Posts Tagged 'growth'

Effects of temperature and pH on the growth, calcification, and biomechanics of two species of articulated coralline algae

Ocean warming and acidification are predicted to impact the physiology of marine organisms, especially marine calcifiers that must deposit calcium carbonate and resist dissolution. Of particular concern are articulated coralline algae, which must maintain both calcified segments (intergenicula) and uncalcified joints (genicula) in order to thrive along wave-swept rocky coastlines. We examined the effect of pH and temperature, both individually and in combination, on the growth, calcification, and biomechanical properties of 2 species of articulated coralline algae, Corallina vancouveriensis and Calliarthron tuberculosum, common on wave-exposed shores in the NE Pacific. Increased temperature and reduced pH were found to reduce growth rates in both species (30-89% lower) but had little influence on the amount of intergenicular calcium carbonate or on the genicular biomechanical properties of these species. Results suggest that although growth rates may decline, these 2 coralline species will maintain the integrity of their tissues and continue to persist under future climate stress.

Continue reading ‘Effects of temperature and pH on the growth, calcification, and biomechanics of two species of articulated coralline algae’

Community context and pCO2 impact the transcriptome of the “helper” bacterium Alteromonas in co-culture with picocyanobacteria

Many microbial photoautotrophs depend on heterotrophic bacteria for accomplishing essential functions. Environmental changes, however, could alter or eliminate such interactions. We investigated the effects of changing pCO2 on gene transcription in co-cultures of 3 strains of picocyanobacteria (Synechococcus strains CC9311 and WH8102 and Prochlorococcus strain MIT9312) paired with the ‘helper’ bacterium Alteromonas macleodii EZ55. Co-culture with cyanobacteria resulted in a much higher number of up- and down-regulated genes in EZ55 than pCO2 by itself. Pathway analysis revealed significantly different transcription of genes involved in carbohydrate metabolism, stress response, and chemotaxis, with different patterns of up- or down-regulation in co-culture with different cyanobacterial strains. Gene transcription patterns of organic and inorganic nutrient transporter and catabolism genes in EZ55 suggested resources available in the culture media were altered under elevated (800 ppm) pCO2 conditions. Altogether, changing transcription patterns were consistent with the possibility that the composition of cyanobacterial excretions changed under the two pCO2 regimes, causing extensive ecophysiological changes in both members of the co-cultures. Additionally, significant downregulation of oxidative stress genes in MIT9312/EZ55 cocultures at 800 ppm pCO2 were consistent with a link between the predicted reduced availability of photorespiratory byproducts (i.e., glycolate/2PG) under this condition and observed reductions in internal oxidative stress loads for EZ55, providing a possible explanation for the previously observed lack of “help” provided by EZ55 to MIT9312 under elevated pCO2. If similar broad alterations in microbial ecophysiology occur in the ocean as atmospheric pCO2 increases, they could lead to substantially altered ecosystem functioning and community composition.

Continue reading ‘Community context and pCO2 impact the transcriptome of the “helper” bacterium Alteromonas in co-culture with picocyanobacteria’

A story of resilience: Arctic diatom Chaetoceros gelidus exhibited high physiological plasticity to changing CO2 and light levels

Arctic phytoplankton are experiencing multifaceted stresses due to climate warming, ocean acidification, retreating sea ice, and associated changes in light availability, and that may have large ecological consequences. Multiple stressor studies on Arctic phytoplankton, particularly on the bloom-forming species, may help understand their fitness in response to future climate change, however, such studies are scarce. In the present study, a laboratory experiment was conducted on the bloom-forming Arctic diatom Chaetoceros gelidus (earlier C. socialis) under variable CO2 (240 and 900 µatm) and light (50 and 100 µmol photons m-2 s-1) levels. The growth response was documented using the pre-acclimatized culture at 2°C in a closed batch system over 12 days until the dissolved inorganic nitrogen was depleted. Particulate organic carbon and nitrogen (POC and PON), pigments, cell density, and the maximum quantum yield of photosystem II (Fv/Fm) were measured on day 4 (D4), 6 (D6), 10 (D10), and 12 (D12). The overall growth response suggested that C. gelidus maintained a steady-state carboxylation rate with subsequent conversion to macromolecules as reflected in the per-cell POC contents under variable CO2 and light levels. A substantial amount of POC buildup at the low CO2 level (comparable to the high CO2 treatment) indicated the possibility of existing carbon dioxide concentration mechanisms (CCMs) that needs further investigation. Pigment signatures revealed a high level of adaptability to variable irradiance in this species without any major CO2 effect. PON contents per cell increased initially but decreased irrespective of CO2 levels when nitrogen was limited (D6 onward) possibly to recycle intracellular nitrogen resources resulting in enhanced C: N ratios. On D12 the decreased dissolved organic nitrogen levels could be attributed to consumption under nitrogen starvation. Such physiological plasticity could make C. gelidus “ecologically resilient” in the future Arctic.

Continue reading ‘A story of resilience: Arctic diatom Chaetoceros gelidus exhibited high physiological plasticity to changing CO2 and light levels’

Thalassiosira weissflogii grown in various Zn levels shows different ecophysiological responses to seawater acidification

Highlights

  • Zn deficient encouraged cellular silicon and sinking rate under normal pCO2.
  • Higher pCO2 decreased cellular silicon and sinking rate of Zn-deficient T. weissflogii.
  • Higher pCO2 increased cellular silicon and sinking rate in Zn-replete T. weissflogii.
  • Silica and carbon cycle could be impacted by acidification and Zn levels.

Abstract

The presence of zinc (Zn), a vital element for algal physiological functions, coupled with the silicification of diatoms implies that it plays an integral role in the carbon and silicon cycles of the sea. In this study, we examined the effects of different pCO2 and Zn levels on growth rate, elemental compositions and silicification by Thalassiosira weissflogii. The results showed that under normal pCO2 (400 μatm), cultures of T. weissflogii were depressed for growth rate and silica incorporation rate, but encouraged for cellular silicon content, Si/C, Si/N, and sinking rate when Zn deficient (0.3 pmol L−1). However, cellular silicon and sinking rate of Zn-deficient and Zn-replete (25 pmol L−1T. weissflogii were decreased and increased at higher pCO2 (800 μatm), respectively. Thus, acidification may affect diatoms significantly differently depending on the Zn levels of the ocean and then alter the biochemical cycling of carbon and silica.

Continue reading ‘Thalassiosira weissflogii grown in various Zn levels shows different ecophysiological responses to seawater acidification’

Evaluation of growth, primary productivity, nutritional composition, redox state, and antimicrobial activity of red seaweeds Gracilaria debilis and Gracilaria foliifera under pCO2-induced seawater acidification

Graphical abstract.

Highlights

  • Seawater acidification improved primary productivity, pigments, and carbon storage.
  • No sign of oxidative stress under acidification
  • Improved antimicrobial activities in acidified samples
  • Possible benefits in the future high pCO2 conditions

Abstract

The genus Gracilaria is an economically important group of seaweeds as several species are utilized for various products such as agar, used in medicines, human diets, and poultry feed. Hence, it is imperative to understand their response to predicted ocean acidification conditions. In the present work, we have evaluated the response of Gracilaria foliifera and Gracilaria debilis to carbon dioxide (pCO2) induced seawater acidification (pH 7.7) for two weeks in a controlled laboratory conditions. As a response variable, we have measured growth, productivity, redox state, primary and secondary metabolites, and mineral compositions. We found a general increase in the daily growth rate, primary productivity, and tissue chemical composition (such as pigments, soluble and insoluble sugars, amino acids, and fatty acids), but a decrease in the mineral contents under the acidified condition. Under acidification, there was a decrease in malondialdehyde. However, there were no significant changes in the total antioxidant capacity and a majority of enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants, except for an increase in tocopherols, ascorbate and glutathione-s-transferase in G. foliifera. These results indicate that elevated pCO2 will benefit the growth of the studied species. No sign of oxidative stress markers indicating the acclimatory response of these seaweeds towards lowered pH conditions. Besides, we also found increased antimicrobial activities of acidified samples against several of the tested food pathogens. Based on these observations, we suggest that Gracilaria spp. will be benefitted from the predicted future acidified ocean.

Continue reading ‘Evaluation of growth, primary productivity, nutritional composition, redox state, and antimicrobial activity of red seaweeds Gracilaria debilis and Gracilaria foliifera under pCO2-induced seawater acidification’

Life-history traits in the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas are robust to ocean acidification under two thermal regimes

Ocean acidification and warming (OAW) are pressing contemporary issues affecting marine life and specifically calcifying organisms. Here, we investigated the direct effects of OAW on life-history traits of the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas, the most cultivated bivalve species worldwide. We also tested whether parental conditioning history shaped the phenotypic characters of their progenies (intergenerational carryover effects). Adult oysters and their offspring were exposed to two temperatures (18°C, +3°C) under ambient pH conditions or under an end-of-century acidification scenario (−0.33 pH unit). In adults, we monitored standard biometric and reproductive parameters, stress response by quantifying neuroendocrine metabolites and gamete quality. In larvae, we measured hatching rate, size, biochemical quality, and behavior. We found that reducing pH reduced growth rate and activated the serotonin system, but increasing temperature attenuated these effects. There was no effect of pH on reproduction at either temperature, and no intergenerational carryover effects. Larval characteristics were similar between treatments, regardless of parental conditioning history. Thus, the Pacific oyster seems robust to changes in pH, and increasing temperature is not an aggravating factor. We emphasize that the use of neuroendocrine indicators holds promise for revealing sublethal impacts of environmental changes.

Continue reading ‘Life-history traits in the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas are robust to ocean acidification under two thermal regimes’

Epigenetic-associated phenotypic plasticity of the ocean acidification-acclimated edible oyster in the mariculture environment

For marine invertebrates with pelagic-benthic life cycle, larval exposure to ocean acidification (OA) can affect adult performance in response to another environmental stressor. This carry-over effect has the potential to alter phenotypic traits. However, molecular mechanisms that mediate “OA” triggered carry-over effects have not been explored despite such information being key to improve species fitness and management strategies for aquafarming. This study integrated genome-wide DNA methylome and transcriptome to examine epigenetic modification-mediated carry-over OA impacts on phenotypic traits of the ecologically and commercially important oyster species Crassostrea hongkongensis under field conditions. Larvae of C. hongkongensis were exposed to control pH8.0 and low pH7.4 conditions mimicking OA scenario before being outplanted as post-metamorphic juveniles at two mariculture field sites with contrasting environmental stressors for nine months. The larval carry-over OA effect was found to have persistent impacts on the growth and survival trade-off traits on the outplanted juveniles, although the beneficial or adverse effect depended on the environmental conditions at the outplanted sites. The site-specific plasticity was demonstrated with a diverse DNA methylation-associated gene expression profile, with signal transduction and endocrine system being the most common and highly enriched functions. The highly methylated exons prevailed in the key genes related to general metabolic and endocytic responses and these genes are evolutionarily conserved in various marine invertebrates in response to OA. These results suggest that oysters with prior larval exposure history to OA had the capability to trigger rapid local adaptive responses via epigenetic modification to cope with multiple stressors in field.

Continue reading ‘Epigenetic-associated phenotypic plasticity of the ocean acidification-acclimated edible oyster in the mariculture environment’

Design of a low-cost pH-Stat to study effects of ocean acidification on growth and nutrient consumption of diatoms

Highlights

  • A low-cost pH-stat was designed to evaluate the effect of pH variations on the growth rate and nutrient consumption in multiple microalgae cultures.
  • The current pH of the ocean resulted in the highest growth rate for P. tricornutum.
  • Nitrate was the limiting nutrient in the three pH levels evaluated.
  • Phosphate and iron were related to the acclimatization response of the microalgae.
  • Efficient pH control allowed for the observation of some of the effects of climate change on diatoms related to nutrient consumption.

Abstract

Increasing CO2 emissions has modified oceanic pH levels. These pH changes affect phytoplankton growth and composition. Diatom cells constitute almost 50% of phytoplankton, and they have significant importance in the ocean food chains and biotechnology industries. Therefore, knowledge of their response to pH changes could be useful for conservation and aquaculture of these species. There are different pH-Stat systems to supply CO2 gas to the culture medium, however, it is common to use one unit or pH probe for each culture. In this study, we designed a low-cost pH-stat to regulate the pH level in fifteen simultaneous cultures. It was evaluated with Phaeodactylum tricornutum at three pH setpoints:7.5 and 7.8 as acid treatments and 8.1 as control; each experiment lasted seven days, and growth rates, latency phases and nutrient consumption rates were determined. The accuracy and precision of the pH regulated was in an acceptable level compared with other systems. The growth rate and consumption of nitrate were higher at pH 8.1, moreover differences were observed in the duration of the latency phase, suggesting a longer acclimation process at lower pH. Changes in phosphate and iron consumption indicated a higher availability in acid treatments, however they did not enhance the growth. These denoted unfavorable effects of ocean acidification on diatoms growth.

Continue reading ‘Design of a low-cost pH-Stat to study effects of ocean acidification on growth and nutrient consumption of diatoms’

Lack of detrimental effects of ocean acidification and warming on proximate composition, fitness and energy budget of juvenile Senegalese sole (Solea senegalensis)

Graphical abstract.

Highlights

  • Climate change can affect nutritional quality and physiology of marine organisms.
  • Growth, metabolism and excretion were assessed under acidification and warming.
  • Weight gain, metabolic rates and energy intake increased under future climate conditions.
  • The highest energy budget fractions were allocated to growth and faecal excretion.
  • Juvenile Senegalese sole is resilient to climate change-related scenarios.

Abstract

Rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) are driving ocean warming and acidification, which may negatively affect the nutritional quality and physiological performance of commercially important fish species. Thus, this study aimed to evaluate the effects of ocean acidification (OA; ΔpH = −0.3 units equivalent to ΔpCO2 ~ +600 μatm) and warming (OW; ΔT = +4 °C) (and combined, OAW) on the proximate composition, fitness and energy budget of juvenile Senegalese sole (Solea senegalensis). After an exposure period of 75 days, growth (G), metabolism (R) and excretion (faecal, F and nitrogenous losses, U) were assessed to calculate the energy intake (C). Biometric and viscera weight data were also registered to determine animal fitness. Overall, the proximate composition and gross energy were not significantly affected by acidification and warming (alone or in combination). Weight gain, maximum and standard metabolic rates (MMR and SMR, respectively), aerobic scope (AS) and C were significantly higher in fish subjected to OA, OW and OAW than in CTR conditions. Furthermore, the highest relative growth rates (RGR), specific growth rates in terms of wet weight (SGRw) and protein (SGRp), as well as feed efficiencies (FE) occurred in fish submitted to OW and OAW. On the other hand, fish exposed to CTR conditions had significantly higher feed conversion ratio (FCR) and ammonia excretion rate (AER) than those exposed to simulated stressors. Regarding energy distribution, the highest fraction was generally allocated to growth (48–63 %), followed by excretion through faeces (36–51 %), respiration (approximately 1 %) and ammonia excretion (0.1–0.2 %) in all treatments. Therefore, ocean warming and acidification can trigger physiological responses in juvenile Senegalese sole, particularly in their energy budget, which can affect the energy flow and allocation of its population. However, and in general, this species seems highly resilient to these predicted ocean climate change stressors.

Continue reading ‘Lack of detrimental effects of ocean acidification and warming on proximate composition, fitness and energy budget of juvenile Senegalese sole (Solea senegalensis)’

Responses of elemental content and macromolecule of the coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi to reduced phosphorus availability and ocean acidification depend on light intensity

Global climate change leads to simultaneous changes in multiple environmental drivers in the marine realm. Although physiological characterization of coccolithophores have been studied under climate change, there is limited knowledge on the biochemical responses of this biogeochemically important phytoplankton group to changing multiple environmental drivers. Here we investigate the interactive effects of reduced phosphorus availability (4 to 0.4 μmol L–1), elevated pCO2 concentrations (426 to 946 μatm) and increasing light intensity (40 to 300 μmol photons m–2 s–1) on elemental content and macromolecules of the cosmopolitan coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi. Reduced phosphorus availability reduces particulate organic nitrogen and protein contents under low light intensity, but not under high light intensity. Reduced phosphorus availability and ocean acidification act synergistically to increase particulate organic carbon (POC) and carbohydrate contents under high light intensity but not under low light intensity. Reduced phosphorus availability, ocean acidification and increasing light intensity act synergistically to increase the allocation of POC to carbohydrates. Under future ocean acidification and increasing light intensity, enhanced carbon fixation could increase carbon storage in the phosphorus-limited regions of the oceans where E. huxleyi dominates the phytoplankton assemblages. In each light intensity, elemental carbon to phosphorus (C : P) and nitrogen to phosphorus (N : P) ratios decrease with increasing growth rate. These results suggest that coccolithophores could reallocate chemical elements and energy to synthesize macromolecules efficiently, which allows them to regulate its elemental content and growth rate to acclimate to changing environmental conditions.

Continue reading ‘Responses of elemental content and macromolecule of the coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi to reduced phosphorus availability and ocean acidification depend on light intensity’

Phenotypic plasticity in economically and ecologically important bivalves in response to changing environments

Marine bivalves are ecologically important, providing ecosystem services like filtering water, stabilizing substrate, and creating hard structure for epibionts. Cultured bivalves are also economically important, supporting thousands of aquaculture jobs nationwide and providing valuable protein sources for our growing human population. However, recent shifts in the environment such as temperature, ocean acidification, hypoxia, and extreme environmental variation have greatly affected bivalve physiology, reproduction, and survival across multiple lifestages. Bivalves in the Northeast Pacific are increasingly vulnerable climate change related stressors like intensifying upwelling and weather extremes, defined stratification, and unique geography which causes distinct spatial and seasonal variation. I seek to investigate if higher degrees of phenotypic plasticity and parental carryover will have the potential to improve bivalve’s fitness and tolerance as climate change progresses. My goal is to evaluate plastic capacity by taking a multi-method approach to assessing the physiological metrics of several important bivalve species, using both field and laboratory experiments. Early lifestages are greatly influenced by parental environmental history leading to carryover effects, favoring phenotypes that have a higher likelihood of surviving. In addition to natural selection in the wild, commercial and restoration aquaculturists may select for beneficial phenotypes in adults and offspring which would yield the most desirable characteristics. In our experiment, I focus on three different species: the purple-hinge rock scallop Crassadoma gigantea, the Mediterranean mussels Mytilus galloprovincialis, and the Olympia oyster Ostrea lurida. By choosing a suite of native and non-native, inter- and subtidal species, I hope to obtain a broad snapshot of physiological responses to help restore vulnerable species and maximize quality of farmed product. Chapter 1 examines physiological responses of the scallop C. gigantea to climate change related stressors in the laboratory. I conducted a full factorial laboratory experiment, manipulating pCO2 and temperature to mimic current and future ocean acidification and warming levels. After six weeks of acclimation, I found that stressors reduced shell strength and periostracum (outer shell layer) density. Only acidification affected lipids, and fatty acid content varied between treatments. I was the first to quantify microbial composition of a bivalve under multiple stressors and I found differences in the microbiome, especially with temperature stress. Chapter 2 explores physiological responses of C. gigantea and M. galloprovincialis in a six-month field acclimatation experiment. Shellfish were deployed in cages in Puget Sound, Washington at either 5 or 30 m below the surface. I found that environmental gradients varied seasonally and spatially and affected growth, shell strength, and isotopic signatures. There were differences between the two species, namely with shell strength and δ13C. I found that no one depth or time period yielded the most desirable traits for culturing, and I highlight the concerning patterns in Puget Sound’s most productive region. In Chapter 3, I took my research one step further by introducing a spatial component to a one-year field experiment. I outplanted O. lurida in cages at 5 m depth in three different locations in Puget Sound, one of which also had a 20 m depth. Each of these locations had an oceanographic monitoring buoy which allowed me to couple physiological data with high-resolution environmental data. I spawned the oysters to test parental carryover and found evidence in growth rates of larvae, which when acclimated to high temperatures, mirrored their parents. Interestingly, larval survival did not coincide with growth, and through respirometry, I found that 20°C may be a bottleneck for this lifestage. Adult oyster growth, isotopic signatures, and gametogenesis were affected by both seasonal and spatial field conditions. Metabolic responses to pH and temperature depending on recent acclimatization history. This research shows evidence of strong adaptive plasticity which was demonstrated by energetic trade-offs and parental carryover. Chapter 4 acclimatized M. galloprovincialis in the field in a similar fashion to O. lurida. Growth, shell strength, and isotopes were all affected by season and site. Similar to oysters, acute metabolic rate of each site and season was affected differently between pH and temperature. Shellfish covered in Chapter 3/4 have a high degree of plasticity and results are useful to restoration (oyster) and commercial (mussel) aquaculturists to create selective breeding programs that will withstand climate change. Results of this dissertation demonstrate the rapid degree of phenotypic plasticity and capacity for parental carryover in field and laboratory setting though a wide array of physiological analysis. Outcomes of this research add to the limited but growing body of literature about multiple-stressors and field experiments, and indents to assist aquaculturists as climate change progresses.

Continue reading ‘Phenotypic plasticity in economically and ecologically important bivalves in response to changing environments’

Impact of ocean acidification on the physiology of digestive gland of razor clams Sinonovacula constricta

Ocean acidification (OA) can have widespread implications for marine bivalves. While our current understanding of OA effects on the physiological performance is increasing, very little is known about the physiology of digestive gland of marine bivalves in response to OA. Here, we examined how the digestive system of razor clams (Sinonovacula constricta) responded to OA. Following 35-day exposure to CO2-driven seawater acidification, no significant decreases in phenotypic traits, such as dry body weight gain, specific growth rate, condition index and survival rate, as well physiological functions, such as activities of antioxidant and digestive enzymes, were observed, demonstrating the resistance of razor clams under acidified conditions. Histological results showed that some direct damages on the structure of digestive gland was observed, including degradation of digestive tubular, atrophy of epithelial cells, loose cell arrangement, even diffuse. This study provides insights into the digestive performance of marine bivalves in a rapidly acidifying ocean.

Continue reading ‘Impact of ocean acidification on the physiology of digestive gland of razor clams Sinonovacula constricta

The effects of alkalinity on production performance and biochemical responses of spiny lobster Panulirus homarus reared in recirculating aquaculture system

Spiny lobsters (Panulirus sp.) were valuable and one of the most popular Indonesian export commodities. Some approaches were made to increase the quantity and quality of cultivated spiny lobsters. Land-based mariculture with Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) was applied to increase lobster harvesting and optimize environmental quality by adjusting water alkalinity. This study aimed to determine the optimum level of alkalinity for spiny lobsters Panulirus homarus rearing in RAS. This study investigated the effects of applying four water alkalinity levels (Control, 125, 200, and 275 mg L-1 CaCO3) on the biochemical responses of P. homarus observed in the hemolymph in terms of Total Hemocyte Count (THC), glucose, total protein, calcium, and pH levels.

Furthermore, we also studied the alkalinity effects on lobster production performance parameters in terms of body weight gain, body length, Survival Rate (SR), Specific Growth Rate (SGR), and Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR). Lobsters with an initial weight rate of 58.05±1.69 g and an initial total length rate of 115.33±1.52 mm were reared for 60 days in a recirculation system. Results of water quality parameters such as ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, dissolved oxygen, temperature, and salinity during the study were available for lobster rearing. Different alkalinity levels affected the biochemical responses and production performance of lobsters. The best alkalinity level to reared Panulirus sp. in the recirculation system during this study was 200 mg L-1 CaCO3 so that it could achieve the highest survival rate of 86.67% with SGR 0.60±0.01 % day-1.

Continue reading ‘The effects of alkalinity on production performance and biochemical responses of spiny lobster Panulirus homarus reared in recirculating aquaculture system’

Acidification and high-temperature impacts on energetics and shell production of the edible clam Ameghinomya antiqua

Warming and ocean acidification are currently critical global change drivers for marine ecosystems due to their complex and irreversible effects on the ecology and evolution of marine communities. Changes in the chemistry and the temperature of the ocean impact the biological performance of marine resources by affecting their energy budget and thus imposing energetic restrictions and trade-offs on their survival, growth, and reproduction. In this study, we evaluated the interplaying effects of increased pCO2 levels and temperature on the economically relevant clam Ameghinomya antiqua, an infaunal bivalve inhabiting a wide distributional range along the coast of Chile. Juvenile clams collected from southern Chile were exposed to a 90-day experimental set-up emulating the current and a future scenario projeced to the end of the current century for both high pCO2/low-pH and temperature (10 and 15°C) projected for the Chilean coast. Clams showed physiological plasticity to different projected environmental scenarios without mortality. In addition, our results showed that the specimens under low-pH conditions were not able to meet the energetic requirements when increased temperature imposed high maintenance costs, consequently showing metabolic depression. Indeed, although the calcification rate was negative in the high-pCO2 scenario, it was the temperature that determined the amount of shell loss. These results indicate that the studied clam can face environmental changes for short-term periods modifying energetic allocation on maintenance and growth processes, but with possible long-term population costs, endangering the sustainability of an important benthic artisanal fisheries resource.

Continue reading ‘Acidification and high-temperature impacts on energetics and shell production of the edible clam Ameghinomya antiqua

Cold-water coral ecosystems under future ocean change: live coral performance vs. framework dissolution and bioerosion

Physiological sensitivity of cold-water corals to ocean change is far less understood than of tropical corals and very little is known about the impacts of ocean acidification and warming on degradative processes of dead coral framework. In a 13-month laboratory experiment, we examined the interactive effects of gradually increasing temperature and pCO2 levels on survival, growth, and respiration of two prominent color morphotypes (colormorphs) of the framework-forming cold-water coral Lophelia pertusa, as well as bioerosion and dissolution of dead framework. Calcification rates tended to increase with warming, showing temperature optima at ~ 14°C (white colormorph) and 10–12°C (orange colormorph) and decreased with increasing pCO2. Net dissolution occurred at aragonite undersaturation (ΩAr < 1) at ~ 1000 μatm pCO2. Under combined warming and acidification, the negative effects of acidification on growth were initially mitigated, but at ~ 1600 μatm dissolution prevailed. Respiration rates increased with warming, more strongly in orange corals, while acidification slightly suppressed respiration. Calcification and respiration rates as well as polyp mortality were consistently higher in orange corals. Mortality increased considerably at 14–15°C in both colormorphs. Bioerosion/dissolution of dead framework was not affected by warming alone but was significantly enhanced by acidification. While live corals may cope with intermediate levels of elevated pCO2 and temperature, long-term impacts beyond levels projected for the end of this century will likely lead to skeletal dissolution and increased mortality. Our findings further suggest that acidification causes accelerated degradation of dead framework even at aragonite saturated conditions, which will eventually compromise the structural integrity of cold-water coral reefs.

Continue reading ‘Cold-water coral ecosystems under future ocean change: live coral performance vs. framework dissolution and bioerosion’

Light history modulates growth and photosynthetic responses of a diatom to ocean acidification and UV radiation

To examine the synergetic effects of ocean acidification (OA) and light intensity on the photosynthetic performance of marine diatoms, the marine centric diatom Thalassiosira weissflogii was cultured under ambient low CO2 (LC, 390 μatm) and elevated high CO2 (HC, 1000 μatm) levels under low-light (LL, 60 μmol m−2 s−1) or high-light (HL, 220 μmol m−2 s−1) conditions for over 20 generations. HL stimulated the growth rate by 128 and 99% but decreased cell size by 9 and 7% under LC and HC conditions, respectively. However, HC did not change the growth rate under LL but decreased it by 9% under HL. LL combined with HC decreased both maximum quantum yield (FV/FM) and effective quantum yield (ΦPSII), measured under either low or high actinic light. When exposed to UV radiation (UVR), LL-grown cells were more prone to UVA exposure, with higher UVA and UVR inducing inhibition of ΦPSII compared with HL-grown cells. Light use efficiency (α) and maximum relative electron transport rate (rETRmax) were inhibited more in the HC-grown cells when UVR (UVA and UVB) was present, particularly under LL. Our results indicate that the growth light history influences the cell growth and photosynthetic responses to OA and UVR.

Continue reading ‘Light history modulates growth and photosynthetic responses of a diatom to ocean acidification and UV radiation’

Gregarious larval settlement mediates the responses of new recruits of the reef coral Acropora austera to ocean warming and acidification

Gregarious larval settlement represents an important window for chimera formation in reef corals, yet it remains largely unknown how aggregated settlement and early chimerism could modify the performance and responses of coral recruits under elevated temperature and pCO2. In this study, single and aggregated recruits of the broadcast spawning coral Acropora austera were exposed to contrasts of two temperatures (28 versus 30.5°C) and pCO2 levels (~500 versus 1000 μatm) for two weeks, and algal symbiont infection success, survivorship and growth were assessed. Results showed that symbiont infection success was mainly affected by temperature and recruit type, with reduced symbiont infection at increased temperature and consistently higher infection success in chimeric recruits compared to single recruits. Furthermore, although chimeric recruits with larger areal size had significantly higher survivorship in all treatments, the polyp-specific growth rates were considerably lower in chimeric entities than individual recruits. More importantly, the recruit type significantly influenced the responses of recruit polyp-specific growth rates to elevated temperature, with chimeras exhibiting lowered skeletal lateral growth under elevated temperature. These results demonstrate the benefits and costs associated with gregarious larval settlement for juvenile corals under ocean warming and acidification, and highlight the ecological role of larval settlement behavior in mediating the responses of coral recruits to climate change stressors.

Continue reading ‘Gregarious larval settlement mediates the responses of new recruits of the reef coral Acropora austera to ocean warming and acidification’

Interactive effects of CO2, temperature, irradiance, and nutrient limitation on the growth and physiology of the marine cyanobacterium Synechococcus (Cyanophyceae)

The marine cyanobacterium Synechococcus elongatus was grown in a continuous culture system to study the interactive effects of temperature, irradiance, nutrient limitation, and the partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) on its growth and physiological characteristics. Cells were grown on a 14:10 h light:dark cycle at all combinations of low and high irradiance (50 and 300 μmol photons ⋅ m−2 ⋅ s−1, respectively), low and high pCO2 (400 and 1000 ppmv, respectively), nutrient limitation (nitrate-limited and nutrient-replete conditions), and temperatures of 20–45°C in 5°C increments. The maximum growth rate was ~4.5 · d−1 at 30–35°C. Under nutrient-replete conditions, growth rates at most temperatures and irradiances were about 8% slower at a pCO2 of 1000 ppmv versus 400 ppmv. The single exception was 45°C and high irradiance. Under those conditions, growth rates were ~45% higher at 1000 ppmv. Cellular carbon:nitrogen ratios were independent of temperature at a fixed relative growth rate but higher at high irradiance than at low irradiance. Initial slopes of photosynthesis–irradiance curves were higher at all temperatures under nutrient-replete versus nitrate-limited conditions; they were similar at all temperatures under high and low irradiance, except at 20°C, when they were suppressed at high irradiance. A model of phytoplankton growth in which cellular carbon was allocated to structure, storage, or the light or dark reactions of photosynthesis accounted for the general patterns of cell composition and growth rate. Allocation of carbon to the light reactions of photosynthesis was consistently higher at low versus high light and under nutrient-replete versus nitrate-limited conditions.

Continue reading ‘Interactive effects of CO2, temperature, irradiance, and nutrient limitation on the growth and physiology of the marine cyanobacterium Synechococcus (Cyanophyceae)’

Effect of rising temperature and carbon dioxide on the growth, photophysiology, and elemental ratios of marine Synechococcus: a multistressor approach

Marine picocyanobacteria belonging to the genus Synechococcus are one of the most abundant photosynthetic organisms on Earth. They are often exposed to large fluctuations in temperature and CO2 concentrations in the ocean, which are expected to further change in the coming decades due to ocean acidification and warming resulting from rising atmospheric CO2 levels. To decipher the effect of changing temperature and CO2 levels on Synechococcus, six Synechococcus strains previously isolated from various coastal and open ocean sites were exposed to a matrix of three different temperatures (22 °C, 24 °C and 26 °C) and CO2 levels (400 ppm, 600 ppm and 800 ppm). Thereafter, the specific growth rates, photophysiological parameters (σPSII and Fv/Fm), C/N (mol/mol) ratios and the nitrogen stable isotopic composition (δ15N (‰)) of the strains were measured. Temperature was found to be a stronger driver of the changes in specific growth rates and photophysiology in the Synechococcus strains. Carbon-concentrating mechanisms (CCM) operational in these strains that shield the photosynthetic machinery from directly sensing ambient changes in CO2 possibly played a major role in causing minimal changes in the specific growth rates under the varying CO2 levels.

Continue reading ‘Effect of rising temperature and carbon dioxide on the growth, photophysiology, and elemental ratios of marine Synechococcus: a multistressor approach’

Nutritional response of a coccolithophore to changing pH and temperature

Coccolithophores are a calcifying unicellular phytoplankton group that are at the base of the marine food web, and their lipid content provides a source of energy to consumers. Coccolithophores are vulnerable to ocean acidification and warming, therefore it is critical to establish the effects of climate change on these significant marine primary producers, and determine potential consequences that these changes can have on their consumers. Here, we quantified the impact of changes in pH and temperature on the nutritional condition (lipid content, particulate organic carbon/nitrogen), growth rate, and morphology of the most abundant living coccolithophore species, Emiliania huxleyi. We used a regression type approach with nine pH levels (ranging from 7.66 to 8.44) and two temperatures (15°C and 20°C). Lipid production was greater under reduced pH, and growth rates were distinctly lower at 15°C than at 20°C. The production potential of lipids, which estimates the availability of lipids to consumers, increased under 20°C, but decreased under low pH. The results indicate that, while consumers will benefit energetically under ocean warming, this benefit will be mitigated by ocean acidification. The carbon to nitrogen ratio was higher at 20°C and low pH, indicating that the nutritional quality of coccolithophores for consumers will decline under climate change. The impact of low pH on the structural integrity of the coccosphere may also mean that coccolithophores are easier to digest for consumers. Many responses suggest cellular stress, indicating that increases in temperature and reductions in pH may have a negative impact on the ecophysiology of coccolithophores.

Continue reading ‘Nutritional response of a coccolithophore to changing pH and temperature’

  • Reset

Subscribe

OA-ICC Highlights


%d bloggers like this: