Coral Reefs

, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 531–538 | Cite as

Dark calcification and the daily rhythm of calcification in the scleractinian coral, Galaxea fascicularis

  • F. A. Al-HoraniEmail author
  • É. Tambutté
  • D. Allemand


The rate of calcification in the scleractinian coral Galaxea fascicularis was followed during the daytime using 45Ca tracer. The coral began the day with a low calcification rate, which increased over time to a maximum in the afternoon. Since the experiments were carried out under a fixed light intensity, these results suggest that an intrinsic rhythm exists in the coral such that the calcification rate is regulated during the daytime. When corals were incubated for an extended period in the dark, the calcification rate was constant for the first 4 h of incubation and then declined, until after one day of dark incubation, calcification ceased, possibly as a result of the depletion of coral energy reserves. The addition of glucose and Artemia reduced the dark calcification rate for the short duration of the experiment, indicating an expenditure of oxygen in respiration. Artificial hypoxia reduced the rate of dark calcification to about 25% compared to aerated coral samples. It is suggested that G. fascicularis obtains its oxygen needs from the surrounding seawater during the nighttime, whereas during the day time the coral exports oxygen to the seawater.


Corals Galaxea fascicularis Calcification rhythm Dark calcification 



This study was funded in part by the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology-Bremen, Germany and the Monaco Scientific Center-Monaco. We would like to thank Dr. Dirk De Beer from the MPI-Bremen and Dr. Sylvie Tambutté from the Monaco Scientific Center for their help in logistics. We are also indebted to Mr. Dominique Desgré for his help in maintenance and preparation of the coral fragments.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Marine Science StationAqaba Jordan
  2. 2.Centre Scientifique de Monacoav. St MartinMonaco
  3. 3.UMR 1112 UNSA-INRANice Cedex 2France

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