Variations in Tide Pool Carbonate Chemistry and Temperature
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Tide pools are known to have extreme variations in both their temperature and carbonate chemistry while they are isolated from the surrounding waters. These extreme environments provide an interesting view into how organisms are able to cope with large variations in temperature, pH and total carbon. The knowledge of how organisms cope with high temperature and low pH conditions will be beneficial when contemplating how organisms will deal with the conditions that are expected to come from global warming and ocean acidification in the not-too-distant future. In this study we observe several physical and chemical characteristics of two tide pools, comparing them to each other as well as to the waters surrounding them. We then manipulate one of the tide pools (by adding photosynthesizing organisms on one day and respiring organisms on the next day) in order to observe the biological impact on the carbon chemistry of a tide pool.