November 15, 2016

Justin Ries

Coral calcification in a warmer, more acidic ocean

BU’s Seminar Series on Climate Change

November 15, 2016
4:00 - 5:00pm CAS 132, 675 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA

Speaker: Justin Ries

Northeastern University

Anthropogenic elevation of atmospheric carbon dioxide (pCO2) is making the oceans warmer and more acidic. There is mounting concern over the impact that these future CO2-induced changes in ocean state will have on scleractinian corals’ ability to produce their protective skeletons and, ultimately, reefs in general. I shall present the results of laboratory and field experiments that we have conducted to investigate the effects of CO2-induced ocean acidification and warming on calcification process within various species of scleractinian corals, at spatial scales ranging from the colony, to the corallite, to the symbiont, to the calcifying fluid, to genes linked to calcification, and at time scales spanning 1800 through 2800 AD. In addition to describing the perplexing variability amongst corals’ responses to ocean acidification and warming, I shall discuss potential reasons for this variability—including differential pH-regulation at the site of calcification and direct utilization of CO2 via photosynthesis.

Justin Ries is an associate professor of Marine & Environmental Science at Northeastern University’s Marine Science Center.

This program is supported in part by a grant to Earth & Environment Professor Dave Marchant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute through the Science Education Program.