Posts Tagged 'calcification'

Calcium carbonate (CaCO3) sediment dissolution under elevated concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrate (NO3−)

Ocean acidification (OA), attributed to the sequestration of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) into the surface ocean, and coastal eutrophication, attributed in part to land-use change and terrestrial runoff of fertilizers, have received recent attention in an experimental framework examining the effects of each on coral reef net ecosystem calcification (Gnet). However, OA and eutrophication in conjunction have yet to receive attention from the perspective of coral reef sediment dissolution. To address this omission, CO2 and nitrate (NO3−) addition experiments were performed in Mo’orea, French Polynesia. Incubation chambers were used to measure sediment Gnet during the day and night under three different [NO3−] (0, 9.8, and 19.7 μM) that were nested within four separate constructed coral reef communities maintained at different PCO2 levels (417, 721, 1030, and 1333 μatm, respectively). PCO2 negatively affected sediment Gnetduring the day and night, resulting in a shift to diel net dissolution at a PCO2 of 1030 μatm. Elevated NO3− alone, and the combination of NO3− and PCO2, both negatively affected sediment Gnet at night. However, the response of Gnet to NO3− was less clear during the day, where diurnal sediment Gnet was enhanced under the combined treatment of elevated NO3− and PCO2, resulting in no net effect of NO3− on sediment Gnet on diel timescales. Overall, these results show that ocean acidification represents a greater threat to the balance of calcification and dissolution in Mo’orea’s back reef sediment communities than the potential impact of NO3− enrichment on relatively short timescales.

Continue reading ‘Calcium carbonate (CaCO3) sediment dissolution under elevated concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrate (NO3−)’

Effects of acidified seawater on calcification, photosynthetic efficiencies and the recovery processes from strong light exposure in the coral Stylophora pistillata

The aim of this study was to investigate whether coral photosynthetic efficiencies and recovery processes are affected by CO2-driven ocean acidification in symbiont photosynthesis and coral calcification. We investigated the effects of five CO2 partial pressure (pCO2) levels in adjusted seawater ranging from 300 μatm (pre-industrial) to 800 μatm (near-future) and strong and weak light intensity on maximum photosynthetic efficiency and calcification of a branching coral, Stylophora pistillata, as this species has often been used in rearing experiments to investigate the effects of acidified seawater on calcification and photosynthetic algae of corals. We found that, the photosynthetic efficiencies and recovery patterns under different light conditions did not differ among pCO2 treatments. Furthermore, calcification of S. pistillata was not affected by acidified seawater under weak or strong light conditions. Our results indicate that the photosynthetic efficiency and calcification of S. pistillata are insensitive to changes in ocean acidity.

Continue reading ‘Effects of acidified seawater on calcification, photosynthetic efficiencies and the recovery processes from strong light exposure in the coral Stylophora pistillata’

Calcifying response and recovery potential of the brown alga Padina pavonica under ocean acidification

Anthropogenic CO2 emissions are causing ocean acidification (OA), which affects calcifying organisms. Recent studies have shown that Padina pavonica investigated along a natural pCO2 gradient seems to acclimate to OA by reducing calcified structures and changing mineralogy from aragonite to calcium sulphate salts. The aim of the present study was to study the potential for acclimation of P. pavonica to OA along the same gradient and in aquaria under controlled conditions. P. pavonica was cross-transplanted for one week from a normal pH site (median value: pHTS = 8.1; pCO2 = 361 μatm) to a low pH site (median value: pHTS = 7.4; pCO2 = 1025 μatm) and vice versa. Results showed that this calcifying alga did survive under acute environmental pHTS changes but its calcification was significantly reduced. P. pavonica decalcified and changed mineralogy at pHTS = 7.4, but once brought back at pHTS = 8.1 it partially recovered the aragonite loss while preserving the calcium sulphate minerals that formed under low pHTS. These results suggest that P. pavonica could be used as a bio-indicator for monitoring OA, as well as localized anthropogenic acidity fluctuations.

Continue reading ‘Calcifying response and recovery potential of the brown alga Padina pavonica under ocean acidification’

Intraspecific variations in responses to ocean acidification in two branching coral species

Ocean acidification is widely recognised to have a negative impact on marine calcifying organisms by reducing calcifications, but controversy remains over whether such organisms could cope with ocean acidification within a range of phenotypic plasticity and/or adapt to future acidifying ocean. We performed a laboratory rearing experiment using clonal fragments of the common branching corals Montipora digitata and Porites cylindrica under control and acidified seawater (lower pH) conditions (approximately 400 and 900 μatm pCO2, respectively) and evaluated the intraspecific variations in their responses to ocean acidification. Intra- and interspecific variations in calcification and photosynthetic efficiency were evident according to both pCO2 conditions and colony, indicating that responses to acidification may be individually variable at the colony level. Our results suggest that some corals may cope with ocean acidification within their present genotypic composition by adaptation through phenotypic plasticity, while others may be placed under selective pressures resulting in population alteration.

Continue reading ‘Intraspecific variations in responses to ocean acidification in two branching coral species’

Sulfur in foraminiferal calcite as a potential proxy for seawater carbonate ion concentration

Sulfur (S) incorporation in foraminiferal shells is hypothesized to change with carbonate ion concentration [ ], due to substitution of sulfate for carbonate ions in the calcite crystal lattice. Hence S/Ca values of foraminiferal carbonate shells are expected to reflect sea water carbonate chemistry. To generate a proxy calibration linking the incorporation of S into foraminiferal calcite to carbonate chemistry, we cultured juvenile clones of the larger benthic species Amphistegina gibbosa and Sorites marginalis over a 350–1200 ppm range of pCO2 values, corresponding to a range in [ ] of 93 to 211 μmol/kg. We also investigated the potential effect of salinity on S incorporation by culturing juvenile Amphistegina lessonii over a large salinity gradient (25–45). Results show S/CaCALCITE is not impacted by salinity, but increases with increasing pCO2 (and thus decreasing [ ] and pH), indicating S incorporation may be used as a proxy for [ ]. Higher S incorporation in high-Mg species S. marginalis suggests a superimposed biomineralization effect on the incorporation of S. Microprobe imaging reveals co-occurring banding of Mg and S in Amphistegina lessonii, which is in line with a strong biological control and might explain higher S incorporation in high Mg species. Provided a species-specific calibration is available, foraminiferal S/Ca values might add a valuable new tool for reconstructing past ocean carbonate chemistry.

Continue reading ‘Sulfur in foraminiferal calcite as a potential proxy for seawater carbonate ion concentration’

A shell-formation related carbonic anhydrase in Crassostrea gigas modulates intracellular calcium against CO2 exposure: implication for impacts of ocean acidification on mollusk calcification

Ocean acidification (OA) could decrease the shells and skeletons formation of mollusk by reducing the availability of carbonate ions at calcification sites. Carbonic anhydrases (CAs) convert CO2 to HCO3− and play important roles in biomineralization process from invertebrate to vertebrate. In the present study, a CA (designated as CgCA) was identified and characterized in Pacific oyster C. gigas. The cDNA of CgCA was of 927 bp encoding a predicted polypeptide of 308 amino acids with a signal peptide and a CA catalytic function domain. The mRNA transcripts of CgCA were constitutively expressed in all tested tissues with the highest levels in mantle and hemocytes. During the early development period, the mRNA transcripts of CgCA could be detected in all the stages with the highest level in D-veliger larvae. Elevated CO2 increased the mRNA transcripts of CgCA in muscle, mantle, hepatopancreas, gill and hemocytes significantly (p < 0.05) and induced the translocation of CgCA in hemocytes and mantle. Moreover, elevated CO2 also caused the decrease of intracellular Ca2+ in hemocytes (p < 0.05). The inhibition of CA by acetazolamide and suppression of CgCA gene via RNA interference could increase the intracellular Ca2+ in hemocytes (p < 0.05). Besides, the decrease of intracellular Ca2+ content caused by Ca2+ reagent ionomycin could affect localization of CgCA in mantle tissue. The results indicated CgCA played essential roles in calcification and elevated CO2 accelerated the mutual modulation between calcium and CgCA, implying reduced calcification rate and dissolved shells under OA.

Continue reading ‘A shell-formation related carbonic anhydrase in Crassostrea gigas modulates intracellular calcium against CO2 exposure: implication for impacts of ocean acidification on mollusk calcification’

Coral calcification in a changing World and the interactive dynamics of pH and DIC upregulation

Coral calcification is dependent on the mutualistic partnership between endosymbiotic zooxanthellae and the coral host. Here, using newly developed geochemical proxies (δ11B and B/Ca), we show that Poritescorals from natural reef environments exhibit a close (r2 ∼0.9) antithetic relationship between dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and pH of the corals’ calcifying fluid (cf). The highest DICcf (∼ × 3.2 seawater) is found during summer, consistent with thermal/light enhancement of metabolically (zooxanthellae) derived carbon, while the highest pHcf(∼8.5) occurs in winter during periods of low DICcf (∼ × 2 seawater). These opposing changes in DICcf and pHcf are shown to maintain oversaturated but stable levels of carbonate saturation (Ωcf ∼ × 5 seawater), the key parameter controlling coral calcification. These findings are in marked contrast to artificial experiments and show that pHcf upregulation occurs largely independent of changes in seawater carbonate chemistry, and hence ocean acidification, but is highly vulnerable to thermally induced stress from global warming.

Continue reading ‘Coral calcification in a changing World and the interactive dynamics of pH and DIC upregulation’


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