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  • 2012

    Applying Habitat Maps and Biodiversity Assessments to Coral Reef Management

    The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation is conducting a five year Global Reef Expedition (GRE) to map, characterize and assess coral reefs and develop tools and information to assist local managers in their conservation and management activities. Measurements of coral demographics, mortality and recruitment are combined with assessments of benthic cover types, biomass of algal functional groups, population structure of commercially-valuable and ecologically-relevant reef fishes, and environmental resilience indicators using a standardized, rapid, quantitative survey protocol. Concurrent groundtruthing is used to define the bathymetry, identify habitat classes and their spatial distribution and extent, characterize dominant species assemblages, substrate types...

  • 2012

    Factors Contributing to the Regional Decline of Montastraea annularis (complex)

    Over the last 15 years the massive framework coral, Montastraea annularis (complex) has experienced a rapid decline in abundance, size and condition, and on many reefs in the western Atlantic these species are no longer the dominant corals. Surveys conducted in Puerto Rico, the Cayman Islands, Bonaire, St. Kitts and Nevis, and the Bahamas show a similar die-off and replacement by other corals, aggressive invertebrates and macroalgae, although the timing of these events is variable. Widespread colony mortality has been triggered by mass bleaching events, with coral diseases emerging after corals began to recover from bleaching. Outbreaks of yellow band disease...

  • 2012

    Revealing the Appetite of the Marine Aquarium Fish Trade: The Volume and Biodiversity of Fish Imported into the United States

    The aquarium trade and other wildlife consumers are at a crossroads forced by threats from global climate change and other anthropogenic stressors that have weakened coastal ecosystems. While the wildlife trade may put additional stress on coral reefs, it brings income into impoverished parts of the world and may stimulate interest in marine conservation. To better understand the influence of the trade, we must first be able to quantify coral reef fauna moving through it. Herein, we discuss the lack of a data system for monitoring the wildlife aquarium trade and analyze problems that arise when trying to monitor the...

  • 2012

    Red Sea Coral Reef Trajectories over 2 Decades Suggest Increasing Community Homogenization and Decline in Coral Size

    Three independent line intercept transect surveys on northern Red Sea reef slopes conducted in 1988/9 and 1997/8 in Egypt and from 2006–9 in Saudi Arabia were used to compare community patterns and coral size. Coral communities showed scale-dependent variability, highest at fine spatial and taxonomic scale (species-specific within and among reef patterns). At coarser scale (generic pattern across regions), patterns were more uniform (regionally consistent generic dominance on differently exposed reef slopes and at different depths). Neither fine- nor coarse-scale patterns aligned along the sampled 1700 km latitudinal gradient. Thus, a latitudinal gradient that had been described...

  • 2012

    Factors contributing to the regional decline of Montastraea annularis (complex)

    Bruckner A. (2012) Factors contributing to the regional decline of Montastraea annularis (complex). Proceedings of the 12th International Coral Reef Symposium. 5 pp

    Over the last 15 years the massive framework coral, Montastraea annularis (complex) has experienced a rapid decline in abundance, size and condition, and on many reefs in the western Atlantic these species are no longer the dominant corals. Surveys conducted in Puerto Rico, the Cayman Islands, Bonaire, St. Kitts and Nevis, and the Bahamas show a similar die-off and replacement by other corals, aggressive invertebrates and macroalgae, although the timing of these events is variable. Widespread colony mortality has been triggered by mass bleaching events, with coral diseases emerging after corals began to recover from bleaching....

  • 2012

    Reduced Expression of the Rate-Limiting Carbon Fixation Enzyme RuBisCO in the Benthic Foraminifer Baculogypsina sphaerulata holobiont in Response to Heat Shock

    Baculogypsina sphaerulata (Parker and Jones, 1860) is a common large benthic foraminifer (LBF) and is an important calcifier in coral reef ecosystems. As there are concerns that global increasing temperatures may compromise the survival of this species, which forms a symbiotic relationship with the diatom Nitzschia sp., we investigated the response of the B. sphaerulata holobiont from the intertidal algal flats of Xiao Liu Chiu Island, Taiwan to heat shock. B. sphaerulata specimens were incubated at 26 (ambient), 28, 30, 32, or 34 °C for 5 h designed to simulate short pulses of elevated temperature that occur in situ from...

  • 2012

    Lipid Bodies in Coral–Dinoflagellate Endosymbiosis: Proteomic and Ultrastructural Studies

    Gastrodermal lipid bodies (LBs) are organelles involved in the regulation of the mutualistic endosymbiosis between reef-building corals and their dinoflagellate endosymbionts (genus Symbiodinium). As their molecular composition remains poorly defined, we herein describe the first gastrodermal LB proteome and examine in situ morphology of LBs in order to provide insight into their structure and function. After tissue separation of the tentacles of the stony coral Euphyllia glabrescens, buoyant LBs of the gastroderm encompassing a variety of sizes (0.5–4 mm in diameter) were isolated after two cycles of subcellular fractionation via stepwise sucrose gradient ultracentrifugation and detergent washing....