Species-specific differences in thermal tolerance may define susceptibility to intracellular acidosis in reef corals

Gibbin, Emma M, Putnam, Hollie M, Gates, Ruth D, Nitschke, Matthew R and Davy S.K. (2015) Species-specific differences in thermal tolerance may define susceptibility to intracellular acidosis in reef corals. Marine Biology, 162 3: 717-723. doi:10.1007/s00227-015-2617-9


Author Gibbin, Emma M
Putnam, Hollie M
Gates, Ruth D
Nitschke, Matthew R
Davy S.K.
Title Species-specific differences in thermal tolerance may define susceptibility to intracellular acidosis in reef corals
Journal name Marine Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0025-3162
1432-1793
Publication date 2015-03-01
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s00227-015-2617-9
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 162
Issue 3
Start page 717
End page 723
Total pages 7
Place of publication Heidelberg, Germany
Publisher Springer
Language eng
Formatted abstract
It is widely acknowledged that temperature stress affects an organism’s sensitivity to ocean acidification and vice versa, yet it is not clear how the two are mechanistically linked. Here, we induced thermal stress in two coral species with differing bleaching susceptibilities to measure how a reduction in photosynthetic performance impacts intracellular pH (pHi) regulation in the symbiotic dinoflagellates (Symbiodinium sp.) and their host coral cells. Our hypothesis was that thermally induced photosynthetic dysfunction in the symbiont would prevent the efficient removal of additional CO2, lowering its buffering capacity and thus increasing the host cell’s susceptibility to intracellular acidosis. To test this, we exposed Pocillopora damicornis (a thermally sensitive coral) and Montipora capitata (a thermally resilient coral) to four different temperature treatments (23.8, 25.5, 28 and 31 °C) for 1 week. We then isolated intact symbiotic coral endodermal cells, placed them in a live-cell chamber attached to a confocal microscope and bathed them in CO2-acidified seawater (~pH 7.6) for 30 min, before measuring the light-adapted pHi of both the host cell and its symbiont. Cells isolated from P. damicornis were more prone to cellular acidosis (declines in pHi of 11 and 8 % in host and symbiont, respectively, at 31 °C relative to 23.8 °C) than cells isolated from M. capitata (5 and 4 %, respectively). These results highlight the important role of Symbiodinium productivity (in addition to a range of physico-chemical factors such as skeletal morphology and tissue pigmentation) in determining the sensitivity of corals to rising sea surface temperatures and ocean acidification.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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