Posts Tagged 'dissolution'

Interactive effects of temperature, food and skeletal mineralogy mediate biological responses to ocean acidification in a widely distributed bryozoan

Marine invertebrates with skeletons made of high-magnesium calcite may be especially susceptible to ocean acidification (OA) due to the elevated solubility of this form of calcium carbonate. However, skeletal composition can vary plastically within some species, and it is largely unknown how concurrent changes in multiple oceanographic parameters will interact to affect skeletal mineralogy, growth and vulnerability to future OA. We explored these interactive effects by culturing genetic clones of the bryozoan Jellyella tuberculata (formerly Membranipora tuberculata) under factorial combinations of dissolved carbon dioxide (CO2), temperature and food concentrations. High CO2 and cold temperature induced degeneration of zooids in colonies. However, colonies still maintained high growth efficiencies under these adverse conditions, indicating a compensatory trade-off whereby colonies degenerate more zooids under stress, redirecting energy to the growth and maintenance of new zooids. Low-food concentration and elevated temperatures also had interactive effects on skeletal mineralogy, resulting in skeletal calcite with higher concentrations of magnesium, which readily dissolved under high CO2. For taxa that weakly regulate skeletal magnesium concentration, skeletal dissolution may be a more widespread phenomenon than is currently documented and is a growing concern as oceans continue to warm and acidify.

Continue reading ‘Interactive effects of temperature, food and skeletal mineralogy mediate biological responses to ocean acidification in a widely distributed bryozoan’

Bioerosion: the other ocean acidification problem: Contribution to the Themed Issue: ‘Ocean Acidification’

Bioerosion of calcium carbonate is the natural counterpart of biogenic calcification. Both are affected by ocean acidification (OA). We summarize definitions and concepts in bioerosion research and knowledge in the context of OA, providing case examples and meta-analyses. Chemically mediated bioerosion relies on energy demanding, biologically controlled undersaturation or acid regulation and increases with simulated OA, as does passive dissolution. Through substrate weakening both processes can indirectly enhance mechanical bioerosion, which is not directly affected by OA. The low attention and expert knowledge on bioerosion produced some ambiguous views and approaches, and limitations to experimental studies restricted opportunities to generalize. Comparability of various bioerosion and calcification rates remains difficult. Physiological responses of bioeroders or interactions of environmental factors are insufficiently studied. We stress the importance to foster and advance high quality bioerosion research as global trends suggest the following: (i) growing environmental change (eutrophication, coral mortality, OA) is expected to elevate bioerosion in the near future; (ii) changes harmful to calcifiers may not be as severe for bioeroders (e.g. warming); and (iii) factors facilitating bioerosion often reduce calcification rates (e.g. OA). The combined result means that the natural process bioerosion has itself become a “stress factor” for reef health and resilience.

Continue reading ‘Bioerosion: the other ocean acidification problem: Contribution to the Themed Issue: ‘Ocean Acidification’’

Ocean acidification reduces spine mechanical strength in euechinoid but not in cidaroid sea urchins

Echinoderms are considered as particularly sensitive to ocean acidification (OA) as their skeleton is made of high-magnesium calcite, one of the most soluble forms of calcium carbonate. Recent studies have investigated effects of OA on the skeleton of “classical” sea urchins (euechinoids) but the impact of etching on skeleton mechanical properties is almost unknown. Furthermore, the integrity of the skeleton of cidaroids has never been assessed although their extracellular fluid is undersaturated with respect to their skeleton and the skeleton of their primary spines is in direct contact with seawater. In this study, we compared the dissolution of test plates and spines as well as the spine mechanical properties (two-points bending tests) in a cidaroid (Eucidaris tribuloides) and a euechinoid (Tripneustes ventricosus) submitted to a 5-weeks acidification experiment (pHT 8.1, 7.7, 7.4). Test plates of both species were not affected by dissolution. Spines of E. tribuloides showed no mechanical effects at pHSW-T 7.4 despite traces of corrosion on secondary spines. On the contrary, spines of the T. ventricosus were significantly etched at both pHSW-T 7.7 and 7.4 and their fracture force reduced by 16 to 35%, respectively. This increased brittleness is probably of little significance with regards to predation protection but has consequences in terms of energy allocation.

Continue reading ‘Ocean acidification reduces spine mechanical strength in euechinoid but not in cidaroid sea urchins’

Effects of varying acidic levels on dissolution, strength, organic content and surface texture of Pacific oysters (Crassostrea gigas) shells

Marine coastal organisms are exposed to periodic fluctuations in seawater pH driven by biological carbon dioxide (CO 2) production which may in the future be further exacerbated by the ocean acidification associated with the global rise in CO2. There is widespread concern that these changes have direct impact on coastal organisms and alter the habitats severely. However, little or no attention has been given to the effects of the anticipated decrease in coastal pH on farmed oysters within the Namibian coastal waters. In this investigation, shells of the Pacific oysters, Crassostrea gigas were exposed to varying acidic levels under laboratory conditions; pH level 6.5 represented extreme hypercarpnia condition, 7.0 and 7.5 representing future predicted coastal pH levels. Shell dissolution rate, strength, organic content and surface texture were assessed after a two-week exposure period. Significant loss (p < 0.05) in weight and diameter were observed in shells exposed to 6.5, 7.0 and 7.5 pH levels compared to shells in the control groups (pH 8.1-8.2). With regard to organic content of the shell, significant reduction (p < 0.05) was only observed in shells exposed to 6.5 and 7.0 pH levels. Microscopic examination of the shell surface revealed reduced nacreous layer while the organic layer of the shells was sheared in acidic conditions. Visual inspection of the nacre region of shells exposed to 6.5, 7.0 and 7.5 pH showed straight edged tablets, with the Omoregie et al./ISTJN 2016, 8:98-111. Pacific oysters (Crassostrea gigas) shells regions characterised by sparse with irregular shaped tablets within a reduced organic matrix. Ocean acidification can impact potential changes in morphometry and shell structure of pacific oysters during culture.

Continue reading ‘Effects of varying acidic levels on dissolution, strength, organic content and surface texture of Pacific oysters (Crassostrea gigas) shells’

Skeletal dissolution kinetics and mechanical tests in response to morphology among coral genera

Ocean acidification is widely accepted as a primary threat to coral reef populations. Negative physiological effects include decreased calcification rates, heightened metabolic energy expenditure, and increased dissolution of coral skeletons. However, studies on the dissolution of coral skeletons structures under ocean acidification conditions and their implications on sediments remain scarce. In this work, we examined skeletal dissolution kinetics from four of the most representative hermatypic corals of the Eastern Pacific coasts (Pocillopora, Porites, Pavona, and Psammocora). Samples were treated with a highly acidic solution for defined periods of time, and measurements of dissolved calcium ([Ca+2]) were used to evaluate the kinetics of coral skeleton dissolution. All genera tests except Porites showed a zero reaction rate. Porites exhibited a first-order reaction and a faster reaction rate than other genera. Compression strength tests and skeletal density did not correlate with reaction rate. Pavona showed greater structural strength. Porites were the most susceptible to acidic dissolution compared to other genera tested due to their morphology, i.e., possession of the largest surface area, suggesting a high vulnerability under low-pH conditions. The hierarchical response in dissolution kinetics among coral genera tested suggests that the most soluble coral might act as a buffer under ocean acidification conditions.

Continue reading ‘Skeletal dissolution kinetics and mechanical tests in response to morphology among coral genera’

Effects of CO2-driven sediment acidification on infaunal marine bivalves: A synthesis

While ocean acidification (OA) effects on marine organisms are well documented, impacts of sediment acidification on infaunal organisms are relatively understudied. Here we synthesize CO2-driven sediment acidification effects on infaunal marine bivalves. While sediment carbonate system conditions can already exceed near-future OA projections, sediments can become even more acidic as overlying seawater pH decreases. Evidence suggests that infaunal bivalves experience shell dissolution, more lesions, and increased mortality in more acidic sediments; effects on heavy metal accumulation appear complex and uncertain. Infaunal bivalves can avoid negative functional consequences of sediment acidification by reducing burrowing and increasing dispersal in more acidic sediments, irrespective of species or life stage; elevated temperature may compromise this avoidance behaviour. The combined effects of sediment acidification and other environmental stressors are virtually unknown. While it is evident that sediment acidification can impact infaunal marine bivalves, more research is needed to confidently predict effects under future ocean conditions.

Continue reading ‘Effects of CO2-driven sediment acidification on infaunal marine bivalves: A synthesis’

Effects of ocean warming and acidification on the early benthic ontogeny of an ecologically and economically important echinoderm

The sea urchin Loxechinus albus is a benthic shallow water coastal herbivore and an exploited natural resource. This study evaluated the consequences of projected near-future ocean acidification (OA) and warming (OW) for small juveniles of this species. Individuals were exposed for 7 mo to contrasting pCO2 (~400 and 1200 µatm) and temperature (~16 and 19°C) levels. We compared grazing rates during the first 2 mo of rearing. After an additional period (2 to 7 mo), we compared body size change (in terms of diameter, and wet and buoyant weight), self-righting, dislodgement resistance, foraging speeds, test dissolution rate, oxygen consumption and strength of structural integrity. Regardless of the temperature, urchins reared under present-day pCO2 grazed preferentially on algae also reared under present-day pCO2 conditions. However, urchins reared under elevated pCO2 at both temperatures exhibited no grazing preference. Other traits such as growth rate in terms of diameter, vertical foraging speed and tenacity were not affected significantly by pCO2, temperature and the interaction between them. However, growth rate in terms of wet weight, metabolism and dissolution rate of empty urchin tests was significantly affected by temperature and pCO2 but not by the interaction between them. At 16°C, self-righting was faster for individuals reared at elevated pCO2 but no differences were found at 19°C. We conclude that OA and OW may disrupt some early benthic ontogenetic traits of this species and thus have negative ecological and economic consequences. However, most traits will be not threated by the 2 investigated stressors.

Continue reading ‘Effects of ocean warming and acidification on the early benthic ontogeny of an ecologically and economically important echinoderm’


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Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

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