Growth and bleaching of the coral Oculina patagonica under different environmental conditions in the western Mediterranean Sea

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Title: Growth and bleaching of the coral Oculina patagonica under different environmental conditions in the western Mediterranean Sea
Authors: Rubio-Portillo, Esther | Vázquez-Luis, Maite | Valle-Pérez, Carlos | Izquierdo Muñoz, Andrés | Ramos-Esplá, Alfonso A.
Research Group/s: Recursos Hídricos y Desarrollo Sostenible | Biología Marina
Center, Department or Service: Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Ciencias del Mar y Biología Aplicada
Keywords: Coral | Oculina patagonica | Growth | Bleaching | Mediterranean Sea
Knowledge Area: Zoología
Issue Date: Oct-2014
Publisher: Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Citation: Marine Biology. 2014, 161(10): 2333-2343. doi:10.1007/s00227-014-2509-4
Abstract: The success that the putative alien species Oculina patagonica is able to survive under different environmental conditions may be benefiting its establishment and spreading along the Mediterranean Basin. Our objectives were to determine the response of this species, in terms of growth and bleaching, under different environmental conditions. Field data on colony growth and bleaching were obtained for a period of 18 months (from June 2010 to December 2011), in the Alicante Harbour (38°20′11″N, 00°29′11″W) and the Marine Protected Area of Tabarca (38°09′59″N, 00°28′56″W). Additionally, data on sedimentation rates, chlorophyll a concentration and organic matter were also collected. Moreover, the role of light over growth and bleaching of the coral was also studied with a field experiment. Our results showed that growth rates were similar among localities (eutrophic and oligotrophic environments), decreasing with increasing perimeter of the colony. Growth rates were at a minimum during cold months (13 °C) and enhanced during warm months until a threshold temperature; thereafter, bleaching was observed (>28 °C), being adverse for coral growth. In addition, light attenuation could act such as local stress, increasing the coral bleaching with the increase in seawater temperature. Our findings confirmed that O. patagonica has a broad tolerance to seawater temperature, irradiance and trophic water conditions, in addition to its ability to thrive through bleaching events, mainly in eutrophic environments, probably related to food availability.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10045/44765
ISSN: 0025-3162 (Print) | 1432-1793 (Online)
DOI: 10.1007/s00227-014-2509-4
Language: eng
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Rights: The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00227-014-2509-4
Peer Review: si
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00227-014-2509-4
Appears in Collections:INV - BM - Artículos Científicos / Scientific Papers
INV - Recursos Hídricos y Desarrollo Sostenible - Artículos de Revistas

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