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Detrimental effects of Ocean Acidification on the economically important Mediterranean red coral (Corallium rubrum)

AuthorsBramanti, Lorenzo ; Movilla, Juan Ignacio ; Calvo, Eva María ; Dominguez-Carrió, Carlos ; Grinyó, Jordi ; López-Sanz, Àngel ; Martínez-Quintana, A. ; Pelejero, Carles
KeywordsOcean acidification
Metabolic effects of ocean acidification
Mediterranean red coral
Climate change
Biochemical balance
Issue DateJun-2013
CitationGlobal Change Biology 19(6): 1897–1908 (2013)
AbstractThe mean predicted decrease of 0.3 to 0.4 pH units in the global surface ocean by the end of the century has prompted urgent research to assess the potential effects of ocean acidification on the marine environment, with strong emphasis on calcifying organisms. Among them, the Mediterranean red coral (Corallium rubrum) is expected to be particularly susceptible to acidification effects, due to the elevated solubility of its Mg-calcite skeleton. This, together with the large overexploitation of this species, depicts a bleak future for this organism over the next decades. In this study, we evaluated the effects of low pH on this species from aquaria experiments. Several colonies of C. rubrum were long-term maintained for 314 days in aquaria at two different pH levels (8.10 and 7.81, pHT). Calcification rate, spicule morphology, major biochemical constituents (protein, carbohydrates and lipids) and fatty acids composition were measured periodically. Exposure to lower pH conditions caused a significant decrease in the skeletal growth rate in comparison to the control treatment. Similarly, the spicule morphology clearly differed between both treatments at the end of the experiment, with aberrant shapes being observed only under the acidified conditions. On the other hand, while total organic matter was significantly higher under low pH conditions, no significant differences were detected between treatments regarding total carbohydrate, lipid, protein and fatty acid composition. However, the lower variability found among samples maintained in acidified conditions relative to controls, suggests a possible effect of pH decrease on the metabolism of the colonies. Our results show, for the first time, evidence of detrimental ocean acidification effects on this valuable and endangered coral specie
DescriptionBramanti, Lorenzo ... et al.-- 12 pages, 4 figures, 3 tables, supporting information additional may be found in the online version of this article: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/gcb.12171/suppinfo
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/gcb.12171
Identifiersdoi: 10.1111/gcb.12171
issn: 1354-1013
e-issn: 1365-2486
Appears in Collections:(ICM) Artículos
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