Projects per year
Severe, global-scale thermal stress events like those of 1998 and 2016, are becoming more frequent and intense, potentially compromising the future of coral reefs. Here we report the effects of the 1998 bleaching event on coral calcification as well as the composition of the calcifying fluid (cf) from which corals precipitate their calcium carbonate skeletons. This was investigated by using the Sr/Ca, Li/Mg (temperature), and boron isotopes (δ11B) and B/Ca (carbonate chemistry) proxies in a Porites sp. coral. Following the summer of 1998 the coral exhibited a prolonged period (~18 months) of reduced calcification (~60%) and a breakdown in the seasonality of the geochemical proxies. However, the maintenance of elevated dissolved inorganic carbon (DICcf; >×2 seawater) and pHcf (>8.3 compared to seawater ~8.0) even during severe stress of 1998 indicate that a minimum threshold of high aragonite saturation state (Ωcf) of ~14 (~×4 seawater), is an essential pre-requisite for coral calcification. However, despite maintaining elevated levels of Ωcf even under severe stress, coral growth is still impaired. We attribute this to reductions in either the effective active volume of calcification and/or DICcf as bleaching compromises the photosynthetically fixed carbon pool available to the coral.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Dec 2017|
FingerprintDive into the research topics of 'Response of coral calcification and calcifying fluid composition to thermally induced bleaching stress'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
- 1 Finished