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Free Content Synergistic effect of high temperature and ultraviolet-B radiation on the gorgonian Eunicea tourneforti (Octocorallia: Alcyonacea: Plexauridae)

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The effects of temperature and ultraviolet-B (UV-B) on the density of symbiotic dinoflagellates in the gorgonian, Eunicea tourneforti (Milne, Edwards, and Haime) were tested in a controlled laboratory experiment. Four different temperatures (21.5, 26.5, 29, and 31.5 °C) and three different UV-B intensities (0.002, 1.50, and 2.80 Wm−2) were used in a fully factorial design. The effect of these treatments on algal symbiont density was monitored over a 35-d treatment period and a 31-d recovery period. Treatment at 31.5 °C caused significant decreases in densities of zooxanthellae in coral tissues by the end of the experimental period. While UV-B intensity alone did not cause a significant change in zooxanthellae densities, the 29.0 and 31.5 °C with 2.80 Wm−2 treatments had no survivors by day 35. Our results indicate that colonies of E. tourneforti lose a portion of their algal symbiont population upon exposure to temperatures ≥ 29.0 °C, and ultraviolet light (UV-B wavelengths of 2.80 Wm−2) exacerbates the stress on the symbiont population, contributing to bleaching.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2005

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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