Posts Tagged 'BRcommunity'

Clam feeding plasticity reduces herbivore vulnerability to ocean warming and acidification

Ocean warming and acidification affect species populations, but how interactions within communities are affected and how this translates into ecosystem functioning and resilience remain poorly understood. Here we demonstrate that experimental ocean warming and acidification significantly alters the interaction network among porewater nutrients, primary producers, herbivores and burrowing invertebrates in a seafloor sediment community, and is linked to behavioural plasticity in the clam Scrobicularia plana. Warming and acidification induced a shift in the clam’s feeding mode from predominantly suspension feeding under ambient conditions to deposit feeding with cascading effects on nutrient supply to primary producers. Surface-dwelling invertebrates were more tolerant to warming and acidification in the presence of S. plana, most probably due to the stimulatory effect of the clam on their microalgal food resources. This study demonstrates that predictions of population resilience to climate change require consideration of non-lethal effects such as behavioural changes of key species.

Continue reading ‘Clam feeding plasticity reduces herbivore vulnerability to ocean warming and acidification’

The effect of elevated CO2 on the production and respiration of a Sargassum thunbergii community: a mesocosm study

Approximately one‐third of anthropogenic carbon dioxide is absorbed into the ocean and causes it to become more acidic. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggested that the surface ocean pH, by the year 2100, would drop by a further 0.3 and 0.4 pH units under RCP (Representative Concentration Pathway) 6.0 and 8.5 climate scenarios. The macroalgae communities that consisted of Sargassum thunbergii and naturally attached epibionts were exposed to fluctuations of ambient and manipulated pH (0.3–0.4 units below ambient pH). The production and respiration in S. thunbergii communities were calculated from dissolved oxygen time‐series recorded with optical dissolved oxygen sensors. The pH, irradiance, and dissolved oxygen occurred in parallel with diurnal (day/night) patterns. According to net mesocosm production – photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) model, the saturation and compensation PAR, the mean maximum gross mesocosm production (GMP), and daily mesocosm respiration were higher in the CO2 enrichment, than in the ambient condition, while the mean of photosynthetic coefficient was similar. In conclusion, elevated CO2 stimulated oxygen production and consumption of S. thunbergii communities in the mesocosm. Furthermore, the sensitivity of the GMP of the S. thunbergii community to irradiance was reduced, and achieved maximum production rate at higher PAR. These positive responses to CO2 enrichment suggest that S. thunbergii communities may thrive in under high CO2 conditions.

Continue reading ‘The effect of elevated CO2 on the production and respiration of a Sargassum thunbergii community: a mesocosm study’

Impact of ocean acidification on the intestinal microbiota of the marine sea bream (Sparus aurata L.)

Within a scenario of increasing atmospheric CO2 and ocean acidification (OA), it is highly relevant to investigate its impacts not only on fish performance but also on fish intestinal microbiome and how that reflects on host performance and health. The main objective of this study was to establish if the intestinal microbiota of the sea bream (Sparus aurata) was affected by high level of CO2 in line with the predictions for this century. The bacterial communities of the intestinal fluid were characterized in animals kept at the present-day level of CO2 (400 μatm) and in animals switched to high CO2 (1200 μatm) for 1 month. Bacterial taxa identification was based on molecular methods, using the DNA coding for the 16S ribosomal RNA and primers targeting the regions V1–V3. Amplicons obtained from DNA samples of animals in the same tank were combined, cloned to obtain a bacterial DNA library, and the clones were sequenced. No significant differences were found between the two treatments for alpha diversity. However, beta diversity analysis revealed distinct dysbiosis in response to hypercapnia, with phylum Firmicutes absent from the bacterial communities of fish exposed to 1200 μatm CO2, whereas Proteobacteria relative abundance was increased at elevated CO2, due to the presence of Gammaproteobacteria (Vibrionaceae and Alteromonadaceae), a class not present in the control samples. This study provides a first glimpse at the impact of OA in fish intestinal microbiota and highlights potential downstream effects to the general condition of fishes under hypercapnia.

Continue reading ‘Impact of ocean acidification on the intestinal microbiota of the marine sea bream (Sparus aurata L.)’

Epibenthos dynamics and environmental fluctuations in two contrasting polar carbonate factories (Mosselbukta and Bjørnøy-Banken, Svalbard)

The Arctic Svalbard Archipelago hosts the world’s northernmost cold-water ‘carbonate factories’ thriving here despite of presumably unfavourable environmental conditions and extreme seasonality. Two contrasting sites of intense biogenic carbonate production, the rhodolith beds in Mosselbukta in the north of the archipelago and the barnacle-mollusc dominated carbonate sediments accumulating in the strong hydrodynamic regime of the Bjørnøy-Banken south of Spitsbergen, were the targets of the RV Maria S. Merian cruise 55 in June 2016. By integrating data from physical oceanography, marine biology, and marine geology, the present contribution characterises the environmental setting and biosedimentary dynamics of these two polar carbonate factories. Repetitive CTD profiling in concert with autonomous temperature/salinity loggers on a long-term settlement platform identified spatiotemporal patterns in the involved Atlantic and Polar water masses, whereas short-term deployments of a lander revealed fluctuations of environmental variables in the rhodolith beds in Mosselbukta and at same depth (46 m) at Bjørnøy-Banken. At both sites, dissolved inorganic nutrients in the water column were found depleted (except for elevated ammonium concentrations) and show an overall increase in concentration and N:P ratios toward deeper waters. This indicates that a recycling system was fuelling primary production after the phytoplankton spring bloom at the time of sampling in June 2016. Accordingly, oxygen levels were found elevated and carbon dioxide concentrations (pCO2) markedly reduced, on average only half the expected equilibrium values. Backed up by seawater stable carbon and oxygen isotope signatures, this is interpreted as an effect of limited air-sea gas exchange during seasonal ice cover in combination with a boost in community photosynthesis during the spring phytoplankton bloom. The observed trends are enhanced by the onset of rhodophyte photosynthesis in the rhodolith beds during the polar day upon retreat of sea-ice. Potential adverse effects of ocean acidification on the local calcifier community are thus predicted to be seasonally buffered by the marked drop in pCO2 during the phase of sea-ice cover and spring phyto-plankton bloom, but this effect will diminish should the seasonal sea-ice formation continue to decline. Among the 25 macrobenthos taxa identified from images captured by the lander’s camera system, all but three species were calcifiers contributing to the carbonate production. Biodiversity was found to be much higher in Mosselbukta (21 taxa) compared to Bjørnøy-Banken (8 taxa), which is considered as a result of enhanced habitat diversity provided in the rhodolith beds by the bioengineering crustose alga Lithothamnion glaciale. Filter-feeding activity of selected key species did reveal group-specific but no common activity patterns. Biotic disturbance of the filtering activity was common, in contrast to abiotic factors, with hermit crabs representing the primary trigger. Motion tracking of rhodoliths revealed a high frequency of dislocation, triggered not by abiotic factors but by the activity of benthic invertebrates, in particular echinoids ploughing below or moving over the rhodoliths. The echinoid Strongylocentrotus sp. is the most abundant component of the associated fauna, thereby considerably contributing both to carbonate production and to grazing bioerosion. Together, these results portray a high degree of seasonal as well as short-term dynamics in environmental conditions that despite many similarities support distinctly different communities and biodiversity patterns in the calcifying macrobenthos at the two studied polar carbonate factories.

Continue reading ‘Epibenthos dynamics and environmental fluctuations in two contrasting polar carbonate factories (Mosselbukta and Bjørnøy-Banken, Svalbard)’

Season affects strength and direction of the interactive impacts of ocean warming and biotic stress in a coastal seaweed ecosystem

The plea for using more “realistic,” community‐level, investigations to assess the ecological impacts of global change has recently intensified. Such experiments are typically more complex, longer, more expensive, and harder to interpret than simple organism‐level benchtop experiments. Are they worth the extra effort? Using outdoor mesocosms, we investigated the effects of ocean warming (OW) and acidification (OA), their combination (OAW), and their natural fluctuations on coastal communities of the western Baltic Sea during all four seasons. These communities are dominated by the perennial and canopy‐forming macrophyte Fucus vesiculosus—an important ecosystem engineer Baltic‐wide. We, additionally, assessed the direct response of organisms to temperature and pH in benchtop experiments, and examined how well organism‐level responses can predict community‐level responses to the dominant driver, OW. OW affected the mesocosm communities substantially stronger than acidification. OW provoked structural and functional shifts in the community that differed in strength and direction among seasons. The organism‐level response to OW matched well the community‐level response of a given species only under warm and cold thermal stress, that is, in summer and winter. In other seasons, shifts in biotic interactions masked the direct OW effects. The combination of direct OW effects and OW‐driven shifts of biotic interactions is likely to jeopardize the future of the habitat‐forming macroalga F. vesiculosus in the Baltic Sea. Furthermore, we conclude that seasonal mesocosm experiments are essential for our understanding of global change impact because they take into account the important fluctuations of abiotic and biotic pressures.

Continue reading ‘Season affects strength and direction of the interactive impacts of ocean warming and biotic stress in a coastal seaweed ecosystem’

Influence of physico-chemical parameters and pCO2 concentration on mangroves-associated polychaetes at Pichavaram, southeast coast of India

Studies related to partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO2) concentration linking with polychaete diversity in mangrove ecosystems are limited in time and space. Therefore, the present study was conducted during July 2017–June 2018 on a monthly interval and reported the concentration of pCO2 coupled with physico-chemical parameters in relation to polychaetes diversity in Pichavaram mangroves ecosystem, southeast coast of India. Totally, 41 species were identified and the most dominant species were Prionospio cirrifera, P. cirrobranchiata, P. sexoculata, Prionospio sp. and Capitella capitata. Among the stations, higher polychaete diversity was found in marine zone compared to other zones. The correlation reflected a significant positive linear relationship between dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), dissolved organic carbon (DOC), particulate organic carbon (POC) and CO2 versus pCO2. The carbon species DIC, DOC, POC and pCO2 concentration ranged from 1100.1 to 2053.3(µmol/kg), 165.7–1954.0(µmol/kg), 4.5–89.2(µmol/kg) and 184.7–3763.1(µatm), respectively. Further, the statistical analyses revealed that there was a strong correlation among carbon species with distribution of polychaete species in various zones of mangroves and thus indicating pivotal role in occurrence of polychaetes in mangroves.

Continue reading ‘Influence of physico-chemical parameters and pCO2 concentration on mangroves-associated polychaetes at Pichavaram, southeast coast of India’

Epibenthic community variation along an acidified tropical estuarine system

The benthic communities associated with hard substrata in tropical estuaries (rocky surfaces and mangrove roots) are underexplored compared to sediment-associated communities. Being unaffected by within-sediment chemistry, rocky surface communities are exposed to water-column chemistry. Natural and anthropogenic acidic inflows into estuaries are common, yet understanding of how low pH estuarine water impacts communities is limited. This study investigated variation in a rocky substratum benthic community along a steep pH and carbonate saturation gradient in a tropical estuary. Samples (n=72) samples were collected from four stations in the Brunei estuarine system, South East Asia (pH 5.78 – 8.1, salinity 0.1 – 29.5 psu). Species richness, diversity and abundance were greatest at the seaward end of the estuary (where pH and salinity were high), reduced in the middle estuary, and relatively high again in the upper estuary. A total of 34 species were recorded, with station abundances varying between 95 and 336 individuals/100 cm2. At a coarse taxonomic level (class/order), multivariate analyses revealed three distinct communities, a tanaid–polychaete dominated community, a mussel–dipteran community, and a mussel–amphipod–dipteran community. The observed shift from amphipod-dominance to polychaete-dominance along a decreasing pH gradient is consistent with the community changes seen in open ocean systems influenced by elevated pCO2. This study is the first description of community structure variation for hard-substratum invertebrates in an old-world tropical estuary. It shows that acidified estuaries offer insights into community-level responses to marine acidification in general.

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Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book