Phuket Marine Biological Center

Phuket, Thailand

Phuket Marine Biological Center

Phuket, Thailand
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Hibino Y.,Mie University | Satapoomin U.,Phuket Marine Biological Center | Kimura S.,Mie University
Ichthyological Research | Year: 2017

A new species of moray eel, Diaphenchelys dalmatian is described based on five specimens [289.8–503.0 mm total length (TL)] collected from the western coast of peninsular Thailand and the Gulf of Thailand. It can be easily distinguished from Diaphenchelys pelonates McCosker and Randall 2007, another species of the genus Diaphenchelys McCosker and Randall 2007, by its coloration (ground color white with brown dalmatian-like spots vs. brown with pale vermiculate pattern). The present new species also differs from D. pelonates in its longer tail (62.0–64.6% TL vs. 59.6–61.5%), fewer infraorbital pores along upper lip (three vs. four), fewer mandibular pores (five vs. six or seven), and fewer vertebral counts (preanal vertebrae 43–46 vs. 55–58; total 126–131 vs. 153–155). Diaphenchelys is closely similar to the genus Strophidon McClelland 1844 in the shape of neurocranium, the elongate body, low vertical fins, eye location, jaw shape, and presence of inner mandibular teeth. However, both differ in the vertebral counts (126–155 in Diaphenchelys vs. 164–208 in Strophidon) and coloration (prominent pattern vs. uniform). © 2017 The Ichthyological Society of Japan

Sawall Y.,Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Ecology | Phongsuwan N.,Phuket Marine Biological Center | Richter C.,Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research
Helgoland Marine Research | Year: 2010

The 2004 tsunami left a discontinuous pattern of destruction in the reefs along Andaman Sea coast of Thailand. Here, a comparative assessment of coral recruitment was carried out to assess differences in recovery between damaged and undamaged sites in near-shore fringing reefs 1 and 3 years after the tsunami. Settlement plates showed high frequencies of coral spat after 4 months (<17 spat tile-1) in both, damaged and undamaged locations. Field surveys carried out 3 years after the tsunami on natural substrate confirmed that tsunami damage did not suppress recruitment in damaged sites relative to no impacted controls. New and stable settlement space along with unabated larval supply supported post-tsunami recruit densities up to 7.2 m-2year-1. Mean recruit densities were found at the level of post-storm situations with rapid recovery success, suggesting that the duration of disturbance, degree of sorting and, hence, stability of coral rubble is a key determinant of recruitment success. Low regeneration success of some species e.g. branching acroporids and rebounding tourism industry at sites like Patong and partly around the Phi Phi Islands (dense carpets of filamentous algae) led to the assumption of selectivity and eventually to an alternation of the coral community even though live coral cover might be recovered soon. © 2010 Springer-Verlag and AWI.

Roder C.,Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Ecology | Fillinger L.,Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Ecology | Jantzen C.,Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Ecology | Schmidt G.M.,Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research | And 2 more authors.
Marine Ecology Progress Series | Year: 2010

The trophic response of the scleractinian coral Pocillopora meandrina (Dana, 1846) to large amplitude internal waves (LAIW) was investigated in the Andaman Sea. Corals living on the western sides of the Similan Islands (Thailand) exposed to LAIW showed significantly higher biomass and protein content than sheltered corals on the eastern sides. LAIW-exposed corals were also more heterotrophic, displaying lower δ13C ratios in their tissues and higher rates of survival in artificial darkness compared to sheltered counterparts. Heterotrophic nutrition in concert with photosynthesis leads to higher energy reserves in corals from LAIW-exposed reefs, making them more resilient to disturbance. As these differences in trophic status are due to LAIW-enhanced fluxes of organic matter, LAIW may play an important role in supporting coral metabolism and survival in these monsoon beaten reefs. © Inter-Research 2010,

Wall M.,Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research | Schmidt G.M.,Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research | Janjang P.,Phuket Marine Biological Center | Khokiattiwong S.,Phuket Marine Biological Center | Richter C.,Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

The Andaman Sea and other macrotidal semi-enclosed tropical seas feature large amplitude internal waves (LAIW). Although LAIW induce strong fluctuations i.e. of temperature, pH, and nutrients, their influence on reef development is so far unknown. A better-known source of disturbance is the monsoon affecting corals due to turbulent mixing and sedimentation. Because in the Andaman Sea both, LAIW and monsoon, act from the same westerly direction their relative contribution to reef development is difficult to discern. Here, we explore the framework development in a number of offshore island locations subjected to differential LAIW- and SW-monsoon impact to address this open question. Cumulative negative temperature anomalies - a proxy for LAIW impact - explained a higher percentage of the variability in coral reef framework height, than sedimentation rates which resulted mainly from the monsoon. Temperature anomalies and sediment grain size provided the best correlation with framework height suggesting that so far neglected subsurface processes (LAIW) play a significant role in shaping coral reefs. © 2012 Wall et al.

Schmidt G.M.,Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research | Phongsuwan N.,Phuket Marine Biological Center | Jantzen C.,Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research | Roder C.,King Abdullah University of Science and Technology | And 2 more authors.
Marine Ecology Progress Series | Year: 2012

The Similan Islands, a Thai archipelago in the Andaman Sea located near the shelf break, are subjected to frequent (up to several events per hour) and abrupt changes in physicochemical conditions, particularly during the dry season (NE monsoon, January through April) and to an intense monsoon season with strong surface wave action (May to October). The exposed west slopes of the islands feature more coral species, but lack a carbonate reef framework. By contrast, the sheltered east sides show a complex reef framework dominated by massive Porites. Our results suggest that the sudden changes in temperature, pH and nutrients (drops of up to 10°C and 0.6 U and increases of up to 9.4 pmol NOx l-1, respectively) due to pulsed upwelling events may rival the importance of surface waves and storms in shaping coral distribution and reef development. © Inter-Research 2012.

Khokiattiwong S.,Phuket Marine Biological Center | Yu W.,First Institute of Oceanography
Phuket Marine Biological Center Research Bulletin | Year: 2012

Sea temperature is one of the most important parameters influencing marine organisms in the tropics. There is high inter-annual variation in sea surface temperature (SST) in the Bay of Bengal with two maxima each year. High SSTs normally occur in April and October which are the transition monsoon periods with the highest temperatures being recorded in April. During the last decade, high SSTs occurred in 2003-2005 with particularly high values (around 32°C) in 2010. Coral bleaching was noted during these high SST years especially in 2010 which was the most severe mass coral bleaching ever recorded on the Andaman Sea coast of Thailand. Observations of SST in coastal waters and in the Central of Bay of Bengal appear to match each other quite well. The inter-annual variation of SST in the Bay of Bengal could be influenced by large scale oceanographic processes in the Indian Ocean such as the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) and El Nino.

Hibino Y.,Mie University | Satapoomin U.,Phuket Marine Biological Center | Kimura S.,Mie University
Zootaxa | Year: 2015

A new worm eel, Neenchelys andamanensis, is described based on a single specimen collected from a depth of 520-531 m, Andaman Sea, eastern Indian Ocean. The new species is similar to N. daedalus, N. nudiceps, and N. similis in its total vertebral count and slender body, however, it differs from the latter three in having a shorter tail (60% TL vs. 70-76%), more numerous preanal vertebrae (77 vs. 59-71), and shorter pectoral fins (2.4% HL vs. 21-27%). Although the new species resembles N. mccoskeri in some proportional characters, the former species is distinguishable from the latter by its higher total vertebral count (221 vs. 172-184), position of the dorsal-fin origin (horizontal distance from the origin to a vertical through mid-anus 65% of trunk length vs. 46-59%) and width of the interorbital region (4.5% of head length vs. 8.2-16%). A revised key to the species of Neenchelys is provided. © 2015 Magnolia Press.

Satapoomin U.,Phuket Marine Biological Center
Phuket Marine Biological Center Research Bulletin | Year: 2011

Abrief review of recent ichthyological research and compiled results on the records of fishes from the Andaman Sea coast of Thailand are presented. A total of 1,746 species in 198 families of fishes are currently known from the area. The 10 most speciose families are the Gobiidae (227 species), Labridae (78), Pomacentridae (71), Serranidae (61), Apogonidae (60), Blenniidae (52), Carangidae (52), Scorpaenidae (49), Lutjanidae (39) and Chaetodontidae (37), and these together account for 42% of the total fish fauna. The ichthyofauna is dominated by reef-associated fishes (983 species) and pelagic/benthic fishes inhabiting offshore habitats (971 species).Azoogeographic analysis reveals a peculiarity of the fauna of this marginal-sea region, viz., being one of the areas of sympatry of Indian and Pacific Ocean fishes, as well as harbouring regional endemics. The PMBC Reference Collection currently contains examples of only about 63% of the fishes known from the area, indicating a need for further local sampling campaigns and/or international collaborative exploratory research programs in theAndaman Sea to build up the Reference Collection.

LaJeunesse T.C.,Pennsylvania State University | Pettay D.T.,Pennsylvania State University | Sampayo E.M.,Pennsylvania State University | Phongsuwan N.,Phuket Marine Biological Center | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Biogeography | Year: 2010

Aim: This study examines the importance of geographic proximity, host life history and regional and local differences in environment (temperature and water clarity) in driving the ecological and evolutionary processes underpinning the global patterns of diversity and distribution of symbiotic dinoflagellates. By comparing and contrasting coral-algal symbioses from isolated regions with differing environmental conditions, we may assess the potential of coral communities to respond to significant changes in climate. Location: Indian Ocean. Methods: Community assemblages of obligate symbiotic invertebrates were sampled at numerous sites from two regions, the north-eastern Indian Ocean (Andaman Sea, western Thailand) and the western Indian Ocean (Zanzibar, Tanzania). Molecular genetic methods, including denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis analysis of the ribosomal internal transcribed spacers, DNA sequencing and microsatellite genotyping, were used to characterize the 'species' diversity and evolutionary relationships of symbiotic dinoflagellates (genus Symbiodinium). Host-symbiont specificity, geographic isolation and local and regional environmental factors were evaluated in terms of their importance in governing the distribution and prevalence of certain symbiont taxa. Results: Host-generalist symbionts (. C3u and D1-4, formerly D1a now designated Symbiodinium trenchi) frequently occurred alone and sometimes together in hosts with horizontal modes of symbiont acquisition. However, the majority of Symbiodinium diversity consisted of apparently host-specific 'species'. Clade C Symbiodinium were diverse and dominated host assemblages from sites sampled in the western Indian Ocean, a pattern analogous to symbiont communities on the Great Barrier Reef with similar environmental conditions. Clade D Symbiodinium were diverse and occurred frequently in hosts from the north-eastern Indian Ocean, especially at inshore locations, where temperatures are warmer, water turbidity is high and large tidal exchanges commonly expose coral populations to aerial desiccation. Main conclusions: Regional and local differences in cnidarian-algal combinations indicate that these symbioses are ecologically and evolutionarily responsive and can thrive under various environmental conditions. The high temperatures and turbid conditions of the north-eastern Indian Ocean partly explain the ecological success of Clade D Symbiodinium relative to Clade C. Phylogenetic, ecological and population genetic data further indicate that Clade D has undergone an adaptive radiation, especially in regions around Southeast Asia, during the Pleistocene. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Phongsuwan N.,Phuket Marine Biological Center | Chansang H.,Phuket Marine Biological Center
Phuket Marine Biological Center Research Bulletin | Year: 2012

Widespread coral bleaching on the Andaman Sea coast of Thailand was first documented in 1991, and has subsequently recurred in 1995, 1998, 2003 and 2010. Since 1990, permanent transects at sites throughout the Andaman Sea have been used to monitor changes in coral cover and species. In this paper, data from 12 sites in three groups of reefs in different geographical locations is presented; Phuket Island and Phiphi Island (both near-shore reefs) and Surin Island (offshore reefs). Based on this data, the bleaching events can be grouped into mild (1998), moderate (1991, 1995, 2003), and severe (2010). In each case, bleaching occurred in May when sea surface temperatures (SST) reached their annual maximum and exceeded 30.4 oC. The occurrences of mild and moderate bleaching have resulted in fluctuations in both live coral cover and species diversity, together with changes in dominant species at certain sites. In 2010, severe bleaching drastically reduced both live coral cover and species diversity at all sites with the exception of Ao Patong and Racha-E (Phuket Island group). Since then, there has been some recovery of certain species, together with recruitment of Acropora spp. and some other genera. The severity of the 2010 bleaching, in terms of its effects on coral reefs, appears to be equivalent to the 1998 bleaching in the western and central Indian Ocean. Certain species were highly susceptible to bleaching (Acropora spp., Lobophyllia hemprichii, Merulina ampliata, Hydnophora rigida, Porites lutea, P. rus, P. nigrescens, P. stephensoni, Pectinia spp., Pavona clavus, P. varians, Fungia spp., Montipora aequituberculata, M. crassituberculata), whilst a few species (Diploastrea heliopora, Heliopora coerulea, Pavona decussata) showed resistance. There was also variation in bleaching susceptibility within species at different study sites during different years. Additionally, reefs along the Andaman Sea coast of Thailand are subject to pronounced cool water upwelling in some years, particularly at offshore locations; as a consequence, the timing of bleaching on the Andaman Sea reefs is not uniform. Key questions now centre on how frequent and severe such widespread bleaching will be in the future and whether the Andaman Sea reefs possess the resilience to survive more frequent and extreme events.

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