Seawater carbonate chemistry and estuarine dissolved organic carbon export


Relative to their surface area, estuaries make a disproportionately large contribution of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) to the global carbon cycle, but it is unknown how this will change under a future climate. As such, the response of DOC fluxes from microbially dominated unvegetated sediments to individual and combined future climate stressors of temperature change (from delta −3 to delta +5 °C compared to ambient mean temperatures) and ocean acidification (OA, 2current CO2 partial pressure, pCO2) was investigated ex situ. Warming alone increased sediment heterotrophy, resulting in a proportional increase in sediment DOC uptake; sediments became net sinks of DOC (3.5 to 8.8 mmol C/m2/d) at warmer temperatures (delta +3 and delta +5 °C, respectively). This temperature response changed under OA conditions, with sediments becoming more autotrophic and a greater sink of DOC (up to 4 greater than under current pCO2 conditions). This response was attributed to the stimulation of heterotrophic bacteria with the autochthonous production of labile organic matter by microphytobenthos. Extrapolating these results to the global area of unvegetated subtidal estuarine sediments, we find that the future climate of warming (delta +3 °C) and OA may decrease estuarine export of DOC by ∼ 80 % (150 Tg C/yr) and have a disproportionately large impact on the global DOC budget.

In order to allow full comparability with other ocean acidification data sets, the R package seacarb (Gattuso et al, 2021) was used to compute a complete and consistent set of carbonate system variables, as described by Nisumaa et al. (2010). In this dataset the original values were archived in addition with the recalculated parameters (see related PI). The date of carbonate chemistry calculation by seacarb is 2021-04-30.

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Metadata Access
Creator Simone, Michelle; Schulz, Kai; Oakes, Joanne; Eyre, Bradley D
Publisher PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science
Contributor Yang, Yan
Publication Year 2020
Rights Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International;
OpenAccess true
Language English
Resource Type Dataset
Format text/tab-separated-values
Size 2737 data points
Discipline Earth System Research
Spatial Coverage (153.324 LON, -29.404 LAT)