2022-9-30 0:0:0
Assessing Ecosystem Responses of Gulf of Mexico Communities to OA using Environmental DNA (eDNA-GOMECC-4)
Climate Effects CE
The biological effects of ocean acidification (OA) remain unclear; however, recent efforts to monitor OA via the Gulf of Mexico Ecosystems and Carbon Cycle (GOMECC) cruises have revealed spatial differences in OA parameters (e.g., pH and CO2). To better understand the biological response to OA, researchers will collect water samples from CTD casts and surface waters during the COMECC-4 cruise and sequence and analyze environmental DNA or eDNA for the presence of species in coastal and open-ocean sites. The eDNA sampling will be coordinated with biological measurements (plankton counts, grazing, calcification), OA parameters (total alkalinity, pH, carbonate, dissolved inorganic carbon), and other physicochemical parameters (oxygen, salinity, temperature). The sequence data will be analyzed bioinformatically to reveal patterns in biodiversity and composition among populations of bacteria, plankton, and fish. These data, combined with physical and chemical parameters, will help to develop models of ecosystem biodiversity (a multi-trophic level model of biodiversity and a predictive model of harmful algal bloom responses to environmental conditions) and identify potential indicator species of OA. Information gained will advance eDNA metabarcoding as a standard tool for biological ocean research, biodiversity assessments, and ecosystem management.