Hoog Antink, Marieke M., Röpke, Lisa, Bartels, Julia, Soltmann, Christian, Kunzmann, Andreas, Rezwan, Kurosch and Kroll, Stephen (2018) Porous ceramics with tailored pore size and morphology as substrates for coral larval settlement. Ceramics International, 44 (14). pp. 16561-16571. DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ceramint.2018.06.078.

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Abstract

The growing demand for stony corals as ornamental aquarium animals requires defined aquacultural breeding strategies. For the sexual propagation of corals, material substrates are needed, that attract larvae and support their settlement and development. In this study, five types of highly porous ceramic materials were developed following the example of coral skeleton. The applicability of these settlement substrates was tested using larvae of the stony coral Pocillopora damicornis. Partial sintering of pressed clay pellets, freeze casting of clay and alumina-mullite based slurries and direct foaming of high alkane phase emulsified suspensions (HAPES) using alumina were employed. By the addition of mm-sized spherical polystyrene beads as sacrificial templates during freeze casting (alumina-mullite), superficial pores in the size of the larvae were created. The inorganic substrates featured open porosities between 35% (pressed clay) and 83% (foamed alumina), pore sizes ranging from nm to mm-scale and pore morphologies dominated by interparticle porosity (pressed), lamellar pores (freeze casting) and cellular pore types (direct foaming). The ceramic substrates were incubated in artificial sea water for 3 months to induce necessary biofilm formation and algae growth. Afterwards, individual substrates were exposed to 5 coral larvae, and their settlement behavior was monitored over 14 days. At the end of this period, all ceramic materials were successfully accepted as settlement substrates, with a mean settlement rate of 46.2%, and no significant differences between the substrate types. On samples with large surface superficial pores, a significantly reduced survival of settled larvae (79%) compared to the other porous materials (93–98%) was determined, suggesting a non-ideal surface topography. While alumina foam samples (HAPES) exhibit the most promising results in terms of settlement and survival of larvae, clay-based substrates provide a more economic solution for the sexual propagation of corals in aquaculture.

Document Type: Article
Research affiliation: Ecology > Experimental Aquaculture
Affiliations > Not ZMT
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ceramint.2018.06.078
ISSN: 02728842
Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2019 16:17
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2020 12:58
URI: http://cris.leibniz-zmt.de/id/eprint/1990

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