Coral Reefs

, Volume 30, Supplement 1, pp 57–69 | Cite as

Metabolic plasticity of the corals Porites lutea and Diploastrea heliopora exposed to large amplitude internal waves

  • C. RoderEmail author
  • C. Jantzen
  • G. M. Schmidt
  • G. Kattner
  • N. Phongsuwan
  • C. Richter


The metabolic plasticity of the two mounding coral species Porites lutea (Milne-Edwards and Haime, 1860) and Diploastrea heliopora (Lamarck, 1816) was investigated in the Similan Islands (Thailand), an offshore Andaman Sea island group subjected to large amplitude internal waves (LAIW). Nutrient concentrations were highly correlated with LAIW intensity and contributed to 3- and 10-fold higher symbiont densities in P. lutea and D. heliopora, respectively, along with elevated pigment concentrations, protein content, host tissue, and symbiont biomass. The comparison of LAIW-exposed and LAIW-sheltered island faces, and LAIW-intense and LAIW-weak years suggests a species-specific metabolic plasticity to LAIW, where D. heliopora benefits more from increased nutrient and organic matter availability than P. lutea. The ubiquitous LAIW in Southeast Asia and beyond may provide so far unexplored clues to coral acclimatization to disturbances on various scales, and hence, a potential key to coral resilience to climate change.


Large amplitude internal waves Coral metabolism Disturbance Acclimatization Porites lutea Diploastrea heliopora 



Research was funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG Förderkennzeichen RI 1074/7-1) and the National Research Council of Thailand (NRCT). The authors would like to thank the Phuket Marine Biological Center and the National Park Mu Koh Similan staff for field support, as well as Somkiat Khokiattiwong for coordination, and Dorothee Dasbach and Kai-Uwe Ludwichowski for laboratory assistance. We thank Dr. Clifford Hearn and three anonymous reviewers for useful comments and suggestions improving the manuscript.

Supplementary material

338_2011_722_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (320 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 321 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Roder
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • C. Jantzen
    • 1
    • 3
  • G. M. Schmidt
    • 1
  • G. Kattner
    • 2
  • N. Phongsuwan
    • 4
  • C. Richter
    • 1
  1. 1.Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine ResearchBremerhavenGermany
  2. 2.Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine ResearchBremerhavenGermany
  3. 3.Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Ecology, ZMTBremenGermany
  4. 4.Phuket Marine Biological CenterPhuketThailand

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