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Influence of local habitat on the physiological responses of large benthic foraminifera to temperature and nutrient stress

Scientific Reports, 2016, Vol.6 [Peer Reviewed Journal]

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  • Title:
    Influence of local habitat on the physiological responses of large benthic foraminifera to temperature and nutrient stress
  • Author: Martina Prazeres ; Sven Uthicke ; John M. Pandolfi
  • Found In: Scientific Reports, 2016, Vol.6 [Peer Reviewed Journal]
  • Subjects: Article
  • Description: Large benthic foraminifera (LBF) are important for reef sediment formation, but sensitive to elevated temperature and nutrients. However, it is possible that conspecific foraminifera living in different reef sites present divergent response to environmental shifts. We investigated how populations of Amphistegina lobifera from reef sites located along a temperature and nutrient gradient of the northern Great Barrier Reef respond and acclimate to elevated temperature and nitrate under lab-controlled conditions. Generalized linear mixed models showed that interaction between reef sites and temperature or nitrate conditions had a significant effect on survivorship, bleaching frequency and growth rates of A. lobifera . Further physiological analyses of antioxidant capacity and Ca-ATPase activity showed that populations collected from the inner-shelf sites (highest nutrient levels, largest temperature variation) were consistently able to acclimate to both parameters after 30 days. In contrast, foraminifera collected from the reef sites located in the mid- and outer-shelfs were significantly more sensitive to elevated temperatures and nitrate. Our results highlight the importance of local habitat in shaping the tolerance of LBF to changing environmental conditions; populations that live in stable environments are more sensitive to elevated temperature and nitrate, even within their fundamental tolerance range, than those that experience fluctuating conditions.
  • Identifier: ISSN: ; E-ISSN: 2045-2322 ; DOI: 10.1038/srep21936

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