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Temperature Regimes Impact Coral Assemblages along Environmental Gradients on Lagoonal Reefs in Belize.
PLoS One. 2016; 11(9):e0162098.Plos

Abstract

Coral reefs are increasingly threatened by global and local anthropogenic stressors such as rising seawater temperature, nutrient enrichment, sedimentation, and overfishing. Although many studies have investigated the impacts of local and global stressors on coral reefs, we still do not fully understand how these stressors influence coral community structure, particularly across environmental gradients on a reef system. Here, we investigate coral community composition across three different temperature and productivity regimes along a nearshore-offshore gradient on lagoonal reefs of the Belize Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System (MBRS). A novel metric was developed using ultra-high-resolution satellite-derived estimates of sea surface temperatures (SST) to classify reefs as exposed to low (lowTP), moderate (modTP), or high (highTP) temperature parameters over 10 years (2003 to 2012). Coral species richness, abundance, diversity, density, and percent cover were lower at highTP sites relative to lowTP and modTP sites, but these coral community traits did not differ significantly between lowTP and modTP sites. Analysis of coral life history strategies revealed that highTP sites were dominated by hardy stress-tolerant and fast-growing weedy coral species, while lowTP and modTP sites consisted of competitive, generalist, weedy, and stress-tolerant coral species. Satellite-derived estimates of Chlorophyll-a (chl-a) were obtained for 13-years (2003-2015) as a proxy for primary production. Chl-a concentrations were highest at highTP sites, medial at modTP sites, and lowest at lowTP sites. Notably, thermal parameters correlated better with coral community traits between site types than productivity, suggesting that temperature (specifically number of days above the thermal bleaching threshold) played a greater role in defining coral community structure than productivity on the MBRS. Dominance of weedy and stress-tolerant genera at highTP sites suggests that corals utilizing these two life history strategies may be better suited to cope with warmer oceans and thus may warrant protective status under climate change.

Authors+Show Affiliations

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Department of Marine Sciences, 3202 Murray and Venable Halls, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599-3300, United States of America.University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Department of Marine Sciences, 3202 Murray and Venable Halls, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599-3300, United States of America.University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Department of Marine Sciences, 3202 Murray and Venable Halls, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599-3300, United States of America. Northeastern University, Department of Marine and Environmental Sciences; 430 Nahant Rd, Nahant, MA, United States of America. Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego, 9500 Gilman Dr., La Jolla, CA, 92093-0202, United States of America.University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Department of Marine Sciences, 3202 Murray and Venable Halls, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599-3300, United States of America.University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Department of Marine Sciences, 3202 Murray and Venable Halls, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599-3300, United States of America. Northeastern University, Department of Marine and Environmental Sciences; 430 Nahant Rd, Nahant, MA, United States of America.CIBIO/InBIO, Centro de Investigacao em Biodiversidade e Recursos Geneticos, Universitdade do Porto, Campus Agrário de Vairão, Vairão, Portugal.University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Department of Marine Sciences, 3202 Murray and Venable Halls, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599-3300, United States of America.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

27606598

Citation

Baumann, Justin H., et al. "Temperature Regimes Impact Coral Assemblages Along Environmental Gradients On Lagoonal Reefs in Belize." PloS One, vol. 11, no. 9, 2016, pp. e0162098.
Baumann JH, Townsend JE, Courtney TA, et al. Temperature Regimes Impact Coral Assemblages along Environmental Gradients on Lagoonal Reefs in Belize. PLoS One. 2016;11(9):e0162098.
Baumann, J. H., Townsend, J. E., Courtney, T. A., Aichelman, H. E., Davies, S. W., Lima, F. P., & Castillo, K. D. (2016). Temperature Regimes Impact Coral Assemblages along Environmental Gradients on Lagoonal Reefs in Belize. PloS One, 11(9), e0162098. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0162098
Baumann JH, et al. Temperature Regimes Impact Coral Assemblages Along Environmental Gradients On Lagoonal Reefs in Belize. PLoS One. 2016;11(9):e0162098. PubMed PMID: 27606598.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Temperature Regimes Impact Coral Assemblages along Environmental Gradients on Lagoonal Reefs in Belize. AU - Baumann,Justin H, AU - Townsend,Joseph E, AU - Courtney,Travis A, AU - Aichelman,Hannah E, AU - Davies,Sarah W, AU - Lima,Fernando P, AU - Castillo,Karl D, Y1 - 2016/09/08/ PY - 2016/03/04/received PY - 2016/08/17/accepted PY - 2016/9/9/entrez PY - 2016/9/9/pubmed PY - 2017/8/5/medline SP - e0162098 EP - e0162098 JF - PloS one JO - PLoS One VL - 11 IS - 9 N2 - Coral reefs are increasingly threatened by global and local anthropogenic stressors such as rising seawater temperature, nutrient enrichment, sedimentation, and overfishing. Although many studies have investigated the impacts of local and global stressors on coral reefs, we still do not fully understand how these stressors influence coral community structure, particularly across environmental gradients on a reef system. Here, we investigate coral community composition across three different temperature and productivity regimes along a nearshore-offshore gradient on lagoonal reefs of the Belize Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System (MBRS). A novel metric was developed using ultra-high-resolution satellite-derived estimates of sea surface temperatures (SST) to classify reefs as exposed to low (lowTP), moderate (modTP), or high (highTP) temperature parameters over 10 years (2003 to 2012). Coral species richness, abundance, diversity, density, and percent cover were lower at highTP sites relative to lowTP and modTP sites, but these coral community traits did not differ significantly between lowTP and modTP sites. Analysis of coral life history strategies revealed that highTP sites were dominated by hardy stress-tolerant and fast-growing weedy coral species, while lowTP and modTP sites consisted of competitive, generalist, weedy, and stress-tolerant coral species. Satellite-derived estimates of Chlorophyll-a (chl-a) were obtained for 13-years (2003-2015) as a proxy for primary production. Chl-a concentrations were highest at highTP sites, medial at modTP sites, and lowest at lowTP sites. Notably, thermal parameters correlated better with coral community traits between site types than productivity, suggesting that temperature (specifically number of days above the thermal bleaching threshold) played a greater role in defining coral community structure than productivity on the MBRS. Dominance of weedy and stress-tolerant genera at highTP sites suggests that corals utilizing these two life history strategies may be better suited to cope with warmer oceans and thus may warrant protective status under climate change. SN - 1932-6203 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/27606598/Temperature_Regimes_Impact_Coral_Assemblages_along_Environmental_Gradients_on_Lagoonal_Reefs_in_Belize_ L2 - https://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0162098 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -