Carbon translocation from symbiont to host depends on irradiance and food availability in the tropical coral Stylophora pistillata

Tremblay, P., Grover, R., Maguer, J.F., Hoogenboom, M., and Ferrier-Pagès, C. (2014) Carbon translocation from symbiont to host depends on irradiance and food availability in the tropical coral Stylophora pistillata. Coral Reefs, 33 (1). pp. 1-13.

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Abstract

Reef-building corals live in symbiosis with dinoflagellates that translocate a large proportion of their photosynthetically fixed carbon compounds to their coral host for its own metabolism. The carbon budget and translocation rate, however, vary depending on environmental conditions, coral host species, and symbiont clade. To quantify variability in carbon translocation in response to environmental conditions, this study assessed the effect of two different irradiance levels (120 and 250 μmol photons m−2 s−1) and feeding regimes (fed with Artemia salina nauplii and unfed) on the carbon budget of the tropical coral Stylophora pistillata. For this purpose, H13CO3− -enriched seawater was used to trace the conversion of photosynthetic carbon into symbiont and coral biomass and excrete particulate organic carbon. Results showed that carbon translocation (ca. 78 %) and utilization were similar under both irradiance levels for unfed colonies. In contrast, carbon utilization by fed colonies was dependent on the growth irradiance. Under low irradiance, heterotrophy was accompanied by lower carbon translocation (71 %), higher host and symbiont biomass, and higher calcification rates. Under high irradiance, heterotrophy was accompanied by higher rates of photosynthesis, respiration, and carbon translocation (90 %) as well as higher host biomass. Hence, levels of resource sharing within coral–dinoflagellate symbioses depend critically on environmental conditions.

Item ID: 31943
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1432-0975
Keywords: coral; autotrophy; photosynthate translocation; heterotrophy; Irradiance
Funders: CSM, Institut Universitaire Européen de la Mer, Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada
Projects and Grants: Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada Grant # ES D3-378797-2009
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2014 06:50
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0606 Physiology > 060604 Comparative Physiology @ 30%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050101 Ecological Impacts of Climate Change @ 40%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060203 Ecological Physiology @ 30%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960307 Effects of Climate Change and Variability on Australia (excl. Social Impacts) @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 50%
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