Fine-scale nutrient and carbonate system dynamics around cold-water coral reefs in the northeast Atlantic

Ocean acidification has been suggested as a serious threat to the future existence of cold-water corals (CWC). However, there are few fine-scale temporal and spatial datasets of carbonate and nutrients conditions available for these reefs, which can provide a baseline definition of extant conditions. Here we provide observational data from four different sites in the northeast Atlantic that are known habitats for CWC. These habitats differ by depth and by the nature of the coral habitat. At depths where CWC are known to occur across these sites the dissolved inorganic carbon ranged from 2088 to 2186 μmol kg−1, alkalinity ranged from 2299 to 2346 μmol kg−1, and aragonite Ω ranged from 1.35 to 2.44. At two sites fine-scale hydrodynamics caused increased variability in the carbonate and nutrient conditions over daily time-scales. The observed high level of variability must be taken into account when assessing CWC sensitivities to future environmental change.

Findlay H. S., Hennige S. J., Wicks L. C., Navas J. M., Woodward E. M. S. & Roberts J. M., 2014. Fine-scale nutrient and carbonate system dynamics around cold-water coral reefs in the northeast Atlantic. Scientific Reports (nature.com) 4:3671. Article.


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