Photosymbiosis and the Evolution of Modern Coral Reefs

  title={Photosymbiosis and the Evolution of Modern Coral Reefs},
  author={George D. Stanley},
  pages={857 - 858}
  • G. Stanley
  • Published 12 May 2006
  • Environmental Science
  • Science
The algae in coral reefs do not leave behind fossils, so deciphering their coevolution with corals is difficult. Isotope measurements can help reveal these ancient relationships. 
Evolution: Serving Up Light
Photosymbiosis has been an important process in the evolution of ancient reef systems and in reef success today, and analysis of organisms and reefs through geologic time permits assessment of the strength of photosymbiotic as a driving force.
The Evolution of the Coral–Algal Symbiosis
The fossil record chronicles the rise, fall, and recovery of reefs. It is a sobering record because of the longevity of post-extinction global reef gaps and the length of time before reef recovery.
Carbon cycling in the Caribbean reef-building coral Orbicella: Quantitative evidence for enzymatic control of skeletal density banding and coral-endosymbiont physiological plasticity during seasonal environmental change
  • C. Miller
  • Geography, Environmental Science
  • 2014
Although modern Metazoan corals construct Earth’s wave-resistant coral reefs, serve as a cornerstone of marine ecology, and may help mitigate the accumulation of greenhouse gases by building a
Could ‘Ecosystem Atavisms’ Help Reefs to Adapt to the Anthropocene ?
Reef evolution since the Proterozoic is characterized by a long-term increase of reef system modules (microbial, soft/spiculed sponges, calcifying sponges, heterorophic metazoans, photosymbiotic
Evidence of photosymbiosis in Palaeozoic tabulate corals
  • M. Zapalski
  • Environmental Science, Geography
    Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
  • 2014
The δ18O to δ13C ratios in recent photosymbiotic scleractinians are very similar to those of Palaeozoic tabulates, thus providing strong evidence of such symbioses as early as the Middle Silurian (ca 430 Ma).
Evolutionary significance of the microbial assemblages of large benthic Foraminifera
  • M. Prazeres, W. Renema
  • Environmental Science, Geography
    Biological reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
  • 2019
It is concluded that the microbiome, which includes both algal and bacterial partners, is a key factor influencing the evolution of LBF, and allowed them to become the most important calcifiers on shallow platforms worldwide during periods of ocean warming in the geologic past.
Incidence and identity of photosynthetic symbionts in Caribbean coral reef sponge assemblages
  • P. Erwin, R. Thacker
  • Environmental Science
    Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
  • 2007
Molecular phylogenies reveal that S. spongiarum represents a sponge-specific Synechococcus lineage, distinct from free-living cyanobacteria, which suggests a major role of this cyanobacterium in sponge ecology and primary productivity on coral reefs.


Coral bleaching: Thermal adaptation in reef coral symbionts
  • R. Rowan
  • Environmental Science
  • 2004
It is shown that some corals have adapted to higher temperatures, at least in part, by hosting specifically adapted Symbiodinium, which might help them adapt to warmer habitats relatively easily.
Evolution of the coral-zooxanthellae symbiosis during the Triassic: a geochemical approach
Scleractinian corals first appeared during Triassic time in tropical shallow water envi- ronments. Controversy surrounds the paleoecology of scleractinian corals of the Late Triassic. Were they like
Do some corals like it hot?
Stable isotopes (δ13C and δ15N) of organic matrix from coral skeleton
The results show that symbiotic algae augment coral calcification by contributing to the synthesis of skeletal OM and that they may have done so as early as the Triassic.
Coral reefs: Corals' adaptive response to climate change
Corals containing unusual algal symbionts that are thermally tolerant and commonly associated with high-temperature environments are much more abundant on reefs that have been severely affected by recent climate change, indicating that these devastated reefs could be more resistant to future thermal stress.
"Species" radiations of symbiotic dinoflagellates in the Atlantic and Indo-Pacific since the Miocene-Pliocene transition.
  • T. Lajeunesse
  • Environmental Science, Biology
    Molecular biology and evolution
  • 2005
Phylogeographic evidence suggests that a worldwide selective sweep of C1/C3, or their progenitor, must have occurred before both oceans separated, suggesting a radical process through which coral-algal symbioses respond and persist through the vicissitudes of planetary climate change.
Nutrient excess and the demise of coral reefs and carbonate platforms
Growth rates of corals on Holocene reefs indicate that carbonate platforms should easily keep pace with long-term subsidence and sea-level changes, yet drowned reefs and platforms are common in the
Subdivision of the dinoflagellate cyst Family Suessiaceae and discussion of its evolution
On the basis of the morphology of the five suessiacean genera, a subdivision of the family into two new subfamilies is proposed and these are the Late Triassic Suessioideae and the Early Jurassic Umbriadinoideae.
Fluctuating algal symbiont communities in Acropora palifera (Scleractinia: Acroporidae) from Taiwan
Direct tracking of tagged corals provided evidence that seasonal fluctuations in the algal symbiont communities not only involve changes in zooxanthellae densities and pigment contents, but also a reshuffle of different Symbiodinium phylotypes, highlighting that stress tolerance among phylotypes urgently needs to be re-evaluated through a better understanding of the physiological traits of symbionts.
Phanerozoic reef patterns
Detecting patterns and processes of ecosystem evolution is among the main challenges of an integrated earth system science in the 21st century. The evolution of reefs reflects changes triggered by