The Role of Shipyard Pollutants in Structuring Coral Reef Microbial Communities: Monitoring Environmental Change and the Potential Causes of Coral Disease
Final technical rept. 15 Apr 2000-31 Mar 2006
ILLINOIS UNIV AT URBANA DEPT OF GEOLOGY
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The US Navy operates military bases in tropical and sub-tropical seas that are surrounded by coral reefs. Therefore, the goal of this work has been to develop methods for long-term monitoring of the effects of naval activity on the health of these reef ecosystems. Our research shows that microbes inhabiting the tissues of healthy and diseased coral are sensitive indicators of environmental change associated with harbor and near-shore naval activity. Our integrated analyses indicate that 1 coral tissue d34N content is the most sensitive ecological indicator to quantify average sewage concentration with the human enteric bacteria found in the BBD microbial consortium 2 quantitative correlation of seawater depth, temperature, pollution, light intensity, coral health physiology, mucus chemistry, symbiotic zooxanthellae diversity, and coral microbial communities indicate that environmental impact exerts the strongest influence on coral microbes. Results have permitted the development of microbial screening to permit identification of threatened reef ecosystems impacted by harbor and near-shore activity.
- Biological Oceanography
- Water Pollution and Control