Environmental controls on the establishment and development of algal symbiosis in corals

Baird, A.H., Bhagooli, R., Nonaka, M., Yakovleva, I., Yamamoto, H.H., Hidaka, M., and Yamasaki, H. (2010) Environmental controls on the establishment and development of algal symbiosis in corals. In: Proceedings of the 11th International Coral Reef Symposium, pp. 108-112. From: 11th International Coral Reef Symposium, 07 - 11 July 2008, Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA.

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Abstract

Coral reefs are under severe threat from changing climate, yet little is known about how environmental variables affect the establishment and development of coral symbiosis. Here, we use a coral larval model to test whether temperature affects the establishment and development of symbiosis using three different strains of algal symbionts (zooxanthellae) with contrasting thermal tolerance. We also compare the growth of these clades within the larval host, Acropora intermedia, and follow the survival of three different larval holobionts under three different temperatures (26, 30 and 34°C). Initial rates of infection were influenced by temperature in two of the three clades: in clade C9b infection rates peaked at 30°C, while in clade A6 infection rates declined with increasing temperature. Infection by clade C1 zooxanthellae was uniformly low. The thermal tolerance of the zooxanthellae did not appear to influence survival of the holobiont, however, at high temperature larvae with high densities of zooxanthellae had lower survival, suggesting zooxanthellae may be an added burden to larvae when under stress.

Item ID: 15552
Item Type: Conference Item (Refereed Research Paper - E1)
Keywords: coral reefs, climate change, larval ecology, reproductive biology, symbiosis
Date Deposited: 08 May 2011 23:20
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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