Effects of seawater pCO2 and temperature on calcification and productivity in the coral genus Porites spp. an exploration of potential interaction mechanisms

C. Cole, A. A. Finch, C. Hintz, K. Hintz, N. Allison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Understanding how rising seawater pCO2 and temperatures impact coral aragonite accretion is essential for predicting the future of reef ecosystems. Here we report 2 long term (10-11 month) studies assessing the effects of temperature (25 and 28°C) and both high and low seawater pCO2 (180-750 μatm) on the calcification, photosynthesis and respiration of individual massive Porites spp. genotypes. Calcification rates were highly variable between genotypes but high seawater pCO2 reduced calcification significantly in 4 of 7 genotypes cultured at 25°C but in only 1 of 4 genotypes cultured at 28°C. Increasing seawater temperature enhanced calcification in almost all corals but the magnitude of this effect was seawater pCO2 dependent. The 3°C temperature increase enhanced calcification rate on average by 3% at 180 μatm, by 35% at 260 μatm and by >300% at 750 μatm. The rate increase at high seawater pCO2 exceeds that observed in inorganic aragonites. Responses of gross/net photosynthesis and respiration to temperature and seawater pCO2 varied between genotypes but rates of all these processes were reduced at the higher seawater temperature. Increases in seawater temperature, below the thermal stress threshold, may mitigate against ocean acidification in this coral genus but this moderation is not mediated by an increase in net photosynthesis. The response of coral calcification to temperature cannot be explained by symbiont productivity or by thermodynamic and kinetic influences on aragonite formation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)471-481
Number of pages11
JournalCoral Reefs
Volume37
Issue number2
Early online date10 Mar 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018

Keywords

  • Ocean acidification
  • Seawater temperature
  • Coral
  • Calcification
  • Porites
  • Productivity

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