Changes in coral microbial communities in response to a natural pH gradient

Dalit Meron, Riccardo Rodolfo-Metalpa, Ross Cunning, Andrew C Baker, Maoz Fine, Ehud Banin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Surface seawater pH is currently 0.1 units lower than pre-industrial values and is projected to decrease by up to 0.4 units by the end of the century. This acidification has the potential to cause significant perturbations to the physiology of ocean organisms, particularly those such as corals that build their skeletons/shells from calcium carbonate. Reduced ocean pH could also have an impact on the coral microbial community, and thus may affect coral physiology and health. Most of the studies to date have examined the impact of ocean acidification on corals and/or associated microbiota under controlled laboratory conditions. Here we report the first study that examines the changes in coral microbial communities in response to a natural pH gradient (mean pHT 7.3-8.1) caused by volcanic CO2 vents off Ischia, Gulf of Naples, Italy. Two Mediterranean coral species, Balanophyllia europaea and Cladocora caespitosa, were examined. The microbial community diversity and the physiological parameters of the endosymbiotic dinoflagellates (Symbiodinium spp.) were monitored. We found that pH did not have a significant impact on the composition of associated microbial communities in both coral species. In contrast to some earlier studies, we found that corals present at the lower pH sites exhibited only minor physiological changes and no microbial pathogens were detected. Together, these results provide new insights into the impact of ocean acidification on the coral holobiont.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1775-1785
Number of pages11
JournalISME Journal
Volume6
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2012

Fingerprint

Anthozoa
Proton-Motive Force
microbial communities
corals
microbial community
coral
Oceans and Seas
physiology
Ischium
oceans
Dinoflagellida
Symbiodinium
Calcium Carbonate
Microbiota
Seawater
ocean
calcium carbonate
Skeleton
dinoflagellate
skeleton

Keywords

  • bacteria
  • coral
  • holobiont
  • microbial community
  • ocean acidification
  • pH

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Microbiology

Cite this

Meron, D., Rodolfo-Metalpa, R., Cunning, R., Baker, A. C., Fine, M., & Banin, E. (2012). Changes in coral microbial communities in response to a natural pH gradient. ISME Journal, 6(9), 1775-1785. https://doi.org/10.1038/ismej.2012.19

Changes in coral microbial communities in response to a natural pH gradient. / Meron, Dalit; Rodolfo-Metalpa, Riccardo; Cunning, Ross; Baker, Andrew C; Fine, Maoz; Banin, Ehud.

In: ISME Journal, Vol. 6, No. 9, 01.09.2012, p. 1775-1785.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Meron, D, Rodolfo-Metalpa, R, Cunning, R, Baker, AC, Fine, M & Banin, E 2012, 'Changes in coral microbial communities in response to a natural pH gradient', ISME Journal, vol. 6, no. 9, pp. 1775-1785. https://doi.org/10.1038/ismej.2012.19
Meron, Dalit ; Rodolfo-Metalpa, Riccardo ; Cunning, Ross ; Baker, Andrew C ; Fine, Maoz ; Banin, Ehud. / Changes in coral microbial communities in response to a natural pH gradient. In: ISME Journal. 2012 ; Vol. 6, No. 9. pp. 1775-1785.
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