Marine Biology

, Volume 160, Issue 3, pp 563–577 | Cite as

PSII activity and pigment dynamics of Symbiodinium in two Indo-Pacific corals exposed to short-term high-light stress

  • Wiebke E. KrämerEmail author
  • Verena Schrameyer
  • Ross Hill
  • Peter J. Ralph
  • Kai Bischof
Original Paper


This study examined the capacity for photoprotection and repair of photo-inactivated photosystem II in the same Symbiodinium clade associated with two coexisting coral species during high-light stress in order to test for the modulation of the symbiont’s photobiological response by the coral host. After 4 days exposure to in situ irradiance, symbionts of the bleaching-sensitive Pocillopora damicornis showed rapid synthesis of photoprotective pigments (by 44 %) and strongly enhanced rates of xanthophyll cycling (by 446 %) while being insufficient to prevent photoinhibition (sustained loss in F v/F m at night) and loss of symbionts after 4 days. By contrast, Pavona decussata showed no significant changes in F v/F m, symbiont density or xanthophyll cycling. Given the association with the same Symbiodinium clade in both coral species, our findings suggest that symbionts in the two species examined may experience different in hospite light conditions as a result of different biometric properties of the coral host.


Coral Species Lincomycin Effective Quantum Yield Coral Host Symbiotic Dinoflagellate 
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.



We are grateful to Malin Gustafsson for valuable field assistance and to the staff of Heron Island Research Station for their support. Furthermore, we would like to thank the anonymous reviewers and Dr. David Suggett for their detailed critical comments and suggestions on earlier versions of this paper. This study was financially supported by the Comprehensive Research Funding Programme (CRFP) at the University of Bremen (Project No. 02/115/06). We also thanks support by the Bremen International Graduate School for Marine Sciences (GLOMAR) that is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) within the frame of the Excellence Initiative by the German federal and state governments to promote science and research at German universities. Further, this project was supported by means of the Terry Walker Price awarded by the Australian Coral Reef Society (ACRS) to Verena Schrameyer in 2010. Corals were collected under Great Barrier Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) permit number G09/30854.1.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wiebke E. Krämer
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Verena Schrameyer
    • 2
  • Ross Hill
    • 2
    • 4
  • Peter J. Ralph
    • 2
  • Kai Bischof
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Marine BotanyUniversity of BremenBremenGermany
  2. 2.Plant Functional Biology and Climate Change Cluster, Department of Environmental SciencesUniversity of TechnologySydneyAustralia
  3. 3.Laboratorio de Fotobiología, Unidad Académica de Sistemas Arrecifales (Puerto Morelos), Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y LimnologíaUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoCancúnMexico
  4. 4.Centre for Marine Bio-Innovation and Sydney Institute of Marine Science, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental SciencesThe University of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

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