Marine & Environmental Sciences Faculty Proceedings, Presentations, Speeches, Lectures


Quantifying Hydrocarbon Toxicity to Shallow-Water Corals: Range Finding Exposure

Event Name/Location

Gulf of Mexico Research Investigations 2015, At Houston, Texas

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Shallow water coral reef ecosystems have an elevated risk of exposure to hydrocarbons due to their proximity to the coastline. Previous research to evaluate hydrocarbon toxicity to corals and coral reefs has generally focused on community level effects, and results are often not comparable between studies. Thus, a significant data gap exists on the toxicity thresholds of hydrocarbons to corals. Targeted hydrocarbon toxicity studies are therefore vital to accurate assessment of coral resilience to hydrocarbon exposures. The scope of this research includes a suite of experiments investigating hydrocarbon toxicity to the shallow water coral Porites divaricata. The thresholds determined in this study will provide needed data for modeling impacts of potential hydrocarbon concentrations and exposures, which can then be used in Net Environmental Benefit Analysis (NEBA) of predicted impacts and response methods in coral reef environments.

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