Coral Reef Hydrodynamics & BGC - University Of Hawaiʻi

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Coral Reef Hydrodynamics & BGCNREM 665

I. HydrodynamicsA. Geometric complexity of CRs leads to varying fluid dynamics frommm - km scales2

1. Fine scale (0 – 1 m) example: Branching coralsa. FlowFlapproachinghi bbranchinghi coralsl didivertedt d over & aroundd coralli.corals w/ dense branching divert more flow to exteriorii. corals w/ sparse branching allow more flow through interiorb. Corals respond to flow in complex ways that can alter theirphysical structurei. branch orientation that optimizes3

Fine Scale Hydrodynamics(Gulko 1998)4

Fine Scale Hydrodynamics Con’t.(Gulko 1998)5

Stylophora pistillata as seen by X-ray tomography (Monismith 2007)6

Flow inside Stylophora as measured by Magnetic Resonance Velocimetry (Monismith 2007)7

2. Intermediate scale (1-10 m) example: Reef Slopea. Reef slopei. Spurs alternating w/ grooves allow waves to dissipateenergy by surging up groovesii. As H2O washes back, it carries sediment that accentuatesgrooves by erosion8

Intermediate Scale Hydrodynamics(Mann 2000)Spurs & Grooves on an atoll9

Spurs & grooves on an outer bank reef10

Aerial photo of spurs & grooves at Looe Key NMS, FL, USA11

Spur & groove structure & associated specieson the South Shore of Moloka‘iMoloka ia: Porites compressa(vertical fingers)b: Montipora capitata(horizontal plates)c: Pocilloporameandrina(cauliflower)2m(Field et al. 2007)12

3. Large scales (10 m – kms) Ex: roughness, waves on reef, oceancurrentsa. Physical feature of reefs roughnessii. high drag coefficients: CR drag 10X muddy or sandysea beds (Monismith 2007)b Waves breaking on reefb.i. When depth above reef small, waves weak b.c. strongfrictionii. When depth above reef large, waves weak b.c. of limitedbreaking & small radiation stress gradients (Monismith2007)gwaves occur?iii. Where do largest13

c. Wave-driven flow thru reef & lagooni. Waves break on fore reef, create pressure gradient overreef flat & lagoon, drive current that exits lagoon thru gaps inreef (Hearn 1999)ii. Flow over reef, thru lagoon shapes community distribution& production by controlling nutrient supply & turbulence14

Intermediate/LargerS l HScaleHydrodynamics:d diCoral dislodgementduring disturbanceeventsCSF (Madin & Connolly 2006)15

(Friedlander et al. 2008)16

Large Scale Hydrodynamics: Wave flowover reef flat & through lagoon17

d. Regional currents (100s of km) impact GBR, reefs of FL,Pacific & Japani. Coral bleaching: important to understand how warm H2Omigrates onto, away from CRsex: Warm H2O masses can be blocked @ cont shelf edges18


II. CR BiogeochemistryA. Calcification1. ½ Ca that enters sea each year is taken up & temp. bound intoCRsa. w/ each atom of Ca a molecule of CO2 is also deposited,resulting in gross CO2 fixation of 700 billion kg C yr-1 (Mann2004)2. Coral polyps deposit CaCO3 on underside of their soft tissue @interface w/ reef surfacea. Calcif. controlled by?20

3. Carbonate Buffering System & Calcification RxnCO2 H2O H2CO3 H HCO3- 2H CO32CarbonicacididBicarbonateCarbonateCa2 2HCO3- Ca(HCO3)2 CaCO3 H2CO321

4. Dissolving CO2 in seawater increases H conc., ocean pH.a 0.1a.0 1 units since IRIR, predicted 0.1-0.50 1 0 5 by 2100a. calcification rates of corals, diatoms; dissolveexisting coral?22


B. N Cycling1. Primary producers take up NO3- & NH3 from reef watersa. Uptake controlled by diffusion of H2O thru low-nutrientbboundarydlayersladjacentdjt tto organismsi((polyp,lalgaelsurfaces), ƒ(water velocity)2 Consumers commonly excrete large quantities of NH32.3. Often strong N fixation on reef flats & strong DNT inlagoons.gWhy?ya. Flats b. Lagoons 24

4. E value (24 hr net community production) Community PSN– Community Resp.a. Atolls: isolated CRs ((recyclingyg of nutrients)) E b. barrier reefs (upwelling, land-based nutr. inputs) E c. fringing reefs - intermediate EsC. Paradox: High productivity of CRs in low-nutrient waters. Why?1.25

c. Wave-driven flow thru reef & lagoon i. Waves break on fore reef, create pressure gradient over reef flat & lagoon, drive current that exits lagoon thru gaps in reef (Hearn 1999) ii. Flow over reef, thru lagoon shapes community distribution & production by controlling nutrient supply & turbulence 14

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