[2017] Acidification impact on the growth of young coral

Global climate change is threatening the complexe and diverse coral reef ecosystems in the tropical oceans. Early-life stages of reef-building corals are extremely vital to the maintenance and existence of these coral reefs. In this study, we find that the negative impacts on coral juveniles from ocean warming and acidification in the ocean by the uptake of atmospheric CO2 due to increase anthropogenic CO2 emissions are severe. The future warming of only 2ºC including “end of century” CO2 emission scenario (750 ppm) resulted in deformed coral skeletal morphology in 10-day old juveniles. The effect of climate change critically disrupted the formation of normal skeletal materials that were more brittle and abnormally shaped. Given the irregular appearance of the coral juveniles that were subjected to warming and acidification, commonly used climate reconstruction proxies (indirect quantification of climate from direct coral geochemical analysis) from corals were significantly impacted. Sustained biases with inaccuracies in climate reconstruction based on the geochemical proxies were found. The results suggest a strong relationship between skeletal formation and coral geochemistry at the most sensitive stage of coral development.

Reference : Wu Henry C., Dissard Delphine, Le Cornec Florence, Thil François, Tribollet Aline, Moya Aurelie, Douville Eric. Primary Life Stage Boron Isotope and Trace Elements Incorporation in Aposymbiotic Acropora millepora Coral under Ocean Acidification and Warming. Frontiers in Marine Science, 4, 129, 2017. DOI=10.3389/fmars.2017.00129