February 6th, 2020, 12pmET

Alkalinity Fluxes and Geochemical Properties of Harris Creek Oyster Reef Cores

Monday, February 3, 2020


This virtual seminar will explore how calcium carbonate shells and shelly habitats are increasingly recognized as potential mitigation approaches for localized acidification effects, yet very little is known about the alkalinity and geochemical properties of intact oyster reefs. This research team collected cores of restored oyster reefs in Harris Creek, MD and measured alkalinity fluxes under controlled conditions, and sacrificed several cores for solid and fluid phase chemistry. The combined effects of a significant amount of calcium carbonate shells with anaerobic metabolism appear to be key in ensuring preservation of the reef shell core. In other words, a healthy population of live oysters generating biodeposits appears to be crucial to shell persistence in these otherwise thermodynamically marginal conditions for calcium carbonate preservation.

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