Why we care
Coral reefs face many stressors, including warming and ocean acidification. This project will improve our understanding of the effects of these stressors on multiple species that live in coral reef communities.
What we will do
Researchers will examine responses of entire suites of reef species recruiting to Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures (ARMS). Experiments are conducted in mesocosms, which offer a controlled experimental set-up but also mimics a lot of the natural environment. Experiments are fully factorial – and test all combinations with controls to compare observations. They consist of four treatments of low and high temperature and pCO₂ levels. ARMS are the leading long-term monitoring tool to measure biodiversity on reef systems and are integrated into the National Coral Reef Monitoring Program (NCRMP) Class II and Class III climate stations dedicated to monitor and access the physical, chemical and biological impacts associated with climate change over time.
Benefits of our work
The project examines the effects of elevated temperature and pCO₂ on recruitment, biomass, biodiversity, and community structure over a multiple years. These results increase our understanding of how biodiversity, ecosystem function, and their relationship and can be applied to different future climate scenarios to assess impacts.