[Coral-List] Geology article

Pam Hallock-Muller pmuller at marine.usf.edu
Fri Dec 4 10:57:39 EST 2009


Thank you Gene, David and Mark.

Is it hardly a surprise that different organisms respond to an 
environmental gradient  differently.  Isn't that what happens in any 
estuary? [familiar example] An equally important question is, what is 
the preservation potential of shells and skeletons that are precipitated 
under rapidly increasing pCO2 and rapidly declining carbonate saturation? 

The late Norman Newell (eminent paleontologist and member of the 
National Academy of Sciences) told me many years ago that a unifying 
characteristic of the major mass extinction events in the fossil record 
was "carbonate depositional hiatus".

So for me an important question is not only what organisms can build 
their shells/skeletons under elevated pCO2, but also how much faster 
will we lose carbonate structures?  This is not an insignificant issue 
for the organisms, calcified or not, that depend upon topographic 
structure for habitat.  [This is also not an insignificant question for 
humans living in low lying carbonate areas - not only is sea level 
rising and production rates decreasing, but dissolution/degradation 
rates are likely increasing.]  Throw in the likelihood of increased 
bioerosion rates with decreased coral cover and anthropogenic doubling 
of nutrient input to coastal systems and it isn't hard to understand 
Newell's observation.


Pamela Hallock Muller, Ph.D., Professor
College of Marine Science
University of South Florida
140 Seventh Ave. S.
St.Petersburg, FL 33701-5016
Phone: 727-553-1567
FAX: 727-553-1189
e-mail: pmuller at marine.usf.edu
Website: http://www.marine.usf.edu/reefslab

Mark A. Albins wrote:
> Coral List,
> Here's a quote from the abstract of the paper that is referred to in 
> Gene's message.  Just for clarification...
> "We show that 10 of the 18 species studied exhibited
> reduced rates of net calcification and, in some cases, net dissolution
> under elevated pCO2. However, in seven species, net calcification
> increased under the intermediate and/or highest levels of pCO2, and
> one species showed no response at all."
> Mark
> Eugene Shinn wrote:
> Those into ocean acidification will appreciate this. And yes GEOLOGY 
> is a peer reviewed journal. Gene 
> http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/01/oh-snap-co2-causes-ocean-critters-to-build-more-shells/#more-13543 
> **************************************************
> Mark A. Albins
> Department of Zoology
> Oregon State University
> 3029 Cordley Hall
> Corvallis, OR 97331-2914
> phone:  (541) 740-7747
> fax:     (541) 737-0501
> **************************************************
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