Posts Tagged 'phanerogams'

Nitrogen availability modulates the effects of ocean acidification on biomass yield and food quality of a marine crop Pyropia yezoensis


• Higher pCO2 reduces growth of Pyropia yezoensis.
• Higher pCO2 induces synthesis of phycobiliprotein and flavor amino acids.
• Higher nitrate alleviates the negative effect of ocean acidification on growth.
• Higher nitrate and pCO2 synergistically stimulate phycobiliprotein synthesis.
• Higher nitrate and higher pCO2 synergistically stimulate amino acid synthesis.


Pyropia yezoensis is an important marine crop in the world. We cultured it under two levels of partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO2) (408 (LC), 998 (HC) μatm) and nitrate (30 (LN) and 500 (HN) μmol L-1) to investigate the effect of ocean acidification on its growth and food quality under changing nitrogen supply. HC decreased growth rate of P. yezoensis under LN but did not affect it under HN. Phycoerythrin and phycocyanin were enhanced by HC, particularly at HN, which contributed to the darker color. HC stimulated the synthesis of sweat amino acids regardless of nitrate condition and umami amino acid only under LN. HN increased the content of umami amino acids regardless of pCO2 condition and sweet amino acids only under LC. Our findings indicate that future ocean acidification may reduce biomass yield of P. yezoensis but increase its color and flavor, which was regulated by nitrate availability.

Continue reading ‘Nitrogen availability modulates the effects of ocean acidification on biomass yield and food quality of a marine crop Pyropia yezoensis’

Does nutrient availability regulate seagrass response to elevated CO2?

Future increases in oceanic carbon dioxide concentrations (CO2(aq)) may provide a benefit to submerged plants by alleviating photosynthetic carbon limitation. However, other environmental factors (for example, nutrient availability) may alter how seagrasses respond to CO2(aq) by regulating the supply of additional resources required to support growth. Thus, questions remain in regard to how other factors influence CO2(aq) effects on submerged vegetation. This study factorially manipulated CO2(aq) and nutrient availability, in situ, within a subtropical seagrass bed for 350 days, and examined treatment effects on leaf productivity, shoot density, above- and belowground biomass, nutrient content, carbohydrate storage, and sediment organic carbon (Corg). Clear, open-top chambers were used to replicate CO2(aq) forecasts for the year 2100, whereas nutrient availability was manipulated via sediment amendments of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) fertilizer. We provide modest evidence of a CO2 effect, which increased seagrass aboveground biomass. CO2(aq) enrichment had no effect on nutrient content, carbohydrate storage, or sediment Corg content. Nutrient addition increased leaf productivity and leaf N content, however did not alter above- or belowground biomass, shoot density, carbohydrate storage, or Corg content. Treatment interactions were not significant, and thus NP availability did not influence seagrass responses to elevated CO2(aq). This study demonstrates that long-term carbon enrichment may alter the structure of shallow seagrass meadows, even in relatively nutrient-poor, oligotrophic systems.

Continue reading ‘Does nutrient availability regulate seagrass response to elevated CO2?’

Short term CO2 enrichment increases carbon sequestration of air-exposed intertidal communities of a coastal lagoon

In situ production responses of air-exposed intertidal communities under CO2 enrichment are reported here for the first time. We assessed the short-term effects of CO2 on the light responses of the net community production (NCP) and community respiration (CR) of intertidal Z. noltei and unvegetated sediment communities of Ria Formosa lagoon, when exposed to air. NCP and CR were measured in situ in summer and winter, under present and CO2 enriched conditions using benthic chambers. Within chamber CO2 evolution measurements were carried out by a series of short-term incubations (30 min) using an infra-red gas analyser. Liner regression models fitted to the NCP-irradiance responses were used to estimate the seasonal budgets of air-exposed, intertidal production as determined by the daily and seasonal variation of incident photosynthetic active radiation. High CO2 resulted in higher CO2 sequestration by both communities in both summer and winter seasons. Lower respiration rates of both communities under high CO2 further contributed to a potential negative climate feedback, except in winter when the CR of sediment community was higher. The light compensation points (LCP) (light intensity where production equals respiration) of Z. noltei and sediment communities also decreased under CO2 enriched conditions in both seasons. The seasonal community production of Z. noltei was 115.54 ± 7.58 g C m−2 season−1 in summer and 29.45 ± 4.04 g C m−2 season−1 in winter and of unvegetated sediment was 91.28 ± 6.32 g C m−2 season−1 in summer and 25.83 ± 4.01 g C m−2 season−1 in winter under CO2 enriched conditions. Future CO2 conditions may increase air-exposed seagrass production by about 1.5-fold and unvegetated sediments by about 1.2-fold.

Continue reading ‘Short term CO2 enrichment increases carbon sequestration of air-exposed intertidal communities of a coastal lagoon’

Oysters and eelgrass: potential partners in a high pCO2 ocean

Climate change is affecting the health and physiology of marine organisms and altering species interactions. Ocean acidification (OA) threatens calcifying organisms such as the Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas. In contrast, seagrasses, such as the eelgrass Zostera marina, can benefit from the increase in available carbon for photosynthesis found at a lower seawater pH. Seagrasses can remove dissolved inorganic carbon from OA environments, creating local daytime pH refugia. Pacific oysters may improve the health of eelgrass by filtering out pathogens such as Labyrinthula zosterae (LZ), which causes eelgrass wasting disease (EWD). We examined how co‐culture of eelgrass ramets and juvenile oysters affected the health and growth of eelgrass and the mass of oysters under different pCO2 exposures. In Phase I, each species was cultured alone or in co‐culture at 12°C across ambient, medium, and high pCO2 conditions, (656, 1,158 and 1,606 μatm pCO2, respectively). Under high pCO2, eelgrass grew faster and had less severe EWD (contracted in the field prior to the experiment). Co‐culture with oysters also reduced the severity of EWD. While the presence of eelgrass decreased daytime pCO2, this reduction was not substantial enough to ameliorate the negative impact of high pCO2 on oyster mass. In Phase II, eelgrass alone or oysters and eelgrass in co‐culture were held at 15°C under ambient and high pCO2 conditions, (488 and 2,013 μatm pCO2, respectively). Half of the replicates were challenged with cultured LZ. Concentrations of defensive compounds in eelgrass (total phenolics and tannins), were altered by LZ exposure and pCO2 treatments. Greater pathogen loads and increased EWD severity were detected in LZ exposed eelgrass ramets; EWD severity was reduced at high relative to low pCO2. Oyster presence did not influence pathogen load or EWD severity; high LZ concentrations in experimental treatments may have masked the effect of this treatment. Collectively, these results indicate that, when exposed to natural concentrations of LZ under high pCO2 conditions, eelgrass can benefit from co‐culture with oysters. Further experimentation is necessary to quantify how oysters may benefit from co‐culture with eelgrass, examine these interactions in the field and quantify context‐dependency.

Continue reading ‘Oysters and eelgrass: potential partners in a high pCO2 ocean’

Short-term variability of carbon chemistry in two contrasting seagrass meadows at Dongsha Island: implications for pH buffering and CO2 sequestration

The diurnal cycles of carbon chemistry parameters, i.e., dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), total alkalinity (TA), partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2), and pH, were investigated in two hydrodynamically contrasting seagrass meadows at Dongsha Island in the northern South China Sea in August 2015. The results show that the pH and TA were higher and that the pCO2 was lower in the semi-enclosed inner lagoon (IL) than on the open north shore (NS). The analyses of carbon chemistry parameters vs. dissolved oxygen and TA vs. DIC relationships reveal that the CO2 dynamics was dominated by photosynthesis/respiration (P/R) alone on the NS but by the combined effect of P/R and sedimentary anaerobic pathways in the IL. We suggest that the observed divergent behaviors in carbon chemistry between the two sites could be attributed to differences in hydrodynamic regimes. The less energetic hydrodynamics and longer residence time in the IL would be favorable for the occurrence of sedimentary anaerobic TA generation and the subsequent TA accumulation in the overlying waters. The elevated TA may lead to a pH increase and a pCO2 decrease, thus providing a buffering effect against ocean acidification (OA) and enhancing atmospheric CO2 sequestration at local scales. The present results demonstrate that hydrodynamic regime may play an important role in regulating biogeochemical processes in seagrass meadows, and thereby modulating their capacities in OA buffering and CO2 uptaking.

Continue reading ‘Short-term variability of carbon chemistry in two contrasting seagrass meadows at Dongsha Island: implications for pH buffering and CO2 sequestration’

Losing a winner: thermal stress and local pressures outweigh the positive effects of ocean acidification for tropical seagrasses

  • Seagrasses are globally important coastal habitat‐forming species, yet it is unknown how seagrasses respond to the combined pressures of ocean acidification and warming of sea surface temperature.
  • We exposed three tropical species of seagrass (Cymodocea serrulata, Halodule uninervis, and Zostera muelleri) to increasing temperature (21, 25, 30, and 35°C) and pCO2 (401, 1014, and 1949 μatm) for 7 wk in mesocosms using a controlled factorial design. Shoot density and leaf extension rates were recorded, and plant productivity and respiration were measured at increasing light levels (photosynthesis–irradiance curves) using oxygen optodes.
  • Shoot density, growth, photosynthetic rates, and plant‐scale net productivity occurred at 25°C or 30°C under saturating light levels. High pCO2 enhanced maximum net productivity for Z. muelleri, but not in other species. Z. muelleri was the most thermally tolerant as it maintained positive net production to 35°C, yet for the other species there was a sharp decline in productivity, growth, and shoot density at 35°C, which was exacerbated by pCO2.
  • These results suggest that thermal stress will not be offset by ocean acidification during future extreme heat events and challenges the current hypothesis that tropical seagrass will be a ‘winner’ under future climate change conditions.

Continue reading ‘Losing a winner: thermal stress and local pressures outweigh the positive effects of ocean acidification for tropical seagrasses’

Primary producers may ameliorate impacts of daytime CO2 addition in a coastal marine ecosystem

Predicting the impacts of ocean acidification in coastal habitats is complicated by bio-physical feedbacks between organisms and carbonate chemistry. Daily changes in pH and other carbonate parameters in coastal ecosystems, associated with processes such as photosynthesis and respiration, often greatly exceed global mean predicted changes over the next century. We assessed the strength of these feedbacks under projected elevated CO2 levels by conducting a field experiment in 10 macrophyte-dominated tide pools on the coast of California, USA. We evaluated changes in carbonate parameters over time and found that under ambient conditions, daytime changes in pH, pCO2, net ecosystem calcification (NEC), and O2 concentrations were strongly related to rates of net community production (NCP). CO2 was added to pools during daytime low tides, which should have reduced pH and enhanced pCO2. However, photosynthesis rapidly reduced pCO2 and increased pH, so effects of CO2 addition were not apparent unless we accounted for seaweed and surfgrass abundances. In the absence of macrophytes, CO2 addition caused pH to decline by ∼0.6 units and pCO2 to increase by ∼487 µatm over 6 hr during the daytime low tide. As macrophyte abundances increased, the impacts of CO2 addition declined because more CO2 was absorbed due to photosynthesis. Effects of CO2addition were, therefore, modified by feedbacks between NCP, pH, pCO2, and NEC. Our results underscore the potential importance of coastal macrophytes in ameliorating impacts of ocean acidification.

Continue reading ‘Primary producers may ameliorate impacts of daytime CO2 addition in a coastal marine ecosystem’

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Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book