Hyposalinity tolerance inthecoccolithophorid Emiliania huxleyi under the influence of ocean acidification involves enhanced photosynthetic performance

While seawater acidification induced by elevated CO2 is known to impact coccolithophores, the effects in combination with decreased salinity caused by sea ice melting and/or hydrological events have not been documented. Here we show the combined effects of seawater acidification and reduced salinity on growth, photosynthesis and calcification of Emiliania huxleyi grown at 2 CO2 concentrations (low CO2 LC: 400 μatm; high CO2 HC: 1000 μatm) and 3 levels of salinity (25, 30 and 35 ‰). A decrease of salinity from 35 to 25‰ increased growth rate, cell size and effective photochemical efficiency under both LC or HC. Calcification rates were relatively insensitive to combined effects of salinity and OA treatment but were highest under 3 5‰ and HC conditions, with higher ratios of calcification to photosynthesis (C : P) in the cells grown under 35 ‰ compared with those grown at 25 ‰. In addition, elevated dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) concentration at the salinity of 35 ‰ stimulated its calcification. In contrast, photosynthetic carbon fixation increased almost linearly with decreasing salinity, regardless of the pCO2 treatments. When subjected to short-term exposure to high light, the low-salinity-grown cells showed the highest photochemical effective quantum yield with the highest repair rate, though HC treatment enhanced PSII damage rate. Our results suggest Emiliania huxleyi can tolerate low salinity plus acidification conditions by up-regulating its photosynthetic performance together with a relatively insensitive calcification response, which may help it better adapt to future ocean global environmental changes, especially in the coastal areas of high latitudes.

Xu J., Beardall J. & Gao K., 2019. Hyposalinity tolerance inthecoccolithophorid Emiliania huxleyi under the influence of ocean acidification involves enhanced photosynthetic performance. Biogeosciences Discussions. Article.

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