Department of Biological Sciences, NUS
Competitive interactions between scleractinian corals and macroalgae on heavily impacted reefs
Speaker: Jenny (Graduate Student, Dept. of Biological Sciences, NUS)
Date: 20 April 2018, Friday
Venue: DBS Conference Room II (S1, Level 3, mezzanine
Supervisor: Assoc Prof Peter A. Todd
Co-Supervisor: A/P Suresh Valiyaveettil
Abstract: – Coral reef ecosystems are in global decline with macroalgae commonly replacing many scleractinian corals. On heavily impacted coral reefs where nutrients are elevated and herbivory is low, high levels of competitive interactions between corals and macroalgae are predicted. Macroalgae are able to suppress coral survival, growth, and reproduction, which can potentially lead to phase-shifts from coral- to algae-dominated reefs. The dynamics of coral–macroalgal interactions and the mechanisms involved, however, remain poorly understood.
My PhD thesis aims to (1) assess the spatial–temporal patterns of coral–macroalgal interactions on Singapore’s reefs, (2) examine the effects of macroalgal competition on coral physiology and microbiomes across various coral–macroalgal pairings, and (3) investigate the allelopathic effects of macroalgae as the potential mechanism mediating coral–macroalgal competition. My research will help improve our understanding on processes regulating coral–macroalgal competition and hence the long-term benthic community structure on impacted coral reef ecosystems.
All are welcome