Tolerance to thermal stress and dominant symbiont community
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Tolerance to thermal stress and dominant symbiont community

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    "Reef building corals are in a mutualistic symbiosis with single-celled dinoflaggelates of the genus Symbiodinium. Several different clades of Symbiodinium associate with coral,...with each clade having unique physiological characteristics that enable the coral symbiosis to be successful in a wide range of environmental conditions...But this successful symbiosis is threatened by climate change. Elevated seawater temperatures can disrupt the symbiosis and cause coral bleaching this has led to mass coral mortality on reefs worldwide...By changing the symbionts corals might be able to increase their thermal threshold...or might be able to recover after a bleaching event with an increased tolerance...To establish tolerance and relate it to the ability to change symbiont community the dominant clade of symbionts in 9 species of coral prior, and post experimental bleaching was established. To quantify tolerance, thermal stress was increased weekly and the photosynthetic efficiency of the symbionts in the corals was quantified using Pulse amplitude modulated (PAM) fluorometry...We found that corals prior to bleaching contain an uniform symbiont community, dominated by one Symbiodinium type. After being severely bleached residual symbionts remaining were not the same as those that originally dominated the colony; and the residual symbionts that were left in bleached tissue were not always the same type, BOTh within and between species"--Introduction.
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