Advertisement

Marine Biology

, Volume 152, Issue 2, pp 395–404 | Cite as

Photobiology of endolithic microorganisms in living coral skeletons: 1. Pigmentation, spectral reflectance and variable chlorophyll fluorescence analysis of endoliths in the massive corals Cyphastrea serailia, Porites lutea and Goniastrea australensis

  • P. J. Ralph
  • A. W. D. Larkum
  • M. Kühl
Research Article

Abstract

We used microscopy, reflectance spectroscopy, pigment analysis, and photosynthesis-irradiance curves measured with variable fluorescence techniques to characterise the endolithic communities of phototrophic microorganisms in the skeleton of three massive corals from a shallow reef flat. Microscopic observations and reflectance spectra showed the presence of up to four distinct bands of photosynthetic microorganisms at different depths within the coral skeleton. Endolithic communities closer to the coral surface exhibited higher photosynthetic electron transport rates and a green zone dominated by Ostreobium quekettii nearest the surface had the greatest chlorophyll pigment concentration. However, Ostreobium was also present and photosynthetically active in the colourless band between the coral tissue and the green band. The spectral properties and pigment density of the endolithic bands were also found to closely correlate to photosynthetic rates as assessed by fluorometry. All endolithic communities were extremely shade-adapted, and photosynthesis was saturated at irradiances <7 μmol photons m−2s−1.

Keywords

Reef Flat Coral Tissue Living Coral Green Band Coral Skeleton 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Abbreviations

ANOVA

Analysis of variance

CCD

Charge coupled device

Chl

Chlorophyll

Eb

Photoinhibition index

Ed

Downwelling irradiance

Ek

Minimum saturating irradiance

Em

Irradiance at maximum photosynthetic rate

ETR

Electron transport rate

Fm

Maximum fluorescence in dark

Fm′

Maximum fluorescence in light

Fo

Minimum fluorescence in dark

Ft

Minimum fluorescence in light

LED

Light emitting diode

PAR

Photosynthetically active radiation

Pm

Photosynthetic capacity at saturating irradiance

Ps

Scaling factor

PSII

Photosystem II

rETRmax

Relative maximum electron transport rate

RLC

Rapid light curve

α

Initial slope of RLC

β

Slope of RLC after photoinhibition

φPSII

Effective quantum yield

Notes

Acknowledgments

This study was supported by UTS Internal Funds, the Australian Research Council (PJR and AWDL) and the Danish Natural Science Research Council (MK). A. Glud is thanked for excellent technical assistance. We wish to thank the staff at Heron Island Research station for their support and assistance in this research. All work was carried out under Queensland National Parks and Wildlife Service collection permit G01/623. This is Contribution No. 2 of the Sydney Harbour Institute of Marine Science.

References

  1. Bak RPM, Laane WPM (1987) Annual black bands in skeletons of reef corals (Scleractinia). Mar Ecol Prog Ser 38:169–175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bellamy N, Risk MJ (1982) Coral gas: oxygen production in Millipora on the Great Barrier Reef. Sci NY 215:1618–1619CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Delvoye L (1992) Endolithic algae in living stony corals: algal concentrations under influence of depth-dependent light conditions and coral tissue fluorescence in Agarica agaricites (L.) and Meandrina meandrites (L.) (Scleractina, Anthozoa). Stud Nat Hist Caribb Reg 71:24–41Google Scholar
  4. Duerden JE (1902) Boring algae as agents in the disintegration of corals. Bull Am Mus Nat Hist 16:323–332Google Scholar
  5. Fine M, Loya Y (2001) Endolithic algae: an alternative source of photoassimilates during coral bleaching. Proc R Soc Lond B 269:1205–1210CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Fine M, Steindler L, Loya Y (2004) Endolithic algae photoacclimate to increased irradiance during coral bleaching. Mar Freshw Res 55:115–121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Fine M, Meroz-Fine E, Hoegh-Guldberg O (2005) Tolerance of endolithic algae to elevated temperature and light in the coral Montipora monasteriata from the southern Great Barrier Reef. J Exp Biol 208:75–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Fork DC, Larkum AWD (1989) Light harvesting in the green alga Ostreobium sp., a coral symbiont adapted to extreme shade. Mar Biol 103:381–385CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Genty B, Briantais JM, Baker NR (1989) The relationship between the quantum yield of photosynthetic electron transport and quenching of chlorophyll fluorescence. Biochim Biophys Acta 990:87–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Grunwald B, Kühl M (2004) A system for imaging variable chlorophyll fluorescence of aquatic phototrophs. Ophelia 58:79–89CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Halldal P (1968) Photosynthetic capacities and photosynthetic action spectra of endozoic algae of the massive coral Favia. Bull Mar Biol Lab Woods Hole 134:411–424CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Harrison WG, Platt T (1986) Photosynthesis–irradiance relationships in polar and temperate phytoplankton populations. Polar Biol 5:153–164CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Highsmith RC (1981) Lime-boring algae in hermatypic coral skeletons. J Exp Mar Biol 55:267–281CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Jeffrey SW (1968) Pigment composition of Siphonales algae in the brain coral Favia. Biol Bull 135:141–148CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Koehne B, Elli G, Jennings RC, Wilhelm C, Trissl H-W (1999) Spectroscopic and molecular characterization of a long wavelength absorbing antenna of Ostreobium sp. Biochim Biophys Acta 1412:94–107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kühl M, Jørgensen BB (1992) Spectral light measurements in microbenthic phototrophic communities with a fiber-optic microprobe coupled to a sensitive diode array detector. Limnol Oceanogr 37:1813–1823CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kühl M, Cohen Y, Dalsgaard T, Jørgensen BB, Revsbech NP (1995) The microenvironment and photosynthesis of zooxanthellae in scleractinian corals studied with microsensors for O2, pH and light. Mar Ecol Progr Ser 117:159–172CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kühl M, Lassen C, Revsbech NP (1997) A simple light meter for measurements of PAR (400–700 nm) with fiber-optic microprobes: application for P versus I measurements in microbenthic communities. Adv Microb Ecol 13:197–207CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kühl M, Glud RN, Borum J, Roberts R, Rysgaard S (2001) Photosynthetic performance of surface associated algae below sea ice as measured with a pulse amplitude modulated (PAM) fluorometer and O2 microsensors. Mar Ecol Progr Ser 223:1–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kühl M (2005) Optical microsensors for analysis of microbial communities. In: Leadbetter JR (ed) Environmental microbiology. Meth Enzym 397:166–199CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Le Campion-Alsumard T, Goubic S, Hutchings P (1995) Microbial endoliths in skeletons of live and dead corals: Porites lobata (Moorea, French Polynesia). Mar Ecol Progr Ser 117:149–157CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lukas KJ (1974) Two species of the chlorophyte genus Ostreobium from skeletons of Atlantic and Caribbean reef corals. J Phycol 10:331–335Google Scholar
  23. MacKinney G (1941) Absorption of light by chlorophyll solutions. J Biochem 140:322–355Google Scholar
  24. Magnusson SH, Fine M, Kühl M (2006) Light microclimate of endolithic phototrophs in the scleractian corals Montipora monasteriata and Porites cylindrica. Mar Ecol Progr Ser (in press)Google Scholar
  25. Odum HT, Odum EP (1955) Trophic structure and productivity of a windward coral reef community on Eniwetok Atoll. Ecol Monogr 25:291–320CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Platt T, Gallegos CL, Harrison WG (1980) Photoinhibition of photosynthesis in natural assemblages of marine phytoplankton. J Mar Res 38:687–701Google Scholar
  27. Priess K, Le Campion-Alsumard T, Golubic S, Gadel F, Thomassin BA (2000) Fungi in corals: black bands and density-banding of Porites lutea and P. lobata skeleton. Mar Biol 136:19–27CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Ralph PJ, Gademann R, Larkum AWD, Kühl M (2002) Spatial heterogeneity in active fluorescence and PSII activity of coral tissues. Mar Biol 141:639–646CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Ralph PJ, Gademann R (2005) Rapid light curves: a powerful tool for the assessment of photosynthetic activity. Aquat Bot 82:222–237CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Risk MJ, Müller HR (1983) Porewater in coral heads: evidence for nutrient regeneration. Limnol Oceanogr 28(5):1004–1008CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Salih A, Larkum A, Cox G, Kühl M., Hoegh-Guldberg O (2000) Fluorescent pigments in coral are photoprotective. Nature 408:850–853CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Schlichter D, Kampmann H, Conrady S (1997) Trophic potential and photoecology of endolithic algae living within coral skeletons. PSZN Mar Ecol 18:299–317CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Schreiber U, Gademann R, Ralph PJ, Larkum AWD (1997) Assessment of photosynthetic performance of Prochloron in Lissoclinum patella by in situ and in hospite chlorophyll fluorescence measurements. Plant Cell Physiol 38:945–951CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Schreiber U, Kühl M, Klimant I, Reising H (1996) Measurement of chlorophyll fluorescence within leaves using a modified PAM fluorometer with a fiber-optic microprobe. Photosynth Res 47:103–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Shashar N, Stambler N (1992) Endolithic algae within corals—life in an extreme environment. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 163:277–286CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Shashar N, Banaszak AT, Lesser MP, Amrami D (1997) Coral endolithic algae: life in a protected environment. Pac Sci 51:167–173Google Scholar
  37. Shibata K, Haxo FT (1969) Light transmission and spectral distribution through epi- and endozoic algal layers in the brain coral, Favia. Biol Bull 136:461–468CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Sokal RR, Rohlf FJ (1995) Biometry: the principles and practice of statistics in biological research. 3rd edn. WH Freeman and Co. New YorkGoogle Scholar
  39. Trissl H-W (2003) Modelling the excitation energy capture in thylakoid membranes. In: Larkum AWD, Douglas SE, Raven JA (eds) Photosynthesis in algae. Kluwer, Dordrecht, pp 245–276CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Ulstrup KE, Ralph PJ, Larkum AWD, Kühl M (2006) Intra-colonial variability in light acclimation of zooxanthellae in coral tissues of Pocillopora damicornis. Mar Biol 149:1325–1335CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Vooren CM (1981) Photosynthetic rates of benthic algae from the deep coral reef of Curacao. Aquat Bot 10:143–154CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Water and Environmental Resource Management, Department of Environmental SciencesUniversity of Technology, SydneySydneyAustralia
  2. 2.School of Biological SciencesUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia
  3. 3.Marine Biological Laboratory, Institute of BiologyUniversity of CopenhagenHelsingørDenmark

Personalised recommendations