[Coral-List] Fwd: Excess algal symbionts increase coral susceptibility to bleaching
Alan.E.Strong (NOAA Affiliate)
alan.e.strong at noaa.gov
Fri Nov 16 13:14:54 EST 2012
On 11/16/2012 11:28 AM, Jim Hendee wrote:
> From: Jim Hendee <jim.hendee at noaa.gov>
> Date: Fri, Nov 16, 2012 at 11:27 AM
> Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Excess algal symbionts increase coral
> susceptibility to bleaching
> To: Billy Causey <billy.causey at noaa.gov>
> Ever since you first told me (in the mid 90s) of the doldrums preceding
> bleaching in the FKNMS, we utilized wind in our CREWS software production
> rules for bleach forecasting, as well as light (less wind means greater
> transmittance of light through the water column, as well as less
> atmospheric oxygen reaching the seas). To us, it's not always about high
> sea temperature in bleaching, but sometimes high light pushing the final
> button on bleaching for corals stressed through high sea temperature. (The
> physiological mechanisms are of course complex.) Those constructs are
> still in place for all of our sites (http://ecoforecast.coral.noaa.gov).
> Your practical knowledge was captured back then and has proved to be a part
> many of the models. You are immortalized in programming code! :D
> Now, for the new extension of the CREWS Network in the Caribbean, my
> colleagues and I are talking of trying to add oxygen sensors.
> Cheers, Jim
> On Thu, Nov 15, 2012 at 2:34 PM, Billy Causey <billy.causey at noaa.gov> wrote:
>> Once again, you and your students are doing some cutting edge
>> research. Congratulations to you and Ross!
>> At great risk of generating a debate of some sort, I wanted to share
>> some thoughts pertaining to your findings in this current paper.
>> Just prior to and during the massive bleaching in the Florida Keys
>> (1983, 87, 90, and 97-98) we had slick-calm, doldrum weather for weeks
>> at a time. Prior to the onset of bleaching, the reef fish would
>> appear stressed (pumping opercula), as if there was low O2 in the
>> water. The seas were slick, the water was hot, day and night .... and
>> everything was demanding O2 at night. Even the symbionts living in the
>> coral tissue. Now, you have discovered that corals with more
>> symbionts are more susceptible to bleaching. To me, that translates
>> to possibly meaning there are more symbionts demanding or using O2 at
>> night in the coral tissue. I have always felt that the role of
>> dissolved O2, especially at night, was another factor that contributes
>> to triggering coral bleaching.
>> Imagine, you are the tissue of a coral, stuffed with symbionts, and
>> the water is hot, DO is low, even during the day, nightfall comes,
>> photosynthesis stops at night, everything is demanding O in the coral
>> tissue, even the crowed symbionts. This cycle goes on day and night
>> for the extent of the doldrum weather. The coral tissue and symbionts
>> compete for O2, especially at night .... and soon something has to
>> give. The symbionts are either expelled or consumed .... and
>> bleaching occurs.
>> I realize this is rather simplistic, but it is something that I have
>> thought about for years.
>> Your's and Ross' research triggered my thinking again about the role
>> of symbionts and levels of DO in the reef community.
>> Again, congratulations for a great paper! Billy
>> Billy D. Causey, Ph.D.
>> Southeast Regional Director
>> NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries
>> 33 East Quay Road
>> Key West, Florida 33040
>> 305 809 4670 office
>> 305 395 0150 mobile
>> 305 293 5011 fax
>> billy.causey at noaa.gov
>> On Nov 12, 2012, at 8:55 PM, Andrew Baker <abaker at rsmas.miami.edu> wrote:
>>> Dear all
>>> A paper published recently in Nature Climate Change might be of interest
>>> list subscribers. It shows that corals with too many algal symbionts are
>>> more susceptible to bleaching, contrary to conventional wisdom that
>>> with more symbionts are protected from bleaching because they have "more
>>> symbionts to lose". It suggests that corals have to balance maximizing
>>> photosynthetic benefits provided by their algal symbionts against the
>>> of having too many symbionts if exposed to high temperatures.
>>> This has some real world implications, providing a mechanistic
>>> for why corals exposed to nutrient pollution are more sensitive to
>>> (see also Wiedenmann et al. 2012 for another, not necessarily mutually
>>> exclusive, mechanism). It may also influence the bleaching
>> susceptibility of
>>> corals exposed to increasing pCO2.
>>> Link to paper:
>>> Press release:
>>> Reference: Cunning R, Baker AC (2012) Excess symbionts increase the
>>> susceptibility of reef corals to bleaching. Nature Climate Change.
>>> Pdf available on request from lead author Ross Cunning
>>> (rcunning at rsmas.miami.edu)
>>> Andrew Baker
>>> Andrew C. Baker, Ph.D.
>>> Associate Professor, University of Miami
>>> Pew Fellow in Marine Conservation
>>> Lab webpage link here
>>> Google Scholar profile link here
>>> Visit the lab on Facebook by clicking
>>> esearch-Lab-CR2/149751198419595> here
>>> Division of Marine Biology and Fisheries
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>>> Lab: +1 (305) 421-4226
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>>> Email: <mailto:abaker at rsmas.miami.edu> abaker at rsmas.miami.edu
>>> Associate Conservation Scientist
>>> Wildlife Conservation Society
>>> <http://www.wcs.org/marine> www.wcs.org/marine
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Alan E. Strong, Ph.D.
NOAA Coral Reef Watch, Consultant
Strong Research, Inc. & GST
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NOAA Coral Reef Watch Program
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