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  1. Abstract Background Management actions that address local-scale stressors on coral reefs can rapidly improve water quality and reef ecosystem condition. In response to reef managers who need actionable thresholds for coastal runoff and dredging, we conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of experimental studies that explore the effects of sediment on corals. We identified exposure levels that ‘adversely’ affect corals while accounting for sediment bearing (deposited vs. suspended), coral life-history stage, and species, thus providing empirically based estimates of stressor thresholds on vulnerable coral reefs. Methods We searched online databases and grey literature to obtain a list of potential studies, assess their eligibility, and critically appraise them for validity and risk of bias. Data were extracted from eligible studies and grouped by sediment bearing and coral response to identify thresholds in terms of the lowest exposure levels that induced an adverse physiological and/or lethal effect. Meta-regression estimated the dose–response relationship between exposure level and the magnitude of a coral’s response, with random-effects structures to estimate the proportion of variance explained by factors such as study and coral species. Review findings After critical appraisal of over 15,000 records, our systematic review of corals’ responses to sediment identified 86 studies to bemore »included in meta-analyses (45 studies for deposited sediment and 42 studies for suspended sediment). The lowest sediment exposure levels that caused adverse effects in corals were well below the levels previously described as ‘normal’ on reefs: for deposited sediment, adverse effects occurred as low as 1 mg/cm 2 /day for larvae (limited settlement rates) and 4.9 mg/cm 2 /day for adults (tissue mortality); for suspended sediment, adverse effects occurred as low as 10 mg/L for juveniles (reduced growth rates) and 3.2 mg/L for adults (bleaching and tissue mortality). Corals take at least 10 times longer to experience tissue mortality from exposure to suspended sediment than to comparable concentrations of deposited sediment, though physiological changes manifest 10 times faster in response to suspended sediment than to deposited sediment. Threshold estimates derived from continuous response variables (magnitude of adverse effect) largely matched the lowest-observed adverse-effect levels from a summary of studies, or otherwise helped us to identify research gaps that should be addressed to better quantify the dose–response relationship between sediment exposure and coral health. Conclusions We compiled a global dataset that spans three oceans, over 140 coral species, decades of research, and a range of field- and lab-based approaches. Our review and meta-analysis inform the no-observed and lowest-observed adverse-effect levels (NOAEL, LOAEL) that are used in management consultations by U.S. federal agencies. In the absence of more location- or species-specific data to inform decisions, our results provide the best available information to protect vulnerable reef-building corals from sediment stress. Based on gaps and limitations identified by our review, we make recommendations to improve future studies and recommend future synthesis to disentangle the potentially synergistic effects of multiple coral-reef stressors.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2023

    We present the results from the HST WFC3 and ACS data on an archetypal galaxy undergoing ram pressure stripping (RPS), ESO 137-001, in the nearby cluster Abell 3627. ESO 137-001 is known to host a prominent stripped tail detected in many bands from X-rays, H α to CO. The HST data reveal significant features indicative of RPS such as asymmetric dust distribution and surface brightness as well as many blue young star complexes in the tail. We study the correlation between the blue young star complexes from HST, H ii regions from H α (MUSE), and dense molecular clouds from CO (ALMA). The correlation between the HST blue star clusters and the H ii regions is very good, while their correlation with the dense CO clumps are typically not good, presumably due in part to evolutionary effects. In comparison to the starburst99 + cloudy model, many blue regions are found to be young (<10 Myr) and the total star formation (SF) rate in the tail is 0.3–0.6 M⊙ yr−1 for sources measured with ages less than 100 Myr, about 40 per cent of the SF rate in the galaxy. We trace SF over at least 100 Myr and give a full picture of the recent SF history in the tail. We alsomore »demonstrate the importance of including nebular emissions and a nebular to stellar extinction correction factor when comparing the model to the broad-band data. Our work on ESO 137-001 demonstrates the importance of HST data for constraining the SF history in stripped tails.

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  3. Abstract We present new, deep, narrow- and broadband Hubble Space Telescope observations of seven of the most star-forming brightest cluster galaxies (BCGs). Continuum-subtracted [O II ] maps reveal the detailed, complex structure of warm ( T ∼ 10 4 K) ionized gas filaments in these BCGs, allowing us to measure spatially resolved star formation rates (SFRs) of ∼60–600 M ⊙ yr −1 . We compare the SFRs in these systems and others from the literature to their intracluster medium cooling rates ( M ̇ cool ), measured from archival Chandra X-ray data, finding a best-fit relation of log ( SFR ) = ( 1.66 ± 0.17 ) log ( M ̇ cool ) + (−3.22 ± 0.38) with an intrinsic scatter of 0.39 ± 0.09 dex. This steeper-than-unity slope implies an increasingly efficient conversion of hot ( T ∼ 10 7 K) gas into young stars with increasing M ̇ cool , or conversely a gradual decrease in the effectiveness of AGN feedback in the strongest cool cores. We also seek to understand the physical extent of these multiphase filaments that we observe in cluster cores. We show, for the first time, that the average extent of the multiphase gasmore »is always smaller than the radii at which the cooling time reaches 1 Gyr, the t cool / t ff profile flattens, and that X-ray cavities are observed. This implies a close connection between the multiphase filaments, the thermodynamics of the cooling core, and the dynamics of X-ray bubbles. Interestingly, we find a one-to-one correlation between the average extent of cool multiphase filaments and the radius at which the cooling time reaches 0.5 Gyr, which may be indicative of a universal condensation timescale in cluster cores.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 29, 2023
  4. Abstract The Voit et al. black hole feedback valve model predicts relationships between stellar velocity dispersion and atmospheric structure among massive early-type galaxies. In this work, we test that model using the Chandra archival sample of 49 early-type galaxies from Lakhchaura et al. We consider relationships between stellar velocity dispersion and entropy profile slope, multiphase gas extent, and the ratio of cooling time to freefall time. We also define subsamples based on data quality and entropy profile properties that clarify those relationships and enable more specific tests of the model predictions. We find that the atmospheric properties of early-type galaxies generally align with the predictions of the Voit et al. model, in that galaxies with a greater stellar velocity dispersion tend to have radial profiles of pressure, gas density, and entropy with steeper slopes and less extended multiphase gas. Quantitative agreement with the model predictions improves when the sample is restricted to have low central entropy and a stellar velocity dispersion of between 220 and 300 km s −1 .

    We report the discovery of a triply imaged active galactic nucleus (AGN), lensed by the galaxy cluster MACS J0035.4−2015 (zd = 0.352). The object is detected in Hubble Space Telescope imaging taken for the RELICS program. It appears to have a quasi-stellar nucleus consistent with a point-source, with a de-magnified radius of re ≲ 100 pc. The object is spectroscopically confirmed to be an AGN at zspec = 2.063 ± 0.005 showing broad rest-frame UV emission lines, and detected in both X-ray observations with Chandra and in ALCS ALMA band 6 (1.2 mm) imaging. It has a relatively faint rest-frame UV luminosity for a quasar-like object, MUV, 1450 = −19.7 ± 0.2. The object adds to just a few quasars or other X-ray sources known to be multiply lensed by a galaxy cluster. Some diffuse emission from the host galaxy is faintly seen around the nucleus, and there is a faint object nearby sharing the same multiple-imaging symmetry and geometric redshift, possibly an interacting galaxy or a star-forming knot in the host. We present an accompanying lens model, calculate the magnifications and time delays, and infer the physical properties of the source. We find the rest-frame UV continuum and emission lines to be dominated by the AGN, and themore »optical emission to be dominated by the host galaxy of modest stellar mass $M_{\star }\simeq 10^{9.2}\, \mathrm{M}_{\odot }$ . We also observe some variation in the AGN emission with time, which may suggest that the AGN used to be more active. This object adds a low-redshift counterpart to several relatively faint AGN recently uncovered at high redshifts with HST and JWST.

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  6. Abstract Work on marine biofilms has primarily focused on host-associated habitats for their roles in larval recruitment and disease dynamics; little is known about the factors regulating the composition of reef environmental biofilms. To contrast the roles of succession, benthic communities and nutrients in structuring marine biofilms, we surveyed bacteria communities in biofilms through a six-week succession in aquaria containing macroalgae, coral, or reef sand factorially crossed with three levels of continuous nutrient enrichment. Our findings demonstrate how biofilm successional trajectories diverge from temporal dynamics of the bacterioplankton and how biofilms are structured by the surrounding benthic organisms and nutrient enrichment. We identify a suite of biofilm-associated bacteria linked with the orthogonal influences of corals, algae and nutrients and distinct from the overlying water. Our results provide a comprehensive characterization of marine biofilm successional dynamics and contextualize the impact of widespread changes in reef community composition and nutrient pollution on biofilm community structure.
  7. ABSTRACT We present an analysis of the intracluster light (ICL) in the Frontier Field Cluster MACS J1149.5+2223 (z = 0.544), which combines new and archival Hubble WFC3/IR imaging to provide continuous radial coverage out to 2.8 Mpc from the brightest cluster galaxy (BCG). Employing careful treatment of potential systematic biases and using data at the largest radii to determine the background sky level, we reconstruct the surface brightness profile out to a radius of 2 Mpc. This radius is the largest to which the ICL has been measured for an individual cluster. Within this radius, we measure a total luminosity of 1.5 × 1013 L⊙ for the BCG plus ICL. From the profile and its logarithmic slope, we identify the transition from the BCG to ICL at r ∼ 70 kpc. Remarkably, we also detect an apparent inflection in the profile centred in the 1.2–1.7 Mpc (0.37–0.52 r200m) radial bin, a signature of an infall caustic in the stellar distribution. Based upon the shape and strength of the feature, we interpret it as potentially being at the splashback radius, although the radius is smaller than theoretical predictions. If this is the splashback radius, then it is the first such detection in the ICL andmore »the first detection of the splashback radius for an individual cluster. Similar analyses should be possible with the other Frontier Field clusters, and eventually with clusters observed by the Euclid and Roman missions.« less