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Andersson, AJ, Yeakel KL, Bates NR, de Putron SJ.  2014.  Partial offsets in ocean acidification from changing coral reef biogeochemistry. Nature Climate Change. 4:56-61.   10.1038/nclimate2050   AbstractWebsite

Concerns have been raised about how coral reefs will be affected by ocean acidification(1,2), but projections of future seawater CO2 chemistry have focused solely on changes in the pH and aragonite saturation state (Omega(a)) of open-ocean surface seawater conditions surrounding coral reefs(1-4) rather than the reef systems themselves. The seawater CO2 chemistry within heterogeneous reef systems can be significantly different from that of the open ocean depending on the residence time, community composition and the main biogeochemical processes occurring on the reef, that is, net ecosystem production (NEP = gross primary production autotrophic and heterotrophic respiration) and net ecosystem calcification (NEC = gross calcification gross CaCO3 dissolution), which combined act to modify seawater chemistry(5-7). On the basis of observations from the Bermuda coral reef, we show that a range of projected biogeochemical responses of coral reef communities to ocean acidification by the end of this century could partially offset changes in seawater pH and Omega(a) by an average of 12-24% and 15-31%, respectively.

Mackenzie, FT, Lerman A, Andersson AJ.  2004.  Past and present of sediment and carbon biogeochemical cycling models. Biogeosciences. 1:11-32. AbstractWebsite

The global carbon cycle is part of the much more extensive sedimentary cycle that involves large masses of carbon in the Earth's inner and outer spheres. Studies of the carbon cycle generally followed a progression in knowledge of the natural biological, then chemical, and finally geological processes involved, culminating in a more or less integrated picture of the biogeochemical carbon cycle by the 1920s. However, knowledge of the ocean's carbon cycle behavior has only within the last few decades progressed to a stage where meaningful discussion of carbon processes on an annual to millennial time scale can take place. In geologically older and pre-industrial time, the ocean was generally a net source of CO2 emissions to the atmosphere owing to the mineralization of land-derived organic matter in addition to that produced in situ and to the process of CaCO3 precipitation. Due to rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations because of fossil fuel combustion and land use changes, the direction of the air-sea CO2 flux has reversed, leading to the ocean as a whole being a net sink of anthropogenic CO2. The present thickness of the surface ocean layer, where part of the anthropogenic CO2 emissions are stored, is estimated as of the order of a few hundred meters. The oceanic coastal zone net air-sea CO2 exchange flux has also probably changed during industrial time. Model projections indicate that in preindustrial times, the coastal zone may have been net heterotrophic, releasing CO2 to the atmosphere from the imbalance between gross photosynthesis and total respiration. This, coupled with extensive CaCO3 precipitation in coastal zone environments, led to a net flux of CO2 out of the system. During industrial time the coastal zone ocean has tended to reverse its trophic status toward a non-steady state situation of net autotrophy, resulting in net uptake of anthropogenic CO2 and storage of carbon in the coastal ocean, despite the significant calcification that still occurs in this region. Furthermore, evidence from the inorganic carbon cycle indicates that deposition and net storage of CaCO3 in sediments exceed inflow of inorganic carbon from land and produce CO2 emissions to the atmosphere. In the shallow-water coastal zone, increase in atmospheric CO2 during the last 300 years of industrial time may have reduced the rate of calcification, and continuation of this trend is an issue of serious environmental concern in the global carbon balance.

McLeod, E, Anthony KRN, Andersson A, Beeden R, Golbuu Y, Kleypas J, Kroeker K, Manzello D, Salm RV, Schuttenberg H, Smith JE.  2013.  Preparing to manage coral reefs for ocean acidification: lessons from coral bleaching. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 11:20-27.   10.1890/110240   AbstractWebsite

Ocean acidification is a direct consequence of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations and is expected to compromise the structure and function of coral reefs within this century. Research into the effects of ocean acidification on coral reefs has focused primarily on measuring and predicting changes in seawater carbon (C) chemistry and the biological and geochemical responses of reef organisms to such changes. To date, few ocean acidification studies have been designed to address conservation planning and management priorities. Here, we discuss how existing marine protected area design principles developed to address coral bleaching may be modified to address ocean acidification. We also identify five research priorities needed to incorporate ocean acidification into conservation planning and management: (1) establishing an ocean C chemistry baseline, (2) establishing ecological baselines, (3) determining species/habitat/community sensitivity to ocean acidification, (4) projecting changes in seawater carbonate chemistry, and (5) identifying potentially synergistic effects of multiple stressors.