Cumulative effects of suspended sediments, organic nutrients and temperature stress on early life history stages of the coral Acropora tenuis

Humanes, Adriana, Ricardo, Gerard F., Willis, Bette L., Fabricius, Katharina E., and Negri, Andrew P. (2017) Cumulative effects of suspended sediments, organic nutrients and temperature stress on early life history stages of the coral Acropora tenuis. Scientific Reports, 7. 44101.

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Abstract

Coral reproduction is vulnerable to both declining water quality and warming temperatures, with simultaneous exposures likely compounding the negative impact of each stressor. We investigated how early life processes of the coral Acropora tenuis respond to increasing levels of suspended sediments in combination with temperature or organic nutrients. Fertilization success and embryo development were more sensitive to suspended sediments than to high temperatures or nutrient enrichment, while larval development (after acquisition of cilia) and settlement success were predominantly affected by thermal stress. Fertilization success was reduced 80% by suspended sediments, and up to 24% by temperature, while the addition of nutrients to suspended sediments had no further impact. Larval survivorship was unaffected by any of these treatments. However, settlement success of larvae developing from treatment-exposed embryos was negatively affected by all three stressors (e.g. up to 55% by suspended sediments), while exposure only during later larval stages predominantly responded to temperature stress. Environmentally relevant levels of suspended sediments and temperature had the greatest impacts, affecting more processes than the combined impacts of sediments and nutrients. These results suggest that management strategies to maintain suspended sediments at low concentrations during coral spawning events will benefit coral recruitment, especially with warming climate.

Item ID: 53969
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2045-2322
Additional Information:

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Funders: Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), Australian Government (AG)
Projects and Grants: AG National Environmental Research Program, AG National Environemntal Science Program
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2018 05:42
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 40%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0608 Zoology > 060803 Animal Developmental and Reproductive Biology @ 30%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050101 Ecological Impacts of Climate Change @ 30%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 50%
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