A survey of environmental pollutants and cellular-stress markers of Porites astreoides at six sites in St. John, US Virgin Islands
Abbreviated Journal Title
Cellular stress; Coral; Environmental pollutants; Stress-markers; HEAT-SHOCK PROTEINS; CORAL-REEF HEALTH; ESCHERICHIA-COLI; MOLECULAR; CHAPERONES; FLORIDA-KEYS; METABOLISM; PHYSIOLOGY; INDICATOR; DECLINES; EXPOSURE; Ecology; Environmental Sciences; Toxicology
Coral communities along the coast of St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands have exhibited site-specific behavior in declines. In order to determine if these specific coral communities are stressed and whether a pollutant or environmental factor present at this site is a probable stressor, we surveyed six near-shore coral communities in St. John, USVI for environmental pollutants and to determine the cellular physiological condition of the coral, Porites astreoides. The six sites within St. John are Cruz Bay, Caneel Bay, Hawksnest Bay, Trunk Bay, Tektite Reef in Beehive Bay, and Red Point. Red Point was considered the reference site because of its abundance and diversity of species, and it was the furthest removed from down-stream and down-current anthropogenic activities. All sites showed distinct cellular-stress marker patterns, indicating that the physiological condition of each population was different. Populations at Cruz, Hawksnest, Trunk, and Tektite were stressed, as indicated by high levels of DNA lesions and expression of stress proteins. Hawksnest and Tektite were contaminated with polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), while Cruz was contaminated with semi-volatile organochlorines and nitrogen-based biocides. At least for Hawksnest and Tektite, stress-marker patterns were consistent with an exposure to PAHs. Fecal coliform levels were high in Cruz and Trunk, indicating fecal contamination, as well as consideration for management action. Results from this study serve as a justification for a more thorough and methodical investigation into the stressors responsible for declines of coral populations within St. John. Furthermore, this study supports the argument for the importance of local factors contributing to regional coral reef declines; that not all forces impacting coral are global.
"A survey of environmental pollutants and cellular-stress markers of Porites astreoides at six sites in St. John, US Virgin Islands" (2011). Faculty Bibliography 2010s. 1261.