Unravelling the role of zooxanthellae in the uptake and depuration of an essential metal in Exaiptasia pallida; an experiment using a model cnidarian
Hardefeldt, JM & Reichelt-Brushett, AM 2015, 'Unravelling the role of zooxanthellae in the uptake and depuration of an essential metal in Exaiptasia pallida; an experiment using a model cnidarian', Marine Pollution Bulletin, vol. 96, no. 1-2, pp. 294-303.
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Coral skeletons record historical trace metal levels in the environment, however, the use of coral skeletal records for biomonitoring studies mostly fail to consider the influence of metal regulation by the living components of coral and subsequent incorporation into the skeleton. This study presents Exaiptasia pallida as a representative of the living components of coral and shows metal partitioning between the tissue and zooxanthellae after chronic exposure to Zn. A strong tendency for preferential accumulation in the zooxanthellae occurred after 32 days exposure and Zn concentrations in tissue and zooxanthellae were 123.3 ± 0.7 mg kg−1 and 294.9 ± 8.5 respectively. This study shows zooxanthellae density plays an important role in controlling Zn loading in whole anemones and must be considered when investigating metal uptake and loading in zooxanthellate organisms. Further studies that investigate links between aragonite deposition rates and zooxanthellae density and incorporation pathways of metals into skeleton are warranted.