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Effects of ocean acidification on benthic metabolism and biogeochemical fluxes on the sediment-water interface

Grant number: 11/13912-2
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2011
Effective date (End): April 30, 2014
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Oceanography
Principal Investigator:Paulo Yukio Gomes Sumida
Grantee:Betina Galerani Rodrigues Alves
Home Institution: Instituto Oceanográfico (IO). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Growing concentrations of atmospheric CO2 is affecting the oceans in two modes: 1) Increase in the mean temperature and 2) pH reduction. The former may impact the biology and ecology of marine species in different ways, such as changing niche breadth or causing coral bleaching. The later is modifying a characteristic that has been stable for the last 25 million years and may have dramatic effects over the biota. The majority of studies on acidification encompass organism level research and very little is known about the effects of acidification on ecosystem services. Among these, benthic remineralization fluxes rates are fundamental, since marine sediments are the main depositories of organic matter (OM) in the ocean. Benthic organisms degrade OM and supply nutrients that estimulate benthic and planktonic primary production, which is of paramount importance in continental shelves. The present proposal is an experimental study on the possible effects of ocean acidification on the sediment OM remineralization and benthic organic carbon foodweb pathways. Experiments will be carried out in shallow waters off SE Brazilian coast. We intend to test the following hypothesis: Ocean Acidification (OA) significantly reduces OM degradation and, consequently, nutrient fluxes from the benthos to the water column. The results will serve not only to measure unknown present day fluxes but also to evaluate the possible impacts of OA in an important process for the carbon cycle in the ocean.

Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
ALVES, Betina Galerani Rodrigues. Effects of ocean acidification on biogeochemical processes in marine sediments: In situ and laboratory experiments. 2014. Doctoral Thesis - Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Instituto Oceanográfico São Paulo.

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