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Title: Limited biogeochemical modification of surface waters by kelp forest canopies: Influence of kelp metabolism and site‐specific hydrodynamics
Climate change is causing decreases in pH and dissolved oxygen (DO) in coastal ecosystems. Canopy-forming giant kelp can locally increase DO and pH through photosynthesis, with the most pronounced effect expected in surface waters where the bulk of kelp biomass resides. However, limited observations are available from waters in canopies and measurements at depth show limited potential of giant kelp to ameliorate chemical conditions. We quantified spatiotemporal variability of surface biogeochemistry and assessed the role of biological and physical drivers in pH and DO modification at two locations differing in hydrodynamics inside and outside of two kelp forests in Monterey Bay, California in summer 2019. pH, DO, dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), and temperature were measured at and near the surface, in conjunction with physical parameters (currents and pressure), nutrients, and metrics of phytoplankton and kelp biological processes. DO and pH were highest, with lower DIC, at the surface inside kelp forests. However, differences inside vs. outside of kelp forests were small (DO 6–8%, pH 0.05 higher in kelp). The kelp forest with lower significant wave height and slower currents had greater modification of surface biogeochemistry as indicated by larger diel variation and slightly higher mean DO and pH, despite lower more » kelp growth rates. Differences between kelp forests and offshore areas were not driven by nutrients or phytoplankton. Although kelp had clear effects on biogeochemistry, which were modulated by hydrodynamics, the small magnitude and spatial extent of the effect limits the potential of kelp forests to mitigate acidification and hypoxia. « less
Authors:
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Award ID(s):
1737176 1737096
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10310993
Journal Name:
Limnology and Oceanography
ISSN:
0024-3590
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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