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Takeshita, Y, Cyronak T, Martz TR, Kindeberg T, Andersson AJ.  2018.  Coral reef carbonate chemistry variability at different functional scales. Frontiers in Marine Science. 5   10.3389/fmars.2018.00175   AbstractWebsite

There is a growing recognition for the need to understand how seawater carbonate chemistry over coral reef environments will change in a high-CO2 world to better assess the impacts of ocean acidification on these valuable ecosystems. Coral reefs modify overlying water column chemistry through biogeochemical processes such as net community organic carbon production (NCR) and calcification (NCC). However, the relative importance and influence of these processes on seawater carbonate chemistry vary across multiple functional scales (defined here as space, time, and benthic community composition), and have not been fully constrained. Here, we use Bermuda as a case study to assess (1) spatiotemporal variability in physical and chemical parameters along a depth gradient at a rim reef location, (2) the spatial variability of total alkalinity (TA) and dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) over distinct benthic habitats to infer NCC:NCP ratios [< several km(2); rim reef vs. seagrass and calcium carbonate (CaCO3) sediments] on diel timescales, and (3) compare how TA-DIC relationships and NCC:NCP vary as we expand functional scales from local habitats to the entire reef platform (10's of km(2)) on seasonal to interannual timescales. Our results demonstrate that TA-DIC relationships were strongly driven by local benthic metabolism and community composition over diel cycles. However, as the spatial scale expanded to the reef platform, the TA-DIC relationship reflected processes that were integrated over larger spatiotemporal scales, with effects of NCC becoming increasingly more important over NCR. This study demonstrates the importance of considering drivers across multiple functional scales to constrain carbonate chemistry variability over coral reefs.

Kroeker, KJ, Micheli F, Gambi MC, Martz TR.  2011.  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   AbstractWebsite

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.

Martz, TR, Dickson AG, DeGrandpre MD.  2006.  Tracer monitored titrations: measurement of total alkalinity. Analytical Chemistry. 78:1817-1826.   10.1021/ac0516133   AbstractWebsite

We introduce a new titration methodology, tracer monitored titration (1741), in which analyses are free of volumetric and gravimetric measurements and insensitive to pump precision and reproducibility. Spectrophotometric monitoring of titrant dilution, rather than volume increment, lays the burden of analytical performance solely on the spectrophotometer. In the method described here, the titrant is a standardized mixture of acid-base indicator and strong acid. Dilution of a pulse of titrant in a titration vessel is tracked using the total indicator concentration measured spectrophotometrically. The concentrations of reacted and unreacted indicator species, derived from Beer's law, are used to calculate the relative proportions of titrant and sample in addition to the equilibrium position (pH) of the titration mixture. Because the method does not require volumetric or gravimetric additions of titrant, simple low-precision pumps can be used. Here, we demonstrate application of TMT for analysis of total alkalinity (AT). High-precision, high-accuracy seawater AT measurements are crucial for understanding, for example, the marine CaCO3 budget and saturation state, anthropogenic CO2 penetration into the oceans, calcareous phytoplankton blooms, and coral reef dynamics. We present data from 286 titrations on three types of total alkalinity standards: Na2CO3 in 0.7 mol kg(.)soln(-1) NaCl, NaOH in 0.7 mol kg(.)soln(-1) NaCl, and a seawater Certified Reference Material (CRM). Based on Na2CO3 standards, the accuracy and precision are +/- 0.2 and +/- 0.1% (4 and 2 mu mol kg-soln(-1) for A(T) similar to 2100-2500 mu mol kg(.)soln(-1), n = 242), using low-precision solenoid pumps to introduce sample and titrant. Similar accuracy and precision were found for analyses run 42 days after the initial experiments. Excellent performance is achieved by optimizing the spectrophotometric detection system and relying upon basic chemical thermodynamics for calculating the equivalence point. Although applied to acid-base titrations in this paper, the approach should be generally applicable to other types of titrations.