Posts Tagged 'nutrients'

Effects of pH and nitrogen form on Nitzschia closterium growth by linking dynamic with enzyme activity


• The growth of Nitzschia closterium was inhibited by ocean acidification with low growth indication.

• Acidification might induce ROS with the enzyme activities (SOD, CAT) increase under lower pH levels.

• Acidification has a more detrimental effect on the growth of N. closterium under NO3–N than NH4–N.


In this study, Nitzschia closterium was incubated in seawater at different pH values (8.10, 7.71, and 7.45) and using different nitrogen forms (NO3–N and NH4–N) in the laboratory. The results showed that the growth of N. closterium was inhibited by ocean acidification, with individuals under lower pH levels showing lower growth rates and lower nitrogen uptake rates for both nitrogen forms. The Vmax/Ks ratio decreased with decreasing pH, indicating the inhibition of nitrogen uptake, whereas the ratios for NH4–N cultures were higher than those for NO3–N cultures, implying the highly competitive position of NH4–N. Acidification might induce reactive oxygen species based on the result that the maximum enzyme activities of SuperOxide Dismutase (SOD) and CATalase (CAT) increased under lower pH levels. The SOD and CAT activities for the NO3–N cultures were higher than those for NH4–N cultures at the low pH level, indicating that acidification might cause more oxidative stress for NO3–N cultures than for NH4–N cultures. Thus, ocean acidification might have a more detrimental effect on the growth of N. closterium under NO3–N conditions than NH4–N conditions, with a lower ratio (γ) of the maximum growth rate to the maximum nutrient uptake rate, and a drop in nitrate reductase activity under lower pH levels.

Continue reading ‘Effects of pH and nitrogen form on Nitzschia closterium growth by linking dynamic with enzyme activity’

The effects of ocean acidification, warming and enhanced nutrients on a Wadden Sea community – examined with mesocosm experiments

Ocean acidification and global warming are known as two of the most crucial factors impacting marine ecosystems worldwide. While most investigations tested short-term impacts of single environmental drivers (e.g. temperature, salintiy) on single species, studies on the combined effect of multiple drivers on a multi-species assemblage in different seasons, which is much more realistic and relevant, are still scarce. Therefore, an experimental mesocosm facility was built to gain information on community changes under the impacts from multiple drivers. In three consecutive experiments, in spring, summer and autumn 2014, compartments of an intertidal macroalgae-mussel community from the Wadden Sea were incubated for 8 to 11 weeks within a large-scale mesocosm facility (Sylt Benthic Mesocosm). In the experiments four different treatments were applied: Ambient, nutrient enrichment (N; doubled natural summer nutrient concentration), warming in combination with acidification (OAW; ambient + 5°C and 1000ppm), and a combination of all three drivers (OAW+N). To find seasonal effects, we compared the responses of (OAW) to that of the ambient treatment in spring, summer and autumn. Carbon flows within the food web of the enclosed species assemblage were analysed by a holistic, static modelling approach (Ecological Network Analysis, ENA). The combined effects of ocean warming and acidification decreased the biomass of the main grazers and the macrophyte Fucus vesiculosus, while epiphytes massively increased due to an altered top-down control during summer. This creates a bottle neck within the energy flow between the first two trophic levels and let less energy pass to higher trophic levels. Enriched nutrients alone did not affect the system substantially, but especially grazers seem to benefit from enriched nutrient concentrations. The effects of climate change on the investigated Wadden Sea community strongly depends on the investigated season. In spring and autumn, OAW affected less or even promoted the system by increased energy flows between the trophic levels. In summer the opposite was found, with decreased energy flow, hampered top-down control and a reduced trophic efficiency, that could propagate through the whole food web and alter the structure and functioning of the investigated community. The Analysis ENA showed a lower relative ascendancy and the trend to an increasing flow diversity, as the result of a high number of multiple pathways between the system components. Theoretically, the resilience of the system shows a tendency to increase and the capability of withstanding external disturbances under OAW as compared to an unstressed system.

Continue reading ‘The effects of ocean acidification, warming and enhanced nutrients on a Wadden Sea community – examined with mesocosm experiments’

Blue mussel (Genus Mytilus) transcriptome response to simulated climate change in the Gulf of Maine

The biogeochemistry of the Gulf of Maine (GOM) is rapidly changing in response to the changing climate, including rising temperatures, acidification, and declining primary productivity. These impacts are projected to worsen over the next 100 y and will apply selective pressure on populations of marine calcifiers. This study investigates the transcriptome expression response to these changes in ecologically and economically important marine calcifiers, blue mussels. Wild mussels (Mytilus edulis and Mytilus trossulus) were sampled from sites spanning the GOM and exposed to two different biogeochemical water conditions: (1) present-day conditions in the GOM and (2) simulated future conditions, which included elevated temperature, increased acidity, and decreased food supply. Patterns of gene expression were measured using RNA sequencing from 24 mussel samples and contrasted between ambient and future conditions. The net calcification rate, a trait predicted to be under climate-induced stress, was measured for each individual over a 2-wk exposure period and used as a covariate along with gene expression patterns. Generalized linear models, with and without the calcification rate, were used to identify differentially expressed transcripts between ambient and future conditions. The comparison revealed transcripts that likely comprise a core stress response characterized by the induction of molecular chaperones, genes involved in aerobic metabolism, and indicators of cellular stress. Furthermore, the model contrasts revealed transcripts that may be associated with individual variation in calcification rate and suggest possible biological processes that may have downstream effects on calcification phenotypes, such as zinc-ion binding and protein degradation. Overall, these findings contribute to the understanding of blue mussel adaptive responses to imminent climate change and suggest metabolic pathways are resilient in variable environments.

Continue reading ‘Blue mussel (Genus Mytilus) transcriptome response to simulated climate change in the Gulf of Maine’

Combined effects of CO2 level, light intensity, and nutrient availability on the coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi

Continuous accumulation of fossil CO2 in the atmosphere and increasingly dissolved CO2 in seawater leads to ocean acidification (OA), which is known to affect phytoplankton physiology directly and/or indirectly. Since increasing attention has been paid to the effects of OA under the influences of multiple drivers, in this study, we investigated effects of elevated CO2 concentration under different levels of light and nutrients on growth rate, particulate organic (POC) and inorganic (PIC) carbon quotas of the coccolithophorid Emiliania huxleyi. We found that OA treatment (pH 7.84, CO2 = 920 μatm) reduced the maximum growth rate at all levels of the nutrients tested, and exacerbated photo-inhibition of growth rate under reduced availability of phosphate (from 10.5 to 0.4 μmol l−1). Low nutrient levels, especially lower nitrate concentration (8.8 μmol l−1 compared with 101 μmol l−1), decreased maximum growth rates. Nevertheless, the reduced levels of nutrients increased the maximum PIC production rate. Decreased availability of nutrients influenced growth, POC and PIC quotas more than changes in CO2 concentrations. Our results suggest that reduced nutrient availability due to reduced upward advective supply because of ocean warming may partially counteract the negative effects of OA on calcification of the coccolithophorid.

Continue reading ‘Combined effects of CO2 level, light intensity, and nutrient availability on the coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi’

Elevated CO2 and food ration affect growth but not the size-based hierarchy of a reef fish

Under projected levels of ocean acidification, shifts in energetic demands and food availability could interact to effect the growth and development of marine organisms. Changes to individual growth rates could then flow on to influence emergent properties of social groups, particularly in species that form size-based hierarchies. To test the potential interactive effects of (1) food availability, (2) elevated CO2 during juvenile development, and (3) parental experience of elevated CO2 on the growth, condition and size-based hierarchy of juvenile fish, we reared orange clownfish (Amphiprion percula) for 50 days post-hatching in a fully orthogonal design. Development in elevated CO2 reduced standard length and weight of juveniles, by 9% and 11% respectively, compared to ambient. Development under low food availability reduced length and weight of juveniles by 7% and 15% respectively, compared to high food. Parental exposure to elevated CO2 restored the length of juveniles to that of controls, but it did not restore weight, resulting in juveniles from elevated CO2 parents exhibiting 33% lower body condition when reared in elevated CO2. The body size ratios (relative size of a fish from the rank above) within juvenile groups were not affected by any treatment, suggesting relative robustness of group-level structure despite alterations in individual size and condition. This study demonstrates that both food availability and elevated CO2 can influence the physical attributes of juvenile reef fish, but these changes may not disrupt the emergent group structure of this social species, at least amongst juveniles.

Continue reading ‘Elevated CO2 and food ration affect growth but not the size-based hierarchy of a reef fish’

Combined effects of global climate change and nutrient enrichment on the physiology of three temperate maerl species

Made up of calcareous coralline algae, maerl beds play a major role as ecosystem engineers in coastal areas throughout the world. They undergo strong anthropogenic pressures, which may threaten their survival. The aim of this study was to gain insight into the future of maerl beds in the context of global and local changes. We examined the effects of rising temperatures (+3°C) and ocean acidification (−0.3 pH units) according to temperature and pH projections (i.e., the RCP 8.5 scenario), and nutrient (N and P) availability on three temperate maerl species (Lithothamnion corallioides, Phymatolithon calcareum, and Lithophyllum incrustans) in the laboratory in winter and summer conditions. Physiological rates of primary production, respiration, and calcification were measured on all three species in each treatment and season. The physiological response of maerl to global climate change was species‐specific and influenced by seawater nutrient concentrations. Future temperature–pH scenario enhanced maximal gross primary production rates in P. calcareum in winter and in L. corallioides in both seasons. Nevertheless, both species suffered an impairment of light harvesting and photoprotective mechanisms in winter. Calcification rates at ambient light intensity were negatively affected by the future temperature–pH scenario in winter, with net dissolution observed in the dark in L. corallioides and P. calcareum under low nutrient concentrations. Nutrient enrichment avoided dissolution under future scenarios in winter and had a positive effect on L. incrustans calcification rate in the dark in summer. In winter conditions, maximal calcification rates were enhanced by the future temperature–pH scenario on the three species, but P. calcareum suffered inhibition at high irradiances. In summer conditions, the maximal calcification rate dropped in L. corallioides under the future global climate change scenario, with a potential negative impact on CaCO3 budget for maerl beds in the Bay of Brest where this species is dominant. Our results highlight how local changes in nutrient availability or irradiance levels impact the response of maerl species to global climate change and thus point out how it is important to consider other abiotic parameters in order to develop management policies capable to increase the resilience of maerl beds under the future global climate change scenario.

Continue reading ‘Combined effects of global climate change and nutrient enrichment on the physiology of three temperate maerl species’

Effects of elevated pCO2 and nutrient enrichment on the growth, photosynthesis, and biochemical compositions of the brown alga Saccharina japonica (Laminariaceae, Phaeophyta)

Ocean acidification and eutrophication are two major environmental issues affecting kelp mariculture. In this study, the growth, photosynthesis, and biochemical compositions of adult sporophytes of Saccharina japonica were evaluated at different levels of pCO2 (400 and 800 µatm) and nutrients (nutrient-enriched and non-enriched seawater). The relative growth rate (RGR), net photosynthetic rate, and all tested biochemical contents (including chlorophyll (Chl) a, Chl c, soluble carbohydrates, and soluble proteins) were significantly lower at 800 µatm than at 400 µatm pCO2. The RGR and the contents of Chl a and soluble proteins were significantly higher under nutrient-enriched conditions than under non-enriched conditions. Moreover, the negative effects of the elevated pCO2 level on the RGR, net photosynthetic rate, Chl c and the soluble carbohydrates and proteins contents were synergized by the elevated nutrient availability. These results implied that increased pCO2could suppress the growth and biochemical composition of adult sporophytes of S. japonica. The interactive effects of ocean acidification and eutrophication constitute a great threat to the cultivation of S. japonica due to growth inhibition and a reduction in quality.

Continue reading ‘Effects of elevated pCO2 and nutrient enrichment on the growth, photosynthesis, and biochemical compositions of the brown alga Saccharina japonica (Laminariaceae, Phaeophyta)’

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Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book