Catchment and floodplain (mangrove) sources of alkalinity to Great Barrier Reef

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Project Team: Prof. Bradley Eyre, Dr. Damien Maher, Judith Rosentreter


This is a joint project with the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) funded by the Great Barrier Reef Foundation's (GBRF). The GBRF engages its network to identify, shape, fund and oversee research that will underpin protection and preservation of coral reefs. The funding is for an ocean acidification projects titled " A carbon budget for the Great Barrier Reef" and "Increasing carbonate chemistry data for the Great Barrier Reef".

Ocean acidification is often referred to as the "evil twin" of climate change. Inputs of anthropogenic carbon dioxide to the atmosphere are not only raising the earth's temperature, but uptake of this carbon dioxide is lowering the pH of the oceans. It is generally predicted that ocean acidification will have a devastating impact on marine life that secrete calcium carbonate, including coral in the Great Barrier Reef. As such, ocean acidification is an important focus for the GBRF.

We are undertaking carbon biogeochemistry measurements in north Queensland rivers, estuaries and mangroves during the wet and dry seasons to identify the role terrestrial inputs (upper catchment and floodplain mangroves) of alkalinity may have in buffering the Great Barrier Reef against ocean acidification.