High pCO₂ promotes coral primary production

Biscere, T., Zampighi, M., Lorrain, A., Jurriaans, S., Foggo, A., Houlbrèque, F., and Rodolfo-Metalpa, R. (2019) High pCO₂ promotes coral primary production. Biology Letters, 15 (7). 20180777.

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Abstract

While research on ocean acidification (OA) impacts on coral reefs has focused on calcification, relatively little is known about effects on coral photosynthesis and respiration, despite these being among the most plastic metabolic processes corals may use to acclimatize to adverse conditions. Here, we present data collected between 2016 and 2018 at three natural CO2 seeps in Papua New Guinea where we measured the metabolic flexibility (i.e. in hospite photosynthesis and dark respiration) of 12 coral species. Despite some species-specific variability, metabolic rates as measured by net oxygen flux tended to be higher at high pCO(2) (ca 1200 mu atm), with increases in photosynthesis exceeding those of respiration, suggesting greater productivity of Symbiodiniaceae photosynthesis in hospite, and indicating the potential for metabolic flexibility that may enable these species to thrive in environments with high pCO(2). However, laboratory and field observations of coral mortality under high CO2 conditions associated with coral bleaching suggests that this metabolic subsidy does not result in coral higher resistance to extreme thermal stress. Therefore, the combined effects of OA and global warming may lead to a strong decrease in coral diversity despite the stimulating effect on coral productivity of OA alone.

Item ID: 60068
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1744-957X
Keywords: ocean acidification, coral reefs, acclimatization, metabolic flexibility, CO2 seeps
Copyright Information: © 2019 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.
Funders: French National Research Agency (ANR), Fonds Pacifique, Flotte Océanographique Française, Koniambo Nickel SAS, Ginger Soproner
Projects and Grants: ANR, project CARIOCA no. ANR15CE02-0006- 01, 2015, FP project AMBITLE no. 1598, 2016
Research Data: https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.d6q7jq2
Date Deposited: 28 Aug 2019 07:41
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 34%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0606 Physiology > 060604 Comparative Physiology @ 33%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0699 Other Biological Sciences > 069902 Global Change Biology @ 33%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960305 Ecosystem Adaptation to Climate Change @ 100%
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