Coloured Pigments and Coral Bleaching

Rupert Ormond rupert.ormond at
Thu May 30 04:34:14 EDT 2002

Dear Coral-Listers,

many THANKS to all those who reponded to my enquiry.  I'll try and
summarise the various information in due course, but meanwhile a few points
seem to have emerged strongly.
a) some corals have their own pigments in the ectodermal tissue, and some
apparently in the endoderm
b) it's generally presumed that the endodermal pigments can be lost along
with the zoox as the endodermal cells that carry them break down
c) clearly loss of these pigments doesn't always coincide with loss zoox,
since with mild bleaching partially bleached coral can be seen which may be
have lost one but not the other
d) in particular the flourescent pigments in some corals (especially
Acropora) may survive bleaching, giving them that "psychodelic glow" that
observers have described.



Dr. Rupert Ormond
University Marine Biological Station Millport,
Isle of Cumbrae,
UK  KA28 0EG

email: rupert.ormond at
tel: (44)-01475-530581
fax: (44)-01475-530601

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