In situ response of tropical coralline algae to a novel thermal regime

Bach, L. L. , Freer, J. J. and Kamenos, N. A. (2017) In situ response of tropical coralline algae to a novel thermal regime. Frontiers in Marine Science, 4, 212. (doi: 10.3389/fmars.2017.00212)

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Coralline algae provide important ecosystem services. In situ observations of how they respond to different environmental conditions can help us to understand (i) their ability to adapt to their local environment and (ii) their capacity to acclimatize to a novel thermal regime. Here, individuals of the tropical coralline algae, Lithophyllum kotschyanum, were translocated on a coral reef from thermally stable areas to areas characterized by natural temperature variability. Changes in their photosynthetic efficiency were determined using pulse amplitude modulation (PAM) chlorophyll fluorescence. Despite an initial stress response, algae exposed to increases in thermal variation recovered within 24 hours, indicating a rapid, short-term acclimatization capacity. Algae naturally inhabiting thermally variable areas of the reef showed no change in photosynthetic efficiency throughout the study suggesting longer-term adaptation to living in a variable environment also occurs. However, coralline algae living in thermally stable reef areas were abundant and marginally larger, suggesting physiological trade-offs are used to survive in variable environments. Thus, our results suggest that while coralline algae can survive in environmentally variable conditions, there may be structural and ecosystem costs.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:NE/H010025/1 to Plymouth. Glasgow were part of a consortia related to this award.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kamenos, Professor Nick and Bach, Dr Lydia
Authors: Bach, L. L., Freer, J. J., and Kamenos, N. A.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Frontiers in Marine Science
Publisher:Frontiers Research Foundation
ISSN (Online):2296-7745
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 Bach, Freer and Kamenos
First Published:First published in Frontiers in Marine Science4:212
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
423701High resolution climatic impacts on shallow water marine ecosystems during the HoloceneNicholas KamenosNatural Environment Research Council (NERC)NE/D008727/1SCHOOL OF GEOGRAPHICAL & EARTH SCIENCES