[CDHC] New publication
Cheryl.Woodley at noaa.gov
Mon Jul 11 11:18:15 EDT 2011
Dear CDHC Members,
I wanted to make you aware of a new publication that may be of
interest. It is available online in the journal Ecotoxicology.
Ecotoxicology. 2011 Jul 7. [Epub ahead of print]
A survey of environmental pollutants and cellular-stress markers of
Porites astreoides at six sites in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands.
Downs CA, Woodley CM, Fauth JE, Knutson S, Burtscher MM, May LA,
Avadanei AR, Higgins JL, Ostrander GK.
Coral communities along the coast of St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands have
exhibited site-specific behavior in declines. In order to determine if
these specific coral communities are stressed and whether a pollutant or
environmental factor present at this site is a probable stressor, we
surveyed six near-shore coral communities in St. John, USVI for
environmental pollutants and to determine the cellular physiological
condition of the coral, Porites astreoides. The six sites within St.
John are Cruz Bay, Caneel Bay, Hawksnest Bay, Trunk Bay, Tektite Reef in
Beehive Bay, and Red Point. Red Point was considered the reference site
because of its abundance and diversity of species, and it was the
furthest removed from down-stream and down-current anthropogenic
activities. All sites showed distinct cellular-stress marker patterns,
indicating that the physiological condition of each population was
different. Populations at Cruz, Hawksnest, Trunk, and Tektite were
stressed, as indicated by high levels of DNA lesions and expression of
stress proteins. Hawksnest and Tektite were contaminated with
polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), while Cruz was contaminated with
semi-volatile organochlorines and nitrogen-based biocides. At least for
Hawksnest and Tektite, stress-marker patterns were consistent with an
exposure to PAHs. Fecal coliform levels were high in Cruz and Trunk,
indicating fecal contamination, as well as consideration for management
action. Results from this study serve as a justification for a more
thorough and methodical investigation into the stressors responsible for
declines of coral populations within St. John. Furthermore, this study
supports the argument for the importance of local factors contributing
to regional coral reef declines; that not all forces impacting coral are
Cheryl Woodley, Ph.D.
Coral Health and Disease Program
Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research
Hollings Marine Laboratory
331 Fort Johnson Rd
Charleston, SC 29412
cheryl.woodley at noaa.gov
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