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Article

Cold-Water Coral Reefs in the Langenuen Fjord, Southwestern Norway—A Window into Future Environmental Change

1
GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Wischhofstraße 1-3, 24148 Kiel, Germany
2
Institute of Marine Research in Norway (IMR), Nordnesgaten 50, 5005 Bergen, Norway
3
Institute of Marine Research in Norway, Fram Centre, 9007 Tromsø, Norway
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Luis Somoza
Oceans 2021, 2(3), 583-610; https://doi.org/10.3390/oceans2030033
Received: 30 October 2020 / Revised: 14 May 2021 / Accepted: 10 August 2021 / Published: 25 August 2021
Ocean warming and acidification pose serious threats to cold-water corals (CWCs) and the surrounding habitat. Yet, little is known about the role of natural short-term and seasonal environmental variability, which could be pivotal to determine the resilience of CWCs in a changing environment. Here, we provide continuous observational data of the hydrodynamic regime (recorded using two benthic landers) and point measurements of the carbonate and nutrient systems from five Lophelia pertusa reefs in the Langenuen Fjord, southwestern Norway, from 2016 to 2017. In this fjord setting, we found that over a tidal (<24 h) cycle during winter storms, the variability of measured parameters at CWC depths was comparable to the intra-annual variability, demonstrating that single point measurements are not sufficient for documenting (and monitoring) the biogeochemical conditions at CWC sites. Due to seasonal and diurnal forcing, parts of the reefs experienced temperatures up to 4 °C warmer (i.e., >12 °C) than the mean conditions and high CT concentrations of 20 µmol kg−1 over the suggested threshold for healthy CWC reefs (i.e., >2170 µmol kg−1). Combined with hindcast measurements, our findings indicate that these shallow fjord reefs may act as an early hotspot for ocean warming and acidification. We predict that corals in Langenuen will face seasonally high temperatures (>18 °C) and hypoxic and corrosive conditions within this century. Therefore, these fjord coral communities could forewarn us of the coming consequences of climate change on CWC diversity and function. View Full-Text
Keywords: ocean acidification; ocean warming; carbonate chemistry dynamics; biogeochemical dynamics; in situ monitoring; natural variability of environmental conditions; Lophelia pertusa ocean acidification; ocean warming; carbonate chemistry dynamics; biogeochemical dynamics; in situ monitoring; natural variability of environmental conditions; Lophelia pertusa
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MDPI and ACS Style

Juva, K.; Kutti, T.; Chierici, M.; Dullo, W.-C.; Flögel, S. Cold-Water Coral Reefs in the Langenuen Fjord, Southwestern Norway—A Window into Future Environmental Change. Oceans 2021, 2, 583-610. https://doi.org/10.3390/oceans2030033

AMA Style

Juva K, Kutti T, Chierici M, Dullo W-C, Flögel S. Cold-Water Coral Reefs in the Langenuen Fjord, Southwestern Norway—A Window into Future Environmental Change. Oceans. 2021; 2(3):583-610. https://doi.org/10.3390/oceans2030033

Chicago/Turabian Style

Juva, Katriina, Tina Kutti, Melissa Chierici, Wolf-Christian Dullo, and Sascha Flögel. 2021. "Cold-Water Coral Reefs in the Langenuen Fjord, Southwestern Norway—A Window into Future Environmental Change" Oceans 2, no. 3: 583-610. https://doi.org/10.3390/oceans2030033

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