Posts Tagged 'North Pacific'

Sediment-seawater exchange altered adverse effects of ocean acidification towards marine microalgae

Highlights

  • Five marine microalgal species showed different sensitivities to OA.
  • OA promoted algal growth except I. galbana after introducing sediments.
  • N, P and Fe released from sediments mitigated OA-induced toxicity to E. huxleyi.
  • OA-induced algal community instability was alleviated by the presence of sediments.

Abstract

Ocean acidification (OA) exhibits high threat to marine microalgae. However, the role of marine sediment in the OA-induced adverse effect towards microalgae is largely unknown. In this work, the effects of OA (pH 7.50) on the growth of individual and co-cultured microalgae (Emiliania huxleyiIsochrysis galbanaChlorella vulgarisPhaeodactylum tricornutum, and Platymonas helgolandica tsingtaoensis) were systematically investigated in the sediment-seawater systems. OA inhibited E. huxleyi growth by 25.21 %, promoted P. helgolandica (tsingtaoensis) growth by 15.49 %, while did not cause any effect on the other three microalgal species in the absence of sediment. In the presence of the sediment, OA-induced growth inhibition of E. huxleyi was significantly mitigated, because the released chemicals (N, P and Fe) from seawater-sediment interface increased the photosynthesis and reduced oxidative stress. For P. tricornutum, C. vulgaris and P. helgolandica (tsingtaoensis), the growth was significantly increased in the presence of sediment in comparison with those under OA alone or normal seawater (pH 8.10). For I. galbana, the growth was inhibited when the sediment was introduced. Additionally, in the co-culturing system, C. vulgaris and P. tricornutum were the dominant species, while OA increased the proportions of dominant species and decreased the community stability as indicated by Shannon and Pielou’s indexes. After the introduction of sediment, the community stability was recovered, but remained lower than that under normal condition. This work demonstrated the role of sediment in the biological responses to OA, and could be helpful for better understanding the impact of OA on marine ecosystems.

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Ocean acidification induces tissue-specific interactions with copper toxicity on antioxidant defences in viscera and gills of Asiatic hard clam Meretrix petechialis (Lamarck, 1818)

Highlights

  • Cu and OA coexposures induce tissue-specific oxidative stress in clams.
  • OA exacerbates Cu toxicity and increases oxidative damage in tissues.
  • Gill is more vulnerable to oxidation than viscera with MDA and 8-OHdG as indicators.
  • PCAs usefully identify the contributions of biomarkers to antioxidant defences.
  • The results provide insights for assessing Cu toxicity under OA in wild bivalves.

Abstract

Toxicity of contaminants in organisms under ocean acidification (OA) has attracted increasing attention in ecotoxicological studies. This study investigated how pCO2-driven OA affected waterborne copper (Cu) toxicity in antioxidant defences in viscera and gills of Asiatic hard clam Meretrix petechialis (Lamarck, 1818). Clams were continuously exposed to Cu at ambient relevant (0/no metal exposure, 10 and 50 μg L−1) and polluted-high (100 μg L−1) concentrations in unacidified (pH 8.10) and acidified (pH 7.70/moderate OA and 7.30/extreme OA) seawater for 21 days. Following coexposure, metal bioaccumulation and responses of antioxidant defence-related biomarkers to OA and Cu coexposure were investigated. Results showed that metal bioaccumulation was positively correlated with waterborne metal concentrations but was not notably influenced by OA conditions. Both Cu and OA affected the antioxidant responses to environmental stress. Additionally, OA induced tissue-specific interactions with Cu on antioxidant defences, varying with exposure conditions. In unacidified seawater, antioxidant biomarkers were activated to defend against oxidative stress induced by Cu and prevented clams from lipid peroxidation (LPO or MDA), but failed to defend against DNA damage (8-OHdG). OA exacerbated Cu toxicity in antioxidant defences and increased LPO levels in tissues. Gills and viscera adopted adaptive antioxidant defence strategies to manage oxidative stress, with the former being more vulnerable to oxidative stress than the latter. MDA and 8-OHdG were sensitive to OA and Cu exposure, respectively, and were useful bioindicators for assessing oxidative stress. Integrated biomarker response (IBR) and PCA can reflect the integrative responses of antioxidant biomarkers to environmental stress and illuminate the contributions of specific biomarkers to antioxidant defence strategies. The findings provided insights for understanding antioxidant defences against metal toxicity in marine bivalves under OA scenarios, which is essential into managing wild populations.

Continue reading ‘Ocean acidification induces tissue-specific interactions with copper toxicity on antioxidant defences in viscera and gills of Asiatic hard clam Meretrix petechialis (Lamarck, 1818)’

Effects of ocean acidification and warming on the specific dynamic action of California Grunion (Leuresthes tenuis) larvae

Highlights

  • SDA was measured as the difference in metabolic rate of fed and non-fed fish.
  • SDA is ∼15% of the daily metabolic energy costs for California Grunion larvae.
  • OA conditions shifted the SDA response earlier.
  • Changes in SDA with climate can have downstream effects on larval growth.

Abstract

Ocean acidification (OA) and Ocean Warming (OW) are ongoing environmental changes that present a suite of physiological challenges to marine organisms. Larval stages may be especially sensitive to the effects of climate change because the larval phase is a time of critical growth and development. Of particular importance to growth is Specific Dynamic Action (SDA) – the energy used in digestion, absorption, and assimilation of food. Relatively little is known about the energetics of SDA for larval fishes and even less is known about how SDA may be affected by climate change. In this study we used feeding experiments and respirometry assays to characterize the functional form of SDA for California Grunion (Leuresthes tenuis). In a second set of experiments, we tested the independent and combined effects of ocean acidification and warming on SDA. Our first experiment revealed that an elevated metabolic rate was detectable within an hour of feeding, peaked at 3–6 h post feeding, and lasted about 24 h in total. Experiments testing the effects of acidification and warming revealed that temperature generally increased the maximum rate of postprandial respiration and the total amount of energy expended via SDA. In an experiment where feeding level was the same for fish held at different temperatures, elevated pCO2 increased the maximum rate of postprandial respiration and shortened the SDA response. However, in an experiment that allowed fish to consume more food at high temperatures, effects of pCO2 on SDA were minimal. The effects of OA on SDA may depend on a combination of temperature and food availability, and the disruption of SDA with OA may be part of a chain of events where digestion and assimilation efficiency are impaired with potential consequences for growth, survival, and population replenishment.

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The effects of light intensity and flow speed on biogeochemical variability within a fringing coral reef in Onna-Son, Okinawa, Japan

Abstract

Global warming and ocean acidification are driving declines in seawater dissolved oxygen (DO) concentrations and pH. Predicting how these changes will affect shallow, near-shore environments such as coral reefs is challenging due to their high natural biogeochemical variability present over both spatial (m to km) and temporal (diel to seasonal) scales. To make predictions, we must understand the drivers of this variability. The impact of metabolic processes on coral reef biogeochemical variability has been the subject of significant research effort, however, physical factors, including flow speed and light intensity, have received less attention. Here, we measured seawater flow, photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), pH, and DO at three reef habitats (reef flat, lagoon, and outflow channel) in a fringing coral reef system in Okinawa, Japan for 3 weeks in October 2019. During the study, pH ranged from 7.86 to 8.37 units while DO varied from 127 to 369 μmol/kg. Circulation was primarily wave-driven with mean flow speeds ranging from 14 to 26 cm/s. Flow direction became increasingly consistent at higher flow speeds and traced benthic striations visible in satellite imagery. Multiple linear regression models of daytime changes in pH and DO versus daily mean flow speed and PAR described 25%–74% of the observed variability across all sites while at night, flow speed alone accounted for 7%–75% of the observed variability. These results demonstrate PAR, water flow speed, and the path water takes play important roles in controlling biogeochemical variability within coral reefs and must be considered when assessing their vulnerability to both local and global environmental change.

Key Points

  • Flow speed and light intensity explained 25%–74% of daily and 7%–75% of nightly pH and oxygen variability across different reef habitats
  • Circulation of the Onna-son coral reef system was driven by waves, but modulated by tides, and was highly consistent
  • Constraining coral reef circulation and light intensity will allow us to better predict future biogeochemical variability on coral reefs
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Effects of acidification on nitrification and associated nitrous oxide emission in estuarine and coastal waters

In the context of an increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) level, acidification of estuarine and coastal waters is greatly exacerbated by land-derived nutrient inputs, coastal upwelling, and complex biogeochemical processes. A deeper understanding of how nitrifiers respond to intensifying acidification is thus crucial to predict the response of estuarine and coastal ecosystems and their contribution to global climate change. Here, we show that acidification can significantly decrease nitrification rate but stimulate generation of byproduct nitrous oxide (N2O) in estuarine and coastal waters. By varying CO2 concentration and pH independently, an expected beneficial effect of elevated CO2 on activity of nitrifiers (“CO2-fertilization” effect) is excluded under acidification. Metatranscriptome data further demonstrate that nitrifiers could significantly up-regulate gene expressions associated with intracellular pH homeostasis to cope with acidification stress. This study highlights the molecular underpinnings of acidification effects on nitrification and associated greenhouse gas N2O emission, and helps predict the response and evolution of estuarine and coastal ecosystems under climate change and human activities.

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Assessment on seasonal acidification and its controls in the Muping Marine Ranch, Yantai, China

Graphical abstract

Highlights

  • Seasonal variations of pH and Ωarag were different in Muping Marine Ranch, Yantai.
  • Temperature had opposite effects on pH and Ωarag and played a dominant role in pH variation.
  • Air-sea exchange had a syntropic effect on both pH and Ωarag but less impact on seasonal variations.
  • Bottom seawater Ωarag was primarily dominated by biological respiration in summer.

Abstract

Ocean acidification has emerged as a major challenge affecting the development of the marine aquaculture. Seasonal variations of seawater pH and aragonite saturation (Ωarag) were investigated in the Muping Marine Ranch, Yantai. The results showed that the seasonal variations of pH and Ωarag were distinct. The temperature exerted opposite effects on pH and Ωarag and played a dominant role in pH variation, while limited role in Ωarag. The air-sea exchange had a syntropic effect on pH and Ωarag but less impact on their seasonal variations. Biological activities affected seasonal variations of surface seawater pH and Ωarag, but they largely canceled each other out with other non-temperature effects; while bottom seawater Ωarag was mainly controlled by biological respiration in summer. This study demonstrates that pH is primarily controlled by seasonal temperature changes, whereas Ωarag would be a better indicator for ocean acidification caused by non-temperature processes.

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Predicting coral reef carbonate chemistry through statistical modeling: constraining nearshore residence time around Guam

To accurately predict the impacts of ocean acidification on shallow-water ecosystems, we must account for the biogeochemical impact of local benthic communities, as well as the connectivity between offshore and onshore water masses. Estimation of residence time can help quantify this connectivity and determine the degree to which the benthos can influence the chemistry of the overlying water column. We present estimates of nearshore residence time for Guam and utilize these estimates to model the effects of benthic ecosystem metabolism on the coral reef carbonate system. Control volume and particle tracking approaches were used to estimate nearshore residence time. These estimates were paired with observed patterns in the reef carbonate system around Guam using water samples collected by NOAA’s National Coral Reef Monitoring Program. Model performance results suggest that when considering the effects of benthic metabolism on the carbonate system, it is paramount to represent the contact time of the water volume with the benthos. Even coarse estimates of residence time significantly increase model skill. We observed the highest predictive skill in models including control volume derived estimates of residence time, but only when those estimates were included as an interaction with benthic composition. This work shows that not only is residence time critically important to better predict biogeochemical variability in coral reef environments, but that even coarse hydrodynamic models can provide useful residence time estimates at management relevant, whole-ecosystem scales.

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Effects of ocean acidification on the early life history processes of the breadcrumb sponge Halichondria panicea

Ocean acidification (OA) is predicted to result in reduced survival, growth, reproduction, and overall biodiversity of marine invertebrates, and yet we lack information about the response to OA of some major groups of marine organisms. In particular, we know relatively little about how OA will impact temperate sponges, which will experience more extreme low pH conditions than tropical species. In this study, we quantified OA-induced changes in early life history patterns (larval mortality and condition, settlement rate, recruit survival, and size) in the non-calcifying breadcrumb sponge Halichondria panicea collected from a temperate intertidal site in the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem. Sponge larvae were exposed to OA conditions for 15 days, and early life history patterns were observed. Compared with baseline (“present”) conditions, larval mortality and settlement rates increased in the acidified treatment (“future”). This effect was restricted to larval stages; treatment had no effect on the growth and survival of recruits. This study is significant in that it shows that H. panicea may be particularly vulnerable to changes in ocean pH during the larval stage, which could ultimately reduce total sponge abundance by diminishing the number of larvae that survive to settlement.

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Will ocean acidification affect the digestive physiology and gut microbiota of whelk Brunneifusus ternatanus?

To understand the physiological responses of the Brunneifusus ternatanus to future ocean acidification (OA), histology, enzyme activity and gut bacterial composition at different pH levels (Control: C group, pH 8.1; Exposure period: EP group, pH 7.3) for 28 days were studied under laboratory conditions. Microbiota composition was analyzed using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. Enzyme activities of trypsin (TRY), lipase (LPS), amylase (AMS), and lysozyme (LZM) were used as biochemical indicators, as well as weight gain rate (WGR), specific growth rate (SGR) as growth indicators. The stress caused by OA resulted in alterations to the intestine, including partially swollen and degranulated enterocytes and rough endoplasmic reticulum (RER). The relative abundance of the core phylum in the acidified group changed significantly, showing an increase in Tenericutes and a decrease in Proteobacteria. Firmicutes/Bacteroides ratio declined from 4.38 in the control group to 1.25 in the EP group. We found that the enzymes TRY, LPS, and AMS activities were inhibited at reduced pH, which was positively correlated with the dominant genera Mycoplasma and Bacteroides; while LZM activities showed a significant increment, but showing a strong negative correlation. Furthermore, both WG and SRG values showed a depression at low pH lever. These results suggest that if anthropogenic CO2 emissions continue to accelerate, OA could negatively impact the whelk’s health, compromising their growth performance and even survival. These findings will benefit the future risk assessments of OA or other related emerging environmental issues.

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Effects of ocean acidification and eutrophication on the growth and photosynthetic performances of a green tide alga Ulva prolifera

With the impact of fossil fuel burning and industrialization, atmospheric CO2 concentration will reach about 1000 ppmv in 2100, and more and more CO2 will be absorbed by ocean, resulting in ocean acidification. The Chinese coastal waters are showing unexpectedly high levels of acidification due to a combination of global ocean acidification and severe regional eutrophication, which is caused by natural accumulation or human activities such as aquacultural tail water input, potentially affecting macroalgal blooms. However, little is known about the combined effects of ocean acidification and entrophication on the eco-physiology of bloom-forming macroalgae. This study investigated Ulva prolifera, a dominant species causing green tide in the South Yellow Sea, and explored its growth and physiological responses under the combination conditions of ocean acidification and enriched nutrients. In this study, U. prolifera thalli were cultured under two CO2 conditions (air and 1000 μatm) and two nutrient conditions (High Nutrient, HN, 135 μmol L-1 N and 8.5 μmol L-1 P; Normal Nutrient, NN, 27 μmol L-1 N and 1.7 μmol L-1 P). The results showed that eutrophication conditions obviously enhanced the relative growth rate and photosynthetic performance of U. prolifera. Elevated pCO2 had no significant effect on U. prolifera growth and photosynthetic performance under normal nutrient conditions. However, under eutrophication conditions elevated pCO2 inhibited U. prolifera growth. Moreover, eutrophication conditions markedly improved the contents of chlorophyll a, chlorophyll b and nitrate reductase activity and inhibited the soluble carbohydrate content, but elevated pCO2 had no significant effect on them under nutrient-replete conditions. In addition, elevated pCO2 significantly reduced the carotenoid content under eutrophication conditions and had no effect on it under normal nutrient conditions. These findings indicate that seawater eutrophication would greatly accelerate U. prolifera bloom, which may also be suppressed to a certain extent by ocean acidification in the future. The study can provide valuable information for predicting the future outbreaks of U. prolifera green tide in nearshore regions.

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Evaluating environmental controls on the exoskeleton density of larval Dungeness crab via micro computed tomography

Dungeness crab (Metacarcinus magister) have significant socioeconomic value, but are threatened by ocean acidification (OA) and other environmental stressors that are driven by climate change. Despite evidence that adult harvests are sensitive to the abundance of larval populations, relatively little is known about how Dungeness megalopae will respond to these stressors. Here we evaluate the ability to use micro-computed tomography (μCT) to detect variations in megalope exoskeleton density and how these measurements reflect environmental variables and calcification mechanisms. We use a combination of field data, culture experiments, and model simulations to suggest resolvable differences in density are best explained by minimum pH at the time zoeae molt into megalopae. We suggest that this occurs because more energy must be expended on active ion pumping to reach a given degree of calcite supersaturation at lower pH. Energy availability may also be reduced due to its diversion to other coping mechanisms. Alternate models based on minimum temperature at the time of the zoea-megalope molt are nearly as strong and complicate the ability to conclusively disentangle pH and temperature influences. Despite this, our results suggest that carryover effects between life stages and short-lived extreme events may be particularly important controls on exoskeleton integrity. μCT-based estimates of exoskeleton density are a promising tool for evaluating the health of Dungeness crab populations that will likely provide more nuanced information than presence-absence observations, but future in situ field sampling and culture experiments are needed to refine and validate our results.

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Nanoplastics induce epigenetic signatures of transgenerational impairments associated with reproduction in copepods under ocean acidification

Graphical abstract

Ocean acidification (OA) is one of many major global climate changes that pose a variety of risks to marine ecosystems in different ways. Meanwhile, there is growing concern about how nanoplastics (NPs) affect marine ecosystems. Combined exposure of marine organisms to OA and NPs is inevitable, but their interactive effects remain poorly understood. In this study, we investigated the multi- and transgenerational toxicity of NPs on copepods under OA conditions for ten generations. The findings revealed that OA and NPs have a synergistic negative effect on copepod reproduction across generations. In particular, the transgenerational groups showed reproductive impairments in the F1 and F2 generations (F1T and F2T), even though they were never exposed to NPs. Moreover, our epigenetic examinations demonstrated that the observed intergenerational reproductive impairments are associated with differential methylation patterns of specific genes, suggesting that the interaction of OA and NPs can pose a significant threat to the sustainability of copepod populations through epigenetic modifications. Overall, our findings provide valuable insight into the intergenerational toxicity and underlying molecular mechanisms of responses to NPs under OA conditions.

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Ocean acidification stunts molluscan growth at CO2 seeps

Graphical abstract

Highlights

  • Responses of molluscan growth to ocean acidification at CO2 seeps were studied.
  • Mussels near CO2 seeps grew significantly slower than those outside the seeps.
  • Mussels near and outside CO2 seeps exhibited differences in tissue carbon and nitrogen isotopic signatures.
  • Geochemical analysis indicated chemical shifts at the calcifying front in mussels near and outside CO2 seeps.

Abstract

Ocean acidification can severely affect bivalve molluscs, especially their shell calcification. Assessing the fate of this vulnerable group in a rapidly acidifying ocean is therefore a pressing challenge. Volcanic CO2 seeps are natural analogues of future ocean conditions that offer unique insights into the scope of marine bivalves to cope with acidification. Here, we used a 2-month reciprocal transplantation of the coastal mussel Septifer bilocularis collected from reference and elevated pCO2 habitats to explore how they calcify and grow at CO2 seeps on the Pacific coast of Japan. We found significant decreases in condition index (an indication of tissue energy reserves) and shell growth of mussels living under elevated pCO2 conditions. These negative responses in their physiological performance under acidified conditions were closely associated with changes in their food sources (shown by changes to the soft tissue δ13C and δ15N ratios) and changes in their calcifying fluid carbonate chemistry (based on shell carbonate isotopic and elemental signatures). The reduced shell growth rate during the transplantation experiment was further supported by shell δ13C records along their incremental growth layers, as well as their smaller shell size despite being of comparable ontogenetic ages (5–7 years old, based on shell δ18O records). Taken together, these findings demonstrate how ocean acidification at CO2 seeps affects mussel growth and reveal that lowered shell growth helps them survive stressful conditions.

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The multi-generational effect of seawater acidification on larval development, reproduction, ingestion rate, and ATPase activity of Tigriopus japonicus Mori, 1938

Ocean acidification threatens marine organisms continuously. To ascertain if adaptation of marine species to ocean acidification enhanced over multiple generations, we studied the transgenerational effects of ocean acidification on the development, reproduction, ingestion rate, and ATPase activity of a copepod Tigriopus japonicus Mori, 1938. In the first mode, individuals were exposed to either one of the pH levels (8.1 (control), 7.7, 7.3) for five successive generations. In the second mode, each successive generation was exposed to a lower pH level (pH levels: 8.1, 7.9, 7.7, 7.5, 7.3). After prolonged exposure to a constant seawater acidification level, the capacity to adapt to the stress increased. However, when exposed to seawater of descending pH, the detrimental effects gradually increased. Energy allocated to development and reproduction was reduced although the ingestion rate continued to improve in successive generations. Therefore, ongoing ocean acidification might lower the energy transfer of copepods to higher trophic levels.

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Meridional variability in multi-decadal trends of dissolved inorganic carbon in surface seawater of the western North Pacific along the 165°E line

Abstract

Multi-decadal trends of the total dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) concentrations and consequent ocean acidification in surface seawater were investigated on the basis of data from shipboard measurements conducted since 1996 along the 165°E repeat line in the western North Pacific. The observed trends exhibited clear meridional variabilities, with higher rates in the subtropical and tropical zones and lower rates in the subarctic zone, with a DIC range from +0.09 ± 0.14 to +1.64 ± 0.16 μmol kg−1 yr−1 and pH range from −0.0023 ± 0.0034 to −0.0281 ± 0.0059 decade−1. DIC and acidification trends were consistent with those expected from the atmospheric CO2 concentrations at nearly all latitudinal zones, but were significantly different at some latitudes. We attribute the significantly lower rates observed in the central western Subarctic Gyre and southern Subtropical Gyres primarily to the variabilities in upward DIC supply from the subsurface associated with the variability in ocean circulation. However, the higher rate observed to the south of the Kuroshio Extension appears to have been caused by the change in winter vertical mixing related to the change in its stable/unstable paths.

Key Points

  • Meridional variability was found in the trends of dissolved inorganic carbon in the surface layer along the 165°E repeat line
  • Extremely slow rates of increase observed in the subarctic and tropics are attributed to ocean circulation variability
  • A fast increase in the south of the Kuroshio Extension is likely associated with the variability in its path
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Deciphering pH-dependent microbial taxa and functional gene co-occurrence in the coral Galaxea fascicularis

How the coral microbiome responds to oceanic pH changes due to anthropogenic climate change, including ocean acidification and deliberate artificial alkalization, remains an open question. Here, we applied a 16S profile and GeoChip approach to microbial taxonomic and gene functional landscapes in the coral Galaxea fascicularis under three pH levels (7.85, 8.15, and 8.45) and tested the influence of pH changes on the cell growth of several coral-associated strains and bacterial populations. Statistical analysis of GeoChip-based data suggested that both ocean acidification and alkalization destabilized functional cores related to aromatic degradation, carbon degradation, carbon fixation, stress response, and antibiotic biosynthesis in the microbiome, which are related to holobiont carbon cycling and health. The taxonomic analysis revealed that bacterial species richness was not significantly different among the three pH treatments, but the community compositions were significantly distinct. Acute seawater alkalization leads to an increase in pathogens as well as a stronger taxonomic shift than acidification, which is worth considering when using artificial ocean alkalization to protect coral ecosystems from ocean acidification. In addition, our co-occurrence network analysis reflected microbial community and functional shifts in response to pH change cues, which will further help to understand the functional ecological role of the microbiome in coral resilience.

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Observations of seawater carbonate chemistry in the Southern California Current

The ocean has taken up roughly a quarter of the total anthropogenic carbon emissions (Gruber et al., 2019). This addition causes changes in carbonate system equilibrium, decreasing ocean pH, which impacts marine organisms, ecosystems, and humans reliant on marine resources (Doney et al., 2020). The study of the changing carbonate chemistry and its impact on the ocean requires the refinement of measurement techniques, observational programs, models and the sharing of data. Chapter 1 focuses on measurement techniques by assessing the stability of tris pH buffer in artificial seawater stored in bags. These bagged reference materials can be used by both benchtop and autonomous instruments to aid in quality control of measurements of carbonate chemistry. Chapter 2 focuses on continued observation, with the oldest inorganic carbon time series in the Pacific. This time series in the Southern California Current helps confirm the rate of anthropogenic ocean acidification observed in other regions of the ocean. Chapter 3 focuses on models by using seasonal cycles determined in Chapter 2 to build a mixed layer carbon budget at the location of the time series. Chapter 4 focuses on the sharing of data by summarizing and publishing previously unavailable observations of carbonate chemistry in the Southern California Current going back as far as 1983.

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Tidal restrictions in a central Californian estuarine system are associated with higher mean pH, but increased low-pH exposure

Coastal acidification is an emerging concern in estuaries impaired by nutrient pollution. In addition to rising levels of atmospheric CO2 which drives ocean acidification, high nutrient inputs to coastal areas can amplify heterotrophic metabolism, raise water column CO2 levels, and exacerbate pH declines. This study focuses on how a third anthropogenic stressor, tidal restriction, shapes effects of coastal acidification. Tidal restrictions associated with installation of gates that reduce tidal flow to a portion of an estuary are a common impact to coastal landscapes and can negatively affect water quality. This study examined pH in locations subject to varying levels of tidal restriction across a series of interconnected central California estuaries, whose waters are nutrient-impaired due to surrounding agriculture, and where 50% of the system is affected by tidal restrictions. Mean and variance of pH differed based on the level of tidal restriction. Sites lacking tidal restrictions had the lowest mean pH (7.98) but the least pH variance (0.07), and the most infrequent exposure to low pH (<7.0) conditions. In contrast, sites with minimal tidal exchange had the most exposure to low pH conditions, although mean pH levels were greater (8.08), because they also saw greater pH variance (0.46). Our results suggest that tidal restrictions alter pH levels and affect the resilience of estuaries to coastal acidification.

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Fresh and saline submarine groundwater discharge as sources of carbon and nutrients to the Japan Sea

Highlights

  • Fresh groundwater was comparable to the discharge from rivers and the main source of carbon, phosphate, and nitrate to coastal waters.
  • Groundwater-derived alkalinity fluxes were 7 times greater than river inputs, buffering the coastal ocean.
  • Nutrient and chlorophyll observations revealed the strong influence of groundwater discharge on primary productivity.

Abstract

Submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) is an important pathway for carbon and nutrients to the coastal ocean, sometimes exceeding river inputs. SGD fluxes can have implications for long-term carbon storage, ocean acidification and nutrient dynamics. Here, we used radium (223Ra and 226Ra) isotopes to quantify SGD-derived fluxes of dissolved inorganic (DIC) and organic (DOC) carbon, nitrate (NO3), nitrite (NO2), ammonium (NH4+) and phosphate (PO43−) in a spring-fed coastal bay in the Japan Sea. The average coastal water residence times using 223Ra/226Ra ratios was 32.5 ± 17.9 days. Fresh and saline SGD were estimated using a radium mixing model with short- and long-lived isotopes. The volume of fresh SGD entering the bay (4.6 ± 4.6 cm day−1) was more than twice that of the volume of saline SGD (1.9 ± 2.1 cm day−1). Fresh SGD (mmol m2 day−1) was the main source of DOC (2.7 ± 2.6), DIC (13.9 ± 13.7), PO43− (0.3 ± 0.3) and NO3 (6.6 ± 6.5) to the coastal ocean, whereas saline SGD was the main source of NH4+ (0.2 ± 0.2). Total SGD-derived carbon and nutrient fluxes were 4 – 7 and 2–16 times greater than local river inputs. Positive correlations between chlorophyll-a, 226Ra and δ13C-DIC indicate that SGD significantly (p < 0.05) enhances primary productivity nearshore. Overall, fresh SGD of nitrogen and carbon to seawater drove chlorophyll-a, decreased DIC/Alkalinity ratios, and modified the carbonate biogeochemistry of the coastal ocean.

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Spatial distribution of seawater carbonate chemistry and hydrodynamic controls in a low-inflow estuary

Highlights

  • Hydrodynamic exchange in low-inflow estuaries influences local carbonate chemistry.
  • Large tidal differences in alkalinity due to hypersaline conditions near bay head.
  • Flushing time largely explains spatial trends in carbonate chemistry.
  • Diel cycles and long flushing times minimized tidal differences in dissolved CO2.

Abstract

Coastal and estuarine systems play an important role in the global carbon cycle and often have complex carbonate chemistry dynamics due to a multitude of biogeochemical and physical drivers. Compared to classic estuaries, mechanisms driving the distribution of carbonate parameters in low-inflow estuaries are understudied. The spatial distribution of carbonate chemistry and hydrodynamic parameters were characterized in Morro Bay, a short and seasonally hypersaline estuary on the Central California Coast, during the dry, low-inflow season to better understand in situ modifications. Sampling transects were completed in the main channel in June, August, and September of 2018, bracketing both a high and low tide on each date. Temperature, salinity, total alkalinity, and dissolved inorganic carbon all increased from the mouth to the back of the estuary, with larger values observed during the low tide. pH values decreased towards the back of the bay, and had little variation between high and low tide for June and August transects. Flushing times (estimated using a salt-budget model approach) also increased toward the back of the bay which led to hypersaline conditions. Salinity alone only explained 20–33% of observed changes in total alkalinity and 13–22% of observed changes in dissolved inorganic carbon throughout the bay. The remaining changes in total alkalinity and dissolved inorganic carbon were likely driven by biogeochemical modifications enhanced by extended flushing times, particularly in the back bay. Prior to this project, Morro Bay experienced a recent, rapid collapse of eelgrass, the major biogenic habitat. In the last four years eelgrass in Morro Bay appears to be on a recovery trajectory; therefore, this study provides a baseline whereby future studies can evaluate carbonate chemistry changes associated with potential eelgrass recovery and expansion. This study highlights the unique hydrodynamic exchange in seasonally low-inflow estuaries and its potentially large role in influencing local carbonate chemistry and ocean acidification.

Continue reading ‘Spatial distribution of seawater carbonate chemistry and hydrodynamic controls in a low-inflow estuary’

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