Effects of elevated pCO2 on dissolution of coral carbonates by microbial euendoliths

Eight-month-old blocks of the coral Porites lobata colonized by natural Hawaiian euendolithic and epilithic communities were experimentally exposed to two different aqueous pCO2 treatments, 400 ppmv and 750 ppmv, for 3 months. The chlorophyte Ostreobium quekettii dominated communities at the start and at the end of the experiment (65–90%). There were no significant differences in the relative abundance of euendolithic species, nor were there any differences in bioeroded area at the surface of blocks (27%) between pCO2 treatments. The depth of penetration of filaments of O. quekettii was, however, significantly higher under 750 ppmv (1.4 mm) than under 400 ppmv (1 mm). Consequently, rates of carbonate dissolution measured under elevated pCO2 were 48% higher than under ambient pCO2 (0.46 kg CaCO3 dissolved m−2 a−1 versus 0.31 kg m−2 a−1). Thus, biogenic dissolution of carbonates by euendoliths in coral reefs may be a dominant mechanism of carbonate dissolution in a more acidic ocean.



Tribollet, A., Godinot, C., Atkinson, M., Langdon, C., 2009. Effects of elevated pCO2 on dissolution of coral carbonates by microbial euendoliths. Global Biogeochemical Cycles,23: GB3008. Article (subscription required).

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