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Can coral optics explain coral bleaching susceptibility?

Project Member(s): Larkum, A., Ralph, P.

Funding or Partner Organisation: Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (Consulta)

Start year: 2014

Summary: The main aim is to understand the role of coral tissue optics in coral bleaching. We will provide the first in vivo data on zooxanthellae light exposure during bleaching. Specifically, we will determine i) the intra-tissue coral light field and ii) the optical properties of coral tissue for several bleaching susceptible and bleaching resilient species during coral bleaching. We hypothesise that the optical properties of coral tissue are one of the key factors in determining the course and severity of bleaching and thus bleaching susceptibility of corals.


Wangpraseurt, D, Holm, JB, Larkum, AWD, Pernice, M, Ralph, PJ, Suggett, DJ & Kühl, M 2017, 'In vivo Microscale Measurements of Light and Photosynthesis during Coral Bleaching: Evidence for the Optical Feedback Loop?', Frontiers in Microbiology, vol. 8, no. JAN, pp. 1-12.
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Wangpraseurt, D, Pernice, M, Guagliardo, P, Kilburn, MR, Clode, PL, Polerecky, L & Kuehl, M 2016, 'Light microenvironment and single-cell gradients of carbon fixation in tissues of symbiont-bearing corals', ISME JOURNAL, vol. 10, no. 3, pp. 788-792.
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Keywords: corals, photosynthesis, climate change, photobiology, optics

FOR Codes: Ecosystem Adaptation to Climate Change, Effects of Climate Change and Variability on Australia (excl. Social Impacts), Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl. Marine Ichthyology), Global Change Biology, Invertebrate Biology, Invertebrate biology , Effects of climate change on Australia (excl. social impacts)