In this study, the variations of the seawater carbonate system parameters and air-sea CO2 flux (FCO2) of Shen’ao Bay, a typical subtropical aquaculture bay located in China, were investigated in spring 2016 (March to May). Parameters related to the seawater carbonate system and FCO2 were measured monthly in 3 different aquaculture areas (fish, oyster and seaweed) and in a non-culture area near the bay mouth. The results showed that the seawater carbonate system was markedly influenced by the biological processes of the culture species. Total alkalinity was significantly lower in the oyster area compared with the fish and seaweed areas, mainly because of the calcification process of oysters. Dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and CO2 partial pressure ( pCO2) were highest in the fish area, followed by the oyster and non-culture areas, and lowest in the seaweed area. Oysters and fish can have indirect influences on DIC and pCO2by releasing nutrients, which facilitate the growth of seaweed and phytoplankton and therefore promote photosynthetic CO2 fixation. For these reasons, Shen’ao Bay acts as a potential CO2 sink in spring, with an average FCO2 ranging from -1.2 to -4.8 mmol m-2 d-1. CO2 fixation in the seaweed area was the largest contributor to CO2 flux, accounting for ca. 58% of the total CO2 sink capacity of the entire bay. These results suggest that the carbonate system and FCO2 of Shen’ao Bay were significantly affected by large-scale mariculture activities. A higher CO2 sink capacity could be acquired by extending the culture area of seaweed.
Understanding decadal changes in the coastal carbonate system is essential for predicting how the health of these waters responds to anthropogenic drivers, such as changing atmospheric conditions and riverine inputs. However, studies that quantify the relative impacts of these drivers are lacking. In this study, the primary drivers of decadal trends in the surface carbonate system, and the spatiotemporal variability in these trends, are identified for a large coastal plain estuary: the Chesapeake Bay. Experiments using a coupled three-dimensional hydrodynamic-biogeochemical model highlight that, over the past three decades, the changes in the surface carbonate system of Chesapeake Bay have strong seasonal and spatial variability. The greatest surface pH and aragonite saturation state (ΩAR) reductions have occurred in the summer in the middle (mesohaline) Bay: −0.24 and −0.9 per 30 years, respectively, with increases in atmospheric CO2 and reductions in nitrate loading both being primary drivers. Reductions in nitrate loading have a strong seasonal influence on the carbonate system, with the most pronounced decadal decreases in pH and ΩAR occurring during the summer when primary production is strongly dependent on nutrient availability. Increases in riverine total alkalinity and dissolved inorganic carbon have raised surface pH in the upper oligohaline Bay, while other drivers such as atmospheric warming and input of acidified ocean water through the Bay mouth have had comparatively minor impacts on the estuarine carbonate system. This work has significant implications for estuarine ecosystem services, which are typically most sensitive to surface acidification in the spring and summer seasons.
Plain Language Summary
Seawater pH, a measure of how acidic or basic water is, is a crucial water quality parameter influencing the growth and health of marine organisms, such as oysters, fishes and crabs. Decreasing pH, commonly referred to as acidification, is a severe environmental issue that has been exacerbated by human activities since the industrial revolution. In the open ocean, elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide is the key driver of acidification. However, in coastal environments the drivers are particularly complex due to changing human influences on land. In this study the primary drivers of acidification in the Chesapeake Bay over the past three decades are identified via the application of a three-dimensional ecosystem model. Increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations and decreased terrestrial nutrient inputs are two primary drivers causing nearly equal reductions in pH in surface waters of the Bay. The pH reductions resulting from decreased nutrient loads indicate that the system is reverting back to more natural conditions when human-induced nutrient inputs to the Bay were lower. As nutrient reduction efforts to improve coastal water quality continue in the future, controlling the emissions of anthropogenic CO2 globally becomes increasingly important for the shellfish industry and the ecosystem services it provides.
The United States Department of Energy (DOE)’s Ocean Margins Program (OMP) cruise EN279 in March 1996 provides an important baseline for assessing long-term changes in the carbon cycle and biogeochemistry in the Mid-Atlantic Bight (MAB) as climate and anthropogenic changes have been substantial in this region over the past two decades. The distributions of O2, nutrients, and marine inorganic carbon system parameters are influenced by coastal currents, temperature gradients, and biological production and respiration. On the cross-shelf direction, pH decreases seaward, but carbonate saturation state (ΩArag) does not exhibit a clear trend. In contrast, ΩArag increases from north to south, while pH has no clear spatial patterns in the along-shelf direction. In order to distinguish between the effects of physical mixing of various water masses and those of biological activities on the marine inorganic carbon system, we use the potential temperature-salinity diagram to identify water masses, and differences between observations and theoretical mixing concentrations to measure the non-conservative (primarily biological) effects. Our analysis clearly shows the degree to which ocean margin pH and ΩArag are regulated by biological activities in addition to water mass mixing, gas exchange, and temperature. The correlations among anomalies in dissolved inorganic carbon, phosphate, nitrate, and apparent oxygen utilization agree with known biological stoichiometry. Biological uptake is substantial in nearshore waters and in shelf-slope mixing areas. This work provides valuable baseline information to assess the more recent changes in the marine inorganic carbon system and the status of coastal ocean acidification.
- 1. The NSCS shelf carbonate system shows strong seasonality with two distinct regimes between the inner-shelf and the mid-outer shelf.
- 2. The seasonal dynamics of sea surface pCO2 and Ωarag on the mid-outer shelf highlight the influence of temperature effect and the seasonal cycle of mixed layer depth (MLD), while the Pearl River Plume has a profound effect in summer on the mid-shelf.
- 3. The spatial dynamics of sea surface pCO2 and Ωarag on the inner-shelf feature the influence of China Coastal Current (CCC) in winter and coastal upwelling in summer.
Based on large-scale surveys conducted during all four seasons from 2009-2011, we investigated the carbonate systems on the northern South China Sea (NSCS) shelf featuring much higher variations in both seasonality and spatiality on its inner-shelf (< 40 m) as compared to the areas on the mid-outer shelf (> 40 m). The most notable forcing on the mid-outer shelf include the intrusion of Kuroshio water leading to high surface salinity and high total alkalinity (TA) in winter, the impact of which is however limited to the northeastern part of the NSCS. The Pearl River Plume (PRP), a prominent feature in summer also has profound impact on the carbonate system on the mid-outer shelf. On the inner-shelf, the carbonate system was much more dynamic, featuring complex modulations by coastal upwelling associated with relatively high dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and TA in summer, and the China Coastal Current (CCC) of high DIC in winter, spring and fall. In addition, the influences of coastal plume water from local rivers were identifiable on the inner-shelf in both winter and spring.
Such distinction between inner-shelf and mid-outer shelf in the dynamics of DIC, the partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) and saturation state index of aragonite (Ωarag) is also obvious. On the mid-outer shelf, the salinity normalized DIC (nDIC) fluctuated seasonally between 1974±9 and 2001±9 µmol kg-1. The decline of nDIC from winter to spring and spring to summer mainly results from CO2 outgassing, while the increase in nDIC from summer to fall and from fall to winter is due to entrainment of the carbon-enriched subsurface water. The pCO2 increases from a minimum of 344±9 μatm in winter to a maximum of 387±14 μatm in spring, which is in phase with temperature changes and the fluctuations of nDIC. The Ωarag ranged 3.28-3.68 with the highest value in summer but lowest value in winter, which is consistent with the seasonal cycles of the nDIC. Nearshore on the inner-shelf influenced by the CCC water in winter and the mid-outer shelf influenced by the PRP in summer, the spatial dynamics of sea surface pCO2 and Ωarag are modulated by both temperature and the water mass mixing between CCC, PRP, and shelf waters. Here, the high biological uptake sustained by nutrients in the CCC and PRP drawdown the pCO2 and augmented the Ωarag, while the CO2 sequestration enhanced the sea surface pCO2 but drawdown the Ωarag.
Our understanding of eutrophication-induced acidification in estuaries and coastal oceans is complicated by the seasonally and spatially changing interactions between physical and biochemical drivers. By combining the conservative mixing method and a physical-biogeochemical model, we present the seasonal and spatial dynamical analysis of eutrophication-induced acidification in the Pearl River Estuary in the northern South China Sea. In summer, the widespread eutrophication-induced acidification is regulated by two distinct physical drivers, which are the strengthened stratification in the hypoxia zone and the high turbidity in the Lingdingyang Bay. In the hypoxia zone, eutrophication-induced acidification is controlled by the combined effect of benthic remineralization and stratification, while it is dominantly regulated by local biochemical processes (nitrification and respiration) of the whole water column in other regions of the estuary. In winter with the enhanced vertical mixing, the eutrophication-induced acidification is still active in the Lingdingyang Bay, and its strength has largely decreased compared with summer condition. While for the hypoxia zone, the eutrophication-induced acidification peaks in summer and disappears in winter.
Plain Language Summary
Eutrophication in estuaries has accelerated the ocean acidification, which induced a negative impact on marine ecosystem. In the estuary, physical and biochemical processes lead to difficulties in understanding and evaluating the impact of eutrophication-induced acidification. High-resolution and coupled oceanographic models can reproduce the biogeochemical cycles in the marine system and present an integrated framework to understand ocean acidification. We revealed two distinct types of eutrophication-induced acidification in the estuary by using an oceanographic model. The model results show that these two types of eutrophication-induced acidification are regulated by different physical processes that are water stratification and turbidity, which result in their unique seasonal evolution patterns.
- More simplified and modularized bacterial networks of rearing seawater under elevated pCO2.
- Changed abundances of CNPS cycling genes of seawater microbiome under elevated pCO2.
- Changed C, N, and P chemistry of rearing seawater under elevated pCO2.
- Seawater C, N, and P chemistry may be affected by future elevated pCO2 via seawater microbiome.
Mean oceanic CO2 values have already risen and are expected to rise further on a global scale. Elevated pCO2 (eCO2) changes the bacterial community in seawater. However, the ecological association of seawater microbiota and related geochemical functions are largely unknown. We provide the first evidence that eCO2 alters the interaction patterns and functional potentials of microbiota in rearing seawater of the swimming crab, Portunus trituberculatus. Network analysis showed that eCO2 induced a simpler and more modular bacterial network in rearing seawater, with increased negative associations and distinct keystone taxa. Using the quantitative microbial element cycling method, nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) cycling genes exhibited the highest increase after one week of eCO2 stress and were significantly associated with keystone taxa. However, the functional potential of seawater bacteria was decoupled from their taxonomic composition and strongly coupled with eCO2 levels. The changed functional potential of seawater bacteria contributed to seawater N and P chemistry, which was highlighted by markedly decreased NH3, NH4+-N, and PO43--P levels and increased NO2−-N and NO3−-N levels. This study suggests that eCO2 alters the interaction patterns and functional potentials of seawater microbiota, which lead to the changes of seawater chemical parameters. Our findings provide new insights into the mechanisms underlying the effects of eCO2 on marine animals from the microbial ecological perspective.
Internally consistent, quality-controlled (QC) data products play an important role in promoting regional-to-global research efforts to understand societal vulnerabilities to ocean acidification (OA). However, there are currently no such data products for the coastal ocean, where most of the OA-susceptible commercial and recreational fisheries and aquaculture industries are located. In this collaborative effort, we compiled, quality-controlled, and synthesized 2 decades of discrete measurements of inorganic carbon system parameters, oxygen, and nutrient chemistry data from the North American continental shelves to generate a data product called the Coastal Ocean Data Analysis Product in North America (CODAP-NA). There are few deep-water (> 1500 m) sampling locations in the current data product. As a result, crossover analyses, which rely on comparisons between measurements on different cruises in the stable deep ocean, could not form the basis for cruise-to-cruise adjustments. For this reason, care was taken in the selection of data sets to include in this initial release of CODAP-NA, and only data sets from laboratories with known quality assurance practices were included. New consistency checks and outlier detections were used to QC the data. Future releases of this CODAP-NA product will use this core data product as the basis for cruise-to-cruise comparisons. We worked closely with the investigators who collected and measured these data during the QC process. This version (v2021) of the CODAP-NA is comprised of 3391 oceanographic profiles from 61 research cruises covering all continental shelves of North America, from Alaska to Mexico in the west and from Canada to the Caribbean in the east. Data for 14 variables (temperature; salinity; dissolved oxygen content; dissolved inorganic carbon content; total alkalinity; pH on total scale; carbonate ion content; fugacity of carbon dioxide; and substance contents of silicate, phosphate, nitrate, nitrite, nitrate plus nitrite, and ammonium) have been subjected to extensive QC. CODAP-NA is available as a merged data product (Excel, CSV, MATLAB, and NetCDF; https://doi.org/10.25921/531n-c230, https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/data/oceans/ncei/ocads/metadata/0219960.html, last access: 15 May 2021) (Jiang et al., 2021a). The original cruise data have also been updated with data providers’ consent and summarized in a table with links to NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) archives (https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/access/ocean-acidification-data-stewardship-oads/synthesis/NAcruises.html).
The multi-decadal variation in ocean acidification indices in the Northwest Pacific was examined using a biogeochemical model with an operational ocean model product for the period 1993–2018. We found that ocean acidification varied regionally in the Northwest Pacific. The surface ocean (above 100 m depth) underwent acidification that progressed more quickly in the subtropical region and the Kuroshio extension than in the subarctic region due to vertical mixing of the dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) supply exceeding DIC release by air–sea exchange. Below 100 m depth, acidification and alkalinization occurred in the subtropical and subarctic regions, respectively. We attribute these regional differences in acidification and alkalinization to spatially variable biological processes in the upper layer and physical redistribution of DIC, both horizontally and vertically.
Long-term coral reef resilience to multiple stressors depends on their ability to maintain positive calcification rates. Estimates of coral ecosystem calcification and organic productivity provide insight into the environmental drivers and temporal changes in reef condition. Here, we analyse global spatiotemporal trends and drivers of coral reef calcification using a meta-analysis of ecosystem-scale case studies. A linear mixed effects regression model was used to test whether ecosystem-scale calcification is related to seasonality, methodology, calcifier cover, year, depth, wave action, latitude, duration of data collection, coral reef state, Ωar, temperature and organic productivity. Global ecosystem calcification estimated from changes in seawater carbonate chemistry was driven primarily by depth and benthic calcifier cover. Current and future declines in coral cover will significantly affect the global reef carbonate budget, even before considering the effects of sub-lethal stressors on calcification rates. Repeatedly studied reefs exhibited declining calcification of 4.3 ± 1.9% per year (x̄ = 1.8 ± 0.7 mmol m−2 d−1 yr−1), and increasing organic productivity at 3.0 ± 0.8 mmol m−2 d−1 per year since 1970. Therefore, coral reef ecosystems are experiencing a shift in their essential metabolic processes of calcification and photosynthesis, and could become net dissolving worldwide around 2054.
In the oligotrophic waters of the Mediterranean Sea, during the stratification period, the microbial loop relies on pulsed inputs of nutrients through atmospheric deposition of aerosols from both natural (Saharan dust) and anthropogenic origins. While the influence of dust deposition on microbial processes and community composition is still not fully constrained, the extent to which future environmental conditions will affect dust inputs and the microbial response is not known. The impact of atmospheric wet dust deposition was studied both under present and future (warming and acidification) environmental conditions through experiments in 300 L climate reactors. Three dust addition experiments were performed with surface seawater collected from the Tyrrhenian Sea, Ionian Sea and Algerian basin in the Western Mediterranean Sea during the PEACETIME cruise in May–June 2017. Top-down controls on bacteria, viral processes and community, as well as microbial community structure (16S and 18S rDNA amplicon sequencing) were followed over the 3–4 days experiments. Different microbial and viral responses to dust were observed rapidly after addition and were most of the time higher when combined to future environmental conditions. The input of nutrients and trace metals changed the microbial ecosystem from bottom-up limited to a top-down controlled bacterial community, likely from grazing and induced lysogeny. The composition of mixotrophic microeukaryotes and phototrophic prokaryotes was also altered. Overall, these results suggest that the effect of dust deposition on the microbial loop is dependent on the initial microbial assemblage and metabolic state of the tested water, and that predicted warming, and acidification will intensify these responses, affecting food web processes and biogeochemical cycles.
As the ocean absorbs excessive anthropogenic CO2 and ocean acidification proceeds, it is thought to be harder for marine calcifying organisms, such as shellfish, to form their skeletons and shells made of calcium carbonate. Recent studies have suggested that various marine organisms, both calcifiers and non-calcifiers, will be affected adversely by ocean warming and deoxygenation. However, regardless of their effects on calcifiers, the spatiotemporal variability of parameters affecting ocean acidification and deoxygenation has not been elucidated in the subarctic coasts of Japan. This study conducted the first continuous monitoring and future projection of physical and biogeochemical parameters of the subarctic coast of Hokkaido, Japan. Our results show that the seasonal change in biogeochemical parameters, with higher pH and dissolved oxygen (DO) concentration in winter than in summer, was primarily regulated by water temperature. The daily fluctuations, which were higher in the daytime than at night, were mainly affected by daytime photosynthesis by primary producers and respiration by marine organisms at night. Our projected results suggest that, without ambitious commitment to reducing CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions, such as by following the Paris Agreement, the impact of ocean warming and acidification on calcifiers along subarctic coasts will become serious, exceeding the critical level of high temperature for 3 months in summer and being close to the critical level of low saturation state of calcium carbonate for 2 months in mid-winter, respectively, by the end of this century. The impact of deoxygenation might often be prominent assuming that the daily fluctuation in DO concentration in the future is similar to that at present. The results also suggest the importance of adaptation strategies by local coastal industries, especially fisheries, such as modifying aquaculture styles.
There is increasing evidence linking the mass-extinction event at the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary to an asteroid impact near Chicxulub, Mexico. Here we use model simulations to explore the combined effect of sulfate aerosols, carbon dioxide and dust from the impact on the oceans and the marine biosphere in the immediate aftermath of the impact. We find a strong temperature decrease, a brief algal bloom caused by nutrients from both the deep ocean and the projectile, and moderate surface ocean acidification. Comparing the modeled longer-term post-impact warming and changes in carbon isotopes with empirical evidence points to a substantial release of carbon from the terrestrial biosphere. Overall, our results shed light on the decades to centuries after the Chicxulub impact which are difficult to resolve with proxy data.
Plain Language Summary
The sudden disappearance of the dinosaurs and many other species during the end-Cretaceous mass extinction 66 million years ago marks one of the most profound events in the history of life on Earth. The impact of a large asteroid near Chicxulub, Mexico, is increasingly recognised as the trigger of this extinction, causing global darkness and a pronounced cooling. However, the links between the impact and the changes in the biosphere are not fully understood. Here, we investigate how life in the ocean reacts to the perturbations in the decades and centuries after the impact. We find a short-lived algal bloom caused by the upwelling of nutrients from the deep ocean and nutrient input from the impactor.
Planktic foraminifera and shelled pteropods are some of the major producers of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) in the ocean. Their calcitic (foraminifera) and aragonitic (pteropods) shells are particularly sensitive to changes in the carbonate chemistry and play an important role for the inorganic and organic carbon pump of the ocean. Here, we have studied the abundance distribution of planktic foraminifera and pteropods (individuals m–3) and their contribution to the inorganic and organic carbon standing stocks (μg m–3) and export production (mg m–2 day–1) along a longitudinal transect north of Svalbard at 81° N, 22–32° E, in the Arctic Ocean. This transect, sampled in September 2018 consists of seven stations covering different oceanographic regimes, from the shelf to the slope and into the deep Nansen Basin. The sea surface temperature ranged between 1 and 5°C in the upper 300 m. Conditions were supersaturated with respect to CaCO3 (Ω > 1 for both calcite and aragonite). The abundance of planktic foraminifera ranged from 2.3 to 52.6 ind m–3 and pteropods from 0.1 to 21.3 ind m–3. The planktic foraminiferal population was composed mainly of the polar species Neogloboquadrina pachyderma (55.9%) and the subpolar species Turborotalita quinqueloba (21.7%), Neogloboquadrina incompta (13.5%) and Globigerina bulloides (5.2%). The pteropod population was dominated by the polar species Limacina helicina (99.6%). The rather high abundance of subpolar foraminiferal species is likely connected to the West Spitsbergen Current bringing warm Atlantic water to the study area. Pteropods dominated at the surface and subsurface. Below 100 m water depth, foraminifera predominated. Pteropods contribute 66–96% to the inorganic carbon standing stocks compared to 4–34% by the planktic foraminifera. The inorganic export production of planktic foraminifera and pteropods together exceeds their organic contribution by a factor of 3. The overall predominance of pteropods over foraminifera in this high Arctic region during the sampling period suggest that inorganic standing stocks and export production of biogenic carbonate would be reduced under the effects of ocean acidification.
The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is a globally significant coral reef system supporting productive and diverse ecosystems. The GBR is under increasing threat from climate change and local anthropogenic stressors, with its general condition degrading over recent decades. In response to this, a number of techniques have been proposed to offset or ameliorate environmental changes. In this study, we use a coupled hydrodynamic-biogeochemical model of the GBR and surrounding ocean to simulate artificial ocean alkalinisation (AOA) as a means to reverse the impact of global ocean acidification on GBR reefs. Our results demonstrate that a continuous release of 90 000 t of alkalinity every 3 d over one year along the entire length of the GBR, following the Gladstone-Weipa bulk carrier route, increases the mean aragonite saturation state (Ωar) across the GBR’s 3860 reefs by 0.05. This change offsets just over 4 years (∼4.2) of ocean acidification under the present rate of anthropogenic carbon emissions. The injection raises Ωar in the 250 reefs closest to the route by ⩾0.15, reversing further projected Ocean Acidification. Following cessation of alkalinity injection Ωar returns to the value of the waters in the absence of AOA over a 6 month period, primarily due to transport of additional alkalinity into the Coral Sea. Significantly, our study provides for the first time a model of AOA applied along existing shipping infrastructure that has been used to investigate shelf scale impacts. Thus, amelioration of decades of OA on the GBR is feasible using existing infrastructure, but is likely to be extremely expensive, include as yet unquantified risks, and would need to be undertaken continuously until such time, probably centuries in the future, when atmospheric CO2 concentrations have returned to today’s values.
Ocean acidification (OA) is increasing predictably in the global ocean as rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide lead to higher oceanic concentrations of inorganic carbon. The Gulf of Maine (GOM) is a seasonally varying region of confluence for many processes that further affect the carbonate system including freshwater influences and high productivity, particularly near the coast where local processes impart a strong influence. Two main regions within the GOM currently experience carbonate conditions that are suboptimal for many organisms—the nearshore and subsurface deep shelf. OA trends over the past 15 years have been masked in the GOM by recent warming and changes to the regional circulation that locally supply more Gulf Stream waters. The region is home to many commercially important shellfish that are vulnerable to OA conditions, as well as to the human populations whose dependence on shellfish species in the fishery has continued to increase over the past decade. Through a review of the sensitivity of the regional marine ecosystem inhabitants, we identified a critical threshold of 1.5 for the aragonite saturation state (Ωa). A combination of regional high-resolution simulations that include coastal processes were used to project OA conditions for the GOM into 2050. By 2050, the Ωa declines everywhere in the GOM with most pronounced impacts near the coast, in subsurface waters, and associated with freshening. Under the RCP 8.5 projected climate scenario, the entire GOM will experience conditions below the critical Ωa threshold of 1.5 for most of the year by 2050. Despite these declines, the projected warming in the GOM imparts a partial compensatory effect to Ωa by elevating saturation states considerably above what would result from acidification alone and preserving some important fisheries locations, including much of Georges Bank, above the critical threshold.
Elemental ratios in biogenic marine calcium carbonates are widely used in geobiology, environmental science, and paleoenvironmental reconstructions. It is generally accepted that the elemental abundance of biogenic marine carbonates reflects a combination of the abundance of that ion in seawater, the physical properties of seawater, the mineralogy of the biomineral, and the pathways and mechanisms of biomineralization. Here we report measurements of a suite of nine elemental ratios (Li/Ca, B/Ca, Na/Ca, Mg/Ca, Zn/Ca, Sr/Ca, Cd/Ca, Ba/Ca, and U/Ca) in 18 species of benthic marine invertebrates spanning a range of biogenic carbonate polymorph mineralogies (low-Mg calcite, high-Mg calcite, aragonite, mixed mineralogy) and of phyla (including Mollusca, Echinodermata, Arthropoda, Annelida, Cnidaria, Chlorophyta, and Rhodophyta) cultured at a single temperature (25°C) and a range of pCO2 treatments (ca. 409, 606, 903, and 2856 ppm). This dataset was used to explore various controls over elemental partitioning in biogenic marine carbonates, including species-level and biomineralization-pathway-level controls, the influence of internal pH regulation compared to external pH changes, and biocalcification responses to changes in seawater carbonate chemistry. The dataset also enables exploration of broad scale phylogenetic patterns of elemental partitioning across calcifying species, exhibiting high phylogenetic signals estimated from both uni- and multivariate analyses of the elemental ratio data (univariate: λ = 0–0.889; multivariate: λ = 0.895–0.99). Comparing partial R2 values returned from non-phylogenetic and phylogenetic regression analyses echo the importance of and show that phylogeny explains the elemental ratio data 1.4–59 times better than mineralogy in five out of nine of the elements analyzed. Therefore, the strong associations between biomineral elemental chemistry and species relatedness suggests mechanistic controls over element incorporation rooted in the evolution of biomineralization mechanisms.
Quantifying the strength of non-trophic interactions exerted by foundation species is critical to understanding how natural communities respond to environmental stress. In the case of ocean acidification (OA), submerged marine macrophytes, such as seagrasses, may create local areas of elevated pH due to their capacity to sequester dissolved inorganic carbon through photosynthesis. However, although seagrasses may increase seawater pH during the day, they can also decrease pH at night due to respiration. Therefore, it remains unclear how consequences of such diel fluctuations may unfold for organisms vulnerable to OA. We established mesocosms containing different levels of seagrass biomass (Zostera marina) to create a gradient of carbonate chemistry conditions and explored consequences for growth of juvenile and adult oysters (Crassostrea gigas), a non-native species widely used in aquaculture that can co-occur, and is often grown, in proximity to seagrass beds. In particular, we investigated whether increased diel fluctuations in pH due to seagrass metabolism affected oyster growth. Seagrasses increased daytime pH up to 0.4 units but had little effect on nighttime pH (reductions less than 0.02 units). Thus, both the average pH and the amplitude of diel pH fluctuations increased with greater seagrass biomass. The highest seagrass biomass increased oyster shell growth rate (mm day−1) up to 40%. Oyster somatic tissue weight and oyster condition index exhibited a different pattern, peaking at intermediate levels of seagrass biomass. This work demonstrates the ability of seagrasses to facilitate oyster calcification and illustrates how non-trophic metabolic interactions can modulate effects of environmental change.
We conduct a modeling study of the effects of enhanced coastal nutrient export from human activities on the carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen cycles of the Southern California Bight, in the context of emerging global climate change. The modeling approach used is innovative in the breadth of its scope, and simulations are generally consistent with local measurements. The human effects on the regional ecosystem from coastal nitrogen inputs of 23 million people are substantial, leading to significant increases in the photosynthesis and biomass of phytoplankton and increased oxygen loss and acidification of the water column. These changes are likely to compress habitat for a variety of marine organisms, with cascading ecological effects and implications for marine resources and water-quality management.
Global change is leading to warming, acidification, and oxygen loss in the ocean. In the Southern California Bight, an eastern boundary upwelling system, these stressors are exacerbated by the localized discharge of anthropogenically enhanced nutrients from a coastal population of 23 million people. Here, we use simulations with a high-resolution, physical–biogeochemical model to quantify the link between terrestrial and atmospheric nutrients, organic matter, and carbon inputs and biogeochemical change in the coastal waters of the Southern California Bight. The model is forced by large-scale climatic drivers and a reconstruction of local inputs via rivers, wastewater outfalls, and atmospheric deposition; it captures the fine scales of ocean circulation along the shelf; and it is validated against a large collection of physical and biogeochemical observations. Local land-based and atmospheric inputs, enhanced by anthropogenic sources, drive a 79% increase in phytoplankton biomass, a 23% increase in primary production, and a nearly 44% increase in subsurface respiration rates along the coast in summer, reshaping the biogeochemistry of the Southern California Bight. Seasonal reductions in subsurface oxygen, pH, and aragonite saturation state, by up to 50 mmol m−3, 0.09, and 0.47, respectively, rival or exceed the global open-ocean oxygen loss and acidification since the preindustrial period. The biological effects of these changes on local fisheries, proliferation of harmful algal blooms, water clarity, and submerged aquatic vegetation have yet to be fully explored.
Marine bacterial community plays a vital role in the formation of the hypoxia zone in coastal oceans. Yet, their dynamics in the seasonal hypoxia zone of the Bohai Sea (BHS) are barely studied. Here, the 16S rRNA gene-based high-throughput sequencing was used to explore the dynamics of their diversity, structure, and function as well as driving factors during the gradual deoxygenation process in the BHS. Our results evinced that the bacterial community was dominated by Proteobacteria, followed by Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, and Cyanobacteria, etc. The abundant subcommunity dominated in the number of sequences (49%) while the rare subcommunity dominated in the number of species (99.61%). Although abundant subcommunity accounted for most sequences, rare subcommunity possessed higher diversity, richness and their population dramatically changed (higher turnover) during the hypoxia transition. Further, co-occurrence network analysis proved the vital role of rare subcommunity in the process of community assembly. Additionally, beta diversity partition revealed that both subcommunities possessed a higher turnover component than nestedness and/or richness component, implying species replacement could explain a considerable percentage of community variation. This variation might be governed by both environmental selection and stochastic processes, and further, it influenced the nitrogen cycle (PICRUSt-based prediction) of the hypoxia zone. Overall, this study provides insight into the spatial-temporal heterogeneity of bacterial and their vital role in biogeochemical cycles in the hypoxia zone of the BHS. These findings will extend our horizons about the stabilization mechanism, feedback regulation, and interactive model inside the bacterial community under oxygen-depleted ecosystems.
The majority of IPCC scenarios call for active CO2 removal (CDR) to remain below 2oC of warm- ing. On geological timescales, ocean uptake regulates atmospheric CO2 concentration, with two homeostats driving CO2 uptake: dissolution of deep ocean calcite deposits and terrestrial weathering of silicate rocks, acting on 1ka to 100ka timescales, respectively. Many current ocean-based CDR proposals effectively act to accelerate the latter. Here we present a method which relies purely on the redistribution and dilution of acidity from a thin layer of the surface ocean to a thicker layer of deep ocean, with the aim of reducing surface acidification and accelerating the former carbonate homeostasis. This downward transport could be seen analogous to the action of the natural biological carbon pump. The method offers advantages over other ocean CDR methods and direct air capture approaches (DAC): the conveyance of mass is minimized (acidity is pumped in situ to depth), and expensive mining, grinding and distribution of alkaline material is eliminated. No dilute substance needs to be concentrated, avoiding the Sherwood’s Rule costs typically encountered in DAC. Finally, no terrestrial material is added to the ocean, avoiding significant alteration of seawater ion concentrations or issues with heavy metal toxicity encountered in mineral-based alkalinity schemes. The artificial transport of acidity accelerates the natural deep ocean compensation by calcium carbonate. It has been estimated that the total compensation capacity of the ocean is on the order of 1500GtC. We show through simulation that pumping of ocean acidity could remove up to 150GtC from the atmosphere by 2100 with- out excessive increase of local ocean pH. For an acidity release below 2000m, the relaxation half-life of CO2 return to the atmosphere was found to be ∼2500 years (∼1000yr without account- ing for carbonate dissolution), with ∼85% retained for at least 300 years. The uptake efficiency and residence time were found to vary with the location of acidity pumping, and optimal areas were determined. Requiring only local resources (ocean water and energy), this method could be uniquely suited to utilize otherwise-unusable open ocean energy sources at scale. We examine technological pathways that could be used to implement it and present a brief techno-economic estimate of 130-250$/tCO2 at current prices and as low as 93$/tCO2 under modest learning-curve assumptions.