Fidelity and flexibility in coral symbioses

Baird, A. H., Cumbo, V. R., Leggat, W. and Rodriguez-Lanetty, M. (2007) Fidelity and flexibility in coral symbioses. Marine Ecology-Progress Series, 347 307-309. doi:10.3354/meps07220

Author Baird, A. H.
Cumbo, V. R.
Leggat, W.
Rodriguez-Lanetty, M.
Title Fidelity and flexibility in coral symbioses
Journal name Marine Ecology-Progress Series   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0171-8630
Publication date 2007-10-11
Sub-type Editorial
DOI 10.3354/meps07220
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 347
Start page 307
End page 309
Total pages 3
Editor Kinne, O.
Place of publication Oldendorf, Germany
Publisher Inter-Research
Collection year 2008
Language eng
Abstract Understanding whether or not corals have the flexibility to change their complement of symbionts to adapt to changing climate is an important goal in reef ecology studies. While host fidelity to a single clade of symbiont is the dominant pattern in present-day corals, current estimates of flexibility are unreliable, because few studies have measured it rigorously and with adequately sensitive genetic techniques. Furthermore, flexibility must be explored at the level of the subclade, because generalisations of physiological performance among clades of Symbiodinium are not valid. In addition, we should not necessarily expect to see shifts among symbionts without distinct and enduring changes in environmental conditions. The few biogeographical comparisons available suggest that when corals encounter a new environment they have the flexibility to acquire different symbionts. Flexibility in the acquisition of symbionts is common at the time of infection, which in most corals occurs at, or shortly after, settlement. Consequently, flexibility is likely to be a feature of the life history of all species that must reacquire symbionts in each new generation.
Keyword Ecology
Marine & Freshwater Biology
coral reefs
climate change
Reef Corals
Scleractinian Corals
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

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Created: Mon, 18 Feb 2008, 15:40:18 EST