Elevated CO₂ has little influence on the bacterial communities associated with the pH-tolerant coral, massive Porites spp.

O'Brien, Paul A., Smith, Hillary A., Fallon, Stewart, Fabricius, Katharina, Willis, Bette L., Morrow, Kathleen M., and Bourne, David G. (2018) Elevated CO₂ has little influence on the bacterial communities associated with the pH-tolerant coral, massive Porites spp. Frontiers in Microbiology, 9. 2621. pp. 1-12.

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Abstract

Ocean acidification (OA) as a result of increased anthropogenic CO₂ input into the atmosphere carries consequences for all ocean life. Low pH can cause a shift in coral-associated microbial communities of pCO₂-sensitive corals, however, it remains unknown whether the microbial community is also influenced in corals known to be more tolerant to high pCO₂/low pH. This study profiles the bacterial communities associated with the tissues of the pCO₂-tolerant coral, massive Porites spp., from two natural CO₂ seep sites in Papua New Guinea. Amplicon sequencing of the hypervariable V3-V4 regions of the 16S rRNA gene revealed that microbial communities remained stable across CO₂ seep sites (pH = 7.44–7.85) and adjacent control sites (ambient pH = 8.0–8.1). Microbial communities were more significantly influenced by reef location than pH, with the relative abundance of dominant microbial taxa differing between reefs. These results directly contrast with previous findings that increased CO₂ has a strong effect on structuring microbial communities. The stable structure of microbial communities associated with the tissues of massive Porites spp. under high pCO₂/low pH conditions confirms a high degree of tolerance by the whole Porites holobiont to OA, and suggest that pH tolerant corals such as Porites may dominate reef assemblages in an increasingly acidic ocean.

Item ID: 57481
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1664-302X
Keywords: ocean acidification, microbiome, coral, volcanic seep, Porites
Copyright Information: Copyright © 2018 O'Brien, Smith, Fallon, Fabricius, Willis, Morrow and Bourne. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Funders: Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), College of Science and Engineering, James Cook University
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2019 02:33
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0605 Microbiology > 060504 Microbial Ecology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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