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Venti, A, Andersson A, Langdon C.  2014.  Multiple driving factors explain spatial and temporal variability in coral calcification rates on the Bermuda platform. Coral Reefs. 33:979-997.   10.1007/s00338-014-1191-9   AbstractWebsite

Experimental studies have shown that coral calcification rates are dependent on light, nutrients, food availability, temperature, and seawater aragonite saturation (Omega (arag)), but the relative importance of each parameter in natural settings remains uncertain. In this study, we applied Calcein fluorescent dyes as time indicators within the skeleton of coral colonies (n = 3) of Porites astreoides and Diploria strigosa at three study sites distributed across the northern Bermuda coral reef platform. We evaluated the correlation between seasonal average growth rates based on coral density and extension rates with average temperature, light, and seawater Omega (arag) in an effort to decipher the relative importance of each parameter. The results show significant seasonal differences among coral calcification rates ranging from summer maximums of 243 +/- A 58 and 274 +/- A 57 mmol CaCO3 m(-2) d(-1) to winter minimums of 135 +/- A 39 and 101 +/- A 34 mmol CaCO3 m(-2) d(-1) for P. astreoides and D. strigosa, respectively. We also placed small coral colonies (n = 10) in transparent chambers and measured the instantaneous rate of calcification under light and dark treatments at the same study sites. The results showed that the skeletal growth of D. strigosa and P. astreoides, whether hourly or seasonal, was highly sensitive to Omega (arag). We believe this high sensitivity, however, is misleading, due to covariance between light and Omega (arag), with the former being the strongest driver of calcification variability. For the seasonal data, we assessed the impact that the observed seasonal differences in temperature (4.0 A degrees C), light (5.1 mol photons m(-2) d(-1)), and Omega (arag) (0.16 units) would have on coral growth rates based on established relationships derived from laboratory studies and found that they could account for approximately 44, 52, and 5 %, respectively, of the observed seasonal change of 81 +/- A 14 mmol CaCO3 m(-2) d(-1). Using short-term light and dark incubations, we show how the covariance of light and Omega (arag) can lead to the false conclusion that calcification is more sensitive to Omega (arag) than it really is.

Venti, A, Kadko D, Andersson AJ, Langdon C, Bates NR.  2012.  A multi-tracer model approach to estimate reef water residence times. Limnology and Oceanography-Methods. 10:1078-1095.   10.4319/lom.2012.10.1078   AbstractWebsite

We present a new method for obtaining the residence time of coral reef waters and demonstrate the successful application of this method by estimating rates of net ecosystem calcification (NEC) at four locations across the Bermuda platform and showing that the rates thus obtained are in reasonable agreement with independent estimates based on different methodologies. The contrast in Be-7 activity between reef and offshore waters can be related to the residence time of the waters over the reef through a time-dependent model that takes into account the rainwater flux of Be-7, the radioactive half-life of Be-7, and the rate of removal of Be-7 on particles estimated from Th-234. Sampling for Be-7 and Th-234 was conducted during the late fall and winter between 2008 and 2010. Model results yielded residence times ranging from 1.4 (+/- 0.7) days at the rim reef to 12 (+/- 4.0) days closer to shore. When combined with measurements of salinity-normalized total alkalinity anomalies, these residence times yielded platform-average NEC rates ranging from a maximum of 20.3 (+/- 7.0) mmolCaCO(3) m(-2) d(-1) in Nov 2008 to a minimum of 2.5 (+/- 0.8) mmolCaCO(3) m(-2) d(-1) in Feb 2009. The advantage of this new approach is that the rates of NEC obtained are temporally and spatially averaged. This novel approach for estimating NEC rates may be applicable to other coral reef ecosystems, providing an opportunity to assess how these rates may change in the context of ocean acidification.

Langdon, CR, Gatusso JP, Andersson AJ.  2010.  Measurements of calcification abd dissolution of benthic organisms and communities. Guidebest practices in ocean acidification Reserach and data reporting . Abstract
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Mackenzie, FT, Andersson AJ.  2013.  The marine carbon system and ocean acidification during Phanerozoic time. Geochemical Perspectives. 2:1-227.   10.7185/geochempersp.2.1   AbstractWebsite

The global CO2-carbonic acid-carbonate system of seawater, although certainly a well-researched topic of interest in the past, has risen to the fore in recent years because of the environmental issue of ocean acidification (often simply termed OA). Despite much previous research, there remain pressing questions about how this most important chemical system of seawater operated at the various time scales of the deep time of the Phanerozoic Eon (the past 545 Ma of Earth's history), interglacial-glacial time, and the Anthropocene (the time of strong human influence on the behaviour of the system) into the future of the planet. One difficulty in any analysis is that the behaviour of the marine carbon system is not only controlled by internal processes in the ocean, but it is intimately linked to the domains of the atmosphere, continental landscape, and marine carbonate sediments.

Parson, RJ, Nelson CA, Carlson CA, Denman CC, Andersson AJ, Kledzik AL, Vergin KL, McNally SP, Treusch AH, Giovannoni SJ.  2014.  Marine bacterioplankton community turnover within seasonally hypoxic waters of a subtropical sound: Devil’s Hole, Bermuda. Environmental Microbiology.   10.1111/1462-2920.12445   Abstract

Understanding bacterioplankton community dynamics in coastal hypoxic environments is relevant to global biogeochemistry because coastal hypoxia is increasing worldwide. The temporal dynamics of bacterioplankton communities were analysed throughout the illuminated water column of Devil's Hole, Bermuda during the 6-week annual transition from a strongly stratified water column with suboxic and high-pCO2 bottom waters to a fully mixed and ventilated state during 2008. A suite of culture-independent methods provided a quantitative spatiotemporal characterization of bacterioplankton community changes, including both direct counts and rRNA gene sequencing. During stratification, the surface waters were dominated by the SAR11 clade of Alphaproteobacteria and the cyanobacterium Synechococcus. In the suboxic bottom waters, cells from the order Chlorobiales prevailed, with gene sequences indicating members of the genera Chlorobium and Prosthecochloris – anoxygenic photoautotrophs that utilize sulfide as a source of electrons for photosynthesis. Transitional zones of hypoxia also exhibited elevated levels of methane- and sulfur-oxidizing bacteria relative to the overlying waters. The abundance of both Thaumarcheota and Euryarcheota were elevated in the suboxic bottom waters (> 109 cells l−1). Following convective mixing, the entire water column returned to a community typical of oxygenated waters, with Euryarcheota only averaging 5% of cells, and Chlorobiales and Thaumarcheota absent.