Title

Effects of Predation on Orbicella faveolata Coral Colonies After Coring

Start

2-25-2022 4:00 PM

End

2-25-2022 4:15 PM

Type of Presentation

Oral Presentation

Abstract

Coral tissue healing rates may be useful indicators of coral health. Colonies under stress have been reported to regenerate tissue slower than colonies in less stressful environments. Therefore, evaluating tissue regeneration after coral tissue sampling can be an opportunity to evaluate colony health. The Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease Resistance Research Consortium (SCTLD RRC) is an ongoing regional project being led by NSU investigating the resistance of large colonies (>2m diameter) of Orbicella faveolata corals to SCTLD. The main SCTLD RRC project goal is to understand the genetic, biochemical, and physiological underpinnings in the holobiont of individuals between infection categories to characterize risk factors that are driving differences in SCTLD infection rates. Therefore, standardized pictures were collected of the coral tissue samples on 90 colonies (45 in SE FL and 45 in the lower FL Keys) over two sample periods to quantify tissue regeneration. After core samples were taken, 1-2 cm diameter holes and holes filled with clay were monitored and photographed. The daily rate of change of dead skeleton in the sample area of the parent colony was calculated.

Fish predation at the hole edges inhibited any evaluation of tissue regeneration. Cores sites on 70 colonies experienced impacts. Unfilled holes experienced significantly higher rates of predation than those that were filled with clay immediately. Furthermore, predation in the Keys was almost double that of SE FL (21,07 mm² per day vs. 12.99 mm² per day). Horizontal core sites experienced less predation and had the lowest average daily rate of change in area, while vertical sites had the highest. These results support filling holes with clay immediately and selecting horizontal core sites to reduce fish impacts on future core sampling.

Core site monitoring will continue in hopes to quantify longer term tissue regeneration.

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Feb 25th, 4:00 PM Feb 25th, 4:15 PM

Effects of Predation on Orbicella faveolata Coral Colonies After Coring

Coral tissue healing rates may be useful indicators of coral health. Colonies under stress have been reported to regenerate tissue slower than colonies in less stressful environments. Therefore, evaluating tissue regeneration after coral tissue sampling can be an opportunity to evaluate colony health. The Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease Resistance Research Consortium (SCTLD RRC) is an ongoing regional project being led by NSU investigating the resistance of large colonies (>2m diameter) of Orbicella faveolata corals to SCTLD. The main SCTLD RRC project goal is to understand the genetic, biochemical, and physiological underpinnings in the holobiont of individuals between infection categories to characterize risk factors that are driving differences in SCTLD infection rates. Therefore, standardized pictures were collected of the coral tissue samples on 90 colonies (45 in SE FL and 45 in the lower FL Keys) over two sample periods to quantify tissue regeneration. After core samples were taken, 1-2 cm diameter holes and holes filled with clay were monitored and photographed. The daily rate of change of dead skeleton in the sample area of the parent colony was calculated.

Fish predation at the hole edges inhibited any evaluation of tissue regeneration. Cores sites on 70 colonies experienced impacts. Unfilled holes experienced significantly higher rates of predation than those that were filled with clay immediately. Furthermore, predation in the Keys was almost double that of SE FL (21,07 mm² per day vs. 12.99 mm² per day). Horizontal core sites experienced less predation and had the lowest average daily rate of change in area, while vertical sites had the highest. These results support filling holes with clay immediately and selecting horizontal core sites to reduce fish impacts on future core sampling.

Core site monitoring will continue in hopes to quantify longer term tissue regeneration.