Posts Tagged 'community composition'

Solar UVR sensitivity of phyto- and bacterioplankton communities from Patagonian coastal waters under increased nutrients and acidification

The effects of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) under future expected conditions of acidification and increase in nutrient inputs were studied on a post-bloom phytoplankton and bacterioplankton community of Patagonian coastal waters. We performed an experiment using microcosms where two environmental conditions were mimicked using a cluster approach: present (ambient nutrients and pH) and future (increased nutrients and acidification), and acclimating the samples for five days to two radiation treatments (full solar radiation [+UVR] and exclusion of UVR [–UVR]). We evaluated the short-term (hours) sensitivity of the community to solar UVR through chlorophyll afluorescence parameters (e.g. the effective photochemical quantum yield of PSII [ΦPSII]) at the beginning, at the mid-point and at the end of the acclimation period. Primary production and heterotrophic bacterial production (HBP) were determined, and biological weighting functions were calculated, at the beginning and at the end of the acclimation period. Mid-term effects (days) were evaluated as changes in taxonomic composition, growth rates and size structure of the community. Although the UVR-induced inhibition on ΦPSII decreased in both clusters, samples remained sensitive to UVR after the 5 days of acclimation. Also, under the future conditions, there was, in general, an increase in the phytoplankton carbon incorporation rates along the experiment as compared to the present conditions. Bacterioplankton sensitivity to UVR changed along the experiment from inhibition to enhancement of HBP, and future environmental conditions stimulated bacterial growth, probably due to indirect effects caused by phytoplankton. Those changes in the microbial loop functioning and structure under future global change conditions might have important consequences for the carbon pump and thus for the carbon sequestration and trophodynamics of Patagonian coastal waters.

Continue reading ‘Solar UVR sensitivity of phyto- and bacterioplankton communities from Patagonian coastal waters under increased nutrients and acidification’

Impacts of a reduction in seawater pH mimicking ocean acidification on the structure and diversity of mycoplankton communities

Increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) change ocean chemistry, as dissolved CO2 leads to a reduction in the seawater pH. Many marine taxa have been shown to be affected by ocean acidification; however, information on marine fungi is lacking. We analyzed the effect of pH on mycoplankton communities. The pH of microcosms was adjusted to a value mimicking the predicted ocean acidification in the near future. Fungal communities were analyzed using a double-marker gene approach, allowing a more detailed analysis of their response using 454 pyrosequencing. Mycoplankton communities in microcosms with in situ and adjusted water pH values differed significantly in terms of structure and diversity. The differences were mainly abundance shifts among the dominant taxa, rather than the exclusion of fungal groups. A sensitivity to lower pH values was reported for several groups across the fungal kingdom and was not phylogenetically conserved. Some of the fungal species that dominated the communities of microcosms with a lower pH were known pathogenic fungi. With the increasing awareness of the significant role fungi play in marine systems, including performing a diverse range of symbiotic activities, our results highlight the importance of including fungi in further research projects studying and modeling biotic responses to the predicted ocean acidification.

Continue reading ‘Impacts of a reduction in seawater pH mimicking ocean acidification on the structure and diversity of mycoplankton communities’

Ocean acidification changes the structure of an Antarctic coastal protistan community

Antarctic near-shore waters are amongst of the most vulnerable in the world to ocean acidification. Microbes occupying these waters are critical drivers of ecosystem productivity, elemental cycling and ocean biogeochemistry, yet little is known about their sensitivity to ocean acidification. An unreplicated, six-level dose-response experiment was conducted using 650 L incubation tanks (minicosms) adjusted to fugacity of carbon dioxide (ƒCO2) from 343 to 11 641 μatm. The minicosms were filled with near-shore water from Prydz Bay, East Antarctica and the protistan composition and abundance was determined by microscopy analysis of samples collected during the 18 day incubation. No CO2-related change in the protistan community composition was observed during the initial 8 day acclimation period under low light. Thereafter, the response of protists to ƒCO2 were species-specific for both heterotrophic and autotrophic protists. The response by diatoms was related to cell size, large cells increasing in abundance with low to moderate ƒCO2 (634–953 μatm). Similarly, the abundance of Phaeocystis antarctica increased with increasing ƒCO2 peaking at a ƒCO2 of 634 μatm. Above this threshold the abundances of large diatoms and Phaeocystis antarctica fell dramatically, and small diatoms dominated, therefore culminating in a significant shift in the composition of the protistan community. The threshold CO2 level at which the composition changed agreed with that previously measured at this location, indicating it remains consistent among seasons. This suggests that near-shore microbial communities are likely to change significantly near the end of this century if anthropogenic CO2 release continues unabated, with profound ramifications for near-shore Antarctic ecosystems.

Continue reading ‘Ocean acidification changes the structure of an Antarctic coastal protistan community’

Low pH reduces the virulence of black band disease on Orbicella faveolata

Black band is a deadly coral disease found worldwide, which may become more virulent as oceanic conditions continue to change. To determine the effects of climate change and ocean acidification on black band disease virulence, Orbicella faveolata corals with black band were exposed to different temperature and pH conditions. Results showed a significant decrease in disease progression under low pH (7.7) conditions. Low pH also altered the relative abundance of the bacterial community of the black band disease consortium. Here, there was a significant decrease in Roseofilum, the cyanobacterium that typically dominates the black band mat. These results indicate that as oceanic pH decreases so may the virulence of a worldwide coral disease.

Continue reading ‘Low pH reduces the virulence of black band disease on Orbicella faveolata’

Reef-building corals thrive within hot-acidified and deoxygenated waters

Coral reefs are deteriorating under climate change as oceans continue to warm and acidify and thermal anomalies grow in frequency and intensity. In vitro experiments are widely used to forecast reef-building coral health into the future, but often fail to account for the complex ecological and biogeochemical interactions that govern reefs. Consequently, observations from coral communities under naturally occurring extremes have become central for improved predictions of future reef form and function. Here, we present a semi-enclosed lagoon system in New Caledonia characterised by diel fluctuations of hot-deoxygenated water coupled with tidally driven persistently low pH, relative to neighbouring reefs. Coral communities within the lagoon system exhibited high richness (number of species = 20) and cover (24–35% across lagoon sites). Calcification rates for key species (Acropora formosa, Acropora pulchra, Coelastrea aspera and Porites lutea) for populations from the lagoon were equivalent to, or reduced by ca. 30–40% compared to those from the reef. Enhanced coral respiration, alongside high particulate organic content of the lagoon sediment, suggests acclimatisation to this trio of temperature, oxygen and pH changes through heterotrophic plasticity. This semi-enclosed lagoon therefore provides a novel system to understand coral acclimatisation to complex climatic scenarios and may serve as a reservoir of coral populations already resistant to extreme environmental conditions.

Continue reading ‘Reef-building corals thrive within hot-acidified and deoxygenated waters’

Bacterial community responses during a possible CO2 leaking from sub-seabed storage in marine polluted sediments

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is a viable option to reduce high concentrations of CO2 and mitigate their negative effects. This option has associated risks such as possible CO2 leakage from the storage sites. So far, negative effects deriving from a CO2 release have been reported for benthic macrofauna in both polluted and nonpolluted sediments. However, bacterial communities has no considered. In this work, risk assessment was carried out in order to evaluate the possible effects in a contaminated area considering bacterial responses (total number of cells, respiring activity, changes in the bacterial community composition and diversity). Four microcosms were placed into an integrated CO2 injection system with a non-pressurized chamber to simulate four different pH treatments (pH control 7.8, 7, 6.5 and 6). Results showed an impact on bacterial communities because of the CO2 treatment. Changes in respiring activity, community composition groups and diversity were found. This study highlights the use of respiring bacteria activity not only as bioindicator for environmental risk assessment and monitoring purposes but also as a bioindicador during a CO2 leakage event or CO2 enrichment process among all the responses studied.

Continue reading ‘Bacterial community responses during a possible CO2 leaking from sub-seabed storage in marine polluted sediments’

Impact of ocean acidification on Arctic phytoplankton blooms and dimethyl sulfide concentration under simulated ice-free and under-ice conditions (update)

In an experimental assessment of the potential impact of Arctic Ocean acidification on seasonal phytoplankton blooms and associated dimethyl sulfide (DMS) dynamics, we incubated water from Baffin Bay under conditions representing an acidified Arctic Ocean. Using two light regimes simulating under-ice or subsurface chlorophyll maxima (low light; low PAR and no UVB) and ice-free (high light; high PAR + UVA + UVB) conditions, water collected at 38 m was exposed over 9 days to 6 levels of decreasing pH from 8.1 to 7.2. A phytoplankton bloom dominated by the centric diatoms Chaetoceros spp. reaching up to 7.5 µg chlorophyll a L−1 took place in all experimental bags. Total dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSPT) and DMS concentrations reached 155 and 19 nmol L−1, respectively. The sharp increase in DMSPT and DMS concentrations coincided with the exhaustion of NO3− in most microcosms, suggesting that nutrient stress stimulated DMS(P) synthesis by the diatom community. Under both light regimes, chlorophyll a and DMS concentrations decreased linearly with increasing proton concentration at all pH levels tested. Concentrations of DMSPT also decreased but only under high light and over a smaller pH range (from 8.1 to 7.6). In contrast to nano-phytoplankton (2–20 µm), pico-phytoplankton ( ≤  2 µm) was stimulated by the decreasing pH. We furthermore observed no significant difference between the two light regimes tested in term of chlorophyll a, phytoplankton abundance and taxonomy, and DMSP and DMS net concentrations. These results show that ocean acidification could significantly decrease the algal biomass and inhibit DMS production during the seasonal phytoplankton bloom in the Arctic, with possible consequences for the regional climate.

Continue reading ‘Impact of ocean acidification on Arctic phytoplankton blooms and dimethyl sulfide concentration under simulated ice-free and under-ice conditions (update)’


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Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

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