The acclimation process of phytoplankton biomass, carbon fixation and respiration to the combined effects of elevated temperature and pCO2 in the northern South China Sea

We conducted shipboard microcosm experiments at both off-shore (SEATS) and near-shore (D001) stations in the northern South China Sea (NSCS) under three treatments, low temperature and low pCO2 (LTLC), high temperature and low pCO2 (HTLC), and high temperature and high pCO2 (HTHC). Biomass of phytoplankton at both stations were enhanced by HT. HTHC did not affect phytoplankton biomass at station D001 but decreased it at station SEATS. HT alone increased net primary productivity by 234% at station SEATS and by 67% at station D001 but the stimulating effect disappeared when HC was combined. HT also increased respiration rate by 236% at station SEATS and by 87% at station D001 whereas HTHC reduced it by 61% at station SEATS and did not affect it at station D001. Overall, our findings indicate that the positive effect of ocean warming on phytoplankton assemblages in NSCS could be damped or offset by ocean acidification.

Gao G., Jin P., Liu N., Li F., Tong S., Hutchins D. A. & Gao K., in press. The acclimation process of phytoplankton biomass, carbon fixation and respiration to the combined effects of elevated temperature and pCO2 in the northern South China Sea. Marine Pollution Bulletin. Article (subscription required).

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