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Photosynthetic microbes, particularly cyanobacteria, that bore into carbonates are ancient biological players in various geologic phenomena such as the destruction of biogenic carbonates and coastal limestones, the reworking of carbonate sands and the cementation of microbialites. Their signatures are important tools for paleoenvironmental reconstruction, and they play a significant role in marine aquaculture. In spite of their geologic, environmental and economic importance, the mechanism by which they are able to excavate calcareous and calcophosphatic mineral substrates remains unknown. Excavation by acidulation, commonly thought to be a possible mechanism, constitutes nothing less than an apparent paradox, in...
Coral reefs are degrading on a global scale, and rates of reef-organism calcification are predicted to decline due to ocean warming and acidification. Systematic measurements of calcification over space and time are necessary to detect change resulting from environmental stressors. We established a network of calcification monitoring stations at four managed reefs along the outerFlorida Keys Reef Tract (FKRT) from Miami to the Dry Tortugas. Eighty colonies (in two sequential sets of 40) of the reef-building coral, Siderastrea siderea, were transplanted to fixed apparatus that allowed repetitive detachment for buoyant weighing every 6 months. Algal-recruitment tiles were also deployed during each weighing interval...