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Climate change disables coral bleaching protection on the Great Barrier Reef.
Science. 2016 Apr 15; 352(6283):338-42.Sci

Abstract

Coral bleaching events threaten the sustainability of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). Here we show that bleaching events of the past three decades have been mitigated by induced thermal tolerance of reef-building corals, and this protective mechanism is likely to be lost under near-future climate change scenarios. We show that 75% of past thermal stress events have been characterized by a temperature trajectory that subjects corals to a protective, sub-bleaching stress, before reaching temperatures that cause bleaching. Such conditions confer thermal tolerance, decreasing coral cell mortality and symbiont loss during bleaching by over 50%. We find that near-future increases in local temperature of as little as 0.5°C result in this protective mechanism being lost, which may increase the rate of degradation of the GBR.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University, Townsville 4810, Australia.Coral Reef Watch, U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), College Park, MD 20740, USA. Marine Geophysical Laboratory, College of Science, Technology and Engineering, James Cook University, Townsville 4811, Australia.Marine Spatial Ecology Lab, School of Biological Sciences, University of Queensland, Brisbane 4072, Australia. Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, University of Queensland, Brisbane 4072, Australia.Marine Spatial Ecology Lab, School of Biological Sciences, University of Queensland, Brisbane 4072, Australia. Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, University of Queensland, Brisbane 4072, Australia.Department of Environmental Sciences, Macquarie University, Sydney 2109, Australia.Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University, Townsville 4810, Australia. The College of Public Health, Medical and Veterinary Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville 4810, Australia.Coral Reef Watch, U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), College Park, MD 20740, USA.Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University, Townsville 4810, Australia. The College of Public Health, Medical and Veterinary Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville 4810, Australia.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

Language

eng

PubMed ID

27081069

Citation

Ainsworth, Tracy D., et al. "Climate Change Disables Coral Bleaching Protection On the Great Barrier Reef." Science (New York, N.Y.), vol. 352, no. 6283, 2016, pp. 338-42.
Ainsworth TD, Heron SF, Ortiz JC, et al. Climate change disables coral bleaching protection on the Great Barrier Reef. Science. 2016;352(6283):338-42.
Ainsworth, T. D., Heron, S. F., Ortiz, J. C., Mumby, P. J., Grech, A., Ogawa, D., Eakin, C. M., & Leggat, W. (2016). Climate change disables coral bleaching protection on the Great Barrier Reef. Science (New York, N.Y.), 352(6283), 338-42. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aac7125
Ainsworth TD, et al. Climate Change Disables Coral Bleaching Protection On the Great Barrier Reef. Science. 2016 Apr 15;352(6283):338-42. PubMed PMID: 27081069.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Climate change disables coral bleaching protection on the Great Barrier Reef. AU - Ainsworth,Tracy D, AU - Heron,Scott F, AU - Ortiz,Juan Carlos, AU - Mumby,Peter J, AU - Grech,Alana, AU - Ogawa,Daisie, AU - Eakin,C Mark, AU - Leggat,William, PY - 2015/09/10/received PY - 2016/03/10/accepted PY - 2016/4/16/entrez PY - 2016/4/16/pubmed PY - 2016/4/29/medline SP - 338 EP - 42 JF - Science (New York, N.Y.) JO - Science VL - 352 IS - 6283 N2 - Coral bleaching events threaten the sustainability of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). Here we show that bleaching events of the past three decades have been mitigated by induced thermal tolerance of reef-building corals, and this protective mechanism is likely to be lost under near-future climate change scenarios. We show that 75% of past thermal stress events have been characterized by a temperature trajectory that subjects corals to a protective, sub-bleaching stress, before reaching temperatures that cause bleaching. Such conditions confer thermal tolerance, decreasing coral cell mortality and symbiont loss during bleaching by over 50%. We find that near-future increases in local temperature of as little as 0.5°C result in this protective mechanism being lost, which may increase the rate of degradation of the GBR. SN - 1095-9203 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/27081069/Climate_change_disables_coral_bleaching_protection_on_the_Great_Barrier_Reef_ L2 - https://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/pmidlookup?view=long&pmid=27081069 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -