Seawater carbonate chemistry and skeletal mineralogy and size of Coralline algae in a naturally acidified ecosystem


To understand the effects of ocean acidification (OA) on marine calcifiers, the trade-offs among different sublethal responses within individual species and the emergent effects of these trade-offs must be determined in an ecosystem setting. Crustose coralline algae (CCA) provide a model to test the ecological consequences of such sublethal effects as they are important in ecosystem functioning, service provision, carbon cycling and use dissolved inorganic carbon to calcify and photosynthesize. Settlement tiles were placed in ambient pH, low pH and extremely low pH conditions for 14 months at a natural CO2 vent. The size, magnesium (Mg) content and molecular-scale skeletal disorder of CCA patches were assessed at 3.5, 6.5 and 14 months from tile deployment. Despite reductions in their abundance in low pH, the largest CCA from ambient and low pH zones were of similar sizes and had similar Mg content and skeletal disorder. This suggests that the most resilient CCA in low pH did not trade-off skeletal structure to maintain growth. CCA that settled in the extremely low pH, however, were significantly smaller and exhibited altered skeletal mineralogy (high Mg calcite to gypsum (hydrated calcium sulfate)), although at present it is unclear if these mineralogical changes offered any fitness benefits in extreme low pH. This field assessment of biological effects of OA provides endpoint information needed to generate an ecosystem relevant understanding of calcifying system persistence.

In order to allow full comparability with other ocean acidification data sets, the R package seacarb (Gattuso et al, 2021) 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 2023-02-28.

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Creator Kamenos, N A ORCID logo; Perna, G ORCID logo; Gambi, Maria Cristina (ORCID: 0000-0002-0168-776X); Micheli, F ORCID logo; Kroeker, Kristy J ORCID logo
Publisher PANGAEA
Contributor Yang, Yan
Publication Year 2016
Rights Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International;
OpenAccess true
Resource Type Dataset
Format text/tab-separated-values
Size 4663 data points
Discipline Earth System Research