Impacts of ocean warming on coralline algal calcification: Meta-analysis, knowledge gaps, and key recommendations for future research

Christopher E. Cornwall, Guillermo Diaz-Pulido, Steeve Comeau

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Coralline algae are foundation species in many hard-bottom ecosystems acting as a settlement substrate, and binding together and even creating reefs in some locations. Ocean acidification is known to be a major threat to coralline algae. However, the effects of ocean warming are less certain. Here we bring multiple lines of evidence together to discuss the potential impacts of ocean warming on these ecologically crucial taxa. We use a meta-analysis of 40 responses within 14 different studies available which assessed the effects of increasing temperature on coralline algal calcification in laboratory experiments. We find a net negative impact of increasing temperature on coralline algal calcification at 5.2°C above ambient conditions. Conversely, negative effects are observed when temperature drops below 2.0°C from ambient conditions. We propose that some coralline algae will be more capable of both acclimatizing and locally adapting to increasing ocean temperatures over the coming decades. This is because many species possess short generation times, the ability to opportunistically rapidly utilize open space, and relatively high phenotypic plasticity. However, less resistant and resilient species will be those that are long-lived, those with long generation times, or with narrow thermal tolerances (e.g., tropical taxa living close to their thermal maxima). Additionally, ocean warming will occur simultaneously with ocean acidification, a potentially greater threat to coralline algae, which could also reduce any tolerance to ocean warming for many species. To maximize the potential to accurately determine how coralline algae will respond to future ocean warming and marine heatwaves, future research should use environmentally relevant temperature treatments, use appropriate acclimation times and follow best practices in experimental design.

Original languageEnglish
Article number186
JournalFrontiers in Marine Science
Volume6
Issue numberMay
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 May 2019

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algae
coralline alga
calcification
meta-analysis
Algae
warming
oceans
ocean
Acidification
generation time
temperature
Temperature
tolerance
Reefs
Hypsithermal
phenotypic plasticity
open space
acclimation
experimental design
Design of experiments

Cite this

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title = "Impacts of ocean warming on coralline algal calcification: Meta-analysis, knowledge gaps, and key recommendations for future research",
abstract = "Coralline algae are foundation species in many hard-bottom ecosystems acting as a settlement substrate, and binding together and even creating reefs in some locations. Ocean acidification is known to be a major threat to coralline algae. However, the effects of ocean warming are less certain. Here we bring multiple lines of evidence together to discuss the potential impacts of ocean warming on these ecologically crucial taxa. We use a meta-analysis of 40 responses within 14 different studies available which assessed the effects of increasing temperature on coralline algal calcification in laboratory experiments. We find a net negative impact of increasing temperature on coralline algal calcification at 5.2°C above ambient conditions. Conversely, negative effects are observed when temperature drops below 2.0°C from ambient conditions. We propose that some coralline algae will be more capable of both acclimatizing and locally adapting to increasing ocean temperatures over the coming decades. This is because many species possess short generation times, the ability to opportunistically rapidly utilize open space, and relatively high phenotypic plasticity. However, less resistant and resilient species will be those that are long-lived, those with long generation times, or with narrow thermal tolerances (e.g., tropical taxa living close to their thermal maxima). Additionally, ocean warming will occur simultaneously with ocean acidification, a potentially greater threat to coralline algae, which could also reduce any tolerance to ocean warming for many species. To maximize the potential to accurately determine how coralline algae will respond to future ocean warming and marine heatwaves, future research should use environmentally relevant temperature treatments, use appropriate acclimation times and follow best practices in experimental design.",
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author = "Cornwall, {Christopher E.} and Guillermo Diaz-Pulido and Steeve Comeau",
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language = "English",
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Impacts of ocean warming on coralline algal calcification : Meta-analysis, knowledge gaps, and key recommendations for future research. / Cornwall, Christopher E.; Diaz-Pulido, Guillermo; Comeau, Steeve.

In: Frontiers in Marine Science, Vol. 6, No. May, 186, 06.05.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

TY - JOUR

T1 - Impacts of ocean warming on coralline algal calcification

T2 - Meta-analysis, knowledge gaps, and key recommendations for future research

AU - Cornwall, Christopher E.

AU - Diaz-Pulido, Guillermo

AU - Comeau, Steeve

PY - 2019/5/6

Y1 - 2019/5/6

N2 - Coralline algae are foundation species in many hard-bottom ecosystems acting as a settlement substrate, and binding together and even creating reefs in some locations. Ocean acidification is known to be a major threat to coralline algae. However, the effects of ocean warming are less certain. Here we bring multiple lines of evidence together to discuss the potential impacts of ocean warming on these ecologically crucial taxa. We use a meta-analysis of 40 responses within 14 different studies available which assessed the effects of increasing temperature on coralline algal calcification in laboratory experiments. We find a net negative impact of increasing temperature on coralline algal calcification at 5.2°C above ambient conditions. Conversely, negative effects are observed when temperature drops below 2.0°C from ambient conditions. We propose that some coralline algae will be more capable of both acclimatizing and locally adapting to increasing ocean temperatures over the coming decades. This is because many species possess short generation times, the ability to opportunistically rapidly utilize open space, and relatively high phenotypic plasticity. However, less resistant and resilient species will be those that are long-lived, those with long generation times, or with narrow thermal tolerances (e.g., tropical taxa living close to their thermal maxima). Additionally, ocean warming will occur simultaneously with ocean acidification, a potentially greater threat to coralline algae, which could also reduce any tolerance to ocean warming for many species. To maximize the potential to accurately determine how coralline algae will respond to future ocean warming and marine heatwaves, future research should use environmentally relevant temperature treatments, use appropriate acclimation times and follow best practices in experimental design.

AB - Coralline algae are foundation species in many hard-bottom ecosystems acting as a settlement substrate, and binding together and even creating reefs in some locations. Ocean acidification is known to be a major threat to coralline algae. However, the effects of ocean warming are less certain. Here we bring multiple lines of evidence together to discuss the potential impacts of ocean warming on these ecologically crucial taxa. We use a meta-analysis of 40 responses within 14 different studies available which assessed the effects of increasing temperature on coralline algal calcification in laboratory experiments. We find a net negative impact of increasing temperature on coralline algal calcification at 5.2°C above ambient conditions. Conversely, negative effects are observed when temperature drops below 2.0°C from ambient conditions. We propose that some coralline algae will be more capable of both acclimatizing and locally adapting to increasing ocean temperatures over the coming decades. This is because many species possess short generation times, the ability to opportunistically rapidly utilize open space, and relatively high phenotypic plasticity. However, less resistant and resilient species will be those that are long-lived, those with long generation times, or with narrow thermal tolerances (e.g., tropical taxa living close to their thermal maxima). Additionally, ocean warming will occur simultaneously with ocean acidification, a potentially greater threat to coralline algae, which could also reduce any tolerance to ocean warming for many species. To maximize the potential to accurately determine how coralline algae will respond to future ocean warming and marine heatwaves, future research should use environmentally relevant temperature treatments, use appropriate acclimation times and follow best practices in experimental design.

KW - Coral reefs

KW - Coralligenous

KW - Coralline algae

KW - Guidelines

KW - Kelp forests

KW - Meta-analysis

KW - Ocean warming

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85066806650&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.3389/fmars.2019.00186

DO - 10.3389/fmars.2019.00186

M3 - Review article

VL - 6

JO - Frontiers in Marine Science

JF - Frontiers in Marine Science

SN - 2296-7745

IS - May

M1 - 186

ER -