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Article

Stress Resistance and Adaptation of the Aquatic Invasive Species Tubastraea Coccinea (Lesson, 1829) to Climate Change and Ocean Acidification

1
Annis Water Resources Institute, Grand Valley State University, Muskegon, MI 49441, USA
2
Department of Mathematics and Science, Our Lady of the Lake University, San Antonio, TX 78207, USA
3
Lux Research Inc., Emerging Ecosystems in Agrifood and Health, 100 Franklin Street, 8th Floor, Boston, MA 02110, USA
4
Biology Department, Augustana College, Sioux Falls, SD 57197, USA
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College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Dallas Baptist University, Dallas, TX 75211, USA
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Department of Biology, Kenyon College, Gambier, OH 43022, USA
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Department of Science and Mathematics, Furman University, Greenville, SC 29613, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Lidong Shen
Water 2021, 13(24), 3645; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13243645
Received: 24 November 2021 / Revised: 10 December 2021 / Accepted: 13 December 2021 / Published: 18 December 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change Studies of Coral Reefs)
A great number of studies published on long-term ocean warming and increased acidification have forecasted changes in regional biodiversity preempted by aquatic invasive species (AIS). The present paper is focused on invasive Tubastraea coccinea (TC), an azooxanthellate AIS coral thriving in regions of the Gulf of Mexico, which has shown an ability to invade altered habitats, including endemic Indo-Pacific T. coccinea (TCP) populations. To determine if invasive TC are more stress resistant than endemic Indo-Pacific T. coccinea (TCP), authors measured tissue loss and heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) expression, using a full factorial design, post exposure to changes in pH (7.5 and 8.1) and heat stress (31 °C and 34 °C). Overall, the mean time required for TCP to reach 50% tissue loss (LD50) was less than observed for TC by a factor of 0.45 (p < 0.0003). Increasing temperature was found to be a significant main effect (p = 0.004), decreasing the LD50 by a factor of 0.58. Increasing acidity to pH 7.5 from 8.1 did not change the sensitivity of TC to temperature; however, TCP displayed increased sensitivity at 31 °C. Increases in the relative density of HSP70 (TC) were seen at all treatment levels. Hence, TC appears more robust compared to TCP and may emerge as a new dominant coral displacing endemic populations as a consequence of climate change. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; ocean acidification; coral bleaching; invasive species; Tubastraea coccinea; HSP70 climate change; ocean acidification; coral bleaching; invasive species; Tubastraea coccinea; HSP70
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MDPI and ACS Style

Strychar, K.B.; Hauff-Salas, B.; Haslun, J.A.; DeBoer, J.; Cryer, K.; Keith, S.; Wooten, S. Stress Resistance and Adaptation of the Aquatic Invasive Species Tubastraea Coccinea (Lesson, 1829) to Climate Change and Ocean Acidification. Water 2021, 13, 3645. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13243645

AMA Style

Strychar KB, Hauff-Salas B, Haslun JA, DeBoer J, Cryer K, Keith S, Wooten S. Stress Resistance and Adaptation of the Aquatic Invasive Species Tubastraea Coccinea (Lesson, 1829) to Climate Change and Ocean Acidification. Water. 2021; 13(24):3645. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13243645

Chicago/Turabian Style

Strychar, Kevin B., Briana Hauff-Salas, Joshua A. Haslun, Jessica DeBoer, Katherine Cryer, Scott Keith, and Sam Wooten. 2021. "Stress Resistance and Adaptation of the Aquatic Invasive Species Tubastraea Coccinea (Lesson, 1829) to Climate Change and Ocean Acidification" Water 13, no. 24: 3645. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13243645

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