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Comparative sensitivity of six scleractinian corals to temperature and solar radiation
FOURNIE, J. W., D. VIVIAN, S. H. YEE, L. A. COURTNEY, AND M. G. BARRON. Comparative sensitivity of six scleractinian corals to temperature and solar radiation. DISEASES OF AQUATIC ORGANISMS. Inter-Research, Luhe, Germany, 99(2):85-93, (2012).
Evaluate the role of high temperature and irradiance on bleaching, survival, and recovery among six species of scleractinian corals.
Scleractinian corals were subjected to six combinations of temperature and solar radiation regimes to evaluate their effects on coral bleaching, survival, and tissue surface area changes during and after an exposure period. A recirculating coral exposure system was coupled to a solar simulator to allow laboratory testing of six species of Caribbean corals (Diploria clivosa, Montastrea faveolata, Porites divaricata, Stephanocoenia intersepta, Siderastrea radians, S. siderea) to different combinations of temperature and solar radiation. Significant bleaching occurred in all corals exposed to high irradiance except S. siderea based on visual observations. Elevated light levels also resulted in a decrease in photosynthetic efficiency for all species during the exposure period, with S. siderea showing the smallest decrease. The most prominent reductions in photosynthetic efficiency occurred in M. faveolata and S. intersepta and these were also the most susceptible species to bleaching, exhibiting extensive tissue loss and the highest mortality. Changes in tissue surface area were readily identified by the 2-dimensional method employed for estimating tissue growth.