Posts Tagged 'oxygen'

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)’

Atlantic-origin water extension into the Pacific Arctic induced an anomalous biogeochemical event

The Arctic Ocean is facing dramatic environmental and ecosystem changes. In this context, an international multiship survey project was undertaken in 2020 to obtain current baseline data. During the survey, unusually low dissolved oxygen and acidified water were found in a high-seas fishable area of the western (Pacific-side) Arctic Ocean. Herein, we show that the Beaufort Gyre shrinks to the east of an ocean ridge and forms a front between the water within the gyre and the water from the eastern (Atlantic-side) Arctic. That phenomenon triggers a frontal northward flow along the ocean ridge. This flow likely transports the low oxygen and acidified water toward the high-seas fishable area; similar biogeochemical properties had previously been observed only on the shelf-slope north of the East Siberian Sea.

Fig. 1: Schematic of the Arctic Ocean circulation and the study area with hydrographic stations.

ab Maps of the Arctic Ocean and the study area. In a, yellow, blue, and red arrows represent flows from the shelf-slope at the north of the East Siberian Sea (ESS), and from the Pacific and Atlantic oceans in 2017–2020. Ocean circulation and water masses are abbreviated as follows: Beaufort Gyre (BG), Transpolar Drift (TPD), Pacific Water (PW), Lower Halocline Water (LHW), and Atlantic Water (AW). Geographical locations are abbreviated as follows: Canada Basin (CB), Chukchi Plateau (CP), Mendeleyev Ridge (MR), Makarov Basin (MB), and Lomonosov Ridge (LR). In b red, green, and blue dots denote the hydrographic stations conducted by the Research Vessel (R/V) Araon (Korea), R/V Mirai (Japan), and Canadian Coast Guard Ship Louis S. St-Laurent (Canada), under the 2020 Synoptic Arctic Survey project. Black dots indicate other hydrographic stations between 2002 and 2019 listed in Supplementary Table 1.

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Decreased calcification to photosynthesis ratio in coccolithophores under reduced O2 and elevated CO2 environment

We examined the physiological performance in the most cosmopolitan coccolithophorid, Emiliania huxleyi, and Gephyrocapsa oceanica, which were treated with 8.3 (AO), 4.6 (MO) and 2.5 (LO) mg L–1 O2 under 400 (AC) and1000 (HC) ppm CO2 conditions. Elevated CO2 decreased the specific growth rate of cells cultured under AO and LO conditions in both species, but it increased the rate in the MO-grown E. huxleyi. Regardless of the CO2 levels, diminished O2 concentration inhibited the growth rate in E. huxleyi while accelerating the rate in G. oceanica. LO reduced the particulate organic carbon (POC) production rate compared to the AO treatment in both species. Additionally, the decrease was higher in the HC cultures than in the AC ones. LO also inhibited the production rate of particulate inorganic carbon (PIC) compared to the AO/AC treatment. Due to a higher reduction in the production rate of PIC than POC, the PIC/POC ratio was decreased in the LO treatment compared to the AO/AC treatment. The current study reveals that low O2 can, individually or in combination with high CO2, considerably affect the physiology of marine photoautotrophic organisms.

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Early life physiological and energetic responses of Atlantic silversides (Menidia menidia) toocean acidification, warming, and hypoxia

Global environmental change caused by human actions is making the oceans warmer, deoxygenating coastal waters, and causing acidification through dissolution of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). Understanding physiological mechanisms of fish responses to multiple co-occurring stressors is critical to conservation of marine ecosystems and the fish populations they support. In this dissertation I quantified physiological impacts of near-future levels of multiple stressors in the early life stages of the Atlantic silverside, Menidia menidia. In Chapter 1, I measured routine metabolic rates of embryos and larvae reared in combinations of temperature, CO2, and oxygen levels. An interactive effect of acidification and hypoxia in embryos prompted closer examination in Chapter 2, in which I characterized the relationship between metabolism and acute hypoxia in M. menidia offspring reared in different CO2 levels. In Chapter 3 I examined the density of skin surface ionocytes, cells used for acid-base balance, as an early life mechanism of high CO2 tolerance. The first three chapters highlighted how different CO2 effects could be depending on temperature, oxygen levels, and life stage. They also showed variable, but often high, tolerance of CO2 with stronger effects of temperature and hypoxia on physiology. Finally, in Chapter 4 I used a Dynamic Energy Budget model to identify the processes of energetic allocation responsible for previously observed experimental hypoxia effects on M. menidia hatching, growth, and survival. Energy budget modeling can enhance knowledge about stressor responses by providing the information to link organismal traits to life history and populations, making it more readily applicable to conservation and management. The findings presented here provide a foundation for a more comprehensive understanding of the highly variable effects of global change on M. menidia and should be applied to quantifying impacts on fitness and population growth in this ecologically important species.

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Response of foraminifera Ammonia confertitesta (T6) to ocean acidification, warming, and deoxygenation – an experimental approach

Ocean acidification, warmer temperatures, and the expansion of hypoxic zones in coastal areas are direct consequences of the increase in anthropogenic activities. However, so far, the combined effects of these stressors on calcium carbonate-secreting marine microorganisms – foraminifera are complex and poorly understood. This study reports the foraminiferal survival behavior, and geochemical trace elements incorporation measured from the shells of living cultured benthic foraminifera from the Gullmar fjord (Sweden) after exposure to warming, acidification, and hypoxic conditions. An experimental set-up was designed with two different temperatures (fjord’s in-situ 9 ˚C and 14 ˚C), two different oxygen concentrations (oxic versus hypoxic), and three different pH (control, medium, and low pH based on the IPCC scenario for the year 2100). Duplicate aquariums, meaning aquariums displaying the same conditions and same number of species, were employed for the controls and the two lower pH conditions at both temperatures. The stability of the aquariums was ensured by regular measurement of the water parameters and confirmed by statistical analysis. The species Ammonia confertitesta’s (T6) survival (CTB-labeled), shell calcification (calcein-labeled), and geochemical analyses (laser-ablation ICP-MS) were investigated at the end of the experimental period (48 days). Investigated trace elements (TE) ratios were Mg/Ca, Mn/Ca, Ba/Ca, and Sr/ Ca. Results show that A. confertitesta (T6) calcified chambers in all the experimental conditions except for the most severe combination of stressors (i.e., warm, hypoxic, low pH). Survival rates varied by up to a factor of two between duplicates for all conditions suggesting that foraminiferal response may not solely be driven by environmental conditions but also by internal or confounding factors (e.g., physiological stress). A large variability of all the TE/Ca values of foraminifera growing at low pH is observed suggesting that A. confertitesta (T6) may struggle to calcify in these conditions. Thus, this study demonstrates the vulnerability of a resilient species to the triple-stressor scenario in terms of survival, calcification, and trace element incorporation. Overall, the experimental set-up yielded coherent results compared to previous studies in terms of ontogeny, trace elements ratios, and partition coefficient making it advantageous for environmental reconstructions. 

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Proteomic and transcriptomic analysis of large yellow croaker (Larimichthys crocea) during early development under hypoxia and acidification stress

In recent years, aquatic ecosystems have been exposed to various stressors such as hypoxia and acidification, which has become an issue of significant concern. Many studies in fish have investigated the regulatory mechanisms of the response to hypoxia and acidification stress at the molecular level. However, molecular studies on hypoxia acidification dual stress conditions in rhubarb fish are less. For this study, the juvenile large yellow croaker was used as the study object. Four experimental groups were established, including the control group (normal group, N107; DO = 7.0 mg/L, pH = 8.1), hypoxia group (H107; DO = 3.5 mg/L, pH = 8.1), acidification group (A107; DO = 7.0 mg/L, pH = 7.3), and hypoxia–acidification group (dual stress group, D107; DO = 3.5 mg/L, pH = 7.3). Study of its response mechanism under hypoxia acidification conditions by transcriptome and proteome analysis. The present study revealed that the number of quantifiable proteins was 6303. Five pairwise comparisons between experimental groups demonstrated that a total of 265 DEGs/DEPs showed associations between the transcriptome and proteome at the level of quantitative and differential expression. Comparative proteomic and transcriptomic analyses were performed to identify differentially expressed genes/proteins in juvenile Larimichthys crocea under hypoxia and acidification stress. The GO term enrichment analysis showed that hypoxia had a greater effect on the organism. The KEGG pathway enrichment analysis showed that pathways associated with the extracellular matrix ECM–receptor interaction and protein digestion and absorption pathways were notably affected by hypoxia and acidification stress. Among these, the protein digestion and absorption pathway was significantly affected in all five pairwise comparisons between experimental groups. The ECM–receptor interaction pathway was significantly enriched under dual stress, indicating that dual stress had a greater detrimental effect on fish growth than single stressors. The study provides valuable insights into the potential combined effects of decreased pH and DO in Sciaenidae and elucidates the mechanism underlying the response of L. crocea to simultaneous hypoxia–acidification stress during early development.

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Whole-genome methylation sequencing of large yellow croaker (Larimichthys crocea) liver under hypoxia and acidification stress

Large yellow croaker (Larimichthys crocea) is an important aquaculture species in China. This study analysed whole-genome methylation differences in liver tissues of young fish under different hypoxic and acidification conditions. Differentially methylated regions (DMRs) and differentially methylated genes (DMGs) were identified. Gene ontology (GO) and Kyoto encyclopaedia of genes and genomes (KEGG) enrichment analyses of DMGs were conducted to explore the mechanism of coping with hypoxic acidification. The main methylation type was CG, accounting for > 70% of total methylation, significantly higher than CHG and CHH methylation types. GO enrichment analysis of DMGs revealed strong enrichment of nervous system development, cell periphery, plasma membrane, cell junction organisation, cell junction, signalling receptor activity, molecular sensor activity, cell-linked tissue junction organisation, cell–cell adhesion and nervous system development. KEGG enrichment analysis of DMR-related genes identified cell adhesion molecules, cortisol synthesis and secretion and aldosterone synthesis and secretion as the three key pathways regulating the physiological responses to hypoxia and acidification. Long-term hypoxic and acidification stress affected the immune system, nervous system and stress responses of large yellow croaker. Whole-genome sequencing analysis of exposed tissues was used to investigate changes that occur in L. crocea in response to hypoxic and acidic conditions at the DNA methylation level. The findings contribute to our comprehensive understanding of functional methylation in large yellow croaker and will support future research on the response mechanisms of this species under different environmental pressures.

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Combined effects of ocean deoxygenation, acidification, and phosphorus limitation on green tide macroalga, Ulva prolifera


  • Additive and antagonistic interactions between the three stressors were mainly observed.
  • Ocean deoxygenation, acidification, and P limitation can dysregulate the Ulva prolifera of photosynthetic efficiency.
  • Green tide macroalgal Ulva prolifera has a strong acclimation capacity to elevated CO2, low O2, and high N/P.
  • Ulva prolifera could use organic P to support its growth under low inorganic phosphorus conditions.
  • Increased CO2 levels can decrease the energy costs associated with CCM, and can support the growth of macroalgal cells.


Ocean deoxygenation, acidification, and decreased phosphorus availability are predicted to increase in coastal ecosystems under future climate change. However, little is known regarding the combined effects of such environmental variables on the green tide macroalga Ulva prolifera. Here, we provide quantitative and mechanistic understanding of the acclimation mechanisms of U. prolifera to ocean deoxygenation, acidification, and phosphorus limitation under both laboratory and semi-natural (mesocosms) conditions. We found that there were significant interactions between these global environmental conditions on algal physiological performance. Although algal growth rate and photosynthesis reduced when the nitrogen-to‑phosphorus (N/P) ratio increased from 16:1 to 35:1 under ambient CO2 and O2 condition, they remained constant with further increasing N/P ratios of 105:1, 350:1, and 1050:1. However, the increasing alkaline phosphatase activities at high N/P ratios suggests that U. prolifera could use organic P to support its growth under phosphorus limitation. Deoxygenation had no effect on specific growth rate (SGR) but decreased photosynthesis under low N/P ratios of 16:1, 35:1, and 105:1, with reduced activities of several enzymes involved in N assimilation pathway being observed. Elevated CO2 promoted algal growth and alleviated the negative effect of deoxygenation on algal photosynthesis. The patterns of responses to high CO2 and low O2 treatments in in situ experiments were generally consistent with those observed in laboratory experiments. Our results generally found that the strong physiological acclimation capacity to elevated CO2, low O2, and high N/P could contribute to its large-scale blooming in coastal ecosystem.

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Acidification and hypoxia drive physiological trade-offs in oysters and partial loss of nutrient cycling capacity in oyster holobiont


Reef building oysters provide vast ecological benefits and ecosystem services. A large part of their role in driving ecological processes is mediated by the microbial communities that are associated with the oysters; together forming the oyster holobiont. While changing environmental conditions are known to alter the physiological performance of oysters, it is unclear how multiple stressors may alter the ability of the oyster holobiont to maintain its functional role.


Here, we exposed oysters to acidification and hypoxia to examine their physiological responses (molecular defense and immune response), changes in community structure of their associated microbial community, and changes in water nutrient concentrations to evaluate how acidification and hypoxia will alter the oyster holobiont’s ecological role.


We found clear physiological stress in oysters exposed to acidification, hypoxia, and their combination but low mortality. However, there were different physiological trade-offs in oysters exposed to acidification or hypoxia, and the combination of stressors incited greater physiological costs (i.e., >600% increase in protein damage and drastic decrease in haemocyte counts). The microbial communities differed depending on the environment, with microbial community structure partly readjusted based on the environmental conditions. Microbes also seemed to have lost some capacity in nutrient cycling under hypoxia and multi-stressor conditions (~50% less nitrification) but not acidification.


We show that the microbiota associated to the oyster can be enriched differently under climate change depending on the type of environmental change that the oyster holobiont is exposed to. In addition, it may be the primary impacts to oyster physiology which then drives changes to the associated microbial community. Therefore, we suggest the oyster holobiont may lose some of its nutrient cycling properties under hypoxia and multi-stressor conditions although the oysters can regulate their physiological processes to maintain homeostasis on the short-term.

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The effects of the “deadly trio” (warming, acidification, and deoxygenation) on fish early ontogeny

The interaction between increased dissolved carbon dioxide, rising temperatures, and oxygen loss – the so-called “deadly trio” – is expected to strongly affect marine biota over the coming years, potentially undermining ocean services and uses. Nonetheless, no study has so far scrutinized the cumulative impact of these three stressors on fish embryonic and larval stages, known to be particularly vulnerable to environmental stress. To fill this knowledge gap, we implemented a fully multi-factorial design to investigate the effects of acute warming (Δ + 4°C; 22 ºC), acidification (Δ − 0.4 pH units; ~ 7.7 pCO2) and deoxygenation (Δ − 60% O2 saturation, ~ 3 mg O2 l− 1) over a comprehensive array of physiological (hatching success, survival rates, deformities rates, and heart rates) and behavioural responses (larvae responsiveness and phototaxis) across the early ontogeny of the temperate gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata). Deoxygenation was the main driver of negative impacts in the hatching success (64.25%), survival (46.71%), and heart rates (31.99%) of recently hatched larvae, being generally further exacerbated when warming and acidification co-occurred. On the other hand, acidification was the only factor to induce a significant decrease in the proportion of phototactic behaviour (50%). The behavioural and physiological responses showed to be highly correlated across experimental treatments, specifically, phototaxis was negatively correlated with the incidence of malformations, and positively correlated with heart rates. Overall, our findings indicate that the interaction between warming, acidification, and deoxygenation is markedly detrimental to fish early developmental stages, impacting several key features at this critical life stage that may eventually cause adverse carry-over effects. Importantly, our analysis highlights the need to assess the concurrent impacts of stressors’ interaction on marine taxa to better predict future ecosystem responses to ocean changes.

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Sponge organic matter recycling: reduced detritus production under extreme environmental conditions


  • Sponge metabolism was measured at the natural laboratory of Bouraké where sponges are naturally exposed to extreme conditions associated with tidal phase.
  • The photosymbiotic HMA sponge Rhabdastrella globostellata was able to cope with extreme acidification and deoxygenation seawater.
  • Photosynthetic activity of sponge symbionts was negatively affected during extreme environmental conditions.
  • The sponge loop pathway was disrupted during low tide, which correlated with extreme acidification, deoxygenation and warming seawater.


Sponges are a key component of coral reef ecosystems and play an important role in carbon and nutrient cycles. Many sponges are known to consume dissolved organic carbon and transform this into detritus, which moves through detrital food chains and eventually to higher trophic levels via what is known as the sponge loop. Despite the importance of this loop, little is known about how these cycles will be impacted by future environmental conditions. During two years (2018 and 2020), we measured the organic carbon, nutrient recycling, and photosynthetic activity of the massive HMA, photosymbiotic sponge Rhabdastrella globostellata at the natural laboratory of Bouraké in New Caledonia, where the physical and chemical composition of seawater regularly change according to the tide. We found that while sponges experienced acidification and low dissolved oxygen at low tide in both sampling years, a change in organic carbon recycling whereby sponges stopped producing detritus (i.e., the sponge loop) was only found when sponges also experienced higher temperature in 2020. Our findings provide new insights into how important trophic pathways may be affected by changing ocean conditions.

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Deoxygenation enhances photosynthetic performance and increases N2 fixation in the marine cyanobacterium Trichodesmium under elevated pCO2

Effects of changed levels of dissolved O2 and CO2 on marine primary producers are of general concern with respect to ecological effects of ongoing ocean deoxygenation and acidification as well as upwelled seawaters. We investigated the response of the diazotroph Trichodesmium erythraeum IMS 101 after it had acclimated to lowered pO2 (~60 μM O2) and/or elevated pCO2 levels (HC, ~32 μM CO2) for about 20 generations. Our results showed that reduced O2 levels decreased dark respiration significantly, and increased the net photosynthetic rate by 66 and 89% under the ambient (AC, ~13 μM CO2) and the HC, respectively. The reduced pO2 enhanced the N2 fixation rate by ~139% under AC and only by 44% under HC, respectively. The N2 fixation quotient, the ratio of N2 fixed per O2 evolved, increased by 143% when pO2 decreased by 75% under the elevated pCO2. Meanwhile, particulate organic carbon and nitrogen quota increased simultaneously under reduced O2 levels, regardless of the pCO2 treatments. Nevertheless, changed levels of O2 and CO2 did not bring about significant changes in the specific growth rate of the diazotroph. Such inconsistency was attributed to the daytime positive and nighttime negative effects of both lowered pO2 and elevated pCO2 on the energy supply for growth. Our results suggest that Trichodesmium decrease its dark respiration by 5% and increase its N2-fixation by 49% and N2-fixation quotient by 30% under future ocean deoxygenation and acidification with 16% decline of pO2 and 138% rise of pCO2 by the end of this century.

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Marked recent declines in boron in Baltic Sea cod otoliths – a bellwether of incipient acidification in a vast hypoxic system?

Ocean acidification is spreading globally as a result of anthropogenic CO2 emissions, but the Baltic Sea has until recently been thought to be relatively well-buffered by terrigenous inputs of alkalinity from its watershed. We discovered a 3- to 5-fold decline in boron (as B : Ca) in otoliths of eastern Baltic Sea cod (EBC) between the late 1990s and 2021. B : Ca is positively proportional to pH in carbonates, as B in the form of borate is taken up in the CaCO3 matrix. Examining a time series of EBC otoliths, we found varying levels of B : Ca since the 1980s, with the most recent years at an all-time low during this period. This trend correlates with declines in pH and dissolved oxygen, but not with changes in salinity. We examined possible physiological influences on B : Ca by including a collection of healthy Icelandic cod as an out-group. Icelandic cod otoliths showed strongly positive correlations of B : Ca with physiologically regulated P : Ca; this was not the case for EBC. Finally, B : Ca in EBC otoliths is anti-correlated to some extent with Mn : Mg, a proposed proxy for hypoxia exposure. This negative relationship is hypothesized to reflect the dual phenomena of hypoxia and acidification as a result of decomposition of large algal blooms. Taken together, the otolith biomarkers Mn : Mg and B : Ca suggest a general increase in both hypoxia and acidification within the Baltic intermediate and deep waters in the last decade reflected in cod otoliths.

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Hypoxia tolerance, but not low pH tolerance, is associated with a latitudinal cline across populations of Tigriopus californicus

Intertidal organisms must tolerate daily fluctuations in environmental parameters, and repeated exposure to co-occurring conditions may result in tolerance to multiple stressors correlating. The intertidal copepod Tigriopus californicus experiences diurnal variation in dissolved oxygen levels and pH as the opposing processes of photosynthesis and cellular respiration lead to coordinated highs during the day and lows at night. While environmental parameters with overlapping spatial gradients frequently result in correlated traits, less attention has been given to exploring temporally correlated stressors. We investigated whether hypoxia tolerance correlates with low pH tolerance by separately testing the hypoxia and low pH stress tolerance separately of 6 genetically differentiated populations of Tcalifornicus. We independently checked for similarities in tolerance for each of the two stressors by latitude, sex, size, and time since collection as predictors. We found that although hypoxia tolerance correlated with latitude, low pH tolerance did not, and no predictor was significant for both stressors. We concluded that temporally coordinated exposure to low pH and low oxygen did not result in populations developing equivalent tolerance for both. Although climate change alters several environmental variables simultaneously, organisms’ abilities to tolerate these changes may not be similarly coupled.

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Acclimatization in a changing environment: linking larval and juvenile performance in the quahog Mercenaria mercenaria

Marine invertebrates in coastal communities are currently experiencing unprecedented, rapid environmental change. These symptoms of climate change and ocean acidification are projected to worsen faster than can be accommodated by evolutionary processes like adaptation via natural selection, necessitating investigations of alternative mechanisms that facilitate adaptive responses to environmental change. This dissertation posits that in the absence of adaptation, early development (larval) exposure to stressors can increase population tolerance by leveraging existing variation in the energy metabolism and host-microbial interactions. Focusing specifically on resiliency to acidification (low pH), hypoxia (low dissolved oxygen), and elevated temperature stress in the clam, Mercenaria mercenaria, this dissertation uses a combination of laboratory and field experiments in conjunction with next-generation sequencing and physiological assays to investigate the relationship between host health, microbial community structure, and environmental change.

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The evolution of coral reef under changing climate: a scientometric review

Simple Summary

Coral reefs are vital ecosystems with high biodiversity and ecological services for coastal communities. Climate change is accelerating, with detrimental consequences on coral reefs and related communities, but it is challenging to keep up with the literature given its current rapid expansion. The current review foresees three future trends in the area of coral reefs and climate change, including (i) incorporating future scenarios, (ii) climate-induced temperature changes, and (iii) adaptation strategies, which are expected to move society closer to the following Sustainable Development Goal: 13 Climate Action.


In this scientometric review, we employ the Web of Science Core Collection to assess current publications and research trends regarding coral reefs in relation to climate change. Thirty-seven keywords for climate change and seven keywords for coral reefs were used in the analysis of 7743 articles on coral reefs and climate change. The field entered an accelerated uptrend phase in 2016, and it is anticipated that this phase will last for the next 5 to 10 years of research publication and citation. The United States and Australia have produced the greatest number of publications in this field. A cluster (i.e., focused issue) analysis showed that coral bleaching dominated the literature from 2000 to 2010, ocean acidification from 2010 to 2020, and sea-level rise, as well as the central Red Sea (Africa/Asia), in 2021. Three different types of keywords appear in the analysis based on which are the (i) most recent (2021), (ii) most influential (highly cited), and (iii) mostly used (frequently used keywords in the article) in the field. The Great Barrier Reef, which is found in the waters of Australia, is thought to be the subject of current coral reef and climate change research. Interestingly, climate-induced temperature changes in “ocean warming” and “sea surface temperature” are the most recent significant and dominant keywords in the coral reef and climate change area.

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The clam before the storm: a meta analysis showing the effect of combined climate change stressors on bivalves

Impacts of a range of climate change on marine organisms have been analysed in laboratory and experimental studies. The use of different taxonomic groupings, and assessment of different processes, though, makes identifying overall trends challenging, and may mask phylogenetically different responses. Bivalve molluscs are an ecologically and economically important data-rich clade, allowing for assessment of individual vulnerability and across developmental stages. We use meta-analysis of 203 unique experimental setups to examine how bivalve growth rates respond to increased water temperature, acidity, deoxygenation, changes to salinity, and combinations of these drivers. Results show that anthropogenic climate change will affect different families of bivalves disproportionally but almost unanimously negatively. Almost all drivers and their combinations have significant negative effects on growth. Combined deoxygenation, acidification, and temperature shows the largest negative effect size. Eggs/larval bivalves are more vulnerable overall than either juveniles or adults. Infaunal taxa, including Tellinidae and Veneridae, appear more resistant to warming and oxygen reduction than epifaunal or free-swimming taxa but this assessment is based on a small number of datapoints. The current focus of experimental set-ups on commercially important taxa and families within a small range of habitats creates gaps in understanding of global impacts on these economically important foundation organisms.

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Sensitivity of fishery resources to climate change in the warm-temperate Southwest Atlantic Ocean

Climate change impacts on fishery resources have been widely reported worldwide. Nevertheless, a knowledge gap remains for the warm-temperate Southwest Atlantic Ocean—a global warming hotspot that sustains important industrial and small-scale fisheries. By combining a trait-based framework and long-term landing records, we assessed species’ sensitivity to climate change and potential changes in the distribution of important fishery resources (n = 28; i.e., bony fishes, chondrichthyans, crustaceans, and mollusks) in Southern Brazil, Uruguay, and the northern shelf of Argentina. Most species showed moderate or high sensitivity, with mollusks (e.g., sedentary bivalves and snails) being the group with the highest sensitivity, followed by chondrichthyans. Bony fishes showed low and moderate sensitivities, while crustacean sensitivities were species-specific. The stock and/or conservation status overall contributed the most to higher sensitivity. Between 1989 and 2019, species with low and moderate sensitivity dominated regional landings, regardless of the jurisdiction analyzed. A considerable fraction of these landings consisted of species scoring high or very high on an indicator for potential to change their current distribution. These results suggest that although the bulk of past landings were from relatively climate-resilient species, future catches and even entire benthic fisheries may be jeopardized because (1) some exploited species showed high or very high sensitivities and (2) the increase in the relative representation of landings in species whose distribution may change. This paper provides novel results and insights relevant for fisheries management from a region where the effects of climate change have been overlooked, and which lacks a coordinated governance system for climate-resilient fisheries.

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Aquatic productivity under multiple stressors

Aquatic ecosystems are responsible for about 50% of global productivity. They mitigate climate change by taking up a substantial fraction of anthropogenically emitted CO2 and sink part of it into the deep ocean. Productivity is controlled by a number of environmental factors, such as water temperature, ocean acidification, nutrient availability, deoxygenation and exposure to solar UV radiation. Recent studies have revealed that these factors may interact to yield additive, synergistic or antagonistic effects. While ocean warming and deoxygenation are supposed to affect mitochondrial respiration oppositely, they can act synergistically to influence the migration of plankton and N2-fixation of diazotrophs. Ocean acidification, along with elevated pCO2, exhibits controversial effects on marine primary producers, resulting in negative impacts under high light and limited availability of nutrients. However, the acidic stress has been shown to exacerbate viral attacks on microalgae and to act synergistically with UV radiation to reduce the calcification of algal calcifiers. Elevated pCO2 in surface oceans is known to downregulate the CCMs (CO2 concentrating mechanisms) of phytoplankton, but deoxygenation is proposed to enhance CCMs by suppressing photorespiration. While most of the studies on climate-change drivers have been carried out under controlled conditions, field observations over long periods of time have been scarce. Mechanistic responses of phytoplankton to multiple drivers have been little documented due to the logistic difficulties to manipulate numerous replications for different treatments representative of the drivers. Nevertheless, future studies are expected to explore responses and involved mechanisms to multiple drivers in different regions, considering that regional chemical and physical environmental forcings modulate the effects of ocean global climate changes.

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Common sea star (Asterias rubens) coelomic fluid changes in response to short-term exposure to environmental stressors

Common sea stars (Asterias rubens) are at risk of physiological stress and decline with projected shifts in oceanic conditions. This study assessed changes in coelomic fluid (CF) blood gases, electrolytes, osmolality, and coelomocyte counts in adult common sea stars after exposure to stressors mimicking effects from climate change for 14 days, including decreased pH (−0.4 units, mean: 7.37), hypoxia (target dissolved oxygen ~1.75 mg O2/L, mean: 1.80 mg O2/L), or increased temperature (+10 °C, mean: 17.2 °C) and compared sea star CF electrolytes and osmolality to tank water. Changes in CF blood gases, electrolytes, and/or coelomocyte counts occurred in all treatment groups after stressor exposures, indicating adverse systemic effects with evidence of increased energy expenditure, respiratory or metabolic derangements, and immunosuppression or inflammation. At baseline, CF potassium and osmolality of all groups combined were significantly higher than tank water, and, after exposures, CF potassium was significantly higher in the hypoxia group as compared to tank water. These findings indicate physiological challenges for A. rubens after stressor exposures and, given increased observations of sea star wasting events globally, this provides evidence that sea stars as a broad group are particularly vulnerable to changing oceans.

Continue reading ‘Common sea star (Asterias rubens) coelomic fluid changes in response to short-term exposure to environmental stressors’

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