Skip directly to content

Minimize RSR Award Detail

Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Awardee:UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SANTA CRUZ
Doing Business As Name:University of California-Santa Cruz
PD/PI:
  • Adina Paytan
  • (831) 459-1437
  • apaytan@ucsc.EDU
Award Date:08/31/2010
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 262,340
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 262,340
  • FY 2010=$262,340
Start Date:09/01/2010
End Date:08/31/2015
Transaction Type:Grant
Agency:NSF
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.050
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:Ocean Acidification Category 2: Calcification in low saturation seawater: What can we learn from organisms in the proximity of low pH, undersaturated submarine springs?
Federal Award ID Number:1040952
DUNS ID:125084723
Parent DUNS ID:071549000
Program:CRI-Ocean Acidification

Awardee Location

Street:1156 High Street
City:Santa Cruz
State:CA
ZIP:95064-1077
County:Santa Cruz
Country:US
Awardee Cong. District:20

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:University of California-Santa Cruz
Street:1156 High Street
City:Santa Cruz
State:CA
ZIP:95064-1077
County:Santa Cruz
Country:US
Cong. District:20

Abstract at Time of Award

To date scientists have primarily used short-term single species experiments to study responses of organisms to increased pCO2. While these experiments are important, they represent an artificial situation, being isolated from many of the biological interactions. Moreover, these experiments do not truly reflect the effects on organisms over longer timescales in actual field situations. In this study, researchers at the University of California at Santa Cruz will assess the utility of low pH submarine springs as field study sites for investigating calcification at low aragonite saturation. It has been reported that many reef-building corals cease calcification at saturation as high as 2.0; around these springs calcifying corals inhibit waters well below this value. Work will take place at a series of springs in Mexico where discharging water pH ranges from 8.07 to 7.25 and saturation from less than 0.5 to 5. While these springs are by no means analogs for future ocean calcification they can still provide a natural laboratory to study controls on coral calcification. Field observations are usually confounded by the presence of many potentially important variables in addition to saturation. Moreover, it is not trivial to quantify the natural spatial and temporal variability of the parameters of interest. Thus it is not clear how useful this setting might be for conducting extensive field based calcification research (high risk). Accordingly, the research team will conduct field surveys to map the chemical and physical characteristics of the water around the springs (and corals) and describe population and community patterns along the saturation gradient. They will install probes to capture the temporal and spatial variability. These observations should allow assessment of the site's utility for researching processes that sustain calcification at low saturation and for future manipulative experiments. Broader Impacts: The project will provide training for a graduate student and several undergraduate assistants. The principal investigator will develop and teach a graduate student class/seminar on the topic of ocean acidification as well as include aspects of it in other teaching and education materials. She will also lead a variety of public and K-12 educational outreach efforts in the U.S. and Mexico.

Publications Produced as a Result of this Research

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

Crook, E.D., A. L. Cohen, M. Rebolledo-Vieyra, L. Hernandez and A. Paytan "Reduced calcification and lack of acclimatization by coral colonies growing in areas of persistent natural acidification" Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, v.110, 2013, p.11044. doi:doi/10.1073/pnas.1301589110. 

Paytan, A, E. D. Crook, A. L. Cohen, T. R. Martz, Y. Takashita M. Rebolledo-Vieyra and L. Hernandez "Reply to Iglesias-Prieto et al.: Combined field and laboratory approaches for the study of coral calcification" PNAS Early Edition, v.10, 2013, p.1073. doi:doi/10.1073/pnas.131957211 

Crook ED, D Potts, M Rebolledo-Vierya, L Hernandez, A. Paytan "Calcifying coral abundance near low-pH springs: implications for future ocean acidification" Coral Reefs, v.31, 2012, p.239. doi:DOI:10.1007/s00338-011-0839-y 

Crook ED, D Potts, M Rebolledo-Vierya, L Hernandez, A Paytan "Calcifying coral abundance near low-pH springs: implications for future ocean acidification." Coral ReefsCoral Reefs, v.31, 2011, p.239?245. doi:DOI:10.1007/s00338-011-0839-y 

Crook, E.D., H. Cooper, D. C. Potts, T. Lambert and A. Paytan "Food availability and pCO2 impacts on planulation, juvenile survival, and calcification of the azooxanthellate scleractinian coral, Balanophyllia elegans. Biogeosciences" Biogeosciences Discuss, v.10, 2013, p.7761. doi:doi:10.5194/bgd-10-7761-2013 

Hofmann GE, Smith, J., Johnson, K.S., Send, U., Levin, L.A., Micheli. F.,Paytan, A., Price, N.N., Peterson, B., Takeshita, Y., Matson, P.G., Crook, E. D., Kroeker, K.J., Gambi, M.C., Rivest, E.B., Frieder, C.A., Yu, P.C., Martz, T.R. "High-Frequency Dynamics of Ocean pH: A Multi-Ecosystem Comparison." PLoS ONE, v.6, 2012, p.28983. doi:DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0028983 

Crook ED, D Potts, M Rebolledo-Vierya, L Hernandez, and A Paytan "Calcifying coral abundance near low-pH springs: implications for future ocean acidification" Coral Reefs, v.31, 2012, p.239. doi:10.1007/s00338-011-0839-y 

Elizabeth D. Crook, Anne Cohen, Mario Rebolledo-Vieyra, Laura Hernandez, and Adina Paytan, "Reduced calcification and lack of acclimatization by coral colonies growing in areas of persistent natural acidification" PNAS, v.EE, 2012, p.on line. doi:10.1073/pnas.1301589110, 

Hofmann GE, Smith, J., Johnson, K.S., Send, U., Levin, L.A., Micheli. F.,Paytan, A., Price, N.N., Peterson, B., Takeshita, Y., Matson, P.G., Crook, E. D., Kroeker, K.J., Gambi, M.C., Rivest, E.B., Frieder, C.A., Yu, P.C., Martz, T.R. "High-Frequency Dynamics of Ocean pH: A Multi-Ecosystem Comparison." PLoS ONE, v.6, 2011, p.e28983.. doi:DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0028983 


Project Outcomes Report

Disclaimer

This Project Outcomes Report for the General Public is displayed verbatim as submitted by the Principal Investigator (PI) for this award. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this Report are those of the PI and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation; NSF has not approved or endorsed its content.

The goal of this project was to use the low pH submarine springs (ojos) in Mexico for in-situ studies of the impacts of low aragonite saturation (?arag) on coral calcification. Specifically we set out to determine if effects of natural ?arag gradients can be captured with relatively little impact from other potentially confounding parameters (e.g. salinity, temperature and light). We used pH, temperature and salinity sensors to collect hourly physicochemical measurements to characterize the range and variability (temporal and spatial) of these parameters around some ojos (Fig 1). After high resolution “mapping” of ?arag gradients around the ojos, we conducted ecological surveys along the ?arag gradients (Fig. 2A). The numbers of coral species present (Fig. 2B) and the sizes of coral colonies (Fig. 2C) declined as ?arag dropped, but three species of hard corals persisted at the lowest ?arag (Fig. 2D). The settlement, survival and growth of some corals at very low ?arag highlight the need to investigate mechanisms enabling calcification under such extreme conditions. We then collected 14 coral cores across the ?arag gradients to investigate impacts on calcification and bioerosion rates in resident corals (Fig 3). We compared our results to data obtained in controlled laboratory experiments and show that the sensitivity of calcification to natural variation in aragonite saturation (?arag) in the coral Porites astreoides is identical at the ojos and in laboratory experiments where ?arag is manipulated under constant temperature and salinity (Fig. 4). If salinity and/or temperature were affecting calcification negatively, the decline in calcification along ?arag gradients should be larger than in the laboratory experiments. The close agreement between laboratory and field data strongly suggest that ?arag is the dominant factor driving declining coral calcification at our field sites. Using the same species in the field and aquaria incubations where OA is induced by increasing pCO2 under controlled conditions (constant alkalinity, salinity, and temperatures) enables disentangling of the responses to the multiple potential drivers in the field.  These results illustrate the potential for obtaining interesting and unique information from the ojos that complements data from controlled laboratory experiments. Knowledge from natural settings is essential for understanding how natural heterogeneity is reflected in the diversity of biological responses to OA. Our field site is ideal for studying coral calcification at low ?arag, particularly when considering factors operating over longer time scales (i.e., allowing acclimation). Overall our results indicate that some corals may be able to acclimate and adapt to the changing conditions more than others although this may be associated with lower calcification and less robust reef structures. Areas where corals are already exposed to low pH conditions should be protected as natural refiugia.  


Last Modified: 09/30/2015
Modified by: Adina Paytan

For specific questions or comments about this information including the NSF Project Outcomes Report, contact us.