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Cold-water corals, such as Lophelia pertusa, are key habitat-forming organisms found throughout the world’s oceans to 3000 m deep. The complex threedimensional 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 CO<inf>2</inf>, 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 CO<inf>2</inf> 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.
|Journal||Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences|
|Early online date||22 Aug 2015|
|Publication status||Published - 22 Aug 2015|
- Climate change
- Cold-water corals
- Lophelia pertusa
- Ocean acidification
FingerprintDive into the research topics of 'Hidden impacts of ocean acidification to live and dead coral framework'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
- 1 Finished
Coral pH regulation and climate change: using novel tissue cultures to assess the future of key habitat forming species
18/10/16 → 17/10/18
Physiological, biomineralisation and structural measurements of the cold-water coral (CWC) Lophelia pertusa in response to increases in CO2 and temperature