Ocean acidification causes bleaching and productivity loss in coral reef builders

Anthony, K. R. N., Kline, D. I., Diaz-Pulido, G., Dove, S. and Hoegh-Guldberg, O. (2008) Ocean acidification causes bleaching and productivity loss in coral reef builders. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 105 45: 17442-17446. doi:10.1073/pnas.0804478105


Author Anthony, K. R. N.
Kline, D. I.
Diaz-Pulido, G.
Dove, S.
Hoegh-Guldberg, O.
Title Ocean acidification causes bleaching and productivity loss in coral reef builders
Journal name Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0027-8424
Publication date 2008-11-11
Year available 2008
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1073/pnas.0804478105
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 105
Issue 45
Start page 17442
End page 17446
Total pages 5
Place of publication Washington, DC, United States
Publisher National Academy of Sciences
Collection year 2009
Language eng
Subject C1
960399 Climate and Climate Change not elsewhere classified
040501 Biological Oceanography
0405 Oceanography
0501 Ecological Applications
Abstract Ocean acidification represents a key threat to coral reefs by reducing the calcification rate of framework builders. In addition, acidification is likely to affect the relationship between corals and their symbiotic dinoflagellates and the productivity of this association. However, little is known about how acidification impacts on the physiology of reef builders and how acidification interacts with warming. Here, we report on an 8-week study that compared bleaching, productivity, and calcification responses of crustose coralline algae (CCA) and branching (Acropora) and massive (Porites) coral species in response to acidification and warming. Using a 30-tank experimental system, we manipulated CO2 levels to simulate doubling and three- to fourfold increases [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projection categories IV and VI] relative to present-day levels under cool and warm scenarios. Results indicated that high CO2 is a bleaching agent for corals and CCA under high irradiance, acting synergistically with warming to lower thermal bleaching thresholds. We propose that CO2 induces bleaching via its impact on photoprotective mechanisms of the photosystems. Overall, acidification impacted more strongly on bleaching and productivity than on calcification. Interestingly, the intermediate, warm CO2 scenario led to a 30% increase in productivity in Acropora, whereas high CO2 lead to zero productivity in both corals. CCA were most sensitive to acidification, with high CO2 leading to negative productivity and high rates of net dissolution. Our findings suggest that sensitive reef-building species such as CCA may be pushed beyond their thresholds for growth and survival within the next few decades whereas corals will show delayed and mixed responses.
Keyword Climate change
Global warming
Carbon dioxide
Great Barrier Reef
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

 
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Created: Tue, 14 Apr 2009, 14:00:13 EST by Peter Fogarty on behalf of Faculty of Science