Urbanization comprehensively impairs biological rhythms in coral holobionts

Rosenberg, Yaeli, Simon-Blecher, Noa, Lalzar, Maya, Yam, Ruth, Shemesh, Aldo, Alon, Shahar, Perna, Gabriela, Cardenas, Anny, Voolstra, Christian R., Miller, David J., and Levy, Oren (2022) Urbanization comprehensively impairs biological rhythms in coral holobionts. Global Change Biology, 28 (10). pp. 3349-3364.

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Coral reefs are in global decline due to climate change and anthropogenic influences (Hughes et al., Conservation Biology, 27: 261–269, 2013). Near coastal cities or other densely populated areas, coral reefs face a range of additional challenges. While considerable progress has been made in understanding coral responses to acute individual stressors (Dominoni et al., Nature Ecology & Evolution, 4: 502–511, 2020), the impacts of chronic exposure to varying combinations of sensory pollutants are largely unknown. To investigate the impacts of urban proximity on corals, we conducted a year-long in-natura study—incorporating sampling at diel, monthly, and seasonal time points—in which we compared corals from an urban area to corals from a proximal non-urban area. Here we reveal that despite appearing relatively healthy, natural biorhythms and environmental sensory systems were extensively disturbed in corals from the urban environment. Transcriptomic data indicated poor symbiont performance, disturbance to gametogenic cycles, and loss or shifted seasonality of vital biological processes. Altered seasonality patterns were also observed in the microbiomes of the urban coral population, signifying the impact of urbanization on the holobiont, rather than the coral host alone. These results should raise alarm regarding the largely unknown long-term impacts of sensory pollution on the resilience and survival of coral reefs close to coastal communities.

Item ID: 73280
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1365-2486
Keywords: biological rhythms, coral holobiont, coral reef, coral reef decline, molecular ecology, urbanization
Copyright Information: © 2022 The Authors. Global Change Biology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
Research Data: https://github.com/ajcardenasb/light_pollution, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.xpnvx0khh
Date Deposited: 30 Mar 2022 07:48
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1805 Marine systems and management > 180507 Rehabilitation or conservation of marine environments @ 100%
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