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Workshop on the Impacts of Increasing Atmospheric CO2 on Coral Reefs and Other Marine Calcifiers

18-20 April 2005
USGS Center for Coastal and Watershed Studies
St. Petersburg, Florida

Calcification rates of several major groups of marine calcifying organisms, from both neritic and pelagic environments, will very likely decrease in response to changes in ocean carbonate chemistry. Although benthic and planktonic calcifiers of both neritic and pelagic communities display a similar response to increased CO2 forcing, important differences exist between the two that will dictate different approaches toward assessing the larger potential effects of reduced calcification on ecosystem structure and function, how the effects could cascade to other ecosystems, and ultimately, the changes in the ocean carbon cycle. This 3-day workshop was designed to:

1. identify the similarities and differences between neritic and pelagic calcifying ecosystems; delineate the most important hypotheses within the overall question of “What are the ecological consequences of increasing atmospheric CO2 on marine calcifying communities?”;

2. exchange ideas and technical advancements to maximize our ability to design efficient research studies in these environments;

3. discuss options for future study in the respective environments; e.g.:

a. what information can be gained from natural temporal and spatial variation
b. where can we take advantage of existing observing systems, and with what technology, for both monitoring and experimental testing of hypotheses
c. what scientific hypotheses will require testing with experimental manipulations

4. provide guidance on moving forward in research and monitoring (prioritizing needs, recommending partnerships, capitalizing on existing efforts).

Workshop Participants

NEW: For Information on your reimbursement, please see the logistics page.

This workshop was by invitation only. If you were a participant you can find detailed information and working material for the meeting under the internal pages. You were sent a user name and password with your invitation. If you have any questions concerning the webpage or the workshop, please contact the workshop coordinator at rhaacker at

Press Conference
A press conference followed the meeting on Wednesday afternoon, April 20.  If you are interested in the recording of the press conference, please contact Ann Tihansky by email at or by phone at 727.803.8747 x3075.  Please see the official press release.


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Workshop Support
Support for this workshop was provided by the National Science Foundation (GEO-OCE - Biological Oceanography and Chemical Oceanography), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Oceanic and Atmospheric Research and National Undersea Research Program), the U.S. Geological Survey (Center for Coastal and Watershed Studies), and the Institute for the Study of Society and Environment (ISSE). ISSE is part of the National Center for Atmospheric Research , which is managed by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research and is sponsored by the National Science Foundation.