Kinetics of photoacclimation in corals

Anthony, Kenneth R.N., and Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove (2003) Kinetics of photoacclimation in corals. Oecologia, 134 (1). pp. 23-31.

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Traditional models describing the relationship between photosynthesis (P) and irradiance (I) do not account for photoacclimation to short-term variation in irradiance. Here we develop and test a model that predicts the rate of photosynthesis under fluctuating irradiances at the scale of days to weeks. Using oxygen respirometry, we measured the rates of change in the P-I model parameters Pmax (maximum rate of gross photosynthesis) and Ik (sub-saturation irradiance) of the photo-symbiotic coral Turbinaria mesenterina (Lamarck) following large and small increases and decreases in growth irradiance. We analyse the behaviour of the dynamic P-I model in turbid-water conditions using a dataset of 3-month continuous irradiance as the input variable. In response to upward or downward changes in experimental growth irradiance, Ik values decreased or increased exponentially, reaching new and stable levels within 5-10 days. Ik responded 4 times stronger than Pmax to changes in growth irradiance. The kinetics of Ik did not show hysteresis, and changed in similar ways when irradiance was increased or decreased in small or large amounts. This suggests that mechanisms associated with photo-protection during increases in irradiance, and the maximisation of photosynthetic efficiency during decreases in irradiance, are equally potent. On the scale of months, the dynamic P-I model did not predict higher rates of photosynthesis than the static P-I model, but buffered the variation in photosynthesis during periods of reduced irradiance. Fourier analysis indicated that the kinetics of Ik closely matches the main periodicities in daily irradiance (1-2 weeks). The recorded kinetics of photoacclimation in the Turbinaria-zooxanthella symbiosis is comparable to that of free-living phytoplankton and faster than that of higher plants.

Item ID: 1474
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1432-1939
Keywords: hermatypic coral, photosynthesis, scleractinia, turbidity, zooxanthellae
Date Deposited: 31 May 2007
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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