Diverse trends in shell weight of three Southern Ocean pteropod taxa collected with Polar Frontal Zone sediment traps from 1997 to 2007

The impact of ocean acidification on key ocean calcifiers is predicted to be imminent, particularly in high-latitude ecosystems. Long-term field observations are essential to ground truth predictions of change in regional ecosystems. Here, we report on aragonitic pteropods collected to sediment traps at 800 m depth at 54°S, 140°E in the Polar Frontal Zone (PFZ) of the Southern Ocean from 1997 to 2007. Statistically significant trends were not identified in either mass or number flux from 1997 to 2007; however, differences emerged in decadal trends seen in shell weight for each of the three common taxa collected: Limacina helicina antarctica forma antarctica shells became significantly lighter (P < 0.05), L. retroversa australis shells became significantly heavier (P < 0.05) and L. helicina antarctica forma rangi shells did not change significantly. These results suggest that factors other than ocean acidification affect pteropod population variations on decadal timescales, with the potential to either amplify or counter the impact of decreasing aragonite saturation state, at least in the short term. Comparison to sea surface temperature and chlorophyll biomass did not identify these as significant drivers of the observed changes, and attribution across these multiple variables requires better understanding of pteropod physiology and ecology. Our PFZ pelagic pteropod observations provide a reference for evaluation of southern polar pteropod responses to changing ocean conditions in coming decades. Importantly, these data also raise the issue of taxonomic care when monitoring the region for impacts of ocean acidification on calcifiers.

Roberts D., Howard W. R., Roberts J. L., Bray S. G., Moy A. D., Trull T. W. & Hopcroft R. R., 2014. Diverse trends in shell weight of three Southern Ocean pteropod taxa collected with Polar Frontal Zone sediment traps from 1997 to 2007. Polar Biology 37(10):1445-1458. Article.

0 Responses to “Diverse trends in shell weight of three Southern Ocean pteropod taxa collected with Polar Frontal Zone sediment traps from 1997 to 2007”



  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.




Subscribe to the RSS feed

Powered by FeedBurner

Follow AnneMarin on Twitter

Blog Stats

  • 1,439,224 hits

OA-ICC HIGHLIGHTS

Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book

Archives