Seagrass ecosystem is one of the most productive ecosystems in coastal waters providing numerous ecological functions and supporting a large biodiversity. However, various anthropogenic stressors including climate change are impacting these vulnerable habitats. Here, we investigated the independent and combined effects of ocean warming and ocean acidification on plant–herbivore interactions in a tropical seagrass community. Direct and indirect effects of high temperature and high pCO2 on the physiology of the tropical seagrass Thalassia hemprichii and sea urchin Tripneustes gratilla were evaluated. Productivity of seagrass was found to increase under high pCO2, while sea urchin physiology including feeding rate decreased particularly under high temperature. The present study indicated that future climate change will affect the bottom-up and top-down balance, which potentially can modify the ecosystem functions and services of tropical seagrass ecosystems.
- The carbonate system and its controlling factors in a mariculture area were studied.
- Massive bay scallop farming was a potential factor for coastal acidification.
- Scallop calcification reduced 75.66 μmol kg−1 of total alkalinity in surface water.
- Biochemical and physical processes jointly controlled the other CO2 parameters.
Seven cruises were carried out in a bay scallop (Argopecten irradians) farming area and its surrounding waters, North Yellow Sea, from March to November 2017 to study the dynamics of the carbonate system and its controlling factors. Results indicated that the studied parameters were highly variability over a range of spatiotemporal scales, comprehensively forced by various physical and biochemical processes. Mixing effect and scallop calcification played the most important role in the seasonal variation of total alkalinity (TAlk). For dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), in addition to mixing, air-sea exchange and microbial activity, e.g. photosynthesis and microbial respiration processes, had more important effects on its dynamics. Different from the former, the changes of water pHT, partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) and aragonite saturation state (ΩA) were mainly controlled by the combining of the temperature, air-sea exchange, microbial activity and scallop metabolic activities. In addition, our results suggested that massive scallop farming can significantly increase the DIC/TAlk ratio by reducing the TAlk concentration in seawater, thereby reducing the buffering capacity of seawater to the carbonate system especially for ΩA. Preliminary calculated, ~75.7 μmol kg−1 and ~45.5 μmol kg−1 of TAlk was removed from the surface and bottom water in one scallop cultivating cycle. If these carbonates cannot be replenished in time, it is likely to accelerate the acidification process of coastal waters. This study highlighted the control mechanism of the carbonate system under the influence of bay scallop farming, and provided useful information for revealing the potential link between human activities (shelled-mollusc mariculture) and coastal acidification.
- Ocean acidification (OA) under delta (∆) pH = – 0.3 (pH ~7.7), but not ∆pH = – 0.1 (pH ~ 7.9) relative to the present (~8.0 pH), reduced the survival, respiration and moulting of phyllosomas of T. australiensis.
- OA under pH ~7.7 adversely affected the attraction of T. australiensis phyllosomas to jellyfish cues.
- The majority of individual metabolites of phyllosomas were suppressed even in mild pH ~ 7.9.
- The interaction between phyllosoma and jellyfish may be impaired under pH ~7.7.
Ocean acidification (OA) can alter the behaviour and physiology of marine fauna and impair their ability to interact with other species, including those in symbiotic and predatory relationships. Phyllosoma larvae of lobsters are symbionts to many invertebrates and often ride and feed on jellyfish, however OA may threaten interactions between phyllosomas and jellyfish. Here, we tested whether OA predicted for surface mid-shelf waters of Great Barrier Reef, Australia, under ∆ pH = −0.1 (pH ~7.9) and ∆pH = −0.3 (pH ~7.7) relative to the present pH (~8.0) (P) impaired the survival, moulting, respiration, and metabolite profiles of phyllosoma larvae of the slipper lobster Thenus australiensis, and the ability of phyllosomas to detect chemical cues of fresh jellyfish tissue. We discovered that OA was detrimental to survival of phyllosomas with only 20% survival under ∆pH = −0.3 compared to 49.2 and 45.3% in the P and ∆pH = −0.1 treatments, respectively. The numbers of phyllosomas that moulted in the P and ∆pH = −0.1 treatments were 40% and 34% higher, respectively, than those in the ∆pH = −0.3 treatment. Respiration rates varied between pH treatments, but were not consistent through time. Respiration rates in the ∆pH = −0.3 and ∆pH = −0.1 treatments were initially 40% and 22% higher, respectively, than in the P treatment on Day 2 and then rates varied to become 26% lower (∆pH = −0.3) and 17% (∆pH = −0.1) higher towards the end of the experiment. Larvae were attracted to jellyfish tissue in treatments P and ∆pH = −0.1 but avoided jellyfish at ∆pH = −0.3. Moreover, OA conditions under ∆pH = −0.1 and ∆pH = −0.3 levels reduced the relative abundances of 22 of the 34 metabolites detected in phyllosomas via Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Our study demonstrates that the physiology and ability to detect jellyfish tissue by phyllosomas of the lobster T. australiensis may be impaired under ∆pH = −0.3 relative to the present conditions, with potential negative consequences for adult populations of this commercially important species.
Under predicted future ocean conditions, reefs exposed to elevated nutrients will simultaneously experience ocean acidification and elevated temperature. We evaluated if moderate nutrients mitigate, minimize, or exacerbate negative effects of predicted future ocean conditions on coral physiology. For 30 days, Acropora millepora and Turbinaria reniformis were exposed to a fully factorial experiment of eight treatments including two seawater temperatures (26.4 °C and 29.8 °C), pCO2 levels (401 μatm pCO2 and 760 μatm pCO2), and nutrient concentrations (ambient: 0.40 μmol L−1 NO3− and 0.22 μmol L−1 PO43−, and moderate: 3.56 μmol L−1 NO3− and 0.31 μmol L−1 PO43−). Added nitrate was taken up by the algal endosymbionts and transferred to the coral hosts in both species, though to a much higher degree in A. millepora. When exposed to elevated temperature, elevated pCO2, or both, effects observed for chlorophyll a, calcification, biomass, and energy reserves were not compounded by the moderate nutrient concentrations in either species. Moderate nutrients enabled A. millepora to continue to meet daily metabolic demand via photosynthesis under predicted future ocean conditions and T. reniformis to greatly exceed daily metabolic demand via photosynthesis and heterotrophy. Our results suggest that balanced moderate nutrients are not detrimental to corals under predicted future ocean conditions and may even provide some benefits.
Coral reefs are declining worldwide due to global changes in the marine environment. The increasing frequency of massive bleaching events in the tropics is highlighting the need to better understand the stages of coral physiological responses to extreme conditions. Moreover, like many other coastal regions, coral reef ecosystems are facing additional localized anthropogenic stressors such as nutrient loading, increased turbidity, and coastal development. Different strategies have been developed to measure the health status of a damaged reef, ranging from the resolution of individual polyps to the entire coral community, but techniques for measuring coral physiology in situ are not yet widely implemented. For instance, while there are many studies of the coral holobiont response in single or limited-number multiple stressor experiments, they provide only partial insights into metabolic performance under more complex and temporally and spatially variable natural conditions. Here, we discuss the current status of coral reefs and their global and local stressors in the context of experimental techniques that measure core processes in coral metabolism (respiration, photosynthesis, and biocalcification) in situ, and their role in indicating the health status of colonies and communities. We highlight the need to improve the capability of in situ studies in order to better understand the resilience and stress response of corals under multiple global and local scale stressors.
- Larval white seabass were lab-exposed to elevated CO2 levels simulating future ocean acidification (OA).
- Exposure to OA did not induce any changes in ion-transporting capacity, aerobic respiration rate, or total length of larval white seabass.
- Retroactive analysis of the water in broodstock tanks revealed the parents had been chronically exposed to elevated CO2 levels, which may have affected the physiology of the larvae and conferred the observed resilience.
Ocean acidification (OA) has been proposed to increase the energetic demand for acid-base regulation at the expense of larval fish growth. Here, white seabass (Atractoscion nobilis) eggs and larvae were reared at control (542 ± 28 μatm) and elevated pCO2 (1,831 ± 105 μatm) until five days post-fertilization (dpf). Skin ionocytes were identified by immunodetection of the Na+/K+-ATPase (NKA) enzyme. Larvae exposed to elevated pCO2 possessed significantly higher skin ionocyte number and density compared to control larvae. However, when ionocyte size was accounted for, the relative ionocyte area (a proxy for total ionoregulatory capacity) was unchanged. Similarly, there were no differences in relative NKA abundance, resting O2 consumption rate, and total length between control and treatment larvae at 5 dpf, nor in the rate at which relative ionocyte area and total length changed between 2–5 dpf. Altogether, our results suggest that OA conditions projected for the next century do not significantly affect the ionoregulatory capacity or energy consumption of larval white seabass. Finally, a retroactive analysis of the water in the recirculating aquarium system that housed the broodstock revealed the parents had been exposed to average pCO2 of ~1,200 μatm for at least 3.5 years prior to this experiment. Future studies should investigate whether larval white seabass are naturally resilient to OA, or if this resilience is the result of parental chronic acclimation to OA, and/or from natural selection during spawning and fertilization in elevated pCO2.
As global change continues to progress, there is a growing interest in assessing any local levers that could be used to manage the social and ecological impacts of rising CO2 concentrations. While habitat conservation and restoration have been widely recognized for their role in carbon storage and sequestration at a global scale, the potential for managers to use vegetated habitats to mitigate CO2 concentrations at local scales in marine ecosystems facing the accelerating threat of ocean acidification (OA) has only recently garnered attention. Early studies have shown that submerged aquatic vegetation, such as seagrass beds, can locally draw down CO2 and raise seawater pH in the water column through photosynthesis, but empirical studies of local OA mitigation are still quite limited. Here, we leverage the extensive body of literature on seagrass community metabolism to highlight key considerations for local OA management through seagrass conservation or restoration. In particular, we synthesize the results from 62 studies reporting in situ rates of seagrass gross primary productivity, respiration, and/or net community productivity to highlight spatial and temporal variability in carbon fluxes. We illustrate that daytime net community production is positive overall, and similar across seasons and geographies. Full-day net community production rates, which illustrate the potential cumulative effect of seagrass beds on seawater biogeochemistry integrated over day and night, were also positive overall, but were higher in summer months in both tropical and temperate ecosystems. Although our analyses suggest seagrass meadows are generally autotrophic, the modeled effects on seawater pH are relatively small in magnitude. In addition, we illustrate that periods when full-day net community production is highest could be associated with lower nighttime pH and increased diurnal variability in seawater pCO2/pH. Finally, we highlight important areas for future research to inform the next steps for assessing the utility of this approach for management.
Rhodolith beds built by free-living coralline algae are important ecosystems for marine biodiversity and carbonate production. Yet, our mechanistic understanding regarding rhodolith physiology and its drivers is still limited. Using three rhodolith species with different branching morphologies, we investigated the role of morphology in species’ physiology and the implications for their susceptibility to ocean acidification (OA). For this, we determined the effects of thallus topography on diffusive boundary layer (DBL) thickness, the associated microscale oxygen and pH dynamics and their relationship with species’ metabolic and light and dark calcification rates, as well as species’ responses to short-term OA exposure. Our results show that rhodolith branching creates low-flow microenvironments that exhibit increasing DBL thickness with increasing branch length. This, together with species’ metabolic rates, determined the light-dependent pH dynamics at the algal surface, which in turn dictated species’ calcification rates. While these differences did not translate in species-specific responses to short-term OA exposure, the differences in the magnitude of diurnal pH fluctuations (~ 0.1–1.2 pH units) between species suggest potential differences in phenotypic plasticity to OA that may result in different susceptibilities to long-term OA exposure, supporting the general view that species’ ecomechanical characteristics must be considered for predicting OA responses.
Whereas low levels of thermal stress, irradiance, and dietary restriction can have beneficial effects for many taxa, stress acclimation remains understudied in marine invertebrates, despite being threatened by climate change stressors such as ocean acidification. To test for life-stage and stress-intensity dependence in eliciting enhanced tolerance under subsequent stress encounters, we initially conditioned pediveliger Pacific geoduck (Panopea generosa) larvae to (i) ambient and moderately elevated pCO2 (920 µatm and 2800 µatm, respectively) for 110 days, (ii) secondarily applied a 7-day exposure to ambient, moderate, and severely elevated pCO2 (750 µatm, 2800 µatm, and 4900 µatm, respectively), followed by 7 days in ambient conditions, and (iii) implemented a 7-day third exposure to ambient (970 µatm) and moderate pCO2 (3000 µatm). Initial conditioning to moderate pCO2 stress followed by second and third exposure to severe and moderate pCO2 stress increased respiration rate, organic biomass, and shell size suggesting a stress-intensity-dependent effect on energetics. Additionally, stress-acclimated clams had lower antioxidant capacity compared to clams under ambient conditions, supporting the hypothesis that stress over postlarval-to-juvenile development affects oxidative status later in life. Time series and stress intensity-specific approaches can reveal life-stages and magnitudes of exposure, respectively, that may elicit beneficial phenotypic variation.
This literature overview focuses on how shark species, are faring with the anthropogenically induced climatic changes. The ocean is drastically affected by this, which has major implications on the aquatic life. Some effects include increasing temperature, carbon dioxide and acidity levels. This has led to shifts in the predatory success in sharks, which will only increase in severity as climate change intensifies, because changes in climate induce other changes in most aspects of the shark’s life. These can be grouped into three categories: shifts in body functions, behaviors and habitat. Some changes in body function include difficulty integrating sensory cues through reduced neuron receptor function, decreased brain/muscle aerobic potential and changes in growth/development. Behavioral changes include shifted swimming patterns, interacting with different species assemblages and prey behaviors. Lastly, habitat changes affect the shark’s ability to capture prey through increases in salinity, degradation of critical habitat and reduction in dissolved oxygen.
- Long-term exposure to reduced pH was performed with sea urchins from different sites
- Seawater acidification affected sea urchin physiological and behavioral parameters
- The effects of reduced pH were less evident in lagoon sea urchins than in coastal ones
- Sea urchin responses change over time possibly related to the gametogenic cycle
- Overall results suggested adaptability of P. lividus to future pH levels
CO2-driven ocean acidification affects many aspects of sea urchin biology. However, even in the same species, OA effects are often not univocal due to non-uniform exposure setups or different ecological history of the experimental specimens. In the present work, two groups of adult sea urchins Paracentrotus lividus from different environments (the Lagoon of Venice and a coastal area in the Northern Adriatic Sea) were exposed to OA in a long-term exposure. Animals were maintained for six months in both natural seawater (pHT 8.04) and end-of-the-century predicted condition (-0.4 units pH). Monthly, physiological (respiration rate, ammonia excretion, O:N ratio) and behavioural (righting, sheltering) endpoints were investigated. Both pH and time of exposure significantly influenced sea urchin responses, but differences between sites were highlighted, particularly in the first months. Under reduced pH, ammonia excretion increased and O:N decreased in coastal specimens. Righting and sheltering were impaired in coastal animals, whereas only righting decreased in lagoon ones. These findings suggested a higher adaptation ability in sea urchins from a more variable environment. Interestingly, as the exposure continued, animals from both sites were able to acclimate. Results revealed plasticity in the physiological and behavioural responses of sea urchins under future predicted OA conditions.
Highlights Elevated temperature has a greater effect on calcifying algae populations than pCO2. Southern and central populations already live close to their thermal and stress limits, while northern populations appear as the most resilient to environmental changes. Light calcification is the most valuable physiological process and is prioritized in populations throughout the geographical gradient in…
- We measured and compared traits at sub-organismal and organismal level.
- Temperature, pH and predator cues affected the mussels’ traits.
- Largest mussels were found at 15 °C (control) in presence of predators.
- Crab cues increased mussel’s wet mass and calcification rate.
In order to make adequate projections on the consequences of climate change stressors on marine organisms, it is important to know how impacts of these stressors are affected by the presence of other species. Here we assessed the direct effects of ocean warming (OW) and acidification (OA) along with non-consumptive effects (NCEs) of a predatory crab and/or a predatory snail on the habitat-forming mussel Perumytilus purpuratus. Mussels were exposed for 10–14 weeks to contrasting pCO2 (500 and 1400 μatm) and temperature (15 and 20 °C) levels, in the presence/absence of cues from one or two predator species. We compared mussel traits at sub-organismal (nutritional status, metabolic capacity-ATP production-, cell stress condition via HSP70 expression) and organismal (survival, oxygen consumption, growth, byssus biogenesis, clearance rates, aggregation) levels. OA increased the mussels’ oxygen consumption; and OA combined with OW increased ATP demand and the use of carbohydrate reserves. Mussels at present-day pCO2 levels had the highest protein content. Under OW the predatory snail cues induced the highest cell stress condition on the mussels. Temperature, predator cues and the interaction between them affected mussel growth. Mussels grew larger at the control temperature (15 °C) when crab and snail cues were present. Mussel wet mass and calcification were affected by predator cues; with highest values recorded in crab cue presence (isolated or combined with snail cues). In the absence of predator cues in the trails, byssus biogenesis was affected by OA, OW and the OA × OW and OA × predator cues interactions. At present-day pCO2 levels, more byssus was recorded with snail than with crab cues. Clearance rates were affected by temperature, pCO2 and the interaction between them. The investigated stressors had no effects on mussel aggregation. We conclude that OA, OW and the NCEs may lead to neutral, positive or negative consequences for mussels.
We conduct a modeling study of the effects of enhanced coastal nutrient export from human activities on the carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen cycles of the Southern California Bight, in the context of emerging global climate change. The modeling approach used is innovative in the breadth of its scope, and simulations are generally consistent with local measurements. The human effects on the regional ecosystem from coastal nitrogen inputs of 23 million people are substantial, leading to significant increases in the photosynthesis and biomass of phytoplankton and increased oxygen loss and acidification of the water column. These changes are likely to compress habitat for a variety of marine organisms, with cascading ecological effects and implications for marine resources and water-quality management.
Global change is leading to warming, acidification, and oxygen loss in the ocean. In the Southern California Bight, an eastern boundary upwelling system, these stressors are exacerbated by the localized discharge of anthropogenically enhanced nutrients from a coastal population of 23 million people. Here, we use simulations with a high-resolution, physical–biogeochemical model to quantify the link between terrestrial and atmospheric nutrients, organic matter, and carbon inputs and biogeochemical change in the coastal waters of the Southern California Bight. The model is forced by large-scale climatic drivers and a reconstruction of local inputs via rivers, wastewater outfalls, and atmospheric deposition; it captures the fine scales of ocean circulation along the shelf; and it is validated against a large collection of physical and biogeochemical observations. Local land-based and atmospheric inputs, enhanced by anthropogenic sources, drive a 79% increase in phytoplankton biomass, a 23% increase in primary production, and a nearly 44% increase in subsurface respiration rates along the coast in summer, reshaping the biogeochemistry of the Southern California Bight. Seasonal reductions in subsurface oxygen, pH, and aragonite saturation state, by up to 50 mmol m−3, 0.09, and 0.47, respectively, rival or exceed the global open-ocean oxygen loss and acidification since the preindustrial period. The biological effects of these changes on local fisheries, proliferation of harmful algal blooms, water clarity, and submerged aquatic vegetation have yet to be fully explored.
Increasing atmospheric CO2 is driving major environmental changes in the ocean, such as an increase in average ocean temperature, a decrease in average ocean pH (ocean acidification or OA), and an increase in the number and severity of extreme climatic events (e.g., anomalous temperature events and heatwaves). Uncertainty exists in the capacity for species to withstand these stressors occurring concomitantly. Here, we tested whether an acclimation history of ocean warming (OW) and OA affects the physiological responses of an abundant, reef-building species of crustose coralline algae (CCA), Porolithon cf. onkodes, to chronic and acute thermal stress. To address this, we exposed algae to varying temperature and pH levels for 6 weeks and this chronic treatment experiment was followed by an acute exposure to an anomalous temperature event (+4–6°C from acclimation temperature). Net photosynthetic rate was negatively affected across all treatments by increasing temperature during the acute temperature event, however, algae acclimated to the control temperature were able to maintain photosynthetic rates for +4°C above their acclimation temperature, whereas algae acclimated to elevated temperature were not. Average relative change in O2 produced resulted in a 100–175% decrease, with the largest decrease found in algae acclimated to the combined treatment of elevated temperature and reduced pH. We conclude that acclimation to chronic global change stressors (i.e., OW and OA) will reduce the tolerance of P. cf. onkodes to anomalous increases in temperature, and this may have implications for reef building processes.
Ocean acidification (OA) is a global phenomenon referring to a decrease in ocean pH and a perturbation of the seawater carbonate system due to ever-increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations. In coastal environments, identifying the impacts of OA is complex due to the multiple contributors to pH variability by coastal processes, such as freshwater inflow, upwelling, hydrodynamic processes, and biological activity. The aim of this PhD study was to quantify the local processes occurring in a temperate coastal embayment, Algoa Bay in South Africa, that contribute to pH and carbonate chemistry variability over time (monthly and 24-hour) and space (~10 km) and examine how this variability impacts a local fish species, Diplodus capensis, also commonly known as ‘blacktail’. Algoa Bay, known for its complex oceanography, is an interesting location in which to quantify carbonate chemistry variability. To assess this variability, monitoring sites were selected to coincide with the Algoa Bay Sentinel Site long-term ecological research (LTER) and continuous monitoring (CMP) programmes. The average pH at offshore sites in the bay was 8.03 ± 0.07 and at inshore sites was 8.04 ± 0.15. High pH variability (~0.55–0.61 pH units) was recorded at both offshore (>10 m depth) and inshore sites (intertidal surf zones). Many sites in the bay, especially the atypical site at Cape Recife, exhibit higher than the average pH levels (>8.04), suggesting that pH variability may be biologically driven. This is further evidenced by high diurnal variability in pH (~0.55 pH units). Although the specific drivers of the high pH variability in Algoa Bay could not be identified, baseline carbonate chemistry conditions were identified, which is necessary information to design and interpret biological experiments. Long-term, continuous monitoring is required to improve understanding of the drivers of pH variability in understudied coastal regions, like Algoa Bay.
Shallow coastal marine ecosystems are exposed to intensive warming events in the last decade, threatening keystone macroalgal species such as the bladder wrack (Fucus vesiculosus, Phaeophyceae) in the Baltic Sea. Herein, we experimentally tested in four consecutive benthic mesocosm experiments, if the single and combined impact of elevated seawater temperature (Δ + 5°C) and pCO2 (1100 ppm) under natural irradiance conditions seasonally affected the photophysiological performance (i.e., oxygen production, in vivo chlorophyll a fluorescence, energy dissipation pathways and chlorophyll concentration) of Baltic Sea Fucus. Photosynthesis was highest in spring/early summer when water temperature and solar irradiance increases naturally, and was lowest in winter (December to January/February). Temperature had a stronger effect than pCO2 on photosynthetic performance of Fucus in all seasons. In contrast to the expectation that warmer winter conditions might be beneficial, elevated temperature conditions and sub-optimal low winter light conditions decreased photophysiological performance of Fucus. In summer, western Baltic Sea Fucus already lives close to its upper thermal tolerance limit and future warming of the Baltic Sea during summer may probably become deleterious for this species. However, our results indicate that over most of the year a combination of future ocean warming and increased pCO2 will have slightly positive effects for Fucus photophysiological performance.
Long‐term experimental investigations of transgenerational plasticity (TGP) and transgenerational acclimatization to global change are sparse in marine invertebrates. Here, we test the effect of ocean warming and acidification over a 25‐month period of Echinometra sp. A sea urchins whose parents were acclimatized at ambient or one of two near‐future (projected mid‐ and end‐ of the 21st century) climate scenarios for 18 months. Several parameters linked to performance exhibited strong effects of future ocean conditions at 9 months of age. The Ambient‐Ambient group (A‐A, both F0 and F1 at ambient conditions) was significantly larger (21%) and faster in righting response (31%) compared to other groups. A second set of contrasts revealed near‐future scenarios caused significant negative parental carryover effects. Respiration at 9 months was depressed by 59% when parents were from near‐future climate conditions, and righting response was slowed by 28%. At ten months, a selective pathogenic mortality event lead to significantly higher survival rates of A‐A urchins. Differences in size and respiration measured prior to the mortality were absent after the event, while a negative parental effect on righting (29% reduction) remained. The capacity to spawn at the end of the experiment was higher in individuals with ambient parents (50%) compared to other groups (21%) suggesting persistent parental effects. Obtaining different results at different points in time illustrates the importance of longer‐term and multi‐generation studies to investigate effects of climate change. Given some animals in all groups survived the pathogenic event and that effects on physiology (but not behavior) among groups were eliminated after the mortality, we suggest that similar events could constitute selective sweeps, allowing genetic adaptation. However, given the observed negative parental effects and reduced potential for population replenishment it remains to be determined if selection would be sufficiently rapid to rescue this species from climate change effects.
Multigenerational exposure is needed to assess the evolutionary potential of organisms in the rapidly changing seascape. Here, we investigate if there is a transgenerational effect of ocean acidification exposure on a calyptraeid gastropod such that long‐term exposure elevates offspring resilience. Larvae from wild type Crepidula onyx adults were reared from hatching until sexual maturity for over 36 months under three pH conditions (pH 7.3, 7.7, and 8.0). While the survivorship, growth, and respiration rate of F1 larvae were unaffected by acute ocean acidification (OA), long‐term and whole life‐cycle exposure significantly compromised adult survivorship, growth, and reproductive output of the slipper limpets. When kept under low pH throughout their life cycle, only 6% of the F1 slipper limpets survived pH 7.3 conditions after ~2.5 years and the number of larvae they released was ~10% of those released by the control. However, the F2 progeny from adults kept under the long‐term low pH condition hatched at a comparable size to those in medium and control pH conditions. More importantly, these F2 progeny from low pH adults outperformed F2 slipper limpets from control conditions; they had higher larval survivorship and growth, and reduced respiration rate across pH conditions, even at the extreme low pH of 7.0. The intragenerational negative consequences of OA during long‐term acclimation highlights potential carryover effects and ontogenetic shifts in stress vulnerability, especially prior to and during reproduction. Yet, the presence of a transgenerational effect implies that this slipper limpet, which has been widely introduced along the West Pacific coasts, has the potential to adapt to rapid acidification.
Ocean acidification (OA) in estuaries is becoming a global concern, and may affect microbial characteristics in estuarine sediments. Bacterial communities in response to acidification in this habitat have been well discussed; however, knowledge about how fungal communities respond to OA remains poorly understood. Here, we explored the effects of acidification on bacterial and fungal activities, structures and functions in estuarine sediments during a 50-day incubation experiment. Under acidified conditions, activities of three extracellular enzymes related to nutrient cycling were inhibited and basal respiration rates were decreased. Acidification significantly altered bacterial communities and their interactions, while weak alkalization had a minor impact on fungal communities. We distinguished pH-sensitive/tolerant bacteria and fungi in estuarine sediments, and found that only pH-sensitive/tolerant bacteria had strong correlations with sediment basal respiration activity. FUNGuild analysis indicated that animal pathogen abundances in sediment were greatly increased by acidification, while plant pathogens were unaffected. High-throughput quantitative PCR-based SmartChip analysis suggested that the nutrient cycling-related multifunctionality of sediments was reduced under acidified conditions. Most functional genes associated with nutrient cycling were identified in bacterial communities and their relative abundances were decreased by acidification. These new findings highlight that acidification in estuarine regions affects bacterial and fungal communities differently, increases potential pathogens and disrupts bacteria-mediated nutrient cycling.