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Pacific Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program: Calcification Rates of Crustose Coralline Algae Derived from Calcification Accretion Units (CAUs) Deployed across American Samoa and the Pacific Remote Island Areas in 2010

Metadata Updated: October 28, 2022

Calcification accretion units, or CAUs, are used to assess the current effects of changes in seawater carbonate chemistry on calcification and accretion rates of calcareous and fleshy algae in the Hawaiian and Mariana Archipelagos, American Samoa, and the Pacific Remote Island Areas as part of the Pacific Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program (RAMP).

Laboratory experiments reveal calcification rates of crustose coralline algae (CCA) are strongly correlated to seawater aragonite saturation state. Predictions of reduced coral calcification rates, due to ocean acidification, suggest that coral reef communities will undergo ecological phase shifts as calcifying organisms are negatively impacted by changing seawater chemistry.

Deployed on the seafloor for a period of time, CAUs allow for recruitment and colonization of CCA and hard corals. By measuring the change in weight of the CAUs, the reef carbonate accretion rate can be calculated for that time period. Monitoring net accretion over successive deployments allows for the detection of changes in calcification rates over time.

The calcification rate data described here are from CAUs that have been deployed and retrieved at existing, long-term monitoring sites during NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC), Coral Reef Ecosystem Program (CREP) led RAMP missions around American Samoa and the Pacific Remote Island Areas in 2010 and 2012, in accordance with protocols developed by Price et al. 2012. There are typically (but not always) five CAU sites established at each location CREP visits with five units deployed at each site.

CAUs are composed of two 10 x 10 cm flat, square, gray PVC plates, stacked 1 cm apart, and are attached to the benthos using stainless steel threaded rods. Calcareous organisms, primarily crustose coralline algae and encrusting corals, recruit to these plates and accrete/calcify carbonate skeletons over 2-3 year deployments. Due to the simple, low-cost design and analysis, statistically robust numbers of calcification plates can easily be deployed, recovered, and processed to provide estimates of net calcification.

This study provides information about Pacific-wide spatial patterns of algal calcification and accretion rates and serves as a basis for detecting changes associated with changing seawater chemistry due to ocean acidification. In conjunction with benthic community composition data (separate dataset), the calcification rates will aid in determining the magnitude of how ocean acidification affects coral reefs in the natural environment. The data can be accessed online via the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) Ocean Archive.

Analysis of these data will expand scientists’ capacity for assessing coral reef resilience regarding the effects of ocean acidification outside of controlled laboratory experiments. These data can also be used in comparative analyses across natural gradients, thereby assisting efforts to determine whether key reef-building taxa can acclimatize to changing oceanographic environments. These data will have immediate, direct impacts on predictions of reef resilience in a higher carbon dioxide (CO2) world and on the design of reef management strategies.

This effort is a partnership between CREP and Drs. Nichole Price of Bigelow Marine Laboratory and Jen Smith of Scripps Institution of Oceanography, who have extensive knowledge of marine benthic algal community ecology.

Access & Use Information

License: No license information was provided. If this work was prepared by an officer or employee of the United States government as part of that person's official duties it is considered a U.S. Government Work.

Downloads & Resources

Dates

Metadata Date October 20, 2022
Metadata Created Date November 12, 2020
Metadata Updated Date October 28, 2022
Reference Date(s) 2016 (publication)
Frequency Of Update asNeeded

Metadata Source

Harvested from NMFS PIFSC

Graphic Preview

A CAU two years after deployment.

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Date October 20, 2022
Metadata Created Date November 12, 2020
Metadata Updated Date October 28, 2022
Reference Date(s) 2016 (publication)
Responsible Party (Point of Contact, Custodian)
Contact Email
Guid gov.noaa.nmfs.inport:26945
Access Constraints Cite As: Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, [Date of Access]: Pacific Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program: Calcification Rates of Crustose Coralline Algae Derived from Calcification Accretion Units (CAUs) Deployed across American Samoa and the Pacific Remote Island Areas in 2010 [Data Date Range], https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/inport/item/26945., Access Constraints: None | Use Constraints: Please cite NOAA Coral Reef Ecosystem Program (CREP) when using the data. Suggested Citation: Coral Reef Ecosystem Program; Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (2016). Pacific Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program: Calcification Rates of Crustose Coralline Algae Derived from Calcification Accretion Units (CAUs) Deployed across American Samoa and the Pacific Remote Island Areas in 2010. NOAA's National Center for Environmental Information, https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/inport/item/26945. | Distribution Liability: While every effort has been made to ensure that these data are accurate and reliable within the limits of the current state of the art, NOAA cannot assume liability for any damages caused by errors or omissions in the data, nor as a result of the failure of the data to function on a particular system. NOAA makes no warranty, expressed or implied, nor does the fact of distribution constitute such a warranty.
Bbox East Long -168.13785
Bbox North Lat -11.04576
Bbox South Lat -14.55962
Bbox West Long -171.09222
Coupled Resource
Frequency Of Update asNeeded
Graphic Preview Description A CAU two years after deployment.
Graphic Preview File http://www.pifsc.noaa.gov/cred/img/calcium_accretion_unit_after_two_years_sm.jpg
Graphic Preview Type JPEG
Harvest Object Id d5c0df11-ce45-4c83-9206-420011761190
Harvest Source Id c0beac72-5f43-4455-8c33-1b345fbc2dfe
Harvest Source Title NMFS PIFSC
Licence NOAA provides no warranty, nor accepts any liability occurring from any incomplete, incorrect, or misleading data, or from any incorrect, incomplete, or misleading use of the data. It is the responsibility of the user to determine whether or not the data is suitable for the intended purpose.
Lineage Assembled calcification accretion units (CAUs) are attached to the benthos using stainless steel threaded rods. There are typically five CAU sites established at each location (island) the NOAA Coral Reef Ecosystem Program (CREP) visits with five CAUs deployed at each site (n=25 per location). Calcareous organisms, primarily crustose coralline algae and encrusting corals, recruit to these CAUs and accrete/calcify carbonate skeletons over 2-3 year deployments. Once recovered from the seafloor, the CAUs are processed to provide estimates of net calcification, percent cover, and vertical accretion rates. CAUs have been deployed and replaced at existing, long-term monitoring sites during Pacific Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program (RAMP) cruises, in accordance with protocols developed by Price et al. 2012.
Metadata Language eng
Metadata Type geospatial
Old Spatial {"type": "Polygon", "coordinates": [[[-171.09222, -14.55962], [-168.13785, -14.55962], [-168.13785, -11.04576], [-171.09222, -11.04576], [-171.09222, -14.55962]]]}
Progress completed
Spatial Data Service Type
Spatial Reference System
Spatial Harvester True
Temporal Extent Begin 2010-02-17
Temporal Extent End 2012-04-26

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