Lürig, M. and Kunzmann, Andreas (2015) Effects of episodic low aragonite saturation and elevated temperature on the physiology of Stylophora pistillata. Journal of Sea Research, 99 . pp. 26-33. DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.seares.2015.01.005.

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As global climate change is predicted to gradually alter the oceans' carbonate system and water temperature, knowledge about the effects an altered marine environment has on the physiology of reef building (hermatypic) coral species is more widely established. However, although it is recognized that seawater temperature and the carbonate system of a coral reef can change rapidly and with great amplitude, little is known about how the interaction of these natural fluctuations with long term effects of climate change may affect the metabolism and productivity of hermatypic corals. To investigate this, we acclimated the hermatypic coral Stylophora pistillata to a “worst case” scenario for carbon dioxide emissions (aragonite saturation state [ΩARAG] = 1.6), and tested how exposure to short term (24 h) elevated temperature (+ 3 °C) and further lowered ΩARAG ( −1 unit) affected its photosynthesis and respiration. While episodic exposure to very low ΩARAG had only little effect on S. pistillata's physiology, short term heat stress caused a shift from net oxygen production to consumption and partial coral bleaching. Higher gross coral respiration, and lowered photosynthetic activity under episodically elevated temperature may have been the result of photoinhibition and partial coral bleaching. These findings suggest that fluctuating environmental conditions in combination with a low ΩARAG background signal may impair basic metabolic processes in calcifying corals. In a future high-CO2 world short term stress could be relevant for reef ecosystem processes, and may affect the resilience of coral reefs to other external influences and effects of climate change.

Document Type: Article
Programme Area: UNSPECIFIED
Research affiliation: Ecology > Experimental Aquaculture
Affiliations > Not ZMT
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.seares.2015.01.005
ISSN: 13851101
Date Deposited: 05 Aug 2019 16:48
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2020 12:59
URI: http://cris.leibniz-zmt.de/id/eprint/2439

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