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Ocean acidification represents a key threat to coral reefs by reducing the calcification rate of framework builders. In addition, acidification is likely to affect the relationship between corals and their symbiotic dinoflagellates and the productivity of this association. However, little is known about how acidification impacts on the physiology of reef(More)
Despite widespread acceptance that competition between scleractinian corals and benthic algae is important to the structure of coral reef communities, there is little direct experimental evidence that corals and algae do compete, and very little data on the processes and causality of their interactions. Most available evidence is observational or(More)
BACKGROUND The rising temperature of the world's oceans has become a major threat to coral reefs globally as the severity and frequency of mass coral bleaching and mortality events increase. In 2005, high ocean temperatures in the tropical Atlantic and Caribbean resulted in the most severe bleaching event ever recorded in the basin. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL(More)
Ocean warming and acidification from increasing levels of atmospheric CO 2 represent major global threats to coral reefs, and are in many regions exacerbated by local-scale disturbances such as overfishing and nutrient enrichment. Our understanding of global threats and local-scale disturbances on reefs is growing, but their relative contribution to reef(More)
Coralline algae are among the most sensitive calcifying organisms to ocean acidification as a result of increased atmospheric carbon dioxide (pCO2 ). Little is known, however, about the combined impacts of increased pCO2 , ocean acidification, and sea surface temperature on tissue mortality and skeletal dissolution of coralline algae. To address this issue,(More)
BACKGROUND Coral reefs around the world are experiencing large-scale degradation, largely due to global climate change, overfishing, diseases and eutrophication. Climate change models suggest increasing frequency and severity of warming-induced coral bleaching events, with consequent increases in coral mortality and algal overgrowth. Critically, the(More)
Space competition between corals and seaweeds is an important ecological process underlying coral-reef dynamics. Processes promoting seaweed growth and survival, such as herbivore overfishing and eutrophication, can lead to local reef degradation. Here, we present the case that increasing concentrations of atmospheric CO(2) may be an additional process(More)
Ecology Letters (2012) 15: 338-346 ABSTRACT: Successful recruitment in shallow reef ecosystems often involves specific cues that connect planktonic invertebrate larvae with particular crustose coralline algae (CCA) during settlement. While ocean acidification (OA) can reduce larval settlement and the abundance of CCA, the impact of OA on the interactions(More)
Calcification and growth of crustose coralline algae (CCA) are affected by elevated seawater pCO2 and associated changes in carbonate chemistry. However, the effects of ocean acidification (OA) on population and community-level responses of CCA have barely been investigated. We explored changes in community structure and population dynamics (size structure(More)
During 2015-2016, record temperatures triggered a pan-tropical episode of coral bleaching, the third global-scale event since mass bleaching was first documented in the 1980s. Here we examine how and why the severity of recurrent major bleaching events has varied at multiple scales, using aerial and underwater surveys of Australian reefs combined with(More)