CLIMACANTH 2 Project
IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON POST-SETTLEMENT PROCESSES IN THE CORALLIVOROUS SEA STAR ACANTHASTER SOLARIS
Population explosions of the corallivorous sea star Acanthaster solaris are a major threat to coral reefs, which have already been weakened by increasing human and environmental pressures. In the face of increasing Pacific-wide impacts, recent studies highlight the need to intensify research efforts on the processes controlling the initiation of infestation events. The reproductive and pre-settlement phases are crucial to better understand the dynamics of the Acanthaster explosion, but the processes remain poorly understood.
The CLIMACANTH program, carried out by IRD in partnership with the Aquarium des Lagons de Nouméa, aims to study the adaptation capacities of acanthaster to a set of acidic stresses (vinegar injections in the framework of experimental control campaigns, acidification + artificial warming of waters under laboratory conditions) in order to 1) anticipate the effect of climate change on the dynamics of acanthaster infestations ; and 2) eventually develop/optimize existing vinegar injection control strategies.