SEMINAR "Subtropical Reef and Watershed Complexes Through Time: the little things that rule the world" by Dr. Jack (John B.) Sculley


Wednesday, June 12, 2019 - 13:30 to 14:30


B503 (Level B, Center Bldg.)


Marine Biophysics Unit (Mitarai Unit) would like to invite you to a seminar by Dr. Jack (John B.) Sculley from University of California, Berkeley and the National Tropical Botanical Gardens, Kalaheo, Hawaii.


Title: "Subtropical Reef and Watershed Complexes Through Time: the little things that rule the world"



Watersheds and coral reefs are important sustainers of biodiversity and ecosystem services for island societies. The primary producers of subtropical watershed-reef complexes include symbiotic eukaryotic hosts such as Scleractinian corals as well as Rhopalodian diatoms, and their endosymbiotic mutualists
such as Symbiodinium dinoflagellates and Cyanothece cyanobacteria. These symbioses enable each organism to colonize and dominate nutrient deficient environments such as subtropical marine and aquatic habitats, and may provide enhanced stability over millennia of climate changes.

Important questions about the structure, function and dynamics of Rhopalodian diatom fueled watersheds and Scleractinian coral fueled reefs remain, including how the host and symbiont exchange nutrients under changing environmental conditions, and how each enhances resistance or resilience to climatic changes over time.

Cross system subsidies may play an important role in the long term persistence of these watershed-reef complexes. Terrestrial nutrients such as iron and silica are supplied by riverine discharge while nitrogen and phosphorus are typically replenished by marine upwelling. Aquatic and marine habitats provide spawning and feeding grounds for anadromous, catadromous and amphidromous species. On biogeochemical timescales, these transfers of nutrients and organisms may play an important and to
date poorly understood role in the long term persistence and spread of each symbiosis and the ecosystems sustained by them.

In this talk I will present current knowledge of these topics and proposed research to elucidate the biochemistry, community ecology and ecosystem dynamics over inter annual, decadal and millennial timescales for several trans Pacific sites, including Clear Lake, California, the Eel River watershed and Cape Mendocino upwelling complex, the Limahuli watershed and Pu’ukahua reef complex, Lakes Biwa and Suigetsu, and potential research sites in Okinawa Prefecture.


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