Microscopic observation of symbiotic and aposymbiotic juvenile corals in nutrient-enriched seawater

Yasuaki Tanaka, Akira Iguchi, Mayuri Inoue, Chiharu Mori, Kazuhiko Sakai, Atsushi Suzuki, Hodaka Kawahata, Takashi Nakamura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Symbiotic and aposymbiotic juvenile corals, which were grown in the laboratory from the gametes of the scleractinian coral Acropora digitifera and had settled down onto plastic culture plates, were observed with a microscope under different nutrient conditions. The symbiotic corals successfully removed the surrounding benthic microalgae (BMA), whereas the aposymbiotic corals were in close physical contact with BMA. The areal growth rate of the symbiotic corals was significantly higher than that of the aposymbiotic corals. The addition of nutrients to the culture seawater increased the chlorophyll a content in the symbiotic coral polyps and enhanced the growth of some of the symbiotic corals, however the average growth rate was not significantly affected, most likely because of the competition with BMA. The comparison between the symbiotic and aposymbiotic juvenile corals showed that the establishment of a symbiotic association could be imperative for post-settlement juvenile corals to survive in high-nutrient seawater.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-98
Number of pages6
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 15 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Benthic microalgae
  • Calcification
  • Juvenile coral
  • Nutrient enrichment
  • Photosynthesis
  • Zooxanthellae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Pollution


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