Climatic Change

, Volume 150, Issue 3–4, pp 227–242 | Cite as

Impact of ocean acidification on the carbonate sediment budget of a temperate mixed beach

  • Simone SimeoneEmail author
  • Emanuela Molinaroli
  • Alessandro Conforti
  • Giovanni De Falco


The production of sediments by carbonate-producing ecosystems is an important input for beach sediment budgets in coastal areas where no terrigenous input occurs. Calcifying organisms are a major source of bioclastic carbonate sediment for coastal systems. Increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere are leading to an increase in the partial pressure of CO2 on ocean seawater, causing ocean acidification (OA), with direct consequences for the pH of ocean waters. Most studies of OA focus on its impact on marine ecosystems. The impact of OA on carbonate-producing ecosystems could be to reduce the amount of sediments supplied to temperate coastal systems. The aim of this study was to quantify the effect of the predicted OA on the long-term sediment budget of a temperate Mediterranean mixed carbonate beach and dune system. Based on projections of OA we estimated a fall of about 31% in the present bioclastic carbonate sediment deposition rate, with the biggest decreases seen in the dunes (− 46%). OA is also expected to affect the carbonate sediment reservoirs, increasing the dissolution of CaCO3and causing net sediment loss from the system (~ 50,000 t century−1). In the long-term, OA could also play a primary role in the response of these systems to sea-level rise. Indeed, the reduction in the quantity of carbonate sediments provided to the system may affect the speed with which the system is able to adapt to sea-level rise, by increasing wave run-up, and may promote erosion of dunes and subaerial beaches.



This study was funded by the RITMARE Flagship Project funded by the Italian Ministry of Education, Research and Universities. We are very grateful to Prof. B.D. Eyre and to the anonymous referee for their helpful suggestions and comments during the review process. We are also grateful to the director of the Penisola del Sinis Isola di Mal di Ventre MPA for providing the boat for sampling. George Metcalf revised the English text.

Supplementary material

10584_2018_2282_MOESM1_ESM.docx (16 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 15 kb)


  1. Anderson JA, Bates NR, Mackenzie FT (2007) Dissolution of carbonate sediment under rising pCO2 and ocean acidification: observations from Devil’s Hole, Bermuda. Acquat Geochem 13:237–264CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Antonioli F, Anzidei M, Amorosi A, Lo Presti V, Mastronuzzi G, Deiana G, De Falco G, Fontana A, Fontoloan G, Liscio S, Marsico A, Moretti M, Orru P, Sannino GM, Serpelloni E, Vecchio A (2017) Sea-level rise and potential drowning of the Italian coastal plains: flooding risk scenarios for 2100. Quat Sci Rev 158:29–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Asnaghi V, Chiantore M, Mangialajo L, Gazeau F, Francour P, Alliouane S, Gattuso JP (2013) Cascading effects of ocean acidification in a rocky subtidal community. PLoS One 8(4):e61978. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Basso D (2012) Carbonate production by calcareous red algae and global change. Geodiversitas 34:13–33CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bianchi CN, Morri C, Chiantore M, Montefalcone M, Parravicini V, Rovere A (2012) Mediterranean Sea biodiversity between the legacy from the past and a future of change. In: Stambler N (ed) Life in the Mediterranean Sea: a look at habitat changes. Nova Science Publishers, New York, pp 1–55Google Scholar
  6. Bird E (2008) Coastal geomorphology. An introduction. Wiley, San FranciscoGoogle Scholar
  7. Byrne M (2011) Impact of ocean warming and ocean acidification on marine invertebrate life history stages: vulnerabilities and potential for persistence in a changing ocean. Oceanogr Mar Biol Annu Rev 49:1–42Google Scholar
  8. Canals M, Ballesteros E (1997) Production of carbonate particles be phytobentic communities on the Mallorcae Menorca shelf, northwestern Mediterranean Sea. Deep-Sea Res Pt II 44:611–629CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cebrian E, Ballesteros E, Canals M (2000) Shallow rocky bottom benthic assemblages as calcium carbonate producers in the Alboran Sea (southwestern Mediterranean). Oceanol Acta 23(3):311–322CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cox TE, Schenone S, Delille J, Diaz-Castaneda V, Alliouane S, Gattuso JP, Gazeau F (2015) Effects of ocean acidification on Posidonia oceanic epiphytic community and shoot productivity. J Ecol 103:1594–1609. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cyronak T, Eyre BD (2016) The synergetic effects of ocean acidification and organic metabolism on calcium carbonate (CaCO3) dissolution in coral reef sediments. Mar Chem 183:1–12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cyronak T, Santos IR, Eyre BD (2013) Permeable coral reef sediment dissolution driven bt elevated pCO2 and pore water advection. Geophys Res Lett 40:4876–4881CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. De Falco G, Boudillon F, Conforti A, De Muro S, Di Martino G, Innangi S, Perilli A, Tonielli R, Simeone S (2014) Sandy beaches characterization and management of coastal erosion on western Sardinia island (Mediterranean Sea). J Coast Res SI 70:395–400CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. De Falco G, Molinaroli E, Conforti A, Simeone S, Tonielli R (2017) Biogenic sediments from coastal ecosystems to beach–dune systems: implications for the adaptation of mixed and carbonate beaches to future sea level rise. Biogeosciences 14:3191–3205. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Donnarumma L, Lombardi C, Cocito S, Gambi MC (2014) Settlement pattern of Posidonia oceanica epibionts along a gradient of ocean acidification: an approach with mimics. Mediterr Mar Sci 15(3):498–509. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Eyre BD, Anderson AJ, Cyronak T (2014) Benthic coral reef calcium carbonate dissolution in an acidifying ocean. Nat Clim Chang 4:969–976CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Eyre BD, Cyronak T, Drupp P, De Carlo EH, Sachs JP, Andersson AJ (2018) Coral reefs will transition to net dissolving before end of cenatury. Science 359:908–911CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Fabry VJ, Seibel BA, Feely RA, Orr JC (2008) Impacts of ocean acidification on marine fauna and ecosystem processes. ICES J Mar Sci 65:414–432. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Flügel E (ed) (1982) Microfacies Analysis of Limestones. Springer Verlag, Berlin HeidelbergGoogle Scholar
  20. Fornós JJ, Ahr WM (1997) Temperate carbonates on a modern, low-energy, isolated ramp: the Balearic platform, Spain. J Sediment Res B 67:364–373Google Scholar
  21. Gattuso JP, Magnan A, Bille R, Cheung WWL, Howes EL, Joos F, Allemand D, Bopp L, Cooley SR, Eakin CM, Hoegh-Guldberg O, Kelly RP, Portner HO, Rogers AD, Baxter JM, Laffoley D, Osborn D, Rankovic A, Rochette J, Sumaila UR, Treyer S, Turley C (2015) Contrasting futures for ocean and society from different anthropogenic CO 2 emissions scenarios. Science 349: aac4722-10. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Gómez-Pujol L, Roig-Munar FX, Fornós JJ, Balaguer P, Mateu J (2013) Provenance-related characteristics of beach sediments around the island of Menorca, Balearic Islands (western Mediterranean). Geo-Mar Lett 33:195–208. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hall-Spencer JM, Rodolfo-Metalpa R, Martin S, Ransome E, Fine M, Turner SM, Rowley SJ, Tedesco D, Buia MC (2008) Volcanic carbon dioxide vents show ecosystem effects of ocean acidification. Nature 454:96–99CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hamylton S (2014) Will coral islands maintain their growth over the next century? A deterministic model of sediment availability at Lady Elliot island, great barrier reef. PLoS One 9(4):e94067. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Harvey BP, Jones DG, Moore PJ (2013) Meta-analysis reveals complex marine biological responses to the interactive effects of ocean acidification and warming. Ecol Evol 3:1016–1030. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hendrix I, Duarte CM, Olsen YS, Steckbauer A, Ramajo L, Moore TS, Trotter JA, McCulloch M (2015) Biological mechanisms supporting adaptation to ocean acidification in coastal ecosystems. Estuar Coast Shelf Sci 152:A1–A8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Koch M, Bowes G, Ross C, Xing-Hai A (2013) Climate change and ocean acidification effects on seagrass and marine macroalgae. Glob Chang Biol 19:103–132. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kroeker KJ, Rl K, Crim RN, Singh GG (2010) Meta-analysis reveals negative yet variable effects of ocean acidification on marine organisms. Ecol Lett 13:1419–1434CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Kroeker KJ, Kordas RL, Crim R, Hendriks IE, Ramajo L, Singh GS, Duarte CM, Gattuso J-P (2013) Impacts of ocean acidification on marine organisms: quantifying sensitivities and interaction with warming. Glob Chang Biol 19:1884–1896. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lombardi C, Gambi MC, Vasapollo C, Taylor P, Cocito S (2011) Skeletal alterations and polymorphism in a Mediterranean bryozoan at natural CO2 vents. Zoomorphology 130:135–145CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Lombardi C, Cocito S, Gambi MC, Taylor PD (2015) Morphological plasticity in a calcifying modular organism: evidence from an in situ trasplant experiment in a matural CO2 vent system. R Soc Open Sci 2:1–12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Martin S, Rodolfo-Metalpa R, Ransome E, Rowley S, Buiam MC, Gattuso JP, Hall-Spencer J (2008) Effects of naturally acidified seawater on seagrass calcareous epibionts. Biol Lett 4:689–692. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Orr JC, Fabry JC, Aumont O, et al. (2005) Anthropogenic ocean acidification over the twenty-first century and its impact on calcifying organisms. Nature 437:681–686. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Piazzi L, Balata D, Ceccherelli G (2016) Ephiphyte assemblages of the Mediterranean seagrass Posidonia oceanica: an overview. Mar Ecol 37:3–41CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Rosati JD (2005) Concept in sediment budgets. J Coast Res 21(2):307–322CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Short AD (1999) Handbook of beach and shoreface morphodynamics. Wiley, LondonGoogle Scholar
  37. Short AD (2000) The distribution and impact of carbonate sands on southern Australian beach–dune systems. In: Magoon OT, Robbins LL, Ewing L (eds) Carbonate beaches (Proc ASCE). American Society of Civil Engineers, Key Largo, pp 236–250Google Scholar
  38. Simeone S, De Falco G, Quattrocchi G, Cucco A (2014) Morphological changes of a Mediterranean beach over one year (San Giovanni Sinis, western Mediterranean). J Coast Res SI 70:217–222CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Vacchi M, De Falco G, Simeone S, Montefalcone M, Morri C, Ferrari M, Nike Bianchi C (2017) Biogeomorphology of the Mediterranean Posidonia oceanica seagrass meadows. Earth Surf Process Landf 42:42–54. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Yamano H, Kayanne H, Matsuda F, Tsuji Y (2002) Lagoonal facies, ages, and sedimentation in three atolls in the Pacific. Mar Geol 185:233–247CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Zunino S, Melaku Canu D, Bandelj V, Solidoro C (2017) Effects of ocean acidification on benthic organisms in the Mediterranean Sea under realistic climatic scenarios: a meta-analysis. Reg Stud Mar Sci 10:86–96. CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Istituto per l’Ambiente Marino Costiero, C.N.RTorre GrandeItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di Scienze Ambientali, Informatica e StatisticaUniversità Ca’ FoscariVeniceItaly

Personalised recommendations