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https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29299297/herbivory-facilitates-growth-of-a-key-reef-building-caribbean-coral
#1
Adam Suchley, Lorenzo Alvarez-Filip
The decline of reef-building corals in conjunction with shifts to short-lived opportunistic species has prompted concerns that Caribbean reef framework-building capacity has substantially diminished. Restoring herbivore populations may be a potential driver of coral recovery; however, the impact of herbivores on coral calcification has been little studied. We performed an exclusion experiment to evaluate the impact of herbivory on Orbicella faveolata coral growth over 14 months. The experiment consisted of three treatments: full exclusion cages; half cage procedural controls; and uncaged control plates, each with small O...
December 2017: Ecology and Evolution
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29290384/experimental-evidence-for-reduced-mortality-of-agaricia-lamarcki-on-a-mesophotic-reef
#2
Jack H Laverick, Alex D Rogers
Mesophotic Coral Ecosystems (MCEs) may act as a refuge for impacted shallow reefs as some of the stressors affecting tropical reefs attenuate with depth. A less impacted population at depth could provide recruits to recolonise shallow reefs. Recently, disturbance has been reported on several mesophotic reefs including storm damage, biological invasions, and coral bleaching; calling into question the extent of deep reef refuges. We report on a reciprocal transplant experiment between shallow and mesophotic reefs in the Caribbean, which occurred during a period of coral bleaching...
December 18, 2017: Marine Environmental Research
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29280003/octocoral-co-infection-as-a-balance-between-host-immunity-and-host-environment
#3
Allison M Tracy, Ernesto Weil, C Drew Harvell
Co-infection is the reality in natural populations, but few studies incorporate the players that matter in the wild. We integrate the environment, host demography, two parasites, and host immunity in a study of co-infection to determine the drivers of parasite interactions. Here, we use an ecologically important Caribbean sea fan octocoral, Gorgonia ventalina, that is co-infected by a copepod and a labyrinthulid protist. We first expanded upon laboratory studies by showing that immune suppression is associated with the labyrinthulid in a natural setting...
December 26, 2017: Oecologia
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29259841/unraveling-the-structure-and-composition-of-varadero-reef-an-improbable-and-imperiled-coral-reef-in-the-colombian-caribbean
#4
Valeria Pizarro, Sara C Rodríguez, Mateo López-Victoria, Fernando A Zapata, Sven Zea, Claudia T Galindo-Martínez, Roberto Iglesias-Prieto, Joseph Pollock, Mónica Medina
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...
2017: PeerJ
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29247694/the-selective-cleaning-behaviour-of-juvenile-blue-headed-wrasse-thalassoma-bifasciatum-in-the-caribbean
#5
Katie Dunkley, Jo Cable, Sarah E Perkins
Through the removal of parasites, dead skin and mucus from the bodies of visiting reef fish (clients), cleaner fish have a significant ecosystem function in the ecology of coral reefs. Cleaners gain nutrition from these interactions and through offering a 'service' are afforded protection from predators. Given these benefits, it is unclear why more fish do not engage in cleaning, and why part-time cleaning strategies exist. On coral reefs, dedicated species clean throughout their life, whereas some species are facultative, employing opportunistic and/or temporary cleaning strategies...
December 13, 2017: Behavioural Processes
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29203793/environmental-dna-reveals-tropical-shark-diversity-in-contrasting-levels-of-anthropogenic-impact
#6
Judith Bakker, Owen S Wangensteen, Demian D Chapman, Germain Boussarie, Dayne Buddo, Tristan L Guttridge, Heidi Hertler, David Mouillot, Laurent Vigliola, Stefano Mariani
Sharks are charismatic predators that play a key role in most marine food webs. Their demonstrated vulnerability to exploitation has recently turned them into flagship species in ocean conservation. Yet, the assessment and monitoring of the distribution and abundance of such mobile species in marine environments remain challenging, often invasive and resource-intensive. Here we pilot a novel, rapid and non-invasive environmental DNA (eDNA) metabarcoding approach specifically targeted to infer shark presence, diversity and eDNA read abundance in tropical habitats...
December 4, 2017: Scientific Reports
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29187964/population-structure-and-connectivity-of-the-mountainous-star-coral-orbicella-faveolata-throughout-the-wider-caribbean-region
#7
John P Rippe, Mikhail V Matz, Elizabeth A Green, Mónica Medina, Nida Z Khawaja, Thanapat Pongwarin, Jorge H Pinzón C, Karl D Castillo, Sarah W Davies
As coral reefs continue to decline worldwide, it becomes ever more necessary to understand the connectivity between coral populations to develop efficient management strategies facilitating survival and adaptation of coral reefs in the future. Orbicella faveolata is one of the most important reef-building corals in the Caribbean and has recently experienced severe population reductions. Here, we utilize a panel of nine microsatellite loci to evaluate the genetic structure of O. faveolata and to infer connectivity across ten sites spanning the wider Caribbean region...
November 2017: Ecology and Evolution
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29181279/genome-wide-survey-of-single-nucleotide-polymorphisms-reveals-fine-scale-population-structure-and-signs-of-selection-in-the-threatened-caribbean-elkhorn-coral-acropora-palmata
#8
Meghann K Devlin-Durante, Iliana B Baums
The advent of next-generation sequencing tools has made it possible to conduct fine-scale surveys of population differentiation and genome-wide scans for signatures of selection in non-model organisms. Such surveys are of particular importance in sharply declining coral species, since knowledge of population boundaries and signs of local adaptation can inform restoration and conservation efforts. Here, we use genome-wide surveys of single-nucleotide polymorphisms in the threatened Caribbean elkhorn coral, Acropora palmata, to reveal fine-scale population structure and infer the major barrier to gene flow that separates the eastern and western Caribbean populations between the Bahamas and Puerto Rico...
2017: PeerJ
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29167578/comparative-genomics-of-color-morphs-in-the-coral-montastraea-cavernosa
#9
Jessica K Jarett, Matthew D MacManes, Kathleen M Morrow, M Sabrina Pankey, Michael P Lesser
Montastraea cavernosa is a common coral in the Caribbean basin found in several color morphs. To investigate the causes for brown and orange morphs we undertook a genomics approach on corals collected at the same time and depth in the Bahamas. The coral holobiont includes the host, symbiotic dinoflagellates (Symbiodinium spp.), and a diverse microbiome. While the coral host showed significant genetic differentiation between color morphs both the composition of the Symbiodinium spp. communities and the prokaryotic communities did not...
November 22, 2017: Scientific Reports
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29158534/changes-to-yucat%C3%A3-n-peninsula-precipitation-associated-with-salinity-and-temperature-extremes-of-the-caribbean-sea-during-the-maya-civilization-collapse
#10
Henry C Wu, Thomas Felis, Denis Scholz, Cyril Giry, Martin Kölling, Klaus P Jochum, Sander R Scheffers
Explanations of the Classic Maya civilization demise on the Yucatán Peninsula during the Terminal Classic Period (TCP; ~CE 750-1050) are controversial. Multiyear droughts are one likely cause, but the role of the Caribbean Sea, the dominant moisture source for Mesoamerica, remains largely unknown. Here we present bimonthly-resolved snapshots of reconstructed sea surface temperature (SST) and salinity (SSS) variability in the southern Caribbean from precisely dated fossil corals. The results indicate pronounced interannual to decadal SST and SSS variability during the TCP, which may be temporally coherent to precipitation anomalies on the Yucatán...
November 20, 2017: Scientific Reports
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29129968/bleaching-response-of-coral-species-in-the-context-of-assemblage-response
#11
Timothy D Swain, Emily DuBois, Scott J Goldberg, Vadim Backman, Luisa A Marcelino
Caribbean coral reefs are declining due to a mosaic of local and global stresses, including climate change-induced thermal stress. Species and assemblage responses differ due to factors that are not easily identifiable or quantifiable. We calculated a novel species-specific metric of coral bleaching response, taxon-α and -β, which relates the response of a species to that of its assemblages for 16 species over 18 assemblages. By contextualizing species responses within the response of their assemblages, the effects of environmental factors are removed and intrinsic differences among taxa are revealed...
June 2017: Coral Reefs: Journal of the International Society for Reef Studies
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29124861/inhibiting-bacterial-quorum-sensing-arrests-coral-disease-development-and-disease-associated-microbes
#12
Rebecca H Certner, Steven V Vollmer
Among the greatest threats to coral reefs are coral epizootics, which are increasing in frequency and severity across many reef ecosystems. In particular, white band disease (WBD) has devastated Caribbean acroporid populations since its initial outbreak in 1979. However, despite its widespread and damaging effects, the etiology of WBD remains largely unresolved. Here we examine the role of quorum sensing within bacterial communities associated with WBD-infected Acropora cervicornis. Microbial communities isolated from WBD-infected corals were exposed to quorum sensing inhibitor (QSI) - a N-acyl homoserine lactone autoinducer antagonist - and then dosed onto healthy test corals...
November 10, 2017: Environmental Microbiology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29098358/coral-symbiodinium-community-composition-across-the-belize-mesoamerican-barrier-reef-system-is-influenced-by-host-species-and-thermal-variability
#13
J H Baumann, S W Davies, H E Aichelman, K D Castillo
Reef-building corals maintain a symbiotic relationship with dinoflagellate algae of the genus Symbiodinium, and this symbiosis is vital for the survival of the coral holobiont. Symbiodinium community composition within the coral host has been shown to influence a coral's ability to resist and recover from stress. A multitude of stressors including ocean warming, ocean acidification, and eutrophication have been linked to global scale decline in coral health and cover in recent decades. Three distinct thermal regimes (highTP, modTP, and lowTP) following an inshore-offshore gradient of declining average temperatures and thermal variation were identified on the Belize Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System (MBRS)...
November 2, 2017: Microbial Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29093994/comparative-demography-of-two-common-scleractinian-corals-orbicella-annularis-and-porites-astreoides
#14
Francisco J Soto-Santiago, Alex Mercado-Molina, Koralis Reyes-Maldonado, Yaileen Vélez, Claudia P Ruiz-Díaz, Alberto Sabat
Background: Studies directed at understanding the demography and population dynamics of corals are relatively scarce. This limits our understanding of both the dynamics of coral populations and our capacity to develop management and conservation initiatives directed at conserving such ecosystems. Methods: From 2012 to 2014, we collected data on the growth, survival, and recruitment rates of two common Caribbean coral species, the stress-tolerant Orbicella annularis and the weedy Porites astreoides...
2017: PeerJ
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29079623/abundance-and-multilocus-sequence-analysis-of-vibrio-associated-with-diseased-elkhorn-coral-acropora-palmata-of-the-florida-keys
#15
Keri M Kemp, Jason R Westrich, Magdy S Alabady, Martinique L Edwards, Erin K Lipp
The critically endangered elkhorn coral, Acropora palmata, is affected by white pox disease (WPX) throughout the Florida Reef Tract and wider Caribbean. The bacterium Serratia marcescens was previously identified as one etiologic agent of WPX, but is no longer consistently detected in contemporary outbreaks. It is now believed that multiple etiologic agents cause WPX; however, to date, no other potential pathogens have been thoroughly investigated. This study examined the association of Vibrio bacteria with WPX occurrence from August 2012--2014 at Looe Key Reef in the Florida Keys, USA...
October 27, 2017: Applied and Environmental Microbiology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29076634/bleaching-events-regulate-shifts-from-corals-to-excavating-sponges-in-algae-dominated-reefs
#16
Andia Chaves-Fonnegra, Bernhard Riegl, Sven Zea, Jose V Lopez, Tyler Smith, Marilyn Brandt, David S Gilliam
Changes in coral-sponge interactions can alter reef accretion/erosion balance and are important to predict trends on current algal-dominated Caribbean reefs. Although sponge abundance is increasing on some coral reefs, we lack information on how shifts from corals to bioeroding sponges occur, and how environmental factors such as anomalous seawater temperatures and consequent coral bleaching and mortality influence these shifts. A state transition model (Markov chain) was developed to evaluate the response of coral excavating sponges (Cliona delitrix Pang 1973) after coral bleaching events...
October 27, 2017: Global Change Biology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29062597/ongoing-removals-of-invasive-lionfish-in-honduras-and-their-effect-on-native-caribbean-prey-fishes
#17
Friederike Peiffer, Sonia Bejarano, Giacomo Palavicini de Witte, Christian Wild
The invasion of Indo-Pacific lionfish is one of the most pressing concerns in the context of coral reef conservation throughout the Caribbean. Invasive lionfish threaten Caribbean fish communities by feeding on a wide range of native prey species, some of which have high ecological and economic value. In Roatan (Honduras) a local non-governmental organisation (i.e. Roatan Marine Park) trains residents and tourists in the use of spears to remove invasive lionfish. Here, we assess the effectiveness of local removal efforts in reducing lionfish populations...
2017: PeerJ
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29046575/oil-exposure-disrupts-early-life-history-stages-of-coral-reef-fishes-via-behavioural-impairments
#18
Jacob L Johansen, Bridie J M Allan, Jodie L Rummer, Andrew J Esbaugh
Global demand for energy and oil-based products is progressively introducing petrogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) into sensitive marine environments, primarily from fossil-fuel exploration, transport, and urban and industrial runoff. These toxic pollutants are found worldwide, yet the long-term ecological effects on coral reef ecosystems are unknown. Here, we demonstrate that oil exposure spanning PAH concentrations that are environmentally relevant for many coastal marine ecosystems (≤5.7 μg l(-1)), including parts of the Great Barrier Reef, Red Sea, Asia and the Caribbean, causes elevated mortality and stunted growth rates in six species of pre-settlement coral reef fishes, spanning two evolutionarily distinct families (Pomacentridae and Lethrinidae)...
August 2017: Nature Ecology & Evolution
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29016624/unusually-high-coral-recruitment-during-the-2016-el-ni%C3%A3-o-in-mo-orea-french-polynesia
#19
Peter J Edmunds
The negative implications of the thermal sensitivity of reef corals became clear with coral bleaching throughout the Caribbean in the 1980's, and later globally, with the severe El Niño of 1998 and extensive seawater warming in 2005. These events have substantially contributed to declines in coral cover, and therefore the El Niño of 2016 raised concerns over the implications for coral reefs; on the Great Barrier Reef these concerns have been realized. A different outcome developed in Mo'orea, French Polynesia, where in situ seawater temperature from 15 March 2016 to 15 April 2016 was an average of 0...
2017: PloS One
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28916267/comparison-of-phagocytosis-in-three-caribbean-sea-urchins
#20
John DeFilippo, John Ebersole, Gregory Beck
In 1983 large numbers of the sea urchin Diadema antillarum unexplainably began showing signs of illness and dying in the Caribbean, and over the next year they came close to extinction, making it one of the worst mass mortality events on record. Present evidence suggests a water-borne pathogen as the etiological agent. Decades later Diadema densities remain low, and its near extinction has been a major factor in transforming living coral reefs in the Caribbean to barren algae-covered rock. In the ensuing decades, no solid explanation has been found to the questions: what killed Diadema; why did Diadema succumb while other species of urchins on the same reefs did not; and why has Diadema still not recovered? A recent hypothesis posited by our lab as to Diadema's vulnerability was directed at possible compromised immunity in Diadema, and experimental results found a significantly impaired humoral response to a key component of gram-negative bacteria...
September 12, 2017: Developmental and Comparative Immunology
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