Navigation Links
Deep-reef coral hates the light, prefers the shade
Date:10/16/2011

Coral reefs are among the most diverse ecosystems on the planet, second only to tropical rain forests. Bird's nest coral (Seriatopora hystrix) is common throughout the Indo-Pacific and is able to live across a range of depths. However, there is little gene flow between the coral populations at each depth and even the algal endosymbionts (Symbiodinium), which provide energy for the corals to survive, are genetically different across habitats. New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology used genetic and photosynthetic analyses to demonstrate that these genetic differences reflect adaptations to the different environmental conditions encountered at different depths.

A team of researchers from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and The University of Queensland looked at coral populations from three habitats on coral reefs: the sheltered back reef (Back Reef), the wave-exposed top of the reef slope (Upper Slope) and the dimly lit deeps (Deep Slope). Despite the fact that corals in the Deep Slope habitat only receive a fraction of the light available in shallow habitats (about 10 times less), the coral S. hystrix was found to be far more abundant at these depths and was also observed to grow faster. Transplantation of coral fragments to different habitats did not alter the algae-host symbiosis. Dr. Sophie Dove explained, "The corals we looked at exhibited distinct physiological strategies - while normally corals are dependent on light for their energy requirements, the deep corals, appeared to have adapted to low light conditions by having an increased capacity to exploit nutrients and plankton."

Dr Pim Bongaerts, lead author of the paper, continued, "The different selective pressures across reef environments pose an ecological barrier to migration and further promote genetic divergence of these coral populations by limiting the extent of interbreeding. This case study of S. hystrix clearly shows how ecological processes of selection can play an important role in the diversification of corals."


'/>"/>
Contact: Dr Hilary Glover
hilary.glover@biomedcentral.com
44-020-319-22370
BioMed Central
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Modest CO2 cutbacks may be too little, too late for coral reefs
2. Diversity of plant-eating fishes may be key to recovery of coral reefs
3. Rare corals breed their way out of trouble
4. Cold water corals conference to be held in Woods Hole
5. Coral reefs found growing in cold, deep ocean
6. Light pollution offers new global measure of coral reef health
7. Time running out on coral reefs as climate change becomes increasing threat
8. First-ever socioeconomic study on coral reefs points to challenges of coastal resource management
9. 4 years after tsunami: Corals stage comeback
10. Large sponges may be reattached to coral reefs
11. Study says middle class coral reef fish feel the economic squeeze
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/2/2016)... , Feb. 2, 2016  BioMEMS ... are primarily focused on medical screening and ... point-of-care parameters. Wearable devices that facilitate and ... freedom of movement are being bolstered through ... human biomedical signal acquisition coupled with wireless ...
(Date:2/2/2016)... Feb. 2, 2016 Technology Enhancements Accelerate Growth of ... of the digital and computed radiography markets in ... and Indonesia (TIM). It provides ... size, as well as regional market drivers and restraints. ... market penetration and market attractiveness, both for digital and ...
(Date:2/1/2016)... 1, 2016 Rising sales of ... global touchfree intuitive gesture control market size ... sales of consumer electronics coupled with new technological advancements ... size through 2020   --> ... new technological advancements to drive global touchfree intuitive gesture ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/4/2016)... and MENLO PARK, Calif. , ... DMPI) ("DelMar" and the "Company"), a biopharmaceutical company focused on ... that it will present at the 18 th ... 8, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. EST in New ... DelMar,s president and CEO, will provide an update on the ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... , Feb. 4, 2016  Spherix Incorporated (Nasdaq: ... the fostering and monetization of intellectual property, today provided ... Uniden in the Northern District of Texas ... forward.  Inter Partes Re-examination ("IPR") ... Patent Office.  The IPR was initiated on only certain ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... Strasbourg, France , to the US ... Strasbourg, France , to the US company Advanced Bioscience ... announce that it acted as an advisor to Transgene on ... Strasbourg, France , to the US company Advanced Bioscience ... Transgene (Euronext: TNG), a member of Institut Mérieux, is ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... , Feb. 3, 2016  Discovery Laboratories, Inc. ... on developing aerosolized KL4 surfactant therapies for respiratory ... has approved an inducement award as a component ... its newly appointed President and Chief Executive Officer.  ... Committee on February 1, 2016 and granted as ...
Breaking Biology Technology: