Brief Communication | Published:

Coral bleaching

Thermal adaptation in reef coral symbionts

Nature volume 430, page 742 (12 August 2004) | Download Citation

Subjects

Abstract

Many corals bleach as a result of increased seawater temperature, which causes them to lose their vital symbiotic algae (Symbiodinium spp.) — unless these symbioses are able to adapt to global warming, bleaching threatens coral reefs worldwide1,2,3. Here I show that some corals have adapted to higher temperatures, at least in part, by hosting specifically adapted Symbiodinium. If other coral species can host these or similar Symbiodinium taxa, they might adapt to warmer habitats relatively easily.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1.

    Mar. Freshwat. Res. 50, 839–866 (1999).

  2. 2.

    et al. Science 301, 929–933 (2003).

  3. 3.

    & Adv. Mar. Biol. 46, –223 (2003).

  4. 4.

    Ecology (submitted).

  5. 5.

    & J. Exp. Bot. 51, 659–668 (2000).

  6. 6.

    , & Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 96, 8007–8012 (1999).

  7. 7.

    & Plant Cell Envir. 24, 89–99 (2001).

  8. 8.

    , & Annu. Rev. Plant Physiol. Plant Mol. Biol. 45, 633–662 (1994).

  9. 9.

    et al. Plant Cell Envir. 24, 27–40 (2001).

  10. 10.

    , & Trends Plant Sci. 3, 224–230 (1998).

  11. 11.

    Annu. Rev. Ecol. Evol. Syst. 34, 661–689 (2003).

  12. 12.

    & Science 251, 1348–1351 (1991).

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

  1. University of Guam Marine Laboratory, Mangilao, Guam 96923, USA

    • Rob Rowan

Authors

  1. Search for Rob Rowan in:

Competing interests

The author declares no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Rob Rowan.

Supplementary information

Word documents

  1. 1.

    Supplementary Information

    Experimental materials and methods are described under the following headings: Collection and maintenance of corals; Measurement of temperature and irradiance; Experimental conditions; Experimental designs; Measurements of variable chlorophyll fluorescence; and Measurements of net photosynthesis and respiration.

About this article

Publication history

Published

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/430742a

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.