Climate-enhanced stock assessment models represent potentially vital tools for managing living marine resources under climate change. We present a climate-enhanced stock assessment where environmental variables are integrated within a population dynamics model assessment of biomass, fishing mortality and recruitment that also accounts for process error in demographic parameters. Probability distributions for the impact of the associated environmental factors on recruitment and growth can either be obtained from Bayesian analyses that involve fitting the population dynamics model to the available data or from auxiliary analyses. The results of the assessment form the basis for the calculation of biological and economic target and limit reference points, and projections under alternative harvest strategies. The approach is applied to northern rock sole (Lepidopsetta polyxystra), an important component of the flatfish fisheries in the Eastern Bering Sea. The assessment involves fitting to data on catches, a survey index of abundance, fishery and survey age-compositions and survey weight-at-age, with the relationship between recruitment and cold pool extent and that between growth increment in weight and temperature integrated into the assessment. The projections also allow for an impact of ocean pH on expected recruitment based on auxiliary analyses. Several alternative models are explored to assess the consequences of different ways to model environmental impacts on population demography. The estimates of historical biomass, recruitment and fishing mortality for northern rock sole are not markedly impacted by including climate and environmental factors, but estimates of target and limit reference points are sensitive to whether and how environmental variables are included in stock assessments and projections.
Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a powerful greenhouse gas that degrades ozone. Hypoxia and ocean acidification are becoming more intense as a result of climate change. The former stimulates N2O emissions, whereas the effects of the latter on N2O production vary by the ocean. Hypoxia and ocean acidification may play a critical role in the evolution of future oceanic N2O production. However, the interactive effects of hypoxia and ocean acidification on N2O production remain unclear. We conducted a research cruise in the Bohai Sea of China to assess the occurrence of ocean acidification in the seasonal oxygen minimum zone of the sea and further conducted laboratory incubation experiments to determine the effects of ocean acidification and hypoxia on N2O production. When pH decreased by 0.25, N2O production decreased by 50.77 and 72.38%, respectively. In contrast, hypoxia had a positive impact; when dissolved oxygen (DO) decreased to 3.7 and 2.4 mg L−1, N2O production increased by 49.72 and 278.68%, respectively. The incubation experiments demonstrated that the coupling of ocean acidification and hypoxia significantly increased N2O production, but, individually, there was an antagonistic relationship between the two. Structural equation modeling showed that the total effects of hypoxia treatment on N2O production changes weakened the effects of ocean acidification, with overall positive effects. Generally speaking, our results suggest that N2O production from the coastal waters of the Bohai Sea may increase under future climate change scenarios due to increasingly serious ocean acidification and hypoxia working in combination.
The invasion of anthropogenic carbon into the global ocean poses an existential threat to calcifying marine organisms1–4. Observations indicate that conditions corrosive to aragonite shells, unprecedented in the surface ocean, are already occurring in mesoscale upwelling features of the North Pacific2,5,6 and Southern Ocean7, and modeling experiments indicate that large volumes of the global ocean8 including the polar ocean’s surface might become corrosive to aragonite by 20304,9–13. Such changes are expected to compress important marine habitats, but the pathways by which habitat compression manifests over global scales, and their sensitivity to mitigation, remain unexplored. Using a suite of large ensemble projections from an Earth system model14,15, we assess the effectiveness of climate mitigation for averting habitat loss at the ecologically-critical horizon of the base of the ocean’s euphotic zone. We find that without mitigation, 40-42% of this sensitive horizon experiences conditions corrosive to aragonite by 2100, with moderate mitigation this reduces to 16-19%, and with aggressive mitigation to 6-7%. Mitigation has a stronger effect on the eastern relative to western domains of the northern extratropical ocean with some of the greatest benefits in the ocean’s most productive Large Marine Ecosystems, including the California Current and Gulf of Alaska. This work reveals the significant impact that mitigation efforts compatible with the Paris Agreement target of 1.5°C could have upon preserving marine habitats that are vulnerable to ocean acidification.
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.
Ocean acidification (OA) is negatively affecting calcification in a wide variety of marine organisms. These effects are acute for many tropical scleractinian corals under short-term experimental conditions, but it is unclear how these effects interact with ecological processes, such as competition for space, to impact coral communities over multiple years. This study sought to test the use of individual-based models (IBMs) as a tool to scale up the effects of OA recorded in short-term studies to community-scale impacts, combining data from field surveys and mesocosm experiments to parameterize an IBM of coral community recovery on the fore reef of Moorea, French Polynesia. Focusing on the dominant coral genera from the fore reef, Pocillopora, Acropora, Montipora and Porites, model efficacy first was evaluated through the comparison of simulated and empirical dynamics from 2010–2016, when the reef was recovering from sequential acute disturbances (a crown-of-thorns seastar outbreak followed by a cyclone) that reduced coral cover to ~0% by 2010. The model then was used to evaluate how the effects of OA (1,100–1,200 µatm pCO2) on coral growth and competition among corals affected recovery rates (as assessed by changes in % cover y−1) of each coral population between 2010–2016. The model indicated that recovery rates for the fore reef community was halved by OA over 7 years, with cover increasing at 11% y−1 under ambient conditions and 4.8% y−1 under OA conditions. However, when OA was implemented to affect coral growth and not competition among corals, coral community recovery increased to 7.2% y−1, highlighting mechanisms other than growth suppression (i.e., competition), through which OA can impact recovery. Our study reveals the potential for IBMs to assess the impacts of OA on coral communities at temporal and spatial scales beyond the capabilities of experimental studies, but this potential will not be realized unless empirical analyses address a wider variety of response variables representing ecological, physiological and functional domains.
One of the most common responses of marine ectotherms to rapid warming is a reduction in body size, but the underlying reasons are unclear. Body size reductions have been documented alongside rapid warming events in the fossil record, such as across the Pliensbachian-Toarcian boundary (PToB) event (~ 183 Mya). As individuals grow, parallel changes in morphology can indicate details of their ecological response to environmental crises, such as changes in resource acquisition, which may anticipate future climate impacts. Here we show that the morphological growth of a marine predator belemnite species (extinct coleoid cephalopods) changed significantly over the PToB warming event. Increasing robustness at different ontogenetic stages likely results from indirect consequences of warming, like resource scarcity or hypercalcification, pointing toward varying ecological tolerances among species. The results of this study stress the importance of taking life history into account as well as phylogeny when studying impacts of environmental stressors on marine organisms.
Ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) is a power generation technology that extracts energy from the temperature difference between deep seawater and surface water in the ocean. Currently, a 100 kW class OTEC demonstration project is underway on Kume Island, Okinawa, and a plan to increase water intake and introduce a 1 MW class OTEC plant is under consideration. Year-round generation of electricity by an OTEC plant requires that it be installed in tropical and subtropical regions, where the surface water has a high temperature and low nutrient content. However, the water discharged from an OTEC plant will have the opposite characteristics of low water temperature and high nutrients, as well as a low pH. One of the most concerning environmental impacts of this discharged water is its influence on corals, which are important species in tropical and subtropical marine ecosystems. In this study, we developed an ecosystem model for a subtropical shallow-water region; the model combines a pelagic submodel, a chemical equilibrium submodel, and a benthic submodel, and successfully reproduces the observed variation in pH. The model was used to predict the environmental impact of water discharged from OTEC plant. The simulation results suggest that a 1 MW class OTEC plant would cause few environmental changes that would affect corals.
Prior exposure to variable environmental conditions is predicted to influence the resilience of marine organisms to global change. We conducted complementary 4-month field and laboratory experiments to understand how a dynamic, and sometimes extreme, environment influences growth rates of a tropical reef-building crustose coralline alga and its responses to ocean acidification (OA). Using a reciprocal transplant design, we quantified calcification rates of the Caribbean coralline Lithophyllum sp. at sites with a history of either extreme or moderate oxygen, temperature, and pH regimes. Calcification rates of in situ corallines at the extreme site were 90% lower than those at the moderate site, regardless of origin. Negative effects of corallines originating from the extreme site persisted even after transplanting to more optimal conditions for 20 weeks. In the laboratory, we tested the separate and combined effects of stress and variability by exposing corallines from the same sites to either ambient (Amb: pH 8.04) or acidified (OA: pH 7.70) stable conditions or variable (Var: pH 7.80-8.10) or acidified variable (OA-Var: pH 7.45-7.75) conditions. There was a negative effect of all pH treatments on Lithophyllum sp. calcification rates relative to the control, with lower calcification rates in corallines from the extreme site than from the moderate site in each treatment, indicative of a legacy effect of site origin on subsequent response to laboratory treatment. Our study provides ecologically relevant context to understanding the nuanced effects of OA on crustose coralline algae, and illustrates how local environmental regimes may influence the effects of global change.
Ocean acidification has been broadly recognised to have effects on the structure and functioning of marine benthic communities. The selection of tolerant or vulnerable species can also occur during settlement phases, especially for calcifying organisms which are more vulnerable to low pH–high pCO2 conditions. Here, we use three natural CO2 vents (Castello Aragonese north and south sides, and Vullatura, Ischia, Italy) to assess the effect of a decrease of seawater pH on the settlement of Mollusca in Posidonia oceanica meadows, and to test the possible buffering effect provided by the seagrass. Artificial collectors were installed and collected after 33 days, during April–May 2019, in three different microhabitats within the meadow (canopy, bottom/rhizome level, and dead matte without plant cover), following a pH decreasing gradient from an extremely low pH zone (pH < 7.4), to ambient pH conditions (pH = 8.10). A total of 4659 specimens of Mollusca, belonging to 57 different taxa, were collected. The number of taxa was lower in low and extremely low pH conditions. Reduced mollusc assemblages were reported at the acidified stations, where few taxa accounted for a high number of individuals. Multivariate analyses revealed significant differences in mollusc assemblages among pH conditions, microhabitat, and the interaction of these two factors. Acanthocardia echinata, Alvania lineata, Alvania sp. juv, Eatonina fulgida, Hiatella arctica, Mytilys galloprovincialis, Musculus subpictus, Phorcus sp. juv, and Rissoa variabilis were the species mostly found in low and extremely low pH stations, and were all relatively robust to acidified conditions. Samples placed on the dead matte under acidified conditions at the Vullatura vent showed lower diversity and abundances if compared to canopy and bottom/rhizome samples, suggesting a possible buffering role of the Posidonia on mollusc settlement. Our study provides new evidence of shifts in marine benthic communities due to ocean acidification and evidence of how P. oceanica meadows could mitigate its effects on associated biota in light of future climate change.
Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement (OAE) simultaneously mitigates atmospheric concentrations of CO2 and ocean acidification; however, no previous studies have investigated the response of the non-linear marine carbonate system sensitivity to alkalinity enhancement on regional scales. We hypothesise that regional implementations of OAE can sequester more atmospheric CO2 than a global implementation. To address this, we investigate physical regimes and alkalinity sensitivity as drivers of the carbon-uptake potential response to global and different regional simulations of OAE. In this idealised ocean-only set-up, total alkalinity is enhanced at a rate of 0.25 Pmol a-1 in 75-year simulations using the Max Planck Institute Ocean Model coupled to the HAMburg Ocean Carbon Cycle model with pre-industrial atmospheric forcing. Alkalinity is enhanced globally and in eight regions: the Subpolar and Subtropical Atlantic and Pacific gyres, the Indian Ocean and the Southern Ocean. This study reveals that regional alkalinity enhancement has the capacity to exceed carbon uptake by global OAE. We find that 82–175 Pg more carbon is sequestered into the ocean when alkalinity is enhanced regionally and 156 PgC when enhanced globally, compared with the background-state. The Southern Ocean application is most efficient, sequestering 12% more carbon than the Global experiment despite OAE being applied across a surface area 40 times smaller. For the first time, we find that different carbon-uptake potentials are driven by the surface pattern of total alkalinity redistributed by physical regimes across areas of different carbon-uptake efficiencies. We also show that, while the marine carbonate system becomes less sensitive to alkalinity enhancement in all experiments globally, regional responses to enhanced alkalinity vary depending upon the background concentrations of dissolved inorganic carbon and total alkalinity. Furthermore, the Subpolar North Atlantic displays a previously unexpected alkalinity sensitivity increase in response to high total alkalinity concentrations.
Elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) is causing global ocean changes and drives changes in organism physiology, life-history traits, and population dynamics of natural marine resources. However, our knowledge of the mechanisms and consequences of ocean acidification (OA) – in combination with other climatic drivers (i.e., warming, deoxygenation) – on organisms and downstream effects on marine fisheries is limited. Here, we explored how the direct effects of multiple changes in ocean conditions on organism aerobic performance scales up to spatial impacts on fisheries catch of 210 commercially exploited marine invertebrates, known to be susceptible to OA. Under the highest CO2 trajectory, we show that global fisheries catch potential declines by as much as 12% by the year 2100 relative to present, of which 3.4% was attributed to OA. Moreover, OA effects are exacerbated in regions with greater changes in pH (e.g., West Arctic basin), but are reduced in tropical areas where the effects of ocean warming and deoxygenation are more pronounced (e.g., Indo-Pacific). Our results enhance our knowledge on multi-stressor effects on marine resources and how they can be scaled from physiology to population dynamics. Furthermore, it underscores variability of responses to OA and identifies vulnerable regions and species.
Recognition that ocean acidification (OA) alters calcification rates in many tropical corals and photosynthetic processes in some has motivated research into coral’s carbon processing systems. Here, a multi-compartment coral model is used to assess inorganic carbon fluxes, accounting for carbon uptake, photosynthesis, transport across and between coral tissue and calcification. The increased complexity of this model is enabled by incorporating recent measurements of carbonic anhydrase activity and dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) related photosynthetic parameters, allowing the model to respond to changes in external inorganic carbon chemistry. The model reproduced measured gross photosynthesis, calcification rates and calcifying fluid pH from Orbicella faveolata at current oceanic conditions. Model simulations representing OA conditions showed an increase in net photosynthesis and modest decreases in calcification which fall within trends seen in experimental data. Photosynthesis increased due to higher diffusive influx of CO2 into the oral tissue layers, increasing DIC where symbiotic algae reside. The model suggests that decreases in calcification result from increased fluxes of CO2 into the calcifying fluid from the aboral tissue layer and the bulk seawater, lowering its pH and reducing the aragonite saturation state. However, modeled pH drops in the calcifying fluid exceed those observed, pointing to the need for additional empirical constraints on DIC fluxes associated with calcification and coelenteron transport.
The deposition of carbonate rocks is closely tied to Earth’s climate and ocean chemistry. Healthy carbonate platforms produce sediment at a rate that usually keeps up with accommodation changes due to tectonic subsidence and sea level rise. In contrast, platform ‘drowning’ during Ocean Anoxic Events (OAEs) has long been considered a physical expression of biogeochemical changes that reduce shallow-water sedimentation rates. Identifying the exact mechanism(s) that contribute to platform drowning are critical for understanding the nature and duration of environmental disruptions during these events.
Here we present a new model for long-term platform drowning based on changing oceanic gradients in alkalinity and carbonate saturation states. Well-oxygenated oceans are characterized by steep gradients in saturation state with high rates of carbonate ‘over-production’ in the surface ocean and dissolution in the deep ocean. Under reducing conditions, anaerobic microbial metabolisms act to reduce these gradients so that there is less overproduction in the surface ocean which may manifest locally as slower accumulation rates in tropical shallow-water settings. Simple box models show that this is a quasi-steady state process that lasts as long for as long an anoxic condition persist, effectively coupling the timescales of carbonate sedimentation and redox changes. We posit that redox-based changes in ocean gradients act alongside other kill mechanisms to produce the diversity of platform drowning patterns observed in the rock record both in Meseozoic OAEs and for older hyperthermal events.
Surface ocean CO2 measurements are used to compute the oceanic air–sea CO2 flux. The CO2 flux component from rivers and estuaries is uncertain. Estuarine and coastal water carbon dioxide (CO2) observations are relatively few compared to observations in the open ocean. The contribution of these regions to the global air–sea CO2 flux remains uncertain due to systematic under-sampling. Existing high-quality CO2 instrumentation predominantly utilise showerhead and percolating style equilibrators optimised for open ocean observations. The intervals between measurements made with such instrumentation make it difficult to resolve the fine-scale spatial variability of surface water CO2 at timescales relevant to the high frequency variability in estuarine and coastal environments. Here we present a novel dataset with unprecedented frequency and spatial resolution transects made at the Western Channel Observatory in the south west of the UK from June to September 2016, using a fast response seawater CO2 system. Novel observations were made along the estuarine–coastal continuum at different stages of the tide and reveal distinct spatial patterns in the surface water CO2 fugacity (fCO2) at different stages of the tidal cycle. Changes in salinity and fCO2 were closely correlated at all stages of the tidal cycle and suggest that the mixing of oceanic and riverine end members determines the variations in fCO2. The observations demonstrate the complex dynamics determining spatial and temporal patterns of salinity and fCO2 in the region. Spatial variations in observed surface salinity were used to validate the output of a regional high resolution hydrodynamic model. The model enables a novel estimate of the air–sea CO2 flux in the estuarine–coastal zone. Air–sea CO2 flux variability in the estuarine–coastal boundary region is dominated by the state of the tide because of strong CO2 outgassing from the river plume. The observations and model output demonstrate that undersampling the complex tidal and mixing processes characteristic of estuarine and coastal environment bias quantification of air-sea CO2 fluxes in coastal waters. The results provide a mechanism to support critical national and regional policy implementation by reducing uncertainty in carbon budgets.
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.
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.
We model a stylized economy dependent on agriculture and fisheries to study optimal environmental policy in the face of interacting external effects of ocean acidification, global warming, and eutrophication. This allows us to capture some of the latest insights from research on ocean acidification. Using a static two-sector general equilibrium model we derive optimal rules for national taxes on emissions and agricultural run-off and show how they depend on both isolated and interacting damage effects. In addition, we derive a second-best rule for a tax on agricultural run-off of fertilizers for the realistic case that effective internalization of externalities is lacking. The results contribute to a better understanding of the social costs of ocean acidification in coastal economies when there is interaction with other environmental stressors.
Recommendations for Resource Managers:
- Marginal environmental damages from emissions should be internalized by a tax on emissions that is high enough to not only reflect marginal damages from temperature increases, but also marginal damages from ocean acidification and the interaction of both with regional sources of acidification like nutrient run-off from agriculture.
- In the absence of serious national policies that fully internalize externalities, a sufficiently high tax on regional nutrient run-off of fertilizers used in agricultural production can limit not only marginal environmental damages from nutrient run-off but also account for unregulated carbon emissions.
- Putting such regional policies in place that consider multiple important drivers of environmental change will be of particular importance for developing coastal economies that are likely to suffer the most from ocean acidification.
- Global climate change and local stressors are the main threats to reef-building organisms and habitats they build, such as rhodolith beds.
- Through an experimental essay and ecological niche modelling, we were able to determine the environmental factors that determine the distribution and affect the physiology of an important rhodolith-forming species in the southwestern Atlantic.
- Our results raise the possibility of some rhodolith-forming species being resilient to future environmental change based on our current understanding of their distributions, a perspective that will need to be further explored by future studies.
- This information is helpful in informing policies for the conservation of priority areas, aiding the preservation of marine biodiversity in the South Atlantic.
Given the ecological and biogeochemical importance of rhodolith beds, it is necessary to investigate how future environmental conditions will affect these organisms. We investigated the impacts of increased nutrient concentrations, acidification, and marine heatwaves on the performance of the rhodolith-forming species Lithothamnion crispatum in a short-term experiment, including the recovery of individuals after stressor removal. Furthermore, we developed an ecological niche model to establish which environmental conditions determine its current distribution along the Brazilian coast and to project responses to future climate scenarios. Although L. crispatum suffered a reduction in photosynthetic performance when exposed to stressors, they returned to pre-experiment values following the return of individuals to control conditions. The model showed that the most important variables in explaining the current distribution of L. crispatum on the Brazilian coast were maximum nitrate and temperature. In future ocean conditions, the model predicted a range expansion of habitat suitability for this species of approximately 58.5% under RCP 8.5. Physiological responses to experimental future environmental conditions corroborated model predictions of the expansion of this species’ habitat suitability in the future. This study, therefore, demonstrates the benefits of applying combined approaches to examine potential species responses to climate-change drivers from multiple angles.
- BACI model detects larval fish abundance before and after 30 years of development.
- Lower larval diversity and abundance at impact than at offshore control stations.
- The inshore-offshore cline in abundance can be related to lower SST and higher pH.
- Total larval fish abundance increased despite changes in zooplankton composition.
- 1st and 2nd stage larvae of certain families increased after development impact.
Changes in larval fish assemblages were studied before (1985-86) and after (2013–2014) rapid coastal development in the Klang Strait, Malaysia, based on a Before-After-Control-Impact (BACI) experimental design. Fish larvae were sampled by bongo-nets along an 18-km transect from the impact station at the Kapar power station (KPS) to four control stations in increasingly offshore waters. Families Gobiidae, Clupeidae, Sciaenidae and Engraulidae were most abundant at both sampling periods, demonstrating their adaptability and resilience to the natural and anthropogenic disturbances. Coastal development has reduced larval fish abundance at KPS, inevitably shifting higher larval abundance to the control stations. This shift is related to lower sea surface temperature and higher pH. Despite the coastal disturbances, there was an overall increase in total larval fish abundance attributed to the preflexion stage of the Gobiidae, Sciaenidae, Engraulidae, Cynoglossidae and Callionymidae, and the yolk-sac and preflexion larvae of unidentified taxa.
This research is conducted to assess the accuracy of spline interpolation methods to predict and model the surface water pH of Pulau Tuba, Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia. In-situ sampling activities using pH-meter and Geographic Positioning Systems (GPS) were carried out during high tides and at noon in November 2018. The development of spatial models were constructed using the Regularized and Tension spline methods. Then, validation of models was carried out to compare the observed and predicted values of pH using correlation analysis, regression analysis, and error analysis. The accuracy of the developed map was calculated using the overall accuracy equation. The research found that the regularized spline method had more accuracy in estimating surface water pH variability than the tension spline method. The Pearson correlation coefficient (r), Coefficient of determination (R2), Mean Absolute Error (MAE) and Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) were reported at 0.896, 0.803, 0.0265 and 0.0344 for the regularized spline method, respectively. The developed spatial model was then transformed into a map by adding map elements such as legend, title, north arrow, and scales for effective visualization. The developed map has an accuracy of 87.50%. The surface water pH was found at the range of 7-8. The low reading of pH is expected due to the addition of rainwater that lowered the pH of the coastal water of Pulau Tuba, Langkawi, Kedah. The research outcomes would benefit the government and non-government agencies to monitor the coastal and ocean acidification and the development of strategic policies and rules to reduce the impact of anthropogenic activities and climate change for this area.