Posts Tagged 'temperature'

Transcriptomic response to decreased pH in adult, larval and juvenile red king crab, Paralithodes camtschaticus, and interactive effects of pH and temperature on juveniles

Ocean warming and acidification are expected to influence the biology of the ecologically and economically important red king crab, Paralithodes camtschaticus. We investigated transcriptome responses of adult, larval and juvenile red king crab to assess sensitivity to reduced pH and elevated temperature. In adults, gill tissue (but not heart or cuticle) responded to reduced pH by differentially regulating many genes involved in metabolic, membrane and cuticular processes, but not ionic or acid/base regulation. In larval crabs, we found little evidence for a strong transcriptomic response to pH, but did observe large differences in the transcriptomes of newly hatched and one-week old larvae. In juvenile crabs, we found that there was a strong transcriptomic response to temperature across all pH conditions, but that only extreme low pH caused transcriptomic shifts. Most of the genes in juveniles that were differentially expressed were for cuticular and calcification processes. While inferences regarding the specific biological responses associated with changes in gene expression are likely to change as resources for red king crab genomics enabled studies continue to improve (i.e. better assemblies and annotation), our inferences about general sensitivities to temperature and pH across the life stages of red king crab are robust and unlikely to shift. Overall, our data suggest that red king crab are more sensitive to warming than acidification, and that responses to acidification at the transcriptomic level occur at different levels of pH across life stages, with juveniles being less pH sensitive than adults.

Continue reading ‘Transcriptomic response to decreased pH in adult, larval and juvenile red king crab, Paralithodes camtschaticus, and interactive effects of pH and temperature on juveniles’

Response of coralline algae Porolithon onkodes to elevated seawater temperature and reduced pH

Coralline algae (CA), a type of primary calcifying producer presented in coastal ecosystems, are considered one of the highly sensitive organisms to marine environmental change. However, experimental studies on coralline algae responses to elevated seawater temperature and reduced pH have documented either contradictory or opposite results. In this study, we analysed the growth and physiological responses of coralline algae Porolithon onkodes to the elevated temperature (30.8°C) and reduced pH (7.8). The aim of this analysis was to observe the direct and combined effects, while elucidating the growth and photosynthesis in this response. It was demonstrated that the algae thallus growth rate and photosynthesis under elevated temperature were depressed by 21.5% and 14.9% respectively. High pCO2 enhanced the growth and photosynthesis of the thallus at ambient temperature, while they were deceased when both temperature and pCO2 were elevated. CA is among the most sensitive organisms to ocean acidification (OA) because of their precipitate high Mg-calcite. We hypothesize that coralline algae could increase their calcification rate in order to counteract the effects of moderate acidification, but offset by the effect of elevated temperature. Accordingly, our results also support the conclusion that global warming (GW) is a stronger threat to algal performance than OA. Our findings are also proposed that coralline algae may be more
resilient under OA than GW.

Continue reading ‘Response of coralline algae Porolithon onkodes to elevated seawater temperature and reduced pH’

Paradise lost: end‐of‐century warming and acidification under business‐as‐usual emissions have severe consequences for symbiotic corals

Despite recent efforts to curtail greenhouse gas emissions, current global emission trajectories are still following the business‐as‐usual RCP8.5 emission pathway. The resulting ocean warming and acidification have transformative impacts on coral reef ecosystems, detrimentally affecting coral physiology and health, and these impacts are predicted to worsen in the near future. In this study, we kept fragments of the symbiotic corals Acropora intermedia (thermally sensitive) and Porites lobata (thermally tolerant) for 7 weeks under an orthogonal design of predicted end‐of‐century RCP8.5 conditions for temperature and pCO2 (3.5 °C and 570 ppm above present‐day respectively) to unravel how temperature and acidification, individually or interactively, influence metabolic and physiological performance. Our results pinpoint thermal stress as the dominant driver of deteriorating health in both species because of its propensity to destabilize coral‐dinoflagellate symbiosis (bleaching). Acidification had no influence on metabolism but had a significant negative effect on skeleton growth, particularly when photosynthesis was absent such as in bleached corals or under dark conditions. Total loss of photosynthesis after bleaching caused an exhaustion of protein and lipid stores and collapse of calcification that ultimately led to A. intermedia mortality. Despite complete loss of symbionts from its tissue, P. lobata maintained small amounts of photosynthesis and experienced a weaker decline in lipid and protein reserves that presumably contributed to higher survival of this species. Our results indicate that ocean warming and acidification under business‐as‐usual CO2 emission scenarios will likely extirpate thermally‐sensitive coral species before the end of the century, while slowing the recovery of more thermally‐tolerant species from increasingly severe mass coral bleaching and mortality. This could ultimately lead to the gradual disappearance of tropical coral reefs globally, and a shift on surviving reefs to only the most resilient coral species.

Continue reading ‘Paradise lost: end‐of‐century warming and acidification under business‐as‐usual emissions have severe consequences for symbiotic corals’

Clam feeding plasticity reduces herbivore vulnerability to ocean warming and acidification

Ocean warming and acidification affect species populations, but how interactions within communities are affected and how this translates into ecosystem functioning and resilience remain poorly understood. Here we demonstrate that experimental ocean warming and acidification significantly alters the interaction network among porewater nutrients, primary producers, herbivores and burrowing invertebrates in a seafloor sediment community, and is linked to behavioural plasticity in the clam Scrobicularia plana. Warming and acidification induced a shift in the clam’s feeding mode from predominantly suspension feeding under ambient conditions to deposit feeding with cascading effects on nutrient supply to primary producers. Surface-dwelling invertebrates were more tolerant to warming and acidification in the presence of S. plana, most probably due to the stimulatory effect of the clam on their microalgal food resources. This study demonstrates that predictions of population resilience to climate change require consideration of non-lethal effects such as behavioural changes of key species.

Continue reading ‘Clam feeding plasticity reduces herbivore vulnerability to ocean warming and acidification’

Paths to growth: exploring the effects of reduced pH and increased temperature on a fisheries-important prawn

Crustaceans are relatively understudied in regards to their vulnerability to the changing ocean conditions of ocean acidification and ocean warming. Although they are generally considered less vulnerable to reduced pH and increased temperature than other calcifying groups, studies have found potential effects on their growth, energy storage, and prey detection. In this study, we examined the vulnerability of the ridgeback prawn, Sicyonia ingentis, which is a commercially important species along the West coast of the United States. Prawn were exposed to reduced pH (7.50 ± 0.02; pCO₂ = 1475 ± 25 µatm) and increased temperature (16.2 ± 0.7°C) conditions in a full factorial design for twelve weeks. Prawns were monitored for survival and growth throughout the experiment. At the end of the experiment, their prey detection was analyzed via antennular flicking rates, and they were dissected for Gonadosomatic Index (GSI) and Hepatosomatic Index (HSI) measurements, which are indicators of gonad development, energy storage, and the trade-off between the two. No significant effect of treatment was found for antennular flicking, GSI, or HSI. The second molt increment was significantly less in the reduced pH/increased temperature treatment in comparison to the control (ANOVA: F3,18 = 3.36, p = 0.04), but growth over the experiment did not differ among treatments. Survival was significantly lower in the reduced pH/increased temperature treatment. S. ingentis is robust to a pH below its natural range, but the synergistic effects of reduced pH and increased temperature have a significant impact on mortality.

Continue reading ‘Paths to growth: exploring the effects of reduced pH and increased temperature on a fisheries-important prawn’

Algal density mediates the photosynthetic responses of a marine macroalga Ulva conglobata (Chlorophyta) to temperature and pH changes


• Increased algal densities reduce photosynthesis and respiration of Ulva conglobata.

• Algal density mediates the interactive effect of increased temperature and lowered pH.

• Altered temperature and pH oppositely affect photosynthetic rate and saturation light.


Growing of macroalgae increases their biomass densities in natural habitats. To explore how the altered algal density impacts their photosynthetic responses to changes of environmental factors, we compared the photosynthesis versus irradiance characteristics of a marine green macroalga Ulva conglobata under low [2.0 g fresh weight (FW) L−1], medium (6.0 g FW L−1) and high biomass densities (12.0 g FW L−1), and under a matrix of temperatures (20, 25, 30 and 35 °C) and pH levels (7.8, 8.2 and 8.6). Increased algal densities decreased the photosynthetic O2 evolution rate among all combined temperature and pH treatments, in parallel with the decrease of light-utilizing efficiency (α, the initial slope) and maximum photosynthetic rate (Pmax) and the increase of light saturation point (EK). Rising temperature interacted with lowered pH to increase the α under low but not under high algal densities. Rising temperature increased the Pmax and decreased the EK under low algal density, but not under high density. Lowered pH promoted the Pmax and EK under all three algal densities. The increased temperature enhanced the dark respiration (Rd) and light compensation point (EC), while the altered pH showed a limited effect. Moreover, the increased algal density reduced the Rd, and had a limited effect on the EC. In addition, our results indicate that changing algal densities caused the complex photophysiological changes in responses to the temperature and pH changes, and these complex responses resolved into a close relation between Rd and Pmax across the matrix of temperatures and pH levels.

Continue reading ‘Algal density mediates the photosynthetic responses of a marine macroalga Ulva conglobata (Chlorophyta) to temperature and pH changes’

Blue mussel (Genus Mytilus) transcriptome response to simulated climate change in the Gulf of Maine

The biogeochemistry of the Gulf of Maine (GOM) is rapidly changing in response to the changing climate, including rising temperatures, acidification, and declining primary productivity. These impacts are projected to worsen over the next 100 y and will apply selective pressure on populations of marine calcifiers. This study investigates the transcriptome expression response to these changes in ecologically and economically important marine calcifiers, blue mussels. Wild mussels (Mytilus edulis and Mytilus trossulus) were sampled from sites spanning the GOM and exposed to two different biogeochemical water conditions: (1) present-day conditions in the GOM and (2) simulated future conditions, which included elevated temperature, increased acidity, and decreased food supply. Patterns of gene expression were measured using RNA sequencing from 24 mussel samples and contrasted between ambient and future conditions. The net calcification rate, a trait predicted to be under climate-induced stress, was measured for each individual over a 2-wk exposure period and used as a covariate along with gene expression patterns. Generalized linear models, with and without the calcification rate, were used to identify differentially expressed transcripts between ambient and future conditions. The comparison revealed transcripts that likely comprise a core stress response characterized by the induction of molecular chaperones, genes involved in aerobic metabolism, and indicators of cellular stress. Furthermore, the model contrasts revealed transcripts that may be associated with individual variation in calcification rate and suggest possible biological processes that may have downstream effects on calcification phenotypes, such as zinc-ion binding and protein degradation. Overall, these findings contribute to the understanding of blue mussel adaptive responses to imminent climate change and suggest metabolic pathways are resilient in variable environments.

Continue reading ‘Blue mussel (Genus Mytilus) transcriptome response to simulated climate change in the Gulf of Maine’

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Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book