Monday, February 13, 2017

Scientific Publication in Marine Biology - Physiology and Ecophysiology teams

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

Members of the Physiology and Ecophysiology teams have collaborated to publish research in the UK Royal Society’s flagship journal, “Proceedings B” on the effects of changes in seawater carbonate chemistry on pH regulation and calcification in corals.

The work also involved international collaboration with 3 specialists in ocean acidification from California State University, USA: Drs Pete Edmunds, Bob Carpenter and Steeve Comeau. An alumnus of the Monaco International School, Nicolas Evensen, also participated in the investigation.

The research took a unique approach to study the mechanisms by which corals regulate pH at the site of calcification, by subjecting corals to seawater with modified levels of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and total alkalinity (TA).  Building on previous research that has shown that corals use DIC found naturally in seawater for calcification and photosynthesis, the research reveals that corals also require one or more forms of DIC to regulate pH at their internal sites of calcification. This expands on the previously held view that pH levels at the site of calcification depends on seawater pH.

The research provides fresh insight into the physiology underlying coral calcification and is important for interpretation of geochemical signatures in coral skeletons, which are widely used as indicators of previous environmental conditions in Earth’s History. 


© E. Tambutté (CSM)
Confocal microscope image of new skeletal calcium carbonate crystals deposited on a glass slide by a growing coral. Corals grown on glass slides were analysed by confocal microscopy in the new study.

 

 

Comeau, S., Tambutté, E., Carpenter, R.C., Edmunds, P.J., Evensen, N.R., Allemand, D., Ferrier-Pagès, C., Tambutté, S. and 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 Sciences 284(1847).

 
 

For more information contact:

- Dr S. Tambutte. Director of Research, Physiology Team, Marine Biology Dept, Centre Scientifique de Monaco (stambutte@centrescientifique.mc).

- Dr C. Ferrier-Pages Director of Research, Ecophysiology Team, Marine Biology Dept, Centre Scientifique de Monaco (ferrier@centrescientifique.mc).

- Dr A.A. Venn. Senior Scientist, Physiology Team, Marine Biology Dept, Centre Scientifique de Monaco (avenn@centrescientifique.mc).

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