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Factors controlling carbonate production and destruction of cold-water coral reefs of the NE Atlantic


Cold-water coral reefs are important but poorly studied ecosystems. Given global climate change, two important questions are (1) what are the environmental controls of reef framework growth? and (2) how might cold-water corals be affected by environmental change? This project addresses these questions by studying the geographic patterns of carbonate production (bioaccretion) and destruction (bioerosion) of the two major cold-water reef–building species in the NE Atlantic, Lophelia pertusa and Madrepora oculata, and by determining its relationship to environmental factors. It will also involve laboratory experiments on the effects of predicted increases in carbon dioxide partial pressure (pCO2) and temperature, and their interactions, on the calcification of these scleractinian coral species. These experiments will also investigate how increased pCO2 and temperature will affect the relationship between endolithic fungi (a potential pathogen) and their coral host. Results of these studies will improve predictions of how these cold-water corals will respond to future environmental changes and whether reefs will be able to maintain a positive balance between carbonate construction and destruction processes. This proposal describes a project on a cutting-edge research topic to be undertaken at IMAR-DOP(Portugal). The applicant has developed expertise in tropical coral reef ecology during her PhD studies in the USA. The applicant was recently awarded a post-doctoral fellowship to work at IMAR-DOP. However this fellowship does not cover research expenses. As a result, this grant becomes essential for the development of the applicant’s research career and re-integration in the European research area. This grant would give the applicant’s the opportunity to expand the knowledge acquired outside Europe. It would also reinforce the existing ties and generate future collaborative work. The proposal involves collaborative with the University of Boston, and NOAA.

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Rua prof dr frederico machado 4 departamento de oceanografia e pescas univ dos acores
9901-862 Horta

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Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Ricardo Serrão Santos (Dr.)
EU contribution
No data