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CO2 leakage alters biogeochemical and ecological functions of submarine sands

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Abstract
Subseabed CO2 storage is considered a future climate change mitigation technology. We investigated the ecological consequences of CO2 leakage for a marine benthic ecosystem. For the first time with a multidisciplinary integrated study, we tested hypotheses derived from a meta-analysis of previous experimental and in situ high-CO2 impact studies. For this, we compared ecological functions of naturally CO2-vented seafloor off the Mediterranean island Panarea (Tyrrhenian Sea, Italy) to those of nonvented sands, with a focus on biogeochemical processes and microbial and faunal community composition. High CO2 fluxes (up to 4 to 7 mol CO2 m(-2) hour(-1)) dissolved all sedimentary carbonate, and comigration of silicate and iron led to local increases of microphytobenthos productivity (+450%) and standing stocks (+300%). Despite the higher food availability, faunal biomass (-80%) and trophic diversity were substantially lower compared to those at the reference site. Bacterial communities were also structurally and functionally affected, most notably in the composition of heterotrophs and microbial sulfate reduction rates (-90%). The observed ecological effects of CO2 leakage on submarine sands were reproduced with medium-term transplant experiments. This study assesses indicators of environmental impact by CO2 leakage and finds that community compositions and important ecological functions are permanently altered under high CO2.
Keywords
CARBON-DIOXIDE CAPTURE, OCEAN ACIDIFICATION, MARINE-SEDIMENTS, DEEP-SEA, MICROBIAL COMMUNITIES, MEDITERRANEAN SEA, SEAWATER ACIDIFICATION, BENTHIC COMMUNITIES, HYDROTHERMAL SYSTEM, PCO(2) CONDITIONS

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

Chicago
Molari, Massimiliano, Katja Guilini, Christian Lott, Miriam Weber, Dirk de Beer, Stefanie Meyer, Alban Ramette, et al. 2018. “CO2 Leakage Alters Biogeochemical and Ecological Functions of Submarine Sands.” Science Advances 4 (2).
APA
Molari, M., Guilini, K., Lott, C., Weber, M., de Beer, D., Meyer, S., Ramette, A., et al. (2018). CO2 leakage alters biogeochemical and ecological functions of submarine sands. SCIENCE ADVANCES, 4(2).
Vancouver
1.
Molari M, Guilini K, Lott C, Weber M, de Beer D, Meyer S, et al. CO2 leakage alters biogeochemical and ecological functions of submarine sands. SCIENCE ADVANCES. 2018;4(2).
MLA
Molari, Massimiliano, Katja Guilini, Christian Lott, et al. “CO2 Leakage Alters Biogeochemical and Ecological Functions of Submarine Sands.” SCIENCE ADVANCES 4.2 (2018): n. pag. Print.
@article{8550128,
  abstract     = {Subseabed CO2 storage is considered a future climate change mitigation technology. We investigated the ecological consequences of CO2 leakage for a marine benthic ecosystem. For the first time with a multidisciplinary integrated study, we tested hypotheses derived from a meta-analysis of previous experimental and in situ high-CO2 impact studies. For this, we compared ecological functions of naturally CO2-vented seafloor off the Mediterranean island Panarea (Tyrrhenian Sea, Italy) to those of nonvented sands, with a focus on biogeochemical processes and microbial and faunal community composition. High CO2 fluxes (up to 4 to 7 mol CO2 m(-2) hour(-1)) dissolved all sedimentary carbonate, and comigration of silicate and iron led to local increases of microphytobenthos productivity (+450\%) and standing stocks (+300\%). Despite the higher food availability, faunal biomass (-80\%) and trophic diversity were substantially lower compared to those at the reference site. Bacterial communities were also structurally and functionally affected, most notably in the composition of heterotrophs and microbial sulfate reduction rates (-90\%). The observed ecological effects of CO2 leakage on submarine sands were reproduced with medium-term transplant experiments. This study assesses indicators of environmental impact by CO2 leakage and finds that community compositions and important ecological functions are permanently altered under high CO2.},
  articleno    = {eaao2040},
  author       = {Molari, Massimiliano and Guilini, Katja and Lott, Christian and Weber, Miriam and de Beer, Dirk and Meyer, Stefanie and Ramette, Alban and Wegener, Gunter and Wenzh{\"o}fer, Frank and Martin, Daniel and Cibic, Tamara and De Vittor, Cinzia and Vanreusel, Ann and Boetius, Antje},
  issn         = {2375-2548},
  journal      = {SCIENCE ADVANCES},
  keyword      = {CARBON-DIOXIDE CAPTURE,OCEAN ACIDIFICATION,MARINE-SEDIMENTS,DEEP-SEA,MICROBIAL COMMUNITIES,MEDITERRANEAN SEA,SEAWATER ACIDIFICATION,BENTHIC COMMUNITIES,HYDROTHERMAL SYSTEM,PCO(2) CONDITIONS},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {16},
  title        = {CO2 leakage alters biogeochemical and ecological functions of submarine sands},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aao2040},
  volume       = {4},
  year         = {2018},
}

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