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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:Northeastern University
  • Justin B Ries
  • (781) 581-7370
Award Date:07/01/2014
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 369,413
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 369,413
  • FY 2014=$369,413
Start Date:09/01/2014
End Date:08/31/2020
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.050
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:Collaborative Research: A combined boron isotope, pH microelectrode and pH-sensitive dye approach to constraining acid/base chemistry in the calcifying fluids of corals
Federal Award ID Number:1437371
DUNS ID:001423631
Parent DUNS ID:073130932
Program Officer:
  • Daniel J. Thornhill
  • (703) 292-8143

Awardee Location

Awardee Cong. District:07

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:Northeastern University
Cong. District:07

Abstract at Time of Award

The anthropogenic elevation of atmospheric CO2 is causing the oceans to become more acidic, which may make it more challenging for corals to build their skeletons and, ultimately, entire reef structures. How corals respond to future ocean acidification will largely depend on how the pH of the internal fluid from which they produce their skeletons-their so-called calcifying fluid-is impacted by the surrounding seawater. It is therefore essential that current methods are refined to accurately measure the pH of corals' calcifying fluids in order to understand and, ideally, predict their responses to CO2-induced ocean acidification. In this project, a three-pronged approach to measure calcifying fluid pH within three species of reef-forming corals will be used to assess how their calcifying fluid pH responds to experimentally induced ocean acidification. This research will improve our understanding of corals' responses to ocean acidification and thus has the potential to inform the decisions of policy makers and legislators seeking to mitigate the deleterious effects of rising atmospheric CO2 on marine ecosystems. The work will support the development of three early career scientists, a postdoctoral fellow, graduate students, and undergraduate researcher assistants-several of whom are from underrepresented groups in the earth and ocean sciences. Results will be widely disseminated through publications, conference presentations, the PIs' websites, an educational film, coursework, and outreach activities at area schools, museums, and science centers. Corals and other types of marine calcifiers are thought to begin the mineralization of their calcium carbonate skeletons by actively elevating pH of their calcifying fluid, thereby converting bicarbonate ions (comprising ~90% of seawater dissolved inorganic carbon) to carbonate ions, the form of carbon used in calcification. This project will compare the combined boron isotope, pH microelectrode, and pH-sensitive dye approach to measure the calcifying fluid pH of three species of scleractinian corals, and to assess how their calcifying fluid pH (a primary factor controlling their calcification) responds to experimentally induced ocean acidification. As a result this multi-pronged approach to measuring calcifying fluid pH of the same coral species under equivalent culturing conditions will permit the first systematic cross-examination of the validity of these independent approaches. The combined approach will also yield values of calcifying fluid pH with uncertainties that can be quantified via inter-comparison and statistical treatment of these independent measurements. Importantly, this multi-pronged approach will be used on three coral species that due to differences in the carbonate chemistry of their native waters possess differing capacities for proton regulation at their site of calcification; a deep, cold-water coral (strong proton-pumper); a shallow, temperate coral (moderate proton-pumper); and a shallow, tropical coral (weak proton-pumper). Target outcomes of this research include (1) cross-examination of the validity of three independent approaches to estimating coral calcifying fluid pH, (2) quantification of uncertainty associated with the three approaches to estimating coral calcifying fluid pH, (3) advancement of our mechanistic understanding of coral calcification, (4) exploration of the mechanism by which ocean acidification impacts coral calcification, (5) elucidation why corals exhibit such varied responses to ocean acidification, (6) identification of coral types most vulnerable to ocean acidification, (7) exploration of so-called "vital effects" that limit the use of corals in paleoceanographic reconstructions, and (8) quantitative constraint of existing models of coral biomineralization.

Publications Produced as a Result of this Research

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Ulrich, R.N., Trainer, J.S., Gentile, L.C., Bricker, H.L., Pham, C.M., Tripati, A.K., Ries, J.B., Eagle, R., 2018 "Searching for Disequilibrium: Clumped Isotope and Stable Carbon and Oxygen Isotope Signatures in Cultured Biogenic Marine Carbonates" American Geophysical Union Annual Meeting, Washington D.C., v., 2018, p..

Baumann, J., Ries, J.B., Rippe, J., *Courtney, T, Aichelman, H., *Westfield, I., Castillo, K.D., "Nearshore coral growth declining on the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System" Global Change Biology, v., 2019, p..

*Cameron, L., Grabowski, J., Ries, J.B., "The impacts of ocean acidification and warming on calcification and tissue condition of Atlantic Sea Scallops" Annual Meeting of the American Fisheries Society, Atlantic City, NJ, v., 2018, p..

Liu, Y.-W., Eagle, R.A., Aciego, S.M., Gilmore, R.E., Ries, J.B., "A coastal coccolithophore maintains pH homeostasis and switches carbon sources in response to ocean acidification," Nature Communications, v., 2018, p..

Fowell, S.E., Sandford, K., Stewart, J. A.,Castillo, K.D., Ries, J.B., Foster, G.L. "Intrareef variations in Li/Mg and Sr/Ca sea surface temperature proxies in the Caribbean reef-building coral Siderastrea siderea" Paleoceanography, v.31, 2016, p.PA002968.

Eagle, R., Liu, Y-W, Guillermic, M., Sutton, J.N., DeCorte, I.A., Bove, C., *Cameron, L., Misra, S., Ries, J.B., "Combining multiple isotope tracers and cellular biological approaches to study the biomineralizing environment of marine calcifying organisms" Ocean Sciences Meeting, Portland, OR., v., 2018, p..

Stuhr, M., Cameron, L., Blank-Landeshammer, B., Reymond, C.E., Westphal, H., Sickmann, A., Ries, J.B. "Physiological and proteomics response of photosymbiotic foraminifera to combined ocean acidification and warming confines their resilience potential" IUI Jubilee Symposium, Eilat, Israel, v., 2019, p..

Aichelman, H.E., Bove, C.B, Castillo, K.D., Boulton, J.M., Knowlton, A.C., Ries, J.B., Davies, S.W., "Reef-zone-specific physiological responses of two Caribbean corals exposed to multiple global change stressors" Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Annual Meeting, v., 2019, p..

Tripati, A.K., Hill, P.S., Eagle, R.A., Mosenfelder, J.L., Tang, J., Schauble, E.A., Eiler, J.M., Zeebee, R.E., Uchikawae, J., Coplen, T.B., Ries, J.B., Henry, D., 2015 "Beyond temperature: Clumped isotope signatures in dissolved inorganic carbon species and the influence of solution chemistry on carbonate mineral composition." Geochimica Cosmochimica Acta, v.166, 2015, p.344. doi:10.1016/j.gca.2015.06.021 

Bove C.B., Ries J.B., Davies S.W., *Westfield I.T., Umbanhowar J., Castillo K.D., "Common Caribbean corals exhibit highly variable responses to future acidification and warming" Proc. R. Soc. B, v., 2019, p..

Donald, H.K., Ries, J.B., Stewart, J.A., Fowell, S.E., Foster, G.L., "Boron isotope sensitivity to seawater pH change in a species of Neogoniolithon coralline red alga." Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, v.217, 2017, p.240. doi:10.1016/j.gca.2017.08.021 

Lebrato, M., Andersson, A.J., Ries, J.B., Aronson, R.B., Lamare, M.D., Koeve, W., Oschlies, A., Iglesias-Rodriguez, M.D., Thatje, S., Amsler, C., Vos, S.C., Jones, D.O.B., Ruhl, H.A., Gates, A.R., McClintock, J.B. "Benthic marine calcifiers coexist with CaCO3-undersaturated seawater worldwide" Global Biogeochemical Cycles, v.30, 2016, p.1038.

Edmunds, P.J., Comeau, S., Lantz, C., Andersson, A., Briggs, C., Cohen, A., Gattuso, J-P, Grady, J., Gross, K., Johnson, M., Muller, E., Ries, J.B., Tambutté, S., Tambutté, E., Venn, A., Carpenter, R.C. "Integrating the effects of ocean acidification across functional scales on tropical coral reefs" BioScience, v.66, 2016, p.350.

Ries, J.B., *Ghazaleh, M.N., *Connolly, B., *Westfield, I., *Castillo, K.D "Impacts of ocean acidification and warming on the dissolution kinetics of whole-shell biogenic carbonates" Geochimica Cosmochimica Acta, v.192, 2016, p.318.

Bove, C.B., Davies, S.W., Ries, J.B., Umbanhowar, J., Castillo, K.D., "Impacts of global change on host and symbiont physiology of four common Caribbean corals" Benthic Ecology Annual Meeting, v., 2019, p..

*Courtney, T., Ries, J. B., "Impact of atmospheric pCO2, seawater temperature, and calcification rate on the ?18O and ?13C composition of echinoid calcite (Echinometra viridis)" Chemical Geology, v.411, 2015, p.228. doi:10.1016/j.chemgeo.2015.06.030 

Tripati, A.K., Hill, P.S., Eagle, R.A., Mosenfelder, J.L., Tang, J., Schauble, E.A., Eiler, J.M., Zeebee, R.E., Uchikawae, J., Coplen, T.B., Ries, J.B., Henry, D. "Beyond temperature: Clumped isotope signatures in dissolved inorganic carbon species and the influence of solution chemistry on carbonate mineral composition" Geochimica Cosmochimica Acta, v.166, 2015, p.344.

Stuhr, M., Cameron, L., Westphal, H., Blank-Landeshammer, B., Reymond, C.E., Ries, J.B., "Mechanisms and limits of resilience of the reef-foraminifera Amphistegina lobifera to ocean acidification and warming" 2019 Arabian Coral Reef Conference, v., 2019, p..

Davies S.W., Ries J.B., Marchetti, A. Castillo, K.D., "Symbiodinium functional diversity in the coral Siderastrea siderea is influenced by thermal stress and reef environment, but not ocean acidification" Frontiers in Marine Science, v., 2018, p..

Davies S.W., Marchetti, A., Ries J.B., Castillo, K.D. "Thermal and pCO2 stress elicit divergent transcriptomic responses in a resilient coral" Frontiers in Marine Science, v.3, 2016, p.112.

Horvath, K.M., Ries, J.B., *Castillo, K.D., *Westfield, I.T., *Armstrong, P., *Courtney, T. "Next-century ocean acidification and warming both reduce calcification rate, but only acidification alters skeletal morphology of reef-building coral Siderastrea siderea" Scientific Reports, v.6, 2016, p.29613.

Sutton, J.N., Liu, Y.-W., Ries, J.B., Guillermic, M., Ponzevera, E., Eagle, R.A., "?11B as monitor of calcification site pH in divergent marine calcifying organisms" Biogeosciences, v., 2018, p..

Fowell, S., Foster, G.L, Ries, J.B., Castillo, K.D., de la Vega, E., Tyrrell, T., Donald, H.K., Chalk, T.B. "Historical trends in pH and carbonate biogeochemistry on the Belize Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System" Geophysical Research Letters, v., 2018, p..

Dellinger, M., West, A.J., Paris, G., Adkins, J.F., von Strandmann, P.P., Ullman, C.V., Eagle, R.A., Freitas, P., Bagard, M-L., Ries, J.B., Corsetti, F.A., Perez-Huerta, A., Kampf, A.R., "The Li isotope composition of marine biogenic carbonates: patterns and mechanisms" Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, v., 2018, p..

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