Technical Note: A minimally-invasive experimental system for pCO2 manipulation in plankton cultures using passive gas exchange (Atmospheric Carbon Control Simulator)

As research into the biotic effects of ocean acidification has increased, the methods for simulating these environmental changes in the laboratory have multiplied. Here we describe the atmospheric carbon control simulator (ACCS) for the maintenance of plankton under controlled pCO2 conditions, designed for species sensitive to the physical disturbance introduced by bubbling of cultures and for studies involving trophic interaction. The system consists of gas mixing and equilibration components, coupled with large volume atmospheric simulation chambers. These chambers allow gas exchange to counteract the changes in carbonate chemistry induced by the metabolic activity of the organisms. The system is relatively low cost, very flexible, and when used in conjunction with semi-continuous culture methods, increases the density of organisms kept under realistic conditions, increases the allowable time interval between dilutions, and/or decreases the metabolically driven change in carbonate chemistry during these intervals. It accommodates a large number of culture vessels, which facilitate multi-trophic level studies and allow the tracking of variable OA responses within and across plankton populations. It also includes components that increase the reliability of gas mixing systems using mass flow controllers.

Love B. A., Olson M. B. & Wuori T., 2016. Technical Note: A minimally-invasive experimental system for pCO2 manipulation in plankton cultures using passive gas exchange (Atmospheric Carbon Control Simulator). Biogeosciences Discussions 1-19. Article.

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Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

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