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Effect of epibionts on the microdistribution of chlorophyll in corals and its detection by fluorescence spectral imaging

, : Effect of epibionts on the microdistribution of chlorophyll in corals and its detection by fluorescence spectral imaging. Ine Biology (berlin). 126(4): 757-763

The spatial distribution of chlorophyll in three coral species carrying invertebrate symbionts was determined using spectral imaging techniques. From each pixel of the image, full fluorescence spectral data was obtained as well as comparative ratios of fluorescence. The multipixel fluorescence map and the relative-intensity fluorescence ratios demonstrated a high concentration of chlorophyll a next to the pits of Cryptochirus coralliodytes in Favites halicora. Spectral similarity maps of Goniastrea retiformis infested with Lithophaga lessepsiana and of Millepora dichotoma infested with Savignium milleporum revealed relatively higher chlorophyll concentrations in these two corals next to the symbionts. We hypothesize that the invertebrate symbionts fertilize their immediate surroundings with their excreta, enhancing algal growth. The spectral analysis system used in this study made it possible to distinguish such changes by spatial quantitation of the fluorescence emitted from small surface areas.


DOI: 10.1007/bf00351342

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