Posts Tagged 'Indian'

Multiple ecological parameters affect living benthic foraminifera in the river-influenced west-central Bay of Bengal

The huge riverine influx and associated processes decrease the ambient salinity, stratify the water column, modulate the oxygen-deficient zone, and are also responsible for the recent acidification in the Bay of Bengal. Here, we have studied the effect of these riverine influx-dominated ecological parameters on living benthic foraminifera in the west-central Bay of Bengal. We report that the pH below 7.6 in front of the Krishna river, reduces the diversity and the richness of living benthic foraminifera on the adjacent shelf and the slope. A similar decreased diversity and richness is also observed in front of the Godavari River. We delineate three prominent assemblages, representing different depth zones with associated distinct physico-chemical conditions. The shallow water assemblage (∼27–100 m) is represented by Nonionella labradoricaHanzawaia nipponicaBrizalina dilatataAmmonia tepida, and Nonionella limbato-striata. These species are adapted to relatively warmer temperatures and more oxygenated waters. The deepwater assemblage (∼1,940–2,494 m) includes Bulimina cf. delreyensis, Bulimina marginataHormosinella guttiferaCassidulina laevigata, and Gyroidinoides subzelandica and can tolerate a relatively colder temperature. The intermediate-depth assemblage (∼145–1,500 m) dominated by Eubuliminella exilis, Bolivinellina earlandiFursenkoina spinosaBolivinellina lucidopunctataGlobobulimina globosa, Fursenkoina spinosa, Eubuliminella cassandrae, Uvigerina peregrina, Rotaliatinopsis semiinvoluta, and Cassidulina laevigata, represents oxygen-deficient and organic carbon-rich environment. Besides the pH, temperature, dissolved oxygen and organic matter, we also report a strong influence of bathymetry, coarse fraction (CF) and the type of organic matter on a few living benthic foraminifera. The ecological preferences of 40 such dominant living benthic foraminifera, each representing a specific environment, have also been reported for site-specific proxy. We conclude that although the huge riverine influx affects living benthic foraminifera on the shelf, the dissolved oxygen and organic carbon mostly control benthic foraminiferal distribution in the deeper west-central Bay of Bengal.

Continue reading ‘Multiple ecological parameters affect living benthic foraminifera in the river-influenced west-central Bay of Bengal’

The effects of near-future coastal acidification on the concentrations of Cd and Pb in the crab Dotilla fenestrata

Changes in seawater chemistry due to anthropogenic uptake of CO2 by seawater results in a phenomenon termed ocean acidification. Ocean acidification has been predicted to substantially affect the exposure, behaviour, mobility and fate of toxicants with significant impacts on marine organisms. This study assessed the interactive effects of acidification and metal concentrations of Cd and Pb in the exoskeleton of the crab Dotilla fenestrata. Crabs were acutely exposed to varying concentrations of Cd (0.5, 0.75 and 1.00 mg/l), Pb (6.50, 8.50, and 10.50 mg/l) and Cd/Pb (4.50, 5.75 and 7.00 mg/l) and near-future pH of 7.2, 7.4 and 7.6 for 96 h and concentrations in the exoskeleton were analyzed using ICP-OES. Cadmium concentrations in the exoskeleton due to pH effects were in the order of 7.4 > 7.6 > 7.2, while concentrations in the exoskeleton exposed to pH 7.4 were significantly higher (ANOVA HSD: df 6; p < 0.01) compared to those of pH 7.2 and 7.6. Crabs exposed to varying Pb concentrations showed no common trend in Pb concentrations with varying pH. Concentrations of Cd and Pb in the exoskeleton of crabs exposed to combined Cd and Pb were significantly higher (ANOVA HSD: df 6; p < 0.01) at pH of 7.2 and 4.50 and 7.00 mg/l exposures. Crabs exposed to mixed metal concentrations showed elevated levels of Cd and Pb compared to those exposed to single metal due to their regulatory capacity when exposed to mixed metals.

Continue reading ‘The effects of near-future coastal acidification on the concentrations of Cd and Pb in the crab Dotilla fenestrata’

pH variability off Goa (eastern Arabian Sea) and the response of sea urchin to ocean acidification scenarios

The increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration in the last few decades has resulted in a decrease in oceanic pH. In this study, we assessed the natural variability of pH in coastal waters off Goa, eastern Arabian Sea. pHT showed large variability (7.6–8.1) with low pH conditions during south‐west monsoon (SWM), and the variability is found to be associated with upwelling rather than freshwater runoff. Considering that marine biota inhabiting dynamic coastal waters off Goa are exposed to such wide range of natural fluctuations of pH, an acidification experiment was carried out. We studied the impact of low pH on the local population of sea urchin Stomopneustes variolaris (Lamarck, 1816). Sea urchins were exposed for 210 days to three treatments of pHT: 7.96, 7.76 and 7.46. Our results showed that S. variolaris at pHT 7.96 and 7.76 were not affected, whereas the ones at pHT 7.46 showed adverse effects after 120 days and 50% mortality by 210 days. However, even after exposure to low pH for 210 days, 50% organisms survived. Under low pH conditions (pHT 7.46), the elemental composition of sea urchin spines exhibited deposition of excess Sr2+ as compared to Mg2+ ions. We conclude that although the sea urchins would be affected in future high CO2 waters, at present they are not at risk even during the south‐west monsoon when low pH waters reside on the shelf.

Continue reading ‘pH variability off Goa (eastern Arabian Sea) and the response of sea urchin to ocean acidification scenarios’

Configuration and skill assessment of the coupled biogeochemical model for the carbonate system in the Bay of Bengal


  • A coupled physical-biogeochemical model (ROMS-PISCES) has been set up for the Bay of Bengal region to emulate the carbonate chemistry of this region.
  • The model has been run and rigorously evaluated using the available data sets and 8 statistical indices have been used to evaluate model skills.
  • The effect of wind stress and E-P has been evaluated through two numerical experiments, which uses two different bulk formulae to calculate the wind stresses.
  • The model is excellent in simulating the spatial heterogeneity and temporal variation of all the carbonate parameters thus giving a basis for further studies like the effect of physical dynamics, forecasting, etc.


The Bay of Bengal is a semi-enclosed ocean basin situated in the eastern part of the North Indian Ocean. Though the physical dynamical features of the Bay of Bengal have been studied and measured in detail, the carbonate chemistry of this basin has been less explored, and very few reliable data-sets exist. This paucity of data has emerged as a major challenge in modeling and understanding the carbonate system parameters for this region. In this study, a coupled physical-biogeochemical (ROMS-PISCES) model has been configured and run to emulate the surface carbonate system parameters (DIC, TALK, pCO2, and pH) for the Bay of Bengal region. Model skill assessment analysis has been performed using available observational data-sets. Two different numerical experiments have been performed (WB indicating the use of default bulk formulae of ROMS to calculate wind stress and WoB indicating the calculated wind stresses of QuikSCAT climatology product using different bulk formula), to understand which one reproduces the carbonate parameters better. Both the numerical experiments are rigorously compared for physical as well as carbonate system parameters. The numerical experiments have been passed through exhaustive statistical analysis by comparing it with the observed data-sets. The temperature, the primary driver affecting pH and pCO2 has been reproduced by both the experiments excellently, and the correlation value is more than 0.9 with RAMA buoy data (15o N, 90o E). The salinity, when compared with the NIOA climatology data, shows that the WoB experiment has better captured both the spatial and temporal variation of salinity. Both the numerical experiments have been compared individually with three sets of observed carbonate data. The WoB run has been found to emulate carbonate system parameters satisfactorily than the WB run. The pCO2 and pH show a good positive correlation with RAMA data and the values are 0.87, and 0.93, respectively.


Continue reading ‘Configuration and skill assessment of the coupled biogeochemical model for the carbonate system in the Bay of Bengal’

Status of corals along the Sindh coast of Pakistan: prevailing environmental conditions, their impacts on community structure and conservation approaches


• Describes status of corals along the Sindh coast of Pakistan.

• Prevailing physico-chemical conditions in coastal waters of Sindh, Pakistan.

• Impacts of physico-chemical conditions on corals distribution patterns.

• Existing threats and future conservation plans.


Reef system across the globe is facing serious anthropogenic threats and impacts. The present study describes the status of corals, prevailing stresses and their impacts on community structure along the Sindh coast of Pakistan. In the current study, 21 species of hard corals were recorded. All together, 50 live coral species recorded from the coastal waters of Pakistan. High diversity occurred at Churna Island (15 species). A little bit patch reef formation was observed at Churna Island (dive sites 2 and 3) while scattered colonies were recorded in coastal habitats. Porites species were found dominating both in coastal and offshore environments. Overall, temperature and nutrient concentrations were found to be fluctuating than what corals prefer, however, pH concentrations were found in normal ranges. Calcium, carbon and oxygen were recorded as major elements incorporated in coral skeletons. Possible causes of limited coral fauna and a confined distribution pattern appeared to be linked with local factors (strong wave action, high nutrient concentrations, temperature fluctuations, past geological events, reversal monsoon and overfishing) rather than global changes. Other impacts, for example diving tourism, coral mining or collection for ornaments or sale are minor. Prevailing stresses, increase in the construction of local infrastructure in coastal areas and unmanaged tourism indicates that in future, the level of pollution will further increase in coastal areas. As a result, a further shift in community structure will occur and it appears that only Porites will survive in the coastal waters of Pakistan. Future protection efforts should focus on regular monitoring and establishing of an effective Marine Protected Area at least around the shallow habitats of the Churna Island.

Continue reading ‘Status of corals along the Sindh coast of Pakistan: prevailing environmental conditions, their impacts on community structure and conservation approaches’

Vulnerability and resilience of tropical coastal ecosystems to ocean acidification

Ocean acidification leads to a wide variety of responses from tropical coastal ecosystems. Coral reefs are most vulnerable with most coral species exhibiting declining calcification rates with decreasing pH and carbonate chemistry parameters. Some corals show resilience to acidification likely due to active physiological regulation of their calcifying fluid. Other calcifying organisms, such as some foraminifera and coccolithophores, exhibit negative responses, whereas some symbiont-bearing calcifiers respond positively, to increasing acidification. Seagrasses and brown macroalgae thrive under acidified conditions, with increasing rates of primary productivity. Some tropical coastal fish species are resilient, and in some species, respond positively, to acidification. Some tropical species show complex, nonlinear responses to declining pH and carbonate chemistry. Factors that influence the ability of a species to adapt to and/or resist acidification include food supply, nutrient availability, temperature, diet, interactions with symbionts and other organisms and species and community diversity. Interactive effects of ocean acidification with other climate change parameters, such as elevated temperature, play an important but poorly understood role in determining the resilience and vulnerability of tropical coastal species, communities and ecosystems. Some short-lived species can undergo acclimation and/or adaptive evolution to increase fitness in the face of acidification. Biota living in tropical estuarine and nearshore environments, such as mangroves, seagrasses and intertidal and subtidal inshore benthos, are unlikely to be significantly affected by future acidification as such environments exhibit very wide variations in water and sediment pH and carbonate chemistry. Nearly all tropical coastal environments exhibit significant CO2 efflux to the atmosphere due to pCO2 and [CO32-] oversaturation caused by high rates of respiration and factors linked to fluvial discharge. Except for coral reefs, most calcifying organisms and upwelling regions, tropical estuarine and inshore ecosystems unaffected by eutrophication and other anthropogenic problems should be resilient to future acidification.

Continue reading ‘Vulnerability and resilience of tropical coastal ecosystems to ocean acidification’

Seawater pH reconstruction using boron isotopes in multiple planktonic foraminifera species with different depth habitats and their potential to constrain pH and pCO2 gradients (update)

Boron isotope systematics of planktonic foraminifera from core-top sediments and culture experiments have been studied to investigate the sensitivity of δ11B of calcite tests to seawater pH. However, our knowledge of the relationship between δ11B and pH remains incomplete for many taxa. Thus, to expand the potential scope of application of this proxy, we report δ11B data for seven different species of planktonic foraminifera from sediment core tops. We utilize a method for the measurement of small samples of foraminifera and calculate the δ11B-calcite sensitivity to pH for Globigerinoides ruber, Trilobus sacculifer (sacc or without sacc), Orbulina universa, Pulleniatina obliquiloculata, Neogloboquadrina dutertrei, Globorotalia menardii, and Globorotalia tumida, including for unstudied core tops and species. These taxa have diverse ecological preferences and are from sites that span a range of oceanographic regimes, including some that are in regions of air–sea equilibrium and others that are out of equilibrium with the atmosphere. The sensitivity of δ11Bcarbonate to δ11Bborate (e.g., Δδ11Bcarbonate∕Δδ11Bborate) in core tops is consistent with previous studies for T. sacculifer and G. ruber and close to unity for N. dutertrei, O. universa, and combined deep-dwelling species. Deep-dwelling species closely follow the core-top calibration for O. universa, which is attributed to respiration-driven microenvironments likely caused by light limitation and/or symbiont–host interactions. Our data support the premise that utilizing boron isotope measurements of multiple species within a sediment core can be utilized to constrain vertical profiles of pH and pCO2 at sites spanning different oceanic regimes, thereby constraining changes in vertical pH gradients and yielding insights into the past behavior of the oceanic carbon pumps.

Continue reading ‘Seawater pH reconstruction using boron isotopes in multiple planktonic foraminifera species with different depth habitats and their potential to constrain pH and pCO2 gradients (update)’

Short-term responses to ocean acidification: effects on relative abundance of eukaryotic plankton from the tropical Timor Sea

Anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions drive climate change and pose one of the major challenges of our century. The effects of increased CO2 in the form of ocean acidification (OA) on the communities of marine planktonic eukaryotes in tropical regions such as the Timor Sea are barely understood. Here, we show the effects of high CO2 (pCO2=1823±161 μatm, pHT=7.46±0.05) versus in situ CO2 (pCO2=504±42 μatm, pHT=7.95±0.04) seawater on the community composition of marine planktonic eukaryotes immediately and after 48 hours of treatment exposure in a shipboard microcosm experiment. Illumina sequencing of the V9 hypervariable region of 18S rRNA (gene) was used to study the eukaryotic community composition. Down-regulation of extracellular carbonic anhydrase occurred faster in the high CO2 treatment. Increased CO2 significantly suppressed the relative abundances of eukaryotic operational taxonomic units (OTUs), including important primary producers. These effects were consistent between abundant (DNA-based) and active (cDNA-based) taxa after 48 hours, e.g., for the diatoms Trieres chinensis and Stephanopyxis turris. Effects were also very species-specific among the different diatoms. The microbial eukaryotes showed adaptation to the CO2 treatment over time, but many OTUs were adversely affected by decreasing pH. OA effects might fundamentally impact the base of marine biodiversity, suggesting unpredictable outcomes for food web functioning in the future ocean.

Continue reading ‘Short-term responses to ocean acidification: effects on relative abundance of eukaryotic plankton from the tropical Timor Sea’

Variation of pCO2 concentrations induced by tropical cyclones “Wind-Pump” in the middle-latitude surface oceans: a comparative study

The Bermuda Testbed Mooring (BTM) and Bay of Bengal Ocean Acidification (BOBOA) mooring measurements were used to identify changes in the partial pressure of CO2 at the sea surface (pCO2sea) and air-sea CO2 fluxes (FCO2) associated with passage of two tropical cyclones (TCs), Florence and Hudhud. TC Florence passed about 165 km off the BTM mooring site with strong wind speeds of 24.8 m s–1 and translation speed of 7.23 m s–1. TC Hudhud passed about 178 km off the BOBOA mooring site with wind speeds of 14.0 m s–1 and translation speed of 2.58 m s–1. The present study examined the effect of temperature, salinity, dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), total alkalinity (TA), air-sea CO2 flux, and phytoplankton chlorophyll a change on pCO2sea as a response to TCs. Enhanced mixed layer depths were observed due to TCs-induced vertical mixing at both mooring sites. Decreased pCO2sea (–15.16±5.60 μatm) at the BTM mooring site and enhanced pCO2sea (14.81±7.03 μatm) at the BOBOA mooring site were observed after the passage of Florence and Hudhud, respectively. Both DIC and TA are strongly correlated with salinity in the upper layer of the isothermal layer depth (ILD). Strong (weak) vertical gradient in salinity is accompanied by strong (weak) vertical gradients in DIC and TA. Strong vertical salinity gradient in the upper layer of the ILD (0.031 psu m–1), that supply much salinity, dissolved inorganic carbon and total alkalinity from the thermocline was the cause of the increased pCO2sea in the BOBOA mooring water. Weak vertical salinity gradient in the upper layer of the ILD (0.003 psu m–1) was responsible for decreasing pCO2sea in the BTM mooring water. The results of this study showed that the vertical salinity gradient in the upper layer of the ILD is a good indicator of the pCO2sea variation after the passages of TCs.

Continue reading ‘Variation of pCO2 concentrations induced by tropical cyclones “Wind-Pump” in the middle-latitude surface oceans: a comparative study’

State and trends of Australia’s oceans: ocean acidification

The pH and aragonite saturation state of surface seawaters around Australia
are influenced by the large-scale circulation, and superimposed on this are the
effects of seasonal changes due largely to biological activity and temperature
change. Maximum values of aragonite saturation state tend to develop over
summer-early autumn, while pH values are typically greatest in winter.
Biological production contributes to increases of both pH and aragonite
saturation state in the spring-summer, while warming acts to increase the
saturation state and decrease pH. Seasonal ranges of both variables are
already estimated to be outside the ranges that many of Australia’s marine
ecosystems are likely to have experienced in the late 1800s.

Continue reading ‘State and trends of Australia’s oceans: ocean acidification’

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Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book