Free Ocean CO2 Enrichment (FOCE) experiments: Scientific and technical recommendations for future in situ ocean acidification projects

TitleFree Ocean CO2 Enrichment (FOCE) experiments: Scientific and technical recommendations for future in situ ocean acidification projects
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsStark J.S, Peltzer E.T, Kline DI, Queiros A.M, Cox T.E, Headley K., Barry J, Gazeau F., Runcie J.W, Widdicombe S., Milnes M., Roden N.P, Black J., Whiteside S., Johnstone G., Ingels J., Shaw E., Bodrossy L., Gaitan-Espitia J.D, Kirkwood W., Gattuso J.
JournalProgress in Oceanography
Volume172
Pagination89-107
Date Published2019/03
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0079-6611
Accession NumberWOS:000460493500007
KeywordsAlgae; antarctica; benthic habitats; bioturbation; carbon; Carbon dioxide; coral reefs; ecology; elevated pco(2); environmental-impact; Field experiment; FOCE; growth; In situ; lessons; Marine communities; Multi-stressor; ocean acidification; oceanography; ph; pseudoreplication; studies; systems
Abstract

Free Ocean CO2 Enrichment (FOCE) experiments are a relatively recent development in ocean acidification research, designed to address the need for in situ, long-term, community level experiments. FOCE studies have been conducted across different marine benthic habitats and regions, from Antarctica to the tropics. Based on this previous research we have formed some core operating principles that will aid those embarking on future FOCE experiments. FOCE studies have potential to provide important insight into the effects of ocean acidification that can add to or refine conclusions drawn from laboratory or single species studies because they are conducted in situ on intact assemblages. Scaling up from sub-organismal and individual effects to also include indirect impacts on the ecosystem and ecosystem services, make FOCE experiments essential in filling in current knowledge gaps in our understanding of ocean acidification. While FOCE systems are complex, relatively costly, and somewhat difficult to operate, the challenges they pose are tractable and they have proven to be a useful approach in ocean acidification research. The aim of this paper is to draw from the experiences of past FOCE experiments and provide practical advice for designing, building and operating a FOCE experiment. Some of the most important recommendations include: field testing the system design; having a backup power supply; using replicate treatment enclosures; monitoring and maintaining the chemistry appropriately; allowing sufficient time to achieve near CO2 equilibrium conditions; and having a scientific focus with a core set of hypotheses. Future FOCE experiments could focus on longer durations, multiple factors, and testing more intact benthic marine communities and ecosystems. We hope this paper will encourage further FOCE deployments and experiments, as well as provide some guidelines to improve future FOCE studies and advance ocean acidification research.

DOI10.1016/j.pocean.2019.01.006
Short TitleProg. Oceanogr.
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