Symbioses are restructured by repeated mass coral bleaching

Quigley, Kate, Ramsby, Blake, Laffy, Patrick, Harris, Jessica, Mocellin, Veronique J.L., and Bay, Line K. (2022) Symbioses are restructured by repeated mass coral bleaching. Science Advances, 8 (49). eabq8349.

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Abstract

Survival of symbiotic reef-building corals under global warming requires rapid acclimation or adaptation. The impact of accumulated heat stress was compared across 1643 symbiont communities before and after the 2016 mass bleaching in three coral species and free-living in the environment across ~900 kilometers of the Great Barrier Reef. Resilient reefs (less aerial bleaching than predicted from high satellite sea temperatures) showed low variation in symbioses. Before 2016, heat-tolerant environmental symbionts were common in ~98% of samples and moderately abundant (9 to 40% in samples). In corals, heat-tolerant symbionts were at low abundances (0 to 7.3%) but only in a minority (13 to 27%) of colonies. Following bleaching, environmental diversity doubled (including heat-tolerant symbionts) and increased in one coral species. Communities were dynamic (Acropora millepora) and conserved (Acropora hyacinthus and Acropora tenuis), including symbiont community turnover and redistribution. Symbiotic restructuring after bleaching occurs but is a taxon-specific ecological opportunity.

Item ID: 77540
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2375-2548
Copyright Information: Copyright © 2022 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works. Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial License 4.0 (CC BY-NC).
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2023 02:32
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 50%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4101 Climate change impacts and adaptation > 410102 Ecological impacts of climate change and ecological adaptation @ 50%
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