Rates of apical septal extension of Desmophyllum dianthus: effect of association with endolithic photo-autotrophs


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Claudio.Richter [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

It has been hypothesized that endolithic photo- autotrophs inside the skeleton of cold-water corals may have a mutualistic relationship with the coral host posi- tively affecting coral calcification. This study investigated the effect of endolithic photo-autotrophs on the apical septal extension of the cold-water coral Desmophyllum dianthus at Fjord Comau, southern Chile (42.41°–42.15°S, 72.5°W). The fluorescent staining agent calcein was used to document the linear apical extension of septae for a period of one and a half years between 2006 and 2007. The results showed a severe reduction in extension rates asso- ciated with the presence of endolithic photo-autotrophs. Infested individuals grew about half as fast as non-infested polyps with a median value of 1.18 lm day-1 compared to 2.76 lm day-1. Contrary to the initial hypothesis, these results point toward a parasitic relationship between D. dianthus and its endolithic photo-autotrophs potentially impairing coral fitness. However, further data on physio- logical parameters and other aspects of the calcification process are necessary to confirm these findings.



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ISI/Scopus peer-reviewed
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Published
Eprint ID
33932
DOI 10.1007/s00227-013-2281-x

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Hassenrück, C. , Jantzen, C. , Försterra, G. , Häussermann, V. and Willenz, P. (2013): Rates of apical septal extension of Desmophyllum dianthus: effect of association with endolithic photo-autotrophs , Marine Biology . doi: 10.1007/s00227-013-2281-x


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