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  1. Abstract

    Major oil spills immensely impact the environment and society. Coastal fishery-dependent communities are especially at risk as their fishing grounds are susceptible to closure because of seafood contamination threat. During the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) disaster for example, vast areas of the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) were closed for fishing, resulting in coastal states losing up to a half of their fishery revenues. To predict the effect of future oil spills on fishery-dependent communities in the GoM, we develop a novel framework that combines a state-of-the-art three-dimensional oil-transport model with high-resolution spatial and temporal data for two fishing fleets—bottom longlinemore »and bandit-reel—along with data on the social vulnerability of coastal communities. We demonstrate our approach by simulating spills in the eastern and western GoM, calibrated to characteristics of the DWH spill. We find that the impacts of the eastern and western spills are strongest in the Florida and Texas Gulf coast counties respectively both for the bandit-reel and the bottom longline fleets. We conclude that this multimodal spatially explicit quantitative framework is a valuable management tool for predicting the consequences of oil spills at locations throughout the Gulf, facilitating preparedness and efficient resource allocation for future oil-spill events.

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  9. Reef-building coral species are experiencing an unprecedented decline owing to increasing frequency and intensity of marine heatwaves and associated bleaching-induced mortality. Closely related species from the Acropora hyacinthus species complex differ in heat tolerance and in their association with heat-tolerant symbionts. We used low-coverage full genome sequencing of 114 colonies monitored across the 2015 bleaching event in American Samoa to determine the genetic differences among four cryptic species (termed HA, HC, HD and HE) that have diverged in these species traits. Cryptic species differed strongly at thousands of single nucleotide polymorphisms across the genome which are enriched for amino acidmore »changes in the bleaching-resistant species HE. In addition, HE also showed two particularly divergent regions with strong signals of differentiation. One approximately 220 kb locus, HES1, contained the majority of fixed differences in HE. A second locus, HES2, was fixed in HE but polymorphic in the other cryptic species. Surprisingly, non-HE individuals with HE-like haplotypes at HES2 were more likely to bleach. At both loci, HE showed particular sequence similarity to a congener, Acropora millepora . Overall, resilience to bleaching during the third global bleaching event was strongly structured by host cryptic species, buoyed by differences in symbiont associations between these species.« less
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