Metal concentration and structural changes in Corallina elongata (Corallinales, Rhodophyta) from hydrothermal vents

Shallow-water hydrothermal activity is widely present at Azores archipelago. Organisms in such environments present great potential as sentinels of the effects derived from chronically exposure to increased temperature, metal concentrations and reduced pH. This study aimed to evaluate metal concentration in Corallina elongata collected at locations exposed and not exposed to shallow-water hydrothermal activity and evaluate changes in its calcareous structure. Elemental concentration was determined and morphometric analysis was performed by scanning electron microscopy. Thicker cell walls and a bleached appearance were observed on C. elongata specimens from the hydrothermally active location, as well as increased concentrations of elements associated to volcanic activity.

This study reports on metal accumulation and morphometric changes in the calcareous structure of C. elongata from a hydrothermally active location, adding new data for further research on such habitats and communities, providing an insight on how coralline algae might be affected by ocean acidification.

Couto, RP, Neto, AI, Rodrigues, in press. Metal concentration and structural changes in Corallina elongata (Corallinales, Rhodophyta) from hydrothermal vents. Marine Pollution Bulletin. Article (subscription required).

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