Estimating regional coral reef calcium carbonate production from remotely sensed seafloor maps

Hamylton, Sarah M., Duce, Stephanie, Vila-Concejo, Ana, Roelfsema, Chris M., Phinn, Stuart R., Carvalho, Rafael C., Shaw, Emily C., and Joyce, Karen E. (2017) Estimating regional coral reef calcium carbonate production from remotely sensed seafloor maps. Remote Sensing of Environment, 201. pp. 88-98.

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Abstract

Carbonate production on coral reefs is responsible for the provision of beach sands, for the maintenance of seawater chemical balances and for the growth of reef structure and associated habitat complexity. Key carbonate producers including hard coral, crustose coralline algae, foraminiferal sand and Halimeda were mapped from satellite imagery (spatial resolution 2.5 m, mean overall accuracy = 81%) and an upscaling model was applied to estimate carbonate production. A sensitivity analysis was conducted to evaluate the influence of employing different calcification rates for live coral on the upscaling model. Contemporary coral reef carbonate production for the 21 reef platforms of the Capricorn-Bunker Group (southern Great Barrier Reef) is estimated to be between 489,000 and 659,000 t per year based on seawater chemistry, community composition, calcification rates and reef structural complexity (rugosity). The upscaling model was relatively insensitive to different parameterisations of live coral calcification employed, probably due to live coral being a relatively minor contributor by area (approximately 18% of total reef area throughout the study region). This suggests regional scale seafloor characteristics, such as percentage of area dominated by substrates prone to dissolution (e.g. coral rubble), have a strong bearing on calcium carbonate production and need to be given greater consideration The upscaling framework presented provides a new method for quantifying regional carbonate production that could be applied globally, and provides a valuable baseline against which future changes to carbonate production in this region can be assessed.

Item ID: 50196
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: remote sensing; calcification; climate change; benthic change; ocean acidification; carbonate production; coral reef
ISSN: 1879-0704
Funders: University of Wollongong (UW), Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), CNPQ Brazil, CSIRO, University of Queensland (UQ), Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: UW Return to Work, GBRMPA Science for Management, CSIRO Carbon Cluster, ARC Future Fellowship
Date Deposited: 13 Sep 2017 03:30
FoR Codes: 09 ENGINEERING > 0909 Geomatic Engineering > 090903 Geospatial Information Systems @ 30%
09 ENGINEERING > 0909 Geomatic Engineering > 090905 Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing @ 30%
04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0403 Geology > 040305 Marine Geoscience @ 40%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 100%
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