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Taking the metabolic pulse of the world’s coral reefs

Taking the metabolic pulse of the world’s coral reefs
Taking the metabolic pulse of the world’s coral reefs

Worldwide, coral reef ecosystems are experiencing increasing pressure from a variety of anthropogenic perturbations including ocean warming and acidification, increased sedimentation, eutrophication, and overfishing, which could shift reefs to a condition of net calcium carbonate (CaCO3) dissolution and erosion. Herein, we determine the net calcification potential and the relative balance of net organic carbon metabolism (net community production; NCP) and net inorganic carbon metabolism (net community calcification; NCC) within 23 coral reef locations across the globe. In light of these results, we consider the suitability of using these two metrics developed from total alkalinity (TA) and dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) measurements collected on different spatiotemporal scales to monitor coral reef biogeochemistry under anthropogenic change. All reefs in this study were net calcifying for the majority of observations as inferred from alkalinity depletion relative to offshore, although occasional observations of net dissolution occurred at most locations. However, reefs with lower net calcification potential (i.e., lower TA depletion) could shift towards net dissolution sooner than reefs with a higher potential. The percent influence of organic carbon fluxes on total changes in dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) (i.e., NCP compared to the sum of NCP and NCC) ranged from 32% to 88% and reflected inherent biogeochemical differences between reefs. Reefs with the largest relative percentage of NCP experienced the largest variability in seawater pH for a given change in DIC, which is directly related to the reefs ability to elevate or suppress local pH relative to the open ocean. This work highlights the value of measuring coral reef carbonate chemistry when evaluating their susceptibility to ongoing global environmental change and offers a baseline from which to guide future conservation efforts aimed at preserving these valuable ecosystems.

1932-6203
Cyronak, Tyler
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Andersson, Andreas J.
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Langdon, Chris
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Albright, Rebecca
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Bates, Nicholas R.
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Caldeira, Ken
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Carlton, Renee
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Corredor, Jorge E.
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Dunbar, Rob B.
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Enochs, Ian
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Erez, Jonathan
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Eyre, Bradley D.
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Gattuso, Jean Pierre
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Gledhill, Dwight
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Kayanne, Hajime
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Kline, David I.
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Koweek, David A.
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Lantz, Coulson
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Lazar, Boaz
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Manzello, Derek
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McMahon, Ashly
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Meléndez, Melissa
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Page, Heather N.
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Santos, Isaac R.
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Schulz, Kai G.
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Shaw, Emily
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Silverman, Jacob
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Suzuki, Atsushi
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Teneva, Lida
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Watanabe, Atsushi
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Yamamoto, Shoji
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Cyronak, Tyler
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Andersson, Andreas J.
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Langdon, Chris
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Albright, Rebecca
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Bates, Nicholas R.
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Caldeira, Ken
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Carlton, Renee
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Corredor, Jorge E.
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Dunbar, Rob B.
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Enochs, Ian
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Erez, Jonathan
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Eyre, Bradley D.
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Gattuso, Jean Pierre
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Gledhill, Dwight
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Kayanne, Hajime
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Kline, David I.
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Koweek, David A.
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Lantz, Coulson
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Lazar, Boaz
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Manzello, Derek
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McMahon, Ashly
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Meléndez, Melissa
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Page, Heather N.
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Santos, Isaac R.
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Schulz, Kai G.
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Shaw, Emily
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Silverman, Jacob
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Suzuki, Atsushi
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Teneva, Lida
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Watanabe, Atsushi
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Yamamoto, Shoji
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Cyronak, Tyler, Andersson, Andreas J., Langdon, Chris, Albright, Rebecca, Bates, Nicholas R., Caldeira, Ken, Carlton, Renee, Corredor, Jorge E., Dunbar, Rob B., Enochs, Ian, Erez, Jonathan, Eyre, Bradley D., Gattuso, Jean Pierre, Gledhill, Dwight, Kayanne, Hajime, Kline, David I., Koweek, David A., Lantz, Coulson, Lazar, Boaz, Manzello, Derek, McMahon, Ashly, Meléndez, Melissa, Page, Heather N., Santos, Isaac R., Schulz, Kai G., Shaw, Emily, Silverman, Jacob, Suzuki, Atsushi, Teneva, Lida, Watanabe, Atsushi and Yamamoto, Shoji (2018) Taking the metabolic pulse of the world’s coral reefs. PLoS ONE, 13 (1). (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0190872).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Worldwide, coral reef ecosystems are experiencing increasing pressure from a variety of anthropogenic perturbations including ocean warming and acidification, increased sedimentation, eutrophication, and overfishing, which could shift reefs to a condition of net calcium carbonate (CaCO3) dissolution and erosion. Herein, we determine the net calcification potential and the relative balance of net organic carbon metabolism (net community production; NCP) and net inorganic carbon metabolism (net community calcification; NCC) within 23 coral reef locations across the globe. In light of these results, we consider the suitability of using these two metrics developed from total alkalinity (TA) and dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) measurements collected on different spatiotemporal scales to monitor coral reef biogeochemistry under anthropogenic change. All reefs in this study were net calcifying for the majority of observations as inferred from alkalinity depletion relative to offshore, although occasional observations of net dissolution occurred at most locations. However, reefs with lower net calcification potential (i.e., lower TA depletion) could shift towards net dissolution sooner than reefs with a higher potential. The percent influence of organic carbon fluxes on total changes in dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) (i.e., NCP compared to the sum of NCP and NCC) ranged from 32% to 88% and reflected inherent biogeochemical differences between reefs. Reefs with the largest relative percentage of NCP experienced the largest variability in seawater pH for a given change in DIC, which is directly related to the reefs ability to elevate or suppress local pH relative to the open ocean. This work highlights the value of measuring coral reef carbonate chemistry when evaluating their susceptibility to ongoing global environmental change and offers a baseline from which to guide future conservation efforts aimed at preserving these valuable ecosystems.

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Accepted/In Press date: 21 December 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 9 January 2018
Published date: 9 January 2018

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 417330
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/417330
ISSN: 1932-6203
PURE UUID: de1c6c9b-bb8b-43fa-a31f-17d1fd12532a

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Date deposited: 30 Jan 2018 17:30
Last modified: 05 Oct 2018 11:56

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Contributors

Author: Tyler Cyronak
Author: Andreas J. Andersson
Author: Chris Langdon
Author: Rebecca Albright
Author: Ken Caldeira
Author: Renee Carlton
Author: Jorge E. Corredor
Author: Rob B. Dunbar
Author: Ian Enochs
Author: Jonathan Erez
Author: Bradley D. Eyre
Author: Jean Pierre Gattuso
Author: Dwight Gledhill
Author: Hajime Kayanne
Author: David I. Kline
Author: David A. Koweek
Author: Coulson Lantz
Author: Boaz Lazar
Author: Derek Manzello
Author: Ashly McMahon
Author: Melissa Meléndez
Author: Heather N. Page
Author: Isaac R. Santos
Author: Kai G. Schulz
Author: Emily Shaw
Author: Jacob Silverman
Author: Atsushi Suzuki
Author: Lida Teneva
Author: Atsushi Watanabe
Author: Shoji Yamamoto

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