Metabolic performance and thermal and salinity tolerance of the coral Platygyra carnosa in Hong Kong waters

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

3 Scopus Citations
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  • Ryan H.L. Tsang
  • Put Ang Jr
  • Jiajun Wu
  • Mark L. Wells


Original languageEnglish
Article number111005
Journal / PublicationMarine Pollution Bulletin
Online published29 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


Stress-tolerant coral species, such as Platygyra spp., are considered to be well adapted to survive in marginal reefs, but their physiological response to short term exposure to abnormally high temperature and lowered salinity remains poorly understood. Using non-invasive techniques to quantitatively assess the health of Platygyra carnosa (e.g. respiration, photosynthesis, biocalcification and whiteness), we identified the plasticity of its energetics and physiological limits. Although these indicators suggest that it can survive to increasing temperature (25–32 °C), its overall energetics were seriously diminished at temperatures >30 °C. In contrast, it was well adapted to hyposaline waters (31–21 psu) but with reduced biocalcification, indicating short term adaptation for expected future changes in salinity driven by increased amounts and intensities of precipitation. Our findings provide useful insights to the effect of these climate drivers on P. carnosa metabolism and thus better forecast changes in their health status under future climate change scenarios.

Research Area(s)

  • Coral physiology, Energetics, Hong Kong, Climate change, Metabolic performance