Posts Tagged 'Gastrotricha'

Combined, short-term exposure to reduced seawater pH and elevated temperature induces community shifts in an intertidal meiobenthic assemblage

In future global change scenarios the surface ocean will experience continuous acidification and rising temperatures. While effects of both stressors on marine, benthic communities are fairly well studied, consequences of the interaction of both factors remain largely unknown. We performed a short-term microcosm experiment exposing a soft-bottom community from an intertidal flat in the Westerscheldt estuary to two levels of seawater pH (ambient pHT = 7.9, reduced pHT = 7.5) and temperature (10 °C ambient and 13 °C elevated temperature) in a crossed design. After 8 weeks, meiobenthic community structure and nematode staining ratios, as a proxy for mortality, were compared between treatments and structural changes were related to the prevailing abiotic conditions in the respective treatments (pore water pHT, sediment grain size, total organic matter content, total organic carbon and nitrogen content, phytopigment concentrations and carbonate concentration). Pore water pHT profiles were significantly altered by pH and temperature manipulations and the combination of elevated temperature and reduced pH intensified the already more acidic porewater below the oxic zone. Meiofauna community composition was significantly affected by the combination of reduced pH and elevated temperature resulting in increased densities of predatory Platyhelminthes, reduced densities of Copepoda and Nauplii and complete absence of Gastrotricha compared to the experimental control. Furthermore, nematode staining ratio was elevated when seawater pH was reduced pointing towards reduced degradation rates of dead nematode bodies. The observed synergistic interactions of pH and temperature on meiobenthic communities and abiotic sediment characteristics underline the importance of multistressor experiments when addressing impacts of global change on the marine environment.

Continue reading ‘Combined, short-term exposure to reduced seawater pH and elevated temperature induces community shifts in an intertidal meiobenthic assemblage’

Simulated leakage of high pCO2 water negatively impacts bivalve dominated infaunal communities from the Western Baltic Sea

Carbon capture and storage is promoted as a mitigation method counteracting the increase of atmospheric CO2 levels. However, at this stage, environmental consequences of potential CO2 leakage from sub-seabed storage sites are still largely unknown. In a 3-month-long mesocosm experiment, this study assessed the impact of elevated pCO2 levels (1,500 to 24,400 μatm) on Cerastoderma edule dominated benthic communities from the Baltic Sea. Mortality of C. edule was significantly increased in the highest treatment (24,400 μatm) and exceeded 50%. Furthermore, mortality of small size classes (0–1 cm) was significantly increased in treatment levels ≥6,600 μatm. First signs of external shell dissolution became visible at ≥1,500 μatm, holes were observed at >6,600 μatm. C. edule body condition decreased significantly at all treatment levels (1,500–24,400 μatm). Dominant meiofauna taxa remained unaffected in abundance. Densities of calcifying meiofauna taxa (i.e. Gastropoda and Ostracoda) decreased in high CO2 treatments (>6,600 μatm), while the non – calcifying Gastrotricha significantly increased in abundance at 24,400 μatm. In addition, microbial community composition was altered at the highest pCO2 level. We conclude that strong CO2 leakage can alter benthic infauna community composition at multiple trophic levels, likely due to high mortality of the dominant macrofauna species C. edule.

Continue reading ‘Simulated leakage of high pCO2 water negatively impacts bivalve dominated infaunal communities from the Western Baltic Sea’


Subscribe to the RSS feed

Powered by FeedBurner

Follow AnneMarin on Twitter

Blog Stats

  • 1,284,418 hits

OA-ICC HIGHLIGHTS

Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book