Calcified coralline algae are ecologically important in rocky habitats in the marine photic zone worldwide and there is growing concern that ocean acidification will severely impact them. Laboratory studies of these algae in simulated ocean acidification conditions have revealed wide variability in growth, photosynthesis and calcification responses, making it difficult to assess their future biodiversity, abundance and contribution to ecosystem function. Here, we apply molecular systematic tools to assess the impact of natural gradients in seawater carbonate chemistry on the biodiversity of coralline algae in the Mediterranean and the NW Pacific, link this to their evolutionary history and evaluate their potential future biodiversity and abundance. We found a decrease in the taxonomic diversity of coralline algae with increasing acidification with more than half of the species lost in high pCO2 conditions. Sporolithales is the oldest order (Lower Cretaceous) and diversified when ocean chemistry favoured low Mg calcite deposition; it is less diverse today and was the most sensitive to ocean acidification. Corallinales were also reduced in cover and diversity but several species survived at high pCO2; it is the most recent order of coralline algae and originated when ocean chemistry favoured aragonite and high Mg calcite deposition. The sharp decline in cover and thickness of coralline algal carbonate deposits at high pCO2 highlighted their lower fitness in response to ocean acidification. Reductions in CO2 emissions are needed to limit the risk of losing coralline algal diversity.
Coralline algae play foundational roles in coastal ecosystems and are globally significant components of benthic habitats down to the limits of the photic zone. Despite their vulnerability to ocean acidification (OA) and importance in low light environments, there is a limited understanding of how the interplay between irradiance and OA influences coralline reproduction and recruitment. To better understand this interaction, a 212-day experiment was run exposing coralline communities to two pH(T) levels (present-day pH(T) 8.07/ OA pH(T) 7.65) and a gradient of daily light dose (0.35, 0.17 and 0.1 mol m-2 d-1), based on in situ measurements. In the highest light dose treatment, lowered seawater pH projected for 2100 (pH(T) 7.65) reduced recruitment by 56%. This OA-driven reduction in recruitment was amplified under reduced light, with recruitment near zero in the lowest light treatment. This study shows, for the first time, the increased vulnerability of coralline community recruitment to OA under low light. Coralline algae are known to be the deepest growing macroalgae and thus, in these low light zones, OA many have the potential to reduce coralline depth distribution.
In this study, the variations of the seawater carbonate system parameters and air-sea CO2 flux (FCO2) of Shen’ao Bay, a typical subtropical aquaculture bay located in China, were investigated in spring 2016 (March to May). Parameters related to the seawater carbonate system and FCO2 were measured monthly in 3 different aquaculture areas (fish, oyster and seaweed) and in a non-culture area near the bay mouth. The results showed that the seawater carbonate system was markedly influenced by the biological processes of the culture species. Total alkalinity was significantly lower in the oyster area compared with the fish and seaweed areas, mainly because of the calcification process of oysters. Dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and CO2 partial pressure ( pCO2) were highest in the fish area, followed by the oyster and non-culture areas, and lowest in the seaweed area. Oysters and fish can have indirect influences on DIC and pCO2by releasing nutrients, which facilitate the growth of seaweed and phytoplankton and therefore promote photosynthetic CO2 fixation. For these reasons, Shen’ao Bay acts as a potential CO2 sink in spring, with an average FCO2 ranging from -1.2 to -4.8 mmol m-2 d-1. CO2 fixation in the seaweed area was the largest contributor to CO2 flux, accounting for ca. 58% of the total CO2 sink capacity of the entire bay. These results suggest that the carbonate system and FCO2 of Shen’ao Bay were significantly affected by large-scale mariculture activities. A higher CO2 sink capacity could be acquired by extending the culture area of seaweed.
- High CO2 conditions profoundly affected biofilm community composition
- Species turnover explained differences in community composition
- Biofilm communities were more homogeneous under high CO2 conditions
- Toxin producing and turf-forming algae were enriched under high CO2 conditions
Biofilms harbour a wealth of microbial diversity and fulfil key functions in coastal marine ecosystems. Elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) conditions affect the structure and function of biofilm communities, yet the ecological patterns that underpin these effects remain unknown. We used high-throughput sequencing of the 16S and 18S rRNA genes to investigate the effect of elevated CO2 on the early successional stages of prokaryotic and eukaryotic biofilms at a CO2 seep system off Shikine Island, Japan. Elevated CO2 profoundly affected biofilm community composition throughout the early stages of succession, leading to greater compositional homogeneity between replicates and the proliferation of the potentially harmful algae Prymnesium sp. and Biddulphia biddulphiana. Species turnover was the main driver of differences between communities in reference and high CO2 conditions, rather than differences in richness or evenness. Our study indicates that species turnover is the primary ecological pattern that underpins the effect of elevated CO2 on both prokaryotic and eukaryotic components of biofilm communities, indicating that elevated CO2 conditions represent a distinct niche selecting for a distinct cohort of organisms without the loss of species richness.
Ocean warming is altering the biogeographical distribution of marine organisms. In the tropics, rising sea surface temperatures are restructuring coral reef communities with sensitive species being lost. At the biogeographical divide between temperate and tropical communities, warming is causing macroalgal forest loss and the spread of tropical corals, fishes and other species, termed “tropicalization”. A lack of field research into the combined effects of warming and ocean acidification means there is a gap in our ability to understand and plan for changes in coastal ecosystems. Here, we focus on the tropicalization trajectory of temperate marine ecosystems becoming coral-dominated systems. We conducted field surveys and in situ transplants at natural analogues for present and future conditions under (i) ocean warming and (ii) both ocean warming and acidification at a transition zone between kelp and coral-dominated ecosystems. We show that increased herbivory by warm-water fishes exacerbates kelp forest loss and that ocean acidification negates any benefits of warming for range extending tropical corals growth and physiology at temperate latitudes. Our data show that, as the combined effects of ocean acidification and warming ratchet up, marine coastal ecosystems lose kelp forests but do not gain scleractinian corals. Ocean acidification plus warming leads to overall habitat loss and a shift to simple turf-dominated ecosystems, rather than the complex coral-dominated tropicalized systems often seen with warming alone. Simplification of marine habitats by increased CO2 levels cascades through the ecosystem and could have severe consequences for the provision of goods and services.
Prior exposure to variable environmental conditions is predicted to influence the resilience of marine organisms to global change. We conducted complementary 4-month field and laboratory experiments to understand how a dynamic, and sometimes extreme, environment influences growth rates of a tropical reef-building crustose coralline alga and its responses to ocean acidification (OA). Using a reciprocal transplant design, we quantified calcification rates of the Caribbean coralline Lithophyllum sp. at sites with a history of either extreme or moderate oxygen, temperature, and pH regimes. Calcification rates of in situ corallines at the extreme site were 90% lower than those at the moderate site, regardless of origin. Negative effects of corallines originating from the extreme site persisted even after transplanting to more optimal conditions for 20 weeks. In the laboratory, we tested the separate and combined effects of stress and variability by exposing corallines from the same sites to either ambient (Amb: pH 8.04) or acidified (OA: pH 7.70) stable conditions or variable (Var: pH 7.80-8.10) or acidified variable (OA-Var: pH 7.45-7.75) conditions. There was a negative effect of all pH treatments on Lithophyllum sp. calcification rates relative to the control, with lower calcification rates in corallines from the extreme site than from the moderate site in each treatment, indicative of a legacy effect of site origin on subsequent response to laboratory treatment. Our study provides ecologically relevant context to understanding the nuanced effects of OA on crustose coralline algae, and illustrates how local environmental regimes may influence the effects of global change.
Calcification by calcified marine macroalgae is crucial to algal growth, and the formation and maintenance of coral reefs. It involves complex processes, such as the uptake, transport and storage of Ca2+, HCO3- or CO32-, and formation of crystals responsible for calcium depositions. Calcification is vulnerable to changes in global climate, including ocean acidification (OA) and warming (OW). Studies investigating the mechanisms of macroalgal calcification are limited and restricted to the physiology level; however, the application of new approaches, i.e. genomics, provide avenues for new understanding. We review the literature on macroalgal calcification from the physiological to the molecular level, and present in a list of key issues to be resolved in order to understand the mechanism of calcification. The review offers insights into the potential impacts of changing climate conditions on algal calcification to provide an accurate prediction of future changes in the reef ecosystems.
Symbiosis establishment is a milestone in the life cycles of most broadcast-spawning corals; however, it remains largely unknown how initial symbiont infection is affected by ocean warming and acidification, particularly for massive corals. This study investigated the combined effects of elevated temperature (29 vs. 31 °C) and pCO2 (~ 450 vs. ~ 1000 μatm) on the recruits of a widespread massive coral, Platygyra daedalea. Results showed that geometric diameter and symbiosis establishment were unaffected by high pCO2, while elevated temperature significantly reduced successful symbiont infection by 50% and retarded the geometric diameter by 6%. Although neither increased temperature, pCO2, nor their interaction affected survival or algal pigmentation of recruits, there was an inverse relationship between symbiont infection rates and survivorship, especially at high temperatures, possibly as a result of oxidative stress caused by algal symbionts under increased temperature. Intriguingly, the proportion of Durusdinium did not increase in recruits at 31 °C, while recruits reared under high pCO2 hosted less Breviolum and more Durusdinium, indicating a high degree of plasticity of early symbiosis and contrasting to the previous finding that heat stress usually leads to the prevalence of thermally tolerant Durusdinium in coral recruits. These results suggest that ocean warming is likely to be more deleterious for the early success of P. daedalea than ocean acidification and provide insights into our understanding of coral-algal symbiotic partnerships under future climatic conditions.
Negative interactions among species are a major force shaping natural communities and are predicted to strengthen as climate change intensifies. Similarly, positive interactions are anticipated to intensify and could buffer the consequences of climate-driven disturbances. We used in situ experiments at volcanic CO2 vents within a temperate rocky reef to show that ocean acidification can drive community reorganization through indirect and direct positive pathways. A keystone species, the algal-farming damselfish Parma alboscapularis, enhanced primary productivity through its weeding of algae whose productivity was also boosted by elevated CO2. The accelerated primary productivity was associated with increased densities of primary consumers (herbivorous invertebrates), which indirectly supported increased secondary consumers densities (predatory fish) (i.e. strengthening of bottom-up fuelling). However, this keystone species also reduced predatory fish densities through behavioural interference, releasing invertebrate prey from predation pressure and enabling a further boost in prey densities (i.e. weakening of top-down control). We uncover a novel mechanism where a keystone herbivore mediates bottom-up and top-down processes simultaneously to boost populations of a coexisting herbivore, resulting in altered food web interactions and predator populations under future ocean acidification.
Coral reef community composition, function, and resilience have been altered by natural and anthropogenic stressors. Future anthropogenic ocean and coastal acidification (together termed “acidification”) may exacerbate this reef degradation. Accurately predicting reef resilience requires an understanding of not only direct impacts of acidification on marine organisms but also indirect effects on species interactions that influence community composition and reef ecosystem functions. In this 28-day experiment, we assessed the effect of acidification on coral–algal, coral–sponge, and algal–sponge interactions. We quantified growth of corals (Siderastrea radians), fleshy macroalgae (Dictyota spp.), and sponges (Pione lampa) that were exposed to local summer ambient (603 μatm) or elevated (1105 μatm) pCO2 seawater. These species are common to hard-bottom communities, including shallow reefs, in the Florida Keys. Each individual was maintained in isolation or paired with another organism. Coral growth (net calcification) was similar across seawater pCO2 and interaction treatments. Fleshy macroalgae had increased biomass when paired with a sponge but lost biomass when growing in isolation or paired with coral. Sponges grew more volumetrically in the elevated seawater pCO2 treatment (i.e., under acidification conditions). Although these results are limited in temporal and spatial scales due to the experimental design, they do lend support to the hypothesis that acidification may facilitate a shift towards increased sponge and macroalgae abundance by directly benefiting sponge growth which in turn may provide more dissolved inorganic nitrogen to macroalgae in the Florida Keys.
Climate change leads to multiple effects caused by simultaneous shifts in several physical factors which will interact with species and ecosystems in complex ways. In marine systems the effects of climate change include altered salinity, increased temperature, and elevated pCO2 which are currently affecting and will continue to affect marine species and ecosystems. Seaweeds are primary producers and foundation species in coastal ecosystems, which are particularly vulnerable to climate change. The brown seaweed Fucus vesiculosus (bladderwrack) is an important foundation species in nearshore ecosystems throughout its natural range in the North Atlantic Ocean and the Baltic Sea. This study investigates how individual and interactive effects of temperature, salinity, and pCO2 affect F. vesiculosus, using a fully crossed experimental design. We assessed the effects on F. vesiculosus in terms of growth, biochemical composition (phlorotannin content, C:N ratio, and ∂13C), and susceptibility to the specialized grazer Littorina obtusata. We observed that elevated pCO2 had a positive effect on seaweed growth in ambient temperature, but not in elevated temperature, while growth increased in low salinity at ambient but not high temperature, regardless of pCO2-level. In parallel to the statistically significant, but relatively small, positive effects on F. vesiculosus growth, we found that the seaweeds became much more susceptible to grazing in elevated pCO2 and reduced salinity, regardless of temperature. Furthermore, the ability of the seaweeds to induce chemical defenses (phlorotannins) was strongly reduced by all the climate stressors. Seaweeds exposed to ambient conditions more than doubled their phlorotannin content in the presence of grazers, while seaweeds exposed to any single or combined stress conditions showed only minor increases in phlorotannin content, or none at all. Despite the minor positive effects on seaweed growth, the results of this study imply that climate change can strongly affect the ability of fucoid seaweeds to induce chemical defenses and increase their susceptibility to grazers. This will likely lead to widespread consequences under future climate conditions, considering the important role of F. vesiculosus and other fucoids in many coastal ecosystems.
Rapid evolution may provide a buffer against extinction risk for some species threatened by climate change; however, the capacity to evolve rapidly enough to keep pace with changing environments is unknown for most taxa. The ecosystem-level consequences of climate adaptation are likely to be the largest in marine ecosystems, where short-lived phytoplankton with large effective population sizes make up the bulk of primary production. However, there are substantial challenges to predicting climate-driven evolution in marine systems, including multiple simultaneous axes of change and considerable heterogeneity in rates of change, as well as the biphasic life cycles of many marine metazoans, which expose different life stages to disparate sources of selection. A critical tool for addressing these challenges is experimental evolution, where populations of organisms are directly exposed to controlled sources of selection to test evolutionary responses. We review the use of experimental evolution to test the capacity to adapt to climate change stressors in marine species. The application of experimental evolution in this context has grown dramatically in the past decade, shedding light on the capacity for evolution, associated trade-offs, and the genetic architecture of stress-tolerance traits. Our goal is to highlight the utility of this approach for investigating potential responses to climate change and point a way forward for future studies.
Studying the local impacts of natural marine discharges can help in understanding the local impacts of large-scale restoration programs. This paper reviews studies of naturally occurring CO2 rich hydrothermal vents to understand how nature responds. Venting CO2 raises both total DIC, and the CO2 partial pressure by a factor of 10 or 20 times, lowering the pH and the saturation state of calcium carbonate, impeding calcification by calcifying organisms.
The ocean is a relatively stable environment and significant changes to water chemistry caused by high levels of CO2 input impacts marine organisms. Many algae are able to survive and photosynthesise at low pH levels, and some may actually benefit from an increase in dissolved CO2. However, coralline and calcareous algae that form carbonate skeletons are negatively impacted at low pH. Ecologically and economically valuable marine flora such as kelp, seagrass and certain seaweeds can benefit from increased DIC, exhibiting increases in photosynthetic and growth rates. Kelp and seagrass may also increase local pH levels, creating refuges for calcifying marine species.
The calcification rates of Many marine invertebrates decrease with increasing pCO2. At sites closer to vent openings, with lower pH, the abundance and diversity of invertebrates is significantly reduced. This can impact species valuable to the fishery and aquaculture industry by directly affecting recruitment, growth and survivorship of species such as mussels and oysters and indirectly through reduced abundance of invertebrate prey for herring and mackerel. Corals are also negatively impacted by declining pH and calcium carbonate saturation, yet not all hard corals respond evenly. More resilient genera such as Porites can survive pH drops to approximately 7.8, however below this value reef development is virtually absent and the habitat is dominated by algae and soft corals.
Naturally occurring low pH sites are relatively common in the marine environment and though they clearly alter species composition and abundance, the locally lower pH does not kill marine life, and beyond dispersion zones species are unaffected. Global ocean acidification is a serious problem, however the impacts of local releases of CO2 are relatively limited, resulting in community shifts towards low pH tolerant species. Reversal of global ocean acidification is essential, and restoration of the oceans will require huge carbon dioxide removal (CDR) processes.
- Global climate change and local stressors are the main threats to reef-building organisms and habitats they build, such as rhodolith beds.
- Through an experimental essay and ecological niche modelling, we were able to determine the environmental factors that determine the distribution and affect the physiology of an important rhodolith-forming species in the southwestern Atlantic.
- Our results raise the possibility of some rhodolith-forming species being resilient to future environmental change based on our current understanding of their distributions, a perspective that will need to be further explored by future studies.
- This information is helpful in informing policies for the conservation of priority areas, aiding the preservation of marine biodiversity in the South Atlantic.
Given the ecological and biogeochemical importance of rhodolith beds, it is necessary to investigate how future environmental conditions will affect these organisms. We investigated the impacts of increased nutrient concentrations, acidification, and marine heatwaves on the performance of the rhodolith-forming species Lithothamnion crispatum in a short-term experiment, including the recovery of individuals after stressor removal. Furthermore, we developed an ecological niche model to establish which environmental conditions determine its current distribution along the Brazilian coast and to project responses to future climate scenarios. Although L. crispatum suffered a reduction in photosynthetic performance when exposed to stressors, they returned to pre-experiment values following the return of individuals to control conditions. The model showed that the most important variables in explaining the current distribution of L. crispatum on the Brazilian coast were maximum nitrate and temperature. In future ocean conditions, the model predicted a range expansion of habitat suitability for this species of approximately 58.5% under RCP 8.5. Physiological responses to experimental future environmental conditions corroborated model predictions of the expansion of this species’ habitat suitability in the future. This study, therefore, demonstrates the benefits of applying combined approaches to examine potential species responses to climate-change drivers from multiple angles.
- Seasonal variability of temperature under ambient or enriched CO2 conditions affect productivity in two model fleshy seaweeds, Ulva rigida and Gracilaria conferta.
- The growth of these seaweeds can be doubled when exposed to high CO2 concentrations.
- Maximal short-run profits were obtained at ca. 22.5 °C and 27.5 °C for U. rigida and G. conferta, respectively.
- Based on the seaweeds respond to external seasonal changes in temperature and CO2 concentration, farmers may decide what and where to grow seasonally.
By the end of the current century atmospheric CO2 concentration may reach 1000 ppm, more than twice the present level set at ca. 400 ppm. Marine macroalgae (seaweeds) contribute to global primary production and by taking up CO2 they may ameliorate and regulate global climate change. Seaweeds also have direct and indirect economic importance by providing food and bioactive compounds for human benefit. Nonetheless, all these benefits could be jeopardized by the ongoing pressures, both local and global, on marine environments. In this study we examine the effects of dissolved CO2 and seasonal seawater temperature on the growth rates (measured weekly changes in biomass and expressed on a daily basis) of two model species, Ulva rigida (Chlorophyta) and Gracilaria conferta (Rhodophyta), which are common in the intertidal zone of the Israeli Mediterranean Sea, and cultivated by the local seaweed industry. The seaweeds were grown in land-based 40 L fiberglass tanks fertilized with sufficient N and P, supplied with running seawater and continuous air bubbling to keep equal exposure of the seaweeds to nutrients and light. The tanks were also provided with aeration with regular air (ambient CO2, ~ 400 ppm) or CO2-enriched air (~780 ppm). Seaweeds exposed to CO2–enriched seawater grew faster, 32.5 and 8.5% growth per day for U. rigida and G. conferta, respectively. Following calculations of productivity rates, market price, and input cost, we estimate production and show a quadratic production function with respect to temperature for each CO2 concentration. Thus, there is an optimal temperature that maximizes seaweed output. Based on the production function estimates and using market prices, maximal short-run profits were obtained at ca. 22.5 °C and 27.5 °C for U. rigida and G. conferta, respectively. These results may provide useful information for seaweed growers on what and where to grow seasonally, and how farming activities should adapt to external changes in temperature and CO2 concentration.
This hands-on lab allows students to explore concepts and quantify effects of ocean acidification. Many laboratory activities simplify ocean acidification through computer simulations or dripping acid on nonliving materials (e.g., sea shells) but do not provide adequate opportunities for students to measure, inquire, or see real consequences for living organisms. Thus, we developed this low-cost, easily accessible experiment to imitate ocean acidification on living, calcifying organisms.
Uno de los factores que más influye las características químicas de un metal en solución es el nivel de acidez. El pH por lo tanto, afecta la reactividad del ion y por ende, su interacción con los puntos de unión de la pared celular de la planta. Este estudio evaluó el efecto del pH en la capacidad de bioacumulación de metales pesados en el alga roja Bostrychia calliptera (Rhodophyta, Rhodomelaceae), expuesta a diferentes rangos de pH. Se sometieron talos del alga a diferentes concentraciones de mercurio (Hg) y Plomo (Pb) a concentraciones desde: 0,1 hasta 10 mg l-1, para Hg y desde 0,1 hasta 15 mg l-1 para Pb, durante periodos exposición de 0, 12, 24 y 96 horas para cada ion, bajo diferentes niveles de pH. Las concentraciones de metal fueron determinadas por espectrofotometría de absorción atómica de acuerdo a los métodos estándar APHA. Las mayores tasas de acumulación se encontraron cuando el alga estaba expuesta a pH 7.8 (tanto para Hg como para Pb) el cual es un nivel de pH muy cercano al medido en el área de estudio. La concentración de metal en el alga se incrementó de manera lineal hasta las 48 hrs, tiempo donde se evidenció una mayor eficiencia de acumulación durante el primer intervalo del periodo del bioensayo.
The effects of seagrass on microalgal assemblages under experimentally elevated temperatures (28°C) and CO2 partial pressures (pCO2; 800 μatm) were examined using coral reef mesocosms. Concentrations of nitrate, ammonium, and benthic microalgal chlorophyll a (chl-a) were significantly higher in seagrass mesocosms, whereas phytoplankton chl-a concentrations were similar between seagrass and seagrass-free control mesocosms. In the seagrass group, fewer parasitic dinoflagellate OTUs (e.g., Syndiniales) were found in the benthic microalgal community though more symbiotic dinoflagellates (e.g., Cladocopium spp.) were quantified in the phytoplankton community. Our results suggest that, under ocean acidification conditions, the presence of seagrass nearby coral reefs may (1) enhance benthic primary productivity, (2) decrease parasitic dinoflagellate abundance, and (3) possibly increase the presence of symbiotic dinoflagellates.
After the industrial revolution, increasing anthropogenic CO2 emission causes a number of changes in seawater. These changes are known as ocean acidification and affect the seaweeds in various ways. Therefore, this study is aimed to determine the ecological succession of Ulva flexuosa Wulfen 1803 in future predicted CO2-induced low pH conditions alone and in combination with naturally relevant ultraviolet radiation (UVR). For this purpose, acidification experiments with and without UVR were conducted on U. flexuosa from the Mediterranean coast, and important physiological features of algae was investigated. In this study, the Fv/Fm ratios of U. flexuosa ranged from 0.718±0.01 to 0.754±0.009. While rETRmax values of samples exposed to elevated-CO2 were measured between 112.13 – 151.93 µmol e–m-2s-1, it was determined between 111.7 – 158.4 µmol e–m-2s-1 in samples exposed to ambient sea water. According to our results, increased CO2 concentration in seawater did not improve the photosynthetic efficiency of U. flexuosa. However, when the specimens were exposed to elevated-CO2, nitrate reductase activity of U. flexuosa was declined drastically. According to the results, it is suggested that the elevated CO2 may regulate the nitrogen preference of U. flexuosa. Besides, the data also show that U. flexuosa was not sensitive to UVR.
Elemental ratios in biogenic marine calcium carbonates are widely used in geobiology, environmental science, and paleoenvironmental reconstructions. It is generally accepted that the elemental abundance of biogenic marine carbonates reflects a combination of the abundance of that ion in seawater, the physical properties of seawater, the mineralogy of the biomineral, and the pathways and mechanisms of biomineralization. Here we report measurements of a suite of nine elemental ratios (Li/Ca, B/Ca, Na/Ca, Mg/Ca, Zn/Ca, Sr/Ca, Cd/Ca, Ba/Ca, and U/Ca) in 18 species of benthic marine invertebrates spanning a range of biogenic carbonate polymorph mineralogies (low-Mg calcite, high-Mg calcite, aragonite, mixed mineralogy) and of phyla (including Mollusca, Echinodermata, Arthropoda, Annelida, Cnidaria, Chlorophyta, and Rhodophyta) cultured at a single temperature (25°C) and a range of pCO2 treatments (ca. 409, 606, 903, and 2856 ppm). This dataset was used to explore various controls over elemental partitioning in biogenic marine carbonates, including species-level and biomineralization-pathway-level controls, the influence of internal pH regulation compared to external pH changes, and biocalcification responses to changes in seawater carbonate chemistry. The dataset also enables exploration of broad scale phylogenetic patterns of elemental partitioning across calcifying species, exhibiting high phylogenetic signals estimated from both uni- and multivariate analyses of the elemental ratio data (univariate: λ = 0–0.889; multivariate: λ = 0.895–0.99). Comparing partial R2 values returned from non-phylogenetic and phylogenetic regression analyses echo the importance of and show that phylogeny explains the elemental ratio data 1.4–59 times better than mineralogy in five out of nine of the elements analyzed. Therefore, the strong associations between biomineral elemental chemistry and species relatedness suggests mechanistic controls over element incorporation rooted in the evolution of biomineralization mechanisms.