Publications:

Dustan 1982


scientific article | Mar Biol

Depth-dependent photoadaption by zooxanthellae of the reef coral Montastrea annularis

Dustan P


Abstract

Zooxanthellae living in colonies of the Caribbean reef coral Montastrea annularis photoadapt to depth-dependent attenuation of submarine light. Studies carried out at Discovery Bay, Jamaica, show that in shallow-living coral colonies, the zooxanthellae appear photoadapted to function at high light intensities, and do poorly if transplanted to low light intensities; in contrast, zooxanthellae in deeper-living coral colonies can be damaged by high light intensities. The adaptation to decreasing light intensity and changing spectral quality appears to be accomplished by increasing the size of the photosynthetic unit (PSU), as opposed to increasing the number of PSU's per cell. Whole cell absorption increases with depth, partially offsetting the loss of light energy due to depth-dependent attenuation. Calculations of photosynthetically usable radiation, the light an alga is capable of absorbing in its own submarine habitat, suggest that the algae at different depths are optimizing rather than maximizing their ability to harvest submarine light energy.

Research sites
Keywords
Meta-data
Depth range
0- 60 m

Mesophotic “mentions”
0 x (total of 5186 words)

Classification
* Presents original data
* Focused on `mesophotic` depth range
* Focused on `mesophotic coral ecosystem`

Fields
Physiology
Community structure
Ecology

Focusgroups
Scleractinia (Hard Corals)
Symbiodinium (zooxanthellae)

Locations
Jamaica

Platforms
SCUBA (open-circuit or unspecified)
In-situ instrumentation

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