Physiological responses of the calcifying rhodophyte, Corallina officinalis (L.), to future CO2 levels

Future atmospheric CO2 levels will most likely have complex consequences for marine organisms, particulary photosynthetic calcifying organisms. Corallina officinalis L. is an erect calcifying macroalga found in the inter- and subtidal regions of temperate rocky coastlines and provides important substrate and refugia for marine meiofauna. The main goal of the current study was to determine the physiological responses of C. officinalis to increased CO2 concentrations expected to occur within the next century and beyond. Our results show that growth and production of inorganic material decreased under high CO2 levels, while carbonic anhydrase activity was stimulated and negatively correlated to algal inorganic content. Photosynthetic efficiency based on oxygen evolution was also negatively affected by increased CO2. The results of this study indicate that C. officinalis may become less competitive under future CO2 levels, which could result in structural changes in future temperate intertidal communities.

Hofmann L. C., Yildiz G., Hanelt D., & Bischof K., in press. Physiological responses of the calcifying rhodophyte, Corallina officinalis (L.), to future CO2 levels. Marine Biology doi:10.1007/s00227-011-1854-9. Article (subscription required).


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