Temperature is an important physical parameter to all life, not the least of which corals, and coral fluorescence is really important to us reefers. As it turns out, coral fluorescence and temperature are intimately linked with coral health, in tangible ways that the home aquarists can see.
using daylight spectrum and fluorescence exciting light, researchers working with Acropora yongei, aka the Green Slimer, treated samples to highs and low temperature stress to determine how it would affect coral color and fluorescence. In both stressful temperature treatments the intensity of the coral fluorescence decreased while the control coral fluorescence increased.
Most interestingly, the researcher noted that the photobiology of the zooxanthellae growing inside corals is positively correlated with the presence of GFP. Better yet, the degree of fluorescence was most strongly linked with the growth rate of the SPS coral studied. Any average aquarist could have told you that fast growing corals equals colorful, fluorescent corals but it’s nice to see the scientists catch up. For full details on the coral temperature-fluorescence study see the entire paper by Roth & Deheyn on Nature.