Cold-water coral (Lophelia pertusa) response to multiple stressors: high temperature affects recovery from short-term pollution exposure

There are numerous studies highlighting the impacts of direct and indirect stressors on marine organisms, and multi-stressor studies of their combined effects are an increasing focus of experimental work. Lophelia pertusa is a framework-forming cold-water coral that supports numerous ecosystem services in the deep ocean. These corals are threatened by increasing anthropogenic impacts to the deep-sea, such as global ocean change and hydrocarbon extraction. This study implemented two sets of experiments to assess the effects of future conditions (temperature: 8 °C and 12 °C, pH: 7.9 and 7.6) and hydrocarbon exposure (oil, dispersant, oil + dispersant combined) on coral health. Phenotypic response was assessed through three independent observations of diagnostic characteristics that were combined into an average health rating at four points during exposure and recovery. In both experiments, regardless of environmental condition, average health significantly declined during 24-hour exposure to dispersant alone but was not significantly altered in the other treatments. In the early recovery stage (24 hours), polyp health returned to the pre-exposure health state under ambient temperature in all treatments. However, increased temperature resulted in a delay in recovery (72 hours) from dispersant exposure. These experiments provide evidence that global ocean change can affect the resilience of corals to environmental stressors and that exposure to chemical dispersants may pose a greater threat than oil itself.

Weinnig A. M., Gómez C. E., Hallaj A. & Cordes E. E., 2020. Cold-water coral (Lophelia pertusa) response to multiple stressors: high temperature affects recovery from short-term pollution exposure. Scientific Reports 10: 1768. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-58556-9. Article.

0 Responses to “Cold-water coral (Lophelia pertusa) response to multiple stressors: high temperature affects recovery from short-term pollution exposure”



  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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

  • 1,377,996 hits

OA-ICC HIGHLIGHTS

Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book