coral

Microbiome environmental shifts differ between two co-occurring octocoral hosts

ABSTRACT: Corals harbor a complex suite of beneficial microbial symbionts. Shuffling the composition of these symbionts could, in theory, help the host withstand rapidly emerging or geographically varying stressors without requiring genetic change to the coral itself. The relative impact of host qualities on microbiome (bacteria) composition should provide insight into the extent that shifting microbial symbionts can play in resilience to environmental disturbance on reefs. We sought to assess the differences in microbiome composition across a large spatial scale (between Puerto Rico and Bonaire; >700 km apart) and in response to localized anthropogenic impacts in 2 co-occurring Caribbean soft corals (Eunicea flexuosa and Gorgonia ventalina) with well-documented differing degrees of population genetic differentiation. Host species was the strongest determinant of microbiome composition, with between-hosts distinction due largely to differences in the abundant genera Endozoicomonas and Mycoplasma. Interestingly, the microbiome of the more genetically subdivided G. ventalina showed stronger differentiation between islands and in response to local anthropogenic impacts than the less subdivided E. flexuosa. For both hosts, anthropogenic impacts on microbiome composition were stronger in Bonaire. Again, Endozoicomonas was responsible for much of the differentiation between and within islands and included host- and island-specific sequence variants. The level of intra-species microbiome variation mirrored the known geographic differentiation of their hosts, a trend that is consistent in the literature for 8 other coral species. Thus, while potentially adaptive bacteria may shuffle in response to environmental changes, our findings suggest that most changes to microbiomes are likely constrained by host genetics.

Date
2023
Data type
Scientific article
Theme
Research and monitoring
Document
Geographic location
Bonaire

Genetic and morphological variation in corallivorous snails (Coralliophila spp.) living on different host corals at Curaçao, southern Caribbean

Abstract

Snails of the genus Coralliophila (Muricidae: Coralliophilinae) are common corallivores in the Caribbean, feeding on a wide range of host species. In the present study, the morphological and genetic variation in C. galea and C. caribaea were studied in relation to their association with host coral species at Curaçao. Differences in shell shape among snails living on different hosts were quantified using geometric morphometric and phylogenet-ic relationships were studied using two mitochondrial markers (12S and COI). Based on these analyses, a new species, C. cura-caoensis sp. nov., was found in association with the scleractinian coral Madracis auretenra. Both C. galea and C. caribaea showed host-specific differences in shell shape, size, and shell allometry (i.e. changes in morphological development during growth). Shell spire variability contributed foremost to the overall variation in shell shape. In C. caribaea minor genetic differences existed between snails associated with scleractinian and alcyonacean cor-als, whereas in C. galea such intraspecific variation was not found. These results shed more light on morphological and genetic differences among coral-associated fauna living on different host species.

Date
2017
Data type
Other resources
Theme
Research and monitoring
Geographic location
Curacao

Meta-mass shift chemical profiling of metabolomes from coral reefs

Abstract

Untargeted metabolomics of environmental samples routinely detects thousands of small molecules, the vast majority of which cannot be identified. Meta-mass shift chemical (MeMSChem) profiling was developed to identify mass differences between related molecules using molecular networks. This approach illuminates metabolomewide relationships between molecules and the putative chemical groups that differentiate them (e.g., H2, CH2, COCH2). MeMSChem profiling was used to analyze a publicly available metabolomic dataset of coral, algal, and fungal mat holobionts (i.e., the host and its associated microbes and viruses) sampled from some of Earth’s most remote and pristine coral reefs. Each type of holobiont had distinct mass shift profiles, even when the analysis was restricted to molecules found in all samples. This result suggests that holobionts modify the same molecules in different ways and offers insights into the generation of molecular diversity. Three genera of stony corals had distinct patterns ofmolecular relatedness despite their high degree of taxonomic relatedness. MeMSChem profiles also partially differentiated between individuals, suggesting that every coral reef holobiont is a potential source of novel chemical diversity.

Date
2017
Data type
Scientific article
Theme
Research and monitoring

Understanding cryptic coral diversity: A 3Dreefscape genomics approach to assess dispersal dynamics and niche differentiation

Abstract  Corals provide habitat for numerous marine species and ecosystem services for global human populations. However, they are vulnerable to local and global scale threats, especially climate change. Measuring demographic processes such as dispersal and ecological processes such as niche partitioning are important for predicting their responses to disturbances and environmental change. So far, correlations between coral genetics and the environment or spatial scale have largely been made over large habitat distinctions, such as depth, reef zone, and among islands or geographic regions. Reefs comprise structurally heterogenous landscapes and thus microhabitats may vary considerably, however, we have little understanding of how genotypes are distributed within reefs across fine spatial scales. Dynamics at fine spatial scales are particularly important in corals due to the frequent discovery of genetically divergent but morphologically indistinguishable coral taxa found sympatrically within reefs (i.e., cryptic taxa, often with no obvious environmental distinctions) and evidence that dispersal distances may be small for some taxa. Technological advancements in both genomic sequencing and underwater imaging and computation can help to study fine-scale dispersal and determine whether cryptic taxa are ecologically partitioned. Reduced representation sequencing can be conducted on wild populations and gives access to genomic variation across hundreds of individuals. Structure-from-motion photogrammetry enables the characterisation of structural features of the reef and coral colonies within reefs; thus, it is possible to combine high resolution spatial mapping and micro-environment analyses with genotyped colonies using these two technologies. 

Species of the Caribbean hard coral genus Agaricia (Order: Scleractinia) are arrayed over the entire depth range for photosynthetically dependent organisms, making them an ideal target for comparing mesophotic (>30 m depth) and shallow (<30 m) species, evaluating microhabitat differentiation, and assessing spatial structures across depths. My thesis uses this genus to explore questions related to spatial and environmental differentiation between and within taxa at scales from tens of kilometres to centimetres. The first data chapter (Chapter 2) of my thesis focuses on two mesophotic-occurring species: Agaricia grahamae and A. lamarcki. Despite presuming to be brooders with localised dispersal, no spatial population genetic structure was found over 10s of kms in either species. However, two sympatrically occurring cryptic taxa within each species were found. In A. lamarcki these taxa exhibited incomplete depth partitioning between shallow and mesophotic depths, yet taxa within A. grahamae displayed no obvious environmental distinctions. Demographic histories of all taxa were characterised by gene flow among taxa. This chapter exemplifies the complexities found in corals, where (1) spatial genetic structures do not follow expectations, (2) morphologically similar, sympatric taxa exist both at the same depths and differentiated by shallow and mesophotic depths and (3) gene flow among taxa may be important for the evolution of corals. My second and third data chapters (Chapters 3 and 4) focus on fine-scale characterisation of genotypes across 3D-imaged reefscapes within three depth zones (5, 10, 20 m) and among four sites along the leeward side of Curaçao and spread over ~50 km. Chapter 3 describes the delineation of cryptic coral taxa and investigates dispersal within and between depths among all taxa. The cryptic taxa are defined by divergent genotypic clusters occurring sympatrically and some were found to be associated with particular depth profiles. Disparate spatial genetic structures were found among congeners, where taxa within A. agaricites and A. humilis presented isolation-by-distance and dispersal distances across metres and, in contrast, A. lamarcki taxa presented genetic homogeneity at distances >50 km. This chapter provides one of the few estimates of dispersal distances in corals, which is exceedingly low (across metres), highlights the widespread cryptic diversity within corals and finds substantial differences in dispersal, clonality and genetic diversity among congeners. In Chapter 4, I used photogrammetry to characterise the microhabitat around individually genotyped colonies of Agaricia by deriving novel geometric measures. Environmental niches for sympatric cryptic taxa were determined by describing microhabitats that coral colonies inhabit. Species and cryptic taxa exhibited subtle divergences in their physical microhabitat niches. This chapter tackles the question of how cryptic coral taxa co-occur in seemingly similar environments and demonstrates a novel photogrammetric approach to characterise the microhabitat. 

My thesis applies new technologies and methods to help solve some of the mysteries of corals populations, namely, how far do larvae disperse? And what creates or preserves cryptic taxa? And in doing so, provides insight into coral ecology (interaction with microhabitat, spatial distribution, and dispersal) and evolution (cryptic diversification and hybridisation).

 

Date
2023
Data type
Research report
Theme
Research and monitoring
Geographic location
Bonaire
Curacao

Acquisition of obligate mutualist symbionts during the larval stage is not beneficial for a coral host

Theory suggests that the direct transmission of beneficial endosymbionts (mutualists) from parents to offspring (vertical transmission) in animal hosts is advantageous and evolutionarily stable, yet many host species instead acquire their symbionts from the environment (horizontal acquisition). An outstanding question in marine biology is why some scleractinian corals do not provision their eggs and larvae with the endosymbiotic dinoflagellates that are necessary for a juvenile's ultimate survival. We tested whether the acquisition of photosynthetic endosymbionts (family Symbiodiniaceae) during the planktonic larval stage was advantageous, as is widely assumed, in the ecologically important and threatened Caribbean reef-building coral Orbicella faveolata. Following larval acquisition, similar changes occurred in host energetic lipid use and gene expression regardless of whether their symbionts were photosynthesizing, suggesting the symbionts did not provide the energetic benefit characteristic of the mutualism in adults. Larvae that acquired photosymbionts isolated from conspecific adults on their natal reef exhibited a reduction in swimming, which may interfere with their ability to find suitable settlement substrate, and also a decrease in survival. Larvae exposed to two cultured algal species did not exhibit differences in survival, but decreased their swimming activity in response to one species. We conclude that acquiring photosymbionts during the larval stage confers no advantages and can in fact be disadvantageous to this coral host. The timing of symbiont acquisition appears to be a critical component of a host's life history strategy and overall reproductive fitness, and this timing itself appears to be under selective pressure.

Date
2018
Data type
Scientific article
Theme
Research and monitoring
Geographic location
Curacao

Coral reef assessments based on cover alone mask active dynamics of coral communities

Coral reef communities are often studied by tracking the percentage (or fraction) of the reef covered by coral through time. However, coral community dynamics result, in part, from underlying colony-level growth and mortality, which in turn depend on characteristics of individ- ual colonies, such as size, taxon, life history strategy, and morphology. Colonies are also subject to external disturbances that propel fission into smaller coral fragments and fusion where related fragments later fuse into contiguous colonies. To quantify how changes in coral growth through time depend on individual colony characteristics and colony fission and fusion processes, 4385 individual Caribbean coral colonies representing 4 dominant coral types (Madracis mirabilis, mounding coral species, Agaricia agaricites, and Millepora spp.) were tracked at 6 mo intervals for 4 yr. Despite overall stable percent coral cover, colonies belonging to different coral types experi- enced differential growth, shrinkage, mortality, fission, and fusion processes. All coral types dis- played size-dependent allometric growth patterns whereby relative, or proportional, growth in colony area decreased with increasing colony size. The largest changes in relative colony growth resulted from colony fission or fusion with other colonies, which occurred in 16.4% of all moni- tored colonies. Colony longevity, or survival, increased significantly with increasing colony size for all hard-coral groups that did not experience fission, fusion, or a combination of these pro- cesses. Our findings illustrate the usefulness of a size- and life-history-dependent approach to coral demography that elucidates the factors driving community dynamics of colonial organisms, which are not captured by traditional approaches based on benthic cover alone.

Date
2019
Data type
Scientific article
Theme
Research and monitoring
Journal
Geographic location
Curacao

Anatomically-specific coupling between innate immune gene repertoire and microbiome structure during coral evolution

Abstract  

Tropical reef-building corals exist in intimate symbiosis with diverse microbes and viruses. Coral microbiomes are generally much less diverse than their environment, but across studied corals, the biodiversity of these microbiomes varies greatly. It has previously been hypothesized that differences in coral innate immunity in general, and the copy number of TIR-domain containing innate immune genes in particular, may drive interspecific differences in microbiome structure. Despite many existing studies of coral microbiomes, this hypothesis has previously been difficult to test due to a lack of consistently collected cross-species data on coral microbiomes. In this manuscript, we reannotate TIR-domain containing genes across diverse coral genomes, and use phylogenetic comparative methods to compare these innate immune gene copy numbers against 16S rRNA marker gene data on coral mucus, tissue, and skeleton microbiomes from the Global Coral Microbiome Project (GCMP). The copy number of Toll-like receptor (TLRs) and Interleukin-1 receptor (IL-1Rs) gene families, as well as the total genomic count of their constituent domains (LRR and TIR domains; and Ig and TIR domains, respectively), explained most interspecific differences in microbiome richness and beta-diversity among corals with sequenced genomes. We find that these correlations are also anatomically specific, with an especially strong correlation between IL-1R gene copy numbers and microbiome richness in the coral’s endolithic skeleton. Together, these results suggest innate immunity may play a key role in sculpting microbiome structure in corals. 

Date
2023
Data type
Scientific article
Theme
Research and monitoring
Journal
Geographic location
Curacao

Methods for Assessing Acropora spp. Populations in the Caribbean

Since the severe decline of the Acropora populations in Bonaire in the 1980s, no assessment has characterized the distribution of remnant colonies. Because of their patchy distribution, a large sampling effort is necessary to adequately describe their occurrence. However, the spatial scale at which this assessment needs to be carried out makes this prohibitive with approaches such as transects using SCUBA gear and photogrammetry. This internship project aimed to optimize and apply a simple methodology trialed by relevant stakeholders on the island to obtain coarse but spatially explicit data with relatively low time-investment. Snorkelers utilizing a waterproof GPS and a slate to record coarse categorical data outlined patches of Acropora cervicornis and Acropora palmata in-situ. These were processed with an ArcGIS workflow to create shapefiles of coral patches as polygons joined to their corresponding data. The resulting polygons were used to describe the distribution of Acropora spp. along the leeward coast of Bonaire. Furthermore, these were used as ground-truthing data to test whether remote sensing imagery can be used to detect A. cervicornis remotely. 466 polygons along 14.5km of the coast were created, showing a patchy distribution of both species, more frequent occurrence of A. palmata in the northern leeward coast compared to the southern, and vice-versa for A. cervicornis. A multinomial logistic regression, maximum likelihood classification, and forest-based classification all showed a high accuracy in labelling A. cervicornis correctly in remote sensing data, but all showed frequent misclassification of other reef structures as A. cervicornis. The mapping approach presented in this internship could be applied to investigate fragmentation effects in Acropora populations and to gather in-situ ground-truthing data for other benthic habitats.

Date
2023
Data type
Scientific article
Theme
Research and monitoring
Geographic location
Bonaire

Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease in the Dutch Caribbean

Papiamentu, Papiamento and Dutch below

Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD) is a highly infectious coral disease that has spread rapidly throughout the Caribbean region in recent years. First reported in Florida in 2014, this disease affects more than 20 species of stony corals, including important reef builders like pillar coral, brain coral, and star coral. Within the Dutch Caribbean, Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease has been confirmed now on five of the six islands, starting on St. Maarten in 2018, St. Eustatius in 2019, Saba in 2021 and most recently in Bonaire and Curaçao (March/April 2023). The outbreak of this coral disease may have significant ecological, economic, and social impacts within the Dutch Caribbean. The Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) urges people to follow the recommendations of the local protected areas management organizations (parks) by adhering to the rules, regulations, guidelines for water(sport) users and report sightings to the parks or the Atlantic and Gulf Rapid Reef Assessment Program (AGRRA). 

Impacts 

Coral reefs are home to many marine life including sponges, crabs, sea turtles, and many species of fish. Coral reefs are also important to people for shoreline protection, tourism, and fisheries. The loss of corals due to this coral disease has significant ecological impacts on the region’s marine ecosystem. The disease can cause extensive damage to corals with a negative impact to the entire reef ecosystems. The mortality of corals can lead amongst others to the decline of important fish populations and impact the attraction for recreational tourism. The disease spreads rapidly amongst hard corals but does not affect human health directly. 

Response Options 

Various organizations are working to combat this coral disease by identifying causes and developing management strategies. The disease spreads quickly via the water or direct contact with infected corals.  Time is pressing and targeted management actions to try to limit the spread of Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease include closing sites, decontaminating dive gear, authorities can treat corals in the water according to best practice methods, and corals can be stored in tanks for future restoration efforts. Existing management strategies that seek to build the resilience of coral reefs to threats such as diseases are now especially important – like not touching corals, improving water quality, reducing fishing pressure and adhering to ballast water management protocols. In the meanwhile, research will continue. 

A brain coral with Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease.Photo Credit: STINAPA Bonaire

How to help 

Residents and tourists can also help. It is important to always follow the local rules, regulations and guidelines. Make sure to follow along with the local protected areas management organizations (parks)- Fundacion Parke Nacional Aruba , STINAPA BonaireCARMABI Curaçao Saba Conservation Foundation (SCF)St. Eustatius National Parks (STENAPA)Nature Foundation St. Maarten (NFSXM)- to stay up to date on each individual island’s change in conditions, rules, regulations and recommendations for water(sport) users.  

Divers are asked to avoid infected dive sites and properly disinfect gear between dives. Please note that for different dive gear there are different recommendations on how to decontaminate. If possible, it is best to limit dives to one site per day and fully dry equipment before re-entering the water.  Sightings (photo, location, date) can be reported to the protected areas management organizations or the Atlantic and Gulf Rapid Reef Assessment Program (AGRRA). 

More information 

https://www.agrra.org/coral-disease-outbreak/ 

SCTLD map Bonaire: https://arcg.is/1eCTD80

DCNA   

The Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) supports science communication and outreach in the Dutch Caribbean region by making nature-related scientific information more widely available through amongst others the Dutch Caribbean Biodiversity Database, DCNA’s news platform BioNews and the press. This article contains the results from several scientific studies but the studies themselves are not DCNA studies. No rights can be derived from the content. DCNA is not liable for the content and the in(direct) impacts resulting from publishing this article.  

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Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease ta un malesa di koral sumamente kontagioso ku durante e último añanan a plama rápidamente den área karibense. Na aña 2014 a mèldu e malesa akí pa promé biaha na Florida i e ta afektá mas ku 20 tipo di koral di piedra, entre otro konstruktornan importante di ref manera koral pilá, koral sesu i koral strea. Dentro di Karibe Hulandes aktualmente a konfirmá pérdida di tehido di koral di piedra na sinku di e seis islanan, kuminsando na St Maarten na aña 2018, St Eustatius na aña 2019, Saba na aña 2021 i mas resien na Boneiru i Kòrsou na luna di mart i aprel 2023. E brote di malesa di koral akí por tin konsekuensia ekonómiko i sosial konsiderabel dentro di Karibe Hulandes. Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) ta insistí serka hendenan pa kumpli ku e rekomendashonnan di e organisashonnan lokal di maneho di áreanan protehá (parkenan), pa medio di tene nan mes na e reglanan, preskripshonnan i instrukshonnan pa usuarionan di laman i deportenan akuátiko pa mèldu nan opservashonnan na e parkenan òf na Atlantic and Gulf Rapid Reef Assessment Program (AGRRA).

Impakto

Ref di koral ta kas di hopi bida bou di laman, entre otro spòns, kangreu, turtuga i hopi tipo di piská. Ref di koral ta importante tambe pa hende pa protekshon di kosta, turismo i peska. Pèrdida di koral komo konsekuensia di e malesa di koral akí tin konsekuensianan ekológiko konsiderabel pa e ekosistema marino den nos region. E malesa por kousa daño ekstenso na koral ku un impakto negativo riba henter e ekosistema di ref. Mortalidat di koral por kondusí entre otro na deterioro di populashonnan importante di piská i influensiá e forsa di atrakshon di turismo rekreativo. E malesa ta plama rápidamente entre koral duru, pero no tin un influensia direkto riba salú di hende.

Opshonnan pa reakshon

Diferente organisashon ta traha riba kombatimentu di e malesa di koral akí, pa medio di identifiká e kousanan i desaroyá strategianan di maneho. E malesa ta plama rápidamente via awa di laman òf via kontakto direkto ku koral infektá. Tempu ta kabando i akshonnan dirigí di maneho pa limitá plamamentu di Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease ta enserá seramentu di e sitionan, desinfekshon di ekipo di buseo, outoridatnan por trata koral den laman segun métodonan di ‘best practice’ i por almasená koral den tanki di awa pa intento di rekuperashon den futuro. Strategianan di maneho eksistente ku ta purba edifiká resiliensia di e refnan di koral kontra menasa manera malesa, awor akí ta demasiado importante – manera no mishi ku e koralnan, mehorá kalidat di e awa, redusí preshon di peska i kumpli ku e protokòlnan pa maneho di awa di balaster. Entretantu e investigashon ta sigui.

Potrèt: Un koral sesu ku Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease. Krédito: STINAPA Bonaire

Kon pa yuda

Habitante i turista tambe por yuda. Ta importante pa semper kumpli ku regla, preskripshon i instrukshon. Sòru pa bo sigui e organisashonnan di maneho di áreanan protehá (parkenan): Fundacion Parke Nacional Aruba , STINAPA BonaireCARMABI Curaçao Saba Conservation Foundation (SCF)St. Eustatius National Parks (STENAPA)Nature Foundation St. Maarten(NFSXM) – pa keda na altura di e kambionan di kada isla separadamente pa loke ta trata sirkunstansianan, reglanan, preskripshonnan i rekomendashonnan pa usuarionan di laman i di deporte akúatiko.

Ta pidi sambuyadónan pa keda leu for di sitionan di buseo kontagiá i pa desinfektá nan ekipo bon entre dos buseo. Tene kuenta ku pa diferente ekipo di buseo tin diferente rekomendashon pa desinfekshon. Si ta posibel ta mas mihó pa limitá sambuyamentu te na un solo sitio pa dia i seka e ekipo kompletamente promé ku bo drenta laman atrobe. Por mèldu opservashon na e organisashonnan di maneho di e área protehá òf na Atlantic and Gulf Rapid Reef Assessment Program (AGRRA).

Pa mas informashon

https://www.agrra.org/coral-disease-outbreak/

SCTLD map Bonaire: https://arcg.is/1eCTD80

DCNA

Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) ta sostené komunikashon sientífiko i ‘outreach’ den region Hulandes Karibense pa medio di hasi informashon sientífiko relashoná ku naturalesa mas ampliamente disponibel via entre otro Dutch Caribbean Biodiversity Database, DCNA su plataforma di notisia BioNews i prensa. E artíkulo akí ta kontené resultado di diferente investigashon sientífiko, pero e investigashonnan mes no ta investigashon di DCNA. No por derivá ningun derecho for di e kontenido. DCNA no ta responsabel pa e kontenido i e konsekuensianan (in)direkto ku ta surgi for di publikashon di e artíkulo akí.

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Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (malesa di perdida di tehido di coral di piedra) ta un malesa di coral altamente infeccioso cu a plama masha lihe den henter e region di Caribe durante e ultimo añanan. E malesa aki raporta pa prome biaha na Florida na aña 2014 a afecta mas di 20 especie di coral di piedra, incluyendo importante constructor di rif manera e coral pilar, e coral cerebro y e coral di strea. Awor a keda confirma dentro di Caribe Hulandes e malesa di perdida di tehido di coral di piedra na cinco di e seis islanan, cuminsando na St. Maarten na aña 2018, St. Eustatius na aña 2019, Saba na aña 2021 y mas recientemente na Bonairo y Corsou (maart/april di 2023). E brote di e malesa di e coralnan aki por tin impacto ecologico, economico y social importante den Caribe Hulandes. Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) ta urgi e hendenan pa mantene nan mes na e recomendacionnan di e organisacionnan di maneho di e areanan local proteha (parkenan) door di tene nan mes na e normanan, reglamento, guia pa e usuarionan di (deporte di) awa y pa reporta nan observacionnan na e parkenan di Atlantic and Gulf Rapid Reef Assessment Program (AGRRA).

Impactonan

Rif di coral ta cas di hopi bida marino, incluyendo spons, cangreu, turtuga di lama y hopi mas sorto di pisca. Rif di coral tambe ta importante pa proteccion di costa, turismo y pesca. E perdida di coral debi na e malesa di coral aki tin impacto ecologico significativo den e ecosistema marino di e region. E malesa por causa daño grandi na e coralnan cu un impacto negativo den henter e ecosistema di e rifnan. E mortalidad di e coralnan por conduci, entre otro, na disminucion di e poblacionnan importante di pisca y tambe por afecta e atraccion di turismo recreativo. E malesa ta plama hopi lihe entre e coralnan duro, pero no ta afecta directamente salud humano.

Opcion di contesta

Varios organisacion ta trahando pa combati e malesa aki di e coralnan identificando e causanan y desaroyando strategia di maneho. E malesa ta plama masha lihe door di awa of di contacto directo cu coral infecta. E tempo ta primi y e accionnan di maneho dirigi pa trata di limita cu e malesa di perdida di tehido di coral di piedra ta plama ta inclui ceramento di site di sambuya, descontaminacion di ekipo di buceo, autoridad pa trata e coralnan den e awa di acuerdo cu e metodonan di e miho practicanan y pa pone e coralnan den tanki pa esfuerso di restauracion den futuro. E strategianan di maneho existente cu ta trata na aumenta e resiliencia di e rifnan di coral cpntra menasa manera e enfermedadnan awor ta specialmente importante- manera no mishi cu e coralnan, mehora e calidad di awa, reduci presion di pesca y tene bo mes na e protocolnan di maneho di awa di balaster. Mientrastanto,  investigacion lo sigui.

Potret: Un coral cerebro cu e malesa di perdida di tehido di coral duro. Credito: STINAPA Bonaire

Con pa yuda

E residentenan y e turistanan tambe por yuda. Ta importante pa semper sigui e reglanan local, e regulacionnan y guia local. Percura pa sigui e organisacionnan local di maneho di area proteha (parkenan): Fundacion Parke Nacional Aruba , STINAPA BonaireCARMABI Curaçao Saba Conservation Foundation (SCF)St. Eustatius National Parks (STENAPA)Nature Foundation St. Maarten (NFSXM) – pa keda na altura di e cambionan den e condicionnan, normanan, reglamentonan y recomendacionnan di cada isla individual pa e usuarionan di (deporte) di awa

Ta pidi e buceadonan pa evita e sitionan di buceo infecta y pa nan desinfecta adecuadamente e ekipo entre e buceonan. Tene na cuenta cu pa diferente ekipo di buceo ta existi diferente recomendacion tocante con pa descontamina. Si ta posibel, ta miho pa limita e buceonan na un sitio pa dia y seca e ekipo completamente prome cu bolbe drenta awa. Por raporta e observacionnan (potret, ubicacion, fecha) na e organisacionnan di maneho di area proteha of na Atlantic and Gulf Rapid Reef Assessment Program (AGRRA).

Mas informacion

SCTLD map Bonaire: https://arcg.is/1eCTD80

DCNA

The Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA)pa Naturalesa ta sostene comunicacion cientifico y  divulgacion den region di Caribe Hulandes door di haci cu e informacion cientifico relaciona cu naturalesa ta mas disponibel a traves di entre otro, Dutch Caribbean Biodiversity Database, e plataforma di noticia BioNews di DCNA y prensa. E articulo aki ta contene e resultadonan di varios estudio cientifico, pero e estudionan riba nan mes no ta estudio di DCNA. No tin derecho pa saca nada di e contenido. DCNA no ta responsabel pa e contenido y e impactonan indirecto cu resulta di e publicacion di e articulo aki.

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Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD) is een zeer besmettelijke koraalziekte die zich de afgelopen jaren snel heeft verspreid over het Caribisch gebied. Deze ziekte, voor het eerst gemeld in Florida in 2014, treft meer dan 20 soorten steenkoralen. Binnen het Nederlands Caribisch gebied is Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease nu bevestigd op vijf van de zes eilanden, beginnend op St. Maarten in 2018, St. Eustatius in 2019, Saba in 2021 en meest recentelijk op Bonaire en Curaçao (maart/april 2023). Het uitbreken van deze koraalziekte kan aanzienlijke ecologische, economische en sociale gevolgen hebben binnen het Nederlands Caribisch gebied. De Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA)roept mensen op om de aanbevelingen van de lokale beheerorganisaties van beschermde gebieden (parken) op te volgen door zich te houden aan de regels, voorschriften, richtlijnen voor water(sport)gebruikers en waarnemingen te melden aan de parken of de Atlantic and Gulf Rapid Reef Assessment Program (AGRRA).

Effecten

Koraalriffen zijn de thuisbasis van veel zeeleven, waaronder sponzen, krabben, zeeschildpadden en vele vissoorten. Koraalriffen zijn ook belangrijk voor mensen voor kustbescherming, toerisme en visserij. Het verlies van koralen als gevolg van deze koraalziekte heeft aanzienlijke ecologische gevolgen voor het mariene ecosysteem. De ziekte kan grote schade toebrengen aan koralen met negatieve effecten op het gehele rifecosysteem. De sterfte van koralen kan onder andere leiden tot de achteruitgang van belangrijke vispopulaties en de aantrekkingskracht voor recreatief toerisme beïnvloeden. De ziekte verspreidt zich snel onder steenkoralen, maar heeft geen directe invloed op de menselijke gezondheid.

Opties

Verschillende organisaties werken aan de bestrijding van deze koraalziekte door oorzaken te identificeren en beheerstrategieën te ontwikkelen. De ziekte verspreidt zich snel via het water of direct contact met geïnfecteerde koralen. De tijd dringt en gerichte managementacties om de verspreiding van Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease te proberen te beperken, omvatten het sluiten van (duik)plekken, het ontsmetten van duikuitrusting, het behandelen van zieke koralen door de autoriteiten volgens “best practice”-methoden en het opslaan van koralen in tanks voor toekomstige herstel pogingen. Bestaande beheerstrategieën die de veerkracht van koraalriffen tegen bedreigingen zoals ziekten vergroten, zijn nu extra belangrijk – zoals het niet aanraken van koralen, het verbeteren van de waterkwaliteit, het verminderen van de visserijdruk en het naleven van protocollen voor ballastwater. Ondertussen loopt het onderzoek door.

Een hersenkoraal met Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease. Fotocredit: STINAPA Bonaire

Hoe te helpen

Ook inwoners en toeristen kunnen helpen. Het is belangrijk om altijd de lokale regels, voorschriften en richtlijnen te volgen. Volg de lokale beheersorganisaties van beschermde gebieden (parken) – Fundacion Parke Nacional Aruba , STINAPA BonaireCARMABI Curaçao Saba Conservation Foundation (SCF)St. Eustatius National Parks (STENAPA)Nature Foundation St. Maarten (NFSXM) – om op de hoogte te blijven van de veranderingen van elk afzonderlijk eiland in omstandigheden, regels, voorschriften en aanbevelingen voor water(sport)gebruikers.

Duikers wordt gevraagd besmette duikplekken te vermijden en hun uitrusting tussen de duiken goed te desinfecteren. Houd er rekening mee dat er voor verschillende duikuitrustingen verschillende aanbevelingen zijn voor het ontsmetten. Indien mogelijk is het het beste om duiken te beperken tot één locatie per dag en de uitrusting volledig te laten drogen voordat u weer het water in gaat. Waarnemingen van Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (foto, locatie, datum) kunnen worden gemeld aan de beheersorganisaties van de beschermde gebieden (parken) of het Atlantic and Gulf Rapid Reef Assessment Program (AGRRA).

Meer informatie

SCTLD-kaart Bonaire: https://arcg.is/1eCTD80

DCNA

De  Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA)ondersteunt wetenschapscommunicatie en outreach in de Nederlandse Caribische regio door natuurgerelateerde wetenschappelijke informatie breder beschikbaar te maken via onder andere de Dutch Caribbean Biodiversity Database, DCNA’s nieuwsplatform  BioNews en de pers. Dit artikel bevat de resultaten van verschillende wetenschappelijke onderzoeken, maar de onderzoeken zelf zijn geen DCNA-onderzoeken. Aan de inhoud kunnen geen rechten worden ontleend. DCNA is niet aansprakelijk voor de inhoud en de indirecte gevolgen die voortvloeien uit het publiceren van dit artikel.

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Published in BioNews 64

Date
2023
Data type
Media
Theme
Education and outreach
Research and monitoring
Geographic location
Aruba
Bonaire
Curacao
Saba
Saba bank
St. Eustatius
St. Maarten
Author

Territoriality drives patterns of fixed space use in Caribbean parrotfishes

Abstract

Animals often occupy home ranges where they conduct daily activities. In many parrotfishes, large terminal phase (TP) males defend their diurnal (i.e., daytime) home ranges as intraspecific territories occupied by harems of initial phase (IP) females. However, we know relatively little about the exclusivity and spatial stability of these territories. We investigated diurnal home range behavior in several TPs and IPs of five common Caribbean parrotfish species on the fringing coral reefs of Bonaire, Caribbean Netherlands. We computed parrotfish home ranges to investigate differences in space use and then quantified spatial overlap of home ranges between spatially co-occurring TPs to investigate exclusivity. We also quantified the spatial overlap of home ranges estimated from repeat tracks of a few TPs to investigate their spatial stability. We then discussed these results in the context of parrotfish social behavior. Home range sizes differed significantly among species. Spatial overlap between home ranges was lower for intraspecific than interspecific pairs of TPs. Focal TPs frequently engaged in agonistic interactions with intraspecific parrotfish and interacted longest with intraspecific TP parrotfish. This behavior suggests that exclusionary agonistic interactions may contribute to the observed patterns of low spatial overlap between home ranges. The spatial overlap of home ranges estimated from repeated tracks of several TPs of three study species was high, suggesting that home ranges were spatially stable for at least 1 month. Taken together, our results provide strong evidence that daytime parrotfish space use is constrained within fixed intraspecific territories in which territory holders have nearly exclusive access to resources. Grazing by parrotfishes maintains benthic reef substrates in early successional states that are conducive to coral larval settlement and recruitment. Behavioral constraints on parrotfish space use may drive spatial heterogeneity in grazing pressure and affect local patterns of benthic community assembly. A thorough understanding of the spatial ecology of parrotfishes is, therefore, necessary to elucidate their functional roles on coral reefs.

Date
2023
Data type
Scientific article
Theme
Research and monitoring
Geographic location
Bonaire