70 Works

Fidelity to foraging sites after long migrations

Takahiro Shimada, Colin Limpus, Mark Hamann, Ian Bell, Nicole Esteban, Rachel Groom & Graeme Hays
1. Patterns of animal movement associated with foraging lie at the heart of many ecological studies and often animals face decisions of staying in an environment they know, versus relocating to new sites. 2. The lack of knowledge of new foraging sites means there is risk associated with a decision to relocate (e.g. poor foraging) as well as a potential benefit (e.g. improved foraging). 3. Using a unique long-term satellite tracking dataset for several sea...

Automated flow control of a multi-lane swimming chamber for small fishes indicates species-specific sensitivity to experimental protocols

Björn Illing, Andrea Severati, Justin Hochen, Paul Boyd, Paulin Raison, Rachel Mather, Adam T. Downie, Jodie L. Rummer, Frederieke J. Kroon & Craig Humphrey
In fishes, swimming performance is considered an important metric to measure fitness, dispersal, and migratory abilities. Swimming performance of individual larval fishes is often integrated into models to make inferences on how environmental parameters affect population-level dynamics (e.g., connectivity). However, little information exists regarding how experimental protocols affect the swimming performance of marine fish larvae. In addition, the technical setups used to measure larval fish swimming performance often lack automation and accurate control of water...

Volatility in coral cover erodes niche structure, but not diversity, in reef fish assemblages

Cheng-Han Tsai, Hugh Sweatman, Löic Thibaut & Sean Connolly
Environmental fluctuations are becoming increasingly volatile in many ecosystems, highlighting the need to better understand how stochastic and deterministic processes shape patterns of commonness and rarity, particularly in high-diversity systems like coral reefs. We analyzed reef fish time-series across the Great Barrier Reef to show that approximately 75% of the variance in relative species abundance is attributable to deterministic, intrinsic species differences. Nevertheless, the relative importance of stochastic factors is markedly higher on reefs that...

Subcellular view of host–microbiome nutrient exchange in sponges: insights into the ecological success of an early metazoan–microbe symbiosis

Meggie Hudspith, Laura Rix, Michelle Achlatis, Jeremy Bougoure, Paul Guagliardo, Peta L. Clode, Nicole S. Webster, Gerard Muyzer, Mathieu Pernice & Jasper M. De Goeij
Background: Sponges are increasingly recognised as key ecosystem engineers in many aquatic habitats. They play an important role in nutrient cycling due to their unrivalled capacity for processing both dissolved and particulate organic matter (DOM and POM) and the exceptional metabolic repertoire of their diverse and abundant microbial communities. Functional studies determining the role of host and microbiome in organic nutrient uptake and exchange, however, are limited. Therefore, we coupled pulse-chase isotopic tracer techniques with...

Dimethylsulfoniopropionate, superoxide dismutase and glutathione as stress response indicators in three corals under short-term hyposalinity stress

Stephanie G. Gardner, Daniel A. Nielsen, Olivier Laczka, Ronald Shimmon, Victor H. Beltran, Peter J. Ralph & Katherina Petrou
Corals are among the most active producers of dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP), a key molecule in marine sulfur cycling, yet the specific physiological role of DMSP in corals remains elusive. Here, we examine the oxidative stress response of three coral species (Acropora millepora, Stylophora pistillata and Pocillopora damicornis) and explore the antioxidant role of DMSP and its breakdown products under short-term hyposalinity stress. Symbiont photosynthetic activity declined with hyposalinity exposure in all three reef-building corals. This corresponded...

Data from: Signaling cascades and the importance of moonlight in coral broadcast mass spawning

Paulina Kaniewska, Shahar Alon, Sarit Karako-Lampert, Ove Hoegh-Guldberg & Oren Levy
Many reef-building corals participate in a mass-spawning event that occurs yearly on the Great Barrier Reef. This coral reproductive event is one of earth's most prominent examples of synchronised behavior, and coral reproductive success is vital to the persistence of coral reef ecosystems. Although several environmental cues have been implicated in the timing of mass spawning, the specific sensory cues that function together with endogenous clock mechanisms to ensure accurate timing of gamete release are...

The Global FinPrint Project

Colin Simpfendorfer, Demian Chapman & Michelle Heupel
The Global Finprint project is a global scale survey of sharks and rays on coral reefs. It uses baited remote underwater video systems (BRUVS) to collect data. The data stored are all video files from the individual drops. This dataset represents the sampling in the Coral Triangle and Pacific regions of the project.

Data from: Geographic differences in vertical connectivity in the Caribbean coral Montastraea cavernosa despite high levels of horizontal connectivity at shallow depths

Xaymara Serrano, Iliana B. Baums, Katherine O'Reilly, Tyler B. Smith, Ross J. Jones, Tonya L. Shearer, Flavia L. D. Nunes & Andrew C. Baker
The Deep Reef Refugia Hypothesis proposes that deep reefs can act as local recruitment sources for shallow reefs following disturbance. To test this hypothesis, nine polymorphic DNA microsatellite loci were developed and used to assess vertical connectivity in 583 coral colonies of the Caribbean depth-generalist coral Montastraea cavernosa. Samples were collected from three depth zones (≤10 m, 15-20 m and ≥25 m) at sites in Florida Upper Keys, Lower Keys and Dry Tortugas), Bermuda, and...

Data from: Integrated evidence reveals a new species in the ancient blue coral genus Heliopora (Octocorallia)

Zoe T. Richards, Nina Yasuda, Taisei Kikuchi, Taryn Foster, Chika Mitsuyuki, Michael Stat, Yoshihisa Suyama & Nerida G. Wilson
Maintaining the accretion potential and three dimensional structure of coral reefs is a priority but reef-building scleractinian corals are highly threatened and retreating. Hence future reefs are predicted to be dominated by non-constructional taxa. Since the Late Triassic however, other non-scleractinian anthozoans such as Heliopora have contributed to tropical and subtropical reef-building. Heliopora is an ancient and highly conserved reef building octocoral genus within the monospecific Family Helioporidae, represented by a single extant species –...

Data from: Spatial and temporal genetic structure of Symbiodinium populations within a common reef-building coral on the central Great Barrier Reef

Emily J. Howells, Bette L. Willis, Line K. Bay & Madeleine J. H. Van Oppen
The dinoflagellate photosymbiont Symbiodinium plays a fundamental role in defining the physiological tolerances of coral holobionts, but little is known about the dynamics of these endosymbiotic populations on coral reefs. Sparse data indicate that Symbiodinium populations show limited spatial connectivity; however, no studies have investigated temporal dynamics for in hospite Symbiodinium populations following significant mortality and recruitment events in coral populations. We investigated the combined influences of spatial isolation and disturbance on the population dynamics...

Identification Of Two-Phase Coral Reef Recovery Patterns

D J Warne, K A Crossman, W Jin, K Mengersen, K Osborne, M J Simpson, A A Thompson, P Wu & J-C Ortiz

Effects of climate change and light limitation on Acropora millepora coral recruits (NESP 5.2, AIMS, JCU and AIMS@JCU)

Christopher Brunner, Gerard Ricardo, Sven Uthicke, Andrew Negri & Mia Hoogenboom

Data from: Latitudinal and seasonal variation in space use by a large, predatory reef fish, Plectropomus leopardus

Molly E. Scott, Michelle R. Heupel, Colin A. Simpfendorfer, Jordan K. Matley & Morgan S. Pratchett
1. Temperature directly affects the metabolic rate and resource requirements of ectothermic animals, which is likely to influence their movement and habitat use. Space use is a fundamental component of an animal’s ecology and the extent of an animal’s home range has consequences for individual distributions, community structure and ecosystem function. As ocean temperatures continue to rise as a result of global warming, determining the effects of temperature on space use and movement patterns of...

Data from: Genetic diversity and divergence among coastal and offshore reefs in a hard coral depend on geographic discontinuity and oceanic currents.

James N. Underwood
Understanding the evolutionary processes that have shaped existing patterns of genetic diversity of reef-building corals over broad scales is required to inform long-term conservation planning. Genetic structure and diversity of the mass-spawning hard coral, Acropora tenuis, were assessed with seven DNA microsatellite loci from a series of isolated and discontinuous coastal and offshore reef systems in northwest Australia. Significant subdivision was detected among all sites (FST = 0.062, RST = 0.090), with the majority of...

Data from: Molecular genetics to inform spatial management in benthic invertebrate fisheries: a case study using the Australian greenlip abalone

Karen J. Miller, Craig N. Mundy & Stephen Mayfield
Hierarchical sampling and subsequent microsatellite genotyping of >2,300 Haliotis laevigata (greenlip abalone) from 19 locations distributed across five biogeographic regions has substantially advanced our knowledge of population structure and connectivity in this commercially-important species. The study has found key differences in stock structure of H. laevigata compared with the sympatric and con-generic Haliotis rubra (blacklip abalone) and yielded valuable insights into the management of fisheries targeting species characterised by spatial structure at small scales (i.e....

Representation and complementarity of the long-term coral monitoring on the Great Barrier Reef

Camille Mellin
Effective environmental management hinges on efficient and targeted monitoring, which in turn should adapt to increasing disturbance regimes that now characterize most ecosystems. Habitats and biodiversity of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef (GBR) - the world’s largest coral reef ecosystem - are in declining condition, prompting a review of the effectiveness of existing coral monitoring programs. Applying a regional model of coral cover (i.e., the most widely used proxy for coral reef condition globally) within major...

Data from: A closer examination of the 'abundant center' hypothesis for reef fishes

Itai Granot, Hagar Yancovitch Shalom, Shane Blowes, Alan Friedlander, Camille Mellin, Carlos Ferreira, Arias-González Ernesto, Michel Kulbicki, Sergio Floeter, Pascal Chabanet, Valeriano Parravicini & Jonathan Belmaker
Aim: The ‘abundant center’ hypothesis states that species are more abundant at the center of their range. However, several recent large-scale studies have failed to find evidence for such a pattern. Here we use extensive global data of reef fishes to test the strength of the 'abundant center' pattern, and to examine variation in the patterns across species using life history and ecological traits. Location: Marine habitat at a global extent: from Indo-Pacific to Atlantic...

Large-scale interventions may delay decline of the Great Barrier Reef

Scott Condie, Ken Anthony, Mark Baird, Roger Beeden, Daniel Harrison, Éva Plagányi, Russell Babcock, Cameron Fletcher, Rebecca Gorton, Alistair Hobday & David Westcott
On the iconic Great Barrier Reef (GBR) the cumulative impacts of tropical cyclones, marine heatwaves and regular outbreaks of coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish (CoTS) have severely depleted coral cover. Climate change will further exacerbate this situation over the coming decades unless effective interventions are implemented. Evaluating the efficacy of alternative interventions in a complex system experiencing major cumulative impacts can only be achieved through a systems-modeling approach. We have evaluated combinations of interventions using a coral...

Pieces in a global puzzle: Population genetics at two whale shark aggregations in the western Indian Ocean

Royale Hardenstine, Song He, Jesse Cochran, Camrin Braun, E. Fernando Cagua, Simon Pierce, Clare Prebble, Christoph Rohner, Pablo Saenz-Agudelo, Tane Sinclair-Taylor, Gregory Skomal, Simon Thorrold, Alexandra Watts, Casey Zakroff & Michael Berumen
The whale shark Rhincodon typus is found throughout the world’s tropical and warm-temperate ocean basins. Despite their broad physical distribution, research on the species has been concentrated at a few aggregation sites. Comparing DNA sequences from sharks at different sites can provide a demographically neutral understanding of the whale shark’s global ecology. Here, we created genetic profiles for 84 whale sharks from the Saudi Arabian Red Sea and 72 individuals from the coast of Tanzania...

Data from: Adaptation to reef habitats through selection on the coral animal and its associated microbiome

Madeleine J.H. Van Oppen, Pim Bongaerts, Pedro Frade, Lesa M. Peplow, Sarah E. Boyd, Hieu T. Nim, Line K. Bay & Madeleine J. H. Van Oppen
Spatially adjacent habitats on coral reefs can represent highly distinct environments, often harbouring different coral communities. Yet, certain coral species thrive across divergent environments. It is unknown whether the forces of selection are sufficiently strong to overcome the counteracting effects of the typically high gene flow over short distances, and for local adaptation to occur. We screened the coral genome (using restriction-site-associated sequencing [RAD-seq]), and characterized both the dinoflagellate photosymbiont and tissue-associated prokaryote microbiomes (using...

Data from: Sediment and turbidity associated with offshore dredging increase coral disease prevalence on nearby reefs

F. Joseph Pollock, Joleah B. Lamb, Stuart N. Field, Scott F. Heron, Britta Schaffelke, George Shedrawi, David G. Bourne & Bette L. Willis
In recent decades, coral reef ecosystems have declined to the extent that reefs are now threatened globally. While many water quality parameters have been proposed to contribute to reef declines, little evidence exists conclusively linking specific water quality parameters with increased disease prevalence in situ. Here we report evidence from in situ coral health surveys confirming that chronic exposure to dredging-associated sediment plumes significantly increase the prevalence of white syndromes, a devastating group of globally...

Data from: Impacts and recovery from Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi on the Great Barrier Reef

Roger J. Beeden, Jeffrey Maynard, Marjetta Puotinen, Paul Marshall, Jen Dryden, Jeremy Goldberg, Gareth Williams & Roger Beeden
Full recovery of coral reefs from tropical cyclone (TC) damage can take decades, making cyclones a major driver of habitat condition where they occur regularly. Since 1985, 44 TCs generated gale force winds (≥17 metres/second) within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMP). Of the hurricane strength TCs (≥H1—Saffir Simpson scale; ≥ category 3 Australian scale), TC Yasi (February, 2011) was the largest. In the weeks after TC Yasi crossed the GBRMP, participating researchers, managers...

Data from: Low recruitment due to altered settlement substrata as primary constraint for coral communities under ocean acidification

Katharina E. Fabricius, Sam H.C. Noonan, David Abrego, Lindsay Harrington, Glenn De'ath & Sam H. C. Noonan
The future of coral reefs under increasing CO2 depends on their capacity to recover from disturbances. To predict the recovery potential of coral communities that are fully acclimatized to elevated CO2, we compared the relative success of coral recruitment and later life stages at two volcanic CO2 seeps and adjacent control sites in Papua New Guinea. Our field experiments showed that the effects of ocean acidification (OA) on coral recruitment rates were up to an...

Data from: Marine plastic pollution in waters around Australia: characteristics, concentrations, and pathways

Julia Reisser, Jeremy Shaw, Chris Wilcox, Britta Denise Hardesty, Maira Proietti, Michele Thums & Charitha Pattiaratchi
Plastics represent the vast majority of human-made debris present in the oceans. However, their characteristics, accumulation zones, and transport pathways are still poorly assessed. We characterised and estimated the concentration of marine plastics in waters around Australia using surface net tows, and inferred their potential pathways using particle-tracking models and real drifter trajectories. The 839 marine plastics recorded were predominantly small fragments (“microplastics”, median length = 2.8 mm, mean length = 4.9 mm) resulting from...

Data from: Naturally occurring hybrids of coral reef butterflyfishes have similar fitness compared to parental species

Stefano R. Montanari, Jean-Paul A. Hobbs, Morgan S. Pratchett, Line K. Bay & Lynne Van Herwerden
Hybridisation can produce evolutionary novelty by increasing fitness and adaptive capacity. Heterosis, or hybrid vigour, has been documented in many plant and animal taxa, and is a notable consequence of hybridisation that has been exploited for decades in agriculture and aquaculture. On the contrary, loss of fitness in naturally occurring hybrid taxa has been observed in many cases. This can have negative consequences for the parental species involved (wasted reproductive effort), and has raised concerns...

Registration Year

  • 2022
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  • 2013

Resource Types

  • Dataset


  • Australian Institute of Marine Science
  • James Cook University
  • University of Western Australia
  • University of Queensland
  • Curtin University
  • King Abdullah University of Science and Technology
  • Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
  • Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
  • University of Melbourne
  • Australian Museum