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Seminar: Dr. Constance Rogers-Lowery, Catawba
November 9, 2016 @ 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Seminar Title: Effects of Ocean Acidification on Early Life Stages of Coral
Presenter Affiliation: Catawba College
Summary: As the levels of atmospheric CO2 increase, the pH of the oceans will become more acidic, resulting in decreased aragonite saturation of seawater. As a consequence, the growth and survival of coral may be negatively affected. While much research has been dedicated to the impact of CO2 levels on calcification, skeletogenesis, and other physiological mechanisms of adult coral, little has dealt with early developmental stages. In this study, planula larvae and newly-settled spat of the coral Favia fragum were exposed to different levels of atmospheric CO2 (ambient = 420ppm, 700ppm, and 1300ppm) and the effects on metabolism (photosynthesis and respiration) were measured. Interestingly, data may indicate an adaption response of the coral planulae and polyps to elevated CO2 after exposure for 1 week. However, in parallel studies, bleaching and decreased growth were observed in primary polyps of Favia fragum when exposed to elevated CO2. Additionally, larvae exposed to elevated CO2 had reduced levels of proteins and lipids, indicating increased use of internal energy reserves.
This work was performed at a small, liberal-arts undergraduate institution, with a teaching focus and limited resources. The presenter will discuss her career in academics and how to continue to pursue a research program at institutions with limited resources. This may be of interest to graduate students or postdoctoral researchers as they consider their future career options.