Recovery ability of thermally stressed captive Coral Anthelia spp., as measured by dinoflagellate density
dinoflagellate, coral recovery, coral bleaching, thermal stress, density
Warming ocean temperatures are leading to an increase in coral bleaching events. These rising temperatures are fatal to coral species as they disrupt the symbiotic relationship between corals and dinoflagellates. Among other factors, thermal stress results in dinoflagellate damage and the loss of these symbionts. The recovery ability of corals exposed to this stress is a small area of research within the larger body of coral conservation. This study aims to add to that field by examining how soft corals, specifically Anthelia spp., react to thermal stresses. Over a nine- week period, 4 different experimental tanks will be raised from 28o to 32oC before returning to 28C to observe recovery potential. Dinoflagellate density was examined twice per week using a maceration method on tissue samples, viewed under a compound microscope. These densities were used as an indication of coral health and successful recovery. Expanding the knowledge of the recovery ability of soft corals is imperative to continuing the existence of these species.
Presented on April 21, 2022 at Student Research Day held at MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta.
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