, Volume 75, Issue 2-3, pp 113-116

Effects of carbon dioxide concentration on coral photosynthesis

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The effects of inorganic carbon concentrations on photosynthetic oxygen evolution of isolated zooxanthellae and coral tips from the hermatypic coral Seriatopora hystrix were measured in the laboratory using an oxygen electrode. Whole coral colonies of Stylophora pistillata were examined in situ, using a bioassay respirometer. Inorganic carbon concentrations above 2.3 mM, the ambient concentration of reef water, generally did not stimulate photosynthesis. These results indicate that inorganic carbon is not limiting to coral photosynthesis and that respiratory carbon dioxide production by the coral host probably has little effect on the photosynthetic rates of its symbiotic zooxanthellae.

Contribution No. 221 from the Department of Biology, The Pennsylvania State University
Communicated by S. K. Pierce, College Park