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This collection includes scholarly output from both faculty and students in the Biology department.


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Now showing 1 - 5 of 50
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    Ephemeral hypoxia reduces oxygen consumption in the Caribbean coral Orbicella faveolata
    (Coral Reefs, 2022-02) Gravinese, Philip M.; Douwes, Alex; Eaton, Katherine R.; Muller, Erinn M.
    Oxygen concentrations in coastal waters have declined globally by 10% since the mid-twentieth century, and ocean warming will further reduce the solubility of oxygen in coastal habitats. Some nearshore reefs experience periodic hypoxic conditions due to eutrophication, especially during the wet season. Here, we determined the combined impacts of hypoxia and elevated temperature on the reef-building coral, Orbicella faveolata, by exposing corals to normoxic or hypoxic conditions and ambient or elevated temperatures. Oxygen consumption was monitored using closed-system respirometry. Corals within hypoxic conditions consumed 34% less oxygen relative to corals in normoxic conditions. Corals in the elevated temperature normoxic treatment experienced a 10% increase in oxygen consumption relative to the control. Corals exposed to both stressors simultaneously experienced a 62% reduction in oxygen consumption. These results suggest that increased temperature may exacerbate the negative effects of hypoxia on O. faveolata. © 2021, This is a U.S. government work and not under copyright protection in the U.S.; foreign copyright protection may apply.
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    Caribbean king crab larvae and juveniles show tolerance to ocean acidification and ocean warming
    (Marine Biology, 2022-05) Gravinese, Philip M.; Perry, Shelby A.; Spadaro, Angelo Jason; Boyd, Albert E.; Enochs, Ian C.
    Coastal habitats are experiencing decreases in seawater pH and increases in temperature due to anthropogenic climate change. The Caribbean king crab, Maguimithrax spinosissimus, plays a vital role on Western Atlantic reefs by grazing macroalgae that competes for space with coral recruits. Therefore, identifying its tolerance to anthropogenic stressors is critically needed if this species is to be considered as a potential restoration management strategy in coral reef environments. We examined the effects of temperature (control: 28 °C and elevated: 31 °C) and pH (control: 8.0 and reduced pH: 7.7) on the king crab’s larval and early juvenile survival, molt-stage duration, and morphology in a fully crossed laboratory experiment. Survival to the megalopal stage was reduced (13.5% lower) in the combined reduced pH and elevated temperature treatment relative to the control. First-stage (J1) juveniles delayed molting by 1.5 days in the reduced pH treatment, while second-stage (J2) crabs molted 3 days earlier when exposed to elevated temperature. Juvenile morphology did not differ among treatments. These results suggests that juvenile king crabs are tolerant to changes associated with climate change. Given the important role of the king crab as a grazer of macroalgae, its tolerance to climate stressors suggests that it could benefit restoration efforts aimed at making coral reefs more resilient to increasingly warm and acidic oceans into the future. © 2022, This is a U.S. government work and not under copyright protection in the U.S.; foreign copyright protection may apply.
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    (Oceanography, 2023-03) Gravinese, Philip M.; Smith, Abigail L. (Florida Southern College Student); Stewart, Samantha M.; Paradis, Judy
    This guided, inquiry-based, hands-on lesson uses data from a local monitoring station in Tampa Bay, Florida, to guide students toward understanding how coastal acidification may impact the reproductive success of the Florida stone crab, an important regional fishery. The objectives of the lesson are for students to: (1) determine how pH varies between different habitats, (2) determine how pH can affect the reproductive success of an important commercial fishery, the Florida stone crab, and (3) evaluate whether exposure to variable seawater pH results in greater reproductive success in stone crabs relative to individuals that are not exposed to pH variability.
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    Never, Ever Make an Enemy… Out of an Anemone: Transcriptomic Comparison of Clownfish Hosting Sea Anemone Venoms
    (Marine Drugs, 2022) Delgado, Alonso; Benedict, Charlotte; Macrander, Jason; Daly, Marymegan
    Sea anemones are predatory marine invertebrates and have diverse venom arsenals. Venom is integral to their biology, and is used in competition, defense, and feeding. Three lineages of sea anemones are known to have independently evolved symbiotic relationships with clownfish, however the evolutionary impact of this relationship on the venom composition of the host is still unknown. Here, we investigate the potential of this symbiotic relationship to shape the venom profiles of the sea anemones that host clownfish. We use transcriptomic data to identify differences and similarities in venom profiles of six sea anemone species, representing the three known clades of clownfish-hosting sea anemones. We recovered 1121 transcripts matching verified toxins across all species, and show that hemolytic and hemorrhagic toxins are consistently the most dominant and diverse toxins across all species examined. These results are consistent with the known biology of sea anemones, provide foundational data on venom diversity of these species, and allow for a review of existing hierarchical structures in venomic studies. © 2022 by the authors.
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    Habitat selection by post-settlement juvenile stone crabs (Menippe mercenaria) and predation risk in shallow near-shore habitats
    (Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 2022-02) Boehme-Terrana, Linae; Roux-Osovitz, Michelle; Goergen, Erin; Mancke, Harrison; Fisher, Samantha; Gravinese, Philip M.
    Characterizing habitat selection of the stone crab Menippe mercenaria (Say) provides crucial information for the successful management of this commercially important fishery in Florida. The post-settlement juvenile stage of the stone crab lifecycle faces unique environmental, physiological, and survival challenges prior to becoming sexually mature, yet little is known about their preferred habitat. Our study focuses on post-settlement juvenile (< 1 year, 2–20 mm carapace width) habitat selection between structured artificial seagrass, structured oyster shell rubble, and non-structured sand habitats in the laboratory. Our laboratory experiments provided a unique opportunity to uncouple chemical and environmental cues from the structure of habitats, allowing the study to focus predominantly on the effect of structure on habitat selection. In the controlled laboratory environments, post-settlement juvenile stone crabs preferred structured habitats (artificial seagrass and oyster shell rubble) over non-structured habitats (sand). Survivorship across all trials was high (97%). The laboratory experimental results were complemented with a field predation risk experiment in comparable shallow, near-shore habitats. During the field experiments, predation risk was highest in structured oyster shell rubble and lowest in structured vegetated seagrass. In the seagrass habitat, post-settlement juvenile stone crabs experienced 33% mortality. The sand and oyster shell rubble habitats experienced 69.3% and 83.3% mortality respectively. The data presented here indicate that stone crab juveniles prefer structurally complex habitats and have higher survival in comparable natural habitats. Our results suggest that structurally complex habitats (i.e., seagrass beds) may provide better nurseries for post-settlement juvenile stone crabs and that seagrass restoration or preservation efforts may improve stone crab post-settlement survivorship possibly allowing new recruits to enter the stone crab fishery.