Simulating CO2 leakages from CCS to determine Zn toxicity using the marine microalgae Pleurochrysis roscoffensis

Due to the current climate change and ocean acidification, a new technology for CO2 mitigation has been proposed, the Carbon dioxide Capture and Storage (CCS). However, there is an ecological risk associated with potential CO2 leakages from the sub-seabed storages sites. To evaluate the effects related to CO2 leakages, laboratory-scales experiments were performed using the marine microalgae Pleurochrysis roscoffensis. Five Zn concentrations were tested at different pHs to study Zn toxicity under acidified conditions. Seawater was collected and submitted to acidification by means of CO2 injection and by HCl addition. Results showed differences between both acidification techniques: while microalgae growth was enhanced by CO2 supply, reaching the optimal growth at pH 6.5 and full inhibition at pH 5.5, HCl acidification growth was inhibited at pH 6.5. Although small concentrations of Zn were positive for P. roscoffensis growth, Zn toxicity increased at lower pHs, and more severely on samples acidified with HCl. The conclusions obtained in this work are useful to address the potential effects on the marine ecosystem related to changes in metal bioavailability during CO2 leakages scenarios.

Continue reading ‘Simulating CO2 leakages from CCS to determine Zn toxicity using the marine microalgae Pleurochrysis roscoffensis’

Sustainability rooted in science

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals emphasize the importance of evidence-based decision-making. This is a clarion call for Earth scientists to contribute directly to the health, prosperity and well-being of all people.

Continue reading ‘Sustainability rooted in science’

The ocean carbon sink – impacts, vulnerabilities and challenges (update)

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is, next to water vapour, considered to be the most important natural greenhouse gas on Earth. Rapidly rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations caused by human actions such as fossil fuel burning, land-use change or cement production over the past 250 years have given cause for concern that changes in Earth’s climate system may progress at a much faster pace and larger extent than during the past 20 000 years. Investigating global carbon cycle pathways and finding suitable adaptation and mitigation strategies has, therefore, become of major concern in many research fields. The oceans have a key role in regulating atmospheric CO2 concentrations and currently take up about 25% of annual anthropogenic carbon emissions to the atmosphere. Questions that yet need to be answered are what the carbon uptake kinetics of the oceans will be in the future and how the increase in oceanic carbon inventory will affect its ecosystems and their services. This requires comprehensive investigations, including high-quality ocean carbon measurements on different spatial and temporal scales, the management of data in sophisticated databases, the application of Earth system models to provide future projections for given emission scenarios as well as a global synthesis and outreach to policy makers. In this paper, the current understanding of the ocean as an important carbon sink is reviewed with respect to these topics. Emphasis is placed on the complex interplay of different physical, chemical and biological processes that yield both positive and negative air–sea flux values for natural and anthropogenic CO2 as well as on increased CO2 (uptake) as the regulating force of the radiative warming of the atmosphere and the gradual acidification of the oceans. Major future ocean carbon challenges in the fields of ocean observations, modelling and process research as well as the relevance of other biogeochemical cycles and greenhouse gases are discussed.

Continue reading ‘The ocean carbon sink – impacts, vulnerabilities and challenges (update)’

Variable responses of temperate calcified and fleshy macroalgae to elevated pCO2 and warming

Anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions simultaneously increase ocean temperatures and reduce ocean surface pH, a process termed ocean acidification (OA). OA is expected to negatively affect the growth and physiology of many calcified organisms, but the response of non-calcified (fleshy) organisms is less well understood. Rising temperatures and pCO2 can enhance photosynthetic rates (within tolerance limits). Therefore, warming may interact with OA to alter biological responses of macroalgae in complicated ways. Beyond thresholds of physiological tolerance, however, rising temperatures could further exacerbate negative responses to OA. Many studies have investigated the effects of OA or warming independently of each other, but few studies have quantified the interactive effects of OA and warming on marine organisms. We conducted four short-term independent factorial CO2 enrichment and warming experiments on six common species of calcified and fleshy macroalgae from southern California to investigate the independent and interactive effects of CO2 and warming on growth, carbonic anhydrase (CA) enzyme activity, pigment concentrations, and photosynthetic efficiency. There was no effect of elevated pCO2 on CA activity, pigment concentration, and photosynthetic efficiency in the macroalgal species studies. However, we found that calcareous algae suffered reduced growth rates under high pCO2 conditions alone, although the magnitude of the effect varied by species. Fleshy algae had mixed responses of growth rates to high pCO2, indicating that the effects of pCO2 enrichment are inconsistent across species. The combined effects of elevated pCO2 and warming had a significantly negative impact on growth for both fleshy and calcareous algae; calcareous algae experienced five times more weight loss than specimens in ambient control conditions and fleshy growth was reduced by 76%. Our results demonstrate the need to study the interactive effects of multiple stressors associated with global change on marine communities.

Continue reading ‘Variable responses of temperate calcified and fleshy macroalgae to elevated pCO2 and warming’

Ocean warming and CO2-induced acidification impact the lipid content of a marine predatory gastropod

Ocean warming and acidification are current global environmental challenges impacting aquatic organisms. A shift in conditions outside the optimal environmental range for marine species is likely to generate stress that could impact metabolic activity, with consequences for the biosynthesis of marine lipids. The aim of this study was to investigate differences in the lipid content of Dicathais orbita exposed to current and predicted future climate change scenarios. The whelks were exposed to a combination of temperature and CO2-induced acidification treatments in controlled flowthrough seawater mesocosms for 35 days. Under current conditions, D. orbita foot tissue has an average of 6 mg lipid/g tissue, but at predicted future ocean temperatures, the total lipid content dropped significantly, to almost half. The fatty acid composition is dominated by polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA 52%) with an n-3:6 fatty acid ratio of almost 2, which remains unchanged under future ocean conditions. However, we detected an interactive effect of temperature and pCO2 on the % PUFAs and n-3 and n-6 fatty acids were significantly reduced by elevated water temperature, while both the saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids were significantly reduced under increased pCO2 acidifying conditions. The present study indicates the potential for relatively small predicted changes in ocean conditions to reduce lipid reserves and alter the fatty acid composition of a predatory marine mollusc. This has potential implications for the growth and survivorship of whelks under future conditions, but only minimal implications for human consumption of D. orbita as nutritional seafood are predicted.

Continue reading ‘Ocean warming and CO2-induced acidification impact the lipid content of a marine predatory gastropod’

The modulating effect of light intensity on the response of the coccolithophore Gephyrocapsa oceanica to ocean acidification

Global change leads to a multitude of simultaneous modifications in the marine realm among which shoaling of the upper mixed layer, leading to enhanced surface layer light intensities, as well as increased carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration are some of the most critical environmental alterations for phytoplankton. In this study, we investigated the responses of growth, photosynthetic carbon fixation and calcification of the coccolithophore Gephyrocapsa oceanica to elevated inline image (51 Pa, 105 Pa, and 152 Pa) (1 Pa ≈ 10 μatm) at a variety of light intensities (50–800 μmol photons m−2 s−1). By fitting the light response curve, our results showed that rising inline image reduced the maximum rates for growth, photosynthetic carbon fixation and calcification. Increasing light intensity enhanced the sensitivity of these rate responses to inline image, and shifted the inline image optima toward lower levels. Combining the results of this and a previous study (Sett et al. 2014) on the same strain indicates that both limiting low inline image and inhibiting high inline image levels (this study) induce similar responses, reducing growth, carbon fixation and calcification rates of G. oceanica. At limiting low light intensities the inline image optima for maximum growth, carbon fixation and calcification are shifted toward higher levels. Interacting effects of simultaneously occurring environmental changes, such as increasing light intensity and ocean acidification, need to be considered when trying to assess metabolic rates of marine phytoplankton under future ocean scenarios.

Continue reading ‘The modulating effect of light intensity on the response of the coccolithophore Gephyrocapsa oceanica to ocean acidification’

Survival and expression of DNA repair genes in marine bacteria Pseudomonas pseudoalcaligenes NP103 and P. aeruginosa N6P6 in response to environmental stressors

A comparative response of marine bacteria Pseudomonas pseudoalcaligenes NP103 and P. aeruginosa N6P6 under pH stress and UV radiation (UVR) revealed that both their survival pattern and repair mechanism are species specific. In case of P. pseudoalcaligenes NP103, the survival was maximum at pH 8, which decreased with decline in pH of the medium. Whereas, in P. aeruginosa N6P6, maximum survival was observed at pH 7. On exposure to UVR at different doses (25–200 mJ/cm2) and increasing concentrations of Na+ (1–6%), considerable differences in the recovery (2% for P. pseudoalcaligenes NP103 and 3% for P. aeruginosa N6P6) from UVR induced damage was observed. The qRT-PCR analysis of DNA repair genes (recA and uvrA) of marine bacteria subjected to different pH conditions showed significant (P < 0.05) up-regulation of both genes at pH 6, indicating higher degree of DNA damage at low pH. Furthermore, exposure of UVR irradiated cell suspensions to visible light exhibited greater photo-reactivating capacity in P. pseudoalcaligenes NP103 as compared to P. aeruginosa N6P6. The present findings indicate that pH and UVR exposure have crucial role in dictating the light dependent and independent DNA repair pathway in marine bacteria. Further, we speculate that both these repair response to the environmental stressors varies with bacterial species.

Continue reading ‘Survival and expression of DNA repair genes in marine bacteria Pseudomonas pseudoalcaligenes NP103 and P. aeruginosa N6P6 in response to environmental stressors’

Subscribe to the RSS feed

Powered by FeedBurner

Follow AnneMarin on Twitter

Blog Stats

  • 865,289 hits

Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,177 other followers