We studied changes in sea water pH, temperature and salinity with focus on two depth layers, along the Gulf of Finland (the Baltic Sea) using long-term monitoring data from 1979 to 2015. Data from the most frequently sampled monitoring stations between western and eastern Gulf of Finland were used. The main result of the study reveals that pH has decreased both in surface and deep-water in the western Gulf of Finland with values ranging between −0.005 and −0.008 units year−1. We also demonstrate a rise in temperature (~2 °C) and decrease in salinity (~−0.7 g kg−1) at several stations over the last 36 years. In general, the changes are shown to be more pronounced in the western part of the gulf. This paper also stresses the importance of improving the sampling frequency and quality of monitoring measurements.
Posts Tagged 'Baltic'
Changes in wintertime pH and hydrography of the Gulf of Finland (Baltic Sea) with focus on depth layersPublished 15 March 2017 Science Leave a Comment
Tags: Baltic, chemistry, field
Tags: Baltic, biological response, fisheries, review, zooplankton
We summarize responses to and mechanisms by which zooplankton cope with climate change. Effects of ocean warming include altered phenology, body size reduction, decline of tropical zooplankton biomass, functional group shifts in Polar Regions, and poleward expansion of zooplankton distributions. Thermal specialists (zooplankton from tropical and Polar Regions) may already perform near their limits and will be more vulnerable to warming. Evolutionary adaptation may mitigate, but not always fully offset the adverse effects of warming; thus, dispersal may play a prevalent role in the future distribution of species. While direct negative effects of ocean acidification is largely confined to calcifying organisms, early life stages of noncalcifying species (e.g., copepods, fish larvae) are susceptible to sublethal effects, particularly in combination with increasing temperature. Evidence is emerging for a large adaptation potential to hypercapnia in zooplankton. Hypoxia negatively affects physiology and life history traits. Despite zooplankton physiological and behavioral adaptations to hypoxia, shoaling of hypoxic waters likely increases predation mortality. Combined effects of warming, hypercapnia and hypoxia are poorly characterized or understood, but will likely depress performance and narrow the thermal performance curve. Climate change could result in different kinds of mismatches between zooplankton and fish larvae, i.e., (i) temporal, (ii) spatial, (iii) bioenergetic, and (iv) evolutionary mistmatches that individually or in combination, would result in altered larval fish growth and survival. Linkages between climate, zooplankton and fisheries are explored using the Baltic Sea as a case study.
Tags: abundance, Baltic, biological response, BRcommunity, community composition, laboratory, mesocosms, multiple factors, otherprocess, primary production, prokaryotes, temperature
In contrast to clear stimulatory effects of rising temperature, recent studies of the effects of CO2 on planktonic bacteria have reported conflicting results. To better understand the potential impact of predicted climate scenarios on the development and performance of bacterial communities, we performed bifactorial mesocosm experiments (pCO2 and temperature) with Baltic Sea water, during a diatom dominated bloom in autumn and a mixed phytoplankton bloom in summer. The development of bacterial community composition (BCC) followed well-known algal bloom dynamics. A principal coordinate analysis (PCoA) of bacterial OTUs (operational taxonomic units) revealed that phytoplankton succession and temperature were the major variables structuring the bacterial community whereas the impact of pCO2 was weak. Prokaryotic abundance and carbon production, and organic matter concentration and composition were partly affected by temperature but not by increased pCO2. However, pCO2 did have significant and potentially direct effects on the relative abundance of several dominant OTUs; in some cases, these effects were accompanied by an antagonistic impact of temperature. Our results suggest the necessity of high-resolution BCC analyses and statistical analyses at the OTU level to detect the strong impact of CO2 on specific bacterial groups, which in turn might also influence specific organic matter degradation processes.
The influence of CO2 enrichment on net photosynthesis of seagrass Zostera marina in a brackish water environmentPublished 21 February 2017 Science Leave a Comment
Tags: Baltic, biological response, field, light, mesocosms, multiple factors, phanerogams, photosynthesis, temperature
Seagrasses are distributed across the globe and their communities may play key roles in the coastal ecosystems. Seagrass meadows are expected to benefit from the increased carbon availability which might be used in photosynthesis in a future high CO2 world. The main aim of this study was to examine the effect of elevated pCO2 on the net photosynthesis of seagrass Zostera marina in a brackish water environment. The short-term mesocosm experiments were conducted in Kõiguste Bay (northern part of Gulf of Riga, the Baltic Sea) in June–July 2013 and 2014. As the levels of pCO2 naturally range from ca. 150 μatm to well above 1000 μatm under summer conditions in Kõiguste Bay we chose to operate in mesocosms with the pCO2 levels of ca. 2000, ca. 1000, and ca. 200 μatm. Additionally, in 2014 the photosynthesis of Z. marina was measured outside of the mesocosm in the natural conditions. In the shallow coastal Baltic Sea seagrass Z. marina lives in a highly variable environment due to seasonality and rapid changes in meteorological conditions. This was demonstrated by the remarkable differences in water temperatures between experimental years of ca. 8°C. Thus, the current study also investigated the effect of elevated pCO2 in combination with short-term natural fluctuations of environmental factors, i.e., temperature and PAR on the photosynthesis of Z. marina. Our results show that elevated pCO2 alone did not enhance the photosynthesis of the seagrass. The photosynthetic response of Z. marina to CO2 enrichment was affected by changes in water temperature and light availability.
Intra-population variability of ocean acidification impacts on the physiology of Baltic blue mussels (Mytilus edulis): integrating tissue and organism responsePublished 9 February 2017 Science Leave a Comment
Tags: adaptation, Baltic, biological response, laboratory, mollusks, mortality, otherprocess, physiology, respiration
Increased maintenance costs at cellular, and consequently organism level, are thought to be involved in shaping the sensitivity of marine calcifiers to ocean acidification (OA). Yet, knowledge of the capacity of marine calcifiers to undergo metabolic adaptation is sparse. In Kiel Fjord, blue mussels thrive despite periodically high seawater PCO2, making this population interesting for studying metabolic adaptation under OA. Consequently, we conducted a multi-generation experiment and compared physiological responses of F1 mussels from ‘tolerant’ and ‘sensitive’ families exposed to OA for 1 year. Family classifications were based on larval survival; tolerant families settled at all PCO2 levels (700, 1120, 2400 µatm) while sensitive families did not settle at the highest PCO2 (≥99.8% mortality). We found similar filtration rates between family types at the control and intermediate PCO2 level. However, at 2400 µatm, filtration and metabolic scope of gill tissue decreased in tolerant families, indicating functional limitations at the tissue level. Routine metabolic rates (RMR) and summed tissue respiration (gill and outer mantle tissue) of tolerant families were increased at intermediate PCO2, indicating elevated cellular homeostatic costs in various tissues. By contrast, OA did not affect tissue and routine metabolism of sensitive families. However, tolerant mussels were characterised by lower RMR at control PCO2 than sensitive families, which had variable RMR. This might provide the energetic scope to cover increased energetic demands under OA, highlighting the importance of analysing intra-population variability. The mechanisms shaping such difference in RMR and scope, and thus species’ adaptation potential, remain to be identified.
Tags: abundance, Baltic, biological response, BRcommunity, chemistry, community composition, communityMF, field, mesocosms, multiple factors, otherprocess, primary production, prokaryotes, temperature
Aquatic bacteria are main drivers of biogeochemical cycles and contribute predominantly to organic matter and nutrient recycling. As a high biodiversity is assumed to stabilize ecosystem functioning, it is necessary to understand the bacterial community dynamics and their structuring factors. It is known that different taxa are dominant across different habitats and seasons. This indicates an occurrence of species sorting by community structuring environmental factors. A first attempt for the understanding of bacterial distribution is to test for a correlation between microbial composition and measured environmental variables. In order to get further insights into the impact of environmental factors on bacterial communities, this thesis assessed the influence of major structuring drivers by using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing, bacterial bulk parameters and interdisciplinary approaches in laboratory experiments and field studies.
In a field study in the Benguela upwelling system, the influence of different levels of primary production and the planktonic succession on bacterial community composition and its development was investigated. Community analysis revealed a clustering of different microbial assemblages along aging upwelled water. This zonation was mainly driven by phytoplankton composition and abundance and the spatial differences were comparable with a temporal succession that occurs during phytoplankton blooms in temperate coastal waters. A dominance of Bacteroidetes and Gammaproteobacteria was observed during algal blooming and high abundance of “Pelagibacterales” was found in regions with low algal abundance. Overall, this study highlightes the strong impact of quality and quantity of phytoplankton and nutrients on the bacterial communities.
A laboratory experiment with Baltic Sea water was performed to better understand the potential impact of rising temperature and CO2 on planktonic bacteria. The development of the bacterial community composition was followed in bifactorial mesocosm experiments during a diatom bloom in autumn and a phytoplankton bloom in summer. The results confirmed that phytoplankton succession and temperature were the major variables structuring the bacterial community. The impact of CO2 on the broad community was weak but high-resolution community analyses revealed a strong effect on specific bacterial groups, which might play important roles in specific organic matter degradation processes.
The response of bacterial communities to a disturbance by a saline intrusion could be investigated during a major Baltic inflow event. Community structuring factors were dominated by mixing of the inflow water with the former bottom water. Although the inflow had a selecting effect on the bacterial community, some immigrated taxa showed increased potential activity and seem to profit from changing environmental conditions. These results suggest a potential impact of inflow events on bacterial functions and therefore on biogeochemical processes.
Altogether, the results confirm the strong structuring effects of environmental conditions on bacterial community composition. Furthermore, high-resolution sequencing enabled an identification of specific affected taxa, which in turn give first clues for the impact of the investigated factors on specific bacterial functions.
Ciliate and mesozooplankton community response to increasing CO2 levels in the Baltic Sea: insights from a large-scale mesocosm experiment (update)Published 30 January 2017 Science Leave a Comment
Tags: abundance, Baltic, biogeochemistry, biological response, BRcommunity, community composition, crustaceans, field, mesocosms, mollusks, otherprocess, zooplankton
Community approaches to investigating ocean acidification (OA) effects suggest a high tolerance of micro- and mesozooplankton to carbonate chemistry changes expected to occur within this century. Plankton communities in the coastal areas of the Baltic Sea frequently experience pH variations partly exceeding projections for the near future both on a diurnal and seasonal basis. We conducted a large-scale mesocosm CO2 enrichment experiment ( ∼ 55 m3) enclosing the natural plankton community in Tvärminne–Storfjärden for 8 weeks during June–August 2012 and studied community and species–taxon response of ciliates and mesozooplankton to CO2 elevations expected for this century. In addition to the response to fCO2, we also considered temperature and chlorophyll a variations in our analyses. Shannon diversity of ciliates significantly decreased with fCO2 and temperature with a greater dominance of smaller species. The mixotrophic Myrionecta rubra seemed to indirectly and directly benefit from higher CO2 concentrations in the post-bloom phase through increased occurrence of picoeukaryotes (most likely Cryptophytes) and Dinophyta at higher CO2 levels. With respect to mesozooplankton, we did not detect significant effects for either total abundance or for Shannon diversity. The cladocera Bosmina sp. occurred at distinctly higher abundance for a short time period during the second half of the experiment in three of the CO2-enriched mesocosms except for the highest CO2 level. The ratio of Bosmina sp. with empty to embryo- or resting-egg-bearing brood chambers, however, was significantly affected by CO2, temperature, and chlorophyll a. An indirect CO2 effect via increased food availability (Cyanobacteria) stimulating Bosmina sp. reproduction cannot be ruled out. Although increased regenerated primary production diminishes trophic transfer in general, the presence of organisms able to graze on bacteria such as cladocerans may positively impact organic matter transfer to higher trophic levels. Thus, under increasing OA in cladoceran-dominated mesozooplankton communities, the importance of the microbial loop in the pelagic zone may be temporarily enhanced and carbon transfer to higher trophic levels may be stimulated.