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Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:The University Corporation, Northridge
  • Peter J Edmunds
  • (818) 677-2502
Award Date:03/08/2004
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 272,158
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 167,044
  • FY 2006=$32,058
  • FY 2008=$34,165
  • FY 2009=$6,996
  • FY 2007=$33,106
  • FY 2005=$32,552
  • FY 2004=$28,167
Start Date:05/01/2004
End Date:10/31/2009
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.074
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:RUI: Long-Term Coral Reef Dynamics in the US Virgin Islands: 1987-2008
Federal Award ID Number:0343570
DUNS ID:055752331
Parent DUNS ID:055752331
Program Officer:
  • Saran Twombly
  • (703) 292-8133

Awardee Location

Street:18111 Nordhoff Street
Awardee Cong. District:30

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:California State University-Northridge
Cong. District:30

Abstract at Time of Award

Long-term coral reef dynamics in the USVI: 1987-2008 PI - Peter J. Edmunds Institution -- California State University Northridge Contact -- This proposal focuses on coral reefs in the United States Virgin Islands (USVI), specifically extending an existing long-term study of coral reef community structure into its 22nd year and addressing four hypotheses addressing the mechanisms responsible for recent and ongoing changes in these systems. The analysis of the community structure entails documenting the relative abundance of live coral and algae on the sea floor, and quantifying the birth, death and growth rates of individual colonies of ecologically important species. To gain insight into the underlying causes of change, experiments will be conducted and existing data analyzed in order to: (i) identify the mechanisms relating coral success to their potential to reproduce and replace themselves, (ii) determine the importance of high temperature in killing coral recruits, (iii) gauge how the relative abundance of coral colonies of ecologically important sizes - namely large (i.e., old) colonies - has been changed by recent disturbances, and (iv) develop the capacity to forecast what the reefs of tomorrow will look like, and which species will dominate the communities. Close integration of this project with the VI National Park provides clear channels of communication through which the results can be directed in order to be effective components of the decision making process concerning the management of coral reef resources. To achieve the goals of this study, NSF support through the LTREB program will be used to complete a five-year analysis of coral reefs in St. John (USVI) that have been studied continuously by this investigator since 1987. Reefs in this location represent a resource of profound importance to the United States because they occur in a pristine location that is protected within a National Park and the international system of Biosphere Reserves. Because of this protection, changes on these reefs are more likely to reflect the "natural" dynamics of marine communities within this region rather than local effects attributed to urbanization and other human-induced effects. In other words, the reefs of St. John provide a unique reference site against which the effects of human impacts in more disturbed locations (for example, the Florida Keys and Hawaii) can be gauged. The merits of this project lie in the context, longevity and productivity of the existing study that provides an empirical justification to continue the research, as well as a framework within which meaningful hypotheses can be developed. Completion of this phase of the work will create one of the longest quantitative histories with annual resolution of a Caribbean reef, and by addressing mechanistic questions substantial advances will be made in understanding the causes and consequences of recent changes in coral reef community structure.

Publications Produced as a Result of this Research

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Edmunds PJ "Evidence for a decadal-scale decline in the growth rates of juvenile scleractinian corals" Marine Ecology Progress Series, v.341, 2007, p.1.

Elahi R, Edmunds PJ "Consequences of fission in the coral Siderastrea siderea: growth rates of small colonies and" Coral Reefs, v.26, 2007, p.271.

Idjadi JA, Edmunds PJ. "Scleractinian corals as facilitators: evidence for positive interactions between scleractinian corals and other reef invertebrates." Marine Ecology Progress Series, v.319, 2006, p.117.

Edmunds PJ, Elahi R. "The demographics of a 15-year decline in cover of the Caribbean reef coral Montastraea annularis" Ecological Monographs, v.77, 2007, p.3.

Carpenter RC, Edmunds. "Caribbean-wide recovery of Diadema promotes recruitment of scleractinian corals" Ecology Letters, v.9, 2006, p.271.

Elahi R, Edmunds PJ "Tissue age affects calcification in the scleractinian coral Madracis mirabilis" Biological Bulletin, v.212, 2007, p.20.

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