Interactive effects of oxygen, carbon dioxide and flow on photosynthesis and respiration in the scleractinian coral Galaxea fascicularis

Ronald Osinga*, Marlous Derksen-Hooijberg, Tim Wijgerde, Johan A.J. Verreth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Rates of dark respiration and net photosynthesis were measured for six replicate clonal fragments of the stony coral Galaxea fascicularis (Linnaeus 1767), which were incubated under 12 different combinations of dissolved oxygen (20%, 100% and 150% saturation), dissolved carbon dioxide (9.5 and 19.1 μmol l-1) and water flow (1-1.6 versus 4-13 cm s-1) in a repeated measures design. Dark respiration was enhanced by increased flow and increased oxygen saturation in an interactive way, which relates to improved oxygen influx into the coral tissue. Oxygen saturation did not influence net photosynthesis: neither hypoxia nor hyperoxia affected net photosynthesis, irrespective of flow and pH, which suggests that hyperoxia does not induce high rates of photorespiration in this coral. Flow and pH had a synergistic effect on net photosynthesis: at high flow, a decrease in pH stimulated net photosynthesis by 14%. These results indicate that for this individual of G. fascicularis, increased uptake of carbon dioxide rather than increased efflux of oxygen explains the beneficial effect of water flow on photosynthesis. Rates of net photosynthesis measured in this study are among the highest ever recorded for scleractinian corals and confirm a strong scope for growth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2236-2242
JournalJournal of Experimental Biology
Volume220
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Carbon dioxide
  • Coral
  • Flow
  • Oxygen
  • Photosynthesis
  • Respiration

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