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Spectral Diversity and Regulation of Coral Fluorescence in a Mesophotic Reef Habitat in the Red Sea

Spectral Diversity and Regulation of Coral Fluorescence in a Mesophotic Reef Habitat in the Red Sea
Spectral Diversity and Regulation of Coral Fluorescence in a Mesophotic Reef Habitat in the Red Sea
The phenomenon of coral fluorescence in mesophotic reefs, although well described for shallow waters, remains largely unstudied. We found that representatives of many scleractinian species are brightly fluorescent at depths of 50–60 m at the Interuniversity Institute for Marine Sciences (IUI) reef in Eilat, Israel. Some of these fluorescent species have distribution maxima at mesophotic depths (40–100 m). Several individuals from these depths displayed yellow or orange-red fluorescence, the latter being essentially absent in corals from the shallowest parts of this reef. We demonstrate experimentally that in some cases the production of fluorescent pigments is independent of the exposure to light; while in others, the fluorescence signature is altered or lost when the animals are kept in darkness. Furthermore, we show that green-to-red photoconversion of fluorescent pigments mediated by short-wavelength light can occur also at depths where ultraviolet wavelengths are absent from the underwater light field. Intraspecific colour polymorphisms regarding the colour of the tissue fluorescence, common among shallow water corals, were also observed for mesophotic species. Our results suggest that fluorescent pigments in mesophotic reefs fulfil a distinct biological function and offer promising application potential for coral-reef monitoring and biomedical imaging.
1932-6203
e0128697
Eyal, Gal
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Wiedenmann, Jörg
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Grinblat, Mila
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D’Angelo, Cecilia
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Kramarsky-Winter, Esti
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Treibitz, Tali
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Ben-Zvi, Or
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Shaked, Yonathan
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Smith, Tyler B.
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Harii, Saki
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Denis, Vianney
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Noyes, Tim
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Tamir, Raz
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Loya, Yossi
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Eyal, Gal
da83d991-4ed9-44de-b90d-272036b54ad0
Wiedenmann, Jörg
ad445af2-680f-4927-90b3-589ac9d538f7
Grinblat, Mila
6612aa20-1ee8-4418-afda-9668b0886c87
D’Angelo, Cecilia
0d35b03b-684d-43aa-a57a-87212ab07ee1
Kramarsky-Winter, Esti
f4ee3b7b-46c1-43c7-8426-39433701db29
Treibitz, Tali
07879382-ab7c-4cf7-9430-212dc748ee6b
Ben-Zvi, Or
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Shaked, Yonathan
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Smith, Tyler B.
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Harii, Saki
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Denis, Vianney
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Noyes, Tim
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Tamir, Raz
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Loya, Yossi
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Eyal, Gal, Wiedenmann, Jörg, Grinblat, Mila, D’Angelo, Cecilia, Kramarsky-Winter, Esti, Treibitz, Tali, Ben-Zvi, Or, Shaked, Yonathan, Smith, Tyler B., Harii, Saki, Denis, Vianney, Noyes, Tim, Tamir, Raz and Loya, Yossi (2015) Spectral Diversity and Regulation of Coral Fluorescence in a Mesophotic Reef Habitat in the Red Sea. PLoS ONE, 10 (6), e0128697. (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0128697).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The phenomenon of coral fluorescence in mesophotic reefs, although well described for shallow waters, remains largely unstudied. We found that representatives of many scleractinian species are brightly fluorescent at depths of 50–60 m at the Interuniversity Institute for Marine Sciences (IUI) reef in Eilat, Israel. Some of these fluorescent species have distribution maxima at mesophotic depths (40–100 m). Several individuals from these depths displayed yellow or orange-red fluorescence, the latter being essentially absent in corals from the shallowest parts of this reef. We demonstrate experimentally that in some cases the production of fluorescent pigments is independent of the exposure to light; while in others, the fluorescence signature is altered or lost when the animals are kept in darkness. Furthermore, we show that green-to-red photoconversion of fluorescent pigments mediated by short-wavelength light can occur also at depths where ultraviolet wavelengths are absent from the underwater light field. Intraspecific colour polymorphisms regarding the colour of the tissue fluorescence, common among shallow water corals, were also observed for mesophotic species. Our results suggest that fluorescent pigments in mesophotic reefs fulfil a distinct biological function and offer promising application potential for coral-reef monitoring and biomedical imaging.

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Published date: 24 June 2015
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 378613
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/378613
ISSN: 1932-6203
PURE UUID: a7f2362a-d89c-452e-b718-ea9d2b7d4149
ORCID for Jörg Wiedenmann: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-2128-2943

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Date deposited: 01 Jul 2015 13:39
Last modified: 09 Jan 2022 03:24

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Contributors

Author: Gal Eyal
Author: Mila Grinblat
Author: Esti Kramarsky-Winter
Author: Tali Treibitz
Author: Or Ben-Zvi
Author: Yonathan Shaked
Author: Tyler B. Smith
Author: Saki Harii
Author: Vianney Denis
Author: Tim Noyes
Author: Raz Tamir
Author: Yossi Loya

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