Feb 21, 2019 | Updated: 08:27 AM EST

Cold-Water Coral Name Lophelia Pertusa Maintain It's Growth Even In Ocean Acidification At Rising Sea Temperature

Apr 28, 2017 05:33 AM EDT


Lophelia pertusa is a variant of cold-water coral species. Cold-water coral is a special kind of coral species that grew in deeper, darker parts of the oceans. Basically, they grew in the region near the surface of abyssal zone beyond 2,000 meters or 6,600 ft.

The skeleton of Lophelia pertusa is built from calcium carbonate that's why this species potentially threatened by ocean acidification. In the present time, 70% of the scleractinian cold-water corals exposed due to ocean acidification.

However, scientists surprised about the survival of Lophelia pertusa in the corrosive water. To find the answer, biologists investigate the response of Lophelia pertusa at similar atmosphere created in a Lab.

Under a certain lab-condition, Marine biologists revealed that Lophelia pertusa is able to counteract negative effects of ocean acidification. According to Lab-study, this Cold-water coral withstands the adverse effect of ocean acidification while the temperature of Ocean-surface increased.

However, this whole research is conducted by GEOMAR as a part of German research program on ocean acidification called BIOACID. This program investigates the response of Cold-water Coral especially Lophelia pertusa at the single parametric change of climate. They shared the complete study about Lophelia pertusa through an online journal Frontier in Marine Science.

In context, Marine biologist at GEOMAR conducted an expedition via research vessel POSEIDON to study the condition of coral reef. They used a submersible JAGO dives to collect some Lophelia pertusa from the seabed near Trondheim Fjord (Norway) for their research.

According to Janina Büscher a Ph.D. scholar, they examined the condition of the reefs and carefully chose their samples. They also documented about the expansion and the diverse community living in the Lophelia pertusa coral reefs. They find many of these underwater oases grown over centuries and protected as natural heritages. Basically, these diversities ensured the balance of fjord ecosystem and many fishes find shelter and food in the reefs.

To get more info, biologists kept Lophelia pertusa colonies at the GEOMAR laboratories for six months. They kept this cold-water coral reef at a temperature at eight-degree centigrade similar to Norwegian reef. Some of them are elevated their temperature at twelve-degree centigrade. The CO2 concentration is set at 400 micro-atmospheres to 800 micro-atmospheres.

A monthly Lab report under more acidified conditions and unchanged temperatures, Lophelia pertusa has lower growth rate, regardless food supply. However, if both parameters are elevated, then it increases the growth rate similar to CO2 concentrations and water temperature.

Based on recent studies, researchers are trying to identify critical thresholds for acidification and warming. They suspect that Lophelia pertusa will only benefit from rising temperatures as long as they stay within the limits. In many regions, however, they already reached their temperature limit. If temperatures continue to rise, the compensatory effect could turn into negative.

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