Carbon dynamics of Florida Bay: spatiotemporal patterns and biological control

Carbon dynamics of Florida Bay is manifested by wide ranges of pH (7.65–8.61), dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC, 929–3223 μM) and partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2, 50–1313 μatm) observed over seven years. Despite the seasonal variation, a decline of −0.0066 pH per year was observed as a result of ocean acidification and the spatiotemporal patterns were consistent with known biological processes in the bay. Microbial respiration of organic matter produced high pCO2, resulting in Florida Bay being a CO2 source to the atmosphere during winter and spring. In summer, cyanobacteria blooms developed in the north central bay drew down pCO2, causing bloom waters to become a CO2 sink while the nonbloom waters shrunk but remained a CO2 source. The maxima local CO2 fluxes were 36.4 ± 10.5 and −14.0 ± 5.6 mmol m–2 d–1 for the source and sink region, respectively. Cyanobacteria blooms modulated the interannual variation in bay-wide CO2 net flux, which averaged 7.96 × 109 ± 1.84 × 109 mol yr–1. Extensive cyanobacteria blooms in 2009 resulted in a 50% reduction in the net CO2 flux as compared with 2010 when a minimal cyanobacteria bloom occurred.

Zhang J.-Z. & Fischer C. J., 2014. Carbon dynamics of Florida Bay: spatiotemporal patterns and biological control. Environmental Science & Technology 48(16):9161-9169. Article (subscription required).

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