Marine Biodiversity

, Volume 48, Issue 1, pp 703–708 | Cite as

Presence of the reef-building coral, Porites panamensis, in a shallow hydrothermal field in the Gulf of California

  • Tatiana Oporto-Guerrero
  • Héctor Reyes-Bonilla
  • Lydia B. Ladah
Short Communication


The zooxanthellate coral, Porites panamensis, is one of the most common reef builders in the eastern Pacific. Field work and controlled experiments have shown that this species is remarkably resistant to extreme environmental conditions such as low salinity, low pH, and low omega aragonite. We report the presence of a population of P. panamensis living under anomalous conditions for a reef coral in the flow of a shallow hydrothermal vent system, with sediment temperatures higher than 50 °C, a pH below 7.5, and the continuous influence of water with abnormally high metal concentrations. The survival of this coral in this habitat might be due to the high genetic plasticity of both the host coral and its symbiont zooxanthellae.


Bahia Concepcion Omega aragonite Hot springs Metals Climate change 



This study was supported by projects 183534 (Fondo Ciencia Básica CONACYT, to HRB) and 646107 (Fondo Ciencia Básica CONACYT, to LBL). TOG was supported by a scholarship from CONACYT (number 300318). We would like to thank the members of the Reef Systems Lab (UABCS) and the Interdisciplinary Coastal Ecology Lab (ICE team-CICESE) for their support and help in the field, as well as the reviewer.


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Copyright information

© Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tatiana Oporto-Guerrero
    • 1
  • Héctor Reyes-Bonilla
    • 2
  • Lydia B. Ladah
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Oceanografía BiológicaCentro de Investigación Científica y de Educación Superior de Ensenada (CICESE)EnsenadaMexico
  2. 2.Departamento de Biología MarinaUniversidad Autónoma de Baja California SurLa PazMexico

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