Ocean acidification and the physiology and ecology of a coral reef calcifier
For my master’s research in Dr. Robert Carpenter’s lab at California State University, Northridge, I studied the role of light and temperature in mediating physiological responses of crustose coralline algae (CCA) to ocean acidification (OA). For this work I used a common CCA species in Pacific coral reefs as a study organism, and conducted experiments on algae from populations in Moorea, French Polynesia, and Okinawa, Japan. By exploring the influences of photosynthesis, respiration, and calcification on one another, and how environmental factors like light, temperature, and pH influence these relationships, this research aimed to provide insights as to which populations will be influenced more by OA and climate change in the future. In order to translate my laboratory physiology experiments in an ecologically relevant context, I also studied how CCA community structure and competitive dynamics change in different light environments in contemporary coral reefs, as part of the Moorea Coral Reef Long Term Ecological Research (MCR LTER) program.
© Amy A. Briggs, 2014