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Coral Larvae Fluorescence Color Could Predict Their Settling Behavior

By Shane Graber - Posted Feb 02, 2011 02:10 PM
Scientists have learned that the fluorescence color of coral larvae can highly predict whether or not certain colored coral larvae will settle out on cue or stay in the water column long term.
Coral Larvae Fluorescence Color Could Predict Their Settling Behavior

Red Acropora millepora (Credit: Mikhail Matz)

Research published on January 26, 2011 online in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences1 reports that scientists have discovered that when studying Acropora millepora they could statistically predict the settling behavior of the coral larvae based on the fluorescing proteins found in the larvae.

According to their data, A. millepora with significantly higher amounts of red fluorescing proteins are more likely to stay suspended in the water column and not settle out when given settling cues compared to their green fluorescing counterparts.  They are also reporting that based on this behavior that it might allow researchers to better understand the life history changes of corals and to learn more about physiology changes to corals due to coral warming.

(via ScienceDaily)

1. C. D. Kenkel, M. R. Traylor, J. Wiedenmann, A. Salih, M. V. Matz. Fluorescence of coral larvae predicts their settlement response to crustose coralline algae and reflects stress. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 2011. LINK

Author: Shane Graber
Location: Indiana

Shane has kept saltwater tanks for the last 12 years, is a research scientist, lives in northern Indiana, and is a proud Advanced Aquarist staffer.

Website: http://www.advancedaquarist.com/.

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