Coral extension, density, calcification, and bioerosion from corals collected at Palau from small boats from 2011-2013

Website: https://www.bco-dmo.org/dataset/561046
Version: 25 June 2015
Version Date: 2015-06-25

Project
» Toward Predicting the Impact of Ocean Acidification on Net Calcification by a Broad Range of Coral Reef Ecosystems: Identifying Patterns and Underlying Causes (Coral Reef Ecosystem OA Impact)
» Constraining Thermal Thresholds and Projections of Temperature Stress on Pacific Coral Reefs Over the 21st Century: Method Refinement and Application (Thermal Thresholds and Projections)

Programs
» Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability NSF-Wide Investment (SEES): Ocean Acidification (formerly CRI-OA) (SEES-OA)
» Ocean Carbon and Biogeochemistry (OCB)
ContributorsAffiliationRole
Cohen, Anne L.Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI)Principal Investigator
Karnauskas, KristopherWoods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI)Co-Principal Investigator
Barkley, HannahWoods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI)Contact
Rauch, ShannonWoods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI BCO-DMO)BCO-DMO Data Manager


Dataset Description

Porites and Favia coral extension, density, calcification, and bioerosion from corals collected at 8 sites Palau.

Primary reference:
Barkley, H.C., A.L. Cohen, Y. Golbuu, V.R. Starczak, T.M. DeCarlo, K.E.F. Shamberger. 2015. Changes in coral reef communities across a natural gradient in seawater pH. Science Advances, 1, e1500328. doi:10.1126/sciadv.1500328

Other related references:
DeCarlo, T.M., A.L. Cohen, H.C. Barkley, Q. Cobban, C. Young, C., K.E.F. Shamberger, R.E. Brainard, Y. Golbuu. 2015.  Coral macrobioerosion is accelerated by ocean acidification and nutrients. Geology, 43, 7-10. doi:10.1130/G36147.1

Shamberger, K.E.F., A.L. Cohen, Y. Golbuu, D.C. McCorkle, S.J. Lentz, H.C. Barkley. 2014. Diverse coral communities in naturally acidified waters of a Western Pacific Reef. Geophysical Research Letters, 41. DOI: 10.1002/2013GL058489.


Acquisition Description

Coral skeletal cores were collected at eight sites from massive Porites and Favia corals at 1-5m depth using underwater pneumatic drills. Core holes were plugged with cement and sealed with marine epoxy, and corals were able to fully grow over the plugs within a year.  The skeletal cores were oven dried and CT (computerized tomography) scanned at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.


Processing Description

Coral cores were scanned using a Siemens Volume Zoom Helical Computerized Tomography (CT) Scanner, and extension, density, and calcification rates were calculated using annual banding patterns visualized from 3-D CT images in MATLAB (detailed procedure for analyzing coral growth rates in DeCarlo et al. (2015)). The 2006-2010 averages of these parameters for each coral were used to compare growth rates across reef sites. CT scan images were used to determine the proportion of the skeleton eroded (>1mm boring diameter) by boring organisms (including bivalves, worms, and sponges), calculated as the total volume of CaCO3 removed relative to the total volume of the coral core, for each Porites coral.


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Parameters

ParameterDescriptionUnits
site_nameSampling site name. dimensionless
latLatitude of sampling location. North = positive values. decimal degrees
lonLongitude of sampling location. East = positive values. decimal degrees
omega_ArSaturation state of seawater with respect to aragonite. dimensionless
omega_Ar_errStandard error of omega_Ar. dimensionless
porites_extAverage Porites extension rate. centimeters per year (cm/yr)
porites_ext_errStandard error of Porites extension rate. centimeters per year (cm/yr)
porites_densAverage Porites density. grams per cubic centimeter (g cm-3)
porites_dens_errStandard error of Porites density. grams per cubic centimeter (g cm-3)
porites_calcAverage Porites calcification. grams per square centimeter per year (g cm-2 yr-1)
porites_calc_errStandard error of Porites calcification. grams per square centimeter per year (g cm-2 yr-1)
favia_extAverage Favia extension rate. centimeters per year (cm/yr)
favia_ext_errStandard error of Favia extension rate. centimeters per year (cm/yr)
favia_densAverage Favia density. grams per cubic centimeter (g cm-3)
favia_dens_errStandard error of Favia density grams per cubic centimeter (g cm-3)
favia_calcAverage Favia calcification rate. grams per square centimeter per year (g cm-2 yr-1)
favia_calc_errStandard error of Favia calcification rate. grams per square centimeter per year (g cm-2 yr-1)
porites_boring_volAverage Porites percent volume bioeroded. percent (%)
porites_boring_vol_errStandard error of Porites percent volume bioeroded. percent (%)

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Deployments

Palau_reefs_2011-13

Website
Platform
PICRC Small Boats
Start Date
2011-09-19
End Date
2013-11-12
Description
Between September 2011 and November 2013, samples were collected from sites throughout the Palauan archipelago. Sampling was performed from small boats taken out daily from the Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC). Sampling was done as part of the project, "An Investigation of the Role of Nutrition in the Coral Calcification Response to Ocean Acidification".


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Project Information

Toward Predicting the Impact of Ocean Acidification on Net Calcification by a Broad Range of Coral Reef Ecosystems: Identifying Patterns and Underlying Causes (Coral Reef Ecosystem OA Impact)

Coverage: Republic of Palau, Caroline Islands, Micronesia, western Pacific Ocean; Dongsha Atoll, Pratas Islands, South China Sea; Kingman Reef, US Northern Line Islands, 6 deg. 23 N, 162 deg. 25 W


text copied from the NSF award abstract:

Much of our understanding of the impact of ocean acidification on coral reef calcification comes from laboratory manipulation experiments in which reef organisms are removed from their natural habitat and reared under conditions of calcium carbonate saturation (Omega) predicted for the tropical oceans at the end of this century. By comparison, there is a paucity of in situ data describing the sensitivity of coral reef ecosystems to changes in calcium carbonate saturation. Yet emerging evidence suggests there may be critical differences between the calcification response of organisms in culture and the net calcification response of a coral reef ecosystem, to the same degree of change in calcium carbonate saturation. In the majority of cases, the sensitivity of net reef calcification to changing calcium carbonate saturation is more severe than laboratory manipulation experiments predict. Clearly, accurate predictions of the response of coral reef ecosystems to 21st century ocean acidification will depend on a robust characterization of ecosystem-scale responses and an understanding of the fundamental processes that shape them. Using existing data, the investigators show that the sensitivity of coral reef ecosystem calcification to Delta calcium carbonate saturation conforms to the empirical rate equation R=k(Aragonite saturation state -1)n, which also describes the relationship between the rate of net abiogenic CaCO3 precipitation (R) and the degree of Aragonite supersaturation (Aragonite saturation state-1). By implication, the net ecosystem calcification (NEC) response to ocean acidification is governed by fundamental laws of physical chemistry and is potentially predictable across space and time. When viewed this way, the existing, albeit sparse, dataset of NEC reveals distinct patterns that, if verified, have important implications for how different coral reef ecosystems will respond to 21st century ocean acidification. The investigators have outlined a research program designed to build on this proposition. The project expands the currently sparse dataset of ecosystem-scale observations at four strategically placed reef sites: 2 sites in the Republic of Palau, Caroline Islands, Micronesia, western Pacific Ocean; a third at Dongsha Atoll, Pratas Islands, South China Sea; and the fourth at Kingman Reef, US Northern Line Islands, 6 deg. 23 N, 162 deg. 25 W.  The four selected sites will allow investigators to test the following hypotheses: (1) The sensitivity ("n" in the rate equation) of coral reef ecosystem calcification to Delta Aragonite saturation state decreases with decreasing Aragonite saturation state. By implication, the rate at which reef calcification declines will slow as ocean acidification progresses over the course of this century. (2) The energetic status of the calcifying community is a key determinant of absolute rates of net ecosystem calcification ("k" in the rate equation), which, combined with n, defines the Aragonite saturation state value at which NEC approaches zero. By implication, the shift from net calcification to net dissolution will be delayed in healthy, energetically replete coral reef ecosystems and accelerated in perturbed, energetically depleted ecosystems. and (3) The calcification response of individual colonies of dominant reef calcifiers (corals and algae) is weaker than the measured ecosystem-scale response to the same change in Aragonite saturation state. By implication, processes not adequately captured in laboratory experiments, such as bioerosion and dissolution, will play an important role in the coral reef response to ocean acidification.

Broader Impacts: Ocean acidification threatens the livelihoods of 500 million people worldwide who depend on coral reefs to provide habitable and agricultural land, food, building materials, coastal protection and income from tourism. Yet data emerging from ocean acidification (OA) studies point to critical gaps in our knowledge of reef ecosystem-scale responses to OA that currently limit our ability to predict the timing and severity of its impact on different reefs in different parts of the world. Using existing data generated by the investigators and others, this project will address a series of related hypotheses, which, if verified by the research, will have an immediate, direct impact on predictions of coral reef resilience in a high CO2 world. This project brings together expertise in coral reef biogeochemistry, chemical oceanography and physical oceanography to focus on a problem that has enormous societal, economic and conservation relevance. In addition to sharing the resultant data via BCO-DMO, project data will also be contributed to the Ocean Acidification International Coordination Centre (OA-ICC) data collection hosted at the PANGAEA Open Access library (http://www.pangaea.de).


Constraining Thermal Thresholds and Projections of Temperature Stress on Pacific Coral Reefs Over the 21st Century: Method Refinement and Application (Thermal Thresholds and Projections)


Description from NSF award abstract:
Sea surface temperature (SST) across much of the global tropics has increased by 0.5-1 degrees C in the past 4 decades and, with it, the frequency and geographic extent of coral bleaching events and reef mortality. As levels of atmospheric CO2 continue to rise, there is mounting concern that CO2-induced climate change will pose the single greatest threat to the survival of coral reefs. Averaged output of 21 IPCC climate models for a mid-range CO2 emissions scenario predicts that tropical SSTs will increase another 1.5-3 degrees C by the end of this century. Combined with current estimates of thermal thresholds for coral bleaching, the outlook for the future of coral-reef ecosystems, worldwide, appears bleak. There are several key issues that limit accurate predictions of the full and lasting impact of rising SSTs. These include (1) level of confidence in the spatial and temporal patterns of the predicted warming, (2) knowledge of thermal thresholds of different reef-building coral species, and (3) the potential for corals to increase resistance to thermal stress through repeated exposure to high temperature events.

New skeletal markers have been developed that constrain the thermal thresholds and adaptive potential of multiple, individual coral colonies across 3-D space and through time. The method, based on 3-D CAT scan reconstructions of coral skeletons, has generated initial data from two coral species in the Red Sea, Great Barrier Reef and Phoenix Islands. Results showed that large, abrupt declines in skeletal growth occur at thresholds of accumulated heat stress defined by NOAA's Degree Heating Weeks Index (DHWs). In addition, there was a significant correlation between host lipid reserve, an independent measure of stress and mortality risk, and rates of skeletal growth. Because the coral skeleton archives the history of each coral's response to and recovery from successive, documented thermal anomalies, this approach pinpoints the thermal thresholds for sub-lethal impacts, the recovery time (if any) following a return to normal oceanographic conditions, and tests for a dampened response following successive events, indicative of acclimation.

This research program builds on initial work, focusing on method refinement and application to corals on two central Pacific reefs. With contrasting thermal histories, these reefs are considered at greatest risk from future ocean warming. In parallel, new experiments will be run on an ocean general-circulation model (OGCM) that is well suited to the tropical Pacific and of sufficiently high resolution, both horizontal and vertical, to maximize projections of thermal stress on specific central Pacific Reef sites over the next few decades. The OGCM output will also be of sufficient temporal resolution to compute DHWs, thus addressing a major limitation of the direct application of global climate model output (as archived for the IPCC AR4) toward coral-reef studies. Specifically, this study will: (1) collect multiple new, medium-length (15-30 yrs) cores and branches from two dominant reef-building species at 1-30m depth in the Gilbert and Jarvis Islands, central tropical Pacific; (2) apply 3-D CAT scanning and image analysis techniques to quantify systematically thermal thresholds, rates of recovery and resilience for each species, at each reef site and with depth; (3) quantify energetic reserve and symbiont genotype amongst thermally more- and less- resilient colonies, establishing a quantitative link between calcification stress and mortality risk, and determining the physiological basis for calcification responses to thermal stress; (4) use an OGCM specifically tailored to the tropical Pacific to produce a dynamically consistent set of forecasts for near-term climate change at the target reef sites; and (5) combine coral data with model output and refine the projected thermal stress forecast, in degree heating weeks, for corals in this central Pacific Island group over the 21st century.



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Program Information

Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability NSF-Wide Investment (SEES): Ocean Acidification (formerly CRI-OA) (SEES-OA)


Coverage: global


NSF Climate Research Investment (CRI) activities that were initiated in 2010 are now included under Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability NSF-Wide Investment (SEES). SEES is a portfolio of activities that highlights NSF's unique role in helping society address the challenge(s) of achieving sustainability. Detailed information about the SEES program is available from NSF (https://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=504707).

In recognition of the need for basic research concerning the nature, extent and impact of ocean acidification on oceanic environments in the past, present and future, the goal of the SEES: OA program is to understand (a) the chemistry and physical chemistry of ocean acidification; (b) how ocean acidification interacts with processes at the organismal level; and (c) how the earth system history informs our understanding of the effects of ocean acidification on the present day and future ocean.

Solicitations issued under this program:
NSF 10-530, FY 2010-FY2011
NSF 12-500, FY 2012
NSF 12-600, FY 2013
NSF 13-586, FY 2014
NSF 13-586 was the final solicitation that will be released for this program.

PI Meetings:
1st U.S. Ocean Acidification PI Meeting(March 22-24, 2011, Woods Hole, MA)
2nd U.S. Ocean Acidification PI Meeting(Sept. 18-20, 2013, Washington, DC)
3rd U.S. Ocean Acidification PI Meeting (June 9-11, 2015, Woods Hole, MA – Tentative)

NSF media releases for the Ocean Acidification Program:

Press Release 10-186 NSF Awards Grants to Study Effects of Ocean Acidification

Discovery Blue Mussels "Hang On" Along Rocky Shores: For How Long?

Discovery nsf.gov - National Science Foundation (NSF) Discoveries - Trouble in Paradise: Ocean Acidification This Way Comes - US National Science Foundation (NSF)

Press Release 12-179 nsf.gov - National Science Foundation (NSF) News - Ocean Acidification: Finding New Answers Through National Science Foundation Research Grants - US National Science Foundation (NSF)

Press Release 13-102 World Oceans Month Brings Mixed News for Oysters

Press Release 13-108 nsf.gov - National Science Foundation (NSF) News - Natural Underwater Springs Show How Coral Reefs Respond to Ocean Acidification - US National Science Foundation (NSF)

Press Release 13-148 Ocean acidification: Making new discoveries through National Science Foundation research grants

Press Release 13-148 - Video nsf.gov - News - Video - NSF Ocean Sciences Division Director David Conover answers questions about ocean acidification. - US National Science Foundation (NSF)

Press Release 14-010 nsf.gov - National Science Foundation (NSF) News - Palau's coral reefs surprisingly resistant to ocean acidification - US National Science Foundation (NSF)

Press Release 14-116 nsf.gov - National Science Foundation (NSF) News - Ocean Acidification: NSF awards $11.4 million in new grants to study effects on marine ecosystems - US National Science Foundation (NSF)


Ocean Carbon and Biogeochemistry (OCB)


Coverage: Global


The Ocean Carbon and Biogeochemistry (OCB) program focuses on the ocean's role as a component of the global Earth system, bringing together research in geochemistry, ocean physics, and ecology that inform on and advance our understanding of ocean biogeochemistry. The overall program goals are to promote, plan, and coordinate collaborative, multidisciplinary research opportunities within the U.S. research community and with international partners. Important OCB-related activities currently include: the Ocean Carbon and Climate Change (OCCC) and the North American Carbon Program (NACP); U.S. contributions to IMBER, SOLAS, CARBOOCEAN; and numerous U.S. single-investigator and medium-size research projects funded by U.S. federal agencies including NASA, NOAA, and NSF.

The scientific mission of OCB is to study the evolving role of the ocean in the global carbon cycle, in the face of environmental variability and change through studies of marine biogeochemical cycles and associated ecosystems.

The overarching OCB science themes include improved understanding and prediction of: 1) oceanic uptake and release of atmospheric CO2 and other greenhouse gases and 2) environmental sensitivities of biogeochemical cycles, marine ecosystems, and interactions between the two.

The OCB Research Priorities (updated January 2012) include: ocean acidification; terrestrial/coastal carbon fluxes and exchanges; climate sensitivities of and change in ecosystem structure and associated impacts on biogeochemical cycles; mesopelagic ecological and biogeochemical interactions; benthic-pelagic feedbacks on biogeochemical cycles; ocean carbon uptake and storage; and expanding low-oxygen conditions in the coastal and open oceans.



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Funding

Funding SourceAward
NSF Division of Ocean Sciences (NSF OCE)
NSF Division of Ocean Sciences (NSF OCE)

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