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Armoza-Zvuloni R.,Tel Aviv University | Armoza-Zvuloni R.,The Interuniversity Institute for Marine science of Eilat | Armoza-Zvuloni R.,Israel Oceanographic And Limnological Research | Kramarsky-Winter E.,Tel Aviv University | And 5 more authors.
Marine Pollution Bulletin

In this study we compared reproductive characteristics and steroid hormone levels in the non-indigenous scleractinian coral, Oculina patagonica, inhabiting contaminated vs. uncontaminated reference sites along the Israeli Mediterranean coast. Our results indicate significantly higher steroid levels in both seawater and coral tissue samples from contaminated sites as compared to reference sites, suggesting that corals tend to accumulate steroids from the surrounding waters. Despite their higher steroid levels, corals from the contaminated sites showed reproductive potential comparable to those of the reference sites. Interestingly, a clear distinction could be seen between corals exposed to pollution for long vs. short durations, with the latter showing a failure to complete gametogenesis. This suggests that reproduction in O. patagonica is susceptible to acute rather than chronic stress. The involvement of adjustment/adaptation processes may explain this species tolerance, and may reflect the ability of O. patagonica to successfully invade new areas in the Mediterranean Sea. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Neugebauer I.,Helmholtz Center Potsdam | Brauer A.,Helmholtz Center Potsdam | Schwab M.J.,Helmholtz Center Potsdam | Waldmann N.D.,Haifa University | And 13 more authors.
Quaternary Science Reviews

The sedimentary sections that were deposited from the Holocene Dead Sea and its Pleistocene precursors are excellent archives of the climatic, environmental and seismic history of the Levant region. Yet, most of the previous work has been carried out on sequences of lacustrine sediments exposed at the margins of the present-day Dead Sea, which were deposited only when the lake surface level rose above these terraces (e.g. during the Last Glacial period) and typically are discontinuous due to major lake level variations in the past. Continuous sedimentation can only be expected in the deepest part of the basin and, therefore, a deep drilling has been accomplished in the northern basin of the Dead Sea during winter of 2010-2011 within the Dead Sea Deep Drilling Project (DSDDP) in the framework of the ICDP program. Approximately 720m ofsediment cores have been retrieved from two deep and several short boreholes. The longest profile (5017-1), revealed at a water depth of ~300m, reaches 455m below the lake floor (blf, i.e. to ~1175m below global mean sea level) and comprises approximately the last 220-240ka. The record covers the upper part of the Amora (penultimate glacial), the Last Interglacial Samra,the Last Glacial Lisan and the Holocene Ze'elim Formations and, therewith, two entire glacial-interglacial cycles. Thereby, for the first time, consecutive sediments deposited during the MIS 6/5, 5/4 and 2/1 transitions were recovered from the Dead Sea basin, which are not represented in sediments outcropping on the present-day lake shores. In this paper, we present essential lithological data including continuous magnetic susceptibility and geochemical scanning data and the basic stratigraphy including first chronological data of the long profile (5017-1) from the deep basin. The results presented here (a) focus on the correlation of the deep basin deposits with main on-shore stratigraphic units, thus providing a unique comprehensive stratigraphic framework for regional paleoenvironmental reconstruction, and (b) highlight the outstanding potential of the Dead Sea deep sedimentary archive to record hydrological changes during interglacial, glacial and transitional intervals. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Ben-Tzvi O.,The Interuniversity Institute for Marine science of Eilat | Ben-Tzvi O.,Tel Aviv University | Abelson A.,Tel Aviv University | Gaines S.D.,University of California at Santa Barbara | And 6 more authors.

As with many marine species, the vast majority of coral-reef fishes have a bipartite life cycle consisting of a dispersive larval stage and a benthic adult stage. While the potentially far-reaching demographic and ecological consequences of marine dispersal are widely appreciated, little is known of the structure of the larval pool and of the dispersive process itself. Utilizing Palindrome Sequence Analysis of otolith micro-chemistry (PaSA;) we show that larvae of Neopomacentrus miryae (Pomacentridae) appear to remain in cohesive cohorts throughout their entire pelagic larval duration (PLD; ~28 days). Genetically, we found cohort members to be maternally (mtDNA) unrelated. While physical forcing cannot be negated as contributing to initial cohort formation, the small scale of the observed spatial structure suggests that some behavioral modification may be involved from a very early age. This study contributes to our ongoing re-evaluation of the processes that structure marine populations and communities and the spatial scales at which they operate. © 2012 Ben-Tzvi et al. Source

Eyal G.,Tel Aviv University | Eyal G.,The Interuniversity Institute for Marine science of Eilat | Eyal-Shaham L.,Tel Aviv University | Eyal-Shaham L.,The Interuniversity Institute for Marine science of Eilat | And 8 more authors.
Coral Reefs

Mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs) host a thriving community of biota that has remained virtually unexplored. Here we report for the first time on a large population of the endangered coral species Euphyllia paradivisa from the MCEs of the Gulf of Eilat/Aqaba (GOE/A), Red Sea. The mesophotic zone in some parts of the study site harbors a specialized coral community predominantly comprising E. paradivisa (73 % of the total coral cover), distributed from 36 to 72 m depth. Here we sought to elucidate the strict distribution but high abundance of E. paradivisa in the MCEs at the GOE/A. We present 4 yr of observations and experiments that provide insight into the physiological plasticity of E. paradivisa: its low mortality rates at high light intensities, high competitive abilities, successful symbiont adaptation to the shallow-water environment, and tolerance to bleaching conditions or survival during prolonged bleaching. Despite its ability to survive under high irradiance in shallow water, E. paradivisa is not found in the shallow reef of the GOE/A. We suggest several factors that may explain the high abundance and exclusivity of E. paradivisa in the MCE: its heterotrophic capabilities; its high competition abilities; the possibility of it finding a deep-reef refuge there from fish predation; and its concomitant adaptation to this environment. © 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Source

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