19.10.2017, Noble Gespräche - Öffentliche Vortragsreihe
Prof. Mark Hay, Ph.D.
(School of Biological Sciences and Aquatic Chemical Ecology Center, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia, USA)
“Chemical Ecology as Ecosystem Medicine to Treat Environmental Collapse”
19.10.2017, 17:00 h
Hörsaal, Abbe-Zentrum Beutenberg, Hans-Knöll-Str. 1, Jena

Der Vortrag wird auf Englisch gehalten.

NG-Hay 1
Faszinierende Unterwasserwelt vor den Fidschi-Inseln
Ein chemischer Notruf der Korallen alarmiert die Blaupunkt-Korallengrundel (Gobiodon histro), wenn giftige Haaralgen (Chlorodesmis fastigiata) beginnen, die Korallen zu überwuchern.
[Quelle: Mark Hay]

“Chemical Ecology as Ecosystem Medicine to Treat Environmental Collapse”
Chemical cues and signals constitute a “the language of life” and provide an instruction manual for biotic interactions. Just as chemical biologists discovered treatments for diseases by understanding cell signaling, chemical ecologists can provide new insights into population biology, community organization, and ecosystem function, and generate new option for curing environmental collapse. Coral reefs provide a compelling, deeply worrisome, yet hopeful example. Reefs are in global decline. In recent decades, coral cover has declined by 80% throughout the Caribbean and 50%+ throughout the tropical Pacific, with seaweeds commonly replacing corals. Much of the decline and lack of recovery can be attributed to alterations in fundamental biotic interactions that are mediated via bioactive secondary metabolites. Field experiments demonstrate that numerous seaweeds rapidly damage corals via bioactive metabolites on their surfaces and that specific biodiverse mixes of herbivorous fishes are critical for suppressing these chemically-rich seaweeds and preventing their allelopathy against corals. Of greater importance is how larvae of both coral and fishes respond to chemical cues from overfished areas dominated by seaweeds versus no-take marine protected areas dominated by corals. Chemical cues from these areas create feedbacks, locking each area into its respective state; once reefs become too degraded, they may not recover due to the chemical cues they generate. Recruiting fish and coral larvae chemically sense and are attracted to coral-dominated areas protected from fishing while being chemically repulsed by seaweed-dominated areas that are overfished. Attraction and repulsion are cued by nuanced odors from specific corals and seaweeds that best predict reef quality. These, and other, chemically-cued behaviors can close the open nature of marine populations, suppress larval export from healthy to degraded reefs, and prevent recovery of coral and fish populations once reefs degrade. Translating this chemical language of life provides novel options for ecosystem restoration and for recovering the ecosystem services upon which we all depend.
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