Seawater carbonate chemistry and body size, respiration and photosynthesis of the branching coral Pocillopora verrucosa


Body size has large effects on organism physiology, but these effects remain poorly understood in modular animals with complex morphologies. Using two trials of a 24 day experiment conducted in 2014 and 2015, we tested the hypothesis that colony size of the coral Pocillopora verrucosa affects the response of calcification, aerobic respiration and gross photosynthesis to temperature (26.5 and 29.7°C) and pCO2 (40 and 1000 µatm). Large corals calcified more than small corals, but at a slower size-specific rate; area-normalized calcification declined with size. Whole-colony and area-normalized calcification were unaffected by temperature, pCO2, or the interaction between the two. Whole-colony respiration increased with colony size, but the slopes of these relationships differed between treatments. Area-normalized gross photosynthesis declined with colony size, but whole-colony photosynthesis was unaffected by pCO2, and showed a weak response to temperature. When scaled up to predict the response of large corals, area-normalized metrics of physiological performance measured using small corals provide inaccurate estimates of the physiological performance of large colonies. Together, these results demonstrate the importance of colony size in modulating the response of branching corals to elevated temperature and high pCO2.

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 by seacarb is 2017-06-01.

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Metadata Access
Creator Edmunds, Peter J; Burgess, Scott C
Publisher PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science
Contributor Yang, Yan
Publication Year 2016
Rights Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported;
OpenAccess true
Language English
Resource Type Dataset
Format text/tab-separated-values
Size 3141 data points
Discipline Earth System Research