Browsing by Subject "REEFS"

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  • Tilstra, Arjen; Roth, Florian; El-Khaled, Yusuf C.; Pogoreutz, Claudia; Raedecker, Nils; Voolstra, Christian R.; Wild, Christian (2021)
    Recent research suggests that nitrogen (N) cycling microbes are important for coral holobiont functioning. In particular, coral holobionts may acquire bioavailable N via prokaryotic dinitrogen (N-2) fixation or remove excess N via denitrification activity. However, our understanding of environmental drivers on these processes in hospite remains limited. Employing the strong seasonality of the central Red Sea, this study assessed the effects of environmental parameters on the proportional abundances of N cycling microbes associated with the hard corals Acropora hemprichii and Stylophora pistillata. Specifically, we quantified changes in the relative ratio between nirS and nifH gene copy numbers, as a proxy for seasonal shifts in denitrification and N-2 fixation potential in corals, respectively. In addition, we assessed coral tissue-associated Symbiodiniaceae cell densities and monitored environmental parameters to provide a holobiont and environmental context, respectively. While ratios of nirS to nifH gene copy numbers varied between seasons, they revealed similar seasonal patterns in both coral species, with ratios closely following patterns in environmental nitrate availability. Symbiodiniaceae cell densities aligned with environmental nitrate availability, suggesting that the seasonal shifts in nirS to nifH gene abundance ratios were probably driven by nitrate availability in the coral holobiont. Thereby, our results suggest that N cycling in coral holobionts probably adjusts to environmental conditions by increasing and/or decreasing denitrification and N-2 fixation potential according to environmental nitrate availability. Microbial N cycling may, thus, extenuate the effects of changes in environmental nitrate availability on coral holobionts to support the maintenance of the coral-Symbiodiniaceae symbiosis.
  • Kröger, Björn; Franeck, Franziska; Rasmussen, Christian M. Ø. (2019)
    The early Palaeozoic Era records the initial biodiversification of the Phanerozoic. The increase in biodiversity involved drastic changes in taxon longevity, and in rates of origination and extinction. Here, we calculate these variables in unprecedented temporal resolution. We find that highly volatile origination and extinction rates are associated with short genus longevities during the Cambrian Period. During the Ordovician and Silurian periods, evolutionary rates were less volatile and genera persisted for increasingly longer intervals. The 90%-genus life expectancy doubled from 5 Myr in the late Cambrian to more than 10 Myr in the Ordovician-Silurian periods. Intervals with widespread ecosystem disruption are associated with short genus longevities during the Cambrian and with exceptionally high longevities during the Ordovician and Silurian periods. The post-Cambrian increase in persistence of genera, therefore, indicates an elevated ability of the changing early Palaeozoic marine ecosystems to sustainably maintain existing genera. This is evidence of a new level of ecosystem resilience which evolved during the Ordovician Period.