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Microbial communities of coral surface mucopolysacchaide layers

Author(s): Ritchie KB, Smith GW

Abstract

Microbes associated with corals form communities that differ significantly from water mass communities. Physiological and metabolic activities occurring within these close, mutualistic relationships are very different from the surrounding environment and tend to be very specific. Coral-associated microbial communities are likely to resemble microbial mats in structure. Vertical stratification of populations, from proximal toward distal regions (with respect to the surface of the coral), results in fluxes of organic and inorganic nutrients. The presence of an actively metabolizing microbiota has significant influences on overall population structure. Theoretical and observed consequences of environmental changes lead to the disruption of the ‘normal’ communities associated with healthy corals. Because it is likely that the normal microbiota protects the coral animal from invading microbes, changes in the community structure may result in the development of disease.

KeywordsMicrobial CommunityBacterial CommunityCoral SpeciesPatch ReefScleractinian Coral

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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