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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 48(6)

Effects of cyanide on corals in relation to cyanide fishing on reefs

Ross J. Jones and Andrew L. Steven

Marine and Freshwater Research 48(6) 517 - 522
Published: 1997


Small fragments of the zooxanthellate corals Pocillopora damicornis and Porites lichen were subjected to a range of cyanide concentrations for various times (i.e. to various cyanide doses). Doses encompassed those likely to be experienced by corals as a result of various cyanide fishing practices. Following the highest doses, corals died; after medium doses, they lost their zooxanthellae (symbiotic algae) resulting in a discolouration or ‘bleaching’; and after the lowest doses they lost zooxanthellae but not in sufficient numbers to cause noticeable discolouration. Respiratory rates of P. damicornis were inhibited by 10–90% following exposure to cyanide but recovered to pre-exposure levels within 1–2 h after transfer to clean sea water.

Keywords: bleaching, zooxanthellae.

Full text doi:10.1071/MF97048

© CSIRO 1997

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