Experimental assessment of the feeding effort of three scleractinian coral species during a thermal stress: Effect on the rates of photosynthesis

Christine Ferrier-Pagès, Cécile Rottier, Eric Beraud, Oren Levy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

117 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study aimed at investigating changes in feeding rates of three scleractinian coral species (Stylophora pistillata, Turbinaria reniformis and Galaxea fascicularis) between control (26 °C) and short-term stress conditions (31 °C), and to assess the effect of feeding on the photosynthetic efficiency of the corals. Feeding rates varied according to the feeding effort of the corals, itself depending on the environmental conditions. Indeed, S. pistillata significantly decreased its feeding rates at 31 °C, while rates of T. reniformis and G. fascicularis were increased between 26 and 31 °C. Independently of the feeding rates, food supply helped in preventing damage to the photosynthetic apparatus of the zooxanthellae. Indeed, starved corals from the three species showed significant decrease in both the electron transport rates and in the photosynthetic rates, following a loss in the amount of chlorophyll and experiencing photoinhibition of the photosystem II. However, no bleaching was observed in heated fed corals, with no decrease in their photosynthetic efficiency or performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-124
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology
Volume390
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010

Keywords

  • Corals
  • Feeding
  • Heterotrophy
  • Photosynthesis

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