Default Project Photo for RUI: Collaborative: Defining the biogeochemical context and ecological impacts of SGD on coral reefs

Project Type:

Project

Project Sponsors:

  • National Science Foundation - NSF

Project Award:

  • $864,038

Project Timeline:

2019-09-15 – 2022-10-31

Project Web Page:



Lead Principal Investigator:



RUI: Collaborative: Defining the biogeochemical context and ecological impacts of SGD on coral reefs


Project Type:

Project

Project Sponsors:

  • National Science Foundation - NSF

Project Award:

  • $864,038

Project Timeline:

2019-09-15 – 2022-10-31

Project Web Page:


Lead Principal Investigator:



Submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) is the flow of water from land through the coastal seafloor into the nearby ocean. Approximately 13,000 km3 of groundwater is discharged into coastal environments every year, yet the effects of this fresh and often nutrient rich SGD are still poorly understood for coral reef ecosystems. This SGD input is driven by changes in precipitation, human land use, sea-level rise, tidal amplitude, and groundwater usage, many of which are rapidly changing with climate and human impacts. This project will improve our understanding of SGD effects on coral reefs to better predict how both natural and human-induced changes will affect coastal ecosystem functioning in the future. Working in one of the most comprehensively studied coral reef ecosystems in the Pacific (Mo’orea, French Polynesia); this project will test the influence of SGD on individual, community, and ecosystem-scale coral reef processes. Using mensurative studies, caging experiments, and a synthetic model, we will: 1) characterize SGD gradients and relate it to high resolution coral reef cover data, 2) determine how individual to ecosystem processes are influenced by SGD, and 3) develop a synthetic model to show how changes in SGD fluxes will alter reef ecosystem functioning. As SGD is a common feature on nearshore coral reefs worldwide, the results of this study will have global implications for understanding the performance of coral reefs, which are essential economic, cultural and scientific resources. This project is structured to provide training across multiple career levels, linking 13 undergraduate students, 2 graduate students, 2 senior personnel, 1 postdoctoral researcher, 1 female beginning lead investigator, and 2 senior co-investigators, with a focus on encouraging participation from underrepresented groups (e.g., through the Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian, Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander, and Hispanic-Serving Institutions of California State University Northridge, the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, and California State University Long Beach). The investigators will work with local K-12 students and teachers in Mo’orea and collaborate with an artist-in-residence to communicate science to the broader public through interactive and immersive art experiences in Mo’orea, Miami, and Los Angeles.

Project Themes:

marine ecology biogeochemistry community ecology ecosystem functioning










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