Temporal patterns in innate immunity parameters in reef-building corals and linkages with local climatic conditions

van de Water, Jeroen A.J.M., Lamb, Joleah B., Heron, Scott F., Van Oppen, Madeleine J.H., and Willis, Bette L. (2016) Temporal patterns in innate immunity parameters in reef-building corals and linkages with local climatic conditions. Ecosphere, 7 (11). e01505. pp. 1-16.

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Extremes in seasonal environmental conditions can significantly impact the health and physiological functioning of reef corals, underscoring the need for knowledge of seasonally specific baselines from which to monitor and forecast impending stress. Increases above summertime means in seawater temperature, sunlight intensity, turbidity, or sedimentation may reduce coral immunocompetency and increase disease and bleaching susceptibility. We analyzed temporal patterns in innate immunity parameters over nine time points throughout one year to establish baseline levels from which anomalies might be detected for representative species from three major reef-building coral families (Acroporidae, Faviidae, and Poritidae). Temporal patterns in both phenoloxidase activity and expression of green fluorescent protein-like proteins varied among the three families, as did overall constitutive levels. For example, Porites cylindrica had 2.8-fold higher yearly average levels of phenoloxidase activity than Acropora millepora, which had the lowest levels. In contrast, mean fluorescence was lowest in Acropora millepora and highest in Echinopora mammiformis. Relationships between the potential physical drivers (seasonal variation in seawater temperature, rainfall, salinity) and temporal patterns in these parameters also differed among the three species. For example, phenoloxidase activity was positively correlated with seawater temperature in A. millepora, but negatively correlated in both E. mammiformis and P. cylin-drica. Distinctions in constitutive levels and temporal patterns in these parameters among species suggest that corals from these three families have evolved different strategies for investing resources into innate immune parameters. Such differences highlight the need for species-specific baselines and long-term assessments to accurately predict coral reef trajectories in rapidly changing environments.

Item ID: 47347
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2150-8925
Keywords: chromoprotein, coral, fluorescence, green fluorescent protein-like proteins, immunity, indicator, phenoloxidase, prophenoloxidase, salinity, temperature
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This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2017 07:32
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410401 Conservation and biodiversity @ 50%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 100%
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