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PLoS One. 2015 Jun 19;10(6):e0130084. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0130084. eCollection 2015.

Baseline Assessment of Mesophotic Reefs of the Vitória-Trindade Seamount Chain Based on Water Quality, Microbial Diversity, Benthic Cover and Fish Biomass Data.

Author information

1
Institute of Biology and SAGE-COPPE, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
2
Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden Research Institute (IP-JBRJ), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
3
Institute of Marine Sciences, Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP), Santos, Brazil.
4
Department of Ichthyology, California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, CA, United States of America; Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California Santa Cruz, CA, United States of America; Department of Oceanography and Ecology, Federal University of Espírito Santo, Vitória, Espírito Santo, Brazil; Associação Ambiental Voz da Natureza, Av Cel. Schwab Filho 104/501, Vitória, Espírito Santo 29050-780, Brazil.
5
Department of Oceanography and Ecology, Federal University of Espírito Santo, Vitória, Espírito Santo, Brazil.
6
Department of Oceanography and Ecology, Federal University of Espírito Santo, Vitória, Espírito Santo, Brazil; Associação Ambiental Voz da Natureza, Av Cel. Schwab Filho 104/501, Vitória, Espírito Santo 29050-780, Brazil.
7
Division of Metrology Applied to Life Science (DIMAV), National Institute of Technology, Quality and Metrology (INMETRO), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
8
Laboratory of Genomic Research on Pathogenic Bacteria, International Research Center for Infectious Diseases, Research Institute for Microbial Diseases, Osaka University, Suita, Japan.
9
Department of Infection Metagenomics, Genome Information Research Center, Research Institute for Microbial Diseases, Osaka University, Suita, Japan.
10
Laboratory of Microbiology, Faculty of Fisheries Sciences, Hokkaido University, 3-1-1 Minato-cho, Hakodate 041, Japan.
11
Environmental Sciences Laboratory (LCA), Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense (UENF), Campos dos Goytacazes, Brazil.
12
National Laboratory for Scientific Computing (LNCC), Petrópolis, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
13
Department of Environment and Engineering, Federal University of Paraíba, Rio Tinto, Brazil.

Abstract

Seamounts are considered important sources of biodiversity and minerals. However, their biodiversity and health status are not well understood; therefore, potential conservation problems are unknown. The mesophotic reefs of the Vitória-Trindade Seamount Chain (VTC) were investigated via benthic community and fish surveys, metagenomic and water chemistry analyses, and water microbial abundance estimations. The VTC is a mosaic of reef systems and includes fleshy algae dominated rhodolith beds, crustose coralline algae (CCA) reefs, and turf algae dominated rocky reefs of varying health levels. Macro-carnivores and larger fish presented higher biomass at the CCA reefs (4.4 kg per frame) than in the rhodolith beds and rocky reefs (0.0 to 0.1 kg per frame). A larger number of metagenomic sequences identified as primary producers (e.g., Chlorophyta and Streptophyta) were found at the CCA reefs. However, the rocky reefs contained more diseased corals (>90%) than the CCA reefs (~40%) and rhodolith beds (~10%). Metagenomic analyses indicated a heterotrophic and fast-growing microbiome in rocky reef corals that may possibly lead to unhealthy conditions possibly enhanced by environmental features (e.g. light stress and high loads of labile dissolved organic carbon). VTC mounts represent important hotspots of biodiversity that deserve further conservation actions.

PMID:
26090804
PMCID:
PMC4474894
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0130084
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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