Coral Reefs

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 218–224

Calcification rate and the effect of temperature in a zooxanthellate and an azooxanthellate scleractinian reef coral


DOI: 10.1007/s00338-004-0369-y

Cite this article as:
Marshall, A. & Clode, P. Coral Reefs (2004) 23: 218. doi:10.1007/s00338-004-0369-y


Calcification rates, normalized to skeletal mass, in the zooxanthellate Galaxea fascicularis and the azooxanthellate Dendrophyllia sp. were similar over the whole temperature range of 18–29 °C. Calcification was measured by Ca45 incorporation in corals that were naturally acclimated to the prevailing seawater temperature. In both species maximum calcification rate occurred at about 25 °C and calcification rates can be fitted to a Gaussian distribution with respect to temperature. The similarity in temperature dependence of the zooxanthellate and azooxanthellate coral suggests that temperature affects some fundamental process of calcification that is independent of light effects. It is shown that two different populations of Galaxea fascicularis have distinctly different ratios of tissue protein to skeletal mass per polyp. This indicates that tissue protein may not be suitable for normalizing calcification rates in individual coral polyps, both within and between species. Intra- and interspecific comparisons of calcification rates may be better made on the basis of skeletal mass when polyps are similar in size and shape.



Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Analytical Electron Microscopy Laboratory, Department of ZoologyLa Trobe UniversityBundoora, MelbourneAustralia