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Changes in microbial communities, photosynthesis and calcification of the coral Acropora gemmifera in response to ocean acidification
Zhou, G.; Yuan, L.; Cai, L.; Zhang, W.; Tian, R.; Tong, H.; Jiang, L.; Yuan, X.; Liu, S.; Qian, P.; Huang, H. (2016). Changes in microbial communities, photosynthesis and calcification of the coral Acropora gemmifera in response to ocean acidification. NPG Scientific Reports 6(35971): 9 pp. http://hdl.handle.net/10.1038/srep35971
In: Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group). Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 2045-2322; e-ISSN 2045-2322, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Zhou, G.
  • Yuan, L.
  • Cai, L.
  • Zhang, W.
  • Tian, R.
  • Tong, H.
  • Jiang, L.
  • Yuan, X.
  • Liu, S.
  • Qian, P.
  • Huang, H.

Abstract
    With the increasing anthropogenic CO2 concentration, ocean acidification (OA) can have dramatic effects on coral reefs. However, the effects of OA on coral physiology and the associated microbes remain largely unknown. In the present study, reef-building coral Acropora gemmifera collected from a reef flat with highly fluctuating environmental condition in the South China Sea were exposed to three levels of partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO(2)) (i.e., 421, 923, and 2070 mu atm) for four weeks. The microbial community structures associated with A. gemmifera under these treatments were analyzed using 16S rRNA gene barcode sequencing. The results revealed that the microbial community associated with A. gemmifera was highly diverse at the genus level and dominated by Alphaproteobacteria. More importantly, the microbial community structure remained rather stable under different pCO2 treatments. Photosynthesis and calcification in A. gemmifera, as indicated by enrichment of delta O-18 and increased depletion of delta C-13 in the coral skeleton, were significantly impaired only at the high pCO(2) (2070 mu atm). These results suggest that A. gemmifera can maintain a high degree of stable microbial communities despite of significant physiological changes in response to extremely high pCO(2).

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