Effects of CO2-induced changes in seawater carbonate chemistry speciation on Coccolithus braarudii: a conceptual model of coccolithophorid sensitivities

Ocean acidification and associated shifts in carbonate chemistry speciation induced by increasing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) have the potential to impact marine biota in various ways. The process of biogenic calcification, for instance, is usually shown to be negatively affected. In coccolithophores, an important group of pelagic calcifiers, changes in cellular calcification rates in response to changing ocean carbonate chemistry appear to differ among species. By applying a wider CO2 range we show that a species previously reported insensitive to seawater acidification, Coccolithus braarudii, responds both in terms of calcification and photosynthesis, although at higher thresholds. Thus, observed differences between species seem to be related to individual sensitivities while the underlying mechanisms could be the same. On this basis we develop a conceptual model of coccolithophorid calcification and photosynthesis in response to CO2-induced changes in seawater carbonate chemistry speciation.



Krug, S. A., Schulz, K. G., & Riebesell, U., 2010. Effects of CO2-induced changes in seawater carbonate chemistry speciation on Coccolithus braarudii: a conceptual model of coccolithophorid sensitivities. Biogeosciences Discussions 7(6):8763-8778. Article.


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