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Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:The University Corporation, Northridge
  • Peter J Edmunds
  • (818) 677-2502
Award Date:03/13/2009
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 446,867
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 479,754
  • FY 2010=$114,631
  • FY 2011=$89,841
  • FY 2009=$89,472
  • FY 2012=$88,990
  • FY 2013=$96,820
Start Date:05/01/2009
End Date:04/30/2015
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-LTREB Long-term coral reef community dynamics in St. John, USVI: 1987-2019
Federal Award ID Number:0841441
DUNS ID:055752331
Parent DUNS ID:055752331

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

In an era of growing human pressures on natural resources, there is a critical need to understand how major ecosystems will respond, the extent to which resource management can lessen the implications of these responses, and the likely state of these ecosystems in the future. Time-series analyses of community structure provide a vital tool in meeting these needs and promise a profound understanding of community change. This study focuses on coral reef ecosystems; an existing time-series analysis of the coral community structure on the reefs of St. John, US Virgin Islands, will be expanded to 27 years of continuous data in annual increments. Expansion of the core time-series data will be used to address five questions: (1) To what extent is the ecology at a small spatial scale (1-2 km) representative of regional scale events (10's of km)? (2) What are the effects of declining coral cover in modifying the genetic population structure of the coral host and its algal symbionts? (3) What are the roles of pre- versus post-settlement events in determining the population dynamics of small corals? (4) What role do physical forcing agents (other than temperature) play in driving the population dynamics of juvenile corals? and (5) How are populations of other, non-coral invertebrates responding to decadal-scale declines in coral cover? Ecological methods identical to those used over the last two decades will be supplemented by molecular genetic tools to understand the extent to which declining coral cover is affecting the genetic diversity of the corals remaining. An information management program will be implemented to create broad access by the scientific community to the entire data set. The importance of this study lies in the extreme longevity of the data describing coral reefs in a unique ecological context, and the immense potential that these data possess for understanding both the patterns of comprehensive community change (i.e., involving corals, other invertebrates, and genetic diversity), and the processes driving them. Importantly, as this project is closely integrated with resource management within the VI National Park, as well as larger efforts to study coral reefs in the US through the NSF Moorea Coral Reef LTER, it has a strong potential to have scientific and management implications that extend further than the location of the study. Outreach activities will be developed to embrace graduate and undergraduate training opportunities in coral reef science, and a strong K-12 educational component will be designed to provide educational and research opportunities for children in California and St. John.

Publications Produced as a Result of this Research

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Nicholas B. Colvard and Peter J. Edmunds "Decadal-scale changes in abundance of non-scleractinian invertebrates on a Caribbean coral reef" Marine Ecology Progress Series, v.397, 2011, p..

Edmunds P.J., Adjeroud M., Baskett M.L., Baums I.B, Budd A.F., Carpenter R.C., Fabina N., Fan T-Y., Franklin E.C., Gross K., Han X., Jacobson L.1, Klaus, J.S., McClanahan T.R., O?Leary J.K., van Oppen, M.J.H., Pochon X., Putnam H.M., Smith T.B., Stat M.I. "Persistence and change in community composition of reef corals through past, present, and future climates." PlosONE, v., 2014, p.. doi:doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0107525 

Brown D, Edmunds PJ "Hermit crabs take refuge on Millepora spp. in St. John, United States Virgin Islands" Coral Reefs, v.unknown, 2013, p.x-y. doi:DOI 10.1007/s00338-012-0948-2 

Peter J Edmunds "Population biology of Porites astreoides and Diploria strigosa on a shallow Caribbean reef" Marine Ecology Progress Series, v.418, 2010, p.8.

Edmunds PJ, Gray SC "Storms, heavy rain, and sedimentation favor suspension feeders over scleractinians on the coral reefs of St. John, US Virgin Islands" Hydrobiologia, v., 2014, p.. doi:DOI 10.1007/s10750-014-1876-7 

Edmunds PJ, Nozawa Y, Villaneuva R "Refuges modulate coral recruitment in the Caribbean and Pacific" JEMBE, v.454, 2014, p.78.


Daniel H. Green, Peter J. Edmunds, Xavier Pochon, Ruth D. Gates "The effects of substratum type on the growth, mortality, and photophysiology of juvenile corals in St. John, US Virgin Islands" Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, v., 2010, p.. doi:10.1016/j.jembe.2009.12.008 

Daniel H. Green, Peter J. Edmunds, Xavier Pochon, Ruth D. Gates "The effects of substratum type on the growth, mortality, and photophysiology of juvenile corals in St. John, US Virgin Islands" Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, v.384, 2010, p.18. doi:10.1016/j.jembe.2009.12.008 

Edmunds PJ "Landscape-scale variation in coral reef community structure in the United States Virgin Islands" MEPS, v.509, 2014, p.137. doi:doi: 10.3354/meps10891 

Levitan, D, Edmunds PJ, Levitan K. "Recruitment, mortality, and density-independence of the sea urchin Diadema antillarum after the 1983?84 mass mortality" Oecologia, v., 2014, p.. doi:DOI 10.1007/s00442-013-2871-9 

G Horst, PJ Edmunds "Spatio-temporal variation in seawater characteristics in a semi-enclosed bay in St. John, US Virgin Islands" Caribbean Journal of Science, v.1, 2010, p.1-10 (in.

Green DH, Edmunds PJ "Spatio-temporal variability of coral recruitment on shallow reefs in St. John, US Virgin Islands" Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, v.397, 2011, p.220.

Lenz EA, Brown D, Didden C, Arnold A, Edmunds PJ "The distribution of hermit crabs and their gastropod shells on shallow reefs in St. John, US Virgin Islands" Bull Mar Sci, v.90, 2013, p.681. 

Edmunds PJ, Ross CLM, Didden C "High, but localized recruitment of Montastraea annularis complex in St. John, United States Virgin Islands" Coral Reefs, v., 2010, p.. doi:DOI 10.1007/s00338-010-0676-4 

Edmunds PJ, Pochon X, Levitan DR, Yost DM, Mahdi Belcaid M, Putnam HM, Gates RD. "Long-term changes in Symbiodinium communities in Orbicella annularis in St. John, US Virgin Islands." MEPS, v.506, 2014, p.129. doi:doi: 10.3354/meps10808 

Edmunds PJ "A quarter-century demographic analysis of the Caribbean coral, Orbicella annularis, and projections of population size over the next century" Limnology and Oceanography, v., 2015, p.. doi:doi: 10.1002/lno.10075 

Edmunds PJ (+19 others) "Geographic variation in long-term trajectories of change in coral recruitment: a global-to-local perspective" Marine and Freshwater Research, v., 2015, p.. doi: 

Gross K, Edmunds PJ "Stability of Caribbean coral communities quantified by long-term monitoring and autoregression models" Ecology, v., 2015, p.. 

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