Posts Tagged 'Arctic'

Mitochondrial acclimation potential to ocean acidification and warming of Polar cod (Boreogadus saida) and Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua)

Background

Ocean acidification and warming are happening fast in the Arctic but little is known about the effects of ocean acidification and warming on the physiological performance and survival of Arctic fish.

Results

In this study we investigated the metabolic background of performance through analyses of cardiac mitochondrial function in response to control and elevated water temperatures and PCO2 of two gadoid fish species, Polar cod (Boreogadus saida), an endemic Arctic species, and Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua), which is a temperate to cold eurytherm and currently expanding into Arctic waters in the wake of ocean warming. We studied their responses to the above-mentioned drivers and their acclimation potential through analysing the cardiac mitochondrial function in permeabilised cardiac muscle fibres after 4 months of incubation at different temperatures (Polar cod: 0, 3, 6, 8 °C and Atlantic cod: 3, 8, 12, 16 °C), combined with exposure to present (400μatm) and year 2100 (1170μatm) levels of CO2.

OXPHOS, proton leak and ATP production efficiency in Polar cod were similar in the groups acclimated at 400μatm and 1170μatm of CO2, while incubation at 8 °C evoked increased proton leak resulting in decreased ATP production efficiency and decreased Complex IV capacity. In contrast, OXPHOS of Atlantic cod increased with temperature without compromising the ATP production efficiency, whereas the combination of high temperature and high PCO2 depressed OXPHOS and ATP production efficiency.

Conclusions

Polar cod mitochondrial efficiency decreased at 8 °C while Atlantic cod mitochondria were more resilient to elevated temperature; however, this resilience was constrained by high PCO2. In line with its lower habitat temperature and higher degree of stenothermy, Polar cod has a lower acclimation potential to warming than Atlantic cod.

Continue reading ‘Mitochondrial acclimation potential to ocean acidification and warming of Polar cod (Boreogadus saida) and Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua)’

Export of calcium carbonate corrosive waters from the East Siberian Sea (update)

The Siberian shelf seas are areas of extensive biogeochemical transformation of organic matter, both of marine and terrestrial origin. This in combination with brine production from sea ice formation results in a cold bottom water of relative high salinity and partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO2). Data from the SWERUS-C3 expedition compiled on the icebreaker Oden in July to September 2014 show the distribution of such waters at the outer shelf, as well as their export into the deep central Arctic basins. Very high pCO2 water, up to ∼ 1000 µatm, was observed associated with high nutrients and low oxygen concentrations. Consequently, this water had low saturation state with respect to calcium carbonate down to less than 0.8 for calcite and 0.5 for aragonite. Waters undersaturated in aragonite were also observed in the surface in waters at equilibrium with atmospheric CO2; however, at these conditions the cause of under-saturation was low salinity from river runoff and/or sea ice melt. The calcium carbonate corrosive water was observed all along the continental margin and well out into the deep Makarov and Canada basins at a depth from about 50 m depth in the west to about 150 m in the east. These waters of low aragonite saturation state are traced in historic data to the Canada Basin and in the waters flowing out of the Arctic Ocean north of Greenland and in the western Fram Strait, thus potentially impacting the marine life in the North Atlantic Ocean.

Continue reading ‘Export of calcium carbonate corrosive waters from the East Siberian Sea (update)’

Oceanography: Ocean acidification without borders

The marine carbonate system is changing as uptake of CO2 from the atmosphere causes ocean acidification. Now, analysis of repeat observations demonstrates that the rate and extent of Arctic Ocean acidification is enhanced through increased transport from the North Pacific.

Continue reading ‘Oceanography: Ocean acidification without borders’

Increase in acidifying water in the western Arctic Ocean

The uptake of anthropogenic CO2 by the ocean decreases seawater pH and carbonate mineral aragonite saturation state (Ωarag), a process known as Ocean Acidification (OA). This can be detrimental to marine organisms and ecosystems1, 2. The Arctic Ocean is particularly sensitive to climate change3 and aragonite is expected to become undersaturated (Ωarag < 1) there sooner than in other oceans4. However, the extent and expansion rate of OA in this region are still unknown. Here we show that, between the 1990s and 2010, low Ωarag waters have expanded northwards at least 5°, to 85° N, and deepened 100 m, to 250 m depth. Data from trans-western Arctic Ocean cruises show that Ωarag < 1 water has increased in the upper 250 m from 5% to 31% of the total area north of 70° N. Tracer data and model simulations suggest that increased Pacific Winter Water transport, driven by an anomalous circulation pattern and sea-ice retreat, is primarily responsible for the expansion, although local carbon recycling and anthropogenic CO2 uptake have also contributed. These results indicate more rapid acidification is occurring in the Arctic Ocean than the Pacific and Atlantic oceans5, 6, 7, 8, with the western Arctic Ocean the first open-ocean region with large-scale expansion of ‘acidified’ water directly observed in the upper water column.

Continue reading ‘Increase in acidifying water in the western Arctic Ocean’

Spatial and temporal controls on the inorganic carbon system of the Western Arctic Ocean

The Arctic Ocean plays a critical role in the global carbon cycle. It is believed to be particularly sensitive to the effects of climate change, is already undergoing dramatic changes, and is therefore important to study in that context. Most studies of the inorganic carbon system in the Western Arctic focus on hydrographic datasets from summer and/or fall (July-October), and do not consider the full response of the system to the timing of ice retreat, organic matter production and remineralization, and ice advance. Here we present the first dataset to investigate the spatial and temporal controls on the inorganic carbon system from early spring (pre-phytoplankton), late spring (initial phytoplankton bloom), summer (post-bloom), and fall in 2014. Our results suggest that the timing of ice retreat has important implications for the length of the phytoplankton growing season, and thus influences the magnitude of biological carbon cycling. We extend our analysis to include high-resolution temporal estimates of air-sea CO2 flux, and estimate a total annual CO2 uptake in the Chukchi Sea of ~7.7 Tg C. This is the first dataset to evaluate the importance of different seasonal observations within one year on the annual uptake of CO2 in the western Arctic Ocean. Our results show that extrapolations from one observational dataset result in large over- or underestimations of annual CO2 flux.

Continue reading ‘Spatial and temporal controls on the inorganic carbon system of the Western Arctic Ocean’

Future harvest of living resources in the Arctic Ocean north of the Nordic and Barents Seas: A review of possibilities and constraints

Global warming drives changes in oceanographic conditions in the Arctic Ocean and the adjacent continental slopes. This may result in favourable conditions for increased biological production in waters at the northern continental shelves. However, production in the central Arctic Ocean will continue to be limited by the amount of light and by vertical stratification reducing nutrient availability. Upwelling conditions due to topography and inflowing warm and nutrient rich Atlantic Water may result in high production in areas along the shelf breaks. This may particularly influence distribution and abundance of sea mammals, as can be seen from analysis of historical records of hunting. The species composition and biomass of plankton, fish and shellfish may be influenced by acidification due to increased carbon dioxide uptake in the water, thereby reducing the survival of some species. Northwards shift in the distribution of commercial species of fish and shellfish is observed in the Barents Sea, especially in the summer period, and is related to increased inflow of Atlantic Water and reduced ice cover. This implies a northward extension of boreal species and potential displacement of lipid-rich Arctic zooplankton, altering the distribution of organisms that depend on such prey. However, euphausiid stocks expanding northward into the Arctic Ocean may be a valuable food resource as they may benefit from increases in Arctic phytoplankton production and rising water temperatures. Even though no scenario modelling or other prediction analyses have been made, both scientific ecosystem surveys in the northern areas, as well as the fisheries show indications of a recent northern expansion of mackerel (Scomber scombrus), cod (Gadus morhua), haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) and capelin (Mallotus villosus). These stocks are found as far north as the shelf-break north of Svalbard. Greenland halibut (Reinhardtius hippoglossoides), redfish (Sebastes spp.) and shrimp (Pandalus borealis) are also present in the slope waters between the Barents Sea and the Arctic Ocean. It is assumed that cod and haddock have reached their northernmost limit, whereas capelin and redfish have potential to expand their distribution further into the Arctic Ocean. Common minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) and harp seals (Pagophilus groenlandicus) may also be able to expand their distribution into the Arctic Ocean. The abundance and distribution of other species may change as well – to what degree is unknown.

Continue reading ‘Future harvest of living resources in the Arctic Ocean north of the Nordic and Barents Seas: A review of possibilities and constraints’

Metabolic response of Arctic pteropods to ocean acidification and warming during the polar night/twilight phase in Kongsfjord (Spitsbergen)

Thecosome pteropods are considered highly sensitive to ocean acidification. During the Arctic winter, increased solubility of CO2 in cold waters intensifies ocean acidification and food sources are limited. Ocean warming is also particularly pronounced in the Arctic. Here, we present the first data on metabolic rates of two pteropod species (Limacina helicina, Limacina retroversa) during the Arctic winter at 79°N (polar night/twilight phase). Routine oxygen consumption rates and the metabolic response [oxygen consumption (MO2), ammonia excretion (NH3), overall metabolic balance (O:N)] to elevated levels of pCO2 and temperature were examined. Our results suggest lower routine MO2 rates for both Limacina species in winter than in summer. In an 18-h experiment, both pCO2 and temperature affected MO2 of L. helicina and L. retroversa. After a 9-day experiment with L. helicina all three metabolic response variables were affected by the two factors with interactive effects in case of NH3 and O:N. The response resembled a “hormesis-type” pattern with up-regulation at intermediate pCO2 and the highest temperature level. For L. retroversa, NH3 excretion was affected by both factors and O:N only by temperature. No significant effects of pCO2 or temperature on MO2 were detected. Metabolic up-regulation will entail higher energetic costs that may not be covered during periods of food limitation such as the Arctic winter and compel pteropods to utilize storage compounds to a greater extent than usual. This may reduce the fitness and survival of overwintering pteropods and negatively impact their reproductive success in the following summer.

Continue reading ‘Metabolic response of Arctic pteropods to ocean acidification and warming during the polar night/twilight phase in Kongsfjord (Spitsbergen)’


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