Effect of Ocean Acidification on Tropical Marine Ecosystems Biodiversity due to Global Climate Change Dérilus Dieunel Noelia Aponte Rohit Sharma Yamilis Ocasio
Background and Project Relevance Introduction The recent increase in greenhouse gasses due to human activities is the main cause for global climate change. The rise of ocean acidification due to climate change could have significant effects in tropical marine ecosystems biodiversity. The slow growth and adaptation of organisms in some marine ecosystems makes them vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
Background and Project Relevance Problem Thereis a need to describe the effects of ocean acidification due to climate change over the biodiversity of major tropical marine ecosystems that offer diverse economic and ecological values.
Project Description Hypothesis The effect of ocean acidification due to climate change on the biodiversity of major tropical marine ecosystems would be detriment. We expect less species richness and diversity. The loss of biodiversity is expected to affect the economic and ecological services.
Project Description Main Goal Determine and describe in detail the effects that different concentrations of ocean acidity could have over the biodiversity of three major tropical marine ecosystems to understand how it is affected by climate change.
Project Description ObjectivesLaboratory scale Create three tropical marine ecosystems: coral reefs, mangroves and sea grasses. Describe the effect of each level of acidity in the richness and biodiversity of three tropical marine ecosystems.Global scale overview Detail description of anthropogenic activities on tropical marine ecosystems that could potentially increase ocean acidification.
Methodology • Ecosystems: Coral Reef, Mangrove, Sea Grass Grow • Three tanks per ecosystem • Three levels of acidification, including controlAcidify with no acidification. • Biodiversity and richnessEvaluate • General characteristics
MethodologyLaboratory scale Construct three different ecosystems at an open laboratory facility Use historical data to obtain average environment conditions for each tropical marine ecosystem: coral reefs, mangroves and sea grasses. Grow field proportional biodiversity in each pool for each tropical marine ecosystem: coral reefs, mangroves and sea grasses.
MethodologyCoral Reef Ecosystem (Procedure) Add 6 inches of sand at the bottom of tank. Add saltwater to the tank so that the watercovers the sand by a few inches. Put the coral reef samples in the tank.
MethodologyMangrove Ecosystem (Red Mangroves) Inhabit shallow saltwater areas, swamps and lagoons. In aquariums, the trees stay small but contain many of the same characteristics as the larger versions found in nature. The root system provide filtration and a habitat for small organisms that may grow within the aquarium.
Methodologyhttp://reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-12/ac/feature/index.php Mangrove Ecosystem (Materials) 60 gallon acrylic saltwater fish tank Sand substrate Red mangrove seed pods Slender PVC pipes or rigid airline tubes Grow light or daylight spectrum light
Methodologyhttp://reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-12/ac/feature/index.php Mangrove Ecosystem (Procedure) Add 6 inches of sand at the bottom of tank. Add saltwater to the tank so that the water covers the sand by a few inches. Use gardeners tape to attach one to five seed pods to small diameter PVC pipes. Stick the PVC pipes with the seed pods into the sand in the tank. Remove the PVC pipe from the plants once the roots begin to grow. This process could take a few months.
MethodologySea Grass Ecosystem Approximately 50 species of sea grass worldwide, seven reported for Puerto Rico (Vicente,1992). The most common species for Puerto Rico are S. filiforme, T. testudinum and H. beaudettei.
MethodologySea Grass Ecosystem (Procedure)Add 6 inches of sand at the bottom of tank.Add saltwater to the tank so that the watercovers the sand by a few inches.Spread the sea grass seeds into the sand.Allow to grow and add nutrients if needed.
MethodologyData collector and analysis Powershot D10 Digital Camera Description: waterproof, dustproof, shock resistant Manufacturer: Canon iMac Description: 27in, 4GB, 1TB hard drive, 3 MG Intel Core processor Manufacturer: Apple SAS System Software
MethodologyAcidification Levels Level A – Control tank – Cero acidification Level B – pH 7.91 Level C – pH 7.76 Addition of sulfuric acid in different concentrations to the pools to reach the different ocean acidity concentration to be studied.
MethodologyGlobal scale overview Evaluate historical data of current anthropogenic activities and ocean acidification effects on tropical marine ecosystems: coral reefs, mangroves and sea grasses. Develop future expectations for the rise in ocean acidification levels and significant consequences on tropical marine ecosystems: coral reefs, mangroves and sea grasses.
Facilities Greenhouses Agricultural Experiment Station South Botanical Garden San Juan, Puerto Rico
Anticipated Benefits Global Impact Create awareness of the impacts of global climate change in coastal areas and tropical marine ecosystems. Promote coral reef, mangrove and sea grass conservation and restoration plans.
Anticipated Benefits Community Activities Organize educational workshops, symposiums and lectures design to address scientists, students and the community to inform about the impacts of global climate change. Create a committee including scientists, students, volunteers and community members to evaluate, propose and apply preventive actions against climate change impacts in coastal areas.
Project Leadership and Personnel Principal Investigator - Loretta Roberson, Ph.D. Co-Principal Investigators Yamilis Ocasio, M.S. Rohit Sharma, M.S. Noelia Aponte, B.S. Dérilus Dieunel, B.S. Assistants Francisco Soto Luis Villanueva
Budget Justification First Year Travel expenses – boat gas and maintenance, meals Grow expenses – 60 gal tanks, samples, seeds, fishes, nutrients, light sensors Laboratory equipment – analytical instruments for chemical analysis, wave generator, digital cameras Chemical substances and fish food Data equipment – computer Assistants salary Indirect costs
Budget Justification 2nd to 5th Year Assistants salary Fish food Publication costs – Research Notes Indirect costs
Budget Justification 5th to 10th Year Assistants salary Fish food Workshop and symposium, per year Committee Publication costs Indirect costs