Water contamination reduces the tolerance of coral larvae to thermal stress

Negri, Andrew P., and Hoogenboom, Mia O. (2011) Water contamination reduces the tolerance of coral larvae to thermal stress. PLoS ONE, 6 (5). pp. 19703-19712.

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Coral reefs are highly susceptible to climate change, with elevated sea surface temperatures (SST) posing one of the main threats to coral survival. Successful recruitment of new colonies is important for the recovery of degraded reefs following mortality events. Coral larvae require relatively uncontaminated substratum on which to metamorphose into sessile polyps, and the increasing pollution of coastal waters therefore constitutes an additional threat to reef resilience. Here we develop and analyse a model of larval metamorphosis success for two common coral species to quantify the interactive effects of water pollution (copper contamination) and SST. We identify thresholds of temperature and pollution that prevent larval metamorphosis, and evaluate synergistic interactions between these stressors. Our analyses show that halving the concentration of Cu can protect corals from the negative effects of a 2–3uC increase in SST. These results demonstrate that effective mitigation of local impacts can reduce negative effects of global stressors.

Item ID: 19955
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
Additional Information:

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Funders: Australian Institute of Marine Science
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2012 23:42
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050101 Ecological Impacts of Climate Change @ 40%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060203 Ecological Physiology @ 40%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050204 Environmental Impact Assessment @ 20%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960903 Coastal and Estuarine Water Management @ 20%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960506 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Fresh, Ground and Surface Water Environments @ 40%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 40%
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