St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center
USGS coral reef studies (Yates and Halley 2003, 2006a and b, Yates et al. 2007) have focused on quantifying reef health in terms of basic processes such as their ability to grow and keep up with rising sea level, and on the response of these processes to changes in seawater chemistry that result from climate change and ocean acidification. Results of these studies indicate that by the year 2100, net sediment dissolution may exceed carbonate production at reef ecosystems in Florida, the Caribbean, and the Pacific resulting in degradation of coral reefs, loss of fish habitat, and increased coastal erosion. Assessing the resiliency of reefs to climate change and preparing coastal resource managers for the inevitable effects of climate change and rising sea level requires a comprehensive look at past, present, and future coral reef calcification and growth rates in response to elevated atmospheric CO2 and changing ocean chemistry.
This task focuses on forecasting and hind-casting the future and past response of coral reef calcification and growth to changes in seawater carbonate chemistry from pre-industrial time to the year 2100. This will be accomplished by:
The combined results of these three task elements will provide one of the first comprehensive records of historical, modern day, and future coral reef calcification/growth rates relative to changing seawater pH and pCO2, and the basis for developing capabilities for predicting the impact of ocean acidification on coral reef ecosystem resiliency. This task was developed in partnership with NOAA, NCAR, University of Miami-RSMAS, and USF; with collaborators from UPR, the Buccoo Reef Trust, Tobago House of Assembly, Caribbean Coral Reef Institute, and University of the West Indies. Results of these studies will support work of partnering agencies to develop predictive capabilities for quantifying the impacts of elevated pCO2 on coral reefs.
Yates K.K., Rogers C.S., Herlan J.J., Brooks G.R., Smiley N.A., Larson R.A., 2014, Diverse coral communities in mangrove habitats suggest a novel refuge from climate change. Biogeosciences, 11, 4321-4337.
McGillis, W.R., Langdon, C., Loose, B., Yates, K.K., and Corredor, J., 2011, Productivity of a coral reef using boundary layer and enclosure methods: Geophysical Research Letters 38: L03611, doi:10.1029/2010GL046179L03611, doi:10.1029/2010GL046179.
Yates, K.K., and Moyer, R.P., 2010, Corals Effects of Ocean Acidification and Sea-Level Rise on Coral Reefs: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2010-3091, 2 p.
DuFore, C.M., and Yates, K.K. 2009, Spectrophotometric determination of the pH of surface seawater at in-situ conditions using the indicator dye thymol blue: Ocean Carbon and Biogeochemistry Ocean Acidification Short Course, November 2-13, Syllabus.
DuFore, C.M., and Yates, K.K. 2009, Spectrophotometric determination of total alkalinity in seawater using the indicator dye bromocresol purple: Ocean Carbon and Biogeochemistry Ocean Acidification Short Course, November 2-13, Syllabus.
Kleypas, J.A., and Yates, K.K., 2009, Coral reefs and ocean acidification: Oceanography 22(4):108-177.
Yates, K.K., 2009, CO2SYS practice exercise: ocean acidification perturbation experiments: Ocean Carbon and Biogeochemistry Ocean Acidification Short Course, November 2-13, Syllabus.
Yates, K.K., Dufore, C., Smiley, N., Jackson, C., and Halley, R.B. 2007, Diurnal variation of oxygen and carbonate system parameters in Tampa Bay and Florida Bay: Marine Chemistry 104:110-124. (960 KB PDF)
Yates, K.K. and Halley, R.B., 2006, CO32- concentration and pCO2 thresholds for calcification and dissolution on the Molokai reef flat, Hawaii: Biogeosciences, 3, 357-369, 2006. (3.9 MB PDF)
Yates, K.K. and Halley, R.B. 2006, Diurnal variation in rates of calcification and carbonate sediment dissolution in Florida Bay: Estuaries and Coasts 29:24-39. (784 KB PDF)