Intraspecific variation in the response of the scleractinian coral Acropora digitifera to ocean acidification
To examine the possible variation in responses of corals to ocean acidification (OA) among populations, we compared the sensitivity of two Okinawan populations (Sesoko and Bise) of the scleractinian coral Acropora digitifera to high pCO2. We found that both light and dark calcification rates of Sesoko corals did not change with an increase in seawater pCO2, while the calcification rates of Bise corals significantly decreased. Additionally, calcification rate of Sesoko corals was significantly lower than Bise corals at control conditions. Expressions of two putative calcification-related genes (BAT: bicarbonate transporter and galaxin) were up-regulated at high CO2 compared to the control and expression of the BAT gene was significantly higher in Sesoko compared to Bise corals. Consequently, differences in the calcification rate between populations and differences in the expression of genes related to inorganic carbon transport regulation could be reasons that explain the difference in the response to OA between the two populations. Furthermore, taking into account that Sesoko corals were located in relatively nearshore areas where the environmental conditions are more variable, while Bise corals were located in the forereef which shows more stable conditions, plasticity for coral calcification in response to different environmental conditions and/or acclimation response to changes such as seawater pCO2 may lead to differences in sensitivity between the two populations to high seawater pCO2. Studies considering the potential variability in corals sensitivity to OA among local populations from different habitats are important to predict the potential effects of climate change on reef ecosystems.
We are grateful to all the staff of Sesoko Station, Tropical Biosphere Research Center, University of the Ryukyus for their support. We also thank Hideyuki Yamashiro for help with lipid content analysis.
This work was conducted with the support of funding from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), and JST, CREST program.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors have no conflict of interest.
The manuscript has not been submitted to more than one journal for simultaneous consideration. All procedures performed in studies involving animals were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institution or practice at which the studies were conducted.
- Allemand D, Tambutté É, Zoccola D, Tambutté S (2011) Coral calcification, cells to reefs. In: Dubinsky Z, Stambler N (eds) Coral reefs: an ecosystem in transition. Springer, Dordrecht, pp 119–150Google Scholar
- Furla P, Galgani I, Durand I, Allemand D (2000) Sources and mechanisms of inorganic carbon transport for coral calcification and photosynthesis. J Exp Biol 203:3445–3457Google Scholar
- Isa Y, Yamazato K (1984) The distribution of carbonic anhydrase in a staghorn coral Acropora hebes (Dana). Galaxea 3:25–36Google Scholar
- Kleypas JA, Feely RA, Fabry VJ, Langdon C, Sabine CL, Robbins LL (2006) Impacts of ocean acidification on coral reefs and other marine calcifiers: a guide for future research. Report of a workshop held 18–20 April 2005, St. Petersburg, FL, sponsored by NSF, NOAA, and the U.S. Geological SurveyGoogle Scholar
- Lewis E, Wallace DWR (1998) Program developed for CO2 system calculations. ORNL/CDIAC-105 Carbon dioxide information analysis center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy, Oak RidgeGoogle Scholar
- Moya A, Huisman L, Ball EE, Hayward DC, Grasso LC, Chua CM, Woo HN, Gattuso J-P, Foret S, Miller DJ (2012) Whole transcriptome analysis of the coral Acropora millepora reveals complex responses to CO2-driven acidification during the initiation of calcification. Mol Ecol 21:2440–2454CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Range P, Chícharo MA, Ben-Hamadou R, Pilo D, Fernandez-Reiriz MJ, Labarta U, Marin MG, Bressan M, Matozzo V, Chinellato A, Munari M, El Menif NT, Dellali M, Chícharo L (2014) Impacts of CO2-induced seawater acidification on coastal Mediterranean bivalves and interactions with other climatic stressors. Reg Environ Change 14:19–30CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Stimson JS (1987) Location, quantity and rate of change in quantity of lipid in tissue of Hawaiian hermatypic corals. Bull Mar Sci 21:889–904Google Scholar
- Tanaka K, Holcomb M, Takahashi A, Kurihara H, Asami R, Shinjo R, Sowa K, Rankenburg K, Watanabe T, McCulloch M (2015) Response of Acropora digitifera to ocean acidification: constraints from δ11B, Sr, Mg, and Ba compositions of aragonitic skeletons cultured under variable seawater pH. Coral Reefs 34:1139–1149CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Thomsen J, Gutowska MA, Saphörster J, Heinemann A, Trübenbach K, Fietzke J, Hiebenthal C, Eisenhauer A, Körtzinger A, Wahl M, Melzner F (2010) Calcifying invertebrates succeed in naturally CO2-rich coastal habitat but are threatened by high levels of future acidification. Biogeosciences 7:3879–3891CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Vidal-Dupiol J, Zoccola D, Tambutté E, Grunau C, Cosseau C, Smith KM, Freitag M, Dheilly NM, Allemand D, Tambutté S (2013) Genes related to ion-transport and energy production are upregulated in response to CO2-driven pH decrease in corals: new insights from transcriptome analysis. PLoS ONE 8:e58652CrossRefGoogle Scholar