Seawater carbonate chemistry and resistance to ocean acidification in coral reef taxa


Ocean acidification (OA) is a major threat to coral reefs, which are built by calcareous species. However, long-term assessments of the impacts of OA are scarce, limiting the understanding of the capacity of corals and coralline algae to acclimatize to high partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO2) levels. Species-specific sensitivities to OA are influenced by its impacts on chemistry within the calcifying fluid (CF). Here, we investigate the capacity of multiple coral and calcifying macroalgal species to acclimatize to elevated pCO2 by determining their chemistry in the CF during a year-long experiment. We found no evidence of acclimatization to elevated pCO2 across any of the tested taxa. The effects of increasing seawater pCO2 on the CF chemistry were rapid and persisted until the end of the experiment. Our results show that acclimatization of the CF chemistry does not occur within one year, which confirms the threat of OA for future reef accretion and ecological function.

In order to allow full comparability with other ocean acidification data sets, the R package seacarb (Gattuso et al, 2022) 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 2023-06-08.

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Metadata Access
Creator Comeau, Steeve; Cornwall, Christopher Edward ORCID logo; DeCarlo, Thomas M; Doo, Steve S ORCID logo; Carpenter, Robert C; McCulloch, Malcolm T ORCID logo
Publisher PANGAEA
Contributor Yang, Yan
Publication Year 2023
Rights Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International;
OpenAccess true
Resource Type Dataset
Format text/tab-separated-values
Size 4181 data points
Discipline Earth System Research