Science Inventory

CORAL CONDITION: HOW TO FATHOM THE DECLINE OF CORAL REEF ECOSYSTEMS

Citation:

FISHER, W. S., D. L. SANTAVY, J. E. ROGERS, L. M. OLIVER, AND R. G. ZEPP. CORAL CONDITION: HOW TO FATHOM THE DECLINE OF CORAL REEF ECOSYSTEMS. Presented at Special Corals Biocriteria Seminar, EPA Office of Science and Technology, Washington, DC, December 07, 2004.

Impact/Purpose:

The overall objective of this task is to develop quantitative relationships for assessing the vulnerability of aquatic resources to global change. The task will contribute experimental and modeling tools for assessments of the interactions of global climate and UV changes with coral reefs and selected watersheds and estuaries in the U.S. These activities are contributing primarily to two APGs in the ecosystems component of the Global Change Research Multiyear Plan: the 2006 APG (APG 3) on building the capacity to assess global change impacts on coastal aquatic ecosystems, including coral reefs and estuaries and the 2004 APG (APG 2) on building capacity to assess and respond to global change impacts on selected watersheds. One major task objective is to assess interactions of global warming and UV exposure that are contributing to the observed coral bleaching and disease. Our lab is working with scientists at the NHEERL Gulf Ecology Lab to characterize UV exposure and effects at several coral reef sites. Other research in this task is examining the interactions between UV-induced breakdown of refractory organic matter in estuaries and coastal areas that enhance UV penetration into the water and concurrently form biologically-labile nitrogen-, phosphorus- and carbon-containing substances that stimulate productivity and microbial activity. This task also involves research in central Brazil that is part of the Large Scale Biosphere Atmosphere Experiment (LBA). The objectives of this project are to assess the impacts of land use and climatic changes on soil nutrient cycles and microbiota, trace gas exchange and water quality in the Brazilian cerrado. This work involves a close collaboration between EPA and a group of scientists from the Department of Ecology, University of Brasilia, Brazil. Other objectives of this task are to assess the interactions of land use and climate changes with the ecological functioning of streams in watersheds of the Piedmont region of the southestern U.S.

Description:

Coral reefs have experienced unprecedented levels of bleaching, disease and mortality during the last three decades. The goal of EPA-ORD research is to identify the culpable stressors in different species, reefs and regions using integrated field and laboratory studies.

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/ABSTRACT)
Product Published Date: 12/07/2004
Record Last Revised: 06/21/2006
Record ID: 116343

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LABORATORY

ECOSYSTEMS RESEARCH DIVISION

IMMEDIATE OFFICE