Sandin Stuart A.

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Stuart A.

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  • Preprint
    Brilliantia kiribatiensis, a new genus and species of Cladophorales (Chlorophyta) from the remote coral reefs of the Southern Line Islands, Pacific Ocean
    (Wiley, 2021-12-12) Leliaert, Frederik ; Kelly, Emily L. A. ; Janouškovec, Jan ; Fox, Michael D. ; Johnson, Maggie D. ; Redfern, Farran M. ; Eria, Taati ; Haas, Andreas F. ; Sala, Enric ; Sandin, Stuart A. ; Smith, Jennifer E.
    The marine green alga Brilliantia kiribatiensis gen. et sp. nov. is described from samples collected from the coral reefs of the Southern Line Islands, Republic of Kiribati, Pacific Ocean. Phylogenetic analysis of sequences of the large- and small-subunit rDNA and the rDNA internal transcribed spacer region revealed that Brilliantia is a member of the Boodleaceae (Cladophorales), containing the genera Apjohnia, Boodlea, Cladophoropsis, Chamaedoris, Phyllodictyon, and Struvea. Within this clade it formed a distinct lineage, sister to Struvea elegans, but more distantly related to the bona fide Struvea species (including the type S. plumosa). Brilliantia differs from the other genera by having a very simple architecture forming upright, unbranched, single-celled filaments attached to the substratum by a rhizoidal mat. Cell division occurs by segregative cell division only at the onset of reproduction. Based on current sample collection, B. kiribatiensis seems to be largely restricted to the Southern Line Islands, although it was also observed on neighboring islands, including Orona Atoll in the Phoenix Islands of Kiribati, and the Rangiroa and Takapoto Atolls in the Tuamotus of French Polynesia. This discovery highlights the likeliness that there is still much biodiversity yet to be discovered from these remote and pristine reefs of the central Pacific.
  • Article
    Ecophysiology of coral reef primary producers across an upwelling gradient in the tropical central Pacific
    (Public Library of Science, 2020-02-04) Johnson, Maggie D. ; Fox, Michael D. ; Kelly, Emily L. A. ; Zgliczynski, Brian J. ; Sandin, Stuart A. ; Smith, Jennifer E.
    Upwelling is an important source of inorganic nutrients in marine systems, yet little is known about how gradients in upwelling affect primary producers on coral reefs. The Southern Line Islands span a natural gradient of inorganic nutrient concentrations across the equatorial upwelling region in the central Pacific. We used this gradient to test the hypothesis that benthic autotroph ecophysiology is enhanced on nutrient-enriched reefs. We measured metabolism and photophysiology of common benthic taxa, including the algae Porolithon, Avrainvillea, and Halimeda, and the corals Pocillopora and Montipora. We found that temperature (27.2–28.7°C) was inversely related to dissolved inorganic nitrogen (0.46–4.63 μM) and surface chlorophyll a concentrations (0.108–0.147 mg m-3), which increased near the equator. Contrary to our prediction, ecophysiology did not consistently track these patterns in all taxa. Though metabolic rates were generally variable, Porolithon and Avrainvillea photosynthesis was highest at the most productive and equatorial island (northernmost). Porolithon photosynthetic rates also generally increased with proximity to the equator. Photophysiology (maximum quantum yield) increased near the equator and was highest at northern islands in all taxa. Photosynthetic pigments also were variable, but chlorophyll a and carotenoids in Avrainvillea and Montipora were highest at the northern islands. Phycobilin pigments of Porolithon responded most consistently across the upwelling gradient, with higher phycoerythrin concentrations closer to the equator. Our findings demonstrate that the effects of in situ nutrient enrichment on benthic autotrophs may be more complex than laboratory experiments indicate. While upwelling is an important feature in some reef ecosystems, ancillary factors may regulate the associated consequences of nutrient enrichment on benthic reef organisms.