Posts Tagged 'field'

Equipping smart coasts with marine water quality IoT sensors


• This micro-manuscript describes a university/industry collaboration to study water quality at a shellfish hatchery.

• We designed a real-time communications system including hardware, firmware, and web visualization/analysis software.

• A dashboard is located at and code at


Ocean acidification, the decrease in seawater pH as a result of increasing carbon dioxide, has been shown to be an important driver of oyster mortality in West Coast shellfisheries [1]. Yet carbon chemistry is only sparsely measured, especially relative to its high variability in coastal ecosystems, due to the complexity and cost of appropriate sensors and their maintenance. Worse, data are rarely communicated in real time to water quality or aquacultural managers. In the Agua Hedionda Lagoon (AHL) in Carlsbad, CA, researchers from Scripps Institution of Oceanography and industry representatives from the Carlsbad Aquafarm have come together through a NOAA-facilitated project to alleviate this data shortage using a combination of cutting-edge research technology alongside off-the-shelf and easy-to-implement IoT communications packages.

Continue reading ‘Equipping smart coasts with marine water quality IoT sensors’

Biogenic acidification of Portuguese oyster Magallana angulata mariculture can be mediated through introducing brown seaweed Sargassum hemiphyllum


• Monoculture of oysters produces excess CO2, affecting carbon fluxes.

• Seaweed can eliminate CO2 released by oysters.

• Multi-trophic culture of oysters and seaweed can mitigate oysters monoculture negative impacts.


The physiological responses of aquaculture organisms (e.g., oyster and seaweed) have the potential to affect seawater carbon fluxes and subsequently are affected by these seawater changes. In this study, a laboratory experiment and a field mesocosm experiment were carried out in Daya Bay, southern China. In the laboratory experiment, Portuguese oyster Magallana angulata and the brown seaweed Sargassum hemiphyllum were mono-cultured in 20-L transparent glass bottles for 24 h. Water sample were collected at four incubation time points (i.e. 0 h, 4 h, 12 h and 24 h) to examine their physiological responses across the incubation period. The results showed that the oyster calcification rate was not significantly changed among 4 h, 12 h and 24 h. On the other hand, during the 24 h incubation time, the oyster respiration rate, seawater pH, dissolved oxygen (DO), and CO32– concentration were significantly declined, but the seawater CO2 concentration was increased. For the seaweed, from 0 h to 12 h, seawater CO2 and HCO3– concentrations were significantly declined. However, the seawater pH and DO concentration were increased. In the field experiment, oyster and seaweed were cultured in mesocosm bags. The effects of different culture models of M. angulata and S. hemiphyllum (i.e. oyster monoculture, seaweed monoculture and oyster-seaweed co-culture) on seawater CO2‑carbonate system and air-sea CO2 flux (FCO2) were investigated after 24 h incubation. The results showed that DIC, HCO3– and CO2 concentrations and the partial pressure of CO2 in co-culture bags were significantly lower than the control bags (without any culture organisms) and oyster bags, indicated that S. hemiphyllum can effectively absorb the CO2 released by the oysters. The negative values of air-sea FCO2 in the co-culture bags represent a CO2 sink from the atmosphere to the sea. These results demonstrated that aquaculture organism monoculture could result in a stress for itself, and there could be an interspecies mutual benefit for both M. angulata and S. hemiphyllum in the co-culture system. The negative environmental impacts of mono-trophic oyster aquaculture in this view could be mediated with the multi-trophic inclusion of seaweed.

Continue reading ‘Biogenic acidification of Portuguese oyster Magallana angulata mariculture can be mediated through introducing brown seaweed Sargassum hemiphyllum’

Exoskeleton dissolution with mechanoreceptor damage in larval Dungeness crab related to severity of present-day ocean acidification vertical gradients


• Coastal habitats with the steepest ocean acidification gradients are most detrimental for larval Dungeness crabs.

• Severe carapace dissolution was observed in larval Dungeness crabs along the US west coast.

• Mechanoreceptors with important sensory and behavioral functions were destabilized.

• Dissolution is negatively related to the growth, demonstrating energetic trade-offs.

• 10% dissolution increase over the last two decades estimated due to atmospheric CO2.


Ocean acidification (OA) along the US West Coast is intensifying faster than observed in the global ocean. This is particularly true in nearshore regions (<200 m) that experience a lower buffering capacity while at the same time providing important habitats for ecologically and economically significant species. While the literature on the effects of OA from laboratory experiments is voluminous, there is little understanding of present-day OA in-situ effects on marine life. Dungeness crab (Metacarcinus magister) is perennially one of the most valuable commercial and recreational fisheries. We focused on establishing OA-related vulnerability of larval crustacean based on mineralogical and elemental carapace to external and internal carapace dissolution by using a combination of different methods ranging from scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, elemental mapping and X-ray diffraction. By integrating carapace features with the chemical observations and biogeochemical model hindcast, we identify the occurrence of external carapace dissolution related to the steepest Ω calcite gradients (∆Ωcal,60) in the water column. Dissolution features are observed across the carapace, pereopods (legs), and around the calcified areas surrounding neuritic canals of mechanoreceptors. The carapace dissolution is the most extensive in the coastal habitats under prolonged (1-month) long exposure, as demonstrated by the use of the model hindcast. Such dissolution has a potential to destabilize mechanoreceptors with important sensory and behavioral functions, a pathway of sensitivity to OA. Carapace dissolution is negatively related to crab larval width, demonstrating a basis for energetic trade-offs. Using a retrospective prediction from a regression models, we estimate an 8.3% increase in external carapace dissolution over the last two decades and identified a set of affected OA-related sublethal pathways to inform future risk assessment studies of Dungeness crabs.

Continue reading ‘Exoskeleton dissolution with mechanoreceptor damage in larval Dungeness crab related to severity of present-day ocean acidification vertical gradients’

Hypoxia in autumn of the East China Sea

Hypoxia (O2 ≤ 2 mg L−1) can severely threaten the survival of marine life and alter the biogeochemical cycles of coastal ecosystems. Its impacts are dependent on its duration. In the present study, hypoxia was observed in autumn at the end of October 2011. It may be one of the latest recorded annual hypoxic events in the East China Sea (ECS). In the hypoxic regions, a large amount of nutrients and dissolved inorganic carbon were observed to regenerate. Also, acidification (low pH) was observed. On the other hand, hypoxic dissipation may be due to the destratification caused by the upwelling of the hypoxic regions in the ECS. These results suggest that hypoxia may occur for longer periods of time than expected and, accordingly, the effects of hypoxia on the ECS ecosystems should be reconsidered and further evaluated.

Continue reading ‘Hypoxia in autumn of the East China Sea’

Water quality trends in Texas estuaries


• Estuarine water quality data indicates regional “hot spots” of change in Texas.

• Symptoms of eutrophication were found in Galveston Bay, Oso Bay, and Baffin Bay.

• Increasing salinity was observed in estuaries of the central Texas coast.

• Decreasing pH was observed in estuaries of the central Texas coast.


Coastal watersheds in Texas have experienced significant human population growth over the past several decades, yet there have been no comprehensive assessments of water quality trends in Texas estuaries. Here, analysis of historical estuarine water quality data indicates regional “hot spots” of change. Galveston Bay and Oso Bay, which have highly urbanized watersheds, currently exhibit symptoms of eutrophication. Symptoms of eutrophication were also found in the Baffin Bay-Upper Laguna Madre complex, which has a sparsely populated but agriculturally-intensive watershed. Increasing salinity was observed in estuaries of the central Texas coast and are attributed to long-term decreases in freshwater inflow. Another artifact of decreasing freshwater inflow is a reduction in the delivery of carbonate minerals to estuaries, which manifests as decreases in pH. With findings from this study, targeted studies can now be directed at the estuaries that are experiencing water quality degradation in order to guide future management efforts.

Continue reading ‘Water quality trends in Texas estuaries’

Coastal acidification induced by biogeochemical processes driven by sea-ice melt in the western Arctic Ocean

To better understand the extent of acidification in the Arctic Ocean, we present pH measurements collected along a shelf-slope-basin transect from the Chukchi Sea shelf to the Chukchi Abyssal Plain (CAP) in the western Arctic Ocean during the summer 2010 Chinese Arctic National Research Expedition (CHINARE) cruise. We observed low pH values in the Chukchi Sea shelf bottom waters (∼30 m-bottom) and CAP upper haloline layer (UHL) (100-200 m). In the shelf bottom waters, the pH values were 7.66-8.13, about 0.07-0.68 pH units lower than the surface values of 8.20-8.24. In the CAP subsurface waters, the pH values were 7.85-7.98, about 0.08-0.31 pH units lower than the surface values of 8.20-8.24. Biogeochemical model simulations suggest that remineralized CO2 driven by sea-ice loss is primarily responsible for the low pH values in the bottom waters of the Chukchi Sea (shelf) and the UHL waters of the CAP (basin). Recent sea-ice melt enhanced organic matter production in surface waters and subsequent supported the increased microbial respiration of organic matter in bottom waters. Moreover, low pH bottom waters were flushed into the UHL during winter to sustain the low pH characteristics in the subsurface basin layers. In addition, our simplified model suggests that the thermodynamic effect of pH on is small. However, increasing temperature significantly increased aragonite saturation (Ωarag) which slowed down the speed of acidification.

Continue reading ‘Coastal acidification induced by biogeochemical processes driven by sea-ice melt in the western Arctic Ocean’

Hydrologic controls on CO2 chemistry and flux in subtropical lagoonal estuaries of the northwestern Gulf of Mexico

Estuaries are generally considered a source of CO2 to the atmosphere, although with significant uncertainties in magnitude and controlling factors between and within estuaries. We studied four northwestern Gulf of Mexico estuaries that experience extreme hydrologic conditions between April 2014 and February 2017 to determine the role of dry/wet cycle on estuarine CO2 system. Annual air–water CO2 flux ranged from 2.7 to 35.9 mol·C·m−2·yr−1; CO2 flux declined by approximately an order of magnitude along with declining river discharge. Episodic flooding made CO2 flux differ between dry (−0.7 to 20.9 mmol·C·m−2·d−1) and wet (11.6–170.0 mmol·C·m–2·d–1) conditions. During wet condition, increases in dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and total alkalinity (TA) significantly elevated CO2 degassing. Furthermore, ventilation of river‐borne CO2 strengthened degassing when estuaries became overwhelmingly river‐dominated. During flood relaxation, all estuaries experienced heightened productivity, evidenced by DIC and TA consumption in the mid‐salinity range (10–30). When prolonged drought led to hypersalinity (>36.5), biogeochemical and evaporative effects enhanced DIC and TA consumption and CO2 degassing. Due to flooding and high wind speeds, these estuaries were a strong CO2 source during spring and summer. Then they transitioned to a weak CO2 source or sink during the fall. Low temperatures further depressed CO2 efflux during winter except when a pulse of freshwater input occurred. This study demonstrates that changes in the hydrologic condition of estuaries, such as dry/wet cycle and river discharge gradient, will greatly alter air–water CO2 flux and estuarine contribution to the global carbon budget.

Continue reading ‘Hydrologic controls on CO2 chemistry and flux in subtropical lagoonal estuaries of the northwestern Gulf of Mexico’

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Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book