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Friends with benefits? Effects of elevated temperatures and ocean acidification on Acropora-Halimeda interactions
Poster Title: Friends with benefits? Effects of elevated temperatures and ocean acidification on Acropora-Halimeda interactions
Submitted on 15 Jun 2016
Author(s): Kristen Brown; Dorothea Bender-Champ; Tania Kenyon; Ove Hoegh-Guldberg; and Sophie Dove
Affiliations: ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, University of Queensland, Australia
This poster was presented at The 13th International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS)
Poster Views: 899
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Poster Information
Abstract: Naturally occurring ecological interactions, specifically between coral and macroalgae, are critical in determining the structure and function of coral reef ecosystems. By the end of the century, atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration is projected to surpass 500 ppm and global temperatures to rise by at least 2°C, but these stressors have already begun affecting the calcification and productivity of coral reef organisms, shifting ecosystem dynamics. Although it is widely believed that macroalgae will outcompete corals on future reefs, few have investigated the temporal physiology of coral-algal interactions under projected conditions. Here, coral-algal competition was examined temporally via a fully factorial design that investigated the effects of anticipated end-of-the-century seawater temperatures and/or ocean acidification on the growth, calcification, and productivity of the staghorn coral Acropora and the calcifying macroalgae Halimeda. Temporal variability proved important for both Acropora and Halimeda calcification, growth, and productivity. There were no negative effects on the calcification or growth rates of either organism due to physical contact, and in fact, productivity was improved. End-of-the-century temperature was chiefly responsible for negative consequences on both organisms’ metabolic rates, but further antagonistic effects of both temperature and ocean acidification were observed. The data suggest that coral-algal interactions are more complex than macroalgal dominance, and in this case, we highlight a facilitative interaction, that, under future conditions, may become more competitive.Summary: The effects of elevated temperatures and ocean acidification on the physiology of the coral-algal interaction between the staghorn coral Acropora and the calcifying macrolalgae were investigated, revealing a facilitative coral-algal interaction that may become more competitive under future conditions. References: Report abuse »
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