Posts Tagged 'photosynthesis'

Bioprocess strategies for enhancing the outdoor production of Nannochloropsis gaditana: an evaluation of the effects of pH on culture performance in tubular photobioreactors

A priority of the industrial applications of microalgae is the reduction of production costs while maximizing algae biomass productivity. The purpose of this study was to carry out a comprehensive evaluation of the effects of pH control on the production of Nannochloropsis gaditana in tubular photobioreactors under external conditions while considering the environmental, biological, and operational parameters of the process. Experiments were carried out in 3.0 m3 tubular photobioreactors under outdoor conditions. The pH values evaluated were 6.0, 7.0, 8.0, 9.0, and 10.0, which were controlled by injecting pure CO2 on-demand. The results have shown that the ideal pH for microalgal growth was 8.0, with higher values of biomass productivity (Pb) (0.16 g L−1 d−1), and CO2 use efficiency (ECO2) (74.6% w w−1); RCO2/biomass value obtained at this pH (2.42 gCO2 gbiomass−1) was close to the theoretical value, indicating an adequate CO2 supply. At this pH, the system was more stable and required a lower number of CO2 injections than the other treatments. At pH 6.0, there was a decrease in the Pb and ECO2; cultures at pH 10.0 exhibited a lower Pb and photosynthetic efficiency as well. These results imply that controlling the pH at an optimum value allows higher CO2 conversions in biomass to be achieved and contributes to the reduction in costs of the microalgae production process.

Continue reading ‘Bioprocess strategies for enhancing the outdoor production of Nannochloropsis gaditana: an evaluation of the effects of pH on culture performance in tubular photobioreactors’

Acclimation history modulates effect size of calcareous algae (Halimeda opuntia) to herbicide exposure under future climate scenarios


•Calcifying algae were exposed to herbicide and future climate scenarios combined.

•Half of the algae were given long acclimation to future climate-change conditions.

•Experimental effects were exaggerated for algae that were not acclimated.

•Still, herbicide effects on acclimated algae stronger in future climate conditions

•Results show the need of climate-adjusted thresholds for water quality guidelines.


Tropical marine habitat-builders such as calcifying green algae can be susceptible to climate change (warming and acidification). This study evaluated the cumulative effects of ocean warming (OW), ocean acidification (OA) and the herbicide diuron on the calcifying green algae Halimeda opuntia. We also assessed the influence of acclimation history to experimental climate change conditions on physiological responses. H. opuntia were exposed for 15 days to orthogonal combinations of three climate scenarios [ambient (28 °C, pCO2 = 378 ppm), 2050 (29 °C, pCO2 = 567 ppm) and 2100 (30 °C, pCO2 = 721 ppm)] and to six diuron concentrations (up to 29 μg L−1). Half of the H. opuntia had been acclimated for eight months to the climate scenarios in a mesocosm approach, while the remaining half were not pre-acclimated, as is current practice in most experiments. Climate effects on quantum yield (ΔF/Fm′), photosynthesis and calcification in future climate scenarios were significantly stronger (by −24, −46 and +26%, respectively) in non-acclimated algae, suggesting experimental bias may exaggerate effects in organisms not appropriately acclimated to future-climate conditions. Thus, full analysis was done on acclimated plants only. Interactive effects of future climate scenarios and diuron were observed for ΔF/Fm′, while the detrimental effects of climate and diuron on net photosynthesis and total antioxidant capacity (TAC) were additive. Calcification-related enzymes were negatively affected only by diuron, with inhibition of Ca-ATPase and upregulation of carbonic anhydrase. The combined and consistent physiological and biochemical evidence of negative impacts (across six indicators) of both herbicide and future-climate conditions on the health of H. opuntia highlights the need to address both climate change and water quality. Guideline values for contaminants may also need to be lowered considering ‘climate adjusted thresholds’. Importantly, this study highlights the value of applying substantial future climate acclimation periods in experimental studies to avoid exaggerated organism responses to OW and OA.

Continue reading ‘Acclimation history modulates effect size of calcareous algae (Halimeda opuntia) to herbicide exposure under future climate scenarios’

Global warming offsets the ecophysiological stress of ocean acidification on temperate crustose coralline algae


•The ecological risk of climate change on temperate CCA has been assessed by mesocosm.

•Future change in carbonate chemistry has led to ecophysiological change of CCA.

•Oxygenic photosynthesis and growth decreased under acidified seawater.

•Negative metabolic changes in ocean acidification were offset by elevated temperature.


Dramatic increases in the release of anthropogenic CO2 and global temperatures have resulted in alterations to seawater carbonate chemistry and metabolisms of marine organisms. There has been recent interest in the effects of these stressors on crustose coralline algae (CCA) because photosynthesis and calcification are influenced by all components of carbonate chemistry. To examine this, a mesocosm experiment was conducted to evaluate photosynthesis, calcification and growth in the temperate CCA Chamberlainium sp. under acidification (doubled CO2), warming (+5 °C), and greenhouse (doubled CO2 and +5 °C) conditions compared to present-day conditions. After 47 days of acclimation to these conditions, productivity was lowest under acidification, although photochemical properties were improved, while respiration was highest under warming. Likewise, growth was lowest under acidification, but this negative response was offset by elevated temperature under greenhouse. Together, these results suggest that warming offsets the negative effects of acidification by creating more suitable conditions for photosynthesis and growth.

Continue reading ‘Global warming offsets the ecophysiological stress of ocean acidification on temperate crustose coralline algae’

A multistressor model of carbon acquisition regulation for macroalgae in a changing climate

It is widely hypothesized that noncalcifying macroalgae will be more productive and abundant in increasingly warm and acidified oceans. Macroalgae vary greatly in the magnitudes and interactions of responses of photosynthesis and growth to multiple stressors associated with climate change. A knowledge gap that exists between the qualitative “macroalgae will benefit” hypothesis and the variable outcomes observed is regulation of physiological mechanisms that cause variation in the magnitudes of change in primary productivity, growth, and their covariation. In this context, we developed a model to quantitatively describe physiological responses to coincident variation in temperature, carbonate chemistry and light supply in a representative bicarbonate‐using marine macroalga. The model is based on Ulva spp., the best understood dissolved inorganic carbon uptake mechanism among macroalgae, with data enabling synthesis across all parameters. At boundary layer pH < 8.7 most inorganic carbon is taken up through the external carbonic anhydrase (CAext) mechanism under all conditions of photosynthetic photon flux density, temperature, and boundary layer thickness. Each 0.1 unit decline in pH causes a 20% increase in the fraction of diffusive uptake of CO2 thereby lessening reliance on active transport of bicarbonate. Modeled downregulation of anion exchange‐mediated active bicarbonate transport associated with a 0.4 unit decline in pH under ocean acidification is consistent with enhanced growth up to 4% per day without increasing photosynthetic rate. The model provides a means to quantify magnitudes of change in productivity under factorial combinations of changing temperature, CO2, and light supply anticipated as climate changes.

Continue reading ‘A multistressor model of carbon acquisition regulation for macroalgae in a changing climate’

Evolutionary links between intra‐ and extracellular acid–base regulation in fish and other aquatic animals

The acid–base relevant molecules carbon dioxide (CO2), protons (H+), and bicarbonate (HCO3) are substrates and end products of some of the most essential physiological functions including aerobic and anaerobic respiration, ATP hydrolysis, photosynthesis, and calcification. The structure and function of many enzymes and other macromolecules are highly sensitive to changes in pH, and thus maintaining acid–base homeostasis in the face of metabolic and environmental disturbances is essential for proper cellular function. On the other hand, CO2, H+, and HCO3 have regulatory effects on various proteins and processes, both directly through allosteric modulation and indirectly through signal transduction pathways. Life in aquatic environments presents organisms with distinct acid–base challenges that are not found in terrestrial environments. These include a relatively high CO2 relative to O2 solubility that prevents internal CO2/HCO3 accumulation to buffer pH, a lower O2 content that may favor anaerobic metabolism, and variable environmental CO2, pH and O2 levels that require dynamic adjustments in acid–base homeostatic mechanisms. Additionally, some aquatic animals purposely create acidic or alkaline microenvironments that drive specialized physiological functions. For example, acidifying mechanisms can enhance O2 delivery by red blood cells, lead to ammonia trapping for excretion or buoyancy purposes, or lead to CO2 accumulation to promote photosynthesis by endosymbiotic algae. On the other hand, alkalinizing mechanisms can serve to promote calcium carbonate skeletal formation. This nonexhaustive review summarizes some of the distinct acid–base homeostatic mechanisms that have evolved in aquatic organisms to meet the particular challenges of this environment.

Continue reading ‘Evolutionary links between intra‐ and extracellular acid–base regulation in fish and other aquatic animals’

Response of the red algae Pyropia yezoensis grown at different light intensities to CO2-induced seawater acidification at different life cycle stages


•Elevated CO2 enhanced conchocelis growth regardless of light intensity.

•Elevated CO2 enhanced thallus growth at high light but reduced it at low light.

•Elevated CO2 did not affect conchocelis respiration rate at either light intensity.

•Elevated CO2 increased thallus respiration rate at each light intensity.


Increasing CO2 levels in the surface water of oceans are expected to decrease oceanic pH and lead to seawater acidification. The responses of macroalgaea to this acidification of coastal waters have been studied in detail; however, most reports have focused on the adult stage only, while ignoring other life cycle stages. In this study, the economically important seaweed species Pyropia yezoensis was cultured under two CO2 concentrations (ambient CO2: 400 μatm; elevated CO2: 1000 μatm) and two light intensities (low light intensity: 80 μmol photons m−2 s−1; and high light intensity: 240 μmol photons m−2 s−1). The effects on the growth and photosynthetic performance of P. yezoensis were explored at different life cycle stages. Relative growth rates were significantly elevated at the conchocelis stage under high light intensity and elevated CO2 concentration. Moreover, the Pmax of P. yezoensis was also increased under high light intensity. However, this positive effect inversed at the thallus stage. The relative growth rate, relative electron transport rate (rETR), and net photosynthetic rate decreased at the thallus stage in response to high CO2 concentration. Under low light intensity, elevated CO2 concentration significantly increased the relative growth rates of conchocelis and thallus stages. These were 269% and 45% higher at elevated CO2 concentration compared with ambient CO2 concentrations, respectively. The Chl a and phycoerythrin levels were also higher under elevated CO2 level at the conchocelis stage. However, the rETR for the thallus stage was elevated under low light. This suggests that seawater acidification could positively affect algae at low light conditions (especially at the conchocelis stage). Different growth stages of P. yezoensis may respond differently to seawater acidification and changes of light intensity. Thalli growth stage, stocking density, and seawater depth should be considered in different areas to optimize the primary production of macroalgae.

Continue reading ‘Response of the red algae Pyropia yezoensis grown at different light intensities to CO2-induced seawater acidification at different life cycle stages’

Nutrient enrichment regulates the growth and physiological responses of Saccharina japonica to ocean acidification

Environmental changes, such as ocean acidification and eutrophication, have created threats to kelp mariculture. In this study, the growth, photosynthesis, respiration and nutrient composition of Saccharina japonica were evaluated at different levels of pCO2 (400 and 800 μL L−1) and nutrients (nutrient-enriched and non-enriched seawater). Elevated pCO2 decreased the relative growth rate (RGR), net photosynthetic rate and contents of tissue carbon and tissue nitrogen under non-enriched nutrient conditions, but it had no significant effect on these parameters under nutrient-enriched conditions. The dark respiration rate was positively affected by elevated pCO2 regardless of the nutrient conditions. However, the C:N was unaffected by elevated pCO2 at both nutrient levels. These results implied that ocean acidification could reduce the production and nutrient contents in the tissues of S. japonica, which was associated with nutrient conditions.

Continue reading ‘Nutrient enrichment regulates the growth and physiological responses of Saccharina japonica to ocean acidification’

Photosynthetic performances of marine microalgae under influences of rising CO2 and solar UV radiation

Marine photosynthesis contributes approximately half of the global primary productivity. Ocean climate changes, such as increasing dissolved CO2 in seawater and consequently declining pH (known as ocean acidification, OA), may alter marine photosynthetic performance. There are numerous studies on the effects of OA on photosynthetic organisms, but controversial findings indicate positive, neutral, and negative influences. Most of the studies so far have been conducted under controlled conditions that ignored the presence of solar UV radiation. Increased CO2 availability may play a fertilizing role, while the concurrent pH drop may exert pressure on microalgal cells, especially during the night period. It is known that elevated CO2 concentrations downregulate CO2-concentrating mechanisms (CCMs), and intracellular concentrations of dissolved inorganic carbon in diatoms grown under elevated CO2 levels can be much lower than that in low CO2-grown ones. Such a reduced CO2 availability within cells in response to increased CO2 in the water can lead to enhanced photorespiration due to an increased O2 to CO2 ratio around the carboxylating and oxygenating enzyme, RuBisCO. Therefore, negative and positive effects of OA may depend on light levels, since the saved energy due to downregulation of CCMs can benefit growth under light-limited conditions but enhance photoinhibition under light-excessive conditions. OA affects metabolic pathways in phytoplankton. It augments ß-oxidation and the citric acid cycle, which accumulates toxic phenolic compounds. In the upper mixed layer, phytoplankton are exposed to excessive PAR and UV radiation (UVR). The calcareous incrustations of calcified microalgae, known to shield the organisms from UVR, are thinned due to OA, exposing the cells to increased solar UV and further inhibiting their calcification and photosynthesis, reflecting a compounded impact. Such UV and OA interactive effects are expected to reduce primary productivity in oligotrophic pelagic surface waters. In this chapter, we review and analyze recent results on effects of OA and UV and their combined effects on marine photosynthesis of microalgae, which falls in the context of marine photosynthesis under changing ocean environments and multiple stressors.

Continue reading ‘Photosynthetic performances of marine microalgae under influences of rising CO2 and solar UV radiation’

Increased irradiance availability mitigates the physiological performance of species of the calcifying green macroalga Halimeda in response to ocean acidification


•The effects of elevated pCO2 and irradiance on Halimeda were investigated.

•Elevated pCO2 negatively influences physiological processes of Halimeda.

•These negative effects could be mitigated by increased irradiance availability.


Although negative responses of tropical calcifying organisms to ocean acidification have been widely reported, the modulating potential of irradiance combined with elevated pCO2 has not been well studied. In this study, the interactive effects of elevated pCO2 and irradiance availability on the physiology of calcifying macroalgae Halimeda cylindracea and Halimeda lacunalis were investigated using a fully factorial, 28-day aquaria coupling experiment. The results of the present study demonstrate that elevated pCO2 negatively influences growth, photosynthesis, calcification and other physiological processes of both Halimeda species. However, these negative effects could be mitigated to some extent by increased irradiance availability. Specific growth rate (SGR), net calcification rates (Gnet) and maximum quantum yield (Fv/Fm) decreased significantly by 6.84%–86.70%, 51.78%–62.29% and 2.37%–28.91% in elevated pCO2 treatments. However, SGRGnet and Fv/Fm increased by 3.39%–84.78%, 29.61%–40.68% and 1.68%–6.92% in high irradiance conditions, respectively. Chl-a in elevated pCO2 treatments was 7.75%–61.25% lower than ambient pCO2 conditions, while the carotenoid content increased by 12.12%–57.45% in low irradiance conditions from day 20–28. Malondialdehyde (MDA) content was higher in elevated pCO2 treatments. However, there was also a two- to four-fold increase in proline content in elevated pCO2 treatments. Tissue total organic carbon (TCorg) and nitrogen (TN) were positively correlated to CO2 enrichment. The results of the current study suggested that elevated pCO2 negatively influenced the physiological responses of Halimeda, while increased irradiance availability may enhance the metabolic performance in response to ocean acidification.

Continue reading ‘Increased irradiance availability mitigates the physiological performance of species of the calcifying green macroalga Halimeda in response to ocean acidification’

Elevated CO2 concentrations promote growth and photosynthesis of the brown alga Saccharina japonica

Non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) is one of the most important photo-protection mechanisms in brown macroalgae. Global warming and ocean acidification are predicted to impact physiological characteristics of marine algae. However, little is known about the effects of co-occurrence of the elevation of pCO2 and temperature on photochemical capacity, especially regarding photoprotective mechanisms in brown macroalgae. Here, we studied the separate and combined effects of increases in pCO2 and temperature on the photochemical characteristics and growth performance in sporophytes of the brown macroalga Saccharina japonica. The results showed that the NPQ of S. japonica is mainly dependent on the xanthophyll cycle (XC) which appears to be related only to the activation of the enzyme violaxanthin de-epoxidase (VDE), and the transthylakoid proton gradient (ΔpH) could not induce NPQ alone. The elevation of pCO2 reduced NPQ value of S. japonica under high-temperature stress. After 60-day cultivation under the ambient and elevated pCO2 (400 and 1000 μatm), we further found that the elevation of pCO2 promoted growth and increased the photosynthetic performance of all three cultivar strains of S. japonica that have been traditionally cultured for many years in China.

Continue reading ‘Elevated CO2 concentrations promote growth and photosynthesis of the brown alga Saccharina japonica’

Subscribe to the RSS feed

Powered by FeedBurner

Follow AnneMarin on Twitter

Blog Stats

  • 1,356,922 hits


Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book