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OAE Coral Research

Can OAE counteract impacts of acidification? Effects of MgOH2 on coral growth and resilience.

As part of the XPRIZE Carbon Removal proposal, Básico conducted a series of mesocosm experiments testing the impact of magnesium hydroxide on coral growth and resilience. We aimed to understand if magnesium hydroxide alkalinity enhancement can increase coral calcification and reduce the impact of thermal stress on coral mortality. Results from our pilot study demonstrated that high levels of alkalinity enhancement (+1000µmol/kg) caused a 3x increase in coral calcification over the coarse of three months, later tapering off to 1.5x growth. However, during the thermal stress experiment, alkalinity doses correspondent to real OAE trials (+100µmol/kg) found no significant impact on calcification or resilience to thermal stress. These results suggest that application of alkalinity must be customized to the intended impact -carbon removal or coral calcification. This research was performed by Riley Palmer member of team Básico, culminated in her Master of Science in Marine Biology and Ecology thesis.

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