Coral Reefs

, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 187–191 | Cite as

The effect of seasonal temperature extremes on sediment rejection in three scleractinian coral species

  • A. Ganase
  • P. Bongaerts
  • P. M. Visser
  • S. G. Dove


Sedimentation from resuspension following storm surge is a natural occurrence on coral reefs, and scleractinian corals have adapted to effectively reject sediment. However, it is unclear whether the physical ability to reject sedimentation is affected during seasonal temperature extremes. We acclimated three coral species (Montipora aequituberculata, Lobophyllia corymbosa and Fungia fungites), with different active shedding mechanisms, to three temperature treatments (winter minimum, summer maximum and mean). Corals were then exposed to a sediment rejection experiment in which we measured clearance rates and tissue inflation cycles associated with the clearance of sediment. Temperature impacted clearing rates of M. aequituberculata, which exhibited significantly faster sediment rejection under winter temperatures. Fungia fungites, on the other hand, exhibited significantly higher tissue inflation rates under summer temperatures. Although limited in scope, this study demonstrates that temperature can have a strong effect on the response of corals to sedimentation.


Sedimentation Temperature Time-lapse Sediment rejection 



We thank Amanda Ford and Kyra Hay for support in the field, and Bert Hoeksema for verifying the Fungia identification. Special thanks to Robert Mason, Aaron Chai and Giovanni Bernal for advising and aiding in the experimental set-up. The study was funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC), Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef Studies (CE0561435). Finally, thank you to the reviewers for your feedback and comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Ganase
    • 1
  • P. Bongaerts
    • 2
    • 3
  • P. M. Visser
    • 4
  • S. G. Dove
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Biological SciencesThe University of QueenslandSt LuciaAustralia
  2. 2.Global Change InstituteThe University of QueenslandSt LuciaAustralia
  3. 3.ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef StudiesThe University of QueenslandSt LuciaAustralia
  4. 4.Department of Aquatic MicrobiologyUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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