Posts Tagged 'temperature'

Influence of acidification and warming of seawater on biofouling by bacteria grown over API 5L steel

The acidification and warming of seawater have several impacts on marine organisms, including over microorganisms. The influence of acidification and warming of seawater on biofilms grown on API 5L steel surfaces was evaluated by sequencing the 16S ribosomal gene. For this, three microcosms were designed, the first simulating the natural marine environment (MCC), the second with a decrease in pH from 8.1 to 7.9, and an increase in temperature by 2 °C (MMS), and the third with pH in around 7.7 and an increase in temperature of 4 °C (MES). The results showed that MCC was dominated by the Gammaproteobacteria class, mainly members of the Alteromonadales Order. The second most abundant group was Alphaproteobacteria, with a predominance of Rhodobacterales and Oceanospirillales. In the MMS system there was a balance between representatives of the Gammaproteobacteria and Alphaproteobacteria classes. In MES there was an inversion in the representations of the most prevalent classes previously described in MCC. In this condition, there was a predominance of members of the Alphaproteobacteria Class, in contrast to the decrease in the abundance of Gammaproteobacteria members. These results suggest that possible future climate changes may influence the dynamics of the biofouling process in surface metals.

Continue reading ‘Influence of acidification and warming of seawater on biofouling by bacteria grown over API 5L steel’

Impaired antioxidant defenses and DNA damage in the European glass eel (Anguilla anguilla) exposed to ocean warming and acidification


  • European glass eels were lab-exposed to future warming and acidification conditions
  • Selected biomarkers were used to study physiological responses of glass eels
  • The antioxidant enzymatic machinery was impaired in the muscle and viscera
  • Heat shock response was different between tissues, increasing with temperature
  • The results emphasize the higher vulnerability of eels under climate change


The European eel (Anguilla anguilla) has attracted scientific inquiry for centuries due to its singular biological traits. Within the European Union, glass eel fisheries have declined sharply since 1980, from up to 2000 t (t) to 62.2 t in 2018, placing wild populations under higher risk of extinction. Among the major causes of glass eels collapse, climate change has become a growing worldwide issue, specifically ocean warming and acidification, but, to our knowledge, data on physiological and biochemical responses of glass eels to these stressors is limited. Within this context, we selected some representative biomarkers [e.g. glutathione peroxidase (GPx), catalase (CAT), total antioxidant capacity (TAC), heat shock proteins (HSP70), ubiquitin (Ub) and DNA damage] to study physiological responses of the European glass eel under distinct laboratory-climate change scenarios, such as increased water temperature (+ 4 °C) and pH reduction (− 0.4 units), for 12 weeks. Overall, the antioxidant enzymatic machinery was impaired, both in the muscle and viscera, manifested by significant changes in CAT, GPx and TAC. Heat shock response varied differently between tissues, increasing with temperature in the muscle, but not in the viscera, and decreasing in both tissues under acidification. The inability of HSP to maintain functional protein conformation was responsible for boosting the production of Ub, particularly under warming and acidification, as sole stressors. The overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS), either elicited by warming – due to increased metabolic demand – or acidification – through H+ interaction with O2, generating H2O2 – overwhelmed defense mechanisms, causing oxidative stress and consequently leading to protein and DNA damage. Our results emphasize the vulnerability of eels’ early life stages to climate change, with potential cascading consequences to adult stocks.

Continue reading ‘Impaired antioxidant defenses and DNA damage in the European glass eel (Anguilla anguilla) exposed to ocean warming and acidification’

Ocean acidification reduces skeletal density of hardground‐forming high‐latitude crustose coralline algae

Crustose coralline algae (CCA) function as foundation species by creating marine carbonate hardground habitats. High‐latitude species may be vulnerable to regional warming and acidification. Here, we report the results of an experiment investigating the impacts of CO2‐induced acidification (pCO2 ∼350, 490, 890, 3200 µatm) and temperature (∼6.5, 8.5, 12.5°C) on the skeletal density of two species of high‐latitude CCA: Clathromorphum compactum (CC) and C. nereostratum (CN). Skeletal density of both species significantly declined with pCO2. In CN, the density of previously deposited skeleton declined in the highest pCO2 treatment. This species was also unable to precipitate new skeleton at 12.5°C, suggesting that CN will be particularly sensitive to future warming and acidification. The decline in skeletal density exhibited by both species under future pCO2 conditions could reduce their skeletal strength, potentially rendering them more vulnerable to disturbance, and impairing their production of critical habitat in high‐latitude systems.

Continue reading ‘Ocean acidification reduces skeletal density of hardground‐forming high‐latitude crustose coralline algae’

Adaptive responses of free‐living and symbiotic microalgae to simulated future ocean conditions

Marine microalgae are a diverse group of microscopic eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms capable of photosynthesis. They are important primary producers and carbon sinks but their physiology and persistence are severely affected by global climate change. Powerful experimental evolution technologies are being used to examine the potential of microalgae to respond adaptively to current and predicted future conditions, as well as to develop resources to facilitate species conservation and restoration of ecosystem functions. This review synthesizes findings and insights from experimental evolution studies of marine microalgae in response to elevated temperature and/or pCO2. Adaptation to these environmental conditions has been observed in many studies of marine dinoflagellates, diatoms and coccolithophores. An enhancement in traits such as growth and photo‐physiological performance and an increase in upper thermal limit have been shown to be possible, although the extent and rate of change differ between microalgal taxa. Studies employing multiple monoclonal replicates showed variation in responses among replicates and revealed the stochasticity of mutations. The work to date is already providing valuable information on species’ climate sensitivity or resilience to managers and policy‐makers but extrapolating these insights to ecosystem and community level impacts continues to be a challenge. We recommend future work should include in situ experiments, diurnal and seasonal fluctuations, multiple drivers and multiple starting genotypes. Fitness trade‐offs, stable versus plastic responses and the genetic bases of the changes also need investigating, and the incorporation of genome resequencing into experimental designs will be invaluable.

Continue reading ‘Adaptive responses of free‐living and symbiotic microalgae to simulated future ocean conditions’

Influence of ocean acidification and warming on DMSP & DMS in New Zealand coastal water

The cycling of the trace gas dimethyl sulfide (DMS) and its precursor dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) may be affected by future ocean acidification and warming. DMSP and DMS concentrations were monitored over 20-days in four mesocosm experiments in which the temperature and pH of coastal water were manipulated to projected values for the year 2100 and 2150. This had no effect on DMSP in the two-initial nutrient-depleted experiments; however, in the two nutrient-amended experiments, warmer temperature combined with lower pH had a more significant effect on DMSP & DMS concentrations than lower pH alone. Overall, this indicates that future warming may have greater influence on DMS production than ocean acidification. The observed reduction in DMSP at warmer temperatures was associated with changes in phytoplankton community and in particular with small flagellate biomass. A small decrease in DMS concentration was measured in the treatments relative to other studies, from −2% in the nutrient-amended low pH treatment to −16% in the year 2150 pH and temperature conditions. Temporal variation was also observed with DMS concentration increasing earlier in the higher temperature treatment. Nutrient availability and community composition should be considered in models of future DMS.

Continue reading ‘Influence of ocean acidification and warming on DMSP & DMS in New Zealand coastal water’

The Mediterranean mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis: responses to climate change scenarios as a function of the original habitat

The impact of simulated seawater acidification and warming conditions on specimens of the mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis locally adapted to very distinct, widely separated sites in the Mediterranean Sea (Tunisia) and Atlantic Sea (Galicia, NW Spain) was evaluated in relation to key behavioral and eco-physiological parameters. Over the 2-month exposure to the experimental conditions, mussels were fed optimally to ensure that there are no synergistic interactions between climate change drivers and energetic status of the individuals. In general, regardless of origin (Atlantic or Mediterranean), the mussels were rather resilient to acidification for most of the parameters considered and they were able to grow in strongly acidified seawater through an increased feeding activity. However, shell strength decreased (40%) consistently in both mussel populations held in moderately and highly acidified seawater. The observed reduction in shell strength was not explained by slight alterations in organic matter, shell thickness or aragonite: calcite ratio. The combined effects of high acidification and warming on the key response of byssus strength caused a strong decline in mussel performance, although only in Galician mussels, in which the valve opening time decreased sharply as well as condition index (soft tissue state) and shell growth. By contrast, the observed negative effect of highly acidified scenario on the strength of Tunisian mussel shells was (partly but not totally) counterbalanced by the higher seawater temperature. Eco-physiological and behavioral interactions in mussels in relation to climate change are complex, and future scenarios for the ecology of the species and also the feasibility of cultivating them in Atlantic and Mediterranean zones are discussed.

Continue reading ‘The Mediterranean mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis: responses to climate change scenarios as a function of the original habitat’

Effect of environmental history on the habitat-forming kelp Macrocystis pyrifera responses to ocean acidification and warming: a physiological and molecular approach

The capacity of marine organisms to adapt and/or acclimate to climate change might differ among distinct populations, depending on their local environmental history and phenotypic plasticity. Kelp forests create some of the most productive habitats in the world, but globally, many populations have been negatively impacted by multiple anthropogenic stressors. Here, we compare the physiological and molecular responses to ocean acidification (OA) and warming (OW) of two populations of the giant kelp Macrocystis pyrifera from distinct upwelling conditions (weak vs strong). Using laboratory mesocosm experiments, we found that juvenile Macrocystis sporophyte responses to OW and OA did not differ among populations: elevated temperature reduced growth while OA had no effect on growth and photosynthesis. However, we observed higher growth rates and NO3 assimilation, and enhanced expression of metabolic-genes involved in the NO3 and CO2 assimilation in individuals from the strong upwelling site. Our results suggest that despite no inter-population differences in response to OA and OW, intrinsic differences among populations might be related to their natural variability in CO2, NO3 and seawater temperatures driven by coastal upwelling. Further work including additional populations and fluctuating climate change conditions rather than static values are needed to precisely determine how natural variability in environmental conditions might influence a species’ response to climate change.

Continue reading ‘Effect of environmental history on the habitat-forming kelp Macrocystis pyrifera responses to ocean acidification and warming: a physiological and molecular approach’

Adaptation of a marine diatom to ocean acidification and warming reveals constraints and trade-offs


  • Ocean warming is the main driver for the adaptation of a marine diatom
  • The adaptation resulting from warming can be constrained by ocean acidification
  • The adaptations to ocean acidification and warming come with trade-offs


Ocean acidification and warming are recognized as two major anthropogenic perturbations of the modern ocean. However, little is known about the adaptive response of phytoplankton to them. Here we examine the adaptation of a marine diatom Thalassiosira weissflogiito ocean acidification in combination with ocean warming. Our results show that ocean warming have a greater effect than acidification on the growth of T. weissflogiiover the long-term selection experiment (~380 generations), as well as many temperature response traits (e.g., optimum temperatures for photosynthesis, maximal net photosynthetic oxygen evolution rates, activation energy) in thermal reaction norm. These results suggest that ocean warming is the main driver for the evolution of the marine diatom T. weissflogii, rather than oceanacidification. However, the evolution resulting fromwarming can be constrained by ocean acidification, where ocean warming did not impose any effects at high CO2level. Furthermore, adaptationsto ocean warming alone or to the combination of ocean acidification and warming comewith trade-offs by inhibiting photochemical performances. The constrains and trade-offs associated with the adaptation to ocean acidification and warming demonstrated in this study, should be considered for parameterizing evolutionary responses in eco-evolutionary models of phytoplankton dynamics in a future ocean.

Continue reading ‘Adaptation of a marine diatom to ocean acidification and warming reveals constraints and trade-offs’

American lobster postlarvae alter gene regulation in response to ocean warming and acidification

Anthropogenic carbon emissions released into the atmosphere is driving rapid, concurrent increases in temperature and acidity across the world’s oceans. Disentangling the interactive effects of warming and acidification on vulnerable life stages is important to our understanding of responses of marine species to climate change. This study evaluates the interactive effects of these stressors on the acute response of gene expression of postlarval American lobster (Homarus americanus), a species whose geographic range is warming and acidifying faster than most of the world’s oceans. In the context of our experiment, we found two especially noteworthy results: First, although physiological end points have consistently been shown to be more responsive to warming in similar experimental designs, our study found gene regulation to be considerably more responsive to elevated pCO2. Furthermore, the combined effect of both stressors on gene regulation was significantly greater than either stressor alone. Using a full factorial experimental design, lobsters were raised in control and elevated pCO2 concentrations (400 ppm and 1,200 ppm) and temperatures (16°C and 19°C). A transcriptome was assembled from an identified 414,517 unique transcripts. Overall, 1,108 transcripts were differentially expressed across treatments, several of which were related to stress response and shell formation. When temperature alone was elevated (19°C), larvae downregulated genes related to cuticle development; when pCO2 alone was elevated (1,200 ppm), larvae upregulated chitinase as well as genes related to stress response and immune function. The joint effects of end‐century stressors (19°C, 1,200 ppm) resulted in the upregulation of those same genes, as well as cellulase, the downregulation of calcified cuticle proteins, and a greater upregulation of genes related to immune response and function. These results indicate that changes in gene expression in larval lobster provide a mechanism to respond to stressors resulting from a rapidly changing environment.

Continue reading ‘American lobster postlarvae alter gene regulation in response to ocean warming and acidification’

Long-term thermal acclimation drives adaptive physiological adjustments of a marine gastropod to reduce sensitivity to climate change


  • The effects of thermal history on thermal threshold and physiology were assessed.
  • Gastropods acclimated to warmer environments had higher thermal threshold (CTmax).
  • Warm-acclimated gastropods were metabolically less active than cool-acclimated ones.
  • Energy conservation appeared to be a strategy for thermal acclimation.
  • Long-term thermal acclimation may allow marine organisms to adjust to climate change.


Ocean warming is predicted to challenge the persistence of a variety of marine organisms, especially when combined with ocean acidification. Whilst temperature affects virtually all physiological processes, the extent to which thermal history mediates the adaptive capacity of marine organisms to climate change has been largely overlooked. Using populations of a marine gastropod (Turbo undulatus) with different thermal histories (cool vs. warm), we compared their physiological adjustments following exposure (8-week) to ocean acidification and warming. Compared to cool-acclimated counterparts, we found that warm-acclimated individuals had higher thermal threshold (i.e. increased CTmax by 2°C), which was unaffected by the exposure to ocean acidification and warming. Thermal history also strongly mediated physiological effects, where warm-acclimated individuals adjusted to warming by conserving energy, suggested by lower respiration and ingestion rates, energy budget (i.e. scope for growth) and O:N ratio. After exposure to warming, warm-acclimated individuals had higher metabolic rates and greater energy budget due to boosted ingestion rates, but such compensatory feeding disappeared when combined with ocean acidification. Overall, we suggest that thermal history can be a critical mediator of physiological performance under future climatic conditions. Given the relatively gradual rate of global warming, marine organisms may be better able to adaptively adjust their physiology to future climate than what short-term experiments currently convey.

Continue reading ‘Long-term thermal acclimation drives adaptive physiological adjustments of a marine gastropod to reduce sensitivity to climate change’

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Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book