Variable effects of local management on coral defenses against a thermally regulated bleaching pathogen

Last modified: 
December 13, 2019 - 12:08pm
Tags: 
Type: Journal Article
Year of publication: 2019
Date published: 10/2019
Authors: Deanna Beatty, Jinu Valayil, Cody Clements, Kim Ritchie, Frank Stewart, Mark Hay
Journal title: Science Advances
Volume: 5
Issue: 10
Pages: eaay1048

Bleaching and disease are decimating coral reefs especially when warming promotes bleaching pathogens, such as Vibrio coralliilyticus. We demonstrate that sterilized washes from three common corals suppress V. coralliilyticus but that this defense is compromised when assays are run at higher temperatures. For a coral within the ecologically critical genus Acropora, inhibition was 75 to 154% greater among colonies from coral-dominated marine protected areas versus adjacent fished areas that were macroalgae-dominated. Acropora microbiomes were more variable within fished areas, suggesting that reef degradation may also perturb coral microbial communities. Defenses of a robust poritid coral and a weedy pocilloporid coral were not affected by reef degradation, and microbiomes were unaltered for these species. For some ecologically critical, but bleaching-susceptible, corals such as Acropora, local management to improve reef state may bolster coral resistance to global change, such as bacteria-induced coral bleaching during warming events.

Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
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