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Shifts in coral reef biogeochemistry and resulting acidification linked to offshore productivity

Shifts in coral reef biogeochemistry and resulting acidification linked to offshore productivity
Shifts in coral reef biogeochemistry and resulting acidification linked to offshore productivity
Oceanic uptake of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) has acidified open-ocean surface waters by 0.1 pH units since preindustrial times. Despite unequivocal evidence of ocean acidification (OA) via open-ocean measurements for the past several decades, it has yet to be documented in near-shore and coral reef environments. A lack of long-term measurements from these environments restricts our understanding of the natural variability and controls of seawater CO2-carbonate chemistry and biogeochemistry, which is essential to make accurate predictions on the effects of future OA on coral reefs. Here, in a 5-y study of the Bermuda coral reef, we show evidence that variations in reef biogeochemical processes drive interannual changes in seawater pH and ?aragonite that are partly controlled by offshore processes. Rapid acidification events driven by shifts toward increasing net calcification and net heterotrophy were observed during the summers of 2010 and 2011, with the frequency and extent of such events corresponding to increased offshore productivity. These events also coincided with a negative winter North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index, which historically has been associated with extensive offshore mixing and greater primary productivity at the Bermuda Atlantic Time-series Study (BATS) site. Our results reveal that coral reefs undergo natural interannual events of rapid acidification due to shifts in reef biogeochemical processes that may be linked to offshore productivity and ultimately controlled by larger-scale climatic and oceanographic processes.
coral reef, ocean acidification, biogeochemistry, NAO, calcification
0027-8424
14512-14517
Yeakel, Kiley L.
f2258738-54d2-409a-8722-f9558250eced
Andersson, Andreas J.
b07d71e9-2654-40ba-9c69-0775557bf7de
Bates, Nicholas R.
954a83d6-8424-49e9-8acd-e606221c9c57
Noyes, Timothy J.
8ebe97ce-622c-4614-b19b-8a3b5137b284
Collins, Andrew
c36a17aa-3b87-48dc-bc7d-ba8bbf769cbf
Garley, Rebecca
1030a064-03e4-43d6-ba49-29675db70184
Yeakel, Kiley L.
f2258738-54d2-409a-8722-f9558250eced
Andersson, Andreas J.
b07d71e9-2654-40ba-9c69-0775557bf7de
Bates, Nicholas R.
954a83d6-8424-49e9-8acd-e606221c9c57
Noyes, Timothy J.
8ebe97ce-622c-4614-b19b-8a3b5137b284
Collins, Andrew
c36a17aa-3b87-48dc-bc7d-ba8bbf769cbf
Garley, Rebecca
1030a064-03e4-43d6-ba49-29675db70184

Yeakel, Kiley L., Andersson, Andreas J., Bates, Nicholas R., Noyes, Timothy J., Collins, Andrew and Garley, Rebecca (2015) Shifts in coral reef biogeochemistry and resulting acidification linked to offshore productivity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112 (47), 14512-14517. (doi:10.1073/pnas.1507021112).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Oceanic uptake of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) has acidified open-ocean surface waters by 0.1 pH units since preindustrial times. Despite unequivocal evidence of ocean acidification (OA) via open-ocean measurements for the past several decades, it has yet to be documented in near-shore and coral reef environments. A lack of long-term measurements from these environments restricts our understanding of the natural variability and controls of seawater CO2-carbonate chemistry and biogeochemistry, which is essential to make accurate predictions on the effects of future OA on coral reefs. Here, in a 5-y study of the Bermuda coral reef, we show evidence that variations in reef biogeochemical processes drive interannual changes in seawater pH and ?aragonite that are partly controlled by offshore processes. Rapid acidification events driven by shifts toward increasing net calcification and net heterotrophy were observed during the summers of 2010 and 2011, with the frequency and extent of such events corresponding to increased offshore productivity. These events also coincided with a negative winter North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index, which historically has been associated with extensive offshore mixing and greater primary productivity at the Bermuda Atlantic Time-series Study (BATS) site. Our results reveal that coral reefs undergo natural interannual events of rapid acidification due to shifts in reef biogeochemical processes that may be linked to offshore productivity and ultimately controlled by larger-scale climatic and oceanographic processes.

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More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 9 November 2015
Published date: 24 November 2015
Keywords: coral reef, ocean acidification, biogeochemistry, NAO, calcification
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 385325
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/385325
ISSN: 0027-8424
PURE UUID: 0b7642bf-e58b-4ec3-a77f-283dbbd5ea81

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Date deposited: 22 Dec 2015 14:13
Last modified: 08 Jan 2022 00:43

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Contributors

Author: Kiley L. Yeakel
Author: Andreas J. Andersson
Author: Timothy J. Noyes
Author: Andrew Collins
Author: Rebecca Garley

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