The luminescent displays produced by these organisms are veritable light shows above coral reefs at night and as such are gaining attention among the tourism industry as one of the real wonders of a coral reef. There are no direct economic models that have been done on these organisms.
impact statement issue
Bioluminescence is ubiquitous in the sea, yet little is known as to why it exists and how it functions. Understanding of the ecological and behavioral underpinnings of marine systems is crucial to the long-term wellbeing of our planet. Everyone has the potential to be indirectly affected by the health of our oceans.
impact statement response
We have described about 25 percent of the known species that use light for courtship, and we have begun to understand their population and community dynamics and the potential impacts these creatures have on the activities of coral reefs. The primary target audience is the society of scholars who work on coral reef systems.
impact statement summary
We are studying the unique, bioluminescent signals produced by tiny crustaceans in shallow coral reefs of the Caribbean. These animals are abundant and diverse, and they are excellent indicators of light pollution.
The displays are complicated and provide insights into (1) how visual patterns are recognized by both males and females for reproductive purposes, (2) how sexual selection has driven speciation in this group, and (3) how rapid species evolution can occur as a result of minor signal changes. We are also describing numerous new species and genera in the group and deciphering their evolutionary relationships.