Sources of Error in Carbonate Chemistry: What happens when Biology and Chemistry meet?
Two different experimental systems were used to evaluate sources of error in carbonate chemistry measurements at Friday Harbor Labs, WA. One system, set up in Laboratory 6, examined the effects of different filters and a UV sterilizer. The second system explored the carbon input from feeding live versus dead algae in the presence of mussels, Mytilus trossulus. The use of an activated charcoal filter and UV sterilizer increased the pH of incoming seawater more than that of a pleated sediment filter and UV sterilizer. There were no discernable changes in the Dissolved Inorganic Carbon (DIC), and no trends could be seen in Total Alkalinity. Feeding live or dead algae produced similar results over most carbonate measurements. All treatments decreased treatment tank pH, increased tank pCO2, and increased tank DIC. However, feeding dead algae notably decreased treatment tank Total Alkalinity, while mussels that were fed live food did not show a difference in this parameter when compared to non-treated water.