Photosynthetic activity of seagrasses and macroalgae in temperate shallow waters can alter seawater pH and total inorganic carbon content at the scale of a coastal embayment
2013 (English)In: Marine and Freshwater Research, ISSN 1323-1650, Vol. 64, no 11, 1040-1048 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Many studies have reported fluctuations in pH and the concentration of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) in shallow coastal waters as a result of photosynthetic activity; however, little is known about how these fluctuations vary with degree of exposure among habitats, and at different scales. In the present study, diel variation in seawater pH was apparent in aquaria experiments with Zostera marina and Ruppia maritima. These pH variations were affected by light regime, biomass level and plant species. Subsequently, the natural variability in seawater pH and the concentration of DIC was assessed in six shallow embayments (three sheltered and three exposed) during sunny days. From the outer part towards the interior part of each bay, the following four habitats were identified and studied: the bay-mouth open water, seagrass beds, mixed macrophyte belts and unvegetated bottoms. The two vegetated habitats and unvegetated bottoms were characterised by higher pH and a lower concentration of DIC than in the bay-mouth water. The mixed macrophytes habitat showed slightly higher pH and a lower concentration of DIC than the seagrass and unvegetated habitats. No significant effect of exposure was detected. Our findings clearly showed that the photosynthetic activity of marine macrophytes can alter the coastal pH and the concentration of DIC and that the effects can be observed at the scale of a whole bay.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 64, no 11, 1040-1048 p.
ocean acidification, temperate environment
Biological Sciences Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-96674DOI: 10.1071/MF12124ISI: 000326166400005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-96674DiVA: diva2:667294