Combined effects of CO2-driven ocean acidification and Cd stress in the marine environment: enhanced tolerance of Phaeodactylum tricornutum to Cd exposure

Highlights

• Combined effects of OA and Cd exposure on Phaeodactylum tricornutum were analyzed.

• Either OA (1500 ppm) or Cd stress (1.2 mg/L) alone inhibited the growth of P. tricornutum.

• A significantly enhanced tolerance of P. tricornutum to Cd of 1.2 mg/L occurred under OA.

Abstract

Ocean acidification (OA) and heavy metals are common stress factors for marine ecosystems subject to anthropogenic impacts. OA coupled with the heavy metal is likely to affect marine species. This study investigated the single and combined effects of OA (1500 ppm) and cadmium (Cd; 0.4, 1.2 mg/L) on the marine diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum under 7 d exposure. The results clearly indicated that either OA or Cd stress (1.2 mg/L) alone inhibited the growth of P. tricornutum. However, under the combined OA-Cd stress, the growth inhibition disappeared, and the intracellular oxidative damage was mitigated. These results indicated a significantly enhanced tolerance of P. tricornutum to Cd while under OA conditions, which could be beneficial to the survival of this diatom. This study will ultimately help us understand the responses of marine organisms to multiple stressors and have broad implications for the potential ecological risks of Cd under future OA conditions.

Dong F., Zhu X., Qian W., Wang P. & Wang J., in press. Combined effects of CO2-driven ocean acidification and Cd stress in the marine environment: enhanced tolerance of Phaeodactylum tricornutum to Cd exposure. Marine Pollution Bulletin. Article (subscription required).

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