Posts Tagged 'respiration'

Additive effects of pCO2 and temperature on respiration rates of the Antarctic pteropod Limacina helicina antarctica

The Antarctic pteropod, Limacina helicina antarctica, is a dominant member of the zooplankton in the Ross Sea and supports the vast diversity of marine megafauna that designates this region as an internationally protected area. Here, we observed the response of respiration rate to abiotic stressors associated with global change—environmentally relevant temperature treatments (−0.8°C, 4°C) and pH treatments reflecting current-day and future modeled extremes (8.2, 7.95 and 7.7 pH at −0.8°C; 8.11, 7.95 and 7.7 pH at 4°C). Sampling repeatedly over a 14-day period in laboratory experiments and using microplate respirometry techniques, we found that the metabolic rate of juvenile pteropods increased in response to low-pH exposure (pH 7.7) at −0.8°C, a near-ambient temperature. Similarly, metabolic rate increased when pteropods were exposed simultaneously to multiple stressors: lowered pH conditions (pH 7.7) and a high temperature (4°C). Overall, the results showed that pCO2 and temperature interact additively to affect metabolic rates in pteropods. Furthermore, we found that L. h. antarctica can tolerate acute exposure to temperatures far beyond its maximal habitat temperature. Overall, L. h. antarctica appears to be susceptible to pH and temperature stress, two abiotic stressors which are expected to be especially deleterious for ectothermic marine metazoans in polar seas.

Continue reading ‘Additive effects of pCO2 and temperature on respiration rates of the Antarctic pteropod Limacina helicina antarctica’

Variable metabolic responses of Skagerrak invertebrates to low O2 and high CO2 scenarios (update)

Coastal hypoxia is a problem that is predicted to increase rapidly in the future. At the same time, we are facing rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations, which are increasing the pCO2 and acidity of coastal waters. These two drivers are well studied in isolation; however, the coupling of low O2 and pH is likely to provide a more significant respiratory challenge for slow moving and sessile invertebrates than is currently predicted. The Gullmar Fjord in Sweden is home to a range of habitats, such as sand and mud flats, seagrass beds, exposed and protected shorelines and rocky bottoms. Moreover, it has a history of both natural and anthropogenically enhanced hypoxia as well as North Sea upwelling, where salty water reaches the surface towards the end of summer and early autumn. A total of 11 species (Crustacean, Chordate, Echinoderm and Mollusc) of these ecosystems were exposed to four different treatments (high or low oxygen and low or high CO2; varying pCO2 of 450 and 1300 µatm and O2 concentrations of 2–3.5 and 9–10 mg L−1) and respiration measured after 3 and 6 days, respectively. This allowed us to evaluate respiration responses of species of contrasting habitats to single and multiple stressors. Results show that respiratory responses were highly species specific as we observed both synergetic as well as antagonistic responses, and neither phylum nor habitat explained trends in respiratory responses. Management plans should avoid the generalized assumption that combined stressors will result in multiplicative effects and focus attention on alleviating hypoxia in the region.

Continue reading ‘Variable metabolic responses of Skagerrak invertebrates to low O2 and high CO2 scenarios (update)’

Impact of ocean acidification and warming on the diversity and the functioning of macroalgal communities (full thesis in French)

Predicted ocean acidification and warming for the end of the century may have drastic consequences on the structure and functioning of marine ecosystems. However, a lack of knowledge persists on the impact of future changes on the response of marine communities. This thesis aims to provide new understanding of the impact of ocean acidification and warming at the community level. For this, two ecosystems have been considered: rockpools, characterized by high physico-chemical variations, and maerl beds, with smaller variations. In the laboratory, artificial assemblages were created from the main calcareous and fleshy macroalgal and grazer species present in these two ecosystems. Created assemblages have been subjected to ambient and future temperature and pCO2 conditions. Ocean acidification and warming altered the structure and functioning of maerl bed assemblages, through an increase in the productivity of non-calcareous macroalgae and a decline in maërl calcification rates. The physiology of grazers is negatively impacted by future changes, which altered assemblages’ trophic structure. On the other hand, ocean acidification and warming had no effect on the productivity of rockpool assemblages. The highly variable environment may thus increase the resistance of rockpool communities to future changes, compared to communities from more stable environments, such as maerl beds.

Continue reading ‘Impact of ocean acidification and warming on the diversity and the functioning of macroalgal communities (full thesis in French)’

Synergistic effects of nano-ZnO and low pH of sea water on the physiological energetics of the thick shell mussel Mytilus coruscus

In order to investigate the ecotoxicological effects of nano-ZnO particles and seawater acidification on marine bivalves, the thick shell mussels, Mytilus coruscus were subjected to joint treatments with different nano-ZnO concentrations (0 [control], 2.5 and 10 mg L-1 [high]) under two pH levels (7.7 [low]and 8.1 [control]) for 14 days. The results showed that respiration rate (RR), absorption efficiency (AE), clearance rate (CR), O:N ratio and scope for growth (SFG) were significantly reduced with nano-ZnO concentration increase, but ammonium excretion rate (ER) was increased. Low pH significantly reduced CR, RR, SFG, and O:N ratio of the mussels especially under high nano-ZnO conditions, and significantly increased ER. Principal component analysis (PCA) showed consistent relationships among most tested parameters, especially among SFG, RR, O:N ratio and CR under the normal pH and 0 nano-ZnO conditions. Therefore, seawater acidification and nano-ZnO interactively impact the ecophysiological responses of mussels and cause more severe effects when they appear concurrently.

Continue reading ‘Synergistic effects of nano-ZnO and low pH of sea water on the physiological energetics of the thick shell mussel Mytilus coruscus’

Effects of elevated pCO2 on physiological performance of marine microalgae Dunaliella salina (Chlorophyta, Chlorophyceae)

The present study was conducted to determine the effects of elevated pCO2 on growth, photosynthesis, dark respiration and inorganic carbon acquisition in the marine microalga Dunaliella salina. To accomplish this, D. salina was incubated in semi-continuous cultures under present-day CO2 levels (390 μatm, pHNBS: 8.10), predicted year 2100 CO2 levels (1 000 μatm, pHNBS: 7.78) and predicted year 2300 CO2 levels (2 000 μatm, pHNBS: 7.49). Elevated pCO2 significantly enhanced photosynthesis (in terms of gross photosynthetic O2 evolution, effective quantum yield (ΔF/F’ m ), photosynthetic efficiency (α), maximum relative electron transport rate (rETRmax) and ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) activity) and dark respiration of D. salina, but had insignificant effects on growth. The photosynthetic O2 evolution of D. salina was significantly inhibited by the inhibitors acetazolamide (AZ), ethoxyzolamide (EZ) and 4,4’-diisothiocyanostilbene-2,2′-disulfonate (DIDS), indicating that D. salina is capable of acquiring HCOˉ 3 via extracellular carbonic anhydrase and anion-exchange proteins. Furthermore, the lower inhibition of the photosynthetic O2 evolution at high pCO2 levels by AZ, EZ and DIDS and the decreased carbonic anhydrase showed that carbon concentrating mechanisms were down-regulated at high pCO2. In conclusion, our results show that photosynthesis, dark respiration and CCMs will be affected by the increased pCO2/low pH conditions predicted for the future, but that the responses of D. salina to high pCO2/low pH might be modulated by other environmental factors such as light, nutrients and temperature. Therefore, further studies are needed to determine the interactive effects of pCO2, temperature, light and nutrients on marine microalgae.

Continue reading ‘Effects of elevated pCO2 on physiological performance of marine microalgae Dunaliella salina (Chlorophyta, Chlorophyceae)’

Nutrient pollution disrupts key ecosystem functions on coral reefs

There is a long history of examining the impacts of nutrient pollution and pH on coral reefs. However, little is known about how these two stressors interact and influence coral reef ecosystem functioning. Using a six-week nutrient addition experiment, we measured the impact of elevated nitrate (NO−3) and phosphate (PO3−4) on net community calcification (NCC) and net community production (NCP) rates of individual taxa and combined reef communities. Our study had four major outcomes: (i) NCC rates declined in response to nutrient addition in all substrate types, (ii) the mixed community switched from net calcification to net dissolution under medium and high nutrient conditions, (iii) nutrients augmented pH variability through modified photosynthesis and respiration rates, and (iv) nutrients disrupted the relationship between NCC and aragonite saturation state documented in ambient conditions. These results indicate that the negative effect of NO−3 and PO3−4 addition on reef calcification is likely both a direct physiological response to nutrients and also an indirect response to a shifting pH environment from altered NCP rates. Here, we show that nutrient pollution could make reefs more vulnerable to global changes associated with ocean acidification and accelerate the predicted shift from net accretion to net erosion.

Continue reading ‘Nutrient pollution disrupts key ecosystem functions on coral reefs’

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’


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