Hidden impacts of ocean acidification to live and dead coral framework

Hennige, S. J., Wicks, L. C., Kamenos, N. A. , Perna, G., Findlay, H. S. and Roberts, J. M. (2015) Hidden impacts of ocean acidification to live and dead coral framework. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences, 282(1813), p. 20150990. 20150990. (doi:10.1098/rspb.2015.0990) (PMID:26290073)

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Abstract

Cold-water corals, such as Lophelia pertusa, are key habitat-forming organisms found throughout the world's oceans to 3000 m deep. The complex three-dimensional framework made by these vulnerable marine ecosystems support high biodiversity and commercially important species. Given their importance, a key question is how both the living and the dead framework will fare under projected climate change. Here, we demonstrate that over 12 months L. pertusa can physiologically acclimate to increased CO2, showing sustained net calcification. However, their new skeletal structure changes and exhibits decreased crystallographic and molecular-scale bonding organization. Although physiological acclimatization was evident, we also demonstrate that there is a negative correlation between increasing CO2 levels and breaking strength of exposed framework (approx. 20–30% weaker after 12 months), meaning the exposed bases of reefs will be less effective ‘load-bearers’, and will become more susceptible to bioerosion and mechanical damage by 2100.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kamenos, Dr Nicholas and Perna, Miss Gabriela
Authors: Hennige, S. J., Wicks, L. C., Kamenos, N. A., Perna, G., Findlay, H. S., and Roberts, J. M.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Journal Name:Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences
Publisher:The Royal Society
ISSN:0962-8452
ISSN (Online):1471-2954
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2015 The Authors
First Published:First published in Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences 282(1813:20150990
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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