Seawater carbonate chemistry and ecosystem calcification, community production of coral reef, supplement to: DeCarlo, Thomas M; Cohen, Anne L; Wong, George T F; Shiah, Fuh Kwo; Lentz, S J; Davis, Kristen A; Shamberger, K E F; Lohmann, Pat (2017): Community production modulates coral reef pH and the sensitivity of ecosystem calcification to ocean acidification. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 122, 745–761


Coral reefs are built of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) produced biogenically by a diversity of calcifying plants, animals and microbes. As the ocean warms and acidifies, there is mounting concern that declining calcification rates could shift coral reef CaCO3 budgets from net accretion to net dissolution. We quantified net ecosystem calcification (NEC) and production (NEP) on Dongsha Atoll, northern South China Sea, over a two-week period that included a transient bleaching event. Peak daytime pH on the wide, shallow reef flat during the non-bleaching period was 8.5, significantly elevated above that of the surrounding open ocean (8.0-8.1) as a consequence of daytime NEP (up to 112 mmol C/m2/h). Diurnal-averaged NEC was 390?+/-?90 mmol CaCO3/m2/day, higher than any other coral reef studied to date despite comparable calcifier cover (25%) and relatively high fleshy algal cover (19%). Coral bleaching linked to elevated temperatures significantly reduced daytime NEP by 29 mmol C/m**2/h. pH on the reef flat declined by 0.2 units, causing a 40% reduction in NEC in the absence of pH changes in the surrounding open ocean. Our findings highlight the interactive relationship between carbonate chemistry of coral reef ecosystems and ecosystem production and calcification rates, which are in turn impacted by ocean warming. As open-ocean waters bathing coral reefs warm and acidify over the 21st century, the health and composition of reef benthic communities will play a major role in determining on-reef conditions that will in turn dictate the ecosystem response to climate change.

In order to allow full comparability with other ocean acidification data sets, the R package seacarb (Gattuso et al, 2016) 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 2017-06-05.

Related Identifier
Related Identifier
Metadata Access
Creator DeCarlo, Thomas M; Cohen, Anne L; Wong, George T F; Shiah, Fuh Kwo; Lentz, S J; Davis, Kristen A; Shamberger, K E F; Lohmann, Pat
Publisher PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science
Contributor Yang, Yan
Publication Year 2017
Rights Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported;
OpenAccess true
Language English
Resource Type Supplementary Dataset; Dataset
Format text/tab-separated-values
Size 1440 data points
Discipline Earth System Research
Spatial Coverage (116.700 LON, 20.800 LAT)
Temporal Coverage Begin 2014-06-03T00:00:00Z
Temporal Coverage End 2014-06-14T00:00:00Z