Seawater carbonate chemistry and resistance of corals and coralline algae to ocean acidification


Ocean acidification is a threat to the continued accretion of coral reefs, though some undergo daily fluctuations in pH exceeding declines predicted by 2100. We test whether exposure to greater pH variability enhances resistance to ocean acidification for the coral Goniopora sp. and coralline alga Hydrolithon reinboldii from two sites: one with low pH variability (less than 0.15 units daily; Shell Island) and a site with high pH variability (up to 1.4 pH units daily; Tallon Island). We grew populations of both species for more than 100 days under a combination of differing pH variability (high/low) and means (ambient pH 8.05/ocean acidification pH 7.65). Calcification rates of Goniopora sp. were unaffected by the examined variables. Calcification rates of H. reinboldii were significantly faster in Tallon than in Shell Island individuals, and Tallon Island individuals calcified faster in the high variability pH 8.05 treatment compared with all others. Geochemical proxies for carbonate chemistry within the calcifying fluid (cf) of both species indicated that only mean seawater pH influenced pHcf. pH treatments had no effect on proxies for Omega cf. These limited responses to extreme pH treatments demonstrate that some calcifying taxa may be capable of maintaining constant rates of calcification under ocean acidification by actively modifying Omega cf.

In order to allow full comparability with other ocean acidification data sets, the R package seacarb (Gattuso et al, 2019) was used to compute a complete and consistent set of carbonate system variables, as described by Nisumaa et al. (2010). In this dataset the original values were archived in addition with the recalculated parameters (see related PI). The date of carbonate chemistry calculation by seacarb is 2020-04-16.

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Metadata Access
Creator Cornwall, Christopher Edward ORCID logo; Comeau, Steeve; DeCarlo, Thomas M; Moore, B ORCID logo; D'Alexis, Q; McCulloch, Malcolm T ORCID logo
Publisher PANGAEA
Contributor D'Amario, Barbara; Yang, Yan
Publication Year 2018
Rights Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International;
OpenAccess true
Resource Type Dataset
Format text/tab-separated-values
Size 10537 data points
Discipline Earth System Research
Spatial Coverage (123.067W, -16.800S, 123.233E, -16.667N)
Temporal Coverage Begin 2016-04-01T00:00:00Z
Temporal Coverage End 2016-10-31T00:00:00Z