Sponge biomass and bioerosion rates increase under ocean warming and acidification

J.K.H. Fang, M.A. Mello-Athayde, Christine Schönberg, D.I. Kline, O. Hoegh-Guldberg, S.G. Dove

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

77 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The combination of ocean warming and acidification as a result of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) is considered to be a significant threat to calcifying organisms and their activities on coral reefs. How these global changes impact the important roles of decalcifying organisms (bioeroders) in the regulation of carbonate budgets, however, is less understood. To address this important question, the effects of a range of past, present and future CO2 emission scenarios (temperature + acidification) on the excavating sponge Cliona orientalis Thiele, 1900 were explored over 12 weeks in early summer on the southern Great Barrier Reef. C. orientalis is a widely distributed bioeroder on many reefs, and hosts symbiotic dinoflagellates of the genus Symbiodinium. Our results showed that biomass production and bioerosion rates of C. orientalis were similar under a pre-industrial scenario and a present day (control) scenario. Symbiodinium population density in the sponge tissue was the highest under the pre-industrial scenario, and decreased towards the two future scenarios with sponge replicates under the 'business-as-usual' CO2 emission scenario exhibiting strong bleaching. Despite these changes, biomass production and the ability of the sponge to erode coral carbonate materials both increased under the future scenarios. Our study suggests that C. orientalis will likely grow faster and have higher bioerosion rates in a high CO2 future than at present, even with significant bleaching. Assuming that our findings hold for excavating sponges in general, increased sponge biomass coupled with accelerated bioerosion may push coral reefs towards net erosion and negative carbonate budgets in the future. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3581-3591
JournalGlobal Change Biology
Volume19
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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bioerosion
Reefs
Acidification
sponge
acidification
Carbonates
Biomass
warming
biomass
ocean
Bleaching
bleaching
carbonate
coral reef
Carbon Dioxide
Erosion
barrier reef
Tissue
global change
dinoflagellate

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Fang, J. K. H., Mello-Athayde, M. A., Schönberg, C., Kline, D. I., Hoegh-Guldberg, O., & Dove, S. G. (2013). Sponge biomass and bioerosion rates increase under ocean warming and acidification. Global Change Biology, 19(12), 3581-3591. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.12334
Fang, J.K.H. ; Mello-Athayde, M.A. ; Schönberg, Christine ; Kline, D.I. ; Hoegh-Guldberg, O. ; Dove, S.G. / Sponge biomass and bioerosion rates increase under ocean warming and acidification. In: Global Change Biology. 2013 ; Vol. 19, No. 12. pp. 3581-3591.
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Fang, JKH, Mello-Athayde, MA, Schönberg, C, Kline, DI, Hoegh-Guldberg, O & Dove, SG 2013, 'Sponge biomass and bioerosion rates increase under ocean warming and acidification' Global Change Biology, vol. 19, no. 12, pp. 3581-3591. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.12334

Sponge biomass and bioerosion rates increase under ocean warming and acidification. / Fang, J.K.H.; Mello-Athayde, M.A.; Schönberg, Christine; Kline, D.I.; Hoegh-Guldberg, O.; Dove, S.G.

In: Global Change Biology, Vol. 19, No. 12, 2013, p. 3581-3591.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Sponge biomass and bioerosion rates increase under ocean warming and acidification

AU - Fang, J.K.H.

AU - Mello-Athayde, M.A.

AU - Schönberg, Christine

AU - Kline, D.I.

AU - Hoegh-Guldberg, O.

AU - Dove, S.G.

PY - 2013

Y1 - 2013

N2 - The combination of ocean warming and acidification as a result of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) is considered to be a significant threat to calcifying organisms and their activities on coral reefs. How these global changes impact the important roles of decalcifying organisms (bioeroders) in the regulation of carbonate budgets, however, is less understood. To address this important question, the effects of a range of past, present and future CO2 emission scenarios (temperature + acidification) on the excavating sponge Cliona orientalis Thiele, 1900 were explored over 12 weeks in early summer on the southern Great Barrier Reef. C. orientalis is a widely distributed bioeroder on many reefs, and hosts symbiotic dinoflagellates of the genus Symbiodinium. Our results showed that biomass production and bioerosion rates of C. orientalis were similar under a pre-industrial scenario and a present day (control) scenario. Symbiodinium population density in the sponge tissue was the highest under the pre-industrial scenario, and decreased towards the two future scenarios with sponge replicates under the 'business-as-usual' CO2 emission scenario exhibiting strong bleaching. Despite these changes, biomass production and the ability of the sponge to erode coral carbonate materials both increased under the future scenarios. Our study suggests that C. orientalis will likely grow faster and have higher bioerosion rates in a high CO2 future than at present, even with significant bleaching. Assuming that our findings hold for excavating sponges in general, increased sponge biomass coupled with accelerated bioerosion may push coral reefs towards net erosion and negative carbonate budgets in the future. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

AB - The combination of ocean warming and acidification as a result of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) is considered to be a significant threat to calcifying organisms and their activities on coral reefs. How these global changes impact the important roles of decalcifying organisms (bioeroders) in the regulation of carbonate budgets, however, is less understood. To address this important question, the effects of a range of past, present and future CO2 emission scenarios (temperature + acidification) on the excavating sponge Cliona orientalis Thiele, 1900 were explored over 12 weeks in early summer on the southern Great Barrier Reef. C. orientalis is a widely distributed bioeroder on many reefs, and hosts symbiotic dinoflagellates of the genus Symbiodinium. Our results showed that biomass production and bioerosion rates of C. orientalis were similar under a pre-industrial scenario and a present day (control) scenario. Symbiodinium population density in the sponge tissue was the highest under the pre-industrial scenario, and decreased towards the two future scenarios with sponge replicates under the 'business-as-usual' CO2 emission scenario exhibiting strong bleaching. Despite these changes, biomass production and the ability of the sponge to erode coral carbonate materials both increased under the future scenarios. Our study suggests that C. orientalis will likely grow faster and have higher bioerosion rates in a high CO2 future than at present, even with significant bleaching. Assuming that our findings hold for excavating sponges in general, increased sponge biomass coupled with accelerated bioerosion may push coral reefs towards net erosion and negative carbonate budgets in the future. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

U2 - 10.1111/gcb.12334

DO - 10.1111/gcb.12334

M3 - Article

VL - 19

SP - 3581

EP - 3591

JO - Global Change Biology

JF - Global Change Biology

SN - 1354-1013

IS - 12

ER -