Seawater carbonate chemistry and calcification rate of the corals Oculina patagonica and Cladocora caespitosa in a laboratory experiment


In recent years, some of the ramifications of the ocean acidification problematic derived from the anthropogenic rising of atmospheric CO2 have been widely studied. In particular, the potential effects of a lowering pH on tropical coral reefs have received special attention. However, only a few studies have focused on testing the effects of ocean acidification in corals from the Mediterranean Sea, despite the fact that this basin is especially sensitive to increasing atmospheric CO2. In this context, we investigated the response to ocean acidification of the two zooxanthellate coral species capable of constituting the main framework of the community, the endemic Cladocora caespitosa and the non-native Oculina patagonica. To this end, we examined the response of both species to pCO2 concentrations expected by the end of the century, 800 ppm, vs the present levels. Calcification rate measurements after 92 days of exposure to low pH conditions showed the same negative response in both species, a decrease of 32-35% compared to corals reared under control conditions. In addition, we detected in both species a correlation between the calcification rate of colonies in control conditions and the degree of impairment of the same colonies at low pH. Independent of species, faster growing colonies were more affected by decreased pH. After this period of decreased pH, we conducted a recovery experiment, in which corals reared in the acidic treatment were brought back to control conditions. In this case, normal calcification rates were reached in both species. Overall, our results suggest that O. patagonica and C. caespitosa will both be affected detrimentally by progressive ocean acidification in the near future. They do not display differences in response between native and non-native species but do manifest differential responses depending on calcification rate, pointing to a role of the coral genetics in determining the response of corals to ocean acidification.

In order to allow full comparability with other ocean acidification data sets, the R package seacarb (Lavigne and Gattuso, 2011) 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 2013-11-29.

Supplement to: Movilla, Juancho; Calvo, Eva; Pelejero, Carles; Coma, Rafel; Serrano, Eduard; Fernández-Vallejo, Pilar; Ribes, Marta (2012): Calcification reduction and recovery in native and non-native Mediterranean corals in response to ocean acidification. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 438, 144-153

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Metadata Access
Creator Movilla, Juancho ORCID logo; Calvo, Eva ORCID logo; Pelejero, Carles ORCID logo; Coma, Rafel (ORCID: 0000-0001-6107-225X); Serrano, Eduard (ORCID: 0000-0001-9082-473X); Fernández-Vallejo, Pilar; Ribes, Marta (ORCID: 0000-0001-9747-295X)
Publisher PANGAEA
Contributor Yang, Yan
Publication Year 2012
Rights Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported;
OpenAccess true
Resource Type Supplementary Dataset; Dataset
Format text/tab-separated-values
Size 10438 data points
Discipline Earth System Research
Spatial Coverage (0.700 LON, 40.800 LAT)
Temporal Coverage Begin 2009-04-01T00:00:00Z
Temporal Coverage End 2009-04-30T00:00:00Z