Photoacclimation, growth and distribution of massive coral species in clear and turbid waters

Sebastian J. Hennige, David J. Smith, Rupert Perkins, Mireille Consalvey, David M. Paterson, David J. Suggett

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    55 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Massive coral species play a key role in coral reef ecosystems, adding significantly to physical integrity, long term stability and reef biodiversity. This study coupled the assessment of the distribution and abundance of 4 dominant massive coral species, Diploastrea heliopora, Favia speciosa, F matthaii and Porites lutea, with investigations into species-specific photoacclimatory responses within the Wakatobi Marine National Park of southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia, to determine the potential of photoacclimation to be a driver of biological success. For this, rapid light curves using pulse amplitude modulated (PAM) chlorophyll a fluorescence techniques were employed with additional manipulations to circumvent differences of light quality and absorption between species and across environmental gradients. P. lutea was examined over a range of depths and sites to determine patterns of photoacclimation, and all 4 species were assessed at a single depth between sites for which long-term data for coral community structure and growth existed. Light availability was more highly constrained with depth than between sites; consequently, photoacclimation patterns for P. lutea appeared greater with depth than across environmental gradients. All 4 species were found to differentially modify the extent of non-photochemical quenching to maintain a constant photochemical operating efficiency (qP). Therefore, our results suggest that these massive corals photoacclimate to ensure a constant light-dependent rate of reduction of the plastoquinone pool across growth environments.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)77-88
    Number of pages12
    JournalMarine Ecology Progress Series
    Volume369
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2008

    Keywords

    • Zooxanthellae
    • Photoacclimation
    • Chlorophyll a fluorescence
    • Massive coral
    • Indo-Pacific

    Cite this

    Hennige, S. J., Smith, D. J., Perkins, R., Consalvey, M., Paterson, D. M., & Suggett, D. J. (2008). Photoacclimation, growth and distribution of massive coral species in clear and turbid waters. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 369, 77-88. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps07612