Posts Tagged 'respiration'

Physiological responses to ocean acidification and warming synergistically reduce condition of the common cockle Cerastoderma edule

The combined effect of ocean acidification and warming on the common cockle Cerastoderma edule was investigated in a fully crossed laboratory experiment. Survival of the examined adult organisms remained high and was not affected by elevated temperature (+3 °C) or lowered pH (-0.3 units). However, the morphometric condition index of the cockles incubated under high pCO2 conditions (i.e. combined warming and acidification) was significantly reduced after six weeks of incubation. Respiration rates increased significantly under low pH, with highest rates measured under combined warm and low pH conditions. Calcification decreased significantly under low pH while clearance rates increased significantly under warm conditions and were generally lower in low pH treatments. The observed physiological responses suggest that the reduced food intake under hypercapnia is insufficient to support the higher energy requirements to compensate for the higher costs for basal maintenance and growth in future high pCO2waters.

Continue reading ‘Physiological responses to ocean acidification and warming synergistically reduce condition of the common cockle Cerastoderma edule’

Species interactions can shift the response of a maerl bed community to ocean acidification and warming

Predicted ocean acidification and warming are likely to have major implications for marine organisms, especially marine calcifiers. However, little information is available on the response of marine communities as a whole to predicted changes. Here, we experimentally examined the combined effects of temperature and partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO2) increases on the response of maerl bed assemblages, composed of living and dead thalli of the free-living coralline alga Lithothamnion corallioides, epiphytic fleshy algae, and grazer species. Two three-month experiments were performed in the winter and summer seasons in mesocosms with four different combinations of pCO2 (ambient and high pCO2) and temperature (ambient and +3 °C). The response of maerl assemblages was assessed using metabolic measurements at the species and assemblage scales. Gross primary production and respiration of assemblages were enhanced by high pCO2 conditions in the summer. This positive effect was attributed to the increase in epiphyte biomass, which benefited from higher CO2 concentrations for growth and primary production. Conversely, high pCO2 drastically decreased the calcification rates in assemblages. This response can be attributed to the decline in calcification rates of living L. corallioides due to acidification as well as increased dissolution of dead L. corallioides. Future changes in pCO2 and temperature are likely to promote the development of non-calcifying algae to the detriment of the engineer species L. corallioides. The development of fleshy algae may be modulated by the ability of grazers to regulate epiphyte growth. However, our results suggest that predicted changes will negatively affect the metabolism of grazers and potentially their ability to control epiphyte abundance. Here, we demonstrate that the response of marine communities to climate change will depend on the direct effects on species physiology and the indirect effects due to shifts in species interactions. This double, interdependent response underlines the importance of examining community-level processes, which integrate species interactions, to better understand the impact of global change on marine ecosystems.

Continue reading ‘Species interactions can shift the response of a maerl bed community to ocean acidification and warming’

Complex and interactive effects of ocean acidification and temperature on epilithic and endolithic coral-reef turf algal assemblages

Turf algal assemblages are ubiquitous primary producers on coral reefs, but little is known about the response of this diverse group to ocean acidification (OA) across different temperatures. We tested the hypothesis that CO2 influences the functional response of epilithic and endolithic turf assemblages to increasing temperature. Replicate carbonate plugs covered by turf were collected from the reef and exposed to ambient and high pCO2 (1000 µatm) conditions for 3 weeks. Each pCO2 treatment was replicated across six temperatures (24.0–31.5 °C) that spanned the full seasonal temperature range on a fringing reef in Moorea, French Polynesia, and included one warming treatment (3 °C above daily average temperatures). Temperature and CO2 enrichment had complex, and sometimes interactive, effects on turf metabolism and growth. Photosynthetic and respiration rates were enhanced by increasing temperature, with an interactive effect of CO2 enrichment. Photosynthetic rates were amplified by high CO2 in the warmest temperatures, while the increase in respiration rates with temperature were enhanced under ambient CO2. Epilithic turf growth rates were not affected by temperature, but increased in response to CO2 enrichment. We found that CO2 and temperature interactively affected the endolithic assemblage, with the highest growth rates under CO2 enrichment, but only at the warmest temperatures. These results demonstrate how OA may influence algal physiology and growth across a range of ecologically relevant temperatures, and indicate that the effects of CO2 enrichment on coral-reef turf assemblages can be temperature dependent. The complex effects of CO2 enrichment and temperature across a suite of algal responses illustrates the importance of incorporating multiple stressors into global change experiments.

Continue reading ‘Complex and interactive effects of ocean acidification and temperature on epilithic and endolithic coral-reef turf algal assemblages’

Effects of CO2, pH and temperature on respiration and regeneration in the burrowing brittle stars Hemipholis cordifera and Microphiopholis gracillima

Hemipholis cordifera and Microphiopholis gracillima are burrowing brittlestars that differ in burrow architecture and oxygen obtaining strategies: M. gracillima actively ventilates a gallery while H. cordifera has a simple chamber and instead relies on oxygen being transported from arms exposed to the overlying water using hemoglobin in its water vascular system. To determine the possible effects of near future climate change on both species, in terms of metabolism and regeneration, they were exposed to current (25 °C & 28 °C) and elevated (32 °C) temperatures, as well as normal (8.1) and hypercapnia/lowered pH (7.8 & 7.6) in all combinations for six weeks. Oxygen uptake was measured weekly during this period. As expected, M. gracillima had a higher overall oxygen uptake rate than H. cordifera. Both species had highly variable oxygen uptake and were significantly affected by the week was measured. H. cordifera experienced increased oxygen uptake at the higher temperature (32 °C) and as a result of interactive effects of time and pH 7.6. Both species experienced interactive effects of pH and temperature, but there was no clear pattern. Increased temperature positively affected arm regeneration in H. cordifera, increasing both length and percent recovery. There were no effects on disc regeneration observed in M gracillima, however lower pH decreased the dry weight in both intact and regenerating animals. Calcification, measured as percent inorganic content, was not affected in either species by regeneration, temperature or pH. Despite the minor effects on its physiology, M. gracillima experienced lower percent survivorship than H. cordifera. Temperature had the most effect, with survivorship higher at 28 °C, than at 25 °C or 32 °C. These results indicate that both species are operating near or at their physiological limits and may be unable to cope with future drastic changes.

Continue reading ‘Effects of CO2, pH and temperature on respiration and regeneration in the burrowing brittle stars Hemipholis cordifera and Microphiopholis gracillima’

Reef-building corals thrive within hot-acidified and deoxygenated waters

Coral reefs are deteriorating under climate change as oceans continue to warm and acidify and thermal anomalies grow in frequency and intensity. In vitro experiments are widely used to forecast reef-building coral health into the future, but often fail to account for the complex ecological and biogeochemical interactions that govern reefs. Consequently, observations from coral communities under naturally occurring extremes have become central for improved predictions of future reef form and function. Here, we present a semi-enclosed lagoon system in New Caledonia characterised by diel fluctuations of hot-deoxygenated water coupled with tidally driven persistently low pH, relative to neighbouring reefs. Coral communities within the lagoon system exhibited high richness (number of species = 20) and cover (24–35% across lagoon sites). Calcification rates for key species (Acropora formosa, Acropora pulchra, Coelastrea aspera and Porites lutea) for populations from the lagoon were equivalent to, or reduced by ca. 30–40% compared to those from the reef. Enhanced coral respiration, alongside high particulate organic content of the lagoon sediment, suggests acclimatisation to this trio of temperature, oxygen and pH changes through heterotrophic plasticity. This semi-enclosed lagoon therefore provides a novel system to understand coral acclimatisation to complex climatic scenarios and may serve as a reservoir of coral populations already resistant to extreme environmental conditions.

Continue reading ‘Reef-building corals thrive within hot-acidified and deoxygenated waters’

Ocean acidification compromises a planktic calcifier with implications for global carbon cycling

Anthropogenically-forced changes in ocean chemistry at both the global and regional scale have the potential to negatively impact calcifying plankton, which play a key role in ecosystem functioning and marine carbon cycling. We cultured a globally important calcifying marine plankter (the foraminifer, Globigerina bulloides) under an ecologically relevant range of seawater pH (7.5 to 8.3 total scale). Multiple metrics of calcification and physiological performance varied with pH. At pH > 8.0, increased calcification occurred without a concomitant rise in respiration rates. However, as pH declined from 8.0 to 7.5, calcification and oxygen consumption both decreased, suggesting a reduced ability to precipitate shell material accompanied by metabolic depression. Repair of spines, important for both buoyancy and feeding, was also reduced at pH < 7.7. The dependence of calcification, respiration, and spine repair on seawater pH suggests that foraminifera will likely be challenged by future ocean conditions. Furthermore, the nature of these effects has the potential to actuate changes in vertical transport of organic and inorganic carbon, perturbing feedbacks to regional and global marine carbon cycling. The biological impacts of seawater pH have additional, important implications for the use of foraminifera as paleoceanographic indicators.

Continue reading ‘Ocean acidification compromises a planktic calcifier with implications for global carbon cycling’

Bacterial community responses during a possible CO2 leaking from sub-seabed storage in marine polluted sediments

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is a viable option to reduce high concentrations of CO2 and mitigate their negative effects. This option has associated risks such as possible CO2 leakage from the storage sites. So far, negative effects deriving from a CO2 release have been reported for benthic macrofauna in both polluted and nonpolluted sediments. However, bacterial communities has no considered. In this work, risk assessment was carried out in order to evaluate the possible effects in a contaminated area considering bacterial responses (total number of cells, respiring activity, changes in the bacterial community composition and diversity). Four microcosms were placed into an integrated CO2 injection system with a non-pressurized chamber to simulate four different pH treatments (pH control 7.8, 7, 6.5 and 6). Results showed an impact on bacterial communities because of the CO2 treatment. Changes in respiring activity, community composition groups and diversity were found. This study highlights the use of respiring bacteria activity not only as bioindicator for environmental risk assessment and monitoring purposes but also as a bioindicador during a CO2 leakage event or CO2 enrichment process among all the responses studied.

Continue reading ‘Bacterial community responses during a possible CO2 leaking from sub-seabed storage in marine polluted sediments’


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Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

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