In this study we investigated the relations between community calcification of an entire coral reef in the northern Red Sea and annual changes in temperature, aragonite saturation and nutrient loading over a two year period. Summer (April–October) and winter (November–March) average calcification rates varied between 60 ± 20 and 30 ± 20 mmol·m−2·d−1, respectively. In general, calcification increased with temperature and aragonite saturation state of reef water with an apparent effect of nutrients, which is in agreement with most laboratory studies and in situ measurements of single coral growth rates. The calcification rates we measured in the reef correlated remarkably well with precipitation rates of inorganic aragonite calculated for the same temperature and degree of saturation ranges using empirical equations from the literature. This is a very significant finding considering that only a minute portion of reef calcification is inorganic. Hence, these relations could be used to predict the response of coral reefs to ocean acidification and warming.
Silverman J., Lazar B. & Erez J., 2007. Effect of aragonite saturation, temperature, and nutrients on the community calcification rate of a coral reef. Journal of Geophysical Research 112, C05004, doi:10.1029/2006JC003770. Article.