Posts Tagged 'algae'

Effects of ocean warming and acidification combined with eutrophication on chemical composition and functional properties of Ulva rigida


• Ocean warming and eutrophication increased total amino acids.
• Ocean warming, acidification, and eutrophication increased total fatty acids.
• Ocean warming enhanced swelling capacity and water holding capacity.
• Ocean warming promoted oil holding capacity.


Ulva is increasingly viewed as a food source in the world. Here, Ulva rigida was cultured at two levels of temperature (14, 18°C), pH (7.95, 7.55, corresponding to low and high pCO2), and nitrate conditions (6 μmol L-1, 150 μmol L-1), to investigate the effects of ocean warming, acidification, and eutrophication on food quality of Ulva species. High temperature increased the content of each amino acid. High nitrate increased the content of all amino acid except aspartic acid and cysteine. High temperature, pCO2, and nitrate also increased content of most fatty acids. The combination of high temperature, pCO2, and nitrate increased the swelling capacity, water holding capacity, and oil holding capacity by 15.60%, 7.88%, and 16.32% respectively, compared to the control. It seems that future ocean environment would enhance the production of amino acid and fatty acid as well as the functional properties in Ulva species.

Continue reading ‘Effects of ocean warming and acidification combined with eutrophication on chemical composition and functional properties of Ulva rigida’

Macroalgal response to a warmer ocean with higher CO2 concentration


• Decreased pH had a positive effect on short-term production of the studied species.
• Algae with tropical affinity increased their production at higher temperatures.
• Respiration rates were higher at the lower temperature treatments.
• Future pH and temperature conditions benefit tropical algal species.


Primary production and respiration rates were studied for six seaweed species (Cystoseira abies-marina, Lobophora variegata, Pterocladiella capillacea, Canistrocarpus cervicornis, Padina pavonica and Corallina caespitosa) from Subtropical North-East Atlantic, to estimate the combined effects of different pH and temperature levels. Macroalgal samples were cultured at temperature and pH combinations ranging from current levels to those predicted for the next century (19, 21, 23, 25 °C, pH: 8.1, 7.7 and 7.4). Decreased pH had a positive effect on short-term production of the studied species. Raised temperatures had a more varied and species dependent effect on short term primary production. Thermophilic algae increased their production at higher temperatures, while temperate species were more productive at lower or present temperature conditions. Temperature also affected algal respiration rates, which were higher at low temperature levels. The results suggest that biomass and productivity of the more tropical species in coastal ecosystems would be enhanced by future ocean conditions.

Continue reading ‘Macroalgal response to a warmer ocean with higher CO2 concentration’

The effects of warming and ocean acidification on growth, photosynthesis, and bacterial communities for the marine invasive macroalga Caulerpa taxifolia

Caulerpa taxifolia is a pantropical green benthic marine macroalga, and one of the best known marine invasive species in temperate coastal habitats. In Australia, this species has been introduced to seven estuaries along New South Wales and one in South Australia. How this alga will perform under future climate change scenarios is however not well defined. This study experimentally assessed the effects of ocean acidification and global warming on the growth, photosynthetic performance and the bacterial community on two populations of C. taxifolia, one native and one invasive. A range of complex significant interactive effects between pH, temperature, and initial plant size on the growth of C. taxifolia were observed, but no effect of population origin and photosystem II (PSII) fluorescence quantum yield parameters were detected. No significant effects of the treatment combinations were observed on bacterial community richness or diversity. Only one bacterial species out of 1087 present on the algae showed significant changes between pH treatments at high temperature (24°C). This bacterium belonged to the genus Planctomyces and its relative abundance was more than 10 times higher in samples with low pH compared to the control. Higher plant growth was observed under all higher pCO2 and lower pH conditions suggesting that C. taxifolia will benefit from climate change, posing a potential higher risk in invaded locations.

Continue reading ‘The effects of warming and ocean acidification on growth, photosynthesis, and bacterial communities for the marine invasive macroalga Caulerpa taxifolia’

Photosynthesis and mineralogy of Jania rubens at low pH/high pCO2: a future perspective


• Calcifying red algae may show species-specific response to ocean acidification (OA).
• Photosynthesis and mineralogy (biosphere) were assessed after a three-week transplant.
• Field carbon chemistry (hydrosphere) and irradiance (atmosphere) were also considered.
• Photosynthesis decreased while calcification was maintained under future pH conditions.
• The calcifying Jania rubens may survive but reducing the fitness under OA.


Corallinales (Rhodophyta) are high Mg-calcite macroalgae and are considered among the most vulnerable organisms to ocean acidification (OA). These sensitive species play fundamental roles in coastal systems as food source and settlement promoters as well as being involved in reef stabilization, and water carbonate balance. At present only a few studies are focused on erect calcifying macroalgae under low pH/high pCO2 and the contrasting results make difficult to predict the ecological consequences of the OA on the coralline algae. In this paper the physiological reasons behind the resistance of Jania rubens, one of the most common calcareous species, to changing ocean pH are analysed. In particular, we studied the photosynthetic and mineralogical response of J. rubens after a three-week transplant in a natural CO2 vent system. The overall results showed that J. rubens could be able to survive under predicted pH conditions even though with a reduced fitness; nevertheless physiological limits prevent the growth and survival of the species at pH 6.7. At low pH (i.e. pH 7.5), the maximum and effective PSII efficiency decreased even if the increase of Rubisco expression suggests a compensation effort of the species to cope with the decreased light-driven products. In these circumstances, a pH-driven bleaching phenomenon was also observed. Even though the photosynthesis decreased at low pH, J. rubens maintained unchanged the mineralogical composition and the carbonate content in the cell wall, suggesting that the calcification process may also have a physiological relevance in addition to a structural and/or a protective role. Further studies will confirm the hypotheses on the functional and evolutionary role of the calcification process in coralline algae and on the ecological consequences of the community composition changes under high pCO2 oceans.

Continue reading ‘Photosynthesis and mineralogy of Jania rubens at low pH/high pCO2: a future perspective’

Ocean acidification and nutrient limitation synergistically reduce growth and photosynthetic performances of a green tide alga Ulva linza

Large-scale green tides have been invading the coastal zones of the western Yellow Sea annually since 2008. Meanwhile, oceans are becoming more acid due to continuous absorption of anthropogenic carbon dioxide and intensive seaweed cultivation in Chinese coastal areas is leading to severe regional nutrient limitation. However, little is known the combined effects of global and local stressors on the eco-physiology of bloom-forming algae. We cultured Ulva linza under two levels of pCO2 (400 and 1000 μatm) and four treatments of nutrient (nutrient repletion, N limitation, P limitation, and N & P limitation) to investigate the physiological responses of this green tide alga to the combination of ocean acidification and nutrient limitation. For both sporelings and adult plants, elevated pCO2 did not affect the growth rate when cultured under nutrient replete conditions but reduced it under P limitation; N or P limitation by themselves reduced growth rate. P limitation resulted in a larger inhibition in growth for sporelings compared to adult plants. Sporelings under P limitation did not reach the mature stage after 16 days of culture while those under P repletion became mature by day 11. Elevated pCO2 reduced net photosynthetic rate for all nutrient treatments but increased nitrate reductase activity and soluble protein content under P replete conditions. N or P limitation reduced nitrate reductase activity and soluble protein content. These findings indicate that ocean acidification and nutrient limitation would synergistically reduce the growth of Ulva species and may thus hinder the occurrence of green tides in a future ocean environment.

Continue reading ‘Ocean acidification and nutrient limitation synergistically reduce growth and photosynthetic performances of a green tide alga Ulva linza’

Impact of ocean acidification and warming on the productivity of a rock pool community


• Fleshy algae drive the response of assemblages.
• The response of coralline algae to global change depend on the season.
• Rock pool assemblages are robust to ocean acidification and warming.


This study examined experimentally the combined effect of ocean acidification and warming on the productivity of rock pool multi-specific assemblages, composed of coralline algae, fleshy algae, and grazers. Natural rock pool communities experience high environmental fluctuations. This may confer physiological advantage to rock pool communities when facing predicted acidification and warming. The effect of ocean acidification and warming have been assessed at both individual and assemblage level to examine the importance of species interactions in the response of assemblages. We hypothesized that rock pool assemblages have physiological advantage when facing predicted ocean acidification and warming. Species exhibited species-specific responses to increased temperature and pCO2. Increased temperature and pCO2 have no effect on assemblage photosynthesis, which was mostly influenced by fleshy algal primary production. The response of coralline algae to ocean acidification and warming depended on the season, which evidenced the importance of physiological adaptations to their environment in their response to climate change. We suggest that rock pool assemblages are relatively robust to changes in temperature and pCO2, in terms of primary production.

Continue reading ‘Impact of ocean acidification and warming on the productivity of a rock pool community’

Community-level sensitivity of a calcifying ecosystem to acute in situ CO2 enrichment

The rate of change in ocean carbonate chemistry is a vital determinant in the magnitude of effects observed. Benthic marine ecosystems are facing an increasing risk of acute CO2 exposure that may be natural or anthropogenically derived (e.g. engineering and industrial activities). However, our understanding of how acute CO2 events impact marine life is restricted to individual organisms, with little understanding for how this manifests at the community level. Here, we investigated in situ the effect of acute CO2 enrichment on the coralline algal ecosystem—a globally ubiquitous, ecologically and economically important habitat, but one which is likely to be sensitive to CO2 enrichment due to its highly calcified reef-like structures engineered by coralline algae. Most notably, we observed a rapid community-level shift to favour net dissolution rather than net calcification. Smaller changes from net respiration to net photosynthesis were also observed. There was no effect on the net flux of DMS/DMSP (algal secondary metabolites), nor on the nutrients nitrate and phosphate. Following return to ambient CO2 levels, only a partial recovery was seen within the monitoring timeframe. This study highlights the sensitivity of biogenic carbonate marine communities to acute CO2 enrichment and raises concerns over the capacity for the system to ‘bounce back’ if subjected to repeated acute high-CO2 events.

Continue reading ‘Community-level sensitivity of a calcifying ecosystem to acute in situ CO2 enrichment’

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Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book