Effects of elevated pCO2 on dissolution of coral carbonates by microbial euendoliths

A. Tribollet, C. Godinot, M. Atkinson, C. Langdon

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131 Scopus citations


Eight-month-old blocks of the coral Pontes lobata colonized by natural Hawaiian euendolithic and epilithic communities were experimentally exposed to two different aqueous pC02 treatments, 400 ppmv and 750 ppmv, for 3 months. The chlorophyte Ostreobium quekettii dominated communities at the start and at the end of the experiment (65-90%). There were no significant differences in the relative abundance of euendolithic species, nor were there any differences in bioeroded area at the surface of blocks (27%) between pCO2 treatments. The depth of penetration of filaments of O. quekettii was, however, significantly higher under 750 ppmv (1.4 mm) than under 400 ppmv (1 mm). Consequently, rates of carbonate dissolution measured under elevated pCO 2 were 48% higher than under ambient pCO2 (0.46 kg CaCO3 dissolved m-2 a-1 versus 0.31 kg m -2 a-1). Thus, biogenic dissolution of carbonates by euendoliths in coral reefs may be a dominant mechanism of carbonate dissolution in a more acidic ocean.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberGB3008
JournalGlobal Biogeochemical Cycles
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Atmospheric Science


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