Seawater chemistry data used to calculate rates of organism photosynthesis (P) and calcification (G).

Data Type: experimental
Version: 1
Version Date: 2018-05-15

» Collaborative Research: Ocean Acidification and Coral Reefs: Scale Dependence and Adaptive Capacity (OA coral adaptation)

» Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability NSF-Wide Investment (SEES): Ocean Acidification (formerly CRI-OA) (SEES-OA)
Edmunds, Peter J.California State University Northridge (CSU-Northridge)Principal Investigator
Carpenter, RobertCalifornia State University Northridge (CSU-Northridge)Co-Principal Investigator
Lantz, CoulsonCalifornia State University Northridge (CSU-Northridge)Contact
Switzer, MeganWoods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI BCO-DMO)BCO-DMO Data Manager

Dataset Description

Organism level incubations. Data generated from an experimental coral reef community from Mo’orea, French Polynesia. Results are published in:

Lantz CA, Carpenter RC, Comeau S, Edmunds PJ. Organisms Composing an Experimental Coral Reef Community from Mo'orea, French Polynesia, Exhibit Taxon-Specific Net Production: Net Calcification Ratios. Frontiers in Marine Science. 2017; 4( 298). doi:

Please see publication for complete methodology. 

Seawater samples were taken from each community and chamber at the beginning and end of each 3-h incubation (09:00 -12:00 hrs) and analyzed for temperature, salinity, total alkalinity (TA), and pH. Temperature was measured using a ThermoFisher Scientific Traceable Thermometer (± 0.01 oC) and salinity was measured using a conductivity meter (YSI 3100). Measurements of TA were made within 24 h of collection of seawater samples using open-cell potentiometric titrations (Dickson et al., 2007) on a Mettler Toledo T-50 titrator fitted with a DG115 pH electrode, and analyses were completed in duplicate using 50 mL seawater samples. Measurements of pH were performed using a spectrophotometric procedure with m-cresol dye, and calculated on the Total Scale (pHT).

Values for dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) were calculated from the measured TA, pHT, salinity, and temperature using the R package seacarb (Lavigne and Gattuso, 2013). Net production (P, mmol C m-2 h-1) and net calcification (G, mmol CaCO3 m-2 h-1), were calculated from changes in DIC (ΔDIC) and TA (ΔTA) using equations from Gattuso et al. (1996).  The ratio of P/G (mmol C mmol CaCO3-1), for both the community and each individual community member, was calculated by dividing each day’s measured P by the contemporaneously measured (P/Gratio). The slope of regressed on G (mmol C mmol CaCO3-1), for both the community and each individual community member, was calculated from a best fit type II sum of squares residual model, in which all measures of P over the course of the study were regressed on for the respective community (P/Gslope), or individual community members. Statistical analyses were performed with SPSS software (SPSS Inc. Version 22.0) running in a Windows environment, and the assumptions of normality and equality of variance were evaluated with graphical analyses of the residuals

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Data Files

(Comma Separated Values (.csv), 10.94 KB)
Primary data file for dataset ID 735916

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Parameters for this dataset have not yet been identified

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Project Information

Collaborative Research: Ocean Acidification and Coral Reefs: Scale Dependence and Adaptive Capacity (OA coral adaptation)

Coverage: Moorea, French Polynesia

Extracted from the NSF award abstract:

This project focuses on the most serious threat to marine ecosystems, Ocean Acidification (OA), and addresses the problem in the most diverse and beautiful ecosystem on the planet, coral reefs. The research utilizes Moorea, French Polynesia as a model system, and builds from the NSF investment in the Moorea Coral Reef Long Term Ecological Research Site (LTER) to exploit physical and biological monitoring of coral reefs as a context for a program of studies focused on the ways in which OA will affect corals, calcified algae, and coral reef ecosystems. The project builds on a four-year NSF award with research in five new directions: (1) experiments of year-long duration, (2) studies of coral reefs to 20-m depth, (3) experiments in which carbon dioxide will be administered to plots of coral reef underwater, (4) measurements of the capacity of coral reef organisms to change through evolutionary and induced responses to improve their resistance to OA, and (5) application of emerging theories to couple studies of individual organisms to studies of whole coral reefs. Broader impacts will accrue through a better understanding of the ways in which OA will affect coral reefs that are the poster child for demonstrating climate change effects in the marine environment, and which provide income, food, and coastal protection to millions of people living in coastal areas, including in the United States. 

This project focuses on the effects of Ocean Acidification on tropical coral reefs and builds on a program of research results from an existing 4-year award, and closely interfaces with the technical, hardware, and information infrastructure provided through the Moorea Coral Reef (MCR) LTER. The MCR-LTER, provides an unparalleled opportunity to partner with a study of OA effects on a coral reef with a location that arguably is better instrumented and studied in more ecological detail than any other coral reef in the world. Therefore, the results can be both contextualized by a high degree of ecological and physical relevance, and readily integrated into emerging theory seeking to predict the structure and function of coral reefs in warmer and more acidic future oceans. The existing award has involved a program of study in Moorea that has focused mostly on short-term organismic and ecological responses of corals and calcified algae, experiments conducted in mesocosms and flumes, and measurements of reef-scale calcification. This new award involves three new technical advances: for the first time, experiments will be conducted of year-long duration in replicate outdoor flumes; CO2 treatments will be administered to fully intact reef ecosystems in situ using replicated underwater flumes; and replicated common garden cultivation techniques will be used to explore within-species genetic variation in the response to OA conditions. Together, these tools will be used to support research on corals and calcified algae in three thematic areas: (1) tests for long-term (1 year) effects of OA on growth, performance, and fitness, (2) tests for depth-dependent effects of OA on reef communities at 20-m depth where light regimes are attenuated compared to shallow water, and (3) tests for beneficial responses to OA through intrinsic, within-species genetic variability and phenotypic plasticity. Some of the key experiments in these thematic areas will be designed to exploit integral projection models (IPMs) to couple organism with community responses, and to support the use of the metabolic theory of ecology (MTE) to address scale-dependence of OA effects on coral reef organisms and the function of the communities they build.

The following publications and data resulted from this project:

Comeau S, Carpenter RC, Lantz CA, Edmunds PJ. (2016) Parameterization of the response of calcification to temperature and pCO2 in the coral Acropora pulchra and the alga Lithophyllum kotschyanum. Coral Reefs 2016. DOI 10.1007/s00338-016-1425-0.
calcification rates (2014)
calcification rates (2010)

Comeau, S., Carpenter, R.C., Edmunds, P.J.  (2016) Effects of pCO2 on photosynthesis and respiration of tropical scleractinian corals and calcified algae. ICES Journal of Marine Science doi:10.1093/icesjms/fsv267.
respiration and photosynthesis I
respiration and photosynthesis II

Evensen, N.R. & Edmunds P. J. (2016) Interactive effects of ocean acidification and neighboring corals on the growth of Pocillopora verrucosa. Marine Biology, 163:148. doi: 10.1007/s00227-016-2921-z
coral growth
seawater chemistry
coral colony interactions

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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 (

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

Press Release 12-179 - 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 - 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 - News - Video - NSF Ocean Sciences Division Director David Conover answers questions about ocean acidification. - US National Science Foundation (NSF)

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

Press Release 14-116 - 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)

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Funding SourceAward
NSF Division of Ocean Sciences (NSF OCE)

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