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.
Warming and acidification are expected impact of climate change that will affect marine areas in the future. These areas are, furthermore, vulnerable to strong anthropogenic stresses such as chemical pollutants. Nevertheless, the consequences of both stressors for marine ecosystems and organisms are still unidentified. The present study aims to examine, for the first time, the effect of temperature and CO2 pressure increase on bioaccumulation of phenanthrene as a PAHs model in four tissues, gills, digestive gland, muscle and mantle of a commercially important pearl oyster Pinctada radiata. Oysters were exposed to various combination of the ambient temperature and pH currently measured in Persian Gulf (T = 24 ºC and pH = 8.1) and the expected ocean warming and acidification (T = 28 ºC and pH = 7.6), as well as proper PhE concentration (0.8 ng.l− 1) during 28 days. In all exposures, higher PhE contents were observed under hypercapnia and warming condition in the digestive gland and gills, followed by the mantle and muscle. Generally, the results visibly reveal that longer exposure period led to promote PhE bioaccumulation in all tissues under ocean warming and acidification environment which was time-dependent pattern of PhE accumulation in P.radiata. Present-day PhE environmental concentrations, which combined with ocean warming and acidification, may lead to rigorous interruption of physiological functions can be extra threatened the ecological fitness of pearl oysters.
Symbiosis establishment is a milestone in the life cycles of most broadcast-spawning corals; however, it remains largely unknown how initial symbiont infection is affected by ocean warming and acidification, particularly for massive corals. This study investigated the combined effects of elevated temperature (29 vs. 31 °C) and pCO2 (~ 450 vs. ~ 1000 μatm) on the recruits of a widespread massive coral, Platygyra daedalea. Results showed that geometric diameter and symbiosis establishment were unaffected by high pCO2, while elevated temperature significantly reduced successful symbiont infection by 50% and retarded the geometric diameter by 6%. Although neither increased temperature, pCO2, nor their interaction affected survival or algal pigmentation of recruits, there was an inverse relationship between symbiont infection rates and survivorship, especially at high temperatures, possibly as a result of oxidative stress caused by algal symbionts under increased temperature. Intriguingly, the proportion of Durusdinium did not increase in recruits at 31 °C, while recruits reared under high pCO2 hosted less Breviolum and more Durusdinium, indicating a high degree of plasticity of early symbiosis and contrasting to the previous finding that heat stress usually leads to the prevalence of thermally tolerant Durusdinium in coral recruits. These results suggest that ocean warming is likely to be more deleterious for the early success of P. daedalea than ocean acidification and provide insights into our understanding of coral-algal symbiotic partnerships under future climatic conditions.
The sponge-associated microbial community contributes to the overall health and adaptive capacity of the sponge holobiont. This community is regulated by the environment and the immune system of the host. However, little is known about the effect of environmental stress on the regulation of host immune functions and how this may, in turn, affect sponge–microbe interactions. In this study, we compared the bacterial diversity and immune repertoire of the demosponge, Neopetrosia compacta, and the calcareous sponge, Leucetta chagosensis, under varying levels of acidification and warming stress based on climate scenarios predicted for 2100. Neopetrosia compacta harbors a diverse microbial community and possesses a rich repertoire of scavenger receptors while L. chagosensis has a less diverse microbiome and an expanded range of pattern recognition receptors and immune response-related genes. Upon exposure to RCP 8.5 conditions, the microbiome composition and host transcriptome of N. compacta remained stable, which correlated with high survival (75%). In contrast, tissue necrosis and low survival (25%) of L. chagosensis was accompanied by microbial community shifts and downregulation of host immune-related pathways. Meta-analysis of microbiome diversity and immunological repertoire across poriferan classes further highlights the importance of host–microbe interactions in predicting the fate of sponges under future ocean conditions.
Changes to calcium carbonate (CaCO3) biomineralization in aquatic organisms is among the many predicted effects of climate change. Because otolith (hearing/orientation structures in fish) CaCO3 precipitation and polymorph composition are controlled by genetic and environmental factors, climate change may be predicted to affect the phenotypic plasticity of otoliths. We examined precipitation of otolith polymorphs (aragonite, vaterite, calcite) during early life history in two species of sturgeon, Lake Sturgeon, (Acipenser fulvescens) and White Sturgeon (A. transmontanus), using quantitative X-ray microdiffraction. Both species showed similar fluctuations in otolith polymorphs with a significant shift in the proportions of vaterite and aragonite in sagittal otoliths coinciding with the transition to fully exogenous feeding. We also examined the effect of the environment on otolith morphology and polymorph composition during early life history in Lake Sturgeon larvae reared in varying temperature (16/22 °C) and pCO2 (1000/2500 µatm) environments for 5 months. Fish raised in elevated temperature had significantly increased otolith size and precipitation of large single calcite crystals. Interestingly, pCO2 had no statistically significant effect on size or polymorph composition of otoliths despite blood pH exhibiting a mild alkalosis, which is contrary to what has been observed in several studies on marine fishes. These results suggest climate change may influence otolith polymorph composition during early life history in Lake Sturgeon.
Global change, including rising temperatures and acidification, threatens corals globally. Although bleaching events reveal fine-scale patterns of resilience, traits enabling persistence under global change remain elusive. We conducted a 95-d controlled-laboratory experiment investigating how duration of exposure to warming (~28, 31°C), acidification (pCO2 ~ 343 [present day], ~663 [end of century], ~3109 [extreme] μatm), and their combination influences physiology of reef-building corals (Siderastrea siderea, Pseudodiploria strigosa) from two reef zones on the Belize Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System. Every 30 d, net calcification rate, host protein and carbohydrate, chlorophyll a, and symbiont density were quantified for the same coral individual to characterize acclimation potential under global change. Coral physiologies of the two species were differentially affected by stressors and exposure duration was found to modulate these responses. Siderastrea siderea exhibited resistance to end of century pCO2 and temperature stress, but calcification was negatively affected by extreme pCO2. However, S. siderea calcification rates remained positive after 95 d of extreme pCO2 conditions, suggesting acclimation. In contrast, P. strigosa was more negatively influenced by elevated temperatures, which reduced most physiological parameters. An exception was nearshore P. strigosa, which maintained calcification rates under elevated temperature, suggesting local adaptation to the warmer environment of their natal reef zone. This work highlights how tracking coral physiology across various exposure durations can capture acclimatory responses to global change stressors.
Climate change leads to multiple effects caused by simultaneous shifts in several physical factors which will interact with species and ecosystems in complex ways. In marine systems the effects of climate change include altered salinity, increased temperature, and elevated pCO2 which are currently affecting and will continue to affect marine species and ecosystems. Seaweeds are primary producers and foundation species in coastal ecosystems, which are particularly vulnerable to climate change. The brown seaweed Fucus vesiculosus (bladderwrack) is an important foundation species in nearshore ecosystems throughout its natural range in the North Atlantic Ocean and the Baltic Sea. This study investigates how individual and interactive effects of temperature, salinity, and pCO2 affect F. vesiculosus, using a fully crossed experimental design. We assessed the effects on F. vesiculosus in terms of growth, biochemical composition (phlorotannin content, C:N ratio, and ∂13C), and susceptibility to the specialized grazer Littorina obtusata. We observed that elevated pCO2 had a positive effect on seaweed growth in ambient temperature, but not in elevated temperature, while growth increased in low salinity at ambient but not high temperature, regardless of pCO2-level. In parallel to the statistically significant, but relatively small, positive effects on F. vesiculosus growth, we found that the seaweeds became much more susceptible to grazing in elevated pCO2 and reduced salinity, regardless of temperature. Furthermore, the ability of the seaweeds to induce chemical defenses (phlorotannins) was strongly reduced by all the climate stressors. Seaweeds exposed to ambient conditions more than doubled their phlorotannin content in the presence of grazers, while seaweeds exposed to any single or combined stress conditions showed only minor increases in phlorotannin content, or none at all. Despite the minor positive effects on seaweed growth, the results of this study imply that climate change can strongly affect the ability of fucoid seaweeds to induce chemical defenses and increase their susceptibility to grazers. This will likely lead to widespread consequences under future climate conditions, considering the important role of F. vesiculosus and other fucoids in many coastal ecosystems.
Oyster microbiomes are integral to healthy function and can be altered by climate change conditions. Genetic variation among oysters is known to influence the response of oysters to climate change and may ameliorate any adverse effects on oyster microbiome, however, this remains unstudied. Nine full-sibling selected breeding lines of the Sydney rock oyster (Saccostrea glomerata) were exposed to predicted warming (ambient = 24°C, elevated = 28°C) and ocean acidification (ambient pCO2 = 400, elevated pCO2 = 1000 µatm) for four weeks. The haemolymph bacterial microbiome was characterised using 16S rRNA (V3-V4) gene sequencing and varied among oyster lines in the control (ambient pCO2, 24°C) treatment. Microbiomes were also altered by climate change dependent on oyster lines. Bacterial α-diversity increased in response to elevated pCO2 in two selected lines, while bacterial β-diversity was significantly altered by combinations of elevated pCO2 and temperature in four selected lines. Climate change treatments caused shifts in the abundance of multiple Amplicon Sequence Variants (ASVs) driving change in the microbiome of some selected lines. We show that oyster genetic background may influence the Sydney rock oyster haemolymph microbiome under climate change and that future assisted evolution breeding programs to enhance resilience should consider the oyster microbiome.
There is a need to understand the responses of marine molluscs in this era of rapid climate change. Transgenerational plasticity that results in resilient offspring provides a mechanism for rapid acclimation of marine organisms to climate change. This study tested the hypothesis that adult parental exposure to elevated pCO2 and warming will have transgenerational benefits for offspring in the oysters Saccostrea glomerata and Crassostrea gigas. Adult S. glomerata and C. gigas were exposed to orthogonal treatments of ambient and elevated pCO2, and ambient and elevated temperature for 8 weeks. Gametes were collected and fertilized, larvae were then reared for 9 days under ambient and elevated pCO2. Egg lipidome and larval morphology and lipidome were measured. Parental exposure to warming and elevated pCO2 led to limited beneficial transgenerational responses for eggs and larvae of S. glomerata and C. gigas. Overall, larvae of S. glomerata were more sensitive than C. gigas, and both species had some capacity for transgenerational plasticity. This study supports the idea that transgenerational plasticity acts as an acclimatory mechanism for marine organisms to cope with the stress of climate change, but there are limitations, and it may not be a panacea or act equally in different 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.
The sponge-associated microbial community contributes to the overall health and adaptive capacity of the sponge holobiont. This community is regulated by the environment, as well as the immune system of the host. However, little is known about the effect of environmental stress on the regulation of host immune functions and how this may, in turn, affect sponge-microbe interactions. In this study, we compared the microbiomes and immune repertoire of two sponge species, the demosponge, Neopetrosia compacta and the calcareous sponge, Leucetta chagosensis, under varying levels of acidification and warming stress. Neopetrosia compacta harbors a diverse bacterial assemblage and possesses a rich repertoire of scavenger receptors while L. chagosensis has a less diverse microbiome and an expanded range of pattern recognition receptors and proteins with immunological domains. Upon exposure to warming and acidification, the microbiome and host transcriptome of N. compacta remained stable, which correlated with high survival. In contrast, the bacterial community of L. chagosensis exhibited drastic restructuring and widespread downregulation of host immune-related pathways, which accompanied tissue necrosis and mortality. Differences in microbiome diversity and immunological repertoire of diverse sponge groups highlight the central role of host-microbe interactions in predicting the fate of sponges under future ocean conditions.
Increasing temperature and CO2 concentration are among the most important factors affecting marine ecosystems under climate change. We investigated the morphological, biochemical, and physiological trait responses of seedlings of the tropical seagrass Enhalus acoroides under experimental conditions. Trait responses were greater under temperature effects than increasing CO2 concentration. Seedlings under rising temperatures showed enhanced leaf growth, lower leaf nutrient content, and stimulated down-regulating mechanisms in terms of photo-physiology. Increasing CO2 concentrations did not show any significant effects independently. There was a significant interaction for some of the trait responses considered, such as leaf number and carbon content in the roots, and trends of higher starch concentrations in the leaves and lower rETRmax under combined enriched CO2 and high temperature, even though none of these interactions were synergistic. Understanding the single and interactive trait responses of seagrass seedlings to increasing temperature and CO2 concentration is of importance to determine the relative responses of early life stages of seagrasses, which may differ from adult plants, in order to form a more holistic view of seagrass ecosystem health under climate change.
- Global climate change and local stressors are the main threats to reef-building organisms and habitats they build, such as rhodolith beds.
- Through an experimental essay and ecological niche modelling, we were able to determine the environmental factors that determine the distribution and affect the physiology of an important rhodolith-forming species in the southwestern Atlantic.
- Our results raise the possibility of some rhodolith-forming species being resilient to future environmental change based on our current understanding of their distributions, a perspective that will need to be further explored by future studies.
- This information is helpful in informing policies for the conservation of priority areas, aiding the preservation of marine biodiversity in the South Atlantic.
Given the ecological and biogeochemical importance of rhodolith beds, it is necessary to investigate how future environmental conditions will affect these organisms. We investigated the impacts of increased nutrient concentrations, acidification, and marine heatwaves on the performance of the rhodolith-forming species Lithothamnion crispatum in a short-term experiment, including the recovery of individuals after stressor removal. Furthermore, we developed an ecological niche model to establish which environmental conditions determine its current distribution along the Brazilian coast and to project responses to future climate scenarios. Although L. crispatum suffered a reduction in photosynthetic performance when exposed to stressors, they returned to pre-experiment values following the return of individuals to control conditions. The model showed that the most important variables in explaining the current distribution of L. crispatum on the Brazilian coast were maximum nitrate and temperature. In future ocean conditions, the model predicted a range expansion of habitat suitability for this species of approximately 58.5% under RCP 8.5. Physiological responses to experimental future environmental conditions corroborated model predictions of the expansion of this species’ habitat suitability in the future. This study, therefore, demonstrates the benefits of applying combined approaches to examine potential species responses to climate-change drivers from multiple angles.
- Seasonal variability of temperature under ambient or enriched CO2 conditions affect productivity in two model fleshy seaweeds, Ulva rigida and Gracilaria conferta.
- The growth of these seaweeds can be doubled when exposed to high CO2 concentrations.
- Maximal short-run profits were obtained at ca. 22.5 °C and 27.5 °C for U. rigida and G. conferta, respectively.
- Based on the seaweeds respond to external seasonal changes in temperature and CO2 concentration, farmers may decide what and where to grow seasonally.
By the end of the current century atmospheric CO2 concentration may reach 1000 ppm, more than twice the present level set at ca. 400 ppm. Marine macroalgae (seaweeds) contribute to global primary production and by taking up CO2 they may ameliorate and regulate global climate change. Seaweeds also have direct and indirect economic importance by providing food and bioactive compounds for human benefit. Nonetheless, all these benefits could be jeopardized by the ongoing pressures, both local and global, on marine environments. In this study we examine the effects of dissolved CO2 and seasonal seawater temperature on the growth rates (measured weekly changes in biomass and expressed on a daily basis) of two model species, Ulva rigida (Chlorophyta) and Gracilaria conferta (Rhodophyta), which are common in the intertidal zone of the Israeli Mediterranean Sea, and cultivated by the local seaweed industry. The seaweeds were grown in land-based 40 L fiberglass tanks fertilized with sufficient N and P, supplied with running seawater and continuous air bubbling to keep equal exposure of the seaweeds to nutrients and light. The tanks were also provided with aeration with regular air (ambient CO2, ~ 400 ppm) or CO2-enriched air (~780 ppm). Seaweeds exposed to CO2–enriched seawater grew faster, 32.5 and 8.5% growth per day for U. rigida and G. conferta, respectively. Following calculations of productivity rates, market price, and input cost, we estimate production and show a quadratic production function with respect to temperature for each CO2 concentration. Thus, there is an optimal temperature that maximizes seaweed output. Based on the production function estimates and using market prices, maximal short-run profits were obtained at ca. 22.5 °C and 27.5 °C for U. rigida and G. conferta, respectively. These results may provide useful information for seaweed growers on what and where to grow seasonally, and how farming activities should adapt to external changes in temperature and CO2 concentration.
Aim: The current study undertook manipulative experiments to observe changes in snapping shrimp sound signals in relation to temperature and pH changes.
Methodology: Sounds of intertidal snapping shrimp (Alpheus edwardsii) sequentially exposed to different temperature/pH treatments manipulation for a period of 2 week each, were recorded in the laboratory and analysed. The acoustic characteristics of snapping sound signal were examined to relate to the change in temperature, pH and combination of both parameters.
Results: Our results showed that there was a significant reduction in the frequency of peak amplitude of snapping sound wave following a two week exposure to a combination of temperature and pH treatments. The frequency of snapping shrimp sound decreased by approximately 30% when exposed to a 2°C increase in temperature and a 0.7 unit decrease in pH, however, elevated temperature alone caused no significant effect on the peak frequency of snapping shrimp sound.
Interpretation: The finding suggests that following the prediction values of temperature and pH changes due to climate change in the coming century may implicate the ambient noise at habitats where snapping shrimps dominate.
- Environmental triclosan levels alter the reproductive output of R. philippinarum.
- Environmental triclosan levels reduce body mass in R. philippinarum.
- R. decussatus growth was resilient to environmental changes.
- Worst case scenario (TCS and climate change) will affect Manila clam production.
We built a simulation model based on Dynamic Energy Budget theory (DEB) to assess the growth and reproductive potential of the native European clam Ruditapes decussatus and the introduced Manila clam Ruditapes philippinarum under current temperature and pH conditions in a Portuguese estuary and under those forecasted for the end of the 21st c. The climate change scenario RCP8.5 predicts temperature increase of 3 °C and a pH decrease of 0.4 units. The model was run under additional conditions of exposure to the emerging contaminant triclosan (TCS) and in the absence of this compound. The parameters of the DEB model were calibrated with the results of laboratory experiments complemented with data from the literature available for these two important commercial shellfish resources. For each species and experimental condition (eight combinations), we used data from the experiments to produce estimates for the key parameters controlling food intake flux, assimilation flux, somatic maintenance flux and energy at the initial simulation time. The results showed that the growth and reproductive potential of both species would be compromised under future climate conditions, but the effect of TCS exposure had a higher impact on the energy budget than forecasted temperature and pH variations. The egg production of R. philippinarum was projected to suffer a more marked reduction with exposure to TCS, regardless of the climatic factor, while the native R. decussatus appeared more resilient to environmental causes of stress. The results suggest a likely decrease in the rates of expansion of the introduced R. philippinarum in European waters, and negative effects on fisheries and aquaculture production of exposure to emerging contaminants (e.g., TCS) and climate change.
- A biophysical model framework for coral reef evolution is developed.
- The model can be used to predict the coral response to the environment via process-based relations.
- The model bridges the gap in timescales of processes from seconds to millennia.
- Model predictions are within the accuracy of climate projections.
- The model is an efficient tool for forecasting coral reef development to inform policy makers.
The increasing pressure on Earth’s ecosystems due to climate change is becoming more and more evident and the impacts of climate change are especially visible on coral reefs. Understanding how climate change interacts with the physical environment of reefs to impact coral growth and reef development is critically important to predicting the persistence of reefs into the future. In this study, a biophysical model was developed including four environmental factors in a feedback loop with the coral’s biology: (1) light; (2) hydrodynamics; (3) temperature; and (4) pH. The submodels are online coupled, i.e. regularly exchanging information and feedbacks while the model runs. This ensures computational efficiency despite the widely-ranged timescales. The composed biophysical model provides a significant step forward in understanding the processes that modulate the evolution of coral reefs, as it is the first construction of a model in which the hydrodynamics are included in the feedback loop.
Globally, kelp forests are threatened by multiple stressors, including increasing grazing by sea urchins. With coastal upwelling predicted to increase in intensity and duration in the future, understanding whether kelp forest and urchin barren urchins are differentially affected by upwelling-related stressors will give insight into how future conditions may affect the transition between kelp forests and barrens. We assessed how current and future-predicted changes in the duration and magnitude of upwelling-associated stressors (low pH, dissolved oxygen, and temperature) affected the performance of purple sea urchins (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus) sourced from rapidly-declining bull kelp (Nereocystis leutkeana) forests and nearby barrens and maintained on habitat-specific diets. Kelp forest urchins were of superior condition to barrens urchins, with ~ 6–9 times more gonad per body mass. Grazing and condition in kelp forest urchins were more negatively affected by distant-future and extreme upwelling conditions, whereas grazing and survival in urchins from barrens were sensitive to both current-day and all future-predicted upwelling, and to increases in acidity, hypoxia, and temperature regardless of upwelling. We conclude that urchin barren urchins are more susceptible to increases in the magnitude and duration of upwelling-related stressors than kelp forest urchins. These findings have important implications for urchin population dynamics and their interaction with kelp.
Anthropogenic CO2 is changing the pCO2, temperature, and carbonate chemistry of seawater. These processes are termed ocean acidification (OA) and ocean warming. Previous studies suggest two opposing hypotheses for the way in which marine climate stress will influence echinoderm calcification, metabolic efficiency, and reproduction: either an additive or synergistic effect. Sea stars have a regenerative capacity, which may be particularly affected while rebuilding calcium carbonate arm structures, leading to changes in arm growth and calcification. In this study, Asterias forbesi were exposed to ocean water of either ambient, high temperature, high pCO2, or high temperature and high pCO2 for 60 days, and the regeneration length of the amputated arm was measured weekly. Ocean acidification conditions (pCO2 ~1180 μatm) had a negative impact on regenerated arm length, and an increase in temperature of +4°C above ambient conditions (Fall, Southern Gulf of Maine) had a positive effect on regenerated arm length, but the additive effects of these two factors resulted in smaller regenerated arms compared to ambient conditions. Sea stars regenerating under high pCO2 exhibited a lower proportion of calcified mass, which could be the result of a more energetically demanding calcification process associated with marine climate stress. These results indicate that A. forbesi calcification is sensitive to increasing pCO2, and that climate change will have an overall net negative effect on sea star arm regeneration. Such effects could translate into lower predation rates by a key consumer in the temperate rocky intertidal of North America.
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…