Threatened Caribbean coral is able to mitigate the adverse effects of ocean acidification on calcification by increasing feeding rate

Erica K. Towle, Ian C. Enochs, Chris Langdon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Global climate change threatens coral growth and reef ecosystem health via ocean warming and ocean acidification (OA). Whereas the negative impacts of these stressors are increasingly well-documented, studies identifying pathways to resilience are still poorly understood. Heterotrophy has been shown to help corals experiencing decreases in growth due to either thermal or OA stress; however, the mechanism by which it mitigates these decreases remains unclear. This study tested the ability of coral heterotrophy to mitigate reductions in growth due to climate change stress in the critically endangered Caribbean coral Acropora cervicornis via changes in feeding rate and lipid content. Corals were either fed or unfed and exposed to elevated temperature (30°C), enriched pCO2 (800 ppm), or both (30°C/800 ppm) as compared to a control (26°C/390 ppm) for 8 weeks. Feeding rate and lipid content both increased in corals experiencing OA vs. present-day conditions, and were significantly correlated. Fed corals were able to maintain ambient growth rates at both elevated temperature and elevated CO2, while unfed corals experienced significant decreases in growth with respect to fed conspecifics. Our results show for the first time that a threatened coral species can buffer OA-reduced calcification by increasing feeding rates and lipid content.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0123394
JournalPLoS One
Volume10
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 15 2015

Fingerprint

Anthozoa
Acidification
calcification
Oceans and Seas
corals
adverse effects
Lipids
Climate change
Heterotrophic Processes
Growth
Reefs
Climate Change
lipid content
Ecosystems
Buffers
Health
Coral Reefs
climate change
Endangered Species
Temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Threatened Caribbean coral is able to mitigate the adverse effects of ocean acidification on calcification by increasing feeding rate. / Towle, Erica K.; Enochs, Ian C.; Langdon, Chris.

In: PLoS One, Vol. 10, No. 4, e0123394, 15.04.2015.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{e2c71df20f3d4edaa1c0903eb7f194b7,
title = "Threatened Caribbean coral is able to mitigate the adverse effects of ocean acidification on calcification by increasing feeding rate",
abstract = "Global climate change threatens coral growth and reef ecosystem health via ocean warming and ocean acidification (OA). Whereas the negative impacts of these stressors are increasingly well-documented, studies identifying pathways to resilience are still poorly understood. Heterotrophy has been shown to help corals experiencing decreases in growth due to either thermal or OA stress; however, the mechanism by which it mitigates these decreases remains unclear. This study tested the ability of coral heterotrophy to mitigate reductions in growth due to climate change stress in the critically endangered Caribbean coral Acropora cervicornis via changes in feeding rate and lipid content. Corals were either fed or unfed and exposed to elevated temperature (30°C), enriched pCO2 (800 ppm), or both (30°C/800 ppm) as compared to a control (26°C/390 ppm) for 8 weeks. Feeding rate and lipid content both increased in corals experiencing OA vs. present-day conditions, and were significantly correlated. Fed corals were able to maintain ambient growth rates at both elevated temperature and elevated CO2, while unfed corals experienced significant decreases in growth with respect to fed conspecifics. Our results show for the first time that a threatened coral species can buffer OA-reduced calcification by increasing feeding rates and lipid content.",
author = "Towle, {Erica K.} and Enochs, {Ian C.} and Chris Langdon",
year = "2015",
month = "4",
day = "15",
doi = "10.1371/journal.pone.0123394",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "10",
journal = "PLoS One",
issn = "1932-6203",
publisher = "Public Library of Science",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Threatened Caribbean coral is able to mitigate the adverse effects of ocean acidification on calcification by increasing feeding rate

AU - Towle, Erica K.

AU - Enochs, Ian C.

AU - Langdon, Chris

PY - 2015/4/15

Y1 - 2015/4/15

N2 - Global climate change threatens coral growth and reef ecosystem health via ocean warming and ocean acidification (OA). Whereas the negative impacts of these stressors are increasingly well-documented, studies identifying pathways to resilience are still poorly understood. Heterotrophy has been shown to help corals experiencing decreases in growth due to either thermal or OA stress; however, the mechanism by which it mitigates these decreases remains unclear. This study tested the ability of coral heterotrophy to mitigate reductions in growth due to climate change stress in the critically endangered Caribbean coral Acropora cervicornis via changes in feeding rate and lipid content. Corals were either fed or unfed and exposed to elevated temperature (30°C), enriched pCO2 (800 ppm), or both (30°C/800 ppm) as compared to a control (26°C/390 ppm) for 8 weeks. Feeding rate and lipid content both increased in corals experiencing OA vs. present-day conditions, and were significantly correlated. Fed corals were able to maintain ambient growth rates at both elevated temperature and elevated CO2, while unfed corals experienced significant decreases in growth with respect to fed conspecifics. Our results show for the first time that a threatened coral species can buffer OA-reduced calcification by increasing feeding rates and lipid content.

AB - Global climate change threatens coral growth and reef ecosystem health via ocean warming and ocean acidification (OA). Whereas the negative impacts of these stressors are increasingly well-documented, studies identifying pathways to resilience are still poorly understood. Heterotrophy has been shown to help corals experiencing decreases in growth due to either thermal or OA stress; however, the mechanism by which it mitigates these decreases remains unclear. This study tested the ability of coral heterotrophy to mitigate reductions in growth due to climate change stress in the critically endangered Caribbean coral Acropora cervicornis via changes in feeding rate and lipid content. Corals were either fed or unfed and exposed to elevated temperature (30°C), enriched pCO2 (800 ppm), or both (30°C/800 ppm) as compared to a control (26°C/390 ppm) for 8 weeks. Feeding rate and lipid content both increased in corals experiencing OA vs. present-day conditions, and were significantly correlated. Fed corals were able to maintain ambient growth rates at both elevated temperature and elevated CO2, while unfed corals experienced significant decreases in growth with respect to fed conspecifics. Our results show for the first time that a threatened coral species can buffer OA-reduced calcification by increasing feeding rates and lipid content.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84928920212&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84928920212&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1371/journal.pone.0123394

DO - 10.1371/journal.pone.0123394

M3 - Article

C2 - 25874963

AN - SCOPUS:84928920212

VL - 10

JO - PLoS One

JF - PLoS One

SN - 1932-6203

IS - 4

M1 - e0123394

ER -