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NCCOS and Partners Investigate Effects of Non-lethal Doses of Contaminants on Hawaii Corals

National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science researchers and students from Florida A&M University measured non-lethal effects of contaminants on coral health in Hawaii. Coral larvae were collected during the July spawning event and exposed to hydrocarbon and metal contaminants in a laboratory setting.  The impacts of contaminant stress were measured using coral biochemical markers and the photosynthetic response of the larvae’s symbiotic algae.  These types of measures can detect stress at low contaminant concentrations that do not produce outward signs of stress such as bleaching, disease, or mortality.  The work was funded by NOAA’s Environmental Cooperative Science Center, with collaboration from the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.  This project is a part of a larger coral health evaluation effort that involves NOAA, the Navy and Rutgers University. For more information, contact Dennis.Apeti@noaa.gov  or Robert.A.Warner@noaa.gov.

Shorter web link for sharing: http://coastalscience.noaa.gov/news/?p=9964

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