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2018 Galapagos Ocean Acidification School

August 19 - August 28

Ocean acidification (OA), a process of increasing seawater acidity caused by the
uptake on anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO ) by the ocean; is expected to change
surface ocean pH to levels unprecedented for millions of years, affecting marine
organisms at different levels, from shell formation up to food web structures, trophic
interactions and community structure. Although the current knowledge of the
effects of OA in aquatic ecosystems has rapidly increase in the previous years, most
of the research has been conducted in vitro (laboratories) or in semi-natural
conditions (mesocosms), which may hinder responses of natural communities as the
organisms are isolated from their environment. Thus, the study of ecosystems at
shallow coastal sites, where volcanic CO vents lower the pH of the water column,
can offer a more holistic response of such environments to OA. The Galapagos
Islands are a unique natural laboratory, a site where different currents converge,
giving origin to an exceptional marine diversity. Roca Redonda, located north of
Isabela Island, is an active submarine volcano where CO is released through cold
vents, thus the conditions of ocean acidification are naturally simulated. This makes
Roca Redonda an exceptional study site of OA effects in the Eastern Pacific.
Here we aim to use natural CO gradients around Roca Redonda to conduct in situ
observations using a wide range of techniques for long-term capacity building
(chemistry, biology, geology, etc) and data collection. In order to achieve this, we
propose the realization of an advance training course, using natural CO seeps as
experimental units, to be held on the Galapagos Island at the Charles Darwin
Research Station facilities in Galapagos.


August 19
August 28
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