Posts Tagged 'North Pacific'

Effect of elevated pCO2 on trace gas production during an ocean acidification mesocosm experiment

A mesocosm experiment was conducted in Wuyuan Bay (Xiamen), China to investigate the effects of elevated pCO2 on phytoplankton species and production of dimethylsulfide (DMS) and dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) as well as four halocarbon compounds (CHBrCl2, CH3Br, CH2Br2, and CH3I). Over a period of 5 weeks, P. tricornutum outcompeted T. weissflogii and E. huxleyi, comprising more than 99 % of the final biomass. During the logarithmic growth phase (phase I), DMS concentrations in high pCO2 mesocosms (1000 µatm) were 28.2 % lower than those in low pCO2 mesocosms (400 µatm). Elevated pCO2 led to a delay in DMSP-consuming bacteria attached to T. weissflogii and P. tricornutum and finally resulted in the delay of DMS concentration in the HC treatment. Unlike DMS, the elevated pCO2 did not affect DMSP production ability of T. weissflogii or P. tricornutum throughout the 5 week culture. A positive relationship was detected between CH3I and T. weissflogii and P. tricornutum during the experiment, and there was a 40.2 % reduction in mean CH3I concentrations in the HC mesocosms. CHBrCl2, CH3Br, and CH2Br2 concentrations did not increase with elevated chlorophyll a (Chl a) concentrations compared with DMS(P) and CH3I, and there were no major peak in the HC or LC mesocosms. In addition, no effect of elevated pCO2 was identified for any of the three bromocarbons. Continue reading ‘Effect of elevated pCO2 on trace gas production during an ocean acidification mesocosm experiment’

Combined effects of ocean acidification and temperature on planula larvae of the moon jellyfish Aurelia coerulea

Highlights

• We addressed the impact of ocean acidification and seawater temperature increases on scyphozoan planulae.
A. coerulea planulae can cope well with decreased pH conditions through rapid settlement.
• Elevated seawater temperature appears to be a crucial stress factor for A. coerulea planulae.

Abstract

Rapidly rising levels of atmospheric CO2 have caused two environmental stressors, ocean acidification and seawater temperature increases, which represent major abiotic threats to marine organisms. Here, we investigated for the first time the combined effects of ocean acidification and seawater temperature increases on the behavior, survival, and settlement of the planula larvae of Aurelia coerulea, which is considered a nuisance species around the world. Three pH levels (8.1, 7.7 and 7.3) and two temperature levels (24 °C and 27 °C) were used in the present study. There were no interactive effects of temperature and pH on the behavior, survival, and settlement of planula larvae of A. coerulea. We found that the swimming speed and mortality of the planula larvae of A. coerulea were significantly affected by temperature, and low pH significantly affected settlement. Planula larvae of A. coerulea from the elevated temperature treatment moved faster and showed higher mortality than those at the control temperature. The settlement rate of A. coerulea planulae was significantly higher at the pH level of 7.3 than at other pH levels. These results suggest that seawater temperature increase, rather than reduced pH, was the main stress factor affecting the survival of A. coerulea planulae. Overall, the planula larvae of the common jellyfish A. coerulea appeared to be resistant to ocean acidification, but may be negatively affected by future seawater temperature increases.

Continue reading ‘Combined effects of ocean acidification and temperature on planula larvae of the moon jellyfish Aurelia coerulea’

Comprehensive research of the coastal water area of the Sea of Japan and Sea of Okhotsk under the influence of river runoff ( cruise 71 of the R/V Professor Gagarinskii)

An expedition abroad the R/V Professor Gagaranskii was conducted in the water area of the north-western shelf of the Sea of Okhotsk and the Tatar Strait to study the production and destruction of organic matter, as well as the biochemical processes governing the distribution and accumulation of particulate and dissolves forms of microelements (Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, Cs, Ni, Pb) in a coastal and estuary ecosystems.

The main aim of the expedition was comprehensive hydrological, hydrochemical, hydrobiological, and geochemical observations on the northeasten slope of Sakhalin Island; in the estuaries of the Usalgin, Ulban, Tugur, and Uda rivers and their adjacent water areas (Shantar archipelago); in the estuary of the Amur River and adjacent water areas (Sakhalin Bay, Tatar Strait); and in the estuary of the Tumnin River.

Continue reading ‘Comprehensive research of the coastal water area of the Sea of Japan and Sea of Okhotsk under the influence of river runoff ( cruise 71 of the R/V Professor Gagarinskii)’

Ocean acidification increases the sensitivity of and variability in physiological responses of an intertidal limpet to thermal stress (update)

Understanding physiological responses of organisms to warming and ocean acidification is the first step towards predicting the potential population- and community-level ecological impacts of these stressors. Increasingly, physiological plasticity is being recognized as important for organisms to adapt to the changing microclimates. Here, we evaluate the importance of physiological plasticity for coping with ocean acidification and elevated temperature, and its variability among individuals, of the intertidal limpet Cellana toreuma from the same population in Xiamen. Limpets were collected from shaded mid-intertidal rock surfaces. They were acclimated under combinations of different pCO2 concentrations (400 and 1000 ppm, corresponding to a pH of 8.1 and 7.8) and temperatures (20 and 24 °C) in a short-term period (7 days), with the control conditions (20 °C and 400 ppm) representing the average annual temperature and present-day pCO2 level at the collection site. Heart rates (as a proxy for metabolic performance) and expression of genes encoding inducible and constitutive heat-shock proteins (hsp70 and hsc70) at different heat-shock temperatures (26, 30, 34, and 38 °C) were measured. Hsp70 and Hsc70 play important roles in protecting cells from heat stresses, but have different expression patterns, with Hsp70 significantly increased in expression during stress and Hsc70 constitutively expressed and only mildly induced during stress. Analysis of heart rate showed significantly higher temperature coefficients (Q10 rates) for limpets at 20 °C than at 24 °C and post-acclimation thermal sensitivity of limpets at 400 ppm was lower than at 1000 ppm. Expression of hsp70 linearly increased with the increasing heat-shock temperatures, with the largest slope occurring in limpets acclimated under a future scenario (24 °C and 1000 ppm pCO2). These results suggested that limpets showed increased sensitivity and stress response under future conditions. Furthermore, the increased variation in physiological response under the future scenario indicated that some individuals have higher physiological plasticity to cope with these conditions. While short-term acclimation to reduced pH seawater decreases the ability of partial individuals against thermal stress, physiological plasticity and variability seem to be crucial in allowing some intertidal animals to survive in a rapidly changing environment.

Continue reading ‘Ocean acidification increases the sensitivity of and variability in physiological responses of an intertidal limpet to thermal stress (update)’

Macrobenthic assemblage characteristics under stressed waters and ecological health assessment using AMBI and M-AMBI: a case study at the Xin’an River Estuary, Yantai, China

To understand the ecological status and macrobenthic assemblages of the Xin’an River Estuary and its adjacent waters, a survey was conducted for environmental variables and macrobenthic assemblage structure in September 2012 (Yantai, China). Several methods are adopted in the data analysis process:dominance index, diversity indices, cluster analysis, non-metric multi-dimentional scaling ordination, AMBI and M-AMBI. The dissolved inorganic nitrogen and soluble reactive phosphorus of six out of eight sampling stations were in a good condition with low concentration. The average value of DO ((2.89±0.60) mg/L) and pH (4.28±0.43) indicated that the research area faced with the risk of ocean acidification and underlying hypoxia. A total of 62 species were identified, of which the dominant species group was polychaetes. The average abundance and biomass was 577.50 ind./m2 and 6.01 g/m2, respectively. Compared with historical data, the macrobenthic assemblage structure at waters around the Xin’an River Estuary was in a relatively stable status from 2009 to 2012. Contaminant indicator species Capitella capitata appeared at Sta. Y1, indicating the animals here suffered from hypoxia and acidification. AMBI and M-AMBI results showed that most sampling stations were slightly disturbed, which were coincided with the abiotic measurement on evaluating the health conditions. Macrobenthic communities suffered pressures from ocean acidification and hypoxia at the research waters, particularly those at Stas Y1, Y2 and Y5, which displays negative results in benthic health evaluation.

Continue reading ‘Macrobenthic assemblage characteristics under stressed waters and ecological health assessment using AMBI and M-AMBI: a case study at the Xin’an River Estuary, Yantai, China’

Shallow water carbonate sediments of the Galapagos archipelago: ecologically sensitive biofacies in a transitional oceanographic environment

Shallow water carbonate producing organisms are directly controlled by their local oceanography. As a result, long-term environmental signals—stemming from the breakdown of calcareous organisms—can be read from time-averaged carbonate sediments. To better understand these complex biophysical interactions, it is important to study carbonate development within oceanographic transition zones and environments affected by disturbances, such as the El Niño—Southern Oscillation (ENSO). This dissertation represents the first investigation into modern shallow water, soft sediment, carbonate environments of the Galápagos Archipelago, eastern tropical Pacific (ETP). This region is notable for straddling an oceanographic transition zone from tropical oligotrophic to temperate eutrophic—caused by high nutrient and low pH upwelling—and for being directly impacted by ENSO. A top-down approach is followed, which analyzes the biogenic structure of Galápagos sediments and their connection to local and regional oceanography and climate, and then explores how these findings relate to benthic foraminifera—sensitive environmental indicators contained within the sediments. Sediment point counting and statistical models revealed that while these carbonate environments span a biogenic and oceanographic transition comparable to similar settings in the ETP, the proximity of the Galápagos to the ENSO region directly influences its sedimentary structure and distribution. Point counting also revealed a near-absence of benthic foraminifera, which is unusual for ETP, and tropical shallow water carbonates in general. Statistically comparing foraminiferal species composition and diversity to dominant oceanographic parameters revealed the low abundances and distribution of these testate (shelled) single-celled protists to be negatively influenced by the combination of repeated Holocene ENSO events, and the effects of protracted exposure to high nutrient and low pH waters of the southern archipelago. Ultimately, the results of this study may serve as a template for investigating the interaction of carbonates and oceanography within similar atypical tropical assemblages in the fossil record.

Continue reading ‘Shallow water carbonate sediments of the Galapagos archipelago: ecologically sensitive biofacies in a transitional oceanographic environment’

The influence of abrupt increases in seawater pCO2 on plankton productivity in the subtropical North Pacific Ocean

We conducted a series of experiments to examine short-term (2–5 days) effects of abrupt increases in the partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO2) in seawater on rates of primary and bacterial production at Station ALOHA (22°45’ N, 158° W) in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre (NPSG). The majority of experiments (8 of 10 total) displayed no response in rates of primary production (measured by 14C-bicarbonate assimilation; 14C-PP) under elevated pCO2 (~1100 μatm) compared to ambient pCO2 (~387 μatm). In 2 of 10 experiments, rates of 14C-PP decreased significantly (~43%) under elevated pCO2 treatments relative to controls. Similarly, no significant differences between treatments were observed in 6 of 7 experiments where bacterial production was measured via incorporation of 3H-leucine (3H-Leu), while in 1 experiment, rates of 3H-Leu incorporation measured in the dark (3H-LeuDark) increased more than 2-fold under high pCO2 conditions. We also examined photoperiod-length, depth-dependent (0–125 m) responses in rates of 14C-PP and 3H-Leu incorporation to abrupt pCO2 increases (to ~750 μatm). In the majority of these depth-resolved experiments (4 of 5 total), rates of 14C-PP demonstrated no consistent response to elevated pCO2. In 2 of 5 depth-resolved experiments, rates of 3H-LeuDark incorporation were lower (10% to 15%) under elevated pCO2 compared to controls. Our results revealed that rates of 14C-PP and bacterial production in this persistently oligotrophic habitat generally demonstrated no or weak responses to abrupt changes in pCO2. We postulate that any effects caused by changes in pCO2 may be masked or outweighed by the role that nutrient availability and temperature play in controlling metabolism in this ecosystem.

Continue reading ‘The influence of abrupt increases in seawater pCO2 on plankton productivity in the subtropical North Pacific Ocean’


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Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book