Porites coral response to an oceanographic and human impact gradient in the Line Islands

Carilli, Jessica E., Hartmann, Aaron C., Heron, Scott F., Pandolfi, John M., Cobb, Kim, Sayani, Hussein, Dunbar, Robert and Sandin, Stuart A. (2017) Porites coral response to an oceanographic and human impact gradient in the Line Islands. Limnology and Oceanography, 62 6: 2850-2863. doi:10.1002/lno.10670

Author Carilli, Jessica E.
Hartmann, Aaron C.
Heron, Scott F.
Pandolfi, John M.
Cobb, Kim
Sayani, Hussein
Dunbar, Robert
Sandin, Stuart A.
Title Porites coral response to an oceanographic and human impact gradient in the Line Islands
Journal name Limnology and Oceanography   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0024-3590
Publication date 2017-10-05
Year available 2017
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1002/lno.10670
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 62
Issue 6
Start page 2850
End page 2863
Total pages 14
Place of publication Hoboken, NJ United States
Publisher WILEY
Language eng
Subject 1910 Oceanography
1104 Aquatic Science
Abstract Coral bleaching caused by heat stress (warm water) will arguably be the greatest driver of coral reef loss in the coming decades. Understanding how corals have adapted to distinct oceanographic regimes on multiple scales can provide insight into future tolerance and persistence, information critical to directed intervention or targeted protections. The northern Line Islands span a gradient in oceanographic regimes across latitudes, with seawater becoming warmer, fresher, more oligotrophic, and more saturated with aragonite away from the equator. The combination of this regional gradient and island-scale (local) conditions was used as a natural experiment against which to test how massive Porites corals respond to these background conditions and episodic heat stress. We found that coral condition, represented by a metric combining tissue thickness, lipids, and calcification, was similar at almost all islands, though there were differences in how corals allocate resources among these biological parameters. Corals at Teraina, the most densely inhabited island, showed evidence for reduced calcification, potentially associated with human impacts and/or outflow of freshwater from the island. In contrast, Porites corals at Palmyra, a wildlife reserve, exhibited unexpectedly high tissue-condition metrics for its latitude, suggesting an additional food source, possibly plankton-rich lagoonal outflow. We did not find a strong relationship between human habitation and the response of Porites corals to recent heat stress. However, differences in coral calcification rates and energy stores between observed values and those expected based solely on the regional oceanographic gradient, suggests local effects have indirect impacts on these corals.
Keyword Great-Barrier-Reef
Marine Protected Areas
Ocean Acidification
Energy Allocation
Bleached Corals
Particulate Matter
Thermal History
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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Created: Sat, 09 Dec 2017, 23:12:17 EST