Hypoxia (< 2 mg O2 L-1) has been reported with increasing frequency from a variety of coastal and estuarine ecosystems. Hypoxia develops as a result of complex interactions of physical and biological processes, which often cannot be fully understood through observations alone. Numerical models are an important research tool that can be applied to understand the processes that determine the spatial and temporal variations in hypoxia. This session is devoted to diverse modeling approaches, including mechanisms controlling hypoxia development, anthropogenic and climatic influences on hypoxia, and the ecological effects of hypoxia on regional ecosystems. Studies may focus on processes or prediction of hypoxia, causes or effects of hypoxia, physics or fish. Applicable models range from purely empirical to complex three-dimensional models.
Conveners:Max Yaremchuk, Naval Research Laboratory, firstname.lastname@example.org; Jeffrey Paduan, Naval Postgraduate School, email@example.com; Alexei Sentchev, Universite du Littoral, France, Alexei.Sentchev@univ-littoral.fr; Yves Barbin, Universite du Sud Toulon-Var, France, firstname.lastname@example.org
We invite presentations on the sea surface phenomena and Lagrangian tracking techniques in coastal environments based on remotely sensed observations of surface currents, modelling applications and data assimilation. This is a large topic of the applied oceanography in its own right, but it is also becoming clear that many larger-scale processes are essentially coupled with peculiarities of the coastal circulation, and those include local climate/weather, bioproductivity, marine pollution and many other issues related to the upper-ocean currents on regional scales. This is a rapidly developing area of the applied oceanographic research, and contributions based on the data analysis from the growing network of HF radar systems and regional modeling efforts are strongly encouraged.
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.
The Gulf of Mexico and Alaskan Arctic are currently the OCS areas of greatest oil and gas (O&G) development interest. Each area presents policy and scientific challenges, which has created the need for policies and scientific information to support continued deep water leasing, while providing adequate assurances of safety and environmental protection. Specific issues of concern in the Gulf of Mexico relate to spill response and containment capabilities in deep water, as well as the resilience of the Gulf ecosystem to perturbations from additional oil spills. Arctic concerns relate to the potential effects of OCS development on subsistence uses and ecosystem resources, and their potential interaction with ongoing climate change in the Arctic. This session will provide an overview of the current federal regulatory frameworks for OCS O&G development, a description of existing environmental protections, and an overview of risks to ecosystems associated with O&G development. We encourage submissions that discuss regulatory or scientific aspects of O&G development on the OCS. In particular, we seek submissions pertaining to the interaction between climate change and O&G development, oil spill cleanup in extreme environments, long-term monitoring of ecological impacts from O&G developments, and examples of how basic research on the OCS have allowed the effective integration of science and environmental protection.
Conveners:Amanda W.J. Demopoulos, Ph.D., US Geological Survey, Southeast Ecological Science Center, email@example.com; Erik E. Cordes, Ph.D., Temple University, firstname.lastname@example.org; Helen K. White, Ph.D., Haverford College, email@example.com
The Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill brought renewed attention to the diverse and complex communities of the Gulf of Mexico (GoM). In light of the documented impacts of the spill, recent focus has shifted towards restoration. The science of restoration in the GoM varies considerably according to habitat; for example, nearshore salt marshes require a different approach compared to offshore waters and the deep-sea. In addition, restoration may include rebuilding some habitats as well as preserving others from future disturbances. Given that the DWH oil spill was implicated in detrimental impacts to a wide variety of GoM habitats, and that we are still learning the extent of these impacts, the time is right to conduct and gather the relevant research needed to develop effective restoration plans. This session will target NGOs, government and academic researchers, and resource managers involved in using the latest scientific research and theory to design marine protected areas and reserves. Discussions will include identifying the challenges and obstacles associated with restoration in the nearshore, offshore and deep-sea. Basic questions addressed by this session will include: What does restoration mean in the various impacted habitats? What ongoing research can inform these efforts? Who are the stakeholders? What have we learned from restoration activities to date? What are the long-term goals for restoration activities?
Conveners:James Ammerman, New York Sea Grant, Stony Brook University, firstname.lastname@example.org; Christopher Gobler, Stony Brook University, Southampton, email@example.com; Cornelia Schlenk, New York Sea Grant, Stony Brook University, firstname.lastname@example.org
More than 23 million people live within 50 miles of the 600 mile coastline of Long Island Sound, and its value to the local economy is estimated at $9 billion per year. Though the subject of research and restoration efforts for many years, 2012 marks the publication of a major synthesis volume on the science and management of Long Island Sound, largely through the efforts of the Long Island Sound Study (the EPA National Estuary Program) and affiliated university and government researchers. This session will address recent major research findings, their management implications, and outreach efforts to bring this information to the public. Presentations comparing Long Island Sound with other urban estuaries are also invited.
Conveners:Jennifer J Mosher, Stroud Water Research Center, email@example.com; Richard Devereux, US Environmental Protection Agency, Devereux.Richard@epamail.epa.gov; Anthony V Palumbo, Oak Ridge National Lab, firstname.lastname@example.org
Aquatic ecosystems are globally connected by hydrological and biogeochemical cycles. Microorganisms inhabiting aquatic ecosystems form the basis of food webs, mediate essential element cycles, decompose natural organic matter, transform inorganic nutrients and metals, and degrade anthropogenic pollutants. The geochemical milieu determines the availability of resources that can be physiologically exploited by microorganisms. It is these interactions between the microorganisms and their resources that most likely contribute to metabolic diversity and determine whether one aquatic ecosystem is a source or sink for organic or inorganic materials with another. Understanding linkages among aquatic microorganisms, geochemical cycling, and hydrological transport is a vital step for managing anthropogenic inputs to aquatic environments and developing sustainable solutions for ecosystem protection. The goal of this session is to explore these linkages through presentations that include ecophysiological capacities of microbial communities in the transformation of matter through hydrologically connected ecosystems from streams and rivers to lakes or coastal zones and oceans. Research and policy focused contributions addressing these interactions in aquatic ecosystems are welcome.
Conveners:James Hollibaugh, University of Georgia, Dept. Marine Sciences, email@example.com; Jennifer Bowen, University of Massachusetts at Boston, Dept. Biology, firstname.lastname@example.org; Chris Francis, Stanford University, Dept. Environmental Earth System Science, email@example.com; Bradley Tolar, University of Georgia, Dept. Microbiology, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ammonia oxidation is a key process in the global biogeochemistry of nitrogen and a critical step in the conversion of fixed nitrogen to dinitrogen gas. Ammonia oxidation coupled to denitrification helps eliminate excess fixed nitrogen from coastal waters, alleviating eutrophication caused in part by excess loading of anthropogenic nitrogen. Both processes contribute to the flux of N2O, a potent greenhouse gas. This session will bring together scientists studying nitrogen dynamics, particularly ammonia oxidation and denitrification, focusing on populations of ammonia-oxidizing Bacteria and Archaea and denitrifiers in coastal waters and sediments, including estuaries, continental shelves, and coral reefs. Presenters are asked to address one or more of the following questions: What is the temporal variation in populations of ammonia oxidizers and denitrifiers? How does their activity, as a population and on a per cell basis, vary seasonally? What is their contribution to nitrogen dynamics, including production of nitrous oxide? What factors in their ecophysiology contribute to niche differentiation? What progress have we made on including more explicit formalizations of the process of ammonia oxidation and denitrification in models of nutrient cycling in coastal environments?
Quantifying carbon fluxes in freshwater aquatic ecosystems provides insights into basin wide ecological and geochemical processes, and is critical to understanding past, present, and projected changes throughout the basin. Inland aquatic systems process carbon rapidly and need to be considered in order to accurately estimate net ecosystem production on large scales. Development of aquatic carbon flux estimates at large spatial scales (catchment, regional and global) is an area of active research in the aquatic biogeochemical community. Greater knowledge of the processes driving carbon fluxes as well as spatial and temporal variability in these estimates has been gained. This session will focus on large-scale carbon flux estimates in inland and coastal aquatic ecosystems. We encourage contributions focusing on carbon in any form (inorganic, organic, dissolved, particulate, gaseous) and which cover spatial scales ranging from catchments to continental scale and beyond.
Many aquatic species can be classified as ecosystem engineers, i.e. they modify the environment either by creating biotic structures or by changing its physical dynamics. Some plants and animals have a major influence on near-bed hydrodynamics and thereby on sedimentation and erosion. These interactions between water, sediment and biota have consequences for the near-shore and coastal landscape and for the dynamics of fine sediment in the water column and the bed. Research into these interactions requires close cooperation between scientists from different disciplines. Meanwhile, there is growing interest from both ecosystem managers and from conservation organizations in using biogeomorphological processes to provide coastal protection, while simultaneously improving the natural status of coastal areas. Combining ecosystem functions such as sediment accretion (improving protection) and habitat formation (improving nature) can provide adaptable solutions for coastal areas, especially as most ecosystem engineering approaches will naturally adjust to sea-level rise and are resilient to storm damage. Simultaneously, adopting such solutions requires a certain mindset and awareness of coastal communities to accept “soft” coastal defenses. This session invites presentations dealing both with the underlying biogeomorphological processes as well as with the application of ecosystem engineering species in coastal protection.
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:Rebecca J. Allee, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Gulf Coast Services Center, email@example.com; Emily Shumchenia, Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island,firstname.lastname@example.org
We invite oral and poster presentations that describe research, management, or regulatory activities that have utilized or plan to utilize NOAA’s Coastal and Marine Ecological Classification Standard (CMECS). There is an increasing demand for marine environmental characterizations to support ecosystem-based management, marine spatial planning activities, monitoring/assessment studies, and basic scientific research. CMECS offers a standard terminology for biotic and abiotic marine ecosystem components and an ecological framework by which to describe and study linkages in marine systems. Presentation topics of particular interest include those that address the strengths and weaknesses of this standard and how it may be best applied in practice, links to other classification systems, applications to specific management or regulatory activities, species-environment relationships (including humans and human use), marine habitat mapping/modeling, marine protected areas, habitat assessments, the biotope concept and characterization of biotopes. We aim to attract an interdisciplinary group of presenters from fields including marine ecology/biology, marine geology, oceanography, marine management/policy, and representatives from federal/state regulatory agencies.
River basins connect the land to the coastal ocean. They integrate and process signals in their drainage basins and transmit processed signals to the coast. This session invites contributions that advance our understanding of land-derived signals transmitted to the coastal ocean. We especially invite contributions dealing with dynamic features of all scales from a variety of subdisciplines (hydrology, landscale evolution, tectonics, ecology, biogeochemistry) in river basins that are triggered by natural or anthropogenic forcings. Contributions focusing on processes in estuaries and the coast should be presented in companion session #27, whereas contributions dealing with cycling of organic matter should be submitted to companion session # 45.
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.