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Sample records for mexican caribbean reefs

  1. Response of millepora alcicornis (Milleporina: Milleporidae) to two bleaching enventgs at Puerto Morelos reef, Mexican Caribbean

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Banaszak, A.T.; Ayala Schiaffino, B.N.; Rodriguez Roman, A.; Enriquez, S.; Iglesias Prieto, R.

    2003-01-01

    Two naturally occurring colonies of Millepora alcicornis were monitored during 1997 and 1998, both years in which this species bleached in the Mexican Caribbean. One colony (HL) was naturally exposed to a high light environment and another nearby colony (LL) was exposed to 5.9 times lower light levels due to shadowing by a pier. For 10 days in August 1997, seawater temperatures in the surrounding reef lagoon rose up to 1.5 degrees C above the 6-year August average. The HL colony bleached to white during this period, whereas, the LL colony remained dark-brown colored. The HL colony recovered its normal dark-brown coloration (reversible bleaching) within several weeks, during which time the seawater temperatures returned to average. The following year, for 10 days, seawater temperatures rose up to 3 degrees C above the 7-year August average and both colonies bleached to white and neither colony recovered (irreversible bleaching). Both colonies were rapidly overgrown by algae and hydroids and, as of June 2003, no recovery has taken place. Prior to the 1997 bleaching, experiments using solar radiation showed that the quantum yield of photosystem II charge separation of branches from HL and LL colonies were affected for several hours by exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR, 280 to 400 nm), but recovered by the same evening, suggesting that UVR does not have long-term effects on photochemistry in M. alcicornis. In situ effective quantum yield of photosystem II charge separation (ΔF/Fm ' ) measurements before the 1998 bleaching event indicate that both colonies were healthy in terms of the physiological status of their endosymbionts. During and after the 1998 bleaching event, both colonies showed a reduction in ΔF/Fm ' and consequently an increase in excitation pressure on photosystem II. The data suggest that temperature is not the only factor that causes bleaching and that solar radiation may play an important role in coral bleaching. (Author)

  2. Coupling Biophysical and Socioeconomic Models for Coral Reef Systems in Quintana Roo, Mexican Caribbean

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    Jessica Melbourne-Thomas

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Transdisciplinary approaches that consider both socioeconomic and biophysical processes are central to understanding and managing rapid change in coral reef systems worldwide. To date, there have been limited attempts to couple the two sets of processes in dynamic models for coral reefs, and these attempts are confined to reef systems in developed countries. We present an approach to coupling existing biophysical and socioeconomic models for coral reef systems in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. The biophysical model is multiscale, using dynamic equations to capture local-scale ecological processes on individual reefs, with reefs connected at regional scales by the ocean transport of larval propagules. The agent-based socioeconomic model simulates changes in tourism, fisheries, and urbanization in the Quintana Roo region. Despite differences in the formulation and currencies of the two models, we were able to successfully modify and integrate them to synchronize and define information flows and feedbacks between them. A preliminary evaluation of the coupled model system indicates that the model gives reasonable predictions for fisheries and ecological variables and can be used to examine scenarios for future social-ecological change in Quintana Roo. We provide recommendations for where efforts might usefully be focused in future attempts to integrate models of biophysical and socioeconomic processes, based on the limitations of our coupled system.

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

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

    2012-01-01

    Background In the Mexican Caribbean, the exotic lionfish Pterois volitans has become a species of great concern because of their predatory habits and rapid expansion onto the Mesoamerican coral reef, the second largest continuous reef system in the world. This is the first report of DNA identification of stomach contents of lionfish using the barcode of life reference database (BOLD). Methodology/Principal Findings We confirm with barcoding that only Pterois volitans is apparently present in the Mexican Caribbean. We analyzed the stomach contents of 157 specimens of P. volitans from various locations in the region. Based on DNA matches in the Barcode of Life Database (BOLD) and GenBank, we identified fishes from five orders, 14 families, 22 genera and 34 species in the stomach contents. The families with the most species represented were Gobiidae and Apogonidae. Some prey taxa are commercially important species. Seven species were new records for the Mexican Caribbean: Apogon mosavi, Coryphopterus venezuelae, C. thrix, C. tortugae, Lythrypnus minimus, Starksia langi and S. ocellata. DNA matches, as well as the presence of intact lionfish in the stomach contents, indicate some degree of cannibalism, a behavior confirmed in this species by the first time. We obtained 45 distinct crustacean prey sequences, from which only 20 taxa could be identified from the BOLD and GenBank databases. The matches were primarily to Decapoda but only a single taxon could be identified to the species level, Euphausia americana. Conclusions/Significance This technique proved to be an efficient and useful method, especially since prey species could be identified from partially-digested remains. The primary limitation is the lack of comprehensive coverage of potential prey species in the region in the BOLD and GenBank databases, especially among invertebrates. PMID:22675470

  4. Monitoring an alien invasion: DNA barcoding and the identification of lionfish and their prey on coral reefs of the Mexican Caribbean.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

    In the Mexican Caribbean, the exotic lionfish Pterois volitans has become a species of great concern because of their predatory habits and rapid expansion onto the Mesoamerican coral reef, the second largest continuous reef system in the world. This is the first report of DNA identification of stomach contents of lionfish using the barcode of life reference database (BOLD). We confirm with barcoding that only Pterois volitans is apparently present in the Mexican Caribbean. We analyzed the stomach contents of 157 specimens of P. volitans from various locations in the region. Based on DNA matches in the Barcode of Life Database (BOLD) and GenBank, we identified fishes from five orders, 14 families, 22 genera and 34 species in the stomach contents. The families with the most species represented were Gobiidae and Apogonidae. Some prey taxa are commercially important species. Seven species were new records for the Mexican Caribbean: Apogon mosavi, Coryphopterus venezuelae, C. thrix, C. tortugae, Lythrypnus minimus, Starksia langi and S. ocellata. DNA matches, as well as the presence of intact lionfish in the stomach contents, indicate some degree of cannibalism, a behavior confirmed in this species by the first time. We obtained 45 distinct crustacean prey sequences, from which only 20 taxa could be identified from the BOLD and GenBank databases. The matches were primarily to Decapoda but only a single taxon could be identified to the species level, Euphausia americana. This technique proved to be an efficient and useful method, especially since prey species could be identified from partially-digested remains. The primary limitation is the lack of comprehensive coverage of potential prey species in the region in the BOLD and GenBank databases, especially among invertebrates.

  5. Monitoring an alien invasion: DNA barcoding and the identification of lionfish and their prey on coral reefs of the Mexican Caribbean.

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    Martha Valdez-Moreno

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: In the Mexican Caribbean, the exotic lionfish Pterois volitans has become a species of great concern because of their predatory habits and rapid expansion onto the Mesoamerican coral reef, the second largest continuous reef system in the world. This is the first report of DNA identification of stomach contents of lionfish using the barcode of life reference database (BOLD. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We confirm with barcoding that only Pterois volitans is apparently present in the Mexican Caribbean. We analyzed the stomach contents of 157 specimens of P. volitans from various locations in the region. Based on DNA matches in the Barcode of Life Database (BOLD and GenBank, we identified fishes from five orders, 14 families, 22 genera and 34 species in the stomach contents. The families with the most species represented were Gobiidae and Apogonidae. Some prey taxa are commercially important species. Seven species were new records for the Mexican Caribbean: Apogon mosavi, Coryphopterus venezuelae, C. thrix, C. tortugae, Lythrypnus minimus, Starksia langi and S. ocellata. DNA matches, as well as the presence of intact lionfish in the stomach contents, indicate some degree of cannibalism, a behavior confirmed in this species by the first time. We obtained 45 distinct crustacean prey sequences, from which only 20 taxa could be identified from the BOLD and GenBank databases. The matches were primarily to Decapoda but only a single taxon could be identified to the species level, Euphausia americana. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This technique proved to be an efficient and useful method, especially since prey species could be identified from partially-digested remains. The primary limitation is the lack of comprehensive coverage of potential prey species in the region in the BOLD and GenBank databases, especially among invertebrates.

  6. Community structure and palaeoecological implications of calcareous encrusters on artificial substrates across a Mexican Caribbean reef

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    Hepburn, L. J.; Blanchon, P.; Murphy, G.; Cousins, L.; Perry, C. T.

    2015-03-01

    Calcareous encrusters stabilize and bind reef framework and contribute significantly to reef function and biodiversity. Their calcareous skeletons have good preservation potential which, together with well-constrained habitat preferences, makes them useful indicators of past environmental conditions. However, our knowledge of environmental tolerances and spatial distribution trends of encrusters remains limited. Here, we determine the distributional trends and environmental tolerances of calcareous encrusters and delineate the relevance of particular species/genera for palaeoecological reconstructions. Artificial microhabitats were created to mimic exposed, partially cryptic, and cryptic habitats in various orientations for periods of 1 and 2 yr. Calcareous encruster coverage was high, especially in cryptic habitats (95 %), and clear successional trends were observed over time. Total encruster carbonate production was intermediate (range 72.8-476.3 g m-2 yr-1). Encruster species and growth morphology exhibited a defined zonation in response to reef sub-environment, microhabitat, and environmental factors such as light and wave exposure. Linear regression identified three coralline algae genera, as well as Homotrema rubrum, Planorbulina spp., and cemented bivalves as those most likely to occur in particular habitats. Therefore, the presence of these species may be used with greater confidence in distinguishing palaeomicroenvironments.

  7. Akumal ’s reefs: Stony coral communities along the developing Mexican Caribbean coastline

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    Roshan E Roy

    2004-12-01

    Full Text Available Fringing coral reefs along coastlines experiencing rapid development and human population growth have declined worldwide because of human activity and of natural causes.The "Mayan Riviera "in Quintana Roo,México,attracts large numbers of tourists in part because it still retains some of the natural diversity and it is important to obtain baseline information to monitor changes over time in the area.In this paper,the condition of the stony corals in the developing coastline of the Akumal-area fore reefs is characterized at the start of the new millennium at two depths,and along an inferred sedimentation gradient.Transect surveys were conducted in five fringing reefs starting at haphazardly chosen points.with respect to species composition,live cover,colony density,relative exposure to TAS mats and,for one species (Diploria strigosa ,Dana,1848,tissue regression rates in the presence of TAS mats.Fish population density and herbivory rates are also assessed.Data from line intercept transects (n=74show that live stony coral cover,density and relative peripheral exposure of colonies to turf algal/sediment (TASmats were inversely related to an inferred sediment stress gradient at 13m.In 2000, live stony coral cover had decreased by 40-50%at two sites studied in 1990 by Muñoz-Chagín and de la Cruz- Agüero (1993.About half of this loss apparently occurred between 1998 and 2000 during an outbreak of white plague disease that mostly affected Montastraea faveolata ,and M.annularis .At a 13 m site,where inferred sedimentation rates are relatively high,time series photography of tagged Diploria strigosa ,(n=38showed an average loss of 70 cm 2 of live tissue/coral/year to encroachment by TAS mats during the same period.Whereas densities of carnivorous fishes and herbivores (echinoids,scarids,acanthurids and Microspathodon chrysurus in 2000 were low in belt transects at 10-19 m (n=106,turf-algal gardening pomacentrids were relatively common on these reefs

  8. SEAMAP Caribbean Reef Fish Survey (PC1202, ME70)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Objectives of the 2012 SEAMAP Caribbean Reef Fish Survey were to assess relative abundance of reef fish species around the US Caribbean Islands, estimate...

  9. SEAMAP Caribbean Reef Fish Survey (PC1202, EK60)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Objectives of the 2012 SEAMAP Caribbean Reef Fish Survey were to assess relative abundance of reef fish species around the US Caribbean Islands, estimate...

  10. Impact of Eastern Caribbean Circulation Seasonality on two Reef Organisms

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    Cherubin, L. M.; Paris, C. B.; Baums, I. B.; Idrisi, N.

    2008-05-01

    The variability of the Caribbean current is under the influence of the fresh water input from the Orinoco and Amazon rivers. Sea Surface Salinity maps of the eastern Caribbean show the seasonal extension of the riverine fresh water across the Caribbean basin, from August to December (wet season). The plume is divided into two main cores: one flows into the Caribbean Sea mostly through the Grenada Passage where it merges with the Caribbean Current while the other core is formed further north by advection of the river plume by the North Brazil Current rings. Due to the presence of fresh water the Caribbean Sea mesoscale activity is strongly increased during the wet season. Therefore, both coral reef ecosystems and coastal flows are under the scope of the large scale flow seasonality. The impact of the flow mesoscale seasonality on reef organisms is studied through two reef organisms: (1) Reef-building coral: Genetic analyzes show that populations of the Caribbean reef-building coral, Acropora palmata, have experienced little or no recent genetic exchange between the western and eastern Caribbean. Western Puerto Rico is identified as an area of mixing between the two subregions. Using a bio- physical coupled model accounting for larvae life history traits, we verify the plausibility of a present day oceanographic barrier caused by the Caribbean Current seasonal variability in the vicinity of Mona Passage. (2) Grouper: Several grouper species form spawning aggregations at the shelf edge of the US Virgin Islands starting at the end of the wet season in December. Using ADCP current measurements and numerical simulations, unusual large 'dispersion' pulses are shown to be associated with the presence of sub-mesoscale coherent features more likely to be formed during the wet season. Spawning occurring during the dry season (January to April) is mostly tide driven, suggesting a limited dispersal.

  11. African dust and the demise of Caribbean coral reefs

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    Shinn, E.A.; Smith, G.W.; Prospero, J.M.; Betzer, P.; Hayes, M.L.; Garrison, V.; Barber, R.T.

    2000-01-01

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

  12. Coral identity underpins architectural complexity on Caribbean reefs.

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    Alvarez-Filip, Lorenzo; Dulvy, Nicholas K; Côte, Isabelle M; Watkinson, Andrew R; Gill, Jennifer A

    2011-09-01

    The architectural complexity of ecosystems can greatly influence their capacity to support biodiversity and deliver ecosystem services. Understanding the components underlying this complexity can aid the development of effective strategies for ecosystem conservation. Caribbean coral reefs support and protect millions of livelihoods, but recent anthropogenic change is shifting communities toward reefs dominated by stress-resistant coral species, which are often less architecturally complex. With the regionwide decline in reef fish abundance, it is becoming increasingly important to understand changes in coral reef community structure and function. We quantify the influence of coral composition, diversity, and morpho-functional traits on the architectural complexity of reefs across 91 sites at Cozumel, Mexico. Although reef architectural complexity increases with coral cover and species richness, it is highest on sites that are low in taxonomic evenness and dominated by morpho-functionally important, reef-building coral genera, particularly Montastraea. Sites with similar coral community composition also tend to occur on reefs with very similar architectural complexity, suggesting that reef structure tends to be determined by the same key species across sites. Our findings provide support for prioritizing and protecting particular reef types, especially those dominated by key reef-building corals, in order to enhance reef complexity.

  13. Heterogeneous Attitudes of Tourists toward Lionfish in the Mexican Caribbean: Implications for Invasive Species Management

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    Luis Malpica-Cruz

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Indo-Pacific lionfish (Pterois volitans and P. miles are invasive predators established throughout the Wider Caribbean. They have already caused significant ecological impacts and have the potential to affect local economies that depend on coral reefs. Snorkeling and scuba diving are important activities that rely on esthetically pleasant reefs. We asked whether lionfish-invaded reefs have lower esthetic value and whether fees to help control the invasion might be acceptable to recreational divers and snorkelers in the Mexican Caribbean. To do so, we conducted a choice experiment in which tourists were asked to indicate their preferences for coral reef images with varying attributes that can be affected by lionfish. We specified a priori two classes of respondents, i.e., snorkelers and divers, but two latent classes of recreational divers (casual vs. committed emerged on the basis of their preferences. Tourist age, commitment to snorkeling/diving, and lionfish awareness explained class membership. Casual divers and snorkelers preferred reefs with lionfish and accepted their impacts on the reefs. In contrast, committed divers disliked lionfish and associated impacts, and would elect to dive elsewhere if such impacts were high. Casual divers and snorkelers preferred options with low lionfish control fees, while committed divers were willing to pay high fees. Our results indicate potential economic impacts of the lionfish invasion in regions that depend on reef-related tourism, and that lionfish control fees might be acceptable to some but not all recreational users. However, because all tourists favored to a greater extent reef features that can be affected detrimentally by lionfish than they favored lionfish themselves, we predict that managing the lionfish invasion should be beneficial to the local reef tourism industry.

  14. Mangroves Enhance Reef Fish Abundance at the Caribbean Regional Scale.

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    Serafy, Joseph E; Shideler, Geoffrey S; Araújo, Rafael J; Nagelkerken, Ivan

    2015-01-01

    Several studies conducted at the scale of islands, or small sections of continental coastlines, have suggested that mangrove habitats serve to enhance fish abundances on coral reefs, mainly by providing nursery grounds for several ontogenetically-migrating species. However, evidence of such enhancement at a regional scale has not been reported, and recently, some researchers have questioned the mangrove-reef subsidy effect. In the present study, using two different regression approaches, we pursued two questions related to mangrove-reef connectivity at the Caribbean regional scale: (1) Are reef fish abundances limited by mangrove forest area?; and (2) Are mean reef fish abundances proportional to mangrove forest area after taking human population density and latitude into account? Specifically, we tested for Caribbean-wide mangrove forest area effects on the abundances of 12 reef fishes that have been previously characterized as "mangrove-dependent". Analyzed were data from an ongoing, long-term (20-year) citizen-scientist fish monitoring program; coastal human population censuses; and several wetland forest information sources. Quantile regression results supported the notion that mangrove forest area limits the abundance of eight of the 12 fishes examined. Linear mixed-effects regression results, which considered potential human (fishing and habitat degradation) and latitudinal influences, suggested that average reef fish densities of at least six of the 12 focal fishes were directly proportional to mangrove forest area. Recent work questioning the mangrove-reef fish subsidy effect likely reflects a failure to: (1) focus analyses on species that use mangroves as nurseries, (2) consider more than the mean fish abundance response to mangrove forest extent; and/or (3) quantitatively account for potentially confounding human impacts, such as fishing pressure and habitat degradation. Our study is the first to demonstrate at a large regional scale (i.e., the Wider

  15. Mangroves Enhance Reef Fish Abundance at the Caribbean Regional Scale.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph E Serafy

    Full Text Available Several studies conducted at the scale of islands, or small sections of continental coastlines, have suggested that mangrove habitats serve to enhance fish abundances on coral reefs, mainly by providing nursery grounds for several ontogenetically-migrating species. However, evidence of such enhancement at a regional scale has not been reported, and recently, some researchers have questioned the mangrove-reef subsidy effect. In the present study, using two different regression approaches, we pursued two questions related to mangrove-reef connectivity at the Caribbean regional scale: (1 Are reef fish abundances limited by mangrove forest area?; and (2 Are mean reef fish abundances proportional to mangrove forest area after taking human population density and latitude into account? Specifically, we tested for Caribbean-wide mangrove forest area effects on the abundances of 12 reef fishes that have been previously characterized as "mangrove-dependent". Analyzed were data from an ongoing, long-term (20-year citizen-scientist fish monitoring program; coastal human population censuses; and several wetland forest information sources. Quantile regression results supported the notion that mangrove forest area limits the abundance of eight of the 12 fishes examined. Linear mixed-effects regression results, which considered potential human (fishing and habitat degradation and latitudinal influences, suggested that average reef fish densities of at least six of the 12 focal fishes were directly proportional to mangrove forest area. Recent work questioning the mangrove-reef fish subsidy effect likely reflects a failure to: (1 focus analyses on species that use mangroves as nurseries, (2 consider more than the mean fish abundance response to mangrove forest extent; and/or (3 quantitatively account for potentially confounding human impacts, such as fishing pressure and habitat degradation. Our study is the first to demonstrate at a large regional scale (i

  16. Soundscapes from a Tropical Eastern Pacific reef and a Caribbean Sea reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staaterman, E.; Rice, A. N.; Mann, D. A.; Paris, C. B.

    2013-06-01

    Underwater soundscapes vary due to the abiotic and biological components of the habitat. We quantitatively characterized the acoustic environments of two coral reef habitats, one in the Tropical Eastern Pacific (Panama) and one in the Caribbean (Florida Keys), over 2-day recording durations in July 2011. We examined the frequency distribution, temporal variability, and biological patterns of sound production and found clear differences. The Pacific reef exhibited clear biological patterns and high temporal variability, such as the onset of snapping shrimp noise at night, as well as a 400-Hz daytime band likely produced by damselfish. In contrast, the Caribbean reef had high sound levels in the lowest frequencies, but lacked clear temporal patterns. We suggest that acoustic measures are an important element to include in reef monitoring programs, as the acoustic environment plays an important role in the ecology of reef organisms at multiple life-history stages.

  17. Octocoral Species Assembly and Coexistence in Caribbean Coral Reefs.

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    Velásquez, Johanna; Sánchez, Juan A

    2015-01-01

    What are the determinant factors of community assemblies in the most diverse ecosystem in the ocean? Coral reefs can be divided in continental (i.e., reefs that develop on the continental shelf, including siliciclastic reefs) and oceanic (i.e., far off the continental shelf, usually on volcanic substratum); whether or not these habitat differences impose community-wide ecological divergence or species exclusion/coexistence with evolutionary consequences, is unknown. Studying Caribbean octocorals as model system, we determined the phylogenetic community structure in a coral reef community, making emphasis on species coexistence evidenced on trait evolution and environmental feedbacks. Forty-nine species represented in five families constituted the species pool from which a phylogenetic tree was reconstructed using mtDNA. We included data from 11 localities in the Western Caribbean (Colombia) including most reef types. To test diversity-environment and phenotype-environment relationships, phylogenetic community structure and trait evolution we carried out comparative analyses implementing ecological and evolutionary approaches. Phylogenetic inferences suggest clustering of oceanic reefs (e.g., atolls) contrasting with phylogenetic overdispersion of continental reefs (e.g., reefs banks). Additionally, atolls and barrier reefs had the highest species diversity (Shannon index) whereas phylogenetic diversity was higher in reef banks. The discriminant component analysis supported this differentiation between oceanic and continental reefs, where continental octocoral species tend to have greater calyx apertures, thicker branches, prominent calyces and azooxanthellate species. This analysis also indicated a clear separation between the slope and the remaining habitats, caused by the presence or absence of Symbiodinium. K statistic analysis showed that this trait is conserved as well as the branch shape. There was strong octocoral community structure with opposite diversity

  18. Octocoral Species Assembly and Coexistence in Caribbean Coral Reefs.

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    Johanna Velásquez

    Full Text Available What are the determinant factors of community assemblies in the most diverse ecosystem in the ocean? Coral reefs can be divided in continental (i.e., reefs that develop on the continental shelf, including siliciclastic reefs and oceanic (i.e., far off the continental shelf, usually on volcanic substratum; whether or not these habitat differences impose community-wide ecological divergence or species exclusion/coexistence with evolutionary consequences, is unknown.Studying Caribbean octocorals as model system, we determined the phylogenetic community structure in a coral reef community, making emphasis on species coexistence evidenced on trait evolution and environmental feedbacks. Forty-nine species represented in five families constituted the species pool from which a phylogenetic tree was reconstructed using mtDNA. We included data from 11 localities in the Western Caribbean (Colombia including most reef types. To test diversity-environment and phenotype-environment relationships, phylogenetic community structure and trait evolution we carried out comparative analyses implementing ecological and evolutionary approaches.Phylogenetic inferences suggest clustering of oceanic reefs (e.g., atolls contrasting with phylogenetic overdispersion of continental reefs (e.g., reefs banks. Additionally, atolls and barrier reefs had the highest species diversity (Shannon index whereas phylogenetic diversity was higher in reef banks. The discriminant component analysis supported this differentiation between oceanic and continental reefs, where continental octocoral species tend to have greater calyx apertures, thicker branches, prominent calyces and azooxanthellate species. This analysis also indicated a clear separation between the slope and the remaining habitats, caused by the presence or absence of Symbiodinium. K statistic analysis showed that this trait is conserved as well as the branch shape.There was strong octocoral community structure with opposite

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

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

    2010-05-01

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

  20. Status and trends of Caribbean coral reefs: 1970-2012

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Jeremy; Donovan, Mary; Cramer, Katie; Lam, Vivian

    2014-01-01

    vigorously communicate results in simple and straightforward terms to foster more effective conservation and management.This and subsequent reports will focus on separate biogeographic regions in a stepwise fashion and combine all of the results for a global synthesis in the coming years. We began in the wide Caribbean region because the historical data are so extensive and to refine methods of analysis before moving on to other regions. This report documents quantitative trends for Caribbean reef corals, macroalgae, sea urchins, and fishes based on data from 90 reef locations over the past 43 tears. This is the first report to combine all these disparate kinds of data in a single place to explore how the different major components of coral reef ecosystems interact on a broadly regional oceanic scale.We obtained data from more than 35,000 ecological surveys carried out by 78 principal investigators (PIs) and some 200 colleagues working in 34 countries, states, and territories throughout the wide Caribbean region. We conducted two workshops in Panama and Brisbane, Australia to bring together people who provided the data to assist in data quality control, analysis, and synthesis. The first workshop at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in the Republic of Panama 29 April to 5 May, 2012 included scientists from 18 countries and territories to verify and expand the database and to conduct exploratory analyses of status and trends. Preliminary results based on the Panama workshop were presented to the DC Marine Community and Smithsonian Institution Senate of Scientists in May 2012 and at the International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS) and annual ICRI meeting in Cairns, Australia in July 2012. The second workshop in Brisbane, Australia in December 2012 brought together eight coral reef scientists for more detailed data analysis and organization of results for this report and subsequent publications. Subsequent presentations to solicit comments while the report was

  1. Coral diseases and bleaching on Colombian Caribbean coral reefs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raúl Navas-Camacho

    2010-05-01

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

  2. Tourism, globalization and the environment in the Mexican Caribbean Coast

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Córdoba y Ordóñez

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available The terms globalization and tourism tend to be regarded as synonyms in the Mexican Caribbean, an area which shifted from a virtually uninhabited borderline territory to a tourism center receiving over six million visitors peryear. Territorial occupation patterns derived from tourism -identified during field work through a physiognomic analysiswere used to investigate some of the implications of the complex relationship between tourism and development, the latter including not only economic but human factors, as well as with the natural and cultural environment characterized by both a great diversity and a great fragility.

  3. Coral Reef and Coastal Ecosystems Decision Support Workshop April 27-29, 2010 Caribbean Coral Reef Institute, La Parguera, Puerto Rico

    Science.gov (United States)

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Caribbean Coral Reef Institute (CCRI) hosted a Coral Reef and Coastal Ecosystems Decision Support Workshop on April 27-28, 2010 at the Caribbean Coral Reef Institute in La Parguera, Puerto Rico. Forty-three participants, includin...

  4. Indirect effects of overfishing on Caribbean reefs: sponges overgrow reef-building corals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loh, Tse-Lynn; McMurray, Steven E; Henkel, Timothy P; Vicente, Jan; Pawlik, Joseph R

    2015-01-01

    Consumer-mediated indirect effects at the community level are difficult to demonstrate empirically. Here, we show an explicit indirect effect of overfishing on competition between sponges and reef-building corals from surveys of 69 sites across the Caribbean. Leveraging the large-scale, long-term removal of sponge predators, we selected overfished sites where intensive methods, primarily fish-trapping, have been employed for decades or more, and compared them to sites in remote or marine protected areas (MPAs) with variable levels of enforcement. Sponge-eating fishes (angelfishes and parrotfishes) were counted at each site, and the benthos surveyed, with coral colonies scored for interaction with sponges. Overfished sites had >3 fold more overgrowth of corals by sponges, and mean coral contact with sponges was 25.6%, compared with 12.0% at less-fished sites. Greater contact with corals by sponges at overfished sites was mostly by sponge species palatable to sponge predators. Palatable species have faster rates of growth or reproduction than defended sponge species, which instead make metabolically expensive chemical defenses. These results validate the top-down conceptual model of sponge community ecology for Caribbean reefs, as well as provide an unambiguous justification for MPAs to protect threatened reef-building corals. An unanticipated outcome of the benthic survey component of this study was that overfished sites had lower mean macroalgal cover (23.1% vs. 38.1% for less-fished sites), a result that is contrary to prevailing assumptions about seaweed control by herbivorous fishes. Because we did not quantify herbivores for this study, we interpret this result with caution, but suggest that additional large-scale studies comparing intensively overfished and MPA sites are warranted to examine the relative impacts of herbivorous fishes and urchins on Caribbean reefs.

  5. Hurricanes, Coral Reefs and Rainforests: Resistance, Ruin and Recovery in the Caribbean

    Science.gov (United States)

    A. E. Lugo; C. S. Rogers; S. W Nixon

    2000-01-01

    The coexistence of hurricanes, coral reefs, and rainforests in the Caribbean demonstrates that highly structured ecosystems with great diversity can flourish in spite of recurring exposure to intense destructive energy. Coral reefs develop in response to wave energy and resist hurricanes largely by virtue of their structural strength. Limited fetch also protects some...

  6. Organic matter degradation drives benthic cyanobacterial mat abundance on caribbean coral reefs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brocke, Hannah J.; Polerecky, Lubos; De Beer, Dirk; Weber, Miriam; Claudet, Joachim; Nugues, Maggy M.

    2015-01-01

    Benthic cyanobacterial mats (BCMs) are impacting coral reefs worldwide. However, the factors and mechanisms driving their proliferation are unclear. We conducted a multi-year survey around the Caribbean island of Curaçao, which revealed highest BCM abundance on sheltered reefs close to urbanised

  7. 75 FR 39917 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Coral and Coral Reefs off the...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-13

    ... the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Coral and Coral Reefs off the Southern Atlantic... regulations implementing the Fishery Management Plan for Coral, Coral Reefs, and Live/Hardbottom Habitat of... Cancer Institute (http:// [[Page 39918

  8. Heterogeneous Attitudes of Tourists toward Lionfish in the Mexican Caribbean: Implications for Invasive Species Management

    OpenAIRE

    Malpica-Cruz, Luis; Haider, Wolfgang; Smith, Nicola S.; Fernández-Lozada, Sergio; Côté, Isabelle M.

    2017-01-01

    Indo-Pacific lionfish (Pterois volitans and P. miles) are invasive predators established throughout the Wider Caribbean. They have already caused significant ecological impacts and have the potential to affect local economies that depend on coral reefs. Snorkeling and scuba diving are important activities that rely on esthetically pleasant reefs. We asked whether lionfish-invaded reefs have lower esthetic value and whether fees to help control the invasion might be acceptable to recreational ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-06-01

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

  10. Unraveling the structure and composition of Varadero Reef, an improbable and imperiled coral reef in the Colombian Caribbean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valeria Pizarro

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Coral reefs are commonly associated with oligotrophic, well-illuminated waters. In 2013, a healthy coral reef was discovered in one of the least expected places within the Colombian Caribbean: at the entrance of Cartagena Bay, a highly-polluted system that receives industrial and sewage waste, as well as high sediment and freshwater loads from an outlet of the Magdalena River (the longest and most populated river basin in Colombia. Here we provide the first characterization of Varadero Reef’s geomorphology and biological diversity. We also compare these characteristics with those of a nearby reference reef, Barú Reef, located in an area much less influenced by the described polluted system. Below the murky waters, we found high coral cover of 45.1% (±3.9; up to 80% in some sectors, high species diversity, including 42 species of scleractinian coral, 38 of sponge, three of lobster, and eight of sea urchin; a fish community composed of 61 species belonging to 24 families, and the typical zonation of a Caribbean fringing reef. All attributes found correspond to a reef that, according to current standards should be considered in “good condition”. Current plans to dredge part of Varadero threaten the survival of this reef. There is, therefore, an urgent need to describe the location and characteristics of Varadero as a first step towards gaining acknowledgement of its existence and garnering inherent legal and environmental protections.

  11. 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.

  12. Coral diseases and bleaching on Colombian Caribbean coral reefs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raúl Navas-Camacho

    2010-05-01

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

  13. Storminess trends in the Gulf and Mexican Caribbean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendoza, E. T.; Ojeda, E.; Appendini, C. M.

    2016-12-01

    Numerous studies have focused on whether the attributes of tropical cyclones have varied, or how they are expected to vary in a warming climate and yet, a defined conclusion has not been reached. However, an increase in storm intensity, with the inherent increase of wave height and storm surge, will be responsible of heavy economic loss on coastal areas. This contribution analyzes possible variations in the long term storminess pattern observed in 10 nearshore locations along the southern coasts of the Gulf of Mexico and the Mexican Caribbean using modeled wave data from the last 30 years (Appendini et al., 2013). Storminess is studied in terms of wave energy content focusing on extreme event conditions. Wave storm events are obtained using the Peak Over Threshold method. The wave conditions during the events are separated into those caused by tropical cyclones (TC) and extratropical storm (ETS) events because they are expected to behave differently in response to changing climate conditions. In order to characterize the waves generated by these different phenomena the data set is inspected separating individual storm events into TC and ETS using the IBtracks information. The trend and Mann-Kendall test are performed for each node to account for possible trends in the frequency, mean and maximum significant wave heights, and the mean energy content (taken as E=integral(Hs*dt) of TC and ETS. For the TC and ETS events, the results of the MK test show an absence of significant temporal trends for the majority of the nodes even at the 90% confidence interval. The significant trends in the number of ETS events show differential results (negative trend in the northernmost node and positive trends in the two Caribbean nodes and the easternmost GoM node). Regarding the TC events, the two nodes located in the Caribbean Sea present significant temporal (positive) trends in the energy content of the events. However, this trend is related to an increase in the magnitude of

  14. [Size structure as evidence of population establishment of Pterois volitans (Scorpaeniformes: Scorpaenidae) in the South Mexican Caribbean].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabido-Itzá, Miguel Mateo; Medina-Quej, Alejandro; de Jesús-Navarrete, Alberto; Gómez-Poot, Jorge Manuel; García-Rivas, María del Carmen

    2016-03-01

    The lionfish (P. volitans) has now invaded all the Mexican Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, with the potential to cause negative impacts on the reefs. In the South Mexican Caribbean was firstly reported in July 2009, and six years after this report, some control measures such as fish tournament and local marketing have been implemented. However, information on its biology and invasion is still-lacking, so this study analyzed the population structure of 2 164 organisms collected from 2009 to 2012. An increase was observed in sizes for each year averaging Total length (Tl): 118 ± 34.8, 133 ± 56.3, 187 ± 74.8 and 219 ± 72.4 mm, respectively. Lionfish establishment at the study site is shown for the presence of juveniles’ sizes 20 mm TL up to 375 mm TL. When the back-calculation was obtained, we estimated that the larger fish could have recruited in early 2006, three years before the first report was made. A continuous population monitoring and an ecological study, will allow us to clarify the real impact in the ecosystems of the region and so to propose the most effective control actions.

  15. Parrotfish size: a simple yet useful alternative indicator of fishing effects on Caribbean reefs?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vallès, Henri; Oxenford, Hazel A

    2014-01-01

    There is great need to identify simple yet reliable indicators of fishing effects within the multi-species, multi-gear, data-poor fisheries of the Caribbean. Here, we investigate links between fishing pressure and three simple fish metrics, i.e. average fish weight (an estimate of average individual fish size), fish density and fish biomass, derived from (1) the parrotfish family, a ubiquitous herbivore family across the Caribbean, and (2) three fish groups of "commercial" carnivores including snappers and groupers, which are widely-used as indicators of fishing effects. We hypothesize that, because most Caribbean reefs are being heavily fished, fish metrics derived from the less vulnerable parrotfish group would exhibit stronger relationships with fishing pressure on today's Caribbean reefs than those derived from the highly vulnerable commercial fish groups. We used data from 348 Atlantic and Gulf Rapid Reef Assessment (AGRRA) reef-surveys across the Caribbean to assess relationships between two independent indices of fishing pressure (one derived from human population density data, the other from open to fishing versus protected status) and the three fish metrics derived from the four aforementioned fish groups. We found that, although two fish metrics, average parrotfish weight and combined biomass of selected commercial species, were consistently negatively linked to the indices of fishing pressure across the Caribbean, the parrotfish metric consistently outranked the latter in the strength of the relationship, thus supporting our hypothesis. Overall, our study highlights that (assemblage-level) average parrotfish size might be a useful alternative indicator of fishing effects over the typical conditions of most Caribbean shallow reefs: moderate-to-heavy levels of fishing and low abundance of highly valued commercial species.

  16. Discordance between morphological and molecular species boundaries among Caribbean species of the reef sponge Callyspongia

    OpenAIRE

    DeBiasse, Melissa B; Hellberg, Michael E

    2015-01-01

    Sponges are among the most species-rich and ecologically important taxa on coral reefs, yet documenting their diversity is difficult due to the simplicity and plasticity of their morphological characters. Genetic attempts to identify species are hampered by the slow rate of mitochondrial sequence evolution characteristic of sponges and some other basal metazoans. Here we determine species boundaries of the Caribbean coral reef sponge genus Callyspongia using a multilocus, model-based approach...

  17. 76 FR 30110 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Coral and Coral Reefs Off the...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-24

    ... the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Coral and Coral Reefs Off the Southern Atlantic..., Coral Reefs, and Live/Hardbottom Habitat of the South Atlantic Region. The applicant has requested.... HHSN261200900012C) between the National Cancer Institute ( http://www.cancer.gov/ ) and the Coral Reef Research...

  18. 77 FR 25407 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Coral and Coral Reefs Off the...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-04-30

    ... the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Coral and Coral Reefs Off the Southern Atlantic... South Carolina Aquarium to collect, with certain conditions, various species of reef fish, crabs, and..., marine sanctuaries, special management zones, or artificial reefs without additional authorization...

  19. Reef flattening effects on total richness and species responses in the Caribbean

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Newman, Steven P.; Meesters, E.H.; Dryden, Charlie S.; Williams, Stacey M.; Sanchez, Cristina; Mumby, Peter J.; Polunin, Nicholas V.C.

    2015-01-01

    There has been ongoing flattening of Caribbean coral reefs with the loss of habitat having severe implications for these systems. Complexity and its structural components are important to fish species richness and community composition, but little is known about its role for other taxa or

  20. Workshop on Biological Integrity of Coral Reefs August 21-22, 2012, Caribbean Coral Reef Institute, Isla Magueyes, La Parguera, Puerto Rico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    This report summarizes an EPA-sponsored workshop on coral reef biological integrity held at the Caribbean Coral Reef Institute in La Parguera, Puerto Rico on August 21-22, 2012. The goals of this workshop were to:• Identify key qualitative and quantitative ecological characterist...

  1. Fish assemblages on fringing reefs in the southern Caribbean: biodiversity, biomass and feeding types

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jahson B. Alemu I.

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Reef fish assemblages in the Caribbean are under increasing pressure from human activities. Inadequate enforcement of legislation coupled with unreliable and data-poor landings in Tobago have led to the unregulated exploitation of reef fish for decades. This study addresses the lack of data on major reefs. Visual observations of fish fauna were conducted from November 2011-May 2013 at open access reef sites (Speyside, Charlotteville, Culloden, Arnos Vale, Mt. Irvine, La Guira, Kilgwyn, Plymouth and Black Rock and one protected area (Buccoo Reef Marine Park. Belt transects surveys were used to determine fish density, species diversity and abundance at the 10-15m depth contour. Fish sizes were converted to biomass using the length-weight relationship of fish W=aLb. Most fish assemblages were dominated by small herbivores (40cm e.g. Serranidae, were noted, which is indicative of fishing pressure. MDS ordination identified three fish assemblages: i northeastern, ii southwestern and iii intermediate. The northwestern cluster (Speyside and Charlotteville were most representative of reef fish assemblages across the entire island, and exhibited the highest species richness, diversity and biomass. However, the southwestern cluster the highest numerical abundance. The marine protected area contained higher fish biomass, abundance, diversity and richness, but it was only representative of reef fish assemblages on the southwest of the island and not the entire Tobago. Research on the reef fishery, particularly spear fishing, is recommended to determine impact.

  2. Socio-ecological dynamics of Caribbean coral reef ecosystems and conservation opinion propagation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thampi, Vivek A; Anand, Madhur; Bauch, Chris T

    2018-02-07

    The Caribbean coral reef ecosystem has experienced a long history of deterioration due to various stressors. For instance, over-fishing of parrotfish - an important grazer of macroalgae that can prevent destructive overgrowth of macroalgae - has threatened reef ecosystems in recent decades and stimulated conservation efforts such as the formation of marine protected areas. Here we develop a mathematical model of coupled socio-ecological interactions between reef dynamics and conservation opinion dynamics to better understand how natural and human factors interact individually and in combination to determine coral reef cover. We find that the coupling opinion and reef systems generates complex dynamics that are difficult to anticipate without use of a model. For instance, instead of converging to a stable state of constant coral cover and conservationist opinion, the system can oscillate between low and high live coral cover as human opinion oscillates in a boom-bust cycle between complacency and concern. Out of various possible parameter manipulations, we also find that raising awareness of coral reef endangerment best avoids counter-productive nonlinear feedbacks and always increases and stabilizes live coral reef cover. In conclusion, an improved understanding of coupled opinion-reef dynamics under anthrogenic stressors is possible using coupled socio-ecological models, and such models should be further researched.

  3. Native predators do not influence invasion success of pacific lionfish on Caribbean reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hackerott, Serena; Valdivia, Abel; Green, Stephanie J; Côté, Isabelle M; Cox, Courtney E; Akins, Lad; Layman, Craig A; Precht, William F; Bruno, John F

    2013-01-01

    Biotic resistance, the process by which new colonists are excluded from a community by predation from and/or competition with resident species, can prevent or limit species invasions. We examined whether biotic resistance by native predators on Caribbean coral reefs has influenced the invasion success of red lionfishes (Pterois volitans and Pterois miles), piscivores from the Indo-Pacific. Specifically, we surveyed the abundance (density and biomass) of lionfish and native predatory fishes that could interact with lionfish (either through predation or competition) on 71 reefs in three biogeographic regions of the Caribbean. We recorded protection status of the reefs, and abiotic variables including depth, habitat type, and wind/wave exposure at each site. We found no relationship between the density or biomass of lionfish and that of native predators. However, lionfish densities were significantly lower on windward sites, potentially because of habitat preferences, and in marine protected areas, most likely because of ongoing removal efforts by reserve managers. Our results suggest that interactions with native predators do not influence the colonization or post-establishment population density of invasive lionfish on Caribbean reefs.

  4. Native predators do not influence invasion success of pacific lionfish on Caribbean reefs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Serena Hackerott

    Full Text Available Biotic resistance, the process by which new colonists are excluded from a community by predation from and/or competition with resident species, can prevent or limit species invasions. We examined whether biotic resistance by native predators on Caribbean coral reefs has influenced the invasion success of red lionfishes (Pterois volitans and Pterois miles, piscivores from the Indo-Pacific. Specifically, we surveyed the abundance (density and biomass of lionfish and native predatory fishes that could interact with lionfish (either through predation or competition on 71 reefs in three biogeographic regions of the Caribbean. We recorded protection status of the reefs, and abiotic variables including depth, habitat type, and wind/wave exposure at each site. We found no relationship between the density or biomass of lionfish and that of native predators. However, lionfish densities were significantly lower on windward sites, potentially because of habitat preferences, and in marine protected areas, most likely because of ongoing removal efforts by reserve managers. Our results suggest that interactions with native predators do not influence the colonization or post-establishment population density of invasive lionfish on Caribbean reefs.

  5. 78 FR 45894 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of Puerto Rico...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-07-30

    .... 120510052-3615-02] RIN 0648-BC20 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; Parrotfish Management Measures in St. Croix AGENCY.... Virgin Islands (FMP), as prepared by the Caribbean Fishery Management Council (Council). This rule...

  6. 78 FR 15338 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of Puerto Rico...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-03-11

    .... 120510052-3174-01] RIN 0648-BC20 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; Parrotfish Management Measures in St. Croix AGENCY... Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (FMP), as prepared by the Caribbean Fishery Management Council...

  7. Evidence for protection of targeted reef fish on the largest marine reserve in the Caribbean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pina-Amargós, Fabián; González-Sansón, Gaspar; Martín-Blanco, Félix; Valdivia, Abel

    2014-01-01

    Marine reserves can restore fish abundance and diversity in areas impacted by overfishing, but the effectiveness of reserves in developing countries where resources for enforcement are limited, have seldom been evaluated. Here we assess whether the establishment in 1996 of the largest marine reserve in the Caribbean, Gardens of the Queen in Cuba, has had a positive effect on the abundance of commercially valuable reef fish species in relation to neighboring unprotected areas. We surveyed 25 sites, including two reef habitats (reef crest and reef slope), inside and outside the marine reserve, on five different months, and over a one-and-a-half year period. Densities of the ten most frequent, highly targeted, and relatively large fish species showed a significant variability across the archipelago for both reef habitats that depended on the month of survey. These ten species showed a tendency towards higher abundance inside the reserve in both reef habitats for most months during the study. Average fish densities pooled by protection level, however, showed that five out of these ten species were at least two-fold significantly higher inside than outside the reserve at one or both reef habitats. Supporting evidence from previously published studies in the area indicates that habitat complexity and major benthic communities were similar inside and outside the reserve, while fishing pressure appeared to be homogeneous across the archipelago before reserve establishment. Although poaching may occur within the reserve, especially at the boundaries, effective protection from fishing was the most plausible explanation for the patterns observed.

  8. Hurricanes, coral reefs and rainforests: resistance, ruin and recovery in the Caribbean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lugo, Ariel E.; Rogers, Caroline S.; Nixon, Scott W.

    2000-01-01

    The coexistence of hurricanes, coral reefs, and rainforests in the Caribbean demonstrates that highly structured ecosystems with great diversity can flourish in spite of recurring exposure to intense destructive energy. Coral reefs develop in response to wave energy and resist hurricanes largely by virtue of their structural strength. Limited fetch also protects some reefs from fully developed hurricane waves. While storms may produce dramatic local reef damage, they appear to have little impact on the ability of coral reefs to provide food or habitat for fish and other animals. Rainforests experience an enormous increase in wind energy during hurricanes with dramatic structural changes in the vegetation. The resulting changes in forest microclimate are larger than those on reefs and the loss of fruit, leaves, cover, and microclimate has a great impact on animal populations. Recovery of many aspects of rainforest structure and function is rapid, though there may be long-term changes in species composition. While resistance and repair have maintained reefs and rainforests in the past, human impacts may threaten their ability to survive.

  9. 76 FR 41764 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Coral and Coral Reefs off the...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-07-15

    ... DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [RIN 0648-XA491] Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Coral and Coral Reefs off the Southern Atlantic... sanctuaries, special management zones, or artificial reefs without additional authorization. A report on the...

  10. 77 FR 32572 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Coral and Coral Reefs Off the...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-06-01

    ... DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XA935 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Coral and Coral Reefs Off the Southern Atlantic... conditions, various species of reef fish, crabs, and lobsters in Federal waters off South Carolina and North...

  11. 78 FR 37208 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of Puerto Rico...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-06-20

    ... the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; Exempted Fishing Permit AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National... implementing the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Fishery of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands...

  12. 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...

  13. Modeling regional coral reef responses to global warming and changes in ocean chemistry: Caribbean case study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buddemeier, R.W.; Lane, D.R.; Martinich, J.A.

    2011-01-01

    Climatic change threatens the future of coral reefs in the Caribbean and the important ecosystem services they provide. We used a simulation model [Combo ("COral Mortality and Bleaching Output")] to estimate future coral cover in the part of the eastern Caribbean impacted by a massive coral bleaching event in 2005. Combo calculates impacts of future climate change on coral reefs by combining impacts from long-term changes in average sea surface temperature (SST) and ocean acidification with impacts from episodic high temperature mortality (bleaching) events. We used mortality and heat dose data from the 2005 bleaching event to select historic temperature datasets, to use as a baseline for running Combo under different future climate scenarios and sets of assumptions. Results suggest a bleak future for coral reefs in the eastern Caribbean. For three different emissions scenarios from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC; B1, A1B, and A1FI), coral cover on most Caribbean reefs is projected to drop below 5% by the year 2035, if future mortality rates are equivalent to some of those observed in the 2005 event (50%). For a scenario where corals gain an additional 1-1. 5??C of heat tolerance through a shift in the algae that live in the coral tissue, coral cover above 5% is prolonged until 2065. Additional impacts such as storms or anthropogenic damage could result in declines in coral cover even faster than those projected here. These results suggest the need to identify and preserve the locations that are likely to have a higher resiliency to bleaching to save as many remnant populations of corals as possible in the face of projected wide-spread coral loss. ?? 2011 The Author(s).

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gilberto Acosta-González

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

  17. Organic matter degradation drives benthic cyanobacterial mat abundance on Caribbean coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brocke, Hannah J; Polerecky, Lubos; de Beer, Dirk; Weber, Miriam; Claudet, Joachim; Nugues, Maggy M

    2015-01-01

    Benthic cyanobacterial mats (BCMs) are impacting coral reefs worldwide. However, the factors and mechanisms driving their proliferation are unclear. We conducted a multi-year survey around the Caribbean island of Curaçao, which revealed highest BCM abundance on sheltered reefs close to urbanised areas. Reefs with high BCM abundance were also characterised by high benthic cover of macroalgae and low cover of corals. Nutrient concentrations in the water-column were consistently low, but markedly increased just above substrata (both sandy and hard) covered with BCMs. This was true for sites with both high and low BCM coverage, suggesting that BCM growth is stimulated by a localised, substrate-linked release of nutrients from the microbial degradation of organic matter. This hypothesis was supported by a higher organic content in sediments on reefs with high BCM coverage, and by an in situ experiment which showed that BCMs grew within days on sediments enriched with organic matter (Spirulina). We propose that nutrient runoff from urbanised areas stimulates phototrophic blooms and enhances organic matter concentrations on the reef. This organic matter is transported by currents and settles on the seabed at sites with low hydrodynamics. Subsequently, nutrients released from the organic matter degradation fuel the growth of BCMs. Improved management of nutrients generated on land should lower organic loading of sediments and other benthos (e.g. turf and macroalgae) to reduce BCM proliferation on coral reefs.

  18. Resource partitioning along multiple niche axes drives functional diversity in parrotfishes on Caribbean coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adam, Thomas C; Kelley, Megan; Ruttenberg, Benjamin I; Burkepile, Deron E

    2015-12-01

    The recent loss of key consumers to exploitation and habitat degradation has significantly altered community dynamics and ecosystem function across many ecosystems worldwide. Predicting the impacts of consumer losses requires knowing the level of functional diversity that exists within a consumer assemblage. In this study, we document functional diversity among nine species of parrotfishes on Caribbean coral reefs. Parrotfishes are key herbivores that facilitate the maintenance and recovery of coral-dominated reefs by controlling algae and provisioning space for the recruitment of corals. We observed large functional differences among two genera of parrotfishes that were driven by differences in diet. Fishes in the genus Scarus targeted filamentous algal turf assemblages, crustose coralline algae, and endolithic algae and avoided macroalgae, while fishes in the genus Sparisoma preferentially targeted macroalgae. However, species with similar diets were dissimilar in other attributes, including the habitats they frequented, the types of substrate they fed from, and the spatial scale at which they foraged. These differences indicate that species that appear to be functionally redundant when looking at diet alone exhibit high levels of complementarity when we consider multiple functional traits. By identifying key functional differences among parrotfishes, we provide critical information needed to manage parrotfishes to enhance the resilience of coral-dominated reefs and reverse phase shifts on algal-dominated reefs throughout the wider Caribbean. Further, our study provides a framework for predicting the impacts of consumer losses in other species rich ecosystems.

  19. Coral reefs chronically exposed to river sediment plumes in the southwestern Caribbean: Rosario Islands, Colombia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Restrepo, Juan D; Park, Edward; Aquino, Samia; Latrubesse, Edgardo M

    2016-05-15

    Politicians do not acknowledge the devastating impacts riverine sediments can have on healthy coral reef ecosystems during environmental debates in Caribbean countries. Therefore, regional and/or local decision makers do not implement the necessary measures to reduce fluvial sediment fluxes on coral reefs. The Magdalena River, the main contributor of continental fluxes into the Caribbean Sea, delivers water and sediment fluxes into the Rosario Islands National Park, an important marine protected area in the southwestern Caribbean. Until now, there is no scientific consensus on the presence of sediment fluxes from the Magdalena River in the coral reefs of the Rosario Islands. Our hypothesis is that high sediment and freshwater inputs from the Magdalena have been present at higher acute levels during the last decade than previously thought, and that these runoff pulses are not flashy. We use in-situ calibrated MODIS satellite images to capture the spatiotemporal variability of the distribution of suspended sediment over the coral reefs. Furthermore, geochemical data are analyzed to detect associated sedimentation rates and pollutant dispersion into the coastal zone. Results confirm that turbidity levels have been much higher than previous values presented by national environmental authorities on coral reefs off Colombia over the last decade. During the 2003-2013-period most of the Total Suspended Sediments (TSS) values witnessed in the sampled regions were above 10mg/l, a threshold value of turbidity for healthy coral reef waters. TSS concentrations throughout the analyzed time were up to 62.3mg/l. Plume pulses were more pronounced during wet seasons of La Niña events in 2002-2003, 2007-2008, and 2009-2010. Reconstructed time series of MODIS TSS indicates that coral reef waters were exposed to river plumes between 19.6 and 47.8% of the entire period of analysis (2000-2013). Further analyses of time series of water discharge and sediment load into the coastal zone

  20. A clear human footprint in the coral reefs of the Caribbean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mora, Camilo

    2008-04-07

    The recent degradation of coral reefs worldwide is increasingly well documented, yet the underlying causes remain debated. In this study, we used a large-scale database on the status of coral reef communities in the Caribbean and analysed it in combination with a comprehensive set of socioeconomic and environmental databases to decouple confounding factors and identify the drivers of change in coral reef communities. Our results indicated that human activities related to agricultural land use, coastal development, overfishing and climate change had created independent and overwhelming responses in fishes, corals and macroalgae. While the effective implementation of marine protected areas (MPAs) increased the biomass of fish populations, coral reef builders and macroalgae followed patterns of change independent of MPAs. However, we also found significant ecological links among all these groups of organisms suggesting that the long-term stability of coral reefs as a whole requires a holistic and regional approach to the control of human-related stressors in addition to the improvement and establishment of new MPAs.

  1. A clear human footprint in the coral reefs of the Caribbean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mora, Camilo

    2008-01-01

    The recent degradation of coral reefs worldwide is increasingly well documented, yet the underlying causes remain debated. In this study, we used a large-scale database on the status of coral reef communities in the Caribbean and analysed it in combination with a comprehensive set of socioeconomic and environmental databases to decouple confounding factors and identify the drivers of change in coral reef communities. Our results indicated that human activities related to agricultural land use, coastal development, overfishing and climate change had created independent and overwhelming responses in fishes, corals and macroalgae. While the effective implementation of marine protected areas (MPAs) increased the biomass of fish populations, coral reef builders and macroalgae followed patterns of change independent of MPAs. However, we also found significant ecological links among all these groups of organisms suggesting that the long-term stability of coral reefs as a whole requires a holistic and regional approach to the control of human-related stressors in addition to the improvement and establishment of new MPAs. PMID:18182370

  2. Evidence for protection of targeted reef fish on the largest marine reserve in the Caribbean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabián Pina-Amargós

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Marine reserves can restore fish abundance and diversity in areas impacted by overfishing, but the effectiveness of reserves in developing countries where resources for enforcement are limited, have seldom been evaluated. Here we assess whether the establishment in 1996 of the largest marine reserve in the Caribbean, Gardens of the Queen in Cuba, has had a positive effect on the abundance of commercially valuable reef fish species in relation to neighboring unprotected areas. We surveyed 25 sites, including two reef habitats (reef crest and reef slope, inside and outside the marine reserve, on five different months, and over a one-and-a-half year period. Densities of the ten most frequent, highly targeted, and relatively large fish species showed a significant variability across the archipelago for both reef habitats that depended on the month of survey. These ten species showed a tendency towards higher abundance inside the reserve in both reef habitats for most months during the study. Average fish densities pooled by protection level, however, showed that five out of these ten species were at least two-fold significantly higher inside than outside the reserve at one or both reef habitats. Supporting evidence from previously published studies in the area indicates that habitat complexity and major benthic communities were similar inside and outside the reserve, while fishing pressure appeared to be homogeneous across the archipelago before reserve establishment. Although poaching may occur within the reserve, especially at the boundaries, effective protection from fishing was the most plausible explanation for the patterns observed.

  3. 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.

  4. Symbiodinium biogeography tracks environmental patterns rather than host genetics in a key Caribbean reef-builder, Orbicella annularis

    OpenAIRE

    Kennedy, EV; Tonk, L; Foster, NL; Chollett, I; Ortiz, J-C; Dove, S; Hoegh-Guldberg, O; Mumby, PJ; Stevens, JR

    2016-01-01

    The physiological performance of a reef-building coral is a combined outcome of both the coral host and its algal endosymbionts, Symbiodinium. While Orbicella annularis?a dominant reef-building coral in the Wider Caribbean?is known to be a flexible host in terms of the diversity of Symbiodinium types it can associate with, it is uncertain how this diversity varies across the Caribbean, and whether spatial variability in the symbiont community is related to either O. annularis genotype or envi...

  5. An assessment of global warming stress on Caribbean coral reef ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Atwood, D.K.; Hendec, J.C.; Mendez, A. (NOAA, Miami, FL (USA). Atlantic Oceanography and Meteorology Laboratory)

    1992-07-01

    There is evidence that stress on coral reef ecosystems in the Caribbean region is increasing. Recently numerous authors have stated that the major stress results from 'abnormally high' seasonal sea surface temperatures (SST) and have implicated global warming as a cause, stating that recent episodes of coral bleaching result therefrom. However, an analysis of available SST data sets shows no discernible warming trend that could cause an increase in coral bleaching. Given the lack of long-term records synoptic with observations of coral ecosystem health, there is insufficient evidence available to label temperatures observed in coincidence with recent regional bleaching events as 'abnormally' high.

  6. Are Caribbean reef sharks, Carcharhinus perezi, able to perceive human body orientation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ritter, Erich K; Amin, Raid

    2014-05-01

    The present study examines the potential capability of Caribbean reef sharks to perceive human body orientation, as well as discussing the sharks' swimming patterns in a person's vicinity. A standardized video method was used to record the scenario of single SCUBA divers kneeling in the sand and the approach patterns of sharks, combined with a control group of two divers kneeling back-to-back. When approaching a single test-subject, significantly more sharks preferred to swim outside the person's field of vision. The results suggest that these sharks are able to identify human body orientation, but the mechanisms used and factors affecting nearest distance of approach remain unclear.

  7. Studies on the origin and distribution of palytoxin in a Caribbean coral reef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gleibs, S; Mebs, D; Werding, B

    1995-11-01

    In coral reefs of the Caribbean Sea (Colombia) palytoxin (PTX) has been detected in zoanthid species of the genera Palythoa and Zoanthus by assaying the delayed haemolysis in human erythrocytes produced by aqueous extracts, which is inhibited by ouabain pretreatment, and by HPLC. The toxin content of the polyps and colonies is highly variable and is not correlated with their reproductive cycle or with the amount of symbiotic algae. Sequestration of PTX has been observed in crustaceans (Platypodiella sp.) living in close association with Palythoa colonies and in polychaete worms (Hermodice carunculata) feeding on the zoanthids. Resistance of marine animals to the toxin may enable it to enter food chains.

  8. An assessment of global warming stress on Caribbean coral reef ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Atwood, D K; Hendec, J C; Mendez, A [NOAA, Miami, FL (USA). Atlantic Oceanography and Meteorology Laboratory

    1992-07-01

    There is evidence that stress on coral reef ecosystems in the Caribbean region is increasing. Recently numerous authors have stated that the major stress results from 'abnormally high' seasonal sea surface temperatures (SST) and have implicated global warming as a cause, stating that recent episodes of coral bleaching result therefrom. However, an analysis of available SST data sets shows no discernible warming trend that could cause an increase in coral bleaching. Given the lack of long-term records synoptic with observations of coral ecosystem health, there is insufficient evidence available to label temperatures observed in coincidence with recent regional bleaching events as 'abnormally' high.

  9. Herbivory versus corallivory: are parrotfish good or bad for Caribbean coral reefs?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mumby, Peter J.

    2009-09-01

    With coral cover in decline on many Caribbean reefs, any process of coral mortality is of potential concern. While sparisomid parrotfishes are major grazers of Caribbean reefs and help control algal blooms, the fact that they also undertake corallivory has prompted some to question the rationale for their conservation. Here the weight of evidence for beneficial effects of parrotfishes, in terms of reducing algal cover and facilitating demographic processes in corals, and the deleterious effects of parrotfishes in terms of causing coral mortality and chronic stress, are reviewed. While elevated parrotfish density will likely increase the predation rate upon juvenile corals, the net effect appears to be positive in enhancing coral recruitment through removal of macroalgal competitors. Parrotfish corallivory can cause modest partial colony mortality in the most intensively grazed species of Montastraea but the generation and healing of bite scars appear to be in near equilibrium, even when coral cover is low. Whole colony mortality in adult corals can lead to complete exclusion of some delicate, lagoonal species of Porites from forereef environments but is only reported for one reef species ( Porites astreoides), for one habitat (backreef), and with uncertain incidence (though likely zooxanthellae after bleaching events may be retarded. The balance of evidence to date finds strong support for the herbivory role of parrotfishes in facilitating coral recruitment, growth, and fecundity. In contrast, no net deleterious effects of corallivory have been reported for reef corals. Corallivory is unlikely to constrain overall coral cover but contraints upon dwindling populations of the Montastraea annularis species complex are feasible and the role of parrotfishes as a vector of coral disease requires evaluation. However, any assertion that conservation practices should guard against protecting corallivorous parrotfishes appears to be unwarranted at this stage.

  10. Distribution and structure of the southernmost Caribbean coral reefs: golfo de Urabá, Colombia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. M. Díaz

    2000-09-01

    Full Text Available The Gulf of Urabá represents the southernmost portion of the Caribbean Sea. Due to the large amounts of sediment and freshwater discharged by the Atrato river and several minor streams, water conditions in the area are far from being optimal for coral settlement and growth. However, fringing and patch reefs are developed along the rocky shores of the northwest margin of the Gulf. Based on field observations performed at 44 sites (12 of them assessed quantitatively, interpretation of air photography of the area and depth profiles, the distribution, structure and zonation of the reefs are described. Classification analysis of the 12 sample sites yielded four coral assemblages: Diploria strigosa, crustose algae, Siderastrea siderea, Agaricia spp., and mixed massive corals. Other two assemblages, dominated respectively by Millepora complanata and thickets of Acropora palmata were noticed during reconnaissance dives. The distribution of these zones within the reef seems likely to be mainly controlled by wave exposure, bottom topography, sedimentation, and light penetration. Reef development, coral diversity and live coral cover increase along the coast in a SE-NW direction, with an evident maximum near to the cove of Sapzurro, suggesting an overall improvement of conditions for coral growth and settlement in that direction. A total of 33 species of hard corals were recorded during the survey. It is apparent that the live coral cover, particularly of foliose and branching species, has notably declined recently.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Angang; Reidenbach, Matthew A.

    2014-09-01

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

  12. Molluscan subfossil assemblages reveal the long-term deterioration of coral reef environments in Caribbean Panama.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cramer, Katie L; Leonard-Pingel, Jill S; Rodríguez, Félix; Jackson, Jeremy B C

    2015-07-15

    Caribbean reef corals have declined sharply since the 1980s, but the lack of prior baseline data has hindered identification of drivers of change. To assess anthropogenic change in reef environments over the past century, we tracked the composition of subfossil assemblages of bivalve and gastropod mollusks excavated from pits below lagoonal and offshore reefs in Bocas del Toro, Panama. The higher prevalence of (a) infaunal suspension-feeding bivalves and herbivorous and omnivorous gastropods in lagoons and (b) epifaunal and suspension-feeding bivalves and carnivorous and suspension-feeding gastropods offshore reflected the greater influence of land-based nutrients/sediments within lagoons. Temporal changes indicated deteriorating environmental conditions pre-1960 in lagoons and post-1960 offshore, with offshore communities becoming more similar to lagoonal ones since 1960. Relative abundances of dominant bivalve species tracked those of their coral hosts, revealing broader ecosystem effects of coral community change. The nature and timing of changes implicate land-based runoff in reef deterioration. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  13. Widespread prevalence of cryptic Symbiodinium D in the key Caribbean reef builder, Orbicella annularis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennedy, Emma V.; Foster, Nicola L.; Mumby, Peter J.; Stevens, Jamie R.

    2015-06-01

    Symbiodinium D, a relatively rare clade of algal endosymbiont with a global distribution, has attracted interest as some of its sub-cladal types induce increased thermal tolerance and associated trade-offs, including reduced growth rate in its coral hosts. Members of Symbiodinium D are increasingly reported to comprise low-abundance `cryptic' (30 % of corals per site found to harbour the symbiont. When the same samples were analysed using the conventional screening technique, denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis, Symbiodinium D1 was only detected in 12 populations and appeared to be hosted by agreement with other reported low prevalence/absences in O. annularis). Cryptic Symbiodinium D1 showed a mainly uniform distribution across the wider Caribbean region, although significantly more Mesoamerican Barrier Reef corals hosted cryptic Symbiodinium D1 than might be expected by chance, possibly as a consequence of intense warming in the region in 1998. Widespread prevalence of thermally tolerant Symbiodinium in O. annularis may potentially reflect a capacity for the coral to temporarily respond to warming events through symbiont shuffling. However, association with reduced coral calcification means that the ubiquitous nature of Symbiodinium D1 in O. annularis populations is unlikely to prevent long-term declines in reef health, at a time when maintaining reef growth is vital to sustain reef ecosystem function.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-01

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

  15. Caribbean Reef Response to Plio-Pleistocene Climate Change: Results of the Dominican Republic Drilling Project (DRDP)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klaus, J.; McNeill, D. F.; Diaz, V.; Swart, P. K.; Pourmand, A.

    2014-12-01

    Caribbean reefs changed profoundly in taxonomic composition, diversity, and dominance structure during late Pliocene and Pleistocene climatic change. These changes coincide with protracted climatic deterioration and cooling between 2.0 to 0.8 Ma, and the onset of high amplitude sea-level fluctuations ~400 ka. The Dominican Republic Drilling Project (DRDP) was initiated to determine how climate change and global high-amplitude sea level changes influenced depositional patterns in Pliocene to Recent reef systems of the Caribbean. A transect of 7 core borings (~700 m total depth) were collected along the southern coast of the DR. New age constraints based on U/Th geochronometry and radiogenic Sr isotopes, combined with depositional lithofacies, faunal indicators, and stable isotope profiles have allowed us to correlate between wells and define the internal anatomy and stratal geometry of the individual reef sigmoids and sigmoid sets. Faunal records suggest most extinction occurred prior to ~1 Ma. Following this extinction, fringing reef margins of the Caribbean display a characteristic zonation in which Acropora palmata dominates shallow high-energy reef crests and Acropora cervicornis calmer fore-reef slopes and backreef lagoons. The dominance of acroporids across this zonation has been attributed to growth rates 5-100 times faster than other corals.

  16. Sponge communities on Caribbean coral reefs are structured by factors that are top-down, not bottom-up.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pawlik, Joseph R; Loh, Tse-Lynn; McMurray, Steven E; Finelli, Christopher M

    2013-01-01

    Caribbean coral reefs have been transformed in the past few decades with the demise of reef-building corals, and sponges are now the dominant habitat-forming organisms on most reefs. Competing hypotheses propose that sponge communities are controlled primarily by predatory fishes (top-down) or by the availability of picoplankton to suspension-feeding sponges (bottom-up). We tested these hypotheses on Conch Reef, off Key Largo, Florida, by placing sponges inside and outside predator-excluding cages at sites with less and more planktonic food availability (15 m vs. 30 m depth). There was no evidence of a bottom-up effect on the growth of any of 5 sponge species, and 2 of 5 species grew more when caged at the shallow site with lower food abundance. There was, however, a strong effect of predation by fishes on sponge species that lacked chemical defenses. Sponges with chemical defenses grew slower than undefended species, demonstrating a resource trade-off between growth and the production of secondary metabolites. Surveys of the benthic community on Conch Reef similarly did not support a bottom-up effect, with higher sponge cover at the shallower depth. We conclude that the structure of sponge communities on Caribbean coral reefs is primarily top-down, and predict that removal of sponge predators by overfishing will shift communities toward faster-growing, undefended species that better compete for space with threatened reef-building corals.

  17. Sponge communities on Caribbean coral reefs are structured by factors that are top-down, not bottom-up.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph R Pawlik

    Full Text Available Caribbean coral reefs have been transformed in the past few decades with the demise of reef-building corals, and sponges are now the dominant habitat-forming organisms on most reefs. Competing hypotheses propose that sponge communities are controlled primarily by predatory fishes (top-down or by the availability of picoplankton to suspension-feeding sponges (bottom-up. We tested these hypotheses on Conch Reef, off Key Largo, Florida, by placing sponges inside and outside predator-excluding cages at sites with less and more planktonic food availability (15 m vs. 30 m depth. There was no evidence of a bottom-up effect on the growth of any of 5 sponge species, and 2 of 5 species grew more when caged at the shallow site with lower food abundance. There was, however, a strong effect of predation by fishes on sponge species that lacked chemical defenses. Sponges with chemical defenses grew slower than undefended species, demonstrating a resource trade-off between growth and the production of secondary metabolites. Surveys of the benthic community on Conch Reef similarly did not support a bottom-up effect, with higher sponge cover at the shallower depth. We conclude that the structure of sponge communities on Caribbean coral reefs is primarily top-down, and predict that removal of sponge predators by overfishing will shift communities toward faster-growing, undefended species that better compete for space with threatened reef-building corals.

  18. 77 FR 2960 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-20

    ... the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Exempted... and retention. This study, to be conducted in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) off Louisiana, is intended to better document the age structure and life history of fish...

  19. 77 FR 30507 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-05-23

    ... the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Exempted... and retention. This study, to be conducted in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf), is intended to better document the age structure and life history of fish associated with...

  20. Effects of thermal stress and nitrate enrichment on the larval performance of two Caribbean reef corals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serrano, Xaymara M.; Miller, Margaret W.; Hendee, James C.; Jensen, Brittany A.; Gapayao, Justine Z.; Pasparakis, Christina; Grosell, Martin; Baker, Andrew C.

    2018-03-01

    The effects of multiple stressors on the early life stages of reef-building corals are poorly understood. Elevated temperature is the main physiological driver of mass coral bleaching events, but increasing evidence suggests that other stressors, including elevated dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN), may exacerbate the negative effects of thermal stress. To test this hypothesis, we investigated the performance of larvae of Orbicella faveolata and Porites astreoides, two important Caribbean reef coral species with contrasting reproductive and algal transmission modes, under increased temperature and/or elevated DIN. We used a fluorescence-based microplate respirometer to measure the oxygen consumption of coral larvae from both species, and also assessed the effects of these stressors on P. astreoides larval settlement and mortality. Overall, we found that (1) larvae increased their respiration in response to different factors ( O. faveolata in response to elevated temperature and P. astreoides in response to elevated nitrate) and (2) P. astreoides larvae showed a significant increase in settlement as a result of elevated nitrate, but higher mortality under elevated temperature. This study shows how microplate respirometry can be successfully used to assess changes in respiration of coral larvae, and our findings suggest that the effects of thermal stress and nitrate enrichment in coral larvae may be species specific and are neither additive nor synergistic for O. faveolata or P. astreoides. These findings may have important consequences for the recruitment and community reassembly of corals to nutrient-polluted reefs that have been impacted by climate change.

  1. Fish with Chips: Tracking Reef Fish Movements to Evaluate Size and Connectivity of Caribbean Marine Protected Areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pittman, Simon J.; Monaco, Mark E.; Friedlander, Alan M.; Legare, Bryan; Nemeth, Richard S.; Kendall, Matthew S.; Poti, Matthew; Clark, Randall D.; Wedding, Lisa M.; Caldow, Chris

    2014-01-01

    Coral reefs and associated fish populations have experienced rapid decline in the Caribbean region and marine protected areas (MPAs) have been widely implemented to address this decline. The performance of no-take MPAs (i.e., marine reserves) for protecting and rebuilding fish populations is influenced by the movement of animals within and across their boundaries. Very little is known about Caribbean reef fish movements creating a critical knowledge gap that can impede effective MPA design, performance and evaluation. Using miniature implanted acoustic transmitters and a fixed acoustic receiver array, we address three key questions: How far can reef fish move? Does connectivity exist between adjacent MPAs? Does existing MPA size match the spatial scale of reef fish movements? We show that many reef fishes are capable of traveling far greater distances and in shorter duration than was previously known. Across the Puerto Rican Shelf, more than half of our 163 tagged fish (18 species of 10 families) moved distances greater than 1 km with three fish moving more than 10 km in a single day and a quarter spending time outside of MPAs. We provide direct evidence of ecological connectivity across a network of MPAs, including estimated movements of more than 40 km connecting a nearshore MPA with a shelf-edge spawning aggregation. Most tagged fish showed high fidelity to MPAs, but also spent time outside MPAs, potentially contributing to spillover. Three-quarters of our fish were capable of traveling distances that would take them beyond the protection offered by at least 40–64% of the existing eastern Caribbean MPAs. We recommend that key species movement patterns be used to inform and evaluate MPA functionality and design, particularly size and shape. A re-scaling of our perception of Caribbean reef fish mobility and habitat use is imperative, with important implications for ecology and management effectiveness. PMID:24797815

  2. Fish with chips: tracking reef fish movements to evaluate size and connectivity of Caribbean marine protected areas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon J Pittman

    Full Text Available Coral reefs and associated fish populations have experienced rapid decline in the Caribbean region and marine protected areas (MPAs have been widely implemented to address this decline. The performance of no-take MPAs (i.e., marine reserves for protecting and rebuilding fish populations is influenced by the movement of animals within and across their boundaries. Very little is known about Caribbean reef fish movements creating a critical knowledge gap that can impede effective MPA design, performance and evaluation. Using miniature implanted acoustic transmitters and a fixed acoustic receiver array, we address three key questions: How far can reef fish move? Does connectivity exist between adjacent MPAs? Does existing MPA size match the spatial scale of reef fish movements? We show that many reef fishes are capable of traveling far greater distances and in shorter duration than was previously known. Across the Puerto Rican Shelf, more than half of our 163 tagged fish (18 species of 10 families moved distances greater than 1 km with three fish moving more than 10 km in a single day and a quarter spending time outside of MPAs. We provide direct evidence of ecological connectivity across a network of MPAs, including estimated movements of more than 40 km connecting a nearshore MPA with a shelf-edge spawning aggregation. Most tagged fish showed high fidelity to MPAs, but also spent time outside MPAs, potentially contributing to spillover. Three-quarters of our fish were capable of traveling distances that would take them beyond the protection offered by at least 40-64% of the existing eastern Caribbean MPAs. We recommend that key species movement patterns be used to inform and evaluate MPA functionality and design, particularly size and shape. A re-scaling of our perception of Caribbean reef fish mobility and habitat use is imperative, with important implications for ecology and management effectiveness.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janina Seemann

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  4. Discordance between morphological and molecular species boundaries among Caribbean species of the reef sponge Callyspongia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeBiasse, Melissa B; Hellberg, Michael E

    2015-02-01

    Sponges are among the most species-rich and ecologically important taxa on coral reefs, yet documenting their diversity is difficult due to the simplicity and plasticity of their morphological characters. Genetic attempts to identify species are hampered by the slow rate of mitochondrial sequence evolution characteristic of sponges and some other basal metazoans. Here we determine species boundaries of the Caribbean coral reef sponge genus Callyspongia using a multilocus, model-based approach. Based on sequence data from one mitochondrial (COI), one ribosomal (28S), and two single-copy nuclear protein-coding genes, we found evolutionarily distinct lineages were not concordant with current species designations in Callyspongia. While C. fallax,C. tenerrima, and C. plicifera were reciprocally monophyletic, four taxa with different morphologies (C. armigera,C. longissima,C. eschrichtii, and C. vaginalis) formed a monophyletic group and genetic distances among these taxa overlapped distances within them. A model-based method of species delimitation supported collapsing these four into a single evolutionary lineage. Variation in spicule size among these four taxa was partitioned geographically, not by current species designations, indicating that in Callyspongia, these key taxonomic characters are poor indicators of genetic differentiation. Taken together, our results suggest a complex relationship between morphology and species boundaries in sponges.

  5. Field Spectroscopy And Spectral Analysis Of Caribbean Scleractinian Reef Corals And Related Benthic Biota

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres-Perez, J. L.; Guild, L. S.; Armstrong, R.; Corredor, J. E.; Polanco, R.; Zuluaga-Montero, A. B.

    2013-05-01

    Coral reefs are highly heterogenic ecosystems with a plethora of photosynthetic organisms forming most of the benthic communities. Usually coral reef benthos is a composite of reef corals, different groups of algae, seagrasses, sandy bottoms, dead rubble, and even mangrove forests living in a relatively small area. The remote characterization of these important tropical ecosystems represents a challenge to scientists, particularly due to the similarity of the spectral signatures among some of these components. As such, we examined the similarities and differences between nine Scleractinian Caribbean shallow-water reef corals' spectral reflectance curves. Samples were also collected from each species for pigment analysis using High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). Reflectance curves were obtained with the aid of a GER-1500 hand-held field spectroradiometer enclosed in an underwater housing. Our findings showed that even though most of the pigmentation was directly related to the relationship of corals with their symbiotic dinoflagellates (zooxanthellae), the presence of other endolithic photosynthetic organisms can also contribute to the light absorption of corals and, hence, the reflectance spectra of each species. Also, the relative contribution of chlorophylls vs. carotenes or xanthophylls depends on the coral species with some species relying more on Chlorophyll a and other species relying on Chlorophyl c2 and Peridinin with a small Chlorophyll a component. Pigments associated with the xanthophyll cycle of dinoflagellates (Diadinoxanthin and Diatoxanthin) were detected in most species. Pigments typical of endolithic organisms such as Zeaxanthin, Fucoxanthin, Violaxanthin and Siphonaxanthin were also detected in some coral species. The influence of major pigments on the reflectance curve was evidenced with a 2nd derivative analysis. This could be used to discriminate among most species. Further, an analysis of the integration of the area under the

  6. Host population genetic structure and zooxanthellae diversity of two reef-building coral species along the Florida Reef Tract and wider Caribbean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baums, I. B.; Johnson, M. E.; Devlin-Durante, M. K.; Miller, M. W.

    2010-12-01

    In preparation for a large-scale coral restoration project, we surveyed host population genetic structure and symbiont diversity of two reef-building corals in four reef zones along the Florida reef tract (FRT). There was no evidence for coral population subdivision along the FRT in Acropora cervicornis or Montastraea faveolata based on microsatellite markers. However, in A. cervicornis, significant genetic differentiation was apparent when extending the analysis to broader scales (Caribbean). Clade diversity of the zooxanthellae differed along the FRT. A. cervicornis harbored mostly clade A with clade D zooxanthellae being prominent in colonies growing inshore and in the mid-channel zones that experience greater temperature fluctuations and receive significant nutrient and sediment input. M. faveolata harbored a more diverse array of symbionts, and variation in symbiont diversity among four habitat zones was more subtle but still significant. Implications of these results are discussed for ongoing restoration and conservation work.

  7. Diurnal observations on the behavioral ecology of Gymnothorax moringa (Cuvier) and Muraena miliaris (Kaup) on a Caribbean coral reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abrams, R. W.; Abrams, M. D.; Schein, M. W.

    1983-09-01

    Activities of muraenids, primarily Gymnothorax moringa and Muraena miliaris, were observed on a Caribbean coral reef with a view to further understanding their role in the reef ecosystem. Other muraenid species included in the total of 198 sightings were Echidna catenata, Enchelycore nigricans, and an unidentified brown moray. The five species were unequally distributed among three basic habitats (sand, coral head, reef rock) available on the reef. Nine particular holes accounted for 52.5% of the total sightings, although hundreds of other seemingly appropriate sites were available. The eels (except M. miliaris) were transient with respect to given holes and particular sections of the reef. While some G. moringa were sighted in the same holes for several consecutive days, M. miliaris individuals remained in the same coral heads throughout the 6-week study period. Muraenids observed in this study showed high tolerances for and were tolerated by other fishes (including other morays) and invertebrates on the reef. They appeared to be opportunistic, roving predators and were not strictly nocturnal. Distinct behavioral interactions and displays between muraenids and reef fish were observed.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan A Sánchez

    2010-05-01

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

  9. Storm-wave trends in Mexican waters of the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Ojeda

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Thirty-year time series of hindcast wave data were analysed for 10 coastal locations along the eastern Mexican coast to obtain information about storm events occurring in the region, with the goal of examining the possible presence of interannual trends in the number of storm-wave events and their main features (wave height, duration and energy content. The storms were defined according to their significant wave height and duration, and the events were classified as related to either tropical cyclones or Norte events. The occurrence and characteristics of both types of events were analysed independently. There is no statistically significant change in the number of storm-wave events related to Nortes or their characteristics during the study period. However, there is a subtle increase in the number of events related to tropical cyclones in the western Caribbean region and a more evident increase in wave height and energy content of these events.

  10. Necrotic patches affect Acropora palmata (Scleractinia: Acroporidae) in the Mexican Caribbean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Martínez, R E; Banaszak, A T; Jordán-Dahlgren, E

    2001-12-05

    An outbreak of necrotic patches was observed affecting Acropora palmata in the Mexican Caribbean in the summer of 1999. This study documents the tissue loss produced by these patches. Following a marked initial increase in the number of patches, there was a decrease in the appearance of new patches but the size of the patches increased throughout the study. In some cases patches expanded but in most cases they enlarged due to fusion of 2 or more patches. Patches recovered but not sufficiently to overcome damage in most colonies surveyed. Percentage tissue loss does not appear to be directly related to temperature but may be related to a combination of factors associated with prolonged summer doldrum-like conditions. The necrotic patch syndrome can have a substantial impact in tissue loss in affected A. palmata colonies.

  11. Modeled differences of coral life-history traits influence the refugium potential of a remote Caribbean reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, Sarah W.; Strader, Marie E.; Kool, Johnathan T.; Kenkel, Carly D.; Matz, Mikhail V.

    2017-09-01

    Remote populations can influence connectivity and may serve as refugia from climate change. We investigated two reef-building corals ( Pseudodiploria strigosa and Orbicella franksi) from the Flower Garden Banks (FGB), the most isolated, high-latitude Caribbean reef system, which, until recently, retained high coral cover. We characterized coral size-frequency distributions, quantified larval mortality rates and onset of competence ex situ, estimated larval production, and created detailed biophysical models incorporating these parameters to evaluate the source-sink dynamics at the FGB from 2009 to 2012. Estimated mortality rates were similar between species, but pre-competency differed dramatically; P. strigosa was capable of metamorphosis within 2.5 d post-fertilization (dpf) and was competent at least until 8 dpf, while O. franksi was not competent until >20 dpf and remained competent up to 120 dpf. To explore the effect of such contrasting life histories on connectivity, we modeled larval dispersal from the FGB assuming pelagic larval durations (PLD) of either 3-20 d, approximating laboratory-measured pre-competency of P. strigosa, or 20-120 d, approximating pre-competency observed in O. franksi. Surprisingly, both models predicted similar probabilities of local retention at the FGB, either by direct rapid reseeding or via long-term persistence in the Loop Current with larvae returning to the FGB within a month. However, our models predicted that short PLDs would result in complete isolation from the rest of the Caribbean, while long PLDs allowed for larval export to more distant northern Caribbean reefs, highlighting the importance of quantifying larval pre-competency dynamics when parameterizing biophysical models to predict larval connectivity. These simulations suggest that FGB coral populations are likely to be largely self-sustaining and highlight the potential of long-PLD corals, such as endangered Orbicella, to act as larval sources for other degraded

  12. A new estuarine species, Nereis garwoodi (Polychaeta: Nereididae), from Bahía Chetumal, Mexican Caribbean coast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Escalante, Luis E; Salazar-Vallejo, Sergio I

    2003-03-01

    Nereis garwoodi n. sp. is described on the basis of eight syntype specimens (six atokous and two heteronereis) collected in Bahía Chetumal, Mexican Caribbean coast, and the variability in the paragnath numbers in the pharynx is established using 180 specimens; paragnath numbers are I:10(SD = 1.9); II:30 (SD = 2.6); III:41 (SD = 5.2); IV:29 (SD = 3.5), V:1, VI:4, VII-VIII: > 30. Its eyes are big and its longest tentacular cirri reaches setiger 11. A revised key to species of Nereis recorded from the Grand Caribbean Sea is included.

  13. Large-scale associations between macroalgal cover and grazer biomass on mid-depth reefs in the Caribbean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, I.; Polunin, N.

    2001-05-01

    Since the 1970s, macroalgae have become considerably more abundant on many Caribbean reefs and overfishing of grazing fishes has been implicated as a contributory factor. We explored relationships between algal cover and grazers (biomass of herbivorous fishes and abundance of the sea-urchin Diadema antillarum) on mid-depth reefs (12-15 m) in 19 areas at seven locations in Jamaica, Barbados, Belize, Grand Cayman and Cuba, between April 1997 and April 1998. Diadema antillarum density was never >0.01 m-2, while herbivorous fish biomass (acanthurids and scarids ≥12 cm total length) varied from 2-5 g m-2 in Jamaica to 17.1 g m-2 in Barbados, and was strongly correlated, negatively with macroalgal cover and positively with 'cropped' substratum (sum of 'bare', turf and crustose-coralline substrata) cover. However, overfishing of herbivorous fishes alone cannot explain the widespread abundance of macroalgae, as even on lightly fished reefs, macroalgal cover was mostly >20%. Herbivorous fish populations on those reefs were apparently only able to maintain approximately 40-60% of reef substratum in cropped states, but due to low space-occupation by coral and other invertebrates, 70-90% of substratum was available to algae. The abundance of macroalgae on lightly fished reefs may therefore be a symptom of low coral cover in combination with the continuing absence of Diadema antillarum.

  14. Precise U-Pb dating of Cenozoic tropical reef carbonates: Linking the evolution of Cenozoic Caribbean reef carbonates to climatic and environmental changes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva-Tamayo, J. C.; Ducea, M.; Cardona, A.; Montes, C.; Rincon, D.; Machado, A.; Flores, A.; Sial, A.; Pardo, A.; Niño, H.; Ramirez, V.; Jaramillo, C.; Zapata, P.; Barrios, L.; Rosero, S.; Bayona, G.; Zapata, V.

    2012-04-01

    rapid anthropogenic CO2 release to the atmosphere on reef areas. Here we report precise U-Pb ages of several Cenozoic Caribbean-tropical reef carbonate successions along the SE Circum-Caribbean Region from which major temporal variations in the reef carbonate factories, structure and ecology are related to major climate/environmental changes. Calcareous algae are the principal calcifying reef builders along the SE Circum-Caribbean during the Paleocene-middle Oligocene interval, a period of predominant high atmospheric pCO2 and OA. Calcareous algae persisted as the main calcifying reef builders until the late Oligocene when atmospheric pCO2 levels dropped, allowing the onset of global icehouse conditions and the appearance of corals as the main calcifying reef builders along the SE Circum-Caribbean. Coral reefs would have dominated until the middle Miocene, when a new period of calcareous algae reefs occurred along the Caribbean, coinciding with the Miocene thermal optimum in mid-latitude areas (i.e. the Mediterranean). Coral reef carbonates dominated since the Pliocene. From the data presented here we suggest that calcareous algae dominated were the main calcifying reef builders during periods of warm temperatures and pronounced environmental change in the tropical seas (i.e. OA). Corals would have conversely dominated as main calcifying reef builders during periods of optimal tropical climatic/environmental conditions. Comparisons between this geologic conditions and data for the period 1984-2006 in the Caribbean11 suggest that the transition from corals towards calcareous algae is repeating again. 1.Zachos et al., Science Mag. 292 (2001) 2.Zachos et al., Science Mag. 308 (2005) 3.Haug et al., Geology 29 (2001) 4.Jain and Collins, Marine Micropaleo. 62 (2007) 5.Merinco et al., Nature 452 (2008) 6.O'Dea et al., Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 104 (2007) 7.Jhonson et al., Palaios 24(2009) 8.Pagani et al., Nature 460 (2007) 9.Cohen et al., Journ. Geolog. Society 164 (2009) 10

  15. Fluorescence-based classification of Caribbean coral reef organisms and substrates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zawada, David G.; Mazel, Charles H.

    2014-01-01

    A diverse group of coral reef organisms, representing several phyla, possess fluorescent pigments. We investigated the potential of using the characteristic fluorescence emission spectra of these pigments to enable unsupervised, optical classification of coral reef habitats. We compiled a library of characteristic fluorescence spectra through in situ and laboratory measurements from a variety of specimens throughout the Caribbean. Because fluorescent pigments are not species-specific, the spectral library is organized in terms of 15 functional groups. We investigated the spectral separability of the functional groups in terms of the number of wavebands required to distinguish between them, using the similarity measures Spectral Angle Mapper (SAM), Spectral Information Divergence (SID), SID-SAM mixed measure, and Mahalanobis distance. This set of measures represents geometric, stochastic, joint geometric-stochastic, and statistical approaches to classifying spectra. Our hyperspectral fluorescence data were used to generate sets of 4-, 6-, and 8-waveband spectra, including random variations in relative signal amplitude, spectral peak shifts, and water-column attenuation. Each set consisted of 2 different band definitions: ‘optimally-picked’ and ‘evenly-spaced.’ The optimally-picked wavebands were chosen to coincide with as many peaks as possible in the functional group spectra. Reference libraries were formed from half of the spectra in each set and used for training purposes. Average classification accuracies ranged from 76.3% for SAM with 4 evenly-spaced wavebands to 93.8% for Mahalanobis distance with 8 evenly-spaced wavebands. The Mahalanobis distance consistently outperformed the other measures. In a second test, empirically-measured spectra were classified using the same reference libraries and the Mahalanobis distance for just the 8 evenly-spaced waveband case. Average classification accuracies were 84% and 87%, corresponding to the extremes in modeled

  16. Earlier (late Pliocene) first appearance of the Caribbean reef-building coral Acropora palmata: Stratigraphic and evolutionary implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNeill, Donald F.; Budd, Ann F.; Borne, Pamela F.

    1997-10-01

    An integrated stratigraphic study of reefal deposits on the Caribbean side of the Isthmus of Panama (Limon, Costa Rica) has discovered a significantly earlier first appearance of the major reef-building coral Acropora palmata. A. palmata is here reported from the early late Pliocene, constrained in age to within the Gauss chron (ca. 3.6 2.6 Ma). This coral was previously thought to have originated in the earliest Pleistocene and has subsequently been used as a Quaternary marker throughout the Caribbean and the Bahamas. An earlier appearance in the southern Caribbean implies a diachronous first appearance datum relative to the northern Caribbean. This older age also places A. palmata well within the transition phase of a Pliocene (4 1 Ma) faunal turnover that was marked by widespread extinction and origination of Caribbean coral species. An early late Pliocene origination is coincident with formation of the Isthmus, climate reorganization, and frequent sea-level changes associated with onset of Northern Hemisphere glaciations. The rapid growth and accumulation rates that characterize A. palmata may therefore be adaptive to these fluctuating environmental conditions, enabling its success during the subsequent Pleistocene glacial cycles.

  17. δ15N in the turtle grass from the Mexican Caribbean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talavera-Saenz, A.; Sanchez, A.; Ortiz-Hernandez, M.

    2013-05-01

    Nutrient inputs associated with population growth threaten the integrity of coastal ecosystems. To assess the rapid increase in tourism, we compared the δ15N from Thalassia testudinum collected at sites with different levels of tourism development and population to detect the N inputs of wastewater discharge (WD) along the coast of Quintana Roo. The contributions of nitrogen enriched in 15N are directly related to the increase of WD inputs in areas of high tourism development (Nichupte Lagoon in Cancun, >3 million tourists per year from 2007 to 2011 and 0.7 million of resident population) and decreased towards Bahia Akumal and Tulum (>3 million tourists per year from 2007 to 2011 and 0.15 million of resident population). The δ15N from T. testudinum was significantly lower at Mahahual and Puerto Morelos (about 0.4 million tourists per year in 2007 to 2011 and 0.25 million of resident population) than other the sites. In areas of the lowest development and with tourist activity restricted and small population, such as the Yum Balam Reserve and Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve, the δ15N values were in much higher enrichment that Mahahual and Puerto Morelos. Therefore is suggested that Mahahual and Puerto Morelos may be used for baseline isotopic monitoring, over environmental pressure on the reef lagoon ecosystem, where tourist activities and population are growing very slow rate. The anthropogenic N input has the potential to impact, both environmentally and economically, the seagrass meadows and the coral reefs along the coast of Quintana Roo and the Caribbean.

  18. The functional value of Caribbean coral reef, seagrass and mangrove habitats to ecosystem processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harborne, Alastair R; Mumby, Peter J; Micheli, Fiorenza; Perry, Christopher T; Dahlgren, Craig P; Holmes, Katherine E; Brumbaugh, Daniel R

    2006-01-01

    Caribbean coral reef habitats, seagrass beds and mangroves provide important goods and services both individually and through functional linkages. A range of anthropogenic factors are threatening the ecological and economic importance of these habitats and it is vital to understand how ecosystem processes vary across seascapes. A greater understanding of processes will facilitate further insight into the effects of disturbances and assist with assessing management options. Despite the need to study processes across whole seascapes, few spatially explicit ecosystem-scale assessments exist. We review the empirical literature to examine the role of different habitat types for a range of processes. The importance of each of 10 generic habitats to each process is defined as its "functional value" (none, low, medium or high), quantitatively derived from published data wherever possible and summarised in a single figure. This summary represents the first time the importance of habitats across an entire Caribbean seascape has been assessed for a range of processes. Furthermore, we review the susceptibility of each habitat to disturbances to investigate spatial patterns that might affect functional values. Habitat types are considered at the scale discriminated by remotely-sensed imagery and we envisage that functional values can be combined with habitat maps to provide spatially explicit information on processes across ecosystems. We provide examples of mapping the functional values of habitats for populations of three commercially important species. The resulting data layers were then used to generate seascape-scale assessments of "hot spots" of functional value that might be considered priorities for conservation. We also provide an example of how the literature reviewed here can be used to parameterise a habitat-specific model investigating reef resilience under different scenarios of herbivory. Finally, we use multidimensional scaling to provide a basic analysis of the

  19. Symbiodinium biogeography tracks environmental patterns rather than host genetics in a key Caribbean reef-builder, Orbicella annularis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennedy, Emma V; Tonk, Linda; Foster, Nicola L; Chollett, Iliana; Ortiz, Juan-Carlos; Dove, Sophie; Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove; Mumby, Peter J; Stevens, Jamie R

    2016-11-16

    The physiological performance of a reef-building coral is a combined outcome of both the coral host and its algal endosymbionts, Symbiodinium While Orbicella annularis-a dominant reef-building coral in the Wider Caribbean-is known to be a flexible host in terms of the diversity of Symbiodinium types it can associate with, it is uncertain how this diversity varies across the Caribbean, and whether spatial variability in the symbiont community is related to either O. annularis genotype or environment. Here, we target the Symbiodinium-ITS2 gene to characterize and map dominant Symbiodinium hosted by O. annularis at an unprecedented spatial scale. We reveal northwest-southeast partitioning across the Caribbean, both in terms of the dominant symbiont taxa hosted and in assemblage diversity. Multivariate regression analyses incorporating a suite of environmental and genetic factors reveal that observed spatial patterns are predominantly explained by chronic thermal stress (summer temperatures) and are unrelated to host genotype. Furthermore, we were able to associate the presence of specific Symbiodinium types with local environmental drivers (for example, Symbiodinium C7 with areas experiencing cooler summers, B1j with nutrient loading and B17 with turbidity), associations that have not previously been described. © 2016 The Authors.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejandra Verde

    2016-07-01

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

  1. Palaemonidae (Crustacea: Decapoda: Caridea from the shallow waters from Quintana Roo, Mexican Caribbean coast Palaemonidae (Crustacea: Decapoda: Caridea de las aguas someras de Quintana Roo, Caribe mexicano

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ramiro Román-Contreras

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Few studies have focused on the palaemonid fauna of the Mexican Caribbean. This study provides a list of shallow water free-living and symbiont shrimps of the family Palaemonidae collected on turtle grass (Thalassia testudinum in Bahía de la Ascensión, Bahía del Espíritu Santo and Mahahual reef lagoon, Quintana Roo, Mexico. Ten species in 8 genera are reported, of which the genus Periclimenes is the most diverse with 3 species. An updated geographic distribution along the western Atlantic and other regions is provided for all the species. The greatest affinity of the palaemonid fauna studied, besides that with the Caribbean province, is with the Brazilian, Argentinian, and Texan zoogeographic provinces. Of the 10 species reported in this paper, 8 represent new local records in the studied area.Los crustáceos de la familia Palaemonidae del Caribe mexicano han sido poco estudiados. En este trabajo se presenta un listado de palemónidos de vida libre y simbiontes recolectados en el pasto marino Thalassia testudiuim de Bahía de la Ascensión, Bahía del Espíritu Santo y la laguna arrecifal de Mahahual, Quintana Roo, México. Se registran 10 especies pertenecientes a 8 géneros, siendo el género Periclimenes el más diverso con 3 especies. Para todas las especies se proporciona su distribución geográfica en la costa del Atlántico americano así como en otras regiones. Además de la provincia Caribeña, los palemónidos recolectados también muestran alta afinidad con otras provincias zoogeográficas como la Brasileña, Argentina y Texana; de las 10 especies registradas en este estudio, 8 representan nuevo registro local en el área estudiada.

  2. Palisada perforata (Rhodomelaceae, Ceramiales en el Caribe mexicano Palisada perforata (Rhodomelaceae, Ceramiales from the Mexican Caribbean

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    Abel Sentíes

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Palisada perforata fue originalmente descrita para el litoral de Tenerife (islas Canarias, España, está ampliamente distribuida en el océano Atlántico oriental en la zona tropical y subtropical, mientras que en el lado occidental sólo está registrada como dudosa en Venezuela y Brasil. Además de las características típicas del género, esta especie presenta un crecimiento cespitoso con ejes decumbentes y arqueados y ramificación unilateral. En el presente trabajo los autores aportan por primera vez una descripción concisa de las estructuras vegetativas y tetraspóricas y se amplía la distribución geográfica de P. perforata con un nuevo registro en el Caribe mexicano.Palisada perforata was originally described from Tenerife (Canary Islands, Spain. This species has a wide distribution in tropical and subtropical zones of the Eastern Atlantic Ocean, but in the Western Atlantic there is only a doubtful record for Venezuela and Brazil. This species presents all typical features of the genus Palisada, being characterized by turf-like growth, the presence of arcuate and decumbent branches with erect branches disposed unilaterally. In the present paper we provide a detailed description of the vegetative and tetrasporangial structures. The geographical distribution of P. perforata in the Western Atlantic ocean was amplified with a new record in the Mexican Caribbean.

  3. Composition and biological activities of the aqueous extracts of three scleractinian corals from the Mexican Caribbean: Pseudodiploria strigosa, Porites astreoides and Siderastrea siderea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Arredondo, Alejandro; Rojas-Molina, Alejandra; Ibarra-Alvarado, César; Lazcano-Pérez, Fernando; Arreguín-Espinosa, Roberto; Sánchez-Rodríguez, Judith

    2016-01-01

    Scleractinian corals (stony corals) are the most abundant reef-forming cnidarians found in coral reefs throughout the world. Despite their abundance and ecological importance, information about the diversity of their toxins and their biological activities is very scarce. In this study, the chemical composition and the biological activities of the aqueous extracts of Pseudodiploria strigosa , Porites astreoides and Siderastrea siderea , three scleractinian corals from the Mexican Caribbean, have been assessed for the first time. Toxicity of the extracts was assessed in crickets; the presence of cytolysins was detected by the hemolysis assay; the vasoconstrictor activity was determined by the isolated rat aortic ring assay; the nociceptive activity was evaluated by the formalin test. The presence of phospholipases A 2 (PLA 2 ), serine proteases, and hyaluronidases was determined by enzymatic methods. Low-molecular-weight fractions were obtained by gel filtration chromatography and ultrafiltration. Extracts from the three species were toxic to crickets, induced hemolysis in human and rat erythrocytes, produced vasoconstriction on isolated rat aortic rings, and presented phospholipase A 2 and serine-protease activity. Despite the fact that these corals are not considered to be harmless to humans, the extracts generated significant nociceptive responses. The matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry analysis of the low-molecular-weight fractions revealed the presence of peptides within a mass range of 3000 to 6000 Da. These fractions were toxic to crickets and two of them induced a transitory vasoconstrictor effect on isolated rat aortic rings. This study suggests that scleractinian corals produce low-molecular-weight peptides that are lethal to crickets and induce vasoconstriction.

  4. Caribbean Coral Reef, Seagrass and Mangrove Sites (CARICOMP), (NODC Accession 0000501)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Caribbean Coastal Marine Productivity (CARICOMP) Program is a Caribbean-wide research and monitoring network of 27 marine laboratories, parks, and reserves in 17...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

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

  6. Trace metal analysis in sea grasses from Mexican Caribbean Coast by particle induced X-ray emission (PIXE)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Solis, C.; Issac O, K.; Martinez, A.; Lavoisier, E.; Martinez, M. A.

    2008-01-01

    The growing urban and tourist activity in the Mexican Caribbean coasts has resulted in an increase of chemical substances, metals in particular, discharged to the coastal waters. In order to reach an adequate management and conservation of these marine ecosystems it is necessary to perform an inventory of the actual conditions that reflect the vulnerability and the level of damage. Sea-grasses are considered good biological indicators of heavy metal contamination in marine systems. The goal of this preliminary work is to evaluate the concentrations of trace metals such as Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Cu, Zn, and Pb in Thalassia testudinum, a very common sea-grass in the Mexican Caribbean Sea. Samples were collected from several locations in the coasts of the Yucatan Peninsula: Holbox, Blanquizal and Punta Allen, areas virtually uninfluenced by anthropogenic activities. Trace elements in different part plants were determined by particle induced X-ray emission (PIXE). This is a very suitable technique since it offers a fast, accurate and multi-element analysis. Also, the analysis by PIXE can be performed directly on powdered leaves without a laborious sample preparation. The trace metal concentration determined in sea-grasses growing in Caribbean generally fall in the range of the lowest valuables reported for sea grasses from the Gulf of Mexico. The results indicate that the studied areas do not present contamination by heavy metals. (Author)

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

    KAUST Repository

    Noble, Mae M.; van Laake, Gregoor; Berumen, Michael L.; Fulton, Christopher J.

    2013-01-01

    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

  8. Book review of Littler DM. Littler MM (2000) Caribbean Reef Plants An Identification Guide to the Reef Plants of the Caribbean, Bahamas, Florida and Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuschin, M.; Hohenegger, J.; Steininger, F.

    2001-09-01

    Information on spatial variability and distribution patterns of organisms in coral reef environments is necessary to evaluate the increasing anthropogenic disturbance of marine environments (Richmond 1993; Wilkinson 1993; Dayton 1994). Therefore different types of subtidal, reef-associated hard substrata (reef flats, reef slopes, coral carpets, coral patches, rock grounds), each with different coral associations, were investigated to determine the distribution pattern of molluscs and their life habits (feeding strategies and substrate relations). The molluscs were strongly dominated by taxa with distinct relations to corals, and five assemblages were differentiated. The Dendropoma maxima assemblage on reef flats is a discrete entity, strongly dominated by this encrusting and suspension-feeding gastropod. All other assemblages are arranged along a substrate gradient of changing coral associations and potential molluscan habitats. The Coralliophila neritoidea- Barbatia foliata assemblage depends on the presence of Porites and shows a dominance of gastropods feeding on corals and of bivalves associated with living corals. The Chamoidea- Cerithium spp. assemblage on rock grounds is strongly dominated by encrusting bivalves. The Drupella cornus-Pteriidae assemblage occurs on Millepora- Acropora reef slopes and is strongly dominated by bivalves associated with living corals. The Barbatia setigera- Ctenoides annulata assemblage includes a broad variety of taxa, molluscan life habits and bottom types, but occurs mainly on faviid carpets and is transitional among the other three assemblages. A predicted degradation of coral coverage to rock bottoms due to increasing eutrophication and physical damage in the study area (Riegl and Piller 2000) will result in a loss of coral-associated molluscs in favor of bivalve crevice dwellers in dead coral heads and of encrusters on dead hard substrata.

  9. Large-scale absence of sharks on reefs in the greater-Caribbean: a footprint of human pressures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward-Paige, Christine A; Mora, Camilo; Lotze, Heike K; Pattengill-Semmens, Christy; McClenachan, Loren; Arias-Castro, Ery; Myers, Ransom A

    2010-08-05

    In recent decades, large pelagic and coastal shark populations have declined dramatically with increased fishing; however, the status of sharks in other systems such as coral reefs remains largely unassessed despite a long history of exploitation. Here we explore the contemporary distribution and sighting frequency of sharks on reefs in the greater-Caribbean and assess the possible role of human pressures on observed patterns. We analyzed 76,340 underwater surveys carried out by trained volunteer divers between 1993 and 2008. Surveys were grouped within one km2 cells, which allowed us to determine the contemporary geographical distribution and sighting frequency of sharks. Sighting frequency was calculated as the ratio of surveys with sharks to the total number of surveys in each cell. We compared sighting frequency to the number of people in the cell vicinity and used population viability analyses to assess the effects of exploitation on population trends. Sharks, with the exception of nurse sharks occurred mainly in areas with very low human population or strong fishing regulations and marine conservation. Population viability analysis suggests that exploitation alone could explain the large-scale absence; however, this pattern is likely to be exacerbated by additional anthropogenic stressors, such as pollution and habitat degradation, that also correlate with human population. Human pressures in coastal zones have lead to the broad-scale absence of sharks on reefs in the greater-Caribbean. Preventing further loss of sharks requires urgent management measures to curb fishing mortality and to mitigate other anthropogenic stressors to protect sites where sharks still exist. The fact that sharks still occur in some densely populated areas where strong fishing regulations are in place indicates the possibility of success and encourages the implementation of conservation measures.

  10. Large-scale absence of sharks on reefs in the greater-Caribbean: a footprint of human pressures.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine A Ward-Paige

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: In recent decades, large pelagic and coastal shark populations have declined dramatically with increased fishing; however, the status of sharks in other systems such as coral reefs remains largely unassessed despite a long history of exploitation. Here we explore the contemporary distribution and sighting frequency of sharks on reefs in the greater-Caribbean and assess the possible role of human pressures on observed patterns. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We analyzed 76,340 underwater surveys carried out by trained volunteer divers between 1993 and 2008. Surveys were grouped within one km2 cells, which allowed us to determine the contemporary geographical distribution and sighting frequency of sharks. Sighting frequency was calculated as the ratio of surveys with sharks to the total number of surveys in each cell. We compared sighting frequency to the number of people in the cell vicinity and used population viability analyses to assess the effects of exploitation on population trends. Sharks, with the exception of nurse sharks occurred mainly in areas with very low human population or strong fishing regulations and marine conservation. Population viability analysis suggests that exploitation alone could explain the large-scale absence; however, this pattern is likely to be exacerbated by additional anthropogenic stressors, such as pollution and habitat degradation, that also correlate with human population. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Human pressures in coastal zones have lead to the broad-scale absence of sharks on reefs in the greater-Caribbean. Preventing further loss of sharks requires urgent management measures to curb fishing mortality and to mitigate other anthropogenic stressors to protect sites where sharks still exist. The fact that sharks still occur in some densely populated areas where strong fishing regulations are in place indicates the possibility of success and encourages the implementation of conservation measures.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Spatial and temporal distribution of the invasive lionfish Pterois volitans in coral reefs of Tayrona National Natural Park, Colombian Caribbean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bayraktarov, Elisa; Alarcón-Moscoso, Javier; Polanco F, Andrea; Wild, Christian

    2014-01-01

    The lionfish Pterois volitans is an invasive species throughout the Western Atlantic that disturbs functioning of local ecosystems such as coral reefs via fast and intense consumption of small fish and invertebrates. In 2009, lionfish populated the bays of Tayrona National Natural Park (TNNP), a biodiversity hotspot in the Colombian Caribbean that is strongly influenced by changing environmental conditions due to a rainy and dry season. So far, the spatial and temporal distribution of P. volitans in the bays of TNNP is unknown. Therefore, this study assessed the abundance and body lengths of P. volitans during monthly surveys throughout the year 2012 in four bays (thereof two bays where lionfish removals were undertaken) of TNNP at 10 m water depth in coral reefs using transect tools. Findings revealed lionfish abundances of 2.9 ± 0.9 individuals ha(-1) with lengths of 20-25 cm for TNNP, hinting to an established, mostly adult local population. Actual TNNP lionfish abundances are thereby very similar to those at Indo-Pacific reef locations where the invasive lionfish formerly originated from. Significant spatial differences for lionfish abundances and body lengths between different bays in TNNP suggest habitat preferences of P. volitans depending on age. Lionfish abundances were highly variable over time, but without significant differences between seasons. Removals could not reduce lionfish abundances significantly during the period of study. This study therefore recommends improved management actions in order to control the already established invasive lionfish population in TNNP.

  13. Spatial and temporal distribution of the invasive lionfish Pterois volitans in coral reefs of Tayrona National Natural Park, Colombian Caribbean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elisa Bayraktarov

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The lionfish Pterois volitans is an invasive species throughout the Western Atlantic that disturbs functioning of local ecosystems such as coral reefs via fast and intense consumption of small fish and invertebrates. In 2009, lionfish populated the bays of Tayrona National Natural Park (TNNP, a biodiversity hotspot in the Colombian Caribbean that is strongly influenced by changing environmental conditions due to a rainy and dry season. So far, the spatial and temporal distribution of P. volitans in the bays of TNNP is unknown. Therefore, this study assessed the abundance and body lengths of P. volitans during monthly surveys throughout the year 2012 in four bays (thereof two bays where lionfish removals were undertaken of TNNP at 10 m water depth in coral reefs using transect tools. Findings revealed lionfish abundances of 2.9 ± 0.9 individuals ha−1 with lengths of 20–25 cm for TNNP, hinting to an established, mostly adult local population. Actual TNNP lionfish abundances are thereby very similar to those at Indo–Pacific reef locations where the invasive lionfish formerly originated from. Significant spatial differences for lionfish abundances and body lengths between different bays in TNNP suggest habitat preferences of P. volitans depending on age. Lionfish abundances were highly variable over time, but without significant differences between seasons. Removals could not reduce lionfish abundances significantly during the period of study. This study therefore recommends improved management actions in order to control the already established invasive lionfish population in TNNP.

  14. Assessing Caribbean Shallow and Mesophotic Reef Fish Communities Using Baited-Remote Underwater Video (BRUV) and Diver-Operated Video (DOV) Survey Techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macaya-Solis, Consuelo; Exton, Dan A.; Gress, Erika; Wright, Georgina; Rogers, Alex D.

    2016-01-01

    Fish surveys form the backbone of reef monitoring and management initiatives throughout the tropics, and understanding patterns in biases between techniques is crucial if outputs are to address key objectives optimally. Often biases are not consistent across natural environmental gradients such as depth, leading to uncertainty in interpretation of results. Recently there has been much interest in mesophotic reefs (reefs from 30–150 m depth) as refuge habitats from fishing pressure, leading to many comparisons of reef fish communities over depth gradients. Here we compare fish communities using stereo-video footage recorded via baited remote underwater video (BRUV) and diver-operated video (DOV) systems on shallow and mesophotic reefs in the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, Caribbean. We show inconsistent responses across families, species and trophic groups between methods across the depth gradient. Fish species and family richness were higher using BRUV at both depth ranges, suggesting that BRUV is more appropriate for recording all components of the fish community. Fish length distributions were not different between methods on shallow reefs, yet BRUV recorded more small fish on mesophotic reefs. However, DOV consistently recorded greater relative fish community biomass of herbivores, suggesting that studies focusing on herbivores should consider using DOV. Our results highlight the importance of considering what component of reef fish community researchers and managers are most interested in surveying when deciding which survey technique to use across natural gradients such as depth. PMID:27959907

  15. Retrograde Accretion of a Caribbean Fringing Reef Controlled by Hurricanes and Sea-level Rise

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul Blanchon

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Predicting the impact of sea-level (SL rise on coral reefs requires reliable models of reef accretion. Most assume that accretion results from vertical growth of coralgal framework, but recent studies show that reefs exposed to hurricanes consist of layers of coral gravel rather than in-place corals. New models are therefore needed to account for hurricane impact on reef accretion over geological timescales. To investigate this geological impact, we report the configuration and development of a 4-km-long fringing reef at Punta Maroma along the northeast Yucatan Peninsula. Satellite-derived bathymetry (SDB shows the crest is set-back a uniform distance of 315 ±15 m from a mid-shelf slope break, and the reef-front decreases 50% in width and depth along its length. A 12-core drill transect constrained by multiple 230Th ages shows the reef is composed of an ~2-m thick layer of coral clasts that has retrograded 100 m over its back-reef during the last 5.5 ka. These findings are consistent with a hurricane-control model of reef development where large waves trip and break over the mid-shelf slope break, triggering rapid energy dissipation and thus limiting how far upslope individual waves can fragment corals and transport clasts. As SL rises and water depth increases, energy dissipation during wave-breaking is reduced, extending the clast-transport limit, thus leading to reef retrogradation. This hurricane model may be applicable to a large sub-set of fringing reefs in the tropical Western-Atlantic necessitating a reappraisal of their accretion rates and response to future SL rise.

  16. DOC concentrations across a depth-dependent light gradient on a Caribbean coral reef

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mueller, Benjamin; Meesters, Erik H.; Duyl, Van Fleur C.

    2017-01-01

    Photosynthates released by benthic primary producers (BPP), such as reef algae and scleractinian corals, fuel the dissolved organic carbon (DOC) production on tropical coral reefs. DOC concentrations near BPP have repeatedly been observed to be elevated compared to those in the surrounding water

  17. Transplantation of storm-generated coral fragments to enhance Caribbean coral reefs: A successful method but not a solution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Virginia H. Garrison

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available In response to dramatic losses of reef-building corals and ongoing lack of recovery, a small-scale coral transplant project was initiated in the Caribbean (U.S. Virgin Islands in 1999 and was followed for 12 years. The primary objectives were to (1 identify a source of coral colonies for transplantation that would not result in damage to reefs, (2 test the feasibility of transplanting storm-generated coral fragments, and (3 develop a simple, inexpensive method for transplanting fragments that could be conducted by the local community. The ultimate goal was to enhance abundance of threatened reef-building species on local reefs. Storm-produced coral fragments of two threatened reef-building species [Acropora palmata and A. cervicornis (Acroporidae] and another fast-growing species [Porites porites (Poritidae] were collected from environments hostile to coral fragment survival and transplanted to degraded reefs. Inert nylon cable ties were used to attach transplanted coral fragments to dead coral substrate. Survival of 75 reference colonies and 60 transplants was assessed over 12 years. Only 9% of colonies were alive after 12 years: no A. cervicornis; 3% of A. palmata transplants and 18% of reference colonies; and 13% of P. porites transplants and 7% of reference colonies. Mortality rates for all species were high and were similar for transplant and reference colonies. Physical dislodgement resulted in the loss of 56% of colonies, whereas 35% died in place. Only A. palmata showed a difference between transplant and reference colony survival and that was in the first year only. Location was a factor in survival only for A. palmata reference colonies and after year 10. Even though the tested methods and concepts were proven effective in the field over the 12-year study, they do not present a solution. No coral conservation strategy will be effective until underlying intrinsic and/or extrinsic factors driving high mortality rates are understood and

  18. Transplantation of storm-generated coral fragments to enhance Caribbean coral reefs: A successful method but not a solution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garrison, Virginia H.; Ward, Greg A.

    2012-01-01

    In response to dramatic losses of reef-building corals and ongoing lack of recovery, a small-scale coral transplant project was initiated in the Caribbean (U.S. Virgin Islands) in 1999 and was followed for 12 years. The primary objectives were to (1) identify a source of coral colonies for transplantation that would not result in damage to reefs, (2) test the feasibility of transplanting storm-generated coral fragments, and (3) develop a simple, inexpensive method for transplanting fragments that could be conducted by the local community.  The ultimate goal was to enhance abundance of threatened reef-building species on local reefs.  Storm-produced coral fragments of two threatened reef-building species [Acropora palmata and A. cervicornis (Acroporidae)] and another fast-growing species [Porites porites (Poritidae)] were collected from environments hostile to coral fragment survival and transplanted to degraded reefs.  Inert nylon cable ties were used to attach transplanted coral fragments to dead coral substrate.  Survival of 75 reference colonies and 60 transplants was assessed over 12 years. Only 9% of colonies were alive after 12 years: no A. cervicornis; 3% of A. palmata transplants and 18% of reference colonies; and 13% of P. porites transplants and 7% of reference colonies. Mortality rates for all species were high and were similar for transplant and reference colonies. Physical dislodgement resulted in the loss of 56% of colonies, whereas 35% died in place.  Only A. palmata showed a difference between transplant and reference colony survival and that was in the first year only.  Location was a factor in survival only for A. palmata reference colonies and after year 10.  Even though the tested methods and concepts were proven effective in the field over the 12-year study, they do not present a solution. No coral conservation strategy will be effective until underlying intrinsic and/or extrinsic factors driving high mortality rates are

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. The importance of the marine ornamental reef fish trade in the wider Caribbean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.W Bruckner

    2005-05-01

    Full Text Available The marine ornamental fish trade began in the 1930s in Sri Lanka,spread to Hawaii and the Philippines in the 1950s,and expanded to a multi-million dollar industry in the 1970s with fisheries established throughout the tropical Pacific,Indian and Atlantic Oceans.Currently,45 countries supply global markets an estimated 14-30 million fish annually,with an import value of US$28-44 million.The largest suppliers are Indonesia and the Philippines,followed by Brazil,Maldives,Vietnam,Sri Lanka and Hawaii.In the tropical Western Atlantic,16 countries have export fisheries, including the U.S.(Florida and Puerto Rico.The U.S.is the world ’s largest buyer,followed by the European Union and Japan.The global trade consists of over 1400 species of reef fishes,of which only about 25 are captive bred on a commercial scale.Damselfish,anemonefish, and angelfish constitute over 50%of the global volume; butterflyfish, wrasses,blennies,gobies,triggerfish,file-fish,hawkfishes,groupers and basselets account for 31%of the trade,and the remaining 16%is represented by 33 families.The most important fishes from the Caribbean are angelfish (six species, seahorses (two species, royal gramma, jawfish,queen triggerfish,redlip blenny,puddingwife,bluehead wrasse,and blue chromis.The Caribbean currently supplies a small percentage of the global trade in marine ornamental species,but ornamental fisheries in this region represent important emerging industries.It is critical that effective ornamental fishery management plans and regulations are developed and enforced,and fishery-dependent and fishery-independent data are collected and utilized in decision making processes to ensure sustainable ornamental fisheries throughout the region.El comercio de peces marinos ornamentales se inició en la década de 1930 en Sri Lanka y se extendió a Hawai y Las Filipinas en la década de 1950.Posteriormente se convirtió en una industria multimillonaria cuando,en la década de 1970,se

  2. Effects of trap fishing on coral reefs and associated habitats in the US Caribbean

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — We are conducting surveys of trap distributions, targeted habitats, trap damage to coral reefs and associated habitats, and spatial/temporal distribution of catches....

  3. Snapping shrimp sound production patterns on Caribbean coral reefs: relationships with celestial cycles and environmental variables

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lillis, Ashlee; Mooney, T. Aran

    2018-06-01

    The rich acoustic environment of coral reefs, including the sounds of a variety of fish and invertebrates, is a reflection of the structural complexity and biological diversity of these habitats. Emerging interest in applying passive acoustic monitoring and soundscape analysis to measure coral reef habitat characteristics and track ecological patterns is hindered by a poor understanding of the most common and abundant sound producers on reefs—the snapping shrimp. Here, we sought to address several basic biophysical drivers of reef sound by investigating acoustic activity patterns of snapping shrimp populations on two adjacent coral reefs using a detailed snap detection analysis routine to a high-resolution 2.5-month acoustic dataset from the US Virgin Islands. The reefs exhibited strong diel and lunar periodicity in snap rates and clear spatial differences in snapping levels. Snap rates peaked at dawn and dusk and were higher overall during daytime versus nighttime, a seldom-reported pattern in earlier descriptions of diel snapping shrimp acoustic activity. Small differences between the sites in snap rate rhythms were detected and illustrate how analyses of specific soundscape elements might reveal subtle between-reef variation. Snap rates were highly correlated with environmental variables, including water temperature and light, and were found to be sensitive to changes in oceanographic forcing. This study further establishes snapping shrimp as key players in the coral reef chorus and provides evidence that their acoustic output reflects a combination of environmental conditions, celestial influences, and spatial habitat variation. Effective application of passive acoustic monitoring in coral reef habitats using snap rates or snapping-influenced acoustic metrics will require a mechanistic understanding of the underlying spatial and temporal variation in snapping shrimp sound production across multiple scales.

  4. Can you hear me now? Range-testing a submerged passive acoustic receiver array in a Caribbean coral reef habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Selby, Thomas H.; Hart, Kristen M.; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Smith, Brian J.; Pollock, Clayton J; Hillis-Star, Zandy M; Lundgren, Ian; Oli, Madan K.

    2016-01-01

    Submerged passive acoustic technology allows researchers to investigate spatial and temporal movement patterns of many marine and freshwater species. The technology uses receivers to detect and record acoustic transmissions emitted from tags attached to an individual. Acoustic signal strength naturally attenuates over distance, but numerous environmental variables also affect the probability a tag is detected. Knowledge of receiver range is crucial for designing acoustic arrays and analyzing telemetry data. Here, we present a method for testing a relatively large-scale receiver array in a dynamic Caribbean coastal environment intended for long-term monitoring of multiple species. The U.S. Geological Survey and several academic institutions in collaboration with resource management at Buck Island Reef National Monument (BIRNM), off the coast of St. Croix, recently deployed a 52 passive acoustic receiver array. We targeted 19 array-representative receivers for range-testing by submersing fixed delay interval range-testing tags at various distance intervals in each cardinal direction from a receiver for a minimum of an hour. Using a generalized linear mixed model (GLMM), we estimated the probability of detection across the array and assessed the effect of water depth, habitat, wind, temperature, and time of day on the probability of detection. The predicted probability of detection across the entire array at 100 m distance from a receiver was 58.2% (95% CI: 44.0–73.0%) and dropped to 26.0% (95% CI: 11.4–39.3%) 200 m from a receiver indicating a somewhat constrained effective detection range. Detection probability varied across habitat classes with the greatest effective detection range occurring in homogenous sand substrate and the smallest in high rugosity reef. Predicted probability of detection across BIRNM highlights potential gaps in coverage using the current array as well as limitations of passive acoustic technology within a complex coral reef

  5. Using DNA barcoding to assess Caribbean reef fish biodiversity: expanding taxonomic and geographic coverage.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lee A Weigt

    Full Text Available This paper represents a DNA barcode data release for 3,400 specimens representing 521 species of fishes from 6 areas across the Caribbean and western central Atlantic regions (FAO Region 31. Merged with our prior published data, the combined efforts result in 3,964 specimens representing 572 species of marine fishes and constitute one of the most comprehensive DNA barcoding "coverages" for a region reported to date. The barcode data are providing new insights into Caribbean shorefish diversity, allowing for more and more accurate DNA-based identifications of larvae, juveniles, and unknown specimens. Examples are given correcting previous work that was erroneous due to database incompleteness.

  6. A new estuarine species, Nereis garwoodi (Polychaeta: Nereididae, from Bahía Chetumal, Mexican Caribbean coast

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis E. González-Escalante

    2003-03-01

    Full Text Available Nereis garwoodi n. sp. is described on the basis of eight syntype specimens (six atokous and two heteronereis collected in Bahía Chetumal, Mexican Caribbean coast, and the variability in the paragnath numbers in the pharynx is established using 180 specimens; paragnath numbers are I:10(SD=1.9; II:30 (SD=2.6; III:41 (SD=5.2; IV:29 (SD=3.5, V:1, VI:4, VII-VIII: >30. Its eyes are big and its longest tentacular cirri reaches setiger 11. A revised key to species of Nereis recorded from the Grand Caribbean Sea is included.Se describe N. garwoodi n. sp. con base en ocho ejemplares sintipos (seis atokos y dos heteronereis recolectados en el sublitoral (1 m en la bahía de Chetumal y se define la variación en los paragnatos de las áreas diag-nósticas de la faringe usando 180 ejemplares, las cuáles son I:10(SD=1.9; II:30 (SD=2.6; III:41 (SD=5.2; IV:29 (SD=3.5, V:1, VI:4, VII-VIII:>30. Se caracteriza por tener un cirro tentacular que alcanza el setígero 11. Se incluye una clave revisada para las especies de Nereis registradas en el Gran Caribe.

  7. Stable nitrogen isotopes in the turtle grass Thalassia testudinum from the Mexican Caribbean: Implications of anthropogenic development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez, Alberto; Ortiz-Hernández, Ma. Concepción; Talavera-Sáenz, Ana; Aguíñiga-García, Sergio

    2013-12-01

    Nutrient inputs associated with population growth threaten the integrity of coastal ecosystems. To assess the rapid increase in tourism, we compared the δ15N from Thalassia testudinum collected at sites with different levels of tourism development to detect the N inputs of wastewater discharge (WD) along the coast of Quintana Roo. The contributions of nitrogen enriched in 15N are directly related to the increase of WD inputs in areas of tourism development (Nichupte Lagoon in Cancun) and decreased toward Bahia Akumal and Tulum. The δ15N from T. testudinum was significantly lower at Mahahual and Puerto Morelos. In areas of the lowest development and with tourist activity restricted, such as the Yum Balam Reserve and Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve, the δ15N values were relatively enriched compared to Mahahual and Puerto Morelos. Therefore, Puerto Morelos and Mahahual may be used for baseline isotopic monitoring where tourist activities are growing and can lead to environmental pressure on the reef lagoon ecosystem. The anthropogenic N input has the potential to impact, both environmentally and economically, the seagrass meadows and the coral reefs along the coast of Quintana Roo and the Caribbean.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. ASSESSING UV IRRADIANCE IN CARIBBEAN REEF CORAL AND DNA DAMAGE IN THEIR CORAL AND ZOOXANTHELLAE

    Science.gov (United States)

    UV penetration into the water near coral reefs may be increasing as a consequence of global climate change. Calm waters associated with ENSO conditions can enhance stratification that increases the amount of photobleaching of chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM) in surfa...

  11. Effect of light availability on dissolved organic carbon release by Caribbean reef algae and corals

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mueller, B.; van der Zande, R.M.; van Leent, P.J.M.; Meesters, E.H.; Vermeij, M.J.A.; van Duyl, F.C.

    2014-01-01

    Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) release of three algal and two coral species was determined at three light intensities (0, 30–80, and 200–400 µmol photons m–2 s–1) in ex situ incubations to quantify the effect of light availability on DOC release by reef primary producers. DOC release of three

  12. DOC concentrations across a depth-dependent light gradient on a Caribbean coral reef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Benjamin; Meesters, Erik H; van Duyl, Fleur C

    2017-01-01

    Photosynthates released by benthic primary producers (BPP), such as reef algae and scleractinian corals, fuel the dissolved organic carbon (DOC) production on tropical coral reefs. DOC concentrations near BPP have repeatedly been observed to be elevated compared to those in the surrounding water column. As the DOC release of BPP increases with increasing light availability, elevated DOC concentrations near them will, in part, also depend on light availability. Consequently, DOC concentrations are likely to be higher on the shallow, well-lit reef terrace than in deeper sections on the fore reef slope. We measured in situ DOC concentrations and light intensity in close proximity to the reef alga Dictyota sp. and the scleractinian coral Orbicella faveolata along a depth-dependent light gradient from 5 to 20 m depth and compared these to background concentrations in the water column. At 10 m (intermediate light), DOC concentrations near Dictyota sp. were elevated by 15 µmol C L -1 compared to background concentrations in the water column, but not at 5 and 20 m (high and low light, respectively), or near O. faveolata at any of the tested depths. DOC concentrations did not differ between depths and thereby light environments for any of the tested water types. However, water type and depth appear to jointly affect in situ DOC concentrations across the tested depth-dependent light gradient. Corroborative ex situ measurements of excitation pressure on photosystem II suggest that photoinhibition in Dictyota sp. is likely to occur at light intensities that are commonly present on Curaçaoan coral reefs under high light levels at 5 m depth during midday. Photoinhibition may have thereby reduced the DOC release of Dictyota sp. and DOC concentrations in its close proximity. Our results indicate that the occurrence of elevated DOC concentrations did not follow a natural light gradient across depth. Instead, a combination of multiple factors, such as water type, light

  13. DOC concentrations across a depth-dependent light gradient on a Caribbean coral reef

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin Mueller

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Photosynthates released by benthic primary producers (BPP, such as reef algae and scleractinian corals, fuel the dissolved organic carbon (DOC production on tropical coral reefs. DOC concentrations near BPP have repeatedly been observed to be elevated compared to those in the surrounding water column. As the DOC release of BPP increases with increasing light availability, elevated DOC concentrations near them will, in part, also depend on light availability. Consequently, DOC concentrations are likely to be higher on the shallow, well-lit reef terrace than in deeper sections on the fore reef slope. We measured in situ DOC concentrations and light intensity in close proximity to the reef alga Dictyota sp. and the scleractinian coral Orbicella faveolata along a depth-dependent light gradient from 5 to 20 m depth and compared these to background concentrations in the water column. At 10 m (intermediate light, DOC concentrations near Dictyota sp. were elevated by 15 µmol C L−1 compared to background concentrations in the water column, but not at 5 and 20 m (high and low light, respectively, or near O. faveolata at any of the tested depths. DOC concentrations did not differ between depths and thereby light environments for any of the tested water types. However, water type and depth appear to jointly affect in situ DOC concentrations across the tested depth-dependent light gradient. Corroborative ex situ measurements of excitation pressure on photosystem II suggest that photoinhibition in Dictyota sp. is likely to occur at light intensities that are commonly present on Curaçaoan coral reefs under high light levels at 5 m depth during midday. Photoinhibition may have thereby reduced the DOC release of Dictyota sp. and DOC concentrations in its close proximity. Our results indicate that the occurrence of elevated DOC concentrations did not follow a natural light gradient across depth. Instead, a combination of multiple factors, such as water type

  14. Diseases and partial mortality in Montastraea annularis species complex in reefs with differing environmental conditions (NW Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordán-Dahlgren, Eric; Maldonado, Miguel Angel; Rodríguez-Martínez, Rosa Elisa

    2005-01-25

    We documented the prevalence of diseases, syndromes and partial mortality in colonies of the Montastraea annularis species complex on 3 reefs, and tested the assumption that a higher prevalence of these parameters occurs when reefs are closer to point-sources of pollution. One reef was isolated from the impact of local factors with the exception of fishing, 1 potentially influenced by local industrial pollutants, and 1 influenced by local urban pollution. Two reefs were surveyed in 1996 and again in 2001 and 1 in 1998 and again in 2001. In 2001, colonies on all reefs had a high prevalence of the yellow-band syndrome and a relatively high degree of recent partial mortality, while the prevalence of black-band and white-plague diseases was low although a new sign, that we named the thin dark line, had relatively high prevalence in all reefs. As no direct relationship was found between disease prevalence and local environmental quality, our results open the possibility that regional and/or global factors may already be playing an important role in the prevalence of coral disease in the Caribbean, and contradict the theory that coral disease prevalence is primarily related to local environmental degradation. Reasons that may partially explain these findings are the high level of potential pathogen connectivity within the Caribbean as a result of its circulation patterns coupled to the large land-derived pollutants and pathogens input into this Mediterranean sea, together with the surface water warming effects which stress corals and enhance pathogen activity.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deron E Burkepile

    2010-01-01

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

  16. Effects of warming, acidification, and reef-zone on the calcification of four Caribbean scleractinian corals of the Belize Barrier Reef System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bove, C. B.; Ries, J. B.; Davies, S. W.; Westfield, I. T.; Castillo, K.

    2016-02-01

    Rising atmospheric carbon dioxide (pCO2) has caused ocean temperature to increase and ocean pH to decrease, raising concerns about the health of marine organisms. Previous studies have shown that corals are particularly vulnerable to these stressors, most likely due to their narrow thermal tolerance and use of carbonate ions in calcification, although response patterns vary across taxa. We conducted laboratory experiments for 95 days to investigate the independent and interactive effects of ocean warming (28, 31 °C) and acidification on the calcification rate and skeletal properties of four abundant and ubiquitously distributed Caribbean coral species (Pseudodiploria strigosa, Siderastrea siderea, Porites astreoides, Undaria tenuifolia) collected from nearshore and forereef environments of the Belize Barrier Reef. Aragonite saturation states of 3.9, 3.2, 2.2, and 0.7, constrained by total alkalinity measured via closed-cell potentiometric titration and dissolved inorganic carbon measured via coulometry, were attained by sparging natural seawater with air-CO2 mixtures formulated at 280, 400, 700, and 2800 ppmv pCO2, respectively. Temperature and pCO2 were fully crossed (N=3 tanks per treatment) and corals were gradually exposed to treatment conditions over a 30-day period, followed by an additional 30-day acclimation. Rates of linear skeletal extension were measured relative to a calcein spike emplaced in the coral skeletons at the start of the experiment, and net calcification rates were determined from coral buoyant weights obtained every 30 days. Initial results show that corals in all treatments continued to calcify on a net basis, however, the effect of warming on net calcification rates of P. asteroids and U. tenuifolia became more negative at lower saturation states. In addition, nearshore U. tenuifolia calcified faster than forereef conspecifics in all treatments.

  17. Vanadium century record from Caribbean reef corals: A tracer of oil pollution in Panama

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guzman, H.M.; Jarvis, K.E.

    1996-01-01

    The Caribbean region is potentially one of the largest oil-producing areas in the world, and contamination by petroleum is threatening the marine environment. Vanadium (V), an abundant element in crude oils, was used as proxy tracer of oil pollution along the Caribbean coast of Panama. We develop a century chronology based on the concentration of vanadium (using ICP-MS) incorporated into annual growth bands of coral skeletons. The chronology for vanadium showed a relatively clear pattern where background seawater concentrations were observed in the early history of the corals followed by an increase after 1962, the initiation of a refinery operation. The vanadium chronology suggests that a major degradation process in the coastal zone could have started around the 1960s, but we were unable to confirm such an assumption due to the lack of long-term ecological and pollution data. The gradual increase of vanadium into the marine environment might be used as a pointer to oil pollution. 46 refs, 4 figs, 1 tab

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andre DeGeorges

    2010-09-01

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

  19. A connection between colony biomass and death in Caribbean reef-building corals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel J Thornhill

    Full Text Available Increased sea-surface temperatures linked to warming climate threaten coral reef ecosystems globally. To better understand how corals and their endosymbiotic dinoflagellates (Symbiodinium spp. respond to environmental change, tissue biomass and Symbiodinium density of seven coral species were measured on various reefs approximately every four months for up to thirteen years in the Upper Florida Keys, United States (1994-2007, eleven years in the Exuma Cays, Bahamas (1995-2006, and four years in Puerto Morelos, Mexico (2003-2007. For six out of seven coral species, tissue biomass correlated with Symbiodinium density. Within a particular coral species, tissue biomasses and Symbiodinium densities varied regionally according to the following trends: Mexico≥Florida Keys≥Bahamas. Average tissue biomasses and symbiont cell densities were generally higher in shallow habitats (1-4 m compared to deeper-dwelling conspecifics (12-15 m. Most colonies that were sampled displayed seasonal fluctuations in biomass and endosymbiont density related to annual temperature variations. During the bleaching episodes of 1998 and 2005, five out of seven species that were exposed to unusually high temperatures exhibited significant decreases in symbiotic algae that, in certain cases, preceded further decreases in tissue biomass. Following bleaching, Montastraea spp. colonies with low relative biomass levels died, whereas colonies with higher biomass levels survived. Bleaching- or disease-associated mortality was also observed in Acropora cervicornis colonies; compared to A. palmata, all A. cervicornis colonies experienced low biomass values. Such patterns suggest that Montastraea spp. and possibly other coral species with relatively low biomass experience increased susceptibility to death following bleaching or other stressors than do conspecifics with higher tissue biomass levels.

  20. A connection between colony biomass and death in Caribbean reef-building corals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thornhill, Daniel J; Rotjan, Randi D; Todd, Brian D; Chilcoat, Geoff C; Iglesias-Prieto, Roberto; Kemp, Dustin W; LaJeunesse, Todd C; Reynolds, Jennifer McCabe; Schmidt, Gregory W; Shannon, Thomas; Warner, Mark E; Fitt, William K

    2011-01-01

    Increased sea-surface temperatures linked to warming climate threaten coral reef ecosystems globally. To better understand how corals and their endosymbiotic dinoflagellates (Symbiodinium spp.) respond to environmental change, tissue biomass and Symbiodinium density of seven coral species were measured on various reefs approximately every four months for up to thirteen years in the Upper Florida Keys, United States (1994-2007), eleven years in the Exuma Cays, Bahamas (1995-2006), and four years in Puerto Morelos, Mexico (2003-2007). For six out of seven coral species, tissue biomass correlated with Symbiodinium density. Within a particular coral species, tissue biomasses and Symbiodinium densities varied regionally according to the following trends: Mexico≥Florida Keys≥Bahamas. Average tissue biomasses and symbiont cell densities were generally higher in shallow habitats (1-4 m) compared to deeper-dwelling conspecifics (12-15 m). Most colonies that were sampled displayed seasonal fluctuations in biomass and endosymbiont density related to annual temperature variations. During the bleaching episodes of 1998 and 2005, five out of seven species that were exposed to unusually high temperatures exhibited significant decreases in symbiotic algae that, in certain cases, preceded further decreases in tissue biomass. Following bleaching, Montastraea spp. colonies with low relative biomass levels died, whereas colonies with higher biomass levels survived. Bleaching- or disease-associated mortality was also observed in Acropora cervicornis colonies; compared to A. palmata, all A. cervicornis colonies experienced low biomass values. Such patterns suggest that Montastraea spp. and possibly other coral species with relatively low biomass experience increased susceptibility to death following bleaching or other stressors than do conspecifics with higher tissue biomass levels. © 2011 Thornhill et al.

  1. Reef fish community in presence of the lionfish (Pterois volitans in Santa Marta, Colombian Caribbean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rocío García-Urueña

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Objective. Fish species community structure and benthic organisms coverage were studied in five localities in Santa Marta where the lionfish is present. Materials and methods. Abundance of fish species, including lion fish, was established using 30 m random visual censuses and video transects; trophic guilds were established according to available references. On the other hand benthic coverage was evaluated using the software Coral Point Count (CPCe 4.0. Results. Families with higher species numbers were Serranidae, Labridae, and Pomacentridae. Lionfish abundances were low (2.6±2.1 ind/120 m2, but in any case Pterois volitans was observed as the eleventh more abundant species, surpassing species of commercial value such as Cephalopholis cruentata. Species that were found in larger numbers (>100, Thalassoma bifasciatum, Haemulon aurolineatum, Canthigaster rostrata, Abudefduf saxatilis, Chromis cyanea, and Stegastes partitus were mainly invertebrate eaters, planctivores, and territorial herbivores. Coral coverage showed higher coral percentages in Chengue (69.9% and Cinto (27.4%, larger sponge percentages in Morro (32.7%; Isla Aguja and Remanso showed the larger figures for abiotic substrate (41.6 and 37%, respectively; corals, sponges, and gorgonians were the components best explaining fish community, but not for the lion fish, which inhabit all studied reef formations. Conclusions. Lion fish is ranked between the 20 more abundant species, with none commercially important species larger, hence no species may qualify as a natural control. Lion fish has as well become a relatively abundant species in Santa Marta reefs, independent of benthic coverage.

  2. Developmental Strategy For Effective Sampling To Detect Possible Nutrient Fluxes In Oligotrophic Coastal Reef Waters In The Caribbean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendoza, W. G.; Corredor, J. E.; Ko, D.; Zika, R. G.; Mooers, C. N.

    2008-05-01

    The increasing effort to develop the coastal ocean observing system (COOS) in various institutions has gained momentum due to its high value to climate, environmental, economic, and health issues. The stress contributed by nutrients to the coral reef ecosystem is among many problems that are targeted to be resolved using this system. Traditional nutrient sampling has been inadequate to resolve issues on episodic nutrient fluxes in reef regions due to temporal and spatial variability. This paper illustrates sampling strategy using the COOS information to identify areas that need critical investigation. The area investigated is within the Puerto Rico subdomain (60-70oW, 15-20oN), and Caribbean Time Series (CaTS), World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE), Intra-America Sea (IAS) ocean nowcast/forecast system (IASNFS), and other COOS-related online datasets are utilized. Nutrient profile results indicate nitrate is undetectable in the upper 50 m apparently due to high biological consumption. Nutrients are delivered in Puerto Rico particularly in the CaTS station either via a meridional jet formed from opposing cyclonic and anticyclonic eddies or wind-driven upwelling. The strong vertical fluctuation in the upper 50 m demonstrates a high anomaly in temperature and salinity and a strong cross correlation signal. High chlorophyll a concentration corresponding to seasonal high nutrient influx coincides with higher precipitation accumulation rates and apparent riverine input from the Amazon and Orinoco Rivers during summer (August) than during winter (February) seasons. Non-detectability of nutrients in the upper 50 m is a reflection of poor sampling frequency or the absence of a highly sensitive nutrient analysis method to capture episodic events. Thus, this paper was able to determine the range of depths and concentrations that need to be critically investigated to determine nutrient fluxes, nutrient sources, and climatological factors that can affect nutrient delivery

  3. Effects of titanium dioxide (TiO2 ) nanoparticles on caribbean reef-building coral (Montastraea faveolata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jovanović, Boris; Guzmán, Héctor M

    2014-06-01

    Increased use of manufactured titanium dioxide nanoparticles (nano-TiO2 ) is causing a rise in their concentration in the aquatic environment, including coral reef ecosystems. Caribbean mountainous star coral (Montastraea faveolata) has frequently been used as a model species to study gene expression during stress and bleaching events. Specimens of M. faveolata were collected in Panama and exposed for 17 d to nano-TiO2 suspensions (0.1 mg L(-1) and 10 mg L(-1) ). Exposure to nano-TiO2 caused significant zooxanthellae expulsion in all the colonies, without mortality. Induction of the gene for heat-shock protein 70 (HSP70) was observed during an early stage of exposure (day 2), indicating acute stress. However, there was no statistical difference in HSP70 expression on day 7 or 17, indicating possible coral acclimation and recovery from stress. No other genes were significantly upregulated. Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry analysis revealed that nano-TiO2 was predominantly trapped and stored within the posterior layer of the coral fragment (burrowing sponges, bacterial and fungal mats). The bioconcentration factor in the posterior layer was close to 600 after exposure to 10 mg L(-1) of nano-TiO2 for 17 d. The transient increase in HSP70, expulsion of zooxanthellae, and bioaccumulation of nano-TiO2 in the microflora of the coral colony indicate the potential of such exposure to induce stress and possibly contribute to an overall decrease in coral populations. © 2014 SETAC.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frade, Pedro R; Roll, Katharina; Bergauer, Kristin; Herndl, Gerhard J

    2016-01-01

    Comparative studies on the distribution of archaeal versus bacterial communities associated with the surface mucus layer of corals have rarely taken place. It has therefore remained enigmatic whether mucus-associated archaeal and bacterial communities exhibit a similar specificity towards coral hosts and whether they vary in the same fashion over spatial gradients and between reef locations. We used microbial community profiling (terminal-restriction fragment length polymorphism, T-RFLP) and clone library sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene to compare the diversity and community structure of dominant archaeal and bacterial communities associating with the mucus of three common reef-building coral species (Porites astreoides, Siderastrea siderea and Orbicella annularis) over different spatial scales on a Caribbean fringing reef. Sampling locations included three reef sites, three reef patches within each site and two depths. Reference sediment samples and ambient water were also taken for each of the 18 sampling locations resulting in a total of 239 samples. While only 41% of the bacterial operational taxonomic units (OTUs) characterized by T-RFLP were shared between mucus and the ambient water or sediment, for archaeal OTUs this percentage was 2-fold higher (78%). About half of the mucus-associated OTUs (44% and 58% of bacterial and archaeal OTUs, respectively) were shared between the three coral species. Our multivariate statistical analysis (ANOSIM, PERMANOVA and CCA) showed that while the bacterial community composition was determined by habitat (mucus, sediment or seawater), host coral species, location and spatial distance, the archaeal community composition was solely determined by the habitat. This study highlights that mucus-associated archaeal and bacterial communities differ in their degree of community turnover over reefs and in their host-specificity.

  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.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro R Frade

    Full Text Available Comparative studies on the distribution of archaeal versus bacterial communities associated with the surface mucus layer of corals have rarely taken place. It has therefore remained enigmatic whether mucus-associated archaeal and bacterial communities exhibit a similar specificity towards coral hosts and whether they vary in the same fashion over spatial gradients and between reef locations. We used microbial community profiling (terminal-restriction fragment length polymorphism, T-RFLP and clone library sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene to compare the diversity and community structure of dominant archaeal and bacterial communities associating with the mucus of three common reef-building coral species (Porites astreoides, Siderastrea siderea and Orbicella annularis over different spatial scales on a Caribbean fringing reef. Sampling locations included three reef sites, three reef patches within each site and two depths. Reference sediment samples and ambient water were also taken for each of the 18 sampling locations resulting in a total of 239 samples. While only 41% of the bacterial operational taxonomic units (OTUs characterized by T-RFLP were shared between mucus and the ambient water or sediment, for archaeal OTUs this percentage was 2-fold higher (78%. About half of the mucus-associated OTUs (44% and 58% of bacterial and archaeal OTUs, respectively were shared between the three coral species. Our multivariate statistical analysis (ANOSIM, PERMANOVA and CCA showed that while the bacterial community composition was determined by habitat (mucus, sediment or seawater, host coral species, location and spatial distance, the archaeal community composition was solely determined by the habitat. This study highlights that mucus-associated archaeal and bacterial communities differ in their degree of community turnover over reefs and in their host-specificity.

  6. Dynamic camouflage by Nassau groupers Epinephelus striatus on a Caribbean coral reef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watson, A C; Siemann, L A; Hanlon, R T

    2014-11-01

    This field study describes the camouflage pattern repertoire, associated behaviours and speed of pattern change of Nassau groupers Epinephelus striatus at Little Cayman Island, British West Indies. Three basic camouflaged body patterns were observed under natural conditions and characterized quantitatively. The mean speed of pattern change across the entire body was 4.44 s (range = 0.97-9.87 s); the fastest pattern change as well as contrast change within a fixed pattern occurred within 1 s. Aside from apparent defensive camouflage, E. striatus used camouflage offensively to approach crustacean or fish prey, and three successful predation events were recorded. Although animal camouflage is a widespread tactic, dynamic camouflage is relatively uncommon and has been studied rarely in marine teleosts under natural conditions. The rapid changes observed in E. striatus suggest direct neural control of some skin colouration elements, and comparative studies of functional morphology and behaviour of colour change in other coral-reef teleosts are likely to reveal new mechanisms and adaptations of dynamic colouration. © 2014 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  7. Transplantation of storm-generated coral fragments to enhance Caribbean coral reefs: A successful method but not a solution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Virginia H. Garrison

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available In response to dramatic losses of reef-building corals and ongoing lack of recovery, a small-scale coral transplant project was initiated in the Caribbean (U.S. Virgin Islands in 1999 and was followed for 12 years. The primary objectives were to (1 identify a source of coral colonies for transplantation that would not result in damage to reefs, (2 test the feasibility of transplanting storm-generated coral fragments, and (3 develop a simple, inexpensive method for transplanting fragments that could be conducted by the local community. The ultimate goal was to enhance abundance of threatened reef-building species on local reefs. Storm-produced coral fragments of two threatened reef-building species [Acropora palmata and A. cervicornis (Acroporidae] and another fast-growing species [Porites porites (Poritidae] were collected from environments hostile to coral fragment survival and transplanted to degraded reefs. Inert nylon cable ties were used to attach transplanted coral fragments to dead coral substrate. Survival of 75 reference colonies and 60 transplants was assessed over 12 years. Only 9% of colonies were alive after 12 years: no A. cervicornis; 3% of A. palmata transplants and 18% of reference colonies; and 13% of P. porites transplants and 7% of reference colonies. Mortality rates for all species were high and were similar for transplant and reference colonies. Physical dislodgement resulted in the loss of 56% of colonies, whereas 35% died in place. Only A. palmata showed a difference between transplant and reference colony survival and that was in the first year only. Location was a factor in survival only for A. palmata reference colonies and after year 10. Even though the tested methods and concepts were proven effective in the field over the 12-year study, they do not present a solution. No coral conservation strategy will be effective until underlying intrinsic and/or extrinsic factors driving high mortality rates are understood and

  8. An unprecedented aggregation of whale sharks, Rhincodon typus, in Mexican coastal waters of the Caribbean Sea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafael de la Parra Venegas

    Full Text Available Whale sharks, Rhincodon typus, are often perceived as solitary behemoths that live and feed in the open ocean. To the contrary, evidence is accumulating that they are gregarious and form seasonal aggregations in some coastal waters. One such aggregation occurs annually north of Cabo Catoche, off Isla Holbox on the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico. Here we report a second, much denser aggregation of whale sharks (dubbed "the Afuera" that occurs east of the tip of the Yucatán Peninsula in the Caribbean Sea. The 2009 Afuera event comprised the largest aggregation of whale sharks ever reported, with up to 420 whale sharks observed in a single aerial survey, all gathered in an elliptical patch of ocean approximately 18 km(2. Plankton studies indicated that the sharks were feeding on dense homogenous patches of fish eggs, which DNA barcoding analysis identified as belonging to little tunny, Euthynnus alletteratus. This contrasts with the annual Cabo Catoche aggregation nearby, where prey consists mostly of copepods and sergestid shrimp. Increased sightings at the Afuera coincide with decreased sightings at Cabo Catoche, and both groups have the same sex ratio, implying that the same animals are likely involved in both aggregations; tagging data support this idea. With two whale shark aggregation areas, high coastal productivity and a previously-unknown scombrid spawning ground, the northeastern Yucatán marine region is a critical habitat that deserves more concerted conservation efforts.

  9. An Unprecedented Aggregation of Whale Sharks, Rhincodon typus, in Mexican Coastal Waters of the Caribbean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    de la Parra Venegas, Rafael; Hueter, Robert; González Cano, Jaime; Tyminski, John; Gregorio Remolina, José; Maslanka, Mike; Ormos, Andrea; Weigt, Lee; Carlson, Bruce; Dove, Alistair

    2011-01-01

    Whale sharks, Rhincodon typus, are often perceived as solitary behemoths that live and feed in the open ocean. To the contrary, evidence is accumulating that they are gregarious and form seasonal aggregations in some coastal waters. One such aggregation occurs annually north of Cabo Catoche, off Isla Holbox on the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico. Here we report a second, much denser aggregation of whale sharks (dubbed “the Afuera”) that occurs east of the tip of the Yucatán Peninsula in the Caribbean Sea. The 2009 Afuera event comprised the largest aggregation of whale sharks ever reported, with up to 420 whale sharks observed in a single aerial survey, all gathered in an elliptical patch of ocean approximately 18 km2. Plankton studies indicated that the sharks were feeding on dense homogenous patches of fish eggs, which DNA barcoding analysis identified as belonging to little tunny, Euthynnus alletteratus. This contrasts with the annual Cabo Catoche aggregation nearby, where prey consists mostly of copepods and sergestid shrimp. Increased sightings at the Afuera coincide with decreased sightings at Cabo Catoche, and both groups have the same sex ratio, implying that the same animals are likely involved in both aggregations; tagging data support this idea. With two whale shark aggregation areas, high coastal productivity and a previously-unknown scombrid spawning ground, the northeastern Yucatán marine region is a critical habitat that deserves more concerted conservation efforts. PMID:21559508

  10. A review of bottom-up vs. top-down control of sponges on Caribbean fore-reefs: what’s old, what’s new, and future directions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph R. Pawlik

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Interest in the ecology of sponges on coral reefs has grown in recent years with mounting evidence that sponges are becoming dominant members of reef communities, particularly in the Caribbean. New estimates of water column processing by sponge pumping activities combined with discoveries related to carbon and nutrient cycling have led to novel hypotheses about the role of sponges in reef ecosystem function. Among these developments, a debate has emerged about the relative effects of bottom-up (food availability and top-down (predation control on the community of sponges on Caribbean fore-reefs. In this review, we evaluate the impact of the latest findings on the debate, as well as provide new insights based on older citations. Recent studies that employed different research methods have demonstrated that dissolved organic carbon (DOC and detritus are the principal sources of food for a growing list of sponge species, challenging the idea that the relative availability of living picoplankton is the sole proxy for sponge growth or abundance. New reports have confirmed earlier findings that reef macroalgae release labile DOC available for sponge nutrition. Evidence for top-down control of sponge community structure by fish predation is further supported by gut content studies and historical population estimates of hawksbill turtles, which likely had a much greater impact on relative sponge abundances on Caribbean reefs of the past. Implicit to investigations designed to address the bottom-up vs. top-down debate are appropriate studies of Caribbean fore-reef environments, where benthic communities are relatively homogeneous and terrestrial influences and abiotic effects are minimized. One recent study designed to test both aspects of the debate did so using experiments conducted entirely in shallow lagoonal habitats dominated by mangroves and seagrass beds. The top-down results from this study are reinterpreted as supporting past research

  11. Chemical and mechanical bioerosion of boring sponges from Mexican Pacific coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nava, Héctor; Carballo, José Luis

    2008-09-01

    Species richness (S) and frequency of invasion (IF) by boring sponges on living colonies of Pocillopora spp. from National Park Isla Isabel (México, East Pacific Ocean) are presented. Twelve species belonging to the genera Aka, Cliona, Pione, Thoosa and Spheciospongia were found, and 56% of coral colonies were invaded by boring sponges, with Cliona vermifera Hancock 1867 being the most abundant species (30%). Carbonate dissolution rate and sediment production were quantified for C. vermifera and Cliona flavifodina Rützler 1974. Both species exhibited similar rates of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) dissolution (1.2+/-0.4 and 0.5+/-0.2 kg CaCO3 m(-2) year(-1), respectively, mean +/- s.e.m.), and sediment production (3.3+/-0.6 and 4.6+/-0.5 kg CaCO3 m(-2) year(-1)), resulting in mean bioerosion rates of 4.5+/-0.9 and 5.1+/-0.5 kg CaCO3 m(-2) year(-1), respectively. These bioerosion rates are close to previous records of coral calcification per unit of area, suggesting that sponge bioerosion alone can promote disequilibrium in the reef accretion/destruction ratio in localities that are heavily invaded by boring sponges. The proportion of dissolved material by C. vermifera and C. flavifodina (27 and 10.2%, respectively) confirms that chemical bioerosion plays an important role in sponge bioerosion and in the CaCO3 cycle in coral reefs.

  12. 75 FR 2469 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-15

    .... SUMMARY: NMFS issues this proposed rule to implement Amendment 31 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP) prepared by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management... proposed rule is to balance the continued operation of the bottom longline component of the reef fish...

  13. 75 FR 21512 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-26

    ...: NMFS issues this final rule to implement Amendment 31 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP) prepared by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council... operation of the bottom longline component of the reef fish fishery in the eastern Gulf while maintaining...

  14. 2015 Carbbean Reef Fish Survey (PC1505, EK60)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Objectives of the 2015 Caribbean Reef Fish Survey were to assess relative abundance of reef fish species around the US Caribbean Islands, estimate length-frequency...

  15. 2015 Carbbean Reef Fish Survey (PC1505, ME70)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Objectives of the 2015 Caribbean Reef Fish Survey were to assess relative abundance of reef fish species around the US Caribbean Islands, estimate length-frequency...

  16. 78 FR 27084 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-05-09

    ...Fish.htm . FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rich Malinowski, Southeast Regional Office, telephone 727-824-5305, email rich.malinowski@noaa.gov . SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The reef fish fishery of the...

  17. 76 FR 13122 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-03-10

    ... Malinowski, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue, South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701. Instructions... INFORMATION CONTACT: Rich Malinowski, 727-824-5305; fax: 727-824-5308. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The reef...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David A. Anderson

    2016-02-01

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

  19. Biological Pretreatment of Mexican Caribbean Macroalgae Consortiums Using Bm-2 Strain (Trametes hirsuta and Its Enzymatic Broth to Improve Biomethane Potential

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raúl Tapia-Tussell

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The macroalgae consortium biomass in the Mexican Caribbean represents an emerging and promising biofuel feedstock. Its biological pretreatment and potential for energetic conversion to biomethane were investigated, since some macroalgae have hard cell walls that present an obstacle to efficient methane production when those substrates are used. It has been revealed by anaerobic digestion assays that pretreatment with a Bm-2 strain (Trametes hirsuta isolated from decaying wood in Yucatan, Mexico was 104 L CH4 kg·VS−1; In fact, the fungal pretreatment produced a 20% increase in methane yield, with important amounts of alkali metals Ca, K, Mg, Na of 78 g/L, ash 35.5% and lignin 15.6%. It is unlikely that high concentrations of ash and alkali metals will produce an ideal feedstock for combustion or pyrolysis, but they can be recommended for a biological process.

  20. A dataset on the species composition of amphipods (Crustacea) in a Mexican marine national park: Alacranes Reef, Yucatan

    OpenAIRE

    Paz,Carlos; Simões,Nuno; Pech,Daniel

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Background Alacranes Reef was declared as a National Marine Park in 1994. Since then, many efforts have been made to inventory its biodiversity. However, groups such as amphipods have been underestimated or not considered when benthic invertebrates were inventoried. Here we present a dataset that contributes to the knowledge of benthic amphipods ( Crustacea , Peracarida ) from the inner lagoon habitats from the Alacranes Reef National Park, the largest coral reef ecosystem in the Gul...

  1. Estimating Surface Area of Sponges and Marine Gorgonians as Indicators of Habitat Availability on Caribbean Coral Reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Surface area and topographical complexity are fundamental attributes of shallow tropical coral reefs and can be used to estimate habitat for fish and invertebrates. This study presents empirical methods for estimating surface area provided by sponges and gorgonians in the Central...

  2. 78 FR 14225 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Fishery...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-03-05

    ... documentation may be obtained from Rich Malinowski, NMFS, Southeast Regional Office, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701; telephone: 727-824-5305. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rich Malinowski, telephone: 727-824- 5305, or email: Rich.Malinowski@noaa.gov . SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The reef fish fishery...

  3. 76 FR 51905 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Fishery...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-08-19

    ... be obtained from Rich Malinowski, NMFS, Southeast Regional Office, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701; telephone: 727-824-5305. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rich Malinowski, telephone: 727-824- 5305, e-mail Rich.Malinowski@noaa.gov . SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The reef fish fishery of...

  4. 77 FR 39460 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-07-03

    ... . Follow the ``Instructions'' for submitting comments. Mail: Rich Malinowski, Southeast Regional Office....gov . FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rich Malinowski, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, telephone 727-824-5305; email: rich.malinowski@noaa.gov . SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Reef fish fishery of the...

  5. 78 FR 5404 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-25

    ... Malinowski, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701. Instructions... . FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rich Malinowski, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, telephone 727-824-5305; email: rich.malinowski@noaa.gov . SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The reef fish fishery of the Gulf of...

  6. 78 FR 12703 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Amendment to the Corals and Reef...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-02-25

    ... Associated Plants and Invertebrates Fishery Management Plan of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands AGENCY... Reef Associated Plants and Invertebrates of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) (Coral FMP... maritima), and one group of species, the sea vines (Halophila spp., including H. decipiens, H. baillonis, H...

  7. 75 FR 63780 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-18

    ... shallow water grouper (SWG) species, and require vessels with valid commercial Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) reef... that the stock continues to be neither overfished nor undergoing overfishing. However, this update... migratory species (HMS) species and relatively less dependent on landings of deep-water grouper species. On...

  8. ICE-6G models of postglacial relative sea-level history applied to Holocene coral reef and mangrove records of the western Caribbean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toscano, M. A.; Peltier, W. R.; Drummond, R.; Gonzalez, J.

    2012-12-01

    Fossil coral reefs and mangrove peat accumulations at western Caribbean sites along a latitudinal gradient from the Florida Keys through Belize and Panama provide dated and interpreted 8,000 year Holocene sea-level records for comparison with RSL predictions of the ICE-6G (VM5A, VM5B; L90) models of glacio-hydro-isostatic adjustment, with and without rotational feedback. These presumably passive continental margin sites provide the means to establish a N-S spatial trend in the varying influences of GIA, eustatic components of Holocene sea level, extent of forebulge collapse and influence of rotational feedback over a 20° latitudinal range. Previous ICE6G (VM5A) model-coral data comparisons for St Croix, USVI, Antigua, Martinique and Barbados (Toscano, Peltier and Drummond, 2011, QSR) along the eastern Caribbean plate and island arc illustrated the close model-data compatibility, the influence of rotational feedback acting as a significant factor in reducing misfits, and the need for high quality in situ data to confirm the extension of the proglacial forebulge into tropical latitudes. The gradient of western Caribbean continental shelf sites comprises a much more varied range of model-data relationships based on extensive combined Acropora palmata (reef crest coral) and Rhizophora mangle (microtidal mangrove) peat datasets in all cases. Starting at the northernmost region with the Florida Keys, there exist negative model misfits to the data, suggesting the possibility of a positive tectonic overprint upon expectations related to the glacial isostatic adjustment process acting alone, even though this region is normally believed to be tectonically stable. The largest multi-proxy database from Belize supports the likelihood of increasing rates of subsidence from north to south in the Belize Lagoon, which may account for numerous positive GIA model-data misfits. The southernmost site at Panama is most similar to Belize in the possible nature of tectonic influences on

  9. Intrareef variations in Li/Mg and Sr/Ca sea surface temperature proxies in the Caribbean reef-building coral Siderastrea siderea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fowell, Sara E.; Sandford, Kate; Stewart, Joseph A.; Castillo, Karl D.; Ries, Justin B.; Foster, Gavin L.

    2016-10-01

    Caribbean sea surface temperatures (SSTs) have increased at a rate of 0.2°C per decade since 1971, a rate double that of the mean global change. Recent investigations of the coral Siderastrea siderea on the Belize Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System (MBRS) have demonstrated that warming over the last 30 years has had a detrimental impact on calcification. Instrumental temperature records in this region are sparse, making it necessary to reconstruct longer SST records indirectly through geochemical temperature proxies. Here we investigate the skeletal Sr/Ca and Li/Mg ratios of S. siderea from two distinct reef zones (forereef and backreef) of the MBRS. Our field calibrations of S. siderea show that Li/Mg and Sr/Ca ratios are well correlated with temperature, although both ratios are 3 times more sensitive to temperature change in the forereef than in the backreef. These differences suggest that a secondary parameter also influences these SST proxies, highlighting the importance for site- and species-specific SST calibrations. Application of these paleothermometers to downcore samples reveals highly uncertain reconstructed temperatures in backreef coral, but well-matched reconstructed temperatures in forereef coral, both between Sr/Ca-SSTs and Li/Mg-SSTs, and in comparison to the Hadley Centre Sea Ice and Sea Surface Temperature record. Reconstructions generated from a combined Sr/Ca and Li/Mg multiproxy calibration improve the precision of these SST reconstructions. This result confirms that there are circumstances in which both Li/Mg and Sr/Ca are reliable as stand-alone and combined proxies of sea surface temperature. However, the results also highlight that high-precision, site-specific calibrations remain critical for reconstructing accurate SSTs from coral-based elemental proxies.

  10. Taxonomic richness and abundance of cryptic peracarid crustaceans in the Puerto Morelos Reef National Park, Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luz Veronica Monroy-Velázquez

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Background and Aims Cryptic peracarids are an important component of the coral reef fauna in terms of diversity and abundance, yet they have been poorly studied. The aim of this study was to evaluate the taxonomic richness and abundance of cryptic peracarids in coral rubble in the Puerto Morelos Reef National Park, Mexico (PMRNP, and their relationship with depth. Methods Three reef sites were selected: (1 Bonanza, (2 Bocana, and (3 Jardines. At each site six kilograms of coral rubble were collected over four sampling periods at three depths: 3 m (back-reef, 6–8 m (fore-reef, and 10–12 m (fore-reef. Results A total of 8,887 peracarid crustaceans belonging to 200 taxa distributed over five orders and 63 families was obtained; 70% of the taxa were identified to species and 25% to genus level. Fifty species of those collected represent new records for the Mexican Caribbean Sea. Isopoda was the most speciose order while Tanaidacea was the most abundant. Discussion Cryptic peracarid taxonomic richness and abundance were related to depth with higher values of both parameters being found in the shallow (3 m back-reef, possibly due to a higher reef development and a greater accumulation of coral rubble produced during hurricanes. Peracarid data obtained in the present study can be used as a baseline for future monitoring programs in the PMRNP.

  11. The genus Clathria from the Gulf of Mexico and Mexican Caribbean, with redescription and resurrection of Clathria carteri (Poecilosclerida: Microcionidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez, Patricia

    2014-04-16

    The present study deals with the morphologic variability of eight Clathria species from the southern Gulf of Mexico and Mexican Caribbean. Clathria (Clathria) foliacea, C. (C.) carteri, C. (Microciona) calla, C. (M.) echinata, C. (M.) spinosa, C. (Thalysias.) venosa, and C. (T.) virgultosa were collected by scuba diving and dredging from the southern Gulf of Mexico (Veracruz, Campeche Bank, Yucatan) to the Caribbean coast (Quintana Roo) from shoreline to 120 m depth. The population of Clathria seems to be neither abundant nor diverse in the studied area. However, the seven species considered here are presumed to have a slight morphologic variability, and the interspecific relationships had not been fully resolved. The present study focuses on their differentiation through comparison of external morphology, skeletal architecture, spiculation and measurements of characters as well as scanning electronic microscopy.    Comparisons were made among intra- and interspecific material and with the available type material. In particular, C. carteri Topsent (1889), previously synonymized with C. foliacea, is resurrected by establishing a neotype from material from the type locality, Campeche Bank; this has not been studied since its original description and is here redescribed for the first time. Another neotype is assigned for C. foliacea from Campeche also, since the original material is no longer available, and this species is redescribed also. Significant differences in spiculation between C. foliacea and C. carteri were found by one-way ANOVA. Although C. (T.) venosa resembles C. (T.) raraechelae in spiculation, these two species differ in measurements and skeletal organization. C. (T.) virgultosa is typified by a peculiar acanthostyle that is markedly spined on distal parts of the shaft, and by two types of tiny microscleres. This study has extended the known geographic distribution of each of these Clathria spp. within the lower Gulf of Mexico.

  12. Density dependence drives habitat production and survivorship of Acropora cervicornis used for restoration on a Caribbean coral reef

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark C Ladd

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available AbstractCoral restoration is gaining traction as a viable strategy to help restore degraded reefs. While the nascent field of coral restoration has rapidly progressed in the past decade, significant knowledge gaps remain regarding the drivers of restoration success that may impede our ability to effectively restore coral reef communities. Here, we conducted a field experiment to investigate the influence of coral density on the growth, habitat production, and survival of corals outplanted for restoration. We used nursery-raised colonies of Acropora cervicornis to experimentally establish populations of corals with either 3, 6, 12, or 24 corals within 4m2 plots, generating a gradient of coral densities ranging from 0.75 corals m-2 to 12 corals m-2. After 13 months we found that density had a significant effect on the growth, habitat production, and survivorship of restored corals. We found that coral survivorship increased as colony density decreased. Importantly, the signal of density dependent effects was context dependent. Our data suggest that positive density dependent effects influenced habitat production at densities of 3 corals m-2, but further increases in density resulted in negative density dependent effects with decreasing growth and survivorship of corals. These findings highlight the importance of density dependence for coral restoration planning and demonstrate the need to evaluate the influence of density for other coral species used for restoration. Further work focused on the mechanisms causing density dependence such as increased herbivory, rapid disease transmission, or altered predation rates are important next steps to advance our ability to effectively restore coral reefs.

  13. The role of the reef-dune system in coastal protection in Puerto Morelos (Mexico)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franklin, Gemma L.; Torres-Freyermuth, Alec; Medellin, Gabriela; Allende-Arandia, María Eugenia; Appendini, Christian M.

    2018-04-01

    Reefs and sand dunes are critical morphological features providing natural coastal protection. Reefs dissipate around 90 % of the incident wave energy through wave breaking, whereas sand dunes provide the final natural barrier against coastal flooding. The storm impact on coastal areas with these features depends on the relative elevation of the extreme water levels with respect to the sand dune morphology. However, despite the importance of barrier reefs and dunes in coastal protection, poor management practices have degraded these ecosystems, increasing their vulnerability to coastal flooding. The present study aims to theoretically investigate the role of the reef-dune system in coastal protection under current climatic conditions at Puerto Morelos, located in the Mexican Caribbean Sea, using a widely validated nonlinear non-hydrostatic numerical model (SWASH). Wave hindcast information, tidal level, and a measured beach profile of the reef-dune system in Puerto Morelos are employed to estimate extreme runup and the storm impact scale for current and theoretical scenarios. The numerical results show the importance of including the storm surge when predicting extreme water levels and also show that ecosystem degradation has important implications for coastal protection against storms with return periods of less than 10 years. The latter highlights the importance of conservation of the system as a mitigation measure to decrease coastal vulnerability and infrastructure losses in coastal areas in the short to medium term. Furthermore, the results are used to evaluate the applicability of runup parameterisations for beaches to reef environments. Numerical analysis of runup dynamics suggests that runup parameterisations for reef environments can be improved by including the fore reef slope. Therefore, future research to develop runup parameterisations incorporating reef geometry features (e.g. reef crest elevation, reef lagoon width, fore reef slope) is warranted.

  14. Searching for speciation genes: molecular evidence for selection associated with colour morphotypes in the Caribbean reef fish genus Hypoplectrus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ben G Holt

    Full Text Available Closely related species that show clear phenotypic divergence, but without obvious geographic barriers, can provide opportunities to study how diversification can occur when opportunities for allopatric speciation are limited. We examined genetic divergence in the coral reef fish genus Hypoplectrus (family: Serranidae, which comprises of 10-14 morphotypes that are distinguished solely by their distinct colour patterns, but which show little genetic differentiation. Our goal was to detect loci that show clear disequilibrium between morphotypes and across geographical locations. We conducted Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism molecular analysis to quantify genetic differentiation among, and selection between, morphotypes. Three loci were consistently divergent beyond neutral expectations in repeated pair-wise morphotype comparisons using two different methods. These loci provide the first evidence for genes that may be associated with colour morphotype in the genus Hypoplectrus.

  15. A dataset on the species composition of amphipods (Crustacea) in a Mexican marine national park: Alacranes Reef, Yucatan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paz-Ríos, Carlos E; Simões, Nuno; Pech, Daniel

    2018-01-01

    Alacranes Reef was declared as a National Marine Park in 1994. Since then, many efforts have been made to inventory its biodiversity. However, groups such as amphipods have been underestimated or not considered when benthic invertebrates were inventoried. Here we present a dataset that contributes to the knowledge of benthic amphipods (Crustacea, Peracarida) from the inner lagoon habitats from the Alacranes Reef National Park, the largest coral reef ecosystem in the Gulf of Mexico. The dataset contains information on records collected from 2009 to 2011. Data are available through Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). A total of 110 amphipod species distributed in 93 nominal species and 17 generic species, belonging to 71 genera, 33 families and three suborders are presented here. This information represents the first online dataset of amphipods from the Alacranes Reef National Park. The biological material is currently deposited in the crustacean collection from the regional unit of the National Autonomous University of Mexico located at Sisal, Yucatan, Mexico (UAS-Sisal). The biological material includes 588 data records with a total abundance of 6,551 organisms. The species inventory represents, until now, the richest fauna of benthic amphipods registered from any discrete coral reef ecosystem in Mexico.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-03

    Healthy and diseased corals are threatened by different anthropogenic sources, such as pollution, a problem expected to become more severe in the near future. Despite the fact that coastal pollution and coral diseases might represent a serious threat to coral reef health, there is a paucity of controlled experiments showing whether the response of diseased and healthy corals to xenobiotics differs. In this study, we exposed healthy and Caribbean yellow band disease (CYBD)-affected Orbicella faveolata colonies to 3 sublethal concentrations of anthracene to test if enzymatic responses to this hydrocarbon were compromised in CYBD-affected tissues. For this, a 2-factorial fully orthogonal design was used in a controlled laboratory bioassay, using tissue condition (2 levels: apparently healthy and diseased) and pollutant concentration (4 levels: experimental control, 10, 30 and 100 ppb concentration) as fixed factors. A permutation-based ANOVA (PERMANOVA) was used to test the effects of condition and concentration on the specific activity of 3 enzymatic biomarkers: catalase, glutathione S-transferase, and glutathione peroxidase. We found a significant interaction between the concentration of anthracene and the colony condition for catalase (Pseudo-F = 3.84, df = 3, p < 0.05) and glutathione S-transferase (Pseudo-F = 3.29, df = 3, p < 0.05). Moreover, our results indicated that the enzymatic response to anthracene in CYBD-affected tissues was compromised, as the activity of these enzymes decreased 3- to 4-fold compared to healthy tissues. These results suggest that under a potential scenario of increasing hydrocarbon coastal pollution, colonies of O. faveolata affected with CYBD might become more vulnerable to the deleterious effects of chemical pollution.

  17. A new Liopropoma sea bass (Serranidae, Epinephelinae, Liopropomini) from deep reefs off Curaçao, southern Caribbean, with comments on depth distributions of western Atlantic liopropomins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldwin, Carole C.; Robertson, D. Ross

    2014-01-01

    Collecting reef-fish specimens using a manned submersible diving to 300 m off Curaçao, southern Caribbean, is resulting in the discovery of numerous new fish species. The new Liopropoma sea bass described here differs from other western Atlantic members of the genus in having VIII, 13 dorsal-fin rays; a moderately indented dorsal-fin margin; a yellow-orange stripe along the entire upper lip; a series of approximately 13 white, chevron-shaped markings on the ventral portion of the trunk; and a reddish-black blotch on the tip of the lower caudal-fin lobe. The new species, with predominantly yellow body and fins, closely resembles the other two “golden basses” found together with it at Curaçao: L. aberransand L. olneyi. It also shares morphological features with the other western Atlantic liopropomin genus,Bathyanthias. Preliminary phylogenetic data suggest that western Atlantic liopropomins, includingBathyanthias, are monophyletic with respect to Indo-Pacific Liopropoma, and that Bathyanthias is nested within Liopropoma, indicating a need for further study of the generic limits of Liopropoma. The phylogenetic data also suggest that western Atlantic liopropomins comprise three monophyletic clades that have overlapping depth distributions but different depth maxima (3–135 m, 30–150 m, 133–411 m). The new species has the deepest depth range (182–241 m) of any known western Atlantic Liopropomaspecies. Both allopatric and depth-mediated ecological speciation may have contributed to the evolution of western Atlantic Liopropomini.

  18. Control Strategy Scenarios for the Alien Lionfish Pterois volitans in Chinchorro Bank (Mexican Caribbean): Based on Semi-Quantitative Loop Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortiz, Marco; Rodriguez-Zaragoza, Fabián; Hermosillo-Nuñez, Brenda; Jordán, Ferenc

    2015-01-01

    Ecological and eco-social network models were constructed with different levels of complexity in order to represent and evaluate management strategies for controlling the alien species Pterois volitans in Chinchorro bank (Mexican Caribbean). Levins´s loop analysis was used as a methodological framework for assessing the local stability (considered as a component of sustainability) of the modeled management interventions represented by various scenarios. The results provided by models of different complexity (models 1 through 4) showed that a reduction of coral species cover would drive the system to unstable states. In the absence of the alien lionfish, the simultaneous fishing of large benthic epifaunal species, adult herbivorous fish and adult carnivorous fish could be sustainable only if the coral species present high levels of cover (models 2 and 3). Once the lionfish is added to the simulations (models 4 and 5), the analysis suggests that although the exploitation or removal of lionfish from shallow waters may be locally stable, it remains necessary to implement additional and concurrent human interventions that increase the holistic sustainability of the control strategy. The supplementary interventions would require the implementation of programs for: (1) the restoration of corals for increasing their cover, (2) the exploitation or removal of lionfish from deeper waters (decreasing the chance of source/sink meta-population dynamics) and (3) the implementation of bans and re-stocking programs for carnivorous fishes (such as grouper) that increase the predation and competition pressure on lionfish (i.e. biological control). An effective control management for the alien lionfish at Chinchorro bank should not be optimized for a single action plan: instead, we should investigate the concurrent implementation of multiple strategies.

  19. Control Strategy Scenarios for the Alien Lionfish Pterois volitans in Chinchorro Bank (Mexican Caribbean: Based on Semi-Quantitative Loop Analysis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Ortiz

    Full Text Available Ecological and eco-social network models were constructed with different levels of complexity in order to represent and evaluate management strategies for controlling the alien species Pterois volitans in Chinchorro bank (Mexican Caribbean. Levins´s loop analysis was used as a methodological framework for assessing the local stability (considered as a component of sustainability of the modeled management interventions represented by various scenarios. The results provided by models of different complexity (models 1 through 4 showed that a reduction of coral species cover would drive the system to unstable states. In the absence of the alien lionfish, the simultaneous fishing of large benthic epifaunal species, adult herbivorous fish and adult carnivorous fish could be sustainable only if the coral species present high levels of cover (models 2 and 3. Once the lionfish is added to the simulations (models 4 and 5, the analysis suggests that although the exploitation or removal of lionfish from shallow waters may be locally stable, it remains necessary to implement additional and concurrent human interventions that increase the holistic sustainability of the control strategy. The supplementary interventions would require the implementation of programs for: (1 the restoration of corals for increasing their cover, (2 the exploitation or removal of lionfish from deeper waters (decreasing the chance of source/sink meta-population dynamics and (3 the implementation of bans and re-stocking programs for carnivorous fishes (such as grouper that increase the predation and competition pressure on lionfish (i.e. biological control. An effective control management for the alien lionfish at Chinchorro bank should not be optimized for a single action plan: instead, we should investigate the concurrent implementation of multiple strategies.

  20. Coral life history and symbiosis: Functional genomic resources for two reef building Caribbean corals, Acropora palmata and Montastraea faveolata

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Szmant Alina M

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Scleractinian corals are the foundation of reef ecosystems in tropical marine environments. Their great success is due to interactions with endosymbiotic dinoflagellates (Symbiodinium spp., with which they are obligately symbiotic. To develop a foundation for studying coral biology and coral symbiosis, we have constructed a set of cDNA libraries and generated and annotated ESTs from two species of corals, Acropora palmata and Montastraea faveolata. Results We generated 14,588 (Ap and 3,854 (Mf high quality ESTs from five life history/symbiosis stages (spawned eggs, early-stage planula larvae, late-stage planula larvae either infected with symbionts or uninfected, and adult coral. The ESTs assembled into a set of primarily stage-specific clusters, producing 4,980 (Ap, and 1,732 (Mf unigenes. The egg stage library, relative to the other developmental stages, was enriched in genes functioning in cell division and proliferation, transcription, signal transduction, and regulation of protein function. Fifteen unigenes were identified as candidate symbiosis-related genes as they were expressed in all libraries constructed from the symbiotic stages and were absent from all of the non symbiotic stages. These include several DNA interacting proteins, and one highly expressed unigene (containing 17 cDNAs with no significant protein-coding region. A significant number of unigenes (25 encode potential pattern recognition receptors (lectins, scavenger receptors, and others, as well as genes that may function in signaling pathways involved in innate immune responses (toll-like signaling, NFkB p105, and MAP kinases. Comparison between the A. palmata and an A. millepora EST dataset identified ferritin as a highly expressed gene in both datasets that appears to be undergoing adaptive evolution. Five unigenes appear to be restricted to the Scleractinia, as they had no homology to any sequences in the nr databases nor to the non

  1. Coral life history and symbiosis: functional genomic resources for two reef building Caribbean corals, Acropora palmata and Montastraea faveolata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwarz, Jodi A; Brokstein, Peter B; Voolstra, Christian; Terry, Astrid Y; Manohar, Chitra F; Miller, David J; Szmant, Alina M; Coffroth, Mary Alice; Medina, Mónica

    2008-02-25

    Scleractinian corals are the foundation of reef ecosystems in tropical marine environments. Their great success is due to interactions with endosymbiotic dinoflagellates (Symbiodinium spp.), with which they are obligately symbiotic. To develop a foundation for studying coral biology and coral symbiosis, we have constructed a set of cDNA libraries and generated and annotated ESTs from two species of corals, Acropora palmata and Montastraea faveolata. We generated 14,588 (Ap) and 3,854 (Mf) high quality ESTs from five life history/symbiosis stages (spawned eggs, early-stage planula larvae, late-stage planula larvae either infected with symbionts or uninfected, and adult coral). The ESTs assembled into a set of primarily stage-specific clusters, producing 4,980 (Ap), and 1,732 (Mf) unigenes. The egg stage library, relative to the other developmental stages, was enriched in genes functioning in cell division and proliferation, transcription, signal transduction, and regulation of protein function. Fifteen unigenes were identified as candidate symbiosis-related genes as they were expressed in all libraries constructed from the symbiotic stages and were absent from all of the non symbiotic stages. These include several DNA interacting proteins, and one highly expressed unigene (containing 17 cDNAs) with no significant protein-coding region. A significant number of unigenes (25) encode potential pattern recognition receptors (lectins, scavenger receptors, and others), as well as genes that may function in signaling pathways involved in innate immune responses (toll-like signaling, NFkB p105, and MAP kinases). Comparison between the A. palmata and an A. millepora EST dataset identified ferritin as a highly expressed gene in both datasets that appears to be undergoing adaptive evolution. Five unigenes appear to be restricted to the Scleractinia, as they had no homology to any sequences in the nr databases nor to the non-scleractinian cnidarians Nematostella vectensis and

  2. NOAA Coral Reef Watch Monthly 25 km Ocean Acidification Product Suite from 1988-01-01 to 2012-01-31 covering the Greater Caribbean Region

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The NOAA Coral Reef Watch Experimental Ocean Acidification Product Suite (OAPS) offers an important synthesis of satellite and modeled environmental datasets to...

  3. Sharing the slope: depth partitioning of agariciid corals and associated Symbiodinium across shallow and mesophotic habitats (2-60 m) on a Caribbean reef.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. NOAA Coral Reef Watch 25km Ocean Acidification Product Suite (OAPS) for January 1988 to the present covering the Greater Caribbean Region

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The NOAA Coral Reef Watch Experimental Ocean Acidification Product Suite (OAPS) offers an important synthesis of satellite and modeled environmental datasets to...

  5. 78 FR 57534 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-19

    ... requirements, South Atlantic, Virgin Islands. Dated: September 12, 2013. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant... Mexico, and South Atlantic AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and... Mexico, and South Atlantic: Caribbean coral, Caribbean reef fish, Caribbean spiny lobster, Caribbean...

  6. Energy efficiency through design and sustainable construction of houses located in the Mexican Caribbean; Eficiencia Energetica a traves del diseno y construccion sostenible de viviendas ubicadas en el Caribe Mexicano

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bojorquez, I. B.; Perez, M. S.; Aguilar, J. A.

    2008-07-01

    Public policies focused to the Environment conservation and, low power consumption construction systems, are some of the Housing Sustainable Construction bases in an urban setting. This work approach to the analysis of the correlation power efficiency-design in the social housing located in the tropical-humid climate characteristic of the Mexican Caribbean, like starting point to define the recommendations of a Sustainable construction in this sector. the legal aspects were considered on sustainable construction and some experiences of investigation in the subject were reviewed. Also an exercise for the calculation of thermal gain was made as it bases of this analysis. This exercise is part of the project in process, that will define the recommendations of design for energy saving in the social housing. (Author)

  7. Space schemes of ecological zonation and morphology of the atolls lagoons and reef complex of an oceanic archipelago of the Caribbean: San Andres and Providence (Colombia)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Diaz M, Juan Manuel

    2005-01-01

    The oceanic atolls and reef-complexes of the Archipelago of San Andres and Providencia exhibit semi-enclosed to rather open lagoon basins, where various characteristic bottom habitats occur. Certain areas of the lagoon floor are covered by sediments, being in some settings vegetated by algae or sea grass, and other areas by coralline framework of different types according to the composition and dominance of coral species and to their morphology and level of reef development. This study seeks to determine the spatial distribution patterns of lagoon bottom habitats based on the analysis of gradients of most relevant physical factors. Patterns in the occurrence and abundance of most habitats became evident in relation with wave-energy level, water depth, and the occurrence of islands. Some morphological reef types are oriented in a preferential direction and show spatial arrangements of development that are presumably related to prevailing current speed and direction and wave exposure

  8. Mass Coral Bleaching in 2010 in the Southern Caribbean

    OpenAIRE

    Alemu I, Jahson Berhane; Clement, Ysharda

    2014-01-01

    Ocean temperatures are increasing globally and the Caribbean is no exception. An extreme ocean warming event in 2010 placed Tobago's coral reefs under severe stress resulting in widespread coral bleaching and threatening the livelihoods that rely on them. The bleaching response of four reef building taxa was monitored over a six month period across three major reefs systems in Tobago. By identifying taxa resilient to bleaching we propose to assist local coral reef managers in the decision mak...

  9. Effect of Inorganic and Organic Carbon Enrichments (DIC and DOC on the Photosynthesis and Calcification Rates of Two Calcifying Green Algae from a Caribbean Reef Lagoon.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Friedrich W Meyer

    Full Text Available Coral reefs worldwide are affected by increasing dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC and organic carbon (DOC concentrations due to ocean acidification (OA and coastal eutrophication. These two stressors can occur simultaneously, particularly in near-shore reef environments with increasing anthropogenic pressure. However, experimental studies on how elevated DIC and DOC interact are scarce and fundamental to understanding potential synergistic effects and foreseeing future changes in coral reef function. Using an open mesocosm experiment, the present study investigated the impact of elevated DIC (pHNBS: 8.2 and 7.8; pCO2: 377 and 1076 μatm and DOC (added as 833 μmol L-1 of glucose on calcification and photosynthesis rates of two common calcifying green algae, Halimeda incrassata and Udotea flabellum, in a shallow reef environment. Our results revealed that under elevated DIC, algal photosynthesis decreased similarly for both species, but calcification was more affected in H. incrassata, which also showed carbonate dissolution rates. Elevated DOC reduced photosynthesis and calcification rates in H. incrassata, while in U. flabellum photosynthesis was unaffected and thalus calcification was severely impaired. The combined treatment showed an antagonistic effect of elevated DIC and DOC on the photosynthesis and calcification rates of H. incrassata, and an additive effect in U. flabellum. We conclude that the dominant sand dweller H. incrassata is more negatively affected by both DIC and DOC enrichments, but that their impact could be mitigated when they occur simultaneously. In contrast, U. flabellum can be less affected in coastal eutrophic waters by elevated DIC, but its contribution to reef carbonate sediment production could be further reduced. Accordingly, while the capacity of environmental eutrophication to exacerbate the impact of OA on algal-derived carbonate sand production seems to be species-specific, significant reductions can be expected

  10. Effect of Inorganic and Organic Carbon Enrichments (DIC and DOC) on the Photosynthesis and Calcification Rates of Two Calcifying Green Algae from a Caribbean Reef Lagoon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Friedrich W; Schubert, Nadine; Diele, Karen; Teichberg, Mirta; Wild, Christian; Enríquez, Susana

    2016-01-01

    Coral reefs worldwide are affected by increasing dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and organic carbon (DOC) concentrations due to ocean acidification (OA) and coastal eutrophication. These two stressors can occur simultaneously, particularly in near-shore reef environments with increasing anthropogenic pressure. However, experimental studies on how elevated DIC and DOC interact are scarce and fundamental to understanding potential synergistic effects and foreseeing future changes in coral reef function. Using an open mesocosm experiment, the present study investigated the impact of elevated DIC (pHNBS: 8.2 and 7.8; pCO2: 377 and 1076 μatm) and DOC (added as 833 μmol L-1 of glucose) on calcification and photosynthesis rates of two common calcifying green algae, Halimeda incrassata and Udotea flabellum, in a shallow reef environment. Our results revealed that under elevated DIC, algal photosynthesis decreased similarly for both species, but calcification was more affected in H. incrassata, which also showed carbonate dissolution rates. Elevated DOC reduced photosynthesis and calcification rates in H. incrassata, while in U. flabellum photosynthesis was unaffected and thalus calcification was severely impaired. The combined treatment showed an antagonistic effect of elevated DIC and DOC on the photosynthesis and calcification rates of H. incrassata, and an additive effect in U. flabellum. We conclude that the dominant sand dweller H. incrassata is more negatively affected by both DIC and DOC enrichments, but that their impact could be mitigated when they occur simultaneously. In contrast, U. flabellum can be less affected in coastal eutrophic waters by elevated DIC, but its contribution to reef carbonate sediment production could be further reduced. Accordingly, while the capacity of environmental eutrophication to exacerbate the impact of OA on algal-derived carbonate sand production seems to be species-specific, significant reductions can be expected under future

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  12. Coral reef ecosystem

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

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

    ), on submerged banks like Gave shani bank (13°24'N; 73°45'E) (Nair and Qasim 1978) andSidere~ko Bank (13°43.5' N; 73°42'E) (Rao 1972) and as stray individual units off Visakhapatnam (Bakus, G. personal communication) and Pondicherry (Ramesh, A. personal... communication). Fossil reefs, drowned as a result of the Holocene sea level rise, occur at 92, 85, 75 and 55 m depth along .. ~ !! ":2 0. ~ Figure 3.1 Graphical Representation of the SO-Box Model of a Caribbean Coral Reef Key: 1. Benthic producers. 2. Detritus...

  13. Extinction rate, historical population structure and ecological role of the Caribbean monk seal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McClenachan, Loren; Cooper, Andrew B

    2008-06-22

    The productivity and biomass of pristine coral reef ecosystems is poorly understood, particularly in the Caribbean where communities have been impacted by overfishing and multiple other stressors over centuries. Using historical data on the spatial distribution and abundance of the extinct Caribbean monk seal (Monachus tropicalis), this study reconstructs the population size, structure and ecological role of this once common predator within coral reef communities, and provides evidence that historical reefs supported biomasses of fishes and invertebrates up to six times greater than those found on typical modern Caribbean reefs. An estimated 233,000-338,000 monk seals were distributed among 13 colonies across the Caribbean. The biomass of reef fishes and invertebrates required to support historical seal populations was 732-1018 gm(-2) of reefs, which exceeds that found on any Caribbean reef today and is comparable with those measured in remote Pacific reefs. Quantitative estimates of historically dense monk seal colonies and their consumption rates on pristine reefs provide concrete data on the magnitude of decline in animal biomass on Caribbean coral reefs. Realistic reconstruction of these past ecosystems is critical to understanding the profound and long-lasting effect of human hunting on the functioning of coral reef ecosystems.

  14. Caribbean Seasonal and/or Area Closures GIS data

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data represents the geographic area described in Title 50 CFR Part 622, Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic, Subpart S - Reef Fish...

  15. Presencia de bacterias Gram positivas en músculo de pescado con importancia comercial en la zona del Caribe mexicano Presence of Gram negative bacteria in fish muscle of commercial importance in the Mexican Caribbean zone

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge Manuel Romero-Jarero

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available La presencia de microorganismos patógenos en músculo de especies acuáticas de gran demanda para consumo humano es de alto riesgo para la salud pública. El crecimiento urbano en la costa del Caribe mexicano ha incrementado la contaminación de la zona, por acarreo de residuos. El objetivo del presente estudio fue determinar la diferencia cualitativa y cuantitativa de la carga bacteriana en especies de pescados de importancia comercial, antes y después de procesarse para su comercialización. Se muestreó entre la isla Contoy y bahía de la Ascensión, Quintana Roo, durante la captura y procesado. Se obtuvieron 160 muestras que fueron aisladas y purificadas en agar para Streptococcus y Staphylococcus. Se identificaron siguiendo los criterios de Mc Faddin, y Cowan y Steel. Se aplicó análisis de panel. La contaminación por diferentes especies de Streptococcus y Staphylococcus saprophyticus se registró desde el ambiente de los peces, El manejo durante su comercialización no la incrementó significativamente. El estar conformada por los mismos grupos bacterianos indica contaminación homogénea desde el ambiente marino. Los resultados de este estudio presentan datos valiosos sobre el riesgo que acarrea para la población el consumo de pescado contaminado con esos patógenos en áreas del Caribe mexicano.The presence of pathogenic microorganisms in muscle of aquatic species with high demand for human consumption can be highly dangerous for public health. Urban growth on the Mexican Caribbean coast zones had increased pollution due to urban residues accumulation. The aim of the present study is to determinate qualitative and quantitative differences in bacterial charge of commercial fish species before and after being processed. Samples of the areas between Contoy Island and Bahía de Ascensión, Quintana Roo, were obtained during commercialization, capture and processing. One hundred and sixty samples were isolated and purified in agar

  16. Symbiodinium diversity among host clionaid sponges from Caribbean and Pacific reefs: Evidence of heteroplasmy and putative host-specific symbiont lineages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Malcolm; Allenby, Ashley; Ramsby, Blake; Schönberg, Christine; Hill, April

    2011-04-01

    Among the Porifera, symbiosis with Symbiodinium spp. (i.e., zooxanthellae) is largely restricted to members of the family Clionaidae. We surveyed the diversity of zooxanthellae associated with sponges from the Caribbean and greater Indo-Pacific regions using chloroplast large subunit (cp23S) domain V sequences. We provide the first report of Clade C Symbiodinium harbored by a sponge (Cliona caesia), and the first report of Clade A Symbiodinium from an Indo-Pacific sponge (C. jullieni). Clade A zooxanthellae were also identified in sponges from the Caribbean, which has been reported previously. Sponges that we examined from the Florida Keys all harbored Clade G Symbiodinium as did C. orientalis from the Indo-Pacific, which also supports earlier work with sponges. Two distinct Clade G lineages were identified in our phylogenetic analysis; Symbiodinium extracted from clionaid sponges formed a monophyletic group sister to Symbiodinium found in foraminiferans. Truncated and 'normal' length variants of 23S rDNA sequences were detected simultaneously in all three morphotypes of C. varians providing the first evidence of chloroplast-based heteroplasmy in a sponge. None of the other sponge species examined showed evidence of heteroplasmy. As in previous work, length variation in cp23S domain V sequences was found to correspond in a highly precise manner to finer resolution of phylogenetic topology among Symbiodinium clades. On a global scale, existing data indicate that members of the family Clionaidae that host zooxanthellae can form symbiotic associations with at least four Symbiodinium clades. The majority of sponge hosts appear to harbor only one cladal type of symbiont, but some species can harbor more than one clade of zooxanthellae concurrently. The observed differences in the number of partners harbored by sponges raise important questions about the degree of coevolutionary integration and specificity of these symbioses. Although our sample sizes are small, we

  17. NASA's Current and Next Generation Coastal Remote Sensing Missions and Coral Reef Projects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guild, Liane S.

    2015-01-01

    The LLILAS Faculty Research Initiative presents a two-day symposium, Caribbean Coral Reefs at Risk. This international symposium examines the current state and future of coral reef conservation efforts throughout the Caribbean from the perspective of government agencies, nongovernment organizations, and academia.

  18. A unified, long-term, Caribbean-wide initiative to identity the factors responsible for sustaining mangrove wetland, seagrass meadow, and coral reef productivity, February 1993 - October 1998 (NODC Accession 0000501)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Caribbean Coastal Marine Productivity (CARICOMP) Program is a Caribbean-wide research and monitoring network of 27 marine laboratories, parks, and reserves in 17...

  19. Falls among elderly persons in Latin America and the Caribbean and among elderly Mexican-Americans Las caídas en ancianos de América Latina y el Caribe y en ancianos mexicanoestadounidenses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos A. Reyes-Ortiz

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: To estimate the prevalence of and risk factors for falls among community-dwelling elders in Latin America and the Caribbean and among elderly Mexican-Americans in the southwestern United States. METHODS: Data for the study came from a project called Health, Well-Being, and Aging in Latin America and the Caribbean (Salud, Bienestar y Envejecimiento en América Latina y el Caribe (the "SABE project" (surveys from seven cities, with a total of 9 765 subjects and from the Hispanic Established Populations for Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly (H-EPESE (1 483 subjects. RESULTS: The overall prevalence of falls across the seven SABE cities and the H-EPESE ranged from 21.6% in Bridgetown, Barbados, to 34.0% in Santiago, Chile. In multiple logistic regression analyses, female gender, increased age, high depressive symptoms, and having any functional limitations were significant independent risk factors for falls in most of the cities studied as well as among the elderly Mexican-Americans. In several of the cities, significant risk factors also included diabetes, urinary incontinence, and arthritis. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of falls had a large variation among the countries studied. Some of the risk factors that we identified could be modified so as to help prevent falls in older people in these populations. The factors deserving attention include depressive symptoms, functional limitations, diabetes, and urinary incontinence.OBJETIVO: Estimar la prevalencia de caídas y de sus factores de riesgo en ancianos que habitan en el seno de la comunidad en América Latina y el Caribe y en ancianos mexicanoestadounidenses que viven en la zona sudoeste de Estados Unidos. MÉTODOS: Los datos usados para el estudio procedieron del proyecto Salud, Bienestar y Envejecimiento en América Latina y el Caribe (proyecto "SABE" (encuestas en siete ciudades que abarcaron a un total de 9 765 personas y de las Poblaciones Hispanas Establecidas para Estudios

  20. Accretion history of mid-Holocene coral reefs from the southeast Florida continental reef tract, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stathakopoulos, A.; Riegl, B. M.

    2015-03-01

    Sixteen new coral reef cores were collected to better understand the accretion history and composition of submerged relict reefs offshore of continental southeast (SE) Florida. Coral radiometric ages from three sites on the shallow inner reef indicate accretion initiated by 8,050 Cal BP and terminated by 5,640 Cal BP. The reef accreted up to 3.75 m of vertical framework with accretion rates that averaged 2.53 m kyr-1. The reef was composed of a nearly even mixture of Acropora palmata and massive corals. In many cases, cores show an upward transition from massives to A. palmata and may indicate local dominance by this species prior to reef demise. Quantitative macroscopic analyses of reef clasts for various taphonomic and diagenetic features did not correlate well with depth/environmental-related trends established in other studies. The mixed coral framestone reef lacks a classical Caribbean reef zonation and is best described as an immature reef and/or a series of fused patch reefs; a pattern that is evident in both cores and reef morphology. This is in stark contrast to the older and deeper outer reef of the SE Florida continental reef tract. Accretion of the outer reef lasted from 10,695-8,000 Cal BP and resulted in a larger and better developed structure that achieved a distinct reef zonation. The discrepancies in overall reef morphology and size as well as the causes of reef terminations remain elusive without further study, yet they likely point to different climatic/environmental conditions during their respective accretion histories.

  1. Gracilaria, Subgenus Textoriella (Gracilariaceae, Rhodophyta in the Gulf of Mexico and the Mexican Caribbean Gracilaria, subgénero Textoriella (Gracilariaceae, Rhodophyta en el golfo de México y el Caribe mexicano

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kurt M. Dreckmann

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Four species of Gracilaria (Gracilariaceae, Rhodophyta with textorii-type spermatangial conceptacles (subgenus Textoriella Yamamoto are recorded for the Gulf of Mexico and the Mexican Caribbean: Gracilaria blodgettii, G. cervicornis, G. mammillaris, and G. tikvahiae. The general distribution of the subgenus for Central America, both Pacific and Atlantic, displays a disjunct pattern explainable based on the geologic vicariant events that interrupted the connection between Pacific and Atlantic at the Isthmuses of Panama (closed 3.1-2.8 million years ago, and Tehuantepec (southern Mexico, closed 4-3.5 million years ago. Gracilaria cuneata/G. crispata, and G. mammillaris (G. hayi/G. veleroae are 2 pairs of sibling species, or sister taxa, that diverged as a result of the final emergence of the Isthmus, and of the same age as the Central American Isthmus itself.Se registran 4 especies de Gracilaria (Gracilariaceae, Rhodophyta con conceptáculos espematangiales tipo textorii- (subgénero Textoriella Yamamoto para el golfo de México y Caribe mexicano: Gracilaria blodgettii, G. cervicornis, G. mammillaris y G. tikvahiae. La distribución general del subgénero para Atlántico y Pacífico de Centroamérica despliega un patrón disyunto explicable por los eventos geológicos vicariantes que interrumpieron la conexión entre Pacífico y Atlántico en los istmos de Panamá (cerrado hace aprox. 3.1-2.8 millones de años y Tehuantepec (sur de México, cerrado hace aprox. 4-3.5 millones de años. Gracilaria cuneata/G. crispata y G. mammillaris (= G. hayi/ G. veleroae corresponden a 2 pares de especies hermanas que divergieron como resultado de la emersión del istmo, y con aproximadamente la misma edad del istmo centroamericano.

  2. Calcification rates of the Caribbean reef-building coral Siderastrea siderea adversely affected by both seawater warming and CO2-induced ocean acidification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horvath, K. M.; Connolly, B. D.; Westfield, I. T.; Chow, E.; Castillo, K. D.; Ries, J. B.

    2013-05-01

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts that atmospheric pCO2 will increase to ca. 550-950 ppm by the end of the century, primarily due to the anthropogenic combustion of fossil fuels, deforestation, and cement production. This is predicted to cause SST to increase by 1-3 °C and seawater pH to decrease by 0.1-0.3 units. Laboratory studies have shown that warming depresses calcification rates of scleractinian corals and that acidification yields mixed effects on coral calcification. With both warming and ocean acidification predicted for the next century, we must constrain the interactive effects of these two CO2-induced stressors on scleractinian coral calcification. Here, we present the results of experiments designed to assess the response of the scleractinian coral Siderastrea siderea to both ocean warming and acidification. Coral fragments (12/tank) were reared for 60 days under three temperatures (25.1± 0.02 °C, 28.0± 0.02 °C, 31.8± 0.02 °C) at near modern pCO2 (436 ± 7) and near the highest IPCC estimate for atmospheric pCO2 for the year 2100 AD (883 ± 16). Each temperature and pCO2 treatment was executed in triplicate and contained similarly sized S. Siderea fragments obtained from the same suite of coral colonies equitably distributed amongst the nearshore, backreef, and forereef zones of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System off the coast of southern Belize. Individual coral fragments were hand fed Artemia sp. to satiation twice weekly. Weekly seawater samples (250 ml) were collected and analyzed for dissolved inorganic carbon via coulometry and total alkalinity via closed-cell potentiometric titration. Seawater pCO2, pH, carbonate ion concentration, bicarbonate ion concentration, aqueous CO2, and aragonite saturation state (ΩA) were calculated with the program CO2SYS. Under near-modern atmospheric pCO2 of ca. 436 ± 7 ppm, seawater warming from 25 to 28 to 32°C caused coral calcification rates (estimated from change in

  3. Caribbean Music.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dean, Kris

    1991-01-01

    The Caribbean is a rich breeding ground for African-derived music. A synopsis is given of the music of the following countries and styles: (1) Jamaica; (2) Trinidad and Tobago; (3) Calypso; (4) steel pan; (5) Haiti; (6) Dominican Republic; (7) Cuba; (8) Puerto Rico; and (9) other islands. (SLD)

  4. Mass coral bleaching in 2010 in the southern Caribbean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alemu I, Jahson Berhane; Clement, Ysharda

    2014-01-01

    Ocean temperatures are increasing globally and the Caribbean is no exception. An extreme ocean warming event in 2010 placed Tobago's coral reefs under severe stress resulting in widespread coral bleaching and threatening the livelihoods that rely on them. The bleaching response of four reef building taxa was monitored over a six month period across three major reefs systems in Tobago. By identifying taxa resilient to bleaching we propose to assist local coral reef managers in the decision making process to cope with mass bleaching events. The bleaching signal (length of exposure to high ocean temperatures) varied widely between the Atlantic and Caribbean reefs, but regardless of this variation most taxa bleached. Colpophyllia natans, Montastraea faveolata and Siderastrea siderea were considered the most bleaching vulnerable taxa. Interestingly, reefs with the highest coral cover showed the greatest decline reef building taxa, and conversely, reefs with the lowest coral cover showed the most bleaching but lowest change in coral cover with little algal overgrowth post-bleaching.

  5. Mass Coral Bleaching in 2010 in the Southern Caribbean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alemu I, Jahson Berhane; Clement, Ysharda

    2014-01-01

    Ocean temperatures are increasing globally and the Caribbean is no exception. An extreme ocean warming event in 2010 placed Tobago's coral reefs under severe stress resulting in widespread coral bleaching and threatening the livelihoods that rely on them. The bleaching response of four reef building taxa was monitored over a six month period across three major reefs systems in Tobago. By identifying taxa resilient to bleaching we propose to assist local coral reef managers in the decision making process to cope with mass bleaching events. The bleaching signal (length of exposure to high ocean temperatures) varied widely between the Atlantic and Caribbean reefs, but regardless of this variation most taxa bleached. Colpophyllia natans, Montastraea faveolata and Siderastrea siderea were considered the most bleaching vulnerable taxa. Interestingly, reefs with the highest coral cover showed the greatest decline reef building taxa, and conversely, reefs with the lowest coral cover showed the most bleaching but lowest change in coral cover with little algal overgrowth post-bleaching. PMID:24400078

  6. Status and conservation of coral reefs in Costa Rica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cortés, Jorge; Jiménez, Carlos E; Fonseca, Ana C; Alvarado, Juan José

    2010-05-01

    Costa Rica has coral communities and reefs on the Caribbean coast and on the Pacific along the coast and off-shore islands. The Southern section of the Caribbean coast has fringing and patch reefs, carbonate banks, and an incipient algal ridge. The Pacific coast has coral communities, reefs and isolated coral colonies. Coral reefs have been seriously impacted in the last 30 years, mainly by sediments (Caribbean coast and some Pacific reefs) and by El Niño warming events (both coasts). Monitoring is being carried out at three sites on each coast. Both coasts suffered significant reductions in live coral cover in the 1980's, but coral cover is now increasing in most sites. The government of Costa Rica is aware of the importance of coral reefs and marine environments in general, and in recent years decrees have been implemented (or are in the process of approval) to protect them, but limited resources endanger their proper management and conservation, including proper outreach to reef users and the general public.

  7. Effects of macroalgae, with emphasis on Sargassum spp., on coral reef recruitment processes in Martinique (French West Indies)

    OpenAIRE

    Thabard, Marie

    2012-01-01

    Many coral reef ecosystems have undergone profound ecological changes over the past decades leading sometimes to a shift from coral to macroalgal-dominated areas. In Martinique (Caribbean region), the proliferation of macroalgae is an important phenomenon. Coral reef resilience, involving reef building species recruitment, might be modified by macroalgal presence. This work aimed at understanding reef recruitment processes in areas dominated either by macroalgae, coral or intermediate, based ...

  8. Invasive lionfish preying on critically endangered reef fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocha, Luiz A.; Rocha, Claudia R.; Baldwin, Carole C.; Weigt, Lee A.; McField, Melanie

    2015-09-01

    Caribbean coral reef ecosystems are at the forefront of a global decline and are now facing a new threat: elimination of vulnerable species by the invasive lionfish ( Pterois spp.). In addition to being threatened by habitat destruction and pollution, the critically endangered social wrasse ( Halichoeres socialis), endemic to Belize's inner barrier reef, has a combination of biological traits (small size, schooling, and hovering behavior) that makes it a target for the invasive lionfish. Based on stomach content analyses, this small fish comprises almost half of the lionfish diet at the inner barrier reef in Belize. The combination of lionfish predation, limited range, and ongoing habitat destruction makes the social wrasse the most threatened coral reef fish in the world. Other species with small range and similar traits occur elsewhere in the Caribbean and face similar risks.

  9. Proceedings of the SERDP Coral Reef Monitoring and Assessment Workshop

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-12-01

    the U.S. that have coral reefs within their jurisdictions. Biscayne National Park, the Dry Tortugas , and U.S. Virgin Island parks at St. John and...Signs Monitoring Networks Dry Tortugas NP Buck Island Reef NM Virgin Islands National Park Biscayne NP South Florida/Caribbean Network Florida/Caribbean...Buck Island, Dry Tortugas and Biscayne • Extensive sites – 4 10m permanent transects per site – 18 sites in DRTO Virgin Islands NP % l i v e c o r

  10. Accretion history and stratigraphy of mid-Holocene coral reefs from Southeast Florida, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stathakopoulos, A.; Riegl, B. M.; Swart, P. K.

    2013-05-01

    suggest the mid-Holocene (~8-5 ka) was punctuated by a transition to a more moist and warm climate and/or a potentially rapid sea-level rise. The color and texture of cements support increased freshwater input as a likely agent of reef demise. We also observed that the once-dominant Caribbean reef builder Acropora palmata was mostly present throughout the early and mid-Holocene but absent thereafter. Reef geomorphology was strongly determined by the length of presence of this species, as the thickness, size, and shape of the three linear reefs clearly reflect its declining importance during the Holocene in Florida.

  11. Reef Sharks Exhibit Site-Fidelity and Higher Relative Abundance in Marine Reserves on the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bond, Mark E.; Babcock, Elizabeth A.; Pikitch, Ellen K.; Abercrombie, Debra L.; Lamb, Norlan F.; Chapman, Demian D.

    2012-01-01

    Carcharhinid sharks can make up a large fraction of the top predators inhabiting tropical marine ecosystems and have declined in many regions due to intense fishing pressure. There is some support for the hypothesis that carcharhinid species that complete their life-cycle within coral reef ecosystems, hereafter referred to as “reef sharks”, are more abundant inside no-take marine reserves due to a reduction in fishing pressure (i.e., they benefit from marine reserves). Key predictions of this hypothesis are that (a) individual reef sharks exhibit high site-fidelity to these protected areas and (b) their relative abundance will generally be higher in these areas compared to fished reefs. To test this hypothesis for the first time in Caribbean coral reef ecosystems we combined acoustic monitoring and baited remote underwater video (BRUV) surveys to measure reef shark site-fidelity and relative abundance, respectively. We focused on the Caribbean reef shark (Carcharhinus perezi), the most common reef shark in the Western Atlantic, at Glover's Reef Marine Reserve (GRMR), Belize. Acoustically tagged sharks (N = 34) were detected throughout the year at this location and exhibited strong site-fidelity. Shark presence or absence on 200 BRUVs deployed at GRMR and three other sites (another reserve site and two fished reefs) showed that the factor “marine reserve” had a significant positive effect on reef shark presence. We rejected environmental factors or site-environment interactions as predominant drivers of this pattern. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that marine reserves can benefit reef shark populations and we suggest new hypotheses to determine the underlying mechanism(s) involved: reduced fishing mortality or enhanced prey availability. PMID:22412965

  12. Artificial Reefs

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — An artificial reef is a human-made underwater structure, typically built to promote marine life in areas with a generally featureless bottom, control erosion, block...

  13. Synergistic impacts of global warming on the resilience of coral reefs

    OpenAIRE

    Bozec, Yves-Marie; Mumby, Peter J.

    2015-01-01

    Recent epizootics have removed important functional species from Caribbean coral reefs and left communities vulnerable to alternative attractors. Global warming will impact reefs further through two mechanisms. A chronic mechanism reduces coral calcification, which can result in depressed somatic growth. An acute mechanism, coral bleaching, causes extreme mortality when sea temperatures become anomalously high. We ask how these two mechanisms interact in driving future reef state (coral cover...

  14. Environmental drivers of recruitment success in Caribbean corals : Applications to aid the recovery of threatened coral populations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chamberland, V.F.

    2018-01-01

    Caribbean coral reefs are amongst the most threatened marine ecosystems on Earth. About one third of their reef-building coral species (Scleractinia) are currently at risk of extinction due to habitat destruction, overexploitation and climate change. The successful establishment of coral larvae,

  15. 76 FR 82403 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Amendments to the Queen Conch and...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-12-30

    ... Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Amendments to the Queen Conch and Reef Fish Fishery Management Plans of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin... South Atlantic; Amendments to the Queen Conch and Reef Fish Fishery Management Plans of Puerto Rico and...

  16. 75 FR 44209 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Regulatory Amendment to the...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-28

    ... Atlantic; Regulatory Amendment to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Fishery of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and... Reef Fish Fishery of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (FMP) prepared by the Caribbean Fishery...

  17. Mexican energy policy and sustainability indicators

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sheinbaum-Pardo, Claudia; Ruiz-Mendoza, Belizza Janet; Rodríguez-Padilla, Víctor

    2012-01-01

    The authors analyze the Mexican energy policy taking as reference the methodological framework for sustainable energy development proposed by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. This methodology takes eight related indicators to the social, environmental and economic dimensions in order to calculate a general sustainability indicator for the energy sector. In this methodology, the weight of each dimension is different; namely, the social and environmental issues have less relevance than the economic issues. The authors use this methodology because government institutions as the Department of Energy and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources have used some indicators from such a methodology to propose plans, programs, projects and bills. Authors know of the existence of other methodologies about sustainability. Nonetheless, opting for the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean's methodology is convenient because this organization is a respectable authority for civil servants from the Mexican institutions. Our objective is just to contrast the sustainability grade of the energy sector between 1990 and 2008 for Mexico whose government started reforms in the 1990s. It concludes that those reforms did not bring about a higher sustainability level for the energy sector. - Highlights: ► We used the OLADE, CEPAL and GTZ's methodology to calculate sustainability indicators for the Mexican energy sector. ► We studied the Mexican energy policy from 1990 to date and presented it. ► Currently, the Mexican energy sector is less sustainable than in 1990.

  18. EFFECTS OF GLOBAL CHANGE ON CORAL REEF ECOSYSTEMS

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  19. Parrotfish grazing on coral reefs : A trophic novelty

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bruggemann, Johann Henrich

    1995-01-01

    Parrotfish (family Scaridae) are grazers that are restricted to shallow tropical marine environments, and form an important component of the herbivore assemblage on Caribbean and Indo-Pacific coral reefs. Most scarid species have fused jaw teeth with which they scrape off algae that grow on and in

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  1. Mexican Revolution

    OpenAIRE

    Scheuzger, Stephan

    2016-01-01

    It was the complex and far-reaching transformation of the Mexican Revolution rather than the First World War that left its mark on Mexican history in the second decade of the 20th century. Nevertheless, although the country maintained its neutrality in the international conflict, it was a hidden theatre of war. Between 1914 and 1918, state actors in Germany, Great Britain and the United States defined their policies towards Mexico and its nationalist revolution with a view not only to improve...

  2. Does reef architectural complexity influence resource availability for a large reef-dwelling invertebrate?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lozano-Álvarez, Enrique; Luviano-Aparicio, Nelia; Negrete-Soto, Fernando; Barradas-Ortiz, Cecilia; Aguíñiga-García, Sergio; Morillo-Velarde, Piedad S.; Álvarez-Filip, Lorenzo; Briones-Fourzán, Patricia

    2017-10-01

    In coral reefs, loss of architectural complexity and its associated habitat degradation is expected to affect reef specialists in particular due to changes in resource availability. We explored whether these features could potentially affect populations of a large invertebrate, the spotted spiny lobster Panulirus guttatus, which is an obligate Caribbean coral reef-dweller with a limited home range. We selected two separate large coral reef patches in Puerto Morelos (Mexico) that differed significantly in structural complexity and level of degradation, as assessed via the rugosity index, habitat assessment score, and percent cover of various benthic components. On each reef, we estimated density of P. guttatus and sampled lobsters to analyze their stomach contents, three different condition indices, and stable isotopes (δ15N and δ13C) in muscle. Lobster density did not vary with reef, suggesting that available crevices in the less complex patch still provided adequate refuge to these lobsters. Lobsters consumed many food types, dominated by mollusks and crustaceans, but proportionally more crustaceans (herbivore crabs) in the less complex patch, which had more calcareous macroalgae and algal turf. Lobsters from both reefs had a similar condition (all three indices) and mean δ15N, suggesting a similar quality of diet between reefs related to their opportunistic feeding, but differed in mean δ13C values, reflecting the different carbon sources between reefs and providing indirect evidence of individuals of P. guttatus foraging exclusively over their home reef. Overall, we found no apparent effects of architectural complexity, at least to the degree observed in our less complex patch, on density, condition, or trophic level of P. guttatus.

  3. 76 FR 59377 - Amendments to the Reef Fish, Spiny Lobster, Queen Conch and Coral and Reef Associated Plants and...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-09-26

    ... lobster, and aquarium trade species identified by the Secretary as not undergoing overfishing; allocate... effect of the 2011 Caribbean ACL Amendment is prevent overfishing of reef fish, spiny lobster and... be subject to overfishing, ACLs must be established at a level that prevents overfishing and helps to...

  4. Vaal Reefs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1983-01-01

    Vaal Reefs Mine, the world's top gold producer with an output last quarter of 19,6 tons of gold, is to expand further with the building of an 120 000t/month run-of-mine mill at the new No 9 Shaft in the south area, linked with a carbon-in-pulp plant

  5. Performance Evaluation of CRW Reef-Scale and Broad-Scale SST-Based Coral Monitoring Products in Fringing Reef Systems of Tobago

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shaazia S. Mohammed

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Satellite-derived sea surface temperature (SST is used to monitor coral bleaching through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Coral Reef Watch (CRW Decision Support System (DSS. Since 2000, a broad-scale 50 km SST was used to monitor thermal stress for coral reefs globally. However, some discrepancies were noted when applied to small-scale fringing coral reefs. To address this, CRW created a new DSS, specifically targeted at or near reef scales. Here, we evaluated the new reef-scale (5 km resolution products using in situ temperature data and coral bleaching surveys which were also compared with the heritage broad-scale (50 km for three reefs (Buccoo Reef, Culloden and Speyside of the southern Caribbean island of Tobago. Seasonal and annual biases indicated the new 5 km SST generally represents the conditions at these reefs more accurately and more consistently than the 50 km SST. Consistency between satellite and in situ temperature data influences the performance of anomaly-based predictions of bleaching: the 5 km DHW product showed better consistency with bleaching observations than the 50 km product. These results are the first to demonstrate the improvement of the 5 km products over the 50 km predecessors and support their use in monitoring thermal stress of reefs in the southern Caribbean.

  6. Abundancia y distribución de larvas de Strombus gigas (Mesogastropoda: Strombidae durante el período reproductivo de la especie en el Caribe Mexicano Abundance and distribution of Strombus gigas (Mesogastropoda: Strombidae larvae during their reproductive period in the Mexican Caribbean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Francisco Chávez Villegas

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available El caracol rosa (Strombus gigas, Linnaeus, 1758 es una especie de importancia económica en el Mar Caribe, por lo cual, en la década de 1980 representó la segunda pesquería después de la langosta espinosa, razón por la que actualmente se encuentra en estado de sobrepesca. Con el objetivo de determinar la variación en la abundancia de larvas durante la época reproductiva, cuatro localidades del Caribe Mexicano “CM” (México: Puerto Morelos, Sian Ka’an, Mahahual; Belice: San Pedro fueron muestreadas. Mensualmente, de mayo a octubre del 2008, se realizaron arrastres de plancton en cada localidad empleando una red cónica (300μm. Temperatura (°C, salinidad (ppm y oxígeno disuelto (mg L-1 fueron registrados para cada sitio. Una densidad media larval de 0.34±0.87 larvas•10m-3 fue registrada entre localidades, con un pico de abundancia entre agosto y septiembre (0.82±1.00 y 0.76±1.68 larvas 10m-3, respectivamente. La densidad larval tuvo una correlación del 60% con la salinidad (r=0.6063, p0.05. El 100% de las larvas capturadas corresponden al estadio I definido por Davis et al (1993, mostrando actividad reproductiva local, de esta manera, se considera que los sitios muestreados en el CM son fuente de larvas para la especie S. gigas.Abundance and distribution of Strombus gigas (Mesogastropoda: Strombidae larvae during their reproductive period in the Mexican Caribbean. The Queen Conch (Strombus gigas Linnaeus, 1758 is a species of economic importance in the Caribbean Sea, which, in the 1980’s represented the second fishery after de spiny lobster, reason that is currently in a state of overfishing. In order to determine the larval abundance variation during the reproductive season, four locations of the Mexican Caribbean “MC” (Mexico: Puerto Morelos, Sian Ka’an, Mahahual; Belize: San Pedro were sampled. Monthly, from May to October 2008, planktonic net drags (300μm were carried out at each location. Temperature (

  7. Composition and abundance of zooplankton groups from a coral reef lagoon in Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo, Mexico, during an annual cycle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarez-Cadena, José N; Ordóñez-López, Uriel; Almaral-Mendivil, Alma Rosa; Uicab-Sabido, Amira

    2009-09-01

    Zooplankton sampling was carried out monthly from January to December 1990 at station A near the coastline, and station B near the reef barrier, in a tropical coral reef lagoon in the Mexican Caribbean Sea. Samplings were made at midnight, near surface, with a conical net (mouth 0.40 m, mesh 330 microm) for 10 min. Salinity varied from 35.1 to 36.3 psu and temperature from 26.3 to 30.2 degrees C. The Bray-Curtis test applied to these results has defined two seasons: the dry season from November to May, and the wet season from June to October. A total of 37 zooplankton groups were found. Copepods were the most abundant contributing 49.0% of the total capture with Acartia espinata, Calanopia americana and Farranula gracilis as the most numerous. In the total zooplankton, however, cirripeds captured in only 15 samples of 24 were second in abundance (20.9%). Decapods, present all year-round and more abundant during the wet season, were third and contributed 19.2%. The rest of the groups were scarce and only amphipods (2.4%) and larvaceans (2.0%) were relatively abundant. The abundance of captured organisms correlated with the abiotic factors measured, thus, in the dry season, abundance was lower (mean 7.3 orgs/m3), while in the wet season the mean catch was 36.8 orgs/m3.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    MacIntyre, I.G.

    1988-11-01

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

  9. No Reef Is an Island: Integrating Coral Reef Connectivity Data into the Design of Regional-Scale Marine Protected Area Networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schill, Steven R; Raber, George T; Roberts, Jason J; Treml, Eric A; Brenner, Jorge; Halpin, Patrick N

    2015-01-01

    We integrated coral reef connectivity data for the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico into a conservation decision-making framework for designing a regional scale marine protected area (MPA) network that provides insight into ecological and political contexts. We used an ocean circulation model and regional coral reef data to simulate eight spawning events from 2008-2011, applying a maximum 30-day pelagic larval duration and 20% mortality rate. Coral larval dispersal patterns were analyzed between coral reefs across jurisdictional marine zones to identify spatial relationships between larval sources and destinations within countries and territories across the region. We applied our results in Marxan, a conservation planning software tool, to identify a regional coral reef MPA network design that meets conservation goals, minimizes underlying threats, and maintains coral reef connectivity. Our results suggest that approximately 77% of coral reefs identified as having a high regional connectivity value are not included in the existing MPA network. This research is unique because we quantify and report coral larval connectivity data by marine ecoregions and Exclusive Economic Zones (EZZ) and use this information to identify gaps in the current Caribbean-wide MPA network by integrating asymmetric connectivity information in Marxan to design a regional MPA network that includes important reef network connections. The identification of important reef connectivity metrics guides the selection of priority conservation areas and supports resilience at the whole system level into the future.

  10. No Reef Is an Island: Integrating Coral Reef Connectivity Data into the Design of Regional-Scale Marine Protected Area Networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven R Schill

    Full Text Available We integrated coral reef connectivity data for the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico into a conservation decision-making framework for designing a regional scale marine protected area (MPA network that provides insight into ecological and political contexts. We used an ocean circulation model and regional coral reef data to simulate eight spawning events from 2008-2011, applying a maximum 30-day pelagic larval duration and 20% mortality rate. Coral larval dispersal patterns were analyzed between coral reefs across jurisdictional marine zones to identify spatial relationships between larval sources and destinations within countries and territories across the region. We applied our results in Marxan, a conservation planning software tool, to identify a regional coral reef MPA network design that meets conservation goals, minimizes underlying threats, and maintains coral reef connectivity. Our results suggest that approximately 77% of coral reefs identified as having a high regional connectivity value are not included in the existing MPA network. This research is unique because we quantify and report coral larval connectivity data by marine ecoregions and Exclusive Economic Zones (EZZ and use this information to identify gaps in the current Caribbean-wide MPA network by integrating asymmetric connectivity information in Marxan to design a regional MPA network that includes important reef network connections. The identification of important reef connectivity metrics guides the selection of priority conservation areas and supports resilience at the whole system level into the future.

  11. Biogeography of azooxanthellate corals in the Caribbean and surrounding areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawson, J.

    2002-04-01

    Biogeographic patterns for azooxanthellate corals are not as well known as those of zooxanthellate (primarily reef-building) corals. I analyzed occurrences of 129 species of azooxanthellate corals in 19 geopolitical regions in the Caribbean and surrounding areas. I performed an unweighted pair-group method with arithmetic averages (UPGMA) cluster analysis using Bray-Curtis' similarity measure on the complete data set and shallow- and deep-water subsets of the data. The results indicate two provinces, each with a widespread (tropical and subtropical distributions) component to its fauna. One province has a tropical and primarily insular component to it, while the other has a subtropical and primarily continental component. By contrast, zooxanthellate corals have a uniform faunal composition throughout the Caribbean. Moreover, zooxanthellate corals have half as many species in the Caribbean as the azooxanthellate corals even though their global diversities are equal. These differences in diversity and geographic distribution patterns should be considered when developing conservation strategies.

  12. Coral biodiversity and bioconstruction in the northern sector of the Mesoamerican Reef system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabian Alejandro Rodriguez-Zaragoza

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available As the impact of anthropogenic activity and climate change continue to accelerate rates of degradation on Caribbean coral reefs, conservation and restoration faces greater challenges. At at this stage, of particular importance in coral reefs, is to recognize and to understand the structural spatial patterns of benthic assemblages. We developed a field-based framework of a Caribbean reefscape benthic structure by using hermatypic corals as an indicator group of global biodiversity and bio-construction patterns in eleven reefs of the northern sector of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System (nsMBRS. Four hundred and seventy four video-transects (50 m long by 0.4 m wide were performed throughout a gradient of reef complexity from north to south (∼400 km to identify coral species, families and ensembles of corals. Composition and abundance of species, families and ensembles showed differences among reefs. In the northern zone, the reefs had shallow, partial reef developments with low diversities, dominated by Acropora palmata, Siderastrea spp., Pseudodiploria strigosa and Agaricia tenuifolia. In the central and southern zones, reefs presented extensive developments, high habitat heterogeneity, and the greatest diversity and dominance of Orbicella annularis and Orbicella faveolata. These two species determined the structure and diversity of corals in the central and southern zones of the nsMBRS and their bio-construction in these zones is unique in the Caribbean. Their abundance and distribution depended on the reef habitat area, topographic complexity and species richness. Orbicella species complex were crucial for maintaining the biodiversity and bio-construction of the central and southern zones while A. palmata in the northern zones of the nsMBRS.

  13. TBT pollution and effects in molluscs at US Virgin Islands, Caribbean Sea

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Strand, Jakob; Jørgensen, Anne; Tairova, Zhanna

    2009-01-01

    Thais deltoidea, Thais rustica and Purpura patula all seem to have potential as suitable and sensitive bioindicators for assessing levels and effects of TBT pollution in coastal areas including coral reefs in the Caribbean Sea. However, considerable interspecies differences in especially accumulation...

  14. Caribbean landscapes and their biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    A. E. Lugo; E. H. Helmer; E. Santiago Valentín

    2012-01-01

    Both the biodiversity and the landscapes of the Caribbean have been greatly modified as a consequence of human activity. In this essay we provide an overview of the natural landscapes and biodiversity of the Caribbean and discuss how human activity has affected both. Our Caribbean geographic focus is on the insular Caribbean and the biodiversity focus is on the flora,...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laetitia Plaisance

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

  16. Greenhouse role in reef stress unproven

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roberts, L.

    1991-01-01

    In the late 1980s, as coral reefs throughout the Caribbean and elsewhere fell victim to a phenomenon known as bleaching, a few scientists stated that greenhouse warming is upon us and that the exquisitely sensitive corals, reacting to elevated water temperatures, are serving as biological sentinels. This stirred up so much concern that Congress assigned the National Science Foundation (NSF) to investigate the connection between coral bleaching and global warming. Late last month investigators at an NSF-sponsored meeting rendered their verdict. Following the Miami meeting, which brought together, for the first time, climatologists, oceanographers, and meteorologists with marine biologists, ecologists, and other reef experts, the participants issued a statement saying essentially that, yes, higher temperatures seem to be at least partly at fault but, no, greenhouse warming cannot be blamed

  17. Zinc Deficiency in Latin America and the Caribbean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cediel, Gustavo; Olivares, Manuel; Brito, Alex; Cori, Héctor; López de Romaña, Daniel

    2015-06-01

    Zinc deficiency affects multiple vital functions in the life cycle, especially growth. Limited information is available on the magnitude of zinc deficiency in Latin America and the Caribbean. To examine the latest available information on both the prevalence of zinc deficiency and the risk of zinc deficiency in Latin America and the Caribbean. The prevalence of zinc deficiency was identified through a systematic review looking for the latest available data on serum zinc concentrations from surveys or studies with national representativeness conducted in Latin America and the Caribbean. The risk of zinc deficiency in Latin America and the Caribbean was estimated based on dietary zinc inadequacy (according to the 2011 National Food Balance Sheets) and stunting in children under 5 years of age. Only four countries had available national biochemical data. Mexican, Colombian, Ecuadorian, and Guatemalan children under 6 years of age and women 12 to 49 years of age had a high prevalence of zinc deficiency (19.1% to 56.3%). The countries with the highest risk of zinc deficiency (estimated prevalence of inadequate zinc intake > 25% plus prevalence of stunting > 20%) were Belize, Bolivia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Zinc dietary inadequacy was directly correlated with stunting (r = 0.64, p zinc deficiency in children under 6 years of age and women 12 to 49 years of age. High rates of both estimated zinc dietary inadequacy and stunting were also reported in most Latin America and Caribbean countries.

  18. Oceanographic data collected during the Bonaire 2008: Exploring Coral Reef Sustainability with New Technologies (bonaire2008) on Fetch1 AUV and Gavia AUV's in Netherlands, Antilles from January 6, 2008 - January 29, 2008 (NODC Accession 0072312)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles, is arguably the most pristine coral reef environment in the Caribbean. The percent coral cover is the highest and percent algal cover...

  19. The structure and composition of Holocene coral reefs in the Middle Florida Keys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toth, Lauren T.; Stathakopoulos, Anastasios; Kuffner, Ilsa B.

    2016-07-21

    The Florida Keys reef tract (FKRT) is the largest coral-reef ecosystem in the continental United States. The modern FKRT extends for 362 kilometers along the coast of South Florida from Dry Tortugas National Park in the southwest, through the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS), to Fowey Rocks reef in Biscayne National Park in the northeast. Most reefs along the FKRT are sheltered by the exposed islands of the Florida Keys; however, large channels are located between the islands of the Middle Keys. These openings allow for tidal transport of water from Florida Bay onto reefs in the area. The characteristics of the water masses coming from Florida Bay, which can experience broad swings in temperature, salinity, nutrients, and turbidity over short periods of time, are generally unfavorable or “inimical” to coral growth and reef development.Although reef habitats are ubiquitous throughout most of the Upper and Lower Keys, relatively few modern reefs exist in the Middle Keys most likely because of the impacts of inimical waters from Florida Bay. The reefs that are present in the Middle Keys generally are poorly developed compared with reefs elsewhere in the region. For example, Acropora palmata has been the dominant coral on shallow-water reefs in the Caribbean over the last 1.5 million years until populations of the coral declined throughout the region in recent decades. Although A. palmata was historically abundant in the Florida Keys, it was conspicuously absent from reefs in the Middle Keys. Instead, contemporary reefs in the Middle Keys have been dominated by occasional massive (that is, boulder or head) corals and, more often, small, non-reef-building corals.Holocene reef cores have been collected from many locations along the FKRT; however, despite the potential importance of the history of reefs in the Middle Florida Keys to our understanding of the environmental controls on reef development throughout the FKRT, there are currently no published

  20. The abundance of herbivorous fish on an inshore Red Sea reef following a mass coral bleaching event

    KAUST Repository

    Khalil, Maha T.

    2013-01-08

    A healthy herbivore community is critical for the ability of a reef to resist and recover from severe disturbances and to regain lost coral cover (i.e., resilience). The densities of the two major herbivorous fish groups (the family Acanthuridae and scarine labrids) were comparatively studied for an inshore reef that was severely impacted by a mass coral bleaching event in 2010 and an unaffected reef within the same region. Densities were found to be significantly higher on the affected reef, most likely due to the high algal densities on that reef. However, densities of herbivores on both reefs were found to be on average about 1-2 orders of magnitude lower than previously published reports from some Pacific reefs and from Red Sea reefs in the Gulf of Aqaba and only slightly higher than Caribbean reefs. Thus, it is predicted that recovery for this reef and similarly affected reefs may be very slow. The protection of herbivores from overfishing and the introduction of other management strategies that maximize reef resilience in Saudi Arabian waters are highly recommended. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

  1. Coral reefs - Specialized ecosystems

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Wafar, M.V.M.

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

  2. NMFS Reef Survey Forms

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Reef Environmental Survey Project (REEF) mission to educate and enlist divers in the conservation of marine habitats is accomplished primarily through its Fish...

  3. Holocene reef building on eastern St. Croix, US Virgin Islands: Lang Bank revisited

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hubbard, D. K.; Gill, I. P.; Burke, R. B.

    2013-09-01

    New core and seismic data suggest that widespread reef building started on Lang Bank by 8,900 CalBP and was dominated by Acropora palmata for the next three millennia. Accretion rates averaged 5.81 m ky-1, a rate that was sufficient for reefs to keep pace with rising sea level on the bank throughout their history. Seismic data show a deep platform interior that was flooded well in advance of reef building along the elevated rim. As a result, those reefs were buffered from sediment stress by their higher positions and active water flow to the west. A. palmata disappeared from the shallow margin by 6,350 yr ago, and reef building on Lang Bank largely ceased by 5,035 CalBP. The reasons for these dramatic events are unclear. Water depth over the reefs was generally shallower than when they started to build, and sea level was slowing dramatically. The new data described here show that reefs flourished on Lang Bank throughout the hiatus suggested by earlier studies (10-7 kyrs BP), and the ultimate demise of shelf-edge reefs is clearly not associated with either poor water quality or sudden sea-level rise. In addition, accretion rates from eastern St. Croix and throughout the Caribbean were well below the high values (≥10 m ky-1) that have been widely assumed. These data collectively argue against models that require extreme environmental or oceanographic phenomena to drown reefs on Lang Bank where reef building was too fast to be outpaced by Holocene sea-level rise. This also bears on more generalized Caribbean models that depend on the presumed reef history on eastern St. Croix.

  4. Caribbean shallow water Corallimorpharia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hartog, J.C.den

    1980-01-01

    The present paper comprises a review of the Caribbean shallow water Corallimorpharia. Six species, belonging to four genera and three families are treated, including Pseudocorynactis caribbeorum gen. nov. spec. nov., a species with tentacular acrospheres containing the largest spirocysts ever

  5. Rapidly increasing macroalgal cover not related to herbivorous fishes on Mesoamerican reefs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam Suchley

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Long-term phase shifts from coral to macroalgal dominated reef systems are well documented in the Caribbean. Although the impact of coral diseases, climate change and other factors is acknowledged, major herbivore loss through disease and overfishing is often assigned a primary role. However, direct evidence for the link between herbivore abundance, macroalgal and coral cover is sparse, particularly over broad spatial scales. In this study we use a database of coral reef surveys performed at 85 sites along the Mesoamerican Reef of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras, to examine potential ecological links by tracking site trajectories over the period 2005–2014. Despite the long-term reduction of herbivory capacity reported across the Caribbean, the Mesoamerican Reef region displayed relatively low macroalgal cover at the onset of the study. Subsequently, increasing fleshy macroalgal cover was pervasive. Herbivorous fish populations were not responsible for this trend as fleshy macroalgal cover change was not correlated with initial herbivorous fish biomass or change, and the majority of sites experienced increases in macroalgae browser biomass. This contrasts the coral reef top-down herbivore control paradigm and suggests the role of external factors in making environmental conditions more favourable for algae. Increasing macroalgal cover typically suppresses ecosystem services and leads to degraded reef systems. Consequently, policy makers and local coral reef managers should reassess the focus on herbivorous fish protection and consider complementary measures such as watershed management in order to arrest this trend.

  6. Regionally isolated populations of an imperiled Caribbean coral, Acropora palmata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baums, Iliana B; Miller, Margaret W; Hellberg, Michael E

    2005-04-01

    The movements of larvae between marine populations are difficult to follow directly and have been the subject of much controversy, especially in the Caribbean. The debate centres on the degree to which populations are demographically open, such that depleted populations can be replenished by recruitment from distant healthy populations, or demographically closed and thus in need of local management. Given the depressed state of many tropical reef populations, the understanding of these movements now bears critically on the number, placement, and size of marine reserves. Most genetic analyses assume that dispersal patterns have been stable for thousands of generations, thus they commonly reflect past colonization histories more than ongoing dispersal. Recently developed multilocus genotyping approaches, however, have the demonstrated ability to detect both migration and population isolation over far shorter timescales. Previously, we developed five microsatellite markers and demonstrated them to be both Mendelian and coral-specific. Using these markers and Bayesian analyses, we show here that populations of the imperiled reef-building coral, Acropora palmata, have experienced little or no recent genetic exchange between the western and the eastern Caribbean. Puerto Rico is identified as an area of mixing between the two subregions. As a consequence of this regional isolation, populations in the western and eastern Caribbean should have the potential to adapt to local conditions and will require population-specific management strategies.

  7. Estudio anual del zooplancton: composición, abundancia, biomasa e hidrología del norte de Quintana Roo, mar Caribe de México Annual study of zooplankton: composition, abundance, biomass and hydrology from the north of Quintana Roo, Mexican Caribbean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José N Álvarez-Cadena

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available Se llevaron a cabo muestreos de zooplancton en la zona lagunar y costera del Caribe mexicano, desde Puerto Morelos hasta Cancún. Las recolectas se llevaron a cabo de enero a diciembre de 2004 en 12 localidades. Se identificaron 41 grupos del zooplancton donde los copépodos fueron los más abundantes (61% seguidos de las larvas de equinodermos (17% y decápodos (5%. El copépodo Acartia tonsa fue la especie más abundante de este grupo en el Sistema Lagunar Nichupté (SLN. En la zona marina adyacente los copépodos estuvieron representados en orden de importancia por Acartia spinata, Pseudocalanus sp. y Calanopia americana. En todas las estaciones se capturaron equinodermos del tipo equinopluteus-ofiopluteus, pero con mayor abundancia en el SLN. El quetognato Ferosagitta hispida fue la única especie que se encontró en el SLN, donde fue más abundante. Los decápodos estuvieron representados principalmente por larvas zoeas; las larvas de peces por 54 familias, de las cuales los góbidos de los géneros Ctenogobius sp., Gobionellus sp. y Gobiosoma sp. fueron los mejor representados, particularmente para el SLN. La biomasa fue mayor en el SLN.Zooplankton sampling was carried out in the northern coast of the Mexican Caribbean Sea, from Puerto Morelos to Cancun. Captures were made with a conic net 0.4m diameter, 1.40m length and 0.330 mm mesh from January to December 2004 at twelve locations. A total of 41 zooplankton groups were identified. Copepods were the most abundant taxa making up 61%, followed by echinoderms (17% and decapods (5%. Acartia tonsa at the Nichupte Lagoon System (SLN over numbered the copepod fauna and occasionally the whole zooplankton population. Along the coast Acartia spinata, Pseudocalanus sp, and Calanopia americana were the most important copepods. Echinoderms larvae such as echinopluteus-ophiopluteus were present at all sampled stations but were more abundant at the NLS. For chaetognaths, Ferosagitta hispida dominated

  8. Reef fishes of Saba Bank, Netherlands Antilles: assemblage structure across a gradient of habitat types

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Toller, W.; Debrot, A.O.; Vermeij, M.J.A.; Hoetjes, P.C.

    2010-01-01

    Saba Bank is a 2,200 km2 submerged carbonate platform in the northeastern Caribbean Sea off Saba Island, Netherlands Antilles. The presence of reef-like geomorphic features and significant shelf edge coral development on Saba Bank have led to the conclusion that it is an actively growing, though

  9. Reef fishes of Saba Bank, Netherlands Antilles : Assemblage structure across a gradient of habitat types

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Toller, W.; Debrot, A.O.; Vermeij, M.; Hoetjes, P.C.

    2010-01-01

    Saba Bank is a 2,200 km2 submerged carbonate platform in the northeastern Caribbean Sea off Saba Island, Netherlands Antilles. The presence of reef-like geomorphic features and significant shelf edge coral development on Saba Bank have led to the conclusion that it is an actively growing, though

  10. Reestablishment of Notopygos megalops McIntosh, description of N. caribea sp. n. from the Greater Caribbean and barcoding of “amphiamerican” Notopygos species (Annelida, Amphinomidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yáñez-Rivera, Beatriz; Carrera-Parra, Luis Fernando

    2012-01-01

    Abstract The species of the genus Notopygos Grube, 1855 are characterized by an ovate body, a prominent caruncle with three lobes, dendritic branchiae, and double dorsal cirri. Twenty-two species belonging to Notopygos have been described, mostly from the Indo-Pacific region. In America, few species are frequently recorded: Notopygos crinita Grube, 1855 from St. Helena Island (Atlantic) and Notopygos ornata Grube and Ørsted in Grube 1857 from Costa Rica (Pacific). Notopygos crinita is a widely distributed species in the Western Atlantic with additional reports in the Mediterranean Sea (as a questionable alien species) and in the Pacific Ocean. However, only the genus features have been considered, consequently some records could be misidentifications. During a revision of materials from collections and the barcode project, ‘Mexican Barcode of Life, MEXBOL’, we found specimens of Notopygos megalops and an undescribed species from reef zones in the Caribbean; the former had been considered a junior synonym of Notopygos crinita. Herein, Notopygos megalops is reestablished and Notopygos caribea sp. n. is described. A morphological and DNA barcode approach was used to explain the records of Notopygos ornata in the Atlantic and to show the differences with the new species, since both species share features such as complex pigmentation patterns, and circular projections in the median lobe of the caruncle. PMID:23459182

  11. Reestablishment of Notopygos megalops McIntosh, description of N. caribea sp. n. from the Greater Caribbean and barcoding of “amphiamerican” Notopygos species (Annelida, Amphinomidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beatriz Yanez

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available The species of the genus Notopygos Grube, 1855 are characterized by an ovate body, a prominent caruncle with three lobes, dendritic branchiae, and double dorsal cirri. Twenty-two species belonging to Notopygos have been described, mostly from the Indo-Pacific region. In America, few species are frequently recorded: N. crinita Grube, 1855 from St. Helena Island (Atlantic and N. ornata Grube and Ørsted in Grube 1857 from Costa Rica (Pacific. Notopygos crinita is a widely distributed species in the Western Atlantic with additional reports in the Mediterranean Sea (as a questionable alien species and in the Pacific Ocean. However, only the genus features have been considered, consequently some records could be misidentifications. During a revision of materials from collections and the barcode project, ‘Mexican Barcode of Life, MEXBOL’, we found specimens of N. megalops and an undescribed species from reef zones in the Caribbean; the former had been considered a junior synonym of N. crinita. Herein, N. megalops is reestablished and N. caribea sp. n. is described. A morphological and DNA barcode approach was used to explain the records of N. ornata in the Atlantic and to show the differences with the new species, since both species share features such as complex pigmentation patterns, and circular projections in the median lobe of the caruncle.

  12. Reef fishes of Saba Bank, Netherlands Antilles: assemblage structure across a gradient of habitat types.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wes Toller

    Full Text Available Saba Bank is a 2,200 km(2 submerged carbonate platform in the northeastern Caribbean Sea off Saba Island, Netherlands Antilles. The presence of reef-like geomorphic features and significant shelf edge coral development on Saba Bank have led to the conclusion that it is an actively growing, though wholly submerged, coral reef atoll. However, little information exists on the composition of benthic communities or associated reef fish assemblages of Saba Bank. We selected a 40 km(2 area of the bank for an exploratory study. Habitat and reef fish assemblages were investigated in five shallow-water benthic habitat types that form a gradient from Saba Bank shelf edge to lagoon. Significant coral cover was restricted to fore reef habitat (average cover 11.5% and outer reef flat habitat (2.4% and declined to near zero in habitats of the central lagoon zone. Macroalgae dominated benthic cover in all habitats (average cover: 32.5--48.1% but dominant algal genera differed among habitats. A total of 97 fish species were recorded. The composition of Saba Bank fish assemblages differed among habitat types. Highest fish density and diversity occurred in the outer reef flat, fore reef and inner reef flat habitats. Biomass estimates for commercially valued species in the reef zone (fore reef and reef flat habitats ranged between 52 and 83 g/m(2. The composition of Saba Bank fish assemblages reflects the absence of important nursery habitats, as well as the effects of past fishing. The relatively high abundance of large predatory fish (i.e. groupers and sharks, which is generally considered an indicator of good ecosystem health for tropical reef systems, shows that an intact trophic network is still present on Saba Bank.

  13. 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.

  14. Invasive lionfish had no measurable effect on prey fish community structure across the Belizean Barrier Reef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hackerott, Serena; Valdivia, Abel; Cox, Courtney E; Silbiger, Nyssa J; Bruno, John F

    2017-01-01

    Invasive lionfish are assumed to significantly affect Caribbean reef fish communities. However, evidence of lionfish effects on native reef fishes is based on uncontrolled observational studies or small-scale, unrepresentative experiments, with findings ranging from no effect to large effects on prey density and richness. Moreover, whether lionfish affect populations and communities of native reef fishes at larger, management-relevant scales is unknown. The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of lionfish on coral reef prey fish communities in a natural complex reef system. We quantified lionfish and the density, richness, and composition of native prey fishes (0-10 cm total length) at sixteen reefs along ∼250 km of the Belize Barrier Reef from 2009 to 2013. Lionfish invaded our study sites during this four-year longitudinal study, thus our sampling included fish community structure before and after our sites were invaded, i.e., we employed a modified BACI design. We found no evidence that lionfish measurably affected the density, richness, or composition of prey fishes. It is possible that higher lionfish densities are necessary to detect an effect of lionfish on prey populations at this relatively large spatial scale. Alternatively, negative effects of lionfish on prey could be small, essentially undetectable, and ecologically insignificant at our study sites. Other factors that influence the dynamics of reef fish populations including reef complexity, resource availability, recruitment, predation, and fishing could swamp any effects of lionfish on prey populations.

  15. Invasive lionfish had no measurable effect on prey fish community structure across the Belizean Barrier Reef

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Serena Hackerott

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Invasive lionfish are assumed to significantly affect Caribbean reef fish communities. However, evidence of lionfish effects on native reef fishes is based on uncontrolled observational studies or small-scale, unrepresentative experiments, with findings ranging from no effect to large effects on prey density and richness. Moreover, whether lionfish affect populations and communities of native reef fishes at larger, management-relevant scales is unknown. The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of lionfish on coral reef prey fish communities in a natural complex reef system. We quantified lionfish and the density, richness, and composition of native prey fishes (0–10 cm total length at sixteen reefs along ∼250 km of the Belize Barrier Reef from 2009 to 2013. Lionfish invaded our study sites during this four-year longitudinal study, thus our sampling included fish community structure before and after our sites were invaded, i.e., we employed a modified BACI design. We found no evidence that lionfish measurably affected the density, richness, or composition of prey fishes. It is possible that higher lionfish densities are necessary to detect an effect of lionfish on prey populations at this relatively large spatial scale. Alternatively, negative effects of lionfish on prey could be small, essentially undetectable, and ecologically insignificant at our study sites. Other factors that influence the dynamics of reef fish populations including reef complexity, resource availability, recruitment, predation, and fishing could swamp any effects of lionfish on prey populations.

  16. Mexican Parenting Questionnaire (MPQ)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halgunseth, Linda C.; Ispa, Jean M.

    2012-01-01

    The present study was conducted in four phases and constructed a self-report parenting instrument for use with Mexican immigrant mothers of children aged 6 to 10. The 14-item measure was based on semistructured qualitative interviews with Mexican immigrant mothers (N = 10), was refined by a focus group of Mexican immigrant mothers (N = 5), and was…

  17. 75 FR 67247 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Regulatory Amendment to the...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-11-02

    ... Atlantic; Regulatory Amendment to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Fishery of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and... the U.S. Virgin Islands (FMP) prepared by the Caribbean Fishery Management Council (Council). This...

  18. 76 FR 66675 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Amendments to the Queen Conch and...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-10-27

    .... 100120037-1626-01] RIN 0648-AY55 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Amendments to the Queen Conch and Reef Fish Fishery Management Plans of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands... the Fishery Management Plan for Queen Conch Resources of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands and...

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

    KAUST Repository

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Roik, Anna Krystyna

    2015-12-14

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cróquer, Aldo; Weil, Ernesto

    2009-11-16

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

  2. IDRC in the Caribbean

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    Since the early 1970s, IDRC has supported the efforts of researchers in the English-speaking Caribbean to reduce poverty and inequality, restore degraded coastal ecosystems, and protect communities against disease and natural disasters. Research has helped to improve farming and fishing practices and tackle.

  3. The Changing Face of Plio-Pleistocene Reef Margins: Results of the Dominican Republic Drilling Project (DRDP)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klaus, J.; McNeill, D. F.; Díaz, V.; Swart, P. K.; Pourmand, A.; Grasmueck, M.; Eberli, G. P.

    2013-12-01

    Fringing reef margins of the Caribbean display a characteristic zonation in which Acropora palmata dominates shallow high-energy reef crests and Acropora cervicornis calmer fore-reef slopes and backreef lagoons. The dominance of acroporids across this zonation has been attributed to growth rates 5-100 times faster than other corals. However, the dominance and high accretion potential of acroporid reefs has a relatively recent geologic origin. Caribbean reefs changed profoundly in taxonomic composition, diversity, and dominance structure during late Pliocene and Pleistocene climatic change. These changes coincide with protracted climatic deterioration and cooling between 2.0 to 0.8 Ma, and the onset of high amplitude sea-level fluctuations ~400 ka. The Dominican Republic Drilling Project (DRDP) was initiated to determine how climate change and global high-amplitude sea level changes influenced depositional patterns in Pliocene to Recent reef systems of the Caribbean. A transect of 7 core borings (~700 m total depth) were collected along a transect of the southern coast of the DR in conjunction with over 20 km of ground penetrating radar (GPR) lines. New age constraints based on U/Th geochronometry and radiogenic Sr isotopes, combined with depositional lithofacies, faunal indicators, stable isotope profiles and GPR data have allowed us to correlate between wells and define the internal anatomy and stratal geometry of the individual reef sigmoids and sigmoid sets. The stacking of these sigmoid-shaped reefs produce lateral progradation of approximately 15 km with geometries that generally follow the highstand systems tract model of Pomar and Ward (1994). Based on existing age models eccentricity (high amplitude 100 kyr) sigmoids display increased aggradation and progradation potential compared to reef cycles driven by obliquity (41 kyr).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garzón-Ferreira, Jaime; Rodríguez-Ramírez, Alberto

    2010-05-01

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

  5. Assessment of Acropora palmata in the Mesoamerican Reef System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Martínez, Rosa E; Banaszak, Anastazia T; McField, Melanie D; Beltrán-Torres, Aurora U; Álvarez-Filip, Lorenzo

    2014-01-01

    The once-dominant shallow reef-building coral Acropora palmata has suffered drastic geographical declines in the wider Caribbean from a disease epidemic that began in the late 1970s. At present there is a lack of quantitative data to determine whether this species is recovering over large spatial scales. Here, we use quantitative surveys conducted in 107 shallow-water reef sites between 2010 and 2012 to investigate the current distribution and abundance of A. palmata along the Mesoamerican Reef System (MRS). Using historical data we also explored how the distribution and abundance of this species has changed in the northern portion of the MRS between 1985 and 2010-2012. A. palmata was recorded in only a fifth of the surveyed reef sites in 2010-2012. In the majority of these reef sites the presence of A. palmata was patchy and rare. Only one site (Limones reef), in the northernmost portion of the MRS, presented considerably high A. palmata cover (mean: 34.7%, SD: 24.5%). At this site, the size-frequency distribution of A. palmata colonies was skewed towards small colony sizes; 84% of the colonies were healthy, however disease prevalence increased with colony size. A comparison with historical data showed that in the northern portion of the MRS, in 1985, A. palmata occurred in 74% of the 31 surveyed sites and had a mean cover of 7.7% (SD = 9.0), whereas in 2010-2012 this species was recorded in 48% of the sites with a mean cover of 2.9% (SD = 7.5). A. palmata populations along the MRS are failing to recover the distribution and abundance they had prior to the 1980s. Investigating the biological (e.g., population genetics) and environmental conditions (e.g., sources of stress) of the few standing reefs with relatively high A. palmata cover is crucial for the development of informed restoration models for this species.

  6. Marine Biodiversity in the Caribbean: Regional Estimates and Distribution Patterns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miloslavich, Patricia; Díaz, Juan Manuel; Klein, Eduardo; Alvarado, Juan José; Díaz, Cristina; Gobin, Judith; Escobar-Briones, Elva; Cruz-Motta, Juan José; Weil, Ernesto; Cortés, Jorge; Bastidas, Ana Carolina; Robertson, Ross; Zapata, Fernando; Martín, Alberto; Castillo, Julio; Kazandjian, Aniuska; Ortiz, Manuel

    2010-01-01

    This paper provides an analysis of the distribution patterns of marine biodiversity and summarizes the major activities of the Census of Marine Life program in the Caribbean region. The coastal Caribbean region is a large marine ecosystem (LME) characterized by coral reefs, mangroves, and seagrasses, but including other environments, such as sandy beaches and rocky shores. These tropical ecosystems incorporate a high diversity of associated flora and fauna, and the nations that border the Caribbean collectively encompass a major global marine biodiversity hot spot. We analyze the state of knowledge of marine biodiversity based on the geographic distribution of georeferenced species records and regional taxonomic lists. A total of 12,046 marine species are reported in this paper for the Caribbean region. These include representatives from 31 animal phyla, two plant phyla, one group of Chromista, and three groups of Protoctista. Sampling effort has been greatest in shallow, nearshore waters, where there is relatively good coverage of species records; offshore and deep environments have been less studied. Additionally, we found that the currently accepted classification of marine ecoregions of the Caribbean did not apply for the benthic distributions of five relatively well known taxonomic groups. Coastal species richness tends to concentrate along the Antillean arc (Cuba to the southernmost Antilles) and the northern coast of South America (Venezuela – Colombia), while no pattern can be observed in the deep sea with the available data. Several factors make it impossible to determine the extent to which these distribution patterns accurately reflect the true situation for marine biodiversity in general: (1) highly localized concentrations of collecting effort and a lack of collecting in many areas and ecosystems, (2) high variability among collecting methods, (3) limited taxonomic expertise for many groups, and (4) differing levels of activity in the study of

  7. Shifting baselines and the extinction of the Caribbean monk seal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baisre, Julio A

    2013-10-01

    The recent extinction of the Caribbean monk seal Monachus tropicalis has been considered an example of a human-caused extinction in the marine environment, and this species was considered a driver of the changes that have occurred in the structure of Caribbean coral reef ecosystems since colonial times. I searched archaeological records, historical data, and geographic names (used as a proxy of the presence of seals) and evaluated the use and quality of these data to conclude that since prehistoric times the Caribbean monk seal was always rare and vulnerable to human predation. This finding supports the hypothesis that in AD 1500, the Caribbean monk seal persisted as a small fragmented population in which individuals were confined to small keys, banks, or isolated islands in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. This hypothesis is contrary to the assumption that the species was widespread and abundant historically. The theory that the main driver of monk seal extinction was harvesting for its oil for use in the sugar cane industry of Jamaica during the 18th century is based primarily on anecdotal information and is overemphasized in the literature. An analysis of reported human encounters with this species indicates monk seal harvest was an occasional activity, rather than an ongoing enterprise. Nevertheless, given the rarity of this species and its restricted distribution, even small levels of hunting or specimen collecting must have contributed to its extinction, which was confirmed in the mid-20th century. Some sources had been overlooked or only partially reviewed, others misinterpreted, and a considerable amount of anecdotal information had been uncritically used. Critical examination of archaeological and historical records is required to infer accurate estimations of the historical abundance of a species. In reconstructing the past to address the shifting baseline syndrome, it is important to avoid selecting evidence to confirm modern prejudices. © 2013

  8. Marine biodiversity in the Caribbean: regional estimates and distribution patterns.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia Miloslavich

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available This paper provides an analysis of the distribution patterns of marine biodiversity and summarizes the major activities of the Census of Marine Life program in the Caribbean region. The coastal Caribbean region is a large marine ecosystem (LME characterized by coral reefs, mangroves, and seagrasses, but including other environments, such as sandy beaches and rocky shores. These tropical ecosystems incorporate a high diversity of associated flora and fauna, and the nations that border the Caribbean collectively encompass a major global marine biodiversity hot spot. We analyze the state of knowledge of marine biodiversity based on the geographic distribution of georeferenced species records and regional taxonomic lists. A total of 12,046 marine species are reported in this paper for the Caribbean region. These include representatives from 31 animal phyla, two plant phyla, one group of Chromista, and three groups of Protoctista. Sampling effort has been greatest in shallow, nearshore waters, where there is relatively good coverage of species records; offshore and deep environments have been less studied. Additionally, we found that the currently accepted classification of marine ecoregions of the Caribbean did not apply for the benthic distributions of five relatively well known taxonomic groups. Coastal species richness tends to concentrate along the Antillean arc (Cuba to the southernmost Antilles and the northern coast of South America (Venezuela-Colombia, while no pattern can be observed in the deep sea with the available data. Several factors make it impossible to determine the extent to which these distribution patterns accurately reflect the true situation for marine biodiversity in general: (1 highly localized concentrations of collecting effort and a lack of collecting in many areas and ecosystems, (2 high variability among collecting methods, (3 limited taxonomic expertise for many groups, and (4 differing levels of activity in the study

  9. Operationalizing resilience for adaptive coral reef management under global environmental change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anthony, Kenneth R N; Marshall, Paul A; Abdulla, Ameer; Beeden, Roger; Bergh, Chris; Black, Ryan; Eakin, C Mark; Game, Edward T; Gooch, Margaret; Graham, Nicholas A J; Green, Alison; Heron, Scott F; van Hooidonk, Ruben; Knowland, Cheryl; Mangubhai, Sangeeta; Marshall, Nadine; Maynard, Jeffrey A; McGinnity, Peter; McLeod, Elizabeth; Mumby, Peter J; Nyström, Magnus; Obura, David; Oliver, Jamie; Possingham, Hugh P; Pressey, Robert L; Rowlands, Gwilym P; Tamelander, Jerker; Wachenfeld, David; Wear, Stephanie

    2015-01-01

    Cumulative pressures from global climate and ocean change combined with multiple regional and local-scale stressors pose fundamental challenges to coral reef managers worldwide. Understanding how cumulative stressors affect coral reef vulnerability is critical for successful reef conservation now and in the future. In this review, we present the case that strategically managing for increased ecological resilience (capacity for stress resistance and recovery) can reduce coral reef vulnerability (risk of net decline) up to a point. Specifically, we propose an operational framework for identifying effective management levers to enhance resilience and support management decisions that reduce reef vulnerability. Building on a system understanding of biological and ecological processes that drive resilience of coral reefs in different environmental and socio-economic settings, we present an Adaptive Resilience-Based management (ARBM) framework and suggest a set of guidelines for how and where resilience can be enhanced via management interventions. We argue that press-type stressors (pollution, sedimentation, overfishing, ocean warming and acidification) are key threats to coral reef resilience by affecting processes underpinning resistance and recovery, while pulse-type (acute) stressors (e.g. storms, bleaching events, crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks) increase the demand for resilience. We apply the framework to a set of example problems for Caribbean and Indo-Pacific reefs. A combined strategy of active risk reduction and resilience support is needed, informed by key management objectives, knowledge of reef ecosystem processes and consideration of environmental and social drivers. As climate change and ocean acidification erode the resilience and increase the vulnerability of coral reefs globally, successful adaptive management of coral reefs will become increasingly difficult. Given limited resources, on-the-ground solutions are likely to focus increasingly on

  10. Artificial reefs and reef restoration in the Laurentian Great Lakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLean, Matthew W.; Roseman, Edward; Pritt, Jeremy J.; Kennedy, Gregory W.; Manny, Bruce A.

    2015-01-01

    We reviewed the published literature to provide an inventory of Laurentian Great Lakes artificial reef projects and their purposes. We also sought to characterize physical and biological monitoring for artificial reef projects in the Great Lakes and determine the success of artificial reefs in meeting project objectives. We found records of 6 artificial reefs in Lake Erie, 8 in Lake Michigan, 3 in Lakes Huron and Ontario, and 2 in Lake Superior. We found 9 reefs in Great Lakes connecting channels and 6 reefs in Great Lakes tributaries. Objectives of artificial reef creation have included reducing impacts of currents and waves, providing safe harbors, improving sport-fishing opportunities, and enhancing/restoring fish spawning habitats. Most reefs in the lakes themselves were incidental (not created purposely for fish habitat) or built to improve local sport fishing, whereas reefs in tributaries and connecting channels were more frequently built to benefit fish spawning. Levels of assessment of reef performance varied; but long-term monitoring was uncommon as was assessment of physical attributes. Artificial reefs were often successful at attracting recreational species and spawning fish; however, population-level benefits of artificial reefs are unclear. Stressors such as sedimentation and bio-fouling can limit the effectiveness of artificial reefs as spawning enhancement tools. Our investigation underscores the need to develop standard protocols for monitoring the biological and physical attributes of artificial structures. Further, long-term monitoring is needed to assess the benefits of artificial reefs to fish populations and inform future artificial reef projects.

  11. Honduras: Caribbean Coast

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Harborne, Alastair R.; Afzal, Daniel C.; Andrews, Mark J. [Coral Cay Conservation, London (United Kingdom)

    2001-07-01

    The coast of Honduras, Central America, represents the southern end of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, although its marine resources are less extensive and studied than nearby Belize and Mexico. However, the coastal zone contains mainland reef formations, mangroves, wetlands, seagrass beds and extensive fringing reefs around its offshore islands, and has a key role in the economy of the country. Like most tropical areas, this complex of benthic habitats experiences limited annual variation in climatic and oceanographic conditions but seasonal and occasional conditions, particularly coral bleaching and hurricanes, are important influences. The effects of stochastic factors on the country's coral reefs were clearly demonstrated during 1998 when Honduras experienced a major hurricane and bleaching event. Any natural or anthropogenic impacts on reef health will inevitably affect other countries in Latin America, and vice versa, since the marine resources are linked via currents and the functioning of the system transcends political boundaries. Much further work on, for example, movement of larvae and transfer of pollutants is required to delineate the full extent of these links. Anthropogenic impacts, largely driven by the increasing population and proportion of people living in coastal areas, are numerous and include key factors such as agricultural run-off, over-fishing, urban and industrial pollution (particularly sewage) and infrastructure development. Many of these threats act synergistically and, for example, poor watershed management via shifting cultivation, increases sedimentation and pesticide run-off onto coral reefs, which increases stress to corals already affected by decreasing water quality and coral bleaching. Threats from agriculture and fishing are particularly significant because of the size of both industries. The desire to generate urgently required revenue within Honduras has also led to increased tourism which provides an over

  12. Honduras: Caribbean Coast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harborne, A R; Afzal, D C; Andrews, M J

    2001-12-01

    The coast of Honduras, Central America, represents the southern end of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, although its marine resources are less extensive and studied than nearby Belize and Mexico. However, the coastal zone contains mainland reef formations, mangroves, wetlands, seagrass beds and extensive fringing reefs around its offshore islands, and has a key role in the economy of the country. Like most tropical areas, this complex of benthic habitats experiences limited annual variation in climatic and oceanographic conditions but seasonal and occasional conditions, particularly coral bleaching and hurricanes, are important influences. The effects of stochastic factors on the country's coral reefs were clearly demonstrated during 1998 when Honduras experienced a major hurricane and bleaching event. Any natural or anthropogenic impacts on reef health will inevitably affect other countries in Latin America, and vice versa, since the marine resources are linked via currents and the functioning of the system transcends political boundaries. Much further work on, for example, movement of larvae and transfer of pollutants is required to delineate the full extent of these links. Anthropogenic impacts, largely driven by the increasing population and proportion of people living in coastal areas, are numerous and include key factors such as agricultural run-off, over-fishing, urban and industrial pollution (particularly sewage) and infrastructure development. Many of these threats act synergistically and, for example, poor watershed management via shifting cultivation, increases sedimentation and pesticide run-off onto coral reefs, which increases stress to corals already affected by decreasing water quality and coral bleaching. Threats from agriculture and fishing are particularly significant because of the size of both industries. The desire to generate urgently required revenue within Honduras has also led to increased tourism which provides an overarching stress

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francoise Cavada-Blanco

    2016-03-01

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  15. Mexican Society of Bioelectromagnetism

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Canedo, Luis

    2008-01-01

    In July 2007 physicians, biologists and physicists that have collaborated in previous meetings of the medical branch of the Mexican Physical Society constituted the Mexican Society of Bioelectromagnetism with the purpose of promote scientific study of the interaction of electromagnetic energy (at frequencies ranging from zero Hertz through those of visible light) and acoustic energy with biological systems. A second goal was to increase the contribution of medical and biological professionals in the meetings of the medical branch of the Mexican Physical Society. The following paragraphs summarize some objectives of the Mexican Society of Bioelectromagnetism for the next two years

  16. Coral reefs and eutrophication

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stambler, N.

    1999-01-01

    Coral reefs are found in oligotrophic waters, which are poor in nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphate, and possibly iron. In spite of this, coral reefs exhibit high gross primary productivity rates. They thrive in oligotrophic conditions because of the symbiotic relationship between corals and dinoflagellate algae (zooxanthellae) embedded in the coral tissue. In their mutualistic symbiosis, the zooxanthellae contribute their photosynthetic capability as the basis for the metabolic energy of the whole association, and eventually of a great part of the entire reef ecosystem

  17. Explanatory Emotion Talk in Mexican Immigrant and Mexican American Families.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cervantes, Christi A.

    2002-01-01

    Mother-child conversations during story-telling play were analyzed for patterns of emotion talk. Subjects were 48 Mexican immigrant and Mexican American mothers and their children aged 3-4. Contrary to previous findings, Mexican immigrant mothers used more explanations of emotions than labels. Mexican American mothers used both, equally. Results…

  18. Permanent 'phase shifts' or reversible declines in coral cover? Lack of recovery of two coral reefs in St. John, US Virgin Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, C.S.; Miller, J.

    2006-01-01

    Caribbean coral reefs have changed dramatically in the last 3 to 4 decades, with significant loss of coral cover and increases in algae. Here we present trends in benthic cover from 1989 to 2003 at 2 reefs (Lameshur Reef and Newfound Reef) off St. John, US Virgin Islands (USVI). Coral cover has declined in the fore-reef zones at both sites, and no recovery is evident. At Lameshur Reef, Hurricane Hugo (1989) caused significant physical damage and loss of coral. We suggest that macroalgae rapidly colonized new substrate made available by this storm and have hindered or prevented growth of adult corals, as well as settlement and survival of new coral recruits. Overfishing of herbivorous fishes in the USVI and loss of shelter for these fishes because of major storms has presumably reduced the levels of herbivory that formerly controlled algal abundance. Coral cover declined at Newfound Reef from 1999 to 2000, most likely because of coral diseases. The trends that we have documented, loss of coral followed by no evidence of recovery, appear similar to findings from other studies in the Caribbean. We need to focus on functional shifts in the resilience of coral reefs that result in their inability to recover from natural and human-caused stressors. ?? Inter-Research 2006.

  19. Turf algae-mediated coral damage in coastal reefs of Belize, Central America

    KAUST Repository

    Wild, Christian

    2014-09-16

    Many coral reefs in the Caribbean experienced substantial changes in their benthic community composition during the last decades. This often resulted in phase shifts from scleractinian coral dominance to that by other benthic invertebrate or algae. However, knowledge about how the related role of coral-algae contacts may negatively affect corals is scarce. Therefore, benthic community composition, abundance of algae grazers, and the abundance and character of coral-algae contacts were assessed in situ at 13 Belizean reef sites distributed along a distance gradient to the Belizean mainland (12–70 km): Mesoamerican Barrier Reef (inshore), Turneffe Atoll (inner and outer midshore), and Lighthouse Reef (offshore). In situ surveys revealed significantly higher benthic cover by scleractinian corals at the remote Lighthouse Reef (26–29%) when compared to the other sites (4–19%). The abundance of herbivorous fish and the sea urchin Diadema antillarum significantly increased towards the offshore reef sites, while the occurrence of direct coral-algae contacts consequently increased significantly with decreasing distance to shore. About 60% of these algae contacts were harmful (exhibiting coral tissue damage, pigmentation change, or overgrowth) for corals (mainly genera Orbicella and Agaricia), particularly when filamentous turf algae were involved. These findings provide support to the hypothesis that (turf) algae-mediated coral damage occurs in Belizean coastal, near-shore coral reefs.

  20. Synergistic impacts of global warming on the resilience of coral reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bozec, Yves-Marie; Mumby, Peter J.

    2015-01-01

    Recent epizootics have removed important functional species from Caribbean coral reefs and left communities vulnerable to alternative attractors. Global warming will impact reefs further through two mechanisms. A chronic mechanism reduces coral calcification, which can result in depressed somatic growth. An acute mechanism, coral bleaching, causes extreme mortality when sea temperatures become anomalously high. We ask how these two mechanisms interact in driving future reef state (coral cover) and resilience (the probability of a reef remaining within a coral attractor). We find that acute mechanisms have the greatest impact overall, but the nature of the interaction with chronic stress depends on the metric considered. Chronic and acute stress act additively on reef state but form a strong synergy when influencing resilience by intensifying a regime shift. Chronic stress increases the size of the algal basin of attraction (at the expense of the coral basin), whereas coral bleaching pushes the system closer to the algal attractor. Resilience can change faster—and earlier—than a change in reef state. Therefore, we caution against basing management solely on measures of reef state because a loss of resilience can go unnoticed for many years and then become disproportionately more difficult to restore.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. James C. Crabbe

    2012-01-01

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

  2. Turf algae-mediated coral damage in coastal reefs of Belize, Central America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wild, Christian; Jantzen, Carin; Kremb, Stephan Georg

    2014-01-01

    Many coral reefs in the Caribbean experienced substantial changes in their benthic community composition during the last decades. This often resulted in phase shifts from scleractinian coral dominance to that by other benthic invertebrate or algae. However, knowledge about how the related role of coral-algae contacts may negatively affect corals is scarce. Therefore, benthic community composition, abundance of algae grazers, and the abundance and character of coral-algae contacts were assessed in situ at 13 Belizean reef sites distributed along a distance gradient to the Belizean mainland (12-70 km): Mesoamerican Barrier Reef (inshore), Turneffe Atoll (inner and outer midshore), and Lighthouse Reef (offshore). In situ surveys revealed significantly higher benthic cover by scleractinian corals at the remote Lighthouse Reef (26-29%) when compared to the other sites (4-19%). The abundance of herbivorous fish and the sea urchin Diadema antillarum significantly increased towards the offshore reef sites, while the occurrence of direct coral-algae contacts consequently increased significantly with decreasing distance to shore. About 60% of these algae contacts were harmful (exhibiting coral tissue damage, pigmentation change, or overgrowth) for corals (mainly genera Orbicella and Agaricia), particularly when filamentous turf algae were involved. These findings provide support to the hypothesis that (turf) algae-mediated coral damage occurs in Belizean coastal, near-shore coral reefs.

  3. Turf algae-mediated coral damage in coastal reefs of Belize, Central America

    KAUST Repository

    Wild, Christian; Jantzen, Carin; Kremb, Stephan Georg

    2014-01-01

    Many coral reefs in the Caribbean experienced substantial changes in their benthic community composition during the last decades. This often resulted in phase shifts from scleractinian coral dominance to that by other benthic invertebrate or algae. However, knowledge about how the related role of coral-algae contacts may negatively affect corals is scarce. Therefore, benthic community composition, abundance of algae grazers, and the abundance and character of coral-algae contacts were assessed in situ at 13 Belizean reef sites distributed along a distance gradient to the Belizean mainland (12–70 km): Mesoamerican Barrier Reef (inshore), Turneffe Atoll (inner and outer midshore), and Lighthouse Reef (offshore). In situ surveys revealed significantly higher benthic cover by scleractinian corals at the remote Lighthouse Reef (26–29%) when compared to the other sites (4–19%). The abundance of herbivorous fish and the sea urchin Diadema antillarum significantly increased towards the offshore reef sites, while the occurrence of direct coral-algae contacts consequently increased significantly with decreasing distance to shore. About 60% of these algae contacts were harmful (exhibiting coral tissue damage, pigmentation change, or overgrowth) for corals (mainly genera Orbicella and Agaricia), particularly when filamentous turf algae were involved. These findings provide support to the hypothesis that (turf) algae-mediated coral damage occurs in Belizean coastal, near-shore coral reefs.

  4. Variation in habitat soundscape characteristics influences settlement of a reef-building coral.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lillis, Ashlee; Bohnenstiehl, DelWayne; Peters, Jason W; Eggleston, David

    2016-01-01

    Coral populations, and the productive reef ecosystems they support, rely on successful recruitment of reef-building species, beginning with settlement of dispersing larvae into habitat favourable to survival. Many substrate cues have been identified as contributors to coral larval habitat selection; however, the potential for ambient acoustic cues to influence coral settlement responses is unknown. Using in situ settlement chambers that excluded other habitat cues, larval settlement of a dominant Caribbean reef-building coral, Orbicella faveolata , was compared in response to three local soundscapes, with differing acoustic and habitat properties. Differences between reef sites in the number of larvae settled in chambers isolating acoustic cues corresponded to differences in sound levels and reef characteristics, with sounds at the loudest reef generating significantly higher settlement during trials compared to the quietest site (a 29.5 % increase). These results suggest that soundscapes could be an important influence on coral settlement patterns and that acoustic cues associated with reef habitat may be related to larval settlement. This study reports an effect of soundscape variation on larval settlement for a key coral species, and adds to the growing evidence that soundscapes affect marine ecosystems by influencing early life history processes of foundational species.

  5. Variation in habitat soundscape characteristics influences settlement of a reef-building coral

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashlee Lillis

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Coral populations, and the productive reef ecosystems they support, rely on successful recruitment of reef-building species, beginning with settlement of dispersing larvae into habitat favourable to survival. Many substrate cues have been identified as contributors to coral larval habitat selection; however, the potential for ambient acoustic cues to influence coral settlement responses is unknown. Using in situ settlement chambers that excluded other habitat cues, larval settlement of a dominant Caribbean reef-building coral, Orbicella faveolata, was compared in response to three local soundscapes, with differing acoustic and habitat properties. Differences between reef sites in the number of larvae settled in chambers isolating acoustic cues corresponded to differences in sound levels and reef characteristics, with sounds at the loudest reef generating significantly higher settlement during trials compared to the quietest site (a 29.5 % increase. These results suggest that soundscapes could be an important influence on coral settlement patterns and that acoustic cues associated with reef habitat may be related to larval settlement. This study reports an effect of soundscape variation on larval settlement for a key coral species, and adds to the growing evidence that soundscapes affect marine ecosystems by influencing early life history processes of foundational species.

  6. Elevated temperatures and bleaching on a high latitude coral reef: the 1988 Bermuda event

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Clayton B.; Logan, Alan; Ward, Jack; Luckhurst, Brian; Berg, Carl J.

    1990-03-01

    Sea temperatures were normal in Bermuda during 1987, when Bermuda escaped the episodes of coral bleaching which were prevalent throughout the Caribbean region. Survey transecs in 1988 on 4 6 m reefs located on the rim margin and on a lagoonal patch reef revealed bleaching only of zoanthids between May and July. Transect and tow surveys in August and September revealed bleaching of several coral species; Millepora alcicornis on rim reefs was the most extensively affected. The frequency of bleaching in this species, Montastrea annularis and perhaps Diploria labyrinthiformis was significantly higher on outer reefs than on inshore reefs. This bleaching period coincided with the longest period of elevated sea temperatures in Bermuda in 38 years (28.9 30.9°C inshore, >28° offshore). By December, when temperatures had returned to normal, bleaching of seleractinians continued, but bleaching of M. alcicornis on the outer reefs was greatly reduced. Our observations suggest that corals which normally experience wide temperature ranges are less sensitive to thermal stress, and that high-latitude reef corals are sensitive to elevated temperatures which are within the normal thermal range of corals at lower latitudes.

  7. Hybridization and the evolution of reef coral diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vollmer, Steven V; Palumbi, Stephen R

    2002-06-14

    Hundreds of coral species coexist sympatrically on reefs, reproducing in mass-spawning events where hybridization appears common. In the Caribbean, DNA sequence data from all three sympatric Acropora corals show that mass spawning does not erode species barriers. Species A. cervicornis and A. palmata are distinct at two nuclear loci or share ancestral alleles. Morphotypes historically given the name Acropora prolifera are entirely F(1) hybrids of these two species, showing morphologies that depend on which species provides the egg for hybridization. Although selection limits the evolutionary potential of hybrids, F(1) individuals can reproduce asexually and form long-lived, potentially immortal hybrids with unique morphologies.

  8. The Mexican American.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowan, Helen

    The purpose of this paper, prepared for the U. S. Commission on Civil Rights, is to indicate the types and ranges of problems facing the Mexican American community and to suggest ways in which these problems are peculiar to Mexican Americans. Specific examples are cited to illustrate major problems and personal experiences. Topics covered in the…

  9. Coral Reef Guidance

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  10. Caribbean Sea Level Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Hillebrandt-Andrade, C.; Crespo Jones, H.

    2012-12-01

    Over the past 500 years almost 100 tsunamis have been observed in the Caribbean and Western Atlantic, with at least 3510 people having lost their lives to this hazard since 1842. Furthermore, with the dramatic increase in population and infrastructure along the Caribbean coasts, today, millions of coastal residents, workers and visitors are vulnerable to tsunamis. The UNESCO IOC Intergovernmental Coordination Group for Tsunamis and other Coastal Hazards for the Caribbean and Adjacent Regions (CARIBE EWS) was established in 2005 to coordinate and advance the regional tsunami warning system. The CARIBE EWS focuses on four areas/working groups: (1) Monitoring and Warning, (2) Hazard and Risk Assessment, (3) Communication and (4) Education, Preparedness and Readiness. The sea level monitoring component is under Working Group 1. Although in the current system, it's the seismic data and information that generate the initial tsunami bulletins, it is the data from deep ocean buoys (DARTS) and the coastal sea level gauges that are critical for the actual detection and forecasting of tsunamis impact. Despite multiple efforts and investments in the installation of sea level stations in the region, in 2004 there were only a handful of sea level stations operational in the region (Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Bermuda, Bahamas). Over the past 5 years there has been a steady increase in the number of stations operating in the Caribbean region. As of mid 2012 there were 7 DARTS and 37 coastal gauges with additional ones being installed or funded. In order to reach the goal of 100 operational coastal sea level stations in the Caribbean, the CARIBE EWS recognizes also the importance of maintaining the current stations. For this, a trained workforce in the region for the installation, operation and data analysis and quality control is considered to be critical. Since 2008, three training courses have been offered to the sea level station operators and data analysts. Other

  11. Nitrification in reef corals

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

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

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

  12. Static measurements of the resilience of Caribbean coral populations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew W. Bruckner

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available The progressive downward shift in dominance of key reef building corals, coupled with dramatic increases in macroalgae and other nuisance species, fields of unstable coral rubble ,loss of structural relief, and declines of major functional groups of fishes is a common occurrence throughout the Caribbean today. The incorporation of resilience principles into management is a proposed strategy to reverse this trend and ensure proper functioning of coral reefs under predicted scenarios of climate change, yet ecosystem processes and functions that underlie reef resilience are not fully understood. Rapid assessments using the Atlantic and Gulf Rapid Reef Assessment (AGRRA and the IUCN Resilience Assessment protocol can provide baseline information on reef resilience. A key aspect of these surveys focuses on coral population dynamics, including measures of coral cover, size, partial and whole-colony mortality, condition, and recruitment. One challenge is that these represent static measures involving a single assessment. Without following individual corals over time, it is difficult to determine rates of survival and growth of recruits and adult colonies, and differentiation of juveniles from small remnants of older colonies may not be possible, especially when macroalgal cover is high. To address this limitation, corals assessed in Bonaire in July 2010 were subdivided into two categories: 1 colonies on the reef substrate; and 2 colonies colonizing dead corals and exposed skeletal surfaces of living corals. Coral populations in Bonaire exhibited many features indicative of high resilience, including high coral cover (often 30-50%, high levels of recruitment, and a large number of corals that settled on dead corals and survived to larger size-classes. Overall, the skeletal surfaces of 12 species of corals were colonized by 16 species of corals, with up to 12 settlers on each colony, most (67% on M. annularis (complex skeletons. Nevertheless, completely

  13. Mexican Perspectives on Mexican-U.S. Relations

    Science.gov (United States)

    1993-04-01

    while serving in the United States military, working in the Bracero program and in American factories. By working with Americans, Mexicans learned that...Mexican government blames the problem on the United States. During the history of the Bracero Program (1942 -1964) 4.6 million Mexicans traveled to...and became familiar to Mexican migrants.ŕ The termination of the Bracero Program did not discourage Mexican agricultural workers from entering the

  14. Post-settlement survivorship in two Caribbean broadcasting corals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Margaret W.

    2014-12-01

    The post-settlement phase of broadcast-spawned coral life histories is poorly known due to its almost complete undetectability and, hence, presumed low abundance in the field. We used lab-cultured settled polyps of two important Caribbean reef-building species with negligible larval recruitment to quantify early post-settlement survivorship (6-9 weeks) over multiple years/cohorts and differing orientation on a reef in the Florida Keys. Orbicella faveolata showed significantly and consistently better survivorship in vertical rather than horizontal orientation, but no discernable growth overall. Meanwhile, Acropora palmata showed no significant difference in survivorship between orientations, but significantly greater growth in the horizontal orientation. Both species showed significant variation in mean survivorship between cohorts of different years; 0-47 % for O. faveolata and 12-49 % for A. palmata over the observed duration. These results demonstrate wide variation in success of cohorts and important differences in the larval recruitment capacities of these two important but imperiled reef-building species.

  15. Insights Into Nitrogen Isotope Fractionation in Coral Reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamb, K. A.; Swart, P. K.; Ellis, G. S.

    2002-12-01

    Environmental integrity in the Florida Reef tract and the Caribbean has been the center of concern for the past 15-20 years. Both the recreational and scientific communities alike have noticed an overall decline in coral reef health. This decline has manifested itself in the form of increased fleshy macroalgae growth and reduced coral cover, and in some cases, wide-scale coral mortality. Given the increasing dependence on a tourism-oriented economy in both South Florida and the Caribbean, much attention has been focused on maintaining reef longevity. A high nutrient load is believed to be the leading cause of degradation in the predominantly oligotrophic environment. Various studies have cited increased run off and input of anthropogenic wastes as the origin of these nutrients. It has also been suggested that the stable isotopes of nitrogen may provide a tracer with which to recognize the impact of anthropogenic nutrients within the coral reefs ecosystem. However, in utilizing both nitrogen and carbon stable isotopic methods on samples of particulate organic matter (POM) taken over the last three years, we find little evidence of the input of anthropogenic waste. δ15N values of POM fluctuate between +1 and +9 per mille, but usually remain in the +4 to +6 per mille range. Additionally, δ13C values are even more consistent, maintaining a balance between -19 to -21 per mille. These data are consistent with natural open-ocean values for δ15N and δ13C, indicating a lack of intense and prolonged exposure to anthropogenic wastes in the Florida Keys.

  16. [Characterization of Mexican households with food insecurity].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mundo-Rosas, Verónica; Méndez-Gómez Humarán, Ignacio; Shamah-Levy, Teresa

    2014-01-01

    To describe the sociodemographic and health characteristics associated with food insecurity (FI) in Mexican households. The study included information about 40 809 households from the National Health and Nutrition Survey 2012. The Latin American and Caribbean Scale Food Safety (ELCSA) was used to categorize households in terms of food insecurity. Classification and regression trees were used to identify the most significant characteristics in households with high prevalence of FI. The characteristics associated with higher prevalence of FI in homes were: lowest quintiles of welfare status, lack of education or walking or moving disability of household head, and not receiving money from social programmes, pension or remittances. Monitoring of the factors that favor the presence of FI is required to detect social groups being excluded from the right to food.

  17. Coral reefs in the Anthropocene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Terry P; Barnes, Michele L; Bellwood, David R; Cinner, Joshua E; Cumming, Graeme S; Jackson, Jeremy B C; Kleypas, Joanie; van de Leemput, Ingrid A; Lough, Janice M; Morrison, Tiffany H; Palumbi, Stephen R; van Nes, Egbert H; Scheffer, Marten

    2017-05-31

    Coral reefs support immense biodiversity and provide important ecosystem services to many millions of people. Yet reefs are degrading rapidly in response to numerous anthropogenic drivers. In the coming centuries, reefs will run the gauntlet of climate change, and rising temperatures will transform them into new configurations, unlike anything observed previously by humans. Returning reefs to past configurations is no longer an option. Instead, the global challenge is to steer reefs through the Anthropocene era in a way that maintains their biological functions. Successful navigation of this transition will require radical changes in the science, management and governance of coral reefs.

  18. Seaweed beds support more juvenile reef fish than seagrass beds in a south-western Atlantic tropical seascape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eggertsen, L.; Ferreira, C. E. L.; Fontoura, L.; Kautsky, N.; Gullström, M.; Berkström, C.

    2017-09-01

    Seascape connectivity is regarded essential for healthy reef fish communities in tropical shallow systems. A number of reef fish species use separate adult and nursery habitats, and hence contribute to nutrient and energy transfer between habitats. Seagrass beds and mangroves often constitute important nursery habitats, with high structural complexity and protection from predation. Here, we investigated if reef fish assemblages in the tropical south-western Atlantic demonstrate ontogenetic habitat connectivity and identify possible nurseries on three reef systems along the eastern Brazilian coast. Fish were surveyed in fore reef, back reef, Halodule wrightii seagrass beds and seaweed beds. Seagrass beds contained lower abundances and species richness of fish than expected, while Sargassum-dominated seaweed beds contained significantly more juveniles than all other habitats (average juvenile fish densities: 32.6 per 40 m2 in Sargassum beds, 11.2 per 40 m2 in back reef, 10.1 per 40 m2 in fore reef, and 5.04 per 40 m2 in seagrass beds), including several species that are found in the reef habitats as adults. Species that in other regions worldwide (e.g. the Caribbean) utilise seagrass beds as nursery habitats were here instead observed in Sargassum beds or back reef habitats. Coral cover was not correlated to adult fish distribution patterns; instead, type of turf was an important variable. Connectivity, and thus pathways of nutrient transfer, seems to function differently in east Brazil compared to many tropical regions. Sargassum-dominated beds might be more important as nurseries for a larger number of fish species than seagrass beds. Due to the low abundance of structurally complex seagrass beds we suggest that seaweed beds might influence adult reef fish abundances, being essential for several keystone species of reef fish in the tropical south-western Atlantic.

  19. Effectiveness of benthic foraminiferal and coral assemblages as water quality indicators on inshore reefs of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uthicke, S.; Thompson, A.; Schaffelke, B.

    2010-03-01

    Although the debate about coral reef decline focuses on global disturbances (e.g., increasing temperatures and acidification), local stressors (nutrient runoff and overfishing) continue to affect reef health and resilience. The effectiveness of foraminiferal and hard-coral assemblages as indicators of changes in water quality was assessed on 27 inshore reefs along the Great Barrier Reef. Environmental variables (i.e., several water quality and sediment parameters) and the composition of both benthic foraminiferal and hard-coral assemblages differed significantly between four regions (Whitsunday, Burdekin, Fitzroy, and the Wet Tropics). Grain size and organic carbon and nitrogen content of sediments, and a composite water column parameter (based on turbidity and concentrations of particulate matter) explained a significant amount of variation in the data (tested by redundancy analyses) in both assemblages. Heterotrophic species of foraminifera were dominant in sediments with high organic content and in localities with low light availability, whereas symbiont-bearing mixotrophic species were dominant elsewhere. A similar suite of parameters explained 89% of the variation in the FORAM index (a Caribbean coral reef health indicator) and 61% in foraminiferal species richness. Coral richness was not related to environmental setting. Coral assemblages varied in response to environmental variables, but were strongly shaped by acute disturbances (e.g., cyclones, Acanthaster planci outbreaks, and bleaching), thus different coral assemblages may be found at sites with the same environmental conditions. Disturbances also affect foraminiferal assemblages, but they appeared to recover more rapidly than corals. Foraminiferal assemblages are effective bioindicators of turbidity/light regimes and organic enrichment of sediments on coral reefs.

  20. NOAA Coral Reef Watch Larval Connectivity, Florida Reef Tract

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Climate change threatens even the best-protected and most remote reefs. Reef recovery following catastrophic disturbance usually requires disturbed sites be reseeded...

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

    KAUST Repository

    Berumen, Michael L.

    2013-06-21

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

  2. Reef Visual Census (RVC) data.

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Provide data on frequency of occurrence , density abundance, and length frequency of reef fish throughout Florida reef tract from 1978 forward.

  3. The Mexican oil industry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marcos-Giacoman, E.

    1991-01-01

    In the environment of growing domestic demand and enhanced international competitiveness, Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX)-the Mexican national oil company-faces the challenge of not only responding adequately to the rapid changes taking place in the Mexican economy, but making a significant contribution towards solid and stable growth. This paper reports that the relevant concern is how PEMEX is going to live up to these expectations. The Mexican oil industry, especially including the petrochemical sector, has great potential in terms of an ample domestic market as well as external foreign-currency-generating markets

  4. Caribbean corals in crisis: record thermal stress, bleaching, and mortality in 2005.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eakin, C Mark; Morgan, Jessica A; Heron, Scott F; Smith, Tyler B; Liu, Gang; Alvarez-Filip, Lorenzo; Baca, Bart; Bartels, Erich; Bastidas, Carolina; Bouchon, Claude; Brandt, Marilyn; Bruckner, Andrew W; Bunkley-Williams, Lucy; Cameron, Andrew; Causey, Billy D; Chiappone, Mark; Christensen, Tyler R L; Crabbe, M James C; Day, Owen; de la Guardia, Elena; Díaz-Pulido, Guillermo; DiResta, Daniel; Gil-Agudelo, Diego L; Gilliam, David S; Ginsburg, Robert N; Gore, Shannon; Guzmán, Héctor M; Hendee, James C; Hernández-Delgado, Edwin A; Husain, Ellen; Jeffrey, Christopher F G; Jones, Ross J; Jordán-Dahlgren, Eric; Kaufman, Les S; Kline, David I; Kramer, Philip A; Lang, Judith C; Lirman, Diego; Mallela, Jennie; Manfrino, Carrie; Maréchal, Jean-Philippe; Marks, Ken; Mihaly, Jennifer; Miller, W Jeff; Mueller, Erich M; Muller, Erinn M; Orozco Toro, Carlos A; Oxenford, Hazel A; Ponce-Taylor, Daniel; Quinn, Norman; Ritchie, Kim B; Rodríguez, Sebastián; Ramírez, Alberto Rodríguez; Romano, Sandra; Samhouri, Jameal F; Sánchez, Juan A; Schmahl, George P; Shank, Burton V; Skirving, William J; Steiner, Sascha C C; Villamizar, Estrella; Walsh, Sheila M; Walter, Cory; Weil, Ernesto; Williams, Ernest H; Roberson, Kimberly Woody; Yusuf, Yusri

    2010-11-15

    The rising temperature of the world's oceans has become a major threat to coral reefs globally as the severity and frequency of mass coral bleaching and mortality events increase. In 2005, high ocean temperatures in the tropical Atlantic and Caribbean resulted in the most severe bleaching event ever recorded in the basin. Satellite-based tools provided warnings for coral reef managers and scientists, guiding both the timing and location of researchers' field observations as anomalously warm conditions developed and spread across the greater Caribbean region from June to October 2005. Field surveys of bleaching and mortality exceeded prior efforts in detail and extent, and provided a new standard for documenting the effects of bleaching and for testing nowcast and forecast products. Collaborators from 22 countries undertook the most comprehensive documentation of basin-scale bleaching to date and found that over 80% of corals bleached and over 40% died at many sites. The most severe bleaching coincided with waters nearest a western Atlantic warm pool that was centered off the northern end of the Lesser Antilles. Thermal stress during the 2005 event exceeded any observed from the Caribbean in the prior 20 years, and regionally-averaged temperatures were the warmest in over 150 years. Comparison of satellite data against field surveys demonstrated a significant predictive relationship between accumulated heat stress (measured using NOAA Coral Reef Watch's Degree Heating Weeks) and bleaching intensity. This severe, widespread bleaching and mortality will undoubtedly have long-term consequences for reef ecosystems and suggests a troubled future for tropical marine ecosystems under a warming climate.

  5. Caribbean corals in crisis: record thermal stress, bleaching, and mortality in 2005.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C Mark Eakin

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The rising temperature of the world's oceans has become a major threat to coral reefs globally as the severity and frequency of mass coral bleaching and mortality events increase. In 2005, high ocean temperatures in the tropical Atlantic and Caribbean resulted in the most severe bleaching event ever recorded in the basin. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Satellite-based tools provided warnings for coral reef managers and scientists, guiding both the timing and location of researchers' field observations as anomalously warm conditions developed and spread across the greater Caribbean region from June to October 2005. Field surveys of bleaching and mortality exceeded prior efforts in detail and extent, and provided a new standard for documenting the effects of bleaching and for testing nowcast and forecast products. Collaborators from 22 countries undertook the most comprehensive documentation of basin-scale bleaching to date and found that over 80% of corals bleached and over 40% died at many sites. The most severe bleaching coincided with waters nearest a western Atlantic warm pool that was centered off the northern end of the Lesser Antilles. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Thermal stress during the 2005 event exceeded any observed from the Caribbean in the prior 20 years, and regionally-averaged temperatures were the warmest in over 150 years. Comparison of satellite data against field surveys demonstrated a significant predictive relationship between accumulated heat stress (measured using NOAA Coral Reef Watch's Degree Heating Weeks and bleaching intensity. This severe, widespread bleaching and mortality will undoubtedly have long-term consequences for reef ecosystems and suggests a troubled future for tropical marine ecosystems under a warming climate.

  6. Caribbean Corals in Crisis: Record Thermal Stress, Bleaching, and Mortality in 2005

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eakin, C. Mark; Morgan, Jessica A.; Heron, Scott F.; Smith, Tyler B.; Liu, Gang; Alvarez-Filip, Lorenzo; Baca, Bart; Bartels, Erich; Bastidas, Carolina; Bouchon, Claude; Brandt, Marilyn; Bruckner, Andrew W.; Bunkley-Williams, Lucy; Cameron, Andrew; Causey, Billy D.; Chiappone, Mark; Christensen, Tyler R. L.; Crabbe, M. James C; Day, Owen; de la Guardia, Elena; Díaz-Pulido, Guillermo; DiResta, Daniel; Gil-Agudelo, Diego L.; Gilliam, David S.; Ginsburg, Robert N.; Gore, Shannon; Guzmán, Héctor M.; Hendee, James C.; Hernández-Delgado, Edwin A.; Husain, Ellen; Jeffrey, Christopher F. G.; Jones, Ross J.; Jordán-Dahlgren, Eric; Kaufman, Les S.; Kline, David I.; Kramer, Philip A.; Lang, Judith C.; Lirman, Diego; Mallela, Jennie; Manfrino, Carrie; Maréchal, Jean-Philippe; Marks, Ken; Mihaly, Jennifer; Miller, W. Jeff; Mueller, Erich M.; Muller, Erinn M.; Orozco Toro, Carlos A.; Oxenford, Hazel A.; Ponce-Taylor, Daniel; Quinn, Norman; Ritchie, Kim B.; Rodríguez, Sebastián; Ramírez, Alberto Rodríguez; Romano, Sandra; Samhouri, Jameal F.; Sánchez, Juan A.; Schmahl, George P.; Shank, Burton V.; Skirving, William J.; Steiner, Sascha C. C.; Villamizar, Estrella; Walsh, Sheila M.; Walter, Cory; Weil, Ernesto; Williams, Ernest H.; Roberson, Kimberly Woody; Yusuf, Yusri

    2010-01-01

    Background The rising temperature of the world's oceans has become a major threat to coral reefs globally as the severity and frequency of mass coral bleaching and mortality events increase. In 2005, high ocean temperatures in the tropical Atlantic and Caribbean resulted in the most severe bleaching event ever recorded in the basin. Methodology/Principal Findings Satellite-based tools provided warnings for coral reef managers and scientists, guiding both the timing and location of researchers' field observations as anomalously warm conditions developed and spread across the greater Caribbean region from June to October 2005. Field surveys of bleaching and mortality exceeded prior efforts in detail and extent, and provided a new standard for documenting the effects of bleaching and for testing nowcast and forecast products. Collaborators from 22 countries undertook the most comprehensive documentation of basin-scale bleaching to date and found that over 80% of corals bleached and over 40% died at many sites. The most severe bleaching coincided with waters nearest a western Atlantic warm pool that was centered off the northern end of the Lesser Antilles. Conclusions/Significance Thermal stress during the 2005 event exceeded any observed from the Caribbean in the prior 20 years, and regionally-averaged temperatures were the warmest in over 150 years. Comparison of satellite data against field surveys demonstrated a significant predictive relationship between accumulated heat stress (measured using NOAA Coral Reef Watch's Degree Heating Weeks) and bleaching intensity. This severe, widespread bleaching and mortality will undoubtedly have long-term consequences for reef ecosystems and suggests a troubled future for tropical marine ecosystems under a warming climate. PMID:21125021

  7. Is Echinometra viridis facilitating a phase shift on an Acropora cervicornis patch reef in Belize?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stefanic, C. M.; Greer, L.; Norvell, D.; Benson, W.; Curran, H.

    2012-12-01

    Coral reef health is in rapid decline across the Caribbean due to a number of anthropogenic and natural disturbances. A phase shift from coral- to macroalgae-dominant reefs is pervasive and has been well documented. Acropora cervicornis (Staghorn Coral) has been particularly affected by this shift due to mass mortality of this species since the 1980s. In recent years few Caribbean A. cervicornis refugia have been documented. This study characterizes the relationship between coral and grazing urchins on a rare patch reef system dominated by A. cervicornis off the coast of Belize. To assess relative abundance of live A. cervicornis and the urchin Echinometra viridis, photographs and urchin abundance data were collected from 132 meter square quadrats along five transects across the reef. Photographs were digitized and manually segmented using Adobe Illustrator, and percent live coral cover and branch tip densities were calculated using Matlab. Mean percent live coral cover across all transects was 24.4 % with a high of 65% live coral per meter square. Average urchin density was 18.5 per quadrat, with an average density per transect ranging from 22.1 to 0.5 per quadrat. Up to over 400 live A. cervicornis branch tips per quadrat were observed. Data show a positive correlation between E. viridis abundance and live A. cervicornis, suggesting that these urchins are facilitating recovery or persistence of this endangered coral species. These results suggest the relationship between E. viridis and A. cervicornis could be a key element in a future reversal of the coral to macroalgae phase shift on some Caribbean coral reefs.

  8. Neogene reef coral assemblages of the Bocas del Toro region, Panama: the rise of Acropora palmata

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klaus, J. S.; McNeill, D. F.; Budd, A. F.; Coates, A. G.

    2012-03-01

    Temporal patterns are evaluated in Neogene reef coral assemblages from the Bocas del Toro Basin of Panama in order to understand how reef ecosystems respond to long-term environmental change. Analyses are based on a total of 1,702 zooxanthellate coral specimens collected from six coral-bearing units ranging in age from the earliest Late Miocene to the Early Pleistocene: (1) Valiente Formation (12-11 Ma), (2) Fish Hole Member of the Old Bank Formation (5.8-5.6 Ma), (3) La Gruta Member of the Isla Colon Formation (2.2-1.4 Ma), (4) Ground Creek Member of the Isla Colon Formation (2.2-1.4 Ma), (5) Mimitimbi Member of the Urracá Formation (1.2-0.8 Ma), and (6) Hill Point Member of the Urracá Formation (1.2-0.8 Ma). Over 100 coral species occur in the six units, with faunal assemblages ranging from less than 10% extant taxa (Valiente Formation) to over 85% extant taxa (Ground Creek Member). The collections provide new temporal constraints on the emergence of modern Caribbean reefs, with the La Gruta Member containing the earliest occurrence of large monospecific stands of the dominant Caribbean reef coral Acropora palmata, and the Urracá Formation containing the last fossil occurrences of 15 regionally extinct taxa. Canonical correspondence analysis of 41 Late Miocene to Recent reef coral assemblages from the Caribbean region suggests changes in community structure coincident with effective oceanic closure of the Central American Seaway (~3.5 Ma). These changes, including increased Acropora dominance, may have contributed to a protracted period of elevated extinction debt prior to the major peak in regional coral extinctions (~2-1 Ma).

  9. Possible recovery of Acropora palmata (Scleractinia:Acroporidae within the Veracruz Reef System, Gulf of Mexico: a survey of 24 reefs to assess the benthic communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth A. Larson

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Recent evidence shows that Acropora palmata within the Veracruz Reef System, located in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico, may be recovering after the die off from the flooding of the Jamapa River and a dramatic cold water event in the 1970s. Since this decline, few surveys have documented the status of A. palmata. The 28 named reefs in the system are divided into 13 northern and 15 southern groups by the River. Between 2007 and 2013, we surveyed 24 reefs to assess the benthic communities. Seven of the 11 reefs surveyed in the northern group and all in the southern group had A. palmata. Colonies were typically found on the windward side of the reefs in shallow waters along the reef edges or crest. We also recorded colony diameter and condition along belt transects at two reefs in the north (Anegada de Adentro and Verde and two in the south (Periferico and Sargazo, between 2011 and 2013. In addition, eight permanent transects were surveyed at Rizo (south. A total of 1 804 colonies were assessed; densities ranged from 0.02 to 0.28 colonies/m² (mean (±SD, colony diameter of 58 ± 73cm, and 89 ± 18% live tissue per colony. Total prevalence of predation by damselfish was 5%, by snails 2%, and <1% by fireworms, disease prevalence was <3%. Size frequency distributions indicated that all of the sites had a moderate to high spawning potential, 15-68% of the colonies at each site were mature, measuring over 1 600cm². The presence of these healthy and potentially reproductive colonies is important for species recovery, particularly because much of the greater Caribbean still shows little to no signs of recovery. Conservation and management efforts of these reefs are vital.

  10. Satellite Teleconferencing in the Caribbean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sankar, Hollis C.

    1985-01-01

    Discusses the need for, and the development, use, and future trends of, the University of the West Indies Distance Teaching Experiment, which utilizes telephone and communications satellite technology teleconferencing to extend educational opportunities to the peoples of the Caribbean. (MBR)

  11. Subduction in the Southern Caribbean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levander, A.; Schmitz, M.; Bezada, M.; Masy, J.; Niu, F.; Pindell, J.

    2012-04-01

    The southern Caribbean is bounded at either end by subduction zones: In the east at the Lesser Antilles subduction zone the Atlantic part of the South American plate subducts beneath the Caribbean. In the north and west under the Southern Caribbean Deformed Belt accretionary prism, the Caribbean subducts under South America. In a manner of speaking, the two plates subduct beneath each other. Finite-frequency teleseismic P-wave tomography confirms this, imaging the Atlantic and the Caribbean subducting steeply in opposite directions to transition zone depths under northern South America (Bezada et al, 2010). The two subduction zones are connected by the El Pilar-San Sebastian strike-slip fault system, a San Andreas scale system. A variety of seismic probes identify where the two plates tear as they begin to subduct (Niu et al, 2007; Clark et al., 2008; Miller et al. 2009; Masy et al, 2009). The El Pilar system forms at the southeastern corner of the Antilles subduction zone by the Atlantic tearing from South America. The deforming plate edges control mountain building and basin formation at the eastern end of the strike-slip system. In northwestern South America the Caribbean plate tears, its southernmost element subducting at shallow angles under northernmost Colombia and then rapidly descending to transition zone depths under Lake Maracaibo (Bezada et al., 2010). We believe that the flat slab produces the Merida Andes, the Perija, and the Santa Marta ranges. The southern edge of the nonsubducting Caribbean plate underthrusts northern Venezuela to about the width of the coastal mountains (Miller et al., 2009). We infer that the underthrust Caribbean plate supports the coastal mountains, and controls continuing deformation.

  12. Predator effects on reef fish settlement depend on predator origin and recruit density.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benkwitt, Cassandra E

    2017-04-01

    During major life-history transitions, animals often experience high mortality rates due to predation, making predator avoidance particularly advantageous during these times. There is mixed evidence from a limited number of studies, however, regarding how predator presence influences settlement of coral-reef fishes and it is unknown how other potentially mediating factors, including predator origin (native vs. nonnative) or interactions among conspecific recruits, mediate the non-consumptive effects of predators on reef fish settlement. During a field experiment in the Caribbean, approximately 52% fewer mahogany snapper (Lutjanus mahogoni) recruited to reefs with a native predator (graysby grouper, Cephalopholis cruentata) than to predator-free control reefs and reefs with an invasive predator (red lionfish, Pterois volitans) regardless of predator diet. These results suggest that snapper recruits do not recognize nonnative lionfish as a threat. However, these effects depended on the density of conspecific recruits, with evidence that competition may limit the response of snapper to even native predators at the highest recruit densities. In contrast, there was no effect of predator presence or conspecific density on the recruitment of bicolor damselfish (Stegastes partitus). These context-dependent responses of coral-reef fishes to predators during settlement may influence individual survival and shape subsequent population and community dynamics. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  13. Population Structure of Montastraea cavernosa on Shallow versus Mesophotic Reefs in Bermuda

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodbody-Gringley, Gretchen; Marchini, Chiara; Chequer, Alex D.; Goffredo, Stefano

    2015-01-01

    Mesophotic coral reef ecosystems remain largely unexplored with only limited information available on taxonomic composition, abundance and distribution. Yet, mesophotic reefs may serve as potential refugia for shallow-water species and thus understanding biodiversity, ecology and connectivity of deep reef communities is integral for resource management and conservation. The Caribbean coral, Montastraea cavernosa, is considered a depth generalist and is commonly found at mesophotic depths. We surveyed abundance and size-frequency of M. cavernosa populations at six shallow (10m) and six upper mesophotic (45m) sites in Bermuda and found population structure was depth dependent. The mean surface area of colonies at mesophotic sites was significantly smaller than at shallow sites, suggesting that growth rates and maximum colony surface area are limited on mesophotic reefs. Colony density was significantly higher at mesophotic sites, however, resulting in equal contributions to overall percent cover. Size-frequency distributions between shallow and mesophotic sites were also significantly different with populations at mesophotic reefs skewed towards smaller individuals. Overall, the results of this study provide valuable baseline data on population structure, which indicate that the mesophotic reefs of Bermuda support an established population of M. cavernosa. PMID:26544963

  14. Hurricane-Driven Patterns of Clonality in an Ecosystem Engineer: The Caribbean Coral Montastraea annularis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foster, Nicola L.; Baums, Iliana B.; Sanchez, Juan A.; Paris, Claire B.; Chollett, Iliana; Agudelo, Claudia L.; Vermeij, Mark J. A.; Mumby, Peter J.

    2013-01-01

    K-selected species with low rates of sexual recruitment may utilise storage effects where low adult mortality allows a number of individuals to persist through time until a favourable recruitment period occurs. Alternative methods of recruitment may become increasingly important for such species if the availability of favourable conditions for sexual recruitment decline under rising anthropogenic disturbance and climate change. Here, we test the hypotheses that asexual dispersal is an integral life history strategy not only in branching corals, as previously reported, but also in a columnar, ‘K-selected’ coral species, and that its prevalence is driven by the frequency of severe hurricane disturbance. Montastraea annularis is a long-lived major frame-work builder of Caribbean coral reefs but its survival is threatened by the consequences of climate induced disturbance, such as bleaching, ocean acidification and increased prevalence of disease. 700 M. annularis samples from 18 reefs within the Caribbean were genotyped using six polymorphic microsatellite loci. We demonstrate that asexual reproduction occurs at varying frequency across the species-range and significantly contributes to the local abundance of M. annularis, with its contribution increasing in areas with greater hurricane frequency. We tested several competing hypotheses that might explain the observed pattern of genotypic diversity. 64% of the variation in genotypic diversity among the sites was explained by hurricane incidence and reef slope, demonstrating that large-scale disturbances combine with local habitat characteristics to shape the balance between sexual and asexual reproduction in populations of M. annularis. PMID:23308185

  15. Hurricane-driven patterns of clonality in an ecosystem engineer: the Caribbean coral Montastraea annularis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicola L Foster

    Full Text Available K-selected species with low rates of sexual recruitment may utilise storage effects where low adult mortality allows a number of individuals to persist through time until a favourable recruitment period occurs. Alternative methods of recruitment may become increasingly important for such species if the availability of favourable conditions for sexual recruitment decline under rising anthropogenic disturbance and climate change. Here, we test the hypotheses that asexual dispersal is an integral life history strategy not only in branching corals, as previously reported, but also in a columnar, 'K-selected' coral species, and that its prevalence is driven by the frequency of severe hurricane disturbance. Montastraea annularis is a long-lived major frame-work builder of Caribbean coral reefs but its survival is threatened by the consequences of climate induced disturbance, such as bleaching, ocean acidification and increased prevalence of disease. 700 M. annularis samples from 18 reefs within the Caribbean were genotyped using six polymorphic microsatellite loci. We demonstrate that asexual reproduction occurs at varying frequency across the species-range and significantly contributes to the local abundance of M. annularis, with its contribution increasing in areas with greater hurricane frequency. We tested several competing hypotheses that might explain the observed pattern of genotypic diversity. 64% of the variation in genotypic diversity among the sites was explained by hurricane incidence and reef slope, demonstrating that large-scale disturbances combine with local habitat characteristics to shape the balance between sexual and asexual reproduction in populations of M. annularis.

  16. Coral Reef Biological Criteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coral reefs worldwide are experiencing decline from a variety of stressors. Some important stressors are land-based sources of pollution and human activities in the coastal zone. However, few tools are available to offset the impact of these stressors. The Clean Water Act (CWA...

  17. Electronic Government : Caribbean Pilot Project | IDRC ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    Electronic Government : Caribbean Pilot Project. Caribbean countries are increasingly adopting information and communication technologies (ICTs) in ... The Government of Jamaica is willing to donate the solution to other ... Related content ...

  18. Survey report: Eastern Caribbean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yinger, N

    1991-01-01

    Over 1 million people live on 8 small islands in the Eastern Caribbean: St. Kitts-Nevis, Montserrat, Grenada, St. Vincent, Antigua, Barbados, St. Lucia, and Dominica. Starting in 1985 the International Planned Parenthood Federation, Western Hemisphere Region has carried out a series of contraceptive prevalence surveys in these countries. Current information is provided by these surveys in the areas of fertility levels and preferences, contraceptive knowledge and use. Also, socioeconomic, historical and demographic background and analysis such as fertility patterns, desire for additional children, and breastfeeding data; contraceptive awareness including family planning methods and sources; contraceptive use by method, source, and timing, satisfaction, and male attitudes are provided in the surveys, but not in the report abstracted here. The total fertility rate (TFR) and the contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) for the 8 islands are as follows: St. Kitts-Nevis (1984) 2.9 TFR, 40.6 CPR; St. Vincent (1988) 2.9 TFR, 58.3 CPR; Antigua (1988) 1.8 TFR, 52.6 CPR; Barbados (1988) not given, 55.0 CPR; St. Lucia (1988) 3.2 TFR, 47.3 CPR; Dominica (1987) 3.2 TFR, 49.8 CPR. The islands have unusual demographic patterns related to extensive out-migration.

  19. Artists in and out of the Caribbean

    OpenAIRE

    Sally Price; Sally Price

    1999-01-01

    [First paragraph] Caribbean Art. VEERLE POUPEYE. London: Thames and Hudson, 1998. 224 pp. (Paper US$ 14.95) Transforming the Crown: African, Asian and Caribbean Artists in Britain, 1966-1996. MORA J. BEAUCHAMP-BYRD & M. FRANKLIN SIRMANS (eds.). New York: Caribbean Cultural Center, 1998. 177 pp. (Paper US$ 39.95, £31.95) "Caribbean" (like "Black British") culture is (as a Dutch colleague once said of postmodernism) a bit of a slippery fish. One of the books under ...

  20. Perspectives on the Great Amazon Reef: Extension, Biodiversity, and Threats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronaldo B. Francini-Filho

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Here we provide a broad overview of the Great Amazon Reef System (GARS based on the first-ever video surveys of the region. This footage supports four major hypotheses: (1 the GARS area may be six times larger than previously suggested (up to 56,000 km2; (2 the GARS may extend deeper than previously suggested (up to 220 m; (3 the GARS is composed of a greater complexity and diversity of habitats than previously recognized (e.g., reef platforms, reef walls, rhodolith beds, and sponge bottoms; and (4 the GARS represents a useful system to test whether a deep corridor connects the Caribbean Sea to the Southwest Atlantic Ocean. We also call attention to the urgent need to adopt precautionary conservation measures to protect the region in the face of increasing threats from extractive oil and gas practices. With less than 5% of the potential area of the GARS surveyed so far, more research will be required to inform a systematic conservation planning approach and determine how best to establish a network of marine protected areas. Such planning will be required to reconcile extractive activities with effective biodiversity conservation in the GARS.

  1. SIMAC: Development and implementation of a coral reef monitoring network in Colombia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaime Garzón-Ferreira

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Significant coral reef decline has been observed in Colombia during the last three decades. However, due to the lack of monitoring activities, most of the information about health and changes was fragmentary or inadequate. To develop an expanded nation-wide reef-monitoring program, in 1998 INVEMAR (Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras: "Colombian Institute of Marine and Coastal Research" designed and implemented SIMAC (Sistema Nacional de Monitoreo de Arrecifes Coralinos en Colombia: "National Monitoring System of Coral Reefs in Colombia" with the participation of other institutions. By the end of 2003 the SIMAC network reached more than twice its initial size, covering ten reef areas (seven in the Caribbean and three in the Pacific, 63 reef sites and 263 permanent transects. SIMAC monitoring continued without interruption until 2008 and should persist in the long-term. The SIMAC has a large database and consists basically of water quality measurements (temperature, salinity, turbidity and a yearly estimation of benthic reef cover, coral disease prevalence, gorgonian density, abundance of important mobile invertebrates, fish diversity and abundance of important fish species. A methods manual is available in the internet. Data and results of SIMAC have been widely circulated through a summary report published annually since 2000 for the Colombian environmental agencies and the general public, as well as numerous national and international scientific papers and presentations at meetings. SIMAC information has contributed to support regional and global reef monitoring networks and databases (i.e. CARICOMP, GCRMN, ReefBase. Rev. Biol. Trop. 58 (Suppl. 1: 67-80. Epub 2010 May 01.

  2. Inter-habitat variation in density and size composition of reef fishes from the Cuban Northwestern shelf.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguilar, Consuelo; González-Sansón, Gaspar; Cabrera, Yureidy; Ruiz, Alexei; Curry, R Allen

    2014-06-01

    Movement and exchange of individuals among habitats is critical for the dynamics and success of reef fish populations. Size segregation among habitats could be taken as evidence for habitat connectivity, and this would be a first step to formulate hypotheses about ontogenetic inter-habitat migrations. The primary goal of our research was to find evidence of inter-habitat differences in size distributions and density of reef fish species that can be classified a priori as habitat-shifters in an extensive (-600km2) Caribbean shelf area in NW Cuba. We sampled the fish assemblage of selected species using visual census (stationary and transect methods) in 20 stations (sites) located in mangrove roots, patch reefs, inner zone of the crest and fore reef (12-16m depth). In each site, we performed ten censuses for every habitat type in June and September 2009. A total of 11 507 individuals of 34 species were counted in a total of 400 censuses. We found significant differences in densities and size compositions among reef and mangrove habitats, supporting the species-specific use of coastal habitats. Adults were found in all habitats. Reef habitats, mainly patch reefs, seem to be most important for juvenile fish of most species. Mangroves were especially important for two species of snappers (Lutjanus apodus and L. griseus), providing habitat for juveniles. These species also displayed well defined gradients in length composition across the shelf.

  3. Assessment of Acropora palmata in the Mesoamerican Reef System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Martínez, Rosa E.; Banaszak, Anastazia T.; McField, Melanie D.; Beltrán-Torres, Aurora U.; Álvarez-Filip, Lorenzo

    2014-01-01

    The once-dominant shallow reef-building coral Acropora palmata has suffered drastic geographical declines in the wider Caribbean from a disease epidemic that began in the late 1970s. At present there is a lack of quantitative data to determine whether this species is recovering over large spatial scales. Here, we use quantitative surveys conducted in 107 shallow-water reef sites between 2010 and 2012 to investigate the current distribution and abundance of A. palmata along the Mesoamerican Reef System (MRS). Using historical data we also explored how the distribution and abundance of this species has changed in the northern portion of the MRS between 1985 and 2010–2012. A. palmata was recorded in only a fifth of the surveyed reef sites in 2010–2012. In the majority of these reef sites the presence of A. palmata was patchy and rare. Only one site (Limones reef), in the northernmost portion of the MRS, presented considerably high A. palmata cover (mean: 34.7%, SD: 24.5%). At this site, the size-frequency distribution of A. palmata colonies was skewed towards small colony sizes; 84% of the colonies were healthy, however disease prevalence increased with colony size. A comparison with historical data showed that in the northern portion of the MRS, in 1985, A. palmata occurred in 74% of the 31 surveyed sites and had a mean cover of 7.7% (SD = 9.0), whereas in 2010–2012 this species was recorded in 48% of the sites with a mean cover of 2.9% (SD = 7.5). A. palmata populations along the MRS are failing to recover the distribution and abundance they had prior to the 1980s. Investigating the biological (e.g., population genetics) and environmental conditions (e.g., sources of stress) of the few standing reefs with relatively high A. palmata cover is crucial for the development of informed restoration models for this species. PMID:24763319

  4. Assessment of Acropora palmata in the Mesoamerican Reef System.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosa E Rodríguez-Martínez

    Full Text Available The once-dominant shallow reef-building coral Acropora palmata has suffered drastic geographical declines in the wider Caribbean from a disease epidemic that began in the late 1970s. At present there is a lack of quantitative data to determine whether this species is recovering over large spatial scales. Here, we use quantitative surveys conducted in 107 shallow-water reef sites between 2010 and 2012 to investigate the current distribution and abundance of A. palmata along the Mesoamerican Reef System (MRS. Using historical data we also explored how the distribution and abundance of this species has changed in the northern portion of the MRS between 1985 and 2010-2012. A. palmata was recorded in only a fifth of the surveyed reef sites in 2010-2012. In the majority of these reef sites the presence of A. palmata was patchy and rare. Only one site (Limones reef, in the northernmost portion of the MRS, presented considerably high A. palmata cover (mean: 34.7%, SD: 24.5%. At this site, the size-frequency distribution of A. palmata colonies was skewed towards small colony sizes; 84% of the colonies were healthy, however disease prevalence increased with colony size. A comparison with historical data showed that in the northern portion of the MRS, in 1985, A. palmata occurred in 74% of the 31 surveyed sites and had a mean cover of 7.7% (SD = 9.0, whereas in 2010-2012 this species was recorded in 48% of the sites with a mean cover of 2.9% (SD = 7.5. A. palmata populations along the MRS are failing to recover the distribution and abundance they had prior to the 1980s. Investigating the biological (e.g., population genetics and environmental conditions (e.g., sources of stress of the few standing reefs with relatively high A. palmata cover is crucial for the development of informed restoration models for this species.

  5. Caribbean Crucible: History, Culture, and Globalization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yelvington, Kevin A.

    2000-01-01

    Reconsiders the Caribbean as an origin-point of the modern global system. Discusses the conquests and colonization of the Caribbean; the slavery system and racial distinctions; the post-emancipation society; and culture, Creolization, and the concept of movement as features of Caribbean society. Provides a bibliography. (CMK)

  6. Human sewage identified as likely source of white pox disease of the threatened Caribbean elkhorn coral, Acropora palmata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutherland, Kathryn Patterson; Porter, James W; Turner, Jeffrey W; Thomas, Brian J; Looney, Erin E; Luna, Trevor P; Meyers, Meredith K; Futch, J Carrie; Lipp, Erin K

    2010-05-01

    Caribbean elkhorn coral, Acropora palmata, has been decimated in recent years, resulting in the listing of this species as threatened under the United States Endangered Species Act. A major contributing factor in the decline of this iconic species is white pox disease. In 2002, we identified the faecal enterobacterium, Serratia marcescens, as an etiological agent for white pox. During outbreaks in 2003 a unique strain of S. marcescens was identified in both human sewage and white pox lesions. This strain (PDR60) was also identified from corallivorious snails (Coralliophila abbreviata), reef water, and two non-acroporid coral species, Siderastrea siderea and Solenastrea bournoni. Identification of PDR60 in sewage, diseased Acropora palmata and other reef invertebrates within a discrete time frame suggests a causal link between white pox and sewage contamination on reefs and supports the conclusion that humans are a likely source of this disease.

  7. Oceanic forcing of coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lowe, Ryan J; Falter, James L

    2015-01-01

    Although the oceans play a fundamental role in shaping the distribution and function of coral reefs worldwide, a modern understanding of the complex interactions between ocean and reef processes is still only emerging. These dynamics are especially challenging owing to both the broad range of spatial scales (less than a meter to hundreds of kilometers) and the complex physical and biological feedbacks involved. Here, we review recent advances in our understanding of these processes, ranging from the small-scale mechanics of flow around coral communities and their influence on nutrient exchange to larger, reef-scale patterns of wave- and tide-driven circulation and their effects on reef water quality and perceived rates of metabolism. We also examine regional-scale drivers of reefs such as coastal upwelling, internal waves, and extreme disturbances such as cyclones. Our goal is to show how a wide range of ocean-driven processes ultimately shape the growth and metabolism of coral reefs.

  8. Wide-ranging phylogeographic structure of invasive red lionfish in the Western Atlantic and Greater Caribbean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butterfield, John S.; Díaz-Ferguson, Edgardo; Silliman, Brian R.; Saunders, Jonathan W.; Buddo, Dayne; Mignucci-Giannoni, Antonio A.; Searle, Linda; Allen, Aarin Conrad; Hunter, Margaret E.

    2015-01-01

    The red lionfish (Pterois volitans) is an invasive predatory marine fish that has rapidly expanded its presence in the Western Hemisphere. We collected 214 invasive red lionfish samples from nine countries and territories, including seven unpublished locations. To more comprehensively evaluate connectivity, we compiled our d-loop sequence data with 846 published sequences, resulting in 1,060 samples from 14 locations. We found low nucleotide diversity (π = 0.003) and moderate haplotype diversity (h = 0.59). Using haplotype population pairwise ΦST tests, we analyzed possible phylogeographic breaks that were previously proposed based on other reef organisms. We found support for the Bahamas/Turks/Caicos versus Caribbean break (ΦST = 0.12) but not for the Northwestern Caribbean, Eastern Caribbean, or US East Coast versus Bahamas breaks. The Northern Region had higher variation and more haplotypes, supporting introductions of at least five haplotypes to the region. Our wide-ranging samples showed that a lower-frequency haplotype in the Northern Region dominated the Southern Region and suggested multiple introductions, possibly to the south. We tested multiple scenarios of phylogeographic structure with analyses of molecular variance and found support for a Northern and Southern Region split at the Bahamas/Turks/Caicos versus Caribbean break (percentage of variation among regions = 8.49 %). We found that Puerto Rico clustered with the Southern Region more strongly than with the Northern Region, as opposed to previous reports. We also found the rare haplotype H03 for the first time in the southern Caribbean (Panama), indicating that either secondary releases occurred or that the low-frequency haplotypes have had time to disperse to extreme southern Caribbean locations.

  9. The coral reef of South Moloka'i, Hawai'i - Portrait of a sediment-threatened fringing reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Field, Michael E.; Cochran, Susan A.; Logan, Joshua; Storlazzi, Curt D.

    2008-01-01

    Moloka‘i, with the most extensive coral reef in the main Hawaiian Islands, is especially sacred to Hina, the Goddess of the Moon. As Hinaalo, she is the Mother of the Hawaiian people; as Hinapuku‘a, she is the Goddess of Fishermen; and in the form Hina‘opuhalako‘a, she is the Goddess who gave birth to coral, coral reefs, and all spiny marine organisms. Interdependence between the reef’s living resources, the people, and their cosmology was the basis for management of Moloka‘i’s coastal waters for over a thousand years.The ancient residents of Moloka‘i built the greatest concentration of fishponds known anywhere, but their mastery of mariculture, something needed now more than ever, was lost after near genocide from exotic Western diseases. Subsequent destruction of the native vegetation for exotic cattle, goats, pigs, sugar cane, and pineapple caused soil erosion and sedimentation on the reef flat. This masterful volume clearly documents that soil washing into the sea is the major threat to the reef today. Abandoned fishponds, choked with sediment, now act as barriers and mud traps, making damage to corals less than it would otherwise would have been.The role of mud and freshwater from land in preventing coral reef growth, clearly articulated in Charles Darwin’s first book, The Structure and Distribution of Coral Reefs, is the major theme of this book. All around the tropics, coral reefs have died from huge increases in terrestrial sedimentation that resulted from destruction of hillside forests for cash-crop agriculture and pastures in the colonial era, especially in Latin America, Asia, and the islands of the Caribbean and Indo-Pacific. It is obvious that one cannot manage the coastal zone as a unit separate from the watersheds that drain into it. Yet there has been surprisingly little comprehensive scientific study of these impacts.In this landmark volume, U.S. Geological Survey researchers and their colleagues have developed and applied a

  10. Miocene and Pleistocene mollusks from San Andres Island (Caribbean Sea, Colombia) and Paleogeographic considerations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Diaz M, Juan Manuel; Garcia Llano, Cesar Fernando

    2010-01-01

    San Andres Island is the largest emerged portion of the oceanic archipelago of San Andres and Providencia, southwestern Caribbean Sea; it originated as a coralline atoll during Miocene times. The central and highest part of the island consists of a calcareous crest, the San Andres Formation, formed by Neogene lagoonal and reefal deposits. This crest is surrounded by a calcareous platform of Pleistocene age (San Luis Formation) which emerges only along the island coast, whereas its most part is submerged and covered by a Recent reef complex. Fossil material of molluscs from these two formations was collected in various sites throughout the island and taxonomically identified. In the four sites sampled in the San Andres Formation, material belonging to 19 gastropod and 37 bivalve species was obtained, most of them relatively well represented in other geologic formations of the Caribbean region that are stratigraphically situated between the upper Miocene and the middle Pliocene. Some elements occurring in this formation, such as Ostrea haitiensis, Meretrix dariena and Siphocypraea henekeni, were widely distributed in the Caribbean Miocene Province. In the San Luis Formation, material belonging to 18 gastropod and 11 bivalve species was obtained, most of them also represented in the Recent molluscan fauna of the region. The estimated age of this formation is Sangamonian, hence corresponding to similar formations occurring in Grand Cayman, Jamaica, Hispaniola, the Netherlands Antilles and other Caribbean islands, with which it also shows a great similarity in the composition of the molluscan fauna.

  11. Coral Reefs: Beyond Mortality?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charles Sheppard

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available The scale of the collapse of coral reef communities in 1998 following a warming episode (Wilkinson, 2000 was unprecedented, and took many people by surprise. The Indian Ocean was the worst affected with a coral mortality over 75% in many areas such as the Chagos Archipelago (Sheppard, 1999, Seychelles (Spencer et al., 2000 and Maldives (McClanahan, 2000. Several other locations were affected at least as much, with mortality reaching 100% (to the nearest whole number; this is being compiled by various authors (e.g., CORDIO, in press. For example, in the Arabian Gulf, coral mortality is almost total across many large areas of shallow water (Sheppard, unpublished; D. George and D. John, personal communication. The mortality is patchy of course, depending on currents, location inside or outside lagoons, etc., but it is now possible to swim for over 200 m and see not one remaining living coral or soft coral on some previously rich reefs.

  12. Digital reef rugosity estimates coral reef habitat complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dustan, Phillip; Doherty, Orla; Pardede, Shinta

    2013-01-01

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

  13. What's Values Got to Do with It? Thriving among Mexican/Mexican American College Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan Consoli, Melissa L.; Llamas, Jasmín; Consoli, Andrés J.

    2016-01-01

    The authors examined traditional Mexican/Mexican American and perceived U.S. mainstream cultural values as predictors of thriving. One hundred twenty-four (37 men, 87 women) self-identified Mexican/Mexican American college students participated in the study. The traditional Mexican/Mexican American cultural values of family support and religion…

  14. Re-examining the relationship between invasive lionfish and native grouper in the Caribbean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valdivia, Abel; Bruno, John F; Cox, Courtney E; Hackerott, Serena; Green, Stephanie J

    2014-01-01

    Biotic resistance is the idea that native species negatively affect the invasion success of introduced species, but whether this can occur at large spatial scales is poorly understood. Here we re-evaluated the hypothesis that native large-bodied grouper and other predators are controlling the abundance of exotic lionfish (Pterois volitans/miles) on Caribbean coral reefs. We assessed the relationship between the biomass of lionfish and native predators at 71 reefs in three biogeographic regions while taking into consideration several cofactors that may affect fish abundance, including among others, proxies for fishing pressure and habitat structural complexity. Our results indicate that the abundance of lionfish, large-bodied grouper and other predators were not negatively related. Lionfish abundance was instead controlled by several physical site characteristics, and possibly by culling. Taken together, our results suggest that managers cannot rely on current native grouper populations to control the lionfish invasion.

  15. Re-examining the relationship between invasive lionfish and native grouper in the Caribbean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abel Valdivia

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Biotic resistance is the idea that native species negatively affect the invasion success of introduced species, but whether this can occur at large spatial scales is poorly understood. Here we re-evaluated the hypothesis that native large-bodied grouper and other predators are controlling the abundance of exotic lionfish (Pterois volitans/miles on Caribbean coral reefs. We assessed the relationship between the biomass of lionfish and native predators at 71 reefs in three biogeographic regions while taking into consideration several cofactors that may affect fish abundance, including among others, proxies for fishing pressure and habitat structural complexity. Our results indicate that the abundance of lionfish, large-bodied grouper and other predators were not negatively related. Lionfish abundance was instead controlled by several physical site characteristics, and possibly by culling. Taken together, our results suggest that managers cannot rely on current native grouper populations to control the lionfish invasion.

  16. Nine novel, polymorphic microsatellite markers for the study of threatened Caribbean acroporid corals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baums, I B; Devlin-Durante, M K; Brown, L; Pinzón, J H

    2009-07-01

    Caribbean reef-building corals in the genus Acropora have been declining dramatically since the 1980s and are now listed as threatened. The study of their complex reproductive system (mixed asexual and sexual) and their population structure requires highly polymorphic nuclear genetic markers. Of eight previously developed microsatellite loci for A. palmata, only five behaved in a Mendelian fashion and only four reliably amplified the sister species, A. cervicornis. Here, nine novel microsatellite markers are presented that dramatically increase the power to distinguish between asexual and sexual reproductive events and may help to refine population boundaries and gene flow across their ranges. © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wegley Kelly, L.; Barott, K.L.; Dinsdale, E.; Friedlander, A.M.; Nosrat, B.; Obura, D.; Sala, E.; Sandin, S.A.; Smith, J.E.; Vermeij, M.J.A.; Williams, G.J.; Willner, D.; Rohwer, F.

    2012-01-01

    The Line Islands are calcium carbonate coral reef platforms located in iron-poor regions of the central Pacific. Natural terrestrial run-off of iron is non-existent and aerial deposition is extremely low. However, a number of ship groundings have occurred on these atolls. The reefs surrounding the

  18. Mexican Folkart for Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dominguez, Graciela; And Others

    Directions, suggested materials, and illustrations are given for making paper mache pinatas and masks, cascarones, Ojos de Dios, maracas, dresser scarf embroidery, burlap murals, yarn designs, paper plate trays, paper cut designs, the poppy, sarape aprons, and paper Mexican dolls. Filled with candy and broken, the pinata is used on most Mexican…

  19. Mexican Identification. Project Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castellano, Rita

    This document presents an outline and teacher's guide for a community college-level teaching module in Mexican identification, designed for students in introductory courses in the social sciences. Although intended specifically for cultural anthropology, urban anthropology, comparative social organization and sex roles in cross-cultural…

  20. Ongoing removals of invasive lionfish in Honduras and their effect on native Caribbean prey fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peiffer, Friederike; Bejarano, Sonia; Palavicini de Witte, Giacomo; Wild, Christian

    2017-01-01

    The invasion of Indo-Pacific lionfish is one of the most pressing concerns in the context of coral reef conservation throughout the Caribbean. Invasive lionfish threaten Caribbean fish communities by feeding on a wide range of native prey species, some of which have high ecological and economic value. In Roatan (Honduras) a local non-governmental organisation (i.e. Roatan Marine Park) trains residents and tourists in the use of spears to remove invasive lionfish. Here, we assess the effectiveness of local removal efforts in reducing lionfish populations. We ask whether reefs subject to relatively frequent removals support more diverse and abundant native fish assemblages compared to sites were no removals take place. Lionfish biomass, as well as density and diversity of native prey species were quantified on reefs subject to regular and no removal efforts. Reefs subject to regular lionfish removals (two to three removals month -1 ) with a mean catch per unit effort of 2.76 ± 1.72 lionfish fisher -1 h -1 had 95% lower lionfish biomass compared to non-removal sites. Sites subject to lionfish removals supported 30% higher densities of native prey-sized fishes compared to sites subject to no removal efforts. We found no evidence that species richness and diversity of native fish communities differ between removal and non-removal sites. We conclude that opportunistic voluntary removals are an effective management intervention to reduce lionfish populations locally and might alleviate negative impacts of lionfish predation. We recommend that local management and the diving industry cooperate to cost-effectively extend the spatial scale at which removal regimes are currently sustained.

  1. Ongoing removals of invasive lionfish in Honduras and their effect on native Caribbean prey fishes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Friederike Peiffer

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The invasion of Indo-Pacific lionfish is one of the most pressing concerns in the context of coral reef conservation throughout the Caribbean. Invasive lionfish threaten Caribbean fish communities by feeding on a wide range of native prey species, some of which have high ecological and economic value. In Roatan (Honduras a local non-governmental organisation (i.e. Roatan Marine Park trains residents and tourists in the use of spears to remove invasive lionfish. Here, we assess the effectiveness of local removal efforts in reducing lionfish populations. We ask whether reefs subject to relatively frequent removals support more diverse and abundant native fish assemblages compared to sites were no removals take place. Lionfish biomass, as well as density and diversity of native prey species were quantified on reefs subject to regular and no removal efforts. Reefs subject to regular lionfish removals (two to three removals month−1 with a mean catch per unit effort of 2.76 ± 1.72 lionfish fisher−1 h−1 had 95% lower lionfish biomass compared to non-removal sites. Sites subject to lionfish removals supported 30% higher densities of native prey-sized fishes compared to sites subject to no removal efforts. We found no evidence that species richness and diversity of native fish communities differ between removal and non-removal sites. We conclude that opportunistic voluntary removals are an effective management intervention to reduce lionfish populations locally and might alleviate negative impacts of lionfish predation. We recommend that local management and the diving industry cooperate to cost-effectively extend the spatial scale at which removal regimes are currently sustained.

  2. Relative Pigment Composition and Remote Sensing Reflectance of Caribbean Shallow-Water Corals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan L Torres-Pérez

    Full Text Available Reef corals typically contain a number of pigments, mostly due to their symbiotic relationship with photosynthetic dinoflagellates. These pigments usually vary in presence and concentration and influence the spectral characteristics of corals. We studied the variations in pigment composition among seven Caribbean shallow-water Scleractinian corals by means of High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC analysis to further resolve the discrimination of corals. We found a total of 27 different pigments among the coral species, including some alteration products of the main pigments. Additionally, pigments typically found in endolithic algae were also identified. A Principal Components Analysis and a Hierarchical Cluster Analysis showed the separation of coral species based on pigment composition. All the corals were collected under the same physical environmental conditions. This suggests that pigment in the coral's symbionts might be more genetically-determined than influenced by prevailing physical conditions of the reef. We further investigated the use of remote sensing reflectance (Rrs as a tool for estimating the total pigment concentration of reef corals. Depending on the coral species, the Rrs and the total symbiont pigment concentration per coral tissue area correlation showed 79.5-98.5% confidence levels demonstrating its use as a non-invasive robust technique to estimate pigment concentration in studies of coral reef biodiversity and health.

  3. Relative Pigment Composition and Remote Sensing Reflectance of Caribbean Shallow-Water Corals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres-Pérez, Juan L; Guild, Liane S; Armstrong, Roy A; Corredor, Jorge; Zuluaga-Montero, Anabella; Polanco, Ramón

    2015-01-01

    Reef corals typically contain a number of pigments, mostly due to their symbiotic relationship with photosynthetic dinoflagellates. These pigments usually vary in presence and concentration and influence the spectral characteristics of corals. We studied the variations in pigment composition among seven Caribbean shallow-water Scleractinian corals by means of High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) analysis to further resolve the discrimination of corals. We found a total of 27 different pigments among the coral species, including some alteration products of the main pigments. Additionally, pigments typically found in endolithic algae were also identified. A Principal Components Analysis and a Hierarchical Cluster Analysis showed the separation of coral species based on pigment composition. All the corals were collected under the same physical environmental conditions. This suggests that pigment in the coral's symbionts might be more genetically-determined than influenced by prevailing physical conditions of the reef. We further investigated the use of remote sensing reflectance (Rrs) as a tool for estimating the total pigment concentration of reef corals. Depending on the coral species, the Rrs and the total symbiont pigment concentration per coral tissue area correlation showed 79.5-98.5% confidence levels demonstrating its use as a non-invasive robust technique to estimate pigment concentration in studies of coral reef biodiversity and health.

  4. Network analysis in the Caribbean

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    A.W. Veenstra (Albert); H.M. Mulder (Martyn); R.A. Sels

    2003-01-01

    textabstractThe Caribbean region is a cross road of international and regional container traffic. Most of the islands in the region have also adopted ambitious strategies to become prime locations for container transshipment. This paper introduces a tool that can be used to visualise and analyse the

  5. Caribbean land and development revisited

    CERN Document Server

    Dunkerley, James; Momsen, Janet

    2007-01-01

    The book is an interdisciplinary collection of fifteen essays, with an editorial introduction, on a range of territories in the Commonwealth, Francophone, and Hispanic Caribbean. The authors focus on land and development, providing fresh perspectives through a collection of international contributing authors.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-03-01

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

  7. State of the coralline reefs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garzon Ferreira, Jaime; Rodriguez Ramirez, Alberto; Bejarano Chavarro, Sonia; Navas Camacho, Raul; Reyes Nivia, Catalina

    2002-01-01

    A diagnosis is made based primarily on the data obtained inside the national system of monitoring of coralline reefs in Colombia, under the coordination of the INVEMAR and with the support of several institutions. The paper does a diagnostic of the covering of the reef substrate, bleaching and coralline illnesses, wealth and abundance of fishes among other topics

  8. Human activities threaten coral reefs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tveitdal, Svein; Bjoerke, Aake

    2002-01-01

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

  9. A study on the recovery of Tobago's coral reefs following the 2010 mass bleaching event.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buglass, Salome; Donner, Simon D; Alemu I, Jahson B

    2016-03-15

    In 2010, severe coral bleaching was observed across the southeastern Caribbean, including the island of Tobago, where coral reefs are subject to sedimentation and high nutrient levels from terrestrial runoff. Here we examine changes in corals' colony size distributions over time (2010-2013), juvenile abundances and sedimentation rates for sites across Tobago following the 2010 bleaching event. The results indicated that since pre-bleaching coral cover was already low due to local factors and past disturbance, the 2010 event affected only particular susceptible species' population size structure and increased the proportion of small sized colonies. The low density of juveniles (mean of 5.4±6.3 juveniles/m(-2)) suggests that Tobago's reefs already experienced limited recruitment, especially of large broadcasting species. The juvenile distribution and the response of individual species to the bleaching event support the notion that Caribbean reefs are becoming dominated by weedy non-framework building taxa which are more resilient to disturbances. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. 40 CFR 230.44 - Coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

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

  11. Coal ash artificial reef demonstration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Livingston, R.J.; Brendel, G.F.; Bruzek, D.A.

    1991-01-01

    This experimental project evaluated the use of coal ash to construct artificial reefs. An artificial reef consisting of approximately 33 tons of cement-stabilized coal ash blocks was constructed in approximately 20 feet of water in the Gulf of Mexico approximately 9.3 miles west of Cedar Key, Florida. The project objectives were: (1) demonstrate that a durable coal ash/cement block can be manufactured by commercial block-making machines for use in artificial reefs, and (2) evaluate the possibility that a physically stable and environmentally acceptable coal ash/cement block reef can be constructed as a means of expanding recreational and commercial fisheries. The reef was constructed in February 1988 and biological surveys were made at monthly intervals from May 1988 to April 1989. The project provided information regarding: Development of an optimum design mix, block production and reef construction, chemical composition of block leachate, biological colonization of the reef, potential concentration of metals in the food web associated with the reef, acute bioassays (96-hour LC 50 ). The Cedar Key reef was found to be a habitat that was associated with a relatively rich assemblage of plants and animals. The reef did not appear to be a major source of heavy metals to species at various levels of biological organization. GAI Consultants, Inc (GAI) of Monroeville, Pennsylvania was the prime consultant for the project. The biological monitoring surveys and evaluations were performed by Environmental Planning and Analysis, Inc. of Tallahassee, Florida. The chemical analyses of biological organisms and bioassay elutriates were performed by Savannah Laboratories of Tallahassee, Florida. Florida Power Corporation of St. Petersburg, Florida sponsored the project and supplied ash from their Crystal River Energy Complex

  12. Dietary quality and household food insecurity among Mexican children and adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez, Luis A; Mundo-Rosas, Verónica; Méndez-Gómez-Humarán, Ignacio; Pérez-Escamilla, Rafael; Shamah-Levy, Teresa

    2017-10-01

    Seventy percent of Mexican households experience some level of food insecurity (FI). Studies have shown positive associations between FI and poor dietary quality. As far as it is known, this is the first time the Healthy Eating Index (HEI-2010) has been used to assess dietary quality of children and adolescents in Mexico, and to examine if FI is related to it. The objective of this research is to assess dietary quality and its association with FI among Mexican children and adolescents from a nationally representative cross-sectional sample. We analyzed data from 4635 2-19-year-old Mexican children and adolescents participating in the Mexican National Health and Nutrition Survey (Ensanut 2012). FI was measured using the Latin American and Caribbean Household Food Security Scale (ELCSA) and dietary quality with the HEI-2010. We examined the association between FI and dietary quality using multivariate linear regressions. Dietary quality was worst as FI became more severe among children and adolescents compared with their counterparts living in households with food security. Specifically, FI had a negative association with fruits, vegetables, and protein foods, and a positive association with refined grains consumption. Dairy intake was negatively associated with FI among older children and adolescents. Added sugars were not associated with FI, but intake was excessive across the population at 15% of total daily energy intake. Decreasing FI may help improve dietary quality of Mexican children and adolescents. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Reefs for the future: Resilience of coral reefs in the main Hawaiian Islands

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Declining health of coral reef ecosystems led scientists to search for factors that support reef resilience: the ability of reefs to resist and recover from...

  14. Contaminated Mexican steel incident

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1985-01-01

    This report documents the circumstances contributing to the inadvertent melting of cobalt 60 (Co-60) contaminated scrap metal in two Mexican steel foundries and the subsequent distribution of contaminated steel products into the United States. The report addresses mainly those actions taken by US Federal and state agencies to protect the US population from radiation risks associated with the incident. Mexico had much more serious radiation exposure and contamination problems to manage. The United States Government maintained a standing offer to provide technical and medical assistance to the Mexican Government. The report covers the tracing of the source to its origin, response actions to recover radioactive steel in the United States, and return of the contaminated materials to Mexico. The incident resulted in significant radiation exposures within Mexico, but no known significant exposure within the United States. Response to the incident required the combined efforts of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), Department of Energy, Department of Transportation, Department of State, and US Customs Service (Department of Treasury) personnel at the Federal level and representatives of all 50 State Radiation Control Programs and, in some instances, local and county government personnel. The response also required a diplomatic interface with the Mexican Government and cooperation of numerous commercial establishments and members of the general public. The report describes the factual information associated with the event and may serve as information for subsequent recommendations and actions by the NRC. 8 figures

  15. Mesopredator trophodynamics on thermally stressed coral reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

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

  16. Global microbialization of coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haas, Andreas F; Fairoz, Mohamed F M; Kelly, Linda W; Nelson, Craig E; Dinsdale, Elizabeth A; Edwards, Robert A; Giles, Steve; Hatay, Mark; Hisakawa, Nao; Knowles, Ben; Lim, Yan Wei; Maughan, Heather; Pantos, Olga; Roach, Ty N F; Sanchez, Savannah E; Silveira, Cynthia B; Sandin, Stuart; Smith, Jennifer E; Rohwer, Forest

    2016-04-25

    Microbialization refers to the observed shift in ecosystem trophic structure towards higher microbial biomass and energy use. On coral reefs, the proximal causes of microbialization are overfishing and eutrophication, both of which facilitate enhanced growth of fleshy algae, conferring a competitive advantage over calcifying corals and coralline algae. The proposed mechanism for this competitive advantage is the DDAM positive feedback loop (dissolved organic carbon (DOC), disease, algae, microorganism), where DOC released by ungrazed fleshy algae supports copiotrophic, potentially pathogenic bacterial communities, ultimately harming corals and maintaining algal competitive dominance. Using an unprecedented data set of >400 samples from 60 coral reef sites, we show that the central DDAM predictions are consistent across three ocean basins. Reef algal cover is positively correlated with lower concentrations of DOC and higher microbial abundances. On turf and fleshy macroalgal-rich reefs, higher relative abundances of copiotrophic microbial taxa were identified. These microbial communities shift their metabolic potential for carbohydrate degradation from the more energy efficient Embden-Meyerhof-Parnas pathway on coral-dominated reefs to the less efficient Entner-Doudoroff and pentose phosphate pathways on algal-dominated reefs. This 'yield-to-power' switch by microorganism directly threatens reefs via increased hypoxia and greater CO2 release from the microbial respiration of DOC.

  17. Allelopathy in the tropical alga Lobophora variegata (Phaeophyceae): mechanistic basis for a phase shift on mesophotic coral reefs?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slattery, Marc; Lesser, Michael P

    2014-06-01

    Macroalgal phase shifts on Caribbean reefs have been reported with increasing frequency, and recent reports of these changes on mesophotic coral reefs have raised questions regarding the mechanistic processes behind algal population expansions to deeper depths. The brown alga Lobophora variegata is a dominant species on many shallow and deep coral reefs of the Caribbean and Pacific, and it increased in percent cover (>50%) up to 61 m on Bahamian reefs following the invasion of the lionfish Pterois volitans. We examined the physiological and ecological constraints contributing to the spread of Lobophora on Bahamian reefs across a mesophotic depth gradient from 30 to 61 m, pre- and post-lionfish invasion. Results indicate that there were no physiological limitations to the depth distribution of Lobophora within this range prior to the lionfish invasion. Herbivory by acanthurids and scarids in algal recruitment plots at mesophotic depths was higher prior to the lionfish invasion, and Lobophora chemical defenses were ineffective against an omnivorous fish species. In contrast, Lobophora exhibited significant allelopathic activity against the coral Montastraea cavernosa and the sponge Agelas clathrodes in laboratory assays. These data indicate that when lionfish predation on herbivorous fish released Lobophora from grazing pressure at depth, Lobophora expanded its benthic cover to a depth of 61 m, where it replaced the dominant coral and sponge species. Our results suggest that this chemically defended alga may out-compete these species in situ, and that mesophotic reefs may be further impacted in the near future as Lobophora continues to expand to its compensation point. © 2013 Phycological Society of America.

  18. Tourism trends in the Caribbean

    OpenAIRE

    González Sánchez, Cynthia; Muñoz Salinas, Francisco; Roset Calzada, Jaime

    2012-01-01

    The Caribbean is a great holiday destination, along with Europe, Asia and South America. But it is one of the regions that depend more economically on the touristic sector. That is why there is a need to innovate and reinvent the touristic offer constantly. Throughout the years, tendencies and tourism types has changed and developed, adapting to the market and clients expectations. Beach hotel, all inclusive hotel offers, mountain tourism, hiking, ecotourism, city tourism, are some of the ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  20. Warm Water Pools of the Western Caribbean and Eastern Tropical Pacific: Their Influence on Intraseasonal Rainfall Regimes and Tropical Storm Activity in Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Douglas, A. V.; Englehart, P. J.

    2007-05-01

    A dipole in tropical cyclone development between the Caribbean and the eastern tropical Pacific will be examined relative to its affect on southern Mexican rainfall. With the change over in the AMO and PDO in 1994 and 1998, respectively, tropical storm genesis has been increasing in the Caribbean while declining in the tropical east Pacific. This dipole in tropical cyclone development appears to be related to changes in the pre storm season heat content of the two ocean basins (data Scripps Institution of Oceanography). Preliminary work indicates that if the Caribbean is warmer than the Pacific by late May the dipole will be accentuated with a pronounced decrease in tropical storms in the east Pacific with an early and prolonged season in the Caribbean. In recent years there appears to have been an increase in the intensity and duration of midsummer drought (Canicula) in Mexico associated with changes in the PDO and AMO. These long term ocean oscillations appear to control the dipole in the strength of the Caribbean and East Pacific warm pools. Mid summer drought is a normal occurrence in much of Mexico and Central America, but the intensified droughts of the recent period have stressed the agricultural community of the region. Based on preliminary work, it appears that the recent increased frequency of midsummer drought can be linked to a shift in the warmest pool from the East Pacific to the Caribbean.

  1. The future of coral reefs in the US Virgin Islands: is Acropora palmata more likely to recover than Montastraea annularis complex?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, Caroline S.; Muller, Erinn; Spitzack, Tony; Miller, Jeff

    2008-01-01

    Coral diseases have played a major role in the degradation of coral reefs in the Caribbean, including those in the US Virgin Islands (USVI). In 2005, bleaching affected reefs throughout the Caribbean, and was especially severe on USVI reefs. Some corals began to regain their color as water temperatures cooled, but an outbreak of disease (primarily white plague) led to losses of over 60% of the total live coral cover. Montastraea annularis, the most abundant coral, was disproportionately affected, and decreased in relative abundance. The threatened species Acropora palmata bleached for the first time on record in the USVI but suffered less bleaching and less mortality from disease than M. annularis. Acropora palmata and M. annularis are the two most significant species in the USVI because of their structural role in the architecture of the reefs, the large size of their colonies, and their complex morphology. The future of the USVI reefs depends largely on their fate. Acropora palmata is more likely to recover than M. annularis for many reasons, including its faster growth rate, and its lower vulnerability to bleaching and disease.

  2. Regional strategy tested in Caribbean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1984-01-01

    Barbados, St. Vincent, and St. Lucia have joined forces in the world's 1st regional Contraceptive Social Marketing (CSM) effort -- the Caribbean CSM. The Barbados Family Planning Association (BFPS) is overseeing the operation, which begins selling 2 contraceptive pills and a condom in early February. Costs and start-up times were shaved by adopting brand names and advertising materials from Jamaica's highly successful CSM project. Jamaica's popular "Panther" condom and "Perle" oral contraceptive (OC) are being used by the Caribbean CSM project. Perle's 9-year-old package has been redesigned and the Caribbean CSM project also is selling a 2nd, low-dose version called "Perle-LD." The products are manufactured in the US by Syntex as Noriday and Norminest, respectively. But the regional approach's financial gains also had a debit side, most notably a tripling of bureaucratic procedures. Part of project difficulties stem from differences among the 3 Caribbean countries. While sharing a common cultural heritage, St. Lucians speak a patois dialect in addition to the English prevalent on the other islands. The biggest hurdle was overcoming an economic disparity between Barbados and its less affluent neighbors, St. Vincent and St. Lucia. The CSM project decided to try a 2-tier product pricing strategy. In US currency, prices run $1.75 per cycle for both OCs on Barbados, but $1.26 on St. Vincent and St. Lucia. A Panther 3-pack costs 75 cents on Barbados and 42 cents on the othe 2 islands. The project is being promoted with generic family planning media advertisements. The project also has held physician orientation seminars on each island. The pilot program will be accompanied by retailer training seminars. In addition the project may introduce a spermicidal foaming tablet, once the US Food and Drug Administration approvs a new American-made product. The unique Caribbean CSM project may spread an idea as potent as the family planning message. Its success could transmit the

  3. Geochemical signature of land-based activities in Caribbean coral surface samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prouty, N.G.; Hughen, K.A.; Carilli, J.

    2008-01-01

    Anthropogenic threats, such as increased sedimentation, agrochemical run-off, coastal development, tourism, and overfishing, are of great concern to the Mesoamerican Caribbean Reef System (MACR). Trace metals in corals can be used to quantify and monitor the impact of these land-based activities. Surface coral samples from the MACR were investigated for trace metal signatures resulting from relative differences in water quality. Samples were analyzed at three spatial scales (colony, reef, and regional) as part of a hierarchical multi-scale survey. A primary goal of the paper is to elucidate the extrapolation of information between fine-scale variation at the colony or reef scale and broad-scale patterns at the regional scale. Of the 18 metals measured, five yielded statistical differences at the colony and/or reef scale, suggesting fine-scale spatial heterogeneity not conducive to regional interpretation. Five metals yielded a statistical difference at the regional scale with an absence of a statistical difference at either the colony or reef scale. These metals are barium (Ba), manganese (Mn), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), and antimony (Sb). The most robust geochemical indicators of land-based activities are coral Ba and Mn concentrations, which are elevated in samples from the southern region of the Gulf of Honduras relative to those from the Turneffe Islands. These findings are consistent with the occurrence of the most significant watersheds in the MACR from southern Belize to Honduras, which contribute sediment-laden freshwater to the coastal zone primarily as a result of human alteration to the landscape (e.g., deforestation and agricultural practices). Elevated levels of Cu and Sb were found in samples from Honduras and may be linked to industrial shipping activities where copper-antimony additives are commonly used in antifouling paints. Results from this study strongly demonstrate the impact of terrestrial runoff and anthropogenic activities on coastal water

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raúl Navas-Camacho

    2010-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navas-Camacho, Raúl; Rodríguez-Ramírez, Alberto; Reyes-Nivia, María Catalina

    2010-05-01

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

  6. Effectiveness of removals of the invasive lionfish: how many dives are needed to deplete a reef?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Usseglio, Paolo; Selwyn, Jason D; Downey-Wall, Alan M; Hogan, J Derek

    2017-01-01

    Introduced Indo-Pacific red lionfish ( Pterois volitans/miles ) have spread throughout the greater Caribbean and are associated with a number of negative impacts on reef ecosystems. Human interventions, in the form of culling activities, are becoming common to reduce their numbers and mitigate the negative effects associated with the invasion. However, marine managers must often decide how to best allocate limited resources. Previous work has identified the population size thresholds needed to limit the negative impacts of lionfish. Here we develop a framework that allows managers to predict the removal effort required to achieve specific targets (represented as the percent of lionfish remaining on the reef). We found an important trade-off between time spent removing and achieving an increasingly smaller lionfish density. The model used in our suggested framework requires relatively little data to parameterize, allowing its use with already existing data, permitting managers to tailor their culling strategy to maximize efficiency and rate of success.

  7. Effectiveness of removals of the invasive lionfish: how many dives are needed to deplete a reef?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paolo Usseglio

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Introduced Indo-Pacific red lionfish (Pterois volitans/miles have spread throughout the greater Caribbean and are associated with a number of negative impacts on reef ecosystems. Human interventions, in the form of culling activities, are becoming common to reduce their numbers and mitigate the negative effects associated with the invasion. However, marine managers must often decide how to best allocate limited resources. Previous work has identified the population size thresholds needed to limit the negative impacts of lionfish. Here we develop a framework that allows managers to predict the removal effort required to achieve specific targets (represented as the percent of lionfish remaining on the reef. We found an important trade-off between time spent removing and achieving an increasingly smaller lionfish density. The model used in our suggested framework requires relatively little data to parameterize, allowing its use with already existing data, permitting managers to tailor their culling strategy to maximize efficiency and rate of success.

  8. Distribution of Georgia Oyster Reefs

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The feature class in this ESRI Geodatabase contains polygons representing oyster reefs along the Georgia coastal waterways from Chatham County south to Glynn County....

  9. Tortugas Reef Fish Census (CRCP)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This is a long term data set collecting visual census transect data on reef fishes at staions located at Rileys Hump, Tortugas South Ecological Reservee.

  10. Carrying capacity of coral reefs

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Wafar, M.V.M.

    The sustainable yield of a commercially exploited fishery is assessed by the biological and environmental factors (including fishing effort). These parameters with a reef are vastly diverse-size, location, species diversity, productivity type...

  11. Coral Reef Protection Implementation Plan

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Lobel, Lisa

    2000-01-01

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

  12. Coral reef bleaching: ecological perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glynn, P. W.

    1993-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  14. Benthic Foraminifera as ecological indicators for water quality on the Great Barrier Reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uthicke, Sven; Nobes, Kristie

    2008-07-01

    Benthic foraminifera are established indicators for Water Quality (WQ) in Florida and the Caribbean. However, nearshore coral reefs of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) and other Pacific regions are also subjected to increased nutrient and sediment loads. Here, we investigate the use of benthic foraminifera as indicators to assess status and trends of WQ on GBR reefs. We quantified several sediment parameters and the foraminiferan assemblage composition on 20 reefs in four geographic regions of the GBR, and along a water column nutrient and turbidity gradient. Twenty-seven easily recognisable benthic foraminiferan taxa (>63 μm) were distinguished. All four geographic regions differed significantly ( p turbid inner shelf towards clearer outer shelf reefs. A RDA separated symbiotic and aposymbiotic (heterotrophic) taxa. In addition, total suspended solid and water column chlorophyll a concentrations were negatively correlated, and optical depth and distance to the mainland were positively correlated, with the abundance of symbiont-bearing taxa. Several large foraminifera were identified as indicators for offshore, clear water conditions. In contrast, heterotrophic rotaliids and a species retaining plastids ( Elphidium sp.) where highly characteristic for low light, higher nutrient conditions. Application of the FORAM index to GBR assemblage composition showed a significant increase in the value of this index with increased distance from the mainland in the Whitsunday region ( r2 = 0.75, p < 0.001), and therefore with increasing light and decreased nutrient availability. We conclude that it will be possible to apply this index to GBR and possibly other Pacific reefs after some adaptations and additional experimental work on species-specific limiting factors.

  15. White plague disease outbreak in a coral reef at Los Roques National Park, Venezuela.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Croquer, Aldo; Pauls, Sheila M; Zubillaga, Ainhoa L

    2003-06-01

    Coral diseases have been reported as a major problem affecting Caribbean coral reefs. During August 2000, a coral mortality event of White Plague Disease-II (WPD-II) was observed at Madrizqui Reef in Los Roques National Park, Venezuela. This disease was identified as the major cause of coral mortality, affecting 24% of all colonies surveyed (n = 1 439). Other diseases such as Black Band Disease (BBD), Yellow Blotch Disease (YBD), Dark Spots Disease (DSD) and White Band Disease (WBD) were also recorded, but showed a lower incidence (0.14-0.97%). Two depth intervals, D1 (5.5-6.5 m) and D2 (9-9.5 m) were surveyed with two sets of three band transects 50 x 2 m long, placed parallel to the long axis of the reef. All healthy and injured corals, along each band transect, were counted and identified to species level. Additionally, all diseases and recent mortality that were still identifiable on each colony also were recorded. The incidence of colonies affected by WPD-II ranged from 12.8 to 33% among transects, where thirteen species of scleractinian corals showed several degrees of mortality. The species most affected were Montastraea annularis (39.13%), M. faveolata (26.67%), M. franksi (9.86%), Stephanocoenia intersepta (7.25%), Colpophyllia natans (6.96%), Diploria labyrinthiformis (2.99%), Mycetophyllia aliciae (2.03%), M. cavernosa (1.74%), and D. strigosa (1.45%). WPD-II was more common in the deeper strata (9-9.5 m), where 63% of the surveyed colonies were affected, although the disease was present along the entire reef. Presently, it is imperative to determine how fast the disease is spreading across the reef, how the disease spreads across the affected colonies and what the long-term effects on the reef will be.

  16. Storm-generated coral fragments - A viable source of transplants for reef rehabilitation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garrison, V.; Ward, G.

    2008-01-01

    Coral reefs throughout the world have been damaged by storms, diseases, coral predators, temperature anomalies, and human activities. During the past three decades, recovery has been limited and patchy. Although a damaged coral reef cannot be restored to its original condition, interest in reef restoration is increasing. In a pilot project in the Caribbean (US Virgin Islands), storm-produced fragments of Acropora palmata, A. cervicornis, and Porites porites were collected from donor reefs and transplanted to nearby degraded reefs. Sixty coral fragments were attached to dead-coral substrate (usually A. palmata skeletons), at similar depths from which they had been collected (1-3.5 m), using nylon cable ties. Seventy-five intact colonies were designated as controls. Study colonies were assessed at 6-month intervals for 2 years (1999-2001) and annually thereafter (through 2004). One-fourth of the 135 colonies and fragments monitored were alive at the conclusion of the 5-year study. Survival of control and transplanted A. cervicornis and P. porites was very low (median survival 2.4 and 1.8 years, respectively), with no significant differences between transplant and control colonies. Site and depth did not contribute significantly to A. palmata colony survival, but colony size and transplant/control status did. Probability of survival increased with colony size. Median survival for A. palmata was 1.3 years for transplant and 4.3 years for natural colonies when not controlled for size. A. palmata was the only viable candidate for reef rehabilitation. Storm swells were the primary cause of mortality.

  17. Connectivity and genetic structure of the queen conch on the Mesoamerican Reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Machkour-M'Rabet, Salima; Cruz-Medina, Jorge; García-De León, Francisco J.; De Jesús-Navarrete, Alberto; Hénaut, Yann

    2017-06-01

    The queen conch ( Strombus gigas) is a commercially important marine invertebrate that is widely distributed throughout the western Atlantic, from Bermuda to Brazil. Intense exploitation has resulted in a decrease in population numbers of this species, which is listed as protected from commercial exploitation under IUCN and CITES. Previous studies on population genetics have demonstrated contrasting results in terms of the population structure of S. gigas. This research analyzed the genetic connectivity of the queen conch over a wide area of the Mesoamerican Reef System to determine whether S. gigas presents one panmictic population or a more complex structure. Furthermore, we evaluated the risk of local extinction by establishing the genetic diversity of the studied populations. High resolution was obtained for the five ISSR markers used for a total of 190 individuals, from seven localities along the Mesoamerican Reef. Our results reject the panmictic structure hypothesis for the queen conch in the study area and demonstrate genetic patchiness, indicating general homogeneity among localities that present an isolation-by-distance pattern. However, some genetic temporal variation was confirmed for the Cozumel locality. Furthermore, our results reveal self-recruitment for the Alacranes Reef aggregation and suggest sufficient connectivity with localities on the Caribbean coast to maintain high genetic diversity. With regard to genetic diversity, the results demonstrate that the queen conch is not genetically threatened in the study area. This is probably due to high annual recruitment within Caribbean queen conch aggregations, and suggests that S. gigas is a highly resilient organism. We advocate that the appropriate management of S. gigas (fishing quota and/or closed season) must be followed to attain a rapid recovery of queen conch populations. This study represents a fundamental step in the understanding of the dynamic population structure of S. gigas in the

  18. Monitoring coral reefs, seagrasses and mangroves in Costa Rica (CARICOMP

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge Cortés

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available The coral reefs, seagrasses and mangroves from the Costa Rican Caribbean coast have been monitored since 1999 using the CARICOMP protocol. Live coral cover at Meager Shoal reef bank (7 to 10m depth at the Parque Nacional Cahuita (National Park, increased from 13.3% in 1999, to 28.2% in 2003, but decreased during the next 5 years to around 17.5%. Algal cover increased significantly since 2003 from 36.6% to 61.3% in 2008. The density of Diadema antillarum oscillated between 2 and 7ind/m2, while Echinometra viridis decreased significantly from 20 to 0.6ind/m2. Compared to other CARICOMP sites, live coral cover, fish diversity and density, and sea urchin density were low, and algal cover was intermediate. The seagrass site, also in the Parque Nacional Cahuita, is dominated by Thalassia testudinum and showed an intermediate productivity (2.7±1.15 g/m2/d and biomass (822.8±391.84 g/m2 compared to other CARICOMP sites. Coral reefs and seagrasses at the Parque Nacional Cahuita continue to be impacted by high sediment loads from terrestrial origin. The mangrove forest at Gandoca, within the Refugio Nacional de Vida Silvestre Gandoca-Manzanillo (National Wildlife Refuge, surrounds a lagoon and it is dominated by the red mangrove, Rhizophora mangle. Productivity and flower production peak was in July. Biomass (14kg/m2 and density (9.0±0.58 trees/100m2 in Gandoca were relatively low compared to other CARICOMP sites, while productivity in July in Costa Rica (4g/m2/d was intermediate, similar to most CARICOMP sites. This mangrove is expanding and has low human impact thus far. Management actions should be taken to protect and preserve these important coastal ecosystems. Rev. Biol. Trop. 58 (Suppl. 3: 1-22. Epub 2010 October 01.

  19. Ciguatera fish poisoning and sea surface temperatures in the Caribbean Sea and the West Indies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tester, Patricia A; Feldman, Rebecca L; Nau, Amy W; Kibler, Steven R; Wayne Litaker, R

    2010-10-01

    Ciguatera fish poisoning (CFP) is a circumtropical disease caused by ingestion of a variety of reef fish that bioaccumulate algal toxins. Distribution and abundance of the organisms that produce these toxins, chiefly dinoflagellates of the genus Gambierdiscus, are reported to correlate positively with water temperature. Consequently, there is growing concern that increasing temperatures associated with climate change could increase the incidence of CFP. This concern prompted experiments on the growth rates of six Gambierdiscus species at temperatures between 18 degrees C and 33 degrees C and the examination of sea surface temperatures in the Caribbean and West Indies for areas that could sustain rapid Gambierdiscus growth rates year-round. The thermal optimum for five of six Gambierdiscus species tested was >/=29 degrees C. Long-term SST data from the southern Gulf of Mexico indicate the number of days with sea surface temperatures >/=29 degrees C has nearly doubled (44 to 86) in the last three decades. To determine how the sea surface temperatures and Gambierdiscus growth data correlate with CFP incidences in the Caribbean, a literature review and a uniform, region-wide survey (1996-2006) of CFP cases were conducted. The highest CFP incidence rates were in the eastern Caribbean where water temperatures are warmest and least variable. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  20. The European Union – Caribbean Relation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Broberg, Morten

    2016-01-01

    EU diplomats consider the Caribbean countries to be allies and therefore expect these countries to support the EU in international affairs – but they find that this support has been waning in recent years. Caribbean diplomats and politicians do not share the European viewpoint. Rather, they take ...

  1. Teaching and Learning with Caribbean Students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    London, Clement B. G.

    Presently, the most frequent point of contact between the United States and many Caribbean island states is the immigrant population. Incentives for immigration are provided by a tradition of colonialism, economies dependent upon agriculture, and problems resulting from rapidly increasing populations. The continuing influx of Caribbeans to the…

  2. Epizoic zoanthids reduce pumping in two Caribbean vase sponges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, T. B.; Finelli, C. M.

    2015-03-01

    Sponges are common sessile benthic suspension feeders that play a critical role in carbon and nitrogen cycling within reef ecosystems via their filtration capabilities. Due to the contribution of sponges in benthic-pelagic coupling, it is critical to assess factors that may affect their role in the healthy function of coral reefs. Several factors can influence the rate at which an individual sponge pumps water, including body size, environmental conditions, mechanical blockage, and reduction of inhalant pores (ostia). Symbiotic zoanthid colonization is a common occurrence on Caribbean sponges, and the presence of zoanthids on the surface of a sponge may occlude or displace the inhalant ostia. We quantified pumping rates of the giant barrel sponge, Xestospongia muta ( N = 22 uncolonized, 37 colonized) and the common vase sponge, Niphates digitalis ( N = 21 uncolonized, 17 colonized), with and without zoanthid symbionts, Parazoanthus catenularis and Parazoanthus parasiticus, respectively. For X. muta, biovolume-normalized pumping rates of individuals colonized by zoanthids were approximately 75 % lower than those of uncolonized sponges. Moreover, colonization with zoanthids was related to a difference in morphology relative to uncolonized individuals: Colonized sponges exhibited an osculum area to biovolume ratio that was nearly 65 % less than uncolonized sponges. In contrast, the presence of zoanthids on N. digitalis resulted in only a marginal decrease in pumping rates and no detectable difference in morphology. The difference in zoanthid effects between X. muta and N. digitalis is likely due to the differences in wall thickness and architecture between the two species. The probable cause of reduced pumping in affected sponges is occupation of the sponge surface that leads to blockage or displacement of inhalant ostia. To partially test this hypothesis, zoanthid colonization on specimens of X. muta was simulated by wrapping sponges with plastic mesh of varying

  3. Microcystin production and ecological physiology of Caribbean black band disease cyanobacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanić, Dina; Oehrle, Stuart; Gantar, Miroslav; Richardson, Laurie L

    2011-04-01

    Molecular studies of black band disease (BBD), a coral disease found on tropical and subtropical reefs worldwide, have shown that one 16S rRNA gene sequence is ubiquitous. This sequence has been reported to be a member of the cyanobacterial genus Oscillatoria. In this study, extracts of two cultured laboratory strains of BBD Oscillatoria, and for comparison two strains of BBD Geitlerinema, all isolated from reefs of the wider Caribbean, were analysed using Ultra-Performance Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Quad Mass Spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS). The cyanotoxin microcystin-LR (MC-LR) was found in all strains, and one Geitlerinema strain additionally produced MC-YR. Growth experiments that monitored toxin production using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) showed that BBD Oscillatoria produced yields of MC-LR equivalent (0.02-0.04 mg g(-1)) independent of biomass and culture conditions (varying temperature, pH, light and organic carbon). This pattern is different from BBD Geitlerinema, which increased production of MC-LR equivalent in the presence of organic carbon in the light and dark and at a relatively lower temperature. These results indicate that different species and strains of BBD cyanobacteria, which can occur in the same BBD infection, may contribute to BBD pathobiology by producing different toxins and different amounts of toxin at different stages in the disease process. This is the first detailed study of laboratory cultures of the ubiquitous BBD cyanobacterium Oscillatoria sp. isolated from Caribbean reefs. © 2010 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  4. National Coral Reef Monitoring Program: Coral Reef Fish collected in Fl Keys Reef Tract (2014)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Divers conducted reef visual census (RVC) fish surveys and habitat assessments at 433 sites in the Florida Keys, 436 sites in the Dry Tortugas and 320 sites in the...

  5. Effects of Great Barrier Reef degradation on recreational reef-trip demand: a contingent behaviour approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kragt, M.E.; Roebeling, P.C.; Ruijs, A.J.W.

    2009-01-01

    There is a growing concern that increased nutrient and sediment runoff from river catchments are a potential source of coral reef degradation. Degradation of reefs may affect the number of tourists visiting the reef and, consequently, the economic sectors that rely on healthy reefs for their income

  6. Recovery of the coral Montastrea annularis in the Florida Keys after the 1987 Caribbean ``bleaching event''

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitt, William K.; Spero, Howard J.; Halas, John; White, Michael W.; Porter, James W.

    1993-07-01

    Many reef-building corals and other cnidarians lost photosynthetic pigments and symbiotic algae (zooxanthellae) during the coral bleaching event in the Caribbean in 1987. The Florida Reef Tract included some of the first documented cases, with widespread bleaching of the massive coral Montastrea annularis beginning in late August. Phototransects at Carysfort Reef showed discoloration of >90% of colonies of this species in March 1988 compared to 0% in July 1986; however no mortality was observed between 1986 and 1988. Samples of corals collected in February and June 1988 had zooxanthellae densities ranging from 0.1 in the most lightly colored corals, to 1.6x106 cells/cm2 in the darker corals. Minimum densities increased to 0.5x106 cells/cm2 by August 1989. Chlorophyll- a content of zooxanthellae and zooxanthellar mitotic indices were significantly higher in corals with lower densities of zooxanthellae, suggesting that zooxanthellar at low densities may be more nutrientsufficient than those in unbleached corals. Ash-free dry weight of coral tissue was positively correlated with zooxanthellae density at all sample times and was significantly lower in June 1988 compared to August 1989. Proteins and lipids per cm2 were significantly higher in August 1989 than in February or June, 1988. Although recovery of zooxanthellae density and coral pigmentation to normal levels may occur in less than one year, regrowth of tissue biomass and energy stores lost during the period of low symbiont densities may take significantly longer.

  7. Differential gene expression during thermal stress and bleaching in the Caribbean coral Montastraea faveolata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeSalvo, M K; Voolstra, C R; Sunagawa, S; Schwarz, J A; Stillman, J H; Coffroth, M A; Szmant, A M; Medina, M

    2008-09-01

    The declining health of coral reefs worldwide is likely to intensify in response to continued anthropogenic disturbance from coastal development, pollution, and climate change. In response to these stresses, reef-building corals may exhibit bleaching, which marks the breakdown in symbiosis between coral and zooxanthellae. Mass coral bleaching due to elevated water temperature can devastate coral reefs on a large geographical scale. In order to understand the molecular and cellular basis of bleaching in corals, we have measured gene expression changes associated with thermal stress and bleaching using a complementary DNA microarray containing 1310 genes of the Caribbean coral Montastraea faveolata. In a first experiment, we identified differentially expressed genes by comparing experimentally bleached M. faveolata fragments to control non-heat-stressed fragments. In a second experiment, we identified differentially expressed genes during a time course experiment with four time points across 9 days. Results suggest that thermal stress and bleaching in M. faveolata affect the following processes: oxidative stress, Ca(2+) homeostasis, cytoskeletal organization, cell death, calcification, metabolism, protein synthesis, heat shock protein activity, and transposon activity. These results represent the first medium-scale transcriptomic study focused on revealing the cellular foundation of thermal stress-induced coral bleaching. We postulate that oxidative stress in thermal-stressed corals causes a disruption of Ca(2+) homeostasis, which in turn leads to cytoskeletal and cell adhesion changes, decreased calcification, and the initiation of cell death via apoptosis and necrosis.

  8. Microbial invasion of the Caribbean by an Indo-Pacific coral zooxanthella.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pettay, D Tye; Wham, Drew C; Smith, Robin T; Iglesias-Prieto, Roberto; LaJeunesse, Todd C

    2015-06-16

    Human-induced environmental changes have ushered in the rapid decline of coral reef ecosystems, particularly by disrupting the symbioses between reef-building corals and their photosymbionts. However, escalating stressful conditions enable some symbionts to thrive as opportunists. We present evidence that a stress-tolerant "zooxanthella" from the Indo-Pacific Ocean, Symbiodinium trenchii, has rapidly spread to coral communities across the Greater Caribbean. In marked contrast to populations from the Indo-Pacific, Atlantic populations of S. trenchii contained exceptionally low genetic diversity, including several widespread and genetically similar clones. Colonies with this symbiont tolerate temperatures 1-2 °C higher than other host-symbiont combinations; however, calcification by hosts harboring S. trenchii is reduced by nearly half, compared with those harboring natives, and suggests that these new symbioses are maladapted. Unforeseen opportunism and geographical expansion by invasive mutualistic microbes could profoundly influence the response of reef coral symbioses to major environmental perturbations but may ultimately compromise ecosystem stability and function.

  9. Eastern Caribbean Circulation and Island Mass Effect on St. Croix, US Virgin Islands: A Mechanism for Relatively Consistent Recruitment Patterns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chérubin, Laurent Marcel; Garavelli, Lysel

    2016-01-01

    The northeastern Caribbean Sea is under the seasonal influence of the Trade Winds but also of the Orinoco/Amazon freshwater plume. The latter is responsible for intensification of the Caribbean Current in general and of its eddy activity in the northern part of the Caribbean Sea. More importantly, we show in this study that the front of the freshwater plume drives a northward flow that impinges directly on the island of St. Croix in the United States Virgin Islands. The angle of incidence of the incoming flow controls the nature of the wake on both sides and ends of the island, which changes from cyclonic to anticylonic wake flow, with either attached or shed eddies. Using an off-line bio-physical model, we simulated the dispersal and recruitment of an abundant Caribbean coral reef fish, the bluehead wrasse (Thalassoma bifasciatum) in the context of the wake flow variability around St. Croix. Our results revealed the role played by the consistent seasonal forcing of the wake flow on the recruitment patterns around the island at the interannual scale. The interannual variability of the timing of arrival and northward penetration of the plume instead controls the nature of the wake, hence the regional spatial recruitment patterns. PMID:26942575

  10. Eastern Caribbean Circulation and Island Mass Effect on St. Croix, US Virgin Islands: A Mechanism for Relatively Consistent Recruitment Patterns.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laurent Marcel Chérubin

    Full Text Available The northeastern Caribbean Sea is under the seasonal influence of the Trade Winds but also of the Orinoco/Amazon freshwater plume. The latter is responsible for intensification of the Caribbean Current in general and of its eddy activity in the northern part of the Caribbean Sea. More importantly, we show in this study that the front of the freshwater plume drives a northward flow that impinges directly on the island of St. Croix in the United States Virgin Islands. The angle of incidence of the incoming flow controls the nature of the wake on both sides and ends of the island, which changes from cyclonic to anticylonic wake flow, with either attached or shed eddies. Using an off-line bio-physical model, we simulated the dispersal and recruitment of an abundant Caribbean coral reef fish, the bluehead wrasse (Thalassoma bifasciatum in the context of the wake flow variability around St. Croix. Our results revealed the role played by the consistent seasonal forcing of the wake flow on the recruitment patterns around the island at the interannual scale. The interannual variability of the timing of arrival and northward penetration of the plume instead controls the nature of the wake, hence the regional spatial recruitment patterns.

  11. Mexican renewable electricity law

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ruiz-Mendoza, B.J.; Sheinbaum-Pardo, C. [Institute of Engineering of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, Circuito Exterior s/n, Edificio 12 Bernardo Quintana, Piso 3, Cubiculo 319, Ciudad Universitaria, Delegacion Coyoacan, CP 04510, Mexico D.F. (Mexico)

    2010-03-15

    Two renewable electricity bills have been proposed in Congress since 2005 in Mexico. The first one was rejected by the Senate and the second one was approved by both the House of Representatives and the Senate in October 2008. Our objective is to explain the nature of both bills and to analyze each of them bearing in mind the Mexican electricity sector management scheme. In the Mexican electricity sector single-buyer scheme, the state-owned companies (Comision Federal de Electricidad and Luz y Fuerza del Centro) are responsible of the public services and the private sector generates electricity under six modalities: self-supply, cogeneration, independent production, small production, export, and import, which are not considered a public service. This scheme has caused controversies related to the constitutionality of the 1992 Power Public Services Law that allowed this scheme to be implemented. Both bills, the rejected one and the approved one, were formulated and based on that controversial law and their objectives are linked precisely more to the controversial issues than to the promotion of renewable electricity technologies; consequently, the gap among environmental, economic and social issues related with sustainability notion is wider. (author)

  12. Mexican renewable electricity law

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ruiz-Mendoza, B.J.; Sheinbaum-Pardo, C.

    2010-01-01

    Two renewable electricity bills have been proposed in Congress since 2005 in Mexico. The first one was rejected by the Senate and the second one was approved by both the House of Representatives and the Senate in October 2008. Our objective is to explain the nature of both bills and to analyze each of them bearing in mind the Mexican electricity sector management scheme. In the Mexican electricity sector single-buyer scheme, the state-owned companies (Comision Federal de Electricidad and Luz y Fuerza del Centro) are responsible of the public services and the private sector generates electricity under six modalities: self-supply, cogeneration, independent production, small production, export, and import, which are not considered a public service. This scheme has caused controversies related to the constitutionality of the 1992 Power Public Services Law that allowed this scheme to be implemented. Both bills, the rejected one and the approved one, were formulated and based on that controversial law and their objectives are linked precisely more to the controversial issues than to the promotion of renewable electricity technologies; consequently, the gap among environmental, economic and social issues related with sustainability notion is wider. (author)

  13. Limited genetic connectivity of Pavona gigantea in the Mexican Pacific

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saavedra-Sotelo, N. C.; Calderon-Aguilera, L. E.; Reyes-Bonilla, H.; López-Pérez, R. A.; Medina-Rosas, P.; Rocha-Olivares, A.

    2011-09-01

    Coral reefs are the most complex and diverse of aquatic ecosystems. Their vulnerability and deterioration in the face of anthropogenic disturbance require the adoption of conservation and restoration efforts to maintain their resilience, for which connectivity is of paramount importance. Dispersal of meroplanktonic larval stages drives the levels of connectivity among coral populations and is influenced by the local current regime, the synchronization of spawning events, and the capacity of larvae to reach recruitment sites. This research aims to quantify the levels of connectivity among Pavona gigantea populations in the Mexican Pacific, using two mitochondrial genes and a nuclear gene. Mitochondrial genes were insufficiently variable to test geographical heterogeneity, whereas the more variable ( h ≥ 0.86) nuclear rDNA indicated significant geographic differentiation ( Φ ST = 0.159, P consequence for the viability and vulnerability of local populations and should be considered in the management and conservation strategies in the region.

  14. Status of coral reefs of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

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

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

  15. Biology of corals and coral reefs

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Rajkumar, R.; Parulekar, A.H.

    on the systematic position is presented. The general structure is depicted with illustrations. Physiology part is updated to current knowledge on reproduction, nutrition and excretion of corals. The coral reefs section begins with status of world reefs...

  16. Transport of Calcareous Fragments by Reef Fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bardach, J E

    1961-01-13

    The weight of sand, coral scrapings, algal fragments, and other calcareous materials which pass through the intestines of reef fishes was calculated on a hectare-per-year basis. It was found that browsing omnivorous reef fishes which rely, in part, on a plant diet ingested and redeposited at least 2300 kg of such material on a 1-hectare study reef near Bermuda. Reasons are presented why this estimate, certainly in order of magnitude, should be applicable to coral reefs in general.

  17. Photography of Coral Reefs from ISS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Julie A.

    2009-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation reviews the uses of photography from the International Space Station (ISS) in studying Earth's coral reefs. The photographs include reefs in various oceans . The photographs have uses for science in assisting NASA mapping initiatives, distribution worldwide through ReefBase, and by biologist in the field.

  18. Artists in and out of the Caribbean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sally Price

    1999-07-01

    Full Text Available [First paragraph] Caribbean Art. VEERLE POUPEYE. London: Thames and Hudson, 1998. 224 pp. (Paper US$ 14.95 Transforming the Crown: African, Asian and Caribbean Artists in Britain, 1966-1996. MORA J. BEAUCHAMP-BYRD & M. FRANKLIN SIRMANS (eds.. New York: Caribbean Cultural Center, 1998. 177 pp. (Paper US$ 39.95, £31.95 "Caribbean" (like "Black British" culture is (as a Dutch colleague once said of postmodernism a bit of a slippery fish. One of the books under review here presents the eclectic artistic productions of professional artists with Caribbean identities of varying sorts - some of them lifelong residents of the region (defined broadly to stretch from Belize and the Bahamas to Curacao and Cayenne, some born in the Caribbean but living elsewhere, and others from far-away parts of the world who have lingered or settled in the Caribbean. The other focuses on artists who trace their cultural heritage variously to Lebanon, France, Malaysia, Spain, China, England, Guyana, India, the Caribbean, the Netherlands, the Philippines, and the whole range of societies in West, East, and Central Africa, all of whom meet under a single ethnic label in galleries in New York and London. Clearly, the principles that vertebrate Caribbean Art and Transforming the Crown are built on the backs of ambiguities, misperceptions, ironies, and ethnocentric logics (not to mention their stronger variants, such as racism. Yet far from invalidating the enterprise, they offer an enlightening inroad to the social, cultural, economic, and political workings of artworlds that reflect globally orchestrated pasts of enormous complexity.

  19. Static measurements of the resilience of Caribbean coral populations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew W. Bruckner

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available The progressive downward shift in dominance of key reef building corals, coupled with dramatic increases in macroalgae and other nuisance species, fields of unstable coral rubble ,loss of structural relief, and declines of major functional groups of fishes is a common occurrence throughout the Caribbean today. The incorporation of resilience principles into management is a proposed strategy to reverse this trend and ensure proper functioning of coral reefs under predicted scenarios of climate change, yet ecosystem processes and functions that underlie reef resilience are not fully understood. Rapid assessments using the Atlantic and Gulf Rapid Reef Assessment (AGRRA and the IUCN Resilience Assessment protocol can provide baseline information on reef resilience. A key aspect of these surveys focuses on coral population dynamics, including measures of coral cover, size, partial and whole-colony mortality, condition, and recruitment. One challenge is that these represent static measures involving a single assessment. Without following individual corals over time, it is difficult to determine rates of survival and growth of recruits and adult colonies, and differentiation of juveniles from small remnants of older colonies may not be possible, especially when macroalgal cover is high. To address this limitation, corals assessed in Bonaire in July 2010 were subdivided into two categories: 1 colonies on the reef substrate; and 2 colonies colonizing dead corals and exposed skeletal surfaces of living corals. Coral populations in Bonaire exhibited many features indicative of high resilience, including high coral cover (often 30-50%, high levels of recruitment, and a large number of corals that settled on dead corals and survived to larger size-classes. Overall, the skeletal surfaces of 12 species of corals were colonized by 16 species of corals, with up to 12 settlers on each colony, most (67% on M. annularis (complex skeletons. Nevertheless, completely

  20. Environmental and biotic correlates to lionfish invasion success in Bahamian coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anton, Andrea; Simpson, Michael S; Vu, Ivana

    2014-01-01

    Lionfish (Pterois volitans), venomous predators from the Indo-Pacific, are recent invaders of the Caribbean Basin and southeastern coast of North America. Quantification of invasive lionfish abundances, along with potentially important physical and biological environmental characteristics, permitted inferences about the invasion process of reefs on the island of San Salvador in the Bahamas. Environmental wave-exposure had a large influence on lionfish abundance, which was more than 20 and 120 times greater for density and biomass respectively at sheltered sites as compared with wave-exposed environments. Our measurements of topographic complexity of the reefs revealed that lionfish abundance was not driven by habitat rugosity. Lionfish abundance was not negatively affected by the abundance of large native predators (or large native groupers) and was also unrelated to the abundance of medium prey fishes (total length of 5-10 cm). These relationships suggest that (1) higher-energy environments may impose intrinsic resistance against lionfish invasion, (2) habitat complexity may not facilitate the lionfish invasion process, (3) predation or competition by native fishes may not provide biotic resistance against lionfish invasion, and (4) abundant prey fish might not facilitate lionfish invasion success. The relatively low biomass of large grouper on this island could explain our failure to detect suppression of lionfish abundance and we encourage continuing the preservation and restoration of potential lionfish predators in the Caribbean. In addition, energetic environments might exert direct or indirect resistance to the lionfish proliferation, providing native fish populations with essential refuges.

  1. Environmental and biotic correlates to lionfish invasion success in Bahamian coral reefs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Anton

    Full Text Available Lionfish (Pterois volitans, venomous predators from the Indo-Pacific, are recent invaders of the Caribbean Basin and southeastern coast of North America. Quantification of invasive lionfish abundances, along with potentially important physical and biological environmental characteristics, permitted inferences about the invasion process of reefs on the island of San Salvador in the Bahamas. Environmental wave-exposure had a large influence on lionfish abundance, which was more than 20 and 120 times greater for density and biomass respectively at sheltered sites as compared with wave-exposed environments. Our measurements of topographic complexity of the reefs revealed that lionfish abundance was not driven by habitat rugosity. Lionfish abundance was not negatively affected by the abundance of large native predators (or large native groupers and was also unrelated to the abundance of medium prey fishes (total length of 5-10 cm. These relationships suggest that (1 higher-energy environments may impose intrinsic resistance against lionfish invasion, (2 habitat complexity may not facilitate the lionfish invasion process, (3 predation or competition by native fishes may not provide biotic resistance against lionfish invasion, and (4 abundant prey fish might not facilitate lionfish invasion success. The relatively low biomass of large grouper on this island could explain our failure to detect suppression of lionfish abundance and we encourage continuing the preservation and restoration of potential lionfish predators in the Caribbean. In addition, energetic environments might exert direct or indirect resistance to the lionfish proliferation, providing native fish populations with essential refuges.

  2. Geographic extent and variation of a coral reef trophic cascade.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McClanahan, T R; Muthiga, N A

    2016-07-01

    Trophic cascades caused by a reduction in predators of sea urchins have been reported in Indian Ocean and Caribbean coral reefs. Previous studies have been constrained by their site-specific nature and limited spatial replication, which has produced site and species-specific understanding that can potentially preclude larger community-organization nuances and generalizations. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the extent and variability of the cascade community in response to fishing across ~23° of latitude and longitude in coral reefs in the southwestern Indian Ocean. The taxonomic composition of predators of sea urchins, the sea urchin community itself, and potential effects of changing grazer abundance on the calcifying benthic organisms were studied in 171 unique coral reef sites. We found that geography and habitat were less important than the predator-prey relationships. There were seven sea urchin community clusters that aligned with a gradient of declining fishable biomass and the abundance of a key predator, the orange-lined triggerfish (Balistapus undulatus). The orange-lined triggerfish dominated where sea urchin numbers and diversity were low but the relative abundance of wrasses and emperors increased where sea urchin numbers were high. Two-thirds of the study sites had high sea urchin biomass (>2,300 kg/ha) and could be dominated by four different sea urchin species, Echinothrix diadema, Diadema savignyi, D. setosum, and Echinometra mathaei, depending on the community of sea urchin predators, geographic location, and water depth. One-third of the sites had low sea urchin biomass and diversity and were typified by high fish biomass, predators of sea urchins, and herbivore abundance, representing lightly fished communities with generally higher cover of calcifying algae. Calcifying algal cover was associated with low urchin abundance where as noncalcifying fleshy algal cover was not clearly associated with herbivore abundance. Fishing of the orange

  3. Effects of the 1986 Bahia Las Minas oil spill on reef flat communities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cubit, J.D.; Connor, J.L.

    1993-01-01

    On April 27, 1986, about 75,000 to 100,000 barrels of medium-weight crude oil spilled into the Caribbean Sea from a refinery in Bahia Las Minas, Panama. After weathering for 13 days in warm, sunny conditions, the oil reached the intertidal reef flat and biological reserve at Punta Galeta, which had been under study since the early 1970's. The prespill data base consisted of detailed, time-series monitoring of sessile biota on the reef flat in relation to changes in sea and weather conditions. To assess the effects of the oil, this monitoring was expanded to other sites and continued after the oil spill. Within the resolution of our measurements, most detectable mortality of the sessile biota occurred in specific zones of the reef flats where factors such as winds, waves, water levels, and topography caused the oil to accumulate. Where the oil floated over the reef flats without prolonged accumulation, little mortality was recorded. The sessile biota regenerated from fragments surviving in place or washing in from nearby habitats, and the regeneration times ranged from less than one year to more than five years. For the sessile biota, there appeared to be no recolonization via planktonic larvae or spores. The fastest regeneration times were for species that propagated from fragments that survived in place; the slowest were for species that suffered nearly 100 percent mortality and recolonized from fragments washing in from subtidal habitats. Because regeneration of sessile species on tropical reef flats depends on regrowth from local survivors, control and cleanup of oil spills in these environments should be designed to maximize the survival of resident populations

  4. Comparative Sediment Transport Between Exposed and Reef Protected Beaches Under Different Hurricane Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miret, D.; Enriquez, C.; Marino-Tapia, I.

    2016-12-01

    Many world coast regions are subjected to tropical cyclone activity, which can cause major damage to beaches and infrastructure on sediment dominated coasts. The Caribbean Sea has on average 4 hurricanes per year, some of them have caused major damage to coastal cities in the past 25 years. For example, Wilma, a major hurricane that hit SE Mexico in October 2005 generated strong erosion at an exposed beach (Cancun), while beach accretion was observed 28 km south at a fringing reef protected beach (Puerto Morelos). Hurricanes with similar intensity and trajectory but different moving speeds have been reported to cause a different morphological response. The present study analyses the morphodynamic response to the hydrodynamic conditions of exposed and reef protected beaches, generated by hurricanes with similar intensities but different trajectories and moving speeds. A non-stationary Delft3D Wave model is used to generate large scale wind swell conditions and local sea wind states and coupled with Delft3D Flow model to study the connection between the continental shelf and surf zones exchanges. The model is validated with hydrodynamic data gathered during Wilma, and morphological conditions measured before and after the event. Preliminary results show that erosion appears at the exposed beach and a predominant exchange between north and south dominates the shelf sediment transport (figure 1). Onshore driven flows over the reef crest input sediment in the reef protected beach. It is expected that for a same track but faster moving speed, southward sediment transport will have less time to develop and accretion at the reef protected site would be less evident or inexistent. The study can be used as a prediction tool for shelf scale sediment transport exchange driven by hurricanes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

  6. The results of long term coral reef monitoring at three locations in Jamaica: Monkey Island, “Gorgo City” and Southeast Cay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcia Creary Ford

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The global and regional impacts of climate change are having devastating consequences on the coral reef ecosystems of the Caribbean. Long term monitoring are important tool for assessing reef health. Monitoring was established in 2000 in the Bahamas, Belize and Jamaica. Following the pilot project, the program was institutionalized in Jamaica and monitoring was conducted on eight occasions from 2000 to 2010. Monkey Island and “Gorgo City” near Discovery Bay (both on the north coast and Southeast Cay at Port Royal on the south coast were selected. Macroalgae dominated the benthic substrate. Monkey Island and “Gorgo City” had the highest coral cover. Porites astreoides, Montastraea spp., Porites porities, Siderastrea siderea, and Agaricia agaricites were the most common species. Data from this programme have been used in local and regional coral reef assessment and management initiatives.

  7. Pleistocene reef development in Bulukumba, South Sulawesi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammad Imran Andi

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Quaternary reefs are commonly studied right now to explain climate change during that time. They act as a good archive of climate change, because their development is influenced by climate condition. The research area is located in the southern tip of Bulukumba Regency, South Sulawesi. The objective of this research is to define the development of the reef. Methods applied in this research are field survey of 4 line transects along reef cliff. Laboratory work is mostly on petrographic and biofacies analyses in order to reconstruct the reef development. Four reef biofacies have developed in this study namely 1 Coralgal framestone - wackestone, 2 Massive coral framestone facies, 3 Platylike coral Bindstone facies, and 4 Branching Coral Bafflestone facies. Based on the facies association and organism accumulation, the reefs are interpreted to be developed within a reef complex in a shallow marine environment.

  8. COLLABORATIVE GUIDE: A REEF MANAGER'S GUIDE TO ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Innovative strategies to conserve the world's coral reefs are included in a new guide released today by NOAA, and the Australian Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, with author contributions from a variety of international partners from government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and academic institutions. Referred to as A Reef Manager's Guide to Coral Bleaching, the guide will provide coral reef managers with the latest scientific information on the causes of coral bleaching and new management strategies for responding to this significant threat to coral reef ecosystems. Innovative strategies to conserve the world's coral reefs are included in a new guide released today by NOAA, and the Australian Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, with author contributions from a variety of international partners from government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and academic institutions. Dr. Jordan West, of the National Center for Environmental Assessment, was a major contributor to the guide. Referred to as

  9. Caribbean Knowledge Economy : Coordinating Network | IDRC ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    ... Diasporic Tourism and Investment (105228) and Networks for Development : the ... The project will include training in the use of Outcome Mapping for impact ... (UWI) to establish a virtual institute for the Caribbean knowledge economy.

  10. Caribbean Marine Mammal Assessment Vessel Surveys

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data sets are a compilation of large vessel surveys for marine mammal stock assessments in Caribbean waters conducted during 2000-2001. These surveys were...

  11. Fostering Entrepreneurship in the Caribbean | IDRC - International ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    Most of them, however, face daunting development challenges, including pervasive ... And, what policies would allow Caribbean entrepreneurs to play this role? ... Call for new OWSD Fellowships for Early Career Women Scientists now open.

  12. High Latitude Reefs: A Potential Refuge for Reef Builders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amat, A.; Bates, N.

    2003-04-01

    Coral reefs globally show variable signs of deterioration or community structure changes due to a host of anthropogenic and natural factors. In these global scenarios, rates of calcification by reef builders such as Scleractinian corals are predicted to significantly decline in the future due to the increase in atmospheric CO_2. When considering the response of reefs to the present climate change, temperature effects should also be taken into account. Here, we investigate the simultaneous impact of temperature and CO_2 on the high-latitude Bermuda coral reef system (32^oN, 64^oE)through a series of in vitro experiments at different CO_2 levels and seasonally different summer (27^oC) and winter (20^oC) temperature conditions. Four species of Scleractinian corals (Porites astreoides, Diploria labyrinthiformis, Madracis mirabilis and decactis) were acclimated for three months at: 20^oC and 27^oC (both with CO_2 levels at 400 ppm (control) and 700 ppm). Growth was assessed by buoyant weight techniques during the acclimation period. Photosynthesis, respiration and calcification were measured at the end of this period using respirometric chambers. A reproduction experiment was also undertaken under 27^oC. Photosynthesis mainly remains constant or increases under high CO_2 conditions. The results of the integrated calcification measurements confirm the hypothesis that an increase in CO_2 induces a decrease in calcification. However an increase in photosynthesis can be observed when CO_2 is unfavorable for calcification suggesting that a biological control of calcification through photosynthesis could prevent a drop in the calcification potential. Buoyant weight results indicate that the CO_2 impact could be less detrimental under lower temperature. This result will be compared with the instantaneous calcification measurements in the chambers and some in situ coral growth assessments in winter and summer conditions. The consequences for the response of marginal reefs

  13. Coral reef surveys in India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Wafar, M.V.M.

    and in persuading the Government agencies to take protective and conservational measures. The current approach is towards establishing a monitoring design to detect changes in reef ecology in the long-term, and to standardize the survey techniques to be compatible...

  14. Quantifying Coral Reef Ecosystem Services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coral reefs have been declining during the last four decades as a result of both local and global anthropogenic stresses. Numerous research efforts to elucidate the nature, causes, magnitude, and potential remedies for the decline have led to the widely held belief that the recov...

  15. El Arte Culinario Mexicano (Mexican Culinary Art).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Card, Michelle

    This unit in Mexican cooking can be used in Junior High School home economics classes to introduce students to Mexican culture or as a mini-course in Spanish at almost any level. It is divided into two parts. Part One provides historical background and information on basic foods, the Mexican market, shopping tips, regional cooking and customs.…

  16. Benthic amphipods (Amphipoda: Gammaridea and Corophiidea) from the Mexican southeast sector of the Gulf of Mexico: checklist, new records and zoogeographic comments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paz-Ríos, Carlos E; Ardisson, Pedro-Luis

    2013-01-01

    The southeast region of the Gulf of Mexico is considered to be biologically important, because it is a connection and transition zone between the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico, harboring great marine biodiversity. Nevertheless, benthic amphipods have been poorly studied in the Mexican southeast sector of the Gulf of Mexico with few studies listing species. The aim of this study is to provide an update checklist of species for the Mexican southeast sector (based on literature review and records from the present study) as well as a brief zoogeographical analysis for the Gulf of Mexico amphipod fauna, putting them in context with the fauna on the tropical western Atlantic. Fifty-five species were listed for the Mexican southeast sector; 36 of them showed a geographical extension to the Yucatan continental shelf representing 23 new records for the Mexican southeast sector, nine for the southeast region and four for the Gulf of Mexico. Based on the zoogeographical analysis, there is support of the application of Carolinian and Caribbean zoogeographic provinces to amphipods in the Gulf of Mexico.

  17. Morphology and it structures of the coralline formations of San Bernardo's archipelago, Colombian Caribbean

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lopez Victoria, Mateo; Diaz, Juan M.

    2000-01-01

    The archipelago of San Bernardo is an extensive reef complex of coralline origin located off the Caribbean coast of Colombia. In order to determine the distribution, morphological features, structure, and zonation patterns of the bottom environments of this area, employing aerial photography and observations in the field, thematic maps were produced and a series of data upon the structure of the sessile benthic biota was gathered. The complex comprises an area of more than 250 km 2; of which more than 60% corresponds to bottoms with notable coral cover (> 60% of the bottom) extending to depths of nearly 30m. Three geomorphological units and seven main types of habitats or ecological units were recognized

  18. Asymmetric competition prevents the outbreak of an opportunistic species after coral reef degradation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Rivero, Manuel; Bozec, Yves-Marie; Chollett, Iliana; Ferrari, Renata; Schönberg, Christine H L; Mumby, Peter J

    2016-05-01

    Disturbance releases space and allows the growth of opportunistic species, excluded by the old stands, with a potential to alter community dynamics. In coral reefs, abundances of fast-growing, and disturbance-tolerant sponges are expected to increase and dominate as space becomes available following acute coral mortality events. Yet, an increase in abundance of these opportunistic species has been reported in only a few studies, suggesting certain mechanisms may be acting to regulate sponge populations. To gain insights into mechanisms of population control, we simulated the dynamics of the common reef-excavating sponge Cliona tenuis in the Caribbean using an individual-based model. An orthogonal hypothesis testing approach was used, where four candidate mechanisms-algal competition, stock-recruitment limitation, whole and partial mortality-were incorporated sequentially into the model and the results were tested against independent field observations taken over a decade in Belize, Central America. We found that releasing space after coral mortality can promote C. tenuis outbreaks, but such outbreaks can be curtailed by macroalgal competition. The asymmetrical competitive superiority of macroalgae, given by their capacity to pre-empt space and outcompete with the sponge in a size-dependant fashion, supports their capacity to steal the opportunity from other opportunists. While multiple system stages can be expected in coral reefs following intense perturbation macroalgae may prevent the growth of other space-occupiers, such as bioeroding sponges, under low grazing pressure.

  19. Population assessment of Acropora palmata (Scleractinia: Acroporidae: relationship between habitat and reef associated species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Martínez

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Three decades ago, Acropora palmata was one of the main reef-building coral species throughout the Caribbean, forming an essential component of the structural complexity of shallow coral reef habitats. These colonies still provide microhabitats for settlement, food and shelter to many vertebrates and invertebrates. The recent decline of A. palmata has been followed by a significant loss in spatial heterogeneity and possibly in species diversity. Studies addressing whether dead and living stands of Acropora hold different fish and benthic assemblages are scarce. The status of Acropora colonies and their associated species were assessed in October 2012, at two reef zones of Cayo Sombrero, Venezuela. Visual censuses of fish abundance and the number of macrofaunal individuals were recorded for both live and dead zones. Living Acropora colonies had the lowest abundance (˂31%. In both zoned the fish community was dominated by damselfishes (˂53% and wrasses (˂36%, the benthic macrofauna by peracarid crustaceans (˂40% and polychaetes (˂38%. Fish and benthic communities were not correlated with the condition (live or dead of the Acropora habitats; possibly branching structures provide the necessary shelter and protection no matter if they are dead or alive. More replication is necessary to test this unexpected result.

  20. Trace metal incorporation in otoliths of a territorial coral reef fish (Abudefduf saxatilis as an environmental monitoring tool

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Herrera-Reveles A. T.

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Trace metal levels in the otolith external layer of newly Abudefduf saxatilis (Pomacentridae recruits, a common fish of the Caribbean coral reef, were examined as an indicator of recently occupied habitat from the most important coral reefs of the east of Venezuela (Mochima National Park and La Tortuga Island. These otoliths were analyzed trough an Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS fixed to scanning electron microscopy (SEM. The five trace metals analyzed (Cd, Cu, Hg, Pb and Zn were found at external layer of most evaluated otoliths at all localities, in which %weight of Pb/Ca and Hg/Ca showed the highest values. These results show the bioavailability of evaluated metals at Mochima National Park and La Tortuga Island, and their significant spatial variations on otoliths make evidence of different concentration of Cd, Hg and Pb in water and/or sediments of these locations.

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  2. [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

  3. Youth’s employment training from civil society organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina Girardo

    2004-07-01

    Full Text Available The study of Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs is undertaken in this article. They are understood as innovative agents for the design and implementation of specific vocational training programs for young people within the changes in the National vocational education and training policies that took place in Latin America an the Caribbean in the last decade, which are briefly described in this text. The importance of local space and decentralization policies, resulting from the reforms of the Latin American Estate, and the innovation in the management of local governments is the context in which NGOs develop and function. NGOs are part of the idea of a new public space created by the interaction between private and estate spheres. Selected Mexican NGOs operating in a local space and training young people, who otherwise have no other training opportunities are described: their general characteristics, their institutional profile, the population they serve, the approaches, strategies and instruments of their intervention.

  4. The effects of elevated seawater temperatures on Caribbean gorgonian corals and their algal symbionts, Symbiodinium spp.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tamar L Goulet

    Full Text Available Global climate change not only leads to elevated seawater temperatures but also to episodic anomalously high or low temperatures lasting for several hours to days. Scleractinian corals are detrimentally affected by thermal fluctuations, which often lead to an uncoupling of their mutualism with Symbiodinium spp. (coral bleaching and potentially coral death. Consequently, on many Caribbean reefs scleractinian coral cover has plummeted. Conversely, gorgonian corals persist, with their abundance even increasing. How gorgonians react to thermal anomalies has been investigated utilizing limited parameters of either the gorgonian, Symbiodinium or the combined symbiosis (holobiont. We employed a holistic approach to examine the effect of an experimental five-day elevated temperature episode on parameters of the host, symbiont, and the holobiont in Eunicea tourneforti, E. flexuosa and Pseudoplexaura porosa. These gorgonian corals reacted and coped with 32°C seawater temperatures. Neither Symbiodinium genotypes nor densities differed between the ambient 29.5°C and 32°C. Chlorophyll a and c2 per Symbiodinium cell, however, were lower at 32°C leading to a reduction in chlorophyll content in the branches and an associated reduction in estimated absorbance and increase in the chlorophyll a specific absorption coefficient. The adjustments in the photochemical parameters led to changes in photochemical efficiencies, although these too showed that the gorgonians were coping. For example, the maximum excitation pressure, Qm, was significantly lower at 32°C than at 29.5°C. In addition, although per dry weight the amount of protein and lipids were lower at 32°C, the overall energy content in the tissues did not differ between the temperatures. Antioxidant activity either remained the same or increased following exposure to 32°C further reiterating a response that dealt with the stressor. Taken together, the capability of Caribbean gorgonian corals to modify

  5. 78 FR 64200 - Caribbean Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-10-28

    ... Caribbean Fishery Management Council's (Council) Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) will hold... Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National... held at the Caribbean Fishery Management Council Headquarters, located at 270 Mu[ntilde]oz Rivera...

  6. Analytical Support to African and Caribbean Trade Negotiations ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    Analytical Support to African and Caribbean Trade Negotiations - Phase III. International Lawyers and Economists against Poverty (ILEAP) is an initiative that aims to help African and Caribbean countries derive full benefit from integration into ...

  7. A Crucial Time for Reefs: Climate Change, El Niño, and the 2014-16 Global Bleaching Event

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eakin, C. M.; Liu, G.; Geiger, E.; Heron, S. F.; Skirving, W. J.; De La Cour, J. L.; Strong, A. E.; Tirak, K.; Burgess, T.

    2016-02-01

    Anthropogenic climate change has caused an increase in the frequency and intensity of coral bleaching, mortality, and other impacts detrimental to the health and survival of coral reefs around the world. In 2014, a global-scale bleaching event, anticipated to last two years or more, began in the Pacific Ocean. Severe bleaching was documented in Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Hawaii, and the Marshall Islands, among other locations. By mid-2015, severe bleaching had reached many south Pacific Islands and islands of the central to eastern equatorial Pacific, especially Kiribati and Howland and Baker Islands. Bleaching followed in the Indian Ocean, and at the time of this writing is again striking Hawaii, and parts of the Caribbean. As the ongoing El Niño continues to strengthen, long-term outlooks suggest the cycle of bleaching will continue into 2016 in at least the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Caribbean bleaching may follow again in 2016 if this event follows historical patterns. Warming of the global ocean, the El Niño, a new Pacific oceanic feature known as "The Blob", and other patterns are imposing thermal stress capable of causing widespread negative impacts on reefs in many countries and archipelagos. If a subsequent La Niña follows, as is often the case, even more reefs will be subjected to stressful high temperatures. This is resulting in widespread bleaching, disease, and mortality at a frequency and intensity predicted in climate models nearly two decades ago. The question now is if we are seeing the onset of annually returning coral bleaching or if this is just a hint of conditions coming in future decades. This presentation will discuss the latest information on the ongoing third global bleaching event and the impacts it may have on the biology, ecology, and potential for conservation and restoration of corals and coral reefs worldwide.

  8. Medical tourism in the Caribbean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramírez de Arellano, Annette B

    2011-01-01

    Although travel for medical reasons has a long history, it has more recently evolved from a cottage industry to a worldwide enterprise. A number of countries are positioning themselves to attract visitors who are willing to travel to obtain health services that are more accessible, less expensive, or more available than in their countries of origin. This has in turn given rise to medical packages that combine tourism with health. Several Caribbean nations - including Cuba, Barbados, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico - hope to expand their revenues in this new market. Each country has selected specific service niches and promotes its services accordingly. While Cuba has been promoting its services to other countries for several decades, medical tourism is just beginning in the other islands. Ultimately, these nations' economic success will hinge on their comparative advantage vis-à-vis other options, while their success in terms of improving their own health care depends on the extent to which the services for tourists are also available to the islands' populations.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  10. Reef Development on Artificial Patch Reefs in Shallow Water of Panjang Island, Central Java

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munasik; Sugiyanto; Sugianto, Denny N.; Sabdono, Agus

    2018-02-01

    Reef restoration methods are generally developed by propagation of coral fragments, coral recruits and provide substrate for coral attachment using artificial reefs (ARs). ARs have been widely applied as a tool for reef restoration in degraded natural reefs. Successful of coral restoration is determined by reef development such as increasing coral biomass, natural of coral recruits and fauna associated. Artificial Patch Reefs (APRs) is designed by combined of artificial reefs and coral transplantation and constructed by modular circular structures in shape, were deployed from small boats by scuba divers, and are suitable near natural reefs for shallow water with low visibility of Panjang Island, Central Java. Branching corals of Acropora aspera, Montipora digitata and Porites cylindrica fragments were transplanted on to each module of two units of artificial patch reefs in different periods. Coral fragments of Acropora evolved high survival and high growth, Porites fragments have moderate survival and low growth, while fragment of Montipora show in low survival and moderate growth. Within 19 to 22 months of APRs deployment, scleractinian corals were recruited on the surface of artificial patch reef substrates. The most recruits abundant was Montastrea, followed by Poritids, Pocilloporids, and Acroporids. We conclude that artificial patch reefs with developed by coral fragments and natural coral recruitment is one of an alternative rehabilitation method in shallow reef with low visibility.

  11. AIDS in Mexican prisons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olivero, J M; Roberts, J B

    1995-01-01

    The human rights organization Americas Watch, which toured Mexican prisons, reported in 1991 that all prisoners with HIV infection in the Mexico City area were housed in a single AIDS ward in Santa Marta Prison. In 1991, the 16-bed facility had 15 patients; in 1993, this number had increased by 5. In Mexico City, with 3 prisons holding over 2000 male adults each, there were only 20 known infected prisoners in the AIDS ward at Santa Marta. In 1991, authorities at Matamoros, in the state of Tamaulipas, insisted that none of their inmates had ever been diagnosed as infected with HIV. The prison physician at Reynosa indicated that only 2 inmates since 1985 had ever been diagnosed as infected. In 1992, the prison in Saltillo, in the state of Coahuila, reported that here had yet to be a single positive test for HIV. The prison at Reynosa held 1500 people and only 2 inmates were diagnosed as having AIDS between 1985 and 1991. Prisons at Matamoros and Saltillo held similar numbers but had no experience of infected inmates. A survey of 2 prisons in the state of Tamaulipas indicates that around 12% of the population may use IV drugs, and 9% indicate sharing needles. It is possible for prisoners to die of diseases like pneumonia, associated with AIDS, without the connection to AIDS being diagnosed. Each state, and possibly each prison in Mexico, has its own particular AIDS policies. Santa Marta was the single facility in Mexico City used to house AIDS-infected prisoners, who were segregated. Finally, the prison at Saltillo required all women entering the facility to have a medical examination, including a test for HIV. High-level prison personnel have demonstrated ignorance and fear of AIDS and intolerance of infected prisoners. Mexico must reassess the need to provide adequate medical care to offenders who are sick and dying behind bars.

  12. Mexican agencies reach teenagers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brito Lemus, R; Beamish, J

    1992-08-01

    The Gente Joven project of the Mexican Foundation for Family Planning (MEXFAM) trains young volunteers in 19 cities to spread messages about sexually transmitted diseases and population growth to their peers. They also distribute condoms and spermicides. It also uses films and materials to spread its messages. The project would like to influence young men's behavior, but the Latin image of machismo poses a big challenge. It would like to become more responsible toward pregnancy prevention. About 50% of adolescents have sexual intercourse, but few use contraceptives resulting in a high adolescent pregnancy rate. Many of these pregnant teenagers choose not to marry. Adolescent pregnancy leads to girls leaving school, few marketable skills, and rearing children alone. Besides women who began childbearing as a teenager have 1.5 times more children than other women. Male involvement in pregnancy prevention should improve these statistics. As late as 1973, the Health Code banned promotion and sales of contraceptives, but by 1992 about 50% of women of reproductive age use contraceptives. The Center for the Orientation of Adolescents has organized 8 Young Men's Clubs in Mexico City to involve male teenagers more in family planning and to develop self-confidence. It uses a holistic approach to their development through discussions with their peers. A MEXFAM study shows that young men are not close with their fathers who tend to exude a machismo attitude, thus the young men do not have a role model for responsible sexual behavior. MEXFAM's work is cut out for them, however, since the same study indicates that 50% of the young men believe it is fine to have 1 girlfriend and 33% think women should earn more than men. A teenager volunteer reports, however, that more boys have been coming to him for contraception and information than girls in 1992 while in other years girls outnumbered the boys.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lyza Johnston

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  15. Artificial reefs: “Attraction versus Production”

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo Barros Fagundes Netto

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available The production of fish is the most common reason for the construction and installation of an artificial reef. More recently, environmental concerns and conservation of biological resources have been instrumental to the formulation of new goals of the research. One of the issues to be resolved is the biological function of “attraction vs. production” as a result of the use of artificial reefs. The uncertainty as to the answer to the question whether the artificial reefs will or not benefit the development of fish stocks could be solved if the artificial reefs would be managed as marine protected areas.

  16. Cyanobacteria in Coral Reef Ecosystems: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Charpy

    2012-01-01

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

  17. From the past to the globalized future for Caribbean birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joseph Wunderle Jr.

    2008-01-01

    Extinctions of Caribbean animals were well underway during the period of Amerindian occupation and have continued since the arrival of Columbus. Despite high extinction rates, the Caribbean still retains high levels of terrestrial biodiversity and, for some taxa, exceptionally high levels of endemism relative to other parts of the world. The fate of the Caribbean’s...

  18. Vaal Reefs South uranium plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1979-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvia Libro

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Libro, Silvia; Vollmer, Steven V

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Reduced density of the herbivorous urchin Diadema antillarum inside a Caribbean marine reserve linked to increased predation pressure by fishes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harborne, A. R.; Renaud, P. G.; Tyler, E. H. M.; Mumby, P. J.

    2009-09-01

    Disease has dramatically reduced populations of the herbivorous urchin Diadema antillarum Philippi on Caribbean reefs, contributing to an increased abundance of macroalgae and reduction of coral cover. Therefore, recovery of D. antillarum populations is critically important, but densities are still low on many reefs. Among the many potential factors limiting these densities, the focus of this study is on predation pressure by fishes. Marine reserves provide opportunities to examine large-scale manipulations of predator-prey interactions and, therefore, D. antillarum densities were compared inside and outside a reserve in The Bahamas (Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park; ECLSP). Urchins and their fish predators were surveyed at nine sites inside and outside the ECLSP. Because of lower fishing effort, the total biomass of urchin predators, weighted by their dietary preferences for urchins, was significantly higher inside the ECLSP. Furthermore, fish community structure was significantly different inside the Park because of the increased biomass of the majority of species. No urchins were seen inside the ECLSP and this was significantly lower than the density of 0.04 urchin m-2 outside the Park. Regression analysis indicated that the relationship between the biomass of urchin predators and the proportion of transects containing urchins was non-linear, suggesting that small increases in fish biomass dramatically reduce urchin abundances. The link between lower density of urchins and higher density of their predators inside the ECLSP is strengthened by discounting five alternative primary mechanisms (variations in macroalgal cover, larval supply, environmental setting, density of other urchin species and abundance of predators not surveyed). Caribbean marine reserves have an important conservation role, but increased fish predation appears to reduce densities of D. antillarum. Urchins currently have limited functional significance on Bahamian reefs, but any future recovery of

  2. Comparative Use of a Caribbean Mesophotic Coral Ecosystem and Association with Fish Spawning Aggregations by Three Species of Shark.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandria E Pickard

    Full Text Available Understanding of species interactions within mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs; ~ 30-150 m lags well behind that for shallow coral reefs. MCEs are often sites of fish spawning aggregations (FSAs for a variety of species, including many groupers. Such reproductive fish aggregations represent temporal concentrations of potential prey that may be drivers of habitat use by predatory species, including sharks. We investigated movements of three species of sharks within a MCE and in relation to FSAs located on the shelf edge south of St. Thomas, United States Virgin Islands. Movements of 17 tiger (Galeocerdo cuvier, seven lemon (Negaprion brevirostris, and six Caribbean reef (Carcharhinus perezi sharks tagged with acoustic transmitters were monitored within the MCE using an array of acoustic receivers spanning an area of 1,060 km2 over a five year period. Receivers were concentrated around prominent grouper FSAs to monitor movements of sharks in relation to these temporally transient aggregations. Over 130,000 detections of telemetered sharks were recorded, with four sharks tracked in excess of 3 years. All three shark species were present within the MCE over long periods of time and detected frequently at FSAs, but patterns of MCE use and orientation towards FSAs varied both spatially and temporally among species. Lemon sharks moved over a large expanse of the MCE, but concentrated their activities around FSAs during grouper spawning and were present within the MCE significantly more during grouper spawning season. Caribbean reef sharks were present within a restricted portion of the MCE for prolonged periods of time, but were also absent for long periods. Tiger sharks were detected throughout the extent of the acoustic array, with the MCE representing only portion of their habitat use, although a high degree of individual variation was observed. Our findings indicate that although patterns of use varied, all three species of sharks repeatedly

  3. Comparative Use of a Caribbean Mesophotic Coral Ecosystem and Association with Fish Spawning Aggregations by Three Species of Shark.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pickard, Alexandria E; Vaudo, Jeremy J; Wetherbee, Bradley M; Nemeth, Richard S; Blondeau, Jeremiah B; Kadison, Elizabeth A; Shivji, Mahmood S

    2016-01-01

    Understanding of species interactions within mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs; ~ 30-150 m) lags well behind that for shallow coral reefs. MCEs are often sites of fish spawning aggregations (FSAs) for a variety of species, including many groupers. Such reproductive fish aggregations represent temporal concentrations of potential prey that may be drivers of habitat use by predatory species, including sharks. We investigated movements of three species of sharks within a MCE and in relation to FSAs located on the shelf edge south of St. Thomas, United States Virgin Islands. Movements of 17 tiger (Galeocerdo cuvier), seven lemon (Negaprion brevirostris), and six Caribbean reef (Carcharhinus perezi) sharks tagged with acoustic transmitters were monitored within the MCE using an array of acoustic receivers spanning an area of 1,060 km2 over a five year period. Receivers were concentrated around prominent grouper FSAs to monitor movements of sharks in relation to these temporally transient aggregations. Over 130,000 detections of telemetered sharks were recorded, with four sharks tracked in excess of 3 years. All three shark species were present within the MCE over long periods of time and detected frequently at FSAs, but patterns of MCE use and orientation towards FSAs varied both spatially and temporally among species. Lemon sharks moved over a large expanse of the MCE, but concentrated their activities around FSAs during grouper spawning and were present within the MCE significantly more during grouper spawning season. Caribbean reef sharks were present within a restricted portion of the MCE for prolonged periods of time, but were also absent for long periods. Tiger sharks were detected throughout the extent of the acoustic array, with the MCE representing only portion of their habitat use, although a high degree of individual variation was observed. Our findings indicate that although patterns of use varied, all three species of sharks repeatedly utilized the MCE and

  4. Towards indigenous feminist theorizing in the Caribbean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohammed, P

    1998-01-01

    This theoretical study of feminism in the Caribbean opens by presenting the contemporary image of the Caribbean and then pointing to the continuing influence of the colonial past in the creation of contemporary community and the establishment of identity. The paper continues with a focus on three aspects of identity, or difference, that have influenced the daily articulation of feminism and academic debates. The first concerns the positions taken by women in the region's political struggles. The second is an exploration of the linguistic meanings of the gender discourse within the region. Finally, the essay examines the idea of linguistic difference in light of contemporary Western feminist views of "sexual difference" versus equality. The discussion of each of these issues is grounded in historical analysis and illustrated with specific examples. The study concludes that, in this region, feminism offers a new way to investigate the past while creating challenges and opportunities in the struggle to establish a Caribbean identity.

  5. La Artesania Mexicana (Mexican Handicrafts).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steele, Bettina

    This booklet contains instructions in English and Spanish for making eleven typical Mexican craft articles. The instructions are accompanied by pen-and-ink drawings. The objects are (1) "La Rosa" (The Rose); (2) "El Crisantemo" (The Chrysanthemum); (3) "La Amapola" (The Poppy); (4) "Ojos de Dios" (God's Eyes); (5) "Ojitos con dos caras" (Two-Sided…

  6. Historical aspects of Mexican psychiatry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bayardo, Sergio Javier Villaseñor

    2016-04-01

    Mexican psychiatry initiated since pre-Hispanic times. Historically, treatments were a mixture of magic, science and religion. Ancient Nahuas had their own medical concepts with a holistic view of medicine, considering men and cosmos as a whole. The first psychiatric hospital appeared in 1566 and a more modern psychiatric asylum emerged until 1910. International exchanges of theoretical approaches started in the National University with the visit of Pierre Janet. There were other important figures that influenced Mexican psychiatry, such as Erich Fromm, Henri Ey, Jean Garrabé and Yves Thoret. Regarding Mexican psychiatrists, some of the most important contributors to Mexican psychiatry were José Luis Patiño Rojas, Manuel Guevara Oropeza and Ramón de la Fuente Muñiz. This article includes excerpts from "Clinical Psychiatry", a book by Patiño Rojas where he tries to understand and describe the inner world experienced by patients with schizophrenia; also, the thesis conducted by Guevara Oropeza ("Psychoanalisis"), which is a critical comparison between the theories of Janet and Freud. Finally, we include "The study of consciousness: current status" by Ramón de la Fuente, which leads us through the initial investigations concerning consciousness, its evolution, and the contributions made by psychology, philosophy and neurobiology.

  7. The Mexican Axolotl in Schools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, R. M.

    1976-01-01

    Suggests and describes laboratory activities in which the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum Shaw) is used, including experiments in embryology and early development, growth and regeneration, neoteny and metamorphosis, genetics and coloration, anatomy and physiology, and behavior. Discusses care and maintenance of animals. (CS)

  8. Proverbs in Mexican American Tradition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arora, Shirley L.

    1982-01-01

    Examines proverb use among 304 Mexican Americans (aged 16-85) of Los Angeles (California), assembling information on how or where particular proverbs were learned, with whom or what kind of individual their use is associated, the occasions on which they are used, and general attitudes toward the use of proverbs. (LC)

  9. Topographical features of physiographic unit borders on reef flat in fringing reefs

    OpenAIRE

    Nakai, Tatsuo

    2007-01-01

    In coral reef ecosystem spatial structure of 10^1-10^3m scale provide very important aspect in coral reef conservation. Nakai (2007) showed that physiographic unit (PGU) could be set as well as zonation on reef flat of fringing reef. The borders of PGUs delimiting it from the open sea or an adjacent PGU are constituted by landforms such as reef crest or channels. In this article the landforms becoming the borders of PGUs were discussed and the PGU property was clarified.

  10. Caribbean literary theory: modernist and postmodern

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. James Arnold

    1995-01-01

    Full Text Available [First paragraph] The Repeating Mand: The Caribbean and the Postmodern Perspective. ANTONIO BENITEZ-ROJO. Durham NC: Duke University Press, 1992. xi + 303 pp. (Cloth US$ 49.95, Paper US$ 15.95 Myth and History in Caribbean Fiction: Alejo Carpentier, Wilson Harris, and Edouard Glissant. BARBARA J. WEBB. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1992. x + 185 pp. (Cloth US$ 25.00 Caribbean literature has been overtaken of late by the quarrels that have pitted postmodernists against modernists in Europe and North America for the past twenty years. The modernists, faced with the fragmentation of the region that hard-nosed pragmatists and empiricists could only see as hostile to the emergence of any common culture, had sought in myth and its literary derivatives the collective impulse to transcend the divisions wrought by colonial history. Fifteen years ago I wrote a book that combined in its lead title the terms Modernism and Negritude in an effort to account for the efforts by mid-century Caribbean writers to come to grips with this problem. A decade later I demonstrated that one of the principal Caribbean modernists, Aimé Césaire, late in his career adopted stylistic characteristics that we associate with the postmodern (Arnold 1990. The example of Césaire should not be taken to suggest that we are dealing with some sort of natural evolution of modernism toward the postmodern. In fact the two terms represent competing paradigms that organize concepts and data so differently as to offer quite divergent maps of the literary Caribbean.

  11. Effect of light and nutrient availability on the release of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) by Caribbean turf algae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Benjamin; den Haan, Joost; Visser, Petra M; Vermeij, Mark J A; van Duyl, Fleur C

    2016-03-22

    Turf algae increasingly dominate benthic communities on coral reefs. Given their abundance and high dissolved organic carbon (DOC) release rates, turf algae are considered important contributors to the DOC pool on modern reefs. The release of photosynthetically fixed carbon as DOC generally, but not always, increases with increased light availability. Nutrient availability was proposed as an additional factor to explain these conflicting observations. To address this proposed but untested hypothesis, we documented the interactive contributions of light and nutrient availability on the release of DOC by turf algae. DOC release rates and oxygen production were quantified in incubation experiments at two light levels (full and reduced light) and two nutrient treatments (natural seawater and enriched seawater). In natural seawater, DOC release at full light was four times higher than at reduced light. When nutrients were added, DOC release rates at both light levels were similar to the natural seawater treatment at full light. Our results therefore show that low light in combination with low nutrient availability reduces the release of DOC by turf algae and that light and nutrient availability interactively determine DOC release rates by this important component of Caribbean reef communities.

  12. Mapping Oyster Reef Habitats in Mobile Bay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolte, Danielle

    2011-01-01

    Oyster reefs around the world are declining rapidly, and although they haven t received as much attention as coral reefs, they are just as important to their local ecosystems and economies. Oyster reefs provide habitats for many species of fish, invertebrates, and crustaceans, as well as the next generations of oysters. Oysters are also harvested from many of these reefs and are an important segment of many local economies, including that of Mobile Bay, where oysters rank in the top five commercial marine species both by landed weight and by dollar value. Although the remaining Mobile Bay oyster reefs are some of the least degraded in the world, projected climate change could have dramatic effects on the health of these important ecosystems. The viability of oyster reefs depends on water depth and temperature, appropriate pH and salinity levels, and the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water. Projected increases in sea level, changes in precipitation and runoff patterns, and changes in pH resulting from increases in the amount of carbon dioxide dissolved in the oceans could all affect the viability of oyster reefs in the future. Human activities such as dredging and unsustainable harvesting practices are also adversely impacting the oyster reefs. Fortunately, several projects are already under way to help rebuild or support existing or previously existing oyster reefs. The success of these projects will depend on the local effects of climate change on the current and potential habitats and man s ability to recognize and halt unsustainable harvesting practices. As the extent and health of the reefs changes, it will have impacts on the Mobile Bay ecosystem and economy, changing the resources available to the people who live there and to the rest of the country, since Mobile Bay is an important national source of seafood. This project identified potential climate change impacts on the oyster reefs of Mobile Bay, including the possible addition of newly viable

  13. Reef fish community in presence of the lionfish (Pterois volitans) in Santa Marta, Colombian Caribbean

    OpenAIRE

    García-Urueña, Rocío; Acero P, Arturo; Coronado-Carrascal, Víctor

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Objective. Fish species community structure and benthic organisms coverage were studied in five localities in Santa Marta where the lionfish is present. Materials and methods. Abundance of fish species, including lion fish, was established using 30 m random visual censuses and video transects; trophic guilds were established according to available references. On the other hand benthic coverage was evaluated using the software Coral Point Count (CPCe) 4.0. Results. Families with highe...

  14. Diet reconstruction and resource partitioning of a Caribbean marine mesopredator using stable isotope bayesian modelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tilley, Alexander; López-Angarita, Juliana; Turner, John R

    2013-01-01

    The trophic ecology of epibenthic mesopredators is not well understood in terms of prey partitioning with sympatric elasmobranchs or their effects on prey communities, yet the importance of omnivores in community trophic dynamics is being increasingly realised. This study used stable isotope analysis of (15)N and (13)C to model diet composition of wild southern stingrays Dasyatis americana and compare trophic niche space to nurse sharks Ginglymostoma cirratum and Caribbean reef sharks Carcharhinus perezi on Glovers Reef Atoll, Belize. Bayesian stable isotope mixing models were used to investigate prey choice as well as viable Diet-Tissue Discrimination Factors for use with stingrays. Stingray δ(15)N values showed the greatest variation and a positive relationship with size, with an isotopic niche width approximately twice that of sympatric species. Shark species exhibited comparatively restricted δ(15)N values and greater δ(13)C variation, with very little overlap of stingray niche space. Mixing models suggest bivalves and annelids are proportionally more important prey in the stingray diet than crustaceans and teleosts at Glovers Reef, in contrast to all but one published diet study using stomach contents from other locations. Incorporating gut contents information from the literature, we suggest diet-tissue discrimination factors values of Δ(15)N ≈ 2.7‰ and Δ(13)C ≈ 0.9‰ for stingrays in the absence of validation experiments. The wide trophic niche and lower trophic level exhibited by stingrays compared to sympatric sharks supports their putative role as important base stabilisers in benthic systems, with the potential to absorb trophic perturbations through numerous opportunistic prey interactions.

  15. Diet reconstruction and resource partitioning of a Caribbean marine mesopredator using stable isotope bayesian modelling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander Tilley

    Full Text Available The trophic ecology of epibenthic mesopredators is not well understood in terms of prey partitioning with sympatric elasmobranchs or their effects on prey communities, yet the importance of omnivores in community trophic dynamics is being increasingly realised. This study used stable isotope analysis of (15N and (13C to model diet composition of wild southern stingrays Dasyatis americana and compare trophic niche space to nurse sharks Ginglymostoma cirratum and Caribbean reef sharks Carcharhinus perezi on Glovers Reef Atoll, Belize. Bayesian stable isotope mixing models were used to investigate prey choice as well as viable Diet-Tissue Discrimination Factors for use with stingrays. Stingray δ(15N values showed the greatest variation and a positive relationship with size, with an isotopic niche width approximately twice that of sympatric species. Shark species exhibited comparatively restricted δ(15N values and greater δ(13C variation, with very little overlap of stingray niche space. Mixing models suggest bivalves and annelids are proportionally more important prey in the stingray diet than crustaceans and teleosts at Glovers Reef, in contrast to all but one published diet study using stomach contents from other locations. Incorporating gut contents information from the literature, we suggest diet-tissue discrimination factors values of Δ(15N ≈ 2.7‰ and Δ(13C ≈ 0.9‰ for stingrays in the absence of validation experiments. The wide trophic niche and lower trophic level exhibited by stingrays compared to sympatric sharks supports their putative role as important base stabilisers in benthic systems, with the potential to absorb trophic perturbations through numerous opportunistic prey interactions.

  16. Recruitment failure in Florida Keys Acropora palmata, a threatened Caribbean coral

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, D. E.; Miller, M. W.; Kramer, K. L.

    2008-09-01

    Recovery of Acropora palmata from its currently imperiled status depends on recruitment, a process which is poorly documented in existing Caribbean coral population studies. A. palmata is thought to be well adapted to proliferate through the recruitment of fragments resulting from physical disturbances, such as moderate intensity hurricanes. This study monitored fifteen 150 m2 fixed study plots on the upper Florida Keys fore-reef for asexual and sexual recruitment from 2004 to 2007. Between July and October 2005, 4 hurricanes passed by the Florida Keys, producing wind speeds on the reef tract of 23 to 33 m s-1. Surveys following the hurricanes documented an average loss of 52% estimated live tissue area within the study plots. The percentage of “branching” colonies in the population decreased from 67% to 42% while “remnant” colonies (isolated patches of tissue on standing skeleton) increased from 11% to 27%. Although some detached branches remained as loose fragments, more than 70% of the 380 fragments observed in the study plots were dead or rapidly losing tissue 3 weeks after Hurricane Dennis. Over the course of the study, only 27 fragments became attached to the substrate to form successful asexual recruits. Meanwhile, of the 18 new, small encrusting colonies that were observed in the study, only 2 were not attributable to asexual origin (i.e., remnant tissue from colonies or fragments previously observed) and are therefore possible sexual recruits. In summary, the 2005 hurricane season resulted in substantial loss of A. palmata from the upper Florida Keys fore-reef from a combination of physical removal and subsequent disease-like tissue mortality, and yielded few recruits of either sexual or asexual origin. Furthermore, the asexual and sexual fecundity of the remaining population is compromised for the near future due to the lack of branches (i.e., “asexual fecundity”) and overall loss of live tissue.

  17. Assessing the herbivore role of the sea-urchin Echinometra viridis: Keys to determine the structure of communities in disturbed coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sangil, Carlos; Guzman, Hector M

    2016-09-01

    Echinometra viridis previously was considered a cryptic species unable to control the development and growth of macroalgae on coral reefs. Its role as a herbivore was seen as minor compared to other grazers present on the reef. However, the present disturbed state of some reefs has highlighted the role played by this sea-urchin. Combining field data with experiments on the Caribbean coast of Panama, we demonstrate that the current community organization on disturbed coral reefs in the Mesoamerican Caribbean is largely due to the action of E. viridis. It is the most abundant sea-urchin species, together with two others (Diadema antillarum and Echinometra lucunter). Field data also indicate that the relationship between its density and the abundance of macroalgae is stronger and it is more negative in impact than those of the other two. However, the niche this urchin exploits most efficiently is confined to leeward reefs with low levels of sedimentation. Outside these habitats, their populations are not decisive in controlling macroalgal growth. Grazing experiments showed that E. viridis consumes more fresh macroalgae per day and per weight of sea-urchin, and is a more effective grazer than D. antillarum or E. lucunter. E. viridis showed food preferences for early-successional turf macroalgae (Acanthophora spicifera), avoiding the less palatable late-successional and fleshy macroalgae (Lobophora variegata, Halimeda opuntia). However, it becomes a generalist herbivore feeding on all varieties of macroalgae when resources are scarce. H. opuntia is the macroalga that most resists E. viridis activity, which may explain its wide distribution. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. 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

  19. Say what? Coral reef sounds as indicators of community assemblages and reef conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mooney, T. A.; Kaplan, M. B.

    2016-02-01

    Coral reefs host some of the highest diversity of life on the planet. Unfortunately, reef health and biodiversity is declining or is threatened as a result of climate change and human influences. Tracking these changes is necessary for effective resource management, yet estimating marine biodiversity and tracking trends in ecosystem health is a challenging and expensive task, especially in many pristine reefs which are remote and difficult to access. Many fishes, mammals and invertebrates make sound. These sounds are reflective of a number of vital biological processes and are a cue for settling reef larvae. Biological sounds may be a means to quantify ecosystem health and biodiversity, however the relationship between coral reef soundscapes and the actual taxa present remains largely unknown. This study presents a comparative evaluation of the soundscape of multiple reefs, naturally differing in benthic cover and fish diversity, in the U.S. Virgin Islands National Park. Using multiple recorders per reef we characterized spacio-temporal variation in biological sound production within and among reefs. Analyses of sounds recorded over 4 summer months indicated diel trends in both fish and snapping shrimp acoustic frequency bands with crepuscular peaks at all reefs. There were small but statistically significant acoustic differences among sites on a given reef raising the possibility of potentially localized acoustic habitats. The strength of diel trends in lower, fish-frequency bands were correlated with coral cover and fish density, yet no such relationship was found with shrimp sounds suggesting that fish sounds may be of higher relevance to tracking certain coral reef conditions. These findings indicate that, in spite of considerable variability within reef soundscapes, diel trends in low-frequency sound production reflect reef community assemblages. Further, monitoring soundscapes may be an efficient means of establishing and monitoring reef conditions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phipps, A.

    2012-04-01

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

  1. Hyperspectral Distinction of Two Caribbean Shallow-Water Corals Based on Their Pigments and Corresponding Reflectance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan L. Torres-Pérez

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available The coloration of tropical reef corals is mainly due to their association with photosynthetic dinoflagellates commonly known as zooxanthellae. Combining High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC, spectroscopy and derivative analysis we provide a novel approach to discriminate between the Caribbean shallow-water corals Acropora cervicornis and Porites porites based on their associated pigments. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that the total array of pigments found within the coral holobiont is reported. A total of 20 different pigments were identified including chlorophylls, carotenes and xanthophylls. Of these, eleven pigments were common to both species, eight were present only in A. cervicornis, and three were present only in P. porites. Given that these corals are living in similar physical conditions, we hypothesize that this pigment composition difference is likely a consequence of harboring different zooxanthellae clades with a possible influence of endolithic green or brown algae. We tested the effect of this difference in pigments on the reflectance spectra of both species. An important outcome was the correlation of total pigment concentration with coral reflectance spectra up to a 97% confidence level. Derivative analysis of the reflectance curves showed particular differences between species at wavelengths where several chlorophylls, carotenes and xanthophylls absorb. Within species variability of spectral features was not significant while interspecies variability was highly significant. We recognize that the detection of such differences with actual airborne or satellite remote sensors is extremely difficult. Nonetheless, based on our results, the combination of these techniques (HPLC, spectroscopy and derivative analysis can be used as a robust approach for the development of a site specific spectral library for the identification of shallow-water coral species. Studies (Torres-Pérez, NASA Postdoctoral

  2. Impacts of Artificial Reefs and Diving Tourism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra Jakšić

    2013-10-01

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

  3. Resilience in carbonate production despite three coral bleaching events in 5 years on an inshore patch reef in the Florida Keys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manzello, Derek P; Enochs, Ian C; Kolodziej, Graham; Carlton, Renée; Valentino, Lauren

    2018-01-01

    The persistence of coral reef frameworks requires that calcium carbonate (CaCO 3 ) production by corals and other calcifiers outpaces CaCO 3 loss via physical, chemical, and biological erosion. Coral bleaching causes declines in CaCO 3 production, but this varies with bleaching severity and the species impacted. We conducted census-based CaCO 3 budget surveys using the established ReefBudget approach at Cheeca Rocks, an inshore patch reef in the Florida Keys, annually from 2012 to 2016. This site experienced warm-water bleaching in 2011, 2014, and 2015. In 2017, we obtained cores of the dominant calcifying coral at this site, Orbicella faveolata , to understand how calcification rates were impacted by bleaching and how they affected the reef-wide CaCO 3 budget. Bleaching depressed O. faveolata growth and the decline of this one species led to an overestimation of mean (± std. error) reef-wide CaCO 3 production by + 0.68 (± 0.167) to + 1.11 (± 0.236) kg m -2  year -1 when using the static ReefBudget coral growth inputs. During non-bleaching years, the ReefBudget inputs slightly underestimated gross production by - 0.10 (± 0.022) to - 0.43 (± 0.100) kg m -2  year -1 . Carbonate production declined after the first year of back-to-back bleaching in 2014, but then increased after 2015 to values greater than the initial surveys in 2012. Cheeca Rocks is an outlier in the Caribbean and Florida Keys in terms of coral cover, carbonate production, and abundance of O. faveolata , which is threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Given the resilience of this site to repeated bleaching events, it may deserve special management attention.

  4. Mapping Prevalence and Incidence of Coral Disease in reef-building corals at two Natural Reserves of the Southwest Puerto Rico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanchez Viruet, I.; Irizarry-Soto, E.; Ruiz-Valentín, I.

    2016-02-01

    Coral diseases seems to be the main cause of coral reef decline in the Caribbean. Before the bleaching event of 2005, coral reefs in Puerto Rico were dominated by the reef-building taxa: Orbicella annularis, Porites astreoides, Montastrea cavernosa, Agaricia agaracites and Colpophyllia natans. After the event, live-coral cover significantly declined and more than 90% of the scleractinian corals in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico showed signals of thermal stressors. The prevalence of coral diseases in five reef-building coral (Orbicella annularis, Orbicella franksi, Orbicella faveolata, Porites porites and Pseudiploria strigosa) species was assessed by tagging, photographing, and mapping all diseased and healthy colonies within 10 permanent 40m2 band transects at each inshore and mid-shelf reefs of Belvedere and Punta Guaniquilla Natural Reserves using a random stratified sampling method. Maximum and perpendicular diameter was used to assess coral size using Coral Point Count with Excel Extension. Corals were classified into three size class populations (class I: 0-50cm, class II: 50-100cm and class III: >100 cm). Data was used to develop a GIS-based map containing coral species, size and disease presence. Preliminary results of the inshore area showed a higher disease prevalence in Belvedere natural reserve and for P. strigosa (17.1%) and O. annularis (9.3%). Frequency distribution analysis showed a dominance of O. faveolata at Punta Guaniquilla and Belvedere (127 and 88 individuals respectively). Size class I dominates the distribution of each species within the natural reserves with a higher disease prevalence. Future work include continue prevalence surveys of the outer reef shelf on both natural reserves, monitoring and GIS-based mapping of incidence and resilience through time. This study will help in the assessment of the status of the coral reef of the southwest insular platform.

  5. Composition and abundance of zooplankton groups from a coral reef lagoon in Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo, Mexico, during an annual cycle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José N Álvarez-Cadena

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Zooplankton sampling was carried out monthly from January to December 1990 at station A near the coastline, and station B near the reef barrier, in a tropical coral reef lagoon in the Mexican Caribbean Sea. Samplings were made at midnight, near surface, with a conical net (mouth 0.40 m, mesh 330 µm for 10 min. Salinity varied from 35.1 to 36.3 psu and temperature from 26.3 to 30.2 ºC. The Bray-Curtis test applied to these results has defined two seasons: the dry season from November to May, and the wet season from June to October. A total of 37 zooplankton groups were found. Copepods were the most abundant contributing 49.0% of the total capture with Acartia espinata, Calanopia americana and Farranula gracilis as the most numerous. In the total zooplankton, however, cirripeds captured in only 15 samples of 24 were second in abundance (20.9%. Decapods, present all year-round and more abundant during the wet season, were third and contributed 19.2%. The rest of the groups were scarce and only amphipods (2.4% and larvaceans (2.0% were relatively abundant. The abundance of captured organisms correlated with the abiotic factors measured, thus, in the dry season, abundance was lower (mean 7.3 orgs/m3, while in the wet season the mean catch was 36.8 orgs/m3. Rev. Biol. Trop. 57 (3: 647-658. Epub 2009 September 30.Se efectuaron muestreos mensuales de zooplancton en el Caribe de México de enero a diciembre de 1990 en dos estaciones en la laguna arrecifal de Puerto Morelos en el estado de Quintana Roo, una situada cerca de la línea de costa (A, y la otra próxima a la barrera de coral (B. Los arrastres se realizaron en condiciones de oscuridad (a medianoche, cerca de la superficie durante 10 min con una red cónica de boca de 0.40 m y malla de 330 micras. La salinidad varió de 35.1 a 36.3 ups y la temperatura de 26.3 a 30.2 oC. La prueba de Bray-Curtis definió dos épocas en el año, la de secas de noviembre a mayo, y la de lluvias de junio a

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Louise S L Teh

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-08-12

    ...-01] RIN 0648-ZC19 Coral Reef Conservation Program Implementation Guidelines AGENCY: National Oceanic... Guidelines (Guidelines) for the Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP or Program) under the Coral Reef... assistance for coral reef conservation projects under the Act. NOAA revised the Implementation Guidelines for...

  9. Status and review of health of Indian coral reefs

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Rajan, R.; Satyanarayan, C.; Raghunathan, C.; Koya, S.S.; Ravindran, J.; Manikandan, B.; Venkataraman, K.

    Status of reef health incorporating species-wise cover of scleractinians has been reported covering 61 stations in 29 reef locations of the four major reef regions in India as of March 2011, alongside a review of available reef health data since...

  10. Tourism, Reef Condition and Visitor Satisfaction in Watamu Marine ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Abstract—Reef-based tourism is known to put environmental pressure on reefs but its consequences on the ecological and economic sustainability of Marine. Protected Areas is unknown. Previous research suggests that, if reef conditions decline, then tourism on a reef will also suffer, but is this always the case? This.

  11. Patterns of coral species richness and reef connectivity in Malaysia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Waheed, Z.

    2016-01-01

    Much remains to be discovered about the biodiversity of coral reefs in Malaysia, making this area a priority for coral reef research. This thesis aims to provide insights into the patterns of reef coral species richness and the degree of reef connectivity across Malaysia. For the species richness

  12. Acclimatization to high-variance habitats does not enhance physiological tolerance of two key Caribbean corals to future temperature and pH.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camp, Emma F; Smith, David J; Evenhuis, Chris; Enochs, Ian; Manzello, Derek; Woodcock, Stephen; Suggett, David J

    2016-05-25

    Corals are acclimatized to populate dynamic habitats that neighbour coral reefs. Habitats such as seagrass beds exhibit broad diel changes in temperature and pH that routinely expose corals to conditions predicted for reefs over the next 50-100 years. However, whether such acclimatization effectively enhances physiological tolerance to, and hence provides refuge against, future climate scenarios remains unknown. Also, whether corals living in low-variance habitats can tolerate present-day high-variance conditions remains untested. We experimentally examined how pH and temperature predicted for the year 2100 affects the growth and physiology of two dominant Caribbean corals (Acropora palmata and Porites astreoides) native to habitats with intrinsically low (outer-reef terrace, LV) and/or high (neighbouring seagrass, HV) environmental variance. Under present-day temperature and pH, growth and metabolic rates (calcification, respiration and photosynthesis) were unchanged for HV versus LV populations. Superimposing future climate scenarios onto the HV and LV conditions did not result in any enhanced tolerance to colonies native to HV. Calcification rates were always lower for elevated temperature and/or reduced pH. Together, these results suggest that seagrass habitats may not serve as refugia against climate change if the magnitude of future temperature and pH changes is equivalent to neighbouring reef habitats. © 2016 The Author(s).

  13. Ascidians from Caribbean shallow water localities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Goodbody, Ivan

    1984-01-01

    Between 1930 and 1973 PIETER WAGENAAR HUMMELINCK of the Zoölogisch Laboratorium of the State University of Utrecht made nine collecting trips to the Caribbean. While most collecting was undertaken in the territories of the Netherlands Antilles, visits were also made to several other West Indian

  14. Highlight: Canadian and Caribbean parliamentarians discuss open ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    2016-04-14

    Apr 14, 2016 ... “This is what IDRC is all about: Not only do we invest in solutions, but we make sure ... Improving food security in Latin America and the Caribbean ... There is ample evidence that addressing gender inequalities and empoweri.

  15. Migration and rural development in the Caribbean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Momsen, J D

    1986-01-01

    The relationship between migration and agricultural development in the Caribbean is examined. The data, collected by survey, concern the islands of Nevis, Montserrat, and Saint Lucia. The results show that migration is not associated with agricultural innovation or the use of specific technical inputs and that it frequently has a negative impact on agricultural productivity and attitudes toward farming.

  16. Caribbean | IDRC - International Development Research Centre

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    ... we've supported the efforts of researchers in the English-speaking Caribbean. ... Languages ... Home · What we do · Regions and countries · Latin America and the ... We have funded research with a focus on trade and the economy, which ... IDRC-supported research broke new ground with one of the first analyses of ...

  17. Functional connectivity of coral reef fishes in a tropical seascape assessed by compound-specific stable isotope analyses

    KAUST Repository

    McMahon, Kelton W.

    2011-01-01

    The ecological integrity of tropical habitats, including mangroves, seagrass beds and coral reefs, is coming under increasing pressure from human activities. Many coral reef fish species are thought to use mangroves and seagrass beds as juvenile nurseries before migrating to coral reefs as adults. Identifying essential habitats and preserving functional linkages among these habitats is likely necessary to promote ecosystem health and sustainable fisheries on coral reefs. This necessitates quantitative assessment of functional connectivity among essential habitats at the seascape level. This thesis presents the development and first application of a method for tracking fish migration using amino acid (AA) δ13C analysis in otoliths. In a controlled feeding experiment with fish reared on isotopically distinct diets, we showed that essential AAs exhibited minimal trophic fractionation between consumer and diet, providing a δ13C record of the baseline isoscape. We explored the potential for geochemical signatures in otoliths of snapper to act as natural tags of residency in seagrass beds, mangroves and coral reefs in the Red Sea, Caribbean Sea and Eastern Pacific Ocean. The δ13C values of otolith essential AAs varied as a function of habitat type and provided a better tracer of residence in juvenile nursery habitats than conventional bulk stable isotope analyses (SIA). Using our otolith AA SIA approach, we quantified the relative contribution of coastal wetlands and reef habitats to Lutjanus ehrenbergii populations on coastal, shelf and oceanic coral reefs in the Red Sea. L. ehrenbergii made significant ontogenetic migrations, traveling more than 30 km from juvenile nurseries to coral reefs and across deep open water. Coastal wetlands were important nurseries for L. ehrenbergii; however, there was significant plasticity in L. ehrenbergii juvenile habitat requirements. Seascape configuration played an important role in determining the functional connectivity of L

  18. Best-fit analysis for future coral reef survivors on Bonaire: A lifeline to the reefs' future in the region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, C. C.; Elswick, E. R.; Beeker, C. D.; Kauffman, E. G.; Budziak, A. T.; Wiegand, N.

    2012-12-01

    Given the decline of Caribbean corals and increases in environmental threats and human stressors to the reef ecosystem, it is imperative to document and establish a biological and environmental baseline inventory of coral recruits and environments in which corals live. Our project investigated the association of corals and water chemistry on the leeward side of Bonaire to test for and assess the hypothesis of ocean acidification affecting one of the healthiest reefs in the Caribbean. A dry island such as Bonaire, with no major river input into the leeward side of the island, provides an ideal location for such an analyses as it yields a relatively pure ocean chemistry signal. A multi-year investigation in Bonaire National Marine Park (BNMP) focused on corals growing on mooring buoy anchors created from cement blocks and cement filled, discarded petroleum barrels. We evaluate the persistence of corals on anchors placed in BNMP in the 1960's and 1970's, taking advantage of the maximum timeline for coral recruits. Recruits initiated in the zone occupied initially by Acropora cervicornis and A. palmata, and persisted through the decline of the once dominant acroporids. Thus, our study can be taken as a natural inoculation experiment under ambient field conditions. We collected 200ml water samples at 25 sites and analyzed samples on the Atomic Absorption Spectrometer Analyst 800 and Dionex IC25 Ion Chromatograph instruments to yield elemental data for water chemistry analyses. Depth pH, temperature, salinity and turbidity were recorded per site in rainy and dry seasons over the 5-year, Nov 2007 - April 2011 study. pH measurements were taken by colorimetric and indicator strips. Biologic data collection focused on coral species identifications per site on mooring anchors but sponges, hydrozoans and algae were also noted. Our research reveals no pH changes in these shallow (12.2m) waters over the duration of the study. pH colorimetric averages were 8.0-8.5 for both April

  19. Carbon stocks of tropical coastal wetlands within the karstic landscape of the Mexican Caribbean.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Fernanda Adame

    Full Text Available Coastal wetlands can have exceptionally large carbon (C stocks and their protection and restoration would constitute an effective mitigation strategy to climate change. Inclusion of coastal ecosystems in mitigation strategies requires quantification of carbon stocks in order to calculate emissions or sequestration through time. In this study, we quantified the ecosystem C stocks of coastal wetlands of the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve (SKBR in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. We stratified the SKBR into different vegetation types (tall, medium and dwarf mangroves, and marshes, and examined relationships of environmental variables with C stocks. At nine sites within SKBR, we quantified ecosystem C stocks through measurement of above and belowground biomass, downed wood, and soil C. Additionally, we measured nitrogen (N and phosphorus (P from the soil and interstitial salinity. Tall mangroves had the highest C stocks (987±338 Mg ha(-1 followed by medium mangroves (623±41 Mg ha(-1, dwarf mangroves (381±52 Mg ha(-1 and marshes (177±73 Mg ha(-1. At all sites, soil C comprised the majority of the ecosystem C stocks (78-99%. Highest C stocks were measured in soils that were relatively low in salinity, high in P and low in N∶P, suggesting that P limits C sequestration and accumulation potential. In this karstic area, coastal wetlands, especially mangroves, are important C stocks. At the landscape scale, the coastal wetlands of Sian Ka'an covering ≈172,176 ha may store 43.2 to 58.0 million Mg of C.

  20. [Hurricane impact on Thalassia testudinum (Hydrocharitaceae) beds in the Mexican Caribbean].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arellano-Méndez, Leonardo U; Liceaga-Correa, María de los Angeles; Herrera-Silveira, Jorge A; Hernández-Núñez, Héctor

    2011-03-01

    Hurricanes have increased in strength and frequency as a result of global climate change. This research was conducted to study the spatio-temporal distribution and changes of Thalassia testudinum, the dominant species in Bahia de la Ascension (Quintana Roo, Mexico), when affected by heavy weather conditions. To complete this objective, a 2001 Landsat ETM+ image and the information from 525 sampling stations on morpho-functional and coverage of T. testudinum were used, and the seeds generated for the classification of eight benthic habitats. To quantify the changes caused by two hurricanes, we used two images, one of 1988 (Gilberto) and another of 1995 (Roxanne); other three data sets (2003, 2005 and 2007) were also used to describe the study area without major weather effects. Six categorial maps were obtained and subjected to analysis by 8 Landscape Ecology indexes, that describe the spatial characteristics, structure, function, change of the elements (matrix-patch-corridor), effects on ecosystems, connectivity, edges, shape and patch habitat fragmentation. Models indicate that T. testudinum may be classified as a continuum (matrix), since the fragments were not observed intermittently, but as a progression from minimum to maximum areas in reference to their coverage (ecological corridors). The fragments do not have a regular shape, indicating that the impacts are recent and may be due to direct effects (high-intensity hurricanes) or indirect (sediment). Fragments of type "bare soils" have a discontinuous distribution, and are considered to be the sites that have remained stable over a long timescale. While more dense coverage areas ("beds", "medium prairie" and "prairie") have low fragmentation and high connection of fragments. Features have an irregular perimeter and radial growth of formal; suggesting that the impact of meteors has no effect on the resilience of T. testudinum in this ecosystem, indicating good environmental quality to grow in this bay.

  1. Oral and cloacal microflora of wild crocodiles Crocodylus acutus and C. moreletii in the Mexican Caribbean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charruau, Pierre; Pérez-Flores, Jonathan; Pérez-Juárez, José G; Cedeño-Vázquez, J Rogelio; Rosas-Carmona, Rebeca

    2012-02-17

    Bacterial cultures and chemical analyses were performed from cloacal and oral swabs taken from 43 American crocodiles Crocodylus acutus and 28 Morelet's crocodiles C. moreletii captured in Quintana Roo State, Mexico. We recovered 47 bacterial species (28 genera and 14 families) from all samples with 51.1% of these belonging to the family Enterobacteriaceae. Fourteen species (29.8%) were detected in both crocodile species and 18 (38.3%) and 15 (31.9%) species were only detected in American and Morelet's crocodiles, respectively. We recovered 35 bacterial species from all oral samples, of which 9 (25.8%) were detected in both crocodile species. From all cloacal samples, we recovered 21 bacterial species, of which 8 (38.1%) were detected in both crocodile species. The most commonly isolated bacteria in cloacal samples were Aeromonas hydrophila and Escherichia coli, whereas in oral samples the most common bacteria were A. hydrophila and Arcanobacterium pyogenes. The bacteria isolated represent a potential threat to crocodile health during conditions of stress and a threat to human health through crocodile bites, crocodile meat consumption or carrying out activities in crocodile habitat. We especially warn about the presence of Salmonella arizonae and S. typhi, which cause enteritis and septicemia in crocodiles and salmonellosis and typhoid fever in humans. The risk of bacterial contamination from crocodiles to humans could increase in the future because of the accelerated destruction of crocodile habitat, which could lead to an augmentation of human-crocodile interactions. Information on bacterial diversity reported here could help in the choice of antibacterial products in case of infections that are of crocodile origin.

  2. Benthic foraminifera baseline assemblages from a coastal nearshore reef complex on the central Great Barrier Reef

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

    Declining water quality due to river catchment modification since European settlement (c. 1850 A.D.) represents a major threat to the health of coral reefs on Australia's Great Barrier Reef (GBR), particularly for those located in the coastal waters of the GBR's inner-shelf. These nearshore reefs are widely perceived to be most susceptible to declining water quality owing to their close proximity to river point sources. Despite this, nearshore reefs have been relatively poorly studied with the impacts and magnitudes of environmental degradation still remaining unclear. This is largely due to ongoing debates concerning the significance of increased sediment yields against naturally high background sedimentary regimes. Benthic foraminifera are increasingly used as tools for monitoring environmental and ecological change on coral reefs. On the GBR, the majority of studies have focussed on the spatial distributions of contemporary benthic foraminiferal assemblages. While baseline assemblages from other environments (e.g. inshore reefs and mangroves) have been described, very few records exist for nearshore reefs. Here, we present preliminary results from the first palaeoecological study of foraminiferal assemblages of nearshore reefs on the central GBR. Cores were recovered from the nearshore reef complex at Paluma Shoals using percussion techniques. Recovery was 100%, capturing the entire Holocene reef sequence of the selected reef structures. Radiocarbon dating and subsequent age-depth modelling techniques were used to identify reef sequences pre-dating European settlement. Benthic foraminifera assemblages were reconstructed from the identified sequences to establish pre-European ecological baselines with the aim of providing a record of foraminiferal distribution during vertical reef accretion and against which contemporary ecological change may be assessed.

  3. Caribbean ciguatera: a changing paradigm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T.R Tosteson

    2004-09-01

    Full Text Available Analyses of ciguatoxicity in the great barracuda Sphyraena barracuda and quantity of toxic benthic dinoflagellates on coastal reefs (correlated with the number of cases of human ciguatera intoxications in Puerto Rico were used to construct a model formulated on data obtained during the period of 1985-1988. The validity of the proposed model has been questioned by recent data obtained during the period of 1990-2000. Barracuda ciguatoxicity no longer showed a prominent seasonality while the fraction of randomly caught barracuda that were ciguatoxic significantly increased during this period. These two changes, accompanied by the discovery that ciguatoxic fish contained a variety of multiple toxins, appear to be correlated with the steadily increasing periods of elevated sea surface temperatures in this regionPruebas de ciguatoxicidad en la gran barracuda, Sphyraena barracuda y la cantidad de dinoflagelados bentónicos tóxicos en los arrecifes de la costa están correlacionados con el número de casos de intoxicaciones por ciguatera en humanos, en Puerto Rico. Estos hechos fueron utilizados para construir un modelo que fue formulado con la información recopilada durante el período de 1985- 1988. La validez de este modelo propuesto ha sido cuestionada debido a la información recientemente obtenida durante el período 1990-2000. La ciguatoxicidad en la barracuda ya no demostraba una marcada asociación con las temporadas mientras que la cantidad de barracuda ciguatóxica capturada al azar tuvo un aumento significativo durante este período. Estos dos cambios estuvieron acompañados por el descubrimiento de que peces ciguatóxicos contienen una gran variedad de toxinas que parecen estar relacionadas con los períodos de elevadas temperaturas en la superficie del mar. Estas temperaturas continúan aumentando de manera que a su vez continúan en un aumento estable en esta región

  4. Global warming and coral reefs

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Wafar, M.V.M.

    , notably at Ratnagiri. Malwan. Redi Port and Vizhingam. Relic reefs with living herm<:ltypic corals at depths ranging fror:l 25 to 45m are the Gaves hani Bank off~\\angalore,and the submerged banks (Bass<:ls de Pedro. Sesostris Bank and Cora Divh... the snore (Qaslm and Wafar, 1979). The other representative Sea le\\lel Variation 417 of the extensive reelS of the outer shelf that survived Pleistocene drowning is the Gaveshani Bank, fanhc: south (J 3° 24' N; 73° 45' E), about 100 km off \\1 ar:ga lore...

  5. Geomorphology and sediment transport on a submerged back-reef sand apron: One Tree Reef, Great Barrier Reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Daniel L.; Vila-Concejo, Ana; Webster, Jody M.

    2014-10-01

    Back-reef sand aprons are conspicuous and dynamic sedimentary features in coral reef systems. The development of these features influences the evolution and defines the maturity of coral reefs. However, the hydrodynamic processes that drive changes on sand aprons are poorly understood with only a few studies directly assessing sediment entrainment and transport. Current and wave conditions on a back-reef sand apron were measured during this study and a digital elevation model was developed through topographic and bathymetric surveying of the sand apron, reef flats and lagoon. The current and wave processes that may entrain and transport sediment were assessed using second order small amplitude (Stokes) wave theory and Shields equations. The morphodynamic interactions between current flow and geomorphology were also examined. The results showed that sediment transport occurs under modal hydrodynamic conditions with waves the main force entraining sediment rather than average currents. A morphodynamic relationship between current flow and geomorphology was also observed with current flow primarily towards the lagoon in shallow areas of the sand apron and deeper channel-like areas directing current off the sand apron towards the lagoon or the reef crest. These results show that the short-term mutual interaction of hydrodynamics and geomorphology in coral reefs can result in morphodynamic equilibrium.

  6. New tariffs confuse Mexican market

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coeyman, M.

    1992-01-01

    Indelpro - the Grupo Alfa/Himont joint venture 150,000-m.t./year polypropylene (PP) plant in Altamira, Mexico - has been working to find its place in the Mexican market since coming onstream in March. At the same time, that market has been complicated by the imposition of import and export tariffs by the U.S. Department of Commerce early this fall. Commerce's accession to a 10% ad valorem tax on US PP exports to Mexico surprised some industry observers. The tariff is scheduled to be phased out within 10 years and is partly countermanded by a 5% tariff over a five-year period on Mexican PP exports to the US. But some market analysts say the arrangement is baffling

  7. Habitat complexity and fish size affect the detection of Indo-Pacific lionfish on invaded coral reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, S. J.; Tamburello, N.; Miller, S. E.; Akins, J. L.; Côté, I. M.

    2013-06-01

    A standard approach to improving the accuracy of reef fish population estimates derived from underwater visual censuses (UVCs) is the application of species-specific correction factors, which assumes that a species' detectability is constant under all conditions. To test this assumption, we quantified detection rates for invasive Indo-Pacific lionfish ( Pterois volitans and P. miles), which are now a primary threat to coral reef conservation throughout the Caribbean. Estimates of lionfish population density and distribution, which are essential for managing the invasion, are currently obtained through standard UVCs. Using two conventional UVC methods, the belt transect and stationary visual census (SVC), we assessed how lionfish detection rates vary with lionfish body size and habitat complexity (measured as rugosity) on invaded continuous and patch reefs off Cape Eleuthera, the Bahamas. Belt transect and SVC surveys performed equally poorly, with both methods failing to detect the presence of lionfish in >50 % of surveys where thorough, lionfish-focussed searches yielded one or more individuals. Conventional methods underestimated lionfish biomass by ~200 %. Crucially, detection rate varied significantly with both lionfish size and reef rugosity, indicating that the application of a single correction factor across habitats and stages of invasion is unlikely to accurately characterize local populations. Applying variable correction factors that account for site-specific lionfish size and rugosity to conventional survey data increased estimates of lionfish biomass, but these remained significantly lower than actual biomass. To increase the accuracy and reliability of estimates of lionfish density and distribution, monitoring programs should use detailed area searches rather than standard visual survey methods. Our study highlights the importance of accounting for sources of spatial and temporal variation in detection to increase the accuracy of survey data from

  8. NAFTA and the Mexican Economy

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-11-04

    its loans. Then President Miguel de la Madrid took steps to open and liberalize the Mexican economy and initiated procedures to replace import...capita income in countries. 24 Lessons from NAFTA, 2005. 25 Economia , “NAFTA and Convergence in North America: High Expectations, Big Events, Little Time...Easterly, Norbert Fiess, and Daniel Lederman, Economia , “NAFTA and Convergence in North America: High Expectations, Big Events, Little Time,” Fall 2003. The

  9. DNA barcode identification of commercial fish sold in Mexican markets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarmiento-Camacho, Stephanie; Valdez-Moreno, Martha

    2018-04-24

    The substitution of high-value fish species for those of lower value is common practice. Although numerous studies have addressed this issue, few have been conducted in Mexico. In this study, we sought to identify fresh fillets of fish, sharks, and rays using DNA barcodes. We analyzed material from "La Viga" in Mexico City, and other markets located on the Gulf and Caribbean coasts of Mexico. From 134 samples, we obtained sequences from 129, identified to 9 orders, 28 families, 38 genera, and 44 species. The most common species were Seriola dumerili, Pangasianodon hypophthalmus, Carcharhinus falciformis, Carcharhinus brevipinna, and Hypanus americanus. Pangasianodon hypophthalmus was most commonly used as a substitute for higher-value species. The substitution rate was 18% of the total. A review of the conservation status of the specimens identified against the IUNC list enabled us to establish that some species marketed in Mexico are threatened: Makaira nigricans, Lachnolaimus maximus, Hyporthodus flavolimbatus, and Isurus oxyrinchus are classified as vulnerable; Lopholatilus chamaeleonticeps and Sphyrna lewini are endangered; and the status of Hyporthodus nigritus is critical. These results will demonstrate to the Mexican authorities that DNA barcoding is a reliable tool for species identification, even when morphological identification is difficult or impossible.

  10. Geographic differences in vertical connectivity in the Caribbean coral Montastraea cavernosa despite high levels of horizontal connectivity at shallow depths.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serrano, X; Baums, I B; O'Reilly, K; Smith, T B; Jones, R J; Shearer, T L; Nunes, F L D; Baker, A C

    2014-09-01

    The deep reef refugia hypothesis proposes that deep reefs can act as local recruitment sources for shallow reefs following disturbance. To test this hypothesis, nine polymorphic DNA microsatellite loci were developed and used to assess vertical connectivity in 583 coral colonies of the Caribbean depth-generalist coral Montastraea cavernosa. Samples were collected from three depth zones (≤10, 15-20 and ≥25 m) at sites in Florida (within the Upper Keys, Lower Keys and Dry Tortugas), Bermuda, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Migration rates were estimated to determine the probability of coral larval migration from shallow to deep and from deep to shallow. Finally, algal symbiont (Symbiodinium spp.) diversity and distribution were assessed in a subset of corals to test whether symbiont depth zonation might indicate limited vertical connectivity. Overall, analyses revealed significant genetic differentiation by depth in Florida, but not in Bermuda or the U.S. Virgin Islands, despite high levels of horizontal connectivity between these geographic locations at shallow depths. Within Florida, greater vertical connectivity was observed in the Dry Tortugas compared to the Lower or Upper Keys. However, at all sites, and regardless of the extent of vertical connectivity, migration occurred asymmetrically, with greater likelihood of migration from shallow to intermediate/deep habitats. Finally, most colonies hosted a single Symbiodinium type (C3), ruling out symbiont depth zonation of the dominant symbiont type as a structuring factor. Together, these findings suggest that the potential for shallow reefs to recover from deep-water refugia in M. cavernosa is location-specific, varying among and within geographic locations likely as a consequence of local hydrology. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  12. Diving down the reefs? Intensive diving tourism threatens the reefs of the northern Red Sea

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hasler-Sheetal, Harald; Ott, Jörg A.

    2008-01-01

    Intensive recreational SCUBA diving threatens coral reef ecosystems. The reefs at Dahab, South Sinai, Egypt, are among the world’s most dived (>30,000dives y−1). We compared frequently dived sites to sites with no or little diving. Benthic communities and condition of corals were examined...... to intensive SCUBA diving showed a significantly higher number of broken and damaged corals and significantly lower coral cover. Reef crest coral communities were significantly more affected than those of the reef slope: 95% of the bro