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Capper A.,James Cook University | Erickson A.A.,Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort PierceFL | Erickson A.A.,Louisiana State University in Shreveport | Ritson-Williams R.,Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort PierceFL | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology | Year: 2016

Nuisance blooms of toxic cyanobacteria are a common occurrence in many tropical and subtropical locations. Benthic marine cyanobacteria of the genera Lyngbya, Okeania, and Moorea are frequently observed in both Florida and throughout the Caribbean, sometimes forming large mats, and are prolific producers of bioactive secondary metabolites that often act as feeding deterrents to generalist herbivores. Little is known regarding the ecological roles of the secondary metabolite chemistry and the palatability of benthic cyanobacteria to grazers. This study examines the palatability of benthic cyanobacterial species from Florida (IRL1, IRL2, IRL3 and Okeania erythroflocculosa) and Belize (BEL1, BEL2) to a range of macro- and mesograzers in Florida and Belize. Pair-wise feeding assays using artificial diets of Gracilaria tikvahiae or fish food coated with cyanobacterial extracts and a control were used to determine palatability of extracts to Floridian and Belizean generalist grazers. The extracts of IRL1, IRL2, IRL3 and O. erythroflocculosa from Florida did not deter feeding by invertebrate grazers. Reef fish, however, were deterred by the non-polar extracts of IRL1, IRL3 and O. erythroflocculosa. Stylocheilus striatus was stimulated to feed on IRL2 extracts and non-polar extracts from IRL3. Non-polar extracts of BEL1 stimulated feeding in S. striatus; however, no significant difference was observed between BEL2 extracts and the control. Most generalist invertebrate grazers, sympatric and non-sympatric, appear indifferent to cyanobacteria extracts whilst reef fish are more likely to be deterred by cyanobacterial extracts, which may affect species interaction within communities with fluctuating or dominating benthic cyanobacterial blooms. © 2015.

DeBose J.L.,Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort PierceFL | Kiene R.P.,University of South Alabama | Kiene R.P.,Dauphin Island Sea Laboratory | Paul V.J.,Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort PierceFL
Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology | Year: 2015

Coral holobionts, including their symbionts, are known to produce large amounts of dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP), a compound which some corals use to mitigate oxidative stress; however, very little work has been done on the presence and use of DMSP in early life history stages of coral, such as in eggs and larvae. This study shows that eggs and larvae, from Acropora palmata, and brooded larvae, from Porites astreoides, also contain high amounts of DMSP. Eggs and larvae of wild A. palmata were collected and contained extremely high levels of DMSP: 1.2. μmol per larva and 359. μmol per 100. μL eggs. Larvae of P. astreoides were collected in flow-through laboratory tanks, from wild-collected parent colonies, over the course of the larval release cycle. In brooded larvae of P. astreoides, the amount of DMSP in larvae ranged from 11.6 to 1510. nmol per larva; larval DMSP peaked by the second night of release and then decreased over the following release nights. These high levels in aposymbiotic eggs and larvae of A. palmata and the peaking trend in symbiotic larvae of P. astreoides are suggestive of parental provisioning. Given the large amounts of DMSP found in eggs and larvae, this study provides further evidence that even early life stages of the coral holobiont may benefit from the presence of DMSP. © 2015 Elsevier B.V..

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