Intraspecific variation reshapes coral assemblages under elevated temperature and acidity

McWilliam, Mike, Madin, Joshua S., Chase, Tory J., Hoogenboom, Mia O., and Bridge, Tom C.L. (2022) Intraspecific variation reshapes coral assemblages under elevated temperature and acidity. Ecology Letters, 25 (11). pp. 2513-2524.

[img]
Preview
PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (10MB) | Preview
View at Publisher Website: https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.14114
 
429


Abstract

Insights into assemblages that can persist in extreme environments are still emerging. Ocean warming and acidification select against species with low physiological tolerance (trait-based ‘filtering’). However, intraspecific trait variation can promote species adaptation and persistence, with potentially large effects on assemblage structure. By sampling nine coral traits (four morphological, four tissue and one skeletal) along an offshore–inshore gradient in temperature and pH, we show that distantly related coral species undergo consistent intraspecific changes as they cross into warm, acidic environment. Intraspecific variation and species turnover each favoured colonies with greater tissue biomass, higher symbiont densities and reduced skeletal investments, indicating strong filtering on colony physiology within and across species. Physiological tissue traits were highly variable within species and were independent of morphology, enabling morphologically diverse species to cross into sites of elevated temperature and acidity. Widespread intraspecific change can therefore counter the loss of biodiversity and morphological structure across a steep environmental gradient.

Item ID: 76550
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1461-0248
Keywords: adaptation, community assembly, coral reefs, functional traits, phenotypic plasticity, physiology
Copyright Information: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. © 2022 The Authors. Ecology Letters published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC DE180100746
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2023 00:28
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4101 Climate change impacts and adaptation > 410102 Ecological impacts of climate change and ecological adaptation @ 50%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 50%
Downloads: Total: 429
Last 12 Months: 52
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page