Most contemporary coral reefs live under both global (e.g. warming and acidification) and local (e.g. overfishing, pollution) stressors, which may synergistically undermine their resilience to thermal bleaching and diseases. While heavy metal toxicity in reefs has been well characterized, information on corals recovery from acute contamination is lacking. We studied for 42 days the ability of the coral Stylophora pistillata from the Gulf of Aqaba (northern Red Sea) to recover from a short (3 days) and prolonged (14 days) copper (Cu) contamination (1 μg L−1), after 11 (‘Exp3/D11’) and 28 (‘Exp14/D28’) days of depuration, respectively. Cu caused a decrease in chlorophyll content after 3 days, and in net photosynthesis (Pn) after 14 and 42 days. ‘Exp14/D28’ showed successful recovery based on Pn and relative electron transport rate, as opposed to ‘Exp3/D11’. Results suggest the depuration time may be of greater importance than the exposure period to recover from such contamination.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors would like to thank Dror Komet, Julie Charrier, Moty Ohevia, and the staff of the IUI for technical assistance. This study was funded in part by an Israel Science Foundation Grant ( 1794/16 ) and USAID MERC ( M38-013 ) to MF. On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd
- Copper contamination
- Red Sea
- Stylophora pistillata