|Cohen, Anne L.||Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI)||Principal Investigator, Contact|
|DeCarlo, Thomas||Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI)||Student, Contact|
|Copley, Nancy||Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI BCO-DMO)||BCO-DMO Data Manager|
Using an automated program to quantify macrobioerosion in three-dimensional computerized tomography (CT) scans of coral cores, macrobioerosion rates of live Porites colonies in both low-nutrient (oligotrophic) and high-nutrient (>1 µM nitrate) waters were measured across the Pacific basin. Reported parameters include the mean annual coral calcification rate, mean skeletal density, and the percent volume of borings in the skeletons.
Coral skeleton cores were collected from living Porites colonies with underwater pneumatic drills. Core holes in the coral colonies were plugged with cement so that the coral can grow over the plug within one year. The intact cores were CT (computerized tomography) scanned to reveal skeletal density.
References for this data:
DeCarlo, T. M., Cohen, A. L., Barkley, H. C., Cobban, Q., Young, C., Shamberger, K. E., Brainard, R.E., Golbuu, Y. (2015). Coral macrobioerosion is accelerated by ocean acidification and nutrients. Geology.
DeCarlo, T. M., Cohen, A. L., Barkley, H. C., Cobban, Q., Young, C., Shamberger, K. E., Brainard, R.E., Golbuu, Y. (2015). Supplemental information to the above publication associated with DeCarlo et al. (2015) in Geology.
An automated computer program (“coralCT”) was developed to quantify the amount of skeleton removed by bioeroding organisms. Details of the program are described in the supplemental information file associated with DeCarlo et al. (2015) in Geology.
- added conventional header with dataset name, PI name, version date, reference information
- renamed parameters to BCO-DMO standard
- replaced spaces with underscores
- added columns for nominal latitude, longitude, and region
|region||general region of sampling||unitless|
|lat||latitude; north is positive||decimal degrees|
|lon||longitude; east is positive||decimal degrees|
|core_id||Coral colony tag number||unitless|
|calcification||mean annual coral calcification rate||grams/centimeter^2/year (g cm-2 yr-1)|
|density||mean skeletal density||grams/centimeter^3 (g cm-3)|
|boring_pcent||% volume of borings in skeleton||percent|
|Start Date|| |
|End Date|| |
Coral skeleton cores were collected in the Tropical Pacific Ocean and analyzed in the lab. Seawater samples were collected.
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).
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.
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.
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 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 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)
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.
|NSF Division of Ocean Sciences (NSF OCE)|
|NSF Division of Ocean Sciences (NSF OCE)|