David J. Suggett

David J. Suggett
University of Technology Sydney | UTS · Faculty of Science

About

271
Publications
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7,691
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Publications

Publications (271)
Article
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The ecological success of tropical corals is regulated by symbiotic dinoflagellate algae (Symbiodiniaceae). Corals can associate with multiple Symbiodiniaceae species simultaneously, yet the conditions that permit Symbiodiniaceae cohabitation are not understood. We examined how corals self-shade their own tissues causing within-colony light gradien...
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Increasing anthropogenic pressure on coral reefs is creating an urgent need to understand how and where corals can proliferate both now and under future scenarios. Resolving environmental limits of corals has progressed through the accurate identification of corals’ ‘realised ecological niche’. Here we expand the ecological niche concept to account...
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High-latitude reefs are suboptimal coral habitats, but such habitats are increasingly considered to be potential refugia from climate change for range-shifting coral reef species. Notably, tropical reef fish have been observed along the south-east coast of Australia, but their establishment on temperate rocky reefs is currently limited by winter mi...
Preprint
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Within microeukaryotes, genetic and functional variation sometimes accumulate more quickly than morphological differences. To understand the evolutionary history and ecology of such lineages, it is key to examine diversity at multiple levels of organization. In the dinoflagellate family Symbiodiniaceae, which can form endosymbioses with cnidarians...
Article
Hypoxia (low oxygen stress) is increasingly reported on coral reefs, caused by ocean deoxygenation linked to coastal nutrient pollution and ocean warming. While the ability to regulate respiration is a key driver of hypoxia tolerance in many other aquatic taxa, corals' oxyregulatory capabilities remain virtually unexplored. Here, we examine O2-cons...
Article
Coral propagation via nurseries and out-planting practices has increased worldwide in the last decade to improve stakeholder-led stewardship aimed at retaining or rehabilitating local reef site health. Until 2017/18, stewardship activities by the tourism industry on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) have been restricted to operations such as corallivore...
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Aquatic deoxygenation has been flagged as an overlooked but key factor contributing to mass bleaching-induced coral mortality. During deoxygenation events triggered by coastal nutrient pollution and ocean warming, oxygen supplies lower to concentrations that can elicit an aerobic metabolic crisis i.e., hypoxia. Surprisingly little is known of the f...
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Bacterial members of the coral holobiont play an important role in determining coral fitness. However, most knowledge of the coral microbiome has come from reef-building scleractinian corals, with far less known about the nature and importance of the microbiome of octocorals (subclass Octocorallia), which contribute significantly to reef biodiversi...
Article
Sessile invertebrates are frequently sampled and processed whole for downstream analyses. However, their apparent structural simplicity is deceptive as these organisms often harbour discrete compartments. These compartments have physicochemical conditions that differ markedly from neighbouring tissues, and that have likely evolved to support specif...
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Background Elements are the basis of life on Earth, whereby organisms are essentially evolved chemical substances that dynamically interact with each other and their environment. Determining species elemental quotas (their elementome) is a key indicator for their success across environments with different resource availabilities. Elementomes remain...
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The Symbiodiniaceae are a taxonomically and functionally diverse family of marine dinoflagellates. Their symbiotic relationship with invertebrates such as scleractinian corals has made them the focus of decades of research to resolve the underlying biology regulating their sensitivity to stressors, particularly thermal stress. Research to-date sugg...
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Coral reef restoration activity is accelerating worldwide in efforts to offset the rate of reef health declines. Many advances have already been made in restoration practices centred on coral biology (coral restoration), and particularly those that look to employ the high adaptive state and capacity of corals in order to ensure that efforts rebuild...
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Efforts to manage coral reef declines are increasingly turning towards in situ propagation of corals to aid reef recovery. Understanding the factors that influence ‘success’ throughout the propagation process is therefore critical to ensure efforts are viable and cost-effective, yet the extent to which propagation practices potentially impact the u...
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Active chlorophyll a fluorometry is a well‐established tool for noninvasively diagnosing coral functional state, but has not yet been developed as a rapid phenotyping (functional screening) platform as for agriculture and forestry. Here, we present a proof‐of‐concept using Light‐Induced Fluorescence Transient‐Fast Repetition Rate fluorometry (LIFT‐...
Article
Coral reefs continue to rapidly deteriorate globally, prompting efforts to protect and restore these iconic ecosystems. With trillions of dollars in ecosystem services at‐stake, no clear framework exists for developing or prioritising approaches as efforts and investment opportunities grow worldwide for coral reef restoration. Restoration may buy t...
Article
Coral bleaching has increasingly impacted reefs worldwide over the past four decades. Despite almost 40 years of research into the mechanistic, physiological, ecological, biophysical and climatic drivers of coral bleaching, metrics to allow comparison between ecological observations and experimental simulations still do not exist. Here we describe...
Article
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We employed Fast Repetition Rate fluorometry for high-resolution mapping of marine phytoplankton photophysiology and primary photochemistry in the Lancaster Sound and Barrow Strait regions of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago in the summer of 2019. Continuous ship-board analysis of chlorophyll a variable fluorescence demonstrated relatively low photo...
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The photoautotrophic, unicellular N2-fixer, Cyanothece, is a model organism that has been widely used to study photosynthesis regulation, the structure of photosystems, and the temporal segregation of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) fixation in light and dark phases of the diel cycle. Here, we present a simple quantitative model and experimental data t...
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Ocean deoxygenation events are intensifying worldwide and can rapidly drive adult corals into a state of metabolic crisis and bleaching-induced mortality, but whether coral larvae are subject to similar stress remains untested. We experimentally exposed apo-symbiotic coral larvae of Acropora selago to deoxygenation stress with subsequent reoxygenat...
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Anthropogenic climate change and environmental degradation destroy coral reefs, the ecosystem services they provide, and the livelihoods of close to a billion people who depend on these services. Restoration approaches to increase the resilience of corals are therefore necessary to counter environmental pressures relevant to climate change projecti...
Preprint
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Reef-building coral colonies propagate by periodic sexual reproduction and continuous asexual fragmentation. The latter depends on successful attachment to the reef substrate through modification of soft tissues and skeletal growth. Despite decades of research examining coral sexual and asexual propagation, the contact response, tissue motion, and...
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It has been proposed that an effective approach for predicting whether and how reef-forming corals persist under future climate change is to examine populations thriving in present day extreme environments, such as mangrove lagoons, where water temperatures can exceed those of reef environments by more than 3°C, pH levels are more acidic (pH < 7.9,...
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Coral reef restoration is a rapidly growing movement galvanized by the accelerating degradation of the world's tropical coral reefs. The need for concerted and collaborative action focused on the recovery of coral reef ecosystems coalesced in the creation of the Coral Restoration Consortium (CRC) in 2017. In March 2020, the CRC leadership team met...
Preprint
Full-text available
We employed Fast Repetition Rate fluorometry for high-resolution mapping of marine phytoplankton photophysiology and primary productivity in the Lancaster Sound and Barrow Strait regions of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago in the summer of 2019. Continuous ship-board analysis of chlorophyll a variable fluorescence demonstrated relatively low photoch...
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Coral research is being ushered into the genomic era. To fully capitalize on the potential discoveries from this genomic revolution, the rapidly increasing number of high-quality genomes requires effective pairing with rigorous taxonomic characterizations of specimens and the contextualization of their ecological relevance. However, to date there i...
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Over this century, coral reefs will run the gauntlet of climate change, as marine heatwaves (MHWs) become more intense and frequent, and ocean acidification (OA) progresses. However, we still lack a quantitative assessment of how, and to what degree, OA will moderate the responses of corals to MHWs as they intensify throughout this century. Here, w...
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Our understanding of the response of reef‐building corals to changes in their physical environment is largely based on laboratory experiments, analysis of long‐term field data, and model projections. Experimental data provide unique insights into how organisms respond to variation of environmental drivers. However, an assessment of how well experim...
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Phytoplankton photosynthetic physiology can be investigated through single-turnover variable chlorophyll fluorescence (ST-ChlF) approaches, which carry unique potential to autonomously collect data at high spatial and temporal resolution. Over the past decades, significant progress has been made in the development and application of ST-ChlF methods...
Article
The dinoflagellate family Symbiodiniaceae comprises numerous genera and species with large differences in diversity, ecology and geographic distribution. An evolutionarily divergent lineage common in temperate symbiotic cnidarians and designated in the literature by several informal names including ‘temperate–A’, AI, Phylotype A´ (A-prime) and ‘Med...
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The integrity of coral reef ecosystems worldwide rests on a fine-tuned symbiotic interaction between an invertebrate and a dinoflagellate microalga from the family Symbiodiniaceae. Recent advances in bottom-up shotgun proteomic approaches and the availability of vast amounts of genetic information about Symbiodiniaceae have provided a unique opport...
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Volatilomics, the examination of all biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) emitted by an organism or system, holds potential as a novel screening tool for taxonomy, fitness, and ecological functioning. Volatilomics has been largely applied to terrestrial environments, but highly productive coastal marine systems, which are major sources of sp...
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Marine diazotrophs are a diverse group with key roles in biogeochemical fluxes linked to primary productivity. The unicellular, diazotrophic cyanobacterium Cyanothece is widely found in coastal, subtropical oceans. We analyze the consequences of diazotrophy on growth efficiency, compared to NO 3 – -supported growth in Cyanothece , to understand how...
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Symbiosis between reef-building corals and unicellular algae (Symbiodiniaceae) fuels the growth and productivity of corals reefs. Capacity for Symbiodiniaceae to fix inorganic carbon (Ci) and translocate carbon compounds to the host is central to coral health, but how these processes change for corals thriving in environmental extremes remains larg...
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Corals house a variety of microorganisms which they depend on for their survival, including endosymbiotic dinoflagellates (Symbiodiniaceae) and bacteria. While cnidarian–microorganism interactions are widely studied, Symbiodiniaceae–bacteria interactions are only just beginning to receive attention. Here, we describe the localization and compositio...
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Coral reefs are deteriorating worldwide prompting reef managers and stakeholders to increasingly explore new management tools. Following back-to-back bleaching in 2016/2017, multi-taxa coral nurseries were established in 2018 for the first time on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) to aid reef maintenance and restoration at a “high-value” location–Opal R...
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Marine phytoplankton, and in particular diatoms, are responsible for almost half of all primary production on Earth. Diatom species thrive from polar to tropical waters and across light environments that are highly complex to relatively benign, and so have evolved highly divergent strategies for regulating light capture and utilization. It is incre...
Article
Terrestrial ecosystems emit large quantities of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs), many of which play important roles in abiotic stress responses, pathogen and grazing defences, inter‐ and intra‐species communications, and climate regulation. Conversely, comparatively little is known about the diversity and functional potential of BVOCs p...
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Exposure of marine life to low oxygen is accelerating worldwide via climate change and localized pollution. Mass coral bleaching and mortality have recently occurred where reefs have experienced chronic low oxygen events. However, the mechanis-tic basis of tolerance to oxygen levels inadequate to sustain normal functioning (i.e. hypoxia) and whethe...
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Dinoflagellates of the family Symbiodiniaceae form mutualistic symbioses with marine invertebrates such as reef‐building corals, but also inhabit reef environments as free‐living cells. Most coral species acquire Symbiodiniaceae horizontally from the surrounding environment during the larval and/or recruitment phase, however the phylogenetic divers...
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Coral reef ecosystems are under increasing pressure from local and regional stressors and a changing climate. Current management focuses on reducing stressors to allow for natural recovery, but in many areas where coral reefs are damaged, natural recovery can be restricted, delayed or interrupted because of unstable, unconsolidated coral fragments,...
Article
Ocean colour data are commonly used to quantify primary production, study phytoplankton dynamics and calibrate marine models, thus understanding the origin of errors in the retrieved chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) product is critical. One source of uncertainty in retrieved Chl-a products can be related to large photosynthetic cells, characterised by lower m...
Article
Fast Repetition Rate fluorometry (FRRf) has been increasingly used to measure marine primary productivity by oceanographers to understand how carbon (C) uptake patterns vary over space and time in the global oceans. As FRRf measures electron transport rates through photosystem II (ETRPSII ), a critical, but difficult-to-predict conversion factor te...
Article
Photosynthetic dinoflagellates are ecologically and biogeochemically important in marine and freshwater environments. However surprisingly little is known of how this group acquires inorganic carbon or how these diverse processes evolved. Consequently, how CO2 availability ultimately influences the success of dinoflagellates over space and time rem...