Calcification Response of gorgonian corals (Cnidaria: Octocorallia) to elevated concentrations of pCO2

Increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations are reducing ocean pH and moreover the calcification rates of marine organisms. Unfortunately, corals with calcareous skeletons formed by high-magnesium calcite, such as gorgonians, are apparently more susceptible to carbonate ions depletion than either calcite- or aragonite-depositing organisms. Our first results suggest that gorgonian corals can withstand a great deal of ocean acidification. We are in the process of experimenting with the effects of high pCO2 on the development of octocoral larvae as well as on recruitment settlement.
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