Presentation Abstract

Recent studies have begun to explore physical and biogeochemical mechanisms of carbonate chemistry variability in a variety of coastal habitats, including coral reefs, upwelling margins, and inland seas. To our knowledge, there have been limited mechanistic studies of annual carbonate chemistry variability in nearshore estuarine environments. Here, we present autonomous sensor and grab sample data of carbonate chemistry covering a 10 month period from two subtidal seagrass bed sites in Possession Sound, WA. Simple mass balance stoichiometric models are used to evaluate seasonal drivers of carbonate system parameters in the seagrass beds. Simulations of increasing anthropogenic carbon (Canth) burdens in the habitats reveal seasonal differences in the magnitude of carbonate system responses. The addition of Canth alters the thermodynamic buffer factors (e.g. the Revelle factor) of the carbonate system, decreasing the system’s ability to buffer natural variability in the seagrass habitat on high-frequency (e.g. tidal, diel) and seasonal timescales. As a result, the most harmful carbonate system indices for many estuarine organisms (minimum pHT, minimum Ωarag, and maximum pCO2(s.w.)) change most rapidly with increasing Canth. We highlight how the observed seasonal climatology and non-linear response of the carbonate system to increasing Canth drive the timing of the crossing of established physiological stress thresholds for endemic organisms, as well as thresholds relevant for water quality management. In this system, the relative benefits of the seagrass beds in locally mitigating ocean acidification during the growing season increase with the higher atmospheric CO2 levels predicted toward 2100. Presently however, these mitigating effects are mixed due to intense diel cycling of CO2 driven by community metabolism.

Session Title

Ocean Acidification: Effects and Interactions with Organisms

Keywords

Estaurine acidification, Ocean acidification

Conference Track

SSE5: Climate Change: Impacts, Adaptation, and Research

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Seattle, WA : 2018)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

SSE5-361

Start Date

5-4-2018 4:00 PM

End Date

5-4-2018 4:15 PM

Type of Presentation

Oral

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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Apr 5th, 4:00 PM Apr 5th, 4:15 PM

Seasonal patterns of estuarine acidification in seagrass beds of the Snohomish Estuary, WA

Recent studies have begun to explore physical and biogeochemical mechanisms of carbonate chemistry variability in a variety of coastal habitats, including coral reefs, upwelling margins, and inland seas. To our knowledge, there have been limited mechanistic studies of annual carbonate chemistry variability in nearshore estuarine environments. Here, we present autonomous sensor and grab sample data of carbonate chemistry covering a 10 month period from two subtidal seagrass bed sites in Possession Sound, WA. Simple mass balance stoichiometric models are used to evaluate seasonal drivers of carbonate system parameters in the seagrass beds. Simulations of increasing anthropogenic carbon (Canth) burdens in the habitats reveal seasonal differences in the magnitude of carbonate system responses. The addition of Canth alters the thermodynamic buffer factors (e.g. the Revelle factor) of the carbonate system, decreasing the system’s ability to buffer natural variability in the seagrass habitat on high-frequency (e.g. tidal, diel) and seasonal timescales. As a result, the most harmful carbonate system indices for many estuarine organisms (minimum pHT, minimum Ωarag, and maximum pCO2(s.w.)) change most rapidly with increasing Canth. We highlight how the observed seasonal climatology and non-linear response of the carbonate system to increasing Canth drive the timing of the crossing of established physiological stress thresholds for endemic organisms, as well as thresholds relevant for water quality management. In this system, the relative benefits of the seagrass beds in locally mitigating ocean acidification during the growing season increase with the higher atmospheric CO2 levels predicted toward 2100. Presently however, these mitigating effects are mixed due to intense diel cycling of CO2 driven by community metabolism.