The objective of this project is to assess how management of local stressors such as land runoff can help improve the resilience
of coral reefs to global stressors (climate change) which are more difficult to manage. Complementary laboratory and field
experiments will investigate the combined impacts of declining water quality (increased nutrients and sediments, and reduced
light and salinity), increased sea temperature and ocean acidification on key reef species groups such as corals, foraminifera,
crown-of-thorns starfish and rock-boring sea urchins.
1. To experimentally quantify changes in the thresholds for global change stressors (temperature increase, ocean acidification)
due to elevated local stressors,(increased nutrients, increased turbidity, decreased salinity) on key coral reef organisms.
2. Investigating individual and synergistic effects of water quality and global change on reproduction, larval development
and settlement of key coral reef invertebrates (e.g. corals, echinoderms).
3. Predicting the future performance of reef organisms, by experimentally testing hypotheses about differences in the vulnerability
of coral species to ocean acidification, as derived from our studies of natural CO2 seeps.
4. Using inshore reefs as a model system to investigate the performance of calcifying organisms at low or variable carbonate