Coral calcifying fluid pH is modulated by seawater carbonate chemistry not solely seawater pH

Reef coral calcification depends on regulation of pH in the internal calcifying fluid (CF) in which the coral skeleton forms. However, little is known about calcifying fluid pH (pHCF) regulation, despite its importance in determining the response of corals to ocean acidification. Here, we investigate pHCF in the coral Stylophora pistillata in seawater maintained at constant pH with manipulated carbonate chemistry to alter dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) concentration, and therefore total alkalinity (AT). We also investigate the intracellular pH of calcifying cells, photosynthesis, respiration and calcification rates under the same conditions. Our results show that despite constant pH in the surrounding seawater, pHCF is sensitive to shifts in carbonate chemistry associated with changes in [DIC] and [AT], revealing that seawater pH is not the sole driver of pHCF. Notably, when we synthesize our results with published data, we identify linear relationships of pHCF with the seawater [DIC]/[H+] ratio, [AT]/ [H+] ratio and [Embedded Image]. Our findings contribute new insights into the mechanisms determining the sensitivity of coral calcification to changes in seawater carbonate chemistry, which are needed for predicting effects of environmental change on coral reefs and for robust interpretations of isotopic palaeoenvironmental records in coral skeletons.

Comeau S., Tambutté E., Carpenter R. C., Edmunds P. J., Evensen N. R., Allemand D., Ferrier-Pagès C., Tambutté S. & Venn A. A., 2017. Coral calcifying fluid pH is modulated by seawater carbonate chemistry not solely seawater pH. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Science 284:20161669. Article (subscription required).

0 Responses to “Coral calcifying fluid pH is modulated by seawater carbonate chemistry not solely seawater pH”

  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Subscribe to the RSS feed

Powered by FeedBurner

Follow AnneMarin on Twitter

Blog Stats

  • 1,096,399 hits


Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book