Coral Reefs

Coral Reef Biology

Kingdom Animalia Phylum Cnideria Class Hydrozoa- hydroids Class Scyphozoa- jellies Class Cubozoa- box jellies Class Anthozoa- corals and anemones

The Cnidarian Life Cycle

The Hydrozoan Life Cycle

Class Hydrozoa Hydrozoan Colony .

Hydrozoan Colonies “Stinging Limu” .

Fire Coral .

By-the-Wind-Sailor A Floating Colony of Polyps .

Coloniality Man-of-War Phylum Cnidaria .

Close Up of a Portuguese Man-Of-War .

Class Scyphozoa .

Class Cubozoa Box Jellies & Sea Wasps .

Class Anthozoa Sea Anemones & Corals: true stony corals and octocorals .

Sea Anemones .

Sea Anemone Anatomy .

Hermatypic corals: • possess zooxanthellae • are reef builders Light: Clear water Warm temperature: 18-32oC Low nutrients Low productivity in water Ahermatypic corals: • no zooxanthellae • rely on tentacular feeding • can live in aphotic zone .

Distribution of Coral Reef Communities .

Primarily downwelling No wave energy Plate coral (Porites rus) .0m High light levels Moderate wave energy 6m Moderate light levels Occasional storm wave energy Cauliflower coral (Pocillopora meandrina) Lobe coral (Porites lobata) 13 m Low light levels Low wave energy Finger coral (Porites compressa) 25 m Very low light.

“True” Stony Corals .

antler.rice • Agariciidae. mushroom • Pocilloporidae. plate .flat lobe. corregated • Faviidae.lace. ocellated • Fungiidae.crust. zooxanthellae Common species: • Acroporidae.table • Acroporidea.reef building. cauliflower • Poritidae.humpback.“True” Stony Corals Hermatypic.finger. lobe.

antler coral. and cauliflower coral lace Pocillopora damicornis antler cauliflower Pocillopora eydouxi Pocillopora meaandrina .Family Pocilloporidae Lace coral.

rice coral and spreading coral rice coral Montipora flabellata Montipora patula table Montipora capitata Acropora cytheria .Family Acroporidae Table coral.

Evermann’s coral. plate and pillar coral Porites evermanni Porites lobata Porites rus Porites compressa . lobe coral.Family Poritidae Finger coral.

Family Agariciidae flat lobe coral. corrugated coral corrugated Flat lobe Pavona duerdeni Pavona varians .

Family Fungiidae
Humpback coral, mushroom coral

Fungia scutaria

Family Faviidae crust coral, ocellated coral

Leptastrea bottae

Cyphastrae ocellina

Leptastrea purpurea

A Solitary Coral Polyp

Colonial Coral Polyps

Zooxanthellae in Gastrodermal Cells of Corals .

Zooxanthellae: Symbiodinium microadriacticum .

black corals. wire corals.Ahermatypic Corals • Octocorals. sea pens • Both hard and soft forms exist • non reef-building • no photosynthesis .

Ahermatypic Corals .

detritus feeding 3. absorption of dissolved organic matter from surrounding water . predaceous carnivores capturing live prey 2.Heterotrophic Nutrition General feeding modes: 1.

Nematocyst Discharge .

Autotrophic Nutrition Photosynthesis 6H2O + 6CO2 + light  C6H12O6 + 6O2 .

Zooxanthellae in Coral Polyp .

Benefits to the Algal Symbiont • Zooxanthellae gets a place to live • Receive chemical wastes from animal metabolism (CO2 & NH3). . • Surrounding animal tissues can concentration substantial amounts of ultraviolet light absorbing compounds.

. • Receive chemicals that absorb damaging ultraviolet light (Micosporine-like amino acids (MAAs)). • Receive DOM & O2 • Removal of chemical wastes from animal metabolism (CO2 & NH3).Benefits to the Coral Host • Higher rates of calcification (skeleton deposition).

Asexual Reproduction • • • • • budding and fission accidental fragmentation nonaccidental fragmentation partial colony mortality polyp bail-out .

Budding Polyp within calyx .

Polyp within calyx Fission .

Accidental Fragmentation Wave Damage .

Nonaccidental Fragmentation Radial Division in Cycloseris fragilis .

Nonaccidental Fragmentation Transverse Division in Fungia scutaria anthocyathus anthocaulus .

Nonaccidental Fragmentation Transverse Division in Fungia scutaria stalk regenerates new disk .

Partial Colony Mortality The Phoenix Effect in Porites compressa P. Jokiel Normal colony next to a colony exposed to freshwater Cut surface of a broken finger showing living tissue beneath the surface of the skeleton .

Polyp Bail-Out D. Gulko .

zygote egg sperm planula larvae Sexual Reproduction .

Planula Larvae .

Sexual Reproduction • Hermaphroditic vs gonochoric • Broadcast spawning vs brooding .

Sexuality Hermaphroditism: sexes in same individual Gonochoric: separate sexes Acropora sp. a gonochoric coral eggs egg cloud sperm packet . a hermaphoditic coral Fungia scutaria..

a brooder broadcast spawner . Gulko Brooding Versus Broadcast Spawning released gametes planula in polyp Pocillopora damicornis.Brooding eggs develop to planula stage in gastrovascular cavity of parent polyp Broadcast Spawning eggs and sperm are shed into the water column where fertilization and development occurs D.

Environmental Factors Affecting Corals • Water Motion • Depth: photic vs aphotic zone & water motion • Sedimentation • Salinity: 32-35o/oo • Temperature: 18-32 oC • Tidal fluctuations • Nutrients: Eutrophic vs oligotrophic .

Sunset Beach Kaneohe Bay Mamala Bay Hanauma Bay .

5 ma to form Kaneohe & Moanalu Bay Atoll. dated 11.7 mya .2.100-1000 years to form youngest is on west coast of Hawaii Barrier Reef.Coral reefs presently exist on every island and shallow bank in the Hawaiian chain Fringing Reef.10 ma to form first atoll French Frigate Shoals.

Coral reef growth limited by: • wave exposure • sea level Sheltered sites: Hanauma Bay and Kaneohe Bay Reef accretion ~ 2mm/yr Wave exposed sites: Mamala Bay and Sunset Beach Reef accretion ~ 0 mm/yr shallow (1m) and deep (12m) .

Environmental Factors Affecting Corals • Water Motion • Depth: photic vs aphotic zone & water motion • Sedimentation • Salinity: 32-35o/oo • Temperature: 18-32 oC • Tidal fluctuations • Nutrients: Eutrophic vs oligotrophic .

Oligotrophic vs Eutrophic .

Reef Critters coralivore .

Coral Reefs: Threats Starfish: “crown of thorns” (why?) Coral is a source of building materials Pollution: particles in the water .

Human impacts on coral includes: • • • • • • • • Aquarium/Souvenir Trade Overfishing Pollution Dredging Coastal Development Tourism Global Climate Change Ozone Depletion .

Coral Reefs: Human Impact Worldwide disappearance Fishing with explosives Waste oil dumping Sediments Philippines: 75% of the reefs damaged .

Dynamiting Reef .

Destructive Resource Extraction Practices .

Toxic Chemical Spills .

Sediment Plume Entering the Ocean .

Corals Smothered in Sediment .

Dredging .

Coastal Development .

Anchor Damage .

Diver Damage .

FL .Ecotourism Pennekamp Reef. Key Largo.

Net Damage .

Net Entanglement .

Overfishing and Bycatch .

Ornamental Trade: Fan worm Threadfin Butterfly fish .

Introduced Species Acanthophora. & Gracillaria . Eucheuma.

Feeding Fish .

Hanauma Bay .

Kaneohe Bay and Bubble algae .

Nutrients and Algae Growth Dictyosphaeria cavernosa .

Bleaching .

Global Bleaching (2002) none low moderate severe severity unknown .

Acid Rain in Marine Environment • reduces ability of marine organisms to utilize calcium carbonate • Coral calcification rate reduced 15-20% Skeletal density decreased. branches thinner • .

Sea Level Rise .