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Gains and losses of coral skeletal porosity changes with ocean acidification acclimation

Paola Fantazzini (), Stefano Mengoli, Luca Pasquini, Villiam Bortolotti, Leonardo Brizi, Manuel Mariani, Matteo Di Giosia, Simona Fermani, Bruno Capaccioni, Erik Caroselli, Fiorella Prada, Francesco Zaccanti, Oren Levy, Zvy Dubinsky, Jaap A. Kaandorp, Pirom Konglerd, Jörg U. Hammel, Yannicke Dauphin, Jean-Pierre Cuif, James C. Weaver, Katharina E. Fabricius, Wolfgang Wagermaier, Peter Fratzl, Giuseppe Falini () and Stefano Goffredo ()
Additional contact information
Paola Fantazzini: University of Bologna
Luca Pasquini: University of Bologna
Villiam Bortolotti: Chemical, Environmental, and Materials Engineering, University of Bologna
Leonardo Brizi: University of Bologna
Manuel Mariani: University of Bologna
Matteo Di Giosia: University of Bologna
Simona Fermani: University of Bologna
Bruno Capaccioni: Geological and Environmental Sciences, Section of Geology, University of Bologna
Erik Caroselli: Marine Science Group, Geological and Environmental Sciences, Section of Biology, University of Bologna
Fiorella Prada: Marine Science Group, Geological and Environmental Sciences, Section of Biology, University of Bologna
Francesco Zaccanti: Marine Science Group, Geological and Environmental Sciences, Section of Biology, University of Bologna
Oren Levy: The Mina and Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences, Bar-Ilan University
Zvy Dubinsky: The Mina and Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences, Bar-Ilan University
Jaap A. Kaandorp: Section Computational Science, Faculty of Science, University of Amsterdam
Pirom Konglerd: Section Computational Science, Faculty of Science, University of Amsterdam
Jörg U. Hammel: Institute of Materials Research, Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht, Outstation at DESY
Yannicke Dauphin: Micropaléontologie, UFR TEB Université P. & M. Curie
Jean-Pierre Cuif: Micropaléontologie, UFR TEB Université P. & M. Curie
James C. Weaver: Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University
Katharina E. Fabricius: Australian Institute of Marine Science
Wolfgang Wagermaier: Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces
Peter Fratzl: Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces
Giuseppe Falini: University of Bologna
Stefano Goffredo: Marine Science Group, Geological and Environmental Sciences, Section of Biology, University of Bologna

Nature Communications, 2015, vol. 6, issue 1, 1-7

Abstract: Abstract Ocean acidification is predicted to impact ecosystems reliant on calcifying organisms, potentially reducing the socioeconomic benefits these habitats provide. Here we investigate the acclimation potential of stony corals living along a pH gradient caused by a Mediterranean CO2 vent that serves as a natural long-term experimental setting. We show that in response to reduced skeletal mineralization at lower pH, corals increase their skeletal macroporosity (features >10 μm) in order to maintain constant linear extension rate, an important criterion for reproductive output. At the nanoscale, the coral skeleton’s structural features are not altered. However, higher skeletal porosity, and reduced bulk density and stiffness may contribute to reduce population density and increase damage susceptibility under low pH conditions. Based on these observations, the almost universally employed measure of coral biomineralization, the rate of linear extension, might not be a reliable metric for assessing coral health and resilience in a warming and acidifying ocean.

Date: 2015
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:nat:natcom:v:6:y:2015:i:1:d:10.1038_ncomms8785

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DOI: 10.1038/ncomms8785

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