Diane S. Littler

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This study uses short-term assays and long-term transplant experiments to document the potential importance of fish predation and herbivory to the distribution and abundance of reef-building corals in a Caribbean back-reef system. Experimental manipulations of fish access reveal that the zonal patterns of the two reef-building corals Porites astreoides and(More)
A bacterial pathogen of coralline algae was initially observed during June 1993 and now occurs in South Pacific reefs that span a geographic range of at least 6000 kilometers. The occurrence of the coralline algal pathogen at Great Astrolabe Reef sites (Fiji) increased from zero percent in 1992 to 100 percent in 1993, which indicates that the pathogen may(More)
In contrast to terrestrial systems, few positive plant-plant associations have been recorded in tropical reef environments. This study, conducted at Carrie Bow Cay, Belize during 28 March–10 April 1984, provides the first documentation of herbivore escapes for natural combinations of palatable and unpalatable marine plants. For example, there was a highly(More)
The discovery of abundant autotrophic macrophytes living below 200 meters indicates their importance to primary productivity, food webs, sedimentary processes, and as reef builders in clear oceanic waters. Estimates concerning minimum light levels for macroalgal photosynthesis and macrophytic contributions to the biology and geology of tropical insular and(More)
The siphonous green algae are an assemblage of seaweeds that consist of a single giant cell. They comprise two sister orders, the Bryopsidales and Dasycladales. We infer the phylogenetic relationships among the siphonous green algae based on a five-locus data matrix and analyze temporal aspects of their diversification using relaxed molecular clock methods(More)
Some shallow habitats that surround mangrove islands exhibit abruptly discontinuous macrophyte boundaries; in other regions, plant distributional patterns are less defined. Where distinct boundaries do occur, fleshy algae predominate on the roots of the red mangrove, Rhizophora mangle, which do not contact the bottom sediments (“hanging roots”), while(More)
Field and laboratory research at Carrie Bow Cay, Belize showed that macroalgae, grouped in functional-form units resisted fish and urchin herbivory in the following order (from high to low resistance): Crustose-Group, Jointed Calcareous-Group, Thick Leathery-Group, Coarsely Branched-Group, Filamentous-Group and Sheet-Group; thereby supporting the hypothesis(More)
This exploratory study suggests that different geological systems (carbonate vs. granitic) in tropical waters have contrasting patterns of photosynthetic nutrient limitation correlated with inorganic nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) availability. Physiological assays for 21 predominant macrophyte species show that inorganic N and P are much less limiting to(More)
Despite the potential model role of the green algal genus Codium for studies of marine speciation and evolution, there have been difficulties with species delimitation and a molecular phylogenetic framework was lacking. In the present study, 74 evolutionarily significant units (ESUs) are delimited using 227 rbcL exon 1 sequences obtained from specimens(More)
During February 1997, our research team photographed, collected and examined abundant populations of an undescribed black fungal disease of crustose coralline algae in American Samoa. The left overview photograph shows several coalescing patches of black fungal disease; the right photograph is enlarged to show the striated pattern of incremental growth(More)