Larvae of the South Atlantic coral Favia gravida are tolerant to salinity and nutrient concentrations associated with river discharges
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Rivers release freshwater, nutrients and pollutants into reefs. This type of environmental stress reduces coral larvae settlement and alter its energy metabolism. We investigated the tolerance of Favia gravida (Scleractinia) larvae to river discharges. We exposed larvae to (i) different salinities (25, 30, 35 and 40 PSU); and (ii) dilutions of river water containing nutrients and metals (0, 20, 40, 60, 80 and 100% river water) under control salinity of 35 PSU. We then examined settlement and larval enzymatic activity. No differences in settlement were detected among salinities. Settlement was also similar to control for larvae under 100% river water. Enzymatic activity for citrate synthase remained unaltered for all treatments. Lactate dehydrogenase activity was slightly altered under different salinities, suggesting a mild stress response. Findings suggest that F. gravida larvae are tolerant to a wide range of salinity and nutrient conditions and that this is a stress-tolerant species.
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