Photoacclimatory and photoprotective responses to cold versus heat stress in high latitude reef corals

Pontasch, Stefanie, Fisher, Paul L., Krueger, Thomas, Dove, Sophie, Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove, Leggat, William, and Davy, Simon K. (2017) Photoacclimatory and photoprotective responses to cold versus heat stress in high latitude reef corals. Journal of Phycology, 53 (2). pp. 308-321.

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Abstract

Corals at the world's southernmost coral reef of Lord Howe Island (LHI) experience large temperature and light fluctuations and need to deal with periods of cold temperature (< 18 degrees C), but few studies have investigated how corals are able to cope with these conditions. Our study characterized the response of key photophysiological parameters, as well as photoacclimatory and photoprotective pigments (chlorophylls, xanthophylls, and beta-carotene), to short-term (5-d) cold stress (similar to 15 degrees C; 7 degrees C below control) in three LHI coral species hosting distinct Symbiodinium ITS2 types, and compared the coral-symbiont response to that under elevated temperature (similar to 29 degrees C; 7 degrees C above control). Under cold stress, Stylophora sp. hosting Symbiodinium C118 showed the strongest effects with regard to losses of photochemical performance and symbionts. Pocillopora damicornis hosting Symbiodinium C100/C118 showed less severe bleaching responses to reduced temperature than to elevated temperature, while Porites heronensis hosting Symbiodinium C111* withstood both reduced and elevated temperature. Under cold stress, photoprotection in the form of xanthophyll deepoxidation increased in unbleached P. heronensis (by 178%) and bleached Stylophora sp. (by 225%), while under heat stress this parameter increased in unbleached P. heronensis (by 182%) and in bleached P. damicornis (by 286%). The xanthophyll pool size was stable in all species at all temperatures. Our comparative study demonstrates high variability in the bleaching vulnerability of these coral species to low and high thermal extremes and shows that this variability is not solely determined by the ability to activate xanthophyll de-epoxidation.

Item ID: 50387
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1529-8817
Keywords: Acropora yongei, coral bleaching, Lord Howe Island, photosynthesis, Pocillopora damicornis, Porites heronensis, Stylophora, Symbiodinium, xanthophyll de-epoxidation
Funders: Royal Society of New Zealand (RSNZ) Marsden Fund
Projects and Grants: RSNZ grant contract number VUW0902
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2017 08:28
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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