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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Awardee:UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SANTA BARBARA
Doing Business As Name:University of California-Santa Barbara
PD/PI:
  • Russell J Schmitt
  • (805) 893-2051
  • schmitt@lifesci.ucsb.edu
Co-PD(s)/co-PI(s):
  • Sally J Holbrook ~000096541
  • Robert C Carpenter ~000324812
  • Peter J Edmunds ~000478133
Award Date:07/19/2004
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 4,920,014
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 5,904,638
  • FY 2004=$820,000
  • FY 2008=$1,143,734
  • FY 2006=$882,004
  • FY 2010=$178,144
  • FY 2007=$914,000
  • FY 2009=$1,068,304
  • FY 2005=$898,452
Start Date:09/01/2004
End Date:08/31/2012
Transaction Type:Grant
Agency:NSF
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.050
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:LTER: Long-Term Dynamics of a Coral Reef Ecosystem
Federal Award ID Number:0417412
DUNS ID:094878394
Parent DUNS ID:071549000
Program:BIOLOGICAL OCEANOGRAPHY
Program Officer:
  • David L. Garrison
  • (703) 292-8582
  • dgarriso@nsf.gov

Awardee Location

Street:Office of Research
City:SANTA BARBARA
State:CA
ZIP:93106-2050
County:Santa Barbara
Country:US
Awardee Cong. District:24

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:University of California-Santa Barbara
Street:Office of Research
City:SANTA BARBARA
State:CA
ZIP:93106-2050
County:Santa Barbara
Country:US
Cong. District:24

Abstract at Time of Award

Coral reefs are of great ecological importance, having the highest species diversity of any marine habitat and ranking near the top of all ecosystems with respect to annual total gross productivity. The communities are supported structurally by reef-building corals and trophically by efficient recycling. The key biotic interaction underlying reef systems is the mutualistic relationship between hermatypic corals and photosynthetic zooxanthellae. Hermatypic corals are both functional autotrophs and heterotrophs and derive carbon from multiple sources. In addition to biotic interactions, numerous other biological processes are influenced by a variety of abiotic events that can operate at spatial scales ranging from millimeters to hundreds of kilometers, and which can vary on short to long time scales. Coral reef ecosystems can be affected by perturbations ranging from short and relatively localized disturbances, where return to the original state is possible, to more chronic, widespread influence of shifts in climate over decades that may fundamentally alter the ecosystem. The latter perturbation is predicted to cause sweeping change in coral reef ecosystems in the coming decades. While there are coral reef monitoring programs, descriptive ecology alone cannot elucidate the mechanistic basis of change in these systems. This award will establish a Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) site focused on dynamics of coral reef ecosystems, at the island of Moorea, French Polynesia, location of the University of California's Gump Research Station. This LTER will estimate long-term trends and address key gaps in understanding through long-term observations and experiments supplemented by shorter-term process studies. The goals are to better understand key processes that (i) modulate ecosystem function, (ii) shape community structure and diversity, and (iii) determine abundance and dynamics of constituent populations. Such mechanistic understanding will allow more accurate predictions of how coral reef ecosystems will respond to qualitatively different types of environmental change. Coordinated interdisciplinary research by the team of 20 investigators will address issues central to the LTER program. The themes that will form the core research thrusts of the proposed LTER include: (1) the biological bases for variation in ecological performance of hermatypic corals (the foundational group); (2) population dynamics of key groups; (3) food web and nutrient dynamics; and (4) the maintenance and functional consequences of diversity. Two additional research components cut across these themes and will help to integrate and generalize the research endeavors of the thematic areas. These are: (a) an explicit focus on physical - biological coupling (including but not limited to abiotic forcing) over multiple scales; and (b) hydrodynamic, food-web and ecosystem modeling to obtain greater insight and predictive power, and to further guide empirical efforts. Major issues within each thematic area will be addressed through focused, process-oriented studies and by long-term monitoring of key abiotic conditions and important ecosystem processes, community attributes, and demographic processes for representative functional groups of organisms. Broader Impacts. Both the scientific community and the public have tremendous interest in and concern about conservation of coral reef ecosystems. This project will greatly increase understanding of these systems, and as such, will inform government officials, resource managers and others charged with conservation and management of coral reefs. LTER cross-site comparisons that reveal generality across different ecosystems will lead to more effective management of natural resources in general. Scientific findings and technical information from the project will be broadly disseminated through a website, scientific publications and presentations, and in the media. Outreach activities will be extensive, and will involve K-12 programs in Southern California as well as community and school outreach in French Polynesia and an internship program for Tahitian university students (coordinated by the Atitia Center). Undergraduate and graduate students from under-represented groups (particularly Hispanic, Native American and Pacific Island) will be involved in an education and research training program, linking California State University Northridge (a minority institution) and University of California Santa Barbara, that will provide training in research, team research experiences, and development of skills needed to carry out interdisciplinary, collaborative research. The project also will engage in post-doctoral training, and will build international linkages between US scientists and those in South Pacific island nations.

Publications Produced as a Result of this Research

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Apprill, AM; Gates, RD "Recognizing diversity in coral symbiotic dinoflagellate communities" MOLECULAR ECOLOGY, v.16, 2007, p.1127. doi:10.1111/j.1365-294X.2006.03214.  View record at Web of Science

Baskett, ML; Gaines, SD; Nisbet, RM "Symbiont diversity may help coral reefs survive moderate climate change" ECOLOGICAL APPLICATIONS, v.19, 2009, p.3. View record at Web of Science

Muehllehner, N.;Edmunds, P. J.; "Effects of ocean acidification and increased temperature on skeletal growth of two scleractinian corals, Pocillopora meandrina and Porites rus" edings of the 11th International Coral Reef Symposium, v., 2009, p.57-61.

Siegel, D. A.;Maritorena, S.;Nelson, N. B.;Behrenfeld, M. J.; "Independence and interdependencies among global ocean color properties: Reassessing the bio-optical assumption" Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans, v.110, 2005, p..

Muller, E. B.;Kooijman, Salm;Edmunds, P. J.;Doyle, F. J.;Nisbet, R. M.; "Dynamic energy budgets in syntrophic symbiotic relationships between heterotrophic hosts and photoautotrophic symbionts" Journal of Theoretical Biology, v.259, 2009, p.44-57.

Apprill, A. M.;Bidigare, R. R.;Gates, R. D.; "Visibly healthy corals exhibit variable pigment concentrations and symbiont phenotypes" Coral Reefs, v.26, 2007, p.387-397.

Stewart, HL "Morphological variation and phenotypic plasticity of buoyancy in the macroalga Turbinaria ornata across a barrier reef" MARINE BIOLOGY, v.149, 2006, p.721. doi:10.1007/s00227-005-0186-  View record at Web of Science

Lenihan, H; Adjeroud,M; Hench, J; Kotchen, M; Nakamura, T "Reef structure regulates small-scale spatial variation in coral bleaching." Marine Ecology Progress Series, v.370, 2008, p..

Kane, C; Brooks, A; Holbrook, S; Schmitt, R "The role of microhabitat preference and social organization in determining the spatial distribution of a coral reef fish." Environmental Biology of Fishes, v.84, 2009, p..

Chan, Y. L.;Pochon, X.;Fisher, M. A.;Wagner, D.;Concepcion, G. T.;Kahng, S.;Toonen, R. J.;Gates, R. D.; "Generalist dinoflagellate endosymbionts and host genotype diversity detected from mesophotic (67-100 m depths) coral Leptoseris" BMC Ecology, v.9, 2009, p.21.

Apprill, A. M.;Gates, R. D.; "Recognizing diversity in coral symbiotic dinoflagellate communities" Molecular Ecology, v.16, 2007, p.1127-1134.

Muller, E. B.;Doyle, F. J.;Nisbet, R. M.;Edmunds, P.;Kooijman, S.; "Dynamic energy budgets of syntrophic symbiotic relationships between heterotrophic hosts and photoautotrophic symbionts" Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology A â?? Molecular and Integrative Physiology (Supplement), v.153A, 2009, p.S145-S145.

Ohlmann, C; White, P; Washburn, L; Terrill, E; Emery, B; Otero, M "Interpretation of coastal HF radar-derived surface currents with high-resolution drifter data" JOURNAL OF ATMOSPHERIC AND OCEANIC TECHNOLOGY, v.24, 2007, p.666. doi:10.1175/JTECH1998.  View record at Web of Science

Stat, M.;Pochon, X.;Cowie, R. O. M.;Gates, R. D.; "Specificity in communities of Symbiodinium in corals from Johnston Atoll" s Series, v.386, 2009, p.83-96.

Bruno, J. F.;Lee, S. C.;Kertesz, J. S.;Carpenter, R. C.;Long, Z. T.;Duffy, J. E.; "Partitioning the effects of algal species identity and richness on benthic marine primary production" Oikos, v.115, 2006, p.170-178.

Penin, L; Adjeroud, M; Schrimm, M; Lenihan, HS "High spatial variability in coral bleaching around Moorea (French Polynesia): patterns across locations and water depths" COMPTES RENDUS BIOLOGIES, v.330, 2007, p.171. doi:10.1016/j.crvi.2006.12.00  View record at Web of Science

Ridgway, T; Gates, RD "Why are there so few genetic markers available for coral population analyses?" SYMBIOSIS, v.41, 2006, p.1. View record at Web of Science

Putnam, H; Edmunds, P; Fan, T "Effects of temperature on the settlement choice and photophysiology of larvae from the reef coral Stylophora pistillata." Biological Bulletin, v.215, 2008, p..

Thompson, AR "Dynamics of demographically open mutualists: immigration, intraspecific competition, and predation impact goby populations" OECOLOGIA, v.143, 2005, p.61. doi:10.1007/s00442-004-1775-  View record at Web of Science

Leggat, W.;Ainsworth, T.;Bythell, J.;Dove, S.;Gates, R.;Hoegh-Guldberg, O.;Iglesias-Prieto, R.;Yellowlees, D.; "The hologenome theory disregards the coral holobiont" Nature Reviews Microbiology, v.5, 2007, p..

Pochon, X.;Stat, M.;Takabayashi, M.;Chasqui, L.;Chauka, L. J.;Logan, D. D. K.;Gates, R. D.; "Comparisons of endosymbiotic and free living Symbiodinium (Dinophyceae) diversity in a Hawaiian reef environment" Journal of Phycology, v.46, 2010, p.53-65.

[Anon] "Science on the solstice" NATURE, v.441, 2006, p.1040. doi:10.1038/4411040  View record at Web of Science

Rosman, J. H.;Hench, J. L.;Koseff, J. R.;Monismith, S. G.; "Extracting Reynolds stresses from acoustic Doppler current profiler measurements in wave-dominated environments" Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, v.25, 2008, p.286-306.

Adjeroud, M.;Michonneau, F.;Edmunds, P. J.;Chancerelle, Y.;de Loma, T. L.;Penin, L.;Thibaut, L.;Vidal-Dupiol, J.;Salvat, B.;Galzin, R.; "Recurrent disturbances, recovery trajectories, and resilience of coral assemblages on a South Central Pacific reef" Coral Reefs, v.28, 2009, p.775-780.

Edmunds, P. J.;Gates, R. D.; "Acclimatization in tropical reef corals" Marine Ecology Progress Series, v.361, 2008, p.307-310.

Adjeroud, M.;Michonneau, F.;Edmunds, P. J.;Chancerelle, Y.;de Loma, T. L.;Penin, L.;Thibaut, L.;Vidal-Dupiol, J.;Salvat, B.;Galzin, R.; "Recurrent disturbances, recovery trajectories, and resilience of coral assemblages on a South Central Pacific reef" Coral Reefs, v.28, 2009, p.775-780.

Holbrook, S; Brooks, A; Schmitt R; Stewart, H "Effects of sheltering fishes on the growth of their host corals." Marine Biology, v.155, 2008, p..

Holbrook, S; Schmitt, R; Brooks, A "Resistance and resilience of a coral reef fish community to changes in coral abundance." Marine Ecology Progress Series, v.371, 2008, p..

Carpenter, R. C.;Williams, S. L.; "Mass transfer limitation of photosynthesis of coral reef algal turfs" Marine Biology, v.151, 2007, p.435-450.

Lison de Loma, T.;Osenberg, C. W.;Shima, J. S.;Chancerelle, Y.;Davies, N.;Brooks, A. J.;Galzin, R.; "A framework for assessing impacts of marine protected areas in Moorea (French Polynesia)" Pacific Science, v.62, 2008, p.431-441.

Stewart, HL "Hydrodynamic consequences of buoyancy vs. flexural stiffness in the tropical alga Turbinaria ornata." INTEGRATIVE AND COMPARATIVE BIOLOGY, v.42, 2002, p.1319. View record at Web of Science

Brooks, AJ; Holbrook, SJ; Schmitt, RJ "Patterns of microhabitat use by fishes in the patch-forming coral Porites rus" RAFFLES BULLETIN OF ZOOLOGY, v., 2007, p.245. View record at Web of Science

Bruno, JF; Lee, SC; Kertesz, JS; Carpenter, RC; Long, ZT; Duffy, JE "Partitioning the effects of algal species identity and richness on benthic marine primary production" OIKOS, v.115, 2006, p.170. View record at Web of Science

Schmitt, R. J.;Holbrook, S. J.; "Predicting the magnitude of temporal variation in young-of-year class strength of surfperch (Teleostei : Embiotocidae)" Raffles Bulletin of Zoology (Supplement), v.14, 2007, p.161-166.

Hoegh-Guldberg, O; Muller-Parker, G; Cook, CB; Gates, RD; Gladfelter, E; Trench, RK; Weis, VM "Len Muscatine (1932-2007) and his contributions to the understanding of algal-invertebrate endosymbiosis" CORAL REEFS, v.26, 2007, p.731. doi:10.1007/s00338-007-0320-  View record at Web of Science

Green, D. H.;Edmunds, P. J.;Pochon, X.;Gates, R. D.; "The effects of substratum type on the growth, mortality, and phytophysiology of juvenile corals in St. John, US Virgin Islands" Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, v.384, 2010, p.18-29.

Padilla-Gamino, J. L.;Carpenter, R. C.; "Seasonal acclimatization of Asparagopsis taxiformis (Rhodophyta) from different biogeographic regions" Limnology and Oceanography, v.52, 2007, p.833-842.

Schmitt, R. J.;Holbrook, S. J.; "The scale and cause of spatial heterogeneity in strength of temporal density dependence" Ecology, v.88, 2007, p.1241-1249.

Haring, RN; Carpenter, RC "Habitat-induced morphological variation influences photosynthesis and drag on the marine macroalga Pachydictyon coriaceum" MARINE BIOLOGY, v.151, 2007, p.243. doi:10.1007/s00227-006-0474-  View record at Web of Science

Olson, N. D.;Ainsworth, T. D.;Gates, R. D.;Takabayashi, M.; "Diazotrophic bacteria associated with Hawaiian Montipora corals: Diversity and abundance in correlation with symbiotic dinoflagellates" Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, v.371, 2009, p.140-146.

Putnam, H. M.;Edmunds, P. J.;Fan, T.- Y.; "Effect of Temperature on the Settlement Choice and Photophysiology of Larvae From the Reef Coral Stylophora pistillata" Biological Bulletin, v.215, 2008, p.135-142.

Holbrook, S. J.;Schmitt, R. J.;Brooks, A. J.; "Resistance and resilience of a coral reef fish community to changes in coral cover" Marine Ecology Progress Series, v.371, 2008, p.263-271.

Van Oppen, MJH; Gates, RD "Conservation genetics and the resilience of reef-building corals" MOLECULAR ECOLOGY, v.15, 2006, p.3863. doi:10.1111/j.1365-294X.2006.03026.  View record at Web of Science

Holbrook, S. J.;Brooks, A. J.;Schmitt, R. J.;Stewart, H. L.; "Effects of sheltering fish on growth of their host corals" Marine Biology, v.155, 2008, p.521-530.

Padilla-Gamino, JL; Carpenter, RC "Seasonal acclimatization of Asparagopsis taxiformis (Rhodophyta) from different biogeographic regions" LIMNOLOGY AND OCEANOGRAPHY, v.52, 2007, p.833. View record at Web of Science

Lesser, M. P.;Slattery, M.;Stat, M.;Ojimi, M.;Gates, R. D.;Grottoli, A.; "Photoacclimatization by the coral Montastraea cavernosa in the mesophotic zone: light, food, and genetics" Ecology, v.91, 2010, p.990-1003.

Baskett, M. L.;Nisbet, R. M.;Kappel, C. V.;Mumby, P. J.;Gaines, S. D.; "Conservation management approaches to protecting the capacity for corals to respond to climate change: a theoretical comparison" Global Change Biology, v.16, 2010, p.1229-1246.

Stewart, H. L.; "Ontogenetic changes in buoyancy, breaking strength, extensibility, and reproductive investment in a drifting macroalga Turbinaria ornata (Phaeophyta)" Journal of Phycology, v.42, 2006, p.43-50.

Stat, M.;Gates, R. D.; "Vectored introductions of marine endosymbiotic dinoflagellates into Hawaii" Biological Invasions, v.10, 2008, p.579-583.

Palmer, C. V.;Gates, R. D.; "Skeletal Eroding Band in Hawaiian corals ten years after the first Indo-Pacific record" Coral Reefs, v.29, 2010, p.469.

Holbrook, SJ; Schmitt, RJ "Growth, reproduction and survival of a tropical sea anemone (Actiniaria): benefits of hosting anemonefish" CORAL REEFS, v.24, 2005, p.67. doi:10.1007/s00338-004-0432-  View record at Web of Science

Green, D. H.;Edmunds, P. J.;Carpenter, R. C.; "Increasing relative abundance of Porites astreoides on Caribbean reefs mediated by an overall decline in coral cover" Marine Ecology Progress Series, v.359, 2008, p.1-10.

Edmunds, P. J.; "Evidence for a decadal-scale decline in the growth rates of juvenile scleractinian corals" Marine Ecology Progress Series, v.341, 2007, p.1-13.

Hedouin, L.;Reichelt-Brushett, A. J.;Gates, R. D.; "Assessment of metals and a metalloid in sediments from Hawaiian coral reef ecosystems" Marine Pollution Bulletin, v.58, 2009, p.1759-1765.

Edmunds, PJ "The effects of temperature on the growth of juvenile scleractinian corals" MARINE BIOLOGY, v.154, 2008, p.153. doi:10.1007/s00227-008-0910-  View record at Web of Science

Price, N. N.; "Habitat selection, facilitation, and biotic settlement cues affect distribution and performance of coral recruits in French Polynesia" Oecologia, v.163, 2010, p.747.

Leray, M; Beldade, R; Holbrook, SJ; Schmitt, RJ; Planes, S; Bernardi, G "Isolation and characterization of 13 polymorphic nuclear microsatellite primers for the widespread Indo-Pacific three-spot damselfish, Dascyllus trimaculatus, and closely related D-auripinnis" MOLECULAR ECOLOGY RESOURCES, v.9, 2009, p.213. doi:10.1111/j.1755-0998.2008.02380.  View record at Web of Science

Hofmann, G. E.;Todgham, A. E.; "Living in the now: Physiological mechanisms to tolerate a rapidly changing environment." Annual Review of Physiology, v.72, 2010, p.127-145.

Alldredge, A.L.;King, J. M.; "Near-surface enrichment of zooplankton over a shallow back reef: Implications for coral reef food webs" Coral Reefs, v.28, 2009, p.895-908.

Brooks, A. J.; "Digital Moorea: The implementation of a wireless sensor network for the monitoring of coral reefs." Proceedings of the Workshop on the Adoption of Sensor Networks by Coastal Managers, v., 2006, p.11-16.

Holbrook, S. J.;Schmitt, R. J.; "Growth, reproduction and survival of a tropical sea anemone (Actiniaria): benefits of hosting anemonefish" Coral Reefs, v.24, 2005, p.67-73.

Ohlmann, C.;White, P.;Washburn, L.;Terrill, E.;Emery, B.;Otero, M.; "Interpretation of coastal HF radar-derived surface currents with high-resolution drifter data" Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, v.24, 2007, p.666-680.

Palmer, C. V.;Roth, M. S.;Gates, R. D.; "Red Fluorescent Protein Responsible for Pigmentation in Trematode-Infected Porites compressa Tissues" Biological Bulletin, v.216, 2009, p.68-74.

Carpenter, RC; Edmunds, PJ "Local and regional scale recovery of Diadema promotes recruitment of scleractinian corals" ECOLOGY LETTERS, v.9, 2006, p.268. doi:10.1111/j.1461-0248.2005.00866.  View record at Web of Science

Penin, L.;Adjeroud, M.;Schrimm, M.;Lenihan, H. S.; "High spatial variability in coral bleaching around Moorea (French Polynesia): patterns across locations and water depths" Comptes Rendus Biologies, v.330, 2007, p.171-181.

Carpenter, RC; Williams, SL "Mass transfer limitation of photosynthesis of coral reef algal turfs" MARINE BIOLOGY, v.151, 2007, p.435. doi:10.1007/s00227-006-0465-  View record at Web of Science

Putnam, H. M.;Edmunds, P. J.;Fan, T.-Y.; "Effect of a fluctuating thermal regime on adult reef corals and their larvae" Invertebrate Biology, v.129, 2010, p.199.

Edmunds, P; Gates, R "Acclimatization in tropical reef corals." Marine Ecology Progress Series, v.361, 2008, p.30.

Siegel, DA; Maritorena, S; Nelson, NB "Independence and interdependencies among global ocean color properties: Reassessing the bio-optical assumption" JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-OCEANS, v.110, 2005, p.. doi:10.1029/2004JC00252  View record at Web of Science

Mayfield, A; Hirst, M; Gates, R "Real-time PCR-based gene expression analysis in the anthozoan-dinoflagellate endosymbiosis." Molecular Ecology Resources, v.9, 2009, p..

Lesser, MP; Bythell, JC; Gates, RD; Johnstone, RW; Hoegh-Guldberg, O "Are infectious diseases really killing corals? Alternative interpretations of the experimental and ecological data" JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL MARINE BIOLOGY AND ECOLOGY, v.346, 2007, p.36. doi:10.1016/j.jembe.2007.02.01  View record at Web of Science

Schmitt, RJ; Holbrook, SJ "Predicting the magnitude of temporal variation in young-of-year class strength of surfperch (Teleostei : Embiotocidae)" RAFFLES BULLETIN OF ZOOLOGY, v., 2007, p.161. View record at Web of Science

Siegel, DA; Maritorena, S; Nelson, NB; Behrenfeld, MJ; McClain, CR "Colored dissolved organic matter and its influence on the satellite-based characterization of the ocean biosphere" GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, v.32, 2005, p.. doi:10.1029/2005GL02431  View record at Web of Science

Hench, J. L.;Leichter, J. J.;Monismith, S. G.; "Episodic circulation and exchange in a wave-driven coral reef and lagoon system" Limnology and Oceanography, v.53, 2008, p.2681-2694.

Olson, ND; Ainsworth, TD; Gates, RD; Takabayashi, M "Diazotrophic bacteria associated with Hawaiian Montipora corals: Diversity and abundance in correlation with symbiotic dinoflagellates" JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL MARINE BIOLOGY AND ECOLOGY, v.371, 2009, p.140. doi:10.1016/j.jembe.2009.01.01  View record at Web of Science

Siegel, D. A.;Maritorena, S.;Nelson, N. B.;Behrenfeld, M. J.;McClain, C. R.; "Colored dissolved organic matter and its influence on the satellite-based characterization of the ocean biosphere" Geophysical Research Letters, v.32, 2005, p..

Palmer, C; Roth, M; Gates, R "Red fluorescent protein responsible for pigmentation in trematode infected Porites compressa tissues" Biological Bulletin, v.216, 2009, p.6.

Stat, M; Morris, E; Gates, R "Functional diversity in coral-dinoflagellate symbiosis." Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, v.105, 2008, p..

Beldade, R.;Holbrook, S. J.;Schmitt, R. J.;Planes, S.;Bernardi, G.; "Isolation and characterization of eight polymorphic microsatellite markers from the orange-fin anemonefish, Amphiprion chrysopterus" Conservation Genetics Resources, v.1, 2009, p.333-335.

Carpenter, R.;Edmunds, P.; "Local and regional scale recovery of Diadema promotes recruitment of scleractinian corals" Ecology Letters, v.9, 2006, p.271-280.

Stewart, H. L.; "Hydrodynamic consequences of flexural stiffness and buoyancy for seaweeds: a study using physical models" Journal of Experimental Biology, v.209, 2006, p.2170-2181.

Hench, J; Leichter, J; Monismith, S; "Episodic circulation and exchange in a wave-driven coral reef and lagoon system." Limnology and Oceanography, v.53, 2008, p..

Buenau, K. E.;Rassweiler, A.;Nisbet, R. M.; "The effects of landscape structure on space competition and alternative stable states" Ecology, v.88, 2007, p.3022-3031.

Thacker, CE; Thompson, AR; Adam, TC; Chen, JP "Phylogeny and character evolution in the Indo-Pacific genus Ctenogobiops (Gobiiformes: Gobiidae)" ICHTHYOLOGICAL RESEARCH, v.57, 2010, p.231. doi:10.1007/s10228-010-0157-  View record at Web of Science

Stewart, HL "Ontogenetic changes in buoyancy, breaking strength, extensibility, and reproductive investment in a drifting macroalga Turbinaria ornata (Phaeophyta)" JOURNAL OF PHYCOLOGY, v.42, 2006, p.43. doi:10.1111/j.1529-8817.2006.00184.  View record at Web of Science

Yancey, P. H.;Heppenstall, M.;Ly, S.;Andrell, R. M.;Gates, R. D.;Carter, V.L.;Hagedorn, M.; "Betaines and dimethylsulfoniopropionate as major osmolytes in Cnidaria with endosymbiotic dinoflagellates" Physiological and Biochemical Zoology, v.83, 2010, p.167-173.

Yancey, P. H.;Heppenstall, M.;Ly, S.;Andrell, R. M.;Gates, R. D.;Carter, V.L.;Hagedorn, M.; "Betaines and dimethylsulfoniopropionate as major osmolytes in Cnidaria with endosymbiotic dinoflagellates" Physiological and Biochemical Zoology, v.83, 2010, p.167-173.

Ainsworth, T. D.;Thurber, R. V.;Gates, R. D.; "The future of coral reefs - A microbial perspective" Trends in Ecology and Evolution, v.25, 2010, p.233-240.

Manning, M. M.;Gates, R. D.; "Diversity in populations of free-living Symbiodinium from a Caribbean and Pacific reef" Limnology and Oceanography, v.53, 2008, p.1853-1861.

Mayfield, A. B.;Gates, R. D.; "Osmoregulation in anthozoan-dinoflagellate symbiosis" Integrative Physiology, v.147, 2007, p.1-10.

Ridgway, T.;Gates, R. D.; "Why are there so few genetic markers available for coral population analyses?" Symbiosis, v.41, 2006, p.1-7.

Edmunds, P. J.;Lenihan, H. S.; "Effect of sub-lethal damage to juvenile colonies of massive Porites spp. under contrasting regimes of temperature and water flow" Marine Biology, v.157, 2010, p.887-897.

Lenihan, H. S.;Adjeroud, M.;Kotchen, M. J.;Hench, J. L.;Nakamura, T.; "Reef structure regulates small-scale spatial variation in coral bleaching" Marine Ecology Progress Series, v.370, 2008, p.127-141.

Stier, A. C.;Steele, M. A.;Brooks, A. J.; "Coral reef fishes use crown-of-thorns seastar as habitat" Coral Reefs, v.28, 2009, p.227-227.

Thompson, AR; Nisbet, RM; Schmitt, RJ "Dynamics of mutualist populations that are demographically open" JOURNAL OF ANIMAL ECOLOGY, v.75, 2006, p.1239. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2656.2006.01145.  View record at Web of Science

Barshis, D. J.;Stillman, J. H.;Gates, R. D.;Toonen, R. J.;Smith, L. W.;Birkeland, C.; "Protein expression and genetic structure of the coral Porites lobata in an environmentally extreme Samoan back reef: does host genotype limit phenotypic plasticity" Molecular Ecology, v.19, 2010, p.1705-1720.

Thacker, C. E.;Thompson, A. R.;Adam, T. C.;Chen, J.; "Phylogeny and character evolution in the Indo-Pacific genus Ctenogobiops" Icthyological Research, v., 2010, p..

Stat, M; Gates, RD "Vectored introductions of marine endosymbiotic dinoflagellates into Hawaii" BIOLOGICAL INVASIONS, v.10, 2008, p.579. doi:10.1007/s10530-007-9167-  View record at Web of Science

Fitt, W. K.;Gates, R. D.;Hoegh-Guldberg, O.;Bythell, J. C.;Jatkar, A.;Grottoli, A. G.;Gomez, M.;Fisher, P.;Lajuenesse, T. C.;Pantos, O.;Iglesias-Prieto, R.;Franklin, D. J.;Rodrigues, L. J.;Torregiani, J. M.;van Woesik, R.;Lesser, M. P.; "Response of two species of Indo-Pacific corals, Porites cylindrica and Stylophora pistillata, to short-term thermal stress: The host does matter in determining the tolerance of corals to bleaching" and Ecology, v.373, 2009, p.102-110.

Leray, M.;Beldade, R.;Holbrook, S. J.;Schmitt, R. J.;Planes, S.;Bernardi, G.; "Isolation and characterization of 13 polymorphic nuclear microsatellite primers for the widespread Indo-Pacific three-spot damselfish, Dascyllus trimaculatus, and closely related D. auripinnis" Molecular Ecology Resources, v.9, 2009, p.213-215.

Lison de Loma, T; Osenberg, C; Shima, J; Chancerelle, Y; Davies, N; Brooks, A; Galzin, R "A framework for assessing the impacts of marine protected areas in Moorea (French Polynesia)." Pacific Science, v.62 (3), 2008, p.431.

Baskett, M. L.;Gaines, S. D.;Nisbet, R. M.; "Symbiont diversity may help coral reefs survive moderate climate change" Ecological Applications, v.19, 2009, p.3-17.

Apprill, AM; Bidigare, RR; Gates, RD "Visibly healthy corals exhibit variable pigment concentrations and symbiont phenotypes" CORAL REEFS, v.26, 2007, p.387. doi:10.1007/s00338-007-0209-  View record at Web of Science

Bergsma, G..; "Tube dwelling coral symbionts induce significant morphological change in Montipora" Symbiosis, v.49, 2009, p.143-150.

Holbrook, S. J.;Brooks, A. J.;Schmitt, R. J.; "Relationships between live coral cover and reef fishes: implications for predicting effects of environmental disturbances" Proceedings of the 10th International Coral Reef Symposium, v., 2006, p.241-249.

Mayfield, A. B.;Hirst, M. B.;Gates, R. D.; "Gene expression normalization in a dual-compartment system: a real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction protocol for symbiotic anthozoans" Molecular Ecology Resources, v.9, 2009, p.462-470.

Leray, M; Beldade, R; Holbrook, SJ; Schmitt, RJ; Planes, S; Bernardi, G "ALLOPATRIC DIVERGENCE AND SPECIATION IN CORAL REEF FISH: THE THREE-SPOT DASCYLLUS, DASCYLLUS TRIMACULATUS, SPECIES COMPLEX" EVOLUTION, v.64, 2010, p.1218. doi:10.1111/j.1558-5646.2009.00917.  View record at Web of Science

Skoog, A.;Alldredge, A.;Passow, U.;Dunne, J.;Murray, J.; "Neutral aldoses as source indicators for marine snow" Marine Chemistry, v.108, 2008, p.195-206.

Alldredge, A.L.;King, J. M.; "Near-surface enrichment of zooplankton over a shallow back reef: Implications for coral reef food webs" Coral Reefs, v.28, 2009, p.895-908.

Maritorena, S.;Siegel, D. A.; "Consistent merging of satellite ocean color data sets using a bio-optical model" Remote Sensing of Environment, v.94, 2005, p.429-440.

Holbrook, S., Schmitt, R. "Growth, reproduction and survival of a tropical sea anemone (Actiniaria): benefits of hosting anemonefish." Coral Reefs, v.24, 2005, p.67.

Skoog, A; Alldredge, A; Passow, U; Dunne, J; Murray, J "Neutral aldoses as source indicators for marine snow" MARINE CHEMISTRY, v.108, 2008, p.195. doi:10.1016/j.marchem.2007.11.00  View record at Web of Science

Leggat, W; Ainsworth, T; Bythell, J; Dove, S; Gates, R; Hoegh-Guldberg, O; Iglesias-Prieto, R; Yellowlees, D "The hologenome theory disregards the coral holobiont" NATURE REVIEWS MICROBIOLOGY, v.5, 2007, p.. doi:10.1038/nrmicro1635C  View record at Web of Science

Elahi, R; Edmunds, PJ "Determinate growth and the scaling of photosynthetic energy intake in the solitary coral Fungia concinna (Verrill)" JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL MARINE BIOLOGY AND ECOLOGY, v.349, 2007, p.183. doi:10.1016/j.jembe.2007.05.00  View record at Web of Science

Mayfield, AB; Gates, RD "Osmoregulation in anthozoan-dinoflagellate symbiosis" COMPARATIVE BIOCHEMISTRY AND PHYSIOLOGY A-MOLECULAR & INTEGRATIVE PHYSIOLOGY, v.147, 2007, p.1. doi:10.1016/j.cbpa.2006.12.04  View record at Web of Science

Padilla-Gamino, J. L.;Carpenter, R. C.; "Thermal ecophysiology of Laurencia pacifica and Laurencia nidifica (Ceramiales, Rhodophyta) from tropical and warm-temperate regions" Journal of Phycology, v.43, 2007, p.686-692.

Thompson, A. R.;Nisbet, R. M.;Schmitt, R. J.; "Dynamics of mutualist populations that are demographically open" Journal of Animal Ecology, v.75, 2006, p.1239-1251.

Van Oppen, M. J. H.;Leong, J. A.;Gates, R. D.; "Coral-virus interactions: A double-edged sword?" Symbiosis, v.47, 2009, p.1-8.

Padilla-Gamino, JL; Carpenter, RC "Thermal ecophysiology of Laurencia pacifica and Laurencia nidifica (Ceramiales, Rhodophyta) from tropical and warm-temperate regions" JOURNAL OF PHYCOLOGY, v.43, 2007, p.686. doi:10.1111/j.1529-8817.2007.00362.  View record at Web of Science

Ainsworth, T. D.;Thurber, R. V.;Gates, R. D.; "The future of coral reefs - A microbial perspective" Trends in Ecology and Evolution, v.25, 2010, p.233-240.

Stewart, H. L.;Holbrook, S. J.;Schmitt, R. J.;Brooks, A. J.; "Symbiotic crabs maintain coral health by clearing sediments" Coral Reefs, v.25, 2006, p.609-615.

Hoegh-Guldberg, O.;Muller-Parker, G.;Cook, C. B.;Gates, R. D.;Gladfelter, E.;Trench, R. K.;Weis, V. M.; "Len Muscatine (1932-2007) and his contributions to the understanding of algal-invertebrate endosymbiosis" Coral Reefs, v.26, 2007, p.731-739.

Lesser, M. P.;Bythell, J. C.;Gates, R. D.;Johnstone, R. W.;Hoegh-Guldberg, O.; "Are infectious diseases really killing corals? Alternative interpretations of the experimental and ecological data" Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, v.346, 2007, p.36-44.

Kane, C. N.;Brooks, A. J.;Holbrook, S. J.;Schmitt, R. J.; "The role of microhabitat preference and social organization in determining the spatial distribution of a coral reef fish" Environmental Biology of Fishes, v.84, 2009, p.1-10.

Edmunds, P. J.; "Evidence for a decadal-scale decline in the growth rates of juvenile scleractinian corals" Marine Ecology Progress Series, v.341, 2007, p.1-13.

Stewart, H. L.;Payri, C. E.;Koehl, M. A. R.; "The role of buoyancy in mitigating reduced light in macroalgal aggregations" Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, v.343, 2007, p.11-20.

Stewart, HL; Payri, CE; Koehl, MAR "The role of buoyancy in mitigating reduced light in macroalgal aggregations" JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL MARINE BIOLOGY AND ECOLOGY, v.343, 2007, p.11. doi:10.1016/j.jembe.2006.10.03  View record at Web of Science

Lenihan, H. S.;Edmunds, P. J.; "Response of Pocillopora verrucosa to corallivory varies with environmental conditions" Marine Ecology Progress Series, v.409, 2010, p.51.

Fitt, W; Gates, R; Hoegh-Guldberg, O; Blythell, J; Jatkar, A; Grottoli, A; Gomez, M; Fisher, P; Franklin, D; LaJeunesse, T; Pantos, T; Iglesias-Prieto, O; Rodriguez, L; Torregiani, J; van Woesik, R; Lesser, M "Response of two species of Indo-pacific corals, Porites cylindrica and Stylophora pistillata, to thermal stress: the host does matter in determining the tolerance of corals to bleaching." Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, v.373, 2009, p..

Stewart, H. L.; "Morphological variation and phenotypic plasticity of buoyancy in the macroalga Turbinaria ornata across a barrier reef" Marine Biology, v.149, 2006, p.721-730.

Elahi, R.;Edmunds, P. J.; "Determinate growth and the scaling of photosynthetic energy intake in the solitary coral Fungia concinna (Verrill)" Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, v.349, 2007, p.183-193.

Morrow, K. M.;Carpenter, R. C.; "Macroalgal morphology mediates particle capture by the corallimorpharian Corynactis californica" Marine Biology, v.155, 2008, p.273-280.

Adam, T. C.; "Competition encourages cooperation: client fish receive higher quality service when cleaner fish compete" Animal Behaviour, v.79, 2010, p.1183.

Morrow, K.;Carpenter, R.; "Shallow kelp canopies mediate macroalgal composition: effects on the distribution and abundance of Corynactis californica (Corallimorpharia)" Marine Ecology Progress Series, v.361, 2008, p.119-127.

Stewart, HL; Holbrook, SJ; Schmitt, RJ; Brooks, AJ "Symbiotic crabs maintain coral health by clearing sediments" CORAL REEFS, v.25, 2006, p.609. doi:10.1007/s00338-006-0132-  View record at Web of Science

Edmunds, P. J.; "Effect of acclimatization to low temperature and reduced light on the response of reef corals to elevated temperature" Marine Biology, v.156, 2009, p.1797-1808.

Schmitt, R.J. and S.J. Holbrook "Developmental delays, recruitment storage and adult attrition rates in local populations of a tropical damselfish" Proceedings of the 10th International Coral Reef Symposium, v., 2006, p.232.

Morrow, K; Carpenter, R "Effects of macroalgal thallus morphology on rates of particle capture by the Corallimorpharian Corynactis californica." Marine Biology, v.155, 2008, p.27.

Siegel, DA; Maritorena, S; Nelson, NB; Behrenfeld, MJ "Independence and interdependencies among global ocean color properties: Reassessing the bio-optical assumption" JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-OCEANS, v.110, 2005, p.C07011.

Edmunds, PJ "DIFFERENTIAL EFFECTS OF HIGH TEMPERATURE ON THE RESPIRATION OF JUVENILE CARIBBEAN CORALS" BULLETIN OF MARINE SCIENCE, v.83, 2008, p.453. View record at Web of Science

Brooks, A. J.;Holbrook, S. J.;Schmitt, R. J.; "Patterns of microhabitat use by fishes in the patch-forming coral Porites rus" Raffles Bulletin of Zoology (Supplement), v.14, 2007, p.245-254.

Thompson, A. R.; "Dynamics of demographically open mutualists: immigration, intraspecific competition, and predation impact goby populations" Oecologia, v.143, 2005, p.61-69.

Fountain, T.;Tilak, S.;Shin, P.;Holbrook, S. J.;Schmitt, R. J.;Brooks, A. J.;Washburn, L.;Salazar, D.; "Digital Moorea cyberinfrastructure for coral reef monitoring" Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Intelligent Sensors, Sensor Networks and Information Processing, v., 2009, p.243-248.

Barshis, D. J.;Stillman, J. H.;Gates, R. D.;Toonen, R. J.;Smith, L. W.;Birkeland, C.; "Protein expression and genetic structure of the coral Porites lobata in an environmentally extreme Samoan back reef: does host genotype limit phenotypic plasticity" Molecular Ecology, v.19, 2010, p.1705-1720.

Van Oppen, M; Leong, J; Gates, R "Coral-virus interactions: a double-edged sword?" Symbiosis, v.47, 2009, p..

Schmitt, R. J.;Holbrook, S. J.;Brooks, A. J.;Lape, J. C. P.; "Intraguild predation in a structured habitat: distinguishing multiple-predator effects from competitor effects" Ecology, v.90, 2009, p.2434-2443.

Van Oppen, M. J. H.;Gates, R. D.; "Conservation genetics and the resilience of reef-building corals" Molecular Ecology, v.15, 2006, p.3863-3883.

Haring, R. N.;Carpenter, R. C.; "Habitat-induced morphological variation influences photosynthesis and drag on the marine macroalga Pachydictyon coriaceum" Marine Biology, v.151, 2007, p.243-255.

Putnam, H. M.;Edmunds, P. J.; "Responses of coral hosts and their algal symbionts to thermal heterogeneity" Proceedings of the 11th International Coral Reef Symposium, v., 2009, p.393-397.

Schmitt, RJ; Holbrook, SJ "The scale and cause of spatial heterogeneity in strength of temporal density dependence" ECOLOGY, v.88, 2007, p.1241. View record at Web of Science

Wilson, S. K.; Adjeroud, M.; Bellwood, D. R.; Berumen, M. L.; Booth, D.; Bozec, Y.-M.; Chabanet, P.; Cheal, A.; Cinner, J.; Depczynski, M.; Feary, D. A.; Gagliano, M.; am, N. A. J.; Halford, A. R.; Halpern, B. S.; Harborne, A. R.; Hoey, A. S., et al. "Crucial knowledge gaps in current understanding of climate change impacts on coral reef fishes" Journal of Experimental Biology, v.213, 2010, p.894-900.

Manning, M; Gates, R "Diversity in populations of free-living Symbiodinium from a Caribbean and Pacific reef." Limnology and Oceanography, v.53, 2008, p..

Holbrook, S.J., A.J. Brooks and R.J. Schmitt "Relationships between live coral cover and reef fishes: implications for predicting effects of environmental disturbances" Proceedings of the 10th International Coral Reef Symposium, v., 2006, p.241.

Hench, J. L.;Rosman, J. H.; "Analysis of bottom-track and compass error in a self-contained acoustic Doppler diver navigation console." Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, v.27, 2010, p.1229.

Stier, AC; Steele, MA; Brooks, AJ "Coral reef fishes use crown-of-thorns seastar as habitat" CORAL REEFS, v.28, 2009, p.227. doi:10.1007/s00338-008-0445-  View record at Web of Science

Stat, M.;Morris, E.;Gates, R. D.; "Functional diversity in coral-dinoflagellate symbiosis" Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, v.105, 2008, p.9256-9261.

Edmunds, P. J.; "The effects of temperature on the growth of juvenile scleractinian corals" Marine Biology, v.154, 2008, p.153-162.

Edmunds, P. J.; "Differential effects of high temperature on the respiration of juvenile caribbean corals." Bulletin of Marine Science, v.83, 2008, p.453-464.

Jacobson, LM; Edmunds, PJ "LONG-TERM CHANGES IN THE CONCENTRATION OF ZOOPLANKTON AND PARTICULATE MATERIAL OVER A FRINGING REEF IN ST. JOHN, US VIRGIN ISLANDS" BULLETIN OF MARINE SCIENCE, v.86, 2010, p.763. View record at Web of Science

Schmitt, R. J.;Holbrook, S. J.; "Developmental delays, recruitment storage and adult attrition rates in local populations of a tropical damselfish" Proceedings of the 10th International Coral Reef Symposium, v., 2006, p.232-240.

Ferrier, G. A.;Carpenter, R. C.; "Subtidal benthic heterogeneity: flow environment modification and impacts on marine algal community structure and morphology" Biological Bulletin, v.217, 2009, p.115-129.

Apprill, A. M.;Bidigare, R. R.;Gates, R. D.; "Visibly healthy corals exhibit variable pigment concentrations and symbiont phenotypes" Coral Reefs, v.26, 2007, p.387-397.

Buenau, KE; Rassweiler, A; Nisbet, RM "The effects of landscape structure on space competition and alternative stable states" ECOLOGY, v.88, 2007, p.3022. View record at Web of Science

Maritorena, S; Siegel, DA "Consistent merging of satellite ocean color data sets using a bio-optical model" REMOTE SENSING OF ENVIRONMENT, v.94, 2005, p.429. doi:10.1016/j.rse.2004.08.01  View record at Web of Science

Rosman, JH; Hench, JL; Koseff, JR; Monismith, SG "Extracting Reynolds stresses from acoustic Doppler current profiler measurements in wave-dominated environments" JOURNAL OF ATMOSPHERIC AND OCEANIC TECHNOLOGY, v.25, 2008, p.286. doi:10.1175/2007JTECH0525.  View record at Web of Science

Publications Produced as Conference Proceedings

Schmitt, RJ;Holbrook, SJ "Predicting the magnitude of temporal variation in young-of-year class strength of surfperch (Teleostei : Embiotocidae)" 7th Indo-Pacific Fish Conference, v. , 2007, p.161 View record at Web of Science

Brooks, AJ;Holbrook, SJ;Schmitt, RJ "Patterns of microhabitat use by fishes in the patch-forming coral Porites rus" 7th Indo-Pacific Fish Conference, v. , 2007, p.245 View record at Web of Science

de Loma, TL;Osenberg, CW;Shima, JS;Chancerelle, Y;Davies, N;Brooks, AJ;Galzin, R "A framework for assessing impacts of marine protected areas in Moorea (French Polynesia)" International Symposium on Tropical Island Ecosystems and Sustainable Development, v.62, 2008, p.431 View record at Web of Science

Leichter, JJ;Helmuth, B;Fischer, AM "What lies beneath the surface: Quantifying complex thermal environments on corals reefs" Annual Meeting of the Society-for-Integrative-and-Comparative-Biology, v.45, 2005, p.1032 View record at Web of Science


Project Outcomes Report

Disclaimer

This Project Outcomes Report for the General Public is displayed verbatim as submitted by the Principal Investigator (PI) for this award. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this Report are those of the PI and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation; NSF has not approved or endorsed its content.

The Moorea Coral Reef (MCR) LTER explores community and ecosystem effects of pulsed perturbations and slowly changing environmental drivers on coral reefs, ecologically and economically important ecosystems that are at high risk from local and global stressors.  Field operations are based from the University of California’s field station on Moorea, French Polynesia, and the site includes coral habitats in lagoons and the offshore fore reef.  Staring in 2007, the fore reef was perturbed by an outbreak of the corallivorous Crown-of-Thorns Seastar (COTS) followed by a cyclone in early 2010.  These events killed almost all corals on the fore reef but had little effect in the lagoon. Coral reefs always have been impacted by these kinds of massive disturbances, but never before has there been a reef system with such comparable levels of prior research, high resolution in situ instrumentation and time series measurements made before, during and after such a major set of perturbations.  This is providing the MCR with an unparalleled scientific opportunity to address fundamental, unresolved questions regarding disturbance and recovery of coral reefs. 

 

The MCR collected several years of time series data before the recent perturbations occurred.  Community trajectories from coral reefs in other regions reveal that a rapid return to coral dominance is prevented if macroalgae become widely established following the sudden death of coral, a state shift that is becoming more common in the Caribbean and Pacific.  Our research focused on the processes that prevent a shift to macroalgal dominance following loss of coral.  Herbivory has long been known to be a critical process on coral reefs that can prevent a state shift to macroalgae, and management strategies to enhance resilience of coral reefs emphasize actions to avoid overfishing herbivores.  Despite this, it is not well understood how herbivores respond to the sudden, widespread loss of coral.  MCR’s time series data and field experiments provided novel insights into behavioral and dynamical responses of coral reef herbivores that have fundamental implications for management strategies to enhance resilience.  Following the recent perturbations to the fore reef, the abundance and biomass of herbivorous fishes increased rapidly, and grazing by these fishes prevented a state shift to macroalgae.  Importantly, most of these herbivores were parrotfishes, which initially recruit to nursery habitat within the lagoon before moving to the fore reef later in life.  Our work reveals critical connectivity between inshore and offshore reefs, and indicates that protecting nursery habitat of key herbivores is essential for maintaining reef resilience. 

 

While coral cover has fluctuated tremendously on the fore reef, it has varied far less in lagoons.  However, previous perturbations triggered an important shift in the species composition of corals in lagoon habitats.  The abundance of acroporid corals fell, especially the thicket-forming staghorn coral, a major provider of habitat for fishes and invertebrates.  Staghorn Acropora has recovered little over the past 30 years.  Consequently we asked what governs the population dynamics of key species of corals.     We found that acroporid corals are more susceptible than other types of corals to predators.  The reason for the slow recovery of staghorn Acropora is that they must be defended from corallivores by a territorial farmerfish.   We also found a second, potentially ubiquitous means by which coral-dwelling fishes can greatly affect their coral habitat.  Numerous species of fishes use coral structure for shelter; we found that the abundance of fishes is positively related to the size of their coral host, and ...

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