Posts Tagged 'North Pacific'

Porcelaneous larger foraminiferal responses to Oligocene–Miocene global changes


  • Porcelaneous large foraminifera diversified during the Oligocene–Miocene.
  • The Aquitanian and Langhian–Serravallian peaks in richness occurred when SST ∼ 29 °C.
  • Detrimental effects of high pCO2 (> 600 ppm) in the Rupelian–early Chattian.
  • Detrimental effects of high tropical SST (> 31 °C) during the beginning of MCO
  • Detrimental effects of low tropical SST (< 26 °C) in the Tortonian
  • Sea-level highstands affected diversification of Oligocene–Miocene pLBF


Sea surface temperatures (SST) have been identified as a main controlling factor on larger benthic foraminifera (LBF) living in tropical to sub-tropical shallow-water carbonate and mixed siliciclastic‑carbonate platforms. Changes in SST, along with those in ocean acidification and nutrient content recorded in the global oceans throughout their history will not only continue but also be amplified in the future at an unprecedented rate of change possibly reaching levels recorded in the geological record. This study focuses on the Oligocene (mean SST 8 °C higher than present) and the Miocene (SST 5–8 °C higher than present) epochs which were characterized by a higher richness in porcelaneous LBF (pLBF) than today. A systematic re-assessment and comprehensive literature survey of stratigraphic ranges and palaeogeographic distribution in the Western Tethyan (Mediterranean) and Indo-Pacific regions are used to evaluate the impact of changes in SST, seawater pCO2 and pH on the biodiversity of the Oligocene–Miocene pLBF AlveolinellaAustrotrillinaBorelisBullalveolinaFlosculinella and Praebullalveolina. Two peaks in species richness were identified during the Aquitanian and Langhian–Serravallian. These peaks occurred when SST was ∼29 °C, with pCO2 of ∼400 ppm and pH > 7.8. These values are comparable to those of today. The minima in species richness recorded in the Rupelian–early Chattian, in the Burdigalian and from the Tortonian onward can be correlated to the detrimental effects of both minima (< 26 °C) and maxima (> 31 °C) SST thresholds. High pCO2 (> 600 ppm) values, which are limited to the Rupelian–early Chattian, are also detrimental to species richness. Seawater pH higher than 7.7 did not negatively affect species richness. These historical trends have serious implications for the future diversity of pLBFs with the increasing likely scenario of rising SST and pCO2 and lowering of pH values in the near future. These developments can potentially lead to diversity decrease and even extinction of pLBFs. However, the resilience of present-day pLBF species to rising SST and pCO2 levels is underpinned by the evolutionary histories of their fossil counterparts during climate variations, albeit at much different rates of change.

Continue reading ‘Porcelaneous larger foraminiferal responses to Oligocene–Miocene global changes’

Media representations and farmer perceptions: a case study of reporting on ocean acidification and the shellfish farming sector in British Columbia, Canada

Ocean Acidification (OA) creates corrosive conditions that impact organisms that produce calcium carbonate shells, such as clams and oysters. The Salish Sea, a body of water where much of British Columbia’s shellfish farming sector operates, has been growing more corrosive. We present a case study of reporting on OA and the shellfish farming sector in British Columbia, Canada. We convey results from a survey with shellfish farmers and a thematic analysis that sought to understand how the science and local implications of OA were presented in a sample of media articles. All articles employed narratives of crisis, and slightly over 75% conveyed scientific uncertainty. Just over 55% incorporated interviews with one or more of scientists, shellfish sector representatives, and shellfish farmers. Survey findings reveal that respondents saw OA as a threat but often deprioritized it relative to a wider range of operational challenges. We introduce “situatedness” and draw in ideas from “solutions journalism” to expand. While telling stories about people and places is important, we conclude that new opportunities for locally salient climate change reporting stand to be unlocked by looking beyond boundaries typically drawn around “the local” and the sorts of credentials typically ascribed to “environmental experts”.

Continue reading ‘Media representations and farmer perceptions: a case study of reporting on ocean acidification and the shellfish farming sector in British Columbia, Canada’

High light intensity and CO2 enrichment synergistically mitigated the stress caused by low salinity in Pyropia yezoensis

Macroalgae, playing a crucial role in coastal marine ecosystems, are subject to multiple environmental challenges due to tidal and seasonal alterations. In this work, we investigated the physiological responses of Pyropia yezoensis to ocean acidification (ambient CO2 (AC: 400 μatm) and elevated CO2 (HC: 1000 μatm)) under changing salinity (20, 30 psu) and light intensities (50, 100 μmol photons m−2 s−1) by measuring the growth, pigment content, chlorophyll fluorescence, and soluble sugar content. The key results are the following: (1) P. yezoensis exhibited better growth under normal salinity (30 psu) compared to hyposaline conditions (20 psu). (2) Intermediate light intensity increased phycoerythrin content, ultimately enhancing thalli growth without significant changes to the contents of chlorophyll a and carotenoids. (3) Ocean acidification alleviated hyposaline stress by enhancing pigment production in P. yezoensis only at a salinity of 20 psu, highlighting the complex interplay of these environmental factors. These findings indicate that higher light intensities and elevated pCO2 levels could mitigate the stress caused by low salinity.

Continue reading ‘High light intensity and CO2 enrichment synergistically mitigated the stress caused by low salinity in Pyropia yezoensis’

Assessing impacts of coastal warming, acidification, and deoxygenation on Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) farming: a case study in the Hinase area, Okayama Prefecture, and Shizugawa Bay, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan (Update)

Coastal warming, acidification, and deoxygenation are progressing primarily due to the increase in anthropogenic CO2. Coastal acidification has been reported to have effects that are anticipated to become more severe as acidification progresses, including inhibiting the formation of shells of calcifying organisms such as shellfish, which include Pacific oysters (Crassostrea gigas), one of the most important aquaculture resources in Japan. Moreover, there is concern regarding the combined impacts of coastal warming, acidification, and deoxygenation on Pacific oysters. However, spatiotemporal variations in acidification and deoxygenation indicators such as pH, the aragonite saturation state (Ωarag), and dissolved oxygen have not been observed and projected in oceanic Pacific oyster farms in Japan. To assess the present impacts and project future impacts of coastal warming, acidification, and deoxygenation on Pacific oysters, we performed continuous in situ monitoring, numerical modeling, and microscopic examination of Pacific oyster larvae in the Hinase area of Okayama Prefecture and Shizugawa Bay in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, both of which are famous for their Pacific oyster farms. Our monitoring results first found Ωarag values lower than the critical level of acidification for Pacific oyster larvae in Hinase, although no impact of acidification on larvae was identified by microscopic examination. Our modeling results suggest that Pacific oyster larvae are anticipated to be affected more seriously by the combined impacts of coastal warming and acidification, with lower pH and Ωarag values and a prolonged spawning period, which may shorten the oyster shipping period and lower the quality of oysters.

Continue reading ‘Assessing impacts of coastal warming, acidification, and deoxygenation on Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) farming: a case study in the Hinase area, Okayama Prefecture, and Shizugawa Bay, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan (Update)’

Seasonal temperature variation in Zostera marina seedlings under ocean acidification

Objective: To investigate the responses of Zostera marina seedlings to the individual and combined stresses of seasonal temperature increase and ocean acidification (OA) caused by global climate change and anthropogenic factors. This data will help in efforts to protect and restore seagrass beds in temperate coastal zones of China.

Methods: A mesoscale experimental system was utilized to analyze stress response mechanisms at multiple levels – phenotype, transcriptome, and metabolome – during the seedling stage of Z. marina, a dominant temperate seagrass species in China. The study monitored the seedlings under varying conditions: increased seasonal temperature, OA, and a combination of both.

Results: Findings revealed that under high-temperature conditions, carotenoid biosynthesis was stimulated through the upregulation of specific metabolites and enzymes. Similarly, the biosynthesis of certain alkaloids was promoted alongside modifications in starch, sucrose, and nitrogen metabolism, which improved the plant’s adaptation to OA. Unique metabolic pathways were activated under OA, including the degradation of certain amino acids and modifications in the citric acid cycle and pyruvate metabolism. When subjected to both temperature and OA stresses, seedlings actively mobilized various biosynthetic pathways to enhance adaptability and resilience, with distinct metabolic pathways enhancing the plant’s response under diversified stress conditions. In terms of growth, all treatment groups exhibited significant leaf length increase (p < 0.05), but the weakest growth index was observed under combined stress, followed by the thermal treatment group. Conversely, growth under OA treatment was better, showing a significant increase in wet weight, leaf length, and leaf width (p < 0.05).

Conclusion: Seasonal temperature increase was found to inhibit the growth of Z. marina seedlings to some extent, while OA facilitated their growth. However, the positive effects of OA did not mitigate the damage caused by increased seasonal temperature under combined stress due to seedlings’ sensitivity at this stage. Our findings elucidate differing plant coping strategies under varied stress conditions, contingent on the initial environment. This research anticipates providing significant data support for the adaptation of Z. marina seedlings to seasonal temperature fluctuations and global oceanic events like OA, propelling the effective conservation of seagrass beds.

Continue reading ‘Seasonal temperature variation in Zostera marina seedlings under ocean acidification’

Changes in the macrobenthic infaunal community of the Southern California continental margin over five decades in relation to oceanographic factors

Climate change has altered the physiochemical conditions of the coastal ocean but effects on infaunal communities have not been well assessed. Here, we used multivariate ordination to examine temporal patterns in benthic community composition from 4 southern California continental shelf monitoring programs that range in duration from 30 to 50 yr. Temporal changes were compared to variations in temperature, oxygen, and acidification using single-taxon random forest models. Species richness increased over time, coupled with a decline in overall abundance. Continental shelf macrobenthic communities from the 2010s comprised a broader array of feeding guilds and life history strategies than in the 1970s. Changing water temperature was associated with northward shifts in geographic distribution and increases in species abundance, while acidification was associated with southward shifts and declines in abundance of other species. Acidification was also associated with changes in depth distribution of benthic fauna, with shelled molluscs declining in abundance at depths most associated with increasing exposure to acidification. This broad-scale community-level analysis establishes causal hypotheses that set the stage for more targeted studies investigating shifts in abundance or distribution for taxa that appear to be responding to climate change-related disturbances.

Continue reading ‘Changes in the macrobenthic infaunal community of the Southern California continental margin over five decades in relation to oceanographic factors’

Editorial: the changing carbonate systems in coastal, estuarine, shelf areas and marginal seas

Editorial on the Research Topic
The changing carbonate systems in coastal, estuarine, shelf areas and marginal seas

Global atmospheric CO2 concentrations have increased from 320 ppm in the 1960s to the present-day value of 420 ppm, primarily due to anthropogenic activities. This increase influences the seawater carbonate system, impacting the marine ecosystem. There are still gaps that need to be resolved for predicting how these marine systems respond to current and future CO2 levels. Any actions to mitigate the change in pH will require adaptive management of multiple stressors across several spatial scales. Combined, these perspectives yield a more comprehensive picture of events during ocean acidification (OA).

This Research Topic brings together articles from different regions, including coastal, estuarine, and shelf areas and marginal seas, all susceptible to changing atmospheric conditions, riverine inputs, air-sea CO2 exchanges, and multiple acid-base reactions that can alter carbonate chemistry. Articles on the long-term trends of CO2 system descriptors and the interactions with calcifying organisms were also sought. The present Research Topic is primarily based on original articles devoted to carbonate systems in the marginal seas, but it is a pity that some interesting papers dealing with freshwater inflows, estuaries, and related coastal areas were not accepted.

Fransson et al. examined the effects of glacial and sea-ice meltwater on ocean acidification in the waters near the 79 North Glacier (79 NG) and the northeast Greenland shelf. The researchers investigated various ocean acidification factors and the influence of freshening, primary production, and air-sea CO2 exchange. One of the key findings was that the biological removal of CO2 through primary production played a crucial role in offsetting the negative impact of freshwater dilution on the aragonite saturation state (ΩAr), which is a measure of ocean acidification. This compensation effect was most pronounced in 2012, especially in the vicinity of the 79 NG front, where there was a significant presence of glacial meltwater and surface stratification. In 2016, a different scenario was observed, with a more homogenized water column due to sea-ice meltwater. In this case, the compensation effect of biological CO2 removal on ΩAr was weaker compared to 2012. The study also suggests that in the future, with ongoing climate and ocean chemistry changes, the increasing influence of meltwater may surpass the mitigating effects of biological CO2 removal. This could lead to unfavorable conditions for organisms that rely on calcium carbonate for their shells and skeletons. Thus, all the proposed factors need to be closely monitored as they could have significant implications for marine ecosystems and calcifying organisms in the face of ongoing environmental changes.

Continue reading ‘Editorial: the changing carbonate systems in coastal, estuarine, shelf areas and marginal seas’

Can seasonal forecasts of ocean conditions aid fishery managers? Experiences from 10 Years of J-SCOPE

Multiple stressors co-occurring in coastal waters are of increasing concern to local fisheries. Many economically, culturally, or ecologically important species (e.g., oysters, crabs, pteropods) in the Pacific Northwest are already directly affected by ocean acidification (OA), warming, and hypoxia. Additional indirect economic impacts on the finfish industry are possible due to losses of prey species. Because of strong seasonal and interannual variations in ocean conditions, capability for predicting degrees of acidification and hypoxia, as well as relevant indices of impact for species of interest, could be of considerable benefit to managers. Over the past 10 years, we have developed a seasonal ocean prediction system, JISAO’s Seasonal Coastal Ocean Prediction of the Ecosystem (J-SCOPE), for the coastal waters of the Pacific Northwest. The goal has been to provide seasonal (six-month) predictions of ocean conditions that are testable and relevant to management decisions regarding fisheries, protected species, and ecosystem health. The results of this work include publicly available seasonal forecasts of OA variables, hypoxia, temperature, and ecological indicators that are tailored for decision-makers involved in federal, international, state, and tribal fisheries. We co-​designed J-SCOPE model products with state and tribal managers, and now federal managers at the Pacific Fishery Management Council receive J-SCOPE forecasts of OA and hypoxia within their annual Ecosystem Status Reports. US and Canadian managers of Pacific hake (Merluccius productus) are now briefed on J-SCOPE-driven forecasts of hake distribution. Most recently, new ocean acidification indices specific to Dungeness crab (Metacarcinus magister) have been co-produced with state and tribal managers. In each of these cases, the team has also investigated the sources of skill in forecasting ocean conditions to assess applicability of the forecasts to the variables, depths, and seasons relevant to these high-value fisheries. Observations from NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory and other regional partners have provided critical validation of model performance throughout the model development process. We offer a retrospective look at the first 10 years of forecasting to provide perspective on its successes and limitations, and the potential global applicability of seasonal forecasting to inform flexible management responses to rapidly changing climate and ocean conditions.

A view from Point Grenville on the Quinault Indian Nation reservation where the Quinault Indian Nation has lived and harvested marine resources since time immemorial. Quinault beaches are closed to non-tribal members and require permission to access. Photo credit: Jeannette E. Waddell.

Continue reading ‘Can seasonal forecasts of ocean conditions aid fishery managers? Experiences from 10 Years of J-SCOPE’

A 37-year record of ocean acidification in the Southern California current

Long-term ocean time series have proven to be the most robust approach for direct observation of climate change processes such as Ocean Acidification. The California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations (CalCOFI) program has collected quarterly samples for seawater inorganic carbon since 1983. The longest time series is at CalCOFI line 90 station 90 from 1984–present, with a gap from 2002 to 2008. Here we present the first analysis of this 37- year time series, the oldest in the Pacific. Station 90.90 exhibits an unambiguous acidification signal in agreement with the global surface ocean (decrease in pH of −0.0015 ± 0.0001 yr−1), with a distinct seasonal cycle driven by temperature and total dissolved inorganic carbon. This provides direct evidence that the unique carbon chemistry signature (compared to other long standing time series) results in a reduced uptake rate of carbon dioxide (CO2) due to proximity to a mid-latitude eastern boundary current upwelling zone. Comparison to an independent empirical model estimate and climatology at the same location reveals regional differences not captured in the existing models.

Continue reading ‘A 37-year record of ocean acidification in the Southern California current’

The interactive effects of ocean acidification and warming on bioeroding sponge Spheciospongia vesparium microbiome indicated by metatranscriptomics

Global climate change will cause coral reefs decline and is expected to increase the reef erosion potential of bioeroding sponges. Microbial symbionts are essential for the overall fitness and survival of sponge holobionts in changing ocean environments. However, we rarely know about the impacts of ocean warming and acidification on bioeroding sponge microbiome. Here, the structural and functional changes of the bioeroding sponge Spheciospongia vesparium microbiome, as well as its recovery potential, were investigated at the RNA level in a laboratory system simulating 32 °C and pH 7.7. Based on metatranscriptome analysis, acidification showed no significant impact, while warming or simultaneous warming and acidification disrupted the sponge microbiome. Warming caused microbial dysbiosis and recruited potentially opportunistic and pathogenic members of NesiotobacterOceanospirillaceaeDeltaproteobacteriaEpsilonproteobacteriaBacteroidetes and Firmicutes. Moreover, warming disrupted nutrient exchange and molecular interactions in the sponge holobiont, accompanied by stimulation of virulence activity and anaerobic metabolism including denitrification and dissimilatory reduction of nitrate and sulfate to promote sponge necrosis. Particularly, the interaction between acidification and warming alleviated the negative effects of warming and enhanced the Rhodobacteraceae-driven ethylmalonyl-CoA pathway and sulfur-oxidizing multienzyme system. The microbiome could not recover during the experiment period after warming or combined stress was removed. This study suggests that warming or combined warming and acidification will irreversibly destabilize the S. vesparium microbial community structure and function, and provides insight into the molecular mechanisms of the interactive effects of acidification and warming on the sponge microbiome.

Continue reading ‘The interactive effects of ocean acidification and warming on bioeroding sponge Spheciospongia vesparium microbiome indicated by metatranscriptomics’

Dive industry perspectives on threats to coral reefs: a comparative study across four Asia-Pacific countries

The combined effects of climate change, marine tourism and other stressors threaten the ecological and economic sustainability of coral reefs. This study investigates dive industry stakeholder awareness of the threats to coral reefs through structured interviews with Dive Masters, company managers and marine management agencies in Vietnam, Australia, Malaysia and Indonesia. Stakeholders from all locations have observed degradation of local reefs. Destructive fishing was identified as the principal threat in all regions except Australia. Most participants identified threats from climate change and marine tourism. There was a lack of awareness about ocean acidification by all participants from Maluku, Indonesia. However, ocean acidification could make coral more fragile and, therefore, vulnerable to diver-induced damage. The majority of Dive Masters across all regions provide pre-dive briefings to reduce diver impacts and participate in environmental activities to protect local reefs. Stakeholders in three regions thought there was capacity to expand the local dive industry. However, in Nha Trang Vietnam, most industry stakeholders thought they were at, or exceeded, carrying capacity, whereas marine management employees thought there was room to expand. This study highlights an opportunity to improve diver education on the vulnerability of coral to damage in acidifying oceans. This study also identifies various non-regulatory and regulatory strategies used to reduce diver impacts, emphasising the value of multi-national knowledge sharing between the dive industry and regulatory agencies for adaptive management.


  • Dive industry stakeholders are concerned about threats to coral reefs.
  • Impacts from diving activities were recognised in three of four regions.
  • There was great discrepancy between regions in the awareness of ocean acidification.
  • Most dive industry stakeholders are engaged in marine conservation activities.
  • Some marine managers and industry stakeholders had discrepant views on diver carrying capacity
Continue reading ‘Dive industry perspectives on threats to coral reefs: a comparative study across four Asia-Pacific countries’

Evaluating the evolving ocean acidification risk to Dungeness crab: time-series observations and modeling on the Olympic Coast, Washington, USA

The Olympic Coast of Washington is home to four Coastal Treaty Tribes who have relied on the region’s rich marine resources since time immemorial. The region is characterized by large dynamic ranges of physical and biogeochemical oceanographic parameters, particularly during the upwelling season (April–September). Here, we present novel estimates of ocean acidification metrics—pH and calcium carbonate saturation states (Ω)—representing pre-industrial, present-day (using 2010 as the index year), and near-future (2030) conditions. We compare these new estimates of past, present, and near-future ocean acidification status and seasonality to published end-of-century (2100) ocean acidification projections under a high CO₂ emissions scenario, and also to sensitivity information for Dungeness crab, a regionally important subsistence and commercial fishery species projected to show strong declines in fisheries yields and revenues later this century.

Continue reading ‘Evaluating the evolving ocean acidification risk to Dungeness crab: time-series observations and modeling on the Olympic Coast, Washington, USA’

Short-term acidification promotes diverse iron acquisition and conservation mechanisms in upwelling-associated phytoplankton

Coastal upwelling regions are among the most productive marine ecosystems but may be threatened by amplified ocean acidification. Increased acidification is hypothesized to reduce iron bioavailability for phytoplankton thereby expanding iron limitation and impacting primary production. Here we show from community to molecular levels that phytoplankton in an upwelling region respond to short-term acidification exposure with iron uptake pathways and strategies that reduce cellular iron demand. A combined physiological and multi-omics approach was applied to trace metal clean incubations that introduced 1200 ppm CO2 for up to four days. Although variable, molecular-level responses indicate a prioritization of iron uptake pathways that are less hindered by acidification and reductions in iron utilization. Growth, nutrient uptake, and community compositions remained largely unaffected suggesting that these mechanisms may confer short-term resistance to acidification; however, we speculate that cellular iron demand is only temporarily satisfied, and longer-term acidification exposure without increased iron inputs may result in increased iron stress.

Continue reading ‘Short-term acidification promotes diverse iron acquisition and conservation mechanisms in upwelling-associated phytoplankton’

Global synthesis of the status and trends of ocean acidification impacts on shelled pteropods

The accumulation of anthropogenic CO₂ in the ocean has major ecological, socioeconomic, and biogeochemical impacts, with repercussions for the ocean as a critical carbon sink. Ocean acidification (OA) disproportionately affects marine calcifiers, among which pelagic zooplanktonic pteropods play a significant role in carbonate export. The pteropod, due to the susceptibility of its aragonite shell to rapid dissolution, is one of most vulnerable groups and a key indicator for OA regional monitoring, but its regional sensitivities have not yet been extrapolated over global scales. To delineate spatial and temporal changes in pteropod shell dissolution, global OA status and the OA rate of change were evaluated, based on gridded climatologies of observations and using a Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS) biogeochemical/ecosystem model. Pteropods, which dominate in the polar and subpolar regions, are characterized by low aragonite saturation state and low buffering capacity, where extended pteropod subsurface dissolution is projected. We show that pteropods are most susceptible to OA in the polar regions, subpolar North Pacific, and eastern boundary upwelling system regions, particularly the California and Humboldt Current Systems. Rates of acidification and corresponding increases in pteropod shell dissolution are projected to be the fastest in the North and South Equatorial Currents. These are the regions with the greatest impacts on pteropods and biogeochemical implications.

Continue reading ‘Global synthesis of the status and trends of ocean acidification impacts on shelled pteropods’

Physical and biological controls on the annual CO2 Cycle in Agua Hedionda Lagoon, Carlsbad, CA

Agua Hedionda Lagoon (AHL), a tidal estuary located on the southern California coast, supports a diverse ecosystem while serving numerous recreation activities, a marine fish hatchery, a shellfish hatchery, and the largest desalination plant in the western hemisphere. In this work, a 1-year time series of carbon dioxide data is used to establish baseline average dissolved inorganic carbon conditions in AHL. Based on a mass balance model of the outer basin of the lagoon, we propose that AHL is a source of inorganic carbon to the adjacent ocean, through advective export, at a rate of 5.9 × 106 mol C year−1, and a source of CO2 to the atmosphere of 0.21 × 106 mol C year−1 (1 mol C m−2 year−1), implying a net heterotrophic system on the order of 6.0 × 106 mol C year−1 (30 mol C m−2 year−1). Although variable with a range throughout the year of 80% about the mean, the ecosystem remained persistently heterotrophic, reaching peak rates during the summer season. Using results from the mass balance, the annual cycle of selected properties of the aqueous CO2 system (pH, pCO2, and CaCO3 saturation state) were mathematically decomposed in order to examine the relative contribution of drivers including advection, ecosystem metabolism, and temperature that act to balance their observed annual cycle. Important findings of this study include the identification of advection as a prime driver of biogeochemical variability and the establishment of a data-based estimate of mean flushing time for AHL.

Continue reading ‘Physical and biological controls on the annual CO2 Cycle in Agua Hedionda Lagoon, Carlsbad, CA’

Infestation of cultivated Pacific oysters by shell-boring polychaetes along the US West Coast: Prevalence is associated with season, culture method, and pH

Shell-boring polychaetes have contributed to the collapse of several mariculture operations around the world. These pests burrow into the shells of bivalves, creating mud blisters that are unappealing to consumers and which make oysters less valuable on the half-shell market. The US Pacific region produces 38% of the farmed shellfish in the US, making it important to understand the prevalence and drivers of parasite infestation in this region. We sampled Pacific oysters (Crassostrea gigas; n = 4158) from 35 shellfish farms over four seasons (two winters and two summers) in four states (northern California (CA), Oregon (OR), Washington (WA), and Alaska (AK)) to document the prevalence of shell-boring polychaetes. We extracted worms from infested oysters and used mitochondrial (CO1, n = 139) and nuclear (18S rRNA, n = 224) markers to determine species identities. To identify the environmental correlates that were associated with infestation, we pooled environmental data from seven monitoring stations in Washington. We assessed whether seawater surface temperature (SST), salinity, and pH were associated with shell-boring polychaete infestation. Our sampling confirmed the presence of Polydora websteri in the study region, in addition to four other species of shell-boring polychaetes and seven unidentified haplotypes. The mean prevalences across all shell-boring polychaete species ranged from 23 to 45% across seasons between states. In general, prevalence was higher in the winter and among oysters cultured on the bottom versus in tumbled bags, but these results varied across states. We also found greater infestation by shell-boring polychaetes at less acidified sites (pH = 8–8.2). This work is the most comprehensive dataset to characterize shell-boring polychaetes along the US West Coast, providing an important baseline of prevalence, species distribution, and environmental associations.

Continue reading ‘Infestation of cultivated Pacific oysters by shell-boring polychaetes along the US West Coast: Prevalence is associated with season, culture method, and pH’

Unraveling prokaryotic diversity distribution and functional pattern on nitrogen and methane cycling in the subtropical Western North Pacific Ocean

Prokaryotes play an important role in marine nitrogen and methane cycles. However, their community changes and metabolic modifications to the concurrent impact of ocean warming (OW), acidification (OA), deoxygenation (OD), and anthropogenic‑nitrogen-deposition (AND) from the surface to the deep ocean remains unknown. We examined here the amplicon sequencing approach across the surface (0–200 m; SL), intermediate (200–1000 m; IL), and deep layers (1000–2200 m; DL), and characterized the simultaneous impacts of OW, OA, OD, and AND on the Western North Pacific Ocean prokaryotic changes and their functional pattern in nitrogen and methane cycles. Results showed that SL possesses higher ammonium oxidation community/metabolic composition assumably the reason for excess nitrogen input from AND and modification of their kinetic properties to OW adaptation. Expanding OD at IL showed hypoxic conditions in the oxygen minimum layer, inducing higher microbial respiration that elevates the dimerization of nitrification genes for higher nitrous oxide production. The aerobic methane-oxidation composition was dominant in SL presumably the reason for adjustment in prokaryotic optimal temperature to OW, while anaerobic oxidation composition was dominant at IL due to the evolutionary changes coupling with higher nitrification. Our findings refocus on climate-change impacts on the open ocean ecosystem from the surface to the deep-environment integrating climate-drivers as key factors for higher nitrous-oxide and methane emissions.

Continue reading ‘Unraveling prokaryotic diversity distribution and functional pattern on nitrogen and methane cycling in the subtropical Western North Pacific Ocean’

Variability of total alkalinity in coastal surface waters determined using an in-situ analyzer in conjunction with the application of a neural network-based prediction model


  • Total Alkalinity (TA) variation in Tong’an Bay observed with in-situ analyzer.
  • The TA variations in late summer and early winter controlled by mixing of water bodies.
  • The diel TA variations mainly influenced by tide.
  • Artificial neural network-based TA prediction model developed for Tong’an Bay.


Total alkalinity (TA) is an important variable of the ocean carbonate system. In coastal oceans, carbonate system dynamics are controlled by a range of processes including photosynthesis and respiration, calcification, mixing of water masses, continental inputs, temperature changes, and seasonal upwelling. Assessments of diel, seasonal and interannual variations in TA are required to understand the carbon cycle in coastal oceans. However, our understanding of these variations remains underdeveloped due to limitations in observational techniques. Autonomous TA measurements are therefore required. In this study, an in situ TA analyzer (ISA-TA) based on a single-point titration with spectrophotometric pH detection was deployed in Tong’an Bay, Xiamen, China, over a five-month period in 2021 to determine diel and seasonal TA variations. The TA observations were combined with an artificial neural network (ANN) model to construct TA prediction models for this area. This provided a simple method to investigate TA variations in this region and was applied to predict surface water TA between March and April 2021. The in situ TA observations showed that TA values in Tong’an Bay varied within a range from 1931 to 2294 μmol kg−1 over the study period, with low TA in late winter, early summer and late summer, and high TA in early winter. The TA variations in late summer and early winter were mainly controlled by mixing of water bodies. The diel variations of TA were greatly determined by tides, with a diel amplitude of 9 to 247 μmol kg−1. The ANN model used temperature, salinity, chlorophyll, and dissolved oxygen to estimate TA, with a root-mean-square error (RMSE) of ∼14 μmol kg−1, with salinity as the input variable with the greatest weight. The approach of combining ISA-TA observations with an ANN model can be extended to study the carbonate system in other coastal regions.

Continue reading ‘Variability of total alkalinity in coastal surface waters determined using an in-situ analyzer in conjunction with the application of a neural network-based prediction model’

Metabolic profiling of Mytilus coruscus mantle in response of shell repairing under acute acidification

Mytilus coruscus is an economically important marine bivalve mollusk found in the Yangtze River estuary, which experiences dramatic pH fluctuations due to seasonal freshwater input and suffer from shell fracture or injury in the natural environment. In this study, we used intact-shell and damaged-shell Mcoruscus and performed metabolomic analysis, free amino acids analysis, calcium-positive staining, and intracellular calcium level tests in the mantle to investigate whether the mantle-specific metabolites can be induced by acute sea-water acidification and understand how the mantle responds to acute acidification during the shell repair process. We observed that both shell damage and acute acidification induced alterations in phospholipids, amino acids, nucleotides, organic acids, benzenoids, and their analogs and derivatives. Glycylproline, spicamycin, and 2-aminoheptanoic acid (2-AHA) are explicitly induced by shell damage. Betaine, aspartate, and oxidized glutathione are specifically induced by acute acidification. Our results show different metabolic patterns in the mussel mantle in response to different stressors, which can help elucidate the shell repair process under ocean acidification. furthermore, metabolic processes related to energy supply, cell function, signal transduction, and amino acid synthesis are disturbed by shell damage and/or acute acidification, indicating that both shell damage and acute acidification increased energy consumption, and disturb phospholipid synthesis, osmotic regulation, and redox balance. Free amino acid analysis and enzymatic activity assays partially confirmed our findings, highlighting the adaptation of Mcoruscus to dramatic pH fluctuations in the Yangtze River estuary.

Continue reading ‘Metabolic profiling of Mytilus coruscus mantle in response of shell repairing under acute acidification’

Parentage influence on gene expression under acidification revealed through single-embryo sequencing

The dissolution of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) in seawater has altered its carbonate chemistry in the process of ocean acidification (OA). OA affects the viability of marine species. In particular, calcifying organisms and their early planktonic larval stages are considered vulnerable. These organisms often utilize energy reserves for metabolism rather than growth and calcification as supported by bulk RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) experiments. Yet, transcriptomic profiling of a bulk sample reflects the average gene expression of the population, neglecting the variations between individuals, which forms the basis for natural selection. Here, we used single-embryo RNA-seq on larval sea urchin Heliocidaris crassispina, which is a commercially and ecologically valuable species in East Asia, to document gene expression changes to OA at an individual and family level. Three paternal half-sibs groups were fertilized and exposed to 3 pH conditions (ambient pH 8.0, 7.7 and 7.4) for 12 h prior to sequencing and oxygen consumption assay. The resulting transcriptomic profile of all embryos can be distinguished into four clusters, with differences in gene expressions that govern biomineralization, cell differentiation and patterning, as well as metabolism. While these responses were influenced by pH conditions, the male identities also had an effect. Specifically, a regression model and goodness of fit tests indicated a significant interaction between sire and pH on the probability of embryo membership in different clusters of gene expression. The single-embryo RNA-seq approach is promising in climate stressor research because not only does it highlight potential impacts before phenotypic changes were observed, but it also highlights variations between individuals and lineages, thus enabling a better determination of evolutionary potential.

Continue reading ‘Parentage influence on gene expression under acidification revealed through single-embryo sequencing’

  • Reset


OA-ICC Highlights

%d bloggers like this: