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Courtney, TA, Lebrato M, Bates NR, Collins A, de Putron SJ, Garley R, Johnson R, Molinero JC, Noyes TJ, Sabine CL, Andersson AJ.  2017.  Environmental controls on modern scleractinian coral and reef-scale calcification. Science Advances. 3   10.1126/sciadv.1701356   AbstractWebsite

Modern reef-building corals sustain a wide range of ecosystem services because of their ability to build calcium carbonate reef systems. The influence of environmental variables on coral calcification rates has been extensively studied, but our understanding of their relative importance is limited by the absence of in situ observations and the ability to decouple the interactions between different properties. We show that temperature is the primary driver of coral colony (Porites astreoides and Diploria labyrinthiformis) and reef-scale calcification rates over a 2-year monitoring period from the Bermuda coral reef. On the basis of multimodel climate simulations (Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5) and assuming sufficient coral nutrition, our results suggest that P. astreoides and D. labyrinthiformis coral calcification rates in Bermuda could increase throughout the 21st century as a result of gradual warming predicted under a minimum CO2 emissions pathway [ representative concentration pathway (RCP) 2.6] with positive 21st-century calcification rates potentially maintained under a reduced CO2 emissions pathway (RCP 4.5). These results highlight the potential benefits of rapid reductions in global anthropogenic CO2 emissions for 21st-century Bermuda coral reefs and the ecosystem services they provide.

Andersson, AJ, Mackenzie FT, Gattuso J-P.  2011.  Effects of ocean acidification on benthic processes, organisms, and ecosystems. Ocean Acidification. ( Gattuso J, Hansson L, Eds.).:xix,326p.., Oxford England ; New York: Oxford University Press Abstract

The ocean helps moderate climate change thanks to its considerable capacity to store CO2, through the combined actions of ocean physics, chemistry, and biology. This storage capacity limits the amount of human-released CO2 remaining in the atmosphere. As CO2 reacts with seawater, it generates dramatic changes in carbonate chemistry, including decreases in pH and carbonate ions and an increase in bicarbonate ions. The consequences of this overall process, known as "ocean acidification", are raising concerns for the biological, ecological, and biogeochemical health of the world's oceans, as well as for the potential societal implications. This research level text is the first to synthesize the very latest understanding of the consequences of ocean acidification, with the intention of informing both future research agendas and marine management policy. A prestigious list of authors has been assembled, among them the coordinators of major national and international projects on ocean acidification.

Andersson, AJ, Venn AA, Pendleton L, Brathwaite A, Camp EF, Cooley S, Gledhill D, Koch M, Maliki S, Manfrino C.  2019.  Ecological and socioeconomic strategies to sustain Caribbean coral reefs in a high-CO2 world. Regional Studies in Marine Science. 29   10.1016/j.rsma.2019.100677   AbstractWebsite

The Caribbean and Western Atlantic region hosts one of the world's most diverse geopolitical regions and a unique marine biota distinct from tropical seas in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. While this region varies in human population density, GDP and wealth, coral reefs, and their associated ecosystem services, are central to people's livelihoods. Unfortunately, the region's reefs have experienced extensive degradation over the last several decades. This degradation has been attributed to a combination of disease, overfishing, and multiple pressures from other human activities. Furthermore, the Caribbean region has experienced rapid ocean warming and acidification as a result of climate change that will continue and accelerate throughout the 21st century. It is evident that these changes will pose increasing threats to Caribbean reefs unless imminent actions are taken at the local, regional and global scale. Active management is required to sustain Caribbean reefs and increase their resilience to recover from acute stress events. Here, we propose local and regional solutions to halt and reverse Caribbean coral reef degradation under ongoing ocean warming and acidification. Because the Caribbean has already experienced high coral reef degradation, we suggest that this region may be suitable for more aggressive interventions that might not be suitable for other regions. Solutions with direct ecological benefits highlighted here build on existing knowledge of factors that can contribute to reef restoration and increased resilience in the Caribbean: (1) management of water quality, (2) reduction of unsustainable fishing practices, (3) application of ecological engineering, and (4) implementing marine spatial planning. Complementary socioeconomic and governance solutions include: (1) increasing communication and leveraging resources through the establishment of a regional reef secretariat, (2) incorporating reef health and sustainability goals into the blue economy plans for the region, and (3) initiating a reef labeling program to incentivize corporate partnerships for reef restoration and protection to sustain overall reef health in the region. (C) 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.