23 Novembre 2021

Webinaire Québec-Océan : Tessa Page (UQAR)

11h30 En ligne et à la salle Mohammed El Sabh (ISMER)

Accéder au webinaire.

Understanding the Molecular and Physiological Responses of Tropical Coralline Algae to a Changing Ocean 

Tessa Page, Ph.D. (UQAR)

Coral reefs are amongst the most biologically diverse ecosystems on our planet, supporting the livelihoods of millions of people globally. Despite their importance, increasing atmospheric CO2 is driving major global changes, e.g., ocean warming (OW) and ocean acidification (OA), that are posing threats to the health of coral reefs and their inhabitants. Crustose coralline algae (CCA) are calcifying red macroalgae that provide essential ecosystem functions to coral reefs. CCA help to build and stabilise the coral reef framework and contribute to reef resilience and recovery by inducing the settlement of coral larvae to the reef. Previous research has shown CCA to be vulnerable to OW and OA, however, research on CCA lags behind other coral reef organisms, particularly in terms of knowledge on molecular, cellular, and metabolic processes. My findings have furthered our understanding of CCA at the molecular and physiological level by providing the first comprehensive transcriptomes of CCA, shown that physiological and transcriptomic response to global change is species-specific and likely tied to divergent evolutionary history, supported the hypothesis that early life history stages are more susceptible than adults, and determined that an acclimation history of elevated temperature can reduce the thermal tolerance of CCA. The work conducted during my PhD will contribute to conservation efforts that are currently being made into saving coral reefs worldwide.