“Nutrient enhanced coastal acidification and hypoxia”, 2016 Ocean Sciences Meeting, 21-26 February 2016, New Orleans

Submissions of abstracts for an oral or poster presentation are welcome until 23 September 2015.

Excessive nutrients often cause hypoxia through enhanced phytoplankton production of organic matter that is exported to the bottom and consumed by microbial respiration. The released CO2 during respiration further reduces the pH of already acidified water due to atmospheric CO2 in a way that is more than additive. This is a concern due to the deleterious effects of low pH and O2 on marine life. Yet, factors regulating coastal acidification are not fully understood due to the complexity of coastal systems. One complication is caused by benthic respiration which reduces O2 and pH, but also generates alkalinity (via anaerobic processes), which buffers against rapid changes in pH. The oxidation of reduced species could also reduce pH near the oxic-anoxic boundary. These and other biogeochemical processes, along with stratification and end-member mixing influence the occurrence and location of ecologically relevant combinations of low pH and O2. However, the uncertainties around these processes make the effectiveness of management efforts aimed at nutrient reductions to reduce coastal acidification difficult to predict.

This session invites presentations describing observations and models that further understanding of and improve our ability to predict how nutrients and other anthropogenic impacts contribute to coastal acidification and hypoxia.

Conveners: John Lehrter (Chair), US EPA, lehrter.john(at)epa.gov; Wei-Jun Cai (Co-Chair), University of Delaware, wcai(at)udel.edu; Jason Grear, US EPA, grear.jason(at)epa.gov; Cheryl Brown, US EPA, brown.cheryl(at)epa.gov

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