Brandtneris et al. 2016

scientific article | PLoS ONE | open access Open access small aa108fa7f478951c693af64a05bc4b46e6711dbb69a20809512a129d4d6b870f

Seasonal variability in calorimetric Energy Content of two Caribbean mesophotic corals

Brandtneris VW, Brandt ME, Glynn PW, Gyory J, Smith TB

Adobe pdf ff6e8bea21f0598930b59d2452bacbad49a13eb0fa773865059b4c2ed088a358
Www fec836ca290318f37dc3ecd481f22b98faf488d5ddef687807ca6b76d8e893ed
Gscholar 58dd9f05df3b8d1811d087e8507325500777053d6677b471fd75373a30a4cee1

Energetic responses of zooxanthellate reef corals along depth gradients have relevance to the refugia potential of mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs). Previous observations suggested that MCEs in the Caribbean are thermally buffered during the warmest parts of the year and occur within or just below the chlorophyll maximum, suggesting abundant trophic resources. However, it is not known if mesophotic corals can maintain constant energy needs throughout the year with changing environmental and biological conditions. The energetic content of tissues from the stony coral species Orbicella faveolata and Agaricia lamarcki was measured on the southern insular shelf of St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands (USVI), using micro-bomb calorimetry. Three sites for each species, at depths of 6m, 25m,38m and 63m, were selected to capture energetic differences across the major vertical range extent of both species in the USVI—and sampled over five periods from April 2013 to April 2014. Mesophotic colonies of O. faveolata exhibited a significant reduction in energetic content during the month of September 2013 compared to mid-depth and shallow colonies(p = 0.032), whereas A. lamarcki experienced similar energetic variability, but with a significant reduction in energy content that occurred in July 2013 for colonies at sites deeper than25m (p = 0.014). The results of calorimetric analyses indicate that O. faveolata may be at risk during late summer stress events, possibly due to the timing of reproductive activities.The low-point of A.lamarcki energy content, which may also coincide with reproduction,occurs prior to seasonal stress events, indicating contrasting, species-specific responses to environmental variability on MCEs.

Research sites

10.1371   journal.pone.0151953
Meta-data (pending validation)
Depth range
6- 63 m

Mesophotic “mentions”
72 x (total of 5609 words)

Physiology Long-term monitoring

Research focus
Scleractinia (Hard Corals)

US Virgin Islands

Research platforms
Diving (unspecified)
Author profiles
Viktor W Brandtneris ( 2 pubs)
Tyler Smith ( 20 pubs)