Effect of elevated pCO2 on thermal performance of Chattonella marina and Chattonella ovata (Raphidophyceae)

Ocean acidification and warming, identified as environmental concerns likely to be affected by climate change, are crucial determinants of algal growth. The ichthyotoxic raphidophytes Chattonella species are responsible for huge economic losses and environmental impact worldwide. In this study, we investigated the impact of CO2 on the thermal performance curves (TPCs) of Chattonella marina and Chattonella ovata grown under temperatures ranging from 13 to 34°C under ambient pCO2 (350 μatm) and elevated pCO2 (950 μatm). TPCs were comparable between the species or even between pCO2 levels. With the exception of the critical thermal minimum (CTmin) for C. ovataCTmin for C. marina and the thermal optimum (Topt) and critical thermal maximum (CTmax) for both species did not change with elevation of pCO2 levels. While CO2 enrichment increased the maximum photosynthetic rates (Pmax) up to 125% at the Topt of 30°C, specific growth rates were not significantly different under elevated pCO2 for the two species. Overall, C. ovata is likely to benefit from climate change, potentially widening its range of thermal tolerance limit in highly acidic waters and contributing to prolonged phenology of future phytoplankton assemblages in coastal waters.

Lim M. H., Lee C. H., Min J., Lee H.-G. & Kim K. Y., 2020. Effect of elevated pCO2 on thermal performance of Chattonella marina and Chattonella ovata (Raphidophyceae). Algae 35(4): 375-388. Article.

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