SYNERGISTIC EFFECTS OF OCEAN WARMING AND ACIDIFICATION ON GROWTH AND SURVIVORSHIP OF COMMON REEF-BUILDING CORALS
Ongoing climate change is considered to be one of the greatest threats to the persistence of reef building corals. More specifically, increasing temperatures are expected to be compounded by ocean acidification, leading to declines in abundance and survivorship of corals. To determine how corals will respond to the combined effects of warming and ocean acidification, two common and fast growing Acropora corals (Acropra muricata and Acropora hyacinthus) were used in a fully factorial experimental study using three temperature treatments (26 °C, 28.5 ° C and 31 ° C) crossed with three levels of pCO2 (400 ppm, 675 ppm and 950 ppm). Future temperature stress caused a 10 % decline in survivorship, and 10-50 % decline in calcification across both coral species. End of century pCO2 reduced survivorship and over long-term lead to 50 % reduction in calcification. Therefore, temperature had a bigger negative effect than pCO2. Without adaptation or acclimation, branching corals species most sensitive to temperature stress and ocean acidification are likely to suffer from declines in health and survivorship that would drastically reduce reef complexity, and cause shifts in ecosystem function.
Anderson, K. D., ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University, Australia, email@example.com
Cantin, N. E., Australian Institute for Marine Science, Australia, firstname.lastname@example.org
Casey, J. M., ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University, Australia, email@example.com
Pratchett, M. S., ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University, Australia, firstname.lastname@example.org
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