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Nash, MC, Troitzsch U, Opdyke BN, Trafford JM, Russell BD, Kline DI.  2011.  First discovery of dolomite and magnesite in living coralline algae and its geobiological implications. Biogeosciences. 8:3331-3340.   10.5194/bg-8-3331-2011   AbstractWebsite

Dolomite is a magnesium-rich carbonate mineral abundant in fossil carbonate reef platforms but surprisingly rare in modern sedimentary environments, a conundrum known as the "Dolomite Problem". Marine sedimentary dolomite has been interpreted to form by an unconfirmed, post-depositional diagenetic process, despite minimal experimental success at replicating this. Here we show that dolomite, accompanied by magnesite, forms within living crustose coralline alga, Hydrolithon onkodes, a prolific global tropical reef species. Chemical micro-analysis of the coralline skeleton reveals that not only are the cell walls calcitised, but that cell spaces are typically filled with magnesite, rimmed by dolomite, or both. Mineralogy was confirmed by X-ray Diffraction. Thus there are at least three mineral phases present (magnesium calcite, dolomite and magnesite) rather than one or two (magnesium calcite and brucite) as previously thought. Our results are consistent with dolomite occurrences in coralline algae rich environments in fossil reefs of the last 60 million years. We reveal that the standard method of removing organic material prior to Xray Diffraction analysis can result in a decrease in the most obvious dolomite and magnesite diffraction patterns and this may explain why the abundant protodolomite and magnesite discovered in this study has not previously been recognized. This discovery of dolomite in living coralline algae extends the range of palaeo-environments for which biologically initiated dolomite can be considered a possible source of primary dolomite.

Stark, JS, Peltzer ET, Kline DI, Queiros AM, Cox TE, Headley K, Barry J, Gazeau F, Runcie JW, Widdicombe S, Milnes M, Roden NP, Black J, Whiteside S, Johnstone G, Ingels J, Shaw E, Bodrossy L, Gaitan-Espitia JD, Kirkwood W, Gattuso J.  2019.  Free Ocean CO2 Enrichment (FOCE) experiments: Scientific and technical recommendations for future in situ ocean acidification projects. Progress in Oceanography. 172:89-107.   10.1016/j.pocean.2019.01.006   AbstractWebsite

Free Ocean CO2 Enrichment (FOCE) experiments are a relatively recent development in ocean acidification research, designed to address the need for in situ, long-term, community level experiments. FOCE studies have been conducted across different marine benthic habitats and regions, from Antarctica to the tropics. Based on this previous research we have formed some core operating principles that will aid those embarking on future FOCE experiments. FOCE studies have potential to provide important insight into the effects of ocean acidification that can add to or refine conclusions drawn from laboratory or single species studies because they are conducted in situ on intact assemblages. Scaling up from sub-organismal and individual effects to also include indirect impacts on the ecosystem and ecosystem services, make FOCE experiments essential in filling in current knowledge gaps in our understanding of ocean acidification. While FOCE systems are complex, relatively costly, and somewhat difficult to operate, the challenges they pose are tractable and they have proven to be a useful approach in ocean acidification research. The aim of this paper is to draw from the experiences of past FOCE experiments and provide practical advice for designing, building and operating a FOCE experiment. Some of the most important recommendations include: field testing the system design; having a backup power supply; using replicate treatment enclosures; monitoring and maintaining the chemistry appropriately; allowing sufficient time to achieve near CO2 equilibrium conditions; and having a scientific focus with a core set of hypotheses. Future FOCE experiments could focus on longer durations, multiple factors, and testing more intact benthic marine communities and ecosystems. We hope this paper will encourage further FOCE deployments and experiments, as well as provide some guidelines to improve future FOCE studies and advance ocean acidification research.

Gattuso, JP, Kirkwood W, Barry JP, Cox E, Gazeau F, Hansson L, Hendriks I, Kline DI, Mahacek P, Martin S, McElhany P, Peltzer ET, Reeve J, Roberts D, Saderne V, Tait K, Widdicombe S, Brewer PG.  2014.  Free-ocean CO2 enrichment (FOCE) systems: present status and future developments. Biogeosciences. 11:4057-4075.   10.5194/bg-11-4057-2014   AbstractWebsite

Free-ocean CO2 enrichment (FOCE) systems are designed to assess the impact of ocean acidification on biological communities in situ for extended periods of time (weeks to months). They overcome some of the drawbacks of laboratory experiments and field observations by enabling (1) precise control of CO2 enrichment by monitoring pH as an offset of ambient pH, (2) consideration of indirect effects such as those mediated through interspecific relationships and food webs, and (3) relatively long experiments with intact communities. Bringing perturbation experiments from the laboratory to the field is, however, extremely challenging. The main goal of this paper is to provide guidelines on the general design, engineering, and sensor options required to conduct FOCE experiments. Another goal is to introduce xFOCE, a community-led initiative to promote awareness, provide resources for in situ perturbation experiments, and build a user community. Present and existing FOCE systems are briefly described and examples of data collected presented. Future developments are also addressed as it is anticipated that the next generation of FOCE systems will include, in addition to pH, options for oxygen and/or temperature control. FOCE systems should become an important experimental approach for projecting the future response of marine ecosystems to environmental change.

Dove, SG, Kline DI, Pantos O, Angly FE, Tyson GW, Hoegh-Guldberg O.  2013.  Future reef decalcification under a business-as-usual CO2 emission scenario. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 110:15342-15347.   10.1073/pnas.1302701110   AbstractWebsite

Increasing atmospheric partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) is a major threat to coral reefs, but some argue that the threat is mitigated by factors such as the variability in the response of coral calcification to acidification, differences in bleaching susceptibility, and the potential for rapid adaptation to anthropogenic warming. However the evidence for these mitigating factors tends to involve experimental studies on corals, as opposed to coral reefs, and rarely includes the influence of multiple variables (e.g., temperature and acidification) within regimes that include diurnal and seasonal variability. Here, we demonstrate that the inclusion of all these factors results in the decalcification of patch-reefs under business-as-usual scenarios and reduced, although positive, calcification under reduced-emission scenarios. Primary productivity was found to remain constant across all scenarios, despite significant bleaching and coral mortality under both future scenarios. Daylight calcification decreased and nocturnal decalcification increased sharply from the preindustrial and control conditions to the future scenarios of low (reduced emissions) and high (business-as-usual) increases in pCO2. These changes coincided with deeply negative carbonate budgets, a shift toward smaller carbonate sediments, and an increase in the abundance of sediment microbes under the business-as-usual emission scenario. Experimental coral reefs demonstrated highest net calcification rates and lowest rates of coral mortality under preindustrial conditions, suggesting that reef processes may not have been able to keep pace with the relatively minor environmental changes that have occurred during the last century. Taken together, our results have serious implications for the future of coral reefs under business-as-usual environmental changes projected for the coming decades and century.