Importance of macro- versus microstructure in modulating light levels inside coral colonies

Kaniewska, Paulina, Magnusson, Sveinn H., Anthony, Kenneth R. N., Reef, Ruth, Kühl, Michael and Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove (2011) Importance of macro- versus microstructure in modulating light levels inside coral colonies. Journal of Phycology, 47 4: 846-860. doi:10.1111/j.1529-8817.2011.01021.x

Author Kaniewska, Paulina
Magnusson, Sveinn H.
Anthony, Kenneth R. N.
Reef, Ruth
Kühl, Michael
Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove
Title Importance of macro- versus microstructure in modulating light levels inside coral colonies
Journal name Journal of Phycology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0022-3646
Publication date 2011-08-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1529-8817.2011.01021.x
Volume 47
Issue 4
Start page 846
End page 860
Total pages 15
Place of publication San Marcos, Hoboken, NJ, U.S.A.
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Adjusting the light exposure and capture of their symbiotic photosynthetic dinoflagellates (genus Symbiodinium Freud.) is central to the success of reef-building corals (order Scleractinia) across high spatio-temporal variation in the light environment of coral reefs. We tested the hypothesis that optical properties of tissues in some coral species can provide light management at the tissue scale comparable to light modulation by colony architecture in other species. We compared within-tissue scalar irradiance in two coral species from the same light habitat but with contrasting colony growth forms: branching Stylophora pistillata and massive Lobophyllia corymbosa. Scalar irradiance at the level of the symbionts (2 mm into the coral tissues) were <10% of ambient irradiance and nearly identical for the two species, despite substantially different light environments at the tissue surface. In S. pistillata, light attenuation (90% relative to ambient) was observed predominantly at the colony level as a result of branch-to-branch self-shading, while in L. corymbosa, near-complete light attenuation (97% relative to ambient) was occurring due to tissue optical properties. The latter could be explained partly by differences in photosynthetic pigment content in the symbiont cells and pigmentation in the coral host tissue. Our results demonstrate that different strategies of light modulation at colony, polyp, and cellular levels by contrasting morphologies are equally effective in achieving favorable irradiances at the level of coral photosymbionts.
Keyword Irradiance
Scleractinian coral
Scleractinian Corals
Building Corals
Photochemical Efficiency
Photooxidative Stress
Microbial Communities
Genus Symbiodinium
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Global Change Institute Publications
Official 2012 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 21 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 21 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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