The synergistic effects of ocean acidification and organic metabolism on calcium carbonate (CaCO3) dissolution in coral reef sediments


Ocean acidification (OA) is expected to reduce the net ecosystem calcification (NEC) rates and overall accretion of coral reef ecosystems. However, despite the fact that sediments are the most abundant form of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) in coral reef ecosystems and their dissolution may be more sensitive to OA than biogenic calcification, the impacts of OA induced sediment dissolution on coral reef NEC rates and CaCO3 accretion are poorly constrained. Carbon dioxide addition and light attenuation experiments were performed at Heron Island, Australia in an attempt to tease apart the influence of OA and organic metabolism (e.g. respiratory CO2 production) on CaCO3 dissolution. Overall, CaCO3 dissolution rates were an order of magnitude more sensitive to elevated CO2 and decreasing seawater aragonite saturation state (Omega Ar; 300-420% increase in dissolution per unit decrease in Omega Ar) than published reductions in biologically mediated calcification due to OA. Light attenuation experiments led to a 70% reduction in net primary production (NPP), which subsequently induced an increase in daytime (115%) and net diel (375%) CaCO3 dissolution rates. High CO2 and low light acted in synergy to drive a 575% increase in net diel dissolution rates. Importantly, disruptions to the balance of photosynthesis and respiration (P/R) had a significant effect on daytime CaCO3 dissolution, while average water column ?Ar was the main driver of nighttime dissolution rates. A simple model of platform-integrated dissolution rates was developed demonstrating that seasonal changes in photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) can have an important effect on platform integrated CaCO3 sediment dissolution rates. The considerable response of CaCO3 sediment dissolution to elevated CO2 means that much of the response of coral reef communities and ecosystems to OA could be due to increases in CaCO3 sediment and framework dissolution, and not decreases in biogenic calcification.

In order to allow full comparability with other ocean acidification data sets, the R package seacarb (Gattuso et al, 2015) 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 is 2016-10-31.

Supplement to: Cyronak, Tyler; Eyre, Bradley D (2016): The synergistic effects of ocean acidification and organic metabolism on calcium carbonate (CaCO3) dissolution in coral reef sediments. Marine Chemistry, 183, 1-12

Related Identifier
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Metadata Access
Creator Cyronak, Tyler ORCID logo; Eyre, Bradley D ORCID logo
Publisher PANGAEA
Contributor Yang, Yan
Publication Year 2016
Rights Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported;
OpenAccess true
Resource Type Supplementary Dataset; Dataset
Format text/tab-separated-values
Size 704 data points
Discipline Earth System Research