You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

Mote Research

Ocean Acidification

Today's Research for Tomorrow's Oceans

Dr. Emily Hall

Senior Scientist & Program Manager

emily8@mote.org

941-388-4441, ext327

Worldwide, oceans absorb about one-third of all the excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which can lead to a reduction in pH and dramatic shifts in seawater carbonate chemistry. Studies have shown that ocean water is more acidic now than in pre-industrial times and is predicted to approach levels not seen in millions of years. This is known as ocean acidification. Ocean acidification is expected to impact organisms that depend upon calcium carbonate to build skeletons and shells, such as corals, some species of phytoplankton, and bivalves.

The Ocean Acidification Program at Mote was created to research and understand responses of ecologically important species — like corals — to projected levels of ocean acidification. The program is currently developing two research facilities, one in Sarasota and one at the Elizabeth Moore International Center for Coral Reef Research and Restoration on Summerland Key in the Florida Keys for studies of how corals and other reef species will react to changes in pH as well as climate change (ocean temperature). These seawater systems include both flow-through and large mesocosm-based designs.

Studies that provide advance knowledge of potential climate-driven trends in coral growth and health will permit improved modeling for prediction so that resource managers can act to protect key species and ecosystems. Development of the ocean acidification system at the Elizabeth Moore International Center for Coral Reef Research and Restoration will provide an optimum global research center for examining and modeling effects of ocean acidification on corals as well as other important estuarine and marine species.

Program scientists also study naturally acidified ocean habitats—particularly the underwater caves, springs and sinkholes known as “blue holes.”

 

Program Details

Current Projects
  • Effects of temperature and pH on coral physiology
  • Effects of ocean acidification on mussels
  • The art of marine science – developing outreach tools on ocean acidification
Grants Received
  • NOAA – 2018
  • Bolger Foundation – 2013
  • Protect Our Reefs – 2012

 

 

AREAS OF RESEARCH

Explore Coral Reef Ecosystem Research

Additional Program Information

  • 2018 Hall, E.R., E.M. Muller, T. Goulet, J. Bellworthy, K.B. Ritchie, and M. Fine. 2018. Eutrophication may compromise the resilience of the Red Sea coral Stylophora pistillata to global change. Marine Pollution Bulletin 131:701-711.
  • 2017 Muller, E.M., N.M. Leporacci, K.J. Macartney, A.G. Shea, R.E. Crane, E.R. Hall, and K.B. Ritchie. Low pH reduces the virulence of black band disease on Orbicella faveolata. PLoS ONE, 12(6): e0178869.
  • 2016 Banc-Prandi G., K. Imhof, E. Hall, and K. Ritchie. Interspecific coral bacterial competition under ocean acidification scenarios. Proceedings from the 13th International Coral Reef Symposium, Honolulu: 58-70.
  • 2015 Hall, E.R., B. DeGroot, and M. Fine. Lesion recovery of two scleractinian corals under low pH conditions: implications for restoration efforts. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 100:321-326.
  • 2014 L.K. Dixon, G.J. Kirkpatrick, E.R. Hall, and A. Nissanka. Nutrients on the west Florida shelf: patterns and relationships with Karenia spp. occurrence. Harmful Algae, in press.
  • 2014 Heil, C., L.K. Dixon, J. Lenes, M. Garrett, E. Hall, L. Killberg-Thorsen, D. Bronk, K. Meyer, B. Walsh, J. O Neil, L. Procise, M. Mulholland, G. Hitchcock, G. Kirkpatrick, R. Weisberg, and J.J. Walsh. Nutrients, management and Karenia blooms: sources, sinks and cycling of nutrients to Karenia brevis blooms in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. Harmful Algae, in press.
  • 2013 Hall, E.R., Muller, E., Ritchie, K.B., and Fine, M. Changes in physiology and functionality of two Western Atlantic corals from global and local factors: a holobiont approach. In prep.
  • 2013 Dixon, L.K., G.J. Kirkpatrick, E.R. Hall, and A. Nissanka. Nutrients on the west Florida shelf: patterns and relationships with Karenia spp. occurrence. Harmful Algae, in press.
  • 2013 Heil, C., L.K. Dixon, J. Lenes, M. Garrett, E. Hall, L. Killberg-Thorsen, D. Bronk, K. Meyer, B. Walsh, J. O’Neil, L. Procise, M. Mullholland, G. Hitchcock, G. Kirkpatrick, R. Weisberg, and J.J. Walsh. Nutrients, management and Karenia blooms: sources, sinks and cycling of nutrients to Karenia brevis blooms in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. Harmful Algae, in press.
  • 2012 Hall, E.R., D. Vaughan, and M.P. Crosby. Development of ocean acidification flow thru experimental raceway units (OAFTERU). Proceedings from the 12th International Coral Reef Symposium, Cains, Australia.
  • 2012 Hall, E.R. Development of ocean acidification flow-thru experimental raceway units (OAFTERU): simulating the future reefs in the keys, today. Mote Marine Laboratory Technical Report No. 1629.
  • 2012 Hall, E.R., K. Nierenberg, A.J. Boyes, and B. Kirkpatrick. The art of red tide science. Harmful Algae, 17:1-5.
  • 2012 Hall, E.R., V. Lovko, L.K. Dixon, B. Pederson, and G. Kirkpatrick. Phytoplankton communities of the west coast of Florida – response to nutrient enrichment. Marine Ecology Progress Series, in preparation.
  • 2010 Dixon, L.K., E.R. Hall, and G.J. Kirkpatrick. A spectrally explicit optical model of attenuation for Charlotte Harbor seagrasses. Report to the Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program. Mote Marine Laboratory Technical Report No. 1460.
  • 2010 Hall, E.R., B.A. Pederson, L.K. Dixon, and G.J. Kirkpatrick. Patterns in community structure of phytoplankton in relation to environmental data in Sarasota Bay. Draft report to the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program. Mote Marine Laboratory Technical Report No. 1417.