SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • Coral;
  • oxidative stress;
  • Pocillopora capitata;
  • temperature;
  • UV radiation

Abstract

The physiological responses of the coral Pocillopora capitata to environmental conditions common in winter and summer were studied in 2007 during February–March (winter) and June–July (summer) at La Boquita reef (Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico). Shallow and deep sampling stations were established at different distances from a small jetty built next to the Juluapan Lagoon. We analyzed superoxide radicals (inline image) and lipid peroxidants (TBARS); the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), glutathione reductase (GR), and glutathione-S-transferase (GST); chlorophyll a (Chl a), zooxanthellae density (ZD); and mycosporine-like amino acids (MAAs). Our results showed that the inline image, TBARS, CAT, GST, MAAs, and Chl a, levels were significantly higher in summer (P < 0.05); no seasonal difference was found for GPx, GR or ZD. We found significant differences (P < 0.05) in winter only for Chl a and ZD at shallow sites and, in contrast, for inline image at deeper sites. The results of this study indicate that increasing temperature and radiation associated with seasonal changes (from winter to summer), the efficiency of the enzymes GST, CR and GPX, and the production of MAAs together form a powerful mechanism for P. capitata to offset the detrimental effects of environmental change.