Coral Reefs, the Journal of the International Society for Reef Studies, presents multidisciplinary literature across the broad fields of reef studies, publishing analytical and theoretical papers on both modern and ancient reefs. These encourage the search for theories about reef structure and dynamics, and the use of experimentation, modeling, quantification and the applied sciences.Coverage includes such subject areas as population dynamics; community ecology of reef organisms; energy and nutrient flows; biogeochemical cycles; physiology of calcification; reef responses to natural and anthropogenic influences; stress markers in reef organisms; behavioural ecology; sedimentology; diagenesis; reef structure and morphology; evolutionary ecology of the reef biota; palaeoceanography of coral reefs and coral islands; reef management and its underlying disciplines; molecular biology and genetics of coral; aetiology of disease in reef-related organisms; reef responses to global change, and more. Best Paper Award Coral Reefs Vol 31, 1 (2012)
Editors and Editorial Board voted the publication: 'Biological and chemical characteristics of the coral gastric’ by S. Agostini, Y. Suzuki, T. Higuchi, B. E. Casareto, K. Yoshinaga, Y. Nakano, H. Fujimura as Best Paper of last year’s volume of Coral Reefs.
Vol 31, 1 (2012) 147-156, DOI: 10.1007/s00338-011-0831-6The Award consists of EUR 1.000 and an engraved glass paperweight for the first author. In addition printed Certificates are sent to all authors. Abstract: All corals have a common structure: two tissue layers enclose a lumen, which forms the gastric cavity. Few studies have described the processes occurring inside the gastric cavity and its chemical and biological characteristics. Here, we show that the coral gastric cavity has distinct chemical characteristics with respect to dissolved O2, pH, alkalinity, and nutrients (vitamin B12, nitrate, nitrite,, ammonium, and phosphate) and also harbors a distinct bacterial community. From these results, the gastric cavity can be described as a semi-closed sub-environment within the coral. Dissolved O2 shows very low constant concentrations in the deepest parts of the cavity, creating a compartmentalized, anoxic environment. The pH is lower in the cavity than in the surrounding water and, like alkalinity, shows day/night variations different from those of the surrounding water. Nutrient concentrations in the cavity are greater than the concentrations found in reef waters, especially for phosphate and vitamin B12. The source of these nutrients may be internal production by symbiotic bacteria and/or the remineralization of organic matter ingested or produced by the corals. The importance of the bacteria inhabiting the gastric cavity is supported by the finding of a high bacterial abundance and a specific bacterial community with affiliation to bacteria found in other corals and in the guts of other organisms. The findings presented here open a new area of research that may help us to understand the processes that maintain coral health.
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