Posts Tagged 'growth'

Acclimatization drives differences in reef-building coral calcification rates

Coral reefs are susceptible to climate change, anthropogenic influence, and environmental stressors. However, corals in Kāneʻohe Bay, Hawaiʻi have repeatedly shown resilience and acclimatization to anthropogenically-induced rising temperatures and increased frequencies of bleaching events. Variations in coral and algae cover at two sites—just 600 m apart—at Malaukaʻa fringing reef suggest genetic or environmental differences in coral resilience between sites. A reciprocal transplant experiment was conducted to determine if calcification (linear extension and dry skeletal weight) for dominant reef-building species, Montipora capitata and Porites compressa, varied between the two sites and whether or not parent colony or environmental factors were responsible for the differences. Despite the two sites representing distinct environmental conditions with significant differences between temperature, salinity, and aragonite saturation, M. capitata growth rates remained the same between sites and treatments. However, dry skeletal weight increases in P. compressa were significantly different between sites, but not across treatments, with linear mixed effects model results suggesting heterogeneity driven by environmental differences between sites and the parent colonies. These results provide evidence of resilience and acclimatization for M. capitata and P. compressa. Variability of resilience may be driven by local adaptations at a small, reef-level scale for P. compressa in Kāneʻohe Bay.

Continue reading ‘Acclimatization drives differences in reef-building coral calcification rates’

Ocean acidification has impacted coral growth on the Great Barrier Reef

Ocean acidification (OA) reduces the concentration of seawater carbonate ions that stony corals need to produce their calcium carbonate skeletons, and is considered a significant threat to the functional integrity of coral reef ecosystems. However, detection and attribution of OA impact on corals in nature are confounded by concurrent environmental changes, including ocean warming. Here we use a numerical model to isolate the effects of OA and temperature, and show that OA alone has caused 13±3% decline in the skeletal density of massive Porites corals on the Great Barrier Reef since 1950. This OA‐induced thinning of coral skeletons, also evident in Porites from the South China Sea but not in the central equatorial Pacific, reflects enhanced acidification of reef water relative to the surrounding open ocean. Our finding reinforces concerns that even corals that might survive multiple heatwaves are structurally weakened and increasingly vulnerable to the compounding effects of climate change.

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Physiological responses of Skeletonema costatum to the interactions of seawater acidification and combination of photoperiod and temperature

Ocean acidification (OA), which is a major environmental change caused by increasing atmospheric CO2, has considerable influences on marine phytoplankton. But few studies have investigated interactions of OA and seasonal changes in temperature and photoperiod on marine diatoms. In the present study, a marine diatom Skeletonema costatum was cultured under two different CO2 levels (LC, 400 μatm; HC, 1000 μatm) and three different combinations of temperature and photoperiod length (8:16 L:D with 5 ℃, 12:12 L:D with 15 ℃, 16:8 L:D with 25 ℃), simulating different seasons in typical temperate oceans, to investigate the combined effects of these factors. The results showed that specific growth rate of S. costatum increased with increasing temperature and daylength. However, OA showed contrasting effects on growth and photosynthesis under different combinations of temperature and daylength: while positive effects of OA were observed under spring and autumn conditions, it significantly decreased growth (11 %) and photosynthesis (21 %) in winter. In addition, low temperature and short daylength decreased the proteins of PSII (D1, CP47 and RubcL) at ambient pCO2 level, while OA alleviated the negative effect. These data indicated that future ocean acidification may show differential effects on diatoms in different cluster of other factors.

Continue reading ‘Physiological responses of Skeletonema costatum to the interactions of seawater acidification and combination of photoperiod and temperature’

Physiological and molecular responses to ocean acidification among strains of a model diatom

Differential responses of diatoms, an important group of marine primary producers to ocean acidification, have been well documented. However, studies so far are based on limited representative strains from key species. Investigation of strain level responses will help us better understand the contrasting discrepancy in diatom responses to ocean acidification. Here, we selected four strains of the model diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum isolated from different regions of the global ocean, representing all genotypes based on internal transcribed spacer 2 sequences, and investigated strain‐specific responses to ocean acidification. In response to ocean acidification, changes in carbon metabolism varied among strains, although no significant effects of ocean acidification on growth rates or pigments were observed in any strains. The expression of genes encoding plasma membrane bicarbonate transporters was downregulated in strain Pt4, reflecting a potential decrease in active urn:x-wiley:00243590:media:lno11565:lno11565-math-0001 uptake, which was not observed in the other strains. Reduction of CO2 concentrating mechanism efficiency was also indicated by the regulated expression of genes encoding carbonic anhydrases that catalyze the interconversion of urn:x wiley:00243590:media:lno11565:lno11565-math-0002 and CO2 in the pyrenoids and pyrenoid‐penetrating thylakoid, which exhibited different patterns among the strains. Under ocean acidification conditions, C4‐like metabolism appeared to redistribute carbon flux to gluconeogenesis in strain Pt1, and lipid synthesis in strains Pt8 and Pt11, rather than participating in net photosynthetic carbon fixation. These variations were incompletely correlated with phylogenetic relationship in different strains, implying that the habitat‐adapted imprints of the different strains could also be responsible for their differential responses to ocean acidification.

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Inorganic carbon utilization of tropical calcifying macroalgae and the impacts of intensive mariculture-derived coastal acidification on the physiological performance of the rhodolith Sporolithon sp.


• Intensive mariculture activities contribute to coastal acidification.

• Inorganic carbon use of calcifying macroalgae is diverse and species-specific.

• Long term exposure to extreme low-pH lowers growth and calcification of Sporolithon sp.


Fish farming in coastal areas has become an important source of food to support the world’s increasing population. However, intensive and unregulated mariculture activities have contributed to changing seawater carbonate chemistry through the production of high levels of respiratory CO2. This additional CO2, i.e. in addition to atmospheric inputs, intensifies the effects of global ocean acidification resulting in localized extreme low pH levels. Marine calcifying macroalgae are susceptible to such changes due to their CaCO3 skeleton. Their physiological response to CO2-driven acidification is dependent on their carbon physiology. In this study, we used the pH drift experiment to determine the capability of 9 calcifying macroalgae to use one or more inorganic carbon (Ci) species. From the 9 species, we selected the rhodolith Sporolithon sp. as a model organism to investigate the long-term effects of extreme low pH on the physiology and biochemistry of calcifying macroalgae. Samples were incubated under two pH treatments (pH 7.9 = ambient and pH 7.5 = extreme acidification) in a temperature-controlled (26 ± 0.02 °C) room provided with saturating light intensity (98.3 ± 2.50 μmol photons m-2 s-1). After the experimental treatment period (40 d), growth rate, calcification rate, nutrient uptake rate, organic content, skeletal CO3-2, pigments, and tissue C, N and P of Sporolithon samples were compared. The pH drift experiment revealed species-specific Ci use mechanisms, even between congenerics, among tropical calcifying macroalgae. Furthermore, long-term extreme low pH significantly reduced the growth rate, calcification rate and skeletal CO3-2 content by 79%, 66% and 18%, respectively. On the other hand, nutrient uptake rates, organic matter, pigments and tissue C, N and P were not affected by the low pH treatments. Our results suggest that the rhodolith Sporolithon sp. is susceptible to the negative effects of extreme low pH resulting from intensive mariculture-driven coastal acidification.

Continue reading ‘Inorganic carbon utilization of tropical calcifying macroalgae and the impacts of intensive mariculture-derived coastal acidification on the physiological performance of the rhodolith Sporolithon sp.’

Temperature and salinity, not acidification, predict near-future larval growth and larval habitat suitability of Olympia oysters in the Salish Sea

Most invertebrates in the ocean begin their lives with planktonic larval phases that are critical for dispersal and distribution of these species. Larvae are particularly vulnerable to environmental change, so understanding interactive effects of environmental stressors on larval life is essential in predicting population persistence and vulnerability of species. Here, we use a novel experimental approach to rear larvae under interacting gradients of temperature, salinity, and ocean acidification, then model growth rate and duration of Olympia oyster larvae and predict the suitability of habitats for larval survival. We find that temperature and salinity are closely linked to larval growth and larval habitat suitability, but larvae are tolerant to acidification at this scale. We discover that present conditions in the Salish Sea are actually suboptimal for Olympia oyster larvae from populations in the region, and that larvae from these populations might actually benefit from some degree of global ocean change. Our models predict a vast decrease in mean pelagic larval duration by the year 2095, which has the potential to alter population dynamics for this species in future oceans. Additionally, we find that larval tolerance can explain large-scale biogeographic patterns for this species across its range.

Continue reading ‘Temperature and salinity, not acidification, predict near-future larval growth and larval habitat suitability of Olympia oysters in the Salish Sea’

Intestinal response to ocean acidification in the European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax)


• High CO2 reduced specific growth rate in sea bass juveniles.

• High CO2 increased intestinal bicarbonate secretion in the anterior and mid intestine.

• High CO2 increased intestinal carbonate precipitates 4.4-fold.

• High CO2 increased intestinal expression for atp6v1b (V-ATPase β subunit), slc4a4, slc26a3, and slc26a6.


The intestine of marine fishes contributes to the ocean carbon cycle producing carbonate aggregates as part of the osmoregulatory process. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate physiological adjustments of European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) intestine to a higher pCO2 environment likely in the near future (~1700 μatm). At the whole-body level, hypercapnia for 5 weeks resulted in fish having a significantly diminished specific growth rate, condition factor and hepatosomatic index. An increase in plasma osmolality and HCO3− concentration was detected, paralleled by decreased metabolites concentrations. In the intestine, high seawater pCO2 was without effect on ouabain-sensitive ATPase activities, while Bafilomycin A1-sensitive ATPase activity significantly decreased in the anterior intestine. Anterior and mid intestine were mounted in Ussing chambers in order to measure bioelectrical parameters and bicarbonate secretion by pH-Stat ex-vivo. Hypercapnia induced a 2.3 and 2.8-fold increase in bicarbonate secretion rates in the anterior and mid intestine, respectively. In the intestinal fluid, HCO3− concentration increased 2.2-fold, and carbonate precipitates showed a 4.4-fold increase in response to hypercapnia, paralleled by a >3-fold increase of drinking and a >2-fold increase of intestinal volume at any given time. At the molecular level, hypercapnia elicited higher intestinal mRNA expression levels for atp6v1b (V-ATPase B subunit), slc4a4, slc26a3, and slc26a6, both in the anterior and mid intestine. As a whole, our results show that the intestine of sea bass responds to high seawater pCO2, a response that comes at a cost at the whole-body level with an impact in the fish specific growth rate, condition factor, and hepatosomatic index.

Continue reading ‘Intestinal response to ocean acidification in the European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax)’

Interactive effects of increased temperature, elevated pCO2 and different nitrogen sources on the coccolithophore Gephyrocapsaoceanica

As a widespread phytoplankton species, the coccolithophore Gephyrocapsaoceanica has a significant impact on the global biogeochemical cycle through calcium carbonate precipitation and photosynthesis. As global change continues, marine phytoplankton will experience alterations in multiple parameters, including temperature, pH, CO2, and nitrogen sources, and the interactive effects of these variables should be examined to understand how marine organisms will respond to global change. Here, we show that the specific growth rate of G. oceanica is reduced by elevated CO2 (1000 μatm) in -grown cells, while it is increased by high CO2 in -grown ones. This difference was related to intracellular metabolic regulation, with decreased cellular particulate organic carbon and particulate organic nitrogen (PON) content in the and high CO2 condition compared to the low CO2 condition. In contrast, no significant difference was found between the high and low CO2 levels in cultures (p > 0.05). The temperature increase from 20°C to 25°C increased the PON production rate, and the enhancement was more prominent in cultures. Enhanced or inhibited particulate inorganic carbon production rate in cells supplied with relative to was observed, depending on the temperature and CO2 condition. These results suggest that a greater disruption of the organic carbon pump can be expected in response to the combined effects of increased / ratio, temperature, and CO2 level in the oceans of the future. Additional experiments conducted under nutrient limitation conditions are needed before we can extrapolate our findings to the global oceans.

Continue reading ‘Interactive effects of increased temperature, elevated pCO2 and different nitrogen sources on the coccolithophore Gephyrocapsaoceanica’

Effects of multiple drivers of ocean global change on the physiology and functional gene expression of the coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi

Ongoing ocean global change due to anthropogenic activities is causing multiple chemical and physical seawater properties to change simultaneously, which may affect the physiology of marine phytoplankton. The coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi is a model species often employed in the study of the marine carbon cycle. The effect of ocean acidification (OA) on coccolithophore calcification has been extensively studied; however, physiological responses to multiple environmental drivers are still largely unknown. Here we examined two‐way and multiple driver effects of OA and other key environmental drivers—nitrate, phosphate, irradiance, and temperature—on the growth, photosynthetic, and calcification rates, and the elemental composition of E. huxleyi. In addition, changes in functional gene expression were examined to understand the molecular mechanisms underpinning the physiological responses. The single driver manipulation experiments suggest decreased nitrate supply being the most important driver regulating E. huxleyi physiology, by significantly reducing the growth, photosynthetic, and calcification rates. In addition, the interaction of OA and decreased nitrate supply (projected for year 2100) had more negative synergistic effects on E. huxleyi physiology than all other two‐way factorial manipulations, suggesting a linkage between the single dominant driver (nitrate) effects and interactive effects with other drivers. Simultaneous manipulation of all five environmental drivers to the conditions of the projected year 2100 had the largest negative effects on most of the physiological metrics. Furthermore, functional genes associated with inorganic carbon acquisition (RubisCO, AEL1, and δCA) and calcification (CAX3, AEL1, PATP, and NhaA2) were most downregulated by the multiple driver manipulation, revealing linkages between responses of functional gene expression and associated physiological metrics. These findings together indicate that for more holistic projections of coccolithophore responses to future ocean global change, it is necessary to understand the relative importance of environmental drivers both individually (i.e., mechanistic understanding) and interactively (i.e., cumulative effect) on coccolithophore physiology.

Continue reading ‘Effects of multiple drivers of ocean global change on the physiology and functional gene expression of the coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi’

Growth, biochemical, antioxidants, metabolic enzymes and hemocytes population of the shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei exposed to acidified seawater


• CO2 driven ocean acidification (CDOA) might inhibit the growth of L. vannamei.

• CDOA will inhibit the biochemical, chitin and minerals in L. vannamei.

• CDOA will produce oxidative and metabolic stress in L. vannamei.

• CDOA can reduce the hemocytes level in L. vannamei.


Acidification in the marine environment has become a global issue that creates serious threats to marine organisms. In the present study, we evaluated the effect of CO2 driven acidification on the shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei post-larvae (PL). L. vannamei PL were exposed to six different CO2 driven acidified seawater, such as pH 8.20 (control), pH 7.8 (IPCC-predicted ocean pH by 2100), 7.6, 7.4, 7.2 and 7.0 with corresponding pCO2 level of 380.66, 557.53, 878.55, 1355.48, 2129.46, and 3312.12 μatm for seven weeks. At the end of the acidification experiment, results revealed that survival, growth, feed index, biochemical constitutes, chitin, minerals (Na, K, and Ca), and hemocyte populations of shrimps were found to be significantly decreased in CO2 driven acidified seawater which indicates the negative impacts of acidified seawater on these parameters in L. vannamei. Further, the level of antioxidants, lipid peroxidation, and metabolic enzymes were significantly higher in the muscle of shrimps exposed to acidified seawater suggests that the L. vannamei under oxidative stress and metabolic stress. Among these various acidified seawater experiment, pH 7.6 to 7.0 produced a significantly adverse effect on shrimps. Hence, the present study concluded that the elevated level of seawater acidification can produce harmful effects on L. vannamei PL which leads to potential threats to shrimp species in the marine environment.

Continue reading ‘Growth, biochemical, antioxidants, metabolic enzymes and hemocytes population of the shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei exposed to acidified seawater’

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Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book