Posts Tagged 'laboratory'

Warming and CO2 enhance Arctic heterotrophic microbial activity

Ocean acidification and warming are two main consequences of climate change that can directly affect biological and ecosystem processes in marine habitats. The Arctic Ocean is the region of the world experiencing climate change at the steepest rate compared with other latitudes. Since marine planktonic microorganisms play a key role in the biogeochemical cycles in the ocean it is crucial to simultaneously evaluate the effect of warming and increasing CO2 on marine microbial communities. In 20 L experimental microcosms filled with water from a high-Arctic fjord (Svalbard), we examined changes in phototrophic and heterotrophic microbial abundances and processes [bacterial production (BP) and mortality], and viral activity (lytic and lysogenic) in relation to warming and elevated CO2. The summer microbial plankton community living at 1.4°C in situ temperature, was exposed to increased CO2 concentrations (135–2,318 μatm) in three controlled temperature treatments (1, 6, and 10°C) at the UNIS installations in Longyearbyen (Svalbard), in summer 2010. Results showed that chlorophyll a concentration decreased at increasing temperatures, while BP significantly increased with pCO2 at 6 and 10°C. Lytic viral production was not affected by changes in pCO2 and temperature, while lysogeny increased significantly at increasing levels of pCO2, especially at 10°C (R2 = 0.858, p = 0.02). Moreover, protistan grazing rates showed a positive interaction between pCO2 and temperature. The averaged percentage of bacteria grazed per day was higher (19.56 ± 2.77% d-1) than the averaged percentage of lysed bacteria by virus (7.18 ± 1.50% d-1) for all treatments. Furthermore, the relationship among microbial abundances and processes showed that BP was significantly related to phototrophic pico/nanoflagellate abundance in the 1°C and the 6°C treatments, and BP triggered viral activity, mainly lysogeny at 6 and 10°C, while bacterial mortality rates was significantly related to bacterial abundances at 6°C. Consequently, our experimental results suggested that future increases in water temperature and pCO2 in Arctic waters will produce a decrease of phytoplankton biomass, enhancement of BP and changes in the carbon fluxes within the microbial food web. All these heterotrophic processes will contribute to weakening the CO2 sink capacity of the Arctic plankton community.

Continue reading ‘Warming and CO2 enhance Arctic heterotrophic microbial activity’

Carbon and nitrogen accumulation and interspecific competition in two algae species, Pyropia haitanensis and Ulva lactuca, under ocean acidification conditions

If the atmospheric CO2 continues to increase as predicted, Pyropia haitanensis would experience the coupled effects of ocean acidification (OA) and interference from the epiphyte alga Ulva lactuca. In the current study, we evaluated the carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) accumulation in P. haitanensis and U. lactuca under OA conditions, as well as the interspecific competition between these two algae. We found that, under mono-culture conditions, OA significantly enhanced the growth of both P. haitanensis and U. lactuca and markedly increased the soluble carbohydrate (SC) content and C/N ratios in P. haitanensis, but reduced its soluble proteins (SP) content. In U. lactuca, OA reduced its SP content, but increased C/N ratios, while its SC content was not significantly affected. Under biculture conditions, the rapid growth of U. lactuca and its comparatively more efficient use of nutrients resulted in insufficient available N sources for P. haitanensis. Biculture with U. lactuca increased SC but declined SP content. This also resulted in some membrane injuries that were indicated by increased malondialdehyde (MDA) content and depressed growth in P. haitanensis. Biculture with U. lactuca was disadvantageous for carbon and nitrogen accumulation in P. haitanensis. The results demonstrated that under conditions of OA, the negative effects caused by the epiphyte U. lactuca were more pronounced. If the CO2 levels rise as predicted, Ulva algae would severely interfere with maricultivation of P. haitanensis.

Continue reading ‘Carbon and nitrogen accumulation and interspecific competition in two algae species, Pyropia haitanensis and Ulva lactuca, under ocean acidification conditions’

Linking social preferences and ocean acidification impacts in mussel aquaculture

Ocean Acidification (OA) has become one of the most studied global stressors in marine science during the last fifteen years. Despite the variety of studies on the biological effects of OA with marine commercial species, estimations of these impacts over consumers’ preferences have not been studied in detail, compromising our ability to undertake an assessment of market and economic impacts resulting from OA at local scales. Here, we use a novel and interdisciplinary approach to fill this gap. We experimentally test the impact of OA on commercially relevant physical and nutritional attributes of mussels, and then we use economic discrete choice models to assess the marginal effects of these impacts over consumers’ preferences and wellbeing. Results showed that attributes, which were significantly affected by OA, are also those preferred by consumers. Consumers are willing to pay on average 52% less for mussels with evidences of OA and are willing to increase the price they pay to avoid negative changes in attributes due to OA. The interdisciplinary approach developed here, complements research conducted on OA by effectively informing how OA economic impacts can be analyzed under the lens of marginal changes in market price and consumer’ welfare. Thereby, linking global phenomena to consumers’ wellbeing, and shifting the focus of OA impacts to assess the effects of local vulnerabilities in a wider context of people and businesses.

Continue reading ‘Linking social preferences and ocean acidification impacts in mussel aquaculture’

Increased pCO2 changes the lipid production in important aquacultural feedstock algae Isochrysis galbana, but not in Tetraselmis suecica

Increased anthropogenic CO2 emissions are leading to an increase in CO2 uptake by the world’s oceans and seas, resulting in ocean acidification with a decrease in global ocean water pH by as much as 0.3–0.4 units by the year 2100. The direct effects of changing pCO2 on important microalgal feedstocks are not as well understood. Few studies have focused on lipid composition changes in specific algal species in response to ocean acidification and yet microalgae are an indispensable food source for various marine species, including juvenile shellfish. Isochrysis galbana and Tetraselmis suecica are widely used in aquaculture as feeds for mussels and other shellfish. The total lipid contents and concentrations of I. galbana and T. suecica were investigated when grown under present day (400 ppm) and ocean acidification conditions (1000 ppm) to elucidate the impact of increasing pCO2 on an important algae feedstock. Total lipids, long-chain alkenones (LCAs) and alkenoates decreased at 1000 ppm in I. galbana. I. galbana produces higher lipids than T. suecica, and is perhaps as a result more impacted by the change in carbon available for lipid production under higher pCO2. I. galbana is an important feedstock, more easily assimilated for growth in juvenile shellfish and reductions in lipid composition may prove problematic for the growth of future shellfish aquaculture. Our findings suggest that higher pCO2 impacts on algal lipid growth are species specific and warrant further study. It is therefore vital to examine the impact of high CO2 on algal lipid production, especially those commercial shellfish feed varieties to predict future impacts on commercial aquaculture.

Continue reading ‘Increased pCO2 changes the lipid production in important aquacultural feedstock algae Isochrysis galbana, but not in Tetraselmis suecica’

Changes in temperature, pH, and salinity affect the sheltering responses of Caribbean spiny lobsters to chemosensory cues

Florida Bay is home to a network of shallow mud-banks which act as barriers to circulation creating small basins that are often subject to extremes in temperature and salinity. Florida bay is also important juvenile habitat for the Caribbean spiny lobster Panulirus argus. While our understanding of the effect of environmental changes on the survival, growth, and movement of spiny lobsters is growing, the effect on their chemosensory abilities has not yet been investigated. Lobsters rely heavily on chemical cues for many biological and ecological activities, and here we report on the effect of extreme environmental events in temperature (32 °C), salinity (45ppt), and pH (7.65 pH) on social behavior and sheltering preference in P. argus. Under normal conditions, chemical cues from conspecifics are used by spiny lobsters to identify suitable shelter and cues from stone crabs and diseased individuals are used to determine shelters to be avoided. In all altered conditions, lobsters lost the ability to aggregate with conspecifics and avoid stone crabs and diseased conspecifics. Thus, seasonal extreme events, and potentially future climate change conditions, alter the chemosensory-driven behavior of P. argus and may result in decreased survivorship due to impaired shelter selection or other behaviors.

Continue reading ‘Changes in temperature, pH, and salinity affect the sheltering responses of Caribbean spiny lobsters to chemosensory cues’

A negative correlation between behavioural and physiological performance under ocean acidification and warming

Many studies have examined the average effects of ocean acidification and warming on phenotypic traits of reef fishes, finding variable, but often negative effects on behavioural and physiological performance. Yet the presence and nature of a relationship between these traits is unknown. A negative relationship between phenotypic traits could limit individual performance and even the capacity of populations to adapt to climate change. Here, we examined the relationship between behavioural and physiological performance of a juvenile reef fish under elevated CO2 and temperature in a full factorial design. Behaviourally, the response to an alarm odour was negatively affected by elevated CO2, but not elevated temperature. Physiologically, aerobic scope was significantly diminished under elevated temperature, but not under elevated CO2. At the individual level, there was no relationship between behavioural and physiological traits in the control and single-stressor treatments. However, a statistically significant negative relationship was detected between the traits in the combined elevated CO2 and temperature treatment. Our results demonstrate that trade-offs in performance between behavioural and physiological traits may only be evident when multiple climate change stressors are considered, and suggest that this negative relationship could limit adaptive potential to climate change.

Continue reading ‘A negative correlation between behavioural and physiological performance under ocean acidification and warming’

The physiological response of marine diatoms to ocean acidification: differential roles of seawater pCO2 and pH

Although increasing the pCO2 for diatoms will presumably down‐regulate the CO2‐concentrating mechanism (CCM) to save energy for growth, different species have been reported to respond differently to ocean acidification (OA). To better understand their growth responses to OA, we acclimated the diatoms Thalassiosira pseudonana, Phaeodactylum tricornutum, and Chaetoceros muelleri to ambient (pCO2 400 μatm, pH 8.1), carbonated (pCO2 800 μatm, pH 8.1), acidified (pCO2 400 μatm, pH 7.8), and OA (pCO2 800 μatm, pH 7.8) conditions and investigated how seawater pCO2 and pH affect their CCMs, photosynthesis, and respiration both individually and jointly. In all three diatoms, carbonation down‐regulated the CCMs, while acidification increased both the photosynthetic carbon fixation rate and the fraction of CO2 as the inorganic carbon source. The positive OA effect on photosynthetic carbon fixation was more pronounced in C. muelleri, which had a relatively lower photosynthetic affinity for CO2, than in either T. pseudonana or P. tricornutum. In response to OA, T. pseudonana increased respiration for active disposal of H+ to maintain its intracellular pH, whereas P. tricornutum and C. muelleri retained their respiration rate but lowered the intracellular pH to maintain the cross‐membrane electrochemical gradient for H+ efflux. As the net result of changes in photosynthesis and respiration, growth enhancement to OA of the three diatoms followed the order of C. muelleri > P. tricornutum > T. pseudonana. This study demonstrates that elucidating the separate and joint impacts of increased pCO2 and decreased pH aids the mechanistic understanding of OA effects on diatoms in the future, acidified oceans.

Continue reading ‘The physiological response of marine diatoms to ocean acidification: differential roles of seawater pCO2 and pH’


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Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

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