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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:08/16/2010
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 1,880,000
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 2,224,276
  • FY 2012=$214,115
  • FY 2010=$940,000
  • FY 2011=$1,070,161
Start Date:09/01/2010
End Date:08/31/2014
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: MCR II - Long-Term Dynamics of a Coral Reef Ecosystem
Federal Award ID Number:1026851
DUNS ID:094878394
Parent DUNS ID:071549000
Program:LONG TERM ECOLOGICAL RESEARCH
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

Intellectual Merit: The Moorea Coral Reef (MCR) LTER is an interdisciplinary research and education program that was established in 2004, to explore the joint effects of climate and disturbance on the structure and function of coral reefs. The study area is the reef complex that surrounds the island of Moorea in French Polynesia. The initial focus of (MCR I) was to advance understanding of major controls of processes that modulate ecosystem function, shape community structure and diversity, and determine abundance and dynamics of constituent populations. The LTER Investigators build on this foundation by adapting a unifying conceptual framework (US LTER 2007) and developing a set of research themes to organize the MCR II research program and facilitate cross-site collaboration. Coral reef ecosystems appear especially vulnerable to changes in abiotic drivers associated with Global Climate Change (GCC). These arise from two mechanisms related to increasing concentrations of atmospheric CO2: rising seawater temperature due to greenhouse warming, and changing seawater chemistry known as Ocean Acidification (OA). A paradigm shift occurred within the past decade regarding the relative importance of these climate-related drivers to coral reefs. The focus initially was on rising seawater temperature because it triggered several large-scale, conspicuous coral bleaching (i.e., loss of the endosymbiont Symbiodinium) events. There now is widespread recognition that OA and its interaction with rising temperature have the potential to cause even more sweeping changes. These drivers occur against a backdrop of other press (e.g., fishing) and pulse (e.g., storms) perturbations. During MCR I, a brief outbreak of crown-of-thorns seastars (COTS) resulted in the death of virtually all coral on the fore reef of Moorea, bringing issues related to state change, resilience (recovery), interactive effects and indirect cascades to the forefront. The fundamental question that the MRC LTER Team will address in MCR II is: How do drivers that operate over different spatial and temporal scales interact to influence the structure and function of coral reef ecosystems? The project incorporates three organizing themes: (i) interactive effects among drivers, (ii) indirect effects arising from structure-function linkages, and (iii) resilience and resistance in relation to structure-function feedbacks. The six goals of MCR II are to: (a) continue building long-term datasets on physical drivers, community dynamics and ecosystem processes; (b) maintain a long-term resilience experiment; (c) contribute to understanding of how Global Climate Change drivers will affect coral reefs and what factors influence resistance and resilience; (d) develop and test general ecological theory; (e) continue to improve our information management system to more fully meet the needs of the LTER network and broader scientific community; and (f) enhance our outreach components. Broader Impacts: Coral reefs are not just ecologically important - they yield upwards of $375 billion annually in goods and services (most of it in the developing world) that are vulnerable to human activities and climate forcing. Hence this research has relevance and application to resource managers, policy makers and stakeholders worldwide. Broader impacts arising from the educational activities include postdoctoral mentoring, research that integrates undergraduate and graduate training, progress towards an ethnically diverse MCR student community, active participation of K-12 teachers in MCR research, incorporation of MCR findings in teaching curricula, participation of MCR faculty and graduate students in the Three Seas Program, and involvement of faculty and students from predominately undergraduate and minority-serving institutions. Additional impacts are realized by outreach efforts, including partnerships with three local schools that serve socio-economically disadvantaged and minority students, and with the Atitia Center on Moorea to reach Tahitians. While the information-rich web site will continue to be a primary outreach portal, the investigators plan to develop a partnership with another web-based entity to target middle-school students.

Publications Produced as a Result of this Research

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Beldade, R.;Holbrook, S. J.;Schmitt, R. J.;Planes, S.;Malone, D.;Bernardi, G.; "Larger female fish contribute disproportionately more to self-replenishment." Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences, v.279, 2012, p.2116-2121.

Leichter, J. J.;Stokes, M. D.;Hench, J. L.;Witting, J.;Washburn, L.; "The island-scale internal wave climate of Moorea, French Polynesia." Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, v.117, 2012, p.C06008.

Messmer, V.;Jones, G. P.;Munday, P. L.;Holbrook, S. J.;Schmitt, R. J.;Brooks, A. J.; "Habitat biodiversity as a determinant of fish community structure on coral reefs." Ecology, v.92, 2011, p.2285-2298.

Gates, R. D.;Ainsworth, T. D.; "The nature and taxonomic composition of coral symbiomes as drivers of performance limits in scleractinian corals." Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, v.408, 2011, p.94-101.

Pochon, X., H.M. Putnam, F. Burki and R.D. Gates "Identifying and characterizing alternative molecular markers for the symbiotic and free-living dinoflagellate genus Symbiodinium" PLoS One, v.7, 2012, p.e29816.

Eynaud, Y.;Nisbet, R. M.;Muller, E.B.; "Impact of excess and harmful radiation on energy budgets in sceractinian corals." Ecological Modelling, v.222, 2011, p.1315-1322.

Buenau, K., N.N. Price and R.M. Nisbet "Local interactions drive size dependent space competition between coral and crustose coralline algae" Oikos, v.120, 2011, p.941-949.

Johnson, M. E. K.;Holbrook, S. J.;Schmitt, R. J.;Brooks, A. J.; "Fish communities on staghorn coral: effects of habitat characteristics and resident farmerfishes." Environmental Biology of Fishes, v.91, 2011, p.429-448.

Haas, A. F.;Nelson, C. E.;Wegley-Kelly, L.;Carlson, C. A.;Rohwer, F.;Leichter, J. J.;Wyatt, A.;Smith, J. E.; "Effects of coral reef benthic primary producers on dissolved organic carbon and microbial activity." PLoS One, v.6, 2011, p.e27973.

Edmunds, P. J.;Putnam, H. M.;Nisbet, R. M.;Muller, E.B.; "Benchmarks in organism performance and their use in comparative analyses." Oecologia, v.167, 2011, p.379-390.

Haas, A.F., C.E. Nelson, L. Wegley-Kelly, C.A. Carlson, F. Rohwer, J.J. Leichter, A. Wyatt and J.E. Smith "Effects of coral reef benthic primary producers on dissolved organic carbon and microbial activity" PLoS One, v.6, 2011, p.e27973.

Edmunds P.J., H.M. Putnam, R.M. Nisbet and E.B. Muller. "Benchmarks in organism performance and their use in comparative analyses" Oecologia, v.167, 2011, p..

Adam, T.C. "High quality habitat and facilitation ameliorate competitive effects of prior residents on new settlers" Oecologia, v.166, 2011, p.121-130.

Colvard, N. B.;Edmunds, P. J.; "The physiological response of tropical reef corals to light reflected from the benthos." Proceedings of the 2010 Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Meetings, v.50, 2010, p.e33.

Krueger, T. and R.D. Gates "Cultivating endosymbionts - host environmental mimics support the survival of Symbiodinium C15 ex hospite" Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, v.413, 2012, p.169-176.

Colvard, N.;Edmunds, P. J.; "Decadal-scale changes in abundance of non-scleractinian invertebrates on a Caribbean coral reef." Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, v.397, 2011, p.153-160.

Putnam, H.M. and P.J. Edmunds "The physiological response of reef corals to diel fluctuations in seawater temperature" Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, v.396, 2011, p.216-223.

Bergsma, G. S.; "Epibiotic mutualists alter coral susceptibility and response to biotic disturbance through cascading trait-mediated indirect interactions." Coral Reefs, v.31, 2012, p.461-469.

Hofmann, G. E.;Smith, J. E.;Johnson, K. S.;Send, U;Levin, L.A.;Micheli, F.;Paytan, A.;Price, N. N.;Peterson, B.;Takeshita, Y.;Matson, P. G.;Crook, E. D.;Kroeker, K. J.;Gambi, M. C.;Rivest, E. B.;Frieder, C. A.;Yu, P. C.;Martz, T.R.; "High-frequency dynamics of ocean pH: a Multi-ecosystem comparison." PloS One, v.6, 2011, p.e28983.

Holbrook, S.J., R.J. Schmitt and A.J. Brooks "Indirect effects of species interactions on habitat provisioning" Oecologia, v.166, 2011, p.739-749.

Bergsma, G.S. and C.M. Martinez "Mutualist-induced morphological changes enhance growth and survival of corals" Marine Biology, v.158, 2011, p.2267-2277.

Green, D. H.;Edmunds, P. J.; "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.220-229.

Edmunds, P.J., J.J. Leichter and M. Adjeroud "Landscape-scale variation in coral recruitment in Moorea, French Polynesia" Marine Ecology Progress Series, v.414, 2010, p.75-89.

Lenihan, H.S., S.J. Holbrook, R.J. Schmitt and A.J. Brooks "Influence of corallivory, competition, and habitat structure on coral community shifts" Ecology, v.92, 2011, p.1959-1971.

Collin, A., and J. L. Hench "Towards deeper measurements of tropical reefscape structure using the WorldView-2 spaceborne sensor" Remote Sensing, v.4, 2012, p.1425-1447.

Adam, T.C.;Schmitt, R. J.;Holbrook, S. J.;Brooks, A. J.;Edmunds, P.J.;Carpenter, R.C.;Bernardi, G.; "Herbivory, connectivity and ecosystem resilience: response of a coral reef to a large-scale perturbation" PLoS One, v.6, 2011, p.e23717.

Rosman, J.H.;Hench, J.L.; "A framework for understanding drag parameterizations for coral reefs" Journal of Geophysical Research, v.116, 2011, p..

Ananthasubramaniam, B.;Nisbet, R. M.;Morse, D.;Doyle, F. J.; "Integrate-and-fire models of insolation-driven entrainment of broadcast spawning in corals." Theoretical Ecology, v.4, 2011, p.69-85.

Hofmann, G. E.;Barry, J. P.;Edmunds, P. J.;Gates, R. D.;Hutchins, D. A.;Klinger, T.;Sewell, M. A.; "The effect of ocean acidification on calcifying organisms in marine ecosystems: an organism to ecosystem perspective" Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics, v.41, 2010, p.127-147.

Weersing, K.;Padilla-Gamino, J. L.;Bruno, B.; "What microbe are you?" The Science Teacher, v.77, 2010, p.40-44.

Colvard, N.B. and P.J. Edmunds "Decadal-scale changes in abundance of non-scleractinian invertebrates on a Caribbean coral reef" Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, v.397, 2011, p.153-160.

Goldenheim, W. M.;Edmunds, P.; "Effects of flow and temperature on growth and photophysiology of scleractinian corals in Moorea, French Polynesia." Biological Bulletin, v.221, 2011, p.270-279.

Mayfield, A. B.;Wang, L.H..;Tang, P.-C.;Fan, T.- Y.;Hsiao, Y.-Y.;Tsai, C.-L.;Chen, C.-S.; "Assessing the impacts of experimentally elevated temperature on the biological composition and molecular chaperone gene expression of a reef coral." PLoS One, v.6, 2011, p.e26529.

Maritorena S., O.H.F. d?Andon, A. Mangin and D.A. Siegel "Merged satellite ocean color data products using a bio-optical model: characteristics, benefits and issues" Remote Sensing of Environment, v.114, 2010, p.1791-1804.

Eynaud, Y., Nisbet, R.M. and E.B. Muller "Impact of excess and harmful radiation on energy budgets in scleractinian corals" Ecological Modelling, v.222, 2011, p.1315-1322.

Colvard, N. B.;Edmunds, P. J.; "The physiological response of tropical reef corals to light reflected from the benthos." Integrative and Comparative Biology, v.50, 2010, p.E33-E33 S.

Franklin, E. C.;Stat, M.;Pochon, X.;Putnam, H. M.;Gates, R. D.; "Rapid development of a hybrid web application for synthesis science of Symbiodinium with Google Apps." Environmental Information Management Conference, v., 2011, p.44-48.

Kayal, M., H.S. Lenihan, C. Pau, L. Penin, and M. Adjeroud "Associational refuges among corals mediate impacts of a crown-of-thorns starfish Acanthaster planci outbreak" Coral Reefs, v.30, 2011, p.827-837.

Edmunds, P. J.; "Zooplanktivory ameliorates the effects of ocean acidification on the reef coral Porites spp." Limnology and Oceanography, v.56, 2011, p.2402-2410.

Hofmann, G.E., J.E. Smith, K.S. Johnson, U. Send, L.A. Levin, F. Micheli, A. Paytan, N.N. Price, B. Peterson, Y. Takeshita, P.G. Matson, E.D. Crook, K.J. Kroeker, M.C. Gambi, E.B. Rivest, C.A. Frieder, P.C. Yu and T.R. Martz "High-frequency dynamics of ocean pH: a multi-ecosystem comparison" PLoS One, v.6, 2011, p.e28983.

Adam, T. C.; "High quality habitat and facilitation ameliorate competitive effects of prior residents on new settlers." Oecologia, v.166, 2011, p.121-130.

Collin, A.;Hench, J. L.; "Towards deeper measurements of tropical reefscape structure using the WorldView-2 spaceborne sensor." Remote Sensing, v.4, 2012, p.1425-1447.

Ananthasubramaniam, B., R.M. Nisbet, D. Morse and F.J. Doyle "Integrate-and-fire models of insolation-driven entrainment of broadcast spawning in corals" Theoretical Ecology, v.4, 2011, p.69-85.

Green, D. H.;Edmunds, P. J.; "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.220-229.

Maritorena, S.;dâ??Andon, O. H. F.;Mangin, A.;Siegel, D. A.; "Merged satellite ocean color data products using a bio-optical model: characteristics, benefits and issues." Remote Sensing of Environment, v.114, 2010, p.1791-1804.

Franklin, E.C., M. Stat, X. Pochon, H.M. Putnam and R.D. Gates "GeoSymbio: A hybrid, cloud-based web application of global geospatial bioinformatics and ecoinformatics for Symbiodinium-host symbioses" Molecular Ecology Resources, v.12, 2012, p.369-373.

Adam, T.C. "Mutualistic cleaner fish initiate trait-mediated indirect interactions on coral reefs by influencing the behavior of coral predators" Journal of Animal Ecology, v.81, 2012, p.692-700.

Antoine D., D.A. Siegel, T. Kostadinov, S. Maritorena, N.B. Nelson, B. Gentili, V. Vellucci, and N. Guillocheau "Variability in optical particle backscattering in contrasting bio-optical oceanic regimes" Limnology and Oceanography, v.56, 2011, p.955-973.

Mayfield, A. B.;Hsiao, Y.-Y.;Fan, T.-Y.;Chen, C.-S.;Gates, R. D.; "Evaluating the temporal stability of stress-activated protein kinase and cytoskeleton gene expression in the Pacific reef corals Pocillopora damicornis and Seritopora hystrix." Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, v.395, 2010, p.215-222.

McCliment, E.A., C.E. Nelson, C.A. Carlson, A.L. Alldredge, J. Witting and L.A. Amaral-Zettler "An all-taxon microbial inventory of the Moorea coral reef ecosystem" ISME Journal, v.6, 2012, p.309-319.

Pochon, X.;Putnam, H. M.;Burki, F.;Gates, R. D.; "Identifying and characterizing alternative molecular markers for the symbiotic and free-living dinoflagellate genus Symbiodinium." PLoS One, v.7, 2012, p.e29816.

Messmer, V., G.P. Jones, P.L. Munday, S.J. Holbrook, R.J. Schmitt and A.J. Brooks "Habitat biodiversity as a determinant of fish community structure on coral reefs" Ecology, v.92, 2011, p.2285-2298.

Muller, E.B. "Synthesizing units as modeling tool for photosynthesizing organisms with photoinhibition and nutrient limitation" Ecological Modelling, v.222, 2011, p.637-644.

Melack, J.M., A.C. Finzi, D. Siegel, S. MacIntyre, C.E. Nelson, A.K. Aufdenkampe and M.L. Pace "Improving biogeochemical knowledge through technical innovation" Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, v.9, 2011, p.37-43.

Yau, A.J-Y and T.-Y. Fan "Size-dependent photosynthetic performance in the giant clam Tridacna maxima, a mixotrophic marine bivalve" Marine Biology, v.159, 2012, p.65-75.

Edmunds, P.J.;Brown, D. B.;Moriarty, V.; "Interactive effects of ocean acidification and temperature on two scleractinian corals from Moorea, French Polynesia." Global Change Biology, v.18, 2012, p.2173-2183.

Edmunds, P. J.;Ross, C. L. M.;Didden, C.; "High, but localized recruitment of Montastraea annularis complex in St. John, United States Virgin Islands." Coral Reefs, v.30, 2011, p.123-130.

Edmunds, P.J., V. Cumbo and T.-Y. Fan "Effects of temperature on the respiration of brooded larvae from tropical reef corals" Journal of Experimental Biology, v.214, 2011, p.2783-2790.

Gates, R.D. and T.D. Ainsworth "The nature and taxonomic composition of coral symbiomes as drivers of performance limits in scleractinian corals" Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, v.408, 2011, p.94-101.

Siegel, D. A.;Behrenfeld, M. J.;Maritorena, S.;Oâ??Malley, R. T.;Fields, E.; "Global ocean phytoplankton." State of the climate in 2010, v.92, 2011, p.S105-108.

Lenihan, H. S.;Holbrook, S. J.;Schmitt, R. J.;Brooks, A. J.; "Influence of corallivory, competition, and habitat structure on coral community shifts." Ecology, v.92, 2011, p.1959-1971.

Edmunds, P. J.;Leichter, J. J.;Adjeroud, M.; "Landscape-scale variation in coral recruitment in Moorea, French Polynesia" Marine Ecology-Progress Series, v.414, 2010, p.75-89.

Holbrook, S. J.;Schmitt, R. J.;Brooks, A. J.; "Indirect effects of species interactions on habitat provisioning." Oecologia, v.166, 2011, p.739-749.

Edmunds, P. J.;Ross, C. L. M.;Didden, C.; "High, but localized recruitment of" Coral Reefs, v.30, 2011, p.123-130.

Putnam, H. M.;Edmunds, P. J.; "The physiological response of reef corals to diel fluctuations in seawater temperature." Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, v.396, 2011, p.216-223.

Bergsma, G.S. "Coral mutualists enhance fish abundance and diversity through a morphology-mediated facilitation cascade" Marine Ecology Progress Series, v.451, 2012, p.151-161.

Edmunds, P.J. "Population biology of Porites astreoides and Diploria strigosa on a shallow Caribbean reef" Marine Ecology-Progress Series, v.418, 2010, p.87-104.

Putnam, H. M.;Edmunds, P. J.; "The physiological response of reef corals to diel fluctuations in seawater temperature." Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, v.396, 2011, p.216-223.

Nelson, C. E.;Alldredge, A.L.;McCliment, E. A.;Amaral-Zettler, L. A.;Carlson, C. A.; "Depleted dissolved organic carbon and distinct bacterial communities in the water column of a rapid-flushing coral reef ecosystem." ISME Journal, v.5, 2011, p.1374-1387.

Hofmann, G. E.;Barry, J. P.;Edmunds, P. J.;Gates, R. D.;Hutchins, D. A.;Klinger, T.;ll, M. A.; "The effect of ocean acidification on calcifying organisms in marine ecosystems: an organism to ecosystem perspective." Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics, v.41, 2010, p.127-147.

Stat, M., C.E. Bird, X. Pochon, L. Chasqui, L.J. Chauka, G.T. Concepcion, D. Logan, M. Takabayashi, R.J. Toonen and R.D. Gates "Variation in Symbiodinium ITS2 sequence assemblages among coral colonies" PLoS One, v.6, 2011, p.e15854.

Franklin, E. C.;Stat, M.;Pochon, X.;Putnam, H. M.;Gates, R. D.; "GeoSymbio: A hybrid, cloud-based web application of global geospatial bioinformatics and ecoinformatics for Symbiodinium-host symbioses." Molecular Ecology Resources, v.12, 2012, p.369-373.

Mora, C.; Aburto-Oropeza, O.; Bocas, A. A.; Ayotte, P. M.; Banks, S.; Bauman, A. G.; Berger, M.; Bessudo, S.; Booth, D. J.; Brokovich, E.; Brooks, A. J.; Chabanet, P.; Cinner, J.; Cortes, J.; Cruz-Motta, J. J.; Magana, A. C.; DeMartini, E.; , et al. "Global human footprint on the linkage between buidiversity and ecosystem functioning in reef fishes." PLoS Biology, v.9, 2011, p.e1000606.

Edmunds, P.J. "Zooplanktivory ameliorates the effects of ocean acidification on the reef coral Porites spp" Limnology and Oceanography, v.56, 2011, p.2402-2410.

Stat, M, and R.D. Gates "Clade D Symbiodinium in scleractinian corals: a ?nugget? of hope, a selfish opportunist, an ominous sign, or all of the above?" Journal of Marine Biology, v.2011, 2011, p.730715.

Mayfield, A.B., Y-Y Hsiao, T-Y Fan, C-S Chen and R.D. Gates "Evaluating the temporal stability of stress-activated protein kinase and cytoskeleton gene expression in the Pacific reef corals Pocillopora damicornis and Seriatopora hystrix" Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, v.395, 2010, p.215-222.

Bergsma, G. S.; "Coral mutualists enhance fish abundance and diversity through a morphology-mediated facilitation cascade." Marine Ecology-Progress Series, v.451, 2012, p.151-161.

Kostadinov, T. S.;Siegel, D. A.;Maritorena, S.; "Global variability of phytoplankton functional types from space assessment via the particle size distribution." Biogeosciences, v.7, 2010, p.3239-3257.

Padilla-Gamiño, J.L., T.M. Weatherby, R.G. Waller and R.D. Gates "Formation and structural organization of the egg-sperm bundle of the scleractinian coral Montipora capit" Coral Reefs, v.30, 2011, p.371-380.

Mora, C., O. Aburto-Oropeza, A.A. Bocos, P.M. Ayotte, S. Banks, A.G. Bauman, M. Beger, S. Bessudo, D.J. Booth, E. Brokovich, A. Brooks, P. Chabanet, J. Cinner, J. Cortés, J.J. Cruz-Motta, A.C. Magaña, E. DeMartini, G.J. Edgar, D.A. Feary, S.C.A. Ferse, A. "Global human footprint on the linkage between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in reef fishes" PLoS Biology, v.9, 2011, p.e1000606.

Colvard, N.;Edmunds, P. J.; "Decadal-scale changes in abundance of non-scleractinian invertebrates on a Caribbean coral reef." l of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, v.397, 2011, p.153-160.

Kostadinov, T.S., D.A. Siegel and S. Maritorena "Global variability of phytoplankton functional types from space: assessment via the particle size distribution" Biogeosciences, v.7, 2010, p.3239-3257.

McCliment, E. A.;Nelson, C. E.;Carlson, C. A.;Alldredge, A.L.;Witting, J.;Amaral-Zettler, L. A.; "An all-taxon microbial inventory of the Moorea coral reef ecosystem." ISME Journal, v.6, 2012, p.309-319.

Nelson, C.E., A.L. Alldredge, E.A. McCliment, L.A. Amaral-Zettler and C.A. Carlson "Depleted dissolved organic carbon and distinct bacterial communities in the water column of a rapid-flushing coral reef ecosystem" ISME Journal, v.5, 2011, p.1374-1387.

Salerno, J. L.;Reineman, D. R.;Gates, R. D.;Rappé, M. S.; "The effect of a sublethal temperature elevation on the structure of bacterial communities associated with the coral Porites compressa." Journal of Marine Biology, v.2011, 2011, p.969173.

Padilla-Gamiño, J. L.;Pochon, X.;Bird, C.;Concepcion, G. T.;Gates, R. D.; "From parent to gamete: vertical transmission of Symbiodinium (Dinophyceae) ITS2 sequence assemblages in the reef building coral Montipora capitata." PLoS One, v.7, 2012, p.e38440.

Arzberger, P.;Fountain, T.;Tilak, S.;Shin, P.;Ramirez, G.;Kratz, T.;Gries, C.;Holbrook, S.;Schmitt, R.;Brooks, A.;Seydel, K.;Carpenter, R.;Smith, J.;Martz, T.;Miller, M.;Wilson, J.; "The Open Source DataTurbine (OSDT) Android sensor pod: embedded cyberinfrastructure for smart buoy controllers and experiments in ocean acidification and limnology." Environmental Information Management Conference, v., 2011, p.161.

Edmunds, P.J., C.L.M. Ross and C. Didden. "High, but localized recruitment of Montastraea annularis complex in St. John, United States Virgin Islands" Coral Reefs, v.30, 2011, p.123-130.

Stat, M.;Gates, R. D.; "Clade D Symbiodinium in scleractinian corals: a "nugget" of hope, a selfish opportunist, an ominous sign, or all of the above?" Journal of Marine Biology, v.2011, 2011, p.730715.

Mayfield, A. B.;Hsiao, Y.-Y.;Fan, T.- Y.;Chen, C.-S.;Gates, R. D.; "Evaluating the temporal stability of stress-activated protein kinase and cytoskeleton gene expression in the Pacific reef corals" Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, v.395, 2010, p.215-222.

Stat, M.;Bird, C. E.;Pochon, X.;Chasqui, L.;Chauka, L. J.;Concepcion, G. T.;Logan, D.;Takabayashi, M.;Gates, R. D.; "Variation in Symbiodinium ITS2 sequence assemblages among coral colonies." PLoS One, v.6, 2011, p.e15854.

Mora, C.; Aburto-Oropeza, O.; Bocas, A. A.; Ayotte, P. M.; Banks, S.; Bauman, A. G.; Berger, M.; Bessudo, S.; Booth, D. J.; Brokovich, E.; Brooks, A. J.; Chabanet, P.; Cinner, J.; Cortes, J.; Cruz-Motta, J. J.; Magana, A. C.; DeMartini, E.; , et al. "Global human footprint on the linkage between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in reef fishes." PLoS Biology, v.9, 2011, p.e1000606.

Beldade, R., S.J. Holbrook, R.J. Schmitt, S. Planes, D. Malone and G. Bernardi "Larger female fish contribute disproportionately more to self-replenishment" Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B ? Biological Sciences, v.279, 2012, p.2116-2121.

Yau, A. J.-Y.;Fan, T.- Y.; "Size-dependent photosynthetic performance in the giant clam Tridacna maxima, a mixotrophic marine bivalve." Marine Biology, v.159, 2012, p.65-75.

Bergsma, G. S.;Martinez, C. M.; "Mutualist-induced morphological changes enhance growth and survival of corals." Marine Biology, v.158, 2011, p.2267-2277.

Buenau, K.E., Price, N.N., Nisbet, R,M. "Size dependence, facilitation, and microhabitats mediate space competition between coral and crustose coralline algae in a spatially explicit model" Ecological Modelling, v.237, 2012, p.23-33.

Melack, J. M.;Finzi, A. C.;Siegal, D.;MacIntyre, S.;Nelson, C. E.;Aufdenkampe, A. K.;Pace, M. L.; "Improving biogeochemical knowledge through technical innovation." Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, v.9, 2011, p.37-43.

Buenau, K. E.;Price, N. N.;Nisbet, R. M.; "Local interactions drive size dependent space competition between coral and crustose coralline algae." Oikos, v.120, 2011, p.949.

Edmunds, P.J. D.B. Brown and V. Moriarty "Interactive effects of ocean acidification and temperature on two scleractinian corals from Moorea, French Polynesia" Global Change Biology, v.18, 2012, p.2173-2183.

Bestelmeyer, B.T., A.M. Ellison, W.R. Fraser, K.B. Gorman, S.J. Holbrook, C.M. Laney, M.O. Ohman, D.P.C. Peters, F.C. Pillsbury, A. Rassweiler, R.J. Schmitt and S. Sharma "Analysis of abrupt transitions in ecological systems" Ecosphere, v.2, 2011, p.129.

Dufault, A.M., V.R. Cumbo, T.-Y. Fan and P.J. Edmunds "Effects of diurnally oscillating pCO2 on the calcification and survival of coral recruits" Proceedings of the Royal Society, Series B ? Biological Sciences, v.279, 2012, p.2951-2958.

Stat, M.;Bird, C. E.;Pochon, X.;Chasqui, L.;Chauka, L. J.;Concepcion, G. T.;Logan, D.;Takabayashi, M.;Gates, R. D.; "Variation in Symbiodinium ITS2 sequence assemblages among coral colonies." PLoS One, v.6, 2011, p.e15854.

Edmunds, P. J.; "Population biology of" Marine Ecology-Progress Series, v.418, 2010, p.87-104.

Edmunds, P.J.;Cumbo, V;Fan, T.-Y.; "Effects of temperature on the respiration of brooded larvae from tropical reef corals." Journal of Experimental Biology, v.214, 2011, p.2783-2790.

Beijbom, O.;Edmunds, P.J.;Kline, D. I.;Mitchell, B. G.;Kriegman, D.; "Automated annotation of coral reef survey images." IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), v., 2012, p..

Muller, E.B.; "Synthesizing units as modeling tool for photosynthesizing organisms with photoinhibition and nutrient limitation." Ecological Modelling, v.222, 2011, p.637-644.

Johnson, M.K., S.J. Holbrook, R.J. Schmitt and A.J. Brooks "Fish communities on staghorn coral: effects of habitat characteristics and resident farmerfishes" Environmental Biology of Fishes, v.91, 2011, p.429-448.

Krueger, T.;Gates, R.D.; "Cultivating endosymbionts-host environmental mimics support the survival of Symbiodinium C15 ex hospite." Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, v.413, 2012, p.169-176.

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Goldenheim, W.M. and P.J. Edmunds "Effects of flow and temperature on growth and photophysiology of scleractinian corals in Moorea, French Polynesia" Biological Bulletin, v.221, 2011, p.270-279.

Mayfield, A.B., L.-H. Wang, P.-C. Tang, T.-Y. Fan, Y.-Y. Hsiao, C.-L. Tsai and C.-S. Chen "Assessing the impacts of experimentally elevated temperature on the biological composition and molecular chaperone gene expression of a reef coral" PLoS One, v.6, 2011, p.e26529.

Adam, T. C.; "Mutualistic cleaner fish initiate trait-mediated indirect interactions on coral reefs by influencing the behavior of coral predators." Journal of Animal Ecology, v.81, 2012, p.692-700.

Edmunds, P. J.; "Population biology of Porites astreoides and Diploria strigosa on a shallow Caribbean reef." Marine Ecology-Progress Series, v.418, 2010, p.87-104.

Hofmann G.E., Barry J.P., Edmunds P.J., Gates R.D., Hutchins D.A., Klinger T. and M.A. Sewell "The effect of ocean acidification on calcifying organisms in marine ecosystems: an organism to ecosystem perspective" Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics, v.41, 2010, p.127-147.

Muller, E.B.; "Synthesizing units as modeling tool for photosynthesizing organisms with photoinhibition and nutrient limitation." Ecological Modelling, v.222, 2011, p.637-644.

Green, D.H. and P.J. Edmunds "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.220-229.

Bergsma, G.S. "Epibiotic mutualists alter coral susceptibility and response to biotic disturbance through cascading trait-mediated indirect interactions" Coral Reefs, v.31, 2012, p.461-469.

Adam, T.C., R.J. Schmitt, S.J. Holbrook, A.J. Brooks, P.J. Edmunds, R.C. Carpenter and G. Bernardi "Herbivory, connectivity and ecosystem resilience: response of a coral reef to a large-scale perturbation" PLoS One, v.6, 2011, p.e23717.

Buenau, K. E.;Price, N. N.;Nisbet, R. M.; "Size dependence, facilitation, and microhabitats mediate space competition between coral and crustose coralline algae in a spatially explicit model." Ecological Modelling, v.237, 2012, p.23-33.

Padilla-Gamino, J.L., X. Pochon, C. Bird, G.T. Concepcion and R.D. Gates "From parent to gamete: vertical transmission of Symbiodinium (Dinophyceae) ITS2 sequence assemblages in the reef building coral Montipora capitata" PLoS One, v.7, 2012, p.e38440.

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Leichter, J.J., M.D. Stokes, J.L. Hench, J. Witting and L. Washburn "The island-scale internal wave climate of Moorea, French Polynesia" Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, v.117, 2012, p.C06008.

Rosman, J.H., and J. L. Hench "A framework for understanding drag parameterizations on coral reefs" Journal of Geophysical Research (Oceans), v.116, 2011, p.C09010.

Eynaud, Y.;Nisbet, R. M.;Muller, E.B.; "Impact of excess and harmful radiation on energy budgets in sceractinian corals." Ecological Modelling, v.222, 2011, p.1315-1322.

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Kayal, M.;Lenihan, H. S.;Pau, C.;Penin, L.;Adjeroud, M.; "Associational refuges among corals mediate impacts of a crown-of-thorns starfish Acanthaster planci outbreak." Coral Reefs, v.30, 2011, p.827-837.

Melack, J. M.;Finzi, A. C.;Siegal, D.;MacIntyre, S.;Nelson, C. E.;Aufdenkampe, A. K.;Pace, M. L.; "Improving biogeochemical knowledge through technical innovation." Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, v.9, 2011, p.37-43.

Edmunds, P. J.;Leichter, J. J.;Adjeroud, M.; "Landscape-scale variation in coral recruitment in Moorea, French Polynesia." Marine Ecology-Progress Series, v.414, 2010, p.75-89.


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.

Research Focus

The Moorea Coral Reef Long-Term Ecological Research site (MCR LTER) is an interdisciplinary, landscape-scale program that seeks to (1) advance understanding of the factors that influence the resilience of coral reef ecosystems and (2) to better forecast how coral reef ecosystems will be affected by slowly-changing environmental drivers.  The MCR LTER site consists of a coral reef complex that encircles the 37-mile perimeter of the island of Moorea in French Polynesia.

Coral reefs are among the most diverse and productive of all ecosystems and have immense ecological, social and economic value.  Unfortunately, the world's coral reefs are disappearing at an alarming rate due to the effects of coastal development, over-fishing and multiple factors associated with global climate change.  The Moorea Coral Reef LTER works to explore the effects of these external drivers on the fate of coral reefs and advance understanding to enable forecasts of the behavior of coral reef ecosystems.

Research Outcomes

Moorea Coral Reef LTER researchers found that rapid body and population growth of herbivorous parrotfishes following a major disturbance that killed most coral on the fore reef of Moorea prevented a massive invasion of seaweeds that would have precluded juvenile corals from recolonizing.  Young parrotfish first recruit to a nursery coral found in lagoons before moving offshore to the fore reef, which indicates that in addition to preventing over-fishing of key herbivores, protecting their nursery habitat is essential for maintaining reef resilience.

While it has long been known that the amount of coral on a reef influences the number and type of fishes present, studies by MCR LTER researchers show that the reverse often is true - the type of fishes present can markedly enhance the amount of coral on a reef.  They found that certain corals (acroporids) are more vulnerable to coral predators than others (pocilloporids), which helps explain why persistence and recovery of staghorn acropora, a major habitat for fishes and invertebrates, is governed by a territorial fish that protects its coral host from coral predators.  In addition to corals benefiting by protection by fish, other studies revealed that corals grew substantially better when colonized by fishes due to local fertilization by their nitrogenous waste.  MCR LTER studies of fish – coral interactions have revealed critical but previously unknown roles that fishes play in the resilience and dynamics of corals.

In another Moorea Coral Reef LTER study, researchers found that the more flexible corals are about their algal residents, the more sensitive they are to environmental changes.  The patterns show that coral generalists are some of the most environmentally sensitive.  The better scientists understand how corals respond to stress, the better we will be able to forecast and manage reef communities.  Similarly, MCR scientists found that the response of organisms on tropical reefs to ocean acidification may be species-specific, with some species of corals and coralline algae affected more than others.  They also discovered that more acidic oceans may lead to changes in patterns of biodiversity in a high-carbon dioxide world.

In addition, Moorea Coral Reef LTER scientists are developing biological models that help scale from genes to the whole community to describe the conditions under which abrupt community shifts from coral to seaweeds can occur and persist, to describe the response of coral to a warmer more acidic ocean, and to evaluate conditions promoting high coral cover in an increasingly disturbed world.

Education & Outreach

MCR LTER maintains a website designed to inform students and the public about the ocean, coral reef...

For specific questions or comments about this information including the NSF Project Outcomes Report, contact us.