Life History Changes in Coral Fluorescence and the Effects of Light Intensity on Larval Physiology and Settlement in Seriatopora hystrix

TitleLife History Changes in Coral Fluorescence and the Effects of Light Intensity on Larval Physiology and Settlement in Seriatopora hystrix
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsRoth MS, Fan TY, Deheyn DD
JournalPlos One
Volume8
Date Published2013/03
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number1932-6203
Accession NumberWOS:000317480700032
Keywordscensus techniques; gene-expression; gfp-like proteins; planula larvae; pocillopora-damicornis; red-sea; reef-building corals; scleractinian corals; southern; taiwan; uv-radiation
Abstract

Fluorescence is common in both coral adult and larval stages, and is produced by fluorescent proteins that absorb higher energy light and emit lower energy light. This study investigated the changes of coral fluorescence in different life histo stages and the effects of parental light environment on larval fluorescence, larval endosymbiotic dinoflagellate abundance, larval size and settlement in the brooding coral Seriatopora hystrix. Data showed that coral fluorescence changed during development from green in larvae to cyan in adult colonies. In larvae, two green fluorescent proteins (GFPs) co-occur where the peak emission of one GFP overlaps with the peak excitation of the second GFP allowing the potential for energy transfer. Coral larvae showed great variation in GFP fluorescence, dinoflagellate abundance, and size. There was no obvious relationship between green fluorescence intensity and dirioflagellate abundance, green fluorescence intensity and larval size, or dinoflagellate abundance and larval size. Larvae of parents from high and low light treatments showed similar green fluorescence intensity, yet small but significant differences in size, dinoflagellate abundance, and settlement. The large variation in larval physiology combined with subtle effects of parental environment on larval characteristics seem to indicate that even though adult corals produce larvae with a wide range of physiological capacities, these larvae can still show small preferences for settling in similar habitats as their parents. These data highlight the importance of environmental conditions at the onset of life history and parent colony effects on coral larvae.

DOI10.1371/journal.pone.0059476
Integrated Research Themes: 
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