Posts Tagged 'multiple factors'



Variable food alters responses of larval crown-of-thorns starfish to ocean warming but not acidification

Phytoplankton abundance is decreasing and becoming more variable as the ocean climate changes. We examine how low, high, and variable phytoplankton food supply affected the survival, development, and growth of larval crown-of-thorns starfish, Acanthaster sp. exposed to combined warming (26, 30 °C) and acidification (pH 8.0, 7.6). Larvae fed a low food ration are smaller, and develop slower and with more abnormalities than larvae fed a high ration. Larvae fed a variable food supply (low, followed by high ration) overcome the negative effects of low food on development rate and occurrence of abnormalities, but are 16–17% smaller than larvae fed the high ration continuously. Acidification (pH 7.6) slows growth and development and increases abnormalities regardless of the food regime. Warming slows growth and development, but these effects are mitigated by high food availability. As tropical oceans warm, the success of crown-of-thorns starfish larvae may depend on the abundance of their phytoplankton prey.

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Global climate change increases the impact of pollutant mixtures in the model species Paracentrotus lividus

Highlights

  • Impact of chlorpyrifos (CPF) and microplastics (MP) on P. lividus is studied.
  • We also studied if climate change increases the toxicity of these pollutants.
  • CPF has a marked effect on growth of larvae, but less on the fertilisation rate.
  • MP increases the negative effect of CPF on growth and development.
  • Global climate change conditions increase the sensitivity of embryos to MP and CPF.

Abstract

The goal of the present work is to study whether ocean- acidification (OA) and -warming (OW) could increase the toxicity of pollutants on P. lividus. We studied how model pollutants such as chlorpyrifos (CPF) and microplastics (MP), alone or in combination, impact the fertilisation process, and the development of larvae under conditions of OA (dissolved inorganic carbon increase of 126 × 10−6 mol per kg of sea water) and OW (temperature increase of 4 °C) predicted by FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) for the next 50 years. Fertilisation was determined by microscopic examination after 1 h. Growth, morphology, and alteration level were measured after 48 h of incubation. Results showed that CPF has a marked effect on the growth of larvae, but less on the fertilisation rate. When larvae are exposed to both MP and CPF, the effect on fertilisation and growth is higher than when CPF is added alone. Larvae exposed to CPF tend to adopt a rounded shape which is detrimental to their buoyancy and the combination with other stressors aggravate this situation. The variables most influenced by CPF or its mixtures are those related to body length, body width, and higher levels of body abnormalities, which is consistent with the degenerative effects caused by CPF on sea urchin larvae. The PCA analysis showed that temperature has more influence when embryos or larvae are exposed to a combination of stressors, demonstrating that global climate change drastically increase the impact of CPF on aquatic ecosystems. Overall, in this work we demonstrated that global climate change conditions increase the sensitivity of embryos to MP and CPF. Our findings support the idea that global change conditions could have a severe impact on marine life, increasing the negative effect of toxic agents commonly present in the sea and their mixtures.

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Future ocean conditions induce necrosis, microbial dysbiosis and nutrient cycling imbalance in the reef sponge Stylissa flabelliformis

Oceans are rapidly warming and acidifying in the context of climate change, threatening sensitive marine biota including coral reef sponges. Ocean warming (OW) and ocean acidification (OA) can impact host health and associated microbiome, but few studies have investigated these effects, which are generally studied in isolation, on a specific component of the holobiont. Here we present a comprehensive view of the consequences of simultaneous OW and OA for the tropical sponge Stylissa flabelliformis. We found no interactive effect on the host health or microbiome. Furthermore, OA (pH 7.6 versus pH 8.0) had no impact, while OW (31.5 °C versus 28.5 °C) caused tissue necrosis, as well as dysbiosis and shifts in microbial functions in healthy tissue of necrotic sponges. Major taxonomic shifts included a complete loss of archaea, reduced proportions of Gammaproteobacteria and elevated relative abundances of Alphaproteobacteria. OW weakened sponge-microbe interactions, with a reduced capacity for nutrient exchange and phagocytosis evasion, indicating lower representations of stable symbionts. The potential for microbially-driven nitrogen and sulphur cycling was reduced, as was amino acid metabolism. Crucially, the dysbiosis annihilated the potential for ammonia detoxification, possibly leading to accumulation of toxic ammonia, nutrient imbalance, and host tissue necrosis. Putative defence against reactive oxygen species was greater at 31.5 °C, perhaps as microorganisms capable of resisting temperature-driven oxidative stress were favoured. We conclude that healthy symbiosis in S. flabelliformis is unlikely to be disrupted by future OA but will be deeply impacted by temperatures predicted for 2100 under a “business-as-usual” carbon emission scenario.

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The impacts of ocean acidification, warming and their interactive effects on coral prokaryotic symbionts

Reef-building corals, the foundation of tropical coral reefs, are vulnerable to climate change e.g. ocean acidification and elevated seawater temperature. Coral microbiome plays a key role in host acclimatization and maintenance of the coral holobiont’s homeostasis under different environmental conditions, however, the response patterns of coral prokaryotic symbionts to ocean acidification and/or warming are rarely known at the metatranscriptional level, particularly the knowledge of interactive and persistent effects is limited. Using branching Acropora valida and massive Galaxea fascicularis as models in a lab system simulating extreme ocean acidification (pH 7.7) and/or warming (32 °C) in the future, we investigated the changes of in situ active prokaryotic symbionts community and gene expression of corals under/after (6/9 d) acidification (A), warming (H) and acidification–warming (AH) by metatranscriptome analysis with pH8.1, 26 °C as the control.

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Interaction matters: bottom-up driver interdependencies alter the projected response of phytoplankton communities to climate change

Phytoplankton growth is controlled by multiple environmental drivers, which are all modified by climate change. While numerous experimental studies identify interactive effects between drivers, large-scale ocean biogeochemistry models mostly account for growth responses to each driver separately and leave the results of these experimental multiple-driver studies largely unused. Here, we amend phytoplankton growth functions in a biogeochemical model by dual-driver interactions (CO2 and temperature, CO2 and light), based on data of a published meta-analysis on multiple-driver laboratory experiments. The effect of this parametrization on phytoplankton biomass and community composition is tested using present-day and future high-emission (SSP5-8.5) climate forcing. While the projected decrease in future total global phytoplankton biomass in simulations with driver interactions is similar to that in control simulations without driver interactions (5%–6%), interactive driver effects are group-specific. Globally, diatom biomass decreases more with interactive effects compared with the control simulation (−8.1% with interactions vs. no change without interactions). Small-phytoplankton biomass, by contrast, decreases less with on-going climate change when the model accounts for driver interactions (−5.0% vs. −9.0%). The response of global coccolithophore biomass to future climate conditions is even reversed when interactions are considered (+33.2% instead of −10.8%). Regionally, the largest difference in the future phytoplankton community composition between the simulations with and without driver interactions is detected in the Southern Ocean, where diatom biomass decreases (−7.5%) instead of increases (+14.5%), raising the share of small phytoplankton and coccolithophores of total phytoplankton biomass. Hence, interactive effects impact the phytoplankton community structure and related biogeochemical fluxes in a future ocean. Our approach is a first step to integrate the mechanistic understanding of interacting driver effects on phytoplankton growth gained by numerous laboratory experiments into a global ocean biogeochemistry model, aiming toward more realistic future projections of phytoplankton biomass and community composition.

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Microbial mats as model to decipher climate change effect on microbial communities through a mesocosm study

Marine environments are expected to be one of the most affected ecosystems by climate change, notably with increasing ocean temperature and ocean acidification. In marine environments, microbial communities provide important ecosystem services ensuring biogeochemical cycles. They are threatened by the modification of environmental parameters induced by climate change that, in turn, affect their activities. Microbial mats, ensuring important ecosystem services in coastal areas, are well-organized communities of diverse microorganisms representing accurate microbial models. It is hypothesized that their microbial diversity and metabolic versatility will reveal various adaptation strategies in response to climate change. Thus, understanding how climate change affects microbial mats will provide valuable information on microbial behaviour and functioning in changed environment. Experimental ecology, based on mesocosm approaches, provides the opportunity to control physical-chemical parameters, as close as possible to those observed in the environment. The exposure of microbial mats to physical-chemical conditions mimicking the climate change predictions will help to decipher the modification of the microbial community structure and function in response to it. Here, we present how to expose microbial mats, following a mesocosm approach, to study the impact of climate change on microbial community.

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Effects of anthropogenic stressorson Helgoland’s lobsters(Homarus gammarus)

As meroplankton, lobsters make up a great portion of both benthic communities and planktonic fauna in the water column. Furthermore, they represent a mayor food source across the marine food web and a vital source of protein for humans. As an economically important species, lobsters are highly susceptible to anthropogenic stressors (e.g habitat destruction, over-fishing, noise pollution). Moreover, climate change may magnify the impact of human activities on lobsters’ fitness. The collapse of the population of European lobster (Homarus gammarus) around Helgoland constitutes a good example and prompted a largescale restocking program. Yet, the question arises if recruitment of remaining natural individuals and program released specimens could be stunted by ongoing climate change and human activities.

In my thesis I investigate the effect of several anthropogenic stressors that could potentially be affecting the route to recovery of Helgoland’s lobsters.

Owing to the difficulties in catching lobster larvae in the field, I used larvae from lobster-rearing facilities to study the effects of anthropogenic stress on larval development and physiology. Studies on the effects of climate change on European lobster larvae have mostly focused on the isolated effect of ocean acidification or warming. Acidification treatments were based on two shared socio-economic pathways emitted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) regarding the amount of atmospheric CO2 for the end of the century. This study is the first to provide a more complete picture of the thermal limits at different levels of biological organization of lobster larvae under acidification by including a ten-level temperature gradient setup (13-24°C) The results show temperature was positively correlated with growth and energy metabolism; while, pCO2 had a negative impact on survival and morphology. Thus, climate change could potentially stunt the European lobster restocking efforts taking place on the island.

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Ocean acidification increases copper accumulation and exacerbates copper toxicity in Amphioctopus fangsiao (Mollusca: Cephalopoda): a potential threat to seafood safety

Highlights

  • A. fangsiao can adapt well to ocean acidification after 21-days experiment.
  • Copper accumulation in tissues showed increase in acidified seawater.
  • Copper exposure can influence the growth and feeding of A. fangsiao.
  • Acidification exacerbated the copper effect in metabolism and oxidative stress.
  • Copper exposure triggered DNA and protein and mitochondrial damage.

Abstract

Ocean acidification (OA) and trace metal pollutants coexist to exert combined effects on the functions and services of marine ecosystems. Increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide has caused a decrease in the pH of the ocean, affecting the bioavailability and speciation of trace metals and consequently altering metal toxicity in marine organisms. As an important trace metal functioned in hemocyanin, the richness of Copper (Cu) in octopuses is remarkable. Therefore, the biomagnification and bioaccumulation capacities of Cu in octopuses may be a non-negligible risk of contamination. Here, Amphioctopus fangsiao was continuously exposed to acidified seawater (pH 7.8) and copper (50 μg/L) to investigate the combined effect of ocean acidification and Cu exposure on marine mollusks. Our results showed that A. fangsiao could adapt well to ocean acidification after 21 days of the rearing experiment. However, the accumulation of Cu in A. fangsiao intestine increased significantly in acidified seawater under high levels of Cu stress. In addition, Cu exposure can influence the physiological function of A. fangsiao, including growth and feeding. This study also demonstrated that Cu exposure disturbed glucolipid metabolism and induced oxidative damage to intestine tissue, and ocean acidification further exacerbated these toxic effects. The obvious histological damage and microbiota alterations were also caused by Cu stress and its combined effect with ocean acidification. At the transcription level, we found numerous differentially expressed genes (DEGs) and significantly enriched KEGG pathways, involving glycolipid metabolism, transmembrane transport, glucolipid metabolism, oxidative stress, mitochondrial, protein and DNA damage, all revealing the strong toxicological synergetic effect of Cu and OA exposure and the molecular adaptation mechanism of A. fangsiao. Collectively, this study demonstrated that octopuses may withstand future ocean acidification conditions, however, the complex interactions of future OA and trace metal pollution need to be emphasized. OA can influence the toxicity of trace metals, inducing a potential threat to marine organism safety.

Continue reading ‘Ocean acidification increases copper accumulation and exacerbates copper toxicity in Amphioctopus fangsiao (Mollusca: Cephalopoda): a potential threat to seafood safety’

Separate and combined effects of elevated pCO2 and temperature on the branching reef corals Acropora digitifera and Montipora digitata

Ocean acidification (OA) and warming (OW) are major global threats to coral reef ecosystems; however, studies on their combined effects (OA + OW) are scarce. Therefore, we evaluated the effects of OA, OW, and OA + OW in the branching reef corals Acropora digitifera and Montipora digitata, which have been found to respond differently to environmental changes. Our results indicate that OW has a greater impact on A. digitifera and M. digitata than OA and that the former species is more vulnerable to OW than the latter. OW was the main stressor for increased mortality and decreased calcification in the OA + OW group, and the effect of OA + OW was additive in both species. Our findings suggest that the relative abundance and cover of M. digitata are expected to increase whereas those of A. digitifera may decrease in the near future in Okinawa.

Continue reading ‘Separate and combined effects of elevated pCO2 and temperature on the branching reef corals Acropora digitifera and Montipora digitata’

Behavioral and physiological effects of ocean acidification and warming on larvae of a continental shelf bivalve

Highlights

  • Warming and acidification impacts on surfclam larvae were investigated.
  • Warming increased larvae feeding, scope for growth and biomineralization.
  • Warming decreased swimming speed and pelagic larval duration.
  • Acidification increased respiration but reduced immunity and biomineralization.

Abstract

The negative impacts of ocean warming and acidification on bivalve fisheries are well documented but few studies investigate parameters relevant to energy budgets and larval dispersal. This study used laboratory experiments to assess developmental, physiological and behavioral responses to projected climate change scenarios using larval Atlantic surfclams Spisula solidissima solidissima, found in northwest Atlantic Ocean continental shelf waters. Ocean warming increased feeding, scope for growth, and biomineralization, but decreased swimming speed and pelagic larval duration. Ocean acidification increased respiration but reduced immune performance and biomineralization. Growth increased under ocean warming only, but decreased under combined ocean warming and acidification. These results suggest that ocean warming increases metabolic activity and affects larval behavior, while ocean acidification negatively impacts development and physiology. Additionally, principal component analysis demonstrated that growth and biomineralization showed similar response profiles, but inverse response profiles to respiration and swimming speed, suggesting alterations in energy allocation under climate change.

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Acidification and hypoxia drive physiological trade-offs in oysters and partial loss of nutrient cycling capacity in oyster holobiont

Introduction: 

Reef building oysters provide vast ecological benefits and ecosystem services. A large part of their role in driving ecological processes is mediated by the microbial communities that are associated with the oysters; together forming the oyster holobiont. While changing environmental conditions are known to alter the physiological performance of oysters, it is unclear how multiple stressors may alter the ability of the oyster holobiont to maintain its functional role.

Methods: 

Here, we exposed oysters to acidification and hypoxia to examine their physiological responses (molecular defense and immune response), changes in community structure of their associated microbial community, and changes in water nutrient concentrations to evaluate how acidification and hypoxia will alter the oyster holobiont’s ecological role.

Results: 

We found clear physiological stress in oysters exposed to acidification, hypoxia, and their combination but low mortality. However, there were different physiological trade-offs in oysters exposed to acidification or hypoxia, and the combination of stressors incited greater physiological costs (i.e., >600% increase in protein damage and drastic decrease in haemocyte counts). The microbial communities differed depending on the environment, with microbial community structure partly readjusted based on the environmental conditions. Microbes also seemed to have lost some capacity in nutrient cycling under hypoxia and multi-stressor conditions (~50% less nitrification) but not acidification.

Discussion: 

We show that the microbiota associated to the oyster can be enriched differently under climate change depending on the type of environmental change that the oyster holobiont is exposed to. In addition, it may be the primary impacts to oyster physiology which then drives changes to the associated microbial community. Therefore, we suggest the oyster holobiont may lose some of its nutrient cycling properties under hypoxia and multi-stressor conditions although the oysters can regulate their physiological processes to maintain homeostasis on the short-term.

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Taphonomy and dissolution rates of the razor clam Ensis magnus shells: current status and projected acidification scenarios

Highlights

  • Natural variability of seawater (TaΩaragonite and pCO2) revealed an increase of acidification though such change did not suppose abrupt detrimental effects for taphonomic characteristics of shells (length, thickness, organic content or strength).
  • Temperature affected negatively shell strength and thickness, although the large correlation between the environmental variables would disturb the individual characterization of environmental parameters.
  • Dissolution rates of shells subjected to projected laboratory scenarios were significantly greater for cold-acidic environment (more corrosive) as compared to warm-acidic. Mean dissolution time (DT50) for cold-acidic scenario was reduced by half (15 years) as compared to current water chemistry conditions (30 years).
  • More recent shells are being secreted in a progressively less saturated carbonate environment (at an annual rate of change of −0.0127 for Ωaragonite) and accordingly, were more prone to suffer dissolution (and weakening) in projected laboratory scenarios.
  • Marine shells support ecosystem services including refuge for multiple species, substrate to attach and settle of fauna that may change in future environments or may bring changes in the ecological interactions of our coastal areas affecting biodiversity and optimal functioning of the ecosystem services.

Abstract

The analysis of the natural variability of seawater (TaΩaragonite and pCO2) at Rodas Beach (NW Iberian Peninsula, Spain) revealed an increase of acidification. However, such pH change was not linked to any detrimental effect of the shell taphonomic characteristics of live razor clams harvested during distinct temporal series (length, thickness, organic content or strength). Temperature affected negatively shell strength and thickness, although the large correlation between the environmental variables would limit the individual characterization. Modelled trends in pH (and Ωaragonite) showed a significant decrease in the last 20 years, despite Ω > 1. Therefore, more recent shells are being secreted in a progressively less saturated carbonate environment and, consequently, more prone to suffer dissolution (and weakening) in projected climatic scenarios. When shells of harvested razor clams were exposed to projected climatic scenarios in the laboratory, dissolution rates were significantly greater for cold-acidic scenarios (more corrosive) as compared to warm-acidic. The median dissolution time (DT50) for shells under the cold-acidic scenario was reduced by half (15 years) when compared to the values observed for shells under current water chemistry conditions (30 years).

Galician coastline, often characterised by pCO2-rich and cold waters due to upwelling system, would represent the most corrosive scenario for the shells according to the responses monitored in our survey which highlight future compromise for the ecosystem services supplied by these hard skeletons. Future climate scenarios might condition performance of bivalves but also more complex processes related to carbonate structures. Local biodiversity may be lowered which may reduce the possibility that many species find shelter and feeding grounds, diminishing the optimal substrate for other organisms as needed elements for optimal services in the ecosystems.

Continue reading ‘Taphonomy and dissolution rates of the razor clam Ensis magnus shells: current status and projected acidification scenarios’

Effects of ocean acidification and ocean warming on the behavior and physiology of a subarctic, intertidal grazer

The global ocean is expected to both acidify and warm concurrently; thus, multiple-stressor manipulative experimentation is an emergent area of study that ultimately aims to examine the individual and interactive effects of these factors on marine organisms. We characterized the physiological responses to acidification and warming of the intertidal grazer Lottia scutum, and examined how these ocean change variables influenced predator-prey dynamics with Evasterias troschelii, a key sea star predator. Specifically, we conducted a laboratory experiment where we exposed limpets to factorial combinations of temperature (11 and 15°C) and pH (7.6 and 8.0), and measured effects on thermal tolerance, metabolic rate, cortisol concentrations, and behavioral responses to the predator. We found that ocean warming (OW) decreased the critical thermal maxima (CTmax) and increased cortisol levels in L. scutum, whereas ocean acidification (OA) increased the mass-specific metabolic rate in this species. Additionally, we found that there was no significant effect of OA or OW on the anti-predator behavior of L. scutum when exposed to E. troschelii. These results highlight the need for future studies to integrate multidisciplinary experimental designs (i.e. behavior and physiology) that span multiple levels of biological organization to make ecologically relevant predictions for how marine organisms will respond to ocean change.

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Long-term physiological responses to combined ocean acidification and warming show energetic trade-offs in an asterinid starfish

While organismal responses to climate change and ocean acidification are increasingly documented, longer-term (> a few weeks) experiments with marine organisms are still sparse. However, such experiments are crucial for assessing potential acclimatization mechanisms, as well as predicting species-specific responses to environmental change. Here, we assess the combined effects of elevated pCO2 and temperature on organismal metabolism, mortality, righting activity, and calcification of the coral reef-associated starfish Aquilonastra yairi. Specimens were incubated at two temperature levels (27 °C and 32 °C) crossed with three pCO2 regimes (455 µatm, 1052 µatm, and 2066 µatm) for 90 days. At the end of the experiment, mortality was not altered by temperature and pCO2 treatments. Elevated temperature alone increased metabolic rate, accelerated righting activity, and caused a decline in calcification rate, while high pCO2 increased metabolic rate and reduced calcification rate, but did not affect the righting activity. We document that temperature is the main stressor regulating starfish physiology. However, the combination of high temperature and high pCO2 showed nonlinear and potentially synergistic effects on organismal physiology (e.g., metabolic rate), where the elevated temperature allowed the starfish to better cope with the adverse effect of high pCO2 concentration (low pH) on calcification and reduced skeletal dissolution (antagonistic interactive effects) interpreted as a result of energetic trade-offs.

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High and diurnally fluctuating carbon dioxide exposure produces lower mercury toxicity in a marine copepod

Highlights

  • Elevated pCO2 decreased Hg accumulation in Hg-treated T. japonicus.
  • Fluctuating elevated pCO2 further decreased Hg bioaccumulation.
  • Hg exposure caused energy depletion and oxidative stress in T. japonicus.
  • Elevated pCO2 initiated compensatory response in copepods to decrease Hg toxicity.
  • Fluctuating elevated pCO2 presented more immune defense related genes/processes.

Abstract

Coastal waters have experienced fluctuations in partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO2) and mercury (Hg) pollution, yet little is known concerning how natural pCO2 fluctuations affect Hg biotoxicity. Here, a marine copepod Tigriopus japonicus was interactively exposed to different seawater pCO2 (ambient 400, steady elevated 1000, and fluctuating elevated 1000 ± 600 μatm) scenarios and Hg (control, 2 μg/L) treatments for 7 d. The results showed that elevated pCO2 decreased Hg bioaccumulation, and it was even more under fluctuating elevated pCO2 condition. We found energy depletion and oxidative stress under Hg-treated copepods, while combined exposure initiated compensatory response to alleviate Hg toxicity. Intriguingly, fluctuating acidification presented more immune defense related genes/processes in Hg-treated copepods when compared to steady acidification, probably linking with the greater decrease in Hg bioaccumulation. Collectively, understanding how fluctuating acidification interacts with Hg contaminant will become more crucial in predicting their risks to coastal biota and ecosystems.

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Warmer and more acidic conditions enhance performance of an endemic low shore gastropod

Changing ocean temperatures are predicted to challenge marine organisms, especially when combined with other factors, such as ocean acidification. Acclimation, as a form of phenotypic plasticity, can however, moderate the consequences of changing environments for biota. Our understanding of how altered temperature and acidification together influence species acclimation responses is, however, limited compared to responses to single stressors. This study investigated how temperature and acidification affected the thermal tolerance and righting speed of the Girdled Dogwhelk, Trochia cingulata (Linnaeus, 1771). Whelks were acclimated for two weeks to combinations of three temperatures (11°C: cold, 13°C: moderate and 15°C: warm) and two pH regimes (8.0: moderate and 7.5: acidic). We measured the temperature sensitivity of righting response by generating thermal performance curves from individual data collected at seven test temperatures and determined critical thermal minima (CTmin) and maxima (CTmax). We found that T. cingulata has a broad basal thermal tolerance range (∼38°C) and after acclimation to the warm temperature regime, both the optimal temperature for maximum righting speed and CTmax increased. Contrary to predictions, acidification did not narrow this population’s thermal tolerance but increased CTmax. These plastic responses are likely driven by the predictable exposure to temperature extremes measured in the field which originate from the local tidal cycle and the periodic acidification associated with ocean upwelling in the region. This acclimation ability suggests that T. cingulata has at least some capacity to buffer the thermal changes and increased acidification predicted to occur with climate change.

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Impacts of ocean acidification and warming on post-larval growth and metabolism in two populations of the great scallop (Pecten maximus L.) 

Ocean acidification and warming are key stressors for many marine organisms. Some organisms display physiological acclimatisation or plasticity, but this may vary across species ranges, especially if populations are adapted to local climatic conditions. Understanding how acclimatisation potential varies among populations is therefore important in predicting species responses to climate change. We carried out a common garden experiment to investigate how different populations of the economically important great scallop (Pecten maximus) from France and Norway responded to variation in temperature and pCO2 concentration. After acclimation, post-larval scallops (spat) were reared for 31 days at one of two temperatures (13°C and 19°C) under either ambient or elevated pCO2 (pH 8.0 and pH 7.7). We combined measures of proteomic, metabolic, and phenotypic traits to produce an integrative picture of how physiological plasticity varies between the populations. The proteome of French spat showed significant sensitivity to environmental variation, with 12 metabolic, structural and stress-response proteins responding to temperature and/or pCO2. Principal component analysis revealed seven energy metabolism proteins in French spat that were consistent with countering ROS stress under elevated temperature. Oxygen uptake in French spat did not change under elevated temperature, but increased under elevated pCO2. In contrast, Norwegian spat reduced oxygen uptake under both elevated temperature and pCO2. Metabolic plasticity seemingly allowed French scallops to maintain greater energy availability for growth than Norwegian spat. However, increased physiological plasticity and growth in French spat may come at a cost, as French (but not Norwegian) spat showed reduced survival under elevated temperature.

Continue reading ‘Impacts of ocean acidification and warming on post-larval growth and metabolism in two populations of the great scallop (Pecten maximus L.) ‘

Phosphate limitation and ocean acidification co-shape phytoplankton physiology and community structure

A new study reports synergistic inhibitory effects of ocean acidification and phosphate limitation on the nitrogen-fixing capacity of a globally important cyanobacterium species. Inspired by the report, this Comment presents the complexity of how ocean acidification and phosphate limitation affect phytoplankton physiologies and species beyond nitrogen fixation and cyanobacteria, and what future research is needed to address the remaining crucial questions.

Increasing CO2 emission and climate change have manifold impacts on ocean primary production and carbon sequestration. One of the direct effects comes from ocean acidification due to the dissolution of ~30% of the increased CO2 into the ocean, whereas indirect impacts mainly stem from warming-driven ocean stratification that impedes upwelling of nutrient-rich deep waters leading to oligotrophication of the vast central ocean basin1. Between nitrogen and phosphate, the two major productivity-limiting nutrients, phosphate is the ‘ultimate’ limiting nutrient as it has no biogenic source, and its growth-limiting condition in the oceans is more prevalent than previously thought2. Nitrogen, in contrast, can be sourced from the atmosphere by diazotrophic bacteria through nitrogen fixation, which is often co-limited by phosphate and iron scarcity2.

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Cardiovascular responses to increased temperature and lower pH for six cold water Opisthobranch species

Increasing sea surface temperatures and ocean acidification continue to threaten marine life globally, especially in coastal waters where effects are often exacerbated. Individually, temperature and acidification negatively affect marine organisms, but interactive effects, vary depending on phylum and life cycle stage. Opisthobranch sea slugs, having short and complex life cycles, were studied for cardiac response to increasing temperature and to interactive effects of temperature and pH. Six cold-water, cosmopolitan species (Aeolidia papillosa, Cuthona gymnota, Dendronotus frondosus, Flabellina verrucosa, Onchidoris bilamellata, and Placida dendritica) common in the Gulf of Maine were selected. To determine response to temperature, heartbeats of test animals starting at 4 °C were recorded at increasing temperature intervals of 4 °C, until they slowed or ceased. Interactive effects were examined at pH 8 (control) and pH 7 coincident with temperature increases (4o to 16 °C). Overall, upper pejus temperatures tested ranged from 16o to 28 °C, with the largest species having the lowest temperature threshold and smallest having the highest. Although interactive effects were not significant, the negative synergistic effect of suppressed heart rate across temperatures was significant for three species and apparent in two others. As significant predators of sessile prey, especially within fouling communities, environmental impacts on sea slugs have the potential to alter both community structure and prey abundance within their environment, potentially reflecting larger implications affecting the biodiversity and abundance of prey populations within their environment.

Continue reading ‘Cardiovascular responses to increased temperature and lower pH for six cold water Opisthobranch species’

The effects of the “deadly trio” (warming, acidification, and deoxygenation) on fish early ontogeny

The interaction between increased dissolved carbon dioxide, rising temperatures, and oxygen loss – the so-called “deadly trio” – is expected to strongly affect marine biota over the coming years, potentially undermining ocean services and uses. Nonetheless, no study has so far scrutinized the cumulative impact of these three stressors on fish embryonic and larval stages, known to be particularly vulnerable to environmental stress. To fill this knowledge gap, we implemented a fully multi-factorial design to investigate the effects of acute warming (Δ + 4°C; 22 ºC), acidification (Δ − 0.4 pH units; ~ 7.7 pCO2) and deoxygenation (Δ − 60% O2 saturation, ~ 3 mg O2 l− 1) over a comprehensive array of physiological (hatching success, survival rates, deformities rates, and heart rates) and behavioural responses (larvae responsiveness and phototaxis) across the early ontogeny of the temperate gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata). Deoxygenation was the main driver of negative impacts in the hatching success (64.25%), survival (46.71%), and heart rates (31.99%) of recently hatched larvae, being generally further exacerbated when warming and acidification co-occurred. On the other hand, acidification was the only factor to induce a significant decrease in the proportion of phototactic behaviour (50%). The behavioural and physiological responses showed to be highly correlated across experimental treatments, specifically, phototaxis was negatively correlated with the incidence of malformations, and positively correlated with heart rates. Overall, our findings indicate that the interaction between warming, acidification, and deoxygenation is markedly detrimental to fish early developmental stages, impacting several key features at this critical life stage that may eventually cause adverse carry-over effects. Importantly, our analysis highlights the need to assess the concurrent impacts of stressors’ interaction on marine taxa to better predict future ecosystem responses to ocean changes.

Continue reading ‘The effects of the “deadly trio” (warming, acidification, and deoxygenation) on fish early ontogeny’

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