High macroalgal cover and low coral recruitment undermines the potential resilience of the world's southernmost coral reef assemblages
Article - Full Text
Microsoft Word 2007
Supplemental File 1
Microsoft Word 2007
Supplemental File 2
Microsoft Word 2007
Supplemental File 3
KAUST DepartmentRed Sea Research Center (RSRC)
Permanent link to this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/10754/325295
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractCoral reefs are under increasing pressure from anthropogenic and climate-induced stressors. The ability of reefs to reassemble and regenerate after disturbances (i.e., resilience) is largely dependent on the capacity of herbivores to prevent macroalgal expansion, and the replenishment of coral populations through larval recruitment. Currently there is a paucity of this information for higher latitude, subtropical reefs. To assess the potential resilience of the benthic reef assemblages of Lord Howe Island (31°32?S, 159°04?E), the worlds' southernmost coral reef, we quantified the benthic composition, densities of juvenile corals (as a proxy for coral recruitment), and herbivorous fish communities. Despite some variation among habitats and sites, benthic communities were dominated by live scleractinian corals (mean cover 37.4%) and fleshy macroalgae (20.9%). Live coral cover was higher than in most other subtropical reefs and directly comparable to lower latitude tropical reefs. Juvenile coral densities (0.8 ind.m -2), however, were 5-200 times lower than those reported for tropical reefs. Overall, macroalgal cover was negatively related to the cover of live coral and the density of juvenile corals, but displayed no relationship with herbivorous fish biomass. The biomass of herbivorous fishes was relatively low (204 kg.ha -1), and in marked contrast to tropical reefs was dominated by macroalgal browsing species (84.1%) with relatively few grazing species. Despite their extremely low biomass, grazing fishes were positively related to both the density of juvenile corals and the cover of bare substrata, suggesting that they may enhance the recruitment of corals through the provision of suitable settlement sites. Although Lord Howe Islands' reefs are currently coral-dominated, the high macroalgal cover, coupled with limited coral recruitment and low coral growth rates suggest these reefs may be extremely susceptible to future disturbances. © 2011 Hoey et al.
CitationHoey AS, Pratchett MS, Cvitanovic C (2011) High Macroalgal Cover and Low Coral Recruitment Undermines the Potential Resilience of the World-s Southernmost Coral Reef Assemblages. PLoS ONE 6: e25824. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0025824.
PublisherPublic Library of Science (PLoS)
PubMed Central IDPMC3185058
- Spatial and temporal patterns of eastern Australia subtropical coral communities.
- Authors: Dalton SJ, Roff G
- Issue date: 2013
- Resilience potential of an Indian Ocean reef: an assessment through coral recruitment pattern and survivability of juvenile corals to recurrent stress events.
- Authors: Manikandan B, Ravindran J, Vidya PJ, Shrinivasu S, Manimurali R, Paramasivam K
- Issue date: 2017 May
- Seaweed-coral interactions: variance in seaweed allelopathy, coral susceptibility, and potential effects on coral resilience.
- Authors: Bonaldo RM, Hay ME
- Issue date: 2014
- Linking demographic processes of juvenile corals to benthic recovery trajectories in two common reef habitats.
- Authors: Doropoulos C, Ward S, Roff G, González-Rivero M, Mumby PJ
- Issue date: 2015
- The influence of coral reef benthic condition on associated fish assemblages.
- Authors: Chong-Seng KM, Mannering TD, Pratchett MS, Bellwood DR, Graham NA
- Issue date: 2012
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Coral reef degradation and metabolic performance of the scleractinian coral Porites lutea under anthropogenic impact along the NE coast of Hainan Island, South China SeaRoder, Cornelia; Wu, Zhongjie; Richter, Claudio; Zhang, Jing (Continental Shelf Research, Elsevier BV, 2013-04) [Article]Hainan's coast provides favorable climatic, geochemical and biogeographic conditions for the development of extensive coral reefs in China. Observations in five reefs along the NE coast of Hainan showed, however, that the overall density of mobile macrofauna is low and key functional groups such as browsing, scraping or excavating herbivore fish are missing altogether. Coral diseases, partial mortality or tissue degradation are abundant and growth of macroalgal space competitors extensive. Signs of eutrophication, siltation and destructive fishing practices are evident resulting in a strongly altered environment unfavorable for coral recruitment success and survival. Acclimation to the anthropogenically altered conditions in the massive coral Porites lutea occurs at the cost of a decreased photosynthesis: respiration ratio reducing the regenerative capacity of these key framebuilding organisms. Even though, on the organismal level, corals are able to cope with these stressful conditions, a shift is imminent on the ecosystem level from a coral reef to a macroalgae-dominated community if land-based disturbance prevails unabated. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
Changes in biodiversity and functioning of reef fish assemblages following coral bleaching and coral lossPratchett, M.S.; Hoey, Andrew; Wilson, S.K.; Messmer, V.; Graham, N.A.J. (Diversity, MDPI AG, 2011-08-12) [Article]Coral reef ecosystems are increasingly subject to severe, large-scale disturbances caused by climate change (e.g., coral bleaching) and other more direct anthropogenic impacts. Many of these disturbances cause coral loss and corresponding changes in habitat structure, which has further important effects on abundance and diversity of coral reef fishes. Declines in the abundance and diversity of coral reef fishes are of considerable concern, given the potential loss of ecosystem function. This study explored the effects of coral loss, recorded in studies conducted throughout the world, on the diversity of fishes and also on individual responses of fishes within different functional groups. Extensive (>60%) coral loss almost invariably led to declines in fish diversity. Moreover, most fishes declined in abundance following acute disturbances that caused >10% declines in local coral cover. Response diversity, which is considered critical in maintaining ecosystem function and promoting resilience, was very low for corallivores, but was much higher for herbivores, omnivores and carnivores. Sustained and ongoing climate change thus poses a significant threat to coral reef ecosystems and diversity hotspots are no less susceptible to projected changes in diversity and function.
Metatranscriptome analysis of the reef-building coral Orbicella faveolata indicates holobiont response to coral diseaseDaniels, Camille Arian; Baumgarten, Sebastian; Yum, Lauren; Michell, Craig; Bayer, Till; Arif, Chatchanit; Roder, Cornelia; Weil, Ernesto; Voolstra, Christian R. (Frontiers in Marine Science, Frontiers Media SA, 2015-09-11) [Article]White Plague Disease (WPD) is implicated in coral reef decline in the Caribbean and is characterized by microbial community shifts in coral mucus and tissue. Studies thus far have focused on assessing microbial communities or the identification of specific pathogens, yet few have addressed holobiont response across metaorganism compartments in coral disease. Here, we report on the first metatranscriptomic assessment of the coral host, algal symbiont, and microbial compartment in order to survey holobiont structure and function in healthy and diseased samples from Orbicella faveolata collected at reef sites off Puerto Rico. Our data indicate holobiont-wide as well as compartment-specific responses to WPD. Gene expression changes in the diseased coral host involved proteins playing a role in innate immunity, cytoskeletal integrity, cell adhesion, oxidative stress, chemical defense, and retroelements. In contrast, the algal symbiont showed comparatively few expression changes, but of large magnitude, of genes related to stress, photosynthesis, and metal transport. Concordant with the coral host response, the bacterial compartment showed increased abundance of heat shock proteins, genes related to oxidative stress, DNA repair, and potential retroelement activity. Importantly, analysis of the expressed bacterial gene functions establishes the participation of multiple bacterial families in WPD pathogenesis and also suggests a possible involvement of viruses and/or phages in structuring the bacterial assemblage. In this study, we implement an experimental approach to partition the coral holobiont and resolve compartment- and taxa-specific responses in order to understand metaorganism function in coral disease.