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Effect of organic Fe-ligands, released by Emiliania huxleyi, on Fe(II) oxidation rate in seawater under simulated ocean acidification conditions: a modeling approach

The potential effect of ocean acidification on the exudation of organic matter by phytoplankton and, consequently, on the iron redox chemistry is largely unknown. In this study, the coccolithophorid Emiliania huxleyi was exposed to different pCO2 conditions (225–900 μatm), in order to determine the role of natural organic ligands on the Fe(II) oxidation rate. Oxidation kinetics of Fe(II) were studied as a function of pH (7.75–8.25) and dissolved organic carbon levels produced (0–141.11 μmol C L−1) during the different growth stages. The Fe(II) oxidation rate always decreased in the presence of exudates as compared to that in the exudates-free seawater. The organic ligands present in the coccolithophorid exudates were responsible for this decrease. The oxidation of Fe(II) in artificial seawater was also investigated at nanomolar levels over a range of pH (7.75–8.25) at 25°C in the presence of different glucuronic acid concentrations. Dissolved uronic acids (DUA) slightly increased the experimental rate compared to control artificial seawater (ASW) which can be ascribed to the stabilization of the oxidized form by chelation. This behavior was a function of the Fe(II):DUA ratio and was a pH dependent process. A kinetic model in ASW, with a single organic ligand, was applied for computing the equilibrium constant (log KFeCHO+ = 3.68 ± 0.81 M−1) and the oxidation rate (log kFeCHO+ = 3.28 ± 0.41 M−1 min−1) for the Fe(II)-DUA complex (FeCHO+), providing an excellent description of data obtained over a wide range of DUA concentrations and pH conditions. Considering the Marcus theory the Fe(III) complexing constant with DUA was limited to between 1013 and 1016. For the seawater enriched with exudates of E. huxleyi a second kinetic modeling approach was carried out for fitting the Fe(II) speciation, and the contribution of each Fe(II) species to the overall oxidation rate as a function of the pH/pCO2 conditions. The influence of organic ligands in the Fe(II) speciation diminished as pH decreased in solution. During the stationary growth phase, the FeCHO+ complex became the most important contributor to the overall oxidation rate when pH was lower than 7.95. Because CO2 levels modify the composition of excreted organic ligands, the redox behavior of Fe in solution may be affected by future acidification conditions.

Continue reading ‘Effect of organic Fe-ligands, released by Emiliania huxleyi, on Fe(II) oxidation rate in seawater under simulated ocean acidification conditions: a modeling approach’

Ocean acidification and warming impacts on native and non-native shellfish: a multidisciplinary assessment

Ocean acidification and warming have been shown to affect a wide range of marine organisms and impact assemblages and ecosystems. Many of the species experiencing negative biological effects provide valuable ecosystem services, yet it is unclear how these biological effects will affect ecosystem services provision. This thesis aimed to appraise the consequences of ocean acidification and warming on important shellfish species, from physiology to provision of ecosystem services, using a multidisciplinary approach. The responses to ocean acidification and warming of two ecologically and commercially important species of oysters – the native European Flat oyster Ostrea edulis, and the non-native Pacific oyster Magallana gigas – were assessed in laboratory mesocosms following long-term exposures to a range of scenarios predicted for 2050 and 2100.

Oysters provide numerous ecosystem services, including improvement of water quality, reef formation, and food provision, but are at risks from ocean acidification and other stressors due to negative impacts occurring at multiple life-stages and threatening reef maintenance and functioning (Chapter 1). The physiology of adult oysters appeared susceptible to ocean acidification and warming, with evident sub-lethal effects (Chapter 2). Magallana gigas experienced a greater degree of stress than O. edulis, displaying increased Standard Metabolic Rate, reduced Clearance Rate, and poorer Condition Indices. Reductions in Clearance Rates of M. gigas are especially concerning and may have important ecological impacts by limiting their ability to improve water quality in the future. The physiological changes experienced by individual oysters held important implications for the functioning of the reefs through changes in predation resistance. Again, M. gigas appeared to undergo more pronounced changes than O. edulis, displaying increased muscle strength but weakened shell strength. These changes are expected to alter its susceptibility to predators and influence community level interactions. Both O. edulis and M. gigas also underwent important changes to their biochemical composition with trends for impoverished nutritional quality, which holds direct implications on the provision of sea food. In particular, M. gigas contained lower lipid, carbohydrate, and protein levels, but higher contaminant concentration (copper); this change holds concerns for both future food security and future food safety. It was apparent that the physiological stress experienced (Chapter 2), led to significant energy reallocation from somatic growth to metabolism by depleting energetic reserves (Chapter 4), at the detriment of its nutritional quality. No negative effects on the eating quality of M. gigas (appearance, aroma, texture, taste, and overall acceptability) were recorded following a short-term exposure to ocean acidification and warming (Chapter 5), which was considered positive for the aquaculture sector. In order to secure future food provision and economic revenue, the UK aquaculture industry might need to reconsider its management strategy in the future, and encourage the production and consumption of O. edulis, in addition to the already popular M. gigas.

It is clear that the impacts of ocean acidification and warming on oysters are multifaceted and occurring at multiple scales and levels of organisation. The risks to oysters and oyster reefs appear species-specific; in the UK, introduced M. gigas may be more vulnerable than native O. edulis. To secure benefits and minimise costs related to the management of introduced species, these findings could be integrated into the current management and conservation measures in place for these species and the reefs they can form.

Continue reading ‘Ocean acidification and warming impacts on native and non-native shellfish: a multidisciplinary assessment’

Alkalinity, inorganic carbon and CO2 flux variability during extreme rainfall years (2010-2011) in two polluted tropical estuaries NE Brazil

The susceptibility of coastal environments to shifts in the biogeochemical cycles of carbon and nutrients driven by anthropogenic pressure and climate change is a real challenge for the scientific community. This paper evaluated the effects of an extreme rainfall event over the nutrients and carbonate parameters in two polluted tropical estuaries. Surface water samples were taken seasonally along a salinity gradient in the Capibaribe and Barra de Jangadas estuaries in order to investigate the spatial and seasonal variability of dissolved nutrients, chlorophyll-a, dissolved oxygen, total alkalinity, inorganic carbon, partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) and CO2 fluxes. The increased riverine influence caused by the fluvial flooding during the extremely rainy season augmented the nitrogen concentrations in the plumes, which also presented reduced salinity, alkalinity and dissolved oxygen values. In the Capibaribe plume it has also shifted the mean CO2 flux value of – 4.01 mmolC m-2 d-1 during the dry season, to a positive mean flux of + 5.7 mmolC m-2 d-1 during the rainy season. Within the estuaries the BOD5,20 and dissolved phosphorus values were higher during the dry season (p<0.0001), they showed positive correlation with the phytoplanktonic blooms that reached a chl-a value of 85 mg m-3 in the Capibaribe. The high alkalinity found in both estuaries, with mean values between dry and wet seasons respectively from 1808 to 1373 µmol kg-1 in the Capibaribe estuary and 1616 to 1058 µmol kg-1 in Barra de Jangadas estuary, may act as a buffer to the process of coastal acidification due to eutrophication. The increased rivers discharge lead to a greater transport of organic matter and nutrients to the coast, decreasing the oxygen availability and shifting the metabolic status of the estuarine plume to heterotrophic, whereas increased the water quality within the estuaries due the flushing promoted by the extreme rainfall event.

Continue reading ‘Alkalinity, inorganic carbon and CO2 flux variability during extreme rainfall years (2010-2011) in two polluted tropical estuaries NE Brazil’

Role of technology in ocean acidification: monitoring, water-quality impairments, CO2 mitigation, and machine learning

Ocean acidification (OA), or the reduction in the pH of the ocean, is driven by increasing carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere and local pollution. There is already evidence of the detrimental impact of OA on marine organisms. As further increases in atmospheric CO2 and changes in water quality are expected, it is crucial to develop and implement advanced technologies that enable better monitoring, allow for understanding of adaptation potential of the organisms, and facilitate the use of mitigation strategies toward predicted environmental changes. Collaboration of marine and computer scientists, engineers, and citizens is needed to develop innovative sustainable technologies to mitigate and reduce future increase of CO2.

Continue reading ‘Role of technology in ocean acidification: monitoring, water-quality impairments, CO2 mitigation, and machine learning’

NEW CRP: Evaluating the impacts of ocean acidification on seafood – a global approach (K41018)

The IAEA is launching a new 4-year Coordinated Research Project (CRP) starting in 2019 to advance understanding on the effects of ocean acidification on seafood around the world and to explore adaptation strategies for aquaculture and seafood industries.

Intensive fossil-fuel burning and deforestation over the last two centuries has increased atmospheric carbon dioxide by 50 % above pre-industrial values. The global ocean currently absorbs roughly one third of this anthropogenic carbon dioxide, and its carbonate chemistry is fundamentally altered in the process. By doing so, the ocean undergoes a decrease in pH, referred to as ocean acidification.

Ocean acidification has been recognized as a major threat to marine ecosystems. Concern about the impacts of ocean acidification on socioeconomically important seafood is increasing world-wide, and ocean acidification is now an integral part of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Furthermore, recent studies have demonstrated that ocean acidification may also impact the quality of seafood, and there is a growing body of literature documenting the biological response of seafood to ocean acidification. Long-term studies are essential to track the effects of ocean acidification, but there are few of these studies. Furthermore, data on economically and socially important seafood in developing countries are still largely lacking.

Continue reading ‘NEW CRP: Evaluating the impacts of ocean acidification on seafood – a global approach (K41018)’

Short-term variability of carbon chemistry in two contrasting seagrass meadows at Dongsha Island: implications for pH buffering and CO2 sequestration

The diurnal cycles of carbon chemistry parameters, i.e., dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), total alkalinity (TA), partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2), and pH, were investigated in two hydrodynamically contrasting seagrass meadows at Dongsha Island in the northern South China Sea in August 2015. The results show that the pH and TA were higher and that the pCO2 was lower in the semi-enclosed inner lagoon (IL) than on the open north shore (NS). The analyses of carbon chemistry parameters vs. dissolved oxygen and TA vs. DIC relationships reveal that the CO2 dynamics was dominated by photosynthesis/respiration (P/R) alone on the NS but by the combined effect of P/R and sedimentary anaerobic pathways in the IL. We suggest that the observed divergent behaviors in carbon chemistry between the two sites could be attributed to differences in hydrodynamic regimes. The less energetic hydrodynamics and longer residence time in the IL would be favorable for the occurrence of sedimentary anaerobic TA generation and the subsequent TA accumulation in the overlying waters. The elevated TA may lead to a pH increase and a pCO2 decrease, thus providing a buffering effect against ocean acidification (OA) and enhancing atmospheric CO2 sequestration at local scales. The present results demonstrate that hydrodynamic regime may play an important role in regulating biogeochemical processes in seagrass meadows, and thereby modulating their capacities in OA buffering and CO2 uptaking.

Continue reading ‘Short-term variability of carbon chemistry in two contrasting seagrass meadows at Dongsha Island: implications for pH buffering and CO2 sequestration’

The potential of 230Th for detection of ocean acidification impacts on pelagic carbonate production (update)

Concentrations of dissolved 230Th in the ocean water column increase with depth due to scavenging and downward particle flux. Due to the 230Th scavenging process, any change in the calcium carbonate (CaCO3) fraction of the marine particle flux due to changes in biological CaCO3 hard-shell production as a consequence of progressing ocean acidification would be reflected in the dissolved 230Th activity. Our prognostic simulations with a biogeochemical ocean general circulation model using different scenarios for the reduction of CaCO3 production under ocean acidification and different greenhouse gas emission scenarios – the Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) 8.5 to 2.6 – reveal the potential for deep 230Th measurements to detect reduced CaCO3 production at the sea surface. The time of emergence of an acidification-induced signal on dissolved 230Th is of the same order of magnitude as for alkalinity measurements. Interannual and decadal variability in factors other than a reduction in CaCO3 hard-shell production may mask the ocean-acidification-induced signal in dissolved 230Th and make detection of the pure CaCO3-induced signal more difficult so that only really strong changes in marine CaCO3 export would be unambiguously identifiable soon. Nevertheless, the impacts of changes in CaCO3 export production on marine 230Th are stronger than those for changes in POC (particulate organic carbon) or clay fluxes.

Continue reading ‘The potential of 230Th for detection of ocean acidification impacts on pelagic carbonate production (update)’


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OA-ICC HIGHLIGHTS

Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book