Carpenter, Gaby E., Denis, Vianney, Fan, Tung-Yung and Doo, Steve S. (2021) Effects of thermal history on the responses to thermal stress of a large benthic foraminifera, Calcarina gaudichaudii. Coral Reefs, 40 (6). pp. 1879-1888. DOI

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Marine ecosystems, particularly coastal environments, are rapidly changing due to anthropogenic impacts resulting in increased global climate change (ocean warming), ocean acidification, hypoxia, and eutrophication. On coral reefs, symbiont-bearing large benthic foraminifera (LBFs) can play a key role as reef constituents and carbonate producers, contributing up to 5% of reef-scale carbonate budgets. However, projected climate change, particularly ocean warming, has the potential to significantly alter the conditions in which marine organisms persist. While the response of LBFs to elevated thermal stress is well documented in laboratory studies, the potential influence of adaptation or acclimatization through prior environmental thermal history on this response remains largely unknown. In this study, specimens of Calcarina gaudichaudii, an LBF from the Penghu Islands, Taiwan, were collected from thermally variable intertidal and thermally stable subtidal (~ 6 m depth) environments representing thermal history. LBFs were then acclimated to laboratory conditions at ambient (25 °C) and elevated (28 °C) temperatures for three weeks, and subsequently exposed to control and heat stress treatments (25 °C, 28 °C, 30 °C, 33 °C) for an additional one week. Photosynthetic rates (determined through oxygen flux measurements) of C. gaudichaudii significantly decreased in specimens collected at subtidal depths acclimated at 25 °C when compared to those acclimated at 28 °C, whereas there was no effect of thermal history on respiration, indicating that symbiont and holobiont responses may differ in LBFs. Additionally, maximum photochemical efficiency (Fv/Fm) significantly decreased as a result of heat stress, although bleaching was not visually observed after one week. These results highlight the plastic responses of the algal microbiome and indicate that thermal history, acclimatization temperature, and heat stress interact to affect the physiological status of C. gaudichaudii. This study adds to the growing literature which highlights the larger implications of understanding thermal history as an important factor to consider to better understand how ecosystem processes (e.g., carbonate production) are altered on modern coral reefs.

Document Type: Article
Programme Area: PA2
Research affiliation: Biogeochemistry and Geology > Geoecology & Carbonate Sedimentology
Affiliations > Not ZMT
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.:
ISSN: 0722-4028
Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2022 07:26
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2022 07:26

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