Marine systems: A mechanistic understanding of calcification in Puerto Rican coral reefs.
This project has three objectives designed to understand the consequences of environmental pressures on tropical corals. We will first identify and characterize the transporter(s) that delivers ions (Ca2+, HCO3- or H+) to the calicoblastic space in the coral Porites astreoides. Next, we will explore the role of symbiont composition and photosynthetic capacity on coral calcification rates. Finally, we will link symbiont composition and calcification rates to the demography of a susceptible and resilient coral species along a gradient of anthropogenically induced environmental degradation. Techniques include transcriptomics, total internal reflectance microscopy imaging, PAM fluorometry, and field demographics.
Researchers: Joshua Rosenthal (Project leader), Loretta Roberson, Guillermo Yudowsky, Alberto Sabat
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