The effect of natural and anthropogenic nutrient and sediment loads on coral oxidative stress on runoff-exposed reefs

Baird, Mark E., Mongin, Mathieu, Rizwi, Farhan, Bay, Line K., Cantin, Neal E., Morris, Luke A., and Skerratt, Jennifer (2021) The effect of natural and anthropogenic nutrient and sediment loads on coral oxidative stress on runoff-exposed reefs. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 168. 112409.

PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (21MB) | Preview
View at Publisher Website:


Recently, corals on the Great Barrier (GBR) have suffered mass bleaching. The link between ocean warming and coral bleaching is understood to be due to temperature-dependence of complex physiological processes in the coral host and algal symbiont. Here we use a coupled catchment-hydrodynamic-biogeochemical model, with detailed zooxanthellae photophysiology including photoadaptation, photoacclimation and reactive oxygen build-up, to investigate whether natural and anthropogenic catchment loads impact on coral bleaching on the GBR. For the wet season of 2017, simulations show the cross-shelf water quality gradient, driven by both natural and anthropogenic loads, generated a contrasting zooxanthellae physiological state on inshore versus mid-shelf reefs. The relatively small catchment flows and loads delivered during 2017, however, generated small river plumes with limited impact on water quality. Simulations show the removal of the anthropogenic fraction of the catchment loads delivered in 2017 would have had a negligible impact on bleaching rates.

Item ID: 67953
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1879-3363
Keywords: Symbiodiniaceae, Mass bleaching, Biogeochemical model, Climate change, Coral mortality, Great Barrier Reef
Copyright Information: © 2021 Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
Funders: National Environmental Science Program (NESP) Tropical Water Quality (TWQ) Hub, Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines
Projects and Grants: NESP TWQ Project 3.3.1, AIMS@JCU PhD scholarship, NESP Tropical Water Quality Hub Grant
Date Deposited: 21 Jun 2021 23:14
FoR Codes: 37 EARTH SCIENCES > 3708 Oceanography > 370801 Biological oceanography @ 75%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310303 Ecological physiology @ 25%
SEO Codes: 19 ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY, CLIMATE CHANGE AND NATURAL HAZARDS > 1901 Adaptation to climate change > 190102 Ecosystem adaptation to climate change @ 100%
Downloads: Total: 754
Last 12 Months: 76
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page