Dr David Kline: World’s first coral reef ‘Free Ocean Carbon Enrichment’ experiment determines future ocean acidification impacts on the Great Barrier Reef

Event Details

Date: Monday, 07 March 2011
Time: 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
Room: Forgan Smith Building – Room E107
UQ Location: Forgan Smith Building (St Lucia)
URL: web site
Event category(s):
* Public lectures
* Seminars & workshops

Event Contact

Name: Ms Krystle Henry
Phone: 53558
Email: k.henry1@uq.edu.au
Org. Unit: Global Change Institute

Full Description:

Climate change and ocean acidification are widely recognized as key threats to Australia’s natural ecosystems, yet we are currently ill equipped to respond due to poor knowledge of the scale/nature of the impacts.

As atmospheric carbon dioxide levels continue to rise the ocean’s pH declines. Ocean acidification poses multiple problems for calcifying marine organisms including physiological impacts and declining calcification rates. These impacts are particularly severe for coral reefs where reduced calcification rates may influence the delicate balance between growth rates and erosional forces.

However, previous experimental studies on the impact of future predicted pH levels on coral reefs have all been performed in aquaria or mesocosms with coral fragments or colonies removed from their natural ecosystem and placed under artificial light, sea water, and flow conditions.

In this talk Dr. Kline will describe the Coral–Proto Free Ocean Carbon Enrichment System (CPFOCE), ‘the world’s first coral reef CO2 enrichment system’, and present results from a deployment with two predicted future CO2 levels and a control on the Heron Island reef flat. The CP‐FOCE uses a network of sensors to monitor the water chemistry conditions within the 3 experimental chambers, and provides feed‐back control on the injection of low pH seawater. The results suggest that coral and coralline algae calcification rates decline under increasing CO2 scenarios.

University of Queensland, Australia,
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