Differential bleaching and recovery pattern of southeast Indian coral reef to 2016 global mass bleaching event: Occurrence of stress-tolerant symbiont Durusdinium (Clade D) in corals of Palk Bay.Mar Pollut Bull. 2019 Aug; 145:287-294.MP
Information about coral community response to bleaching on Indian reefs is much more limited compared with Indo-Pacific reefs, with no understanding of algal symbionts. We investigated a reef in Palk Bay to understand the coral community response to 2016 bleaching event and to reveal dominant symbiont type association in four common coral genera. Out of 508 colonies surveyed, we found 20.9% (106) mortality in 53.8% (n = 290) of bleached corals. We found differential bleaching and recovery pattern among coral genera. Bleaching was most prevalent in Acropora (86.36%), followed by Porites (65.45%), while moderate to no bleaching was recorded in Favites 5.88%, Symphyllia 51.11% and Favia 55.77%, Platygyra 41.67%, Goniastrea 41.83%. Pre-bleaching and post bleaching samplings revealed changes in dominant symbiont type following bleaching only in Acropora (Cladocopium, Clade C to Durusdinium Clade D) while no such changes were found in other coral genera hosted Clade D. This is the first observation of coral symbiont diversity in the Indian reef.