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

Water column productivity and temperature predict coral reef regeneration across the Indo-Pacific
Water column productivity and temperature predict coral reef regeneration across the Indo-Pacific
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.
8273
Riegl, B.
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Glynn, P.W.
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Wieters, E.
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Purkis, S.
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D'Angelo, C.
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Wiedenmann, J.
ad445af2-680f-4927-90b3-589ac9d538f7
Riegl, B.
76b9a28c-972a-4a9e-b50d-546b8dce78cc
Glynn, P.W.
5ee6a155-c57d-40ec-826c-86ed72ca7c74
Wieters, E.
6c02f0e4-69a8-464a-a050-cded19778a86
Purkis, S.
7f2d8543-9f3c-41ce-95ad-aceaa6a533ef
D'Angelo, C.
0d35b03b-684d-43aa-a57a-87212ab07ee1
Wiedenmann, J.
ad445af2-680f-4927-90b3-589ac9d538f7

Riegl, B., Glynn, P.W., Wieters, E., Purkis, S., D'Angelo, C. and Wiedenmann, J. (2015) Water column productivity and temperature predict coral reef regeneration across the Indo-Pacific. Scientific Reports, 5, 8273. (doi:10.1038/srep08273).

Record type: Article

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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Published date: 5 February 2015
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 374848
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/374848
PURE UUID: a56b8bb1-c5c3-4578-a093-e304945cd758
ORCID for J. Wiedenmann: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-2128-2943

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Date deposited: 03 Mar 2015 15:05
Last modified: 27 Apr 2022 01:50

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Contributors

Author: B. Riegl
Author: P.W. Glynn
Author: E. Wieters
Author: S. Purkis
Author: C. D'Angelo
Author: J. Wiedenmann ORCID iD

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