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MEPS prepress abstract   -  DOI:

Effects of temperature and pH on the growth, calcification, and biomechanics of two species of articulated coralline algae

Rebecca Guenther, Elliot M. A. Porcher, Emily Carrington, Patrick T. Martone*

*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Ocean warming and acidification are predicted to impact the physiology of marine organisms, especially marine calcifiers that must deposit calcium carbonate and resist dissolution. Of particular concern are articulated coralline algae, which must maintain both calcified segments (intergenicula) and uncalcified joints (genicula) in order to thrive along wave-swept rocky coastlines. We examined the effect of pH and temperature, both individually and in combination, on the growth, calcification and biomechanical properties of two species of articulated coralline algae (Corallina vancouveriensis and Calliarthron tuberculosum) common on wave-exposed shores in the NE Pacific. Increased temperature and reduced pH were found to reduce growth rates in both species (30-89% lower) but had little influence on the amount of intergenicular calcium carbonate or on the genicular biomechanical properties of these species. Results suggest that, although growth rates may decline, these two coralline species will maintain the integrity of their tissues and continue to persist under future climate stress.