Document Type

Article

Publication Date

9-28-2017

Keywords

Environmental impact, Phenology

Publication Title

Scientific Reports

ISSN

2045-2322

Volume

7

Issue/No.

12380

First Page

1

Last Page

8

Peer Reviewed

1

Abstract

Corals worldwide are facing population declines due to global climate change and local anthropogenic impacts. Global climate change effects are hard to tackle but recent studies show that some coral species can better handle climate change stress when provided with additional energy resources. The local stressor that most undermines energy acquisition is sedimentation because it impedes coral heterotrophic feeding and their ability to photosynthesize. To investigate if reducing local sedimentation will enable corals to better endure ocean warming, we quantitatively assessed the combined effects of increased temperature and sedimentation (concentration and turbidity) on the survival of coral recruits of the species, Porites astreoides. We used sediment from a reef and a boat basin to mimic natural sediment (coarse) and anthropogenic (fine) sediment (common in dredging), respectively. Natural sediment did not negatively impact coral survival, but anthropogenic sediment did. We found that the capacity of coral recruits to survive under warmer temperatures is less compromised when anthropogenic sedimentation is maintained at the lowest level (30 mg.cm−2). Our study suggests that a reduction of US-EPA allowable turbidity from 29 Nephelometric Turbidity Units (NTU) above background to less than 7 NTU near coral reefs would facilitate coral recruit survival under current and higher temperatures.

Comments

©The Author(s) 2017.

Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

Additional Comments

NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program grant#: NA15NOS4820078; NSU President's Faculty Research and Development grant #: 335340

ORCID ID

0000-0001-6597-0268

DOI

10.1038/s41598-017-12607-w

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