text-only page produced automatically by Usablenet Assistive Skip all navigation and go to page content Skip top navigation and go to directorate navigation Skip top navigation and go to page navigation
National Science Foundation
Awards
design element
Search Awards
Recent Awards
Presidential and Honorary Awards
About Awards
Grant Policy Manual
Grant General Conditions
Cooperative Agreement Conditions
Special Conditions
Federal Demonstration Partnership
Policy Office Website



Award Abstract #1316047

Ocean Acidification: Collaborative Research: Quantifying the potential for biogeochemical feedbacks to create 'refugia' from ocean acidification on tropical coral reefs

NSF Org: OCE
Division Of Ocean Sciences
divider line
Initial Amendment Date: July 1, 2013
divider line
Latest Amendment Date: September 12, 2014
divider line
Award Number: 1316047
divider line
Award Instrument: Standard Grant
divider line
Program Manager: Henrietta N. Edmonds
OCE Division Of Ocean Sciences
GEO Directorate For Geosciences
divider line
Start Date: July 1, 2013
divider line
End Date: June 30, 2017 (Estimated)
divider line
Awarded Amount to Date: $751,301.00
divider line
Investigator(s): Jennifer Smith smithj@ucsd.edu (Principal Investigator)
Todd Martz (Co-Principal Investigator)
divider line
Sponsor: University of California-San Diego Scripps Inst of Oceanography
8602 La Jolla Shores Dr
LA JOLLA, CA 92093-0210 (858)534-1293
divider line
NSF Program(s): CRI-OA
divider line
Program Reference Code(s): 1382, 1670, 4444
divider line
Program Element Code(s): 8001

ABSTRACT

Rising sea surface temperatures and ocean acidification (OA) may threaten the ability of calcified organisms to build carbonate reefs, but it is unclear if particular reefs have the capacity to tolerate global change. Current understanding of the effects of OA on coral reefs originates from single-species laboratory studies largely focused on scleractinian corals. Traditionally, these experiments attempt to mimic static future conditions under the assumption that coastal regimes are as constant as -- and will acidify at the same rate as -- open ocean surface waters. Predictions based on these oversimplified scenarios are unrealistic because numerous benthic organisms, including calcifiers and primary producers, significantly alter the bulk seawater carbonate chemistry over a diurnal cycle. Further, the prevalence of recently appreciated extreme diel fluctuations in pH across some reefs suggests that benthic species may be acclimated to future carbonate conditions.

To look for potential OA refugia on reefs, a research team from the Scripps Institute of Oceanography (University of California at San Diego) and the Lamont Dougherty Earth Observatory (Columbia University) will undertake a unique mechanistic study on Palmyra Atoll, a remote uninhabited island in the central Pacific that lacks degradation from local human influence. They will explore the strengths and controls of biogeochemical feedbacks from coral reef benthic community assemblages to the seawater chemistry above and experimentally determine how this natural fluctuation affects physiological responses of key taxa to OA. Specifically they will: (1) tightly integrate a novel benthic flux technique in situ that allows continuous, high-temporal resolution measurements of net ecosystem metabolic rates (production and calcification) with an ongoing high spatial resolution benthic community dynamics study to quantify feedbacks of known species assemblages to observed natural spatiotemporal variability in seawater carbonate chemistry; and (2) use small scale common garden CO2 enrichment experiments and productivity/respiration assays in the lab paired with reciprocal transplant experiments in situ to empirically quantify the effects of elevated and/or fluctuating pCO2 on growth, calcification and photophysiology of common framework building organisms and their benthic competitors. This should allow them to examine the coupled interactions between OA and diverse benthic coral reef organisms in their natural environment in the absence of other confounding human impacts.

BROADER IMPACTS. Ocean acidification is expected to affect a number of ecosystem goods and services that human societies have come to depend on. Specifically, the physical protection that coral reefs provide from coastal erosion will be reduced, potentially exacerbating the effects of sea level rise, and the effects of OA on fisheries and tourism are yet to be determined. One central goal is to work with local communities and organizations to better educate the public about how OA will affect people, societies and the natural resources they use and to give individuals tools that can allow them to be part of the solution. To that end, the research team has established strong partnerships with a local non-profit public broadcasting service KPBS, San Diego to develop novel products for OA communication and education. Further, they will work with the Birch Aquarium at SIO to develop an exhibit that communicates the results of the project. Finally, the project will directly train interns, students and researchers and will promote diversity through a variety of outreach activities including public lectures, training of aquarium docents and the development of web-based educational materials.

 

Please report errors in award information by writing to: awardsearch@nsf.gov.

 

 

Print this page
Back to Top of page
  FUNDING   AWARDS   DISCOVERIES   NEWS   PUBLICATIONS   STATISTICS   ABOUT NSF   FASTLANE  
Research.gov  |  USA.gov  |  National Science Board  |  Recovery Act  |  Budget and Performance  |  Annual Financial Report
Web Policies and Important Links  |  Privacy  |  FOIA  |  NO FEAR Act  |  Inspector General  |  Webmaster Contact  |  Site Map
National Science Foundation Logo
The National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia 22230, USA
Tel: (703) 292-5111, FIRS: (800) 877-8339 | TDD: (800) 281-8749
  Text Only Version