HCNSO Student Theses and Dissertations

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Defense Date


Document Type

Thesis - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

M.S. Marine Biology

Second Degree Name

M.S. Coastal Zone Management


Oceanographic Center

First Advisor

Eric J. Hochberg

Second Advisor

Robert Rowan

Third Advisor

Bernhard M. Riegl


Due to the invasive nature of quantification techniques, baseline pigment data for coral-dwelling zooxanthellae are not known. In an attempt to develop a model for non-invasive estimation of zooxanthellae pigment concentrations from corals, field samples were taken from Porites rus and P. lutea in Apra Harbor, Guam. In-situ reflectance spectra (R400-R800) from 22 coral colonies were collected. “Coral truthing” was accomplished by extracting corresponding tissue core samples. Subsequent analysis to quantify the concentrations of 6 zooxanthellae pigments (µg cm-2) was performed using HPLC. Trials of multiple linear regressions were attempted (EJ Hochberg) and found inappropriate, despite previous success. The multivariate calibration technique partial least squares regression (PLS-R) is an excellent tool in the case of co-linear variables. Thus, PLS-R was attempted for chlorophyll c2 and peridinin after demonstration of co-linearity. This may be an appropriate approach for development of bio-optical models to estimate zooxanthellae pigment concentrations. Further, the dinoflagellate diagnostic pigment peridinin may be of great value for reef-scale remote sensing of changes in coral status in the future.

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