Coral Studies

Measurement of bulk oxygen, pH and temperature in water tanks and of highly resolved gradients of oxygen and temperature above coral surfaces can be measured in situ and in the lab under controlled temperature and light conditions by using optical sensors from PyroScience. Some applications of our optical sensors and microprofiling set-ups in such studies are:

  • Measurement of oxygen fluxes in illuminated and dark-incubated fragments of hermatypic (reef-building) corals with photosynthetic endosymbionts (zooxanthellae)
  • Monitoring of oxygen and temperature in flow-chamber setups or aquaria with fragments of e.g. stony corals
  • Closed incubations of e.g. plating coral species for photosynthesis and respiration measurements by oxygen-respirometry
  • Determination of the effect of environmental parameters (e.g. temperature) and climate change on metabolism of e.g. scleractinian, branching stony corals in experimental tanks
  • Microprofiling above surfaces of hard corals to reveal gradients of oxygen and temperature and calculate oxygen fluxes
  • Investigation of coral photoacclimation and effects of light stress
  • Study of coral photobiology with incubation system to monitor the physiological response of isolated and cultured microalgal endosymbionts, i.e. dinoflagellates belonging to the genus Symbiodinium
  • Monitoring dynamic diurnal changes in oxygen, pH and temperature on coral reefs in situ

Contactless oxygen sensors from PyroScience feature non-invasive measurements in transparent vessels with contactless read-out from the outside through the vessel wall, thereby reducing the risk of leakage. They comprise sensor spots for oxygen, pH and temperature for fixation in vessels and closed chamber incubations. Fiber-optic retractable micro- and minisensors feature ultra-fast response times and high spatial resolution, specially suited for microprofiling above coral surfaces. All oxygen sensors from PyroScience can be read-out with our multi-channel PC-operated FireSting-O2, multi-analyte meter FireSting-PRO (also in combination with our optical pH sensors), or stand-alone with our pocket oxygen meter FireSting-GO2. For read-out of sensor spots through thick-walled chambers or bulk measurements with oxygen dipping probes (OPROB3), the ultra-compact USB-device PICO2 is available. For underwater measurements at in situ conditions, we now offer also an underwater logger AquapHOx in combination with a broad range of underwater sensors (with -SUB connector) like miniprobes for O2 and pH, minisensors for oxygen and temperature and microsensors for oxygen.

Applicable Sensor Types and Products

  • Incubations with optical oxygen, pH, temperature sensor spots (OXSP5, PHSP5, TPSP5) in closed chambers with accessories for contactless read-out
  • Retractable and Fixed Microsensors with optical isolation (OXR50-OI, OXF50-OI)
  • Retractable and Fixed Minisensors with optical isolation (OXR430-OI, OXF1100-OI)
  • Robust O2 Dipping Probe (OXROB3) with PICO-O2
  • Microprofiling set-up (MU1, MM33, MUX2, HS1, LS1)


Related Peer-Reviewed Publications

Spatiotemporal variability of oxygen concentration in coral reefs of Gorgona Island (Eastern Tropical Pacific) and its effect on the coral Pocillopora capitata
Castrillón-Cifuentes, A. L., Zapata, F. A., Giraldo, A., & Wild, C. (2023). PeerJ, 11, e14586.

Wild and nursery-raised corals: comparative physiology of two framework coral species
Gantt, S. E., Keister, E. F., Manfroy, A. A., Merck, D. E., Fitt, W. K., Muller, E. M., & Kemp, D. W. (2023). Coral Reefs, 1-12.

Phenotypic plasticity in coral skeletal features: Molecular signatures from DNA methylation and transcriptional interaction networks
Gomez-Campo, K., Sanchez, R., Martinez-Rugerio, M., Yang, X., Maher, T., Osborne, C., ... & Iglesias-Prieto, R. (2023). Authorea.

Rapid shifts in thermal reaction norms and tolerance of brooded coral larvae following parental heat acclimation
Jiang, L., Liu, C. Y., Cui, G., Huang, L. T., Yu, X. L., Sun, Y. F., ... & Huang, H. (2023). Molecular Ecology, 32(5), 1098-1116.

Symbiont composition and coral genotype determines massive coral species performance under end-of-century climate scenarios
Klepac, C. N., Eaton, K. R., Petrik, C. G., Arick, L. N., Hall, E. R., & Muller, E. M. (2023). Frontiers in Marine Science, Section Coral Reef Research.

Heat-stressed coral microbiomes are stable and potentially beneficial at the level of taxa and functional genes
Lima, L. F. O., Alker, A., Morris, M., Edwards, R., Putron, S. D., & Dinsdale, E. (2023).

Physiological Characterization of the Coral Holobiont Using a New Micro-Respirometry Tool
Quigley, K., Carey, N., & Roa, C. A. (2023). JoVE (Journal of Visualized Experiments), (194), e64812.

Physiological responses and adjustments of corals to strong seasonal temperature variations (20–28° C)
Sawall et al. 2022, Journal of Experimental Biology

Effects of Hypoxia on Coral Photobiology and Oxidative Stress
Deleja et al. 2022, Biology

Unfamiliar partnerships limit cnidarian holobiont acclimation to warming
Herrera et al. 2020, Global Change Biologyt

Ciliary vortex flows and oxygen dynamics in the coral boundary layer
Pacherres et al. 2020, Scientific Reports

Ocean acidification partially mitigates the negative effects of warming on the recruitment of the coral, Orbicella faveolata
Pitts et al. 2020, Coral Reefs

Surviving marginalized reefs: assessing the implications of the microbiome on coral physiology and survivorship
Roitman et al. 2020, Coral Reefs

Trophic ecology of Caribbean octocorals: autotrophic and heterotrophic seasonal trends
Rossi et al. 2020, Coral Reefs

Effects of Light Pollution on the Early Life Stages of the Most Abundant Northern Red Sea Coral
Tamir et al. 2020, Microorganisms

Bionic 3D printed corals
Wangpraseurt et al. 2020, Nature Communications

Copper enrichment reduces thermal tolerance of the highly resistant Red Sea coral Stylophora pistillata
Banc-Prandi & Fine 2019, Coral Reefs

Mass coral bleaching of P. versipora in Sydney Harbour driven by the 2015–2016 heatwave
Goyen et al. 2019, Coral Reefs

Bio-optical properties and radiative energy budgets in fed and unfed scleractinian corals (Pocillopora sp.) during thermal bleaching
Lyndby et al. 2019, Marine Ecology Progress Series   

Effects of variability in daily light integrals on the photophysiology of the corals Pachyseris speciosa and Acropora millepora
DiPerna et al., 2018, PLoSONE

Linking host morphology and symbiont performance in octocorals
Rossi et al., 2018, Scientific Reports

Evidence for water-mediated mechanisms in coral–algal interactions
Jorissen et al., 2016, Proceedings of the Royal Society B

In-vivo imaging of O2 dynamics on coral surfaces spray-painted with sensor nanoparticles
Koren et al. 2016, Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical

Photosynthetic Acclimation of Symbiodinium in hospite Depends on Vertical Position in the Tissue of the Scleractinian Coral Montastrea curta
Lichtenberg et al. 2016, Frontiers in Microbiology 

Heat generation and light scattering of green fluorescent protein-like pigments in coral tissue
Lyndby et al. 2016, Scientific Reports

Effects of High Dissolved Inorganic and Organic Carbon Availability on the Physiology of the Hard Coral Acropora millepora from the Great Barrier Reef
Meyer et al. 2016, PLOS ONE

Physiological and ecological performance differs in four coral taxa at a volcanic carbon dioxide seep
Strahl et al., 2015, Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology

Decreased light availability can amplify negative impacts of ocean acidification on calcifying coral reef organisms
Vogel et al. 2015, Marine Ecology Progress Series

Ocean acidification rapidly reduces dinitrogen fixation associated with the hermatypic coral Seriatopora hystrix
Rädecker et al., 2014, Marine Ecology Progress Series

Spectral Effects on Symbiodinium Photobiology Studied with a Programmable Light Engine
Wangpraseurt et al., 2014, PLOS One

Light gradients and optical microniches in coral tissues
Wangpraseurt et al. 2012, Frontiers in Microbiology

Coral larvae avoid substratum exploration and settlement in low-oxygen environments
Jorissen & Nugues, Coral Reefs

Discrete Pulses of Cooler Deep Water Can Decelerate Coral Bleaching During Thermal Stress: Implications for Artificial Upwelling During Heat Stress Events
Sawall et al. 2020, Frontiers in Marine Science

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