Marine & Environmental Sciences Faculty Articles


Tyler Cyronak, University of California - San DiegoFollow
Andreas J. Andersson, University of California - San Diego
Chris Langdon, University of Miami
Rebecca Albright, Carnegie Institution for Science
Nicholas R. Bates, Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences - United Kingdom; University of Southampton - United Kingdom
Ken Caldeira, Carnegie Institution for Science
Renee Carlton, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; University of Miami
Jorge E. Corredor, University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez
Rob B. Dunbar, Stanford University
Ian Enochs, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; University of Miami
Jonathan Erez, The Hebrew University - Jerusalem, Israel
Bradley D. Eyre, Southern Cross University - Lismore, Australia
Jean-Pierre Gattuso, Laboratoire d'Oceanographie de Villefranche - France; Sorbonne Universites - France; Sciences Po - France
Dwight Gledhill, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Hajime Kayanne, The University of Tokyo - Japan
David I. Kline, University of California - San Diego; Smithsonian Institution
David A. Koweek, Stanford University
Coulson Lantz, Southern Cross University - Lismore, Australia
Boaz Lazar, The Hebrew University - Jerusalem, Israel
Derek Manzello, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Ashly McMahon, Southern Cross University - Coffs Harbour, Australia
Melissa Melendez, University of New Hampshire
Heather N. Page, University of California - San Diego
Isaac R. Santos, Southern Cross University - Coffs Harbour, Australia
Kai G. Schulz, Southern Cross University - Lismore, Australia
Emily Shaw, California State University
Jacob Silverman, National Institute of Oceanography - Haifa, Israel
Atsushi Suzuki, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology - Tsukuba, Japan
Lida Teneva, Stanford University; Center for Oceans
Atsushi Watanabe, Tokyo Institute of Technology - Japan
Shoji Yamamoto, The University of Tokyo - Japan



Document Type


Publication Title




Publication Date



Coral reefs, Sea water, Calcification, Marine ecology, Carbonates, Marine chemistry, Ocean acidification, Biogeochemistry


Worldwide, coral reef ecosystems are experiencing increasing pressure from a variety of anthropogenic perturbations including ocean warming and acidification, increased sedimentation, eutrophication, and overfishing, which could shift reefs to a condition of net calcium carbonate (CaCO3) dissolution and erosion. Herein, we determine the net calcification potential and the relative balance of net organic carbon metabolism (net community production; NCP) and net inorganic carbon metabolism (net community calcification; NCC) within 23 coral reef locations across the globe. In light of these results, we consider the suitability of using these two metrics developed from total alkalinity (TA) and dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) measurements collected on different spatiotemporal scales to monitor coral reef biogeochemistry under anthropogenic change. All reefs in this study were net calcifying for the majority of observations as inferred from alkalinity depletion relative to offshore, although occasional observations of net dissolution occurred at most locations. However, reefs with lower net calcification potential (i.e., lower TA depletion) could shift towards net dissolution sooner than reefs with a higher potential. The percent influence of organic carbon fluxes on total changes in dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) (i.e., NCP compared to the sum of NCP and NCC) ranged from 32% to 88% and reflected inherent biogeochemical differences between reefs. Reefs with the largest relative percentage of NCP experienced the largest variability in seawater pH for a given change in DIC, which is directly related to the reefs ability to elevate or suppress local pH relative to the open ocean. This work highlights the value of measuring coral reef carbonate chemistry when evaluating their susceptibility to ongoing global environmental change and offers a baseline from which to guide future conservation efforts aimed at preserving these valuable ecosystems.







First Page



This is an open access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication.

Additional Comments

NSF grant #s: OCE 09-28406, OCE 12-55042; Australian Research Council grant #: DP150102092; Agence Nationale de la Recherche STORISK project #: ANR-15-CE03-0003-08, J-PG

Peer Reviewed

Find in your library