Advertisement

Marine Biology

, Volume 148, Issue 3, pp 503–512 | Cite as

Ultraviolet radiation effects on the behavior and recruitment of larvae from the reef coral Porites astreoides

  • Daniel F. Gleason
  • Peter J. Edmunds
  • Ruth D. Gates
Research Article

Abstract

We tested the rarely considered hypothesis that the ultraviolet portion (UVR, 280–400 nm) of the light spectrum affects patterns of recruitment in reef-building corals. The premise for this hypothesis rests in the fact that biologically relevant intensities of UVR penetrate to considerable depths (>24 m) in the clear waters surrounding many coral reefs, and that reef organisms allocate substantial resources to prevent and repair UVR damage. The ability of larvae spawned by the brown morph of the Caribbean coral, Porites astreoides, to detect and avoid UVR was assessed in petri dishes where one-half of the dish was shielded from UVR and the other exposed. Observations made every 30 min between 10:30 and 13:30 h showed significantly higher densities of larvae swimming in regions shielded from UVR. To determine how this behavior affects settlement patterns, larvae collected from P. astreoides adults at 18 m depth were released into chambers deployed at 17 m depth where they were given a choice of three different light regions in which to settle: PAR (PAR=400–700 nm), PAR+UVAR (UVAR=320–400 nm), and PAR+UVAR+UVBR (UVBR=280–320 nm). At the end of the experiment, greater numbers of P. astreoides larvae had settled in the region of the tube where UVR was reduced than would be expected if dispersion were random. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration in any reef-building coral species that planula larvae can detect UVR and that it affects their choice of a settlement site. These results indicate that the capacity to detect and avoid habitats with biologically damaging levels of UVR may be one factor contributing to the successful recruitment of coral larvae.

Keywords

Coral Reef Settlement Chamber Coral Rubble Pelagic Larva Settlement Site 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgements

This study was funded by subcontract UNCW 9920 from the National Undersea Research Program at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington (Award No. NA96RU-0260) under a permit from the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS-99-031). We thank S. Miller and the NURP staff for making our research visits productive and enjoyable. Captain Dave Ward provided technical advice and support that was critical to the completion of the project. We are indebted to J.A. Idjadi, T. Prude, S. Schopmeyer, and C. Zilberberg for their enthusiasm and willingness to work long hours in the field. S. Tso assisted in the identification and quantification of the settled larvae and D. Gleason provided field support for collection of the light data. The Evolution and Ecology Journal Club in the Department of Biology at Georgia Southern University, especially R. Chandler, A. Harvey, and L. Leege, provided valuable comments on an earlier draft, as did one anonymous reviewer. This is contribution number 1205 of the Hawai’i Institute of Marine Biology.

References

  1. Babcock R, Mundy C (1996) Coral recruitment: consequences of settlement choice for early growth and survivorship in two scleractinians. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 206:179–201CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bak RPM, Engel MS (1979) Distribution, abundance, and survival of juvenile hermatypic corals (Scleractinia) and the importance of life history strategies in the parent coral community. Mar Biol 54:341–352CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Baker AC (1995) Solar UV-A inhibition of planula larvae in the reef-building coral Pocillopora damicornis. In: Gulko D, Jokiel PL (eds) Ultraviolet radiation and coral reefs. Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology Technical Report#41, UNIHI-Sea Grant-CR-95–03, pp 149–163Google Scholar
  4. Barnes DJ, Taylor DL (1973) In situ studies of calcification and photosynthetic carbon fixation in the coral Montastrea annularis. Helgolander wiss Meeresunters 24:284–291CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bertness MD, Gaines SD (1993) Larval dispersal and local adaptation in acorn barnacles. Evolution 47:316–320CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Birkeland C (1977) The importance of rate of biomass accumulation in early successional stages of benthic communities to the survival of coral recruits. In: Proceedings of the 3rd international Coral Reef Symposium 2:15–21Google Scholar
  7. Birkeland C, Rowley D, Randall RH (1981) Coral recruitment patterns at Guam. In: Proceedings of the 4th international Coral Reef Symposium 2:339–344Google Scholar
  8. Brazeau DA, Gleason DF, Morgan ME (1998) Self-fertilization in brooding hermaphroditic Caribbean corals: evidence from molecular markers. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 231:225–238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Carlon DB (2001). Depth-related patterns of coral recruitment and cryptic suspension-feeding invertebrates on Guana Island, British Virgin Islands. Bull Mar Sci 68:525–541Google Scholar
  10. Carlon DB, Olson RR (1993) Larval dispersal distance as an explanation for adult spatial pattern in two Caribbean reef corals. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 173:247–263CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Chalker BE, Taylor DL (1975) Light-enhanced calcification, and the role of oxidative phosphorylation in calcification of the coral Acropora cervicornis. Proc R Soc Lond B 190:323–331CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Connell JH (1978) Diversity in tropical rain forests and coral reefs. Science 199:1302–1310CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Crisp DJ (1974) Factors influencing the settlement of marine invertebrate larvae. In: Grant PT, Mackie AM (eds) Chemoreception in marine organisms. Academic, London, pp. 177–265Google Scholar
  14. Damkaer DM (1982) Possible influences of solar UV radiation in the evolution of marine zooplankton. In: Calkins J (ed) The role of solar ultraviolet in marine ecosystems. Plenum, New York, pp 701–706CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Duerden JE (1902) Aggregated colonies in madreporarian corals. Am Nat 36:461–471CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Dunlap WC, Shick JM (1998) Ultraviolet radiation absorbing mycosporine-like amino acids in coral reef organisms: a biochemical and environmental perspective. J Phycol 34:418–430CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Edmunds PJ, Gates RD, Gleason DF (2001) The biology of larvae from the reef coral Porites astreoides, and their response to temperature disturbances. Mar Biol 139:981–989CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Edmunds PJ, Gates RD, Leggat W, Hoegh-Guldberg O (2005) The effect of temperature on the size and population density of dinoflagellates in larvae from the reef coral Porites astreoides. Invertebr Biol 124:185–193CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Falkowski PG, Dubinsky Z, Muscatine L, Porter JW (1984) Light and the bioenergetics of a symbiotic coral. BioScience 34:705–709CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Fleischmann EM (1989) The measurement and penetration of ultraviolet radiation into tropical marine water. Limnol Oceanogr 34:1623–1629CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Gilmour J (1999) Experimental investigation into the effects of sediment on fertilization, larval survival and settlement in a scleractinian coral. Mar Biol 135:451–462CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Gleason DF (1993) Differential effects of ultraviolet radiation on green and brown morphs of the Caribbean coral Porites astreoides. Limnol Oceanogr 38:1452–1463CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Gleason DF (2001). Ultraviolet radiation and coral communities. In: Cockell CS, Blaustein AR (eds) Ecosystems, evolution, and ultraviolet radiation. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York, pp 118–149CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Gleason DF, Wellington GM (1993) Ultraviolet radiation and coral bleaching. Nature 365:836–838CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Gleason DF, Wellington GM (1995) Variation in UV-B sensitivity of planula larvae of the coral Agaricia agaricites along a depth gradient. Mar Biol 123:693–704CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Glynn PW (1976) Some physical and biological determination of coral community structure in the eastern Pacific. Ecol Monogr 46:431–456CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Harrington L, Fabricius K, De’ath G, Negri A (2004) Recognition and selection of settlement substrata determine post-settlement survival in corals. Ecology 85:3428–3437CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hodgson G (1985) Abundance and distribution of planktonic coral larvae in Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, Hawaii. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 26:61–71CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hodgson G (1990) Sediment and the settlement of larvae of the reef coral Pocillopora damicornis. Coral Reefs 9:41–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Hulburt CJ (1993) The adaptive value of larval behavior of a colonial ascidian. Mar Biol 115:253–262CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Huston MA (1985) Patterns of species diversity on coral reefs. Ann Rev Ecol Syst 16:149–177CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Irving AD, Connell SD (2002) Sedimentation and light penetration interact to maintain heterogeneity of subtidal habitats: algal versus invertebrate dominated assemblages. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 245:83–91CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Jensen RA, Morse DE (1984) Intraspecific facilitation of larval recruitment: gregarious settlement of the polychaete Phragmatopoma californica (Fewkes). J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 83:107–126CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Jensen RA, Morse DE (1990) Chemically induced metamorphosis of polychaete larvae in both the laboratory and ocean environment. J Chem Ecol 16:911–930CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Jerlov NG (1968) Optical oceanography. Elsevier, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  36. Jokiel PL, York RH (1982) Solar ultraviolet photobiology of the reef coral Pocillopora damicornis and symbiotic zooxanthellae. Bull Mar Sci 32:301–315Google Scholar
  37. Kawaguti S (1941) On the physiology of reef corals. V. Tropisms of coral planulae, considered as a factor of distribution of the reefs. Palao Trop Biol Sta Stud 2:319–328Google Scholar
  38. Keough MJ, Downes BJ (1982) Recruitment of marine invertebrates: the role of active larval choices and early mortality. Oecologia 54:348–352CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Kuffner IB (2001) Effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation on larval settlement of the reef coral Pocillopora damicornis. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 217:251–261CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Lee TN, Rooth C, Williams E, McGowan M, Szmant AF, Clarke ME (1992) Influence of Florida current, gyres, and wind-driven circulation on transport of larvae and recruitment in the Florida keys coral reefs. Cont Shelf Res 12:971–1002CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Lesser M (1995) General overview of instrumentation, experimental methods, and attenuation of UV radiation in natural waters. In: Gulko D, Jokiel PL (eds) Ultraviolet radiation and coral reefs. Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology Technical Report#41, UNIHI-Sea Grant-CR-95–03, pp 15–18Google Scholar
  42. Lesser MP (2000) Depth-dependent photoacclimitization to solar ultraviolet radiation in the Caribbean coral Montastraea faveolata. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 192:137–151CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Lewis JB (1974) The settlement behaviour of planulae larvae of the hermatypic coral Favia fragum (Esper). J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 15:165–172CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. MacKichan CA (2003) Effects of ultraviolet radiation on newly settled recruits of the reef-building coral Porites astreoides. M.S. Thesis, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA, pp 58Google Scholar
  45. Maida M, Coll JC, Sammarco PW (1994) Shedding new light on scleractinian coral recruitment. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 180:189–202CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Maldonado M, Young CM (1996) Effects of physical factors on larval behavior, settlement and recruitment of four tropical demosponges. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 138:169–180CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Masuda K, Goto M, Maruyama T, Miyachi S (1993) Adaption of solitary corals and their zooxanthellae to low light and UV radiation. Mar Biol 117:685–691CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Maughan BC (2001) The effects of sedimentation and light on recruitment and development of a temperate, subtidal, epifaunal community. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 256:59–71CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. McGuire MP (1998) Timing of larval release by Porites astreoides in the northern Florida Keys. Coral Reefs 17:369–375CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Morse DE, Hooker N, Morse ANC, Jensen RA (1988) Control of larval metamorphosis and recruitment in sympatric agariciid corals. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 116:193–217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Morse ANC, Iwao K, Baba M, Shimoike K, Hayashibara T, Omori M (1996) An ancient chemosensory mechanism brings new life to coral reefs. Biol Bull 191:149–154CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Muscatine L, Porter JW (1977) Reef corals: mutualistic symbioses adapted to nutrient-poor environments. BioScience 27:454–460CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Pechenik J (1999) On the advantages and disadvantages of larval stages in benthic marine invertebrate life cycles. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 177:269–297CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Pennington JT, Emlet RB (1986) Ontogenetic and diel vertical migration of planktonic echinoid larva, Dendraster excentricus (Eschscholtz): occurrence, causes, and probable consequences. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 104:69–95CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Raimondi PT (1991) Settlement behavior of Chthamalus anisopoma larvae largely determines the adult distribution. Oecologia 85:349–360CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Raimondi PT, Morse ANC (2000) The consequences of complex larval behavior in a coral. Ecology 81:3193–3211CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Richmond RH (1985) Reversible metamorphosis in coral planula larvae. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 22:181–185CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Roughgarden J, Gaines S, Possingham H (1988) Recruitment dynamics in complex life cycles. Science 241:1460–1466CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Sammarco PW (1982) Polyp bail-out: an escape response to environmental stress and a new means of reproduction in corals. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 10:57–65CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Sammarco PW (1980) Diadema and its relationship to coral spat mortality: grazing, competition, and biological disturbance. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 45:245–272CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Shick JM, Lesser MP, Dunlap WC, Stochaj WR (1995) Depth-dependent reponses to solar ultraviolet radiation and oxidative stress in the zooxanthellate coral Acropora microphthalma. Mar Biol 122:41–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Smith RC, Baker KS (1981) Optical properties of the clearest natural waters (200–800 nm). Appl Opt 20:177–184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Sokal RR, Rohlf FJ (1995) Biometry: the principles and practice of statistics in biological research, 3rd edn. W.H. Freeman and Company, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  64. Stake JL, Sammarco PW (2003) Effects of pressure on swimming behavior in planula larvae of the coral Porites astreoides (Cnidaria, Scleractinia). J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 288:181–201CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Svane I, Dolmer P (1995) Perception of light at settlement: a comparative study of two invertebrate larvae, a scyphozoan planula and a simple ascidian tadpole. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 187:51–61CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Szmant AM (1986) Reproductive ecology of Caribbean corals. Coral Reefs 5:43–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Taylor MS, Hellberg ME (2003) Genetic evidence for local retention of pelagic larvae in a Caribbean reef fish. Science 299:107–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Todd CM, Keough MJ (1994) Larval settlement in hard substratum epifaunal assemblages: a manipulative field study of the effects of substratum filming and the presence of incumbents. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 181:159–187CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Wellington GM, Fitt WK (2003) Influence of UV radiation on the survival of larvae from broadcast-spawning reef corals. Mar Biol 143:1185–1192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Williams DMcB, Wolanski E, Andrews JC (1984) Transport mechanisms and the potential movement of planktonic larvae in the central region of the Great Barrier Reef. Coral Reefs 3:229–236CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Wolanski E, Hamner WM (1988) Topographically controlled fronts in the ocean and their biological influence. Science 241:177–181CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Yakovleva I, Hidaka M (2004) Diel fluctuations of mycosporine-like amino acids in shallow-water scleractinian corals. Mar Biol 145:863–873CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Young CM (1990) Larval ecology of marine invertebrates—a sesquicentennial history. Ophelia 32:1–48CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Young CM, Chia FS (1984) Microhabitat-associated variability in survival and growth of subtidal solitary ascidians during the first 21 days after settlement. Mar Biol 81:61–68CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel F. Gleason
    • 1
  • Peter J. Edmunds
    • 2
  • Ruth D. Gates
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of BiologyGeorgia Southern UniversityStatesboroUSA
  2. 2.Department of BiologyCalifornia State UniversityNorthridgeUSA
  3. 3.Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, SOESTUniversity of HawaiiKaneoheUSA

Personalised recommendations