pollution, ocean acidification and global warming Providing coherent and representative conservation of vulnerable marine ecosystems including CWCs is one of the aims of the Marine Protected Areas networks being implemented across European seas and oceans under the EC Habitats Directive, the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and the OSPAR Convention. In order to adequately represent ecosystem diversity, these initiatives require a standardised habitat classification that organises the variety of biological assemblages and provides consistent and functional criteria to map them across European Seas. One such classification system, EUNIS, enables a broad level classification of the deep sea based on abiotic and geomorphological features. More detailed lower biotope-related levels are currently under-developed, particularly with regards to deep-water habitats (>200 m depth). This paper proposes a hierarchical CWC biotope classification scheme that could be incorporated by existing classification schemes such as EUNIS. The scheme 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 levels, thereby providing a flexible yet valuable information level for management. The CWC biotope classification scheme identifies 81 biotopes and highlights the limitations of the classification framework and guidance provided by EUNIS, the EC Habitats Directive, OSPAR and FAO; which largely

  14. Colonial life under the Humboldt Current System: deep-sea corals from O'Higgins I seamount La vida colonial bajo el sistema de la corriente de Humboldt: corales de aguas profundas en el monte submarino O'Higgins I

    OpenAIRE

    Juan I Cañete; Verena Haussermann

    2012-01-01

    A benthic community constituted by an assemblage of at least four species of deep-sea corals collected in only one trawl carried-out on the summit of the O'Higgins I seamount, central Chile. The corals were collected in only one trawl carried-out during a Chilean-Japanese cruise onboard the R/V" Koyo Maru" in December 29, 2004. Presence of oxygenated and cold Antarctic Intermediate Water (>400 m depth) on the plateau was recorded under of the Equatorial Subsurface Water associated to the oxyg...

  15. Late Holocene variations in Pacific surface circulation and biogeochemistry inferred from proteinaceous deep-sea corals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. P. Guilderson

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available δ15N and δ13C data obtained from samples of proteinaceous deep-sea corals collected from the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre (Hawaiian Archipelago and the central equatorial Pacific (Line Islands document multidecadal to century-scale variability in the isotopic composition of surface-produced particulate organic matter exported to the deep sea. Comparison of the δ13C data, where Line Islands samples are 0.6‰ more positive than the Hawaiian samples, supports the contention that the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre is more efficient than the tropical upwelling system at trapping and/or recycling nutrients within the mixed layer. δ15N values from the Line Islands samples are also more positive than those from the central gyre, and within the Hawaiian samples there is a gradient with more positive δ15N values in samples from the main Hawaiian Islands versus the French Frigate Shoals in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. The gradient in the Hawaiian samples likely reflects the relative importance of algal acquisition of metabolic N via dissolved seawater nitrate uptake versus nitrogen fixation. The Hawaiian sample set also exhibits a strong decrease in δ15N values from the mid-Holocene to present. We hypothesize that this decrease is most likely the result of decreasing trade winds, and possibly a commensurate decrease in entrainment of more positive δ15N-NO3 subthermocline water masses.

  16. Impact of Deepwater Horizon Spill on food supply to deep-sea benthos communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prouty, Nancy G.; Swarzenski, Pamela; Mienis, Furu; Duineveld, Gerald; Demopoulos, Amanda W.J.; Ross, Steve W.; Brooke, Sandra

    2016-01-01

    Deep-sea ecosystems encompass unique and often fragile communities that are sensitive to a variety of anthropogenic and natural impacts. After the 2010 Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill, sampling efforts documented the acute impact of the spill on some deep-sea coral colonies. To investigate the impact of the DWH spill on quality and quantity of biomass delivered to the deep-sea, a suite of geochemical tracers (e.g., stable and radio-isotopes, lipid biomarkers, and compound specific isotopes) was measured from monthly sediment trap samples deployed near a high-density deep-coral site in the Viosca Knoll area of the north-central Gulf of Mexico prior to (Oct-2008 to Sept-2009) and after the spill (Oct-10 to Sept-11). Marine (e.g., autochthonous) sources of organic matter dominated the sediment traps in both years, however after the spill, there was a pronounced reduction in marinesourced OM, including a reduction in marine-sourced sterols and n-alkanes and a concomitant decrease in sediment trap organic carbon and pigment flux. Results from this study indicate a reduction in primary production and carbon export to the deep-sea in 2010-2011, at least 6-18 months after the spill started. Whereas satellite observations indicate an initial increase in phytoplankton biomass, results from this sediment trap study define a reduction in primary production and carbon export to the deep-sea community. In addition, a dilution from a low-14C carbon source (e.g., petrocarbon) was detected in the sediment trap samples after the spill, in conjunction with a change in the petrogenic composition. The data presented here fills a critical gap in our knowledge of biogeochemical processes and sub-acute impacts to the deep-sea that ensued after the 2010 DWH spill.

  17. Global ocean conveyor lowers extinction risk in the deep sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henry, Lea-Anne; Frank, Norbert; Hebbeln, Dierk; Wienberg, Claudia; Robinson, Laura; van de Flierdt, Tina; Dahl, Mikael; Douarin, Mélanie; Morrison, Cheryl L.; López Correa, Matthias; Rogers, Alex D.; Ruckelshausen, Mario; Roberts, J. Murray

    2014-06-01

    General paradigms of species extinction risk are urgently needed as global habitat loss and rapid climate change threaten Earth with what could be its sixth mass extinction. Using the stony coral Lophelia pertusa as a model organism with the potential for wide larval dispersal, we investigated how the global ocean conveyor drove an unprecedented post-glacial range expansion in Earth's largest biome, the deep sea. We compiled a unique ocean-scale dataset of published radiocarbon and uranium-series dates of fossil corals, the sedimentary protactinium-thorium record of Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) strength, authigenic neodymium and lead isotopic ratios of circulation pathways, and coral biogeography, and integrated new Bayesian estimates of historic gene flow. Our compilation shows how the export of Southern Ocean and Mediterranean waters after the Younger Dryas 11.6 kyr ago simultaneously triggered two dispersal events in the western and eastern Atlantic respectively. Each pathway injected larvae from refugia into ocean currents powered by a re-invigorated AMOC that led to the fastest postglacial range expansion ever recorded, covering 7500 km in under 400 years. In addition to its role in modulating global climate, our study illuminates how the ocean conveyor creates broad geographic ranges that lower extinction risk in the deep sea.

  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. Exploring coral microbiome assemblages in the South China Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, Lin; Tian, Ren-Mao; Zhou, Guowei; Tong, Haoya; Wong, Yue Him; Zhang, Weipeng; Chui, Apple Pui Yi; Xie, James Y; Qiu, Jian-Wen; Ang, Put O; Liu, Sheng; Huang, Hui; Qian, Pei-Yuan

    2018-02-05

    Coral reefs are significant ecosystems. The ecological success of coral reefs relies on not only coral-algal symbiosis but also coral-microbial partnership. However, microbiome assemblages in the South China Sea corals remain largely unexplored. Here, we compared the microbiome assemblages of reef-building corals Galaxea (G. fascicularis) and Montipora (M. venosa, M. peltiformis, M. monasteriata) collected from five different locations in the South China Sea using massively-parallel sequencing of 16S rRNA gene and multivariate analysis. The results indicated that microbiome assemblages for each coral species were unique regardless of location and were different from the corresponding seawater. Host type appeared to drive the coral microbiome assemblages rather than location and seawater. Network analysis was employed to explore coral microbiome co-occurrence patterns, which revealed 61 and 80 co-occurring microbial species assembling the Galaxea and Montipora microbiomes, respectively. Most of these co-occurring microbial species were commonly found in corals and were inferred to play potential roles in host nutrient metabolism; carbon, nitrogen, sulfur cycles; host detoxification; and climate change. These findings suggest that the co-occurring microbial species explored might be essential to maintain the critical coral-microbial partnership. The present study provides new insights into coral microbiome assemblages in the South China Sea.

  20. Evaluation of boron isotope ratio as a pH proxy in the deep sea coral Desmophyllum dianthus: Evidence of physiological pH adjustment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anagnostou, E.; Huang, K.-F.; You, C.-F.; Sikes, E. L.; Sherrell, R. M.

    2012-10-01

    The boron isotope ratio (δ11B) of foraminifers and tropical corals has been proposed to record seawater pH. To test the veracity and practicality of this potential paleo-pH proxy in deep sea corals, samples of skeletal material from twelve archived modern Desmophyllum dianthus (D. dianthus) corals from a depth range of 274-1470 m in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Southern Oceans, ambient pH range 7.57-8.05, were analyzed for δ11B. The δ11B values for these corals, spanning a range from 23.56 to 27.88, are found to be related to seawater borate δ11B by the linear regression: δ11Bcoral=(0.76±0.28) δ11Bborate+(14.67±4.19) (1 standard error (SE)). The D. dianthus δ11B values are greater than those measured in tropical corals, and suggest substantial physiological modification of pH in the calcifying space by a value that is an inverse function of seawater pH. This mechanism partially compensates for the range of ocean pH and aragonite saturation at which this species grows, enhancing aragonite precipitation and suggesting an adaptation mechanism to low pH environments in intermediate and deep waters. Consistent with the findings of Trotter et al. (2011) for tropical surface corals, the data suggest an inverse correlation between the magnitude of a biologically driven pH offset recorded in the coral skeleton, and the seawater pH, described by the equation: ΔpH=pH recorded by coral-seawater pH=-(0.75±0.12) pHw+(6.88±0.93) (1 SE). Error analysis based on 95% confidence interval(CI) and the standard deviation of the regression residuals suggests that the uncertainty of seawater pH reconstructed from δ11Bcoral is ±0.07 to 0.12 pH units. This study demonstrates the applicability of δ11B in D. dianthus to record ambient seawater pH and holds promise for reconstructing oceanic pH distribution and history using fossil corals.

  1. A coral reef refuge in the Red Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fine, Maoz; Gildor, Hezi; Genin, Amatzia

    2013-12-01

    The stability and persistence of coral reefs in the decades to come is uncertain due to global warming and repeated bleaching events that will lead to reduced resilience of these ecological and socio-economically important ecosystems. Identifying key refugia is potentially important for future conservation actions. We suggest that the Gulf of Aqaba (GoA) (Red Sea) may serve as a reef refugium due to a unique suite of environmental conditions. Our hypothesis is based on experimental detection of an exceptionally high bleaching threshold of northern Red Sea corals and on the potential dispersal of coral planulae larvae through a selective thermal barrier estimated using an ocean model. We propose that millennia of natural selection in the form of a thermal barrier at the southernmost end of the Red Sea have selected coral genotypes that are less susceptible to thermal stress in the northern Red Sea, delaying bleaching events in the GoA by at least a century. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Diversity, distribution and nature of faunal associations with deep-sea pennatulacean corals in the Northwest Atlantic.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandrine Baillon

    Full Text Available Anthoptilum grandiflorum and Halipteris finmarchica are two deep-sea corals (Octocorallia: Pennatulacea common on soft bottoms in the North Atlantic where they are believed to act as biogenic habitat. The former also has a worldwide distribution. To assist conservation efforts, this study examines spatial and temporal patterns in the abundance, diversity, and nature of their faunal associates. A total of 14 species were found on A. grandiflorum and 6 species on H. finmarchica during a multi-year and multi-site sampling campaign in eastern Canada. Among those, 7 and 5 species, respectively, were attached to the sea pens and categorized as close associates or symbionts. Rarefaction analyses suggest that the most common associates of both sea pens have been sampled. Biodiversity associated with each sea pen is analyzed according to season, depth and region using either close associates or the broader collection of species. Associated biodiversity generally increases from northern to southern locations and does not vary with depth (∼ 100-1400 m. Seasonal patterns in A. grandiflorum show higher biodiversity during spring/summer due to the transient presence of early life stages of fishes and shrimps whereas it peaks in fall for H. finmarchica. Two distinct endoparasitic species of highly modified copepods (families Lamippidae and Corallovexiidae commonly occur in the polyps of A. grandiflorum and H. finmarchica, and a commensal sea anemone frequently associates with H. finmarchica. Stable isotope analyses (δ(13C and δ(15N reveal potential trophic interactions between the parasites and their hosts. Overall, the diversity of obligate/permanent associates of sea pens is moderate; however the presence of mobile/transient associates highlights an ecological role that has yet to be fully elucidated and supports their key contribution to the enhancement of biodiversity in the Northwest Atlantic.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Berumen, Michael L.

    2013-06-21

    The Red Sea has long been recognized as a region of high biodiversity and endemism. Despite this diversity and early history of scientific work, our understanding of the ecology of coral reefs in the Red Sea has lagged behind that of other large coral reef systems. We carried out a quantitative assessment of ISI-listed research published from the Red Sea in eight specific topics (apex predators, connectivity, coral bleaching, coral reproductive biology, herbivory, marine protected areas, non-coral invertebrates and reef-associated bacteria) and compared the amount of research conducted in the Red Sea to that from Australia\\'s Great Barrier Reef (GBR) and the Caribbean. On average, for these eight topics, the Red Sea had 1/6th the amount of research compared to the GBR and about 1/8th the amount of the Caribbean. Further, more than 50 % of the published research from the Red Sea originated from the Gulf of Aqaba, a small area (<2 % of the area of the Red Sea) in the far northern Red Sea. We summarize the general state of knowledge in these eight topics and highlight the areas of future research priorities for the Red Sea region. Notably, data that could inform science-based management approaches are badly lacking in most Red Sea countries. The Red Sea, as a geologically "young" sea located in one of the warmest regions of the world, has the potential to provide insight into pressing topics such as speciation processes as well as the capacity of reef systems and organisms to adapt to global climate change. As one of the world\\'s most biodiverse coral reef regions, the Red Sea may yet have a significant role to play in our understanding of coral reef ecology at a global scale. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

  4. Zoantharians (Hexacorallia: Zoantharia Associated with Cold-Water Corals in the Azores Region: New Species and Associations in the Deep Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marina Carreiro-Silva

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Zoantharians are a group of cnidarians that are often found in association with marine invertebrates, including corals, in shallow and deep-sea environments. However, little is known about deep-sea zoantharian taxonomy, specificity and nature of their associations with their coral hosts. In this study, analyses of molecular data (mtDNA COI, 16S, and 12S rDNA coupled with ecological and morphological characteristics were used to examine zoantharian specimens associated with cold-water corals (CWC at depths between 110 and 800 m from seamounts and island slopes in the Azores region. The zoantharians examined were found living in association with stylasterids, antipatharians and octocorals. From the collected specimens, four new species were identified: (1 Epizoanthus martinsae sp. n. associated with the antipatharian Leiopathes sp.; (2 Parazoanthus aliceae sp. n. associated with the stylasterid Errina dabneyi (Pourtalès, 1871; (3 Zibrowius alberti sp. n. associated with octocorals of the family Primnoidae [Paracalyptrophora josephinae (Lindström, 1877] and the family Plexauridae (Dentomuricea aff. meteor Grasshoff, 1977; (4 Hurlizoanthus hirondelleae sp. n. associated with the primnoid octocoral Candidella imbricata (Johnson, 1862. In addition, based on newly collected material, morphological and molecular data and phylogenic reconstruction, the zoantharian Isozoanthus primnoidus Carreiro-Silva, Braga-Henriques, Sampaio, de Matos, Porteiro & Ocaña, 2011, associated with the primnoid octocoral Callogorgia verticillata (Pallas, 1766, was reclassified as Zibrowius primnoidus comb. nov. The zoantharians, Z. primnoidus comb. nov., Z. alberti sp. n., and H. hirondelleae sp. n. associated with octocorals showed evidence of a parasitic relationship, where the zoantharian progressively eliminates gorgonian tissue and uses the gorgonian axis for structure and support, and coral sclerites for protection. In contrast, the zoantharian P. aliceae sp. n

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

    KAUST Repository

    Osman, Eslam O.; Smith, David J.; Ziegler, Maren; Kü rten, Benjamin; Conrad, Constanze; El-Haddad, Khaled M.; Voolstra, Christian R.; Suggett, David J.

    2017-01-01

    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.

  6. 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.

  7. Symbiodinium spp. associated with scleractinian corals from Dongsha Atoll (Pratas), Taiwan, in the South China Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keshavmurthy, Shashank; Tang, Kuo-Hsun; Hsu, Chia-Min; Gan, Chai-Hsia; Kuo, Chao-Yang; Soong, Keryea; Chou, Hong-Nong; Chen, Chaolun Allen

    2017-01-01

    Dongsha Atoll (also known as Pratas) in Taiwan is the northernmost atoll in the South China Sea and a designated marine national park since 2007. The marine park's scope of protection covers the bio-resources of its waters in addition to uplands, so it is important to have data logging information and analyses of marine flora and fauna, including their physiology, ecology, and genetics. As part of this effort, we investigated Symbiodinium associations in scleractinian corals from Dongsha Atoll through surveys carried out at two depth ranges (shallow, 1-5 m; and deep, 10-15 m) in 2009 and during a bleaching event in 2010. Symbiodinium composition was assessed using restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) of 28S nuclear large subunit ribosomal DNA (nlsrDNA). Our results showed that the 796 coral samples from seven families and 20 genera collected in 2009 and 132 coral samples from seven families and 12 genera collected in 2010 were associated with Symbiodinium C, D and C+D. Occurrence of clade D in shallow water (24.5%) was higher compared to deep (14.9%). Due to a bleaching event in 2010, up to 80% of coral species associated with Symbiodinium C underwent moderate to severe bleaching. Using the fine resolution technique of denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) in 175 randomly selected coral samples, from 2009 and 2010, eight Symbiodinium C types and two Symbiodinium D types were detected. This study is the first baseline survey on Symbiodinium associations in the corals of Dongsha Atoll in the South China Sea, and it shows the dominance of Symbiodinium clade C in the population.

  8. 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.

  9. Deep-sea pennatulaceans (sea pens) - recent discoveries, morphological adaptations, and responses to benthic oceanographic parameters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, G. C.

    2015-12-01

    Pennatulaceans are sessile, benthic marine organisms that are bathymetrically wide-ranging, from the intertidal to approximately 6300 m in depth, and are conspicuous constituents of deep-sea environments. The vast majority of species are adapted for anchoring in soft sediments by the cylindrical peduncle - a muscular hydrostatic skeleton. However, in the past decade a few species ("Rockpens") have been discovered and described that can attach to hard substratum such as exposed rocky outcrops at depths between 669 and 1969 m, by a plunger-like adaptation of the base of the peduncle. Of the thirty-six known genera, eleven (or 30%) have been recorded from depths greater than 1000 m. The pennatulacean depth record holders are an unidentified species of Umbellula from 6260 m in the Peru-Chile Trench and a recently-discovered and described genus and species, Porcupinella profunda, from 5300 m the Porcupine Abyssal Plain of the northeastern Atlantic. A morphologically-differentiated type of polyp (acrozooid) have recently been discovered and described in two genera of shallow-water coral reef sea pens. Acrozooids apparently represent asexual buds and presumably can detach from the adult to start clonal colonies through asexual budding. Acrozooids are to be expected in deep-sea pennatulaceans, but so far have not been observed below 24 m in depth. Morphological responses at depths greater than 1000 m in deep-sea pennatulaceas include: fewer polyps, larger polyps, elongated stalks, and clustering of polyps along the rachis. Responses to deep-ocean physical parameters and anthropogenic changes that could affect the abundance and distribution of deep-sea pennatulaceans include changes in bottom current flow and food availability, changes in seawater temperature and pH, habitat destruction by fish trawling, and sunken refuse pollution. No evidence of the effects of ocean acidification or other effects of anthropogenic climate change in sea pens of the deep-sea has been

  10. Oceanographic data collected during the HB1204 (Deep-Sea Corals and Benthic Habitats in Northeast Deepwater Canyons) expedition on NOAA Ship Henry Bigelow in the North Atlantic Ocean between 2012-07-03 to 2012-07-18 (NCEI Accession 0097966)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — A multi-disciplinary team of scientists on the Henry Bigelow HB1204 mission surveyed and ground-truthed known or suspected deep-sea coral habitats associated with...

  11. 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.

  12. Community-level destruction of hard corals by the sea urchin Diadema setosum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, Jian-Wen; Lau, Dickey C C; Cheang, Chi-chiu; Chow, Wing-kuen

    2014-08-30

    Sea urchins are common herbivores and bioeroders of coral ecosystems, but rarely have they been reported as corallivores. We determined the spatial pattern of hard coral damage due to corallivory and bioerosion by the sea urchin Diadema setosum Leske in Hong Kong waters. Coral damage was common at the northeastern sites, with 23.7 - 90.3% colonies being either collapsed or severely damaged with >25% tissue loss. Many genera of corals were impacted by the sea urchin but the damage was most obvious for the structure forming genus Platygyra. The percentage of severely damaged and collapsed coral had significant positive correlation with the abundance of D. setosum, which ranged from 0.01 to 5.2 individuals per coral head or 0.1 - 21.1 individuals m(-2) across the study sites. Remedial management actions such as sea urchin removal are urgently needed to save these fringing coral communities. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Ecosystem engineering creates a direct nutritional link between 600-m deep cold-water coral mounds and surface productivity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Soetaert, K.; Mohn, C.; Rengstorf, A.; Grehan, A.; Van Oevelen, D.

    2016-01-01

    Cold-water corals (CWCs) form large mounds on the seafloor that are hotspots of biodiversity in the deep sea, but it remains enigmatic how CWCs can thrive in this food-limited environment. Here, we infer from model simulations that the interaction between tidal currents and CWC-formed mounds induces

  14. 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

  15. Symbiodinium spp. associated with scleractinian corals from Dongsha Atoll (Pratas, Taiwan, in the South China Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shashank Keshavmurthy

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Dongsha Atoll (also known as Pratas in Taiwan is the northernmost atoll in the South China Sea and a designated marine national park since 2007. The marine park’s scope of protection covers the bio-resources of its waters in addition to uplands, so it is important to have data logging information and analyses of marine flora and fauna, including their physiology, ecology, and genetics. As part of this effort, we investigated Symbiodinium associations in scleractinian corals from Dongsha Atoll through surveys carried out at two depth ranges (shallow, 1–5 m; and deep, 10–15 m in 2009 and during a bleaching event in 2010. Symbiodinium composition was assessed using restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP of 28S nuclear large subunit ribosomal DNA (nlsrDNA. Our results showed that the 796 coral samples from seven families and 20 genera collected in 2009 and 132 coral samples from seven families and 12 genera collected in 2010 were associated with Symbiodinium C, D and C+D. Occurrence of clade D in shallow water (24.5% was higher compared to deep (14.9%. Due to a bleaching event in 2010, up to 80% of coral species associated with Symbiodinium C underwent moderate to severe bleaching. Using the fine resolution technique of denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE of internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2 in 175 randomly selected coral samples, from 2009 and 2010, eight Symbiodinium C types and two Symbiodinium D types were detected. This study is the first baseline survey on Symbiodinium associations in the corals of Dongsha Atoll in the South China Sea, and it shows the dominance of Symbiodinium clade C in the population.

  16. Coral indicators of past sea-level change: A global repository of U-series dated benchmarks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hibbert, Fiona D.; Rohling, Eelco J.; Dutton, Andrea; Williams, Felicity H.; Chutcharavan, Peter M.; Zhao, Cheng; Tamisiea, Mark E.

    2016-08-01

    Fossil corals provide valuable data for reconstructing past sea levels, as they are often well preserved in the fossil record and can be dated with U-series methods. Here we present a global and internally consistent database of Usbnd Th dated fossil coral sea-level indicators, including full consideration of all (known) associated uncertainties (both vertical and chronological). We include carefully determined taxon-specific depth distributions, rather than blanket depth uncertainty terms as used in most previous work. This is based on a synthesis of extensive modern ecological information on depth ranges. These ranges are found to be spatially variable (between ocean basins, between regions, and on sub-regional scales) because depth itself is not limiting - instead, depth distributions arise from complex physical, chemical, and biological interactions with coral-reef growth, distribution, and composition. One of the main causes for recognition of the greater depth-variability of coral taxa has been the routine inclusion of deep-diving and ROV surveys in coral ecological studies over the past few decades, which has broken through the "shallow-water" bias of early surveys by adding frequent observations on deeper occurrences (although more are needed). It is also clear from our assessment that coral habitat-depth distributions must be determined on the species level to reduce uncertainties in reconstructions of past sea levels, and that application to sea-level studies then requires these studies also to identify fossil corals to the species level. Samples identified only to the genus level give rise to wide uncertainties in habitat depth and, hence, sea level. Our database contains extensive metadata to assist evaluations of dating quality, as well as geomorphic and stratigraphic metadata. We demonstrate with examples how such metadata can help to evaluate sea-level reconstructions, for example by identifying outlier points. One example discusses the Last

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. Man and the last great wilderness: human impact on the deep sea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eva Ramirez-Llodra

    Full Text Available The deep sea, the largest ecosystem on Earth and one of the least studied, harbours high biodiversity and provides a wealth of resources. Although humans have used the oceans for millennia, technological developments now allow exploitation of fisheries resources, hydrocarbons and minerals below 2000 m depth. The remoteness of the deep seafloor has promoted the disposal of residues and litter. Ocean acidification and climate change now bring a new dimension of global effects. Thus the challenges facing the deep sea are large and accelerating, providing a new imperative for the science community, industry and national and international organizations to work together to develop successful exploitation management and conservation of the deep-sea ecosystem. This paper provides scientific expert judgement and a semi-quantitative analysis of past, present and future impacts of human-related activities on global deep-sea habitats within three categories: disposal, exploitation and climate change. The analysis is the result of a Census of Marine Life--SYNDEEP workshop (September 2008. A detailed review of known impacts and their effects is provided. The analysis shows how, in recent decades, the most significant anthropogenic activities that affect the deep sea have evolved from mainly disposal (past to exploitation (present. We predict that from now and into the future, increases in atmospheric CO(2 and facets and consequences of climate change will have the most impact on deep-sea habitats and their fauna. Synergies between different anthropogenic pressures and associated effects are discussed, indicating that most synergies are related to increased atmospheric CO(2 and climate change effects. We identify deep-sea ecosystems we believe are at higher risk from human impacts in the near future: benthic communities on sedimentary upper slopes, cold-water corals, canyon benthic communities and seamount pelagic and benthic communities. We finalise this

  20. Man and the Last Great Wilderness: Human Impact on the Deep Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramirez-Llodra, Eva; Tyler, Paul A.; Baker, Maria C.; Bergstad, Odd Aksel; Clark, Malcolm R.; Escobar, Elva; Levin, Lisa A.; Menot, Lenaick; Rowden, Ashley A.; Smith, Craig R.; Van Dover, Cindy L.

    2011-01-01

    The deep sea, the largest ecosystem on Earth and one of the least studied, harbours high biodiversity and provides a wealth of resources. Although humans have used the oceans for millennia, technological developments now allow exploitation of fisheries resources, hydrocarbons and minerals below 2000 m depth. The remoteness of the deep seafloor has promoted the disposal of residues and litter. Ocean acidification and climate change now bring a new dimension of global effects. Thus the challenges facing the deep sea are large and accelerating, providing a new imperative for the science community, industry and national and international organizations to work together to develop successful exploitation management and conservation of the deep-sea ecosystem. This paper provides scientific expert judgement and a semi-quantitative analysis of past, present and future impacts of human-related activities on global deep-sea habitats within three categories: disposal, exploitation and climate change. The analysis is the result of a Census of Marine Life – SYNDEEP workshop (September 2008). A detailed review of known impacts and their effects is provided. The analysis shows how, in recent decades, the most significant anthropogenic activities that affect the deep sea have evolved from mainly disposal (past) to exploitation (present). We predict that from now and into the future, increases in atmospheric CO2 and facets and consequences of climate change will have the most impact on deep-sea habitats and their fauna. Synergies between different anthropogenic pressures and associated effects are discussed, indicating that most synergies are related to increased atmospheric CO2 and climate change effects. We identify deep-sea ecosystems we believe are at higher risk from human impacts in the near future: benthic communities on sedimentary upper slopes, cold-water corals, canyon benthic communities and seamount pelagic and benthic communities. We finalise this review with a short

  1. Into the depth of population genetics: pattern of structuring in mesophotic red coral populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costantini, Federica; Abbiati, Marco

    2016-03-01

    Deep-sea reef-building corals are among the most conspicuous invertebrates inhabiting the hard-bottom habitats worldwide and are particularly susceptible to human threats. The precious red coral ( Corallium rubrum, L. 1758) has a wide bathymetric distribution, from shallow up to 800 m depth, and represents a key species in the Mediterranean mesophotic reefs. Several studies have investigated genetic variability in shallow-water red coral populations, while geographic patterns in mesophotic habitats are largely unknown. This study investigated genetic variability of C. rubrum populations dwelling between 55 and 120 m depth, from the Ligurian to the Ionian Sea along about 1500 km of coastline. A total of 18 deep rocky banks were sampled. Colonies were analyzed by means of a set of microsatellite loci and the putative control region of the mitochondrial DNA. Collected data were compared with previous studies. Both types of molecular markers showed high genetic similarity between populations within the northern (Ligurian Sea and Tuscan Archipelago) and the southern (Tyrrhenian and Ionian seas) study areas. Variability in habitat features between the sampling sites did not affect the genetic variability of the populations. Conversely, the patchy distribution of suitable habitats affected populations' connectivity within and among deep coral banks. Based on these results and due to the emphasis on red coral protection in the Mediterranean Sea by international institutions, red coral could be promoted as a `focal species' to develop management plans for the conservation of deep coralligenous reefs, a reservoir of marine biodiversity.

  2. Boron isotopic compositions in growing corals from the South China Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Jun; Xiao, Yingkai; Jin, Zhangdong; Liu, Congqiang; He, Maoyong

    2013-01-01

    In order to determine incorporation of boron species, boron isotopic fractionation, and influence of trace elements on isotopic compositions of boron in corals (δ11Bcoral), concentrations of Mg, Sr, Na, B and δ11Bcoral in growing corals from the South China Sea were measured. Relative to seawater, Sr enriched while Mg depleted in corals in the South China Sea. Although the δ11Bcoral values were different from various species and were not closely correlated with the element concentrations in corals in the South China Sea, Mg(OH)2 existed in corals can result in high δ11Bcoral. Thus, it is necessary to examine the existence of Mg(OH)2 and to choose the same species when δ11Bcoral is used in the δ11B-pH proxy. Based on the measured δ11B values of corals and coexisting seawater as well as the seawater pH in the South China Sea, a new isotopic fractionation factor a4-3 between B(OH)4- and B(OH)3 was determined to be 0.979. Besides B(OH)4- into corals, our results showed that B(OH)3 may also be incorporated into corals with variable proportions. The incorporation of B(OH)3 into corals may challenge the hypothesis of δ11Bcoral = δ11B4, resulting in increasing uncertainty to the calculated seawater pH values to the δ11B-pH proxy. We suggested that a best-fit empirical equation between δ11B of bio-carbonates and seawater pH needs to be established by the precipitation experiments of inorganic carbonates or culture experiments of corals or foraminifera.

  3. Coral communities as indicators of ecosystem-level impacts of the Deepwater Horizon spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Charles R.; Demopoulos, Amanda W.J.; Cordes, Erik E.; Baums, Iliana B.; White, Helen K.; Bourque, Jill R.

    2014-01-01

    The Macondo oil spill released massive quantities of oil and gas from a depth of 1500 meters. Although a buoyant plume carried released hydrocarbons to the sea surface, as much as half stayed in the water column and much of that in the deep sea. After the hydrocarbons reached the surface, weathering processes, burning, and the use of a dispersant caused hydrocarbon-rich marine snow to sink into the deep sea. As a result, this spill had a greater potential to affect deep-sea communities than had any previous spill. Here, we review the literature on impacts on deep-sea communities from the Macondo blowout and provide additional data on sediment hydrocarbon loads and the impacts on sediment infauna in areas with coral communities around the Macondo well. We review the literature on the genetic connectivity of deep-sea species in the Gulf of Mexico and discuss the potential for wider effects on deep Gulf coral communities.

  4. Deep-sea environment and biodiversity of the West African Equatorial margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sibuet, Myriam; Vangriesheim, Annick

    2009-12-01

    The long-term BIOZAIRE multidisciplinary deep-sea environmental program on the West Equatorial African margin organized in partnership between Ifremer and TOTAL aimed at characterizing the benthic community structure in relation with physical and chemical processes in a region of oil and gas interest. The morphology of the deep Congo submarine channel and the sedimentological structures of the deep-sea fan were established during the geological ZAIANGO project and helped to select study sites ranging from 350 to 4800 m water depth inside or near the channel and away from its influence. Ifremer conducted eight deep-sea cruises on board research vessels between 2000 and 2005. Standardized methods of sampling together with new technologies such as the ROV Victor 6000 and its associated instrumentation were used to investigate this poorly known continental margin. In addition to the study of sedimentary environments more or less influenced by turbidity events, the discovery of one of the largest cold seeps near the Congo channel and deep coral reefs extends our knowledge of the different habitats of this margin. This paper presents the background, objectives and major results of the BIOZAIRE Program. It highlights the work achieved in the 16 papers in this special issue. This synthesis paper describes the knowledge acquired at a regional and local scale of the Equatorial East Atlantic margin, and tackles new interdisciplinary questions to be answered in the various domains of physics, chemistry, taxonomy and ecology to better understand the deep-sea environment in the Gulf of Guinea.

  5. Ocean Warming Slows Coral Growth in the Central Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Cantin, N. E.; Cohen, A. L.; Karnauskas, K. B.; Tarrant, A. M.; McCorkle, D. C.

    2010-01-01

    Sea surface temperature (SST) across much of the tropics has increased by 0.4° to 1°C since the mid-1970s. A parallel increase in the frequency and extent of coral bleaching and mortality has fueled concern that climate change poses a major threat to the survival of coral reef ecosystems worldwide. Here we show that steadily rising SSTs, not ocean acidification, are already driving dramatic changes in the growth of an important reef-building coral in the central Red Sea. Three-dimensional computed tomography analyses of the massive coral Diploastrea heliopora reveal that skeletal growth of apparently healthy colonies has declined by 30% since 1998. The same corals responded to a short-lived warm event in 1941/1942, but recovered within 3 years as the ocean cooled. Combining our data with climate model simulations by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, we predict that should the current warming trend continue, this coral could cease growing altogether by 2070.

  6. Ocean Warming Slows Coral Growth in the Central Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Cantin, N. E.

    2010-07-15

    Sea surface temperature (SST) across much of the tropics has increased by 0.4° to 1°C since the mid-1970s. A parallel increase in the frequency and extent of coral bleaching and mortality has fueled concern that climate change poses a major threat to the survival of coral reef ecosystems worldwide. Here we show that steadily rising SSTs, not ocean acidification, are already driving dramatic changes in the growth of an important reef-building coral in the central Red Sea. Three-dimensional computed tomography analyses of the massive coral Diploastrea heliopora reveal that skeletal growth of apparently healthy colonies has declined by 30% since 1998. The same corals responded to a short-lived warm event in 1941/1942, but recovered within 3 years as the ocean cooled. Combining our data with climate model simulations by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, we predict that should the current warming trend continue, this coral could cease growing altogether by 2070.

  7. Survey report of NOAA Ship McArthur II cruises AR-04-04, AR-05-05 and AR-06-03: habitat classification of side scan sonar imagery in support of deep-sea coral/sponge explorations at the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Intelmann, Steven S.; Cochrane, Guy R.; Bowlby, C. Edward; Brancato, Mary Sue; Hyland, Jeffrey

    2007-01-01

    Habitat mapping and characterization has been defined as a high-priority management issue for the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary (OCNMS), especially for poorly known deep-sea habitats that may be sensitive to anthropogenic disturbance. As a result, a team of scientists from OCNMS, National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS), and other partnering institutions initiated a series of surveys to assess the distribution of deep-sea coral/sponge assemblages within the sanctuary and to look for evidence of potential anthropogenic impacts in these critical habitats. Initial results indicated that remotely delineating areas of hard bottom substrate through acoustic sensing could be a useful tool to increase the efficiency and success of subsequent ROV-based surveys of the associated deep-sea fauna. Accordingly, side scan sonar surveys were conducted in May 2004, June 2005, and April 2006 aboard the NOAA Ship McArthur II to: (1) obtain additional imagery of the seafloor for broader habitat-mapping coverage of sanctuary waters, and (2) help delineate suitable deep-sea coral-sponge habitat, in areas of both high and low commercial-fishing activities, to serve as sites for surveying-in more detail using an ROV on subsequent cruises, Several regions of the sea floor throughout the OCNMS were surveyed and mosaicked at 1-meter pixel resolution. Imagery from the side scan sonar mapping efforts was integrated with other complementary data from a towed camera sled, ROVs, sedentary samples, and bathymetry records to describe geological and biological (where possible) aspects of habitat. Using a hierarchical deep-water marine benthic classification scheme (Greene et al. 1999), we created a preliminary map of various habitat polygon features for use in a geographical information system (GIS). This report provides a description of the mapping and groundtruthing efforts as well as results of the image classification procedure for each of the areas surveyed.

  8. Biodiversity and community composition of sediment macrofauna associated with deep-sea Lophelia pertusa habitats in the Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demopoulos, Amanda W.J.; Bourque, Jill R.; Frometa, Janessy

    2014-01-01

    Scleractinian corals create three-dimensional reefs that provide sheltered refuges, facilitate sediment accumulation, and enhance colonization of encrusting fauna. While heterogeneous coral habitats can harbor high levels of biodiversity, their effect on the community composition within nearby sediments remains unclear, particularly in the deep sea. Sediment macrofauna from deep-sea coral habitats (Lophelia pertusa) and non-coral, background sediments were examined at three sites in the northern Gulf of Mexico (VK826, VK906, MC751, 350–500 m depth) to determine whether macrofaunal abundance, diversity, and community composition near corals differed from background soft-sediments. Macrofaunal densities ranged from 26 to 125 individuals 32 cm−2 and were significantly greater near coral versus background sediments only at VK826. Of the 86 benthic invertebrate taxa identified, 16 were exclusive to near-coral habitats, while 14 were found only in background sediments. Diversity (Fisher’s α) and evenness were significantly higher within near-coral sediments only at MC751 while taxon richness was similar among all habitats. Community composition was significantly different both between near-coral and background sediments and among the three primary sites. Polychaetes numerically dominated all samples, accounting for up to 70% of the total individuals near coral, whereas peracarid crustaceans were proportionally more abundant in background sediments (18%) than in those near coral (10%). The reef effect differed among sites, with community patterns potentially influenced by the size of reef habitat. Taxon turnover occurred with distance from the reef, suggesting that reef extent may represent an important factor in structuring sediment communities near L. pertusa. Polychaete communities in both habitats differed from other Gulf of Mexico (GOM) soft sediments based on data from previous studies, and we hypothesize that local environmental conditions found near L

  9. Biodiversity and community composition of sediment macrofauna associated with deep-sea Lophelia pertusa habitats in the Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demopoulos, Amanda W. J.; Bourque, Jill R.; Frometa, Janessy

    2014-11-01

    Scleractinian corals create three-dimensional reefs that provide sheltered refuges, facilitate sediment accumulation, and enhance colonization of encrusting fauna. While heterogeneous coral habitats can harbor high levels of biodiversity, their effect on the community composition within nearby sediments remains unclear, particularly in the deep sea. Sediment macrofauna from deep-sea coral habitats (Lophelia pertusa) and non-coral, background sediments were examined at three sites in the northern Gulf of Mexico (VK826, VK906, MC751, 350-500 m depth) to determine whether macrofaunal abundance, diversity, and community composition near corals differed from background soft-sediments. Macrofaunal densities ranged from 26 to 125 individuals 32 cm-2 and were significantly greater near coral versus background sediments only at VK826. Of the 86 benthic invertebrate taxa identified, 16 were exclusive to near-coral habitats, while 14 were found only in background sediments. Diversity (Fisher's α) and evenness were significantly higher within near-coral sediments only at MC751 while taxon richness was similar among all habitats. Community composition was significantly different both between near-coral and background sediments and among the three primary sites. Polychaetes numerically dominated all samples, accounting for up to 70% of the total individuals near coral, whereas peracarid crustaceans were proportionally more abundant in background sediments (18%) than in those near coral (10%). The reef effect differed among sites, with community patterns potentially influenced by the size of reef habitat. Taxon turnover occurred with distance from the reef, suggesting that reef extent may represent an important factor in structuring sediment communities near L. pertusa. Polychaete communities in both habitats differed from other Gulf of Mexico (GOM) soft sediments based on data from previous studies, and we hypothesize that local environmental conditions found near L. pertusa

  10. 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

  11. Prioritizing land and sea conservation investments to protect coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Carissa J; Ban, Natalie C; Halpern, Benjamin S; Beger, Maria; Game, Edward T; Grantham, Hedley S; Green, Alison; Klein, Travis J; Kininmonth, Stuart; Treml, Eric; Wilson, Kerrie; Possingham, Hugh P

    2010-08-30

    Coral reefs have exceptional biodiversity, support the livelihoods of millions of people, and are threatened by multiple human activities on land (e.g. farming) and in the sea (e.g. overfishing). Most conservation efforts occur at local scales and, when effective, can increase the resilience of coral reefs to global threats such as climate change (e.g. warming water and ocean acidification). Limited resources for conservation require that we efficiently prioritize where and how to best sustain coral reef ecosystems. Here we develop the first prioritization approach that can guide regional-scale conservation investments in land- and sea-based conservation actions that cost-effectively mitigate threats to coral reefs, and apply it to the Coral Triangle, an area of significant global attention and funding. Using information on threats to marine ecosystems, effectiveness of management actions at abating threats, and the management and opportunity costs of actions, we calculate the rate of return on investment in two conservation actions in sixteen ecoregions. We discover that marine conservation almost always trumps terrestrial conservation within any ecoregion, but terrestrial conservation in one ecoregion can be a better investment than marine conservation in another. We show how these results could be used to allocate a limited budget for conservation and compare them to priorities based on individual criteria. Previous prioritization approaches do not consider both land and sea-based threats or the socioeconomic costs of conserving coral reefs. A simple and transparent approach like ours is essential to support effective coral reef conservation decisions in a large and diverse region like the Coral Triangle, but can be applied at any scale and to other marine ecosystems.

  12. Coral seas in fifty years: Need for local policies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longley, P.; Cheng, N. S.; Fontaine, R. M.; Horton, K.; Bhattacharya, A.

    2017-12-01

    Arising stressors from both global and local sources threaten coral reefs, with studies indicating that local and global sources might reduce coral resilience. Local sources include sediment stress and nutrient stress from fishing; global sources include increasing sea surface temperature and ocean acidification. Through an in-depth review and re-analysis of published work, conducted under the scope of a course in the spring of 2017 semester and follow up research over the summer of 2017 and fall of 2017, students in Environmental Studies Course, ENVS 4100: Coral reefs, at the University of Colorado Boulder have developed a framework to initiate a discussion of global and local policies focused on protection of coral reefs. The research aims to assess current threats and suggest mitigation efforts. The paper uses secondary research to analyze impact of ocean acidification on aragonite saturation levels, current thermal stress, nutrient stress, and sediment factors that influence the health of coral and its surrounding ecosystem over the Common Era. Case studies in this paper include the Caribbean and Red Sea coral reefs, due to the variation of the atmosphere, temperature, and human activity in these regions. This paper intends to offer sufficient evidence that will lead to appropriate policy decisions that pertain to reef conservation.

  13. Prioritizing land and sea conservation investments to protect coral reefs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carissa J Klein

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Coral reefs have exceptional biodiversity, support the livelihoods of millions of people, and are threatened by multiple human activities on land (e.g. farming and in the sea (e.g. overfishing. Most conservation efforts occur at local scales and, when effective, can increase the resilience of coral reefs to global threats such as climate change (e.g. warming water and ocean acidification. Limited resources for conservation require that we efficiently prioritize where and how to best sustain coral reef ecosystems. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we develop the first prioritization approach that can guide regional-scale conservation investments in land- and sea-based conservation actions that cost-effectively mitigate threats to coral reefs, and apply it to the Coral Triangle, an area of significant global attention and funding. Using information on threats to marine ecosystems, effectiveness of management actions at abating threats, and the management and opportunity costs of actions, we calculate the rate of return on investment in two conservation actions in sixteen ecoregions. We discover that marine conservation almost always trumps terrestrial conservation within any ecoregion, but terrestrial conservation in one ecoregion can be a better investment than marine conservation in another. We show how these results could be used to allocate a limited budget for conservation and compare them to priorities based on individual criteria. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Previous prioritization approaches do not consider both land and sea-based threats or the socioeconomic costs of conserving coral reefs. A simple and transparent approach like ours is essential to support effective coral reef conservation decisions in a large and diverse region like the Coral Triangle, but can be applied at any scale and to other marine ecosystems.

  14. Reproduction Patterns of Scleractinian Corals in the Central Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Bouwmeester, Jessica

    2013-12-01

    Early work on the reproductive seasonality of corals in the Red Sea suggested that corals exhibit temporal reproductive isolation, unlike on the Great Barrier Reef where many species spawn in synchrony. More recent work has however shown high synchrony in the maturity of gametes in Acropora species, suggesting multi-specific spawning is likely to occur in the Red Sea. In this thesis I investigate the patterns of coral reproduction in the central Red Sea. The spawning season in the central Red Sea lasts four months, from April to July and spawning occurs on nights around the full moon. During this period Acropora species show a peak of spawning in April, with some species spawning again in May. The level of synchrony, quantified with a spawning synchrony index, is comparable to other locations where multi-specific spawning has been reported. Observations over two consecutive years show that the synchrony of spawning was lower in spring 2012 than in spring 2011, and thus that spawning patterns are variable from one year to the other. Coral settlement patterns on artificial substrata confirmed a main spawning season in the spring but also supported reproductive data suggesting that some Porites spawn in October-November. Settlement was studied over 2.5 years on a reef, which had suffered recently from high mortality after a local bleaching event. Settlement appeared low but post-bleaching studies from other locations indicated similar abundances and showed that recruits generally did not increase until 5 years after the bleaching event. Abundance of juvenile corals however started to increase significantly three years after the bleaching. Successful recruitment, although low suggests that the coral assemblage on the affected reef will most likely recover as long as it is not affected by another disturbance.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  16. NWFSC Coral Data Collected off West Coast of US (1980-2005)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data contains the locations of some observations of cold-water/deep-sea corals off the west coast of the United States. Records of coral catch originate from...

  17. An outbreak of sea cucumbers hinders coral recruitment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yu-Yang; McCook, Laurence; Jiang, Lei; Lian, Jian-Sheng; Liu, Sheng; Huang, Hui

    2018-06-01

    An outbreak of a small sessile sea cucumber, Ocnus sanya, occurred on the degraded Luhuitou coral reef in Sanya Bay, Hainan, China. This study explored the pattern of distribution of O. sanya on the reef and the impacts of the high abundance of O. sanya on post-settlement mortality of Pocillopora damicornis recruits. The density of O. sanya ranged from about 500 to over 2000 individuals m-2 with 10.95-23.69% cover on hard substrate. Terracotta tiles with O. sanya on the surface accumulated 19.7% more surface sediment than those without sea cucumbers. Post-settlement P. damicornis recruits had significantly higher mortality on terracotta tiles with O. sanya than those without O. sanya after 21 d. Overall, O. sanya appears to increase sediment stress and inhibit coral recruitment, exacerbating the degradation of Luhuitou Reef. This study raises the possibility that such novel outbreak species could contribute significant additional stress on coral reefs at larger scales.

  18. Mapping "Vital Effects": Unlocking the Archive of Deep Sea Stylasterid δ18O and δ13C

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, T. M.; Rosenheim, B. E.

    2017-12-01

    Deep sea coral skeletons are able to incorporate chemical and isotopic signals from the dissolved inorganic pool of the surrounding water mass, attributing them with continuous, high-resolution records that span centuries to millennia. Most importantly, they are sessile organisms and remain fixed to the seafloor with respect to fluctuating water mass boundaries. Stylasterid corals (order Anthoathecata) are abundant in the Southern Ocean but not as commonly used for paleoceanographic reconstructions as corals of the order Scleractinia. Little is known about stylasterid growth rate, skeletal structure, or their effects on chemical and isotopic signals from the surrounding environment. Here, we present stable isotope "heat maps" over cross sections of stylasterid corals (genus Errina) from the western Ross Sea and eastern Wilkes Land, Antarctica. Isotope heat maps are used to illustrate isotope variability over small spatial scales within different sections of the coral skeletons. These maps indicate that the central growth axis of the coral stem is subject to kinetic effects, whereas, the outer coral skeleton is precipitated nearer to equilibrium with the surrounding water mass. We present several maps of both live and dead-collected corals (spanning 40,000 years from present) in order to examine natural variability through time and to identify possible diagenetic effects. Our results begin to clarify stylasterid growth patterns so that we are able to optimize sampling plans of these corals. These results also provide us with a context in which to interpret radiocarbon records, and potentially independent radio chronologies, compiled from the same coral collection (King et al., in review; GRL).

  19. The distribution and diversity of sea cucumbers in the coral reefs of the South China Sea, Sulu Sea and Sulawesi Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woo, Sau Pinn; Yasin, Zulfigar; Ismail, Siti Hasmah; Tan, Shau Hwai

    2013-11-01

    A study on the distribution and diversity of sea cucumbers in the coral reefs of the South China Sea, Sulu Sea and Sulawesi Sea was carried out in July 2009. The survey was done using wandering transect underwater with SCUBA. Twelve species of sea cucumber were found from four different families and nine genera. The most dominant family was Holothuriidae (five species), followed by Stichopodidae (three species), Synaptidae (three species) and Cucumariidae with only one species. The most dominant species found around the island was Pearsonothuria graffei, which can be found abundantly on substrate of dead corals in a wide range of depth (6-15 m). The Sulawesi Sea showed a higher diversity of sea cucumber with seven different species compared to the South China Sea with only six different species and Sulu Sea with only two species. Ordination by multidimensional scaling of Bray-Curtis similarities clustered the sampling locations to three main clusters with two outgroups. Previous studies done indicated a higher diversity of sea cucumber as compared to this study. This can be indication that the population and diversity of sea cucumbers in the reef is under threat.

  20. Preliminary numerical simulation for shallow strata stability of coral reef in South China Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Qinqin; Zhan, Wenhuan; Zhang, Jinchang

    2017-04-01

    Coral reefs are the geologic material and special rock and soil, which live in shallow water of the tropic ocean and are formed through biological and geological action. Since infrastructure construction is being increasingly developed on coral reefs during recent years, it is necessary to evaluate the shallow strata stability of coral reefs in the South China Sea. The paper is to study the borehole profiles for shallow strata of coral reefs in the South China Sea, especially in the hydrodynamic marine environment?, and to establish a geological model for numerical simulation with Geo-Studio software. Five drilling holes show a six-layer shallow structure of South China Sea, including filling layer, mid-coarse sand, coral sand gravel, fine sand, limestone debris and reef limestone. The shallow coral reef profile next to lagoon is similar to "layers cake", in which the right side close to the sea is analogous to "block cake". The simulation results show that coral reef stability depends on wave loads and earthquake strength, as well as the physical properties of coral reefs themselves. The safety factor of the outer reef is greater than 10.0 in the static condition, indicating that outer reefs are less affected by the wave and earthquake. However, the safety factor next to lagoon is ranging from 0.1 to 4.9. The main reason for the variations that the strata of coral reefs close to the sea are thick. For example, the thickness of reef limestone is more than 10 m and equivalent to the block. When the thickness of inside strata is less than 10 m, they show weak engineering geological characteristics. These findings can provide useful information for coral reef constructions in future. This work was funded by National Basic Research Program of China (contract: 2013CB956104) and National Natural Science Foundation of China (contract: 41376063).

  1. Limits to physiological plasticity of the coral Pocillopora verrucosa from the central Red Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziegler, Maren; Roder, Cornelia M.; Büchel, Claudia; Voolstra, Christian R.

    2014-12-01

    Many coral species display changing distribution patterns across coral reef depths. While changes in the underwater light field and the ability to associate with different photosynthetic symbionts of the genus Symbiodinium explain some of the variation, the limits to physiological plasticity are unknown for most corals. In the central Red Sea, colonies of the branching coral Pocillopora verrucosa are most abundant in shallow high light environments and become less abundant in water depths below 10 m. To further understand what determines this narrow distribution, we conducted a cross-depths transplant experiment looking at physiological plasticity and acclimation in regard to depth. Colonies from 5, 10, and 20 m were collected, transplanted to all depths, and re-investigated after 30 and 210 d. All coral colonies transplanted downward from shallow to deep water displayed an increase in photosynthetic light-harvesting pigments, which resulted in higher photosynthetic efficiency. Shallow-water specimens transplanted to deeper water showed a significant decrease in total protein content after 30 and 210 d under low light conditions compared to specimens transplanted to shallow and medium depths. Stable isotope data suggest that heterotrophic input of carbon was not increased under low light, and consequently, decreasing protein levels were symptomatic of decreasing photosynthetic rates that could not be compensated for through higher light-harvesting efficiency. Our results provide insights into the physiological plasticity of P. verrucosa in changing light regimes and explain the observed depth distribution pattern. Despite its high abundance in shallow reef waters, P. verrucosa possesses limited heterotrophic acclimation potential, i.e., the ability to support its mainly photoautotrophic diet through heterotrophic feeding. We conclude that P. verrucosa might be a species vulnerable to sudden changes in underwater light fields resulting from processes such as

  2. Limits to physiological plasticity of the coral Pocillopora verrucosa from the central Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Ziegler, M.; Roder, C.M.; Buchel, C.; Voolstra, Christian R.

    2014-01-01

    Many coral species display changing distribution patterns across coral reef depths. While changes in the underwater light field and the ability to associate with different photosynthetic symbionts of the genus Symbiodinium explain some of the variation, the limits to physiological plasticity are unknown for most corals. In the central Red Sea, colonies of the branching coral Pocillopora verrucosa are most abundant in shallow high light environments and become less abundant in water depths below 10 m. To further understand what determines this narrow distribution, we conducted a cross-depths transplant experiment looking at physiological plasticity and acclimation in regard to depth. Colonies from 5, 10, and 20 m were collected, transplanted to all depths, and re-investigated after 30 and 210 d. All coral colonies transplanted downward from shallow to deep water displayed an increase in photosynthetic light-harvesting pigments, which resulted in higher photosynthetic efficiency. Shallow-water specimens transplanted to deeper water showed a significant decrease in total protein content after 30 and 210 d under low light conditions compared to specimens transplanted to shallow and medium depths. Stable isotope data suggest that heterotrophic input of carbon was not increased under low light, and consequently, decreasing protein levels were symptomatic of decreasing photosynthetic rates that could not be compensated for through higher light-harvesting efficiency. Our results provide insights into the physiological plasticity of P. verrucosa in changing light regimes and explain the observed depth distribution pattern. Despite its high abundance in shallow reef waters, P. verrucosa possesses limited heterotrophic acclimation potential, i.e., the ability to support its mainly photoautotrophic diet through heterotrophic feeding. We conclude that P. verrucosa might be a species vulnerable to sudden changes in underwater light fields resulting from processes such as

  3. Limits to physiological plasticity of the coral Pocillopora verrucosa from the central Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Ziegler, M.

    2014-07-26

    Many coral species display changing distribution patterns across coral reef depths. While changes in the underwater light field and the ability to associate with different photosynthetic symbionts of the genus Symbiodinium explain some of the variation, the limits to physiological plasticity are unknown for most corals. In the central Red Sea, colonies of the branching coral Pocillopora verrucosa are most abundant in shallow high light environments and become less abundant in water depths below 10 m. To further understand what determines this narrow distribution, we conducted a cross-depths transplant experiment looking at physiological plasticity and acclimation in regard to depth. Colonies from 5, 10, and 20 m were collected, transplanted to all depths, and re-investigated after 30 and 210 d. All coral colonies transplanted downward from shallow to deep water displayed an increase in photosynthetic light-harvesting pigments, which resulted in higher photosynthetic efficiency. Shallow-water specimens transplanted to deeper water showed a significant decrease in total protein content after 30 and 210 d under low light conditions compared to specimens transplanted to shallow and medium depths. Stable isotope data suggest that heterotrophic input of carbon was not increased under low light, and consequently, decreasing protein levels were symptomatic of decreasing photosynthetic rates that could not be compensated for through higher light-harvesting efficiency. Our results provide insights into the physiological plasticity of P. verrucosa in changing light regimes and explain the observed depth distribution pattern. Despite its high abundance in shallow reef waters, P. verrucosa possesses limited heterotrophic acclimation potential, i.e., the ability to support its mainly photoautotrophic diet through heterotrophic feeding. We conclude that P. verrucosa might be a species vulnerable to sudden changes in underwater light fields resulting from processes such as

  4. Forecasting decadal changes in sea surface temperatures and coral bleaching within a Caribbean coral reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Angang; Reidenbach, Matthew A.

    2014-09-01

    Elevated sea surface temperature (SST) caused by global warming is one of the major threats to coral reefs. While increased SST has been shown to negatively affect the health of coral reefs by increasing rates of coral bleaching, how changes to atmospheric heating impact SST distributions, modified by local flow environments, has been less understood. This study aimed to simulate future water flow patterns and water surface heating in response to increased air temperature within a coral reef system in Bocas del Toro, Panama, located within the Caribbean Sea. Water flow and SST were modeled using the Delft3D-FLOWcomputer simulation package. Locally measured physical parameters, including bathymetry, astronomic tidal forcing, and coral habitat distribution were input into the model and water flow, and SST was simulated over a four-month period under present day, as well as projected warming scenarios in 2020s, 2050s, and 2080s. Changes in SST, and hence the thermal stress to corals, were quantified by degree heating weeks. Results showed that present-day reported bleaching sites were consistent with localized regions of continuous high SST. Regions with highest SST were located within shallow coastal sites adjacent to the mainland or within the interior of the bay, and characterized by low currents with high water retention times. Under projected increases in SSTs, shallow reef areas in low flow regions were found to be hot spots for future bleaching.

  5. Ecosystem engineering creates a direct nutritional link between 600-m deep cold-water coral mounds and surface productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soetaert, Karline; Mohn, Christian; Rengstorf, Anna; Grehan, Anthony; van Oevelen, Dick

    2016-10-01

    Cold-water corals (CWCs) form large mounds on the seafloor that are hotspots of biodiversity in the deep sea, but it remains enigmatic how CWCs can thrive in this food-limited environment. Here, we infer from model simulations that the interaction between tidal currents and CWC-formed mounds induces downwelling events of surface water that brings organic matter to 600-m deep CWCs. This positive feedback between CWC growth on carbonate mounds and enhanced food supply is essential for their sustenance in the deep sea and represents an example of ecosystem engineering of unparalleled magnitude. This ’topographically-enhanced carbon pump’ leaks organic matter that settles at greater depths. The ubiquitous presence of biogenic and geological topographies along ocean margins suggests that carbon sequestration through this pump is of global importance. These results indicate that enhanced stratification and lower surface productivity, both expected consequences of climate change, may negatively impact the energy balance of CWCs.

  6. Oceanographic cruise: Coral Sea, Arafura Sea, and Java Trench, April - May 1969 (NODC Accession 7100914)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This report contains oceanographic data which was obtained aboard HMAS DIAMANTINA during an oceanographic cruise in the Coral Sea, Arafura Sea, and Java Trench...

  7. Simulating Coral Reef Connectivity in the Southern Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Wang, Yixin

    2018-05-01

    Connectivity is an important component of coral reef studies for its role in the enhancement of ecosystem resilience. Previous genetic structure and physical circulation studies in the Red Sea reveal a homogeneity within the coral reef complexes in the central and northern parts of the basin. Yet, genetic isolation and relatively low connectivity has been observed in the southern Red Sea. Raitsos et al. (2017) recently hypothesized that coral reefs in the southern Red Sea are more connected with regions outside the basin, rather than with the central and northern Red Sea. Using a physical circulation approach based on a 3-D backward particle tracking simulation, we further investigate this hypothesis. A long-term (> 10 years), very high resolution (1km) MITgcm simulation is used to provide detailed information on velocity in the complex coastal regions of the Red Sea and the adjacent narrow Bab-El-Mandeb Strait. The particle tracking simulation results support the initial hypothesis that the coastal regions in the southern Red Sea exhibit a consistently higher connectivity with the regions outside the Bab-El-Mandeb Strait, than with the central and northern Red Sea. Substantially high levels of connectivity, facilitated by the circulation and eddies, is observed with the coastal regions in the Gulf of Aden. A strong seasonality in connectivity, related to the monsoon-driven circulation, is also evident with the regions outside of the Red Sea. The winter surface intrusion plays a leading role in transporting the particles from the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean into the Red Sea, while the summer subsurface intrusion also supports the transport of particles into the Red Sea in the intermediate layer. In addition, the connectivity with the central and northern Red Sea is more affected by the intensity of the eddies. Evidence also suggests that potential connectivity exists between the coastal southern Red Sea and the coasts of Oman, Socotra, Somalia, Kenya

  8. 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.

  9. Evidence of mud diapirism and coral colonies in the ionian sea (central mediterranean from high resolution chirp sonar survey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Corselli

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available A chirp sonar survey in the Ionian Sea investigated the Calabrian margin, the Calabrian accretionary wedge, the Taranto Trench and the Apulian foreland. Shallow tectonics structures have been related to deeper ones, recognised on CROP seismic profiles. The identified echo characters have been compared with those described in the modern literature and have been related to different kinds of sediments, on the basis of core samples. Based on echo character and morphology we have recognised: 1 A widespread presence of mounds, up to 50 m high, occurring on the Apulian plateau as isolated mounds in the deepest zones (1600-800 m and in groups in the shallower ones (800-600 m; they have been interpreted as coral mounds, according to a recent discovery of living deep water coral colonies in this zone. 2 Some mud diapirs, isolated or in groups of two or three elements, widespread in the whole study area. In analogy of what has been observed on the Mediterranean Ridge, their presence suggests the activity of deep tectonic structures (thrusts and faults and a reduced thickness (or absence of Messinian evaporites in this part of the Ionian Sea.

  10. Exposure to elevated sea-surface temperatures below the bleaching threshold impairs coral recovery and regeneration following injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonesso, Joshua Louis; Leggat, William; Ainsworth, Tracy Danielle

    2017-01-01

    Elevated sea surface temperatures (SSTs) are linked to an increase in the frequency and severity of bleaching events due to temperatures exceeding corals' upper thermal limits. The temperatures at which a breakdown of the coral- Symbiodinium endosymbiosis (coral bleaching) occurs are referred to as the upper thermal limits for the coral species. This breakdown of the endosymbiosis results in a reduction of corals' nutritional uptake, growth, and tissue integrity. Periods of elevated sea surface temperature, thermal stress and coral bleaching are also linked to increased disease susceptibility and an increased frequency of storms which cause injury and physical damage to corals. Herein we aimed to determine the capacity of corals to regenerate and recover from injuries (removal of apical tips) sustained during periods of elevated sea surface temperatures which result in coral stress responses, but which do not result in coral bleaching (i.e., sub-bleaching thermal stress events). In this study, exposure of the species Acropora aspera to an elevated SST of 32 °C (2 °C below the bleaching threshold, 34 °C) was found to result in reduced fluorescence of green fluorescent protein (GFP), reduced skeletal calcification and a lack of branch regrowth at the site of injury, compared to corals maintained under ambient SST conditions (26 °C). Corals maintained under normal, ambient, sea surface temperatures expressed high GFP fluorescence at the injury site, underwent a rapid regeneration of the coral branch apical tip within 12 days of sustaining injury, and showed extensive regrowth of the coral skeleton. Taken together, our results have demonstrated that periods of sustained increased sea surface temperatures, below the corals' bleaching threshold but above long-term summertime averages, impair coral recovery from damage, regardless of the onset or occurrence of coral bleaching.

  11. Polyphased rifting to post-breakup evolution of the Coral Sea region, Papua New Guinea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bulois, Cédric; Pubellier, Manuel; Chamot-Rooke, Nicolas; Delescluse, Matthias

    2016-04-01

    The Coral Sea Basin, offshore Papua New Guinea, is generally described as a rift propagator that opened through the Australian craton during the Late Cretaceous. Rifting was later followed by spreading activity during Palaeocene to lowermost Eocene times and basin inversion during the Cenozoic. Herein, we specifically describe the extensional structures and show that the area has actually a much longer history that dates back from the Late Palaeozoic. A special focus is made on the northern margin of the Coral Sea Basin along which subsurface and HD topographic data were recently acquired. Extension took place discontinuously from the Late Palaeozoic to the Lower Cenozoic through several rift megacycles that include extensional pulses and relaxation episodes. The first rift megacycle (R1), poorly documented, occurred during the Triassic along an old Permo-Triassic, NS-trending structural fabric. Evidence of Permo-Triassic features is principally observed in the western part of the Coral Sea near the Tasman Line, a major lithospheric discontinuity that marks the eastern limit of the underlying Australian craton in Papua New Guinea. This early Triassic framework was reactivated during a Jurassic rifting stage (R2), resulting in small (~10/20km) tilted basins bounded by major NS, NE-SW and EW normal faults. Extension formed a large basin, floored by oceanic crust that might have connected with the Tethys Ocean. The Owen Stanley Oceanic Basin containing deep-marine sediments now obducted in the Ocean Stanley Thrust Belt are likely to represent this oceanic terrane. Both R1 and R2 megacycles shaped the geometry of the Jurassic Australian margin. A third Cretaceous extensional megacycle (R3) only reactivated the largest faults, cutting through the midst of this early stretched continental margin. It formed wider, poorly tilted basins and terminated with the onset of the Coral Sea seafloor spreading from Danian to Ypresian times (61.8 to 53.4 Myr). Then, the overall

  12. Deep-Sea Mining With No Net Loss of Biodiversity—An Impossible Aim

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Holly J. Niner

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Deep-sea mining is likely to result in biodiversity loss, and the significance of this to ecosystem function is not known. “Out of kind” biodiversity offsets substituting one ecosystem type (e.g., coral reefs for another (e.g., abyssal nodule fields have been proposed to compensate for such loss. Here we consider a goal of no net loss (NNL of biodiversity and explore the challenges of applying this aim to deep seabed mining, based on the associated mitigation hierarchy (avoid, minimize, remediate. We conclude that the industry cannot at present deliver an outcome of NNL. This results from the vulnerable nature of deep-sea environments to mining impacts, currently limited technological capacity to minimize harm, significant gaps in ecological knowledge, and uncertainties of recovery potential of deep-sea ecosystems. Avoidance and minimization of impacts are therefore the only presently viable means of reducing biodiversity losses from seabed mining. Because of these constraints, when and if deep-sea mining proceeds, it must be approached in a precautionary and step-wise manner to integrate new and developing knowledge. Each step should be subject to explicit environmental management goals, monitoring protocols, and binding standards to avoid serious environmental harm and minimize loss of biodiversity. “Out of kind” measures, an option for compensation currently proposed, cannot replicate biodiversity and ecosystem services lost through mining of the deep seabed and thus cannot be considered true offsets. The ecosystem functions provided by deep-sea biodiversity contribute to a wide range of provisioning services (e.g., the exploitation of fish, energy, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics, play an essential role in regulatory services (e.g., carbon sequestration and are important culturally. The level of “acceptable” biodiversity loss in the deep sea requires public, transparent, and well-informed consideration, as well as wide agreement

  13. Age accuracy and resolution of Quaternary corals used as proxies for sea level

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edinger, E. N.; Burr, G. S.; Pandolfi, J. M.; Ortiz, J. C.

    2007-01-01

    The accuracy of global eustatic sea level curves measured from raised Quaternary reefs, using radiometric ages of corals at known heights, may be limited by time-averaging, which affects the variation in coral age at a given height. Time-averaging was assessed in uplifted Holocene reef sequences from the Huon Peninsula, Papua New Guinea, using radiocarbon dating of coral skeletons in both horizontal transects and vertical sequences. Calibrated 2σ age ranges varied from 800 to 1060 years along horizontal transects, but weighted mean ages calculated from 15-18 dates per horizon were accurate to a resolution within 154-214 yr. Approximately 40% of the variability in age estimate resulted from internal variability inherent to 14C estimates, and 60% was due to time-averaging. The accuracy of age estimates of sea level change in studies using single dated corals as proxies for sea level is probably within 1000 yr of actual age, but can be resolved to ≤ 250 yr if supported by dates from analysis of a statistical population of corals at each stratigraphic interval. The range of time-averaging among reef corals was much less than that for shelly benthos. Ecological time-averaging dominated over sedimentological time averaging for reef corals, opposite to patterns reported from shelly benthos in siliciclastic environments.

  14. Temperature shapes coral-algal symbiosis in the South China Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tong, Haoya; Cai, Lin; Zhou, Guowei; Yuan, Tao; Zhang, Weipeng; Tian, Renmao; Huang, Hui; Qian, Pei-Yuan

    2017-01-01

    With the increase in sea surface temperature (SST), scleractinian corals are exposed to bleaching threats but may possess certain flexibilities in terms of their associations with symbiotic algae. Previous studies have shown a close symbiosis between coral the and Symbiodinium; however, the spatial variation of the symbiosis and the attribution underlying are not well understood. In the present study, we examined coral-algal symbiosis in Galaxea fascicularis and Montipora spp. from three biogeographic regions across ~10° of latitude in the South China Sea. Analysis of similarities (ANOSIM) indicated a highly flexible coral-algal symbiosis in both G. fascicularis and Montipora spp. and canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) showed that temperature explained 83.2% and 60.1% of the explanatory subclade variations in G. fascicularis and Montipora spp., respectively, which suggested that temperature was the main environmental factor contributing to the diversity of Symbiodinium across the three regions. The geographic specificity of the Symbiodinium phylogeny was identified, revealing possible environmental selection across the three regions. These results suggest that scleractinian corals may have the ability to regulate Symbiodinium community structures under different temperatures and thus be able to adapt to gradual climate change. PMID:28084322

  15. Coral reef structural complexity provides important coastal protection from waves under rising sea levels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Daniel L.; Rovere, Alessio; Casella, Elisa; Power, Hannah; Canavesio, Remy; Collin, Antoine; Pomeroy, Andrew; Webster, Jody M.; Parravicini, Valeriano

    2018-01-01

    Coral reefs are diverse ecosystems that support millions of people worldwide by providing coastal protection from waves. Climate change and human impacts are leading to degraded coral reefs and to rising sea levels, posing concerns for the protection of tropical coastal regions in the near future. We use a wave dissipation model calibrated with empirical wave data to calculate the future increase of back-reef wave height. We show that, in the near future, the structural complexity of coral reefs is more important than sea-level rise in determining the coastal protection provided by coral reefs from average waves. We also show that a significant increase in average wave heights could occur at present sea level if there is sustained degradation of benthic structural complexity. Our results highlight that maintaining the structural complexity of coral reefs is key to ensure coastal protection on tropical coastlines in the future. PMID:29503866

  16. Deep-sea Hexactinellida (Porifera) of the Weddell Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janussen, Dorte; Tabachnick, Konstantin R.; Tendal, Ole S.

    2004-07-01

    New Hexactinellida from the deep Weddel Sea are described. This moderately diverse hexactinellid fauna includes 14 species belonging to 12 genera, of which five species and one subgenus are new to science: Periphragella antarctica n. sp., Holascus pseudostellatus n. sp., Caulophacus (Caulophacus) discohexactinus n. sp., C. ( Caulodiscus) brandti n. sp., C. ( Oxydiscus) weddelli n. sp., and C. ( Oxydiscus) n. subgen. So far, 20 hexactinellid species have been reported from the deep Weddell Sea, 15 are known from the northern part and 10 only from here, while 10 came from the southern area, and five of these only from there. However, this apparent high "endemism" of Antarctic hexactinellid sponges is most likely the result of severe undersampling of the deep-sea fauna. We find no reason to believe that a division between an oceanic and a more continental group of species exists. The current poor database indicates that a substantial part of the deep hexactinellid fauna of the Weddell Sea is shared with other deep-sea regions, but it does not indicate a special biogeographic relationship with any other ocean.

  17. Effects of ocean acidification and sea-level rise on coral reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yates, K.K.; Moyer, R.P.

    2010-01-01

    U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists are developing comprehensive records of historical and modern coral reef growth and calcification rates relative to changing seawater chemistry resulting from increasing atmospheric CO2 from the pre-industrial period to the present. These records will provide the scientific foundation for predicting future impacts of ocean acidification and sea-level rise on coral reef growth. Changes in coral growth rates in response to past changes in seawater pH are being examined by using cores from coral colonies.

  18. 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.

  19. Baselines and Comparison of Coral Reef Fish Assemblages in the Central Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Kattan, Alexander

    2014-12-01

    In order to properly assess human impacts and appropriate restoration goals, baselines of pristine conditions on coral reefs are required. In Saudi Arabian waters of the central Red Sea, widespread and heavy fishing pressure has been ongoing for decades. To evaluate this influence, we surveyed the assemblage of offshore reef fishes in both this region as well as those of remote and largely unfished southern Sudan. At comparable latitudes, of similar oceanographic influence, and hosting the same array of species, the offshore reefs of southern Sudan provided an ideal location for comparison. We found that top predators (jacks, large snappers, groupers, and others) dominated the reef fish community biomass in Sudan’s deep south region, resulting in an inverted (top-heavy) biomass pyramid. In contrast, the Red Sea reefs of central Saudi Arabia exhibited the typical bottom-heavy pyramid and show evidence for trophic cascades in the form of mesopredator release. Biomass values from Sudan’s deep south are quite similar to those previously reported in the remote and uninhabited Northwest Hawaiian Islands, northern Line Islands, Pitcairn Islands, and other remote Pacific islands and atolls. The findings of this study suggest that heavy fishing pressure has significantly altered the fish community structure of Saudi Arabian Red Sea reefs. The results point towards the urgent need for enhanced regulation and enforcement of fishing practices in Saudi Arabia while simultaneously making a strong case for protection in the form of marine protected areas in the southern Sudanese Red Sea.

  20. The ;Sardinian cold-water coral province; in the context of the Mediterranean coral ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taviani, M.; Angeletti, L.; Canese, S.; Cannas, R.; Cardone, F.; Cau, A.; Cau, A. B.; Follesa, M. C.; Marchese, F.; Montagna, P.; Tessarolo, C.

    2017-11-01

    A new cold-water coral (CWC) province has been identified in the Mediterranean Sea in the Capo Spartivento canyon system offshore the southern coast of Sardinia. The 'Sardinia cold-water coral province' is characterized in the Nora canyon by a spectacular coral growth dominated by the branching scleractinian Madrepora oculata at a depth of 380-460 m. The general biohermal frame is strengthened by the common occurrence of the solitary scleractinian Desmophyllum dianthus and the occasional presence of Lophelia pertusa. As documented by Remotely Operated Vehicle survey, this area is a hotspot of megafaunal diversity hosting among other also live specimens of the deep oyster Neopycnodonte zibrowii. The new coral province is located between the central Mediterranean CWC provinces (Bari Canyon, Santa Maria di Leuca, South Malta) and the western and northern ones (Melilla, Catalan-Provençal-Ligurian canyons). As for all the best developed CWC situations in the present Mediterranean Sea, the new Sardinian province is clearly influenced by Levantine Intermediate Water which appears to be a main driver for CWC distribution and viability in this basin.

  1. Susceptibility of central Red Sea corals during a major bleaching event

    KAUST Repository

    Furby, Kathryn A.

    2013-01-04

    A major coral bleaching event occurred in the central Red Sea near Thuwal, Saudi Arabia, in the summer of 2010, when the region experienced up to 10-11 degree heating weeks. We documented the susceptibility of various coral taxa to bleaching at eight reefs during the peak of this thermal stress. Oculinids and agaricids were most susceptible to bleaching, with up to 100 and 80 % of colonies of these families, respectively, bleaching at some reefs. In contrast, some families, such as mussids, pocilloporids, and pectinids showed low levels of bleaching (<20 % on average). We resurveyed the reefs 7 months later to estimate subsequent mortality. Mortality was highly variable among taxa, with some taxa showing evidence of full recovery and some (e. g., acroporids) apparently suffering nearly complete mortality. The unequal mortality among families resulted in significant change in community composition following the bleaching. Significant factors in the likelihood of coral bleaching during this event were depth of the reef and distance of the reef from shore. Shallow reefs and inshore reefs had a higher prevalence of bleaching. This bleaching event shows that Red Sea reefs are subject to the same increasing pressures that reefs face worldwide. This study provides a quantitative, genus-level assessment of the vulnerability of various coral groups from within the Red Sea to bleaching and estimates subsequent mortality. As such, it can provide valuable insights into the future for reef communities in the Red Sea. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

  2. Cold-water coral reefs and adjacent sponge grounds: hotspots of benthic respiration and organic carbon cycling in the deep sea

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cathalot, C.; Van Oevelen, D.; Cox, T.; Kutti, T.; Lavaleye, M.S.S.; Duineveld, G.C.A.; Meysman, F.J.R.

    2015-01-01

    Cold-water coral reefs and adjacent sponge grounds are distributed widely in the deep ocean, where only a small fraction of the surface productivity reaches the seafloor as detritus. It remains elusive how these hotspots of biodiversity can thrive in such a food-limited environment, as data on

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

    KAUST Repository

    Arif, Chatchanit

    2014-12-01

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

  4. Temperature impacts on deep-sea biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yasuhara, Moriaki; Danovaro, Roberto

    2016-05-01

    Temperature is considered to be a fundamental factor controlling biodiversity in marine ecosystems, but precisely what role temperature plays in modulating diversity is still not clear. The deep ocean, lacking light and in situ photosynthetic primary production, is an ideal model system to test the effects of temperature changes on biodiversity. Here we synthesize current knowledge on temperature-diversity relationships in the deep sea. Our results from both present and past deep-sea assemblages suggest that, when a wide range of deep-sea bottom-water temperatures is considered, a unimodal relationship exists between temperature and diversity (that may be right skewed). It is possible that temperature is important only when at relatively high and low levels but does not play a major role in the intermediate temperature range. Possible mechanisms explaining the temperature-biodiversity relationship include the physiological-tolerance hypothesis, the metabolic hypothesis, island biogeography theory, or some combination of these. The possible unimodal relationship discussed here may allow us to identify tipping points at which on-going global change and deep-water warming may increase or decrease deep-sea biodiversity. Predicted changes in deep-sea temperatures due to human-induced climate change may have more adverse consequences than expected considering the sensitivity of deep-sea ecosystems to temperature changes. © 2014 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  5. In situ observations of coral bleaching in the central Saudi Arabian Red Sea during the 2015/2016 global coral bleaching event.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monroe, Alison A; Ziegler, Maren; Roik, Anna; Röthig, Till; Hardenstine, Royale S; Emms, Madeleine A; Jensen, Thor; Voolstra, Christian R; Berumen, Michael L

    2018-01-01

    Coral bleaching continues to be one of the most devastating and immediate impacts of climate change on coral reef ecosystems worldwide. In 2015, a major bleaching event was declared as the "3rd global coral bleaching event" by the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, impacting a large number of reefs in every major ocean. The Red Sea was no exception, and we present herein in situ observations of the status of coral reefs in the central Saudi Arabian Red Sea from September 2015, following extended periods of high temperatures reaching upwards of 32.5°C in our study area. We examined eleven reefs using line-intercept transects at three different depths, including all reefs that were surveyed during a previous bleaching event in 2010. Bleaching was most prevalent on inshore reefs (55.6% ± 14.6% of live coral cover exhibited bleaching) and on shallower transects (41% ± 10.2% of live corals surveyed at 5m depth) within reefs. Similar taxonomic groups (e.g., Agariciidae) were affected in 2015 and in 2010. Most interestingly, Acropora and Porites had similar bleaching rates (~30% each) and similar relative coral cover (~7% each) across all reefs in 2015. Coral genera with the highest levels of bleaching (>60%) were also among the rarest (coral cover) in 2015. While this bodes well for the relative retention of coral cover, it may ultimately lead to decreased species richness, often considered an important component of a healthy coral reef. The resultant long-term changes in these coral reef communities remain to be seen.

  6. Microbial ecology of deep-water mid-Atlantic canyons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kellogg, Christina A.

    2011-01-01

    The research described in this fact sheet will be conducted from 2012 to 2014 as part of the U.S. Geological Survey's DISCOVRE (DIversity, Systematics, and COnnectivity of Vulnerable Reef Ecosystems) Program. This integrated, multidisciplinary effort will be investigating a variety of topics related to unique and fragile deep-sea ecosystems from the microscopic level to the ecosystem level. One goal is to improve understanding, at the microbiological scale, of the benthic communities (including corals) that reside in and around mid-Atlantic canyon habitats and their associated environments. Specific objectives include identifying and characterizing the microbial associates of deep-sea corals, characterizing the microbial biofilms on hard substrates to better determine their role in engineering the ecosystem, and adding a microbial dimension to benthic community structure and function assessments by characterizing micro-eukaryotes, bacteria, and archaea in deep-sea sediments.

  7. Basin-scale estimates of pelagic and coral reef calcification in the Red Sea and Western Indian Ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steiner, Zvi; Erez, Jonathan; Shemesh, Aldo; Yam, Ruth; Katz, Amitai; Lazar, Boaz

    2014-11-18

    Basin-scale calcification rates are highly important in assessments of the global oceanic carbon cycle. Traditionally, such estimates were based on rates of sedimentation measured with sediment traps or in deep sea cores. Here we estimated CaCO3 precipitation rates in the surface water of the Red Sea from total alkalinity depletion along their axial flow using the water flux in the straits of Bab el Mandeb. The relative contribution of coral reefs and open sea plankton were calculated by fitting a Rayleigh distillation model to the increase in the strontium to calcium ratio. We estimate the net amount of CaCO3 precipitated in the Red Sea to be 7.3 ± 0.4·10(10) kg·y(-1) of which 80 ± 5% is by pelagic calcareous plankton and 20 ± 5% is by the flourishing coastal coral reefs. This estimate for pelagic calcification rate is up to 40% higher than published sedimentary CaCO3 accumulation rates for the region. The calcification rate of the Gulf of Aden was estimated by the Rayleigh model to be ∼1/2 of the Red Sea, and in the northwestern Indian Ocean, it was smaller than our detection limit. The results of this study suggest that variations of major ions on a basin scale may potentially help in assessing long-term effects of ocean acidification on carbonate deposition by marine organisms.

  8. Tracking multidecadal trends in sea level using coral microatolls

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majewski, Jedrzej; Pham, Dat; Meltzner, Aron; Switzer, Adam; Horton, Benjamin; Heng, Shu Yun; Warrick, David

    2015-04-01

    Tracking multidecadal trends in sea level using coral microatolls Jędrzej M. Majewski 1, Dat T. Pham1, Aron J. Meltzner 1, Adam D. Switzer 1, Benjamin P. Horton2, Shu Yun Heng1, David Warrick3, 1 Earth Observatory of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 2 Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, USA 3 Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA Coral microatolls can be used to study relative sea-level change at multidecadal timescales associated with vertical land movements, climate induced sea-level rise and other oceanographic phenomena such as the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) or Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) with the assumption that the highest level of survival (HLS) of coral microatolls track sea level over the course of their lifetimes. In this study we compare microatoll records covering from as early as 1883 through 2013, from two sites in Indonesia, with long records (>20 years) from proximal tide gauges, satellite altimetry, and other sea-level reconstructions. We compared the HLS time series derived from open-ocean and moated (or ponded) microatolls on tectonically stable Belitung Island and a potentially tectonically active setting in Mapur Island, with sea-level reconstructions for 1950-2011. The sea-level reconstructions are based on ground and satellite measurements, combining a tide model with the Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean (ECCO) model. Our results confirm that open-ocean microatolls do track low water levels at multi decadal time scales and can be used as a proxy for relative sea level (RSL) over time. However, microatolls that are even partially moated are unsuitable and do not track RSL; rather, their growth patterns likely reflect changes in the elevation of the sill of the local pond, as reported by earlier authors. Our ongoing efforts will include an attempt to recognize similarities in moated

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

    KAUST Repository

    Berumen, Michael L.; Hoey, Andrew; Bass, William H.; Bouwmeester, Jessica; Catania, Daniela; Cochran, Jesse; Khalil, Maha T.; Miyake, Sou; Mughal, Mehreen; Spaet, Julia L.Y.; Saenz Agudelo, Pablo

    2013-01-01

    The Red Sea has long been recognized as a region of high biodiversity and endemism. Despite this diversity and early history of scientific work, our understanding of the ecology of coral reefs in the Red Sea has lagged behind that of other large

  10. Utility of sea snakes as bio-indicators for diverse marine environments including coral reefs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Redsted Rasmussen, Arne

    2016-01-01

    be a valuable tool to accomplish this goal. Recent research shows that a group of sea snakes (the sea kraits Laticauda spp.) specialised on eels as prey, bears the promise of being useful bio-indicators for surveying the Anguilliform fish (eel like fish) in coral reefs(Brischoux, Bonnet, & Legagneux, 2009...... including coral reefs. Choosing sea snakes as bio-indicators in a broader sense is not possible with the present knowledge on the group today. It is therefore most needed to get more knowledge on sea snake biology to make it possible to use them as marine indicator species to measure e.g. biodiversity...

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

    KAUST Repository

    Roik, Anna Krystyna; Roder, Cornelia; Rö thig, Till; Voolstra, Christian R.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Roik, Anna Krystyna

    2015-12-14

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

  13. Past 140-year environmental record in the northern South China Sea: Evidence from coral skeletal trace metal variations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Song, Yinxian; Yu, Kefu; Zhao, Jianxin; Feng, Yuexing; Shi, Qi; Zhang, Huiling; Ayoko, Godwin A.; Frost, Ray L.

    2014-01-01

    About 140-year changes in the trace metals in Porites coral samples from two locations in the northern South China Sea were investigated. Results of PCA analyses suggest that near the coast, terrestrial input impacted behavior of trace metals by 28.4%, impact of Sea Surface Temperature (SST) was 19.0%, contribution of war and infrastructure were 14.4% and 15.6% respectively. But for a location in the open sea, contribution of War and SST reached 33.2% and 16.5%, while activities of infrastructure and guano exploration reached 13.2% and 14.7%. While the spatiotemporal change model of Cu, Cd and Pb in seawater of the north area of South China Sea during 1986–1997 were reconstructed. It was found that in the sea area Cu and Cd contaminations were distributed near the coast while areas around Sanya, Hainan had high Pb levels because of the well-developed tourism related activities. -- Highlights: • Geochemical behaviors of trace elements in corals from South China Sea were investigated. • Terrestrial input, SST, war and infrastructure explain about 77.4% of elements behaviors in coral. • Changes of trace elements in coral of Xisha Islands were mainly impacted by local activities. • Spatial change of elements in seawater by was evaluated in 1986–1997 using distribution coefficient K D of coral. -- 140-year changes in the trace metals in corals from South China Sea were investigated. The spatiotemporal change model of the metals in seawater was reconstructed using coral record

  14. Biotic control of skeletal growth by scleractinian corals in aragonite-calcite seas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomihiko Higuchi

    Full Text Available Modern scleractinian coral skeletons are commonly composed of aragonite, the orthorhombic form of CaCO3. Under certain conditions, modern corals produce calcite as a secondary precipitate to fill pore space. However, coral construction of primary skeletons from calcite has yet to be demonstrated. We report a calcitic primary skeleton produced by the modern scleractinian coral Acropora tenuis. When uncalcified juveniles were incubated from the larval stage in seawater with low mMg/Ca levels, the juveniles constructed calcitic crystals in parts of the primary skeleton such as the septa; the deposits were observable under Raman microscopy. Using scanning electron microscopy, we observed different crystal morphologies of aragonite and calcite in a single juvenile skeleton. Quantitative analysis using X-ray diffraction showed that the majority of the skeleton was composed of aragonite even though we had exposed the juveniles to manipulated seawater before their initial crystal nucleation and growth processes. Our results indicate that the modern scleractinian coral Acropora mainly produces aragonite skeletons in both aragonite and calcite seas, but also has the ability to use calcite for part of its skeletal growth when incubated in calcite seas.

  15. Recovery of Seamount Precious Coral Beds From Heavy Trawling Disturbance with Links to Carbonate Chemistry Changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roark, E. B.; Baco-Taylor, A.; Morgan, N. B.; Shamberger, K.; Miller, K.; Brooks, J.

    2016-12-01

    Increasing anthropogenic impacts in the deep sea make studies of resilience and recovery time critical, with deep-sea hard-substrate habitats and large-scale disturbances having received little attention. Seamount hard-substrate habitats in particular are thought to have low resilience due to the slow growth rates and recruitment limitations of key structure-forming taxa. Seamounts of the far Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and Emperor Chain have had some of the heaviest trawl impacts in the world, from both fish and precious coral fisheries, and include sites that are still trawled and recovering ones that have been protected since establishment of the EEZ in 1977. To test the hypothesis of low resilience we compare these impacted seamounts to untrawled sites. We used the AUV Sentry in 2014 and 2015 to image nine features (three per "treatment") and analyze for substrate and visible megafauna. Sites in the "still trawled" treatment were characterized by extensive areas of bare substrate with abundant trawl scars. Sites in the "recovering" and "never trawled" locations had abundant megafauna in hard substrate areas. Initial comparisons of transects at 700m depth for three sites indicate that Yuryaku in the "still trawled" treatment had lower diversity and abundance of megafauna compared to the "recovering" and "never trawled" locations with a dominance of sea urchins. The "recovering" and "never trawled" sites were dominated by cnidarians, fishes, and echinoderms, but differed in dominant species, diversity, abundances and occurrence of dead coral skeletons. These preliminary results suggest that the recovering sites have not returned to a pre-impact community type in the 38 years since they were trawled. The megafauna distribution, in particular that of deep-sea corals, was compared to environmental water column variables at the study sites across the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Deep-sea corals with calcium carbonate skeletons were found living below the

  16. Coral ages and island subsidence, Hilo drill hole

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, J.G.; Ingram, B.L.; Ludwig, K. R.; Clague, D.A.

    1996-01-01

    A 25.8-m-thick sedimentary section containing coral fragments occurs directly below a surface lava flow (the ???1340 year old Panaewa lava flow) at the Hilo drill hole. Ten coral samples from this section dated by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon and five by thermal infrared multispectral scanner (TIMS) 230Th/U methods show good agreement. The calcareous unit is 9790 years old at the bottom and 1690 years old at the top and was deposited in a shallow lagoon behind an actively growing reef. This sedimentary unit is underlain by a 34-m-thick lava flow which in turn overlies a thin volcaniclastic silt with coral fragments that yield a single 14C date of 10,340 years. The age-depth relations of the dated samples can be compared with proposed eustatic sea level curves after allowance for island subsidence is taken. Island subsidence averages 2.2 mm/yr for the last 47 years based on measurements from a tide gage near the drill hole or 2.5-2.6 mm/yr for the last 500,000 years based on the ages and depths of a series of drowned coral reefs offshore from west Hawaii. The age-depth measurements of coral fragments are more consistent with eustatic sea levels as determined by coral dating at Barbados and Albrolhos Islands than those based on oxygen isotopic data from deep sea cores. The Panaewa lava flow entered a lagoon underlain by coral debris and covered the drill site with 30.9 m of lava of which 11 m was above sea level. This surface has now subsided to 4.2 m above sea level, but it demonstrates how a modern lava flow entering Hilo Bay would not only change the coastline but could extensively modify the offshore shelf.

  17. Effects of Simulated Eutrophication and Overfishing on Coral Reef Invertebrates, Algae and Microbes in the Red Sea

    OpenAIRE

    Jessen, Christian

    2013-01-01

    Besides the main climate change consequences, ocean warming and acidification, local disturbances such as overfishing and eutrophication are major threats to coral reefs worldwide. Despite its relatively healthy coral reefs that are increasingly faced with growing coastal development, the Red Sea is highly under-investigated, particularly outside the Gulf of Aqaba. This thesis therefore aims to contribute to the understanding of eutrophication and overfishing effects on Red Sea coral reefs by...

  18. Taxonomic research on deep-sea macrofauna in the South China Sea using the Chinese deep-sea submersible Jiaolong.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xinzheng

    2017-07-01

    This paper reviews the taxonomic and biodiversity studies of deep-sea invertebrates in the South China Sea based on the samples collected by the Chinese manned deep-sea submersible Jiaolong. To date, 6 new species have been described, including the sponges Lophophysema eversa, Saccocalyx microhexactin and Semperella jiaolongae as well as the crustaceans Uroptychus jiaolongae, Uroptychus spinulosus and Globospongicola jiaolongi; some newly recorded species from the South China Sea have also been reported. The Bathymodiolus platifrons-Shinkaia crosnieri deep-sea cold seep community has been reported by Li (2015), as has the mitochondrial genome of the glass sponge L. eversa by Zhang et al. (2016). The population structures of two dominant species, the shrimp Shinkaia crosnieri and the mussel Bathymodiolus platifrons, from the cold seep Bathymodiolus platifrons-Shinkaia crosnieri community in the South China Sea and the hydrothermal vents in the Okinawa Trough, were compared using molecular analysis. The systematic position of the shrimp genus Globospongicola was discussed based on 16S rRNA gene sequences. © 2017 International Society of Zoological Sciences, Institute of Zoology/Chinese Academy of Sciences and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.

  19. Reproductive biology of the deep brooding coral Seriatopora hystrix: Implications for shallow reef recovery

    OpenAIRE

    Prasetia, Rian; Sinniger, Frederic; Hashizume, Kaito; Harii, Saki

    2017-01-01

    Mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs, between 30 and 150 m depth) are hypothesized to contribute to the recovery of degraded shallow reefs through sexually produced larvae (referred to as Deep Reef Refuge Hypothesis). In Okinawa, Japan, the brooder coral Seriatopora hystrix was reported to be locally extinct in a shallow reef while it was found abundant at a MCE nearby. In this context, S. hystrix represents a key model to test the Deep Reef Refuge Hypothesis and to understand the potential cont...

  20. U-Th ages obtained by mass spectrometry in corals from Barbados: sea level during the past 130,000 years

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bard, Edouard; Hamelin, Bruno; Fairbanks, R.G. (Columbia Univ., Palisades, NY (USA). Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory)

    1990-08-02

    The study of the sea level record during the last glacial cycle has primarily proceeded indirectly by means of oxygen isotope measurements on foraminifera from deep-sea sediments. The direct approach of dating sea level indicators stagnated during the past decade, mainly because the samples required to complete our knowledge of the past glaciations are below the present-day sea level. Using the {sup 14}C ages of Acropora palmata samples collected by drilling offshore the island of Barbados, we report the first detailed chronology for the last deglaciation. This radio-carbon chronology is limited to the past 30 kyr because of the short half-life of {sup 14}C (5,730 yr); we must therefore rely on other dating methods to obtain information for the whole last glacial cycle. During the past four years {sup 230}Th-{sup 234}U dating of corals by thermal-ionization mass spectrometry has been shown to be significantly more precise and accurate than the classical {alpha}-counting method. We have used this technique to measure U-Th ages in coral samples from the Barbados collection and from subaerially exposed outcrops. Here we present results bearing on the sea level record for the past 130,000 years; we conclude that the last deglaciation started 3,000 years earlier than previously thought and confirm that there were two surges in melt water at about 11 kyr and 14 kyr BP (before present). (author).

  1. U-Th ages obtained by mass spectrometry in corals from Barbados: sea level during the past 130,000 years

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bard, Edouard; Hamelin, Bruno; Fairbanks, R.G.

    1990-01-01

    The study of the sea level record during the last glacial cycle has primarily proceeded indirectly by means of oxygen isotope measurements on foraminifera from deep-sea sediments. The direct approach of dating sea level indicators stagnated during the past decade, mainly because the samples required to complete our knowledge of the past glaciations are below the present-day sea level. Using the 14 C ages of Acropora palmata samples collected by drilling offshore the island of Barbados, we report the first detailed chronology for the last deglaciation. This radio-carbon chronology is limited to the past 30 kyr because of the short half-life of 14 C (5,730 yr); we must therefore rely on other dating methods to obtain information for the whole last glacial cycle. During the past four years 230 Th- 234 U dating of corals by thermal-ionization mass spectrometry has been shown to be significantly more precise and accurate than the classical α-counting method. We have used this technique to measure U-Th ages in coral samples from the Barbados collection and from subaerially exposed outcrops. Here we present results bearing on the sea level record for the past 130,000 years; we conclude that the last deglaciation started 3,000 years earlier than previously thought and confirm that there were two surges in melt water at about 11 kyr and 14 kyr BP (before present). (author)

  2. Phylogenetic diversity of actinobacteria associated with soft coral Alcyonium gracllimum and stony coral Tubastraea coccinea in the East China Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Shan; Sun, Wei; Tang, Cen; Jin, Liling; Zhang, Fengli; Li, Zhiyong

    2013-07-01

    Actinobacteria are widely distributed in the marine environment. To date, few studies have been performed to explore the coral-associated Actinobacteria, and little is known about the diversity of coral-associated Actinobacteria. In this study, the actinobacterial diversity associated with one soft coral Alcyonium gracllimum and one stony coral Tubastraea coccinea collected from the East China Sea was investigated using both culture-independent and culture-dependent approaches. A total of 19 actinobacterial genera were detected in these two corals, among which nine genera (Corynebacterium, Dietzia, Gordonia, Kocuria, Microbacterium, Micrococcus, Mycobacterium, Streptomyces, and Candidatus Microthrix) were common, three genera (Cellulomonas, Dermatophilus, and Janibacter) were unique to the soft coral, and seven genera (Brevibacterium, Dermacoccus, Leucobacter, Micromonospora, Nocardioides, Rhodococcus, and Serinicoccus) were unique to the stony coral. This finding suggested that highly diverse Actinobacteria were associated with different types of corals. In particular, five actinobacterial genera (Cellulomonas, Dermacoccus, Gordonia, Serinicoccus, and Candidatus Microthrix) were recovered from corals for the first time, extending the known diversity of coral-associated Actinobacteria. This study shows that soft and stony corals host diverse Actinobacteria and can serve as a new source of marine actinomycetes.

  3. Occurrence and biogeography of hydroids (Cnidaria: Hydrozoa) from deep-water coral habitats off the southeastern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henry, Lea-Anne; Nizinski, Martha S.; Ross, Steve W.

    2008-06-01

    Deep-water coral habitats off the southeastern USA (SEUS) support diverse fish and invertebrate assemblages, but are poorly explored. This study is the first to report on the hydroids collected from these habitats in this area. Thirty-five species, including two species that are likely new to science, were identified from samples collected primarily by manned submersible during 2001-2005 from deep-water coral habitats off North Carolina to east-central Florida. Eleven of the species had not been reported since the 19th to mid-20th century. Ten species, and one family, the Rosalindidae, are documented for the first time in the SEUS. Latitudinal ranges of 15 species are extended, and the deepest records in the western North Atlantic for 10 species are reported. A species accumulation curve illustrated that we continue to add to our knowledge of hydroid diversity in these habitats. Sexually mature individuals were collected for 19 species during the summer to early autumn months. Most of the observed species (89%) liberate planula larvae as part of their life cycles, suggesting that these species exhibit a reproductive strategy that reduces the risk of dispersal to sub-optimal habitats. Hydroids occurred across various substrata including coral rubble, live corals, rock and other animal hosts including hydroids themselves. All observed species were regionally widespread with typically deep-neritic to bathyal sub-tropical/tropical distributions. Hydroid assemblages from deep-water SEUS coral habitats were most similar to those from adjacent deep-water habitats off the SEUS (17 shared species), and those in the Straits of Florida/Bahamas and Caribbean/West Indian regions (14 and 8 shared species, respectively). The similarity to sub-tropical and tropical assemblages and the richness of plumularioids in the SEUS deep-water coral habitats support the idea of a Pleistocene intrusion of tropical species northwards following an intensification of the Gulf Stream from the

  4. Coral-Associated Bacterial Diversity is Conserved Across Two Deep-Sea Anthothela Species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie Nichole Lawler

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Cold-water corals, similar to tropical corals, contain diverse and complex microbial assemblages. These bacteria provide essential biological functions within coral holobionts, facilitating increased nutrient utilization and production of antimicrobial compounds. To date, few cold-water octocoral species have been analyzed to explore the diversity and abundance of their microbial associates. For this study, 23 samples of the family Anthothelidae were collected from Norfolk (n = 12 and Baltimore Canyons (n = 11 from the western Atlantic in August 2012 and May 2013. Genetic testing found that these samples comprised two Anthothela species (Anthothela grandiflora and Anthothela sp. and Alcyonium grandiflorum. DNA was extracted and sequenced with primers targeting the V4-V5 variable region of the 16S rRNA gene using 454 pyrosequencing with GS FLX Titanium chemistry. Results demonstrated that the coral host was the primary driver of bacterial community composition. Al. grandiflorum, dominated by Alteromonadales and Pirellulales had much higher species richness, and a distinct bacterial community compared to Anthothela samples. Anthothela species (A. grandiflora and Anthothela sp. had very similar bacterial communities, dominated by Oceanospirillales and Spirochaetes. Additional analysis of core-conserved bacteria at 90% sample coverage revealed genus level conservation across Anthothela samples. This core included unclassified Oceanospirillales, Kiloniellales, Campylobacterales, and genus Spirochaeta. Members of this core were previously recognized for their functional capabilities in nitrogen cycling and suggest the possibility of a nearly complete nitrogen cycle within Anthothela species. Overall, many of the bacterial associates identified in this study have the potential to contribute to the acquisition and cycling of nutrients within the coral holobiont.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Lee, O. O.; Yang, J.; Bougouffa, S.; Wang, Y.; Batang, Zenon B.; Tian, R.; Al-Suwailem, A.; Qian, P.-Y.

    2012-01-01

    -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

  6. Authigenic gypsum in a deep sea core from Southeastern Arabian Sea

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Guptha, M.V.S.

    Authigenic gypsum has been encountered in a deep sea core RC9-157 from the southeastern Arabian Sea at a depth of 4111 m which is a zone of lysocline. The formation of gypsum in the deep sea region is attributed to the prevailing sulphate rich...

  7. Hamacantha (Hamacantha) boomerang sp. nov. from deep-sea coral mounds at Campos Basin, SW Atlantic, and redescription of H. (H.) schmidtii (Carter, 1882) (Hamacanthidae, Poecilosclerida, Demospongiae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hajdu, Eduardo; Castello-Branco, Cristiana

    2014-01-08

    There are 22 species of Hamacantha registered from all over the world, and frequently from deep-waters, only two of which had previously been reported from the SW Atlantic. Here we describe a third species for this area, Hamacantha (H.) boomerang sp. nov., collected from deep-sea coral mounds at Campos Basin (off Rio de Janeiro state). We found oxeas 271-630 µm long, diancistras in three size classes, 125-155, 45-69 and 20-29 µm, and toxas, 58-82 µm. This is the only Hamacantha combining oxeas and toxas, but the latter are very rare. The species approaches the Caribbean H. (H.) schmidtii (Carter, 1882), where we observed oxeas 390-495 µm long, and diancistras in three size classes, 109-124,  44-54 and 26-41 μm, however toxas appear to be absent. Both species are clearly distinct by micrometric values, as well as the overall morphology of the smaller diancistras, distinct from the intermediate category in the new species, but quite similar in H. (H.) schmidtii. Hamacantha (Vomerula) falcula approaches the new species very closely in microsclere dimensions and morphology, but is set apart by its styloid and smaller megascleres.

  8. Reef-fidelity and migration of tiger sharks, Galeocerdo cuvier, across the coral sea

    KAUST Repository

    Werry, Jonathan M.

    2014-01-08

    Knowledge of the habitat use and migration patterns of large sharks is important for assessing the effectiveness of large predator Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), vulnerability to fisheries and environmental influences, and management of shark-human interactions. Here we compare movement, reef-fidelity, and ocean migration for tiger sharks, Galeocerdo cuvier, across the Coral Sea, with an emphasis on New Caledonia. Thirty-three tiger sharks (1.54 to 3.9 m total length) were tagged with passive acoustic transmitters and their localised movements monitored on receiver arrays in New Caledonia, the Chesterfield and Lord Howe Islands in the Coral Sea, and the east coast of Queensland, Australia. Satellite tags were also used to determine habitat use and movements among habitats across the Coral Sea. Sub-adults and one male adult tiger shark displayed year-round residency in the Chesterfields with two females tagged in the Chesterfields and detected on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia, after 591 and 842 days respectively. In coastal barrier reefs, tiger sharks were transient at acoustic arrays and each individual demonstrated a unique pattern of occurrence. From 2009 to 2013, fourteen sharks with satellite and acoustic tags undertook wide-ranging movements up to 1114 km across the Coral Sea with eight detected back on acoustic arrays up to 405 days after being tagged. Tiger sharks dove 1136 m and utilised three-dimensional activity spaces averaged at 2360 km3. The Chesterfield Islands appear to be important habitat for sub-adults and adult male tiger sharks. Management strategies need to consider the wide-ranging movements of large (sub-adult and adult) male and female tiger sharks at the individual level, whereas fidelity to specific coastal reefs may be consistent across groups of individuals. Coastal barrier reef MPAs, however, only afford brief protection for large tiger sharks, therefore determining the importance of other oceanic Coral Sea reefs should be a

  9. Reef-fidelity and migration of tiger sharks, Galeocerdo cuvier, across the coral sea

    KAUST Repository

    Werry, Jonathan M.; Planes, Serge; Berumen, Michael L.; Lee, Kate A.; Braun, Camrin D.; Clua, Eric

    2014-01-01

    Knowledge of the habitat use and migration patterns of large sharks is important for assessing the effectiveness of large predator Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), vulnerability to fisheries and environmental influences, and management of shark-human interactions. Here we compare movement, reef-fidelity, and ocean migration for tiger sharks, Galeocerdo cuvier, across the Coral Sea, with an emphasis on New Caledonia. Thirty-three tiger sharks (1.54 to 3.9 m total length) were tagged with passive acoustic transmitters and their localised movements monitored on receiver arrays in New Caledonia, the Chesterfield and Lord Howe Islands in the Coral Sea, and the east coast of Queensland, Australia. Satellite tags were also used to determine habitat use and movements among habitats across the Coral Sea. Sub-adults and one male adult tiger shark displayed year-round residency in the Chesterfields with two females tagged in the Chesterfields and detected on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia, after 591 and 842 days respectively. In coastal barrier reefs, tiger sharks were transient at acoustic arrays and each individual demonstrated a unique pattern of occurrence. From 2009 to 2013, fourteen sharks with satellite and acoustic tags undertook wide-ranging movements up to 1114 km across the Coral Sea with eight detected back on acoustic arrays up to 405 days after being tagged. Tiger sharks dove 1136 m and utilised three-dimensional activity spaces averaged at 2360 km3. The Chesterfield Islands appear to be important habitat for sub-adults and adult male tiger sharks. Management strategies need to consider the wide-ranging movements of large (sub-adult and adult) male and female tiger sharks at the individual level, whereas fidelity to specific coastal reefs may be consistent across groups of individuals. Coastal barrier reef MPAs, however, only afford brief protection for large tiger sharks, therefore determining the importance of other oceanic Coral Sea reefs should be a

  10. Reef-fidelity and migration of tiger sharks, Galeocerdo cuvier, across the Coral Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Werry, Jonathan M; Planes, Serge; Berumen, Michael L; Lee, Kate A; Braun, Camrin D; Clua, Eric

    2014-01-01

    Knowledge of the habitat use and migration patterns of large sharks is important for assessing the effectiveness of large predator Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), vulnerability to fisheries and environmental influences, and management of shark-human interactions. Here we compare movement, reef-fidelity, and ocean migration for tiger sharks, Galeocerdo cuvier, across the Coral Sea, with an emphasis on New Caledonia. Thirty-three tiger sharks (1.54 to 3.9 m total length) were tagged with passive acoustic transmitters and their localised movements monitored on receiver arrays in New Caledonia, the Chesterfield and Lord Howe Islands in the Coral Sea, and the east coast of Queensland, Australia. Satellite tags were also used to determine habitat use and movements among habitats across the Coral Sea. Sub-adults and one male adult tiger shark displayed year-round residency in the Chesterfields with two females tagged in the Chesterfields and detected on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia, after 591 and 842 days respectively. In coastal barrier reefs, tiger sharks were transient at acoustic arrays and each individual demonstrated a unique pattern of occurrence. From 2009 to 2013, fourteen sharks with satellite and acoustic tags undertook wide-ranging movements up to 1114 km across the Coral Sea with eight detected back on acoustic arrays up to 405 days after being tagged. Tiger sharks dove 1136 m and utilised three-dimensional activity spaces averaged at 2360 km³. The Chesterfield Islands appear to be important habitat for sub-adults and adult male tiger sharks. Management strategies need to consider the wide-ranging movements of large (sub-adult and adult) male and female tiger sharks at the individual level, whereas fidelity to specific coastal reefs may be consistent across groups of individuals. Coastal barrier reef MPAs, however, only afford brief protection for large tiger sharks, therefore determining the importance of other oceanic Coral Sea reefs should be a

  11. Evolutionary insights into scleractinian corals using comparative genomic hybridizations.

    KAUST Repository

    Aranda, Manuel

    2012-09-21

    Coral reefs belong to the most ecologically and economically important ecosystems on our planet. Yet, they are under steady decline worldwide due to rising sea surface temperatures, disease, and pollution. Understanding the molecular impact of these stressors on different coral species is imperative in order to predict how coral populations will respond to this continued disturbance. The use of molecular tools such as microarrays has provided deep insight into the molecular stress response of corals. Here, we have performed comparative genomic hybridizations (CGH) with different coral species to an Acropora palmata microarray platform containing 13,546 cDNA clones in order to identify potentially rapidly evolving genes and to determine the suitability of existing microarray platforms for use in gene expression studies (via heterologous hybridization).

  12. Evolutionary insights into scleractinian corals using comparative genomic hybridizations.

    KAUST Repository

    Aranda, Manuel; DeSalvo, Michael K; Bayer, Till; Medina, Monica; Voolstra, Christian R.

    2012-01-01

    Coral reefs belong to the most ecologically and economically important ecosystems on our planet. Yet, they are under steady decline worldwide due to rising sea surface temperatures, disease, and pollution. Understanding the molecular impact of these stressors on different coral species is imperative in order to predict how coral populations will respond to this continued disturbance. The use of molecular tools such as microarrays has provided deep insight into the molecular stress response of corals. Here, we have performed comparative genomic hybridizations (CGH) with different coral species to an Acropora palmata microarray platform containing 13,546 cDNA clones in order to identify potentially rapidly evolving genes and to determine the suitability of existing microarray platforms for use in gene expression studies (via heterologous hybridization).

  13. A green fluorescent protein with photoswitchable emission from the deep sea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander Vogt

    Full Text Available A colorful variety of fluorescent proteins (FPs from marine invertebrates are utilized as genetically encoded markers for live cell imaging. The increased demand for advanced imaging techniques drives a continuous search for FPs with new and improved properties. Many useful FPs have been isolated from species adapted to sun-flooded habitats such as tropical coral reefs. It has yet remained unknown if species expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP-like proteins also exist in the darkness of the deep sea. Using a submarine-based and -operated fluorescence detection system in the Gulf of Mexico, we discovered ceriantharians emitting bright green fluorescence in depths between 500 and 600 m and identified a GFP, named cerFP505, with bright fluorescence emission peaking at 505 nm. Spectroscopic studies showed that approximately 15% of the protein bulk feature reversible ON/OFF photoswitching that can be induced by alternating irradiation with blue und near-UV light. Despite being derived from an animal adapted to essentially complete darkness and low temperatures, cerFP505 maturation in living mammalian cells at 37 degrees C, its brightness and photostability are comparable to those of EGFP and cmFP512 from shallow water species. Therefore, our findings disclose the deep sea as a potential source of GFP-like molecular marker proteins.

  14. Reef-scale modeling of coral calcification responses to ocean acidification and sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamura, Takashi; Nadaoka, Kazuo; Watanabe, Atsushi; Yamamoto, Takahiro; Miyajima, Toshihiro; Blanco, Ariel C.

    2018-03-01

    To predict coral responses to future environmental changes at the reef scale, the coral polyp model (Nakamura et al. in Coral Reefs 32:779-794, 2013), which reconstructs coral responses to ocean acidification, flow conditions and other factors, was incorporated into a reef-scale three-dimensional hydrodynamic-biogeochemical model. This coupled reef-scale model was compared to observations from the Shiraho fringing reef, Ishigaki Island, Japan, where the model accurately reconstructed spatiotemporal variation in reef hydrodynamic and geochemical parameters. The simulated coral calcification rate exhibited high spatial variation, with lower calcification rates in the nearshore and stagnant water areas due to isolation of the inner reef at low tide, and higher rates on the offshore side of the inner reef flat. When water is stagnant, bottom shear stress is low at night and thus oxygen diffusion rate from ambient water to the inside of the coral polyp limits respiration rate. Thus, calcification decreases because of the link between respiration and calcification. A scenario analysis was conducted using the reef-scale model with several pCO2 and sea-level conditions based on IPCC (Climate change 2013: the physical science basis. Contribution of working group I to the fifth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2013) scenarios. The simulation indicated that the coral calcification rate decreases with increasing pCO2. On the other hand, sea-level rise increases the calcification rate, particularly in the nearshore and the areas where water is stagnant at low tide under present conditions, as mass exchange, especially oxygen exchange at night, is enhanced between the corals and their ambient seawater due to the reduced stagnant period. When both pCO2 increase and sea-level rise occur concurrently, the calcification rate generally decreases due to the effects of ocean acidification. However, the

  15. 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.

  16. Home Bodies and Wanderers: Sympatric Lineages of the Deep-Sea Black Coral Leiopathes glaberrima.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dannise V Ruiz-Ramos

    Full Text Available Colonial corals occur in a wide range of marine benthic habitats from the shallows to the deep ocean, often defining the structure of their local community. The black coral Leiopathes glaberrima is a long-lived foundation species occurring on carbonate outcrops in the Northern Gulf of Mexico (GoM. Multiple color morphs of L. glaberrima grow sympatrically in the region. Morphological, mitochondrial and nuclear ribosomal markers supported the hypothesis that color morphs constituted a single biological species and that colonies, regardless of color, were somewhat genetically differentiated east and west of the Mississippi Canyon. Ten microsatellite loci were used to determine finer-scale population genetic structure and reproductive characteristics. Gene flow was disrupted between and within two nearby (distance = 36.4 km hardground sites and two sympatric microsatellite lineages, which might constitute cryptic species, were recovered. Lineage one was outbred and found in all sampled locations (N = 5 across 765.6 km in the Northern Gulf of Mexico. Lineage two was inbred, reproducing predominantly by fragmentation, and restricted to sites around Viosca Knoll. In these sites the lineages and the color phenotypes occurred in different microhabitats, and models of maximum entropy suggested that depth and slope influence the distribution of the color phenotypes within the Vioska Knolls. We conclude that L. glaberrima is phenotypically plastic with a mixed reproductive strategy in the Northern GoM. Such strategy might enable this long-lived species to balance local recruitment with occasional long-distance dispersal to colonize new sites in an environment where habitat is limited.

  17. Seasonal variation of deep-sea bioluminescence in the Ionian Sea

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Craig, Jessica; Jamieson, Alan J.; Bagley, Philip M.; Priede, Imants G.

    2011-01-01

    The ICDeep (Image Intensified Charge Coupled Device for Deep sea research) profiler was used to measure the density of deep bioluminescent animals (BL) through the water column in the east, west and mid-Ionian Sea and in the Algerian Basin. A west to east decrease in BL density was found. Generalized additive modelling was used to investigate seasonal variation in the east and west Ionian Sea (NESTOR and NEMO neutrino telescope sites, respectively) from BL measurements in autumn 2008 and spring 2009. A significant seasonal effect was found in the west Ionian Sea (p<0.001), where a deep autumnal peak in BL density occurred between 500 and 2400 m. No significant seasonal variation in BL density was found in the east Ionian Sea (p=0.07). In both spring and autumn, significant differences in BL density were found through the water column between the east and west Ionian Sea (p<0.001).

  18. Seasonal variation of deep-sea bioluminescence in the Ionian Sea

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Craig, Jessica, E-mail: j.craig@abdn.ac.u [University of Aberdeen, Oceanlab, Main Street, Newburgh, Aberdeenshire, AB41 6AA (United Kingdom); Jamieson, Alan J.; Bagley, Philip M.; Priede, Imants G. [University of Aberdeen, Oceanlab, Main Street, Newburgh, Aberdeenshire, AB41 6AA (United Kingdom)

    2011-01-21

    The ICDeep (Image Intensified Charge Coupled Device for Deep sea research) profiler was used to measure the density of deep bioluminescent animals (BL) through the water column in the east, west and mid-Ionian Sea and in the Algerian Basin. A west to east decrease in BL density was found. Generalized additive modelling was used to investigate seasonal variation in the east and west Ionian Sea (NESTOR and NEMO neutrino telescope sites, respectively) from BL measurements in autumn 2008 and spring 2009. A significant seasonal effect was found in the west Ionian Sea (p<0.001), where a deep autumnal peak in BL density occurred between 500 and 2400 m. No significant seasonal variation in BL density was found in the east Ionian Sea (p=0.07). In both spring and autumn, significant differences in BL density were found through the water column between the east and west Ionian Sea (p<0.001).

  19. Mesophotic coral-reef environments depress the reproduction of the coral Paramontastraea peresi in the Red Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feldman, Bar; Shlesinger, Tom; Loya, Yossi

    2018-03-01

    With more than 450 studied species, coral reproduction is a well-known research field. However, the vast majority of coral reproduction research has focused exclusively on shallow reefs. The incentive for the present study was: (1) the recent accelerated global degradation of coral reefs; (2) the growing interest in mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs; 30-120 m depth) and their potential to serve as a larval source for shallow reefs; and (3) the lack of information on MCE coral reproduction. Here, we compare the reproduction and ecology of the depth-generalist coral Paramontastraea peresi between shallow (5-10 m) and mesophotic (40-45 m) habitats in the Gulf of Eilat/Aqaba, Red Sea. Field surveys were conducted to assess the living cover, abundance, and size frequency distribution of P. peresi. Four to six colonies from each habitat were sampled monthly between April 2015 and January 2017, and the gametogenesis cycles, fecundity, and oocyte sizes were measured. The reproductive cycle in the MCEs was shorter than in the shallow reef. Despite having larger polyps, the mesophotic colonies contained significantly smaller and fewer oocytes per polyp. In spite of the relatively stable environmental conditions of the MCEs, which may contribute to coral survival, scarcity of sunlight is probably a major energetic impediment to investment in reproduction by P. peresi at mesophotic depths. Further intensive reproductive studies in mesophotic reefs are thus required to assess the ability of corals in this environment to reproduce and constitute a larval source for depleted shallow-water reefs.

  20. 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.

  1. Deep-sea geohazards in the South China Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Shiguo; Wang, Dawei; Völker, David

    2018-02-01

    Various geological processes and features that might inflict hazards identified in the South China Sea by using new technologies and methods. These features include submarine landslides, pockmark fields, shallow free gas, gas hydrates, mud diapirs and earthquake tsunami, which are widely distributed in the continental slope and reefal islands of the South China Sea. Although the study and assessment of geohazards in the South China Sea came into operation only recently, advances in various aspects are evolving at full speed to comply with National Marine Strategy and `the Belt and Road' Policy. The characteristics of geohazards in deep-water seafloor of the South China Sea are summarized based on new scientific advances. This progress is aimed to aid ongoing deep-water drilling activities and decrease geological risks in ocean development.

  2. 14C Records from Indonesian Sea

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baresic, J.; Fallon, S.; Mazerat, J.

    2013-01-01

    To investigate ocean currents and past climate events affecting the Indonesian throughflow (ITF), a radiocarbon record from a Porites coral collected from Alor Island, Indonesia, was constructed. Porites corals are often used in paleoclimate research and water mass circulation studies in the Tropics because of their abundance in the region and growth rate of 8 - 20 mm/y. These characteristics allow reconstructions of past environmental changes on weekly to annual time scales. At this point radiocarbon coral results from Alor cover approximately 30 years. An age model was constructed using the sea surface temperature proxy δ18O. Alor radiocarbon results were compared with previous measurements obtained from Padang and Langkai corals. a14C values obtained from the Alor coral display a strong seasonal cycle, high values during Australian summer and low values during Australian winter. Higher a 14C summer values indicate inflow of waters enriched by 14C through Makassar Strait from the North Pacific Ocean and Java Sea surface water. Summer a14C values are also enhanced by summer stratification. Winter values indicate upwelling of deep Ocean waters within the research area and transport of 14C-depleted waters from the Banda Sea, which has input from the South Pacific Ocean (lower a14C than North Pacific). Therefore, the a14C coral record reflects the movement of enriched water from North Pacific to Indian Ocean through Makassar Strait during summer and upwelling of depleted surface waters from the Banda Sea during the winter. Lower a14C dips could be attributed to strong El Nino events, which would enhance surface water mixing and upwelling of low radiocarbon deep waters. Water transport from North Pacific Ocean decreases during El Nino events also contributing to lowering of a14C signal.(author)

  3. INTERSPECIFIC AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR OF THE CORALLIMORPHARIAN CORYNACTIS CALIFORNICA (CNIDARIA: ANTHOZOA): EFFECTS ON SYMPATRIC CORALS AND SEA ANEMONES.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chadwick, Nanette E

    1987-08-01

    Corallimorpharians are sessile cnidarians that are morphologically similar to the actiniarian sea anemones and scleractinian corals. This study describes for the first time the behavioral mechanism and effects of aggression by a corallimorpharian. Polyps of the temperate clonal corallimorpharian Corynactis californica extruded their mesenteries and associated filaments onto members of certain species of sea anemones and corals. They did not exhibit this behavior intraspecifically, and members of different clones of C. californica remained expanded upon contact. In contrast, members of four species of corals and zoanthids responded to contact with C. californica by contracting their tentacles, and members of three sea anemone species bent or moved away, detached from the substrate, or attacked using their aggressive structures. When interspecific contact was prolonged, individuals of C. californica extruded filaments onto, and killed polyps of, the sea anemones Anthopleura elegantissima and Metridium senile within 3 weeks, and the corals Astrangia lajollaensis and Balanophyllia elegans within 4-10 months under laboratory conditions. The use of extruded mesenterial filaments by C. californica to attack members of other anthozoan species is similar to the aggressive behavior exhibited by many scleractinian reef corals. Field observations suggest that C. californica may use this agonistic behavior during interspecific competition for space on hard marine substrate.

  4. Coral Reef Functioning Along a Cross‐shelf Environmental Gradient: Abiotic and Biotic Drivers of Coral Reef Growth in the Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Roik, Anna

    2016-06-01

    Despite high temperature and salinity conditions that challenge reef growth in other oceans, the Red Sea maintains amongst the most biodiverse and productive coral reefs worldwide. It is therefore an important region for the exploration of coral reef functioning, and expected to contribute valuable insights towards the understanding of coral reefs in challenging environments. This dissertation assessed the baseline variability of in situ abiotic conditions (temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, and total alkalinity, among others) in the central Red Sea and highlights these environmental regimes in a global context. Further, focus was directed on biotic factors (biofilm community dynamics, calcification and bioerosion), which underlie reef growth processes and are crucial for maintaining coral reef functioning and ecosystem services. Using full‐year data from an environmental cross‐shelf gradient, the dynamic interplay of abiotic and biotic factors was investigated. In situ observations demonstrate that central Red Sea coral reefs were highly variable on spatial, seasonal, and diel scales, and exhibited comparably high temperature, high salinity, and low dissolved oxygen levels, which on the one hand reflect future ocean predictions. Under these conditions epilithic bacterial and algal assemblages were mainly driven by variables (i.e., temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen) which are predicted to change strongly in the progression of global climate change, implying an influential bottom up effect on reef‐building communities. On the other hand, measured alkalinity and other carbonate chemistry value were close to the estimates of preindustrial global ocean surface water and thus in favor of reef growth processes. Despite this beneficial carbonate chemistry, calcification and carbonate budgets in the reefs were not higher than in other coral reef regions. In this regard, seasonal calcification patterns suggest that summer temperatures may be exceeding the optima

  5. U.V. repair in deep-sea bacteria

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lutz, L.; Yayanos, A.A.

    1986-01-01

    Exposure of cells to light of less than 320 nanometers wavelengths may lead to lethal lesions and perhaps carcinogenesis. Many organisms have evolved mechanisms to repair U.V. light-induced damage. Organisms such as deep-sea bacteria are presumably never exposed to U.V. light and perhaps occasionally to visible from bioluminescence. Thus, the repair of U.V. damage in deep-sea bacterial DNA might be inefficient and repair by photoreactivation unlikely. The bacteria utilized in this investigation are temperature sensitive and barophilic. Four deep-sea isolates were chosen for this study: PE-36 from 3584 m, CNPT-3 from 5782 m, HS-34 from 5682 m, and MT-41 from 10,476 m, all are from the North Pacific ocean. The deep-sea extends from 1100 m to depths greater than 7000 m. It is a region of relatively uniform conditions. The temperature ranges from 5 to -1 0 C. There is no solar light in the deep-sea. Deep-sea bacteria are sensitive to U.V. light; in fact more sensitive than a variety of terrestrial and sea-surface bacteria. All four isolates demonstrate thymine dimer repair. Photoreactivation was observed in only MT-41. The other strains from shallower depths displayed no photoreactivation. The presence of DNA sequences homologous to the rec A, uvr A, B, and C and phr genes of E. coli have been examined by Southern hybridization techniques

  6. A picture on the wall: innovative mapping reveals cold-water coral refuge in submarine canyon.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Veerle A I Huvenne

    Full Text Available Cold-water corals are azooxanthellate species found throughout the ocean at water depths down to 5000 m. They occur in patches, reefs or large mound structures up to 380 m high, and as ecosystem engineers create important habitats for a diverse fauna. However, the majority of these habitats are now within reach of deep-sea bottom trawling. Many have been severely damaged or are under threat, despite recent protection initiatives. Here we present a cold-water coral habitat type that so far has been overlooked--quite literally--and that has received minimal impact from human activities. Vertical and overhanging cliffs in deep-sea canyons, revealed using an innovative approach to marine habitat mapping, are shown to provide the perfect substratum for extensive cold-water coral-based communities. Typical canyon-related processes, including locally enhanced internal tides and focussed downslope organic carbon transport, provide favourable environmental conditions (current regime, food input to sustain the communities, even outside the optimal depth and density envelopes reported elsewhere in the NE Atlantic. Our findings show that deep-sea canyons can form natural refuges for faunal communities sensitive to anthropogenic disturbance, and have the potential to fulfil the crucial role of larval sources for the recolonisation of damaged sites elsewhere on the margin.

  7. Protection of High Seas biodivesity in the Antilles, West Africa and Antarctica: inventory of EBSAs and VMEs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bos, O.G.

    2012-01-01

    To protect deep-sea biodiversity, the United Nations have adopted a number of resolutions that should protect vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs), such as cold water corals and sponges, by the regulation of deep-sea fisheries on the high seas. In a parallel process, the Convention on Biological

  8. In Brief: Deep-sea observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Showstack, Randy

    2008-11-01

    The first deep-sea ocean observatory offshore of the continental United States has begun operating in the waters off central California. The remotely operated Monterey Accelerated Research System (MARS) will allow scientists to monitor the deep sea continuously. Among the first devices to be hooked up to the observatory are instruments to monitor earthquakes, videotape deep-sea animals, and study the effects of acidification on seafloor animals. ``Some day we may look back at the first packets of data streaming in from the MARS observatory as the equivalent of those first words spoken by Alexander Graham Bell: `Watson, come here, I need you!','' commented Marcia McNutt, president and CEO of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, which coordinated construction of the observatory. For more information, see http://www.mbari.org/news/news_releases/2008/mars-live/mars-live.html.

  9. Distribution of cold-water corals in the Whittard Canyon, NE Atlantic Ocean

    OpenAIRE

    Morris, Kirsty J.; Tyler, Paul A.; Masson, Doug G.; Huvenne, Veerle A.I.; Rogers, Alex D.

    2013-01-01

    The deep-sea floor occupies about 60% of the surface of the planet and is covered mainly by fine sediments. Most studies of deep-sea benthic fauna therefore have concentrated on soft sediments with little sampling of hard substrata, such as rocky outcrops in submarine canyons. Here we assess the distribution and abundance of cold-water corals within the Whittard Canyon (NE Atlantic) using video footage from the ROV Isis. Abundances per 100 m of video transect were calculated and mapped using ...

  10. 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.

  11. Sea-level and deep-sea-temperature variability over the past 5.3 million years.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohling, E J; Foster, G L; Grant, K M; Marino, G; Roberts, A P; Tamisiea, M E; Williams, F

    2014-04-24

    Ice volume (and hence sea level) and deep-sea temperature are key measures of global climate change. Sea level has been documented using several independent methods over the past 0.5 million years (Myr). Older periods, however, lack such independent validation; all existing records are related to deep-sea oxygen isotope (δ(18)O) data that are influenced by processes unrelated to sea level. For deep-sea temperature, only one continuous high-resolution (Mg/Ca-based) record exists, with related sea-level estimates, spanning the past 1.5 Myr. Here we present a novel sea-level reconstruction, with associated estimates of deep-sea temperature, which independently validates the previous 0-1.5 Myr reconstruction and extends it back to 5.3 Myr ago. We find that deep-sea temperature and sea level generally decreased through time, but distinctly out of synchrony, which is remarkable given the importance of ice-albedo feedbacks on the radiative forcing of climate. In particular, we observe a large temporal offset during the onset of Plio-Pleistocene ice ages, between a marked cooling step at 2.73 Myr ago and the first major glaciation at 2.15 Myr ago. Last, we tentatively infer that ice sheets may have grown largest during glacials with more modest reductions in deep-sea temperature.

  12. Coral Reef Health Indices versus the Biological, Ecological and Functional Diversity of Fish and Coral Assemblages in the Caribbean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz-Pérez, Leopoldo; Rodríguez-Zaragoza, Fabián Alejandro; Ortiz, Marco; Cupul-Magaña, Amílcar Leví; Carriquiry, Jose D; Ríos-Jara, Eduardo; Rodríguez-Troncoso, Alma Paola; García-Rivas, María Del Carmen

    2016-01-01

    This study evaluated the relationship between the indices known as the Reef Health Index (RHI) and two-dimensional Coral Health Index (2D-CHI) and different representative metrics of biological, ecological and functional diversity of fish and corals in 101 reef sites located across seven zones in the western Caribbean Sea. Species richness and average taxonomic distinctness were used to asses biological estimation; while ecological diversity was evaluated with the indices of Shannon diversity and Pielou´s evenness, as well as by taxonomic diversity and distinctness. Functional diversity considered the number of functional groups, the Shannon diversity and the functional Pielou´s evenness. According to the RHI, 57.15% of the zones were classified as presenting a "poor" health grade, while 42.85% were in "critical" grade. Based on the 2D-CHI, 28.5% of the zones were in "degraded" condition and 71.5% were "very degraded". Differences in fish and coral diversity among sites and zones were demonstrated using permutational ANOVAs. Differences between the two health indices (RHI and 2D-CHI) and some indices of biological, ecological and functional diversity of fish and corals were observed; however, only the RHI showed a correlation between the health grades and the species and functional group richness of fish at the scale of sites, and with the species and functional group richness and Shannon diversity of the fish assemblages at the scale of zones. None of the health indices were related to the metrics analyzed for the coral diversity. In general, our study suggests that the estimation of health indices should be complemented with classic community indices, or should at least include diversity indices of fish and corals, in order to improve the accuracy of the estimated health status of coral reefs in the western Caribbean Sea.

  13. Global habitat suitability for framework-forming cold-water corals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew J Davies

    Full Text Available Predictive habitat models are increasingly being used by conservationists, researchers and governmental bodies to identify vulnerable ecosystems and species' distributions in areas that have not been sampled. However, in the deep sea, several limitations have restricted the widespread utilisation of this approach. These range from issues with the accuracy of species presences, the lack of reliable absence data and the limited spatial resolution of environmental factors known or thought to control deep-sea species' distributions. To address these problems, global habitat suitability models have been generated for five species of framework-forming scleractinian corals by taking the best available data and using a novel approach to generate high resolution maps of seafloor conditions. High-resolution global bathymetry was used to resample gridded data from sources such as World Ocean Atlas to produce continuous 30-arc second (∼1 km(2 global grids for environmental, chemical and physical data of the world's oceans. The increased area and resolution of the environmental variables resulted in a greater number of coral presence records being incorporated into habitat models and higher accuracy of model predictions. The most important factors in determining cold-water coral habitat suitability were depth, temperature, aragonite saturation state and salinity. Model outputs indicated the majority of suitable coral habitat is likely to occur on the continental shelves and slopes of the Atlantic, South Pacific and Indian Oceans. The North Pacific has very little suitable scleractinian coral habitat. Numerous small scale features (i.e., seamounts, which have not been sampled or identified as having a high probability of supporting cold-water coral habitat were identified in all ocean basins. Field validation of newly identified areas is needed to determine the accuracy of model results, assess the utility of modelling efforts to identify vulnerable marine

  14. The dynamics of biogeographic ranges in the deep sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McClain, Craig R; Hardy, Sarah Mincks

    2010-12-07

    Anthropogenic disturbances such as fishing, mining, oil drilling, bioprospecting, warming, and acidification in the deep sea are increasing, yet generalities about deep-sea biogeography remain elusive. Owing to the lack of perceived environmental variability and geographical barriers, ranges of deep-sea species were traditionally assumed to be exceedingly large. In contrast, seamount and chemosynthetic habitats with reported high endemicity challenge the broad applicability of a single biogeographic paradigm for the deep sea. New research benefiting from higher resolution sampling, molecular methods and public databases can now more rigorously examine dispersal distances and species ranges on the vast ocean floor. Here, we explore the major outstanding questions in deep-sea biogeography. Based on current evidence, many taxa appear broadly distributed across the deep sea, a pattern replicated in both the abyssal plains and specialized environments such as hydrothermal vents. Cold waters may slow larval metabolism and development augmenting the great intrinsic ability for dispersal among many deep-sea species. Currents, environmental shifts, and topography can prove to be dispersal barriers but are often semipermeable. Evidence of historical events such as points of faunal origin and climatic fluctuations are also evident in contemporary biogeographic ranges. Continued synthetic analysis, database construction, theoretical advancement and field sampling will be required to further refine hypotheses regarding deep-sea biogeography.

  15. Latitudinal environmental gradients and diel variability influence abundance and community structure of Chaetognatha in Red Sea coral reefs

    KAUST Repository

    Al-aidaroos, Ali M.

    2016-08-15

    The Red Sea has been recognized as a unique region to study the effects of ecohydrographic gradients at a basin-wide scale. Its gradient of temperature and salinity relates to the Indian Ocean monsoon and associated wind-driven transport of fertile and plankton-rich water in winter from the Gulf of Aden into the Red Sea. Subsequent evaporation and thermohaline circulation increase the salinity and decrease water temperatures toward the North. Compared with other ocean systems, however, relatively little is known about the zooplankton biodiversity of the Red Sea and how this relates to Red Sea latitudinal gradients. Among the most abundant zooplankton taxa are Chaetognatha, which play an important role as secondary consumers in most marine food webs. Since Chaetognatha are sensitive to changes in temperature and salinity, we surmised latitudinal changes in their biodiversity, community structure and diel variability along the coast of Saudi Arabia. Samples were collected at nine coral reefs spanning approximately 1500km, from the Gulf of Aqaba in the northern Red Sea to the Farasan Archipelago in the southern Red Sea. Thirteen Chaetognatha species belonging to two families (Sagittidae and Krohnittidae) were identified. Latitudinal environmental changes and availability of prey (i.e. Copepoda, Crustacea) altered Chaetognatha density and distribution. The cosmopolitan epiplanktonic Flaccisagitta enflata (38.1%) dominated the Chaetognatha community, and its abundance gradually decreased from South to North. Notable were two mesopelagic species (Decipisagitta decipiens and Caecosagitta macrocephala) in the near-reef surface mixed layers at some sites. This was related to wind-induced upwelling of deep water into the coral reefs providing evidence of trophic oceanic subsidies. Most Sagittidae occurred in higher abundances at night, whereas Krohnittidae were more present during the day. Chaetognatha with developing (stage II) or mature ovaries (stage III) were more active

  16. Air-sea exchange of CO2 in the Gulf of Kutch, northern Arabian Sea based on bomb-carbon in corals and tree rings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chakraborty, S.; Ramesh, R.; Krishnaswami, S.

    1994-01-01

    Radiocarbon analyses were carried out in the annual bands of a 40 year old coral collected from the Gulf of Kutch (22.6degN, 70degE) in the northern Arabian Sea and in the annual rings of a teak tree from Thane (19deg14'N, 73deg24'E) near Bombay. These measurements were made in order to obtain the rates of air-sea exchange of CO 2 and the advective mixing of water in the Gulf of Kutch. The Δ 14 C peak in the Thane tree occurs in the year 1964, with a value of ∼630 part per thousand, significantly lower than that of the mean atmospheric Δ 14 C of the northern hemisphere (∼1000 part per thousand). The radiocarbon time series of the coral was modelled considering the supply of carbon and radiocarbon to the gulf through air-sea exchange and advective water transport from the open Arabian Sea. A reasonable fit for the coral data was obtained with an air-sea CO 2 exchange rate of 11-12 mol m -2 yr -1 , and an advective velocity of 28 m yr -1 between the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Kutch; this was based on a model generated time series for radiocarbon in the Arabian Sea. The deduced velocity (∼ 28 m yr -1 ) of the advective transport of water between the Gulf and the Arabian Sea is much lower than the surface tidal current velocity in this region, but can be understood in terms of net fluxes of carbon and radiocarbon to the gulf to match the observed coral Δ 14 C time series. (author). 30 refs., 7 figs., 2 tabs

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

    KAUST Repository

    Ziegler, Maren; Roder, Cornelia; Bü chel, C; Voolstra, Christian R.

    2015-01-01

    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.

  18. 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.

  19. Colony size-frequency distribution of pocilloporid juvenile corals along a natural environmental gradient in the Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Lozano-Cortes, Diego

    2015-10-29

    Coral colony size-frequency distributions can be used to assess population responses to local environmental conditions and disturbances. In this study, we surveyed juvenile pocilloporids, herbivorous fish densities, and algal cover in the central and southern Saudi Arabian Red Sea. We sampled nine reefs with different disturbance histories along a north–south natural gradient of physicochemical conditions (higher salinity and wider temperature fluctuations in the north, and higher turbidity and productivity in the south). Since coral populations with negatively skewed size-frequency distributions have been associated with unfavorable environmental conditions, we expected to find more negative distributions in the southern Red Sea, where corals are potentially experiencing suboptimal conditions. Although juvenile coral and parrotfish densities differed significantly between the two regions, mean colony size and size-frequency distributions did not. Results suggest that pocilloporid colony size-frequency distribution may not be an accurate indicator of differences in biological or oceanographic conditions in the Red Sea.

  20. Colony size-frequency distribution of pocilloporid juvenile corals along a natural environmental gradient in the Red Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lozano-Cortés, Diego F; Berumen, Michael L

    2016-04-30

    Coral colony size-frequency distributions can be used to assess population responses to local environmental conditions and disturbances. In this study, we surveyed juvenile pocilloporids, herbivorous fish densities, and algal cover in the central and southern Saudi Arabian Red Sea. We sampled nine reefs with different disturbance histories along a north-south natural gradient of physicochemical conditions (higher salinity and wider temperature fluctuations in the north, and higher turbidity and productivity in the south). Since coral populations with negatively skewed size-frequency distributions have been associated with unfavorable environmental conditions, we expected to find more negative distributions in the southern Red Sea, where corals are potentially experiencing suboptimal conditions. Although juvenile coral and parrotfish densities differed significantly between the two regions, mean colony size and size-frequency distributions did not. Results suggest that pocilloporid colony size-frequency distribution may not be an accurate indicator of differences in biological or oceanographic conditions in the Red Sea. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Coral reef growth in an era of rapidly rising sea level: predictions and suggestions for long-term research

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Buddemeier, R W; Smith, S V

    1988-01-01

    Coral reef growth is intimately linked to sea level. It has been postulated that over the next century, sea level will rise at a probable average rate of 15 mm/year, in response to fossil fuel emissions, heating, and melting of the Antarctic ice cap. This predicted rate of sea level rise is five times the present modal rate of vertical accretion on coral reef flats and 50% greater than the maximum vertical accretion rates apparently attained by coral reefs. We use these predictions and observations to offer the following hypothesis for reef growth over the next century. The vertical accretion rates of protected reef flats will accelerate from the present modal rate up to the maximum rate, in response to the more rapidly rising sea level. This more rapid vertical accretion rate will be insufficient to keep up with sea level rise, if present predictions prove to be correct. Less protected reef flats will slow their rate of growth as they become inundated and subjected to erosion by progressively larger waves. This projected sea level rise and postulated reef response will provide an opportunity for long- term studies of the response of coral reef systems to a predictable and measurable forcing function.

  2. 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

  3. The effect of changes in sea surface temperature on linear growth of Porites coral in Ambon Bay

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Corvianawatie, Corry; Putri, Mutiara R.; Cahyarini, Sri Y.

    2015-01-01

    Coral is one of the most important organisms in the coral reef ecosystem. There are several factors affecting coral growth, one of them is changes in sea surface temperature (SST). The purpose of this research is to understand the influence of SST variability on the annual linear growth of Porites coral taken from Ambon Bay. The annual coral linear growth was calculated and compared to the annual SST from the Extended Reconstructed Sea Surface Temperature version 3b (ERSST v3b) model. Coral growth was calculated by using Coral X-radiograph Density System (CoralXDS) software. Coral sample X-radiographs were used as input data. Chronology was developed by calculating the coral’s annual growth bands. A pair of high and low density banding patterns observed in the coral’s X-radiograph represent one year of coral growth. The results of this study shows that Porites coral extents from 2001-2009 and had an average growth rate of 1.46 cm/year. Statistical analysis shows that the annual coral linear growth declined by 0.015 cm/year while the annual SST declined by 0.013°C/year. SST and the annual linear growth of Porites coral in the Ambon Bay is insignificantly correlated with r=0.304 (n=9, p>0.05). This indicates that annual SST variability does not significantly influence the linear growth of Porites coral from Ambon Bay. It is suggested that sedimentation load, salinity, pH or other environmental factors may affect annual linear coral growth

  4. The effect of changes in sea surface temperature on linear growth of Porites coral in Ambon Bay

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Corvianawatie, Corry, E-mail: corvianawatie@students.itb.ac.id; Putri, Mutiara R., E-mail: mutiara.putri@fitb.itb.ac.id [Oceanography Study Program, Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), Jl. Ganesha 10 Bandung (Indonesia); Cahyarini, Sri Y., E-mail: yuda@geotek.lipi.go.id [Research Center for Geotechnology, Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), Bandung (Indonesia)

    2015-09-30

    Coral is one of the most important organisms in the coral reef ecosystem. There are several factors affecting coral growth, one of them is changes in sea surface temperature (SST). The purpose of this research is to understand the influence of SST variability on the annual linear growth of Porites coral taken from Ambon Bay. The annual coral linear growth was calculated and compared to the annual SST from the Extended Reconstructed Sea Surface Temperature version 3b (ERSST v3b) model. Coral growth was calculated by using Coral X-radiograph Density System (CoralXDS) software. Coral sample X-radiographs were used as input data. Chronology was developed by calculating the coral’s annual growth bands. A pair of high and low density banding patterns observed in the coral’s X-radiograph represent one year of coral growth. The results of this study shows that Porites coral extents from 2001-2009 and had an average growth rate of 1.46 cm/year. Statistical analysis shows that the annual coral linear growth declined by 0.015 cm/year while the annual SST declined by 0.013°C/year. SST and the annual linear growth of Porites coral in the Ambon Bay is insignificantly correlated with r=0.304 (n=9, p>0.05). This indicates that annual SST variability does not significantly influence the linear growth of Porites coral from Ambon Bay. It is suggested that sedimentation load, salinity, pH or other environmental factors may affect annual linear coral growth.

  5. Sea-level history and tectonic uplift during the last-interglacial period (LIG): Inferred from the Bab al-Mandab coral reef terraces, southern Red Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Mikhlafi, Ahmed Saif; Edwards, Lawrence R.; Cheng, Hai

    2018-02-01

    Results of U-series dating of late Pleistocene raised coral reef terraces from the Bab al-Mandab area, define two distinct groups: (1) well-preserved aragonitic fossil corals recorded from the Al-Hajaja terrace (Tr3) yield ages for last-interglacial period (LIG); and (2) calcitic fossil corals recovered from Perim Island terrace (Tr1) show varying degrees of U-series open system behavior and yield coral assemblage ages of LIG and older ages. Fossil corals from Tr1 are recrystallized corals, have anomalously high initial δ234U ranged from (152 ± 2‰ to 287 ± 7‰), corresponding to ages of ∼120 ka and ∼406 ka, respectively. Applying age reliability criteria on the current data suggest majority of the ages cannot be considered reliable and all are suspected for open system behavior associated with U loss/addition that significantly affects the 230Th/U ages. The diagenesis shown by these corals occurred probably due to extensive interaction of fossil corals with freshwater during the wet periods prevailed in southern Arabia coeval with the African monsoon, which led to U loss. Post-depositional U loss suggest (230Th/238U) increase, which shift the U-Th ages to unexpectedly higher levels as it is shown here. Measured elevation at the Al-Hajaja terrace (Tr3) is ∼4 ± 2 m above present sea level (apsl) consistent with eustatic sea level changes and indicates that the Bab al-Mandab area is stable at least since the LIG period. The Perim Island terrace (Tr1) is at elevation of 7 ± 2 m apsl; its reef yields diageneticaly-altered corals of multiple ages and cannot be used for sea level reconstructions.

  6. Colonial life under the Humboldt Current System: deep-sea corals from O'Higgins I seamount La vida colonial bajo el sistema de la corriente de Humboldt: corales de aguas profundas en el monte submarino O'Higgins I

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan I Cañete

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available A benthic community constituted by an assemblage of at least four species of deep-sea corals collected in only one trawl carried-out on the summit of the O'Higgins I seamount, central Chile. The corals were collected in only one trawl carried-out during a Chilean-Japanese cruise onboard the R/V" Koyo Maru" in December 29, 2004. Presence of oxygenated and cold Antarctic Intermediate Water (>400 m depth on the plateau was recorded under of the Equatorial Subsurface Water associated to the oxygen-minimum zone (OMZ, Se describe una comunidad bentónica constituida por un ensamble de cuatro especies de corales de profundidad recolectados mediante un lance de arrastre efectuado sobre el margen de la meseta del monte submarino O'Higgins I, Chile central. Sobre la meseta se detectó la presencia de agua oxigenadas frías correspondientes al Agua Intermedia Antártica (>400 m de profundidad y sobre ésta, el Agua Ecuatorial Subsuperficial asociada a la zona de mínimo de oxígeno (OMZ, <1 mL O2 L-1. La fauna muestra un origen biogeográfico de tipo subantártico sumado a la presencia de fauna típica del margen continental de la zona central de Chile. Este ensamble está representado por dos especies de Antipataria (Leiopathes sp. y Chrysopathes sp., una especie no identificada de la familia Paragorgiidae y una especie perteneciente a la familia Isididae (Acanella chilensis. Este estudio muestra que este ensamble de corales de profundidad provee un hábitat crítico para el camarón nailon (Heterocarpus reedi, crustáceo de importancia pesquera. La presencia de este crustáceo más algunos peces como el alfonsino (Beryx splendens y orange roughy (Hoplostethus atlanticus podrían atraer la atención de la industria sobre estas frágiles, singulares y escasamente conocidas comunidades bentónicas chilenas y por lo tanto se requiere con urgencia acciones para su conservación.

  7. Evolutionary process of deep-sea bathymodiolus mussels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyazaki, Jun-Ichi; de Oliveira Martins, Leonardo; Fujita, Yuko; Matsumoto, Hiroto; Fujiwara, Yoshihiro

    2010-04-27

    Since the discovery of deep-sea chemosynthesis-based communities, much work has been done to clarify their organismal and environmental aspects. However, major topics remain to be resolved, including when and how organisms invade and adapt to deep-sea environments; whether strategies for invasion and adaptation are shared by different taxa or unique to each taxon; how organisms extend their distribution and diversity; and how they become isolated to speciate in continuous waters. Deep-sea mussels are one of the dominant organisms in chemosynthesis-based communities, thus investigations of their origin and evolution contribute to resolving questions about life in those communities. We investigated worldwide phylogenetic relationships of deep-sea Bathymodiolus mussels and their mytilid relatives by analyzing nucleotide sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) and NADH dehydrogenase subunit 4 (ND4) genes. Phylogenetic analysis of the concatenated sequence data showed that mussels of the subfamily Bathymodiolinae from vents and seeps were divided into four groups, and that mussels of the subfamily Modiolinae from sunken wood and whale carcasses assumed the outgroup position and shallow-water modioline mussels were positioned more distantly to the bathymodioline mussels. We provisionally hypothesized the evolutionary history of Bathymodilolus mussels by estimating evolutionary time under a relaxed molecular clock model. Diversification of bathymodioline mussels was initiated in the early Miocene, and subsequently diversification of the groups occurred in the early to middle Miocene. The phylogenetic relationships support the "Evolutionary stepping stone hypothesis," in which mytilid ancestors exploited sunken wood and whale carcasses in their progressive adaptation to deep-sea environments. This hypothesis is also supported by the evolutionary transition of symbiosis in that nutritional adaptation to the deep sea proceeded from extracellular

  8. Element availability of bivalve with symbiotic zooxanthellae in coral sea area as studied by multielement profiling analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Itoh, A.; Kabe, N.

    2008-12-01

    In coral sea, a characteristic ecosystem is formed by many kinds of marine animals and plants, although seawater is uneutrophic. This may be explained by the fact that various chemical species with bioessentiality are effectively taken and used by lower animals and plants in coral sea area. A symbiotic relationship often found among different animals and plants in this area is considered to be working as one of such processes. However, the specific bioavailability of the elements for the marine animals and plants in coral reef area has not been studied from the viewpoints of trace and ultratrace elements. It is found by the present authors that bivalve with symbiotic zooxanthellae (Tridacna crocea) living on coral reef had relatively higher bio- accumulation factors for many bio-essential elements than other kinds of bivalves, although they live in the uneutrophic sea area. The present authors focused on Tridacna crocea as one of the symbiotic animals. Thus, in the present study, at first, multielement determination of major-to-ultratrace elements (about 20 elements) in each organ of Tridacna crocea with symbiotic zooxanthellae, were carried out by ICP-AES, ICP- MS, and CHN coder. At Second, the specific bioavailability of trace and ultratrace elements in Tridacna crocea was discussed on the multielement data for seawater, seaweeds, and other bivalves in coral sea area.

  9. Monsoon induced cobalt enrichment in Porites (coral) from the Arabian Sea

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Naqvi, S.A.S.; Nath, B.N.

    Cobalt concentrations in growth bands of a reef building coral (Porites sp.) collected from Kalpeni Atoll of the Lakshadweep group of islands (Arabian Sea), rvealed that cobalt concentrations and Co/Ca ratios exhibit similar trend. Study indicates...

  10. Reconstructing Mid- to Late Holocene Sea-Level Change from Coral Microatolls, French Polynesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hallmann, N.; Camoin, G.; Eisenhauer, A.; Vella, C.; Samankassou, E.; Botella, A.; Milne, G. A.; Pothin, V.; Dussouillez, P.; Fleury, J.

    2017-12-01

    Coral microatolls are sensitive low-tide recorders, as their vertical accretion is limited by the mean low water springs level, and can be considered therefore as high-precision recorders of sea-level change. They are of pivotal importance to resolving the rates and amplitudes of millennial-to-century scale changes during periods of relative climate stability such as the Mid- to Late Holocene, which serves as an important baseline of natural variability prior to the Anthropocene. It provides therefore a unique opportunity to study coastal response to sea-level rise, even if the rates of sea-level rise during the Mid- to Late Holocene were lower than the current rates and those expected in the near future. Mid- to Late Holocene relative sea-level changes in French Polynesia encompassing the last 6,000 years were reconstructed based on the coupling between absolute U/Th dating of in situ coral microatolls and their precise positioning via GPS RTK (Real Time Kinematic) measurements. The twelve studied islands represent ideal settings for accurate sea-level studies because: 1) they can be regarded as tectonically stable during the relevant period (slow subsidence), 2) they are located far from former ice sheets (far-field), 3) they are characterized by a low tidal amplitude, and 4) they cover a wide range of latitudes which produces significantly improved constraints on GIA (Glacial Isostatic Adjustment) model parameters. A sea-level rise of less than 1 m is recorded between 6 and 3-3.5 ka, and is followed by a gradual fall in sea level that started around 2.5 ka and persisted until the past few centuries. In addition, growth pattern analysis of coral microatolls allows the reconstruction of low-amplitude, high-frequency sea-level change on centennial to sub-decadal time scales. The reconstructed sea-level curve extends the Tahiti last deglacial sea-level curve [Deschamps et al., 2012, Nature, 483, 559-564], and is in good agreement with a geophysical model tuned to

  11. The biomass of the deep-sea benthopelagic plankton

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wishner, K. F.

    1980-04-01

    Deep-sea benthopelagic plankton samples were collected with a specially designed opening-closing net system 10 to 100 m above the bottom in five different oceanic regions at depths from 1000 to 4700 m. Benthopelagic plankton biomasses decrease exponentially with depth. At 1000 m the biomass is about 1% that of the surface zooplankton, at 5000 m about 0.1%. Effects of differences in surface primary productivity on deep-sea plankton biomass are much less than the effect of depth and are detectable only in a few comparisons of extreme oceanic regions. The biomass at 10 m above the bottom is greater than that at 100 m above the bottom (in a three-sample comparison), which could be a consequence of an enriched near-bottom environment. The deep-sea plankton biomass in the Red Sea is anomalously low. This may be due to increased decomposition rates in the warm (22°C) deep Red Sea water, which prevent much detritus from reaching the deep sea. A model of organic carbon utilization in the benthic boundary layer (bottom 100 m), incorporating results from deep-sea sediment trap and respiration studies, indicates that the benthopelagic plankton use only a small amount of the organic carbon flux. A large fraction of the flux is unaccounted for by present estimates of benthic and benthopelagic respiration.

  12. Challenging oil bioremediation at deep-sea hydrostatic pressure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alberto Scoma

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The Deepwater Horizon (DWH accident has brought oil contamination of deep-sea environments to worldwide attention. The risk for new deep-sea spills is not expected to decrease in the future, as political pressure mounts to access deep-water fossil reserves, and poorly tested technologies are used to access oil. This also applies to the response to oil-contamination events, with bioremediation the only (biotechnology presently available to combat deep-sea spills. Many questions about the fate of petroleum-hydrocarbons at deep-sea remain unanswered, as much as the main constraints limiting bioremediation under increased hydrostatic pressures and low temperatures. The microbial pathways fueling oil take up are unclear, and the mild upregulation observed for beta-oxidation-related genes in both water and sediments contrasts with the high amount of alkanes present in the spilled-oil. The fate of solid alkanes (tar and that of hydrocarbons degradation rates was largely overlooked, as the reason why the most predominant hydrocarbonoclastic genera were not enriched at deep-sea, despite being present at hydrocarbon seeps at the Gulf of Mexico. This mini-review aims at highlighting the missing information in the field, proposing a holistic approach where in situ and ex situ studies are integrated to reveal the principal mechanisms accounting for deep-sea oil bioremediation.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Bouwmeester, Jessica; Gatins, Remy; Giles, Emily; Sinclair-Taylor, Tane; Berumen, Michael L.

    2016-01-01

    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

  14. Ecological genomics for coral and sea urchin conservation in times of climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carpizo-Ituarte, E.; Hofmann, G.; Fangue, N.; Cupul-Magaña, A.; Rodríguez-Troncoso, A. P.; Díaz-Pérez, L.; Olivares Bañuelos, T.; Escobar Fernández, R.

    2010-03-01

    If atmospheric CO2 levels continue to increase, it is predicted that the average ocean sea surface temperature will also increase and ocean pH will decrease to levels not experienced by marine organisms for millions of years. Understanding the impact of these stressors will require the study of several marine organisms, and this knowledge will be fundamental to our ability to predict possible effects along large geographical regions and across phyla. Ecological genomics, defined as the use of molecular techniques to answer ecological questions, offers a set of tools that can help us better understand the responses of marine organisms to changes in their environment. In the present work we are using genomic tools to characterize the response of corals and sea urchins to environmental stress. On one side, coral species represent a useful model due to its functions as "environmental sentinels" in tropical ecosystems; on the other hand, species of sea urchins, with the recent sequence of the genome of the purple sea urchin S. purpuratus, offers important genomic resources. Recent results in corals and in sea urchins have shown that the response to stressful conditions can be detected using molecular genomic markers. Continued study of the mRNA expression patterns of several important gene families including calcification genes as well as genes involved in the cellular stress response such as heat shock proteins, will be valuable index of ecological stress in marine systems. These data can be integrated into better strategies of conservation and management of the oceans.

  15. Deep-sea fungi

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Raghukumar, C; Damare, S.R.

    significant in terms of carbon sequestration (5, 8). In light of this, the diversity, abundance, and role of fungi in deep-sea sediments may form an important link in the global C biogeochemistry. This review focuses on issues related to collection...

  16. Possible effects of water pollution on the community structure of Red Sea corals

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Loya, Y

    1975-02-28

    The community structure and species diversity of hermatypic corals was studied during 1969 to 1973, in 2 reef flats in the northern Gulf of Eilat, Red Sea: the reef flat of the mature reserve at Eilat, which is chronically polluted by oil and minerals, and a control reef, located 5 km further S, which is free of oil pollution. In 1969, the nature reserve and the control reef had similar coral community structure. In Sept. 1970, both reefs suffered approximately 90 percent mortality of corals, as a result of an unexpected and extremely low tide. In 1973 the control reef was blooming with a highly diverse coral community, while almost no signs of coral recolonization have been observed at the nature reserve, and it is significantly lower in diversity. Phosphate eutrophication and chronic oil pollution are probably the major man-made disturbances that interfere with coral colonization of the reef flat at the nature reserve. Although no direct evidence is provided that oil damages hermatypic corals, the data strongly suggest that chronic oil spills prevent normal settlement and development of coral larvae. Chronic oil pollution results in either one or a combination of the following: damage to the reproductive system of corals, decreased viability of coral larvae, or changes in some physical properties of the reef flat which interfere with normal settlement of coral larvae.

  17. Ploughing the deep sea floor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puig, Pere; Canals, Miquel; Company, Joan B; Martín, Jacobo; Amblas, David; Lastras, Galderic; Palanques, Albert

    2012-09-13

    Bottom trawling is a non-selective commercial fishing technique whereby heavy nets and gear are pulled along the sea floor. The direct impact of this technique on fish populations and benthic communities has received much attention, but trawling can also modify the physical properties of seafloor sediments, water–sediment chemical exchanges and sediment fluxes. Most of the studies addressing the physical disturbances of trawl gear on the seabed have been undertaken in coastal and shelf environments, however, where the capacity of trawling to modify the seafloor morphology coexists with high-energy natural processes driving sediment erosion, transport and deposition. Here we show that on upper continental slopes, the reworking of the deep sea floor by trawling gradually modifies the shape of the submarine landscape over large spatial scales. We found that trawling-induced sediment displacement and removal from fishing grounds causes the morphology of the deep sea floor to become smoother over time, reducing its original complexity as shown by high-resolution seafloor relief maps. Our results suggest that in recent decades, following the industrialization of fishing fleets, bottom trawling has become an important driver of deep seascape evolution. Given the global dimension of this type of fishery, we anticipate that the morphology of the upper continental slope in many parts of the world’s oceans could be altered by intensive bottom trawling, producing comparable effects on the deep sea floor to those generated by agricultural ploughing on land.

  18. Evolutionary process of deep-sea bathymodiolus mussels.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jun-Ichi Miyazaki

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Since the discovery of deep-sea chemosynthesis-based communities, much work has been done to clarify their organismal and environmental aspects. However, major topics remain to be resolved, including when and how organisms invade and adapt to deep-sea environments; whether strategies for invasion and adaptation are shared by different taxa or unique to each taxon; how organisms extend their distribution and diversity; and how they become isolated to speciate in continuous waters. Deep-sea mussels are one of the dominant organisms in chemosynthesis-based communities, thus investigations of their origin and evolution contribute to resolving questions about life in those communities. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDING: We investigated worldwide phylogenetic relationships of deep-sea Bathymodiolus mussels and their mytilid relatives by analyzing nucleotide sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI and NADH dehydrogenase subunit 4 (ND4 genes. Phylogenetic analysis of the concatenated sequence data showed that mussels of the subfamily Bathymodiolinae from vents and seeps were divided into four groups, and that mussels of the subfamily Modiolinae from sunken wood and whale carcasses assumed the outgroup position and shallow-water modioline mussels were positioned more distantly to the bathymodioline mussels. We provisionally hypothesized the evolutionary history of Bathymodilolus mussels by estimating evolutionary time under a relaxed molecular clock model. Diversification of bathymodioline mussels was initiated in the early Miocene, and subsequently diversification of the groups occurred in the early to middle Miocene. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The phylogenetic relationships support the "Evolutionary stepping stone hypothesis," in which mytilid ancestors exploited sunken wood and whale carcasses in their progressive adaptation to deep-sea environments. This hypothesis is also supported by the evolutionary transition of

  19. Sr/Ca ratios in cold-water corals - a 'low-resolution' temperature archive?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rüggeberg, Andres; Riethdorf, Jan-Rainer; Raddatz, Jacek; López Correa, Matthias; Montagna, Paolo; Dullo, Wolf-Christian; Freiwald, André

    2010-05-01

    by the calcification rate of the organism. However, the Sr/Ca-temperature relation of our L. pertusa specimens suggest, that mean values are more reliable for temperature reconstruction along a larger temperature range than local high-resolution investigations. Additionally, our results plot on same line of Sr/Ca-temperature relationship like tropical corals indicating a similar behaviour of element incorporation during calcification. References: Adkins JF, Boyle EA (1997) Changing atmospheric ∆14C and the record of deep water paleoventilation ages. Paleoceanography 12:337-344 Blamart D, Rollion-Bard C, Cuif J-P, Juillet-Leclerc A, Lutringer A, Weering Tv, Henriet J-P (2005) C and O isotopes in a deep-sea coral (Lophelia pertusa) related to skeletal microstructure. In: Freiwald A, Roberts JM (eds) Cold-water Corals and Ecosystems. Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg, p 1005-1020 Cohen AL, Gaetani GA, Lundälv T, Corliss BH, George RY (2006) Compositional variability in a cold-water scleractinian, Lophelia pertusa: New insights into vital effects. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 7:Q12004, doi:12010.11029/12006GC001354 López Correa M, Montagna P, Rüggeberg A, McCulloch M, Taviani M, Freiwald A (2008) Trace elements and stable isotopes in recent North Atlantic Lophelia pertusa along a latitudal gradient and from fossil Mediterranean sites. ASLO 2008 Summer Meeting, St. John's, Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada, 08.06.-13.06.2008, p. 47 Lutringer A, Blamart D, Frank N, Labeyrie L (2005) Paleotemperatures from deep-sea corals: scale effects. In: Freiwald A, Roberts JM (eds) Cold-water Corals and Ecosystems. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, p 1081-1096 Montagna P, López-Correa M, Rüggeberg A, McCulloch M, Rodolfo-Metalpa R, Dullo W-C, Ferrier-Pagès C, Freiwald A, Henderson G, Mazzoli C, Russo S, Silenzi S, Taviani M (2008) Coral Li/Ca in micro-structural domains as a temperature proxy. Goldschmidt Conference, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Rüggeberg A

  20. Biodiversity loss from deep-sea mining

    OpenAIRE

    C. L. Van Dover; J. A. Ardron; E. Escobar; M. Gianni; K. M. Gjerde; A. Jaeckel; D. O. B. Jones; L. A. Levin; H. Niner; L. Pendleton; C. R. Smith; T. Thiele; P. J. Turner; L. Watling; P. P. E. Weaver

    2017-01-01

    The emerging deep-sea mining industry is seen by some to be an engine for economic development in the maritime sector. The International Seabed Authority (ISA) – the body that regulates mining activities on the seabed beyond national jurisdiction – must also protect the marine environment from harmful effects that arise from mining. The ISA is currently drafting a regulatory framework for deep-sea mining that includes measures for environmental protection. Responsible mining increasingly stri...

  1. Study of promotion of CO2 fixation by the environmental improvement in the coral reef area; Kansho chitai ni okeru kankyo kaizen ni yoru CO2 kotei sokushin no kenkyu

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Maruoka, T.; Ishitani, H.; Matsuhashi, R.; Yamada, K.; Komiyama, H.; Kraines, S. [The University of Tokyo, Tokyo (Japan). Faculty of Engineering

    1997-01-30

    A study was conducted on how to fix CO2 in the ocean using coral reefs. Coral reefs have extremely high primary productivity ( production quantity of organic matters by photosynthesis) and are expected to be resources to fix CO2 when the quantity of photosynthesis exceeds the quantity of CO2 emitted in association with formation of calcium carbonate skeleton. If organic substances produced in coral reefs are well carried into the open sea, those are settled down on deep beds, which enables the storage into the ocean. At the coral reef floating in the ocean, it is not very deep inside and the seawater stays there, but it has a steep depth outside. By the numerical calculation, an examination was made on how the waterflow changes when making the flow path of seawater between the inland sea and open sea. From the actual calculation of an atoll, it was found that seawater comes in and out from the open sea to the inland sea near the opening of the atoll in accordance with the high tide and ebb tide, but the water stays at the deep bottom of the atoll. When installing a channel with a 10m depth at the portion where the water flows softly, the seawater was actively exchanged. 6 refs., 4 figs.

  2. Using coral Ba/Ca records to investigate seasonal to decadal scale biogeochemical cycling in the surface and intermediate ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    LaVigne, M.; Cobb, K. M.; DeLong, K. L.; Freiberger, M. M.; Grottoli, A. G.; Hill, T. M.; Miller, H. R.; Nurhati, I. S.; Richey, J. N.; Serrato Marks, G.; Sherrell, R. M.

    2016-12-01

    Dissolved barium (BaSW), a bio-intermediate element, is linked to several biogeochemical processes such as the cycling and export of nutrients, organic carbon (Corg), and barite in surface and intermediate oceans. Dynamic BaSW cycling has been demonstrated in the water column on short timescales (days-weeks) while sedimentary records have documented geologic-scale changes in barite preservation driven by export production. Our understanding of how seasonal-decadal scale climate variability impacts these biogeochemical processes currently lacks robust records. Ba/Ca calibrations in surface and deep sea corals suggest barium is incorporated via cationic substitution in both aragonite and calcite. Here we demonstrate the utility of Ba/Ca for reconstructing biogeochemical variability using examples of surface and deep sea coral records. Century-long deep sea coral records from the California Current System (bamboo corals: 900-1500m) record interannual variations in Ba/Ca, likely reflecting changes in barite formation via bacterial Corg respiration or barite saturation state. A surface Porites coral Ba/Ca record from Christmas Island (central equatorial Pacific: 1978-1995) shows maxima during low productivity El Niño warm periods, suggesting that variations in BaSW are driven by biological removal via direct cellular uptake or indirectly via barite precipitation with the decomposition of large phytoplankton blooms at this location. Similarly, a sixteen-year long Siderastera siderea surface coral record from Dry Tortugas, FL (Gulf of Mexico: 1991-2007) shows seasonal Ba/Ca cycles that align with annual chlorophyll and δ13C. Taken together, these records demonstrate the linkages among Corg, nutrient cycling and BaSW in the surface and intermediate ocean on seasonal to decadal timescales. Multi-proxy paleoceanographic reconstructions including Ba/Ca have the potential to elucidate the mechanisms linking past climate, productivity, nutrients, and BaSW cycling in the past.

  3. Correlation of Coral Bleaching Events and Remotely-Sensed Sea Surface Temperatures

    Science.gov (United States)

    1994-05-19

    water column. Diving on the reefs, they found significant tracts of bleached corals, zoanthids , gorgonians, and sea anemones (Bunckley-Williams and... zoanthids between May and July 1988 on shallow lagoonal reefs and rim margin reefs was the first indication of any sort of bleaching event at Bermuda

  4. Stable isotope geochemistry of deep sea cherts

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kolodny, Y; Epstein, S [California Inst. of Tech., Pasadena (USA). Div. of Geological Sciences

    1976-10-01

    Seventy four samples of DSDP (Deep Sea Drilling Project) recovered cherts of Jurassic to Miocene age from varying locations, and 27 samples of on-land exposed cherts were analyzed for the isotopic composition of their oxygen and hydrogen. These studies were accompanied by mineralogical analyses and some isotopic analyses of the coexisting carbonates. delta/sup 18/0 of chert ranges between 27 and 39 parts per thousand relative to SMOW, delta/sup 18/0 of porcellanite - between 30 and 42 parts per thousand. The consistent enrichment of opal-CT in porcellanites in /sup 18/0 with respect to coexisting microcrystalline quartz in chert is probably a reflection of a different temperature (depth) of diagenesis of the two phases. delta/sup 18/0 of deep sea cherts generally decrease with increasing age, indicating an overall cooling of the ocean bottom during the last 150 m.y. A comparison of this trend with that recorded by benthonic foraminifera (Douglas et al., Initial Reports of the Deep Sea Drilling Project; 32:509(1975)) indicates the possibility of delta/sup 18/0 in deep sea cherts not being frozen in until several tens of millions of years after deposition. Cherts of any Age show a spread of delta/sup 18/0 values, increasing diagenesis being reflected in a lowering of delta/sup 18/0. Drusy quartz has the lowest delta/sup 18/0 values. On land exposed cherts are consistently depleted in /sup 18/0 in comparison to their deep sea time equivalent cherts. Water extracted from deep sea cherts ranges between 0.5 and 1.4 wt%. deltaD of this water ranges between -78 and -95 parts per thousand and is not a function of delta/sup 18/0 of the cherts (or the temperature of their formation).

  5. Remote coral reefs can sustain high growth potential and may match future sea-level trends.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, Chris T; Murphy, Gary N; Graham, Nicholas A J; Wilson, Shaun K; Januchowski-Hartley, Fraser A; East, Holly K

    2015-12-16

    Climate-induced disturbances are contributing to rapid, global-scale changes in coral reef ecology. As a consequence, reef carbonate budgets are declining, threatening reef growth potential and thus capacity to track rising sea-levels. Whether disturbed reefs can recover their growth potential and how rapidly, are thus critical research questions. Here we address these questions by measuring the carbonate budgets of 28 reefs across the Chagos Archipelago (Indian Ocean) which, while geographically remote and largely isolated from compounding human impacts, experienced severe (>90%) coral mortality during the 1998 warming event. Coral communities on most reefs recovered rapidly and we show that carbonate budgets in 2015 average +3.7 G (G = kg CaCO3 m(-2) yr(-1)). Most significantly the production rates on Acropora-dominated reefs, the corals most severely impacted in 1998, averaged +8.4 G by 2015, comparable with estimates under pre-human (Holocene) disturbance conditions. These positive budgets are reflected in high reef growth rates (4.2 mm yr(-1)) on Acropora-dominated reefs, demonstrating that carbonate budgets on these remote reefs have recovered rapidly from major climate-driven disturbances. Critically, these reefs retain the capacity to grow at rates exceeding measured regional mid-late Holocene and 20th century sea-level rise, and close to IPCC sea-level rise projections through to 2100.

  6. Interannual variation of rare earth element abundances in corals from northern coast of the South China Sea and its relation with sea-level change and human activities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yajing; Peng, Z.; Wei, G.; Chen, T.; Sun, W.; He, J.; Liu, Gaisheng; Chou, C.-L.; Shen, C.-C.

    2011-01-01

    Here we present interannual rare earth element (REE) records spanning the last two decades of the 20th century in two living Porites corals, collected from Longwan Bay, close to the estuarine zones off Wanquan River of Hainan Island and Hong Kong off the Pearl River Delta of Guangdong Province in the northern South China Sea. The results show that both coral REE contents (0.5-40 ng g-1 in Longwan Bay and 2-250 ng g-1 in Hong Kong for La-Lu) are characterized with a declining trend, which are significantly negative correlated with regional sea-level rise (9.4 mm a-1 from 1981 to 1996 in Longwan Bay, 13.7 mm a-1 from 1991 to 2001 in Hong Kong). The REE features are proposed to be resulted from seawater intrusion into the estuaries in response to contemporary sea-level rise. However, the tendency for the coral Er/Nd time series at Hong Kong site is absent and there is no significant relation between Er/Nd and total REEs as found for the coral at Longwan Bay site. The observations are likely attributed to changes of the water discharge and sediment load of Pearl River, which have been significantly affected by intense human activities, such as the construction of dams/reservoirs and riverbed sediment mining, in past decades. The riverine sediment load/discharge ratio of the Pearl River decreased sharply with a rate of 0.02 kg m-3 a-1, which could make significant contribution to the declining trend of coral REE. We propose that coastal corals in Longwan Bay and similar unexplored sites with little influences of river discharge and anthropogenic disruption are ideal candidates to investigate the influence of sea-level change on seawater/coral REE. ?? 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

  7. Vision in the deep sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warrant, Eric J; Locket, N Adam

    2004-08-01

    The deep sea is the largest habitat on earth. Its three great faunal environments--the twilight mesopelagic zone, the dark bathypelagic zone and the vast flat expanses of the benthic habitat--are home to a rich fauna of vertebrates and invertebrates. In the mesopelagic zone (150-1000 m), the down-welling daylight creates an extended scene that becomes increasingly dimmer and bluer with depth. The available daylight also originates increasingly from vertically above, and bioluminescent point-source flashes, well contrasted against the dim background daylight, become increasingly visible. In the bathypelagic zone below 1000 m no daylight remains, and the scene becomes entirely dominated by point-like bioluminescence. This changing nature of visual scenes with depth--from extended source to point source--has had a profound effect on the designs of deep-sea eyes, both optically and neurally, a fact that until recently was not fully appreciated. Recent measurements of the sensitivity and spatial resolution of deep-sea eyes--particularly from the camera eyes of fishes and cephalopods and the compound eyes of crustaceans--reveal that ocular designs are well matched to the nature of the visual scene at any given depth. This match between eye design and visual scene is the subject of this review. The greatest variation in eye design is found in the mesopelagic zone, where dim down-welling daylight and bio-luminescent point sources may be visible simultaneously. Some mesopelagic eyes rely on spatial and temporal summation to increase sensitivity to a dim extended scene, while others sacrifice this sensitivity to localise pinpoints of bright bioluminescence. Yet other eyes have retinal regions separately specialised for each type of light. In the bathypelagic zone, eyes generally get smaller and therefore less sensitive to point sources with increasing depth. In fishes, this insensitivity, combined with surprisingly high spatial resolution, is very well adapted to the

  8. Temperature and vital effect controls on Bamboo coral (Isididae) isotopegeochemistry: A test of the "lines method"

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hill, T M; Spero, H J; Guilderson, T P; LaVigne, M; Clague, D; Macalello, S; Jang, N

    2011-03-01

    Deep-sea bamboo corals hold promise as long-term climatic archives, yet little information exists linking bamboo coral geochemistry to measured environmental parameters. This study focuses on a suite of 10 bamboo corals collected from the Pacific and Atlantic basins (250-2136 m water depth) to investigate coral longevity, growth rates, and isotopic signatures. Calcite samples for stable isotopes and radiocarbon were collected from the base the corals, where the entire history of growth is recorded. In three of the coral specimens, samples were also taken from an upper branch for comparison. Radiocarbon and growth band width analyses indicate that the skeletal calcite precipitates from ambient dissolved inorganic carbon and that the corals live for 150-300 years, with extension rates of 9-128 {micro}m/yr. A linear relationship between coral calcite {delta}{sup 18}O and {delta}{sup 13}C indicates that the isotopic composition is influenced by vital effects ({delta}{sup 18}O:{delta}{sup 13}C slope of 0.17-0.47). As with scleractinian deep-sea corals, the intercept from a linear regression of {delta}{sup 18}O versus {delta}{sup 13}C is a function of temperature, such that a reliable paleotemperature proxy can be obtained, using the 'lines method.' Although the coral calcite {delta}{sup 18}O:{delta}{sup 13}C slope is maintained throughout the coral base ontogeny, the branches and central cores of the bases exhibit {delta}{sup 18}O:{delta}{sup 13}C values that are shifted far from equilibrium. We find that a reliable intercept value can be derived from the {delta}{sup 18}O:{delta}{sup 13}C regression of multiple samples distributed throughout one specimen or from multiple samples within individual growth bands.

  9. Age-dependent mixing of deep-sea sediments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smith, C.R.; Maggaard, L.; Pope, R.H.; DeMaster, D.J.

    1993-01-01

    Rates of bioturbation measured in deep-sea sediments commonly are tracer dependent; in particular, shorter lived radiotracers (such as 234 Th) often yield markedly higher diffusive mixing coefficients than their longer-lived counterparts (e.g., 210 Pb). At a single station in the 1,240-m deep Santa Catalina Basin, the authors document a strong negative correlation between bioturbation rate and tracer half-life. Sediment profiles of 234 Th (half-life = 24 days) yield an average mixing coefficient (60 cm 2 y -1 ) two orders of magnitude greater than that for 210 Pb (half-life = 22 y, mean mixing coefficient = 0.4 cm 2 y -1 ). A similar negative relationship between mixing rate and tracer time scale is observed at thirteen other deep-sea sites in which multiple radiotracers have been used to assess diffusive mixing rates. This relationship holds across a variety of radiotracer types and time scales. The authors hypothesize that this negative relationship results from age-dependent mixing, a process in which recently sedimented, food-rich particles are ingested and mixed at higher rates by deposit feeders than are older, food-poor particles. Results from an age-dependent mixing model demonstrate that this process indeed can yield the bioturbation-rate vs. tracer-time-scale correlations observed in deep-sea sediments. Field data on mixing rates of recently sedimented particles, as well as the radiotracer activity of deep-sea deposit feeders, provide strong support for the age-dependent mixing model. The presence of age-dependent mixing in deep-sea sediments may have major implications for diagenetic modeling, requiring a match between the characteristic time scales of mixing tracers and modeled reactants. 102 refs., 6 figs., 5 tabs

  10. Impacts of ocean acidification on early life-history stages and settlement of the coral-eating sea star Acanthaster planci.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uthicke, Sven; Pecorino, Danilo; Albright, Rebecca; Negri, Andrew Peter; Cantin, Neal; Liddy, Michelle; Dworjanyn, Symon; Kamya, Pamela; Byrne, Maria; Lamare, Miles

    2013-01-01

    Coral reefs are marine biodiversity hotspots, but their existence is threatened by global change and local pressures such as land-runoff and overfishing. Population explosions of coral-eating crown of thorns sea stars (COTS) are a major contributor to recent decline in coral cover on the Great Barrier Reef. Here, we investigate how projected near-future ocean acidification (OA) conditions can affect early life history stages of COTS, by investigating important milestones including sperm motility, fertilisation rates, and larval development and settlement. OA (increased pCO2 to 900-1200 µatm pCO2) significantly reduced sperm motility and, to a lesser extent, velocity, which strongly reduced fertilization rates at environmentally relevant sperm concentrations. Normal development of 10 d old larvae was significantly lower under elevated pCO2 but larval size was not significantly different between treatments. Settlement of COTS larvae was significantly reduced on crustose coralline algae (known settlement inducers of COTS) that had been exposed to OA conditions for 85 d prior to settlement assays. Effect size analyses illustrated that reduced settlement may be the largest bottleneck for overall juvenile production. Results indicate that reductions in fertilisation and settlement success alone would reduce COTS population replenishment by over 50%. However, it is unlikely that this effect is sufficient to provide respite for corals from other negative anthropogenic impacts and direct stress from OA and warming on corals.

  11. Multi-species spawning synchrony within scleractinian coral assemblages in the Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Bouwmeester, Jessica; Baird, Andrew Hamilton; Chen, C. J.; Guest, James R.; Vicentuan, Kareen C.; Berumen, Michael L.

    2014-01-01

    Early work on coral reproduction in the far northern Red Sea suggested that the spawning times of ecologically abundant species did not overlap, unlike on the Great Barrier Reef where many species spawn with high synchrony. In contrast, recent work in the northern and central Red Sea indicates a high degree of synchrony in the reproductive condition of Acropora species: over 90 % of species sampled in April/May contain mature gametes. However, it has yet to be determined when most Acropora release their gametes. In addition, there is a lack of data for other ecologically important scleractinian species such as merulinids and poritids. Here, we document the date and time of spawning for 51 species in the central Red Sea over three consecutive years, and the month of spawning for an additional 17 species inferred from the presence of mature gametes. Spawning occurs on nights around the full moon, the spawning season lasts at least 4 months from April until July, and observations are consistent with the few other records from the Red Sea. The number of Acropora species spawning was highest in April with 13 species spawning two nights before the full moon in 2011, 13 species spawning on the night of the full moon in 2012, and eight species spawning four nights after the full moon in 2013. The total number of species spawning was high in April, May, and June and involved 15–19 species per month in 2012. Only four species spawned in July 2012. Few regions worldwide have been similarly sampled and include the Philippines, Okinawa in Japan, and Palau, where spawning patterns are very similar to those in the central Red Sea and where corals spawn on nights around the full moon over a period of 3–4 months. In particular, in all four locations, Acropora are among the first species to spawn. Our results add to a growing body of evidence indicating that multi-species spawning synchrony is a feature of all speciose coral assemblages.

  12. Multi-species spawning synchrony within scleractinian coral assemblages in the Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Bouwmeester, Jessica

    2014-09-21

    Early work on coral reproduction in the far northern Red Sea suggested that the spawning times of ecologically abundant species did not overlap, unlike on the Great Barrier Reef where many species spawn with high synchrony. In contrast, recent work in the northern and central Red Sea indicates a high degree of synchrony in the reproductive condition of Acropora species: over 90 % of species sampled in April/May contain mature gametes. However, it has yet to be determined when most Acropora release their gametes. In addition, there is a lack of data for other ecologically important scleractinian species such as merulinids and poritids. Here, we document the date and time of spawning for 51 species in the central Red Sea over three consecutive years, and the month of spawning for an additional 17 species inferred from the presence of mature gametes. Spawning occurs on nights around the full moon, the spawning season lasts at least 4 months from April until July, and observations are consistent with the few other records from the Red Sea. The number of Acropora species spawning was highest in April with 13 species spawning two nights before the full moon in 2011, 13 species spawning on the night of the full moon in 2012, and eight species spawning four nights after the full moon in 2013. The total number of species spawning was high in April, May, and June and involved 15–19 species per month in 2012. Only four species spawned in July 2012. Few regions worldwide have been similarly sampled and include the Philippines, Okinawa in Japan, and Palau, where spawning patterns are very similar to those in the central Red Sea and where corals spawn on nights around the full moon over a period of 3–4 months. In particular, in all four locations, Acropora are among the first species to spawn. Our results add to a growing body of evidence indicating that multi-species spawning synchrony is a feature of all speciose coral assemblages.

  13. Spatio-Temporal Analyses of Symbiodinium Physiology of the Coral Pocillopora verrucosa along Large-Scale Nutrient and Temperature Gradients in the Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Sawall, Yvonne

    2014-08-19

    Algal symbionts (zooxanthellae, genus Symbiodinium) of scleractinian corals respond strongly to temperature, nutrient and light changes. These factors vary greatly along the north-south gradient in the Red Sea and include conditions, which are outside of those typically considered optimal for coral growth. Nevertheless, coral communities thrive throughout the Red Sea, suggesting that zooxanthellae have successfully acclimatized or adapted to the harsh conditions they experience particularly in the south (high temperatures and high nutrient supply). As such, the Red Sea is a region, which may help to better understand how zooxanthellae and their coral hosts successfully acclimatize or adapt to environmental change (e. g. increased temperatures and localized eutrophication). To gain further insight into the physiology of coral symbionts in the Red Sea, we examined the abundance of dominant Symbiodinium types associated with the coral Pocillopora verrucosa, and measured Symbiodinium physiological characteristics (i.e. photosynthetic processes, cell density, pigmentation, and protein composition) along the latitudinal gradient of the Red Sea in summer and winter. Despite the strong environmental gradients from north to south, our results demonstrate that Symbiodinium microadriaticum (type A1) was the predominant species in P. verrucosa along the latitudinal gradient. Furthermore, measured physiological characteristics were found to vary more with prevailing seasonal environmental conditions than with region-specific differences, although the measured environmental parameters displayed much higher spatial than temporal variability. We conclude that our findings might present the result of long-term acclimatization or adaptation of S. microadriaticum to regionally specific conditions within the Red Sea. Of additional note, high nutrients in the South correlated with high zooxanthellae density indicating a compensation for a temperature-driven loss of photosynthetic

  14. Spatio-temporal analyses of Symbiodinium physiology of the coral Pocillopora verrucosa along large-scale nutrient and temperature gradients in the Red Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sawall, Yvonne; Al-Sofyani, Abdulmohsin; Banguera-Hinestroza, Eulalia; Voolstra, Christian R

    2014-01-01

    Algal symbionts (zooxanthellae, genus Symbiodinium) of scleractinian corals respond strongly to temperature, nutrient and light changes. These factors vary greatly along the north-south gradient in the Red Sea and include conditions, which are outside of those typically considered optimal for coral growth. Nevertheless, coral communities thrive throughout the Red Sea, suggesting that zooxanthellae have successfully acclimatized or adapted to the harsh conditions they experience particularly in the south (high temperatures and high nutrient supply). As such, the Red Sea is a region, which may help to better understand how zooxanthellae and their coral hosts successfully acclimatize or adapt to environmental change (e.g. increased temperatures and localized eutrophication). To gain further insight into the physiology of coral symbionts in the Red Sea, we examined the abundance of dominant Symbiodinium types associated with the coral Pocillopora verrucosa, and measured Symbiodinium physiological characteristics (i.e. photosynthetic processes, cell density, pigmentation, and protein composition) along the latitudinal gradient of the Red Sea in summer and winter. Despite the strong environmental gradients from north to south, our results demonstrate that Symbiodinium microadriaticum (type A1) was the predominant species in P. verrucosa along the latitudinal gradient. Furthermore, measured physiological characteristics were found to vary more with prevailing seasonal environmental conditions than with region-specific differences, although the measured environmental parameters displayed much higher spatial than temporal variability. We conclude that our findings might present the result of long-term acclimatization or adaptation of S. microadriaticum to regionally specific conditions within the Red Sea. Of additional note, high nutrients in the South correlated with high zooxanthellae density indicating a compensation for a temperature-driven loss of photosynthetic

  15. Spatio-temporal analyses of Symbiodinium physiology of the coral Pocillopora verrucosa along large-scale nutrient and temperature gradients in the Red Sea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yvonne Sawall

    Full Text Available Algal symbionts (zooxanthellae, genus Symbiodinium of scleractinian corals respond strongly to temperature, nutrient and light changes. These factors vary greatly along the north-south gradient in the Red Sea and include conditions, which are outside of those typically considered optimal for coral growth. Nevertheless, coral communities thrive throughout the Red Sea, suggesting that zooxanthellae have successfully acclimatized or adapted to the harsh conditions they experience particularly in the south (high temperatures and high nutrient supply. As such, the Red Sea is a region, which may help to better understand how zooxanthellae and their coral hosts successfully acclimatize or adapt to environmental change (e.g. increased temperatures and localized eutrophication. To gain further insight into the physiology of coral symbionts in the Red Sea, we examined the abundance of dominant Symbiodinium types associated with the coral Pocillopora verrucosa, and measured Symbiodinium physiological characteristics (i.e. photosynthetic processes, cell density, pigmentation, and protein composition along the latitudinal gradient of the Red Sea in summer and winter. Despite the strong environmental gradients from north to south, our results demonstrate that Symbiodinium microadriaticum (type A1 was the predominant species in P. verrucosa along the latitudinal gradient. Furthermore, measured physiological characteristics were found to vary more with prevailing seasonal environmental conditions than with region-specific differences, although the measured environmental parameters displayed much higher spatial than temporal variability. We conclude that our findings might present the result of long-term acclimatization or adaptation of S. microadriaticum to regionally specific conditions within the Red Sea. Of additional note, high nutrients in the South correlated with high zooxanthellae density indicating a compensation for a temperature-driven loss of

  16. Zooplankton at deep Red Sea brine pools

    KAUST Repository

    Kaartvedt, Stein

    2016-03-02

    The deep-sea anoxic brines of the Red Sea comprise unique, complex and extreme habitats. These environments are too harsh for metazoans, while the brine–seawater interface harbors dense microbial populations. We investigated the adjacent pelagic fauna at two brine pools using net tows, video records from a remotely operated vehicle and submerged echosounders. Waters just above the brine pool of Atlantis II Deep (2000 m depth) appeared depleted of macrofauna. In contrast, the fauna appeared to be enriched at the Kebrit Deep brine–seawater interface (1466 m).

  17. Digital Video taken during Johnson-Sea-Link submersible dive 4922 of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration's Florida Coast Deep Corals 2005 cruise, November 18, 2005 (NCEI Accession 0036658)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These video data were recorded during the Florida Coast Deep Corals mission of 2005. Data gathered during this expedition provide a strong foundation of information...

  18. Digital Video taken during Johnson-Sea-Link submersible dive 4916 of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration's Florida Coast Deep Corals 2005 cruise, November 11, 2005 (NCEI Accession 0036986)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These video data were recorded during the Florida Coast Deep Corals mission of 2005. Data gathered during this expedition provide a strong foundation of information...

  19. Digital Video taken during Johnson-Sea-Link submersible dive 4918 of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration's Florida Coast Deep Corals 2005 cruise, November 16, 2005 (NCEI Accession 0036895)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This video data was recorded during the Florida Coast Deep Corals mission of 2005. The data gathered during this expedition provided a strong foundation of...

  20. Digital Video taken during Johnson-Sea-Link submersible dive 4919 of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration's Florida Coast Deep Corals 2005 cruise, November 17, 2005 (NCEI Accession 0036826)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This video data was recorded during the Florida Coast Deep Corals mission of 2005. The data gathered during this expedition provided a strong foundation of...

  1. Digital Video taken during Johnson-Sea-Link submersible dive 4920 of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration's Florida Coast Deep Corals 2005 cruise, November 17, 2005 (NCEI Accession 0036825)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This video data was recorded during the Florida Coast Deep Corals mission of 2005. The data gathered during this expedition provided a strong foundation of...

  2. Digital Video taken during Johnson-Sea-Link submersible dive 4914 of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration's Florida Coast Deep Corals 2005 cruise, November 10, 2005 (NCEI Accession 0037043)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This video data was recorded during the Florida Coast Deep Corals mission of 2005. The data gathered during this expedition provided a strong foundation of...

  3. Digital Video taken during Johnson-Sea-Link submersible dive 4921 of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration's Florida Coast Deep Corals 2005 cruise, November 18, 2005 (NCEI Accession 0036824)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This video data was recorded during the Florida Coast Deep Corals mission of 2005. The data gathered during this expedition provided a strong foundation of...

  4. Digital Video taken during Johnson-Sea-Link submersible dive 4911 of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration's Florida Coast Deep Corals 2005 cruise, November 09, 2005 (NCEI Accession 0036985)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This video data was recorded during the Florida Coast Deep Corals mission of 2005. The data gathered during this expedition provided a strong foundation of...

  5. Digital Video taken during Johnson-Sea-Link submersible dive 4909 of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration's Florida Coast Deep Corals 2005 cruise, November 08, 2005 (NCEI Accession 0036667)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This video data was recorded during the Florida Coast Deep Corals mission of 2005. The data gathered during this expedition provided a strong foundation of...

  6. Digital Video taken during Johnson-Sea-Link submersible dive 4913 of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration's Florida Coast Deep Corals 2005 cruise, November 10, 2005 (NCEI Accession 0037065)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This video data was recorded during the Florida Coast Deep Corals mission of 2005. The data gathered during this expedition provided a strong foundation of...

  7. Digital Video taken during Johnson-Sea-Link submersible dive 4917 of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration's Florida Coast Deep Corals 2005 cruise, November 16, 2005 (NCEI Accession 0036972)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This video data was recorded during the Florida Coast Deep Corals mission of 2005. The data gathered during this expedition provided a strong foundation of...

  8. Digital Video taken during Johnson-Sea-Link submersible dive 4912 of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration's Florida Coast Deep Corals 2005 cruise, November 09, 2005 (NCEI Accession 0037102)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This video data was recorded during the Florida Coast Deep Corals mission of 2005. The data gathered during this expedition provided a strong foundation of...

  9. Digital Video taken during Johnson-Sea-Link submersible dive 4910 of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration's Florida Coast Deep Corals 2005 cruise, November 08, 2005 (NCEI Accession 0036668)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This video data was recorded during the Florida Coast Deep Corals mission of 2005. The data gathered during this expedition provided a strong foundation of...

  10. Digital Video taken during Johnson-Sea-Link submersible dive 4915 of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration's Florida Coast Deep Corals 2005 cruise, November 11, 2005 (NCEI Accession 0037022)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This video data was recorded during the Florida Coast Deep Corals mission of 2005. The data gathered during this expedition provided a strong foundation of...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wörheide, Gert; Epp, Laura S; Macis, Luciana

    2008-01-26

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

  12. Spectral response of the coral rubble, living corals, and dead corals: study case on the Spermonde Archipelago, Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nurdin, Nurjannah; Komatsu, Teruhisa; Yamano, Hiroya; Arafat, Gulam; Rani, Chair; Akbar AS, M.

    2012-10-01

    Coral reefs play important ecological services such as providing foods, biodiversity, nutrient recycling etc. for human society. On the other hand, they are threatened by human impacts such as illegal fishing and environmental changes such as rises of sea water temperature and sea level due to global warming. Thus, it is very important to monitor dynamic spatial distributions of coral reefs and related habitats such as coral rubble, dead coral, bleached corals, seagrass, etc. Hyperspectral data, in particular, offer high potential for characterizing and mapping coral reefs because of their capability to identify individual reef components based on their detailed spectral response. We studied the optical properties by measuring in situ spectra of living corals, dead coral and coral rubble covered with algae. Study site was selected in Spermonde archipelago, South Sulawesi, Indonesia because this area is included in the highest diversity of corals in the world named as Coral Triangle, which is recognized as the global centre of marine biodiversity and a global priority for conservation. Correlation analysis and cluster analysis support that there are distinct differences in reflectance spectra among categories. Common spectral characteristic of living corals, dead corals and coral rubble covered with algae was a reflectance minimum at 674 nm. Healthy corals, dead coral covered with algae and coral rubble covered with algae showed high similarity of spectral reflectance. It is estimated that this is due to photsynthetic pigments.

  13. Spatial patterns of cryptobenthic coral-reef fishes in the Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Coker, Darren James; DiBattista, Joseph; Sinclair-Taylor, Tane; Berumen, Michael L.

    2017-01-01

    Surveys to document coral-reef fish assemblages are often limited to visually conspicuous species, thus excluding a significant proportion of the biodiversity. Through standardized collections of cryptobenthic reef fishes in the central and southern Red Sea, a total of 238 species and operational taxonomic units (OTUs) from 35 families were collected. Abundance and species richness increased by 60 and 30%, respectively, from north to south, and fish community composition differed between the two regions and with proximity to shore in the central region. Models suggest regional influences in fish communities, with latitudinal patterns influenced by key coral groups (Acropora, Pocilloporidae) and variation in environmental parameters (chlorophyll a, sea surface temperature, salinity). This study illustrates the limited taxonomic resolution in this group and in this region, and the need to expand baseline data for this under-studied assemblage. To assist in advancing this initiative, we have produced a catalogue of specimens, archived photographs, and established a DNA sequence library based on cytochrome-c oxidase subunit-I barcodes for all OTUs.

  14. Spatial patterns of cryptobenthic coral-reef fishes in the Red Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coker, Darren J.; DiBattista, Joseph D.; Sinclair-Taylor, Tane H.; Berumen, Michael L.

    2018-03-01

    Surveys to document coral-reef fish assemblages are often limited to visually conspicuous species, thus excluding a significant proportion of the biodiversity. Through standardized collections of cryptobenthic reef fishes in the central and southern Red Sea, a total of 238 species and operational taxonomic units (OTUs) from 35 families were collected. Abundance and species richness increased by 60 and 30%, respectively, from north to south, and fish community composition differed between the two regions and with proximity to shore in the central region. Models suggest regional influences in fish communities, with latitudinal patterns influenced by key coral groups ( Acropora, Pocilloporidae) and variation in environmental parameters (chlorophyll a, sea surface temperature, salinity). This study illustrates the limited taxonomic resolution in this group and in this region, and the need to expand baseline data for this under-studied assemblage. To assist in advancing this initiative, we have produced a catalogue of specimens, archived photographs, and established a DNA sequence library based on cytochrome-c oxidase subunit-I barcodes for all OTUs.

  15. Spatial patterns of cryptobenthic coral-reef fishes in the Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Coker, Darren James

    2017-11-23

    Surveys to document coral-reef fish assemblages are often limited to visually conspicuous species, thus excluding a significant proportion of the biodiversity. Through standardized collections of cryptobenthic reef fishes in the central and southern Red Sea, a total of 238 species and operational taxonomic units (OTUs) from 35 families were collected. Abundance and species richness increased by 60 and 30%, respectively, from north to south, and fish community composition differed between the two regions and with proximity to shore in the central region. Models suggest regional influences in fish communities, with latitudinal patterns influenced by key coral groups (Acropora, Pocilloporidae) and variation in environmental parameters (chlorophyll a, sea surface temperature, salinity). This study illustrates the limited taxonomic resolution in this group and in this region, and the need to expand baseline data for this under-studied assemblage. To assist in advancing this initiative, we have produced a catalogue of specimens, archived photographs, and established a DNA sequence library based on cytochrome-c oxidase subunit-I barcodes for all OTUs.

  16. Occurrence of thraustochytrid fungi in corals and coral mucus

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Raghukumar, S.; Balasubramanian

    Occurrence of thraustochytrid fungi in corals, fresh coral mucus and floating and attached mucus detritus from the Lakshadweep Islands in the Arabian Sea was studied. Corallochytrium limacisporum Raghukumar, Thraustochytrium motivum Goldstein...

  17. Harpacticoida (Crustacea: Copepoda associated with cold-water coral substrates in the Porcupine Seabight (NE Atlantic: species composition, diversity and reflections on the origin of the fauna

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hendrik Gheerardyn

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available The harpacticoid copepod fauna associated with the coral degradation zone of Lophelia pertusa (Linnaeus, 1758 reefs was investigated for the first time in the Porcupine Seabight (NE Atlantic. The species list of the coral degradation zone includes 157 species, 62 genera and 19 families, and the most species-rich families were Ectinosomatidae (36 species, Ameiridae (29 species and Argestidae (17 species. At least 80% of the species were considered new to science. Most of the 23 known species have been reported from NE Atlantic coastlines and from higher latitudes in northern Subpolar and Polar Seas. At the family level, the harpacticoid fauna in the Porcupine Seabight did not seem to differ markedly from other deep-sea areas, with essentially the same abundant families. However, the presence of typically epifaunal taxa indicates that the hard substrates of the coral degradation zone provide an exceptional habitat. Further, harpacticoid composition and diversity of sediment and coral fragments were compared with similar substrates in a tropical reef lagoon (Zanzibar, Tanzania. Both regions harboured different fauna and the difference between coral and sediment was more obvious in the tropical lagoon. Species richness and evenness of the two microhabitats in the tropical lagoon were lower than in the deep sea.

  18. Coral microbial community dynamics in response to anthropogenic impacts near a major city in the central Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Ziegler, Maren; Roik, Anna Krystyna; Porter, Adam; Zubier, Khalid; Mudarris, Mohammed S.; Ormond, Rupert; Voolstra, Christian R.

    2016-01-01

    Coral-associated bacteria play an increasingly recognized part in coral health. We investigated the effect of local anthropogenic impacts on coral microbial communities on reefs near Jeddah, the largest city on the Saudi Arabian coast of the central Red Sea. We analyzed the bacterial community structure of water and corals (Pocillopora verrucosa and Acropora hemprichii) at sites that were relatively unimpacted, exposed to sedimentation & local sewage, or in the discharge area of municipal wastewaters. Coral microbial communities were significantly different at impacted sites: in both corals the main symbiotic taxon decreased in abundance. In contrast, opportunistic bacterial families, such as e.g. Vibrionaceae and Rhodobacteraceae, were more abundant in corals at impacted sites. In conclusion, microbial community response revealed a measurable footprint of anthropogenic impacts to coral ecosystems close to Jeddah, even though the corals appeared visually healthy.

  19. Coral microbial community dynamics in response to anthropogenic impacts near a major city in the central Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Ziegler, Maren

    2016-01-04

    Coral-associated bacteria play an increasingly recognized part in coral health. We investigated the effect of local anthropogenic impacts on coral microbial communities on reefs near Jeddah, the largest city on the Saudi Arabian coast of the central Red Sea. We analyzed the bacterial community structure of water and corals (Pocillopora verrucosa and Acropora hemprichii) at sites that were relatively unimpacted, exposed to sedimentation & local sewage, or in the discharge area of municipal wastewaters. Coral microbial communities were significantly different at impacted sites: in both corals the main symbiotic taxon decreased in abundance. In contrast, opportunistic bacterial families, such as e.g. Vibrionaceae and Rhodobacteraceae, were more abundant in corals at impacted sites. In conclusion, microbial community response revealed a measurable footprint of anthropogenic impacts to coral ecosystems close to Jeddah, even though the corals appeared visually healthy.

  20. Microbial consortia of gorgonian corals from the Aleutian islands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, Michael A; Stone, Robert P; McLaughlin, Molly R; Kellogg, Christina A

    2011-04-01

    Gorgonians make up the majority of corals in the Aleutian archipelago and provide critical fish habitat in areas of economically important fisheries. The microbial ecology of the deep-sea gorgonian corals Paragorgea arborea, Plumarella superba, and Cryogorgia koolsae was examined with culture-based and 16S rRNA gene-based techniques. Six coral colonies (two per species) were collected. Samples from all corals were cultured, and clone libraries were constructed from P. superba and C. koolsae. Cultured bacteria were dominated by the Gammaproteobacteria, especially Vibrionaceae, with other phyla comprising libraries showed dramatically different bacterial communities between corals of the same species collected at different sites, with no clear pattern of conserved bacterial consortia. Two of the clone libraries (one from each coral species) were dominated by Tenericutes, with Alphaproteobacteria dominating the remaining sequences. The other libraries were more diverse and had a more even distribution of bacterial phyla, showing more similarity between genera than within coral species. Here we report the first microbiological characterization of P. arborea, P. superba, and C. koolsae. FEMS Microbiology Ecology © 2011 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. No claim to original US government works.

  1. Assessing the living and dead proportions of cold-water coral colonies: implications for deep-water Marine Protected Area monitoring in a changing ocean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johanne Vad

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Coral growth patterns result from an interplay of coral biology and environmental conditions. In this study colony size and proportion of live and dead skeletons in the cold-water coral (CWC Lophelia pertusa (Linnaeus, 1758 were measured using video footage from Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV transects conducted at the inshore Mingulay Reef Complex (MRC and at the offshore PISCES site (Rockall Bank in the NE Atlantic. The main goal of this paper was to explore the development of a simple method to quantify coral growth and its potential application as an assessment tool of the health of these remote habitats. Eighteen colonies were selected and whole colony and dead/living layer size were measured. Live to dead layer ratios for each colony were then determined and analysed. The age of each colony was estimated using previously published data. Our paper shows that: (1 two distinct morphotypes can be described: at the MRC, colonies displayed a ‘cauliflower-shaped’ morphotype whereas at the PISCES site, colonies presented a more flattened ‘bush-shaped’ morphotype; (2 living layer size was positively correlated with whole colony size; (3 live to dead layer ratio was negatively correlated to whole colony size; (4 live to dead layer ratio never exceeded 0.27. These results suggest that as a colony develops and its growth rate slows down, the proportion of living polyps in the colony decreases. Furthermore, at least 73% of L. pertusa colonies are composed of exposed dead coral skeleton, vulnerable to ocean acidification and the associated shallowing of the aragonite saturation horizon, with significant implications for future deep-sea reef framework integrity. The clear visual contrast between white/pale living and grey/dark dead portions of the colonies also gives a new way by which they can be visually monitored over time. The increased use of marine autonomous survey vehicles offers an important new platform from which such a surveying

  2. Genetic diversity of archaea in deep-sea hydrothermal vent environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takai, K; Horikoshi, K

    1999-08-01

    Molecular phylogenetic analysis of naturally occurring archaeal communities in deep-sea hydrothermal vent environments was carried out by PCR-mediated small subunit rRNA gene (SSU rDNA) sequencing. As determined through partial sequencing of rDNA clones amplified with archaea-specific primers, the archaeal populations in deep-sea hydrothermal vent environments showed a great genetic diversity, and most members of these populations appeared to be uncultivated and unidentified organisms. In the phylogenetic analysis, a number of rDNA sequences obtained from deep-sea hydrothermal vents were placed in deep lineages of the crenarchaeotic phylum prior to the divergence of cultivated thermophilic members of the crenarchaeota or between thermophilic members of the euryarchaeota and members of the methanogen-halophile clade. Whole cell in situ hybridization analysis suggested that some microorganisms of novel phylotypes predicted by molecular phylogenetic analysis were likely present in deep-sea hydrothermal vent environments. These findings expand our view of the genetic diversity of archaea in deep-sea hydrothermal vent environments and of the phylogenetic organization of archaea.

  3. Diverse deep-sea fungi from the South China Sea and their antimicrobial activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xiao-Yong; Zhang, Yun; Xu, Xin-Ya; Qi, Shu-Hua

    2013-11-01

    We investigated the diversity of fungal communities in nine different deep-sea sediment samples of the South China Sea by culture-dependent methods followed by analysis of fungal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequences. Although 14 out of 27 identified species were reported in a previous study, 13 species were isolated from sediments of deep-sea environments for the first report. Moreover, these ITS sequences of six isolates shared 84-92 % similarity with their closest matches in GenBank, which suggested that they might be novel phylotypes of genera Ajellomyces, Podosordaria, Torula, and Xylaria. The antimicrobial activities of these fungal isolates were explored using a double-layer technique. A relatively high proportion (56 %) of fungal isolates exhibited antimicrobial activity against at least one pathogenic bacterium or fungus among four marine pathogenic microbes (Micrococcus luteus, Pseudoaltermonas piscida, Aspergerillus versicolor, and A. sydowii). Out of these antimicrobial fungi, the genera Arthrinium, Aspergillus, and Penicillium exhibited antibacterial and antifungal activities, while genus Aureobasidium displayed only antibacterial activity, and genera Acremonium, Cladosporium, Geomyces, and Phaeosphaeriopsis displayed only antifungal activity. To our knowledge, this is the first report to investigate the diversity and antimicrobial activity of culturable deep-sea-derived fungi in the South China Sea. These results suggest that diverse deep-sea fungi from the South China Sea are a potential source for antibiotics' discovery and further increase the pool of fungi available for natural bioactive product screening.

  4. Deep-sea ciliates: Recorded diversity and experimental studies on pressure tolerance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoenle, Alexandra; Nitsche, Frank; Werner, Jennifer; Arndt, Hartmut

    2017-10-01

    Microbial eukaryotes play an important role in biogeochemical cycles not only in productive surface waters but also in the deep sea. Recent studies based on metagenomics report deep-sea protistan assemblages totally different from continental slopes and shelf waters. To give an overview about the ciliate fauna recorded from the deep sea we summarized the available information on ciliate occurrence in the deep sea. Our literature review revealed that representatives of the major phylogenetic groups of ciliates were recorded from the deep sea (> 1000 m depth): Karyorelictea, Heterotrichea, Spirotrichea (Protohypotrichia, Euplotia, Oligotrichia, Choreotrichia, Hypotrichia), Armophorea (Armophorida), Litostomatea (Haptoria), Conthreep (Phyllopharyngea incl. Cyrtophoria, Chonotrichia, Suctoria; Nassophorea incl. Microthoracida, Synhymeniida, Nassulida; Colpodea incl. Bursariomorphida, Cyrtolophosidida; Prostomatea; Plagiopylea incl. Plagiopylida, Odontostomatida; Oligohymenophorea incl. Peniculia, Scuticociliatia, Hymenostomatia, Apostomatia, Peritrichia, Astomatia). Species occurring in both habitats, deep sea and shallow water, are rarely found to our knowledge to date. This indicates a high deep-sea specific ciliate fauna. Our own studies of similar genotypes (SSU rDNA and cox1 gene) revealed that two small scuticociliate species (Pseudocohnilembus persalinus and Uronema sp.) could be isolated from surface as well as deep waters (2687 m, 5276 m, 5719 m) of the Pacific. The adaptation to deep-sea conditions was investigated by exposing the ciliate isolates directly or stepwise to different hydrostatic pressures ranging from 1 to 550 atm at temperatures of 2 °C and 13 °C. Although the results indicated no general barophilic behavior, all four isolated strains survived the highest established pressure. A better survival at 550 atm could be observed for the lower temperature. Among microbial eukaryotes, ciliates should be considered as a diverse and potentially

  5. Species distribution models of tropical deep-sea snappers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Céline Gomez

    Full Text Available Deep-sea fisheries provide an important source of protein to Pacific Island countries and territories that are highly dependent on fish for food security. However, spatial management of these deep-sea habitats is hindered by insufficient data. We developed species distribution models using spatially limited presence data for the main harvested species in the Western Central Pacific Ocean. We used bathymetric and water temperature data to develop presence-only species distribution models for the commercially exploited deep-sea snappers Etelis Cuvier 1828, Pristipomoides Valenciennes 1830, and Aphareus Cuvier 1830. We evaluated the performance of four different algorithms (CTA, GLM, MARS, and MAXENT within the BIOMOD framework to obtain an ensemble of predicted distributions. We projected these predictions across the Western Central Pacific Ocean to produce maps of potential deep-sea snapper distributions in 32 countries and territories. Depth was consistently the best predictor of presence for all species groups across all models. Bathymetric slope was consistently the poorest predictor. Temperature at depth was a good predictor of presence for GLM only. Model precision was highest for MAXENT and CTA. There were strong regional patterns in predicted distribution of suitable habitat, with the largest areas of suitable habitat (> 35% of the Exclusive Economic Zone predicted in seven South Pacific countries and territories (Fiji, Matthew & Hunter, Nauru, New Caledonia, Tonga, Vanuatu and Wallis & Futuna. Predicted habitat also varied among species, with the proportion of predicted habitat highest for Aphareus and lowest for Etelis. Despite data paucity, the relationship between deep-sea snapper presence and their environments was sufficiently strong to predict their distribution across a large area of the Pacific Ocean. Our results therefore provide a strong baseline for designing monitoring programs that balance resource exploitation and

  6. Radio-active waste disposal and deep-sea biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rice, A.L.

    1978-01-01

    The deep-sea has been widely thought of as a remote, sparsely populated, and biologically inactive environment, well suited to receive the noxious products of nuclear fission processes. Much of what is known of abyssal biology tends to support this view, but there are a few disquieting contra-indications. The realisation, in recent years, that many animal groups show a previously unsuspected high species diversity in the deep-sea emphasized the paucity of our knowledge of this environment. More dramatically, the discovery of a large, active, and highly mobile abysso-bentho-pelagic fauna changed the whole concept of abyssal life. Finally, while there is little evidence for the existence of vertical migration patterns linking the deep-sea bottom communities with those of the overlying water layers, there are similarly too few negative results for the possibility of such transport mechanisms to be dismissed. In summary, biological knowledge of the abyss is insufficient to answer the questions raised in connection with deep-sea dumping, but in the absence of adequate answers it might be dangerous to ignore the questions

  7. First biological measurements of deep-sea corals from the Red Sea.

    KAUST Repository

    Roder, Cornelia; Berumen, Michael L.; Bouwmeester, J; Papathanassiou, E; Al-Suwailem, Abdulaziz M.; Voolstra, Christian R.

    2013-01-01

    from the central Red Sea, where they occur at temperatures exceeding 20°C in highly oligotrophic and oxygen-limited waters. Low respiration rates, low calcification rates, and minimized tissue cover indicate that a reduced metabolism is one of the key

  8. A Deep-Sea Simulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montes, Georgia E.

    1997-01-01

    Describes an activity that simulates exploration techniques used in deep-sea explorations and teaches students how this technology can be used to take a closer look inside volcanoes, inspect hazardous waste sites such as nuclear reactors, and explore other environments dangerous to humans. (DDR)

  9. Indian deep-sea environment experiment (INDEX): Monitoring the restoration of marine enviroment after artificial disturbance to simulate deep-sea mining in central Indian Basin

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Sharma, R.

    the restoration of marine environment after artificial disturbance to simulate deep-sea mining in Central Indian Basin Guest Editor Rahul Sharma Note from guest editor A special issue on Indian Deep-sea Environment Experiment (INDEX) conducted by the scientists... in Geochemical Associations in Artificially Disturbed Deep-Sea Sediments B. Nagender Nath, G. Parthiban, S. Banaulikar, and Subhadeep Sarkar Marine Georesources and Geotechnology, 24:61–62, 2006 Copyright # Taylor & Francis Group, LLC ISSN: 1064-119X print/1521...

  10. The KM3NeT deep-sea neutrino telescope

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Margiotta, Annarita

    2014-12-01

    KM3NeT is a deep-sea research infrastructure being constructed in the Mediterranean Sea. It will host the next generation Cherenkov neutrino telescope and nodes for a deep sea multidisciplinary observatory, providing oceanographers, marine biologists, and geophysicists with real time measurements. The neutrino telescope will complement IceCube in its field of view and exceed it substantially in sensitivity. Its main goal is the detection of high energy neutrinos of astrophysical origin. The detector will have a modular structure with six building blocks, each consisting of about 100 Detection Units (DUs). Each DU will be equipped with 18 multi-PMT digital optical modules. The first phase of construction has started and shore and deep-sea infrastructures hosting the future KM3NeT detector are being prepared in offshore Toulon, France and offshore Capo Passero on Sicily, Italy. The technological solutions for the neutrino detector of KM3NeT and the expected performance of the neutrino telescope are presented and discussed. - Highlights: • A deep-sea research infrastructure is being built in the Mediterranean Sea. • It will host a km{sup 3}-size neutrino telescope and a deep-sea multidisciplinary observatory. • The main goal of the neutrino telescope is the search for Galactic neutrino sources. • A major innovation is adopted in the design of the optical module. • 31 3 in. photomultiplier tubes (PMTs) will be hosted in the same glass sphere.

  11. A Modeling Study of Deep Water Renewal in the Red Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao, F.; Hoteit, I.

    2016-02-01

    Deep water renewal processes in the Red Sea are examined in this study using a 50-year numerical simulation from 1952-2001. The deep water in the Red Sea below the thermocline ( 200 m) exhibits a near-uniform vertical structure in temperature and salinity, but geochemical tracer distributions, such as 14C and 3He, and dissolved oxygen concentrations indicate that the deep water is renewed on time scales as short as 36 years. The renewal process is accomplished through a deep overturning cell that consists of a southward bottom current and a northward returning current at depths of 400-600 m. Three sources regions are proposed for the formation of the deep water, including two deep outflows from the Gulfs of Aqaba and Suez and winter deep convections in the northern Red Sea. The MITgcm (MIT general circulation model), which has been used to simulate the shallow overturning circulations in the Red Sea, is configured in this study with increased resolutions in the deep water. During the 50 years of simulation, artificial passive tracers added in the model indicate that the deep water in the Red Sea was only episodically renewed during some anomalously cold years; two significant episodes of deep water renewal are reproduced in the winters of 1983 and 1992, in accordance with reported historical hydrographic observations. During these renewal events, deep convections reaching the bottom of the basin occurred, which further facilitated deep sinking of the outflows from the Gulfs of Aqaba and Suez. Ensuing spreading of the newly formed deep water along the bottom caused upward displacements of thermocline, which may have profound effects on the water exchanges in the Strait of Bab el Mandeb between the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden and the functioning of the ecosystem in the Red Sea by changing the vertical distributions of nutrients.

  12. High salinity tolerance of the Red Sea coral Fungia granulosa under desalination concentrate discharge conditions: an in situ photophysiology experiment

    KAUST Repository

    Van Der Merwe, Riaan

    2014-11-10

    Seawater reverse osmosis desalination concentrate may have chronic and/or acute impacts on the marine ecosystems in the near-field area of the discharge. Environmental impact of the desalination plant discharge is supposedly site- and volumetric- specific, and also depends on the salinity tolerance of the organisms inhabiting the water column in and around a discharge environment. Scientific studies that aim to understand possible impacts of elevated salinity levels are important to assess detrimental effects to organisms, especially for species with no mechanism of osmoregulation, e.g., presumably corals. Previous studies on corals indicate sensitivity toward hypo- and hyper-saline environments with small changes in salinity already affecting coral physiology. In order to evaluate sensitivity of Red Sea corals to increased salinity levels, we conducted a long-term (29 days) in situ salinity tolerance transect study at an offshore seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) discharge on the coral Fungia granulosa. While we measured a pronounced increase in salinity and temperature at the direct outlet of the discharge structure, effects were indistinguishable from the surrounding environment at a distance of 5 m. Interestingly, corals were not affected by varying salinity levels as indicated by measurements of the photosynthetic efficiency. Similarly, cultured coral symbionts of the genus Symbiodinium displayed remarkable tolerance levels in regard to hypo- and hypersaline treatments. Our data suggest that increased salinity and temperature levels from discharge outlets wear off quickly in the surrounding environment. Furthermore, F. granulosa seem to tolerate levels of salinity that are distinctively higher than reported for other corals previously. It remains to be determined whether Red Sea corals in general display increased salinity tolerance, and whether this is related to prevailing levels of high(er) salinity in the Red Sea in comparison to other oceans.

  13. Deep sea radionuclides

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kanisch, G.; Vobach, M.

    1993-01-01

    Every year since 1979, either in sping or in summer, the fishing research vessel 'Walther Herwig' goes to the North Atlantic disposal areas of solid radioactive wastes, and, for comparative purposes, to other areas, in order to collect water samples, plankton and nekton, and, from the deep sea bed, sediment samples and benthos organisms. In addition to data on the radionuclide contents of various media, information about the plankton, nekton and benthos organisms living in those areas and about their biomasses could be gathered. The investigations are aimed at acquiring scientifically founded knowledge of the uptake of radioactive substances by microorganisms, and their migration from the sea bottom to the areas used by man. (orig.) [de

  14. Large-Scale Genotyping-by-Sequencing Indicates High Levels of Gene Flow in the Deep-Sea Octocoral Swiftia simplex (Nutting 1909 on the West Coast of the United States.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meredith V Everett

    Full Text Available Deep-sea corals are a critical component of habitat in the deep-sea, existing as regional hotspots for biodiversity, and are associated with increased assemblages of fish, including commercially important species. Because sampling these species is so difficult, little is known about the connectivity and life history of deep-sea octocoral populations. This study evaluates the genetic connectivity among 23 individuals of the deep-sea octocoral Swiftia simplex collected from Eastern Pacific waters along the west coast of the United States. We utilized high-throughput restriction-site associated DNA (RAD-tag sequencing to develop the first molecular genetic resource for the deep-sea octocoral, Swiftia simplex. Using this technique we discovered thousands of putative genome-wide SNPs in this species, and after quality control, successfully genotyped 1,145 SNPs across individuals sampled from California to Washington. These SNPs were used to assess putative population structure across the region. A STRUCTURE analysis as well as a principal coordinates analysis both failed to detect any population differentiation across all geographic areas in these collections. Additionally, after assigning individuals to putative population groups geographically, no significant FST values could be detected (FST for the full data set 0.0056, and no significant isolation by distance could be detected (p = 0.999. Taken together, these results indicate a high degree of connectivity and potential panmixia in S. simplex along this portion of the continental shelf.

  15. Trace metal anomalies in bleached Porites coral at Meiji Reef, tropical South China Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Shu; Yu, Kefu; Zhao, Jianxin; Feng, Yuexing; Chen, Tianran

    2017-01-01

    Coral bleaching has generally been recognized as the main reason for tropical coral reef degradation, but there are few long-term records of coral bleaching events. In this study, trace metals including chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), molybdenum (Mo), manganese (Mn), lead (Pb), tin (Sn), titanium (Ti), vanadium (V), and yttrium (Y), were analyzed in two Porites corals collected from Meiji Reef in the tropical South China Sea (SCS) to assess differences in trace metal concentrations in bleached compared with unbleached coral growth bands. Ti, V, Cr, and Mo generally showed irregular fluctuations in both corals. Bleached layers contained high concentrations of Mn, Cu, Sn, and Pb. Unbleached layers showed moderately high concentrations of Mn and Cu only. The different distribution of trace metals in Porites may be attributable to different selectivity on the basis of vital utility or toxicity. Ti, V, Cr, and Mo are discriminated against by both coral polyps and zooxanthellae, but Mn, Cu, Sn, and Pb are accumulated by zooxanthellae and only Mn and Cu are accumulated by polyps as essential elements. The marked increase in Cu, Mn, Pb, and Sn are associated with bleaching processes, including mucus secretion, tissue retraction, and zooxanthellae expulsion and occlusion. Variation in these trace elements within the coral skeleton can be used as potential tracers of short-lived bleaching events.

  16. Monitoring the impact of simulated deep-sea mining in Central Indian Basin

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Sharma, R.; Nath, B.N.; Jaisankar, S.

    Monitoring the Impact of Simulated Deep-sea Mining in Central Indian Basin R. SHARMA, B. NAGENDER NATH, AND S. JAI SANKAR National Institute of Oceanography, Dona Paula, Goa, India Monitoring of deep-sea disturbances, natural or man-made, has gained... has shown a partial recovery of the benthic ecosystem, with indications of restoration and recolonization. Keywords deep-sea mining, environmental impact, Central Indian Basin Deep-sea mineral deposits such as the polymetallic nodules and crusts...

  17. Mapping of Nitrate, Phospat And Zooxanthelae With Abundance Of Sea Urchins on Massive Coral Reef in Karimunjawa Island

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suryanti, S.; Ain, C.; Latifah, N.

    2018-02-01

    Coral reefs have high organic productivity because coral reefs can withstand nutrients and accommodate all external inputs. Many factors affect the life of corals, which is nitrate, phosphate and zooxanthellae. The purpose of this study are to know mapping of the content and the relationship between of nitrate, phosphate, zooxanthellae and abundance of sea urchins on massive coral reefs in Karimunjawa Islands. This research was conducted in May - June 2017 in three stations are Karimunjawa, Menjangan Kecil and Cemara Kecil Island. The method used in this research is survey method with quantitative approach. Results of mapping of nitrate contents on massive corals on all three islands showed the highest nitrate content on Cemara Kecil Island and lowest on Karimunjawa island, with a range of values 5.078-212.853 mg/kg. In mapping the distribution of phosphate content in the three islands showed the highest phosphate content in Menjangan Kecil island and the lowest on Karimunjawa island, with a range of values from 6.78-19.35 mg/kg. Zooxanthelae map shows that the highest and lowest distribution of zooxanthela content on Karimunjawa island, with a range of values 2.84-8.88 cell/cm2. The sea urchins found in Karimunjawa Islands during the study were Diadema setosum and Echinothrix calamaris with a range of values 5-147. Based on multiple regression analysis showed that the relationship between nitrate, phosphate and zooxanthela with abundance of sea urchins showed a strong correlation result with correlation value (r) is 0.64. These results can be an indicator of coastal environmental health, especially coral reef ecosystems.

  18. Antifouling potentials of eight deep-sea-derived fungi from the South China Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xiao-Yong; Xu, Xin-Ya; Peng, Jiang; Ma, Chun-Feng; Nong, Xu-Hua; Bao, Jie; Zhang, Guang-Zhao; Qi, Shu-Hua

    2014-04-01

    Marine-derived microbial secondary metabolites are promising potential sources of nontoxic antifouling agents. The search for environmentally friendly and low-toxic antifouling components guided us to investigate the antifouling potentials of eight novel fungal isolates from deep-sea sediments of the South China Sea. Sixteen crude ethyl acetate extracts of the eight fungal isolates showed distinct antibacterial activity against three marine bacteria (Loktanella hongkongensis UST950701-009, Micrococcus luteus UST950701-006 and Pseudoalteromonas piscida UST010620-005), or significant antilarval activity against larval settlement of bryozoan Bugula neritina. Furthermore, the extract of Aspergillus westerdijkiae DFFSCS013 displayed strong antifouling activity in a field trial lasting 4 months. By further bioassay-guided isolation, five antifouling alkaloids including brevianamide F, circumdatin F and L, notoamide C, and 5-chlorosclerotiamide were isolated from the extract of A. westerdijkiae DFFSCS013. This is the first report about the antifouling potentials of metabolites of the deep-sea-derived fungi from the South China Sea, and the first stage towards the development of non- or low-toxic antifouling agents from deep-sea-derived fungi.

  19. A new procedure for deep sea mining tailings disposal

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ma, W.; Schott, D.L.; Lodewijks, G.

    2017-01-01

    Deep sea mining tailings disposal is a new environmental challenge related to water pollution, mineral crust waste handling, and ocean biology. The objective of this paper is to propose a new tailings disposal procedure for the deep sea mining industry. Through comparisons of the tailings disposal

  20. Seasonal mesophotic coral bleaching of Stylophora pistillata in the Northern Red Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nir, Orit; Gruber, David F; Shemesh, Eli; Glasser, Eliezra; Tchernov, Dan

    2014-01-01

    Coral bleaching occurs when environmental stress induces breakdown of the coral-algae symbiosis and the host initiates algae expulsion. Two types of coral bleaching had been thoroughly discussed in the scientific literature; the first is primarily associated with mass coral bleaching events; the second is a seasonal loss of algae and/or pigments. Here, we describe a phenomenon that has been witnessed for repeated summers in the mesophotic zone (40-63 m) in the northern Red Sea: seasonal bleaching and recovery of several hermatypic coral species. In this study, we followed the recurring bleaching process of the common coral Stylophora pistillata. Bleaching occurred from April to September with a 66% decline in chlorophyll a concentration, while recovery began in October. Using aquarium and transplantation experiments, we explored environmental factors such as temperature, photon flux density and heterotrophic food availability. Our experiments and observations did not yield one single factor, alone, responsible for the seasonal bleaching. The dinoflagellate symbionts (of the genus Symbiodinium) in shallow (5 m) Stylophora pistillata were found to have a net photosynthetic rate of 56.98-92.19 µmol O2 cm(-2) day(-1). However, those from mesophotic depth (60 m) during months when they are not bleached are net consumers of oxygen having a net photosynthetic rate between -12.86 - (-10.24) µmol O2 cm(-2) day(-1). But during months when these mesophotic corals are partially-bleached, they yielded higher net production, between -2.83-0.76 µmol O2 cm(-2) day(-1). This study opens research questions as to why mesophotic zooxanthellae are more successfully meeting the corals metabolic requirements when Chl a concentration decreases by over 60% during summer and early fall.

  1. Seasonal mesophotic coral bleaching of Stylophora pistillata in the Northern Red Sea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Orit Nir

    Full Text Available Coral bleaching occurs when environmental stress induces breakdown of the coral-algae symbiosis and the host initiates algae expulsion. Two types of coral bleaching had been thoroughly discussed in the scientific literature; the first is primarily associated with mass coral bleaching events; the second is a seasonal loss of algae and/or pigments. Here, we describe a phenomenon that has been witnessed for repeated summers in the mesophotic zone (40-63 m in the northern Red Sea: seasonal bleaching and recovery of several hermatypic coral species. In this study, we followed the recurring bleaching process of the common coral Stylophora pistillata. Bleaching occurred from April to September with a 66% decline in chlorophyll a concentration, while recovery began in October. Using aquarium and transplantation experiments, we explored environmental factors such as temperature, photon flux density and heterotrophic food availability. Our experiments and observations did not yield one single factor, alone, responsible for the seasonal bleaching. The dinoflagellate symbionts (of the genus Symbiodinium in shallow (5 m Stylophora pistillata were found to have a net photosynthetic rate of 56.98-92.19 µmol O2 cm(-2 day(-1. However, those from mesophotic depth (60 m during months when they are not bleached are net consumers of oxygen having a net photosynthetic rate between -12.86 - (-10.24 µmol O2 cm(-2 day(-1. But during months when these mesophotic corals are partially-bleached, they yielded higher net production, between -2.83-0.76 µmol O2 cm(-2 day(-1. This study opens research questions as to why mesophotic zooxanthellae are more successfully meeting the corals metabolic requirements when Chl a concentration decreases by over 60% during summer and early fall.

  2. A Picture on the Wall: Innovative Mapping Reveals Cold-Water Coral Refuge in Submarine Canyon

    OpenAIRE

    Huvenne, Veerle A. I.; Tyler, Paul A.; Masson, Doug G.; Fisher, Elizabeth H.; Hauton, Chris; Huehnerbach, Veit; Le Bas, Timothy P.; Wolff, George A.

    2011-01-01

    Cold-water corals are azooxanthellate species found throughout the ocean at water depths down to 5000 m. They occur in patches, reefs or large mound structures up to 380 m high, and as ecosystem engineers create important habitats for a diverse fauna. However, the majority of these habitats are now within reach of deep-sea bottom trawling. Many have been severely damaged or are under threat, despite recent protection initiatives. Here we present a cold-water coral habitat type that so far has...

  3. Diversity And Abundance Of Deep-Water Coral Mounds In The Straits Of Florida: A Result of Adaptability To Local Environments?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Correa, T. B.; Grasmueck, M.; Eberli, G.; Viggiano, D. A.; Rosenberg, A.; Reed, J. K.

    2007-12-01

    To improve the understanding of the Florida-Bahamas deep-water coral mound ecosystem, Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) surveys were conducted on five coral mound fields throughout the Straits of Florida (three sites at the base of slope of Great Bahama Bank (GBB), one in the middle of the Straits (MS) and one at the base of the Miami Terrace (MT)) in water depths of 590 to 860 m. The AUV provides high-resolution bathymetric maps, sub-bottom profiles and oceanographic data. The AUV survey sites were subsequently groundtruthed via sample collection and video transects, using the Johnson Sealink submersible. Contrary to previous surveys, we found a high diversity in coral mound morphology between sites separated by 15 to 80 km. The MT site is characterized by sinusoidal coral mound ridges, while the MS site contains densely clustered small coral mounds. Meanwhile, mounds of the GBB region are better developed, with some individual mounds reaching up to 90 m in height. Benthic coverage of live corals also differs between sites; the GBB sites are characterized by mounds densely covered by large thickets of live corals, while small thickets of mostly dead corals dominate the MT and MS sites. Several environmental factors may explain these differences. For example, bottom current patterns change between sites. The MT and the MS sites have a unidirectional regime (southward or northward flow, respectively), whereas the GBB sites have a tidal current regime. Sedimentation patterns as depicted by sub-bottom profiles also vary between the sites; coral mounds in the GBB area appear to receive higher sediment input, which can significantly enhance mound growth rates as the reef framework baffles and traps mobile sediments. However, coral mounds that cannot keep-up with the sedimentation rate are buried. Therefore, in the high sedimentation areas of GBB, flourishing live coral mounds are limited to elevated positions (i.e. plateaus, ridges crests) where sediment accumulation

  4. Erbium-doped fiber lasers as deep-sea hydrophones

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bagnoli, P.E.; Beverini, N.; Bouhadef, B.; Castorina, E.; Falchini, E.; Falciai, R.; Flaminio, V.; Maccioni, E.; Morganti, M.; Sorrentino, F.; Stefani, F.; Trono, C.

    2006-01-01

    The present work describes the development of a hydrophone prototype for deep-sea acoustic detection. The base-sensitive element is a single-mode erbium-doped fiber laser. The high sensitivity of these sensors makes them particularly suitable for a wide range of deep-sea acoustic applications, including geological and marine mammals surveys and above all as acoustic detectors in under-water telescopes for high-energy neutrinos

  5. Meiobenthos and nematode assemblages from different deep-sea habitats of the Strait of Sicily (Central Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. SANDULLI

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Much attention is currently devoted at upgrading our knowledge on biodiversity and functioning of deep water ecosystems. Information is constantly enriched by researchers, even from basins as the long-studied Mediterranean Sea. In such a perspective, we studied meiobenthic and nematode communities inhabiting muddy sediments from three different habitats at bathyal depths in the Strait of Sicily: a cold-water coral site (CS in the Maltese Coral Province, a muddy bottom in the same area (MS, and a hydrocarbon imprinted pockmark site (PS in the Gela Basin. The average meiofauna density at CS (1343 ind/10 cm2 and MS (1804 ind/10 cm2 is much higher than that reported in literature for similar habitats; it is also markedly more elevated than that recorded at PS (224 ind/10 cm2. Although nematodes of the three sites show different abundances, they share similar assemblage structure. Nematodes (avg. 86% and copepods (avg. 9.3% were the most abundant meiofaunal taxa at all sites followed by annelids, kinorhynchs and turbellarians. Nematodes were composed by 21 families and 46 genera, with Terschellingia, as most abundant genus (12.4%, followed by Microlaimus (11%, Daptonema (11%, Thalassomonhystera (10.8%, Acantholaimus (9.5% and Sabatieria (8.7%. The genera Thalassomonhystera, Terschellingia, Microlaimus, Daptonema, Chromadorita, Sabatieria, and Anticoma display a dominance in at least one station. The taxonomic structure of meiofaunal communities of the studied sites is rather similar but differences in relative abundance are evident.

  6. Radiochemical data obtained by {alpha} spectrometry on unrecrystallized fossil coral samples from the Egyptian shoreline of the north-western Red Sea

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Choukri, A. [Laboratoire de Physique de la Matiere et Rayonnement, Equipe de Physique et Techniques Nucleaires, UFR ' Faibles Radioactivites, Mathematiques physiques et environnement' Universite Ibn Tofail, Faculte des Sciences, Departement de Physique, P.B. 133, 14 000 Kenitra (Morocco)]. E-mail: choukrimajid@yahoo.com; Hakam, O.K. [Laboratoire de Physique de la Matiere et Rayonnement, Equipe de Physique et Techniques Nucleaires, UFR ' Faibles Radioactivites, Mathematiques physiques et environnement' Universite Ibn Tofail, Faculte des Sciences, Departement de Physique, P.B. 133, 14 000 Kenitra (Morocco); Reyss, J.L. [Laboratoire des Sciences de Climat et de l' Environnement, Domaine du CNRS, Avenue de la Terrasse 91 1958, Gif sur Yvette (France); Plaziat, J.C. [Universite de Paris-Sud, Departement des Sciences de la Terre, URA 723, Batiment 504, F-91405 Orsay, Cedex (France)

    2007-02-15

    In this work, radiochemical results obtained by {alpha} spectrometry on 80 unrecrystallized fossil coral samples from the Egyptian shoreline of the north-western Red Sea are presented and discussed. The coral samples were collected in Egypt from the emerged 5e coral reef terraces over 500km from The Ras Gharib-Ras Shukeir depression (28 deg. 10{sup '}) in the north to Wadi Lahami (north of Ras Banas, 24 deg. 10{sup '}) in the south. The statistical description of radiochemical results (concentrations of U and Th radioisotopes, {sup 234}U/{sup 238}U activity ratios and ages) obtained on a great number of coral samples showed that it is possible to establish methodological criterions which could be used to validate the measured ages before confronting them to the geological context of sampling sites. The obtained results confirm that the unrecrystallized corals ({sup 232}Th<3%) constitute the reliable means of determining the timing of Pleistocene sea-level fluctuations in the past. A few number of measured younger ages could be explain as a result of a rejuvenation due to latter addition of a ''younger'' uranium to the initial stock entered just after coral death. The obvious rejuvenation observed and confirmed is due to a recent cementation of aragonitic deposit on the fossil coral. {sup 238}U varies between 2.2 and 4.9ppm around an average of 3.18+/-0.65ppm. {sup 234}U/ {sup 238}U activity ratios are between 1.08 and 1.28 with an averaged value of 1.164+/-0.016 which exceeds that of present day sea water but which is in agreement with the ratio of 1.16 measured by a precise mass spectrometry in many Pleistocene coral samples. Except three samples dated at least 100ka, the radiochemical age of 5e coral samples vary between 108 and 131ka with an average value of 122.2ka and a standard deviation of 4.3ka. Except for samples from the Zeit area, the reef terrace is between 2 and 6m above the present sea level. This position is similar to

  7. The genome of Aiptasia, a sea anemone model for coral symbiosis

    KAUST Repository

    Baumgarten, Sebastian

    2015-08-31

    The most diverse marine ecosystems, coral reefs, depend upon a functional symbiosis between a cnidarian animal host (the coral) and intracellular photosynthetic dinoflagellate algae. The molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying this endosymbiosis are not well understood, in part because of the difficulties of experimental work with corals. The small sea anemone Aiptasia provides a tractable laboratory model for investigating these mechanisms. Here we report on the assembly and analysis of the Aiptasia genome, which will provide a foundation for future studies and has revealed several features that may be key to understanding the evolution and function of the endosymbiosis. These features include genomic rearrangements and taxonomically restricted genes that may be functionally related to the symbiosis, aspects of host dependence on alga-derived nutrients, a novel and expanded cnidarian-specific family of putative pattern-recognition receptors that might be involved in the animal–algal interactions, and extensive lineage-specific horizontal gene transfer. Extensive integration of genes of prokaryotic origin, including genes for antimicrobial peptides, presumably reflects an intimate association of the animal–algal pair also with its prokaryotic microbiome.

  8. Coral Reef Response to Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 5e Sea Level Changes in the Granitic Seychelles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vyverberg, K.; Dechnik, B.; Dutton, A.; Webster, J.; Zwartz, D.

    2015-12-01

    Sea-level position has a direct control on coral reef morphology and composition. Examining changes in these parameters in fossil reefs can inform reconstructions of past sea-level behavior and, indirectly, ice sheet dynamics. Here we provide a detailed examination of fossil reefs from Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 5e. These fossil reefs are located in the granitic Seychelles, which is tectonically stable site and far-field from the former margins of Northern Hemisphere ice sheets. To reconstruct relative sea level (RSL), we combine RTK and Total Station elevation surveys with sedimentary and taxonomic evaluations of eight fossil reef sites. Carbonate coralgal reef buildups of the shallowest portion of the reef are preserved in limestone outcrops that are protected by granite boulder overhangs. Two primary outcrop morphologies were observed at these sites: plastering and massive. Plastering outcrops manifest as thin (~ 1 m height x 1 m width x 0.5 m depth) vertical successions of reef framework and detritus, while massive outcrops are larger (~ 2-6 m height x 2-6 m width x 1-2 m depth). The base of these limestone outcrops consistently record a period of reef growth, characterized by corals or coralline algae colonizing the surface or face of a granite boulder and building upwards. This lower reefal unit is capped by a disconformity that is commonly overlain by coral rubble or a ~10 cm thick layer of micrite. Rubble units contain coarse fragments of the coralgal reef buildups while micrite layers consist of a relatively homogeneous fine-grained carbonate, bearing coral-dwelling, Pyrgomatid barnacles. In many of the outcrops, this succession is repeated upsection with another unit of coralgal reef framework capped by a disconformity that is recognized by the sharp transition to coral rubble or micrite with barnacles. We identified four distinct fossil coralgal assemblages in the limestone outcrops. These assemblages are consistent with modern assemblages which

  9. Reef coral δ18O thermometer in Hainan island waters, south China sea

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    He Xuexian; Peng Zicheng; Wang Zhaorong; Huo Weiguo; Tan Jun; Nie Baofu; Chen Tegu; Zhong Jinliang

    2000-01-01

    An 18-year-long (1981-1998) study was conducted in Hainan Island waters (22 degree 22'N, 110 degree 39'E) to determine the relationship between δ 18 O in skeletal aragonite carbonate and sea surface temperature (SST) in porites lutea of reef-building corals. δ 18 O values in skeletal aragonite carbonate were measured by means of mass spectrometry. Coral samples grew at 5 m depth at Longwan Bay. Monthly measurements of the SST from 1960 to 1998 were taken at Qinglan Bay adjacent to the place of the collected samples. The thermometer shows that SST = -4.16 δ 18 O PDB + 4.9 (r = 0.80) and dδ 18 O/dT = -0.24 per mil/degree C. The δ 18 O thermometer is strongly influenced by the rainfall and runoff. Using the thermometer, the SST in the past hundred years with monthly resolution will be reconstructed and the climatic change in the northern area of South China Sea will be hind cast

  10. 40Ar/39Ar studies of deep sea igneous rocks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Seidemann, D.

    1978-01-01

    An attempt to date deep-sea igneous rocks reliably was made using the 40 Ar/ 39 Ar dating technique. It was determined that the 40 Ar/ 39 Ar incremental release technique could not be used to eliminate the effects of excess radiogenic 40 Ar in deep-sea basalts. Excess 40 Ar is released throughout the extraction temperature range and cannot be distinguished from 40 Ar generated by in situ 40 K decay. The problem of the reduction of K-Ar dates associated with sea water alteration of deep-sea igneous rocks could not be resolved using the 40 Ar/ 39 Ar technique. Irradiation induced 39 Ar loss and/or redistribution in fine-grained and altered igneous rocks results in age spectra that are artifacts of the experimental procedure and only partly reflect the geologic history of the sample. Therefore, caution must be used in attributing significance to age spectra of fine grained and altered deep-sea igneous rocks. Effects of 39 Ar recoil are not important for either medium-grained (or coarser) deep-sea rocks or glasses because only a small fraction of the 39 Ar recoils to channels of easy diffusion, such as intergranular boundaries or cracks, during the irradiation. (author)

  11. Deep Ocean Contribution to Sea Level Rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, L.; Sun, W.; Tang, H.; Wang, Q.

    2017-12-01

    The ocean temperature and salinity change in the upper 2000m can be detected by Argo floats, so we can know the steric height change of the ocean. But the ocean layers above 2000m represent only 50% of the total ocean volume. Although the temperature and salinity change are small compared to the upper ocean, the deep ocean contribution to sea level might be significant because of its large volume. There has been some research on the deep ocean rely on the very sparse situ observation and are limited to decadal and longer-term rates of change. The available observational data in the deep ocean are too spares to determine the temporal variability, and the long-term changes may have a bias. We will use the Argo date and combine the situ data and topographic data to estimate the temperature and salinity of the sea water below 2000m, so we can obtain a monthly data. We will analyze the seasonal and annual change of the steric height change due to the deep ocean between 2005 and 2016. And we will evaluate the result combination the present-day satellite and in situ observing systems. The deep ocean contribution can be inferred indirectly as the difference between the altimetry minus GRACE and Argo-based steric sea level.

  12. Deep sea biophysics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yayanos, A.A.

    1982-01-01

    A collection of deep-sea bacterial cultures was completed. Procedures were instituted to shelter the culture collection from accidential warming. A substantial data base on the rates of reproduction of more than 100 strains of bacteria from that collection was obtained from experiments and the analysis of that data was begun. The data on the rates of reproduction were obtained under conditions of temperature and pressure found in the deep sea. The experiments were facilitated by inexpensively fabricated pressure vessels, by the streamlining of the methods for the study of kinetics at high pressures, and by computer-assisted methods. A polybarothermostat was used to study the growth of bacteria along temperature gradients at eight distinct pressures. This device should allow for the study of microbial processes in the temperature field simulating the environment around buried HLW. It is small enough to allow placement in a radiation field in future studies. A flow fluorocytometer was fabricated. This device will be used to determine the DNA content per cell in bacteria grown in laboratory culture and in microorganisms in samples from the ocean. The technique will be tested for its rapidity in determining the concentration of cells (standing stock of microorganisms) in samples from the ocean

  13. Vertical and horizontal distribution of Desmophyllum dianthus in Comau Fjord, Chile: a cold-water coral thriving at low pH.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fillinger, Laura; Richter, Claudio

    2013-01-01

    Cold-water corals provide an important habitat for a rich fauna along the continental margins and slopes. Although these azooxanthellate corals are considered particularly sensitive to ocean acidification, their responses to natural variations in pH and aragonite saturation are largely unknown due to the difficulty of studying their ecology in deep waters. Previous SCUBA investigations have shown an exceptionally shallow population of the cold-water coral Desmophyllum dianthus in near-surface waters of Comau Fjord, a stratified 480 m deep basin in northern Chilean Patagonia with suboxic deep waters. Here, we use a remotely operated vehicle to quantitatively investigate the distribution of D. dianthus and its physico-chemical drivers in so far uncharted naturally acidified waters. Remarkably, D. dianthus was ubiquitous throughout the fjord, but particularly abundant between 20 and 280 m depth in a pH range of 8.4 to 7.4. The persistence of individuals in aragonite-undersaturated waters suggests that present-day D. dianthus in Comau Fjord may show pre-acclimation or pre-adaptation to conditions of ocean acidification predicted to reach over 70% of the known deep-sea coral locations by the end of the century.

  14. Vertical and horizontal distribution of Desmophyllum dianthus in Comau Fjord, Chile: a cold-water coral thriving at low pH

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Fillinger

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Cold-water corals provide an important habitat for a rich fauna along the continental margins and slopes. Although these azooxanthellate corals are considered particularly sensitive to ocean acidification, their responses to natural variations in pH and aragonite saturation are largely unknown due to the difficulty of studying their ecology in deep waters. Previous SCUBA investigations have shown an exceptionally shallow population of the cold-water coral Desmophyllum dianthus in near-surface waters of Comau Fjord, a stratified 480 m deep basin in northern Chilean Patagonia with suboxic deep waters. Here, we use a remotely operated vehicle to quantitatively investigate the distribution of D. dianthus and its physico-chemical drivers in so far uncharted naturally acidified waters. Remarkably, D. dianthus was ubiquitous throughout the fjord, but particularly abundant between 20 and 280 m depth in a pH range of 8.4 to 7.4. The persistence of individuals in aragonite-undersaturated waters suggests that present-day D. dianthus in Comau Fjord may show pre-acclimation or pre-adaptation to conditions of ocean acidification predicted to reach over 70% of the known deep-sea coral locations by the end of the century.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Epp Laura S

    2008-01-01

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

  16. The Assimilation of Diazotroph-Derived Nitrogen by Scleractinian Corals Depends on Their Metabolic Status

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa N. Bednarz

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Tropical corals are associated with a diverse community of dinitrogen (N2-fixing prokaryotes (diazotrophs providing the coral an additional source of bioavailable nitrogen (N in oligotrophic waters. The overall activity of these diazotrophs changes depending on the current environmental conditions, but to what extent it affects the assimilation of diazotroph-derived N (DDN by corals is still unknown. Here, in a series of 15N2 tracer experiments, we directly quantified DDN assimilation by scleractinian corals from the Red Sea exposed to different environmental conditions. We show that DDN assimilation strongly varied with the corals’ metabolic status or with phosphate availability in the water. The very autotrophic shallow-water (~5 m corals showed low or no DDN assimilation, which significantly increased under elevated phosphate availability (3 µM. Corals that depended more on heterotrophy (i.e., bleached and deep-water [~45 m] corals assimilated significantly more DDN, which contributed up to 15% of the corals’ N demand (compared to 1% in shallow corals. Furthermore, we demonstrate that a substantial part of the DDN assimilated by deep corals was likely obtained from heterotrophic feeding on fixed N compounds and/or diazotrophic cells in the mucus. Conversely, in shallow corals, the net release of mucus, rich in organic carbon compounds, likely enhanced diazotroph abundance and activity and thereby the release of fixed N to the pelagic and benthic reef community. Overall, our results suggest that DDN assimilation by corals varies according to the environmental conditions and is likely linked to the capacity of the coral to acquire nutrients from seawater.

  17. Plastic microfibre ingestion by deep-sea organisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, M. L.; Gwinnett, C.; Robinson, L. F.; Woodall, L. C.

    2016-09-01

    Plastic waste is a distinctive indicator of the world-wide impact of anthropogenic activities. Both macro- and micro-plastics are found in the ocean, but as yet little is known about their ultimate fate and their impact on marine ecosystems. In this study we present the first evidence that microplastics are already becoming integrated into deep-water organisms. By examining organisms that live on the deep-sea floor we show that plastic microfibres are ingested and internalised by members of at least three major phyla with different feeding mechanisms. These results demonstrate that, despite its remote location, the deep sea and its fragile habitats are already being exposed to human waste to the extent that diverse organisms are ingesting microplastics.

  18. Evaluating Coral Health in La Parguera, Puerto Rico, and Southeastern Florida: Comparison of Satellite-Based Sea Surface Temperature to In Situ Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomez, A. M.; McDonald, K. C.; Shein, K. A.; Devries, S. L.; Armstrong, R.; Carlo, M.

    2017-12-01

    The third global coral bleaching event, which began in mid-2014, is a major environmental stressor that has been causing significant documented damage to coral reefs in all tropical ocean basins. This worldwide phenomenon is the longest and largest coral bleaching event on record and now finally appears to be ending. During this event, some coral colonies proved to be more resilient to increased ocean temperatures while others bleached severely. This research investigates the spatial and temporal variability of bleaching stress on coral reefs in La Parguera, Puerto Rico, and Southeastern Florida to help further understand the role of temperature and light in coral bleaching. We examine the microclimate within two coral reef systems, using in situ collections of temperature and light data from data loggers deployed throughout Cayo Enrique and Cayo Mario in La Parguera, and Lauderdale-By-The-Sea in FLorida. The in situ measurements are compared to NOAA Coral Reef Watch's 5-km sea surface temperature data as well as to the associated Light Stress Damage Product. Research outcomes include statistical analyses of in situ measurements with satellite datasets supporting enhanced interpretation of satellite-based SST and light products, and ecological niche modeling to assess where corals could potentially survive under future climate conditions. Additional understanding of the microclimate encompassing coral reefs and improved satellite SST and light data will ultimately help coral reef ecosystem managers and policy makers in prioritizing resources toward the monitoring and protection of coral reef ecosystems.

  19. Deep-sea bioluminescence blooms after dense water formation at the ocean surface.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Tamburini

    Full Text Available The deep ocean is the largest and least known ecosystem on Earth. It hosts numerous pelagic organisms, most of which are able to emit light. Here we present a unique data set consisting of a 2.5-year long record of light emission by deep-sea pelagic organisms, measured from December 2007 to June 2010 at the ANTARES underwater neutrino telescope in the deep NW Mediterranean Sea, jointly with synchronous hydrological records. This is the longest continuous time-series of deep-sea bioluminescence ever recorded. Our record reveals several weeks long, seasonal bioluminescence blooms with light intensity up to two orders of magnitude higher than background values, which correlate to changes in the properties of deep waters. Such changes are triggered by the winter cooling and evaporation experienced by the upper ocean layer in the Gulf of Lion that leads to the formation and subsequent sinking of dense water through a process known as "open-sea convection". It episodically renews the deep water of the study area and conveys fresh organic matter that fuels the deep ecosystems. Luminous bacteria most likely are the main contributors to the observed deep-sea bioluminescence blooms. Our observations demonstrate a consistent and rapid connection between deep open-sea convection and bathypelagic biological activity, as expressed by bioluminescence. In a setting where dense water formation events are likely to decline under global warming scenarios enhancing ocean stratification, in situ observatories become essential as environmental sentinels for the monitoring and understanding of deep-sea ecosystem shifts.

  20. Deep-sea bioluminescence blooms after dense water formation at the ocean surface.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamburini, Christian; Canals, Miquel; Durrieu de Madron, Xavier; Houpert, Loïc; Lefèvre, Dominique; Martini, Séverine; D'Ortenzio, Fabrizio; Robert, Anne; Testor, Pierre; Aguilar, Juan Antonio; Samarai, Imen Al; Albert, Arnaud; André, Michel; Anghinolfi, Marco; Anton, Gisela; Anvar, Shebli; Ardid, Miguel; Jesus, Ana Carolina Assis; Astraatmadja, Tri L; Aubert, Jean-Jacques; Baret, Bruny; Basa, Stéphane; Bertin, Vincent; Biagi, Simone; Bigi, Armando; Bigongiari, Ciro; Bogazzi, Claudio; Bou-Cabo, Manuel; Bouhou, Boutayeb; Bouwhuis, Mieke C; Brunner, Jurgen; Busto, José; Camarena, Francisco; Capone, Antonio; Cârloganu, Christina; Carminati, Giada; Carr, John; Cecchini, Stefano; Charif, Ziad; Charvis, Philippe; Chiarusi, Tommaso; Circella, Marco; Coniglione, Rosa; Costantini, Heide; Coyle, Paschal; Curtil, Christian; Decowski, Patrick; Dekeyser, Ivan; Deschamps, Anne; Donzaud, Corinne; Dornic, Damien; Dorosti, Hasankiadeh Q; Drouhin, Doriane; Eberl, Thomas; Emanuele, Umberto; Ernenwein, Jean-Pierre; Escoffier, Stéphanie; Fermani, Paolo; Ferri, Marcelino; Flaminio, Vincenzo; Folger, Florian; Fritsch, Ulf; Fuda, Jean-Luc; Galatà, Salvatore; Gay, Pascal; Giacomelli, Giorgio; Giordano, Valentina; Gómez-González, Juan-Pablo; Graf, Kay; Guillard, Goulven; Halladjian, Garadeb; Hallewell, Gregory; van Haren, Hans; Hartman, Joris; Heijboer, Aart J; Hello, Yann; Hernández-Rey, Juan Jose; Herold, Bjoern; Hößl, Jurgen; Hsu, Ching-Cheng; de Jong, Marteen; Kadler, Matthias; Kalekin, Oleg; Kappes, Alexander; Katz, Uli; Kavatsyuk, Oksana; Kooijman, Paul; Kopper, Claudio; Kouchner, Antoine; Kreykenbohm, Ingo; Kulikovskiy, Vladimir; Lahmann, Robert; Lamare, Patrick; Larosa, Giuseppina; Lattuada, Dario; Lim, Gordon; Presti, Domenico Lo; Loehner, Herbert; Loucatos, Sotiris; Mangano, Salvatore; Marcelin, Michel; Margiotta, Annarita; Martinez-Mora, Juan Antonio; Meli, Athina; Montaruli, Teresa; Moscoso, Luciano; Motz, Holger; Neff, Max; Nezri, Emma Nuel; Palioselitis, Dimitris; Păvălaş, Gabriela E; Payet, Kevin; Payre, Patrice; Petrovic, Jelena; Piattelli, Paolo; Picot-Clemente, Nicolas; Popa, Vlad; Pradier, Thierry; Presani, Eleonora; Racca, Chantal; Reed, Corey; Riccobene, Giorgio; Richardt, Carsten; Richter, Roland; Rivière, Colas; Roensch, Kathrin; Rostovtsev, Andrei; Ruiz-Rivas, Joaquin; Rujoiu, Marius; Russo, Valerio G; Salesa, Francisco; Sánchez-Losa, Augustin; Sapienza, Piera; Schöck, Friederike; Schuller, Jean-Pierre; Schussler, Fabian; Shanidze, Rezo; Simeone, Francesco; Spies, Andreas; Spurio, Maurizio; Steijger, Jos J M; Stolarczyk, Thierry; Taiuti, Mauro G F; Toscano, Simona; Vallage, Bertrand; Van Elewyck, Véronique; Vannoni, Giulia; Vecchi, Manuela; Vernin, Pascal; Wijnker, Guus; Wilms, Jorn; de Wolf, Els; Yepes, Harold; Zaborov, Dmitry; De Dios Zornoza, Juan; Zúñiga, Juan

    2013-01-01

    The deep ocean is the largest and least known ecosystem on Earth. It hosts numerous pelagic organisms, most of which are able to emit light. Here we present a unique data set consisting of a 2.5-year long record of light emission by deep-sea pelagic organisms, measured from December 2007 to June 2010 at the ANTARES underwater neutrino telescope in the deep NW Mediterranean Sea, jointly with synchronous hydrological records. This is the longest continuous time-series of deep-sea bioluminescence ever recorded. Our record reveals several weeks long, seasonal bioluminescence blooms with light intensity up to two orders of magnitude higher than background values, which correlate to changes in the properties of deep waters. Such changes are triggered by the winter cooling and evaporation experienced by the upper ocean layer in the Gulf of Lion that leads to the formation and subsequent sinking of dense water through a process known as "open-sea convection". It episodically renews the deep water of the study area and conveys fresh organic matter that fuels the deep ecosystems. Luminous bacteria most likely are the main contributors to the observed deep-sea bioluminescence blooms. Our observations demonstrate a consistent and rapid connection between deep open-sea convection and bathypelagic biological activity, as expressed by bioluminescence. In a setting where dense water formation events are likely to decline under global warming scenarios enhancing ocean stratification, in situ observatories become essential as environmental sentinels for the monitoring and understanding of deep-sea ecosystem shifts.

  1. Potential impact of global climate change on benthic deep-sea microbes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danovaro, Roberto; Corinaldesi, Cinzia; Dell'Anno, Antonio; Rastelli, Eugenio

    2017-12-15

    Benthic deep-sea environments are the largest ecosystem on Earth, covering ∼65% of the Earth surface. Microbes inhabiting this huge biome at all water depths represent the most abundant biological components and a relevant portion of the biomass of the biosphere, and play a crucial role in global biogeochemical cycles. Increasing evidence suggests that global climate changes are affecting also deep-sea ecosystems, both directly (causing shifts in bottom-water temperature, oxygen concentration and pH) and indirectly (through changes in surface oceans' productivity and in the consequent export of organic matter to the seafloor). However, the responses of the benthic deep-sea biota to such shifts remain largely unknown. This applies particularly to deep-sea microbes, which include bacteria, archaea, microeukaryotes and their viruses. Understanding the potential impacts of global change on the benthic deep-sea microbial assemblages and the consequences on the functioning of the ocean interior is a priority to better forecast the potential consequences at global scale. Here we explore the potential changes in the benthic deep-sea microbiology expected in the coming decades using case studies on specific systems used as test models. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  2. A deep sea community at the Kebrit brine pool in the Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Vestheim, Hege

    2015-02-26

    Approximately 25 deep sea brine pools occur along the mid axis of the Red Sea. These hypersaline, anoxic, and acidic environments have previously been reported to host diverse microbial communities. We visited the Kebrit brine pool in April 2013 and found macrofauna present just above the brine–seawater interface (~1465 m). In particular, inactive sulfur chimneys had associated epifauna of sea anemones, sabellid type polychaetes, and hydroids, and infauna consisting of capitellid polychaetes, gastropods of the genus Laeviphitus (fam. Elachisinidae), and top snails of the family Cocculinidae. The deep Red Sea generally is regarded as extremely poor in benthos. We hypothesize that the periphery along the Kebrit holds increased biomass and biodiversity that are sustained by prokaryotes associated with the brine pool or co-occurring seeps.

  3. Mesophotic mushroom coral records at Brunei Darussalam support westward extension of the Coral Triangle to the South China Sea waters of Northwest Borneo

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lane, D.J.W.; Hoeksema, B.W.

    2016-01-01

    This communication reports the discovery of two additional fungiid coral species, Cycloseris hexagonalis and Lithophyllon spinifer, from a relatively deep shelf reef in Brunei waters. These new records plus two earlier excluded ones, Cycloseris explanulata and C. wellsi, raise the known number of

  4. Anomalous Ba/Ca signals associated with low temperature stresses in Porites corals from Daya Bay, northern South China Sea

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Tianran Chen; Kefu Yu; Shu Li; Tegu Chen; Qi Shi

    2011-01-01

    Barium to calcium (Ba/Ca) ratio in corals has been considered as a useful geochemical proxy for upwelling,river flood and other oceanic processes.However,recent studies indicated that additional environmental or biological factors can influence the incorporation of Ba into coral skeletons.In this study,Ba/Ca ratios of two Porites corals collected from Daya Bay,northern South China Sea were analyzed.Ba/Ca signals in the two corals were 'anomalous' in comparison with Ba behaviors seen in other near-shore corals influenced by upwelling or riverine runoff.Our Ba/Ca profiles displayed similar and remarkable patterns characterized by low and randomly fluctuating background signals periodically interrupted by sharp and large synchronous peaks,clearly indicating an environmental forcing.Further analysis indicated that the Ba/Ca profiles were not correlated with previously claimed environmental factors such as precipitation,coastal upwelling,anthropogenic activities or phytoplankton blooms in other areas.The maxima of Ba/Ca appeared to occur in the period of Sr/Ca maxima,coinciding with the winter minimum temperatures,which suggests that the anomalous high Ba/Ca signals were related to winter-time low sea surface temperature.We speculated that the Ba/Ca peaks in corals of the Daya Bay were most likely the results of enrichment of Ba-rich particles in their skeletons when coral polyps retracted under the stresses of anomalous winter low temperatures.In this case,Ba/Ca ratio in relatively high-latitude corals can be a potential proxy for tracing the low temperature stress.

  5. Interactions between the tropical sea anemone Aiptasia pallida and Serratia marcescens, an opportunistic pathogen of corals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krediet, Cory J; Meyer, Julie L; Gimbrone, Nicholas; Yanong, Roy; Berzins, Ilze; Alagely, Ali; Castro, Herman; Ritchie, Kim B; Paul, Valerie J; Teplitski, Max

    2014-06-01

    Coral reefs are under increasing stress caused by global and local environmental changes, which are thought to increase the susceptibility of corals to opportunistic pathogens. In the absence of an easily culturable model animal, the understanding of the mechanisms of disease progression in corals remains fairly limited. In the present study, we tested the susceptibility of the tropical sea anemone Aiptasia pallida to an opportunistic coral pathogen (Serratia marcescens). A. pallida was susceptible to S. marcescens PDL100 and responded to this opportunistic coral pathogen with darkening of the tissues and retraction of tentacles, followed by complete disintegration of polyp tissues. Histological observations revealed loss of zooxanthellae and structural changes in eosinophilic granular cells in response to pathogen infection. A screen of S. marcescens mutants identified a motility and tetrathionate reductase mutants as defective in virulence in the A. pallida infection model. In co-infections with the wild-type strain, the tetrathionate reductase mutant was less fit within the surface mucopolysaccharide layer of the host coral Acropora palmata. © 2014 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. Quantifying spatial genetic structuring in mesophotic populations of the precious coral Corallium rubrum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costantini, Federica; Carlesi, Lorenzo; Abbiati, Marco

    2013-01-01

    While shallow water red coral populations have been overharvested in the past, nowadays, commercial harvesting shifted its pressure on mesophotic organisms. An understanding of red coral population structure, particularly larval dispersal patterns and connectivity among harvested populations is paramount to the viability of the species. In order to determine patterns of genetic spatial structuring of deep water Corallium rubrum populations, for the first time, colonies found between 58-118 m depth within the Tyrrhenian Sea were collected and analyzed. Ten microsatellite loci and two regions of mitochondrial DNA (mtMSH and mtC) were used to quantify patterns of genetic diversity within populations and to define population structuring at spatial scales from tens of metres to hundreds of kilometres. Microsatellites showed heterozygote deficiencies in all populations. Significant levels of genetic differentiation were observed at all investigated spatial scales, suggesting that populations are likely to be isolated. This differentiation may by the results of biological interactions, occurring within a small spatial scale and/or abiotic factors acting at a larger scale. Mitochondrial markers revealed significant genetic structuring at spatial scales greater then 100 km showing the occurrence of a barrier to gene flow between northern and southern Tyrrhenian populations. These findings provide support for the establishment of marine protected areas in the deep sea and off-shore reefs, in order to effectively maintain genetic diversity of mesophotic red coral populations.

  7. Geochemistry of Slow-Growing Corals: Reconstructing Sea Surface Temperature, Salinity and the North Atlantic Oscillation

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-06-01

    Number 8, October 1989) The island of Bermuda (64°W, 32°N) (Fig. 1.3) located in the western sub- tropical Atlantic is an excellent location for examining...lobata at Clipperton Atoll, Coral Reefv, 18, 13-27, 1999. Lough, J. M., A strategy to improve the contribution of coral data to high-resolution...to evaluate winter Sr/Ca. The island of Bermuda (64°W, 32°N) is located in the Sargasso Sea in the sub-tropical North Atlantic. This site is

  8. Comparative analysis and culturing of the microbial community of Aiptasia pallida, A Sea Anemone Model for Coral Biology

    KAUST Repository

    Binsarhan, Mohammad

    2016-01-01

    Recent works has highlighted the contribution of microbes to animal function. In this regard, the microbial community associated with corals has become a growing field of research in order to understand how microbes contribute to the host organisms’ response to environmental changes. It has been shown that microbes associated with corals have important functions in the coral holobiont such as immunity and nutrient assimilation. However, corals are notoriously difficult to work with. To this end, the sea anemone Aiptasia is becoming a model organism for coral symbiosis. Given the importance of host-­microbiome interactions, the topic of this thesis is to assess microbial structure of Aiptasia, culture prominent bacterial members, and compare bacterial community structure to corals. Different molecular methods have been applied using 16S rRNA bacterial gene fragments to characterize the microbial composition of Aiptasia. 16S rRNA gene sequence derived from cultured bacteria was compared to 16S rRNA gene sequences retrieved from native Red Sea Aiptasia. Inter-­individual as well as methodological differences were found to account for variance in microbiome composition. However, all approaches showed a highly abundant microbial taxon belonging to the genus Alteromonas in all samples. The Alteromonas species was successfully isolated for further research targeting microbiome selection mechanisms in Aiptasia. Future investigations by using different molecular tools will help to define the functions and relationship between the Aiptasia and its complex microbiome.

  9. Radiochemical data obtained by α spectrometry on unrecrystallized fossil coral samples from the Egyptian shoreline of the north-western Red Sea

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Choukri, A.; Hakam, O.K.; Reyss, J.L.; Plaziat, J.C.

    2007-01-01

    In this work, radiochemical results obtained by α spectrometry on 80 unrecrystallized fossil coral samples from the Egyptian shoreline of the north-western Red Sea are presented and discussed. The coral samples were collected in Egypt from the emerged 5e coral reef terraces over 500km from The Ras Gharib-Ras Shukeir depression (28 deg. 10 ' ) in the north to Wadi Lahami (north of Ras Banas, 24 deg. 10 ' ) in the south. The statistical description of radiochemical results (concentrations of U and Th radioisotopes, 234 U/ 238 U activity ratios and ages) obtained on a great number of coral samples showed that it is possible to establish methodological criterions which could be used to validate the measured ages before confronting them to the geological context of sampling sites. The obtained results confirm that the unrecrystallized corals ( 232 Th 238 U varies between 2.2 and 4.9ppm around an average of 3.18+/-0.65ppm. 234 U/ 238 U activity ratios are between 1.08 and 1.28 with an averaged value of 1.164+/-0.016 which exceeds that of present day sea water but which is in agreement with the ratio of 1.16 measured by a precise mass spectrometry in many Pleistocene coral samples. Except three samples dated at least 100ka, the radiochemical age of 5e coral samples vary between 108 and 131ka with an average value of 122.2ka and a standard deviation of 4.3ka. Except for samples from the Zeit area, the reef terrace is between 2 and 6m above the present sea level. This position is similar to the highest sea level from the last interglacial according to the glacio-isostatic rebound calculated for stable regions. This work proves that the large tectonic motions which affected the studied area after the Oligocene ceased after at least the last interglacial period

  10. Occurrence, sources and transport of antibiotics in the surface water of coral reef regions in the South China Sea: Potential risk to coral growth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ruijie; Zhang, Ruiling; Yu, Kefu; Wang, Yinghui; Huang, Xueyong; Pei, Jiying; Wei, Chaoshuai; Pan, Ziliang; Qin, Zhenjun; Zhang, Gan

    2018-01-01

    Laboratory research has indicated that antibiotics had negative effects on coral growth by disturbing natural microbiota; however, no field studies have reported antibiotic contamination levels and their influence on coral growth in natural coral reef regions (CRRs). This study investigated antibiotic occurrence and sources in the surface water from CRRs that have suffered from rapid coral degradation and evaluated their risk to coral growth. These regions are in the South China Sea, including four coastal and two offshore CRRs. The results show that 13 antibiotics were detected in the coastal CRRs with concentrations ranging from 10 -2 -10 0  ng L -1 , while 5 antibiotics occurred in offshore CRRs (300-950 km from the mainland), with concentrations ranging from 10 -2 to 10 -1  ng L -1 . Their concentrations decreased gradually from the coast to offshore in the transport process. However, Yongxing Island, which is approximately 300 km from the mainland, was an exception with relatively higher concentrations than the surrounding reefs because of the ever-increasing human activity on the island. The presence of anthropogenic contaminants antibiotics in CRRs may be a potential risk to coral growth. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Starvation and recovery in the deep-sea methanotroph Methyloprofundus sedimenti

    OpenAIRE

    Tavormina, Patricia L.; Kellermann, Matthias Y.; Antony, Chakkiath Paul; Tocheva, Elitza I.; Dalleska, Nathan F.; Jensen, Ashley J.; Valentine, David L.; Hinrichs, Kai-Uwe; Jensen, Grant J.; Dubilier, Nicole; Orphan, Victoria J.

    2017-01-01

    In the deep ocean, the conversion of methane into derived carbon and energy drives the establishment of diverse faunal communities. Yet specific biological mechanisms underlying the introduction of methane-derived carbon into the food web remain poorly described, due to a lack of cultured representative deep-sea methanotrophic prokaryotes. Here, the response of the deep-sea aerobic methanotroph Methyloprofundus sedimenti to methane starvation and recovery was characterized. By combining lipid...

  12. First record of the blackfin coral goby, Paragobiodon lacunicolus (Kendall and Goldsborough, 1911), from the Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Alpermann, Tilman J.

    2013-09-13

    Three specimens of the blackfin coral goby, Paragobiodon lacunicolus, were collected in 2010 and 2011 at different locations of the eastern Red Sea along the coast of Saudi Arabia. Reexamination of 14 museum specimens from Eritrea also confirmed the presence of the species for the western Red Sea. This represents the first published report of P. lacunicolus from the Red Sea. © 2013 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  13. First record of the blackfin coral goby, Paragobiodon lacunicolus (Kendall and Goldsborough, 1911), from the Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Alpermann, Tilman J.; Mee, J. K L; Berumen, Michael L.

    2013-01-01

    Three specimens of the blackfin coral goby, Paragobiodon lacunicolus, were collected in 2010 and 2011 at different locations of the eastern Red Sea along the coast of Saudi Arabia. Reexamination of 14 museum specimens from Eritrea also confirmed the presence of the species for the western Red Sea. This represents the first published report of P. lacunicolus from the Red Sea. © 2013 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  14. Deep Corals, Deep Learning: Moving the Deep Net Towards Real-Time Image Annotation

    OpenAIRE

    Lea-Anne Henry; Sankha S. Mukherjee; Neil M. Roberston; Laurence De Clippele; J. Murray Roberts

    2016-01-01

    The mismatch between human capacity and the acquisition of Big Data such as Earth imagery undermines commitments to Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and Aichi targets. Artificial intelligence (AI) solutions to Big Data issues are urgently needed as these could prove to be faster, more accurate, and cheaper. Reducing costs of managing protected areas in remote deep waters and in the High Seas is of great importance, and this is a realm where autonomous technology will be transformative.

  15. Stable mucus-associated bacterial communities in bleached and healthy corals of Porites lobata from the Arabian Seas

    KAUST Repository

    Hadaidi, Ghaida Ali Hassan

    2017-03-31

    Coral reefs are subject to coral bleaching manifested by the loss of endosymbiotic algae from coral host tissue. Besides algae, corals associate with bacteria. In particular, bacteria residing in the surface mucus layer are thought to mediate coral health, but their role in coral bleaching is unknown. We collected mucus from bleached and healthy Porites lobata colonies in the Persian/Arabian Gulf (PAG) and the Red Sea (RS) to investigate bacterial microbiome composition using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. We found that bacterial community structure was notably similar in bleached and healthy corals, and the most abundant bacterial taxa were identical. However, fine-scale differences in bacterial community composition between the PAG and RS were present and aligned with predicted differences in sulfur- and nitrogen-cycling processes. Based on our data, we argue that bleached corals benefit from the stable composition of mucus bacteria that resemble their healthy coral counterparts and presumably provide a conserved suite of protective functions, but monitoring of post-bleaching survival is needed to further confirm this assumption. Conversely, fine-scale site-specific differences highlight flexibility of the bacterial microbiome that may underlie adjustment to local environmental conditions and contribute to the widespread success of Porites lobata.

  16. Dynamic and static elastic moduli of North Sea and deep sea chalk

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gommesen, Lars; Fabricius, Ida Lykke

    2001-01-01

    We have established an empirical relationship between the dynamic and the static mechanical properties of North Sea and deep sea chalk for a large porosity interval with respect to porosity, effective stress history and textural composition. The chalk investigated is from the Tor and Hod Formatio...

  17. Quantification of dimethyl sulfide (DMS production in the sea anemone Aiptasia sp. to simulate the sea-to-air flux from coral reefs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Franchini

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The production of dimethyl sulfide (DMS is poorly quantified in tropical reef environments but forms an essential process that couples marine and terrestrial sulfur cycles and affects climate. Here we quantified net aqueous DMS production and the concentration of its cellular precursor dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP in the sea anemone Aiptasia sp., a model organism to study coral-related processes. Bleached anemones did not show net DMS production whereas symbiotic anemones produced DMS concentrations (mean ± standard error of 160.7 ± 44.22 nmol g−1 dry weight (DW after 48 h incubation. Symbiotic and bleached individuals showed DMSP concentrations of 32.7 ± 6.00 and 0.6 ± 0.19 µmol g−1 DW, respectively. We applied these findings to a Monte Carlo simulation to demonstrate that net aqueous DMS production accounts for only 20 % of gross aqueous DMS production. Monte Carlo-based estimations of sea-to-air fluxes of gaseous DMS showed that reefs may release 0.1 to 26.3 µmol DMS m−2 coral surface area (CSA d−1 into the atmosphere with 40 % probability for rates between 0.5 and 1.5 µmol m−2 CSA d−1. These predictions were in agreement with directly quantified fluxes in previous studies. Conversion to a flux normalised to sea surface area (SSA (range 0.1 to 17.4, with the highest probability for 0.3 to 1.0 µmol DMS m−2 SSA d−1 suggests that coral reefs emit gaseous DMS at lower rates than the average global oceanic DMS flux of 4.6 µmol m−2 SSA d−1 (19.6 Tg sulfur per year. The large difference between simulated gross and quantified net aqueous DMS production in corals suggests that the current and future potential for its production in tropical reefs is critically governed by DMS consumption processes. Hence, more research is required to assess the sensitivity of DMS-consumption pathways to ongoing environmental change in order to address the impact of predicted

  18. Quantification of dimethyl sulfide (DMS) production in the sea anemone Aiptasia sp. to simulate the sea-to-air flux from coral reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franchini, Filippo; Steinke, Michael

    2017-12-01

    The production of dimethyl sulfide (DMS) is poorly quantified in tropical reef environments but forms an essential process that couples marine and terrestrial sulfur cycles and affects climate. Here we quantified net aqueous DMS production and the concentration of its cellular precursor dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) in the sea anemone Aiptasia sp., a model organism to study coral-related processes. Bleached anemones did not show net DMS production whereas symbiotic anemones produced DMS concentrations (mean ± standard error) of 160.7 ± 44.22 nmol g-1 dry weight (DW) after 48 h incubation. Symbiotic and bleached individuals showed DMSP concentrations of 32.7 ± 6.00 and 0.6 ± 0.19 µmol g-1 DW, respectively. We applied these findings to a Monte Carlo simulation to demonstrate that net aqueous DMS production accounts for only 20 % of gross aqueous DMS production. Monte Carlo-based estimations of sea-to-air fluxes of gaseous DMS showed that reefs may release 0.1 to 26.3 µmol DMS m-2 coral surface area (CSA) d-1 into the atmosphere with 40 % probability for rates between 0.5 and 1.5 µmol m-2 CSA d-1. These predictions were in agreement with directly quantified fluxes in previous studies. Conversion to a flux normalised to sea surface area (SSA) (range 0.1 to 17.4, with the highest probability for 0.3 to 1.0 µmol DMS m-2 SSA d-1) suggests that coral reefs emit gaseous DMS at lower rates than the average global oceanic DMS flux of 4.6 µmol m-2 SSA d-1 (19.6 Tg sulfur per year). The large difference between simulated gross and quantified net aqueous DMS production in corals suggests that the current and future potential for its production in tropical reefs is critically governed by DMS consumption processes. Hence, more research is required to assess the sensitivity of DMS-consumption pathways to ongoing environmental change in order to address the impact of predicted degradation of coral reefs on DMS production in tropical coastal ecosystems and its impact on

  19. Identification of new deep sea sinuous channels in the eastern Arabian Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishra, Ravi; Pandey, D K; Ramesh, Prerna; Clift, Peter D

    2016-01-01

    Deep sea channel systems are recognized in most submarine fans worldwide as well as in the geological record. The Indus Fan is the second largest modern submarine fan, having a well-developed active canyon and deep sea channel system. Previous studies from the upper Indus Fan have reported several active channel systems. In the present study, deep sea channel systems were identified within the middle Indus Fan using high resolution multibeam bathymetric data. Prominent morphological features within the survey block include the Raman Seamount and Laxmi Ridge. The origin of the newly discovered channels in the middle fan has been inferred using medium resolution satellite bathymetry data. Interpretation of new data shows that the highly sinuous deep sea channel systems also extend to the east of Laxmi Ridge, as well as to the west of Laxmi Ridge, as previously reported. A decrease in sinuosity southward can be attributed to the morphological constraints imposed by the elevated features. These findings have significance in determining the pathways for active sediment transport systems, as well as their source characterization. The geometry suggests a series of punctuated avulsion events leading to the present array of disconnected channels. Such channels have affected the Laxmi Basin since the Pliocene and are responsible for reworking older fan sediments, resulting in loss of the original erosional signature supplied from the river mouth. This implies that distal fan sediments have experienced significant signal shredding and may not represent the erosion and weathering conditions within the onshore basin at the time of sedimentation.

  20. In situ effects of simulated overfishing and eutrophication on settlement of benthic coral reef invertebrates in the Central Red Sea.

    KAUST Repository

    Jessen, Christian

    2014-04-08

    In the Central Red Sea, healthy coral reefs meet intense coastal development, but data on the effects of related stressors for reef functioning are lacking. This in situ study therefore investigated the independent and combined effects of simulated overfishing through predator/grazer exclusion and simulated eutrophication through fertilizer addition on settlement of reef associated invertebrates on light-exposed and -shaded tiles over 4 months. At the end of the study period invertebrates had almost exclusively colonized shaded tiles. Algae were superior settling competitors on light-exposed tiles. On the shaded tiles, simulated overfishing prevented settlement of hard corals, but significantly increased settlement of polychaetes, while simulated eutrophication only significantly decreased hard coral settlement relative to controls. The combined treatment significantly increased settlement of bryozoans and bivalves compared to controls and individual manipulations, but significantly decreased polychaetes compared to simulated overfishing. These results suggest settlement of polychaetes and hard corals as potential bioindicators for overfishing and eutrophication, respectively, and settlement of bivalves and bryozoans for a combination of both. Therefore, if the investigated stressors are not controlled, phase shifts from dominance by hard corals to that by other invertebrates may occur at shaded reef locations in the Central Red Sea.

  1. In situ effects of simulated overfishing and eutrophication on settlement of benthic coral reef invertebrates in the Central Red Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jessen, Christian; Voolstra, Christian R; Wild, Christian

    2014-01-01

    In the Central Red Sea, healthy coral reefs meet intense coastal development, but data on the effects of related stressors for reef functioning are lacking. This in situ study therefore investigated the independent and combined effects of simulated overfishing through predator/grazer exclusion and simulated eutrophication through fertilizer addition on settlement of reef associated invertebrates on light-exposed and -shaded tiles over 4 months. At the end of the study period invertebrates had almost exclusively colonized shaded tiles. Algae were superior settling competitors on light-exposed tiles. On the shaded tiles, simulated overfishing prevented settlement of hard corals, but significantly increased settlement of polychaetes, while simulated eutrophication only significantly decreased hard coral settlement relative to controls. The combined treatment significantly increased settlement of bryozoans and bivalves compared to controls and individual manipulations, but significantly decreased polychaetes compared to simulated overfishing. These results suggest settlement of polychaetes and hard corals as potential bioindicators for overfishing and eutrophication, respectively, and settlement of bivalves and bryozoans for a combination of both. Therefore, if the investigated stressors are not controlled, phase shifts from dominance by hard corals to that by other invertebrates may occur at shaded reef locations in the Central Red Sea.

  2. Coral Reefs at the Northernmost Tip of Borneo: An Assessment of Scleractinian Species Richness Patterns and Benthic Reef Assemblages.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zarinah Waheed

    Full Text Available The coral reefs at the northernmost tip of Sabah, Borneo will be established under a marine protected area: the Tun Mustapha Park (TMP by the end of 2015. This area is a passage where the Sulu Sea meets the South China Sea and it is situated at the border of the area of maximum marine biodiversity, the Coral Triangle. The TMP includes fringing and patch reefs established on a relatively shallow sea floor. Surveys were carried out to examine features of the coral reefs in terms of scleractinian species richness, and benthic reef assemblages following the Reef Check substrate categories, with emphasis on hard coral cover. Variation in scleractinian diversity was based on the species composition of coral families Fungiidae (n = 39, Agariciidae (n = 30 and Euphylliidae (n = 15. The number of coral species was highest at reefs with a larger depth gradient i.e. at the periphery of the study area and in the deep South Banggi Channel. Average live hard coral cover across the sites was 49%. Only 7% of the examined reefs had > 75% hard coral cover, while the majority of the reef sites were rated fair (51% and good (38%. Sites with low coral cover and high rubble fragments are evidence of blast fishing, although the observed damage appeared old. Depth was a dominant factor in influencing the coral species composition and benthic reef communities in the TMP. Besides filling in the information gaps regarding species richness and benthic cover for reef areas that were previously without any data, the results of this study together with information that is already available on the coral reefs of TMP will be used to make informed decisions on zoning plans for conservation priorities in the proposed park.

  3. Coral Reefs at the Northernmost Tip of Borneo: An Assessment of Scleractinian Species Richness Patterns and Benthic Reef Assemblages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waheed, Zarinah; van Mil, Harald G J; Syed Hussein, Muhammad Ali; Jumin, Robecca; Golam Ahad, Bobita; Hoeksema, Bert W

    2015-01-01

    The coral reefs at the northernmost tip of Sabah, Borneo will be established under a marine protected area: the Tun Mustapha Park (TMP) by the end of 2015. This area is a passage where the Sulu Sea meets the South China Sea and it is situated at the border of the area of maximum marine biodiversity, the Coral Triangle. The TMP includes fringing and patch reefs established on a relatively shallow sea floor. Surveys were carried out to examine features of the coral reefs in terms of scleractinian species richness, and benthic reef assemblages following the Reef Check substrate categories, with emphasis on hard coral cover. Variation in scleractinian diversity was based on the species composition of coral families Fungiidae (n = 39), Agariciidae (n = 30) and Euphylliidae (n = 15). The number of coral species was highest at reefs with a larger depth gradient i.e. at the periphery of the study area and in the deep South Banggi Channel. Average live hard coral cover across the sites was 49%. Only 7% of the examined reefs had > 75% hard coral cover, while the majority of the reef sites were rated fair (51%) and good (38%). Sites with low coral cover and high rubble fragments are evidence of blast fishing, although the observed damage appeared old. Depth was a dominant factor in influencing the coral species composition and benthic reef communities in the TMP. Besides filling in the information gaps regarding species richness and benthic cover for reef areas that were previously without any data, the results of this study together with information that is already available on the coral reefs of TMP will be used to make informed decisions on zoning plans for conservation priorities in the proposed park.

  4. Coral Reefs at the Northernmost Tip of Borneo: An Assessment of Scleractinian Species Richness Patterns and Benthic Reef Assemblages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waheed, Zarinah; van Mil, Harald G. J.; Syed Hussein, Muhammad Ali; Jumin, Robecca; Golam Ahad, Bobita; Hoeksema, Bert W.

    2015-01-01

    The coral reefs at the northernmost tip of Sabah, Borneo will be established under a marine protected area: the Tun Mustapha Park (TMP) by the end of 2015. This area is a passage where the Sulu Sea meets the South China Sea and it is situated at the border of the area of maximum marine biodiversity, the Coral Triangle. The TMP includes fringing and patch reefs established on a relatively shallow sea floor. Surveys were carried out to examine features of the coral reefs in terms of scleractinian species richness, and benthic reef assemblages following the Reef Check substrate categories, with emphasis on hard coral cover. Variation in scleractinian diversity was based on the species composition of coral families Fungiidae (n = 39), Agariciidae (n = 30) and Euphylliidae (n = 15). The number of coral species was highest at reefs with a larger depth gradient i.e. at the periphery of the study area and in the deep South Banggi Channel. Average live hard coral cover across the sites was 49%. Only 7% of the examined reefs had > 75% hard coral cover, while the majority of the reef sites were rated fair (51%) and good (38%). Sites with low coral cover and high rubble fragments are evidence of blast fishing, although the observed damage appeared old. Depth was a dominant factor in influencing the coral species composition and benthic reef communities in the TMP. Besides filling in the information gaps regarding species richness and benthic cover for reef areas that were previously without any data, the results of this study together with information that is already available on the coral reefs of TMP will be used to make informed decisions on zoning plans for conservation priorities in the proposed park. PMID:26719987

  5. Reproductive biology of the deep brooding coral Seriatopora hystrix: Implications for shallow reef recovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prasetia, Rian; Sinniger, Frederic; Hashizume, Kaito; Harii, Saki

    2017-01-01

    Mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs, between 30 and 150 m depth) are hypothesized to contribute to the recovery of degraded shallow reefs through sexually produced larvae (referred to as Deep Reef Refuge Hypothesis). In Okinawa, Japan, the brooder coral Seriatopora hystrix was reported to be locally extinct in a shallow reef while it was found abundant at a MCE nearby. In this context, S. hystrix represents a key model to test the Deep Reef Refuge Hypothesis and to understand the potential contribution of mesophotic corals to shallow coral reef recovery. However, the reproductive biology of mesophotic S. hystrix and its potential to recolonize shallow reefs is currently unknown. This study reports for the first time, different temporal scales of reproductive periodicity and larval settlement of S. hystrix from an upper mesophotic reef (40 m depth) in Okinawa. We examined reproductive seasonality, lunar, and circadian periodicity (based on polyp dissection, histology, and ex situ planula release observations) and larval settlement rates in the laboratory. Mesophotic S. hystrix reproduced mainly in July and early August, with a small number of planulae being released at the end of May, June and August. Compared to shallow colonies in the same region, mesophotic S. hystrix has a 4-month shorter reproductive season, similar circadian periodicity, and smaller planula size. In addition, most of the planulae settled rapidly, limiting larval dispersal potential. The shorter reproductive season and smaller planula size may result from limited energy available for reproduction at deeper depths, while the similar circadian periodicity suggests that this reproductive aspect is not affected by environmental conditions differing with depth. Overall, contribution of mesophotic S. hystrix to shallow reef rapid recovery appears limited, although they may recruit to shallow reefs through a multistep process over a few generations or through random extreme mixing such as typhoons.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. In-situ effects of eutrophication and overfishing on physiology and bacterial diversity of the red sea coral Acropora hemprichii.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Jessen

    Full Text Available 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 (15N 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.

  9. Occurrence, sources and transport of antibiotics in the surface water of coral reef regions in the South China Sea: Potential risk to coral growth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang, Ruijie; Zhang, Ruiling; Yu, Kefu; Wang, Yinghui; Huang, Xueyong; Pei, Jiying; Wei, Chaoshuai; Pan, Ziliang; Qin, Zhenjun; Zhang, Gan

    2018-01-01

    Laboratory research has indicated that antibiotics had negative effects on coral growth by disturbing natural microbiota; however, no field studies have reported antibiotic contamination levels and their influence on coral growth in natural coral reef regions (CRRs). This study investigated antibiotic occurrence and sources in the surface water from CRRs that have suffered from rapid coral degradation and evaluated their risk to coral growth. These regions are in the South China Sea, including four coastal and two offshore CRRs. The results show that 13 antibiotics were detected in the coastal CRRs with concentrations ranging from 10 −2 –10 0  ng L −1 , while 5 antibiotics occurred in offshore CRRs (300–950 km from the mainland), with concentrations ranging from 10 −2 to 10 −1  ng L −1 . Their concentrations decreased gradually from the coast to offshore in the transport process. However, Yongxing Island, which is approximately 300 km from the mainland, was an exception with relatively higher concentrations than the surrounding reefs because of the ever-increasing human activity on the island. The presence of anthropogenic contaminants antibiotics in CRRs may be a potential risk to coral growth. - Highlights: • The study first studied antibiotic contamination in seawater from coral reef regions. • Thirteen antibiotics were detected at the level of 10 −2 - 10 0  ng L −1 . • The antibiotic concentrations decreased gradually from the coast to offshore. • Higher concentrations were detected in one offshore reef with more human activities. • Potential risk of the antibiotics to the coral could be ruled out. - Antibiotic contamination level, sources and their potential risk to coral growth were first studied in the surface water of natural coral reef regions.

  10. A deep sea community at the Kebrit brine pool in the Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Vestheim, Hege; Kaartvedt, Stein

    2015-01-01

    Approximately 25 deep sea brine pools occur along the mid axis of the Red Sea. These hypersaline, anoxic, and acidic environments have previously been reported to host diverse microbial communities. We visited the Kebrit brine pool in April 2013

  11. Reconstruction of deglacial sea surface temperature in the tropical Pacific from selective analysis of a fossil coral

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Allison, N.; Finch, A.A.; Tudhope, A.W.; Newville, M.; Sutton, S.R.; Ellam, R.M. (St Andrews); (Edinburgh); (Scottish); (UC); (St Andrews)

    2010-07-13

    The Sr/Ca of coral skeletons demonstrates potential as an indicator of sea surface temperatures (SSTs). However, the glacial-interglacial SST ranges predicted from Sr/Ca of fossil corals are usually higher than from other marine proxies. We observed infilling of secondary aragonite, characterized by high Sr/Ca ratios, along intraskeletal pores of a fossil coral from Papua New Guinea that grew during the penultimate deglaciation (130 {+-} 2 ka). Selective microanalysis of unaltered areas of the fossil coral indicates that SSTs at {approx}130 ka were {le} 1 C cooler than at present in contrast with bulk measurements (combining infilled and unaltered areas) which indicate a difference of 6-7 C. The analysis of unaltered areas of fossil skeletons by microprobe techniques may offer a route to more accurate reconstruction of past SSTs.

  12. Ecosystem function and services provided by the deep sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thurber, A. R.; Sweetman, A. K.; Narayanaswamy, B. E.; Jones, D. O. B.; Ingels, J.; Hansman, R. L.

    2014-07-01

    The deep sea is often viewed as a vast, dark, remote, and inhospitable environment, yet the deep ocean and seafloor are crucial to our lives through the services that they provide. Our understanding of how the deep sea functions remains limited, but when treated synoptically, a diversity of supporting, provisioning, regulating and cultural services becomes apparent. The biological pump transports carbon from the atmosphere into deep-ocean water masses that are separated over prolonged periods, reducing the impact of anthropogenic carbon release. Microbial oxidation of methane keeps another potent greenhouse gas out of the atmosphere while trapping carbon in authigenic carbonates. Nutrient regeneration by all faunal size classes provides the elements necessary for fueling surface productivity and fisheries, and microbial processes detoxify a diversity of compounds. Each of these processes occur on a very small scale, yet considering the vast area over which they occur they become important for the global functioning of the ocean. The deep sea also provides a wealth of resources, including fish stocks, enormous bioprospecting potential, and elements and energy reserves that are currently being extracted and will be increasingly important in the near future. Society benefits from the intrigue and mystery, the strange life forms, and the great unknown that has acted as a muse for inspiration and imagination since near the beginning of civilization. While many functions occur on the scale of microns to meters and timescales up to years, the derived services that result are only useful after centuries of integrated activity. This vast dark habitat, which covers the majority of the globe, harbors processes that directly impact humans in a variety of ways; however, the same traits that differentiate it from terrestrial or shallow marine systems also result in a greater need for integrated spatial and temporal understanding as it experiences increased use by society. In

  13. A vertical wall dominated by Acesta excavata and Neopycnodonte zibrowii, part of an undersampled group of deep-sea habitats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark P Johnson

    Full Text Available We describe a novel biotope at 633 to 762 m depth on a vertical wall in the Whittard Canyon, an extensive canyon system reaching from the shelf to the deep sea on Ireland's continental margin. We explored this wall with an ROV and compiled a photomosaic of the habitat. The assemblage contributing to the biotope was dominated by large limid bivalves, Acesta excavata (mean shell height 10.4 cm, and deep-sea oysters, Neopycnodonte zibrowii, at high densities, particularly at overhangs. Mean density of N. zibrowii increased with depth, with densities of the most closely packed areas of A. excavata also increasing with depth. Other taxa associated with the assemblage included the solitary coral Desmophyllum dianthus, cerianthid anemones, comatulid crinoids, the trochid gastropod Margarites sp., the portunid crab Bathynectes longispina and small fish of the family Bythitidae. The scleractinian coral Madrepora oculata, the pencil urchin Cidaris cidaris and a species of Epizoanthus were also common. Prominent but less abundant species included the flytrap anemone Actinoscyphia saginata, the carrier crab Paramola cuvieri, and the fishes Lepidion eques and Conger conger. Observations of the hydrography of the canyon system identified that the upper 500 m was dominated by Eastern North Atlantic Water, with Mediterranean Outflow Water beneath it. The permanent thermocline is found between 600 and 1000 m depth, i.e., in the depth range of the vertical wall and the dense assemblage of filter feeders. Beam attenuation indicated nepheloid layers present in the canyon system with the greatest amounts of suspended material at the ROV dive site between 500 and 750 m. A cross-canyon CTD transect indicated the presence of internal waves between these depths. We hypothesise that internal waves concentrate suspended sediment at high concentrations at the foot of the vertical wall, possibly explaining the large size and high density of filter-feeding molluscs.

  14. Factors governing the deep ventilation of the Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Papadopoulos, Vassilis P.

    2015-11-19

    A variety of data based on hydrographic measurements, satellite observations, reanalysis databases, and meteorological observations are used to explore the interannual variability and factors governing the deep water formation in the northern Red Sea. Historical and recent hydrographic data consistently indicate that the ventilation of the near-bottom layer in the Red Sea is a robust feature of the thermohaline circulation. Dense water capable to reach the bottom layers of the Red Sea can be regularly produced mostly inside the Gulfs of Aqaba and Suez. Occasionally, during colder than usual winters, deep water formation may also take place over coastal areas in the northernmost end of the open Red Sea just outside the Gulfs of Aqaba and Suez. However, the origin as well as the amount of deep waters exhibit considerable interannual variability depending not only on atmospheric forcing but also on the water circulation over the northern Red Sea. Analysis of several recent winters shows that the strength of the cyclonic gyre prevailing in the northernmost part of the basin can effectively influence the sea surface temperature (SST) and intensify or moderate the winter surface cooling. Upwelling associated with periods of persistent gyre circulation lowers the SST over the northernmost part of the Red Sea and can produce colder than normal winter SST even without extreme heat loss by the sea surface. In addition, the occasional persistence of the cyclonic gyre feeds the surface layers of the northern Red Sea with nutrients, considerably increasing the phytoplankton biomass.

  15. Studies of the reproductive biology of deep sea megabenthos VIII. Biochemical and calorific content of the reproductive organs of deep sea holothurians

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tyler, P.A.; Walker, M.

    1987-01-01

    The data for protein, lipid, carbohydrate and ash content of the ovary, testes, gut and body wall of a variety of deep sea holothurians are presented. The dominant biochemical is insoluble protein in all tissues followed by lipid in the ovary. The ash content was lowest in the gonads and highest in the body wall of most species. The mean calorific content of the species studied is 25.08Jmg -1 thus representing a significant energy store in the deep sea. The data suggest active metabolic pathways in these species which may pass radionuclides to the developing gametes and after spawning to dispersal in deep waters. (author)

  16. Acute survivorship of the deep-sea coral Lophelia pertusa from the Gulf of Mexico under acidification, warming, and deoxygenation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lunden, Jay J.; McNicholl, Conall G.; Sears, Christopher R.; Morrison, Cheryl L.; Cordes, Erik E.

    2014-01-01

    Changing global climate due to anthropogenic emissions of CO2 are driving rapid changes in the physical and chemical environment of the oceans via warming, deoxygenation, and acidification. These changes may threaten the persistence of species and populations across a range of latitudes and depths, including species that support diverse biological communities that in turn provide ecological stability and support commercial interests. Worldwide, but particularly in the North Atlantic and deep Gulf of Mexico, Lophelia pertusa forms expansive reefs that support biological communities whose diversity rivals that of tropical coral reefs. In this study, L. pertusa colonies were collected from the Viosca Knoll region in the Gulf of Mexico (390 to 450 m depth), genotyped using microsatellite markers, and exposed to a series of treatments testing survivorship responses to acidification, warming, and deoxygenation. All coral nubbins survived the acidification scenarios tested, between pH of 7.67 and 7.90 and aragonite saturation states of 0.92 and 1.47. However, net calcification generally declined with respect to pH, though a disparate response was evident where select individuals net calcified and others exhibited net dissolution near a saturation state of 1. Warming and deoxygenation both had negative effects on survivorship, with up to 100% mortality observed at temperatures above 14°C and oxygen concentrations of approximately 1.5 ml· l−1. These results suggest that, over the short-term, climate change and OA may negatively impact L. pertusa in the Gulf of Mexico, though the potential for acclimation and the effects of genetic background should be considered in future research.

  17. Extensive phenotypic plasticity of a Red Sea coral over a strong latitudinal temperature gradient suggests limited acclimatization potential to warming

    KAUST Repository

    Sawall, Yvonne

    2015-03-10

    Global warming was reported to cause growth reductions in tropical shallow water corals in both, cooler and warmer, regions of the coral species range. This suggests regional adaptation with less heat-tolerant populations in cooler and more thermo-tolerant populations in warmer regions. Here, we investigated seasonal changes in the in situ metabolic performance of the widely distributed hermatypic coral Pocillopora verrucosa along 12° latitudes featuring a steep temperature gradient between the northern (28.5°N, 21-27°C) and southern (16.5°N, 28-33°C) reaches of the Red Sea. Surprisingly, we found little indication for regional adaptation, but strong indications for high phenotypic plasticity: Calcification rates in two seasons (winter, summer) were found to be highest at 28-29°C throughout all populations independent of their geographic location. Mucus release increased with temperature and nutrient supply, both being highest in the south. Genetic characterization of the coral host revealed low inter-regional variation and differences in the Symbiodinium clade composition only at the most northern and most southern region. This suggests variable acclimatization potential to ocean warming of coral populations across the Red Sea: high acclimatization potential in northern populations, but limited ability to cope with ocean warming in southern populations already existing at the upper thermal margin for corals.

  18. Extensive phenotypic plasticity of a Red Sea coral over a strong latitudinal temperature gradient suggests limited acclimatization potential to warming

    KAUST Repository

    Sawall, Yvonne; Al-Sofyani, Abdulmoshin; Hohn, Sö nke; Banguera Hinestroza, Eulalia; Voolstra, Christian R.; Wahl, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Global warming was reported to cause growth reductions in tropical shallow water corals in both, cooler and warmer, regions of the coral species range. This suggests regional adaptation with less heat-tolerant populations in cooler and more thermo-tolerant populations in warmer regions. Here, we investigated seasonal changes in the in situ metabolic performance of the widely distributed hermatypic coral Pocillopora verrucosa along 12° latitudes featuring a steep temperature gradient between the northern (28.5°N, 21-27°C) and southern (16.5°N, 28-33°C) reaches of the Red Sea. Surprisingly, we found little indication for regional adaptation, but strong indications for high phenotypic plasticity: Calcification rates in two seasons (winter, summer) were found to be highest at 28-29°C throughout all populations independent of their geographic location. Mucus release increased with temperature and nutrient supply, both being highest in the south. Genetic characterization of the coral host revealed low inter-regional variation and differences in the Symbiodinium clade composition only at the most northern and most southern region. This suggests variable acclimatization potential to ocean warming of coral populations across the Red Sea: high acclimatization potential in northern populations, but limited ability to cope with ocean warming in southern populations already existing at the upper thermal margin for corals.

  19. Structure, functioning, and cumulative stressors of Mediterranean deep-sea ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tecchio, Samuele; Coll, Marta; Sardà, Francisco

    2015-06-01

    Environmental stressors, such as climate fluctuations, and anthropogenic stressors, such as fishing, are of major concern for the management of deep-sea ecosystems. Deep-water habitats are limited by primary productivity and are mainly dependent on the vertical input of organic matter from the surface. Global change over the latest decades is imparting variations in primary productivity levels across oceans, and thus it has an impact on the amount of organic matter landing on the deep seafloor. In addition, anthropogenic impacts are now reaching the deep ocean. The Mediterranean Sea, the largest enclosed basin on the planet, is not an exception. However, ecosystem-level studies of response to varying food input and anthropogenic stressors on deep-sea ecosystems are still scant. We present here a comparative ecological network analysis of three food webs of the deep Mediterranean Sea, with contrasting trophic structure. After modelling the flows of these food webs with the Ecopath with Ecosim approach, we compared indicators of network structure and functioning. We then developed temporal dynamic simulations varying the organic matter input to evaluate its potential effect. Results show that, following the west-to-east gradient in the Mediterranean Sea of marine snow input, organic matter recycling increases, net production decreases to negative values and trophic organisation is overall reduced. The levels of food-web activity followed the gradient of organic matter availability at the seafloor, confirming that deep-water ecosystems directly depend on marine snow and are therefore influenced by variations of energy input, such as climate-driven changes. In addition, simulations of varying marine snow arrival at the seafloor, combined with the hypothesis of a possible fishery expansion on the lower continental slope in the western basin, evidence that the trawling fishery may pose an impact which could be an order of magnitude stronger than a climate

  20. Towards ecosystem based management and monitoring of the deep Mediterranean, North-East Atlantic and Beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grehan, Anthony J.; Arnaud-Haond, Sophie; D'Onghia, Gianfranco; Savini, Alessandra; Yesson, Chris

    2017-11-01

    The deep sea covers 65% of the earth's surface and 95% of the biosphere but only a very small fraction (less than 0.0001%) of this has been explored (Rogers et al., 2015; Taylor and Roterman, 2017). However, current knowledge indicates that the deep ocean is characterized by a high level of biodiversity and by the presence of important biological and non-renewable resources. As well as vast flat and muddy plains, the topography of the deep ocean contains a variety of complex and heterogeneous seafloor features, such as canyons, seamounts, cold seeps, hydrothermal vents and biogenic (deep-water coral) reefs and sponge bioherms that harbour an unquantified and diverse array of organisms. The deep sea, despite its remoteness, provides a variety of supporting, provisioning, regulating and cultural, ecosystem goods and services (Thurber et al., 2014). The recent push for 'Blue Growth', to unlock the potential of seas and oceans (European Commission, 2017) has increased the focus on the potential to exploit resources in the deep-sea and consequently the need for improved management (Thurber et al., 2014).

  1. Application of Low cost Spirulina growth medium using Deep sea water

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, Dae-hack; Kim, Bong-ju; Lee, Sung-jae; Choi, Nag-chul; Park, Cheon-young

    2017-04-01

    Deep-sea water has a relatively constant temperature, abundant nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, nitrates, and phosphates, etc., and stable water quality, even though there might be some variations of their compositions according to collection places. Thus, deep-sea water would be a good substrate for algal growth and biomass production since it contains various nutrients, including a fluorescent red pigment, and β-carotene, etc. The aim of this study was to investigate the economics of a culture condition through comparative analysis to Spirulina platensis growth characteristic under various medium conditions for cost-effective production of Spirulina sp.. Growth experiments were performed with S. platensis under various culture medium conditions (deep sea water + SP medium). Growth tests for culture medium demonstrated that the deep sea water to SP medium ratio of 50:50(W/W) was effective in S. platensis with the maximum biomass (1.35g/L) and minimum medium making cost per production mass (133.28 KRW/g). Parameter estimation of bio-kinetics (maximum growth rate and yield) for low cost medium results showed that the maximum growth rate and yield of N, P, K were obtained under deep sea water to SP medium ratio of 50:50(W/W) of 0.057 1/day and 0.151, 0.076, 0.123, respectively. Acknowledgment : "This research was a part of the project titled 'Development of microalgae culture technique for cosmetic materials based on ocean deep sea water(20160297)', funded by the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, Korea."

  2. Sea level high stand in Marine Isotope Stage 5e: evidence from coral terraces in Sumba Island, Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    LU, Y.; Rigaud, S.; Leclerc, F.; Liu, X.; Chiang, H. W.; Djamil, Y. S.; Meilano, I.; Bijaksana, S.; Abidin, H. Z.; Tapponnier, P.; Wang, X.

    2017-12-01

    Uplifted coral reef terraces, possibly spanning the last one million years, are extensively exposed along the northern coast of Sumba Island, Indonesia. We collected a suite of fossil coral samples from the inner edges of terraces at Cape Laundi to study past sea level change, particularly that during the marine isotope stage 5e. These samples were dated by the high-precision U/Th disequilibrium dating methods. For those with δ234U-initial values beyond the range of 145±7‰[1,2] , the open-system model by Thompson et al. [3] was then applied to correct their ages. Only less than 20% of the samples could not derive reasonable ages after the correction, and their abnormally high δ234U-initial values (> 180‰) seem to suggest a limitation of open-system correction with the current model. After the correction of long-term uplift rate of 0.3 mm/kyr, we found that the relative sea level at Cape Laundi, Sumba was 7 m during MIS5e and then dropped to -20 m during the MIS5a and 5c. More importantly, our results indicate that sea level reached a high stand at 129±0.6 ka, supported by both U/Th dates on pristine corals and open-system model corrected ages. In line with the sea level reconstruction from western Australia, our results do not support a second and higher sea level during MIS5e. Moreover, there is no significant lead or lag between the timing of sea level high stand in Sumba and the peak of Northern Hemisphere summer insolation. 1. Robinson et al. (2004) Science. 305: 851-854 2. Cheng et al. (2013) Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 371-372: 82-91 3. Thompson et al. (2003) Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 210: 365-381

  3. Quantifying spatial genetic structuring in mesophotic populations of the precious coral Corallium rubrum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Federica Costantini

    Full Text Available While shallow water red coral populations have been overharvested in the past, nowadays, commercial harvesting shifted its pressure on mesophotic organisms. An understanding of red coral population structure, particularly larval dispersal patterns and connectivity among harvested populations is paramount to the viability of the species. In order to determine patterns of genetic spatial structuring of deep water Corallium rubrum populations, for the first time, colonies found between 58-118 m depth within the Tyrrhenian Sea were collected and analyzed. Ten microsatellite loci and two regions of mitochondrial DNA (mtMSH and mtC were used to quantify patterns of genetic diversity within populations and to define population structuring at spatial scales from tens of metres to hundreds of kilometres. Microsatellites showed heterozygote deficiencies in all populations. Significant levels of genetic differentiation were observed at all investigated spatial scales, suggesting that populations are likely to be isolated. This differentiation may by the results of biological interactions, occurring within a small spatial scale and/or abiotic factors acting at a larger scale. Mitochondrial markers revealed significant genetic structuring at spatial scales greater then 100 km showing the occurrence of a barrier to gene flow between northern and southern Tyrrhenian populations. These findings provide support for the establishment of marine protected areas in the deep sea and off-shore reefs, in order to effectively maintain genetic diversity of mesophotic red coral populations.

  4. Recent origin and semi-permeable species boundaries in the scleractinian coral genus Stylophora from the Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Arrigoni, Roberto; Benzoni, Francesca; Terraneo, Tullia Isotta; Caragnano, Annalisa; Berumen, Michael L.

    2016-01-01

    Reticulate evolution, introgressive hybridisation, and phenotypic plasticity have been documented in scleractinian corals and have challenged our ability to interpret speciation processes. Stylophora is a key model system in coral biology and physiology, but genetic analyses have revealed that cryptic lineages concealed by morphological stasis exist in the Stylophora pistillata species complex. The Red Sea represents a hotspot for Stylophora biodiversity with six morphospecies described, two of which are regionally endemic. We investigated Stylophora species boundaries from the Red Sea and the associated Symbiodinium by sequencing seven DNA loci. Stylophora morphospecies from the Red Sea were not resolved based on mitochondrial phylogenies and showed nuclear allele sharing. Low genetic differentiation, weak isolation, and strong gene flow were found among morphospecies although no signals of genetic recombination were evident among them. Stylophora mamillata harboured Symbiodinium clade C whereas the other two Stylophora morphospecies hosted either Symbiodinium clade A or C. These evolutionary patterns suggest that either gene exchange occurs through reticulate evolution or that multiple ecomorphs of a phenotypically plastic species occur in the Red Sea. The recent origin of the lineage leading to the Red Sea Stylophora may indicate an ongoing speciation driven by environmental changes and incomplete lineage sorting.

  5. Recent origin and semi-permeable species boundaries in the scleractinian coral genus Stylophora from the Red Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arrigoni, Roberto; Benzoni, Francesca; Terraneo, Tullia I; Caragnano, Annalisa; Berumen, Michael L

    2016-10-07

    Reticulate evolution, introgressive hybridisation, and phenotypic plasticity have been documented in scleractinian corals and have challenged our ability to interpret speciation processes. Stylophora is a key model system in coral biology and physiology, but genetic analyses have revealed that cryptic lineages concealed by morphological stasis exist in the Stylophora pistillata species complex. The Red Sea represents a hotspot for Stylophora biodiversity with six morphospecies described, two of which are regionally endemic. We investigated Stylophora species boundaries from the Red Sea and the associated Symbiodinium by sequencing seven DNA loci. Stylophora morphospecies from the Red Sea were not resolved based on mitochondrial phylogenies and showed nuclear allele sharing. Low genetic differentiation, weak isolation, and strong gene flow were found among morphospecies although no signals of genetic recombination were evident among them. Stylophora mamillata harboured Symbiodinium clade C whereas the other two Stylophora morphospecies hosted either Symbiodinium clade A or C. These evolutionary patterns suggest that either gene exchange occurs through reticulate evolution or that multiple ecomorphs of a phenotypically plastic species occur in the Red Sea. The recent origin of the lineage leading to the Red Sea Stylophora may indicate an ongoing speciation driven by environmental changes and incomplete lineage sorting.

  6. Recent origin and semi-permeable species boundaries in the scleractinian coral genus Stylophora from the Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Arrigoni, Roberto

    2016-10-07

    Reticulate evolution, introgressive hybridisation, and phenotypic plasticity have been documented in scleractinian corals and have challenged our ability to interpret speciation processes. Stylophora is a key model system in coral biology and physiology, but genetic analyses have revealed that cryptic lineages concealed by morphological stasis exist in the Stylophora pistillata species complex. The Red Sea represents a hotspot for Stylophora biodiversity with six morphospecies described, two of which are regionally endemic. We investigated Stylophora species boundaries from the Red Sea and the associated Symbiodinium by sequencing seven DNA loci. Stylophora morphospecies from the Red Sea were not resolved based on mitochondrial phylogenies and showed nuclear allele sharing. Low genetic differentiation, weak isolation, and strong gene flow were found among morphospecies although no signals of genetic recombination were evident among them. Stylophora mamillata harboured Symbiodinium clade C whereas the other two Stylophora morphospecies hosted either Symbiodinium clade A or C. These evolutionary patterns suggest that either gene exchange occurs through reticulate evolution or that multiple ecomorphs of a phenotypically plastic species occur in the Red Sea. The recent origin of the lineage leading to the Red Sea Stylophora may indicate an ongoing speciation driven by environmental changes and incomplete lineage sorting.

  7. Countermeasure Study on Deep-sea Oil Exploitation in the South China Sea——A Comparison between Deep-sea Oil Exploitation in the South China Sea and the Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Hui; Qiu, Weiting; Qu, Weilu

    2018-02-01

    The unpromising situation of terrestrial oil resources makes the deep-sea oil industry become an important development strategy. The South China Sea has a vast sea area with a wide distribution of oil and gas resources, but there is a phenomenon that exploration and census rates and oil exploitation are low. In order to solve the above problems, this article analyzes the geology, oil and gas exploration and exploration equipment in the South China Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. Comparing the political environment of China and the United States energy industry and the economic environment of oil companies, this article points out China’s deep-sea oil exploration and mining problems that may exist. Finally, the feasibility of oil exploration and exploitation in the South China Sea is put forward, which will provide reference to improve the conditions of oil exploration in the South China Sea and promoting the stable development of China’s oil industry.

  8. Seasonal and interannual variability of the Mid-Holocene East Asian monsoon in coral δ18O records from the South China Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Donghuai; Gagan, Michael K.; Cheng, Hai; Scott-Gagan, Heather; Dykoski, Carolyn A.; Edwards, R. Lawrence; Su, Ruixia

    2005-08-01

    Understanding the full range of past monsoon variability, with reference to specific monsoon seasons, is essential to test coupled climate models and improve their predictive capabilities. We present a 54-year long, high-resolution skeletal oxygen isotope (δ18O) record extracted from a well-preserved, massive Porites sp. coral at Hainan Island, South China Sea, to investigate East Asian monsoon variability during summer and winter ∼4400 calendar yr ago. Analysis of modern coral δ18O confirms that Porites from Hainan Island are well positioned to record winter monsoon forcing of sea surface temperature (SST), as well as the influence of summer monsoon rainfall on sea surface salinity (SSS). The coral record for ∼4400 yr ago shows ∼9% amplification of the annual cycle of δ18O, in good agreement with coupled ocean-atmosphere models showing higher summer rainfall (lower coral δ18O) and cooler winter SSTs (higher coral δ18O) in response to greater Northern Hemisphere insolation seasonality during the Middle Holocene. Mean SSTs in the South China Sea during the Mid-Holocene were within 0.5 °C of modern values, yet the mean δ18O for the fossil coral is ∼0.6‰ higher than that for the modern coral, suggesting that the δ18O of surface seawater was higher by at least ∼0.5‰, relative to modern values. The 18O-enrichment is likely to be driven by greater advection of moisture towards the Asian landmass, enhanced monsoon wind-induced evaporation and vertical mixing, and/or invigorated advection of saltier 18O-enriched Pacific water into the relatively fresh South China Sea. The 18O-enrichment of the northern South China Sea ∼4400 yr ago contributes to mounting evidence for recent freshening of the tropical Western Pacific. Today, winter SST and summer SSS variability in the South China Sea reflect the interannual influence of ENSO and the biennial variability inherent to monsoon precipitation. Spectral analysis of winter SSTs ∼4400 yr ago reveals a

  9. In situ effects of simulated overfishing and eutrophication on settlement of benthic coral reef invertebrates in the Central Red Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Jessen

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available In the Central Red Sea, healthy coral reefs meet intense coastal development, but data on the effects of related stressors for reef functioning are lacking. This in situ study therefore investigated the independent and combined effects of simulated overfishing through predator/grazer exclusion and simulated eutrophication through fertilizer addition on settlement of reef associated invertebrates on light-exposed and -shaded tiles over 4 months. At the end of the study period invertebrates had almost exclusively colonized shaded tiles. Algae were superior settling competitors on light-exposed tiles. On the shaded tiles, simulated overfishing prevented settlement of hard corals, but significantly increased settlement of polychaetes, while simulated eutrophication only significantly decreased hard coral settlement relative to controls. The combined treatment significantly increased settlement of bryozoans and bivalves compared to controls and individual manipulations, but significantly decreased polychaetes compared to simulated overfishing. These results suggest settlement of polychaetes and hard corals as potential bioindicators for overfishing and eutrophication, respectively, and settlement of bivalves and bryozoans for a combination of both. Therefore, if the investigated stressors are not controlled, phase shifts from dominance by hard corals to that by other invertebrates may occur at shaded reef locations in the Central Red Sea.

  10. Calcification of the cold-water coral Lophelia pertusa, under ambient and reduced pH

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J.-P. Gattuso

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available The cold-water coral Lophelia pertusa is one of the few species able to build reef-like structures and a 3-dimensional coral framework in the deep oceans. Furthermore, deep cold-water coral bioherms may be among the first marine ecosystems to be affected by ocean acidification. Colonies of L. pertusa were collected during a cruise in 2006 to cold-water coral bioherms of the Mingulay reef complex (Hebrides, North Atlantic. Shortly after sample collection onboard these corals were labelled with calcium-45. The same experimental approach was used to assess calcification rates and how those changed due to reduced pH during a cruise to the Skagerrak (North Sea in 2007. The highest calcification rates were found in youngest polyps with up to 1% d−1 new skeletal growth and average rates of 0.11±0.02% d−1±S.E.. Lowering pH by 0.15 and 0.3 units relative to the ambient level resulted in calcification being reduced by 30 and 56%. Lower pH reduced calcification more in fast growing, young polyps (59% reduction than in older polyps (40% reduction. Thus skeletal growth of young and fast calcifying corallites suffered more from ocean acidification. Nevertheless, L. pertusa exhibited positive net calcification (as measured by 45Ca incorporation even at an aragonite saturation state (Ωa below 1.

  11. In-Situ Effects of Simulated Overfishing and Eutrophication on Benthic Coral Reef Algae Growth, Succession, and Composition in the Central Red Sea

    OpenAIRE

    Jessen, Christian; Roder, Cornelia; Villa Lizcano, Javier Felipe; Voolstra, Christian R.; Wild, Christian

    2013-01-01

    Overfishing and land-derived eutrophication are major local threats to coral reefs and may affect benthic communities, moving them from coral dominated reefs to algal dominated ones. The Central Red Sea is a highly under-investigated area, where healthy coral reefs are contending against intense coastal development. This in-situ study investigated both the independent and combined effects of manipulated inorganic nutrient enrichment (simulation of eutrophication) and herbivore exclosure (simu...

  12. Bipolar gene flow in deep-sea benthic foraminifera

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pawlowski, J.; Fahrni, J.; Lecroq, B.

    2007-01-01

    Despite its often featureless appearance, the deep-ocean floor includes some of the most diverse habitats on Earth. However, the accurate assessment of global deep-sea diversity is impeded by a paucity of data on the geographical ranges of bottom-dwelling species, particularly at the genetic leve...

  13. Deep sea mega-geomorphology: Progress and problems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryan, W. B.

    1985-01-01

    Historically, marine geologists have always worked with mega-scale morphology. This is a consequence both of the scale of the ocean basins and of the low resolution of the observational remote sensing tools available until very recently. In fact, studies of deep sea morphology have suffered from a serious gap in observational scale. Traditional wide-beam echo sounding gave images on a scale of miles, while deep sea photography has been limited to scales of a few tens of meters. Recent development of modern narrow-beam echo sounding coupled with computer-controlled swath mapping systems, and development of high-resolution deep-towed side-scan sonar, are rapidly filling in the scale gap. These technologies also can resolve morphologic detail on a scale of a few meters or less. As has also been true in planetary imaging projects, the ability to observe phenomena over a range of scales has proved very effective in both defining processes and in placing them in proper context.

  14. Deep-sea dives reveal an unexpected hexactinellid sponge garden on the Rio Grande Rise (SW Atlantic). A mimicking habitat?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hajdu, Eduardo; Castello-Branco, Cristiana; Lopes, Daniela A.; Sumida, Paulo Yukio Gomes; Perez, Jose Angel Alvarez

    2017-12-01

    Long overlooked, sponge grounds are now recognised as important habitats which support high biodiversity. Some of these deep-sea sponge aggregations are formed by hexactinellids, in varying densities, which can occur on both soft and hard substrates. Despite their ecological importance as habitat framework building taxa, hexactinellids have been little studied and only 33 species in this Class were reported from the entire South Atlantic until now. Most of this knowledge was gained from studies conducted on the eastern South America continental slope. Here we report a new hexactinellid sponge garden found by the Shinkai 6500 manned submersible on the Rio Grande Rise, a prominent topographic feature of the deep SW Atlantic. This is the first sponge garden worldwide found to be dominated by the stiff, often dichotomously branching, Sarostegia oculata which may occur in densities of over 5 individuals per square meter. This sponge, of uncertain familial allocation, seems to always carry epibiotic zoanthids, thus mimicking the 3D skeletal framework of actual coral gardens

  15. WATER TEMPERATURE and other data from DERWENT, HOBART and other platforms in the Coral Sea, Tasman Sea and other waters from 1984-09-02 to 1993-01-31 (NODC Accession 9300047)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The water depth and temperature data was collected in Coral Sea, Indian Ocean, South Pacific Ocean, and Tasman Sea from multiple Australian and New Zealand ships by...

  16. A new procedure for deep sea mining tailings disposal

    OpenAIRE

    Ma, W.; Schott, D.L.; Lodewijks, G.

    2017-01-01

    Deep sea mining tailings disposal is a new environmental challenge related to water pollution, mineral crust waste handling, and ocean biology. The objective of this paper is to propose a new tailings disposal procedure for the deep sea mining industry. Through comparisons of the tailings disposal methods which exist in on-land mining and the coastal mining fields, a new tailings disposal procedure, i.e., the submarine–backfill–dam–reuse (SBDR) tailings disposal procedure, is proposed. It com...

  17. First quantification of subtidal community structure at Tristan da Cunha Islands in the remote South Atlantic: from kelp forests to the deep sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caselle, Jennifer E; Hamilton, Scott L; Davis, Kathryn; Thompson, Christopher D H; Turchik, Alan; Jenkinson, Ryan; Simpson, Doug; Sala, Enric

    2018-01-01

    Tristan da Cunha Islands, an archipelago of four rocky volcanic islands situated in the South Atlantic Ocean and part of the United Kingdom Overseas Territories (UKOTs), present a rare example of a relatively unimpacted temperate marine ecosystem. We conducted the first quantitative surveys of nearshore kelp forests, offshore pelagic waters and deep sea habitats. Kelp forests had very low biodiversity and species richness, but high biomass and abundance of those species present. Spatial variation in assemblage structure for both nearshore fish and invertebrates/algae was greatest between the three northern islands and the southern island of Gough, where sea temperatures were on average 3-4o colder. Despite a lobster fishery that provides the bulk of the income to the Tristan islands, lobster abundance and biomass are comparable to or greater than many Marine Protected Areas in other parts of the world. Pelagic camera surveys documented a rich biodiversity offshore, including large numbers of juvenile blue sharks, Prionace glauca. Species richness and abundance in the deep sea is positively related to hard rocky substrate and biogenic habitats such as sea pens, crinoids, whip corals, and gorgonians were present at 40% of the deep camera deployments. We observed distinct differences in the deep fish community above and below ~750 m depth. Concurrent oceanographic sampling showed a discontinuity in temperature and salinity at this depth. While currently healthy, Tristan's marine ecosystem is not without potential threats: shipping traffic leading to wrecks and species introductions, pressure to increase fishing effort beyond sustainable levels and the impacts of climate change all could potentially increase in the coming years. The United Kingdom has committed to protection of marine environments across the UKOTs, including Tristan da Cunha and these results can be used to inform future management decisions as well as provide a baseline against which future monitoring

  18. First quantification of subtidal community structure at Tristan da Cunha Islands in the remote South Atlantic: from kelp forests to the deep sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamilton, Scott L.; Davis, Kathryn; Thompson, Christopher D. H.; Turchik, Alan; Jenkinson, Ryan; Simpson, Doug; Sala, Enric

    2018-01-01

    Tristan da Cunha Islands, an archipelago of four rocky volcanic islands situated in the South Atlantic Ocean and part of the United Kingdom Overseas Territories (UKOTs), present a rare example of a relatively unimpacted temperate marine ecosystem. We conducted the first quantitative surveys of nearshore kelp forests, offshore pelagic waters and deep sea habitats. Kelp forests had very low biodiversity and species richness, but high biomass and abundance of those species present. Spatial variation in assemblage structure for both nearshore fish and invertebrates/algae was greatest between the three northern islands and the southern island of Gough, where sea temperatures were on average 3-4o colder. Despite a lobster fishery that provides the bulk of the income to the Tristan islands, lobster abundance and biomass are comparable to or greater than many Marine Protected Areas in other parts of the world. Pelagic camera surveys documented a rich biodiversity offshore, including large numbers of juvenile blue sharks, Prionace glauca. Species richness and abundance in the deep sea is positively related to hard rocky substrate and biogenic habitats such as sea pens, crinoids, whip corals, and gorgonians were present at 40% of the deep camera deployments. We observed distinct differences in the deep fish community above and below ~750 m depth. Concurrent oceanographic sampling showed a discontinuity in temperature and salinity at this depth. While currently healthy, Tristan’s marine ecosystem is not without potential threats: shipping traffic leading to wrecks and species introductions, pressure to increase fishing effort beyond sustainable levels and the impacts of climate change all could potentially increase in the coming years. The United Kingdom has committed to protection of marine environments across the UKOTs, including Tristan da Cunha and these results can be used to inform future management decisions as well as provide a baseline against which future

  19. Submarine canyons as coral and sponge habitat on the eastern Bering Sea slope

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert J. Miller

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Submarine canyons have been shown to positively influence pelagic and benthic biodiversity and ecosystem function. In the eastern Bering Sea, several immense canyons lie under the highly productive “green belt” along the continental slope. Two of these, Pribilof and Zhemchug canyons, are the focus of current conservation interest. We used a maximum entropy modeling approach to evaluate the importance of these two canyons, as well as canyons in general, as habitat for gorgonian (alcyonacean corals, pennatulacean corals, and sponges, in an area comprising most of the eastern Bering Sea slope and outer shelf. These invertebrates create physical structure that is a preferred habitat for many mobile species, including commercially important fish and invertebrates. We show that Pribilof canyon is a hotspot of structure-forming invertebrate habitat, containing over 50% of estimated high-quality gorgonian habitat and 45% of sponge habitat, despite making up only 1.7% of the total study area. The amount of quality habitat for gorgonians and sponges varied in other canyons, but canyons overall contained more high-quality habitat for structure-forming invertebrates compared to other slope areas. Bottom trawling effort was not well correlated with habitat quality for structure-forming invertebrates, and bottom-contact fishing effort in general, including longlining and trawling, was not particularly concentrated in the canyons examined. These results suggest that if conserving gorgonian coral habitat is a management goal, canyons, particularly Pribilof Canyon, may be a prime location to do this without excessive impact on fisheries.

  20. Incidence of lesions on Fungiidae corals in the eastern Red Sea is related to water temperature and coastal pollution

    KAUST Repository

    Furby, K.A.; Apprill, A.; Cervino, J.M.; Ossolinski, J.E.; Hughen, K.A.

    2014-01-01

    As sea surface temperatures rise and the global human population increases, large-scale field observations of marine organism health and water quality are increasingly necessary. We investigated the health of corals from the family Fungiidae using visual observations in relation to water quality and microbial biogeochemistry parameters along 1300 km of the Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia. At large scales, incidence of lesions caused by unidentified etiology showed consistent signs, increasing significantly from the northern to southern coast and positively correlated to annual mean seawater temperatures. Lesion abundance also increased to a maximum of 96% near the populous city of Jeddah. The presence of lesioned corals in the region surrounding Jeddah was strongly correlated with elevated concentrations of ammonium and changes in microbial communities that are linked to decreased water quality. This study suggests that both high seawater temperatures and nutrient pollution may play an indirect role in the formation of lesions on corals. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

  1. Incidence of lesions on Fungiidae corals in the eastern Red Sea is related to water temperature and coastal pollution

    KAUST Repository

    Furby, K.A.

    2014-07-01

    As sea surface temperatures rise and the global human population increases, large-scale field observations of marine organism health and water quality are increasingly necessary. We investigated the health of corals from the family Fungiidae using visual observations in relation to water quality and microbial biogeochemistry parameters along 1300 km of the Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia. At large scales, incidence of lesions caused by unidentified etiology showed consistent signs, increasing significantly from the northern to southern coast and positively correlated to annual mean seawater temperatures. Lesion abundance also increased to a maximum of 96% near the populous city of Jeddah. The presence of lesioned corals in the region surrounding Jeddah was strongly correlated with elevated concentrations of ammonium and changes in microbial communities that are linked to decreased water quality. This study suggests that both high seawater temperatures and nutrient pollution may play an indirect role in the formation of lesions on corals. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

  2. Keep up or drown: adjustment of western Pacific coral reefs to sea-level rise in the 21st century.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Woesik, R; Golbuu, Y; Roff, G

    2015-07-01

    Since the Mid-Holocene, some 5000 years ago, coral reefs in the Pacific Ocean have been vertically constrained by sea level. Contemporary sea-level rise is releasing these constraints, providing accommodation space for vertical reef expansion. Here, we show that Porites microatolls, from reef-flat environments in Palau (western Pacific Ocean), are 'keeping up' with contemporary sea-level rise. Measurements of 570 reef-flat Porites microatolls at 10 locations around Palau revealed recent vertical skeletal extension (78±13 mm) over the last 6-8 years, which is consistent with the timing of the recent increase in sea level. We modelled whether microatoll growth rates will potentially 'keep up' with predicted sea-level rise in the near future, based upon average growth, and assuming a decline in growth for every 1°C increase in temperature. We then compared these estimated extension rates with rates of sea-level rise under four Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs). Our model suggests that under low-mid RCP scenarios, reef-coral growth will keep up with sea-level rise, but if greenhouse gas concentrations exceed 670 ppm atmospheric CO2 levels and with +2.2°C sea-surface temperature by 2100 (RCP 6.0 W m(-2)), our predictions indicate that Porites microatolls will be unable to keep up with projected rates of sea-level rise in the twenty-first century.

  3. Nematode assemblages in the deep-sea benthos of the Norwegian Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, Preben

    1988-07-01

    The deep-sea benthos of the Norwegian Sea contains 20-204 nematodes per 10 cm 2 down to 3 cm depth at seven stations sampled between 970 and 3294 m water depth. The majority of nematodes occur in the uppermost cm. Biomass varies from 3 to 73 μg C per 10 cm 2. Individual adult weight of the most dominant species differs by a factor of almost 1000, i.e. from 3-4 ng C to 3400 ng C; however, the majority of the nematodes is small-sized. Species diversity and evenness are high at all stations and each station harbours its specific fauna with little overlap between stations. Analysis of trophic group composition suggests that microbial feeding types (deposit and epistrate feeders) prevail in the deep-sea benthos; predators and scavengers are scarce. It is concluded that the nematode assemblage at each station consists of a mosaic of many microhabitats. The small nematode body weight probably results from limited food supply and/or poor food quality.

  4. Deep-sea environment and biodiversity of the West African Equatorial margin

    OpenAIRE

    Sibuet, Myriam; Vangriesheim, Annick

    2009-01-01

    The long-term BIOZAIRE multidisciplinary deep-sea environmental program on the West Equatorial African margin organized in partnership between Ifremer and TOTAL aimed at characterizing the benthic community structure in relation with physical and chemical processes in a region of oil and gas interest. The morphology of the deep Congo submarine channel and the sedimentological structures of the deep-sea fan were established during the geological ZAIANGO project and helped to select study sites...

  5. Diversity and adaptations of deep-sea microorganisms

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Raghukumar, C.

    -tolerant enzymes, natural products of potential use in human health management and environmental bioremediation using solvent-tolerant microorganisms are some of the potential biotechnological applications of these deep-sea microbes....

  6. Adaptive divergence in a scleractinian coral: physiological adaptation of Seriatopora hystrix to shallow and deep reef habitats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    van Oppen Madeleine JH

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Divergent natural selection across environmental gradients has been acknowledged as a major driver of population and species divergence, however its role in the diversification of scleractinian corals remains poorly understood. Recently, it was demonstrated that the brooding coral Seriatopora hystrix and its algal endosymbionts (Symbiodinium are genetically partitioned across reef environments (0-30 m on the far northern Great Barrier Reef. Here, we explore the potential mechanisms underlying this differentiation and assess the stability of host-symbiont associations through a reciprocal transplantation experiment across habitats ('Back Reef', 'Upper Slope' and 'Deep Slope', in combination with molecular (mtDNA and ITS2-DGGE and photo-physiological analyses (respirometry and HPLC. Results The highest survival rates were observed for native transplants (measured 14 months after transplantation, indicating differential selective pressures between habitats. Host-symbiont assemblages remained stable during the experimental duration, demonstrating that the ability to "shuffle" or "switch" symbionts is restricted in S. hystrix. Photo-physiological differences were observed between transplants originating from the shallow and deep habitats, with indirect evidence of an increased heterotrophic capacity in native deep-water transplants (from the 'Deep Slope' habitat. Similar photo-acclimatisation potential was observed between transplants originating from the two shallow habitats ('Back Reef' and 'Upper Slope', highlighting that their genetic segregation over depth may be due to other, non-photo-physiological traits under selection. Conclusions This study confirms that the observed habitat partitioning of S. hystrix (and associated Symbiodinium is reflective of adaptive divergence along a depth gradient. Gene flow appears to be reduced due to divergent selection, highlighting the potential role of ecological mechanisms, in addition to

  7. Homogeneity of coral reef communities across 8 degrees of latitude in the Saudi Arabian Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Roberts, May B.

    2015-11-20

    Coral reef communities between 26.8°N and 18.6°N latitude in the Saudi Arabian Red Sea were surveyed to provide baseline data and an assessment of fine-scale biogeography of communities in this region. Forty reefs along 1100 km of coastline were surveyed using depth-stratified visual transects of fish and benthic communities. Fish abundance and benthic cover data were analyzed using multivariate approaches to investigate whether coral reef communities differed with latitude. A total of 215 fish species and 90 benthic categories were recorded on the surveys. There were no significant differences among locations in fish abundance, species richness, or among several diversity indices. Despite known environmental gradients within the Red Sea, the communities remained surprisingly similar. The communities do, however, exhibit subtle changes across this span of reefs that likely reflect the constrained distributions of several species of reef fish and benthic fauna.

  8. Homogeneity of coral reef communities across 8 degrees of latitude in the Saudi Arabian Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Roberts, May B.; Jones, Geoffrey P.; McCormick, Mark I.; Munday, Philip L.; Neale, Stephen; Thorrold, Simon; Robitzch, Vanessa S.N.; Berumen, Michael L.

    2015-01-01

    Coral reef communities between 26.8°N and 18.6°N latitude in the Saudi Arabian Red Sea were surveyed to provide baseline data and an assessment of fine-scale biogeography of communities in this region. Forty reefs along 1100 km of coastline were surveyed using depth-stratified visual transects of fish and benthic communities. Fish abundance and benthic cover data were analyzed using multivariate approaches to investigate whether coral reef communities differed with latitude. A total of 215 fish species and 90 benthic categories were recorded on the surveys. There were no significant differences among locations in fish abundance, species richness, or among several diversity indices. Despite known environmental gradients within the Red Sea, the communities remained surprisingly similar. The communities do, however, exhibit subtle changes across this span of reefs that likely reflect the constrained distributions of several species of reef fish and benthic fauna.

  9. Worldwide Analysis of Sedimentary DNA Reveals Major Gaps in Taxonomic Knowledge of Deep-Sea Benthos

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sinniger, Frédéric; Pawlowski, Jan; Harii, Saki

    2016-01-01

    in 39 deep-sea sediment samples from bathyal and abyssal depths worldwide. The eDNA dataset was dominated by meiobenthic taxa and we identified all animal phyla commonly found in the deep-sea benthos; yet, the diversity within these phyla remains largely unknown. The large numbers of taxonomically...... for pure and applied deep-sea environmental research but also emphasizes the necessity to integrate such new approaches with traditional morphology-based examination of deep-sea organisms....

  10. Intrareef variations in Li/Mg and Sr/Ca sea surface temperature proxies in the Caribbean reef-building coral Siderastrea siderea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fowell, Sara E.; Sandford, Kate; Stewart, Joseph A.; Castillo, Karl D.; Ries, Justin B.; Foster, Gavin L.

    2016-10-01

    Caribbean sea surface temperatures (SSTs) have increased at a rate of 0.2°C per decade since 1971, a rate double that of the mean global change. Recent investigations of the coral Siderastrea siderea on the Belize Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System (MBRS) have demonstrated that warming over the last 30 years has had a detrimental impact on calcification. Instrumental temperature records in this region are sparse, making it necessary to reconstruct longer SST records indirectly through geochemical temperature proxies. Here we investigate the skeletal Sr/Ca and Li/Mg ratios of S. siderea from two distinct reef zones (forereef and backreef) of the MBRS. Our field calibrations of S. siderea show that Li/Mg and Sr/Ca ratios are well correlated with temperature, although both ratios are 3 times more sensitive to temperature change in the forereef than in the backreef. These differences suggest that a secondary parameter also influences these SST proxies, highlighting the importance for site- and species-specific SST calibrations. Application of these paleothermometers to downcore samples reveals highly uncertain reconstructed temperatures in backreef coral, but well-matched reconstructed temperatures in forereef coral, both between Sr/Ca-SSTs and Li/Mg-SSTs, and in comparison to the Hadley Centre Sea Ice and Sea Surface Temperature record. Reconstructions generated from a combined Sr/Ca and Li/Mg multiproxy calibration improve the precision of these SST reconstructions. This result confirms that there are circumstances in which both Li/Mg and Sr/Ca are reliable as stand-alone and combined proxies of sea surface temperature. However, the results also highlight that high-precision, site-specific calibrations remain critical for reconstructing accurate SSTs from coral-based elemental proxies.

  11. 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 ...

  12. Acute survivorship of the deep-sea coral Lophelia pertusa from the Gulf of Mexico under acidification, warming, and deoxygenation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jay J Lunden

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Changing global climate due to anthropogenic emissions of CO2 are driving rapid changes in the physical and chemical environment of the oceans via warming, deoxygenation, and acidification. These changes may threaten the persistence of species and populations across a range of latitudes and depths, including species that support diverse biological communities that in turn provide ecological stability and support commercial interests. Worldwide, but particularly in the North Atlantic and deep Gulf of Mexico, Lophelia pertusa forms expansive reefs that support biological communities whose diversity rivals that of tropical coral reefs. In this study, L. pertusa colonies were collected from the Viosca Knoll region in the Gulf of Mexico (390 to 450 m depth, genotyped using microsatellite markers, and exposed to a series of treatments testing survivorship responses to acidification, warming, and deoxygenation. All coral nubbins survived the acidification scenarios tested, between pH of 7.67 and 7.90 and aragonite saturation states of 0.92 and 1.47. However, calcification generally declined with respect to pH, though a disparate response was evident where select individuals net calcified and others exhibited net dissolution near a saturation state of 1. Warming and deoxygenation both had negative effects on survivorship, with up to 100% mortality observed at temperatures above 14ºC and oxygen concentrations of approximately 1.5 ml·l-1. These results suggest that, over the short-term, climate change and OA may negatively impact L. pertusa in the Gulf of Mexico, though the potential for acclimation and the effects of genetic background should be considered in future research.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1999-07-01

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

  14. Spatial variation in coral reef fish and benthic communities in the central Saudi Arabian Red Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maha T. Khalil

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Local-scale ecological information is critical as a sound basis for spatial management and conservation and as support for ongoing research in relatively unstudied areas. We conducted visual surveys of fish and benthic communities on nine reefs (3–24 km from shore in the Thuwal area of the central Saudi Arabian Red Sea. Fish biomass increased with increasing distance from shore, but was generally low compared to reefs experiencing minimal human influence around the world. All reefs had a herbivore-dominated trophic structure and few top predators, such as sharks, jacks, or large groupers. Coral cover was considerably lower on inshore reefs, likely due to a 2010 bleaching event. Community analyses showed inshore reefs to be characterized by turf algae, slower-growing corals, lower herbivore diversity, and highly abundant turf-farming damselfishes. Offshore reefs had more planktivorous fishes, a more diverse herbivore assemblage, and faster-growing corals. All reefs appear to be impacted by overfishing, and inshore reefs seem more vulnerable to thermal bleaching. The study provides a description of the spatial variation in biomass and community structure in the central Saudi Arabian Red Sea and provides a basis for spatial prioritization and subsequent marine protected area design in Thuwal.

  15. Spatial variation in coral reef fish and benthic communities in the central Saudi Arabian Red Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khalil, Maha T; Bouwmeester, Jessica; Berumen, Michael L

    2017-01-01

    Local-scale ecological information is critical as a sound basis for spatial management and conservation and as support for ongoing research in relatively unstudied areas. We conducted visual surveys of fish and benthic communities on nine reefs (3-24 km from shore) in the Thuwal area of the central Saudi Arabian Red Sea. Fish biomass increased with increasing distance from shore, but was generally low compared to reefs experiencing minimal human influence around the world. All reefs had a herbivore-dominated trophic structure and few top predators, such as sharks, jacks, or large groupers. Coral cover was considerably lower on inshore reefs, likely due to a 2010 bleaching event. Community analyses showed inshore reefs to be characterized by turf algae, slower-growing corals, lower herbivore diversity, and highly abundant turf-farming damselfishes. Offshore reefs had more planktivorous fishes, a more diverse herbivore assemblage, and faster-growing corals . All reefs appear to be impacted by overfishing, and inshore reefs seem more vulnerable to thermal bleaching. The study provides a description of the spatial variation in biomass and community structure in the central Saudi Arabian Red Sea and provides a basis for spatial prioritization and subsequent marine protected area design in Thuwal.

  16. Spatial variation in coral reef fish and benthic communities in the central Saudi Arabian Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Khalil, Maha T.

    2017-06-06

    Local-scale ecological information is critical as a sound basis for spatial management and conservation and as support for ongoing research in relatively unstudied areas. We conducted visual surveys of fish and benthic communities on nine reefs (3–24 km from shore) in the Thuwal area of the central Saudi Arabian Red Sea. Fish biomass increased with increasing distance from shore, but was generally low compared to reefs experiencing minimal human influence around the world. All reefs had a herbivore-dominated trophic structure and few top predators, such as sharks, jacks, or large groupers. Coral cover was considerably lower on inshore reefs, likely due to a 2010 bleaching event. Community analyses showed inshore reefs to be characterized by turf algae, slower-growing corals, lower herbivore diversity, and highly abundant turf-farming damselfishes. Offshore reefs had more planktivorous fishes, a more diverse herbivore assemblage, and faster-growing corals. All reefs appear to be impacted by overfishing, and inshore reefs seem more vulnerable to thermal bleaching. The study provides a description of the spatial variation in biomass and community structure in the central Saudi Arabian Red Sea and provides a basis for spatial prioritization and subsequent marine protected area design in Thuwal.

  17. Spatial variation in coral reef fish and benthic communities in the central Saudi Arabian Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Khalil, Maha T.; Bouwmeester, Jessica; Berumen, Michael L.

    2017-01-01

    Local-scale ecological information is critical as a sound basis for spatial management and conservation and as support for ongoing research in relatively unstudied areas. We conducted visual surveys of fish and benthic communities on nine reefs (3–24 km from shore) in the Thuwal area of the central Saudi Arabian Red Sea. Fish biomass increased with increasing distance from shore, but was generally low compared to reefs experiencing minimal human influence around the world. All reefs had a herbivore-dominated trophic structure and few top predators, such as sharks, jacks, or large groupers. Coral cover was considerably lower on inshore reefs, likely due to a 2010 bleaching event. Community analyses showed inshore reefs to be characterized by turf algae, slower-growing corals, lower herbivore diversity, and highly abundant turf-farming damselfishes. Offshore reefs had more planktivorous fishes, a more diverse herbivore assemblage, and faster-growing corals. All reefs appear to be impacted by overfishing, and inshore reefs seem more vulnerable to thermal bleaching. The study provides a description of the spatial variation in biomass and community structure in the central Saudi Arabian Red Sea and provides a basis for spatial prioritization and subsequent marine protected area design in Thuwal.

  18. Mapping cold-water coral habitats at different scales within the Northern Ionian Sea (Central Mediterranean: an assessment of coral coverage and associated vulnerability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandra Savini

    Full Text Available In this study, we mapped the distribution of Cold-Water Coral (CWC habitats on the northern Ionian Margin (Mediterranean Sea, with an emphasis on assessing coral coverage at various spatial scales over an area of 2,000 km(2 between 120 and 1,400 m of water depth. Our work made use of a set of data obtained from ship-based research surveys. Multi-scale seafloor mapping data, video inspections, and previous results from sediment samples were integrated and analyzed using Geographic Information System (GIS-based tools. Results obtained from the application of spatial and textural analytical techniques to acoustic meso-scale maps (i.e. a Digital Terrain Model (DTM of the seafloor at a 40 m grid cell size and associated terrain parameters and large-scale maps (i.e. Side-Scan Sonar (SSS mosaics of 1 m in resolution ground-truthed using underwater video observations were integrated and revealed that, at the meso-scale level, the main morphological pattern (i.e. the aggregation of mound-like features associated with CWC habitat occurrences was widespread over a total area of 600 km(2. Single coral mounds were isolated from the DTM and represented the geomorphic proxies used to model coral distributions within the investigated area. Coral mounds spanned a total area of 68 km(2 where different coral facies (characterized using video analyses and mapped on SSS mosaics represent the dominant macro-habitat. We also mapped and classified anthropogenic threats that were identifiable within the examined videos, and, here, discuss their relationship to the mapped distribution of coral habitats and mounds. The combined results (from multi-scale habitat mapping and observations of the distribution of anthropogenic threats provide the first quantitative assessment of CWC coverage for a Mediterranean province and document the relevant role of seafloor geomorphology in influencing habitat vulnerability to different types of human pressures.

  19. Mapping cold-water coral habitats at different scales within the Northern Ionian Sea (Central Mediterranean): an assessment of coral coverage and associated vulnerability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savini, Alessandra; Vertino, Agostina; Marchese, Fabio; Beuck, Lydia; Freiwald, André

    2014-01-01

    In this study, we mapped the distribution of Cold-Water Coral (CWC) habitats on the northern Ionian Margin (Mediterranean Sea), with an emphasis on assessing coral coverage at various spatial scales over an area of 2,000 km(2) between 120 and 1,400 m of water depth. Our work made use of a set of data obtained from ship-based research surveys. Multi-scale seafloor mapping data, video inspections, and previous results from sediment samples were integrated and analyzed using Geographic Information System (GIS)-based tools. Results obtained from the application of spatial and textural analytical techniques to acoustic meso-scale maps (i.e. a Digital Terrain Model (DTM) of the seafloor at a 40 m grid cell size and associated terrain parameters) and large-scale maps (i.e. Side-Scan Sonar (SSS) mosaics of 1 m in resolution ground-truthed using underwater video observations) were integrated and revealed that, at the meso-scale level, the main morphological pattern (i.e. the aggregation of mound-like features) associated with CWC habitat occurrences was widespread over a total area of 600 km(2). Single coral mounds were isolated from the DTM and represented the geomorphic proxies used to model coral distributions within the investigated area. Coral mounds spanned a total area of 68 km(2) where different coral facies (characterized using video analyses and mapped on SSS mosaics) represent the dominant macro-habitat. We also mapped and classified anthropogenic threats that were identifiable within the examined videos, and, here, discuss their relationship to the mapped distribution of coral habitats and mounds. The combined results (from multi-scale habitat mapping and observations of the distribution of anthropogenic threats) provide the first quantitative assessment of CWC coverage for a Mediterranean province and document the relevant role of seafloor geomorphology in influencing habitat vulnerability to different types of human pressures.

  20. Studies of the reproductive biology of deep-sea megabenthos

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tyler, P.A.

    1987-07-01

    The final report describes the general biology and ecology of the 15 holothurians, 3 asteroids, 2 zoanthids and 1 crustacea species studied in Reports I-XIII, the sampling methods used and the station data. A summary of the histological, histochemical and biochemical results for the species examined is given. The data suggest that the reproductive processes in the deep-sea species examined are highly unlikely to be part of a pathway for the transfer of radionuclides from the deep-sea back to man. (author)

  1. How deep-sea wood falls sustain chemosynthetic life.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christina Bienhold

    Full Text Available Large organic food falls to the deep sea--such as whale carcasses and wood logs--are known to serve as stepping stones for the dispersal of highly adapted chemosynthetic organisms inhabiting hot vents and cold seeps. Here we investigated the biogeochemical and microbiological processes leading to the development of sulfidic niches by deploying wood colonization experiments at a depth of 1690 m in the Eastern Mediterranean for one year. Wood-boring bivalves of the genus Xylophaga played a key role in the degradation of the wood logs, facilitating the development of anoxic zones and anaerobic microbial processes such as sulfate reduction. Fauna and bacteria associated with the wood included types reported from other deep-sea habitats including chemosynthetic ecosystems, confirming the potential role of large organic food falls as biodiversity hot spots and stepping stones for vent and seep communities. Specific bacterial communities developed on and around the wood falls within one year and were distinct from freshly submerged wood and background sediments. These included sulfate-reducing and cellulolytic bacterial taxa, which are likely to play an important role in the utilization of wood by chemosynthetic life and other deep-sea animals.

  2. How Deep-Sea Wood Falls Sustain Chemosynthetic Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bienhold, Christina; Pop Ristova, Petra; Wenzhöfer, Frank; Dittmar, Thorsten; Boetius, Antje

    2013-01-01

    Large organic food falls to the deep sea – such as whale carcasses and wood logs – are known to serve as stepping stones for the dispersal of highly adapted chemosynthetic organisms inhabiting hot vents and cold seeps. Here we investigated the biogeochemical and microbiological processes leading to the development of sulfidic niches by deploying wood colonization experiments at a depth of 1690 m in the Eastern Mediterranean for one year. Wood-boring bivalves of the genus Xylophaga played a key role in the degradation of the wood logs, facilitating the development of anoxic zones and anaerobic microbial processes such as sulfate reduction. Fauna and bacteria associated with the wood included types reported from other deep-sea habitats including chemosynthetic ecosystems, confirming the potential role of large organic food falls as biodiversity hot spots and stepping stones for vent and seep communities. Specific bacterial communities developed on and around the wood falls within one year and were distinct from freshly submerged wood and background sediments. These included sulfate-reducing and cellulolytic bacterial taxa, which are likely to play an important role in the utilization of wood by chemosynthetic life and other deep-sea animals. PMID:23301092

  3. Advances in deep-sea biology: biodiversity, ecosystem functioning and conservation. An introduction and overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunha, Marina R.; Hilário, Ana; Santos, Ricardo S.

    2017-03-01

    Once considered as monotonous and devoid of life, the deep sea was revealed during the last century as an environment with a plethora of life forms and extremely high species richness (Rex and Etter, 2010). Underwater vehicle developments allowed direct observations of the deep, disclosing unique habitats and diverse seascapes, and other technological advances enabled manipulative experimentation and unprecedented prospects to pursue novel research topics (Levin and Sibuet, 2012; Danovaro et al., 2014). Alongside, the growing human population greatly increased the pressure on deep-sea ecosystems and the services they provide (Ramirez-Llodra et al., 2011; Thurber et al., 2014; Levin et al., 2016). Societal changes further intensified worldwide competition for natural resources, extending the present footprint of impacts over most of the global ocean (Halpern et al., 2008). In this socio-economic context, and in tandem with cutting edge technological advances and an unclear legal framework to regulate access to natural resources (Boyes and Elliott, 2014), the deep sea has emerged as a new opportunity for industrial exploitation and novel economic activities. The expanding use of the deep sea prompted a rapid reply from deep-sea scientists that recommended "a move from a frontier mentality of exploitation and single-sector management to a precautionary system that balances use of living marine resources, energy, and minerals from the deep ocean with maintenance of a productive and healthy marine environment, while improving knowledge and collaboration" and proposed "three directions to advance deep-ocean stewardship: i) protection and mitigation, ii) research, and iii) collaborative governance" (Mengerink et al., 2014). The European Marine Board position paper 22 (Rogers et al., 2015) further examined the key societal and environmental drivers confronting the deep sea and the role of deep-sea research to deliver future knowledge needs for science and society; a clear

  4. Invertebrate population genetics across Earth's largest habitat: The deep-sea floor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, M L; Roterman, C N

    2017-10-01

    Despite the deep sea being the largest habitat on Earth, there are just 77 population genetic studies of invertebrates (115 species) inhabiting non-chemosynthetic ecosystems on the deep-sea floor (below 200 m depth). We review and synthesize the results of these papers. Studies reveal levels of genetic diversity comparable to shallow-water species. Generally, populations at similar depths were well connected over 100s-1,000s km, but studies that sampled across depth ranges reveal population structure at much smaller scales (100s-1,000s m) consistent with isolation by adaptation across environmental gradients, or the existence of physical barriers to connectivity with depth. Few studies were ocean-wide (under 4%), and 48% were Atlantic-focused. There is strong emphasis on megafauna and commercial species with research into meiofauna, "ecosystem engineers" and other ecologically important species lacking. Only nine papers account for ~50% of the planet's surface (depths below 3,500 m). Just two species were studied below 5,000 m, a quarter of Earth's seafloor. Most studies used single-locus mitochondrial genes revealing a common pattern of non-neutrality, consistent with demographic instability or selective sweeps; similar to deep-sea hydrothermal vent fauna. The absence of a clear difference between vent and non-vent could signify that demographic instability is common in the deep sea, or that selective sweeps render single-locus mitochondrial studies demographically uninformative. The number of population genetics studies to date is miniscule in relation to the size of the deep sea. The paucity of studies constrains meta-analyses where broad inferences about deep-sea ecology could be made. © 2017 The Authors. Molecular Ecology Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Deep Coherent Vortices and Their Sea Surface Expressions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ienna, Federico; Bashmachnikov, Igor; Dias, Joaquim; Peliz, Alvaro

    2017-04-01

    Mediterranean Water eddies, known as Meddies, are an important dynamic process occurring at depths of 1000-meters in the Northeast Atlantic Ocean. Meddies occur as a direct result of the Mediterranean Outflow exiting through the Gibraltar Strait, and represent a prevalent mechanism that can be found extensively throughout the ocean. Moreover, Meddy cores are known to produce measurable expressions at the sea surface in the form of rotating coherent vortices, not only affecting the sea surface from beneath, but also allowing for the possibility to remotely study these deep phenomena through data gathered at the sea surface. While many past studies have focused on the properties of Meddy cores, only a handful of studies focus on the physical characteristics and behavior of the surface expressions produced. Are Meddy surface expressions different from other like vortices that dominate the physical ocean surface? What are the relationships between deep and surface mechanisms, and do any feedbacks exist? To shed light on these questions, we investigate the relationship between Meddies and their sea-surface expressions through observations using in-situ float and drifter profiles and satellite altimetry. A total of 782 Meddy cores were examined in the Northeast Atlantic using temperature and salinity data obtained by CTD and Argo during the Mecanismos de transporte e de dispersão da Água Mediterrânica no Atlântico Nordeste (MEDTRANS) project, and their corresponding sea-level expressions were geo-temporally matched in satellite altimetry data. We report several statistical properties of the sea-surface expressions of Meddies, including their mean diameter and vertical magnitude, and compare the properties of their surface features to the underlying Meddy cores. We investigate how the deep core affects the surface, and whether surface expressions may in return yield information about the underlying cores. Additionally, we examine the variability of the surface

  6. Assessing the effects of iron enrichment across holobiont compartments reveals reduced microbial nitrogen fixation in the Red Sea coral Pocillopora verrucosa

    KAUST Repository

    Radecker, Nils; Pogoreutz, Claudia; Ziegler, Maren; Ashok, Ananya; Barreto, Marcelle M.; Chaidez, Veronica; Grupstra, Carsten G. B.; Ng, Yi Mei; Perna, Gabriela; Aranda, Manuel; Voolstra, Christian R.

    2017-01-01

    The productivity of coral reefs in oligotrophic tropical waters is sustained by an efficient uptake and recycling of nutrients. In reef-building corals, the engineers of these ecosystems, this nutrient recycling is facilitated by a constant exchange of nutrients between the animal host and endosymbiotic photosynthetic dinoflagellates (zooxanthellae), bacteria, and other microbes. Due to the complex interactions in this so-called coral holobiont, it has proven difficult to understand the environmental limitations of productivity in corals. Among others, the micronutrient iron has been proposed to limit primary productivity due to its essential role in photosynthesis and bacterial processes. Here, we tested the effect of iron enrichment on the physiology of the coral Pocillopora verrucosa from the central Red Sea during a 12-day experiment. Contrary to previous reports, we did not see an increase in zooxanthellae population density or gross photosynthesis. Conversely, respiration rates were significantly increased, and microbial nitrogen fixation was significantly decreased. Taken together, our data suggest that iron is not a limiting factor of primary productivity in Red Sea corals. Rather, increased metabolic demands in response to iron enrichment, as evidenced by increased respiration rates, may reduce carbon (i.e., energy) availability in the coral holobiont, resulting in reduced microbial nitrogen fixation. This decrease in nitrogen supply in turn may exacerbate the limitation of other nutrients, creating a negative feedback loop. Thereby, our results highlight that the effects of iron enrichment appear to be strongly dependent on local environmental conditions and ultimately may depend on the availability of other nutrients.

  7. Assessing the effects of iron enrichment across holobiont compartments reveals reduced microbial nitrogen fixation in the Red Sea coral Pocillopora verrucosa

    KAUST Repository

    Radecker, Nils

    2017-07-31

    The productivity of coral reefs in oligotrophic tropical waters is sustained by an efficient uptake and recycling of nutrients. In reef-building corals, the engineers of these ecosystems, this nutrient recycling is facilitated by a constant exchange of nutrients between the animal host and endosymbiotic photosynthetic dinoflagellates (zooxanthellae), bacteria, and other microbes. Due to the complex interactions in this so-called coral holobiont, it has proven difficult to understand the environmental limitations of productivity in corals. Among others, the micronutrient iron has been proposed to limit primary productivity due to its essential role in photosynthesis and bacterial processes. Here, we tested the effect of iron enrichment on the physiology of the coral Pocillopora verrucosa from the central Red Sea during a 12-day experiment. Contrary to previous reports, we did not see an increase in zooxanthellae population density or gross photosynthesis. Conversely, respiration rates were significantly increased, and microbial nitrogen fixation was significantly decreased. Taken together, our data suggest that iron is not a limiting factor of primary productivity in Red Sea corals. Rather, increased metabolic demands in response to iron enrichment, as evidenced by increased respiration rates, may reduce carbon (i.e., energy) availability in the coral holobiont, resulting in reduced microbial nitrogen fixation. This decrease in nitrogen supply in turn may exacerbate the limitation of other nutrients, creating a negative feedback loop. Thereby, our results highlight that the effects of iron enrichment appear to be strongly dependent on local environmental conditions and ultimately may depend on the availability of other nutrients.

  8. An interactive end-user software application for a deep-sea photographic database

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Jaisankar, S.; Sharma, R.

    . The software is the first of its kind in deep-sea applications and it also attempts to educate the user about deep-sea photography. The application software is developed by modifying established routines and by creating new routines to save the retrieved...

  9. Microbial ecology of deep-sea hypersaline anoxic basins

    KAUST Repository

    Merlino, Giuseppe

    2018-05-09

    Deep hypersaline anoxic basins (DHABs) are unique water bodies occurring within fractures at the bottom of the sea, where the dissolution of anciently buried evaporites created dense anoxic brines that are separated by a chemocline/pycnocline from the overlying oxygenated deep-seawater column. DHABs have been described in the Gulf of Mexico, the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea and the Red Sea. They are characterized by prolonged historical separation of the brines from the upper water column due to lack of mixing and by extreme conditions of salinity, anoxia, and relatively high hydrostatic pressure and temperatures. Due to these combined selection factors, unique microbial assemblages thrive in these polyextreme ecosystems. The topological localization of the different taxa in the brine-seawater transition zone coupled with the metabolic interactions and niche adaptations determine the metabolic functioning and biogeochemistry of DHABs. In particular, inherent metabolic strategies accompanied by genetic adaptations have provided insights on how prokaryotic communities can adapt to salt-saturated condition. Here, we review the current knowledge on the diversity, genomics, metabolisms and ecology of prokaryotes in DHABs.

  10. Deep, diverse and definitely different: unique attributes of the world's largest ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Ramirez-Llodra

    2010-09-01

    -water corals have an increased productivity through specific physical processes, such as topographic modification of currents and enhanced transport of particles and detrital matter. Because of its unique abiotic attributes, the deep sea hosts a specialized fauna. Although there are no phyla unique to deep waters, at lower taxonomic levels the composition of the fauna is distinct from that found in the upper ocean. Amongst other characteristic patterns, deep-sea species may exhibit either gigantism or dwarfism, related to the decrease in food availability with depth. Food limitation on the seafloor and water column is also reflected in the trophic structure of heterotrophic deep-sea communities, which are adapted to low energy availability. In most of these heterotrophic habitats, the dominant megafauna is composed of detritivores, while filter feeders are abundant in habitats with hard substrata (e.g. mid-ocean ridges, seamounts, canyon walls and coral reefs. Chemoautotrophy through symbiotic relationships is dominant in reducing habitats.

    Deep-sea biodiversity is among of the highest on the planet, mainly composed of macro and meiofauna, with high evenness. This is true for most of the continental margins and abyssal plains with hot spots of diversity such as seamounts or cold-water corals. However, in some ecosystems with particularly "extreme" physicochemical processes (e.g. hydrothermal vents, biodiversity is low but abundance and biomass are high and the communities are dominated by a few species. Two large-scale diversity patterns have been discussed for deep-sea benthic communities. First, a unimodal relationship between diversity and depth is observed, with a peak at intermediate depths (2000–3000 m, although this is not universal and particular abiotic processes can modify the trend. Secondly, a poleward trend of decreasing diversity has been discussed, but this remains controversial and studies with larger and more robust data sets are needed. Because of

  11. Characterization of culturable bacteria isolated from the cold-water coral Lophelia pertusa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galkiewicz, Julia P.; Pratte, Zoe A.; Gray, Michael A.; Kellogg, Christina A.

    2011-01-01

    Microorganisms associated with corals are hypothesized to contribute to the function of the host animal by cycling nutrients, breaking down carbon sources, fixing nitrogen, and producing antibiotics. This is the first study to culture and characterize bacteria from Lophelia pertusa, a cold-water coral found in the deep sea, in an effort to understand the roles that the microorganisms play in the coral microbial community. Two sites in the northern Gulf of Mexico were sampled over 2 years. Bacteria were cultured from coral tissue, skeleton, and mucus, identified by 16S rRNA genes, and subjected to biochemical testing. Most isolates were members of the Gammaproteobacteria, although there was one isolate each from the Betaproteobacteria and Actinobacteria. Phylogenetic results showed that both sampling sites shared closely related isolates (e.g. Pseudoalteromonas spp.), indicating possible temporally and geographically stable bacterial-coral associations. The Kirby-Bauer antibiotic susceptibility test was used to separate bacteria to the strain level, with the results showing that isolates that were phylogenetically tightly grouped had varying responses to antibiotics. These results support the conclusion that phylogenetic placement cannot predict strain-level differences and further highlight the need for culture-based experiments to supplement culture-independent studies.

  12. 77 FR 44214 - Essential Fish Habitat Components of Fishery Management Plans; 5-Year Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-07-27

    ... Plan Development Team to evaluate information related to deep- sea corals and develop alternatives for... time is necessary to ensure that management actions related to deep sea corals are consistent... herring, skates, Atlantic salmon, and Atlantic deep- sea red crab. The Council is seeking comments about...

  13. De novo transcriptome assembly and positive selection analysis of an individual deep-sea fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lan, Yi; Sun, Jin; Xu, Ting; Chen, Chong; Tian, Renmao; Qiu, Jian-Wen; Qian, Pei-Yuan

    2018-05-24

    High hydrostatic pressure and low temperatures make the deep sea a harsh environment for life forms. Actin organization and microtubules assembly, which are essential for intracellular transport and cell motility, can be disrupted by high hydrostatic pressure. High hydrostatic pressure can also damage DNA. Nucleic acids exposed to low temperatures can form secondary structures that hinder genetic information processing. To study how deep-sea creatures adapt to such a hostile environment, one of the most straightforward ways is to sequence and compare their genes with those of their shallow-water relatives. We captured an individual of the fish species Aldrovandia affinis, which is a typical deep-sea inhabitant, from the Okinawa Trough at a depth of 1550 m using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV). We sequenced its transcriptome and analyzed its molecular adaptation. We obtained 27,633 protein coding sequences using an Illumina platform and compared them with those of several shallow-water fish species. Analysis of 4918 single-copy orthologs identified 138 positively selected genes in A. affinis, including genes involved in microtubule regulation. Particularly, functional domains related to cold shock as well as DNA repair are exposed to positive selection pressure in both deep-sea fish and hadal amphipod. Overall, we have identified a set of positively selected genes related to cytoskeleton structures, DNA repair and genetic information processing, which shed light on molecular adaptation to the deep sea. These results suggest that amino acid substitutions of these positively selected genes may contribute crucially to the adaptation of deep-sea animals. Additionally, we provide a high-quality transcriptome of a deep-sea fish for future deep-sea studies.

  14. Homogeneity of coral reef communities across 8 degrees of latitude in the Saudi Arabian Red Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, May B; Jones, Geoffrey P; McCormick, Mark I; Munday, Philip L; Neale, Stephen; Thorrold, Simon; Robitzch, Vanessa S N; Berumen, Michael L

    2016-04-30

    Coral reef communities between 26.8 °N and 18.6 °N latitude in the Saudi Arabian Red Sea were surveyed to provide baseline data and an assessment of fine-scale biogeography of communities in this region. Forty reefs along 1100 km of coastline were surveyed using depth-stratified visual transects of fish and benthic communities. Fish abundance and benthic cover data were analyzed using multivariate approaches to investigate whether coral reef communities differed with latitude. A total of 215 fish species and 90 benthic categories were recorded on the surveys. There were no significant differences among locations in fish abundance, species richness, or among several diversity indices. Despite known environmental gradients within the Red Sea, the communities remained surprisingly similar. The communities do, however, exhibit subtle changes across this span of reefs that likely reflect the constrained distributions of several species of reef fish and benthic fauna. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Fatty acid composition indicating diverse habitat use in coral reef fishes in the Malaysian South China Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arai, Takaomi; Amalina, Razikin; Bachok, Zainudin

    2015-02-22

    In order to understand feeding ecology and habitat use of coral reef fish, fatty acid composition was examined in five coral reef fishes, Thalassoma lunare, Lutjanus lutjanus, Abudefduf bengalensis, Scarus rivulatus and Scolopsis affinis collected in the Bidong Island of Malaysian South China Sea. Proportions of saturated fatty acids (SAFA) ranged 57.2% 74.2%, with the highest proportions in fatty acids, the second highest was monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) ranged from 21.4% to 39.0% and the proportion of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) was the lowest ranged from 2.8% to 14.1%. Each fatty acid composition differed among fishes, suggesting diverse feeding ecology, habitat use and migration during the fishes' life history in the coral reef habitats. Diets of the coral fish species might vary among species in spite of that each species are living sympatrically. Differences in fatty acid profiles might not just be considered with respect to the diets, but might be based on the habitat and migration.

  16. Species-energy relationship in the deep sea: A test using the Quaternary fossil record

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, G.; Cronin, T. M.; Roy, K.

    2005-01-01

    Little is known about the processes regulating species richness in deep-sea communities. Here we take advantage of natural experiments involving climate change to test whether predictions of the species-energy hypothesis hold in the deep sea. In addition, we test for the relationship between temperature and species richness predicted by a recent model based on biochemical kinetics of metabolism. Using the deep-sea fossil record of benthic foraminifera and statistical meta-analyses of temperature-richness and productivity-richness relationships in 10 deep-sea cores, we show that temperature but not productivity is a significant predictor of species richness over the past c. 130 000 years. Our results not only show that the temperature-richness relationship in the deep-sea is remarkably similar to that found in terrestrial and shallow marine habitats, but also that species richness tracks temperature change over geological time, at least on scales of c. 100 000 years. Thus, predicting biotic response to global climate change in the deep sea would require better understanding of how temperature regulates the occurrences and geographical ranges of species. ??2005 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  17. Phytoplankton phenology indices in coral reef ecosystems: Application to ocean-color observations in the Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Racault, Marie-Fanny

    2015-02-18

    Phytoplankton, at the base of the marine food web, represent a fundamental food source in coral reef ecosystems. The timing (phenology) and magnitude of the phytoplankton biomass are major determinants of trophic interactions. The Red Sea is one of the warmest and most saline basins in the world, characterized by an arid tropical climate regulated by the monsoon. These extreme conditions are particularly challenging for marine life. Phytoplankton phenological indices provide objective and quantitative metrics to characterize phytoplankton seasonality. The indices i.e. timings of initiation, peak, termination and duration are estimated here using 15 years (1997–2012) of remote sensing ocean-color data from the European Space Agency (ESA) Climate Change Initiative project (OC-CCI) in the entire Red Sea basin. The OC-CCI product, comprising merged and bias-corrected observations from three independent ocean-color sensors (SeaWiFS, MODIS and MERIS), and processed using the POLYMER algorithm (MERIS period), shows a significant increase in chlorophyll data coverage, especially in the southern Red Sea during the months of summer NW monsoon. In open and reef-bound coastal waters, the performance of OC-CCI chlorophyll data is shown to be comparable with the performance of other standard chlorophyll products for the global oceans. These features have permitted us to investigate phytoplankton phenology in the entire Red Sea basin, and during both winter SE monsoon and summer NW monsoon periods. The phenological indices are estimated in the four open water provinces of the basin, and further examined at six coral reef complexes of particular socio-economic importance in the Red Sea, including Siyal Islands, Sharm El Sheikh, Al Wajh bank, Thuwal reefs, Al Lith reefs and Farasan Islands. Most of the open and deeper waters of the basin show an apparent higher chlorophyll concentration and longer duration of phytoplankton growth during the winter period (relative to the summer

  18. Genetic diversity of archaea in deep-sea hydrothermal vent environments.

    OpenAIRE

    Takai, K; Horikoshi, K

    1999-01-01

    Molecular phylogenetic analysis of naturally occurring archaeal communities in deep-sea hydrothermal vent environments was carried out by PCR-mediated small subunit rRNA gene (SSU rDNA) sequencing. As determined through partial sequencing of rDNA clones amplified with archaea-specific primers, the archaeal populations in deep-sea hydrothermal vent environments showed a great genetic diversity, and most members of these populations appeared to be uncultivated and unidentified organisms. In the...

  19. A review on deep-sea fungi: Occurrence, diversity and adaptions

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Raghukumar, C.; Damare, S.R.; Singh, P.

    soil. In contrast to land, however, most studies on deep-sea sediments have focused exclusively on bacteria and have demonstrated their intense metabolic activities therein (Turley and Dixon 2002). The fungi and their role in the deep-sea sediments... polymerization and form brown-coloured products, constituting humus (Tisdall and Oades 1982). The humic material combines with soil particles to form microaggregates. Fungal hyphae further act as binding agents to form macroaggregates by trapping fine particles...

  20. Diversity of symbiotic algae of the genus Symbiodinium in scleractinian corals of the Xisha Islands in the South China Sea

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhi-Jun DONG; Hui HUANG; Liang-Min HUANG; Yuan-Chao LI

    2009-01-01

    Symbiotic algae (Symbiodinium sp.) in scleractinian corals are important in understanding how coral reefs will respond to global climate change. The present paper reports on the diversity of Symbiodinium sp. in 48 scleractinian coral species from 25 genera and 10 families sampled from the Xisha Islands in the South China Sea, which were identified with the use of restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) of the nuclear ribosomal DNA large subunit gene (rDNA). The results showed that: (i) Symbiodinium Clade C was the dominant zooxanthellae in scleractinian corals in the Xisha Islands; (ii) Symbiodinium Clade D was found in the corals Montipora aequituberculata, Galaxea fascicularis, and Plerogyra sinuosa; and (iii) both Symbiodinium Clades C and D were found simultaneously in Montipora digitata, Psammocora contigua, and Galaxeafascicularis. A poor capacity for symbiosis polymorphism, as uncovered by RFLP, in the Xisha Islands indicates that the scleractinian corals have low adaptability to environmental changes. Further studies are needed to investigate zooxanthellae diversity using other molecular markers.

  1. 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.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Ziegler, Maren; Roder, Cornelia; Bü chel, Claudia; Voolstra, Christian R.

    2015-01-01

    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.

  3. Deep-sea genetic resources: New frontiers for science and stewardship in areas beyond national jurisdiction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harden-Davies, Harriet

    2017-03-01

    The deep-sea is a large source of marine genetic resources (MGR), which have many potential uses and are a growing area of research. Much of the deep-sea lies in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ), including 65% of the global ocean. MGR in ABNJ occupy a significant gap in the international legal framework. Access and benefit sharing of MGR is a key issue in the development of a new international legally-binding instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in ABNJ. This paper examines how this is relevant to deep-sea scientific research and identifies emerging challenges and opportunities. There is no internationally agreed definition of MGR, however, deep-sea genetic resources could incorporate any biological material including genes, proteins and natural products. Deep-sea scientific research is the key actor accessing MGR in ABNJ and sharing benefits such as data, samples and knowledge. UNCLOS provides the international legal framework for marine scientific research, international science cooperation, capacity building and marine technology transfer. Enhanced implementation could support access and benefit sharing of MGR in ABNJ. Deep-sea scientific researchers could play an important role in informing practical new governance solutions for access and benefit sharing of MGR that promote scientific research in ABNJ and support deep-sea stewardship. Advancing knowledge of deep-sea biodiversity in ABNJ, enhancing open-access to data and samples, standardisation and international marine science cooperation are significant potential opportunity areas.

  4. Exploring fungal diversity in deep-sea sediments from Okinawa Trough using high-throughput Illumina sequencing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xiao-Yong; Wang, Guang-Hua; Xu, Xin-Ya; Nong, Xu-Hua; Wang, Jie; Amin, Muhammad; Qi, Shu-Hua

    2016-10-01

    The present study investigated the fungal diversity in four different deep-sea sediments from Okinawa Trough using high-throughput Illumina sequencing of the nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer-1 (ITS1). A total of 40,297 fungal ITS1 sequences clustered into 420 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) with 97% sequence similarity and 170 taxa were recovered from these sediments. Most ITS1 sequences (78%) belonged to the phylum Ascomycota, followed by Basidiomycota (17.3%), Zygomycota (1.5%) and Chytridiomycota (0.8%), and a small proportion (2.4%) belonged to unassigned fungal phyla. Compared with previous studies on fungal diversity of sediments from deep-sea environments by culture-dependent approach and clone library analysis, the present result suggested that Illumina sequencing had been dramatically accelerating the discovery of fungal community of deep-sea sediments. Furthermore, our results revealed that Sordariomycetes was the most diverse and abundant fungal class in this study, challenging the traditional view that the diversity of Sordariomycetes phylotypes was low in the deep-sea environments. In addition, more than 12 taxa accounted for 21.5% sequences were found to be rarely reported as deep-sea fungi, suggesting the deep-sea sediments from Okinawa Trough harbored a plethora of different fungal communities compared with other deep-sea environments. To our knowledge, this study is the first exploration of the fungal diversity in deep-sea sediments from Okinawa Trough using high-throughput Illumina sequencing.

  5. Macrobioerosion in Porites corals in subtropical northern South China Sea: a limiting factor for high-latitude reef framework development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Tianran; Li, Shu; Yu, Kefu

    2013-03-01

    Bioerosion is an important limiting factor in carbonate accretion and reef framework development; however, few studies have quantified the direct impact of macroborers on high-latitude coral communities, which are viewed as potential refuge during a period of global warming. In this study, internal macrobioerosion of Porites corals was examined at Daya Bay, subtropical northern South China Sea. The principal borers were the bivalve Lithophaga spp. and the sponges Cliona spp. and Cliothosa spp. (≥80 %), while sipunculid and polychaete worms and barnacles accounted for small amounts of bioerosion (≤20 %). Porites corals were heavily bioeroded in areas impacted by aquacultural and urban activities (10.34-27.55 %) compared with corals in relatively unpolluted areas (2.18-6.76 %). High levels of bioerosion, especially boring bivalve infestation, significantly weaken the corals and increase their susceptibility to dislodgement and fragmentation in typhoons, limiting accumulation of limestone framework. This study implies that carbonate accretion and reef development for high-latitude coral communities may be limited in future high-CO2 and eutrophication-stressed environments.

  6. Ventilation of the deep Greenland and Norwegian seas: evidence from krypton-85, tritium, carbon-14 and argon-39

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smethie, W.M. Jr.; Ostlund, H.G.; Loosli, H.H.

    1986-01-01

    On leg 5 of the TTO expedition, the distributions of 85 Kr, tritium, 14 C, 39 Ar, temperature, salinity, oxygen, carbon dioxide and nutrients were measured in the Greenland and Norwegian seas. These observations support previous observations that Greenland Sea Deep Water is formed by a deep convective process within the Greenland gyre. They also support AAGAARD et al.'s (1985, Journal of Geophysical Research, 90, 4833-4846) new hypothesis that Norwegian Sea Deep Water forms from a mixture of Greenland Sea Deep Water and Eurasian Basin Deep Water. Volume transports estimated from the distributions of 85 Kr, tritium, 14 C and 39 Ar range from 0.53 to 0.74 Sv for exchange between the surface and deep Greenland Sea and from 0.9 to 1.47 Sv for exchange between the deep Greenland and deep Norwegian Seas. The residence time of water and the deep Greenland Sea with respect to exchange with surface water ranges from 24 to 34 years reported by PETERSON and ROOTH (1976, Deep-Sea Research, 23, 273-283) and 35-42 years reported by BULLISTER and WEISS (1983, Science, 221, 265-268). The residence time of water in the deep Norwegian Sea with respect to exchange with the deep Greenland Sea ranges from 19 to 30 years compared to 97-107 years reported by PETERSON and ROOTH (1976) and 10-28 years reported by BULLISTER and WEISS (1983). The oxygen consumption rate was estimated to be at most 1.04 μM kg -1 y -1 for the deep Greenland Sea and to be between 0.47 and 0.79 μM kg -1 y -1 for the deep Norwegian Sea. (author)

  7. Development of the Wintertime Sr/Ca-SST Record from Red Sea Corals as a Proxy for the North Atlantic Oscillation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernstein, W. N.; Hughen, K. A.

    2009-12-01

    The North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) is one of the most pronounced and influential patterns in winter atmospheric circulation variability. This meridional redistribution of atmospheric mass across the Atlantic Ocean produces large changes in the intensity, number and direction of storms generated within the basin, and the regional climate of surrounding continents. The NAO exerts a significant impact on society, through influences on agriculture, fisheries, water management, energy generation and coastal development. NAO effects on climate extend from eastern North America across Europe to the eastern Mediterranean and Middle East. Changes in NAO behavior during the late 20th century have been linked to global warming; yet despite its importance, the causes and long-term patterns of NAO variability in the past remain poorly understood. In order to better predict the influence of the NAO on climate in the future, it is critical to examine multi-century NAO variability. The Red Sea is an excellent location from which to generate long NAO records for two reasons. First, patterns of wintertime sea surface temperature (SST) and salinity (SSS) in the Red Sea are highly correlated with NAO variability (Visbeck et al. 2001; Hurrell et al. 2003). Second, the tropical/subtropical Red Sea region contains fast growing long-lived massive Porites spp. corals with annually banded skeletons. These corals are ideal for generating well-dated high-resolution paleoclimatic records that extend well beyond the instrumental period. Here we present a study of winter SST and NAO variability in the Red sea region based on coral Sr/Ca data. In 2008, we collected multiple drill cores ranging in length from 1 to 4.1 meters from Porites corals at six sites spanning a large SST gradient. Sr/Ca measurements from multiple corals will be regressed against 23 years of satellite SST data, expanding the SST range over which we calibrate. A sampling resolution of 0.5mm will yield greater than bi

  8. Testing deep-sea biodiversity paradigms on abyssal nematode genera and Acantholaimus species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lins, Lidia; da Silva, Maria Cristina; Neres, Patrícia; Esteves, André Morgado; Vanreusel, Ann

    2018-02-01

    Biodiversity patterns in the deep sea have been extensively studied in the last decades. In this study, we investigated whether reputable concepts in deep-sea ecology also explain diversity and distribution patterns of nematode genera and species in the abyss. Among them, three paradigms were tackled: (1) the deep sea is a highly diverse environment at a local scale, while on a regional and even larger geographical scale, species and genus turnover is limited; (2) the biodiversity of deep-sea nematode communities changes with the nature and amount of organic matter input from the surface; and (3) patch-mosaic dynamics of the deep-sea environment drive local diversity. To test these hypotheses, diversity and density of nematode assemblages and of species of the genus Acantholaimus were studied along two abyssal E-W transects. These two transects were situated in the Southern Ocean ( 50°S) and the North Atlantic ( 10°N). Four different hierarchical scales were used to compare biodiversity: at the scale of cores, between stations from the same region, and between regions. Results revealed that the deep sea harbours a high diversity at a local scale (alpha diversity), but that turnover can be shaped by different environmental drivers. Therefore, these results question the second part of the paradigm about limited species turnover in the deep sea. Higher surface primary productivity was correlated with greater nematode densities, whereas diversity responses to the augmentation of surface productivity showed no trend. Areas subjected to a constant and low food input revealed similar nematode communities to other oligotrophic abyssal areas, while stations under high productivity were characterized by different dominant genera and Acantholaimus species, and by a generally low local diversity. Our results corroborate the species-energy hypothesis, where productivity can set a limit to the richness of an ecosystem. Finally, we observed no correlation between sediment

  9. Norwegian deep-water coral reefs: cultivation and molecular analysis of planktonic microbial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, Sigmund; Lynch, Michael D J; Ray, Jessica L; Neufeld, Josh D; Hovland, Martin

    2015-10-01

    Deep-sea coral reefs do not receive sunlight and depend on plankton. Little is known about the plankton composition at such reefs, even though they constitute habitats for many invertebrates and fish. We investigated plankton communities from three reefs at 260-350 m depth at hydrocarbon fields off the mid-Norwegian coast using a combination of cultivation and small subunit (SSU) rRNA gene and transcript sequencing. Eight months incubations of a reef water sample with minimal medium, supplemented with carbon dioxide and gaseous alkanes at in situ-like conditions, enabled isolation of mostly Alphaproteobacteria (Sulfitobacter, Loktanella), Gammaproteobacteria (Colwellia) and Flavobacteria (Polaribacter). The relative abundance of isolates in the original sample ranged from ∼ 0.01% to 0.80%. Comparisons of bacterial SSU sequences from filtered plankton of reef and non-reef control samples indicated high abundance and metabolic activity of primarily Alphaproteobacteria (SAR11 Ia), Gammaproteobacteria (ARCTIC96BD-19), but also of Deltaproteobacteria (Nitrospina, SAR324). Eukaryote SSU sequences indicated metabolically active microalgae and animals, including codfish, at the reef sites. The plankton community composition varied between reefs and differed between DNA and RNA assessments. Over 5000 operational taxonomic units were detected, some indicators of reef sites (e.g. Flavobacteria, Cercozoa, Demospongiae) and some more active at reef sites (e.g. Gammaproteobacteria, Ciliophora, Copepoda). © 2014 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. The effects of sea surface temperature anomalies on oceanic coral reef systems in the southwestern tropical Atlantic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferreira, B. P.; Costa, M. B. S. F.; Coxey, M. S.; Gaspar, A. L. B.; Veleda, D.; Araujo, M.

    2013-06-01

    In 2010, high sea surface temperatures that were recorded in several parts of the world and caused coral bleaching and coral mortality were also recorded in the southwest Atlantic Ocean, between latitudes 0°S and 8°S. This paper reports on coral bleaching and diseases in Rocas Atoll and Fernando de Noronha archipelago and examines their relationship with sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies recorded by PIRATA buoys located at 8°S30°W, 0°S35°W, and 0°S23°W. Adjusted satellite data were used to derive SST climatological means at buoy sites and to derive anomalies at reef sites. The whole region was affected by the elevated temperature anomaly that persisted through 2010, reaching 1.67 °C above average at reef sites and 1.83 °C above average at buoys sites. A significant positive relationship was found between the percentage of coral bleaching that was observed on reef formations and the corresponding HotSpot SST anomaly recorded by both satellite and buoys. These results indicate that the warming observed in the ocean waters was followed by a warming at the reefs. The percentage of bleached corals persisting after the subsidence of the thermal stress, and disease prevalence increased through 2010, after two periods of thermal stress. The in situ temperature anomaly observed during the 2009-2010 El Niño event was equivalent to the anomaly observed during the 1997-1998 El Niño event, explaining similar bleaching intensity. Continued monitoring efforts are necessary to further assess the relationship between bleaching severity and PIRATA SST anomalies and improve the use of this new dataset in future regional bleaching predictions.

  11. Exploration and Discovery of Hydrocarbon Seeps, Coral Ecosystems, and Shipwrecks in the Deep Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shank, T. M.; Hsing, P.; Carney, R. S.; Herrera, S.; Heyl, T.; Munro, C.; Bors, E.; Kiene, W.; Vecchione, M.; Evans, A.; Irion, J.; Warren, D.; Malik, M.; Lobecker, M.; Potter, J.

    2012-12-01

    Between March 20 and April 6, 2012, the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer served as a platform for ship-board and shore-side scientists to explore the deep Gulf of Mexico, targeting the northern West Florida Escarpment, DeSoto Canyon, the vicinity (within 11km) of the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) well, and deepwater shipwrecks. We systematically explored and discovered natural hydrocarbon seeps, diverse coral ecosystems, wooden and iron-hulled shipwrecks more than 100 years old colonized by coral communities, and sperm whale habitat between 600 and 1200m. A total of sixteen dives took advantage of new and recent maps to explore and groundtruth both hard and soft-bottom habitats, from cretaceous carbonates to mounds of coral rubble. The final ROV dive successfully groundtruthed expected methane-release areas imaged by the ship's mapping systems up to 1150m above the seafloor. The source of the mapping imagery was a stream of bubbles issuing from beneath thriving seep mussel communities. We visited five sites in the Mississippi Canyon (MC) area (lease blocks MC294, MC297, MC388, MC255, and MC036; the DWH incident took place in MC252). These sites were 11.3 km SW, 6.8 km SW, 7.6 km SW, 25.7 km E, and 27.4 km to the NE of the DWH, respectively. We used high-definition imaging systems on the Little Hercules ROV and Seirios camera platform to document more than 130 coral colonies and over 400 associated individual animals to continue to assessing the impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. All of these efforts were conducted to provide fundamental knowledge of unknown and poorly known regions, ecosystems, and items of historical significance in the deep Gulf of Mexico.

  12. Distinctive Microbial Community Structure in Highly Stratified Deep-Sea Brine Water Columns

    KAUST Repository

    Bougouffa, Salim; Yang, J. K.; Lee, O. O.; Wang, Y.; Batang, Zenon B.; Al-Suwailem, Abdulaziz M.; Qian, P. Y.

    2013-01-01

    Atlantis II and Discovery are two hydrothermal and hypersaline deep-sea pools in the Red Sea rift that are characterized by strong thermohalo-stratification and temperatures steadily peaking near the bottom. We conducted comprehensive vertical profiling of the microbial populations in both pools and highlighted the influential environmental factors. Pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA genes revealed shifts in community structures vis-à-vis depth. High diversity and low abundance were features of the deepest convective layers despite the low cell density. Surprisingly, the brine interfaces had significantly higher cell counts than the overlying deep-sea water, yet they were lowest in diversity. Vertical stratification of the bacterial populations was apparent as we moved from the Alphaproteobacteria-dominated deep sea to the Planctomycetaceae- or Deferribacteres-dominated interfaces to the Gammaproteobacteria-dominated brine layers. Archaeal marine group I was dominant in the deep-sea water and interfaces, while several euryarchaeotic groups increased in the brine. Across sites, microbial phylotypes and abundances varied substantially in the brine interface of Discovery compared with Atlantis II, despite the near-identical populations in the overlying deep-sea waters. The lowest convective layers harbored interestingly similar microbial communities, even though temperature and heavy metal concentrations were very different. Multivariate analysis indicated that temperature and salinity were the major influences shaping the communities. The harsh conditions and the low-abundance phylotypes could explain the observed correlation in the brine pools.

  13. Distinctive Microbial Community Structure in Highly Stratified Deep-Sea Brine Water Columns

    KAUST Repository

    Bougouffa, Salim

    2013-03-29

    Atlantis II and Discovery are two hydrothermal and hypersaline deep-sea pools in the Red Sea rift that are characterized by strong thermohalo-stratification and temperatures steadily peaking near the bottom. We conducted comprehensive vertical profiling of the microbial populations in both pools and highlighted the influential environmental factors. Pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA genes revealed shifts in community structures vis-à-vis depth. High diversity and low abundance were features of the deepest convective layers despite the low cell density. Surprisingly, the brine interfaces had significantly higher cell counts than the overlying deep-sea water, yet they were lowest in diversity. Vertical stratification of the bacterial populations was apparent as we moved from the Alphaproteobacteria-dominated deep sea to the Planctomycetaceae- or Deferribacteres-dominated interfaces to the Gammaproteobacteria-dominated brine layers. Archaeal marine group I was dominant in the deep-sea water and interfaces, while several euryarchaeotic groups increased in the brine. Across sites, microbial phylotypes and abundances varied substantially in the brine interface of Discovery compared with Atlantis II, despite the near-identical populations in the overlying deep-sea waters. The lowest convective layers harbored interestingly similar microbial communities, even though temperature and heavy metal concentrations were very different. Multivariate analysis indicated that temperature and salinity were the major influences shaping the communities. The harsh conditions and the low-abundance phylotypes could explain the observed correlation in the brine pools.

  14. Unexpected Positive Buoyancy in Deep Sea Sharks, Hexanchus griseus, and a Echinorhinus cookei.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamura, Itsumi; Meyer, Carl G; Sato, Katsufumi

    2015-01-01

    We do not expect non air-breathing aquatic animals to exhibit positive buoyancy. Sharks, for example, rely on oil-filled livers instead of gas-filled swim bladders to increase their buoyancy, but are nonetheless ubiquitously regarded as either negatively or neutrally buoyant. Deep-sea sharks have particularly large, oil-filled livers, and are believed to be neutrally buoyant in their natural habitat, but this has never been confirmed. To empirically determine the buoyancy status of two species of deep-sea sharks (bluntnose sixgill sharks, Hexanchus griseus, and a prickly shark, Echinorhinus cookei) in their natural habitat, we used accelerometer-magnetometer data loggers to measure their swimming performance. Both species of deep-sea sharks showed similar diel vertical migrations: they swam at depths of 200-300 m at night and deeper than 500 m during the day. Ambient water temperature was around 15°C at 200-300 m but below 7°C at depths greater than 500 m. During vertical movements, all deep-sea sharks showed higher swimming efforts during descent than ascent to maintain a given swimming speed, and were able to glide uphill for extended periods (several minutes), indicating that these deep-sea sharks are in fact positively buoyant in their natural habitats. This positive buoyancy may adaptive for stealthy hunting (i.e. upward gliding to surprise prey from underneath) or may facilitate evening upward migrations when muscle temperatures are coolest, and swimming most sluggish, after spending the day in deep, cold water. Positive buoyancy could potentially be widespread in fish conducting daily vertical migration in deep-sea habitats.

  15. Methods in mooring deep sea sediment traps

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Venkatesan, R.; Fernando, V.; Rajaraman, V.S.; Janakiraman, G.

    The experience gained during the process of deployment and retrieval of nearly 39 sets of deep sea sediment trap moorings on various ships like FS Sonne, ORV Sagarkanya and DSV Nand Rachit are outlined. The various problems encountered...

  16. An abyssal mobilome: viruses, plasmids and vesicles from deep-sea hydrothermal vents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lossouarn, Julien; Dupont, Samuel; Gorlas, Aurore; Mercier, Coraline; Bienvenu, Nadege; Marguet, Evelyne; Forterre, Patrick; Geslin, Claire

    2015-12-01

    Mobile genetic elements (MGEs) such as viruses, plasmids, vesicles, gene transfer agents (GTAs), transposons and transpovirions, which collectively represent the mobilome, interact with cellular organisms from all three domains of life, including those thriving in the most extreme environments. While efforts have been made to better understand deep-sea vent microbial ecology, our knowledge of the mobilome associated with prokaryotes inhabiting deep-sea hydrothermal vents remains limited. Here we focus on the abyssal mobilome by reviewing accumulating data on viruses, plasmids and vesicles associated with thermophilic and hyperthermophilic Bacteria and Archaea present in deep-sea hydrothermal vents. Copyright © 2015 Institut Pasteur. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  17. Effects of hydrostatic pressure on yeasts isolated from deep-sea hydrothermal vents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burgaud, Gaëtan; Hué, Nguyen Thi Minh; Arzur, Danielle; Coton, Monika; Perrier-Cornet, Jean-Marie; Jebbar, Mohamed; Barbier, Georges

    2015-11-01

    Hydrostatic pressure plays a significant role in the distribution of life in the biosphere. Knowledge of deep-sea piezotolerant and (hyper)piezophilic bacteria and archaea diversity has been well documented, along with their specific adaptations to cope with high hydrostatic pressure (HHP). Recent investigations of deep-sea microbial community compositions have shown unexpected micro-eukaryotic communities, mainly dominated by fungi. Molecular methods such as next-generation sequencing have been used for SSU rRNA gene sequencing to reveal fungal taxa. Currently, a difficult but fascinating challenge for marine mycologists is to create deep-sea marine fungus culture collections and assess their ability to cope with pressure. Indeed, although there is no universal genetic marker for piezoresistance, physiological analyses provide concrete relevant data for estimating their adaptations and understanding the role of fungal communities in the abyss. The present study investigated morphological and physiological responses of fungi to HHP using a collection of deep-sea yeasts as a model. The aim was to determine whether deep-sea yeasts were able to tolerate different HHP and if they were metabolically active. Here we report an unexpected taxonomic-based dichotomic response to pressure with piezosensitve ascomycetes and piezotolerant basidiomycetes, and distinct morphological switches triggered by pressure for certain strains. Copyright © 2015 Institut Pasteur. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  18. The big squeeze: ecosystem change and contraction of habitat for newly discovered deep-water reefs off the U.S. West Coast

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wickes, L.; Etnoyer, P. J.; Lauermann, A.; Rosen, D.

    2016-02-01

    Cold-water reefs are fragile, complex ecosystems that extend into the bathyal depths of the ocean, creating three dimensional structure and habitat for a diversity of deep-water invertebrates and fishes. The cold waters of the California Current support a diverse assemblage of these corals at relatively shallow depths close to shore. At these depths and locations the communities face a multitude of stressors, including low carbonate saturations, hypoxia, changing temperature, and coastal pollution. The current study employed ROV surveys (n=588, 2003-2015) to document the distribution of deep-sea corals in the Southern California Bight, including the first description of a widespread reef-building coral in the naturally acidified waters off the U.S. West Coast. We provide empirical evidence of species survival in the corrosive waters (Ωarag 0.67-1.86), but find loss of reef integrity. Recent publications have implied acclimation, resistance, and resilience of cold-water reef-building corals to ocean acidification, but results of this study indicate a cost to skeletal framework development with a subsequent loss of coral habitat. While ocean acidification and declines in oxygen are expected to further impinge on Lophelia at depth (𝑥̅=190 m), surface warming and coastal polution may affect shallower populations and mesophotic reef assemblages, resulting in a contraction of available coral habitat. Recent observations of die offs of gorgonians and antipatharians from surveys in shallow (50 m) and deep water (500 m) provide compelling evidence of ongoing ecosystem changes. Concurrent losses in habitat quality in deep and mesophotic waters suggest that corals may be "squeezed" into a more restricted depth range. New monitoring efforts aim to characterize the health and condition of deep corals with respect to gradients in carbonate chemistry, coastal pollution and changing temperatures, to assess vulnerability and both current and future habitat suitability.

  19. Fungi and macroaggregation in deep-sea sediments

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Damare, S.R.; Raghukumar, C.

    Whereas fungi in terrestrial soils have been well studied, little is known of them in deep-sea sediments. Recent studies have demonstrated the presence of fungal hyphae in such sediments but in low abundance. We present evidence in this study...

  20. Evolutionary insights into scleractinian corals using comparative genomic hybridizations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aranda, Manuel; DeSalvo, Michael K; Bayer, Till; Medina, Monica; Voolstra, Christian R

    2012-09-21

    Coral reefs belong to the most ecologically and economically important ecosystems on our planet. Yet, they are under steady decline worldwide due to rising sea surface temperatures, disease, and pollution. Understanding the molecular impact of these stressors on different coral species is imperative in order to predict how coral populations will respond to this continued disturbance. The use of molecular tools such as microarrays has provided deep insight into the molecular stress response of corals. Here, we have performed comparative genomic hybridizations (CGH) with different coral species to an Acropora palmata microarray platform containing 13,546 cDNA clones in order to identify potentially rapidly evolving genes and to determine the suitability of existing microarray platforms for use in gene expression studies (via heterologous hybridization). Our results showed that the current microarray platform for A. palmata is able to provide biological relevant information for a wide variety of coral species covering both the complex clade as well the robust clade. Analysis of the fraction of highly diverged genes showed a significantly higher amount of genes without annotation corroborating previous findings that point towards a higher rate of divergence for taxonomically restricted genes. Among the genes with annotation, we found many mitochondrial genes to be highly diverged in M. faveolata when compared to A. palmata, while the majority of nuclear encoded genes maintained an average divergence rate. The use of present microarray platforms for transcriptional analyses in different coral species will greatly enhance the understanding of the molecular basis of stress and health and highlight evolutionary differences between scleractinian coral species. On a genomic basis, we show that cDNA arrays can be used to identify patterns of divergence. Mitochondrion-encoded genes seem to have diverged faster than nuclear encoded genes in robust corals. Accordingly, this

  1. Structure-forming corals and sponges and their use as fish habitat in Bering Sea submarine canyons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Robert J; Hocevar, John; Stone, Robert P; Fedorov, Dmitry V

    2012-01-01

    Continental margins are dynamic, heterogeneous settings that can include canyons, seamounts, and banks. Two of the largest canyons in the world, Zhemchug and Pribilof, cut into the edge of the continental shelf in the southeastern Bering Sea. Here currents and upwelling interact to produce a highly productive area, termed the Green Belt, that supports an abundance of fishes and squids as well as birds and marine mammals. We show that in some areas the floor of these canyons harbors high densities of gorgonian and pennatulacean corals and sponges, likely due to enhanced surface productivity, benthic currents and seafloor topography. Rockfishes, including the commercially important Pacific ocean perch, Sebastes alutus, were associated with corals and sponges as well as with isolated boulders. Sculpins, poachers and pleuronectid flounders were also associated with corals in Pribilof Canyon, where corals were most abundant. Fishes likely use corals and sponges as sources of vertical relief, which may harbor prey as well as provide shelter from predators. Boulders may be equivalent habitat in this regard, but are sparse in the canyons, strongly suggesting that biogenic structure is important fish habitat. Evidence of disturbance to the benthos from fishing activities was observed in these remote canyons. Bottom trawling and other benthic fishing gear has been shown to damage corals and sponges that may be very slow to recover from