We all have been obligated to change our life in the last one and half year. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused restrictions to social contact, travel, job and even lockdowns. And, YES, the CoralChange project could not be less!! Indeed, due to the impossibility to develop the research proposed, the CoralChange has been suspended for some months.
Now, we are pleased to announce that the project has been reactivated!!!
After this long long time of suspension, the next goal of CoralChange will be to experimentally assess the possible sublethal effects driven by adaptive mechanisms in corals under global change. To achieve this goal, we will work at the aquaria facilities of the University of Washington at School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences (SAFS) to study the physiological response of stony and octocoral species to different combinations of temperatures and pH conditions based on IPCC future predicted scenarios. These experiments will allow (1) to assess tolerance and resistance capability of the studied coral species to global change, (2) to assess changes in physiological condition and trophic strategy under multiple stressors, and (3) to examine reproductive success and larval viability under thermal stress and/or ocean acidification.
This experimental study will be developed during the next year starting on December 2021-January 2022 and finishing on August 2022 (in the coral reproductive season). During all this period, corals will be treated experimentally under elevated cycle of temperature and/or low pH. The role played by autotrophy and heterotrophy, as well as the physiological conditions, for each of the species studied will be assessed at the middle and at the end of experiment. After the reproductive season, the reproductive success and the larval viability will be also evaluated for all species and treatments.
To be ready for start this experiment on December 2021- January 2022, in the coming months, the Marie Sklodowska-Curie fellow Dr. Núria Viladrich together with the supervisor at UW Prof. Jacqueline Padilla-Gamiño will be working to obtain all the permits necessary for coral sampling at Caribbean Sea, and set-up experimental aquaria at the University of Washington.