Coral illumination through an optic glass-fiber: incorporation of 14C photosynthates

B. Rinkevich, Y. Loya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The pathways of 14C incorporation into the three major compartments of the coral body were analysed in colonies of Stylophora pistillata. We used the "optic glass-fiber method" to carry out two sets of experiments: in the first, 11 different colonies were sampled immediately after incubation; in the second, 3 colonies were returned to the reef at the termination of incubation for a further period of 29 h. Within the tissue compartment, significantly more 14C labeled products were incorporated into illuminated tips or bases than into unilluminated sections. Tips located above illuminated bases contained amounts of 14C products similar to unilluminated tips. Within the organic matrix compartment, illumination of tip or base segments again resulted in increased amounts of 14C fixation, and again unilluminated tips located above the illuminated bases did not accumulate more 14C photosynthates than other tips on the same branches. The absence of detectable translocation was also confirmed after a post-incubation period of 29 h, and raises questions as to the validity of the widely accepted theory of "upward translocation". Within the skeletal carbonate compartment, although the results were associated with a high coefficient of variation, significantly more 14C accumulated in the tips than in the bases. Illumination of tips or bases did not enhance 14C uptake. A light-independent carbon assimilation (dark fixation) is significant in S. pistillata within the three tested compartments (the tissue, the organic matrix of the skeleton, and the skeletal carbonate). It is suggested that the dark fixation process in corals in a result of accumulation of respiratory CO2 and CO2 from sea water as malate or other titratable acids during the night. During the day these acids are broken down, releasing free CO2 for C3 pathway photosynthesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-15
Number of pages9
JournalMarine Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1984
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Aquatic Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Coral illumination through an optic glass-fiber: incorporation of 14C photosynthates'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this