Bleaching, energetics, and coral mortality risk: Effects of temperature, light, and sediment regime

Anthony, Kenneth R. N., Connolly, Sean R. and Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove (2007) Bleaching, energetics, and coral mortality risk: Effects of temperature, light, and sediment regime. Limnology and Oceanography, 52 2: 716-726. doi:10.4319/lo.2007.52.2.0716

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Author Anthony, Kenneth R. N.
Connolly, Sean R.
Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove
Title Bleaching, energetics, and coral mortality risk: Effects of temperature, light, and sediment regime
Journal name Limnology and Oceanography   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0024-3590
Publication date 2007-03
Year available 2007
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.4319/lo.2007.52.2.0716
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 52
Issue 2
Start page 716
End page 726
Total pages 11
Place of publication Waco, TX, United States
Publisher American Society of Limnology and Oceanography
Collection year 2008
Language eng
Subject 270702 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl. Marine Ichthyology)
770306 Integrated (ecosystem) assessment and management
Abstract The most severe outcome of coral bleaching is colony mortality. However, the risk of mortality is one of the least understood consequences for reef corals under climate-change scenarios. Specifically, links among combinations of temperature anomalies, varying solar irradiance, reduced water quality, and mortality risks are unclear. Here, we analyze the effects of high temperature, irradiance, and sediment loading on coral survivorship in a controlled tank experiment using Acropora intermedia from the inner Great Barrier Reef lagoon. Survival analyses based on the fate of 1600 subcolonies revealed that temperature and sediment exerted strong effects on coral mortality risk. As expected, high temperature increased mortality risk at all light and sediment levels. However, high sediment reduced mortality under high temperature and/or high light, potentially by alleviating light pressure and by providing an alternative food source for bleached corals. A survivorship model using coral energy status (lipid stores) as a predictor variable provided an excellent fit to the data, suggesting that much of the variation in survivorship among treatments and over time can be explained by colony energetics. Our study provides a new framework for predicting coral mortality risk under complex bleaching scenarios in which multiple environmental variables are involved.
Keyword Limnology
Failure Time Analysis
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

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Created: Mon, 18 Feb 2008, 16:42:23 EST