Marine Biology

, Volume 113, Issue 3, pp 357–361 | Cite as

Lipid content of some Caribbean corals in relation to depth and light

  • A. D. Harland
  • P. Spencer Davies
  • L. M. Fixter


Three procedures for the extraction of coral lipids were compared and a rapid and effective method for future use is suggested. This method was used to measure the lipid content of the branching coral Porites porites (Pallas) and the massive corals Montastrea annularis (Ellis and Solander) and Siderastrea siderea (Ellis and Solander) during July and August 1991. P. porites and M. annularis were sampled on two fringing reefs, each characterised by different water quality affecting light transmission, and at depths of down to 30 m on a barrier reef on the west coast of the island. m. annularis contained, on average, 29% of dry weight as lipid, and there were no significant differences in lipid levels between corals sampled on either fringing reef at 3 and 6 m, or between fringing reefs and the barrier reef at 13, 20 or 30 m depth. Five samples were also taken from a single massive colony of S. siderea at 3 m on a fringing reef and at 13, 20 and 30 m depth on the barrier reef. Values for lipid ranged from 26 to 35% of dry tissue weight. P. porites from 3 and 6 m depth on both fringing reefs contained the same amount of lipid (∼11% of dry tissue weight). However, at 13 m depth on the barrier reef this coral contained significantly less lipid (8.5% of dry tissue weight). This difference may be attributable to a higher nutritional intake by P. porites on the fringing reefs.


Lipid Water Quality Lipid Content West Coast Lipid Level 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. D. Harland
    • 1
  • P. Spencer Davies
    • 1
  • L. M. Fixter
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyThe UniversityGlasgowScotland
  2. 2.Department of BiochemistryThe UniversityGlasgowScotland

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