A Tale of Two Tide Pools: Examining Carbonate Chemistry in the Intertidal
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Characterization of physical conditions in tide pools is quite common in the scientific literature, but there is a marked paucity of information regarding the carbonate chemistry of these ecosystems; the majority of studies focus on temperature, salinity, and dissolved oxygen measurements. This lack of information is especially worrisome in light of the predicted changes in carbonate chemistry (Ocean Acidification) likely to result from an increase in anthropogenic carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. In order to establish a baseline of comparison, we analyzed the carbonate chemistry of two tide pools at Dead Man‘s Cove on San Juan Island, WA. We found marked deviation in carbonate chemistry parameters in the tide pools from the nearby water of Haro Strait. We also attempted to elucidate the underlying causal factors of this deviation by adding biota to the tide pools, yet our results were inconclusive. We conclude that future work should focus on more extensive characterization of natural coastal and intertidal variation in carbonate chemistry parameters, as well as experimental design targeted at determining underlying causal factors of said variation in nature.