A computerized tank system for studying the effect of temperature on calcification of reef organisms

Liat Abramovitch-Gottlib, David Katoshevski, Razi Vago

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    21 Scopus citations


    Mediated by algal symbionts, calcification in reef building corals is one of the important processes, which enable coral's growth. In the present study, we used a buoyant weighing technique to study calcification of two coralline species, Stylophora pistillata and the hydrocoral Millepora dichotoma. The colonies were grown in a tank system, in which light, nutrition and water motion were kept constant and temperature was elevated by means of a computerized controlled apparatus. An almost constant rate of calcification was observed in the two species at 22-28°C. Elevation of the temperature above this range to 29-31°C caused a slow down in calcification in both species. A grater number of S. pistillata colonies became bleached at temperatures of ≥29°C, whereas M. dichotoma colonies suffered from bleaching only after three days at 31°C. For both species, control groups, remained viable during the experimental period. The differences in responses to changes in temperature of the two species may be as a consequence of different adaptive mechanisms or to different susceptibilities of the corals to elevated temperatures. We have shown that elevating temperatures above annual maximal ranges have a significant effect on coral calcification. We also demonstrated that sessile calcified marine organisms having ecological and biomedical significance could be cultured and manipulated under laboratory conditions.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)245-252
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Biochemical and Biophysical Methods
    Issue number2-3
    StatePublished - 4 Jan 2002


    • Calcification
    • Coral bleaching
    • Coral reef
    • Global warming
    • Zooxanthellae

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Biophysics
    • Biochemistry


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