Does light enhance calcification in hermatypic corals?

B. Rinkevich, Y. Loya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Calcification rates in different fragments along branches of the hermatypic coral Stylophora pistillata were tested in the laboratory using a new technique, the "optic glassfiber" method. By this method, the tested colony remains constantly in dark conditions while a narrow beam of light, transferred through the optic fiber, illuminates a small distinct point of coral tissue (on a branch tip or base). The selected illuminated portion of the branch serves as the experimental fragment, while all the other parts of the same colony serve as the dark controls. The results indicate that significantly more calcium is incorporated in the tip fragments than in the bases, both in light and in dark conditions (4.1 to 13.2 times more). Illumination of the tips or the bases did not stimulate or enhance the calcification rates of these fragments. Thus, in all colonies tested, the calcification rates of the illuminated fragments were not significantly different from the average rates of other similar, non-illuminated fragments of the same colony. It is suggested that light does not directly enhance calcification in hermatypic corals, but rather, that light enhances O2 production, which consequently stimulates coral metabolism. Our preliminary results indicate that calcification rates recorded in aerated dark experiments are significantly higher than calcification rates of non-aerated dark controls.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalMarine Biology
Volume80
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1984

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