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- Page Range or eLocation-ID:
- 4411 to 4428
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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Submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) influences near-shore coral reef ecosystems worldwide. SGD biogeochemistry is distinct, typically with higher nutrients, lower pH, cooler temperature and lower salinity than receiving waters. SGD can also be a conduit for anthropogenic nutrients and other pollutants. Using Bayesian structural equation modelling, we investigate pathways and feedbacks by which SGD influences coral reef ecosystem metabolism at two Hawai'i sites with distinct aquifer chemistry. The thermal and biogeochemical environment created by SGD changed net ecosystem production (NEP) and net ecosystem calcification (NEC). NEP showed a nonlinear relationship with SGD-enhanced nutrients: high fluxes of moderately enriched SGD (Wailupe low tide) and low fluxes of highly enriched SGD (Kūpikipiki'ō high tide) increased NEP, but high fluxes of highly enriched SGD (Kūpikipiki'ō low tide) decreased NEP, indicating a shift toward microbial respiration. pH fluctuated with NEP, driving changes in the net growth of calcifiers (NEC). SGD enhances biological feedbacks: changes in SGD from land use and climate change will have consequences for calcification of coral reef communities, and thereby shoreline protection.
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Seagrass ecosystem metabolic carbon capture in response to green turtle grazing across Caribbean meadows
Increasing green turtle abundance will lead to increased grazing within seagrass habitats—ecosystems that are important for carbon sequestration and storage. However, it is not well understood how carbon dynamics in these ecosystems respond to grazing and whether a response differs among meadows or locations.
We measured seagrass ecosystem metabolism in grazed and ungrazed areas of
Thalassia testudinummeadows with established green turtle foraging areas across the Greater Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. We sampled meadows from five locations that differed in seagrass and environmental characteristics. Established meadows of the invasive seagrass Halophila stipulaceawere also present at two of these locations, and we measured ecosystem metabolism in these meadows for comparison to grazed and ungrazed areas of the native T. testudinum.
Across all individual sites, rates of net ecosystem production (NEP) ranged from 56% to 96% lower in grazed areas than ungrazed areas of
T. testudinummeadows. Rates of NEP were also strongly, positively correlated with above‐ground seagrass biomass across sites. While metabolic carbon capture rates were lower in grazed areas, heterotrophic respiration was not stimulated, and grazing therefore did not result in significant metabolic remineralization of carbon in these meadows. NEP in H. stipulaceameadows was similar to rates in T. testudinummeadows at all three sites, suggesting that metabolic carbon capture may remain similarmore » Synthesis. Our results show that there is a consistent response in metabolic carbon dynamics to green turtle grazing in T. testudinummeadows across the Greater Caribbean region. An increase in grazing will not likely stimulate remineralization of carbon as these important habitats are returned to a natural grazed state.
The terrestrial net ecosystem productivity (NEP) has increased during the past three decades, but the mechanisms responsible are still unclear. We analyzed 17 years (2001–2017) of eddy‐covariance measurements of NEP, evapotranspiration (ET) and light and water use efficiency from a boreal coniferous forest in Southern Finland for trends and inter‐annual variability (IAV). The forest was a mean annual carbon sink (252  gC ), and NEP increased at rate +6.4–7.0 gC (or ca. +2.5% ) during the period. This was attributed to the increasing gross‐primary productivity GPP and occurred without detectable change in ET. The start of annual carbon uptake period was advanced by 0.7 d , and increase in GPP and NEP outside the main growing season contributed ca. one‐third and one‐fourth of the annual trend, respectively. Meteorological factors were responsible for the IAV of fluxes but did not explain the long‐term trends. The growing season GPP trend was strongest in ample light during the peak growing season. Using a multi‐layer ecosystem model, we showed that direct fertilization effect diminishes when moving from leaf to ecosystem, and only 30–40% of the observed ecosystem GPP increase could be attributed to . The increasing trend in leaf‐area index (LAI), stimulated by forestmore »
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