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Sample records for oyster reef communities

  1. Oysters and Oyster Reef Communities in Florida.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knight, Jean; Bly, Joe

    1989-01-01

    The habitat, life history, feeding, classification, anatomy and pearl production of the American oyster (Crassostrea virginica) are presented. A list of other oyster reef inhabitants and predators is provided. Harvest and habitat loss are discussed. (CW)

  2. Oyster Reef Communities in the Chesapeake Bay: A Brief Primer. VORTEX: Virginia's Oyster Reef Teaching EXperience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harding, Juliana M.; Mann, Roger; Clark, Vicki P.

    This document introduces Virginia's Oyster Reef Teaching EXperience (VORTEX), which is an interdisciplinary program focusing on the importance of oyster reef communities in the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. The VORTEX program uses field and laboratory experience supported by multimedia instruction. This document presents an overview on the biology of…

  3. The ecology of intertidal oyster reefs of the South Atlantic Coast: A community profile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bahr, Leonard M.; Lanier, William P.

    1981-01-01

    The functional role of the intertidal oyster reef community in the southeastern Atlantic coastal zone is described. This description is based on a compilation of published data, as well as some unpublished information presented as hypotheses. The profile is organized in a hierarchical manner, such that relevant details of reef oyster biology (autecology) are presented, followed by a description of the reef community level of organization. Then the reef community is described as a subsystem of the coastal marsh-ecosystem (synecoloqy). This information is also synthesized in a series of nested conceptual models of oyster reefs at the regional level, the drainage basin level, and the individual reef level. The final chapter includes a summary overview and a section on management implications and guidelines. Intertidal oyster reefs are relatively persistent features of the salt marsh estuarine ecosystem in the southeastern Atlantic coastal zone. The average areal extent of the oyster reef subsystem in this larger ecosystem is relatively small (about 0.05%). This proportion does not reflect, however, the functional importance of the reef subsystem in stablizing the marsh, providing food for estuarine consumers, mineralizing organic matter, and providing firm substrates in this otherwise soft environment.

  4. Effects of an artificial oyster shell reef on macrobenthic communities in Rongcheng Bay, East China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Qinzeng; Zhang, Libin; Zhang, Tao; Zhou, Yi; Xia, Sudong; Liu, Hui; Yang, Hongsheng

    2014-01-01

    An artificial oyster shell reef was deployed in Rongcheng Bay, East China. However, the effects of this reef on the surrounding macrobenthic communities were unknown. We compared sedimentary factors, macrobenthic biomass, abundance, and community composition and ecological indicators between the reef and non-reef areas over a one year period. The mean values for chlorophyll a (Chl a), total organic matter (TOM), total organic carbon (TOC), and total nitrogen (TN) content in surface sediments in the reef area were slightly higher than those in the non-reef area. The Chl a levels differed significantly between the two areas, but the TOM, TOC, and TN were not significantly different. The abundance of crustaceans was significantly different between the two areas, but the abundance and biomass of polychaetes, echinoderms, mollusk did not differ significantly. The permutational multivariate analysis of variance (PERMANOVA) revealed that the macrobenthic community differed significantly through time and analysis of similarity multivariate analyses (ANOSIM) revealed that the macrobenthic community differed significantly in some months. The ecological indicators revealed that the environmental quality of the reef area was slightly better than that of the non-reef area. Overall, our results suggest that the artificial oyster shell reef may change the macrobenthic community and the quality of the environment. Despite the lack of an effect in the short term, long-term monitoring is still needed to evaluate the effects of artificial oyster shell reefs on macrobenthic communities.

  5. Influence of an oyster reef on development of the microbial heterotrophic community of an estuarine biofilm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nocker, Andreas; Lepo, Joe E; Snyder, Richard A

    2004-11-01

    We characterized microbial biofilm communities developed over two very closely located but distinct benthic habitats in the Pensacola Bay estuary using two complementary cultivation-independent molecular techniques. Biofilms were grown for 7 days on glass slides held in racks 10 to 15 cm over an oyster reef and an adjacent muddy sand bottom. Total biomass and optical densities of dried biofilms showed dramatic differences for oyster reef versus non-oyster reef biofilms. This study assessed whether the observed spatial variation was reflected in the heterotrophic prokaryotic species composition. Genomic biofilm DNA from both locations was isolated and served as a template to amplify 16S rRNA genes with universal eubacterial primers. Fluorescently labeled PCR products were analyzed by terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism, creating a genetic fingerprint of the composition of the microbial communities. Unlabeled PCR products were cloned in order to construct a clone library of 16S rRNA genes. Amplified ribosomal DNA restriction analysis was used to screen and define ribotypes. Partial sequences from unique ribotypes were compared with existing database entries to identify species and to construct phylogenetic trees representative of community structures. A pronounced difference in species richness and evenness was observed at the two sites. The biofilm community structure from the oyster reef setting had greater evenness and species richness than the one from the muddy sand bottom. The vast majority of the bacteria in the oyster reef biofilm were related to members of the gamma- and delta-subdivisions of Proteobacteria, the Cytophaga-Flavobacterium -Bacteroides cluster, and the phyla Planctomyces and Holophaga-Acidobacterium. The same groups were also present in the biofilm harvested at the muddy sand bottom, with the difference that nearly half of the community consisted of representatives of the Planctomyces phylum. Total species richness was estimated

  6. 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....

  7. Shell Games. VORTEX: Virginia's Oyster Reef Teaching EXperience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harding, Juliana M.; Mann, Roger; Clark, Vicki P.

    This document introduces Virginia's Oyster Reef Teaching EXperience (VORTEX), which is an interdisciplinary program focusing on the importance of oyster reef communities in the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. The VORTEX program uses field and laboratory experiences supported by multimedia instruction. This document presents an overview on the biology of…

  8. 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

  9. Economic Values Associated With Construction of Oyster Reefs by the Corps of Engineers

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Henderson, Jim

    2003-01-01

    .... That template includes a community model for the American oyster (Crassostrea virginica) which can be used to quantify the ecological benefits of an oyster reef in an ecosystem restoration project...

  10. Hyperspectral remote sensing of wild oyster reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Bris, Anthony; Rosa, Philippe; Lerouxel, Astrid; Cognie, Bruno; Gernez, Pierre; Launeau, Patrick; Robin, Marc; Barillé, Laurent

    2016-04-01

    The invasion of the wild oyster Crassostrea gigas along the western European Atlantic coast has generated changes in the structure and functioning of intertidal ecosystems. Considered as an invasive species and a trophic competitor of the cultivated conspecific oyster, it is now seen as a resource by oyster farmers following recurrent mass summer mortalities of oyster spat since 2008. Spatial distribution maps of wild oyster reefs are required by local authorities to help define management strategies. In this work, visible-near infrared (VNIR) hyperspectral and multispectral remote sensing was investigated to map two contrasted intertidal reef structures: clusters of vertical oysters building three-dimensional dense reefs in muddy areas and oysters growing horizontally creating large flat reefs in rocky areas. A spectral library, collected in situ for various conditions with an ASD spectroradiometer, was used to run Spectral Angle Mapper classifications on airborne data obtained with an HySpex sensor (160 spectral bands) and SPOT satellite HRG multispectral data (3 spectral bands). With HySpex spectral/spatial resolution, horizontal oysters in the rocky area were correctly classified but the detection was less efficient for vertical oysters in muddy areas. Poor results were obtained with the multispectral image and from spatially or spectrally degraded HySpex data, it was clear that the spectral resolution was more important than the spatial resolution. In fact, there was a systematic mud deposition on shells of vertical oyster reefs explaining the misclassification of 30% of pixels recognized as mud or microphytobenthos. Spatial distribution maps of oyster reefs were coupled with in situ biomass measurements to illustrate the interest of a remote sensing product to provide stock estimations of wild oyster reefs to be exploited by oyster producers. This work highlights the interest of developing remote sensing techniques for aquaculture applications in coastal

  11. Oyster Reef Projects 1997-2001

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — We used a quantitative sampling device to compare nekton use among high-relief live oyster reef, vegetated marsh edge Spartina alterniflora, and nonvegetated bottom...

  12. Flow-sediment-oyster interaction around degraded, restored, and reference oyster reefs in Florida's Indian River Lagoon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kitsikoudis, V.; Kibler, K. M.; Spiering, D. W.

    2017-12-01

    This study analyzes flow patterns and sediment distributions around three oyster reefs in a bar-built estuarine lagoon. We studied a degraded reef, a recently restored reef, and a reference condition reef with a healthy live oyster community. The restored reef had been regraded and restored with oyster shell mats to aid in recruitment of oyster spat, with the goal of reestablishing a healthy oyster community. Despite the fact that flow-biota-sediment interaction constitutes a blossoming research field, actual field data are sparse and current knowledge emanates from flume studies and numerical modeling. Moreover, the hydraulic effect of restored oyster reefs has not been thoroughly investigated and it is not clear if the flow field and sediment erosion/deposition are similar or diverge from natural reefs. Instantaneous three-dimensional flow velocities were collected on reefs using a Nortek Vectrino Profiler and an acoustic Doppler current profiler (Nortek Aquadopp). The former measured a 2 - 3 cm velocity profile above the oyster bed, while the latter quantified incoming velocities across the flow profile approximately 10 m from the edge of the reef. Flow measurements were conducted during rising tides and are coupled with simultaneous wind speed and direction data. In addition, 20 cm deep sediment cores were retrieved on and off the investigated reefs. Sediment grain size distributions were determined after individual cores were processed for loss on ignition. Incoming flow velocities were as high as 10 cm/s, relatively higher than those recorded close to reefs. Mean and turbulent flow velocities close to the reefs, varied among the investigated sites, despite the similar wind flow conditions offshore. For instance, the measurements at the degraded reef showed decreased wave attenuation and augmented flow velocities compared to the other sites. Boat wakes exhibited a very distinct signal in the flow velocity time-series and significantly increased the approaching

  13. Structural and compositional characterization of the adhesive produced by reef building oysters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alberts, Erik M; Taylor, Stephen D; Edwards, Stephanie L; Sherman, Debra M; Huang, Chia-Ping; Kenny, Paul; Wilker, Jonathan J

    2015-04-29

    Oysters have an impressive ability to overcome difficulties of life within the stressful intertidal zone. These shellfish produce an adhesive for attaching to each other and building protective reef communities. With their reefs often exceeding kilometers in length, oysters play a major role in balancing the health of coastal marine ecosystems. Few details are available to describe oyster adhesive composition or structure. Here several characterization methods were applied to describe the nature of this material. Microscopy studies indicated that the glue is comprised of organic fiber-like and sheet-like structures surrounded by an inorganic matrix. Phospholipids, cross-linking chemistry, and conjugated organics were found to differentiate this adhesive from the shell. Symbiosis in material synthesis could also be present, with oysters incorporating bacterial polysaccharides into their adhesive. Oyster glue shows that an organic-inorganic composite material can provide adhesion, a property especially important when constructing a marine ecosystem.

  14. Oyster reefs as natural breakwaters mitigate shoreline loss and facilitate fisheries.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven B Scyphers

    Full Text Available Shorelines at the interface of marine, estuarine and terrestrial biomes are among the most degraded and threatened habitats in the coastal zone because of their sensitivity to sea level rise, storms and increased human utilization. Previous efforts to protect shorelines have largely involved constructing bulkheads and seawalls which can detrimentally affect nearshore habitats. Recently, efforts have shifted towards "living shoreline" approaches that include biogenic breakwater reefs. Our study experimentally tested the efficacy of breakwater reefs constructed of oyster shell for protecting eroding coastal shorelines and their effect on nearshore fish and shellfish communities. Along two different stretches of eroding shoreline, we created replicated pairs of subtidal breakwater reefs and established unaltered reference areas as controls. At both sites we measured shoreline and bathymetric change and quantified oyster recruitment, fish and mobile macro-invertebrate abundances. Breakwater reef treatments mitigated shoreline retreat by more than 40% at one site, but overall vegetation retreat and erosion rates were high across all treatments and at both sites. Oyster settlement and subsequent survival were observed at both sites, with mean adult densities reaching more than eighty oysters m(-2 at one site. We found the corridor between intertidal marsh and oyster reef breakwaters supported higher abundances and different communities of fishes than control plots without oyster reef habitat. Among the fishes and mobile invertebrates that appeared to be strongly enhanced were several economically-important species. Blue crabs (Callinectes sapidus were the most clearly enhanced (+297% by the presence of breakwater reefs, while red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus (+108%, spotted seatrout (Cynoscion nebulosus (+88% and flounder (Paralichthys sp. (+79% also benefited. Although the vertical relief of the breakwater reefs was reduced over the course of our study

  15. Drought Increases Consumer Pressure on Oyster Reefs in Florida, USA.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hanna G Garland

    Full Text Available Coastal economies and ecosystems have historically depended on oyster reefs, but this habitat has declined globally by 85% because of anthropogenic activities. In a Florida estuary, we investigated the cause of newly reported losses of oysters. We found that the oyster reefs have deteriorated from north to south and that this deterioration was positively correlated with the abundance of carnivorous conchs and water salinity. In experiments across these gradients, oysters survived regardless of salinity if conchs were excluded. After determining that conchs were the proximal cause of oyster loss, we tested whether elevated water salinity was linked to conch abundance either by increasing conch growth and survivorship or by decreasing the abundance of a predator of conchs. In field experiments across a salinity gradient, we failed to detect spatial variation in predation on conchs or in conch growth and survivorship. A laboratory experiment, however, demonstrated the role of salinity by showing that conch larvae failed to survive at low salinities. Because this estuary's salinity increased in 2006 in response to reduced inputs of freshwater, we concluded that the ultimate cause of oyster decline was an increase in salinity. According to records from 2002 to 2012, oyster harvests have remained steady in the northernmost estuaries of this ecoregion (characterized by high reef biomass, low salinity, and low conch abundance but have declined in the southernmost estuaries (characterized by lower reef biomass, increases in salinity, and increases in conch abundance. Oyster conservation in this ecoregion, which is probably one of the few that still support viable oyster populations, may be undermined by drought-induced increases in salinity causing an increased abundance of carnivorous conchs.

  16. Drought Increases Consumer Pressure on Oyster Reefs in Florida, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garland, Hanna G; Kimbro, David L

    2015-01-01

    Coastal economies and ecosystems have historically depended on oyster reefs, but this habitat has declined globally by 85% because of anthropogenic activities. In a Florida estuary, we investigated the cause of newly reported losses of oysters. We found that the oyster reefs have deteriorated from north to south and that this deterioration was positively correlated with the abundance of carnivorous conchs and water salinity. In experiments across these gradients, oysters survived regardless of salinity if conchs were excluded. After determining that conchs were the proximal cause of oyster loss, we tested whether elevated water salinity was linked to conch abundance either by increasing conch growth and survivorship or by decreasing the abundance of a predator of conchs. In field experiments across a salinity gradient, we failed to detect spatial variation in predation on conchs or in conch growth and survivorship. A laboratory experiment, however, demonstrated the role of salinity by showing that conch larvae failed to survive at low salinities. Because this estuary's salinity increased in 2006 in response to reduced inputs of freshwater, we concluded that the ultimate cause of oyster decline was an increase in salinity. According to records from 2002 to 2012, oyster harvests have remained steady in the northernmost estuaries of this ecoregion (characterized by high reef biomass, low salinity, and low conch abundance) but have declined in the southernmost estuaries (characterized by lower reef biomass, increases in salinity, and increases in conch abundance). Oyster conservation in this ecoregion, which is probably one of the few that still support viable oyster populations, may be undermined by drought-induced increases in salinity causing an increased abundance of carnivorous conchs.

  17. Photosynthetic epibionts and endobionts of Pacific oyster shells from oyster reefs in rocky versus mudflat shores.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laurent Barillé

    Full Text Available The Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas (Thunberg, is the main bivalve species cultivated in the world. With global warming enabling its reproduction and larval survival at higher latitudes, this species is now recognized as invasive and creates wild oyster reefs globally. In this study, the spatial distribution of photosynthetic assemblages colonizing the shells of wild C. gigas was investigated on both a large scale (two contrasting types of reefs found in mudflats and rocky areas and a small scale (within individual shells using a hyperspectral imager. The microspatial distribution of all phototrophs was obtained by mapping the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI. Second derivative (δδ analyses of hyperspectral images at 462, 524, 571 and 647 nm were subsequently applied to map diatoms, cyanobacteria, rhodophytes and chlorophytes, respectively. A concomitant pigment analysis was carried out by high performance liquid chromatography and completed by taxonomic observations. This study showed that there was high microalgal diversity associated with wild oyster shells and that there were differences in the structure of the phototropic assemblages depending on the type of reef. Namely, vertically-growing oysters in mudflat areas had a higher biomass of epizoic diatoms (hyperspectral proxy at δδ462 nm and were mainly colonized by species of the genera Navicula, Nitzschia and Hippodonta, which are epipelic or motile epipsammic. The assemblages on the horizontal oysters contained more tychoplanktonic diatoms (e.g. Thalassiosira pseudonana, T. proschkinae and Plagiogrammopsis vanheurckii. Three species of boring cyanobacteria were observed for both types of reef: Mastigocoleus testarum, Leptolyngbya terrebrans, and Hyella caespistosa, but the second derivative analysis at 524 nm showed a significantly higher biomass for the horizontally-growing oysters. There was no biomass difference for the boring chlorophyte assemblages (δδ647 nm, with

  18. Gear and survey efficiency of patent tongs for oyster populations on restoration reefs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David M Schulte

    Full Text Available Surveys of restored oyster reefs need to produce accurate population estimates to assess the efficacy of restoration. Due to the complex structure of subtidal oyster reefs, one effective and efficient means to sample is by patent tongs, rather than SCUBA, dredges, or bottom cores. Restored reefs vary in relief and oyster density, either of which could affect survey efficiency. This study is the first to evaluate gear (the first full grab and survey (which includes selecting a specific half portion of the first grab for further processing efficiencies of hand-operated patent tongs as a function of reef height and oyster density on subtidal restoration reefs. In the Great Wicomico River, a tributary of lower Chesapeake Bay, restored reefs of high- and low-relief (25-45 cm, and 8-12 cm, respectively were constructed throughout the river as the first large-scale oyster sanctuary reef restoration effort (sanctuary acreage > 20 ha at one site in Chesapeake Bay. We designed a metal frame to guide a non-hydraulic mechanical patent tong repeatedly into the same plot on a restored reef until all oysters within the grab area were captured. Full capture was verified by an underwater remotely-operated vehicle. Samples (n = 19 were taken on nine different reefs, including five low- (n = 8 and four high-relief reefs (n = 11, over a two-year period. The gear efficiency of the patent tong was estimated to be 76% (± 5% standard error, whereas survey efficiency increased to 81% (± 10% due to processing. Neither efficiency differed significantly between young-of-the-year oysters (spat and adults, high- and low-relief reefs, or years. As this type of patent tong is a common and cost-effective tool to evaluate oyster restoration projects as well as population density on fished habitat, knowing the gear and survey efficiencies allows for accurate and precise population estimates.

  19. Gear and survey efficiency of patent tongs for oyster populations on restoration reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulte, David M; Lipcius, Romuald N; Burke, Russell P

    2018-01-01

    Surveys of restored oyster reefs need to produce accurate population estimates to assess the efficacy of restoration. Due to the complex structure of subtidal oyster reefs, one effective and efficient means to sample is by patent tongs, rather than SCUBA, dredges, or bottom cores. Restored reefs vary in relief and oyster density, either of which could affect survey efficiency. This study is the first to evaluate gear (the first full grab) and survey (which includes selecting a specific half portion of the first grab for further processing) efficiencies of hand-operated patent tongs as a function of reef height and oyster density on subtidal restoration reefs. In the Great Wicomico River, a tributary of lower Chesapeake Bay, restored reefs of high- and low-relief (25-45 cm, and 8-12 cm, respectively) were constructed throughout the river as the first large-scale oyster sanctuary reef restoration effort (sanctuary acreage > 20 ha at one site) in Chesapeake Bay. We designed a metal frame to guide a non-hydraulic mechanical patent tong repeatedly into the same plot on a restored reef until all oysters within the grab area were captured. Full capture was verified by an underwater remotely-operated vehicle. Samples (n = 19) were taken on nine different reefs, including five low- (n = 8) and four high-relief reefs (n = 11), over a two-year period. The gear efficiency of the patent tong was estimated to be 76% (± 5% standard error), whereas survey efficiency increased to 81% (± 10%) due to processing. Neither efficiency differed significantly between young-of-the-year oysters (spat) and adults, high- and low-relief reefs, or years. As this type of patent tong is a common and cost-effective tool to evaluate oyster restoration projects as well as population density on fished habitat, knowing the gear and survey efficiencies allows for accurate and precise population estimates.

  20. Satellite remote sensing reveals a positive impact of living oyster reefs on microalgal biofilm development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Echappé

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Satellite remote sensing (RS is routinely used for the large-scale monitoring of microphytobenthos (MPB biomass in intertidal mudflats and has greatly improved our knowledge of MPB spatio-temporal variability and its potential drivers. Processes operating on smaller scales however, such as the impact of benthic macrofauna on MPB development, to date remain underinvestigated. In this study, we analysed the influence of wild Crassostrea gigas oyster reefs on MPB biofilm development using multispectral RS. A 30-year time series (1985–2015 combining high-resolution (30 m Landsat and SPOT data was built in order to explore the relationship between C. gigas reefs and MPB spatial distribution and seasonal dynamics, using the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI. Emphasis was placed on the analysis of a before–after control-impact (BACI experiment designed to assess the effect of oyster killing on the surrounding MPB biofilms. Our RS data reveal that the presence of oyster reefs positively affects MPB biofilm development. Analysis of the historical time series first showed the presence of persistent, highly concentrated MPB patches around oyster reefs. This observation was supported by the BACI experiment which showed that killing the oysters (while leaving the physical reef structure, i.e. oyster shells, intact negatively affected both MPB biofilm biomass and spatial stability around the reef. As such, our results are consistent with the hypothesis of nutrient input as an explanation for the MPB growth-promoting effect of oysters, whereby organic and inorganic matter released through oyster excretion and biodeposition stimulates MPB biomass accumulation. MPB also showed marked seasonal variations in biomass and patch shape, size and degree of aggregation around the oyster reefs. Seasonal variations in biomass, with higher NDVI during spring and autumn, were consistent with those observed on broader scales in other European mudflats. Our

  1. Satellite remote sensing reveals a positive impact of living oyster reefs on microalgal biofilm development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Echappé, Caroline; Gernez, Pierre; Méléder, Vona; Jesus, Bruno; Cognie, Bruno; Decottignies, Priscilla; Sabbe, Koen; Barillé, Laurent

    2018-02-01

    Satellite remote sensing (RS) is routinely used for the large-scale monitoring of microphytobenthos (MPB) biomass in intertidal mudflats and has greatly improved our knowledge of MPB spatio-temporal variability and its potential drivers. Processes operating on smaller scales however, such as the impact of benthic macrofauna on MPB development, to date remain underinvestigated. In this study, we analysed the influence of wild Crassostrea gigas oyster reefs on MPB biofilm development using multispectral RS. A 30-year time series (1985-2015) combining high-resolution (30 m) Landsat and SPOT data was built in order to explore the relationship between C. gigas reefs and MPB spatial distribution and seasonal dynamics, using the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI). Emphasis was placed on the analysis of a before-after control-impact (BACI) experiment designed to assess the effect of oyster killing on the surrounding MPB biofilms. Our RS data reveal that the presence of oyster reefs positively affects MPB biofilm development. Analysis of the historical time series first showed the presence of persistent, highly concentrated MPB patches around oyster reefs. This observation was supported by the BACI experiment which showed that killing the oysters (while leaving the physical reef structure, i.e. oyster shells, intact) negatively affected both MPB biofilm biomass and spatial stability around the reef. As such, our results are consistent with the hypothesis of nutrient input as an explanation for the MPB growth-promoting effect of oysters, whereby organic and inorganic matter released through oyster excretion and biodeposition stimulates MPB biomass accumulation. MPB also showed marked seasonal variations in biomass and patch shape, size and degree of aggregation around the oyster reefs. Seasonal variations in biomass, with higher NDVI during spring and autumn, were consistent with those observed on broader scales in other European mudflats. Our study provides the

  2. Testing the effect of habitat structure and complexity on nekton assemblages using experimental oyster reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Humphries, Austin T.; LaPeyre, Megan K.; Kimball, Matthew E.; Rozas, Lawrence P.

    2011-01-01

    Structurally complex habitats are often associated with more diverse and abundant species assemblages in both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Biogenic reefs formed by the eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) are complex in nature and are recognized for their potential habitat value in estuarine systems along the US Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts. Few studies, however, have examined the response of nekton to structural complexity within oyster reefs. We used a quantitative sampling technique to examine how the presence and complexity of experimental oyster reefs influence the abundance, biomass, and distribution of nekton by sampling reefs 4 months and 16 months post-construction. Experimental oyster reefs were colonized immediately by resident fishes and decapod crustaceans, and reefs supported a distinct nekton assemblage compared to mud-bottom habitat. Neither increased reef complexity, nor age of the experimental reef resulted in further changes in nekton assemblages or increases in nekton abundance or diversity. The presence of oyster reefs per se was the most important factor determining nekton usage.

  3. Temporal variation in development of ecosystem services from oyster reef restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    LaPeyre, Megan K.; Humphries, Austin T.; Casas, Sandra M.; La Peyre, Jerome F.

    2014-01-01

    Restoration ecology relies heavily on ecosystem development theories that generally assume development of fully functioning natural systems over time, but often fail to identify the time-frame required for provision of desired functions, or acknowledge different pathways of functional development. In estuaries, a decline of overall habitat quality and functioning has led to significant efforts to restore critical ecosystem services, recently through the creation and restoration of oyster reefs. Oyster reef restoration generally occurs with goals of (1) increasing water quality via filtration through sustainable oyster recruitment, (2) stabilizing shorelines, and (3) creating and enhancing critical estuarine habitat for fish and invertebrates. We restored over 260 m2 of oyster reef habitat in coastal Louisiana and followed the development and provision of these ecosystem services from 2009 through 2012. Oysters recruited to reefs immediately, with densities of oysters greater than 75 mm exceeding 80 ind m−2 after 3 years, and provision of filtration rates of 1002 ± 187 L h−1 m−2; shoreline stabilization effects of the created reefs were minimal over the three years of monitoring, with some evidence of positive shoreline stabilization during higher wind/energy events only; increased nekton abundance of resident, but not larger transient fish was immediately measurable at the reefs, however, this failed to increase through time. Our results provide critical insights into the development trajectories of ecosystem services provided by restored oyster reefs, as well as the mechanisms mediating these changes. This is critical both ecologically to understand how and where a reef thrives, and for policy and management to guide decision-making related to oyster reef restoration and the crediting and accounting of ecosystem services.

  4. Surveying a fossil oyster reef using terrestrial laser scanning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haring, A.; Exner, U.; Harzhauser, M.

    2009-04-01

    The Korneuburg Basin, situated north-west of Vienna, is well known to contain a rich variety of fossils from the Early Miocene (16.5 ma) and therefore has been investigated extensively by scientists in the past decades. An exceptional discovery was made in 2005: a large fossil oyster reef has been excavated and documented carefully during the last years. Aside from the giant-sized oyster (Crassostrea gryphoides), the excavation site contains numerous species of molluscs along with teeth of sharks and rays and even isolated bones of sea cows. The oysters, having lengths of up to 80 cm, are protruding from the ground surface, which is more or less a tilted plane (25˚ ) with a size of about 300 m2. The entire site is crosscut by a network of geological faults, often also offsetting individual oyster shells. Displacements along the normal faults do not exceed ~ 15 cm. The faulted fossils offer a unique opportunity to measure displacement distribution along the faults in great detail and provide insight in deformation mechanisms in porous, barely lithified sediments. In order to get a precise 3D model of the oyster reef, the terrestrial laser scanner system Leica HDS 6000 is used. It is a phase-based laser scanner, i.e. the distance measurement is performed using the phase-shift principle. Compared to the time-of-flight principle, this method is generally more appropriate to projects like this one, where the distances to be measured are relatively small (< 35 m) and where a high point density (point spacing of about 1 cm) and precision (some mm) is required for capturing the oysters adequately. However, due to fact that they occlude each other, one single scan is not sufficient to get all sides of their surface. Therefore, scans from different positions had to be acquired. These scans have to be merged, which involves the problem of sensor orientation as well as sampling of the entire 3D point cloud. Furthermore, a representation of the surface data is required that

  5. Baseline data for evaluating development trajectory and provision of ecosystem services of created fringing oyster reefs in Vermilion Bay, Louisiana

    Science.gov (United States)

    La Peyre, Megan K.; Schwarting, Lindsay; Miller, Shea

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the time frame in which ecosystem services (that is, water quality maintenance, shoreline protection, habitat provision) are expected to be provided is important when restoration projects are being designed and implemented. Restoration of three-dimensional shell habitats in coastal Louisiana and elsewhere presents a valuable and potentially self-sustaining approach to providing shoreline protection, enhancing nekton habitat, and providing water quality maintenance. As with most restoration projects, the development of expected different ecosystem services often occurs over varying time frames, with some services provided immediately and others taking longer to develop. This project was designed initially to compare the provision and development of ecosystem services by created fringing shoreline reefs in subtidal and intertidal environments in Vermilion Bay, Louisiana. Specifically, the goal was to test the null hypothesis that over time, the oyster recruitment and development of a sustainable oyster reef community would be similar at both intertidal and subtidal reef bases, and these sustainable reefs would in time provide similar shoreline stabilization, nekton habitat, and water quality services over similar time frames. Because the ecosystem services hypothesized to be provided by oyster reefs reflect long-term processes, fully testing the above-stated null hypothesis requires a longer-time frame than this project allowed. As such, this project was designed to provide the initial data on reef development and provision of ecosystem services, to identify services that may develop immediately, and to provide baseline data to allow for longer-term follow up studies tracking reef development over time. Unfortunately, these initially created reef bases (subtidal, intertidal) were not constructed as planned because of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in April 2010, which resulted in reef duplicates being created 6 months apart. Further confounding the

  6. Use of oyster reef and salt marsh habitat by estuarine macrofauna and infauna at Confederate Reef and Galveston Island State Park (Texas) during December 1988 and July 1989.

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — In December 1988 and July 1989, samples were collected at Confederate Reef and at Galveston Island State Park to assess an oyster reef and adjacent areas as nursery...

  7. Trade-off between increased survival and reduced growth for blue mussels living on Pacific oyster reefs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Eschweiler, Nina; Christensen, Helle Torp

    2011-01-01

    Pacific oysters Crassostrea gigas (Thunberg 1793) have been introduced into the Wadden Sea (North Sea, Germany) in the mid of the 1980s and have invaded native blue mussel Mytilus edulis (L.) beds. The latter turned into oyster reefs where mussels seem to be relegated to the bottom in between...... the much larger oysters. By combining field and laboratory experiments, we reveal how mussels react to cohabitation with the invasive oysters. Mussels subjected to direct contact with crabs Carcinus maenas migrate from top to bottom positions between oysters in both field and laboratory experiments within...... 22days. Shell growth was significantly reduced for mussels placed on the bottom compared to mussels at the top of an oyster reef. Condition index was lower for mussels on the bottom of the reef irrespective of whether placed between dead or living oysters. We conclude that mussels experience a trade...

  8. Oyster reef restoration supports increased nekton biomass and potential commercial fishery value

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Austin T. Humphries

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Across the globe, discussions centered on the value of nature drive many conservation and restoration decisions. As a result, justification for management activities increasingly asks for two lines of evidence: (1 biological proof of augmented ecosystem function or service, and (2 monetary valuation of these services. For oyster reefs, which have seen significant global declines and increasing restoration work, the need to provide both biological and monetary evidence of reef services on a local-level has become more critical in a time of declining resources. Here, we quantified species biomass and potential commercial value of nekton collected from restored oyster (Crassostrea virginica reefs in coastal Louisiana over a 3-year period, providing multiple snapshots of biomass support over time. Overall, and with little change over time, fish and invertebrate biomass is 212% greater at restored oyster reefs than mud-bottom, or 0.12 kg m−2. The additional biomass of commercial species is equivalent to an increase of local fisheries value by 226%, or $0.09 m−2. Understanding the ecosystem value of restoration projects, and how they interact with regional management priorities, is critical to inform local decision-making and provide testable predictions. Quantitative estimates of potential commercial fisheries enhancement by oyster reef restoration such as this one can be used directly by local managers to determine the expected return on investment.

  9. Loss of an ecological baseline through the eradication of oyster reefs from coastal ecosystems and human memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alleway, Heidi K; Connell, Sean D

    2015-06-01

    Oyster reefs form over extensive areas and the diversity and productivity of sheltered coasts depend on them. Due to the relatively recent population growth of coastal settlements in Australia, we were able to evaluate the collapse and extirpation of native oyster reefs (Ostrea angasi) over the course of a commercial fishery. We used historical records to quantify commercial catch of O. angasi in southern Australia from early colonization, around 1836, to some of the last recorded catches in 1944 and used our estimates of catch and effort to map their past distribution and assess oyster abundance over 180 years. Significant declines in catch and effort occurred from 1886 to 1946 and no native oyster reefs occur today, but historically oyster reefs extended across more than 1,500 km of coastline. That oyster reefs were characteristic of much of the coastline of South Australia from 1836 to 1910 appears not to be known because there is no contemporary consideration of their ecological and economic value. Based on the concept of a shifted baseline, we consider this contemporary state to reflect a collective, intergenerational amnesia. Our model of generational amnesia accounts for differences in intergenerational expectations of food, economic value, and ecosystem services of nearshore areas. An ecological system that once surrounded much of the coast and possibly the past presence of oyster reefs altogether may be forgotten and could not only undermine progress towards their recovery, but also reduce our expectations of these coastal ecosystems. © 2015 Society for Conservation Biology.

  10. PROGRESSION OF DISEASES CAUSED BY THE OYSTER PARASITES, PERKINSUS MARINUS AND HAPLOSPORIDIUM NELSONI, IN CRASSOSTREA VIRGINICA ON CONSTRUCTED INTERTIDAL REEFS

    Science.gov (United States)

    The progression of diseases caused by the oyster parasites, Perkinsus marinus and Haplosporidium nelsoni, were evaluated by periodic sampling (May 1994-Dec. 1995) of oysters, Crassostrea virginica, that set on an artificial reef located in the Piankatank River, Virginia, in Augus...

  11. Evidence of exceptional oyster-reef resilience to fluctuations in sea level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ridge, Justin T; Rodriguez, Antonio B; Fodrie, F Joel

    2017-12-01

    Ecosystems at the land-sea interface are vulnerable to rising sea level. Intertidal habitats must maintain their surface elevations with respect to sea level to persist via vertical growth or landward retreat, but projected rates of sea-level rise may exceed the accretion rates of many biogenic habitats. While considerable attention is focused on climate change over centennial timescales, relative sea level also fluctuates dramatically (10-30 cm) over month-to-year timescales due to interacting oceanic and atmospheric processes. To assess the response of oyster-reef ( Crassostrea virginica ) growth to interannual variations in mean sea level (MSL) and improve long-term forecasts of reef response to rising seas, we monitored the morphology of constructed and natural intertidal reefs over 5 years using terrestrial lidar. Timing of reef scans created distinct periods of high and low relative water level for decade-old reefs ( n  = 3) constructed in 1997 and 2000, young reefs ( n  = 11) constructed in 2011 and one natural reef (approximately 100 years old). Changes in surface elevation were related to MSL trends. Decade-old reefs achieved 2 cm/year growth, which occurred along higher elevations when MSL increased. Young reefs experienced peak growth (6.7 cm/year) at a lower elevation that coincided with a drop in MSL. The natural reef exhibited considerable loss during the low MSL of the first time step but grew substantially during higher MSL through the second time step, with growth peaking (4.3 cm/year) at MSL, reoccupying the elevations previously lost. Oyster reefs appear to be in dynamic equilibrium with short-term (month-to-year) fluctuations in sea level, evidencing notable resilience to future changes to sea level that surpasses other coastal biogenic habitat types. These growth patterns support the presence of a previously defined optimal growth zone that shifts correspondingly with changes in MSL, which can help guide oyster-reef conservation and

  12. Investigation of coal combustion by-product utilization for oyster reef development in Texas bay waters

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baker, W.B. Jr.; Ray, S.M.; Landry, A.M. Jr.

    1991-01-01

    Houston Lighting and Power Company (HL and P), Texas A and M University at Galveston and JTM Industries, Inc. initiated research in May 1988 and coordinated it with state and federal resource protection agencies to investigate the use of certain HL and P coal combustion by-products (CCBP) for enhancing and creating oyster reefs. Initial research involved determining and optimum mix design based on compressive strength, leaching potential, biofouling success, and cost. CCBP material was found to exceed compressive strength criterion (300 psi for at sign 14 days) and was not a significant leaching source. Candidate mix designs and oyster shell controls were exposed to hatchery-reared oyster larvae to determine spat setability and biofouling success. Larvae setting on CCBP substrate developed into spat and grew at a rate comparable to that for larvae on controls. Since all candidate mix designs exhibited excellent biofouling, an optimum design was chosen based on strength and material cost factors. Chemical analyses conducted to determine materials did not significantly contribute to the trace element load in oysters. Development of oyster cultch material was initiated with input from commercial 2.5 to 7.6 cm (1 to 3 inch) diameter pellets which are irregularly shaped and rough textured. These pellets greatly enhance water circulation, provide maximum setting potential for oyster larvae, and maximize the surface area to volume potential of the CCBP material

  13. Restoration of oyster reefs in an estuarine lake: population dynamics and shell accretion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casas, Sandra M.; La Peyre, Jerome F.; La Peyre, Megan K.

    2015-01-01

    Restoration activities inherently depend on understanding the spatial and temporal variation in basic demographic rates of the species of interest. For species that modify and maintain their own habitat such as the eastern oyster Crassostrea virginica, understanding demographic rates and their impacts on population and habitat success are crucial to ensuring restoration success. We measured oyster recruitment, density, size distribution, biomass, mortality and Perkinsus marinus infection intensity quarterly for 3 yr on shallow intertidal reefs created with shell cultch in March 2009. All reefs were located within Sister Lake, LA. Reefs were placed in pairs at 3 different locations within the lake; pairs were placed in low and medium energy sites within each location. Restored reefs placed within close proximity (biomass (>14.6 kg m-2) at the end of 3 yr. Shell accretion, on average, exceeded estimated rates required to keep pace with local subsidence and shell loss. Variation in recruitment, growth and survival drives local site-specific population success, which highlights the need to understand local water quality, hydrodynamics, and metapopulation dynamics when planning restoration.

  14. [Estimation and experiment of carbon sequestration by oysters attached to the enhancement artificial reefs in Laizhou Bay, Shandong, China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Pi-Hai; Li, Jiao; Guan, Chang-Tao; Li, Meng-Jie; Liu, Chao

    2014-10-01

    Through sampling investigation of fouling organisms on the enhancement artificial reefs set up in Laizhou Bay, it was proved that oyster (Ostrea plicatula) was the dominant fouling species. Therefore the dry mass of shell (Ms), total fresh mass (Mt) and thickness (T) of oyster attached on the reefs were analyzed. The results showed that the Mt and Ms presented seasonal variation (P oysters attaching to the tube enhancement reefs constructed in 2009, 2010 and 2011 in Laizhou Bay were 17.61, 16.33 and 10.45 kg · m(-3), respectively. The oysters on the enhancement reefs of Jincheng marine ranch with an area of 64.25 hm2 had fixed carbon of 297.5 t C (equivalent to 1071 t of CO2) from 2009 to 2013 in Laizhou Bay. To capture and store the same amount of CO2 would cost about 1.6 x 10(5)-6.4 x 10(5) US dollars. Therefore, oysters attaching to the enhancement reefs bring about remarkable ecological benefits.

  15. Deeply hidden inside introduced biogenic structures - Pacific oyster reefs reduce detrimental barnacle overgrowth on native blue mussels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buschbaum, Christian; Cornelius, Annika; Goedknegt, M. Anouk

    2016-11-01

    In sedimentary coastal ecosystems shells of epibenthic organisms such as blue mussels (Mytilus edulis) provide the only major attachment surface for barnacle epibionts, which may cause detrimental effects on their mussel basibionts by e.g. reducing growth rate. In the European Wadden Sea, beds of native blue mussels have been invaded by Pacific oysters Crassostrea gigas, which transformed these beds into mixed reefs of oysters with mussels. In this study, we determined the spatial distribution of M. edulis and their barnacle epibionts (Semibalanus balanoides) within the reef matrix. Mean mussel density near the bottom was about twice as high compared to the mussel density near the top of an oyster reef, whereas barnacles on mussels showed a reversed pattern. Barnacle dry weight per mussel was on average 14 times higher near the top than at the bottom. This pattern was confirmed by experimentally placing clean M. edulis at the top and on the bottom of oyster reefs at two sites in the Wadden Sea (island of Texel, The Netherlands; island of Sylt, Germany). After an experimental period of five weeks (April and May 2015, the main settlement period of S. balanoides), the number of barnacles per mussel was at both sites significantly higher on mussels near the top compared to near the bottom. We conclude that the oyster reef matrix offers a refuge for M. edulis: inside reefs they are not only better protected against predators but also against detrimental barnacle overgrowth. This study shows that alien species can cause beneficial effects for native organisms and should not be generally considered as a risk for the recipient marine ecosystems.

  16. Application of Reflectance Transformation Imaging Technique to Improve Automated Edge Detection in a Fossilized Oyster Reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Djuricic, Ana; Puttonen, Eetu; Harzhauser, Mathias; Dorninger, Peter; Székely, Balázs; Mandic, Oleg; Nothegger, Clemens; Molnár, Gábor; Pfeifer, Norbert

    2016-04-01

    The world's largest fossilized oyster reef is located in Stetten, Lower Austria excavated during field campaigns of the Natural History Museum Vienna between 2005 and 2008. It is studied in paleontology to learn about change in climate from past events. In order to support this study, a laser scanning and photogrammetric campaign was organized in 2014 for 3D documentation of the large and complex site. The 3D point clouds and high resolution images from this field campaign are visualized by photogrammetric methods in form of digital surface models (DSM, 1 mm resolution) and orthophoto (0.5 mm resolution) to help paleontological interpretation of data. Due to size of the reef, automated analysis techniques are needed to interpret all digital data obtained from the field. One of the key components in successful automation is detection of oyster shell edges. We have tested Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) to visualize the reef data sets for end-users through a cultural heritage viewing interface (RTIViewer). The implementation includes a Lambert shading method to visualize DSMs derived from terrestrial laser scanning using scientific software OPALS. In contrast to shaded RTI no devices consisting of a hardware system with LED lights, or a body to rotate the light source around the object are needed. The gray value for a given shaded pixel is related to the angle between light source and the normal at that position. Brighter values correspond to the slope surfaces facing the light source. Increasing of zenith angle results in internal shading all over the reef surface. In total, oyster reef surface contains 81 DSMs with 3 m x 2 m each. Their surface was illuminated by moving the virtual sun every 30 degrees (12 azimuth angles from 20-350) and every 20 degrees (4 zenith angles from 20-80). This technique provides paleontologists an interactive approach to virtually inspect the oyster reef, and to interpret the shell surface by changing the light source direction

  17. UF's Lone Cabbage Oyster Reef Restoration Project: a use case in implementing a data management plan (DMP)

    OpenAIRE

    Aufmuth, Joe

    2018-01-01

    Data management plans are created to satisfy funding agency proposal requirements related to the data life cycle. Once an award is made researchers must implement the plan they described. But how is this best accomplished? The presentation UF’s Lone Cabbage Oyster Reef Restoration Project: a use case in implementing a data management plan (DMP) describes how PI's for this grant funded research project are achieving its data management plan goals using an academic library's consulting team.

  18. The effect of structural complexity, prey density, and "predator-free space" on prey survivorship at created oyster reef mesocosms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Humphries, Austin T.; La Peyre, Megan K.; Decossas, Gary A.

    2011-01-01

    Interactions between predators and their prey are influenced by the habitat they occupy. Using created oyster (Crassostrea virginica) reef mesocosms, we conducted a series of laboratory experiments that created structure and manipulated complexity as well as prey density and “predator-free space” to examine the relationship between structural complexity and prey survivorship. Specifically, volume and spatial arrangement of oysters as well as prey density were manipulated, and the survivorship of prey (grass shrimp, Palaemonetes pugio) in the presence of a predator (wild red drum, Sciaenops ocellatus) was quantified. We found that the presence of structure increased prey survivorship, and that increasing complexity of this structure further increased survivorship, but only to a point. This agrees with the theory that structural complexity may influence predator-prey dynamics, but that a threshold exists with diminishing returns. These results held true even when prey density was scaled to structural complexity, or the amount of “predator-free space” was manipulated within our created reef mesocosms. The presence of structure and its complexity (oyster shell volume) were more important in facilitating prey survivorship than perceived refugia or density-dependent prey effects. A more accurate indicator of refugia might require “predator-free space” measures that also account for the available area within the structure itself (i.e., volume) and not just on the surface of a structure. Creating experiments that better mimic natural conditions and test a wider range of “predator-free space” are suggested to better understand the role of structural complexity in oyster reefs and other complex habitats.

  19. 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

  20. Project O.R.B (Operation Reef Ball): Creating Artificial Reefs, Educating the Community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phipps, A.

    2012-04-01

    of this artificial reef. Over 3,000 students have been reached through the educational outreach endeavors of Project O.R.B. This successful STEM project models the benefits of partnerships with universities, local K-12 public schools and community conservation organizations and provides students with authentic learning experiences. Students are able to have a positive impact on their local coral reef environment, their peers and their community through this comprehensive service-learning project.

  1. 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.

  2. Sand-mediated divergence between shallow reef communities on ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Sand-mediated divergence between shallow reef communities on horizontal and vertical substrata in the western Indian Ocean. SN Porter, GM Branch, KJ Sink. Abstract. Distinctions are rarely made between vertical and horizontal surfaces when assessing reef community composition, yet physical differences are expected ...

  3. Oyster reef restoration in controlling coastal pollution around India: A viewpoint

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Chakraborty, P.

    .G., Pirie, B.J.S., Cheyne, A.R., Coombs, T.L. and Grant, P.T., 1978. Detoxication of metals by marine bivalves: an ultrastructural study of the compartmentation of copper and zinc in the oyster Ostreaedulis. Marine Biology, 45(2), pp.147-156. Gupta, R...

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-10-06

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

  6. Preliminary Evaluation of Microbial Communities Isolated from the Calcifying Fluid of Oysters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banker, R.

    2016-02-01

    The process of biomineralization is defined as the selective uptake of elements that are incorporated into a defined mineral structure under strict biological control. For bivalve molluscs, such as clams, oysters, and mussels, the mantle is the primary organ in control of shell deposition. Alternatively, remote calcification takes place when carbonate-precipitating microbes (e.g. sulfate reducers) colonize a shell-secreting organism and enhance the ability of the host to build shell material. The oyster syndrome is a term that describes bivalves that possess an unusual shell morphology characterized by exceptionally thick valves containing numerous chambers filled with chalky calcite. Although remote calcification via microbial metabolism has been proposed as a mechanism of chalky deposit formation in oysters, this hypothesis has not yet been rigorously investigated. Here I present data on the microbial communities found in the calcifying fluid of two oyster species; Crassostrea gigas and Ostrea lurida are examples of oysters that do and do not exhibit the oyster syndrome, respectively. Comparison of the microbiomes of these two morphological end members may provide insight into the role of microbes in the formation of chalky deposits. Results indicate that the microbial community in the surrounding water is the dominant source for bacterial taxa found in the calcifying fluid of both oyster species. Also, it appears as though C. gigas maintains a microbial community that is more similar to its ambient environment than O. lurida. These results demonstrate that the ambient aquatic environment has a guiding influence on the microbiome found in the calcifying fluid of bivalve molluscs. However, the magnitude of this effect varies among organisms, even those that are closely related.

  7. Oyster larvae settle in response to habitat-associated underwater sounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lillis, Ashlee; Eggleston, David B; Bohnenstiehl, DelWayne R

    2013-01-01

    Following a planktonic dispersal period of days to months, the larvae of benthic marine organisms must locate suitable seafloor habitat in which to settle and metamorphose. For animals that are sessile or sedentary as adults, settlement onto substrates that are adequate for survival and reproduction is particularly critical, yet represents a challenge since patchily distributed settlement sites may be difficult to find along a coast or within an estuary. Recent studies have demonstrated that the underwater soundscape, the distinct sounds that emanate from habitats and contain information about their biological and physical characteristics, may serve as broad-scale environmental cue for marine larvae to find satisfactory settlement sites. Here, we contrast the acoustic characteristics of oyster reef and off-reef soft bottoms, and investigate the effect of habitat-associated estuarine sound on the settlement patterns of an economically and ecologically important reef-building bivalve, the Eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica). Subtidal oyster reefs in coastal North Carolina, USA show distinct acoustic signatures compared to adjacent off-reef soft bottom habitats, characterized by consistently higher levels of sound in the 1.5-20 kHz range. Manipulative laboratory playback experiments found increased settlement in larval oyster cultures exposed to oyster reef sound compared to unstructured soft bottom sound or no sound treatments. In field experiments, ambient reef sound produced higher levels of oyster settlement in larval cultures than did off-reef sound treatments. The results suggest that oyster larvae have the ability to respond to sounds indicative of optimal settlement sites, and this is the first evidence that habitat-related differences in estuarine sounds influence the settlement of a mollusk. Habitat-specific sound characteristics may represent an important settlement and habitat selection cue for estuarine invertebrates and could play a role in driving

  8. Oyster larvae settle in response to habitat-associated underwater sounds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashlee Lillis

    Full Text Available Following a planktonic dispersal period of days to months, the larvae of benthic marine organisms must locate suitable seafloor habitat in which to settle and metamorphose. For animals that are sessile or sedentary as adults, settlement onto substrates that are adequate for survival and reproduction is particularly critical, yet represents a challenge since patchily distributed settlement sites may be difficult to find along a coast or within an estuary. Recent studies have demonstrated that the underwater soundscape, the distinct sounds that emanate from habitats and contain information about their biological and physical characteristics, may serve as broad-scale environmental cue for marine larvae to find satisfactory settlement sites. Here, we contrast the acoustic characteristics of oyster reef and off-reef soft bottoms, and investigate the effect of habitat-associated estuarine sound on the settlement patterns of an economically and ecologically important reef-building bivalve, the Eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica. Subtidal oyster reefs in coastal North Carolina, USA show distinct acoustic signatures compared to adjacent off-reef soft bottom habitats, characterized by consistently higher levels of sound in the 1.5-20 kHz range. Manipulative laboratory playback experiments found increased settlement in larval oyster cultures exposed to oyster reef sound compared to unstructured soft bottom sound or no sound treatments. In field experiments, ambient reef sound produced higher levels of oyster settlement in larval cultures than did off-reef sound treatments. The results suggest that oyster larvae have the ability to respond to sounds indicative of optimal settlement sites, and this is the first evidence that habitat-related differences in estuarine sounds influence the settlement of a mollusk. Habitat-specific sound characteristics may represent an important settlement and habitat selection cue for estuarine invertebrates and could play a

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  10. Clash of the crabs: Interspecific, inter-cohort competition between the native European green crab, Carcinus maenas and the exotic brush clawed crab Hemigrapsus takanoi on artificial oyster reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    van den Brink, Anneke; Hutting, Samara

    2017-10-01

    Interaction between cohorts was investigated with juveniles of the native crab Carcinus maenas and adults of the exotic crab Hemigrapsus takanoi on artificial, intertidal oyster reefs. The reefs are occupied by C. maenas seasonally as a nursery habitat and consistently by adult H. takanoi. There was a distinct decrease in abundance of C. maenas of the same carapace width as most adult H. takanoi, suggesting competition at this size was occurring. Laboratory experiments indicated that H. takanoi was a more aggressive competitor for food and, with consistently high abundance on the reefs, may result in some exclusion of C. maenas from their nursery habitat. While total exclusion of C. maenas on the oyster reefs is unlikely, cohabitation may result in reduced population size or increased use of alternative nursery habitats.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

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

  13. Restoration of a temperate reef: Effects on the fish community

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Støttrup, Josianne; Stenberg, Claus; Dahl, Karsten

    2014-01-01

    Trindel in Kattegat, Denmark, has now been re-established with the aim of restoring the reef’s historical structure and function. The effects of the restoration on the local fish community are reported here. Fishing surveys using gillnets and fyke nets were conducted before the restoration (2007) and four...... years after the restoration of the reef (2012). Species of the family Labridae, which have a high affinity for rocky reefs, dominated both before and after the restoration. Commercially important species such as cod Gadus morhua, and saithe Pollachius virens, occurred infrequently in the catches in 2007....... The findings highlight the importance of reef habitats for fish communities and the need for their protection...

  14. Habitat use by Red Knots (Calidris canutus rufa): Experiments with oyster racks and reefs on the beach and intertidal of Delaware Bay, New Jersey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burger, Joanna; Niles, Lawrence J.

    2017-07-01

    Sea level rise and increasing human activities have decreased intertidal habitat in many places in the world. The expansion of aquaculture in intertidal areas may impact birds and other organisms using these habitats, leading to questions of sustainability of both aquaculture and functioning estuarine ecosystems. Understanding the effect of oyster culture on shorebird activity, particularly on Red Knots (Calidris canutus rufa), a species on the U.S. Threatened List, is important for adaptive management and the expansion of oyster culture. In May 2013 we experimentally compared Red Knot and shorebird use of a beach section with racks and a control, and in 2016 we compared the use of sections with artificial reefs, oyster racks, and control on Delaware Bay, New Jersey (USA). The data included only times when no workers or other people were present. Censuses, conducted every 30 min throughout the day (279 censuses in 2013, 231 censuses in 2016), included the number of Red Knots and other shorebirds in each treatment section. In 2013, the total number of shorebirds was significantly higher in the rack section than in the control section, except for Red Knots and Ruddy Turnstones (Arenaria interpres) that occurred in higher numbers in the control than in the rack section. In 2016 Red Knot numbers were also significantly lower in the rack section. In 2013, the mean number of Red Knots/census was 13 for racks vs 59 for the control (P racks and over 68 for other treatments (P racks while both foraging and roosting, suggesting that caution should be used before placing oyster racks in areas used for foraging by Red Knots.

  15. Seasonal sediment dynamics shape temperate bedrock reef communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Figurski, Jared D.; Freiwald, Jan; Lonhart, Steve I.; Storlazzi, Curt

    2016-01-01

    Mobilized seafloor sediment can impact benthic reef communities through burial, scour, and turbidity. These processes are ubiquitous in coastal oceans and, through their influence on the survival, fitness, and interactions of species, can alter the structure and function of benthic communities. In northern Monterey Bay, California, USA, as much as 30% of the seafloor is buried or exposed seasonally, making this an ideal location to test how subtidal temperate rocky reef communities vary in the presence and absence of chronic sediment-based disturbances. Designated dynamic plots were naturally inundated by sediment in summer (50 to 100% cover) and swept clean in winter, whereas designated stable plots remained free of sediment during our study. Multivariate analyses indicated significant differences in the structure of sessile and mobile communities between dynamic and stable reef habitats. For sessile species, community structure in disturbed plots was less variable in space and time than in stable plots due to the maintenance of an early successional state. In contrast, community structure of mobile species varied more in disturbed plots than in stable plots, reflecting how mobile species distribute in response to sediment dynamics. Some species were found only in these disturbed areas, suggesting that the spatial mosaic of disturbance could increase regional diversity. We discuss how the relative ability of species to tolerate disturbance at different life history stages and their ability to colonize habitat translate into community-level differences among habitats, and how this response varies between mobile and sessile communities.

  16. Community Structure Of Reef Fish In Eastern Luwu Water Territory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henny Tribuana Cinnawara

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract One bio-indicators the condition of coral reefs is a presence of reef fish. The purpose of research is to determine species composition abundance distribution and structure of reef fish communities in these waters. Data collection was conducted in April at six locations in the north and the south eastern Luwu. Mechanical Underwater Visual Cencus UVC and transect method Line intercept Transec LIT with SCUBA equipment used for research data collection. Total reef fish species collected as many as 366 species belonging to 31 families consisting of 150 species of fish target fish consumption 10 species of indicator fish indicator species 206 types of major fissh. The most dominant indicator type of fish is Chaetodon octofasciatus while the major dominant family Pomacentridae Labridae and Apogonidae. Diversity index values ranged from 2.145 to 3.408. Dominance index C is in the range of 0.056 to 0.298. The result is expected to be a reference literature as basic data for the management of reef fish especially in the waters of eastern Luwu.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sam H C Noonan

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

  20. Carbonate Production by Benthic Communities on Shallow Coralgal Reefs of Abrolhos Bank, Brazil.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa Moura Dos Reis

    Full Text Available The abundance of reef builders, non-builders and the calcium carbonate produced by communities established in Calcification Accretion Units (CAUs were determined in three Abrolhos Bank shallow reefs during the period from 2012 to 2014. In addition, the seawater temperature, the irradiance, and the amount and composition of the sediments were determined. The inner and outer reef arcs were compared. CAUs located on the inner reef shelf were under the influence of terrigenous sediments. On the outer reefs, the sediments were composed primarily of marine biogenic carbonates. The mean carbonate production in shallow reefs of Abrolhos was 579 ± 98 g m-2 y-1. The builder community was dominated by crustose coralline algae, while the non-builder community was dominated by turf. A marine heat wave was detected during the summer of 2013-2014, and the number of consecutive days with a temperature above or below the summer mean was positively correlated with the turf cover increase. The mean carbonate production of the shallow reefs of Abrolhos Bank was greater than the estimated carbonate production measured for artificial structures on several other shallow reefs of the world. The calcimass was higher than the non-calcareous mass, suggesting that the Abrolhos reefs are still in a positive carbonate production balance. Given that marine heat waves produce an increase of turf cover on the shallow reefs of the Abrolhos, a decrease in the cover represented by reef builders and shifting carbonate production are expected in the near future.

  1. Carbonate Production by Benthic Communities on Shallow Coralgal Reefs of Abrolhos Bank, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reis, Vanessa Moura Dos; Karez, Cláudia Santiago; Mariath, Rodrigo; de Moraes, Fernando Coreixas; de Carvalho, Rodrigo Tomazetto; Brasileiro, Poliana Silva; Bahia, Ricardo da Gama; Lotufo, Tito Monteiro da Cruz; Ramalho, Laís Vieira; de Moura, Rodrigo Leão; Francini-Filho, Ronaldo Bastos; Pereira-Filho, Guilherme Henrique; Thompson, Fabiano Lopes; Bastos, Alex Cardoso; Salgado, Leonardo Tavares; Amado-Filho, Gilberto Menezes

    2016-01-01

    The abundance of reef builders, non-builders and the calcium carbonate produced by communities established in Calcification Accretion Units (CAUs) were determined in three Abrolhos Bank shallow reefs during the period from 2012 to 2014. In addition, the seawater temperature, the irradiance, and the amount and composition of the sediments were determined. The inner and outer reef arcs were compared. CAUs located on the inner reef shelf were under the influence of terrigenous sediments. On the outer reefs, the sediments were composed primarily of marine biogenic carbonates. The mean carbonate production in shallow reefs of Abrolhos was 579 ± 98 g m-2 y-1. The builder community was dominated by crustose coralline algae, while the non-builder community was dominated by turf. A marine heat wave was detected during the summer of 2013-2014, and the number of consecutive days with a temperature above or below the summer mean was positively correlated with the turf cover increase. The mean carbonate production of the shallow reefs of Abrolhos Bank was greater than the estimated carbonate production measured for artificial structures on several other shallow reefs of the world. The calcimass was higher than the non-calcareous mass, suggesting that the Abrolhos reefs are still in a positive carbonate production balance. Given that marine heat waves produce an increase of turf cover on the shallow reefs of the Abrolhos, a decrease in the cover represented by reef builders and shifting carbonate production are expected in the near future.

  2. Homogeneity of coral reef communities across 8 degrees of latitude in the Saudi Arabian Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Roberts, May B.; Jones, Geoffrey P.; McCormick, Mark I.; Munday, Philip L.; Neale, Stephen; Thorrold, Simon; Robitzch, Vanessa S.N.; Berumen, Michael L.

    2015-01-01

    Coral reef communities between 26.8°N and 18.6°N latitude in the Saudi Arabian Red Sea were surveyed to provide baseline data and an assessment of fine-scale biogeography of communities in this region. Forty reefs along 1100 km of coastline were surveyed using depth-stratified visual transects of fish and benthic communities. Fish abundance and benthic cover data were analyzed using multivariate approaches to investigate whether coral reef communities differed with latitude. A total of 215 fish species and 90 benthic categories were recorded on the surveys. There were no significant differences among locations in fish abundance, species richness, or among several diversity indices. Despite known environmental gradients within the Red Sea, the communities remained surprisingly similar. The communities do, however, exhibit subtle changes across this span of reefs that likely reflect the constrained distributions of several species of reef fish and benthic fauna.

  3. Homogeneity of coral reef communities across 8 degrees of latitude in the Saudi Arabian Red Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, May B; Jones, Geoffrey P; McCormick, Mark I; Munday, Philip L; Neale, Stephen; Thorrold, Simon; Robitzch, Vanessa S N; Berumen, Michael L

    2016-04-30

    Coral reef communities between 26.8 °N and 18.6 °N latitude in the Saudi Arabian Red Sea were surveyed to provide baseline data and an assessment of fine-scale biogeography of communities in this region. Forty reefs along 1100 km of coastline were surveyed using depth-stratified visual transects of fish and benthic communities. Fish abundance and benthic cover data were analyzed using multivariate approaches to investigate whether coral reef communities differed with latitude. A total of 215 fish species and 90 benthic categories were recorded on the surveys. There were no significant differences among locations in fish abundance, species richness, or among several diversity indices. Despite known environmental gradients within the Red Sea, the communities remained surprisingly similar. The communities do, however, exhibit subtle changes across this span of reefs that likely reflect the constrained distributions of several species of reef fish and benthic fauna. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Homogeneity of coral reef communities across 8 degrees of latitude in the Saudi Arabian Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Roberts, May B.

    2015-11-20

    Coral reef communities between 26.8°N and 18.6°N latitude in the Saudi Arabian Red Sea were surveyed to provide baseline data and an assessment of fine-scale biogeography of communities in this region. Forty reefs along 1100 km of coastline were surveyed using depth-stratified visual transects of fish and benthic communities. Fish abundance and benthic cover data were analyzed using multivariate approaches to investigate whether coral reef communities differed with latitude. A total of 215 fish species and 90 benthic categories were recorded on the surveys. There were no significant differences among locations in fish abundance, species richness, or among several diversity indices. Despite known environmental gradients within the Red Sea, the communities remained surprisingly similar. The communities do, however, exhibit subtle changes across this span of reefs that likely reflect the constrained distributions of several species of reef fish and benthic fauna.

  5. Predicting the effects of proposed Mississippi River diversions on oyster habitat quality; application of an oyster habitat suitability index model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soniat, Thomas M.; Conzelmann, Craig P.; Byrd, Jason D.; Roszell, Dustin P.; Bridevaux, Joshua L.; Suir, Kevin J.; Colley, Susan B.

    2013-01-01

    In an attempt to decelerate the rate of coastal erosion and wetland loss, and protect human communities, the state of Louisiana developed its Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast. The master plan proposes a combination of restoration efforts including shoreline protection, marsh creation, sediment diversions, and ridge, barrier island, and hydrological restoration. Coastal restoration projects, particularly the large-scale diversions of fresh water from the Mississippi River, needed to supply sediment to an eroding coast potentially impact oyster populations and oyster habitat. An oyster habitat suitability index model is presented that evaluates the effects of a proposed sediment and freshwater diversion into Lower Breton Sound. Voluminous freshwater, needed to suspend and broadly distribute river sediment, will push optimal salinities for oysters seaward and beyond many of the existing reefs. Implementation and operation of the Lower Breton Sound diversion structure as proposed would render about 6,173 ha of hard bottom immediately east of the Mississippi River unsuitable for the sustained cultivation of oysters. If historical harvests are to be maintained in this region, a massive and unprecedented effort to relocate private leases and restore oyster bottoms would be required. Habitat suitability index model results indicate that the appropriate location for such efforts are to the east and north of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet.

  6. 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.

  7. Effects of microplastics on European flat oysters, Ostrea edulis and their associated benthic communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Dannielle Senga

    2016-09-01

    Plastic pollution is recognised as an emerging threat to aquatic ecosystems, with microplastics now the most abundant type of marine debris. Health effects caused by microplastics have been demonstrated at the species level, but impacts on ecological communities remain unknown. In this study, impacts of microplastics on the health and biological functioning of European flat oysters (Ostrea edulis) and on the structure of associated macrofaunal assemblages were assessed in an outdoor mesocosm experiment using intact sediment cores. Biodegradable and conventional microplastics were added at low (0.8 μg L(-1)) and high (80 μg L(-1)) doses in the water column repeatedly for 60 days. Effects on the oysters were minimal, but benthic assemblage structures differed and species richness and the total number of organisms were ∼1.2 and 1.5 times greater in control mesocosms than in those exposed to high doses of microplastics. Notably, abundances of juvenile Littorina sp. (periwinkles) and Idotea balthica (an isopod) were ∼2 and 8 times greater in controls than in mesocosms with the high dose of either type of microplastic. In addition, the biomass of Scrobicularia plana (peppery furrow shell clam) was ∼1.5 times greater in controls than in mesocosms with the high dose of microplastics. This work indicates that repeated exposure to high concentrations of microplastics could alter assemblages in an important marine habitat by reducing the abundance of benthic fauna. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Norwegian deep-water coral reefs: cultivation and molecular analysis of planktonic microbial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, Sigmund; Lynch, Michael D J; Ray, Jessica L; Neufeld, Josh D; Hovland, Martin

    2015-10-01

    Deep-sea coral reefs do not receive sunlight and depend on plankton. Little is known about the plankton composition at such reefs, even though they constitute habitats for many invertebrates and fish. We investigated plankton communities from three reefs at 260-350 m depth at hydrocarbon fields off the mid-Norwegian coast using a combination of cultivation and small subunit (SSU) rRNA gene and transcript sequencing. Eight months incubations of a reef water sample with minimal medium, supplemented with carbon dioxide and gaseous alkanes at in situ-like conditions, enabled isolation of mostly Alphaproteobacteria (Sulfitobacter, Loktanella), Gammaproteobacteria (Colwellia) and Flavobacteria (Polaribacter). The relative abundance of isolates in the original sample ranged from ∼ 0.01% to 0.80%. Comparisons of bacterial SSU sequences from filtered plankton of reef and non-reef control samples indicated high abundance and metabolic activity of primarily Alphaproteobacteria (SAR11 Ia), Gammaproteobacteria (ARCTIC96BD-19), but also of Deltaproteobacteria (Nitrospina, SAR324). Eukaryote SSU sequences indicated metabolically active microalgae and animals, including codfish, at the reef sites. The plankton community composition varied between reefs and differed between DNA and RNA assessments. Over 5000 operational taxonomic units were detected, some indicators of reef sites (e.g. Flavobacteria, Cercozoa, Demospongiae) and some more active at reef sites (e.g. Gammaproteobacteria, Ciliophora, Copepoda). © 2014 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. Spatial variation in coral reef fish and benthic communities in the central Saudi Arabian Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Khalil, Maha T.

    2017-06-06

    Local-scale ecological information is critical as a sound basis for spatial management and conservation and as support for ongoing research in relatively unstudied areas. We conducted visual surveys of fish and benthic communities on nine reefs (3–24 km from shore) in the Thuwal area of the central Saudi Arabian Red Sea. Fish biomass increased with increasing distance from shore, but was generally low compared to reefs experiencing minimal human influence around the world. All reefs had a herbivore-dominated trophic structure and few top predators, such as sharks, jacks, or large groupers. Coral cover was considerably lower on inshore reefs, likely due to a 2010 bleaching event. Community analyses showed inshore reefs to be characterized by turf algae, slower-growing corals, lower herbivore diversity, and highly abundant turf-farming damselfishes. Offshore reefs had more planktivorous fishes, a more diverse herbivore assemblage, and faster-growing corals. All reefs appear to be impacted by overfishing, and inshore reefs seem more vulnerable to thermal bleaching. The study provides a description of the spatial variation in biomass and community structure in the central Saudi Arabian Red Sea and provides a basis for spatial prioritization and subsequent marine protected area design in Thuwal.

  13. Spatial variation in coral reef fish and benthic communities in the central Saudi Arabian Red Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khalil, Maha T; Bouwmeester, Jessica; Berumen, Michael L

    2017-01-01

    Local-scale ecological information is critical as a sound basis for spatial management and conservation and as support for ongoing research in relatively unstudied areas. We conducted visual surveys of fish and benthic communities on nine reefs (3-24 km from shore) in the Thuwal area of the central Saudi Arabian Red Sea. Fish biomass increased with increasing distance from shore, but was generally low compared to reefs experiencing minimal human influence around the world. All reefs had a herbivore-dominated trophic structure and few top predators, such as sharks, jacks, or large groupers. Coral cover was considerably lower on inshore reefs, likely due to a 2010 bleaching event. Community analyses showed inshore reefs to be characterized by turf algae, slower-growing corals, lower herbivore diversity, and highly abundant turf-farming damselfishes. Offshore reefs had more planktivorous fishes, a more diverse herbivore assemblage, and faster-growing corals . All reefs appear to be impacted by overfishing, and inshore reefs seem more vulnerable to thermal bleaching. The study provides a description of the spatial variation in biomass and community structure in the central Saudi Arabian Red Sea and provides a basis for spatial prioritization and subsequent marine protected area design in Thuwal.

  14. Spatial variation in coral reef fish and benthic communities in the central Saudi Arabian Red Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maha T. Khalil

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Local-scale ecological information is critical as a sound basis for spatial management and conservation and as support for ongoing research in relatively unstudied areas. We conducted visual surveys of fish and benthic communities on nine reefs (3–24 km from shore in the Thuwal area of the central Saudi Arabian Red Sea. Fish biomass increased with increasing distance from shore, but was generally low compared to reefs experiencing minimal human influence around the world. All reefs had a herbivore-dominated trophic structure and few top predators, such as sharks, jacks, or large groupers. Coral cover was considerably lower on inshore reefs, likely due to a 2010 bleaching event. Community analyses showed inshore reefs to be characterized by turf algae, slower-growing corals, lower herbivore diversity, and highly abundant turf-farming damselfishes. Offshore reefs had more planktivorous fishes, a more diverse herbivore assemblage, and faster-growing corals. All reefs appear to be impacted by overfishing, and inshore reefs seem more vulnerable to thermal bleaching. The study provides a description of the spatial variation in biomass and community structure in the central Saudi Arabian Red Sea and provides a basis for spatial prioritization and subsequent marine protected area design in Thuwal.

  15. Spatial variation in coral reef fish and benthic communities in the central Saudi Arabian Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Khalil, Maha T.; Bouwmeester, Jessica; Berumen, Michael L.

    2017-01-01

    Local-scale ecological information is critical as a sound basis for spatial management and conservation and as support for ongoing research in relatively unstudied areas. We conducted visual surveys of fish and benthic communities on nine reefs (3–24 km from shore) in the Thuwal area of the central Saudi Arabian Red Sea. Fish biomass increased with increasing distance from shore, but was generally low compared to reefs experiencing minimal human influence around the world. All reefs had a herbivore-dominated trophic structure and few top predators, such as sharks, jacks, or large groupers. Coral cover was considerably lower on inshore reefs, likely due to a 2010 bleaching event. Community analyses showed inshore reefs to be characterized by turf algae, slower-growing corals, lower herbivore diversity, and highly abundant turf-farming damselfishes. Offshore reefs had more planktivorous fishes, a more diverse herbivore assemblage, and faster-growing corals. All reefs appear to be impacted by overfishing, and inshore reefs seem more vulnerable to thermal bleaching. The study provides a description of the spatial variation in biomass and community structure in the central Saudi Arabian Red Sea and provides a basis for spatial prioritization and subsequent marine protected area design in Thuwal.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole L Crane

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

  18. Benthic communities at two remote Pacific coral reefs: effects of reef habitat, depth, and wave energy gradients on spatial patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Gareth J; Smith, Jennifer E; Conklin, Eric J; Gove, Jamison M; Sala, Enric; Sandin, Stuart A

    2013-01-01

    Kingman Reef and Palmyra Atoll in the central Pacific are among the most remote coral reefs on the planet. Here we describe spatial patterns in their benthic communities across reef habitats and depths, and consider these in the context of oceanographic gradients. Benthic communities at both locations were dominated by calcifying organisms (54-86% cover), namely hard corals (20-74%) and crustose coralline algae (CCA) (10-36%). While turf algae were relatively common at both locations (8-22%), larger fleshy macroalgae were virtually absent at Kingman (wave energy, with hard coral cover decreasing and becoming more spatially clustered with increased wave energy, likely as a result of physical damage leading to patches of coral in localized shelter. In contrast, the cover of turf algae at Kingman was positively related to wave energy, reflecting their ability to rapidly colonize newly available space. No significant patterns with wave energy were observed on Palmyra's forereef, suggesting that a more detailed model is required to study biophysical coupling there. Kingman, Palmyra, and other remote oceanic reefs provide interesting case studies to explore biophysical influences on benthic ecology and dynamics.

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  20. Shifting communities after­­ typhoon damage on an upper mesophotic reef in Okinawa, Japan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristine N. White

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Very few studies have been conducted on the long-term effects of typhoon damage on mesophotic coral reefs. This study investigates the long-term community dynamics of damage from Typhoon 17 (Jelawat in 2012 on the coral community of the upper mesophotic Ryugu Reef in Okinawa, Japan. A shift from foliose to bushy coral morphologies between December 2012 and August 2015 was documented, especially on the area of the reef that was previously recorded to be poor in scleractinian genera diversity and dominated by foliose corals. Comparatively, an area with higher diversity of scleractinian coral genera was observed to be less affected by typhoon damage with more stable community structure due to less change in dominant coral morphologies. Despite some changes in the composition of dominant genera, the generally high coverage of the mesophotic coral community is facilitating the recovery of Ryugu Reef after typhoon damage.

  1. Reef fish communities in the central Red Sea show evidence of asymmetrical fishing pressure

    KAUST Repository

    Kattan, Alexander; Coker, Darren James; Berumen, Michael L.

    2017-01-01

    In order to assess human impacts and develop rational restoration goals for corals reefs, baseline estimates of fish communities are required. In Saudi Arabian waters of the Red Sea, widespread unregulated fishing is thought to have been ongoing for decades, but there is little direct evidence of the impact on reef communities. To contextualize this human influence, reef-associated fish assemblages on offshore reefs in Saudi Arabia and Sudan in the central Red Sea were investigated. These reefs have comparable benthic environments, experience similar oceanographic influences, and are separated by less than 300 km, offering an ideal comparison for identifying potential anthropogenic impacts such as fishing pressure. This is the first study to assess reef fish biomass in both these regions, providing important baselines estimates. We found that biomass of top predators on offshore Sudanese reefs was on average almost three times that measured on comparable reefs in Saudi Arabia. Biomass values from some of the most remote reefs surveyed in Sudan’s far southern region even approach those previously reported in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, northern Line Islands, Pitcairn Islands, and other isolated Pacific islands and atolls. The findings suggest that fishing pressure has significantly altered the fish community structure of Saudi Arabian Red Sea reefs, most conspicuously in the form of top predator removal. The results point towards the urgent need for enhanced regulation and enforcement of fishing practices in Saudi Arabia, while making a strong case for protection in the form of no-take marine protected areas to maintain preservation of the relatively intact southern Sudanese Red Sea.

  2. Reef fish communities in the central Red Sea show evidence of asymmetrical fishing pressure

    KAUST Repository

    Kattan, Alexander

    2017-03-09

    In order to assess human impacts and develop rational restoration goals for corals reefs, baseline estimates of fish communities are required. In Saudi Arabian waters of the Red Sea, widespread unregulated fishing is thought to have been ongoing for decades, but there is little direct evidence of the impact on reef communities. To contextualize this human influence, reef-associated fish assemblages on offshore reefs in Saudi Arabia and Sudan in the central Red Sea were investigated. These reefs have comparable benthic environments, experience similar oceanographic influences, and are separated by less than 300 km, offering an ideal comparison for identifying potential anthropogenic impacts such as fishing pressure. This is the first study to assess reef fish biomass in both these regions, providing important baselines estimates. We found that biomass of top predators on offshore Sudanese reefs was on average almost three times that measured on comparable reefs in Saudi Arabia. Biomass values from some of the most remote reefs surveyed in Sudan’s far southern region even approach those previously reported in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, northern Line Islands, Pitcairn Islands, and other isolated Pacific islands and atolls. The findings suggest that fishing pressure has significantly altered the fish community structure of Saudi Arabian Red Sea reefs, most conspicuously in the form of top predator removal. The results point towards the urgent need for enhanced regulation and enforcement of fishing practices in Saudi Arabia, while making a strong case for protection in the form of no-take marine protected areas to maintain preservation of the relatively intact southern Sudanese Red Sea.

  3. Effect of Recreational Fish Feeding on Reef Fish Community ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... that the reaction to bread at feeding sites was quicker than at control sites, which indicates that some species learn to feed on this novel source of food. Keywords:human-animal interactions, reef fish, recreational fish feeding, tourism impacts, MPAs, coral reefs, Kenya West Indian Ocean Journal of Marine Science Vol.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diedrich, A.

    2007-12-01

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

  6. Bacterial community composition and potential driving factors in different reef habitats of the Spermonde Archipelago, Indonesia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kegler, Hauke F.; Lukman, Muhammad; Teichberg, Mirta

    2017-01-01

    Coastal eutrophication is a key driver of shifts in bacterial communities on coral reefs. With fringing and patch reefs at varying distances from the coast the Spermonde Archipelago in southern Sulawesi, Indonesia offers ideal conditions to study the effects of coastal eutrophication along...... a spatially defined gradient. The present study investigated bacterial community composition of three coral reef habitats: the water column, sediments, and mucus of the hard coral genus Fungia, along that cross shelf environmental and water quality gradient. The main research questions were: (1) How do water....../Shigella (Gammaproteobacteria) and Raistonia (Betaproteobacteria), respectively, both dominated the bacterial community composition of the both size fractions of the water column and coral mucus. The sampled reef sediments were more diverse, and no single OTUs was dominant. There was no gradual shift in bacterial classes...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  8. Bacterial communities associated with three Brazilian endemic reef corals (Mussismilia spp.) in a coastal reef of the Abrolhos shelf

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Castro, Alinne Pereira; Araújo, Samuel Dias; Reis, Alessandra M. M.; Pompeu, Maira; Hatay, Mark; de Moura, Rodrigo Leão; Francini-Filho, Ronaldo B.; Thompson, Fabiano L.; Krüger, Ricardo H.

    2013-11-01

    The diversity of bacterial communities associated with three Brazilian endemic reef corals from genus Mussismilia (M. hispida, M. braziliensis, and M. harttii) at a single site was assessed using 16S rRNA clone libraries. The study site, Pedra do Leste, is a coastal reef within the largest and richest South Atlantic coralline reef complex (Abrolhos Bank) and is subject to high fishing pressure, high sedimentation loads, and other land-based stressors. The three coral species are Neogene relicts with unique biological and morphological traits that enable them to survive relatively high sedimentation levels. Our results show that sequences affiliated with γ-Proteobacteria predominated, accounting for more than 60% of the examined sequences. Indeed, the most frequent species were related to Alteromonas, Marinomonas, Neptuniibacter, and Vibrio, which are copiotrophic microorganisms common in environments highly affected by anthropogenic stress. Principal component analysis revealed that bacterial communities of M. braziliensis and M. hispida were more similar to each other than to M. harttii-associated bacteria. Such pattern is likely related to distinct morphological properties of M. harttii, such as the existence of phaceloid colonies, in which polyps are not connected by soft tissue. This is the first investigation assessing the bacterial communities of the three Brazilian endemic Mussismilia species at the same location.

  9. Benthic communities at two remote Pacific coral reefs: effects of reef habitat, depth, and wave energy gradients on spatial patterns

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gareth J. Williams

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Kingman Reef and Palmyra Atoll in the central Pacific are among the most remote coral reefs on the planet. Here we describe spatial patterns in their benthic communities across reef habitats and depths, and consider these in the context of oceanographic gradients. Benthic communities at both locations were dominated by calcifying organisms (54–86% cover, namely hard corals (20–74% and crustose coralline algae (CCA (10–36%. While turf algae were relatively common at both locations (8–22%, larger fleshy macroalgae were virtually absent at Kingman (<1% and rare at Palmyra (0.7–9.3%. Hard coral cover was higher, but with low diversity, in more sheltered habitats such as Palmyra’s backreef and Kingman’s patch reefs. Almost exclusive dominance by slow-growing Porites on Kingman’s patch reefs provides indirect evidence of competitive exclusion, probably late in a successional sequence. In contrast, the more exposed forereef habitats at both Kingman and Palmyra had higher coral diversity and were characterized by fast-growing corals (e.g., Acropora and Pocillopora, indicative of more dynamic environments. In general at both locations, soft coral cover increased with depth, likely reflecting increasingly efficient heterotrophic abilities. CCA and fleshy macroalgae cover decreased with depth, likely due to reduced light. Cover of other calcified macroalgae, predominantly Halimeda, increased with depth. This likely reflects the ability of many calcifying macroalgae to efficiently harvest light at deeper depths, in combination with an increased nutrient supply from upwelling promoting growth. At Palmyra, patterns of hard coral cover with depth were inconsistent, but cover peaked at mid-depths at Kingman. On Kingman’s forereef, benthic community composition was strongly related to wave energy, with hard coral cover decreasing and becoming more spatially clustered with increased wave energy, likely as a result of physical damage leading to

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  11. 27 years of benthic and coral community dynamics on turbid, highly urbanised reefs off Singapore.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-08

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. The Curious Acoustic Behavior of Estuarine Snapping Shrimp: Temporal Patterns of Snapping Shrimp Sound in Sub-Tidal Oyster Reef Habitat.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    DelWayne R Bohnenstiehl

    Full Text Available Ocean soundscapes convey important sensory information to marine life. Like many mid-to-low latitude coastal areas worldwide, the high-frequency (>1.5 kHz soundscape of oyster reef habitat within the West Bay Marine Reserve (36°N, 76°W is dominated by the impulsive, short-duration signals generated by snapping shrimp. Between June 2011 and July 2012, a single hydrophone deployed within West Bay was programmed to record 60 or 30 seconds of acoustic data every 15 or 30 minutes. Envelope correlation and amplitude information were then used to count shrimp snaps within these recordings. The observed snap rates vary from 1500-2000 snaps per minute during summer to <100 snaps per minute during winter. Sound pressure levels are positively correlated with snap rate (r = 0.71-0.92 and vary seasonally by ~15 decibels in the 1.5-20 kHz range. Snap rates are positively correlated with water temperatures (r = 0.81-0.93, as well as potentially influenced by climate-driven changes in water quality. Light availability modulates snap rate on diurnal time scales, with most days exhibiting a significant preference for either nighttime or daytime snapping, and many showing additional crepuscular increases. During mid-summer, the number of snaps occurring at night is 5-10% more than predicted by a random model; however, this pattern is reversed between August and April, with an excess of up to 25% more snaps recorded during the day in the mid-winter. Diurnal variability in sound pressure levels is largest in the mid-winter, when the overall rate of snapping is at its lowest, and the percentage difference between daytime and nighttime activity is at its highest. This work highlights our lack of knowledge regarding the ecology and acoustic behavior of one of the most dominant soniforous invertebrate species in coastal systems. It also underscores the necessity of long-duration, high-temporal-resolution sampling in efforts to understand the bioacoustics of animal

  15. Oyster Reef Restoration and Aquaculture Impacts on Denitrification and the Benthic Community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Human impacts have greatly altered coastal ecosystems through a variety of processes including nutrient enrichment and overfishing. The negative consequences of these actions are well known and include increased macroalgae blooms, low oxygen conditions, and losses of biodiversity...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. CREEK Project: RUI: the Role of Oyster Reefs in the Structure and Function of Tidal Creeks. A Project Overview: 1996-2000.

    Data.gov (United States)

    Baruch Institute for Marine and Coastal Sciences, Univ of South Carolina — A group of eight tidal creeks dominated by oysters, Crassostrea virginica, in North Inlet, South Carolina, USA were studied using a replicated BACI (Before - After...

  19. Response of an estuarine benthic community to application of the pesticide carbaryl and cultivation of Pacific oysters (Crassostrea gigas) in Willapa Bay, Washington.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dumbauld, B R; Brooks, K M; Posey, M H

    2001-10-01

    Oyster culture operations on the West coast of North America have developed into complete farming operations for the introduced Japanese oyster, Crassostrea gigas, which now covers vast areas of the intertidal landscape, particularly in Washington State where the pesticide carbaryl has also been used to control burrowing thalassinid shrimp for more than 30 years. Field experiments were conducted to examine the effects of these habitat modifications on the benthic community in Willapa, Bay Washington (124 degrees 06'W,46 degrees 24'N) where 50% of the state's oyster production occurs. Results indicated that the primary long-term effect of carbaryl application was removal of the two species of thalassinid shrimp (Neotrypaea californiensis and Upogebia pugettensis), which dominated the community at the start of the experiment and clearly influenced community composition themselves. Small peracarid crustaceans like the amphipods Corophium acherusicum and Eohaustorius estuarius experienced the most significant short-term mortalities, but generally recruited back to treated sites within 3 months, and were often more abundant on treated than untreated sites 1 year after carbaryl application. Results for molluscs were mixed, with no significant effect on Macoma spp, but a significant effect on the commensal clam Crytomya californica and mixed results for the cockle Clinocardium nutalli. Polychaetes were the least susceptible to carbaryl and with the exception of a short-term effect on oligochaetes, no significant negative effects were observed. The addition of oysters did not affect the infaunal community in this study, however greater abundance of epifaunal organisms like mussels, scaleworms, and the amphipod Amphithoe valida, which builds tubes in algae attached to shells, was observed. Carbaryl, which is currently applied to roughly 242 ha (oyster culture operations like the addition of oysters themselves to a community often dominated by burrowing thalassinid shrimp

  20. A matter of scale: damage from Hurricane Hugo (1989) to U.S. Virgin Islands reefs at the colony, community and whole reef level

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, Caroline S.

    1993-01-01

    Studies at Buck Island Reef National Monument (St. Croix) and Virgin Islands National Park (St. John) by scientists in the U.S. National Park Service Coral Reef Assessment Program re- vealed the effects of Humcane Hugo on individual coral species, community parameters, and overall reef structure. Effects of the storm varied with depth, coral species, location relative to the storm path, character of the pre-storm communities, and ecological history. Live coral cover, initially less than 30% at all sites, dropped by 40 to 73%. Cover by the dominant species Montastrea annularis de- clined about 35% on the St. John reefs. At Buck Island, Acropora palmata cover, already reduced from 85% to 5% by white band disease and storms, fell to 0.8% after Hugo. Some areas on the south side of Buck Island were reduced to rubble pave- ment while other areas escaped serious damage. Data from cores at Buck Island reveal the influence of wave energy and storm frequency on overall reef character. Patchiness and variation in the responses of different species, zones, and entire reefs to the storm suggest that assessment of long-term trends in reef structure and composition requires analysis of changes at permanent study sites distributed over large areas.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Bomb-cratered coral reefs in Puerto Rico, the untold story about a novel habitat: from reef destruction to community-based ecological rehabilitation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edwin A. Hernández-Delgado

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Ecological impacts of military bombing activities in Puerto Rico have often been described as minimal, with recurrent allegations of confounding effects by hurricanes, coral diseases and local anthropogenic stressors. Reef craters, though isolated, are associated with major colony fragmentation and framework pulverization, with a net permanent loss of reef bio-construction. In contrast, adjacent non-bombarded reef sections have significantly higher benthic spatial relief and biodiversity. We compared benthic communities on 35-50 year-old bomb-cratered coral reefs at Culebra and Vieques Islands, with adjacent non-impacted sites; 2 coral recruit density and fish community structure within and outside craters; and 3 early effects of a rehabilitation effort using low-tech Staghorn coral Acropora cervicornis farming. Reef craters ranged in size from approximately 50 to 400m² and were largely dominated by heavily fragmented, flattened benthos, with coral cover usually below 2% and dominance by non-reef building taxa (i.e., filamentous algal turfs, macroalgae. Benthic spatial heterogeneity was lower within craters which also resulted in a lowered functional value as fish nursery ground. Fish species richness, abundance and biomass, and coral recruit density were lower within craters. Low-tech, community-based approaches to culture, harvest and transplant A. cervicornis into formerly bombarded grounds have proved successful in increasing percent coral cover, benthic spatial heterogeneity, and helping rehabilitate nursery ground functions.

  3. Biogeographic Patterns of Reef Fish Communities in the Saudi Arabian Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Roberts, May B.

    2014-12-01

    As a region renowned for high biodiversity, endemism and extreme temperature and salinity levels, the Red Sea is of high ecological interest. Despite this, there is relatively little literature on basic broad scale characteristics of the biodiversity or overall reef fish communities and how they change across latitude. We conducted visual transects recording the abundance of over 200 species of fish from 45 reefs spanning over 1000 km of Saudi Arabian coastline and used hierarchical cluster analysis to find that for combined depths from 0m-10m across this geographical range, the reef fish communities are relatively similar. However we find some interesting patterns both at the community level across depth and latitude as well as in endemic community distributions. We find that the communities, much like the environmental factors, shift gradually along latitude but do not show distinct clusters within the range we surveyed (from Al-Wajh in the north to the Farasan Banks in the south). Numbers of endemic species tend to be higher in the Thuwal region and further south. This type of baseline data on reef fish distribution and possible factors that may influence their ranges in the Red Sea are critical for future scientific studies as well as effective monitoring and in the face of the persistent anthropogenic influences such as coastal development, overfishing and climate change.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bobbie Renfro

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

  5. Species Richness and Community Structure on a High Latitude Reef: Implications for Conservation and Management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wayne Houston

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available In spite of the wealth of research on the Great Barrier Reef, few detailed biodiversity assessments of its inshore coral communities have been conducted. Effective conservation and management of marine ecosystems begins with fine-scale biophysical assessments focused on diversity and the architectural species that build the structural framework of the reef. In this study, we investigate key coral diversity and environmental attributes of an inshore reef system surrounding the Keppel Bay Islands near Rockhampton in Central Queensland, Australia, and assess their implications for conservation and management. The Keppels has much higher coral diversity than previously found. The average species richness for the 19 study sites was ~40 with representatives from 68% of the ~244 species previously described for the southern Great Barrier Reef. Using scleractinian coral species richness, taxonomic distinctiveness and coral cover as the main criteria, we found that five out of 19 sites had particularly high conservation value. A further site was also considered to be of relatively high value. Corals at this site were taxonomically distinct from the others (representatives of two families were found here but not at other sites and a wide range of functionally diverse taxa were present. This site was associated with more stressful conditions such as high temperatures and turbidity. Highly diverse coral communities or biodiversity ‘hotspots’ and taxonomically distinct reefs may act as insurance policies for climatic disturbance, much like Noah’s Arks for reefs. While improving water quality and limiting anthropogenic impacts are clearly important management initiatives to improve the long-term outlook for inshore reefs, identifying, mapping and protecting these coastal ‘refugia’ may be the key for ensuring their regeneration against catastrophic climatic disturbance in the meantime.

  6. Fringing reefs exposed to different levels of eutrophication and sedimentation can support similar benthic communities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rouzé, H.; Lecellier, G.; Langlade, M.J.; Planes, S.; Berteaux-Lecellier, V.

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • We assess anthropogenic pressures on coral reef health. • We present a spatio-temporal survey of environmental parameters as bio-indicators. • Poor water quality (e.g. high turbidity and high sediments) was not correlated with lower coral cover. • Phytoplankton community size-composition and habitat stability were important predictors of coral reef health. - Abstract: Benthic communities are sensitive to anthropogenic disturbances which can result in changes in species assemblages. A spatio-temporal survey of environmental parameters was conducted over an 18-month period on four different fringing reefs of Moorea, French Polynesia, with unusual vs. frequent human pressures. This survey included assessment of biological, chemical, and physical parameters. First, the results showed a surprising lack of a seasonal trend, which was likely obscured by short-term variability in lagoons. More frequent sampling periods would likely improve the evaluation of a seasonal effect on biological and ecological processes. Second, the three reef habitats studied that were dominated by corals were highly stable, despite displaying antagonistic environmental conditions through eutrophication and sedimentation gradients, whereas the reef dominated by macroalgae was relatively unstable. Altogether, our data challenge the paradigm of labelling environmental parameters such as turbidity, sedimentation, and nutrient-richness as stress indicators

  7. Neuropeptides encoded by the genomes of the Akoya pearl oyster Pinctata fucata and Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas: a bioinformatic and peptidomic survey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, Michael J; Favrel, Pascal; Rotgans, Bronwyn A; Wang, Tianfang; Zhao, Min; Sohail, Manzar; O'Connor, Wayne A; Elizur, Abigail; Henry, Joel; Cummins, Scott F

    2014-10-02

    Oysters impart significant socio-ecological benefits from primary production of food supply, to estuarine ecosystems via reduction of water column nutrients, plankton and seston biomass. Little though is known at the molecular level of what genes are responsible for how oysters reproduce, filter nutrients, survive stressful physiological events and form reef communities. Neuropeptides represent a diverse class of chemical messengers, instrumental in orchestrating these complex physiological events in other species. By a combination of in silico data mining and peptide analysis of ganglia, 74 putative neuropeptide genes were identified from genome and transcriptome databases of the Akoya pearl oyster, Pinctata fucata and the Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas, encoding precursors for over 300 predicted bioactive peptide products, including three newly identified neuropeptide precursors PFGx8amide, RxIamide and Wx3Yamide. Our findings also include a gene for the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) and two egg-laying hormones (ELH) which were identified from both oysters. Multiple sequence alignments and phylogenetic analysis supports similar global organization of these mature peptides. Computer-based peptide modeling of the molecular tertiary structures of ELH highlights the structural homologies within ELH family, which may facilitate ELH activity leading to the release of gametes. Our analysis demonstrates that oysters possess conserved molluscan neuropeptide domains and overall precursor organization whilst highlighting many previously unrecognized bivalve idiosyncrasies. This genomic analysis provides a solid foundation from which further studies aimed at the functional characterization of these molluscan neuropeptides can be conducted to further stimulate advances in understanding the ecology and cultivation of oysters.

  8. Mangrove oyster (Crassostrea rhizophorae (Guilding, 1928 farming areas as artificial reefs for fish: A case study in the State of Ceará, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luiz Eduardo Lima de Freitas

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available A type of platform, known as a table, is now being used for mangrove oyster farming. In Fortim, Ceará, Brazil, this activity was begun in June 2000 and covers an area of 50 m² overlying a sand-clay substrate. The present study has the following main objectives: to identify and catalogue the ichthyofauna colonizing the Crassostrea rhizophorae farming platforms; to evaluate ecological aspects, such as the possible correlation between the physical and chemical variables for water quality and the occurrence of the ichthyofauna; and to observe the differences in the fish species found during tidal variations. Specimens were identified and quantified using the linear-transect, visual census methodology. The ichthyofauna observed comprised 3,030 individuals belonging to 28 species and 20 families. Of the 28 species found in the area studied, 14 were marine transients, 12 marine dependent, and only 2 permanent residents. A significant association was observed between the abundance of 11 species and the physical and chemical variables studied. Based on these results, it may be concluded that the platforms act as artificial reefs for the ichthyofauna, being colonized by at least 28 species, and providing protection from predators as well as a source of food and a reproductive substrate.Um tipo de plataforma, conhecido como mesas, estão sendo utilizadas para o cultivo de ostras. Em Fortim, Ceará, este cultivo teve início em junho de 2000 e abrange uma área total de 50m² sobre um substrato argilo-arenoso. A presente pesquisa tem como objetivo identificar e catalogar a ictiofauna colonizadora das mesas de cultivo de ostras do mangue (Crassostrea rhizophorae, avaliar aspectos ecológicos tais como as possíveis correlações de parâmetros físico-químicos da água com a ocorrência da ictiofauna, além de observar as diferenças na composição da mesma durante as variações de marés. Os exemplares foram identificados visualmente e quantificados

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  10. Post-mortem ecosystem engineering by oysters creates habitat for a rare marsh plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Hongyu; Pennings, Steven C

    2012-11-01

    Oysters are ecosystem engineers in marine ecosystems, but the functions of oyster shell deposits in intertidal salt marshes are not well understood. The annual plant Suaeda linearis is associated with oyster shell deposits in Georgia salt marshes. We hypothesized that oyster shell deposits promoted the distribution of Suaeda linearis by engineering soil conditions unfavorable to dominant salt marsh plants of the region (the shrub Borrichia frutescens, the rush Juncus roemerianus, and the grass Spartina alterniflora). We tested this hypothesis using common garden pot experiments and field transplant experiments. Suaeda linearis thrived in Borrichia frutescens stands in the absence of neighbors, but was suppressed by Borrichia frutescens in the with-neighbor treatment, suggesting that Suaeda linearis was excluded from Borrichia frutescens stands by interspecific competition. Suaeda linearis plants all died in Juncus roemerianus and Spartina alterniflora stands, regardless of neighbor treatments, indicating that Suaeda linearis is excluded from these habitats by physical stress (likely water-logging). In contrast, Borrichia frutescens, Juncus roemerianus, and Spartina alterniflora all performed poorly in Suaeda linearis stands regardless of neighbor treatments, probably due to physical stresses such as low soil water content and low organic matter content. Thus, oyster shell deposits play an important ecosystem engineering role in influencing salt marsh plant communities by providing a unique niche for Suaeda linearis, which otherwise would be rare or absent in salt marshes in the southeastern US. Since the success of Suaeda linearis is linked to the success of oysters, efforts to protect and restore oyster reefs may also benefit salt marsh plant communities.

  11. Biodiversity and food web indicators of community recovery in intertidal shellfish reefs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Christianen, M.J.A.; Heide, van der T.; Holthuijsen, S.J.; Reijden, van der K.J.; Borst, A.C.W.; Olff, H.

    2017-01-01

    In conservation strategies of marine ecosystems, priority is given to habitat-structuring foundation species (e.g. seagrasses, mangroves and reef-building corals, shellfish) with the implicit goal to protect or restore associated communities and their interactions. However, the number and accuracy

  12. Biodiversity and food web indicators of community recovery in intertidal shellfish reefs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Christianen, M.J.A.; van der Heide, T.; Holthuijsen, S.J.; van der Reijden, K.J.; Borst, A.C.W.; Olff, H.

    In conservation strategies of marine ecosystems, priority is given to habitat-structuring foundation species (e.g. seagrasses, mangroves and reef-building corals, shellfish) with the implicit goal to protect or restore associated communities and their interactions. However, the number and accuracy

  13. Environmental controls on daytime net community calcification on a Red Sea reef flat

    KAUST Repository

    Bernstein, W. N.

    2016-01-23

    Coral growth and carbonate accumulation form the foundation of the coral reef ecosystem. Changes in environmental conditions due to coastal development, climate change, and ocean acidification may pose a threat to net carbonate production in the near future. Controlled laboratory studies demonstrate that calcification by corals and coralline algae is sensitive to changes in aragonite saturation state (Ωa), as well as temperature, light, and nutrition. Studies also show that the dissolution rate of carbonate substrates is impacted by changes in carbonate chemistry. The sensitivity of coral reefs to these parameters must be confirmed and quantified in the natural environment in order to predict how coral reefs will respond to local and global changes, particularly ocean acidification. We estimated the daytime hourly net community metabolic rates, both net community calcification (NCC) and net community productivity (NCP), at Sheltered Reef, an offshore platform reef in the central Red Sea. Average NCC was 8 ± 3 mmol m−2 h−1 in December 2010 and 11 ± 1 mmol m−2 h−1 in May 2011, and NCP was 21 ± 7 mmol m−2 h−1 in December 2010 and 44 ± 4 mmol m−2 h−1 in May 2011. We also monitored a suite of physical and chemical properties to help relate the rates at Sheltered Reef to published rates from other sites. While previous research shows that short-term field studies investigating the NCC–Ωa relationship have differing results due to confounding factors, it is important to continue estimating NCC in different places, seasons, and years, in order to monitor changes in NCC versus Ω in space and time, and to ultimately resolve a broader understanding of this relationship.

  14. CAN OYSTERS PLAY A ROLE IN ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT?

    Science.gov (United States)

    The culinary and commercial value of oysters is widely recognized but, until recently, their ecological importance has been largely overlooked. Field and laboratory studies have begun to explore how filter-feeding and reef building by oysters can influence nutrient cycling, biodi...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. 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...

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

    KAUST Repository

    Coker, Darren James

    2017-04-20

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

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

    KAUST Repository

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

    2017-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Effects of marine reserves versus nursery habitat availability on structure of reef fish communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagelkerken, Ivan; Grol, Monique G G; Mumby, Peter J

    2012-01-01

    No-take marine fishery reserves sustain commercial stocks by acting as buffers against overexploitation and enhancing fishery catches in adjacent areas through spillover. Likewise, nursery habitats such as mangroves enhance populations of some species in adjacent habitats. However, there is lack of understanding of the magnitude of stock enhancement and the effects on community structure when both protection from fishing and access to nurseries concurrently act as drivers of fish population dynamics. In this study we test the separate as well as interactive effects of marine reserves and nursery habitat proximity on structure and abundance of coral reef fish communities. Reserves had no effect on fish community composition, while proximity to nursery habitat only had a significant effect on community structure of species that use mangroves or seagrass beds as nurseries. In terms of reef fish biomass, proximity to nursery habitat by far outweighed (biomass 249% higher than that in areas with no nursery access) the effects of protection from fishing in reserves (biomass 21% lower than non-reserve areas) for small nursery fish (≤ 25 cm total length). For large-bodied individuals of nursery species (>25 cm total length), an additive effect was present for these two factors, although fish benefited more from fishing protection (203% higher biomass) than from proximity to nurseries (139% higher). The magnitude of elevated biomass for small fish on coral reefs due to proximity to nurseries was such that nursery habitats seem able to overrule the usually positive effects on fish biomass by reef reserves. As a result, conservation of nursery habitats gains importance and more consideration should be given to the ecological processes that occur along nursery-reef boundaries that connect neighboring ecosystems.

  1. Effects of marine reserves versus nursery habitat availability on structure of reef fish communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivan Nagelkerken

    Full Text Available No-take marine fishery reserves sustain commercial stocks by acting as buffers against overexploitation and enhancing fishery catches in adjacent areas through spillover. Likewise, nursery habitats such as mangroves enhance populations of some species in adjacent habitats. However, there is lack of understanding of the magnitude of stock enhancement and the effects on community structure when both protection from fishing and access to nurseries concurrently act as drivers of fish population dynamics. In this study we test the separate as well as interactive effects of marine reserves and nursery habitat proximity on structure and abundance of coral reef fish communities. Reserves had no effect on fish community composition, while proximity to nursery habitat only had a significant effect on community structure of species that use mangroves or seagrass beds as nurseries. In terms of reef fish biomass, proximity to nursery habitat by far outweighed (biomass 249% higher than that in areas with no nursery access the effects of protection from fishing in reserves (biomass 21% lower than non-reserve areas for small nursery fish (≤ 25 cm total length. For large-bodied individuals of nursery species (>25 cm total length, an additive effect was present for these two factors, although fish benefited more from fishing protection (203% higher biomass than from proximity to nurseries (139% higher. The magnitude of elevated biomass for small fish on coral reefs due to proximity to nurseries was such that nursery habitats seem able to overrule the usually positive effects on fish biomass by reef reserves. As a result, conservation of nursery habitats gains importance and more consideration should be given to the ecological processes that occur along nursery-reef boundaries that connect neighboring ecosystems.

  2. 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.

  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. Individual-based analyses reveal limited functional overlap in a coral reef fish community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandl, Simon J; Bellwood, David R

    2014-05-01

    Detailed knowledge of a species' functional niche is crucial for the study of ecological communities and processes. The extent of niche overlap, functional redundancy and functional complementarity is of particular importance if we are to understand ecosystem processes and their vulnerability to disturbances. Coral reefs are among the most threatened marine systems, and anthropogenic activity is changing the functional composition of reefs. The loss of herbivorous fishes is particularly concerning as the removal of algae is crucial for the growth and survival of corals. Yet, the foraging patterns of the various herbivorous fish species are poorly understood. Using a multidimensional framework, we present novel individual-based analyses of species' realized functional niches, which we apply to a herbivorous coral reef fish community. In calculating niche volumes for 21 species, based on their microhabitat utilization patterns during foraging, and computing functional overlaps, we provide a measurement of functional redundancy or complementarity. Complementarity is the inverse of redundancy and is defined as less than 50% overlap in niche volumes. The analyses reveal extensive complementarity with an average functional overlap of just 15.2%. Furthermore, the analyses divide herbivorous reef fishes into two broad groups. The first group (predominantly surgeonfishes and parrotfishes) comprises species feeding on exposed surfaces and predominantly open reef matrix or sandy substrata, resulting in small niche volumes and extensive complementarity. In contrast, the second group consists of species (predominantly rabbitfishes) that feed over a wider range of microhabitats, penetrating the reef matrix to exploit concealed surfaces of various substratum types. These species show high variation among individuals, leading to large niche volumes, more overlap and less complementarity. These results may have crucial consequences for our understanding of herbivorous processes on

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Re-evaluating the health of coral reef communities: baselines and evidence for human impacts across the central Pacific.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Jennifer E; Brainard, Rusty; Carter, Amanda; Grillo, Saray; Edwards, Clinton; Harris, Jill; Lewis, Levi; Obura, David; Rohwer, Forest; Sala, Enric; Vroom, Peter S; Sandin, Stuart

    2016-01-13

    Numerous studies have documented declines in the abundance of reef-building corals over the last several decades and in some but not all cases, phase shifts to dominance by macroalgae have occurred. These assessments, however, often ignore the remainder of the benthos and thus provide limited information on the present-day structure and function of coral reef communities. Here, using an unprecedentedly large dataset collected within the last 10 years across 56 islands spanning five archipelagos in the central Pacific, we examine how benthic reef communities differ in the presence and absence of human populations. Using islands as replicates, we examine whether benthic community structure is associated with human habitation within and among archipelagos and across latitude. While there was no evidence for coral to macroalgal phase shifts across our dataset we did find that the majority of reefs on inhabited islands were dominated by fleshy non-reef-building organisms (turf algae, fleshy macroalgae and non-calcifying invertebrates). By contrast, benthic communities from uninhabited islands were more variable but in general supported more calcifiers and active reef builders (stony corals and crustose coralline algae). Our results suggest that cumulative human impacts across the central Pacific may be causing a reduction in the abundance of reef builders resulting in island scale phase shifts to dominance by fleshy organisms. © 2016 The Author(s).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-03-01

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

  10. Daily variation in net primary production and net calcification in coral reef communities exposed to elevated pCO2

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Comeau

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available The threat represented by ocean acidification (OA for coral reefs has received considerable attention because of the sensitivity of calcifiers to changing seawater carbonate chemistry. However, most studies have focused on the organismic response of calcification to OA, and only a few have addressed community-level effects, or investigated parameters other than calcification, such as photosynthesis. Light (photosynthetically active radiation, PAR is a driver of biological processes on coral reefs, and the possibility that these processes might be perturbed by OA has important implications for community function. Here we investigate how CO2 enrichment affects the relationships between PAR and community net O2 production (Pnet, and between PAR and community net calcification (Gnet, using experiments on three coral communities constructed to match (i the back reef of Mo'orea, French Polynesia, (ii the fore reef of Mo'orea, and (iii the back reef of O'ahu, Hawaii. The results were used to test the hypothesis that OA affects the relationship between Pnet and Gnet. For the three communities tested, pCO2 did not affect the Pnet–PAR relationship, but it affected the intercept of the hyperbolic tangent curve fitting the Gnet–PAR relationship for both reef communities in Mo'orea (but not in O'ahu. For the three communities, the slopes of the linear relationships between Pnet and Gnet were not affected by OA, although the intercepts were depressed by the inhibitory effect of high pCO2 on Gnet. Our result indicates that OA can modify the balance between net calcification and net photosynthesis of reef communities by depressing community calcification, but without affecting community photosynthesis.

  11. Preliminary assessment of bioengineered fringing shoreline reefs in Grand Isle and Breton Sound, Louisiana

    Science.gov (United States)

    La Peyre, Megan K.; Schwarting, Lindsay; Miller, Shea

    2013-01-01

    data at two of the sites, and differences in reef placement between sites, however, it is difficult to draw any conclusions. Longer-term data collection and further analyses comparing reef placement; local wind, wave energy, sediment transport processes; and local bathymetry may help in parameterizing sites where fringing reefs may be most beneficial for shoreline protection. In addition to basic reef sustainability and shoreline stabilization, we measured both water quality parameters and nekton abundances around the newly created reefs and adjacent reference sites. Within the timeframe of monitoring, no effect of reefs on water quality was detected at any site. Given that water quality effects are hypothesized to result from the filtration activities of bivalves, and reefs either failed to recruit (settlement plus survival to > 50 mm) or successfully recruited but only had a couple months of growth prior to this report, it was not expected that an effect would be detectable in this timeframe. Nekton such as blue crab, gulf menhaden, and anchovies were found to be more abundant on the reefs; larger, more transient species were not found to be affected by reef presence. Future work examining smaller organisms and juveniles, including more explicit studies examining why and how these organisms preferentially use oyster reefs, would be useful in the design of other bioengineered reefs and help in understanding the role of the reefs in supporting the nekton community. It is clear from the initial work that ensuring correct site selection by better understanding what local site factors influence oyster populations is key to establishing successful living shoreline reefs. Ultimately, the success of the reefs in providing any ecosystem service relies on their ability to build a viable oyster population that is self-sustaining over the long term. As many of the ecosystem processes hypothesized to result from reefs develop over the long term (4–6 years), some level of

  12. Relative and combined effects of habitat and fishing on reef fish communities across a limited fishing gradient at Ningaloo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Shaun K; Babcock, Russ C; Fisher, Rebecca; Holmes, Thomas H; Moore, James A Y; Thomson, Damian P

    2012-10-01

    Habitat degradation and fishing are major drivers of temporal and spatial changes in fish communities. The independent effects of these drivers are well documented, but the relative importance and interaction between fishing and habitat shifts is poorly understood, particularly in complex systems such as coral reefs. To assess the combined and relative effects of fishing and habitat we examined the composition of fish communities on patch reefs across a gradient of high to low structural complexity in fished and unfished areas of the Ningaloo Marine Park, Western Australia. Biomass and species richness of fish were positively correlated with structural complexity of reefs and negatively related to macroalgal cover. Total abundance of fish was also positively related to structural complexity, however this relationship was stronger on fished reefs than those where fishing is prohibited. The interaction between habitat condition and fishing pressure is primarily due to the high abundance of small bodied planktivorous fish on fished reefs. However, the influence of management zones on the abundance and biomass of predators and target species is small, implying spatial differences in fishing pressure are low and unlikely to be driving this interaction. Our results emphasise the importance of habitat in structuring reef fish communities on coral reefs especially when gradients in fishing pressure are low. The influence of fishing effort on this relationship may however become more important as fishing pressure increases. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. The effects of trophic interactions and spatial competition on algal community composition on Hawaiian coral reefs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vermeij, M.J.A.; Dailer, M.L.; Walsh, S.M.; Donovan, M.K.; Smith, C.M.

    2010-01-01

    Much of coral reef ecology has focused on how human impacts change coral reefs to macroalgal reefs. However, macroalgae may not always be a good indicator of reef decline, especially on reefs with significant sea urchin populations, as found in Kenya and Hawaii. This study tests the effects of

  14. Reef community structure, Sand Island, Oahu HI, (NODC Accession 0000177)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These reports provide the results of nine years (1990-98) of an annual quantitative monitoring of shallow marine communities inshore of the Sand Island Ocean...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca Vega Thurber

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

  17. Changes in coral reef communities among the Florida Keys, 1996-2003

    Science.gov (United States)

    Somerfield, P. J.; Jaap, W. C.; Clarke, K. R.; Callahan, M.; Hackett, K.; Porter, J.; Lybolt, M.; Tsokos, C.; Yanev, G.

    2008-12-01

    Hard coral (Scleractinia and Milleporina) cover data were examined from 37 sites surveyed annually from 1996 to 2003 in the Florida reef tract, USA. Analyses of species numbers and total cover showed that site-to-site differences were generally very much greater than differences among times within sites. There were no significant differences among different geographical areas within the reef tract (Upper, Middle and Lower Keys). Large-scale changes documented included a reduction in species numbers and total cover on both deep and shallow offshore reefs between 1997 and 1999 followed by no recovery in cover, and only scant evidence of any recovery in species numbers by 2003. These changes coincided with bleaching events in 1997 and 1998, and the passage of Hurricane Georges through the Lower Keys in 1998. The lack of recovery among offshore reefs suggests that they were no longer resilient. Multivariate analyses revealed that some sites showed relatively little temporal variation in community composition, essentially random in direction, while others showed relatively large year-on-year changes. There was little evidence of any major region-wide changes affecting assemblage composition, or of any events that had impacted all of the sampling sites in any single year. Instead, different sites exhibited differing patterns of temporal variation, with certain sites displaying greater variation than others. Changes in community composition at some sites are interpreted in the light of knowledge of events at those sites and the relative sensitivities of species to various stressors, such as changes in cover of Acropora palmata and Millepora complanata at Sand Key following the bleaching events and hurricane in 1998, and declines in Montastraea annularis at Smith Shoal following a harmful algal bloom in 2002. For most sites, however, it is impossible to determine the causes of observed variation.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  19. Retention of habitat complexity minimizes disassembly of reef fish communities following disturbance: a large-scale natural experiment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J Emslie

    Full Text Available High biodiversity ecosystems are commonly associated with complex habitats. Coral reefs are highly diverse ecosystems, but are under increasing pressure from numerous stressors, many of which reduce live coral cover and habitat complexity with concomitant effects on other organisms such as reef fishes. While previous studies have highlighted the importance of habitat complexity in structuring reef fish communities, they employed gradient or meta-analyses which lacked a controlled experimental design over broad spatial scales to explicitly separate the influence of live coral cover from overall habitat complexity. Here a natural experiment using a long term (20 year, spatially extensive (∼ 115,000 kms(2 dataset from the Great Barrier Reef revealed the fundamental importance of overall habitat complexity for reef fishes. Reductions of both live coral cover and habitat complexity had substantial impacts on fish communities compared to relatively minor impacts after major reductions in coral cover but not habitat complexity. Where habitat complexity was substantially reduced, species abundances broadly declined and a far greater number of fish species were locally extirpated, including economically important fishes. This resulted in decreased species richness and a loss of diversity within functional groups. Our results suggest that the retention of habitat complexity following disturbances can ameliorate the impacts of coral declines on reef fishes, so preserving their capacity to perform important functional roles essential to reef resilience. These results add to a growing body of evidence about the importance of habitat complexity for reef fishes, and represent the first large-scale examination of this question on the Great Barrier Reef.

  20. Community structure and coral status across reef fishing intensity gradients in Palk Bay reef, southeast coast of India.

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Manikandan, B.; Ravindran, J.; Shrinivaasu, S.; Marimuthu, N.; Paramasivam, K.

    to the reefs (McClanahan et al. 2006). However, majority of the MPAs lack effective enforcement of laws leading to reef damage and over exploitation (Mora et al. 2006). Climate change and Ocean acidification are chronic processes that exert their effects at a... availability for macroalgal attachment and nutrient enrichment will enhance the algal population in the coral ecosystems (McManus and Polsenberg 2004). Algal domination in a coral ecosystem has severe ecological implications including coral bleaching (Hughes...

  1. The effects of coastal development on sponge abundance, diversity, and community composition on Jamaican coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stubler, Amber D; Duckworth, Alan R; Peterson, Bradley J

    2015-07-15

    Over the past decade, development along the northern coast of Jamaica has accelerated, resulting in elevated levels of sedimentation on adjacent reefs. To understand the effects of this development on sponge community dynamics, we conducted surveys at three locations with varying degrees of adjacent coastal development to quantify species richness, abundance and diversity at two depths (8-10 m and 15-18 m). Sediment accumulation rate, total suspended solids and other water quality parameters were also quantified. The sponge community at the location with the least coastal development and anthropogenic influence was often significantly different from the other two locations, and exhibited higher sponge abundance, richness, and diversity. Sponge community composition and size distribution were statistically different among locations. This study provides correlative evidence that coastal development affects aspects of sponge community ecology, although the precise mechanisms are still unclear. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liana J.A. Murillo

    2014-02-01

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

  5. Community production modulates coral reef pH and the sensitivity of ecosystem calcification to ocean acidification

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeCarlo, Thomas M.; Cohen, Anne L.; Wong, George T. F.; Shiah, Fuh-Kwo; Lentz, Steven J.; Davis, Kristen A.; Shamberger, Kathryn E. F.; Lohmann, Pat

    2017-01-01

    Coral reefs are built of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) produced biogenically by a diversity of calcifying plants, animals, and microbes. As the ocean warms and acidifies, there is mounting concern that declining calcification rates could shift coral reef CaCO3 budgets from net accretion to net dissolution. We quantified net ecosystem calcification (NEC) and production (NEP) on Dongsha Atoll, northern South China Sea, over a 2 week period that included a transient bleaching event. Peak daytime pH on the wide, shallow reef flat during the nonbleaching period was ˜8.5, significantly elevated above that of the surrounding open ocean (˜8.0-8.1) as a consequence of daytime NEP (up to 112 mmol C m-2 h-1). Diurnal-averaged NEC was 390 ± 90 mmol CaCO3 m-2 d-1, higher than any other coral reef studied to date despite comparable calcifier cover (25%) and relatively high fleshy algal cover (19%). Coral bleaching linked to elevated temperatures significantly reduced daytime NEP by 29 mmol C m-2 h-1. pH on the reef flat declined by 0.2 units, causing a 40% reduction in NEC in the absence of pH changes in the surrounding open ocean. Our findings highlight the interactive relationship between carbonate chemistry of coral reef ecosystems and ecosystem production and calcification rates, which are in turn impacted by ocean warming. As open-ocean waters bathing coral reefs warm and acidify over the 21st century, the health and composition of reef benthic communities will play a major role in determining on-reef conditions that will in turn dictate the ecosystem response to climate change.

  6. A Restoration Suitability Index Model for the Eastern Oyster (Crassostrea virginica) in the Mission-Aransas Estuary, TX, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beseres Pollack, Jennifer; Cleveland, Andrew; Palmer, Terence A.; Reisinger, Anthony S.; Montagna, Paul A.

    2012-01-01

    Oyster reefs are one of the most threatened marine habitats on earth, with habitat loss resulting from water quality degradation, coastal development, destructive fishing practices, overfishing, and storm impacts. For successful and sustainable oyster reef restoration efforts, it is necessary to choose sites that support long-term growth and survival of oysters. Selection of suitable sites is critically important as it can greatly influence mortality factors and may largely determine the ultimate success of the restoration project. The application of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) provides an effective methodology for identifying suitable sites for oyster reef restoration and removes much of the uncertainty involved in the sometimes trial and error selection process. This approach also provides an objective and quantitative tool for planning future oyster reef restoration efforts. The aim of this study was to develop a restoration suitability index model and reef quality index model to characterize locations based on their potential for successful reef restoration within the Mission-Aransas Estuary, Texas, USA. The restoration suitability index model focuses on salinity, temperature, turbidity, dissolved oxygen, and depth, while the reef quality index model focuses on abundance of live oysters, dead shell, and spat. Size-specific Perkinsus marinus infection levels were mapped to illustrate general disease trends. This application was effective in identifying suitable sites for oyster reef restoration, is flexible in its use, and provides a mechanism for considering alternative approaches. The end product is a practical decision-support tool that can be used by coastal resource managers to improve oyster restoration efforts. As oyster reef restoration activities continue at small and large-scales, site selection criteria are critical for assisting stakeholders and managers and for maximizing long-term sustainability of oyster resources. PMID:22792410

  7. Human activities as a driver of spatial variation in the trophic structure of fish communities on Pacific coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruppert, Jonathan L W; Vigliola, Laurent; Kulbicki, Michel; Labrosse, Pierre; Fortin, Marie-Josée; Meekan, Mark G

    2018-01-01

    Anthropogenic activities such as land-use change, pollution and fishing impact the trophic structure of coral reef fishes, which can influence ecosystem health and function. Although these impacts may be ubiquitous, they are not consistent across the tropical Pacific Ocean. Using an extensive database of fish biomass sampled using underwater visual transects on coral reefs, we modelled the impact of human activities on food webs at Pacific-wide and regional (1,000s-10,000s km) scales. We found significantly lower biomass of sharks and carnivores, where there were higher densities of human populations (hereafter referred to as human activity); however, these patterns were not spatially consistent as there were significant differences in the trophic structures of fishes among biogeographic regions. Additionally, we found significant changes in the benthic structure of reef environments, notably a decline in coral cover where there was more human activity. Direct human impacts were the strongest in the upper part of the food web, where we found that in a majority of the Pacific, the biomass of reef sharks and carnivores were significantly and negatively associated with human activity. Finally, although human-induced stressors varied in strength and significance throughout the coral reef food web across the Pacific, socioeconomic variables explained more variation in reef fish trophic structure than habitat variables in a majority of the biogeographic regions. Notably, economic development (measured as GDP per capita) did not guarantee healthy reef ecosystems (high coral cover and greater fish biomass). Our results indicate that human activities are significantly shaping patterns of trophic structure of reef fishes in a spatially nonuniform manner across the Pacific Ocean, by altering processes that organize communities in both "top-down" (fishing of predators) and "bottom-up" (degradation of benthic communities) contexts. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-01

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

  12. Struktur Komunitas Ikan Karang di Perairan Kendari (Community Structure of Coral Reef Fishes at Kendari Waters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammad Adrim

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Keberadaan ikan karang merupakan salah satu bioindikator terhadap kondisi terumbu karang yang baik. Penelitian ikan karang di perairan Kendari bertujuan untuk mengetahui komposisi jenis, kelimpahan, sebaran, dan struktur komunitas ikan karang di perairan tersebut. Pengumpulan data dilakukan bulan Juli 2011 pada lima lokasi di bagian utara dan selatan Kendari. Data dihimpun dengan menggunakan teknik Underwater Visual Census (UVC dan metode transek (Line Intersept Transect, LIT dengan peralatan SCUBA. Total jenis ikan karang terkumpul sebanyak 111 jenis yang mewakili 24 famili, terdiri dari 31 jenis ikan target (ikan konsumsi, 17 jenis ikan indikator (indicator species, dan kelompok major 63 jenis. Kelornpok ikan pangan (target yang dominan; Caesio cuning, Siganus vulpinus dan Ctenochaetus striatus. Jenis yang paling dominan dari ikan indikator adalah Chaetodon octofasciatus. Sedangkan kelompok lainnya (major yang dominan adalah Pomacentrus smithii, Chrysiptera rollandi, Chrysiptera springeri, dan Pomacentrus alexanderae. Nilai Indeks keanekaragaman berkisar 1,36– 3,23. Indeks dominasi Margalef (d berkisar 4,74–8,66. Indeks kemerataan Pielou (J’=H’/logeS diperololeh pada kisaran 0,38–0,81 . Hasil analisis kluster pada matrik kesamaan Bray-Curtis 37 % diperoleh dendrograrn yang menunjukkan dua pengelompokan stasiun. Berdasarkan ordinasi sampel dengan MDS diperoleh dari kesamaan (stress= 0 dengan jelas menunjukkan dua komunitas yang berbeda. Hasil penelitian ini diharapkan dapat menjadi masukan sebagai data dasar untuk pengelolaan daerah pesisir bagi pemerintahan daerah (PEMDA. Kata kunci: ikan karang, struktur komunitas, indeks ekologi, perairan Kendari. Coral reef Fishes is one of bio-indicators for good condition coral reef ecosystem. A study on coral reef fishes in the Kendari waters was aimed to find out species composition, abundance, distribution and community structure of coral reef fishes in that area. The study was conducted in

  13. Quantitative validation of a habitat suitability index for oyster restoration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seth eTheuerkauf

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Habitat suitability index (HSI models provide spatially explicit information on the capacity of a given habitat to support a species of interest, and their prevalence has increased dramatically in recent years. Despite caution that the reliability of HSIs must be validated using independent, quantitative data, most HSIs intended to inform terrestrial and marine species management remain unvalidated. Furthermore, of the eight HSI models developed for eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica restoration and fishery production, none has been validated. Consequently, we developed, calibrated, and validated an HSI for the eastern oyster to identify optimal habitat for restoration in a tributary of Chesapeake Bay, the Great Wicomico River (GWR. The GWR harbors a high density, restored oyster population, and therefore serves as an excellent model system for assessing the validity of the HSI. The HSI was derived from GIS layers of bottom type, salinity, and water depth (surrogate for dissolved oxygen, and was tested using live adult oyster density data from a survey of high vertical relief reefs (HRR and low vertical relief reefs (LRR in the sanctuary network. Live adult oyster density was a statistically-significant sigmoid function of the HSI, which validates the HSI as a robust predictor of suitable oyster reef habitat for rehabilitation or restoration. In addition, HRR had on average 103-116 more adults m^−2 than LRR at a given level of the HSI. For HRR, HSI values ≥0.3 exceeded the accepted restoration target of 50 live adult oysters m^−2. For LRR, the HSI was generally able to predict live adult oyster densities that meet or exceed the target at HSI values ≥0.3. The HSI indicated that there remain large areas of suitable habitat for restoration in the GWR. This study provides a robust framework for HSI model development and validation, which can be refined and applied to other systems and previously developed HSIs to improve the efficacy of

  14. Community metabolism and air-sea CO[sub 2] fluxes in a coral reef ecosystem (Moorea, French Polynesia)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gattuso, J P; Pichon, M; Delesalle, B; Frankignoulle, M [Observatory of European Oceanology (Monaco)

    1993-06-01

    Community metabolism (primary production, respiration and calcification) and air-sea CO[sub 2] fluxes of the 'Tiahura barrier reef' (Moorea, French Polynesia) were investigated in November and December 1991. Gross production and respiration were respectively 640.2 to 753 and 590.4 to 641.5 mmol (O[sub 2] or CO[sub 2]) m[sup 2] d[sup -1] (7.7 to 9.0 and 7.1 to 7.7 g C m)[sup 2] d[sup -1] and the reef displayed a slightly negative excess (net) production. The contribution of planktonic primary production to reef metabolism was negligible (0.15% of total gross production). Net calcification was positive both during the day and at night; its daily value was 243 mmol CaCO[sub 3] m[sup 2] d[sup -1] (24.3 g CaCO)[sub 3] m[sup -2] d[sup -1]. Reef metabolism decreased seawater total CO[sub 2] by 433.3 mmol m[sup 2] d[sup -1]. The air-sea CO[sub 2] fluxes were close to zero in the ocean but displayed a strong daily pattern at the reef front and the back reef. Fluxes were positive (CO[sub 2] evasion) at night, decreased as irradiance increased and were negative during the day (CO[sub 2] invasion). Integration of the fluxes measured during a 24 h experiment at the back reef showed that the reef was a source of CO[sub 2] to the atmosphere (1.5 mmol m[sup 2] d[sup -1]).

  15. Variable responses of benthic communities to anomalously warm sea temperatures on a high-latitude coral reef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bridge, Tom C L; Ferrari, Renata; Bryson, Mitch; Hovey, Renae; Figueira, Will F; Williams, Stefan B; Pizarro, Oscar; Harborne, Alastair R; Byrne, Maria

    2014-01-01

    High-latitude reefs support unique ecological communities occurring at the biogeographic boundaries between tropical and temperate marine ecosystems. Due to their lower ambient temperatures, they are regarded as potential refugia for tropical species shifting poleward due to rising sea temperatures. However, acute warming events can cause rapid shifts in the composition of high-latitude reef communities, including range contractions of temperate macroalgae and bleaching-induced mortality in corals. While bleaching has been reported on numerous high-latitude reefs, post-bleaching trajectories of benthic communities are poorly described. Consequently, the longer-term effects of thermal anomalies on high-latitude reefs are difficult to predict. Here, we use an autonomous underwater vehicle to conduct repeated surveys of three 625 m(2) plots on a coral-dominated high-latitude reef in the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia, over a four-year period spanning a large-magnitude thermal anomaly. Quantification of benthic communities revealed high coral cover (>70%, comprising three main morphospecies) prior to the bleaching event. Plating Montipora was most susceptible to bleaching, but in the plot where it was most abundant, coral cover did not change significantly because of post-bleaching increases in branching Acropora. In the other two plots, coral cover decreased while macroalgal cover increased markedly. Overall, coral cover declined from 73% to 59% over the course of the study, while macroalgal cover increased from 11% to 24%. The significant differences in impacts and post-bleaching trajectories among plots underline the importance of understanding the underlying causes of such variation to improve predictions of how climate change will affect reefs, especially at high-latitudes.

  16. Variable responses of benthic communities to anomalously warm sea temperatures on a high-latitude coral reef.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tom C L Bridge

    Full Text Available High-latitude reefs support unique ecological communities occurring at the biogeographic boundaries between tropical and temperate marine ecosystems. Due to their lower ambient temperatures, they are regarded as potential refugia for tropical species shifting poleward due to rising sea temperatures. However, acute warming events can cause rapid shifts in the composition of high-latitude reef communities, including range contractions of temperate macroalgae and bleaching-induced mortality in corals. While bleaching has been reported on numerous high-latitude reefs, post-bleaching trajectories of benthic communities are poorly described. Consequently, the longer-term effects of thermal anomalies on high-latitude reefs are difficult to predict. Here, we use an autonomous underwater vehicle to conduct repeated surveys of three 625 m(2 plots on a coral-dominated high-latitude reef in the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia, over a four-year period spanning a large-magnitude thermal anomaly. Quantification of benthic communities revealed high coral cover (>70%, comprising three main morphospecies prior to the bleaching event. Plating Montipora was most susceptible to bleaching, but in the plot where it was most abundant, coral cover did not change significantly because of post-bleaching increases in branching Acropora. In the other two plots, coral cover decreased while macroalgal cover increased markedly. Overall, coral cover declined from 73% to 59% over the course of the study, while macroalgal cover increased from 11% to 24%. The significant differences in impacts and post-bleaching trajectories among plots underline the importance of understanding the underlying causes of such variation to improve predictions of how climate change will affect reefs, especially at high-latitudes.

  17. 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

  18. The effects of top-down versus bottom-up control on benthic coral reef community structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Jennifer E; Hunter, Cynthia L; Smith, Celia M

    2010-06-01

    While climate change and associated increases in sea surface temperature and ocean acidification, are among the most important global stressors to coral reefs, overfishing and nutrient pollution are among the most significant local threats. Here we examined the independent and interactive effects of reduced grazing pressure and nutrient enrichment using settlement tiles on a coral-dominated reef via long-term manipulative experimentation. We found that unique assemblages developed in each treatment combination confirming that both nutrients and herbivores are important drivers of reef community structure. When herbivores were removed, fleshy algae dominated, while crustose coralline algae (CCA) and coral were more abundant when herbivores were present. The effects of fertilization varied depending on herbivore treatment; without herbivores fleshy algae increased in abundance and with herbivores, CCA increased. Coral recruits only persisted in treatments exposed to grazers. Herbivore removal resulted in rapid changes in community structure while there was a lag in response to fertilization. Lastly, re-exposure of communities to natural herbivore populations caused reversals in benthic community trajectories but the effects of fertilization remained for at least 2 months. These results suggest that increasing herbivore populations on degraded reefs may be an effective strategy for restoring ecosystem structure and function and in reversing coral-algal phase-shifts but that this strategy may be most effective in the absence of other confounding disturbances such as nutrient pollution.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Norbert Englebert

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

  20. [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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-06-01

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

  2. Fishing top predators indirectly affects condition and reproduction in a reef-fish community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walsh, S M; Hamilton, S L; Ruttenberg, B I; Donovan, M K; Sandin, S A

    2012-03-01

    To examine the indirect effects of fishing on energy allocation in non-target prey species, condition and reproductive potential were measured for five representative species (two-spot red snapper Lutjanus bohar, arc-eye hawkfish Paracirrhites arcatus, blackbar devil Plectroglyphidodon dickii, bicolour chromis Chromis margaritifer and whitecheek surgeonfish Acanthurus nigricans) from three reef-fish communities with different levels of fishing and predator abundance in the northern Line Islands, central Pacific Ocean. Predator abundance differed by five to seven-fold among islands, and despite no clear differences in prey abundance, differences in prey condition and reproductive potential among islands were found. Body condition (mean body mass adjusted for length) was consistently lower at sites with higher predator abundance for three of the four prey species. Mean liver mass (adjusted for total body mass), an indicator of energy reserves, was also lower at sites with higher predator abundance for three of the prey species and the predator. Trends in reproductive potential were less clear. Mean gonad mass (adjusted for total body mass) was high where predator abundance was high for only one of the three species in which it was measured. Evidence of consistently low prey body condition and energy reserves in a diverse suite of species at reefs with high predator abundance suggests that fishing may indirectly affect non-target prey-fish populations through changes in predation and predation risk. © 2012 The Authors. Journal of Fish Biology © 2012 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  3. Millennial-scale sustainability of the Chesapeake Bay Native American oyster fishery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rick, Torben C; Reeder-Myers, Leslie A; Hofman, Courtney A; Breitburg, Denise; Lockwood, Rowan; Henkes, Gregory; Kellogg, Lisa; Lowery, Darrin; Luckenbach, Mark W; Mann, Roger; Ogburn, Matthew B; Southworth, Melissa; Wah, John; Wesson, James; Hines, Anson H

    2016-06-07

    Estuaries around the world are in a state of decline following decades or more of overfishing, pollution, and climate change. Oysters (Ostreidae), ecosystem engineers in many estuaries, influence water quality, construct habitat, and provide food for humans and wildlife. In North America's Chesapeake Bay, once-thriving eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) populations have declined dramatically, making their restoration and conservation extremely challenging. Here we present data on oyster size and human harvest from Chesapeake Bay archaeological sites spanning ∼3,500 y of Native American, colonial, and historical occupation. We compare oysters from archaeological sites with Pleistocene oyster reefs that existed before human harvest, modern oyster reefs, and other records of human oyster harvest from around the world. Native American fisheries were focused on nearshore oysters and were likely harvested at a rate that was sustainable over centuries to millennia, despite changing Holocene climatic conditions and sea-level rise. These data document resilience in oyster populations under long-term Native American harvest, sea-level rise, and climate change; provide context for managing modern oyster fisheries in the Chesapeake Bay and elsewhere around the world; and demonstrate an interdisciplinary approach that can be applied broadly to other fisheries.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. The Japanese alga Polysiphonia morrowii (Rhodomelaceae, Rhodophyta) on the South Atlantic Ocean: first report of an invasive macroalga inhabiting oyster reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Croce, M. Emilia; Parodi, Elisa R.

    2014-06-01

    Conspicuous tufts of the filamentous algae Polysiphonia Greville inhabit the reefs of Crassostrea gigas on the Atlantic Patagonian coast. The population was recorded for the first time in 1994 and identified as P. argentinica. This study exhaustively investigated the morphology and reproduction of specimens and the seasonality of the population. The results revealed the identity of the specimens as the invasive Japanese macroalga Polysiphonia morrowii Harvey, on the basis of several striking features: the setaceous and tufted thalli, the corymbose growing apices, the endogenous axillary branches, the urceolate cystocarps and the sharply pointed branches. Sexual reproduction was evidenced; however, fertile male gametophytes were absent in the samples. The population was found almost all year round, but its abundance became higher in autumn and winter. The present study constitutes the first record of this invasive macroalga on the South Atlantic Ocean; the fourth record of an exotic macroalgal species on the Atlantic Patagonian coast; and the first record of an invasive species related to the establishment of C. gigas in Atlantic Patagonia.

  6. Metagenome-based diversity analyses suggest a strong locality signal for bacterial communities associated with oyster aquaculture farms in Ofunato Bay

    KAUST Repository

    Kobiyama, Atsushi

    2018-04-30

    Ofunato Bay, in Japan, is the home of buoy-and-rope-type oyster aquaculture activities. Since the oysters filter suspended materials and excrete organic matter into the seawater, bacterial communities residing in its vicinity may show dynamic changes depending on the oyster culture activities. We employed a shotgun metagenomic technique to study bacterial communities near oyster aquaculture facilities at the center of the bay (KSt. 2) and compared the results with those of two other localities far from the station, one to the northeast (innermost bay, KSt. 1) and the other to the southwest (bay entrance, KSt. 3). Seawater samples were collected every month from January to December 2015 from the surface (1 m) and deeper (8 or 10 m) layers of the three locations, and the sequentially filtered fraction on 0.2-μm membranes was sequenced on an Illumina MiSeq system. The acquired reads were uploaded to MG-RAST for KEGG functional abundance analysis, while taxonomic analyses at the phylum and genus levels were performed using MEGAN after parsing the BLAST output. Discrimination analyses were then performed using the ROC-AUC value of the cross validation, targeting the depth (shallow or deep), locality [(KSt. 1 + KSt. 2) vs. KSt 3; (KSt. 1 + KSt. 3) vs. KSt. 2 or the (KSt. 2 + KSt. 3) vs. KSt. 1] and seasonality (12 months). The matrix discrimination analysis on the adjacent 2 continuous seasons by ROC-AUC, which was based on the datasets that originated from different depths, localities and months, showed the strongest discrimination signal on the taxonomy matrix at the phylum level for the datasets from July to August compared with those from September to June, while the KEGG matrix showed the strongest signal for the datasets from March to June compared with those from July to February. Then, the locality combination was subjected to the same ROC-AUC discrimination analysis, resulting in significant differences between KSt. 2 and KSt. 1 + KSt. 3

  7. Metagenome-based diversity analyses suggest a strong locality signal for bacterial communities associated with oyster aquaculture farms in Ofunato Bay

    KAUST Repository

    Kobiyama, Atsushi; Ikeo, Kazuho; Reza, Md. Shaheed; Rashid, Jonaira; Yamada, Yuichiro; Ikeda, Yuri; Ikeda, Daisuke; Mizusawa, Nanami; Sato, Shigeru; Ogata, Takehiko; Jimbo, Mitsuru; Kudo, Toshiaki; Kaga, Shinnosuke; Watanabe, Shiho; Naiki, Kimiaki; Kaga, Yoshimasa; Mineta, Katsuhiko; Bajic, Vladimir B.; Gojobori, Takashi; Watabe, Shugo

    2018-01-01

    Ofunato Bay, in Japan, is the home of buoy-and-rope-type oyster aquaculture activities. Since the oysters filter suspended materials and excrete organic matter into the seawater, bacterial communities residing in its vicinity may show dynamic changes depending on the oyster culture activities. We employed a shotgun metagenomic technique to study bacterial communities near oyster aquaculture facilities at the center of the bay (KSt. 2) and compared the results with those of two other localities far from the station, one to the northeast (innermost bay, KSt. 1) and the other to the southwest (bay entrance, KSt. 3). Seawater samples were collected every month from January to December 2015 from the surface (1 m) and deeper (8 or 10 m) layers of the three locations, and the sequentially filtered fraction on 0.2-μm membranes was sequenced on an Illumina MiSeq system. The acquired reads were uploaded to MG-RAST for KEGG functional abundance analysis, while taxonomic analyses at the phylum and genus levels were performed using MEGAN after parsing the BLAST output. Discrimination analyses were then performed using the ROC-AUC value of the cross validation, targeting the depth (shallow or deep), locality [(KSt. 1 + KSt. 2) vs. KSt 3; (KSt. 1 + KSt. 3) vs. KSt. 2 or the (KSt. 2 + KSt. 3) vs. KSt. 1] and seasonality (12 months). The matrix discrimination analysis on the adjacent 2 continuous seasons by ROC-AUC, which was based on the datasets that originated from different depths, localities and months, showed the strongest discrimination signal on the taxonomy matrix at the phylum level for the datasets from July to August compared with those from September to June, while the KEGG matrix showed the strongest signal for the datasets from March to June compared with those from July to February. Then, the locality combination was subjected to the same ROC-AUC discrimination analysis, resulting in significant differences between KSt. 2 and KSt. 1 + KSt. 3

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bernhard Riegl

    2017-10-01

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

  9. Benthic Community Characterization on Shallow (<30m) Hardbottom Shelf Habitats in St. Croix, USVI. A preliminary field survey to assess operational and logistical approaches to implement the National Coral Reef Monitoring Program (NCRMP) in the USVI. (NODC Accession 0125237)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Reef fish populations are a conspicuous and essential component of USVI coral reef ecosystems. Yet despite their importance, striking population and community level...

  10. Benthic Community Characterization on Shallow (less than 30m) Hardbottom Shelf Habitats in St. Croix, USVI. A preliminary field survey to assess operational and logistical approaches to implement the National Coral Reef Monitoring Program (NCRMP) in the USVI.

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Reef fish populations are a conspicuous and essential component of USVI coral reef ecosystems. Yet despite their importance, striking population and community level...

  11. Fish Community Characterization on Shallow (less than 30m) Hardbottom Shelf Habitats in St. Croix, USVI. A preliminary field survey to assess operational and logistical approaches to implement the National Coral Reef Monitoring Program (NCRMP) in the USVI.

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Reef fish populations are a conspicuous and essential component of USVI coral reef ecosystems. Yet despite their importance, striking population and community level...

  12. Fish Community Characterization on Shallow (<30m) Hardbottom Shelf Habitats in St. Croix, USVI. A preliminary field survey to assess operational and logistical approaches to implement the National Coral Reef Monitoring Program (NCRMP) in the USVI. (NODC Accession 0125237)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Reef fish populations are a conspicuous and essential component of USVI coral reef ecosystems. Yet despite their importance, striking population and community level...

  13. 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.

  14. Community Composition and Transcriptional Activity of Ammonia-Oxidizing Prokaryotes of Seagrass Thalassia hemprichii in Coral Reef Ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Ling

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Seagrasses in coral reef ecosystems play important ecological roles by enhancing coral reef resilience under ocean acidification. However, seagrass primary productivity is typically constrained by limited nitrogen availability. Ammonia oxidation is an important process conducted by ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA and bacteria (AOB, yet little information is available concerning the community structure and potential activity of seagrass AOA and AOB. Therefore, this study investigated the variations in the abundance, diversity and transcriptional activity of AOA and AOB at the DNA and transcript level from four sample types: the leaf, root, rhizosphere sediment and bulk sediment of seagrass Thalassia hemprichii in three coral reef ecosystems. DNA and complementary DNA (cDNA were used to prepare clone libraries and DNA and cDNA quantitative PCR (qPCR assays, targeting the ammonia monooxygenase-subunit (amoA genes as biomarkers. Our results indicated that the closest relatives of the obtained archaeal and bacterial amoA gene sequences recovered from DNA and cDNA libraries mainly originated from the marine environment. Moreover, all the obtained AOB sequences belong to the Nitrosomonadales cluster. Nearly all the AOA communities exhibited higher diversity than the AOB communities at the DNA level, but the qPCR data demonstrated that the abundances of AOB communities were higher than that of AOA communities based on both DNA and RNA transcripts. Collectively, most of the samples shared greater community composition similarity with samples from the same location rather than sample type. Furthermore, the abundance of archaeal amoA gene in rhizosphere sediments showed significant relationships with the ammonium concentration of sediments and the nitrogen content of plant tissue (leaf and root at the DNA level (P < 0.05. Conversely, no such relationships were found for the AOB communities. This work provides new insight into the nitrogen cycle

  15. Characterization of adhesive from oysters: A structural and compositional study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alberts, Erik

    The inability for man-made adhesives to set in wet or humid environments is an ongoing challenging the design of biomedical and marine adhesive materials. However, we see that nature has already overcome this challenge. Mussels, barnacles, oysters and sandcastle worms all have unique mechanisms by which they attach themselves to surfaces. By understanding what evolution has already spent millions of years perfecting, we can design novel adhesive materials inspired by nature's elegant designs. The well-studied mussel is currently the standard for design of marine inspired biomimetic polymers. In the work presented here, we aim to provide new insights into the adhesive produced by the eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica. Unlike the mussel, which produces thread-like plaques comprised of DOPA containing-protein, the oyster secretes an organic-inorganic hybrid adhesive as it settles and grows onto a surface. This form of adhesion renders the oyster to be permanently fixed in place. Over time, hundreds of thousands of oyster grow and agglomerate to form extensive reef structures. These reefs are not only essential to survival of the oyster, but are also vital to intertidal ecosystems. While the shell of the oyster has been extensively studied, curiously, only a few conflicting insights have been made into the nature of the adhesive and contact zone between shell and substrate, and even lesfs information has been ascertained on organic and inorganic composition. In this work, we provide microscopy and histochemical studies to characterize the structure and composition of the adhesive, using oyster in the adult and juvenile stages of life. Preliminary work on extracting and characterizing organic components through collaborative help with solid-state NMR (SSNMR) and proteomics are also detailed here. We aim to provide a full, comprehensive characterization of oyster adhesive so that in the future, we may apply what we learn to the design of new materials.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janja Ceh

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

  17. Understanding the Spatio-Temporal Response of Coral Reef Fish Communities to Natural Disturbances: Insights from Beta-Diversity Decomposition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamy, Thomas; Legendre, Pierre; Chancerelle, Yannick; Siu, Gilles; Claudet, Joachim

    2015-01-01

    Understanding how communities respond to natural disturbances is fundamental to assess the mechanisms of ecosystem resistance and resilience. However, ecosystem responses to natural disturbances are rarely monitored both through space and time, while the factors promoting ecosystem stability act at various temporal and spatial scales. Hence, assessing both the spatial and temporal variations in species composition is important to comprehensively explore the effects of natural disturbances. Here, we suggest a framework to better scrutinize the mechanisms underlying community responses to disturbances through both time and space. Our analytical approach is based on beta diversity decomposition into two components, replacement and biomass difference. We illustrate this approach using a 9-year monitoring of coral reef fish communities off Moorea Island (French Polynesia), which encompassed two severe natural disturbances: a crown-of-thorns starfish outbreak and a hurricane. These disturbances triggered a fast logistic decline in coral cover, which suffered a 90% decrease on all reefs. However, we found that the coral reef fish composition remained largely stable through time and space whereas compensatory changes in biomass among species were responsible for most of the temporal fluctuations, as outlined by the overall high contribution of the replacement component to total beta diversity. This suggests that, despite the severity of the two disturbances, fish communities exhibited high resistance and the ability to reorganize their compositions to maintain the same level of total community biomass as before the disturbances. We further investigated the spatial congruence of this pattern and showed that temporal dynamics involved different species across sites; yet, herbivores controlling the proliferation of algae that compete with coral communities were consistently favored. These results suggest that compensatory changes in biomass among species and spatial

  18. Niche dimension differs among life-history stages of Pacific oysters in intertidal environments

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Walles, B.; Smaal, A.C.; Herman, P.M.J.; Ysebaert, T.

    2016-01-01

    Structure-building, autogenic ecosystem engineers are recognized worldwide as potential tools for coastal protection, which depends on long-term sustainability and persistence of their structures. For reef-building oysters, reefs are maintained through accumulation of shell material, which depends

  19. Niche dimension differs among life-history stages of Pacific oysters in intertidal environments

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Walles, Brenda; Smaal, Aad C.; Herman, Peter M.J.; Ysebaert, Tom

    2016-01-01

    Structure-building, autogenic ecosystem engineers are recognized worldwide as potential tools for coastal protection, which depends on long-term sustainability and persistence of their structures. For reef-building oysters, reefs are maintained through accumulation of shell material, which

  20. Oysters and Vibriosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... this? Submit What's this? Submit Button Past Emails Oysters and Vibriosis Language: English (US) Español (Spanish) Recommend ... is to cook them properly. Tips for Cooking Oysters & Other Shellfish Before cooking, throw out any shellfish ...

  1. Relationships between primary production and irradiance in coral reef algal communities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1985-01-01

    Shallow water algal turf communities are the major primary producers on coral reefs. High rates of primary production are maintained despite extremely high light intensities and exposure to ultraviolet wavelengths. The relationships between the light intensity and primary production in these assemblages are typical of algae adapted to a high light environment [low α (initial slope), high I/sub k/ (saturating light intensity), and high I/sub c/ (compensation point light intensity)]. Seasonal variations in algal standing crop due to herbivory and daylength result in some characteristic photoadaptive changes in α I/sub k/, and I/sub c/ and changes in Pnet/sub max/ rates (maximum net photosynthetic rate achieved at light saturation) on both a chlorophyll α and an areal basis. Exposure to UV wavelength results in significantly higher respiration rates but no changes in α, Pnet/sub max/, or I/sub k/, when compared with these parameters for the same algal communities incubated at the same light intensities without UV wavelengths. The apparent lack of photoinhibition in these algae allows calculation of the daily integrated production from the P vs. I parameters. This integrated production is highest in July (3.1 +/- 0.2 g C m -2 d -1 ) and is reduced by 30% from this maximum in December (2.1 +/- 0.1 g C m -2 d -1 )

  2. Reversal of ocean acidification enhances net coral reef calcification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albright, Rebecca; Caldeira, Lilian; Hosfelt, Jessica; Kwiatkowski, Lester; Maclaren, Jana K; Mason, Benjamin M; Nebuchina, Yana; Ninokawa, Aaron; Pongratz, Julia; Ricke, Katharine L; Rivlin, Tanya; Schneider, Kenneth; Sesboüé, Marine; Shamberger, Kathryn; Silverman, Jacob; Wolfe, Kennedy; Zhu, Kai; Caldeira, Ken

    2016-03-17

    Approximately one-quarter of the anthropogenic carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere each year is absorbed by the global oceans, causing measurable declines in surface ocean pH, carbonate ion concentration ([CO3(2-)]), and saturation state of carbonate minerals (Ω). This process, referred to as ocean acidification, represents a major threat to marine ecosystems, in particular marine calcifiers such as oysters, crabs, and corals. Laboratory and field studies have shown that calcification rates of many organisms decrease with declining pH, [CO3(2-)], and Ω. Coral reefs are widely regarded as one of the most vulnerable marine ecosystems to ocean acidification, in part because the very architecture of the ecosystem is reliant on carbonate-secreting organisms. Acidification-induced reductions in calcification are projected to shift coral reefs from a state of net accretion to one of net dissolution this century. While retrospective studies show large-scale declines in coral, and community, calcification over recent decades, determining the contribution of ocean acidification to these changes is difficult, if not impossible, owing to the confounding effects of other environmental factors such as temperature. Here we quantify the net calcification response of a coral reef flat to alkalinity enrichment, and show that, when ocean chemistry is restored closer to pre-industrial conditions, net community calcification increases. In providing results from the first seawater chemistry manipulation experiment of a natural coral reef community, we provide evidence that net community calcification is depressed compared with values expected for pre-industrial conditions, indicating that ocean acidification may already be impairing coral reef growth.

  3. Guidelines for evaluating performance of oyster habitat restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baggett, Lesley P.; Powers, Sean P.; Brumbaugh, Robert D.; Coen, Loren D.; DeAngelis, Bryan M.; Greene, Jennifer K.; Hancock, Boze T.; Morlock, Summer M.; Allen, Brian L.; Breitburg, Denise L.; Bushek, David; Grabowski, Jonathan H.; Grizzle, Raymond E.; Grosholz, Edwin D.; LaPeyre, Megan K.; Luckenbach, Mark W.; McGraw, Kay A.; Piehler, Michael F.; Westby, Stephanie R.; zu Ermgassen, Philine S. E.

    2015-01-01

    Restoration of degraded ecosystems is an important societal goal, yet inadequate monitoring and the absence of clear performance metrics are common criticisms of many habitat restoration projects. Funding limitations can prevent adequate monitoring, but we suggest that the lack of accepted metrics to address the diversity of restoration objectives also presents a serious challenge to the monitoring of restoration projects. A working group with experience in designing and monitoring oyster reef projects was used to develop standardized monitoring metrics, units, and performance criteria that would allow for comparison among restoration sites and projects of various construction types. A set of four universal metrics (reef areal dimensions, reef height, oyster density, and oyster size–frequency distribution) and a set of three universal environmental variables (water temperature, salinity, and dissolved oxygen) are recommended to be monitored for all oyster habitat restoration projects regardless of their goal(s). In addition, restoration goal-based metrics specific to four commonly cited ecosystem service-based restoration goals are recommended, along with an optional set of seven supplemental ancillary metrics that could provide information useful to the interpretation of prerestoration and postrestoration monitoring data. Widespread adoption of a common set of metrics with standardized techniques and units to assess well-defined goals not only allows practitioners to gauge the performance of their own projects but also allows for comparison among projects, which is both essential to the advancement of the field of oyster restoration and can provide new knowledge about the structure and ecological function of oyster reef ecosystems.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-30

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

  5. Bacterial communities associated with Porites white patch syndrome (PWPS) on three western Indian Ocean (WIO) coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    The scleractinian coral Porites lutea, an important reef-building coral on western Indian Ocean reefs (WIO), is affected by a newly-reported white syndrome (WS) the Porites white patch syndrome (PWPS). Histopathology and culture-independent molecular techniques were used to characterise the microbial communities associated with this emerging disease. Microscopy showed extensive tissue fragmentation generally associated with ovoid basophilic bodies resembling bacterial aggregates. Results of 16S rRNA sequence analysis revealed a high variability between bacterial communities associated with PWPS-infected and healthy tissues in P. lutea, a pattern previously reported in other coral diseases such as black band disease (BBD), white band disease (WBD) and white plague diseases (WPD). Furthermore, substantial variations in bacterial communities were observed at the different sampling locations, suggesting that there is no strong bacterial association in Porites lutea on WIO reefs. Several sequences affiliated with potential pathogens belonging to the Vibrionaceae and Rhodobacteraceae were identified, mainly in PWPS-infected coral tissues. Among them, only two ribotypes affiliated to Shimia marina (NR043300.1) and Vibrio hepatarius (NR025575.1) were consistently found in diseased tissues from the three geographically distant sampling localities. The role of these bacterial species in PWPS needs to be tested experimentally.

  6. Overcoming restoration paradigms: value of the historical record and metapopulation dynamics in native oyster restoration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Romuald N. Lipcius

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Restoration strategies for native oyster populations rely on multiple sources of information, which often conflict due to time- and space-varying patterns in abundance and distribution. For instance, strategies based on population connectivity and disease resistance can differ, and extant and historical records of abundance and distribution are often at odds, such that the optimal strategy is unclear and valuable restoration sites may be excluded from consideration. This was the case for the Lynnhaven River subestuary of lower Chesapeake Bay, which was deemed unsuitable for Eastern Oyster restoration based on physical conditions, disease challenge, and extant oyster abundance. Consequently, we (i evaluated previously unknown historical data from the 1800s, (ii quantified extant oyster recruitment and abundance, physical conditions, and disease presence on constructed restoration reefs and alternative substrates, and (iii assessed simulations from biophysical models to identify potential restoration sites in the metapopulation. The collective data distinguished numerous restoration sites (i in the polyhaline zone (salinity 18.4-22.2 where disease resistance is evolving, (ii where oysters were abundant in the late 1800s-early 1900s, (iii of recent high recruitment, abundance and survival, despite consistent and elevated disease challenge, and (iv interconnected as a metapopulation via larval dispersal. Moreover, a network of constructed restoration reefs met size structure, abundance and biomass standards of restoration success. These findings demonstrate that assumptions about the suitability of sites for oyster restoration based on individual processes can be severely flawed, and that in-depth examination of multiple processes and sources of information are required for oyster reef restoration plans to maximize success. We use these findings and previous information to recommend a strategy for successful restoration of subtidal oyster reefs

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jie Li

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

  8. Can partnerships and community-based conservation reverse the decline of coral reef social-ecological systems?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James Barclay Frey

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The marine aquarium trade has played an important role in shaping the ecological state of coral reefs in Indonesia and much of the Asia-Pacific. The use of cyanide by ornamental fishers in Buleleng District, Bali, in the 1980s and 1990s has resulted in a precipitous decline in the ecological health of reefs. Cyanide-free harvesting techniques were introduced after 2000, along with reef restoration measures. This paper examines social and ecological processes in the fishing village of Les, Bali, in ending the use of cyanide and the resulting ecological restoration. An emphasis on conservation-development (with livelihood objectives was important in securing interest and cooperation across stakeholder groups. Adaptive approaches to governance and knowledge co-production were also important. The strategy used at Les is now being exported to other communities across Indonesia, and provides a promising example of a marine resources-based conservation-development initiative that may be implemented at other, similar communities.

  9. Diversity and stability of coral endolithic microbial communities at a naturally high pCO2 reef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcelino, Vanessa Rossetto; Morrow, Kathleen M; van Oppen, Madeleine J H; Bourne, David G; Verbruggen, Heroen

    2017-10-01

    The health and functioning of reef-building corals is dependent on a balanced association with prokaryotic and eukaryotic microbes. The coral skeleton harbours numerous endolithic microbes, but their diversity, ecological roles and responses to environmental stress, including ocean acidification (OA), are not well characterized. This study tests whether pH affects the diversity and structure of prokaryotic and eukaryotic algal communities associated with skeletons of Porites spp. using targeted amplicon (16S rRNA gene, UPA and tufA) sequencing. We found that the composition of endolithic communities in the massive coral Porites spp. inhabiting a naturally high pCO 2 reef (avg. pCO 2 811 μatm) is not significantly different from corals inhabiting reference sites (avg. pCO 2 357 μatm), suggesting that these microbiomes are less disturbed by OA than previously thought. Possible explanations may be that the endolithic microhabitat is highly homeostatic or that the endolithic micro-organisms are well adapted to a wide pH range. Some of the microbial taxa identified include nitrogen-fixing bacteria (Rhizobiales and cyanobacteria), algicidal bacteria in the phylum Bacteroidetes, symbiotic bacteria in the family Endozoicomoniaceae, and endolithic green algae, considered the major microbial agent of reef bioerosion. Additionally, we test whether host species has an effect on the endolithic community structure. We show that the endolithic community of massive Porites spp. is substantially different and more diverse than that found in skeletons of the branching species Seriatopora hystrix and Pocillopora damicornis. This study reveals highly diverse and structured microbial communities in Porites spp. skeletons that are possibly resilient to OA. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. Impact of redox-stratification on the diversity and distribution of bacterial communities in sandy reef sediments in a microcosm

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    GAO Zheng; WANG Xin; Angelos K. HANNIDES; Francis J. SANSONE; WANG Guangyi

    2011-01-01

    Relationships between microbial communities and geochemical environments are important in marine microbial ecology and biogeochemistry.Although biogeochemical redox stratification has been well documented in marine sediments,its impact on microbial communities remains largely unknown.In this study,we applied denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and clone library construction to investigate the diversity and stratification of bacterial communities in redox-stratified sandy reef sediments in a microcosm.A total of 88 Operational Taxonomic Units (OTU) were identified from 16S rRNA clone libraries constructed from sandy reef sediments in a laboratory microcosm.They were members of nine phyla and three candidate divisions,including Proteobacteria (Alpha-,Beta-,Gamma-,Delta-,and Epsilonproteobacteria),Actinobacteria,Acidobacteria,Bacteroidetes,Chloroflexi,Cyanobacteria,Firmicutes,Verrucomicrobia,Spirochaetes,and the candidate divisions WS3,SO31 and AO19.The vast majority of these phylotypes are related to clone sequences from other marine sediments,but OTUs of Epsilonproteobacteria and WS3 are reported for the first time from permeable marine sediments.Several other OTUs are potential new bacterial phylotypes because of their low similarity with reference sequences.Results from the 16S rRNA,gene clone sequence analyses suggested that bacterial communities exhibit clear stratification across large redox gradients in these sediments,with the highest diversity found in the anoxic layer (15-25 mm) and the least diversity in the suboxic layer (3-5 mm).Analysis of the nosZ,and amoA gene libraries also indicated the stratification of denitrifiers and nitrifiers,with their highest diversity being in the anoxic and oxic sediment layers,respectively.These results indicated that redox-stratification can affect the distribution of bacterial communities in sandy reef sediments.

  11. Benthic meiofaunal community response to the cascading effects of herbivory within an algal halo system of the Great Barrier Reef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ollivier, Quinn R; Hammill, Edward; Booth, David J; Madin, Elizabeth M P; Hinchliffe, Charles; Harborne, Alastair R; Lovelock, Catherine E; Macreadie, Peter I; Atwood, Trisha B

    2018-01-01

    Benthic fauna play a crucial role in organic matter decomposition and nutrient cycling at the sediment-water boundary in aquatic ecosystems. In terrestrial systems, grazing herbivores have been shown to influence below-ground communities through alterations to plant distribution and composition, however whether similar cascading effects occur in aquatic systems is unknown. Here, we assess the relationship between benthic invertebrates and above-ground fish grazing across the 'grazing halos' of Heron Island lagoon, Australia. Grazing halos, which occur around patch reefs globally, are caused by removal of seagrass or benthic macroalgae by herbivorous fish that results in distinct bands of unvegetated sediments surrounding patch reefs. We found that benthic algal canopy height significantly increased with distance from patch reef, and that algal canopy height was positively correlated with the abundances of only one invertebrate taxon (Nematoda). Both sediment carbon to nitrogen ratios (C:N) and mean sediment particle size (μm) demonstrated a positive correlation with Nematoda and Arthropoda (predominantly copepod) abundances, respectively. These positive correlations indicate that environmental conditions are a major contributor to benthic invertebrate community distribution, acting on benthic communities in conjunction with the cascading effects of above-ground algal grazing. These results suggest that benthic communities, and the ecosystem functions they perform in this system, may be less responsive to changes in above-ground herbivorous processes than those previously studied in terrestrial systems. Understanding how above-ground organisms, and processes, affect their benthic invertebrate counterparts can shed light on how changes in aquatic communities may affect ecosystem function in previously unknown ways.

  12. Biscayne National Park study on reef fish community changes over time

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Reef fish assemblage structure was assessed in 20062007 (recent period) in Biscayne National Park, Florida, USA , and compared with data collected from 1977 to 1981...

  13. Characterisation of the gill mucosal bacterial communities of four butterflyfish species: a reservoir of bacterial diversity in coral reef ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reverter, Miriam; Sasal, Pierre; Tapissier-Bontemps, N; Lecchini, D; Suzuki, M

    2017-06-01

    While recent studies have suggested that fish mucus microbiota play an important role in homeostasis and prevention of infections, very few studies have investigated the bacterial communities of gill mucus. We characterised the gill mucus bacterial communities of four butterflyfish species and although the bacterial diversity of gill mucus varied significantly between species, Shannon diversities were high (H = 3.7-5.7) in all species. Microbiota composition differed between butterflyfishes, with Chaetodon lunulatus and C. ornatissimus having the most similar bacterial communities, which differed significantly from C. vagabundus and C. reticulatus. The core bacterial community of all species consisted of mainly Proteobacteria followed by Actinobacteria and Firmicutes. Chaetodonlunulatus and C. ornatissimus bacterial communities were mostly dominated by Gammaproteobacteria with Vibrio as the most abundant genus. Chaetodonvagabundus and C. reticulatus presented similar abundances of Gammaproteobacteria and Alphaproteobacteria, which were well represented by Acinetobacter and Paracoccus, respectively. In conclusion, our results indicate that different fish species present specific bacterial assemblages. Finally, as mucus layers are nutrient hotspots for heterotrophic bacteria living in oligotrophic environments, such as coral reef waters, the high bacterial diversity found in butterflyfish gill mucus might indicate external fish mucus surfaces act as a reservoir of coral reef bacterial diversity. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  14. Shellfish reef restoration pilots: Voordelta The Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sas, H.; Kamermans, P.; Have, van der T.M.; Lengkeek, W.; Smaal, A.C.

    2016-01-01

    Once, shellfish reefs - mainly flat oysters - covered about 20% of the North Sea floor, but diseases, pollution and overfishing have led to a significant decline. As part of the Haringvliet Dream Fund Project (www.haringvliet.nu), ARK
    Nature and World Wildlife Fund Netherlands are working on

  15. 78 FR 62293 - Safety Zone, Oyster Festival 30th Anniversary Fireworks Display, Oyster Bay; Oyster Bay, NY

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-10-15

    ... Safety Zone, Oyster Festival 30th Anniversary Fireworks Display, Oyster Bay; Oyster Bay, NY AGENCY: Coast... zone on the navigable waters of Oyster Bay near Oyster Bay, NY for the Oyster Festival 30th Anniversary... Oyster Festival 30th Anniversary Fireworks Display is scheduled for October 19, 2013 and is one of...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  17. Variability in the phytoplankton community of Kavaratti reef ecosystem (northern Indian Ocean) during peak and waning periods of El Niño 2016.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karati, Kusum Komal; Vineetha, G; Madhu, N V; Anil, P; Dayana, M; Shihab, B K; Muhsin, A I; Riyas, C; Raveendran, T V

    2017-11-29

    El Niño, an interannual climate event characterized by elevated oceanic temperature, is a prime threat for coral reef ecosystems worldwide, owing to their thermal threshold sensitivity. Phytoplankton plays a crucial role in the sustenance of reef trophodynamics. The cell size of the phytoplankton forms the "master morphological trait" with implications for growth, resource acquisition, and adaptability to nutrients. In the context of a strong El Niño prediction for 2015-2016, the present study was undertaken to evaluate the variations in the size-structured phytoplankton of Kavaratti reef waters, a major coral atoll along the southeast coast of India. The present study witnessed a remarkable change in the physicochemical environment of the reef water and massive coral bleaching with the progression of El Niño 2015-2016 from its peak to waning phase. The fluctuations observed in sea surface temperature, pH, and nutrient concentration of the reef water with the El Niño progression resulted in a remarkable shift in phytoplankton size structure, abundance, and community composition of the reef waters. Though low nutrient concentration of the waning phase resulted in lower phytoplankton biomass and abundance, the diazotroph Trichodesmium erythraeum predominated the reef waters, owing to its capability of the atmospheric nitrogen fixation and dissolved organic phosphate utilization.

  18. Spatio-temporal patterns in the coral reef communities of the Spermonde Archipelago, 2012–2014, II: Fish assemblages display structured variation related to benthic condition

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Plass-Johnson, Jeremiah Grahm; Teichberg, Mirta; Bednarz, Vanessa N.

    2018-01-01

    The Spermonde Archipelago is a complex of ~70 mostly populated islands off Southwest Sulawesi, Indonesia, in the center of the Coral Triangle. The reefs in this area are exposed to a high level of anthropogenic disturbances. Previous studies have shown that variation in the benthos is strongly...... with distance, while few species were present across the entire range of sites. Relating fish communities to benthic composition using a multivariate generalized linear model confirmed that fish groups relate to structural complexity (rugosity) or differing benthic groups; either algae, reef builders (coral...... and crustose coralline algae) or invertebrates and rubble. From these relationships we can identify sets of fish species that may be lost given continued degradation of the Spermonde reefs. Lastly, the incorporation of water quality, benthic and fish indices indicates that local coral reefs responded...

  19. Potential impact of a seawater flue gas desulfurisation (SWFGD) effluent on coral reef communities

    OpenAIRE

    Bakke, T.

    1999-01-01

    A basis of available literature information there is little reason to expect that effluent from an SWFGD planned at Yanby, Saudi Arabia, will cause any damage to local coral reef formations, the nearest being about 3.5 km away. The corals may over time accumulate nicel and vanadium from the effluent, but the predicted moderate metal levels in the outfall, and the mixing of the outfall water with seawater before the reef is reached, suggest that such accumulation will be modest. Comparison of ...

  20. Biodiversity and spatial patterns of benthic habitat and associated demersal fish communities at two tropical submerged reef ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdul Wahab, Muhammad Azmi; Radford, Ben; Cappo, Mike; Colquhoun, Jamie; Stowar, Marcus; Depczynski, Martial; Miller, Karen; Heyward, Andrew

    2018-06-01

    Submerged reef ecosystems can be very diverse and may serve as important refugia for shallow-water conspecifics. This study quantified the benthic and fish communities of two proximate, predominantly mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs), Glomar Shoal and Rankin Bank, which are geographically isolated from other similar features in the region. Glomar Shoal is identified as a key ecological feature (KEF) in the North West Marine Region of Australia. Multibeam surveys were performed to characterise the seafloor and to derive secondary environmental variables, used to explain patterns in benthic and fish communities. Towed video surveys quantified benthic cover, and stereo baited remote underwater stations were used to survey fish abundance and diversity. Surveys were completed in depths of 20-115 m. The two MCEs exhibited distinct communities; Rankin Bank consistently had higher cover (up to 30×) of benthic taxa across depths, and fish communities that were twice as abundant and 1.5× more diverse than Glomar Shoal. The location of the MCEs, depth and rugosity were most influential in structuring benthic communities. Phototrophic taxa, specifically macroalgae and hard corals, had up to 22 × higher cover at Rankin Bank than at Glomar Shoal and were dominant to 80 m (compared to 60 m at Glomar Shoal), presumably due to greater light penetration (lower turbidity) and lower sand cover at greater depths. The 20% coral cover at Rankin Bank was comparable to that reported for shallow reefs. The cover of sand, hard corals and sponges influenced fish communities, with higher abundance and diversity of fish associated with shallow hard coral habitats. This study demonstrated that the two MCEs were unique within the local context, and when coupled with their geographical isolation and biodiversity, presents compelling support for the additional recognition of Rankin Bank as a KEF.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Al-aidaroos, Ali M.

    2016-08-15

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

  2. Differential response of coral communities to Caulerpa spp. bloom in the reefs of Indian Ocean

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Manikandan, B.; Ravindran, J.

    of this study suggested that the recovery of a coral reef after a macroalgal bloom largely depends on coral species composition and the frequency of stress events. A further study linking macroalgal bloom to its specific cause is essential for the successful...

  3. Biodiversity and food web indicators of community recovery in intertidal shellfish reefs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Christianen, M.J.A.; van der Heide, T.; Holthuijsen, S.J.; van der Reijden, K.J.; Borst, A.C.W.; Olff, H.

    2017-01-01

    In conservation strategies of marine ecosystems, priority is given to habitat-structuring foundation species (e.g.seagrasses, mangroves and reef-building corals, shellfish) with the implicit goal to protect or restore associatedcommunities and their interactions. However, the number and accuracy of

  4. 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

  5. Local Biomass Baselines and the Recovery Potential for Hawaiian Coral Reef Fish Communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kelvin D. Gorospe

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the influence of multiple ecosystem drivers, both natural and anthropogenic, and how they vary across space is critical to the spatial management of coral reef fisheries. In Hawaii, as elsewhere, there is uncertainty with regards to how areas should be selected for protection, and management efforts prioritized. One strategy is to prioritize efforts based on an area's biomass baseline, or natural capacity to support reef fish populations. Another strategy is to prioritize areas based on their recovery potential, or in other words, the potential increase in fish biomass from present-day state, should management be effective at restoring assemblages to something more like their baseline state. We used data from 717 fisheries-independent reef fish monitoring surveys from 2012 to 2015 around the main Hawaiian Islands as well as site-level data on benthic habitat, oceanographic conditions, and human population density, to develop a hierarchical, linear Bayesian model that explains spatial variation in: (1 herbivorous and (2 total reef fish biomass. We found that while human population density negatively affected fish assemblages at all surveyed areas, there was considerable variation in the natural capacity of different areas to support reef fish biomass. For example, some areas were predicted to have the capacity to support ten times as much herbivorous fish biomass as other areas. Overall, the model found human population density to have negatively impacted fish biomass throughout Hawaii, however the magnitude and uncertainty of these impacts varied locally. Results provide part of the basis for marine spatial planning and/or MPA-network design within Hawaii.

  6. National Coral Reef Monitoring Program: Assessment of coral reef benthic communities in Puerto Rico from 2014-05-19 to 2014-12-03 (NCEI Accession 0151729)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Benthic data collection for the National Coral Reef Ecosystem Monitoring Program (NCRMP) consists of two survey types: the Line Point-Intercept (LPI) method and the...

  7. National Coral Reef Monitoring Program - Assessment of coral reef fish communities in Puerto Rico from 2014-05-19 to 2014-12-03 (NCEI Accession 0131260)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The National Coral Reef Monitoring Plan (NCRMP) is a framework for conducting sustained observations of biological, climate, and socioeconomic indicators at 10...

  8. National Coral Reef Monitoring Program: Assessment of fish communities in the Florida Reef Tract from 2014-05-01 to 2014-10-01 (NCEI Accession 0156445)

    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...

  9. Conventional and technical diving surveys reveal elevated biomass and differing fish community composition from shallow and upper mesophotic zones of a remote United States coral reef.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roldan C Muñoz

    Full Text Available The world's coral reefs appear to be in a global decline, yet most previous research on coral reefs has taken place at depths shallower than 30 m. Mesophotic coral ecosystem (depths deeper than ~30 m studies have revealed extensive, productive habitats and rich communities. Despite recent advances, mesophotic coral ecosystems remain understudied due to challenges with sampling at deeper depths. The few previous studies of mesophotic coral ecosystems have shown variation across locations in depth-specific species composition and assemblage shifts, potentially a response to differences in habitat or light availability/water clarity. This study utilized scuba to examine fish and benthic communities from shallow and upper mesophotic (to 45 m zones of Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (FGBNMS, 28°0'N; 93°50'W from 2010-2012. Dominant planktivores were ubiquitous in shallow and upper mesophotic habitats, and comparisons with previous shallow research suggest this community distribution has persisted for over 30 years. Planktivores were abundant in shallow low-relief habitats on the periphery of the coral reef, and some of these sites that contained habitat transitioning from high to low relief supported high biomass of benthic predators. These peripheral sites at FGBNMS may be important for the trophic transfer of oceanic energy to the benthic coral reef. Distinct differences between upper mesophotic and shallow communities were also observed. These included greater overall fish (as well as apex predator biomass in the upper mesophotic, differences in apex predator community composition between depth zones, and greater percent cover of algae, rubble, sand, and sponges in the upper mesophotic. Greater fish biomass in the upper mesophotic and similar fish community composition between depth zones provide preliminary support that upper mesophotic habitats at FGBNMS have the capacity to serve as refugia for the shallow-water reefs. Diving

  10. Conventional and technical diving surveys reveal elevated biomass and differing fish community composition from shallow and upper mesophotic zones of a remote United States coral reef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz, Roldan C; Buckel, Christine A; Whitfield, Paula E; Viehman, Shay; Clark, Randy; Taylor, J Christopher; Degan, Brian P; Hickerson, Emma L

    2017-01-01

    The world's coral reefs appear to be in a global decline, yet most previous research on coral reefs has taken place at depths shallower than 30 m. Mesophotic coral ecosystem (depths deeper than ~30 m) studies have revealed extensive, productive habitats and rich communities. Despite recent advances, mesophotic coral ecosystems remain understudied due to challenges with sampling at deeper depths. The few previous studies of mesophotic coral ecosystems have shown variation across locations in depth-specific species composition and assemblage shifts, potentially a response to differences in habitat or light availability/water clarity. This study utilized scuba to examine fish and benthic communities from shallow and upper mesophotic (to 45 m) zones of Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (FGBNMS, 28°0'N; 93°50'W) from 2010-2012. Dominant planktivores were ubiquitous in shallow and upper mesophotic habitats, and comparisons with previous shallow research suggest this community distribution has persisted for over 30 years. Planktivores were abundant in shallow low-relief habitats on the periphery of the coral reef, and some of these sites that contained habitat transitioning from high to low relief supported high biomass of benthic predators. These peripheral sites at FGBNMS may be important for the trophic transfer of oceanic energy to the benthic coral reef. Distinct differences between upper mesophotic and shallow communities were also observed. These included greater overall fish (as well as apex predator) biomass in the upper mesophotic, differences in apex predator community composition between depth zones, and greater percent cover of algae, rubble, sand, and sponges in the upper mesophotic. Greater fish biomass in the upper mesophotic and similar fish community composition between depth zones provide preliminary support that upper mesophotic habitats at FGBNMS have the capacity to serve as refugia for the shallow-water reefs. Diving surveys of the

  11. 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...

  12. Seasonal dynamics and diversity of bacteria in retail oyster tissues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Dapeng; Zhang, Qian; Cui, Yan; Shi, Xianming

    2014-03-03

    Oysters are one of the important vehicles for the transfer of foodborne pathogens. It was reported that bacteria could be bio-accumulated mainly in the gills and digestive glands. In artificially treated oysters, bacterial communities have been investigated by culture-independent methods after harvest. However, little information is available on the seasonal dynamics of bacterial accumulation in retail oyster tissues. In this study, retail oysters were collected from local market in different seasons. The seasonal dynamics and diversity of bacteria in oyster tissues, including the gills, digestive glands and residual tissues, were analyzed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). It was interesting that the highest bacterial diversity appeared in the Fall season, not in summer. Our results indicated that Proteobacteria was the predominant member (23/46) in oyster tissues. Our results also suggested that bacterial diversity in gills was higher than that in digestive glands and other tissues. In addition, not all the bacteria collected from surrounding water by gills were transferred to digestive glands. On the other hand, few bacteria were found in oyster tissues except in the gills. Therefore, the gills could be the best candidate target tissue for monitoring of pathogenic bacteria either to human or to oyster. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  14. 21 CFR 161.136 - Olympia oysters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 2 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Olympia oysters. 161.136 Section 161.136 Food and... oysters. Olympia oysters, raw Olympia oysters, shucked Olympia oysters, are of the species Ostrea lurida and conform to the definition and standard of identity prescribed for oysters in § 161.130. ...

  15. Three dimensional marine seismic survey has no measurable effect on species richness or abundance of a coral reef associated fish community

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miller, Ian; Cripps, Edward

    2013-01-01

    Highlights: • A marine seismic survey was conducted at Scott Reef, North Western Australia. • Effects of the survey on demersal fish were gauged using underwater visual census. • There was no detectable impact of the seismic survey on species abundance. • There was no detectable impact of the seismic survey on species richness. -- Abstract: Underwater visual census was used to determine the effect of a three dimensional seismic survey on the shallow water coral reef slope associated fish community at Scott Reef. A census of the fish community was conducted on six locations at Scott Reef both before and after the survey. The census included small site attached demersal species belonging to the family Pomacentridae and larger roving demersal species belonging to the non-Pomacentridae families. These data were combined with a decade of historical data to assess the impact of the seismic survey. Taking into account spatial, temporal, spatio-temporal and observer variability, modelling showed no significant effect of the seismic survey on the overall abundance or species richness of Pomacentridae or non-Pomacentridae. The six most abundant species were also analysed individually. In all cases no detectable effect of the seismic survey was found on the abundance of these fish species at Scott Reef

  16. Monitoring of coastal coral reefs near Dahab (Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea) indicates local eutrophication as potential cause for change in benthic communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naumann, Malik S; Bednarz, Vanessa N; Ferse, Sebastian C A; Niggl, Wolfgang; Wild, Christian

    2015-02-01

    Coral reef ecosystems fringing the coastline of Dahab (South Sinai, Egypt) have experienced increasing anthropogenic disturbance as an emergent international tourism destination. Previous reports covering tourism-related impacts on coastal environments, particularly mechanical damage and destructive fishing, have highlighted the vital necessity for regular ecosystem monitoring of coral reefs near Dahab. However, a continuous scientific monitoring programme of permanent survey sites has not been established to date. Thus, this study conducted in situ monitoring surveys to investigate spatio-temporal variability of benthic reef communities and selected reef-associated herbivores along with reef health indicator organisms by revisiting three of the locally most frequented dive sites during expeditions in March 2010, September 2011 and February 2013. In addition, inorganic nutrient concentrations in reef-surrounding waters were determined to evaluate bottom-up effects of key environmental parameters on benthic reef community shifts in relation to grazer-induced top-down control. Findings revealed that from 2010 to 2013, live hard coral cover declined significantly by 12 % at the current-sheltered site Three Pools (TP), while showing negative trends for the Blue Hole (BH) and Lighthouse (LH) sites. Hard coral cover decline was significantly and highly correlated to a substantial increase in turf algae cover (up to 57 % at TP) at all sites, replacing hard corals as dominant benthic space occupiers in 2013. These changes were correlated to ambient phosphate and ammonium concentrations that exhibited highest values (0.64 ± 0.07 μmol PO4 (3-) l(-1), 1.05 ± 0.07 μmol NH4 (+) l(-1)) at the degraded site TP. While macroalgae appeared to respond to both bottom-up and top-down factors, change in turf algae was consistent with expected indications for bottom-up control. Temporal variability measured in herbivorous reef fish stocks reflected seasonal impacts by

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  18. Reef-fish larval dispersal patterns validate no-take marine reserve network connectivity that links human communities

    KAUST Repository

    Abesamis, Rene A.; Saenz-Agudelo, Pablo; Berumen, Michael L.; Bode, Michael; Jadloc, Claro Renato L.; Solera, Leilani A.; Villanoy, Cesar L.; Bernardo, Lawrence Patrick C.; Alcala, Angel C.; Russ, Garry R.

    2017-01-01

    Networks of no-take marine reserves (NTMRs) are a widely advocated strategy for managing coral reefs. However, uncertainty about the strength of population connectivity between individual reefs and NTMRs through larval dispersal remains a major

  19. A comparison of visual and collection-based methods for assessing community structure of coral reef fishes in the tropical Eastern Pacific

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Alzate, Adriana; Zapata, Fernando A.; Giraldo, Alan

    Gorgona Island, the major insular area in the Colombian Pacific Ocean, is characterized by a remarkably high biological and ecosystem diversity for this area of the world. Coral reefs are well developed and their fish communities have been described using conventional visual surveys. These methods,

  20. Exploring the nature of ecological specialization in a coral reef fish community: morphology, diet and foraging microhabitat use.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandl, Simon J; Robbins, William D; Bellwood, David R

    2015-09-22

    Patterns of ecological specialization offer invaluable information about ecosystems. Yet, specialization is rarely quantified across several ecological niche axes and variables beyond the link between morphological and dietary specialization have received little attention. Here, we provide a quantitative evaluation of ecological specialization in a coral reef fish assemblage (f. Acanthuridae) along one fundamental and two realized niche axes. Specifically, we examined ecological specialization in 10 surgeonfish species with regards to morphology and two realized niche axes associated with diet and foraging microhabitat utilization using a recently developed multidimensional framework. We then investigated the potential relationships between morphological and behavioural specialization. These relationships differed markedly from the traditional ecomorphological paradigm. While morphological specialization showed no relationship with dietary specialization, it exhibited a strong relationship with foraging microhabitat specialization. However, this relationship was inverted: species with specialized morphologies were microhabitat generalists, whereas generalized morphotypes were microhabitat specialists. Interestingly, this mirrors relationships found in plant-pollinator communities and may also be applicable to other ecosystems, highlighting the potential importance of including niche axes beyond dietary specialization into ecomorphological frameworks. On coral reefs, it appears that morphotypes commonly perceived as most generalized may, in fact, be specialized in exploiting flat and easily accessible microhabitats. © 2015 The Author(s).

  1. Phosphorus as a Limiting Nutrient in Zooplankton Communities Above a Reef Dominated by the Invasive Quagga Mussel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, J.; Cuhel, R. L.; Aguilar, C.

    2008-12-01

    Comprehensive water column data were retrieved from three sites in open waters of Lake Michigan during the summer of 2008. At two, the invasive quagga mussel (Dreissena rostriformis bugensis) functioned as a phosphorus sink. One of these sites, Sheboygan Reef (SR04), exhibited a lower average soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) value throughout its water column. The large size fraction of the phytoplankton community at this site contained proportionally less of the total seston phosphorus than at other comparable sites. Instead of this simply being a reflection of less large phytoplankton, phosphorus enrichment experiments conducted along with other lines of evidence indicate it may, in fact, reflect less phosphorus per unit of weight in the large phytoplankton community. In these experiments, larger phytoplankton were observed to be less efficient at assimilating phosphate after low-level additions (0.1 μM) were made to simulate the amount of phosphorus added during for example a rainstorm. The relatively inefficient uptake of short-term injections of phosphate observed in the large phytoplankton class is more influential on the overall uptake of phosphorus at a site like SR04 which ordinarily has low levels of available phosphorus (quagga mussel community at this site (>10,000 m-2) dominated the phosphorus inventory (mmol P/m2). Furthermore, C:N:P ratios indicate that zooplankton at all three sites may be suffering from a phosphorus deficit. A dominant presence of quagga mussels at Sheboygan Reef was correlated with decreased SRP levels and relatively low levels of phosphorus at the producer and consumer levels in the water column.

  2. Trait-based diet selection: prey behaviour and morphology predict vulnerability to predation in reef fish communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Stephanie J; Côté, Isabelle M

    2014-11-01

    Understanding how predators select their prey can provide important insights into community structure and dynamics. However, the suite of prey species available to a predator is often spatially and temporally variable. As a result, species-specific selectivity data are of limited use for predicting novel predator-prey interactions because they are assemblage specific. We present a method for predicting diet selection that is applicable across prey assemblages, based on identifying general morphological and behavioural traits of prey that confer vulnerability to predation independent of species identity. We apply this trait-based approach to examining prey selection by Indo-Pacific lionfish (Pterois volitans and Pterois miles), invasive predators that prey upon species-rich reef fish communities and are rapidly spreading across the western Atlantic. We first generate hypotheses about morphological and behavioural traits recurring across fish species that could facilitate or deter predation by lionfish. Constructing generalized linear mixed-effects models that account for relatedness among prey taxa, we test whether these traits predict patterns of diet selection by lionfish within two independent data sets collected at different spatial scales: (i) in situ visual observations of prey consumption and availability for individual lionfish and (ii) comparisons of prey abundance in lionfish stomach contents to availability on invaded reefs at large. Both analyses reveal that a number of traits predicted to affect vulnerability to predation, including body size, body shape, position in the water column and aggregation behaviour, are important determinants of diet selection by lionfish. Small, shallow-bodied, solitary fishes found resting on or just above reefs are the most vulnerable. Fishes that exhibit parasite cleaning behaviour experience a significantly lower risk of predation than non-cleaning fishes, and fishes that are nocturnally active are at significantly

  3. Oyster radiation sensitivity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marchese, Sandra R.M.; Mastro, Nelida L. del

    1996-01-01

    Various food products like oysters, crabs and shrimps have been described as possible Vibrio spp. transmitting agents. Seafood irradiation is been presented as an alternative among the different public health intervention measures to control food borne diseases. The objective of this work was to establish, firstly, the radioresistance of Crassostrea brasiliana oysters. The oysters were irradiated with Co-60 radiation with doses of 0, 1.5,3 and 6 kGy. Survival curves a function of time showed that 100% of samples irradiated with 3 kGy survived at least 6 days; among those irradiated with 6 kGy, 100% survived 3 days. These results are encouraging since a dose of 2 kGy is already effective in diminishing oyster bioburden. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mallela, Jennie

    2018-03-01

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

  5. Analysis of dissolved oxygen stress in oysters in Mobile Bay from 2010-05-26 to 1010-09-21 (NODC Accession 0125573)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Hatchery-reared adult and juvenile oysters were placed at 0.1 m and 1.0 m above bottom at Sand Reef and Denton Reef, Mobile Bay, Alabama between May 26 and Sep 21,...

  6. [Community structure of sponges (Porifera) in three reefs at Morrocoy National Park, Venezuela and its correspondence with some environmental variables].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romero, Marco A; Villamizar, Estrella; Malaver, Nora

    2013-09-01

    Sponges have an important ecological role in coral reef ecosystems. However, when compared to other benthic Phyla, it has been little researched. This research was focused in the variability of the community structure of sponges in three locations at Morrocoy National Park (Cayo Sombrero, Playa Mero and Punta Brava) exposed to different environmental conditions (transparency and currents intensity) and affected in different degree of severity by a mass mortality event in 1996. A total of 15 transects (10 m long and 1 m wide) were evaluated in three strata (between 3 and 15 m depth) in each site, where all the individuals were counted by species. Relative abundance by species, diversity and evenness were calculated. Locations showed differences respect turbidity, wave and current intensity. 27 species were found in Morrocoy; Cayo Sombrero (23), Playa Mero (18) and Punta Brava (15). Agelas sceptrum, Amphimedon erina and Niphates erecta were the most common in first location; Niphates erecta and Dysidea etheria in Playa Mero and Dysidea etheria, Niphates erecta and Amphimedon erina in Punta Brava. The species composition showed statistical differences between all three locations; Cayo Sombrero resulted the most diverse and even, followed by Playa Mero and Punta Brava. According to Sorensen Similarity Index results, Cayo Sombrero and Playa Mero were more similar, while Punta Brava resulted the most different. The variability in environmental conditions and the differential mass mortality effects of 1996 in all three reefs, were probably the main causes of the differences between their sponge communities. Nevertheless, we cannot conclude about the weight of these factors.

  7. Long-term dynamics of a high-latitude coral reef community at Sodwana Bay, South Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porter, S. N.; Schleyer, M. H.

    2017-06-01

    Dynamics in reef cover, mortality and recruitment success of a high-latitude coral community in South Africa were studied over 20 yr with the aim to detect the effects of climate change. Coral communities at this locality are the southernmost on the African continent, non-accretive, attain high biodiversity and are dominated by soft corals. Long-term monitoring within fixed transects on representative reef was initiated in 1993 and has entailed annual photo-quadrat surveys and hourly temperature logging. Although sea temperatures rose by 0.15 °C p.a. at the site up to 2000, they have subsequently been decreasing, and the overall trend based on monthly means has been a significant decrease of 0.03 °C p.a. Despite this, minor bleaching was encountered in the region during the 1998 El Niño-Southern Oscillation event, again in the summer of 2000/2001 and in 2005. A significant decreasing trend of 0.95% p.a. in soft coral cover has been evident throughout the monitoring period, attributable to significant decreases in Sinularia and Lobophytum spp. cover. In contrast, hard coral cover gradually and significantly increased up to 2005, this being largely attributable to increases in cover by Acropora spp. Recruitment success and mortality of both soft and hard corals has displayed high inter-annual variability with increasing but non-significant trends in the last 5 yr. The reduction in soft coral cover has been more consistent and greater than that of hard corals, but it is difficult at this stage to attribute this to changes in water quality, acidification-linked accretion or temperature.

  8. Fish Biodiversity Patterns in Reef Communities of the Southeastern Coast of Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ralf Riedel

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Marine Protected Areas are increasingly becoming a tool of choice for conservation and management of marine resources and ecosystems. Data on biodiversity are necessary to assist in establishing protected areas for conservation objectives to be met. Toward that effect, we investigated reef biodiversity patterns in three large-scale coastal regions of Brazil. The study areas comprised of an upwelling region, an adjacent high impacted region, and a more distant marine park. We surveyed four reef sites in each study region. Fish species and abundance, substrate relief, and water temperature were recorded during the surveys. Biodiversity was estimated using Simpson’s and Shannon’s indices on species richness and abundance. Fish diversity was highest at the upwelling area. No difference in diversity was observed between the high impacted region and the marine park. No substrate relief patterns were found. Temperature readings showed higher frequency of low temperature episodic events at the upwelling region. Our results favor the upwelling region for establishment of a Marine Protected Area. Moreover, the similar diversity between the high impacted region and the marine park showed evidence of spillover effects from the upwelling into the high impacted region, further demonstrating the importance of the upwelling region for conservation.

  9. 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.

  10. Spatio-Temporal Patterns in the Coral Reef Communities of the Spermonde Archipelago, 2012–2014, II: Fish Assemblages Display Structured Variation Related to Benthic Condition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeremiah G. Plass-Johnson

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The Spermonde Archipelago is a complex of ~70 mostly populated islands off Southwest Sulawesi, Indonesia, in the center of the Coral Triangle. The reefs in this area are exposed to a high level of anthropogenic disturbances. Previous studies have shown that variation in the benthos is strongly linked to water quality and distance from the mainland. However, little is known about the fish assemblages of the region and if their community structure also follows a relationship with benthic structure and distance from shore. In this study, we used eight islands of the archipelago, varying in distance from 1 to 55 km relative to the mainland, and 3 years of surveys, to describe benthic and fish assemblages and to examine the spatial and temporal influence of benthic composition on the structure of the fish assemblages. Cluster analysis indicated that distinct groups of fish were associated with distance, while few species were present across the entire range of sites. Relating fish communities to benthic composition using a multivariate generalized linear model confirmed that fish groups relate to structural complexity (rugosity or differing benthic groups; either algae, reef builders (coral and crustose coralline algae or invertebrates and rubble. From these relationships we can identify sets of fish species that may be lost given continued degradation of the Spermonde reefs. Lastly, the incorporation of water quality, benthic and fish indices indicates that local coral reefs responded positively after an acute disturbance in 2013 with increases in reef builders and fish diversity over relatively short (1 year time frames. This study contributes an important, missing component (fish community structure to the growing literature on the Spermonde Archipelago, a system that features environmental pressures common in the greater Southeast Asian region.

  11. Functional role of fouling community on an artificial reef at the northern coast of Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Werther Krohling

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available The northern coast of Rio de Janeiro State lacks natural consolidate substrates, making it a proper environment to the development of researches using artificial structures. After studies about the type of substrate, concrete seems to be the most appropriate for studying fouling community development. This research was carried out to investigate the functional role of biofouling in the development of the ichthyic community in the north of Rio de Janeiro State. Percentage data of the epibenthic organisms' coverage and samples of the fish community with gillnet and visual census showed that biofouling in artificial reefs might have more than one functional role, acting as a facilitator in the recruitment of fish species and as a link in the trophic marine chain. Through the increase of localized structural complexity provided by the reef itself and by the fouling organisms which act as "engineering species", additional protection options are offered to the ichthyic community, especially recruits. Also, the epibiont biomass represents an important link in the food web, acting either as a direct source or in the transference of energy to higher trophic levels. Through the relationship between the ichthyic and fouling communities we concluded that the functional role of the latter in artificial reef habitats could be characterized mainly as shelter and feeding grounds for few fish species.O litoral norte do Estado do Rio de Janeiro possui uma escassez de substrato consolidado natural tornando o ambiente propício para o desenvolvimento de pesquisas com estruturas artificiais. Após estudos conclusivos sobre o tipo de substrato, o concreto parece ser o mais apropriado para o desenvolvimento da comunidade incrustante. Novas pesquisas foram realizadas para investigar o papel funcional da bioincrustação no desenvolvimento da comunidade íctica no norte do Estado do Rio de Janeiro. Dados de porcentagem de cobertura dos organismos epibênticos e

  12. Congruence in demersal fish, macroinvertebrate, and macroalgal community turnover on shallow temperate reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomson, Russell J; Hill, Nicole A; Leaper, Rebecca; Ellis, Nick; Pitcher, C Roland; Barrett, Neville S; Edgar, Graham J

    2014-03-01

    To support coastal planning through improved understanding of patterns of biotic and abiotic surrogacy at broad scales, we used gradient forest modeling (GFM) to analyze and predict spatial patterns of compositional turnover of demersal fishes, macroinvertebrates, and macroalgae on shallow, temperate Australian reefs. Predictive models were first developed using environmental surrogates with estimates of prediction uncertainty, and then the efficacy of the three assemblages as biosurrogates for each other was assessed. Data from underwater visual surveys of subtidal rocky reefs were collected from the southeastern coastline of continental Australia (including South Australia and Victoria) and the northern coastline of Tasmania. These data were combined with 0.01 degree-resolution gridded environmental variables to develop statistical models of compositional turnover (beta diversity) using GFM. GFM extends the machine learning, ensemble tree-based method of random forests (RF), to allow the simultaneous modeling of multiple taxa. The models were used to generate predictions of compositional turnover for each of the three assemblages within unsurveyed areas across the 6600 km of coastline in the region of interest. The most important predictor for all three assemblages was variability in sea surface temperature (measured as standard deviation from measures taken interannually). Spatial predictions of compositional turnover within unsurveyed areas across the region of interest were remarkably congruent across the three taxa. However, the greatest uncertainty in these predictions varied in location among the different assemblages. Pairwise congruency comparisons of observed and predicted turnover among the three assemblages showed that invertebrate and macroalgal biodiversity were most similar, followed by fishes and macroalgae, and lastly fishes and invertebrate biodiversity, suggesting that of the three assemblages, macroalgae would make the best biosurrogate for

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dustin W Kemp

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Fecal bacterial communities of wild-captured and stranded green turtles (Chelonia mydas) on the Great Barrier Reef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahasan, Md Shamim; Waltzek, Thomas B; Huerlimann, Roger; Ariel, Ellen

    2017-12-01

    Green turtles (Chelonia mydas) are endangered marine herbivores that break down food particles, primarily sea grasses, through microbial fermentation. However, the microbial community and its role in health and disease is still largely unexplored. In this study, we investigated and compared the fecal bacterial communities of eight wild-captured green turtles to four stranded turtles in the central Great Barrier Reef regions that include Bowen and Townsville. We used high-throughput sequencing analysis targeting the hypervariable V1-V3 regions of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene. At the phylum level, Firmicutes predominated among wild-captured green turtles, followed by Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria. In contrast, Proteobacteria (Gammaproteobacteria) was the most significantly dominant phylum among all stranded turtles, followed by Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes. In addition, Fusobacteria was also significantly abundant in stranded turtles. No significant differences were found between the wild-captured turtles in Bowen and Townsville. At the family level, the core bacterial community consisted of 25 families that were identified in both the wild-captured and stranded green turtles, while two unique sets of 14 families each were only found in stranded or wild-captured turtles. The predominance of Bacteroides in all groups indicates the importance of these bacteria in turtle gut health. In terms of bacterial diversity and richness, wild-captured green turtles showed a higher bacterial diversity and richness compared with stranded turtles. The marked differences in the bacterial communities between wild-captured and stranded turtles suggest the possible dysbiosis in stranded turtles in addition to potential causal agents. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  16. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  18. The American Oyster.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Nancy E.

    The Maryland Marine Science Education Project has produced a series of mini-units in marine science education for the junior high/middle school classroom. This unit focuses on the American oyster. Although the unit specifically treats the Chesapeake Bay, it may be adapted for use with similar estuarine systems. In addition, the unit may be…

  19. Putting oysters under pressure

    Science.gov (United States)

    High pressure processing (HPP) is the most commercially important food processing technology in use now and is anticipated to remain of equal or greater importance during the next five to 10 years. This month’s column reviews the theory and current applications of HPP for oysters to improve their sa...

  20. Oyster Fauna of Thailand

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bussarawit, Somchai; Cedhagen, Tomas

    2012-01-01

    Here, we describe 16 species of true oysters from Thai waters. They are widely distributed on various intertidal and subtidal substrates in the Gulf of Thailand and in the Andaman Sea. The different species were identified on the basis of their shell morphology, and their characteristic features...

  1. Dangerous Raw Oysters

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    2013-08-05

    Dr. Duc Vugia, chief of the Infectious Diseases Branch at the California Department of Public Health, discusses the dangers of eating raw oysters.  Created: 8/5/2013 by National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID).   Date Released: 8/7/2013.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Guam Community Coral Reef Monitoring Program, Benthic Quadrat Surveys at Guam in 2013

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Guam community members gathered benthic cover data using a 0.25m2 quadrat with 6 intersecting points at each meter along a 25-meter transect. Members identified...

  5. Guam Community Coral Reef Monitoring Program, Benthic Training Surveys at Guam in 2012

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Guam community members gathered benthic cover data using a 0.25m2 quadrat with 6 intersecting points at each meter along a 25-meter transect. Members identified...

  6. Guam Community Coral Reef Monitoring Program, Macroinvertebrate Training Surveys in Guam in 2012

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Guam community members gathered macroinvertebrate within a 25-meter x 2-meter belt transect. Members identified macroinvertebrates to species (when possible),...

  7. A benthic survey of the rocky reefs off Pondoland, South Africa ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    30m) in the ... the capture and processing of 1 042 photographic images of the reef benthos. ... reefs and suspension-feeding communities dominating deeper reefs. ... for Researchers · for Librarians · for Authors · FAQ's · More about AJOL ...

  8. Epilithic Cyanobacterial Communities of a Marine Tropical Beach Rock (Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef): Diversity and Diazotrophy▿

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díez, Beatriz; Bauer, Karolina; Bergman, Birgitta

    2007-01-01

    The diversity and nitrogenase activity of epilithic marine microbes in a Holocene beach rock (Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia) with a proposed biological calcification “microbialite” origin were examined. Partial 16S rRNA gene sequences from the dominant mat (a coherent and layered pink-pigmented community spread over the beach rock) and biofilms (nonstratified, differently pigmented microbial communities of small shallow depressions) were retrieved using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE), and a clone library was retrieved from the dominant mat. The 16S rRNA gene sequences and morphological analyses revealed heterogeneity in the cyanobacterial distribution patterns. The nonheterocystous filamentous genus Blennothrix sp., phylogenetically related to Lyngbya, dominated the mat together with unidentified nonheterocystous filaments of members of the Pseudanabaenaceae and the unicellular genus Chroococcidiopsis. The dominance and three-dimensional intertwined distribution of these organisms were confirmed by nonintrusive scanning microscopy. In contrast, the less pronounced biofilms were dominated by the heterocystous cyanobacterial genus Calothrix, two unicellular Entophysalis morphotypes, Lyngbya spp., and members of the Pseudanabaenaceae family. Cytophaga-Flavobacterium-Bacteroides and Alphaproteobacteria phylotypes were also retrieved from the beach rock. The microbial diversity of the dominant mat was accompanied by high nocturnal nitrogenase activities (as determined by in situ acetylene reduction assays). A new DGGE nifH gene optimization approach for cyanobacterial nitrogen fixers showed that the sequences retrieved from the dominant mat were related to nonheterocystous uncultured cyanobacterial phylotypes, only distantly related to sequences of nitrogen-fixing cultured cyanobacteria. These data stress the occurrence and importance of nonheterocystous epilithic cyanobacteria, and it is hypothesized that such epilithic cyanobacteria

  9. Integrating Larval Dispersal, Permitting, and Logistical Factors Within a Validated Habitat Suitability Index for Oyster Restoration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brandon J. Puckett

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Habitat suitability index (HSI models are increasingly used to guide ecological restoration. Successful restoration is a byproduct of several factors, including physical and biological processes, as well as permitting and logistical considerations. Rarely are factors from all of these categories included in HSI models, despite their combined relevance to common restoration goals such as population persistence. We developed a Geographic Information System (GIS-based HSI for restoring persistent high-relief subtidal oyster (Crassostrea virginica reefs protected from harvest (i.e., sanctuaries in Pamlico Sound, North Carolina, USA. Expert stakeholder input identified 17 factors to include in the HSI. Factors primarily represented physical (e.g., salinity and biological (e.g., larval dispersal processes relevant to oyster restoration, but also included several relevant permitting (e.g., presence of seagrasses and logistical (e.g., distance to restoration material stockpile sites considerations. We validated the model with multiple years of oyster density data from existing sanctuaries, and compared HSI output with distributions of oyster reefs from the late 1800's. Of the 17 factors included in the model, stakeholders identified four factors—salinity, larval export from existing oyster sanctuaries, larval import to existing sanctuaries, and dissolved oxygen—most critical to oyster sanctuary site selection. The HSI model provided a quantitative scale over which a vast water body (~6,000 km2 was narrowed down by 95% to a much smaller suite of optimal (top 1% HSI and suitable (top 5% HSI locations for oyster restoration. Optimal and suitable restoration locations were clustered in northeast and southwest Pamlico Sound. Oyster density in existing sanctuaries, normalized for time since reef restoration, was a positive exponential function of HSI, providing validation for the model. Only a small portion (10–20% of historical reef locations

  10. Effects of fishing on a temperate reef community in South Africa 2 ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Crinoidea, the principal food source of roman Chrysoblephus laticeps, was scarce at protected sites where this species was most abundant. Low algal abundance at protected sites was negatively correlated with grazer abundance within the fish communities encountered there, suggesting a high potential for coexistence of ...

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Biomarkers of dissolved oxygen stress in oysters: a tool for restoration and management efforts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patterson, Heather K; Boettcher, Anne; Carmichael, Ruth H

    2014-01-01

    The frequency and intensity of anoxic and hypoxic events are increasing worldwide, creating stress on the organisms that inhabit affected waters. To understand the effects of low dissolved oxygen stress on oysters, hatchery-reared oysters were placed in cages and deployed along with continuously recording environmental data sondes at a reef site in Mobile Bay, AL that typically experiences low oxygen conditions. To detect and measure sublethal stress, we measured growth and survival of oysters as well as expression of three biomarkers, heat shock protein 70 (HSP70), hypoxia inducible factor (HIF) and phospho-p38 MAP kinase, in tissues from juvenile and adult oysters. Survival rates were high for both juvenile and adult oysters. Expression levels of each of the 3 isoforms of HSP 70 were negatively correlated to dissolved oxygen (DO) concentrations, suggesting that HSP 70 is useful to quantify sublethal effects of DO stress. Results for HIF and phospho-p38 MAP kinase were inconclusive. Test deployments of oysters to assess expression of HSP 70 relative to environmental conditions will be useful, in addition to measuring abiotic factors, to identify appropriate sites for restoration, particularly to capture negative effects of habitat quality on biota before lethal impacts are incurred.

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. Microbiological quality and bacterial diversity of the tropical oyster Crassostrea rhizophorae in a monitored farming system and from natural stocks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva Neta, M T; Maciel, B M; Lopes, A T S; Marques, E L S; Rezende, R P; Boehs, G

    2015-12-02

    Microbiological evaluation is one of the most important parameters for analyzing the viability of an oyster farming system, which addresses public health and ecological concerns. Here, the microbiological quality of the oyster Crassostrea rhizophorae cultivated in a monitored environment and from natural beds in Bahia, northeastern Brazil, was determined. Bacterial diversity in oysters was measured by polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis. Sequence analysis revealed that most bacterial species showed similarity with uncultured or unidentified bacteria from environmental samples, and were clustered into the phylum Proteobacteria. Diverse bacteria from cultivated (monitored) oyster samples were grouped in the same cluster with a high similarity index (above 79%). Microbiological analyses revealed that these oysters did not contain pathogens. These results reflect the natural balance of the microbial communities essential to the maintenance of health and in inhibiting pathogen colonization in the oyster. On the other hand, bacterial diversity of samples from native stocks in extractive areas displayed a similarity index varying between 55 and 77%, and all samples were clustered separately from each other and from the cluster of samples derived from the cultivation area. Microbiological analyses showed that oysters from the extractive area were not fit for human consumption. This reflected a different composition of the microbial community in this area, probably resulting from anthropic impact. Our study also demonstrated that low temperatures and high rainfall limits the bacterial concentration in tropical oysters. This is the first study analyzing the total bacterial community profiles of the oyster C. rhizophorae.

  17. Characterizing the diversity of coral reef habitats and fish communities found in a UNESCO World Heritage Site: the strategy developed for Lagoons of New Caledonia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andréfouët, S; Wantiez, L

    2010-01-01

    Since 1972, the UNESCO "World Heritage Convention" offers an international canvas for conservation and management that targets areas of high cultural and environmental significance. To support the designation of areas within the 36.000 km(2) of New Caledonia coral reefs and lagoons as a World Heritage Site, the natural value and diversity of the proposed zones needed to be demonstrated. To exhaustively identify each configuration of shallow habitats, high resolution remote sensing images were used to select the sampling sites. This optimal scheme resulted in the selection of nearly 1300 sampling sites, and was then simplified to render its application realistic. In the final sampling plan, only the most common or the most remarkable coral zones were selected. Following this selection, in situ habitat and fish surveys were conducted in 2006-2008 in five large areas spanning a 600 km-long latitudinal gradient. Habitats were described using line-intercept transects in parallel with underwater visual census of indicator and commercial coral reef fish species. We report here on the results achieved in terms of: (i) the actual diversity of coral habitats captured by the remote sensing based sampling strategy, (ii) the different reef fish communities captured from the different sites, and (iii) how well they represent New Caledonia diversity. We discuss the possible generalization of this scheme to other sites, in the context of World Heritage Site selection and for other large-scale conservation planning activities. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Factors affecting the uptake and retention of Vibrio vulnificus in oysters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Froelich, Brett A; Noble, Rachel T

    2014-12-01

    Vibrio vulnificus, a bacterium ubiquitous in oysters and coastal water, is capable of causing ailments ranging from gastroenteritis to grievous wound infections or septicemia. The uptake of these bacteria into oysters is often examined in vitro by placing oysters in seawater amended with V. vulnificus. Multiple teams have obtained similar results in studies where laboratory-grown bacteria were observed to be rapidly taken up by oysters but quickly eliminated. This technique, along with suggested modifications, is reviewed here. In contrast, the natural microflora within oysters is notoriously difficult to eliminate via depuration. The reason for the transiency of exogenous bacteria is that those bacteria are competitively excluded by the oyster's preexisting microflora. Evidence of this phenomenon is shown using in vitro oyster studies and a multiyear in situ case study. Depuration of the endogenous oyster bacteria occurs naturally and can also be artificially induced, but both of these events require extreme conditions, natural or otherwise, as explained here. Finally, the "viable but nonculturable" (VBNC) state of Vibrio is discussed. This bacterial torpor can easily be confused with a reduction in bacterial abundance, as bacteria in this state fail to grow on culture media. Thus, oysters collected from colder months may appear to be relatively free of Vibrio but in reality harbor VBNC cells that respond to exogenous bacteria and prevent colonization of oyster matrices. Bacterial-uptake experiments combined with studies involving cell-free spent media are detailed that demonstrate this occurrence, which could explain why the microbial community in oysters does not always mirror that of the surrounding water. Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  19. Optimal Site Characterization and Selection Criteria for Oyster Restoration using Multicolinear Factorial Water Quality Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoon, J.

    2015-12-01

    Elevated levels of nutrient loadings have enriched the Chesapeake Bay estuaries and coastal waters via point and nonpoint sources and the atmosphere. Restoring oyster beds is considered a Best Management Practice (BMP) to improve the water quality as well as provide physical aquatic habitat and a healthier estuarine system. Efforts include declaring sanctuaries for brood-stocks, supplementing hard substrate on the bottom and aiding natural populations with the addition of hatchery-reared and disease-resistant stocks. An economic assessment suggests that restoring the ecological functions will improve water quality, stabilize shorelines, and establish a habitat for breeding grounds that outweighs the value of harvestable oyster production. Parametric factorial models were developed to investigate multicolinearities among in situ water quality and oyster restoration activities to evaluate posterior success rates upon multiple substrates, and physical, chemical, hydrological and biological site characteristics to systematically identify significant factors. Findings were then further utilized to identify the optimal sites for successful oyster restoration augmentable with Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) and BMPs. Factorial models evaluate the relationship among the dependent variable, oyster biomass, and treatments of temperature, salinity, total suspended solids, E. coli/Enterococci counts, depth, dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll a, nitrogen and phosphorus, and blocks consist of alternative substrates (oyster shells versus riprap, granite, cement, cinder blocks, limestone marl or combinations). Factorial model results were then compared to identify which combination of variables produces the highest posterior biomass of oysters. Developed Factorial model can facilitate maximizing the likelihood of successful oyster reef restoration in an effort to establish a healthier ecosystem and to improve overall estuarine water quality in the Chesapeake Bay estuaries.

  20. 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

  1. Biomass and Abundance of Herbivorous Fishes on Coral Reefs off ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    effects of fishing intensity, reef geomorphology and benthic cover. Distance from the .... on herbivorous fish communities relevant to the proposed ... fragments, nearshore coastal fringing reefs ..... Over-fishing and coral bleaching pose the most ...

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

    KAUST Repository

    Schmidt, GM; Phongsuwan, N; Jantzen, C; Roder, Cornelia; Khokiattiwong, S; Richter, C

    2012-01-01

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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Schmidt, GM

    2012-06-07

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

  4. 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.

  5. Bacterial community composition and predicted functional ecology of sponges, sediment and seawater from the thousand islands reef complex, West Java, Indonesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Voogd, Nicole J; Cleary, Daniel F R; Polónia, Ana R M; Gomes, Newton C M

    2015-04-01

    In the present study, we assessed the composition of Bacteria in four biotopes namely sediment, seawater and two sponge species (Stylissa massa and Xestospongia testudinaria) at four different reef sites in a coral reef ecosystem in West Java, Indonesia. In addition to this, we used a predictive metagenomic approach to estimate to what extent nitrogen metabolic pathways differed among bacterial communities from different biotopes. We observed marked differences in bacterial composition of the most abundant bacterial phyla, classes and orders among sponge species, water and sediment. Proteobacteria were by far the most abundant phylum in terms of both sequences and Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs). Predicted counts for genes associated with the nitrogen metabolism suggested that several genes involved in the nitrogen cycle were enriched in sponge samples, including nosZ, nifD, nirK, norB and nrfA genes. Our data show that a combined barcoded pyrosequencing and predictive metagenomic approach can provide novel insights into the potential ecological functions of the microbial communities. Not only is this approach useful for our understanding of the vast microbial diversity found in sponges but also to understand the potential response of microbial communities to environmental change. © FEMS 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  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. Reef-fish larval dispersal patterns validate no-take marine reserve network connectivity that links human communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abesamis, Rene A.; Saenz-Agudelo, Pablo; Berumen, Michael L.; Bode, Michael; Jadloc, Claro Renato L.; Solera, Leilani A.; Villanoy, Cesar L.; Bernardo, Lawrence Patrick C.; Alcala, Angel C.; Russ, Garry R.

    2017-09-01

    Networks of no-take marine reserves (NTMRs) are a widely advocated strategy for managing coral reefs. However, uncertainty about the strength of population connectivity between individual reefs and NTMRs through larval dispersal remains a major obstacle to effective network design. In this study, larval dispersal among NTMRs and fishing grounds in the Philippines was inferred by conducting genetic parentage analysis on a coral-reef fish ( Chaetodon vagabundus). Adult and juvenile fish were sampled intensively in an area encompassing approximately 90 km of coastline. Thirty-seven true parent-offspring pairs were accepted after screening 1978 juveniles against 1387 adults. The data showed all types of dispersal connections that may occur in NTMR networks, with assignments suggesting connectivity among NTMRs and fishing grounds ( n = 35) far outnumbering those indicating self-recruitment ( n = 2). Critically, half (51%) of the inferred occurrences of larval dispersal linked reefs managed by separate, independent municipalities and constituent villages, emphasising the need for nested collaborative management arrangements across management units to sustain NTMR networks. Larval dispersal appeared to be influenced by wind-driven seasonal reversals in the direction of surface currents. The best-fit larval dispersal kernel estimated from the parentage data predicted that 50% of larvae originating from a population would attempt to settle within 33 km, and 95% within 83 km. Mean larval dispersal distance was estimated to be 36.5 km. These results suggest that creating a network of closely spaced (less than a few tens of km apart) NTMRs can enhance recruitment for protected and fished populations throughout the NTMR network. The findings underscore major challenges for regional coral-reef management initiatives that must be addressed with priority: (1) strengthening management of NTMR networks across political or customary boundaries; and (2) achieving adequate population

  9. Reef-fish larval dispersal patterns validate no-take marine reserve network connectivity that links human communities

    KAUST Repository

    Abesamis, Rene A.

    2017-03-24

    Networks of no-take marine reserves (NTMRs) are a widely advocated strategy for managing coral reefs. However, uncertainty about the strength of population connectivity between individual reefs and NTMRs through larval dispersal remains a major obstacle to effective network design. In this study, larval dispersal among NTMRs and fishing grounds in the Philippines was inferred by conducting genetic parentage analysis on a coral-reef fish (Chaetodon vagabundus). Adult and juvenile fish were sampled intensively in an area encompassing approximately 90 km of coastline. Thirty-seven true parent-offspring pairs were accepted after screening 1978 juveniles against 1387 adults. The data showed all types of dispersal connections that may occur in NTMR networks, with assignments suggesting connectivity among NTMRs and fishing grounds (n = 35) far outnumbering those indicating self-recruitment (n = 2). Critically, half (51%) of the inferred occurrences of larval dispersal linked reefs managed by separate, independent municipalities and constituent villages, emphasising the need for nested collaborative management arrangements across management units to sustain NTMR networks. Larval dispersal appeared to be influenced by wind-driven seasonal reversals in the direction of surface currents. The best-fit larval dispersal kernel estimated from the parentage data predicted that 50% of larvae originating from a population would attempt to settle within 33 km, and 95% within 83 km. Mean larval dispersal distance was estimated to be 36.5 km. These results suggest that creating a network of closely spaced (less than a few tens of km apart) NTMRs can enhance recruitment for protected and fished populations throughout the NTMR network. The findings underscore major challenges for regional coral-reef management initiatives that must be addressed with priority: (1) strengthening management of NTMR networks across political or customary boundaries; and (2) achieving adequate population

  10. Assessing the effect of marine reserves on household food security in Kenyan coral reef fishing communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily S Darling

    Full Text Available Measuring the success or failure of natural resource management is a key challenge to evaluate the impact of conservation for ecological, economic and social outcomes. Marine reserves are a popular tool for managing coastal ecosystems and resources yet surprisingly few studies have quantified the social-economic impacts of marine reserves on food security despite the critical importance of this outcome for fisheries management in developing countries. Here, I conducted semi-structured household surveys with 113 women heads-of-households to investigate the influence of two old, well-enforced, no-take marine reserves on food security in four coastal fishing communities in Kenya, East Africa. Multi-model information-theoretic inference and matching methods found that marine reserves did not influence household food security, as measured by protein consumption, diet diversity and food coping strategies. Instead, food security was strongly influenced by fishing livelihoods and household wealth: fishing families and wealthier households were more food secure than non-fishing and poorer households. These findings highlight the importance of complex social and economic landscapes of livelihoods, urbanization, power and gender dynamics that can drive the outcomes of marine conservation and management.

  11. 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...

  12. Interactive effects of ocean acidification and warming on coral reef associated epilithic algal communities under past, present-day and future ocean conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogel, N.; Cantin, N. E.; Strahl, J.; Kaniewska, P.; Bay, L.; Wild, C.; Uthicke, S.

    2016-06-01

    Epilithic algal communities play critical ecological roles on coral reefs, but their response to individual and interactive effects of ocean warming (OW) and ocean acidification (OA) is still largely unknown. We investigated growth, photosynthesis and calcification of early epilithic algal community assemblages exposed for 6 months to four temperature profiles (-1.1, ±0.0, +0.9, +1.6 °C) that were crossed with four carbon dioxide partial pressure (pCO2) levels (360, 440, 650, 940 µatm), under flow-through conditions and natural light regimes. Additionally, we compared the cover of heavily calcified crustose coralline algae (CCA) and lightly calcified red algae of the genus Peyssonnelia among treatments. Increase in cover of epilithic communities showed optima under moderately elevated temperatures and present pCO2, while cover strongly decreased under high temperatures and high-pCO2 conditions, particularly due to decreasing cover of CCA. Similarly, community calcification rates were strongly decreased at high pCO2 under both measured temperatures. While final cover of CCA decreased under high temperature and pCO2 (additive negative effects), cover of Peyssonnelia spp. increased at high compared to annual average and moderately elevated temperatures. Thus, cover of Peyssonnelia spp. increased in treatment combinations with less CCA, which was supported by a significant negative correlation between organism groups. The different susceptibility to stressors most likely derived from a different calcification intensity and/or mineral. Notably, growth of the epilithic communities and final cover of CCA were strongly decreased under reduced-pCO2 conditions compared to the present. Thus, CCA may have acclimatized from past to present-day pCO2 conditions, and changes in carbonate chemistry, regardless in which direction, negatively affect them. However, if epilithic organisms cannot further acclimatize to OW and OA, the interacting effects of both factors may change

  13. Assessing community values for reducing agricultural emissions to improve water quality and protect coral health in the Great Barrier Reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rolfe, John; Windle, Jill

    2011-12-01

    Policymakers wanting to increase protection of the Great Barrier Reef from pollutants generated by agriculture need to identify when measures to improve water quality generate benefits to society that outweigh the costs involved. The research reported in this paper makes a contribution in several ways. First, it uses the improved science understanding about the links between management changes and reef health to bring together the analysis of costs and benefits of marginal changes, helping to demonstrate the appropriate way of addressing policy questions relating to reef protection. Second, it uses the scientific relationships to frame a choice experiment to value the benefits of improved reef health, with the results of mixed logit (random parameter) models linking improvements explicitly to changes in "water quality units." Third, the research demonstrates how protection values are consistent across a broader population, with some limited evidence of distance effects. Fourth, the information on marginal costs and benefits that are reported provide policymakers with information to help improve management decisions. The results indicate that while there is potential for water quality improvements to generate net benefits, high cost water quality improvements are generally uneconomic. A major policy implication is that cost thresholds for key pollutants should be set to avoid more expensive water quality proposals being selected.

  14. Water use benefit index as a tool for community-based monitoring of water related trends in the Great Barrier Reef region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smajgl, A.; Larson, S.; Hug, B.; De Freitas, D. M.

    2010-12-01

    SummaryThis paper presents a tool for documenting and monitoring water use benefits in the Great Barrier Reef catchments that allows temporal and spatial comparison along the region. Water, water use benefits and water allocations are currently receiving much attention from Australian policy makers and conservation practitioners. Because of the inherent complexity and variability in water quality, it is essential that scientific information is presented in a meaningful way to policy makers, managers and ultimately, to the general public who have to live with the consequences of the decisions. We developed an inexpensively populated and easily understandable water use benefit index as a tool for community-based monitoring of water related trends in the Great Barrier Reef region. The index is developed based on a comparative list of selected water-related indices integrating attributes across physico-chemical, economic, social, and ecological domains currently used in the assessment of water quality, water quantity and water use benefits in Australia. Our findings indicate that the proposed index allows the identification of water performance indicators by temporal and spatial comparisons. Benefits for decision makers and conservation practitioners include a flexible way of prioritization towards the domain with highest concern. The broader community benefits from a comprehensive and user-friendly tool, communicating changes in water quality trends more effectively.

  15. The role of tissue-specific microbiota in initial establishment success of Pacific oysters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lokmer, Ana; Kuenzel, Sven; Baines, John F; Wegner, Karl Mathias

    2016-03-01

    Microbiota can have positive and negative effects on hosts depending on the environmental conditions. Therefore, it is important to decipher host-microbiota-environment interactions, especially under natural conditions exerting (a)biotic stress. Here, we assess the relative importance of microbiota in different tissues of Pacific oyster for its successful establishment in a new environment. We transplanted oysters from the Southern to the Northern Wadden Sea and controlled for the effects of resident microbiota by administering antibiotics to half of the oysters. We then followed survival and composition of haemolymph, mantle, gill and gut microbiota in local and translocated oysters over 5 days. High mortality was recorded only in non-antibiotic-treated translocated oysters, where high titres of active Vibrio sp. in solid tissues indicated systemic infections. Network analyses revealed the highest connectivity and a link to seawater communities in the haemolymph microbiota. Since antibiotics decreased modularity and increased connectivity of the haemolymph-based networks, we propose that community destabilization in non-treated translocated oysters could be attributed to interactions between resident and external microbiota, which in turn facilitated passage of vibrios into solid tissues and invoked disease. These interactions of haemolymph microbiota with the external and internal environment may thus represent an important component of oyster fitness. © 2015 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  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. Ecology of the ciguatera causing dinoflagellates from the Northern Great Barrier Reef: changes in community distribution and coastal eutrophication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skinner, Mark P; Lewis, Richard J; Morton, Steve

    2013-12-15

    Ciguatera fish poisoning (CFP) is known to be caused by the ciguatoxins from the dinoflagellate genus Gambierdiscus, however, there is the potential for other toxins such as okadaic acid and dinophysistoxins from the genus Prorocentrum, and palytoxin from the genus Ostreopsis, to contaminate seafood. These genera may also be indicators of ecosystem health and potentially impact on coral reef ecosystems and the role they may play in the succession of coral to macroalgae dominated reefs has not been researched. Sixteen GBR field sites spanning inshore, mid-lagoon and outer lagoon (offshore) regions were studied. Samples were collected from September 2006 to December 2007 and abundance of benthic dinoflagellates on different host macroalgae and concentration of nutrients present in the water column were determined. The maximum abundance of Prorocentrum, Ostreopsis and Gambierdiscus found was 112, 793 and 50 cells per gram wet weight of host macroalgae, respectively. The average level of Dissolved Inorganic Nitrogen (DIN) in the water column across all sites (0.03 mg/L) was found to be more than double the threshold critical value (0.013 mg/L) for healthy coral reefs. Compared to a previous study 1984, there is evidence of a major shift in the distribution and abundance of these dinoflagellates. Inshore reefs have either of Prorocentrum (as at Green Island) or Ostreopsis (as at Magnetic Island) dominating the macroalgal surface niche which was once dominated by Gambierdiscus, whilst at offshore regions Gambierdiscus is still dominant. This succession may be linked to the ongoing eutrophication of the GBR lagoon and have consequences for the sources of toxins for ongoing cases of ciguatera. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  18. Macroalgae in the coral reefs of Eilat (Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea) as a possible indicator of reef degradation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bahartan, Karnit; Zibdah, Mohammad; Ahmed, Yousef; Israel, Alvaro; Brickner, Itzchak; Abelson, Avigdor

    2010-01-01

    The current state of health of the coral reefs in the northern Gulf of Aqaba (Red Sea), notably the Eilat reefs, is under debate regarding both their exact condition and the causes of degradation. A dearth of earlier data and unequivocal reliable indices are the major problems hinder a clear understanding of the reef state. Our research objective was to examine coral-algal dynamics as a potential cause and an indication of reef degradation. The community structure of stony corals and algae along the northern Gulf of Aqaba reveal non-seasonal turf algae dominancy in the shallow Eilat reefs (up to 72%), while the proximate Aqaba reefs present negligible turf cover (<6%). We believe that turf dominancy can indicate degradation in these reefs, based on the reduction in essential reef components followed by proliferation of perennial turf algae. Our findings provide further evidence for the severe state of the Eilat coral reefs.

  19. Effects of a bio-invasion of the Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas (Thunberg, 1793) in five shallow water habitats in Scandinavia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mortensen, Stein; Bodvin, Torjan; Strand, Åsa

    2017-01-01

    Management of invasive species is addressed in both national and international regulations regarding the protection of marine habitats and biodiversity and in regulations of aquaculture. The geographical range of the invasive Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas, is expanding, both through human...... mediated vectors and by natural dispersal. The species is now spreading in Scandinavia. In order to optimize the management of the oyster, including targeted monitoring and mitigation activities, knowledge on the present and future distribution and impact on the ecosystem is important. The development...... of habitats where Pacific oysters are found in Scandinavia (Low energy rock, Littoral sand and mudflats, Littoral biogenic reefs, Sublittoral sand and Sublittoral biogenic reefs) to a predicted development, thereafter assessed in relation to impact on the habitats. The assessment was done as a function...

  20. 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

  1. 7 CFR 701.54 - Oysters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 7 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Oysters. 701.54 Section 701.54 Agriculture Regulations... ADMINISTERED UNDER THIS PART § 701.54 Oysters. (a) Notwithstanding § 701.5(b), but otherwise subject to the... be made available under this section for the eligible cost of refurbishing public or private oyster...

  2. 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 broken colonies were branching ones. No effect of diving on the abundance...... by the point intercept sampling method in the reef crest zone (3 m) and reef slope zone (12 m). Additionally, the abundance of corallivorous and herbivorous fish was estimated based on the visual census method. Sediments traps recorded the sedimentation rates caused by SCUBA divers. Zones subject...

  3. Coral identity underpins architectural complexity on Caribbean reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-09-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Effect of branding Gulf oysters on consumers willingness to pay

    OpenAIRE

    Acquah, Sarah; Petrolia, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    Using a choice experiment this study found that raw oyster consumers are more likely to buy oysters harvested from their region over those harvested outside the region. Consumers are more likely to buy wild-caught oysters over cultivated oysters. Non-Gulf consumers are more likely to buy medium or large size oysters over small size.

  7. Persistence of Caliciviruses in Artificially Contaminated Oysters during Depuration▿

    OpenAIRE

    Ueki, You; Shoji, Mika; Suto, Atsushi; Tanabe, Toru; Okimura, Yoko; Kikuchi, Yoshihiko; Saito, Noriyuki; Sano, Daisuke; Omura, Tatsuo

    2007-01-01

    The fate of calicivirus in oysters in a 10-day depuration was assessed. The norovirus gene was persistently detected from artificially contaminated oysters during the depuration, whereas feline calicivirus in oysters was promptly eliminated. The prolonged observation of norovirus in oysters implies the existence of a selective retention mechanism for norovirus within oysters.

  8. Ostreid herpesvirus OsHV-1 μVar in Pacific oysters Crassostrea gigas (Thunberg 1793) of the Wadden Sea, a UNESCO world heritage site.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gittenberger, A; Voorbergen-Laarman, M A; Engelsma, M Y

    2016-01-01

    The Wadden Sea is an extensive wetland area, recognized as UNESCO world heritage site of international importance. Since the mid-1990s, the invasive Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas (Thunberg 1793) population in the area has grown exponentially, having a distinct impact on the ecosystem. The recent spread of the emerging oyster pathogen Ostreid herpesvirus OsHV-1 μVar worldwide and specifically in the oyster culture areas in the south of the Netherlands raised the question whether the virus may also be present in the Wadden Sea. In the summer of 2012 juvenile Pacific oysters were collected from five locations in the Dutch Wadden Sea. The virus was shown to be present in three of the five locations by real-time PCR and sequencing. It was concluded that OsHV-1 μVar has settled itself in Pacific oyster reefs in the Wadden Sea. These results and the recent discoveries of OsHV-1 microvariants in Australia and Korea indicate that OsHV-1 μVar and related variants might be more widespread than can be deduced from current literature. In particular in regions with no commercial oyster culture, similar to the Wadden Sea, the virus may go undetected as wild beds with mixed age classes hamper the detection of mortality among juvenile oysters. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. Assessing the utility of eDNA as a tool to survey reef-fish communities in the Red Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

    Relatively small volumes of water may contain sufficient environmental DNA (eDNA) to detect target aquatic organisms via genetic sequencing. We therefore assessed the utility of eDNA to document the diversity of coral reef fishes in the central Red Sea. DNA from seawater samples was extracted, amplified using fish-specific 16S mitochondrial DNA primers, and sequenced using a metabarcoding workflow. DNA sequences were assigned to taxa using available genetic repositories or custom genetic databases generated from reference fishes. Our approach revealed a diversity of conspicuous, cryptobenthic, and commercially relevant reef fish at the genus level, with select genera in the family Labridae over-represented. Our approach, however, failed to capture a significant fraction of the fish fauna known to inhabit the Red Sea, which we attribute to limited spatial sampling, amplification stochasticity, and an apparent lack of sequencing depth. Given an increase in fish species descriptions, completeness of taxonomic checklists, and improvement in species-level assignment with custom genetic databases as shown here, we suggest that the Red Sea region may be ideal for further testing of the eDNA approach.

  10. Caught in the middle: combined impacts of shark removal and coral loss on the fish communities of coral reefs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan L W Ruppert

    Full Text Available Due to human activities, marine and terrestrial ecosystems face a future where disturbances are predicted to occur at a frequency and severity unprecedented in the recent past. Of particular concern is the ability of systems to recover where multiple stressors act simultaneously. We examine this issue in the context of a coral reef ecosystem where increases in stressors, such as fisheries, benthic degradation, cyclones and coral bleaching, are occurring at global scales. By utilizing long-term (decadal monitoring programs, we examined the combined effects of chronic (removal of sharks and pulse (cyclones, bleaching disturbances on the trophic structure of coral reef fishes at two isolated atoll systems off the coast of northwest Australia. We provide evidence consistent with the hypothesis that the loss of sharks can have an impact that propagates down the food chain, potentially contributing to mesopredator release and altering the numbers of primary consumers. Simultaneously, we show how the effects of bottom-up processes of bleaching and cyclones appear to propagate up the food chain through herbivores, planktivores and corallivores, but do not affect carnivores. Because their presence may promote the abundance of herbivores, the removal of sharks by fishing has implications for both natural and anthropogenic disturbances involving the loss of corals, as herbivores are critical to the progress and outcome of coral recovery.

  11. Assessing the utility of eDNA as a tool to survey reef-fish communities in the Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

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

    2017-01-01

    Relatively small volumes of water may contain sufficient environmental DNA (eDNA) to detect target aquatic organisms via genetic sequencing. We therefore assessed the utility of eDNA to document the diversity of coral reef fishes in the central Red Sea. DNA from seawater samples was extracted, amplified using fish-specific 16S mitochondrial DNA primers, and sequenced using a metabarcoding workflow. DNA sequences were assigned to taxa using available genetic repositories or custom genetic databases generated from reference fishes. Our approach revealed a diversity of conspicuous, cryptobenthic, and commercially relevant reef fish at the genus level, with select genera in the family Labridae over-represented. Our approach, however, failed to capture a significant fraction of the fish fauna known to inhabit the Red Sea, which we attribute to limited spatial sampling, amplification stochasticity, and an apparent lack of sequencing depth. Given an increase in fish species descriptions, completeness of taxonomic checklists, and improvement in species-level assignment with custom genetic databases as shown here, we suggest that the Red Sea region may be ideal for further testing of the eDNA approach.

  12. Assessing the utility of eDNA as a tool to survey reef-fish communities in the Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    DiBattista, Joseph D.

    2017-08-23

    Relatively small volumes of water may contain sufficient environmental DNA (eDNA) to detect target aquatic organisms via genetic sequencing. We therefore assessed the utility of eDNA to document the diversity of coral reef fishes in the central Red Sea. DNA from seawater samples was extracted, amplified using fish-specific 16S mitochondrial DNA primers, and sequenced using a metabarcoding workflow. DNA sequences were assigned to taxa using available genetic repositories or custom genetic databases generated from reference fishes. Our approach revealed a diversity of conspicuous, cryptobenthic, and commercially relevant reef fish at the genus level, with select genera in the family Labridae over-represented. Our approach, however, failed to capture a significant fraction of the fish fauna known to inhabit the Red Sea, which we attribute to limited spatial sampling, amplification stochasticity, and an apparent lack of sequencing depth. Given an increase in fish species descriptions, completeness of taxonomic checklists, and improvement in species-level assignment with custom genetic databases as shown here, we suggest that the Red Sea region may be ideal for further testing of the eDNA approach.

  13. 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.

  14. Temporal patterns in coral reef, seagrass and mangrove communities from Chengue bay CARICOMP site (Colombia: 1993-2008

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alberto Rodríguez-Ramírez

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Few monitoring programs have simultaneously assessed the dynamics of linked marine ecosystems (coral reefs, seagrass beds and mangroves to document their temporal and spatial variability. Based on CARICOMP protocol we evaluated permanent stations in coral reefs, seagrass beds and mangroves from 1993 to 2008 in Chengue Bay at the Tayrona Natural Park, Colombian Caribbean. Overall, the studied ecosystems showed a remarkable stability pattern over the monitoring period. While there were annual variations in coral reefs (coral cover and mangroves (litterfall caused by hurricane Lenny in 1999, particular trends in seagrass (leaf area index and leaf productivity appear to reflect the natural variability in this ecosystem. We suggest that monitoring sites at the three marine ecosystems had in general a healthy development in the last 16 years. Our results are critical to locally improve the management strategies (Tayrona Natural Park and to understand the long-term dynamics of closely associated marine ecosystems in the Caribbean. Rev. Biol. Trop. 58 (Suppl. 3: 45-62. Epub 2010 October 01.Pocos programas de monitoreo han estudiado simultáneamente la dinámica de ecosistemas marinos estrechamente relacionados (arrecifes coralinos, pastos marinos y manglares para documentar su variabilidad espacial y temporal. Siguiendo el protocolo de monitoreo del programa CARICOMP, estaciones permanentes de monitoreo en estos ecosistemas fueron evaluadas entre 1993 y 2008 en la Bahía de Chengue del Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona (Caribe Colombiano. En general los ecosistemas monitoreados han presentado un patrón de estabilidad durante los años de estudio. Mientras los arrecifes coralinos (cobertura de coral y manglares tuvieron algunas variaciones anuales debidas al paso del huracán Lenny en 1999, los pastos marinos registraron tendencias particulares de cambio (índicece de área foliar y productividad de hojas que podrían estar reflejando la variabilidad

  15. PERAN SERTA MASYARAKAT DALAM PELESTARIAN TERUMBU KARANG DI PESISIR PANTAI KABUPATEN GUNUNG KIDUL (Community Participation in the Preservation of Coral Reef at the Coastal Area of Gunung Kidul Regency, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisca Romana Harjiyatni

    2001-04-01

    . Masyarakat dilibatkan perannya sebagai pengawas sosial dan dilibatkan dalam pengambilan keputusan dalam setiap usaha/kegiatan baik yang dilakukan pemerintah maupun swasta, dan ini akan tercapai jika kesadaran masyarakat sudah tinggi.    ABSTRACT This study was condacted Gunung Kidul Regency at there locations, i.e. Baron Beach, Kukup Beach, and Drini Beach. The purpose was to assess factors causing the lack of community participation in efforts to preserve the coral reef ecosystem. This research is a a qualitatively descrtive in nature. While the primary data was obtained from respondents and observations of objects investigated, the secondary data was obtained from references and file studies related to the research materials. The result of the study showed that the factor causing the lack of community participation in efforts to preserve the coral reef ecosystem was that the community awareness in the preservation of coral reef ecosystem was still low. It was due to the low education, low income level, infertile soil, unpopular environment regulation and disappointing law enforcement. There has been some efforts to increase the community awareness in coral reef preservation, i.e. by education, but the topic was about the environment as a whole, not specifically about the coral reef. Another effort was by giving guidance about the utilization of sea resources and coral reef ecosystem. It was also little done by the community, because they want something big and quick yielding to increase their income. Thus, the development of sustained alternative jobs must be created for the community that, during this time, they utilize the resources from coral reef. It also needs an effort to establish the more strict regulation. The most important effort is to explain the significance of coral reef ecosystem preservation and to arouse the awareness to participate in coral reef ecosystem preservation. The community should involve in that efforts as a social controller and they should

  16. Latitudinal gradients in ecosystem engineering by oysters vary across habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAfee, Dominic; Cole, Victoria J; Bishop, Melanie J

    2016-04-01

    Ecological theory predicts that positive interactions among organisms will increase across gradients of increasing abiotic stress or consumer pressure. This theory has been supported by empirical studies examining the magnitude of ecosystem engineering across environmental gradients and between habitat settings at local scale. Predictions that habitat setting, by modifying both biotic and abiotic factors, will determine large-scale gradients in ecosystem engineering have not been tested, however. A combination of manipulative experiments and field surveys assessed whether along the east Australian coastline: (1) facilitation of invertebrates by the oyster Saccostrea glomerata increased across a latitudinal gradient in temperature; and (2) the magnitude of this effect varied between intertidal rocky shores and mangrove forests. It was expected that on rocky shores, where oysters are the primary ecosystem engineer, they would play a greater role in ameliorating latitudinal gradients in temperature than in mangroves, where they are a secondary ecosystem engineer living under the mangrove canopy. On rocky shores, the enhancement of invertebrate abundance in oysters as compared to bare microhabitat decreased with latitude, as the maximum temperatures experienced by intertidal organisms diminished. By contrast, in mangrove forests, where the mangrove canopy resulted in maximum temperatures that were cooler and of greater humidity than on rocky shores, we found no evidence of latitudinal gradients of oyster effects on invertebrate abundance. Contrary to predictions, the magnitude by which oysters enhanced biodiversity was in many instances similar between mangroves and rocky shores. Whether habitat-context modifies patterns of spatial variation in the effects of ecosystem engineers on community structure will depend, in part, on the extent to which the environmental amelioration provided by an ecosystem engineer replicates that of other co-occurring ecosystem engineers.

  17. Metal leaching from experimental coal fly-ash oyster cultch

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Homziak, J.; Bennett, L.; Simon, P.; Herring, R. (Mississippi State University, MS (USA). Coastal Research and Extension Center)

    1993-08-01

    Because oysters accumulate metals far in excess of ambient concentrations potential leaching and bioaccumulation of metals may be important public health concerns where ash-cement aggregates are being considered for oyster cultivation. This study examined the potential for metal release from an ash-cement aggregate proposed for use in oyster reef construction in Mississippi coastal waters. Seven acid-washed aquaria were each filled with 77L of artificial seawater. Five randomly selected aquaria each received 8.6 L of aggregate pellets. Samples were taken from each aquarium one hour after the start of the experiment and at 10 day intervals on six subsequent sampling dates. The samples were analysed for arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, iron, lead, manganese, mercury, nickel, selenium and zinc. Cadmium, iron and mercury were essentially not detected in the treatment aquaria. Except for chromium, the mean concentrations of metals in the treatment samples were generally less than 10 ppb. An overall comparison of the concentrations of 8 metals among all aquaria and sampling dates detected significant differences in the concentration of chromium (p[lt]0.001), manganese (p[lt]0.05) and selenium (p[lt]0.001). Treatment aquaria had significantly greater concentrations of chromium and selenium than did either control (nonparametric multiple comparison, p[lt]0.05). Most of the chromium found in the treatment aquaria was the hexavalent form (means range from 0.052 to 1.328 ppm). Treatment hexavalent chromium concentrations increased over time. 14 refs., 1 fig., 2 tabs.

  18. Japanese oysters in Dutch waters

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Berg, van den J.B.; Kozyreff, G.; Lin, H.X.; McDarby, J.; Peletier, M.A.; Planqué, R.; Wilson, P.L.

    2005-01-01

    Since the introduction of the Japanese oyster in the Eastern Scheldt it has spread into the Wadden Sea. This growth has a negative impact on the life of various other species in the sea. Seen from a mathematical viewpoint, the biological problem of how to restore the disturbed natural equilibrium

  19. Japanese oysters in Dutch waters

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Berg, van den J.B.; Kozyreff, G.; Lin, H.X.; McDarby, J.; Peletier, M.A.; Planqué, R.; Wilson, P.L.; Pik, D.; Rottschäfer, V.

    2004-01-01

    We study a number of aspects of the colonisation of the Eastern Scheldt by the Japanese Oyster. We formulate and analyse some simple models of the spatial spreading, and determine a rough dependence of the spreading behaviour on parameters. We examine the suggestion of reducing salinity by opening

  20. Calculation of Oyster Benefits with a Bioenergetics Model of the Virginia Oyster

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-11-01

    soft tissue, and reproduction. Inorganic carbon incorporated into shell CaCO3 is considered separately. The organic carbon sequestered in biomass ...oyster biomass (dry tissue weight); • oyster age vs. shell length; • standing stock (population and biomass ); • shell accretion rates; • age...that found use in model parameterization and validation included: • individual oyster biomass (dry tissue weight); • oyster age vs. shell length

  1. Developing tools for the study of molluscan immunity: The sequencing of the genome of the eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez-Chiarri, Marta; Warren, Wesley C; Guo, Ximing; Proestou, Dina

    2015-09-01

    The eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica, provides important ecological and economical services, making it the target of restoration projects and supporting a significant fishery/aquaculture industry with landings valued at more than $100 million in 2012 in the United States of America. Due to the impact of infectious diseases on wild, restored, and cultured populations, the eastern oyster has been the focus of studies on host-pathogen interactions and immunity, as well as the target of selective breeding efforts for disease resistant oyster lines. Despite these efforts, relatively little is known about the genetic basis of resistance to diseases or environmental stress, not only in eastern oyster, but also in other molluscan species of commercial interest worldwide. In order to develop tools and resources to assist in the elucidation of the genomic basis of traits of commercial, biological, and ecological interest in oysters, a team of genome and bioinformatics experts, in collaboration with the oyster research community, is sequencing, assembling, and annotating the first reference genome for the eastern oyster and producing an exhaustive transcriptome from a variety of oyster developmental stages and tissues in response to a diverse set of environmentally-relevant stimuli. These transcriptomes and reference genome for the eastern oyster, added to the already available genome and transcriptomes for the Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) and other bivalve species, will be an essential resource for the discovery of candidate genes and markers associated with traits of commercial, biological, and ecologic importance in bivalve molluscs, including those related to host-pathogen interactions and immunity. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. High pressure inactivation of HAV within oysters: comparison of shucked oysters with whole in shell meats

    Science.gov (United States)

    High pressure inactivation of hepatitis A virus (HAV) within oysters bioaccumulated under simulated natural conditions to levels >106 PFU/oyster has been evaluated. Five min treatments at 20C were administered at 350, 375, and 400 MegaPascals (MPa). Shucked and whole-in-shell oysters were directly...

  3. Composted oyster shell as lime fertilizer is more effective than fresh oyster shell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Young Han; Islam, Shah Md Asraful; Hong, Sun Joo; Cho, Kye Man; Math, Renukaradhya K; Heo, Jae Young; Kim, Hoon; Yun, Han Dae

    2010-01-01

    Physio-chemical changes in oyster shell were examined, and fresh and composted oyster shell meals were compared as lime fertilizers in soybean cultivation. Structural changes in oyster shell were observed by AFM and FE-SEM. We found that grains of the oyster shell surface became smoother and smaller over time. FT-IR analysis indicated the degradation of a chitin-like compound of oyster shell. In chemical analysis, pH (12.3+/-0.24), electrical conductivity (4.1+/-0.24 dS m(-1)), and alkaline powder (53.3+/-1.12%) were highest in commercial lime. Besides, pH was higher in composted oyster shell meal (9.9+/-0.53) than in fresh oyster shell meal (8.4+/-0.32). The highest organic matter (1.1+/-0.08%), NaCl (0.54+/-0.03%), and moisture (15.1+/-1.95%) contents were found in fresh oyster shell meal. A significant higher yield of soybean (1.33 t ha(-1)) was obtained by applying composted oyster shell meal (a 21% higher yield than with fresh oyster shell meal). Thus composting of oyster shell increases the utility of oyster shell as a liming material for crop cultivation.

  4. Noroviruses in oysters from local markets and oyster farms in southern Thailand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kittigul, Leera; Pombubpa, Kannika; Sukonthalux, Suntharee; Rattanatham, Tippawan; Utrarachkij, Fuangfa

    2011-01-01

    One hundred and eighteen oyster samples collected from local markets and oyster farms in southern Thailand were examined for noroviruses (NoVs) and bacterial indicators of fecal contamination (fecal coliforms and Escherichia coli). Using a virus concentration procedure followed by RT-nested PCR, NoVs were detected in 38% of the samples. Oysters collected from oyster farms were found with NoVs at a higher detection rate (25/53 samples) than oysters from local markets (20/65 samples). Of the 45 NoV-positive oyster samples, 67% belonged to NoV genogroup I (GI), 15% to GII, and 18% to both GI and GII. DNA sequencing showed that 2 NoVs belonged to NoV GI-2 genotype. Fecal coliforms in NoV-positive oyster samples were in the range of oyster samples contained fecal coliforms within the standard acceptable level of raw shellfish (oyster samples were within acceptable levels of E. coli contamination (oysters obtained from both markets and oyster farms might pose a potential risk of acute gastroenteritis associated with raw oyster consumption. Examination for both fecal bacterial indicators and enteric viruses should be conducted for microbiological food safety of shellfish.

  5. Functional groupings and food web of an artificial reef used for sea cucumber aquaculture in northern China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Qinzeng; Zhang, Libin; Zhang, Tao; Zhang, Xuelei; Yang, Hongsheng

    2017-01-01

    Artificial reef is considered as a useful tool to remodel habitats in coastal and estuarine area. Some artificial reefs (ARs) were conducted in Shandong Peninsula for sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA). Little is known about the main feeding type and food resources of living organisms in this IMTA ecosystem. Neither is the information about other animals competing food with A. japonicus. Functional group (FG) and their food resources of mobile organisms and epifauna in ARs area were investigated. There were three types of food resources and five FGs within two trophic levels in studied area. Particle organic matter (POM), seaweed detritus and sediment were considered to be the main food resources. The first three FGs were primary consumers and were mainly epifauna, while the other two FGs were secondary consumers. FG 1 species were filter feeders, and group 2 was all deposit feeders and A. japonicus was in this group. FG 2 contained few species and this indicated that A. japonicus had few food competitors. FG 3 contained most epifauna species which were detritus feeders and this result implied that the artificial oyster shell reed can retain detritus effectively. The food sources of group 4 were complex. Species of group 5, mostly fish, occupied the top trophic level and fed primarily on species of FG 1 and FG 2. This kind of ARs can retain detritus effectively and provide suitable habitat to epifauna and surrounding natural fauna community.

  6. Monitoring of Coral Reef Ecosystems on Maui, Hawaii during 1989-1998 (NODC Accession 9900242)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — In an effort to detect spatial and temporal changes in the structure of the coral reef community, coral coverage and reef fish density and diversity were documented...

  7. Status of coral reefs in South Asia: Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Sri Lanka

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Rajasuriya, A.; Zahir, H.; Muley, E.V.; Subramanian, B.R.; Venkataraman, K.; Wafar, M.V.M.; Khan, S.M.M.H.; Whittingham, E.

    only around St. Martin's Island. Pakistan has poorly developed scattered reef communities. Natural disturbances and the lack of management of human activities continue to cause widespread damage to coral reefs in the region. In general, legal...

  8. Pacific oyster culture in British Columbia

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Quayle, D. B; Quayle, Daniel Branch

    1988-01-01

    .... Harvesting, processing, and storage methods are described. The problems of Pacific oyster culture include industrial and sewage pollution, paralytic shellfish poisoning along with predators and disease...

  9. The impact of suspended oyster farming on nitrogen cycling and nitrous oxide production in a sub-tropical Australian estuary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erler, Dirk V.; Welsh, David T.; Bennet, William W.; Meziane, Tarik; Hubas, Cédric; Nizzoli, Daniele; Ferguson, Angus J. P.

    2017-06-01

    In this study we quantified nitrate (NO3-) reduction (denitrification, anammox and DNRA) and N2O production in sediments and epibiont communities associated with Sydney Rock Oyster (Saccostrea glomerata) farming. In sediments beneath an active suspended oyster farm, DNRA accounted for 98% of NO3- reduction with rates of up to 169 ± 45 μmol N m-2 h-1. Much of this DNRA was fuelled by NO3- derived from nitrification. Reference sediments had significantly lower DNRA rates of 83.8 ± 28.2 μmol N m-2 h-1, however this constituted 96% of the sites total NO3- reduction. Fatty acid analysis showed that sediment organic matter was more labile in the oyster impacted sediments, facilitating subtle shifts in sediment oxygen demand which increased the Fe2+ availability with respect to the reference sediments. The difference in DNRA rate between the sites was attributed to autotrophic oxidation of soluble Fe2+ in sediments underlying the oyster cultures. DNRA was absent in the oyster shell epibiont communities and rates of anammox and denitrification were lower than in the sediments. Production of NH4+ from the oysters and their associated epibionts was larger than DNRA and reached a rate of 206.2 μmol N m-2 h-1. Nitrous oxide production rates were generally low compared to other aquaculture systems and the net flux of N2O for the combined oyster cultivation system (i.e. sediments plus epibionts) was negative, i.e. there was N2O consumption in the sediments beneath the oysters. Overall, subtropical suspended oyster farming systems favour inorganic N retention over N loss.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E Charlotte E Kvennefors

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

  11. The hot oyster: levels of virulent Vibrio parahaemolyticus strains in individual oysters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Savannah L; Lovell, Charles R

    2017-02-01

    Vibrio parahaemolyticus is the leading cause of seafood-associated gastroenteritis and is most commonly transmitted by raw oysters. Consequently, detection of virulent strains of this organism in oysters is a primary concern for seafood safety. Vibrio parahaemolyticus levels were determined in 110 individual oysters harvested from two sampling sites in SC, USA. The majority of oysters (98%) contained low levels of presumptive V. parahaemolyticus However, two healthy oysters contained presumptive V. parahaemolyticus numbers that were unusually high. These two 'hot' oysters contained levels of presumptive V. parahaemolyticus within the gills that were ∼100-fold higher than the average for other oysters collected at the same date and location. Current V. parahaemolyticus detection practices require homogenizing a dozen oysters pooled together to determine V. parahaemolyticus numbers, a procedure that would dilute out V. parahaemolyticus in these 'hot' oysters. This study demonstrates the variability of V. parahaemolyticus densities taken from healthy, neighboring individual oysters in the environment. Additionally, environmental V parahaemolyticus isolates were screened for the virulence-related genes, tdh and trh, using improved polymerase chain reaction primers and protocols. We detected these genes, previously thought to be rare in environmental isolates, in approximately half of the oyster isolates. © FEMS 2016. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  12. Reef sharks: recent advances in ecological understanding to inform conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osgood, G J; Baum, J K

    2015-12-01

    Sharks are increasingly being recognized as important members of coral-reef communities, but their overall conservation status remains uncertain. Nine of the 29 reef-shark species are designated as data deficient in the IUCN Red List, and three-fourths of reef sharks had unknown population trends at the time of their assessment. Fortunately, reef-shark research is on the rise. This new body of research demonstrates reef sharks' high site restriction, fidelity and residency on coral reefs, their broad trophic roles connecting reef communities and their high population genetic structure, all information that should be useful for their management and conservation. Importantly, recent studies on the abundance and population trends of the three classic carcharhinid reef sharks (grey reef shark Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos, blacktip reef shark Carcharhinus melanopterus and whitetip reef shark Triaenodon obesus) may contribute to reassessments identifying them as more vulnerable than currently realized. Because over half of the research effort has focused on only these three reef sharks and the nurse shark Ginglymostoma cirratum in only a few locales, there remain large taxonomic and geographic gaps in reef-shark knowledge. As such, a large portion of reef-shark biodiversity remains uncharacterized despite needs for targeted research identified in their red list assessments. A research agenda for the future should integrate abundance, life history, trophic ecology, genetics, habitat use and movement studies, and expand the breadth of such research to understudied species and localities, in order to better understand the conservation requirements of these species and to motivate effective conservation solutions. © 2015 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. 21 CFR 161.130 - Oysters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... water. Before packing into the containers for shipment or other delivery for consumption the oysters are... FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) FOOD FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION FISH AND SHELLFISH Requirements for Specific Standardized Fish and Shellfish § 161.130 Oysters. (a...

  16. Cryptic Coral Reef Diversity Across the Pacific Assessed using Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures and Multi-omic Methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ransome, E. J.; Timmers, M.; Hartmann, A.; Collins, A.; Meyer, C.

    2016-02-01

    Coral reefs harbor diverse and distinct eukaryotic, bacterial and viral communities, which are critically important for their success. The lack of standardized measures for comprehensively assessing reef diversity has been a major obstacle in understanding the complexity of eukaryotic and microbial associations, and the processes that drive ecosystem shifts on reefs. ARMS, which mimic the structural complexity of the reef using artificial settlement plates, were used to systematically measure reef biodiversity across the Indo-Pacific. This device allows for standardized sampling of reef microbes to metazoans, providing the opportunity to investigate the fundamental links between these groups at an ecosystem level. We integrate the use of traditional ecology methods with metagenomics and metabolomics (metabolic predictors) to quantify the taxonomic composition of one of the planet's most diverse ecosystems and to assess the fundamental links between these cryptic communities and ecosystem function along geographical and anthropogenic stress gradients.

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  1. Sensitivity of oysters (Crassostrea Brasiliana) to radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mattiolo Marchese, S.R.; Mastro, N.L. del

    1997-01-01

    Various foods including oysters, crabs and shrimps have been shown to be possible transmitters of Vibrio ssp. Irradiation of sea-foods is being considered an alternative to intervention measures in Public Health against food borne diseases. The aim of this work was to establish, the radiation resistance of the oysters Crassostrea brasiliana. The oysters were irradiated with Co-60 radiation with doses of 0, 1.5, 3 and 6 kGy. Survival curves as a function of time showed that 100% of the oysters irradiated with doses of 3 kGy survived at least 6 days. 100% those irradiated with 6 kGy survived 3 days. The obtained results are auspicious considering that a dose of 2 kGy is already effective in the diminishing of the microbial load on oysters. (author)

  2. Sensory and Chemical Characteristics of Eastern Oysters(Crassostrea virginica)

    OpenAIRE

    Chen, Luman

    2011-01-01

    Eastern Oysters, or Crassostrea virginica, are an important dietary component in the Chesapeake region and have supported a major fishery in the Chesapeake for more than 100 years. Virginia oysters do not always receive attention in up-scale markets. It is possible that the lack of information on sensory characteristics of Chesapeake oysters may contribute to this problem. In order to differentiate Chesapeake oysters from other oysters, a descriptive sensory test (n=8) was conducted and chemi...

  3. In four shallow and mesophotic tropical reef sponges from Guam the microbial community largely depends on host identity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Steinert, Georg; Taylor, Michael W.; Deines, Peter; Simister, Rachel L.; Voogd, De Nicole J.; Hoggard, Michael; Schupp, Peter J.

    2016-01-01

    Sponges (phylum Porifera) are important members of almost all aquatic ecosystems, and are renowned for hosting often dense and diverse microbial communities. While the specificity of the sponge microbiota seems to be closely related to host phylogeny, the environmental factors that could shape

  4. Environmental factors responsible for the incidence of antibiotic resistance genes in pristine Crassostrea virginica reefs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barkovskii, Andrei L.; Thomas, Michael; Hurley, Dorset; Teems, Clifford

    2012-01-01

    Highlights: ► Estuary was the major source of antibiotic resistance genes (ARG) for tidal creeks. ► Watersheds were the secondary source of ARG for tidal creeks. ► Watershed contribution corresponded to the degree of its anthropogenic disturbance. ► ARG in tidal creeks were carried by native hosts preferring low termohaline niches. ► ARG incidence was the highest in oysters implying ARG bioaccumulation/proliferation. - Abstract: The occurrence of tetracycline resistance (TRG) and integrase (INT) genes were monitored in Crassostrea virginica oyster reefs of three pristine creeks (SINERR, Georgia, USA). Their profiles revealed 85% similarity with the TRG/INT profiles observed in the adjacent to the SINERR and contaminated Altamaha River estuary (Barkovskii et al., 2010). The TRG/INT spectra and incidence frequencies corresponded to the source of oceanic input and to run-offs from creeks’ watersheds. The highest incidence frequencies and concentrations were observed in oysters. TRG/INT incidences correlated positively (Spearman Rank = 0.88), and negatively correlated (−0.63 to −0.79) with creek salinity, conductivity, dissolved solids, and temperature. Coliform incidence positively correlated with temperature, and not with the TRG/INT incidence. The Altamaha River estuary was the primary TRG/INT source for the reefs with contributions from creek’s watersheds. TRG/INT were carried by non-coliforms with a preference for low-to-temperate thermohaline environments coupled with bioaccumulation by oysters.

  5. Uptake of cadmium from Pacific oysters (Crassostrea gigas) in British Columbia oyster growers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Copes, Ray; Clark, Nina Annika; Rideout, Karen; Palaty, Jan; Teschke, Kay

    2008-01-01

    Background: Pacific oysters along the North American coast from Washington to Alaska contain concentrations of cadmium (Cd) that are high by comparison with Atlantic oysters, frequently exceeding 2 μg/g wet weight, but it is unclear whether this Cd is absorbed by consumers. Objectives: To determine the effect of oyster consumption on Cd in blood and urine among a group with high oyster consumption. Methods: Sixty-one non-smoking oyster growers and family members with a mean age of 47.3±7.6 years (range 33-64) were interviewed by telephone to assess their oyster consumption and other sources of Cd exposure at present and 5 years prior to the start of oyster farming. Their blood and urine Cd concentrations were measured. Results: The geometric mean Cd concentration in blood was 0.83 μg/L and in urine was 0.76 μg/g creatinine. Thirty-six percent of participants had urinary Cd levels above 1 μg/g creatinine and 5% were above 2 μg/g creatinine. Recent (last 12 months) and long-term oyster consumptions were positive predictors of blood Cd but did not directly predict urinary Cd. The optimal model for predicting the variance in blood Cd included recent intake of oyster-derived Cd, serum iron concentration and recent ketchup consumption (R 2 =0.34, p=0.00004), with the latter two variables showing a protective effect. The factors found to predict urinary Cd were blood Cd concentration and duration of oyster farming. A rise in blood Cd was observed after 12 years of farming oysters, likely caused by higher consumption of oysters during this period. Conclusions: Oyster-derived Cd is bioavailable and affects body stores of the metal

  6. In situ coral reef oxygen metabolism: an eddy correlation study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew H Long

    Full Text Available Quantitative studies of coral reefs are challenged by the three-dimensional hard structure of reefs and the high spatial variability and temporal dynamics of their metabolism. We used the non-invasive eddy correlation technique to examine respiration and photosynthesis rates, through O2 fluxes, from reef crests and reef slopes in the Florida Keys, USA. We assessed how the photosynthesis and respiration of different reef habitats is controlled by light and hydrodynamics. Numerous fluxes (over a 0.25 h period were as high as 4500 mmol O2 m(-2 d(-1, which can only be explained by efficient light utilization by the phototrophic community and the complex canopy structure of the reef, having a many-fold larger surface area than its horizontal projection. Over diel cycles, the reef crest was net autotrophic, whereas on the reef slope oxygen production and respiration were balanced. The autotrophic nature of the shallow reef crests implies that the export of organics is an important source of primary production for the larger area. Net oxygen production on the reef crest was proportional to the light intensity, up to 1750 µmol photons m(-2 s(-1 and decreased thereafter as respiration was stimulated by high current velocities coincident with peak light levels. Nighttime respiration rates were also stimulated by the current velocity, through enhanced ventilation of the porous framework of the reef. Respiration rates were the highest directly after sunset, and then decreased during the night suggesting that highly labile photosynthates produced during the day fueled early-night respiration. The reef framework was also important to the acquisition of nutrients as the ambient nitrogen stock in the water had sufficient capacity to support these high production rates across the entire reef width. These direct measurements of complex reefs systems yielded high metabolic rates and dynamics that can only be determined through in situ, high temporal resolution

  7. The effectiveness of coral reefs for coastal hazard risk reduction and adaptation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrario, Filippo; Beck, Michael W.; Storlazzi, Curt D.; Micheli, Fiorenza; Shepard, Christine C.; Airoldi, Laura

    2014-01-01

    The world’s coastal zones are experiencing rapid development and an increase in storms and flooding. These hazards put coastal communities at heightened risk, which may increase with habitat loss. Here we analyse globally the role and cost effectiveness of coral reefs in risk reduction. Meta-analyses reveal that coral reefs provide substantial protection against natural hazards by reducing wave energy by an average of 97%. Reef crests alone dissipate most of this energy (86%). There are 100 million or more people who may receive risk reduction benefits from reefs or bear hazard mitigation and adaptation costs if reefs are degraded. We show that coral reefs can provide comparable wave attenuation benefits to artificial defences such as breakwaters, and reef defences can be enhanced cost effectively. Reefs face growing threats yet there is opportunity to guide adaptation and hazard mitigation investments towards reef restoration to strengthen this first line of coastal defence.

  8. Extinction vulnerability of coral reef fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, Nicholas A J; Chabanet, Pascale; Evans, Richard D; Jennings, Simon; Letourneur, Yves; Aaron Macneil, M; McClanahan, Tim R; Ohman, Marcus C; Polunin, Nicholas V C; Wilson, Shaun K

    2011-04-01

    With rapidly increasing rates of contemporary extinction, predicting extinction vulnerability and identifying how multiple stressors drive non-random species loss have become key challenges in ecology. These assessments are crucial for avoiding the loss of key functional groups that sustain ecosystem processes and services. We developed a novel predictive framework of species extinction vulnerability and applied it to coral reef fishes. Although relatively few coral reef fishes are at risk of global extinction from climate disturbances, a negative convex relationship between fish species locally vulnerable to climate change vs. fisheries exploitation indicates that the entire community is vulnerable on the many reefs where both stressors co-occur. Fishes involved in maintaining key ecosystem functions are more at risk from fishing than climate disturbances. This finding is encouraging as local and regional commitment to fisheries management action can maintain reef ecosystem functions pending progress towards the more complex global problem of stabilizing the climate. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  9. 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

  10. Feeding traits of the European flat oyster, Ostrea edulis, and the invasive Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Mette; Hansen, Benni Winding; Vismann, Bent

    2017-01-01

    Two oysters, the native flat oyster, Ostrea edulis, and the non-indigenous Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas, have partially overlapping distributions in European waters. Relatively little is known about particle selection by O. edulis, and the goal of the present study was to establish baselines...... for particle selection by both oyster species under controlled conditions in the laboratory. The study was carried out with adult oysters of similar shell size collected in the Limfjord estuary, Denmark (56°47′N, 08°51′E), in November 2011. The feeding traits of both species [clearance rate (CR), retention...... efficiency (RE) and lower threshold for clearance (LTC)] were compared using five algal species with different cell sizes (5−32 µm ESD) (Isochrysis galbana, Rhodomonas salina, Thalassiosira weissflogii, Prorocentrum micans and Akashiwo sanguinea). Oysters were acclimated to an experimental temperature of 22...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Fishing down the largest coral reef fish species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fenner, Douglas

    2014-07-15

    Studies on remote, uninhabited, near-pristine reefs have revealed surprisingly large populations of large reef fish. Locations such as the northwestern Hawaiian Islands, northern Marianas Islands, Line Islands, U.S. remote Pacific Islands, Cocos-Keeling Atoll and Chagos archipelago have much higher reef fish biomass than islands and reefs near people. Much of the high biomass of most remote reef fish communities lies in the largest species, such as sharks, bumphead parrots, giant trevally, and humphead wrasse. Some, such as sharks and giant trevally, are apex predators, but others such as bumphead parrots and humphead wrasse, are not. At many locations, decreases in large reef fish species have been attributed to fishing. Fishing is well known to remove the largest fish first, and a quantitative measure of vulnerability to fishing indicates that large reef fish species are much more vulnerable to fishing than small fish. The removal of large reef fish by fishing parallels the extinction of terrestrial megafauna by early humans. However large reef fish have great value for various ecological roles and for reef tourism. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  14. Interoceanic differences in the reproduction of coral-reef fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thresher, R E

    1982-10-01

    Eggs of demersal spawning coral-reef fishes of the tropical western Atlantic are smaller than those of related species in the western Pacific. Decreased egg volume may result in increased fecundity per unit body weight of Atlantic species, a factor that may underlie apparent differences in the stability of the respective coral-reef fish communities.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

    With the ongoing loss of coral cover and the associated flattening of reef architecture, understanding the links between coral habitat and reef fishes is of critical importance. Here, we investigate whether considering coral traits and functional diversity provides new insights into the relationship between structural complexity and reef fish communities, and whether coral traits and community composition can predict structural complexity. Across 157 sites in Seychelles, Maldives, the Chagos Archipelago, and Australia's Great Barrier Reef, we find that structural complexity and reef zone are the strongest and most consistent predictors of reef fish abundance, biomass, species richness, and trophic structure. However, coral traits, diversity, and life histories provided additional predictive power for models of reef fish assemblages, and were key drivers of structural complexity. Our findings highlight that reef complexity relies on living corals—with different traits and life histories—continuing to build carbonate skeletons, and that these nuanced relationships between coral assemblages and habitat complexity can affect the structure of reef fish assemblages. Seascape-level estimates of structural complexity are rapid and cost effective with important implications for the structure and function of fish assemblages, and should be incorporated into monitoring programs.

  16. Change in algal symbiont communities after bleaching, not prior heat exposure, increases heat tolerance of reef corals.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    Mutualistic organisms can be particularly susceptible to climate change stress, as their survivorship is often limited by the most vulnerable partner. However, symbiotic plasticity can also help organisms in changing environments by expanding their realized niche space. Coral-algal (Symbiodinium spp.) symbiosis exemplifies this dichotomy: the partnership is highly susceptible to 'bleaching' (stress-induced symbiosis breakdown), but stress-tolerant symbionts can also sometimes mitigate bleaching. Here, we investigate the role of diverse and mutable symbiotic partnerships in increasing corals' ability to thrive in high temperature conditions. We conducted repeat bleaching and recovery experiments on the coral Montastraea cavernosa, and used quantitative PCR and chlorophyll fluorometry to assess the structure and function of Symbiodinium communities within coral hosts. During an initial heat exposure (32 °C for 10 days), corals hosting only stress-sensitive symbionts (Symbiodinium C3) bleached, but recovered (at either 24 °C or 29 °C) with predominantly (>90%) stress-tolerant symbionts (Symbiodinium D1a), which were not detected before bleaching (either due to absence or extreme low abundance). When a second heat stress (also 32 °C for 10 days) was applied 3 months later, corals that previously bleached and were now dominated by D1a Symbiodinium experienced less photodamage and symbiont loss compared to control corals that had not been previously bleached, and were therefore still dominated by Symbiodinium C3. Additional corals that were initially bleached without heat by a herbicide (DCMU, at 24 °C) also recovered predominantly with D1a symbionts, and similarly lost fewer symbionts during subsequent thermal stress. Increased thermotolerance was also not observed in C3-dominated corals that were acclimated for 3 months to warmer temperatures (29 °C) before heat stress. These findings indicate that increased thermotolerance post-bleaching resulted from

  17. Diving down the reefs? Intensive diving tourism threatens the reefs of the northern Red Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hasler, Harald; Ott, Jörg A

    2008-10-01

    Intensive recreational SCUBA diving threatens coral reef ecosystems. The reefs at Dahab, South Sinai, Egypt, are among the world's most dived (>30,000 dives y(-1)). We compared frequently dived sites to sites with no or little diving. Benthic communities and condition of corals were examined by the point intercept sampling method in the reef crest zone (3m) and reef slope zone (12 m). Additionally, the abundance of corallivorous and herbivorous fish was estimated based on the visual census method. Sediments traps recorded the sedimentation rates caused by SCUBA divers. Zones subject 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 broken colonies were branching ones. No effect of diving on the abundance of corallivorous and herbivorous fish was evident. At heavily used dive sites, diver-related sedimentation rates significantly decreased with increasing distance from the entrance, indicating poor buoyancy regulation at the initial phase of the dive. The results show a high negative impact of current SCUBA diving intensities on coral communities and coral condition. Corallivorous and herbivorous fishes are apparently not yet affected, but are endangered if coral cover decline continues. Reducing the number of dives per year, ecologically sustainable dive plans for individual sites, and reinforcing the environmental education of both dive guides and recreational divers are essential to conserve the ecological and the aesthetic qualities of these dive sites.

  18. High refuge availability on coral reefs increases the vulnerability of reef-associated predators to overexploitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, Alice; Blanchard, Julia L; Newman, Steven P; Dryden, Charlie S; Mumby, Peter J

    2018-02-01

    Refuge availability and fishing alter predator-prey interactions on coral reefs, but our understanding of how they interact to drive food web dynamics, community structure and vulnerability of different trophic groups is unclear. Here, we apply a size-based ecosystem model of coral reefs, parameterized with empirical measures of structural complexity, to predict fish biomass, productivity and community structure in reef ecosystems under a broad range of refuge availability and fishing regimes. In unfished ecosystems, the expected positive correlation between reef structural complexity and biomass emerges, but a non-linear effect of predation refuges is observed for the productivity of predatory fish. Reefs with intermediate complexity have the highest predator productivity, but when refuge availability is high and prey are less available, predator growth rates decrease, with significant implications for fisheries. Specifically, as fishing intensity increases, predators in habitats with high refuge availability exhibit vulnerability to over-exploitation, resulting in communities dominated by herbivores. Our study reveals mechanisms for threshold dynamics in predators living in complex habitats and elucidates how predators can be food-limited when most of their prey are able to hide. We also highlight the importance of nutrient recycling via the detrital pathway, to support high predator biomasses on coral reefs. © 2018 by the Ecological Society of America.

  19. Spatial genetic features of eastern oysters (Crassostrea virginica Gmelin) in the Gulf of Mexico: northward movement of a secondary contact zone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Joel D; Karel, William J; Mace, Christopher E; Bartram, Brian L; Hare, Matthew P

    2014-05-01

    The eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica Gmelin) is an economically and ecologically valuable marine bivalve occurring in the Gulf of Mexico. This study builds upon previous research that identified two divergent populations of eastern oysters in the western Gulf of Mexico. Allelic and genotypic patterns from 11 microsatellite markers were used to assess genetic structure and migration between the previously described oyster populations in Texas. The main findings are as follows: (1) there are two distinct populations (F ST = 0.392, P turbidity and depth are not correlated with allele frequencies on reefs in the contact zone or when analyzed across Texas, and (4) there is little evidence of directional selection acting on the loci assayed here, although patterns at four markers suggested the influence of balancing selection based on outlier analyses. These results are consistent with long-term historical isolation between populations, followed by secondary contact. Recent hydrological changes in the area of secondary contact may be promoting migration in areas that were previously inhospitable to eastern oysters, and observed differences in the timing of spawning may limit hybridization between populations. Comparison of these findings with the results of an earlier study of oysters in Texas suggests that the secondary contact zone has shifted approximately 27 km north, in as little as a 23-year span.

  20. Norwalk virus gastroenteritis following raw oyster consumption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gunn, R A; Janowski, H T; Lieb, S; Prather, E C; Greenberg, H B

    1982-03-01

    In January, 1980, six out of 13 persons (46%) attending a party in a small northwest Florida town near the Gulf of Mexico became ill with Norwalk virus gastroenteritis after eating raw oysters. Symptoms experienced by the ill persons were principally nausea (100%), vomiting (83%) and diarrhea (50%) and were of brief duration. The symptom complex and epidemiology of Norwalk virus infection closely resemble the gastrointestinal illness commonly referred to as the 24-hour intestinal flu or "stomach flu." Norwalk virus infection was identified in this outbreak by application of a recently developed sensitive and specific serologic radioimmunoassay. Oysters from the incriminated batch had fecal coliform levels above recommended standards; however, recent studies of oyster-harvesting waters have shown only a weak correlation between fecal coliforms and the presence of enteric viruses. Further studies are needed to determine whether modifications of monitoring modalities for oyster-harvesting waters are needed.

  1. Survival of Salmonella Newport in oysters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrison, Christopher M; Armstrong, Alexandra E; Evans, Sanford; Mild, Rita M; Langdon, Christopher J; Joens, Lynn A

    2011-08-02

    Salmonella enterica is the leading cause of laboratory-confirmed foodborne illness in the United States and raw shellfish consumption is a commonly implicated source of gastrointestinal pathogens. A 2005 epidemiological study done in our laboratory by Brands et al., showed that oysters in the United States are contaminated with Salmonella, and in particular, a specific strain of the Newport serovar. This work sought to further investigate the host-microbe interactions between Salmonella Newport and oysters. A procedure was developed to reliably and repeatedly expose oysters to enteric bacteria and quantify the subsequent levels of bacterial survival. The results show that 10 days after an exposure to Salmonella Newport, an average concentration of 3.7 × 10(3)CFU/g remains within the oyster meat, and even after 60 days there still can be more than 10(2)CFU/g remaining. However, the strain of Newport that predominated in the market survey done by Brands et al. does not survive within oysters or the estuarine environment better than any other strains of Salmonella we tested. Using this same methodology, we compared Salmonella Newport's ability to survive within oysters to a non-pathogenic strain of E. coli and found that after 10 days the concentration of Salmonella was 200-times greater than that of E. coli. We also compared those same strains of Salmonella and E. coli in a depuration process to determine if a constant 120 L/h flux of clean seawater could significantly reduce the concentration of bacteria within oysters and found that after 3 days the oysters retained over 10(4)CFU/g of Salmonella while the oysters exposed to the non-pathogenic strain of E. coli contained 100-times less bacteria. Overall, the results of this study demonstrate that any of the clinically relevant serovars of Salmonella can survive within oysters for significant periods of time after just one exposure event. Based on the drastic differences in survivability between Salmonella and a non

  2. Immunochromatographic assay of cadmium levels in oysters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishi, Kosuke; Kim, In-Hae; Itai, Takaaki; Sugahara, Takuya; Takeyama, Haruko; Ohkawa, Hideo

    2012-08-15

    Oysters are one of foodstuffs containing a relatively high amount of cadmium. Here we report on establishment of an immunochromatographic assay (ICA) method of cadmium levels in oysters. Cadmium was extracted with 0.l mol L(-1) HCl from oysters and cleaned up from other metals by the use of an anion-exchange column. The behavior of five metals Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn, and Cd was monitored at each step of extraction and clean-up procedure for the ICA method in an inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) analysis. The results revealed that a simple extraction method with the HCl solution was efficient enough to extract almost all of cadmium from oysters. Clean-up with an anion-exchange column presented almost no loss of cadmium adsorbed on the column and an efficient removal of metals other than cadmium. When a spiked recovery test was performed in the ICA method, the recovery ranged from 98% to 112% with relative standard deviations between 5.9% and 9.2%. The measured values of cadmium in various oyster samples in the ICA method were favorably correlated with those in ICP-MS analysis (r(2)=0.97). Overall results indicate that the ICA method established in the present study is an adequate and reliable detection method for cadmium levels in oysters. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Thermoluminescence analysis of irradiated oyster shells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cruz-Zaragoza, E.; Marcazzó, J.; Della Monaca, S.; Boniglia, C.; Gargiulo, R.; Bortolin, E.

    2012-01-01

    This paper reports the thermoluminescence (TL) analysis performed on the oyster shells powder. TL response of 60 Co gamma-rays irradiated samples were studied in the range from 80 Gy to 8 kGy doses. TL signal of irradiated shell powder was higher as compared to the unirradiated control samples, which allowed to identify the irradiated oysters. Results show that the oyster shells have good TL properties and can be useful for the identification of irradiated seafood as well as for the evaluation of the treatment dose. - Highlights: ► TL properties of irradiated oyster shell powder were studied. ► The SEM analysis shows that several elements are present in oyster shell powder. ► Calcite is the main component in the samples and β-calcite is also present. ► Following the European Standard EN 1788, the irradiated oyster can be identified. ► Determination of absorbed dose is possible by performing a preheat treatment.

  4. Effect of oyster mushroom ( Pleurotus ostreatus ) mycelia on ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Effect of oyster mushroom ( Pleurotus ostreatus ) mycelia on petroleum ... of chains of hydrocarbon in a petroleum-hydrocarbon-contaminated substrate over time. ... Keywords: Mycoremediation, Mycelia, Contaminated Soil, Oyster Mushroom ...

  5. INFLUENCE OF ALTERED FRESHWATER FLOWS ON EASTERN OYSTERS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abstract for National Shellfisheries AssociationEastern oysters Crassostrea virginica are prominent in Gulf of Mexico estuaries. Valued both commercially and ecologically, oyster populations are threatened by human activity, including dredging, harvesting, and upstream al...

  6. Oyster mushroom (Pleurotus spp.) cultivation technique using re ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    SARAH

    2014-08-31

    Aug 31, 2014 ... using re-usable substrate containers and comparison of ... oyster mushrooms in combination with other vegetables complements availability of various essential ..... higher than from oyster mushrooms produced from any.

  7. Flat oysters in the Eierlandse Gat, Wadden Sea

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Have, van der T.M.; Kamermans, P.; Zee, van der E.M.

    2018-01-01

    This report presents the results of a short survey of flat oysters (Ostrea edulis) in the Western Wadden Sea. Ten sites were visited and flat oysters were found on nine locations in the Eijerlandse gat. Empty cockleshells and live and dead Pacific oysters provided the main settlement substrate. The

  8. Distribution and abundance of phytobenthic communities: Implications for connectivity and ecosystem functioning in a Black Sea Marine Protected Area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berov, Dimitar; Todorova, Valentina; Dimitrov, Lubomir; Rinde, Eli; Karamfilov, Ventzislav

    2018-01-01

    The distribution and abundance of macroalgal communities in a Marine Protected Area (MPA) along the Bulgarian Black Sea coast were mapped and quantified, with particular focus on the previously unstudied P. crispa lower-infralittoral communities on Ostrea edulis biogenic reefs. Data from high resolution geophysical substrate mapping were combined with benthic community observations from georeferenced benthic photographic surveys and sampling. Multivariate analysis identified four distinct assemblages of lower-infralittoral macroalgal communities at depths between 10 and 17 m, dominated by Phyllophora crispa, Apoglossum ruscifoluim, Zanardinia typus and Gelidium spp. Maxent software analysis showed distinct preferences of the identified communities to areas with specific ranges of depth, inclination and curvature, with P. crispa more frequently occurring on vertical oyster biogenic reef structures. By combining production rates from literature, biomass measurements and the produced habitat maps, the highest proportion of primary production and DOC release was shown for the upper infralittoral Cystoseira barbata and Cystoseira bosphorica, followed by the production of the lower-infralittoral macroalgae. The observed distribution of P. crispa within the studied MPA was related to the network of Natura 2000 maritime MPAs along the Bulgarian Black Sea coast, which indicated that the connectivity of the populations of the species within the established network is insufficient within this cell of ecosystem functioning.

  9. Coral reefs of the turbid inner-shelf of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia: An environmental and geomorphic perspective on their occurrence, composition and growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Browne, N. K.; Smithers, S. G.; Perry, C. T.

    2012-10-01

    Investigations of the geomorphic and sedimentary context in which turbid zone reefs exist, both in the modern and fossil reef record, can inform key ecological debates regarding species tolerances and adaptability to elevated turbidity and sedimentation. Furthermore, these investigations can address critical geological and palaeoecological questions surrounding longer-term coral-sediment interactions and reef growth histories. Here we review current knowledge about turbid zone reefs from the inner-shelf regions of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) in Australia to consider these issues and to evaluate reef growth in the period prior to and post European settlement. We also consider the future prospects of these reefs under reported changing water quality regimes. Turbid zone reefs on the GBR are relatively well known compared to those in other reef regions. They occur within 20 km of the mainland coast where reef development may be influenced by continual or episodic terrigenous sediment inputs, fluctuating salinities (24-36 ppt), and reduced water quality through increased nutrient and pollutant delivery from urban and agricultural runoff. Individually, and in synergy, these environmental conditions are widely viewed as unfavourable for sustained and vigorous coral reef growth, and thus these reefs are widely perceived as marginal compared to clear water reef systems. However, recent research has revealed that this view is misleading, and that in fact many turbid zone reefs in this region are resilient, exhibit relatively high live coral cover (> 30%) and have distinctive community assemblages dominated by fast growing (Acropora, Montipora) and/or sediment tolerant species (Turbinaria, Goniopora, Galaxea, Porites). Palaeoecological reconstructions based on the analysis of reef cores show that community assemblages are relatively stable at millennial timescales, and that many reefs are actively accreting (average 2-7 mm/year) where accommodation space is available

  10. Pyrosequencing Analysis of Norovirus Genogroup II Distribution in Sewage and Oysters: First Detection of GII.17 Kawasaki 2014 in Oysters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pu, Jian; Kazama, Shinobu; Miura, Takayuki; Azraini, Nabila Dhyan; Konta, Yoshimitsu; Ito, Hiroaki; Ueki, You; Cahyaningrum, Ermaya Eka; Omura, Tatsuo; Watanabe, Toru

    2016-12-01

    Norovirus GII.3, GII.4, and GII.17 were detected using pyrosequencing in sewage and oysters in January and February 2015, in Japan. The strains in sewage and oyster samples were genetically identical or similar, predominant strains belonging to GII.17 Kawasaki 2014 lineage. This is the first report of GII.17 Kawasaki 2014 in oysters.

  11. 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.

  12. Collapse of a historic oyster fishery: diagnosing causes and identifying paths toward increased resilience

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edward V. Camp

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Diagnosing causal factors of change at the ecosystem level is challenging because multiple drivers often interact at various spatial and temporal scales. We employ an integrated natural and social science approach to assess potential mechanisms leading to the collapse of an estuarine social-ecological system, and recommend future paths to increased system resilience. Our case study is the collapse of the eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica fishery in Apalachicola Bay, Florida, USA, and the associated impacts on local resource dependent communities. The oyster fishery collapse is the most recent in a series of environmental stressors to this region, which have included hurricanes and tropical storms, drought, and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. We found it likely that the oyster collapse was not related to contamination from the recent oil spill, but rather to factors affecting oyster recruitment and survival, which may have been mediated by both human, e.g., fishing-related habitat alteration, and environmental, e.g., increased natural mortality from predators and disease, factors. The relative impact of each of these factors is likely to increase in the future because of changing climate and increased demand for fishery, water, and petroleum resources. Successful restoration and persistence of a viable oyster fishery will depend on: (1 implementation of some minimal best management practices, e.g., extensive habitat restoration via shell addition, and some spatial closures to harvest, (2 improving environmental knowledge and promoting episodic learning through enhanced monitoring and experimental management, and (3 continued community engagement necessary to produce adaptable governance suitable to responding to future unexpected challenges.

  13. Prevalence of Salmonella spp. in Oysters in the United States

    OpenAIRE

    Brands, Danielle A.; Inman, Allison E.; Gerba, Charles P.; Maré, C. John; Billington, Stephen J.; Saif, Linda A.; Levine, Jay F.; Joens, Lynn A.

    2005-01-01

    Food-borne diseases such as salmonellosis can be attributed, in part, to the consumption of raw oysters. To determine the prevalence of Salmonella spp. in oysters, oysters harvested from 36 U.S. bays (12 each from the West, East, and Gulf coasts in the summer of 2002, and 12 bays, four per coast, in the winter of 2002-2003) were tested. Salmonella was isolated from oysters from each coast of the United States, and 7.4% of all oysters tested contained Salmonella. Isolation tended to be bay spe...

  14. Climate-driven coral reorganisation influences aggressive behaviour in juvenile coral-reef fishes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kok, Judith E.; Graham, Nicholas A. J.; Hoogenboom, Mia O.

    2016-06-01

    Globally, habitat degradation is altering the abundance and diversity of species in a variety of ecosystems. This study aimed to determine how habitat degradation, in terms of changing coral composition under climate change, affected abundance, species richness and aggressive behaviour of juveniles of three damselfishes ( Pomacentrus moluccensis, P. amboinensis and Dischistodus perspicillatus, in order of decreasing reliance on coral). Patch reefs were constructed to simulate two types of reefs: present-day reefs that are vulnerable to climate-induced coral bleaching, and reefs with more bleaching-robust coral taxa, thereby simulating the likely future of coral reefs under a warming climate. Fish communities were allowed to establish naturally on the reefs during the summer recruitment period. Climate-robust reefs had lower total species richness of coral-reef fishes than climate-vulnerable reefs, but total fish abundance was not significantly different between reef types (pooled across all species and life-history stages). The nature of aggressive interactions, measured as the number of aggressive chases, varied according to coral composition; on climate-robust reefs, juveniles used the substratum less often to avoid aggression from competitors, and interspecific aggression became relatively more frequent than intraspecific aggression for juveniles of the coral-obligate P. moluccensis. This study highlights the importance of coral composition as a determinant of behaviour and diversity of coral-reef fishes.

  15. Predicting climate-driven regime shifts versus rebound potential in coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, Nicholas A J; Jennings, Simon; MacNeil, M Aaron; Mouillot, David; Wilson, Shaun K

    2015-02-05

    Climate-induced coral bleaching is among the greatest current threats to coral reefs, causing widespread loss of live coral cover. Conditions under which reefs bounce back from bleaching events or shift from coral to algal dominance are unknown, making it difficult to predict and plan for differing reef responses under climate change. Here we document and predict long-term reef responses to a major climate-induced coral bleaching event that caused unprecedented region-wide mortality of Indo-Pacific corals. Following loss of >90% live coral cover, 12 of 21 reefs recovered towards pre-disturbance live coral states, while nine reefs underwent regime shifts to fleshy macroalgae. Functional diversity of associated reef fish communities shifted substantially following bleaching, returning towards pre-disturbance structure on recovering reefs, while becoming progressively altered on regime shifting reefs. We identified threshold values for a range of factors that accurately predicted ecosystem response to the bleaching event. Recovery was favoured when reefs were structurally complex and in deeper water, when density of juvenile corals and herbivorous fishes was relatively high and when nutrient loads were low. Whether reefs were inside no-take marine reserves had no bearing on ecosystem trajectory. Although conditions governing regime shift or recovery dynamics were diverse, pre-disturbance quantification of simple factors such as structural complexity and water depth accurately predicted ecosystem trajectories. These findings foreshadow the likely divergent but predictable outcomes for reef ecosystems in response to climate change, thus guiding improved management and adaptation.

  16. New directions in coral reef microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garren, Melissa; Azam, Farooq

    2012-04-01

    Microbial processes largely control the health and resilience of coral reef ecosystems, and new technologies have led to an exciting wave of discovery regarding the mechanisms by which microbial communities support the functioning of these incredibly diverse and valuable systems. There are three questions at the forefront of discovery: What mechanisms underlie coral reef health and resilience? How do environmental and anthropogenic pressures affect ecosystem function? What is the ecology of microbial diseases of corals? The goal is to understand the functioning of coral reefs as integrated systems from microbes and molecules to regional and ocean-basin scale ecosystems to enable accurate predictions of resilience and responses to perturbations such as climate change and eutrophication. This review outlines recent discoveries regarding the microbial ecology of different microenvironments within coral ecosystems, and highlights research directions that take advantage of new technologies to build a quantitative and mechanistic understanding of how coral health is connected through microbial processes to its surrounding environment. The time is ripe for natural resource managers and microbial ecologists to work together to create an integrated understanding of coral reef functioning. In the context of long-term survival and conservation of reefs, the need for this work is immediate. © 2011 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zarinah Waheed

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Influence of landscape structure on reef fish assemblages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grober-Dunsmore, R.; Frazer, T.K.; Beets, J.P.; Lindberg, W.J.; Zwick, P.; Funicelli, N.A.

    2008-01-01

    Management of tropical marine environments calls for interdisciplinary studies and innovative methodologies that consider processes occurring over broad spatial scales. We investigated relationships between landscape structure and reef fish assemblage structure in the US Virgin Islands. Measures of landscape structure were transformed into a reduced set of composite indices using principal component analyses (PCA) to synthesize data on the spatial patterning of the landscape structure of the study reefs. However, composite indices (e.g., habitat diversity) were not particularly informative for predicting reef fish assemblage structure. Rather, relationships were interpreted more easily when functional groups of fishes were related to individual habitat features. In particular, multiple reef fish parameters were strongly associated with reef context. Fishes responded to benthic habitat structure at multiple spatial scales, with various groups of fishes each correlated to a unique suite of variables. Accordingly, future experiments should be designed to test functional relationships based on the ecology of the organisms of interest. Our study demonstrates that landscape-scale habitat features influence reef fish communities, illustrating promise in applying a landscape ecology approach to better understand factors that structure coral reef ecosystems. Furthermore, our findings may prove useful in design of spatially-based conservation approaches such as marine protected areas (MPAs), because landscape-scale metrics may serve as proxies for areas with high species diversity and abundance within the coral reef landscape. ?? 2007 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  1. Sediments and herbivory as sensitive indicators of coral reef degradation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher H. R. Goatley

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Around the world, the decreasing health of coral reef ecosystems has highlighted the need to better understand the processes of reef degradation. The development of more sensitive tools, which complement traditional methods of monitoring coral reefs, may reveal earlier signs of degradation and provide an opportunity for pre-emptive responses. We identify new, sensitive metrics of ecosystem processes and benthic composition that allow us to quantify subtle, yet destabilizing, changes in the ecosystem state of an inshore coral reef on the Great Barrier Reef. Following severe climatic disturbances over the period 2011-2012, the herbivorous reef fish community of the reef did not change in terms of biomass or functional groups present. However, fish-based ecosystem processes showed marked changes, with grazing by herbivorous fishes declining by over 90%. On the benthos, algal turf lengths in the epilithic algal matrix increased more than 50% while benthic sediment loads increased 37-fold. The profound changes in processes, despite no visible change in ecosystem state, i.e., no shift to macroalgal dominance, suggest that although the reef has not undergone a visible regime-shift, the ecosystem is highly unstable, and may sit on an ecological knife-edge. Sensitive, process-based metrics of ecosystem state, such as grazing or browsing rates thus appear to be effective in detecting subtle signs of degradation and may be critical in identifying ecosystems at risk for the future.

  2. Coastal nutrification and coral health at Porto Seguro reefs, Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, O.; Attrill, M.; Nimmo, M.

    2003-04-01

    Human activities have substantially increased the natural flux of nutrients to coastal systems worldwide. In Brazilian reefs, all major stresses (sedimentation, overfishing, tourism-related activities and nutrification) are human induced. To assess nutrification levels in Brazilian coastal reefs, measurements of the distribution patterns of nutrients and chlorophyll concentrations were conducted in three nearshore and offshore reefs with distinct nutrient inputs along the south coast of Bahia State. Seawater and porewater samples were analysed for soluble reactive phosphorus, total oxidised nitrogen and reactive silica. Benthic surveys were performed at all sites to investigate the relationships between benthic community composition and nutrient and chlorophyll concentrations. Sampling was undertaken in dry and rainy seasons. Results of both seawater and porewater nutrient measurements revealed the occurrence of consistent spatial and temporal patterns. An inshore-offshore gradient reflects the occurrence of land-based point sources, with significant amount of nutrients being delivered by human activities on the coast (untreated sewage and groundwater seepage). Another spatial gradient is related to distance from a localized source of pollution (an urban settlement without sewerage treatment) with two nearshore reefs presenting distinct nutrient and chlorophyll concentrations. Seasonal variations suggest that submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) is the primary source of nutrients for the coastal reefs during rainy season. The data also suggests that the SGD effect is not restricted to nearshore reefs, and may be an important factor controlling the differences between landward and seaward sides on the offshore reef. Benthic community assessment revealed that turf alga is the dominant group in all studied reefs and that zoanthids are the organisms most adapted to take advantage of nutrient increase in coastal areas. At nearshore reefs, there was a negative

  3. Determining the extent and characterizing coral reef habitats of the northern latitudes of the Florida Reef Tract (Martin County).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Brian K; Gilliam, David S

    2013-01-01

    Climate change has recently been implicated in poleward shifts of many tropical species including corals; thus attention focused on higher-latitude coral communities is warranted to investigate possible range expansions and ecosystem shifts due to global warming. As the northern extension of the Florida Reef Tract (FRT), the third-largest barrier reef ecosystem in the world, southeast Florida (25-27° N latitude) is a prime region to study such effects. Most of the shallow-water FRT benthic habitats have been mapped, however minimal data and limited knowledge exist about the coral reef communities of its northernmost reaches off Martin County. First benthic habitat mapping was conducted using newly acquired high resolution LIDAR bathymetry and aerial photography where possible to map the spatial extent of coral reef habitats. Quantitative data were collected to characterize benthic cover and stony coral demographics and a comprehensive accuracy assessment was performed. The data were then analyzed in a habitat biogeography context to determine if a new coral reef ecosystem region designation was warranted. Of the 374 km(2) seafloor mapped, 95.2% was Sand, 4.1% was Coral Reef and Colonized Pavement, and 0.7% was Other Delineations. Map accuracy assessment yielded an overall accuracy of 94.9% once adjusted for known map marginal proportions. Cluster analysis of cross-shelf habitat type and widths indicated that the benthic habitats were different than those further south and warranted designation of a new coral reef ecosystem region. Unlike the FRT further south, coral communities were dominated by cold-water tolerant species and LIDAR morphology indicated no evidence of historic reef growth during warmer climates. Present-day hydrographic conditions may be inhibiting poleward expansion of coral communities along Florida. This study provides new information on the benthic community composition of the northern FRT, serving as a baseline for future community shift and

  4. 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

  5. Prey Density Threshold and Tidal Influence on Reef Manta Ray Foraging at an Aggregation Site on the Great Barrier Reef.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Asia O Armstrong

    Full Text Available Large tropical and sub-tropical marine animals must meet their energetic requirements in a largely oligotrophic environment. Many planktivorous elasmobranchs, whose thermal ecologies prevent foraging in nutrient-rich polar waters, aggregate seasonally at predictable locations throughout tropical oceans where they are observed feeding. Here we investigate the foraging and oceanographic environment around Lady Elliot Island, a known aggregation site for reef manta rays Manta alfredi in the southern Great Barrier Reef. The foraging behaviour of reef manta rays was analysed in relation to zooplankton populations and local oceanography, and compared to long-term sighting records of reef manta rays from the dive operator on the island. Reef manta rays fed at Lady Elliot Island when zooplankton biomass and abundance were significantly higher than other times. The critical prey density threshold that triggered feeding was 11.2 mg m-3 while zooplankton size had no significant effect on feeding. The community composition and size structure of the zooplankton was similar when reef manta rays were feeding or not, with only the density of zooplankton changing. Higher zooplankton biomass was observed prior to low tide, and long-term (~5 years sighting data confirmed that more reef manta rays are also observed feeding during this tidal phase than other times. This is the first study to examine prey availability at an aggregation site for reef manta rays and it indicates that they feed in locations and at times of higher zooplankton biomass.

  6. Oyster leases in Louisiana, Geographic NAD83, LOSCO (1997) [oyster_leases_USACE_1997

    Data.gov (United States)

    Louisiana Geographic Information Center — This data set indicates the locations of oyster leases in Louisiana. The lease areas should be polygons, however, the source data has very poor topology including...

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  9. Spatial distribution of epibenthic molluscs on a sandstone reef in the Northeast of Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    AS. Martinez

    Full Text Available The present study investigated the distribution and abundance of epibenthic molluscs and their feeding habits associated to substrate features (coverage and rugosity in a sandstone reef system in the Northeast of Brazil. Rugosity, low coral cover and high coverage of zoanthids and fleshy alga were the variables that influenced a low richness and high abundance of a few molluscan species in the reef habitat. The most abundant species were generalist carnivores, probably associated to a lesser offer and variability of resources in this type of reef system, when compared to the coral reefs. The results found in this study could reflect a normal characteristic of the molluscan community distribution in sandstone reefs, with low coral cover, or could indicate a degradation state of this habitat if it is compared to coral reefs, once that the significantly high coverage of fleshy alga has been recognized as a negative indicator of reef ecosystems health.

  10. Spatial distribution of epibenthic molluscs on a sandstone reef in the Northeast of Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez, A S; Mendes, L F; Leite, T S

    2012-05-01

    The present study investigated the distribution and abundance of epibenthic molluscs and their feeding habits associated to substrate features (coverage and rugosity) in a sandstone reef system in the Northeast of Brazil. Rugosity, low coral cover and high coverage of zoanthids and fleshy alga were the variables that influenced a low richness and high abundance of a few molluscan species in the reef habitat. The most abundant species were generalist carnivores, probably associated to a lesser offer and variability of resources in this type of reef system, when compared to the coral reefs. The results found in this study could reflect a normal characteristic of the molluscan community distribution in sandstone reefs, with low coral cover, or could indicate a degradation state of this habitat if it is compared to coral reefs, once that the significantly high coverage of fleshy alga has been recognized as a negative indicator of reef ecosystems health.

  11. Associations between land use and Perkinsus marinus infection of eastern oysters in a high salinity, partially urbanized estuary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, Brian R.; Bushek, David; Drane, J. Wanzer; Porter, Dwayne

    2009-01-01

    Infection levels of eastern oysters by the unicellular pathogen Perkinsus marinus have been associated with anthropogenic influences in laboratory studies. However, these relationships have been difficult to investigate in the field because anthropogenic inputs are often associated with natural influences such as freshwater inflow, which can also affect infection levels. We addressed P. marinus-land use associations using field-collected data from Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, USA, a developed, coastal estuary with relatively minor freshwater inputs. Ten oysters from each of 30 reefs were sampled quarterly in each of 2 years. Distances to nearest urbanized land class and to nearest stormwater outfall were measured via both tidal creeks and an elaboration of Euclidean distance. As the forms of any associations between oyster infection and distance to urbanization were unknown a priori, we used data from the first and second years of the study as exploratory and confirmatory datasets, respectively. With one exception, quarterly land use associations identified using the exploratory dataset were not confirmed using the confirmatory dataset. The exception was an association between the prevalence of moderate to high infection levels in winter and decreasing distance to nearest urban land use. Given that the study design appeared adequate to detect effects inferred from the exploratory dataset, these results suggest that effects of land use gradients were largely insubstantial or were ephemeral with duration less than 3 months.

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. Model of a coral reef ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atkinson, Marlin J.; Grigg, Richard W.

    1984-08-01

    The ECOPATH model for French Frigate Shoals estimates the benthic plant production (net primary production in kg wet weight) required to support the atoll food chain. In this section we estimate the benthic net primary production and net community production of the atoll based on metabolism studies of reef flat, knolls, and lagoon communities at French Frigate Shoals Hawaii. Community metabolism was measured during winter and summer. The reef communities at French Frigate Shoals exhibited patterns and rates of organic carbon production and calcification similar to other reefs in the world. The estimate of net primary production is 6.1·106 kg wet weight km-2 year-1±50%, a value remarkably close to the estimate by the ECOPATH model of 4.3·106 kg wet weight km-2 year-1. Our estimate of net community production or the amount of carbon not consumed by the benthos was high; approximately 15% of the net primary production. Model results indicate that about 5% of net primary production is passed up the food chain to mobile predators. This suggests about 10% of net primary production (˜6% of gross primary production) may be permanently lost to the system via sediment burial or export offshore.

  15. 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.

  16. Please mind the gap – Visual census and cryptic biodiversity assessment at central Red Sea coral reefs

    KAUST Repository

    Pearman, John K.

    2016-04-26

    Coral reefs harbor the most diverse assemblages in the ocean, however, a large proportion of the diversity is cryptic and, therefore, undetected by standard visual census techniques. Cryptic and exposed communities differ considerably in species composition and ecological function. This study compares three different coral reef assessment protocols: i) visual benthic reef surveys: ii) visual census of Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures (ARMS) plates; and iii) metabarcoding techniques of the ARMS (including sessile, 106–500 μm and 500–2000 μm size fractions), that target the cryptic and exposed communities of three reefs in the central Red Sea. Visual census showed a dominance of Cnidaria (Anthozoa) and Rhodophyta on the reef substrate, while Porifera, Bryozoa and Rhodophyta were the most abundant groups on the ARMS plates. Metabarcoding, targeting the 18S rRNA gene, significantly increased estimates of the species diversity (p < 0.001); revealing that Annelida were generally the dominant phyla (in terms of reads) of all fractions and reefs. Furthermore, metabarcoding detected microbial eukaryotic groups such as Syndiniophyceae, Mamiellophyceae and Bacillariophyceae as relevant components of the sessile fraction. ANOSIM analysis showed that the three reef sites showed no differences based on the visual census data. Metabarcoding showed a higher sensitivity for identifying differences between reef communities at smaller geographic scales than standard visual census techniques as significant differences in the assemblages were observed amongst the reefs. Comparison of the techniques showed no similar patterns for the visual techniques while the metabarcoding of the ARMS showed similar patterns amongst fractions. Establishing ARMS as a standard tool in reef monitoring will not only advance our understanding of local processes and ecological community response to environmental changes, as different faunal components will provide complementary information but

  17. Please mind the gap – Visual census and cryptic biodiversity assessment at central Red Sea coral reefs

    KAUST Repository

    Pearman, John K.; Anlauf, Holger; Irigoien, Xabier; Carvalho, Susana

    2016-01-01

    Coral reefs harbor the most diverse assemblages in the ocean, however, a large proportion of the diversity is cryptic and, therefore, undetected by standard visual census techniques. Cryptic and exposed communities differ considerably in species composition and ecological function. This study compares three different coral reef assessment protocols: i) visual benthic reef surveys: ii) visual census of Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures (ARMS) plates; and iii) metabarcoding techniques of the ARMS (including sessile, 106–500 μm and 500–2000 μm size fractions), that target the cryptic and exposed communities of three reefs in the central Red Sea. Visual census showed a dominance of Cnidaria (Anthozoa) and Rhodophyta on the reef substrate, while Porifera, Bryozoa and Rhodophyta were the most abundant groups on the ARMS plates. Metabarcoding, targeting the 18S rRNA gene, significantly increased estimates of the species diversity (p < 0.001); revealing that Annelida were generally the dominant phyla (in terms of reads) of all fractions and reefs. Furthermore, metabarcoding detected microbial eukaryotic groups such as Syndiniophyceae, Mamiellophyceae and Bacillariophyceae as relevant components of the sessile fraction. ANOSIM analysis showed that the three reef sites showed no differences based on the visual census data. Metabarcoding showed a higher sensitivity for identifying differences between reef communities at smaller geographic scales than standard visual census techniques as significant differences in the assemblages were observed amongst the reefs. Comparison of the techniques showed no similar patterns for the visual techniques while the metabarcoding of the ARMS showed similar patterns amongst fractions. Establishing ARMS as a standard tool in reef monitoring will not only advance our understanding of local processes and ecological community response to environmental changes, as different faunal components will provide complementary information but

  18. The role of phytoplankton in the modulation of dissolved and oyster cadmium concentrations in Deep Bay, British Columbia, Canada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cassis, David; Lekhi, Priyanka; Pearce, Christopher M.; Ebell, Nadene; Orians, Kristin; Maldonado, Maria T.

    2011-01-01

    We previously identified dissolved cadmium (Cd diss ) as the main source of this metal in cultured Pacific oysters, Crassostrea gigas, in Deep Bay, British Columbia, Canada (Lekhi et al., 2008). Total suspended particulate Cd (Cd part ) was not found to be a significant source of oyster Cd (Cd oys ), with Cd part > 20 μm negatively correlated with Cd oys concentration. High phytoplankton abundance in spring and summer was hypothesized to reduce Cd oys indirectly by drawing down Cd diss and increasing oyster growth. In the present study we expanded on these results by examining specifically how the phytoplankton community composition modulates both Cd diss and Cd oys concentrations in Deep Bay. Based on calculations of nutrients and Cd diss drawdown, phytoplankton accounted for approximately 90% of the overall summer reduction in Cd diss in the bay. Diatoms were the dominant phytoplankton group, being correlated negatively with Cd oys and positively with Cd part . This suggests that diatom growth mediates the transfer of Cd from the dissolved to the particulate phase, resulting in lower Cd oys . Spring blooms and sporadic harmful algal blooms may mediate a large flux of Cd part to the sediments. Thus, phytoplankton act as a sink, rather than a source, of Cd to oysters in Deep Bay and have a crucial role in the seasonality of Cd oys by reducing the concentration of Cd diss during the summer. Based on environmental variables, two descriptive models for annual Cd oys concentrations were developed using multiple linear regression. The first model (R 2 = 0.870) was created to explain the maximum variability in Cd oys concentrations throughout the year, while the second (R 2 = 0.806) was based on parameters that could be measured easily under farm conditions. Oyster age heavily affected both models, with the first model being secondarily affected by temperature and the second one being more sensitive to changes in salinity. - Highlights: → Phytoplankton and

  19. The role of phytoplankton in the modulation of dissolved and oyster cadmium concentrations in Deep Bay, British Columbia, Canada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cassis, David, E-mail: dcassis@telus.net [Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z3 (Canada); Lekhi, Priyanka [Department of Chemistry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z3 (Canada); Pearce, Christopher M. [Pacific Biological Station, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Nanaimo, BC, Canada V9T 6N7 (Canada); Ebell, Nadene [Ministry of Agriculture, Nanaimo, BC, Canada V9T 6J9 (Canada); Orians, Kristin [Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z3 (Canada); Department of Chemistry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z3 (Canada); Maldonado, Maria T. [Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z3 (Canada)

    2011-09-15

    We previously identified dissolved cadmium (Cd{sub diss}) as the main source of this metal in cultured Pacific oysters, Crassostrea gigas, in Deep Bay, British Columbia, Canada (Lekhi et al., 2008). Total suspended particulate Cd (Cd{sub part}) was not found to be a significant source of oyster Cd (Cd{sub oys}), with Cd{sub part} > 20 {mu}m negatively correlated with Cd{sub oys} concentration. High phytoplankton abundance in spring and summer was hypothesized to reduce Cd{sub oys} indirectly by drawing down Cd{sub diss} and increasing oyster growth. In the present study we expanded on these results by examining specifically how the phytoplankton community composition modulates both Cd{sub diss} and Cd{sub oys} concentrations in Deep Bay. Based on calculations of nutrients and Cd{sub diss} drawdown, phytoplankton accounted for approximately 90% of the overall summer reduction in Cd{sub diss} in the bay. Diatoms were the dominant phytoplankton group, being correlated negatively with Cd{sub oys} and positively with Cd{sub part}. This suggests that diatom growth mediates the transfer of Cd from the dissolved to the particulate phase, resulting in lower Cd{sub oys}. Spring blooms and sporadic harmful algal blooms may mediate a large flux of Cd{sub part} to the sediments. Thus, phytoplankton act as a sink, rather than a source, of Cd to oysters in Deep Bay and have a crucial role in the seasonality of Cd{sub oys} by reducing the concentration of Cd{sub diss} during the summer. Based on environmental variables, two descriptive models for annual Cd{sub oys} concentrations were developed using multiple linear regression. The first model (R{sup 2} = 0.870) was created to explain the maximum variability in Cd{sub oys} concentrations throughout the year, while the second (R{sup 2} = 0.806) was based on parameters that could be measured easily under farm conditions. Oyster age heavily affected both models, with the first model being secondarily affected by temperature and the

  20. Global change and the decline of coral reefs

    OpenAIRE

    Strasser, A.

    1999-01-01

    Ever since coral reefs exist, changing environmental conditions have periodically led to their decline. However, within the perspective of geological time-spans, corals have always managed to re-install themselves. Today, human activity has enhanced stress factors and added new ones that cause a rapid and (on the human time-scale) irreversible decline of many reef ecosystems. The reasons for the disturbance of these complex communities are multiple, but global warming is a k...

  1. Drywell corrosion stopped at Oyster Creek

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lipford, B.L.; Flynn, J.C.

    1993-01-01

    This article describes the detection of corrosion on the drywell containment vessel of Oyster Creek Nuclear Plant and the application of a protective coating to repair the drywell. The topics of the article include drywell design features, identification of the problem, initial action, drywell corrosion, failure of cathodic protection, long-term repair, and repair results

  2. INORGANIC ELEMENTS AND DISTRIBUTION OF EASTERN OYSTERS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, William S. In press. Inorganic Elements and Distribution of Eastern Oysters (Abstract). To be presented at the 96th Annual Meeting (Aquaculture 2004) of the National Shellfisheries Association, 1-5 March 2004, Honolulu, HI. 1 p. (ERL,GB R962). For over a century w...

  3. Oyster mycelium on the liquid medium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariusz Gapiński

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The research presents the results of oyster mycelium growth on the liquid medium. The growth of 4-mycelium genius: Pleurotus citrinopileatus Singer, Pleurotus djamor Fries, Boedjin, Pleurotus erynii Fr. Kumm. and Pleurotus precoce Fr. Quel was tested. The quality and quantity of mycelium was assumed.

  4. Phylogenetic perspectives on reef fish functional traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Floeter, Sergio R; Bender, Mariana G; Siqueira, Alexandre C; Cowman, Peter F

    2018-02-01

    phylogenetic and a functional approach will improve the understanding of the mechanisms of species assembly in extraordinarily rich coral reef communities. © 2017 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  5. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-16

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

  7. A microbial spoilage profile of half shell Pacific oysters (Crassostrea gigas) and Sydney rock oysters (Saccostrea glomerata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madigan, Thomas L; Bott, Nathan J; Torok, Valeria A; Percy, Nigel J; Carragher, John F; de Barros Lopes, Miguel A; Kiermeier, Andreas

    2014-04-01

    This study aimed to assess bacterial spoilage of half shell Pacific and Sydney rock oysters during storage using microbial culture and 16S rRNA pyrosequencing. Odour and pH of oyster meats were also investigated. Estimation of microbiological counts by microbial culture highlighted growth of psychrotrophic bacteria. During storage, odour scores (a score describing deterioration of fresh odours where a score of 1 is fresh and 4 is completely spoiled) increased from 1.0 to 3.0 for Pacific oysters and from 1.3 to 3.4 for Sydney rock oysters. pH results obtained for both species fluctuated during storage (range 6.28-6.73) with an overall increase at end of storage. Pyrosequencing revealed that the majority of bacteria at Day 0 represented taxa from amongst the Proteobacteria, Tenericutes and Spirochaetes that have not been cultured and systematically described. During storage, Proteobacteria became abundant with Pseudoalteromonas and Vibrio found to be dominant in both oyster species at Day 7. Analysis of the pyrosequencing data showed significant differences in bacterial profiles between oyster species and storage time (both P = 0.001). As oysters spoiled, bacterial profiles between oyster species became more similar indicating a common spoilage profile. Data presented here provides detailed insight into the changing bacterial profile of shucked oysters during storage and has identified two genera, Pseudoalteromonas and Vibrio, as being important in spoilage of shucked oysters. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Eddy covariance measurement of the spatial heterogeneity of surface energy exchanges over Heron Reef, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacKellar, M.; McGowan, H. A.; Phinn, S. R.

    2011-12-01

    Coral reefs cover 2.8 to 6.0 x 105 km2 of the Earth's surface and are warm, shallow regions that are believed to contribute enhanced sensible and latent heat to the atmosphere, relative to the surrounding ocean. To predict the impact of climate variability on coral reefs and their weather and climate including cloud, winds, rainfall patterns and cyclone genesis, accurate parameterisation of air-sea energy exchanges over coral reefs is essential. This is also important for the parameterisation and validation of regional to global scale forecast models to improve prediction of tropical and sub-tropical marine and coastal weather. Eddy covariance measurements of air-sea fluxes over coral reefs are rare due to the complexities of installing instrumentation over shallow, tidal water. Consequently, measurements of radiation and turbulent flux data for coral reefs have been captured remotely (satellite data) or via single measurement sites downwind of coral reefs (e.g. terrestrial or shipboard instrumentation). The resolution of such measurements and those that have been made at single locations on reefs may not capture the spatial heterogeneity of surface-atmosphere energy exchanges due to the different geomorphic and biological zones on coral reefs. Accordingly, the heterogeneity of coral reefs with regard to substrate, benthic communities and hydrodynamic processes are not considered in the characterization of the surface radiation energy flux transfers across the water-atmosphere interface. In this paper we present a unique dataset of concurrent in situ eddy covariance measurements made on instrumented pontoons of the surface energy balance over different geomorphic zones of a coral reef (shallow reef flat, shallow and deep lagoons). Significant differences in radiation transfers and air-sea turbulent flux exchanges over the reef were highlighted, with higher Bowen ratios over the shallow reef flat. Increasing wind speed was shown to increase flux divergence between

  9. Low calcification in corals in the Great Barrier Reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhattacharya, Atreyee

    2012-10-01

    Reef-building coral communities in the Great Barrier Reef—the world's largest coral reef—may now be calcifying at only about half the rate that they did during the 1970s, even though live coral cover may not have changed over the past 40 years, a new study finds. In recent decades, coral reefs around the world, home to large numbers of fish and other marine species, have been threatened by such human activities as pollution, overfishing, global warming, and ocean acidification; the latter affects ambient water chemistry and availability of calcium ions, which are critical for coral communities to calcify, build, and maintain reefs. Comparing data from reef surveys during the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s with present-day (2009) measurements of calcification rates in One Tree Island, a coral reef covering 13 square kilometers in the southern part of the Great Barrier Reef, Silverman et al. show that the total calcification rates (the rate of calcification minus the rate of dissolution) in these coral communities have decreased by 44% over the past 40 years; the decrease appears to stem from a threefold reduction in calcification rates during nighttime.

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

  12. OYSTER POPULATUION ESTIMATION IN SUPPORT OF THE TEN-YEAR GOAL FOR OYSTER RESOTRATION IN THE CHESAPEAKE BAY: DEVELOPING STRATEGIES FOR RESTORING AND MANAGING THE EASTERN OYSTER

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mann, Roger, Steve Jordan, Gary Smith, Kennedy Paynter, James Wesson, Mary Christman, Jessica Vanisko, Juliana Harding, Kelly Greenhawk and Melissa Southworth. 2003. Oyster Population Estimation in Support of the Ten-Year Goal for Oyster Restoration in the Chesapeake Bay: Develop...

  13. Cryptofauna of the epilithic algal matrix on an inshore coral reef, Great Barrier Reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kramer, M. J.; Bellwood, D. R.; Bellwood, O.

    2012-12-01

    Composed of a collection of algae, detritus, sediment and invertebrates, the epilithic algal matrix (EAM) is an abundant and ubiquitous feature of coral reefs. Despite its prevalence, there is a paucity of information regarding its associated invertebrate fauna. The cryptofaunal invertebrate community of the EAM was quantitatively investigated in Pioneer Bay on Orpheus Island, Great Barrier Reef. Using a vacuum collection method, a diversity of organisms representing 10 different phyla were identified. Crustacea dominated the samples, with harpacticoid copepods being particularly abundant (2025 ± 132 100 cm-2; mean density ± SE). The volume of coarse particulate matter in the EAM was strongly correlated with the abundance of harpacticoid copepods. The estimated biomass of harpacticoid copepods (0.48 ± 0.05 g m-2; wet weight) suggests that this group is likely to be important for reef trophodynamics and nutrient cycling.

  14. Partial mortality in massive reef corals as an indicator of sediment stress on coral reefs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nugues, Maggy M.; Roberts, Callum M.

    2003-01-01

    Partial mortality and fission on colonies of four common massive coral species were examined at sites differing in their exposure to river sediments in St. Lucia, West Indies. Rates of partial mortality were higher close to the river mouths, where more sediments were deposited, than away from the rivers in two coral species. Frequency of fission showed no significant trend. The percent change in coral cover on reefs from 1995 to 1998 was negatively related to the rate of partial mortality estimated in 1998 in all species. This suggests that partial mortality rates could reflect longer-term temporal changes in coral communities. Similar conclusions could also be reached using a less precise measure and simply recording partial mortality on colonies as <50% and ≥50% dead tissue. We conclude that partial mortality in some species of massive reef corals, expressed as the amount of dead tissue per colony, could provide a rapid and effective means of detecting sediment stress on coral reefs

  15. Partial mortality in massive reef corals as an indicator of sediment stress on coral reefs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nugues, Maggy M.; Roberts, Callum M

    2003-03-01

    Partial mortality and fission on colonies of four common massive coral species were examined at sites differing in their exposure to river sediments in St. Lucia, West Indies. Rates of partial mortality were higher close to the river mouths, where more sediments were deposited, than away from the rivers in two coral species. Frequency of fission showed no significant trend. The percent change in coral cover on reefs from 1995 to 1998 was negatively related to the rate of partial mortality estimated in 1998 in all species. This suggests that partial mortality rates could reflect longer-term temporal changes in coral communities. Similar conclusions could also be reached using a less precise measure and simply recording partial mortality on colonies as <50% and {>=}50% dead tissue. We conclude that partial mortality in some species of massive reef corals, expressed as the amount of dead tissue per colony, could provide a rapid and effective means of detecting sediment stress on coral reefs.

  16. Remote Sensing Tropical Coral Reefs: The View from Above

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purkis, Sam J.

    2018-01-01

    Carbonate precipitation has been a common life strategy for marine organisms for 3.7 billion years, as, therefore, has their construction of reefs. As favored by modern corals, reef-forming organisms have typically adopted a niche in warm, shallow, well-lit, tropical marine waters, where they are capable of building vast carbonate edifices. Because fossil reefs form water aquifers and hydrocarbon reservoirs, considerable effort has been dedicated to understanding their anatomy and morphology. Remote sensing has a particular role to play here. Interpretation of satellite images has done much to reveal the grand spatial and temporal tapestry of tropical reefs. Comparative sedimentology, whereby modern environments are contrasted with the rock record to improve interpretation, has been particularly transformed by observations made from orbit. Satellite mapping has also become a keystone technology to quantify the coral reef crisis—it can be deployed not only directly to quantify the distribution of coral communities, but also indirectly to establish a climatology for their physical environment. This article reviews the application of remote sensing to tropical coralgal reefs in order to communicate how this fast-growing technology might be central to addressing the coral reef crisis and to look ahead at future developments in the science.

  17. Remote Sensing Tropical Coral Reefs: The View from Above.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purkis, Sam J

    2018-01-03

    Carbonate precipitation has been a common life strategy for marine organisms for 3.7 billion years, as, therefore, has their construction of reefs. As favored by modern corals, reef-forming organisms have typically adopted a niche in warm, shallow, well-lit, tropical marine waters, where they are capable of building vast carbonate edifices. Because fossil reefs form water aquifers and hydrocarbon reservoirs, considerable effort has been dedicated to understanding their anatomy and morphology. Remote sensing has a particular role to play here. Interpretation of satellite images has done much to reveal the grand spatial and temporal tapestry of tropical reefs. Comparative sedimentology, whereby modern environments are contrasted with the rock record to improve interpretation, has been particularly transformed by observations made from orbit. Satellite mapping has also become a keystone technology to quantify the coral reef crisis-it can be deployed not only directly to quantify the distribution of coral communities, but also indirectly to establish a climatology for their physical environment. This article reviews the application of remote sensing to tropical coralgal reefs in order to communicate how this fast-growing technology might be central to addressing the coral reef crisis and to look ahead at future developments in the science.

  18. Coral Reefs Under Rapid Climate Change and Ocean Acidification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoegh-Guldberg, O.; Mumby, P. J.; Hooten, A. J.; Steneck, R. S.; Greenfield, P.; Gomez, E.; Harvell, C. D.; Sale, P. F.; Edwards, A. J.; Caldeira, K.; Knowlton, N.; Eakin, C. M.; Iglesias-Prieto, R.; Muthiga, N.; Bradbury, R. H.; Dubi, A.; Hatziolos, M. E.

    2007-12-01

    Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration is expected to exceed 500 parts per million and global temperatures to rise by at least 2°C by 2050 to 2100, values that significantly exceed those of at least the past 420,000 years during which most extant marine organisms evolved. Under conditions expected in the 21st century, global warming and ocean acidification will compromise carbonate accretion, with corals becoming increasingly rare on reef systems. The result will be less diverse reef communities and carbonate reef structures that fail to be maintained. Climate change also exacerbates local stresses from declining water quality and overexploitation of key species, driving reefs increasingly toward the tipping point for functional collapse. This review presents future scenarios for coral reefs that predict increasingly serious consequences for reef-associated fisheries, tourism, coastal protection, and people. As the International Year of the Reef 2008 begins, scaled-up management intervention and decisive action on global emissions are required if the loss of coral-dominated ecosystems is to be avoided.

  19. Immune and stress responses in oysters with insights on adaptation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Ximing; He, Yan; Zhang, Linlin; Lelong, Christophe; Jouaux, Aude

    2015-09-01

    Oysters are representative bivalve molluscs that are widely distributed in world oceans. As successful colonizers of estuaries and intertidal zones, oysters are remarkably resilient against harsh environmental conditions including wide fluctuations in temperature and salinity as well as prolonged air exposure. Oysters have no adaptive immunity but can thrive in microbe-rich estuaries as filter-feeders. These unique adaptations make oysters interesting models to study the evolution of host-defense systems. Recent advances in genomic studies including sequencing of the oyster genome have provided insights into oyster's immune and stress responses underlying their amazing resilience. Studies show that the oyster genomes are highly polymorphic and complex, which may be key to their resilience. The oyster genome has a large gene repertoire that is enriched for immune and stress response genes. Thousands of genes are involved in oyster's immune and stress responses, through complex interactions, with many gene families expanded showing high sequence, structural and functional diversity. The high diversity of immune receptors and effectors may provide oysters with enhanced specificity in immune recognition and response to cope with diverse pathogens in the absence of adaptive immunity. Some members of expanded immune gene families have diverged to function at different temperatures and salinities or assumed new roles in abiotic stress response. Most canonical innate immunity pathways are conserved in oysters and supported by a large number of diverse and often novel genes. The great diversity in immune and stress response genes exhibited by expanded gene families as well as high sequence and structural polymorphisms may be central to oyster's adaptation to highly stressful and widely changing environments. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Exploring Proteomic Variation in Pacific Oysters (Crassostrea gigas)

    OpenAIRE

    Venkataraman, Yaamini

    2017-01-01

    150 sibling Pacific oysters (Crassostrea gigas) were outplanted at five different sites around Puget Sound. Oysters were placed in exclusion cages either inside or outside of eelgrass beds. After a month of environmental exposure, gill tissue samples were collected for proteomic analyses. Initial DIA mass spectrometry methods on a subset of oysters (one per site and eelgrass condition, 10 total) provide data for upwards of 6,000 proteins. A subset of stress-related proteins reveal site-specif...

  1. The DNA of coral reef biodiversity: predicting and protecting genetic diversity of reef assemblages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Selkoe, Kimberly A; Gaggiotti, Oscar E; Treml, Eric A; Wren, Johanna L K; Donovan, Mary K; Toonen, Robert J

    2016-04-27

    Conservation of ecological communities requires deepening our understanding of genetic diversity patterns and drivers at community-wide scales. Here, we use seascape genetic analysis of a diversity metric, allelic richness (AR), for 47 reef species sampled across 13 Hawaiian Islands to empirically demonstrate that large reefs high in coral cover harbour the greatest genetic diversity on average. We found that a species's life history (e.g. depth range and herbivory) mediates response of genetic diversity to seascape drivers in logical ways. Furthermore, a metric of combined multi-species AR showed strong coupling to species richness and habitat area, quality and stability that few species showed individually. We hypothesize that macro-ecological forces and species interactions, by mediating species turnover and occupancy (and thus a site's mean effective population size), influence the aggregate genetic diversity of a site, potentially allowing it to behave as an apparent emergent trait that is shaped by the dominant seascape drivers. The results highlight inherent feedbacks between ecology and genetics, raise concern that genetic resilience of entire reef communities is compromised by factors that reduce coral cover or available habitat, including thermal stress, and provide a foundation for new strategies for monitoring and preserving biodiversity of entire reef ecosystems. © 2016 The Authors.

  2. Social interactions among grazing reef fish drive material flux in a coral reef ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gil, Michael A; Hein, Andrew M

    2017-05-02

    In human financial and social systems, exchanges of information among individuals cause speculative bubbles, behavioral cascades, and other correlated actions that profoundly influence system-level function. Exchanges of information are also widespread in ecological systems, but their effects on ecosystem-level processes are largely unknown. Herbivory is a critical ecological process in coral reefs, where diverse assemblages of fish maintain reef health by controlling the abundance of algae. Here, we show that social interactions have a major effect on fish grazing rates in a reef ecosystem. We combined a system for observing and manipulating large foraging areas in a coral reef with a class of dynamical decision-making models to reveal that reef fish use information about the density and actions of nearby fish to decide when to feed on algae and when to flee foraging areas. This "behavioral coupling" causes bursts of feeding activity that account for up to 68% of the fish community's consumption of algae. Moreover, correlations in fish behavior induce a feedback, whereby each fish spends less time feeding when fewer fish are present, suggesting that reducing fish stocks may not only reduce total algal consumption but could decrease the amount of algae each remaining fish consumes. Our results demonstrate that social interactions among consumers can have a dominant effect on the flux of energy and materials through ecosystems, and our methodology paves the way for rigorous in situ measurements of the behavioral rules that underlie ecological rates in other natural systems.

  3. Prevalence of Salmonella spp. in oysters in the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brands, Danielle A; Inman, Allison E; Gerba, Charles P; Maré, C John; Billington, Stephen J; Saif, Linda A; Levine, Jay F; Joens, Lynn A

    2005-02-01

    Food-borne diseases such as salmonellosis can be attributed, in part, to the consumption of raw oysters. To determine the prevalence of Salmonella spp. in oysters, oysters harvested from 36 U.S. bays (12 each from the West, East, and Gulf coasts in the summer of 2002, and 12 bays, four per coast, in the winter of 2002-2003) were tested. Salmonella was isolated from oysters from each coast of the United States, and 7.4% of all oysters tested contained Salmonella. Isolation tended to be bay specific, with some bays having a high prevalence of Salmonella, while other bays had none. Differences in the percentage of oysters from which Salmonella was isolated were observed between the summer and winter months, with winter numbers much lower probably due to a variety of weather-related events. The vast majority (78/101) of Salmonella isolates from oysters were Salmonella enterica serovar Newport, a major human pathogen, confirming the human health hazard of raw oyster consumption. Contrary to previous findings, no relationship was found between the isolation of fecal coliforms and Salmonella from oysters, indicating a necessity for specific monitoring for Salmonella and other pathogens rather than the current reliance on fecal coliform testing.

  4. 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.

  5. Procedure of trace element analysis in oyster tissues by using X-ray fluorescence

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vo Thi Tuong Hanh; Dinh Thi Bich Lieu; Dinh Thien Lam and Nguyen Manh Hung

    2004-01-01

    The procedure of trace element analysis such as Ca, Mn, Fe, Zn, Cu, Pb in molluscs (oyster tissues) was established by using X-ray fluorescence techniques. The procedure was investigated from the sample collection, drying, ashing ratio to the analytical techniques by using Cd-109, detector Si (Li) and the peak processing MCAPLUS program was applied for this study. The procedure is based on direct comparison with certified concentrations of international standard reference SRM 1566b Oyster Tissue of National Institute of Standards and Technology, Department of commerce, United States of America for Ca, Mn, Fe, Zn, Cu and the Standard Addition Methods for Pb. The accuracy of the Standard Addition Methods was estimated by CRM281 Rye Grass of Community Bureau of Reference-BCR, European Commission. The results of 10 samples which were collected from several markets in Hanoi are shown. (author)

  6. Sensing coral reef connectivity pathways from space

    KAUST Repository

    Raitsos, Dionysios E.; Brewin, Robert J. W.; Zhan, Peng; Dreano, Denis; Pradhan, Yaswant; Nanninga, Gerrit B.; Hoteit, Ibrahim

    2017-01-01

    Coral reefs rely on inter-habitat connectivity to maintain gene flow, biodiversity and ecosystem resilience. Coral reef communities of the Red Sea exhibit remarkable genetic homogeneity across most of the Arabian Peninsula coastline, with a genetic break towards the southern part of the basin. While previous studies have attributed these patterns to environmental heterogeneity, we hypothesize that they may also emerge as a result of dynamic circulation flow; yet, such linkages remain undemonstrated. Here, we integrate satellite-derived biophysical observations, particle dispersion model simulations, genetic population data and ship-borne in situ profiles to assess reef connectivity in the Red Sea. We simulated long-term (>20 yrs.) connectivity patterns driven by remotely-sensed sea surface height and evaluated results against estimates of genetic distance among populations of anemonefish, Amphiprion bicinctus, along the eastern Red Sea coastline. Predicted connectivity was remarkably consistent with genetic population data, demonstrating that circulation features (eddies, surface currents) formulate physical pathways for gene flow. The southern basin has lower physical connectivity than elsewhere, agreeing with known genetic structure of coral reef organisms. The central Red Sea provides key source regions, meriting conservation priority. Our analysis demonstrates a cost-effective tool to estimate biophysical connectivity remotely, supporting coastal management in data-limited regions.

  7. Sensing coral reef connectivity pathways from space

    KAUST Repository

    Raitsos, Dionysios E.

    2017-08-18

    Coral reefs rely on inter-habitat connectivity to maintain gene flow, biodiversity and ecosystem resilience. Coral reef communities of the Red Sea exhibit remarkable genetic homogeneity across most of the Arabian Peninsula coastline, with a genetic break towards the southern part of the basin. While previous studies have attributed these patterns to environmental heterogeneity, we hypothesize that they may also emerge as a result of dynamic circulation flow; yet, such linkages remain undemonstrated. Here, we integrate satellite-derived biophysical observations, particle dispersion model simulations, genetic population data and ship-borne in situ profiles to assess reef connectivity in the Red Sea. We simulated long-term (>20 yrs.) connectivity patterns driven by remotely-sensed sea surface height and evaluated results against estimates of genetic distance among populations of anemonefish, Amphiprion bicinctus, along the eastern Red Sea coastline. Predicted connectivity was remarkably consistent with genetic population data, demonstrating that circulation features (eddies, surface currents) formulate physical pathways for gene flow. The southern basin has lower physical connectivity than elsewhere, agreeing with known genetic structure of coral reef organisms. The central Red Sea provides key source regions, meriting conservation priority. Our analysis demonstrates a cost-effective tool to estimate biophysical connectivity remotely, supporting coastal management in data-limited regions.

  8. Temperature-dependent stress response in oysters, Crassostrea virginica: Pollution reduces temperature tolerance in oysters

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lannig, Gisela; Flores, Jason F.; Sokolova, Inna M.

    2006-01-01

    Combined effects of temperature and a toxic metal, cadmium (Cd), on energy metabolism were studied in a model marine bivalve, the eastern oyster Crassostrea virginica, acclimated at 20, 24 and 28 deg. C and exposed to 50 μg l -1 of Cd. Both increasing temperature and Cd exposure led to a rise in standard metabolic rates, and combined stressors appeared to override the capability for aerobic energy production resulting in impaired stress tolerance. Oysters exposed to elevated temperature but not Cd showed no significant change in condition, survival rate and lipid peroxidation, whereas those exposed to both Cd and temperature stress suffered high mortality accompanied by low condition index and elevated lipid peroxidation. Furthermore, RNA/DNA ratios indicative of protein synthesis rate, and levels of glutathione, which is involved in metal detoxification, increased in Cd-exposed oysters at 20 deg. C but not at 28 deg. C. Implications of the synergism between elevated temperatures and cadmium stress on energy metabolism of oysters are discussed in the light of the potential effects of climate change on oyster populations in polluted areas

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dwi Budi Wiyanto

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dwi Budi Wiyanto

    2016-02-01

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

  11. Decapod crustaceans associated with an artificial reef (Adriatic Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. SANTELLI

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study is to increase the knowledge on the distribution of decapod crustaceans associated with an artificial reef positioned on sandy-mud bottoms in the central Adriatic Sea. The reef is constituted of concrete modules assembled in pyramids and concrete poles. Hard and soft bottom samples were collected from 2001, just after reef construction, to 2005 (4 surveys per year. Regarding the soft seabed, three sites close to a pyramid, three inside the reef area at a distance of 10-15 m from the structures, and three 200 m outside the reef (control sites were randomly sampled during each survey. At the same time, three pyramids (vertical and horizontal walls and three poles were also investigated. After taxonomical analysis, decapod crustaceans were analysed using abundance and species richness. Sites and years were compared using a balanced, fixed effect, 2-way ANOVA and PERMANOVA. In addition, SIMPER analysis was performed to identify those species typifying each community inhabiting both the soft bottom and the artificial substrates. The results showed that the artificial reef induced an increase in both abundance and diversity of the decapods of the natural habitat. In fact, man-made substrates may offer new available space for biological colonization and allow the settlement of new species usually living on hard bottoms, thus increasing the complexity of the original benthic communities.

  12. Science and management of coral reefs: problems and prospects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wells, S. M.

    1995-11-01

    It should be recognised that many principles of reef management do not need further research, as they involve changing human behaviour and activities in order to remove or reduce impacts on reefs. Much of the time of a reef manager is taken up with social, economic and political issues: the integration of reef management into broad coastal zone management objectives; the development of community participation and co-management; and the organisation of training and education pro-grammes so that people in countries where reefs are located are able to take responsibility for their sustainable management. Perhaps the main obstacle to be overcome is poor communication (Harmon 1994). Many reef scientists are already strongly convinced of the need to communicate their results and the implications of these for management and conservation policy (Hatcher et al. 1989), but they may however need to understand that reef managers are not always able or willing to act on their advice because of political, economic or social factors. Pure research is increasingly being conducted within a framework of goals identified as important to society. Funding is invariably easier to obtain if it can be demonstrated that the research will have some ultimate benefit in management terms, and much research is being commissioned because of the need for practical solutions. As the complexity of management becomes more apparent and managers themselves call for more scientific support and advice, the role that science has to play in perceiving and defining problems, understanding the mechanisms involved and strategically assessing potential solutions, becomes more central. Often, only a slight adjustment to a project is required in order for data to be collected that is of direct value to a reef manager.Partnerships built between scientists and managers engaged in adaptive management efforts may lead to more rapid progress in managing reefs and may banish the `science and management' dichotomy

  13. Typhoon damage on a shallow mesophotic reef in Okinawa, Japan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristine N. White

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Little is known about effects of large storm systems on mesophotic reefs. This study reports on how Typhoon 17 (Jelawat affected Ryugu Reef on Okinawa-jima, Japan in September 2012. Benthic communities were surveyed before and after the typhoon using line intercept transect method. Comparison of the benthic assemblages showed highly significant differences in coral coverage at depths of 25–32 m before and after Typhoon 17. A large deep stand of Pachyseris foliosa was apparently less resistant to the storm than the shallower high diversity area of this reef. Contradictory to common perception, this research shows that large foliose corals at deeper depths are just as susceptible to typhoon damage as shallower branching corals. However, descriptive functional group analyses resulted in only minor changes after the disturbance, suggesting the high likelihood of recovery and the high resilience capacity of this mesophotic reef.

  14. 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...

  15. A Survey of Deepwater Horizon (DWH Oil-Degrading Bacteria from the Eastern Oyster Biome and its Surrounding Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jesse eThomas

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The Deepwater Horizon (DWH accident led to the release of an estimated 794,936,474 liters of crude oil into the northern Gulf of Mexico over an 85 day period in 2010, resulting in the contamination of the Gulf of Mexico waters, sediments, permeable beach sands, coastal wetlands and marine life. This study examines the potential response of the Eastern oyster’s microbiome to hydrocarbon contamination and compares it with the bacterial community responses observed from the overlaying water column and the oyster bed sediments. For this purpose, microcosms seeded with DWH crude oil were established and inoculated separately with oyster tissue (OT, mantle fluid (MF, overlaying water column (WC and sediments (S collected from Apalachicola Bay, FL. Shifts in the microbial community structure in the amended microcosms was monitored over a 3-month period using automated ribosomal intergenic spacer region analysis (ARISA, which showed that the microbiome of the oyster tissue and mantle fluid were more similar to the sediment communities than those present in the overlaying water column. This pattern remained largely consistent, regardless of the concentration of crude oil or the enrichment period. Additionally, 72 oil-degrading bacteria were isolated from the microcosms containing OT, MF, WC and S and identified using 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA gene sequencing and compared by principal component analysis (PCA which clearly showed that the water column isolates were different to those identified from the sediment. Conversely, the oyster tissue and mantle fluid isolates clustered together; a strong indication that the oyster microbiome is uniquely structured relative to its surrounding environment. When selected isolates from the OT, MF, WC and S were assessed for their oil-degrading potential, we found that the DWH oil was biodegraded between 12%-42%, under the existing conditions.

  16. Calcium, strontium and fluorine patterns in shells of Pacific Oyster and Rock Oyster

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coote, G.E.

    1996-01-01

    The IGNS proton microprobe has been applied in a study of the distribution of Calcium, Strontium and Fluorine in the calcite shells of Pacific Oyster (Crassostrea gigas) and the native Rock oyster (Crassostrea glomerata). The ultimate aim is to derive information which could have application in such fields as archaeology, biology, palaeontology, aquaculture and environmental studies. Calcium and strontium were determined from their emissions of K X-rays under proton bombardment, and fluorine from the 19 F (p,alpha gamma) 16 O nuclear reaction. The three elements were determined simultaneously at points no more than 20 micrometres apart. A total of 14 one and 17 two-dimensional scans were performed on sections of the shells embedded in epoxy resin. We studied shells from nine Pacific oysters (five transferred from the Marlborough Sounds to Wellington Harbour and four from the Bay of Islands). (author). 11 refs.; 5 figs

  17. Rapid survey protocol that provides dynamic information on reef condition to managers of the Great Barrier Reef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beeden, R J; Turner, M A; Dryden, J; Merida, F; Goudkamp, K; Malone, C; Marshall, P A; Birtles, A; Maynard, J A

    2014-12-01

    Managing to support coral reef resilience as the climate changes requires strategic and responsive actions that reduce anthropogenic stress. Managers can only target and tailor these actions if they regularly receive information on system condition and impact severity. In large coral reef areas like the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMP), acquiring condition and impact data with good spatial and temporal coverage requires using a large network of observers. Here, we describe the result of ~10 years of evolving and refining participatory monitoring programs used in the GBR that have rangers, tourism operators and members of the public as observers. Participants complete Reef Health and Impact Surveys (RHIS) using a protocol that meets coral reef managers' needs for up-to-date information on the following: benthic community composition, reef condition and impacts including coral diseases, damage, predation and the presence of rubbish. Training programs ensure that the information gathered is sufficiently precise to inform management decisions. Participants regularly report because the demands of the survey methodology have been matched to their time availability. Undertaking the RHIS protocol we describe involves three ~20 min surveys at each site. Participants enter data into an online data management system that can create reports for managers and participants within minutes of data being submitted. Since 2009, 211 participants have completed a total of more than 10,415 surveys at more than 625 different reefs. The two-way exchange of information between managers and participants increases the capacity to manage reefs adaptively, meets education and outreach objectives and can increase stewardship. The general approach used and the survey methodology are both sufficiently adaptable to be used in all reef regions.

  18. The importance of spatial fishing behavior for coral reef resilience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rassweiler, A.; Lauer, M.; Holbrook, S. J.

    2016-02-01

    Coral reefs are dynamic systems in which disturbances periodically reduce coral cover but are normally followed by recovery of the coral community. However, human activity may have reduced this resilience to disturbance in many coral reef systems, as an increasing number of reefs have undergone persistent transitions from coral-dominated to macroalgal-dominated community states. Fishing on herbivores may be one cause of reduced reef resilience, as lower herbivory can make it easier for macroalgae to become established after a disturbance. Despite the acknowledged importance of fishing, relatively little attention has been paid to the potential for feedbacks between ecosystem state and fisher behavior. Here we couple methods from environmental anthropology and ecology to explore these feedbacks between small-scale fisheries and coral reefs in Moorea, French Polynesia. We document how aspects of ecological state such as the abundance of macroalgae affect people's preference for fishing in particular lagoon habitats. We then incorporate biases towards fishing in certain ecological states into a spatially explicit bio-economic model of ecological dynamics and fishing in Moorea's lagoons. We find that feedbacks between spatial fishing behavior and ecological state can have critical effects on coral reefs. Presence of these spatial behaviors consistently leads to more coherence across the reef-scape. However, whether this coherence manifests as increased resilience or increased fragility depends on the spatial scales of fisher movement and the magnitudes of disturbance. These results emphasize the potential importance of spatially-explicit fishing behavior for reef resilience, but also the complexity of the feedbacks involved.

  19. 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.

  20. Eating oysters without risk of vibriosis: application of a bacteriophage against Vibrio parahaemolyticus in oysters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jun, Jin Woo; Kim, Hyoun Joong; Yun, Sae Kil; Chai, Ji Young; Park, Se Chang

    2014-10-01

    Vibrio parahaemolyticus is a major cause of foodborne illness and related with the consumption of raw contaminated seafood, especially oysters. To evaluate the effectiveness of various applications of a bacteriophage (phage), pVp-1, against a multiple-antibiotic-resistant V. parahaemolyticus pandemic strain (CRS 09-17), we designed artificial contamination models that are most likely to be encountered during oyster processing. When live oysters were treated with bath immersion with pVp-1 after CRS 09-17 challenge, the growth of bacterial strain was significantly reduced. After 72h of phage application with bath immersion, bacterial growth reduction was observed to be 8.9×10(6)CFU/ml (control group) to 1.4×10CFU/ml (treatment group). When pVp-1 was surface-applied on the flesh of oysters after CRS 09-17 inoculation, bacterial growth was properly inhibited. After 12h of phage application on the surface of oysters, bacterial growth inhibition was revealed to be 1.44×10(6)CFU/ml (control group) to 1.94CFU/ml (treatment group). This is the first report, to the best of our knowledge, of oyster surface-application of a phage against a multiple-antibiotic-resistant V. parahaemolyticus pandemic strain, and our successful phage application to various situations emphasizes the potential use of the phage to avoid V. parahaemolyticus infection from aquaculture to consumption. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. How models can support ecosystem-based management of coral reefs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Weijerman, M.W.; Fulton, E.A.; Janssen, A.B.G.; Kuiper, J.J.; Leemans, R.; Leemput, van de I.A.; Mooij, W.M.

    2015-01-01

    Despite the importance of coral reef ecosystems to the social and economic welfare of coastal communities, the condition of these marine ecosystems have generally degraded over the past decades. With an increased knowledge of coral reef ecosystem processes and a rise in computer power, dynamic

  2. Crustose coralline algae can suppress macroalgal growth and recruitment on Hawaiian coral reefs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vermeij, M.J.A.; Dailer, M.L.; Smith, C.M.

    2011-01-01

    Crustose coralline algae are important components of tropical reef communities because they promote successful settlement by corals and contribute to solidification of the reef framework. We show experimentally that crustose coralline algae are also capable of suppressing the growth and recruitment

  3. Trends in biomass of coral reef fishes, derived from shore-based creel surveys in Guam

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Weijerman, M.; Williams, Ivor; Gutierrez, Jay; Grafeld, Shanna; Tibbatts, Brent; Davis, Gerry

    2016-01-01

    Coral reef fisheries have a cultural, economic, and ecological importance and sustain the societal well-being of many coastal communities. However, the complexities of the multigear, multispecies fisheries that target coral reef species pose challenges for fisheries management. We focus on the

  4. An Integrated Coral Reef Ecosystem Model to Support Resource Management under a Changing Climate.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Weijerman, Mariska; Fulton, Elizabeth A.; Kaplan, Isaac C.; Gorton, Rebecca; Leemans, Rik; Mooij, W.M.; Brainard, Russell E.

    2015-01-01

    Millions of people rely on the ecosystem services provided by coral reefs, but sustaining these benefits requires an understanding of how reefs and their biotic communities are affected by local human-induced disturbances and global climate change. Ecosystem-based management that explicitly

  5. An Integrated Coral Reef Ecosystem Model to Support Resource Management under a Changing Climate

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Weijerman, Mariska; Fulton, Elizabeth A.; Kaplan, Isaac C.; Gorton, Rebecca; Leemans, R.; Mooij, W.M.; Brainard, Russell E.

    2015-01-01

    Millions of people rely on the ecosystem services provided by coral reefs, but sustaining these benefits requires an understanding of how reefs and their biotic communities are affected by local human-induced disturbances and global climate change. Ecosystem-based management that explicitly

  6. Pattern and intensity of human impact on coral reefs depend on depth along the reef profile and on the descriptor adopted

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nepote, Ettore; Bianchi, Carlo Nike; Chiantore, Mariachiara; Morri, Carla; Montefalcone, Monica

    2016-09-01

    Coral reefs are threatened by multiple global and local disturbances. The Maldives, already heavily hit by the 1998 mass bleaching event, are currently affected also by growing tourism and coastal development that may add to global impacts. Most of the studies investigating effects of local disturbances on coral reefs assessed the response of communities along a horizontal distance from the impact source. This study investigated the status of a Maldivian coral reef around an island where an international touristic airport has been recently (2009-2011) built, at different depths along the reef profile (5-20 m depth) and considering the change in the percentage of cover of five different non-taxonomic descriptors assessed through underwater visual surveys: hard corals, soft corals, other invertebrates, macroalgae and abiotic attributes. Eight reefs in areas not affected by any coastal development were used as controls and showed a reduction of hard coral cover and an increase of abiotic attributes (i.e. sand, rock, coral rubble) at the impacted reef. However, hard coral cover, the most widely used descriptor of coral reef health, was not sufficient on its own to detect subtle indirect effects that occurred down the reef profile. Selecting an array of descriptors and considering different depths, where corals may find a refuge from climate impacts, could guide the efforts of minimising local human pressures on coral reefs.

  7. Decontamination of Cuban oysters using irradiation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cisneros Despaigne, E; Leyva Castillo, V; Martinez, L L; Lara Ortiz, C [Instituto de Nutricion e Higiene de los Alimentos (Cuba); Castillo Rodriguez, E [Centro Nacional de Salud Animal (Cuba)

    2001-04-01

    Oysters (Crassostrea virginica) collected on the Cuban coast near Havana were examined for contamination with Vibrio cholerae and other potentially pathogenic Vibrio species. The strains thus isolated were characterized and identified to species following standard methods, and their radiation resistance (D{sub 10}) was determined in pure culture. The Vibrio species most often isolated were V. cholerae, V. parahaemolyticus and V. Alginolyticus. Representative cultures from each species were later used to inoculate shucked oysters to determine the optimal radiation dose that would ensure elimination of 10{sup 8} colony forming units (CFU)/g. The highest proportion of isolates were identified as Vibrio parahaemolyticus and V. algynoliticus. Non-O1 strains of Vibrio cholerae were isolated from 50% of samples, but no V. cholerae O1 was identified. D{sub 10} values calculated for the various strains were low in relation to those in the literature. The radiation dose for decontaminating heavily inoculated (10{sup 8} CFU/g) oysters was 1.2 kGy. (author)

  8. Decontamination of Cuban oysters using irradiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cisneros Despaigne, E.; Leyva Castillo, V.; Martinez, L.L.; Lara Ortiz, C.; Castillo Rodriguez, E.

    2001-01-01

    Oysters (Crassostrea virginica) collected on the Cuban coast near Havana were examined for contamination with Vibrio cholerae and other potentially pathogenic Vibrio species. The strains thus isolated were characterized and identified to species following standard methods, and their radiation resistance (D 10 ) was determined in pure culture. The Vibrio species most often isolated were V. cholerae, V. parahaemolyticus and V. Alginolyticus. Representative cultures from each species were later used to inoculate shucked oysters to determine the optimal radiation dose that would ensure elimination of 10 8 colony forming units (CFU)/g. The highest proportion of isolates were identified as Vibrio parahaemolyticus and V. algynoliticus. Non-O1 strains of Vibrio cholerae were isolated from 50% of samples, but no V. cholerae O1 was identified. D 10 values calculated for the various strains were low in relation to those in the literature. The radiation dose for decontaminating heavily inoculated (10 8 CFU/g) oysters was 1.2 kGy. (author)

  9. The potential of aerial photography for estimating surface areas of intertidal Pacific oyster beds (Crassostrea gigas)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kater, B.J.; Baars, J.M.D.D.

    2004-01-01

    Pacific oysters were introduced into the Eastern Scheldt in 1964 for breeding purposes. The first spatfall of wild Pacific oysters was recorded in 1976, and a second larval outburst in 1982 definitely settled wild Pacific oysters in the Eastern Scheldt waters. Oyster beds on intertidal and subtidal

  10. The influence of coral reef benthic condition on associated fish assemblages.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karen M Chong-Seng

    Full Text Available Accumulative disturbances can erode a coral reef's resilience, often leading to replacement of scleractinian corals by macroalgae or other non-coral organisms. These degraded reef systems have been mostly described based on changes in the composition of the reef benthos, and there is little understanding of how such changes are influenced by, and in turn influence, other components of the reef ecosystem. This study investigated the spatial variation in benthic communities on fringing reefs around the inner Seychelles islands. Specifically, relationships between benthic composition and the underlying substrata, as well as the associated fish assemblages were assessed. High variability in benthic composition was found among reefs, with a gradient from high coral cover (up to 58% and high structural complexity to high macroalgae cover (up to 95% and low structural complexity at the extremes. This gradient was associated with declining species richness of fishes, reduced diversity of fish functional groups, and lower abundance of corallivorous fishes. There were no reciprocal increases in herbivorous fish abundances, and relationships with other fish functional groups and total fish abundance were weak. Reefs grouping at the extremes of complex coral habitats or low-complexity macroalgal habitats displayed markedly different fish communities, with only two species of benthic invertebrate feeding fishes in greater abundance in the macroalgal habitat. These results have negative implications for the continuation of many coral reef ecosystem processes and services if more reefs shift to extreme degraded conditions dominated by macroalgae.

  11. Mapping Mesophotic Reefs Along the Brazilian Continental Margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bastos, A.; Moura, R.; Amado Filho, G.; Ferreira, L.; Boni, G.; Vedoato, F.; D'Agostini, D.; Lavagnino, A. C.; Leite, M. D.; Quaresma, V.

    2017-12-01

    Submerged or drowned reefs constitute an important geological record of sea level variations, forming the substrate for the colonization of modern benthic mesophotic communities. Although mapping mesophotic reefs has increased in the last years, their spatial distribution is poorly known and the worldwide occurrence of this reef habitat maybe underestimated. The importance in recognizing the distribution of mesophotic reefs is that they can act as a refuge for corals during unsuitable environmental conditions and a repository for shallow water corals. Here we present the result of several acoustic surveys that mapped and discovered new mesophotic reefs along the Eastern and Equatorial Brazilian Continental Margin. Seabed mapping was carried out using multibeam and side scan sonars. Ground truthing was obtained using drop camera or scuba diving. Mesophotic reefs were mapped in water depths varying from 30 to 100m and under distinct oceanographic conditions, especially in terms of river load input and shelf width. Reefs showed distinct morphologies, from low relief banks and paleovalleys to shelf edge ridges. Extensive occurrence of low relief banks were mapped along the most important coralline complex province in the South Atlantic, the Abrolhos Shelf. These 30 to 40m deep banks, have no more than 3 meters in height and may represent fringing reefs formed during sea level stabilization. Paleovalleys mapped along the eastern margin showed the occurrence of coralgal ledges along the channel margins. Paleovalleys are usually deeper than 45m and are associated with outer shelf rhodolith beds. Shelf edge ridges (80 to 120m deep) were mapped along both margins and are related to red algal encrusting irregular surfaces that have more than 3m in height, forming a rigid substrate for coral growth. Along the Equatorial Margin, off the Amazon mouth, shelf edge patch reefs and rhodolith beds forming encrusting surfaces and shelf edge ridges were mapped in water depths greater

  12. 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...

  13. Markers associated with disease resistance in Eastern oysters, Crassostrea virginica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eastern oyster, Crassostrea viginica, is an economically important aquaculture species in the USA, but production has been impacted by diseases such as dermo and MSX. Efforts have been put into the development of disease-resistant oyster lines using selective breeding techniques. However, these met...

  14. Bioimmuring late Cretaceous and Recent oysters : 'A view from within'

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jagt, John W M; Neumann, Christian; Schulp, Anne S.

    2007-01-01

    Being obligate cementers, oysters (Ostreoidea), both fossil and Recent, often yield valuable information on their substrates, whether biotic/ abiotic, perishable or inert. By a process called bioimmuration, oyster shells may preserve lightly or non-calcified sessile organisms already present on the

  15. Cultivation of oyster mushroom ( Pleurotus spp.) on palm oil ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Oyster mushroom is a popular mushroom due to its nutritional, medicinal and potential commercial value. In Malaysia, the fungus is currently cultivated on sawdust and rice husk. In this study, the efficiency of cultivating oyster mushroom was assessed using palm oil mesocarp fibre as a substrate. The experiment consisted ...

  16. Resource potential and status of pearl oyster fishery in India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Ingole, B.S.; Parulekar, A.H.

    Many cultivable species of pearl oysters are known to occur in the Indo-Australian Archipelago which is an important region in the world distribution of pearl oysters. An account of the development of Indian pearl fisheries that took place over...

  17. Macrofauna Settlement on Pearl Oyster Collectors in Kenya ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Key words: Pearl oysters, seed collection, macrofauna, bivalves, settlement, monsoon seasons,. Kenya .... have shown that pearl oyster settlement is higher within calm ...... collectors in the Timor Sea, Northern Australia. J. Shellfish ... systems. Aquaculture, 189: 375-388. Urban, H.J. (2000b): Culture potential of the pearl.

  18. Microcontroller based automatic temperature control for oyster mushroom plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sihombing, P.; Astuti, T. P.; Herriyance; Sitompul, D.

    2018-03-01

    In the cultivation of Oyster Mushrooms need special treatment because oyster mushrooms are susceptible to disease. Mushroom growth will be inhibited if the temperature and humidity are not well controlled because temperature and inertia can affect mold growth. Oyster mushroom growth usually will be optimal at temperatures around 22-28°C and humidity around 70-90%. This problem is often encountered in the cultivation of oyster mushrooms. Therefore it is very important to control the temperature and humidity of the room of oyster mushroom cultivation. In this paper, we developed an automatic temperature monitoring tool in the cultivation of oyster mushroom-based Arduino Uno microcontroller. We have designed a tool that will control the temperature and humidity automatically by Android Smartphone. If the temperature increased more than 28°C in the room of mushroom plants, then this tool will turn on the pump automatically to run water in order to lower the room temperature. And if the room temperature of mushroom plants below of 22°C, then the light will be turned on in order to heat the room. Thus the temperature in the room oyster mushrooms will remain stable so that the growth of oyster mushrooms can grow with good quality.

  19. 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.

  20. Monitoring of coral reef ecosystems on the Island of Hawaii from 22 May 1999 to 25 May 1999 through the Quantitative Underwater Ecological Surveying Techniques (QUEST) project (NODC Accession 0000264)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — In an effort to detect spatial and temporal changes in the structure of the coral reef community, coral coverage and reef fish density and diversity were documented...

  1. National Coral Reef Monitoring Program: Assessment of coral reef benthic communities in Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary from 2013-09-02 to 2013-09-06 and from 2015-08-24 to 2015-08-28 (NCEI Accession 0151818)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Benthic data collection for the National Coral Reef Ecosystem Monitoring Program (NCRMP) consists of two survey types: the Line Point-Intercept (LPI) method and the...

  2. Perkinsus sp. infecting the oyster Crassostrea rhizophorae from estuaries of the septentrional Northeast, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. P. Dantas-Neto

    Full Text Available Abstract The mangrove oyster Crassostrea rhizophorae is an estuarine resource exploited by riverside communities in Northeast Brazil. Despite its socioeconomic importance, studies on the health status of this bivalve are scanty in this region. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the presence of the protozoan Perkinsus sp. in C. rhizophorae collected in August and September 2011 in three estuaries of the septentrional Northeast, Brazil: Jaguaribe (Ceará, Camurupim (Piauí and Carnaubeiras (Maranhão (n= 150 specimens/site. The samples were submitted to Ray’s fluid thioglycollate medium (RFTM, PCR and histology assays. The RFTM assay revealed spherical, blue or bluish-black hypnospores of the genus Perkinsus in 50 specimens (Jaguaribe= 17.3%, Camurupim= 5.3%, Carnaubeiras= 10.6%. The intensity of the infection ranged from very light (1-10 cells per slide to severe (more than 40 cells in each of 10 fields of the slide for Jaguaribe; very light for Camurupim and very light to moderate (at least 40 cells observed in each of 10 fields of the slide for Carnaubeiras. When submitted to confirmatory PCR analysis, 6 cases were confirmed (Jaguaribe=3, Camurupim=1, Carnaubeiras=2. The histology confirmed 21 cases of infection in specimens from the three estuaries. Although local collectors have reported no mortality in oyster populations that might be attributed to infection by Perkinsus, health surveillance of oyster populations in the septentrional region of Northeast Brazil is advisable.

  3. Utilization of detrital complexes by the oyster, Crassostrea virginica (Gmelin)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Crosby, M.P.

    1987-01-01

    The contribution of bacteria and nonliving particulate organic matter of detrital complexes to the nutrition of the American oyster, Crassostrea virginica, was investigated in the laboratory under normal feeding conditions. Results indicate the oysters were capable of assimilating crude fiber extracted from 14 C-Spartina alterniflora with an efficiency of approximately 3% and that enteric bacteria did not enhance this process. Less than 1% of an oyster's energetic demands could be met by direct utilization of this substrate, in the Choptank River subestuary of the Chesapeake Bay. The potential contribution of refractory organics to oysters in large salt marshes having crude fiber concentration greater than in the Choptank system, are discussed. The ability of the oyster to utilize 14 C and 15 N from cellulolytic marine bacteria, isolated from a S. alterniflora dominated salt marsh, was also studied

  4. Behavior of pathogenic bacteria in the oyster, Crassostrea commercialis, during depuration, re-laying, and storage.

    OpenAIRE

    Son, N T; Fleet, G H

    1980-01-01

    Oysters (Crassostrea commercials) harvested from major cultivation areas within the state of New South Wales, Australia, were commonly contaminated with low levels of the food-poisoning organisms Bacillus cereus, Clostridium perfringens, and Vibrio parahaemolyticus. Salmonella was found in oysters on only one occasion. These bacteria were cleansed from oysters during oyster purification by re-laying in a non-polluted waterway. Oysters were laboratory contaminated to levels in excess 1,000 cel...

  5. Please mind the gap - Visual census and cryptic biodiversity assessment at central Red Sea coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearman, John K; Anlauf, Holger; Irigoien, Xabier; Carvalho, Susana

    2016-07-01

    Coral reefs harbor the most diverse assemblages in the ocean, however, a large proportion of the diversity is cryptic and, therefore, undetected by standard visual census techniques. Cryptic and exposed communities differ considerably in species composition and ecological function. This study compares three different coral reef assessment protocols: i) visual benthic reef surveys: ii) visual census of Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures (ARMS) plates; and iii) metabarcoding techniques of the ARMS (including sessile, 106-500 μm and 500-2000 μm size fractions), that target the cryptic and exposed communities of three reefs in the central Red Sea. Visual census showed a dominance of Cnidaria (Anthozoa) and Rhodophyta on the reef substrate, while Porifera, Bryozoa and Rhodophyta were the most abundant groups on the ARMS plates. Metabarcoding, targeting the 18S rRNA gene, significantly increased estimates of the species diversity (p < 0.001); revealing that Annelida were generally the dominant phyla (in terms of reads) of all fractions and reefs. Furthermore, metabarcoding detected microbial eukaryotic groups such as Syndiniophyceae, Mamiellophyceae and Bacillariophyceae as relevant components of the sessile fraction. ANOSIM analysis showed that the three reef sites showed no differences based on the visual census data. Metabarcoding showed a higher sensitivity for identifying differences between reef communities at smaller geographic scales than standard visual census techniques as significant differences in the assemblages were observed amongst the reefs. Comparison of the techniques showed no similar patterns for the visual techniques while the metabarcoding of the ARMS showed similar patterns amongst fractions. Establishing ARMS as a standard tool in reef monitoring will not only advance our understanding of local processes and ecological community response to environmental changes, as different faunal components will provide complementary information but

  6. Water quality parameters and total aerobic bacterial and vibrionaceae loads in eastern oysters (Crassostrea virginica) from oyster gardening sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oyster gardening is a practice designed to restore habitat for marine life and to improve water quality. This study determined physical and chemical water quality parameters at two oyster gardening sites in the Delaware Inland Bays and compared them with total aerobic bacteria and Vibrionaceae conc...

  7. Interactions between the introduced Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas and the indigenous blue mussel Mytilus edulis. Local-scale food competition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hans, I.W.

    2004-01-01

    The aim of this study was to determine if food competition between mussels and oysters occurs, and how mussel and oyster growth is affected by this interaction. This was done by relating mussel growth to oyster density relating oyster growth to oyster biomass and perform a field control, by

  8. Positive Feedbacks Enhance Macroalgal Resilience on Degraded Coral Reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dell, Claire L A; Longo, Guilherme O; Hay, Mark E

    2016-01-01

    Many reefs have shifted from coral and fish dominated habitats to less productive macroalgal dominated habitats, and current research is investigating means of reversing this phase shift. In the tropical Pacific, overfished reefs with inadequate herbivory can become dominated by the brown alga Sargassum polycystum. This alga suppresses recruitment and survival of corals and fishes, thus limiting the potential for reef recovery. Here we investigate the mechanisms that reinforce S. polycystum dominance and show that in addition to negatively affecting other species, this species acts in a self-reinforcing manner, positively promoting survival and growth of conspecifics. We found that survival and growth of both recruit-sized and mature S. polycystum fronds were higher within Sargassum beds than outside the beds and these results were found in both protected and fished reefs. Much of this benefit resulted from reduced herbivory within the Sargassum beds, but adult fronds also grew ~50% more within the beds even when herbivory did not appear to be occurring, suggesting some physiological advantage despite the intraspecific crowding. Thus via positive feedbacks, S. polycystum enhances its own growth and resistance to herbivores, facilitating its dominance (perhaps also expansion) and thus its resilience on degraded reefs. This may be a key feedback mechanism suppressing the recovery of coral communities in reefs dominated by macroalgal beds.

  9. 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.

  10. Positive Feedbacks Enhance Macroalgal Resilience on Degraded Coral Reefs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claire L A Dell

    Full Text Available Many reefs have shifted from coral and fish dominated habitats to less productive macroalgal dominated habitats, and current research is investigating means of reversing this phase shift. In the tropical Pacific, overfished reefs with inadequate herbivory can become dominated by the brown alga Sargassum polycystum. This alga suppresses recruitment and survival of corals and fishes, thus limiting the potential for reef recovery. Here we investigate the mechanisms that reinforce S. polycystum dominance and show that in addition to negatively affecting other species, this species acts in a self-reinforcing manner, positively promoting survival and growth of conspecifics. We found that survival and growth of both recruit-sized and mature S. polycystum fronds were higher within Sargassum beds than outside the beds and these results were found in both protected and fished reefs. Much of this benefit resulted from reduced herbivory within the Sargassum beds, but adult fronds also grew ~50% more within the beds even when herbivory did not appear to be occurring, suggesting some physiological advantage despite the intraspecific crowding. Thus via positive feedbacks, S. polycystum enhances its own growth and resistance to herbivores, facilitating its dominance (perhaps also expansion and thus its resilience on degraded reefs. This may be a key feedback mechanism suppressing the recovery of coral communities in reefs dominated by macroalgal beds.

  11. Prevalence and characterization of Salmonella serovars isolated from oysters served raw in restaurants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brillhart, Crystal D; Joens, Lynn A

    2011-06-01

    To determine if Salmonella-contaminated oysters are reaching consumer tables, a survey of raw oysters served in eight Tucson restaurants was performed from October 2007 to September 2008. Salmonella spp. were isolated during 7 of the 8 months surveyed and were present in 1.2% of 2,281 oysters tested. This observed prevalence is lower than that seen in a previous study in which U.S. market oysters were purchased from producers at bays where oysters are harvested. To test whether the process of refrigerating oysters in restaurants for several days reduces Salmonella levels, oysters were artificially infected with Salmonella and kept at 4°C for up to 13 days. Direct plate counts of oyster homogenate showed that Salmonella levels within oysters did not decrease during refrigeration. Six different serovars of Salmonella enterica were found in the restaurant oysters, indicating multiple incidences of Salmonella contamination of U.S. oyster stocks. Of the 28 contaminated oysters, 12 (43%) contained a strain of S. enterica serovar Newport that matched by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis a serovar Newport strain seen predominantly in the study of bay oysters performed in 2002. The repeated occurrence of this strain in oyster surveys is concerning, since the strain was resistant to seven antimicrobials tested and thus presents a possible health risk to consumers of raw oysters.

  12. Temporal and taxonomic contrasts in coral growth at Davies Reef, central Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Kristen D.; Cantin, Neal E.; Heron, Scott F.; Lough, Janice M.; Pratchett, Morgan S.

    2018-06-01

    Demographic processes, such as growth, can have an important influence on the population and community structure of reef-building corals. Importantly, ongoing changes in environmental conditions (e.g. ocean warming) are expected to affect coral growth, contributing to changes in the structure of coral populations and communities. This study quantified contemporary growth rates (linear extension and calcification) for the staghorn coral, Acropora muricata, at Davies Reef, central Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Growth rates were measured at three different depths (5, 10, and 15 m) over 2 yr (2012-2014) assessing both seasonal and inter-annual variability. Results of this study were compared to equivalent measurements made in 1980-1982 at the same location. To assist in understanding inter-annual variability in coral growth, we also examined annual growth bands from massive Porites providing continuous growth and records of flooding history for Davies Reef over the period 1979-2012. Linear extension rates of A. muricata were substantially (11-62%) lower in 2012-2014 compared to 1980-1982, especially at 10 and 15 m depths. These declines in growth coincide with a + 0.14 °C change in annual mean temperature. For massive Porites, however, calcification rates were highly variable among years and there was no discernible long-term change in growth despite sustained increases in temperature of 0.064 °C per decade. Apparent differences in the growth rates of Acropora between 1980-1982 and 2012-2014 may reflect inter-annual variation in coral growth (as seen for massive Porites), though it is known branching Acropora is much more sensitive to changing environmental conditions than massive corals. There are persistent issues in assessing the sensitivities of branching corals to environmental change due to limited capacity for retrospective analyses of growth, but given their disproportionate contribution to habitat complexity and reef structure, it is critical to ascertain

  13. Critical research needs for identifying future changes in Gulf coral reef ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feary, David A.; Burt, John A.; Bauman, Andrew G.; Al Hazeem, Shaker; Abdel-Moati, Mohamed A.; Al-Khalifa, Khalifa A.; Anderson, Donald M.; Amos, Carl; Baker, Andrew; Bartholomew, Aaron; Bento, Rita; Cavalcante, Geórgenes H.; Chen, Chaolun Allen; Coles, Steve L.; Dab, Koosha; Fowler, Ashley M.; George, David; Grandcourt, Edwin; Hill, Ross; John, David M.; Jones, David A.; Keshavmurthy, Shashank; Mahmoud, Huda; Moradi Och Tapeh, Mahdi; Mostafavi, Pargol Ghavam; Naser, Humood; Pichon, Michel; Purkis, Sam; Riegl, Bernhard; Samimi-Namin, Kaveh; Sheppard, Charles; Vajed Samiei, Jahangir; Voolstra, Christian R.; Wiedenmann, Joerg

    2014-01-01

    Expert opinion was assessed to identify current knowledge gaps in determining future changes in Arabian/ Persian Gulf (thereafter ‘Gulf’) coral reefs. Thirty-one participants submitted 71 research questions that were peer-assessed in terms of scientific importance (i.e., filled a knowledge gap and was a research priority) and efficiency in resource use (i.e., was highly feasible and ecologically broad). Ten research questions, in six major research areas, were highly important for both understanding Gulf coral reef ecosystems and also an efficient use of limited research resources. These questions mirrored global evaluations of the importance of understanding and evaluating biodiversity, determining the potential impacts of climate change, the role of anthropogenic impacts in structuring coral reef communities, and economically evaluating coral reef communities. These questions provide guidance for future research on coral reef ecosystems within the Gulf, and enhance the potential for assessment and management of future changes in this globally significant region. PMID:23643407

  14. Critical research needs for identifying future changes in Gulf coral reef ecosystems

    KAUST Repository

    Feary, David A.

    2013-07-01

    Expert opinion was assessed to identify current knowledge gaps in determining future changes in Arabian/Persian Gulf (thereafter \\'Gulf\\') coral reefs. Thirty-one participants submitted 71 research questions that were peer-assessed in terms of scientific importance (i.e., filled a knowledge gap and was a research priority) and efficiency in resource use (i.e., was highly feasible and ecologically broad). Ten research questions, in six major research areas, were highly important for both understanding Gulf coral reef ecosystems and also an efficient use of limited research resources. These questions mirrored global evaluations of the importance of understanding and evaluating biodiversity, determining the potential impacts of climate change, the role of anthropogenic impacts in structuring coral reef communities, and economically evaluating coral reef communities. These questions provide guidance for future research on coral reef ecosystems within the Gulf, and enhance the potential for assessment and management of future changes in this globally significant region. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

  15. Critical research needs for identifying future changes in Gulf coral reef ecosystems

    KAUST Repository

    Feary, David A.; Burt, John A.; Bauman, Andrew G.; Al Hazeem, Shaker; Abdel-Moati, Mohamed A R; Al-Khalifa, Khalifa A.; Anderson, Donald M.; Amos, Carl L.; Baker, Andrew C.; Bartholomew, Aaron; Bento, Rita; Cavalcante, Geó rgenes H.; Chen, Chaolun Allen; Coles, Steve L.; Dab, Koosha; Fowler, Ashley M.; George, David Glen; Grandcourt, Edwin Mark; Hill, Ross; John, David Michael; Jones, David Alan; Keshavmurthy, Shashank; Mahmoud, Huda M A; Moradi Och Tapeh, Mahdi; Mostafavi, Pargol Ghavam; Naser, Humood A.; Pichon, Michel; Purkis, Sam J.; Riegl, Bernhard M.; Samimi-Namin, Kaveh; Sheppard, Charles R C; Vajed Samiei, Jahangir; Voolstra, Christian R.; Wiedenmann, Jö rg

    2013-01-01

    Expert opinion was assessed to identify current knowledge gaps in determining future changes in Arabian/Persian Gulf (thereafter 'Gulf') coral reefs. Thirty-one participants submitted 71 research questions that were peer-assessed in terms of scientific importance (i.e., filled a knowledge gap and was a research priority) and efficiency in resource use (i.e., was highly feasible and ecologically broad). Ten research questions, in six major research areas, were highly important for both understanding Gulf coral reef ecosystems and also an efficient use of limited research resources. These questions mirrored global evaluations of the importance of understanding and evaluating biodiversity, determining the potential impacts of climate change, the role of anthropogenic impacts in structuring coral reef communities, and economically evaluating coral reef communities. These questions provide guidance for future research on coral reef ecosystems within the Gulf, and enhance the potential for assessment and management of future changes in this globally significant region. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

  16. Abrolhos bank reef health evaluated by means of water quality, microbial diversity, benthic cover, and fish biomass data.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thiago Bruce

    Full Text Available The health of the coral reefs of the Abrolhos Bank (Southwestern Atlantic was characterized with a holistic approach using measurements of four ecosystem components: (i inorganic and organic nutrient concentrations, [1] fish biomass, [1] macroalgal and coral cover and (iv microbial community composition and abundance. The possible benefits of protection from fishing were particularly evaluated by comparing sites with varying levels of protection. Two reefs within the well-enforced no-take area of the National Marine Park of Abrolhos (Parcel dos Abrolhos and California were compared with two unprotected coastal reefs (Sebastião Gomes and Pedra de Leste and one legally protected but poorly enforced coastal reef (the "paper park" of Timbebas Reef. The fish biomass was lower and the fleshy macroalgal cover was higher in the unprotected reefs compared with the protected areas. The unprotected and protected reefs had similar seawater chemistry. Lower vibrio CFU counts were observed in the fully protected area of California Reef. Metagenome analysis showed that the unprotected reefs had a higher abundance of archaeal and viral sequences and more bacterial pathogens, while the protected reefs had a higher abundance of genes related to photosynthesis. Similar to other reef systems in the world, there was evidence that reductions in the biomass of herbivorous fishes and the consequent increase in macroalgal cover in the Abrolhos Bank may be affecting microbial diversity and abundance. Through the integration of different types of ecological data, the present study showed that protection from fishing may lead to greater reef health. The data presented herein suggest that protected coral reefs have higher microbial diversity, with the most degraded reef (Sebastião Gomes showing a marked reduction in microbial species richness. It is concluded that ecological conditions in unprotected reefs may promote the growth and rapid evolution of opportunistic

  17. Integration of coral reef ecosystem process studies and remote sensing: Chapter 5

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brook, John; Yates, Kimberly; Halley, Robert

    2006-01-01

    Worldwide, local-scale anthropogenic stress combined with global climate change is driving shifts in the state of reef benthic communities from coral-rich to micro- or macroalgal-dominated (Knowlton, 1992; Done, 1999). Such phase shifts in reef benthic communities may be either abrupt or gradual, and case studies from diverse ocean basins demonstrate that recovery, while uncertain (Hughes, 1994), typically involves progression through successional stages (Done, 1992). These transitions in benthic community structure involve changes in community metabolism, and accordingly, the holistic evaluation of associated biogeochemical variables is of great intrinsic value (Done, 1992). Effective reef management requires advance prediction of coral reef alteration in the face of anthropogenic stress and change in the global environment (Hatcher, 1997a). In practice, this goal requires techniques that can rapidly discern, at an early stage, sublethal effects that may cause long-term increases in mortality (brown, 1988; Grigg and Dollar, 1990). Such methods would improve our understanding of the differences in the population, community, and ecosystem structure, as well as function, between pristine and degraded reefs. This knowledge base could then support scientifically based management strategies (Done, 1992). Brown (1988) noted the general lack of rigor in the assessment of stress on coral reefs and suggested that more quantitative approaches than currently exist are needed to allow objective understanding of coral reef dynamics. Sensitive techniques for the timely appraisal of pollution effects or generalized endemic stress in coral reefs are sorely lacking (Grigg and Dollar, 1990; Wilkinsin, 1992). Moreover, monitoring methods based on population inventories, sclerochronology, or reproductive biology tend to myopic and may give inconsistent results. Ideally, an improved means of evaluating reef stress would discriminate mortality due to natural causes from morality to

  18. Hierarchical drivers of reef-fish metacommunity structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacNeil, M Aaron; Graham, Nicholas A J; Polunin, Nicholas V C; Kulbicki, Michel; Galzin, René; Harmelin-Vivien, Mireille; Rushton, Steven P

    2009-01-01

    Coral reefs are highly complex ecological systems, where multiple processes interact across scales in space and time to create assemblages of exceptionally high biodiversity. Despite the increasing frequency of hierarchically structured sampling programs used in coral-reef science, little progress has been made in quantifying the relative importance of processes operating across multiple scales. The vast majority of reef studies are conducted, or at least analyzed, at a single spatial scale, ignoring the implicitly hierarchical structure of the overall system in favor of small-scale experiments or large-scale observations. Here we demonstrate how alpha (mean local number of species), beta diversity (degree of species dissimilarity among local sites), and gamma diversity (overall species richness) vary with spatial scale, and using a hierarchical, information-theoretic approach, we evaluate the relative importance of site-, reef-, and atoll-level processes driving the fish metacommunity structure among 10 atolls in French Polynesia. Process-based models, representing well-established hypotheses about drivers of reef-fish community structure, were assembled into a candidate set of 12 hierarchical linear models. Variation in fish abundance, biomass, and species richness were unevenly distributed among transect, reef, and atoll levels, establishing the relative contribution of variation at these spatial scales to the structure of the metacommunity. Reef-fish biomass, species richness, and the abundance of most functional-groups corresponded primarily with transect-level habitat diversity and atoll-lagoon size, whereas detritivore and grazer abundances were largely correlated with potential covariates of larval dispersal. Our findings show that (1) within-transect and among-atoll factors primarily drive the relationship between alpha and gamma diversity in this reef-fish metacommunity; (2) habitat is the primary correlate with reef-fish metacommunity structure at

  19. Microbial to reef scale interactions between the reef-building coral Montastraea annularis and benthic algae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barott, Katie L; Rodriguez-Mueller, Beltran; Youle, Merry; Marhaver, Kristen L; Vermeij, Mark J A; Smith, Jennifer E; Rohwer, Forest L

    2012-04-22

    Competition between reef-building corals and benthic algae is of key importance for reef dynamics. These interactions occur on many spatial scales, ranging from chemical to regional. Using microprobes, 16S rDNA pyrosequencing and underwater surveys, we examined the interactions between the reef-building coral Montastraea annularis and four types of benthic algae. The macroalgae Dictyota bartayresiana and Halimeda opuntia, as well as a mixed consortium of turf algae, caused hypoxia on the adjacent coral tissue. Turf algae were also associated with major shifts in the bacterial communities at the interaction zones, including more pathogens and virulence genes. In contrast to turf algae, interactions with crustose coralline algae (CCA) and M. annularis did not appear to be antagonistic at any scale. These zones were not hypoxic, the microbes were not pathogen-like and the abundance of coral-CCA interactions was positively correlated with per cent coral cover. We propose a model in which fleshy algae (i.e. some species of turf and fleshy macroalgae) alter benthic competition dynamics by stimulating bacterial respiration and promoting invasion of virulent bacteria on corals. This gives fleshy algae a competitive advantage over corals when human activities, such as overfishing and eutrophication, remove controls on algal abundance. Together, these results demonstrate the intricate connections and mechanisms that structure coral reefs.

  20. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) contamination of surface sediments and oysters from the inter-tidal areas of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gaspare, Lydia; Machiwa, John F.; Mdachi, S.J.M.; Streck, Georg; Brack, Werner

    2009-01-01

    Surface sediment and oyster samples from the inter-tidal areas of Dar es Salaam were analyzed for 23 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) including the 16 compounds prioritized by US-EPA using GC/MS. The total concentration of PAHs in the sediment ranged from 78 to 25,000 ng/g dry weight, while oyster concentrations ranged from 170 to 650 ng/g dry weight. Hazards due to sediment contamination were assessed using Equilibrium Partitioning Sediment Benchmarks and Threshold Effect Levels. Diagnostic indices and principle component analysis were used to identify possible sources. Interestingly, no correlation between sediment and oyster concentrations at the same sites was found. This is supported by completely different contamination patterns, suggesting different sources for both matrices. Hazard assessment revealed possible effects at six out of eight sites on the benthic communities and oyster populations. The contribution of PAH intake via oyster consumption to carcinogenic risks in humans seems to be low. - PAH contamination may pose hazards to benthos but limited risks to humans

  1. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) contamination of surface sediments and oysters from the inter-tidal areas of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gaspare, Lydia; Machiwa, John F. [Department of Aquatic Environment and Conservation, University of Dar es Salaam, P.O. Box 60091, Dar es Salaam (Tanzania, United Republic of); Mdachi, S.J.M. [Department of Chemistry, University of Dar es Salaam, P.O. Box 35062, Dar es Salaam (Tanzania, United Republic of); Streck, Georg [UFZ Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research Leipzig-Halle, Department of Effect-Directed Analysis, Permoserstrasse 15, 04318 Leipzig (Germany); Brack, Werner [UFZ Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research Leipzig-Halle, Department of Effect-Directed Analysis, Permoserstrasse 15, 04318 Leipzig (Germany)], E-mail: werner.brack@ufz.de

    2009-01-15

    Surface sediment and oyster samples from the inter-tidal areas of Dar es Salaam were analyzed for 23 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) including the 16 compounds prioritized by US-EPA using GC/MS. The total concentration of PAHs in the sediment ranged from 78 to 25,000 ng/g dry weight, while oyster concentrations ranged from 170 to 650 ng/g dry weight. Hazards due to sediment contamination were assessed using Equilibrium Partitioning Sediment Benchmarks and Threshold Effect Levels. Diagnostic indices and principle component analysis were used to identify possible sources. Interestingly, no correlation between sediment and oyster concentrations at the same sites was found. This is supported by completely different contamination patterns, suggesting different sources for both matrices. Hazard assessment revealed possible effects at six out of eight sites on the benthic communities and oyster populations. The contribution of PAH intake via oyster consumption to carcinogenic risks in humans seems to be low. - PAH contamination may pose hazards to benthos but limited risks to humans.

  2. Long-Term Low Tide Monitoring Data for Fishes, Shrimps, & Crabs in Oyster Landing Creek, North Inlet Estuary, Georgetown, South Carolina: 1983-2003.

    Data.gov (United States)

    Baruch Institute for Marine and Coastal Sciences, Univ of South Carolina — Seine samples of the nekton community were taken every 2 weeks with a 6-millimeter mesh bag seine at low tide, in an intertidal creek pool in the Oyster Landing...

  3. 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.

  4. Perkinsus beihaiensis (Perkinsozoa in oysters of Bahia State, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. S. A. Luz

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract This study reports the pathogen Perkinsus beihaiensis in oysters of the genus Crassostrea on the coast of the State of Bahia (Brazil, its prevalence, infection intensity and correlation with salinity. Oysters (n = 240 were collected between October and December 2014 at eight sampling stations between latitudes 13°55'S and 15°42'S. The laboratory procedures included macroscopic analysis, histology, culture in Ray's fluid thioglycollate medium (RFTM, Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR and DNA sequencing. PCR and sequencing have been used for the genetic identification of oysters as well. Two species of oysters have been identified: Crassostrea rhizophorae and C. brasiliana. In both oyster species P. beihaiensis was the only Perkinsus species detected. In C. rhizophorae, the average prevalence was 82.8% by histology and 65.2% by RFTM. In C. brasiliana, the prevalences were 70.5% and 35.7%, respectively. The higher prevalence of P. beihaiensis in C. rhizophorae was probably influenced by salinity, with which was positively correlated (r> 0.8. In both oysters, P. beihaiensis was located mainly in the gastric epithelium. The infection was generally mild or moderate, without apparent harm to the hosts, but in cases of severe infection, there was hemocytical reaction and tissue disorganization. The generally high prevalence in the region suggests that oysters should be monitored with respect to this pathogen, especially in growing areas.

  5. Anthropogenic impacts on coral reefs and their effect on fishery of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Anthropogenic impacts on coral reefs and their effect on fishery of Kilwa District, Tanzania. ... Tanzanian fishing coastal communities live on fishing activities as one their major economic activities, practicing fishing on shallow ... Overfishing,

  6. Primary productivity of marine macrophytes in the coral reef lagoon of the Kadmat Island, Lakshadweep

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Dhargalkar, V.K.; Shaikh, N.

    n situ primary productivity measurements were carried out with different macrophyte species (belonging to four groups) dominating the benthic communities in the coral reef lagoon of the Kadmat Island of the Lakshadweep Archipelago...

  7. Lophelia II 2009: Deepwater Program: Exploration and Research of Northern Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Natural and Artificial Hard Bottom Habitats with Emphasis on Coral Communities: Reefs, Rigs and Wrecks on NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown between 20090819 and 20090912

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This cruise used the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Jason II to: explore 4-6 new sites for the occurrence of deep water coral reefs; made collections of Lophelia...

  8. A shell-neutral modeling approach yields sustainable oyster harvest estimates: a retrospective analysis of the Louisiana state primary seed grounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soniat, Thomas M.; Klinck, John M.; Powell, Eric N.; Cooper, Nathan; Abdelguerfi, Mahdi; Hofmann, Eileen E.; Dahal, Janak; Tu, Shengru; Finigan, John; Eberline, Benjamin S.; La Peyre, Jerome F.; LaPeyre, Megan K.; Qaddoura, Fareed

    2012-01-01

    A numerical model is presented that defines a sustainability criterion as no net loss of shell, and calculates a sustainable harvest of seed (<75 mm) and sack or market oysters (≥75 mm). Stock assessments of the Primary State Seed Grounds conducted east of the Mississippi from 2009 to 2011 show a general trend toward decreasing abundance of sack and seed oysters. Retrospective simulations provide estimates of annual sustainable harvests. Comparisons of simulated sustainable harvests with actual harvests show a trend toward unsustainable harvests toward the end of the time series. Stock assessments combined with shell-neutral models can be used to estimate sustainable harvest and manage cultch through shell planting when actual harvest exceeds sustainable harvest. For exclusive restoration efforts (no fishing allowed), the model provides a metric for restoration success-namely, shell accretion. Oyster fisheries that remove shell versus reef restorations that promote shell accretion, although divergent in their goals, are convergent in their management; both require vigilant attention to shell budgets.

  9. Human enteroviruses in oysters and their overlying waters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goyal, S M; Gerba, C P; Melnick, J L

    1979-03-01

    The presence of enteroviruses in oysters and oyster-harvesting waters of the Texas Gulf coast was monitored over a period of 10 months. Viruses were detected in water and oyster samples obtained from areas both open and closed to shellfish harvesting. Viruses were detected periodically in waters that met current bacteriological standards for shellfish harvesting. No significant statistical relationship was demonstrated between virus concentration in oysters and the bacteriological and physiochemical quality of water and shellfish. Viruses in water were, however, moderately correlated with total coliforms in water and oysters and with fecal coliforms in oysters. Total coliforms in water were realted to total coliforms in sediment were related only to total coliforms in sediment. Among the physiochemical characteristics of water, turbidity was related statistically to the organic matter content of water and to fecal coliforms in water. There was a marked effect of rainfall on the bacteriological quality of water. Of a total of 44 water samples, 26 yielded virus in concentrations from 4 to 167 plaque-forming units per 100-gallon (ca. 378.5-liter) sample. Of a total of 40 pools of 10 to 12 oysters each, virus was found in 14 pools at a concentration of 6 to 224 plaque-forming units per 100 g of oyster meat. On five occasions, virus was found in water samples when no virus could be detected in oysters harvested from the same sites. This study indicates that current bacteriological standards for determining the safety of shellfish and shellfish-growing waters do no reflect the occurrence of enteroviruses.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wegley Kelly, L.; Barott, K.L.;