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Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Barbara Brown
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).
© 2015 Williams et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. This study investigated the relationship between microbial communities in differently sized colonies of the massive coral Coelastrea aspera at Phuket, Thailand where colony size could be used as a proxy for age. Results indicated significant differences between the bacterial diversity (ANOSIM, R = 0.76, p = 0.001) of differently sized colonies from the same intertidal reef habitat. Juvenile and small colonies (<6cm mean diam) harboured a lower bacterial richness than medium (∼10cm mean diam) and large colonies (>28 cm mean diam). Bacterial diversity increased in a step-wise pattern from juveniles<small<medium colonies, which was then followed by a slight decrease in the two largest size classes. These changes appear to resemble a successional process which occurs over time, similar to that observed in the ageing human gut. Furthermore, the dominant bacterial ribotypes present in the tissues of medium and large sized colonies of C. aspera, (such as Halomicronema, an Oscillospira and an unidentified cyanobacterium) were also the dominant ribotypes found within the endolithic algal band of the coral skeleton; a result providing some support for the hypothesis that the endolithic algae of corals may directly influence the bacterial community present in coral tissues.
Author(s): Williams AD, Brown BE, Putchim L, Sweet MJ
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: PLoS ONE
Online publication date: 23/12/2015
Acceptance date: 24/11/2015
Date deposited: 28/04/2017
ISSN (electronic): 1932-6203
Publisher: Public Library of Science
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