Effects of increased pCO2 on zinc uptake and calcification in the tropical coral Stylophora pistillata
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Zinc (Zn) is an essential element for corals. We investigated the effects of ocean acidification on zinc incorporation, photosynthesis, and gross calcification in the scleractinian coral Stylophora pistillata. Colonies were maintained at normal pHT (8.1) and at two low-pH conditions (7.8 and 7.5) for 5 weeks. Corals were exposed to 65Zn dissolved in seawater to assess uptake rates. After 5 weeks, corals raised at pHT (8.1) exhibited higher 65Zn activity in the coral tissue and skeleton, compared with corals raised at a lower pH. Photosynthesis, photosynthetic efficiency, and gross calcification, measured by 45Ca incorporation, were however unchanged even at the lowest pH.
KeywordsScleractinian corals Ocean acidification Radiotracers Zinc Calcification
The International Atomic Energy Agency is grateful to the Government of the Principality of Monaco for the support provided to its Environment Laboratories. Thanks are due to Dr J. Ries and Pr T. A. McConnaughey for their helpful comments and constructive remarks on this manuscript. We also thank Dr. M. Holcomb for fruitful discussions on calcification processes.
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