WorldWideScience

Sample records for deep-sea coral communities

  1. 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,...

  2. Deep-Sea Stony Coral Habitat Suitability

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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).

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. 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....

  14. Deep Sea Coral National Observation Database, Northeast Region

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  15. 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.''

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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....

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. 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....

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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 ...

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mohn, Christian; Rengstorf, Anna; Brown, Colin

    2015-01-01

    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...

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  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. 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.

  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. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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...

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  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

    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...

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Chemosynthetic Communities in the Deep Sea: Ecological Studies

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Van

    1989-01-01

    .... Patterns in the distributions of species among vents along ridge segments are used to identify the spatial scales over which biological and physical processes operate to control community composition...

  4. 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.

  5. Metagenomic Signatures of Microbial Communities in Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Sediments of Azores Vent Fields.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cerqueira, Teresa; Barroso, Cristina; Froufe, Hugo; Egas, Conceição; Bettencourt, Raul

    2018-01-21

    The organisms inhabiting the deep-seafloor are known to play a crucial role in global biogeochemical cycles. Chemolithoautotrophic prokaryotes, which produce biomass from single carbon molecules, constitute the primary source of nutrition for the higher organisms, being critical for the sustainability of food webs and overall life in the deep-sea hydrothermal ecosystems. The present study investigates the metabolic profiles of chemolithoautotrophs inhabiting the sediments of Menez Gwen and Rainbow deep-sea vent fields, in the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Differences in the microbial community structure might be reflecting the distinct depth, geology, and distance from vent of the studied sediments. A metagenomic sequencing approach was conducted to characterize the microbiome of the deep-sea hydrothermal sediments and the relevant metabolic pathways used by microbes. Both Menez Gwen and Rainbow metagenomes contained a significant number of genes involved in carbon fixation, revealing the largely autotrophic communities thriving in both sites. Carbon fixation at Menez Gwen site was predicted to occur mainly via the reductive tricarboxylic acid cycle, likely reflecting the dominance of sulfur-oxidizing Epsilonproteobacteria at this site, while different autotrophic pathways were identified at Rainbow site, in particular the Calvin-Benson-Bassham cycle. Chemolithotrophy appeared to be primarily driven by the oxidation of reduced sulfur compounds, whether through the SOX-dependent pathway at Menez Gwen site or through reverse sulfate reduction at Rainbow site. Other energy-yielding processes, such as methane, nitrite, or ammonia oxidation, were also detected but presumably contributing less to chemolithoautotrophy. This work furthers our knowledge of the microbial ecology of deep-sea hydrothermal sediments and represents an important repository of novel genes with potential biotechnological interest.

  6. The Deep-Sea Microbial Community from the Amazonian Basin Associated with Oil Degradation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campeão, Mariana E; Reis, Luciana; Leomil, Luciana; de Oliveira, Louisi; Otsuki, Koko; Gardinali, Piero; Pelz, Oliver; Valle, Rogerio; Thompson, Fabiano L; Thompson, Cristiane C

    2017-01-01

    One consequence of oil production is the possibility of unplanned accidental oil spills; therefore, it is important to evaluate the potential of indigenous microorganisms (both prokaryotes and eukaryotes) from different oceanic basins to degrade oil. The aim of this study was to characterize the microbial response during the biodegradation process of Brazilian crude oil, both with and without the addition of the dispersant Corexit 9500, using deep-sea water samples from the Amazon equatorial margin basins, Foz do Amazonas and Barreirinhas, in the dark and at low temperatures (4°C). We collected deep-sea samples in the field (about 2570 m below the sea surface), transported the samples back to the laboratory under controlled environmental conditions (5°C in the dark) and subsequently performed two laboratory biodegradation experiments that used metagenomics supported by classical microbiological methods and chemical analysis to elucidate both taxonomic and functional microbial diversity. We also analyzed several physical-chemical and biological parameters related to oil biodegradation. The concomitant depletion of dissolved oxygen levels, oil droplet density characteristic to oil biodegradation, and BTEX concentration with an increase in microbial counts revealed that oil can be degraded by the autochthonous deep-sea microbial communities. Indigenous bacteria (e.g., Alteromonadaceae, Colwelliaceae , and Alcanivoracaceae ), archaea (e.g., Halobacteriaceae, Desulfurococcaceae , and Methanobacteriaceae ), and eukaryotic microbes (e.g., Microsporidia, Ascomycota, and Basidiomycota) from the Amazonian margin deep-sea water were involved in biodegradation of Brazilian crude oil within less than 48-days in both treatments, with and without dispersant, possibly transforming oil into microbial biomass that may fuel the marine food web.

  7. The Deep-Sea Microbial Community from the Amazonian Basin Associated with Oil Degradation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariana E. Campeão

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available One consequence of oil production is the possibility of unplanned accidental oil spills; therefore, it is important to evaluate the potential of indigenous microorganisms (both prokaryotes and eukaryotes from different oceanic basins to degrade oil. The aim of this study was to characterize the microbial response during the biodegradation process of Brazilian crude oil, both with and without the addition of the dispersant Corexit 9500, using deep-sea water samples from the Amazon equatorial margin basins, Foz do Amazonas and Barreirinhas, in the dark and at low temperatures (4°C. We collected deep-sea samples in the field (about 2570 m below the sea surface, transported the samples back to the laboratory under controlled environmental conditions (5°C in the dark and subsequently performed two laboratory biodegradation experiments that used metagenomics supported by classical microbiological methods and chemical analysis to elucidate both taxonomic and functional microbial diversity. We also analyzed several physical–chemical and biological parameters related to oil biodegradation. The concomitant depletion of dissolved oxygen levels, oil droplet density characteristic to oil biodegradation, and BTEX concentration with an increase in microbial counts revealed that oil can be degraded by the autochthonous deep-sea microbial communities. Indigenous bacteria (e.g., Alteromonadaceae, Colwelliaceae, and Alcanivoracaceae, archaea (e.g., Halobacteriaceae, Desulfurococcaceae, and Methanobacteriaceae, and eukaryotic microbes (e.g., Microsporidia, Ascomycota, and Basidiomycota from the Amazonian margin deep-sea water were involved in biodegradation of Brazilian crude oil within less than 48-days in both treatments, with and without dispersant, possibly transforming oil into microbial biomass that may fuel the marine food web.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Metabolic profiles of prokaryotic and eukaryotic communities in deep-sea sponge Neamphius huxleyi indicated by metagenomics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Zhi-Yong; Wang, Yue-Zhu; He, Li-Ming; Zheng, Hua-Jun

    2014-01-01

    The whole metabolism of a sponge holobiont and the respective contributions of prokaryotic and eukaryotic symbionts and their associations with the sponge host remain largely unclear. Meanwhile, compared with shallow water sponges, deep-sea sponges are rarely understood. Here we report the metagenomic exploration of deep-sea sponge Neamphius huxleyi at the whole community level. Metagenomic data showed phylogenetically diverse prokaryotes and eukaryotes in Neamphius huxleyi. MEGAN and gene enrichment analyses indicated different metabolic potentials of prokaryotic symbionts from eukaryotic symbionts, especially in nitrogen and carbon metabolisms, and their molecular interactions with the sponge host. These results supported the hypothesis that prokaryotic and eukaryotic symbionts have different ecological roles and relationships with sponge host. Moreover, vigorous denitrification, and CO2 fixation by chemoautotrophic prokaryotes were suggested for this deep-sea sponge. The study provided novel insights into the respective potentials of prokaryotic and eukaryotic symbionts and their associations with deep-sea sponge Neamphius huxleyi. PMID:24463735

  12. Metabolic profiles of prokaryotic and eukaryotic communities in deep-sea sponge Neamphius huxleyi [corrected]. indicated by metagenomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Zhi-Yong; Wang, Yue-Zhu; He, Li-Ming; Zheng, Hua-Jun

    2014-01-27

    The whole metabolism of a sponge holobiont and the respective contributions of prokaryotic and eukaryotic symbionts and their associations with the sponge host remain largely unclear. Meanwhile, compared with shallow water sponges, deep-sea sponges are rarely understood. Here we report the metagenomic exploration of deep-sea sponge Neamphius huxleyi [corrected] . at the whole community level. Metagenomic data showed phylogenetically diverse prokaryotes and eukaryotes in Neamphius huxleyi [corrected]. MEGAN and gene enrichment analyses indicated different metabolic potentials of prokaryotic symbionts from eukaryotic symbionts, especially in nitrogen and carbon metabolisms, and their molecular interactions with the sponge host. These results supported the hypothesis that prokaryotic and eukaryotic symbionts have different ecological roles and relationships with sponge host. Moreover, vigorous denitrification, and CO2 fixation by chemoautotrophic prokaryotes were suggested for this deep-sea sponge. The study provided novel insights into the respective potentials of prokaryotic and eukaryotic symbionts and their associations with deep-sea sponge Neamphius huxleyi [corrected].

  13. Metabolic profiles of prokaryotic and eukaryotic communities in deep-sea sponge Lamellomorpha sp. indicated by metagenomics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Zhi-Yong; Wang, Yue-Zhu; He, Li-Ming; Zheng, Hua-Jun

    2014-01-01

    The whole metabolism of a sponge holobiont and the respective contributions of prokaryotic and eukaryotic symbionts and their associations with the sponge host remain largely unclear. Meanwhile, compared with shallow water sponges, deep-sea sponges are rarely understood. Here we report the metagenomic exploration of deep-sea sponge Lamellomorpha sp. at the whole community level. Metagenomic data showed phylogenetically diverse prokaryotes and eukaryotes in Lamellomorpha sp.. MEGAN and gene enrichment analyses indicated different metabolic potentials of prokaryotic symbionts from eukaryotic symbionts, especially in nitrogen and carbon metabolisms, and their molecular interactions with the sponge host. These results supported the hypothesis that prokaryotic and eukaryotic symbionts have different ecological roles and relationships with sponge host. Moreover, vigorous denitrification, and CO2 fixation by chemoautotrophic prokaryotes were suggested for this deep-sea sponge. The study provided novel insights into the respective potentials of prokaryotic and eukaryotic symbionts and their associations with deep-sea sponge Lamellomorpha sp..

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Temporal and Spatial Variations of Bacterial and Faunal Communities Associated with Deep-Sea Wood Falls

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bienhold, Christina; Wenzhöfer, Frank; Rossel, Pamela E.; Boetius, Antje

    2017-01-01

    Sinking of large organic food falls i.e. kelp, wood and whale carcasses to the oligotrophic deep-sea floor promotes the establishment of locally highly productive and diverse ecosystems, often with specifically adapted benthic communities. However, the fragmented spatial distribution and small area poses challenges for the dispersal of their microbial and faunal communities. Our study focused on the temporal dynamics and spatial distributions of sunken wood bacterial communities, which were deployed in the vicinity of different cold seeps in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Norwegian deep-seas. By combining fingerprinting of bacterial communities by ARISA and 454 sequencing with in situ and ex situ biogeochemical measurements, we show that sunken wood logs have a locally confined long-term impact (> 3y) on the sediment geochemistry and community structure. We confirm previous hypotheses of different successional stages in wood degradation including a sulphophilic one, attracting chemosynthetic fauna from nearby seep systems. Wood experiments deployed at similar water depths (1100–1700 m), but in hydrographically different oceanic regions harbored different wood-boring bivalves, opportunistic faunal communities, and chemosynthetic species. Similarly, bacterial communities on sunken wood logs were more similar within one geographic region than between different seas. Diverse sulphate-reducing bacteria of the Deltaproteobacteria, the sulphide-oxidizing bacteria Sulfurovum as well as members of the Acidimicrobiia and Bacteroidia dominated the wood falls in the Eastern Mediterranean, while Alphaproteobacteria and Flavobacteriia colonized the Norwegian Sea wood logs. Fauna and bacterial wood-associated communities changed between 1 to 3 years of immersion, with sulphate-reducers and sulphide-oxidizers increasing in proportion, and putative cellulose degraders decreasing with time. Only 6% of all bacterial genera, comprising the core community, were found at any time

  18. Temporal and Spatial Variations of Bacterial and Faunal Communities Associated with Deep-Sea Wood Falls.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petra Pop Ristova

    Full Text Available Sinking of large organic food falls i.e. kelp, wood and whale carcasses to the oligotrophic deep-sea floor promotes the establishment of locally highly productive and diverse ecosystems, often with specifically adapted benthic communities. However, the fragmented spatial distribution and small area poses challenges for the dispersal of their microbial and faunal communities. Our study focused on the temporal dynamics and spatial distributions of sunken wood bacterial communities, which were deployed in the vicinity of different cold seeps in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Norwegian deep-seas. By combining fingerprinting of bacterial communities by ARISA and 454 sequencing with in situ and ex situ biogeochemical measurements, we show that sunken wood logs have a locally confined long-term impact (> 3y on the sediment geochemistry and community structure. We confirm previous hypotheses of different successional stages in wood degradation including a sulphophilic one, attracting chemosynthetic fauna from nearby seep systems. Wood experiments deployed at similar water depths (1100-1700 m, but in hydrographically different oceanic regions harbored different wood-boring bivalves, opportunistic faunal communities, and chemosynthetic species. Similarly, bacterial communities on sunken wood logs were more similar within one geographic region than between different seas. Diverse sulphate-reducing bacteria of the Deltaproteobacteria, the sulphide-oxidizing bacteria Sulfurovum as well as members of the Acidimicrobiia and Bacteroidia dominated the wood falls in the Eastern Mediterranean, while Alphaproteobacteria and Flavobacteriia colonized the Norwegian Sea wood logs. Fauna and bacterial wood-associated communities changed between 1 to 3 years of immersion, with sulphate-reducers and sulphide-oxidizers increasing in proportion, and putative cellulose degraders decreasing with time. Only 6% of all bacterial genera, comprising the core community, were

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Deep-sea benthic community and environmental impact assessment at the Atlantic Frontier

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gage, John D.

    2001-05-01

    The seabed community provides a sensitive litmus for environmental change. North Sea analysis of benthic populations provides an effective means for monitoring impacts from man's interventions, such as offshore oil exploitation and fishing, against baseline knowledge of the environment. Comparable knowledge of the benthic biology in the deep waters of the Atlantic Frontier beyond the N.E. Atlantic shelf edge is poorly developed. But uncertainties should not encourage assumptions and extrapolations from the better-known conditions on the continental shelf. While sampling at present still provides the best means to assess the health of the deepwater benthic habitat, protocols developed for deep-sea fauna should be applied. These are necessary because of (a) lower faunal densities, (b) higher species richness, (c) smaller body size, and (d) to ensure comparability with other deep-sea data. As in the North Sea, species richness and relative abundance can be analysed from quantitative samples in order to detect impacts. But analysis based on taxonomic sufficiency above species level is premature, even if arguably possible for coastal communities. Measures also need to ensure identifications are not forced to more familiar coastal species without proper study. Species-level analysis may be applied to seabed photographs of megafauna in relation to data on bottom environment, such as currents and the sediment, to monitor the health of the deep-water community. Although the composition of higher taxa in the benthic community is broadly similar to soft sediments on the shelf, concordance in sensitivities is speculative. Moreover, new organisms occur, such as giant protozoan xenophyophores, unknown on the continental shelf, whose sensitivities remain conjectural. Past knowledge of the benthic biology of the deep-water areas off Scotland is based on scattered stations and some more focussed, multidisciplinary studies, and should be significantly augmented by the results from

  2. Ecological and evolutionary consequences of benthic community stasis in the very deep sea (>1500 m)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buzas, Martin A.; Hayek, Lee-Ann C.; Culver, Stephen J.; Hayward, Bruce W.; Osterman, Lisa E.

    2014-01-01

    An enigma of deep-sea biodiversity research is that the abyss with its low productivity and densities appears to have a biodiversity similar to that of shallower depths. This conceptualization of similarity is based mainly on per-sample estimates (point diversity, within-habitat, or α-diversity). Here, we use a measure of between-sample within-community diversity (β1H) to examine benthic foraminiferal diversity between 333 stations within 49 communties from New Zealand, the South Atlantic, the Gulf of Mexico, the Norwegian Sea, and the Arctic. The communities are grouped into two depth categories: 200–1500 m and >1500 m. β1H diversity exhibits no evidence of regional differences. Instead, higher values at shallower depths are observed worldwide. At depths of >1500 m the average β1H is zero, indicating stasis or no biodiversity gradient. The difference in β1H-diversity explains why, despite species richness often being greater per sample at deeper depths, the total number of species is greater at shallower depths. The greater number of communities and higher rate of evolution resulting in shorter species durations at shallower depths is also consistent with higher β1H values.

  3. Bacterial and archaeal communities in the deep-sea sediments of inactive hydrothermal vents in the Southwest India Ridge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Likui; Kang, Manyu; Xu, Jiajun; Xu, Jian; Shuai, Yinjie; Zhou, Xiaojian; Yang, Zhihui; Ma, Kesen

    2016-05-01

    Active deep-sea hydrothermal vents harbor abundant thermophilic and hyperthermophilic microorganisms. However, microbial communities in inactive hydrothermal vents have not been well documented. Here, we investigated bacterial and archaeal communities in the two deep-sea sediments (named as TVG4 and TVG11) collected from inactive hydrothermal vents in the Southwest India Ridge using the high-throughput sequencing technology of Illumina MiSeq2500 platform. Based on the V4 region of 16S rRNA gene, sequence analysis showed that bacterial communities in the two samples were dominated by Proteobacteria, followed by Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria and Firmicutes. Furthermore, archaeal communities in the two samples were dominated by Thaumarchaeota and Euryarchaeota. Comparative analysis showed that (i) TVG4 displayed the higher bacterial richness and lower archaeal richness than TVG11; (ii) the two samples had more divergence in archaeal communities than bacterial communities. Bacteria and archaea that are potentially associated with nitrogen, sulfur metal and methane cycling were detected in the two samples. Overall, we first provided a comparative picture of bacterial and archaeal communities and revealed their potentially ecological roles in the deep-sea environments of inactive hydrothermal vents in the Southwest Indian Ridge, augmenting microbial communities in inactive hydrothermal vents.

  4. 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.

  5. The discovery of new deep-sea hydrothermal vent communities in the southern ocean and implications for biogeography.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alex D Rogers

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Since the first discovery of deep-sea hydrothermal vents along the Galápagos Rift in 1977, numerous vent sites and endemic faunal assemblages have been found along mid-ocean ridges and back-arc basins at low to mid latitudes. These discoveries have suggested the existence of separate biogeographic provinces in the Atlantic and the North West Pacific, the existence of a province including the South West Pacific and Indian Ocean, and a separation of the North East Pacific, North East Pacific Rise, and South East Pacific Rise. The Southern Ocean is known to be a region of high deep-sea species diversity and centre of origin for the global deep-sea fauna. It has also been proposed as a gateway connecting hydrothermal vents in different oceans but is little explored because of extreme conditions. Since 2009 we have explored two segments of the East Scotia Ridge (ESR in the Southern Ocean using a remotely operated vehicle. In each segment we located deep-sea hydrothermal vents hosting high-temperature black smokers up to 382.8°C and diffuse venting. The chemosynthetic ecosystems hosted by these vents are dominated by a new yeti crab (Kiwa n. sp., stalked barnacles, limpets, peltospiroid gastropods, anemones, and a predatory sea star. Taxa abundant in vent ecosystems in other oceans, including polychaete worms (Siboglinidae, bathymodiolid mussels, and alvinocaridid shrimps, are absent from the ESR vents. These groups, except the Siboglinidae, possess planktotrophic larvae, rare in Antarctic marine invertebrates, suggesting that the environmental conditions of the Southern Ocean may act as a dispersal filter for vent taxa. Evidence from the distinctive fauna, the unique community structure, and multivariate analyses suggest that the Antarctic vent ecosystems represent a new vent biogeographic province. However, multivariate analyses of species present at the ESR and at other deep-sea hydrothermal vents globally indicate that vent biogeography is more

  6. 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.

  7. Food web flows through a sub-arctic deep-sea benthic community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gontikaki, E.; van Oevelen, D.; Soetaert, K.; Witte, U.

    2011-11-01

    The benthic food web of the deep Faroe-Shetland Channel (FSC) was modelled by using the linear inverse modelling methodology. The reconstruction of carbon pathways by inverse analysis was based on benthic oxygen uptake rates, biomass data and transfer of labile carbon through the food web as revealed by a pulse-chase experiment. Carbon deposition was estimated at 2.2 mmol C m -2 d -1. Approximately 69% of the deposited carbon was respired by the benthic community with bacteria being responsible for 70% of the total respiration. The major fraction of the labile detritus flux was recycled within the microbial loop leaving merely 2% of the deposited labile phytodetritus available for metazoan consumption. Bacteria assimilated carbon at high efficiency (0.55) but only 24% of bacterial production was grazed by metazoans; the remaining returned to the dissolved organic matter pool due to viral lysis. Refractory detritus was the basal food resource for nematodes covering ∼99% of their carbon requirements. On the contrary, macrofauna seemed to obtain the major part of their metabolic needs from bacteria (49% of macrofaunal consumption). Labile detritus transfer was well-constrained, based on the data from the pulse-chase experiment, but appeared to be of limited importance to the diet of the examined benthic organisms (preferred prey, in this case, was other macrofaunal animals rather than nematodes. Bacteria and detritus contributed 53% and 12% to the total carbon ingestion of carnivorous polychaetes suggesting a high degree of omnivory among higher consumers in the FSC benthic food web. Overall, this study provided a unique insight into the functioning of a deep-sea benthic community and demonstrated how conventional data can be exploited further when combined with state-of-the-art modelling approaches.

  8. 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.

  9. First Insights into the Viral Communities of the Deep-sea Anoxic Brines of the Red Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antunes, André; Alam, Intikhab; Simões, Marta Filipa; Daniels, Camille; Ferreira, Ari J S; Siam, Rania; El-Dorry, Hamza; Bajic, Vladimir B

    2015-10-01

    The deep-sea brines of the Red Sea include some of the most extreme and unique environments on Earth. They combine high salinities with increases in temperature, heavy metals, hydrostatic pressure, and anoxic conditions, creating unique settings for thriving populations of novel extremophiles. Despite a recent increase of studies focusing on these unusual biotopes, their viral communities remain unexplored. The current survey explores four metagenomic datasets obtained from different brine-seawater interface samples, focusing specifically on the diversity of their viral communities. Data analysis confirmed that the particle-attached viral communities present in the brine-seawater interfaces were diverse and generally dominated by Caudovirales, yet appearing distinct from sample to sample. With a level of caution, we report the unexpected finding of Phycodnaviridae, which infects algae and plants, and trace amounts of insect-infecting Iridoviridae. Results from Kebrit Deep revealed stratification in the viral communities present in the interface: the upper-interface was enriched with viruses associated with typical marine bacteria, while the lower-interface was enriched with haloviruses and halophages. These results provide first insights into the unexplored viral communities present in deep-sea brines of the Red Sea, representing one of the first steps for ongoing and future sampling efforts and studies. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Production and hosting by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  10. First Insights into the Viral Communities of the Deep-sea Anoxic Brines of the Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Antunes, Andre; Alam, Intikhab; Simoes, Marta; Daniels, Camille Arian; Ferreira, Ari J.S.; Siam, Rania; El-Dorry, Hamza; Bajic, Vladimir B.

    2015-01-01

    The deep-sea brines of the Red Sea include some of the most extreme and unique environments on Earth. They combine high salinities with increases in temperature, heavy metals, hydrostatic pressure, and anoxic conditions, creating unique settings for thriving populations of novel extremophiles. Despite a recent increase of studies focusing on these unusual biotopes, their viral communities remain unexplored. The current survey explores four metagenomic datasets obtained from different brine-seawater interface samples, focusing specifically on the diversity of their viral communities. Data analysis confirmed that the particle-attached viral communities present in the brine-seawater interfaces were diverse and generally dominated by Caudovirales, yet appearing distinct from sample to sample. With a level of caution, we report the unexpected finding of Phycodnaviridae, which infects algae and plants, and trace amounts of insect-infecting Iridoviridae. Results from Kebrit Deep revealed stratification in the viral communities present in the interface: the upper-interface was enriched with viruses associated with typical marine bacteria, while the lower-interface was enriched with haloviruses and halophages. These results provide first insights into the unexplored viral communities present in deep-sea brines of the Red Sea, representing one of the first steps for ongoing and future sampling efforts and studies.

  11. First Insights into the Viral Communities of the Deep-sea Anoxic Brines of the Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Antunes, Andre

    2015-10-31

    The deep-sea brines of the Red Sea include some of the most extreme and unique environments on Earth. They combine high salinities with increases in temperature, heavy metals, hydrostatic pressure, and anoxic conditions, creating unique settings for thriving populations of novel extremophiles. Despite a recent increase of studies focusing on these unusual biotopes, their viral communities remain unexplored. The current survey explores four metagenomic datasets obtained from different brine-seawater interface samples, focusing specifically on the diversity of their viral communities. Data analysis confirmed that the particle-attached viral communities present in the brine-seawater interfaces were diverse and generally dominated by Caudovirales, yet appearing distinct from sample to sample. With a level of caution, we report the unexpected finding of Phycodnaviridae, which infects algae and plants, and trace amounts of insect-infecting Iridoviridae. Results from Kebrit Deep revealed stratification in the viral communities present in the interface: the upper-interface was enriched with viruses associated with typical marine bacteria, while the lower-interface was enriched with haloviruses and halophages. These results provide first insights into the unexplored viral communities present in deep-sea brines of the Red Sea, representing one of the first steps for ongoing and future sampling efforts and studies.

  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. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Habitat differences in deep-sea megafaunal communities off New Zealand: implications for vulnerability to anthropogenic disturbance and management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashley Alun Rowden

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Research on benthic communities in the deep sea has focused largely on habitats in isolation, with few studies considering multiple habitats simultaneously in a comparable manner. The present study aimed to determine the structural differences in benthic communities of continental slope, seamount, canyon, vent, and seep habitats, and assess their relative vulnerabilities to disturbance from bottom trawling and potential seabed mining. Megafaunal invertebrate communities of these habitats were sampled in two regions off New Zealand, in four depth strata between 700 and 1500 m, using an epibenthic sled and a beam trawl. Patterns of community and trophic structure, and the potential influence of environmental variables, were determined using multivariate analyses. The difference in community structure between regions was greater than among habitats and depth strata. Levels of food availability may explain regional differences in community structure, although some influence of fishing disturbance is also possible. Differences in community and trophic structure were most pronounced between the chemosynthetic vent and seep habitats, and other habitats. Differences among these other habitats within a region were inconsistent, except that canyon and slope communities always differed from each other. Community and trophic structural patterns were partly explained by the environmental differences observed among habitats. The relative vulnerabilities of benthic communities to human disturbance in the two regions were determined based on patterns of abundance and feeding mode of the megafauna. Communities of vent and seep habitats were assessed to be more vulnerable to disturbance than those of the other habitats based on a number of habitat-related attributes. However, the relative vulnerability of megafaunal communities at slope, canyon, and seamount habitats could not confidently be assessed on a habitat basis alone. The results of the present study have

  18. Food web functioning of the benthopelagic community in a deep-sea seamount based on diet and stable isotope analyses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Preciado, Izaskun; Cartes, Joan E.; Punzón, Antonio; Frutos, Inmaculada; López-López, Lucía; Serrano, Alberto

    2017-03-01

    Trophic interactions in the deep-sea fish community of the Galicia Bank seamount (NE Atlantic) were inferred by using stomach contents analyses (SCA) and stable isotope analyses (SIA) of 27 fish species and their main prey items. Samples were collected during three surveys performed in 2009, 2010 and 2011 between 625 and 1800 m depth. Three main trophic guilds were determined using SCA data: pelagic, benthopelagic and benthic feeders, respectively. Vertically migrating macrozooplankton and meso-bathypelagic shrimps were identified to play a key role as pelagic prey for the deep sea fish community of the Galicia Bank. Habitat overlap was hardly detected; as a matter of fact, when species coexisted most of them evidenced a low dietary overlap, indicating a high degree of resource partitioning. A high potential competition, however, was observed among benthopelagic feeders, i.e.: Etmopterus spinax, Hoplostethus mediterraneus and Epigonus telescopus. A significant correlation was found between δ15N and δ13C for all the analysed species. When calculating Trophic Levels (TLs) for the main fish species, using both the SCA and SIA approaches, some discrepancies arose: TLs calculated from SIA were significantly higher than those obtained from SCA, probably indicating a higher consumption of benthic-suprabenthic prey in the previous months. During the summer, food web functioning in the Galicia Bank was more influenced by the assemblages dwelling in the water column than by deep-sea benthos, which was rather scarce in the summer samples. These discrepancies demonstrate the importance of using both approaches, SCA (snapshot of diet) and SIA (assimilated food in previous months), when attempting trophic studies, if an overview of food web dynamics in different compartments of the ecosystem is to be obtained.

  19. 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.

  20. Imprint of past environmental regimes on structure and succession of a deep-sea hydrothermal vent community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mullineaux, Lauren S; Micheli, Fiorenza; Peterson, Charles H; Lenihan, Hunter S; Markus, Nilauro

    2009-08-01

    Dramatic perturbations of ecological communities through rapid shifts in environmental regime do not always result in complete mortality of residents. Instead, legacy individuals may remain and influence the succession and composition of subsequent communities. We used a reciprocal transplant experiment to investigate whether a legacy effect is detectable in communities experiencing an abrupt increase or decrease in hydrothermal fluid flux at deep-sea vents. Vent habitats are characterized by strong gradients in productivity and physico-chemical stressors, both of which tend to increase with increasing vent fluid flux. In our experiments, many species survived transplantation from cool (water temperatures theory developed in the rocky intertidal that predicts the predominance of physical control at the high-stress end of an environmental gradient. Prediction of successional transitions in vents and other habitats experiencing regime shifts in which remnant species may survive must take into account the possible influence of historical effects.

  1. Highly similar prokaryotic communities of sunken wood at shallow and deep-sea sites across the oceans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palacios, Carmen; Zbinden, Magali; Pailleret, Marie; Gaill, Françoise; Lebaron, Philippe

    2009-11-01

    With an increased appreciation of the frequency of their occurrence, large organic falls such as sunken wood and whale carcasses have become important to consider in the ecology of the oceans. Organic-rich deep-sea falls may play a major role in the dispersal and evolution of chemoautotrophic communities at the ocean floor, and chemosynthetic symbiotic, free-living, and attached microorganisms may drive the primary production at these communities. However, little is known about the microbiota thriving in and around organic falls. Our aim was to investigate and compare free-living and attached communities of bacteria and archaea from artificially immersed and naturally sunken wood logs with varying characteristics at several sites in the deep sea and in shallow water to address basic questions on the microbial ecology of sunken wood. Multivariate indirect ordination analyses of capillary electrophoresis single-stranded conformation polymorphisms (CE-SSCP) fingerprinting profiles demonstrated high similarity of bacterial and archaeal assemblages present in timbers and logs situated at geographically distant sites and at different depths of immersion. This similarity implies that wood falls harbor a specialized microbiota as observed in other ecosystems when the same environmental conditions reoccur. Scanning and transmission electron microscopy observations combined with multivariate direct gradient analysis of Bacteria CE-SSCP profiles demonstrate that type of wood (hard vs. softwood), and time of immersion are important in structuring sunken wood bacterial communities. Archaeal populations were present only in samples with substantial signs of decay, which were also more similar in their bacterial assemblages, providing indirect evidence of temporal succession in the microbial communities that develop in and around wood falls.

  2. 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...

  3. 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

  4. Assessment of fish populations and habitat on Oculina Bank, a deep-sea coral marine protected area off eastern Florida

    OpenAIRE

    Harter , Stacey L.; Ribera, Marta M.; Shepard, Andrew N.; Reed, John K.

    2009-01-01

    A portion of the Oculina Bank located off eastern Florida is a marine protected area (MPA) preserved for its dense populations of the ivory tree coral (Oculina varicosa), which provides important habitat for fish. Surveys of fish assemblages and benthic habitat were conducted inside and outside the MPA in 2003 and 2005 by using remotely operated vehicle video transects and digital still imagery. Fish species composition, biodiversity, and grouper densities were used to determine w...

  5. 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.

  6. A comparison of microbial communities in deep-sea polymetallic nodules and the surrounding sediments in the Pacific Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Yue-Hong; Liao, Li; Wang, Chun-Sheng; Ma, Wei-Lin; Meng, Fan-Xu; Wu, Min; Xu, Xue-Wei

    2013-09-01

    Deep-sea polymetallic nodules, rich in metals such as Fe, Mn, and Ni, are potential resources for future exploitation. Early culturing and microscopy studies suggest that polymetallic nodules are at least partially biogenic. To understand the microbial communities in this environment, we compared microbial community composition and diversity inside nodules and in the surrounding sediments. Three sampling sites in the Pacific Ocean containing polymetallic nodules were used for culture-independent investigations of microbial diversity. A total of 1013 near full-length bacterial 16S rRNA gene sequences and 640 archaeal 16S rRNA gene sequences with ~650 bp from nodules and the surrounding sediments were analyzed. Bacteria showed higher diversity than archaea. Interestingly, sediments contained more diverse bacterial communities than nodules, while the opposite was detected for archaea. Bacterial communities tend to be mostly unique to sediments or nodules, with only 13.3% of sequences shared. The most abundant bacterial groups detected only in nodules were Pseudoalteromonas and Alteromonas, which were predicted to play a role in building matrix outside cells to induce or control mineralization. However, archaeal communities were mostly shared between sediments and nodules, including the most abundant OTU containing 290 sequences from marine group I Thaumarchaeota. PcoA analysis indicated that microhabitat (i.e., nodule or sediment) seemed to be a major factor influencing microbial community composition, rather than sampling locations or distances between locations.

  7. 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

  8. Cold-seep-like macrofaunal communities in organic- and sulfide-rich sediments of the Congo deep-sea fan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olu, K.; Decker, C.; Pastor, L.; Caprais, J.-C.; Khripounoff, A.; Morineaux, M.; Ain Baziz, M.; Menot, L.; Rabouille, C.

    2017-08-01

    Methane-rich fluids arising from organic matter diagenesis in deep sediment layers sustain chemosynthesis-based ecosystems along continental margins. This type of cold seep develops on pockmarks along the Congo margin, where fluids migrate from deep-buried paleo-channels of the Congo River, acting as reservoirs. Similar ecosystems based on shallow methane production occur in the terminal lobes of the present-day Congo deep-sea fan, which is supplied by huge quantities of primarily terrestrial material carried by turbiditic currents along the 800 km channel, and deposited at depths of up to nearly 5000 m. In this paper, we explore the effect of this carbon enrichment of deep-sea sediments on benthic macrofauna, along the prograding lobes fed by the current active channel, and on older lobes receiving less turbiditic inputs. Macrofaunal communities were sampled using either USNEL cores on the channel levees, or ROV blade cores in the chemosynthesis-based habitats patchily distributed in the active lobe complex. The exceptionally high organic content of the surface sediment in the active lobe complex was correlated with unusual densities of macrofauna for this depth, enhanced by a factor 7-8, compared with those of the older, abandoned lobe, whose sediment carbon content is still higher than in Angola Basin at same depth. Macrofaunal communities, dominated by cossurid polychaetes and tanaids were also more closely related to those colonizing low-flow cold seeps than those of typical deep-sea sediment. In reduced sediments, microbial mats and vesicomyid bivalve beds displayed macrofaunal community patterns that were similar to their cold-seep counterparts, with high densities, low diversity and dominance of sulfide-tolerant polychaetes and gastropods in the most sulfidic habitats. In addition, diversity was higher in vesicomyid bivalve beds, which appeared to bio-irrigate the upper sediment layers. High beta-diversity is underscored by the variability of geochemical

  9. Deep-sea seabed habitats: Do they support distinct mega-epifaunal communities that have different vulnerabilities to anthropogenic disturbance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowden, David A.; Rowden, Ashley A.; Leduc, Daniel; Beaumont, Jennifer; Clark, Malcolm R.

    2016-01-01

    Growing economic interest in seabed resources in the deep-sea highlights the need for information about the spatial distribution and vulnerability to disturbance of benthic habitats and fauna. Categorisation of seabed habitats for management is often based on topographic features such as canyons and seamounts that can be distinguished using regional bathymetry ('mega-habitats'). This is practical but because such habitats are contiguous with others, there is potential for overlap in the communities associated with them. Because concepts of habitat and community vulnerability are based on the traits of individual taxa, the nature and extent of differences between communities have implications for strategies to manage the environmental effects of resource use. Using towed video camera transects, we surveyed mega-epifaunal communities of three topographically-defined habitats (canyon, seamount or knoll, and continental slope) and two physico-chemically defined meso-scale habitats (cold seep and hydrothermal vent) in two regions off New Zealand to assess whether each supports a distinct type of community. Cold seep and hydrothermal vent communities were strongly distinct from those in other habitats. Across the other habitats, however, distinctions between communities were often weak and were not consistent between regions. Dissimilarities among communities across all habitats were stronger and the density of filter-feeding taxa was higher in the Bay of Plenty than on the Hikurangi Margin, whereas densities of predatory and scavenging taxa were higher on the Hikurangi Margin. Substratum diversity at small spatial scales (the general utility of topographically-defined mega-habitats in environmental management, (2) fine-scale survey of individual features is necessary to identify the locations, characteristics, and extents of ecologically important or vulnerable seabed communities, and (3) evaluation of habitat vulnerability to future events should be in the context of

  10. Bone-eating Osedax worms (Annelida: Siboglinidae) regulate biodiversity of deep-sea whale-fall communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alfaro-Lucas, Joan M.; Shimabukuro, Maurício; Ferreira, Giulia D.; Kitazato, Hiroshi; Fujiwara, Yoshihiro; Sumida, Paulo Y. G.

    2017-12-01

    Although it is well recognized the capital role of "bone-eating" Osedax worms in the degradation of vertebrate skeletons in the deep sea, very little is known about their effects on bone faunal assemblages. Here we aim to shed light on the bone colonization process and determine 1) whether Osedax degradation induces different bone epi/infaunal assemblages and 2) how biodiversity is affected by Osedax colonization. We describe and compare the epi/infaunal assemblage structures of caudal vertebrae colonized and not colonized by Osedax of an abyssal juvenile whale carcass serendipitously found at 4204 m depth in the SW Atlantic Ocean by HOV Shinkai 6500. Our results show that whale skeletons are very heterogeneous habitats that harbor specific and very rich assemblages and that contrasting epi/infaunal community patterns are found depending on the presence of Osedax. Vertebrae not colonized by Osedax were both well preserved and in a highly sulfophilic stage with chemosynthetic bacterial mats and numerous epifaunal organisms that fed on them. On the contrary, vertebrae colonized by Osedax were heavily degraded and did not exhibit evidence of a sulfophilic stage, harboring a distinct epifaunal assemblage. In general, bone infaunal assemblages were dominated by nematodes, especially in vertebrae without Osedax (ca. 77%) where organisms were only found in bone outer layers, showing a colonization pattern similar to that described for bacteria. Infauna in Osedax-colonized bones were present throughout the inner-matrices and were on average three times more abundant (ca. 1800 ind. 100 cm-3) and twice as rich in number of species (16 species). Here, bones had a relatively higher proportion of the polychaete Capitella iatapiuna (ca. 39%) in comparison with nematodes (ca. 52%). Besides, a higher number of rare species were present in bones with Osedax. We suggest that Osedax degradation increases water diffusion through matrices probably modifying reduced-compound fluxes and

  11. Coupled RNA-SIP and metatranscriptomics of active chemolithoautotrophic communities at a deep-sea hydrothermal vent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fortunato, Caroline S; Huber, Julie A

    2016-08-01

    The chemolithoautotrophic microbial community of the rocky subseafloor potentially provides a large amount of organic carbon to the deep ocean, yet our understanding of the activity and metabolic complexity of subseafloor organisms remains poorly described. A combination of metagenomic, metatranscriptomic, and RNA stable isotope probing (RNA-SIP) analyses were used to identify the metabolic potential, expression patterns, and active autotrophic bacteria and archaea and their pathways present in low-temperature hydrothermal fluids from Axial Seamount, an active submarine volcano. Metagenomic and metatranscriptomic results showed the presence of genes and transcripts for sulfur, hydrogen, and ammonium oxidation, oxygen respiration, denitrification, and methanogenesis, as well as multiple carbon fixation pathways. In RNA-SIP experiments across a range of temperatures under reducing conditions, the enriched (13)C fractions showed differences in taxonomic and functional diversity. At 30 °C and 55 °C, Epsilonproteobacteria were dominant, oxidizing hydrogen and primarily reducing nitrate. Methanogenic archaea were also present at 55 °C, and were the only autotrophs present at 80 °C. Correspondingly, the predominant CO2 fixation pathways changed from the reductive tricarboxylic acid (rTCA) cycle to the reductive acetyl-CoA pathway with increasing temperature. By coupling RNA-SIP with meta-omics, this study demonstrates the presence and activity of distinct chemolithoautotrophic communities across a thermal gradient of a deep-sea hydrothermal vent.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Rhythms and community dynamics of a hydrothermal tubeworm assemblage at main endeavour field - a multidisciplinary deep-sea observatory approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daphne Cuvelier

    Full Text Available The NEPTUNE cabled observatory network hosts an ecological module called TEMPO-mini that focuses on hydrothermal vent ecology and time series, granting us real-time access to data originating from the deep sea. In 2011-2012, during TEMPO-mini's first deployment on the NEPTUNE network, the module recorded high-resolution imagery, temperature, iron (Fe and oxygen on a hydrothermal assemblage at 2186 m depth at Main Endeavour Field (North East Pacific. 23 days of continuous imagery were analysed with an hourly frequency. Community dynamics were analysed in detail for Ridgeia piscesae tubeworms, Polynoidae, Pycnogonida and Buccinidae, documenting faunal variations, natural change and biotic interactions in the filmed tubeworm assemblage as well as links with the local environment. Semi-diurnal and diurnal periods were identified both in fauna and environment, revealing the influence of tidal cycles. Species interactions were described and distribution patterns were indicative of possible microhabitat preference. The importance of high-resolution frequencies (<1 h to fully comprehend rhythms in fauna and environment was emphasised, as well as the need for the development of automated or semi-automated imagery analysis tools.

  15. Contrasting Responses to Nutrient Enrichment of Prokaryotic Communities Collected from Deep Sea Sites in the Southern Ocean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerard T. A. Fleming

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Deep water samples (ca. 4,200 m were taken from two hydrologically-similar sites around the Crozet islands with highly contrasting surface water productivities. Site M5 was characteristic of high productivity waters (high chlorophyll whilst site M6 was subject to a low productivity regime (low chlorophyll in the overlying waters. Samples were incubated for three weeks at 4 °C at in-situ and surface pressures, with and without added nutrients. Prokaryotic abundance increased by at least two-fold for all nutrient-supplemented incubations of water from M5 with little difference in abundance between incubations carried out at atmospheric and in-situ pressures. Abundance only increased for incubations of M6 waters (1.6-fold when they were carried out at in-situ pressures and with added nutrients. Changes in community structure as a result of incubation and enrichment (as measured by DGGE banding profiles and phylogenetic analysis showed that diversity increased for incubations of M5 waters but decreased for those with M6 waters. Moritella spp. came to dominate incubations carried out under in-situ pressure whilst the Archaeal community was dominated by Crenarchaea in all incubations. Comparisons between atmospheric and in situ pressure incubations demonstrated that community composition was significantly altered and community structure changes in unsuspplemented incubations at in situ pressure was indicative of the loss of functional taxa as a result of depressurisation during sampling. The use of enrichment incubations under in-situ conditions has contributed to understanding the different roles played by microorganisms in deep sea ecosystems in regions of low and high productivity.

  16. Microbial Community Structure of Deep-sea Hydrothermal Vents on the Ultraslow Spreading Southwest Indian Ridge

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jian Ding

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Southwest Indian Ridge (SWIR is a typical oceanic ultraslow spreading ridge with intensive hydrothermal activities. The microbial communities in hydrothermal fields including primary producers to support the entire ecosystem by utilizing geochemical energy generated from rock-seawater interactions. Here we have examined the microbial community structures on four hydrothermal vents from SWIR, representing distinct characteristics in terms of temperature, pH and metal compositions, by using Illumina sequencing of the 16S small subunit ribosomal RNA (rRNA genes, to correlate bacterial and archaeal populations with the nature of the vents influenced by ultraslow spreading features. Epsilon-, Gamma-, Alpha-, and Deltaproteobacteria and members of the phylum Bacteroidetes and Planctomycetes, as well as Thaumarchaeota, Woesearchaeota, and Euryarchaeota were dominant in all the samples. Both bacterial and archaeal community structures showed distinguished patterns compared to those in the fast-spreading East Pacific Ridge or the slow-spreading Mid-Atlantic Ridge as previously reported. Furthermore, within SWIR, the microbial communities are highly correlated with the local temperatures. For example, the sulfur-oxidizing bacteria were dominant within bacteria from low-temperature vents, but were not represented as the dominating group recovered from high temperature (over 300°C venting chimneys in SWIR. Meanwhile, Thaumarchaeota, the ammonium oxidizing archaea, only showed high relative abundance of amplicons in the vents with high-temperature in SWIR. These findings provide insights on the microbial community in ultraslow spreading hydrothermal fields, and therefore assist us in the understanding of geochemical cycling therein.

  17. Rapid Response of Eastern Mediterranean Deep Sea Microbial Communities to Oil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liu, Jiang; Techtmann, Stephen M.; Woo, Hannah L.; Ning, Daliang; Fortney, Julian L.; Hazen, Terry C.

    2017-07-18

    Deep marine oil spills like the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) in the Gulf of Mexico have the potential to drastically impact marine systems. Crude oil contamination in marine systems remains a concern, especially for countries around the Mediterranean Sea with off shore oil production. The goal of this study was to investigate the response of indigenous microbial communities to crude oil in the deep Eastern Mediterranean Sea (E. Med.) water column and to minimize potential bias associated with storage and shifts in microbial community structure from sample storage. 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing was combined with GeoChip metagenomic analysis to monitor the microbial community changes to the crude oil and dispersant in on-ship microcosms set up immediately after water collection. After 3 days of incubation at 14 °C, the microbial communities from two different water depths: 824 m and 1210 m became dominated by well-known oil degrading bacteria. The archaeal population and the overall microbial community diversity drastically decreased. Similarly, GeoChip metagenomic analysis revealed a tremendous enrichment of genes related to oil biodegradation, which was consistent with the results from the DWH oil spill. These results highlight a rapid microbial adaption to oil contamination in the deep E. Med., and indicate strong oil biodegradation potentia

  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. Comparison of modeling methods to predict the spatial distribution of deep-sea coral and sponge in the Gulf of Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rooper, Christopher N.; Zimmermann, Mark; Prescott, Megan M.

    2017-08-01

    Deep-sea coral and sponge ecosystems are widespread throughout most of Alaska's marine waters, and are associated with many different species of fishes and invertebrates. These ecosystems are vulnerable to the effects of commercial fishing activities and climate change. We compared four commonly used species distribution models (general linear models, generalized additive models, boosted regression trees and random forest models) and an ensemble model to predict the presence or absence and abundance of six groups of benthic invertebrate taxa in the Gulf of Alaska. All four model types performed adequately on training data for predicting presence and absence, with regression forest models having the best overall performance measured by the area under the receiver-operating-curve (AUC). The models also performed well on the test data for presence and absence with average AUCs ranging from 0.66 to 0.82. For the test data, ensemble models performed the best. For abundance data, there was an obvious demarcation in performance between the two regression-based methods (general linear models and generalized additive models), and the tree-based models. The boosted regression tree and random forest models out-performed the other models by a wide margin on both the training and testing data. However, there was a significant drop-off in performance for all models of invertebrate abundance ( 50%) when moving from the training data to the testing data. Ensemble model performance was between the tree-based and regression-based methods. The maps of predictions from the models for both presence and abundance agreed very well across model types, with an increase in variability in predictions for the abundance data. We conclude that where data conforms well to the modeled distribution (such as the presence-absence data and binomial distribution in this study), the four types of models will provide similar results, although the regression-type models may be more consistent with

  20. Exploring Archaeal Communities And Genomes Across Five Deep-Sea Brine Lakes Of The Red Sea With A Focus On Methanogens

    KAUST Repository

    Guan, Yue

    2015-12-15

    The deep-sea hypersaline lakes in the Red Sea are among the most challenging, extreme, and unusual environments on the planet Earth. Despite their harshness to life, they are inhabited by diverse and novel members of prokaryotes. Methanogenesis was proposed as one of the main metabolic pathways that drive microbial colonization in similar habitats. However, not much is known about the identities of the methane-producing microbes in the Red Sea, let alone the way in which they could adapt to such poly extreme environments. Combining a range of microbial community assessment, cultivation and omics (genomics, transcriptomics, and single amplified genomics) approaches, this dissertation seeks to fill these gaps in our knowledge by studying archaeal composition, particularly methanogens, their genomic capacities and transcriptomic characteristics in order to elucidate their diversity, function, and adaptation to the deep-sea brines of the Red Sea. Although typical methanogens are not abundant in the samples collected from brine pool habitats of the Red Sea, the pilot cultivation experiment has revealed novel halophilic methanogenic species of the domain Archaea. Their physiological traits as well as their genomic and transcriptomic features unveil an interesting genetic and functional adaptive capacity that allows them to thrive in the unique deep-sea hypersaline environments in the Red Sea.

  1. 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.

  2. 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...

  3. 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

  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. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Impact of protists on a hydrocarbon-degrading bacterial community from deep-sea Gulf of Mexico sediments: A microcosm study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beaudoin, David J.; Carmichael, Catherine A.; Nelson, Robert K.; Reddy, Christopher M.; Teske, Andreas P.; Edgcomb, Virginia P.

    2016-07-01

    In spite of significant advancements towards understanding the dynamics of petroleum hydrocarbon degrading microbial consortia, the impacts (direct or indirect via grazing activities) of bacterivorous protists remain largely unknown. Microcosm experiments were used to examine whether protistan grazing affects the petroleum hydrocarbon degradation capacity of a deep-sea sediment microbial community from an active Gulf of Mexico cold seep. Differences in n-alkane content between native sediment microcosms and those treated with inhibitors of eukaryotes were assessed by comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography following 30-90 day incubations and analysis of shifts in microbial community composition using small subunit ribosomal RNA gene clone libraries. More biodegradation was observed in microcosms supplemented with eukaryotic inhibitors. SSU rRNA gene clone libraries from oil-amended treatments revealed an increase in the number of proteobacterial clones (particularly γ-proteobacteria) after spiking sediments with diesel oil. Bacterial community composition shifted, and degradation rates increased, in treatments where protists were inhibited, suggesting protists affect the hydrocarbon degrading capacity of microbial communities in sediments collected at this Gulf of Mexico site.

  9. Pathways of carbon and energy metabolism of the epibiotic community associated with the deep-sea hydrothermal vent shrimp Rimicaris exoculata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hügler, Michael; Petersen, Jillian M; Dubilier, Nicole; Imhoff, Johannes F; Sievert, Stefan M

    2011-01-07

    The shrimp Rimicaris exoculata dominates the faunal biomass at many deep-sea hydrothermal vent sites at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. In its enlarged gill chamber it harbors a specialized epibiotic bacterial community for which a nutritional role has been proposed. We analyzed specimens from the Snake Pit hydrothermal vent field on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge by complementing a 16S rRNA gene survey with the analysis of genes involved in carbon, sulfur and hydrogen metabolism. In addition to Epsilon- and Gammaproteobacteria, the epibiotic community unexpectedly also consists of Deltaproteobacteria of a single phylotype, closely related to the genus Desulfocapsa. The association of these phylogenetic groups with the shrimp was confirmed by fluorescence in situ hybridization. Based on functional gene analyses, we hypothesize that the Gamma- and Epsilonproteobacteria are capable of autotrophic growth by oxidizing reduced sulfur compounds, and that the Deltaproteobacteria are also involved in sulfur metabolism. In addition, the detection of proteobacterial hydrogenases indicates the potential for hydrogen oxidation in these communities. Interestingly, the frequency of these phylotypes in 16S rRNA gene clone libraries from the mouthparts differ from that of the inner lining of the gill chamber, indicating potential functional compartmentalization. Our data show the specific association of autotrophic bacteria with Rimicaris exoculata from the Snake Pit hydrothermal vent field, and suggest that autotrophic carbon fixation is contributing to the productivity of the epibiotic community with the reductive tricarboxylic acid cycle as one important carbon fixation pathway. This has not been considered in previous studies of carbon fixation and stable carbon isotope composition of the shrimp and its epibionts. Furthermore, the co-occurrence of sulfur-oxidizing and sulfur-reducing epibionts raises the possibility that both may be involved in the syntrophic exchange of sulfur compounds

  10. Characterization of Microbial Communities Associated With Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vent Animals of the East Pacific Rise and the Galápagos Rift

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, N.; Page, S.; Heidelberg, J.; Eisen, J. A.; Fraser, C. M.

    2002-12-01

    The composition of microbial communities associated with deep-sea hydrothermal vent animals is of interest because of the key role of bacterial symbionts in driving the chemosynthetic food chain of the vent system, and also because bacterial biofilms attached to animal exterior surfaces may play a part in settlement of larval forms. Sequence analysis of 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes from such communities provides a snapshot of community structure, as this gene is present in all Bacteria and Archaea, and a useful phylogenetic marker for both cultivated microbial species, and uncultivated species such as many of those found in the deep-sea environment. Specimens of giant tube worms (Riftia pachyptila), mussels (Bathymodiolus thermophilus), and clams (Calyptogena magnifica) were collected during the 2002 R/V Atlantis research cruises to the East Pacific Rise (9N) and Galápagos Rift. Microbial biofilms attached to the exterior surfaces of individual animals were sampled, as were tissues known to harbor chemosynthetic bacterial endosymbionts. Genomic DNA was extracted from the samples using a commercially available kit, and 16S rRNA genes amplified from the mixed bacterial communities using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and oligonucleotide primers targeting conserved terminal regions of the 16S rRNA gene. The PCR products obtained were cloned into a plasmid vector and the recombinant plasmids transformed into cells of Escherichia coli. Individual cloned 16S rRNA genes were sequenced at the 5' end of the gene (the most phylogenetically informative region in most taxa) and the sequence data compared to publicly available gene sequence databases, to allow a preliminary assignment of clones to taxonomic groups within the Bacteria and Archaea, and to determine the overall composition and phylogenetic diversity of the animal-associated microbial communities. Analysis of Riftia pachyptila exterior biofilm samples revealed the presence of members of the delta and

  11. Gigantic oocytes in the deep sea black coral Dendrobathypathes grandis (Antipatharia) from the Mar del Plata submarine canyon area (southwestern Atlantic)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lauretta, Daniel; Penchaszadeh, Pablo E.

    2017-10-01

    The black coral Dendrobathypathes grandis (Cnidaria: Antipatharia) is studied for the first time in the southwestern Atlantic off Argentina. This is the only antipatharian reported from the Atlantic between 35°S and 54°S. Eleven specimens were collected at depths of 819-2204 m during three expeditions to the Mar del Plata submarine canyon (2012-2013); seven were females. The species is gonochoric, and the polyps in female colonies contain up to nine oocytes per polyp, which can reach 1500 μm in diameter. In contrast, the largest oocyte currently reported for antipatharians is 500 μm, and usual diameters do not exceed 200 μm. These large oocytes have over 20 times more volume than the biggest oocyte reported, but over 800 times more volume when compared with the common oocyte size of the group. Sperm size and morphology is similar to previous data from other species. As in previous studies, neither embryos nor larvae were found in any specimens. This species was previously only reported from waters off South Georgia Island, and so these specimens expand the known distribution north by 1800 km.

  12. 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.

  13. Characterization of Methane-Seep Communities in a Deep-Sea Area Designated for Oil and Natural Gas Exploitation Off Trinidad and Tobago

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diva J. Amon

    2017-10-01

    on benthic communities during oil and gas activities will likely be long lasting and include physical disturbance during drilling among others. Recommendations for the stewardship of these widespread habitats include: (1 seeking international cooperation; (2 holding wider stakeholder discussions; (3 adopting stringent environmental regulations; and (4 increasing deep-sea research to gather crucial baseline data in order to conduct appropriate marine spatial planning with the creation of marine protected areas.

  14. Variations in deep-sea hydrothermal vent communities on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge near the Azores plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desbruyères, D.; Biscoito, M.; Caprais, J.-C.; Colaço, A.; Comtet, T.; Crassous, P.; Fouquet, Y.; Khripounoff, A.; Le Bris, N.; Olu, K.; Riso, R.; Sarradin, P.-M.; Segonzac, M.; Vangriesheim, A.

    2001-05-01

    Near the Azores Triple Junction as the Azores Plateau is approached, the ridge axis becomes shallower; its depth decreases from ca. 2400 m in the R AINBOW vent field (36°13'N) to ca. 850 m in the M ENEZ G WEN vent field (37°35'N). In this area, extensive mussel beds of the mytilid Bathymodiolus azoricus dominate the hydrothermal vent fauna, along with populations of three shrimps ( Rimicaris exoculata, Mirocaris fortunata and Chorocaris chacei). The main physical and chemical characteristics of the vent habitat were studied by discrete sampling, in situ analysis and sediment trap moorings. The vent fauna is distributed along a variable band where the vent fluids and seawater mix, with R. exoculata living in the most concentrated areas and Bathymodiolus azoricus in the most diluted zones. Various non-endemic species live at the border of the vent field. The variations observed in structure and composition of the communities along the depth gradient are most likely due to changes in vent fluid toxicity (metallic and sulphide content) and suspended mineral particles, which render the fluids harsher for species living there. The main faunal differences observed between L UCKY S TRIKE and M ENEZ G WEN hydrothermal fields are due to an impoverishment in the hydrothermal endemic species and to the penetration of bathyal species. The comparison of the three studied vent fields suggests the existence of a succession of several biogeographic islands rather than a single province.

  15. The Influence of deep-sea bed CO2 sequestration on small metazoan (meiofaunal) community structure and function

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carman, Kevin R. [Louisiana State Univ., Baton Rouge, LA (United States); Fleeger, John W. [Louisiana State Univ., Baton Rouge, LA (United States); Thistle, David [Florida State Univ., Tallahassee, FL (United States)

    2013-02-17

    reduction in pH to about 7.0 after 30 days were as great as an extreme pH reduction (5.4), suggesting that moderate CO22deep-sea benthos, we also observed that small-scale experiments with CO2deep sea. Specifically, in one CO22222

  16. 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)

  17. 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

  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. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Culture-independent characterization of bacterial communities associated with the cold-water coral Lophelia pertusa in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kellogg, C.A.; Lisle, J.T.; Galkiewicz, J.P.

    2009-01-01

    Bacteria are recognized as an important part of the total biology of shallow-water corals. Studies of shallow-water corals suggest that associated bacteria may benefit the corals by cycling carbon, fixing nitrogen, chelating iron, and producing antibiotics that protect the coral from other microbes. Cold-water or deep-sea corals have a fundamentally different ecology due to their adaptation to cold, dark, high-pressure environments and as such have novel microbiota. The goal of this study was to characterize the microbial associates of Lophelia pertusa in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico. This is the first study to collect the coral samples in individual insulated containers and to preserve coral samples at depth in an effort to minimize thermal shock and evaluate the effects of environmental gradients on the microbial diversity of samples. Molecular analysis of bacterial diversity showed a marked difference between the two study sites, Viosca Knoll 906/862 (VK906/862) and Viosca Knoll 826 (VK826). The bacterial communities from VK826 were dominated by a variety of unknown mycoplasmal members of the Tenericutes and Bacteroidetes, whereas the libraries from VK906/862 were dominated by members of the Proteobacteria. In addition to novel sequences, the 16S rRNA gene clone libraries revealed many bacterial sequences in common between Gulf of Mexico Lophelia corals and Norwegian fjord Lophelia corals, as well as shallow-water corals. Two Lophelia-specific bacterial groups were identified: a cluster of gammaproteobacteria related to sulfide-oxidizing gill symbionts of seep clams and a group of Mycoplasma spp. The presence of these groups in both Gulf and Norwegian Lophelia corals indicates that in spite of the geographic heterogeneity observed in Lophelia-associated bacterial communities, there are Lophelia-specific microbes. Copyright ?? 2009, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. NESTOR Deep Sea Neutrino Telescope

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aggouras, G.; Anassontzis, E.G.; Ball, A.E.; Bourlis, G.; Chinowsky, W.; Fahrun, E.; Grammatikakis, G.; Green, C.; Grieder, P.; Katrivanos, P.; Koske, P.; Leisos, A.; Markopoulos, E.; Minkowsky, P.; Nygren, D.; Papageorgiou, K.; Przybylski, G.; Resvanis, L.K.; Siotis, I.; Sopher, J.; Staveris-Polikalas, A.; Tsagli, V.; Tsirigotis, A.; Tzamarias, S.; Zhukov, V.A.

    2006-01-01

    One module of NESTOR, the Mediterranean deep-sea neutrino telescope, was deployed at a depth of 4000m, 14km off the Sapienza Island, off the South West coast of Greece. The deployment site provides excellent environmental characteristics. The deployed NESTOR module is constructed as a hexagonal star like latticed titanium star with 12 Optical Modules and an one-meter diameter titanium sphere which houses the electronics. Power and data were transferred through a 30km electro-optical cable to the shore laboratory. In this report we describe briefly the detector and the detector electronics and discuss the first physics data acquired and give the zenith angular distribution of the reconstructed muons

  5. 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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  7. Food-web dynamics and isotopic niches in deep-sea communities residing in a submarine canyon and on the adjacent open slopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demopoulos, Amanda W.J.; McClain-Counts, Jennifer; Ross, Steve W.; Brooke, Sandra; Mienis, Furu

    2017-01-01

    Examination of food webs and trophic niches provide insights into organisms' functional ecology, yet few studies have examined trophodynamics within submarine canyons, where the interaction of canyon morphology and oceanography influences habitat provision and food deposition. Using stable isotope analysis and Bayesian ellipses, we documented deep-sea food-web structure and trophic niches in Baltimore Canyon and the adjacent open slopes in the US Mid-Atlantic Region. Results revealed isotopically diverse feeding groups, comprising approximately 5 trophic levels. Regression analysis indicated that consumer isotope data are structured by habitat (canyon vs. slope), feeding group, and depth. Benthic feeders were enriched in 13C and 15N relative to suspension feeders, consistent with consuming older, more refractory organic matter. In contrast, canyon suspension feeders had the largest and more distinct isotopic niche, indicating they consume an isotopically discrete food source, possibly fresher organic material. The wider isotopic niche observed for canyon consumers indicated the presence of feeding specialists and generalists. High dispersion in δ13C values for canyon consumers suggests that the isotopic composition of particulate organic matter changes, which is linked to depositional dynamics, resulting in discrete zones of organic matter accumulation or resuspension. Heterogeneity in habitat and food availability likely enhances trophic diversity in canyons. Given their abundance in the world's oceans, our results from Baltimore Canyon suggest that submarine canyons may represent important havens for trophic diversity.

  8. 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...

  9. Coral Community Structure and Recruitment in Seagrass Meadows

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kathryn E. Lohr

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Coral communities are increasingly found to populate non-reef habitats prone to high environmental variability. Such sites include seagrass meadows, which are generally not considered optimal habitats for corals as a result of limited suitable substrate for settlement and substantial diel and seasonal fluctuations in physicochemical conditions relative to neighboring reefs. Interest in understanding the ability of corals to persist in non-reef habitats has grown, however little baseline data exists on community structure and recruitment of scleractinian corals in seagrass meadows. To determine how corals populate seagrass meadows, we surveyed the established and recruited coral community over 25 months within seagrass meadows at Little Cayman, Cayman Islands. Simultaneous surveys of established and recruited coral communities at neighboring back-reef sites were conducted for comparison. To fully understand the amount of environmental variability to which corals in each habitat were exposed, we conducted complementary surveys of physicochemical conditions in both seagrass meadows and back-reefs. Despite overall higher variability in physicochemical conditions, particularly pH, compared to the back-reef, 14 coral taxa were capable of inhabiting seagrass meadows, and multiple coral families were also found to recruit to these sites. However, coral cover and species diversity, richness, and evenness were lower at sites within seagrass meadows compared to back-reef sites. Although questions remain regarding the processes governing recruitment, these results provide evidence that seagrass beds can serve as functional habitats for corals despite high levels of environmental variability and suboptimal conditions compared to neighboring reefs.

  10. Comparative metagenomic analysis of the microbial communities in the surroundings of Iheya north and Iheya ridge hydrothermal fields reveals insights into the survival strategy of microorganisms in deep-sea environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Hai-liang; Sun, Li

    2018-04-01

    In this study, metagenomic analysis was performed to investigate the taxonomic compositions and metabolic profiles of the microbial communities inhabiting the sediments in the surroundings of Iheya North and Iheya Ridge hydrothermal fields. The microbial communities in four different samples were found to be dominated by bacteria and, to a much lesser extent, archaea belonging to the phyla Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Planctomycetes, Firmicutes, Deinococcus-Thermus, and Nitrospirae, which play important roles in the cycling of carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur. All four microbial communities (i) contained chemoautotrophs and heterotrophs, the former probably fixed CO2 via various carbon fixation pathways, and the latter may degrade organic matters using nitrate and sulfate as electron acceptors, (ii) exhibited an abundance of DNA repair genes and bacterial sulfur oxidation mediated by reverse sulfate reduction, and (iii) harbored bacteria and archaea involved in anaerobic methane oxidation via intra-aerobic denitrification and reverse methanogenesis, which were found for the first time in hydrothermal areas. Furthermore, genes involved in DNA repair, reductive acetyl-CoA pathway, and ammonia metabolism were possibly affected by distance to the vent fields. These findings facilitate our understanding of the strategies of the microbial communities to adapt to the environments in deep sea areas associated with hydrothermal vents.

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. Coral-bacterial communities before and after a coral mass spawning event on Ningaloo Reef.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janja Ceh

    Full Text Available Bacteria associated with three coral species, Acropora tenuis, Pocillopora damicornis and Tubastrea faulkneri, were assessed before and after coral mass spawning on Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia. Two colonies of each species were sampled before and after the mass spawning event and two additional samples were collected for P. damicornis after planulation. A variable 470 bp region of the 16 S rRNA gene was selected for pyrosequencing to provide an understanding of potential variations in coral-associated bacterial diversity and community structure. Bacterial diversity increased for all coral species after spawning as assessed by Chao1 diversity indicators. Minimal changes in community structure were observed at the class level and data at the taxonomical level of genus incorporated into a PCA analysis indicated that despite bacterial diversity increasing after spawning, coral-associated community structure did not shift greatly with samples grouped according to species. However, interesting changes could be detected from the dataset; for example, α-Proteobacteria increased in relative abundance after coral spawning and particularly the Roseobacter clade was found to be prominent in all coral species, indicating that this group may be important in coral reproduction.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Coral community response to bleaching on a highly disturbed reef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guest, J R; Low, J; Tun, K; Wilson, B; Ng, C; Raingeard, D; Ulstrup, K E; Tanzil, J T I; Todd, P A; Toh, T C; McDougald, D; Chou, L M; Steinberg, P D

    2016-02-15

    While many studies of coral bleaching report on broad, regional scale responses, fewer examine variation in susceptibility among coral taxa and changes in community structure, before, during and after bleaching on individual reefs. Here we report in detail on the response to bleaching by a coral community on a highly disturbed reef site south of mainland Singapore before, during and after a major thermal anomaly in 2010. To estimate the capacity for resistance to thermal stress, we report on: a) overall bleaching severity during and after the event, b) differences in bleaching susceptibility among taxa during the event, and c) changes in coral community structure one year before and after bleaching. Approximately two thirds of colonies bleached, however, post-bleaching recovery was quite rapid and, importantly, coral taxa that are usually highly susceptible were relatively unaffected. Although total coral cover declined, there was no significant change in coral taxonomic community structure before and after bleaching. Several factors may have contributed to the overall high resistance of corals at this site including Symbiodinium affiliation, turbidity and heterotrophy. Our results suggest that, despite experiencing chronic anthropogenic disturbances, turbid shallow reef communities may be remarkably resilient to acute thermal stress.

  17. 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

    important component of deep-sea microeukaryote communities.

  18. Calibration of Community-based Coral Reef Monitoring Protocols ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Coral reef monitoring (CRM) has been recognised as an important management tool and has consequently been incorporated in Integrated Coastal Area Management (ICAM) programmes in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO). Community-based coral reef monitoring (CB-CRM), which uses simplified procedures suitable for ...

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Ziegler, Maren

    2017-02-10

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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Ziegler, Maren; Seneca, Francois O.; Yum, Lauren; Palumbi, Stephen R.; Voolstra, Christian R.

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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).

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Fish communities associated with cold-water corals vary with depth and substratum type

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milligan, Rosanna J.; Spence, Gemma; Roberts, J. Murray; Bailey, David M.

    2016-08-01

    Understanding the processes that drive the distribution patterns of organisms and the scales over which these processes operate are vital when considering the effective management of species with high commercial or conservation value. In the deep sea, the importance of scleractinian cold-water corals (CWCs) to fish has been the focus of several studies but their role remains unclear. We propose this may be due to the confounding effects of multiple drivers operating over multiple spatial scales. The aims of this study were to investigate the role of CWCs in shaping fish community structure and individual species-habitat associations across four spatial scales in the NE Atlantic ranging from "regions" (separated by >500 km) to "substratum types" (contiguous). Demersal fish and substratum types were quantified from three regions: Logachev Mounds, Rockall Bank and Hebrides Terrace Seamount (HTS). PERMANOVA analyses showed significant differences in community composition between all regions which were most likely caused by differences in depths. Within regions, significant variation in community composition was recorded at scales of c. 20-3500 m. CWCs supported significantly different fish communities to non-CWC substrata at Rockall Bank, Logachev and the HTS. Single-species analyses using generalised linear mixed models showed that Sebastes sp. was strongly associated with CWCs at Rockall Bank and that Neocyttus helgae was more likely to occur in CWCs at the HTS. Depth had a significant effect on several other fish species. The results of this study suggest that the importance of CWCs to fish is species-specific and depends on the broader spatial context in which the substratum is found. The precautionary approach would be to assume that CWCs are important for associated fish, but must acknowledge that CWCs in different depths will not provide redundancy or replication within spatially-managed conservation networks.

  15. Use of real-time qPCR to quantify members of the unculturable heterotrophic bacterial community in a deep sea marine sponge, Vetulina sp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cassler, M; Peterson, C L; Ledger, A; Pomponi, S A; Wright, A E; Winegar, R; McCarthy, P J; Lopez, J V

    2008-04-01

    In this report, real-time quantitative PCR (TaqMan qPCR) of the small subunit (SSU) 16S-like rRNA molecule, a universal phylogenetic marker, was used to quantify the relative abundance of individual bacterial members of a diverse, yet mostly unculturable, microbial community from a marine sponge. Molecular phylogenetic analyses of bacterial communities derived from Caribbean Lithistid sponges have shown a wide diversity of microbes that included at least six major subdivisions; however, very little overlap was observed between the culturable and unculturable microbial communities. Based on sequence data of three culture-independent Lithistid-derived representative bacteria, we designed probe/primer sets for TaqMan qPCR to quantitatively characterize selected microbial residents in a Lithistid sponge, Vetulina, metagenome. TaqMan assays included specificity testing, DNA limit of detection analysis, and quantification of specific microbial rRNA sequences such as Nitrospira-like microbes and Actinobacteria up to 172 million copies per microgram per Lithistid sponge metagenome. By contrast, qPCR amplification with probes designed for common previously cultured sponge-associated bacteria in the genera Rheinheimera and Marinomonas and a representative of the CFB group resulted in only minimal detection of the Rheiheimera in total DNA extracted from the sponge. These data verify that a large portion of the microbial community within Lithistid sponges may consist of currently unculturable microorganisms.

  16. Macroalgae Decrease Growth and Alter Microbial Community Structure of the Reef-Building Coral, Porites astreoides

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vega Thurber, Rebecca; Burkepile, Deron E.; Correa, Adrienne M. S.; Thurber, Andrew R.; Shantz, Andrew A.; Welsh, Rory; Pritchard, Catharine; Rosales, Stephanie

    2012-01-01

    With the continued and unprecedented decline of coral reefs worldwide, evaluating the factors that contribute to coral demise is of critical importance. As coral cover declines, macroalgae are becoming more common on tropical reefs. Interactions between these macroalgae and corals may alter the coral microbiome, which is thought to play an important role in colony health and survival. Together, such changes in benthic macroalgae and in the coral microbiome may result in a feedback mechanism that contributes to additional coral cover loss. To determine if macroalgae alter the coral microbiome, we conducted a field-based experiment in which the coral Porites astreoides was placed in competition with five species of macroalgae. Macroalgal contact increased variance in the coral-associated microbial community, and two algal species significantly altered microbial community composition. All macroalgae caused the disappearance of a γ-proteobacterium previously hypothesized to be an important mutualist of P. astreoides. Macroalgal contact also triggered: 1) increases or 2) decreases in microbial taxa already present in corals, 3) establishment of new taxa to the coral microbiome, and 4) vectoring and growth of microbial taxa from the macroalgae to the coral. Furthermore, macroalgal competition decreased coral growth rates by an average of 36.8%. Overall, this study found that competition between corals and certain species of macroalgae leads to an altered coral microbiome, providing a potential mechanism by which macroalgae-coral interactions reduce coral health and lead to coral loss on impacted reefs. PMID:22957055

  17. Macroalgae decrease growth and alter microbial community structure of the reef-building coral, Porites astreoides.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca Vega Thurber

    Full Text Available With the continued and unprecedented decline of coral reefs worldwide, evaluating the factors that contribute to coral demise is of critical importance. As coral cover declines, macroalgae are becoming more common on tropical reefs. Interactions between these macroalgae and corals may alter the coral microbiome, which is thought to play an important role in colony health and survival. Together, such changes in benthic macroalgae and in the coral microbiome may result in a feedback mechanism that contributes to additional coral cover loss. To determine if macroalgae alter the coral microbiome, we conducted a field-based experiment in which the coral Porites astreoides was placed in competition with five species of macroalgae. Macroalgal contact increased variance in the coral-associated microbial community, and two algal species significantly altered microbial community composition. All macroalgae caused the disappearance of a γ-proteobacterium previously hypothesized to be an important mutualist of P. astreoides. Macroalgal contact also triggered: 1 increases or 2 decreases in microbial taxa already present in corals, 3 establishment of new taxa to the coral microbiome, and 4 vectoring and growth of microbial taxa from the macroalgae to the coral. Furthermore, macroalgal competition decreased coral growth rates by an average of 36.8%. Overall, this study found that competition between corals and certain species of macroalgae leads to an altered coral microbiome, providing a potential mechanism by which macroalgae-coral interactions reduce coral health and lead to coral loss on impacted reefs.

  18. Analysis of the coral associated bacterial community structures in healthy and diseased corals from off-shore of southern Taiwan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiou, Shu-Fen; Kuo, Jimmy; Wong, Tit-Yee; Fan, Tung-Yung; Tew, Kwee Siong; Liu, Jong-Kang

    2010-07-01

    The methods of denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and DNA sequencing were used to analyze the ribotypes of microbial communities associated with corals. Both healthy and diseased coral of different species were collected at three locations off the southern coast of Taiwan. Ribotyping results suggested that the microbial communities were diverse. The microbial community profiles, even among the same species of corals from different geographical locations, differ significantly. The coral-associated bacterial communities contain many bacteria common to the habitants of various invertebrates. However, some bacteria were unexpected. The presence of some unusual species, such as Staphylococcus, Clostridium and Legionella, associated with corals that were likely the results of human activities. Human activities, such as thermal pollution from the nearby nuclear plant, active fishing and tourism industries in the region might have all contributed to the change in bacterial communities and the death of coral colonies around the region.

  19. Culture-Independent Identification of Manganese-Oxidizing Genes from Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vent Chemoautotrophic Ferromanganese Microbial Communities Using a Metagenomic Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, R.; Tebo, B. M.

    2013-12-01

    oxidases McoA and MopA. The greater diversity of Mn oxidase pathways in this metagenome suggests a more diverse Mn oxidizing microbial community in the cold pumice sample. Key enzymes for four of the six known carbon fixation pathways (the Calvin Cycle, the reductive TCA cycle, the Wood-Ljungdahl pathway, and the 3-hydroxypropionate/4-hydroxybutyrate Cycle) were also identified in both samples indicating primary production occurs via a diverse community of carbon fixing organisms. Together, these samples contain active, diverse populations of Mn oxidizing bacteria living in association with microbial communities supported by chemoautotrophic carbon fixation.

  20. 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.

  1. Functionally diverse reef-fish communities ameliorate coral disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raymundo, Laurie J; Halford, Andrew R; Maypa, Aileen P; Kerr, Alexander M

    2009-10-06

    Coral reefs, the most diverse of marine ecosystems, currently experience unprecedented levels of degradation. Diseases are now recognized as a major cause of mortality in reef-forming corals and are complicit in phase shifts of reef ecosystems to algal-dominated states worldwide. Even so, factors contributing to disease occurrence, spread, and impact remain poorly understood. Ecosystem resilience has been linked to the conservation of functional diversity, whereas overfishing reduces functional diversity through cascading, top-down effects. Hence, we tested the hypothesis that reefs with trophically diverse reef fish communities have less coral disease than overfished reefs. We surveyed reefs across the central Philippines, including well-managed marine protected areas (MPAs), and found that disease prevalence was significantly negatively correlated with fish taxonomic diversity. Further, MPAs had significantly higher fish diversity and less disease than unprotected areas. We subsequently investigated potential links between coral disease and the trophic components of fish diversity, finding that only the density of coral-feeding chaetodontid butterflyfishes, seldom targeted by fishers, was positively associated with disease prevalence. These previously uncharacterized results are supported by a second large-scale dataset from the Great Barrier Reef. We hypothesize that members of the charismatic reef-fish family Chaetodontidae are major vectors of coral disease by virtue of their trophic specialization on hard corals and their ecological release in overfished areas, particularly outside MPAs.

  2. 85 million years of pelagic ecosystem evolution: Pacific Ocean deep-sea ichthyolith records reveal fish community dynamics and a long-term decline in sharks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sibert, E. C.; Norris, R. D.; Cuevas, J. M.; Graves, L. G.

    2015-12-01

    The structure and productivity of open ocean consumers has undergone major changes over the past 85 million years. Here, we present the first long-term detailed records of pelagic fish and sharks utilizing the record of ichthyoliths (teeth and dermal scales) from the deep Pacific Ocean. While the North and South Pacific Oceans show similar patterns throughout the 85 million year history, the North Pacific ichthyolith accumulation is significantly higher than the South Pacific, suggesting that the basin has been a more productive region for tens of millions of years. Fish and sharks were not abundant in the Pacific gyres until ~75 million years ago (Ma) suggesting that neither group was quantitatively important in oligotrophic pelagic food webs prior to the latest Cretaceous. Relative to ray-finned fish, sharks were common in the ancient ocean. Most ichthyolith assemblages have >50% shark dermal scales (denticles), but denticle abundance has been declining in both absolute and relative abundance since the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K/Pg) mass extinction. The accumulation rate of ichthyoliths of both sharks and ray-finned fish was highest in the Early Eocene, during the peak of the Cenozoic 'greenhouse' climate where production of shark dermal denticles and fish teeth increased almost five times over Paleocene production rates. Ichthyolith fluxes fell with cooler climates in the later Eocene and Oligocene, but fish production is almost always higher than in the Cretaceous and Paleocene reflecting the expanded ecological roles and importance of pelagic fish in marine ecosystems. Shark denticle production fell to less than half that of the Cretaceous by 20 Ma when it dropped abruptly to near-zero levels. Currently denticles make up sharks appear to be falling as major pelagic consumers over the Late Cretaceous and Cenozoic, and particularly over the past 20 Ma, perhaps reflecting demographic changes in shark and fish communities, or the rise of resource competition from

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  4. A Moessbauer study of deep sea sediments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Minai, Y.; Tominaga, T.; Furuta, T.; Kobayashi, K.

    1981-01-01

    In order to determine the chemical states of iron in deep sea sediments, Moessbauer spectra of the sediments collected from various areas of the Pacific have been measured. The Moessbauer spectra were composed of paramagnetic ferric, high-spin ferrous, and magnetic components. The correlation of their relative abundance to the sampling location and the kind of sediments may afford clues to infer the origin of each iron-bearing phase. (author)

  5. Microplastic pollution in deep-sea sediments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Cauwenberghe, Lisbeth; Vanreusel, Ann; Mees, Jan; Janssen, Colin R.

    2013-01-01

    Microplastics are small plastic particles ( 3 was observed. •The depths from where these microplastics were recovered range from 1176 to 4843 m. •The sizes of the particles range from 75 to 161 μm at their largest cross-section. -- Here, we demonstrate that microplastics have invaded the marine environment to an extent that they appear to even be present in the remote deep sea

  6. Microbial gene functions enriched in the Deepwater Horizon deep-sea oil plume

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lu, Z.; Deng, Y.; Nostrand, J.D. Van; He, Z.; Voordeckers, J.; Zhou, A.; Lee, Y.-J.; Mason, O.U.; Dubinsky, E.; Chavarria, K.; Tom, L.; Fortney, J.; Lamendella, R.; Jansson, J.K.; D?haeseleer, P.; Hazen, T.C.; Zhou, J.

    2011-06-15

    The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is the deepest and largest offshore spill in U.S. history and its impacts on marine ecosystems are largely unknown. Here, we showed that the microbial community functional composition and structure were dramatically altered in a deep-sea oil plume resulting from the spill. A variety of metabolic genes involved in both aerobic and anaerobic hydrocarbon degradation were highly enriched in the plume compared to outside the plume, indicating a great potential for intrinsic bioremediation or natural attenuation in the deep-sea. Various other microbial functional genes relevant to carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur and iron cycling, metal resistance, and bacteriophage replication were also enriched in the plume. Together, these results suggest that the indigenous marine microbial communities could play a significant role in biodegradation of oil spills in deep-sea environments.

  7. Alkalinity to calcium flux ratios for corals and coral reef communities: variances between isolated and community conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liana J.A. Murillo

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Calcification in reef corals and coral reefs is widely measured using the alkalinity depletion method which is based on the fact that two protons are produced for every mole of CaCO3 precipitated. This assumption was tested by measuring the total alkalinity (TA flux and Ca2+ flux of isolated components (corals, alga, sediment and plankton in reference to that of a mixed-community. Experiments were conducted in a flume under natural conditions of sunlight, nutrients, plankton and organic matter. A realistic hydrodynamic regime was provided. Groups of corals were run separately and in conjunction with the other reef components in a mixed-community. The TA flux to Ca2+ flux ratio (ΔTA: ΔCa2+ was consistently higher in the coral-only run (2.06 ± 0.19 than in the mixed-community run (1.60 ± 0.14, p-value = 0.011. The pH was higher and more stable in the mixed-community run (7.94 ± 0.03 vs. 7.52 ± 0.07, p-value = 3 × 10−5. Aragonite saturation state (Ωarag was also higher in the mixed-community run (2.51 ± 0.2 vs. 1.12 ± 0.14, p-value = 2 × 10−6. The sediment-only run revealed that sediment is the source of TA that can account for the lower ΔTA: ΔCa2+ ratio in the mixed-community run. The macroalgae-only run showed that algae were responsible for the increased pH in the mixed-community run. Corals growing in a mixed-community will experience an environment that is more favorable to calcification (higher daytime pH due to algae photosynthesis, additional TA and inorganic carbon from sediments, higher Ωarag. A paradox is that the alkalinity depletion method will yield a lower net calcification for a mixed-community versus a coral-only community due to TA recycling, even though the corals may be calcifying at a higher rate due to a more optimal environment.

  8. How microbial community composition regulates coral disease development.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Justin Mao-Jones

    2010-03-01

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

  9. How microbial community composition regulates coral disease development.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-03-30

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

  10. 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.

  11. Potential Connectivity of Coldwater Black Coral Communities in the Northern Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardona, Yuley; Ruiz-Ramos, Dannise V.; Baums, Iliana B.; Bracco, Annalisa

    2016-01-01

    The black coral Leiopathes glaberrima is a foundation species of deep-sea benthic communities but little is known of the longevity of its larvae and the timing of spawning because it inhabits environments deeper than 50 m that are logistically challenging to observe. Here, the potential connectivity of L. glaberrima in the northern Gulf of Mexico was investigated using a genetic and a physical dispersal model. The genetic analysis focused on data collected at four sites distributed to the east and west of Mississippi Canyon, provided information integrated over many (~10,000) generations and revealed low but detectable realized connectivity. The physical dispersal model simulated the circulation in the northern Gulf at a 1km horizontal resolution with transport-tracking capabilities; virtual larvae were deployed 12 times over the course of 3 years and followed over intervals of 40 days. Connectivity between sites to the east and west of the canyon was hampered by the complex bathymetry, by differences in mean circulation to the east and west of the Mississippi Canyon, and by flow instabilities at scales of a few kilometers. Further, the interannual variability of the flow field surpassed seasonal changes. Together, these results suggest that a) dispersal among sites is limited, b) any recovery in the event of a large perturbation will depend on local larvae produced by surviving individuals, and c) a competency period longer than a month is required for the simulated potential connectivity to match the connectivity from multi-locus genetic data under the hypothesis that connectivity has not changed significantly over the past 10,000 generations. PMID:27218260

  12. Discordant coral-symbiont structuring: factors shaping geographical variation of Symbiodinium communities in a facultative zooxanthellate coral genus, Oculina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leydet, Karine Posbic; Hellberg, Michael E.

    2016-06-01

    Understanding the factors that help shape the association between corals and their algal symbionts, zooxanthellae ( Symbiodinium), is necessary to better understand the functional diversity and acclimatization potential of the coral host. However, most studies focus on tropical zooxanthellate corals and their obligate algal symbionts, thus limiting our full comprehension of coral-algal symbiont associations. Here, we examine algal associations in a facultative zooxanthellate coral. We survey the Symbiodinium communities associated with Oculina corals in the western North Atlantic and the Mediterranean using one clade-level marker ( psbA coding region) and three fine-scale markers ( cp23S- rDNA, b7sym15 flanking region, and b2sym17). We ask whether Oculina spp. harbor geographically different Symbiodinium communities across their geographic range and, if so, whether the host's genetics or habitat differences are correlated with this geographical variation. We found that Oculina corals harbor different Symbiodinium communities across their geographical range. Of the habitat differences (including chlorophyll a concentration and depth), sea surface temperature is better correlated with this geographical variation than the host's genetics, a pattern most evident in the Mediterranean. Our results suggest that although facultative zooxanthellate corals may be less dependent on their algal partners compared to obligate zooxanthellate corals, the Symbiodinium communities that they harbor may nevertheless reflect acclimatization to environmental variation among habitats.

  13. Molecular analyses reveal high levels of eukaryotic richness associated with enigmatic deep-sea protists (Komokiacea)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lecroq, Beatrice; Gooday, Andrew John; Cedhagen, Tomas

    2009-01-01

    Komokiaceans are testate agglutinated protists, extremely diverse and abundant in the deep sea. About 40 species are described and share the same main morpholog- ical feature: a test consisting of narrow branching tubules forming a complex system. In some species, the interstices between the tubu......Komokiaceans are testate agglutinated protists, extremely diverse and abundant in the deep sea. About 40 species are described and share the same main morpholog- ical feature: a test consisting of narrow branching tubules forming a complex system. In some species, the interstices between...... suggest strongly that komokiaceans, and probably many other large testate protists, provide a habitat structure for a large spectrum of eukaryotes, significantly contributing to maintaining the biodiversity of micro- and meiofaunal communities in the deep sea....

  14. Monitoring the sedimentary carbon in an artificially disturbed deep-sea sedimentary environment

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Nath, B.N.; Khadge, N.H.; Nabar, S.; Raghukumar, C.; Ingole, B.S.; Valsangkar, A.B.; Sharma, R.; Srinivas, K.

    1 Author version: Environ. Monit. Assess., vol.184; 2012; 2829-2844 Monitoring the sedimentary carbon in an artificially disturbed deep-sea sedimentary environment B. Nagender Nath * , N.H. Khadge, Sapana Nabar, C. Raghu Kumar, B.S. Ingole... community two years after an artificial rapid deposition event. Publication of Seto Marine Biological Laboratory, 39(1), 17-27. Gage, J.D. (1978). Animals in deep-sea sediments. Proceedings of Royal Society of Edinburgh, 768, 77-93. Gage, J.D., & Tyler...

  15. 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

  16. The influence of fire-coral colony size and agonistic behaviour of territorial damselfish on associated coral reef fish communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leal, Isabela Carolina Silva; de Araújo, Maria Elisabeth; da Cunha, Simone Rabelo; Pereira, Pedro Henrique Cipresso

    2015-07-01

    Branching hydrocorals from the genus Millepora play an important ecological role in South Atlantic reefs, where branching scleractinian corals are absent. Previous studies have shown a high proportion of reef fish species using branching fire-coral colonies as shelter, breeding, and feeding sites. However, the effects of Millepora spp. colony size and how the agonistic behaviour of a competitive damselfish affect the associated reef fish community are still unknown. The present study examined how fire-coral colony volume and the presence of a highly territorial and aggressive damselfish (Brazilian endemic Stegastes fuscus) affects the reef fish community associated with the fire-coral Millepora alcicornis. M. alcicornis colonies were surveyed from September 2012 to April 2013 at Tamandaré Reefs off Northeast Brazil. Our results show that the abundance and richness of coral associated fish was positively correlated with M. alcicornis coral colony volume. Additionally, behaviour of S. fuscus, the most abundant reef fish species found associated with fire-coral colonies (almost 57% of the fish community), was also influenced by fire-coral colony volume. There was a clear trend of increased agonistic behaviour and feeding on coral polyps as colony volume increased. This trend was reversed for the non-occupational swimming category, which decreased as M. alcicornis colony volume increased. Behavioural ontogenetic changes were also detected for S. fuscus individuals. Juveniles mainly showed two distinct behaviours: sheltered on coral branches and feeding on coral polyps. In contrast, adults presented greater equitability among the behavioural categories, mostly non-occupational swimming around coral colonies and agonistic behaviour. Lastly, S. fuscus individuals actively defended fire-coral colonies from intruders. A large number of agonistic interactions occurred against potential food competitors, which were mainly roving herbivores, omnivores, and sessile

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  18. Limitations of microbial hydrocarbon degradation at the Amon mud volcano (Nile deep-sea fan)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Felden, J.; Lichtschlag, A.; Wenzhöfer, F.; de Beer, D.; Feseker, T.; Pop Ristova, P.; de Lange, G.; Boetius, A.

    2013-01-01

    The Amon mud volcano (MV), located at 1250m water depth on the Nile deep-sea fan, is known for its active emission of methane and non-methane hydrocarbons into the hydrosphere. Previous investigations showed a low efficiency of hydrocarbon-degrading anaerobic microbial communities inhabiting the

  19. Global diversity and biogeography of deep-sea pelagic prokaryotes

    KAUST Repository

    Salazar, Guillem

    2015-08-07

    The deep-sea is the largest biome of the biosphere, and contains more than half of the whole ocean\\'s microbes. Uncovering their general patterns of diversity and community structure at a global scale remains a great challenge, as only fragmentary information of deep-sea microbial diversity exists based on regional-scale studies. Here we report the first globally comprehensive survey of the prokaryotic communities inhabiting the bathypelagic ocean using high-throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. This work identifies the dominant prokaryotes in the pelagic deep ocean and reveals that 50% of the operational taxonomic units (OTUs) belong to previously unknown prokaryotic taxa, most of which are rare and appear in just a few samples. We show that whereas the local richness of communities is comparable to that observed in previous regional studies, the global pool of prokaryotic taxa detected is modest (∼3600 OTUs), as a high proportion of OTUs are shared among samples. The water masses appear to act as clear drivers of the geographical distribution of both particle-attached and free-living prokaryotes. In addition, we show that the deep-oceanic basins in which the bathypelagic realm is divided contain different particle-attached (but not free-living) microbial communities. The combination of the aging of the water masses and a lack of complete dispersal are identified as the main drivers for this biogeographical pattern. All together, we identify the potential of the deep ocean as a reservoir of still unknown biological diversity with a higher degree of spatial complexity than hitherto considered.

  20. Global diversity and biogeography of deep-sea pelagic prokaryotes

    KAUST Repository

    Salazar, Guillem; Cornejo-Castillo, Francisco M.; Bení tez-Barrios, Veró nica; Fraile-Nuez, Eugenio; Á lvarez-Salgado, X. Antó n; Duarte, Carlos M.; Gasol, Josep M.; Acinas, Silvia G.

    2015-01-01

    The deep-sea is the largest biome of the biosphere, and contains more than half of the whole ocean's microbes. Uncovering their general patterns of diversity and community structure at a global scale remains a great challenge, as only fragmentary information of deep-sea microbial diversity exists based on regional-scale studies. Here we report the first globally comprehensive survey of the prokaryotic communities inhabiting the bathypelagic ocean using high-throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. This work identifies the dominant prokaryotes in the pelagic deep ocean and reveals that 50% of the operational taxonomic units (OTUs) belong to previously unknown prokaryotic taxa, most of which are rare and appear in just a few samples. We show that whereas the local richness of communities is comparable to that observed in previous regional studies, the global pool of prokaryotic taxa detected is modest (∼3600 OTUs), as a high proportion of OTUs are shared among samples. The water masses appear to act as clear drivers of the geographical distribution of both particle-attached and free-living prokaryotes. In addition, we show that the deep-oceanic basins in which the bathypelagic realm is divided contain different particle-attached (but not free-living) microbial communities. The combination of the aging of the water masses and a lack of complete dispersal are identified as the main drivers for this biogeographical pattern. All together, we identify the potential of the deep ocean as a reservoir of still unknown biological diversity with a higher degree of spatial complexity than hitherto considered.

  1. The deep sea Acoustic Detection system AMADEUS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Naumann, Christopher Lindsay

    2008-01-01

    As a part of the ANTARES neutrino telescope, the AMADEUS (ANTARES Modules for Acoustic Detection Under the Sea) system is an array of acoustical sensors designed to investigate the possibilities of acoustic detection of ultra-high energy neutrinos in the deep sea. The complete system will comprise a total of 36 acoustic sensors in six clusters on two of the ANTARES detector lines. With an inter-sensor spacing of about one metre inside the clusters and between 15 and 340 metres between the different clusters, it will cover a wide range of distances as will as provide a considerable lever arm for point source triangulation. Three of these clusters have already been deployed in 2007 and have been in operation since, currently yielding around 2GB of acoustic data per day. The remaining three clusters are scheduled to be deployed in May 2008 together with the final ANTARES detector line. Apart from proving the feasibility of operating an acoustic detection system in the deep sea, the main aim of this project is an in-depth survey of both the acoustic properties of the sea water and the acoustic background present at the detector site. It will also serve as a platform for the development and refinement of triggering, filtering and reconstruction algorithms for acoustic particle detection. In this presentation, a description of the acoustic sensor and read-out system is given, together with examples for the reconstruction and evaluation of the acoustic data.

  2. Effects of seawater acidification on a coral reef meiofauna community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarmento, V. C.; Souza, T. P.; Esteves, A. M.; Santos, P. J. P.

    2015-09-01

    Despite the increasing risk that ocean acidification will modify benthic communities, great uncertainty remains about how this impact will affect the lower trophic levels, such as members of the meiofauna. A mesocosm experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of water acidification on a phytal meiofauna community from a coral reef. Community samples collected from the coral reef subtidal zone (Recife de Fora Municipal Marine Park, Porto Seguro, Bahia, Brazil), using artificial substrate units, were exposed to a control pH (ambient seawater) and to three levels of seawater acidification (pH reductions of 0.3, 0.6, and 0.9 units below ambient) and collected after 15 and 30 d. After 30 d of exposure, major changes in the structure of the meiofauna community were observed in response to reduced pH. The major meiofauna groups showed divergent responses to acidification. Harpacticoida and Polychaeta densities did not show significant differences due to pH. Nematoda, Ostracoda, Turbellaria, and Tardigrada exhibited their highest densities in low-pH treatments (especially at the pH reduction of 0.6 units, pH 7.5), while harpacticoid nauplii were strongly negatively affected by low pH. This community-based mesocosm study supports previous suggestions that ocean acidification induces important changes in the structure of marine benthic communities. Considering the importance of meiofauna in the food web of coral reef ecosystems, the results presented here demonstrate that the trophic functioning of coral reefs is seriously threatened by ocean acidification.

  3. In situ experimentation at the water/sediment interface in the deep sea: 2. Biotransformation of dissolved organic substrates by microbial communities at 2000m depth in the Bay of Biscay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cahet, Guy; Daumas, Raoul; Sibuet, Myriam

    Few attempts have been made to quantify the utilization of organic matter by the bacteria of the superficial layers of deep sea sediment. During two BIOCYAN cruises (August 1986 and June 1987) we used the submersible Cyana, to incubate sediment samples in situ in a specially designed box core in presence of 14C-glutamic acid and 3H leucine. These experiments were conducted at 2000m depth in the Bay of Biscay. Bacterial activity was stopped by the injection of formaldehyde. Samples were retrieved with the research submersible Cyana and its accompanying free vehicle shuttle. Sediment organic matter was fractioned into four components: 1) 14CO 2; 2) nucleic components and polysacharids; 3) labile proteins; and 4) condensed hydrolysable polymers. To evaluate the barotolerance of deep-sea bacteria, undisturbed superficial layer samples were also incubated with the same labelled substrates at 4°C at the atmospheric pressure. In both cases, and except for glucose, our results show that distributions of radioactivity in the different components of the organic material were almost similar. However, the rate of incorporation was usually higher for in situ experiments than for decompressed samples. Bacterial utilization of both 14C glutamic acid and 14C glucose were higher in June than in August. Such differences may result from changes in the food supply arriving as sinking particles and deriving from the photosynthetically productive surface waters. Food input was probably more important in June than in August leading to corresponding increases in: 1) the abundance of derived bacteria, and 2) deep-sea bacterial activities.

  4. Recent disturbances augment community shifts in coral assemblages in Moorea, French Polynesia

    KAUST Repository

    Pratchett, Morgan S.; Trapon, Melanie L.; Berumen, Michael L.; Chong-Seng, Karen M.

    2010-01-01

    Coral reefs are often subject to disturbances that can cause enduring changes in community structure and abundance of coral reef organisms. In Moorea, French Polynesia, frequent disturbances between 1979 and 2003 caused marked shifts in taxonomic composition of coral assemblages. This study explores recent changes in live cover and taxonomic structure of coral communities on the north coast of Moorea, French Polynesia, to assess whether coral assemblages are recovering (returning to a previous Acropora-dominated state) or continuing to move towards an alternative community structure. Coral cover declined by 29.7% between July 2003 and March 2009, mostly due to loss of Acropora and Montipora spp. Coral mortality varied among habitats, with highest levels of coral loss on the outer reef slope (7-20 m depth). In contrast, there was limited change in coral cover within the lagoon, and coral cover actually increased on the reef crest. Observed changes in coral cover and composition correspond closely with the known feeding preferences and observed spatial patterns of Acanthaster planci L., though observed coral loss also coincided with at least one episode of coral bleaching, as well as persistent populations of the corallivorous starfish Culcita novaeguineae Muller & Troschel. While climate change poses an important and significant threat to the future structure and dynamics coral reef communities, outbreaks of A. planci remain a significant cause of coral loss in Moorea. More importantly, these recent disturbances have followed long-term shifts in the structure of coral assemblages, and the relative abundance of both Pocillopora and Porites continue to increase due to disproportionate losses of Acropora and Montipora. Moreover, Pocillopora and Porites dominate assemblages of juvenile corals, suggesting that there is limited potential for a return to an Acropora-dominated state, last recorded in 1979. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.

  5. Recent disturbances augment community shifts in coral assemblages in Moorea, French Polynesia

    KAUST Repository

    Pratchett, Morgan S.

    2010-09-19

    Coral reefs are often subject to disturbances that can cause enduring changes in community structure and abundance of coral reef organisms. In Moorea, French Polynesia, frequent disturbances between 1979 and 2003 caused marked shifts in taxonomic composition of coral assemblages. This study explores recent changes in live cover and taxonomic structure of coral communities on the north coast of Moorea, French Polynesia, to assess whether coral assemblages are recovering (returning to a previous Acropora-dominated state) or continuing to move towards an alternative community structure. Coral cover declined by 29.7% between July 2003 and March 2009, mostly due to loss of Acropora and Montipora spp. Coral mortality varied among habitats, with highest levels of coral loss on the outer reef slope (7-20 m depth). In contrast, there was limited change in coral cover within the lagoon, and coral cover actually increased on the reef crest. Observed changes in coral cover and composition correspond closely with the known feeding preferences and observed spatial patterns of Acanthaster planci L., though observed coral loss also coincided with at least one episode of coral bleaching, as well as persistent populations of the corallivorous starfish Culcita novaeguineae Muller & Troschel. While climate change poses an important and significant threat to the future structure and dynamics coral reef communities, outbreaks of A. planci remain a significant cause of coral loss in Moorea. More importantly, these recent disturbances have followed long-term shifts in the structure of coral assemblages, and the relative abundance of both Pocillopora and Porites continue to increase due to disproportionate losses of Acropora and Montipora. Moreover, Pocillopora and Porites dominate assemblages of juvenile corals, suggesting that there is limited potential for a return to an Acropora-dominated state, last recorded in 1979. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.

  6. [Community structure of zooxanthellate corals (Anthozoa: Scleractinia) in Carrizales coral reef, Pacific coast, Mexico].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reyes-Bonilla, Hector; Escobosa-González, Laura Elena; Cupul-Magaña, Amilcar L; Medina-Rosas, Pedro; Calderón-Aguilera, Luis E

    2013-06-01

    Coral reefs in the Mexican Pacific and notably those of the continental coastline of Colima state are still poorly studied. Fortunately, recent efforts have been carried out by researchers from different Mexican institutions to fill up these information gaps. The aim of this study was to determine the ecological structure of the rich and undisturbed coral building communities of Carrizales by using the point transect interception method (25m-long). For this, three survey expeditions were conducted between June and October 2005 and September 2006; and for comparison purposes, the reef was subdivided according to its position in the bay, and depth (0 to 5 m, and 6 to 10 m). Thirteen coral species were observed in the area, with Pocillopora verrucosa as the most abundant, contributing up to 32.8% of total cover, followed by Porites panamensis and Pocillopora capitata with 11% and 7%, respectively. Other species, Pocillopora damicornis, Pavona gigantea, Pocillopora eydouxi and Pocillopora inflata accounted for 1.5% to 2% of coral cover whereas the remaining five species had cover of less than 1%. Seven of the observed species represented new records for Colima state coastline: Pocillopora eydouxi, P inflata, P meandrina, Pavona duerdeni, P varians, Psammocora stellata and P contigua. This last species is a relevant record, because it has never been observed before in the Eastern Pacific. Although there was no significant difference (ANOVA, p = 0.478) neither in the abundance between the sides of the bay, nor between the depths considered, and the shallow zone observed the higher coral cover. Live coral cover was up to 61%, one of the highest ever reported for the Mexican Pacific, including the Gulf of California. The observed values of diversity (H' = 0.44 +/- 0.02), uniformity (J' = 0.76 +/- 0.02), and taxonomic distinctness index (delta* = 45.87 +/- 3.16), showed that currently this is the most important coral reef of Colima coastline. Currently, this region does not

  7. 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.

  8. Fungal diversity in deep-sea sediments associated with asphalt seeps at the Sao Paulo Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagano, Yuriko; Miura, Toshiko; Nishi, Shinro; Lima, Andre O.; Nakayama, Cristina; Pellizari, Vivian H.; Fujikura, Katsunori

    2017-12-01

    We investigated the fungal diversity in a total of 20 deep-sea sediment samples (of which 14 samples were associated with natural asphalt seeps and 6 samples were not associated) collected from two different sites at the Sao Paulo Plateau off Brazil by Ion Torrent PGM targeting ITS region of ribosomal RNA. Our results suggest that diverse fungi (113 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) based on clustering at 97% sequence similarity assigned into 9 classes and 31 genus) are present in deep-sea sediment samples collected at the Sao Paulo Plateau, dominated by Ascomycota (74.3%), followed by Basidiomycota (11.5%), unidentified fungi (7.1%), and sequences with no affiliation to any organisms in the public database (7.1%). However, it was revealed that only three species, namely Penicillium sp., Cadophora malorum and Rhodosporidium diobovatum, were dominant, with the majority of OTUs remaining a minor community. Unexpectedly, there was no significant difference in major fungal community structure between the asphalt seep and non-asphalt seep sites, despite the presence of mass hydrocarbon deposits and the high amount of macro organisms surrounding the asphalt seeps. However, there were some differences in the minor fungal communities, with possible asphalt degrading fungi present specifically in the asphalt seep sites. In contrast, some differences were found between the two different sampling sites. Classification of OTUs revealed that only 47 (41.6%) fungal OTUs exhibited >97% sequence similarity, in comparison with pre-existing ITS sequences in public databases, indicating that a majority of deep-sea inhabiting fungal taxa still remain undescribed. Although our knowledge on fungi and their role in deep-sea environments is still limited and scarce, this study increases our understanding of fungal diversity and community structure in deep-sea environments.

  9. NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program: 2016 projects to assess coral resilence and the resilence of communities to climate change

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — In 2016 the following projects will take place to assess coral resilence and the resilence of communities to climate change: Climate and resilience-based...

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Ion transport in deep-sea sediments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Heath, G.R.

    1979-01-01

    Initial assessment of the ability of deep-sea clays to contain nuclear waste is optimistic. Yet, the investigators have no delusions about the complexity of the natural geochemical system and the perturbations that may result from emplacement of thermally-hot waste cannisters. Even though they may never be able to predict the exact nature of all these perturbations, containment of the nuclides by the waste form/cannister system until most of the heat has decayed, and burial of the waste to a sufficient depth that the altered zone can be treated as a black box source of dissolved nuclides to the enclosing unperturbed sediment, encourage them to believe that ion migration in the deep seabed can be modeled accurately and that our preliminary estimates of migration rates are likely to be reasonably realistic

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Responses of Coral-Associated Bacterial Communities to Local and Global Stressors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jamie M. McDevitt-Irwin

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The microbial contribution to ecological resilience is still largely overlooked in coral reef ecology. Coral-associated bacteria serve a wide variety of functional roles with reference to the coral host, and thus, the composition of the overall microbiome community can strongly influence coral health and survival. Here, we synthesize the findings of recent studies (n = 45 that evaluated the impacts of the top three stressors facing coral reefs (climate change, water pollution and overfishing on coral microbiome community structure and diversity. Contrary to the species losses that are typical of many ecological communities under stress, here we show that microbial richness tends to be higher rather than lower for stressed corals (i.e., in ~60% of cases, regardless of the stressor. Microbial responses to stress were taxonomically consistent across stressors, with specific taxa typically increasing in abundance (e.g., Vibrionales, Flavobacteriales, Rhodobacterales, Alteromonadales, Rhizobiales, Rhodospirillales, and Desulfovibrionales and others declining (e.g., Oceanosprillales. Emerging evidence also suggests that stress may increase the microbial beta diversity amongst coral colonies, potentially reflecting a reduced ability of the coral host to regulate its microbiome. Moving forward, studies will need to discern the implications of stress-induced shifts in microbiome diversity for the coral hosts and may be able to use microbiome community structure to identify resilient corals. The evidence we present here supports the hypothesis that microbial communities play important roles in ecological resilience, and we encourage a focus on the microbial contributions to resilience for future research.

  17. 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...

  18. Biogeography and change among regional coral communities across the Western Indian Ocean.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy R McClanahan

    Full Text Available Coral reefs are biodiverse ecosystems structured by abiotic and biotic factors operating across many spatial scales. Regional-scale interactions between climate change, biogeography and fisheries management remain poorly understood. Here, we evaluated large-scale patterns of coral communities in the western Indian Ocean after a major coral bleaching event in 1998. We surveyed 291 coral reef sites in 11 countries and over 30° of latitude between 2004 and 2011 to evaluate variations in coral communities post 1998 across gradients in latitude, mainland-island geography and fisheries management. We used linear mixed-effect hierarchical models to assess total coral cover, the abundance of four major coral families (acroporids, faviids, pocilloporids and poritiids, coral genus richness and diversity, and the bleaching susceptibility of the coral communities. We found strong latitudinal and geographic gradients in coral community structure and composition that supports the presence of a high coral cover and diversity area that harbours temperature-sensitive taxa in the northern Mozambique Channel between Tanzania, northern Mozambique and northern Madagascar. Coral communities in the more northern latitudes of Kenya, Seychelles and the Maldives were generally composed of fewer bleaching-tolerant coral taxa and with reduced richness and diversity. There was also evidence for continued declines in the abundance of temperature-sensitive taxa and community change after 2004. While there are limitations of our regional dataset in terms of spatial and temporal replication, these patterns suggest that large-scale interactions between biogeographic factors and strong temperature anomalies influence coral communities while smaller-scale factors, such as the effect of fisheries closures, were weak. The northern Mozambique Channel, while not immune to temperature disturbances, shows continued signs of resistance to climate disturbances and remains a priority for

  19. 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.

  20. From deep-sea volcanoes to human pathogens: a conserved quorum-sensing signal in Epsilonproteobacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Rodríguez, Ileana; Bolognini, Marie; Ricci, Jessica; Bini, Elisabetta; Vetriani, Costantino

    2015-05-01

    Chemosynthetic Epsilonproteobacteria from deep-sea hydrothermal vents colonize substrates exposed to steep thermal and redox gradients. In many bacteria, substrate attachment, biofilm formation, expression of virulence genes and host colonization are partly controlled via a cell density-dependent mechanism involving signal molecules, known as quorum sensing. Within the Epsilonproteobacteria, quorum sensing has been investigated only in human pathogens that use the luxS/autoinducer-2 (AI-2) mechanism to control the expression of some of these functions. In this study we showed that luxS is conserved in Epsilonproteobacteria and that pathogenic and mesophilic members of this class inherited this gene from a thermophilic ancestor. Furthermore, we provide evidence that the luxS gene is expressed--and a quorum-sensing signal is produced--during growth of Sulfurovum lithotrophicum and Caminibacter mediatlanticus, two Epsilonproteobacteria from deep-sea hydrothermal vents. Finally, we detected luxS transcripts in Epsilonproteobacteria-dominated biofilm communities collected from deep-sea hydrothermal vents. Taken together, our findings indicate that the epsiloproteobacterial lineage of the LuxS enzyme originated in high-temperature geothermal environments and that, in vent Epsilonproteobacteria, luxS expression is linked to the production of AI-2 signals, which are likely produced in situ at deep-sea vents. We conclude that the luxS gene is part of the ancestral epsilonproteobacterial genome and represents an evolutionary link that connects thermophiles to human pathogens.

  1. Fishing degrades size structure of coral reef fish communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, James P W; Williams, Ivor D; Edwards, Andrew M; McPherson, Jana; Yeager, Lauren; Vigliola, Laurent; Brainard, Russell E; Baum, Julia K

    2017-03-01

    Fishing pressure on coral reef ecosystems has been frequently linked to reductions of large fishes and reef fish biomass. Associated impacts on overall community structure are, however, less clear. In size-structured aquatic ecosystems, fishing impacts are commonly quantified using size spectra, which describe the distribution of individual body sizes within a community. We examined the size spectra and biomass of coral reef fish communities at 38 US-affiliated Pacific islands that ranged in human presence from near pristine to human population centers. Size spectra 'steepened' steadily with increasing human population and proximity to market due to a reduction in the relative biomass of large fishes and an increase in the dominance of small fishes. Reef fish biomass was substantially lower on inhabited islands than uninhabited ones, even at inhabited islands with the lowest levels of human presence. We found that on populated islands size spectra exponents decreased (analogous to size spectra steepening) linearly with declining biomass, whereas on uninhabited islands there was no relationship. Size spectra were steeper in regions of low sea surface temperature but were insensitive to variation in other environmental and geomorphic covariates. In contrast, reef fish biomass was highly sensitive to oceanographic conditions, being influenced by both oceanic productivity and sea surface temperature. Our results suggest that community size structure may be a more robust indicator than fish biomass to increasing human presence and that size spectra are reliable indicators of exploitation impacts across regions of different fish community compositions, environmental drivers, and fisheries types. Size-based approaches that link directly to functional properties of fish communities, and are relatively insensitive to abiotic variation across biogeographic regions, offer great potential for developing our understanding of fishing impacts in coral reef ecosystems. © 2016

  2. Optimization of Surveys with Internet Operated Deep-sea Crawlers, as an Integrated Tool for Ocean Cabled Observatories: Monitoring the Benthic Community of a Methane Hydrates Site in Barkley Canyon (BC, Canada)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chatzievangelou, D.; Suarez, A.; Aguzzi, J.; Bigham, K.; Thomsen, L.

    2017-12-01

    Deep-sea research is entering an era of coordinated, multidisciplinary monitoring of benthic ecosystems, from local and regional to global scale. Technological advances, such as the development of ocean cabled observatories and mobile vehicles operating within them, raise the issue of "smart" study designs. The objective is optimizing the balance among reduced effort (i.e. sampling, data transfer and storage, a posteriori treatment), accurate representation of the monitored ecosystems and a minimal ecological footprint. For this study, 18 linear imaging transects ( 25 m each, 1 Hz frequency) were performed by the Internet Operated Deep-sea Crawler "Wally" at the Barkley Canyon hydrates site (870 m depth) within the Ocean Networks Canada NEPTUNE observatory, generating a total of 19920 images. In order to evaluate sampling effort, species accumulation curves were calculated against the number of transects, and the permanence time of mobile individuals in the crawler's field of view was used to assess the number of individuals captured for different potential imaging frequencies. The effect of the crawler caterpillars on benthic organisms was evaluated by comparing the images of disturbed (i.e previous tracks) vs. undisturbed seabed. The analyses showed that maximum species richness (i.e. 18 species) was achieved after 10 transects, while 0.33 Hz and 0.5 Hz imaging frequencies captured more than 95% of the individuals counted with the original 1 Hz method. Preliminary results indicate no differences in the numbers of benthic animals between the disturbed and the undisturbed seabed parts. These findings allow the design of future experiments under similar conditions with minimized costs and effort without compromising data quality. Finally, the low invasiveness of the crawler as a monitoring platform, as long as certain protocols are followed, is highlighted. Ongoing analyses of the same transects assess the varying macro- and megafauna, in relation to the distance

  3. 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.

  4. Light at deep sea hydrothermal vents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Dover, Cindy Lee; Cann, J. R.; Cavanaugh, Colleen; Chamberlain, Steven; Delaney, John R.; Janecky, David; Imhoff, Johannes; Tyson, J. Anthony

    We usually think of the bottom of the sea as a dark environment, lit only by flashes of bioluminescent light. Discovery of light associated with geothermal processes at deep sea hydrothermal vents forces us to qualify our textbook descriptions of the seafloor as a uniformly dark environment. While a very dim glow emitted from high temperature (350°) vents (black smokers) at mid-oceanic ridge spreading centers has been documented [Van Dover et al, 1988], the source of this light and its role, if any, in the evolution and adaptation of photobiochemical processes have yet to be determined. Preliminary studies indicate that thermal radiation alone may account for the “glow” ]Smith and Delaney, 1989] and that a novel photoreceptor in shrimp-colonizing black smoker chimneys may detect this “glow” [Van Dover et al., 1989; Pelli and Chamberlain, 1989]. A more controversial question, posed by C. L. Van Dover, J. R. Cann, and J. R. Delaney at the 1993 LITE Workshop at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, is whether there may be sufficient light of appropriate wavelengths to support geothermally driven photosynthesis by microorganisms.

  5. Nuclear wastes beneath the deep sea floor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bishop, W.P.; Hollister, C.D.

    1974-01-01

    Projections of energy demands for the year 2000 show that nuclear power will likely be one of our energy sources. But the benefits of nuclear power must be balanced against the drawbacks of its by-product: high-level wastes. While it may become possible to completely destroy or eliminate these wastes, it is at least equally possible that we may have to dispose of them on earth in such a way as to assure their isolation from man for periods of the order of a million years. Undersea regions in the middle of tectonic plates and in the approximate center of major current gyres offer some conceptual promise for waste disposal because of their geologic stability and comparatively low organic productivity. The advantages of this concept and the types of detailed information needed for its accurate assessment are discussed. The technical feasibility of permanent disposal beneath the deep sea floor cannot be accurately assessed with present knowledge, and there is a need for a thorough study of the types and rates of processes that affect this part of the earth's surface. Basic oceanographic research aimed at understanding these processes is yielding answers that apply to this societal need. (U.S.)

  6. 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

  7. Bacterial diversity and biogeography in deep-sea sediments of the South Atlantic Ocean

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schauer, Regina; Bienhold, Christina; Ramette, Alban

    2010-01-01

    in 1051 sequences. Phylotypes affiliated with Gammaproteobacteria, Deltaproteobacteria and Acidobacteria were present in all three basins. The distribution of these shared phylotypes seemed to be influenced neither by the Walvis Ridge nor by different deep water masses, suggesting a high dispersal......Microbial biogeographic patterns in the deep sea depend on the ability of microorganisms to disperse. One possible limitation to microbial dispersal may be the Walvis Ridge that separates the Antarctic Lower Circumpolar Deep Water from the North Atlantic Deep Water. We examined bacterial...... communities in three basins of the eastern South Atlantic Ocean to determine diversity and biogeography of bacterial communities in deep-sea surface sediments. The analysis of 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene clone libraries in each basin revealed a high diversity, representing 521 phylotypes with 98% identity...

  8. Coral Reef Community Composition in the Context of Disturbance History on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. The MEUST deep sea infrastructure in the Toulon site

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lamare Patrick

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The MEUST infrastructure (Mediterranean Eurocentre for Underwater Sciences and Technologies is a permanent deep sea cabled infrastructure currently being deployed off shore of Toulon, France. The design and the status of the infrastructure are presented.

  10. Deep-sea impact experiments and their future requirements

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Sharma, R.

    In recent years, several experiments to assess the potential impacts due to deep-sea mining in the Pacific as well as the Indian Oceans have indicated the immediate changes and restoration patterns of environmental conditions in the marine ecosystem...

  11. 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....

  12. Is coral richness related to community resistance to and recovery from disturbance?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stacy Y. Zhang

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available More diverse communities are thought to be more stable—the diversity–stability hypothesis—due to increased resistance to and recovery from disturbances. For example, high diversity can make the presence of resilient or fast growing species and key facilitations among species more likely. How natural, geographic biodiversity patterns and changes in biodiversity due to human activities mediate community-level disturbance dynamics is largely unknown, especially in diverse systems. For example, few studies have explored the role of diversity in tropical marine communities, especially at large scales. We tested the diversity–stability hypothesis by asking whether coral richness is related to resistance to and recovery from disturbances including storms, predator outbreaks, and coral bleaching on tropical coral reefs. We synthesized the results of 41 field studies conducted on 82 reefs, documenting changes in coral cover due to disturbance, across a global gradient of coral richness. Our results indicate that coral reefs in more species-rich regions were marginally less resistant to disturbance and did not recover more quickly. Coral community resistance was also highly dependent on pre-disturbance coral cover, probably due in part to the sensitivity of fast-growing and often dominant plating acroporid corals to disturbance. Our results suggest that coral communities in biodiverse regions, such as the western Pacific, may not be more resistant and resilient to natural and anthropogenic disturbances. Further analyses controlling for disturbance intensity and other drivers of coral loss and recovery could improve our understanding of the influence of diversity on community stability in coral reef ecosystems.

  13. Is coral richness related to community resistance to and recovery from disturbance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Stacy Y; Speare, Kelly E; Long, Zachary T; McKeever, Kimberly A; Gyoerkoe, Megan; Ramus, Aaron P; Mohorn, Zach; Akins, Kelsey L; Hambridge, Sarah M; Graham, Nicholas A J; Nash, Kirsty L; Selig, Elizabeth R; Bruno, John F

    2014-01-01

    More diverse communities are thought to be more stable-the diversity-stability hypothesis-due to increased resistance to and recovery from disturbances. For example, high diversity can make the presence of resilient or fast growing species and key facilitations among species more likely. How natural, geographic biodiversity patterns and changes in biodiversity due to human activities mediate community-level disturbance dynamics is largely unknown, especially in diverse systems. For example, few studies have explored the role of diversity in tropical marine communities, especially at large scales. We tested the diversity-stability hypothesis by asking whether coral richness is related to resistance to and recovery from disturbances including storms, predator outbreaks, and coral bleaching on tropical coral reefs. We synthesized the results of 41 field studies conducted on 82 reefs, documenting changes in coral cover due to disturbance, across a global gradient of coral richness. Our results indicate that coral reefs in more species-rich regions were marginally less resistant to disturbance and did not recover more quickly. Coral community resistance was also highly dependent on pre-disturbance coral cover, probably due in part to the sensitivity of fast-growing and often dominant plating acroporid corals to disturbance. Our results suggest that coral communities in biodiverse regions, such as the western Pacific, may not be more resistant and resilient to natural and anthropogenic disturbances. Further analyses controlling for disturbance intensity and other drivers of coral loss and recovery could improve our understanding of the influence of diversity on community stability in coral reef ecosystems.

  14. The contribution of deep-sea macrohabitat heterogeneity to global nematode diversity

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Vanreusel, A.; Fonseca, G.; Danovaro, R.; DaSilva, M.C.; Esteves, A.M.; Ferrero, T.; Gad, G.; Galtsova, V.; Gambi, C.; Genevois, V.F.; Ingels, J.; Ingole, B.S.; Lampadariou, N.; Merckx, B.; Miljutina, M.; Muthumbi, A.; Netto, S.; Portnova, D.; Radziejewska, T.; Raes, M.; Tchesunov, A.; Vanaverbeke, J.; Van Gaever, S.; Venekey, V.; Bezerra, T.N.; Flint, H; Copley, J.; Pape, E; Zeppilli, D.; Martinez, P.A.; Galeron, J.

    An edited version of this paper was published by Blackwell Verlag GmbH. Copyright [2010] Abstract : The great variety of geological and hydrological settings in the deep-sea generates many different habitats, some of them only recently explored whereas... were assumed to be the main driving factors for differences in benthic standing stock, biodiversity and community composition of the benthos (Grassle, 1989; Gage and Tyler, 1991). However, through increasing exploration by means of bathymetric...

  15. Distribution of deep-sea benthos in the proposed mining area of Central Indian Basin

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Ansari, Z.A.

    . 1997. Imediate response of benthic meio and megafauna to disturbancecaused by polymetallic nodule miner simulator. Proceedings,International Symposiumon Environmental Studies for Deep-Sea Mining, Tokyo,Japan,November 20–21. Pp.223–235.Reghukumar... in the western Pacific in rela-tion to environmental factors. Oceanologia Acta7:113–121. Shirayama,Y.,and T. Fukushima. 1997. Response of a meiobenthic community to rapidresedimentation. In:Proceedings,International Symposium on Environmental Studies for...

  16. 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

  17. 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...

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiayuan Liang

    2017-06-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Archaeal and Bacterial Communities Associated with the Surface Mucus of Caribbean Corals Differ in Their Degree of Host Specificity and Community Turnover Over Reefs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Frade, P.R.; Roll, K.; Bergauer, K.; Herndl, G.

    2016-01-01

    Comparative studies on the distribution of archaeal versus bacterial communities associatedwith the surface mucus layer of corals have rarely taken place. It has thereforeremained enigmatic whether mucus-associated archaeal and bacterial communities exhibita similar specificity towards coral hosts

  6. Spontaneous and Widespread Electricity Generation in Natural Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Fields.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamamoto, Masahiro; Nakamura, Ryuhei; Kasaya, Takafumi; Kumagai, Hidenori; Suzuki, Katsuhiko; Takai, Ken

    2017-05-15

    Deep-sea hydrothermal vents discharge abundant reductive energy into oxidative seawater. Herein, we demonstrated that in situ measurements of redox potentials on the surfaces of active hydrothermal mineral deposits were more negative than the surrounding seawater potential, driving electrical current generation. We also demonstrated that negative potentials in the surface of minerals were widespread in the hydrothermal fields, regardless of the proximity to hydrothermal fluid discharges. Lab experiments verified that the negative potential of the mineral surface was induced by a distant electron transfer from the hydrothermal fluid through the metallic and catalytic properties of minerals. These results indicate that electric current is spontaneously and widely generated in natural mineral deposits in deep-sea hydrothermal fields. Our discovery provides important insights into the microbial communities that are supported by extracellular electron transfer and the prebiotic chemical and metabolic evolution of the ocean hydrothermal systems. © 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 analysis, RNA analysis, and electron cryotomography, it was shown that M. sedimenti undergoes discrete cellular shifts in response to methane starvation, including changes in headgroup-specific fatty acid saturation levels, and reductions in cytoplasmic storage granules. Methane starvation is associated with a significant increase in the abundance of gene transcripts pertinent to methane oxidation. Methane reintroduction to starved cells stimulates a rapid, transient extracellular accumulation of methanol, revealing a way in which methane-derived carbon may be routed to community members. This study provides new understanding of methanotrophic responses to methane starvation and recovery, and lays the initial groundwork to develop Methyloprofundus as a model chemosynthesizing bacterium from the deep sea. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. Major similarities in the bacterial communities associated with lesioned and healthy Fungiidae corals

    KAUST Repository

    Apprill, Amy

    2013-03-21

    Cultivation-based studies have demonstrated that yellow-band disease (YBD), a lesion-producing ailment affecting diverse species of coral, is caused by a consortium of Vibrio spp. This study takes the first cultivation-independent approach to examine the whole bacterial community associated with YBD-like lesioned corals. Two species of Fungiidae corals, Ctenactis crassa and Herpolitha limax, displaying YBD-like lesions were examined across diverse reefs throughout the Red Sea. Using a pyrosequencing approach targeting the V1-V3 regions of the SSU rRNA gene, no major differences in bacterial community composition or diversity were identified between healthy and lesioned corals of either species. Indicator species analysis did not find Vibrio significantly associated with the lesioned corals. However, operational taxonomic units belonging to the Ruegeria genus of Alphaproteobacteria and NS9 marine group of Flavobacteria were significantly associated with the lesioned corals. The most striking trend of this dataset was that reef location was found to be the most significant influence on the coral-bacterial community. It is possible that more pronounced lesion-specific bacterial signatures might have been concealed by the strong influence of environmental conditions on coral-bacteria. Overall, this study demonstrates inconsistencies between cultivation-independent and cultivation-based studies regarding the role of specific bacteria in coral diseases. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Society for Applied Microbiology.

  9. Major similarities in the bacterial communities associated with lesioned and healthy Fungiidae corals

    KAUST Repository

    Apprill, Amy; Hughen, Konrad; Mincer, Tracy

    2013-01-01

    Cultivation-based studies have demonstrated that yellow-band disease (YBD), a lesion-producing ailment affecting diverse species of coral, is caused by a consortium of Vibrio spp. This study takes the first cultivation-independent approach to examine the whole bacterial community associated with YBD-like lesioned corals. Two species of Fungiidae corals, Ctenactis crassa and Herpolitha limax, displaying YBD-like lesions were examined across diverse reefs throughout the Red Sea. Using a pyrosequencing approach targeting the V1-V3 regions of the SSU rRNA gene, no major differences in bacterial community composition or diversity were identified between healthy and lesioned corals of either species. Indicator species analysis did not find Vibrio significantly associated with the lesioned corals. However, operational taxonomic units belonging to the Ruegeria genus of Alphaproteobacteria and NS9 marine group of Flavobacteria were significantly associated with the lesioned corals. The most striking trend of this dataset was that reef location was found to be the most significant influence on the coral-bacterial community. It is possible that more pronounced lesion-specific bacterial signatures might have been concealed by the strong influence of environmental conditions on coral-bacteria. Overall, this study demonstrates inconsistencies between cultivation-independent and cultivation-based studies regarding the role of specific bacteria in coral diseases. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Society for Applied Microbiology.

  10. Deep-Sea Trench Microbiology Down to 10.9 Kilometers Below the Surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartlett, D. H.

    2012-12-01

    Deep-sea trenches, extending to more than 10.9 km below the sea surface, are among the most remote and infrequently sampled habitats. As a result a global perspective of microbial diversity and adaptation is lacking in these extreme settings. I will present the results of studies of deep-sea trench microbes collected in the Puerto Rico Trench (PRT), Tonga Trench, New Britain Trench and Mariana Trench. The samples collected include sediment, seawater and animals in baited traps. The analyses to be described include microbial community activity and viability measurements as a function of hydrostatic pressure, microbial culturing at high pressure under various physiological conditions, phylogenetics and metagenome and single-cell genome characterizations. Most of the results to date stem from samples recovered from the PRT. The deep-sea PRT Trench microbes have more in common at the species level with other deep-sea microbial communities previously characterized in the Pacific Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea than with the microbial populations above them in shallow waters. They also harbor larger genomes with more genes assigned to signal transduction, transcription, replication, recombination and repair and inorganic ion transport. The overrepresented transporters in the PRT metagenome include di- and tri-carboxylate transporters that correspond to the prevailing catabolic processes such as butanoate, glyoxylate and dicarboxylate metabolism. A surprisingly high abundance of sulfatases for the degradation of sulfated polysaccharides were also present in the PRT. But, perhaps the most dramatic adaptational feature of the PRT microbes is heavy metal resistance, as reflected in the high numbers of metal efflux systems present. Single-cell genomics approaches have proven particularly useful for placing PRT metagenomic data into context.

  11. Virtual Investigations of an Active Deep Sea Volcano

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sautter, L.; Taylor, M. M.; Fundis, A.; Kelley, D. S.; Elend, M.

    2013-12-01

    Axial Seamount, located on the Juan de Fuca spreading ridge 300 miles off the Oregon coast, is an active volcano whose summit caldera lies 1500 m beneath the sea surface. Ongoing construction of the Regional Scale Nodes (RSN) cabled observatory by the University of Washington (funded by the NSF Ocean Observatories Initiative) has allowed for exploration of recent lava flows and active hydrothermal vents using HD video mounted on the ROVs, ROPOS and JASON II. College level oceanography/marine geology online laboratory exercises referred to as Online Concept Modules (OCMs) have been created using video and video frame-captured mosaics to promote skill development for characterizing and quantifying deep sea environments. Students proceed at their own pace through a sequence of short movies with which they (a) gain background knowledge, (b) learn skills to identify and classify features or biota within a targeted environment, (c) practice these skills, and (d) use their knowledge and skills to make interpretations regarding the environment. Part (d) serves as the necessary assessment component of the laboratory exercise. Two Axial Seamount-focused OCMs will be presented: 1) Lava Flow Characterization: Identifying a Suitable Cable Route, and 2) Assessing Hydrothermal Vent Communities: Comparisons Among Multiple Sulfide Chimneys.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Metagenomic Analysis of Genes Encoding Nutrient Cycling Pathways in the Microbiota of Deep-Sea and Shallow-Water Sponges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Zhiyong; Wang, Yuezhu; Li, Jinlong; Liu, Fang; He, Liming; He, Ying; Wang, Shenyue

    2016-12-01

    Sponges host complex symbiotic communities, but to date, the whole picture of the metabolic potential of sponge microbiota remains unclear, particularly the difference between the shallow-water and deep-sea sponge holobionts. In this study, two completely different sponges, shallow-water sponge Theonella swinhoei from the South China Sea and deep-sea sponge Neamphius huxleyi from the Indian Ocean, were selected to compare their whole symbiotic communities and metabolic potential, particularly in element transformation. Phylogenetically diverse bacteria, archaea, fungi, and algae were detected in both shallow-water sponge T. swinhoei and deep-sea sponge N. huxleyi, and different microbial community structures were indicated between these two sponges. Metagenome-based gene abundance analysis indicated that, though the two sponge microbiota have similar core functions, they showed different potential strategies in detailed metabolic processes, e.g., in the transformation and utilization of carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur by corresponding microbial symbionts. This study provides insight into the putative metabolic potentials of the microbiota associated with the shallow-water and deep-sea sponges at the whole community level, extending our knowledge of the sponge microbiota's functions, the association of sponge- microbes, as well as the adaption of sponge microbiota to the marine environment.

  14. Diverse coral communities in naturally acidified waters of a Western Pacific reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shamberger, Kathryn E. F.; Cohen, Anne L.; Golbuu, Yimnang; McCorkle, Daniel C.; Lentz, Steven J.; Barkley, Hannah C.

    2014-01-01

    Anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions are acidifying the oceans, reducing the concentration of carbonate ions ([CO32-]) that calcifying organisms need to build and cement coral reefs. To date, studies of a handful of naturally acidified reef systems reveal depauperate communities, sometimes with reduced coral cover and calcification rates, consistent with results of laboratory-based studies. Here we report the existence of highly diverse, coral-dominated reef communities under chronically low pH and aragonite saturation state (Ωar). Biological and hydrographic processes change the chemistry of the seawater moving across the barrier reefs and into Palau's Rock Island bays, where levels of acidification approach those projected for the western tropical Pacific open ocean by 2100. Nevertheless, coral diversity, cover, and calcification rates are maintained across this natural acidification gradient. Identifying the combination of biological and environmental factors that enable these communities to persist could provide important insights into the future of coral reefs under anthropogenic acidification.

  15. Deep down on a Caribbean reef: lower mesophotic depths harbor a specialized coral-endosymbiont community

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bongaerts, P.; Frade, P.R.; Hay, K.B.; Englebert, N.; Latijnhouwers, K.R.W.; Bak, R.P.M.; Vermeij, M.J.A.; Hoegh-Guldberg, O

    2015-01-01

    The composition, ecology and environmental conditions of mesophotic coral ecosystems near the lower limits of their bathymetric distributions remain poorly understood. Here we provide the first in-depth assessment of a lower mesophotic coral community (60-100 m) in the Southern Caribbean through

  16. Deep down on a Caribbean reef: lower mesophotic depths harbor a specialized coral-endosymbiont community

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bongaerts, P.; Frade, P.R.; Hay, K.B.; Englebert, N.; Latijnhouwers, K.R.W.; Bak, R.P.M.; Vermeij, M.J.A.; Hoegh-Guldberg, O.

    2015-01-01

    The composition, ecology and environmental conditions of mesophotic coral ecosystems near the lower limits of their bathymetric distributions remain poorly understood. Here we provide the first in-depth assessment of a lower mesophotic coral community (60–100 m) in the Southern Caribbean through

  17. Colonization of habitat islands in the deep sea: recruitment to glass sponge stalks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beaulieu, Stace E.

    2001-04-01

    Biogenic structures in the deep sea often act as hard substratum 'islands' for the attachment of encrusting fauna. At an abyssal station in the NE Pacific, stalks of hexactinellid sponges in the genus Hyalonema are habitat islands for species-rich epifaunal communities. An experimental study was conducted to (1) determine the colonization rates of artificial Hyalonema stalks, (2) compare the species composition and diversity of recruits to newly available substrata to that of the natural communities, and (3) examine the vertical distribution of recruits. Four sets of six artificial sponge stalks, constructed of Hyalonema spicules, were deployed at 4100 m depth for 3- to 5-month periods. There was no difference in net colonization or immigration rate among the four deployments. Colonization rates were similar to those reported for other deep-sea, hard substratum recruitment experiments. The taxa that recruited to the artificial stalks were a subset of the taxa found in natural communities. However, several taxa important in structuring natural communities did not recruit to the artificial stalks. The two taxa with the highest invasion rates, a calcareous foraminiferan ( Cibicides lobatulus) and a serpulid polychaete ( Bathyvermilia sp.), also were the two taxa with greatest relative abundance in natural communities. Vertical distributions of Cibicides and an agglutinated foraminiferan ( Telammina sp.) were skewed towards the top of the artificial stalks, potentially because of active habitat selection. These results have several implications for natural Hyalonema stalk communities. Most importantly, species composition and abundance of individuals in the stalk communities appear to be maintained by frequent recruitment of a few common taxa and infrequent recruitment of many rare taxa. An argument is presented for temporal-mosaic maintenance of diversity in these deep-sea, hard substratum communities.

  18. 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.

  19. 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)

  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. Bacterial communities of two ubiquitous Great Barrier Reef corals reveals both site- and species-specificity of common bacterial associates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E Charlotte E Kvennefors

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Coral-associated bacteria are increasingly considered to be important in coral health, and altered bacterial community structures have been linked to both coral disease and bleaching. Despite this, assessments of bacterial communities on corals rarely apply sufficient replication to adequately describe the natural variability. Replicated data such as these are crucial in determining potential roles of bacteria on coral. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE of the V3 region of the 16S ribosomal DNA was used in a highly replicated approach to analyse bacterial communities on both healthy and diseased corals. Although site-specific variations in the bacterial communities of healthy corals were present, host species-specific bacterial associates within a distinct cluster of gamma-proteobacteria could be identified, which are potentially linked to coral health. Corals affected by "White Syndrome" (WS underwent pronounced changes in their bacterial communities in comparison to healthy colonies. However, the community structure and bacterial ribotypes identified in diseased corals did not support the previously suggested theory of a bacterial pathogen as the causative agent of the syndrome. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This is the first study to employ large numbers of replicated samples to assess the bacterial communities of healthy and diseased corals, and the first culture-independent assessment of bacterial communities on WS affected Acroporid corals on the GBR. Results indicate that a minimum of 6 replicate samples are required in order to draw inferences on species, spatial or health-related changes in community composition, as a set of clearly distinct bacterial community profiles exist in healthy corals. Coral bacterial communities may be both site and species specific. Furthermore, a cluster of gamma-proteobacterial ribotypes may represent a group of specific common coral and marine

  2. Potential contribution of surface-dwelling Sargassum algae to deep-sea ecosystems in the southern North Atlantic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Philip; Minzlaff, Ulrike; Schoenle, Alexandra; Schwabe, Enrico; Hohlfeld, Manon; Jeuck, Alexandra; Brenke, Nils; Prausse, Dennis; Rothenbeck, Marcel; Brix, Saskia; Frutos, Inmaculada; Jörger, Katharina M.; Neusser, Timea P.; Koppelmann, Rolf; Devey, Colin; Brandt, Angelika; Arndt, Hartmut

    2018-02-01

    Deep-sea ecosystems, limited by their inability to use primary production as a source of carbon, rely on other sources to maintain life. Sedimentation of organic carbon into the deep sea has been previously studied, however, the high biomass of sedimented Sargassum algae discovered during the VEMA Transit expedition in 2014/2015 to the southern North Atlantic, and its potential as a regular carbon input, has been an underestimated phenomenon. To determine the potential for this carbon flux, a literature survey of previous studies that estimated the abundance of surface water Sargassum was conducted. We compared these estimates with quantitative analyses of sedimented Sargassum appearing on photos taken with an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) directly above the abyssal sediment during the expedition. Organismal communities associated to Sargassum fluitans from surface waters were investigated and Sargassum samples collected from surface waters and the deep sea were biochemically analyzed (fatty acids, stable isotopes, C:N ratios) to determine degradation potential and the trophic significance within deep-sea communities. The estimated Sargassum biomass (fresh weight) in the deep sea (0.07-3.75 g/m2) was several times higher than that estimated from surface waters in the North Atlantic (0.024-0.84 g/m2). Biochemical analysis showed degradation of Sargassum occurring during sedimentation or in the deep sea, however, fatty acid and stable isotope analysis did not indicate direct trophic interactions between the algae and benthic organisms. Thus, it is assumed that components of the deep-sea microbial food web form an important link between the macroalgae and larger benthic organisms. Evaluation of the epifauna showed a diverse nano- micro-, meio, and macrofauna on surface Sargassum and maybe transported across the Atlantic, but we had no evidence for a vertical exchange of fauna components. The large-scale sedimentation of Sargassum forms an important trophic link

  3. 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.

  4. The detection of magnetotactic bacteria in deep sea sediments from the east Pacific Manganese Nodule Province.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Yi; Li, Jinhua; Zhang, Wuchang; Zhang, Wenyan; Zhao, Yuan; Xiao, Tian; Wu, Long-Fei; Pan, Hongmiao

    2016-04-01

    Magnetotactic bacteria (MTB) are distributed ubiquitously in sediments from coastal environments to the deep sea. The Pacific Manganese Nodule Province contains numerous polymetallic nodules mainly composed of manganese, iron, cobalt, copper and nickel. In the present study we used Illumina MiSeq sequencing technology to assess the communities of putative MTB in deep sea surface sediments at nine stations in the east Pacific Manganese Nodule Province. A total of 402 sequence reads from MTB were classified into six operational taxonomic units (OTUs). Among these, OTU113 and OTU759 were affiliated with the genus Magnetospira, OTU2224 and OTU2794 were affiliated with the genus Magnetococcus and Magnetovibrio, respectively, OTU3017 had no known genus affiliation, and OTU2556 was most similar to Candidatus Magnetananas. Interestingly, OTU759 was widely distributed, occurring at all study sites. Magnetism measurements revealed that all sediments were dominated by low coercivity, non-interacting single domain magnetic minerals. Transmission electron microscopy confirmed that the magnetic minerals were magnetosomes. Our data suggest that diverse putative MTB are widely distributed in deep sea surface sediments from the east Pacific Manganese Nodule Province. © 2016 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Feeding in deep-sea demosponges: Influence of abiotic and biotic factors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, Leah M.; Hamel, Jean-François; Mercier, Annie

    2017-09-01

    In shallow benthic communities, sponges are widely recognized for their ability to contribute to food webs by cycling nutrients and mediating carbon fluxes through filter feeding. In comparison, little is known about filter feeding in deep-sea species and how it may be modulated by environmental conditions. Here, a rare opportunity to maintain live healthy deep-sea sponges for an extended period led to a preliminary experimental study of their feeding metrics. This work focused on demosponges collected from the continental slope of eastern Canada at 1000 m depth. Filtration rates (as clearance of phytoplankton cells) at holding temperature (6 °C) were positively correlated with food particle concentration, ranging on average from 18.8 to 160.6 cells ml-1 h-1 at nominal concentrations of 10,000-40,000 cells ml-1. Cell clearance was not significantly affected by decreasing seawater temperature, from 6 °C to 3 °C or 0 °C, although two of the sponges showed decreased filtration rates. Low pH ( 7.5) and the presence of a predatory sea star markedly depressed or inhibited feeding activity in all sponges tested. While performed under laboratory conditions on a limited number of specimens, this work highlights the possible sensitivity of deep-sea demosponges to various types and levels of biotic and abiotic factors, inferring a consequent vulnerability to natural and anthropogenic disturbances.

  6. How can we identify and communicate the ecological value of deep-sea ecosystem services?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Niels Jobstvogt

    Full Text Available Submarine canyons are considered biodiversity hotspots which have been identified for their important roles in connecting the deep sea with shallower waters. To date, a huge gap exists between the high importance that scientists associate with deep-sea ecosystem services and the communication of this knowledge to decision makers and to the wider public, who remain largely ignorant of the importance of these services. The connectivity and complexity of marine ecosystems makes knowledge transfer very challenging, and new communication tools are necessary to increase understanding of ecological values beyond the science community. We show how the Ecosystem Principles Approach, a method that explains the importance of ocean processes via easily understandable ecological principles, might overcome this challenge for deep-sea ecosystem services. Scientists were asked to help develop a list of clear and concise ecosystem principles for the functioning of submarine canyons through a Delphi process to facilitate future transfers of ecological knowledge. These ecosystem principles describe ecosystem processes, link such processes to ecosystem services, and provide spatial and temporal information on the connectivity between deep and shallow waters. They also elucidate unique characteristics of submarine canyons. Our Ecosystem Principles Approach was successful in integrating ecological information into the ecosystem services assessment process. It therefore has a high potential to be the next step towards a wider implementation of ecological values in marine planning. We believe that successful communication of ecological knowledge is the key to a wider public support for ocean conservation, and that this endeavour has to be driven by scientists in their own interest as major deep-sea stakeholders.

  7. How can we identify and communicate the ecological value of deep-sea ecosystem services?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jobstvogt, Niels; Townsend, Michael; Witte, Ursula; Hanley, Nick

    2014-01-01

    Submarine canyons are considered biodiversity hotspots which have been identified for their important roles in connecting the deep sea with shallower waters. To date, a huge gap exists between the high importance that scientists associate with deep-sea ecosystem services and the communication of this knowledge to decision makers and to the wider public, who remain largely ignorant of the importance of these services. The connectivity and complexity of marine ecosystems makes knowledge transfer very challenging, and new communication tools are necessary to increase understanding of ecological values beyond the science community. We show how the Ecosystem Principles Approach, a method that explains the importance of ocean processes via easily understandable ecological principles, might overcome this challenge for deep-sea ecosystem services. Scientists were asked to help develop a list of clear and concise ecosystem principles for the functioning of submarine canyons through a Delphi process to facilitate future transfers of ecological knowledge. These ecosystem principles describe ecosystem processes, link such processes to ecosystem services, and provide spatial and temporal information on the connectivity between deep and shallow waters. They also elucidate unique characteristics of submarine canyons. Our Ecosystem Principles Approach was successful in integrating ecological information into the ecosystem services assessment process. It therefore has a high potential to be the next step towards a wider implementation of ecological values in marine planning. We believe that successful communication of ecological knowledge is the key to a wider public support for ocean conservation, and that this endeavour has to be driven by scientists in their own interest as major deep-sea stakeholders.

  8. 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

  9. Skeletal records of community-level bleaching in Porites corals from Palau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barkley, Hannah C.; Cohen, Anne L.

    2016-12-01

    Tropical Pacific sea surface temperature is projected to rise an additional 2-3 °C by the end of this century, driving an increase in the frequency and intensity of coral bleaching. With significant global coral reef cover already lost due to bleaching-induced mortality, efforts are underway to identify thermally tolerant coral communities that might survive projected warming. Massive, long-lived corals accrete skeletal bands of anomalously high density in response to episodes of thermal stress. These "stress bands" are potentially valuable proxies for thermal tolerance, but to date their application to questions of community bleaching history has been limited. Ecological surveys recorded bleaching of coral communities across the Palau archipelago during the 1998 and 2010 warm events. Between 2011 and 2015, we extracted skeletal cores from living Porites colonies at 10 sites spanning barrier reef and lagoon environments and quantified the proportion of stress bands present in each population during bleaching years. Across Palau, the prevalence of stress bands tracked the severity of thermal stress, with more stress bands occurring in 1998 (degree heating weeks = 13.57 °C-week) than during the less severe 2010 event (degree heating weeks = 4.86 °C-week). Stress band prevalence also varied by reef type, as more corals on the exposed barrier reef formed stress bands than did corals from sheltered lagoon environments. Comparison of Porites stress band prevalence with bleaching survey data revealed a strong correlation between percent community bleaching and the proportion of colonies with stress bands in each year. Conversely, annual calcification rates did not decline consistently during bleaching years nor did annually resolved calcification histories always track interannual variability in temperature. Our data suggest that stress bands in massive corals contain valuable information about spatial and temporal trends in coral reef bleaching and can aid in

  10. 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

  11. 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)

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bernhard M Riegl

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

  13. Coral reef community, Mokapu Ocean Outfall, Oahu, HI 1998, (NODC Accession 0000173)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This report provides the results of the first quantitative survey of the coral reef communities in the vicinity of the Mokapu Ocean Outfall in Kailua Bay, Oahu,...

  14. Ocean acidification alters early successional coral reef communities and their rates of community metabolism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sam H C Noonan

    Full Text Available Ocean acidification is expected to alter community composition on coral reefs, but its effects on reef community metabolism are poorly understood. Here we document how early successional benthic coral reef communities change in situ along gradients of carbon dioxide (CO2, and the consequences of these changes on rates of community photosynthesis, respiration, and light and dark calcification. Ninety standardised benthic communities were grown on PVC tiles deployed at two shallow-water volcanic CO2 seeps and two adjacent control sites in Papua New Guinea. Along the CO2 gradient, both the upward facing phototrophic and the downward facing cryptic communities changed in their composition. Under ambient CO2, both communities were dominated by calcifying algae, but with increasing CO2 they were gradually replaced by non-calcifying algae (predominantly green filamentous algae, cyanobacteria and macroalgae, which increased from ~30% to ~80% cover. Responses were weaker in the invertebrate communities, however ascidians and tube-forming polychaetes declined with increasing CO2. Differences in the carbonate chemistry explained a far greater amount of change in communities than differences between the two reefs and successional changes from five to 13 months, suggesting community successions are established early and are under strong chemical control. As pH declined from 8.0 to 7.8, rates of gross photosynthesis and dark respiration of the 13-month old reef communities (upper and cryptic surfaces combined significantly increased by 10% and 20%, respectively, in response to altered community composition. As a consequence, net production remained constant. Light and dark calcification rates both gradually declined by 20%, and low or negative daily net calcification rates were observed at an aragonite saturation state of <2.3. The study demonstrates that ocean acidification as predicted for the end of this century will strongly alter reef communities, and

  15. Structure of Caribbean coral reef communities across a large gradient of fish biomass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newman, Marah J H; Paredes, Gustavo A; Sala, Enric; Jackson, Jeremy B C

    2006-11-01

    The collapse of Caribbean coral reefs has been attributed in part to historic overfishing, but whether fish assemblages can recover and how such recovery might affect the benthic reef community has not been tested across appropriate scales. We surveyed the biomass of reef communities across a range in fish abundance from 14 to 593 g m(-2), a gradient exceeding that of any previously reported for coral reefs. Increased fish biomass was correlated with an increased proportion of apex predators, which were abundant only inside large marine reserves. Increased herbivorous fish biomass was correlated with a decrease in fleshy algal biomass but corals have not yet recovered.

  16. Mortality, recovery, and community shifts of scleractinian corals in Puerto Rico one decade after the 2005 regional bleaching event

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge R. García-Sais

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available This work analyzes the mortality, recovery, and shifts in the composition of scleractinian corals from Puerto Rico one decade after the 2005 regional coral bleaching event. Temporal and spatial patterns of coral community structure were examined using a stratified, non-random sampling approach based on five permanent transects per reef at 16 reef stations. A negative correlation between percent coral cover loss and light attenuation coefficient (Kd490 was observed, suggesting that light attenuation, as influenced by water turbidity and depth, played a major role in coral protection during the bleaching event (“sunblock effect”. Responses of coral assemblages varied after the bleaching event, including shifts of cover from massive corals (Orbicella spp. to opportunistic (Porites astreoides and branching corals (Madracis auretenra, P. porites and/or turf algae; partial recovery of reef substrate cover by O. annularis complex; and no measurable changes in coral assemblages before and after the event.

  17. Mortality, recovery, and community shifts of scleractinian corals in Puerto Rico one decade after the 2005 regional bleaching event.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Sais, Jorge R; Williams, Stacey M; Amirrezvani, Ali

    2017-01-01

    This work analyzes the mortality, recovery, and shifts in the composition of scleractinian corals from Puerto Rico one decade after the 2005 regional coral bleaching event. Temporal and spatial patterns of coral community structure were examined using a stratified, non-random sampling approach based on five permanent transects per reef at 16 reef stations. A negative correlation between percent coral cover loss and light attenuation coefficient (Kd 490 ) was observed, suggesting that light attenuation, as influenced by water turbidity and depth, played a major role in coral protection during the bleaching event ("sunblock effect"). Responses of coral assemblages varied after the bleaching event, including shifts of cover from massive corals ( Orbicella spp.) to opportunistic ( Porites astreoides ) and branching corals ( Madracis auretenra , P. porites ) and/or turf algae; partial recovery of reef substrate cover by O. annularis complex; and no measurable changes in coral assemblages before and after the event.

  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. Fungal diversity in deep-sea sediments of a hydrothermal vent system in the Southwest Indian Ridge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Wei; Gong, Lin-feng; Pang, Ka-Lai; Luo, Zhu-Hua

    2018-01-01

    Deep-sea hydrothermal sediment is known to support remarkably diverse microbial consortia. In deep sea environments, fungal communities remain less studied despite their known taxonomic and functional diversity. High-throughput sequencing methods have augmented our capacity to assess eukaryotic diversity and their functions in microbial ecology. Here we provide the first description of the fungal community diversity found in deep sea sediments collected at the Southwest Indian Ridge (SWIR) using culture-dependent and high-throughput sequencing approaches. A total of 138 fungal isolates were cultured from seven different sediment samples using various nutrient media, and these isolates were identified to 14 fungal taxa, including 11 Ascomycota taxa (7 genera) and 3 Basidiomycota taxa (2 genera) based on internal transcribed spacers (ITS1, ITS2 and 5.8S) of rDNA. Using illumina HiSeq sequencing, a total of 757,467 fungal ITS2 tags were recovered from the samples and clustered into 723 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) belonging to 79 taxa (Ascomycota and Basidiomycota contributed to 99% of all samples) based on 97% sequence similarity. Results from both approaches suggest that there is a high fungal diversity in the deep-sea sediments collected in the SWIR and fungal communities were shown to be slightly different by location, although all were collected from adjacent sites at the SWIR. This study provides baseline data of the fungal diversity and biogeography, and a glimpse to the microbial ecology associated with the deep-sea sediments of the hydrothermal vent system of the Southwest Indian Ridge.

  20. 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.

  1. Community structure and coral health status across the depth gradients of Grande Island, Central west coast of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Manikandan, B.; Ravindran, J.; Mohan, H.; Periasamy, R.; ManiMurali, R.; Ingole, B.S.

    The Grande Island, located at the central west coast of India is one of the less studied coral reef systems in India. In this study, we provide a comprehensive description of the coral community structure and health status of corals across...

  2. 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...

  3. Phosphate solubilizing bacteria: Comparison between coastal and deep sea sediments

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Biche, S.; Pandey, S.; Gonsalves, M.J.B.D.; Das, A.; Mascarenhas-Pereira, M.B.L.; LokaBharathi, P.A.

    in the CIB sediments (r=0.59) than in the coastal sediments (r= 0.22). It is apparent that the enzyme activity in the coastal sediments could be more for P mobilization and in the oligotrophic deep sea it could be both for P and C mobilization....

  4. 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...

  5. Species diversity variations in Neogene deep-sea benthic

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Some species of benthic foraminifera are sensitive to changes in water mass properties whereas others are sensitive to organic fluxes and deep-sea oxygenation. Benthic faunal diversity has been found closely linked to food web, bottom water oxygen levels, and substrate and water mass stability. The present study is ...

  6. 27 years of benthic and coral community dynamics on turbid, highly urbanised reefs off Singapore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guest, J R; Tun, K; Low, J; Vergés, A; Marzinelli, E M; Campbell, A H; Bauman, A G; Feary, D A; Chou, L M; Steinberg, P D

    2016-11-08

    Coral cover on reefs is declining globally due to coastal development, overfishing and climate change. Reefs isolated from direct human influence can recover from natural acute disturbances, but little is known about long term recovery of reefs experiencing chronic human disturbances. Here we investigate responses to acute bleaching disturbances on turbid reefs off Singapore, at two depths over a period of 27 years. Coral cover declined and there were marked changes in coral and benthic community structure during the first decade of monitoring at both depths. At shallower reef crest sites (3-4 m), benthic community structure recovered towards pre-disturbance states within a decade. In contrast, there was a net decline in coral cover and continuing shifts in community structure at deeper reef slope sites (6-7 m). There was no evidence of phase shifts to macroalgal dominance but coral habitats at deeper sites were replaced by unstable substrata such as fine sediments and rubble. The persistence of coral dominance at chronically disturbed shallow sites is likely due to an abundance of coral taxa which are tolerant to environmental stress. In addition, high turbidity may interact antagonistically with other disturbances to reduce the impact of thermal stress and limit macroalgal growth rates.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Influence of coral cover and structural complexity on the accuracy of visual surveys of coral-reef fish communities

    KAUST Repository

    Coker, Darren James

    2017-04-20

    Using manipulated patch reefs with combinations of varying live-coral cover (low, medium and high) and structural complexity (low and high), common community metrics (abundance, diversity, richness and community composition) collected through standard underwater visual census techniques were compared with exhaustive collections using a fish anaesthetic (clove oil). This study showed that reef condition did not influence underwater visual census estimates at a community level, but reef condition can influence the detectability of some small and cryptic species and this may be exacerbated if surveys are conducted on a larger scale.

  10. Influence of coral cover and structural complexity on the accuracy of visual surveys of coral-reef fish communities

    KAUST Repository

    Coker, Darren James; Nowicki, J. P.; Graham, N. A. J.

    2017-01-01

    Using manipulated patch reefs with combinations of varying live-coral cover (low, medium and high) and structural complexity (low and high), common community metrics (abundance, diversity, richness and community composition) collected through standard underwater visual census techniques were compared with exhaustive collections using a fish anaesthetic (clove oil). This study showed that reef condition did not influence underwater visual census estimates at a community level, but reef condition can influence the detectability of some small and cryptic species and this may be exacerbated if surveys are conducted on a larger scale.

  11. How will coral reef fish communities respond to climate-driven disturbances? Insight from landscape-scale perturbations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adam, Thomas C; Brooks, Andrew J; Holbrook, Sally J; Schmitt, Russell J; Washburn, Libe; Bernardi, Giacomo

    2014-09-01

    Global climate change is rapidly altering disturbance regimes in many ecosystems including coral reefs, yet the long-term impacts of these changes on ecosystem structure and function are difficult to predict. A major ecosystem service provided by coral reefs is the provisioning of physical habitat for other organisms, and consequently, many of the effects of climate change on coral reefs will be mediated by their impacts on habitat structure. Therefore, there is an urgent need to understand the independent and combined effects of coral mortality and loss of physical habitat on reef-associated biota. Here, we use a unique series of events affecting the coral reefs around the Pacific island of Moorea, French Polynesia to differentiate between the impacts of coral mortality and the degradation of physical habitat on the structure of reef fish communities. We found that, by removing large amounts of physical habitat, a tropical cyclone had larger impacts on reef fish communities than an outbreak of coral-eating sea stars that caused widespread coral mortality but left the physical structure intact. In addition, the impacts of declining structural complexity on reef fish assemblages accelerated as structure became increasingly rare. Structure provided by dead coral colonies can take up to decades to erode following coral mortality, and, consequently, our results suggest that predictions based on short-term studies are likely to grossly underestimate the long-term impacts of coral decline on reef fish communities.

  12. 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....

  13. 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...

  14. Consistent nutrient storage and supply mediated by diverse fish communities in coral reef ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allgeier, Jacob E; Layman, Craig A; Mumby, Peter J; Rosemond, Amy D

    2014-08-01

    Corals thrive in low nutrient environments and the conservation of these globally imperiled ecosystems is largely dependent on mitigating the effects of anthropogenic nutrient enrichment. However, to better understand the implications of anthropogenic nutrients requires a heightened understanding of baseline nutrient dynamics within these ecosystems. Here, we provide a novel perspective on coral reef nutrient dynamics by examining the role of fish communities in the supply and storage of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P). We quantified fish-mediated nutrient storage and supply for 144 species and modeled these data onto 172 fish communities (71 729 individual fish), in four types of coral reefs, as well as seagrass and mangrove ecosystems, throughout the Northern Antilles. Fish communities supplied and stored large quantities of nutrients, with rates varying among ecosystem types. The size structure and diversity of the fish communities best predicted N and P supply and storage and N : P supply, suggesting that alterations to fish communities (e.g., overfishing) will have important implications for nutrient dynamics in these systems. The stoichiometric ratio (N : P) for storage in fish mass (~8 : 1) and supply (~20 : 1) was notably consistent across the four coral reef types (but not seagrass or mangrove ecosystems). Published nutrient enrichment studies on corals show that deviations from this N : P supply ratio may be associated with poor coral fitness, providing qualitative support for the hypothesis that corals and their symbionts may be adapted to specific ratios of nutrient supply. Consumer nutrient stoichiometry provides a baseline from which to better understand nutrient dynamics in coral reef and other coastal ecosystems, information that is greatly needed if we are to implement more effective measures to ensure the future health of the world's oceans. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. Community Structure Of Coral Reefs In Saebus Island, Sumenep District, East Java

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rizmaadi, Mada; Riter, Johannes; Fatimah, Siti; Rifaldi, Riyan; Yoga, Arditho; Ramadhan, Fikri; Ambariyanto, Ambariyanto

    2018-02-01

    Increasing degradation coral reefs ecosystem has created many concerns. Reduction of this damage can only be done with good and proper management of coral reef ecosystem based on existing condition. The condition of coral reef ecosystem can be determined by assessing its community structure. This study investigates community structure of coral reef ecosystems around Saebus Island, Sumenep District, East Java, by using satellite imagery analysis and field observations. Satellite imagery analysis by Lyzenga methods was used to determine the observation stations and substrate distribution. Field observations were done by using Line Intercept Transect method at 4 stations, at the depth of 3 and 10 meters. The results showed that the percentage of coral reef coverage at the depth of 3 and 10 meters were 64.36% and 59.29%, respectively, and included in fine coverage category. This study found in total 25 genera from 13 families of corals at all stations. The most common species found were Acropora, Porites, and Pocillopora, while the least common species were Favites and Montastrea. Average value of Diversity, Uniformity and Dominancy indices were 2.94, 0.8 and 0.18 which include as medium, high, and low category, respectively. These results suggest that coral reef ecosystems around Saebus Island is in a good condition.

  16. Changes in coral-associated microbial communities during a bleaching event.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourne, David; Iida, Yuki; Uthicke, Sven; Smith-Keune, Carolyn

    2008-04-01

    Environmental stressors such as increased sea surface temperatures are well-known for contributing to coral bleaching; however, the effect of increased temperatures and subsequent bleaching on coral-associated microbial communities is poorly understood. Colonies of the hard coral Acropora millepora were tagged on a reef flat off Magnetic Island (Great Barrier Reef) and surveyed over 2.5 years, which included a severe bleaching event in January/February 2002. Daily average water temperatures exceeded the previous 10-year average by more than 1 degrees C for extended periods with field-based visual surveys recording all tagged colonies displaying signs of bleaching. During the bleaching period, direct counts of coral zooxanthellae densities decreased by approximately 64%, before recovery to pre-bleaching levels after the thermal stress event. A subset of three tagged coral colonies were sampled through the bleaching event and changes in the microbial community elucidated. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) analysis demonstrated conserved bacterial banding profiles between the three coral colonies, confirming previous studies highlighting specific microbial associations. As coral colonies bleached, the microbial community shifted and redundancy analysis (RDA) of DGGE banding patterns revealed a correlation of increasing temperature with the appearance of Vibrio-affiliated sequences. Interestingly, this shift to a Vibrio-dominated community commenced prior to visual signs of bleaching. Clone libraries hybridized with Vibrio-specific oligonucleotide probes confirmed an increase in the fraction of Vibrio-affiliated clones during the bleaching period. Post bleaching, the coral microbial associations again shifted, returning to a profile similar to the fingerprints prior to bleaching. This provided further evidence for corals selecting and shaping their microbial partners. For non-bleached samples, a close association with Spongiobacter-related sequences were

  17. Net Community Metabolism and Seawater Carbonate Chemistry Scale Non-intuitively with Coral Cover

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heather N. Page

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Coral cover and reef health have been declining globally as reefs face local and global stressors including higher temperature and ocean acidification (OA. Ocean warming and acidification will alter rates of benthic reef metabolism (i.e., primary production, respiration, calcification, and CaCO3 dissolution, but our understanding of community and ecosystem level responses is limited in terms of functional, spatial, and temporal scales. Furthermore, dramatic changes in coral cover and benthic metabolism could alter seawater carbonate chemistry on coral reefs, locally alleviating or exacerbating OA. This study examines how benthic metabolic rates scale with changing coral cover (0–100%, and the subsequent influence of these coral communities on seawater carbonate chemistry based on mesocosm experiments in Bermuda and Hawaii. In Bermuda, no significant differences in benthic metabolism or seawater carbonate chemistry were observed for low (40% and high (80% coral cover due to large variability within treatments. In contrast, significant differences were detected between treatments in Hawaii with benthic metabolic rates increasing with increasing coral cover. Observed increases in daily net community calcification and nighttime net respiration scaled proportionally with coral cover. This was not true for daytime net community organic carbon production rates, which increased the most between 0 and 20% coral cover and then less so between 20 and 100%. Consequently, diel variability in seawater carbonate chemistry increased with increasing coral cover, but absolute values of pH, Ωa, and pCO2 were not significantly different during daytime. To place the results of the mesocosm experiments into a broader context, in situ seawater carbon dioxide (CO2 at three reef sites in Bermuda and Hawaii were also evaluated; reefs with higher coral cover experienced a greater range of diel CO2 levels, complementing the mesocosm results. The results from this study

  18. Coral microbial communities, zooxanthellae and mucus along gradients of seawater depth and coastal pollution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klaus, James S; Janse, Ingmar; Heikoop, Jeffrey M; Sanford, Robert A; Fouke, Bruce W

    2007-05-01

    The high incidence of coral disease in shallow coastal marine environments suggests seawater depth and coastal pollution have an impact on the microbial communities inhabiting healthy coral tissues. A study was undertaken to determine how bacterial communities inhabiting tissues of the coral Montastraea annularis change at 5 m, 10 m and 20 m water depth in varying proximity to the urban centre and seaport of Willemstad, Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles. Analyses of terminal restriction fragment length polymorphisms (TRFLP) of 16S rRNA gene sequences show significant differences in bacterial communities of polluted and control localities only at the shallowest seawater depth. Furthermore, distinct differences in bacterial communities were found with increasing water depth. Comparisons of TRFLP peaks with sequenced clone libraries indicate the black band disease cyanobacterium clone CD1C11 is common and most abundant on healthy corals in less than 10 m water depth. Similarly, sequences belonging to a previously unrecognized group of likely phototrophic bacteria, herein referred to as CAB-I, were also more common in shallow water. To assess the influence of environmental and physiologic factors on bacterial community structure, canonical correspondence analysis was performed using explanatory variables associated with: (i) light availability; (ii) seawater pollution; (iii) coral mucus composition; (iv) the community structure of symbiotic algae; and (v) the photosynthetic activity of symbiotic algae. Eleven per cent of the variation in bacterial communities was accounted for by covariation with these variables; the most important being photosynthetically active radiation (sunlight) and the coral uptake of sewage-derived compounds as recorded by the delta(15)N of coral tissue.

  19. Fish food in the deep sea: revisiting the role of large food-falls.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas D Higgs

    Full Text Available The carcasses of large pelagic vertebrates that sink to the seafloor represent a bounty of food to the deep-sea benthos, but natural food-falls have been rarely observed. Here were report on the first observations of three large 'fish-falls' on the deep-sea floor: a whale shark (Rhincodon typus and three mobulid rays (genus Mobula. These observations come from industrial remotely operated vehicle video surveys of the seafloor on the Angola continental margin. The carcasses supported moderate communities of scavenging fish (up to 50 individuals per carcass, mostly from the family Zoarcidae, which appeared to be resident on or around the remains. Based on a global dataset of scavenging rates, we estimate that the elasmobranch carcasses provided food for mobile scavengers over extended time periods from weeks to months. No evidence of whale-fall type communities was observed on or around the carcasses, with the exception of putative sulphide-oxidising bacterial mats that outlined one of the mobulid carcasses. Using best estimates of carcass mass, we calculate that the carcasses reported here represent an average supply of carbon to the local seafloor of 0.4 mg m(-2d(-1, equivalent to ∼ 4% of the normal particulate organic carbon flux. Rapid flux of high-quality labile organic carbon in fish carcasses increases the transfer efficiency of the biological pump of carbon from the surface oceans to the deep sea. We postulate that these food-falls are the result of a local concentration of large marine vertebrates, linked to the high surface primary productivity in the study area.

  20. 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...

  1. Effects of terrestrial runoff on the coral communities in Santiago Bay, Colima, Mexican Pacific Coast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liñán-Cabello, Marco Agustín; Olivos-Ortiz, Aramis; Quijano-Scheggia, Sonia; Muñiz Anguiano, Daniela; Reséndiz-Flores, María Luisa; Ortega-Ortíz, Christian D

    2016-09-01

    Coral reef ecosystems are under stress of different origins, from factors including sedimentation, fragmentation, overfishing, and tourism, depending on their geographical location, depth, and proximity to recreation areas. In this study of Juluapan Lagoon, we examined the relationship between various water-quality attributes and the status indicators of the coral community at La Boquita reef. During 2011 (12 months of sampling), six monitoring stations in the Juluapan lagoon were established in order to observe the gradient of the distribution of the physicochemical parameters: three stations on the upper part, or BI, (S4 to S6) and three more in the lower part, or BII, (S1 to S3). A control station (CS) was located in the coral reef close to the lagoon channel, and where dissolved inorganic nutrients and cellular carbon content were determined. Additionally, we considered the monitoring of three of the eight largest coral structures/headlands of this community: the first was the station closest to the channel communicating with Juluapan lagoon (C1), the second was in the intermediate region with respect to that lagoon (C2), and the third was farthest from the channel (C3). Three line intercept transects (LIT) 30 m in length and perpendicular to the coast provenance were established in each station, and the parameters indicative of the status of corals were evaluated in an area of 60 m2 on each transect (180 m2 by the station). Turbidity, evidence of fishing, signs of settling, algal coverage, abundance of fish, rate of sediment, and coral health records (as for CoralWach chart) were determined in situ and from digital photographs and videos. Considering various community status indicators used in the reef area, we could recognize a state of general deterioration, which was reflected in the loss of 17 % of coral coverage. The main anthropogenic disturbances in adjacent areas to La Boquita reef included wastewater discharges into the lagoon, tourist developments in

  2. Carbon dioxide addition to coral reef waters suppresses net community calcification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albright, Rebecca; Takeshita, Yuichiro; Koweek, David A.; Ninokawa, Aaron; Wolfe, Kennedy; Rivlin, Tanya; Nebuchina, Yana; Young, Jordan; Caldeira, Ken

    2018-03-01

    Coral reefs feed millions of people worldwide, provide coastal protection and generate billions of dollars annually in tourism revenue. The underlying architecture of a reef is a biogenic carbonate structure that accretes over many years of active biomineralization by calcifying organisms, including corals and algae. Ocean acidification poses a chronic threat to coral reefs by reducing the saturation state of the aragonite mineral of which coral skeletons are primarily composed, and lowering the concentration of carbonate ions required to maintain the carbonate reef. Reduced calcification, coupled with increased bioerosion and dissolution, may drive reefs into a state of net loss this century. Our ability to predict changes in ecosystem function and associated services ultimately hinges on our understanding of community- and ecosystem-scale responses. Past research has primarily focused on the responses of individual species rather than evaluating more complex, community-level responses. Here we use an in situ carbon dioxide enrichment experiment to quantify the net calcification response of a coral reef flat to acidification. We present an estimate of community-scale calcification sensitivity to ocean acidification that is, to our knowledge, the first to be based on a controlled experiment in the natural environment. This estimate provides evidence that near-future reductions in the aragonite saturation state will compromise the ecosystem function of coral reefs.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shashank Keshavmurthy

    2014-04-01

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

  4. Borders of life: lessons from Microbiology of deep-sea hydrothermal vents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prieur, D.

    Thirty years ago, the deep-sea was known as a low density biotope due to coldness, darkness and famine-like conditions. The discovery of deep-sea hydrothermal vents in the Eastern Pacific in 1977 and the associated black smokers in 1979 considerably changed our views about life on Earth. For the first time, an ecosystem almost independent (at least for tens of years) of solar nergy was discovered. Besides the spectacular and unexpected communities of invertebrates based on symbiotic associations with chemo-litho-autotrophic bacteria, prokaryotic communities associated with high temperature black smokers fascinated microbiologists of extreme environments. Within mineral structures where temperature gradients may fluctuate from ambient seawater temperatures (2°C) up to 350°C, thermophilic (optimal growth above 60°C) and hyperthermophilic (optimal growth above 80°C) microorganisms thrived under very severe conditions due to elevated hydrostatic pressure, toxic compounds or strong ionizing radiations. These organisms belong to both domains of Bacteria and Archaea and live aerobically but mostly anaerobically, using a variety of inorganic and organic carbon sources, and a variety of electron donnors and acceptors as well. The most thermophilic organism known on Earth was isolated from a mid-Atlantic-Ridge hydrotermal vent: Pyrolobus fumarii grows optimally at 110°c and its upper temperature limit for life is 113°C. Such an organism survived to autoclaving conditions currently used for sterilization procedures. Many other hyperthermophilic organisms were isolated and described, including fermenters, sulphate and sulphur reducers, hydrogen oxidizers, nitrate reducers, methanogens, etc. Although most of anaerobes are killed when exposed to oxygen, several deep-sea hyperthermophiles appeared to survive to both oxygen and starvation exposures, indicating that they probably can colonize rather distant environments Because of elevated hydrostatic pressure that exists at

  5. The deep-sea hub of the ANTARES neutrino telescope

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Anghinolfi, M. [INFN Sezione di Genova, Via Dodecaneso 33, I-16146 Genova (Italy); Calzas, A. [Centre de Physique des Particules de Marseille (CNRS/IN2P3), Universite de la Mediterranee, 13288 Marseille (France); Dinkespiler, B. [Centre de Physique des Particules de Marseille (CNRS/IN2P3), Universite de la Mediterranee, 13288 Marseille (France); Cuneo, S. [INFN Laboratori Nazionali del Sud, Via S. Sofia 44, I-95123 Catania (Italy); Favard, S. [Centre de Physique des Particules de Marseille (CNRS/IN2P3), Universite de la Mediterranee, 13288 Marseille (France); Hallewell, G. [Centre de Physique des Particules de Marseille (CNRS/IN2P3), Universite de la Mediterranee, 13288 Marseille (France)]. E-mail: gregh@cppm.in2p3.fr; Jaquet, M. [Centre de Physique des Particules de Marseille (CNRS/IN2P3), Universite de la Mediterranee, 13288 Marseille (France); Musumeci, M. [INFN Laboratori Nazionali del Sud, Via S. Sofia 44, I-95123 Catania (Italy); Papaleo, R. [INFN Laboratori Nazionali del Sud, Via S. Sofia 44, I-95123 Catania (Italy); Raia, G. [INFN Laboratori Nazionali del Sud, Via S. Sofia 44, I-95123 Catania (Italy); Valdy, P. [IFREMER - Institut francais de recherche pour l' exploitation de la mer, Centre de La Seyne, 83500 La Seyne sur mer (France); Vernin, P. [DSM-DAPNIA, CEA SACLAY, 91191 Gif sur Yvette Cedex (France)

    2006-11-15

    The ANTARES neutrino telescope, currently under construction at 2500 m depth off the French Mediterranean coast, will contain 12 detection lines, powered and read out through a deep-sea junction box (JB) hub. Electrical energy from the shore station is distributed through a transformer with multiple secondary windings and a plugboard with 16 deep sea-mateable electro-optic connectors. Connections are made to the JB outputs using manned or remotely operated submersible vehicles. The triply redundant power management and slow control system is based on two identical AC-powered systems, communicating with the shore through 160 Mb/s fibre G-links and a third battery-powered system using a slower link. We describe the power and slow control systems of the underwater hub.

  6. The deep-sea hub of the ANTARES neutrino telescope

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anghinolfi, M.; Calzas, A.; Dinkespiler, B.; Cuneo, S.; Favard, S.; Hallewell, G.; Jaquet, M.; Musumeci, M.; Papaleo, R.; Raia, G.; Valdy, P.; Vernin, P.

    2006-01-01

    The ANTARES neutrino telescope, currently under construction at 2500 m depth off the French Mediterranean coast, will contain 12 detection lines, powered and read out through a deep-sea junction box (JB) hub. Electrical energy from the shore station is distributed through a transformer with multiple secondary windings and a plugboard with 16 deep sea-mateable electro-optic connectors. Connections are made to the JB outputs using manned or remotely operated submersible vehicles. The triply redundant power management and slow control system is based on two identical AC-powered systems, communicating with the shore through 160 Mb/s fibre G-links and a third battery-powered system using a slower link. We describe the power and slow control systems of the underwater hub

  7. Sorption of americium and neptunium by deep-sea sediments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Higgo, J.J.W.; Rees, L.V.C.; Cronan, D.S.

    1983-01-01

    The sorption and desorption of americium and neptunium by a wide range of deep-sea sediments from natural sea water at 4 0 C has been studied using a carefully controlled batch technique. All the sediments studied should form an excellent barrier to the migration of americium since distribution coefficients were uniformly greater than 10 5 and the sorption-desorption reaction may not be reversible. The sorption of neptunium was reversible and, except for one red clay, the distribution coefficients were greater than 10 3 for all the sediments investigated. Nevertheless the migration of neptunium should also be effectively retarded by most deep-sea sediments even under relatively oxidizing conditions. The neptunium in solution remained in the V oxidation state throughout the experiments. Under the experimental conditions used colloidal americium was trapped by the sediment and solubility did not seem to be the controlling factor in the desorption of americium. (Auth.)

  8. 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.

  9. Far red bioluminescence from two deep-sea fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Widder, E A; Latz, M I; Herring, P J; Case, J F

    1984-08-03

    Spectral measurements of red bioluminescence were obtained from the deep-sea stomiatoid fishes Aristostomias scintillans (Gilbert) and Malacosteus niger (Ayres). Red luminescence from suborbital light organs extends to the near infrared, with peak emission at approximately 705 nanometers in the far red. These fishes also have postorbital light organs that emit blue luminescence with maxima between 470 and 480 nanometers. The red bioluminescence may be due to an energy transfer system and wavelength-selective filtering.

  10. 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.

  11. Diverse, rare microbial taxa responded to the Deepwater Horizon deep-sea hydrocarbon plume.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleindienst, Sara; Grim, Sharon; Sogin, Mitchell; Bracco, Annalisa; Crespo-Medina, Melitza; Joye, Samantha B

    2016-02-01

    The Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil well blowout generated an enormous plume of dispersed hydrocarbons that substantially altered the Gulf of Mexico's deep-sea microbial community. A significant enrichment of distinct microbial populations was observed, yet, little is known about the abundance and richness of specific microbial ecotypes involved in gas, oil and dispersant biodegradation in the wake of oil spills. Here, we document a previously unrecognized diversity of closely related taxa affiliating with Cycloclasticus, Colwellia and Oceanospirillaceae and describe their spatio-temporal distribution in the Gulf's deepwater, in close proximity to the discharge site and at increasing distance from it, before, during and after the discharge. A highly sensitive, computational method (oligotyping) applied to a data set generated from 454-tag pyrosequencing of bacterial 16S ribosomal RNA gene V4-V6 regions, enabled the detection of population dynamics at the sub-operational taxonomic unit level (0.2% sequence similarity). The biogeochemical signature of the deep-sea samples was assessed via total cell counts, concentrations of short-chain alkanes (C1-C5), nutrients, (colored) dissolved organic and inorganic carbon, as well as methane oxidation rates. Statistical analysis elucidated environmental factors that shaped ecologically relevant dynamics of oligotypes, which likely represent distinct ecotypes. Major hydrocarbon degraders, adapted to the slow-diffusive natural hydrocarbon seepage in the Gulf of Mexico, appeared unable to cope with the conditions encountered during the DWH spill or were outcompeted. In contrast, diverse, rare taxa increased rapidly in abundance, underscoring the importance of specialized sub-populations and potential ecotypes during massive deep-sea oil discharges and perhaps other large-scale perturbations.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  13. Late Eocene impact events recorded in deep-sea sediments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glass, B. P.

    1988-01-01

    Raup and Sepkoski proposed that mass extinctions have occurred every 26 Myr during the last 250 Myr. In order to explain this 26 Myr periodicity, it was proposed that the mass extinctions were caused by periodic increases in cometary impacts. One method to test this hypothesis is to determine if there were periodic increases in impact events (based on crater ages) that correlate with mass extinctions. A way to test the hypothesis that mass extinctions were caused by periodic increases in impact cratering is to look for evidence of impact events in deep-sea deposits. This method allows direct observation of the temporal relationship between impact events and extinctions as recorded in the sedimentary record. There is evidence in the deep-sea record for two (possibly three) impact events in the late Eocene. The younger event, represented by the North American microtektite layer, is not associated with an Ir anomaly. The older event, defined by the cpx spherule layer, is associated with an Ir anomaly. However, neither of the two impact events recorded in late Eocene deposits appears to be associated with an unusual number of extinctions. Thus there is little evidence in the deep-sea record for an impact-related mass extinction in the late Eocene.

  14. Research on the usage of a deep sea fast reactor

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Otsubo, Akira; Kowata, Yasuki [Power Reactor and Nuclear Fuel Development Corp., Oarai, Ibaraki (Japan). Oarai Engineering Center

    1997-09-01

    Many new types of fast reactors have been studied in PNC. A deep sea fast reactor has the highest realization probability of the reactors studied because its development is desired by many specialists of oceanography, meteorology, deep sea bottom oil field, seismology and so on and because the development does not cost big budget and few technical problems remain to be solved. This report explains the outline and the usage of the reactor of 40 kWe and 200 to 400 kWe. The reactor can be used as a power source at an unmanned base for long term climate prediction and the earth science and an oil production base in a deep sea region. On the other hand, it is used for heat and electric power supply to a laboratory in the polar region. In future, it will be used in the space. At the present time, a large FBR development plan does not proceed successfully and a realization goal time of FBR has gone later and later. We think that it is the most important to develop the reactor as fast as possible and to plant a fast reactor technique in our present society. (author)

  15. The parasite community of the sharks Galeus melastomus, Etmopterus spinax and Centroscymnus coelolepis from the NW Mediterranean deep-sea in relation to feeding ecology and health condition of the host and environmental gradients and variables

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dallarés, Sara; Padrós, Francesc; Cartes, Joan E.; Solé, Montserrat; Carrassón, Maite

    2017-11-01

    The parasite communities of sharks have been largely neglected despite the ecological importance and vulnerability of this group of fishes. The main goal of the present study is to describe the parasite communities of three deep-dwelling shark species in the NW Mediterranean. A total of 120 specimens of Galeus melastomus, 11 Etmopterus spinax and 10 Centroscymnus coelolepis were captured at 400-2200 m depth at two seasons and three localities off the mainland and insular slopes of the Balearic Sea. Environmental and fish biological, parasitological, dietary, enzymatic and histological data were obtained for each specimen, and the relationships among them tested. For G. melastomus, E. spinax and C. coelolepis a total of 15, two and eight parasite species were respectively recovered. The parasite community of G. melastomus is characterized by high abundance, richness and diversity, and the cestodes Ditrachybothridium macrocephalum and Grillotia adenoplusia dominate the infracommunities of juvenile and adult specimens, respectively. A differentiation of parasite communities, linked to a diet shift, has been observed between ontogenic stages of this species. E. spinax displays a depauperate parasite community, and that of C. coelolepis, described for the first time, shows moderate richness and diversity. Detailed parasite-prey relationships have been discussed and possible transmission pathways suggested for the three hosts. Parasites were mostly related to high water turbidity and O2 levels, which enhance zooplankton proliferation and could thus enhance parasite transmission. The nematodes Hysterothylacium aduncum and Proleptus obtusus were linked to high salinity levels, as already reported by previous studies, which are associated to high biomass and diversity of benthic and benthopelagic crustaceans. A decrease of acetylcholinesterase activity and lower hepatosomatic index, possibly linked to infection-related stress, have been observed. Lesions associated to

  16. Community metabolism in shallow coral reef and seagrass ecosystems, lower Florida Keys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turk, Daniela; Yates, Kimberly K.; Vega-Rodriguez, Maria; Toro-Farmer, Gerardo; L'Esperance, Chris; Melo, Nelson; Ramsewak, Deanesch; Estrada, S. Cerdeira; Muller-Karger, Frank E.; Herwitz, Stan R.; McGillis, Wade

    2016-01-01

    Diurnal variation of net community production (NEP) and net community calcification (NEC) were measured in coral reef and seagrass biomes during October 2012 in the lower Florida Keys using a mesocosm enclosure and the oxygen gradient flux technique. Seagrass and coral reef sites showed diurnal variations of NEP and NEC, with positive values at near-seafloor light levels >100–300 µEinstein m-2 s-1. During daylight hours, we detected an average NEP of 12.3 and 8.6 mmol O2 m-2 h-1 at the seagrass and coral reef site, respectively. At night, NEP at the seagrass site was relatively constant, while on the coral reef, net respiration was highest immediately after dusk and decreased during the rest of the night. At the seagrass site, NEC values ranged from 0.20 g CaCO3 m-2 h-1 during daylight to -0.15 g CaCO3 m-2 h-1 at night, and from 0.17 to -0.10 g CaCO3 m-2 h-1 at the coral reef site. There were no significant differences in pH and aragonite saturation states (Ωar) between the seagrass and coral reef sites. Decrease in light levels during thunderstorms significantly decreased NEP, transforming the system from net autotrophic to net heterotrophic.

  17. End to End Digitisation and Analysis of Three-Dimensional Coral Models, from Communities to Corallites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis Gutierrez-Heredia

    Full Text Available Coral reefs hosts nearly 25% of all marine species and provide food sources for half a billion people worldwide while only a very small percentage have been surveyed. Advances in technology and processing along with affordable underwater cameras and Internet availability gives us the possibility to provide tools and softwares to survey entire coral reefs. Holistic ecological analyses of corals require not only the community view (10s to 100s of meters, but also the single colony analysis as well as corallite identification. As corals are three-dimensional, classical approaches to determine percent cover and structural complexity across spatial scales are inefficient, time-consuming and limited to experts. Here we propose an end-to-end approach to estimate these parameters using low-cost equipment (GoPro, Canon and freeware (123D Catch, Meshmixer and Netfabb, allowing every community to participate in surveys and monitoring of their coral ecosystem. We demonstrate our approach on 9 species of underwater colonies in ranging size and morphology. 3D models of underwater colonies, fresh samples and bleached skeletons with high quality texture mapping and detailed topographic morphology were produced, and Surface Area and Volume measurements (parameters widely used for ecological and coral health studies were calculated and analysed. Moreover, we integrated collected sample models with micro-photogrammetry models of individual corallites to aid identification and colony and polyp scale analysis.

  18. End to End Digitisation and Analysis of Three-Dimensional Coral Models, from Communities to Corallites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutierrez-Heredia, Luis; Benzoni, Francesca; Murphy, Emma; Reynaud, Emmanuel G

    2016-01-01

    Coral reefs hosts nearly 25% of all marine species and provide food sources for half a billion people worldwide while only a very small percentage have been surveyed. Advances in technology and processing along with affordable underwater cameras and Internet availability gives us the possibility to provide tools and softwares to survey entire coral reefs. Holistic ecological analyses of corals require not only the community view (10s to 100s of meters), but also the single colony analysis as well as corallite identification. As corals are three-dimensional, classical approaches to determine percent cover and structural complexity across spatial scales are inefficient, time-consuming and limited to experts. Here we propose an end-to-end approach to estimate these parameters using low-cost equipment (GoPro, Canon) and freeware (123D Catch, Meshmixer and Netfabb), allowing every community to participate in surveys and monitoring of their coral ecosystem. We demonstrate our approach on 9 species of underwater colonies in ranging size and morphology. 3D models of underwater colonies, fresh samples and bleached skeletons with high quality texture mapping and detailed topographic morphology were produced, and Surface Area and Volume measurements (parameters widely used for ecological and coral health studies) were calculated and analysed. Moreover, we integrated collected sample models with micro-photogrammetry models of individual corallites to aid identification and colony and polyp scale analysis.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  20. Catastrophic impact of typhoon waves on coral communities in the Ryukyu Islands under global warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hongo, Chuki; Kawamata, Hideki; Goto, Kazuhisa

    2012-06-01

    Typhoon-generated storm waves generally cause mechanical damage to coral communities on present-day reefs, and the magnitude and extent of damage is predicted to increase in the near future as a result of global warming. Therefore, a comprehensive understanding of potential future scenarios of reef ecosystems is of prime interest. This study assesses the current status of coral communities on Ibaruma reef, Ryukyu Islands, on the basis of field observations, engineering and fluid dynamic models, and calculations of wave motion, and predicts the potential effects of a super-extreme typhoon (incident wave height,H = 20 m; wave period, T = 20 s) on the reef. On the present-day reef, massive corals occur in shallow lagoons and tabular corals occur from the reef crest to the reef slope. The observed distribution of corals, which is frequently attacked by moderate (H = 10 m, T = 10 s) and extreme (H = 10 m, T = 15 s) typhoons, is consistent with the predictions of engineering models. Moreover, this study indicates that if a super-extreme typhoon attacks the reef in the near future, massive corals will survive in the shallow lagoons but tabular corals on the reef crest and reef slope will be severely impacted. The findings imply that super-extreme typhoons will cause a loss of species diversity, as the tabular corals are important reef builders and are critical to the maintenance of reef ecosystems. Consequently, reef restoration is a key approach to maintaining reef ecosystems in the wake of super-extreme typhoons.

  1. Evolution in the deep sea: biological traits, ecology and phylogenetics of pelagic copepods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laakmann, Silke; Auel, Holger; Kochzius, Marc

    2012-11-01

    Deep-sea biodiversity has received increasing interest in the last decade, mainly focusing on benthic communities. In contrast, studies of zooplankton in the meso- to bathypelagic zones are relatively scarce. In order to explore evolutionary processes in the pelagic deep sea, the present study focuses on copepods of two clausocalanoid families, Euchaetidae and Aetideidae, which are abundant and species-rich in the deep-sea pelagic realm. Molecular phylogenies based on concatenated-portioned data on 18S, 28S and internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2), as well as mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI), were examined on 13 species, mainly from Arctic and Antarctic regions, together with species-specific biological traits (i.e. vertical occurrence, feeding behaviour, dietary preferences, energy storage, and reproductive strategy). Relationships were resolved on genus, species and even sub-species levels, the latter two established by COI with maximum average genetic distances ranging from ≤5.3% at the intra-specific, and 20.6% at the inter-specific level. There is no resolution at a family level, emphasising the state of Euchaetidae and Aetideidae as sister families and suggesting a fast radiation of these lineages, a hypothesis which is further supported by biological parameters. Euchaetidae were similar in lipid-specific energy storage, reproductive strategy, as well as feeding behaviour and dietary preference. In contrast, Aetideidae were more diverse, comprising a variety of characteristics ranging from similar adaptations within Paraeuchaeta, to genera consisting of species with completely different reproductive and feeding ecologies. Reproductive strategies were generally similar within each aetideid genus, but differed between genera. Closely related species (congeners), which were similar in the aforementioned biological and ecological traits, generally occurred in different depth layers, suggesting that vertical partitioning of the water column

  2. Molecular Phylogeny Of Microbes In The Deep-Sea Sediments From Tropical West Pacific Warm Pool

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, F.; Xiao, X.; Wang, P.

    2005-12-01

    The presence and phylogeny of bacteria and archaea in five deep-sea sediment samples collected from west Pacific Warm Pool area (WP-0, WP-1, WP-2, WP-3, WP-4), and in five sediment layers (1cm-, 3cm-, 6cm-, 10cm-, 12cm- layer) of the 12-cm sediment core of WP-0 were checked and compared. The microbial diversity in the five deep-sea sediments were similar as revealed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis, and all of them contained members of non-thermophilic marine group I crenarchaeota as the predominant archaeal group. The composition of methylotrophs including methanotrophs, sulfate reducing bacteria in the WP-0 sediment core were further investigated by molecular marker based analysis of mxaF, pmoA, dsrAB, specific anoxic methane oxidation archaeal and sulfate reducing bacterial 16S rRNA genes. From MxaF amino acid sequence analysis, it was demonstrated that microbes belonging to α - Proteobacteria most related to Hyphomicrobium and Methylobacterium were dominant aerobic methylotrophs in this deep-sea sediment; and small percentage of type II methanotrophs affiliating closest to Methylocystis and Methylosinus were also detected in this environment. mxaF quantitative PCR results showed that in the west Pacific WP sediment there existed around 3× 10 4-5 methylotrophs per gram sediment, 10-100 times more than that in samples collected from several other deep-sea Pacific sediment sample, but about 10 times less than that present in samples collected from rice and flower garden soil. Diverse groups of novel archaea (named as WPA), not belonging to any known archaeal lineages were checked out. They could be placed in the euryarchaeota kingdom, separated into two distinct groups, the main group was peripherally related with methanogens, the other group related with Thermoplasma. Possible sulfate reducing bacterial related with Desulfotomaculum, Desulfacinum, Desulfomonile and Desulfanuticus were also detected in our study. The vertical distributions of WPA

  3. The potential roles of bacterial communities in coral defence: A case study at Talang-talang reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuek, Felicity W. I.; Lim, Li-Fang; Ngu, Lin-Hui; Mujahid, Aazani; Lim, Po-Teen; Leaw, Chui-Pin; Müller, Moritz

    2015-06-01

    Complex microbial communities are known to exert significant influence over coral reef ecosystems. The Talang- Satang National Park is situated off the coast of Sematan and is one of the most diverse ecosystems found off-Sarawak. Interestingly, the Talang-talang reef thrives at above-average temperatures of 28- 30°C throughout the year. Through isolation and identification (16S rRNA) of native microbes from the coral, the surface mucus layer (SML), as well as the surrounding sediment and waters, we were able to determine the species composition and abundance of the culturable bacteria in the coral reef ecosystem. Isolates found attached to the coral are related mostly to Vibrio spp., presumably attached to the mucus from the water column and surrounding sediment. Pathogenic Vibrio spp. and Bacillus spp. were dominant amongst the isolates from the water column and sediment, while known coral pathogens responsible for coral bleaching, Vibrio coralliilyticus and Vibrio shiloi, were isolated from the coral SML and sediment samples respectively. Coral SML isolates were found to be closely related to known nitrogen fixers and antibiotic producers with tolerance towards elevated temperatures and heavy metal contamination, offering a possible explanation why the local corals are able to thrive in higher than usual temperatures. This specialized microbiota may be important for protecting the corals from pathogens by occupying entry niches and/or through the production of secondary metabolites such as antibiotics. The communities from the coral SML were tested against each other at 28, 30 and 32°C, and were also assessed for the presence of type I modular polyketides synthase (PKS) and non-ribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) genes which are both involved in the production of antibiotic compounds. The bacterial community from the SML exhibited antimicrobial properties under normal temperatures while pathogenic strains appeared toxic at elevated temperatures and our results

  4. Gametogenesis, Embryogenesis, and Fertilization Ecology of Platygyra acuta in Marginal Nonreefal Coral Communities in Hong Kong

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Apple Pui Yi Chui

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the reproductive biology of dominant coral species in subtropical nonreefal coral communities is critical in providing important information on the processes underlying the distribution limits of coral species and communities. This is the first study that investigates the reproduction cycle, gametogenesis, and fertilization ecology of Platygyra acuta. Results indicated that P. acuta is hermaphroditic and exhibits a single annual gametogenic cycle. Oogenic and spermatogenic cycle occurs for 6-7 months and for 2 months, respectively, prior to annual mass spawning event in May to June in Hong Kong. It took 18 hours for P. acuta to complete embryonic development, develop cilia, and start to rotate. High (>70% fertilization success can be achieved under a broad range of sperm concentrations from 104 to 107 sperms mL−1. Fertilization success remained consistently high 6 h after spawning, indicating a prolonged viability of its gametes that is much longer than that recorded for other coral species. Significantly higher percentage of fertilization success was recorded in the first of the two consecutive nights of spawning, suggesting differences in the quality of the eggs and/or sperms between days of spawning. These results serve as important baseline information for better understanding of corals in marginal communities.

  5. The impacts of tourism on coral reef conservation awareness and support in coastal communities in Belize

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diedrich, A.

    2007-12-01

    Marine recreational tourism is one of a number of threats to the Belize Barrier Reef but, conversely, represents both a motivation and source of resources for its conservation. The growth of tourism in Belize has resulted in the fact that many coastal communities are in varying stages of a socio-economic shift from dependence on fishing to dependence on tourism. In a nation becoming increasingly dependent on the health of its coral reef ecosystems for economic prosperity, a shift from extractive uses to their preservation is both necessary and logical. Through examining local perception data in five coastal communities in Belize, each attracting different levels of coral reef related tourism, this analysis is intended to explore the relationship between tourism development and local coral reef conservation awareness and support. The results of the analysis show a positive correlation between tourism development and coral reef conservation awareness and support in the study communities. The results also show a positive correlation between tourism development and local perceptions of quality of life, a trend that is most likely the source of the observed relationship between tourism and conservation. The study concludes that, because the observed relationship may be dependent on continued benefits from tourism as opposed to a perceived crisis in coral reef health, Belize must pay close attention to tourism impacts in the future. Failure to do this could result in a destructive feedback loop that would contribute to the degradation of the reef and, ultimately, Belize’s diminished competitiveness in the ecotourism market.

  6. The role of coral-associated bacterial communities in Australian Subtropical White Syndrome of Turbinaria mesenterina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godwin, Scott; Bent, Elizabeth; Borneman, James; Pereg, Lily

    2012-01-01

    Australian Subtropical White Syndrome (ASWS) is an infectious, temperature dependent disease of the subtropical coral Turbinaria mesenterina involving a hitherto unknown transmissible causative agent. This report describes significant changes in the coral associated bacterial community as the disease progresses from the apparently healthy tissue of ASWS affected coral colonies, to areas of the colony affected by ASWS lesions, to the dead coral skeleton exposed by ASWS. In an effort to better understand the potential roles of bacteria in the formation of disease lesions, the effect of antibacterials on the rate of lesion progression was tested, and both culture based and culture independent techniques were used to investigate the bacterial communities associated with colonies of T. mesenterina. Culture-independent analysis was performed using the Oligonucleotide Fingerprinting of Ribosomal Genes (OFRG) technique, which allowed a library of 8094 cloned bacterial 16S ribosomal genes to be analysed. Interestingly, the bacterial communities associated with both healthy and disease affected corals were very diverse and ASWS associated communities were not characterized by a single dominant organism. Treatment with antibacterials had a significant effect on the rate of progress of disease lesions (p = 0.006), suggesting that bacteria may play direct roles as the causative agents of ASWS. A number of potential aetiological agents of ASWS were identified in both the culture-based and culture-independent studies. In the culture-independent study an Alphaproteobacterium closely related to Roseovarius crassostreae, the apparent aetiological agent of juvenile oyster disease, was found to be significantly associated with disease lesions. In the culture-based study Vibrio harveyi was consistently associated with ASWS affected coral colonies and was not isolated from any healthy colonies. The differing results of the culture based and culture-independent studies highlight the

  7. The role of coral-associated bacterial communities in Australian Subtropical White Syndrome of Turbinaria mesenterina.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott Godwin

    Full Text Available Australian Subtropical White Syndrome (ASWS is an infectious, temperature dependent disease of the subtropical coral Turbinaria mesenterina involving a hitherto unknown transmissible causative agent. This report describes significant changes in the coral associated bacterial community as the disease progresses from the apparently healthy tissue of ASWS affected coral colonies, to areas of the colony affected by ASWS lesions, to the dead coral skeleton exposed by ASWS. In an effort to better understand the potential roles of bacteria in the formation of disease lesions, the effect of antibacterials on the rate of lesion progression was tested, and both culture based and culture independent techniques were used to investigate the bacterial communities associated with colonies of T. mesenterina. Culture-independent analysis was performed using the Oligonucleotide Fingerprinting of Ribosomal Genes (OFRG technique, which allowed a library of 8094 cloned bacterial 16S ribosomal genes to be analysed. Interestingly, the bacterial communities associated with both healthy and disease affected corals were very diverse and ASWS associated communities were not characterized by a single dominant organism. Treatment with antibacterials had a significant effect on the rate of progress of disease lesions (p = 0.006, suggesting that bacteria may play direct roles as the causative agents of ASWS. A number of potential aetiological agents of ASWS were identified in both the culture-based and culture-independent studies. In the culture-independent study an Alphaproteobacterium closely related to Roseovarius crassostreae, the apparent aetiological agent of juvenile oyster disease, was found to be significantly associated with disease lesions. In the culture-based study Vibrio harveyi was consistently associated with ASWS affected coral colonies and was not isolated from any healthy colonies. The differing results of the culture based and culture-independent studies

  8. Non-Random Variability in Functional Composition of Coral Reef Fish Communities along an Environmental Gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plass-Johnson, Jeremiah G; Taylor, Marc H; Husain, Aidah A A; Teichberg, Mirta C; Ferse, Sebastian C A

    2016-01-01

    Changes in the coral reef complex can affect predator-prey relationships, resource availability and niche utilisation in the associated fish community, which may be reflected in decreased stability of the functional traits present in a community. This is because particular traits may be favoured by a changing environment, or by habitat degradation. Furthermore, other traits can be selected against because degradation can relax the association between fishes and benthic habitat. We characterised six important ecological traits for fish species occurring at seven sites across a disturbed coral reef archipelago in Indonesia, where reefs have been exposed to eutrophication and destructive fishing practices for decades. Functional diversity was assessed using two complementary indices (FRic and RaoQ) and correlated to important environmental factors (live coral cover and rugosity, representing local reef health, and distance from shore, representing a cross-shelf environmental gradient). Indices were examined for both a change in their mean, as well as temporal (short-term; hours) and spatial (cross-shelf) variability, to assess whether fish-habitat association became relaxed along with habitat degradation. Furthermore, variability in individual traits was examined to identify the traits that are most affected by habitat change. Increases in the general reef health indicators, live coral cover and rugosity (correlated with distance from the mainland), were associated with decreases in the variability of functional diversity and with community-level changes in the abundance of several traits (notably home range size, maximum length, microalgae, detritus and small invertebrate feeding and reproductive turnover). A decrease in coral cover increased variability of RaoQ while rugosity and distance both inversely affected variability of FRic; however, averages for these indices did not reveal patterns associated with the environment. These results suggest that increased

  9. Temporal change in deep-sea benthic ecosystems: a review of the evidence from recent time-series studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glover, A G; Gooday, A J; Bailey, D M; Billett, D S M; Chevaldonné, P; Colaço, A; Copley, J; Cuvelier, D; Desbruyères, D; Kalogeropoulou, V; Klages, M; Lampadariou, N; Lejeusne, C; Mestre, N C; Paterson, G L J; Perez, T; Ruhl, H; Sarrazin, J; Soltwedel, T; Soto, E H; Thatje, S; Tselepides, A; Van Gaever, S; Vanreusel, A

    2010-01-01

    Societal concerns over the potential impacts of recent global change have prompted renewed interest in the long-term ecological monitoring of large ecosystems. The deep sea is the largest ecosystem on the planet, the least accessible, and perhaps the least understood. Nevertheless, deep-sea data collected over the last few decades are now being synthesised with a view to both measuring global change and predicting the future impacts of further rises in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. For many years, it was assumed by many that the deep sea is a stable habitat, buffered from short-term changes in the atmosphere or upper ocean. However, recent studies suggest that deep-seafloor ecosystems may respond relatively quickly to seasonal, inter-annual and decadal-scale shifts in upper-ocean variables. In this review, we assess the evidence for these long-term (i.e. inter-annual to decadal-scale) changes both in biologically driven, sedimented, deep-sea ecosystems (e.g. abyssal plains) and in chemosynthetic ecosystems that are partially geologically driven, such as hydrothermal vents and cold seeps. We have identified 11 deep-sea sedimented ecosystems for which published analyses of long-term biological data exist. At three of these, we have found evidence for a progressive trend that could be potentially linked to recent climate change, although the evidence is not conclusive. At the other sites, we have concluded that the changes were either not significant, or were stochastically variable without being clearly linked to climate change or climate variability indices. For chemosynthetic ecosystems, we have identified 14 sites for which there are some published long-term data. Data for temporal changes at chemosynthetic ecosystems are scarce, with few sites being subjected to repeated visits. However, the limited evidence from hydrothermal vents suggests that at fast-spreading centres such as the East Pacific Rise, vent communities are impacted on decadal scales

  10. A Simple and Efficient RNA Extraction Method from Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vent Chimney Structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muto, Hisashi; Takaki, Yoshihiro; Hirai, Miho; Mino, Sayaka; Sawayama, Shigeki; Takai, Ken; Nakagawa, Satoshi

    2017-12-27

    RNA-based microbiological analyses, e.g., transcriptome and reverse transcription-quantitative PCR, require a relatively large amount of high quality RNA. RNA-based analyses on microbial communities in deep-sea hydrothermal environments often encounter methodological difficulties with RNA extraction due to the presence of unique minerals in and the low biomass of samples. In the present study, we assessed RNA extraction methods for deep-sea vent chimneys that had complex mineral compositions. Mineral-RNA adsorption experiments were conducted using mock chimney minerals and Escherichia coli total RNA solution, and showed that detectable RNA significantly decreased possibly due to adsorption onto minerals. This decrease in RNA was prevented by the addition of sodium tripolyphosphate (STPP), deoxynucleotide triphosphates (dNTPs), salmon sperm DNA, and NaOH. The addition of STPP was also effective for RNA extraction from the mixture of E. coli cells and mock chimney minerals when TRIzol reagent and the RNeasy column were used, but not when the RNeasy PowerSoil total RNA kit was used. A combination of STPP, TRIzol reagent, the RNeasy column, and sonication resulted in the highest RNA yield from a natural chimney. This indirect extraction procedure is simple, rapid, inexpensive, and may be used for large-scale RNA extraction.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Noble, Mae M.

    2013-01-14

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mae M Noble

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

  16. Immunity to community: what can immune pathways tell us about disease patterns in corals?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mydlarz, L. D.; Fuess, L.; Pinzon, J. C.; Weil, E.

    2016-02-01

    Predicting species composition and abundances is one of the most fundamental questions in ecology. This question is even more pressing in marine ecology and coral reefs since communities are changing at a rapid pace due to climate-related changes. Increases in disease prevalence and severity are just some of the consequences of these environmental changes. Particularly in coral reef ecosystems, diseases are increasing and driving region-wide population collapses. It has become clear, however, that not all reefs or coral species are affected by disease equally. In fact, the Caribbean is a concentrated area for diseases. The patterns in which disease manifests itself on an individual reef are also proving interesting, as not all coral species are affected by disease equally. Some species are host to different diseases, but seem to successfully fight them reducing mortality. Other species are disproportionately infected on any given reef and experience high mortality due to disease. We are interested in the role immunity can play in directing these patterns and are evaluating coral immunity using several novel approaches. We exposed 4 species of corals with different disease susceptibilities to immune stimulators and quantified of coral immunity using a combination of full transcriptome sequencing and protein activity assays for gene to phenotype analysis. We also mapped gene expression changes onto immune pathways (i.e. melanin-cascade, antimicrobial peptide synthesis, complement cascade, lectin-opsonization) to evaluate expression of immune pathways between species. In our preliminary data we found many immune genes in the disease susceptible Orbicella faveolata underwent changes in gene expression opposite of the predictions and may disply `dysfunctional' patterns of expression. We will present expression data for 4 species of coral and assess how these transcriptional and protein immune responses are related to disease susceptibility in nature, thus scaling up

  17. The effects of natural iron fertilisation on deep-sea ecology: the Crozet Plateau, Southern Indian Ocean.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George A Wolff

    Full Text Available The addition of iron to high-nutrient low-chlorophyll (HNLC oceanic waters stimulates phytoplankton, leading to greater primary production. Large-scale artificial ocean iron fertilization (OIF has been proposed as a means of mitigating anthropogenic atmospheric CO(2, but its impacts on ocean ecosystems below the photic zone are unknown. Natural OIF, through the addition of iron leached from volcanic islands, has been shown to enhance primary productivity and carbon export and so can be used to study the effects of OIF on life in the ocean. We compared two closely-located deep-sea sites (∼400 km apart and both at ∼4200 m water depth to the East (naturally iron fertilized; +Fe and South (HNLC of the Crozet Islands in the southern Indian Ocean. Our results suggest that long-term geo-engineering of surface oceanic waters via artificial OIF would lead to significant changes in deep-sea ecosystems. We found that the +Fe area had greater supplies of organic matter inputs to the seafloor, including polyunsaturated fatty acid and carotenoid nutrients. The +Fe site also had greater densities and biomasses of large deep-sea animals with lower levels of evenness in community structuring. The species composition was also very different, with the +Fe site showing similarities to eutrophic sites in other ocean basins. Moreover, major differences occurred in the taxa at the +Fe and HNLC sites revealing the crucial role that surface oceanic conditions play in changing and structuring deep-sea benthic communities.

  18. Exploring the Ecology of Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vents in a Metacommunity Framework

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lauren S. Mullineaux

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Species inhabiting deep-sea hydrothermal vents are strongly influenced by the geological setting, as it provides the chemical-rich fluids supporting the food web, creates the patchwork of seafloor habitat, and generates catastrophic disturbances that can eradicate entire communities. The patches of vent habitat host a network of communities (a metacommunity connected by dispersal of planktonic larvae. The dynamics of the metacommunity are influenced not only by birth rates, death rates and interactions of populations at the local site, but also by regional influences on dispersal from different sites. The connections to other communities provide a mechanism for dynamics at a local site to affect features of the regional biota. In this paper, we explore the challenges and potential benefits of applying metacommunity theory to vent communities, with a particular focus on effects of disturbance. We synthesize field observations to inform models and identify data gaps that need to be addressed to answer key questions including: (1 what is the influence of the magnitude and rate of disturbance on ecological attributes, such as time to extinction or resilience in a metacommunity; (2 what interactions between local and regional processes control species diversity, and (3 which communities are “hot spots” of key ecological significance. We conclude by assessing our ability to evaluate resilience of vent metacommunities to human disturbance (e.g., deep-sea mining. Although the resilience of a few highly disturbed vent systems in the eastern Pacific has been quantified, these values cannot be generalized to remote locales in the western Pacific or mid Atlantic where disturbance rates are different and information on local controls is missing.

  19. Association of coral algal symbionts with a diverse viral community responsive to heat shock

    KAUST Repository

    Brüwer, Jan D.

    2017-08-17

    Stony corals provide the structural foundation of coral reef ecosystems and are termed holobionts given they engage in symbioses, in particular with photosynthetic dinoflagellates of the genus Symbiodinium. Besides Symbiodinium, corals also engage with bacteria affecting metabolism, immunity, and resilience of the coral holobiont, but the role of associated viruses is largely unknown. In this regard, the increase of studies using RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) to assess gene expression provides an opportunity to elucidate viral signatures encompassed within the data via careful delineation of sequence reads and their source of origin.Here, we re-analyzed an RNA-Seq dataset from a cultured coral symbiont (Symbiodinium microadriaticum, Clade A1) across four experimental treatments (control, cold shock, heat shock, dark shock) to characterize associated viral diversity, abundance, and gene expression. Our approach comprised the filtering and removal of host sequence reads, subsequent phylogenetic assignment of sequence reads of putative viral origin, and the assembly and analysis of differentially expressed viral genes. About 15.46% (123 million) of all sequence reads were non-host-related, of which <1% could be classified as archaea, bacteria, or virus. Of these, 18.78% were annotated as virus and comprised a diverse community consistent across experimental treatments. Further, non-host related sequence reads assembled into 56,064 contigs, including 4856 contigs of putative viral origin that featured 43 differentially expressed genes during heat shock. The differentially expressed genes included viral kinases, ubiquitin, and ankyrin repeat proteins (amongst others), which are suggested to help the virus proliferate and inhibit the algal host\\'s antiviral response.Our results suggest that a diverse viral community is associated with coral algal endosymbionts of the genus Symbiodinium, which prompts further research on their ecological role in coral health and resilience.

  20. Deep-sea Lebensspuren of the Australian continental margins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Przeslawski, Rachel; Dundas, Kate; Radke, Lynda; Anderson, Tara J.

    Much of the deep sea comprises soft-sediment habitats dominated by comparatively low abundances of species-rich macrofauna and meiofauna. Although often not observed, these animals bioturbate the sediment during feeding and burrowing, leaving signs of their activities called Lebensspuren ('life traces'). In this study, we use still images to quantify Lebensspuren from the eastern (1921 images, 13 stations, 1300-2200 m depth) and western (1008 images, 11 stations, 1500-4400 m depth) Australian margins using a univariate measure of trace richness and a multivariate measure of Lebensspuren assemblages. A total of 46 Lebensspuren types were identified, including those matching named trace fossils and modern Lebensspuren found elsewhere in the world. Most traces could be associated with waste, crawling, dwellings, organism tests, feeding, or resting, but the origin of 15% of trace types remains unknown. Assemblages were significantly different between the two regions and depth profiles, with five Lebensspuren types accounting for over 95% of the differentiation (ovoid pinnate trace, crater row, spider trace, matchstick trace, mesh trace). Lebensspuren richness showed no strong relationships with depth, total organic carbon, or mud, although there was a positive correlation to chlorin index (i.e., organic freshness) in the eastern margin, with richness increasing with organic freshness. Lebensspuren richness was not related to epifauna either, indicating that epifauna may not be the primary source of Lebensspuren. Despite the abundance and distinctiveness of several traces both in the current and previous studies (e.g., ovoid pinnate, mesh, spider), their origin and distribution remains a mystery. We discuss this and several other considerations in the identification and quantification of Lebensspuren. This study represents the first comprehensive catalogue of deep-sea Lebensspuren in Australian waters and highlights the potential of Lebensspuren as valuable and often

  1. Deep-sea benthic footprint of the deepwater horizon blowout.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul A Montagna

    Full Text Available The Deepwater Horizon (DWH accident in the northern Gulf of Mexico occurred on April 20, 2010 at a water depth of 1525 meters, and a deep-sea plume was detected within one month. Oil contacted and persisted in parts of the bottom of the deep-sea in the Gulf of Mexico. As part of the response to the accident, monitoring cruises were deployed in fall 2010 to measure potential impacts on the two main soft-bottom benthic invertebrate groups: macrofauna and meiofauna. Sediment was collected using a multicorer so that samples for chemical, physical and biological analyses could be taken simultaneously and analyzed using multivariate methods. The footprint of the oil spill was identified by creating a new variable with principal components analysis where the first factor was indicative of the oil spill impacts and this new variable mapped in a geographic information system to identify the area of the oil spill footprint. The most severe relative reduction of faunal abundance and diversity extended to 3 km from the wellhead in all directions covering an area about 24 km(2. Moderate impacts were observed up to 17 km towards the southwest and 8.5 km towards the northeast of the wellhead, covering an area 148 km(2. Benthic effects were correlated to total petroleum hydrocarbon, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and barium concentrations, and distance to the wellhead; but not distance to hydrocarbon seeps. Thus, benthic effects are more likely due to the oil spill, and not natural hydrocarbon seepage. Recovery rates in the deep sea are likely to be slow, on the order of decades or longer.

  2. Long-term baited lander experiments at a cold-water coral community on Galway Mound (Belgica Mound Province, NE Atlantic)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lavaleye, Marc; Duineveld, Gerard; Bergman, Magda; van den Beld, Inge

    2017-11-01

    A long-term lander employing a baited camera system was developed to study temporal variation in the presence of scavenging fish and invertebrates at a cold-water coral community on Galway Mound (Belgica Mound Province, NE Atlantic). The camera system was tested during two successful long-term deployments for periods of 6 and 12 months respectively. The baited system, consisting of two separate video cameras with infrared lights and a bait dispenser with 24 bait positions, recorded more than 15,500 clips of 17 s, regularly spread over both periods. New bait, consisting of sardines in oil, was offered at regular time intervals, and attracted scavengers over the whole period of deployment, and especially the crab Chaceon affinis did still eat from it till the end of the deployments. However, the attractiveness for some scavengers, i.e. amphipods, diminished quite quickly. In addition to invertebrate scavengers, namely C. affinis, two other crab species, amphipods, a shrimp and a starfish, also 7 species of fish were recorded near the bait, of which Lepidion eques was by far the most common. Though there was no concrete evidence for seasonal patterns, the observations showed substantial temporal variation in the abundance of several species, especially the crabs C. affinis and Bathynectes maravigna and the fish Phycis blennoides. It is concluded that long-term deployments of such a baited camera system can produce novel data. For instance such a system could be employed for monitoring impacts of disturbances on the deep-sea floor (e.g. mining), as we infer that mobile scavengers will be among the first organisms to show a visible reaction to any chemically and physically (noise, vibrations) alteration of the environment similar to a mine canary.

  3. 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.

  4. Deep sea AUV navigation using multiple acoustic beacons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ji, Da-xiong; Song, Wei; Zhao, Hong-yu; Liu, Jian

    2016-04-01

    Navigation is a critical requirement for the operation of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs). To estimate the vehicle position, we present an algorithm using an extended Kalman filter (EKF) to integrate dead-reckoning position with acoustic ranges from multiple beacons pre-deployed in the operating environment. Owing to high latency, variable sound speed multipath transmissions and unreliability in acoustic measurements, outlier recognition techniques are proposed as well. The navigation algorithm has been tested by the recorded data of deep sea AUV during field operations in a variety of environments. Our results show the improved performance over prior techniques based on position computation.

  5. 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...

  6. Turbidites and Benthic Faunal Succession in the Deep Sea: An Ecological Paradox

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Young, David

    2001-01-01

    Characteristics of benthic faunal succession following turbidity flows in the deep sea will vary according to the composition of turbidite materials, the spatial scales of deposition, the structure...

  7. Bones as biofuel: a review of whale bone composition with implications for deep-sea biology and palaeoanthropology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higgs, Nicholas D; Little, Crispin T S; Glover, Adrian G

    2011-01-07

    Whales are unique among vertebrates because of the enormous oil reserves held in their soft tissue and bone. These 'biofuel' stores have been used by humans from prehistoric times to more recent industrial-scale whaling. Deep-sea biologists have now discovered that the oily bones of dead whales on the seabed are also used by specialist and generalist scavenging communities, including many unique organisms recently described as new to science. In the context of both cetacean and deep-sea invertebrate biology, we review scientific knowledge on the oil content of bone from several of the great whale species: Balaenoptera musculus, Balaenoptera physalus, Balaenoptera borealis, Megaptera novaeangliae, Eschrichtius robustus, Physeter macrocephalus and the striped dolphin, Stenella coeruleoalba. We show that data collected by scientists over 50 years ago during the heyday of industrial whaling explain several interesting phenomena with regard to the decay of whale remains. Variations in the lipid content of bones from different parts of a whale correspond closely with recently observed differences in the taphonomy of deep-sea whale carcasses and observed biases in the frequency of whale bones at archaeological sites.

  8. The distribution of deep-sea sponge aggregations in the North Atlantic and implications for their effective spatial management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howell, Kerry-Louise; Piechaud, Nils; Downie, Anna-Leena; Kenny, Andrew

    2016-09-01

    Sponge aggregations have been recognised as key component of shallow benthic ecosystems providing several important functional roles including habitat building and nutrient recycling. Within the deep-sea ecosystem, sponge aggregations may be extensive and available evidence suggests they may also play important functional roles, however data on their ecology, extent and distribution in the North Atlantic is lacking, hampering conservation efforts. In this study, we used Maximum Entropy Modelling and presence data for two deep-sea sponge aggregation types, Pheronema carpenteri aggregations and ostur aggregations dominated by geodid sponges, to address the following questions: 1) What environmental factors drive the broad-scale distribution of these selected sponge grounds? 2) What is the predicted distribution of these grounds in the northern North Atlantic, Norwegian and Barents Sea? 3) How are these sponge grounds distributed between Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) and High Seas areas? 4) What percentage of these grounds in High Seas areas are protected by the current High Seas MPA network? Our results suggest that silicate concentration, temperature, depth and amount of particulate organic carbon are the most important drivers of sponge distribution. Most of the sponge grounds are located within national EEZs rather than in the High Seas. Coordinated conservation planning between nations with significant areas of sponge grounds such as Iceland, Greenland and Faroes (Denmark), Norway (coastal Norway and Svalbard), Portugal and the UK, should be implemented in order to effectively manage these communities in view of the increasing level of human activity within the deep-sea environment.

  9. The diversity of PAH-degrading bacteria in a deep-sea water column above the Southwest Indian Ridge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Jun; Lai, Qiliang; Sun, Fengqin; Zheng, Tianling; Shao, Zongze

    2015-01-01

    The bacteria involved in organic pollutant degradation in pelagic deep-sea environments are largely unknown. In this report, the diversity of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)-degrading bacteria was analyzed in deep-sea water on the Southwest Indian Ridge (SWIR). After enrichment with a PAH mixture (phenanthrene, anthracene, fluoranthene, and pyrene), nine bacterial consortia were obtained from depths of 3946–4746 m. While the consortia degraded all four PAHs when supplied in a mixture, when PAHs were tested individually, only phenanthrene supported growth. Thus, degradation of the PAH mixture reflected a cometabolism of anthracene, fluoranthene, and pyrene with phenanthrene. Further, both culture-dependent and independent methods revealed many new bacteria involved in PAH degradation. Specifically, the alpha and gamma subclasses of Proteobacteria were confirmed as the major groups within the communities. Additionally, Actinobacteria, the CFB group and Firmicutes were detected. Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE) analysis showed that bacteria closely affiliated with Alcanivorax, Novosphingobium, and Rhodovulum occurred most frequently in different PAH-degrading consortia. By using general heterotrophic media, 51 bacteria were isolated from the consortia and of these 34 grew with the PAH mixture as a sole carbon source. Of these, isolates most closely related to Alterierythrobacter, Citricella, Erythrobacter, Idiomarina, Lutibacterium, Maricaulis, Marinobacter, Martelella, Pseudidiomarina, Rhodobacter, Roseovarius, Salipiger, Sphingopyxis, and Stappia were found to be PAH degraders. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time these bacteria have been identified in this context. In summary, this report revealed significant diversity among the PAH-degrading bacteria in the deep-sea water column. These bacteria may play a role in PAH removal in deep-sea environments. PMID:26379634

  10. The diversity of PAH-degrading bacteria in a deep-sea water column above the Southwest Indian Ridge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Jun; Lai, Qiliang; Sun, Fengqin; Zheng, Tianling; Shao, Zongze

    2015-01-01

    The bacteria involved in organic pollutant degradation in pelagic deep-sea environments are largely unknown. In this report, the diversity of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)-degrading bacteria was analyzed in deep-sea water on the Southwest Indian Ridge (SWIR). After enrichment with a PAH mixture (phenanthrene, anthracene, fluoranthene, and pyrene), nine bacterial consortia were obtained from depths of 3946-4746 m. While the consortia degraded all four PAHs when supplied in a mixture, when PAHs were tested individually, only phenanthrene supported growth. Thus, degradation of the PAH mixture reflected a cometabolism of anthracene, fluoranthene, and pyrene with phenanthrene. Further, both culture-dependent and independent methods revealed many new bacteria involved in PAH degradation. Specifically, the alpha and gamma subclasses of Proteobacteria were confirmed as the major groups within the communities. Additionally, Actinobacteria, the CFB group and Firmicutes were detected. Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE) analysis showed that bacteria closely affiliated with Alcanivorax, Novosphingobium, and Rhodovulum occurred most frequently in different PAH-degrading consortia. By using general heterotrophic media, 51 bacteria were isolated from the consortia and of these 34 grew with the PAH mixture as a sole carbon source. Of these, isolates most closely related to Alterierythrobacter, Citricella, Erythrobacter, Idiomarina, Lutibacterium, Maricaulis, Marinobacter, Martelella, Pseudidiomarina, Rhodobacter, Roseovarius, Salipiger, Sphingopyxis, and Stappia were found to be PAH degraders. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time these bacteria have been identified in this context. In summary, this report revealed significant diversity among the PAH-degrading bacteria in the deep-sea water column. These bacteria may play a role in PAH removal in deep-sea environments.

  11. Spatio-temporal transmission patterns of black-band disease in a coral community.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Assaf Zvuloni

    out that infected corals surviving a disease season appear to play a major role in the re-introduction of the disease to the coral community in the following season.

  12. 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.

  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. Magnetically tunable oil droplet lens of deep-sea shrimp

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwasaka, M.; Hirota, N.; Oba, Y.

    2018-05-01

    In this study, the tunable properties of a bio-lens from a deep-sea shrimp were investigated for the first time using magnetic fields. The skin of the shrimp exhibited a brilliantly colored reflection of incident white light. The light reflecting parts and the oil droplets in the shrimp's skin were observed in a glass slide sample cell using a digital microscope that operated in the bore of two superconducting magnets (maximum strengths of 5 and 13 T). In the ventral skin of the shrimp, which contained many oil droplets, some comparatively large oil droplets (50 to 150 μm in diameter) were present. A distinct response to magnetic fields was found in these large oil droplets. Further, the application of the magnetic fields to the sample cell caused a change in the size of the oil droplets. The phenomena observed in this work indicate that the oil droplets of deep sea shrimp can act as lenses in which the optical focusing can be modified via the application of external magnetic fields. The results of this study will make it possible to fabricate bio-inspired soft optical devices in future.

  15. Diffusive boundary layers and photosynthesis of the epilithic algal community of coral reefs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larkum, Anthony W.D.; Koch, Eva-Maria W.; Kühl, Michael

    2003-01-01

    The effects of mass transfer resistance due to the presence of a diffusive boundary layer on the photosynthesis of the epilithic algal community (EAC) of a coral reef were studied. Photosynthesis and respiration of the EAC of dead coral surfaces were investigated for samples from two locations......: the Gulf of Aqaba, Eilat (Israel), and One Tree Reef on the Great Barrier Reef (Australia). Microsensors were used to measure O2 and pH at the EAC surface and above. Oxygen profiles in the light and dark indicated a diffusive boundary layer (DBL) thickness of 180–590 µm under moderate flow (~0.08 m s-1...

  16. Baseline assessments for coral reef community structure and demographics on West Maui

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vargas-Angel, Bernardo; White, Darla; Storlazzi, Curt; Callender, Tova; Maurin, Paulo

    2017-01-01

    The coastal and upslope terrains of West Maui have had a long history of impacts owing to more than a century of human activities. Resource extraction, agriculture, as well as residential and resort development have caused land-based pollution that impairs water quality and adversely impact the adjacent marine ecosystem. Today, West Maui’s coral reefs are chronically impacted by the effects of land-based pollution, mainly sedimentation and nutrients, with documented losses of 30 – 75% in coral cover over the last 20 years. Nonetheless, despite their current status and levels of environmental impact, these coral reef communities represent a key local resource and a counterpoint to the overall low coral reef development levels both island- and state-wide. This is of high relevance because the occurrence of coral-rich assemblages and accreted reef complexes statewide is sparse. Only limited segments along the coastlines of Maui, Hawai‘i, Lana‘i, Moloka‘i, and Kaho‘olawe, harbor mature, fringing coral reefs; and unfortunately, many of them are seriously threatened by terrestrial runoff. This report describes the results of baseline assessment surveys of coral reef benthic structure, coral community demographics, and coral condition. These surveys are intended to provide benchmarks for continued monitoring efforts and provide a gauge for comparing and evaluating the effectiveness of management actions to reduce land-based sources of pollution in priority watersheds on West Maui. Within this context, 12 permanent, long-term monitoring sites were strategically established adjacent to the 7 primary stream drainages (Wahikuli, Honokōwai, Mahinahina, Kahana/Ka‘opala, Honokeana, Honokahua, and Honolua) within the five priority watersheds (Wahikuli, Honokōwai, Kahana, Honokahua, and Honolua). Herein, benthic cover and composition, coral demographics, and coral condition of the monitoring sites are described and contrasted in the “Benthic Characterization

  17. Demographic Mechanisms of Reef Coral Species Winnowing from Communities under Increased Environmental Stress

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bernhard Riegl

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Winnowing of poorly-adapted species from local communities causes shifts/declines in species richness, making ecosystems increasingly ecologically depauperate. Low diversity can be associated with marginality of environments, which is increasing as climate change impacts ecosystems globally. This paper demonstrates the demographic mechanisms (size-specific mortality, growth, fertility; and metapopulation connectivity associated with population-level changes due to thermal stress extremes for five zooxanthellate reef-coral species. Effects vary among species, leading to predictable changes in population size and, consequently, community structure. The Persian/Arabian Gulf (PAG is an ecologically marginal reef environment with a subset of Indo-Pacific species, plus endemics. Local heating correlates with changes in coral population dynamics and community structure. Recent population dynamics of PAG corals were quantified in two phases (medium disturbed MD 1998–2010 and 2013–2017, severely disturbed SD 1996/8, 2010/11/12 with two stable states of declining coral frequency and cover. The strongest changes in life-dynamics, as expressed by transition matrices solved for MD and SD periods were in Acropora downingi and Porites harrisoni, which showed significant partial and whole-colony mortality (termed “shrinkers”. But in Dipsastrea pallida, Platygyra daedalea, Cyphastraea microphthalma the changes to life dynamics were more subtle, with only partial tissue mortality (termed “persisters”. Metapopulation models suggested recovery predominantly in species experiencing partial rather than whole-colony mortality. Increased frequency of disturbance caused progressive reduction in coral size, cover, and population fecundity. Also, the greater the frequency of disturbance, the more larval connectivity is required to maintain the metapopulation. An oceanographic model revealed important local larval retention and connectivity primarily between

  18. 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.

  19. Why Do Corals Bleach? Conflict and Conflict Mediation in a Host/Symbiont Community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blackstone, Neil W; Golladay, Jeff M

    2018-06-26

    Coral bleaching has attracted considerable study, yet one central question remains unanswered: given that corals and their Symbiodinium symbionts have co-evolved for millions of years, why does this clearly maladaptive process occur? Bleaching may result from evolutionary conflict between the host corals and their symbionts. Selection at the level of the individual symbiont favors using the products of photosynthesis for selfish replication, while selection at the higher level favors using these products for growth of the entire host/symbiont community. To hold the selfish lower-level units in check, mechanisms of conflict mediation must evolve. Fundamental features of photosynthesis have been co-opted into conflict mediation so that symbionts that fail to export these products produce high levels of reactive oxygen species and undergo programmed cell death. These mechanisms function very well under most environmental conditions, but under conditions particularly detrimental to photosynthesis, it is these mechanisms of conflict mediation that trigger bleaching. © 2018 WILEY Periodicals, Inc.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Closek, Collin J.

    2014-06-20

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Loh, Tse-Lynn; Pawlik, Joseph R.

    2014-01-01

    Chemical defenses are known to protect some species from consumers, but it is often difficult to detect this advantage at the community or ecosystem levels because of the complexity of abiotic and biotic factors that influence species abundances. We surveyed the community of sponges and sponge predators (angelfishes and parrotfishes) on coral reefs across the Caribbean ranging from heavily overfished sites to protected marine reserves. High predator abundance correlated with high abundance of...

  2. [Changes in fish communities of coral reefs at Sabana-Camagüey Archipelago, Cuba].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Claro, Rodolfo; Cantelar, Karel; Amargós, Fabián Pina; García-Arteaga, Juan P

    2007-06-01

    A comparison of fish community structure in the Sabana-Camagüey Archipelago (1988-1989 and 2000) using visual census surveys (eight belt transects 2x50 m in each site) suggests a notable decrease on species richness, and a two thirds reduction in fish density and biomass on coral reefs. This decrease in fish populations may be related to the alarming decrease of scleractinian coral cover, and an enormous proliferation of algae, which currently covers 70-80% of the hard substrate, impeding the recovery of corals and other benthic organisms. High coral mortalities occurred between the study periods, which correlate with the high temperatures caused by the ENSO events of 1995, 1997 and 1998. These events caused massive bleaching of corals and subsequent algae overgrowth. Evidence of nutrient enrichment from the inner lagoons and overfishing are also present. Collectively, these effects have provoked a marked degradation of reef habitats. These changes appear to have affected the availability of refuges and food for fishes, and may be constraining individual growth potential and population size.

  3. Habitat degradation and fishing effects on the size structure of coral reef fish communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, S K; Fisher, R; Pratchett, M S; Graham, N A J; Dulvy, N K; Turner, R A; Cakacaka, A; Polunin, N V C

    2010-03-01

    Overfishing and habitat degradation through climate change pose the greatest threats to sustainability of marine resources on coral reefs. We examined how changes in fishing pressure and benthic habitat composition influenced the size spectra of island-scale reef fish communities in Lau, Fiji. Between 2000 and 2006 fishing pressure declined in the Lau Islands due to declining human populations and reduced demand for fresh fish. At the same time, coral cover declined and fine-scale architectural complexity eroded due to coral bleaching and outbreaks of crown-of-thorns starfish, Acanthaster planci. We examined the size distribution of reef fish communities using size spectra analysis, the linearized relationship between abundance and body size class. Spatial variation in fishing pressure accounted for 31% of the variation in the slope of the size spectra in 2000, higher fishing pressure being associated with a steeper slope, which is indicative of fewer large-bodied fish and/or more small-bodied fish. Conversely, in 2006 spatial variation in habitat explained 53% of the variation in the size spectra slopes, and the relationship with fishing pressure was much weaker (approximately 12% of variation) than in 2000. Reduced cover of corals and lower structural complexity was associated with less steep size spectra slopes, primarily due to reduced abundance of fish < 20 cm. Habitat degradation will compound effects of fishing on coral reefs as increased fishing reduces large-bodied target species, while habitat loss results in fewer small-bodied juveniles and prey that replenish stocks and provide dietary resources for predatory target species. Effective management of reef resources therefore depends on both reducing fishing pressure and maintaining processes that encourage rapid recovery of coral habitat.

  4. Benthic community structure on coral reefs exposed to intensive recreational snorkeling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bobbie Renfro

    Full Text Available Chronic anthropogenic disturbances on coral reefs in the form of overfishing and pollution can shift benthic community composition away from stony corals and toward macroalgae. The use of reefs for recreational snorkeling and diving potentially can lead to similar ecological impacts if not well-managed, but impacts of snorkeling on benthic organisms are not well understood. We quantified variation in benthic community structure along a gradient of snorkeling frequency in an intensively-visited portion of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. We determined rates of snorkeling in 6 water sections and rates of beach visitation in 4 adjacent land sections at Akumal Bay, Mexico. For each in-water section at 1-3 m depth, we also assessed the percent cover of benthic organisms including taxa of stony corals and macroalgae. Rates of recreational snorkeling varied from low in the southwestern to very high (>1000 snorkelers d-1 in the northeastern sections of the bay. Stony coral cover decreased and macroalgal cover increased significantly with levels of snorkeling, while trends varied among taxa for other organisms such as gorgonians, fire corals, and sea urchins. We conclude that benthic organisms appear to exhibit taxon-specific variation with levels of recreational snorkeling. To prevent further degradation, we recommend limitation of snorkeler visitation rates, coupled with visitor education and in-water guides to reduce reef-damaging behaviors by snorkelers in high-use areas. These types of management activities, integrated with reef monitoring and subsequent readjustment of management, have the potential to reverse the damage potentially inflicted on coral reefs by the expansion of reef-based recreational snorkeling.

  5. Microbiology of the Red Sea (and other) deep-sea anoxic brine lakes

    KAUST Repository

    Antunes, Andre

    2011-05-30

    Summary: The Red Sea harbours approximately 25 deep-sea anoxic brine pools. They constitute extremely unique and complex habitats with the conjugation of several extreme physicochemical parameters rendering them some of the most inhospitable environments on Earth. After 50 years of research mostly driven by chemists, geophysicists and geologists, the microbiology of the brines has been receiving increased interest in the last decade. Recent molecular and cultivation-based studies have provided us with a first glimpse on the enormous biodiversity of the local microbial communities, the identification of several new taxonomic groups, and the isolation of novel extremophiles that thrive in these environments. This review presents a general overview of these unusual biotopes and compares them with other similar environments in the Mediterranean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, with a focus on their microbial ecology. © 2011 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  6. Relative Abundance and Diversity of Bacterial Methanotrophs at the Oxic?Anoxic Interface of the Congo Deep-Sea Fan

    OpenAIRE

    Bessette, Sandrine; Moalic, Yann; Gautey, S?bastien; Lesongeur, Fran?oise; Godfroy, Anne; Toffin, Laurent

    2017-01-01

    Sitting at ∼5,000 m water depth on the Congo-Angola margin and ∼760 km offshore of the West African coast, the recent lobe complex of the Congo deep-sea fan receives large amounts of fluvial sediments (3–5% organic carbon). This organic-rich sedimentation area harbors habitats with chemosynthetic communities similar to those of cold seeps. In this study, we investigated relative abundance, diversity and distribution of aerobic methane-oxidizing bacteria (MOB) communities at the oxic–anoxic in...

  7. 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.

  8. Do larval supply and recruitment vary among chemosynthetic environments of the deep sea?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Metaxas

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The biological communities that inhabit chemosynthetic environments exist in an ephemeral and patchily distributed habitat with unique physicochemical properties that lead to high endemicity. Consequently, the maintenance and recovery from perturbation of the populations in these habitats is, arguably, mainly regulated by larval supply and recruitment. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: WE USE DATA FROM THE PUBLISHED SCIENTIFIC LITERATURE TO: (1 compare the magnitudes of and variability in larval supply and settlement and recruitment at hydrothermal vents, seeps, and whale, wood and kelp falls; (2 explore factors that affect these life history processes, when information is available; and (3 explore taxonomic affinities in the recruit assemblages of the different chemosynthetic habitats, using multivariate statistical techniques. Larval supply at vents can vary across segments by several orders of magnitude for gastropods; for bivalves, supply is similar at vents on different segments, and at cold seeps. The limited information on larval development suggests that dispersal potential may be highest for molluscs from cold seeps, intermediate for siboglinids at vents and lowest for the whale-bone siboglinid Osedax. Settlement is poorly studied and only at vents and seeps, but tends to be highest near an active source of emanating fluid in both habitats. Rate of recruitment at vents is more variable among studies within a segment than among segments. Across different chemosynthetic habitats, recruitment rate of bivalves is much more variable than that of gastropods and polychaetes. Total recruitment rate ranges only between 0.1 and 1 ind dm(-2 d(-1 across all chemosynthetic habitats, falling above rates in the non-reducing deep sea. The recruit assemblages at vents, seeps and kelp falls have lower taxonomic breadth, and include more families and genera that have many species more closely related to each other than those at whale and wood

  9. Organic matter assimilation and selective feeding by holothurians in the deep sea: some observations and comments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ginger, Michael L.; Billett, David S. M.; Mackenzie, Karen L.; Konstandinos Kiriakoulakis; Neto, Renato R.; K. Boardman, Daniel; Santos, Vera L. C. S.; Horsfall, Ian M.; A. Wolff, George

    The selective feeding behaviour and assimilation efficiencies of deep-sea holothurians were investigated in order to assess their impact on carbon and nitrogen remineralisation on the Porcupine Abyssal Plain (PAP; ˜ 49°N 16°W, ˜ 4850 m water depth). Unfortunately, reliable determination of organic matter in the gut contents of the organisms proved to be difficult, because of the lysis of cells associated with the death of the animals on recovery. This was expressed in high levels of free fatty acids in the gut contents of Oneirophanta mutabilis, which we ascribe to unregulated lipolysis of phospholipids and triacylglycerides. It was not possible to estimate accurately the contribution that such material made to the gut contents, but based on the distributions of sterols in the gut sediments, it is likely to have been substantial. Therefore, all assimilation efficiencies calculated for holothurians in the deep sea should be treated with caution. Fortuitously, a bloom of holothurians that feed on the sediment surface (namely Amperima rosea and Ellipinion molle) during the period of study provided an opportunity indirectly to assess the impact of megafauna on organic matter cycling at the PAP. Observations suggest that the depletion of phytosterols from the surficial sediments between July and October 1997 resulted from the selective uptake of fresh phytodetritus by the blooming species. Deep-sea holothurians do not biosynthesise sterols de novo and an estimate of the sterol required by the increased population of A. rosea and E. molle is equivalent to the sterol flux to the seafloor during the spring/summer of 1997. The implications are dramatic. Firstly, these and other megafauna apparently turned over and selectively removed phytosterols from the freshly arrived phytodetritus and the surficial sediment (0-5 mm) at the PAP in less than four months. Secondly, their action impacted the food resource available to other organisms. Finally, as phytosterols are

  10. 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...

  11. An oceanographic model for the dispersion of wastes disposed of in the deep sea

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1986-01-01

    This report reviews the present knowledge of oceanic processes by which substances might be transferred from a deep-sea dump site back to man or his food chain and recommends pragmatic ways to calculate such transfers in order that deep-sea dumping of contaminants may be regulated effectively. The recommendations as to the currently most appropriate models are given

  12. 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...

  13. Deep-sea disposal: Protecting fish and man

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hagen, A.

    1988-01-01

    The definition of radioactive waste unsuitable for dumping at sea is based on the protection of man. See IAEA Safety Series No. 78. The development of criteria for assessing the impact on deep sea marine organisms at the population level has been attempted in a report recently published by the IAEA. See IAEA Technical Reports Series, No. 228 (1988). The report indicates that certain radionuclides may give rise to high dose rates to marine organisms if dumping is carried out with the assumptions of instantaneous release at the sea floor and dumping over long periods of time. In the report, a hypothetical dose rate to molluscs from zinc-65, which poses no significant harm to man, has the potential for giving high doses to bottom-dwelling molluscs

  14. Dynamics of a deep-sea cable system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gulyaev, V.I.; Koshkin, V.L.; Serpak, I.O.

    1995-01-01

    We consider the problem of the dynamics of a deep-sea cable system consisting of branches of constant and variable length, interacting with an undercurrent which is variable in depth and direction. We construct a mathematical model for the motion of the element of the cable system. The cables are modeled as inextensible, flexible filaments of variable length. For numerical realization of the problem, we suggest special regularizing transformations of the variables, making it possible (without additional simplifications) to take into account all the characteristic features of the motion of the filaments and to avoid difficulties in the integration of the equations of motion connected with the variability of the length of the branches of the cable system. The proposed mathematical model and the technique for its numerical analysis is applicable for the investigation of the dynamics of a complex for mining minerals from the ocean floor

  15. Potential Health Benefits of Deep Sea Water: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samihah Zura Mohd Nani

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Deep sea water (DSW commonly refers to a body of seawater that is pumped up from a depth of over 200 m. It is usually associated with the following characteristics: low temperature, high purity, and being rich with nutrients, namely, beneficial elements, which include magnesium, calcium, potassium, chromium, selenium, zinc, and vanadium. Less photosynthesis of plant planktons, consumption of nutrients, and organic decomposition have caused lots of nutrients to remain there. Due to this, DSW has potential to become a good source for health. Research has proven that DSW can help overcome health problems especially related to lifestyle-associated diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, and skin problems. This paper reviews the potential health benefits of DSW by referring to the findings from previous researches.

  16. Consolidation properties and stress history of some deep sea sediments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Silva, A.J.; Jordan, S.A.

    1983-09-01

    This paper summarizes results of 180 consolidation tests on samples from 52 cores taken with a variety of samplers in deep sea regimes of the North Western Atlantic and North Central Pacific. Most of the samplers were of large cross sectional area (over 10-cm dia) and attention was given to improving field techniques and reducing structural disturbance to the sediments. Good quality samples have been recovered to depths in excess of 25 m in several locations. The sediments were primarily fine-grained clays and silty clays with the predominant clay mineral being illite; however, the presence of smectite and calcium carbonate in some samples had significant influence on the properties. 34 references, 11 figures, 2 tables

  17. Deep-Sea Microbes: Linking Biogeochemical Rates to -Omics Approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herndl, G. J.; Sintes, E.; Bayer, B.; Bergauer, K.; Amano, C.; Hansman, R.; Garcia, J.; Reinthaler, T.

    2016-02-01

    Over the past decade substantial progress has been made in determining deep ocean microbial activity and resolving some of the enigmas in understanding the deep ocean carbon flux. Also, metagenomics approaches have shed light onto the dark ocean's microbes but linking -omics approaches to biogeochemical rate measurements are generally rare in microbial oceanography and even more so for the deep ocean. In this presentation, we will show by combining metagenomics, -proteomics and biogeochemical rate measurements on the bulk and single-cell level that deep-sea microbes exhibit characteristics of generalists with a large genome repertoire, versatile in utilizing substrate as revealed by metaproteomics. This is in striking contrast with the apparently rather uniform dissolved organic matter pool in the deep ocean. Combining the different -omics approaches with metabolic rate measurements, we will highlight some major inconsistencies and enigmas in our understanding of the carbon cycling and microbial food web structure in the dark ocean.

  18. Alchemy or Science? Compromising Archaeology in the Deep Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Jonathan

    2007-06-01

    In the torrid debate between archaeology and treasure hunting, compromise is often suggested as the pragmatic solution, especially for archaeology carried out either in deep water or beyond the constraints that commonly regulate such activities in territorial seas. Both the wisdom and the need for such compromise have even been advocated by some archaeologists, particularly in forums such as the internet and conferences. This paper argues that such a compromise is impossible, not in order to fuel confrontation but simply because of the nature of any academic discipline. We can define what archaeology is in terms of its aims, theories, methods and ethics, so combining it with an activity founded on opposing principles must transform it into something else. The way forward for archaeology in the deep sea does not lie in a contradictory realignment of archaeology’s goals but in collaborative research designed to mesh with emerging national and regional research and management plans.

  19. Baseline characterization of benthic and coral communities of the Flower Garden Banks (2010 - 2012) (NODC Accession 0124257)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This study utilized ROV photograph transects to quantify benthic habitat and coral communities among the five habitat types (algal nodule, coralline algal reefs,...

  20. Activity syndromes and metabolism in giant deep-sea isopods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Alexander D. M.; Szekeres, Petra; Violich, Mackellar; Gutowsky, Lee F. G.; Eliason, Erika J.; Cooke, Steven J.

    2017-03-01

    Despite growing interest, the behavioural ecology of deep-sea organisms is largely unknown. Much of this scarcity in knowledge can be attributed to deepwater animals being secretive or comparatively 'rare', as well as technical difficulties associated with accessing such remote habitats. Here we tested whether two species of giant marine isopod (Bathynomus giganteus, Booralana tricarinata) captured from 653 to 875 m in the Caribbean Sea near Eleuthera, The Bahamas, exhibited an activity behavioural syndrome across two environmental contexts (presence/absence of food stimulus) and further whether this syndrome carried over consistently between sexes. We also measured routine metabolic rate and oxygen consumption in response to a food stimulus in B. giganteus to assess whether these variables are related to individual differences in personality. We found that both species show an activity syndrome across environmental contexts, but the underlying mechanistic basis of this syndrome, particularly in B. giganteus, is unclear. Contrary to our initial predictions, neither B. giganteus nor B. tricarinata showed any differences between mean expression of behavioural traits between sexes. Both sexes of B. tricarinata showed strong evidence of an activity syndrome underlying movement and foraging ecology, whereas only male B. giganteus showed evidence of an activity syndrome. Generally, individuals that were more active and bolder, in a standard open arena test were also more active when a food stimulus was present. Interestingly, individual differences in metabolism were not related to individual differences in behaviour based on present data. Our study provides the first measurements of behavioural syndromes and metabolism in giant deep-sea isopods.

  1. Biogeography and ecology of the rare and abundant microbial lineages in deep-sea hydrothermal vents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Rika E; Sogin, Mitchell L; Baross, John A

    2015-01-01

    Environmental gradients generate countless ecological niches in deep-sea hydrothermal vent systems, which foster diverse microbial communities. The majority of distinct microbial lineages in these communities occur in very low abundance. However, the ecological role and distribution of rare and abundant lineages, particularly in deep, hot subsurface environments, remain unclear. Here, we use 16S rRNA tag sequencing to describe biogeographic patterning and microbial community structure of both rare and abundant archaea and bacteria in hydrothermal vent systems. We show that while rare archaeal lineages and almost all bacterial lineages displayed geographically restricted community structuring patterns, the abundant lineages of archaeal communities displayed a much more cosmopolitan distribution. Finally, analysis of one high-volume, high-temperature fluid sample representative of the deep hot biosphere described a unique microbial community that differed from microbial populations in diffuse flow fluid or sulfide samples, yet the rare thermophilic archaeal groups showed similarities to those that occur in sulfides. These results suggest that while most archaeal and bacterial lineages in vents are rare and display a highly regional distribution, a small percentage of lineages, particularly within the archaeal domain, are successful at widespread dispersal and colonization. © FEMS 2014. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  2. The transcriptome of Bathymodiolus azoricus gill reveals expression of genes from endosymbionts and free-living deep-sea bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egas, Conceição; Pinheiro, Miguel; Gomes, Paula; Barroso, Cristina; Bettencourt, Raul

    2012-08-01

    Deep-sea environments are largely unexplored habitats where a surprising number of species may be found in large communities, thriving regardless of the darkness, extreme cold, and high pressure. Their unique geochemical features result in reducing environments rich in methane and sulfides, sustaining complex chemosynthetic ecosystems that represent one of the most surprising findings in oceans in the last 40 years. The deep-sea Lucky Strike hydrothermal vent field, located in the Mid Atlantic Ridge, is home to large vent mussel communities where Bathymodiolus azoricus represents the dominant faunal biomass, owing its survival to symbiotic associations with methylotrophic or methanotrophic and thiotrophic bacteria. The recent transcriptome sequencing and analysis of gill tissues from B. azoricus revealed a number of genes of bacterial origin, hereby analyzed to provide a functional insight into the gill microbial community. The transcripts supported a metabolically active microbiome and a variety of mechanisms and pathways, evidencing also the sulfur and methane metabolisms. Taxonomic affiliation of transcripts and 16S rRNA community profiling revealed a microbial community dominated by thiotrophic and methanotrophic endosymbionts of B. azoricus and the presence of a Sulfurovum-like epsilonbacterium.

  3. Biological responses to disturbance from simulated deep-sea polymetallic nodule mining.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel O B Jones

    Full Text Available Commercial-scale mining for polymetallic nodules could have a major impact on the deep-sea environment, but the effects of these mining activities on deep-sea ecosystems are very poorly known. The first commercial test mining for polymetallic nodules was carried out in 1970. Since then a number of small-scale commercial test mining or scientific disturbance studies have been carried out. Here we evaluate changes in faunal densities and diversity of benthic communities measured in response to these 11 simulated or test nodule mining disturbances using meta-analysis techniques. We find that impacts are often severe immediately after mining, with major negative changes in density and diversity of most groups occurring. However, in some cases, the mobile fauna and small-sized fauna experienced less negative impacts over the longer term. At seven sites in the Pacific, multiple surveys assessed recovery in fauna over periods of up to 26 years. Almost all studies show some recovery in faunal density and diversity for meiofauna and mobile megafauna, often within one year. However, very few faunal groups return to baseline or control conditions after two decades. The effects of polymetallic nodule mining are likely to be long term. Our analyses show considerable negative biological effects of seafloor nodule mining, even at the small scale of test mining experiments, although there is variation in sensitivity amongst organisms of different sizes and functional groups, which have important implications for ecosystem responses. Unfortunately, many past studies have limitations that reduce their effectiveness in determining responses. We provide recommendations to improve future mining impact test studies. Further research to assess the effects of test-mining activities will inform ways to improve mining practices and guide effective environmental management of mining activities.

  4. Biological responses to disturbance from simulated deep-sea polymetallic nodule mining.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Daniel O B; Kaiser, Stefanie; Sweetman, Andrew K; Smith, Craig R; Menot, Lenaick; Vink, Annemiek; Trueblood, Dwight; Greinert, Jens; Billett, David S M; Arbizu, Pedro Martinez; Radziejewska, Teresa; Singh, Ravail; Ingole, Baban; Stratmann, Tanja; Simon-Lledó, Erik; Durden, Jennifer M; Clark, Malcolm R

    2017-01-01

    Commercial-scale mining for polymetallic nodules could have a major impact on the deep-sea environment, but the effects of these mining activities on deep-sea ecosystems are very poorly known. The first commercial test mining for polymetallic nodules was carried out in 1970. Since then a number of small-scale commercial test mining or scientific disturbance studies have been carried out. Here we evaluate changes in faunal densities and diversity of benthic communities measured in response to these 11 simulated or test nodule mining disturbances using meta-analysis techniques. We find that impacts are often severe immediately after mining, with major negative changes in density and diversity of most groups occurring. However, in some cases, the mobile fauna and small-sized fauna experienced less negative impacts over the longer term. At seven sites in the Pacific, multiple surveys assessed recovery in fauna over periods of up to 26 years. Almost all studies show some recovery in faunal density and diversity for meiofauna and mobile megafauna, often within one year. However, very few faunal groups return to baseline or control conditions after two decades. The effects of polymetallic nodule mining are likely to be long term. Our analyses show considerable negative biological effects of seafloor nodule mining, even at the small scale of test mining experiments, although there is variation in sensitivity amongst organisms of different sizes and functional groups, which have important implications for ecosystem responses. Unfortunately, many past studies have limitations that reduce their effectiveness in determining responses. We provide recommendations to improve future mining impact test studies. Further research to assess the effects of test-mining activities will inform ways to improve mining practices and guide effective environmental management of mining activities.

  5. Deep-Sea, Deep-Sequencing: Metabarcoding Extracellular DNA from Sediments of Marine Canyons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Magdalena Guardiola

    Full Text Available Marine sediments are home to one of the richest species pools on Earth, but logistics and a dearth of taxonomic work-force hinders the knowledge of their biodiversity. We characterized α- and β-diversity of deep-sea assemblages from submarine canyons in the western Mediterranean using an environmental DNA metabarcoding. We used a new primer set targeting a short eukaryotic 18S sequence (ca. 110 bp. We applied a protocol designed to obtain extractions enriched in extracellular DNA from replicated sediment corers. With this strategy we captured information from DNA (local or deposited from the water column that persists adsorbed to inorganic particles and buffered short-term spatial and temporal heterogeneity. We analysed replicated samples from 20 localities including 2 deep-sea canyons, 1 shallower canal, and two open slopes (depth range 100-2,250 m. We identified 1,629 MOTUs, among which the dominant groups were Metazoa (with representatives of 19 phyla, Alveolata, Stramenopiles, and Rhizaria. There was a marked small-scale heterogeneity as shown by differences in replicates within corers and within localities. The spatial variability between canyons was significant, as was the depth component in one of the canyons where it was tested. Likewise, the composition of the first layer (1 cm of sediment was significantly different from deeper layers. We found that qualitative (presence-absence and quantitative (relative number of reads data showed consistent trends of differentiation between samples and geographic areas. The subset of exclusively benthic MOTUs showed similar patterns of β-diversity and community structure as the whole dataset. Separate analyses of the main metazoan phyla (in number of MOTUs showed some differences in distribution attributable to different lifestyles. Our results highlight the differentiation that can be found even between geographically close assemblages, and sets the ground for future monitoring and conservation

  6. Microbial stowaways: Addressing oil spill impacts and the artificial reef effect on deep-sea microbiomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamdan, L. J.; Salerno, J. L.; Blackwell, C. A.; Little, B.; McGown, C.; Fitzgerald, L. A.; Damour, M.

    2016-02-01

    Shipwrecks enhance macro-biological diversity in the deep ocean, but, to date, studies have not explored the reef effect on deep-sea microbiological diversity. This is an important concept to address in a restoration framework, as microbial biogeochemical function impacts recruitment and adhesion of higher trophic levels on artificial reefs. In addition, microbial biofilms influence the preservation of shipwrecks through biologically mediated corrosion. Oil and gas-related activities have potential to disrupt the base of the reef trophic web; therefore, bacterial diversity and gene function at six shipwrecks (3 steel-hulled; 3 wood-hulled) in the northern Gulf of Mexico was investigated as part of the GOM-SCHEMA (Shipwreck Corrosion, Hydrocarbon Exposure, Microbiology, and Archaeology) project. Sites were selected based on proximity to the Deepwater Horizon spill's subsurface plume, depth, hull type, and existing archaeological data. Classification of taxa in sediments adjacent to and at distance from wrecks, in water, and on experimental steel coupons was used to evaluate how the presence of shipwrecks and spill contaminants in the deep biosphere influenced diversity. At all sites, and in all sample types, Proteobacteria were most abundant. Biodiversity was highest in surface sediments and in coupon biofilms adjacent to two steel-hulled wrecks in the study (Halo and Anona) and decreased with sediment depth and distance from the wrecks. Sequences associated with the iron oxidizing Mariprofundus genus were elevated at steel-hulled sites, indicating wreck-specific environmental selection. Despite evidence of the reef effect on microbiomes, bacterial composition was structured primarily by proximity to the spill and secondarily by hull material at all sites. This study provides the first evidence of an artificial reef effect on deep-sea microbial communities and suggests that biodiversity and function of primary colonizers of shipwrecks may be impacted by the spill.

  7. Large-scale coral recruitment patterns on Mona Island, Puerto Rico: evidence of a transitional community trajectory after massive coral bleaching and mortality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edwin A. Hernández-Delgado

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Coral reefs have largely declined across the northeastern Caribbean following the 2005 massive bleaching event. Climate change-related sea surface warming and coral disease outbreaks of a white plague-like syndrome and of yellow band disease (YBD have caused significant coral decline affecting massive reef building species (i.e., Orbicella annularis species complex which show no apparent signs of recovery through larval sexual recruitment. We addressed coral recruit densities across three spur and groove reef locations along the western shelf of remote Mona Island, Puerto Rico: Punta Capitán (PCA, Pasa de Las Carmelitas (PLC, and Las Carmelitas-South (LCS. Data were collected during November 2012 along 93 haphazard transects across three depth zones (<5m, 5-10m, 10-15m. A total of 32 coral species (9 octocorals, 1 hydrocoral, 22 scleractinians were documented among the recruit community. Communities had low densities and dominance by short-lived brooder species seven years after the 2005 event. Mean coral recruit density ranged from 1.2 to 10.5/m2 at PCA, 6.3 to 7.2/m² at LCS, 4.5 to 9.5/m² at PLC. Differences in coral recruit community structure can be attributed to slight variation in percent macroalgal cover and composition as study sites had nearly similar benthic spatial heterogeneity. Dominance by ephemeral coral species was widespread. Recovery of largely declining massive reef-building species such as the O. annularis species complex was limited or non-existent. The lack of recovery could be the combined result of several mechanisms involving climate change, YBD disease, macroalgae, fishing, urchins and Mona Island’s reefs limited connectivity to other reef systems. There is also for rehabilitation of fish trophic structure, with emphasis in recovering herbivore guilds and depleted populations of D. antillarum. Failing to recognize the importance of ecosystem-based management and resilience rehabilitation may deem remote coral reefs

  8. The cold-water coral community as a hot spot of carbon cycling on continental margins: a food-web analysis from Rockall Bank (northeast Atlantic)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Oevelen, D.J.; Duineveld, G.; Lavaleye, M.; Mienis, F.; Soetaert, K.E.R.; Heip, C.H.R.

    2009-01-01

    We present a quantitative food-web analysis of the cold-water coral community, i.e., the assembly of living corals, dead coral branches and sediment beneath, associated with the reef-building Lophelia pertusa on the giant carbonate mounds at ~800-m depth at Rockall Bank. Carbon flows, 140 flows

  9. Long-term Shifts in Coral Communities On Shallow to Deep Reef Slopes of Curaçao and Bonaire: Are There Any Winners?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Bakker, D.M.; Meesters, E.H.; Bak, R.P.M.; Nieuwland, G.; van Duyl, F.C.

    2016-01-01

    Tropical coral reefs are among the most biologically diverse and economically important ecosystems on earth. Nevertheless, we found dramatic changes in coral communities on the reef slopes of Curaçao and Bonaire since 1973. Cover and abundance declined for virtually all coral species. The data show

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 75 FR 49420 - Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Deep-Sea Red Crab Fisheries; 2010 Atlantic...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-08-13

    .... 100513223-0289-02] RIN 0648-AY88 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Deep-Sea Red Crab Fisheries; 2010 Atlantic Deep-Sea Red Crab Specifications In- season Adjustment AGENCY: National Marine...-sea (DAS) allocation for the Atlantic deep- sea red crab fishery that were implemented in May 2010...

  15. 75 FR 35435 - Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Deep-Sea Red Crab Fisheries; 2010 Atlantic...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-06-22

    .... 100513223-0254-01] RIN 0648-AY88 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Deep-Sea Red Crab Fisheries; 2010 Atlantic Deep-Sea Red Crab Specifications In- season Adjustment AGENCY: National Marine... deep-sea red crab fishery, including a target total allowable catch (TAC) and a fleet-wide days-at-sea...

  16. 75 FR 7435 - Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Deep-Sea Red Crab Fisheries; 2010 Atlantic...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-02-19

    .... 100105009-0053-01] RIN 0648-AY51 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Deep-Sea Red Crab Fisheries; 2010 Atlantic Deep-Sea Red Crab Specifications AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS... comments. SUMMARY: NMFS proposes 2010 specifications for the Atlantic deep-sea red crab fishery, including...

  17. 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.

  18. Patterns of deep-sea genetic connectivity in the New Zealand region: implications for management of benthic ecosystems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eleanor K Bors

    Full Text Available Patterns of genetic connectivity are increasingly considered in the design of marine protected areas (MPAs in both shallow and deep water. In the New Zealand Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ, deep-sea communities at upper bathyal depths (<2000 m are vulnerable to anthropogenic disturbance from fishing and potential mining operations. Currently, patterns of genetic connectivity among deep-sea populations throughout New Zealand's EEZ are not well understood. Using the mitochondrial Cytochrome Oxidase I and 16S rRNA genes as genetic markers, this study aimed to elucidate patterns of genetic connectivity among populations of two common benthic invertebrates with contrasting life history strategies. Populations of the squat lobster Munida gracilis and the polychaete Hyalinoecia longibranchiata were sampled from continental slope, seamount, and offshore rise habitats on the Chatham Rise, Hikurangi Margin, and Challenger Plateau. For the polychaete, significant population structure was detected among distinct populations on the Chatham Rise, the Hikurangi Margin, and the Challenger Plateau. Significant genetic differences existed between slope and seamount populations on the Hikurangi Margin, as did evidence of population differentiation between the northeast and southwest parts of the Chatham Rise. In contrast, no significant population structure was detected across the study area for the squat lobster. Patterns of genetic connectivity in Hyalinoecia longibranchiata are likely influenced by a number of factors including current regimes that operate on varying spatial and temporal scales to produce potential barriers to dispersal. The striking difference in population structure between species can be attributed to differences in life history strategies. The results of this study are discussed in the context of existing conservation areas that are intended to manage anthropogenic threats to deep-sea benthic communities in the New Zealand region.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pia Kegler

    2017-08-01

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

  20. Metagenomic analysis and metabolite profiling of deep-sea sediments from the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nikole Elizabeth Kimes

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Marine subsurface environments, such as deep-sea sediments, house abundant and diverse microbial communities that are believed to influence large-scale geochemical processes. These processes include the biotransformation and mineralization of numerous petroleum constituents. Thus, microbial communities in the Gulf of Mexico are thought to be responsible for the intrinsic bioremediation of crude oil released by the Deepwater Horizon (DWH oil spill. While hydrocarbon contamination is known to enrich for aerobic, oil-degrading bacteria in deep-seawater habitats, relatively little is known about the response of communities in deep-sea sediments, where low oxygen levels may hinder such a response. Here, we examined the hypothesis that increased hydrocarbon exposure results in an altered sediment microbial community structure that reflects the prospects for oil biodegradation under the prevailing conditions. We explore this hypothesis using metagenomic analysis and metabolite profiling of deep-sea sediment samples following the DWH oil spill. The presence of aerobic microbial communities and associated functional genes was consistent among all samples, whereas, a greater number of Deltaproteobacteria and anaerobic functional genes were found in sediments closest to the DWH blowout site. Metabolite profiling also revealed a greater number of putative metabolites in sediments surrounding the blowout zone relative to a background site located 127 km away. The mass spectral analysis of the putative metabolites revealed that alkylsuccinates remained below detection levels, but a homologous series of benzylsuccinates (with carbon chain lengths from 5 to 10 could be detected. Our findings suggest that increased exposure to hydrocarbons enriches for Deltaproteobacteria, which are known to be capable of anaerobic hydrocarbon metabolism. We also provide evidence for an active microbial community metabolizing aromatic hydrocarbons in deep-sea sediments of the

  1. Restoration of deep-sea macrofauna after simulated benthic disturbance in the Central Indian Basin

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Ingole, B.S.; Pavithran, S.; Ansari, Z.A.

    feeding by holoyhurians in the deep sea: some observations and comments. Progress in Oceanography 50, 407-421. Glasby, G.P., 1977. Marine manganese deposits. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp.523. Grassle, J.F. and Sanders, H.L., 1973. Life histories and role... gesamten Hydrobiologie 77, 331-339. Thiel, H., 2001. Use and protection of the deep sea - an introduction. Deep-Sea Research II 48, (17-18), 3427-3431. Trueblood, D., Ozturgut, E., Pilipchuk, M., Gloumov, I. 1997. The ecological impacts of the joint U...

  2. 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.

  3. Food web transport of trace metals and radionuclides from the deep sea: a review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Young, J.S.

    1979-06-01

    This report summarizes aspects of the potential distribution pathways of metals and radionuclides, particularly Co and Ni, through a biological trophic framework after their deposition at 4000 to 5000 meters in the North Atlantic or North Pacific. It discusses (a) the basic, deep-sea trophic structure of eutrophic and oligotrophic regions; (b) the transport pathways of biologically available energy to and from the deep sea, pathways that may act as accumulators and vectors of radionuclide distribution, and (c) distribution routes that have come into question as potential carriers of radionuclides from the deep-sea bed to man

  4. ASSESSMENT OF THE DEEP SEA WRECK USS INDEPENDENCE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa C. Symons

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available As part of ongoing efforts to better understand the nature of shipwrecks in National Marine Sanctuaries which may pose some level of pollution risk, and in this case, to definitively locate what is likely the only shipwreck in a sanctuary involved in both nuclear testing and nuclear waste disposal, NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries collaborated with NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration and The Boeing Company, which provided their autonomous underwater vehicle, Echo Ranger, to conduct the first deep-water archaeological survey of the scuttled aircraft carrier USS Independence in the waters of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS in March 2015. The presence of the deep-sea scuttled radioactive aircraft carrier USS Independence off the California coast has been the source of consistent media speculation and public concern for decades. The survey confirmed that a sonar target charted at the location was Independence, and provided details on the condition of the wreck, and revealed no detectable levels of radioactivity. At the same time, new information from declassified government reports provided more detail on Independence’s use as a naval test craft for radiological decontamination as well as its use as a repository for radioactive materials at the time of its scuttling in 1951. While further surveys may reveal more, physical assessment and focused archival work has demonstrated that the level of concern and speculation of danger from either a radioactive or oil pollution threat posed may be exaggerated.

  5. Real-Time Visualization System for Deep-Sea Surveying

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yujie Li

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Remote robotic exploration holds vast potential for gaining knowledge about extreme environments, which is difficult to be accessed by humans. In the last two decades, various underwater devices were developed for detecting the mines and mine-like objects in the deep-sea environment. However, there are some problems in recent equipment, like poor accuracy of mineral objects detection, without real-time processing, and low resolution of underwater video frames. Consequently, the underwater objects recognition is a difficult task, because the physical properties of the medium, the captured video frames, are distorted seriously. In this paper, we are considering use of the modern image processing methods to determine the mineral location and to recognize the mineral actually within a little computation complex. We firstly analyze the recent underwater imaging models and propose a novel underwater optical imaging model, which is much closer to the light propagation model in the underwater environment. In our imaging system, we remove the electrical noise by dual-tree complex wavelet transform. And then we solve the nonuniform illumination of artificial lights by fast guided trilateral bilateral filter and recover the image color through automatic color equalization. Finally, a shape-based mineral recognition algorithm is proposed for underwater objects detection. These methods are designed for real-time execution on limited-memory platforms. This pipeline is suitable for detecting underwater objects in practice by our experiences. The initial results are presented and experiments demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed real-time visualization system.

  6. Sungsanpin, a lasso peptide from a deep-sea streptomycete.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Um, Soohyun; Kim, Young-Joo; Kwon, Hyuknam; Wen, He; Kim, Seong-Hwan; Kwon, Hak Cheol; Park, Sunghyouk; Shin, Jongheon; Oh, Dong-Chan

    2013-05-24

    Sungsanpin (1), a new 15-amino-acid peptide, was discovered from a Streptomyces species isolated from deep-sea sediment collected off Jeju Island, Korea. The planar structure of 1 was determined by 1D and 2D NMR spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, and UV spectroscopy. The absolute configurations of the stereocenters in this compound were assigned by derivatizations of the hydrolysate of 1 with Marfey's reagents and 2,3,4,6-tetra-O-acetyl-β-d-glucopyranosyl isothiocyanate, followed by LC-MS analysis. Careful analysis of the ROESY NMR spectrum and three-dimensional structure calculations revealed that sungsanpin possesses the features of a lasso peptide: eight amino acids (-Gly(1)-Phe-Gly-Ser-Lys-Pro-Ile-Asp(8)-) that form a cyclic peptide and seven amino acids (-Ser(9)-Phe-Gly-Leu-Ser-Trp-Leu(15)) that form a tail that loops through the ring. Sungsanpin is thus the first example of a lasso peptide isolated from a marine-derived microorganism. Sungsanpin displayed inhibitory activity in a cell invasion assay with the human lung cancer cell line A549.

  7. The permeability and consolidation of deep-sea sediments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schultheiss, P.J.; Gunn, D.E.

    1985-01-01

    This report presents permeability and consolidation data for a wide range of sediment types. Permeability is one of the two parameters which are needed to directly quantify pore water advection in deep sea sediments and which are being investigated in high-level radioactive waste study areas. While it is desirable that these parameters should be measured in situ it is argued that values of permeability can be measured sufficiently accurately in the laboratory from core samples. Consequently, an apparatus has been developed which enables sediment permeability to be measured at decreasing void ratios during a back-pressured consolidation test. Data presented in this report from over 60 samples have established the major differences in permeability between various sediment types and how permeability changes as a function of burial depth and void ratio. Samples from two study areas in the North Atlantic Ocean, King's Trough Flank (KTF) and Great Meteor East (GME), have been compared with samples of Red Clay (RC) obtained from the NW Pacific Ocean. Results are presented and discussed. (author)

  8. Hydration of high-silica glasses in the deep sea

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Federman, A.N.

    1986-01-01

    Natural analogs of nuclear waste glasses are important because they provide information of the one variable that is not controllable in the laboratory - long intervals of time in the actual environment of storage. Some natural glasses have persisted for millions of years in deep-sea sediments in the form of disseminated particles and distinct tephra layers, while other apparently similar specimens have been completely altered to clay assemblages relatively quickly. Geologists have reached no firm conclusions as to why these differences exist, and more research is certainly warranted. These glasses vary in age, composition, and in the in-situ conditions they have experienced. They may provide important information for two different aspects of nuclear waste glass research: First, the chemical composition and especially the water content of these glasses as a function of time may give an understanding of the mechanisms and rates of diffusion in glasses in the natural environment. Second, the apparent differing durability of these glasses in different environmental conditions may suggest the optimal characteristics of a nuclear waste glass depository

  9. Stronger at Depth: Jamming Grippers as Deep Sea Sampling Tools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Licht, Stephen; Collins, Everett; Mendes, Manuel Lopes; Baxter, Christopher

    2017-12-01

    In this work we experimentally demonstrate (a) that the holding strength of universal jamming grippers increases as a function of the jamming pressure to greater than three atmospheres, and (b) that jamming grippers can be operated in the deep sea in ambient pressures exceeding one hundred atmospheres, where such high jamming pressures can be readily achieved. Laboratory experiments in a pressurized, water-filled test cell are used to measure the holding force of a "universal" style jamming gripper as a function of the pressure difference between internal membrane pressure and ambient pressure. Experiments at sea are used to demonstrate that jamming grippers can be installed on, and operated from, remotely operated vehicles at depths in excess of 1200 m. In both experiments, the jamming gripper consists of a latex balloon filled with a mixture of fresh water and ∼200 μm glass beads, which are cheaply available in large quantities as sand blasting media. The use of a liquid, rather than a gas, as the fluid media allows operation of the gripper with a closed-loop fluid system; jamming pressure is controlled with an electrically driven water hydraulic cylinder in the laboratory and with an oil hydraulic-driven large-bore water hydraulic cylinder at sea.

  10. The fluid dynamics of deep-sea mining

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peacock, Thomas; Rzeznik, Andrew

    2017-11-01

    With vast mineral deposits on the ocean floor, deep-sea nodule mining operations are expected to commence in the next decade. Among several fundamental fluid dynamics problems, this could involve plans for dewatering plumes to be released into the water column by surface processing vessels. To study this scenario, we consider the effects of non-uniform, realistic stratifications on forced compressible plumes with finite initial size. The classical plume model is developed to take into account the influence of thermal conduction through the dewatering pipe and also compressibility effects, for which a dimensionless number is introduced to determine their importance compared to the background stratification. Among other things, our results show that small-scale features of a realistic stratification can have a large effect on plume dynamics compared to smoothed profiles and that for any given set of environmental parameters there is a discharge flow rate that minimizes the plume vertical extent. Our findings are put in the context of nodule mining plumes for which the rapid and efficient re-sedimentation of waste material has important environmental consequences.

  11. A community change in the algal endosymbionts of a scleractinian coral following a natural bleaching event: field evidence of acclimatization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, A M; Berkelmans, R; van Oppen, M J H; Mieog, J C; Sinclair, W

    2008-06-22

    The symbiosis between reef-building corals and their algal endosymbionts (zooxanthellae of the genus Symbiodinium) is highly sensitive to temperature stress, which makes coral reefs vulnerable to climate change. Thermal tolerance in corals is known to be substantially linked to the type of zooxanthellae they harbour and, when multiple types are present, the relative abundance of types can be experimentally manipulated to increase the thermal limits of individual corals. Although the potential exists for this to translate into substantial thermal acclimatization of coral communities, to date there is no evidence to show that this takes place under natural conditions. In this study, we show field evidence of a dramatic change in the symbiont community of Acropora millepora, a common and widespread Indo-Pacific hard coral species, after a natural bleaching event in early 2006 in the Keppel Islands (Great Barrier Reef). Before bleaching, 93.5% (n=460) of the randomly sampled and tagged colonies predominantly harboured the thermally sensitive Symbiodinium type C2, while the remainder harboured a tolerant Symbiodinium type belonging to clade D or mixtures of C2 and D. After bleaching, 71% of the surviving tagged colonies that were initially C2 predominant changed to D or C1 predominance. Colonies that were originally C2 predominant suffered high mortality (37%) compared with D-predominant colonies (8%). We estimate that just over 18% of the original A. millepora population survived unchanged leaving 29% of the population C2 and 71% D or C1 predominant six months after the bleaching event. This change in the symbiont community structure, while it persists, is likely to have substantially increased the thermal tolerance of this coral population. Understanding the processes that underpin the temporal changes in symbiont communities is key to assessing the acclimatization potential of reef corals.

  12. Distinct Bacterial Communities Associated with the Coral Model Aiptasia in Aposymbiotic and Symbiotic States with Symbiodinium

    KAUST Repository

    Rö thig, Till; Costa, Rú ben M.; Simona, Fabia; Baumgarten, Sebastian; Torres, Ana F.; Radhakrishnan, Anand; Aranda, Manuel; Voolstra, Christian R.

    2016-01-01

    Coral reefs are in decline. The basic functional unit of coral reefs is the coral metaorganism or holobiont consisting of the cnidarian host animal, symbiotic algae of the genus Symbiodinium, and a specific consortium of bacteria (among others

  13. Limitations of microbial hydrocarbon degradation at the Amon mud volcano (Nile deep-sea fan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Felden

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available The Amon mud volcano (MV, located at 1250 m water depth on the Nile deep-sea fan, is known for its active emission of methane and non-methane hydrocarbons into the hydrosphere. Previous investigations showed a low efficiency of hydrocarbon-degrading anaerobic microbial communities inhabiting the Amon MV center in the presence of sulfate and hydrocarbons in the seeping subsurface fluids. By comparing spatial and temporal patterns of in situ biogeochemical fluxes, temperature gradients, pore water composition, and microbial activities over 3 yr, we investigated why the activity of anaerobic hydrocarbon degraders can be low despite high energy supplies. We found that the central dome of the Amon MV, as well as a lateral mud flow at its base, showed signs of recent exposure of hot subsurface muds lacking active hydrocarbon degrading communities. In these highly disturbed areas, anaerobic degradation of methane was less than 2% of the methane flux. Rather high oxygen consumption rates compared to low sulfide production suggest a faster development of more rapidly growing aerobic hydrocarbon degraders in highly disturbed areas. In contrast, the more stabilized muds surrounding the central gas and fluid conduits hosted active anaerobic hydrocarbon-degrading microbial communities. The low microbial activity in the hydrocarbon-vented areas of Amon MV is thus a consequence of kinetic limitations by heat and mud expulsion, whereas most of the outer MV area is limited by hydrocarbon transport.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  15. Red Lionfish (Pterois volitans Invade San Salvador, Bahamas: No Early Effects on Coral and Fish Communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander, Amanda K.

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Biological invaders are a leading contributor to global losses of biodiversity. A recent invader to the waters surrounding San Salvador, Bahamas, the red lionfish, Pterois volitans, was first reported in 2006; by 2009 they were common in waters 2-40 m deep around the island. Our study collected data on coral communities and fish assemblages at three patch reef complexes (Rice Bay, Rocky Point, Lindsay Reef in 2007, during the initial phase of the invasion, and compared the results to a nearly identical study done in 2001 before P. volitans colonized San Salvador. Prey selection and quantity of consumption by P. volitans were also examined. Coral and fish species richness, diversity, percent cover (corals and abundance (fish were similar in 2001 and 2007. Of the 5,078 fish recorded during our study on shallow patch reefs, only two were P. volitans, but they were more prevalent in deeper water along San Salvador’s “wall.” Captured P. volitans ranged in size from 19-32 cm, all longer than maturity length. Pallid goby (Coryphopterus eidolon, black cap basslet (Gramma melacara and red night shrimp (Rynchocienetes rigens were the most commonly identified stomach contents. The effects of the successful invasion and increasing population of P. volitans on San Salvador’s reef ecosystem are uncertain at this time; future monitoring of potential changes in coral and fish communities on the patch reefs of San Salvador is recommended to determine if population control measures need to be considered. Initial post-invasion data (2007, along with pre-invasion data (2001, are valuable benchmarks for future studies.

  16. First Evidence of an Important Organic Matter Trophic Pathway between Temperate Corals and Pelagic Microbial Communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J A Fonvielle

    Full Text Available Mucus, i.e., particulate and dissolved organic matter (POM, DOM released by corals, acts as an important energy carrier in tropical ecosystems, but little is known on its ecological role in temperate environments. This study assessed POM and DOM production by the temperate coral Cladocora caespitosa under different environmental conditions. The subsequent enzymatic degradation, growth of prokaryotes and virus-like particles (VLPs as well as changes in the structure of the prokaryotic communities were also monitored. C. caespitosa produced an important quantity of mucus, which varied according to the environmental conditions (from 37.8 to 67.75 nmol carbon h-1 cm-2, but remained higher or comparable to productions observed in tropical corals. It has an important nutritional value, as highlighted by the high content in dissolved nitrogen (50% to 90% of the organic matter released. Organic matter was rapidly degraded by prokaryotes' enzymatic activities, and due to its nitrogen content, aminopeptidase activity was 500 fold higher than the α-glucosidase activity. Prokaryotes, as well as VLPs, presented a rapid growth in the mucus, with prokaryote production rates as high as 0.31 μg h-1 L-1. Changes in bacterial and archaeal communities were observed in the ageing mucus and between mucus and the water column, suggesting a clear impact of mucus on microorganism diversity. Overall, our results show that the organic matter released by temperate corals, such as C. caespitosa, which can form reef structures in the Mediterranean Sea, stimulates microbial activity and thereby functions as a significant carbon and nitrogen supplier to the microbial loop.

  17. Atoll-scale patterns in coral reef community structure: Human signatures on Ulithi Atoll, Micronesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crane, Nicole L; Nelson, Peter; Abelson, Avigdor; Precoda, Kristin; Rulmal, John; Bernardi, Giacomo; Paddack, Michelle

    2017-01-01

    The dynamic relationship between reefs and the people who utilize them at a subsistence level is poorly understood. This paper characterizes atoll-scale patterns in shallow coral reef habitat and fish community structure, and correlates these with environmental characteristics and anthropogenic factors, critical to conservation efforts for the reefs and the people who depend on them. Hierarchical clustering analyses by site for benthic composition and fish community resulted in the same 3 major clusters: cluster 1-oceanic (close proximity to deep water) and uninhabited (low human impact); cluster 2-oceanic and inhabited (high human impact); and cluster 3-lagoonal (facing the inside of the lagoon) and inhabited (highest human impact). Distance from village, reef exposure to deep water and human population size had the greatest effect in predicting the fish and benthic community structure. Our study demonstrates a strong association between benthic and fish community structure and human use across the Ulithi Atoll (Yap State, Federated States of Micronesia) and confirms a pattern observed by local people that an 'opportunistic' scleractinian coral (Montipora sp.) is associated with more highly impacted reefs. Our findings suggest that small human populations (subsistence fishing) can nevertheless have considerable ecological impacts on reefs due, in part, to changes in fishing practices rather than overfishing per se, as well as larger global trends. Findings from this work can assist in building local capacity to manage reef resources across an atoll-wide scale, and illustrates the importance of anthropogenic impact even in small communities.

  18. Atoll-scale patterns in coral reef community structure: Human signatures on Ulithi Atoll, Micronesia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole L Crane

    Full Text Available The dynamic relationship between reefs and the people who utilize them at a subsistence level is poorly understood. This paper characterizes atoll-scale patterns in shallow coral reef habitat and fish community structure, and correlates these with environmental characteristics and anthropogenic factors, critical to conservation efforts for the reefs and the people who depend on them. Hierarchical clustering analyses by site for benthic composition and fish community resulted in the same 3 major clusters: cluster 1-oceanic (close proximity to deep water and uninhabited (low human impact; cluster 2-oceanic and inhabited (high human impact; and cluster 3-lagoonal (facing the inside of the lagoon and inhabited (highest human impact. Distance from village, reef exposure to deep water and human population size had the greatest effect in predicting the fish and benthic community structure. Our study demonstrates a strong association between benthic and fish community structure and human use across the Ulithi Atoll (Yap State, Federated States of Micronesia and confirms a pattern observed by local people that an 'opportunistic' scleractinian coral (Montipora sp. is associated with more highly impacted reefs. Our findings suggest that small human populations (subsistence fishing can nevertheless have considerable ecological impacts on reefs due, in part, to changes in fishing practices rather than overfishing per se, as well as larger global trends. Findings from this work can assist in building local capacity to manage reef resources across an atoll-wide scale, and illustrates the importance of anthropogenic impact even in small communities.

  19. Current status of coral reefs in the United Arab Emirates: Distribution, extent, and community structure with implications for management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grizzle, Raymond E; Ward, Krystin M; AlShihi, Rashid M S; Burt, John A

    2016-04-30

    Coral reefs of the United Arab Emirates were once extensive, but have declined dramatically in recent decades. Marine management and policy have been hampered by outdated and inaccurate habitat maps and habitat quality information. We combined existing recent datasets with our newly mapped coral habitats to provide a current assessment of nation-wide extent, and performed quantitative surveys of communities at 23 sites to assess coral cover and composition. Over 132 km(2) of coral habitat was mapped, averaging 28.6 ± 3.8% live coral cover at surveyed sites. In the Arabian Gulf low cover, low richness Porites dominated communities characterized western Abu Dhabi, while reefs northeast of Abu Dhabi city generally contained higher richness and cover, and were dominated by merulinids (formerly faviids). Distinct communities occur in the Sea of Oman, where cover and richness were low. We provide management recommendations to enhance conservation of vulnerable coral reefs in the UAE. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. 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)

  1. Ship Sensor Observations for Deep Sea Medicines 2003 - Office of Ocean Exploration

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Hourly measurements made by selected ship sensors on the NOAA ship Ronald H. Brown during the "Deep Sea Medicines 2003: Exploration of the Gulf of Mexico" expedition...

  2. Recovery of deep-sea meiofauna after artificial disturbance in the Central Indian Basin

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Ingole, B.S.; Goltekar, N.R.; Gonsalves, S.; Ansari, Z.A.

    -1 1 Recovery of Deep-sea Meiofauna after Artificial Disturbance in the Central Indian Basin INGOLE B.S*., R. GOLTEKAR, S. GONSALVES and Z. A. ANSARI Biological Oceanography Division, National Institute of Oceanography, Dona Paula, Goa; 403004...

  3. Bacterial Diversity in Deep-Sea Sediments from Afanasy Nikitin Seamount, Equatorial Indian Ocean

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Khandeparker, R.; Meena, R.M.; Deobagkar, D.D.

    Deep-sea sediments can reveal much about the last 200 million years of Earth history, including the history of ocean life and climate. Microbial diversity in Afanasy Nikitin seamount located at Equatorial East Indian Ocean (EEIO) was investigated...

  4. Ship Track for Deep Sea Medicines 2003 - Office of Ocean Exploration

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Ship track of the Ronald H. Brown during the "Deep Sea Medicines 2003: Exploring the Gulf of Mexico" expedition sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric...

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Patterns in subtidal seaweed communities on coral-dominated reefs ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Ordination (canonical correspondence analysis) and classification (Twinspan) of the data showed clear differences in the floristic composition (either as species biomass or presence/absence) with depth, mainly between shallow subtidal communities (0.5–1.0m depth) and those at intermediate depths (5.5–15.0m), followed ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loh, Tse-Lynn; Pawlik, Joseph R

    2014-03-18

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

  9. The importance of sponges and mangroves in supporting fish communities on degraded coral reefs in Caribbean Panama.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seemann, Janina; Yingst, Alexandra; Stuart-Smith, Rick D; Edgar, Graham J; Altieri, Andrew H

    2018-01-01

    Fish communities associated with coral reefs worldwide are threatened by habitat degradation and overexploitation. We assessed coral reefs, mangrove fringes, and seagrass meadows on the Caribbean coast of Panama to explore the influences of their proximity to one another, habitat cover, and environmental characteristics in sustaining biomass, species richness and trophic structure of fish communities in a degraded tropical ecosystem. We found 94% of all fish across all habitat types were of small body size (≤10 cm), with communities dominated by fishes that usually live in habitats of low complexity, such as Pomacentridae (damselfishes) and Gobiidae (gobies). Total fish biomass was very low, with the trend of small fishes from low trophic levels over-represented, and top predators under-represented, relative to coral reefs elsewhere in the Caribbean. For example, herbivorous fishes comprised 27% of total fish biomass in Panama relative to 10% in the wider Caribbean, and the small parrotfish Scarus iseri comprised 72% of the parrotfish biomass. We found evidence that non-coral biogenic habitats support reef-associated fish communities. In particular, the abundance of sponges on a given reef and proximity of mangroves were found to be important positive correlates of reef fish species richness, biomass, abundance and trophic structure. Our study indicates that a diverse fish community can persist on degraded coral reefs, and that the availability and arrangement within the seascape of other habitat-forming organisms, including sponges and mangroves, is critical to the maintenance of functional processes in such ecosystems.

  10. Deep-sea fungi as a source of alkaline and cold-tolerant proteases

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Damare, S.R.; Raghukumar, C.; Muraleedharan, U.; Raghukumar, S.

    ,5]. Fungi and their enzymes from the deep-sea environment have received scant attention. Proteins and peptides constitute a substantial portion of the organic nutrients present in the deep-sea sediments as well as suspended particulate matter [6... alkaline protease using a qualitative plate assay on Czapek Dox agar (CDA) supplemented with 1% skimmed milk powder (Trade name Sagar, India). Clearance zone produced around the fungal colonies in plates indicated protease positive reaction [19...

  11. Environmental studies for mining of deep-sea polymetallic nodules - Accomplishments and future plans

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Sharma, R.

    on marine ecosystem, the project on ‘EIA studies for nodule mining in CIB’ was initiated in 1996, under the national programme on polymetallic nodules funded by the Dept. of Ocean Development. Mining of the deep-sea minerals [1] is expected to alter... for the future • Development of predictive ecosystem models • Creation of environmental database • Evaluating the biogeochemical coupling of biota with deep-sea ecosystem • Development of environment management plan for nodule mining References...

  12. Exponential Decline of Deep-Sea Ecosystem Functioning Linked to Benthic Biodiversity Loss

    OpenAIRE

    Danovaro, Roberto; Gambi, Cristina; Dell'Anno, Antonio; Corinaldesi, Cinzia; Fraschetti, Simonetta; Vanreusel, Ann; Vincx, Magda; Gooday, Andrew J.

    2008-01-01

    BackgroundRecent investigations suggest that biodiversity loss might impair the functioning and sustainability of ecosystems. Although deep-sea ecosystems are the most extensive on Earth, represent the largest reservoir of biomass, and host a large proportion of undiscovered biodiversity, the data needed to evaluate the consequences of biodiversity loss on the ocean floor are completely lacking.ResultsHere, we present a global-scale study based on 116 deep-sea sites that relates benthic biodi...

  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. 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 dem