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Urchins and oceans : effects of naturally occurring water quality on fertilization of the native Hawaiian herbivore, Tripneustes gratilla

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Item Summary

Title: Urchins and oceans : effects of naturally occurring water quality on fertilization of the native Hawaiian herbivore, Tripneustes gratilla
Authors: Fung, Jennifer Kwok Jun
Keywords: Water quality
sea urchin
Kāne'ohe Bay
Issue Date: May 2014
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2014]
Abstract: Approximately 44% of the world's population lives within 150 kilometers of the ocean (Nganyi et al., 2010). Changes in land use associated with this demand often lead to the degradation of coastal ecosystems (e.g., Foley et al., 2005) due to pollution from freshwater runoff (e.g., Islam and Tanaka, 2004; e.g., Smith et al., 1999; e.g., Galloway et al., 2003; e.g., Rabalais et al., 2009; e.g., Pal et al., 2010). Anthropogenic impacts have affected stenotypic coral reefs worldwide (e.g., Richmond, 1993; e.g., Fabricius, 2005, Packett et al., 2009; e.g., Hughes et al., 2010), leading to phase shifts from ecosystems with high coral cover and biodiversity to areas dominated by macroalgae and filter feeders (e.g., Szmant, 2002; e.g., Pandolfi et al., 2003).
Eutrophication is often cited as a major cause of phase shifts, although numerous studies have shown that a change in herbivory is often necessary and can be the sole cause (e.g., McCook, 1999; e.g., Szmant, 2002; McManus and Polsenberg, 2004; Hughes et al., 2007; Burkepile and Hay, 2009; Vermeij et al., 2009). Changes in herbivory can occur when dominant algal species shift and are no longer palatable to the intact community of herbivores, or with the loss of grazers themselves. While overfishing is a major cause for the decline of herbivorous fish species (e.g., Hughes and Connell, 1999; e.g., Jackson et al., 2001), drivers behind declines in populations of another major grazer, sea urchins, are more varied, and often unknown (Uthicke et al., 2009).
Sea urchins are efficient grazers, making them keystone species that structure coastal marine ecosystems around the world, with population changes leading to massive shifts in the abundance and distribution of macroalgae and seagrasses (Hay, 1984; Harrold and Reed, 1985; Scheibling, 1986; Hughes et al., 1987; Steneck, 1993; Estes and Duggins, 1995; Heck and Valentine, 1995; Palacı́n et al., 1997; Edmunds and Carpenter, 2001; Lessios et al., 2001; Eklöf et al., 2008; Valentine and Edgar, 2010). A well-known case study occurred in 1983, when a massive die-off of the black sea urchin Diadema antillarum led to phase shifts on coral reefs throughout the Caribbean (Lessios et al., 1984; Hughes et al., 1987; Carpenter, 1988; Lessios, 1988; Carpenter, 1990). A pathogen is thought to have driven the loss, but the exact cause remains unknown (Lessios et al., 1984). As critical grazers in coral reef ecosystems, it is important to examine the stressors that may drive changes in sea urchin populations.
Description: M.S. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2014.
Includes bibliographical references.
Rights: All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections:M.S. - Zoology

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