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Kaniewska, P, Chan C-KK, Kline D, Ling EYS, Rosic N, Edwards D, Hoegh-Guldberg O, Dove S.  2015.  Transcriptomic Changes in Coral Holobionts Provide Insights into Physiological Challenges of Future Climate and Ocean Change. . PLoS ONE . 10(10):e0139223.   10.1371/journal.pone.0139223  
Kaniewska, P, Campbell PR, Kline DI, Rodriguez-Lanetty M, Miller DJ, Dove S, Hoegh-Guldberg O.  2012.  Major cellular and physiological impacts of ocean acidification on a reef building coral. Plos One. 7   10.1371/journal.pone.0034659   AbstractWebsite

As atmospheric levels of CO2 increase, reef-building corals are under greater stress from both increased sea surface temperatures and declining sea water pH. To date, most studies have focused on either coral bleaching due to warming oceans or declining calcification due to decreasing oceanic carbonate ion concentrations. Here, through the use of physiology measurements and cDNA microarrays, we show that changes in pH and ocean chemistry consistent with two scenarios put forward by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) drive major changes in gene expression, respiration, photosynthesis and symbiosis of the coral, Acropora millepora, before affects on biomineralisation are apparent at the phenotype level. Under high CO2 conditions corals at the phenotype level lost over half their Symbiodinium populations, and had a decrease in both photosynthesis and respiration. Changes in gene expression were consistent with metabolic suppression, an increase in oxidative stress, apoptosis and symbiont loss. Other expression patterns demonstrate upregulation of membrane transporters, as well as the regulation of genes involved in membrane cytoskeletal interactions and cytoskeletal remodeling. These widespread changes in gene expression emphasize the need to expand future studies of ocean acidification to include a wider spectrum of cellular processes, many of which may occur before impacts on calcification.

Kline, DI, Kuntz NM, Breitbart M, Knowlton N, Rohwer F.  2006.  Role of elevated organic carbon levels and microbial activity in coral mortality. Marine Ecology-Progress Series. 314:119-125.   10.3354/meps314119   AbstractWebsite

Coral reefs are suffering a long-term global decline, yet the causes remain contentious. The role of poor water quality in this decline is particularly unclear, with most previous studies providing only weak correlations between elevated nutrient levels and coral mortality. Here we experimentally show that routinely measured components of water quality (nitrate, phosphate, ammonia) do not cause substantial coral mortality. In contrast, dissolved organic carbon (DOC), which is rarely measured on reefs, does. Elevated DOC levels also accelerate the growth rate of microbes living in the corals' surface mucopolysaccharide layer by an order of magnitude, suggesting that mortality occurs due to a disruption of the balance between the coral and its associated microbiota. We propose a model by which elevated DOC levels cause Caribbean reefs to shift further from coral to macroalgal dominance. Increasing DOC levels on coral reefs should be recognized as a threat and routinely monitored.

Kline, DI, Teneva L, Hauri C, Schneider K, Miard T, Chai A, Marker M, Dunbar R, Caldeira K, Lazar B.  2015.  Six Month In Situ High-Resolution Carbonate Chemistry and Temperature Study on a Coral Reef Flat Reveals Asynchronous pH and Temperature Anomalies. PloS one. 10(6):e0127648.: Public Library of Science Abstract
Kline, DI, Teneva L, Schneider K, Miard T, Chai A, Marker M, Headley K, Opdyke B, Nash M, Valetich M, Caves JK, Russell BD, Connell SD, Kirkwood BJ, Brewer P, Peltzer E, Silverman J, Caldeira K, Dunbar RB, Koseff JR, Monismith SG, Mitchell BG, Dove S, Hoegh-Guldberg O.  2012.  A short-term in situ CO2 enrichment experiment on Heron Island (GBR). Scientific Reports. 2   10.1038/srep00413   AbstractWebsite

Ocean acidification poses multiple challenges for coral reefs on molecular to ecological scales, yet previous experimental studies of the impact of projected CO2 concentrations have mostly been done in aquarium systems with corals removed from their natural ecosystem and placed under artificial light and seawater conditions. The Coral-Proto Free Ocean Carbon Enrichment System (CP-FOCE) uses a network of sensors to monitor conditions within each flume and maintain experimental pH as an offset from environmental pH using feedback control on the injection of low pH seawater. Carbonate chemistry conditions maintained in the -0.06 and -0.22 pH offset treatments were significantly different than environmental conditions. The results from this short-term experiment suggest that the CP-FOCE is an important new experimental system to study in situ impacts of ocean acidification on coral reef ecosystems.

Kline, DI, Bryant J, Kisflaudy E, Rohwer G, Nostropaur F, Grayson J, Knowlton N, Rohwer F.  2006.  The aquatic automated dosing and maintenance system (AADAMS). Limnology and Oceanography-Methods. 4:184-192. AbstractWebsite

The maintenance and dosing of aquatic organisms, such as corals and mollusks, are essential for ecotoxicology studies, yet it is difficult to maintain many of these sensitive organisms for an extended period. Consequently, many previous aquatic ecotoxicology experiments have been limited in their number of replicates and maintained in one or a few experimental aquaria, with only a limited number of stressors tested in each experiment. Here we describe a modular system that overcomes many of the difficulties of maintaining large numbers of sensitive aquatic organisms in separate containers, and allows testing of a large suite of stressors in each experiment. The AADAMS (aquatic automated dosing and maintenance system) allows testing of 40 independent stressors with 10 independent replicates per stressor (400 individuals total). The AADAMS provides surge and regular water changes simultaneously with accurate dosing via Venturi valves. In a series of experiments over a 1-year period, the AADAMS was used to test the effects of various factors affecting water quality on Caribbean coral reefs. Roofing tar and road asphalt were two of the most damaging pollutants tested, with LD50 values (lethal dose that killed 50% of the corals) of 0.013 g L-1 and 0.079 g L-1, respectively, thus suggesting that runoff from roads and near-shore construction could be contributing to reef decline. The AADAMS is an accurate, reliable system for highly replicated ecotoxicological studies of sensitive aquatic organisms, which are important indicators of ecosystem health.

Kline, DI, Vollmer SV.  2011.  White Band Disease (type I) of Endangered Caribbean Acroporid Corals is Caused by Pathogenic Bacteria. Scientific Reports. 1   10.1038/srep00007   AbstractWebsite

Diseases affecting coral reefs have increased exponentially over the last three decades and contributed to their decline, particularly in the Caribbean. In most cases, the responsible pathogens have not been isolated, often due to the difficulty in isolating and culturing marine bacteria. White Band Disease (WBD) has caused unprecedented declines in the Caribbean acroporid corals, resulting in their listings as threatened on the US Threatened and Endangered Species List and critically endangered on the IUCN Red List. Yet, despite the importance of WBD, the probable pathogen(s) have not yet been determined. Here we present in situ transmission data from a series of filtrate and antibiotic treatments of disease tissue that indicate that WBD is contagious and caused by bacterial pathogen(s). Additionally our data suggest that Ampicillin could be considered as a treatment for WBD (type I).

Kuntz, NM, Kline DI, Sandin SA, Rohwer F.  2005.  Pathologies and mortality rates caused by organic carbon and nutrient stressors in three Caribbean coral species. Marine Ecology-Progress Series. 294:173-180.   10.3354/meps294173   AbstractWebsite

Anthropogenic inputs, including organic carbon and nutrient loading, are increasingly changing the water quality on coral reefs. Herein we show that treating Montastraea annularis, Agaricia tenuifolia and Porites furcata with various organic carbon sources (starch, lactose, arabinose and mannose) results in different species-specific and carbon-specific pathologies and rates of mortality. The variation in the pathological characteristics caused by stressors showed that visual cues for determining coral health and disease may be misleading. The probability of mortality increased significantly over time with continual exposure to several of the stressors, suggesting that chronic stressors may be more harmful than acute stressors. In contrast to the organic carbon sources, high concentrations of nutrients (phosphate, ammonium and nitrate) did not directly kill corals. The variation in coral responses to anthropogenic stressors means that changes on disturbed coral reefs will depend on the type of and duration of exposure to the stressor, as well as on the species of coral.