TROPICAL GEOGRAPHY ›› 2016, Vol. 36 ›› Issue (1): 41-47.doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.002803

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Reef Water pH Variation and Its Implications for Ocean Acidification

CHEN Xuefei,WEI Gangjian,DENG Wenfeng,ZOU Jieqiong   

  1. (State Key Laboratory of Isotope Geochemistry,Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry,Chinese Academy of Sciences,Guangzhou 510640,China)
  • Online:2016-01-05 Published:2016-01-05

Abstract: In the recent century, it is calculated that reef water pH has fallen by 0.2-0.3 pH units worldwide due to the increase of atmospheric CO2 concentration, threatening the life of coral reefs. However, the long-term variation of reef water pH revealed by δ11B in the calcareous skeletons of coral demonstrates eminent interannual and decadal periodicities, and the variation was a result of the combined influences of regional marine climate processes and biological activities in the reef ecosystem. Metabolism in reef waters controls the dynamics of carbonate system parameters and regulates the variations of water pH. Influenced by global climate and environmental changes and regional marine climate processes, biological activities in reef water exert effects on variations of seawater pH, resulting in differential responses to ocean acidification from coral reef water of different sea areas. Therefore, learning the effects of the biological activities of coral reefs on marine water pH at long-term time scales is very important for understanding the acidification mechanisms of coral reef waters, and it is also an important means to learn how the coral reef ecosystem responds to ocean acidification.

Key words: coral reefs, carbonate system, ocean acidification, Boron isotope composition