Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/10356/85698
Title: Census estimates of algal and epiphytic carbonate production highlight tropical seagrass meadows as sediment production hotspots
Authors: Perry, Chris T.
Salter, Michael A.
Morgan, Kyle M.
Harborne, Alastair R.
Keywords: Science::Geology
Carbonate Budgets
Carbonate Sediments
Issue Date: 2019
Source: Perry, C. T., Salter, M. A., Morgan, K. M., & Harborne, A. R. (2019). Census Estimates of Algal and Epiphytic Carbonate Production Highlight Tropical Seagrass Meadows as Sediment Production Hotspots. Frontiers in Marine Science, 6, 120-. doi:10.3389/fmars.2019.00120
Series/Report no.: Frontiers in Marine Science
Abstract: Tropical shelf, platform and reef-lagoon systems are dominated by calcium carbonate (CaCO3) sediments. However, data on habitat-specific CaCO3 sediment production rates by different sediment producing taxa are sparse, limiting understanding of where and in what form CaCO3 sediment is produced, and how overall sediment budgets are influenced by habitat type and scale. Using novel census methodologies, based primarily on measures of plant biovolumes and carbonate content, we assessed habitat-scale production by two ubiquitous biogenic CaCO3 sediment producers, calcareous green algae and seagrass epiphytes, across southern Eleuthera Bank, Bahamas (area ∼140 km2). Data from species-specific plant disaggregation experiments and from X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis of calcified plants also allowed us to resolve questions about the size fractions and mineralogies of the carbonates produced. Production rates varied significantly among habitats (range: 1.8–237.3 g CaCO3 m−2 yr−1), collectively totaling ∼0.98 M kg annually across the study area. Outputs comprise similar amounts of aragonite and high Mg-calcite, with ∼54% of the CaCO3 produced being contributed as mud-grade (<63 μm) sediment. Our analysis also reveals that habitat type and extent – especially of medium and high density seagrass beds - strongly influence the amounts and types of carbonate sediment generated. Dense seagrass beds were identified as the dominant per unit area production sites, contributing ∼17% of total CaCO3 despite covering only 0.5% of the study area. These findings have direct relevance for quantifying present-day sediment budgets and for predicting changes in sediment generation at the system scale in responses to modified habitat extent and productivity.
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10356/85698
http://hdl.handle.net/10220/49817
DOI: 10.3389/fmars.2019.00120
Rights: © 2019 Perry, Salter, Morgan and Harborne. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
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