High CO2 enhances the competitive strength of seaweeds over corals

Diaz-Pulido, Guillermo, Gouezo, Marine, Tilbrook, Bronte, Dove, Sophie and Anthony, Kenneth R. N. (2011) High CO2 enhances the competitive strength of seaweeds over corals. Ecology Letters, 14 2: 156-162. doi:10.1111/j.1461-0248.2010.01565.x

Author Diaz-Pulido, Guillermo
Gouezo, Marine
Tilbrook, Bronte
Dove, Sophie
Anthony, Kenneth R. N.
Title High CO2 enhances the competitive strength of seaweeds over corals
Formatted title
High CO2 enhances the competitive strength of seaweeds over corals
Journal name Ecology Letters   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1461-023X
Publication date 2011-02
Year available 2010
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2010.01565.x
Open Access Status
Volume 14
Issue 2
Start page 156
End page 162
Total pages 7
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Space competition between corals and seaweeds is an important ecological process underlying coral-reef
dynamics. Processes promoting seaweed growth and survival, such as herbivore overfishing and eutrophication,
can lead to local reef degradation. Here, we present the case that increasing concentrations of atmospheric CO2
may be an additional process driving a shift from corals to seaweeds on reefs. Coral (Acropora intermedia)
mortality in contact with a common coral-reef seaweed (Lobophora papenfussii) increased two- to threefold
between background CO2 (400 ppm) and highest level projected for late 21st century (1140 ppm). The strong
interaction between CO2 and seaweeds on coral mortality was most likely attributable to a chemical competitive
mechanism, as control corals with algal mimics showed no mortality. Our results suggest that coral (Acropora)
reefs may become increasingly susceptible to seaweed proliferation under ocean acidification, and processes
regulating algal abundance (e.g. herbivory) will play an increasingly important role in maintaining coral
Keyword Carbon dioxide
Coral reefs
Coral-algal competition
Ocean acidification
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article first published online: 14 Dec 2010

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Global Change Institute Publications
Official 2012 Collection
School of Biomedical Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 83 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 85 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 24 Mar 2011, 11:31:14 EST by Gail Walter on behalf of School of Biological Sciences