Posts Tagged 'multiple stressors'

Operationalizing resilience for adaptive coral reef management under global environmental change

Cumulative pressures from global climate and ocean change combined with multiple regional and local-scale stressors pose fundamental challenges to coral reef managers worldwide. Understanding how cumulative stressors affect coral reef vulnerability is critical for successful reef conservation now and in the future. In this review, we present the case that strategically managing for increased ecological resilience (capacity for stress resistance and recovery) can reduce coral reef vulnerability (risk of net decline) up to a point. Specifically, we propose an operational framework for identifying effective management levers to enhance resilience and support management decisions that reduce reef vulnerability. Building on a system understanding of biological and ecological processes that drive resilience of coral reefs in different environmental and socio-economic settings, we present an Adaptive Resilience-Based management (ARBM) framework and suggest a set of guidelines for how and where resilience can be enhanced via management interventions. We argue that press-type stressors (pollution, sedimentation, overfishing, ocean warming and acidification) are key threats to coral reef resilience by affecting processes underpinning resistance and recovery, while pulse-type (acute) stressors (e.g. storms, bleaching events, crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks) increase the demand for resilience. We apply the framework to a set of example problems for Caribbean and Indo-Pacific reefs. A combined strategy of active risk reduction and resilience support is needed, informed by key management objectives, knowledge of reef ecosystem processes and consideration of environmental and social drivers. As climate change and ocean acidification erode the resilience and increase the vulnerability of coral reefs globally, successful adaptive management of coral reefs will become increasingly difficult. Given limited resources, on-the-ground solutions are likely to focus increasingly on actions that support resilience at finer spatial scales, and that are tightly linked to ecosystem goods and services.

Continue reading ‘Operationalizing resilience for adaptive coral reef management under global environmental change’

Ocean acidification mediates photosynthetic response to UV radiation and temperature increase in the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum (update)

Increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration is responsible for progressive ocean acidification, ocean warming as well as decreased thickness of upper mixing layer (UML), thus exposing phytoplankton cells not only to lower pH and higher temperatures but also to higher levels of solar UV radiation. In order to evaluate the combined effects of ocean acidification, UV radiation and temperature, we used the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum as a model organism and examined its physiological performance after grown under two CO2 concentrations (390 and 1000 μatm) for more than 20 generations. Compared to the ambient CO2 level (390 μatm), growth at the elevated CO2concentration increased non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) of cells and partially counteracted the harm to PS II (photosystem II) caused by UV-A and UV-B. Such an effect was less pronounced under increased temperature levels. The ratio of repair to UV-B induced damage decreased with increased NPQ, reflecting induction of NPQ when repair dropped behind the damage, and it was higher under the ocean acidification condition, showing that the increasedpCO2 and lowered pH counteracted UV-B induced harm. As for photosynthetic carbon fixation rate which increased with increasing temperature from 15 to 25 °C, the elevated CO2 and temperature levels synergistically interacted to reduce the inhibition caused by UV-B and thus increase the carbon fixation.

Continue reading ‘Ocean acidification mediates photosynthetic response to UV radiation and temperature increase in the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum (update)’

Effects of CO2 and the harmful alga Aureococcus anophagefferens on growth and survival of oyster and scallop larvae

Globally, the frequency of harmful algal blooms is increasing and CO2 concentrations are rising. These factors represent serious challenges to a multitude of estuarine organisms as well as to efforts to restore depleted stocks of filter-feeding bivalves. In this study, we compared the responses of larval bivalves Crassostrea virginica and Argopecten irradians to the brown tide alga Aureococcus anophagefferens (250 × 106 cells l−1 and 1 × 109 cells l−1, respectively) and a gradient of CO2 concentrations (~240, ~390, and ~850 ppm). Results indicated that A. anophagefferens and higher levels of CO2 significantly depressed rates of survival, development, growth, and lipid synthesis of A. irradians larvae with the combination of both factors having the largest effects. C. virginica larvae were also negatively impacted by the harmful alga and elevated CO2, but displayed a higher overall survival rate when exposed to these combined stressors. For both species, high densities of A. anophagefferens (109 cells l−1) elicited a stronger negative effect on larval survival than high levels of CO2 concentrations (~850 ppm). Collectively, these results demonstrate that the concurrent occurrence of harmful algal blooms and high CO2 concentrations will have negative consequences for bivalve populations and further demonstrate that some species of larval bivalves are more resistant to these stressors than others.

Continue reading ‘Effects of CO2 and the harmful alga Aureococcus anophagefferens on growth and survival of oyster and scallop larvae’

Influence of temperature, hypercapnia, and development on the relative expression of different hemocyanin isoforms in the common cuttlefish Sepia officinalis

The cuttlefish Sepia officinalis expresses several hemocyanin isoforms with potentially different pH optima, indicating their reliance on efficient pH regulation in the blood. Ongoing ocean warming and acidification could influence the oxygen-binding properties of respiratory pigments in ectothermic marine invertebrates. This study examined whether S. officinalis differentially expresses individual hemocyanin isoforms to maintain optimal oxygen transport during development and acclimation to elevated seawater pCO2 and temperature. Using quantitative PCR, we measured relative mRNA expression levels of three different hemocyanin isoforms in several ontogenetic stages (embryos, hatchlings, juveniles, and adults), under different temperatures and elevated seawater pCO2. Our results indicate moderately altered hemocyanin expression in all embryonic stages acclimated to higher pCO2, while hemocyanin expression in hatchlings and juveniles remained unaffected. During the course of development, total hemocyanin expression increased independently of pCO2 or thermal acclimation status. Expression of isoform 3 is reported for the first time in a cephalopod in this study and was found to be generally low but highest in the embryonic stages (0.2% of total expression). Despite variable hemocyanin expression, hemolymph total protein concentrations remained constant in the experimental groups. Our data provide first evidence that ontogeny has a stronger influence on hemocyanin isoform expression than the environmental conditions chosen, and they suggest that hemocyanin protein abundance in response to thermal acclimation is regulated by post-transcriptional/translational rather than by transcriptional modifications.

Continue reading ‘Influence of temperature, hypercapnia, and development on the relative expression of different hemocyanin isoforms in the common cuttlefish Sepia officinalis’

Combined effects of two ocean change stressors, warming and acidification, on fertilization and early development of the Antarctic echinoid Sterechinus neumayeri

The effects of concurrent ocean warming and acidification on Antarctic marine benthos warrant investigation as little is known about potential synergies between these climate change stressors. We examined the interactive effects of warming and acidification on fertilization and embryonic development of the ecologically important sea urchin Sterechinus neumayeri reared from fertilization in elevated temperature (+1.5°C and 3°C) and decreased pH (−0.3 and −0.5 pH units) treatments. Fertilization using gametes from multiple males and females, to represent populations of spawners, was resilient to acidification at ambient temperature (0°C). At elevated temperatures, there was a negative interactive effect of temperature and pH on percentage of fertilization (11% reduction at 3°C). For cleavage stage embryos, there was a significant, but small reduction (6%) in the percentage of normal embryos at pH 7.5. For blastulae, a 10–11% decrease in normal development occurred in the +3°C treatments across all pH levels. Our results highlight the importance of considering the impacts of both temperature and pH in assessing the life history response of S. neumayeri in a changing polar ocean. While fertilization and development to the blastula stage were robust to levels of temperature and pH change predicted over coming decades, deleterious interactive effects were evident between these stressors at levels projected to occur by 2100 and beyond.

Continue reading ‘Combined effects of two ocean change stressors, warming and acidification, on fertilization and early development of the Antarctic echinoid Sterechinus neumayeri’

Ocean acidification mediates photosynthetic response to UV radiation and temperature increase in the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum

Increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration is responsible for progressive ocean acidification, ocean warming as well as decreased thickness of upper mixing layer (UML), thus exposing phytoplankton cells not only to lower pH and higher temperatures but also to higher levels of solar UV radiation. In order to evaluate the combined effects of ocean acidification, UV radiation and temperature, we used the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum as a model organism and examined its physiological performance after grown under two CO2 concentrations (390 and 1000 µatm) for more than 20 generations. Compared to the ambient CO2 level (390 µatm), growth at the elevated CO2 concentration increased non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) of cells and partially counteracted the harm to PSII caused by UV-A and UV-B. Such an effect was less pronounced under increased temperature levels. As for photosynthetic carbon fixation, the rate increased with increasing temperature from 15 to 25 °C, regardless of their growth CO2 levels. In addition, UV-induced inhibition of photosynthesis was inversely correlated to temperature. The ratio of repair to UV-induced damage showed inverse relationship with increased NPQ, showing higher values under the ocean acidification condition against UV-B, reflecting that the increased pCO2 and lowered pH counteracted UV-B induced harm.

Continue reading ‘Ocean acidification mediates photosynthetic response to UV radiation and temperature increase in the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum’

Characteristics of digestive enzymes of calanoid copepod species from different latitudes in relation to temperature, pH and food

In calanoid copepods it is poorly understood how enzymatic activities and patterns are affected by abiotic and biotic factors. Such knowledge, however, is crucial to assess metabolic functioning and performance of organisms in different habitats. Therefore, our study focuses on digestive enzyme activities in relation to temperature, pH and food in the Arctic species Calanus glacialis and in Centropages hamatus and Temora longicornis from the North Sea. Enzyme activities were measured over a range from 0 to 70 °C (lipases/esterases, proteinases) and pH 5 to 9 (proteinases). In all species, relative proteinases activity peaked at 40/50 °C and pH 6; relative lipases/esterases activity peaked at 30 °C. Between 0 and 20 °C, lipase activity of C. glacialis was higher (40-70% of maximum) than that of the boreal copepods (25-64%), which suggests thermal adaptation of the lipid metabolism in the polar species. Incubating C. glacialis with the diatom Thalassiosira weissflogii showed (i) that enzyme activities increased especially in the alkaline range and (ii) that enzyme patterns, revealed by gel electrophoresis, differed from that of starving individuals, indicating that feeding induced enzyme expression. Such studies, linking abiotic and biotic conditions to enzyme functioning, can help elucidating the capacity of copepods to respond to environmental changes.

Continue reading ‘Characteristics of digestive enzymes of calanoid copepod species from different latitudes in relation to temperature, pH and food’


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