Bio-optical observations of the 2004 Labrador Sea phytoplankton bloom.
Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 116 10.1029/2010jc006872 Abstract
A unique time series of moored bio-optical measurements documented the 2004 spring-summer bloom in the southern Labrador Sea. In situ and satellite chlorophyll data show that chlorophyll levels in the 2004 bloom were at the upper end of those typically observed in this region. Satellite chlorophyll and profiling float temperature/salinity data show that the main bloom, which typically peaks in June/July, is often preceded by ephemeral mixed layer shoaling and a lesser, short-lived bloom in May; this was the case ;in 2004. The particulate backscatter to beam attenuation ratio (b(bp)[470 nm]/C(p)[660 nm]) showed peaks in the relative abundance of small particles at bloom initiation and during the decline of the bloom, while larger particles dominated during the bloom. Chlorophyll/C(p) and b(bp)/chlorophyll were correlated with carbon export and dominated by changes in the pigment per cell associated with lower light levels due to enhanced attenuation of solar radiation during the bloom. An NPZ (nutrients, phytoplankton, zooplankton) model captured the phytoplankton bloom and an early July peak in zooplankton. Moored acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) data showed an additional mid-June peak in zooplankton biomass which was attributed to egg-laying copepods. The data reported here represent one of the few moored time series of C(p), b(bp) and chlorophyll extending over several months in an open ocean region. Interpretation of data sets such as this will become increasingly important as these deployments become more commonplace via ocean observing systems. Moreover, these data contribute to the understanding of biological-physical coupling in a biogeochemically important, yet poorly studied region.
Applications of in situ pH measurements for inorganic carbon calculations.
Marine Chemistry. 125:82-90. 10.1016/j.marchem.2011.02.005 Abstract
This study examines the utility of combining pH measurements with other inorganic carbon parameters for autonomous mooring-based carbon cycle research. Determination of the full suite of inorganic carbon species in the oceans has previously been restricted to ship-based studies. Now with the availability of autonomous sensors for pH and the partial pressure of CO(2) (pCO(2)), it is possible to characterize the inorganic carbon system on moorings and other unmanned platforms. The indicator-based pH instrument, SAMI-pH, was deployed with an autonomous equilibrator-infrared pCO(2) system in Monterey Bay. California USA from June to August 2007. The two-month time-series show a high degree of short-term variability, with pH and pCO(2) changing by as much as 0.32 pH units and 240 mu atm, respectively, during upwelling periods. The pH and salinity-derived alkalinity (A(Tsalin)) were used to calculate the other inorganic carbon parameters, including pCO(2), total dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and CaCO(3) saturation states. The calculated pCO(2) was within 2 mu atm of the measured pCO(2) during the first day of the deployment and within 8 mu atm over the first month. The DIC calculated from pH-A-Ban and pCO(2)-A(Tsalin) were within 5 mu mol kg(-1) of each other during the first month. However, DIC calculated from pH-pCO(2) differed by similar to 50 mu mol kg(-1) from the other estimates over the same period, reflecting the sensitivity of the pH-pCO(2) calculation to measurement error. The data continued to diverge during the final month and this difference was likely driven by extensive biofouling. Because of the relative insensitivity of CO(3)(2-) concentration to these errors, aragonite saturation calculated from the pH-pCO(2) pair was within 0.15 of the pH-A(Tsalin) values over the entire deployment. These results show that in situ pH, when combined with other CO(2) parameters, can provide valuable insights into both data quality and inorganic carbon cycling. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
High-frequency observations of pH under Antarctic sea ice in the southern Ross Sea.
Antarctic Science. 23:607-613. 10.1017/s0954102011000551 Abstract
Although predictions suggest that ocean acidification will significantly impact polar oceans within 20-30 years, there is limited information regarding present-day pH dynamics of the Southern Ocean. Here, we present novel high-frequency observations of pH collected during spring of 2010 using SeaFET pH sensors at three locations under fast sea ice in the southern Ross Sea. During these deployments in McMurdo Sound, baseline pH ranged between 8.019-8.045, with low to moderate overall variation (0.043-0.114 units) on the scale of hours to days. The variation was predominantly in the direction of increased pH relative to baseline observations. Estimates of aragonite saturation state (Omega(Ar)) were > 1 with no observations of subsaturation. Time series records such as these are significant to the Antarctic science community; this information can be leveraged towards framing more environmentally relevant laboratory experiments aimed at assessing the vulnerability of Antarctic species to ocean acidification. In addition, increased spatial and temporal coverage of pH datasets may reveal ecologically significant patterns. Specifically, whether such variation in natural ocean pH dynamics may drive local adaptation to pH variation or provide refugia for populations of marine calcifiers in a future, acidifying ocean.
Universal Tracer Monitored Titrations.
Analytical Chemistry. 83:9217-9220. 10.1021/ac2025656 Abstract
Titrations, while primarily known as the chemical rite of passage for fledgling science students, are still widely used for chemical analysis. With its many years of existence and improvement, the method would seem an unlikely candidate for innovation, yet it is desirable, in this age of autonomous sensing where analyzers may be sent into space or to the bottom of the ocean, to have a simplified titrimetric method that does not rely upon volumetric or gravimetric measurement of sample and titrant. In previous work on the measurement of seawater alkalinity, we found that use of a tracer in the titrant eliminates the need to measure mass or volume. Here, we show the versatility of the method for diverse types of titrations and tracers. The results suggest that tracers may be employed in all types of titrations, opening the door for greatly simplified laboratory and field-based chemical analysis.
Divergent ecosystem responses within a benthic marine community to ocean acidification.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 108:14515-14520. 10.1073/pnas.1107789108 Abstract
Ocean acidification is predicted to impact all areas of the oceans and affect a diversity of marine organisms. However, the diversity of responses among species prevents clear predictions about the impact of acidification at the ecosystem level. Here, we used shallow water CO(2) vents in the Mediterranean Sea as a model system to examine emergent ecosystem responses to ocean acidification in rocky reef communities. We assessed in situ benthic invertebrate communities in three distinct pH zones (ambient, low, and extreme low), which differed in both the mean and variability of seawater pH along a continuous gradient. We found fewer taxa, reduced taxonomic evenness, and lower biomass in the extreme low pH zones. However, the number of individuals did not differ among pH zones, suggesting that there is density compensation through population blooms of small acidification-tolerant taxa. Furthermore, the trophic structure of the invertebrate community shifted to fewer trophic groups and dominance by generalists in extreme low pH, suggesting that there may be a simplification of food webs with ocean acidification. Despite high variation in individual species' responses, our findings indicate that ocean acidification decreases the diversity, biomass, and trophic complexity of benthic marine communities. These results suggest that a loss of biodiversity and ecosystem function is expected under extreme acidification scenarios.
The ocean acidification seascape and its relationship to the performance of calcifying marine invertebrates: Laboratory experiments on the development of urchin larvae framed by environmentally-relevant pCO(2)/pH.
Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. 400:288-295. 10.1016/j.jembe.2011.02.016 Abstract
Variation in ocean pH is a dynamic process occurring naturally in the upwelling zone of the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem. The nearshore carbonate chemistry is under-characterized and the physiology of local organisms may be under constant challenge from cyclical changes in pH and carbonate ion concentration of unexpectedly high magnitude. We looked to environmental pH conditions of coastal upwelling and used those values to examine effects of low pH on 4-arm larvae of purple sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus. We deployed a pH sensor at a nearshore shallow benthic site for 3 weeks during summer 2010 to assess the changes in pH in the Santa Barbara Channel, a region considered to have relatively less intense upwelling along the US Pacific Coast. Large fluctuations in pH of up to 0.67 pH units were observed over short time scales of several days. Daily pH fluctuations on a tidal pattern followed temperature fluctuations over short time scales, but not over scales greater than a day. The lowest pH values recorded (similar to 7.70) are lower than some of those pH values predicted to occur in surface oceans at the end of the century. In the context of this dynamic pH exposure, larvae were raised at elevated pCO(2) levels of 1000 ppm and 1450 ppm CO(2) (pH 7.7 and 7.5 respectively) and measured for total larval length (from the spicule tip of the postoral arm to the spicule tip of the aboral point) along the spicules, to assess effects of low pH upwelling water on morphology. Larvae in all treatments maintained normal development and developmental schedule to day 6, and did not exhibit significant differences in larval asymmetry between treatments. At day 3 and day 6, larvae in the 1450 ppm CO(2) treatment were significantly smaller (p<0.001) than the control larvae by only 7-13%. The observation of smaller larvae raised under high pCO(2) has an as yet undetermined physiological mechanism, but has implications for locomotion and feeding. These effects of small magnitude in these urchin larvae are indicative of a potential resilience to near-future levels of ocean acidification. Using environmental monitoring of pH to inform experimental parameters provides a means to improve our understanding of acclimatization of organisms in a dynamic ecosystem. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.