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

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S.J. Hennige, D.J. Smith, R. Perkins, M Consalvey, David Maxwell Paterson, D.J. Suggett

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Abstract

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.
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-88
Number of pages12
JournalMarine Ecology Progress Series
Volume369
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Oct 2008

    Research areas

  • Chlorophyll a fluorescence, Zooxanthellae, PAM, Photoacclimation, Massive coral, Indo-Pacific, Shade-adapted colonies, Fast repetition rate, Measured in-situ, Stylophora-pistillata, Fluorescence measurements, Chlorophyll fluorescence, Photosynthetic activity, Community structure, Aquatic ecosystems, Hermatypic coral

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