Tracking The Drivers of Carbonate Accretion Rate Across the Central Pacific

Chair: Libby Jewett

Thomas Oliver (1), Bernardo Vargas-Angel (1), Nichole Price (2), Charles W. Young (1), Russell E. Brainard (1)
1 Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, University of Hawaii,
1846 Wasp Blvd. Bldg. # 176, Honolulu, HI, 96818, USA
2 Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, 60 Bigelow Dr. East Boothbay, ME 04544, USA

Background
Using a simple, cost effective method called the Carbonate Accretion Unit (CAU), the Coral Reef Ecosystem Program at NOAA/JIMAR has been tracking carbonate accretion at 142 coral reef sites on 28 islands across the Central and Western Pacific.

Methods
Deployed for 2-3 years in reef habitats, CAU settlement plates accrete a diversity of organisms, including many calcifiers. The CAU units are recovered and assayed for total mass of accreted carbon, which we convert to an accretion rate over the total soak time.

Findings
Using a robust dataset of environmental covariates, from in-situ surveys and satellite measures, we assess potential drivers of carbonate accretion on CAUs by fitting general additive models to the measured rates and environmental covariates.

Conclusions
Here we will discuss these potential drivers of carbonate accretion and explore the implications of these findings, highlighting OA experiments needed for confirmation and potential implications for reefs in a carbonating ocean.