Effects of diurnally oscillating pCO2 on the calcification and survival of coral recruits

Dufault, Aaron M., Cumbo, Vivian R., Fan, Tung-yung, and Edmunds, Peter J. (2012) Effects of diurnally oscillating pCO2 on the calcification and survival of coral recruits. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B, Biological Sciences, 279. pp. 2951-2958.

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Abstract

Manipulative studies have demonstrated that ocean acidification (OA) is a threat to coral reefs, yet no experiments have employed diurnal variations in pCO2 that are ecologically relevant to many shallow reefs. Two experiments were conducted to test the response of coral recruits (less than 6 days old) to diurnally oscillating pCO2; one exposing recruits for 3 days to ambient (440 μatm), high (663 μatm) and diurnally oscillating pCO2 on a natural phase (420–596 μatm), and another exposing recruits for 6 days to ambient (456 µatm), high (837 μatm) and diurnally oscillating pCO2 on either a natural or a reverse phase (448–845 μatm). In experiment I, recruits exposed to natural-phased diurnally oscillating pCO2 grew 6–19% larger than those in ambient or high pCO2. In experiment II, recruits in both high and natural-phased diurnally oscillating pCO2 grew 16 per cent larger than those at ambient pCO2, and this was accompanied by 13–18% higher survivorship; the stimulatory effect on growth of oscillatory pCO2 was diminished by administering high pCO2 during the day (i.e. reverse-phased). These results demonstrate that coral recruits can benefit from ecologically relevant fluctuations in pCO2 and we hypothesize that the mechanism underlying this response is highly pCO2-mediated, night-time storage of dissolved inorganic carbon that fuels daytime calcification.

Item ID: 32155
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0962-8452
Keywords: ocean acidification; calcification; diurnal; survivorship
Funders: US National Science Foundation (NSF), California State University (CSUN)
Projects and Grants: NSF BIO-OCE 08-44785
Date Deposited: 23 Jul 2014 02:01
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0606 Physiology > 060604 Comparative Physiology @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0699 Other Biological Sciences > 069902 Global Change Biology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960301 Climate Change Adaptation Measures @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 50%
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