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Carbon translocation from symbiont to host depends on irradiance and food availability in the tropical coral Stylophora pistillata

Abstract : Reef-building corals live in symbiosis with dinoflagellates that translocate a large proportion of their photosynthetically fixed carbon compounds to their coral host for its own metabolism. The carbon budget and translocation rate, however, vary depending on environmental conditions, coral host species, and symbiont clade. To quantify variability in carbon translocation in response to environmental conditions, this study assessed the effect of two different irradiance levels (120 and 250 μmol photons m−2 s−1) and feeding regimes (fed with Artemia salina nauplii and unfed) on the carbon budget of the tropical coral Stylophora pistillata. For this purpose, H13CO3 −-enriched seawater was used to trace the conversion of photosynthetic carbon into symbiont and coral biomass and excrete particulate organic carbon. Results showed that carbon translocation (ca. 78 %) and utilization were similar under both irradiance levels for unfed colonies. In contrast, carbon utilization by fed colonies was dependent on the growth irradiance. Under low irradiance, heterotrophy was accompanied by lower carbon translocation (71 %), higher host and symbiont biomass, and higher calcification rates. Under high irradiance, heterotrophy was accompanied by higher rates of photosynthesis, respiration, and carbon translocation (90 %) as well as higher host biomass. Hence, levels of resource sharing within coral-dinoflagellate symbioses depend critically on environmental conditions.
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Submitted on : Monday, February 10, 2014 - 4:46:38 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, June 23, 2020 - 3:38:22 AM

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Pascale Tremblay, R. Grover, Jean-François Maguer, M. Hoogenboom, C. Ferrier-Pagès. Carbon translocation from symbiont to host depends on irradiance and food availability in the tropical coral Stylophora pistillata. Coral Reefs, Springer Verlag, 2014, 33 (1), pp.1-13. ⟨10.1007/s00338-013-1100-7⟩. ⟨hal-00944503⟩

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