Posts Tagged 'respiration'

Future CO2-induced seawater acidification mediates the physiological performance of a green alga Ulva linza in different photoperiods

Photoperiods have an important impact on macroalgae living in the intertidal zone. Ocean acidification also influences the physiology of macroalgae. However, little is known about the interaction between ocean acidification and photoperiod on macroalgae. In this study, a green alga Ulva linza was cultured under three different photoperiods (L: D = 8:16, 12:12, 16:8) and two different CO2 levels (LC, 400 ppm; HC, 1,000 ppm) to investigate their responses. The results showed that relative growth rate of U. linza increased with extended light periods under LC but decreased at HC when exposed to the longest light period of 16 h compared to 12 h. Higher CO2 levels enhanced the relative growth rate at a L: D of 8:16, had no effect at 12:12 but reduced RGR at 16:8. At LC, the L: D of 16:8 significantly stimulated maximum quantum yield (Yield). Higher CO2 levels enhanced Yield at L: D of 12:12 and 8:16, had negative effect at 16:8. Non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) increased with increasing light period. High CO2 levels did not affect respiration rate during shorter light periods but enhanced it at a light period of 16 h. Longer light periods had negative effects on Chl a and Chl b content, and high CO2 level also inhibited the synthesis of these pigments. Our data demonstrate the interactive effects of CO2 and photoperiod on the physiological characteristics of the green tide macroalga Ulva linza and indicate that future ocean acidification may hinder the stimulatory effect of long light periods on growth of Ulva species.

Continue reading ‘Future CO2-induced seawater acidification mediates the physiological performance of a green alga Ulva linza in different photoperiods’

Extreme, but not moderate climate scenarios, impart sublethal effects on polyps of the Irukandji jellyfish, Carukia barnesi

• Sublethal effects on Carukia barnesi polyps only manifested in extreme conditions.

• Individual metabolites were suppressed in extreme pH and elevated temperature treatments.

• C. barnesi polyps are unaffected by the most optimistic climate scenario and can survive in extreme conditions.

Ocean acidification and warming, fueled by excess atmospheric carbon dioxide, can impose stress on marine organisms. Most studies testing the effects of climate change on marine organisms, however, use extreme climate projection scenarios, despite moderate projections scenarios being most likely to occur. Here, we examined the interactive effects of warming and acidification on reproduction, respiration, mobility and metabolic composition of polyps of the Irukandji jellyfish, Carukia barnesi, to determine the responses of a cubozoan jellyfish to moderate and extreme climate scenarios in Queensland, Australia. The experiment consisted two orthogonal factors: temperature (current 25 °C and future 28 °C) and pH (current (8.0) moderate (7.9) and extreme (7.7)). All polyps survived in the experiment but fewer polyps were produced in the pH 7.7 treatment compared to pH 7.9 and pH 8.0. Respiration rates were elevated in the lowest pH treatment throughout most of the experiment and polyps were approximately half as mobile in this treatment compared to pH 7.9 and pH 8.0, regardless of temperature. We identified metabolites occurring at significantly lower relative abundance in the lowest pH (i.e. glutamate, acetate, betaine, methylguanidine, lysine, sarcosine, glycine) and elevated temperature (i.e. proline, trigonelline, creatinine, mannose, acetate, betaine, methylguanidine, lysine, sarcosine) treatments. Glycine was the only metabolite exhibiting an interactive effect between pH and temperature. Our results suggest that C. barnesi polyps are unaffected by the most optimistic climate scenario and may tolerate even extreme climate conditions to some extent.

Continue reading ‘Extreme, but not moderate climate scenarios, impart sublethal effects on polyps of the Irukandji jellyfish, Carukia barnesi’

Physiological differences in photosynthetic inorganic carbon utilization between gametophytes and sporophytes of the economically important red algae Pyropia haitanensis


• The thalli of Py. haitanensis showed higher photosynthetic rates and Fv/Fm than the conchocelis.

• The DIC affinity of the thalli were significant higher than the conchocelis.

• The photosynthetic rates of both thalli and conchocelis were highly increased by an increase of CO2 from 80 to 87,730 ppmv.


Despite the lifecycle of the red seaweed Pyropia/Porphyra being extensively studied, photosynthesis and the CO2 concentrating mechanisms (CCMs) have comparatively not been well studied between the gametophyte phase (leafy thallus) and the sporophyte phase (filamentous conchocelis). This study found that the net photosynthetic rates of the thalli were about twice that of the conchocelis of Py. haitanensis, and the maximal quantum yield of photosystem II (Fv/Fm) and thallus respiration were significantly higher and lower than the conchocelis, respectively. Additionally, two phases did not show significant differences in phycocyanin (PC) content, but significantly higher contents of phycoerythrin (PE), allophycocyanin (APC), and chlorophyll α (Chl α) were observed in the thalli compared with the conchocelis. The external carbonic anhydrase (eCA) activity of the thalli was also higher than that of the conchocelis, but no differences in internal CA (iCA) activity were detected between the two phases. As for carbon acquisition for photosynthesis, the major carbon source of the thalli was seawater HCO3−, which was absorbed via eCA-catalyzed conversion to CO2. Conversely, the conchocelis used HCO3− transporters to directly absorb seawater HCO3−, which contributed equally to photosynthesis compared with the eCA- or iCA-mediated pathway. The discovery of different CCMs between the thallus and conchocelis phases could further our understanding of lifecycle regulation in Pyropia. In addition, a decrease in pH from 9 to 6 significantly increased the photosynthetic rates of both the thalli and conchocelis by about 100% and 600%, respectively. Thus, both phases have potential for carbon capture from flue gases and carbon sequestration.

Continue reading ‘Physiological differences in photosynthetic inorganic carbon utilization between gametophytes and sporophytes of the economically important red algae Pyropia haitanensis’

Impacts of ocean acidification on carboxylated carbon nanotube effects induced in the clam species Ruditapes philippinarum

Although the increased production of nanoparticles (NPs) has raised extensive concerns about the potential toxic effects on aquatic organisms, as well as the increasing evidences which documented the impact of ocean acidification (OA) on the physiology and fitness of marine invertebrates, limited number of studies reported their combined toxic effects. For these reasons, in the present study, we investigated the physiological and biochemical responses of one of the most economically important bivalve species in the World, the Manila clam Ruditapes philippinarum, after the exposure to an environmnetally relevant concentration of carboxylated carbon nanotubes and predicted OA conditions. The results showed that the organisms were not only susceptible to NPs but also to seawater acidification. Different responses between low pH and NPs for most tested biomarkers were observed, both in terms of physiological (respiration rate) and biochemical responses (metabolic capacity, oxitative status and neurotoxicity). Acidified pH significantly decreased the respiration rate and metabolism and increased the energy reserves consumption. Moreover, increase of the oxidative damage was also detected under this condition confirming that the mechanism of enhanced toxicity in the organisms should be attributed to lower aggregation state with more suspended NPs in acidified seawater, indicating that seawater acidification significantly influenced the impact of the used NPs in the exposed organisms.

Continue reading ‘Impacts of ocean acidification on carboxylated carbon nanotube effects induced in the clam species Ruditapes philippinarum’

Describing seasonal marine carbon system processes in Cambridge Bay Nunavut using an innovative sensor platform

The marine carbonate system is a critical component of global biogeochemical cycles. It determines a given marine region’s status as a source or sink for atmospheric CO2, and long-term changes (i.e. ocean acidification) that can affect key ecosystem functions. Carbonate system processes are highly-variable through space and time, which makes it difficult to fully characterize a region without either intensive sampling, or long-term deployment of high-precision instruments. Both of these are difficult in the Arctic, where challenging logistics limit sampling opportunities, and instruments must endure extreme conditions. In this work, we present the first high-resolution marine carbon system dataset covering a full Arctic cycle of sea ice growth and melt. We deployed a Satlantic SeaFET Ocean pH Sensor and a Pro-Oceanus CO2-Pro CV sensor for consecutive nearly year-long deployments onboard the Cambridge Bay Ocean Networks Canada Undersea Community Observatory from September 2015 – June 2018. The sensors measurements were compared to discrete sample references, and determined to require multipoint in situ calibration, but were representative of the greater sea surface mixed layer inside the bay through most of the year. Using a diagnostic box model approach, seasonal influencing processes on the marine carbon system at the platform were quantitatively determined. Air-sea gas exchange and biologic respiration/ remineralization were dominant in the fall, whereas following sea ice freeze-up brine rejection drove pCO2 to seasonal supersaturation with respect to the atmosphere, and the aragonite saturation state to become undersaturated. Shortly after the sun rose under the ice in the late winter, the ecosystem at the platform became net autotrophic at very low light levels, driving pCO2 to undersaturation. As sea ice melted, an under-ice phytoplankton bloom drew down a significant amount of carbon before the open water season, returning the aragonite saturation state to supersaturation at the platform. These observations show a dynamic system, where biological processes occur at times and rates previously unknown to the literature. These processes will need to be included in future biogeochemical modelling efforts, if we are to properly resolve the current, and future, role of the Arctic Ocean basin in global biogeochemical cycles.

Continue reading ‘Describing seasonal marine carbon system processes in Cambridge Bay Nunavut using an innovative sensor platform’

Temporal effects of ocean warming and acidification on coral–algal competition

While there is an ever-expanding list of impacts on coral reefs as a result of ocean warming and acidification, there is little information on how these global changes influence coral–algal competition. The present study assessed the impact of business-as-usual ocean warming and acidification conditions on the survivorship, calcification, photosynthesis and respiration of the coral–algal interaction between the macroalga Halimeda heteromorpha and the coral Acropora intermedia over 8 weeks in two seasons. The physiological responses of A. intermedia and H. heteromorpha were highly dependent on season, with both organisms demonstrating optimal rates of calcification and photosynthesis under present-day conditions in summer. Contact with H. heteromorpha did not influence A. intermedia survivorship, however did reduce long-term calcification rates. Photosynthetic rates of A. intermedia were influenced by algal contact temporally in opposing directions, with rates reduced in winter and increased in summer. Enhanced photosynthetic rates as a result of algal contact were not enough to offset the combined effects of ocean warming and acidification, which regardless of coral–algal contact, reduced survivorship, calcification and photosynthesis of A. intermedia and the calcification rates of H. heteromorpha. These findings provide experimental support for the idea that the effects of coral–algal competition are temporally variable, and help improve our understanding of how future ocean warming and acidification may alter the dynamics of coral–algal interactions.

Continue reading ‘Temporal effects of ocean warming and acidification on coral–algal competition’

Grazers increase the sensitivity of coralline algae to ocean acidification and warming


  • Stimulation of the primary production and calcification of corallines by grazing
  • Different response of maerl between winter and summer conditions
  • High vulnerability of corallines to ocean acidification in the presence of grazers


Coralline algae are expected to be adversely impacted by ocean acidification and warming. Most research on these algae has involved experiments on isolated species, without considering species interactions, such as grazing. This myopic view is challenging because the impact of climate change on coralline algae will depend on the direct impacts on individual coralline species and the indirect effects of altered interactions with other species. Here, we tested the influence of grazing on the response of the coralline alga Lithothamnion corallioides to near-future ocean acidification and warming. Two three-month experiments were performed in the winter and summer seasons in mesocosms under crossed conditions of pCO2 (ambient and high pCO2) and temperature (ambient and +3 °C) in the presence and absence of grazers. In the winter, L. corallioides photosynthesis decreased with rising temperature in the presence of grazers, while calcification increased. It is likely that increased calcification may act as a structural protection to prevent damage from grazing. However, increasing calcification rates in the presence of grazers may be detrimental to other physiological processes, such as photosynthesis. In the summer, L. corallioides primary production, respiration, and calcification were higher in the presence of grazers than in their absence. Light calcification rates were reduced under high pCO2 in the presence of grazers only. Moreover, dark calcification rates were more adversely affected by pCO2 increase in the presence of grazers. Through their feeding activity, grazers may alter the structural integrity of thalli and increase the sensitivity of coralline algae to ocean acidification. Our results indicate that both season and grazing play a key role in the response of L. corallioides to acidification and warming. Seasonal variations and species interactions are thus critical to consider to make ecologically relevant predictions of the effects of future environmental changes.

Continue reading ‘Grazers increase the sensitivity of coralline algae to ocean acidification and warming’

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Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

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