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Subproject 3.1

Impacts of ocean acidification: complementing and synthesizing the SOPRAN mesocosm dataset

In SOPRAN I and II the impacts of ocean acidification (OA) on pelagic ecosystems and biogeochemical cycles were investigated in large-scale mesocosm experiments using the Kiel Off-Shore Mesocosms for Ocean Simulations (KOSMOS). These multidisciplinary experiments, involving both SOPRAN investigators and external partners, were conducted in the Kiel Bight off Boknis Eck (2009), in the high Arctic off Svalbard (2010), at the Norwegian coast south of Bergen (2011) and in the eastern Baltic Sea off Tvärminne (2012). Each of these studies yielded comprehensive data sets on plankton community responses to ocean acidification and their impacts on biogeochemical cycling and air-sea gas exchange (for the results of the Svalbard 2010 campaign see special issue in Biogeosciences

Because these experiments were all conducted in eutrophic coastal waters, a key piece of the puzzle still missing is a data set on OA responses in oligotrophic waters, which comprise two thirds of the global ocean. To close this critical gap a KOSMOS experiment will be conducted off Gran Canary from January to April, 2014. This study, which is a joint activity of SOPRAN and BIOACID, will involve scientists from six SOPRAN/BIOACID partner institutes and external research groups from Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands, and USA.

In addition to the in-depth analyses of the individual data sets, a meta-analysis of mesocosm-derived data sets on ocean acidification impacts will be conducted as part of this subproject. This activity will commence on data sets already completed (2009, 2010, and 2011) and will be extended to include the two remaining data sets (2012 and 2014) as they become available.

PI: U. Riebesell
Contact: Ulf Riebesell (