Effects of high dissolved inorganic and organic carbon availability on the physiology of the hard coral Acropora millepora from the Great Barrier Reef


Coral reefs are facing major global and local threats due to climate change-induced increases in dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and because of land-derived increases in organic and inorganic nutrients. Recent research revealed that high availability of labile dissolved organic carbon (DOC) negatively affects scleractinian corals. Studies on the interplay of these factors, however, are lacking, but urgently needed to understand coral reef functioning under present and near future conditions. This experimental study investigated the individual and combined effects of ambient and high DIC (pCO2 403 µatm/ pHTotal 8.2 and 996 µatm/pHTotal 7.8) and DOC (added as Glucose 0 and 294 µmol/L, background DOC concentration of 83 µmol/L) availability on the physiology (net and gross photosynthesis, respiration, dark and light calcification, and growth) of the scleractinian coral Acropora millepora (Ehrenberg, 1834) from the Great Barrier Reef over a 16 day interval. High DIC availability did not affect photosynthesis, respiration and light calcification, but significantly reduced dark calcification and growth by 50 and 23%, respectively. High DOC availability reduced net and gross photosynthesis by 51% and 39%, respectively, but did not affect respiration. DOC addition did not influence calcification, but significantly increased growth by 42%. Combination of high DIC and high DOC availability did not affect photosynthesis, light calcification, respiration or growth, but significantly decreased dark calcification when compared to both controls and DIC treatments. On the ecosystem level, high DIC concentrations may lead to reduced accretion and growth of reefs dominated by Acropora that under elevated DOC concentrations will likely exhibit reduced primary production rates, ultimately leading to loss of hard substrate and reef erosion. It is therefore important to consider the potential impacts of elevated DOC and DIC simultaneously to assess real world scenarios, as multiple rather than single factors influence key physiological processes in coral reefs.

In order to allow full comparability with other ocean acidification data sets, the R package seacarb (Gattuso et al, 2016) was used to compute a complete and consistent set of carbonate system variables, as described by Nisumaa et al. (2010). In this dataset the original values were archived in addition with the recalculated parameters (see related PI). The date of carbonate chemistry calculation is 2016-12-12.

DOI https://doi.org/10.1594/PANGAEA.869416
Related Identifier https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0149598
Related Identifier https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.2075254.v1
Related Identifier https://cran.r-project.org/package=seacarb
Metadata Access https://ws.pangaea.de/oai/provider?verb=GetRecord&metadataPrefix=datacite4&identifier=oai:pangaea.de:doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.869416
Creator Meyer, Friedrich Wilhelm; Vogel, Nikolas; Diele, Karen; Kunzmann, Andreas; Uthicke, Sven; Wild, Christian
Publisher PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science
Contributor Yang, Yan
Publication Year 2016
Rights Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported; https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
OpenAccess true
Language English
Resource Type Dataset
Format text/tab-separated-values
Size 10207 data points
Discipline Earth System Research
Spatial Coverage (146.488 LON, -18.550 LAT)