Adjusting tropical marine water quality guideline values for elevated ocean temperatures

Andrew Negri, Rachael Smith, Olivia King, Julius Frangos, Michael Warne, Sven Uthicke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Increased frequency of summer heatwaves and poor water quality are two of the most prevalent and severe pressures facing coral reefs. While these pressures often co-occur, their potential risks to tropical marine species are usually considered independently. Here we extended the application of multisubstance-PAF (ms-PAF) to a non-chemical stressor – elevated sea surface temperature. We then applied this method to calculate climate-adjusted water quality guideline values for two reference toxicants, copper and the herbicide diuron for tropical marine species. Firstly, we developed a species sensitivity distribution (SSD) for thermal stress based on published experimental data for 41 tropical benthic marine species, using methods adapted from water quality guideline value derivation. This enabled quantitative predictions of community effects as temperatures exceeded acclimation values. The resulting protective temperature values (PTx) were similar to temperatures known to initiate coral bleaching, and are therefore relevant for application in multi-stressor risk assessments. The extended ms-PAF method enabled the adjustment of current water quality guidelines to account for thermal stress events. This approach could be extended to other ecosystems and other non-contaminant stressors (e.g. sediment, low salinity, anoxia and ocean acidification), offering an alternative approach for deriving environmental guidelines, reporting and assessing the risk posed by multiple stressors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)(In-press)
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Volume(In-press)
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Dec 2019

Fingerprint

Water quality
water quality
Thermal stress
Diuron
coral bleaching
diuron
Temperature
Reefs
Acidification
temperature
anoxia
Herbicides
Bleaching
acclimation
Risk assessment
Ecosystems
coral reef
herbicide
Copper
Sediments

Keywords

  • tropical
  • coral reefs
  • pollution
  • climate
  • temperature
  • thermal stress
  • cumulative
  • Species sensitivity distribution
  • multiple
  • Guidelines

Cite this

Adjusting tropical marine water quality guideline values for elevated ocean temperatures. / Negri, Andrew; Smith, Rachael; King, Olivia; Frangos, Julius ; Warne, Michael; Uthicke, Sven .

In: Environmental Science and Technology, Vol. (In-press), 17.12.2019, p. (In-press).

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Negri, Andrew ; Smith, Rachael ; King, Olivia ; Frangos, Julius ; Warne, Michael ; Uthicke, Sven . / Adjusting tropical marine water quality guideline values for elevated ocean temperatures. In: Environmental Science and Technology. 2019 ; Vol. (In-press). pp. (In-press).
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