Hypersaline habitats have been common throughout Earth history, and indications are that climate change is contributing to the expansion of these habitats worldwide. Investigations of these habitats suggest they contain diverse microbial communities, and are hotspots of biogeochemical cycling that may yield novel taxa, associations, and biogeochemistry. We welcome contributions from studies of both benthic and planktonic realms as well as from freshwater and marine environments.
Saltmarshes are complex ecosystems that perform vital ecosystem services. The health of these systems is under threat from human activities (such as increased development) and climate change (such as sea level change). In addition, salt marsh communities are displaying novel and poorly- understood dynamics, including die-off events of marsh grasses and outbreaks of marsh consumers. In contrast to the significant progress in physical and geological modeling of estuaries, comparatively little progress has been made in ecological modeling of these systems since the early models of Wiegert explored carbon flow through salt marsh ecosystems. The slow progress on ecological modeling makes it difficult to understand how saltmarsh populations, communities and ecosystems function, and to accurately predict how they will change in the future. This session invites new research on modeling saltmarsh ecosystems and their components, including novel modeling techniques. The session should be of interest to modelers, saltmarsh ecologists and system managers.
Conveners: Karen Wishner, University of Rhode Island, firstname.lastname@example.org; Lisa Levin, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD, email@example.com; Brad Seibel, University of Rhode Island, firstname.lastname@example.org
Oxygen minimum zones may be expanding in the world’s oceans in response to global climate change. These regions are also locations of high carbon dioxide, so animals may be affected by the multiple stressors of low oxygen and increasing acidification. For metazoans, physiological constraints, along with changes in ecological and environmental interactions, may result in changes in abundances, vertical distributions, migration patterns, and life history strategies. Potential community and ecosystem impacts include habitat compression affecting fisheries and benthos, alterations in biological pump processes and biogeochemical cycles, and changes in benthic-pelagic coupling. We seek presentations on these effects, focused on metazoans from zooplankton and meiofauna to top predators and megafauna. Contributions dealing with educating students and the public about potential human impacts and seeking solutions to public concerns are also welcome.
This session focuses upon current and developing understanding of sources, sinks, and chemistry of chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM), and the power of CDOM as an interpretive prism through which the cycling of the greater DOM pool can be resolved. CDOM is increasingly recognized as a significant component of and useful tracer for dissolved organic matter (DOM). Thus, understanding the processes that govern the spatial and temporal distributions of different pools of CDOM and fluorescent DOM (FDOM) is of importance to a comprehensive understanding of global CDOM and DOM cycles. Consequently, the distributions, production, transport and fate of CDOM are being charted throughout the oceans. Terrestrial-sources and photochemical-sinks for CDOM have long been recognized. Yet, recent research highlights the production of bio-refractory, photo-labile CDOM in the deep ocean and that CDOM and FDOM can serve as tracers of labile and refractory DOC pools. Coupling of advanced analytical techniques, such as high resolution mass spectrometry, with CDOM and FDOM datasets is revealing the molecular character of DOM’s optical signatures. Presentations detailing ocean CDOM production, photochemistry and chemical composition are welcome.
Conveners: Ruben Sommaruga, University of Innsbruck, Institute of Ecology, Innsbruck, Austria, email@example.com; Tom Battin, University of Vienna, Department of Limnology, Vienna, Austria, firstname.lastname@example.org; Eran Hood, University of Alaska Southeast, Environmental Science Program, Juneau, USA, email@example.com
The rapid current retreat of glaciers constitutes one of the most prominent signs of climate change. Most glaciers are expected to significantly shrink within a generation, and many of the glaciers at low altitude could disappear in the next 20 years. In addition to the long-term loss of natural freshwater storage and their contribution to sea-level rise, the retreat of glaciers affects aquatic ecosystems in several ways, sometimes even in a catastrophic manner such as when glacial lake outburst floods occur. Glacial ecosystems are also increasingly understood as an hitherto poorly recognized player in the global carbon cycle. The accelerated deglaciation may thus have numerous and complex consequences for downstream aquatic ecosystems and for large-scale biogeochemistry. For instance, rapid glacial retreat is creating new lakes where topography is suitable and is changing the water transparency of turbid lakes. Furthermore it is altering the ecohydrology of glacier-fed streams and may even mobilize pollutants that can be transported to downstream ecosystems. This session invites presentations that contribute to understand the consequences of vanishing glaciers for the hydrology, biogeochemistry, biodiversity, and ecological function of glacier-fed streams, lakes, and near-shore marine ecosystems.
The northern Gulf of Mexico continues to be besieged by both natural and man-made disasters. The environmental complexity of the northern Gulf of Mexico requires a “system- science” approach aimed at understanding the response of linked elements of coastal systems to multiple stressors and influences. An effective approach must develop information and understanding that addresses the regional scope of coastal change over multiple (oceanographic, ecologic, and geologic) time-scales. This session is broadly focused on how natural and anthropogenic processes (e.g., sea-level rise, storm events, climate, and land-use/land-change) have shaped the sedimentary record and geomorphic landscape of coastal regions along northern Gulf of Mexico over the last century or more.
Conveners: William M. Balch, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, firstname.lastname@example.org; Nicholas R. Bates, Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences, email@example.com; Phoebe J. Lam, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, firstname.lastname@example.org; Benjamin S. Twining, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, email@example.com
This session welcomes contributions related to the distribution, ecology, physiology, and biogeochemical impacts of coccolithophores in the modern and future ocean as they experience climate change and ocean acidification. The session will focus on interactions between coccolithophores and pCO2, alkalinity, shallow/deep export (carbonate ballasting), marine optics, trace metal and nutrient chemistry. We envision contributions from laboratory, field, and modeling studies, bringing together biological, chemical, biogeochemical and physical approaches.
The interstitial spaces inside sea ice constitute a vast habitat for both microorganism and animal life. Sea ice primary production exceeds that of the water column in early spring, therefore extending the duration of the productive season in ice-covered seas and providing an important resource for consumers. Melting sea ice releases immured sea ice organisms into the open water, seeding ice edge blooms and constituting a source of particulate as well as dissolved organic carbon. In a warming Arctic Ocean, the sea ice communities and associated carbon fluxes will likely be affected by later sea ice formation, earlier melt and varying snow cover. In this session we invite studies which report on the biology and biogeochemistry of sea ice biota and its role in the polar biogeochemistry and ecology, as well as its susceptibility to climate change.
Conveners: Carola Wagner, Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemuende, firstname.lastname@example.org; Karin Junker, Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemuende, email@example.com
Extreme climate and weather events are likely to occur more frequently and with a greater magnitude in the future, shifting ecosystems to the edge of their resilience and beyond. Due to their destructive capacity, severe alterations in ecosystem structure and functioning are expected to have dire consequences for ecosystem services. Whether and how climate extremes push ecosystems to a new state depends on the frequency, intensity and duration of those events, as well as the adaptive capacity of the respective systems. The increase in extreme climate events and their impacts on ecosystems is imposing further challenges to ecosystem management by altering the predictability of the systems. We invite presentations that focus on the impacts of climate and weather extremes on aquatic ecosystems and their predictability by applying long-term data analysis, experimental studies, statistical as well as deterministic models. In addition, we encourage contributions from the stakeholder’s perspective that aim at identifying the scientific information required to sustain ecosystem goods and services, thus linking research and management.
Catchments from the Arctic to the Tropics are readily defined ecological units linking land to the ocean, and as such represent a logical spatial scale for monitoring and studying organic matter (OM) processing. The geochemical composition of rivers draining watersheds represents an integrated signal of all processes occurring within the catchment, and therefore is impacted by climate and land-use change, as well as seasonal cycles that are frequently missed due to snapshot sampling. We solicit contributions that consider molecular to watershed scale processes with respect to understanding OM dynamics. Research utilizing biomarkers, natural abundance and radiocarbon isotopes (including compound specific), spectrophotometric techniques (e.g. absorbance, fluorescence), advanced mass spectrometry (e.g. FT-ICR MS), NMR and other characterization and isolation techniques to understand OM dynamics and reactivity (e.g. photo and biolability) are encouraged. Studies utilizing these analyses to examine OM processing and how it is changing in river basins due to land use (e.g. deforestation, urbanization) and climate change (e.g. permafrost thaw, rainforest to savanna), as well as time series studies are especially encouraged to contribute to the session. We also solicit studies bringing together a broad range of geochemical techniques to further our understanding of OM at the land-ocean interface.
Conveners: David T. Elliott, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Sciences, Horn Point Lab, firstname.lastname@example.org; Amy E. Maas, Biology Department, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, email@example.com
As anthropogenic influences on aquatic environments increase, there is considerable scientific and practical interest in understanding how a system’s biological components will respond to both single and multiple stressors (chemical pollution, hypoxia, ocean acidification, toxic and harmful algal blooms, changing temperatures, etc.). The response of zooplankton to environmental conditions is of particular interest due to the central and mediating role that this group occupies as a trophic link between planktonic primary producers and larger consumers. Consequently, the response of zooplankton to stress has implications for a breadth of research fields including biogeochemical cycling, trophodynamics, fisheries and other ecosystems services. A goal of the session is to facilitate communication across geographic boundaries in zooplankton research, to identify gaps in our technological needs and to provide a venue for discussion of the responses of zooplankton to the multiple potential stressors associated with environmental change. We encourage submissions that build a mechanistic foundation for describing responses of zooplankton to stressors at the level of the individual, as well as those that utilize such a foundation to scale up to the population, community, and ecosystem levels.
Increasing atmospheric CO2 is leading to higher global temperatures and acidification of the surface ocean, and there is speculation that these changes may affect the initiation, frequency and severity of Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs). For example, long term shifts in terrestrial runoff and coastal water conditions may be more conducive to high biomass and hypoxia related HAB events, while greater stratification and ocean acidification might increase the relative proportions of toxic and fish-killing HAB species within phytoplankton communities. Even so, the purported relationships between climate change and HABs are founded on limited and often conflicting experimental data. We invite papers that focus on emerging toxic and ecosystem disruptive HAB events as well as changing plankton assemblages that are evolving towards more frequent or intense HAB incidents. We particularly invite papers addressing long-term time series data, land use changes, effects of macro- or micro-nutrient stress on cell physiology, trophic interactions, and the impacts of changing riverine runoff, ocean development (e.g., aquaculture, wind turbines), and ocean acidification. The goal of the session is to formulate a better understanding of factors enhancing the success of HAB species in the context of climate change.
Our oceans are experiencing change. Elevated greenhouse gasses, resulting in ocean acidification and elevated global temperatures, as well as increasing local impacts, are real and pervasive threats. The biotic response to this change is of concern. For instance, the existence of more than two thirds of coral reefs is jeopardized by anthropogenic activities. However, marine ecosystems are not equally affected around the globe, and physiological conditions are different. While climate change modeling suggests an increase of tropical ocean temperature by 1-3°C by 2099, The Red Sea and the Persian/Arabian Gulf already exist in an environmental extreme, and organisms thrive despite high temperatures and high salinity. Hence, the Arabian Seas form a perfect laboratory to study and understand the impact of climate change on ecosystems as it allows us to look into mechanisms of adaptation that were acquired over the past million years. We invite papers that discuss and compile recent studies and findings in marine research from the seas surrounding the Arabian Peninsula. This session is intended to provide a common ground for establishing interdisciplinary connections and developing a synopsis on the physical, chemical, and biological uniqueness of the region for predicting future climate impacts in marine systems.
Conveners: Alan D. Christian, University of Massachusetts Boston, firstname.lastname@example.org; Robyn E. Hannigan, University of Massachusetts Boston, email@example.com; Alonso Ramirez, University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras, firstname.lastname@example.org; Alex Eisen-Cuadra, University of Massachusetts Boston, email@example.com; Helenmary Hotz, University of Massachusetts Boston, Helenmary.Hotz@umb.edu
Global change can be defined as planetary scale changes of the Earth’s system that includes large-scale changes in human society. Societies need to respond to these changes through the use of science and policy. Furthermore, global change is likely to have impact on national security as these changes influence the distribution and abundance of resources. This session will focus on the effects of global change on stream and lake watersheds in the Caribbean and other climate-sensitive regions in terms of science and food and resource security, and how policy (including education/outreach) are being developed in response to global change.
Conveners: Daniel Nover, AAAS Sci. and Tech. Policy Fellow/EPA Global Change Research Program, firstname.lastname@example.org; S. Geoffrey Schladow, UC Davis - Tahoe Environmental Research Center, email@example.com; Christopher Clark, EPA Global Change Research Program, firstname.lastname@example.org; Craig Williamson, Miami University - Global Change Limnology Laboratory, email@example.com
The impact of climate change on air temperature and watershed hydrology is increasingly well documented. These impacts will have dramatic implications for lakes and reservoirs in terms of ecosystem health, ecosystem services, biodiversity, human health, and water supply. Increasing air temperature will lead to increasing surface water temperature and increasing density stratification which will lead to numerous impacts on water quality, aquatic habitat, and water supply. Changes to hydrology are less well understood and likely to vary regionally. However, such changes will similarly lead to shifts in lake/reservoir water quality. This symposium will bring together resource managers, academics and other stakeholders to 1) explore the scientific evidence for climate change impacts on lakes and reservoirs, 2) identify key regional vulnerabilities of lakes and reservoirs, and 3) explore available adaptation strategies for managing lakes and reservoirs under climate change. The objective of the symposium will be to bring together the major stakeholders in the field to develop a broader understanding of these issues and initiate a nationwide assessment of lake/reservoir vulnerability to climate change.
Nitrogen, phosphorus, and silica are key macronutrients regulating primary productivity in marine basins. High loads of nitrogen and phosphorus in river, agricultural, municipal, and industrial runoff are recognized as key ingredients for steering the extent of eutrophication in coastal systems, which carries undesirable secondary effects such as harmful algal blooms and coastal anoxia. The need for catchment-scale reduction measures has been agreed to at the international level, but the realization of these reduction measures requires concerted political and often expensive actions at the local level, where investments will be critically evaluated for their efficiency. Two key questions remain at the heart of implementing and assessing the effect of nutrient reduction measures: the overall net nitrogen loss potential via denitrification and anammox and the degree of internal loading of phosphorus that is recycled from anoxic marine sediment. Progress remains to be made in understanding microbial regulatory processes in the nitrogen and phosphorus cycles, and the temporal and spatial variability of these processes. This session will bring together scientists studying mass balances and fluxes of key dissolved nutrients in eutrophied coastal systems and marginal seas through observational and modeling approaches. We invite contributions that use stable isotope mass balances, tracer experiments, modeling approaches, and results from monitoring programs to obtain an integrated view of our recent understanding of coastal and marginal basin nutrient budgets and their temporal and spatial variability.