Please select your home edition
Edition
Allen Brothers

Internal control helps corals resist acidification

by ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies 5 May 2018 18:37 PDT
Acropora yongei coral colony Rottnest Island © Claire Ross, UW

Scientists from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (Coral CoE) at The University of Western Australia (UWA) have found that some corals are able to combat the effects of ocean acidification by controlling their own chemistry.

Coral reefs play an important role in protecting coastlines from damage caused by waves and storms, but also provide habitat and shelter for many marine organisms. However, major environmental challenges such as climate change, threaten the survival of coral reefs worldwide.

The world-first study is a breakthrough for marine science because the scientists have identified marine species that are resilient to ocean changes, which will help better understand how to protect coral reefs in the future.

Lead author Dr Thomas DeCarlo said rising carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere were reflected in the ocean, which leads to ocean acidification.

"Acidification hampers the ability of the coral to form skeletons and shells which are the building blocks of reefs," Dr DeCarlo said.

"In the past few decades, hundreds of experiments have shown that corals have a highly diverse response to ocean acidification depending on the species. However, the reasons why some are more tolerant than others are not clearly understood.

Dr DeCarlo and his team developed a new method to understand the internal chemistry of corals by using specialised equipment that measures the characteristics of the molecules in coral.

"The method showed corals with the most resistance are tolerant because of the way they are able to regulate their calcium levels," Dr DeCarlo said. "This technique means scientists can identify species that are relatively resistant to ocean acidification."

"However, we are also looking at the costs associated with resisting acidification, which may potentially make acidification-resistant corals more vulnerable to other stressors."

Co-author Professor Malcolm McCulloch said previous studies found that even the more hardy coral species lose their ability to adapt to ocean acidification when they bleach under extreme heat events, as experienced in 2016.

"When a coral bleaches, it expels its 'powerhouse' – zooxanthellae symbionts, and loses the energy needed to keep its internal mechanisms running," he said. "The longer corals stay bleached, the less likely they are to recover."

The paper, Coral resistance to ocean acidification linked to increased calcium at the site of calcification is now available here.

Related Articles

Moth Worlds at Buenos Aires, Argentina overall
British's Dylan Fletcher Scott wins the title The Moth 2022 World Championship, organized by the Yacht Club Argentino at its headquarters in Dársena Norte, came to an end on Sunday. It was a challenging event and conditions weren't always easy, but we managed to have thirteen fair races. Posted today at 6:21 am
Streaming to Hobart with LawConnect.
Christian Beck's supermaxi, LawConnect, has already claimed first place in the 2022 Hobart race... Christian Beck's supermaxi, LawConnect, has already claimed first place in the 2022 Sydney to Hobart race. And for that matter, every race hereafter. No. No. No. We're not talking Line Honours, which is the prime directive of the campaign. Posted on 4 Dec
Project Landspeed: The importance of support
Glenn Ashby on the workhorses of the world wind powered landspeed record attempt When there is not water on the lake, it is always all eyes on Hokonuku, but little has been said of the workhorses of the world record attempt. Posted on 4 Dec
NSW 18ft Skiff Championship Race 2
Andoo team extended its lead in the series The Andoo team of John Winning Jr., Seve Jarvin and Sam Newton extended its lead in the NSW 18ft Skiff Championship with another top class exhibition in the North East wind conditions which prevailed for Race 2 of the series on Sydney Harbour today. Posted on 4 Dec
Moth Worlds at Buenos Aires, Argentina day 5
Four more races held on the Rio de la Plata On the penultimate day of racing at the Moth World Championship the wind again delivered on a typical spring day on the Rio de la Plata and four more races were completed. Posted on 4 Dec
Mistral claims Cabbage Tree Island Race win
The first two-handed boat to win overall honours Mistral is the first two-handed boat to win Overall honours in one of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia's major races, with co-skippers Rupert Henry and Greg O'Shea leading a two-handed sweep of the podium in the 2022 Cabbage Tree Island Race. Posted on 4 Dec
Small Boats, Big Talent Return to St. Maarten
Pamala Baldwin offers places on her J122 for young and rising talent On the water there's everything from Maxis with their professional crews, through to thrill-seeking catamarans, and the sportsboat classes, with skippers and crews ranging from Olympic sailors, world-class tacticians and navigators to newcomers. Posted on 4 Dec
Cheeky Tang Fittings by Colligo Marine
The "right" way to connect synthetic shrouds to your mast! The "right" way to connect synthetic shrouds to your mast! Colligo Marine's patented Cheeky Tang®? fittings are a simple & robust way to splice Colligo Dux rigging directly to the mast. Posted on 3 Dec
Lady Liberty Regatta at Manhattan Yacht Club
Swedish women's J/24 team head to New York Here's her story of how a Swedish women's J/24 team got organized and headed to New York to go sailing on the Hudson River. Posted on 3 Dec
Nearly 200 expected for next Transat Jacques Vabre
Almost 100 duos across the three open classes have already entered The Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie Le Havre will celebrate its 30th anniversary in Le Havre before the two-handed Tranatlantic race heads to Martinique, where the finish of the race known as the Route du Café will be hosted for the second time in a row. Posted on 3 Dec
Rooster 2020 - Impact BA - FOOTERSea Sure 2021 - Transom Fittings - FOOTERSOUTHERN-SPARS-AGLAIA-SPARS_728X90 Bottom