Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2021-137
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2021-137

  28 May 2021

28 May 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal BG.

Reviews and Syntheses: Spatial and temporal patterns in metabolic fluxes inform potential for seagrass to locally mitigate ocean acidification

Kristy Kroeker1, Tye Kindinger1, Heidi Hirsh2, Melissa Ward3, Tessa Hill3,4, Brittany Jellison3,6, David Koweek5,a, Sarah Lummis1, Emily Rivest3,7, George Waldbusser8, and Brian Gaylord3,6 Kristy Kroeker et al.
  • 1Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA, USA
  • 2Department of Earth System Science, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA
  • 3Bodega Marine Laboratory, University of California Davis, Bodega Bay, CA, USA
  • 4Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of California Davis, Davis, CA, USA
  • 5Department of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford, CA
  • 6Department of Evolution and Ecology, University of California Davis, Davis, CA, USA
  • 7Department of Biological Sciences, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, William & Mary, Gloucester Point, VA, USA
  • 8College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA
  • apresent address: Ocean Visions, Inc. 225 Baker Street, Atlanta, GA, USA

Abstract. As global change continues to progress, there is a growing interest in assessing any local levers that could be used to manage the social and ecological impacts of rising CO2 concentrations. While habitat conservation and restoration have been widely recognized for their role in carbon storage and sequestration at a global scale, the potential for managers to use vegetated habitats to mitigate CO2 concentrations at local scales in marine ecosystems facing the accelerating threat of ocean acidification (OA) has only recently garnered attention. Early studies have shown that submerged aquatic vegetation, such as seagrass beds, can locally draw down CO2 and raise seawater pH in the water column through photosynthesis, but empirical studies of local OA mitigation are still quite limited. Here, we leverage the extensive body of literature on seagrass community metabolism to highlight key considerations for local OA management through seagrass conservation or restoration. In particular, we synthesize the results from 62 studies reporting in situ rates of seagrass gross primary productivity, respiration, and/or net community productivity to highlight spatial and temporal variability in carbon fluxes. We illustrate that daytime net community production is positive overall, and similar across seasons and geographies. Full-day net community production rates, which illustrate the potential cumulative effect of seagrass beds on seawater biogeochemistry integrated over day and night, were also positive overall, but were higher in summer months in both tropical and temperate ecosystems. Although our analyses suggest seagrass meadows are generally autotrophic, the modeled effects on seawater pH are relatively small in magnitude. In addition, we illustrate that periods when full-day net community production is highest could be associated with lower nighttime pH and increased diurnal variability in seawater pCO2/pH. Finally, we highlight important areas for future research to inform the next steps for assessing the utility of this approach for management.

Kristy Kroeker et al.

Status: open (until 20 Jul 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse

Kristy Kroeker et al.

Kristy Kroeker et al.

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Here, we synthesize the results from 62 studies reporting in situ rates of seagrass metabolism to highlight spatial and temporal variability in carbon fluxes and inform efforts to use seagrass to mitigate ocean acidification. Our analyses suggest seagrass meadows are generally autotrophic, variable in space and tie, and the modeled effects on seawater pH are relatively small in magnitude.
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