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THE GROWTH RESPONSE OF THE HAWAIIAN BLUE OCTOCORAL, Sarcothelia edmondsoni, TO VARIOUS NITRATE CONCENTRATIONS
|dc.contributor.advisor||Beets, Jim .|
|dc.subject||Natural resource management|
|dc.title||THE GROWTH RESPONSE OF THE HAWAIIAN BLUE OCTOCORAL, Sarcothelia edmondsoni, TO VARIOUS NITRATE CONCENTRATIONS|
|dc.contributor.department||Tropical Conservation Biology & Environmental Science|
|dcterms.abstract||Shifts in coral reef benthic community species composition have been observed in response to changes in water quality, such as conditions of elevated nutrients from urban development and agriculture runoff. Species that display a predictable biological response to environmental conditions (bioindicators) are needed as cost-effective tools for assessing water quality and environmental change. The endemic Hawaiian species of Blue Octocoral, Sarcothelia edmondsoni, has been suggested as a potential bioindicator of land-based water quality pollution because it is notably abundant in multiple locations near heavily developed coastlines on Hawai‘i Island. Using laboratory experiments, the growth of Blue Octocoral was documented under three treatment levels of NO3- concentration; below (0.5x), equal (~1 μmol/L NO3-), and above (1.5x) the ambient in situ concentration in the octocoral habitat in Hilo Bay, Hawai‘i Island. Blue Octocoral growth was observed using two metrics: polyp growth and tissue expansion. Enrichment of NO3- had a negative effect on Blue Octocoral growth in the experiment. Colonies subjected to the above ambient NO3- concentration treatment showed less growth and altered growth patterns compared to colonies subjected to lower NO3- concentrations. The Blue Octocoral growth response to NO3- concentration is informative of the NO3- enrichment influence in nearshore marine ecosystems and is novel information for an endemic species to Hawaii. This study suggests that the Blue Octocoral is not a suitable bioindicator of land based nutrient pollution in nearshore marine ecosystems of Hawai‘i.|
|dcterms.publisher||University of Hawaii at Hilo|
|dcterms.rights||All UHH dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.|
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Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science|
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