Coralline algae (Rhodophyta) in a changing world: Integrating ecological, physiological, and geochemical responses to global change

  • Mccoy S
  • Kamenos N
  • 1


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • N/A


    Citations of this article.


Coralline algae are globally distributed benthic primary producers that secrete calcium carbonate skeletons. In the context of ocean acidification, they have received much recent attention due to the potential vulnerability of their high-Mg calcite skeletons and their many important ecological roles. Herein, we summarize what is known about coralline algal ecology and physiology, providing context to understand their responses to global climate change. We review the impacts of these changes, including ocean acidification, rising temperatures, and pollution, on coralline algal growth and calcification. We also assess the ongoing use of coralline algae as marine climate proxies via calibration of skeletal morphology and geochemistry to environmental conditions. Finally, we indicate critical gaps in our understanding of coralline algal calcification and physiology and highlight key areas for future research. These include analytical areas that recently have become more accessible, such as resolving phylogenetic relationships at all taxonomic ranks, elucidating the genes regulating algal photosynthesis and calcification, and calibrating skeletal geochemical metrics, as well as research directions that are broadly applicable to global change ecology, such as the importance of community-scale and long-term experiments in stress response.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Calcification
  • Climate change
  • Coralline algae
  • Crustose coralline algae
  • Ecology
  • Ecosystem services
  • Ocean acidification
  • Paleoclimate
  • Paleoclimate proxies
  • Photosynthesis
  • Physiology

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document


  • Sophie J Mccoy

  • Nicholas A Kamenos

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free