Juvenile corals underpin coral reef carbonate production after disturbance

Type Article
Date 2021-06
Language English
Author(s) Carlot JérémyORCID1, Kayal Mohsen2, Lenihan Hunter S.3, Brandl Simon J.1, 4, 5, Casey Jordan M.1, 5, Adjeroud Mehdi1, 6, Cardini Ulisse7, 8, Merciere Alexandre9, Espiau Benoit9, Barneche Diego R.10, Rovere Alessio11, Hédouin Laetitia9, Parravicini Valeriano1
Affiliation(s) 1 : PSL Université Paris, USR 3278 CRIOBE ‐ EPHE‐UPVD‐CNRS, Perpignan, France
2 : ENTROPIE, IRD, Université de la Réunion, CNRS, IFREMER, Université de la Nouvelle‐Calédonie Nouméa, New‐Caledonia
3 : Bren School of Environmental Science and Management University of California Santa Barbara CA ,USA
4 : CESAB ‐ FRB 5 Rue de l'École de Médecine, 34000 Montpellier, france
5 : Department of Marine Science University of Texas at Austin Marine Science Institute Port Aransas Texas, USA
6 : ENTROPIE IRD Université de la Réunion CNRS, Perpignan ,France
7 : Integrative Marine Ecology Department Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn National Institute of Marine Biology Ecology and Biotechnology Napoli ,Italy
8 : Marine Research Institute University of Klaipeda Klaipeda, Lithuania
9 : PSL Université ‐ EPHE‐UPVD‐CNRS, USR 3278 CRIOBE Papetoai, French Polynesia
10 : Australian Institute of Marine Science Crawley WA 6009, Australia
11 : Centre for Marine Environmental Sciences (MARUM) Bremen, Germany
Source Global Change Biology (1354-1013) (Wiley), 2021-06 , Vol. 27 , N. 11 , P. 2623-2632
DOI 10.1111/gcb.15610
WOS© Times Cited 11
Keyword(s) CaCO3 production, calcification rates, coral assemblages, coral juveniles, linear extension, reef productivity, time series

Sea‐level rise is predicted to cause major damage to tropical coastlines. While coral reefs can act as natural barriers for ocean waves, their protection hinges on the ability of scleractinian corals to produce enough calcium carbonate (CaCO3) to keep up with rising sea levels. As a consequence of intensifying disturbances, coral communities are changing rapidly, potentially reducing community‐level CaCO3 production. By combining colony‐level physiology and long‐term monitoring data, we show that reefs recovering from major disturbances can produce 40% more CaCO3 than currently estimated due to the disproportionate contribution of juvenile corals. However, the buffering effect of highly productive juvenile corals is compromised by recruitment failures, which have been more frequently observed after large‐scale, repeated bleaching events. While the size structure of corals can bolster a critical ecological function on reefs, climate change impacts on recruitment may undermine this buffering effect, thus further compromising the persistence of reefs and their provision of important ecosystem services.

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Carlot Jérémy, Kayal Mohsen, Lenihan Hunter S., Brandl Simon J., Casey Jordan M., Adjeroud Mehdi, Cardini Ulisse, Merciere Alexandre, Espiau Benoit, Barneche Diego R., Rovere Alessio, Hédouin Laetitia, Parravicini Valeriano (2021). Juvenile corals underpin coral reef carbonate production after disturbance. Global Change Biology, 27(11), 2623-2632. Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.15610 , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00685/79743/