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Water column productivity and temperature predict coral reef regeneration across the Indo-Pacific.

Riegl B, Glynn PW, Wieters E, Purkis S, d'Angelo C, Wiedenmann J - Sci Rep (2015)

Bottom Line: This paper investigates the effects of sea surface temperature (SST) and water column productivity on recovery of coral reefs.The model pinpoints regions where coral reefs presently have the best chances for survival.However, reefs best buffered against temperature and nutrient effects are those that current studies suggest to be most at peril from future ocean acidification.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: National Coral Reef Institute, Nova Southeastern University, Florida, USA.

ABSTRACT
Predicted increases in seawater temperatures accelerate coral reef decline due to mortality by heat-driven coral bleaching. Alteration of the natural nutrient environment of reef corals reduces tolerance of corals to heat and light stress and thus will exacerbate impacts of global warming on reefs. Still, many reefs demonstrate remarkable regeneration from past stress events. This paper investigates the effects of sea surface temperature (SST) and water column productivity on recovery of coral reefs. In 71 Indo-Pacific sites, coral cover changes over the past 1-3 decades correlated negative-exponentially with mean SST, chlorophyll a, and SST rise. At six monitoring sites (Persian/Arabian Gulf, Red Sea, northern and southern Galápagos, Easter Island, Panama), over half of all corals were <31 years, implying that measured environmental variables indeed shaped populations and community. An Indo-Pacific-wide model suggests reefs in the northwest and central Indian Ocean, as well as the central west Pacific, are at highest risk of degradation, and those at high latitudes the least. The model pinpoints regions where coral reefs presently have the best chances for survival. However, reefs best buffered against temperature and nutrient effects are those that current studies suggest to be most at peril from future ocean acidification.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Boxplots of SST and Chlorophyll a (chl-a) data for each sampling site over the entire sampling period (1983–2012 for SST and 1997–2010 for chl-a).Third column is regeneration from earliest to latest known survey date at the given site (Supplement Table S.3).
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f2: Boxplots of SST and Chlorophyll a (chl-a) data for each sampling site over the entire sampling period (1983–2012 for SST and 1997–2010 for chl-a).Third column is regeneration from earliest to latest known survey date at the given site (Supplement Table S.3).

Mentions: Using our own and published data, coral cover trajectories up to three decades (regeneration = ratio of 1980s or 1990s to 2010s coral cover) in 71 Indo-Pacific reef sites were evaluated in relation to SST and chl-a as a proxy for nutrient levels. Sites encompassed high variability in nutrient and temperature regime, covering presumed extreme and benign situations. General changes in coral cover deduced from meta-analysis were verified with detailed in-situ monitoring data at the population-level. The coral monitoring period coincided with the global availability of remotely-sensed SST and chl-a data, allowing cross-checks. Sites used for meta-analysis were from all regions of the Indo-Pacific, but long-term monitoring sites encompass the warmest (Southern Red Sea = SRS, Persian/Arabian Gulf = PAG), some of the highest chl-a sites (Panama = CPC, southern Galápagos = EP-sGAL, PAG) to the coolest and lowest chl-a sites (Easter Island in the Eastern Pacific = EP; Fig. 1; Fig. 2).


Water column productivity and temperature predict coral reef regeneration across the Indo-Pacific.

Riegl B, Glynn PW, Wieters E, Purkis S, d'Angelo C, Wiedenmann J - Sci Rep (2015)

Boxplots of SST and Chlorophyll a (chl-a) data for each sampling site over the entire sampling period (1983–2012 for SST and 1997–2010 for chl-a).Third column is regeneration from earliest to latest known survey date at the given site (Supplement Table S.3).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4317697&req=5

f2: Boxplots of SST and Chlorophyll a (chl-a) data for each sampling site over the entire sampling period (1983–2012 for SST and 1997–2010 for chl-a).Third column is regeneration from earliest to latest known survey date at the given site (Supplement Table S.3).
Mentions: Using our own and published data, coral cover trajectories up to three decades (regeneration = ratio of 1980s or 1990s to 2010s coral cover) in 71 Indo-Pacific reef sites were evaluated in relation to SST and chl-a as a proxy for nutrient levels. Sites encompassed high variability in nutrient and temperature regime, covering presumed extreme and benign situations. General changes in coral cover deduced from meta-analysis were verified with detailed in-situ monitoring data at the population-level. The coral monitoring period coincided with the global availability of remotely-sensed SST and chl-a data, allowing cross-checks. Sites used for meta-analysis were from all regions of the Indo-Pacific, but long-term monitoring sites encompass the warmest (Southern Red Sea = SRS, Persian/Arabian Gulf = PAG), some of the highest chl-a sites (Panama = CPC, southern Galápagos = EP-sGAL, PAG) to the coolest and lowest chl-a sites (Easter Island in the Eastern Pacific = EP; Fig. 1; Fig. 2).

Bottom Line: This paper investigates the effects of sea surface temperature (SST) and water column productivity on recovery of coral reefs.The model pinpoints regions where coral reefs presently have the best chances for survival.However, reefs best buffered against temperature and nutrient effects are those that current studies suggest to be most at peril from future ocean acidification.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: National Coral Reef Institute, Nova Southeastern University, Florida, USA.

ABSTRACT
Predicted increases in seawater temperatures accelerate coral reef decline due to mortality by heat-driven coral bleaching. Alteration of the natural nutrient environment of reef corals reduces tolerance of corals to heat and light stress and thus will exacerbate impacts of global warming on reefs. Still, many reefs demonstrate remarkable regeneration from past stress events. This paper investigates the effects of sea surface temperature (SST) and water column productivity on recovery of coral reefs. In 71 Indo-Pacific sites, coral cover changes over the past 1-3 decades correlated negative-exponentially with mean SST, chlorophyll a, and SST rise. At six monitoring sites (Persian/Arabian Gulf, Red Sea, northern and southern Galápagos, Easter Island, Panama), over half of all corals were <31 years, implying that measured environmental variables indeed shaped populations and community. An Indo-Pacific-wide model suggests reefs in the northwest and central Indian Ocean, as well as the central west Pacific, are at highest risk of degradation, and those at high latitudes the least. The model pinpoints regions where coral reefs presently have the best chances for survival. However, reefs best buffered against temperature and nutrient effects are those that current studies suggest to be most at peril from future ocean acidification.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus