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Dolomite-rich coralline algae in reefs resist dissolution in acidified conditions

Nash, Merinda; Opdyke, Bradley; Troitzsch, Ulrike; Russell, B.D.; Adey, W.H.; Kato, A.; Diaz-Pulido, G.; Brent, Camilla; Gardner, Madelene; Prichard, Jennifer; Kline, David

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Coral reef ecosystems develop best in high-flow environments but their fragile frameworks are also vulnerable to high wave energy. Wave-resistant algal rims, predominantly made up of the crustose coralline algae (CCA) Porolithon onkodes and P. pachydermum1,2, are therefore critical structural elements for the survival of many shallow coral reefs. Concerns are growing about the susceptibility of CCA to ocean acidification because CCA Mg-calcite skeletons are more susceptible to dissolution under...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorNash, Merinda
dc.contributor.authorOpdyke, Bradley
dc.contributor.authorTroitzsch, Ulrike
dc.contributor.authorRussell, B.D.
dc.contributor.authorAdey, W.H.
dc.contributor.authorKato, A.
dc.contributor.authorDiaz-Pulido, G.
dc.contributor.authorBrent, Camilla
dc.contributor.authorGardner, Madelene
dc.contributor.authorPrichard, Jennifer
dc.contributor.authorKline, David
dc.date.accessioned2015-12-13T22:17:25Z
dc.identifier.issn1758-678X
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/71120
dc.description.abstractCoral reef ecosystems develop best in high-flow environments but their fragile frameworks are also vulnerable to high wave energy. Wave-resistant algal rims, predominantly made up of the crustose coralline algae (CCA) Porolithon onkodes and P. pachydermum1,2, are therefore critical structural elements for the survival of many shallow coral reefs. Concerns are growing about the susceptibility of CCA to ocean acidification because CCA Mg-calcite skeletons are more susceptible to dissolution under low pH conditions than coral aragonite skeletons3. However, the recent discovery4 of dolomite (Mg0.5 Ca0.5 (CO3)), a stable carbonate5, in P. onkodes cells necessitates a reappraisal of the impacts of ocean acidification on these CCA. Here we show, using a dissolution experiment, that dried dolomite-rich CCA have 6-10 times lower rates of dissolution than predominantly Mg-calcite CCA in both high-CO2 (∼ 700 ppm) and control (∼ 380 ppm) environments, respectively. We reveal this stabilizing mechanism to be a combination of reduced porosity due to dolomite infilling and selective dissolution of other carbonate minerals. Physical break-up proceeds by dissolution of Mg-calcite walls until the dolomitized cell eventually drops out intact. Dolomite-rich CCA frameworks are common in shallow coral reefs globally and our results suggest that it is likely that they will continue to provide protection and stability for coral reef frameworks as CO2 rises.
dc.publisherNature Publishing Group
dc.sourceNature Climate Change
dc.subjectKeywords: acidification; carbon dioxide enrichment; coral reef; coralline alga; dissolution; dolomite; survival; wave power
dc.titleDolomite-rich coralline algae in reefs resist dissolution in acidified conditions
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.identifier.citationvolume3
dc.date.issued2013
local.identifier.absfor020406 - Surfaces and Structural Properties of Condensed Matter
local.identifier.absfor029901 - Biological Physics
local.identifier.ariespublicationf5625xPUB2566
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationNash, Merinda, College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationOpdyke, Bradley, College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationTroitzsch, Ulrike, College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationRussell, B.D., University of Adelaide
local.contributor.affiliationAdey, W.H., Smithsonian Institution
local.contributor.affiliationKato, A., Hiroshima University
local.contributor.affiliationDiaz-Pulido, G., Griffith University
local.contributor.affiliationBrent, Camilla, College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationGardner, Madelene, College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationPrichard, Jennifer, College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationKline, David, University of Queensland
local.description.embargo2037-12-31
local.bibliographicCitation.issue3
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage268
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage272
local.identifier.doi10.1038/nclimate1760
local.identifier.absseo970102 - Expanding Knowledge in the Physical Sciences
local.identifier.absseo970106 - Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
dc.date.updated2016-02-24T09:00:24Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-84874639705
local.identifier.thomsonID000319399000023
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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